Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Speed Ball Bob, Weave and Slip Training

The platform speedball is one of the main training apparatus for boxers. It is used to develop timing when to strike, the speed it takes for you to see things and register in your mind what has happened, and the speed to react to what has happened. Obviously one of the ways to react when using the speedball is to strike it, but also bob, weave and slipping can be practised and enhanced.

The idea is that when you strike the ball, as it quickly hits the platform and bounces back towards your head, you must slip or bob and weave to avoid it hitting you.

It is important to position the speedball so it is level with your eyes for this exercise. Some people have the speedball too high or too low, but level with your eyes is just right.

As you practice you shall have to continuously strike the ball so as to keep the practice from stopping, and the harder you hit, the faster the ball will hit the platform and bounce back towards you so be ready and waiting to use correct head and body movement to not get hit.

This type of training also provides an excellent workout for your leg muscles which are heavily involved in bobbing and weaving and your oblique muscles which are used when slipping.

Keep in mind to move in both directions going from left to right and vice versa, and also keep your hands high, so you don't get into the habit of dropping your guard when moving.
Marks

Related Articles...
Heavy Bag Training, Bad Habits
Need for Speed, Movement Speed
What Type of Training for What Type of Goal
Heavy Bag Tip, Punching Through the Target
The Ultimate Kick Workout

Read More...

Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Back Throw Twist (Secret to Ura Nage)

The back throw, also know as side suplex or in the Judo world as ura nage, can be one of the most devastating techniques to perform. Without extreme practice, this throw can be very dangerous, not just for the person getting thrown but also for the person throwing. There is always the possibility that when picked up, the person throwing could land straight on his back with his opponent landing on top of him. With the weight of both fighters landing on the ground hard and fast, the person throwing could be badly injured. The trick in order to make this throw successful and less dangerous, is to twist once the opponent is picked up. This is achieved by the person initiating the throw, lifting his opponent, and before landing backwards, pushing off either his/her right of left foot in order to twist his/her body and turn the opponent round so as to land first on the mat with the person throwing landing on top. It is a very hard throw to carry out as the confidence needed to do it is very high. With practice though this throw can be great for competition as it can really shock your opponent and can be very effective in ending fights. The first video clip in the following link shows the throw being performed on the heavy bag in practice markschat.blogspot.com/2007/10/chainless-heavy-bag-training.html

Read More...

Monday, 29 October 2007

Strong Kicks and Powerful Flexibility

Throughout this site there are many posts that give information on how to strengthen the muscles used in kicking. One legged squats and heavy bag kicks for example are very good ways to strengthen the leg muscles. Another tried, tested and recommended training method is simply to hold certain kicks in the extended position for a length of time.

The exercise works like this. For a side kick workout, holding a wall or chair for balance, bring your kicking leg to the chambered part of the technique, then slowly extend your leg as high as possible to the full extended position of the side kick. Then hold this position for as long as possible.

If not done before, you will be doing very well to extend your leg fully without it dropping. Work with this, and gradually you will be able to keep your leg in the extended position for long intervals and also, you will start to notice your leg being held higher and higher as your flexibility improves.

The side, front, roundhouse and back kicks are excellent for this type of practice as a variety of muscles in the leg will be worked with each kick. A good workout would be to hold each kick for 2 sets, training both legs, one after the other. After a considerable difference has been noticed in leg power, and flexibility, training without the aid of the wall will enhance balance in kicking.



Marks

Related Articles...
Heavy Bag Training, Bad Habits
Benny the Jet Urquidez
The Mighty Front Kick
Kick Catching for Throws and Takedowns

Read More...

