Archive for the ‘General Martial Arts’ Category

Quick Update 2016

        Just a quick update. I will post new things soon enough. I have been pretty busy training, passing the FIC, training in Filipino martial arts in the Philippines and moving. I will post more about my experiences taking the Kukkiwon Foreign Instructor’s Course and Taekwondo training as well as my experiences training in Ensayo Kali in the Philippines. So stay tuned for that. I have been sick for awhile and I am recovering and doing various things.

Here is a short video made by my friend Abby who runs a Korea Vlogging channel on YouTube. We visited the Kukkiwon together:

Popular Machado BJJ Black Belt Gives Respect To Taekwondo

        I thought this was pretty interesting. Jean Machado who runs TheMachLife YouTube channel that makes many comedy videos about BJJ, the martial arts, and other topics did one on Taekwondo. I thought it was going to be a video making fun of Taekwondo, but instead I was delighted to find out he instead was showing how amazing Taekwondo is and how it deserves respect. That is very encouraging to me and it is great more BJJ guys are becoming open minded about martial arts. I guess he was really a brown belt when he made this video, but he is now a black belt. Watch the video:

Earning My 1st Stripe In BJJ in Korea

        I received my 1st stripe in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in Korea. Apparently the name plate on the wall already had 1 stripe added to it in the gym. But I never got it physically put  my belt. But my instructor finally put it on and so I am official now. YAY! I feel good earning my very first rank in BJJ.

So now I am  Checkmat 1st stripe white belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. SO COOL! I feel like I have capable ground fighting techniques and am able to defend myself in a real life situation. Grappling knowledge has really helped me out in my martial arts journey. I have a great instructor at Fight Gallery in Bucheon who teaches very cool stuff.

Taekwondo Applications Fight Scene And Update On My Martial Arts Pursuits

        So I have been in Korea for 6 months. A lot of stuff has gone down, some negative stuff I can’t talk about that has to do with work, but other than that I have been training in Taekwondo and Jiu Jitsu frequently. I had stopped training in MMA classes because I have been to tired and did not have my head on straight because of stress so I do not want to spar and have something bad happen. I have stuck with BJJ diligently and even earned my 1st stripe on my white belt at Fight Gallery MMA. Unfortunately, my instructor forgot to put it on my belt, but he put it on my name plate on the door that I am 1st stripe. In my opinion you do not ask for a rank or care, you get it when you do. A physical stripe on my belt does not make me a better fighter. So I don’t care, but I am 1 stripe white belt rank now. I have a desire to try some more tournaments in the future. My teacher is really good and taught me some really cool stuff. But, for now I need to take a break because I ended up moving. Also, BJJ in the gi is murder on your fingers. It ruins them. It tears them up and breaks them up. It is bad for your hands in the long run. I feel that taking breaks will heal my fingers and keep their normal functioning lasting in the long run in my life. My goal is to stay healthy while learn a lot, and I sure have learned plenty in  ground fighting! I feel very competent for grappling in self defense situations with my Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Taekwondo skills, not to mention what I learned from Muay Thai and MMA classes.

        I have been trying my hardest to perfect my poomsae and have high quality Taekwondo skills. Master Jeong has helped me so much in Taekwondo to perfect my poomsae better. He is not only a great teacher, but also a great friend and someone who is there to help me in life when I need it most. He has gone out of his way to help me so much while I am in Korea that if it were not for him I would not have survived easily and been able to move and do things in Korea. In 1 week, this Saturday, I will test for 4th dan black belt. I know I will pass easily and cannot wait to finally have an official 4th degree black belt in Taekwondo by the Kukkiwon. It is so cool that I get to test in Korea as well! How many foreigners can claim they have tested in Korea with Koreans? I will definitely make a report on that after Saturday! I will tell you all how it works in Korea and what they require. It honestly is not very much!

        After I get my 4th dan I have to wait about 3 months in July to take the Foreign Instructor Certification Course in Muju at the Taekwondowon. That will make me a recognized Taekwondo master worldwide. This is the reason I wanted to live in Korea and work, to have these experiences. To get my martial arts credentials going strong. Then I can open my own dojang and teach Taekwondo for actual fighting and self defense.

