Monday, 29 June 2009

MMA and Street Combat

There is an article written recently on the website 24 Fighting Chickens entitled The Most Effective Martial Art on Earth. In it, the author explains that the most effective art for hand to hand combat without weapons is everything that is banned in an MMA fight.

Obviously the banned techniques in MMA include the most dangerous ones like eye gouges, throat strikes etc, and during extreme situations these techniques must be called upon to help defend oneself. However to say that these banned techniques make up the most effective martial art can’t really be justified.

Yes, an MMA fighter trains to compete under a sporting environment where there are many differences between sport combat and street combat. Sport requires the upholding of rules and regulations in order to keep the fighters as safe as possible. In the street there are no rules, anything goes and one is free to use or have used on them the banned MMA techniques.

But street combat is so much more than just learning how to use banned MMA techniques or punching without gloves, unlike an MMA fighter who trains with gloves. An MMA fighter takes blows constantly during training. Something anyone wanting to become proficient in street combat should also get used to. An MMA fighter gets used to physical contact like pulling, pushing, lifting and being lifted. This again is something that happens in street combat if a situation gets to that stage. An MMA fighter learns how to react fast, using many weapons on his/her body such as knees, elbows etc, something again, which is very relevant for street combat.

Also there is the mental aspect. Training for an MMA fight and sparring endless hours against fighters that may not only be intimidating but who also want to destroy you, which is the best preparation for an MMA fight, can eventually instil a fighting spirit and confidence which will definitely help oneself in a street combat situation.

MMA is a sport and street combat is something different, however, there are many aspects of MMA training that can help someone improve there skills for street combat. For this reason, the statement quoted above, that the best martial art for hand to hand combat is one that includes everything banned in MMA can not hold water.

It will be interesting to hear people opinions on this.


Marks

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Friday, 26 June 2009

Cross Collar Choke Defence

Todays video is one which is most important for gi grapplers.

Probably the most common choke when grappling in a gi is the cross collar lapel choke (juji jime).

A lot of people waste energy when trying to defend this choke. They either try and use strength by pulling there opponents arms to release the hold, they move there head back to try and create space so a choke can not be applied and some even try and push there chin into there gi so as to avoid the choke.

Many times one of the main criteria of grappling is neglected in defending this particular choke. That criteria is good leverage.

The video shows how to use leverage, and the least amount of energy to successfully get out of any danger from the submission. Enjoy



Marks

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Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Broken Balance for Judo Throws

Breaking balance (kuzushi) is probably the aspect of Judo that sets it apart from other martial arts. In order to throw your opponent with ease during sparing, randori or shiai, when they are also fighting back, one must learn this very important concept and study it well.

Judo ka are taught at an early stage to break there opponents balance by pulling or pushing them in any direction. However, performing this against a live opponent who does not want to be thrown is very hard if not impossible. So what does one do?

Thankfully, whenever someone moves, there balance breaks and it is up to Judo ka and any other martial artists wishing to throw there opponents, to recognise these moments and to act quickly upon them. Some of these moments when balance is broken are listed below.

Creating a reaction - This is probably the best known way of breaking an opponents balance in judo without pushing or pulling in the direction you want to throw. In fact, one pushes or pulls there opponent in the opposite direction they wish to throw them. The reason being is to defend, the opponent will resist the push or pull and lean towards the opposite direction. For example, if one wanted to throw there opponent backwards with o soto gari, a pull forwards would force there opponent to resist by leaning backwards allowing for a very easy o soto gari to be performed.

When stepping forward, backwards sideways – Once you have locked up with your opponent, movement will occur which will most likely be steps in any direction. Performing throws in the direction they are moving is much easier if they are moving there centre of gravity in the direction of the throw. Sweeps are good for this. One of my favourites, is when the opponent is stepping forward, block the back leg from stepping forward with your foot as you pull strongly his/her body forward.

