Nov 282011
 

We live in a truely wonderous time for martial arts. No matter what anyone says, martial arts has never been healther or stronger then today. Hopefully that will continue for a long time. Strict traditional martial artists lament claiming its the death of martial art, citing the evils that are Combat Sports. The Reality based self defense martial artists don’t care much one way or another, they just point a finger at the passing teenager and say “Don’t you try non of that UFC crappling on me! I’ll put a hurting on you!”

In the past you trained in the style that was near to you. So if you lived in a small town, and decided to learn how to fight, you had no choice but to train at Tom’s Karate school. If you lived in a bigger city, you might have had more choices, but you took your pick from the three choices you had near you, depending on what you could afford. You might have watched a Bruce Lee movie and thought to your self, “Hey I want to do that!” But when the only Kung fu place in driving distance was Hung Gar school, you might not have even known the difference. When the instructor introduced himself as “Grand master of the everlasting flame of divine enlightenment” and told you that he had personally defeated Bruce Lee in a secret underground blood war, you just said “Oh wow!” I am sure he even had a scroll on the wall of the school written in what you guess was…martial art language! Don’t buy the line that things were better or purer or anything in the “good old days” I’d like to take a moment and map out some of the funny trends in martial arts. After the break

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Nov 252011
 

Alot of reality based martial artists will question the point of studying a sword based martial art. After all, when was the last time you had a katana with you while you were grocery shopping? Tuesday…er… I mean its kind of a good point. But asking what the point of sword fighting in modern times is like asking why a normal red blooded American wants dynamite! Because we’re crazy its cool! No one really needs a .50 Desert Eagle, but I think we can all agree that we want one. And Christmas is just around the corner…so take the hint. Anyway, check out the kenjitsu dude below as he uses his katana to destroy all sorts of whatsit.

 I’m impressed by both his form and the quality of his sword! And his willingness to subject it to harm. Even if its soft steel, I understand that is bad for the blade. I wish the video had subtitles, but I think we get the point. Happy day after Thanks Giving by the way.

Nov 182011
 

You whaaaat?

I wanted to name this post, “I do not care: The New Tao of Jeet Kune Do: You can’t make me: The Scott White Story” But that wouldn’t fit in the title line. So you ask, hey Scott, why all the unprovoked anger today? And I say, “You’re not my dad! You can’t tell me what to do! If I want to run around the dojo wearing a Gi top and no pants….” er… thats a discussion for another day. But my inbox has been getting hit over and over again about the new updated release of the Tao of Jeet Kune Do, which in case you don’t know (what kind of martial artist are you anyway?) was Bruce Lee’s martial arts philosophy. Black Belt mag just did an interview with Shannon Lee, Bruce Lee’s daughter regarding the recently released and expanded version. I didn’t read it, but I am guessing she didn’t say, “Our family decided that if George Lucus can re-release Star Wars every couple of years for no apparent reason, so can we. After all, why shouldn’t we make money with almost no work and less point?” Which would be a shame, because I really would respect such honesty. I mean heck, it is America, where every citizen dreams of one day being paid for not doing much. Anyway here’s list of the reasons behind the release.

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Nov 082011
 

Any traditional martial arts school will tell you that their martial art was developed durring some time of unrest for use in real war or combat and isn’t intended or useful as a “sport”. The term martial means military or war like. As Americans practicing martial arts, it is ineresting to see what our Army thinks might be useful for a soldier in war. They learn what is called Modern Army Combatives. Adapted in 2001 as the brain child of Matt Larsen. Watch below.

 Now I am sure that striking schools will be angry interested to know that they don’t expect to see student’s fighting ability to increase even after several months of training, heh. But I like the idea of focusing on teaching soldiers to fight instead of trying to have them memorize certain situational techniques. I also like how they build off a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu base and start adding kickboxing, Judo and weapons, but all in a fashion that allows for constant full contact training. If this sounds too MMA/Combat Sportish for you, it really echos Jigoro Kano reasons for creating Judo and much of Bruce Lee’s thoughts on training. I just wish there was a better/cheaper way for civilians to train in this blend of martial arts.

 

Oct 312011
 

The only remaining master of the Indian martial art Shastar Vidya, master Nihang Nidar Singh is looking for an heir to the style. Singh has many students around Europe, but he claims that the most advanced students he has have only just reached the point where they can fight him without being hurt. I assume because their beards are no match for his yet.

