Wednesday, December 28, 2016

No Gi Grappling

Can you do Judo without a Gi? Sure thing? Without a GI one thing for certain is that you will have close body contact (especially when hitting is involved). When strikes are included your opponent will either want to stay out of range or in close. When you are fighting a striker, you want to be in either of these 2 ranges. You can force the clinch once the commit to hitting you. Of course you have to risk getting hit.

Without clothing you have the sweat factor. The easiest thing to hold is your opponent's body.  I like to get a double under hook or over under body lock. This way I control their center of gravity and I can keep them from getting underneath me.

In this clip from the 2002 Shidokan World Open, I used the body lock and foot sweeps to get my opponent down to the mat. The submission attempts shown will be a neck crank (which he escapes) and later on in the clip an arm lock. Going from the Kimura to a straight arm lock. I will stay with the 2 on 1 grip on his arm.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Combination Punching

When you see fighters train you will see them working on all kinds of combinations. When hitting the pads, trainers will have fighters memorize certain sequences. The reality of combos in real fights are that they will come when an opponent is tired, hurt or out matched. They don't work as you see them on the pads and bags or when fighters flurry in shadow boxing. When guys get in a dangerous position they clinch. So, to land shots it's the basics (simple combinations and movement) that work best. In this clip you won't see a long combination until after my opponent is hurt. In the last round you will a left kick to the liver followed by a 9 punch combination. Timing is everything so learn when to lay it on.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Rhonda Balsamello, Shidokan's Queen Of Combat

Last week we lost one of our warriors. Shidokan Atlanta Queen of Combat, Rhonda Balsamello passed away suddenly. I know that we all will transition some day, but it is so sad when we lose someone young and without warning. Rhonda was the toughest fighter we've ever had. She had no fear and was always ready to compete. Rhonda was a private person and wouldn't say a lot. She could be shy at times. But through the martial arts, her personality would show. She would was happy when engaged in one on one combat. Karate was truly her way of expressing herself. To those who knew her well, she showed a sense of humor and always went out of her way to help. As a creative person, she designed much of the Shidokan apparel we wear at our gym.

Within a year of training, she was competing in full contact bare knuckle karate tournaments. In keeping the Shidokan Karate concept of being a well rounded martial artist, she also competed in grappling and kickboxing. She found her forte to be Knockdown (bare knuckle) Karate, one of the most difficult forms of competition out there.

She represented our Dojo locally, nationally and internationally. A couple of months ago, she won the Shidokan Japan Cup. Last year she was on her way to this tournament and the night before leaving, her back went out and she couldn't walk. She had back surgery and came back to achieve what most can only dream of, winning a full contact Karate championship in the land of Karate, Japan. She has gained the love and respect of an international Karate organization. She is better well known in other countries than in the U.S.

Here is some footage of Rhonda competing a few years back. I never mined losing my voice yelling and cheering her on. Win, lose, or draw she pushed herself to the limit. She would fight until the end. She could endure the fatigue and pain better than anyone. Fighting is what gave her peace. This is one of my favorites because it shows her dig deep. She may not be with us physically, but her Samurai spirit does.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Fight Officials

What makes one qualified to officiate a fight. There are judges, referees, or commission officials present. They have to certified by the state to officiate. Sometimes we see fights and at the end we see judgements that we may not agree with. Sometimes a ref stops or doesn't stop a fight that before or after we think they should. In my opinion, I don't think one should be allowed to officiate if they've never competed in the sport that they are overseeing. Would you let a doctor who has never performed surgery operate on you? No. In the court room, judges oversee lawyers. In the most fields the experts overseeing have experience. Sure one can be a fan and know a lot, but I would prefer to see ex-fighters officiate fights.

Monday, November 28, 2016

IJF Veterans World Championship

A week ago I had the pleasure of competing in the International Judo Federation Veterans World Championships in Ft Lauderdale, FL. It was an incredible experience. I competed in my first IFJ Worlds back in 2012, in Miami. In both instances it was in the next state, so, I had to go (whereas in between they were held in other countries).

What makes this tournament so cool, is that it is truly an international event. This years tournament had about 1000 competitors and 83 countries represented. It was a four day tournament. On Friday, competitors in their 60s and up competed (some guys up to the 80s). Saturday, the young guys competed 30-39, and Sunday, we middle aged guys (40s and 50s) competed. Monday was all about the ladies.

These veterans are amazing. I saw some old guys (I say that jokingly) in better shape that guys half their age. These guys would take of their Gi tops and they were chiseled and ripped.

When I go to national tournaments, there is a smaller group where one or two guys are really good. At the Worlds, everybody is good (about 30). I finished 7th this year and felt more competitive than I did in 2012. I have been successful in other combat sports (Taekwondo, Kickboxing, and Shidokan). I have been training in Judo sine the 90s and after retiring from the striking sports I have been working on my grappling game in Judo. This allows a competitive outlet for me and keeps me humble. In addition, I have competed in Karate Kata, and I even did an international kickboxing team event this past summer with a young opponent). I am 50 years old and feel like I'm 18 (sometimes LOL). I don't put the same pressure on myself like I did when I was younger. I still hate to lose, but I've learned to have fun and not dwell on it. At least I won't have the delusion of, "The older I get, the better I was". So always find a way to challenge yourself and make it fun and remember, you're a winner for getting out there in the first place.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Too Many Champions

In today's combat sports world, there are a lot of champions. The fans want to see the best fighters fight, but for some reason the business of fighting keeps the matches from happening. Fighters (or their management) want the best pay day possible. So, you end up with these fighters avoiding each other. The business/entertainment side of fighting helps and hurts it at the same time. Yes we have to be entertained and events need sponsors to be able to put them on. But at the same time fans want to see the best fight the best. There are too many organizations that have world champions to track of. It would be cool if the major organizations would pit their top fighters against top opposition and provide a true champion. Just my two cents.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Jump In The Deep End

