Monday, December 28, 2015

You Have To Spar

The most important training tool in learning a martial art is sparring. You can do all the drills, exercises, etc., but you have to spar. When we look at athletes in any sport, we see all the training and sport science philosophies put out in the magazines. We want the same supplements and training equipment they use to take them to the next level. All that is cool, but nothing is more important than doing the activity that you aspire to be good at. Everything is supplemental. Professional sports team scrimmage to prepare for games. Fighters have to spar to prepare for fights.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Can You Teach Without Ever Competing?

In martial arts businesses there are a lot of coaches who teach boxing and kickboxing. There are black belt instructors who teach, but have never competed. Are these coaches credible? For the most part no. When I was 12, my Dad coached my soccer team. He never played soccer. He got a book and coached as best he could. Having started playing soccer in Ft. Bragg, NC at a young age I acquired a good level of skill. My family moved back to Atlanta GA and when I started playing soccer, I was a Pele as the development was low in Atlanta during this time. My team had great success, but it was not because my Pops was an awesome coach. He had me as a good center forward who scored a lot of goals and my brother, the goalie who prevented others from scoring. I give this story as an example of how I see a lot of gyms run by guys who don't know a right cross from a kick in the butt, but through marketing or getting decent athletes to work for them, they can fool the public. So, if you really want to learn a martial art, research the instructors credentials to make sure that they are valid. Would you let a surgeon who has never operated on anyone operate on you?

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Punch Skills in Martial Arts

There is a saying that anything can happen in sports. This past weekend, Conor McGregor stopped Jose Aldo shortly after the starting bell of round 1. We also saw Luke Rockhold stop Chris Weidman. Both fights ended by knockouts. What I starting to see in MMA is that the better punchers are dominating. Many have the idea that MMA is a grappling based sport. The better wrestler determines the outcome. What we've seen lately is that a fighter with good boxing and some understanding of grappling is deadly. Going back to the Rousey and Holm fight, we know that Rousey is the better pure grappler. In looking at the McGregor and Aldo Fight, we know that Aldo was a world champ in BJJ. We know that Weidman is a more accomplished wrestler than Rockhold. In all three situations, The better punchers seemed to prevail. In many instances the the better grappler/wreslter isn't dominating. On paper Jon Jones is not a better wrestler than Cormeir. Gustafason is not a better wrestler than Jones (took Jones down). Anderson Sila took Dan Henderson down (Dan is an Olympian). GSP took several NCAA wrestlers down. In the striking department, in many cases the fighters mentioned were dominate in their punching and kicking skills, with boxing being the most important attribute in the striking department. Boxing skills include, timing, range control, footwork, accuracy. Those who have experience with the sweet science are even more dangerous because punching is used more than and other weapon. In the 80s during the American Kickboxing explosion, Karate tournament fighters (light contact) entered the ring for full contact. Those who developed better boxing techniques seem to do better. So, as difficult as the concept of hitting somebody with the hands sounds easy, it seems that this is one of the hardest abilities to master. Of course there are others things to factor in (i.e. genetic disposition to taking punishment), but it seems that those who improve their boxing do better when other things (i.e. kicking, grappling) are close. Like mentioned before, in MMA we see kick boxers (like Donald Cerrone) take down wrestlers, we see grapplers head kick KO kick boxers (Gabriel Conzales kicking Crocop for a KO), etc., which means that MMA is mixing of martial arts techniques and fighters have to be multi-dimensional. And looking at the recent examples mentioned earlier, it is the hands that was the determining factor in the outcome. If you can out kick or wrestler a better boxer then you have to rely on your hands. If that opponent is better in that department and you have nothing else to rely on, you are going to have a rough day.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Would You Fight For Free?

In looking at how people perceive combat sports today, they think fighters make a lot of money. Boxers make the most money (guys like Pacquiao, Mayweather, etc.) Top fighters in the UFC make good money. A few kick boxers can make decent money if they are a top fighter in a promotion like Glory. Anyway, if money is your motivation to fight, then don't. Most high level, highly paid boxers start boxing as children. They develop their skills and accolades in the amateurs. Those that make it to the Olympics will most likely earn more in their first pro fight than others fighting their 20th pro fights (who've had to work their way up). There are journeyman fighters who make their living taking punishment and are just good enough to hang in their with promising fighters, sometimes pulling off upsets. Growing up watching boxing and kickboxing, I got into competitive side as an extension of my training in traditional martial arts. I wanted to experience some realism of combat. Through kickboxing, I trained with a lot of good boxers and developed decent hands. As an amateur you made no money. You did it for fun and develop your skills should you turn pro. I fought my first kickboxing fight in 1985. After 3 amateur fights, I turned pro. Back then martial artist go their amateur experience competition in Karate tournaments. To be a good kick boxer, you went to a boxing gym to get your hands right and fought a few amateur fights and turned pro. Very few fighters were ever able to compete for a living. I knew of less than a handful who trained and fought full time. And they weren't able to do that but for a short time. I could make a couple of hundred dollars for 4 or 5 round fight. When I started boxing professional in the early 90s I could make a $75-$100 a round. Like kickboxing, I turned pro after 3 matches. Because I had fought as a pro kick boxer, I could not box amateur, even though they are 2 different sports. But, in the amateurs, if you participated in any sport were you got paid as a pro, you were ineligible to compete in amateur boxing. Anyway, my lack of amateur experience was made up for by the experience I gained working out with top amateur and pro fighters. This was the case for me in kickboxing and boxing, as I was always around a lot of talent. Over the years I would fight and the money was never an issue to me. I fought a boxing match that paid $400 bucks once and ended up getting stitches that cost almost the same. I fought a kickboxing match for $250 against a 2X World Champion and got a torn ACL that required surgery. Luckily, I had a job with health insurance. Later in my career, when I got a couple of titles, I as able to get some sponsorship that allowed me to travel and compete for a little more money. I could make from $2000 up to $12,000 in some instances. Keep in mind, you don't get to keep all of that. I still got some more stitches and another torn ACL. But, I never fought for any big money anyway. I competed for the thrill and challenge. I just liked to fight. So, to the young fighters reading this, fight for fun and train for the sake of training. If the opportunity comes for you to make a lot of money, by all means for it (know that you will have to pay your dues first), but don't base you existence in the game on it. There are a lot of easier ways to money. Money was never the motivator for me as a competitor. Let's say, that there was never money to made from you competing, so the thought of money never entered your mind. Guess what? You'd do it for free.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Dirty Fighters

In competition you will often encounter opponents who will cheat (within the rules) to win. What I mean is that they will sneak in fouls and take a warning or two to hurt you or get under your skin. They will do this for two reasons: 1) They don't respect you, or 2) You haven't shown them that you are the boss. You must impose your will and show that you no matter what they do, they can't make you lose your focus. Don't show them that you are upset, angry, or afraid. Project strength and give them their air of invincibility. Let them know that you are going to defeat them.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Judo Ippon Highlight

