WHAT STYLE OF MARTIAL ARTS ARE YOU?
There are many styles and variations of the Martial Arts. The key is to find the perfect one that fits your lifestyle. Below is a list of some of the most popular styles offered:
History and Origins
Ancient literature shows that a Minamoto clan samurai originally practiced the discipline. According to legend, he would dissect corpses of fallen warriors and study the anatomy of the body. Geared with his knowledge of the empty handed martial art of ‘tegoi’ (considered to be an ancestor of ‘Sumo’), he combined everything he had learned about the anatomy of the body and how to best use one’s body to control the outcome of an altercation. While he originally kept the secrets of the art within his family, the sensei is rumored to have traveled to western Europe in the mid-15th century when he befriended a western philosopher by the name of William Vorilong, who learned aspects of combat from him such as unarmed combat and melee weapon fighting. The Takeda family – which he was a part of – lost some of their power over the course of history and it was in the late 19th century that the secrets of the discipline were then taught to non-members of the family.
Techniques used in Aiki Jitsu
The techniques used in Aiki Jitsu are very precise because of the fact that the discipline was initially focused on crippling or killing the attacker. It is for this very reason that it is important to develop a mental as well as physical bond within the body – and developing a strong discipline is key to being able to wield the force of the technique. There are different techniques incorporated into Aiki Jitsu that allow the individual to subdue the attacker with or without pain. The techniques will revolve around joint locks, throws, and take downs. While the differences might seem as basic as the intensity in the grappling techniques when it comes to differentiating between judo, jujitsu, and aikido – the philosophical differences are significant. It is because of this that anyone who is not practicing the discipline will not fully be able to comprehend the differences. Aiki Jitsu is based on a scientific and systematic study of human anatomy. The inventors of this martial arts have deeply studied the human body, its weaknesses, its strengths and the connection between mind and body. The techniques used in Aiki Jitsu are very specific and yield results very quickly if practiced effectively. An expert in Aiki Jitsu can easily overpower any attacker only using his bare hands. Nevertheless, becoming an Aiki Jitsu expert requires many years of patience and practice.
There are a number of physical as well as mental health benefits that you can get by practicing Aiki Jitsu. Just like with other forms of martial arts, the stress is on developing a harmonious relationship between the body and mind – you will almost always lead a more serene lifestyle. Self-discipline is something that is a very important part of practicing Aiki Jitsu and is even more important in battle as the need to choose how badly you want to injure your opponent is essential. The self discipline learned in Aiki Jitsu can help a person lead a better life. The person can also learn many other life lessons from Aiki Jitsu such as patience and calmness towards life. All this can help a person to better approach his life. Most practitioners of Aiki Jitsu have greatly benefited from it and have reported significant improvements in the general quality of their lives. Many have said that the Aiki Jitsu has been the key reason behind the successes in their lives. This should be an inspiration to the countless other people who wish to start their practice of Aiki Jitsu.
Ideal for Stress Management
Although Aikido originated as a form of self-defense and attack, more and more people are becoming aware of the self-control boosting properties of the discipline. The roots of Aikido grow with significant focus on developing the body and mind to work in perfect harmony. Endurance, general physical fitness and conditioning are the hallmarks of this martial art. Stress management is a very important aspect of Aikido because of the fact that being relaxed and calm is central to the ability of learning various techniques. The core principle of Aikido is that ‘Ki’, which is the internal energy, can only flow properly when the body is relaxed. Also known as the ‘art of peace’, Aikido is considered to be an alternative to aggression. Other than the combative properties of the martial art, teachers look to promote various uses of Aikido in a disciples everyday life. Aikido can teach the art of patience and mind control to a person. Long practice of Aikido has the potential to train the mind to focus more. Aikido has helped many in strengthening their memory, managing their stress and making them more calm and determined as a person.
Aikido for Cardio and Stretching
One prominent aspect of Aikido when compared to most other forms of martial arts that you are likely to notice is the fact that pushing or extending movements tend to be much more common than pulling or contractive movements. Aikido training does not target specific muscles or muscle groups in order to improve mass, tone and power. Instead, it promotes whole body movement in order to ensure that the body is in synchronization when it needs to perform the art. Calisthenics is a very important aspect of Aikido when it comes to both, cardio and stretching areas of the martial art. Individuals practicing Aikido will experience increased oxygen intake as well as energy levels and a feeling of being significantly rejuvenated. The work out is guaranteed to work up sweat with there being sudden changes in pace of the workout that help further develop the anaerobic aspects of the body. Aikido is a great cardio exercise, meaning that it is great for the health of the heart and blood circulation in general. It is especially useful for people who are old and unable to go to gym or exercise regularly. Aikido greatly helps in weight reduction and in improving fitness of its practitioners. The stretching movements of Aikido help to strengthen the muscles of arms and legs. It is a great way to train the body to become stronger and more flexible.
Aikido for Self Defense
Originally developed as a form of self – defense, Aikido is a very useful tool to possess in the event you find yourself in a vicious, unprovoked attack. Aikido teaches you to use the aggressors own weaknesses against him. It is because of this that Aikido teaches you to remain calm and collected. People that are filled purely with anger or rage during an altercation have their judgment clouded. Aikido disciples tend to be able to see their opponent’s weakness as a result of their ability to remain calm. Another aspect of Aikido is the fact that there is a lot of focus on reducing the impact that your opponent’s attacks will have on you. Techniques like rolling away and falling properly will help significantly minimize the force of the attack. Self defense is perhaps the oldest and more common use of Aikido. The use of Aikido can help a person to defend himself in the case of an altercation. There have been many cases of people successfully using Aikido to defend themselves in attacks. For this very reason, knowledge of Aikido is very useful for any person.
History and Origin
The martial art form of Bando is primarily a defensive one, with the focus very much on being able to counter and defend yourself against an aggressor. Self-protection and self-defense are the priorities for Bando students. The various stances and fighting behavior that makes up the fighting strategies of Bando are said to have been adapted from studying the various defense strategies of the cobra, python, tiger, money, boar, bull, scorpion and the leopard. Bando was introduced to the United States of America around the 1960’s by Maung Gyi. Bando has gained popularity over the years, as it is very focused on conditioning the mind to be able to judge a situation. Based on the fighting methods of 9 animals, the core principle is to be able to teach the student which technique to use in a certain situation, as there may be only one that will be effective. Learning Bando takes time and practice. An average person can learn sufficient amount of Bando to defend himself in around a year or two. With this he can expect to be able to defend himself in altercations and dangerous situations.
Bando for Self Discipline
Because of the fact that Bando is as much about being able to judge a situation, as it is to be able to defend yourself in the time of need, there is a significant amount of self-discipline required to master the art. The earliest meanings of the term ‘Bando’ were self-discipline, self-improvement and self-protection. All three aspects have been kept central to the philosophy of the martial art as it has evolved over the years. Bando teaches people to be able to control their emotions, their thoughts and their desires. This leads to an increased level of self discipline and mind control among the practitioners of Bando. Most people can use it to achieve their goals in life because that also requires self discipline and mind control. As with other forms of martial arts, Bando students need to progress through a level system that is symbolized by the awarding of ‘belts’. The student will achieve a calming and focusing of the mind as he or she progresses through the various stages of learning. The self-discipline that is achieved through Bando is essential in order to help the individual defend him or herself in chaotic situations.
For Fitness and Health
Given the fact that most of us all over the world have very hectic schedules, it is easy to get sucked into an unhealthy lifestyle. The fact that Bando is a very exhaustive workout means that you will burn a lot of calories when you practice. Given that there is a lot of focus on conditioning the mind means that you are unlikely to even pay too much attention to the weight loss until you realize that you’re body is becoming much stronger. Agility and muscle endurance are also an essential aspect of Bando and will be substantially improved over the course of time as the student begins to master the art with increasing proficiency. It has been observed that long practice of Bando has a significant effect in reducing body fat and making the person fitter as a result. It also tones the muscles and makes them more responsive. People who practice Bando can expect to live longer lives and be healthier than their peers. Bando might not be as well known as the more prominent versions of martial arts such as karate and judo, but can be equally effective when used in the right way. The fact that it is primarily a defensive form of martial arts means that the reasons to learn it will always be purely in the interest of self-defense.
Rules of Boxing
An amateur fight will consist of three rounds while professional fights range from four to fifteen rounds. The standard championship length is twelve rounds. In a majority of countries, professional boxing is more popular than its amateur counterpart. There are no strict umbrella rules governing the sport. Boxing regulations may vary from nation to nation. However, one factor is common across all boxing regulations. A match winner is determined either by a referee or by the judges’ decision or both. The judges round victors or keep points on a scorecard while the fight progresses. A knockout may also decide the winner in a boxing match. In a knockout, one competitor is punched to the floor and cannot stand up within the regulation ten seconds. A physician can declare a boxer defenseless and injured even in the absence of knockdown. An even or a tied match can be ruled as a draw. If a boxer breaks rules consistently in a fight, then he or she may be disqualified and the opponent declared the winner. A boxer may also surrender.
The boxing ring is a square and has standard measurement of 12 x 20 feet per side. Usually four ropes confine each side. Participating boxers are required to wear gloves since it was made compulsory in 1892. Gloves are sewn with leather and no finger holes (except thumb) are present. Each glove weighs about 227 grams in case of amateur matches and for professional matches the glove should weigh 170 grams. Wearing of gloves is mandatory for safety reasons. In addition, the boxers might also wear protective headgear and gum guard, although these are not mandatory. In a match between two boxers, they are required to wear shorts and kits that are different in color. This is done to make them easily recognizable to the judges.
History of Boxing
Boxing is a very old combat sport and its origins can be traced back to 3BC. It came into prominence during the time of the Roman Empire. It was a public spectator sport during that period. Fighters protected themselves against opponents by wrapping leather around their fists. Thus the first form of gloves were invented. Since people gathered in a round to see boxers fight, the term ring was born. Boxing, however, lost prominence after the fall of the Roman Empire. Boxing as a sport was revived in England during the 18th century. The first documented heavyweight champion was James Figg, who won the heavyweight title successively from 1719 to 1730. It became a common man’s sport during the Industrial Revolution. The modern era of boxing started in 1866 when the Marquess of Queensberry gave support to a new collection of rules, which was subsequently named in his honor. These regulations outlawed gouging and wrestling, limited the total number of 3 minute rounds and made the use of gloves mandatory. Since then boxing has become much safer than it previously was. This made more people willing to participate in boxing. Boxing is now practice both at the national and international level. For the purpose of convenience and fairness, boxers are categorized into categories based on their weights. The categories of weights range from flyweight to lightweight and heavyweight to super heavyweight. The most popular category is probably the super heavyweight category. It is watched by millions of people every year over television broadcasts. Winners of this category instantly become world famous.
Learn Boxing at Go2Karate
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History of Gracie Jiu-jitsu
Jiu-jitsu owed its origins to Buddhist monks in ancient India. When the monks were busy in spreading Buddhism, they soon found perils in the form of robbers on the way. The monks therefore developed a type of grappling that permitted them to subdue their opponents without killing. Many years later, these fighting techniques reached Japan where they were refined and given the name jujutsu or Jiu-jitsu. The Japanese tried to hide the fighting technique from the world. They almost succeeded until 1914 when Mitsuyo Maeda, a Kodokan Judo exponent and master came to live in the family home of Brazil’s Gastao Gracie. Gastao helped Maeda in his business and in return the Japanese master taught Carlos, the eldest son of Gastao the intricacies of judo. Carlos in turn taught his family what he knew. One of Carlos’ first pupils was his youngest brother, Helio Gracie. Helio’s small stature often landed him at a disadvantage when sparring with his bigger brothers as judo generally favors the larger and stronger fighter. To solve the problem, he developed certain techniques of his own which favored leverage and assisted the smaller fighter to prevail over brute strength. The version of judo that Helio developed is now known as Brazilian Jiu-jitsu.
Since Jiu-jitsu focuses on ground fighting, it lays stress on takedowns, ground control, takedown defense and submissions. It teaches its practitioners, that the key advantage held by a strong opponent lies mainly in stronger strikes and superior reach; these advantages are neutralized when the said adversary is on the ground, held in an unbreakable hold by the weaker opponent. The sport of jiu-Jitsu is built upon leveraging the strength of a stronger adversary to his own disadvantage, as opposed to traditional judo, which relies on strength of the practitioner himself. Submissions are holds which either chokes an opponent or take advantage of a body joint. Fighters are extremely proficient from fighting in the guard position. The guard position involves wrapping legs around the opponent so that their movement becomes limited. This distinguishes Brazilian Jiu-jitsu from other comparable fighting techniques.
A practitioner of Brazilian Jiu-jitsu always aims to push his or her opponent to the ground. If they are on top they usually hope to escape either to the side or to the mount position. If they reach there, they may then select to continuously strike the opponent or put down a submission hold. It is to be remembered that fighters are most dangerous when they are on their backs. Many submission holds can be started from this position.
Methods of Training
Any Brazilian Jiu-jitsu fighter aims to take his or her opponent to the ground after holding a grip. Once the opponent falls to the ground the fighter has a variety of maneuvers to put his opponent to a position where a submission technique can be applied. The primary signature of Brazilian Jiu-jitsu is to achieve a controlling place on the ground. Training is given so that practitioners can concentrate on submissions without using strikes. Isolation sparring or positional drilling is generally part of the training program.
Rivalry with Luta Livre
“Luta Livre” translates to free fighting in Portuguese, a martial art form deriving from judo and wrestling that relied on submissions to defeat an opponent. The history of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu has for long been closely intertwined with that of Luta Livre. The first conspicuous manifestation of this rivalry was the encounter between Euclydes “Tatu” Hatem, the founder of Luta Livre and George Gracie, one of the members of the Gracie family well known for the development of Jiu-Jitsu. Although Euclydes defeated George Gracie in their encounter in the 1940s, majority of the encounters were one by Jiu-Jitsu practitioners, and people considered Luta Livre to be a poor man’s martial art form.
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Brazilian Jiu-jitsu along with Vale Tudo martial arts of Brazil
Brazilian jiu-jitsu is believed to be derived from a martial art technique called Kodokan Judo. This Brazilian fighting technique lays emphasis on the concept that a weaker opponent can effectively use his opponent’s strength against him. Jiu Jitsu teaches its students, that most of the advantage a stronger opponent has in a fight, is built upon stronger strikes and superior reach. This is effectively neutralized by bringing the opponent to the ground using a chokehold or a joint lock. Openings are created using kicks or strikes. In contrast the art of Vale Tudo relies primarily on grappling, and is one of the biggest influences on the modern combat sport we know as Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). ‘Vale Tudo’ is Portuguese for ‘anything goes’, meaning there are very few or no rules at all with respect to what techniques are legitimate for use in combat. It is a full contact combat sport, and has influences from other martial art forms like Thai boxing and several western fighting styles.
Luta Livre Brazilian
The Portuguese term Luta Livre translates into free wrestling. It does not permit punching or kicking. Luta livre started in the 1920s by Euclydes Hatem, who went by the nickname of Tatu. The sport of Luta Livre is primarily made up of grappling and wrestling techniques. A Luta Livre practitioner’s main objective is to bring his opponent to the ground as soon as possible and force him to yield or submit. The sport of Luta Livre has had a strong historical rivalry with Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. This fighting technique is constantly evolving and new techniques are being added. It must be noted that those seeking to train in Luta Livre have to be very fit as the sport is extremely demanding physically.
Capoeira and Maculele
Brazilian martial techniques Capoeira is a method believed to be imported to Brazil by African slaves when it existed. It is a method that has martial arts, music and dance. There are different forms of capoeira like capoeira regional, capoeira angola and capoeira contemporanea. Capoeira angola is the oldest technique. Maculele has dance and music within it. The difference between maculele and capoeira is that maculele uses sticks or machetes in its methods. This martial art technique focuses on punches, kicks and knee strikes. It is a very acrobatic and fluid style of martial arts. Capoeira looks similar to dancing as Brazilian slaves used to practice the art in plain view of their colonial overlords and say that they were dancing. Students of capoeira constantly move to avoid attack or try to launch an attack on their opponent. Capoeira uses a very fast and versatile fighting technique that focuses on fighting a technologically superior or multiple opponents.
Kombato Brazilian Martial Techniques
This type of martial method originated in the 1980s, and was developed by Paulo Alberquerque. A number of self-defense strategies like grappling and striking are used. These methods are applied only when a conflict is to be defused. Kombato Training is generally given to professional personal protection personnel like policemen, the military or bodyguards. Most recently, there is also a Kombato training program for Brazilian Civilians. The main objective of this martial art form is to heighten one’s awareness of one’s surroundings and to effectively recognize and neutralize any threat. Kombato has a graduation system similar to other martial art forms, where practitioners are awarded bands of different colors, starting from white and culminating in black to recognize the practitioner’s level of proficiency in the sport. Huka Huka Brazilian martial methods This is a kind of folk wrestling usually performed during the ritual Kuarup ceremonies. Athletes began to fight on their knees. The winner is the one who will lift his or her opponent and push him to the ground. This was formed as part of an experiment during the formation of Sao Paulo State Military Police. This fighting method is still under observation by martial arts experts.
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Capoeira is a form of Brazilian martial arts that is an amalgamation of acrobatics, potato dance, and music. It was developed primarily by African descendants with a marked influence of native Brazilian culture. Capoeira is known for its complex and quick moves, which involve speed, leverage, and power to impart a large variety of spins, kicks, and other extremely mobile techniques.
Capoeira in self-defense includes a number of low moves and sweeps, but as a sport it is marked by acrobatics demonstrations and high moves. Participants perform au or full cartwheels and flips for the entertainment of the audience.
The word “Capoeira” is believed to come from the Tupi language. If refers to low vegetation areas in Brazil where the techniques were made and perfected. It was invented by descendants of African slaves who disguised it as a dance form to avoid detection that they were learning how to fight from the eyes of their colonial masters. Capoeira is always accompanied by the berimbau music of Brazil.
