Friday, 29 February 2008

A Martial Arts Myth

The following video is unbelievable. A so called "Kiai Master" gets a bit to big for his boots.

What shocks me though is the start of the video, where the master is seen to be giving his students a good going over without even touching them. If he charges his students money to come and do that sort of training, then to me, this is like stealing from them. I think its disgraceful to the martial arts to be able to say that you can fight people without even touching them.

During the fight also, when he gets hit in the face for the first time, he starts holding his mouth or nose as if to check if his bleeding. This clearly shows he is NO MASTER, as someone who is experienced in the martial arts knows that in a fight, you should never stop to check up on yourself and hope that your opponent will stop also. The master(lol) is very lucky that his opponent did not carry on attacking and held back so he could check himself.

Marks

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Thursday, 28 February 2008

Does a Black Belt make you an Expert?

Ever since martial arts become popular amongst the public during the era of Bruce Lee movies, there have always been those who see the black belt as the most single greatest achievement to obtain whilst training. Training hard in a particular style, as soon as they get there Dan grade (black belt level) they feel as if they can be considered masters in there chosen art and are eligible to stop training , thinking they will always be able to defend themselves. HOW WRONG THEY ARE!

Whilst wearing a black belt may look good, it means very little. A martial artist is never determined through the colour of a belt. I believe that gaining a black belt shows that you have understood (not mastered) the basics required for you to start your actual martial arts training, meaning that you have learnt how to do a wide range of techniques, but now you have to be able to apply them in situations where aggression, resistance and little control is applied. This will take years and years to be able to do and anyone who thinks that they will become a master of it within a couple of years is kidding themselves.

Then there are those black belts who stick only to themselves. Black belts must train with other black belts. They can’t be seen sparring with other belts. To me, that shows fear. Fear of maybe getting hit or getting submitted by someone who is not a black belt. A black belt can learn plenty from sparring with lower belts, even beginners. (Click here for more information on that).

The bottom line is that a belt is just a belt. White, black, green or blue, it merely shows that you have passed a few exams, but does not make you great martial artist. Training should not stop when you get to black belt level, but should be bumped up, and each technique should be thought about diligently, about the best and most practical ways it can be applied.


Marks

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Wednesday, 27 February 2008

Benny the Jet Urquidez

There are certain types of fighters. There are some who are brawlers with very little technique and some with great technique who train constantly every day trying to better themselves. Whatever type of fighter, to be considered as one of the greatest, you need heart and guts. To me one stands out more than any other. That’s Benny the Jet Urquidez.

Not very big in size, Benny was one of the best martial artists of his time. He is up there with the likes of Bill Wallace, and Joe Louis who fought at around the same era. Benny was the type of fighter that if you knocked him down he would get straight up, and without blinking make you pay for it. He fought many great fighters in his time and become a great success and inspiration to lots. The following is a clip of Benny fighting Shinobi Onuki. Throughout the fight Onuki does seem to be pressing Benny, but if you notice it is always Benny who takes the centre of the ring showing no fear and keeps attacking no matter how much he’s hit. At the end Benny throws one of the sweetest back kicks ive seen but does perform an illegal throw straight after completely winding Onuki. Just watch Benny’s face the whole time. He looks fearless, full of guts and has that special “eye of the tiger”.


Marks

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Monday, 25 February 2008

Black Belt Mama's Carnival

Black Belt Mama has produced a carnival, listing some great reviews to some great martial art books. For more info on this check out the article by clicking here
Marks

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Is Sparring Useful in the Martial Arts

To be able to swim, you have to get into the water and swim. Obviously you are not thrown in the deep end straight away, because you will drown, but gradually you work your way to deal with them types of waters. This is a very common saying, and I am sure you have heard it before. It is mentioned a lot in the martial arts world, when people talk about weather sparring is needed or not.

