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  • New Posts

      • 2
      Leg injury. How to continue martial arts training?
      If someone severely injured their leg (i.e. broken bone, torn ACL, ruptured calf muscle, etc.), how would you advise them to continue their martial arts training? What advice would you give them to offset their lack of mobility? Their inability to train fully for months?

      If you have suffered this experience in the past, what did you do in terms of training during the period?

      Assume the role of an instructor or senior student and try to help someone overcome an semi-incapacitating injury. Lets also assume that student needs crutches to get around.

      Your advice will help current members, future members and anyone in need searching for this type of information on the web. :)

      Will
      Black Belt Wiki
        • 1
        Christopher Adamchek Lots of very light stretching and very light cardio to improve the injury

        to make up for mobility vast improvements are needed in seeing telegraphing, and working on intercept timing

        To make up for gaps in training you need to master simplicity, keep the moves simple and minimize any and all unnecessary movement

        And you will be a force to be recond with
        • 0 1 vote
        • Reply
        • 1
        KSP08 I haven't had an incapacitating injury that required crutches or surgery so far, but I have had several injuries that required me to take a several weeks off each time, and to continue actively training, these are some things I did:

        1. Write- I wrote out my forms and self defense combinations. I have little cards with different points of a form (i.e. Dan Gun #13), and Inpractice working through a form starting at those checkpoints (helps me memorize pattern better for teaching). Also talking through them out loud helps me learn. I do all this for normal training anyway.
        2. Swim- I was able to do leg exercises and sometimes a little cardio in the pool despite my injuries
        3. Theraband training- supporting my injured leg, I used a theraband brace to strengthen the other one (or both when it was just a foot injury) by doing kick drills with resistance.
        4. Abs
        5. "Boxing"- I tend to use my hands a lot for a TKD fighter, and even when my mobility was limited and I couldn't use footwork, I could still throw combos hard on the bag for timed rounds to build endurance
        6. Watch videos about sparring, or form videos online. I usually record myself doing my forms or sparring a bag, and I review for mistakes or chart my rounds (which techniques, tendencies/tells, etc (I do these for normal training anyway).


        I've had 2 classmates require ACL surgery, and they brought their physical therapy workout to our school so they were still part of class and could watch and learn, as well as assist in instruction.
        I would be sad if I no longer could take classes, so I would want to try to be involved in some way after an injury, even if it meant I had to make modifications and not go full-speed for a while (or ever). I know my instructor would make those adjustments (and make me follow them). So if you get hurt, please don't give up!
      • 1
      Hood Gi
      I found reviews very slim online and was wondering if anyone here has gotten or considering to get one of the two main hood gis out there

      Hayabusa zipper jacket gi 100% cotton 500g weight

      Budo Brothers Hood Gi cross w/ magnets 100% cotton 500g weight
      • 1
      Top 10 Martial Arts Movies
      Here is a list of the 10 supposedly most "influential" martial arts movies. Do you agree with this list? If not, what movies are they missing?

      This video covers & has clips on the following movies:

      1. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
      2. The Matrix
      3. The Karate Kid
      4. Seven Samurai
      5. Ong-Bak
      6. Fist of Legend
      7. The Way of the Dragon
      8. Kill Bill
      9. The Legend of the Drunken Master
      10. Enter the Dragon

      Will
      Black Belt Wiki
        • 1
        Al W Beverley Hills Ninja would be in my Top 10
        • 1
        Mark I would put Fists of Fury on there since it pretty much introduced Bruce Lee to the majority of the world. Also as a personal favorite I would add Shogun Assassin.
        • 1
        Michael Wow! I would put Enter the Dragon right at #1 and remove Crouching Tiger Hidden Character Motivations right the off the list.
      • 8 more comments
      • 3
      Hello all and Happy father's day to all of you karatekas dads out there
      This is my first post, just thought I'd say hi ....

      But there is a topic I'd like to bring up... I have started martial arts a little late in my life and it really helps keeping me in good shape. I would be interested in sharing with other 'Late bloomers'. If anyone thinks it's an interesting topic, please don't hesitate to reply to this post. We can maybe tell our stories and exchange on what martial arts is bringing to our already quite fulfilled life... I am a woman of 62 years old and have been practicing Shotokan karate for 8 years and kung fu for one year. I am a brown belt working hard to reach my goal of getting my black belt before I turn 65...
        • 1
        Will - Black Belt Wiki Hi [227672,Francine Descôteaux]

        Thanks for the warm Father's Day wishes & the great late bloomers post!

        Will
        Black Belt Wiki
      • 4
      Situational Awareness Introduction
      Situational Awareness

      This is a vast topic, and probably the most essential element of self defense. Being "Situationally Aware" will, most of the time, keep you from getting into a bind in the first place. But what is "Situational Awareness?"

      "Situational awareness or situation awareness (SA) is the perception of environmental elements and events with respect to time or space, the comprehension of their meaning, and the projection of their status after some variable has changed, such as time, or some other variable, such as a predetermined event. It is also a field of study concerned with understanding of the environment critical to decision-makers in complex, dynamic areas from aviation, air traffic control, ship navigation, power plant operations, military command and control, and emergency services such as fire fighting and policing; to more ordinary but nevertheless complex tasks such as driving an automobile or riding a bicycle." (Wikipedia; Situational Awareness Definition, first paragraph of page)

      "Who would be after ME?"

      So, in essence, Situational Awareness encompasses pretty much everything you do. But there are times when you are tired, distracted, busy, or complacent when you can be taken unaware, and that is what a potential assailant is looking for. You may say; "Who would even consider ME? Why would anyone think to rob (rape, assault, murder) ME?" Well, it is not about you, necessarily. Most crimes that are committed person-to person, the criminal does not know the victim. The criminal simply saw a target of opportunity. It is about opportunity. I has nothing to do with you, personally. In cases where the assailant knows the attacker, situational awareness is still a key component in keeping you safe from assault. And there is a large element of opportunity for the criminal involved.

      But how do you achieve the omni-potent status of being "SITUATIOANLLY AWARE."

      You need to focus on your surroundings and be effective at understanding what is a threat and what is not. It is perfectly alright to live a normal life. You do not need to go out armed to the teeth, guns drawn and wearing your black belt to show all that you are ready (and willing) to destroy all potential threats. There is quite a difference in being a paranoid and being a competent, normal individual (that is more than capable of avoiding bad situations, and God forbid, defending yourself if you get in a bad situation). But how do you achieve the omni-potent status of being "SITUATIOANLLY AWARE." The simple answer is that you already are. Refer to the definition (courtesy of Wikipedia) above. You have to be at least somewhat aware of your surroundings and what is going on to function. So the trick is to train yourself to heighten that awareness. On the "Internets" there is a wealth of information. Pretty much ANY topic you can think of, anything at all. If you plug your question into the search engine of your choosing, you will get literally hundreds of millions of results relating to said question. Situational Awareness is not any different. I simply typed "Situational Awareness" into the Google Search Bar and this was the result: About 2,970,000 results (0.71 seconds). There are training courses, schools, online free training, articles (probably not as good as this one), and on and on.

