Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Why Martial Arts Are The Best Exercise

Martial Arts are the best workout. Why would I say such a thing? First, let me say that any kind of exercise is good. You can run, swim, lift weights, etc. There are many ways to get in shape. Martial arts are more than exercise in that you learn technique, theory, and application. You go to class, warm up, review, learn new techniques, apply those lessons and condition your body. You test what you learn in stressed environment. You spar with your classmates and test your will. You have to deal with fear, fatigue, physical limitations, etc. When you are getting ready for a belt test or competition, you have deal with nervousness, anxiety, etc. If you can get on the mat and look another person eye to eye and punch, kick, throw, and submit them (with them doing them same to you), you learn who to keep your ego in check. Not many forms of exercise can do this. Martial Arts can. You have to be social, so if have trouble speaking in front of people you get over it. You develop confidence and learn through trial and error of what you need to do to get better.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Jack Of All Trades And Master Of All

We all heard the expression, "Jack of all trades and master of none". As a martial artist, I've decided to pursue mastery of all. Most of us will be good a one thing or maybe two. I have devoted my lifetime to trying to be good at all. Am I great at all of them, maybe not, but I feel that it is the goal. In school, you might have an A in some subjects, B in others, and so on. Let's pursue straight A's and to be great in all we do.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Battle Tested Techniques

How do you know what you learn will work in  reality. There are many instructors that will tell you that their systems is this and that. Some will criticize other systems and say that their system is superior to others. Well don't go for any of that if that person can't demonstrate to you that they are telling you the truth. In order for something to be effective, you have to be able to apply what you learn against a resisting and non-compliant opponent. For effective fighting technique you have have to have fighting experience. You don't have to go get in a real fight (it would help), but you have to spar with resistance. Don't get caught in concepts. Learn from those who have real life experience applying those techniques, not just those who have belt and certifications and no fights.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Fighting Decisions, Decisions, No Contest, Refs and Judges

I just got back from some fights in NY with one of our guys fighting for a title in the semi-main event. In the fight his opponent gets hit, moves back, twists or hyperextends his knee, falls and can no longer continue. I assume that my guy wins that title and the referee calls the match a No-contest. A No-contest usually results when something beyond the control of the fighters stops the match. In the case of a fighting moving and falling and not being able to continue, I don't think that constitutes a No-contest. Having torn ACLs in matches, I hoped back up and continued to fight. If I couldn't have continued, then the other other fighter should be awarded the victory. I don't think it should be declared a No-contest.

In looking at decisions determined by officials (refs, judges, etc.), I think that they should do all in their power to let the fighters determine the outcome. I would rather extensions rounds be added in the case of a draw. Depending on the sport, rulings should be based on the basic definition of the sport. For example in combat sports, the objective is dominate one's opponent with the most efficient techniques for that sport. In a boxing match, we know a right cross hits harder than a jab. So, if it boils down which wins between the two, the right cross should win as opposed to looking at it as both landed a punch.

It would be great if all officiating had competitive experience or training in what they are judging (believe or not, many times it is neither), we could see better decisions. As professional as commissions and organizations want to be, they main area the fail in is getting credible experienced people to officiate.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Self Defense, Realty Defense and Combat Sports

Even though Reality Self Defense claims to be different and superior to Traditional Martial Arts, in some cases they are alike. The argument is theory versus practical application. My thoughts are that you have to get experience applying it yourself. As a combat athlete, I've been fortunate to experience hand to hand combat to the fullest (striking and grappling in individual and mixed formats). From a reality perspective, I know what it's like to have bullets fly past and I have seen first hand the results of knife and gun violence. The first thing I will tell you is that awareness is the most important skill you can have. Reading body language is second. Controlling your emotions is next (appearing aggressive, passive, oblivious, etc.). All of these must be present before you can apply the physical or tactical skills. Combat sports will teach how to control emotion, pressure, stress, pain, and give you psychological aptitude that will help in a situation.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Self Defense or Offense?

If you train to be defensive, you are already behind your aggressor. You have to be offensive. My belief is hit hard, hit fast and hit first. When sense danger, act first. Be proactive no reactive.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Martial Arts For Fitness

The fitness business is big these days with all kinds of workouts to do. There is yoga, spin, cross-fit, rock climbing, etc. People will mix up there workouts where one day they do cardio, the next strength, the next flexibility and so on. For me, my primary way of staying in shape is through martial arts training. I train in several styles of martial arts that have different fitness requirements and develop different attributes. The aspects of power, endurance, flexibility, coordination, reaction, and many more more are met through these different martial arts. For example, with Judo I have to be explosive and have the constant resistance of another body along with isometric strength development in grappling. With kickboxing and boxing, I get an all around body workout developing explosive power, reaction, eye/hand coordination, and a lot of cardio. Through karate and taekwondo, I am working on flexibility, fluidity, focus, and precision. From time to time, I will squeeze in some Kendo and Kobudo (weapons) training which help with focus, grip strength, timing and distancing. I spar, grapple, skip rope, etc. So, through the martial arts, I am able to train myself mentally, physically and spiritually in what I consider the best way to do it.