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Gangs Learn Martial Arts By Joining The Military!

This is an awful notion, that a gang member could learn martial arts by joining the army. The sad truth, however, is that gang recruitment is up, severely, and these gangs are actually using the military for training in martial arts, combat weapons, and all manner of skills. This could be utterly terrifying, if you think about it, a gang member being trained as a soldier and then turned loose on the streets of America.
That the number of these criminals enlisting in the military is up is without a doubt. According to the FBI there has been a sizable 40 per cent rise in gang membership since 2009. These are people reared in the gang society, don’t have work, and the military presents a viable option for earning a living.
To be honest, many gang members join the military hoping to get out of the gang lifestyle. Once in, however, they find a subculture of gang members embedded in the armed services. These embedded gangsters go about recruiting new gang members, and picking up any ‘strays’ that are attempting to leave the fold.
The FBI further says that they have evidence that over fifty different gangs, representing all the major gangs, have presence in the armed forces. These gangsters come from 100 different areas of the country. This is a rather large segment of the population.
The report details that only are gang members joining the military, but other equally undesirable elements are finding a home there. Also enlisting in the military are members of Outlaw Motorcycle gangs. There have even been reports of members of prison gangs joining up.
That this criminal element is becoming a serious threat to homeland harmony is obvious. These budding felon types can get military hardware, such as machine guns, and even explosive devices. All too often these criminal types join the army reserve, then go home on leave and share the training.
One rather sobering potential behind this rise in gang enlistment is the ability to use military resources to actually enhance criminal activity. Apparently gang members have been able to access military computers to ‘scope out’ potential areas to expand their activities. Gang members have been able to use the military database and communication systems to actually deal in drugs.
To summarize, it is hard to know what to do about this situation. The military needs intelligent men, and a clever gang member fits the need. At any rate, that bad people could learn martial arts, and actually use other facets of military training is something the federal government may have to meet.…

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Not Playing the Other Guy’s ‘Range’ Game

Bruce Lee was not the first person to advise not to play the other person’s game in a fight. But he was definitely the celebrity who popularized the principle. He got the message out to the offline martial arts world.
If it’s not too bold, I’d like to take some of the credit for promulgating the concept online. I started writing lots of articles that included the advice, starting in 1999-2000.
Briefly, it’s the idea of not wrestling a wrestler, not boxing a boxer, and so on. The chances are that an expert has more skill in his or her area of expertise. They know all the tricks. If you stick to their game, you’ll lose.
Your only chance is to break their rules. Don’t play their game.
The Martial Arts Range Game
This also applies to ranges.
Rather than giving advice like, “if the opponent has long legs, then don’t fight at a kicking range; get closer,” I think more general advice will be more beneficial.
My advice is, “Don’t give the enemy the distance that he or she wants!”
If you have played around with opponents before, then you know how to find where they are comfortable fighting. Often, they prefer a “sparring range.”
Simply find a way to avoid that (4-6 foot???) range, and you will take a lot of martial artists out of their comfort zones.
Let’s talk some more about how to do this….
Messing With Your Enemy’s Range
Imagine facing an opponent; he’s a big hairy guy with a scar down his left cheek.
As you square off with him, he starts to circle you… which is where the scene veers away from reality. In my reality, the enemy would be attacking… closing the distance quickly.
But let’s say you are training… and the big, hairy guy takes a stance at the edge of “sparring range.”
This is a possible scenario, right?
What do you do?
Well… you take a few steps back, quickly. What happens? The brute takes a few steps forward.
Next time, you rush forward (without getting picked off by the enemy). What’s the effect of your surprise, forward blast?
He takes a few steps back.
A light bulb turns on in your head….
Advance and Retreat in a Fight
You imagine combining both drawing him forward and making him retreat. You mix and match.
You step back, but as he steps forward, you change and step forward too. BAM — you surprise him with a hit or kick as the distance closes.
The next time, you take the step backwards, instead of changing direction, you continue to step back. Then maybe forward twice. Or forward once, back once, and then forward twice.
As I said, you mix it up.
The entire time, you have a goal, to avoid giving him his desired range.
Now, the real trick is to take your new skill and apply it to a real-life, self-defense situation. If you had a guy rushing you, ready to tear your head off, how could you use range to your advantage?…

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Types Of Martial Arts You Could Learn And Practice