After a failed throw – Once your opponent fails a throw, as he/she returns to a fighting position they are momentarily of balance. Performing a throw in the direction that they are moving will be much easier. For example, after a failed uchi mata by your opponent, as they move back into a fighting position, moving there balance in a backwards direction, one can apply a morote gari or another backwards throw much easier.

After getting up from the ground – Many times when two people are fighting on the floor, they stand up at the same time. When your opponent is standing up, use the momentum of them pushing with there legs to stand and perform any pick up technique. I have always like te guruma, but any will do. As long as you are quick with this and have good timing, it will work. Think of a squat in weight lifting. When they are pushing up with there legs to stand after squatting down, is when you must start the pickup.

In combination – You combine throws, in order to make the throw you wish to take down your opponent, much easier. For example, you attempt a foot sweep that does not bring down your opponent but takes them off balance slightly. Using speed, you then perform another throw quickly. Because your opponent is not fully balanced the second throw is much easier.

After an explosive burst – Imagine you have just bowed to your opponent during a match. As soon as you bow, you explode forwards towards him/her and take a strong grip. Completely startled by the rush your opponent takes his/her mind away from his/her balance for a split second. It is during this split second that you may be able to easily take down your opponent with ease. This has happened many times in competition even at the top levels. Usually people attack with morote gari although any throw will work as long as it is explosive and fast and takes your opponent by surprise. If it does not work, it should at least provide an opportunity for a second follow on throw.

Reading your opponent – This is the method of the top level martial artist. It requires one to study there opponents movements and actions very carefully to learn weather there is either a specific movement, set up or anything else which there opponent relies upon every now and then. If a movement is found, then you think of a counter throw to that movement and simply wait for your opponent to perform it, in which you then counter which should make the throw a lot easier. For example, if you have studied your opponent and have found that he/she steps back before performing any hip technique (something very common) you simply wait for them to step back. Knowing exactly what they are going to do next, you plan to throw with tani otoshi or another backwards throw, as soon as they step in and turn.

With regards to the actual throws themselves, one must be fast and catch there opponent before they get the chance to regain there balance. During randori, learn how to understand when your opponents balance is broken and the best ways to take them down during these critical moments.


Marks

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Monday, 22 June 2009

Ways to Develop Speed for Strikes

A few emails recently on the same topic have prompted me to write this post. Speed during punching and the best way to develop it seems to be top in people’s minds at the moment. Maybe a program on Muhammad Ali has been on TV recently that I missed and everyone has become motivated to develop there own hand speed.

Below are my favourite training methods which have proven to be most beneficial for me, in producing speed for strikes. I must point out that as a martial artist, I have always trained many hand techniques which include the basic four boxing punches along side other strikes such as elbows, backfists, knife hand strikes etc. Unless otherwise stated all strikes should be carried out when performing these drills and not just boxing style punches.

Shadow boxing – For me, shadow boxing is good for loosening up at the start of a workout and building a good level of speed during basic training when someone first starts striking. Shadow boxing teaches one to stay relaxed, how to control ones balance whilst moving around and striking and is the best way to quickly find out what techniques come easy and which others need to be worked on. All of this helps one to build up a good level of speed that can then be improved later.

Candle punching – Striking at a lit candle, stopping the strike an inch or two away from the flame with the aim of extinguishing it, is a great way to work not only a speedier punch but a speedier pull back into a guarding position. Once one is able to put the flame out easily, he/she then moves back slightly so as the strike stops further away from the flame, making it harder to put out, forcing a faster strike. This type of training is best for straight strikes and backfists which are snapped back and not swung through the target.

Striking holding weights – By striking whilst holding weights, one is able to strengthen the exact muscles, tendons and ligaments used in each strike. The theory is that if your muscles are stronger they can move faster. Personally the difference in speed which is felt straight away once strikes are thrown after a round or two of striking whilst holding weights, is remarkable. Holding dumbbells are probably the best equipment to use for this although some people prefer to strap weights to their wrists. The best techniques to use for this training method are ones where the fist extends away from the body (straights, hooks, backfists etc ). The effect of holding weights in the hands will not be felt much when performing elbow strikes.