      A couple of Tips........

      Here are a few tricks that you can do to begin training yourself to automatically heighten your awareness. First thing.........PAUSE. That's it. Pause. Take a moment. Stop fiddling with your keys, texting, playing Pokemon Go,
      or whatever. Look around. Assess the situation: Is it dark, and if so, is the area you are in illuminated by street/parking lot lights? Are there people in the area? If so, are these people rightfully in the area (coming form the movie
      theater, bar, shopping mall), or are they just hanging out and looking around (maybe for a target of opportunity)? What next? You have PAUSED, you have LOOKED AROUND to identify potential threats. So, now what??
      That depends. If all seems safe, or if you can avoid potential problem areas and still get to your destination safely, then you would obviously proceed. If there is a reason to not proceed, for even the simple fact that you do not feel safe
      for any reason, get the onsite Security (if that is an option) to escort you, or call the police and explain that you are alone in a dark area and you do not feel safe going to your car. In most cases, they will send an officer to ensure that
      you get to your car, into your house, etc., safely. Do not be afraid to ask for help. It is better to ask for the escort than too have to call the police after the worst has happened so they can investigate the crime.


      Lets Wrap This Up!

      So. We PAUSED. We LOOKED AROUND to identify any potential threats, and we have DECIDED a safe course of action. That is the basics of becoming more proficient at being Situationally Aware, and thus, being better able to protect yourself. It is now up to you to refine this, and have it become second nature for you. Look into getting enrolled in a training course, or research the topic more online. Be vigilant about training. Complacency will get you in trouble.
        • 4
        Michael There are good habits to help keep yourself situationally aware, such as identifying the entrances/exits when you go into a building and selecting a vantage point to see all who are coming/going. When bad actors arrive, you can know before things go down and have potential escape routes.
        • 3
        Will - Black Belt Wiki Andrew

        In addition to situational "distractors" such as texting, chatting on the phone, etc., I would also add the problem of situational "foggers or numb-ers" such as alcohol.

        Will
        Black Belt Wiki
        • 2
        Bill Emmes This is a great thread!!! So many people walk around every day with no clue of the environment they are in or what is even around them. We are easily distracted with cell phones, texting and ipods. I see young women walking or jogging with their ears plugged from an ipod or some music storage device. This is an easy target for an attacker as this person is certainly not aware of much more than what is in front of them and the words to the song they are listening to.

        I have to say this is an area that I see far too much of and discuss a lot with my peers. My male friends who think they are too big a person for someone to mess with will sit somewhere with a headset on completely disconnected with their situational awareness and do not realize how easy a target they are since they are so distracted and an attacker can very easily come up behind them and wallop them senseless!

        I am always telling my wife to look up and look around as she is more inclined to keep her eyes down as she walks. Also, using peripheral vision to see as much as you can as things outside of your frontal vision can occur. One should also be able to listen to what is going on around them and to an extent, feel it as well.

        Pause, Look & Listen are some of the best pieces of advice to gain a situational awareness of an environment that has been so well posted by everyone so far! Trust is another important tool. Trust your gut if you think something is not right and you feel uneasy in an area. Truth is, it probably is not safe!

        I try to teach my wife to look at a situation and immediately plan on how she can move quickly to escape or move away from a dangerous confrontation. Know your surroundings and be aware of the things around you should you need to act quickly. Unfortunately, people today tend to think of this as being paranoid and are too busy multi-tasking to take such advice seriously. Best advice is to slow down and simply pay attention.
      • 5 more comments
      • 2
      Giving and Receiving
      Over the past 30 years, I have endured far more injuries from my practice of aikido than I ever had from karate. When I was new to aikido (and much younger) I had great teachers but I don't remember any instruction on how to be a good uke. I fought and resisted technique because I thought I was supposed to help nage learn to overcome resistance. Hence, my training was not mutual and I sustained some permanent damage.

      However, a good karate dojo will incorporate body conditioning drills that are mutually beneficial for both partners. This training starts almost immediately because karateka must participate in on-going conditioning to withstand strikes to the body. The very nature of aikido practice e.g. ikkyo or ukemi conditions the body as well but the emphasis tends to be more on nage's performance of the technique rather than uke's receiving the technique. In our dojo we emphasize the importance of receiving technique as a part of the conditioning process. Learning the proper form of resistance conditions one's body over time allowing for orderly physiological adaptation while reducing (hopefully) the danger of serious injury.
        • 1
        cecil This is interesting to me. I may take up Aikido in the future (I study Kung Fu presently) and was wondering about injuries incurred from training. I read an article the other day discussing injuries from studying ju jitsu. I'm over 50 years of age now and don't have the same healing and recovery time I had as a youth. I'd like to avoid injuries from training (even more so than a youngster would) and I'm considering ways to stay injury free while still pushing the training levels.
        • 1
        Will - Black Belt Wiki Interesting. Do you think most former students of another martial arts will have a difficult time (at least initially) transitioning to the "go with the flow" (versus resisting) uke behavior required in Aikido?

        Will
        Black Belt Wiki
      • 3 more comments
      • 1
      Tonfa advice
      This is a shout out to [171807,Andy] and any other kobutoka who can give advice on picking out tonfa. I have practiced with the Century Okinawa style tonfa (https://www.centurymartialarts.com/tonfa/century-okinawan-style-tonfas-natural), and it seemed to be a proper fit on both length and handle height. However, after about an hour of practice, I developed a blister from the large nob at the end of the handle.

      Based on the measurements provided on their website, all other Century tonfa have larger handles, but based on my hand size, I think they will be too large. I am looking specifically at Century since I want to order them through my dojo.

      Does anyone have any advice to help me chose the best sized/shaped tonfa for me? My hand measurements seem to be about 3.25", so the 3.5 feels like a firm grip to me. The idea length for me would be about 18.5", so I will likely have to go a little long.
        • 1
        Andy Hi [218075,Michael], I understand the problem, the only ways around it (other than the long and painful process of sticking with the tonfa as they are until your blisters become calloused skin) are to either modify the tonfa yourself (or have someone do it for you), shop around different suppliers (preferably by visiting different MA suppliers so you can try before you buy, or have
        a set of tonfa custom made, you could also try @Will - Black
        Belt Wiki's suggestion of tape to see if that helps. Here is one of the pre eminent experts on Okinawan kobudo weapons with advice on Tonfa selection.
        https://youtu.be/KKTWVUfm530
        • 1
        Will - Black Belt Wiki Hi [218075,Michael]

        If your current Century tonfa fits your hand - have you thought about putting a little bit of sports tape on your hand to prevent the blister?

        Will
      • 2 more comments
      • 3
      What is the best way to get splits at the age of 30+
      Hi, I'm 31 years old male and I'm trying to find out best and most effective way to get side splits at this age. Some people told me it's not possible at this age. But I believe that it is still possible. I just need the right information to get it done.

