Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Fight or Entertain?

Fighers get criticized for entertaining instead of just fighting. What should fighters do? Well, I will tell you this, whatever they want to do. Personally for me, it was always fun to fight. I liked competing and didn't feel the anger or rage of fighting. I was never mad. Now that doesn't mean that I took opponents lightling. They better the opponent, the better I performed because I look at it like chess. I fight mentally not physically. Angry bodies send off a certain kind of energy. The intent behind what one does and how they deliver their techniques are different when angry than when calm. I can sense it and read it. Just because you have fun doesn't mean that you are not trying to hurt or stop an opponent. Hurting an opponent doesn't have to be done because one is angry. I always wanted to win by stoppage over decision and at the same time have fun (I know it sounds sadistic).

Monday, December 30, 2013

UFC 168 Main and Semi Main Events

The UFC fights were great this past weekend. Chris Weidman showed all that his 1st win over Anderson Silva was not a fluke, meaning that he is a legitimate champion. It's unfortunate how the fight ended with Silva throwing a low kick, Weidman blocking it with his knee and breaking Silva's leg (in the 2nd round). Sometimes a fighter has another fighters as his Achilles heel and maybe Weidman is Silva's. Rousey vs. Tate II was a great fight with Ronda once again getting the armbar finish. Tate did do what no other has so far and that is get Rousey to the 3rd round. Rousey throw some punches and kicks for the first time and we saw some amazing throws and transitions from Rousey.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Thailand Prison Fights

There is a prison in Thailand where inmates fight for reduced time. They bring in foreigners for them to fight in boxing and muay thai matches. Here's a clip. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eg7GFtAKtHo

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

IBJJF World Championships Highlight

Here's a cool highlight of the IBJJF World Championships. You will some awesome transitions and submissions from some of the best BJJ players on the planet. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WQylr1iKII4

Monday, December 23, 2013

Kickboxing's Best

I watched Glory Kickboxing this past weekend and enjoyed some great action. Glory is being marketed as kickboxing's best fighters. There are a lot of good fighters but don't forget that there is still some other kickboxing organizations out there with some really good fighters too. I watched this fight over the weekend on Youtube with Buakaw winning Max Muay Thai finals. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KqUcb60Qo2s

Friday, December 20, 2013

Takanoyama Sumo Highlight

Sure we've all heard of and have seen Sumo on TV at some point and time. We make fun of 2 fat guys in thongs bumping bellies. But, Sumo is far from a joke. I was shown this highlight of Takanoyama (Pavel Bojar), a famous Sumo player from the Czech Republic. He is smaller and utilizes a lot of judo techniques in his style. Check him out. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N2DP467Tm8s

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Shindokai Karate Demo

Came across this demo and wanted to share. Shihan Giles Richard started Shindokai Karate. Shindokai is an offshoot of Shidokan Karate. Part I http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TEQoWw1x3Lg Part II http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TEQoWw1x3Lg

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Silva Vs. Weidman II

The next big UFC fight is almost here. Chris Weidman will try to keep Anderson Silva from recapturing the Middleweight Championship. It will interesting to see what happens. In the their last outing, Silva got caught playing. Will he show boat or will he get serious from the start. Chris will want to show that his win was not a lucky shot. Let's see what happens. Press Conference: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FJ7_Vqo_SY4

Monday, December 16, 2013

Adrien Broner Losses For The 1st Time

Maidana solved the "Problem" this past weekend by dismantling Adrien Bronner. It was a great fight and both fighters fought hard. Bronner is a young, brash, crap talking fighter who is supposed to be the next Floyd Mayweather. He was dominate at 140lbs and is now fighting at 147. As with all athletes who move up in weight, the knockout power doesn't go up with them. If you didn't see it, see it!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Want To Be A Pro Fighter?

Everybody wants to be a professional fighter but not everyone wants to pay their dues. What type of dedication does it take? Are you running, hitting the bag, doing your conditioning, and getting your sparring rounds daily? Are you getting the proper nutrition and rest (not hanging out and partying too much). Do you visit other gyms to train with other people or do you stay in your own safe training environment? Do you stay in shape so that if you get called to fighting tomorrow, your are ready? Will you fight anybody and think you can be the top guys? If you can answer these question with yes, then you are ready to be a pro. If not, you're just a hobbyist.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Despite driving 2 hours to and from in the rain, I made it down to Birmingham yesterday for a knockdown karate tournament. It was a small tournament but there was some good action and I always enjoy seeing some good ole bare knuckle karate. Here's one of my students banging it out with his local rival the 3rd time (the previous two he won and this one, his opponent get's the decision). Wanted to share so you can hear and appreciate the sound of a low kick agains Gi pants (has a different sound than bare thigh) and appreciate bare handed fighting. It's raw and basic (of course I prefer Shidokan Knockdown rules to Kyokushin for a little clinch, throw, etc.). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AI2_jyiOlyw

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The Best Submission Techniques, Chokes

In grappling you will all kinds of locks, cranks and submissions. Cool armbars and fancy leg locks. The philosophy behind joint locks is causing damage so your opponent can't use those limbs. But, I want you know to know that the best submission is a choke. You need to put them to sleep. When anger and adrenaline is flowing or if someone is on something (i.e. drugs, alcohol), their pain receptors are off. I've had students fight in MMA and Muay Thai and get their arms broken and in the 2004 Shidokan World Open, I had a heel hook applied (popping ankle and knee). We were all able to continue fighting. Keep in mind that some guys are hard to knockout and breaking their limbs while they're angry just makes them more angry. So make sure you learn some chokes. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1aOw22ftI1Y

Monday, December 2, 2013

Cardio Is King

Last post, I talked about strenghth and technique. Today, let's look at cardio. Without cardio, you strength won't last and your technique will get sloppy. If two tough fighters go at it, after a round or two, the one with better cardio usually wins. You can fight someone that's weaker and at first their blows don't phase you. Later on during the match, you start to feel those blows that felt like nothing at first and the accumulation of those blows take affect. It's best to develop your cardio doing your sport. Sparring is most important. After that you have, running, rope, etc. Training must be specific to the activity.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Technique Vs Strength

What is more important, technique or strength? Technique is. Now, don't think that you can't lose to strength. Using boxing for example, a strong puncher can win against a more technical boxer (who is weaker) if he can impose his power early. If the technical fighter uses good defense (from better footwork and head movement), the stronger fighter's strength will quickly fade and then it will boil down to the technique and skill. With that being said, you will want to develop your technique first because strength is easier to build upon. Don't think that if you can't knock a guy out now, you will be able to after a few months of strength training. The naturally powerful knockout artists do so because of genetics. I have never known a fighter to able to bulk up and then start knocking guys out by getting stronger. Getting stronger may help them withstand more punishment to the body, but it doesn't make them faster (which is what the weaker guy has to improve on for KOs). Improvement in technique benefits all types of fighter.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Glory 12 Kickboxing New York

Hope you had a chance to watch the latest Glory Kickboxing event on Spike TV this past weekend. There were some suprises as fighters expected to win got KOed. The beauty of tournament style fights is that anything can happen. I always say use the tournament format to find world champions. Andy Ristie is the new lightweight champ, winning in spectacular fashion with knockouts over Georgio Petrosyan and Robin Van Roosmalan. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cug7q4DwG_Y

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Karate Team Competiton From The 1970s USA vs Belgium

Here's an old school Karate clip of how Karate tournaments were fought back in the 60s and 70s. Even controlled contact was hard. There sweeps and throws allowed and even groin kicks. There will be a list of famous Karate fighters from this time (Ed Parker, Benny Urquidez, John Natividad, etc.) Watch and learn. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9mA16yBHcws

Benny Urquidez History Lesson

In this clip the "Jet", talks about how the sport of kickboxing got it's name (prior to 1975 it was called Full Contact Karate In America). He talks about his first time feeling a leg kick and you will see him land his trade mark spinning back kick. http://www.youtube.com/watch?list=PL001AD43A8E440E0C&v=AN0d9jBWf7M

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Tae Kwon Do For Kicks

What is the best kicking style to learn? In my opinion Taekwondo. I know you think it's all about the flash and high fancy kicks. But actually it's not. In the sport of TKD, despite all the jumping and spinning you see, the good old basic roundhouse kick is the highest scoring kick. What is good about TKD as a sport, is that you are forced to develop good kicks or you won't win. Distancing, timing, range, for kicking is unlike any other art. I have used these principles against world class kickboxer and thai boxers. Nothing is wrong with other kicking styles. I'm just saying that I will hit you with a spinning back kick before you can land that shin kick.

Monday, November 18, 2013

The Search For Shidokan Triathletes

I have had the opportunity to be involved with Shidokan Triathlon fights for almost 14 years now. As a fighter, coach, match maker, and promoter, I have enjoyed awesome experiences. I am often asked when will there be another Shidokan Open or when will I promote another Triathlon tournament. Here's the problem. Karate guys don't fight anymore. Fighters as a whole are different than they were 10 years ago. The reason I say this is because guys fight for different reasons now. Some because they hope to become professionals who do it for a living (few are truly able to) or because they think it's cool and want some recognition. Now, there are some true warriors out there, but match makes always have a hard time finding dependable guys who will show to fight. For the 3 professional shows I put on, you'd think that I would find a lot of tough Karate fighters to fight on a Karate based (but not limited to karate guys) event. Nope! Most of the guys I got were MMA and Kickboxing fighters. The contact karate fighters didn't really want to fight or step outside of there organizations to fight. So, with all this said, I am starting a quest for fighters (of all styles) to find future triathletes for Shidokan fights. Here's what it looks like. Are you strong enough? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dk_NldfYJTQ

Friday, November 15, 2013

Combat Throws

I have a few throws that I like to use in fights. Kosoto Gari (minor outer reap), Osoto Gari (major inner reap), Ouchi Gari (major inner reap), Kouchi Gari (minor inner reap. They require little effort, they are effective and you lose nothing if you don't get them. You can go right back to striking (i.e. knees). I if I miss a double leg shot, I'm in bad position. With these trhows I will ususally end up on top. Here's a clip with me using Kouchi, Ouchi and Osoto in one bout. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=31UwXmNf1LE

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

There Is A Difference Between Boxing & Punching

Is boxing and punching the same? No. A lot of guys are tough and can punch, but boxing is not the same as punching. Punchers rely on power and agression. Boxing requires a relaxed state of mind and teaches one to be calm under pressure unlike any other sport. To stay focused and look for openings while somebody is trying to take your head off is hard to do. To make a guy miss, hit him, and move giving him nothing but air to hit is hard to do. Check this video out. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OSiQq3KZxm0

