Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Shoulder Ram for Martial Artists

There is a saying in martial arts that the body must become a weapon. There are many weapons on the human body including the fist, feet, knees, elbows, shins and many more which seem practical. There is one part of the body however which is very practical but not used nearly as much as it should be. This is the shoulder.

The shoulder ram is a technique which can only be used at close range for obvious reasons. It does not need much training to become efficient with it and is something that all can be able to use.

Below are a few targets where the shoulder ram can be aimed at.

To the chin/face – The shoulder ram to your opponents chin/face is great to use when you have pulled their head downwards (as if performing a Thai clinch hold) or after your have struck them hard low which will normally result in them lowering there head slightly.

To the ribs – If your opponent tries to grab around you or maybe tries to grab over your shoulder you may be able to ram your shoulder into your opponent’s ribs as you thrust your weight forward. With enough power this can break the ribs.

To the solar plexus – This is possible if your opponent again tries to grab around or over you, exposing their torso or as you close the distance for some kind of throw/takedown.

To the hip – Just like ramming the solar plexus before a throw, one can aim slightly lower and ram into their opponents hips instead which helps breaks your opponents balance, making the throw easier. Most judoka/wrestlers may have felt this before being thrown by a double leg takedown.

To the knee – Sometimes you may be pulled down, tripped or even struck by your opponent which drops you down. Although this is usually a bad position to be in, you can, as a last result ram your shoulder as your thrust your weight forward into your opponents knee/s. This can easily bring your opponent down to your level.

The shoulder ram is great to use and should definitely be practised in ones daily training. The best way to practise it is against the heavy bag. With each bag session simply spend 5 minutes or so ramming the bag with your shoulder, not specifically aiming for power with each ram but precision, accuracy and balance. It can be easy to lose your balance with this technique so make sure that you adopt a nice firm stance just as with punching.


Marks
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Saturday, 24 April 2010

Kenji Midori Karate Kicks

The following video shows the kicking power, flexibility and speed of the "Little Dragon" Kyokushin fighter Kenji Midori

Be sure to watch out for his stop kicks which he uses to send his opponents crashing down towards the mat when they attempt an attack of their own.



Marks

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Thursday, 22 April 2010

Giant Set Weight Training

One of the greatest weight training methods that a martial artist can perform is giant sets. Giant sets are a training method that is very beneficial for all. It is a way of boosting not only your muscle tone, size but also stamina of the muscles.

Giant sets training involve three or more sets of three or more different exercises for the same muscle group. For instance, if you are performing giant sets for legs, one could do 12 reps of leg extensions followed by 12 reps of squats followed by 12 reps of lunges. Obviously because of the fact that one performs so many reps for one giant set, one must use a medium weight rather than heavy.

For martial art reasons, muscle stamina is something of great importance. When muscles do not have the stamina to carry on working when they are tired, one can easily be dominated by their opponent.

Giant sets are also a great way of training the mind for martial arts. In order to finish a giant set one has to push through the pain barrier and fight the urge to stop. Giant sets training is one of the most difficult form of training and it is very tempting to stop and carry on with more normal weight training.

Giant sets are good to shock your muscles. When performing the same routine for a period of time, your muscles can become used to the workout and can stop growing. Giant sets are a great way to shock your muscles to react to the change of the workout and can be “reignited” to start growing again. For this reason, use giant sets sparingly. They are not for every workout but can produce amazing results if used every so often.


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Monday, 19 April 2010

Striking Takedowns

Takedowns are a major part of martial arts. For MMA, they provide one with the opportunity to ground and pound, or work for a submission hold, and for self defence, taking down your opponent can provide you with the chance to flee the area quickly.

Many people think that takedowns are performed only via grappling, throwing or picking up your opponent. However, one can perform a takedown by striking their opponent with power. These striking takedowns are so valuable for all martial artists to consider and start practising if not already.

Some simple strike takedowns include,

Power foot sweep – The power foot sweep involves a hard kick with ones lower shin similar to a roundhouse kick, instead of a sweeping motion with the sole of the foot, aiming for the lower calf area of your opponents leg. Your aim with this strike is to strike through your opponent visualising this throughout the execution of the technique. It is very painful if performed correctly.

Power foot sweep after grabbing a leg – The same power foot sweep described above is performed once your have caught your opponents leg from either defending a kick or after attempting a takedown.

Knee to the outside of the thigh – This strike takedown is great when clinched with your opponent. It is performed by driving your knee into the outside of your opponents thigh whilst pulling him in the opposite direction to where your are striking.

The push – A technique that is old, classic and very valuable if performed correctly. When you push your opponent your should aim for the middle chest area. Also you should drive your body weight forward with the push. If performed correctly, your opponent will be easily taken of balance and shall fall.