      I watched numerous YouTube videos but none gave me good information. Mostly female are able to get side splits easily but as for male concerned very few, I see on YouTube.

      I also tried easy flexibility program for the front split but maybe I have to try long enough.

      I would like to know if any male at this age or around at this age was able to achieve side split. This will also encourage me, and if those individuals can share what really benefited them that would be greatly appreciated.
      Thanks
        • 2
        Michael I have struggled with tight hamstrings my entire life (literally, my father who used to do TKD learned I couldn't get my leg waist high at abou 7 years old). For someone like me, I think splits is an impossibility. With years of stretching, you may yet be able to do it. Here are a few videos I have used to improve my flexibility.

        https://youtu.be/xJwwioOcE4E

        https://youtu.be/V_bh8CAGDi4
        • 2
        Andrew Patterson You just have to stretch every day. It will happen.
        • 2
        Christopher Adamchek theres no special secret to stretching after a certain age
        its just a thing that needs to be done nearly ever day, take your time doing it, and push yourself
      • 7 more comments
      • 2
      Wiki Additions - Vital Point - Eyes, Praying Mantis Kung Fu, Backpack Shields, e...
      I want to thank everyone for their recent contributions to the wiki.

      [171786,Christopher Adamchek] for his work on eyes as a vital area to protect & strike in self-defense situations - http://www.blackbeltwiki.com/eye

      [245814,Will Wain-Williams] from Monkey Steals Peach for his work on Northern Praying Mantis Kung Fu - http://www.blackbeltwiki.com/northern-praying-mantis-kung-fu

      Here is a link to Monkey Steals Peach - https://monkeystealspeach.com

      [245852,Bill Emmes] - For stimulating me to add a backpack self-defense page :) - http://www.blackbeltwiki.com/backpacks

      If anyone else would like to add information to the wiki, please post the information here or contact me via our add info section - http://www.blackbeltwiki.com/add-to-wiki

      Will
      Black Belt Wiki
      • 1
      Nerd Fight
      Jesse "Karate Nerd" Encamp and Sense Ando have teamed up to make some fun videos for their websites. I have followed both of these guys for quite some time now. Ando has a follow-up video (https://youtu.be/l0g9BChDvHE) featuring Encamp.
        • 1
        Ralph You are no match for my skills of Mumbojumbjitsu!
      • 4
      Backpacks as Improvised Shields
      Another self-defense option is to look at improvised shields. The ability to shield off an attacker armed with a knife or club might give you a few extra seconds in order to escape, shout for help, etc.

      This ABC video looks at a program that teaches students to use their backpack as a self-defense shield.

      Will
      Black Belt Wiki
      • 2
      IS THIS THE NEW THREAT?
      I like to watch/read the news and learn what is going on in the world both nationally and locally. Of late, it seems to that there are a lot of incidents where people come under attack by an assailant with a knife. The attack or assault with a knife is not something new. However, it appears it is becoming more and more prevalent as gun control takes more heat. Also, criminals seem to like the fact that a knife is easier to come by and can purchase one just about anywhere without worrying about a background check or proper identification. [Not that the criminal worries about such stringent checks]. Also, there is no method of tracking people that buy such knifes in a retail store and it is easy for the wrong type of person to become armed and dangerous in society, as they stalk and attack their victims.
      At some point in our training, we have learned how to defend against a knife attack in various situations. Whether it be unarmed or with a weapon…i.e. club, staff, etc. My point of this conversation will be the best method to deal with viscous knife attacks. During our training we have also been told that it is very likely we will get cut during this defensive process and the goal will be to remove the threat by taking the knife away from our attacker and not get fatally injured. Typically, a block or deflecting side move of some sort, strike if necessary, break the elbow, wrist or both and disarm. Take downs are usually a control technique and not always the best move if multiple attackers are present.
      This is good if our attacker follows our training and stabs at us in the various ways we train or holds the knife to our throats, etc. But, the typical street attacker does not always follow such protocol. In truth, an assailant will come at you with fast, constant and viscous stabbing/slashing movements that can be extremely difficult to counter. For those who conceal and carry, the possibility to upholster and fire your weapon, will depend on the distance between you and this attacker. The 25 foot rule seems to be the best rule to know and practice if you find yourself in this sort of situation.
      But for the individual that is not carrying a gun or any other weapon, what is the best defense against such a flurry of stabs and slashes by an individual meant to cut and possibly kill you? Distance is the first thing I can think of. Put some distance between you and the attacker, if possible throw something in his/her path to slow them down and give you a chance to gain some control of the situation. If it is then possible to take control with a technique to control the attacker and take the knife from them, do so. Still knowing that the possibility of being cut remains and the fear of this does not overpower you. Better to take stiches and live for another day.
      But still, I wrestle with the attack being so fast and unpredicted. In an area most likely unexpected and sometimes with other people in the mix, like a coffee shop, a Mall, etc. Are there such techniques to deal with this sort of furious flashing of a sharp blade to take someone down and out or is it still best to find a way to slow them down and set yourself up for whatever next movement will allow you the advantage of control? I struggle with this as I review my ability to counter a knife and look at the ways such an attack has matured over time and the boldness of today’s criminal. To me, I think we need to look at the way we train against the knife and look at the situations that seem to be more prevalent today. Today’s bad guy/gal is not always an untrained individual and may have some minimal training on how to cut and slash with a knife and will not always point it at you and demand your money and wallet. This is the person I want to be confident defending myself against the most. Defending meaning me unarmed against a knife wielding nut. Knife on knife is another discussion that tends to take an entirely different turn.
        • 2
        Andy Hi @Bill Emmes and welcome to the community! Speaking as a former bouncer/doorman who has been attacked with various weapons (including knives) and also as a bujutsu practitioner who trains in unarmed techniques against swords and other bladed weapons (as well as armed and unarmed defence against blade, stave and chain weapons), the only thing I can recommend is to realistically train for such eventualities! Most people who don't train for such attacks (and non martial artists) will tend to focus primarily on the weapon and secondly on the person wielding it (or in most cases will not even differentiate between the 2)! The trick is (when dealing with non projectile weapons) is to disregard the actual weapon and focus on the hand/arm/wrist that is wielding it! In this case distance is not the best cause of action (by keeping your distance you are giving the attacker more and more chances to come at you with differing stabs/slashes)! Of course if you can run/get away then distance (and lots of it :) is your friend, otherwise, utilising tai sabaki, close in and cut the problem off at the root (control the hand/arm wielding the knife) and once the weapon wielding arm is secure then you can worry about taking the aggressor out which can be done in a number of ways (provided you have trained for such) for example a head but to the face, a punch or elbow to the throat or simply turn slightly and force forward to unbalance and take down the attacker, all of these techniques should only be attempted if you are confident you are in total control of the limb that is wielding the weapon!
        • 1
        Christopher Adamchek kali systems often do the best job preparing people for brutal knife attacks
        its was a harsh transition as a karate ka understanding knife dynamics even with decent experience in kobudo
        • 1
        Superamazingbadgerman Most of the martial artists I've encountered seem irresponsibly confident in their martial art's ability to deal with a knife. Most of their work tends to involve merging with the stab or grabbing the knife or something involving putting your hands where the shiny slashy thing is with a large degree of precision.