Capoeira as a martial art
Capoeira is known as a versatile and fast martial method which focuses on fighting a technologically superior opponent or multiple opponents.
The ginga is a basic Capoeira movement vital for both defense and attack aims. It has two primary objectives: it keeps practitioners (or capoeirista) in a state of perpetual motion, making them an extremely hard target, and, by using feints and fakes, to fool, mislead and trick the opponent to open up a window for an attack or counter-attack.
In Capoeira, attacks are done when an opportunity arises. Attacks should be decisive, like a kick in an important body part or the face. A take down is much desired. Majority of the Capoeira attacks are done with the legs, like swinging or direct kicks and strikes in the knees. A very important counter-attack technique is the head strike. Punches, strikes in the elbow, and other kinds of take downs together make up the main list.
The Capoeira defense uses non-resistance as its main principle. Attacks are avoided by evading instead of blocking. The practitioner should block only if avoidance or esquiva is impossible. This kind of combat allows for unpredictable and swift counter-attacks, to be able to face an armed opponent empty-handed and also when facing multiple adversaries.
Capoeira fighters perform a sequence of acrobatics and rolls to swiftly regain balance and to get over a take down. They can position around the attacker to prepare for an attack. It is this mix of mobility, defense, and attacks that gives Capoeira its choreography like style and fluid movement.
Styles of Capoeira
Due to a lack of consistency or parity in capoeira and the lack of a standard teaching method, determining various styles of Capoeira is a difficult task; however, the following styles are widely recognized:
All forms of Capoeira that still adhere to the customs and traditions followed before the birth of the regional style of capoeira are known collectively as Capoeira Angola. This form of Capoeira existed since the days of colonization in Brazil, in several places such as Rio De Janeiro, Recife and Salvador the name Angola came to be when Africans who were brought to brazil to serve as slaves were collectively known as ‘black people from Angola’. In 1941, Capoeira Angola became a nationally recognized martial art form when the Centro Esportivo de Capoeira Angola (CECA) was founded. Capoeira Angola’s primary ideal is to stay true to the roots of the martial art form.
This form of Capoeira was born in the 1920s in Brazil when a practitioner named Mestre Bimba felt that capoeira was turning into a performing art and was losing its martial nature. At the time, practicing capoeira was illegal and punishable by the ruling government. In order to safely continue practicing, Bimba named the martial art form Luta Regional Baiana, which is now known as Capoeira Regional
Music plays an important role in Capoeira. It sets up the style and tempo of the art. Singing and instruments together make up the music. The rhythm is controlled by the berimbau and can vary from very slow to extremely fast.
Capoeira instruments are arranged in a row called the bateria. The traditional bateria is made up of one atabaque, two pandeiros, three berimbaus, and one ganza. At Go2Karate™ we list a large amount and variety of martial art schools that will serve your needs in the category of Capoeira martial arts. You can take a Capoeira course for self-defense or as a dance form.
A male practitioner of Escrima is called “Escrimador” and his female counterparts are known as “Escrimadora”, “arnisador” or “kalista”, depending on what term she uses for her martial arts.
Training in Escrima
In contrast to most typical martial arts training routines, training in Escrima begins with weapon fighting techniques and then progresses to the hand to hand combat techniques. The philosophy behind this approach that Escrima follows is that muscle memory is a key aspect of martial arts since empty hand moves can only be acquired naturally as using the same drills as well as training routine as the weapons technique. The weapon here is considered to be an extension of the practitioner’s body and he or she is taught to use the same body movements, foot work and angles in hand to hand combat as in weapon fighting.
Escrima is primarily taught to students as a way of preparing them to fight against assailants bearing weapons on them. A practice called “motion grouping” is commonly used in many Escrima systems and refers to systems where the same techniques are used for combating either with weapons (knives or sticks) or empty handed.
There also exist systems which commence the initial training method with two weapons – two sticks, or a stick and one wooden knife. Such systems lay special attention on ambidexterity. Here students are trained to keep both their hands full and never move both the hands in a single direction. Training in the two weapon Escrima system helps practitioners develop the skill of using both arms independently – an ability that comes handy even while using a single weapon.
“Live hand” in Escrima
Live hand is a fundamental concept of Escrima that even separates it from other forms of Asian martial arts. The concept is to use the extra hand that is not holding the weapon (in case of a single weapon combat), to either block, joint lock or manipulate the opponent as well as disarm, control or trap the opponent’s weapon.
Among the types of sticks used in Escrima, the most common stick is what is known as the “yantok”. It does not splinter like normal wood and gives in only under severe abuse thus making it the primary choice for defending against blades.
Common impact weapons used include sticks ranging from 24 to 36 inches, wooden daggers, staves and shields. Edged weapons include daggers, knives, claw shaped blades, bolo, fork tip swords, spears, ice picks, screwdrivers, broken bottles and so on.
Benefits of practicing Escrima
The martial art form of Escrima has several benefits to offer those that practice it; some of them are as follows:
• Escrima is a comprehensive martial art form that focuses on all aspects of combat that are relevant to an individual in his/her day to day life. It does not lay special focus on weapon based combat over hand –to-hand combat or vice versa. It has no set fighting methods or moves and requires a practitioner to improvise according to his/her surroundings and access to weapons if any.
• Escrima does not require any minimum degree of strength or build in order to be used effectively, hence it can be practiced by all kinds of people, varying across age, sex, size and physical fitness levels
• Practicing escrima will help you effectively defend yourself from threat, and will boost your confidence and self-esteem, thus benefiting other aspects of your life.
• Due to the dynamic and largely adaptive nature of escrima, practitioners will see a dramatic improvement in their dexterity and hand-eye coordination.
• The intensity of escrima training promotes high calorific expenditure, thus regular training will result in improved muscle tone and general endurance.
• Practitioners of escrima develop an increased resilience and tolerance toward pain and injury, which can be a crucial advantage in a combat situation.
• Escrima training improves flexibility of the trainee’s body in general, providing benefits in other aspects of one’s life as well.
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Today the awareness of Filipino Martial Arts has grown by leaps and bounds. There are already thousands of people practicing it and the demand for training is growing at a steady pace. The people practicing Filipino Martial Arts come from all types of backgrounds. Some of them want to learn self defense while some of them are looking for fitness and a healthier lifestyle. In any case, a large number of people are making the choice to benefit from this form of martial art.
The Filipino Martial Arts are split into three main categories. Arnis is known to be one of the most highly regarded and the name is derived from the Old Spanish term for ‘armor’. As legend has it, the discipline was initially developed as a form of self-defense and attack for rival tribes. However, once the Spanish conquistadors arrived on Philippine soil, these tribes did everything they could to hide their martial arts from the invaders. As a result, they would practice in dance form so the Spanish would never be suspicious. To this day, a number of Filipinos practice the martial art in dance form.
Arnis makes extensive use of thrusting and butting techniques. One of the most well known techniques of Arnis is the 12 basic strikes. While it is considered to be a very basic technique, it is so effective that even students in the upper echelons of learning practice it on a daily basis. The technique comprises of quick, sharp and forceful attacks on the opponent.
Arnis is a very effective form of self defense and is used for that very purpose. Long time practitioners of Arnis can easily defend themselves against any attackers. Most people find it possible to apply their Arnis skills after around a year of training and practice.
Eskrima is more of a weapon-based method of Kali and one of the key differences between this form of martial arts and most others is the fact that students are required to train with weapons from a very early stage of their learning. While weapons are used, it also does require the student to use other parts of his body to strike. It is more of a combination form of attack, where some techniques will use the weapon as a distraction as the more deadly strikes are made with the hand or leg.
Ground fighting is another very important part of the entire learning as the student is taught to make use of his surroundings in order to negate the threat of an armed opponent. Learning to defend against other weapons is also an important part of the process.
Eskrima skills have to be developed through a lot of practice. They cannot be learnt without putting in a lot of effort. Most people need to practice for two or more years to have reasonable Eskrima skills.
Kali is considered to be one of the most advanced and deadly forms of martial arts when used correctly. The fact that it incorporates the use of weapons at an early stage of learning means that it can be dangerous – but the danger is part and parcel of building not only a strong physical combative frame, but also in developing a mind that is capable of keeping calm and collected in the heat of battle.
As with all forms of martial arts, there is as much focus on the mental aspects of combat as there is with the physical aspects of it. A skilled practitioner of Kali can not only successfully defend himself but also learns important life skills like discipline and focus.
Kali is often cross-trained with other forms of martial arts as there is a continual desire to develop and broaden the horizons of the discipline. This premise was set as a result of the ever changing conflict within the country and as a result of the fact that it continuously had to defend itself against foreign invaders.
As is evident from the name, Goju Ryu incorporates both hard and soft techniques – the hard linear attacks like closed punches, kicks and the like are combined with softer techniques like locks, throws, grappling and other similar moves. Goju Ryu primarily comprises two “kata” or forms as is called in Chinese martial arts – the Sanchin and Tensho kata.
Sanchin kata lays special stress on breathing properly while the Tensho kata is more focused on teaching the softer techniques. Overall, the training includes exercises for conditioning and strengthening the body, learning the correct reactions to combat (for example how to generate power, how much distance to keep etc). Partner drills form another important aspect of Goju Ryu.
Major philosophies associated with Goju Ryu
According to founder Chojun Miyagi, Goju Ryu has a more holistic nature and is not to be taken only as a form of combat sport. He believed that Goju Ryu radically aims at building character, conquering human misery and eventually finding spiritual freedom.
He philosophized that self defense training should ideally be accompanied with mental training. He also believed that intellect cultivation was more important than strength cultivation. According to him, Goju – the combination of hard and soft must be applied not only to karate but also applied to life. To understand life and live it in a fulfilling manner, balancing hardness and softness is very crucial. Even today majority of Goju Ryu schools stay in coherence with founder Miyagi’s philosophy and include it in the training curriculum.
Kata in Goju Ryu training
Traditionally, the Goju Ryu training curriculum included twelve fundamental forms or kata. Before progressing to the higher stage of sandan, students are required to be proficient in each of the twelve kata which are, two forms of gekisai, suparenpai, saifa, tensho, seiyunchin, sanchin, seisan, kururunfa, saipai, sanseiru as well as shisochin.
To help students be well versed with the practical applications of a kata, each is followed by a fighting drill for two people to practice their skills. Known as bunkai oyo, these drills help students hone their attacking or defending skills, establishing effective rhythm as well as flow and also practice dangerous moves on an opponent under the safe guidance of a supervisor.
Typically, Sanchin is considered to be the foundation for all other kata. Consequently, it is regarded as the most important of the 12 kata and is a must for a student to ace. It can be considered a form of moving meditation – the one that aims to unify the three principal forces of the body, mind and spirit. Considering how important this kata is, trainers perform Sanchin techniques slow enough to enable students to effectively master the correct breathing technique, posture, movements, internal strength and also attain a stability of the body and mind.
Benefits of learning Goju – Ryu Karate
The martial art form of Goju –Ryu has several benefits to offer to those that practice it, here are some of them:
• Improved Physical Health: Practitioners of Goju –Ryu Karate undergo rigorous training that develops their flexibility, dexterity and strength, and also improves blood pressure and blood circulation in the body. It also cultivates the habit of regular exercise, a must in today’s sedentary lifestyle.
• Improved Mental Health: Goju-Ryu karate teaches its practitioners discipline and respect and the ability to maintain calm and tranquility at all times and in all situations. The improved physical fitness also contributes to a healthy state of the mind, which is a key requirement to success in all walks of life in general.
• Improved Self-Esteem and Self-Confidence: the ability to effectively defend oneself against threat combined with the heightened physical and mental state attained by practitioners of Goju-Ryu karate inspire a sense of self-confidence and raise one’s self esteem. This new found self-confidence permeates into other areas of one’s life and provides invaluable benefits.
Check the Goju Ryu listings at Go2Karate™ to discover schools that provide services related to this holistic karate form.
Techniques of Hapkido
Hapkido consists of over 300 techniques that are variations of three basic groups that are hand versus empty hand, empty hand versus weapon and weapon versus weapon. Empty hand techniques include kicking, punching, throwing and locking. while the weapon techniques include the use of knife, rope, cane and staff. The use of fighting techniques while being in disadvantageous positions like prone to attack or seated is given special emphasis to.
Principles of Hapkido
There are three main principles that govern the practice of Hapkido. Hwa – using the opponent’s strength against him/her Won – using the circular pattern Yu – moving like water The combination of all these principles is where the power of this style of martial art lies. Hapkido for self-defense Like all other martial art forms, the main objective of Hapkido is self-defense. It teaches the practitioner to attack the weakest part of the opponent and using the opponent’s own strength to overthrow him/her. Circular motions are used to deflect attack and weaken the opponent’s energy while water movements allow the practitioner to channelize destructive energy instead of meeting it head on.
Skills required for the practice of Hapkido
There are certain aspects that are imbibed and developed in the process of learning Hapkido. They help the practitioner in becoming masters of this form of martial art.
Range – It refers to the distance that has to be maintained between the target and the weapon or the attacking body part. It gives the strike optimum force.
Focus – Focus is important for the practitioner of Hapkido to realize the multiple possibilities that are available at any given point in the combat and to attack where it will affect the opponent the most.
Timing – This aspect of combat is crucial for the practitioner to not have missed strikes and make contact with the opponent.
Flow – This helps in using the energy released by the opponent as an attack instead of investing more energy for the strike.
Balance – The practitioner of Hapkido needs to have a balance between the physical, mental and emotional faculties. It helps in utilizing all the other aspects correctly and with consciousness.
Hapkido is being increasingly adopted by people as a means to find equilibrium within their lives. Its practice has great impact on the attitude of a person and helps in developing strength of body, mind and character.
Benefits of Hapkido
Hapkido has the following benefits to offer its practitioners:
• Weight loss: Hapkido is a very physically demanding martial art form that dramatically raises your metabolism, making you burn much more calories than you would otherwise, even while at rest, aiding in weight loss and improving muscle tone.
• Detoxification: Practicing Hapkido channelizes the body’s energy and helps release accumulated harmful toxins in the body through sweat. It is a high intensity work out that raises the temperature of the body and activates the sweat glands.
• Revitalization: The higher metabolism, combined with the toned physique and vastly improved state of physical fitness are also stimulating to the mind, so you’re always energetic, clear headed and fit as a fiddle.
• Improved Flexibility: Training in Hapkido improves flexibility of the trainee’s body in general, providing benefits in other aspects of one’s life as well.
• Improved Hand-Eye Coordination: Due to the dynamic and largely adaptive nature of Hapkido, practitioners of Hapkido will see a dramatic improvement in their dexterity and hand-eye coordination.
• Improved physical well-being: Due to the adaptive and dynamic nature of the discipline of Hapkido, practitioners have tremendously high metabolic rates and develop significant increases in strength, endurance and speed over time.
• Stress release: Like any form of intense physical activity, Hapkido training can be a great way to cope with stress and boosting the release of chemicals called endorphins in our body, which give us a feeling of general well-being and relieve stress.
Although, the techniques of drawing swords have been prevalent in older periods of Japan, the importance of Iaido lies in its genesis of emphasizing more on the philosophical or spiritual component of martial art, where greater importance is given to self improvement, both mental and physical than on combat.
Iaido and Zen
The practitioner of Iaido is known as Iaidoka. An Iaidoka wields a sword, not with the offensive purpose to attack the opponent but more with the intention to control himself/herself. This martial art is practiced using forms, or Kata. The Iaidoka performs kata against single or multiple imaginary opponents. Although, the performance of katas has imaginary opponents, it never comprises of sparring combat movements. As the emphasis of this martial art is more on controlled, fluid and precise movements, it is sometimes also referred to as “moving Zen”.
The Iaidoka practice to prepare themselves for a surprise attack. The objective of Iaido is to do away with all the unnecessary steps and attain proficiency in delivering a prompt, controlled and effective response to aggression. It requires the harmony of all mental and physical faculties of the practitioner.
The continued effort of Iaidoka is to attain this mental and physical balance, which enables him/her to get control over the senses and become extremely receptive to the surrounding. The Kata is performed more like a meditative dance, where a proficient Iaidoka’s movements are in total harmony with the surrounding and is well aware of his/her environment. Utmost care is given to each aspect of Iaidoka, including the posture, movement, grip and swing of the sword.
Different from kenjutsu or kendo
Iaido differs from other sword arts such as kenjutsu and kendo. Kenjutsu is a more combative version of swordsmanship, while kendo, which evolved from the former, is the Japanese form of fencing. Iaido is the least combative. While Iaido focuses on drawing the sword, striking and replacing it decisively, Kendo teaches techniques that begin after the sword is drawn.
Practitioners of Iaido are typically dressed in traditional Japanese gear called hakama, a dress with pleats, an obi which is a belt and keikogi which translates into training uniform. The swords used vary between Iaito, (unsharpened) and shinken (sharpened real blades). Some beginners use wooden swords to practice.
Much like other forms of Japanese martial arts, Iaido has a dan system of rankings. The only difference is the absence of colored belts. Practitioners take up teaching not before they reach the fifth dan level. The kyu system is also used in some schools or dojos, but also as a form of motivation to youngsters.
Shu ha ri
As in most Japanese art forms, the concept of Shu ha ri is also applied to Iaido. Shu ha ri literally means the three stages of ‘obeying’, ‘meandering’ and ‘separating’. It refers to the stages of progress a pupil makes before gaining mastery over Iaido. Ri is the highest level signifying freedom. Few eventually get there, and if they do, it takes a decade or so of practice to achieve it.
