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Xing Yi: A Devastating Internal Martial Art

Xing Yi is one of the three internal arts of China. (It is pronounced shing-ee and sometimes spelled Hsing I.) The other two internal arts are Tai Chi and Ba Gua. Like the other internal arts, Xing Yi focuses on the use of internal and external body alignment as well as the use of chi energy in combat situations instead of simply focusing on training for sheer physical force. The word “Xing” is most commonly translated as ‘shape’ or perhaps ‘form.’ The word “Yi” is translated “will” or “mind intent.” In combination, these two words can be translated in many different ways. The title of this martial art may actually have been created in order to give a number of different possible meanings. However, loosely speaking, the phrase could be translated “spirit and mind intent boxing,” “mind intent boxing” “mind and heart boxing” or simply “mind boxing.”
While Tai Chi uses soft movements and a Ba Gua uses circling and evasive movements, Xing Yi has a much more direct and simple approach to combat situations. The martial artist moves in a straight line directly for an opponent and lands devastating hits immediately. A person being attacked by someone trained in Xing Yi would see the martial artist coming directly at them in a straight line or perhaps not at all since this kind of attack can come very quickly.
In Xing Yi, the knees are bent like when a person is about to jump into the air. However, the force is sent forward instead. In addition to this forward force, the martial artists uses somewhat circular hand motions. Consequently, while there is a direct attack happening, it is very hard for an opponent to grab on to anything. Xing Yi is a little bit like having a fan on wheels coming directly at you.
The force tranferred using this martial art can be extremely powerful. It is not simply based on the muscle power someone has in their arms. Instead, the martial artist puts the power of the whole body into a punch and the energy built up in the approach as well. Master Kuo Yun Shen, a well-known Xing Yi practitioner, became known as the Divine Crushing Hand because on more than one occasion he killed his opponent with only one blow.
As a fighting art, this style focuses on a few moves training them in many different ways. This way, in a combat situation, the moves will easily be recalled by a martial artist. This way, rather than having a situation where a practitioner has a large number of moves to choose from and would have to spend time trying to choose the right move, a Xing Yi artist can immediately act without having to think about which move to use.
There are only five basic techniques in this fighting style: crossing, pounding, crushing, drilling, and splitting. These five basic moves are sometimes referred to by the names of the five elements: earth, fire, wood, water, and metal. Beyond these basic forms, practitioners can be trained in 10 to 12 animal forms. However, these animals forms are based on the first basic five moves
Xing Yi is a powerful internal art that is very useful in a combat situation.…

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Breathing Training For Martial Artists

One of the most important aspects of martial arts training is proper breathing. However, for practitioners of hard styles, effective breathing methods are often left to the students to figure out on their own. The central principle of breathing is of internal cleansing, getting rid of that which is old, worn out, and stale, and exchanging it for what is new, fresh, and energized. During inhalation we are bringing in fresh oxygen, nutrients, and vital energy. During exhalation we are expelling carbon dioxide and other toxins and poisons that we produce or collect in our daily lives.
There are a large number of breathing exercises. Some are simple and easy while others require years of practice. I will discuss the five I believe to be the most effective for the martial artists who are beginning to explore the potential of proper breathing. First, we will describe the two methods which are best suited for becoming aware of the body: Attention Breathing and Abdominal Breathing. We will then go on to the more advanced exercises of Reverse Abdominal Breathing and Nose Panting. Finally we will introduce The Complete Breath which is more challenging and requires increased concentration and practice.
In practicing these breathing exercises it is important to concentrate on breathing through the nose, both during inhalation and exhalation. Of course when training in the martial arts, breathing strictly through the nose is unrealistic. In fact it is physically impossible since the body’s demand for oxygen increases too fast for the nose to handle the flow. However, while doing these specific exercises it is important. Think of it as a closed circuit within the body, breathing in through the nose and out through the nose. If you open your mouth, you break the circuit and the energy dissipates.
Attention Breathing
It is important to realize that people breathe differently. Children tend to breathe with their abdomen, while middle-aged people breathe with their stomachs, and older people often breathe mainly with their upper chests. But the way people breathe is also affected by other factors, emotions, for instance, or ill health. Someone who is excited will breathe faster and shallower than someone who is sad. Someone who is calm will breathe slowly and deeply. Someone out of shape may be panting after a short walk or climbing some stairs.
Attention breathing, as its name implies, is about focusing your awareness on the natural rhythm of your breath, not to control it but simply to observe it as a bodily function. Your awareness is the instrument which enables you to shift from unconscious breathing to conscious, or dynamic, breathing. This shift is accomplished by concentrating on the feeling of the body as it breathes. Feel the air as it enters your nostrils. Follow it as it flows into the lungs and notice how deeply it reaches into them. Maintain your full attention and follow it back up as you exhale. Feel the used air as it is expelled from the body.
Gradually, as you become aware of the feeling of the breath it should become smoother and more relaxed. But don’t try to change your breathing during Attention Breathing. Your aim is to observe your unconscious breathing habits so you will be able to feel the difference when you actually begin dynamic breathing. If you find your mind wandering, simply catch yourself and return to the breath. Try to perform Attention Breathing for five minutes each day at the same time of day, perhaps in the morning when you wake up or at night when you are about to go to bed. As you become used to it, see if you can focus on your breath at other times throughout the day. Eventually the awareness of the breath and your breathing should become an integral part of your life.
Abdominal Breathing
Once you become aware of your breathing, it is time to begin modifying your breathing habits. Abdominal breathing is by far the best breathing method for people beginning to study breathing exercises. Regular practice brings quick, tangible results. It is easy to learn and difficult to do incorrectly. In addition, Abdominal Breathing has the benefit of invigorating the abdominal muscles. Their constant movement massages the internal organs and increases blood circulation.
The basic idea is simple: fill the lungs from the bottom up. Abdominal Breathing is about filling the lungs completely. Most people breathe using only their chests or the top half of their lungs. Abdominal Breathing seeks to expand lung capacity by starting from the lowest part of the lungs. The focus, therefore, is on the abdomen, an area roughly three finger widths below the navel. Known as the hypogastrium in Western medical terminology, this area is called the dan tien in Chinese and hara in Japanese. This point is the …