        What I would suggest first and foremost is two measures.

        Get a chain shirt and wear it every day under your normal clothes.

        This will protect you from stabs and slashes to your torso, and will probably allow you to survive as long as the attacker only ends up going there.

        Buy a gun, learn to shoot, and move to Arizona.

        If the person wants to just stab stab stab like they're aggressively sawing into something and their only goal in life at the moment is to kill you, they will absolutely succeed unless you are extremely lucky and end up with an opportunity that you see and are able to recognize and take to disable your attacker in one form or another.

        Distance is your friend, and, in case you don't have it, all you need to do to work a loaded gun and deal significant damage is move your finger. With such a weapon in these modern times, we can deal catastrophic damage at any relevant distance, at any point in the conflict. Knowing what a knife will tend to do to our minds and bodies, and that we need to put it out of action asap, these are qualities of our tools we will need as victims of such an attack.

        NOT smooth, flowing precision. NOT aggressively controlling. The ability to deal catastrophic damage to the knife wielder relatively safely in a VERY short period of time from whatever position we have.

        The second best thing I would suggest is to try to work against wherever the knife is not.

        Vladimir Vasiliev actually tries to teach this to people. You'll see a lot of knife seminar footage where he tells people to kick people's legs to try to get their back or make it difficult for them to stab or maintain distance in such a way that their motivation to come towards you doesn't really change your ability to keep them away.

        For how to deal with the knife itself, he'll generally suggest to find something to wrap your hands with or get something to put between you and the knife so you can hopefully get enough protection and time and advantage to either run away, or gain enough control over the guy so you can deal with the weapon.

        If you do this, you may give yourself time to draw and end it with your own weapon, whatever it may be.

        An interesting thing I would like to note is, he and most of the systema people with practical advice don't really focus on the slashing as much, and teach that more as an extension of how you would block a person's punch.

        This is because if the person is slashing wildly, they're generally scared and don't actually want to hurt you. In this case, you can just stay out of his arc and be ok. It IS scary, but it's usually just a power play on the part of the slasher so he may feel stronger in the situation. As long as you stay out of his way, his blade won't end up inside you and both of you should walk away alright in the end.

        If you're INSIDE the arc of his slash when he starts, or he keeps advancing on you and you're running out of space, you need to catch it or deal with it like you would a hook type punch if you can and control the knife however you can.

        Obviously, if you can put him on the ground, that would be a smart idea. If you don't control it, you will probably end up with some serious cuts and blood loss/paralysis/whatever nastiness you can think of you don't exactly have a burning urge to experience.

        There's another option, but I would hardly consider you the victim of a knife attack if it's available. You can put things between you and the attacker (tables, chairs, baguettes...), and run away as fast as you can.

        In the case of one of those "slashing" attacks (even from close quarters), you should be able to do this. In the case of a stabbing attack you see coming, you can do this before the guy comes and it becomes what I would consider an attack.
      • 14 more comments
      • 1
      NASKA vs American Sport Karate vs Karate
      As 1Dan in WTF, I thought I would go back to my roots of Karate. At the time I was a red/brown stripe at a NASKA school and now joining an ASK school. Both places I can trace back to main master (Jhoon Rhee) but don't understand origin. Most Karate is one style or another (like in TKD you have WTF, ITF, ITA...) is American Sport Karate different from karate and is origin America?
        • 1
        Charlie Studiner The forms (Bo, Sward, Hand ) do follow traditional techniques. I still get hung up on the blocks, SK is looking for speed and not twisting power (example: high block starts as an Ax block to the side with the top hand going up and bottom hand going to the side. Where in TKD, the bottom hand goes up and top hand pulls to the side. This generates twisting power and forces the blocking hand to go out bound and better leverage).

        So the main question is Sport Karate than what we will call "American Karate" a melting pot of all types, and Karate is Japanese?
        • 1
        Christopher Adamchek to me sport karate is not karate do
        it is a similar but different species
      • 2
      Tournament advice
      To obtain Shodan rank in my TKD dojang, I must compete in three local tournaments, with one coming up in September. As an Orange belt, heavy weight oldster, whats the thinking going in? Whats the smart mans move?
        • 1
        David Cochran I am curious about your dojang. You are testing Shodan which is a Japanese ranking reference yet you are TKD which is a Korean style. Can you tell more about the tournaments you will attend?
        • 1
        Geo First of all I have not heard of a shodan rank in TKD, if by TKD you meant taekwon-do. Second, if you are required or as you say you 'must' compete by your dojo then I suppose you have to abide by that or not get your black belt. One option is for you to quit your current club and look for another which won't require you to compete if you have doubts about your abilities. All the best.
        • 1
        Christopher Adamchek I dont think its fair that you have to compete for shodan
        but might as well go get the experience now
      • 6 more comments
      • 2
      Eating before class
      What is the best time to eat before to take a class?
        • 3
        Andy Hi [243812,Viktor], it depends on what time the class is! I would say that for evening classes (which tend to be the norm in most cases), 2 hours or so before class is best (giving your body time to digest and metabolise/utilise the fuel and sustain you through practice), personally I tend to eat light prior to practice and then eat (and drink :) well after working up a good appetite!
        • 3
        Kathryn Carson Dates and nuts work well for me. Maybe a chicken sandwich if I'm really hungry. But nothing within an hour of class or testing. Even a salad would turn into a brick in my belly! :-P
        • 2
        Maqsood Mansoor My personal experience is that at least 3 hours before training is better. Less than that you would feel sluggish. But I need some energy and you don't have any choice then choose fruit juice before training (1/2h before) this will give you energy for training
      • 8 more comments
      • 2
      Black Belt test and Self defense
      I sat on the board for the first phase of a black belt test for the teenage group, 14-18 year olds. During the testing I would rank forms based on knowledge of the kata, stances, transitions and 'snap shot' poses. I ranked the physical test based on ability and attitude. Pretty straight forward, then we get to the self defense part. At the end of the test, when the board met to determine pass/fail I brought self defense abilities into the mix. Basically, I was convinced that a couple of the students would not be able to defend themselves in an actually fight. To me a primary tenet of being called a Black Belt is the ability to, at least, be able to hit and get out. After all, isn't this all about the once in a life time chance that one may actually need to go hands on? The board was made up of first thru fourth degrees and the responses were all over the map. From we train so we don't have to fight, to, we train to be fighters.... I had to vote no on two of the kids based on my perception that they simple could not defend themselves. Others on the board voted to pass them based on knowledge of technique and acknowledging that we needed to work with them more on self defense. To me it's clear, this is Self Defense.
        • 2
        Trevor Hill It is a good question. This is why I'm dubious about junior BB. That said, I also wonder how many adults would also be able to defend themselves.