        Meanwhile Master Jeong had me fight him for a short video to showcase some basic applications for Taekwondo poomsae in a mock fight. We filmed a fight scene and I play a bad Taekwondo gangster. Check out the fight scene and enjoy it! We had a lot of fun and it is supposed to be funny as well as show some maneuvers of poomsae applications. I hope you enjoy it! We will make many more episodes. I have only been 2 of the videos so far. Episode 1 I was not in, but I was in the last part of Episode 2 and then Episode 3. Check them all out! We will be making episode 4 soon!

 

*UPDATE* Episode 4 was made May 17th. 19 days after this article was originally published. Watch it below!!!!

Training MMA In Korea

        I was invited to train with a small club for amateur MMA who meets at the gym where I train. We trained on Sunday and it was pretty hard training. We did pad drills, takedown drills and various kinds of sparring such as grappling with punches sparring, stand up striking like Muay Thai style sparring and NoGi grappling parring and finally MMA sparring. Of course we used plenty of control to make sure we were safe and no one got injured; but that does not mean it didn’t hurt or it wasn’t tough! It was! And it did hurt! But it was a good experience to make me a better fighter and martial artist. If I plan to teach Taekwondo I want to know what I am made of and if I am worthy of being an instructor who teaches people how to fight.

        I just have a sore jaw, nose and of course my injuries on my body are very sore from the past surgeries I have had. Some of the guys are advances in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Boxing, and Kickboxing. One guy who was nearly 6’5″ was a professional MMA fighter in Korea and a Korea Kickboxing champion. The rest were beginners. One was a wrestler/grappler with no striking experience. So we just had a lot of fun!

        Padwork

       MMA NoGi Grappling Sparring

       Stand Up Kicboxing Sparring

It was a goo training session and it gave me more confidence and showed me may weaknesses to try and fix. I hope to keep getting more confidence so I will not fear fighting and be a stronger person.

 

 

A Wonderful And Devastating Display Of Traditional Martial Arts At UFC Fight Night 82

        There was a wonderful display of traditional striking techniques shown by Stephan Thompson, a Kempo Karate expert and elite kickboxer at UFC Fight Night 82. Johnny Hendrick’s was on the receiving end up a few hard kicks and punches that knocked him out. A great article about this topic can be seen on Bleacher Report. You should give it a read.

From Bleacher Report:
“The traditional martial arts have long gotten short shrift in modern MMA. The Gracie family sponsored early UFCs as glorified infomercials for their Brazilian jiu-jitsu fighting style and quickly proved their point—that a fighter had to know how to grapple to succeed in real-world hand-to-hand combat situations.
Their early dominance briskly undid many previously long-held conventions about how to fight. Simply put, the Gracies made a lot of traditional, stand-up-oriented martial artists look like fools. Even as the legendary family faded from prominence in MMA, practitioners of no-frills western systems like wrestling and kickboxing largely went on to dominate the next two decades.
Jae C. Hong/Associated Press
Chuck Liddell throws his trademark overhand right.
Classic movie-house forms were summarily overshadowed. A lot of professional fighters may well have started in karate, taekwondo or kung fu as kids, but few of them fought like it once they arrived in the Octagon.
Former light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell—or at least his deltoid tattoo—claimed allegiance to kempo karate, but he fought like a brawling kickboxer when it mattered.
Welterweight kingpin Georges St-Pierre boasted a background in kyokushin, but he was known more for his dynamic wrestling during the heart of his UFC career.
Only light heavyweight titlist Lyoto Machida stood out for his classic karate fighting style—and his reign on top was so short it became a punch line. Machida’s elusiveness and counterstriking were always his calling card, but his patient, unorthodox methods sometimes seemed to work against him when judged according to MMA’s unified rules.
Andre Penner/Associated Press
Lyoto Machida is one of the few to find success through karate.
The Octagon forced fighting styles to evolve with unprecedented speed, and efficiency was at a premium. Techniques that were deemed outlandish or ineffective were quickly cast aside while less flashy but operational skills became the bedrock of modern MMA.
However, this latest—and arguably most unexpected—bend in the evolutionary road makes it seem as though some brands of traditional martial arts were dismissed too hastily. Without warning, our sport has perhaps crossed another generational threshold.
Suddenly, little by little, MMA appears to be headed back to the dojo. Methods that were once considered dead on arrival in the Octagon are experiencing a revival.”