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A Review of the Martial Arts Museum

Most people wouldn’t realize that in the city of Pasadena, CA there are 27 Martial Arts Dojo’s and just Three McDonalds. In the State of California there are 13,000 studios and there are 30,000 studios all over the United States, with as many as 300 students each. In fact 2.7 million people in the US have engaged in some type of Martial Arts Training in the course of their life. Also over 17 million people are involved in Yoga which is considered a form of martial art training.
The Martial Arts Museum was started in Woodland Hills, CA. This non profit organization is not about pumping up who is the best in Martial Arts, nor is it any type of Sports Museum. It gives over 4 million Martial Arts Students a deeper look at the various Asian Artforms and how these art forms affect Western Culture. While you are here you’ll learn about Asian Traditions, Music & Customs which have their impact on the various Asian Martial Art Forms.
Seminars, Language Classes and Workshops are also held to educate people on Asian Culture. You can join as an individual for $50.00 per year or $100.00 per year for the family. Or you can get the elite Dragon Membership for $100.00 per year. Since this is a non profit organization all memberships are tax deductible. There are no complimentary memberships given for any reason. Even the original founders pay for their membership each year.
When you get access to this Museum, you’ll be able to see a ton of Samurai Swords. You’ll also get access to items from Enter The Dragon, Kung Pow and others. They even have their own film equipment so they can stage their own movies here. This museum provides a safe haven for youth to channel their energy in less of a negative direction and in more of a positive one. So far this museum has attracted over 5,000 visitors and have brought in money to the community by eating at city restaurants and residing in the local hotels.…

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Fine Arts

Tips For Betting on Mixed Martial Arts

Mixed Martial Arts, or MMA as it is commonly called, is becoming more popular each day. It is easily becoming one of the fastest growing sports in America. This is one reason for getting to know more about MMA, especially if you are a gambler. You should learn about the sport, the fighters, the standings, and how to calculate those key factors, which will help you to choose correctly when you are wagering on a fight.
MMA is a mixture of several types of fighting. It is part Jujitsu, part Judo, boxing, and Mui Thai. It is considered to be a full contact sport. While it is similar to other fighting sports, it is in a league of its own at the same time. Both striking and grappling techniques can be used during the match. This makes it possible for fighters with different fighting backgrounds to come together and compete against one another. This sport originally had few rules, if any. The more popular the sport became, more organizations such as the ISCF were created in order to bring the sport to another level. This led MMA to an organized sport with new rules and popularity.
When you are thinking about betting on an MMA fight, you will want to learn everything you can about the sport. You want to learn about each of the types of fighting that MMA involves, as well as the fighters. It is important that you know what gives each fighter an advantage while they are fighting. You have to be able to spot which fighter has the advantage due to past fights, specific advantages, fighting styles, and any other factors, which will contribute to them having the upper hand during the match.
You will also have to learn about how the odds work in MMA. The odds in MMA work in the same way as they do in boxing. It is simple to figure the odds in MMA. Basically, if there is a negative sign in front of the number, then that fighter is the favorite. In this same respect, if a positive sign is in front of the number, then that fighter is the underdog. Obviously, winning a bet placed on the underdog will bring you in a larger winning than winning a bet on the favorite.
You also need to know about the different bets you can make. You can bet on a variety of things for a particular fight. This includes betting on which round the fight will end in all the way to how it will end. When you are just getting started in betting on MMA, you will be better off staying with simple bets on the fight. Save betting on the other aspects until you are more knowledgeable about the sport. The more you learn about the sport of MMA and the fighters, the better you will get at figuring out how the fight will go. As you become more educated, you can begin placing bets on the other aspects of the fight.…

