Friday, October 14, 2016

Strong Rules Karate

Here a good video clip of Vinny Balsamello fighting in the Shidokan International Championships in Japan. It is bare knuckle full contact fighting, similar to Kyokushin. Actually it was more like what Kyokushin was like when it started (now there are no grabs, throws, clinch allowed). Anyway, the fighters are allowed a brief clinch, throws and a few seconds allowed for a quick submission on the ground. Some will ask, why are there no face punches? Sure it would make a difference, but with the grabbing of the Gi and the use of throws it would still be similar to what is seen in the video. There is a lot of information out there where there Karate guys telling you how to apply traditional techniques to real fighting. Don't believe 'em. This is what it would be like.

Friday, September 30, 2016

All Exercise Is Good

People tend to be caught up in to what is the latest and greatest workout. Some are old school and do the same exercises they did 20 years ago and some will change every month. Well it doesn't matter. If you are having fun and staying healthy it's all good. Most people don't workout consistently, so if you are doing something on a regular basis, they you are doing something effective for your health.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Fighting Karate Part I

In looking at full contact or bare knuckle Karate, Shidokan is one of the most practical styles out there. In this clip, I am fighting against Ryo Sakai in a Shidokan Triathlon Match (3 rounds of Karate, 3 rounds of Thai Boxing, and 3 rounds of Grappling. This is from the finals of the 2002 World Open. To make to the finals, one has to win to fights. This our 3rd fight for the evening. So, we into this final match banged up from previous wars. Since it is a 9 round fight, we have to play chess throughout the match.

This post is the Karate part.  Because of the threat of being clinched and thrown, look at the selection of techniques used from a distance and in close. Body punches, lock kicks, and knees are the main techniques used. You will Sakai execute Hiza Guruma (knee wheel) throws on me. Due to an ACL injury in my semi final fight, I have difficulty stabilizing on the right leg, so there is no resisting.

You will see me use movement and long range kicks (side, back, axe, etc.). You will see a cross blend of techniques between the two of us. Sakai will blend Knockdown, Thai Boxing  and Judo. You will see me use a blend  of Thai Boxing and Tae Kwon Do.

So, this is what Karate is for me and I base what I teach on experiences like these.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Fighting With Clothes

You watch your favorite fight sports like MMA, Kickboxing, Boxing, etc. You see athletes in shorts and no shirts. There slippery from sweat and boxing oil, and vaseline. If they were kickboxing or MMA shorts, the legs slip out when grabbed. Their bodies and limbs are hard to hold because of the sweat factor. Also, because gloves are worn it is harder to grab. But guess what happens when you kick somebody when you have on your long pants? The can grab your pant leg. If you are wearing a long sleeve shirt or a jacket, the have more handles to grab. There is friction and if they get a hold of you, they have more leverage. So, keep this in mind when training. Things have to be modified and most will never fight with their shirts off.

Monday, September 12, 2016


How hard must one pursue a goal or dream? If you want something should you be able to have it? Sure you can, but it doesn't always come easy. There's an old saying, "Nothing worth having, comes easy." To be the straight A student, one has to burn the midnight oil and study hard. Not that the B,C, etc. students don't study, but the A student usually studies harder. It is my belief that we can have most of the things we really want. I'm not saying that they will come easy and that you won't have pitfalls along they way. We have to try and keep trying. Belief in what you are trying to do and accomplish and don't listen to those who try to take you away from your path. Most successful people fail. What makes them different is that they don't give up. They don't dwell on losses and mistakes. They learn from them and keep trying. Set your sights on what you want and go for it. Don't change if because others suggest otherwise. Believe in yourself and what you do.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Be Self Motivated

As an instructor/coach, I find it unfortunate that in today's society many struggle to motivate themselves. We rely so much on outside influences to entertain, motivate, and inspire us way to much. When kids don't have a video game or a cartoon to entertain them, they say they're bored. It's the same with adults as they stay glued to phones. In teaching classes, there are some who will come in and start practicing things on their own before class begins and then there are some who will chat and train half heatedly and leave right after. Those who started before everybody else will ask questions and make sure they understand everything they learned that class.

As a fighter, I watched professionals train and I noticed that nobody told them what to do when they got in the gym. The warmed up, hit the bags, pads, etc. They would go around and ask fighters for sparring and would get in the ring with anybody. If they had a fight coming up, the coach would supervise and give suggestions, but other than that most of the really good fighters would just train. For me it is frustrating as I see many guys talk about noting that has to do with the training while they are training. They show a lack of focus and intent in what they are doing.

So, what must one do to be the best that they can be? Be SELF MOTIVATED! Don't depend on outside influences to inspire you. Be truthful to yourself and be passionate about what you do. Then you will be able to better accomplish your goals.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Best Preparation

What is the best way to prepare for a fight or for any activity that you are going to do? If getting ready for a fight should you lift more weights, shake more ropes, or flip heavier tires? Sure those things provide a good workout. But, they won't really help you fight better. So what should one do then? Well, they should do more of that activity. If getting ready for a boxing match, you need to get in the ring with another boxer and box. If getting ready for a grappling match, you need to get on the mat with a grappler and grapple. Of course you can do all the cool exercises I mentioned earlier but use them as a supplement to the skill you are trying to develop. If it's a matter of how much time you have to lift or do a specific activity (your primary focus) then use that limited time for that activity. Your workouts should be geared towards developing your skill for your activity.