Saturday, 27 October 2007

Striking Point for Empi Uchi (Elbow Strike)

Although many martial artists know the correct point of striking for empi, there are still lots that think its best to strike with the tip of the elbow. Ask any Mauy Thai fighter, and they will say that the correct striking point is on the forearm, within two inches from the tip of the elbow. When the elbow is swung into the target either in a hook or uppercut fashion, this is the best part to strike with. If a spinning elbow strike is performed then the striking surface would be again two inches from the point, but on the upper arm tricep side. Although called an elbow strike, it is not the exact point of the elbow which is used for these strikes. The only time when it may be practical to use the point, is when delivering downward elbow strikes to a low target, back elbow strikes to a target behind and side elbow strikes. This is because the technique is not delivered in a circular motion as the other but in a straight line motion.

Read More...

Friday, 26 October 2007

Judo Osae Komi using the Belt

For people who study judo and any martial art style that trains with a gi and belt, here is a little tip that may be useful to add to your fighting arsenal. When grappling with an opponent, either on the floor or standing, to gain extra control of your opponent, use the belt to wrap around one or both of your opponents arms. This may sound strange, unheard of and maybe unfair but think about it. If you manage to wrap yours or your opponents belt around his/her arm or both arms (anywhere from the wrist to the elbow) you will immobilise that arm so it cant be used, and also, you will gain some control or leverage of your opponent. In judo or jiu jitsu competition this technique is sometimes used, but i believe it should be used more. When ground fighting, without full control of your arms, moving is very hard, which could result in you losing the match. It is not a good idea to look specifically to tie up an arm or to, but in the course of sparing or in competition, if the opportunity presents itself, it would be wise to take it, as it is a great set up for a following technique. I have found that it is best to use your opponents belt for this strategy, as you can gain more control and leverage. Experiment with it in practice to see if it works for you.

Read More...

Thursday, 25 October 2007

Self defence training

When training self defence techniques, the only way a technique will become effective is by drilling it over and over again for many months, even years so as it becomes second nature. After drilling a number of techniques the student will also gain the ability to flow from one to the other, if the technique being applied is not working, instead of trying to force one that has been defended well by the opponent. Now in order to become proficient in applying self defence techniques, like already mentioned, they have to be drilled infinity times. This requires something important, THE PARTNER YOU TRAIN WITH MUST NOT RESIST THE TECHNIQUE BEING APPLIED!!! Of course after a great amount of practice drilling the techniques, your partner can resist slightly allowing you to flow from one technique to the other, creating a more realistic situation, but while initially practising the techniques it is very important that your partner allows you to PRACTICE. Many times i have witnessed, and experienced training partners resist certain techniques like standing arm locks for instance. And when they see that the technique is not working some even have the cheek to laugh or point out mistakes! Of course they are not going to work if they know what technique is being applied as they resist before the techniques has even started. And the shocking thing is i see this more with advanced trainees than beginners. The only way to become proficient in a technique is to practice it over and over again and if you find that your training partner is not willing to let you practice, stop working with them and work with another person that is willing to let you learn.

Read More...

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Where to Guard when Punching

Karate, Kung fu, Boxing, whatever you fighting style, as long as you punch, there will always be the need for a guard. Unlike kicks, when you punch, unless you are extremely tall with long arms, you shall also be in reach for your opponent to punch you back. This is where your guarding hand comes into play. Boxers and most martial artists nowadays tend to have there guarding hand clenched as a fist, and held near the cheek area protecting the delicate chin. An argument to this is that if you are wearing big boxing gloves which increase the size of the guarding area and provide a cushion if hit, that is fine, but what if you are not. The fist without gloves is small which may not guard enough and there is no protection to the front face area. Some people believe that the more effective guard would be an openhanded one held in front of the face which protects the facial features, but then again it doesn't protect the chin which if struck hard, is the best way to score a knockout. It could be said that it depends on the situation. In a boxing match a guard on the side of the face could be appropriate, where an MMA fighter might prefer the in front of face guard. Also, in the street your guarding hand could be used to grab the opponent or to control his arms which could allow for a more accurate strike. In my opinion, the situation decides the position of the very important guard, but it must always be in the back of your mind when punching.

Read More...