At what level should one start when learning how to do something they are passionate about? Should you start at the shallow end of the pool and waddle your to the deep end or just jump in the deep, and sink or swim? For me personally, I've always jumped into the deep end. I won't say that it's is the best way to get started but you learn real fast. In martial arts/combat sports, I've never competed in the novice or intermediate levels. In sport Karate, when I decided to compete entered black belt competition (and the same goes for Judo). The first time I tried full contact Taekwondo do was right after competing in a point division. Afterwards we organized teams and fought. The guy that I beat in point, said "see you in the contact division". He gave me a grand welcome to full contact. When I started training in Kickboxing, there was maybe one other amateur in the gym. So, I got beat up daily for at least 2 years before I knew what I was doing. In amateur Boxing, I did not start out as a Novice, I jumped right into the Open division (fighters with 10 or more fights). My 5 professional kickboxing fight (BTW I only had 3 amateur Kickboxing fights before turning pro) was against an international champion with over 20 fights and the 6th was against a Russian Champion. By my 10th Kickboxing bout, I fought a 2X World Champion. My 6th pro boxing match was against an Olympic Bronze Medalist. So, I just went for it. Were some of the matches very hard, yes. Did I lose some, yes. But with high level training partners and competing against high level athletes. My learning cure was different than most. Now do I recommend this for everybody? No. But for the few who wish to take it is far as you can, yes. Find out where you stand with superior opposition.  You will learn much faster than those who play it safe. Test your self against the best you can find. You will be able to take pleasure in knowing that you tried if you can't reach a higher level. Or, you will reach that higher level faster.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

My First International Fight

In 1994 I was invited to represent the U.S. in international competition in Fort Lauderdale FL. World Champ, Steve Shepherd promoted an event for USA vs. Russia. I was one of 5 fighters picked to participate. I fought Russian Middleweight Champion, Alexander Voronin. The rules were Full Contact Kickboxing (aka American Kickboxing) with kicks above the waist. This style requires one to develop good boxing basics. Kicking is difficult because you cannot kick to the legs and to land a kick to the head requires a lot of skill. When allowed to low kick you can set up more kicks to the body and head. In Full Contact Kickboxing you have to use your hands to set up kicks. Anyway I wanted to share some of my strategies. You will see lateral movement and feints to set up shots and take away the angles where I can get hit. When he stops moving and gets set, I get off first or cover to take away targets. After I launch an attack, I smother him with the clinch making it difficult for him to cover. When we are separated, I use that restart opportunity for the spin kicks.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Digging Deep

Wanted to share an old fight from the 90s against the late Larry Jarrett. This is American kickboxing (above the waist kicks). This clip is the last 2 rounds of a 9 round bout. What I like about this style is the focus of the boxing and kicks (above the waist).  It forces one to use one to set up the other. Combinations, head movement, and changing rhythm are important. There is a lot of action and we are both landing good shots after a lot of early intensity. You will see grit and determination as we bang it out.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Old School Kickboxing Fun

Several months ago I put a post of me competing in a kickboxing team completion of USA Vs. South Africa. It was a modified version of American Kickboxing (above the waist kicks). We through hard contact to the body and pull the punches to the head. The cameraman for the event recently uploaded our bouts and I wanted to share a better quality video. Recently my teammates, AJ Weathersby and Kelly Leo's bouts were posted, so I am now sharing mine. I had fun throwing punches and kicks in a competitive format. Even though I stay active at age 50 by competing in Judo, it has been 12 years since I punched and kicked at an opponent (fortunately I stay in shape by working out with a talented team of students who fight in Karate, Kickboxing, MMA, etc.). So, I still feel young. In this clip, I am moving around with a youngster in his 20s. Because I've had the privilege of being able to compete in a variety of combat sports, in this match I'm able to utilize my boxing and taekwondo back ground in a fun way.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Strong Rules Karate

Here a good video clip of Vinny Balsamello fighting in the Shidokan International Championships in Japan. It is bare knuckle full contact fighting, similar to Kyokushin. Actually it was more like what Kyokushin was like when it started (now there are no grabs, throws, clinch allowed). Anyway, the fighters are allowed a brief clinch, throws and a few seconds allowed for a quick submission on the ground. Some will ask, why are there no face punches? Sure it would make a difference, but with the grabbing of the Gi and the use of throws it would still be similar to what is seen in the video. There is a lot of information out there where there Karate guys telling you how to apply traditional techniques to real fighting. Don't believe 'em. This is what it would be like.

Friday, September 30, 2016

All Exercise Is Good

People tend to be caught up in to what is the latest and greatest workout. Some are old school and do the same exercises they did 20 years ago and some will change every month. Well it doesn't matter. If you are having fun and staying healthy it's all good. Most people don't workout consistently, so if you are doing something on a regular basis, they you are doing something effective for your health.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Fighting Karate Part I

In looking at full contact or bare knuckle Karate, Shidokan is one of the most practical styles out there. In this clip, I am fighting against Ryo Sakai in a Shidokan Triathlon Match (3 rounds of Karate, 3 rounds of Thai Boxing, and 3 rounds of Grappling. This is from the finals of the 2002 World Open. To make to the finals, one has to win to fights. This our 3rd fight for the evening. So, we into this final match banged up from previous wars. Since it is a 9 round fight, we have to play chess throughout the match.

This post is the Karate part.  Because of the threat of being clinched and thrown, look at the selection of techniques used from a distance and in close. Body punches, lock kicks, and knees are the main techniques used. You will Sakai execute Hiza Guruma (knee wheel) throws on me. Due to an ACL injury in my semi final fight, I have difficulty stabilizing on the right leg, so there is no resisting.

You will see me use movement and long range kicks (side, back, axe, etc.). You will see a cross blend of techniques between the two of us. Sakai will blend Knockdown, Thai Boxing  and Judo. You will see me use a blend  of Thai Boxing and Tae Kwon Do.

So, this is what Karate is for me and I base what I teach on experiences like these.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Fighting With Clothes

You watch your favorite fight sports like MMA, Kickboxing, Boxing, etc. You see athletes in shorts and no shirts. There slippery from sweat and boxing oil, and vaseline. If they were kickboxing or MMA shorts, the legs slip out when grabbed. Their bodies and limbs are hard to hold because of the sweat factor. Also, because gloves are worn it is harder to grab. But guess what happens when you kick somebody when you have on your long pants? The can grab your pant leg. If you are wearing a long sleeve shirt or a jacket, the have more handles to grab. There is friction and if they get a hold of you, they have more leverage. So, keep this in mind when training. Things have to be modified and most will never fight with their shirts off.