History and roots of Iaido
Although, the term and form is that Iaido appeared only in 1932, it does have its roots in the feudal era of Japan. Iaijutsu, which was a popular form of swordsmanship during the battling times of Japan, is known to be the parent of Iaido. Although, the exact origin of Iaijustsu is hard to place, the techniques to draw the Katana (traditional Japanese sword) out of its scabbard has been in practice since the Nara period (710-794).
Modern Era of Iaido
The All Japan Kendo Federation (AJKF) in 1968 created the standard set of Iaido known as “Zen Nippon Kendo Renmei Iaido”.
There are five forms of Iaido which basically originate from five major schools of Iaido:
• Maegiri Muso Jikiden Eishin-ryu
• Zengogiri Mugai-ryu
• Kiriage Shindo Munen-ryu
• Shihogiri Suio-ryu
• Kissakigaeshi Hoki-ryu
Contemporary Iaido is treated as a competitive sport and The All Japan Kendo Federation organizes many regular contests. The European Kendo Federation also organizes annual Iaido championships.
The Isshin Ryu system can be summarized up by its formal practice techniques or kata. There are particular techniques used to kick (snapping kicks) and punch (vertical fist). Practitioners of Isshin Ryu agree that sixteen kata make up the fighting method. These are eight empty hand, two sai, three bo, one bo sai kumite kata, one bo-bo kumite kata and a single tuifa kata. These katas include both original development from Shimabuku as well as kata passed down from older styles.
Empty Hand Kata
Seisan: Students of Isshin Ryu learn this kata after they learn the basics of the first and also the second charts. Chotoku Kyan, primary instructor of Tatsuo Shimabuku taught him Seisan.
Seiunchin: This kata was imported into Isshin Ryu after Shimabuku studied under Chojun Miyagi, the founder of Goju-ryu Ryu. It concentrates on the “shiko-dachi” or low horse stance where the knees are folded in obtuse angles and the feet are angled at forty-five degrees away from the body. Seiunchin is broken into different parts, each part using a particular muscle tensing or breathing technique. This kata has no apparent kicks, but there are hints of a knee strike.
Naihanchi: This empty hand kata is derived from the teachings of both Choki Motobu and Chotoku Kyan. The Isshin Ryu style is heavily influenced by the kumite taught by Motubu. But there are exceptions like the turned-in toes. Naihanche kata is the first “go-kyu” or blue belt kata and along with Wansu form the building blocks of the teaching ranks like the green belt or “yon-kyu”.The move sequences is similar to the practitioner standing against a wall with its opponents to the right or left. This is because the kata is generally taught with straight heels and back positioned firmly on a unbent edge like a wall or a board.
Wansu: The version of Isshin Ryu is unique for its two side kicks. The kata tends to concentrate on the in-close evasion, and lessening of attack. There is an unique movement popularly known as fireman’s carry throw.
Chinto: The difference of Chinto with other kata is that its embusen consists of a line positioned in a forty five degree angle. Footwork is made up of deflecting, whipping, slipping and a relaxed motion of the body. This kata can be learned only after Naihanchi and Wansu are fully in the student’s grasp.
Kusanku: This was taught by Chotoku Kyan. It is often referred to as a katha that takes place at night. But current research disproves this assumption.
Sunsu: This kata is the brainchild of Tatsuo Shimabuku himself. It includes a number of movements derived from other kata. It was utilized as a dojo kata and is exclusive to Isshin Ryu.
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Apart from equipping a student in self-defense techniques, what Isshin Ryu does is to teach the practitioner the art of achieving harmony and co-ordination. Eventually, the student’s fluidity of movements, stamina and dexterity will improve. The art form also sharpens mental faculties, boosts confidence and makes a student a balanced individual.
The book, ‘Isshin-Ryu Karate, The Ultimate Fighting Art’, charts out major features of the martial art form. It points out, among others, that Isshin Ryu comprises many close-in techniques which help in street fighting situations. The book also points out that the martial art helps a pupil shift from attacking to defensive positions in a smooth, swift manner.
Isshin Ryu has a ranking system that is similar to other martial art styles. The kyu levels are the initial set of rankings before a student progresses to the dan level. The tenth dan is the highest, but by the time a pupil rises to the fourth or fifth dan, a considerable amount of excellence has already been achieved. The greater the practice and persistence, the higher the chances are of gaining a black belt in the dan levels. Yet, it could take anywhere between four and six years before the student can get there.
Time to share
A famous Isshin Ryu event recognized the world over is the Isshin Ryu Hall of Fame. The best talents across the world are honored as part of this annual edition. It serves as a great platform for the connoisseurs to share knowledge and build bonds.
Jeet Kune Do functions on the utilization of different tools in different situations. These situations can be split into ranges like trapping, kicking, grappling and punching, with techniques seamlessly moving between them. Unlike traditional martial techniques, Jeet Kune Do does not have a pattern or a fixed system of art. It is simply a kind of philosophy with a few guiding thoughts. Jeet Kune Do derives its name from the interception concept, the method of attacking your opponent before he can attack you.
Jeet Kune Do was created by Bruce Lee after he realized that traditional combat styles have become unrealistic and too rigid. According to him, fighting is spontaneous and that it is not possible for a martial artist to predict it. The martial artist can only react to combat and a great martial exponent must “be like water” and capable of fluid movements without any hesitation.
The earliest schools
Bruce Lee’s first actual school in the United States was the Jun Fan Gung Fu Institute in Seattle, Washington. Initially, Lee’s art form was called Jun Fan Gung Fu. He had two other schools in the US, at Los Angeles and Oakland.
The philosophy and the system
Lee gave the name Jeet Kune Do to his philosophy and fighting system. According to him, his system was formed by not adding different fighting styles but subtracting the unessential from the core combat essentials. Jeet Kune Do is the refined form of essential fighting techniques.
Bruce Lee did not lay much importance on “Kata” or solo training forms. He was of the belief that actual fighting was dynamic and alive. Circumstances in an actual fights vary by the millisecond. That is why preset methods are inadequate with dealing such a dynamic situation.
Principles of Jeet Kune Do
Bruce Lee incorporated only principles he believed were universal fighting truths and will lead to inevitable victory if followed. According to Jeet Kune Do principles, the best defense is the strongest offense and therefore the “intercepting fist” principle is followed. For example, the attacker must approach a target to attack. This enables the person being attacked to “intercept” the movement of the attack. This interception principle could be applied to situations other than interception of physical attacks. Non-verbal cues can be intercepted or perceived and therefore can be utilized to take the advantage.
Jeet Kune Do practitioners employ “five ways of attack” to create an offensive. They are:
1. SDA or Simple Direct Attack
2. ABC or Attack By Combination
3. PIA or Progressive Indirect Attack
4. HIA or Hand Immobilization Attack
5. ABD or Attack by Drawing
The Simple Direct Attack or SDA has been modified to include the Simple Angle Attack (SAA). This is a kind of attack which exploits a direct fire line by beating or faking the opponent to a punch, and done from an angle that is completely unexpected. It can be set up by either readjusting the distance or feinting by footwork.
At Go2Karate™ we list a large amount and variety of martial art schools that will serve your needs in Jeet Kune Do category. Not only you get real life combat expertise, you can also increase your fitness if you join the institutes listed in the website.
Points to ponder
Because of its association with Bruce Lee and the cool quotient involved, a lot of youngsters want to take up Jeet Kune Do. Before you start, it helps to carry out some research on the school you opt for, and the instructor. Make sure your instructor has the right certifications and is well-versed in what constitutes safe practices when it comes to the exercise. If your mentor has trained for a considerable amount of time under an original first generation student of Bruce Lee, then there is much more credibility to the individual’s art.
You don’t need to have any martial arts experience beforehand to get initiated into Jeet Kune Do. Anybody in good health can take it up. Ideally, children in the six to eight age group can begin their Jeet Kune Do training. Children younger than six too are often enrolled into some schools, but in such cases, they are only taught the very basic attributes such as balance and discipline.
Jiu-Jitsu for confidence
A large number of martial arts claim that by learning them, your child could gain self confidence. While this is certainly true, what jiu-jitsu does is to train and equip your child to face any situation with confidence and also solve the problems effectively. This is because, jiu-jisu is a martial art that will teach your child to take on people that are larger than them using techniques, such as choke holds, joint locks to make their opponent submit. This instills in them a real sense of confidence instead of overconfidence which might be the case when practicing other martial arts. This also conditions them effectively to wrestle their way out of life’s challenges and gain a dominant position.
Jiu-Jitsu for self discipline
Jui-jitsu is a martial art that requires rigorous training and practice before one can master its techniques. The martial art also requires every practitioner to follow a strict diet leading your child into embracing enormous amounts of self discipline. The core principle of jiu-jitsu also teaches every practitioner to respect their opponents. This can translate in your child’s life as respecting everybody around them. They will not indulge in bad mouthing, use of foul language or any other unethical characteristics. Jiu-jitsu also makes use of a set of strict ethics that can teach your child to effectively build relationships. Also, jiu-jitsu is something that most people practice through out their life and you will notice that when your child makes a friend while learning jiu-jitsu, their friendship would certianly last for a life time.
Jiu-Jitsu can help tech your kid goal setting
Learning jui-jitsu is often accomplished in a competitive environment. Your child will learn the martial art through a series of rigorous and fun activities. Your child would climb up in rank through earning points, awards and other incentives. You child will be able to carry this out in their life as they will realize that taking certain steps can lead them towards a desired goal. This will not only allow them to set goals but also chalk out plans and steps required to achieve these goals. This will definitely transform into better performance in academics and also their career.
Jiu-jitsu for self defense
Finally, you should known that with jiu-jitsu, your child will learn to defend themselves against any threat. Jiu-jitsu is a martial art that is designed to teach your child to defend themselves against opponents that are larger than your kid giving them with necessary skills to counter any form of attack. This can be very useful when dealing with bullies at school or elsewhere. This does not mean that your kid will start getting involved in many fights. It is a known factor that only those kids that are unable to defend themselves or have low self esteem become the victims of bullies. When your child learns jiu-jitsu, they become strong and also grow in self esteem. This will give them enough courage and determination to walk away from fights when challenged and also make sure that the bullies leave your child alone.
For the differently-abled
Experts believe that learning jiu-jitsu may come as a boon for children with special needs. There are no known conclusive studies except one, involving autistic children learning karate to change their stereotypical behaviors. This was carried out by the University of Wisconsin-Lacrosse. However, contrary to misperceptions that a martial art form triggers violent behavior, jiu-jitsu can actually streamline behaviors and make your child more at peace. When a child with different abilities becomes part of a team event or a group sport, s/he may find it difficult to keep pace with the rest of the group. However, it is not so with jiu-jitsu. Here, the differently-abled child too gets a platform to learn new skills and interact with peers. However, parents do need to bear in mind to consult their doctor before enrolling their children with special needs into these classes.
To beat obesity
In a modern world where the screen, be it in the form of a television, cell phone, laptop or a tablet, is an extension of our lives, there is hardly any scope for physical activity. Childhood obesity is a major problem the world over, and could lead to fatal problems. Jiu-jitsu focuses more on fitness though it is technically a martial art form, and is an ideal form for children seeking fitness.
Jiu-jitsu teaches children how to minimize the impact of falls, by helping them with the technique of safe rolling. This reduces risk of greater injury.
A prominent feature of Judo is the competitive element. The objective is to bring an opponent to the ground, subdue or immobilize him by pinning him or force him to submit with a choke or a joint lock. Thrusts and strikes with the feet as well as hands and defending with weapons are also included in Judo, though in pre-arranged forms (kata) only. You cannot use them in free practice or in judo competitions. A person who practices Judo is known as a judoka. From its simple beginning in Japan, Judo has now spread across the world and has also caused the development of other forms of martial arts like Brazilian jui-jitsu and Samba.
The principles behind Judo
The main principle behind Judo is maximum efficiency with minimum effort. Another principle is mutual welfare and benefit. Kano said that if you try to resist a powerful opponent, you will be defeated, but if you adjust and evade his attacks, he will lose his balance, his power to attack you will reduce and you will be able to defeat him. He said that with this principle, a weaker opponent can defeat significantly stronger opponents. He emphasizes that techniques should be executed efficiently.
Techniques in Judo
Judo basically has three techniques or waza- throwing techniques (nage-waza), striking techniques (atemi waza) and grappling techniques (katame waza). Only throwing techniques and grappling techniques are allowed in Judo competitions.
Many Judo practitioners devote a portion of their training sessions to ukemi or learning how to respond to a throw (break-falls), so that they can practice throwing techniques without risking injury (the person who is thrown is called uke). There are several kinds of ukemi such as rear break-falls, front break-falls and rolling break-falls.
Throwing techniques are further divided into standing techniques, where the thrower is in an upright position or sacrifice technique, where the thrower has sacrificed his position to throw the uke. Grappling techniques are divided into pinning or holding techniques, joint techniques and strangulation techniques.
Randori in Judo
Judo also places emphasis on randori or free practice. There are many kinds of randori and its intensity depends on the participant’s level of expertise and intent. In pre-arranged practice, neither of the participants resists the others attempts to throw. Another is throw-away practice, where an experienced judoka allows a less experienced partner to throw him.
Kata in Judo
Kodokan Judo recognize ten types of kata or forms. These consist of prearranged patterns and except for one type of kata (development of physique), all need a partner for practice. The purpose of the kata is to illustrate the basic principles, demonstrate how to execute a technique and to teach the philosophical techniques of Judo.
Did you know that the system of ranks was first created in Judo, which was later adapted by other forms of martial arts. These ranks recognize the person’s ability, leadership and knowledge. Juniors and seniors have separate ranks. Colored belts are used to identify these ranks.
One of the reasons for Judo’s popularity is that unlike the other martial art of karate, it does not involve striking, kicking or punching. The fact that the game is simple has drawn a lot of people to it, increasing its popularity.
Spreading the word
Historically, the credit of spreading Judo’s appeal outside of Japan’s shores should go to Jigoro Kano. He visited Europe and the United States several times to draw the attention of foreigners to the sport by way of demonstrations. When the Japanese Diet (Parliament) passed a bill in 1906 making it mandatory for all middle school students to learn either Kendo or Judo, the popularity of the sport shot up. Around the same time, Kano’s school, the Kodokan, started to see a lot of students. Many of them eventually travelled abroad to teach the sport. After Kano joined the International Olympics Committee as a member, he strived hard to help Japan host the Olympics. However, the Sino-Japanese war and Kano’s death meant Japan had to wait longer. Eventually, the Tokyo Olympiad was held in 1964, and Judo became an Olympics event. Over the years, Judoka from 50 nations have won medals in the Olympics, which goes to show the popularity of the sport across the globe.
Judo tournaments are regularly held across the globe, the World Judo Championships being the most significant among them, apart from the Olympics. The World Championships are organized by the International Judo Federation, and brings together participants from all over the map. If you are interested in learning Judo, you can find a school around your area on Go2Karate.com™.
Today Kali has spread far and wide and has reached many other countries that are far away from its original home of Philippines. Many people all over the world are now familiar with Kali and are making use of its benefits.
Kali has also proved its worth as a great way to live a healthy and fit lifestyle. Kali is now being adopted by people who are fitness conscious as well as by those who wish to be able to defend themselves better.
History and origin
Just like with most other ancient forms of martial arts, the exact time line is of the origin of this art form is hard to pinpoint due to there being a lack of record keeping, but the line of thought of the origin of Kali stems from the local tribes adopting these forms of defense when in combat with one another.
Historically, there are traces of the Spanish conquistadors arriving in the Philippines around the 1500’s, but the native tribes largely kept hiding the techniques of Kali from them by cloaking them in the form of dance.
The current practitioners of Kali in the Philippines are known to have become more concerned with developing their own skills to duel without any kind of protection. As a result, many disciples of Kali lost their lives in the earlier phases of the movement. More recently, however, a lot are being encouraged to use hardwood sticks instead of the traditional knives to reduce the fatalities.
The practitioners of Kali in Philippines developed their art over many years of practice. The skills developed by one person were transferred down through the generations through careful training and teaching. Kali can be learned from a skilled master by practicing thoroughly and taking guidance.
Techniques used in Kali
The techniques used in Kali are drawn from other, very closely-knit forms of self-defense. For instance, Pnantukan – which is similar to Thai kickboxing – inspires certain forms of attack in Kali such as various blocking techniques, low kicks, and head butting.
The wide-ranging kicking techniques that are adapted from the art of ‘Sikaran’ range from kicking with the shins that are aimed high – mostly to the face and head. This aspect of Kali fighting makes use of distance to avoid attack, while at the same time helping you focus on the precision of your own strikes.
The ‘Chain of hand” technique in Kali, colloquially known as ‘Kadena De Mano’, is used in close quarter fighting and is made up of a number of quick, short attacks with the hands and elbows. Reflexes need to be quick and movement need to be fluid for this technique to work properly.
Most of the techniques used in Kali involve use of fast paced kicks and defensive blocks. If used correctly they can form an effective defense in an altercation. It has been successfully used by many people in a variety of situations.
Benefits of Kali
Since Kali is primarily a weapons-aided style of fighting, it is important to make sure that as a beginner, you understand the seriousness of proper training and practice. As far as benefits of the discipline go, as with any other form of martial arts, it does develop a strong core within a person. Patience, technique, and agility are all toned and tweaked in the higher echelons of Kali.
Training in Kali also helps boost self confidence as a person is more in control of his body and mind. The person is more assured of what he can achieve and the amount of effort he would need to invest into something to attain the desired goal.
Kali teaches a person many important skills and life lessons. Most of them are related to patience, hard work and confidence. A person who is skilled and successful in Kali can find success in his day to day life as well. There have been many cases of people using the lessons of Kali to turn their life around and become more successful as a result. Many more people are planning to take up Kali and learn from it.
