Posts Tagged ‘boxing’

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.

 

 

Advertisements

There Is No Excuse For A Taekwondo Black Belt Not Having Good Hands

        I do not believe that there is any excuse whatsoever for a Taekwondo black belt not having good hands. The inability to throw hands well in vital for any true martial artist, let alone one who proclaims advanced skill in the arts. Having solid punches and fast punches is important in self defense. Not only punching from the hp chamber, but being able to throw hands from above. You should not neglect any of these ways of throwing strikes. A Taekwondo black belt not only should be able to do traditional hand techniques with the various self defense blocks and strikes, but also be able to have a solid understanding of punching in fighting fundamentals, as in boxing skills. A Taekwondo expert does not have to be a world champion level Olympic boxer, but he should know the basics and be very good at them and train for speed and solid power to knock someone out. A real fight that goes the distance will cause the Taekwondo fighter to have to “fist up” so to speak in order to protect their body and also throw punches from this guarded up position. Here is a video displaying a way of practicing for speed and power I like to do. It has to do with warming up, loosening the joins, and carrying weights and shadow boxing and blasting punches.

        A Taekwondo black belt who cannot throw fists and block well has been one an injustice. If you recieved a black belt and your instructor did not teach you such basics of punching please learn on your own and find someone who can teach you. End the cycle of bad teaching and become a better martial artist on your own. Also, to say that because you are punching from above makes it “not Taekwondo” is simply something an ignoramus might say. Sure it is not traditional poomsae technique, but it does not negate you as a Taekwondoin, it only enhances you and gives you credibility. Of course such punches are the staple of boxing, but the sport of boxing does not own punches even if they are the masters at them, and every martial art eventually turns out with the same goals and endpoint. As Bruce Lee expressed in a famous interview that unless humans grow extra limbs they will all fight similar. Martial arts all end up with the same goals and concepts but they just get to that point through another path. All martial artists who have sense will collaborate as well and give and take with other styles. Just like Mortal Kombat the arcade game would display on the screen, “There is no knowledge that is not power!” And there is no excuse not to know such basics.

Taekwondo For Fighting Slip Rope Training

        Here is a great drill for working on fast footwork and speed and head movement.

Dodging punches and kicks is important. This drill uses twine taped to posts. You can use it for fast pivoting and footwork and ducking punches. Make sure to throw punches and kicks as well. I have tied 4 strings around in various places, in the middle it makes kind of an “x” or “+” shape. You can duck and slip under in multiple directions. This drill will make your legs strong and help with instability. If you have joint problems this drill might be tough, but if you do it right it is a fun way to work on strengthening the thigh muscles from the squatting down over and over. This drill also can simulate multiple attackers from various directions. Do this in 3 minute drills. Try it! This is Taekwondo for serious fighting and MMA.

Try it yourself!

Street Beefs, Nothin’ Like A Redneck Fight Party

*This post has been updated as of August 11th 2015 to currently reflect the author’s view

        Here is a video of 4 guys fighting in a backyard in Virginia. This is a 2 on 2 fight. Apparently, they had beef with each other: 2 brothers against 2 cousins. I thought this fight was hilarious and pretty entertaining. This is some wild stuff. There is nothing like a redneck party!

This YouTube channel is called “Street Beefs,” and is dedicated to local people who have disputes they want to settle with a little good ol’ fashioned violence. I followed this channel for awhile including their facebook page. But one wonders if these “beefs” are real, and if they are real how “serious” they are. The owner of this channel, who goes by the nickname Scareface (or just Face) claims these fights are disputes that have gotten past the point of reconciliation and can only be settled through a down and out fight. According to the owner of this YouTube channel, a former youth-competitive-boxer who claims that as a teenager and young-in he fought in over 40 boxing matches. His backyard is used to allow people to fight out their differences and settle disputes to keep people from actual street fights. It is a way for angry people who are upset at one another to let off their steam. “Face” claims that his backyard saves people from actually killing each other on the streets and that much of these disputes could lead to actual gunfights. He says this all the time, but one will wonder if this is actually true or he is embellishing things. In the past he titled his videos with fake titles mentioning broken arms or legs on the youtube video which he admitted that he did just to get people to click on it. So such embellishments or lies about the fights themselves show that he is not that honest about what is going on in his backyard. Possibly some of the fights are tiny little argument, but it seems they serve more of a way for his channel to get popular, for him to get popular, to make adsense money, and give the fighters a little attention on the internet. There is no real evidence to prove these fights are 100% deadly serious to where each fighter may actually want to murder the other. And if they did it would seem that a backyard fight wouldn’t squash th dispute either and after the fight the loser would still get a gun and shoot the other person.

Another thing about the Street Beefs channel owner is that he is an ex-con, a cop hater (serious, serious, serious cop hater), a far left extremist who despises the Confederate flag and hates republicans. I guess being an ex-con makes him a little biased and someone who will ignore criminal, thug behavior and claim cops are all out to kill black people. Other than that the dude seems nice, but noooo don’t you EVER disagree with his ridiculous criminal ideology about cops and white people. You will get shunned or he will want to fight you in his backyard. There is no talking sense or intellectual discourse, this guy is from DA STREETZ YALL and doin’ it to save the kids from murdering each other. I guess…the concept is nice and interesting and I could agree with it, but I doubt it is as serious as he makes it.

The fights are controlled with a referee and certain rules in place. They seem to mostly use MMA rules, except in the case of the above video with multiple guys fighting. There are people there to make sure no one gets seriously hurt, yet I am sure it is still pretty darn dangerous. Let’s hope they have properly trained medical people on hand in case something serious happens. I doubt they do though, this is some redneck, ghetto stuff. At least they have gloves and mouth pieces, yet it seems in some videos some fighters throw out their mouth guard and keep fighting. So apparently it is an option.