Monday, September 12, 2016


How hard must one pursue a goal or dream? If you want something should you be able to have it? Sure you can, but it doesn't always come easy. There's an old saying, "Nothing worth having, comes easy." To be the straight A student, one has to burn the midnight oil and study hard. Not that the B,C, etc. students don't study, but the A student usually studies harder. It is my belief that we can have most of the things we really want. I'm not saying that they will come easy and that you won't have pitfalls along they way. We have to try and keep trying. Belief in what you are trying to do and accomplish and don't listen to those who try to take you away from your path. Most successful people fail. What makes them different is that they don't give up. They don't dwell on losses and mistakes. They learn from them and keep trying. Set your sights on what you want and go for it. Don't change if because others suggest otherwise. Believe in yourself and what you do.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Be Self Motivated

As an instructor/coach, I find it unfortunate that in today's society many struggle to motivate themselves. We rely so much on outside influences to entertain, motivate, and inspire us way to much. When kids don't have a video game or a cartoon to entertain them, they say they're bored. It's the same with adults as they stay glued to phones. In teaching classes, there are some who will come in and start practicing things on their own before class begins and then there are some who will chat and train half heatedly and leave right after. Those who started before everybody else will ask questions and make sure they understand everything they learned that class.

As a fighter, I watched professionals train and I noticed that nobody told them what to do when they got in the gym. The warmed up, hit the bags, pads, etc. They would go around and ask fighters for sparring and would get in the ring with anybody. If they had a fight coming up, the coach would supervise and give suggestions, but other than that most of the really good fighters would just train. For me it is frustrating as I see many guys talk about noting that has to do with the training while they are training. They show a lack of focus and intent in what they are doing.

So, what must one do to be the best that they can be? Be SELF MOTIVATED! Don't depend on outside influences to inspire you. Be truthful to yourself and be passionate about what you do. Then you will be able to better accomplish your goals.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Best Preparation

What is the best way to prepare for a fight or for any activity that you are going to do? If getting ready for a fight should you lift more weights, shake more ropes, or flip heavier tires? Sure those things provide a good workout. But, they won't really help you fight better. So what should one do then? Well, they should do more of that activity. If getting ready for a boxing match, you need to get in the ring with another boxer and box. If getting ready for a grappling match, you need to get on the mat with a grappler and grapple. Of course you can do all the cool exercises I mentioned earlier but use them as a supplement to the skill you are trying to develop. If it's a matter of how much time you have to lift or do a specific activity (your primary focus) then use that limited time for that activity. Your workouts should be geared towards developing your skill for your activity.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Fast Way To Learn How To Fight. Box!

What is the fast way to learn how to fight? Fighting! I'm not saying go out and start picking fights, but let's look at good fighters. Most people consider boxers to be tough guys. When you look at the best of the best, they usually come from tough upbringing. They usually have an aggressive nature. They tend to not be shy or timid. They are usually confident, arrogant, and cocky (sometimes in a good way and some times in a bad way). So, let's say you don't have any of what I just described, how do you learn to fight? I recommend putting yourself in an environment that breeds what I mentioned above. For example, go to a good boxing gym. You will feel the air of confidence and egos. You will see hard training and see what separates the lion from the sheep. The reason I say boxing, because it is a sport where you can get in the ring and go at it with the emotions, intensity, and get the feel of a real fight. You have protection and a coach to keep you from getting hurt (badly).  You get to be macho and cocky and it's OK, because there will probably be somebody there to humble you. With boxing you have fast learning curve. You learn how to be tough and build confidence.

Friday, August 19, 2016

The Perfect MMA Fighter

When looking at Mixed Martial Arts we see a combination of combat disciplines mixed together. Fighters usually come from one specific martial art and add techniques from others. There are different schools of thought as to what is the dominate art for MMA. Some say BJJ, some say wrestling. Some take a different approach by taking strikers and having them focus on takedown and ground defense. Some feel that all you need to do is take a good athlete and show them a little from each area and you will get a decent fighter. All of the above are probably correct. We've seen champions from all the schools of thought. Of course it boils down to the fighter. As a fighter one must be exposed to all of the possibilities that can't happen in their sport. In my opinion to create an awesome MMA fighter, I would approach it like school. In school you have several subjects (math, science, art, english, etc.). So, in MMA school, you would have several disciplines (boxing, kicking, grappling, conditioning, etc.). If you could get a high GPA in all of your subjects, you would have a great fighter.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Olympic Tae Kwon Do

I started out in the Korean style of Tang Soo Do as a kid in Ft. Bragg, NC. When my family moved back to GA I eventually started training Tae Kwon Do. Tang Soo Do ("Chinese Hand") was the Korean version of Shotokan and Tae Kwon Do came about after Korea was liberated from Japanese control. So, over time different schools joined together under Tae Kwon Do. Those who did not stayed Tang Soo Do (Chung Do Kwan, Moo Do Kwan, etc.). Anyway, I like to just use the term Karate (will elaborate on that later).

So, as I starte competing in tournament, WTF (World Tae Kwon Do Federation) became popular and eventfully became an Olympic Sport. It was continuous, allowed contact and emphasized kicking. Since there was nothing more fun than kickboxing somebody in the head, I really enjoyed it. I competed in the sport for a long time. I won Silver in the  1994 US Nationals. Due to an injury I was not able to compete in the US Team trials that year. I also had the opportunity to compete in the 1994 US Olympics Sports Festival (Bronze). In 1988 Tae Kwon Do was included in the Olympics as a spectator sport. In was also in the 1992 Games. With hopes of being able to compete in the Olympics, every Tae Kwon Do player was working hard and the sport was huge. As part of the process to become an official Olympic sport, it didn't come back until 2000. So, the 1996 Games (right in my home city of ATL) did not have have. Since I was Kickboxing during this time, I decided to let the Olympic dream go (also, I tore my first ACL which changed my kicking game).

When looking at the sport of WTF Tae Kwon Do, many martial artists are critical of it and see any value in it. Look at it like boxing with the feet. It is difficult because all the kicks are above the waist and because one has to wear a Hogu (chest protector), punching is hard to be effective with. One must exhibit trembling shock and to kick for 3 rounds for several bouts requires incredible endurance. I will sometimes take fighters from whatever style and have them spar under this style. There are blow away at how difficult it is. The timing, distancing, and reaction are unique to the style. What I've been able to bring away from my experience with Tae Kwon Do, is the ability to control range and set up kicks (jump, spinning, etc.). It is also my secret to reading kicks from other styles (the move slower to me).