The argument of sparring being useful or not is never ending. Some think that there is no way of learning qualities like reflexes, distance, timing etc without it, and that sparring must be carried out each training session. Others think that it not needed to become an efficient fighter or to be able to defend yourself on the street. Some people believe that you need to spar so as to learn what it feels like to get hit, so if it happens in the street, it won’t shock you. Then there are some who think that sparring lures you into a method of fighting that is not practical for the street.

Personally I feel that sparring is very useful and should be carried out constantly. But there should be different types of sparring. Grappling only, striking only, both, two or more against one, full contact, semi contact, hands only, clinch fighting only, etc. There should be many types of sparring practised, rather than the standard one against one. Sparring where you concentrate on street techniques (strikes to vulnerable areas, trying to not engage in a ground fight etc) is an excellent type of sparring, and should be done by all martial artists, as the main reason why most practise martial arts to be able to defend themselves on the street.

By sparring, you don’t have to always hit hard. Controlling your techniques is probably the best way to learn the mechanics of fighting and by doing this, sparring can be very useful and can be practised by all, regardless of style.


Marks

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Friday, 22 February 2008

Dieting and Cravings

Most people sometime in there lives decide to try and lose some weight. Martial artists sometimes need to lose weight (mostly fat) so as to compete in there chosen weight category. Bodybuilders also need to lose weight (fat again) so as to look very “ripped” and toned. Every time a diet does happen you will always get cravings.

To some, cravings can be a good thing. If you crave, it means your hungry, if you stay hungry you shall lose weight. But to some cravings can get very bad, and that is when they start nibbling at little things. Maybe opening the fridge, staring inside for around 15 minutes, taking tiny nibbles of different foods. Before they know it, they have eaten a meals worth of food consuming extra calories. When you deprive yourself of certain food types, you will always get cravings. As a martial artist it is a good way of training your self discipline, but not everyone are martial artists. For those who are not, there are a couple of things that may work.


Add extra calories WISELY!- If you feel you have a craving (which is usually at night), have ONE table spoon full of something like peanut butter, just to give you a little taste of something different to your usual chicken, tuna and salad.
Perform some light stretching – I have always noticed that if I perform some light stretches for about ten minutes, my cravings disappear. It may work for you.
Drink water – Fill yourself up with the one thing you consume with no calories, water. Drink lots of it so it fills you up, expands your stomach and makes you think that you are full. Sometimes seeing a bloating stomach is enough to give you the motivation not to eat anything.
Stay within your meal consumption every 2-3 hours – Cravings will always appear, but as long as you are having your meals every 2-3 hours without skipping one, it SHOULD keep your cravings to a controllable level.
Build motivation – Watch a Bruce Lee film, check out Internet websites, read inspiring books. Whatever builds your motivation to succeed and not sway of your diet, do it.

Dieting is one of the hardest things any one can do. It is a true test to see whether you have the guts and determination to succeed at something. Cravings are just one of the things that life throws at you to try and make you fail, but with everything, you just have to keep on going. Dont stop and you shall succeed.


Marks

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Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Striking and not Striking whilst Ground Fighting

In the martial arts world, when people mention ground fighting, they usually refer to grappling and submissions, but with the ever growing popularity of MMA and UFC style fights, martial artists are becoming better at striking whilst also grappling on the ground. The worst thing a grappler can do is forget this.

There are some things you can get away with when ground fighting without strikes. If you are mounted by your opponent, you can have space between yourself and your opponent. If strikes were allowed, and you were mounted, the first thing you should be thinking of is pulling your opponent close to you as if hugging him/her so as he/she does not have the room to land hard strikes at you. If you are caught in a side control, or upper four quarters position, if no strikes are allowed, a lot of people tend to relax slightly while thinking about what there next move will be to escape. With strikes being thrown, knees to the body or head or downward elbow strikes must be looked for and defending against. Also there are certain submissions that you may have to use with precaution. For instance, if you are in position for an arm bar (juji gatame) and your partner bends his arm to defend it, you may decide to go for a forearm crush, which would force you to use both of your hands for just one of your opponent’s arms, leaving him/her free to strike you with the other.