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Don't Forget Your Cardio

Yesterday I talked about speed over power. If you have to fight in match that lasts 9 or 12 rounds, endurance is the most important attribute. After 4 or 5 rounds you won't be able to rely on brute power. I've seen guys with seemingly we punching power knocked out stronger opponents in later rounds. It looks like they are just tapping their opponent and all of a sudden that fall out. Accumulation of punishment will sneak up on you. If you've ever watched UFC fighter Nick Diaz fight, you've seen him through what looks like a lot of slapping punches and then all of sudden, the opponents falls. So, with all of that said, don't forget to build your endurance. Hit that bag, spar, skip rope, shadow box, and run.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Speed Vs. Power

What is more important, speed or power? For me, it's speed. Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying you can be weak and prevail. And I don't consider myself exceptionally fast. I have a relaxed method of movement and contract the muscles at the moment of impact and then relax. I was talking with a student about body language and I explained that if you look closely at an opponent, you can see tension in the body before it attacks. I have spent countless rounds of shadow boxing in the mirror to study my body, so that I don't have this give away. How effective is it to be able to punch through a brick wall if you can't hit somebody? The human body is delicate and doesn't require much to hurt it if you hit it right. People think that you have hit people hard and you don't.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Pain Is The Teacher

When you learn martial arts of any kind, a lot of times instructors don't tell you how you are really going to learn how to do most things. The truth is, is that you will learn through trial and error and most of importantly through pain. Boxing is a good example. In Boxing, a coach will tell you over and over to keep your hands up when you shadow box, hit the bag, mits, etc. but you continually keep then down. As soon as you start sparring you get hit and then a light goes off and you realize your hands are down. Until you feel the pain, you didn't realize that you were doing it wrong, even though your coach has been yelling it at you for several months. In grappling, you get put in a submission choke and you are too prideful to tap. After you bruise your trachea and can't swallow for a few days, you know that you will immediately tap next time. To drill is cool, but you need to have the threat of pain to truly learn.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Why Shidokan Knockdown Strong Rules?

In looking at the different combat sport/arts out there, which one do I prefer to teach basic fighting. I say, Shidokan Strong Rules Karate. In this particular fight format, fighters fight bare knuckle, with all strikes except hand techniques to the face. Clinching, grabbing, throws, takedowns and quick submissions are allowed. In real fights, sophisticated grappling is not needed. Because Muay Thai is included in Shidokan, the clinch and knee is highly used in tournaments. The knee is such a powerful weapon. Strong body punches and low kicks are key weapons in bare knuckle. Conditioning the body to this type of punishment can only be done throw serious full contact training and conditioning. I know you are wondering about where the face punches are. A good shot or two is all you will probably get for real and you have to be careful not to injure hands. So, you would do well with the format. In a tournament, fighters are allowed 5 seconds on the ground to find a submission. Which means that a sense of urgency is needed. This is good for training fighters to get it over with quickly as on the street you won't have time to wait for the submission. Shidokan http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BWyPfcVCs1M

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Centuries of Knowledge In One Weekend

I just got back from a fun trip in Chicago at the U.S. Shidokan Headquarters. Shidokan Founder Yoshiji Soeno test me and several senior members of U.S. Shidokan (2nd degree and up). Shihan Eddie Yoshimura (USA), Shihan Matsumoto (USA), Shihan Christian Pujol (Caribeans) and Shihan Jose Gulicio (France, were all present. The instructors testing included several former champions and former fighters. We had 2 days of training and review core basics. In one room there was several centuries of knowledge when adding everyone's years of training together. These fighters have fought in every imaginable combat arena (sport and reality as several members are former military and law enforcement).

Friday, November 1, 2013

Hard Sparring and Competition

How do you know if your fighting techniques will work under pressure? The best way is to compete and the 2nd best way is to spar with real conditions. Some will criticize sport fighting and say it's still not the real thing. No, it isn't but it's the best labratory to test your stuff. Outside of ripping someone's eys and groin, there's a combat sport where you can test every range of hand to hand combat. Not everybody will have the opportunity to compete. So, I recommend finding and training with those that do. You need to feel stress and pressure. You need to know what's like to do your stuff when tired and nervous. You need to know that you will pay painfully for mistakes. Everything else is theory.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

You're A Black Belt. So!

What belt are you? Does it really matter? No. Ranking systems do have a purpose. It's like moving through grades in schools. Based on your level in the curriculum of your style, you receive a rank. Karate borrowed it's uniforms and belt colors from Judo. When Funakoshi brought Shotokan from Okinawa to Japan, he was sponsored by Kano (founder of Judo). Combat sports like boxing and kickboxing don't have belts systems. You are a novice in boxing when you start. After 10 bouts, you start competing in the open division where for your 15th fight you might fight an opponent who has 30 fights. So, you go through the learning curve and hone your skills. I'm not saying that belts are stupid and should be done away with. I want people to train for the sake of training and not focus on belts and focus on developing skills. I've taken kids to tournaments who were green and under and they've competed against kids who had black belt ranking (I mentioned in an earlier post that kids can't be black belts for real until 18 years old!). The difference in rank did not show when they fought. It might show in kata (forms) where the higher ranking student has learned more kata for their rank. But fighting comes down to mastering fundamentals and being willing to duke it out. That has nothing to do with rank.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

How Can One Be Undefeated?

Yesterday I was talking to some of the guys at the gym about the perfect time to fight. Everybody wants the perfect scenario. This requires being in perfect shape, having a year to get ready for that one big moment. I look at it like this, once you decide to fight, get out there and go for it. Now here comes the, "What if I lose" thinking. If you are worried about losing, then don't compete. I've said in previous threads that one loses when one doesn't get out there and try. If you get out there and give your all, you are a winner. The only people who see it other than that are your friends and family members who don't fight. Fighters never rag other fighters. So, far all of my fellow competitors, you never REALLY lose.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Kid Black Belts?

Can a 7 or 8 year old be a black belt in a martial art? No! A black belt must be developed mentally and physically. A six year old can't defend himself against a 16 year old. The commerical karate and tae kwon do schools have created belt factories. They make a lot of money off of rank promotions. Kids who wrestle and box will squash these black belts for 2 main reasons. Number one, they don't really learn how to fight. If they fought there would be less students to make money off of. Number two, few kids would really spend the time required to get a black belt (several years).

Monday, October 28, 2013

When Is The Right Time To Fight?

Let's say you've been training for a while and a fight opportunity comes up. You get asked if you want to fight. What do you say? You might say you're not ready yet, you need more time. The next time an opportunity comes up, you do the same thing. After a while, opportunities are far and few between until they stop coming up. What happened? By the time you are ready and got the fight game figured out, you have your confidence and you feel that your conditioning is perfect, nobody wants to fight you. No, what really happened is that promoters and your coach thinks you are afraid and they don't bother asking you anymore. Once you decide to compete, be ready to just do it. What the worst that can happen? Oh, I forget. One could have that little bothersome thing, losing, happen. Why do we compete? Sure, everybody wants to win, but somebody has to lose. And in my mind you only truly lose when you do even try. So, get out there and do it, so 20 years later you won't be saying you coulda, whoulda, shoulda.

Friday, October 25, 2013

My Physical Conditioning At 47

Over the years I've always mixed up the physical conditioning aspect of my fight training. By the time I was 12, I could do push ups on my thumbs and on 2 fingers. I could sit in a split and sqeeze my legs to a standing position. I would go on runs with my big brother (who ran track) so, I got track workouts and hill training. My other brother was into bodybuilding and powerlifting, so I would go to muscle gyms during the 1980s and learn various techniques from the 2 methods. Training in Taekwondo and Boxing gyms, I would learn different methods of fight training to meet the demands of those sports. Cardio was key for both, and lots of functional training with bodyweight was key. I learned about ciruit and interval training. I even did some ballet and step classes and all the machines (universal, nautilis, cybex, stair master, etc.). As I added kickboxing and grappling training, I learned more exercises and impact training methods (bags, padwork, etc.). I would swim in the morning, go to the fight gym in the afternoon, and run in the evening. I've done the kettlebells, olympic lifts, plyo ball, etc. I would train TKD one day and the next box/kickbox. A lot was going on over an almost 25 years of full contact competiton. OK, let's get to the present. What does Rich do nowadays. I still mix it up because I never like set routines. I train Shidokan Karate, Kickboxing (elements of boxing, American kickboxing, and Muay Thai), and Judo (including some training in BJJ and MMA). I do lots of bodyweight exercises, lots of impact training (bag and pads), and lots of stretching. I train 6 days a week and my workout time is 90 minutes to 2 and half hours depending on the day (some days I train twice a day doing mid day karate or kickboxing workout and a judo workout in the evening). I will go through cycles that including weight/kettlebell routines and running routines. I can easily skip rope for 30 min, spar 8 to 10 good rounds (hard ones) kickboxing. I still have good splits. My Chinese split isn't what it used to be (after tearing ligaments in both knees), but it's coming back. I can easily pump out 100 push ups and I can get 30 straight pull ups after a hard workout. I just turned 47 years old this month and I still feel like I'm 27.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

KISS Method

We've all heard of the KISS method (Keep It Simple Stupid). THis applies to most things in life, especially fighting. When you look at the best atheletes in sports, they do a couple of things really well. An elite judo player has one or two throws and one or two specialty ground techniques. A boxer or kickboxer will have one or two techniques that if they land, it's good night. An MMA fighter will have a punch or a submission that is a high percentage go to move. Even though these athletes are well rounded within the realm of their sport, they have things they do best and they focus on making those things work. So, don't try learn a million moves (especially if you haven't mastered your basics). Keep it simple and perfect a few tools that fix everything.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Metamoris BJJ Video

This is an awesome highlight video of some of the best in BJJ. This is from the Metamoris. Incredible video and great music. Watch, learn, and enjoy. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oetkHbXtnLg

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Street Jiu Jitsu Vs. Sport Jiu Jitsu

I came across a discussion of street vs. sport BJJ, with Ryon and Rener Gracie. Take a little time to listen as they discuss the misconception people have about sport vs. reality. This can be applied to other martial arts in that what would be the wrong thing to do in sport may be the right thing to do in reality. Look at this example: You are boxing and get hit with a hard shot that hurts. You clinch and hold your opponent and the ref, says "Break". By breaking the fighters, the chances of getting knocked out increases. In a street fight, if you get hit and hurt, you will hold to protect yourself so that you don't get hit again. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e864iZ4sB8Q

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

World Judo Championships Highlights

Here's a cool clip from the Judo World Championships. Some awesome throws. Watch and learn. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nu3fYqCMiD4