So as Tae Kwon Do is shown this week, look at it with an open mind. Imagine what it takes to fight primarily with your kicks. The competitors have crazy cardio, coordination, flexibility and reflexes to kick like they do. It is not easy. If you think it is, try it.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Olympic Boxing

As I am writing this post, the US Boxing Team is 6-1 in the Rio Games. This is awesome as we should see some medals coming out of the Games. It's been 2004 since America got a gold medal in Boxing (Andre Ward). Growing up I got to see Sugar Ray Leonard and the incredible '76 Team, and throughout the '80s some of boxing biggest stars came through the Olympics. In the 90s and early 2000s, the world surpassed us (Cuba, Russian, etc.) in the amateurs. Looking at the current team, it looks like they will have good results.

Now on to my experiences training with Olympics boxers. I had that opportunity to spar with 1988 Bronze Medalist Romalis Ellis and 1996 Bronze Medalist, Rhoshi Wells along with other talented fighters trying to make Olympic teams between '88 and '96. During the Atlanta '96 Games, our boxing club (Doraville Boxing) hosted training for teams competing. We sparred with fighters as they stayed sharp for the games. Working out with Romalis was incredible. He was a lightweight south paw who utilized the basics of the Jab Cross (one two). He would work that jab like a piston until he positioned himself to deliver a hard left. For several years he would give me the same answer after sparring. I would ask for advice and suggestions and he would give me the same answer, "Throw more punches." When I met Rhoshii, he was 15 and could beat most men. He won Bronze at the age of 18. He was always smiling and was technician. Both would go on to become top ranked professionals. Rhoshii was unfortunately killed several years ago in Vegas (shot by a punk).

In my last post I talked about what it felt like to have an Olympic Judo player put his hands on you. Well, you can't imagine what it's like to have an Olympic Boxer lay his hands on you in the square circle. You get hit over and over again and can't stop it. Because these athletes start so young and compete at the highest levels growing up, they are like professionals even as amateurs. They train with world class fighters all along.

In the mid 90s I had the privilege of fighting 1988 Olympic Bronze Medalist, Ray Downey of Canada. I took a fight on 2 days notice and went to Biloxi, MS. The fight was on the undercard of Kennedy McKinney (another Olympian). I did know who I was going to fight until press conference when the took a moment to recognize Ray for his accomplishment. I looked at my trainer who told me to take this fight without telling me who I was fighting (mistake #1). Anyway I survived a hard 6 round fight, but couldn't keep this guy from hitting me. What I learned is that it's hard to fight a guy who boxes for a living when you do it as a hobby (mistake #2). If you go into pro boxing you should fight a lot of amateur bouts and get the experience and never take a fight against a Olympian on 2 days notice (mistake #3).

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Olympic Judo

I hope you have been watching the Olympic Judo this week. The sport has gotten some good TV coverage. The better US athletes perform, the better for the sport in America. The IJF has done a great job in marketing the sport internationally. American Travis Stevens won a Silver Medal. As of right now we are waiting to see how Carlton Brown and Kayla Harrison (defending Gold Medalist) perform. It would be cool to see 3 medals for the USA. If you ever get the chance to train with an Olympic level Judoka or top ranked national level player (the guys in the top 5 are world class), please do. I've been fortunate to train Judo with world class Judoka. My current coach is  Leo White (2x Olympian and the US commentator for the Olympics). Over the years I've had the privilege to train experienced international players. Trying to get a grip on these guys is difficult and getting grabbed by these guys is unreal (you won't get their grips off). Their timing and reaction time is unbelievable. There ability to effortlessly defend your throws and submissions is mind boggling. To appreciate what you see when watching the Olympic athletes compete, imagine doing a clean and jerk over with your bodyweight every 10 to 20 seconds for 5 minutes. 

Over the next couple of blogs I will tell you about my experiences training with Olympic level athletes in Boxing and Taekwondo. They will humble you. 

Monday, August 8, 2016

Martial Arts In The Olympics

With the Olympics going on presently, there is a lot of discussion about the martial arts that are included. All of the combat sports in Olympics have gone through changes since their inclusion. Modifications to wrestling were made to stay in the games. Boxing now takes away the headgear (which they didn't start wearing until the 80s). Changes in the sports of Judo and Taekwondo have been made over the years to make them more appealing to spectators. Some question the effectiveness of the combat sports and criticize them. First of all, one should not be negative about something they've never tried. Next they must remember that these sports are huge in popularity around the world. Then you have to consider that these competitors are world class athletes. Those criticizing them would probably get the bottoms kicked if they went up against a lot of these guys (for sure if they tried to do their sport and probably outside of the sport).

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Conditioning For Your Sport

What's the best way to get in shape for a specific sport? Doing that sport. Everything is supplemental. I have worked out with guys that I could bench more than and felt stronger than from a push and pull stand point. But when punched or kicked by them, it felt like getting kicked by a mule. I once saw a boxer in his 40s who hadn't been in a ring in 10 years, walk in the gym and spar with an active fighter and handle him with ease. Now I'm not saying to do all your cool exercises and conditioning routines. What I would like to say is that once you perfect your sport you develop a way of delivering power that goes beyond how much you can run or lift. By mastering the basics of your craft, your body develops the most efficient method for you do what you do. Athletes learn to transfer energy without pure force. It adapts to the duration of the activity and learns how to preserve enough energy to do the task. So, keep this in mind when you go to do the latest conditioning routine that the sports scientist suggest. Listen to that old guy in the gym who's been doing what your trying to do for a lifetime.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Why You Never Lose

In competition sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. But a loss is not a bad thing. Sure everybody wants to win and it sucks to lose sometimes. You have a 50/50 chance of one or the other so, let's look at winning and losing in a different light. You practice and train to prepare yourself for something. You get out there and lay it on the line. You've been training for weeks alongside your team the closer you get to the event, the team becomes smaller and smaller and sometimes you're the only one who shows up when it's time to perform. Your teammates came up with excuses of why they didn't but you did. You get out there and people are watching and judging you. You deal with your fears and emotions and do your best. You test yourself against another person who went through the same thing as you. So when you look at it this way you're a winner. You did something most people would never do.