I kind of like the idea of people fighting it out to settle a dispute. I think it is a lot more healthy than shooting each other or stabbing someone on the street, or fighting it out with no ref to break it up. It is a fact of life people get angry and pissed off sometimes and I find combat is a good way to relieve such rage and let it out. Hopefully the fighters respect one another after the fights and their so called “beef” is solved. It is also noticeable in various videos that these fights are bringing together many ethnic groups, cultural backgrounds and ideologies into one backyard. This is a positive thing. Yet, not so positive in the fact the guy will get butthurt if you tell them to get martial arts training to b safer, or learn MMA, and also if you actually respect cops and think they are mostly good. That is the cardinal sin right there. Also, criminal thugs are always okay unless of course one happens to be a nazi. That is the most intolerable evil, that someone is a skinhead who commits crimes VS someone who is not a skinhead or is black and commits crimes. So somehow the racists crimes are worse than the other guys crimes etc. There was a time he posted a video on his own Facebook page showing the beginning of a sexual assault in a prison where a black prisoner attacks a white prisoner with a shaved head who then orders him to take off his clothes so he can rape him. He was very positive about the thug who happened to be black who was attacking the white guy in the prison. This shows you his way of thinking. If you can tolerate that or hate cops sure join his group, but for me I cannot be associated with criminal culture and cop haters who seem to be very biased against white people who happened to be in authority, such as police, as well as gives terrible training advice such as not being able to use a speed bag properly (you would think after boxing as a youth he wuld have known his way of punching a speed bag makes absolutely no sense and is just plain wrong. It is calld a speed bag for a reason, not a slow bag…) and he hates people who tell them to train in MMA. I can understand the latter, as MMA onlyists are incredibly pretentious and people have the right to fight in their backyard and have some fun, but it is the anti-proper training and cop hating attitude that turns me off.

Watching the videos it is obvious hardly any of the people fighting are skilled in any martial art yet somehow these videos are still highly entertaining. The fights seem to last for 1 minute rounds, or possible 1 and a half minute rounds. There is always action most of the time as untrained people tend to spazz out. A few of the fighters may have a limited amount of martial arts or boxing training but not a lot. To see some people with limited martial arts skill watch the following 1 on 1 fight:

I thought I would discuss the idea of backyard fights and the idea of fighting to solve arguments for society. Do you believe that such “non-lethal” duels are healthy for society? Of course no one in these videos are going to kill one another like in the old days of sword or gun duels from the Victorian era and before that (at least I do not believe any of these “beefs” are as serious as “Face” makes them out to be as I believe he is embellishing this to get attention. Nonetheless, it seems like a positive thing to be able to challenge someone to a fist fight duel in a backyard. If it keeps poeple from shooting each other or jumping one another outside with absolutely no rules and chances of serious injury it seems like it is a positive thing. I would suggest a rule change of mandatory safety gear such as headgear (at least sometimes for people who fight a lot), groin cups, and mouth pieces. I would also suggest the fighters get training before they fight, and warm up before the fight to avoid more injuries. Either way the channel offers a lot of hilarious and entertaining fights.

What is your all opinions about such fights? Is it right or wrong? Does fighting keep society healthy? Discuss in the comments below!

Ukraine Elected Government Officials Fight

        While our congress talks and talks and votes on things other countries elected government officials fight it out with fists and kicks! In the Ukraine just the other day some parliament members had a disagreement over a bill and started a fight. They were throwing hands really good before it was broken up by some soldiers. Great stuff! In Ukraine, to be an elected official you must know politics, but also be in shape and know how to fight! Political fight club! Check it out!

Photo Shows Historic Boxing Similar To Taekwondo Hand Techniques

        Here is an old photo showing a boxing technique from the old-old-school days. It is from a book called Boxing and How to Train by Richard K. Fox from 1913.

 

This movement in Taekwondo is called keumgang jireugi (or keumgang yopjireugi). It means “mountain punch, or mountain side-punch.” The boxing photo above shows the same movement except for a slightly different angle and small and forward leaning stance, but it is essentially the same thing. I believe the Taekwondo stance is stronger and more powerful than the boxing photo, but it shows that western boxing and Taekwondo have more in common than people would believe. It it also interesting that Korea has had a deep history in western boxing all through the last century and had some of the world’s best boxers in the 1980’s. It would not at all seem surprising to find out that Taekwondo in its early stages borrowed a few moves from western boxing, but at the same time Karate already had these techniques and it is possible western boxing either copied some moves, or through experimentation came to the same logical conclusion as Karate techniques. I think the latter is more plausible. So martial arts styles often reach the same conclusions on some theories.

If more people train Taekwondo hand techniques and try to spar with them and do not conform your ideas of rigid poomsae to be binding, you will do well.  The great thing about Taekwondo is it does not have a strict shape you must follow, but it is expected you will adapt your stance and angles to what you need in a real fight.

I thought this photo was interesting and shows historic martial arts technique.

Taekwondo Is Effective For A Self Defense Program:  Why Taekwondo Is More Effective Than A Reality Based Self Defense Course (part 4)

IV. Taekwondo is Proven Effective In Full Contact Fighting

            It is said that a true martial art that works must prove itself in fighting. Taekwondo has not only proven itself in war, but also in current modern combat sports such as Kickboxing and MMA.