Benefits of karate for children
Learning Karate from a young age is known to promote the development of good behavior in a child. Because of the fact that Karate is focused on developing the physical aspects of the body as well as the mental aspects , the child will learn to be more disciplined, focused and in control of his or her body. Self-esteem and self-confidence is something a lot of children struggle with in today’s fast paced world. Karate, however, is known to promote a feeling of being happy with one self and helps children in becoming more confident about their body and abilities. Moreover, the fact that Karate is taught as a form of self – defense rather than as a form of attack, a child that takes up this martial art will be taught about how to control his or her impulsive reactions and also use the martial art only when required. Many children have benefited from karate classes and regular karate practice. Over time, the demand for karate among young children has actually increased. The greatest beneficiary of the karate have been young children who have used it to improve their physical fitness and mental performance at the same time.
Benefits of Karate for Men
While taking up karate when you are a young child will obviously give you more time to develop your body and tone it, grown men can also take up the martial art and see it almost completely transform the way they live. Psychologists also believe that men are ‘hard-wired’ to thrive on physical power and being able to come out on a physical altercation. While karate does help develop your body to be a weapon, there is also a lot of stress placed on ensuring that the body is able to cope with the mental aspects of keeping your calm and ensuring that you know how to diffuse a situation without allowing it to develop into a physical assault. The way an individual is trained is essential in order to breed the right aspects of karate in a man. It is also extremely important to make sure that you find out as much as you can about potential sensei’s and their teaching methods before you join one. Karate practice provides great benefits to men in the form of improved fitness. It has helped many men in losing excess weight and making themselves slimmer. Karate has also made them mentally tougher and better able to take on the challenges of life.
Benefits of Karate for Women
More and more women are getting interested in martial arts and, specifically, karate. While the interest of women in martial arts in previous years and generations had not been either very highly regarded or encouraged, more women are starting to see the benefit of self-defense in today’s aggressive world. While the benefits of karate for women are very similar to those for men, there are other subtle differences. For instance, women have starting to take the issue of their safety into their own hands. A well-trained karate-practicing woman is able to defend herself without the need of a male companion to be her ‘knight in shining armor’. Karate helps women develop their physique as well as mental health to give them a significant advantage over a man that has has no martial arts training. A woman trained in karate has a lot to gain. She can use karate lessons to improve her self esteem and confidence. Many women have reported a marked improvement in the quality of their lives after karate training. For this very reason, the practice of karate is on the rise among women. Most women who learn karate also invite their friends and other women into it. This has created a lot of demand for karate among women in recent years.
The benefits of Kempo are now known to many people. For this reason, many people are now taking up the practice of Kempo. The popularity of Kempo among the general population has increased a lot in the last few years. The health benefits of Kempo have been known for a long time now. But it is only recently that they have scientifically proved to have an improvement upon the health of the practitioners. Practitioners of Kempo can expect to live longer and live a more healthy life than their peers who don’t practice Kempo.
What is the difference between Kempo and Kenpo? Just the spelling, only difference is in the translation of the Kanji to its English form. The word Kempo and Kempo are both pronounced the same and both mean “Law of the Fist.” When the Japanese Kanji for Kempo is brought into English, either a “m” or “n” is placed in the word. Its sort of like saying “Qi” or “Chi”, “Gung” or “Kung.” The more “traditional” (lightly used) forms of Kempo use the “Kempo” form, while the more non- traditional or contemporary versions use “Kenpo.”
Build confidence Just like any form of martial arts, Kempo goes a long way into building up not only the physical aspects of an individual – but also his or her self-confidence and belief in him or herself. Kempo training breeds confidence in an individual. Unlike most other forms of martial arts, Kempo ensures that a beginning student learns the harder techniques first because of the heightened sense of reaction as well as reflexes. This helps the student understand and better his abilities, thereby causing confidence to flow more naturally as he or she progresses through the latter stages of the course as the techniques become easier to master. Kempo teaches self discipline by training the mind of the student. In order to practice Kempo, the student must keep his mind and his thoughts under control. The student learns to master his reflexes and his impulses. This overall makes the student more self disciplined and better at controlling his mind. Better self-confidence helps a person focus on what he or she wants to achieve better.
Not only does Kempo make an individual a better fighter, but also builds a more impressive overall character. Given the fact that the individual is also more aware of his or her abilities, he or she becomes more aware of everything around him/her. Gain self discipline While martial arts are usually learnt for a number of reasons such as fitness and self-defense, the amount of self-discipline that it imbibes should not be overlooked. Kempo helps an individual better control his mental application and focus. As a result, those individuals who practice Kempo are more in-tune with their mental abilities – thereby causing them to be more self-disciplined. Those individuals who have a hard time controlling their temper and/or rage will greatly benefit from practicing Kempo as it helps alleviate stress and frustration to a significant degree.
As a result, these individuals are able to better focus their anger into more productive channels. The fact that, like other martial art forms, the progress of a student is gauged by belt color, the student identifies a reason to take better control of his/her conduct in order to gain that sense of achievement that the higher-ranking belts provide. The belt color of the student gradually improves with practice. After a few years of practice, the student can become a master of Kempo. People with many years of experience in Kempo can expect to have a better life with much higher confidence than their peers. They can also expect to be in better health and shape compared to their peers. For fitness and coordination Possibly the most obvious aspect of learning any form of martial arts, the betterment of the body in terms of fitness and co-ordination, is significant. Because of the fact that the movements and techniques are very precise and require significant agility, the body is shaped into a rather intimidating combative machine over the due course of time.
The high number of calories that are lost with simply a few hours of practice a day means that Kempo is becoming an increasingly attractive option for those individuals who have not chosen to practice a martial art previously. The core principles of Kempo are to ensure that the body and mind achieve a sense of equilibrium and harmony. Co-ordination between the body, mind, single muscle as well as muscle groups is the defining target of any student.
Kendo has progressed a lot over the years. It has evolved from a sword fighting discipline to a major martial art in itself. It is used to teach virtues such as cooperation and discipline to its practitioners. It has spread out from its place of origin in Japan to places all over the world.
History and origin
Around the 18th century, the sensei’s decided to incorporate the use of traditional armor along with the bamboo sticks that were used to replace the original swords to reduce the risk and injury to beginner and intermediate students. Today, Kendo is one of the most popular and widely practiced forms of armed martial arts in the world and the fact that it is a mentally as well as physically challenging activity means that its students are highly respected.
In 1946, the occupying powers of Japan banned all types of military training and, as a result, Kendo also suffered the same fate. It was only until 1950 that Kendo (in the form of Shinai competition) was allowed to return to public life, after which a number of federations promoting the sport sprung up.
Kendo was revived soon after by concerted efforts by the Japanese authorities and ordinary people. It soon made a full recovery and again became a part of the public consciousness. People started practicing Kendo and started to train other people as well. Now Kendo has spread to other countries as well and has a global audience for itself.
Kendo armor and technique
The equipment used when practicing Kendo is traditional Japanese garb. The Shinai is a wooden stick that replaced the sword. It is made to specification and comprises of four bamboo slats that are held in place by leather fittings. The newer versions of the Shinai are made with carbon fiber, while some are even made with the help of reinforced resin slats. Both new versions primarily focused on making the Shinai more durable.
The protective armor is also a very important part of the sport. The armor protects specific areas on the body from impact. The helmet features a metal grille on the front in order to protect the face while having a minimal impact on vision. Fabric flaps and hard leather is used all over the body as armor in order to offer protection.
With regards to technique, most of the stress is placed on conditioning the body to master the art of Kendo through a series of levels and stages that are carefully structured. Since it is an armed sport, Sensei’s take a special interest in teaching defense strategies first before getting into the offensive ones.
The technique consists of quick and sharp blows made by the stick. The other person tries to defend himself using the body armor. The main objective is to defeat the opponent using as few blows as possible. A long protracted battle can wear one or both of the fighters. Therefore both sides should try their best to make the battle as short as possible
Just like with most versions of martial arts, there are a number of health and mental benefits that Kendo offers its students.
Mastering Kendo requires a significant amount of practice and patience. The fact that it takes time to learn the various techniques and tactics that Kendo comprises means that self-discipline will come almost naturally over the course of training. The sharp, sudden and intense movements that your body will be trained to perform will cause significant amount of weight loss as well. Your muscle groups will also become better coordinated with your mind, thereby developing a more harmonious energy pattern within your body.
Long time practitioners of Kendo have successfully lost weight and have made themselves fitter as a result. Practitioners of Kendo can expect to have healthier bodies and have longer lives than their peers. In addition, practitioners of Kendo also learn major life lessons such as patience, perseverance and persistence. This can have a huge impact on their lives.
At Go2Karate™ we list a large amount and variety of martial art schools that will serve your needs in the category of various martial art styles.
The knowledge of kenjutsu is often used to separate the real samurais from ordinary ones. But in today’s globalized world, the knowledge and use of Kenjutsu has spread far and wide from its origins in Japan. It is now available to anyone who wishes to practice it. There are many trainers who provide Kenjutsu training to prospective students.
One Cut, One Kill
In fact, the Samurai created a phrase “one cut, one kill” thus referring to the skill level of the swordsman as killing a person with a single cut is a very difficult thing to do. According to warrior lore, the katana also possessed a soul which is intrinsically connected with the sword wielder himself. This is why the Samurai were trained never to keep their swords in other places or throw it at the enemy. To do any one of these two means insulting the soul of the katana.
Sword training was done with a “bokken” in place of a real katana. The bokken is a wooden replica of the real thing. It is said that a bokken in the right hands could be as dangerous as the sword itself. Prospective Samurais practiced the correct technique of grabbing the sword, the quick ways of sheathing and unsheathing the sword and also how to clean the katana. He also learnt how to respect the soul of the sword. The bokken is a very useful tool because it helps the samurai to gain the skills and practice that can be achieved with a katana but with less danger to himself and others. A samurai would train and improve his skills over a long time. After completing his training period, he would be ready to become a real samurai.
About the Katana
The Katana was the principal weapon of the Samurai. Having one is a honor in itself as not everybody had the permission to use or carry one. A skilled Samurai used the sword as an extension of his own body. They had superlative mastery of the blade and also honored the “Bushido” or “the way or code of the warrior”. They conducted their lives by the code.
Bushido is made up of seven principles or articles:
Most important among the seven were Chugi and the Meiyo. The Samurai put loyalty and honor above everything else. He can sacrifice his life to the master he served and protect the master to make him a stronger warlord. Bushido was the most important aspect of the life of the Samurai. All Samurais were expected to abide by this code of conduct. Those who did not were ostracized or punished. A Samurai who strictly adhered to the code gained the respect and recognition of his peers.
The techniques of Kenjutsu is comparable to strategies used during wars and is dependent on the ground conditions, the source of light and the capability of the opponent. An effective Kenjutsu strike is a blend of a number of techniques like jabbing, feigning, thrusting, cutting, footwork, parrying and choice of weapon. Knowing the opponent’s weapon also helps. According to Samurai fighting skill, any exposed part of the body of the opponent is a viable target. The footwork must be adopted to the purpose and the terrain.
At Go2Karate we list a large amount and variety of martial art schools that will serve your needs in the Kenjutsu category of martial arts. You can learn the methods of swordsmanship at any of the training institutes mentioned in the website. Go2Karate has developed effective training strategies that can help you to quickly learn Kenjutsu and start applying it to real life situations. Most people benefit from as little as two months of training that Go2Karate provides.
Techniques Used in Kickboxing
Kickboxing uses a combination of various skills and techniques that make this sport unique. They include:
• Punching – This technique is identical to the punches used in traditional western boxing. It requires strength in the arms and the strategic use of force through the fist to tackle the opponent. Jab, cross, hook, uppercut, are some examples of this.
• Kicking – This technique draws heavily from the discipline of karate. It requires strength and balance of the entire body to tackle the opponent with the lower half of the body. Front kick, side kick, roundhouse kick, axe kick, are some examples of this.
• Knee and elbow strikes – This technique is influenced by the discipline of Muay Thai. It is practiced in the Japanese version of kickboxing, where the knee and the elbow are used as aids to tackle the opponent. Straight knee thrust, rising knee strike, hooking knee strike are some examples of this.
• Defense – This is a technique that helps a kick boxer in protecting the head and body from the attack of the opponent. It involves strategic positioning and alignment of the body. Slip, bob and weave, the cover up, are some examples of this.
Rules followed in Kickboxing
As kickboxing is derived from several martial art forms in the world, each contributing martial art form has some specific rules; however, here are the rules that are followed internationally:
• Fighters may strike each other with kicks and punches, and all strikes except for groin strikes are legitimate.
• The use of elbows and knees to land strikes is forbidden.
• Clinching, throwing or sweeping your opponent off his/her feet is forbidden.
• Fighters face off in bouts consisting of multiple rounds lasting two minutes each. Amateurs fight a maximum of five rounds per bout, while professional bouts last a maximum of twelve rounds.
The Advantages of Practicing Kickboxing
Kickboxing is increasingly being seen not only as a sport but also as a way to bring about harmony and balance between the body and the mind. It is not only physical benefits that can be reaped from the practice of kickboxing. It trains the mind to become increasingly disciplined that leads to positive changes in lifestyles that lead to a better overall physical and mental health. Here are some of the key benefits that kickboxing has to offer:
• Management of stress – Kicking and punching that forms the sport of kickboxing is an ideal stress buster. Our bodies produce chemicals called endorphins when we perform physical exercise. Kickboxing exercises multiple muscle groups which releases a significant amount of endorphins, which causes a feeling of general well-being and relieves stress. All the negative energy is channelized out of the body through the force of the blows and allows the mind to return to equilibrium.
• Better coordination –Quick movements and focused approach helps develop better reflexes and improves the general mind and body. The composite nature of kickboxing with respect to the number of muscle groups being worked develops improved hand-eye coordination over time, allowing for faster reflexes and better concentration.
• Weight loss – Kickboxing is a very physically demanding sport that dramatically raises your metabolism, making you burn much more calories than you would otherwise, even while at rest. A single kickboxing session lasting an hour could expend as much as 800 calories.
• Detoxification – Practicing kickboxing channelizes the body energy and helps release accumulated harmful toxins in the body through sweat. It is a high intensity work out that increases the temperature of the body and activates the sweat glands. • Full body workout: Kickboxing involves the use of a wide range of muscle groups all over the upper and lower body, all at the same time, which results in a lean, toned physique.
• Never hunch that back again: Kickboxing strengthens the core muscle groups in our body, therefore exercising those muscles that we never get to exercise given the sedentary lifestyle we lead today. A strong core ensures good posture.
• Revitalization: The higher metabolism, combined with the toned physique and vastly improved state of physical fitness are also stimulating to the mind, so you’re always energetic, clear headed and fit as a fiddle
Weapons used in Kobudo
Okinawan kobudo weapons include the following:
• Bo: It is a staff six feet in length, and may or may not taper at any one of the two ends. This weapon is believed to be a modified form of the farming tool tenbin, which is a stick positioned across the shoulders with sacks or baskets hanging from the two ends. It was also possibly utilized as a handle of a shovel or a rake. According to historians, the bo could also have been developed from walking sticks commonly used by monks or other travelers. It is considered the epitome of all kobudo weapons. It is traditionally carved from white or red oak. Hanbo and jo are its shorter variations.
• Sai: It is a truncheon made of three prongs. Its appearance is similar to a short sword but traditionally blunt and not bladed. Sai is made up of metal and the length of the truncheon is dependent on the length of the user’s forearm. Trapping the opponent’s weapon is possible by using the two short prongs on both sides of the main shaft. A sword is usually broken this way. Sai can have multiple variations-one of them, the nunti sai has its two short prongs pointing in opposite directions, and monouchi in place of a grip.
• Tonfa: This kobudo weapon can be held either by the lengthier main shaft or the shorter perpendicular handle. It is believed to be originated from a millstone handle. The traditional building material of the tonfa is red oak.
• Nunchaku: It consists of two wooden parts connected by a chain or a cord. Okinawan nunchakus were octagonal and were originally connected by horse hair. Many variations of the weapon exist, from the three sectional staff to the smaller sized multi-section nunchaku. It was a popular weapon of the film star Bruce Lee and visible in a number of his films.
• Kama: It is a standard farming sickle and is regarded as one of the toughest to learn due to its intrinsic danger of practicing with such a weapon. The point where the handle and the blade join has a nook where a bo can be trapped.
• Tekko: It is a kind of knuckleduster. Tekko can be used in slashing movements. It is made up to the wearer’s hand width and has between one and three points that protrude on the bottom and the top of the knuckle. Tekko can be made of any material but usually found in iron, steel, aluminum or even wood.
• Tinbe-rochin: It consists of a spear and a shield. Tinbe-rochin is one of the obscure Okinawan weapons. The tinbe or shield is usually constructed of cane or vine or even metal. The original material was, however, turtle shells. The length of the rochin or short spear is the same as warrior’s forearm length to the elbow.
• Eku: This is an oar shaped weapon that was used by fishermen in ancient Japan. An Eku has a pointed tip at one of its ends, and when wielded properly, can cause serious damage to an attacker.
• Tambo: A tambo is a short staff made of a hard variety of wood or from bamboo. A common way of measuring the length of a tambo was to measure the distance between the elbow and the wrist. The tambo can be dual-wielded, meaning fighters can wield one in each hand.
• Sansetsukon: This weapon is similar to a nunchaku, except for the fact that it uses three pieces of hardwood or metal that are connected by a chain or a cord.
At Go2Karate™ we list a large amount and variety of martial art schools that will serve your needs in the category of Kobudo martial arts. Learn Kobudo for self-defense and also for fitness.
The primary focus of this technique is real world combat situations and the self-defense techniques used include extremely brutal and efficient counter attacks to take down the opponent. Imi Lichtenfeld, noted martial artist of Slovakian and Israeli descent used his street fighting, boxing and wrestling skills to devise an extensive self-defense mechanism for the protection of the Jewish quarter against fascist opponents. Post his relocation to Palestine, Lichtenfeld began training students in combat lessons and later developed the official Krav Maga system in the process.
