Sunday, 20 December 2009

Best of 2009!

Well, another year is nearly gone and the festive season is here again.

We shall not be posting any new articles here at MarksTraining.com until January, but have compiled a list of the best articles and video posts of 2009 below for you to check out, comment on and hopefully keep you entertained until we return.

We would like to take this opportunity to say thanks to all who have subscribed to us, to all who visit us and to all who recommend us to there friends via Facebook, Twitter and other methods.

May you all have a wonderful break and come back refreshed in 2010!



Articles
Weight Training Mistakes for Martial Artists
Martial Arts and the Deadlift
Ground Grappling Basic Pointers
MMA and Street Combat
Muay Thai Clinch - What NOT to do
Stepping into Kicks
Dirty Clinch Fighting
Kevin Rooney on Mike Tyson
Power Punching, Top 5 Methods

Video Posts
Ernesto Hoost Highlights
Roy Dean Martial Arts
Kyle Maynard, a True Fighter
Paul Vunaks Ear Slap for Self Defence
Karate Competition Foot Sweeps
Muay Thai - Elbow Strike
Larry Hartsell
Parkour and Martial Arts



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Friday, 18 December 2009

Fedor vs Mousasi Exhibition

Today’s video is another exhibition fight showing Fedor Emilianenko vs Gegard Mousasi.

Having already shown the exhibition fight ofFedor vs Voronov, which proved to be a great see here at MarksTraining.com, it is fitting that Fedor and Mousasi’s exhibition fight be also shown.

Most of you are aware that Fedor comes from a great Sambo background which includes Judo throws and that he is very talented with them (especially with Harai Goshi), but some of you may find it interesting to learn that Mousasi also has extensive training in Judo and he also exhibits this many times during the video, taking Fedor down on a number of occasions.

Whilst on the ground, both fighters show skill and finesse escaping submissions, performing sweeps and reversals and also seem to be having a good time.

At the end of the exhibition, both men show sportsmanship and respect for one another, the sign of being great martial artists as well as gentlemen. Enjoy!



Marks
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Thursday, 17 December 2009

NZ Grappler Paralyzed at a Competition

The following post was taken fron SteveBJJ.com. PLEASE READ

I’m sure that everyone who reads this blog knows how relatively safe BJJ is, but accidents are a possibility. Please take a few moments to read John Will’s blog post (below) and consider donating a few bucks to help one of our own out in a time of real need. We are all careful. We all take necessary precautions, but the truth is, it could have been any one of us. I’d like to think that you guys would help me out if I needed it, as I would help you.

My heart goes out to Haydn Clasby and his family.


Just like Steve, my heart also goes out Haydn Clasby and his family. For such a thing to happen is so unfortunate and should hopefully make us all realise that we are so lucky to be able to use our bodies well enough to train as we do. It is a gift given to us, not to be taken lightly. Please read the post below, and consider donating. A little is better than nothing.

John Will's Post

Haydn’s Support page on Facebook
Make a Donation via PayPal

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Monday, 14 December 2009

Higher Judo Groundwork, A Great Book

Today, MarksTraining.com offers you a look at one of the best ever written Judo Newaza books. Printed in 1952, written by M Feldenkrais and with a preface by G Koizumi, founder of the famous Budokwai Martial arts Academy in London, this book deals with some of the more advanced ground fighting techniques, which are rarely if ever used in today’s Judo dojo’s.

Whilst looking at the book, its content may seem very similar to modern Brazilian Jiu Jitsu books as it includes a variety of sweeps from the guard as well as other positions, many variations of arm locks and chokes but also a good helping of leg locks, something that is banned in modern day Judo.

For the modern day Judoka, old texts like this are great since they should hopefully help to reinforce the necessity for Judoka to include just as much thoughtful study towards ground grappling as they do with there standing techniques.

Ground fighting is a part of combat that can never be ignored by any martial artist, especially Judoka and if you are one who thinks that you have not been giving as much attention to it as you have your standing work, then please, check out this book below, read it thoroughly and try to practice its contents during your mat time at training.

Higher Judo Ground Work
Marks
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Are Karate Drills Worth Practicing?

A while back, a post showed some defense techniques demonstrated by the great Wado Ryu teacher, Tatsuo Suzuki (please view it here first) in which the following comment was made by KARATE STUDENT.

Let's upfront admit karate has its limitations.

