Posts Tagged ‘training’

Why Training In MMA Shorts Is Important For Taekwondoin

        As a Taekwondo fighter and life long Taekwondoin I have often stressed that most training should be done in the dobok of course, but I always saw the need to train in regular athletic clothes and shorts. We learn to kick wearing dobok pants, but many do not kick in shorts and the feeling is very different.

Training in MMA shorts is great because they are very mobile and allow you to kick high and the material wicks away sweat. I would often do a heavy bag routine in full dobok attire and kick the bag hard with my dobok pants on. This is good to do of course. When you kick with pants on you tend to really work the instep kicks using round kick It conditions the top of your foot really well. wearing pants lacks the tendency for you to kick with your shin. You can do it but you won’t want to as much as your brain usually uses the exposed skin of the foot as the landing weapon. When you do use your shin to kick a bag with your foot your pants cover your skin.

What happens when you have material over your skin as you kick is that sweat stays wet on your skin. You will not get a good skin conditioning to develop your pain tolerance to accept high impacts on your leg. Your feet will get conditions on the skin so the slaps of the heavy bag do not hurt anymore, but your shin won’t. The dobok pants stay wet with sweat and your skin will not get dry in the air as much. This is why you should also train while wearing shorts.

 

 

A good pair of shorts I like to use are the Elite Sports Star Series MMA Shorts. They fit well and feel great. You really want to kick when wearing them. They also work well for grappling, but that is besides the point. When I wear these shorts I can kick the heavy bag pretty well and my skin over my shin will be less moist from sweat as the air will dry the skin. When I kick the bag with my shin my skin toughens up over time and you develop the much needed callouses over the shin bone.

Kicking in the air with shorts is also different. When we wear dobok pants we can do poomsae well as we hear the snap of the clothing over our legs telling us when to stop. In the real world if we get into a fight while wearing shorts it may feel weird and the novice might not understand when to snap his kick or how to pull it without the “dobok snap” sound. When i was a color belt I had this issue. I felt so weird kicking in shorts. I got used to it. Also using shorts allows for the “heavy rotation” kicks like the downward angled kick pulling through to smash the enemy’s thigh or body. The full 360 rotation kicks often seen in kickboxing.

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The reason  like the Elite Sports Star MMA shorts is because of their functionality and fit. The feeling that I am free to kick and move my legs as much as I want without any restraint. They are secure and stay on you well and the material so very comfortable and less plastic feeling as other brands of MMA shorts.

I am a huge advocate of cross training in martial arts as well as training in doors, out doors, in the official Taekwondo uniform and also in street clothes as well as MMA gear. For more to see about Elite Sports gear for combat sports check this video out:

 

 

 

Get the shorts: Elite Sports Star/Sublimation Series Fight Shorts

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#EliteSports #TeamElite @EliteSports

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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

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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.

 

 

Update On My Taekwondo Training In Korea

       I have been busy with work a lot so I cannot post as often as I would like, but here is a little update on some stuff I have been doing with Taekwondo in Korea. I basically train 3-4 times a week taking classes and free training. Master Jeong had a parents day for the kids and the students did a little demonstration of various things. I showed “English Taekwondo Class” by leading a short 10 minute min-lesson for the kids speaking English the entire time. The kids get to learn Taekwondo words in English which is a big deal for many Koreans.

I also performed some Pal Gwe forms. The floor is a bit slippery though so it is hard to make good stances. I did okay though.

In the near future master Jeong is going to publish his next self defense book. I will help him out with making sure the English translation is correct as well as be featured in photographs in the book with him as well as be in some videos that will be supplemental to the book for smartphone apps and computers. So a lot of cool things are going to happen very soon. I will keep updating my blog about this.

It is now Christmas Eve in Korea and I am going to go have some fun tonight as well as tomorrow. Keep reading and commenting!