Krav Maga has since then found numerous military, police and civilian applications. Its philosophy emphasizes aggression, simultaneous offensive as well as defensive moves and threat neutralization. Even today, in the world of missiles and guns, the regular and special Israeli Defense Forces heavily rely on Krav Maga. The police and intelligence agencies on the other hand, use one or more closely related variations of the technique.
Fundamental principles of Krav Maga
Krav Maga believes in avoiding confrontation whenever possible. In the event that such avoidance becomes unsafe or impossible, it encourages students to enter into combat and finish it as soon as possible. To this effect, Krav Maga trains students to attack the most vulnerable parts of the opponent’s body.
– Preemptive attacks or attacking as early as possible.
– Maintaining maximum efficiency and effectiveness so as to neutralize opponent’s attacks as soon as possible.
– Attacking highly vulnerable parts of the body namely the eyes, face, neck or throat, groin, knee, solar plexus, ribs, fingers and foot.
– Remaining aware of the surroundings during the combat or in a threat situation so as to be able to find additional escape routes, efficient attacks, surrounding objects which could be used for defending or offending, to name a few.
Another important aspect in Krav Training is situational awareness. It promotes maintaining constant awareness so as to develop a thorough understanding of the situation. The psychology and motives behind a typical street confrontation are taught along with training in threat identification before the actual attack.
The Krav Maga grading system
Majority of authentic Israeli Krav Maga schools grade the martial art using Imi Lichtenfeld’s grading system of colored belts. This system heavily draws from the Judo karate ranking system and consists of seven belts in the following order – White, Yellow, Orange, Green, Blue, Brown and finally Black. Once trainees receive their Black belt, they can advance from the first to the ninth Dan.
Certain schools use the patch system to grade Krav Maga into three categories – the Practitioner, the Graduate and the Expert. Each category individually hosts five ranks 1 to 5 and a student gradually moves from being a Practitioner level 1 to an Expert level 5.
Benefits of Learning Krav Maga
Learning the martial art form of Krav Maga has the following benefits to offer:
• Adaptive Self-Defense: one of the key benefits of learning Krav Maga is the ability and the confidence to effectively defend oneself from possible threats and to effectively neutralize these threats by acting preemptively and using your surroundings to your advantage. Krav Maga requires a practitioner to utilize any weaknesses in an opponent and use them to their advantage.
• Improved physical well-being: Due to the adaptive and dynamic nature of the discipline of Krav Maga, practitioners have tremendously high metabolic rates and develop significant increases in strength, endurance and speed over time.
• Stress release: Like any form of intense physical activity, Krav Maga can be a great way to cope with stress and keep those endorphins flowing.
• Increased Self-confidence: Due to the improved physical capabilities that one acquires in the course of practicing Krav Maga, you are better equipped to deal with threatening situations in your day to day life and this boosts your self –confidence, which benefits other aspects of your life as well.
• Heightened awareness of one’s surroundings: As Krav Maga is highly adaptive and fast paced the practitioner gets conditioned to develop a keen awareness of his /her surroundings and what goes on in it. This is absolutely crucial in order to stay prepared at all times.
Check the Go2Karate.com™ listings for more details on Krav Maga and a Krav Maga school near you.
The Chinese martial arts – Kung Fu
In this context, Kung Fu refers to different styles of fighting that developed in China in the course of several centuries. Based on the common traits shared by individual fighting techniques, the fighting styles are divided into different families or schools. Distinguishing traits of fighting techniques may include several things like legends, training methods, physical exercises or body movements etc. In its broadest sense, Kung Fu is divided into two categories – internal and external. Internal style refers to the style of Kung Fu that focuses on an individual’s life force or natural energy, called Qi. External Kung Fu is focused more on the body and aims at improving cardiovascular fitness and muscle strength. Kung Fu training – Training in Kung Fu covers several aspects like ethics, medicine, philosophy as well as an insight into the Chinese culture, apart from basic physical training in combat. Typically, all Kung Fu training routines include the following four basic components –
1. The basics: The basics form the foundation of the training and include exercises to condition the body and mind. Basic stretching, meditating, striking, throwing, jumping and stances etc. form the basic training.
2. Forms: Forms are a set of fixed movements often combined to create a single set of continuous movements for practice. Form training makes up for an important part of Kung Fu training and is used to build up the trainee’s flexibility, speed, stamina, internal (Qi) and external strength, and improve balance and coordination. Forms are typically of two types. “Solo forms” used for the training of individual practitioners and “sparring forms” which are not only used to familiarize beginners with the basic moves but can also be used in schools as performance pieces.
3. Application training: Application training is focused on practical training for real life combat situations. Several combat drills are performed by the trainee to understand how to react to real life combat situations.
4. Training in weapons: Weapons training focuses on drills for coordination and conditioning of the body.
This forms the last component of the Kung Fu training routine and is undertaken only when the student has mastered the first three components of training. Weapons training draws from the fundamental theory that a weapon must be considered an extension of the body itself and not a separate entity. Today, Kung Fu has become a staple component of action films in the West. There was ,in fact, a TV series called “Kung Fu” that aired on a major U.S. Television network during the 1970s. The popularity of Kung Fu has only grown since.
Benefits of Kung-Fu
• Improved physical health: It is believed that Kung Fu is one of the best aerobic exercise regimes ever devised by man, and not without good reason. The physical conditioning offered by Kung Fu tremendously boosts flexibility, strength, dexterity and endurance.
• Improved Awareness of one’s surroundings: Kung Fu teaches its students to study the forms of nature and to mimic them in order to gain a deeper understanding of ourselves and our bodies and the capabilities of our bodies. This develops a heightened sense of awareness of one’s environment and lets one be better equipped to tackle day-to-day situations effectively.
• Improved Mental Focus: Improved concentration, tranquility of the mind and a general state of calm are vital to leading a healthy and rewarding life. Kung Fu teaches us the value of patience, of calm and peace, and of achieving harmony between the body and the mind and the usage of this harmony to effectively defend oneself from threat.
Check out our Kung Fu schools and services listing on go2Karate to learn more about or train in this extremely popular Chinese martial arts.
This form of karate, which is only a few decades old, has become one of the most popular styles in the world. The presence of many high profile and skilled Kyukoshin karate has made it a well known karate style and has proved its practicality and influence on the development of an individual.
Benefits of practicing Kyukushin Karate
• Increased self confidence: The martial art form of Kyukushin Karate teaches its practitioners the meaning of confidence and courage at all times and motivates one to believe in oneself. Through the use of rigorous training exercises, trainees are taught new elements of combat and build the competence to use the knowledge they acquire to other aspects of their day-to-day lives.
• Improves mental health and harmony: Kyukushin Karate is a very structured sport with special emphasis on discipline that benefits its practitioners invaluably in all aspects of life, and allows one to be at peace with oneself, thereby maintaining tranquility of the mind and improved ability to concentrate one’s thoughts.
• Improved physical well-being: The discipline inculcated in practitioners during the course of their training combined with the rigorous intensity of the training allows practitioners to develop increased strength, stamina, dexterity and general endurance.
• Heightened awareness: Due to a state of harmony between one’s mind and one’s body, a practitioner of Kyukushin Karate develops a heightened awareness of one’s surroundings and allows one to be better prepared to deal with situations in our day to day life.
• Stress release: Like any form of intense physical activity, Kyukushin Karate can be a great way to cope with stress and boost the secretion of endorphins by the pituitary gland. Endorphins are chemicals that give us a feeling of happiness and general well-being.
• Improved mental health: Kyukushin karate teaches its practitioners discipline and respect and the ability to maintain calm and tranquility at all times and in all situations. The improved physical fitness also contributes to a healthy state of the mind, which is a key requirement to success in all walks of life in general.
The guiding spirit of Kyukushin Karate is to have modesty by keeping the head low, be ambitious by keeping the eyes high, speak less by keeping the mouth shut, show strength of character through kindness and serve well through loyalty and piety.
Kyokushin Karate symbol
The symbol of Kyokushin Karate is the ‘kanku’, which is a derivation from the Kanku kata, which means the Sky Gazing Form. This symbol is made by raising the hands and connecting the fingers to make an opening through which the sky is viewed. The top point of the kink represents the first fingers of each hand while the bottom point represents the thumbs that touch at the bottom. They symbolize the peaks or ultimate points. The thicker section of the symbol represents the wrists that stand for power with a circle in the center that symbolizes infinite depth. The entire symbol is enclosed within a circle that signifies continuity and circular action.
The uniqueness of Kyokushin karate
This style of karate may seem like any other style with white uniforms, colored belts, kata. But Kyokushin karate stands apart from all the other styles because of the following reasons:
• Knockdown fighting – The aim is to knockdown the opponent and defeating him/her. This may also involve kicks to the head, rarely seen in other forms.
• Tameshiwari – This involves the breaking of tough materials like wood, concrete and ice. A completion of Tameshiwari is generally conducted when there is no clear winner in the fight between two practitioners.
• Various Kumite – Full contact sparring matches continuously against many opponents one after the other, sometimes even more than fifty. This is the ultimate test of a practitioner of Kyokushin Karate followed by Tameshiwari and knockdown fights.
Kyokushin Karate is a hard karate style that has no soft aspects. It is for people who can withstand the rigorous training and have a rock solid will. The practice of this form of karate makes a person unflinching in his stance that stands well in almost all aspects of his/her life.
As the sport began to pick up, fighters began taking further liberties and started incorporating several martial arts styles into their combat. At the same time, promoters took to adopting several additional rules so that adequate safety of competitors could be taken care of. This measure also proved helpful for mixed martial arts in getting mainstream acknowledgment and approval. A little mixed martial arts trivia Television critic Howard Rosenberg first coined the phrase “mixed martial arts” during his review of the UFC 1 game in 1993. Rosenberg’s review was later reprinted and hosted on newfullcontact.com, one of the biggest websites covering the UFC 1, which led to the term gaining a wider audience and popularity. The popularity of mixed martial arts grew steadily resulting in it receiving high amounts of “pay per view” business, comparable to bigger rivals like wrestling or boxing.
MMA in the Movies
Mixed martial arts have made a strong presence in the movies ever since the Nineties. Some of the more iconic movies based on MMA include Fight Club, Blood Sport series, Last Man Standing, Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat. Later-day films include Warrior, Never Surrender, The Kumite, The Tournament, etc.
Evolution of the UFC
The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), which came into being in the United States in 1993, is among several MMA organizations in the world. The rules for MMA events vary from organization to organization, but they are all brought together under the Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts. It was in the late 1990s that Senator John McCain took exception to the brutality involved in the UFC events and mobilized all states of the US to call for a ban. While a majority of the states actually formulated laws to ban the fighting, the UFC was forced to rethink and reformulate the rules. Subsequent UFC events saw introduction of gloves and regulations on the more violent aspects such as headbutting and groin strikes.
It was the Brazilian full-contact combat style of sport called Vale-tudo that served as an inspiration for the earliest MMA events hosted by UFC. Vale-tudo is a Portuguese word for ‘anything goes’.
The training for mixed martial arts draws from different disciplines and styles. Two popular disciplines include clinch fighting and ground work.
Clinch fighting: To improve a fighter’s clinch fighting skills, training in several disciplines is given – Muay Thai to improve his strike during clinching and Judo, Geco Roman wrestling, Freestyle plus Sambo training for improved take downs, throws, and clinching.
Ground work: Fighters are trained in Judo, Sambo, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, shoot, and catch wrestling as well as submission wrestling so as to improve their ground position and control, carry out submission holds and also defend against the holds.
Strategies Used in Mixed Martial Arts
Typically, the strategies used fall into two broad categories – striking and grappling. Fighters have the liberty to use both on ground and standing up positions. The most common striking strategies include punches, knees, kicks and elbows. Fighters using the grappling technique use strategies like take downs, submission holds, pinning holds, sweeps, throws, and clinch holds. Additionally, it is required for mixed martial artists to cross train so as to be able to counter the opposing fighter and stay strong during the match. Techniques like sprawl and brawl and ground and pound are used in addition to striking, clinching and grappling. This is the way it ends… Matches end by one of the following methods – submission, knockout, technical knockout, judges’ decision, disqualification, forfeit or no contest. Who can train in mixed martial arts What started out as a sport for competitive fighters exclusively, gained mainstream acceptance soon enough to outgrow its initial reputation. Mixed martial arts is now widely taught and contested. Mixed martial arts is now accessible to enthusiasts of all ages.
At Go2Karate you’ll find a list of numerous martial art schools of different varieties to educate, familiarize, or train in mixed martial arts.
Body as a weapon
Muay Thai in its original avatar had nine weapons at its disposal: the fists, the head, the feet, the knees and the elbows. These are together known as “na-wa-arwud”. But modern Muay Thai does not permit the headbutting of an opponent.
Muay Thai fighting techniques
The clinch, a type of grappling done standing up, is used to bind and strike the opponent for both defensive and offensive intentions. Formal methods of Muay Thai are divided into two parts: Mae Mai (major techniques) or Luk Mai (minor techniques). The martial art is an art of attrition, in which opponents pull blows on each other. This is seen in traditional Muay Thai boxers but are not found in the modern world fighting arena. The success of Muay Thai boxing has made it a compulsory fighting skill to learn for all serious stand up fighters.
Modern Muay Thai has evolved and taken in hand striking methods normally used in western method of boxing. The Thai method of exchanging blows is not favored. It is to be noted that when Muay Thai practitioners fight against opponents versed in other fighting styles, then they generally employ knee or kao and elbow or sok techniques in order to obtain a clear advantage in combat. A majority of Muay Thai techniques utilize full body movement, where the hip is rotated with each punch, block and kick. This hip rotation sets Muay Thai apart from other martial styles.
Pulling no punches
Muay punch techniques were in its original form very simple where a long circular strike and crosses were done with a straight arm and the palm heel used for landing. Mixing of techniques with western style of boxing means that the complete range of western punches are now employed by the Muay Thai practitioner-hook, shovel, straight cross or right, uppercut, overhands and corkscrew punches are common. Back fists and hammer fists are also used.
Body punching as a tactic is less seen in Muay Thai compared to other peer martial arts. This is done to avoid exposing the head of the attacker to counter strikes from elbows and knees. The Muay Thai practitioner use the complete targeting points range along the center line. This permits either short range or long range attacks to be employed in an effective manner without compromising on the guard.
Using the elbow
In Muay Thai, the elbow can be utilized in a variety of ways: uppercut, horizontal, downward, flying, backward spinning and diagonal upwards. It can be utilized either as a last move or as a method to cut the eyebrow of the opponent so that the blood will block his vision.
At Go2Karate™ we list a large amount and variety of martial art schools that will serve your needs in the category of Muay Thai boxing. You can contact at any of the institutes listed in our website to enroll in their Muay Thai martial art courses.
Muay Thai is the national sport of Thailand and televised boxing events are a huge hit in the country. The sport adds to the tourism potential of the country. The start of a contest is marked by a Thai dance called the Ram Muay to the accompaniment of music and beats. Contestants wear a headband called Mongkhon handed to them by their tutors. It is a belief among fighters that the headband should not be allowed to touch the ground, or it loses its power. Ram Muay is a way to offer salutations to the preceptor. The fight involves five rounds that last three minutes each with a two-minute interval following every round.
Muay Thai events are organized, controlled and overseen by the World Boxing Council Muay Thai, a body commissioned by the World Boxing Council. The body has formulated a set of rules and regulations. The fights are held according to various weight categories.
To participate in a contest, the contestant should be not less than 15 years of age and weigh at least 100 pounds, according to WBC Muay Thai stipulations.
Schools of Ninjutsu/Ninpo
One of the very first schools to be set up to teach Ninjutsu/Ninpo among others was the Bujinkan organization in 1978. It was started by Masaaki Hatsumi, a martial arts expert. The others include Jinenkan, which is the art form that is propagated by Fumio Manaka, who was one of Hatsumi’s original students and was given 10th dan in Bujinkan. The other two famous schools include Genbukan, as taught by Shoto Tanemura, also a pupil of Hatsumi, and Bujinkan Brian Dojo. The latter was founded by Brian McCarthy who trained in the Bujinkan. There are many organizations and schools including Quest Centers started by Stephen K Hayes, also Hatsumi’s pupil and Dux Ryu Ninjutsu.
Eighteen Skills of Ninjutsu
All Ninjitsu styles require their members to master eighteen skills. They are:
1. Seishinteki kyoyo or spiritual refinement
2. Kenjutsu or sword techniques
3. Sojutsu or spear techniques
4. Kusarigamajutsu or kusarigama techniques
5. Kayakujutsu or pyrotechnics
6. Shinobi-iri or stealth and entering methods
7. Sui-ren or water training
8. Choho or espionage
9. Tenmon or meteorology
10. Taijutsu or unarmed combat
11. Bojutsu or stick and staff techniques
12. Naginatajutsu or naginata techniques
13. Shurikenjutsu or throwing weapons techniques
14. Hensojutsu or disguise and impersonation
15. Bajutsu or horsemanship
16. Boryaku or tactics
17. Intonjutsu or escaping and concealment
18. Chi-mon or geography
The literal translation of taijutsu is “body skill” or can be “body art”. In traditional Japan, the word is frequently used interchangeably with jujutsu and refers to a swathe of grappling skills.
History of Ninjitsu
Ninjitsu was first developed by people living in Koka, Shiga province and Iga Province of Japan. The shinobi had the reputation of spies, assassins and scouts and was famous for their use of deception and stealth. A number of different schools have imparted their particular version of Ninpo or Ninjitsu. In short Ninjitsu owed its creation to a number of survival techniques in the warring states era of feudal Japan. Ninjas used their art to survive in a time of violent upheaval. The martial art of Ninjutsu included techniques of information gathering, methods of non-detection, misdirection and avoidance. Training was given in escape, free running, disguise, archery, concealment and medicine. Ninjitsu thrived in feudal japan as skills in assassination and espionage were extremely in demand by all the warring factions in those days. In fact, specialists in these fields were literally termed “non humans”. People who specialized in such skills came to be known as “shinobi no mono”.