Kick to the inside of the thigh - The front or side kicks are ideal for this. When you strike your opponents inside thigh with power, his leg will buckle and should fall easily. This is another great technique to perform when clinching your opponent and is part of basic Nahainchi kata bunkai.

Kick to back of the knee – This is for self defence only. A strong kick to the back of your opponent’s knee joint will easily and quickly drop them. It is very valuable for all to learn.

Strike takedowns are dangerous and should be practised with caution and with proper protection worn at all times. If one is able to master these described above, plus others, they shall be adding some very important and valuable techniques to their fighting repertoire.


Marks
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Friday, 16 April 2010

A Shocking MMA Outcome

In the world of MMA, there has been some shocking upsets.

For example, did anyone think that Royce Gracie, a small jiu jitsu fighter would ever dominate his much larger opponents? Or how about Anderson Silva ever losing to a heel hook? No one ever expects these things to ever happen

Shock upsets though do happen, but I bet no one ever expected this!



Marks
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Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Double Kicking for More Powerful Kicks

Everyone wants to develop more powerful kicks. Heavy bags, weight training and certain exercises are used to develop this much needed attribute that every fighter needs. However, one exercise which seems to have fallen out of fashion over the last few years is double kicking.

Double kicking is a great exercise in order to develop more powerful and explosive kicks. Although not necessarily a great way of throwing kicks in actual combat, it is a great training exercise for all martial artists to use, especially strikers.

In order to carry out the exercise, one starts of in their natural fighting stance. They then bring up their front or back leg into a chambered position (which depends on which kick is being practised). The first kick is then thrown and the leg then returns to the same chambered position. A slight pause is followed for about 1-2 seconds and then the second kick is thrown, before bringing the kicking foot back down to the floor.

When practising double kicks it is important to try and throw the second kick as powerful as possible. The truth is that it is very hard to throw the second kick as hard as the first, especially if you are new to this type of training but you must give it your all in order to benefit from the exercise.

A few benefits which comes from practising double kicking include,

Balance – By throwing double kicks one will quickly learn how to balance better on their supporting leg. This will add to a more powerful and explosive kick.

Strength – Apart from developing a stronger kick one will also strengthen the muscles, tendons and ligaments used in kicking.

Agility – By double kicking with some more advanced techniques like reverse roundhouse kicks, inverted front kicks etc, one can quickly develop their agility. This will help in many aspects of martial arts from kicking to some throws/takedowns and to scrambling around when ground fighting.

Cardio – Double kicking conveniently is a great cardio training exercise. After a few minutes of it, you should be sweating. After half an hour of it, your legs and lungs will feel like they are falling apart.

When double kicking, start of performing the same kick twice. For instance, front kick then another front kick. After a while, mix up different kicks. Front kick with a roundhouse kick, roundhouse kick with a side kick, axe kick with a reverse roundhouse kick. There are virtually limitless combinations, some which are easier to perform than others but all will benefit you.

After performing the double kicking exercise in air for a couple of weeks, start practising your double kicks against a heavy bag and watch how quickly your kicks become more powerful!


Marks
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Monday, 12 April 2010

Countering, Drawing and Creating Openings

After watching the Anderson Silva VS Demian Maia fight, it clearly showed something. It showed that a fight which delivers a lot of action will be because most of the time one fighter is generally an attacking one and the other fighter is a defensive fighter, preferring to allow an attack to come to him before countering. Sometimes though, a defensive fighter will fight another defensive fighter which may show a completely different kind of fight.

The thing is if you are a defensive fighter and your opponent is a defensive fighter or simply does not attack, preferring for you to make the first move then there is a sort of stale mate. I period of time where the two of you move around the fighting area, maybe throwing a couple of jabs but simply waiting for the other man to make the first move.

Not only is this boring to see, especially for spectators who may be watching but it can also leave you thinking that you may be doing something wrong. This is where panicking comes into play and may force you to do something that your opponent can capitalise on.

The thing to do in this situation is to somehow make your opponent attack you or develop a clear opening where you can easily score with an attack of your own. The following may help.

Drawing – By drawing you make your opponent think he has a chance of attacking successfully, in which you then wait for him to make his move then retaliate. Common draws include, lowering your guard slightly so your opponent strikes high, extending your lead leg slightly in order for your opponent to kick at it and moving backwards in order for your opponent to move forwards towards you in which you quickly strike at him.

Create on opening – By creating an opening in your opponent’s defence you can then strike him or go for the takedown. Feints are good for this, as is sidestepping your opponent when he moves in towards you.

Fake high and shoot in low – The classic way to close the distance for the grappler. Fake an attack high towards your opponents face and then quickly shoot in low towards his legs, aiming to grab both or one leg at least. This is an old way of shooting in towards your opponent and still works when done correctly.