If you have every sparred with a good Judoka you will feel incredible strength in their grip and a cat like balance. This video clip will give you an idea of what world class Judo players can do. The acrobatic twisting and turning, turning an opponents attack in their attack, takes years to develop. Judo is really popular internationally. You will some some of the top athletes in world in this video. Look closely, because this is some impressive stuff.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Changes In Kickboxing

I remember watching kickboxing on TV back in the early 80s. I saw Bill "Superfoot" Wallace's retirement fight. I started competing in Kickboxing in 1985. At first is was called Full Contact Karate. On ESPN, it would show as Professional Kickboxing, "Kick of the 80s". This sport (America) evolved out of tournament Karate as an outlet for martial artists to compete with contact (tournament Karate was controlled contact, where the match stops each time a point is scored). Fighters wore long pants and a Black Belt. At the early stages, fighters came from traditional martial arts backgrounds and added boxing to their skills for the ring. Kicks were above the belt, sweeps to the calf or below were allowed and boxing. The only punch that stayed from tournament Karate was the spinning backlist. Internationally, fighters were competing with low kicks. Kickboxing in the Orient came out of the Muay Thai and Kyokushin(which borrowed a lot from Muay Thai). Low Kick rules fight came about (add low kicks to Full Contact Rules). Overtime Muay Thai became more widespread. At one time, many fighters would fight in all 3. K-1 evolved out of Japanese Full Contact Style Karate (bare knuckle with hand techniques to body and low kicks and knees allowed). During full contact karate fights that ended in a draw, tournament promoters had fighters take of their Karate tops, put on gloves, and know punching to the head was allowed. Overtime Seidokaikan (Ishii's group) would develop K-1. This was a modified Thai style (also called Oriental Rules). This league would bring top heavyweight fighters to a tournament to determine the best kick boxer in the world. Fast forwarding to today, we have Glory Kickboxing, which is almost like K-1, as the premier kickboxing organization. Muay Thai is still popular in Asia and Europe. The older styles of Kickboxing (American style and low kick) still exist to a small degree, but Glory (K-1) style is now most popular.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Shidokan Atlanta: Having Fun With Combat

Shidokan Atlanta: Having Fun With Combat: I turned 49 this year and I am still a combat athlete. I competed in Taekwodo for 10 years, boxing for 6 years, kickboxing for kickboxing 14...

Having Fun With Combat

I turned 49 this year and I am still a combat athlete. I competed in Taekwodo for 10 years, boxing for 6 years, kickboxing for kickboxing 14 years, Shidokan Triathlon for 5 years. I have competed as an amateur and a professional fighter. At one time in life I could do a Teakwondo tournament one weekend, a boxing tournament the next and a kickboxing match the next. I have training in Judo since the 90s. Of all those sports. Earlier this year, I even competed in Kata in Budapest Hungary at the Shidokan World Open. Up to that point, I haven't competed in Kata since the 1980s (never got higher than 3rd place). As I write this blog, I am sitting in a hotel in Texas after competed in Judo at the President's Cup in Texas. I am a Master's Athlete. Locally I competed successfully with the young guys up to age 47. I've competed in an IJF Veteran's World Championship (that experience showed me how big Judo is internationally and what is like to compete against guys who've done Judo as long as I've done my striking arts). I compete in the M4 category (age 45-49). Next year I will go up to M5 (as I hit 50). I am always finding a way to challenge myself and most importantly have fun. I am still setting goals for myself. In Judo, visually impaired athletes can compete. I've seen competitors in their 70s. So, I am still at it. Maybe one day I will get higher than 3rd place in Kata and get a medal in what Veterans Judo World Championships. Here's a clip from earlier today in Texas.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Reviving Karate (Full Contact)

Since 2001, I have been taking students to compete in knockdown Karate tournaments. In the South, there a 2 long running tournaments held in Alabama the we go to. World Yoshukai Superfights and World Oyama Ultimate Challenge. Shidokan Georgia (Atlanta and North Georgia) has put on tournaments the last 4 years. The Alabama tournaments have been up and down in participation for full contact (especially the bare knuckle/no pad divisions). Yoshukai includes point fighting which in martial arts is always a bigger draw (since participants don't really get hurt). Shidokan Atlanta's Karate tournament piggy backed off of a Judo tournament the last 1st few years. This past year the Karate participation was decent, but there were only 2 bare knuckle Karate matches. Last weekend I took a few students to a World Oyama tournament. The bare knuckle consisted on only World Oyama fighters and one outside fighter (I think from Yoshukai). Having visited other countries tournaments, I am sad to say that in they make our tournaments look not only small. Taking fighters abroad is even more difficult. So, my goal now is to find and cultivate good Karate fighters. Unfortunately, the different dojos don't support each other like they should. Unlike boxing, judo, or teakwondo, these most martial art organizations do things there way. In boxing, all boxing clubs show up and there is one governing body. Of course this can never be the case in Martial Arts because there are too many different styles of Karate, Kung Fu, etc. So, nobody wants to play the same way or support each other's events.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Holm Defeats Rousey!

This past weekends UFC fight yielded a big upset because the best woman fighter of all time lost. First of all it's the media who said Rousey was the greatest of all time. I always said that the reason she was dominant was that in MMA she has not faced world class opposition. Prior to fighting Holly Holms, the only world class athlete she faced was Olympic Wrestler Sarah McMahan. Not discrediting any of her other opponents, but she beat many of them because she physically overwhelmed them. She cuts a lot of weight to fight at 135 lbs. As a Judoka she competed at around 150lbs. Fighting a fighter like Holly, she faced an athlete with a lot of professional experience and who kept the fight out of Rousey's skills set. Using her boxing and boxing skills, Holms was superior and she nullified Rousey's grappling. Was Rousey overhyped prior to her loss. A little bit. But what makes her defeat a big deal is that a lot of people don't like her attitude. She didn't touch gloves with her opponent at the beginning of the fight and instigated a shoving match at the weigh-ins. Unlike Floy Mayweather, who many didn't like, her haters got to see her lose.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Heavy Bag Training

How do you develop powerful punches, build strength, endurance and technique? The good old heavy bag. The benefits of bag training are tremendous. The bag is your best friend in training. It allows you to develop the necessary attributes you need to hit and gets you in great shape. When hitting the bag you and to snap your techniques creating a jolt to the bag. You don't want pushing power. The long bag allows low kicks and doesn't move a lot. The short bag will move. This allows you to time when your strikes. You want to move around the bag, working your foot work as you hit and use defensive maneuvers. You must imagine someone in front of you instead of just a bag. When working rounds on the bag, devote each round to a particular skill (i.e. stick and move, body shots, etc.). Sometimes work 10 or 15 straight and just flow. The bag provides resistance and overtime you hit your muscles contract and then relax. You are developing power and leverage as your body will learn the most efficient way to move in your execution of techniques. Lastly, regular bag work will destress you, invigorate you, and keep you peaceful (no road rage for you.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Getting Ready To For Competition

