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.