Monday, 22 October 2007

The Best Weight Training Exercises for Martial Artists

There are many people who dont agree with weight training for martial arts. They argue that the use of weights, tenses up muscles and flexibility is lost. When looking at bodybuilder Tom Platz stretch his legs into all kinds of seemingly impossible positions, I fail to see how flexibility is lost. In the modern world we live in and the advances of science it has been proved what weights not only develops muscle strength and speed, but tendons and ligaments are also conditioned which is vital for all the impact training received in martial arts. My opinion is that the best weight training exercises are those that work a lot of muscles at the same time, and because of the nature of these exercises it is nearly always the biggest and most used muscles that are worked. Deadlifts are my favorite. They work nearly every muscle in your body and are designed to create a very powerful physique. Also, there is no other exercise in the gym where you can lift as much weight with than the deadlift. For grapplers and strikers, i recommend this exercise as a vital part of there training. Bench Presses are also very important for both types of fighters. Using the exact muscles you would use for punching, you can create powerful and explosive striking with this exercise as it works nearly all the muscles of the upper body to some extent concentrating mainly on the chest, shoulders and triceps and back muscles secondarily. Also bench presses can build the strength required in controlling opponents when clinching and when on the floor. Every martial artist can benefit with leg exercises such as Squats and Leg Presses as powerful thunderous legs will help when moving, bobbing, slipping, throwing, pickups, and of course kicking. Also an experienced groundfighter will know that legs play an important role when grappling on the floor and to have them conditioned is a must. Grapplers will also benefit with exercises that work the back muscles such as Barbell Rows and Chins as the muscles used when throwing and taking down opponents are worked. It is encouraged that whatever martial art practised, exercises that work every part of the body should be incorporated into there training regime, so deadlifts, squats, leg presses, bench presses, bent over rows and chins should be used. There are many more obviously but these four exercises should consume the core of your weight training and after a period of time not only will your muscles become well conditioned but you will develop a certain explosiveness that will transcend into your fighting. I advise that a spotter is used at all times for safety reasons when weight training and correct form is maintained always. Correct breathing is always important also, and you should always breath out on the lift and breath in when returning to the starting position. For descriptions on these exercises just search them on the Internet and more than enough websites will pop up explaining them.

Marks

Related Articles...
Best Weight Training Principle for the Chest
Slow Body Weight Exercises
Best Bodybuilding and Training Book

Read More...

True martial artists

Just today i saw the UFC 77 Anderson Silva vs Rich Franklin fight Silva vs Franklin. Although there are people who dont agree with MMA style fights i must say that this was a great show of true martial arts. When i say martial arts, not just do i mean the physical aspect regarding techniques and tactics used but the respect the two fighters showed each other. Being humble in victory and gracious in defeat, the two warriors gave a true account of what every martial artist should strive for.

Read More...

Friday, 19 October 2007

Sparring with the Master

When people start sparring, in most schools it is rare that they will start sparring with the teacher of the school. However as time passes by, as long as the teacher is still actively sparring, they will get the opportunity to spar and learn from him. Chances are they will be lucky to even touch the teacher never mind hitting him at the start. But as the student progresses he/she will eventually be a tough match for the teacher and maybe the opportunity to get one over him will present itself. This could be a chance to throw the teacher perfectly, or to get a submission on him or maybe even a great opening for a perfect roundhouse kick. And as soon as the student sees this opening I GUARANTEE that a small thought will pop up saying "shall I do it or shall I not as its the teacher, I don't want to embarrass him by beating him so maybe I should hold back" A lot of martial artists I have spoke to have given me different opinions on this. Some would hold back while others see it as a way of proving to themselves that they are progressing. Personally I think it depends on the teacher. If the teacher is one of the show off sorts then maybe a taste of his own medicine will shock him into being more humble. Then again, I think that a student should always have respect for his/her teacher. Any views?

Read More...

