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Judo – The Gentle Way

Martial art uniforms are basically the same, the same white canvas. Regardless of the type of martial art, whether karate or judo or even tae kwon do, they all use the same uniform.
Judo is a highly specialized form of unarmed self-defense. It is a milder form of jujitsu, a rather violent type of martial combat from which it evolved. The origin of jujitsu is lost in history. Old Japanese chronicles record the development of this skill by Chinese monks living in the twelfth century. Because their religion forbade the use of arms, they devised a method of protecting themselves against personal attack without the use of weapons.
The art of jujitsu was introduced into Japan in the latter part of the twelfth century where it became an important form of fighting among the Samurai warriors. With the breakup of the feudal regime and the emergence of feudal Japan, the systems of self-defense that continued to be taught were many and varied, with no standards of regulations.
In 1882 Professor Jigoro Kano established in Tokyo a school called Kodokan and named his sport “ju-do” or “gentle way.” He laid great stress on the “do” of judo, which means a way or concept of life. He believed that considerable mental as well as physical training could be accomplished, since the competitors had always to be on the alert to discover the weak points of their opponents and were taught to exercise perseverance and a respect for others.
Japanese immigrants introduced judo to the United States. A great thrust was given to its development in the year 1904 when a Mr. Yamashita of the Kodokan visited the United States. He gave public demonstrations and taught the sport, having as on of his students President Theodore Roosevelt.
In 1932 a visit by Professor Kano to the United States resulted in the organization of several yudanshakais (associations). In 1952 Judo was accepted as a sport by the Amateur Athletic Union of the United States. The first national championships were held at San Jose State College in California.
Awards for efficiency are given as follows: as the judoka progresses from the sixth kyu (rank) up through the first kyu, he is allowed to wear belts of different colors to denote his degree of accomplishment. The sixth through fourth kyu students wear white belts, and the third through first kyu students wear brown belts.
With further training the student may qualify for shodan or first-degree black belt. In this black belt division there are ten degrees.…

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Krav Maga, the Modern Approach to Self Defence

Krav Mag a Self Defence system which originated in Israel. It is the official tactical combat system of the Israeli Army. The name roughly translates to ‘Close Combat’ all Israeli Army Recruits including Women, receive basic Training in Krav Maga.
Krav Maga emphasis the use of the body’s instinctive reactions, the kind of moves the body makes under pressure. This instinctive moves evolved as basic survival skills. These moves operate below or consciousness so are the fastest responses we can have, it’s techniques and counter assault moves on these instinctive responses meaning our self defence response is the fastest it can be.
It may well be the most suitable self defence system for women, as it was developed by the Israeli Army which is one of the few armies which conscripts. Because of this it developed it had a very strong emphasis on ensuring the techniques and moves were built from the ground up to be practical for female soldiers.
Is Krav Maga A Martial Art?
While in some ways the moves may look familiar Krav Maga differs from Traditional Martial arts in a number of key areas.
No Ritual
Many traditional martial arts are steeped in ancient traditions, ideas and concepts whose times have long passed. Ideas such has repeated bowing, kneeling, and supplication of e student have no places in the system. It is important to note that it is a modern system built on modern principals and values and as such respect for your training partner instructor and the law are still paramount.
Training Focus
Training focuses on only one objective, ensuring your safety, So all training exercise, drills and games are practical and based on real world situations. There are no ‘fancy’ moves seen in many martial arts and the movies.
Focus on Student
In many martial arts the focus is on the instructor, they must be revered and called by names such as Sensei or Sifu. But in this system the most important person in the class is the student. The instructors jobs is simple, teach the student how to protect themselves as fast as possible. The instructors is judged on one thing, how capable the students are.
Is There an Age Limit?
The System is designed for the life or death situations, as a result the defence techniques, training drills and are very adult in nature. It should not be confused with sports based martial arts which parents often seek to enroll their children in to build basic self defence and confidence skills. In general course participants must be over eighteen, however exceptions can be made in particular circumstances
Is it good for fitness
Classes can be a great workout. The training philosophy is that being fit is part of your self defence strategy. Classes generally begin with a ten to fifteen minutes warm up followed by lots of practical exercises and drills, classes usually finish with a high energy exercise designed to build the students ability to operate under pressure. All of this combines to make a Krav Maga class and ideal part of a fitness routine.
Krav Maga is a modern approach to martial arts for Self Defence and Fitness, it’s focus it to teach people how to protect themselves quickly in a professional environment and help with fitness.…

