Posts Tagged ‘Grappling’

The Most Comfortable Rash Guard I Have Ever Worn 

        Rash guards are basically surfing shirts used by surfers to protect from getting rashes from their boards. It is made out of spandex type material and usually thicker than regular spandex. These are like half suits for the torso. The Brazilian Jiu Jitsu martial artists in the 90’s made these things very popular for martial artists who want to do full contact fighting. The early days of the UFC allowed all kinds of uniforms to be worn in the cage and a lot of practitioners were grapplers. They stopped wearing the traditional Jiujitsu gi because the opponent could grab it and pull on it. So they started the whole “o-gi” Jiu Jitsu style or also sporting competition. This translated well for MMA and kickboxers who train in the gym because it is very functional clothing. You do not have loose clothing like a wet t-shirt, or gi or dobok that soaks up sweat. The rash guard material repels it and wicks it away from your body. They are also hygienic and protect your skin from a lot of skin diseases and bacteria that can be transferred with skin to skin contact and also from the sweat on the mat you may roll in.

With that being said, I am still a traditional martial artist and love to wear my dobok for Taekwondo, but I think that the Taekwondo practitioner needs to also practice in other kinds of clothes and do kickboxing and MMA training. So donning MMA shorts/kickboxing shorts and a rash guard is something you should do every week once or twice at least. I have trained with rash guards for many years doing my intense striking work and conditioning work. I also love to wear one when I roll and do grappling sometimes. I prefer the bJJ gi when I do my Brazilian Jiu Jitsu training but I also believe to be an efficient and street ready fighter you need to train in both the gi and without the gi. So the rash guard is the best choice for attire when not rolling in the gi.

I have a few rash guards, but I will tell you the absolute best rash guard I have ever worn is the Elite Sports Star Rash Guard. Elite Sports is a maker of a lot of martial arts gear with an emphasis on MMA, but they also make Taekwondo uniforms too. The Elite Sports Star Short Sleeve Compression Rash Guard is extremely comfortable and feels great.

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The material is thicker spandex and slides well on the mat. The stitching is very strong. What I like about this rash guard compared to others is that the shirt fits my wider frame and does not feel tight in my armpits like other brands do. My shoulders and armpits are not restricted and I can freely move. I am a bigger guy around 220lbs and I wear an XL size. Another important thing about this shirt is that it does not at all choke my in anyway. Almost every rash guard I have worn in the past has given me a slight uncomfortable feeling on the front of my throat. The tight spandex usually gives slight discomfort but nothing that keeps me from working out, breathing, and giving it my all. This Elite Sports Star rash guard has a small v-neck shape that does not choke me at all!!! It feels amazing! I was so surprised.
Probably one of the coolest features of this rash guard is that the waist has a band that keeps the shirt conformed to my waist. It is form fitting and stays down. When I roll with other rash guards they usually would slide up and expose my belly. It was annoying as I want to be modest when I train as well as be hygenic and not have parts of my torso rubbing the mat or someone else’s skin. This rash guard by Elite Sports stays around my waist and does not hike up! I love it!!! It has this cool band sort of like a rubber band keeping it down. Nothing about this rash guard is too tight either. It just overall feels comfortable.

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The design of this rash guard is also really cool. This is a ranked rash guard and white symbolizes by BJJ white belt status. I am almost to blue and when I get blue belt I will get a blue rash guard like this as well. So I feel great and also look great with a very fashionable design!

So as a Taekwondo fighter I will practice my punches and kicks and also do my Jiujitsu in this as well. It also is a great overall active shirt for general fitness. Jogging, weights, jump rope, push ups and everything else. I recommend this rash guard. You can get it on Amazon for $24.99. The price is very nice!!!! Other rash guards cost 50 or more dollars! So Elite Sports is making high quality gear for a low price the average martial arts man can afford!

Check out their website as well as amazon.