Islamic State “Jihad Special Forces” Taekwondo Terrorist Martial Arts

        Before I posted about how the Taliban and Al Qaeda were training in Taekwondo and showed footage of them demonstrating some moves. Well it seems that ISIS also trains in Taekwondo. Apparently, Taekwondo is popular for Muslim Jihadists. I don’t know why, but it is. It really sickens me to know that Taekwondo was taught to evil terrorists and brought back to their bases for them to teach to other terrorists. Taekwondo was a martial art started for good, to fight totalitarianism and stand up for what is good. That is why Taekwondo teaches a moral code such as the 5 Tenets along with combat techniques. A warrior should fight for what is good and true. Taekwondo morality has nothing to do with the vicious evil that the Islamic State practices on a daily basis.

        How it can be identified as Taekwondo and not another martial art is in how they practice certain self defense moves and especially since they open up their newest training video they uploaded, which was now deleted by YouTube, opens up with a masked Jihadist doing Tae Guk Il Jang which is the yellow belt form. It is a World Taekwondo Federation approved form. So they are practicing Kukki-Taekwondo over there. Since the video has been deleted another person uploaded clips of it mixing them up out of order which kind of ruins it. It can be seen below:

Tae Guk Il Jang in this clip is shown near the end. But you can see their versions of self defense moves which clearly resemble Taekwondo. Now it is obvious to the trained Taekwondo person that these terrorists have pretty bad technique in this particular video. Their form is not very crisp and they are doing some moves wrong. In other videos some of them have solid technique. In this video It seems to be a modified version of Tae Guk Il Jang with some splits move at the end to look cool. They are doing demo style martial arts. A lot of people are giving them tons of criticism and acting as if they totally suck and will be easy to defeat. I would say do not underestimate an enemy, especially one that is determined, one that has a religious fanaticism as an ideology that is determined to kill you for their god. “Crazy” on many levels intensifies a fighter and makes them deadly. Maybe they suck at Tae Guk Il Jang and also do slow self defense moves and are not black belt level, maybe they learned Taekwondo from a terrorist who became a mcdojang black belt in some country they formerly lived in, but they are still motivated.

Admit it or not, it takes balls to break a tile over your head. A few people break tiles over their heads and another punches several with his bare fist. Of course I have to question his punching technique as it is very wide and arched out weird. But he still broke them. Even if this does not make one a better fighter (as Bruce Lee said boards [in thise case tiles] do not hit back), breaking things gives a person serious confidence and focus.

A lot of people online have mocked the camouflage the guy uses where he has leaves from a bush tied all over his body and weapon, but if you look at it without bias it seems to be pretty god camouflage and he really does look like a bush when kneeling still. He could easily be a sniper and sneak up and shoot someone in such an outfit. It really is not silly, but should be taken seriously. Yes they are in a desert, but that plant is also in their desert which is where they found it. But they could also take ideas like this over seas on jihadist missions. Do not underestimate this enemy and simply disregard them as posers or “hilarious.”

Martial arts provide confidence, focus, discipline, and other positive things. But the Islamic State is using positive things for evil. Martial arts drills can instill serious confidence in people and make them more able to fight even if they are not UFC championship level. Taekwondo can make people brave and without fear to die in battle. Indomitable spirit is one of our tenets, the problem is they are misusing Taekwondo and will have indomitable spirit for their god Allah.

Here is some more martial arts training footage:

It looks like they are using standard military combatives, but the kid doing flying kicks could either be doing Taekwondo or Kung Fu stuff. Who knows. What is obvious is ISIS or ISIL is becoming a disciplined army that will work in unity with each other and are not just a rag tag group of rebels with no training. It has also been reported that ISIS is using Special Forces techniques that even the US military uses in how they train gun battles and certain tactics. They are winning many battles and taking over many towns. I doubt their “crappy” martial arts are inhibiting them very much at all.

        This next clip shows kids around age 9-12 or so training in a very tough style. An adult punches and kicks them as they stand and take it. It reminds me of Kyokushin training but I still think they are doing Taekwondo. There are demos of self defense.


*YouTube deleted the full video and only this short clip remains. It leaves out the whole self defense section. 

