Focus and attention play a huge part in martial arts. When someone is moving around in front of you throwing kicks and punches it pays to be in the moment.
The mind is a tricky little thing though before you know it, there it goes. Thinking about PS4 or whats for tea.
Laser Beam Focus – New ways we have been working it with the kids
So in our kid’s classes, we have been working with some new simple techniques to improve focus. Into laser beam focus of course.
Thes can be used at home by the parent for two minutes at a time twice a week. We noticed almost instant results. Though saying that it is something that should be done with persistence. Over many years if you really want a warrior mindset
Simply get a meditation bell (follow this link) Now sit down with your child, eyes closed. Ring the bell and when you can’t hear the bell any longer raise your hand. You can stop the bell ringing at different times. Or let it fade away naturally. This really does focus the mind and you can do it along with your child. Hey, you might feel the benefits too. Actually, let me rephrase that. You will definitely feel the benefits if you do this.
Get a cushion, lay down and put it on your child’s belly. Instruct them to breathe in and move the cushion up, breath out and bring it down. Repeat, do this twice a week for two minutes at a time. Breathing techniques are at the heart of martial arts and meditation. Breathing helps you control your power, emotions and resistance to strikes. Join in with your kids, as with exercise 1 you will benefit from this enormously.
Laser Beam Focus – In a crazy distracted world
Just a few minutes a day can have a profound effect. In todays world the skill of controlling the mind, not being distracted. Well, I think we all know, Facebook, Twitter and on and on it goes.
Theis is not wishy-washy hippy nonsense. The studies are out, they have been confirmed by science and millions of people worldwide.
Look after your mind because the revolution is internal
Self Defence Classes Lincoln – Realistic Self Defence
So what is realistic self-defence and who says it’s so?
I hope we would all agree that self-defence for the modern day street is not the same as it was 300 years ago. Basic combat principles remain I believe but the society has shifted somewhat over the century’s as has the environment.
Martial arts have evolved over the centuries and in the last few years with the emergence of MMA some would argue that they have evolved more in the last 10 years than in the previous 300. Like I say, some would argue so keep your lid on.
Self Defence Classes Lincoln
I myself have been studying self-defence for many years now and most of that journey was alongside the founders of the now dissolved Keysi Fighting Method. They were amazing years and the training answered the questions I had based upon my experiences of street fight’s, shootings and knife attacks during that time in my life. Many of you who know me or have read my articles in Martial Arts Illustrated or followed my blogs know some of my story.
Self Defence Classes Lincoln
Now what became apparent to me some years ago was with the rising popularity of MMA your average person studying Martial Arts was becoming proficient very quickly. The MMA style of training meant that the work was pressure tested on a daily basis. As I became more involved in MMA and organised our own shows and attending others I also saw a new breed of fighter. Some of those training and competing in MMA were fighting on shows on a regular basis. Some even competing Friday and then Saturday on another show. Back to work Monday and the gym Monday night, next weekend do it all again. One guy who competed on our show jumped out of the cage, put on his shirt and went to work like he’d just been to the gym on a treadmill.
Now I’ve always known there are people out there who just love to fight, that’s not my point. What I noticed is there are now lots of people out there who love to fight and can fight, and the numbers are growing rapidly.
Self Defence Classes Lincoln
During the following years I trained and studied with good friend Tony Davis in MMA. When I started teaching MMA it was purely for the sport application and the love for competition. What I also realised was I developed a much healthier outlook on life and my training due to the style of training and the humbling experience of failing a lot on the mats and getting tapped out repeatedly. Remember I came from a pretty hardcore lifestyle, living with the travelling community for over 20 years. Involved in serious violent situations for many years then straight into KFM. There ensued years of hardcore realistic study of how to smash and destroy everyone and everything. That’s all I did, I had no job and plenty of time. All I did was train and study violence and violent people after living with them for so long I guess you could say there wasn’t much Yin In my Yang. Don’t get me wrong, it was awesome but now at my age? I guess I’m chilling out a little.
Self Defence Classes Lincoln
Over the years as my skills developed and my ability grew I became disillusioned with the pure self defence style. I began to notice areas especially the ground that were seriously underdeveloped and not understood
When does pain meet its limits? At what point does causing pain to your opponent fail you?
Simple, when it doesn’t hurt them, from my own experience pain doesn’t really play a part in the fight when it’s for real. I have been beaten unconscious by a gang of men before, I woke up fighting and got beat unconscious again. I felt nothing.