How should you prepare for an event? What should you do? Well, if you are getting ready for a fight, you need cardio, technical work and sparring (doing what you are going to compete in). Cardio is king because once it's gone, noting works. You can see things coming and your body won't react to save you if you've denied it endurance training. Cardio comes in several ways. First, is doing the sport that are competing in. Supplemental cardio training is running, jump rope, biking, etc. You can mix them up. You can add in intervals. You can go long one day, short the next, sprints the next, etc. Secondly is the technical work. You emphasize your basics and work your best moves. You improve your weakness and you study how to fight different opponents. Third, you have to do the most important part of training, the actual activity you are going to do. Some will look for various workouts (pushing tires, crossfit, yoga, etc.) and that's OK as you long as you understand that they are supplemental to three I mentioned. Most of your time should be doing the activity you are going to do. After those 3 things, eat well, rest and focus your mind on the task at hand and you will be on your way to success.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

What Works In Combat?

In looking at techniques that are effective, what works best? Is it a cool move that you've seen on TV or learned in class? Most likely not. I am not saying that the new moves you learn won't work. But if you haven't perfected a move and pulled if under stress, then chances are that it won't. When discussing martial arts, there are many opinions as to what will work in a giving situation. What might work for you might not work for me and vice versa. What one uses time and time again against a variety of opponents is what will work for them. Only through self exploration will you determine that. So, don't get caught up in theories and concepts. Look to practical experience. That means you have to get in the lab for the experiment to work.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Are The Martial Arts Effective?

Is it effective for you to learn a martial art? Do they really work? I heard this great statement by a well martial artist and he said that martial arts don't work. It is the individual who makes martial arts work. What that means is that you can learn something but that doesn't mean you can apply it. When you see fighters competing at a high level, you things work that you might not think would. Making something work under stress is what they have learned to do. They are in shape and train against non compliant training partners making their techniques work against other trained athletes who know those techniques. Once you get your basics down and gain some experience you learn to impose your will to pull of your moves. Your opponents that you train with and compete against have a foundation and know what you know. So, it becomes a matter of confidence and believing in your skills that make them work. You simply have to go for it and believe in it. That is what makes martial arts effective.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Afraid To Challenge Yourself?

Why do we compete? Do we take on challenges that will be difficult or do we take the ones where the odds are in our favor. Do you want to be the best you can be? For me, I have always challenge myself by taking on the best opponents available. I have never sought out an easy fight. I've have never turned down a challenge either. A lot of people are afraid to lose. But how can you win if you don't play the game? Sometimes you have to play a lot to get the chance to win. I have won accolades in several different combat sports, but I have something to tell you. I have lost! I lost my first kickboxing fight. I've lost in Taekwondo, Judo, Boxing, and Kickboxing. In sports where athletes compete a lot (several matches in one day) in tournaments, I couldn't tell you how many times I've lost. So, don't be afraid to jump in the deep in.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Does Your Heart Pump Blood Or Koolaid

When it comes to competition, school, work, etc., one will be faced with adversity, stress, and many other difficulties. You train, practice, study, and prepare and when put to the test you find out what your are made of. Living in the world of combat, I see that the way people conduct themselves in sport is the same what they do in other facets of their lives. When challenged, they will either give up or rise up. On the highest levels all athletes are strong, fast and durable. In tournaments, athletes will often look the same during the first part of a match. When fatigue sets in, then you see the separation of winner and loser. You can look in the eyes and see into the soul. That's when you know who is truly the victor. Even in defeat, a true winner will stand proud and give his or her all till the end. Heart, courage, spirit, or whatever you want to call it is something that you can give a fighter. Those things come from within. Make sure you heart pumps blood not Koolaid.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Sparring Is Key To Your Development

In order to pull of that new move you just learned, it is going to take PRACTICE. A lot of time you show someone something and they get frustrated when it does not work for them right of the bat. It is because they have PRACTICED it enough. You have drill a new technique so your body remembers it and then you have to spar with it to make it work under pressure. For those of you who get the opportunity to compete, you get to apply it against a fully resisting, adrenalized, opponent. Sparring is the most important training for you because you are doing it for real. It is the most important aspect of PRACTICE.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Performing Under Pressure

You can practice something over and over again and still freeze up when you have to perform for real. It is like studying for a test and then when you take it, your mind goes blank. Nervousness, Anxiety, etc. set in and you wonder where your knowledge went. To perform under stress can only be done through experience. You have to do test yourself by getting out there and doing it. In theory, you know what to do, but you have to get out their and do it to know if you can do it under stress. To remain calm in a storm takes practice. So, leave the umbrella and get wet.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

The Title of Master, Grandmaster, etc.

Get to a certain level or attain a certain rank and you will earn the right to be called a Master or Grandmaster. In Taekwondo, once you hit 4th degree you can be called Master. In the hard styles of Karate (Shidokan, Kyokushin, etc.) your are called a Shihan-Dai (low level Master) and at 5th degree you are a Shihan. These titles are used for accomplishment, respect, etc. I personally will never used the title of Master. I am like an enlisted guy in the military who says, "Don't call me Sir, I work for a living". I still grind it out with beginners and advanced students alike. I sweat right beside them. What's around your belt doesn't say anything, but your actions do.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Undefeated Records Don't Make You Great

In the last post I talked about the Mayweather Vs Berto Fight. There is this big deal about undefeated fighters, like there supposed to be the best ever and what not. Mayweather is going for Marciano's 49-0 record. So what if he has tied, beat, etc. It doesn't matter what your record is. You see, in boxing, you take a talented fighter and pad his or her record with fighters who pose them no real threat and they get a lot of wins with a lot of knockouts. You give them 5 easy fights and then every 5th fight, test them to keep them honest and then when the get 20 plus fights you market them as these bad asses to get bigger money fights. I'm not saying that these fighters aren't talented. What I'm saying is that the business side of the fight game says protect your investment by making the fighter seem unstoppable, invincible and all that. If you look up the fighters that these guys have knocked out, you will see most of the KOs early in their careers with opponents who have little experience or horrible records (like 5 wins and 6 losses or 20 wins and 22 losses). Once they start getting better opponents the wins come late in the fight or they start winning by decision. So, don't be fooled by the world UNDEFEATED. It doesn't mean anything.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Floyd Mayweather Boring Fights