Friday, July 29, 2016

The Power Of Nutrition

Here's an interview done with Judo Olympian Leo White. He will tell you about how he has dealt with ailments and for years used anti-inflammatories and stopped by changing what he ate. Take a few minutes and listen to my Judo coach share some good information on nutrition.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

You Can't Win In Practice

A lot of people base their ability to win on how they perform in practice. Sometimes practice is competition for a lot of folks. Now, I'm not say that you can't be competitive during training, but remember that training is training and the pace, intensity, and focus in a real fight is completely different. For some people they lose focus and emotions overtake them in practice and they think that what happens is real. If you can't control yourself in practice you won't be able to do so when it counts. In practice you must put yourself in the worst case scenarios so that you improve your weakness. If training with someone with less experience or ability handicap yourself and work on things that you don't do well. Don't try to overwhelm your training partners by kicking the butts and making yourself feel like you've accomplished something.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Glory Kickboxing Fights

This past weekend I rode up to Norfolk VA with my good friends to watch Glory Kickboxing. Glory is now the premier kickboxing event. It is an international organization feature fighters from all over the world. For the most part the fights were good. I noticed the European fighters are more experienced and seasoned compared to the US fighters. The Americans don't have the same experience as the other fighters. In hearing the records of the Americans, it was evident from their records that they were overmatched and in some cases outclassed. It made no sense to match a guy with less than 10 - 15 fights with a guy who has 40 plus fights. I've noticed this on Glory shows. It's usually the American fighters who have little experience. The international fighters are able to fight more frequently as Kickboxing is bigger outside of the States. Hopefully we will get more American fighters competing on regular basis as I think the level of skills (or better yet experience) are behind the rest of the World.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

The Importance of Boxing In Combat Sports

In looking at combat sports that allow hand strikes to the head, Boxing skills are an advantage for an athlete. Even though Kickboxing, MMA, and Thai Boxing allow the use of other weapons (kicks, knees, elbows, etc.), the hands are used more often. All else being somewhat equal, the better boxer has an advance. Boxing help set up kicks, knees, etc. When an opponent is hurt more often than not, it is with the hands. So, get with a boxing coach and improve your hands.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Rules In Combat Sports

There are many different kinds of combat sports. Along with these sports come rules. Many people will look at these sports and judge them based on what they thing will be effective in real fighting. Some styles of kickboxing don't allow leg kicks and knees. Some grappling sports require you to wear a uniform (GI). In boxing there is no kicking. In Olympic style Tae Kwon Do, punching to the face is not allowed. Greco Roman wrestling doesn't allow grabbing the legs. Do these limitations mean that principles from these combat sports are not applicable to real self defense? Absolutely not. If someone has dedicated enough time to developing a certain skill set, that individual will be able to apply there skills against most adversaries. This doesn't mean they are invincible, but they are more prepared than the average person who doesn't train. Rules are put in place to make sport exciting and so that a winner can be determined. Imagine if holding and clinching was allowed in boxing. You would get less action, which means less knockouts. In Judo and Wrestling, athletes could get ahead and stall their way to victory. Even in MMA, if athletes lay on the fence or ground too long with out anyone gaining a real advantage, the ref will separate and stand them up. Fights have rounds the are judged to create a winner. It's not like fighters fight until someone gives up. If there were no time limits, everybody would fight at a slower pace. So, the structure of sport is to provide entertainment and sportsmanship. But don't be fooled into thinking any combat sport is easy or impractical. Keep in mind these are athletes who train many years to develop skills that most can only dream about.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Saddened By Today's U.S. Karate Fighters

My thoughts on Karate Fighters haven't been good over the past several years. In looking at my Karate style, Shidokan, for years we hosted national and international events featuring some of the top full contact (bare knuckle Karate) fighters. Events like the Sabaki Challenge, World Oyama Ultimate Challenge, Shidokan Open, etc. featured many of the same fighters competing at all of these events. A lot of fighters from the US and Canada (Norm Rivard, Tomaz Kucharezki, Moti Horenstein, Bo Medenica, Ralph Linares, etc.) would throw down at these and other international tournaments. As the Shidokan open transitioned from Karate only to Triathlon events, Karate fighters slowly faded from this new challenge to be replaced by kick boxers and mixed martial artists. These new fighters would put on a Gi, fight under bare knuckle, kickboxing and grappling. Whether they were black belts in Karate didn't matter. Karate groups started to separate and stay to themselves. Sabaki is primarily done by Enshin Karate fighters, World Oyama tournaments are primarily for World Oyama guys, etc. Karate groups stopped supporting each others tournaments. Their dojos focused less on full contact to get more students. This is cool, but gone are the days when instructors told students to fight and they fought. As an instructor I have been disappointed in the lack of commitment some of my so called fighters have displayed. Many young fighters say they want to fight, but get scarred and don't follow through as opposed to facing and overcoming fears. I promoted Karate, Boxing, and Kickboxing events. Boxers are always the easiest to work with. Reason is most guys who box are going to box. Whereas most people who take martial arts (i.e. Karate, Taekwondo) are not going to fight. In looking at Knockdown Karate in particular, it came about for Karate people who wanted to fight for real instead of in theory or in light contact. Now these styles have become like the non contact styles. I can go to Europe, Asia, South America, etc. and Karate fighters there will fight with no problem. American Karate fighters are different these days. The used to fight (kickboxing, bare knuckle, MMA, etc.) because the style was presented as a no nonsense practical style. Now if you want to fight, it's much easier to go the Boxing, Kickboxing, or MMA route, because they are the no non sense fighting outlets these days. I am not optimistic about contact Karate in the U.S. Every time I go to a Karate event abroad, I shake my head about what is going on here.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

To Give You Have To Be Able To Receive

In martial arts, nobody wants to get hurt. If you fight or seriously train, it is going to happen sometimes. Everybody wants to dish out punishment but nobody wants to receive any. Ask any good fighter and they will tell you they've had their share.

It's cool to win and I prefer to do so by stoppage as opposed to decisions. Against opponents I have knocked guys out with punches, kicks, knees, etc., dropped guys with body shots (even breaking ribs), I've kicked opponents in the legs tearing up knees, choked them, arm (popping some ligaments). Sounds cool right to take out an opponent. But what about what one receives himself along the journey of Captain Badass.

