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
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.

May 182012
 

Rank was one of the best and worst inventions of martial arts. As a teacher I’ve seen people reach whole new levels of martial proficiency because of the encouragement the pursuit of rank gives them. But everyone knows a few people who either bought their rank online, or simply ordered themselves a black belt and started referring to themselves as “master”. This has been rampant in traditional martial arts for years, but it has even started to bleed over into the combat sport side of martial arts such as Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. I personally like to make fun of the Gracie Academy and their online belt testings as well as their Pink Belt they offer women, but I saw this ad in a magazine lately.

I have no doubts that Marcel would twist me into a knot if he wanted to, but I laugh so hard at the fact that if you fly out and train with him they guarantee you will get a promotion. Not that you will increase your skills, not that you will see results in your training, no, you are guaranteed a belt promotion. I have no idea how much training for two days with Marcel Louzado would cost (his site says he charges $135 an hour), but I am grateful for the honesty in advertising. So please send in your donations, this blog writer has belt to buy

Apr 252012
 

MMA stands for mixed martial arts. BYF either stands for back yard fighting or “look ma, no teeth”. Now that MMA is becoming main stream, I’m kind of surprised that anyone would chose to fight illegally over the safety of legal MMA competition. Thankfully the heat from living in Florida seems to have addled enough brain cells to make it an issue there.

I just saw this in the news, a family Angela Harrison, 36, her husband Brandon Harrison, 27, and his 17-year-old stepson Gage Ford were arrested for running back yard MMA competitions. Someone is making a documentary on the subject, I’ve got a preview below.

Somehow I doubt that no matter what they say, Dana White of the UFC isn’t sending talent scouts to watch poor people beat the sense out of each other. You do have to love how they try to make this out to be a family and community event. I will say this once more, if you want to see how tough you are, there are plenty of legal and legitimate MMA organizations that will even have a doctor on hand. They will even pay you money to fight, and the UFC does pay attention to these events. But I am assuming that people who fight in these events don’t read blogs… or eat solid food very often. But hey, its America, every man has the right to part with his health in the manner he chooses.

 

 

 Posted by at 4:29 pm
Apr 172012
 

We’re Americans right? Well most of you are, according to Google Analytics, I have a surprising number of Brazilian and Canadian readers as well (and two from China! Take that Communism!). But regardless, most of us are consumers! And what can be more American than that?

Anyway, we are in a life long quest to get the most bang for our buck (or Loonie or Real as the case may be) and that holds true for martial artists. A very wise person (who will not be cited here because I’ve forgotten who it was) once said to me, “You don’t choose which martial art you want to train in, you train in what is near you.” And I have found that to be very true. But sometimes the martial art of choice not only is in your area, but there might be more then one location within reasonable driving distance. Then our Consumerism rises up to action. If there is one thing I know for a fact in martial arts, its that there is no such thing as a good teacher. Teachers will always fall into one of two categories. Near god-like and Awful. Believe me. Go find a martial arts school and ask around about its instructor. They will either tell you that master “fill in the blank” can knock you out by spitting at you, he was a world champion in something and something else, and will most likely be chosen to be the next Pope… and he’s Protestant! Now ask around on the other side of town and you will hear that he never train in any martial art at all. His beard is a fake and was stolen from a homeless child, and he was caught on that “To catch a Predator” show. So the quest to find a new martial art school is more difficult then you might think. More after the jump

Continue reading »

 Posted by at 6:18 pm
Apr 052012
 

I really tired hard to find a picture where Diaz looked more intelligent, but I guess there isn"t one.

So I hear that Nick Diaz will be returning to his roots by doing a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Supermatch at the up coming World Jiu-Jitsu Expo set to take place May 12th at the Long Beach Convention Center in Long Beach, California. Which basicly means it will be an MMA match without the parts that are interesting to non-martial artists. When I first started watching the UFC, I asked my karate sensei why the fighters spent so much time hugging each other and rolling around on the ground. Using his vast understanding of fighting, he told me that it was because they didn’t know what they how to fight, and that he would knock them out easily. Heh, and the rest is history. These days I sit there and grind my teeth watching less then perfect boxing as I pray someone will take the other guy down and work a nice submission.