Thursday, 18 October 2007

Punching without gloves

In the street if you unfortunately got in a situation where you had to defend yourself, youre not going to wearing big 16oz boxing gloves or even small MMA gloves. For this reason i advise practising punching the heavy bag with your bare fists. Your knuckles and wrist will eventually build the strength needed to hit something without being damaged, also this a great way to learn how to clench your fist correctly. A lot of times when wearing gloves, fists are not properly clenched and this can be carried out when punching without gloves on. video

Read More...

Wednesday, 17 October 2007

The White Belt, Your Best Training Partner

When you practice against higher belts of your school whatever style it is, you can learn some very valuable lessons. With all the knowledge they have gained through there years of training most of the time they cant wait to offer it all to you, and you should always act like a sponge and soak it all in, as this is one of the best ways to gain valuable lessons apart from dirctly from your coach. Personally though i think you learn a great deal more from the white belt. The beginner who knows nothing. Now im sure a lot of you are looking at this screen, slanting both your eyebrows and are thinking that im crazy. But picture this example. You are practising a straight forward hip throw on a black belt. Somone who has been thrown countless times. You get your feet into position, bend at the knees, load him on your hips and toss them on the floor like a sack of potatoes. Easy you think, then you try it on a white belt who hasent been thrown ever. So you get in position, bend at you knees then TRY and load him/her on you back. You feel a struggle as your partner resists with all his might knowing that if his feet leave the floor his doomed. You then think WHAT AM I DOING WRONG, you then try bending your knees a tad more then BOOM! Youve loaded your opponent up and slammed him down faster and harder then you ever could with the black belt, plus you leant that the more you bend your knees the better chance that you will throw. You didnt learn this with the black belt. Why? The answer is because the experienced ones go with the flow. They go easy whaen sparring. They allow you to practice wrist locks without flinching. The beginners dont because they dont know how, they struggle, there sloppy, they have no timing or control when sparring. But you know what... neither does anyone on the street!

Read More...

Tuesday, 16 October 2007

The Best Martial Arts Teacher - the video camera

When bodybuilders prepare for competition, there goal is to lose a lot of body fat whilst keeping there muscles big and toned. To gauge there fat loss some take a fat loss test comparing themselves to a certain time before. Others uses the pinch test to determine there body fat but the best device they can use is the video camera. Nothing will tell them weather there ready for competition like this useful invention because they SEE WHAT THEY LOOK LIKE when they move! A martial artist should have the same approach to there training. For instance, if you have a habit of dropping your hands low when you perform a roundhouse kick, it doesn't matter if a thousand people tell you you are doing it, you may not start to change until you either, get hit when you kick in sparring, or see it in action yourself when training alone. I know i would rather see it than feel it! Seeing yourself when practising on the heavy bag for instance will give you a clear indication of faults you have, and may not notice in your daily training. You will then be aware of what to work on next time around. Also it will show you if you have the habit of throwing the same techniques again and again. Remember, the faults you see on camera will be the faults your opponent will see when fighting you, except he will be able to act appropriately and use your faults to HIS/HER advantage.

Read More...

Monday, 15 October 2007

Chainless Heavy Bag training

When people see a heavy bag, instinctively they think theres only two ways they can be practical,

  • Striking them whilst hung up,
  • Using them as a tool to slip, bob and weave when swung,

The actual reality is there many unthought of ways that they can be effective training in martial arts and for anyone wanting to improve there fitness. When the bag is chained up and hanging, all strikes ever thought of can be practised on the bag, but an unchained bag practice is just as vital in my opinion. Throws can be practised. Tie two belts or two pieces of rope to the bag to act as arms and a great variety of throws can be worked. Pickups and suplex type throws can be drilled over and over again (a Heavier bag would be good at this stage). When lying the bag on the floor, groundwork positioning and maneuvering can be worked, by transitioning to different positions, like scarf hold to mount to side control etc. Also strikes from all these positions can be practised with MMA in mind. Doing stomach exercises while lying on the bag to also work balance and surrounding muscles can be done. See this link for more details on this exercise.(http://markschat.blogspot.com/2007/10/six-pack-training-lying-on-heavy-bag.html). Single leg leg presses are excellent if you have a heavy enough bag. Another great leg builder are squats with the bag. Either place the bag on your shoulders, or with the bag on the floor squat down, grasp it and lift it up and down bending nothing but yours knees. I like to work the squat with the bag, with my pick ups. Standing the bag upright, i bend down, bear hug it and using a strong drive of the legs, lift it as high as i can then lower it. I do this as many times i can in 1 minute. The burn is unbearable! Because there are so many sized bags available with varieties of weights, lots of variations of exercises can be done. The best thing is to just experiment. See your bag as more than something to just hang, punch and kick and you will develop a whole lot more use for it. The following demonstrates practising pickups and a little groundwork with the heavy bag and throws with the light bag