We all have probably watched movies about martial arts. In fact, we oftentimes mimic the movement we have seen performed by the actors. These martial arts movies may even have sparked or interest to learn and master it. Just as what we have learned from the movies, there are various types of martial arts that an enthusiast could choose to learn. It is interesting to know that these fighting styles actually came from different nations and cultures. Below are some of them.
Aikido
This martial art hailed from Japan and was known to be developed by the Great Teacher, Morihei Ueshiba. This art involves joint locks and throws derived from Jujitsu and other techniques from Kenjutsu. With Aikido, you will learn not merely to punch or to kick your opponent; but to actually use his energy to throw them away and control the fight. This martial art is not static; it emphasizes on dynamic motion instead.
Bando
Bando or Bando Thaing is an armed/unarmed native combat style from Burma. It also adapts different strikes, throws and techniques from other martial arts like Karate and Judo. It also incorporates the use of fighting tools like sticks, spears and knives. The emphasis of this style is to initially withdraw and then attack from a point beyond the opponent’s reach. All body parts are used in attacking the opponent. After delivering the initial movement, other techniques like locking and grappling will follow.
Capoeira
This can be considered as a sport, art form and also a self-defense technique. It originated from Brazil and implements some aerobic/dance components. With this art, you will learn how to use both your body and your soul; you will learn how to fight while dancing; you will train mentally, physically as well as emotionally. This is not merely about singing or dancing, but about the energy you put into every move you try. It also involves harmonious relation between forces that will provide you with flexibility, power, endurance and also self-discovery. Nowadays, this art has been growing popularity as an aerobic alternative.
Jeet Kune Do
This art form is the complete embodiment of the philosophical and technical knowledge studied and passed on by the well-known Bruce Lee while he was still alive. This is to be considered as the root from which Bruce Lee himself was established. It was from this martial art that he personally evolved and discovered deeply about himself.
Jujitsu
This is the art of flexibility and suppleness, but learning this art is actually far from being supple. The principle in this art is not to use strength for strength. Rather, it employs using the strength of your opponent, as well as his attack force, as actual tools to use against him. It incorporates the use of joint locks, throws, chokes and unarmed strikes that can subdue even an opponent that is larger than you.
Krav Maga
This fighting system will show about preventing, dealing and overcoming all sorts of attacks and violence. This system was developed in Israel. It is performed naturally as well as intuitively. Students of Krav Maga are taught of combat and defense skills to protect not just one’s self, but also others.…

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Martial-Arts Novels and Ninja Techniques

I Used to Read Martial-Arts Novels, Too

When I was a teen, I used to read any martial-arts fiction that I could get my hands on. Kung fu comics with the evil Fu Man Chu — Kung Fu Mace Books — anything with a martial-arts hero.

I especially craved any books dealing with the ninja….

As such, my mind was filled with dipping shuriken in egg white, in order to poison my enemy.

And I also read about my protagonists throwing ball bearings and catching the enemy in the back of the neck, in order to knock him out. Note: Some people label anything thrown as a shuriken. These ball bearings can’t be called shuriken, since they aren’t specifically or metaphorically “swords hidden in the hand.”

Blow Guns and Shuriken in a Martial-Arts Class?

So, you can imagine how I felt when I walked into martial arts class one night and everyone was practicing with blowguns — yes, honest-to-goodness blowguns.

I was jazzed. What fun. I had a great time “playing” with these slightly impractical weapons.

More Realistic Martial Arts

Now, it’s time to get real….

I realize that when I write, there are several different “audiences” digesting these articles:

Some are practical martial artists. They sincerely want to defend themselves, if the need arises, but they realize that most of the time, society functions without constantly “dumping on them” and forcing them to use their martial arts.

Other people reading online articles do so to feed their fantasies, so to speak. These are the guys who are planning on carrying an arsenal with them wherever they go — shuriken, knives, powder to blind the enemy, and other concealed “mishegas.” These folks imagine threats around every corner. And these are the guys who are the self-appointed protagonists of the world.

Finally, there are those who have a healthy respect for practical application, and really do need to use their martial skills regularly. These are our law enforcement officials, juvenile detention officers, and kindergarten teachers (just kidding).

Note: I am willing to bet that you’d see distinct differences in the kinds of weapons that each group would choose to carry. You could probably discover similarities of choice of weapon within each group, but when comparing and contrasting across factions, the “flavor” of weapon would vary.

