May 272013
 

The constant controversy in martial arts always comes down to a childish shouting match between marital arts masters and survivalists over who’s style is better or more realistic in real life. The more Combat Sport oriented martial artists will eventually offer to simply fight anyone to prove their point, the Reality based martial artist will point out that staging a fight where both parties know they are fighting and the circumstances in which it will take place invalidates the any true correlation to a real fight, and the Traditional martial artist will point out that their way has worked for hundreds of years, and therefore doesn’t need any more testing.

However one thing that we can all agree on, is that when you are truly fighting for you life, having a weapon trumps fighting empty handed every time.

More after the jump

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May 092013
 

Well last time I picked on Jiu Jitsu noobs, today let me pick on those of you that do striking. This list might be more important then the last list because I’ve noticed that tempers flare faster during striking then grappling, mostly because there is something irritating about being punched in the nose. A martial arts school is a community and you will progress faster as part of that community with the teaching of your coach and the assistance of your training partners. Nothing slows training like ticking off that community. Here’s some tips to make sure you get the most out of your training.

5. Don’t talk while you spar.

First off, if you get hit with your mouth open, its easier to lose a tooth or dislocate your jaw. Second, if your partner is a nice guy, he’ll keep stopping every time you start talking and after a while that gets annoying. You can talk before and after, during just confuses things.

4. Spar like everyone else is sparring, house rules apply

If people are going at it fairly hard, go ahead and spar hard, if they are all taking it easy, just chill. Don’t try to change the game. I’m awful at soccer, but when I am brow beat to play, I don’t pick up the ball with my hands, or tackle people. If I am a BJJ black belt, I’m might feel like taking everyone down and submitting them, but in a boxing class, that is frowned upon. If I’m a boxer, don’t get annoyed that people might take you down in an MMA class.

3. Don’t teach other people

In martial arts, we are always either learning or teaching something or another. But when you are new to a school or club, you don’t have a rapport with these people. Even with best intentions, you’ll come across as saying you’re better then them. Maybe you are, but they aren’t going to accept it until you prove it. That’s better left to a demonstration over time, not to informal coaching during a water break.

2. Don’t overcome nervousness with power.

To some of you pros, there’s nothing stressful about sparring. To new guys, it can be overwhelming. That leads some people to try to suppress their nerves with swinging for the fences on every strike thrown. Best case scenario, you offend everyone by hurting your partner and your partners become opponents for the next month. Worst case, your partner knocks you out. It happens, and it isn’t fun nor is it healthy for you.

1. Don’t get angry.

I say this is #1 because the main difference between sparring and fighting is emotional control. Anger is infectious. You get mad, your partner gets mad, and the whole evening falls apart. People get hurt, feelings get hurt, and the whole thing disintegrates into you unfriending people on Facebook. But really, its hard to keep emotions from bubbling up when you are exhausted and hurt, but if you want to keep training, you need to keep it together. Let your partner have the win, say you need a break and get some water. Bite down on your mouth piece and swallow whatever you planned on saying. This is part of training too.

 Posted by at 12:03 pm
Apr 122013
 

I love Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. I had studied other martial arts before learning BJJ, but there is something different about it that changed how I look at, train, and teach martial arts now. Below are some pointers for anyone starting Jiu Jitsu.

1. Don’t tell everyone how much you already know.

One of the great things about BJJ is that you will get the chance to roll with, and tap out most everyone in class, every class you attend. If you are already a grappling wonder, they will figure it out in short order. When you over sell your abilities you either offend the members of your class by appearing arrogant, or at least you will convince them not to offer pointers since they figure you already know, and you’ll spend more time trying to figure things out on your own.

 

2. Don’t try so hard to win, try hard to play.

They say that Jiu Jitsu is like chess. Remember what it was like when you learned to play chess (I don’t know, are kids still playing chess?)? The first few games where more about remembering how the pieces moved then really trying to win. If you are in your first few classes of Jiu Jitsu, you still don’t know the moves of the game. Give it time. Watch how the people are playing against you and learn from that. When you get submitted, ask what just happened. If you spend the entire match hugging your opponent to death, you won’t be learning anything.

 

3. Don’t try to teach other people during the teaching time.

You just started Jiu Jitsu, the other students know this, your instructor knows it too. No one cares what you saw on Youtube and no one wants corrected by someone that isn’t the teacher. Its off-putting and opens you up to being corrected by everyone else. You might even be right, but no one cares.

 

4.  Don’t talk during grappling.

You’re new and nervous, but avoid talking when you grapple. Its confusing to your opponent and breaks up the round. An occasional “Sorry I stepped on your eye.” is fine, but this is not the time to talk about the most recent Ultimate Fighter episode, or even how much you hate getting caught in someone’s guard. If you are the quiet guy (or girl) who just steadily fights every class, everyone will want to roll with you.

 

5. Don’t brag about tapping someone out.

I get it, this might be the first time you’ve ever beaten this person, but jumping up and proclaiming it or bragging to people after class is a good way to make sure it doesn’t happen again. This one sounds like simple good sportsmanship, but it happens. Don’t say ” I took Brian out with that Kimora.” Say something like “I finally caught someone with that Kimora” Just leave Brian out of it. No one minds it when new guys are happy to be doing well, we’re all trying to get you up to speed, but without the good will of your training partners, its going to be hard to progress.

Oct 222012
 

I hate when I do that, basicly gave away the entire article in the title. That basicly means I am typing something that no one is going to read…oh, heh, so just a normal blog post for me.