Heavy bag power hitting – For me, I have always found that after striking the heavy bag as hard as I can, I am able to strike (in air) at a very fast pace and am certain that it has helped me produce faster strikes, also, whilst providing one of the best cardiovascular workouts possible.

Red line drill – This is a drill borrowed from Chuck Norris’s Winning Tournament Karate book, and during my training, this has been most effective in producing speed. It forces one to push past boundaries. There are 4 steps to the drill. Step 1 involves half a minute of repeating a single technique or combination at a slow pace, with half a minute rest after. During step 2, the same technique/s is/are performed but slightly faster, for the same amount of time with the same rest period. On step 3, again they are performed but as fast as possible, again for the same amount of time with the same rest period. Step 4 is the red line phase. They are performed again but at a speed faster than you thought was your fastest. Technique goes out the window here and movement is very sloppy. That is fine since the aim is to just move faster than before. After the same rest period, the technique is then performed again but at a slower pace, concentrating on form so as to not become sloppy. The red line drill is tough and should be performed only a couple of times a week so as one has a chance to recover properly.

Like I said, these training methods worked best with me for producing speed but may not be for you. Experiment with them if you wish and see how you get on. Alternatively if you have your own training methods that have helped you, leave a comment describing them.


Marks

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Friday, 19 June 2009

Muay Thai Clinch Escape

Today’s video is a clinch escape demonstrated by Murilo “Ninja” Rua and Mauricio “Shogun” Rua. Check it out and also read the further points made about the clinch and about why this video should be watched by all, regardless of there clinch experience.

A lot of people question weather one should bring there arms down to block knees as it leaves them open for elbows. The reality is, once you get caught in the clinch, knees will probably be the first thing that gets thrown at you and if your opponent is clinching you correctly (grabbing high up the head rather than the neck) with a strong grip it is very easy for you to be pulled down exposing targets for knee strikes, so as the video says, first thing to do is block the knee strikes.

Although this clinch break is quite basic and may not work with advanced fighters, the good thing about the video is the smaller points which are stressed such as pushing the face away with the forearm and not the hand, remembering to bring the shoulder in when swimming your arm through your opponents and if you watch the replay of the clinch escape without a partner, Ninja demonstrates good posture by keeping his back straight and pushing up with his legs. These are basic points of clinch fighting which all fighters sometimes need reminding.


Marks

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Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Martial Artists Cutting Carbohydrates

Many of today’s martial arts movie stars not only have great technique but ripped bodies. Having a ripped body means not only defined visible muscles, but a low body fat level which can be as low as 3% in some cases, enough to clearly see striations in the muscles. Obviously to get into this state of conditioning, one needs to train hard and cut back on there calories. As martial artists though, should we be trying to achieve a ripped look?

It is very easy to believe in today’s day and age that carbohydrates are the reason many people put on weight when the actual reason for this is excessive calorie consumption. These calories can come from protein, carbohydrate or fat. If you have too many of any, you will put on weight. Yes, dropping your carbs and fat a little while keeping your protein high to maintain lean muscle will help in losing body fat but as a martial artist and not a bodybuilder is it very effective.

In order to achieve a ripped body a bodybuilder must adjust there diet by cutting down on there calorie intake, and this means for most, cutting down on carbs and fat. Many bodybuilders who weigh around 200 lbs sometimes can be known to eat at the most 50 grams of carbs a day and often less then this. For a bodybuilder who trains only weights and cardio this may be effective for them.

However, for a martial artist, who trains an average 3-5 times a week and maybe incorporates weight training and cardiovascular training into there regimen, this may not be enough carbs. Apart from the fact that the grappling, striking, self defence or whatever type of training one concentrates on will require one to exert a lot of energy which one will need from carbohydrates, a lack of this nutrient will lead one to think and react slower, be much weaker strength wise and techniques not as fast, which may lead one to wonder why there fighting skills may suffer during sparring, which can also lead to a drop in moral. A martial artist is not a bodybuilder, and although can learn many lessons from them, must keep in mind the fact that there training and diet will differ slightly. A bodybuilder does not have to think clearly when performing an hour on the treadmill. He simply plugs in his iPod and away he goes. A martial artist needs to be extra alert during sparring when fists and feet are flying towards him. A good supply of carbs will provide this.

