Oct 2011 12

Have you ever experienced the doldrums where you begin to question yourself and feel down? Do you need something to pick you up and make you feel alive again? It’s no question that exercise is a great remedy for the doldrums, but many are no longer motivated to follow a traditional practical route via the Martial Arts. I’ve seen time and time again the effectiveness of the various arts in improving people’s physical and psychological wellbeing but the reason is sometimes difficult to pinpoint. Self respect is tied to self esteem and the martial arts instil respect in all ‘apprentices’. Not only this, but the human psyche can be profoundly boosted by a sense of purpose and a belief that we are strong and capable of defending both ourselves and our families.  By adopting a Martial Art you set yourself on a path of improvement.

I have personally recommended Martial Arts training to many who have felt this way with great success. Training for self-defense or fighting gets to the very core of the human psyche primarily because genetically, we were designed to survive, and of course that includes defending ourselves.

With this in mind, it’s no coincidence that people begin to start feeling better when they begin some form of Martial Arts training. This goes way beyond the physical aspects of good training; it begins to get to the matter of having a clear sense of progress and attainment. Over the years many a person has questioned their sense of purpose as they sat in an office cubicle or classroom gazing out the window. This is perfectly normal. But what I’m telling you is sometimes the solution lies right before your eyes.

Bear in mind there are countless forms of Martial Arts training and many different styles. There are programs for beginners, those who just want to be exposed to a system, cardio classes for a good workout, and those places to go where you can learn to be a fighter, whether you choose to fight out in the world or not.

The workout you get from a Martial Arts training program can be all over the map. There are programs where you barely bust a sweat to the extreme systems where you’re training very hard. My advice is always being slow and you’ll gradually find the type of training that was meant for you. Don’t overtrain in the beginning or you may become disillusioned and quit. The key to success is commitment, forward thinking and common sense. Set yourself achievable goals and work towards them with determination.

If you’re determined to master MMA yourself but tired of typical training routines, find classes expensive or simply want to become a Mixed Martial Arts guru at your own leisure I’d certainly recommend taking a look at our online tuition program. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Sep 2011 17

Martial arts are now practiced throughout the world. About 100 million people participate in the martial arts as a means of self-defense, physical fitness, mental tranquility, and competition. There are about 200 distinct martial arts, and within each one are specific schools called styles or systems. These styles number in the thousands.

Despite the array of martial arts and styles, most of them share common techniques, and so they can be organized into broad categories that facilitate understanding. The primary way of classifying martial arts is by the basic physical technique they use: striking or grappling.

The striking technique, technically referred to as percussive, uses blows with the hands, elbows, feet, knees, and head. Such popular martial arts as karate, kung fu, and tae kwon do fall under this category.

Grappling arts, on the other hand, primarily employ throwing, locking, and wrestling techniques. These arts seek to neutralize aggressive action by gaining control over an adversary without necessarily striking the person. The most popular grappling arts are jujutsu, judo, and aikido.

Judo (Japanese for ‘gentle way’) is an art of self-defense developed from jujutsu in 1882 by Japanese educator Kano Jigoro. Like jujutsu, judo is a method of turning an opponent’s force to one’s own advantage through grappling and throwing skills. Instead of directly opposing the opponent’s strength, the goal is to yield to him or her, which will unbalance the opponent. This makes it easier to complete a throw.

The martial arts can also be divided into those that prohibit weapons and those that require them. In judo, for example, competitors use only their bodies, but in many styles of kung fu, weapons represent an essential part of the basic training. Common weapons used in martial arts include swords, staffs, and spears made of wood or metal. Firearms are never used.

Martial arts can also be divided by function and philosophy into traditional and nontraditional, according to the way they are taught. Traditional teachers emphasize self-improvement, whereas non-traditionalists emphasize self-defense. When instructing their students, traditionalists focus on three priorities, in the following order: spiritual development, discipline, and aesthetic form. Nontraditional instruction accents combat, discipline, and spiritual development. Both schools of thought offer advantages to students, encouraging the cultivation of such traits as self-confidence, which can then be successfully carried over and applied to everyday life.

Newer forms of martial arts such as Bazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) and Muay Thai are also gaining tremendous popularity for its health and lifestyle benefits. BJJ promotes the principle that a smaller, weaker person can successfully defend himself against a bigger, stronger assailant using leverage and proper technique; most notably, by applying joint-locks and chokeholds to defeat the other person. Jiu Jitsu can be trained for sport grappling tournaments (gi and no-gi) and mixed martial arts (MMA) competition or self-defense.