As a martial artist, I am really interested to see the outcome of this “BJJ Super Match” The Diaz brothers, both BJJ Black Belts under Ceasar Gracie have long been renown for their submission abilities. But that’s in the world of MMA. When you step back into the world of total grappling, you find people that have done nothing but grappled for the whole of their lives! I would be very interested to see Diaz show case his talents like this. The WJJE website says that they still haven’t named who Diaz will be fighting, but I’ll keep an eye out.

 Posted by at 10:32 am
Apr 022012
 

Martial arts are a way of life, an art form, and certainly entertaining. Of all sports, they are the easiest to make fun of, mostly because of all athletes, martial artists take themselves the most seriously. Being just past April Fools day made me want to post this, some of the best martial arts demotivational posters.

 

 

Reminds me of a friend of mine, he told me he didn’t want to do all that punching and wrestling junk, he just wanted to learn how to put a guy down and walk away. Now why didn’t we think of that?

More after the break Continue reading »

 Posted by at 11:22 pm  Tagged with:
Feb 242012
 

Although you may not know it, Iran’s nuclear ambition isn’t the only thing that is threatening our nation’s security. Indeed, we have defenses in place that can shoot down plans and missiles, but frankly, most of the Western world is unprepared to deal with Iran’s Ninja Army.

Yeah I know. Ninjas, there goes the neighborhood. If the rest of the world won’t sell Iran cutting edge technology, they decided to dig up some old world war-craft on us. Best part about this is what their stated mission for teaching women ninjutsu. Not to help the women gain personal safety, not to empower them, but no, to defend the nation against outside aggressors.  “We train women to have strength and ability. We have to do everything in our power to protect our homeland,” said Akbar Faraji, who runs the school.  “Our aim is for Iranian women to be strengthened and if a problem arises, we will definitely declare our readiness to defend our Islamic homeland.”

Well I guess ninjutsu is the perfect for them, its the only martial art that already makes its fighters train in a burka.

Continue reading »

Feb 222012
 

A new study has concluded that bathing in cold water after training is great for helping your muscles recover and preventing muscle soreness. 366 people were forced to run for a period, then immerse themselves in tubs of icy water for up to 24 minutes. The result was those who were cruelly  frozen reported less muscle soreness then those who didn’t. We of course realize that tests like these are nothing more then propaganda from coaching lobby groups. The coaching and instructor lobbyists are dedicated the justification of hazing preformed on athletes of all kinds. The glaring flaw with this study is that of course those people who had to sit in an ice bath reported less soreness, they were afraid that they would be forced back into the ice tubs if they didn’t give the answer researchers wanted! Its like saying “New study has found that people who are threaten with violence are less inclined to testify in court then those who haven’t been subjected to intimidation!

Anyone who has done any serious training knows that trainers and coaches of all kinds thrive on hazing their trainees. Martial artists are no different. Look at the Shaolin monks, they made their students stand on their heads for hours and then they made them break bricks on their heads. Judo classes normally start off by making their students repeatedly throw themselves at the ground to “learn how to fall”. (What stupid excuse, everyone knows how to fall! Its basic gravity.) You know that Judo sensei is just standing in the front of class laughing. Karate guys have had to hit wooden poles with their bare fists for years. MMA fighters…well… mixed martial arts training is where the people who like getting hazed go…

But whatever you do now, you can look forward to a nice ice bath when you finish. Remember, I’m gunning pulling for you!

Feb 172012
 

You simply can’t run a martial arts blog without talking about ninjas. I mean you really can’t, ninja’s will enforce this rule and you won’t see it coming. Because they are freaking ninjas!

The other reason is because most people only think of two things when they think of martial arts, Tae Kwon Do (and strangely they think they are thinking of karate), or Ninjitsu (but really they are thinking of Chris Farly). So I guess it is no surprise to you that there are children’s books about ninjas. Well it is a surprise to me!

Because I don’t mean children oriented like anime, I mean like easy reading. I have even found a site that will read it out loud to you, or your child. Now I’ve only listened to a short bit, but the story plot is like this, two kids have a magic tree house and it transports them to Japan where they run into some friendly ninja who help them find their lost friend. Some time down the road the ninja disembow someone and the kids spend the rest of their childhood in thearipy.

I didn’t listen to the end, so that last part may be slightly off the mark, but last time I checked the main things ninjas did was killing folks, and interestingly enough most parents try to keep their children away from that kind of thing, or so I am told.

 Posted by at 8:16 am