I think grappling is brilliant. I love watching grappling tournaments, and think it is a very misunderstood art by some people. It is definitely needed to become a complete fighter, but so are strikes, standing and on the floor. Grapplers should sometimes train with strikes so as they learn the best way to defend against them and to can become overall complete fighters.


Marks

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Tuesday, 19 February 2008

Protein Powder and Creatine Kicks Vs Good Old Fashioned Food

In the world of nutrition, there have been many new products brought out over the last few years. Many of these products are said to help build muscle, lose fat, help with recovery after training and even help obtain a better “pump” when working out. Although most of these products do work and are very handy for some, should they be put first over good old fashioned nutritious food?

Most martial artists, strength athletes and bodybuilders now use these supplements to enhance there training. The most popular ones are probably protein powder and creatine. They do work, (when used correctly) but many think that too much emphasise is being placed on these supplements and others. There are athletes of all sports and fighting styles who have cupboards full of these products, and take them at specific times throughout the day each and every day. The majority of there daily consumption of calories can even come from them, and wholesome food sometimes becomes less of a priority in there diet.

Supplementing is ok, and with the fierce competition in today’s world it can help a lot, but food should still be and always be number one in providing you with the calories to build muscle, material to strengthen bones, provide energy and to make you feel better and more positive. Bodybuilding star Shawn Ray in one of his DVD’s warns to “spend your money wisely.” If you have a certain amount of money spend it on milk, eggs, vegetables, chicken, and rice rather than on protein powder or creatine. Get these supplements as extras as they will never be able to compare to the real thing.


Marks

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Monday, 18 February 2008

What Martial Art is Best for the Police

Occasionally I like to surf the website and usually I always find a similar question posted on Internet forums and question and answers sites. “What is the most practical martial art to learn for joining the police

Well firstly, to answer this, I suppose you have to look at the work of a police officer. If a person is resisting arrest, an officer wants to control the situation by controlling the offender as quickly as possible. Unless the officers lives are in great danger, they don’t want to be choking out there opponents, pulling them into a guard position or trying to break there ankles and knees with heel hooks, so styles that are based on this type of fighting are not so important to learn. Also, with most of the equipment that officers carry on them, (guns, batons, radios, tear gas) which are usually strapped to there belts, it would be very hard to perform head high kicks or even bobbing and weaving type defences so that rules out some stand up styles.

If a person is resisting arrest, then as mentioned above, he/she must be controlled as fast as possible, so techniques that involve restraining and control must be learnt. If an officer is trying to control someone while standing and is failing, then the chances are that both the officer and the offender shall at some time fall to the floor. In this case knowing throws and takedowns, but so as not to really hurt someone may be needed in an officers repertoire of techniques, and also knowledge of how to pin someone and control on the floor may be needed. If the officer has another officer with him/her, than they can both control and “cuff” the offender quite easily from here.

Learning how to deal with multiple attackers, may be something needed by police officers. As most offenders usually stick in gangs then knowing how to deal with two or more people may be advantageous for police officers.

By looking at the above (which is just my own rough outline of police requirements) it is clear that officers would benefit from arts like Judo, Ju Jitsu, BJJ or Karate (for self defence not sport) as the close quarter combat control principles that are needed are present in these arts. But as with anything, there is never a guarantee that things will always work out, but knowing the techniques in these arts should allow you more of a chance than not knowing the techniques.


Marks

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Saturday, 16 February 2008

Ultimate Fighting VS Boxing

What do people from MMA think about boxing, and what do people from boxing think about MMA,

The reality is that "Ultimate Fighting" and boxing are both sports. The rules of boxing are that you can punch with your hands only. In ultimate fighting you can punch, elbow, kick, knee, throw, grapple and submit. Does this mean that people who train MMA (for ultimate fighting) have to work harder to become proficient with all the extra techniques they can use, or that because boxing focuses on just the hands, it is more aesthetically pleasing to watch. What do you think.