video video

Read More...

Friday, 12 October 2007

The Key to Judo, Uchi komi & Nage komi

Practice is the key to everything. Nothing will become second nature if you dont practice over and over again the same thing.

Uchi komi is a must in Judo training. For those that dont know, it is practising a throw, where you take your opponent to the point just before he IS thrown.

For example if i was practising a shoulder throw in Uchi komi, i would start by facing and gripping my partner, moving into position with my arm underneath his, bend down with my knees and pick him off the floor. From here i would let him go, rather than throwing him. I would practice this about 10 times transitioning in and out of the throw smoothly without actually throwing, and then my partner would do the same. Uchi Komi is good to start your training with by doing about 15 minutes of it. The proper way to practice it is by going to the point just before your partner is thrown which means you MUST LIFT HIM/HER OFF THE FLOOR. Its very common for people to rush there Uchi komi by moving into a throwing position without taking off the floor slightly, so they never get the practice of lifting which must be stressed.

After Uchi komi practice, its always best to practice for a further amount of time with Nage komi, which is the execution of the full throw. Its amazing when you see some Judo fighters in competition. They pick up there opponent and all they have to do is dump them on there back, but they cant manage to do it. By practising Nage komi you will get used to throwing, and also to receiving throws. The best way to practice Nage komi is to perform 1 throw each, one after the other with your partner.

Marks

Related Articles...
An Old Submission Hold - The Crucifix
Dynamic Russian Judo
The Best Judo Tip for Throwing
Martial Artists Plateau Effect

Read More...

Thursday, 11 October 2007

Six Pack Training Lying on the Heavy Bag

I hope everyone knows by now, that if you want a six pack, you must watch your diet, reduce calories to reveal muscle under your fat layers (if any), and do some stomach exercises to develop your abdominal muscles. With regards to the diet, sorry but its a slow and mind blowing process where you eat tasteless foods half the time and try to resist the tasteful ones. With regards to the exercises, there aren't many you have to do. Just five or six will do. 20 reps each, 3 sets per exercise and your well on your way. But one way in which the muscle will be developed more quickly and so will surrounding muscles of the abdominals is by training whilst lying on a heavy punch bag. Nearly every gym in the world has them so finding one shouldn't be a problem. The idea is, when you perform your exercises lying on the bag, because its round, you will have to balance yourself to quite an extent so as it does not slide away from under you. By training this way you will notice that it will be much harder to do your exercises and you will be performing them much stricter so as you don't fall, forcing your abdominals to work harder. The basic crunch will become a workout that works more than just your upper abdominals as a slight twist in your arm or training to fast will throw you completely off balance. Reverse sit ups (lying on the bag and bringing your knees to your chest, and down again) are the worst for me. My balance goes everywhere with this one. It takes time to learn the balance required to train like this but it is extremely beneficial. Obviously you need a bag which is big enough for you to lie on but as I said, a lot of gyms have them, and if you train at a martial art school, it should definitely have one. For grapplers, the balance you can pick up by training on the bag like this is priceless. After a while, your groundwork will be much smoother, and you will be finding it easier to maneuver whilst lying on your back.

Read More...