Experiences like that and then my study of the arts confirmed my beliefs, you need to understand how to deal with people who are bigger, stronger and do not feel pain and the only way other than the cop out eye gouge argument or use a weapon is. Learn BJJ or no gi or wresting etc.
Do not misunderstand that last statement; I do not believe BJJ or any other ground-based sport to be adequate for multiple attack situations. If that were true then pure BJJ guys would dominate the MMA scene without studying other striking arts. What I am saying is ground movement from these arts is essential to become a well rounded fighter
We have also all heard the stories or seen the footage of BJJ guys tapping out much larger opponents over and over. Not down to brute force or strength or relying on pain (much) but through superior posture and structure and securing position with incredible movement and technique.
As I’m always being told by my grappling coach. “Position before submission” well the same applies to applying devastating strikes on the ground. Secure the position first, otherwise there gone.
Self Defence Classes Lincoln
I always came across the same response from people in the self-defence world when I posed question like.
“If you don’t know putting your arm in the wrong place means your opponent will break it in seconds. “
“Yeah but that’s sport and were street and if he does an armbar in the street he’s an idiot because blah blah blah.”
“Yes I reply, but he’s an idiot who just snapped your arm because you gave it to him due to lack of knowledge”
“We don’t study the sport because its sport” was the answer. Even worse on many occasions I was told “They need to worry about us, not the other way around”
Self Defence Classes Lincoln – Delusion
It was such a deluded mind-set and arrogant. I’d watch people putting themselves in compromising situations where even a novice fighter would snap an arm or choke them out in seconds, over and over again without realising it. But everything is ok because we don’t have rules so we can do what we want seemed to be the ultimate answer to everything.
We have all met or heard this I believe“I don’t train the ground because I don’t fall down, I don’t go to the ground”
Now we all know this is delusional beyond belief, I mean you are in fact a walking miracle if you have never fallen over in your life. Saying we don’t study this or that because its sport is no different and if you find your self thinking that or being taught that, get out of there or keep a clear mind and cross train.
I loved my pure self defence years, they were crazy and intense and I learnt so much, my life changed for the better and I regret nothing. I do now realise something now though. Self defence answered my questions in the beginning, answers to some life threatening situations and violence, but it stopped answering them in certain areas like the ground. As I became a more proficient fighter and I saw the modern day martial artist and street thug adopt a new style of training and pressure testing it daily, fighting for fun, for real and regular.
The enemy is changing and your style of training needs to keep up with what’s out there. If its art for art’s sake then good for you and whatever makes you happy. But if you’re studying for reality then the question should be.
What is reality?
Do some research, talk to door supervisors to see what common changes they have seen in the last few years. Watch CCTV footage from the many streaming sites out there. Think about a 20 year old juiced up young man who from the age of 12 has been following UFC, fights for his local club, trains hard and loves to ruk on a Saturday night on the streets if he’s not got a legal fight. Ask yourself, really honestly do you believe in your training? Now there are 2 of them and they mean it, do you still believe in your training?
Now all that being said, have some fun and get more from your art than just kicking and punching.
There is a skill that few martial artists possess. This would be the art of dealing with cornering. Cornering is when an assailant tries to get you sandwiched between him and an object. In doing so, your ability to escape is limited and you lack the space needed to defend yourself. Well, this might be the case if you have not been trained to deal with such a scenario. The truth is, it might be easier to deal with being cornered than you realize.
A simple drill to deal with cornering
Here is a very easy drill to employ to work some of the attributes of defending yourself when cornered. Simply shadow box elbow strikes without performing any footwork whatsoever. You are basically a statue from the waste down and from the waste up you are working your elbow combinations. Again, this is just a drill and you would not want to fight like that in a truly serious scenario. In real life, one or two elbows could be used to set yourself up for an escape from cornering. However, you have to be versed in how to deal with elbows in tight corners. This simple drill can help slightly with that.
Among the best ways to learn how to deal with objects or tight corners would be to simply borrow a few training methods from combat sports. In MMA (Mixed Martial Arts), fighters have to deal with being pressed up against a cage all the time. In kickboxing, the fighters have to deal with corners. Getting stuck up against a cage or in the corner is not exactly a lot of fun. There are ways out and ways to defend. If there wasn’t, MMA and kickboxing would be very dull sports to watch. Thankfully, techniques for dealing with cornering in the ring or cage have been developed. Such techniques can be easily modified for use in a serious combatives scenario.