Martial Arts — Facts Versus Fantasy

I want you to take a more realistic view of self defense, not for my sake, but for yours. If the devices mentioned in this article seem like your cup of “hot chocolate,” then we need to do a little debriefing:

It would be pretty difficult, if not down right impossible, to hit the back of someone’s neck with a marble-sized ball bearing and cause a loss of consciousness. Not very practical, wouldn’t you agree? (And the legal consequences, if you did succeed …)

Using a throwing star to distract a guard like the ninjas of the past? Are you serious? The most obvious absurdity of all of this is that if “I” were the guard and someone nicked my arm with a shuriken whizzing by, my first thought would be “someone is trying to distract me with a shuriken!” And I’d focus in on where … you get the idea.

Also, if you had a bunch of razor-sharp throwing stars in your pocket, you might inadvertently cut yourself.

The legal ramifications of all of this … from concealed weapons to excessive use of force. Mind boggling and more than a little bit scary.

Yes, I do believe it’s good to train with as many weapons as possible. The coordination benefits alone are a big plus. And you never know, you might, one day, have to use a weapon in a real self-defense emergency.

Still, there is a big difference between familiarity with a throwing star and carrying a bunch of them with you wherever you go.…

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Art of Ninjutsu

When you hear the word “Ninjutsu” you may think of fighting. But Ninjutsu is not simply a fighting style. It is a collection of principles that dictate a way of life and exemplifies what the martial arts truly are. In order to master Ninjutsu you must master yourself. A ninja must be able to endure mental, emotional, and physical trials and do it with grace and fortitude. In most cases, this means to use great skill to avoid fighting, not to fight using great skill. To a ninja, peace is important and personal gain can not be placed before peace.
Before they can be called ninja, there is a great deal to learn. A ninja must be educated in many different subjects such as unarmed fighting, weapon arts, concealment, and strategy and tactics. There is one skill that ninja value possibly more than being able to throw shuriken or fighting. That skill is being able to read the signs of nature and react accordingly. This skill gives the ninja an ability that appears almost supernatural, allowing them to survive and adapt alone in the wilderness without help or abandoning their mission.
The unarmed fighting arts of the ninja are called nippon taijutsu. You should understand one very important thing about the way that ninja train for fighting or anything else: Ninjutsu training is designed to build your skill and to guide you, not restrain you. When you have gained the knowledge you need from the training, you are then free to adapt it in whatever way will benefit your skills best. For an example, when you learn oni kudaki, you are then free to add extra moves, take away moves, or simply adapt the movements in order to suit your own style best. You should ask yourself: “What if this should fail? How can I adapt if it fails and bounce back quickly?” and then work it out. A ninja is able and ready to think quickly. Learn from your training and then move beyond it.
Thanks to this concept, it is safe to say that when you study any martial art, you are working towards improving your Ninjutsu.
Extra Notes:
Ninja – both singular and plural. Nippon Taijutsu – Translates to mean Japanese unarmed fighting arts. Taijutsu includes Judo, Jiujitsu, and Aikido in Nippon. Compared to what you normally see, the way ninja fight is often more subtle and misleading. Ninja fighting is like a shadowy, meaning unreadable and deceptive, form of Judo and Aikido.…

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Carter Hargrave and Its Benefits Towards Children

If there is one foundational project that simply takes care of the children’s welfare then you probably may have heard of the Carter Hargrave foundation. Most importantly, if you would really like to learn some of the coolest Jet Kune Do fighting techniques, then you are actually looking at the right place.
So, why is this foundation that special from the rest around it? Having been formed in the year 1966, one of the main reasons would be the sterling history behind its actual founder who since his tender age has learnt to nature some of the basic fighting skills that would later be used in teaching other children as a way of enhancing self-defense as well as harnessing raw educational talent that, would server the future generation in years to come.
Okay, from ones point of view you may tend to think that there is nothing more that goes in this foundation apart from fight teachings. Well the truth of the matter is that it’s also considered to be a center where various kids across the globe are sponsored as well as being taught some of the various fighting levels categories under the Kempo, Kungfu and Jet Kune Do classes. This has undoubtedly earned it a place in not only the children’s hearts but also in the international scene.
Some of the fundamental projects that have seen the non-profit making Carter Hargrave rise to such ranks include education sponsorship, text book, community clean-ups and even organizing fun days in which children from all walks of life can get a chance to mingle with each other.
Moreover, with the introduction of the Hargrave Martial Arts foundation in its structure, discipline has been the key element that has been targeted on children who are still at their younger years as well as eliminate the norm of education only meant for those who can read in the society. The one thing with such kid foundations is that they will never luck community interest as well as interested business partner who would like to fully invest in helping today’s children to grow up and become literate and responsible adults in the future. It’s up to you to note the difference this and many other children foundations across the globe can actually bring into any child’s life.…