 

Taekwondo is effectively used in Mixed Martial Arts fighting

Mixed Martial Arts competition is considered by the general public of fight fans and people who are aware of martial arts as the current proving ground for effective fighting. Various Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighters use Taekwondo techniques, including elite MMA fighters who fight in the Ultimate Fighting Championship such as Cung Le, Anthony Pettis, Edson Barboza, Benson Henderson and others, to win high level bouts with knockout power and Taekwondo tactics. The Taekwondo round kick, Taekwondo footwork, the back kick, and even the spin kick have all been used with total success in MMA by such fighters as Dennis Sever and Conor McGregor.

Taekwondo spin kick in the UFC

Spin kick knockouts are not uncommon now as well as devastating back kicks. These are typically “fancy” techniques seen in movies that have now been proven effective in combat. MMA is the closest people can get to an actual fight while still remaining in the bounds of what is legal by the law as well as remaining typically safe because a referee and corner men are present and there are rules in place; yet a lot of techniques are allowed. If a combat sport avenue such as MMA has  allowed Taekwondo to demonstrate itself as effective then Taekwondo seems like a decent striking system and can definitely be incorporated into a self defense program.

Same technique as in MMA

Sport does not negate street effectiveness

The claim that sport is never realistic or learning a sport is not good for self defense is not 100% true. While if a person only trains for a sport with rules and never for self defense outside of his combat sport format, then the fighter will not have the best combat sense on the streets. This is even true for MMA. No one who is logical would ever claim Boxing is not an effective martial art that would not work on the streets. Boxing has always worked on the streets and just because people train within the rules of boxing does not mean they cannot use their boxing effectively for self defense. Of course a boxer really should take another martial art that allows for more techniques, but boxing in itself works. Likewise MMA of course works. It is the mindset of the practitioner. If he simply focuses on winning rounds and tapping a person out he will not do well on the streets. But if the same fighter takes his knowledge of MMA with a self defense mindset he will destroy the average person!

Taekwondo also has a sport aspect to it. The kicks and footwork from Olympic Taekwondo competition can also work in self defense. There are a variety of combinations and footwork that allow for quick speed and powerful attacks. Not every fight happens in close quarters and there are times when a self defense situation will demand an exchange of strikes. Taekwondo is the first and only martial art to extensively work on special footwork with unique foot switching and fakes with fast kicking combinations. Training to do these techniques well takes an incredible amount of fitness ability and will only aid in a persons personal self defense. Reality combat expert Martin J. Dougherty (2010) states,

“[Sport fighting] does not make Taekwondo bad. Far from it – it is an excellent sport for building fighting spirit, developing balance and fitness, and learning some powerful kicks.” (p. 26)

Of course there is so much more to Taekwondo than Olympic sparring, but the fact elite athletes with incredible fitness train in Taekwondo for the Olympics should only reinforce that someone studying Taekwondo will get overall competent fitness. It was not allowed into the Olympics because it was simple or easy. It is a dangerous full contact combat sport. Physical fitness is a very important part of self defense and Taekwondo offers it immensely. And it is evident that a Taekwondo self defense program will not focus on Olympic sparring competition, but instead self defense with all of the techniques that are not allowed in the competition.

 

Go back to Part 3                                                                                               Go on to Part 5

__________________________________________________________________________________________

White Dragon is a 3rd dan Taekwondo Black Belt with over 19 years experience in the Martial Arts and head instructor of the White Dragon Dojang Martial Arts Training Program.  

MMA Gyms Are The New McDojo’s

        Popular martial arts culture is in a post-karate, and post-taekwondo phase. Of course, the most popular mcdojo/mcdojangs are still Taekwondo and Karate gyms but they are definitely being seen today for what they are, glorified daycare centers. The reason is that the UFC popularized the sport of MMA, the most free range combat sport we have today. The sport that allows for the most realistic fighting possible while still being safe, and still mimicking a street fight by about 95% (my own opinion). This has opened the eyes of so many people to see that many of the Karate, Taekwondo, and Kung Fu gyms people have often thought of as places to learn deadly fighting techniques actually are fake and untested with really awful techniques that just don’t actually work. This is not to say the true martial arts of those 3 umbrella styles are fake or do not work. It just so happens so many of the gyms were over time have been established by people who have no clue about real fighting and exist just to make money. The fact many Taekwondo, Karate, and Kung Fu gyms actually do have top quality self defense instruction and promote their true martial arts for the sake of actual combative self defense is besides the point of this article.

        With the new focus on realistic fighting and practicality and the popular sport of Mixed Martial Arts widely broadcast on TV many other fraudulent and embellished instructors have thought to cash in on this MMA craze. The new mcdojo is the MMA gym! MMA is the new “karate.” Instead of people saying “I do Karate!” like they did in the 60’s-90’s they now say they do MMA, or even worse, “train UFC.” Have you ever met a guy or gal who just HAS to let you know that he trains in MMA and wants to correct your kicks or tell you how you need to re-learn how to punch properly? Seriously, not just men act this way but women too who think they are badass grapplers and can take you out. One time I was training at a Gracie Garage program downtown and some girl from one of the local MMA gyms showed up and did not even introduce herself and says, “Hey wanna roll?” She acted macho just the same as a guy. I got a kick out of it and I was wearing a gi and white belt, she had on a rash guard and MMA shorts. I ended up owning her hardcore and making her quit. She just got up and walked off the mat like an idiot without telling me anything or even that our sparring session was over. So during our roll she just randomly rolls away and stops, then walks away and does not say “hey hold on I need a break or thanks for the roll.” Nothing! Then later she proceeded to tell me how to correctly kick the heavy bag and throw elbows. I just pretended she was good and better than me and laughed inside my head. Some of the best ways to ignore egotistical idiots is to let them think they are better than you, ask them about techniques they learned from their teachers. You may or may not learn a new idea (even if they can’t do it well themselves they might have someone who taught a theory or idea you might benefit from) then you will know their weaknesses and end up owning them if you spar.