As a combat athlete, I have had my share of injuries. The lists include ACLs, meniscus tears, dislocated fingers, broken a big toe, hyperextend joints (from getting hit along with submissions, hip out of place (trying to kick heads off with spin hook kicks), torn cartilage, 18 stitches around the eyes (head butts and punches), tendon shortening (years of throwing hard right hands), calcium deposits causing bumpy shins and forearm bones (from blocking bone on bone), slammed on my back (needing an adjustment afterwards), black eyes, split lips, swollen noses, sore jaws, crooked teeth, punctured ear drums, corneal abrasions, cauliflower ears, and a few more.

So in order to learn the way of inflicting pain on an opponent, one has to experience it. You appreciated the effectiveness of techniques applied to their fullest. No theory but reality for those who choose the path.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Best Style For Developing Kicks Is Taekwondo

In looking at martial arts styles that develop kicking ability, I will say that Taekwondo is the best style for developing kicking skill. Now, there are many styles of martial arts that practice kicks, but Taekwondo specializes in kickboxing like boxing does in punching. Kicking skill is harder to develop other skills. The flexibility, dexterity, timing, accuracy, and distancing, needed for kicking an opponent harder to develop than many other aspects. When people looking at the sport of Taekwondo, they will criticize and say that the sport is impractical forgetting to look that the unique aspects that one can derive from that sport (as in all combat sports). Having been a Taekwondo player myself, I can say that the kicking skills of high level Taekwondo is way up there. Because the emphasis is on kicking you have better cardio (an olympic style match is 3 rounds). You can punch to the body, but the opponent wears a chest protector. This makes it difficult because you have to be able to punch really hard to get through it. To illustrate, check out this video to see I use my kicks.

Shidokan Technician Video

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Erik Paulson Vs. Sean McCully Bare Knuckle No Hold Barred

Interesting video here, where No Hold Barred Legend, Eric Paulson fights Sean McCulley. In this fight no gloves are worn, hair grabbing, spiked elbows, grabbing the shorts, and cage are allowed. The only thing not allowed is submissions. So, the have to beat the crap out of each other. The good thing about studying this clip is that you see all of the striking weapons (fists, feet, elbows, knee, and head butts) applied. You will see bone on bone at it's best. Please review for your study.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Still Having A Blast

I am blessed to be in good health and find ways to test myself. I am on old guy having fun these days. For the past several years I've competed in Judo. I competed with the young guys into my late 40s. Now I primarily compete as a Master Athlete in the M5 Category (50-54 years old). The last time I put on 10 ounce gloves in competition was in 2005. I got a call a few weeks ago from my old friend and training partner, Kelly Leo and was to be part of Team USA in a modified kickboxing competition against Team South Africa at the Annual Battle Of Atlanta. Along with him and one of my students (AJ Weathersby) we got together trained a little as a team and we had a blast. We competed in a format that provided contact fighting without anybody getting seriously injured. All the fights were competitive the old guy (Me) doesn't get hurt. I was able to use good technique and compete out of pure fun. I no longer have the desire to hurt anybody, so the event was great for me.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Martial Arts In The Olympics, Combat Sports And Competition

In the Olympics there are 2 eastern martial arts included (Judo and Taekwondo). Karate has been vying for a sport in the games since the 90s and will be a spectator sport in the 2020 Tokyo Games. There are a lot of Karateka excited about it and a lot not. Judo and Taekwondo as sports have gone through many changes since their inception. Whenever a change is made some folks are going to disagree with it. Many of the changes are necessary to make the sport worth watching and interesting to sponsors. As we saw with the sport of Wrestling, viewership and interest went down over the years and they were almost taken out of the games. Now Wrestling has modified the rules and the uniform (long sleeve, so there will be more scores), so that people can better understand what's going on. Changes in these sport are good because if they get viewers they reach more people. The purist have a problem with these changes because they tend to be close minded. If these changes increase viewership and revenue, they stay around. Martial artist who look at competition as something bad are usually those who would never get on a mat and test themselves. They will criticize those who do.  When people see martial arts on TV (movie, sport, etc.), interests increases. If a kid goes to a martial arts school because he or she wants to be an Olympian, it is a good thing. They get exposure to the marital arts, they have an opportunity to compete and the instructor has the opportunity to show them other aspects besides competition.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Practical Vs. Theory

You go to school and study something and then you go into the real world and find out that most often things are not like they are in theory. This is the case in most fields of study. Medicine, Law, Mechanics, Cooking and Fighting. In martial arts, so many practitioners get got up in how things are supposed to work. I see guys over thinking and talking about what they think will and won't work. I am of the mind set of learning through doing. I don't think about strategies and pre plans in combat. I believe in having an open mind and being adaptable to the situation. There is no specific way you have to do anything. There is no script to how things will play out. You figure it out through doing and then you use that experience to build on. When choosing a surgeon, patients will ask for referrals to find a doctor who has the experience and reputation to make them comfortable. When you look for a builder to redesign your home, they usually come through referrals. These let you know that they have experience. You usually don't go for the new inexperienced guy. In martial arts, I am amazed that people will join a martial arts school with the intention of learning how to fight from instructors who have never fought. These same consumers will go to the barber shop and ask for a Master Barber. They don't go to the barber school for the free cuts from the up and coming barber. Now it would make sense to get free lessons from the new martial arts instructor with zero fighting experience. But, a lot of people pay a lot of money to somebody who has some stripes on his belts and no fights. I'm not saying that one can't find quality instruction from such a guy. But, in most cases I would never let somebody with less experience at doing what I'm trying to learn teach me anything. I've they don't have the practical experience, neither should you.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Martial Arts Weapon Training

In looking at martial arts training with weapons, keep in mind that most of it is theory and a lot of it is for show. When you see forms (Katas) with weapons a lot of time you see a lot of twirling and spinning. You see light weight staffs and nunchaku so the can move faster. Real weapons have a little more weight to them and you won't be spinning nunchaku in a real fight because you don't want to drop them. When you hit with them you have to hit at an angle toward the end so that they don't bounce back at you. Most of your swings will be at a 45 degree angle. You won't be releasing them and flipping them. All that is for show. You see demonstrations with the nunchaku against other weapons (usually a staff or a sword). The look good, but the nunchaku isn't that effective against the longer range weapons. They work best as an element of surprise against an unarmed opponent. The Octagon shaped nunchaku provides a good edged angle to cause a nice blunt force trauma attack. They can severely bruise an opponent and can be used to break bone. They can be used to choke or be twisted around a joint.