Monday, October 14, 2013

Glory Kickboxing

I hope you had a chance to watch Glory Kickboxing this past weekend on Spike TV. Great action and great fights. It is the organizations hope to get more American viewers. The main challenge is getting quality American fighters. There is talent here in the states, but we are behind Europe (especially as far as heavweights are concerned). Glory has put on tournaments to find American talent, so we will keep our fingers crossed as they develop. In the 70s, 80s, and 90s, we had kickboxing stars in the States. The sport went down in popularity in the 90s and MMA became popular by the 2000s. K-1 kickboxing ruled internationally for the 90s and well into the 2000s. Now Glory is putting a lot money into growing the sport again. The format is face paced and action packed. The style is blend of kickboxing and muay thai, so you see good boxing, low kicks, knees and some axe kicks and back kicks, etc. Hopefully it will catch on. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cmuZjeedWaQ

Friday, October 11, 2013

Judo Poetry In Motion

I came across the highlight of the 2011 USA Judo Nationa Championships. There throws in this clip are incredible and the choice of music makes the sport of judo look like a dance. This video will show that technique and skill of high level judo. Notice the movement and how the throws come off of off balancing an opponent. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JhX0UTrkKWU

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Knife Attack

If attacked with a knife, run. I don't care how much knife defense you do in whatever kind of weapons defense training you do. If you get attacked with a weapon (knife, stick, chain, etc.), you will probably get hit with it. Here's a clip of a security guard in Thailand being attacked with a knife. The attacker is one tough SOB as you will see. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zBVXglHeSxM

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Important Styles Of Full Contact Fighting

If you were to ask me which styles are essential to all around full contact fighting this would be my list. Boxing - Best punching techniques, reaction, timing conditioning Judo - Best throwing techniques (especially with clothing), good position control, quick submissions Wrestling - Specilizes in take downs (especially taking away one's base) and position control, BJJ - Specializing in ground submission (unique in it's approach to fighting from one's back) Kickboxing - The rhythm of boxing combined with the most powerful kicks of traditional martial arts (round, front, side, spin back, spin hook). The only hand traditional technique modified for this discipline is the spinnng back kick. Muay Thai - Shin kicks to leg, body and head; clinching specialty; knee and elbow strikes There are other disciplines: Russian Sambo, Sanda (Chinese kickboxing), etc., and most of these styles are based on the list given above (having some influence from this major styles). So, pick a 2 or 3 from my list between striking and grappling arts to have a well rounded fighting style.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Combat Sports Help Self Defense Skills

I am in an ongoing debate with some traditonal martial artists who don't think that combat sports are the best method of training for self defense. They argure that there are rules, and referees, gloves, etc. They practice techniques that are illegal in competition (eye gouging, fish hooking, groin kicks, etc.). I always ask how many time they done these deadly techniques against a non-compliant, fully resiting, angry opponent. Sure some of them will talk about one or two altercations they had. Then they will tell me how law enforcement and military personnel are better prepared than the combat athlete. Well, the Army and Marines use training methods based on MMA. All cadets at the Naval Academy learn to box. Korean and Japanese cops have to train Judo. Combat sports use competition as a training tool. Through competiton you get to fight over and over again and live to tell about it. Rules are in place so that participants can go all out without dying. This is the only way to experience the closeness of reality. Spar with a decent amateur boxer, grapple with a grappler, or spar full contact with a bare knuckle karate fighter. If you've never done any of these things you are in for a rude awakening. If you can beat them with rules, how are you going to without.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Klitschko vs Povetkin

If you saw the Heavyweight title fight between Klitschko and Povetkin, this past weekend, you saw a boring fight. Povetkin tried to make a boxing match out of it, but Klitschko prevented it by laying on his opponent most of the match. At times, Klitscho used his reach and set up some good shots, even knocking down his opponent with a slick hook. But, being unable to stop Povetkin by KO, he held and grappled his way to victory. I felt the ref did a horrible job, letting Klitschko break some many rules without taking a point. I guess if you're the champ, you can get away with stuff. One of the Klitschko brothers already retired. Can't wait till this one does too so we can get more excitement in the Heavyweight division.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Fight For Money Or Love Of The Sport?

Here's a interview with Bernard Hopkins and Chad Dawson discussing a past pull out of Kelly Pavlik from a boxing bout. They discuss the business side of boxing. This applies to any combat sport that pays fighters to fight. Should fighters fight for the money or because they love to fight. Floyd Mayweather says he fights for the money. We still see Roy Jones Jr. fighting and he does it because he enjoys the sport. He doesn't need the money. Personally, I enjoyed fighting because I like to fight. I never fought for money. I made some decent pay days for some of my fights. I never fought for the kind of money Mayweather fought for. I've fought for as low as $200 to $15,000. Money was never the motivator. The challenge of competition was. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qlfw-jde-3w

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Keep It Simple Stupid

Martial Arts folks tend to be over analytical sometimes. People are always arguing what is best and what will and won't work in a given situation. The KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) method should be applied to martial arts. Don't try to re-invent the wheel. There is nothing can be created, because man has been fighting hand to hand since his beginnings. You can punch, kick, knee, elbow, head butt, grappling, gouge, and throw. That's about it.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Step Outside Your Comfort Zone

With so many martial arts available, students have the ability to learn a lot. To improve your hands you can box. To learn ground fighting you can do various grappling arts. There is still a lot of tunnel vision in the martial arts. Some stylists still think their art is better than somebody elses. To learn how to fight, you have to look at the world through the window of other houses. You have to go and try other styles and keep an open mind. The difficult thing for people to do is to remain humble. I am champion in kickboxing and Shidokan. I was an elite level Taekwondo player. Despite these accomplishments, I was always humbled when I boxed with Olympic level boxers or really good professionals. When I train Judo, I get thrown by older and younger guys. I am competitve and think highly of myself at what I am most proficient in, but I at the same time I don't know everything, so I am a student always seeking more knowlegdge. This goes for what I don't know and what I already know.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Manufactured Vs Natural Strength

I am about 160 lbs. For fitness, I practice martial arts (karate, boxing, kickboxing, judo, grappling etc.). Most of these are with training partners and includes a lot of sparring. So, I am working against the resistance of these partners. On top of this there's supplemental training (bag work, skipping rope, pads, etc.). Now let's say you are 180 and drop down to 160 or if your are 150 and bulk up to 160, what are your chances of beating me? Will you have an advantage because you came up or down in weight? I say no. Reason being, is that my body will function more efficiently at it's natural weight. Now we always here the old saying that all else being equal, the stronger athlete wins. But, that's usually never the case. For the most part, the athlete who is good at what they do usually wins.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Contact Sparring Is Necessary

Drilling techniques in scenarios that say if he does A you will do B is cool. But you have to spar live. I do feel that drills serve a purpose, but I also think that they develop routine habits. What I mean is that they can make you predictable. I consider pretty good at reading opponents because I pick up on patterns. Fighters like to drill patterns of what they will do. Now, you don't have to learn a lot of patterns to be effective. What you have to do is take what you do and learn to apply it differently. You have to constantly change as you fight, so your opponent doesn't get used to you. Don't be predictable. When I hit pads, I don't like for combinations to be called out to me (when I was fight training). The pad work must be live (this requires a good pad holder that you train with regularly). Next is sparring with some contact. Light easy sparring won't do it because the speed is not the same and you won't react properly. So, put on the head gear, 16oz or 18oz gloves, shin guards, etc. and hit a little.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Is It Battle Tested?

I have talked about competition being the laboratory for martial artists to see what works and what doesn't in reality. In the karate circles there is a growing interest in kata application (bunkai). Theories suggest that the blocks are trapping and grappling techniques and that all of the time prior to these recent developments, everybody was just stupid and wrong because there instructors didn't know the bunkai. These individuals and the self protection/reality defense guys say that ring/cage/mat combat sports aren't real fights. This is true, but I will tell you that any technique that you have never and never get the chance to apply to a non-compliant, resisting, adrenaline fuel advesary won't work. A grappler slaps on chokes, locks and throws on a daily basis. A kickboxer and boxer throw full powered blows at a training partner daily. When these martial artists compete in their specific sport, they apply their techniques 100 percent against a trained opponent who knows what they are doing. I say that if I can land a spin back kick on a professional kickboxer and drop him, I can easily land a kick to an attackers groin.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Classic BJJ Match Jacare Vs. Werdum

Here's a classic BJJ match with two legends. Ronaldo Jacare and Fabrico Werdum. Both have been champions in grappling and they are both top fighters in MMA. Check them out. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sjft2aGXNwo

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Techniques of Conviction

Have you ever fought or sparred with someone who caught you with a technique that you knew was coming and you couldn't stop it? Why does it work over and over again? Because the deliverer of this technique believes in it. Becoming good a a few things gives you the ability to do this. In previous posts, I've talked about being a jack of all trades and master of none. I'm not saying that you should learn new things. But, you should always come back to the basics.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Gi or No Gi Grappling

Do you have to train in the gi to learn grappling? There are forms of grappling that don't require a gi (various forms of wrestling). I enjoy training in a Gi (as you know, I play Judo). The gi provides more handles and provides more control over an opponent. The gripping is different and you have more room for error in your moves. No gi has less grips and there is less room for error and less submissions available. In a gi, a lot more chokes, set ups, etc. To randori in a gi is awesome exercises as you develop the grip strength of a gorilla and this is useful in no gi. So, if you ask my opininon train in a gi even if you compete no gi. I personally think it is more difficult in a gi and more basic without.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Defensive Skills

In martial arts, you learn to be defensive and then attack. I teach you to be offensive and your defense will be a by product of your offense. Covering up and block are done only when you can use evasive skills to defend (footwork, slip, bob, weave, etc.).