I watched the Mayweather vs. Berto fight. It was BORING! Not enough punching and too much hugging. I know there are those who say that Floyd is a defensive fighter and blah blah, but, that is not boxing and is not combative. Sure, a fighter needs to protect himself, hit and not get hit and all that. But, fighters should be penalized for not trying to fight. Now, this fight had some decent exchanges here and there, but too little and too late to make it exciting. It is amazing that Floyd has made so much money in the sport of boxing, but he is not the greatest. The 49-0 means nothing when you can pick your opponents. It would be better if a fighter didn't know who they were going to fight and they showed up and found out who they have to fight when they step in the ring. For those who saw the fights last night, the Salido was the show and Salido should have gotten the nod (fight was called a draw). The fight should have been the main event.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Why Singular Combat Sports Are Harder

Is MMA harder than Kickboxing? Is Kickboxing harder than Boxing? All combat sports are difficult, but I will say that singular combat sports are more difficult. It is harder to excel in boxing that it is in Kickboxing or MMA (at a high level). Reason being, is that the more you can do in a fight, the more opportunities you have to win. Now for kickboxing, you have to learn the kicking and the boxing. In MMA, you have to learn the grappling, kicking, and boxing. Is winning an NCAA wrestling championship harder than winning an MMA fight. Yes, because you'd have to defeat the best guys in the country. GSP proved that his wrestling in MMA was superior that top collegiate wrestlers in the UFC. Now, if it were collegiate wrestling, he would most likely lose. Anderson Silva out boxed and kickboxed former champions in the cage. But, if he were to ever box Roy Jones (like he wanted to) he would have a hard time (even with Roy at this age). Rhonda Rousey dominates the cage with ease, but was not as dominate in international judo. So, even the sports that combine multiple disciplines are very difficult, it is still harder when you take away and easier when you add other options.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Ramon Dekkers Fight

Here is a clip and break down of a historic Muay Thai fight with late Ramon Dekkers vs. Namphon. Watch and learn from a fight features the 1st Westerner to be named fighter of the year in Thailand.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Martial Sport Vs Martial Art

There are many reasons people train in martial arts. Fitness, flexibility, stress relieve, etc. Of course the main reason is self-defense. But how does one truly develop self-defense skills? Many train scenarios and simulated situations to practice lethal techniques (attacks to throat, eyes, groin, etc.). This group looks and combat sports as ineffective for self-defense. Then there are art the martial/combat sports folks. These are those that get on the mats, get in the ring or cage, and compete against another trained opponent. They compete under a set of rules that allow them to go full force without seriously injurying an opponent (like taking out an eye or ripping a testicle off). My take on things is that the combat sport athlete is learning skills that translate to self defense more so than the guy who is practicing theory. The athlete is going to be in better shape and does sparring of some sort. In competition one faces fear, fatigue, and anxiety. Unless one faces daily struggle in training they can't prepare themselves for anything. Sparring gives you adversity and struggle because you have a non-compliant partner.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Rome Was Not Built In A Day

Building a foundation is key in everything. Today we live in a society of instant gratification. We want things fast and easy. You use to have to search through the library to find out things. Now, you can search google and it pops right up. This is not a bad thing because you can Youtube something and find out how to do it right then. You can have have someone instruct on how to fix things, perform a certain move, etc. The bad thing is that these easy go to things makes some of us lazy. We lose the ablility to figure out things when the get difficult. We forget that we have to still study and practice.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

How Long To Become Proficient In Combat Sports?

How long does it take to be come a top fighter in Boxing, Kickboxing, MMA, etc.? In looking at MMA, we see that the best usually come from a grappling background (wrestling, BJJ, Judo, Sambo) and add on striking. There are stand up fighters (Silva, Crocop, GSP, etc.) who have come the other way from Standing to Grappling, but usually it's the other way around, because the takedown artist can better predict where the fight takes place. In looking at Kickboxing, we see that the Thai are not the dominant force in Muay Thai like they used to be. The Dutch have always had a strong position in the sport (especially the heavier weights). The Russians produce good fighters in Kickboxing (as well as all combat sports). Americans are gradually making their way back into kickboxing as we are seeing more Glory Kickboxing events in the US. Boxing is still a sport where most of the successful athletes start as kids and gain a lot of amateur experience before turning professional. Being an Olympic sport and the combat sport where fighters make the most money, it takes years to get to the big leagues. When I was coming up, American Kickboxing was the big thing. Most of the fighters came from traditional martial arts backgrounds and went to boxing gyms to learn the hands and how to train efficiently for the ring. When people argue about which sport is harder, I tell them they all are. I think that the individual disciplines (wrestling, judo, boxing, etc.) tend to be more difficult than mixed combat sports (Kickboxing and MMA) because of limits you don't have as many options. I have seen many try to go into professional boxing from other combat sports and have a hard time boxing with a teenage golden gloves boxer. Of course the boxer would be out of his elememnt if kickboxing and grappling are added. But, the skill level of the boxing tends to be on another level. When I was kickboxing, there were many kickboxers who also ventured into boxing. The success in one did not translate to the other. When you look at MMA, you will see champions with less that 10 fights become champion. This is almost impossible in kickboxing and boxing. The champions in these sports tend to have more fight experience before earning titles. Now as I stated earlier the grappling based athlete in MMA with the most success usually comes from a grappling background. So, he may have wrestled from childhood through college, giving him a lot of experience. So, after all of that, it seems that one has to start young in something to be successful in combat sports. There are exceptions, but the more experience the better. Those exceptions are adults who start later but have exceptional work ethic and dedicatition.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

The Baddest Fighters On The Planet

The baddest man or woman on the planet? You have heard this many times. Mike Tyson, Rousey, Crocop (back in the day), etc. What makes a fighter the baddest in their sport? Is Mayweather the best fighter in Boxing? Is Ronda Rousey the baddest woman on earth? I would say no to both. Now, both of these athletes are tremendous and accomplished. Both were olympians (Silver and Bronze medalists respectively). But when you look at Rousey for example, she is outclassing her competition. Why? Because she is a world class athlete (a shark) thrown into the water with lesser competition (minoes). Now if you were to take some of the top female Judoka in the world and train them for MMA, I think she would get better competiton. Or, if she went up in weight and fought Cyborg we might see a challenging fight. But for now, she will continue to dominate. Mayweather is undefeated, but there are a lot of fighters in around his weight class that he won't fight. He seems to choose opponents he knows he can beat. Fighters like Ali, Hoost, Fedor, fought the best of their eras. We miss the days of Pride where there was the Grand Prix tournament, will at the end of the night, no one can argue who was the champion. I always say that a tournament is the best way to determine who is the best. Take the top fighters, put them in a tournament and at the end of the night, we can say that who is number one. Do this once a year and see who remains on top.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Karate in MMA