By learning and utilizing these and other ways of creating action in a stalemate fight not only will you give the crowd something entertaining but you will also keep your opponent guessing. You will make him think that you are not only a defensive fighter but one who can mix it up. Someone who can attack when forced to do so. By fighting in this way, you can become a very dangerous fighter.


Marks
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Friday, 9 April 2010

Kung Fu Grappling and Submission Techniques

The following is a video showing some of the grappling and submission techniques found in Chinese Kung Fu.

As someone with a grappling background in judo and submission grappling the principles behind the techniques are familiar but the way some of them are applied are new to me.

The techniques seem to be very painful, technical but most of all interesting. For self defence situations some of the techniques may be useful mainly because, the person performing them stays standing without going to the ground with his opponent which is very important for the streets. Enjoy!





Marks
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Wednesday, 7 April 2010

How BJJ is Useful for Self Defence

When MMA first developed into an actual sport the rule that seemed to float around in the martial arts world was that groundwork must be learnt if one wishes to be successful in it. How true this is. With the ability of being able to take down your opponent, one must learn how to control, escape from being held down and how to submit people.

However, self defence training is different to MMA. If one learns ground fighting as it is portrayed in MMA and grappling competitions, thinking that they will become efficient in defending themselves on the street, they are mistaken.

Rolling around on the floor looking for submissions or chances to ground and pound your opponent is a bad situation to be in. With the threat of multiple attackers, and possible attacks with weapons, never mind the fact that street fights don’t take place on nice cushioned mats, fighting on the ground is the last place you want to be.

Because of these facts, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has been given a reputation by some as an art crucial for MMA but an art of little value for self defence. In actual fact though, this is wrong. Yes grappling on the floor, primarily what BJJ teaches is not advised in a self defence situation, but learning and applying techniques from BJJ can help someone survive certain areas of street fighting.

Most street fights start at close range which quickly goes into clinch range and from here it is very easy to end up on the ground and without any ground grappling knowledge, one can find themselves in trouble. Because of this, the reasons why some areas of BJJ are effective and probably vital for self defence include,

BJJ teaches takedown defence – Although Judo or Wrestling may offer more takedown defence training, BJJ also does include it. In order to be dominating on the ground one must gain good positional control of their opponent and a good throw/takedown will provide this. Because of this learning how to defend being taken down is included in BJJ.

BJJ teaches how to escape being held on the ground – If you are held down on the ground in a self defence situation you need to be able to escape as quickly as possible so you can get back up onto your feet to escape attacks from your opponents friends, something which usually happens in today’s street fights. BJJ teaches practical escapes to all types of hold downs and if you are concerned with self defence training, you need to know them.

BJJ provides experience on the ground – There are not many arts that give as much groundwork attention as BJJ and because of this, one can quickly become familiar and more importantly, comfortable on the ground. A lot of martial artists with no groundwork experience start panicking when they hit the floor and this leads to a lot of energy wasting which makes getting up a lot more difficult.

There are useful techniques that can be applied for self defence in all martial arts. It is always up to the person learning the art to seriously think about how they can adapt them for street fighting by making them as practical as possible.

If BJJ students think about how they can adapt the techniques they learn, for the street, they shall find that they will be able to defend themselves very well from the clinch and when on the ground. Hopefully other martial artists can also include this in their own training to make themselves that little bit more knowledgeable.


Marks
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Monday, 5 April 2010

Anderson Silva: Lessons From Legends

Anderson Silva is regarding by many to be on of the most diverse MMA fighters in the world today. Having extensive knowledge in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Muay Thai, Judo, Boxing and Taekwondo, Silva often leaves his opponents guessing as to what techniques he will use during a fight.

Standing wise he is deadly, but also when on the ground, Silva has used his BJJ experience to submit people and anyone thinking that they can dominate him there, should think again. Here are the points that are important when thinking about Anderson Silva.

Belief in techniques – Amongst the standard techniques used in MMA Anderson Silva is known to also use ones seldom seem, such side kicks and spinning elbows and with great success. If one has lots of experience, belief and confidence in there techniques they should always be successful no matter what anyone thinks.

Learn clinch fighting – Before people knew of Anderson Silva, the clinch was a commonly known area of fighting, however, after Silva destroyed Rich Franklin with his clinch fighting expertise utilizing vicious knee strikes, people quickly realized that it can be a dangerous place to be if you do not know how to handle it.

Time your attacks – Silva is not one to quickly rush in on his opponents. He first studies his opponents for the initial part a fight, trying to figure out the best way to handle them. After he has done this, it is then that he uses his skill to take advantage of them.

A lot can be learned by studying the way Anderson Silva fights. He is one of the best fighters in the world today pound for pound, but above all he is a gentleman. He does not boast, show off or show disrespect to his opponents. He is a true champion who has earned his place as one of the best ever witnessed.


Marks
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