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

European Shidokan Open

This weekend a few of us will be heading to Geramnay for the European Shidokan Open. This event will feature bare knuckle karate, gloved karate (like k-1 style kickboxing) and some Thai Boxing and MMA fights. I will record some of the action so you can study some good old combat. We will look at what techniques do the most damage and determine what is and is not effective. Here's a web link for the evenet.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Mayweather Vs Canelo

By now you know that Floyd Mayweather defeated Canelo Alvarez this past weekend. Floyd outpointed and won by decision. It was an impressive win for Floyd, but I told folks that Floyd will only pick fights that he know's he will win. There fighters out there that he is stil avoiding. Sure, he argues that it's about money and he's the best, and blah blah blah. But he needs to fight Manny, Bradley, Martinez, Rios, Alexander, etc., before claiming to be the best.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Undefeated Fighters

Whenever you hear of fighters with undefeated records, don't beleive it. Sure on paper they might be but the reality is that everybody at one time losses. A lot of well know fighters in martial arts just lie about their records. In sports like boxing and kickboxing it's hard to lie as records are better kept. But you can be undefeated in these sports if you have your own promoter and they pad your record. A guy like Floyd Mayweather is undefeated but, we know he avoids fights that could result in a loss. Now there's nothing wrong with being an undefeated champion but they should keep their mouth shut about it and not claim to be unbeatable. Nobody is.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Practical Kicking

The martial arts are known for various methods and philosophies on kicking. Do you need to know kicking for self defense? Not really. You could learn boxing and mix in some judo/wrestling and you'd have good self defense skills. In kickboxing back in the day, there was a mandatory kick count of 8 to make sure fighters would kick. If not, it would turn into a kickboxing match. Folks watch tournament karate and taekwondo and see spinning, jumping, double and triple kicks and say, cute but not effective. Now I always say if I can land a spin back kick on a world class fighter, I sure as hell could in a self defense situation. But when you look at most fights, it usually boils down to who as the bette hands. The main reason being, is that it takes a lot of practice to be a good kicker. You have to be in good shape and you have to get lots of practice under pressure. Going back to kickboxing, even though it's called kickboxing it is more like box kicking. Now, I want you to develop and practice your kicks because if you can land a leg technique effectively the dividends pay well. Here's a nice clip of some kick KOs. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=exYXeMkpoCM

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Style Insecuriy

Here's a funny one for you. In addition to working as a personal fitness trainer, martial arts instructor, I also do seminars. Anyway, I send emails out all the time to different groups. I recently sent an email out about my boxing seminars and got a weird reply. It was from a kung fu guy stating that his school produces competitors who compete in national level events (sanshou, sanda). He made it a point to say that he was kung fu (as I am a combat sports guy not bogged down by a style). It was obivious that there was some insecurity going on in his reply. I responded by thanking him for taking the time to read it and if he did not want to receive emails in the future to click the unsubcribe tab at the bottom). The interesting thing about traditional stylists is that they tend to be insecure and tend to stay in their on little world. In order to be enlightened, one has to step outside his or her comfort zone and open their minds to other things.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

SOG Andre Ward

I think that Andre Ward is the last American boxer to win a gold medal in the Olympics (2004, so you young fighters to need to get with it). Ward is not as well known as Floyd Mayweather, but he is the best in the business. He wan the Super 8 Super Middleweight tournament that featured the top champions from the major boxing organizations. Here's a highlight of the champ. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bPws2hPKGbE

Monday, September 9, 2013

Fighting Is Self Taught

Fighting is partly self taught believe it or not. I'm not say that you can just read a book and go fight or you can't learn anything from somebody else. People will show you the basics (how to stand, movement, etc.) but you will teach yourself how to apply them. When I hit the pads or mitts, I prefer to not have punches called for me most of the time. Why? Because I will throw what my body feels like it will land on a live opponent. Ok, that might not make sense if you haven't had a lot of fights or sparring. You have to get experience through sparring and fighting first before the other stuff (bag, pads, etc.) really makes sense to you. After I learned how to stand and what a jab was, I watched fighter train and what I saw was a lot of self motivated athletes get in and train. Coaches would walk around make a suggestion and guys would do it. Nobody told them to run or do exercises. Over time they watched the good fighters and took mental notes and just did it. I don't think I ever had a coach say to me, "Go over there and do 5 rounds of bag work and 100 sit ups". It was as simple as, "I don't know how to do this, so I'll go over there and work it till I get it". You learn through self exploration to fight.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

American Full Contact History Lesson

I've mentioned in some old posts how full contact started in the U.S. Karate tournament fighters wanted an outlet to test their skills under a realistic contact method in the 70s. This gave rise to American Full Contact Karate, then American Kickboxing. I came across clip of Joe Corely Vs. Howard Vanderbeck from 1975. Joe was the first big time promoter of kickboxing and is the creator of the Battle of Atlanta (one of the major karate tournaments in the U.S.). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8a86gnwgdnU

Monday, September 2, 2013

Where are the fighters?

These days there are a lot of people going to various martial arts clubs. With MMA being popular, guys are going to MMA and BJJ gyms to be Ultimate fighters. In the traditional martial arts schools, I see a lot of adults in martial arts programs. The funny thing is that when tournaments come up, these same young, able bodied adults shy away from COMPETITION. I'm not saying that one has to compete, but the guys who talk the most and take sparring in the gym to competive levels are usually the guys that don't go to tournaments. I've hosted Karate, Judo, Boxing, Kickboxing and MMA events, and I will tell you that in most cases (about 15 events), I always have a few that will compete. I always have a group that talks the talk all they up to about a week before the event. Then they will stay out for a week after the event. Once again, if you are not going to compete then never act like you intend to from the start. It's not just my gym. It happens in every martial arts style. Get out their and fight. Don't be scared!

Friday, August 30, 2013

Ude Garami (Key Lock) Submission At 2013 World Judo Championships

Here's a cool clip of the key lock submission applied at the 2013 World Judo Championships in Brazil. Look at the angle that the arm is place for irresistable torque and pain. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ugEt5i_XURc

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Do Fighters Fight For For Money?

I was talking to some guys after a workout last night and I heard the good old saying, "I fight for money". As I think back over the my years as a fighter (kickboxing, boxing, muay thai, Shidokan, etc.), I can say that I never fought for money. I enjoyed fighting. The competition, the thrill, the adrenaline, and the challenge is what motivated me. If you fight for money, you will never be a champion. Champions will do their sport no matter what. They love to fight and train for the sake of training.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

2013 Shidokan Atlanta Judo and Karate Championships

Hey Guys. Made a quick highlight clip from our 2nd Annual Shidokan Atlanta tournament. The action came from my phone and I only got a little of the action of the day. This years event had more kids than last year which was great as the youth is the future. Next year I hope for more in the adult bare knuckle division as this time, I only had semi-knockdown with pads. My goal is to get some Shidokan bare knuckle rules, but it is difficult as there aren't any experienced fighters in this style. I will probably have to recruit from kickboxing and MMA gyms as it is difficult to get karate fighters to fight. No matter what, I will continue the quest of developing it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m03XDw6IAVc

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Win Lose Or Draw, It's How You Play The Game

I always tell students that the only time you lose is when you don't give 100% effort. In competition, only one can win. You go to a tournament and hope that you will win. No matter what you have to think like a winner and do all that you can to do so. If you've trained hard and put your heart and soul into it, then you can keep your head up in defeat. I don't see that sometimes. If you get upset and make excuses then you are a loser.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Instructors With No Fighting Experience

Can you learn how to fight from an instructor who's never fought? Yes and no. Yes, you can learn techniques and skills. No, you can't learn the mindset and the emotional side of combat from someone who has no fighting experience. Now when I say fighting experience, I am talking about someone who has fought in a full contact type of combat sport. Now I didn't say a person who has a lot of street fighting experience. Why? Because the real violent street fighters aren't the guys who open up martial arts schools. Secondly, they may lack in technique, but definitely have the mentality for violence. Back to my scenario. Combat sports teach you to control emotions and act under presure. These things are what you need to help you defend yourself.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Shidokan Lightweight Championship Bout 1993

Here's a classic Shidokan Karate fight from 1993 with Ralph Linares and Paul Rouseau. Both guys are great fighters and put on an awesome fight. I'm just spreading this all over because it is an exciting fight. Enjoy! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RB0xl4zsIO4

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Street Fights Video Highlight

Came across this Youtube clip of fist fights in the street. Now, the reality of street fights is that in most cases things are unpredictable. In most of these clips, you see to guys who apparently agreed to got at it with each other and their buddies are kind of there to keep things from getting too out of hand for the loser. We do see the techniques (wild swings, a little ground and pound, etc.) that one would encounter in such situations. The thing that a martial artist might now be used to is the wildness and the emotions of the situation. So, looking back at some of my previous posts, outside of real fights, combat sports teaches you to deal this type of stress. And looking at what goes down in most videos like these, you will see that boxing and a little judo would be the arts of chose in these type of confrontations. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7LP0h69UkJc

Monday, August 19, 2013

Full Contact Karate Clip

Here's a cool Knockdown Karate video of Kyokushin offshoots. This is practical karate and this is the method of karate we teach at my gym. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-QOAnm6gvmM

Friday, August 16, 2013

Competition For Self Defense Training?

Will competition help you for self defense? The self defense experts say no. I beg to differ. Now, in real fights things are unpredictable (terrain, number of attackers, night or day, etc.). But, a conditioned and experienced combat athlete still has the advantage over the student who works the self protection, reality defense, etc. I would put my money on an amateur boxer with 6 months of training over the self defense expert. Reason being, is that most of the ones you see making money talking about their philosphies most likely don't have any combat sports experience. They don't have the experience of knocking out or getting knocked out. Combat athletes are in shape, they have lots of fights against resisting opponents who train at stopping athletes from doing what they do while imposing their wills on others. The knife defense experts won't tell you the truth about knife fighting and sticks being swung at you. How else can one learn who to deal with pain and fight past it without fighting. Competiton is the only avenue you have (outside of real fights).

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Judo Highlight

Watching world class Judoka do their thing is sight to see. Controlling another athelte's balance and being able to throw an equally trained opponent against their will is what makes Judo unique. Here's a cool Judo Highlight video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jSdXkYQEeqE

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Sparring Is Key To Development

You go to class and you learn techiques. For example, you learn a 1 arm shoulder throw from a standing position. You get a partner, the two of you get your grips, you use your 1-2-3 step and throw patern and throw him remaining in a standing position. In Karate class, your parter steps forward in a front stance and punches, you step back, do your inside block, reverse punch and round kick to the head. Now, both of the examples give are good training methods to teach a principle. But the realistic application of these techniques can only come through sparring. In every sport, athletes play that sport as the main preparation (i.e. scrimmage games). In looking at Kata (formal exercises) as a training tool, they teach a principle, but it's the sparring that teaches you application. In the throw example I gave, when you look at experiences grapplers, you will see that 90% of the time, the thrower does not finish on his feet. He has to go down to get an experience opponent down. In my Karate example, he punches fast from a fighting stance, you parry and he moves a way as you punch and then you find yourself out of range for the kick you drilled. I am not saying don't do these drills. Just make sure you get some sparring in.