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The Disciplines of Mixed Martial Arts

Mixed Martial arts is the combination of several different disciplines where the only weapon you have is your own body. The unique thing about mixed martial arts is that you do not have to be an expert in all of the different disciplines. Many of the best fighters only use a few. However, to be a great fighter, you should have a basic knowledge of all disciplines. This knowledge will help you when you face an opponent that may have different skills than you. You will be able to anticipate his moves better and provide a counterattack of your own.
Muay Thai or kickboxing is a popular discipline and uses both kicks and punches to defeat the opponent. In Muay Thai, both opponents start in the standing position. A winner is determined when one of them hits the ground. Many of the best mixed martial artists use this as their base discipline.
Similar to Muay Thai, is the more popular Boxing. As you may know, in boxing you are only allowed to use your hands to strike your opponent and a winner is declared when someone stays on the ground for a ten count, known as a knockout. After a predetermined set of rounds and no knockouts, a group of judges will determine a winner. Though this method alone is not very effect in mixed martial arts, it is a very important discipline to have.
Another good close quarters type discipline is judo. In judo, you do not strike your opponent with your hands or legs, but instead you grab them and through them to the ground. This is done with a series of grappling moves that immobilize your opponent. Wrestling and judo are very similar and require a great deal of knowledge about different holds and maneuvers to lock up your opponent. Jujitsu is also similar to both judo and wrestling, but it focuses on getting your opponent into some sort of choke hold. This hold immobilizes the opponent and in some cases renders them unconscious.
These are just a few of the basic disciplines of mixed martial arts. There are many more variations out there that you can learn. To become a skilled mixed martial artist, it is a good idea to join a gym that has a trainer trained in one of the above disciplines. This will give you a base to start from and you can add other disciplines that compliment your base discipline.…

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Self Defense – Learn How To Defend Yourself On The Cheap

Sometime when you have absolutely nothing else to do, look at the Yellow Pages under self-defense classes. There you will see listings for hundreds of people who can teach you self-defense. It involves a big time and money commitment on your part. There’s not only the class time but the time getting there and back. Then there’s the money. They are not cheap. And on top of that you have absolutely no idea what background the person has who is teaching the class. He may be the real estate agent in town or the barber down the road. And nothing against barbers or real estate agents but…
But when you want to learn something, anything, doesn’t it make sense to learn from the best? They have the experience and the know how to teach you things that the others may never learn.
We have always recommended that the foundation for a good self-defense strategy is a self-defense course then followed by getting some self-defense products. Together these will improve your self-defense skills and improve your personal safety and personal security on the cheap.
We have found that the best way to learn self-defense is right in your own home at your own speed. And oh yes while you’re at it, learn from the most highly thought of professionals in the field. This way you can learn at your own pace with or without friends or family and repeated as often as you want.
There are self-defense courses designed for beginners based on the Oriental martial arts “Jeet Kune Do.” It can best be described as a ‘style without style.’ For a beginner who wants to learn the basics of self-defense quickly from an expert this self-defense training DVD called “Street Safe” is perhaps the best in the marketplace.
Then there are other martial arts DVDs for more advanced pupils too. And since women are the targets of much more violence than men, there’s a special martial arts DVD especially for them by an assault survivor and martial arts expert. In the DVD Womens Combat she shows special techniques for women on evasion techniques, predator defense and rape prevention strategies.
Once you have mastered some basic self-defense techniques then move on to getting a self-defense item such as a stun gun, pepper spray, personal alarm or maybe even a taser to round out your program. Armed with some self-defense techniques and one or two items you will become a formidable force not to be messed with.
Having a good protection strategy with a self-defense course then followed by getting some self-defense products will improve your self-defense skills and improve your personal safety and personal security and do it on the cheap too.…

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Getting Your Head in the Game – Psychology and MMA Conditioning