In anycase, for anyone who has watched Xena, or anyother hokey show with woman warriors,  are used to this over done plot point. You know the one, warrior maid refuses to marry until she meets the man who can defeat her in combat. Because that is what women really want in a husband. Not a great job, not a caring personallity. No, they want a man who can and will rough them up and boss them around….naturally these shows are written by men who never have and never will get to know real women.

Or will they? In China there are two women, Xiao Lin and her sister Yin  who say they will not marry until they are challenged and defeated in combat by a suitor. Lin says “They can choose open-hand combat or any weapon they wish but we won’t be  holding back. If they can’t beat us, they aren’t worthy.” Her sister Yin says “We tried dating agencies but the men we met were all too weak. ‘We could beat  them easily. So we went back to ancient ways, called bi wu zhao qin, which was  how warrior princesses would find their men.”

And to top it all off, they will be wearing masks so their suitor/opponents won’t know which one they are fighting, or even what they look like until afterward. It sounds like a scam to me.

 

Aug 232012
 

If you watch the UFC, you know that the US Marine Corp sponsors the company. However a petition has been sent to the  Marine Commandant Gen. James Amos to drop sponsorship of UFC fights, which they  claim promote violence and bigotry. I’m not sure about the bigotry, but I think we can admit that there is violence in the UFC, but you think that would be a selling point to organization like the Marines. Interestingly enough, the petition isn’t coming from some sort of family based moral watch dog organization, or even a military oriented organization, its being pressed by UNITE HERE which is a labor union that represents  hotel, food service, and casino workers.

The head of the Union, said “I don’t follow the UFC and I don’t know the cast of characters, but when I see  the Marine Corps using them as recruitment vehicle and they’re using these  made-up characters to say things that I find personally disgusting, I’ve got to  take action, the Marine Corps should not be associated with  that.” Which really shows that he doesn’t know anything about the UFC or MMA in general and seems to be confusing it with Pro Wrestling. Sir, they don’t have a cast of made up characters…unless you are counting Chael Sonnon, but still no one asked him to act like that. It could also be because Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta who own the UFC also run a string of non union Casinos. In fact the Union admits that is really the main point. The line of logic is fantastic, “You aren’t union, but you should be. Therefore the Marines shouldn’t support you. Brilliant.

Now, in their defense, they point out that fighters often say really awful and stupid things either in interviews or through places like Twitter. And they are right, but have they looked at alot of Twitter posts? Its not exactly the source of balance and reason for our generation.

They also claim “We believe the homophobic and sexist statements of people associated with the  UFC are deeply at odds with the values of the Marine Corps and conflict with the  Defense Department’s stated commitment to tolerance and respect for diversity,” I think they are thinking about this incident.

But in the UFC’s defense, that was PRIDE, which was at the time a Japanese Company.

Thankfully, there has been no indication that the Marine Corp is planning to cut their UFC ads.

 

Aug 222012
 

And in other news… Ronda Rousey beat Sarah Kaufman in Strike force. However, I have talked about that so much that I don’t feel like posting on that subject. Instead I offer you this short video.

See wasn’t that more fun?

Aug 142012
 

When I’m not working or training, there is a great chance that I am trolling the Internet for weird martial arts stuff. Normally, I use the term to mean “… a method of fishing where one or more fishing lines, baited with lures or bait fish, are drawn through the water. ” (Thank you wikipedia). But today I mean trolling, as in like a troll, or just picking on someone.

It starts with ninjas. Ninjutsu is a real martial art from Japan, and I am sure there are some real practitioners of the style here in the USA, however we can never be sure, since they are so well hidden. Ninja are like the Where’s Waldo of martial artists. So when I find a website advertising their whereabouts, I think I need to look into it.

As I scrolled down the web page of one such school I was greeted by one of the greatest martial arts statements I’ve ever heard.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And I did read more. However they didn’t tell me about this magic that replaces muscles in martial arts. I did get to read about the instructor though. He’s a black belt, and also awarded the rank of “Warrior Knight of the Shielding Blade” But don’t worry this brand of magic ninjutsu focuses only on proven and practical magical fighting techniques.

Jul 252012
 

Wow, just wow. With the Olympics going on, Martial arts like Judo are enjoying more of the spotlight then they normally get since for a change you can actually watch it on tv. The rest of the time martial arts like Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Muay Thai, and boxing are more easily viewed, if only through MMA matches. Because of this, Black Belt Magazine did an interview with the current head of the United States Judo Association, Gary Goltz. You can watch it below.

During one of the questions about BJJ, Sensei Goltz laughingly says that Judoka say BJJ stands for “Basically Just Judo”.  And with a blog named “From the Guard” I think you can decide for yourself what my personal reaction to this statement is. Of course if you are paying attention, you will notice that he says that BJJ is more like what Judo was before the 1960s…. which makes you wonder who gets to claim who…

Jul 222012
 

I don’t know how I missed it before now. I finally found the web comedy Enter the Dojo this afternoon. It chronicles the Ameri-do-te master Ken in his martial arts school. What is either so sad its funny or so funny that its sad, is that it reminds me of karate class when I was younger. The talk, the phrases, even the movements. You need to check this out.

Jul 192012
 

We all know them. It doesn’t matter if you train for MMA competitions, or if you are even in a combat sport. They are everywhere. I like to call them Tapout Kids, and they are spreading. They are a cunning hunter that wants to corner you and waste your time with trivia and options that the Internet would blush to be associated with, but like all true wannabes they have never worked in or trained for the sport which spawned them. They are at your gym, lurking at the mall, employed at your job and they can only be avoided if you know what to look for. Below is a list of signs that the person in front of you is a Tap Out Kid.

 

 

 

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