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.