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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.