Elite Sports Star Rash Guard

http://elitesports.com 

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#TeamElite #EliteSports #EliteSportsMMA

 

 

 

A Great Gi For Jiujitsu! Elite Sports Navy Blue BJJ Gi

        I have been studying Jiujitsu for a long time off and on. I have spent time with grappling clubs as well as actual MMA/BJJ gyms. Last major training I did was in Korea where  I competed in 2 big tournaments. It was an exciting time. So back in USA years later I am trying to hone my BJJ skills and get the blue belt I deserve! With that said I want to tell you about a new gi I recieved recently. The Elite Sports Traditional BJJ Gi. I got the navy blue color and I am size A3.

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When I first opened the gi I could tell the exceptional quality. Before I had used an old basic Judo gi, then I got a BJJ gi in Korea. My first BJJ was a basic gi like this one but the quality of the fabric was not as good and when I washed it (without drying it in a dryer and only hang drying since in Korea that is how we dried clothes) it still shrank! So I had a gi that shrank and had sort arms. I was not allowed to compete in the gi as it went against IBJJF regulations. So when I did compete I had to borrow a gi from a very large Korean man who had a lot of money who could afford to buy those trendy Shoyroll gis. The gi’s he lent me did fit me for both tournaments and felt great but knowing how much money it costs to buy such a brand was ridiculous to me. Now come 2018 and I finally get my hands on a new fresh gi for practice in the USA! I open up the Elite Sports package in the mail and instantly I can feel the fabric was just as good as the expensive brand. The feeling against my skin in training is great! The arms actually fit me and the legs too! Right to my wrists! Each Elite Sports gi is IBJJF approved and ready for both competition and training in the gym.

I got this gi sweaty and it did not drag me down. So it works great with sweat and does not cling too your body and ruin your performance after hours training. I washed it and hang dried it. Each gi is pre shrunk to fit you. I am 5’11 and 225lbs and I got a size A3. It fit me great! I have a larger chest and the extra room feels good. If you are even bigger or larger such as a body builder I suggest a size up from me. If you are a regular dude this gi will offer you enough room as it is.

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This gi is a great choice for a first gi as well because the price is right!!! I swear so many gis are overpriced in the market. 80-200 dollars for a gi? Why? Elite Sports sells this gi for $59.99! Perfect price and awesome value! I definitely recommend choosing this brand.

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When I roll in this gi I do not even know it is there. I am busy focusing on techniques and getting awesome at grappling instead of adjusting my gi around. Even the white belt that came with it, yes it came with a white belt at no extra cost, is sturdy and strong unlike other gi white belts I owned. I like the belt so much I put 2 stripes on it instead of my old white belt that already had 2 stripes I earned from my teacher in Korea.

I feel like I can roll around on the mat doing shrimp drills like I am on ice! I slide fast and smooth! I think this gi is incredibly comfortable. I would wear it all day!

I really like the draw string for the pants. The chord is stretchy somewhat and feels soft. It is long enough to simply tie it and the bow I tie the knot is does not press against my stomach or bother me in anyway. I can easy tug the chord in the back of y pants to tighten them to me comfort level and then tie a knot in front and I am ready to go! Pants stay on secure!

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Rolling feels so comfortable!

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This gi also looks great and is fashionable. It does not look boring as the logos are placed in great spots and are not too big. You can still patch it up and personalize your gi if you are into that. At least for a gym logo. So it still looks classy. I really like the navy blue color as well, it brings out my eyes and just looks fresh. It is not the simple blue, but has his nice darkness that looks formal. Now they do make this same gi in various colors such as white, black, regular blue, and gray. I suggest going to their website to check them all out.

Elite Sports BJJ gis all colors

Elite Sports Traditional BJJ Gi Navy Blue

Elite Sports Website

au.elitesports.com
uk.elitesports.com

 

 

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.

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.

A Teakwondo Axe Kick To The Nuts Is An Effective Technique

        Taekwondo is known for a very strong axe kick. The axe kick is one of the few kicks of Taekwondo that make it a unique martial art. Bring your heek up and smash it down on a target, usually the head and face of someone. As Taekwondoin we call this technique nareo-chagi or tokae-bal which are Korean language terms for what we English speakers simply call an axe (or ax) kick.

Olympic Taekwondo axe kick to the face

Demonstrating the Taekwondo axe kick

Even kickboxer’s adopted the axe kick

Here is an axe kick thrown to the face with a very hard impact in Korea between 2 Taekwondo fighters practicing in house sparring, it is the second kick to the face in the video which starts at 1:16:

Well that was a fight ender! What power!