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Martial Arts Business – How to Sell Without Selling Out

Many martial arts instructors feel that there is a conflict between their values and doing what it takes to succeed. For many, the idea of martial arts marketing borders on prostituting their art. For others, it seems like the methods of successful marketing are contrary to their artistic sensibilities.
You were taught to be humble, but it seems that advertising is all about bragging. It doesn’t have to be this way.
Is Your Marketing Intimidating or Inviting?
One of the main misunderstandings about marketing that many people have is that it’s all about selling. You’ve seen the shameless self-promotions of the big business dojos. The full page ads in the phonebook, the coupon slips in the newspaper, the TV ads and the web sites are nothing short of disgraceful.
Look at their ads with the eye of a would-be customer. Most parents will approach a school with some timidity. Take that mindset and look at the looming, surly and hulkish image of the instructor. See the large classes in their video ads. Look at the students breaking five boards in mid air. As a parent of a 7 year old girl that’s scary, isn’t it?
Martial Arts Marketing Says That You’re Available
There’s an old saying in martial arts and mystical circles: “When the student is ready, the master will come.” While on a mystical level this is an instruction for students to open themselves up to learning, it also has a pragmatic application for teachers. You, as the master in question, have to put the word out that you are available to teach.
How many students out there are ready and waiting for a master? What if the master that appears to them in a Google search is you? Naturally, they will gravitate to you for instruction.
Martial Arts Marketing Doesn’t Have to Be Gaudy
The myth is that effective martial arts marketing has to be big, flashy and intense. Not only is this idea in conflict with martial arts principles, it’s in conflict with marketing in general. With that in mind, there’s nothing keeping you from using the resources you have available to market your school. Your flyers, brochures, web site, etc. can be as low key as you like.
Your counterpoint probably shouldn’t be completely Zen, but it can definitely be more…normal. Go ahead and display some fighting skills, but don’t make the soundtrack be heavy metal. Emphasize the values your students will learn. Show the benefits of your program. Any student you would want is after these lessons anyway.
Sticking to your principles in your advertising shows your integrity more than using archaic marketing strategies. In this market swamped with corporate sell outs, you would stand out simply because you don’t play their game.
With the right martial arts management consultant, you can learn everything you need to know to make your school a success without compromising your values.
To learn about the first and only No Membership Membership program in the Martial Arts Business Industry Click Here. PS It’s FREE!…

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Mixed Martial Art Training 101

This article is all about mixed martial art training, but first let me tell you what MMA really are. It can be defined as a fighting style in which the fighter is allowed a wide range of moves and techniques, which are a mixture of traditional as well as non-traditional fighting styles. Therefore, it’s the use of both the grappling and striking moves and techniques while standing as well as on ground in competitions so that all the different backgrounds could compete on a single platform. In simple words mixed martial arts can be defined as the blend of diverse fighting styles that creates an all-round good fighter.
MMA have started gaining more and more popularity, especially with the entry of pay per view reach and now many people all around the globe are interested in getting mixed martial arts training in order to become an all-round fighter.
Why are this is form of fighting becoming so popular? Well, you cannot be called a great fighter, if your expertise is in just one style of fighting. In order to be called an expert you have to be a master of different types of styles of fighting and therefore, the need of learning martial arts training enters everyone’s mind.
There are many different styles of fighting out of which some are wrestling, boxing, kick boxing, Brazilian Jujitsu, Muay Thai, Karate, Kung Fu and what not. Hence the more experienced a fighter becomes the closer he is to become a great fighter. It is really important to employ MMA in your training as well as against opponents and according to many fighters who have gone through many phases of fighting, mixed martial arts training is much harder than actually fighting.…

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Throw Out the Martial Arts Training Videos – Here’s A Simple, Highly Effective MMA Home Workout

The only trouble with Martial Arts training videos is they require a player to be able to use them. Busy modern lifestyles often leave little time for fitness training, this simple, highly effective workout can be performed almost anywhere without the need for a DVD player or almost any other equipment. And better still it can be done in only four minutes! Although a warm up and cool down are recommended.