Obviously, these kids are tough. I doubt many American kids their ages would be able to stand there and let an instructor punch and kick them. He is hitting them with pretty good contact too. Of course not full adult power, but still it is pretty rough. No kids wuss out or cry. It is safe to say these kids might kick the asses of many kids their age in the USA. This is not a good thing.

I would love to fight their instructor and destroy him because he is a terrorist POS who is instilling evil into the minds of these kids. But this does not make such children innocent either. When I was their age I knew in my heart that murder was wrong and killing people for having different beliefs was murder. We have all heard of and possibly seen the videos of the 7 year old holding a severed head, a 10 year executing captives by shooting them in the head and more. These kids are killers and violent sociopaths.

The kids are doing demo style martial arts but more realistic than standard Korean Tigers stuff. The takedowns these terrorist kids are doing are pretty effective and smart in themselves. Breaking sticks over the body is a parlor trick many martial arts masters use to impress audiences. Even so, it instills confidence in the student who is having it broken over his body and makes them mentally tougher. The kids are also trained in firearms. The Islamic State is training future terrorist soldiers for the next generation. If America and its allies do not band together and actually go and fight ISIS and kill them all i can see this war going on for a very long time with each subsequent generation training the next and the next until they kill everyone of us.

This last clip shows a lot of people standing still taking kicks from an instructor as well as a Taekwondo self defense demonstration:

These videos are obviously propaganda videos and not the extent of their serious training. They are made to inspire future jihadists and get new recruits. The videos also can inspire loan wolf terrorists. Even if these martial arts videos are theatrical and somewhat silly (the west has pretty much seen it all and we also watch UFC all the time here) they still should be taken seriously that these enemies of what is good are training to kill you.

The videos also serve as a reminder that if you own a martial arts school and you have students from Syria or other known countries infests with terrorists you may be teaching terrorists martial arts. You could very well be teaching them how to fight and they will take their knowledge back to their people and train them. I am not sure if many Koreans are fighting for ISIS, but I know many Chinese are. Maybe they also brought Kung Fu over there too. But I really think that some of these terrorists had the privilege of training at mcdojangs in whatever countries they were at before joining the fight and brought over their techniques. All we need now are MMA trained Jihadists. I find it very sad and depressing that the Islamic State is literally training in Taekwondo for the purpose of killing anyone who does not subscribe to their ideology.

There Are Other Reasons To Train In Martial Arts Besides Competitive Fighting

        There are all kinds of reasons to train in martial arts besides competitive fighting. In the old days of Karate nobody was concerned with sport fighting or winning points. The Okinawans and Japanese only cared about fighting in general and staying alive. Likewise, in Taekwondo’s infancy nobody was thinking about how they can create a popular sport, but how to promote a Korean way of fighting more perfect than Karate itself.

Besides fighting in general and self defense martial arts in my opinion are the ultimate fitness and health activities anyone can do. It is better than dancing, better than gymnastics, and better than just lifting weights alone. Martial arts combine everything into one. Movement of the joints in various ways, moving the body in every possible way it can move, and development of serious cardio and blood circulation. Martial arts also offer healing by strengthening the body and systems of the body. Many martial artists, including myself age pretty well. We look younger and are more fit than average people. We can last longer and have a better quality of life. On top of this is of course our self defense skills that will keep us alive longer if we are attacked. Martial arts are ultimate self preservation.

Martial arts help mental health by inducing stress relief, intense focus of the mind with forms and meditation, coordination skills, and give enjoyment and pleasure to practitioners. It keeps people busy who otherwise might be bored if they did not know a martial art style. Traditional martial arts also offer great ways for solo training such as forms that can be performed anywhere which also sharpen the mind and develop masterful techniques.