Shastar Vidiya

 More after the beard…err..break Continue reading »

Oct 202011
 

When we were young alot of us were drawn to the martial arts because of the cool weapons we saw in movies and comic books. I was always trying to figure out how I could carry a sword for self defense, never mind the stupidity of that thought. Almost all of us have played around with throwing knives and blow guns, some of us even played with three sectional staves and chain whips. Ironicly the more normal a weapon is, the less chance there is that it ended up in your training. So I present Five fairly normal weapons that I and most likely you, never trained with

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Oct 172011
 

To those of your who practice truly traditional martial arts, meditation as part of training is nothing new to you. Most of you either start or end your classes at your dojo with meditation. Those of you on the combat sports side of martial arts may have never even thought about meditating.

Meditation for most of us goes against the grain of who we are as Americans. We go to yoga to stretch and get flexibility, not to achieve enlightenment. While you are off contemplating your navel, I’ll be lifting some weights! Lets see who wins now! heh! Or we feel like we are going to be sucked into some sort of pseudo religious craziness, and that isn’t what we signed on for.

That said, no one seems to have a problem with all the odd mental crutches we use to fight our best. This is something alot of traditional martial artists might not have had to deal with, the stress of fighting. Knowing that there is another human being who has trained and pushed him/herself for the chance to hurt you is difficult on the mind. Now bring in the crowd. Hundreds of yelling people all watching you…judging you. Then there’s your team, they might be your teacher, your friends, your family, the people who’s opinion of you matters most. All of these people are waiting for you to walk out and…screw things up. No stress (tries to control facial tick), so we have our lucky gi, or our shorts, or even that groin cup that we wear every time we win. We’ll be ok if we have it, right?

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Sep 292011
 

As a young man raised in the martial arts, I was fed stories of awesome master martial artists that could use their energy to make themselves stronger, root themselves to the ground so that couldn’t be moved, armor themselves against injury, and even read other people’s minds. Naturally,  it was too dangerous couldn’t perform these feats on me. Once an instructor brought in a tape of the UFC, and we watched it and were asked to point out the fighter’s lack of education, and show where the fighters could have been easily knocked out if they had only known the correct pressure points. I asked why a correctly trained fighter had never gone to fight so the world could see their mistake. Because, real martial artists don’t sully themselves with vulgar sport martial arts.

Now its easy to say this is was just a weird teacher. However, its kind a trend in many martial arts schools. I am sure alot of you were raised the same way. I only give this introduction so you know that as I mock this, I feel like I have the background to do so.

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Sep 202011
 

 Every martial art tends to venerate its founder. Those of us who grew up on a diet of martial arts movies and shows attribute almost supernatural powers to the old school masters. For example Chuck Norris can solve a rubix cube in one turn. Its true, I read it on the Internet. Bruce Lee can apparently defeat anybody at anything. His surviving students claim that if he had wanted to, he would have been one of the top three boxers in the world, and that he was really a great grappler, he just never taught it to anyone. No matter how you look at it, we had a time where there were some really great martial artist wondering the world. The question is always asked, how good a fighter were these men really. We hear about how awesome they were, how fast, how deadly, but who did they ever fight? So I’ve compiled a list of famous martial artists and their respective fighting records.

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Sep 192011
 

A really weird argument. One school of BJJ claims grappling in our Jiu jitsu gis is the best way to learn to grapple well. The other school of though says that training in the gi only makes you better at fighting in a gi, if you are going to be grappling without it, or fighting in real life/mma, you need to train without it.

So who is on who’s side. Plenty. Most of the Gracies feel the gi is uber important. Eddie Bravo, and who knows how many MMA Jiu Jitsu guys would argue the other way around. It really doesn’t prove anything to go down a list of fighters and tell you what they feel on the subject, there are nearly endless names on both sides. Let me instead lay out why the average grappler feels on way or another.

The Gi guy likes the gi, because it gives him a real advantage on wrestlers who wonder into class. Sure, double leg me, but with these handles we forced you to wear I can coke you out or at least control you. The No gi guy likes the fact that once he gets all sweaty and slick, holding on to him is really hard. There’s no controlling me. I’ll flail until one of us lands in a submission. People who are less flexible prefer gis, people who are less technical prefer no gi. Yeah, ticked both sides off with that one. I don’t mean everyone! 

Once you reach a higher skill level it starts to come down to this, people who have rank in BJJ like wearing a gi, because it goes with their belt so well, heh, makes them look like the boss. People who have bounced around from school to school might be highly skilled, but would never stay in one place long enough for an instructor to tie a belt around their waist, these people hate the gi because it reminds them that they don’t have the rank to wrap around it. Most of the time when you see a school that says “submission grappling” but doesn’t state a style, that’s him.

Personally? I like some of both. I like to roll in a gi against no gi opponents. I always tell them, “Please, use it against me as much as you can, its good for me.” You have to be willing to work outside your comfort zones, and if you have ever rolled for a few hours in an un air conditioned gym wearing a gi, you will be out of your comfort zone. So I guess I’ll go with the very safe answer of “Just train more.”