Monday, August 12, 2013

2nd Annual Shidokan Atlanta Ultimate Judo and Shidokan Karate Cup

Missed Friday's blog as it was a very busy weekend. We hosted our 2nd Annual Judo and Karate Championships. This is my 15th event and 2nd tournament like this and there are still bumps in the road. The Judo tournament had more kids this time and more Masters (over 30) competitors. Our Karate tournament had more kids doing Kata than sparring, so some of the kids did not get a lot of matches. One good thing for some of my students is that they were able to compete in Judo and Karate. All of the Karate fights were Semi-knockdown (full contact Karate with pads). There were some exciting matches. Unfortunately, the were no knockdown matches (no pads) as some promises of attendence by other dojos was broken. One of our fighters had a work conflict and couldn't make it in, but some of the others (I won't call any names) either waited till the last minute to say they weren't coming or didn't show up at all. This is sad, because the sport of full contact karate in America is already small and the few organizations that compete under these rules barely support each other. Everybody kind of stays to their own. We probably had 10 plus dojos in the Judo tourament and 3 dojos for the Karate. The few that showed up made me happy and I have a couple of groups that I will support, and some I will no longer support. I had to in the past to get my students opportunity. So, now we will focus own building and growing within and joining with like-minded dojos. See you on the mats!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Keep The Basics

I was watching a guy shadow box the other day and his techniques of choice were not high percentage moves. It made think about how people want to learn all the fancy exciting techniques and skip over the basics. Sure they learn them, but they gravitate towards the novelty (fancy techniques). When I was a kid we wanted to box like Ali and Leonard. They'd use fancy footwork and drop their hands. Of course they did these things to entertain views (mind you they were Olympians and World Champions). Of course they new their basics, but we were looking at the finish products, not what they went through to be able to do what they did. So, work on you basics and know that when all is fails, the basics will save you.

Monday, August 5, 2013

What Belt Are You?

In martial arts, students get caught up in belt or rank a lot. If you are a black belt, what degree are you? Not all, but a the more stripes I see on some Shihans, Senseis, belt, the bigger their bellies get. If you notice the fighters always have less rank? So, walk the walk, don't just talk the talk. Action speaks louder than words. Don't believe the hype of rank and degrees. I've said it before, there are a lot of high school educated folks that are smarter than college educated folks.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Francis Footloose Farley

Here's a clip of ISKA Middleweight Kickboxing Champion Francis Farely. He was a balanced fighter with good hands and feet. He always looked for the KO. This is old school American Kickboxing with a lot of action http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nbfVeuItaFQ

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Blocking or Attacking the Attack

When punching I noticed a lot of people covering up and then after their opponent's finshes what they are doing, they attack back. Using boxing as an example, the only time you should cover up is if you are in trouble. You don't need both hands to block a punch. If you block with one, you can simultaneously hit with the other. Better yet, when someone starts attacking you, attack his attack. It's like interupting someone's speech. Don't let finish what he's trying to say. Here's a clip of my defensive philosophy. This clip is a 1994 boxing match. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WevTwdPMWFE

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Shidokan Atlanta: Knockdown Karate Is Awesome

Shidokan Atlanta: Knockdown Karate Is Awesome: I just went the World Yoshukai Karate Championship this past weekend and I saw some great full contact Karate fights. Folks and say what the...

Knockdown Karate Is Awesome

I just went the World Yoshukai Karate Championship this past weekend and I saw some great full contact Karate fights. Folks and say what they want about there being no face punches whatever about this type of competiton. One thing for sure is that the competitors fought. The action was non stop and the punches and kicks were damaging. I would like to see the sport reach the public as full contact Karate has it's merits. I know many other combat athletes who will fight in Kickboxing and MMA, but are afraid of Knockdown Karate. It really is an exciting sport. And yes, you can definitely apply this to self defense. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OPB8tdmnqRY

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Boxing, The Roughest Combat Sport

In all of the combat sports, I've trained and competed in, I will tell you that boxing is the hardest. Now, when I say hardest, I'm not saying Karate, MMA, Judo, BJJ, and any other discipline is not hard too. All of these discipline require hard work, skill, and dedication. But, boxing is a different animal. The training involved for a professional boxer is on a higher level than most of these disciplines. Being an olympic sport and a big money maker for those good enough, the skill level to become a high level boxer, exceeds most other combat sports. I trained with Olympic medalists and top contenders for over a decade. I've seen other combat athletes (i.e. Kickboxing World Champions) try their hand a professional boxing with hopes of becoming a world champion. Didn't happen and usually won't. Now, there have been a couple of fighters to hold titles in Kickboxing and Boxing (but, it boxing, their reign was short and they didn't have the dominance they had in kickboxing). People are always arguing which is better, MMA or Boxing and what not. They are different sports. Sure people will say Randy Couture beat James Toney, as an example. But it was a boxer (with no grappling experience) fighting a former UFC champion. Then there is Ray Mercer, who lost to Kimbo Slice, but KOed Tim Sylvia. There was a fight show years ago in Japan, which featured former boxers against K-1 fighters. Mind you, these boxers were past their prime and had no knowledge of kicking. Matches like these give fans a false impression. You never see the other martial artists challenge boxers to a boxing match. Why? Because the wouldn't last 2 rounds. I've seen this for years. All other martial artists who come into boxing gyms, always envy the skills and toughness of boxers. Once again, I say all combat sports at a high level is difficult, but know hurt as bad as boxing.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Seminar Techniques

Now a days there are lot of seminars and people make a lot of money teaching seminars. I've gone to seminars and I've taught seminars. The main thing I do when I teach a seminar is teach the stuff that I do for real. I notice a lot of martial artists will show what I call "novelty techniqes". These are techniques that look great but the guy has never done them. I've seen former fighters show stuff and when you look at their stuff on film, you never see them do it. I promise you if I show you something, I've done it. So be careful who you spend your money with.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Theory Vs. Practical

If a show you something or if you read it in a book, do you think you can do it? Probably not. If you practice a kata or 2 person drill 100 times will you be able to apply the move on a non-compliant partner? Nope. You would be better served to spar with a resisting partner a few times. I am not saying don't study theory. But, we must emphasize doing over all else. When I teach a student, I make it 85% practical. Combat sports are practical (despite what the self-defense experts say) because you get immediate feed back. If you've never boxed, spar with a boxer. You will see that hitting a moving target or making a guy fall down from one blow is much harder than you think.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Remember The Past, Don't Live In It

As many of you may know, I am a master's athlete in Judo (I compete in the M4 category, age 45-49). By training in Judo, I get my grappling training and a great workout. It is challenging for me in that having been a successful kickboxer, I am not as talented in Judo. I get tossed by guys who are much younger. But, leave my ego off the mat and have fun. You won't see me as the instructor who brags about yester year and does nothing today. Over the past few years, I've run a could of Spartan Runs, I've competed in national and international judo tournaments (winning a national championship as a master's athlete), and I've won a few state championships in the young guy's division. I remember the past, but I'm not stuck on it, because there is still much to do.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Kickboxing or Muay Thai

The are many kinds of kickboxing (Thai boxing, full contact rules, K-1 rules, etc.). A lot of folk get caught up in this is better than that. I like them all. In my case, I started out with American Kickboxing (Full Contact Rules). It is boxing with kick kicks. All kicks are above the waist and foot sweeps (below the calf) are allowed. It follows boxing rules in that holding is not allowed. The great thing about this style is that you have to learn to box, as your kicks work off of your hand techniques. As I got into Muay Thai, I got experience with low kicks, clinch, etc. Kickboxing and Muay Thai are done at different rhythms. In Muay Thai the kick are knee are valued more than the hand techniques. Because of the clinch, there won't be the same type of combinations seen in kickboxing. In looking at other kickboxing styles the rules will determine what techniques stand out more. In Sanshou, fighters can throw opponents and there is a lot of leg grabs for the sweeps and throws. So, instead of a lot of roundhouse kicks, fights throw a lot of side kicks. So, when you hear others criticize a style of kickboxing, remember that things look different from the outside and that nothing is really better.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Dojos Coming Together

This past weekend was a great one because for the first time outside of a tournament, a few of the main knockdown karate dojos got together for a training workshop. Shidokan, World Yoshukai, and a few others got together and trained. This was an awesome display of commraderie. We drilled knockdown techniques for standard bare knuckle and rules that allow grappling. Here are a few clips for the training. http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&feature=endscreen&v=-WKZ83Wxtoc http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wykmTRAROik

Friday, July 12, 2013

My Style of Kickboxing

When you here the word kickboxing, you might not realize that there are different styles of kickboxing. Just like there are different styles of karate, kung fu, etc., kickboxing has different styles. There is full contact (above the rules), low kick, K-1 style, Muay Thai, etc. My style of kickboxing is a mix of boxing, karate, tae kwon do, and thai boxing. From boxing, I bring the hands, timing, and foot work. From thai boxing, I bring in the clinch techniques (knees and elbows) and the low kicks. From karate and tae kwon do, I use the kicks: side, hook, spin back, front snap kick, and occassional axe kick.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Boxing For Martial Artists

What single martial arts has been the biggest help in my other arts? Boxing. The attributes learned from boxing greatly enhance other martial arts. I've been a Tae Kwon Do player, a kickboxing, a thai boxer, a judo player, a mixed martial artist (Shidokan Triatlon). In all of these disciplines I've been able to apply boxing principles. Boxing improves hand eye coordination, cardio, mental and physical toughness, motor skills, reaction, and timing. Even though I haven't fought a boxing bout since 1998, I continue to practice the sweet science daily. The rope, the bag, the pads, the shadow boxing, the sparring (much lighter these days), and the exercises help me in everything. It's great excersise and great cardio. On top of all of this, it's great for stress relief and keeps me calm and peaceful.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Avoid Street Fights

Street fights can be avoided a lot of times. Good awareness and common sense go along away. Here's an example of when keeping it real goes wrong. This is MMA fighter Maiquel Falco (of Bellator) getting into a fight a gas station in Brazil. It starts off with him hitting a girl (wrong move number 1). He and his buddy go outside and are confronted with several guys and a fight breaks out. This don't end up well for him and his friend as more guys come with 2X4s. Be careful out there. http://www.cagepotato.com/video-maiquel-falcao-smacks-a-woman-starting-a-gas-station-brawl-that-ends-with-another-man-beaten-unconscious/

Monday, July 8, 2013

See It, Believe It, Achieve It

What is the most powerful weapon? The Mind. If you truly belief something, you can make it real. For example, everybody says that they want to win. Nobody wants to lose (you'd think). But I've seen fighters mentally give up during the match. A dark cloud comes over them and negativity takes over. Fatigue, pain, fear, etc. consume them and subconciously they look for a way out (that easiest way to lose). True winners never quit. You see a look of determination in them even when they appear to be down. There is no quit in them. This is the attitude you must have during difficult times. Never give in to the negative thoughts. Know that you are a winner and that you won't give up. Go get 'em Champ!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Shotokan Elwyn Hall

Here's a clip of Shokokan fighter Elwyn Hall. Look how fast he closes the gap and observe his mixture of punches, kicks, and takedowns. This is hard core old school point fighting (with contact and no pads). Good Stuff. Watch and learn. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E5faGD5b6Zw

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

How Hard Should You Spar?