Cornering tweaked for self defence
Again, there will be a need to tweak the techniques because the scenario and the situation will have changed. Sports based techniques have certain aspects to them that are born of the environment they are intended for. The tweaking for self-defense may be little more than a few minor alterations, but these changes will have to be made. The environment is different so this will need to be addressed as well.
The way to do this is not hard. All you have to employ would be different training strategies. Sometimes, the differences entail doing little more than making minor changes.
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Training martial arts will improve your state of mind
Training martial arts will always have a number of positive benefits. Virtually everyone realises and agrees that training martial arts can be quite good for self defence. Others will be quick to point out that training martial arts will contribute to improvements in health and fitness. There is another area of improvement that can sometimes be overlooked. This would be the mental health benefits that can be gained from training martial arts.
Training martial arts can help relieve this feeling.
The notion training in MMA, kickboxing, or a traditional martial art could lead to improvements in mental health might seem more than a bit “out there”. It may be easy to assume someone is suggesting that studying a combat sport or learning self defence can easily replace serious therapy with a health care provider. No one is suggesting training martial arts are the sole way to treat a major psychological problem. However, the arts can be effectively used to create more peace of mind and enhance a positive mental state.
We know this because they have been doing so for centuries.
Training martial arts for stress relief
The easiest way this can be seen is how training martial arts can be a great stress releaser. No one likes to deal with pent up stress from work or other responsibilities. Getting away from it all even if it is only for an hour or two can have a positive impact on your state of mind. Hitting a heavy bag or getting a really good workout in can definitely burn up a lot of stress in a good way. We all know that some of the ways people deal with stress are neither positive nor healthy, such as possibly drinking alcohol or smoking. Training martial arts offers a much better alternative.
Training martial arts takes your mind off things
The martial arts can also get your mind off of things that may be troubling you even after you leave the dojo. Thinking about your training or reading a book on the subject contribute to thinking about positive things. This would certainly be preferable to just wallowing on things that are neither positive nor helpful.
This is not to suggest the martial arts should be used for the purpose of permanent escapism. That would be a very self-defeating venture. At some point, you do have to take time out and deal with your responsibilities and sources of stress. Doing so at the proper time is recommended. Training martial arts can give you a reprieve until that time.
Power Side Forward vs. Power Side to the Rear: The Eternal Martial Art Discussion
Power side forward vs. power side to the rear: which is better? This is a commonly debated topic among the striking arts. To a degree, whether to put the strong side forward or to the rear is also a common discussion in grappling arts circles. In truth, personal preferences and goals will factor into whether or not the power side should go forward or remain in the rear.
What is your power side?
Strong side vs. weak side will be based on whether you are right handed or left handed. If you are right handed, your right hand would reflect your power hand. Hence, strong side forward means your right hand and foot would be forward. The rational here is both the right hand and foot would be far more capable of handling the tasks required of them since they are stronger. This is why so many self-defence arts stress the strong side forward.
Power side in sports martial arts
Sportive arts will follow a different paradigm. In sportive endeavors, the weak side is put forward for the purpose of setting up a massive power shot from the strong side in the rear. In a sportive endeavor, there are very few options available to those in the ring or the cage. The reason is an opponent will be moving and jabbing. Therefore, it becomes harder to find a clear shot. As a result, it becomes necessary to set up shots through using the weak lead hand and cutting lose with the weak side when an opportunity arises.
Power side in self defence
In self defence, this might not be a wise approach because time is not on the side of the person who is being attacked. Assaults commence and end rather quickly. Due to this fact, striking with the most powerful tool is vital and placing the tool closer to the target makes sense.
That said, you will likely be in a natural stance when you are assaulted and that means your weak side may be forward. You would have no choice but to act from the weak side. Rarely do you ever have any choices when you are dealing with an assault situation. This is do to the rapid nature of such clashes. So, for self defence purposes, it is best to train both the strong and the weak side to ensure you are capable of handling anything that comes your way. With the right effort and training, the weak side can be made much stronger.
