Andrew Linick – The Copyologist® gives you valuable advice on
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The Fist and Zen are One by Katherine Loukopoulos.
W.H. “Bill” Price’s Journey.
Shihan Marty Katz, Chief Instructor of Bushido Karate Dojo, reflects on his career as a karate student and instructor.
Dr. Craig Rubenstein on Anti-Inflammatory Drugs vs. Natural Medicines for Injuries and Inflammation. This is a longer version of an article that appeared in our Fall 2012 issue.
Chris Watson interviews his friend Nick Phillips.
More articles submitted by our readers.
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Learn to interject some softer training between your hard days.
What it really means to you in an all out conflict.
There is an increase in bullying these days. How do we as instructors handle it?
Read about one of the pioneers of Okinawan karate.
More Comments From Readers
If you charge for classes, do you offer a scholarship/work program to help low income students pay for their classes?
I have one for my students. I feel they should be able to train in martial arts if they really want to, regardless of financial standings. If they don’t have the tuition money, I have some charities I work with that they can volunteer at to cover their tuition costs. It helps the charities and gives me some free advertising in the process.
I’ve always had an opportunity for people to train without paying. I find jobs for them… cleaning the dojo, training white belts (if they are of a certain rank or higher), calling students once a month, acting as “secretary”, etc. If someone has mechanical ability (I have none), boy, can I use them! I love the barter thing, inside the dojo and out! (Did you know we’re supposed to report this on our taxes?).
What is your favorite Motto inside and outside the Dojo/Dojang?
The ultimate aim of karate lies not in victory nor defeat, but in the perfection of the character of its participants. –Gichin Funakoshi
The fusing of the body and mind through Karate-do is indescribably beautiful and spiritual. When totally absorbed in kata, one is brought into complete contact with the central core of their being. It is there that the essence of Karate-do is to be discovered. –Nagamine Shoshin (1907-1997)
True or false? A real life or death street fight does not remotely resemble a kata, one steps, or a sparring match.
It should be like all three, or at least part of all three. If you are training correctly, IMO, your forms, sparring, self defence, etc. techniques should overlap, and all be useful on the street. An example- if you are truly learning your forms/kata, not just memorizing the moves, but actually searching for the meanings and applications (notice I said applications, plural) to each move, then it should be exactly what you use in a real street fight. The same with sparring, although when you spar, you are usually not trying to kill the other guy, it developes the timing and reaction time you need to properly execute the moves that come from your kata/forms. Overlap.
In answer to your question- False
How do you provide valid instruction in self-defense when so few MA instructors seem to have done much research into how muggers and rapists approach their victims?
I have interviewed 300 incarcerated sexual predators (rapists) and muggers (not the legal term, but most familiar with lay people) and include that material in the awareness session (first class) when I teach a 20-hour self-defense course to the general public. Many of them receive tips and things to look for while in prison from other inmates who have been perpetrating those types of crimes longer than the newcomers to the correctional facility. Another aspect of that first day of training includes New York State law on self-defense to avoid an unnecessary lawsuit. Martial arts instructors not including their state laws are open to liability themselves when one of your students uses the techniques that we teach them.
For Discussion: Myth or True. Why? “Mixed martial arts is a modern invention that prioritizes bloodshed over skill!”—ASL/Hanshi
Helder Marques • MMA is limited, but true skill! I mean, a punch is a punch (and it works against someone alive) and not a gesture in the air… or something like that. Blood is just the consequence of a hard strike…
Sean Wong • I feel that it is a legitimate martial art limited to the very practical. It has brought honesty to the martial arts world where people just talked about what was better. Touche to the athletes who step into an arena in any combative sport. These athletes are the F1s of our industry. I am not sure how practical an F1 is for a family but the data that we get from the sport as well as its entertainment value trickles down to make our sport better in general.