Marks

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Thursday, 14 February 2008

Common Sense in the Martial Arts

When studying martial arts (for self defence, not sport), the best thing you can do is listen to your teacher. Especially if you are new to self defence training, always do what your teacher says, and perform the techniques the way he/she tells you. That is my advice to you, but luckily I had a teacher who knew what he was doing. Unfortunately there are lots of bad teachers out there today, who teach things that are completely impractical and can actually put someone in a worse situation in a street fight.

This is where I offer some more advice to you. USE YOUR COMMON SENSE. There are many times were you shall see something that is complete nonsense. For example, an elderly woman goes into a karate school to learn self defence, and she is taught a defence to a punch by blocking it then performing a finger thrust to the stomach. What are the chances that an elderly woman will defend herself effectively by thrusting her non conditioned fingers into a person’s stomach. Obviously the fingers are not meant to be struck at this target. A better alternative would be the throat or eyes. This is just one example. By using your common sense you will be able to find more examples of impractical teachings by so called experts. You are taught the basics by your teacher, but it is up to you to be able to apply these basics in a practical and efficient way. Good luck.


Marks

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Wednesday, 13 February 2008

An old Submission Hold - The Crucifix

Arm bars, chokes, and leg locks are all very common techniques in submission wrestling and MAA fights. Usually when an opponent tries to submit you, he/she is usually looking for one of these. But then there are unusual submissions which are used. The crucifix is one of these.

With submission fighting becoming ever more popular, people are getting better at it, which in turn allows them to defend better against the common techniques. The crucifix is something that can come as a shock to your opponent as it is something that is rarely done. It is not a new technique. It can be seen in the opening fight of Bruce Lee’s film, Enter the Dragon. Lee uses it to get a submission from his opponent, and win the fight. To carry out the technique, basically you have to hold your opponent’s shoulders back while cranking the head forward towards his/her chest, placing pressure on the neck and spine and forcing the submission. It can be done whilst holding your opponents arms with your legs and pulling his head with your hands. Personally I prefer the method shown in Ken Shamrock’s book, Inside the Lions Den. To carry out the technique, you have to have one of your arms around the back of your opponents head (like in preparation for a guillotine choke) then place it under his/her armpit, keeping your opponents head under your own armpit. From here you wrap your other arm under his/her other armpit (ending up with double under hooks) then you hold your hands together. Leaning or sitting backwards places pressure on your opponent’s neck and forces the submission.

This technique is especially useful when used in defence from a shoot, a pickup technique or when your opponent is working punches to the body from in close. Also, when performing the crucifix in this fashion, if it fails, you should be left in a dominating position, possibly allowing for a guillotine choke.


Marks

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Monday, 11 February 2008

What to Eat for a Competition or a Fight

The day of a tournament or fight is a time of excitement to some, fear to many or curiosity to others. To veterans of these types of events, who enjoy the thrill of competing they wake up buzzing, not being able to wait until the "opening bell". Others, mainly beginners are scared or curious, not knowing what awaits them and become very agitated. Whatever type of person described above, there will always be nerves, and going by my own experience, nerves can take up a lot of energy.

For this reason, good healthy meals are essential the day of competition. What youeat will depend on what type of competition and what time.

Night time events usually consist of "card bouts" where a fighter will fight once in the night against one opponent of similar weight, and for a certain number of rounds. For this type of situation a good hearty breakfast consisting of protein, carbs and healthy fats should be consumed. A couple of eggs, some fruit, wholemeal bread and milk would be good. Then every two hours up to a couple of hours before the event some energising snacks such as turkey sandwiches, oatmeal, tuna salads and fruit juice should be consumed to keep the fighter steadily fuelled and to give enough energy to keep him/her going through the fight later on.