Wednesday, 10 October 2007

Raw Strength (Squats on one leg)

To be able to generate a hard shocking roundhouse or side kick requires strength in the legs. Training to obtain this strength is very hard without the use of weights and because your legs are big and powerful you may require a lot of weight, which means going to the gym. Another alternative is the Squat on one leg. There easy to do, and can be done anywhere. I like incorporating them straight after practising kicks on the heavy bag. Sometimes you see some people doing these by just extending there leg, as if holding a front kick, and squatting on there supporting leg in that position. I don't recommend this way as i find it places a lot of stress on the squatting knee. Firstly i use a wall for balance (you don't have to use a wall but i like to work strength and balance separately). Then i get into the starting position which is the chambered position of a roundhouse kick (this will turn your supporting foot slightly). Holding the wall with one hand and the chambered foot with the other i start the squat, going just past parallel to the floor with my thigh. To finish the movement, i push so my leg is straight again (not locked) and perform a roundhouse kick with the chambered leg finishing again in the chambered position ready to squat again. This should all be done in a slow but fluid motion. Usually i do this for ten repetitions each leg, and 4 sets. It's a real burn in the thighs but excellent for building raw strength.

Read More...

Tuesday, 9 October 2007

Shadow fighting in front of a mirror.

In an earlier post I talked about shadow fighting ranging from shadow boxing to shadow karate style training. I would like to add the importance of shadow fighting using a mirror. By training in front of a mirror it is very easy to alter mistakes that you may be making but not realising. When training with your coach, hopefully you will be pointed out of them, but we have all trained on our own, only to find us getting sloppy and no one correcting us. The mirror will show you points such as, a drop of guard, not striking in the intended direction, not being loose enough with your stance and many other flaws you may have. It helped me by quickly showing me i wasn't moving far enough when sidestepping and also that i wasn't kicking straight enough with the side kick. Train loosely, not at full speed and you will be able to see any adjustments in your form that may need to be made.

Read More...

Monday, 8 October 2007

Endurance Sparring

After sparring for a certain amount of time, or a certain number of rounds, you WILL eventually get tired. Weather its after 9 minutes or 90 it will happen. This is one of the best times that you can learn and become a more wiser fighter. When you get tired, you become sloppy. Your guard drops, legs straighten, your mouth opens to breath more, showing a sign of weakness to your opponent, and every technique is performed slower than you ever thought was possible. If your a big guy who can bench press 200 kilos ten times, that wont matter because you wont have any energy to use that strength. This is where a fighter learns to rely on SKILL. Because you cant move fast, and each thrown technique is a great challenge, you must pick certain times to attack. You start to look for openings in your opponents guard, weaknesses in his/her defence, specific times when to release your very scarce energy. When you were fresh you were probably attacking combination after combination hoping that one blow may strike, but not anymore. Your stamina is gone. The only things you can rely on is timing, judgement, correct distance and opportunity. And this is the time when you look for these the most. It is the time when a fighter truly betters his technical performance!! A very common interpretation is that a fighter gets better as he gets older. This may be because as a person gets older he starts to lose strength and speed, forcing him/her to rely on other opportunities to win. This is what makes a true martial artist.

Read More...

Friday, 5 October 2007

A Judo neck for grappling!

When you see pictures of old school Judoka (and some new school Judoka for that matter) they seem to have short but very muscular legs, big broad shoulders, chests that look like the front of trucks and big powerful necks. Having a strong neck is VITAL in grappling. When throwing, a strong twist or lean of the head in the direction of the throw will aid greatly with the technique. This head movement can only be carried out with a strong neck. When groundfighting, most escapes from pins require some sort of bridge, forcing the fighter to upload most of his/her body weight onto his/her shoulders and neck. The neck muscles must definitely be strong for this, attempting this without a strong neck can actually be quite dangerous! Finally if you're unfortunate to be caught in a choke or strangle, a strong neck MAY give you the ability to withstand the technique for maybe a second longer (which could be just enough time to escape). These are just a few reasons why having a strong neck is important, and this is only for grappling. It is also very important for striking, but thats another topic. There are plenty of websites and hundreds of books which describe the best and safest ways to strengthen neck muscles, so my advice is start doing it if not already!!