Weapons Used in Ninjitsu
There are a great number of Ninjitsu weapons including conventional ones like long and short swords, the yari and the naginata among others. Besides conventional attack instruments, there were also a large range of unconventional weapons like concealed weapons, special bladed weapons, floating devices and collapsible ladders. There is a common misconception that the aim of a Ninja in medieval Japan was to gain expertise in all the weapons. In fact, there was an effort towards specialization in a certain weapon and if possible, general expertise in others. It is to be noted that family position was very important in feudal Japan. Many samurai (or non-samurai even) were dependent on their families for specialist and basic weapon training.
Meaning of Ninpo
While contemporary Japanese uses the word to mean the legal system or the law, the true meaning of Ninpo can be understood in the philosophical sense as the ultimate reality of covertness. The term is suggestive of the elevated state when martial arts and spirituality come together. Ninjutsu/Ninpo has many positive influences on one’s health. Not only can you learn to beat stress, you can also learn how to handle situations of conflict. What this art also teaches is the power of concentration and discipline.
At Go2Karate™ we list a large amount and variety of martial art schools that will serve your needs in the category of Ninjitsu or Ninpo mixed martial arts. If you have a keen sense of history and want to be fit for life, then enroll at any of the institutes mentioned in the website.
Characteristics of Ryu Karate
The two primary techniques that are used in this form of karate are hard and soft. The hard techniques refer to the use of closed hands while the soft techniques refer to the use of open hands and circular movements. It is a form that is not so much about strength but about great technique in the deflection of strikes with the help of moving in certain angles. According to a lot of Ryu Karate practitioners, the key of this style is to use techniques that are opposite in nature to the part of the body that is being targeted. For example, the use of an open hand technique to make contact with the head – a hard part of the body – of the opponent. Goju Ryu Karate is also known for the breathing techniques that are a vital part of this form. It also involves movements like take downs, throws and even the use of weapons. The weapons usually used are a wooden sword and wooden staff. This is because the practice of martial arts was prohibited in Okinawa in the 16th centuries and masters had to practice using tools that were not conspicuous.
The objective of Ryu Karate
Ryu karate is a standup style of combat whose main purpose are self-defense and not so much attack. It teaches practitioners how to avoid being hit with the techniques of deflection through certain angles and then use hand and leg strikes to take the opponent down. The three aspects of training in Ryu Karate There are three important aspects of training in this form of karate. It includes kumita, kata and philosophy. Most practitioners manage to train in only the first two and rarely qualify for the learning of the third aspect.
Kumita – This refers to the training of the body including strength, toughness, agility and the acceptance of pain, which comes with the practice of this art. It teaches the practitioner about his/her strengths and limitations and leads to a higher level of consciousness of the body.
Kata – This refers to the aspect of the mind. It defines the practitioner and builds concentration and focus. It develops the body to use mental faculties while fighting and not just brute strength and physical technique.
Philosophy – This refers to the understanding of the reason behind practicing karate. To know the difference between just physically fighting and to fighting with an understanding of the principles that govern this art. It reaches the practitioner to be at peace even in conflict and treat martial arts as a means of self-actualization.
Benefits of Ryu Karate
The martial art form of Ryu Karate has several benefits to offer to those that practice it, here are some of them:
• Improved Physical Health: Practitioners of Ryu Karate undergo rigorous training that develops their flexibility, dexterity and strength, and also improves blood pressure and blood circulation in the body. It also cultivates the habit of regular exercise, a must in today’s sedentary lifestyle.
• Improved Mental Health: Ryu karate teaches its practitioners discipline and respect and the ability to maintain calm and tranquility at all times and in all situations. The improved physical fitness also contributes to a healthy state of the mind, which is a key requirement to success in all walks of life in general.
• Improved Self-Esteem and Self-Confidence: the ability to effectively defend oneself against threat combined with the heightened physical and mental state attained by practitioners of Ryu karate inspire a sense of self-confidence and raise one’s self esteem. This newfound self-confidence permeates into other areas of one’s life and provides invaluable benefits.
• Heightened awareness of one’s surroundings: Ryu Karate teaches its students to study the forms of nature and to mimic them in order to gain a deeper understanding of ourselves and our bodies and the capabilities of our bodies. This develops a heightened sense of awareness of one’s environment and lets one be better equipped to tackle day-to-day situations effectively.
Check the Goju Ryu listings at Go2Karate to discover schools that provide services related to this holistic karate form.
Improve Your Strength
Taking on a bigger opponent is always a challenging task. It is also considered as one of the most complete forms of workouts for your muscles. While, martial arts such as Sambo, certainly make use of grappling and other fighting techniques to gain an upper hand in combat, you will still be exerting a lot of pressure on your muscles as even your opponent would be using the same set of techniques against you. You will be putting your muscles up against those of your opponent. Which means you need to work very hard to resist their attacks. This will help you gain strength better than any other form of martial art with ease.
Increase Your Flexibility
Sambo is a martial art that requires you to move very quickly and move your body in ways unimaginable to evade any attacks from your opponent, quickly identify weak spots and gain an upper hand in the combat. As a result, stretching is an important component of practicing Sambo. Every Sambo practice session begins and ends with several rounds of stretching exercises to keep your body in perfect shape for what awaits.
Gain Cardiovascular Strength
A Sambo fight is considered to be among the most shortest yet highly intense cardiovascular workouts you may come across. You will be using all the large muscle groups at the same time with full effort in overcoming the opponent as early as possible. While most Sambo wrestling fights may last only for as much as 6 minutes, you will find that the heart rates of both the opponents would have easily crossed 165bpm in such a short time. This is something that most athletes achieve when training for endurance. But is a common practice for Sambo wrestlers and this is the reason why Sambo wrestlers have such excellent cardiovascular health. Finally, you should note that Sambo is an effective way to get in shape while having loads of fun.
Sambo is also the right martial art for you if you want to quickly become lean, agile and strong without spending countless hours in the gym with weights and resistance bands, running on treadmills and so on. In addition to this, Sambo was designed to train the special services of the Russian Military and as a result, includes a set of high standards of discipline and other principles that make Sambo one of the most formidable forms of martial art invented so far. To stand up for yourself Sambo is heavily dependent on technique rather than brute strength, especially the self-defense version of Sambo. So, if you master Sambo, you will be able to defend yourself against a sudden stronger attacker in real life on the basis of technique. Also, Sambo teaches you to defend yourself against weapons. Though there are no weapons involved, the sport can certainly help overpower someone with a weapon. Sambo also teaches you strikes and how to use them in practical situations, rather than as an elaborate form in a martial art style. Anyone can learn Sambo, irrespective of gender or age.
Not only does Sambo help its practitioners keep fit and stay healthy, it plays a major role in a person’s mental well-being. A student develops the ability to take on the challenges of life in a brave manner. Also, it tests your ability to persevere, stay focused and determined. Beating stress is another advantage of learning the sport. The martial art also teaches you leadership qualities and conflict resolution techniques. Supplements other arts If you are already into some other martial art form, Sambo can help you improve your game in leaps and bounds, because of the various techniques involved in this Russian form. It’s all about respect Sambo teaches a practitioner to treat the opposition with respect. This will stand the student in good stead when it comes to other walks of life too.
In the Paris Olympic Games of 1924, Savate was shown as a demonstration sport. In 2008, the International University Sports Federation recognized Savate as a sport. After this recognition, Savate become a sport under the University World Championships. Grouping and regrouping In 1965, French boxing teachers decided to establish the National Committee of French Boxing (Comite National de Boxe Francaise or CNBF). There were two groups among French boxing teachers, one the academic camp, comprising physical trainers headed b y Count Pierre Baruzy, and the other of white collar workers who were in favor of full-combat fighting in the ring. The two camps competed with each other throughout the 1970s. In 1973, the CNBF became Federation Nationale de Boxe Française (FNBF) and was controlled by the academic camp. The other group revolted and there was a split. A new federation called the Federation Nationale de Savante Boxe Française was created. The government, though, gave the right to offer teaching diplomas and championship titles to the academic group FNBF in 1975, which was renamed Fédération Française de Boxe Française, Savate et Disciplines Assimilées (FFBFS & DA). The warring groups ensured that French boxing missed a chance to be recognized as a combat sport in France and outside. It was only in 1978 that the two camps merged under the banner of FFBFS&DA and brought some purpose to Savate.
The origin of Savate
Savate is actually a French word, meaning old shoe. It comes from the heavy shoes that Savate fighters used to wear. It is said that sailors in the southern French seaport of Marseilles came up with a fighting style, involving slaps with the open hand and high kicks. Closed fists could not be used because fighting with a closed fist could attract a legal penalty, since it constituted as a deadly weapon at that time. It was initially called jeu marseilles and later as chausson. Two historical figures played a big role in turning the sport from street fighting to modern Savate. They are Michel Cassaeux, a pharmacist and Charles Lecour. Cassaeux started the first establishment to practice and promote Savate in 1825. In his version, head butting, grappling and eye gouging were disallowed. But even then the sport was not able to shake off its reputation as a technique for fighting on the street. Charles Lecour, who was Cassaeux’s pupil had seen a English boxing match. He thought Savate fighters were at a disadvantage because they were not allowed to use their fists. He learnt boxing and later combined it with chausson to create the sport of Savate.
What does savate constitute?
Savate is actually one of the safest martial arts to learn. While other forms of martial arts give colored belts to signify a learner’s proficiency, a Savate learner’s proficiency is indicated by the color of his gloves. A Savate learner may not necessarily change the color of his gloves when he moves to a higher rank. In fact, the fighter may use the same gloves even after receiving multiple promotions. Novice or new learners do not get any colors. Competition Savate includes styles like Assault, Pre-combat and Combat. Only four types of kicks and four types of punches are allowed.
Other forms of Savate
Savate did not originate as a sport. It was initially a form of self defense and it was used in street fighting in Marseille and Paris. Another form of Savate is called savate de rue or Savate defense. Along with punches and kicks, Savate defense allows elbow and knee strikes together with throws, sweeps, locks, take-downs and headbutts. This includes six types of kicks along with four types of punches. Savate also includes stick fighting and it is a part of training in many Savate classes. Learners who only want to fight in competitions, may omit this part of the training.
Go2Karate has a list of places that teach Savate. To find them, please go through our website. Recognition on the world stage It was after the International Savate Federation was formed in 1985, which later came to be known as the FIS or the Federation Internationale de Savate, that Savate began coming back into the spotlight. Savate was included in the SportAccord World Combat Games in 2013. The event showcases both Olympic and non-Olympic martial arts and combat games and is a platform to demonstrate to the world what the sport of Savate is all about.
Burn Extra Calories
Not only is karate a very useful self defense system, but it also helps in a number of other aspects of your lifestyle. The fact that so many people all over the world lead extremely busy lives, there is always the chance that they follow a very unhealthy diet plan. The amount of physical exercise that one gets through practicing Shito Ryu Karate helps burn a significant amount of calories in the body. Shito Ryu karate requires quick and repetitive movements to help tone the body – which will cause a lot of calories to be burned. Studies have shown that an individual weighing 145 pounds and practicing Shito Ryu karate will burn about 870 calories in a one-hour work out. To put this into context, a runner of the same weight would need to run at the speed of a mile a minute for a period of 60 minutes while a cyclist will need to ride at about 14 miles an hour for a duration of 90 minutes. Many overweight people have been able to successfully lose weight by their regular practice of karate. Karate is one of the best exercises that can help a person to become slimmer and fitter.
Physical benefits of Shito Ryu Karate
High physical exertion levels over the course of the day are an essential part of leading a healthy lifestyle. There are a number of physical benefits of Shito Ryu Karate. While we have discussed the rate at which an individual may burn calories, Shito Ryu Karate also helps the body develop improved physical co-ordination and sharper reflexes.
An increase in your strength and stamina – allowing you to remain fresh all day long.
An increased flexibility and weight control – helping you better your core balance. A significant impact on your cardiovascular system as well as the ability to defend yourself against unprovoked attacks. Karate also helps to strengthen the muscles and bones of the body.
Regular practice of karate can make a person stronger and more suitable for heavy exercise such as weight training or power lifting. Long term practice of karate also makes a person live a longer and healthier life. The way the discipline is developed allows the body to get used to the athleticism over a course of time – ensuring that the body develops the powers gradually – without injury.
Enhance the Mental Health
Like all forms of martial arts, Shito Ryu Karate is based on creating a serene bond between the body and mind. As a result, there are a number of mental advantages that practicing Shito Ryu Karate can offer. Karate helps the mind develop a significant amount of self-discipline as a result of many years of practice and ensuring that the body is able to keep up with the rigorous schedule it needs to follow. Perseverance is also something that is conditioned into the mind. As you practice karate you attempt to improve the bond between body and mind. A regular practitioner of karate becomes more patient and calm in his mind. He learns to control his emotions and take a positive approach towards life. Ultimately this strengthening of the mind helps the person to live a better and fuller life. Many people have benefited from karate to the extent that they have improved their own lives and also that of their friends and family. The long term impact of karate on its practitioners and their families are mostly positive. Improvement in your self-confidence and self-esteem should not be underestimated. The more control of your body and mind you have, the more aware of your abilities you will become. A sense of responsibility is also known to develop in individuals practicing the art.
History and origins of Shorin Ryu
Highly regarded as one of the ‘major’ modern forms of Okinawan martial arts, Shorin Ryu karate came into existence when Choshin Chibana – who was a second-generation disciple of Matsumara Sokon (a body guard to three kings of Okinawa) – used his knowledge of various forms of martial arts to put together this discipline. History shows that in 1609, the Satsuma Samurai clan captured the region of Okinawa because it did not recognize the newest Shogun – Tokugawa Ieyasu. In the aftermath of the capture, the Okinawa people were banned from carrying any weapons. This time was significant because it saw the Shorin Ryu form of martial art be developed further to become even more deadly in bare-handed combat. Since a large part of the community were farmers, they also incorporated their farming equipment into their various techniques. From it origins in Okinawa, Shorin Ryu karate spread to other parts of the world, particularly the United States, where it has many practitioners today. It has emerged as a major form of karate in addition to the many other forms that already exist.
Kata and Shorin Ryu Techniques
Katas are primarily patterns of movements that contain logical and practical blocking as well as attacking techniques. There are katas that can be practiced with or without a partner. Beginners will usually start with the simpler katas as they progress through the various stages of becoming learned in Shorin Ryu karate. While they learn the various stances, they will understand their body in greater details. The aspects of balance, agility and endurance will all be improved right through the body. After the initial stages of learning the beginner’s stances, the individual practicing Shorin Ryu karate will then learn the ‘Sanchin’, which represents the battles between the mind, body and soul.
The Shorin Ryu techniques will also teach essential basics such as various stances, blocks and methods of attack. The ‘Pinan’ is a very important phase of learning as it is focused on developing a peaceful mind. There are a number of katas that a person will learn over time and mastering the martial art will require years of dedication, patience and grace. Most katas are simple and can be learnt easily. However the number of katas is large and learning all of them requires a lot of time and patience. For this very reason, learning of katas is the prerequisite to being a great karate master.
The time required to complete master karate can be several years. However, the skills learnt in the first one or two years is sufficient for day to day self defense. The time required depends on the determination and discipline of the person practicing it. Most people do not have perseverance to last such a long time.
The Fighting Strategy
The fighting strategy of Shorin Ryu is primarily hard and fast. The basic principal is that individual combat and the strategies of warring armies are very similar. The offensive strategy – known as Sen No Sen – is punctuated by rapid movements that take the opponent by surprise, while Go No Sen is a defensive strategy that encompasses the use of blockages and swerves to avoid contact. A lot of the karate is based on maintaining a calm mind and looking for the ‘opening’ that will occur when your opponent attacks. The premise here being the fact that the opponent is at his most vulnerable when he attacks. A fighter trained in Shorin Ryu karate will also look for a ‘mental opening’ where he can see fear in the opponents eyes that is the result of a strong fighting spirit.
Shotokan karate has grown in popularity over the years. It has spread from its place of origin in Japan to all over the world. Today people in many parts of the world are practicing and learning Shotokan karate. They are eager to improve their health and take the other benefits that Shotokan karate has to offer. Most people who practice Shotokan karate will learn many things during the course of their practice. The most important thing that they will learn is self discipline and mind control. Other things like fitness and being able to defend oneself are also learnt by them but they are of secondary importance.
Improve Your Attitude
The core principles of Shotokan karate revolve around making sure that the body and mind perform various actions in perfect harmony. Improving your attitude towards other people and opening up your mind to being more controlled, is something that Shotokan will teach you.
The fact that there are various stages of performance in Shotokan means that an individual’s body and mind goes through a number of filtering levels where his body and mind, attitude and ability to interact with other people is significantly altered for the better. Shotokan karate is based on what is known as the Twenty Percepts of Karate.
These ‘precepts of karate’ allude to various aspects of human behavior such as respect, compassion, and humility as well as inward and outward calmness. The principles of Shotokan are underlined in a quote from the founder that states: “The ultimate aim of karate lies not in victory or defeat, but in the perfection of the character of the participant.”
Overall karate aims to make a better person out of its practitioners. The idea of achieving victory in battle is secondary and is not emphasized by the masters of Karate.
Gain self discipline
Bettering the self-discipline of the individual is a very important part of Shotokan. While some people may take up the martial art as a result of fitness, weight loss or, at times, even vengeance, the true soul of Shotokan resides in being able to focus on the more important aspects of the human character such as self-discipline and being able to teach everyone with respect.