How hard should one in the gym? If you are inexperience you should NOT be sparring hard. Why? Because you will fight and usually with emotions. You get hit hard, you get mad, and all you want to do is get even. You're not thinking about working combinations, head movement, stance, etc. You feel embarrassed because you think people are watching, so you lose focus on your opponent and think about how you look in front of your girl friend because you brought her to the gym to watch you workout. Don't say you've never done it. I understand, because I've done it. Back to the topic. You should learn from your sparring sessions. You should work on something each round you work. You should be able to evaluate what is going right and what's going wrong. Start out nice and easy and increase the intensity over time. How much time? 6 months to a year. That sounds like a long time but it takes about a year to learn a new skill (i.e. boxing) and be able to do things under pressure (correctly). Watching 2 pro boxers spar you can see intensity but there is no emotion. They are focused and working on things. Sure they are going hard but it's a controlled violence. Now don't you try to do that right off. That takes time. For now focus on a skill to work during your rounds. No matter what, try to work that skill set until you are comfortable and then move on to another skill. Sparring is not fighting.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

5th Karate World Cup Lightweight Finals

As I've previously stated, bare knuckle rules karate is one of the roughest forms of competition. Sure, they don't allow punching to the face in this type of sport, but because of that, a lot more pounding of the body at close range takes place. The hard body punches, low kicks, and knees and having to fight more than one bout to win a tournament takes it's toll. Here's a great clip of the 5th Karate World Cup Lightweight Final. You will appreciate this kind of combat. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MfSl6ULfx4g

Monday, July 1, 2013

RIP Jim Kelly

Martial Arts Karate Champion and film legend, Jim Kelly passed away. As a kid, I saw all of his movies and my favorite film of his was, Black Samurai, where he plays a secret agent. You will probably remember him in Enter The Dragon. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5wtS4APtAS4

Friday, June 28, 2013

Semmy Schilt Retires

Won of the best in the world has announced his retirement. Semmy Schilt accomplished a lot as a martial artist. Starting with Karate as a kid, he developed into an elite kickboxer and mixed martial artist. He recently won the Glory World Series and he has won the prestigious K-1 three times in a row. Here's a highlight of the champ. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z3dMJhJOGLc

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Bernard Hopkins

I watched a documentary on Bernard Hopkins yesteday and was truly amazed. To go from being a criminal to one of the most highly decorated boxers in history. To become the oldest to ever win world titles and to still be going (he's almost 50). I watched some of his old fights from early in his career. As a middleweight he was a destroyer. Over the years he has used his experience and ring savvy to win. Even in tough fights he always protected himself and never took the punishment many of the other greats took. Check out the "Executioner" in action. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-yAHU4zqNh8

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Best Way To Prepare For A Fight

What's the best method of training when getting ready for a fight? Fighting! What to do football, baseball, soccer and basketball players do to prepare for games? The scrimmage. Of course, athletes do supplementary exercises to train for their sport, but their main method of prepartion is that activity. A lot of young athletes will read that their favorite fighters do all of the special training routines and take all kinds of supplements. All of the extra stuff is cool, but spend the majority of your trainng time doing what you are going to do. To get good a boxing, you have to box. To be good and wrestling, you have to wrestle. All else is supplemental.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Jack of All Trades and Master of Them Too

Many say you can't be good at everything in martial arts. Some guys are punchers, grapplers, kickers, etc. Some folks start out in something and over time their body adjusts to just doing that. Well, I want to be different and be good at all of them. I have beent training in the martial arts since age 8 and I'm just shy of 47. I've studied and competed in several disciplines. I've been able to win titles in the traditional martial arts (Tae Kwon Do and Judo) and I've competed as an amateur and professional (Boxing and Kickboxing) and I've done soem MMA (Shidokan Triathlon where fighters fight under 3 rule sets (Knockdown Karate, Thai Boxing, and Grappling). I've been able. People often ask what do you like most? I always say I like them all because I still train techniques I've learned since day one. As I get older I learn new things while better understanding the things I already know. My goal is to be an expert at all of them. Sure I do some things better than others, but I'm gonna pursue perfection in all of them.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Do Belts Matter?

Do belts matter in martial arts? Yes and No. Yes, they represent knowledge and time put in learning something. No, in that they don't give you special powers or make you a superior fighter. Look at them like a college diploma. Yes, you may be educated but it doesn't mean you are smart. The black belt is surrounded with a lot of mysticsm that says you are supposed to be good. But, it isn't always the case.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Workout Everyday

Last time we talked about being a constant study. You have to make sure you train. How often? Everyday. Even if not in the gym, you can train. Training means doing things to stimulate your muscles, cardio, flexibility, your mind, etc. Even if you are extremely busy, get up early or right before you go to bed, do some exercises. We all have 10 to 15 minutes that we can squeeze in for some training. Push, sit ups, jogging, skipping rope, stretching, etc. are some examples of things you can do on your own. There are no excuses.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Always Be A Student

Always strive to get better by learning new things. There are many experts in the martial arts. There are few martial artists that will step outside of their comfort zone and try something different. I have been a Tang Soo Do/Tae Kwon Do guy, a Karate guy, a Boxer, a Kickboxer, and a Judo guy. I practice Kendo too. I constantly challenge myself by learning new things. I've worked out with people from various styles (Kung Fu, BJJ, stick fighting, etc.). Always keep an open mind and always be a student.

Friday, June 14, 2013

European Shinkyokushin Light Final

You gotta like bare knuckle karate. It's a sport where athletes battle it out. The action is nonstop. Without punches to the head, fighters go toe to toe and take incredible punishment. Having trained a lot of fighters who've fought in various combat sports, I will tell you that it has been most difficult to get fighters to fight knock down bare knuckle karate rules. I've have had fighters who've fought in the cage and ring and less than a handleful would fight bare knuckle. For those who don't think these guys are tough. Try it! Here's the Shinkyokushin European Lightweight Finals. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rTJsXwM6ZdY

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Joe Rogan TKD Knockout

Joe Rogan is not only the the commentator for UFC, comedian and host of Fear Factor, but he is also an accomplished martial artist. His first martial arts is Tae Kwon Do. I found this spin back kick KO on Youtube. It's old school, as you will see that there is not mat on the gym floor. Good kick! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x_nyuuuJjh0

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Why Kickbox?

There are many forms of stand up fighting in martial arts. You can learn various styles of Karate, Kung Fu, Tae Kwon Do, etc. All of these arts have different styles of competition (light contact, bare knuckle, karate, point, continuous, point, no punching to the head, punching to the head, etc.). Now you can be good at any one of these, but as soon as you try one of the others, you have find that the next one will be awkard and may be difficult. What if there was a method of fighting that you could learn and apply to all of the those list? Try Kickboxing. In kickboxing you will learn boxing basics, elements of muay thai, and karate kicks. You will be well rounded enough so that you can hold your own with kick dominate or hand domimnate styles. In addition to being a Tae Kwon Do, Karate, Muay Thai guy, I have been been training as a kickboxer since 1985. Even though I am now longer competiting, I still find the training and techniques important to my other styles. Over the years as I competed in different styles, I found that I could hold my own against specilist because of my kickboxing expereience. So, I encourgage all martial artists to supplement their training.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Who's The Master?

I should start using Master before my name. In martial arts (primarily arts like Karate, Tae Kwon Do, and Kung Fu), the high ranking instructors like to introduce themselves as Master So And So. I once met a guy in a martial arts supply store and he introduced himself as a Master (and then his name). He asked me what rank I was and was supprised that I was a 3rd dan (I'm a 3rd degree in Shidokan) for the amount of time I've been training in the martial arts. Inside I laughed because I know he didn't know the difference between a right cross and a kick in the arse. It's funny how this little bit of magic and mysticism is still associated with instructors. I have competed in different martial sports: TKD, Judo, Boxing,Kickboxing, Muay Thai, Shidokan Triathlon (Karate, kickboxing, Grappling). I have competed against some of the best in the fight business and I continue to you challenge myself. In no way do I consider myself a master.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Competiton Is The Best Way To Learn How To Fight

Sparring, training, etc. are ways to learn fighting skills. But what is the best way to learn how to fight? Fighting! Sparring is close to it but competiting against an opponenet hell bent on doing damage to you can't be replicated. I see a lot of guys spar and think that they are pretty good only to their bubble busted when they step into the ring and see that the intensity is different against an opponent going all out. The adrenaline, intent, emotions (fear, anger, etc.) are the same. The unpredictable nature of competiton is as close as one can get to a real altercation. I know, the self-defense experts say that sport fighting isn't like the real thing. But, it's the closest. Also, notice that these experts ususally have no competition experience. A good boxer knows what he can do to you with one punch and a good grappler knows you are toast when he puts two hands on you. This is because these fighters have years of training and experience doing what they do. The martial artists who've played fighter and drilled with their friends in the gym, can make their punches and kicks knock guys out like they think. They have have to competed and do it in an environment that allows one to get knocked out in order to be able to deal with it.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Sticking With The Basics

In the last post, I talked about trying to do a lot can lead to a bad result. We talked about mastering a few things and perfecting those things. No matter what we do, we have to remember our basics. When you start to learn something, you learn how to stand, move, etc. When you look at a fighter like Ali or Leonard, you see then dance around and showboat. But what you have to remember is that these athletes have been doing what they do since childhood and despite what you see, they know their basics. The know how it is supposed to be done and are able to bend the rules to entertain (remember entertain, not fight). So before you become the next Floyd Mayweather or Roy Jones Jr., master your basics (don't try to be like them anyway).