Carbs are not ones enemy, and it is perfectly easy to develop a well defined physique with a low but not excessively low body fat level by continuing to train martial arts, weights and everything else whilst still cutting back on ones calories. However, the key is to cut calories enough, but not excessively. If you feel tired upon waking, feel your strength disappear, have shaky limbs or feel depressed, then these are signs that you have cut back on your carbs way to much and should consider adding a few more.


Marks

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Monday, 15 June 2009

Eye Gauges for Self Defence

During UFC 99 Mirko Crop Cop beat Mustapha al Turk and during the fight inadvertently poked him in the eye. The eye gauge is a very dangerous but effective technique when performed correctly.

Most combat sports have made strikes to the eye illegal (quite rightly so) and for this reason this article deals with the technique from a self defence point of view and if one practises merely for sport should not attempt to train the technique.

Eye gauges have been used by martial artists for hundreds of years (see the pankration fighters on the ancient greek vase on the right). Nukite is the name used in Karate for finger strikes. Finger strikes are always aimed towards soft targets such as the throat, groin area or the eyes. However, when aimed towards the eyes, is it better to strike, in the same fashion as a punch from a distance away from the opponent, or to press during a grappling situation?

An eye gauge strike which is thrown in the same fashion as a punch is very hard to pull off during actual free fighting. Finding a target as small as the eye is hard when done with speed. If you add the fact that your opponent will be moving also, this makes it even harder to achieve and if you miss the eye, you could injure your fingers by striking the forehead or another hard surface. For this reason an eye gauge strike is probably not as effective as maybe a punch would be.

Eye gauges from a grappling situation are much more realistic and effective. Imagine you are clinched somehow with your opponent or grappling around on the floor. As you are holding your opponents head, clothing etc it is very easy to simply slide a finger or even better a thumb towards your opponent’s eye (see the picture). Instinctively if you simply touch around the area of the eye, never mind the eye itself, your opponent should draw all his attention to that, possibly leaving himself open to further techniques or providing you with the opportunity to flee the area, which is even better.

Being such a dangerous technique, the eye gauge must be practised with extreme caution. When practising the grappling version with a partner instead of actually going for the eye with a digit, aim for just above the eyebrow. Do not press hard against the area as it can be very easy to slip.


Marks

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Friday, 12 June 2009

Circular Movement when Defending

Ways of defending oneself is something that many people have different opinions on. Some say that simply covering up as a boxer would, is all that is needed to defend. Others argue that this does not work when not wearing padded gloves and parries and deflections must be ingrained in ones defensive arsenal. There is also some who prefer to simply keep themselves at a distance where they do not need to worry much about defending and concentrate more on finding the correct moment to attack.

No matter how one decides to defend what should always be in everyone’s thoughts is movement away from oncoming strikes. Once someone decides to charge at you with strikes, putting you on the defensive, moving out of the way will stop you from taking the blows. What is important though is where you move.

Firstly one can move backwards. A lot of people when coming up against a barrage of strikes move backwards thinking that the more they back-pedal, the more they shall avoid punishment. However the punishment will continue, simply by the attacker moving forwards while striking which is not very hard to do.

The better alternative is to move circular, sidestepping your opponent’s attacks. By moving around the attack you stand a better chance of stopping your opponent’s onslaught as it is very hard to attack an opponent who is circling around you as opposed to attacking someone who is moving backwards. The only concern when circling around your opponents charge is that you must be extra cautions of your guard and have to make sure that you are well protected from any punches or kicks.