What encouraging words from a standard MMA journalist. The prove is there again. Traditional martial art styles have always been valid. There was simply a point in history where Karate, Kung Fu, and Taekwondo styles were unable to keep combat effectiveness due to a lack of venues to fight in and a decrease in the acceptance of fighting for sport. Boxing and other mainstream concepts have always been acceptable to society through the last century, but more serious ideas such as kicking the legs and other parts has been looked down upon. Only in Asia did Muay Thai stay strong and other various kickboxing methods. In Brazil they have a history of Vale Tudo and the lack of understanding of grappling and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu reign supreme for nearly 100 years in Brazil.

Karate and other styles not having to prove themselves in open combat made it easy for shysters and charlatans and other bad things such as mysticism and nonsense to invade the arts. Moves increased this concept with all of the wild Kung Fu and Ninja films in the 70’s and 80’s that allowed martial arts teachers to hide in the shadows of mysteriousness and what is foreign and unknown. Of course many true masters kept the true traditional arts alive and strong (People like Mas Oyama etc.), and traditional techniques always have worked. It is just so many did not know how to make them work and the early UFC battled int he Octagon are a poor example of martial arts masters. That is why BJJ always won as well as wrestling. Now with the knowledge of grappling and how to stuff takedowns the stand up fighters are continuously knocking people out with wrestling and boxing backgrounds. If you did not train your body to kick high and have good balance or understand elusive techniques then he has a serious chance of getting knocked out be experts in a traditional style. Fight Night 82 is an example. I believe to be a good fighter and martial artist you should specialize in something and master it. Gone are the days is just power lifting an learning to throw left hook combos and sprawl. You really have to know more and also try and master something. Jack of all trades will no longer be the champions.

I Saw Road FC 28 Live In Korea

        I was lucky to be able to see Road FC 28 live in Seoul. It was a great experience and my first big level MMA show to see live. I have only seen low level local MMA in Louisville, Kentucky and Birmingham and Tuscaloosa, Alabama before. I had so much fun. The guys at Fight Gallery the MMA gym I train at had an extra ticket and called me up. Korean guys are so cool to hang out with! I had a great time.

        Also, Moon Jae-Hoon won his match! He is a WTF/Kukkiwon black belt Taekwondo fighter! YES!!! Here is a video of the match I filmed:

As you see it was a great day for the Korean martial arts scene and Taekwondo!

I Am Now Training MMA And BJJ In Korea, Kyeoktuki

        Recently a new gym opened up in my neighborhood here in Bucheon, Korea. It is literally about 500 feet away from the outside of my building. There is no reason not to check it out, so I did. I ended up feeling the place out and I signed up. The instructor was cool and all the students were very nice. It is a place that lacks the big stink of ego that seemed to plague every American MMA gym. Koreans have a more respectful attitude in their culture when involved in activities or within an institution. Places such as jobs, schools, your church, your group of friends, or your martial arts gym are full of a lot of respect and calmness. This is not to say that every part of Korea is respectful, because any other international resident living here will tell you that Korea has some of the biggest aholes in the world and people who exude some of the most backward, irrational behavior in all of Asia. Nevertheless, this does not take away the fact that Korea generally has a more respectful and honorable attitude than other places. Especially within the martial arts. It feels as a little of the Taekwondo spirit is left inside MMA here. The Korean Mudo spirit. You can feel it even if there is no Taekwondo in these gyms, unless someone trained in it before; but it is not taught.

        So I felt safe here and had a positive experience. I have trained for a week. I go 2 nights a week for about 5 hour worth of training. It is very good training and even includes 5 rounds of circuit training for body conditioning. I tell you, I am so sore.

        Studying Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is my main goal. To learn fundamentals, obtain a strong ground fighting structure for self defense, and hopefully earn my blue belt at least. The other things I learn at this gym is Muay Thai and MMA, which combined it all together. I am learning some wrestling stuff with the Muay Thai that is going to help me be a better fighter. It has been some very fun training.