        I think a lot of syllabuses put SD as a bit of a tag on and do the same old wrist releases etc which probably won't work on the day.
        • 1
        Christopher Adamchek i absolutely agree with you
        but it also depends on what the school intends you to get out of MA because its not all about being a good fighter
        • 1
        Michael I think this qualifies as what I have heard called a "theological question." Probably the reason why their answers were all over the map is because there are generally one of three reasons to be in martial arts -- the art, the sport, or the self defense. While martial arts is all of these, one naturally gravitates to one of the three for fulfillment. Some like the physical aspects of if it, or the competitive nature: that's the sport. Some like the history, the gracefulness, the mental benefits: that's the art. Some like it for the physical science and the practical application: that's the self defense.

        Based on your post @Mike , I would assume that you gravitate to the later group. While I first got into martial arts for that reason, I have stayed because of the art. I am sure I would grade more critically when it comes to general knowledge, technique, etc. I do not mean to justify the differing opinions, simply trying to help get into their minds as I feel all opinions have some merit.

        When it comes to my personal philosophy on shodan, one should be able to demonstrate all shodan-level techniques/kata, exemplify correct power and accuracy, and explain multiple possible bunkai. They should be able to hold their own against another shodan in sparing (they can lose, as long as they can defend themselves and show calm under pressure). They should be able to demonstrate grappling skills (again, the objective is not victory but practical application). They should have full knowledge of the history of their style and their lineage from the founder.

        In my opinion, the sport, the art, and the self defense are all equally important and should all be factors in promotion. Remember, while a shodan is really only just beginning their journey (and will always have room for improvement), they are the example all Kyu should follow. If they do not have that standard, they should not be black belt.
      • 3 more comments
      • 1
      Two ears one mouth (listen twice as much)
      I am going to go on a listen only online for a while. I am active in many FB groups and forums, and I am feeling that I am spitting out info more then I am swallowing it. At my skill level and experience, this can lead to bad paths.

      As an exercise, I am not going to respond to posts for a bit and just read posts that will give me knowledge (or make me laugh).

      I love this forum and I am excited to see so many new people and styles.
        • 1
        Rachel DS I love this!
        • 1
        Michael Wow! That's a great perspective that we could all remind ourselves to exercise more often.
      • 1
      Greetings!
      After an extended illness, I've gotten back into the swing of life. I am, again, most grateful to all the Wiki folk who extended solo training advice. Most helpful!
      It would seem that a sort of 'visualization' as one is practicing alone is needed. I do not think, though, that any amount of such could be undertaken without a solid dojo introduction. I stress, also that solo work will not supplant an opportunity to return to the mat, when it arises.
      Keith Phillips
        • 1
        Gregory Grove Welcome back!
        • 1
        Will - Black Belt Wiki Keith

        Sorry for the delaying in approving your post. I am having some admin access problems and could only get into the system now.

        Glad to hear that you are doing better.

        Will
        Black Belt Wiki
      • 2
      Getting nervous during belt tests
      Last night I tested for my brown belt and I have been going to school with the same students and teachers for 2 years.

      I can do my forms and everything else well leading up to the test but when during the actual test i start shaking no matter what and my back stances get way sloppier than they actually are.

      What are some good things to do so that I stop getting nervous or at least showing my nervousness during tests?
        • 2
        Michael I can't really add to any the advice here. [246914,Maqsood Mansoor] and [246908,Andrew Brown] have great advice that I have been using for years. Not to pry or anything, but am I to understand that after 2 years total you are testing for brown belt? What Kyu is that in your style?
        • 2
        Al W It happens to the best of us. I usually get nervous during gradings, the higher the grade the more nervous I get
        • 2
        Jacob Sawyer Hello Amber! I have been through my Jr. Black belt, and later this month I will be going through my adult black belt. My best advice is to slow down. By slowing down you can focus on your technique your breathing and by extension your stance. I hope this helps. Good luck!!!!
      • 9 more comments
      • 2
      Fitness in the MA
      This post is about fat shaming in MA, but I caught on to the fitness side of things. I will state my side below but would like to know yours first.

      Do you need to be in shape, strong, fit, etc to be a good martial artist?

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QiLfMKx7MlA
        • 3
        Andrew Patterson A good Martial Artist is one that shows up consistently, trains and learns. The physical fitness is a result of that. If someone is overweight and/or weak, other Martial Artists should not shame them. Disrespecting others and looking down on them because they are fat is not being a good Martial Artist.
        • 2
        Dave Magliano I find it interesting that we don't see this young man actually demonstrating any type of martial knowledge. Furthermore, it seemed to me that he was seeking acceptance of the fact that he lacks the self-discipline to, at the very least, eat a healthy diet.

        He draws a very weak conclusion between sport and self-defense in that one does not have to be physically fit to defend himself, which is true. But that is not what budo is for. The ability to defend yourself as well as a physically fit body are the outcomes of good and consistent martial arts training. By physically fit, I don't mean six-pack abs or big muscles. I mean a body that is conditioned and honed to perform a given task in the most efficient way possible...which is what we want our bodies to do in a self-defense situation.

        This video is a commentary one of the general attitudes that plagues our culture today and why (I believe) it's difficult to find a good dojo. You want to train MA, you want to wear the gi, you want to tell people you train, you want to feel better about yourself, but you are unwilling (not unable) to accept the discipline that goes with it. If you accept that discipline, it will affect every aspect of your life including what you eat, how you train, how you talk to people, how hard you are willing to work at your job/school...every aspect of your life. If you are not willing to accept that discipline, it's nothing more than a hobby.

        Putting people down is unnecessary and a waste of energy. But if you feel "shame", it's not because of people who take their art seriously enough to eat well and stay in shape. By the way, those Japanese "sports" martial artists you speak of are most likely in very good health because of a rigorous training schedule and a diet consisting mostly of rice, fish and vegetables. Eat as clean as you can, train as often as you can, make better (which is far more difficult) life choices and stop giving yourself an out.
        • 1
        Rachel DS Personally I am physically fit. I have not always been this way and when I was in my 20s and 30s I was not in the best shape or looking after my self as well as I probably should have. I got physically fit by being mentally fit though. I decided to make changes. Karate has enhanced those changes through both the mental and physical side of training.

        The mental strength is overall probably the important part in MA and physical strength is (hopefully) a by product. Being probably one of the fittest in our dojo (even though also one of the oldest) means I can be at my best and play to my strengths in kumite but I think mental fortitude and mental agility are probably more important. Mental fortitude = mind over matter - YOU CAN DO THIS EVEN THOUGH IT SEEMS FRIGGEN IMPOSSIBLE.....Mental Agility - knowing / being able to read what is happening / going to happen, being flexible in attitude, quick to learn. Also having the mental flexibility to accept people and things as they are.
      • 11 more comments
      • 3
      Most Effective Spots on the Body to Hit in a Fight
      This video looks at spots to strike during a fight (i.e. the solar plexus). Does the video miss any critical areas that could be effective self-defense targets? Did they highlight anything that it is too difficult to strike or not a very sensitive/critical area?