While getting your body into peak condition is essential for competing in mixed martial arts, there’s a lot more to MMA conditioning than just the physical side.
Like any other sport, the formula to success in mixed martial arts also has a mental component. If you check out the more cutting edge Web sites about ultimate fighting, you’ll see that an increasing amount of attention is being paid to the psychological aspect of the game.
The reason behind this shift in focus is simple: while just about everyone has access to the physical training equipment and services needed to compete in this dynamic sport, not everyone can find someone who can teach them the mental aspect of the game. Those that can become champions, those that don’t become the guys who tap out.
Royce Gracie’s Example
If you keep up with UFC events, you’ll see that the guys who win fights aren’t always the biggest, toughest guys in the sport. Royce Gracie is a fantastic example of this. Gracie is a legendary MMA fighter, but he is by far not a large person. Gracie’s success in UFC and other events comes from the mental preparation that is part of his MMA conditioning.
Gracie understands that to win matches, you have to understand yourself and your opponent. This psychological aspect of MMA is getting more and more press throughout the mainstream and online media.
Know Yourself and Your Opponent
By understanding yourself, you can break bad habits that impede your success in this dynamic sport. You can learn to use your strength, technical skills, and observations about your opponent seamlessly as part of a unified fighting plan.
Understanding your opponent is a part of MMA conditioning as important, if not more important, than any physical exercise. By learning how to quickly assess your opponent — his strengths, his weaknesses, his emotional and intellectual vulnerabilities, you can make use of this knowledge to negate any advantage he may have over you in terms of strength or skill.
Famed Chinese General Sun Tzu once said, “If your opponent is angry, annoy him.” This is an example of the use of psychology to win in combat. By being able to quickly draw a bead upon an opponent’s emotional state, can use your understanding of psychology to goad him, or to lull him into a false sense of security.
The great boxer Muhammad Ali was a master of using psychological warfare to “psych” out opponents.
MMA Conditioning Advice
There are some impressive sports psychology experts who are applying their knowledge to in MMA conditioning. Tapping into their knowledge will, without doubt, deliver a winning edge.…

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Consistency is Key

I recently attended a seminar given by a very famous martial artist. During the seminar, the participants partnered up and worked on drills that he demonstrated. One of his most impressive skills was his ability to land every kick in the EXACT same spot, consistently. My partner and I, both black belts with multiple years of experience in martial arts, struggled to merely execute the techniques properly, let alone to be concerned with consistency. And yet, isn’t consistency the key to success or failure?
defines “consistent” as:
1. Agreeing or accordant; compatible; not self-contradictory
2. Constantly adhering to the same principles, course, form, etc: a consistent opponent.
3. Holding firmly together; cohering.
4. Archaic. fixed; firm.
I really like the first definition, “not self-contradictory.” Consistency then means that if I am to be successful in martial arts, I must make a commitment to practice. If I fail to practice but still continue attending classes and seminars, then I become a phony. My teachers and I will know that I have failed to practice because my skills will wane. I will fail to be consistent and success will elude me. I will feel stress from the clash of my mental desire to be successful and my failure to practice.
However, if I spend time in practice, my skills will improve and my mental goals will be realized by my physical practice. My mind and body will become partners in seeking my goals and the stress from being contradictory will vanish. Once my mind and body merge, success will surely follow.
For example, when I reached a higher belt level in Tae Kwon Do, the practice time required to attain the next belt increased significantly. The bar was raised much higher from “intermediate” to “advanced” and I struggled during one of my tests. Although I passed, my teacher was disappointed and reiterated that I must understand the difficulty that was before me. I balked for a while and felt like quitting altogether, but I didn’t.
As in definition number four, I held firm. I became resolute in my decision to attain the goal of black belt and I eventually made it. It took three-and-one-half years to earn the belt, and earning it was the hardest task I have ever undertaken. Had I failed to practice consistently, I would have never made the rank of black belt.
However, will I ever achieve the level of success that will propel me to fame and fortune? I doubt it. As with anything, achieving a very high level of proficiency requires many, many years spent in practice and training. I will not achieve that level of technical success because I do not practice daily. I have chosen to move in a different direction and now consider my ultimate goal more of a “dream” that I may or may not realize. My mind and body agree and I am at peace with my decision.
Perhaps, though, you have a goal that is languishing that you have a deep desire to achieve. Do you want to lose weight, stop smoking, complete your degree, find a new job or spend more time with your kids? Consistency will help you realize that goal.…

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Enter the Dragon – Review of Famous Martial Arts Movies

