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.

May 092012
 

Depending on what you read, MMA is either human dog fighting, a sport that should be included in the Olympics, what True martial arts should be, or an abomination that needs to be stopped. Therefore when you tell your friends and family that your are training for MMA, it will conjure many different pictures in their minds, here are a few.

This is what your parents think you do when you tell them you do MMA

Thats nice honey, I hear its good for your flexibility

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Mar 262012
 

Found this interesting video on a Qigong master. In this video they use an infrared camera to measure the “energy” he puts out. Then like all good martial arts master, he dons a cape and does a few more tricks.

I was skeptical at first, but when I realized that he was also a super hero, it helped me put things into perspective. And after all, what better way for a doctor to prove his treatments work to walk across sheets of paper. I mean its directly applicable. But anyway still mighty interesting. I figure if I show Ki failing I should show some clips of it working too.

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Mar 192012
 

As a martial arts instructor, I have found the growing popularity of the UFC and MMA on a whole to be really helpful in marketing and heck, just talking about my martial arts. People know what Kick boxing is, or what Brazilian Jiu Jitsu means. When I say Judo, I don’t receive nearly the amount of blank stares I used to get.

I read an article in Black belt magazine where Bill “Superfoot” Wallace said that MMA was a fad that would burn out soon. Of all the old martial arts greats, I tend to agree with Superfoot the most. However on this issue, it sounds like traditional martial artist denial. During the 1980s when the ninja craze hit, everyone was jumping on the ninja band wagon. Ninja turtle rip off logos were seen in dojos, everyone was teaching swords, nunchaku, and sai, even if their martial art didn’t include them. But MMA is different. It didn’t try to simply market itself to kids and nerds. It tried to get the respectability of boxing, with the mystic of martial arts. It wasn’t enough to get Tiger Claw and Century to sponsor things it worked to get sponsors outside of the martial arts world. It even recruited fighters from outside the martial arts world! It created an environment that made adults want to watch and kids dream of participating. More after the jump

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Mar 122012
 

Tying your belt is one of the simplest things a martial artist learns to do. This skill will help you with nothing in real life. I can think of nothing other then your martial art’s belt that you will use the knot you learn, but ironically, any martial art touched by Japanese martial culture ties them pretty much the same.

For a few martial arts, the belt (obi) is used to fight with, but for the rest, its a cheap piece of cotton that mostly says “Dude, I am better then you.”
Of course sensei’s around the world will gasp and mentally round kick me in the head, but lets face it, if it wasn’t to rub the fact that you are higher ranking in someone else’s face, we would all receive a card to keep in our wallets, that way we could identify ourselves in the rare event that someone cared what rank we were and allow us to avoid the deadly sin of hubris (that’s pride for those of you who slept through school).

No matter what your rank, and no matter what your skill, nothing kills your martial arts credibility like tying your belt wrong. Its like writing a wonderfully well reasoned and eloquent paper, no matter how awesome your thought, your point will be dismissed out of hand because you misspelled a word. As a public service to you, I am presenting you with skills that will blow the socks off your martial comrades.

Three different ways to tie your belt!

After the jump

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Dec 292011
 

The Internet has done great things for the country. We can send messages anywhere in the world quickly and for free. Pictures of cats doing funny things can now be shared with dizzying speed, and best of all, trash talk among martial arts can reach epic levels.

To illustrate, I have assembled a pie chart for your examination.

Martial arts online

This is based on information I made up on the spot which I have acquired from years of making things up. However, since this was plugged into a pie chart, I insist is stands as undeniable proof misuse of Internet resources by the martial arts. Naturally, this blog belongs in that 4% you see there in red.

Why do I say that martial arts are misusing their bandwidth? It comes down to a joke I heard the other day.

Dude 1: How many martial artists does it take to screw in a light bulb?

Dude 2: I don’t know, how many?

Dude 1: One hundred. One to screw in the light bulb and ninety nine to watch and complain about how under qualified he is.

Dude 2: I don’t get it.

But I did. 86% of the Internet martial arts resources are devoted to talking about how much the martial artists love their own martial art and how bad they think all other martial arts are, and how stupid their followers are. Now I see nothing wrong with this. It is a time honored tradition of martial arts to talk trash about each other, but it used to be confined to the dojo and it used to be couched in flowery respectful language.

Instructor: I visited (fill in the blank martial arts school) today.

Student: How was it.

Instructor: Their teacher was very respectful.

Student: Thats good. How was the class.

Instructor: You know that I have always said to be respectful of other styles, so I don’t want to be disrespectful to theirs, but I could have totally killed everyone there with my eight fingered wing chop of death.

Now you don’t have to go to class. In fact, you don’t even have to attend class. I get the feeling that most of these young trash talkers have never been to a class! Listen young whippersnappers, the forms must be observed! Talk trash the way its supposed to be done, with back biting and double talk, none of this flaming and TYPING IN CAPS! And no, I don’t care how long you have “Trained UFC on youtube” and “Wrestling my little brother” doesn’t count either, you

Dec 142011
 

Tell me that isn't kind of cool...in a fat kind of way.

Am I weird for wishing that more Sumo would come and fight MMA?

Don’t answer that.

I look at Sumo Wrestlers and I see martial artists with alot in common to today’s Combat Sport fighters. They live in their training camps, they focus solely on training and…heh…shaping their bodies to compete, and they are plagued by accusations of corruption and steroid usage. You may remember my article on them earlier this year

People like to point out that they haven’t done very well in MMA up until this point, but I want to point out that there have only been three Sumo to try so far. That really doesn’t give you a good picture of how the fighting style would do. I mean heck, pro wrestlers manage to do well, yes Brock, I am thinking of you, so why not Sumo? More after the break

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Dec 022011
 

Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming crazy kung fu master

We martial artists look at other athletes and sneer. They aren’t in the same class as we are. We are warriors. We have no off season. Life is our season! There are no scholarships to be earned in martial arts, we pay for the privilege of being hammered and twisted and slammed over and over. So how would you feel about signing up to do nothing but train 24/7 at a remote location for 10 years?

Yeah, I’m dedicated, not crazy. I’d miss the internet, friends, pets, even my wife. Well Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming, decided to just that. He wanted to take young martial artists and get them to dedicate themselves to a 10 year training program out in the mountains. The discription from their website is as follows.

“YMAA Retreat Center in Humboldt County, CA is a nonprofit organization established in 2005 by the founder of YMAA (Yang’s Martial Arts Association), world renowned author and teacher, Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming, Ph.D. The purpose of this organization is to restore and preserve traditional Chinese martial arts and culture to their original level of high quality and standards.”

Although Yang is the only live in instructor, he also brings in other kung fu masters to work with his students. How many? Only 12, and so far, four years into the project, 7 have quit. In early 2012 Yang is going to allow six more students to join for a shorter five year program, so if you are interested, give’m a call (707) 502-8739

Yang says that after the 10 year program is finished, he plans on retiring completely. Crazy or not, this is pretty cool. I am still kind of confused as to how you get a 10 year commitment out of people, but salute to you, you crazy kung fu cult.