Of course with anything, martial arts also provides a way for a competitive spirit. Competition is a way to test skills and see how someone holds up with another human being. Combat sports are always there for people to participate in but are not the main goal. There are ways to compete inside the dojo with friends without entering huge tournaments or serious combat sports such as full contact kickboxing and MMA. But even so some people want to participate in MMA and see how they do. That is fine, but it should not be the sole purpose of a life long martial artist. There is so more more you can do and the toll that MMA and full contact fighting events takes on the body can be a negative force in your personal martial arts journey. There is a time to retire and a time to understand to take training slow because of injuries. Over the years your body will wear down immensely and basic martial arts skills will suffer. The nature of MMA is hurting another and avoiding being hurt. It is impossible to not get hurt yourself as every fight you will get hit. Over time it can cause brain damage and serious joint injuries and arthritis. I believe it is possible to regress physically and regress as a martial artist with too much combat participation.

Frank Mir, ex-UFC heavy weight champion mentions very profound things about MMA:

Almost everybody at the UFC level can fight through an injury. We’re all hurt by the time the fight comes. I’m starting camps off with the injuries that I haven’t properly addressed and that’s affecting the way I train, movements we’re using and what we can do on a certain day. I’ve got Forrest Griffin making jokes about it like, ‘It’s time to retire when I train like Mir.’ I’m like, ‘what are you saying?’ He’s like, ‘Well you walk in the gym, what doesn’t hurt?’ So I was like, ‘well, you’re right.’ So I was like, let me take time off, address these issues and train healthy – relatively speaking for what we do in our sport – then I’ll keep fighting. But it’s to the point where I’m only 35-years-old and you know, the quality of life. I’d like to play a pickup game of baseball with my kids…So that’s kind of the decisions and why I did what I did.”

Frank Mir understands that having a high quality of life is important, not just for himself, but for his family. It is a fact that someone who trains hard in a martial art style who does not have injuries or brain damage can train harder and better than someone who has such injuries.

If someone only participated in a minimal level of combat sports, or none at all except dojang training, he possibly will have better technique, better health, better cardio, better power and proper body mechanics than an old retired MMA fighter with 50+ fights. In self defense who will do better at this point? Obviously combat experience is important to factor in, but with enough combat training in a dojang or dojo a person can still master a martial art and effectively win a street fight. He can also train in martial arts longer during his life and benefit his martial arts style and community longer than someone who has too many injuries.

Being a life long martial artist also has the duty of promoting that martial art, teaching it to new students, developing new techniques and keeping the art alive. I often find it strange many MMA fighters who retire have nothing much to do with teaching martial arts or starting a martial arts gym business afterward. Some simply just do other things and walk away. Even professional boxes. I don’t see Mike Tyson running a gym or promoting his boxing to new generations. Maybe he does in a way that I do not know, but he is basically in movies, doing 1 man Broadway shows, developing an animated TV show, writing books etc. But he is not being a boxing instructor. The professional fight scene seems to exist for personal glory more than enjoying a martial arts community and making training and practice a life long journey. There is no end to training and practice for a Taekwondoin. We will go until we are 100 years old until we die. We should be teaching and passing on concepts and martial arts to new and younger people.

Benson Henderson said it best after his fight with Nick Diaz in 2012 when he claimed there is more to life than fighting. He said,

Fighting’s cool. I love this guys, thank you guys for all of the support. Seattle, I love you, but fighting is just a small part. There’s a lot more to life, guys. There’s a lot more to life. Hug on your loved ones, cherish them. These moments we have together, they’re a lot shorter than you think.

Simply just to fight in a sport, I believe, is not the sole reason to train in martial arts. Living life and enjoying other things is important too and martial arts themselves, even without competition, help a person achieve a higher quality of life than if one was not training in them. There is much benefit also for people who train without fighting.

There is a current and ignorant trend that says the only reason to train in any martial art is if you compete. If you do not compete you are somehow a deficient martial artist and doing something that is pointless. Also, you are not a real fighter. This is bogus. Anyone who trains in a combat art with the intention of fully embracing it’s self defense aspects while enjoying its other benefits is literally a fighter in their being. The attitude of a fighter is not only displayed in combat sports or street fighting. Does a soldier in the military only become a soldier when fighting in a war? What about during times of peace? Are they not real soldiers unless they become combat veterans? That would be absurd. Of course they are still soldiers. Someone who trains to be a soldier is a soldier whether or not they ever fight in a war their entire life. A martial artist is likewise a fighter whether or not they literally fight people in combat or self defense or not. The fact is they are seriously training.