The following is Andrei Arlovski’s fight against Brett Rogers. Arlovski was seen by most as the favourite to win and the match as nothing but a quick victory for him after his defeat to Fedor Emilianenko. It proved that firstly you should NEVER underestimate your opponent, and secondly, circular movement is essential to learn as moving straight back will rarely stop an attack.

The slow motion replay shows that as soon as Rogers landed his first blow he charged forward simultaneously throwing powerful shots while Arlovski moved backwards until he came up against the cage with nowhere to run and no hope of surviving.

Some may argue that if you get rocked with hard shots you may not be in a thinking mode and side stepping or moving in a circular motion may not come across your mind. Others may argue that if you practise constantly defending and moving in a circular motion as opposed to straight backwards, after a while it will become second nature to you and even when not thinking about it you shall instinctively do it. It is crucial to learn and is something that every striker should consider.


Marks

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Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Defending the Jump to Guard

A tactic that has evolved mainly from Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and submission grappling tournaments is for fighters to jump into the guard, with the hope of taking there opponent to the ground. This avoids any type of standing fight and places the person jumping to guard in a position which most likely they feel more comfortable.

There are some who feel that this is a very negative approach to fighting, not showing the true nature of a martial artist which is to avoid as much negativity as possible, whilst others see it as a very tactical technique for drawing a fight into an area where one fighter can dominate the other. However you look at it, it is a part of martial arts and for this reason counter attacks to it must be took seriously and practised regularly.

Below are a few counters which may help when defending the jump to guard,

Be cautious of your opponents grip – For your opponent to jump into guard he must be gripping you securely. If he gets a strong grip of your arm or sleeve, lapels, behind your neck or a single or double over/under hook (around your triceps or under your arm pits) chances are he shall be attempting either a takedown or a jump to guard. Either fight, in order to break your opponents grip or be ready to defend with a technique below or any other once they perform the jump.

Step back and side turn – Once your opponent jumps in order to secure his legs around you, simply step one leg slightly back whilst turning your body sideways to your opponent. What this does, is it moves one hip backwards and makes it hard for your opponent to “sit” comfortably on you. Chances are he shall just fall to the ground straight away or shall struggle in order to stay on you for a couple of seconds before falling. However, he shall probably want to pull you down with him so be prepared.

Bring a knee up – As your opponent jumps in, simply bring your knee up close to your chest so your opponent jumps into your shin. This can sometimes be very painful for him as he can catch your shin right on the family jewels. It will definitely make him think twice about trying to jump into guard!

Start your guard pass once they have jumped in – If your opponent does make a successful jump into guard, start your guard pass whilst standing. From a standing position some good guard passes are to push one of his knees down in order to break his hold (This will be easier from a standing position), or to push his hips down towards the floor.
He shall find it hard to stay holding on around you with his legs when you do this. Chances are, if he has a strong grip of you with his hands, he shall just simply undo the guard and you shall both end up standing. Secondly, if you can break the grip he has on you with his hands, he shall have nothing to hold and shall flop backwards towards the floor from the waist whilst you are standing. This will make it easy for you to hook underneath one of his legs, allowing you to turn him round with the opportunity to take side control or his back.

As with everything and stated many times on this website, there is never a guarantee that any of these techniques will work. What there is though, is the possibility that they will work which is better than nothing. Practise the techniques and come up with some more of your own.

By dropping to the floor once your opponent has jumped to guard you are playing his game. The idea when grappling and with all martial arts in fact, is that YOU want to be the person in control. Make your opponent play YOUR game. By him wanting to take you to the floor shows that he feels more comfortable there, so the best thing you can do is go to the ground when YOU want to, making sure it is YOU who has the most dominant position and higher level of comfort once there.


Marks

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Monday, 8 June 2009

Training without Training

Most martial artists wish that they had more time to train. With all the stresses of daily life, including work, family commitments, travelling etc, many do not get the chance to train as much as liked, sometimes not at all for a great length of time. However, there are ways in which one can get in some kind of training during hectic periods, even if it is for a few minutes each day and the greatest advantages is these methods do not require one to change there clothes or to be in gym when doing them.