      Since the title includes "on the body" maybe he meant torso since it excludes effective spots like the groin, nose, etc.

      Will
      Black Belt Wiki
        • 1
        Bill Emmes In addition to critical/vulnerable areas for striking, there are also the Meridians in the body where major nerve bundles are located that can serve as an effective striking point to seriously disrupt an attacker's momentum and provide a great advantage to surviving a serious fight. I particularly like the solar plexus as there are a lot of nerves that run thru this area and is a very vulnerable point for striking. Of course, breaking of a accessible bone such as the nose, collar bones or ribs can pretty much put a stop in any fight. A solid groin strike or knee strike can have equally debilitating effects. Also good rake of the shin bone will get your opponents attention real quick!

        I am learning more about following nerves and blood vessels/arteries as they can be very effective targets to stop or halt an opponent's attack. I was pretty surprised to know that an elbow to the armpit would hurt so much! Just when I thought a knee to my thigh hurt...this strike got my attention real fast!
        • 1
        Mike My karate back ground tells me he's spot on. Then I've been working with some Krav Guys, they have a lot of finger, ear, eye focused attacks that are effective for distraction and disengagements as well. Add the pressure point stuff to that mix and an unsuspecting opponent is in for a rather painful treat.
        • 1
        Andy [171668,Will - Black Belt Wiki], good video and overall I would say that it is mostly good advice (especially the floating ribs)! I would add though that the ribs in general are a good target when it comes to bodywork as are the kidneys, the armpits or pretty much ANYWHERE on the body where you can sink a good solid Knee, kick or punch! :) Also depending on your particular discipline, wrist and arm locks/wrenches can be very effective (depending on the circumstances and number of potential aggressors! You don't want to get tied up when there is more than one opponent)!
      • 16 more comments
      • 3
      Training and competing with your teenager
      I've been training with my son since he was about 10 years old, he'll be turning 17 in about a month. The progression has been wonderful, watching him go from little boy to a young man and an athlete. We have spent countless hours in the basement, dojo, city parks, back yard... training together.
      Since we are both the same rank we occasionally get the opportunity to compete against one another.
      I still remember the first time he beat me in point sparring, 5-4. He didn't know rather to be happy or embarrassed. I, of course, gave him the respect I give all of my opponents. Later on we talked about it. I told him, as long as you respect your opponent, win with humility and win with honor you should never be embarrassed about winning, even against good ole dad. Sadly we don't have many father son training partners in our system, 2 or 3, maybe. I doubt we are unique, there must be other long term father son duo's out there.
        • 2
        Micheline Gravel I love hearing these stories. Our whole family trains together (2 boys, dad is the Sensei) and last Summer, our eldest caught up and reached his brown belt. As a mom, I had to get over a bunch of inhibitions and find that budo mindset to spar with him for his exam. He's a lot faster than I am now and I'm proud to lose to him, even if I get a good ribbing in the car on the way home about it.
        • 2
        Andrew Patterson My Son and I are not yet long term. He is only 5, but he is in my System of Kenpo, and it is super awesome. I have been working with him since he was 3 (Young, I know, but I couldn't help it). We don't really point spar in our Style, but there is great Father/Son time. So, I totally identify with you on how great it is to have the opportunity to have your Child grow with you in Karate. We will be a long term duo in the Martial Arts for sure. My other Son, who lives with his mother,and is 15, just decided to begin to get to know me and started in the School, so you could say that Martial Arts has brought us together.
        • 1
        KSP08 I got started after watching my kids, but at our school children don't work out with adults until they are 13. We have a lot of parent-kid families at our dojang, though. Both of my kids decided to move on to other activities so I'm the only one who still trains. I had to assist on the floor as an instructor at their last rank exams and they struggled and that was hard.
      • 5 more comments
      • 1
      The "Secrets" of Martial Arts
      The "Secrets" of Martial Arts
      Article by Andrew L. Patterson

      Karate is AWESOME, right??? Kicking, punching, Gi's, Belts,.... Black Belts, breaking boards and the eventual indestructibility that comes with learning the "Mystic Secrets" of (Enter Style of Karate Here). Knocking people out with your mind-bullets, controlling the mood of the Barista at the coffee counter, bursting cloud formations with your deadly thoughts, etc. All the Magic Ninja Warrior training to make you invincible, like the Black Knight in a Monty Python skit.

      I happen to have the goods. I know the Secrets! All of the Secrets to Martial Arts. I know the ways of the Old Ones, the Masters, the Sensei's that walked up hill, in the snow, both ways, (Barefoot, without a jacket, and only in a ratty training Gi on for protection from the brutal elements) to the Ancient (and secret) Dojo's, Dojangs, and Shaolin Temples. And I am going to expose it right here, in this VERY article you are reading.

      There are many "Masters" out there that will try to sell an intangible, Chi-based system of secrets, these "secrets" being the end-all-be-all to ruling the world, and you only have to pay $199.99 (plus tax) for the first lesson! The plain and simple truth of it is that if you have signed up with a School that is professing this, you are being taken for a ride. There is no system of self-defense that actually works by using your Chi-energy to stop an attacker. It is a lie. That is not to say that Chi does not exist, as I personally believe that all of us have an inner energy, be it Chi, a soul, or some other esoteric driving force of consciousness. That being said, it is simply not true that we are able to use this as a weapon physically for good (or evil). Martial Arts is not a Marvel Comic Book. Karate Schools are not Xavier's School for the Gifted (though some "Masters" market their Schools in this fashion). Karate Schools are regular learning institutions for talented and potentially talented people.
      But, I promised to tell you the Secrets of Martial Arts. And I will deliver on that promise.
      Ready.....?
      Here goes.....
      The first Secret is.......
      Sticking With It.

      Simple. No long journey to discover it. It is a long and difficult road to stay on, but it is worth it. The adage goes "The only difference between a White Belt and a Black Belt is that the Black Belt stuck with it," or something similar.

      The next Secret is.................

      The more you put in to your training, the more you will get out. That's a big one, I know. I told you this was going to be a high-powered article. Packed with very secretive secrets.
      On a serious note, the above stated is very true. As with any worth-while endeavor, the more you put in, the more you get out. Stay with it, train hard, set your goals and become a better Martial Artist. Secrets exposed! There is a lot to Martial Arts. Lot's of hard work, sweat, and learning. You will develop your Chi, your inner voice, your inner power, (through meditation, positive self-talk, and so-on) but it is not likely at this point in our Human existence that we will be able to harness that inner power as a weapon.