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Helpful Precautions For Your Safety When Cardio Kickboxing

Its not difficult to see why a person would choose to have kickboxing as their exercise program of choice. While cardio kickboxing would not be put in the same category as the actual kickboxing lessons, which focuses more on self defense and martial arts moves and techniques, the same basic elements which make kickboxing an excellent choice for self preservation, are what makes cardio kickboxing very effective for maintaining a healthy and fit body.
But, cardio kickboxing do pose some risks of injuries, but no more than what other full contact sports provide as well. This risks though are greatly lessened by just some simple precautions that can ensure your safety. Knowing these precautions will help you learn kickboxing faster, and develop your fitness more effectively as well. Many of these safety precautions are also being applied to other full contact sports as well, such as wrestling, basketball, and football.
• Do some stretching and warm up your body before undergoing a kickboxing training program. This will help you to prevent any strains and other pains while doing your kickboxing. Some light aerobics and slight treadmill work will help you warm up, while some bending and sit down stretching will help you prepare your muscles for the intense workout ahead of you.
• Prepare your equipment. You will need some loose fitting clothes to allow you free movement. Make sure though that they are not too light so that they will tear easily, or not too loose that they can easily fall off. If your working out on a hard floor, like concrete, don’t do kickboxing while barefoot. Good kickboxing shoes will help absorb the impacts when you jump and kick and also prevent you from slipping and falling down hard.
• Start slowly, especially for beginners, do not overstrain yourself such as doing too high jumps or putting too much power on your kicks. You might pull a muscle and hurt yourself. Allow your body to get used to the high impact motions you will be doing. Give yourself the chance to get used to the drills you will be doing and let your body adapt, do not be overaggressive.
• It is normal that you will feel tired while cardio kickboxing, this happens with any exercise program, but do not over exert yourself and take your body to its breaking point, learn to realize when your body has had enough and let it rest. Don’t try to keep up with those that are already at an advanced level, allow yourself to gradually intensify your routine and don’t be abrupt with the changes.
• Allow your body to relax and rest after an intense workout, drink lots of fluids so that you won’t get dehydrated.
• Focus on your kickboxing training, be well balanced and coordinated while doing your skills so that you won’t fall down and injure yourself. Also make sure that the area you are working on is clear of any debris or obstructions, they may cause you to lose balance when stepped on.
• Also, know the warning signs of your body, if you feel to tired, stressed, or you experience some aches and pains, don’t hesitate to rest your body or seek medical attention, this is not the movies where the hero tends to overexert themselves and still win.…

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Verbal Skills of Self Defense

Your aim with self defense should be to avoid confrontational situations altogether. Being aware of your surroundings and the people in it is key to this. However, there could be a time when you find yourself in a situation where someone is being verbally aggressive towards you.
Part of your training should include developing verbal skills to enable you to defuse this sort of aggressive behaviour before it escalates. Being able to successfully use these skills will help to prevent a potential aggressor from launching into a physical attack.
Generally a person being verbally aggressive towards you is doing so to “size you up”, they are trying to determine whether or not you are going to be easy prey. Their language is aimed to intimidate you and to try and get you to fall into their script.
They are looking to see if you become passive, fearful, timid and/or nervous. These signs show the aggressor that you are probably going to be an easy target.
Now there are times when you may want to use this type of behaviour as a deceptive strategy, however this carries a higher level of risk. The best course of action is to avoid showing these outward signs. Internally you may be fearful and afraid, but it is important that externally you appear focused, confident, relaxed and ready.
Some situations can start with as little as eye contact. You could be in a busy bar or club and inadvertently make eye contact with someone. Next thing you know they are right up in your face saying “What the f*** are you looking at?” It is important to remember you aim here is de-escalation. Do not get caught up emotionally on what is going on. Try using closed statements rather than questions or open sentences. Simply replying with “nothing”, or “I wasn’t looking at you” will probably lead to a continuation of this aggressive behaviour.
At Practical Self Protection we are committed to, and focus on, reality based self defense training. We focus on state of the art techniques and training methods that give you immediate results.…