They're all evident here in these really boring slo-mo videos. The sensei's opponent is relatively small vs. say, Rampage Jackson. He is kind-of a passive training partner. The self-defense moves often look mechanical. Are they practical? They seem a little complicated to pull off.

KS must admit, though, he is a little biased favorably on japanese karate training. Even though karate forms are called 'hyung' in Tang Soo Do (TSD), KS tends to refer to forms as 'kata' (Shotokan, japanese karates).

Let's look again at the videos, not from a ready-to-go fighting standpoint, but from a training one.

FIRST, under the Lunge Punch post (here), karate was shot-full-of-holes for being meaningless and impractical. Here, that strategic criticism is erased. Once basic techniques are learned, the traditional progression says now learn how to use them.

SECOND, it's not against Rampage. Well, realistically, we don't run into the Rampage Jackson everyday. And from a training viewpoint, doesn't it make more sense to start with the average opponent when you are trying to build your skills? Save Rampage for advanced testing, rather than overwhelm yourself and lose the lesson.

THIRD, what about the cooperative 'uke?' Point A, refer to SECOND above. Sparring, as MARKS as pointed out in his sparring posts, the place for reality testing, and with varying degrees at that. We're not there in the training progression.

FOURTH, the mechanical approach aids learning and understanding the effect of the technique on the opponent at each step. For non-athletic types like KS, I can now catch on. The sports-gifted may learn faster, but do they learn it better?

FIFTH, they don't look practical. Well, the fighting situations are presented and the big miss here is that you have to start somewhere; then people say, "Oh, that's not perfect."

Moreover, let's agree that not every technique turns out to be practical. Bigger picture? Let's say the sensei trains you in 25 self-defenses techniques, each averaging 3 to 4 parts & techniques. That 75 to 100 moves. Choose the 1/3 that work best for you, and that's still 7 or 8 defenses with 25 to 35 moves. Now you have an arsenal of applied defenses, not just that g_d-awful 'lunge punch.'

SIXTH, they're too complicated, cumbersome to pull off. Wait, we've heard a raft of criticism that karate is too plain and simple to work, not 'clever.' Now, here we are told its too good, now too clever to work. Huh? What these objectors are usually guilty of is that they can't do the demanding karate training, but they can do something else that's not so taxing.

As KS said, the criticisms of karate start to fall away once you seriously train. The even bigger miss by the above start-out list of Karate weaknesses is no mention of MENTAL training.

Isn't a huge lesson the discipline presented by the participants in doing this kind of arduous training? The diligence shown to train until they get it down pat? How about the accuracy
displayed?

KS doubts that a fighter holding to the mental standards alone, provided by Sensei Suzuki's training, would make the same, repeated mistake in fighting technique as did Chuck Liddell in the UFC knockouts he RECEIVED.

KS's favorite part of these videos is the opening. The Master presents himself as a man of iron fighting technique and iron fighting will. As for the super-fighter opponent, isn't the UFC list of Lyoto Machida's (Shotokan)prospective opponent's getting thin?

KARATE STUDENT, thanks for the comments. I may be wrong in thinking, but it seems that you have some criticisms about these videos and this type of training. Hopefully, the points below will be a good response to your comments.

Firstly you say that these demos by Sensei Suzuki are slow and boring. After seeing him live perform the same drills I can tell you that he is slowing it down here! He is very much faster away from a camera. I think the reason he performs them at this pace (which are not too slow) is simply so viewers can get a glimpse of the techniques he is performing, his movements, his body positioning etc.

Secondly, you question weather these moves are practical and that they are hard to pull off. Well, the fact is that these pre arranged drills are simply that, drills with certain techniques so one has the chance to practice them but more importantly, other attributes such as timing, balance, distance etc. They are not "written in stone" responses for a certain self defense situation and should not be seen as that. In reality, one may be lucky to pull off maybe only one of these techniques, but by constantly practicing them, one will at least have certain responses and a better chance than somebody who does not practice them.

Thirdly, you talk about the “cooperative uke” (training partner) and that using the lunge punch to defend against has been given full acceptance rather than criticism. Forgive me for saying, but you seem to put this in a way that this is a bad thing. It must be remembered that these are simply drills not sparring, performed against the basic of all techniques, the lunge punch. The uke should definitely co operate for the purpose of the exercise. It would be no different than a Mauy Thai boxer training with a person holding some pads. Would the person holding the pads keep moving them? Or again, it’s the same when a Jiu Jitsu fighter is practicing arm locks against a compliant partner who willingly gives away his arm so as it can be locked. Should he defend so as the person trying to practice can not?