Tournaments are usually events starting early morning and can in some cases go right up until early evening time. These types of fighters will fight many short round fights every so often, (normally every 20 minutes or so). For this type of situation, it is no point the fighter having a large slow digesting breakfast like a night time fighter. A quick, easy and small breakfast is needed. Something like a cereal and protein shake is realistic for early bird tournaments, and should be taken in at least an hour and a half before the tournament starts. Then I would suggest that after every time you finish a fight, as soon as you come off the mat, something quickly digestible like fruit or an energy beverage should be taken to keep energy levels up. It is very easy to forget to eat during tournaments and this can have drastic effects to your fighting.

Water is a must for every type of fighting situation. It should be sipped constantly throughout the day to keep you hydrated and to provide good cooling through sweat as your body gets hot. If you are on your own, always have some handy, if you have someone with you (your friend, trainer) get them to ask you to take a few sips often as chances are you shall forget.


Marks

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Friday, 8 February 2008

Training to Failure, Martial Arts and Life

Martial arts and weight training go hand in hand. When done correctly, weight training, can strengthen, make faster and make more flexible the muscles used to become a better martial artist. Many weight training principles have been adopted by martial artists, including the cheat principle, negatives, running the rack etc, but I think none will benefit the martial artist as much as the Failure principle.

Imagine you are working biceps by curling a barbell. You carry out a few reps and find that you’re still feeling strong. After a few more you start getting tired in your arms and your grip feels weaker. After two more reps, you feel like dropping the bar and resting as your arms are very tired and weak. It’s at this point that the failure principle starts to “kick in”. You can either stop the set, or go through the pain for a couple more reps. If you decide to keep going, you know it will be hard, but your biceps will gain that little bit more strength. This is where the failure principle relates to martial artists. When you are sparring or fighting and you reach a certain point where you feel you can not continue you have to dig deep inside, and find that little bit more effort and spirit to carry on. If you give up, you will be overpowered by your opponent, but most importantly, if you carry on doing this, it will become a habit and could become part of your every day activities. By going that little bit more, carrying out them extra couple of reps, throwing them few more punches, eventually you will create a habit of NEVER GIVING UP. Although yes, your body will have to give up some time, your mind and spirit should always remain strong.


Marks

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Thursday, 7 February 2008

How to Sprawl for Fighting and Training

A while back, I wrote an article entitled Defending the Takedown (for Strikers), in which I talked about the basic takedown defences. I mentioned the Sprawl as part of the defences. Many Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and other grappling styles know of the sprawl and use it to defend mainly pickups and tackles (shoots).

One thing I have noticed unfortunately though is that most Judo practitioners still don’t use this technique when attacked with the above takedowns, and instead try to spin out them, by trying to turn so they land on there front. Although they will stop there opponent from winning in competition, they will always find themselves in a very vulnerable position, and it is not wise to be done on the street. By sprawling, you land on top of your opponent, in a dominating position, and it is easy to get back up on your feet if you’re on the street. The best demonstration of the sprawl which I have seen was on a production by Frank Shamrock called The Ultimate Home Workout. In my previous article I wrote that “When your opponent dives in for your legs in a rugby tackle type attack (or pickup), kick your legs back, and drop your chest onto his upper back area. You will both end up on the floor but lying on his back, it should be YOU in the dominating position” The drill to practise the sprawl is,

From a normal fighting stance,
Drop your legs behind you, landing on your thighs as opposed to your knees, toes as opposed to the top of your feet and hands,
Make sure you hands land on your palms, (not fingers or fist), shoulder width apart with your fingers pointing outwards,
On landing, remember to keep your chin up and breathe out (breathing in when you’re up again)
As soon as you land, quickly thrust back, and stand, ending up in your fighting stance, taking about 1-2 seconds for the whole sprawl.