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Find Out the Real Ninja Assassin Frame of Mind to Use in Everyday Life

What many people forget when referring to ninjutsu training is that ninjas have always taught that your mind is the most essential weapon, far above all others. While many individuals focus on their uniforms, fast moves or concealed weaponry, ninjas have always recognized that the mind is the top priority when it comes to ninja assassin training.
If one wants to live a strong yet mysterious life, then the best choice is to know the ninja methods and apply them in modern day living. We live in a highly fast paced world where people are always bouncing about. No one pays attention to details, their movements are all obvious and boring, and their lives are loading with anxiety and unease.
The current ninja assassin may rather well be hidden in the crowd, in the workplace, or right next to you in the corner store. Just like the ninjas of Japan had to discover the ninja methods in order to disappear into the shadows, the advanced ninja of today must also learn the ninja techniques in the current world and then has the talent to blend in the crowd. If you’re careful enough to spot it, you may have been at a store in front of a seemingly common guy, with a slight smile on his face. Seconds later you turn around. He’s gone. You look all over, however he’s nowhere to be seen. You might have just been in the presence of a ninja.
This is no joke and unfortunately the ninja lore of the past have been precisely that, tales from the past of questionable feats utilized by ninjas. When in reality, the ninja way of life was a strict, significant matter, with many tips of the trade set up out of the necessity to stay alive. But with the legends so powerful, nobody thought to go beyond them and start to discover the real ninja secrets, and apply them in the contemporary world. What a brilliant way to stop all the topsy-turviness and confusion of modern day life than to discover the true ninja methods, a thus rise far above and beyond the routine people out there.
Try to think of life as a chess game. Who commonly wins at chess? The person that can think 3 or 4 moves ahead of everybody else. You know what I’m talking about? The ninja assassin was known for clever tricks of gaining intelligence. Learn the ninja secrets and apply them in the modern world and your life will become like the chess board that you can move across with ease, knocking away the pawns left and right, in addition to announcing checkmate at each obstacle you ever face. While everybody else is intrigued with ninja of old, you will be one of only very few people that is really living the way of life of the ninja assassin.…

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Playing Like A Pro: Beginner Guitar Tips And Tricks

Have you ever listened to a great guitarist and thought you would never be able to play so well? However, the guitar is one of the easiest instruments to learn on your own. To learn more, read the following article.

Learn what the basics are. Before you run, you need to walk. You probably want to jam your favorite rock anthem from the get go, but you have to master the basics first. Learn finger positions. You will want to pay attention to the chords you need to learn as well as scales. Make sure you have these things down before moving on to anything more advanced.

Get a guitar instructor. You can learn to play the guitar on your own, but you can also benefit from learning from a teacher. Decent teachers can critique styles and give you suggestions for better playing. You can also get your questions answered by them which can help a lot.

Maintain your motivation. You should set both long-term and short-term goals when learning to play a guitar. If someone you know plays, join up with them for a music session every now and again. As one week ends, give yourself a reward for practicing everyday consistently. It will take a lot of hard work.

While this sounds obvious, get a guitar before learning how to play. If you are always borrowing one, it’ll make it tough to practice often. It’s important to have your guitar properly tuned, or it will sound incorrect.

Learn guitar tabs and musical notation. Musical theory lets you understand chords and scales. Learn the names of the strings and the notes for the frets. If you want to play riffs and melodies, this information is good to know.

As you start out learning the guitar, find an well-made instrument that you can buy and practice on. If purchasing one is out of the question, is there one you can rent or borrow? Using a quality guitar will ensure a better sound.

If you are learning to play the guitar, build calluses on the fingertips. Playing the guitar can be painful. Calluses will help. When you build your callouses it will take a while, but after you practice for some time you can be sure that they will form. There are products available that help them develop.

You should familiarize yourself with the guitar itself before trying to master playing it. That way, you will be prepared to start understanding scales, chords and string names.

Your fingertips will be sore after practice before you build calluses. It might be less painful to start with an electric or a guitar with nylon strings. One of the most painful and difficult instrument to play for beginners is the acoustic guitar with steel strings. Although you may get some relief if you soak your fingers in rubbing alcohol, you shouldn’t use things like turpentine.

Armed with the tips presented here, you are off to a good start playing the guitar. Use these ideas on your current or future guitar. Soon you will have increased your repertoire and your skill level.…