        The training is safe so far, no one is hitting full contact and our classes are working strictly for the purpose of getting techniques down. The Korean students, even the big boys, those few giants of Korea you see, are some of the nicest guys and fun to spar with. I even noticed that there is 1 girl training to who is a white belt beginner. It is a safe place.

Here is the link to the gym. It is called Fight Gallery.

What is interesting is that this gym is called “Kyuktooki Garrarri,” if you sound out the Hangul when reading it. So it says, “Fight Gallery.” MMA and Kickboxing here is often referred to either as K1 (As in K-1, the Japanese Kickboxing promotion) by the average Korean, or Kyeoktuki. There was a DVD released a decade ago by Turtle Press called Kyuktooki: Korean Kickboxing and I bought it a few years ago. Many westerners wanted to understand what it meant and if Kyuktooki is a real Korean style of martial arts. Finally, I know the real answer. Kyuktooki, or Kyeoktuki, is not actually a martial arts style, but more of a kind of martial art, or type of martial arts. It basically speaks of free fighting. What Kyeoktuki actually means when literally translated into English is “hit fighting.” Or “striking fighting.” It basically is the term for real Kickboxing as well as used to describe MMA (even though MMA has grappling too). Kyeoktuki is a style of martial arts much the same as MMA is a style of martial arts. However, there are organizations in Korea that claim they teach Kyeoktuki and they have made it their ow style with their own black belt ranks. So there are certain organizational styles of Kyeoktuki, but overally it is not actually a special ancient Korean kicboxing style. Much like the Turtle Press DVD actually says, Kyeoktuki is a mixed style of free fighting that can include anything from Taekwondo, Karate, Muay Thai, Judo, Wrestling etc. All of the rage from Thailand about how Korea is “stealing” their martial art or lying about something are nonsense. Korea is not stealing or claiming to have created anyting. Many Kyeoktuki fighters are Muay Thai stylists. Most are actually. There are also a ton of Taekwondo Kyeoktuki fighters. Kyeoktuki is a general term for a more serious fighting sport, that does not include Olympic Taekwondo since it has such limiting rules and tons of padding.

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Starting over as a white belt is good for any martial artist to learn humility. This is me in my new gi (dobok) and with my new instructor.

        So now I can actually say, “Hey I am training Kyeoktuki in Korea” which is kind of cool, even if it is just MMA. Now when I describe my Taekwondo training and studies in Korea to people here I can just say, “I train in Taekwondo for Kyeoktuki and want to teach Taekwondo for Kyeoktuki and not the Olympics. The average Korean instantly understands what I mean. They are also fascinated to know their native martial art is actually a self defense system when I explain to them that my “boxing” is actually just Taekwondo. They are confused when I throw straight jabs and rights from up above and not from the hip. The average Korean has seriously lost all sense of what Taekwondo started out as because of the Olympics and stupid cornball, Taekwondo dancers everywhere. Also, they see poomsae a lot, but really do not understand the point. Along with the term Kyeoktuki, I mentioned Mudo which is the Korean transliteration of the Japanese term of Budo which is the way of the warrior. Taekwondo is Mudo, and it is Kyeoktuki when taken out of the Olympics context.

        Now about my training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, it is humbling to start over at a new gym as a white belt. Oh, yes I have done this before in Judo, Boxing, and MMA in America, but yes I am doing it again and it is only going to benefit my martial arts spirit. My goal right now is to gain competent ground skills for real self defense and be able to hold my own if I get taken down in a fight. The other goal I have is to earn my blue belt. After that I will see if I will one day earn a purple belt. Who knows. My instructor is a professional MMA fighter and he is a cool guy. He is a 4 stripe purple belt and he is very calm and kind. He also has a decade of Wrestling/Judo/Muay Thai/Boxing training. He speaks English (Thank God) and he has a warm heart for foreigners. Fight Gallery is a great place for non-Koreans who speak English and it is a welcoming environment. I will give more details of my training in future posts. Stick around and check back from time to time.

        So now I am doing Taekwondo and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu with Muay Thai and MMA on the side. I hope this helps me be a true martial arts master. When I earn my Taekwondo 4th dan this year at the Kukkiwon I want to know that I deserve to be a teacher of the fighting arts.