The axe kick can be very powerful with a full forced pull down of the heel into a target. The lower to the ground a target is the more impact, and thus, more damage the heel or sole of the foot will cause. The axe kick is so effective that the U.S. Marines adopted it into their martial arts program.

The marines call the axe kick the “stomp kick.” It really is not so much of a downward stomp as it is an axe kick. This technique is meant to kill.

Before the Marine Core Martial Arts Program there was the Marines LINE Program. The linear infighting neural-override engagement program was the precursor to the MCMAP system of today. In the older U.S. Marines Close-Qaurters Combat Manual an axe kick (stomp kick) finishing technique is shown practically every time a takedown is committed:

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Now seeing as the axe kick is a powerful and deadly technique, especially to targets low or on the ground such as the neck, or head imagine what could happen if another area, say the groin was the target!

       Yes, a good ol’ Taekwondo axe kick to the nether regions to an opponent is an effective technique. The way it would work is if the attacker, or opponent is on his back on the ground in front of you. This would happen if someone who is fighting you fell backwards or was thrown down. They may not be able to get up right away due to the possibility of you kicking their face or punching them. Most often people who would purposely lay on their back would have some sort of grappling background such as Brazilian Jiu Jitsu or he trains MMA. The reason someone would lay there is to hope for you to get inside their guard so they could work a submission. Also, they would want to protect their body from kicks by positioning their legs out so you hit their shins instead.

        Here is the axe kick shown in action on a real opponent in an MMA fight and how effective it hurt the opponent:

Even though the axe kick is illegal in MMA, does not mean it does not work. Imagine that same axe kick on an attacker who fell on his back on the streets who is not wearing a cup at all. Imagine the damage and total pain he wold feel! End of fight possibly and demoralizing. Imagine the force of an axe kick with deadly intention such as the Marine’s “stomp” with the precision of a practiced and masterful Taekwondo fighter. Ouch!

Here is another example from MMA:

Now to effectively use the ax kick on someone’s ball or simply anyone’s (male or female) groin area it must be timed properly. The person fighting you has a few options to defend it. The use of legs to deflect your kick can work as well as using the feet to intercept and redirect your heel as it falls down. he can turn his shin over to block your foot, do an up kick to kick your leg or foot, or he can simply roll out of the way if he is fast enough (or you are too slow). He can also catch your foot and drag you on the ground such as this video:

Even though the downed fighter re-directed the axe kick it still hit his groin and it still had to have hurt him, but his sheer determination and pure adrenaline kept him fighting, which can often be the case with someone trying to kill you. Yes, if someone is trying to kill you and he falls backwards you could run, but what if he gets up and chases you? You will have to fight him again. If you are not a marathon runner just fight him there and aim for targets to hit in order to take away his will or functionality. To demoralize an attacker one must have a very accurate and powerful axe kick that will destroy the groin and stop the fight, and his determination to fight.

I for one fully support the use of the Taekwondo axe kick on the balls. This technique has a high degree of chance working on the typical Brazilian Jiu Jitsu fighter who is trying to bait you into his open guard. Well his “open” guard is simply asking for a swift axe kick to his groin as hard as possible. Who needs to worry about grappling him when you could axe kick his nuts! but beware, if you miss he will probably catch your foot and leg and go for a seriously brutal submission such as the heel hook or knee bar. So make sure you train for this and aim correctly and time it just right so he does not intercept it. So in a Taekwondo VS Brazilian Jiu Jitsu fight the Taekwondo fighter should try to capitalize on the axe kick to the groin if he can do it. If you are taken down and escape immediately stand up and move away then re-engage him with an axe kick if he has open guard. If you have boots on this technique will hurt even more.

Practice your axe kicks to a downed oponent! Especially to vital targets such as the head, neck, and……GROIN! Tae Kwon Do!

Here is how to train in order to axe kick somebody in the balls:

Laying down an attacker for 5 or so minutes with a brutal axe kick to the groin is sufficient amount of time for you to get away or consider yourself as the victor of the fight.

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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.