Shotokan requires its practitioners to control their thoughts, their emotions and their reflexes. Only then can they become better at karate. In this way the self control and self discipline of the person improves by leaps and bounds as he practices and gains mastery of karate. Moreover, the fact that there are a number of ‘levels’ that a student would need to progress through over the course of his learning means that there is a sense of attainment and achievement that he or she will experience. These levels of Shotokan ensure that the body and mind are conditioned over the course of time to improve the overall character of the individual.
For fitness and health
Fitness and health are, more often than not, the primary reason for starting to practice Shotokan in today’s world. Shotokan is a very intense work out that will help you shed a number of calories really quickly. Moreover, the fact that you get more involved in practicing Shotokan, the less you will actually concentrate on the amount of weight you are losing and that will just come easily. The core strength of the body is also significantly improved as muscle development, endurance as well as force are all substantially increased.
The initial stages of Shotokan training will see soreness and fatigue affect the muscles, but this will soon wear off as the body gets increasingly used to the physical strain that it is subjected to. Because of the mental conditioning, problems like stress levels in the body are also in control at all times. A regular practitioner of karate can hope to lose as much as fifty kilograms of weight after a year of practice. For this reason, karate is an effective method of exercise and is a great way to become fit and healthy.
Silat has matured a lot over the years. Many new techniques and styles have been incorporated into Silat. It has also spread all over the world from its place of origin in South East Asia. Many people are now trying out Silat for the first time because of the many benefits that it has to offer. At the same time, many people have become experts in it and they are helping to spread the knowledge about Silat. There are many health and mental benefits of learning Silat.
The student of Silat will not only end up with a fitter body but will also have a more focused and agile mind after his Silat training. How is Silat different from other martial arts? Silat is distinctive from other Asian martial techniques like karate and kung fu. Its cultural aspect separates it from its more famous counterparts. Combat is not everything in Silat. If it is combined with traditional musical instruments like kendang, the martial technique metamorphoses into a folk dance. For example, in Indonesia’s West Sumatra province, in the Minangkabau area, Silat is one of the oldest traditions in the region and is integral to the performance of Minangkabau folk dance.
A journey through Malaysian tradition reveals a type of Silat known as silat pulut where it is considered a dance form and accompanied by traditional musical instruments. In this case, it can also be considered a performance art. A variety of Silat-pencak-is also practiced in Indonesia’s West Java province. The art is generally attended by music in the form of the local Sundanese suling instrument. The many varieties of Silat all have the same overarching theme, which is the personal development of the person and the strengthening of his mind. The different varieties have been standardized for the purpose of export to other parts of the world.
History of Silat
Silat began to be practiced all over the Malay Archipelago from the Seventh Century AD onwards. There is no historical documentation over its origins. With the advent of Islam in the region in the fourteenth century, the religion was taught along with Silat. Thus the martial art form also came to be regarded as a form of spiritual training. The martial art form was soon adopted by the ruling class and Silat became the martial art of choice among successive Malaysian sultans, prime minister and warriors. It was particularly prominent at the time of Srivijaya, Majapahit and Malacca Sultanates. Silat, at this time, came to be taught across Sulawesi, Borneo, Bali, Malay Peninsula and the entire Malay peninsula. Malaysians consider the legendary character, Hang Tuah as the father of Silat. The post colonization phase saw Silat being evolved into a formal martial art. It is now included as a sport game and is an event during Southeast Asian Games.
Why should you learn Silat?
Silat focuses on both the internal and external development of a person. Practicing this martial art will impose discipline, patriotism, citizenship and morals. A student of Silat learns how to defend herself or himself. The student learns all the moves that form a part of Silat. Gradually he learns how to apply them and how to use them in self defense. After many years of practice, he becomes a master and can use his skills quite effectively in combat. Learning Silat takes place via a number of stages where students are first taught the basics like correct langkah or right steps. Then a student is taught the attacking techniques and other forms of self-preservation. A Silat practitioner uses a variety of weapons like machete, walking stick and knife,
• Jurus is a collection of movements that includes blocks, strikes and maneuvers.
• Bunga or flower movements teach fluidity of movement and grace. It is essential in Silat.
• Tempur means a battle between two Silat practitioners.
At Go2Karate we list a large amount and variety of martial art schools that will serve your needs in the category of mixed martial arts. Learn Silat at any of our participating institutions to keep yourself healthy and fit.
Taekwondo has been shown to have several health benefits in addition to being a great fitness plan. It has been shown to reduce depression, improve blood circulation, regulate temperature and improve overall health of the body. More and more people are taking up Taekwondo everyday now. It has spread to many cities and countries.
Information on Taekwondo is readily available on the internet, television and books. It is very easy to take advantage of everything that Taekwondo has to offer. Songham Taekwondo for physical fitness Songham Taekwondo, in relation to physical fitness, is based on the design and structure of the human body. As a result, the various disciplines that are taught in this form of taekwondo are primed to help develop a better core within the human body.
The initial focus is on ensuring that the muscles become more agile as well as durable to gear the body enough to be able to deal with the more demanding aspects of the discipline in the more advanced stages. Co-ordination of speed as well as power is the primary focus of Songham Taekwondo to focus all the energy and force of the body as a whole to small parts of the body such as the edge of the palm or the heel of your foot. In addition, Taekwondo also strengthens the key areas of the body such as arms, legs, hands and feet. All these are very important to a person’s health and fitness. Taekwondo trains these areas and makes them stronger and more resistant to pain and fatigue. Over a long period of time, the results start to show and the person can feel himself becoming fitter and stronger. As with any kind of physical activity, there will be a period where your body gets used to the strain put onto it – leading to fatigue and soreness. It is important that you maintain your mental focus and are not deterred from the primary objective of ensuring that your body becomes healthy.
Songham Taekwondo for Self-Defense
Taekwondo is known to be one of the highly respected forms of self defense. As with the various forms of martial arts – it is important not to use the discipline and knowledge to cause unprovoked problems for other individuals. However, self-defense is an important tool to have in today’s harsh world – and knowing a discipline such as taekwondo will prove to be very useful. With a strong focus on aspects of mental and physical harmony in the body, Songham Taekwondo covers various avenues such as mental control, defenses, vulnerabilities, body mechanics, and theory.
Something to remember is the fact that to protect yourself effectively against unforeseen attacks – simply knowing the theory is not enough. It takes years of practice to ensure that your body and mind are in synchronization to help you execute the moves you have learned. A person who is skilled in Taekwondo can easily defend himself and others from unarmed attackers. This can come in especially useful in big crowded cities where dangers lurk everywhere. Even if the self defense skills are never used it helps to have the knowledge and peace of mind that it can provide.
Grow your confidence with Songham Taekwondo
Martial arts is not only about physical ability and mental focus. The all round change in the kind of person you become is palpable. The knowledge that you know how to protect yourself and the people you care about will do wonders in the way you carry yourself. Given that one of the key aspects of Songham Taekwondo is the fact that your mental prowess is so developed, means that you will be able to take better control of your own life and influence its outcome more effectively. Taekwondo also helps a person in becoming more disciplined and organized in his life. Taekwondo teaches several life skills which include the ability to be patient, to work hard towards goals, to wait for results and to keep growing as a person. All this becomes very useful for a person as he continues to practice Taekwondo. Most people will have substantially improved focus and discipline at the end of Taekwondo training.
All Systema Russia tactics are dependent upon instinctive reactions and individual strengths. The martial art takes into account human body limitations and is specially designed for quicker learning. Systema aims to improve the overall condition of the body in three aspects, physical, psychological and spiritual.
Systema dates back as far as the 10th century. Russia, the largest country in the world, was frequently invaded by enemies from all four sides, across varied terrain and with the Russians faced with overwhelming odds most of the time. Each invader brought his own style of combat and his own war tactics to Russia. As a natural response to such dynamic fighting styles and harsh environmental conditions, systema was born, keeping in mind the need to protect oneself against all odds, against every possible combat tactic the opponent may decide to employ.
Systema’s foundation is the strength of will, and it lays special emphasis on knowing one’s strengths and weaknesses in order to make the most effective moves to overcome a hostile situation. What began as a responsive form of combat among Russian Cossack warriors has now evolved into a widely practiced martial art that has no fixed tactics for combat. With the beginning of communism in Russia in 1917, citizens were forbidden to practice traditional martial arts methods, and all who defied this were punished severely. However, it didn’t take long for the military to realize the utility and potency of the adaptive systema, and it became a part of the training received by Spetsnaz units of the Russian army.
The training of Systema Russia practitioners include grappling, knife fighting, hand to hand fighting and fire-arms training. Drills and sparring without fixed kata. The training primarily focuses on controlling the six levers of the body: neck, waist, elbows, knees, shoulders and ankles. This is done via application of pressure points, application of weapon and striking.
Systema Russia techniques does not differentiate between strikes, holds and blocks. It believes that any movement is multifunctional. Fighting methods have their origins in the human body’s natural movements and has the end result of unpredictable and unique moves which are highly effective.
This Russian martial art utilizes different parts of the arms, body and legs to kick, push, pinch and slap to shock, destroy, disorient and disarm opponents. A Systema Russia practitioner can apply his skill from multiple angles, positions and against single or multiple attackers. Scope of training includes all aspects of self-defense and hand to hand combat. The practitioner is trained to be able to defend himself or herself in confined areas, against an armed opponent, against many attackers and also with improvised weapons. He or she is given blindfold training and learn techniques for fighting in a disadvantaged position.
Comparison of Systema Russia and other fighting styles Systema Russia is simply not an amalgamation of Asian fighting techniques. Although it does contain a small proportion of Asiatic fighting systems, there is also a component of Cossack fighting methods dating back to the 10th century. Systema is not a pure military art of combat. Although it was created by Russian military units, it is now independently practiced by martial arts enthusiasts around the world. There is much more than simple hand to hand combat. It teaches its students breathwork and biomechanical efficiency. It offers total personal protection and total health system that is very simple to learn but sophisticated in depth.
Systema Russia solves the relationship between the physical and the physiological realm. Reflexes and response to fears are also addressed. A few drills teach students how easily the body and the mind can be tricked. Other techniques utilize response and stimuli in an exaggerated response environment to teach students to decouple response from fear. Systema teaches its students how to take punches without flinching. It takes the psychological drill route to achieve this. They are taught to strike at vital areas of the opponent’s body.
At Go2Karate™ we list a large amount and variety of martial art schools that will serve your needs in the category of Systema Russia martial arts. You can select the school of your choice from the website.
• Tae: “To block or strike with the foot”. The word also means “jump”
• K’won: “To block or strike with the hand” or fist
• Do: “The way of”. The word also mean “art”
All the three words put together translates taekwondo into “The art of punching and kicking”. It also means “The art of combat without any weapons”. The word was coined by Choi Hong Hi, whom the International Taekwondo Federation recognizes as the founder and creator of the martial art form. Taekwondo is at present one of the world’s most popular modern martial techniques. Taekwondo disciplines The Korean martial art form of Taekwondo consists of four basic disciplines:
• Patterns: These are of two kinds: Poomse’s and Tul’s. Poomses or Forms are techniques of attacking and defending movements performed against an imaginary opponent and is done in a predetermined pattern. It serves a number of purposes like helping in the refinement of balance, timing, rhythm, breath control, and coordination. Tul’s have 24 patterns in total that represents 24 hours of the day. First black belt consists of 10 patterns.
• Self-defense: This is also called Hosinsul. It is regarded as one of the main taekwondo principles. It mixes a number of techniques like grappling or locks and defending against armed attackers.
• Sparring: Rules differ in case of sparring in International Taekwondo Federation and the World Taekwondo Federation matches. It demonstrates technique control and practical applications of the sport.
• Break test: This is also known as Kyepka. It is extremely popular in the demonstration of taekwondo. An object is broken in the demonstration. It is a better way to practice focus, precision, concentration, and power.
The main objectives of Taekwondo are as follows:
• Create an understanding for taekwondo as an art and also as a sport
• Reach physical fitness via positive participation
• Improve emotional equanimity and mental discipline
• Acquire self-defense skills
• Create a responsible outlook for one self and also for others
Training in the martial art form of Tai Chi involves the knowledge of five elements – Taolu (hand and weapon fighting forms), neigong and qigong (exercises in breathing, movement and meditation), Tuishou (drills) and Sanshou (Self Defense techniques).
Consequently, there are several training forms for Tai Chi Chuan today. Depending on the aim for which Tai Chi is to be practiced by a student, the training forms may be modern or more traditional slow movement forms. The modern techniques vary from school to school, but at their essence they are based on any one of the five classic schools – The Chen, Sun, Wu, Hao, or Yang. Unlike most martial art forms, Tai Chi has no requirements for practitioners to wear a set uniform, although they are encouraged to wear clothing that is light and allows for maximum freedom of movement, with flat soled shoes. The study of the martial art form of Tai Chi can be divided into three aspects which are:
• Health: Tai Chi requires that its practitioners achieve a state of internal calm in order to study the discipline. As a healthy body is a pre requisite to a healthy mind, the art form of Tai Chi focuses on improving the physical health of the body, which in turn leads to developing a sense of calm. In order to effectively defend oneself from attack, one must be at the peak of his physical fitness, and this is what Tai Chi upholds.
• Meditation: The improved concentration, the sense of inner peace and calm are vital to establishing a state of stability in our lives, and Tai Chi promotes meditation to achieve this goal.
• The Martial Art form itself: A true test of one’s knowledge is the use of that knowledge to one’s advantage, hence the use of the knowledge of the discipline of Tai Chi is a test of a student’s understanding of the discipline itself.
Health benefits of practicing Tai Chi
Traditional Chinese Tai Chi falls under the Wudang martial arts group. That is to say, it is one of those forms of martial arts which are applied using “internal power”. The earlier years of the 20th century saw Tai Chi gain widespread promotion for its health benefits. Among its early proponents are included several imminent martial arts personalities like Yang Shaohou, Sun Lutang, Wu Chien, and Yang Chengfu.
The heavy health benefits promotions of Tai Chi resulted in it being followed by many people from across the world – people who have little or absolutely no interest in martial arts and are only concerned with its role in gaining and maintaining good health. The initial health benefit claims were backed up by scientific studies by various health institutes that went on to confirm the effectiveness of Tai Chi as a form of alternative exercise and a type of martial arts therapy.
Some benefits of Tai Chi include –
1. Reduced risk of cardiovascular falls in patients recovering from strokes, high blood pressure, heart failures, heart attacks, sclerosis, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s to name a few. Intensive Tai Chi is as effective in healthy patients who have never had such conditions. Tai Chi burns more calories than surfing and has been associated with reduced severity of osteoarthritis, diabetes, fibromyalgia.
2. Reduced stress, anxiety, depression.
3. Improved mental health and an increased feeling of mental well-being. Combat effectiveness of Tai Chi Tai Chi is also held in high esteem in the Chinese martial arts community as an effective fighting technique.
Several historical anecdotes have been shared throughout China about the effectiveness of Tai Chi in fighting. In 1945 for example, Hu Yuen Chou defeated famous Russian boxer in a full contact combat in China. Besides, various eminent martial artists of different styles have spoken highly of Tai Chi’s combat effectiveness.
Big names of this lot include the famous Bruce Lee, Kyokushinkai karate’s founder Masutatsu Oyama and Wong Kiew Kit. Tai Chi also has near celebrity status in popular culture. Many video games, novels, series, action movies have references to Tai Chi or have taken inspiration from Tai Chi.
Forms in the Tang Soo Do training curriculum
Forms, also known as hyung, make up for an important part of the Tang Soo Do training program. They are a bunch of movements, derived mainly from the Japanese karate “shotokan kata” that are used to demonstrate an aggressive or defensive reaction to the opponent’s attack. Forms are also used as performance yardsticks during tournaments and influence the practitioner’s ranking in the tournament. The forms used by a particular school may differ from the ones used by some other school and depends largely on the choices made by the founder or head of the school.
Historically, such training includes nine forms divided into three umbrella terms – Kee Cho, Pyung Ahn and Pal Che or Bassai.
The Kee Cho series – A Kee Cho form is based mostly upon techniques characteristic to the karate “shorin ryu”. Individual forms under this series include kee cho sam bu as well as kee cho il bu and kee cho ee bu.
The Pyung Ahn series – Forms of this series are adopted mostly from Japanese karate and Okinawan. Individual elements include five forms of Pyung Ahn – cho dan, ee dan, sam dan, sa dan and oh dan.
Pal Che or Bassai – The ninth form in this training is another karate form and is also called Passai or Bassai Dai. Apart from the nine basic forms, sparring is traditionally included in Tang Soo Do schools. Single step sparring refers to the defensive moves demonstrated after the opponent’s first attack step. The usual flow of the one step sparring is as follows –
• Practitioner and the opponent bow showing respect.
• Opponent makes a one-move attack (say a punch) on the former.
• The former responds with one step sparring – performs several pre-decided techniques usually following the sequence of blocking, attacking and take-down of the opponent.
The free sparring technique resembles freestyle karate popular in America. Arm and hand techniques and lead leg kicks, kicks by the rear leg and hand techniques, jumping kicks, spinning kicks, leg sweeps, ridgehand etc. are typically used in a competition style combat between two partners.
Mainstream Recognition and Popularity
This martial art gained most of its popularity in the West because of the well known actor Chuck Norris. His influence was such that a new form of martial arts – the Chun Kuk Do evolved from his connection with Tang Soo Do. Other notable practitioners who contributed to its widespread recognition in the Western world include Steve McQueen, Dennis Alexio, Curtis Bush, Pat E. Johnson and Cynthia Rothrock.
Benefits of Learning Tang Soo Do
Although self-defense is the first reason that motivates people to take up a martial art form, practice of the martial arts has various other benefits that extend beyond self-defense. Some of the benefits that Tang Soo Do has to offer are:
• Increased Self Confidence: The sport of Tang Soo Do teaches its practitioners the meaning of confidence and courage at all times and motivates one to believe in oneself. Through the use of rigorous training exercises, trainees are taught new elements of combat and build the competence to use the knowledge they acquire to other aspects of their day-to-day lives.