        Just because you train at an MMA gym does not make you an automatic badass or even a good fighter. It does not mean you are learning anything realistic that you can actually use. Many Karate mcdojos and Taekwondo mcdojangs have converted into MMA mcdojos by adding in craptastic programs such as “grappling class” or a “Muay Thai program.” This is obvious and is especially true of large chain martial arts franchises, but even more deceptive are the independent MMA gyms owned by high school wrestler jocks or other big looking people who really have no martial arts mastery. In the Southerm United States where I currently live there are plenty of redneck MMA gyms or hick/hill billy MMA gyms opened by average “billy bob’s” who maybe wrestled in high school and bought a heavy bag to hang in their garage. These people have absolutely no true martial arts instructor certification and are usually ex-high school wrestlers, and sometimes ex-Karate point fighters or Taekwondo guys (usually from a low grade no-name TKD organization no one knows about except 10 people). These people then claim to teach Muay Thai because they kick and punch and watched some YouTube videos. Some of them even go to random seminars by other frauds who claim to certify people in Muay Thai or Brazilian Jiu Jitsu or even yet, claim to give out “Sambo black belts.” There was one MMA gym in a small town I knew of that claimed to teach Sambo. The owner claimed he was a Sambo black belt. It turns out he really just got some random MMA fighter guy who held a seminar claiming to teach Sambo and sold him a black belt. The owner of this MMA gym also claimed to teach Judo, MMA, Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, as well as Sambo. The kid maybe had 2 fights he claimed were pro. Pro meaning he went to a low level promoter and got paid to fight twice while still sucking and thinking he is a badass. His gym lasted less than a year and closed. It was a fly-by-night operation. All of the Sambo and MMA belt certifications the local town people tested for, if they meant nothing before they gym closed, even more so, mean absolutely nothing now that the gym is non-existent. They paid fee’s to test!

        Still yet there are MMA mcdojo’s that have a lot of success because they started off from a rich guy who had money to buy a location and build a cage or set up a ring. These types of owners find people to teach classes. Most likely will hire a blue belt, or a fresh new purple belt in BJJ and then the owner might claim to teach striking for MMA because he had a Taekwondo black belt from a random organization and he wrestled in high school. These groups become popular and get people to fight in local promotions featuring low level talent and then claim they are a real gym for real fighting. Fact is most MMA promotions allow really low skilled “jobbers” to fight each other. Big fat guys or craptastically skilled football jocks who rely solely on athleticism. You can in fact usually call a phone number if you want to fight in an event and they will sign you on the card to fight another random guy who thinks he is tough. It is very easy to get liscenced to fight by the state athletic commission if you simply pay a fee and pass a physical. It has nothing to do with years training or ranks in a martial arts style at very low level MMA events.

        There are even chain MMA gyms that are nothing but glorified yoga and cardio kickboxing studios. For example there are even MMA gyms in Walmart now:

You wanna train there while people at the checkout watch you hit the heavy bag and look cool? You could also buy an MMA Elite t-shirt at Walmart (I actually have some MMA Elite shirts (hey they look cool ok? shut up! Seriously, some look badass with samurai guys and stuff on them!)

Often times, it is actually better, smarter, and more economical to train at a traditional martial arts gym such as Karate, Taekwondo or Kung Fu where you learn a systematized combat art with levels of progression that work on skill perfection instead of brawling. In reality, it takes a lot of time to perfect a skill and it is smart to train in a specialized style instead of a place that is average in everything. A skillful person usually beats an average joe who has slopped through an MMA stew instead of specific skill instruction in one area.

Now I want to make sure people know that is it obvious there are actually legitimate MMA gyms with dangerous fighters, but they are more rare than people think. More often than not your average MMA gym is a terrible place to train with a negative macho man environment where everyone is trying to prove something and people get injured. Just go train at a boxing gym instead, or a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu  Dojo! Or just take Taekwondo or Judo! You can mix and match later once you actually get good at something. Beware of the current popular trend of MMA McDojos!

__________________________________________________________________________________________

White Dragon is a 3rd dan Taekwondo Black Belt with over 19 years experience in the Martial Arts and head instructor of the White Dragon Dojang Martial Arts Training Program. 

Every Martial Artist Should Cross-Train In Boxing Part 5 (Conclusion)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

        Boxing has been extremely beneficial to my martial arts training and I am satisfied with the skills that I picked up in these 2 months. Taking another martial art style is a humbling experience. Anyone who is considered an expert in their own respective martial art will have a huge transition moving into another style. Boxing is a tough sport and is not for the average person. Boxing fitness or working out can be for anyone, but the actual combat and regular sparring is not for a typical person. It takes a lot of toughness and a different mentality because of the constant stress of combat and taking beatings. Boxing fundamentals are a very necessary part for a person’s self defense. The coach told me I know enough to defend myself on the street and no one will be able to hit me with my defenses and my boxing will take someone out. It is good to know I have at least this basic knowledge that will benefit me on the streets if I need to defend myself.

        I personally believe such sparring is important to do, but the downfall is over the years there is the probability of brain damage. You get rattled a lot during sparring and without proper rest between sparring, and if at your gym every sparring match ends up turning into a fight somehow then you have a risk of obtaining brain damage. This is why you must be in tune with yourself on what you can and cannot handle. Never get into the ring unless you feel you can do it that day. No proper coach will force you into sparring if you do not want to and he will not look down on you either. In my experience the coaches do not take note of how hard you got rocked one day to another and it is your own personal responsibility to take care of yourself. I do believe if boxing coaches toned down sparring and taught their students to work softly with new students more often, then a lot more people would benefit. Of course it is boxing and you will get hit. The boxing culture is a lot different from average martial arts styles’ cultures. It can be indifferent and less than encouraging at times. It is a tough guy’s sport.