“Enter the Dragon” is the final released movie of Bruce Lee before his tragic death. Bruce Lee is recognized around the world as the ultimate exponent of the ancient Oriental art form of self-defense, which was a combination of the best techniques from Karate, Judo, Hapkido, Tai-Chih and Kung-Fu.
Bruce Lee suffered a tragic, untimely and mysterious death on July 20th, just a few days after he finished “Enter the Dragon”. He had completed almost 6 movies based on martial arts before his death. “Enter the Dragon” was co-produced by Warner Bros. along with Raymond Chow from China. Fred Weintraub and Paul Heller were the producers for Warner Bros. “Enter the Dragon” was directed by Robert Clouse and Michael Allin was responsible for the screenplay. The cast included Bruce Lee Williams, John Saxon Williams, Jim Kelly Han, Shih Kien Oharra, Bob Wall Tania, Ahna Capri Su-Lin and Peter Archer among others.
The movie is a vast display of Oriental heritage and culture, as most of the movie was shot in the Orient. This 98 minute classic was filled with masters engaging against each other in the display of the violent art form. “Enter the Dragon” portrays Lee as a top-of-the-notch secret agent and a former expert in mixed martial arts. He is given the job of taking part on a bloody martial arts competition in order to investigate the alleged criminal activities being carried on by the host of this brutal tournament (Shih Kien).
Nothing is surprising about the movie as we are habituated to see Bruce Lee playing the role of the ultimate savior. However, if we look from the Oriental art of combat point of view, there is enough excitement and surprise to lure the martial-arts-frenzy-audience. Lee is as usual brilliant in his performance. One look at his style and you will realize why he is still considered as the God of martial arts. John Saxon Williams, who plays the role of an American participant, is amazingly subtle when it came to pulling-off surprising stunts.
The rest of the cast was brilliant and played their part with aplomb to make this movie a huge success. Special mention has to be made of Jim Kelly, another American taking part in the competition organized by Shih Kien. He delivers a power-packed performance especially in the scene where is fights to the end against Lee. Bob Wall and Yang Sze provide good support in their roles as masters of the art. Ahna Capri and Betty Chung are good in their small roles while Angela Mao Ying displays her Hapkido skills when she confronts a group of Kien’s henchmen.
Michael Allin’s script was justified by Robert Clouse and his amazing directional skills. The result was an amazingly fast-paced action flick that was quite rare during the 70s.
Gilbert Hubbs’ photographic brilliance is exciting as is James Wong Sun’s art direction. Lalo Schifrin’s unique background score is an important aspect of the film.…

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Martial Arts For Children – What Else Is Available Apart From Karate For Kids?

Martial arts are becoming increasingly popular in this current day and age. This is partly due to ever increasing crime rates and rising obesity levels. Martial arts are a great way not just in regards to self-defence but also with keeping fit. It is a great way for children to get involved with martial arts from an early age. There are many benefits associated with this such as keeping fit, being able to defend themselves against the school bully. Learning martial arts gives your children a new found confidence which can help them overcome many obstacles which they face in life at that early age such as shyness and even concentrating on their homework. It also enables them to learn a skill which they can carry on into their adult life.
The first step you need to take is to look for a style that will appear o your child. There are many to choose such as Judo, Karate, Kung Fu and many more. See what your child would have more interest in by taking him along to observe a few different classes. He may have a preference in a style which is more geared to high kicks and punching or he may prefer grappling and throwing. It’s not just for Karate for kids that is available you know.
One obstacle I personally came up against with my two daughters was the limited choice, but I do live in a rural area. If you live in a big city then the chances are there will be many to choose from and you can have a look at the various classes available to see where you think your child will best fit in. the smaller clubs and schools though in the rural areas do have their advantages though. They often are run by very experienced instructors with small class sizes which means more time is spent on each student resulting in higher ranking students in that style when compared to a large urban school in a big city.
It is paramount that you ensure the instructor is up to the job, you want to make sure your child gets the most out of it in terms of development and fun. Personally I find the large martial arts schools rather daunting for my kids. They often have anywhere between fifty and a hundred students, and in my opinion the children do not get the progress they deserve, whereas as mentioned the rural ones are the opposite.
I have martial arts to be hugely beneficial to my children. For instance it has helped my daughter to have the confidence to try new things. Before she started out in Karate she was a very shy girl and got spooked quite easily, but bow you cannot stop her, she has become something of a daredevil. The longer your child studies martial arts the more self-control they develop throughout their early life. There is so much more available than the usual Karate for kids that you hear parents talk about.…