Stephen Wonderboy Thompson came up doing Karate and American Kickboxing. Here has been working his way up the ranks in MMA. He brings a skillset that that is different than what most MMA fighters train with and for. Most train Muay Thai. When Lyoto Machida came on the scene, he brought a different rhythm to the fight that was difficult for guys to catch. Watching Edson Barbosa, you see a different style of kicking to. He has floored guys with spinning kicks. These guys have done it on more than one occassion and they are proving that they are effective. Thompson Barbosa

Monday, July 27, 2015

Overcoming Adversity

We talked about overcoming fears recently. Some of the students participated in a tournament this past weekend and demonstrated incredible spirit and showed us all what they are made up of on the inside. They showed us perserence and the will to win and not give up even when facing defeat. Miles Harris fought a bigger opponent. Both of these kids did a great job and showed skill and respect for each other. I want you to see how Miles pushed himself despite the size difference. In most combat sports there are weight classes. But, in Karate sometimes we have have to group by age and because of the number of participants, we put smaller with bigger, so that they get an opportunity to compete. But even through sport, one learns to deal with adversity.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Overcoming Fear

What is the best way to overcome fear of doing something? Do it. If you are afraid of heights, climb something high. If you are afraid of water, jump in the pool. Since I coach competitors for combat sports, I've seen a lot of guys show fear and insecurity. I've seen guys show up at the weigh in for a fight early in the day and not show up come fight time. I've had guys leave me notes on the gym door right before a match and disappear. Some guys will talk and run their mouths to psyche themselves up for a match. The best way for you to conquer fear and uncertainty is to just do it. The more you do it the more comfortable you will become. When I started kickboxing, I trained at Asa's Gym. This was the place to train for boxing and kickboxing. I spent a good 1 to 1 1/2 getting my butt kicked. So, after feeling the worst that can happen (getting hit by every imaginable punch and kick) known to man, there was no need to fear. On top of that I was the youngest of 3 boys, so getting beat up was nothing new. So, once you no longer fear losing, pain, or fatigue (which you will experience in the process of learning), you will overcome you fears.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Martial Arts, The Perfect Workout

So, you want to develop strength, explosive power, flexibility, agility, focus, reflex, reaction, and focus. Some people will go to different classes during the week to get these. Weight room for strength, crossfit for explosive power, yoga and pilates for flexibility, spin for cardio and a slew of others. For me, I have the martial arts to get all of those areas. I hit things for explosivness, cardio, and power. I grapple for strength. Boxing and kickboxing develops agility, reflex, reaction, focus. So, when people ask me what I do for exercise, mine allow me to use my body and others in a way other types of training cannot. It's been working for 40 years.

Monday, July 6, 2015

What If You Lose?

The fear of losing is prevalent in most things the require people to compete. In sport some just won't play because they are afraid to lose. Well it's a 50/50 chance of winning and losing and somebody has to do one or the other. If you can win, why can't you lose? Or better yet, can't you lose even when you win or win when you lose? Believe it or not, a win can feel like a lose and vice versa. How about you train and prepare as best you can, go out and lay it on the line, and whatever happens, happens. We must rethink this thing called "losing" and understand that it's a label those who don't ever try and do anything like to call you if you don't win. Remember you compete in something because you enjoy it. Always go for the win of course and do your best and always believe that you are a winner. If you lose, dust yourself off and try it again.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Judo From European Games

Here's a great clip of judo showing some amazing throws. In watching this, you see the top judo players in the world. Throwing someone who doesn't want to be thrown and who knows you're trying to throw them is one of the most difficult things you can imagine.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

It's Harder Than It Looks

A lot of times viewers look at fights and say, "I could be that guy". Or they will criticize fighters if the get hurt, tired or lose. Now it's OK to have an opinion and feel good about yourself, but if you don't have any fights, then be quiet. Unless you are feeling what the fighter is at the moment, then you can't have an opinion. There's an old saying, "Everybody has a plan until they get hit". A good shot will change one's strategy. So, remember if it was easy, those criticizing would have already done it.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Why Contact Is Necessary

This past weekend I saw some live action at Center Stage. The NFC fights (MMA and Kickboxing) were held. I coached a couple of fighters that night and there were a lot of good fights. Yesterday on TV, I watched the HBO boxing and enjoyed some of the sweet science. The thing about contact fighting sports is that they remind us that theory goes out of the window when you get hit. Watching combat athletes shows you what good conditioning (or lack of) and good technique (or lack of) can and cannot do. A lot of times matches are won on heart. In martial arts theory, they don't teach you that some opponent's are just outright tough and can take your best shot. Raw combat shows you that it's not rocket science, it's more about the effort and intent of a fighter's technique.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

In The Office (Boxing Years From The 90s)

Boxing is a great art and sport for developing not only good hand techniques, but for getting in great shape. Try a few rounds with a decent boxer and you feel fatigue like you've never experienced. I learned so much from Boxing because I had the opportunity to train with really good fighters. I trained with all of the top local middleweights in Atlanta during the 90s including Olympians and top contenders. A few of the guys I sparred with would go on to win world titles (not because of me of course). Here's is a sample of my daily training from Doraville Boxing Club back in the 90s. I would spar with not only boxers, but all of the kickboxers would come to the gym to spar. There were not a lot of fight gyms like today. Fighters visited each others gym more and we got a lot of good work.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Shidokan Open World Championships on TV

The cool thing in European countries is their coverage of martial arts on TV. In the states you will see Boxing, MMA and Kickboxing. In Europe, you will see traditional martial arts in addition to the other sports. Anyway, here is some of the action from the World Championships held in Budapest this year. Check this out.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Does Competiton Weaken Art or Improve It?

I was reading somewhere online that competition/sports application of martial arts waters them down. There is a lot of critics of martial sports like tournament karate, taekwondo, and judo that say that the sports version has weakened the effectiveness of the art. Olympics competition is bad for some of the these arts. I say they are wrong. Competition is how martial arts are popularized. It provides an outlet for those who compete. The critics are ususally those who have never competed on a high level in anything. They will say that the rules won't allow them to do their techniques. Rules in combat sport allow competitors to apply stragies 100% against a non-compliant opponent. They are wearing uniforms, playing on a matted surface, they might bow and shake hands at the start of a match. So, if are not complaints about these things, then why is there problems with some of the rules (taekwondo has not face punching, boxing no kicks, judo no leg grabs, bjj no hitting, etc.). Yes, they are sports and not street fights. But get kicked by Steven Lopez (TKD Olympian), get thrown by Rhonda Rousey (UFC Champion and Judo Oympian), escape the choke of Roger Gracie (BJJ World Champ), and tell me these sports athletes are not dangerous to engage on or off the mat. All of these arts were made popular through competiton. They are practiced worldwide because of sport. Not because they were kept away from the public because of they were to lethal to teach. The self defense experts all use training modalities that come from combat sports (boxing, jiu jitsu, etc.). Then they create simulated scenarios for practice. Competiton provides a challenge of body and mind that one can transfer to their art. Even with the limitation of rules, atheletes are aware of the techniques that can be used in reality. All they have to do is start breaking the rules. Now, the self defense experts and traditionalists are going to say that bad habits are ingrained from rules. But that's because the don't have any experience in competiton.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Martial Arts B.S.