Larry Gregorio • Well it neither myth, nor truth. MMA is not a modern invention that prioritizes bloodshed over skill. If anything boxing was the first. For example Mike Tyson, he was a bruiser with all muscle and no skill. He was champion for a few years, until he came across some one who had the skill to beat him. This is true for all martial sports, ie Boxing, MMA Cage fight, Wrestling. No matter how good someone is, there is always someone better. Most truly skilled fighter has nothing to prove so you will never see them in the ring.
6 days ago
Amy Benevento • Great post, Larry. I could never stand that ear-biter. He was just a blob of hyper-ventilating over-kill hormones. Sorry I didn’t put that more delicately. Also, so true that no matter how good someone is, there will always be someone better. I particularly liked what you said about a truly skilled fighter (with a true martial art attitude) having nothing to prove, so you don’t so much see them in the ring.
6 days ago
Richard P. Daniel, PE • Reading your current issue of OKM and particularly looking at the article on Bill Wallace, it amazes me how time flies. Bill is showing his age (as are many of the rest of us), but he remains my favorite fighter. He has made a good name for himself and has represented the art well. If I had to describe my ideas of what a martial artist should look like-he’s it.
5 days ago
Steven Wightman • I think MMA has grown into a true ‘martial art’, where that couldn’t have been said at it’s televised origin (certainly not it’s true origin, we were doing that stuff in the early 80s and called it working out). Then it was largely, to steal a great and delicately put description from Amy, a group of blobs of hyper-ventilating over-kill hormones. The current athletes have become skilled in several traditional arts and synthesize their own style. Doesn’t that pretty much sum up the formation of more than a few ‘traditional’ arts?
4 days ago
Harry Bergollo • Here are my two cents……Pankreation anyone? Mma has been around since timely memorial. The truth of the matter is no true Martial Artist can say that this art is better than that one because every art has something to offer and a prudent lover of the arts would learn from every other art. Take Bruce Lee and Jeet Koon Do, was it some thing he invented or did he combine his knowledge of wing chun, what he learned from his friend Ed Parker (kenpo), his friend Joon Rhee (tkd), his friend Chuck Norris ( traditional tkd) and his own philosophy to make a practical art? Something we all learn as martial artist is styles make fights. And it is true, blood is just the result of a well placed strike….mma, well that’s just a label, a true martial artist is an mma practitioner. Just saying……!
3 days ago
Sean Wong • I agree with most of what Harry Bergollo has to offer on this topic. MMA has existed for quite some time. I only noticed the “MMA” term becoming popular when UFC fighters entered the ring without dan ranking in any formal martial art. Whether it is called Kick Boxing, Shoot Fighting, Jeet Kun Do, or MMA, the concept of using the practical elements of multiple arts is not old.Even Meibukan founder, Dai Sensei Yagi Meitoku practiced Judo, Karate, and Weapons. He was a real advocate that if your life was threatened, it would be fool hardy not to pick up a weapon.Regarding the original question of bloodshed however, I believe that once you make any martial art become entertainment as its primary focus, then the bloodshed of defeat is required focus over skill to fill the stands. As do the personas that the athletes take on. It just so happens that MMA has become synonymous with the genera. It has taken the place of boxing and wrestling combined.So while I believe that the entertainment aspect of MMA has a bloodshed agenda, I would further clarify that MMA in its purest form is very much a real martial art.
David Abadie • Great topic and feedback. I learn alot whenever I read everyone’s post which is most of the time. I would say MMA is a newer term when you look at the progression and evolution of martial arts in the world. In our school back in the 70’s and 80’s we never gave it a name. Every Friday night we would beat each other until there was a quitter or blood or something broken or sprain. As I share with others in the past. When I show my students the gi/uniform I wore on my first dan/black belt test. There is a spot that is not ketchup. I will never get rid of the uniform. Everyone thinks this is great. One thing I may add to the group I learned from my original experiences. There are alot of fight clubs starting up. For anyone who does this please control it and not let it get out of hand. We were always careful after a sprain or sometimes broken bone to take care of the person. We did not have alot of broken bones, it was more sprains or bruises. Not to brag. Sorry if I sound this way.