There are many good reasons to train in martial arts besides competitive fighting and they are just as valid as one who has a quest for MMA glory. I plan to teach Taekwondo and practice it for the rest of my life. I also plan to train in other styles as well until I can no longer do it. I plan to always be involved in the martial arts world through teaching, promoting, and training. Too many injuries from too much heavy sparring is detrimental to a martial arts lifestyle, but it is necessary to train with sparring to truly encompass the full range of martial arts perfection. It all depends on your attitude. There is nothing wrong with MMA, but trendy MMA hipster culture is full of ignorant people who have never learned what being a true martial artist is. A few intelligent fighters do understand this as well as MMA students, but the popular trendy culture surrounding it needs to be ignored while true martial artists become masters and perfect technique into old age and never quit.

 

Kill Mode

          “…the determination of a hungry animal chasing its prey. When an animal senses a kill for food, it has no fear, only a single goal of getting the food.” The word’s of Hanho (Sang H. Kim) in his book Combat Strategy: Junsado Way of the Warrior (p. 117). In self defense, or true combat that has a life of death, or unknown intentional outcome probably one of the best defenses is to go into what I call “Kill Mode.” It is when you go all out, without fear or concern, yet with strategy and plan, everything around you narrows yet the target you see widens and becomes large and within a split second you go off with deadly intentions. The only thing you are thinking is “I must win” and you will do anything you can to win without hesitation, without stopping until the objective of winning is complete. The result could be total destruction (death) of your attacker, or at least an incapacitated aggressor on the floor while you remain standing, or an opening of escape after you have damaged the attacker causing him to recede and cower and stop his attack.

        In Taekwondo even we must have the killer instinct, the ability to snap into kill mode. You see targets, you see the signals of the attack being placed on you and counter with a simultaneous, direct attack to vital targets. You overwhelm them with a barrage of strikes. If he attacks you he has no right to get out of there without some punishment. You must show him he attacked the wrong person, what he perceived as being a victim, you are anything but. Cutting in with punches and kicks then grabbing and throwing. Smashing them up on the ground then walking away the victor, or running away to avoid his friends. Whatever you have to do to survive you must. There is no “gentlemanly” conduct in a street fight. There are no rules, no gloves, no illegal 12 to 6 elbows or illegal kicks to a downed opponent. This is not MMA, this is a real assault being places on you. If you do not know what will happen next, intentionally make the outcome at that moment and place to be that you remain standing. Use every fiber of your being including your will, and power of your mind to inflict fear and total dominance of your opponent.

      Because of your training, not simply technique and forms or sparring with rules, but psychological and mental conditioning you will be able to prevail in an attack and win. This is the goal of combat.

Every Martial Artist Should Cross-Train In Boxing Part 1

*Authored by White Dragon

        Knowing how to throw effective punches and also defend against them is very important for self defense. Most people on the streets throw punches first before anything else. Whether or not a martial artist trains in a striking or grappling art, knowledge of boxing is a must. Every martial artist should cross-train in boxing, whether or not for a long haul or just a couple months, to learn the fundamentals of fist fighting. Just because your martial art style includes punching does not mean you should neglect practical, simple, and proven techniques by masters of punching technique. A boxing trainer is a master of the punch as well as a master of defending the punch. Who else is better to go to in order to learn better punching and defenses against punching but a boxing coach! Taekwondo has punches just the same as boxing but boxing is pure punching and nothing else. So to master punch fighting I, White Dragon, decided boxing is a must for me to grow as a martial artist and also a man. This article will document my training in boxing for 2 months and will be separated in parts in separated articles until I have completed 2 full months of boxing training at a real boxing gym under a qualified level 3 USA Boxing trainer who has had 87 professional fights. The article will be separated by each week.