There are a great many inspirational figures in the world of martial arts. From Bruce Lee to Jigoro Kano to Bones Jones, many great fighters and teachers have helped raise awareness of the martial arts and help it grow. Looking towards these legends definitely can be quite the inspiration. For those that wish to become more skilled at the martial arts, it may be best to look at these legends from more a glance. Students of the martial arts, both those new to the arts and those well seasoned, might find much to learn from these legendary figures.
Bruce Lee – Martial arts master
Top names in the martial arts often have great training regimens. In order to perform at the level they do, they have to be in solid physical condition and have effective training strategies that contribute to their winning edge. An elite MMA fighter likely has a great diet and exercise program that is worth investigating. Often, a lot of valuable information can be derived from these training methods.
Choose an appropriate martial arts training regime for you
A bit of clarification does have to be noted here. First, not every top martial artist is a competitive athlete. Second, you likely have to tone down any training regimens a top athlete takes part in.
Someone that is involved in legitimate self-defense training might not be a competitive athlete, but he may have an excellent training system to follow to deal with violent assaults. Special drills designed to deal with aggressive, violent behavior could be valuable to anyone wishing to gain attributes to deal with serious assaults. Examining these training methods is advised. It is not advised to be too hung up about whether or not the trainer has actually competed in a sporting environment.
Jigoro Kano – Martial arts master
That said, well conditioned and successful athletes are worth emulating as well….but only to a point. A professional athlete may be able to train a full three hours a day. The average person likely will not be able to do. Those that try might end up burning out rather quickly. They also may have trouble duplicating such an athlete’s diet. Tweaking and modifying the diet to meet one’s physical fitness level would be a helpful strategy.
Researching what works for the many greats in the martial arts world definitely has value. Often, these trailblazers provide the helpful insights required to get the most out of training. While modifications have to be made, using the training strategies of a legendary figure as a base can be hugely helpful.
One very popular aspect of self-defence training would be the ability to deal with weapons. While learning such tactics is popular among would be students, the truth is most of their impressions about weapons are based on what they have seen in the movies. While it might seem easy to disarm a knife or a gun in a film, that is because the scene is choreographed. In other words, it is not real. There are certain factors that must be understood about dealing with weapons. These factors would be you will be at an enormous disadvantage when dealing with weapons. Attempts to engage an assailant that has a knife or a gun can lead to being severely injured or even killed. Therefore, a more judicious approach to dealing with the weapons must be used.
Weapons – types of predator
First, you must understand there are two types of predators that will try to use a weapon. These would be the resource predator and the process predator. The resource predator. wants something from you. The process predator. is someone that is interested purely in committing acts of violence.
Dealing with the resource predator generally means you are dealing with a thief or someone that wants property. While a violent person, the resource predator may only be interested in using a threat to get what he wants. In other words, he may draw a knife or a gun, but he is only interested in, say, your money. Once you hand over the money, he will leave knowing the longer he stays where he is, he runs the risk of being caught or getting into a confrontation. When you can diffuse the situation by giving him what he wants, you increase your chances of survival. Trying to engage him likely will cause the situation to get worse.
Weapons and the resource predator
The resource predator is a far more dangerous animal. Worse yet, you may have no other option other than fighting him even if he has a gun or a knife. The resource predator is the rapist and the murderer. He will try to kidnap a victim, move the person to a new crime scene or tie others up. Obviously, you cannot allow this to happen. Escape is certainly the better option, but if you cannot escape you have to fight. Improperly fighting an armed assailant is not going to end well.
Therefore, you have to train with someone that does really understand what is required to engage a weapon. There are realistic and serious ways of doing this and these tactics are taught by those martial arts instructors that are highly skilled at what they do. Look for a legitimate personal defence instructor when wishing to learn about the weapons defence aspect of martial sciences.
Is there any truth to the notion kicking is really a secondary technique in MMA?
Truthfully, kicking does have a place in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). There many who are not huge proponents of the use of the legs in MMA, but such an assessment is entirely accurate. similarly, a certain conventional wisdom has emerged over the past few years that kicks are not very good for self-defence either. This belief comes from the notion that because kicks are not used to a huge degree in MMA, kicks are not useful techniques for the street.
So, are kicks a relic from prior decades when traditional martial arts training was more popular? In actuality, there are many uses for kicks in MMA and self-defence.