I was talking to a guy the other day and he told me about one of his instructors who created his own style and had the ability to breaking boards with the vibrating palm technique. He also say that no one could hit this guy as his defense was impenetrable. Now, if someone had the ability to touch something and do damage, don't you think that every pro fighter in the world would be paying top dollar to learn from this guy. Would the Military and all government agencies be hiring these instructors? Now for the disciples of these guys to say that they would keep it secret and not share, for the simple fact that they showed you, it's not secret. If one had that type of ability, they would keep it secret (like a superhero). Or if some instructor had that ability they would be making tons of money training boxers. I'm sure Floyd Mayweather could afford him. In looking at the Kata Bunkai experts, showing all of these hidden meanings and techniques that you can't practice on people without injury. A lot of the bunkai (explanation) we see today were mysteriously found as MMA became popular. There are grappling applications of the Kata and what not. There are some many theories as to what the originators intended when the created them. It's OK to theorize what this and that means, but it doesn't matter if you don't spar or fight. Most of the techniques I personally use when I fight, aren't in any of the katas anyway (feints, footwork, timing, spin back kick, etc.). Techniques that are valid in Kata are open hand strikes (knife hand, spear hand thrusts, knee stomps). There are straight forward and obvious. But using the double knifehand block as a throw, not likely. A lot of what we do in martial arts is part of the culture (counting in Japanese or Korean, wear uniforms, lining up by rank, bowing, etc.). Yes, we practice and appreciate these cultural traditions, but some of us take it to the extreme. Having been a competitor for most of my life, it's funny to me (especially in the Traditional Korean styles), when instructors are referred to as Master and Grandmaster. They have high ranks and lots of stripes on their belt, but their skills can't be verified. In styles that emphasize competition (judo, BJJ, full contact karate, etc.), rank is not as big a deal because most of the instructors have gotten in the ring, cage or mat. So, they've earned respect.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Muay Thai, Kickboxing, Full Contact/American Kickboxing

There are many styles of kickboxing out there. There's Muay Thai, the science of 8 limbs, where fighters used punches, kicks, elbows and knees. There is American or Full Contact Rules kickboxing, which evolved out of tournament karate. All kicks are above the waist, shin and foot pads are worn, no holding and foot sweeps allowed. There is international rules kick boxing. For a long time there was low kick rules. It was the full contact rules with low kicks, no clinch techniques like Muay Thai. Which is harder? All of them, because you can be good in one but not the others. Back in the 80s and 90s, many kickboxers fought in more than one style of kickboxing, so they could stay busy. K-1/Glory rules are real popular now. This format is a cross between the styles of kickboxing where you can see techniques from Muay Thai, Karate, Kickboxing, etc. There is minimal clinching, knees but no elbows. It is faced pace and has a high knockout ratio making it exciting for fight fans.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Relaxed Power

Like everybody else in martial arts, when I started, I thought you were supposed to try and hit things as hard as you can. What I mean is, that you have to exert external force (use your musccles). Over the years, I've found that I can generate more efficient power throw being relaxed. When you are taught to execute a strike, you are told to stay relaxed and at the moment of impact, tighten and exhale, and then relax. You try to hit hard and feel that you need to lift a little heavier and maybe get your muscles bigger and what not. Even experience fighters get tight while trying to deliver a hard blow. This tightness is seen through body language and even though they may be able to hit hard, they are not always maximizing their power. I am going to share two clips from my evolution in relaxed power. Here's me in my 20s. I used a lot of muscle and there is explosiveness in moment but a lot of tension. Here's me in my 30s. You will that I am relaxed. So, relax and develop your technique. Endless repitition is the key to perfection. No short cuts.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Looking Mean & Being Tough

In a lot of the fights I watch today, I see guys trying to look tough and intimidate their opponents. Sometimes before a cage fight, you will see the guys refuse to touch gloves before the round 1 begins. Sometimes you will see guys tough gloves at the beginning of a round and try to sucker punch their opponent. I can honestly say that I've never been angry before, during or after a fight. I've seen guys refuse to shake hands after a fight. Sure, I've had guys try their elementary mind games, but they've never phased me. Be focused on the task of winning. There are no emotions. There is only clarity of mind and executing your plan to attain your goal. Remember it's not personal and don't take it as such.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Pad Training

There are many ways to hit the pads. Many times coaches will call out combinations or have fighters work set combinations. Here is a round of free style pad work. I am working with fighter Jaral Bowman and I will catch and attack instead of calling out combinations.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

A Key Part Of Combat Is Pain

In looking at martial arts, people ask about techniques, training etc. There is always the what if he or she does this out that. They practice defending against attacks with partners. They work out hitting pads, bags, etc. There is one key component that one has to be able to deal with. It's called pain. There is an old saying, "Everybody has a plan until the get hit". If you are not accustomed to dealing with pain, no technique, self defense semianr is really going to do much for you. You have to train, workout out, practice your techniques and learn how to deal with the uncomfortableness of getting hit. Beyond physical training this is mental. If you train your body hard, you strengthen your mind. You need impact training. Not just in hitting things, but in receiving impact. I am not saying get your brains bashed, but you have to spar. You have to hold pads and feel power coming through them (a lot of people are afraid to hold pads with hard hitting partners). All of this helps you mentally prepare for impact and pain. Go train!

Friday, May 22, 2015

Judo Demo With Georgia Judo Legends

Bob Byrd and Dr. Gary Berliner and renowned Judoka. I've had the opportunity to train under these gentlemen. Here's a clip of them doing a demo at the 1997 Battle of Atlanta

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Shidokan Open World Championships

I had the pleasure of being able to go the the Shidokan Open World Championships in Budapest last weekend. It was an incredible experience. I saw great fights and win, lose, or draw all of the participants were good. The camraderie was great and everyone was part of a big family. There were 150 competitors from 20 countries. I even entered the Kata division. In addition to the Kata, there was knockdown and kickboxing. The day after the tournament we trained and several people tested under Shidokan Founder, Kancho Yoshiji Soeno. Here are few video clips from the event. lighweight kickboxing lightweight bare knuckle Yours truly in kata

Monday, May 11, 2015

Jerry Rhome Vs Jeff Mondt

Old school American Kickboxing bout with Jerry Rhome Vs. Jeff Mondt. I came up watching this style of fighting. PKA Kickboxing used to air on ESPN and featured professional karate (aka American Kickboxing). I enjoy looking at the old school stuff. This paved the way for todays contact martial arts. Traditional martial artists developed their boxing and modified their karate techniques for the ring. Check the fight out.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Disappointed By Floy and Pacman Fight?