• Improves Mental Health and Harmony: Tang Soo Do is a very structured sport with special emphasis on discipline that benefits its practitioners invaluably in all aspects of life, and allows one to be at peace with oneself, thereby maintaining tranquility of the mind and improved ability to concentrate one’s thoughts.
• Improved physical well-being: The discipline inculcated in practitioners during the course of their training combined with the rigorous intensity of the training allows practitioners to develop increased strength, stamina, dexterity and general endurance.
• Heightened Awareness: Due to a state of harmony between one’s mind and one’s body, a practitioner of Tang Soo Do develops a heightened awareness of one’s surroundings and allows one to be better prepared to deal with situations in our day to day life.
Visit Go2Karate.com™ to find out more about this martial art or a school to receive training for the same.
It was originally known as Pangai-noon, which can be translated in English as ‘half hard, hard soft’. Kanbun Uechi’s students, grateful to him for teaching them the style, renamed the style as Uechi-ryu after the death of their teacher. His son, Kanei Uechi also refined and expanded the style. Uechi-ryu places huge emphasis on making the body tough and extols quick kicks and punches.
Uechi practitioners are also known for the one-knuckle punch, toe kick and the spear hand. It also emphasizes simplicity, a combination of circular as well as linear movements and stability. Therefore, its proponents claim that it is more practical for self defense. The circular and linear movements are influenced from Kung Fu. Uechi-ryu is heavily influenced by the movements of three animals- the tiger, the crane and the dragon.
Kata in Uechi
There are eight katas in Uechi. Only three of them are derived from Pangai-noon. The others were added by Kanei, who designed them. The Sanchin kata is the first kata. It looks very simple, but is not. This kata teaches the style’s foundation, including breathing and stances. Kanbun Uechi is believed to have said that Sanchin contained everything. Sanchin movements can be learnt with moderate effort but if you want to master the form, it might take you a lifetime. There is a specific concept in each of the eight katas. For example, Sanchin translates as three conflicts. These are Body, Mind and Spirit. An alternate interpretation is timing, softness and power. Uechi training is divided into ten ranks, ending with the brown belt with three black stripes. After this, there are ten Dan ranks.
Uechi-ryu’s Unique Approach to Karate
Uechi-ryu’s approach to Karate is unique. While it lacks the endless variety and flash that some of the other styles have , it hits vulnerable targets with reliable and deadly strikes. It is oriented towards application. High kicks, exaggerated blocks, spinning techniques and many kinds of jump techniques are avoided because the fighter is left vulnerable to throws and kicks. In Uechi, soft blocks are used to redirect the enemy’s attack, unlike other forms of karate which use hard blocks to counter the opponent’s strength. The soft blocks advocated by Uechi also give opportunities for throws and counter attacks.
The Importance of Sanchin Kata in Uechi
Uechi is built on the principles mentioned in Sanchin kata. Even advanced Uechi is built on these principles. This way, it places a solid foundation for the student’s progress. Sanchin is fundamental to Uechi. It protects Karate students, allowing them to make the fullest use of their bodies. Sanchin is a short stance no doubt, but is has the stability of the longer stance. For instance, it protects the front leg from sweeps and kicks and allows greater mobility. Uechi also allows grappling and grabbing the arms and the legs, something which is forbidden in many styles. People from any age group can learn Uechi and learn to defend themselves after proper training. Go2Karate lists a number of places where you can learn the Uechi-ryu form of Karate. To learn more, please go over to our site.
All katas of Uechi have the front-leg snap kick, except the Sanchin kata, which is characterized by the absence of kicks. The front-leg kick is a useful technique to employ when there is an incoming attacker. The execution of this kick can be done quickly. While other systems use the ball of the foot to execute kicks, in Uechi, the kicks are delivered with the tip of the big toe. This popular technique, called sokusen, mimics the tiger’s bite. The other technique used in Uechi is nukite, which is an element of all the eight katas. This method helps you attack pressure points and soft body parts and can inflict optimal damage. It is an open hand technique, where you tighten all four fingers and position your thumb in line with the edge of the line of your palm. The technique called shoken is a one-knuckle punch.
Invoking the Animal Spirit
The principal attribute of Uechi is that the art form is derived from three animal styles of Kung Fu including the dragon, tiger and crane. The dragon style is all about using covertness, wisdom, and spirit. The crane style is all about elegance, constancy, accuracy and evasion, while the tiger symbolizes confidence, courage, adroitness and sheer power. The form also uses kote kitae, which is an arm rubbing and pounding exercise that keeps the body in good condition. Sokuto Geri is another technique where the kick delivered is a forward striking one, done with the blade angle of the foot.
The Japan Karate-do Federation
The Federation has a separate unit called Wado Kai, which caters to those interested in learning the Wado Ryu karate style. This unit has over 1,000 branches within Japan, and several outside the island. The organization also conducts annual national championships, which are immensely popular among the islanders.
The Wado Ryu Karatedo Renmei
This organization was formed by the Grand Master Ohtsuka in 1981. His son, popularly known as Hironori Ohtsuka II, Jiro Ohtsuka took over operations from his father a few months after the Grand Master retired.
The Wado Kokusai Karatedo Renmei
The man who established this organization was Tatsuo Suzuki who tutored under Hironori Ohtsuka. When Sensei Suzuki started to feel disillusioned with the functioning of Wado Kai once Ohtsuka’s son took over, he decided to teach Wado Ryu karate separately, in keeping with the original techniques of the Grand Master. Today, the organization has a presence in Europe, Asia and the United States.
The three principles of Wado Ryu Karate
Maai – This refers to the distance between the opponents while fighting. This has a significant influence on the mind and spirit of the practitioners. This involves having correct distance to execute a maneuver successfully. The optimum distance is when half a step is enough to attack or to defend the opponent. This change continuously while in a duel and must be maintained continuously by taking into account the opponent’s techniques as well.
Zanshin – It literally refers to ‘the mind’. It requires that practitioners keep a calm and clear mind in order to see and sense all dangers in the environment or the opponent and act accordingly. The techniques of fighting should come naturally while focusing on the principle of Zanshin.
Taisabaki – It literally refers to ‘body management’. All techniques must be executed with minimum or no wastage of body movements. It usually involves shifting the hips, which is essential to all Wado movements.
Techniques that come naturally should flow smoothly with no movements that are not required. Karate with a difference Wado Ryu Karate is different from the other major karate styles because its philosophy does not believe in the use of makiwara in order to toughen up the different parts of the body for the purpose of striking. There is an absence of the elements of sparring that are so important in other styles. Taisabaki, which is body shifting, is practiced by the practitioners in a duel to avoid full contact and deflect without force, also creating enough time to prepare a counterattack.
Kata or Set of Techniques
All schools of karate have their own sets of techniques or forms called kata, which chart out movements practiced in individual systems. The same is true for Wado Ryu. The Grand Master, in a book authored on Wado Ryu, specified only nine official forms. The number varies from one organization to the other, but is mostly limited to 16. Wado Ryu follows belt orders for different rankings like other schools of karate. The lowest level is at ninth or tenth kyu and moves up to first dan. The tenth dan is the highest level. The levels between one and ten are signified by black belts.
Benefits of practicing Wado Ryu Karate
The practice of this form of karate requires time, effort and the understanding of the underlying principles. Man, woman or child, anyone can benefit from learning Wado Ryu karate. The benefits include:
• Rigorous physical training leads to overall fitness.
• Exercises the mind as well through the practice of concentration, focus and Zanshin.
• Activates the core of the body and increases power, physical, mental and spiritual.
• Regular practice, especially of kata leads to a better coordination and sync between the brain and the body.
• Its practice tests and pushes physical and mental limitations and the resultant success leads to a boost in confidence.
•It is not only about physical combat but also about training the mind to be more aware.
The training begins with forms as well as San Sik. A form is a solitary exercise aimed at developing balance, sensitivity, relaxation, and self awareness. Training in forms helps students learn the fundamentals of movement and force generation. San Sik literally translates into “separate forms” and can be thought of as comprising three categories Basic drills like punching, stepping, standing, and turning aimed at building student’s body structure. Arm cycles and changes for training in interception and adaptation. Training in other combination techniques and sensitivity training. It is noteworthy that all the Wing Chun combat techniques are derivatives of these forms and san sik. While forms may vary from school to school, most schools follow the following order – Three empty hand: The Siu Lim Tao, Chum Kiu, and Biu Jee.
The Siu Lim Tao is a very important form and is often termed the seed of Wing Chun on which other forms are based. It focuses on building body structure and balance. It is important not to rush through Siu Lim Tao as it helps you with right breathing techniques, tells you what the center line is and how to align your hands in accordance with it and teaches you how to get the right elbow positioning.
Chum Kiu focuses on coordinating movements and disrupting the opponent’s balance and body structure. The student also learns a wide range of kicks and how to use them in various combinations alongside the hand movements. It is basically a bridging of gap between the student and the opponent.
Biu Jee on the other hand is focused on kicks, sweeps, and other emergency techniques that must be used when the fighter’s body structure and center line sway out of the established safe zone.
A wooden dummy: Also known as the Muk Yan Jong, this form is performed using wooden dummies as the opponent. This form is used to fine tune the student’s knowledge of footwork, angles, and positions and also develop body power.
Two weapons: The initial training curriculum includes learning the force generation techniques with the open handed technique. Post successful completion of this stage, the student becomes eligible to move on to the weapons training stage. During basic open handed training, students are taught to channel force towards the tips of the fingers. With weapons, the concept is to deliver this force from the finger tips to the end of the weapon.
Weapons may also be used during the training phrase as an additional equipment to strengthen wrists and forearms. Some common weapons used in Wing Chun include knives and long poles. Parallel shaped double knives are typically called Yee Jee Seung Do while the eight chopping or slashing knives are known as Baat Jaam Do. Both these kinds are essentially large forms of butterfly knives which are only slightly shorter than swords.
The second weapon, the six and half point pole is known as the Luk Dim Boon Gwun and is a wooden pole with length varying between 8 and 13 feet. Previously, darts were also used as a weapon in Wing Chun. Throwing darts is, however, not a part of the current Wing Chun training curriculum.
Wing Chun can be learnt by anyone over ten years old. All you need is perseverance and discipline, and the art form will stay with you for the rest of your life. It can be mastered in quick time too, not longer than three to four months. Wing Chun is not a power form of martial art, and involves fluidity and elegance. It requires a tension-free mindset which will in turn release all the stress and stiffness your muscles. Also, Wing Chun is a good starting point from where you can learn other martial art forms.
Easy tips to better skills
The Internet is a great source of tutorials and videos on Wing Chun, so if you are not near a school that can teach you the same, you know where to look. There are DVDs available on the same too. If you want to get better at it, get a partner or a friend to practice. Seek a mentor either in a school or on the Internet to discuss techniques.
Different Forms of Wrestling
Wrestling disciplines can be divided into two types: folk wrestling and international wrestling disciplines. As per the International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles, five international wrestling disciplines are valid in the modern sports world: Freestyle Wrestling, Beach Wrestling, Greco-Roman Wrestling, Grappling and MMA.
Greco-Roman: It is an Olympic sport and an international discipline. In this style, it is prohibited to grip the opponent below the belt and use the legs actively in order to execute any action. Emphasis is placed on powerful and “high amplitude” throws. To win, one competitor must pin the counterpart to the mat.
Freestyle Wrestling: It is an Olympic sport and also an international discipline. Both men and women can participate. This kind of wrestling style allows the wrestler to use his or his opponent’s legs in defense and also in offense. Victory can be achieved by throwing and then pinning the opponent to the mat.
Grappling: Competitors are not permitted the use of strikes to control the opponent, submission holds are used to do so. This is why Grappling is also known as “Submission Grappling”. The sport begins with the competitors standing or post-throw, in the ground. The goal is to force the opponent to submit by utilizing locks and other types of immobilization methods. Grappling is an important component of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) and is utilized as a method for self defense.
Combat Grappling and MMA: Combat grappling is a type of safe MMA which includes methods from many prior martial arts techniques, leading to the creation of a fighting environment that is unique. It alternatively switches the fight from standing position to ground position. A competitor can win a match either by kicking and striking or by chokes and joint locks. It is an effective self defense technique and used by professional armed units like the police and the military.
Beach Wrestling: A type of wrestling where wrestlers, whether male or female, fight inside a circle filled with sand. The circle is 6 meters in diameter and has two categories of weight: light and heavy. Swimsuits are worn by the wrestlers instead of standard wrestling uniforms. Athletic shorts or spandex may also be worn.
Lucha Libre or Mexican professional wrestling is a type of wrestling where North American wrestling styles and mixed martial techniques are combined. In this type of sport, the luchador or wrestler wears a mask to cover the face. Competitors have to gain an upper hand within three rounds without any time limit.
This is an amateur style that is followed at the University or College level in the United States. Also called folk-style, the events under this category are governed by the National Collegiate Athletic Association.
The Olympic connection
Wrestling had a place in the Olympics from ancient times, as early as eighth century BC. In the history of the modern Olympics, the freestyle version was introduced in the 1900s. Wrestling was dropped from the list of core sports in the early part of 2013 by the International Olympic Committee. Later in the year, in September, it was brought back for the 2020 version of the Summer Olympics. Global events associated with wrestling are organized by the International Federation of Associated Wrestling Style, which is the regulatory body of international amateur wrestling. The body organizes the wrestling World Cup, a coveted event, every year, apart from overseeing the World Championships and the Commonwealth Games. As all other martial arts events, wrestling too is held under various weight categories.
The amateur version of female wrestling was first started in France and some Scandinavian nations in the early 80s. It was in the late 80s that the first ever female World Championship for wrestling was held in Norway. Female wrestling was introduced as an Olympic event during the Athens Games in 2004. Ukrainian wrestler Irini Merlini became the first woman to win a gold medal in wrestling (48 kg weight category) at Athens.
At Go2Karate™ we list a large amount and variety of martial art schools that will serve your needs in the wrestling category of martial arts. You can take training at the institutes mentioned in this website to enjoy a fit and healthy body and also for self defense.
The history of Wushu
The origins of Wushu can be traced back to primitive times. The precursors of Wushu were Xi or sport, Jiaodi or wrestling, Wu or dance and Ganchi or the axe and shield. Fighting styles developed alongside the social development in China. Notable periods were the Zhou Dynasty, Qin Dynasty, Yuan Dynasty and Ming Dynasty extending from the 11th century BC to the 17th century AD. A large variety of Wushu styles emerged in the sports realm. Among them were the martial styles of Jiaodi or wrestling, Jijian or fencing, Jiaoli or strength and trial, Xiangpu or sumo, Ciqiang or fighting with spear and Jiaobang or fighting with staff.
Classification and content of Wushu
There are a number of schools of Wushu. It is classified into five types: Barehand Wushu: All the bare hand martial skills are included in this Wushu like Changchuan or Longfist,Xingyiquan, Baguazhang or Eight Diagrams Boxing, Taijiquan or Grand Ultimate Fist, Nanquan or Southern Fist, Chujiaoquan, Ditangquan or Ground Fighting , Bajiquan, Tongbiquan or White Ape Fist, Fanziquan, Shaolinquan or Shaolin, Piguaquan. Weapons Wushu: The weapons used in
Wushu can be differentiated into four subcategories:
a) Short weapons like the dagger, broadsword and sword
b) Long weapons like halberds, staff and spear
c) Soft weapons like the rope dart, meteoric hammer, three section staff and nine section whip
d) Double weapons like double halberds, double sword, double broad sword, double twin head spears and double hooks.
Set Sparring: This can be separated into three types:
a) bare hand vs. bare hand
b) bare hand vs. weapons and
c) weapons vs. weapons.
Group Exercises: This classification includes all exercises as practiced by a martial arts’ group, in synchronized movements forming patterns and using or not using weapons.
Free Sparring: This encompass all fighting duels between two fighters as per fixed rules. Weapon duels and Taiji Push Hands fall into this category.
Styles of Wushu
A number of distinctive Wushu styles has developed over two thousand years in China. Each style has its own peculiar ideas and techniques. Most styles, however, have common themes. These themes can be classified into families or “jia”, schools or “men” and sects or “pai”. Styles that mimic animal movements exist. Some styles collate inspiration from a number of Chinese legends, myths and philosophies. A few styles concentrate into harnessing “qi”or natural energy and some others focus on competition.
At Go2Karate™ we list a large amount and variety of martial art schools that will serve your needs in the Wushu category of mixed martial arts. You can join any of the training institutes listed in this website for self defense and also for a fit body, mind and soul.
During a contest involving any style of Wushu, judges or referees keep an eye on a set of eight features. These are breath, eyes, hands, steps, use of body technique, strength, spirit and ability. The International Wushu Federation is the governing body that is incharge of handling Wushu events across the globe. It was formed in 1990 to ensure that Wushu finds a place in competitive sport, with specific reference to the 11th edition of the Asian Games held back then. The Federation has been striving to ensure that Wushu be included as part of the Olympic Games. During the 2008 Olympics, a Wushu tournament was permitted to be held in Beijing, though it was not part of the official games schedule. Also, as a form of respect to the Chinese martial arts, IOC regulations which specify that non-Olympic sport contests are not allowed to be held in Olympic hosting cities were given a go-by.
Competitive Wushu can be divided into two segments – taolu and sanda. The rules for the two are separate. Taolu has a set of movements or patterns, and is exercise oriented. Sanshou or sanda is a combat sport. Sanshou includes many aspects of martial arts such as striking and grappling. Later, when it was developed into a sport, attempts were made to make it less violent. Many restrictions were brought in which meant that blows could not be delivered to the back of the head, spine or the groin. Both Taolu and Sanshou are recognized by the Federation, and competitions are held in the two forms.