      Be fair warned that there are Martial Artists out there that will attempt to sell you on the idea that you can affect your opponent physically with your Chi. You can stop him at a dead run, or deflect a full on knife-attack by clicking your tongue, and touching your thumb and fore-finger together. It sounds ridiculous, but it is a build up. Some of these people are excellent Martial Artists, with great Credentials (yet lacking in moral credentials, in my opinion), and great lineage. They talk a great game, and they certainly do not tell you that you can stop bullets with your Chi when you first sign up. No, it is more like you begin actually doing Karate, but then, behind Door Number Two, and for only $65.00 more per month, we will teach you how to develop powerful Chi Forces inside your body. Then Behind Door Number Three, and for only $125.00 per lesson with our Hand-Chosen Masters, we will teach you how to affect another person's body using your mind...and so on. It is a ride, and if you are willing to buy in to it, Caveat Emptor.
        • 3
        Andy [244204,Andrew Patterson], 👍
        • 2
        Andrew Brown I love the sentiment.
        I would like to mention there are tons of secrets in martial arts; real bunkai/application, kyusho/pressure points, conditioning techniques, katas/forms, concepts explaining qi/ki/energy... lots.
        You will never learn the secrets by simply asking. Your coach is unable to simply tell you the secret because the secret is, like the author stated, sticking with it. You will learn all of your teachers' secrets with time and effort. It is literally impossible to impart secrets if you can't do your basics properly. Keep working, keep putting in your hours, keep conditioning, keep competing and one day, you will understand the secret and why your teacher couldn't just tell you on day one.
        • 2
        Jody Williams It works if you work it.
      • 7 more comments
      • 3
      New Wiki Contributors
      I would like to point out some new members who have stated that they want to help contribute to the wiki... in order to thank them and to give them a "contribution nudge" as we would really use their help. :)

      [246536,Richard Presley] - Brazlian Jiu-Jitsu, Reason for Joining Wiki Community - Improve content and contribute to the community
      ** Richard & other grapplers - the wiki could definitely use your help with the grappling section - http://www.blackbeltwiki.com/grappling
      [246462,Roberto] - Viet Tai Chi, II Dang, Reason for Joining Wiki Community - Share info with community
      [245814,Will Wain-Williams] - 5 years Wing Chun, 10 years Northern Mantis, 1 year Taekkyon, Reason for Joining Wiki Community - to share my knowledge with others and increase my own
      [244899,Grant Hannaford] - Ryukonkai, Shotokan, Seitei Iaido, Seitei Jodo, Reason for Joining Wiki Community - To develop the knowledge base for these arts
      [244204,Andrew Patterson] -
      American Kenpo Karate/Patterson Kenpo Karate 5th Dan, World TaeKwonDo Federation 1st Dan, Military Combatives, Reason for Joining Wiki Community - Passion for Martial Arts and I like to share with others!
      [244180,Katherine Coyle] - Isshinryu. Seven years, Reason for Joining Wiki Community - To check facts and add to knowledge.
      [243929,Niil Öhlin] - 10 + years of experience with Shito ryu karate. Shodan grade, Reason for Joining Wiki Community - To contribute to the wiki.
      [243158,Garry Blaskie] - Tae Kwon Do ( 6 dan ), Tang Soo Do - Moo Duk Kwan ( 6 dan ) , Hapkido ( 4 dan ), Tae Kwon Do ( Referee ), Reason for Joining Wiki Community - I would bring knowledge to the martial arts Community

      Of course, if anyone else would like to help the wiki, please contact us so the wiki can continue to grow & help people learn about martial arts techniques, kata, etc. You can either post something here on the community or contact us via the wiki's "add info" page - http://www.blackbeltwiki.com/add-to-wiki

      Will
      Black Belt Wiki
        • 1
        Andrew Patterson I will be contributing more in the near future. I have posted a number of articles thus far, and will be getting another one up soon. Thanks for the mention! I t is good to be recognized! :)
      • 1
      Japanese Women's Self-Defense Techniques in the 1910s
      A 100+ year old Japanese book focused on women's self-defense has been translated and republished. It details various Jujutsu techniques (i.e. reverse joint lock), Kyusho (pressure points), etc. The book is called "Self-Defense for Women" by Nohata Showa (Author), Eric Shahan (Translator)

      Here it is on Amazon - http://amzn.to/2shK0gk

      According to Live Science, this is a translation "of a martial-arts book published in 1914, which was written by a woman for women, describes a group of Japanese women who banded together to form the Women's Self-Defense League in order to fight off attacks from men...In the book, she describes and illustrates a number of martial-arts techniques that women can use to fight off attackers. These techniques include throws, ways to break an attacker's arm and a technique that strangles the abdomen of an attacker who is trying to rape a woman".

      http://www.livescience.com/59304-century-old-martial-arts-book-for-women.html

      Will
      Black Belt Wiki
        • 1
        Beth Loomer I think I need to get this book it could be very interesting.
        • 1
        Will - Black Belt Wiki Here is a slideshow with some of the colorful illustrations from this book - http://www.livescience.com/59303-photos-1914-martial-arts-book-women.html

        Will
      • 1
      Karate Styles & Sub-Styles
      I have added a wiki page that lists many of the major & minor Karate styles - http://www.blackbeltwiki.com/karate-styles

      However, I know that I am probably missing dozens of Karate styles. So for all of our Karate practitioners, please add any that are missing to this page so I can transfer them to the wiki. Thanks.

      Will
      Black Belt Wiki
        • 1
        Rachel DS My style is Uechi-go-ryu. It was founded in 2007 and comprises of the 3 styles studied by its founder (Uechi Ryu, Goju Ryu and Shorinji Kenpo). We study all the kata from these styles (and eventually there are 2 master kata created by the founder).
        • 1
        David Petrie I meant no disrespect. Many people are confused as to the origin of Karate. If I misinterpreted the post, please forgive me.

        David
        • 1
        Andy [236909,David Petrie] and [242481,Tirang R. Neyestani], obviously there has been a misunderstanding here :)
        (All members please remember that we are a multi cultural community and that English is not everyone's first language)!
        I personally picked up that Tirang was talking about a 'sub style' (as the post implies) that was developed in Iran and not the art of Karate itself!
      • 9 more comments
      • 1
      Sleep & Martial Arts
      The heavy exercise associated with martial arts training might help you to get a great night's sleep!

      According to this CNN article, exercise helps with "sleep disorders like insomnia, sleep apnea and restless legs" and may reduce the "risk factor for diseases and unhealthy conditions such as stroke, heart attack, high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity." - http://www.cnn.com/2017/05/29/health/exercise-sleep-tips/

      I have to say that martial arts training helps me to get a better sleep... except when my knees are aching from too many spinning & jumping kicks. :)

      Will
      Black Belt Wiki
        • 2
        Will Wain-Williams when training a lot you need to increase your sleep an hour or so
        • 1
        Richie Totally! I sleep so well after a heavy training, more so when I do bag work or a lot of kata then just lifting.
      • 2
      How to close in TKD (or other stand-up) sparring
      Hi!

      I'm working on sparring opponents in class who are either taller, quicker, or higher rank than me (or even better, all of the above plus 20 years younger, lol)-- I am getting stopped a lot by their lead leg side kick, front kick, or push kick. It doesn't seem to matter if I use my lead leg or back leg in attacking. My guess is that I'm staying in the straight-line attack pattern that we've discussed before; I'm improving on moving to angles but haven't conquered it yet. My opponents, of course, stay out of range and wait for me to come to them, which is exactly what I do when the height is in my favor. I have already looked at the postings here, specifically the one about fighting a taller opponent.