Regarding the lunge punch, the reason why it is not criticized is that it is used in these drills as simply a basic strike to practice against. These, as stated above are drills shown in a basic format, and where devised in this basic fashion so as students, who train in karate can learn. After a while it must be said, that variations should be incorporated which would include defenses to other techniques such as swings, tackles etc. However as a basic practice for students to start with, defenses to a lunge punch will provide a good foundation to work from.

KARATE STUDENT, Hopefully this helps you in some sort of way. To people who have not trained in Karate before, videos such as the ones talked about can be seen as very unrealistic approaches to self defense. However, once explained these are simply drills, and drills, such as these must be practiced in order for a martial artist to grasp the concepts of martial arts. Once these concepts have been learnt and more importantly, understood, they can then be applied to any situation. Weather or not they always work is a different story because as you mention, karate has its limitations, as does every art, but with practice and preparation, one will have a better chance of being able to defend himself more appropriately than someone who does not practice.


Marks
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Friday, 11 December 2009

Parkour and Martial Arts

I have took the idea for this video post from Ross Enamait’s blog RossTraining.com (A great website which all martial artists should be checking out regularly.)

Parkour, as Wikipedia states “is a non competitive physical discipline of French origin in which participants run along a route, attempting to negotiate obstacles in the most efficient way possible, as if moving in an emergency situation, using skills such as jumping and climbing, or the more specific Parkour moves.”

Just to get an idea of the types of things that Parkour involves, check out the following videos which I found from Ross’s site.





So what is the point to this video post on a martial arts website one may ask. Well, after an initial look it may seem that Parkour and martial arts have nothing in common, although in actual fact though, they do.

Firstly in martial arts, one must train for years in order to perform some of the physically demanding techniques which it holds. So do Parkour enthusiasts.

Secondly and more importantly, there must be a strong sense of self belief for martial arts. There must also be for Parkour. What can be more daunting then facing some of the jumps involved in Parkour. There obviously must be a very positive attitude, a strong sense of success and a “no mindedness” approach to perform some of these feats.

This is exactly what is needed for all martial artists also. In martial arts, one must try to not think about defeat, about physical boundaries or about anything else which is negative. One must keep in mind that success is only limited to ones own thoughts and if one has the confidence and self determination to block out negativity, then great feats can be achieved, be it being able to perform a spinning jumping back kick or winning a certain combat event.

The same self belief used in Parkour no doubt.

Marks
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Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Running Training

Every great martial artist or boxing star in the past has one exercise which binds them all and which can be said to be the “bread and butter” or there preparation. Running. Running has been used since man discovered he had legs and fighters, whose goal is to build a winning attitude with a well prepared body have used running for these reasons.

From a physical point of view, running is one the best ways to condition the muscles in order for them to be able to last long heavy bouts of intensity. Also, running is one of the best cardio exercises to build stamina. Every fighter needs a certain amount of stamina, especially if there goal is to compete in competitions/fights and for this reason, running must be incorporated.

There are some that think running is limited because it only uses up a few of the muscles of the body. However, with slight variations to ones running it can be made to be an overall body workout. A few of the many variations to include,

Interval Training – Shorts bouts of slow jogging with heavy sprinting, performed repetitively.

Different Directions – Run sideways (both sides) and backwards to use different muscles.

Combined Calisthenics – After a period of running (say 2 min) stop, and perform a number of press ups or crunches or back raises etc.

Ball of the Foot – instead of landing on the heels first, try to land on the balls of the foot for a great calf workout.

Running and Shadowboxing – Try and do both at the same time to work balance and for a more whole body workout.

There are more variations but these are a few which can be incorporated to make running that little extra demanding physically.

But running also develops ones mental attitude, not only for martial arts but for life itself in some peoples opinion. Running a long distance route or getting up early in morning to get it done can be very daunting for some people, and it is very easy for one to develop negative thoughts and the thought of giving up can easily creep up in someone’s mind. However, by blocking out these negative thoughts and trying to force a positive attitude of success, eventually, this may lead to other areas of ones life which is of great benefit to all.

Running is an all round excellent and one of the best supplemental exercise’s a martial artist or anyone can undertake. It should not be dismissed because of some “negative press” that one may have heard, for the positive results it can bring are more than worth it.


