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 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

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!

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.

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 262011
 

I belive children are our future, unless we stop them now.

 

So impressive. I love the fact that the child looks so scary, but when he talks, you can tell he’s just a normal little boy. A normal little boy who moves with more grace while doing pad work then most fighters I know. I know this raises issues of how healthy it is for kids to be training like that, and we wonder if their father is pushing them too much, but there is also the chance they are loving it, and its good that a father spends that much time with his kids. I wonder if he’d adopt me?

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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