Some of the training methods include,

Hand slapping – A great kids game which anyone can do. It does need a partner but is easy to learn if you have never done it before. In case you don’t know what it is, hold your palms together as if praying and then touch your finger tips with your partner who is holding his/her hands in the same way. From here your partner must slap your hands with one of his choice and you must simply avoid the slap by moving nothing but your hands away. Your partner keeps slapping until he/she misses, in which the roles are reversed. There are many variations to this game such as circling your hands, slapping with both etc. Be inventive and come up with a few. This is one of the greatest ways to improve ones reactions which is something every martial artist could do with.

Muscle tensing – It’s as simple as it sounds. Either sitting down or standing up, tense your muscles. These isometric contractions are a great way to quickly improve strength and where ways in which Bruce Lee improved his. Bodybuilders perform these isometric holds during there posing routines and swear by them for helping bring out muscle definition and for providing a good workout if done for a length of time. When muscle tensing, tense each muscle group lightly and slowly move towards hard tensing. You can also tense two or more muscles together. Remember to breathe whilst keeping muscles tense.

Stretching – This is something that is recommended during long journeys. Stretches can be done anywhere, whilst seated or standing and do not require much room. Stretch lightly if your muscles are not thoroughly warmed and hold each stretch for at least twelve seconds.

Mind sparring – If you can’t physically train you can still keep your mind active and thinking about martial arts. It is very common for fighters to prepare themselves moments before there match/s by imagining there opponent attacking and them and countering with certain techniques. Mind sparring can be done anywhere. All you need is a few minutes to wander off into your imaginary world where you can spar with one or more opponents. You should notice your actual live sparring improving after performing this exercise regularly.

Media – Along with mind sparring, you can also keep you mind on martial arts by using media. Books, internet articles, blogs, video’s DVD’s etc. Today’s world offers many ways in which one can keep there minds active in martial arts. Techniques, theories, concepts and many other aspects of the martial arts can be picked up through media.

Talking about it – Just by simply talking about martial arts one may be able to learn new techniques in which they can practise when they train. The greatest benefit talking about martial arts brings is that it raises morale and motivation. Talking to someone about martial arts, especially if that person has much experience, with many stories to tell can bring a great sense of motivation and desire to train hard. Imagine if you could chat to Bruce Lee for five minutes, listening to his ideas and concepts. I bet the first thing that would then be on your mind is hitting the gym/dojo hard! For people who have hit boredom in there training, this is invaluable.

These are just a few ways in which one can train and keep there mind active about martial arts without the use of a gym, in the comfort of there own home, on an airplane, on holiday or when they do not have the time to train. There are many other ways and I encourage you to find them out.


Marks

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Friday, 5 June 2009

David Carradine, RIP

This post is dedicated to Kung Fu star David Carradine. He was found dead in a hotel in Thailand with a cord wrapped around his neck and other body parts.

I’m sure everyone is aware of his role in Kill Bill, but for many martial artists he is best known for being Caine in the television series Kung Fu, in which we were all treated to classic quotes and philosophies, not only for becoming better martial artists but also better human beings.

May he Rest In Peace.



Marks

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Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Training through the Summer

The winter is now past us and for the next few months there is the heat, the loose clothes and the steaks on the BBQ. However it is also a great time for training. Winter training can be sometimes boring and depressing and having the long hot summer days can help produce some inspirational and memorable training sessions.

Just as the temperature is different from winter to summer, so can ones training be. Below are a few tips on how to use the summer months to help.

Train outside - Grab the weights, the pads and the people and get a tan while you train. Not only will training outside provide you with a method to fight boredom which some will welcome, but the heat from the sun will make you sweat a little bit more allowing one to burn more calories and lose more weight.