        I am proud of myself by taking on training in a new martial art to better my hand striking training. I feel I have gained a ton of skill in these past 2 months I did not have before. So much of my punching technique and defenses have been corrected and made better. Every martial artist should cross-train in boxing at some point and pick up some very important, yet basic skills. So many people do it wrong, especially MMA fighters who end up looking very poor and sloppy and never progress well in their punching. my coach says you cannot learn boxing from an MMA gym and do not let a Karate guy teach you boxing. You need a certified USA Boxing coach.

        Throughout these past 2 months I have realized how much I love Taekwondo. There are pros to boxing, but there are also cons. Not being able to use my full body for martial arts is one of them. Boxing limits you greatly and only expresses one area of your body, which is the upper chest and shoulders and lacks any grabbing techniques. It is strictly rules based and the rules limit options extremely. You have no freedom to use other defenses but the ones allowed by the rules. This does not allow for much creativity in combat. Even if boxing itself is very important to now for your self defense, relying only on boxing will ruin your other self defense techniques if you never get to practice them much. If you are spending so much time boxing and less on kicking and grappling you will eventually untrain yourself out of very good habits in self defense, such as lifting the knee or maneuvering in a way that turns your back to counter strike such as spinning backfists or elbows. Boxing coaches will see your habits you have from Taekwondo or any martial art and try to “untrain” you. I think you need to be aware that their goal is strictly making you good at sport, not reality based self defense. It is the same as how Olympic Taekwondo is strictly a sport with rules as well. Another con is that so much focus is on the arms and there was absolutely no stretching in the gym. There was no warmup stretching to work on flexibility, just aerobic activity and anaerobic activity. Jogging, jumping rope, jumping jacks, pushups, situps, speed bag etc. I feel over these 2 months my legs feel stiffer than they should because I have spent less time stretching and less time kicking. Less time in stances and less time moving all around in other blocks and strikes. The great thing about Taekwondo is that it is a full body martial art. Every single muscle and bone is moved in positions and there is a lot of flexibility training which helps your body stay healthy and soothing. Taekwondo also works both sides of the body, whereas a boxing coach will make you only focus on one side of your body, the dominant side. If boxing is 1-dimensional the emphasis on working your strong side only makes it even more so. Taekwondo works the right and left hands, right and left feet, right and left stance. Boxing only will have you work either your right stance or left stance depending on if you are right or left handing, orthodox or southpaw. I have missed Taekwondo greatly and realize how much I do love it. I will train my boxing techniques with my Taekwondo and have a good kickboxing game. I do think Taekwondo is my preference over boxing any day of the week.

        Even so, boxing has given me confidence on stand up hand striking I did not have before. I feel I can handle a lot more punches directed at my face than I could before. I still have a few things to work on and I will keep practicing. This training really is going to help out my Kickboxing and Taekwondo game. Boxing has really humbled me and helped me to be a better overall martial artist and a more complete fighter. I am not ashamed that as a martial arts instructor I still have to be humble and admit I am not the best fighter in the world and still have tons to learn. I believe my attitude is the proper one to take in any serious and honorable person’s martial arts journey.

Here is my last training log:

Week 8

Monday–        45 minutes on the elliptical, 5 rounds of shadow boxing with some various ab work on a fitness ball, 3 rounds on the speed bag with 10 push ups in between rounds, 1 round on the heavy bag, then the coach yelled at me and told me to spar. He had some guys sparring and said, “Hey what are you doing standing over there not doing anything while we are sparring! Get in here!” It was funny. He said I am hiding. It was kind of true, but then I got to spar for 4 rounds. Tonight each guy was very cool and able to work with me and work on technique and not try to just knock me out like some of the other guys. This kind of actual sparring (not literally fighting) helps me learn a lot. I sparred 2 different guys, one of them was the assistant coach who sparred with me 3 times out of the 4. What is funny is the head coach said, “We are just sparring. Now don’t kill each other. We are not out to hurt each other but just work.” I am glad the coach said this, but it did not keep 2 of the guys at one point to start whaling on each other way too hard and one guy ended up with a black eye and huge shiner on his face and blood. They got carried away and angry and started throwing multiple hard shots at each other and the newer guy ended up getting smashed with bruises and blood with a lot of swelling. He had to stop and put ice on it the rest of the time there. That was pretty stupid, losing control is dumb. I hope I do not end up with an idiot who will do that. I am smart enough to calm down and quit if it gets too crazy with a partner, then find another guy to spar. What was pretty funny was the coach began to tell him that his headgear was too small and did not protect properly and that’s why he needs his “own damn headgear!” He was using the gyms. He then told him that when he explains it at work he will be a hero and everyone will talk about his boxing and think he is cool. Haha! After sparring I did one more round on the heavy bag and was tired and called it quits for the day.

Tuesday–        Today i did 1 round of jump rope, then a functional training class for about 15 minutes doing jumping jacks. burpees, crunches, pushups etc. It was very tough. After that I did 5 rounds of shadow boxing working on form, then 3 rounds on the speed bag. After that I sparred an amateur fighter for 3 rounds. That was really fun and hard work. The guy is cool and works with me. I was able to hit him a couple of times but of course he hit more way more. I feel more confident. the coach told me I am improving and gave me and the guy pointers on stepping with punches and covering distance to connect with a straight right. Dragging your bag foot helps as you step forward with your left. After that I did 2 rounds on the heavy bag and called it a night. I hung for a bit and we talked boxing and martial arts because he used to study Ishin Ryu. Cool guy!