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The You Know The Better

When you look at top fighters and what techniques they use, you will see that they have 2 or 3 things the do well. A good wrestler or judo player will have a few take downs or throws. A good boxer will have a 2 to 3 punch combination they use primarily. The legendary kickboxer, Bill Wallace used just 3 kicks. Now, these atheletes will have various ways of setting up their pet techniques but you can count on 2 to 3 things that they use to be champions. So, instead of trying to be a jack of all trades and master of known, examine what works for you and use it. Remember that a lot of things look cool and great, but just you like it, doesn't mean it will work for you.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Winning Mindset

I truly believe that in order to be victorious you must have a winning mindset. You must hate losing, but be able to learn from losses and not be afraid to lose. If you don't want to lose, don't play the game. As long as you learn and improve after a loss, all is good. See yourself as a winner and look back at your previous experiences. The good thing about losing is that you will analyze mistakes. Even when you win, you have to know what you did good and bad to make improvements. You are a scientist in the lab. Experiments require failure before success. Be willing to fail to be successful.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Pride Fighting Highlights

Die hard MMA fans really miss good old Pride Fighting Championships. During their time, they were the favorite. Fighters from all over the world were brought in to make it truly an international event. Here's a cool highlight. outube.com/watch?v=6FQhJUsZL0M

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Vernon Forrest Tribute

Came across a nice tribute to the late, Vernon Forrest. I met him years ago at Doraville Boxing Club. He was a great boxer and gentleman. Wanted to share this with you guys. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3aLeo0zCPCk

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Champions Think They Can Beat Anyone

I once heard a trainer say that if a young fighter comes into his gym and doesn't believe that he will be a champion, then he never will be. I agree with that. If you decide to become a champion, not just a competitor you have to have that mindset. This doesn't mean be unrealistic either. A lot of guys say that want to be a pro and they want to be a champion, but it's mostly talk. As an aspiring champion, you have to study champions. You have to watch their work ethic and see what they do. I have seem so many naturally gifted athletes who never become champions becaue when their physical attributes fail them, they give up. The physical is important, but the heart and desire to win is more so. You have to refuse to lose to be a champion and put in the time to hone your skills. You have to compete against the best and test yourself to know where you are.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Technique of Mike Tyson

Here's a video clip analyzing Iron Mike's technique. The peek a boo style of Cus D'mato. In his prime, Mike was a master KO artist because of his defense. He would make opponents miss and make them pay. The discipline that he had would deminish over time but for a moment in boxing history, Mike was the man. Watch and learn. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=plxlf9vRzkY

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Deaths Caused by Choke Holds

In many countries, law enforcement officers are required to train in martial arts. Choking techniques are used as a way of subduing violent criminals without weapons. Here's an interested article about choking techniques in the sport of Judo and case studies of deaths caused by chokes from policeman. http://judoinfo.com/new/techniques/grappling-techniques/314-deaths-allegedly-caused-by-the-use-of-choke-holds-by-ek-koiwai-md-

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Lucia Rijkers

Some call Lucia Rijkers the greatest female boxer of all time. She is the first woman to be inducted into the Boxing Hall of Fame. From a martial arts background she entered into professional boxing and became a champion. Kickboxing http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X26cnAUi7fI

Monday, May 20, 2013

More Karate Techniques In The UFC

This past weekend, Vitor "The Phenom" Belfort, defeated Luke Rockhold with a spinning heel kick. He through one at the beginning of round 1 and finished Luke towards the end of the round with the same kick. Rockhold through a spin back during their fight and he always mixes spin and jump kicks in his fights. Belfort has trained in traditional Shotokan and has been training with Kyokushin Greats, Glaube Feitosa and Franciso Filho. MMA is a sport that mixes different martial arts. You will see techniques from the most proven combat systems. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jOI3fssdeBw

Friday, May 17, 2013

Old School Martial Arts Schools

Here's an old clip of a Tae Kwon Do Master. What's cool is that this is a time when martial arts where new to the general public and the instructors taught authentic martial arts with a passion. Look at the dojo, the training, and the men and women. During these times there was no kids only class. Everybody trained together and the criteria for black belt was the same for everybody. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xb0tGNX4YaQ

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Good Old Hard Work

As an old dawg in the arts, I've been able to see a lot of fighters train. Now a days, people assume that they have better information on nutrition, training methods, equipment, etc. People are more knowledgeabe in a lot of these areas. But, as I always say, nothing beats gold old fashion, hard work. When I was coming up in the sport of kickboxing, there weren't a lot of gyms. So, I had the opportunity to be surrounded by a lot of aspiring fighters. Most of them worked out hard. No one had to stand over them and make sure they did their rounds of bag, pads, sparring, etc. The coaches could simply give a suggestion and tweak things here and there. Now a days, there are a lot of gyms, but I don't see the same quality of training. The facilities are prettier and the equipment is newer, but the same old hard work ethic is smaller. I'm not saying that it doesn't exist. I'm just saying it's less. Train hard.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Sabaki Challenge Video

The Sabaki Challenge is one of the longest running full contact Karate tournaments in the states. Sabaki is based on circular movement to an opponent's blind spot. I see it as a mixture of Karate and Judo (especially sweeps). Here's a cool video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D5rJd2maDKU

Friday, May 10, 2013

Bodyweight Training Best?

Here's an interesting clip of strong man and strength training Elliot Hulse talking about bodyweight training. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQ2_TGXcaMM&list=UU0ASolYU_Yh3yShLFQC0stg

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Old School Point Fighting

All of folks do think much of point tournaments. Growing up, there were point fighting superstars (Keith Vitali, Tony Young, Steve Anderson, Linday Denley, Arlene Limas, etc.). All of these athletes could fight!. Here's a classic with Robert Harris and John Longstreet (both would also become Kickboxing World Champions too). This is a good match. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g79SiqX11JQ

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Knockdown Karate

Want to see how tough you are? Try full contact, knockdown (aka bare knuckle) Karate competiton. It is as intense as it can get. There so many different kinds of stand up competiton for fighters to do. There's boxing, kickboxing, muay thai, etc. I know thai kickboxers and MMA fighters who want no parts of knockdown karate. I just got back from the World Oyama Karate Championships in in Birmingham AL (5/4/13). I was fortunate some great fights. The fights weren't determined by who had the prettiest technique or even the best cardio. It boiled down to heart and determination. The fighter who could take the pain and stay strong mentally during bone on bone contact is what's important. Here are a few of the matches I recorded on my phone. Enjoy! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TFPLXUmSn6I http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wR63h2Q9OA http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lG699jsVdUk

Friday, May 3, 2013

Shidokan Russia Vs. France 1997

Hey Guys, Got another great Shidokan tournament for your from '97 with Russian and French teams competing in a tournament. Good old school Shidokan Strong Rules. Enjoy. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BkevzTNpomw

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Shidokan U.S. Open Video

Here's an awesome video from the early 90s featuring Shidokan Karate. This is old school Shidokan, when martial artists entered and just fought. There was no Youtube or Pay per View events where fighters were able to study styles and opponents. You just entered and fought. Draws were decided by adding boxing gloves. A couple of years afterwards, the "Triathlon" would evolve. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OaLuItlR-GE

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Dolph Lungren Karate Demonstration

Action superstar, Dolph Lungren is a well known practioneer of Kyokushin Karate. He is a European champion and takes his Karate very seriously. Here's a clip of him and Shihans Brian Fitkin and Lloyd Payne doing an awesome demonstration in Japan at the 10th World Karate Championships. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gGKcZFWwDXU

Monday, April 29, 2013

Kickboxing Vs. Muay Thai

Which is better, Kickboxing or Muay Thai? Neither. They are similar but different. They are scored differently and require different strategies. Muay Thai emphasizes power kicks and the clinch is what makes it different from other forms of kickboxing. Kickboxing (above the waist or low kick rules), don't allow clinching, so, boxing hands are more important. In Kickboxing you will throw more combinations and in Muay Thai you will throw harder shots because you most likely be grabbed. The great thing about K-1 style kickboxing is that it blends the styles togeter. The clinch is minimized so there is constant action. Nowadays when you look at this style, you see a mix of the Muay Thai and Kickboxing blended together. So, kickboxers, round out your skills and study both.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Defend Yourself With Footwork

In looking at defense what is the best way to defend yoursef? Footwork. Good footwork puts you in position to attack and gets you out of position of being attacked. You want to be in position where you are just out of your opponent's range but close enough where you can launch your attacks and get back to a safe distance. Using footwork and movement in the 2002 Shidokan World Open. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ac2HLX34GMA

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Shidokan Atlanta's Josh White USA Judo Nationals

Shidokan Atlanta's Judo Coach competed in the Open Division (he is only 81 kg)at the USA Judo National Championships a couple of weeks ago in. He first match was against Satoshi Ishii, the 2008 Bejing Gold Medalist. Josh fought his way back up throught the repecharge and earned Bronze. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OurZKaBplpA

Friday, April 19, 2013

Shidokan Tribute Video

Here's a very cool Shidokan Karate Tribute featuring a lot of fighters who helped popularize the "Triathlon of Martial Arts". Enjoy. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dk_NldfYJTQ

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

WKF Bronze Medal Match

The World Karate Federation is working hard to get Karate in the 2020 Olympic Games. I've put earlier posts up on this movement. I came across a great in this clip here. These guys are skilled and show a well rounded approach (punches, kicks, throws). Enjoy. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IAlWvkA8tJw&list=PLhP92QB0EhljWlt-njkcWA8Itg0RKCY0d

Monday, April 15, 2013

Beslan Mudranov

I came across this video of judoka, Beslan Mudranov. I like it because he has some awesome slams. Check him out. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=79Zg_vxdLV8

Friday, April 12, 2013

On My Way To USA Judo Nationals Again

Getting ready to head out to Viringia today for the USA Judo Nationals this weekend. My friend from Wakamusha Judo Club will be competing in various divisions. I will be competing in the Master's division. This is my 2nd time going to the Nationals. I get to see some of the top players in the country (the young folks). I get inspired by watching Master's athletes in their 50s and 60s still getting out there on the mat. I will give you a write up on monday about my judo journey.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Muay Thai Explanation by Rob Cox

Here's a great interview with Rob Cox, a Muay Thai journalist and trainer. Here Rob talk about the art and sport of Muay Thai and it's impact on Thailand and the world. He will discuss the changes over the years and give you some insight into the life of fighters. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_IiYzR8pLeY

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

1993 US Taekwondo Championships

Here's some old school Taekwondo (not to me because I'm an old dawg). There are some good matches to watch. This is how it was when I competed in the sport. No disrespect to the current players, but the level of intensity has changed (I know changes were made to make the sport more fan friendly and based on the last Olympic stats, TKD did well as a spectator sport). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-XvA3JeNKXc

Monday, April 8, 2013

Nonito Donaire And Rachel Marcial

I just learned that Boxing Champ Nonito Donaire's wife is a Collegiate and National Taekwondo Champion. Here's a coulpe of clips of this champion couple. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6GKPNj2mcK4 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Il-nnTuyklA

Friday, April 5, 2013

Weight Cutting Bad For You

I know I've talked to you guys about cutting weight before. I was talking to a couple of guys at the gym and I said that cutting weight are for those afraid to fight at their natural weight. They think they get a strength advantage. Cutting too much weight negatively affects the heart and kidneys, causes hormone imbalances, etc. Here's a great article on cutting weight. If you're out there losing more than 10lbs or so, man up and fight in your weight class. http://www.bloodyelbow.com/2010/2/15/1311633/the-negative-health-effects-of

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Russia Vs. USA Martial Arts Competiton

Interesting clip of a Russian Team fighting an American Team in a Gi MMA style of competition. Looks like Team USA needs a little more practice. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sXcmtfGu-Ak

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Spin Heel Kick KO

Here's a great knockout clip. The spin heel kick comes from the floor straight up to the target. The leg does not bend like in a spin hook kick. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c_CjyvZNIWk&list=UUY-8bI-aTCzLnJqjV_HF4kA

Thursday, March 28, 2013

A Day In The Life Of A Muay Thai Fighter

Muay Thai fighters in Thailand grow up in the sport. By the time they hit their mid 20s, they are seasoned veterans with over 100 professional fights and many retire. Check out this video of a a young champion. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SnfYkfZC4oc

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Spin Hook Kick Knock Out

Spinning kicks are high risk techniques for big returns. When the timing and focus is on, the kicker can end a match instantly. Check out this Taekwondo match between Korea and Greece in the 2004 Olymics. You will see the KO about half through the clip. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aSsEniLha5M

Friday, March 22, 2013

Do Judo Fighter Have Good Groundwork?