If your new to sprawls, perform repetitions to begin with, concentrating on slow and quality technique, and after you feel you have mastered the movement, the best way to carry out this drill is to sprawl by time. Perform as many as you can in 30 seconds then 1 minute, working up to two minutes, and least 5 rounds.

This is a great exercise which works nearly all of the muscles in the body, providing a strength, ploymetric and cardio workout in one.


Marks

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Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Vital Point Striking for all Martial Artists

In todays day and age, there is more and more street violence occurring, and people use weapons including knives, hammers, bats, and guns. Many martial artists strike hard and practice hitting with full power, but sometimes in the street this may not be enough. An extra edge that could help all that is not practised as much as it should be is Vital Point Striking.

It is called many things, but people are common with Kyusho Atemi Waza or Dim Mak. Being able to strike vital points is hard to achieve. In practise, finding the points and practising hitting them is easy, but against a person who is hitting back, it is hard, so lots of controlled sparring is necessary. A good way of being able to hit these points is by holding your opponent securely whilst striking. By holding, it is easier to strike and easier to locate the points. If you don’t hold, you don’t control and it is much harder. This is one of the reasons why there is a lot of hikite with most strikes in katas. The hikite represents holding the opponent, whilst delivering the strike to a vital point.

Vital Points include obvious ones such as eyes, groin, joints, but then there are not so obvious ones like the bottom of the shoulder where it meets the bicep or under the armpit. These are more less known points and if you would like to know more of them, I strongly recommend you get a copy of the Bubishi. It shows all the points on the human body.

To practice vital point striking, one of the best ways is to make small dots with a pen on a heavy bag, and concentrate on trying to strike these points. The beauty of vital point striking is that the strikes do not have to be very hard to hurt or do damage so don’t hit with full force on the bag, instead, concentrate on accuracy and on using more striking surfaces rather than the fist, foot and shin, including, ridge hand, knife hand, one knuckle strikes, elbows, knees etc.

Striking vital points can be devastating, so care must be taken when practising, and if you find yourself unfortunate to have to defend yourself on the street, ask yourself if the situation is dangerous enough for you to have to resort to vital point striking. Most of the time simply walking away is enough to defend yourself.


Marks

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Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Heavy Bag Tip - Punching Through the Target

To be able to deliver a possible knockout strike, you need a strong punch. You must not “pull” your punch (unless its light sparring) for in a real situation, if you are used to doing this, your strikes will be futile and you may end up getting beaten, whilst doubting your own technique since it wont be effective.

Practising punching through the heavy bag is probably the best way to learn how to punch hard through a target. When I say punch through the target, I also mean that you should bring your hand back immediately after the strike. Many people make the mistake of either leaving there hand in the stretched punch position or simply drop there arm. Don’t do this, as getting used to it will leave you in vulnerable positions in a real life encounter. Also, practise hitting the heavy bag as it is swinging freely. Many people stop the bag from swinging. Although sometimes this may be good if you are practising quick punching drills on the bag, your opponent will not be standing still. Getting used to moving forward, back or sideways whilst striking hard through the target, will greatly enhance your ability and balance.


Marks

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Monday, 4 February 2008

Abdominal Toughening for Martial Arts

For people who take up martial arts with the thought of never getting hit, then im afraid you are wasting your time. You will get hit eventually, even if you train semi or non contact. There are plenty of these types of fighters that attack so fast and vigorous that it is very hard to “pull” there kicks and punches. For this reason, abdominal toughening should be a must for all martial artists.