Wednesday–        Wednesay I came in later than usual at night. I had to tech Taekwondo and then come in. The coach said I am late and I need to make my workout quick because he has to leave and do things. Wednesday are the slow days for the gym as most people do not show up that night, probably Wednesday night church for a lot of people. I immediately came in and started using the heavy bag to get a workout done. The coach said I should not do that and never to go on the heavy bag before using the speed bag. if no speed bag then shadow box first. Always warm up or else you will get injured hitting the heavy bag, you need to get the blood circulated in your shoulders. So I did 1 round of speed bag, pushups, then shadow boxing a couple rounds, then I went on the heavy bag 1 round before the coach said he had to go. The coach told me to stay late and lock up and he gave me the key to lock up and he left. I was surprised. He is a cool guy and seems to trust me so wow. So I was able to work on technique do some shadow boxing and hit the heavy bag for about 45 minutes longer then I locked up and took off.

Thursday–        I was tired today, but I trained anyway. I wanted to do some more workouts instead of punching since my wrists are so sore today. I did 30 mins on the elliptical, a push up drill consisting of over 120 push ups, then lifting dumbells doing overhead presses and curls and doing crunches, then I did 2 rounds shadow boxing, 1 round on the speed bag, and 2 rounds on the heavy bag. I worked a lot on my stepping right punch to cover distance and use a left hook combo. I talked some with the coach about my form and stance and also when i was leaving i talked some about how USA boxing works with golden gloves and the regional championships and how fighters keep records etc. Interesting stuff. The coach wants to give me a tshirt of the gym. Pretty cool!

Friday–        Gym closed. No training today.

Saturday–        No training today. I had to teach Taekwondo today and I am so sore from all those push ups and really sleepy today.

Sunday–        2 minutes jump rope, 3 rounds shadow boxing, 3 rounds speed bag. After that I was able to do a mitt drill twice with one of the amateur fighters, we took turns holding the pads too. So I did 1 round then he did 1 round, then I did another and he did another. I find both hitting and holding mitts fun. After that we sparred and i fought 3 times. It was tough because I only know the 1-2-3 punches and some blocks and have terrible head movement. Without kicks it makes fighting difficult. I got some good hits on one guy and he of course got me enough. The other guy I did okay with but I kept getting hit in the corner or on the ropes over and over and had difficulty facing the guy and not turning away. One time I lifted me knee up to protect myself and keep him away but of course that was illegal and the coach yelled at me for it. In a street fight I could do that and counter. It is just an instinct I have and in Kickboxing it would be smart to do it. Boxing is tough and it really does limit your overall body for fighting. The last round I got rocked pretty hard with an overhand right. I was caught against the ropes and trying to protect myself and just kept getting hit and one moment I was smacked real hard but I stayed on my feet and then the coach said stop and that I was done. The guy fighting me apologized for going too hard but whatever. I felt confident fighting but I notice it is hard to keep explosive power going for a long period of time, and when I got caught with blows and rocked it is discouraging and I feel I have to go back to the drawing board. But at least I did not give up or fall. Hmmm…

(Half Week) Week 9 my last week

Monday–        We had severe tornado warnings and a tornado just missed our area so I did not go out to train today.

Tuesday–        More tornado warnings today, but no tornado. I did not go out to train. I guess there went my last half of a week to end the final month. Maybe I will train tomorrow.

Wednesday–        My last day! I did 3 round of jump rope before the coach said I need to make sure I spar today since I am leaving, and that is the most important thing for me. Honestly, I was really tired and did not eat enough food and was hoping I would not have to spar, but yes he was right I need to spar. I went in anyway and was hoping I would not get rocked too hard. I did okay and sparred 3 rounds with 3 different guys. 1 guy was not very good and I took it easy on him. The other 2 guys are very good but they took it easy on me. One of the guys was the dude who rocked me on Sunday but he was real cool with me and I did okay. The person running the sparring session was none other than the other guy who i think acts like a jerk and likes to bash people hard. He is an assistant coach and after I was parring he said to me, “You did really good. That was a really good sparring session man.” Wow, I got praised by a guy who is really rude and mean so I guess that means something. I felt the guys just went easy on me but hey it was ok. After that I did shadow boxing for a bit, then a few rounds on the heavy bag. The coach gave me 2 free t-shirts of Golden Gloves Boxing so that was pretty cool. The coach also said I could some in anyway later if I want to work out before I have to go on a trip I have planned. I have very sore wrists and hope to rest them for a bit from impact because it hampers my other martial arts, especially doing stick work.

I have now completed 2 full months of boxing training at an actual USA Boxing certified Boxing gym! Success!

__________________________________________________________________________________________

White Dragon is a 3rd dan Taekwondo Black Belt with over 19 years experience in the Martial Arts and head instructor of the White Dragon Dojang Martial Arts Training Program. 