The Tabata method consists of eight rounds of 20 seconds effort preceding 10 seconds rest, that’s 8 x 20 + 10 seconds = 4 minutes. Quick but not easy, this workout will make your cardio conditioning go through the roof while stripping fat from your belly.

It’s best to choose exercises that use large muscle groups rather than isolated body parts as the idea of the Tabata method is to work flat out during the effort section of each round during the cycle. This is key to gain the benefits in just four minutes you really have to work at very high intensities, nothing less than flat out will do.

Here’s an example of a good Tabata Workout

Hindu press ups

Fast press ups

Hindu squats with jump

Burpees

Hindu press ups

Fast press ups

Hindu squats with jump

Burpees

This will stress both the upper and lower body giving a full body workout in just four minutes! Of course, a warm up and cool down are recommended, which will prolong the workout a little but the whole thing can be completed in ten minutes or so. Alternatively, you could have a good stretch after the Tabata with the aim of developing flexibility. The muscles will be nicely warmed up and conducive to flexibility training.

Obviously, you can substitute your own exercises for those in the example but remember that the idea is to work at as high an intensity as possible. Fast repetitions are the key. You can judge progress by recoding the total number of reps during the entire Tabata cycle and attempting to beat that score and subsequent scores in later Tabatas.

The beauty of this workout is you can perform it almost anywhere. The one piece of kit I recommend is the Gymboss Timer which is small and light and takes the nuisance of watching the clock out of the Tabata method. This interval timer beeps when you need to rest and again when it’s time to start again. It can be set so that it lets you know when the workout is complete.

Combined with the Gymboss Timer the Tabata method makes for an excellent MMA home workout!…

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The Top 5 Martial Arts For Self-Defense

There is a lot of debate about the best martial arts for self-defense. Some consider sports based arts such as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Muay Thai the best. Others believe so- called “Reality Based” styles such as Krav Maga are better. Then there are those who are convinced that tried and true, traditional arts like Karate or Kung Fu are superior. Here is a list of 5 arts that many experts consider to be the best to protect yourself on the street:
1. Kickboxing: Kickboxing (including Muay Thai) is a great combat sport that develops both kicking and punching ability. It also teaches you how to take a punch. While it does not teach you other important aspects of self-defense (such as situation-awareness, prevention, etc.), it does develop the skills you need in a street fighting situation.
2. Karate: This Okinawan art is often looked down upon because of the many bad schools that exist. However, if you can find a good dojo, you can learn great striking skills that can be very helpful in a self-defense situation. Karate teaches you to use powerful strikes against the weakest points of the body, which is a very effective strategy.
3. Wing Chun Kung Fu: This is probably the most popular Kung Fu style that exists, mainly thanks to Bruce Lee, who learned it from grandmaster Ip Man. Like Karate, Wing Chun mainly focuses on lighting fast strikes to vulnerable parts of the body. It is a great self-defense style for women as, according to legend, it was created by a woman.
4. Japanese Ju-Jitsu: Developed by the samurai warriors of ancient Japan, this martial art can best be described as the “mixed martial art” of its day. Unlike the styles we mentioned before, which focus mostly on striking, Ju-jitsu has a much wider arsenal, including throws, joint locks and more.
5. Krav Maga: This fighting system was developed by the Israeli army and incorporates a wide variety of fighting techniques from striking to grappling and wrestling. Because it is meant for the battlefield Krav Maga has many moves that can be lethal, so they should not be used unless in true life or death situations.
There are so many martial arts that choosing the right one for self-defense purposes can be quite a challenge at times. While almost all martial arts will improve your self-defense skills at least a little, some arts will give you a bigger edge than others. By choosing one (or several) of the arts listed above you should be able to significantly improve your chances of surviving an attack.…