Watch This Kyrgystani Kickboxer Kid And His Little Pad Holder

Check out these cute Kyrgystani kids! Watch the little kickboxer and his small coach do a drill. How skillful!! So cute!

2 Amazing Kickboxer Kids

The link is on a Facebook video so click above it’s worth a view. Apparenty, these kids are from Kyrgystan and maybe their father taught them. Both move so good. The way the child holds the pads is expert level and the kid performing the striking looks clean. He even does spin kicks and back kicks. Very cool! I always love to see nice videos of child martial artists and see the future talent!

Movement Coaches Are All The Rage Now And I’m A Skeptic

        Word champion fighter Coner McGregor hired a movement coach named Ido Portal. He won his fight against Jose Aldo and now many MMA guys think they need a special movement coach to help them move better and somehow it translates into fighting.

Ido Portal is basically a hippy, new ager who created some movement routines for guillible hippies and hipsters. He even has long hair and a man-bun to “top it off.” In the above video you see all kinds of wacky movements, but most of the movements are not actually wacky and are found in various disciplines such as dance soccer, and martial arts. I am pretty sure Brazilian Jiu Jitsu guys work on crawling motions that are scene in the video. You do not need a special man-bun, new ager to teach you how to move if you already tae Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. I don’t know what COner gets out of this training except some boastful psuedo philosophical, delusion of grandeur about his abilities. The fact is often times having a delusion of grandeur about yourself and how special you are to the universe helps you win titles in MMA and boxing. Even if you do win, some of the things McGregor says about himself are still total delusions. BUt that is part of his entertainment value. His movement training is also entertaining because of its silliness and total pretentiousness.

Ido Portlan has “movement camps” that you can go to f you are rich and want to waste time moving around with other people.

Yes some of the movements are hard to do and take athleticism, but the average person does not have such prowess. Many of the movements scene are found in gymnastics and various dance styles and some sports like soccer as well as taking concepts from martial arts. But obviously training in actual martial arts s far superior than wasting time in a movement camp.

The point I am trying to make is this new movement trend, which is basically a result of the hipsters taking over MMA and BJJ, is pointless when you can just train in traditional martial arts styles of various Kung Fu, Karate styles, and Taekwondo that specialize in all kinds of movements and intense motor coordination. The MMA world has often shunned all traditional martial arts not deemed acceptable by certain folks such as wrestlers and boxers and Muay Thai guys, yet now these MMA fighters are embracing this silly movement trend. So bypassing actual martial movement styles for some hippy dude with a weird name that sounds like a bag of potatoes and an internet program is just ridiculous. Why does poomsae and kata  exist? It is total body control. Also taking grappling classes will help you move on the floor just find without a man bun new ager guiding you.

I just don’t see a point and I am septical of this coach. I kind of agree with what one poster said on the Sherdog Forums, that Ido Portal is a snake oil salesman. Sure many of the movements he teaches are good because the average child already did them for many years on the playground at the park or school. Also climbing trees. It is funny to see grown men walking aroun an hanging on stuff like it is some spiritual mind and body unifying thing when 5 year old children do it every day without a thought.

Does anyone know Ido Portal’s credentials? Why even train with this guy? Why not go to a licensed physical therapist who is an M.D. and understands the anatomy of the human body in a scientific way? That sounds far superior than some street gymnastics guy. Nevertheless, Coner McGregor is still highly entertaining an his open mindedness about martial arts is refreshing and is one reason he is good, even if I believe he is being duped by this Portal guy.

If people an spend hours doing movement training, there is no excuse as to why an MMA fighter cannot dedicate a few hours a wee studying forms from Karate or Taekwondo. I wonder if ay MMA fighter will actually see the light and start developing crisp and precise movements through actual traditional martial arts motions. Most MMA fighters have no patience to learn perfect traditional movements of martial arts and think it is a waste of time. If they would open their minds to the older combat arts they would have better technique by far instead of so many with sloppy punches. By far people with years of traditional training who transition into MMA do better than the average MMA gym member with gold belt dreams (that will most likely never come true).