 Every Martial Artist Should Cross-Train In Boxing Part 4

*Authored by White Dragon

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

        I have officially completed 1 month of boxing training at a real boxing gym. It has been a good experience and I feel my upper-in-guard-stance punching has improved a ton since training here. The workouts are great too and keep me in really good shape. I feel like I am stronger and have a lot more stamina. I am sore every day so that is a good thing. The only thing that is tough is knowing you will have to spar some guy who is really good and will completely own you in the ring and you will get hit in the face a lot and it will hurt. The problem is that not many guys will work with you, they see it as a competition to win against you instead of help you learn. A few guys do help me out and I like sparring with them. Every gym always has at least 1 or 2 alpha male types in it, and this gym certainly does have one that I try to avoid and do not even try to talk to because he is an alpha male type and always insulting and arrogant. He is just very sarcastic and talks aggressively on top of the fact he will spar hard and not help me learn. Anyway…

Week 5

Monday–        This was a good training session. Just good work. 3 rounds of jump rope with light shadow boxing in between. Then a stomach class for 15 minutes and after that 5 rounds of good shadow boxing with slow shadow boxing between rounds. Then i did about 7 rounds on the heavy bag with defensive drills and shadow boxing with gloves on between rounds. It was a hard workout and exhausting. Hitting the heavy bag is like doing bench presses over and over. During my training I really try to keep my confidence up and get ready for when I will have to spar again.
Today I met an MMA fighter from another state who came in to try out boxing to better his skill set. The coach had some good things to say about his idea of what a good coach is. A good coach is someone who will never get in the ring with his guys ever. You either choose to be a fighter or you choose to be a coach. You cannot be both. Once you age you are slower and not as good. If you get in the ring and beat up one of your students he will get discouraged and leave and never come back. If you get in the ring with an athletic 20-something guy and he is faster and tougher than you then you will lose respect when he outdoes you in the ring. So the best tip is to simply coach. There comes a point in every martial artists life where he slows down from older age and also injuries and he cannot be that athletic warrior he used to be. A true teacher will admit this and be the best dang coach he can be! Not that this coach cannot box anymore or sucks at fighting, he doesn’t, but he is just being real about coaching. Good knowledge.

Tuesday–        I came in and they were already finishing up stomach class. They started before, and I just joined them doing mountain climbers for 30 seconds and they finished. I went to the elliptical and used it for 30 minutes. Then I did 5 rounds of the speed bag, 5 rounds of shadow boxing, and about 7 rounds on the heavy bag. I spent about 2 and a half hours there. I did not do any sparring because that one alpha male guy was there and I knew if I sparred I would have to fight him. When I was shadow boxing he was sparring one guy I have sparred once before. The alpha male guy hit the other guy full force when there was an opening. He really did not have to do that. He hit him full power and knocked the guy backwards to where he almost fall over and out of the ring. he fell into the ropes and fell through the middle of them and he looked really rocked and dazed but recovered just in time to grab the top rope in order to keep him from crashing to the floor outside the ring. I thought it was absolutely unnecessary to hit the guy that hard. The coach just laughed like it was fine and told the guy who fell “I loved your gymnastics move there grabbing the rope!” And the guy just laughed and was like “huh huh yeah man!” and he gave the guy who punched him a high 5. I guess he was proving he is a macho tough guy and can take a hit. For me I think it is absolutely counterproductive and uncalled for and I don’t need to save face to look macho, the guy who hit him is overly aggressive and he makes me want to quit this gym and not even attempt to spar. This gym started out fun and I was learning some good stuff, but the teaching and personal attention slowed down and I was told to fight dudes who go all out on me and I do not learn. The alpha male type who punched that guy so hard is the same guy who went full power on me when I told him I am a beginner and know nothing. He is just a typical alpha male type and just very rude. I pay to learn to box, but I cannot learn in this kind of environment with people who fight full force instead of slow it down for me. Sparring is not the same as fighting in my opinion and for someone to learn concepts he should be taught very slow and have slow paced and light contact sparring to get used to boxing. They don’t do that much here except 1 or 2 times the first time you spar, but after that it seems a free for all on your head and face by the guys who are good. I do not have insurance so I do not want to get a broken nose.

Wednesday–        Feeling discouraged and also feeling bad about my abilities I decided to take this day off. I did spend the evening teaching one of my Taekwondo students.

Thursday–        I went in today and the coach was not even there. Members were there working out and I saw one guy who is a beginner and talked to him. I asked if he wanted to practice catching jabs and so we did. Since no one was there to yell at us for doing things wrong we took advantage of the time to practice catching jabs and light contact sparring working strictly on movement and technique and defenses. It was incredibly fun! This is how boxing training should be, very fun and repetition of movements. Just drilling things to get the concepts down.  Me and him cannot do this with the regular guys as there is no drilling or working at our level, they will just try to knock us out. We hit the speed bag some and heavy bag then sparred again and then we called it a night. The coach was getting ready for a boxing tournament apparently and left the gym unsupervised that night.

Friday–        The gym is closed so there is no training today. Tonight was the first day of this gyms state boxing tournament. I went to watch the fights tonight and it was pretty cool I guess. It is amateur boxing so it is what it is. Some people are sloppy and flailing around crazy, and some have some pretty good technique, and some a very good and technical. A lot of people had the guts to go in there and fight even if they got beat. One guy I met at the gym before was a previous MMA fighter and he fought but then he really lost bad because he kept diving in forward and closing the distance and was not scoring and kept getting scored on. Boxing is not MMA and there is no Muay Thai clinch or wrestling so his technique did not work.

Saturday–        The second day of the tournament is tonight but I am not going. So there is no training today. It costs a lot of money to go each night and I am broke. Good luck to the fighters!

Sunday–        I did not train today. Doing other stuff.

Week 6

Monday–        I came in later in the evening and there were a lot of people there working out. I did 30 minutes of elliptical, 5 rounds of speed bag with medicine ball sit ups, then did a cross training routine with using a medicine ball doing elbow touching sit ups with push ups and bicep curls for 3 cycles without stopping. Then i shadow boxed for 3 rounds, then heavy bag for 6 rounds. One of the amateur fighters was in the gym and he felt really bad because he lost his last fight. He had a fluke and got a TKO and had a very sloppy fight. The thing is he is really athletic and is skilled but had a bad night. I was able to encourage him and talk for awhile and relate about losing in a tournaments and how to realize there is more to life than fighting. He had recently suffered a concussion in the gym from a left hook. I really think this gym fights way too hard in the gym where people punish each other too much. It is not the kind of place I want to spar often because it would be bad for my health. No one slows down or takes it easy. I saw his fight too and when he lost the coach was so pissed and would not even look him in the eye. That HAD to really hurt the guy psychologically. But then the coach was mad he did not do proper technique. Hmmm stuff to consider about finding a gym and a coach.