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Health and Martial Arts

In today’s society, the sedentary lifestyle is the norm. We may sit at a computer all day at work, or we may spend our evenings mindlessly flipping through the TV channels. From our physical, to emotional, to mental health the majority of North Americans do little to improve our fitness. Martial arts training has been shown to have a number of positive benefits for our minds and bodies as it incorporates strength training, aerobic training, stretching, and mental focus exercises. Indeed, through martial arts, enthusiasts experience not only positive body changes but improvements in mental acuity and focus as well as stress management.
As is the case with any form of exercise, it may take several weeks for an individual to visibly notice physical improvements. Nevertheless, in just a few weeks martial arts training helps to improve cardiovascular fitness while also lowering blood sugar and blood pressure. Generally speaking, practitioners start to experience higher energy levels while also shedding unwanted pounds and improving flexibility. Indeed, the regular practice of martial arts can help to reduce the risk for a wide range of illnesses from hypertension and diabetes to heart disease, respiratory disease, and obesity.
Similarly, martial arts can also have an impressive impact on an individual’s mental health. Some research has shown that consistent training can lead to changes in brain chemistry which ultimately translates to positive change in emotional, behavioural, and physiological states. One of the most common benefits of training with respect to mental health is mood elevation. As a practitioner begins to master new techniques and climb the belt ranking system, feelings of self confidence and esteem are heightened or begin to emerge. Moreover, mood elevation and heightened energy levels provide with improved resistance to depression, anxiety, and even physical illnesses. Through martial arts, you may learn better coping skills as you develop better focus and self discipline.
Many of the benefits of practicing directly related to increased physical activity. Adults know that you must get regular exercise in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Not only does MMA provide the perfect opportunity to improve your physical and mental health, but it values mutual respect and discipline. While you are learning new skills and techniques in the field of martial arts, you are working in a community of practitioners. You begin to build relationships that encourage your continued focus on the arts and your health.
More importantly, martial arts takes a comprehensive approach to health so practitioners are given an unprecedented opportunity to address their physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health as one in the same. Through systematic practice, health benefits are wide ranging and include improvements in strength, stamina, flexibility, movement, and more.…

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Home Martial Arts Dojo & Fitness Training Area – Ninja Style – Part Two – Adding a Rope to Your Gym

Though it may not seem like a martial arts tactic, a climbing rope is (in my opinion) essential for any fitness gym. Climbing up a rope will develop your arms, back and abdominals. They are easy to set up, fun to climb and you can get very creative with them.
I had mine high in the tree wrapped around a strong branch. I originally used it with a grappling hook to practice throwing up in the tree and catching onto a large branch. I eventually left it there after one of my climbs. I remember when Eye on LA (an TV show) was shooting the video and I was about to climb the rope. I asked them how they would like me to climb it – with or without feet. They were perplexed, so I climbed it without feet and remember the bottom of the rope bouncing around near the camera. Lucky for me I was on the wrestling team where access to ropes was a daily part of our routine.
Yes, there is a pretty big difference when it comes to climbing a rope with or without your feet. The later being far more challenging. Both require some instruction and practice. Climbing the rope itself will develop the grip and strength needed to climb higher. However, you might want to use some grip training tools that you can practice with at the office or in front of the TV.
The bottom of the rope was about head height which was great as I could use it for other training too. For example I would hang any manner of fruit (lemons, oranges etc) and then cut them to pieces with my swords and even kama.
A rope is not only for vertical climbs. It is also a lot of fun if you tie them from tree to tree horizontally. Almost every camp we have organized that included an obstacle course has included both the horizontal and vertical climbing rope. If you have a lot of rope, you can get very creative and come up with something challenging and fun to play on.
The rope I used as a teenager was the brown hemp rope. Mine wasn’t very thick (about 1-2 inches) so I tied knots in it to make it easier to grip and if you are barefoot you can step on the knots. Note that when you put a knot in a rope you are making it weaker, so be sure to use a very strong rope. Now I only use very thick rope (like something you would find on a ship) that is about 3-5 inches thick. These offer an amazing grip.
Static climbing or rappelling rope can be used too, but often they are too skinny to grip, so knots are usually a must. Best if you can double (fold) this type of rope so there is more security and more to grip.
A general rule for a good climbing rope is to have whatever you are grabbing to be about at least (thicker is easier to climb) the same width as a pull up bar, but never larger than what the hand can grasp.
I recently set up another large rope (about 3 inches thick) at our camp in Thailand (it was previously used to anchor a large boat). Climbing this monster, I was reminded of how great of a workout you can get – especially on the upper abs.
Be sure to find a rope that inspires you to climb and swing like Tarzan. All the playing you do on a rope will pay off with biceps, back muscles, improved ab strength and an amazing grip to list a few.
DO NOT use nylon ropes or anything similar unless you want to burn the skin on your hands and feet if you tie them horizontally.
If you have a small target to kick or punch, I suggest that you hang these on the end of your rope, but leave the rope hanging about head height so you have to jump up to it and so you can swing on it. If you do hang a punching bag or something to strike to the bottom, be sure that it isn’t a lot of weight and that you have your rope securely connected to a tree or other anchor.
It is also important that you check the rope regularly to ensure that it is safely connected to the tree and not wearing down from weather or general wear and tear. Never have your ropes rubbing against or along another object or they will slowly be cut. Best to replace your ropes on a regular basis if you suspect anything to be wrong with your rope.
Connecting your rope will require some experience with knots unless you are …