The staff (Bo) is a long range weapon for blunt force trauma. You will see 2 martial artist dual with the Bo but real combat won't look like the demos. If your opponent gets in close range, it's going to be hand to hand.

The tonfa is a good one. Because it is like re-enforcing your you forearms and extending your fists. You can fight better with this one over the others in my opinion. The cops use this one.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Left Hook To The Liver

One of the most effect punches in fighting is the liver shot. The punch is a combination of a hook and uppercut. This is also known as a shovel punch because of the upward angle it lands. Unlike a punch to the head (which may or may not hurt), the liver punch hurts instantly when hit causing the diagram to release all air. You can't breath and you feel like quitting. The liver is located on right side of the body right at the 9th and 10th lower ribs (floating ribs).  The vagus nerve is also affected by the liver shot causing chemical reactions in the nerves sending a shockwave along the vagal nerve network. This can cause of loss of breath or temporary paralysis. Pain, high stress, dehydration and digestive problems can occur. Blunt force can crush blood vessels and lacerations of the liver (internal bleeding). Below is a clip of one of might kickboxing bouts with the late Larry Jarrett. Larry was an international and world champion as well as a pro boxer. You will see me land a head kick first which dazes him and then you will see a liver shot land. Notice the difference in how his body responds to the 2 blows. Now he does recover and continued to fight (this is rare because most opponents I hit with liver shots did not).

Friday, May 20, 2016

Heart and Spirit

It's a given that you have to be in shape for fighting. Everybody works out. Some harder than others. But what is most important in fighting? Is it the fighters who has the state of the art equipment? Is it the fighting who has several coaches? Sure these things are helpful, but I think heart and spirit are most important. With those 2 things, comes the will to win. I know a lot of strong athletes who fold when things are no longer easy and they can rely on athleticism. Once you get tired, the will to win is what propels you forward. You will eventually feel pain, fatigue, etc. It is your spirit that will pull you through the fires of doubt. Continue to train with all of your special devices, coaches, etc. But, make time to focus from the inside out. Visualize and meditate on finding your inner power because you will find that it is just as important as your outer power.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Money Vs. Notorious In Boxing

You may heard about the possibility of Floyd and Conner boxing. They say anything can happen in sports, but it is next to impossible that he can beat floyd in a boxing match. Even if Floyd was 60 and fat. In the times were MMA is seen as the sport of the future and superior to boxing, only those who've never sparred with an Olympian (or local state champion) would say that. I have seen combat athletes try to cross over to boxing, mainly kick boxers. Even though boxing is part of kickboxing the skill level of pure boxers in the punching department tends to be superior. I'm not saying the combat athlete coming to boxing has no chance. But, unless you've started boxing a young age, it is doubtful (not impossible) that you will become an Olympic level or successful pro boxer. We've seen good pure athletes become successful in some of the other combat sports, but this almost never the case in boxing. Back to the Conner and Floyd fight. Of course he should take the fight against Floyd if the opportunity arises. It will definitely be worth his while. But to zero pro boxing matches against a fighter of Floyd's caliber, come on.

Monday, May 16, 2016

What Is Most In Important In Training?

I watch a lot of guys train and everybody wants a trainer. That's fine because a good coach will motivate you and help you push yourself a little further. But, I personally feel that you must do this from within. I believe that champions are somewhat self trained. People put to much into what others can give them. I feel that you have the power to give yourself more than anyone else can give you. I watched world champions train and nobody was telling them what exercises to do and how many rounds of this or that to do. These athletes just do it. Sure they listen to pointers from a coach here and there, but for the most part they are Ronins (masterless Samurai) following a routine developed through self-exploration. As a fighter one has to get in the ring and do it. Through repetition and experience you will find the way. I don't care how many drills you do or what the experts tell you. You have to learn it yourself.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

This Style Vs. That Style

On Facebook and Youtube, I always see videos posted showing style vs. style. I see Muay Thai vs. Taekwondo, Kyokushin Vs. Karate, MMA Vs. Kickboxing, etc. These are intended to give one the impression that one style is superior to another. If a Taekwondo athlete (primarily a kicker) fights a kick boxer (primarily boxing with some kicks) and losses in a kickboxing match, it seems like the kick boxer is superior.

In most cases you always see the style that they are trying to make look bad having a fighter fight the rules of the style they are trying to display as superior. You never see the kick boxer competing under teakwondo rules. If they one day competed under one fighter's rules and the other fighters's ruleset it would most likely come out 50/50. The great MMA Heavyweight Fedor defeated many fighters who were champions at their individual disciplines. He beat top rated K-1 kick boxers, Olympic level wrestlers and judoka. He beat these athletes in MMA. But how would he fair against them in their individual specialties? Most likely he would have the opposite result.

You can be a kickboxing champion, but that doesn't mean you can be a boxing champion. There a very few to achieve titles in both sports (with none being dominate in both for a long time). So, before you criticize an art, go and compete in it for a while. If you find it easy to win against a well trained opponent, then make a video or comment.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Battle Tested

Should your martial arts instructor have some kind of combat experience? I would say yes. People practice martial arts for many reasons. Outside of self defense, there is fitness, stress relief, competition, culture (perhaps of a specific country), and others. With self defense being the main purpose of martial arts, your instructor should fight experience. What kind of fight experience? Well they should be able to apply there martial art to a non-compliant, resisting opponent in a stressful situation. They don' have grow in the streets or have defended the country in war. But, they should have some kind of experience that you can find out about to determine if they can teach you how to fight more than you already can. They don't have to be a champion fighter, but they should have more than a few fights. I can't say that I've ever learned a lot from somebody who had less experience than I did. Perhaps you can learn some exercises or drills, but when it comes down to what will work in a fight, always go with experience.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Pioneers of Muay Thai In Atlanta

In looking at the art and sport of Muay Thai in Atlanta. The earliest fighters that I know of who were competing international in Atlanta were Tony Reed and Larry McFadden. Both these guys would fight in kickboxing (above the waist rules), international kickboxing (with low kicks) and Muay Thai (with clinching, knees and elbows). I met both of these guys in the late 80s and the famous Asa's Gym in Atlanta. Asa's gym was the place to train if you kick boxed. My first experience sparring with low kicks was with Tony and some guys at Dennis Palmer's gym. Dennis is a lifelong martial artist and trainer. He was also a prominent referee for kickboxing and Muay Thai. Larry fought some of the best fighters of that era (Rob Kaman, Dennis Alexio, etc.) and Tony trained and competed in Holland (the hot bed of kickboxing in Europe). I will credit these 2 fighters as the pioneers of Muay Thai In Atlanta.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

