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.

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.

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.

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?

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.

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.

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

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.