Cardio Sparring - As mentioned above, the summer heat will help burn more calories. Using sparring as a method for performing cardio training will help. By sparring, one trains strength and explosiveness via throws, take downs and grappling, where stamina is worked via the constant repetition of strikes and by moving around. If your diet is correct, sparring can be a great help in burning unwanted fat. A good way of doing cardio sparring is to perform High Intensity Interval Sparring. For a minute or so keep the sparring light, soft and at a slower pace. Then for about half a minute boost up the intensity to as high as possible. Move fast, strike hard and scramble on the ground with ferocity. Repeat this cycle 10-20 times for a good workout. Make sure if the contact is hard that you and your training partner are well padded.

Flexibility exercises - To some, there is nothing worse than trying to improve flexibility in the cold winter months. Muscles contract instinctively in order to stay warm and stretching them can be very off putting. However, the warm summer months seem to make the muscles more elastic and less prone to injury so use the time you have wisely and improve your flexibility. Its always best to perform stretching after workouts, when your muscles are worked and the blood is flowing. After sparring is a great time since you would have performed a variety of kicks, punches and body movements and your muscles will be already limber, able to welcome the stretches better.

Swimming - To add on from training outside, one of the greatest advantages summer brings is the ability to enjoy long lazy days by water. If you are lucky enough to have a swimming pool around the area you live or if you live close to the beach and if it is something you do not usually do, add swimming to your training program. Not only will you be able to enjoy the surroundings, compared to sweaty smelly indoor gyms you may have endured throughout the year, but you will also be getting your body used to performing a different exercise, which you may not be doing regularly. Performing different exercises is always good for shocking your muscles, making them grow.

Warm up - Although you will be warm because of the heat, you still must make sure to stretch lightly before each workout session so as to not injure yourself.

Drink extra water - As you will be sweating more because of the warm weather, it is imperative that you keep well hydrated. Drink extra amounts of water, before, during and after training. Whatever bottle you may use to drink from, go and buy a bigger one. Fill it to the top before training and take regular sips throughout.

Summer training can be hard as the heat may drain you, so obviously if you are drained you may want to skip training or keep it light. Also, training throughout summer can be sometimes a chore to some as it is time where fun can be had with family or friends and a time where many people take a break from the pressures of life. Keep your training fun and if you want to take a few days off from training go for it. Don't let it rule you and you will always enjoy it.


Marks

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Monday, 1 June 2009

Lyoto Machida's Style

Since Lyoto Machida’s knock out victory against Rashad Evans at UFC 98 there have been a string of articles published about Shotokan Karate and Machida’s style of fighting. Weather it is really effective for real life, is Lyoto just lucky, one day soon he shall get what’s coming to him and other stories which seem to be pointless.

Why are they pointless? Simply because, style does not make a fighter. A statement that has been written and said many times for years and years. Bruce Lee famously proclaimed this during his life. It is the person that makes a good fighter not the style. Weather a person trains in Karate, Kickboxing, BJJ, or Kung Fu, as long as one trains realistically they should be effective fighters. There is never a guarantee of victory, but if one has a realistic attitude towards combat they should always stand a chance of winning.

Notice above though, that the word realistically is marked in italics. It is very important that realism is kept in ones mind always, when concerned with real fighting against a live opponent, be it in the ring or on the street. This is the main thing that Lyoto Machida has done.

As far as MMA for sport is concerned, he has kept his way of fighting realistic by understanding that his strikes need to be fast, well timed and with full hard contact, something that some sport Karate fighters do not train as it is not in there rules of competition. He has kept his way of fighting realistic by understanding that clinch work is nessecary for real fighting and that it must be given considerable attention. Weather trained in a Karate dojo or a Muay Thai gym, the clinch work must be trained. Finally, he has kept his way of fighting realistic by understanding that takedowns, grappling and submission holds are part of real fighting, hence his high grade in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

If one trains each part of overall fighting described above, one will be successful and if many hours of careful, strategic training are carried out rather than many hours of simply fighting with different people, timing, distance, reactions and many other elements will be enhanced.

This is what Lyoto Machida has done and this is why he is champion. Being a Karate ka does not have much to do with it. Being a strategic competent fighter does.


Marks

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