As a judo player, I get asked about judo newaza (groundwork skills). Many people think judo is just about throws. That is not the case. Judo as an art consists of a balance grappling approach to standing and ground techniques. Competitive judo does emphasize throws of ground fighting and a lot of judo players will focus on the standing aspect more. I know judo players that have incredible ground skills. Where I do feel that judo players have a strength is in their tranisiton from standing to ground. On the high competitive levels the submissions happen quickly and happen during the transition. So, for the judo fighter, he/she has to link the throw to ground effectively to be able to use ground skills. Train in a manner than creates quick submissions. Judo Newaza Highlight http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=he2GttCwiYE

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Which Style Has The Best Kicking Techniques?

For as many different styles of martial arts, there are just as many philosophies on kicking techniques. Some emphasize speed and some power. Some as follow through, thrust, or snap. Which is better? None. Different situations call for different kicking methods. Now, the karate and tae kwon do fighters will use more of a controlled snap. The kickboxers and thai boxers will kick through. For me, I use a cross between the two (snap with a little follow throw). I don't try to kick hard when I kick. I relax and let my legs whip out without locking the joint (bad on the knees).

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

What Is Effective?

What is effective and what is ineffective for fighting? We see guys throw high kicks and spin kicks and we say that's not effective for real fighting. We see guys throw guys, control them on the ground and somebody says grappling is dangerous in a real fight. Some say ring and cage fights aren't real fights. Check this out. They are real fights. Real fights within a set of rules. Look at boxing. Guys square off in a ring with gloves and go at it. Boxing doesn't allow take downs and kicks, but we all can agree that boxers can punch more effectively than most other martial arts. Let's look at the spinning back kick. If I can land it on a trained kicker who sees them everyday, why wouldn't I be able to land them on someone who is not. Let's say you are good stand up fighter (with no grappling experience) and you get in a tussle with a judo guy. Let me tell you, you are going for a ride to the ground and there is nothing you can do about it. Making techniques work is believing in them and also exposure to different arts. Explore and don't listen to the theories. You must experience it or train with those who have experienced it. Learn what you are capable of and find what's effective for you.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Sparring Is The Best Training Tool

You run, lift, hit the back, swing the kettle bells, flip the tire, etc. What will get you most prepared for your sport? How about drilling your technique 1000 times or shadow boxing for an hour? All of these are good to do and the supplement what you do, but your training must be specific to what you do. A basketball player does not practice with a soccer ball. He doesn't shadow shoot. He uses the right equipment and most of his practice is through scrimmage games. I've seen world class boxers who looked horrible hitting the speed bag, but once the got in the ring hit somebody in the body, WOW. You have to spar to get better at your sport. I can lift more weights than some of the guys I do judo with, but their functional strength in judo makes me feel like an ape just grabbed me. One of the hardest punches I received was from a guy who weight 125lbs.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Mental Toughness

Here's is former Navy Seal Mark Divine talking about mental toughness. Check out his youtube Channel and find out more about The Unbeatable Mind. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1fSFBNxtlOI

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Traditional/MMA Fighter Eric Henry

Here's and interesting interview with MMA fighter Eric Henry. Eric uses traditional martial arts techniques in his MMA career. He talks about his views on Kata, MMA, and street fights. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g82L1XeWmVM

Monday, March 11, 2013

B-Hop Makes History Again!

Bernard Hopkins put on a beautiful display of boxing against Tavaris Cloud to once again become the oldest man to win a world title in boxing at age 48 (he did it two years ago). He beat a credible opponent and showed he is still one of the best in the business. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R7nVq3VO-T8

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Rickson Gracie Teaching Son

Here's a great clip of BJJ legend Rickson Gracie teaching his son (who was killed years later). Great principles of leverage explained. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ureEG7qbBTA&list=UUxTYLr-yH8KyD5HnzElQBvA&index=20

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

You Sport Is The Best Training Method

In the last post I talked about being the gym champion who can't perform in competition. I've also posted my opinions on training methods that athlete use to get ready for their sport. Remember that the most important method of preparation is to do that activity. Everything else supplements that sport. In designing a workout program, see how much time you have to develop towards your sport, cardio, stretching, strength, etc. You have to balance it out so that you touch on each area but you have to develop your skills. Look at pro football players. They lift, they run, etc. Don't be fooled by their conditioning routines and think that the skills they have in throwing, catching, picking up speed off the first step, etc. Those skills come from playing the game. All other training supports those skills developed through experience.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Gym Victories Do Not Prepare You For Real Fights

When training to you go all out? Is it necesarry to go all out? Are you sparring or fighting in your training sessions? When training you must create an atmosphere where you can work on things without getting hurt. If you are more experienced, bigger, stronger, or faster than your training partners, handicap youself so you can work on weaknesses. I feel that I can train with anyone and get something out of a training session. If I'm faster than someone, it doesn't help me or him to hit and stay away from him. I want to put myself in position where my training partners can do their techniques and I can react. You must leave your ego outside and give your body to your training partners and vice versa.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Gohan Saki

Gohan Sakai is one of the top heavyweights in kickboxing right now. He finished 2nd to Semmy Schilt in the Glory Heavweight Tournament this past New Year's Eve. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1WdRiUec4yE

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Farewell To The Diamond

You may already know this. But for those who don't, one of the greatest kickboxers to ever live has passed away. Known as the "Diamond", Ramon Dekkers died of what appears to be a heart attack. He is the first westerner to have success in Thailand being named fighter of the year there. He fought for many years and was a legend in the sport. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-eW_Fp_P-Xg

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Battle of The Bar (Not Drinks)

Here's a cool clip of fitness buffs battling out with calisthenics. Think you're in shape, check these guys out. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yVfpe8MAPc8

Monday, February 25, 2013

Rousey's Armbar

Ronda did it again this past Saturday. She won again by first round armbar. Liz Carmouche put up a good fight, but it wasn't enough to stop the arm bar of Rousey. The advantage that Rousey has over opponents is that she is a young world class athelete with a strong base in something (Judo) coming into a sport where she is facing athletic women who don't have a strong base (not coming from a world class level). I see her doing the same thing to future opponents for a long while. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FvTkrDkLQ78

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Drills or Sparring?

When learning to fight, what is the best method? Sparring of course. Now when you are just learning, you will want to do repetitive drills to get a basic understanding. Once you got an understanding, you have to go through the learning curve of doing against a non-compliant partner. Let's say you want to perfect a technique. Your sparring partners know what you are doing, so, how do you do it? You have to find ways to set it up and trick them. The best way to do this is to understand movement. You have to know how the body responds to certain movements. If you throw a hard hook at someone, you will see how the body prepares to absorb the blow. You learn to read his body language, so you can follow up with another technique. When fighters get together and drill set combinations they have to realize that in a fight patterns reoccur. I look for reoccuring patterns. If you fight in set patterns, I will figure you out. I always try to do something different. I never do the same thing over and over. I always try to change, to adapt. So, be creative and do something different. Never focus on set anything.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Kinds of Karate

There are so many kinds of karate and many styles of competition out there. Looks see some. Kyokushin (knockdown karate) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s7OMHI67DII Tradtionial Point Karate https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vm8Raddemqw Koshiki Karate https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iizbs40-89g Kudo https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lyikzfnTym0 Shidokan (the Triathlon) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AJccFuPxOf4

Monday, February 18, 2013

89 Year Old Staying In Shape

Alright now. You have no excuse not to be working out. Here's a clip of an 89 year old man telling you to stay active and keep it moving. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2_ruim68MKg&list=SP2EAA9EF3B32F50EF&index=6

Friday, February 15, 2013

Wrestling Out Of Olympics?

A lot of folks are upset that wrestling might be excluded from the 2020 Olympic Games. Wrestling is one of the original sports of the Games and many are in an uproar over this decision. But, don't freak out just yet, because this has not been finalized yet. There will be two more meetings with IOC to determine the final outcome. Now, you have to understand that sports in the Olympics have to produce money and and TV ratings. Wrestling has been on the decline in overall viewership over the last few Olypmpics. Ticket sales and venues were down TV viewership was down. Now wrestling groups will have to work on making the sport more global. BMX is coming in because it appeals to a younger generation. Tae Kwon Do almost go the boot, but changed up their game (modified rules so fans can understand, boosted ticket sales, etc.). Wrestling will now look to market itself and get more countries involved with the sport. So all is not lost. Wrestling will come back.

Wrestling Out Of Olympics?

A lot of folks are upset that wrestling might be excluded from the 2020 Olympic Games. Wrestling is one of the original sports of the Games and many are in an uproar over this decision. But, don't freak out just yet, because this has not been finalized yet. There will be two more meetings with IOC to determine the final outcome. Now, you have to understand that sports in the Olympics have to produce money and and TV ratings. Wrestling has been on the decline in overall viewership over the last few Olypmpics. Ticket sales and venues were down TV viewership was down. Now wrestling groups will have to work on making the sport more global. BMX is coming in because it appeals to a younger generation. Tae Kwon Do almost go the boot, but changed up their game (modified rules so fans can understand, boosted ticket sales, etc.). So all is not lost. Wrestling will come back.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Belt Wrestling

The Russians have had a great influence on the grappling world. Here's a clip on Belt Wrestling. The competitors take a grip on each other's belt and look for a way to throw. You can see these type of throws in Sambo, Judo, MMA, etc. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nc53z2Xa-zM&list=UUwpj7sIOs_wnvxZGM7LvOGg

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Heart and Spirit

Yesterday's blog talked about having good Cardio for fighting. Now your conditioning, cardio, and technique is good, but there is one more important ingredient to success that you need. It is called heart. You have got to have a strong spirit and believe that you can overcome obstacles. If you have ever had to dig deep, you will know what I am talking about. Fighting through injury and fatigue and not excepting defeat is the what I'm talking about. Never give up.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Cardio Training

The 1st line of defense in combat sports is your cardio. No matter how good your strategy, technique, etc. is, as soon as you gas out, nothing works. A lot of times people will watch fighters fight and wonder why he or she has their hands down or why aren't they using footwork. In their minds, they are telling their hands to be up and their feet to move. But, because of fatigue, nothing is working. In fighting, the legs are usually the first to go. You will find movement and kicking difficult. To deal with these issues, I recommend activities, like running and jump rope. At the end of your training shadow box and work moving those feet. Shadowboxing and skipping rope are best at the end of the workout. You will feel it much more than at the beginning.