To Be Better Compete And Train With The Best

In looking back at my competitive career I better see that I have had the pleasure of competing and training with some of the best.  Many in martial arts will have their opinion on what art has the best punches, kicks, throws, submissions, etc. Some may compete in one combat sport and think that they've faced a good puncher or kicker (in kickboxing for example). I am lucky to have some cool and always humbling experiences. I've been punched by Olympic and world class professional boxers. I've kicked against some of the top Tae Kwon Do players (U.S. Team members). I've experienced the hand and foot combinations of several World Champion Kickboxers, I've feel the clinch of champion Muay Thai fighters, I've been thrown by top Judoka (including a couple of Olympians). I been twisted like a pretzel by a World BJJ Champion. Through competition and training I've been humbled many times and at the same time I've been truly blessed. I have trained in the martial art for 42 years and I am still learning.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

When To Finish An Opponent

When should one look for push for a finish in a fight? Do you start out throwing bombs at the very beginning. When you have have an opponent hurt or sense intense fatigue is when you pour it on to look for a finish. Keep in mind at the beginning of a match, the opponent is fresh and sharp. I'm not saying that a knockout can't happen early, but this is not common. Many times you can't knock a guy down early and they can recover and continue fighting like it never happened. It is harder to recover from punishment once the body is fatigued. So, if you hurt someone early on, be sure that you don't gas out trying to force a finish that is not there. They are trying to protect themselves and will look to run, hold, and do whatever to survive. You have to asses the situation and still pick your shots and determine it is time to finish or continue softening your opponent up.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Why I Enjoy What I Do

Though combat sports I've had the opportunity to challenge and test my skills against some of the best martial artists around. In boxing, I fought an Olympic Bronze Medalist. Through Kickboxing and Shidokan, I have had the opportunity to fight a Muay Thai World Champions, World Champion Kickboxers, a North American Kyokushin Champion, a World Sport JuJitsu Champion, and some strong veteran MMA fighters. In Judo I have had the opportunity to get on the mat with a couple of ranked Senior Players (in my 40s). I've competed against some incredible Veteran (or Master's) Judo athletes in the IJF Veterans World Championship. I will be 50 this year and the sky is still the limit. I am able to challenge myself and still grow as a martial artist and person. So, follow you passion and never give up a dream. There will be ups and downs along the way. Being able to have the journey is what makes it fun. Search.

Monday, March 7, 2016

The Fights At UFC 196 Were Not Upsets

Sure, you've seen or heard about the last UFC fight show. Tate defeated Holm and Diaz defeated McGregor. Many are happy to see the "Notorious"lose. Are these upsets? No. This is the fight game. Both Holly and Conner stepped up to the plate. Both Meisha and Nate stepped up to the plate. The are warriors. Warriors fight. Belts, titles, wins, losses, etc. are all part of fighting. At the end of the a fighter wants to be able to say, "I went in there and laid it on the line". If one can say that, win, lose or draw the can be content. While many will rest on their laurels or never step up to the plate, those who do will always be fulfilled. At the end of the day, it doesn't matter what others think of you. It's what you think of yourself. And if you have the courage to challenge yourself to do something others will never try, then you feel good about yourself.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Drilling Vs Doing

How does one become proficient at doing something? Should you drill or perform the activity real time. For me personally, I prefer to just do it. When I played soccer as a youth, we would scrimmage to prepare for the game. When I boxed,sparring was the main method of preparation (same for kickboxing, judo, etc.). I never really did a lot of drills because I felt that after a certain point they created a pattern to how one moves and reacts. I always wanted to be adaptable, so I would just do. This may not work for all, but it is my believe. I want to be like water and be adaptable.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Discipline & Consistent Training

They way people learn in martial arts is very different than it was years ago. People tend to want to learn flash and flare over basics and they try skip on to what they see as advanced before perfecting the basics. It isn't fun to run, skip rope, shadow box, hit the bag, do push ups, etc. day in and day out. It is exciting to work on one or 2 things for one training session. People get bored easily and want to move on to the next hottest thing (not just in the gym, but in other aspects of life). Well, the basics are most important and when all else fails, you can fall back on them. The discipline of training day in and day out for the sake of training is what we must do. This is how you build a foundation. Take your time and build your house strong. Don't throw it up quickly (like a lot of the new subdivisions these days). Make it last.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Be In The Moment

People like to plan out strategies to prepare for fights. The work on drills based on what they think their opponent is going to do. They work on some special weapon that they will need to defeat their opponent. I never took that approach. I don't pre-plan. I live in the moment. What this means is that I go with no expectations. I flow with the situation. In the moment, I find my way to victory. When I train I work on strong basics. I believe that the basics are what positions for success. So, don't look at what someone did yesterday and assume that it will be the same today. You are not his or her last opponent. You don't move, think or look like their last opponent. Be yourself and be in the moment.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Judo And Taekwondo Are The Most Popular Martial Arts

Have you wondered what the most popular martial arts are? They are Judo and Taekwondo. Both are Olympic sports and are practiced worldwide. For male sports, the sport must have 75 countries and 4 continents and for female sports, 40 countries and 3 continents. Both have a governing body and recognized world championships. Every time I've visited a another country and turned on a sports channel, I've seen some Judo on TV. Now of course sports like boxing and wrestling are popular too, but I'm referring to traditional arts. Karate is very popular, but there a thousands of styles that don't associated with each other for political reasons and what not. Tai Chi is probably the most practiced non sport martial art. In the U.S. many think Kickboxing and MMA are more popular. In the U.S. Judo has never been really popular. I would say Taekwondo has been and still is. In my home state, I see more Taekwondo schools than any other type of martial art.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Tway Ma Shaung Highlight (Bare Knuckle Lethwei)

This is a great video showing Lethwei fighting. It is a bare knuckle style of fighting wear the fighters only wrap their hands. Very much like Muay Thai (with head butts, standing chokes, etc. included. You have to knock the opponent out to win. No point system. Once you get past the brutality of it, you can appreciate seeing what skilled fighting looks for real. Imagine these skills on the street. It is pure and practical.