Marks
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Monday, 7 December 2009

Kicks for Self Defence

Street fights are normally quick, explosive and intense situations. Usually they are finished before anyone has the chance to call for help and in today’s day and age, the use of weapons to ones advantage is becoming ever more a harsh reality. So because of these reasons, are kicks for self defense worth executing?

Well firstly, most of us should know that kicks are more powerful than punches. By watching a heavy bag kicked, then punched, one can quickly see this. The legs are much larger than the arms (usually) and this leads to a more powerful strike with them, and in a street environment, where the possibility of multiple opponents is common, one must quickly be able to take one person out in order to deal with the next, or run which is always a better choice.

High kicks should be the last thing in ones mind however when concerned about street fighting. One simply does not have time or space in order to execute them. Now, im sure that you may have seen once or twice a street fight, either in reality or on the internet where high kicks have been effective for self defense, and sometimes it does happen. I have seen such videos. However, I have also seen hundreds more videos where one does not have the time or space to execute high kicks and if tried, could possible leave one in a lot of danger.

So does this rule kicks for self defense out? Certainly not! Maybe high kicks yes, but who said that kicks have to be high. If you are someone who has always used kicks above the waist, then welcome to the world of slightly more realistic and punishing kicks.

Firstly think about the fact that there are plenty of low targets for one to aim at. The groin, the knees, the shins, the feet (which can be stomped), the thighs and if one has the time and space, the hip bone. There are so many targets to choose from.

Then think about the fact that one will possibly be wearing shoes in a street fight. These shoes may have hard soles or hard toe caps which will only make stomps and kicks more effective.

Then also think about the fact that the hands can be used to control. In the dojo/gym, or in a competition or a ring/cage fight, against a skilled opponent, it is very rare that one will be able to control there opponent with there hands whilst delivering leg techniques (apart from in the clinch) but on the street , against a untrained thug who will probably not know your intentions, and when, chances are, you are very close in to your opponent, you may be able to grip, claw, hair pull, eye gauge etc with your hands, will stomping, kneeing, or kicking your opponents low targets. In a sporting event, this would get one disqualified for sure, but on the streets, it may be required to survive.

Kicks do have a place for the street, but one must realistically incorporate them. Kicks found in films may work once or even twice, but to think that they shall work all the time is very wishful and one would do better to think about, start training and start incorporating low, more realistic kicks into there street self defense training.


Marks
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Friday, 4 December 2009

Cung Le San Shou Demonstration

Today’s video is a San Shou demonstration performed by MMA star Cung Le.

Although this is only a demonstration, there is a ref (in a very unorthodox ref uniform) and Le and his opponent seem to be going at a pretty hard pace, although not the same pace as if it where a real fight.

The throws which Le uses are extraordinary. He uses perfect form in them rather than just strength and in particular, look out for his side kick fake, scissor takedown. Very impressive. Enjoy!



Marks
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Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Your Special Martial Art Technique

In the world of martial arts one of the beauties about it is that there are never a finite number of techniques that one can learn. There are techniques, variations, counters, set ups, counters to counters etc.

However is it a good idea to try and learn every technique possible, or better to pick a handful which you are comfortable with and concentrate on them. Will trying to learn every single technique be a bad thing in the long run?

I remember once attending a Judo tournament, where one fighter kept throwing his opponents with the same drop shoulder throw. He used the same set up, the same throw and the same hold down once on the ground if he had not won the match with the throw. He did this every time and surely as I did, everyone noticed this, even his opponents. So why did he still win with it, especially when his opponents knew what was coming.

After quizzing him about it later on in the changing room, he said that he thought it was better to not know lots of throws, but to pick one, and practice it over and over again. By doing this for many years he said that he was able to use it whenever he wanted, and that whatever his opponents came at him with, he had a way in which it could be used.

This was one of them conversations that then stuck in my mind and probably will for ever. It helped me find my own favorite throw (tokui waza). That one technique which can be called upon whenever needed to “get you out of trouble”.

Weather you are a Judoka, a Jiu Jitsu fighter or come from a striking background, there will be one technique or combination which will seem like it was made for you. After a few years of training and sparring you should eventually find it. You will know which it is because not only will it be effective, but it will seem to come very naturally to you.

Some good advice is, when you do find this technique, drill it. Again and again and again for years. Do not disregard other techniques though. Practice them also for two reasons. Firstly, so you become a well rounded fighter, but more importantly, so you can learn how to integrate and combine your favorite, special technique with them.


Marks
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