Were you let down by the big fight last weekend? Many fans or shall I say viewers were. This was the biggest fight show in the history of fighting (money wise). Floyd won by decision. Many chased him and Floyd did what he always does. But, folks are still disapointed because they wanted fireworks. Despite being a talented fighter and great businessman, Floyd would rather play it safe than risk getting battered. How should a champion fight? Should he put himself in harms way to finish an opponent or do whatever it takes to win without receiving damage. Understand there are fighters and prize fighters. Some guys want to get the win and some guys want to finish an opponent. The fighters bring more excitement because even if the fight goes the distance, they are looking to finish an opponent. When I fought, I always attempted to stop an opponent. If I won by decision it was because I didn't stop him. I did not try to out point him. I also looked for a finish.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Fun Judo Experience

I just got back from the USA Judo National Championships in TX. There were divisions for the top Senior players, Brown and under, Blind Players and the Masters (guys over 30 in grouped every 5 years). I saw some really good judo. My division is M4 (ages 45-49). The oldest guys I saw competing were 75 years old. Judo is called the gentle art but is anything but that as I saw dislocated ankles, shoulders, arms and fingers. I saw busted cauliflower ears, broken noses, closed eyes, looking like a boxing tournament. There were some really good throws and the newaza (mat work) was quick and explosive. Even though Judo is a sport, I saw real compete in that competitors laid it on the line. To watch guys who know how to throw and keep from being thrown fight for control of anothers balance helps you better understand what can happen if a good judoka puts two hands on you. I won my division and enjoyed watching the other Masters compete. Some originally come from other countries so I saw athletes who were from Colombia, France, Russia, etc. So, it was a blast.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Upcoming Floyd and Manny Fight

Here my thoughts on this weekends big fight between Mayweather and Pacman. I am not excited about it. Sure it is the biggest money fight of all time and what not. Both of the boxers are great champions. I like Pacquaio as a fighter more so than Floyd because he is a true warrior. Despite Floyd's talent, he hand picks fighters that have declined in ability and avoids top opposition. He sits back and watches fighters and waits until he sees a kink in their armour before he fights them. A true champion should want to fight the best opponents available all the time. He doesn't just fight for the biggest payday, but he fights to see if he is truly the best. Out of the two, Manny always brings it with the intent of doing damage, whereas Floyd will play it safe to get the win. Nothing is wrong with that, Floyd needs to fight Khan, Thurman, Garcia, Mattyse, Patterson, etc. There are a lot of tough fights that I don't think he will take. Now anything can happen in the fight game and either one of the two can win. I won't be suprised if we see a rematch as they can possibly make more money.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Stop Talking About It And Do It

In martial arts and most areas of life, there are people who talk a lot but don't do anything. If you haven't done something yourself, you can't really give a credible opinion of it. We have to be honest about what we do without lying or exaggerating it. I see so many martial artists doing a lot of talking without truly walking. So walk the walk and don't talk the talk.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Shidokan Strong Rules Karate Highlight

In Shidokan Karate there are several fighting disciplines we use. We have the following: Bare Knuckle Karate, Grappling, Kickboxing, MMA, Shidokan Triathlon (karate, kickboxing, and grappling). Our foundation lies in Full Contact/Bare Knuckle Karate. Unlike other knockdown styles, we allow grabbing, clinching, throwing and some ground fighting. 3 Seconds of holding and an additonal 5 seconds on the ground. This doesn't sound like a lot of time for grappling, but it creates a nonstop fast methodolgy to finishing an opponent. Here's a clip featuring Shidokan Karate Strong Rules.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Believe In Yourself

To be successful you have to have confidence. If you are unsure or afraid to try, you won't accomplish your goals. Most of us know how to ride a bicycle. We started out with training wheels and when they came off we were nervous. Many of us had an adult grab our bikes and push us down a hill. We would ride until we fell or hit the brakes to hard and soon and then crash. But, we kept doing it because we wanted to ride. Now if we can learn to ride a bike and better yet learn to drive a care (while drinking a soda, talking on the phone and jamming to our favorite tunes), then we can do all the things we truly want to do.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Energy System For Fighting

How do you develop the endurance and conditioning for a fight? If you have to fight a 5 round kickboxing fight or a 3 round MMA fight, how do you train for them? If you are fighting 3 minute rounds, will training 4 rounds be better? Or, if you are fighting 5 minute rounds, should you train 6? The answer to both is, No. You should train for the duration of rounds that you will be fighting. If you are train for 3 minutes by doing 4, you will pace yourself for 4. If you run an 8 minute mile and want to get your time to 7 minutes, running 2 miles won't make you run the mile faster. You will pace yourself according to the length of time you are doing the activity. I'm not say the extra won't benefit you, but it won't make you more efficient at doing the competitive time frame that you are training for. When doing bagwork for example, you should be winded at the end of the round. If not, you aren't pushing yourself enough. It is your job to make sure that each round is a quality round of work and that you push yourself to expend energy. This will prepare you for the task at hand.

Friday, April 3, 2015

How Champions Should Be Determined

Yesterday I said that it is a common practice to pad fighters records. So, when you see a fighter who is undefeated, don't be overly impressed. I think the best way to find a champion is through tournaments. You take the top fighters and have them eliminate each other until one remains. This way the winner has to just fight and see what happens. He doesn't get to do a training camp for one particular opponent. He finds out fight day and has to make his way through several opponents. If you remember Pride Fighting Championships, you will remember Fedor, Minatoro, Crocop, etc. These fighters would fight the best of the best in one tournament to be crowned the champ.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Padding You Record

Very often you will see undefeated fighters with a lot of victories and 90% of the wins by KO. Everybody likes to see that badass that nobody can beat. But if you look at the business side of fighting you will see a fighter who has a manager and promoter who matches them with opponents that will produce a stellar record. This is so they can get into bigger promotions and what not. Now, there are some guys who are that good. But, a lot of times things are exaggerated or blown out of proportion. So, when looking at a fighter's record, see who they beat and even if they lost, see who the lost from. A lot of times, fighters with not so good records are really good. They may have been mismatched early on or if they were fighting a promoter's prospect, they may have gotton the worst of the decision (and yes, judges do cheat).

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Can You Take It?