There are various ways to condition the abdominals to take hard shots. Obviously you need to strengthen the abdominal muscles so crunch’s, reverse crunches, roman chair sit-ups etc are a must, and should be carried out about three to four times a week. Then there is impact training on the abdominals, where the midsection is struck. This gets the abdominal wall used to taking hits. It also helps you as a martial artist to get used to being hit, so when it happens in sparring or a fight, it does not surprise you. There are many ways to carry this out, including dropping a medicine ball of a heavy bag on your abdominals while you are lying on the floor, having a partner punch you in the midsection whilst wearing gloves, concentrating on a variety of punches, so he/she also benefits from practising, with a partner, kicking each other in the midsection for a few minutes, getting harder as time goes by, or even self hitting. A method found in Fighting Power by Loren Christensen involves positioning yourself a certain distance away from a heavy bag, so as you can swing it and it hits you square in the gut each time it swings back.

If you are new to impact training, you must start lightly and as your abdominals become stronger and your punishment threshold expands, the shots can get harder and harder. Work frequently on abdominal toughening, especially if you are planning on fighting full contact or MMA style.


Marks
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Review of UFC 81 Breaking Point

Over the weekend, UFC 81 Breaking Point took place, and Im sure that many would agree with me that many lessons were learnt by most of the fighters.

Firstly there was one technique that became the king of the night, and that’s the Guillotine Choke. A very dangerous choke if caught in, as the chances of escape are minimal. Having your opponent wrap his arm around the back of your neck and digging his forearm bone into the throat has proved that its enough to take out anyone. Even submission grappling veteran and expert Jeremy Horn got caught in the technique. Im sure over the next couple of months his going to practice taking down opponents while not dipping his head to much.

Then there was the Tim Sylvia, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira fight. Sylvia looked the dominant one through the whole fight, with some good boxing skills, opening up the Brazilians face with cuts, except for the last minute or so when they were on the ground. With his grappling finesse, “Minotauro” (Nogueira) easily swept big Tim onto his back, and whilst attempting an arm lock, transitioned it into, yes you’ve guessed, a guillotine choke, proving that “it aint over until the fat lady sings

Lastly, what many people saw as the main event of the evening, WWE star Brock Lesnar vs Frank Mir. From the opening bell, Brock looked powerful and vicious, using his strength to wrestle Mir to the floor. From there he pummelled away with hammer fist strikes to Mir, and Im sure this must have been a shock to the system for the very much experienced MMA star. But after a short while, Mir proved that just strength alone is not enough and caught Brock with an awesome knee bar, winning the fight. Brock is a great wrestler, and now, surly he will go away, think about the fight, and come to the conclusion, that he must use his strength wisely, and mix it up with technique which he certainly does have, and maybe he could be one of the greatest heavyweights MMA has ever seen.


Marks

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Saturday, 2 February 2008

Self Defence Training for all Martial Artists

Training in martial arts has many benefits. Fitness, strength, competition success, surpassing plateaus etc, all of these things are great achievements that can be attained from years of vigorous effort. But we must not lose the fact that near the top of the benefit list should be to attain a high level of SELF DEFENCE SKILLS.

Its ironic, that nowadays not much actual self defence is practised at many martial arts schools. In a self defence situation on the street, it is not practical to ground fight, feel your opponent out with jabs until you deliver a knockout punch, try and defend yourself with a spinning roundhouse kick or attack with a stepping lunge punch. In many schools depending on the type of fighting concentrated on (striking or grappling) the majority of the class is involved in becoming a better fighter for competitive purposes in mind, with stronger techniques, and about 10 minutes at the end of the class is used for self defence training. Having said that, IT IS NOT LIKE THAT AT ALL SCHOOLS, but it is at many.

We can not lose the thought that maybe one day, our well being will depend on us being able to defend ourselves well, so having said that I think we should all (including myself) spend slightly longer in realistic self defence training, being more comfortable with things like, wild swings and unorthodox kicks, defending against two or more attackers, defending against realistic knife attacks, and learning how to read aggressive behaviour. Throughout my time with this blog, Im sure the following topic will come up in many articles so I leave you by saying, FIGHTING ON THE STREET IS VERY DIFFERENT TO FIGHTING IN THE GYM OR DOJO. PLEASE BE PREPARED...just in case.


Marks

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