Martial sports like kickboxing are also very popular. Kickboxing is the main martial arts spectator sport because of its extensive international television coverage. The sport was first developed in Thailand hundreds of years ago, but in the 1970s it was adopted by Americans, who helped make it popular all over the world. Kickboxing techniques involve the hand techniques of Western boxing and the kicking techniques of the Eastern martial arts. Contestants wear gloves and footpads.

If you’re keen on all things MMA and self-defense we recommend the online training course packed with tips, techniques and training from professional tutors. Take yourself to the top of the game without years of expensive classes from amateur teachers!

Sep 2011 04

I once had a talk with a student who pointed out the almost insane notion that anyone could think that they could use a preset string of moves (known as a kata, pronounced kah-tah) to handle something as chaotic as a fight.  He said it made no sense to him how any master, who really knew what he was talking about, could pass down “the answer” to such an unknown as a fight.

He’s right.  And yet, day after day, in countless schools, training centers, police departments, and military units around the world, there are those who believe that what they are learning will be exactly what they need to win, should they ever be attacked.

Can you imagine, for those of you who have yet to be accosted, what it feels like inside the heart of an attack?  I mean, what do you know about the situation that you haven’t been in yet?

Unless you’re clairvoyant and can see into the future – in which case you wouldn’t need self-defense training because you would either…

1) know what to avoid, or…

2) know you weren’t going to survive –

There is a plethora of things that you don’t, and can’t possibly, know about this situation that hasn’t happened yet.  Things like:

A) Where you will be attacked (parking lot, building, your car, at-home in-bed, etc.)

B) Who your attacker will be

C) How many assailant’s you will face

D) Whether or not there are any weapons involved (and what type, if any)

E) How you will be attacked

F) What you’ll be wearing or carrying that could help or hinder you, and…

G) Much, much more!

So, how can anyone think that a preset string of moves will be of any use to them in an actual, real-world, attack?  Better still, why would they have been passed down for hundreds of years if they couldn’t help?

Well, the short of it, based on my own research, is this.  There are two schools of thought when it comes to answering this question.  The first is the idea that says…

..”we must make sure that warriors have a way to practice during periods of peace so that they’ll be ready for the next war.  So, what we’ll do is string some basics together in a way that they can rely on repetitive practice to stay ready.”

The other so-called “school-of-thought” said, “Let’s look at the most common attacks that we, with our current set of circumstances, will have to deal with.  Then, we’ll design a set of example techniques – “fight-scenarios if-you-will – that contain the essence or idea of what could be done in a situation like that.  We’ll convey the principles and concepts through techniques that are not so-much “set-in-stone” as they are representations of these principles in action.”

One school recognized the need to practice the basic mechanics – the “brand” of punching, kicking, etc. (the “secrets”) – of their art when there wasn’t a war going on.  In fact, most schools of training in Japan are still passed on this way.  The school allows the student’s own intuitive and perceptual powers to determine his or her own level of understanding.

However, for many of these martial systems, the techniques ARE the art.  That means that they represent that which makes a particular lineage’s techniques and “style” unique among all others.  It is not generally acceptable to change the techniques for any reason, as in the case of my friend that I talked about earlier.

The other school recognized that there is an infinite number of combinations if we were to just focus on the mechanics alone.  They also recognized that “what” you do is not nearly as important as “when”, “why,” “how,” and under what circumstances you would do anything.  Granted, this was more difficult to understand than the basic step-by-step method (which this school DID employ by-the-way), but the idea was that, the principles were much more important than the techniques if one were to win in a conflict.

While the step-by-step, preset model approach does teach students how to apply techniques, from my perspective and experience with having to deal with violent attackers in real-world self-defense situations, it is the later approach – the focus on workable principles and concepts for controlling the situation – that provides the real keys to mastery.

But, it’s not martial arts mastery – the mastery of technique – that I’m talking about.  But rather the ability to master and control…

Your Environment

Your Attacker’s Perceptions

The Space and Distance within the fight

The Assailant’s Options

And much Much MORE!

..that allows you to control the very flow of the situation, from moment-to-moment, as it unfolds.

It is this grander-view of the reality of the situation that allows the true martial arts master – the strategic warrior commander, to see beyond the mere punching, kicking, or slashing of the attacker.  It is the view that allows us to make sense out of the chaos that is a fight.

Our training course helps you get to grips with preparing yourself for possible self defence so if this interests you, snap up a copy today! Especially if you’re tired of typical training routines, find classes expensive or simply want to master Mixed Martial Arts at your own leisure. Check out our online tuition program. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

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