One of the key components to fighting is being able to take it as well as dish it out. In looking at martial arts, there is always a lot of theory and discussion about what works and what doesn't. All you need to do is spar and compete and you will find out. You can find footage of real fights (street and ring) and see techniques applied (legal and illegal in sport). If you fight you will feel pain and see who you respond to it. This is inevitable and necessary. I see guys talk about what they think will stop an opponent but they've never used their theoritical techniques in reality.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

What Is You Style?

In martial arts, there are so many different styles of Karate, Kung Fu, Jujitsu, etc. Somebody will take a style add their own flavor and come up with a new name. Then they will create organizations and break away from other organizations, etc. Most of these styles are are so similar, you can't tell the difference in them other than the names or the rules that they modify for their events. It's usually all the same. So, don't get caught in names and who trained under who and who your instructor is compared to somebody elses. Just train.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

1st Amateur Kickboxing Match In USA

Here's a clip I came across of one of the first sanctioned amateur kickboxing matches in the U.S. This is Dr. Lewis Friedlander Vs. Rory Bussey. I met Lewis back in the 80s at the Asa's Gym. Asa's was the place to train for up and coming kickboxers back in the days of American Kickboxing. Here's some martial arts history.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Rousey's Latest Armbar Victory

Ronda Rousey does it again with another amazing arm bar submission win over Cat Zingano last Saturday night on UFC 184. Many wonder how she is able to do this repeatedley. He transition is the key. Because of her judo background, she is able to transition between standing and ground fighting quickly. In judo, slow or stalled ground work will get you stood up. So, if you can't make it happen fast, then it won't matter how well you can grapple. The place between standing and ground is key. She has a lifetime of perfecting it and her opposition is years behind her. Look at the clip and you will see that her instincts are on another level.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Thou Shalt Not Lie

How many times have you met a fighter and he told you that he was a World Champ or undefeated? Probably a lot. But, guess what? Most of the time they are exagerrating or lying. Nobody should ever try to impress you with what they have done. Unfortunately this is prevalent in martial arts. So, don't be fooled by people when you here these things. If you go to train with somebody, ask around or google them (there will be a video or some paper trail) to validate what they say. If you find that they are lying, let them know it.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

More U.S. Karate History

Here's anothr great clip of Karate in the U.S. from the 60s with Amercian Karate legends Joe Lewis, Bill Wallace and Jay T. Will.

Monday, February 23, 2015

U.S. Karate 1968

Here's a cool American Martial Arts history clip from 1968 featuring some Karate Legends (Lewis, Wall, Moon, Mullins, Burleson, etc.). It was televised and put on by Jim Harrison. This is how martial arts competition started out in the U.S. It shows where the cool fighting sports of today originate out of.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Sparring Is Key

In martial arts, students want to learn a lot of techniques. This can be good and bad. It's OK to learn new things. Just make sure you master what you've already learned beforehand. Of course you can always improve what you know. If you spar regulary, you will know what works for you and what doesn't and you will be able to look at new things and know if they are for you before investing time into learning them. In looking at combat, it's always less that works better than a lot. I can do anyting to you if you stand still and let me. It's when you move and fight back that the options lessen.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

MMA Submissions Highlight

Here's a great clip of 10 submissions from UFC fights. You will see that chokes and armbars are the dominate submissions. You will see a leg lock too (calf slice) along with the rarely seen twister. Enjoy.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015


I watch guys train and notice that work intricate combinations on the pads and do drills that involve a lot of thought. I find that the best combinations are simple. A good jab cross or a good 123 (jab, cross, hook) and a double jab will win a fight for you. All this slip, punch punch, bob and weave, punch, kick etc. is fun to work, but you don't see complex combinations in fights. There is victory in simplicity.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Do Combat Sports Prepare One For Self Defense?

I just read a blog post by a "Self Defense Expert" saying that competition does not prepare one for real fights. These experts usually get into this mindset philosophy and the chaos and unpredictibility of "reality". If you will look into the backgrounds of this experts, you will see that they never have any combat sports experience. Sure combat sports have rules and a Ref to prevent one from being seriously hurt. But, the intensity, the pain, the fatigue, the risk of injury are all there. A resisting, non-compliant opponent is there. Feedback of whether your technique works or not is there. No training drill, fight simulation, mental training can prepare you for real fights. So, the next best thing is combat sports.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

92 World Karate Cup

Here's some great fights featuring some of the top bare knuckle karate fighters in the early 90s. You will see the late Andy Hug fight. See why Knockdown Karate is one of the toughest combat sports to compete in.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Old School Kickboxing Troy Dorsey Vs. Felipe Garcia

Here's an American Kickboixng (Full Contact Karate) match featuring Troy Dorsey and Felipe Garcia. Enjoy.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Excuses And Fear

In looking at those who compete, there are 3 categories of competitors: 1) Those who make excuses, 2) Those the give in to fear, and 3) Those who just do it. If you compete you need to be in group 3. You will hear people talk about it and when the time comes to put up or shut up, the make excuses and hide from challenges. Those who embrace the challenge are the ones who will elevate their ability and gain inner strength.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Listen To Experience

The young often ignore wise words of the old. Yet, people are always trying to reinvent the wheel. It's fine to be creative and to experiment. What we have to remember is that while we can teach ourselves, there are many things that we can learn from those who are experienced at doing what we are trying to do. Often I see young fighters reading what the latest training methods are and they try to train like their favorite fighter they see on TV. When analyzing the successful atheletes out there, I see most of them using old principles with new names. The human body hasn't changed much over the last few centuries. Sure we have supplements and better machines to train on, but we function the same. I have had the opportunity to train with Olympic and Professional athletes from several disciplines and I will say that dispite the many trends and new training routines that have popped up over the years, they all trained specific to what they were doing and everything else was supplemental. So, what I'm saying is don't be whooed by the new and don't forget the old.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Boxing Knockout Highlight

Boxing is without a doubt one of the toughest and exciting combat sports. Here's a clip that you will appreciate showing the brutality of the sweet science.

Friday, January 9, 2015

The Less You Know The Better

A lot of students want to learn the newest moves and tricks. We all like to learn new things, but we can't forget that the basics are key. You can't look at someone else's techniques and expect to do them the same. We are all wired differently. We think, walk, and talk differently. We have to find a few things that work for us as individuals. So, keep it simple. Know and understand thyself.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Robert Visitation Vs. Brian Dorsey Old School American Kickboxing

Here's a American Full Contact Karate (aka American Kickboxing) bout from 1984 in the heyday of PKA (which aired on ESPN).

Friday, January 2, 2015

Shuai Jiao

Shuai Jiao is a Chinese grappling art that focuses on throws and takedowns. You will see similarities to Judo. It is exciting as a sport. Here's a clip.