        I have to admit that at first I was very intimidated to walk into the gym and ask to sign up for boxing. Part of me signing up for boxing was that 1. the gym was close by and the cost was not that expensive nor was there a contract 2. I want to grow as a martial artist and overcome my fear of getting hit hard in the face. Yes I have been in street fights and self defense situations and have taken punches to the face, but still the thought of facing experienced punchers is intimidating and the intense conditioning is something I need. This is going to be a life changing experience for me.

        Boxing culture is different from other martial arts styles’ culture and does not emphasize morality training like Taekwondo ( 5 tenets) or Karate (5 rules) and it is very street tough. The types of people who train at boxing gyms are typical guys and some are street tough and others are not, yet still tough. These people are not at all afraid to get hit in the face. The attitude is very matter of fact and definitely not politically correct at all. Boxing is not a baby sitters club nor does a boxing gym exist to teach you proper morality as boxing is purely a physical sport. It is about competition. The work is extremely hard and surviving the workouts alone is hard enough in itself. Even so, boxing still produces a sense of honor and real honesty in what a man can and cannot take. Boxing training has no place for an egomaniac or macho man tough guy. You will be set in your place and you will not like it if you come in thinking you are already good. On the other hand if you come in with an empty cup, admit you know absolutely nothing and are a baby and need to grow then training at the gym will be a very positive experience. At the current gym I went to the atmosphere has all ages, 9 years old and up. There are middle aged to even older people training there as well as young athletic guys and girls.

        I remember my experience signing up at a local MMA gym and hated every minute of it there for 1 month. You could cut the ego in that place with a knife! Everyone had something to prove and walked around with a chip on their shoulder or a stupid macho man attitude of “yeaaah man lets fight!” People always got hurt, the fighters who sparred you did not ease you into sparring and there was not much safety gear worn. The females there also were ridiculous and full of ego and just wanted to be one of the boys, or enjoyed hanging out with sweaty men. The F word was thrown around constantly by everyone for everything and yes it was not a very positive environment. And if I said a boxing gym is not PC, well this MMA gym is far less PC. I got rocked with punches in boxing class and Muay Thai. I got choked far beyond the time I had tapped out from a choke and even got a mat disease that lasted about 2 months on my wrist. The trainers at this gym including the head trainer barely taught me anything. I was left on my own just to free roll or hit pads with people who had no clue how to hold them. Everything was taught in a class and not much room for personal training existed unless you wanted to pay tons of money for private lessons. Then their cross training workouts were way too intense. People constantly got injured because of rough sparring and Jiu Jitsu rolling. So much ego and macho behavior caused a lot of people to lose control and hurt each other. This MMA gym was a negative place and dangerous to train for anyone who wants to learn real martial arts and get good fast.

        I came into the boxing gym wary of such attitudes yet the trainer assured me he was not like that and in fact everything the MMA gym owner knew about boxing he had taught him as he was his previous student and the boxing coach laughed and mocked at the thought that anyone could learn boxing in an MMA gym. On my first day I had sweat pants on with a Tapout logo on them. When he saw that he yelled at me and made fun of me for wearing that MMA shit.” He said that is how you can get your ass kicked and that if the guys in his gym saw it they would want to fight me. I only bought those sweats because they were really cheap at the Burlington Coat Factory and they allow me to kick well! He was pretty much joking or using sarcasm to just screw with me about it, but he was very serious about not wearing MMA stuff in his gym. He said, “Why would you even think that is cool???” Yes boxing gyms have cussing but not as much as the MMA gym it is very mild compared to an MMA gym. I now knew never, ever, ever to wear anything MMA related into his gym again! Yet the stange this is sometimes MMA fighters come to his gym to learn boxing and he is okay with them and helps them out. When I started training at this boxing gym it was very positive and the coach actually taught! He would literally teach me technique on his own, as well as have his fighters teach me technique and he coddled me into sparring and eased me into it just like any white belt needs to be! People at the gym said, “We are not here to beat each other up but to help each other learn.” But that did not mean the fighting was soft because after all it is boxing and boxing is full contact so you will get hit. Also, the workouts are given to you as the coach knows exactly what training and conditioning you need to do that day and you only do what he says so it is totally structured. Before I trained here I assumed the gym would just be like an open gym and you would be left on your own. Partly that is true but the coach gives you a definite structured direction on what to do every day. There is also group stomach work classes (sit ups, planks, burpees etc). Everything happens spontaneous. You are working on the speed bag then all of a sudden the coach yells at you to get in the ring with everyone to do ab work. Then later sparring. You do what he says. The following is my experience training for 2 months week by week. This is part 1 of the article separated by weeks:

Week 1

        I survived 1 week of boxing training! I feel amazing, yet still some fear exists because I have no yet spared fully yet.

Monday–        First day the coach has be jump on the elliptical for 45 minutes. After that he taught me the speed bag and lt me work on it for several rounds, then he gave me a crossfit routine with situps, pushups and dumbells. Later I had to learn a 4 punch simple combo that teaches hip rotation with punches.

Tuesday–        The second day I did much of the same and he told me where to go and what to do each time. I was having a lot of fun and feeling great that I am working out really hard. If I did not have a coach I would not want to do such exercises or be motivated. I did more of the punch combo.

Wednesday–        Day 3 I learned how to get into a proper boxing stance and throw a jab and cross. He went over the ins and outs of boxing with me that evening and took time to talk to me with much enthusiasm. I could tell this coach loved his craft and loves to teach. He also taught me a hook punch. He was also impressed I learned the rhythm of the speed bag on my 3rd day. Usually it takes people weeks. He realized I had to have some training before. I had to admit that I am a Taekwondo guy and he was cool with it. I was relieved because most people will bash Taekwondo or think I am some kind of competition for their commercial gym since I also teach martial arts. He let me work around in his gym on my own this day and every so often gave me corrections. When he gives corrections he is somewhat abrasive and sarcastic but he only does it to coach me. Boxing trainers are arrogant but they know what works and what doesn’t and you must be humble and accept his correction.

Thursday–        The fourth day I was taught by one of his amateur fighters and trainers how to move forward and backward in a boxing stance as well as throw combos. I felt so happy! The trainer told me I looked good.

Friday–        Day 5 there are no classes held on friday. This was a rest day.

Saturday–        Day 6 I had a realization that I WILL have to fight and will be in the ring. I saw guys sparring and they do not really pull punches much. I felt intimidated. I know i do Taekwondo and I have sparred and even did Kickboxing sparring but in a boxing gym there is no notion of “light contact” but there is a sense of “go easy” yet it is still rough. Boxing is not for the weak. In boxing you learn simply by trial and error. You are taught the correct form for techniques then thrown out to try it against someone who knows how to box. You will get punched in the face and no you will not like it, but how you react to getting hit will speak volumes of your abilities. Knowing this I have this anticipation about getting hit and I do not look forward to it. I am a Taekwondo guy who has sparring experience yet not much face punching towards me experience and I want to overcome my fears of punches coming at me and build confidence for full contact punching.

Sunday–        Day 7 he had me jump rope and did not tell me to stop and I ended up jumping for an hour and a half. He seemed impressed. I was taught more on blocking than the first day he showed me a boxing stance and jab and cross. Another student worked with me on catching the jab and jabbing back. Also the second block to a cross punch by lifting the wrist and elbow to the ear. I was told to spar in the ring now with jabs only. I sparred with jabs and catching the jab blocking against a seasoned boxer who threw the same back at me. I was hit a couple of times and no I did not like it but I also did get a couple of hits in myself. Boxing is extremely tiring and you have to have extreme cardio and stamina to survive. This is a life lesson. A real fight can be a marathon and if you are not in shape you will die. I felt great after training was over. But began to dread the next day.

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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.