The main issue with kicks in MMA is such techniques can create an opening for a takedown. You also are vulnerable to a rear cross when employing rear leg kicks. As such, kicks have to be used a little bit more carefully when training for the cage. (Those training for kickboxing or point karate will be able to use a lot more variety in their leg techniques) The “judicious process” starts with using the highest percentage kicks which would be the lead and rear roundhouse kick. The Muay Thai roundhouse kick will be the preferred one to use for many.
Where the kick is directed also will play a role in its effectiveness. The inner and the outer thigh are the most common targets. For those that are not great kickers, these might be the best targets to stick with. Those that have exceptional kicking skill, higher targets such as the head might be workable.
Also, those that are good at kicking that might find the sidekick and the front push kick workable in MMA. Other kicks can be added based on the skill of the person.
For self-defence, the round kick, the front kick, the sidekick, and the stomping kick all have their role. The targets they generally attack are the illegal ones in sport competition. This would include the groin, the shins, the knees, the insteps, and so on. While effective, kicks can be limited in terms of their window of opportunity in a self-defence scenario.
Kicks are also very attributes based. That means you have to develop the flexibility and muscular endurance to use them effectively. Once you do that, there is no reason why your kicks cannot be devastatingly effective.
Grappling arts like Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Submission Wrestling offer many excellent options for dealing with the ground in a self-defence scenario. It would be wise though to learn some Judo and wrestling as well, but not for the reasons most assume. These are are associated with takedowns mostly from an offensive perspective. They should also be looked at from defensive and even worst case scenario perspectives. Hitting the ground too hard would be one of the worst results that could occur.
Breakfalling is a critical area of learning in the art of Judo. Breakfalls basically teach people to not do the dangerous gut reactions when heading to the ground. Whether you are thrown or trip, your gut reaction may be to put your hand out to brace your fall. It might very well do this, but the impact could dislocate the elbow. In a street self-defence situation, an assault will continue while you have no means of being able to use one of your arms to stop it.
Worse yet, people are not in the habit of tucking their chin when they fall. As a result, the back of their skull can make contact with the ground. Not to be morose, but this is a common cause of fatalities in self-defence situations. When learning to breakfall, students are taught to tuck the chin to prevent such an injury.
This is not to suggest breakfall lessons alone will eliminate the chances of being injured by a throw or a fall. Getting hit by surprise and being knocked out standing can eliminate the cognitive or even subconscious ability to break a fall on the way down. Surprise and quick knockouts from a standing position often lead to severe injuries not from the strike itself, but from the impact when the body hits the ground.
Breakfalling may lead to the subconscious and muscle memory/response stimulus action that protects the body when falling. Hence, the name…breaking a fall. Students do invest quite a bit of time working on the ground, which is definitely wise. However, it would be equally wise to learn about the unfortunate particulars and dangers of how the body actually hits the ground. This way, the potential for serious injury can be reduced or eliminated.
Learning how to breakfall does not eliminate the full potential for injury, but it can reduce it quite a bit. That alone can have a huge impact on how a fight goes down.
Martial arts training for kids is not just about self-defence. There is also a sportive component and this is a good thing. There are quite a number of benefits that can be gained from taking part in martial arts tournaments. A child that succeeds in safe point sparring competition and forms performance may gain a huge confidence boost that can carry over elsewhere in life.
One issue here that concerns parents is the solo nature of martial arts competition can lead to the onset of a potentially unhealthy ego in the child. Such concerns do make sense. Of course, these problems are not solely found in martial arts. Tennis and dance would both be solo endeavours that can create a swelled head in a young person. The question that arises would be whether or not there is a way to curb any boosted ego.
Actually, there is a huge misconception about the martial arts training and this would be the study of the arts is a solo pursuit. Martial arts training always requires a team. No one can become a great martial artist on his or her own. Working with training partners is how you develop your skills. Kids will quickly learn they cannot succeed in their path to martial arts excellence unless they get along well with their fellow students. This might seem like a quaint notion, but it is not. Not very many people can get along in life unless they can work well with others. Training for martial arts events does help teach young ones how to work well with others in the pursuit of their own achievements.
The environment of a kids martial arts class can also contribute to a positive attitude. Martial arts schools do put great value on developing character and virtues. Sadly, such traits can unnecessarily be missing from traditional sportive environments.
Because martial arts training also tries to develop the character of a young one, the potential to develop egotistical traits becomes less likely. This is not to suggest a martial arts training environment will be without any flaws, but it definitely is free of common troubling attitudes found in some of the more traditional sportive environments.