      I'm looking for suggestions of strategies on how to close with them- we do ITF point-sparring (medium-contact) without sweeps or takedowns in rounds.

      If you don't mind sharing, what works for you? How do you bait them to attack, what feints do you use, do you swap stances, what kind of angled movement, how would you fight your way in, etc.

      Thanks for any tips! :)
        • 1
        Will - Black Belt Wiki Hi [217372,KSP08]

        Here are some different sparring strategies:

        1. Wait for them to come to you. As they initiate their attack, you move backwards or sideways (not too far -
        just beyond their range) so they are encouraged to continue to move after you. You want them to throw several quick combinations so they either tire slightly or become off-balanced and then you counter attack.
        2. Feint. Step in and out of the sparring "circle of death" (an imaginary circle that delineates the range of the opponent's strikes). Trick them into them to throwing a kick, etc. as they think you are in range and then you counter when they miss. Try to step diagonally (in & sideways) to their kick (in the direction of where the kick came from and not where it is going) in order to find a more open target.
        3. Get in close to neutralize their range advantage. Block & counter. Or get really close and practice techniques such as jumping back kicks, crescent kicks, etc.

        Will
        • 1
        Mike I spare with a guy in our system that's like 8 feet tall and weigh 300# (slight exaggeration there more like 6'-8" 250). He's also pretty fast. After loosing 5-zip, I asked my master what the solution would be. I'd post it here but superamazing... got there first. Close, close fast, go in with at least 3 moves then get out, angle, defend, repeat...
        • 1
        Superamazingbadgerman I've only really done WTF sparring, but the principles are the same.

        I'm not going to lie here and say there's a magic trick to make it easy for you to enter. In your TKD fighting stance, you are bladed to your opponent. This is the best protection you can have against a push kick, as long as you keep your arms up around your body and maintain the bladed stance.

        Now, the easiest game to play in TKD sparring is one where the small person wants in, and the big person wants to keep them out. The big people are doing their part because you choke and give them an opportunity to push you away. What you need to do is get inside and just keep going. As the smaller person, you are either all in or all out.

        You have the most demanding job of the two, but YOU are the one who ultimately controls the fight. DO NOT leave that control up in the air, because your opponent will take it and remove the only real advantage you have. If you're going to do something (enter/attack, hang out at the edge of his range, run away, screech like a banshee), you have to be deliberate about it and go all in.

        Will you get hit? Probably. Will it cost you? Not if you give more than you get. Will you be more winded than the other guy? You should be.

        A thing about quicker people is, you have to watch them. They have the power to control the fight no matter what you do, so don't give them a reason to take all of the control there is on the table. Let them have what they want, and quietly slide the remainder off the table and into your lap while they're enamored with their own horde.

        What that means is, you need to maintain your posture and let them have the space they want. Have some patience. They control the fight, so don't worry about having to make anything happen in the fight. When you see them encroach on your space, push them out of it with your front foot. Don't chase them and don't try to do anything fancy. Just let them do their thing until they get close enough that you can just *push* a little bit with the side kick.

        If they get too close for the side kick, use a back kick. I would suggest you practice excruciatingly slowly and use such a technique where you don't spin while you deliver the kick. It should be two steps. Turn and see over the shoulder, THEN kick straight into your target.

        In 1988, Luang Pham actually lost the olympic gold medal for the flyweight division of WTF Taekwondo because his back kick was too wide. This is an avoidable mistake that destroys one of the most powerful tools in sparring for A LOT of people.

        The kick is more of an asset to you slow and clean than quick and wide. It's a slow kick by nature. Have faith you will be able to deliver it, and you should start to be successful with it.

        I don't know how much of this is useful to you, but I hope it helps!

        Mike
      • 3 more comments
      • 1
      Puritans in martial arts
      After spending nearly 10 years in the same Karate system my son and I ventured out to see what else is out there in the MA world. We found a grappling club that loosely trains the 10th planet system. A couple of Eddie Bravo black belts attend from time to time. Then once a week we work with a Krav guy, we like the Krav weapon techniques. Which brings me to my point. The master in our Karate system has written that, should a student study under another master or system they should pretty much be thrown out. Mind you we haven't experienced that yet but we sure don't talk about any of our outside studies. We think mixing martial arts styles makes us better martial artist. Are we actually violating some ancient law of martial arts?
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        dtaylorbrazil Fortunately I started my martial arts training in what we called a hybrid style, Shorin-Kenpo. Additionally we applied kickboxing, wrestling, then later Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. As we progressed in the ranks it was a requirement to cross train and come back to our class with new techniques.

        As an instructor, I want students from different martial arts backgrounds. Several of my current students train elsewhere along with my classes. They are encouraged to share anything they learned that is relevant to enhance our classes. This might sound surprising but I find that this helps me too. After all, instructors can forget details, overlook applications, and improve in technique too.

        In regard to a code, Students should be humble, test their system, and respect their instructor. If you can do this under his "no cross-training" mandate then you might be able to honor this class requirement. Without a context for this requirement it is hard for me to understand the mandate. Perhaps a terrible experience with a no-it-all student forced him to make such a stand?
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        Andy [246080,Mike], I get where you are coming from but I would argue that without MA 'purists' there would be no specific martial arts styles at all and as such there wouldn't be ANY styles (or variations of) to train or cross train in!
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        Richie It's a martial"ART" not a martial discipline. Goju Ryu was and still is designed for adaptation and to change with the times, that is something my founder wrote.
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      Suggestions for improving focus
      Hello. If anyone have any suggestions for beginners how to improve focus during the training please share. For example after practicing for about 5 months I realized that proper stretching is crucial for focused practice.
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        Richie MEDITATE! (had to put in the ! for comic relief, lol)

        Have set goals every day even when you are not training, well you should always be training. Have small and big ones.

        ie: do squats while watching TV/reading/downtime
        take the stairs
        do dynamic stretching while waiting for your other half to get ready
        do the just three parts of your form 30 times
        do 5 sprints

        Be your own arch nemesis and beat yourself at things. You, your mind, is losing focus not your body. This post in itself is putting a wall up you climb every time you train. So training starts and ends in the mind.

        A good friend and karateka told me once:
        "Your mind will always tell your body what to do, always. If your arms are tired just laugh at them and say get over it."

        I would see him during training and actually giggle to himself.
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        Andy Hi [243812,Viktor], yes proper warm up and stretching is vital to safe and effective training, the main thing that results in lack of focus for beginners is fatigue/exhaustion as a result of insufficient overall fitness so the best way to focus and progress through training is to get in decent shape. Of course MA training is an excellent way to get in shape anyway so usually this specific problem does tend to cure itself (at least for those who stick with the training and don't drop out because they think it is too difficult), that being said it is never a bad idea for any martial artist at any level to work on fitness and conditioning outside of class time.
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