Tuesday–         This was a good session. I showed up and did 30 minutes on the elliptical, 5 rounds of speed bag and 10 burpees in between, 3 rounds of shadow boxing and 10 box jumps in between. Then about 5 rounds on the heavy bag and working on good movement. I was able to talk to that amateur fighter who lost and we talked about street fights, some MMA, and other crazy stuff. He is a pretty cool guy and has tons of stories about fights or crazy situations he was in.

Wednesday–         Today I had to teach one of my students Taekwondo for a long time. I almost did not go to boxing today because I was hungry and tired. I went home and ate some food then went to the boxing gym. I did a light workout and hit the speed bag for about 3 rounds with 15 elevated pushups between rounds. Then I shadow boxed for a couple of rounds, then did the heavy bag lightly for about 3 rounds. I also did a pad drill with the amateur fighter for about 3 rounds. Let me tell you the pad drills are very exhausting as it is non-stop punching and fast paced. It was extremely fun. It helps me learn ideas for pad drills in my own teaching. I am still sore from yesterday too. Anyway, I was able to talk even more to that amateur fighter for awhile about street fights and life stories etc.

Thursday–         30 minutes of cardio on the elliptical, 3 rounds of shadow boxing, 3 rounds of speed bag, 3 rounds of heavy bag. Today I learned to duck under hook punches. One of the assistant coaches tied up a line in the ring across the whole thing from rope to rope so I could practice ducking under. I simply asked how to avoid getting hit with swinging punches and he had me do that. Seems to learn you have to ask questions, or else you will be left alone. I learned to roll under turning the knees inward instead of outward. Doing this a long time is a good workout.

Friday–         Day off, gym is closed.

Saturday–         Day off, I have other obligations.

Sunday–         Day off, other obligations for my weekend.

Week 7

Monday–        The place was packed out when I showed up. I began to stretch some and then one of the assistant coaches, the guy who hits really hard, yells, “Hey you!….YEAH YOU! Get in the ring!” He wanted me to get in the ring with some others for warm up conditioning. The guy is always a jerk and rude like that, he is only 23 so it annoys me he has no respect for elders because he thinks he is above me because he can box better. That is one part of boxing I don’t like, the arrogance of some people. In Taekwondo we are taught respect and humility even if you are great. Anyway, the warmup conditioning was push ups, jumping jacks, crunches, gliding around the ring and various exercises. It was pretty good. After that I did 3 rounds of shadow boxing, 3 rounds of the speed bag with medicine ball sit ups, then I was told by the head coach to give a beginning student a pad drill. He did not teach me how to hold pads, and I assume he thought I already knew, which I did. But he was just like, “You can hold pads? ok!” So in the ring I held pads for about 3 rounds for a guy. It was fun as it gives you an arm workout as well as teaches you defense by seeing punches coming at you. Also, it helps me be my own coach for my own program better. I copied the pad drill ideas that the other guy gave to me last week. After this I did about 4 rounds on the heavy bag. I asked the head coach about ducking and moving the head. He said it is for in close fighting and I am not ready yet but he showed me anyway, then he showed me how to slip a punch and where to properly put my weight, above the knee but not beyond the knee. This is good technique for me to know even if I have not sparred with it. Then the gym was closed up and I had to go. Now my wrists are really sore. Boxing does give you very sore wrists.

Tuesday-         30 minutes on the elliptical. After that I did 30 dips in sets of 10, then tried hard to do pull ups and allowed my weight to slowly lower for 30 times trying sets of 10. Something was weird about this pull up bar and it was wobbly, on other pull up bars I’ve been able to do at least 8 without stopping. After that I did shadow boxing 3 rounds, speed bag 3 rounds with burpees between breaks. Then heavy bag 3 rounds.

Wednesday–        Family stuff came up today. No training. But I did teach a Taekwondo student today.

Thursday–        30 minutes on the elliptical. Then I did 30 dips. After that I did 5 rounds of shadow boxing, During this time the coach noticed I was throwing a left hook then told me to stop and freeze where I am at. Then he adjusted my left hook higher and explained to me that you have to cover your head more and showed me the correct position to throw it. That was nice to know and have that instruction to get my left hook at the proper height. He showed me how people could counter me otherwise and how I should counter if I miss with a hook. After that I did some walking push ups. Then I hit the speed bag 5 times with sit ups and planks in between. After that I did 1 round of heavy bag. Then it was stomach class so we did 9 minutes of various ab exercises. After that I had time for 2 more rounds of the heavy bag. Today I asked the coach if it is normal to have sore wrists, and he said a big definite “YES”. That it is normal and just a part of boxing and there is nothing you can do about it, but make sure your left hook is correct. He said my right hand since it is more sore than the left, it is because of my power. After my boxing training is up I will take a break from hitting surfaces in hopes my wrists can heal. I do not want sore wrists my entire life. I also asked what weight the heavy bags are and he said 160lbs.

Friday–        Gym closed. No training.

Saturday–        Family stuff on Easter weekend. No training.

Sunday–        Easter holiday.  No training.

__________________________________________________________________________________________

White Dragon is a 3rd dan Taekwondo Black Belt with over 19 years experience in the Martial Arts and head instructor of the White Dragon Dojang Martial Arts Training Program.