Read More...

Thursday, 4 October 2007

Underhooks, Grappling Close Quarter Combat Control

I may have already mentioned this before but I've decided to write a post about it as i feel it is the most important factor to be considered when grappling (standing grappling) and gaining control of an opponent. Most advanced grapplers from styles where gi's are used (Judo, Brazilian jiu jitsu) tend to use the gi jacket for control and that is fine, but without the jacket, gaining control of an opponent is a whole new different world. This is where non gi grapplers (Catch wrestlers, Submission fighters) mostly dominate. If your not wearing a jacket the best and most efficient way to gain control of an opponent is by taking double underhooks (having both of your arms underneath your opponents armpits). As soon as you get this position your opponent will feel threatened and you can easily take down or throw from this position. If you are caught with this technique, use a front crawl (swimming method) style to slide your arms underneath again, as you will most likely find yourself on the floor in a awkward position pretty soon. You may sometimes find yourself in a one arm underhook with the other arm over your opponents arm (and your opponent in the same position). This then becomes a chess like situation as you will both probably try and get double underhooks, so tread carefully! This can not be stressed enough. Double underhooks is the most dominating standing grappling position. PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE so when clinched you instinctively go for this dominating technique!

Read More...

Wednesday, 3 October 2007

Shadow Fighting The Martial Artists Way

There are many ways to practice your shadow work. When i refer to shadow work i don't mean just shadow boxing. There are many phases of shadow work that i practice. These are, Shadow punching - Where just individual punches are used on there own and in combinations. Shadow defence - Where just blocks, slipping, bobbing and weaving is used. Shadow boxing - Shadow punching and shadow defence combined. Shadow kicking - Where just kicks are used, including low kicks to thigh area and sweeps. Shadow kickboxing - All of the above. Shadow Thai boxing - All of the above plus knees, elbows and stop hits. Shadow close quarter combat - Staying within one meter of a wall and using whatever strikes are possible without moving away from the wall (mainly just knees and elbows, although hooks, uppercuts and close strikes are possible, depending on distance). Shadow defence must not be forgotten here Shadow MMA - All of the above, plus sprawls, simulated throws and takedowns (also rolls and ground fighting drills can be incorporated here) Shadow Karate - Where street orientated strikes and defence are used. Elbows, knees, low blows, low kicks. As you can see i practice a wide variety of shadow training, which are specific to martial artists. There are probably more and I welcome your comments. Its best to do about 60-80% of your shadow work at a speed which is not your fastest so as it does not become sloppy. When practising, always keep an eye on your guard, correct body movement (turning hips on punches etc) and pace yourself. It is also recommended that occasionally you work at your highest speed. For a good workout do each type of shadow fighting for 2-3 minutes taking a 30 second break between each one, and try and work each phase at least twice!

Read More...

Monday, 1 October 2007

Martial artist's Plateau Effect

Over my training years, there have been countless times when i have thought that no matter what i do, i haven't been able to improve, even sometimes i have felt that my hard acquired skills are decreasing!! The strange thing is also that my training has always been consistent. I once read a chapter in a book entitled The Karate Do Manual by Sensei Vince Morris, in which he talks about the plateau effect. In a nutshell he says that it is a short period of time when your brain is soaking in new information and it will feel as if you can not do anything right. When sparring you will be getting hit constantly, your balance will be completely lost on striking pads and the simplest of Kata's movement's will be forgot. He also mentions not to worry, and this plateau will soon disappear. I completely agree with Sensei Morris on this one as i have had this happen to me countless numbers of times, but these plateaus always disappear and i DO feel a more better Martial Artist after them, so if you also get them don't worry, keep training hard!!

Marks

Related Articles...
Where Your Eyes Should be Looking when Sparring
Sparring with the Master
Training Workouts and Boredom

Read More...