Amy Benevento • David, it doesn’t sound like you’re bragging. But I’m just curious about something… if you get a sprain, it sometimes takes weeks, if not months, before you can continue training. Isn’t it better to avoid that kind of injury? Do you think I’m being too soft by saying this? I do everything possible to avoid my students from soft-tissue tears.
Harry Bergollo • Sun Tzu said, and this is my favorite quote in The Art of War: Subjugating your enemy without fighting is the true pinnacle of excellence… Control is a skill that should be passed to our students, we still practice with the same intensity, speed and power but with control. Real life situations are another story…..Avoid if possible or finish the fight as fast and decisively as humanly possible. A long time ago I wrote for Taekwondo monthly: “The decisions that we make dictate the path we follow, but young impressionable minds are guided by the examples set by those who have influence over them”. Lets just make sure our examples are right or at least prudent…..
David Abadie • Amy, Thanks for pointing it out. You are not too soft. Let me re-quote my comments. Those were the old days. These days you have to be careful. Yes, it does take weeks to heal.
Amy Benevento • David, it sounds like you’re a most serious and dedicated martial artist, and one who could definitely handle himself on the street. Salute!
1 day ago
Mark Stevens, Th.D, CPRP • My bigget pet peeve with MMA is a lack of control and discipline, I have tried to watch MMA matches and I have seen better street fights in Camden, NJ. I was always taugt that if I can throw a side kick an inch away from someones face in class then I can actually disable an opponent in the street, In over 20 years of Martial Arts training and instructing I only hurt a student ONCE, and that was intentional and I have since repented for that sin (I shared that story before) I was a Corrections Officer for 4 years and only once I had to disable an inmate that attacked his public defender. I was always confident I could defend myself and the inmates respected me by the way I carried myself, they knew I was a Minister and a Martial Artist…..but I have alway believed if you treat people with kindness and respect THAT is usually the BEST self-defense.
Mark Stevens, Th.D, CPRP • “MMA is designed to beat people, and if you are just trying to beat up people, then you are engaged in a sport. If you are trying to plumb the depths of yourself, find your true meaning in life, then you are engaged in art.Beat up people, or find ourself, which are you trying to do?” By Al Case
Sean Wong • Touche Mark Stevens. Karate however is not always practiced as a path to Budo; which is the practice martial arts for self-improvement. Some people practice for sport, some as a pure interest, others for health and social well being, even for self-defense. Regardless of how one practices it, most of us can vouch for Karate as a martial art. I have a hard time associating a chain linked octagon beat down as an art….but then again I feel the same for sport karate. So do we lump all aspects of MMA philosophies including Jeet Kun Do, Aikido, etc… into this class? Is MMA that is designed to beat people or is this a result of promoters who design rules of sport in an effort to get rich off of its entertainment value?
Mark Stevens, Th.D, CPRP • Oh I agree Sean MMA IS a Martial Art, but in the eyes of MOST traditional Martial Artist it is very undisciplined and often without real traditions. I have a friend that was a boxer and decided to give MMA a try, all he did was bag work and spar, no real dojo training at all, his kicks look pathetic but he is a warrior and he isn’t afraid to fight…so even though his style is really NO STYLE…he fights.
Sean Wong • LOL! Got it Mark. I do agree with the value of traditions. I have a friend from Japan. He is an 18th generation samurai. His family’s style of kenjitsu is Mugen Ryu. It means the style without limits. It is continually evolving. I explained however that it is impossible the have a style that is continually evolving because 10 years from now, there will be NO STYLE. I encouraged him to keep some of his family’s form and strategies the same. He agreed. So now some his kenjitsu are modern and clearly some are 200 years old.
ANDREW LINICK • MMA is a sport not a martial art. Where are the katas, Bushido, way of life, spiritual essence, Kumite, two man exercises, philosophy etc? Doesn’t exist!
MMA fighters have certain skill sets and as a bloody sport, that’s fine. cross training in more than one traditional MA does not qualify for making up new title and new art even with lineage and roots. We 1st gens cross trained in the early 60’s with judo, Jiu-Jitsu, aikido, Iaido, karate, KOBUDO etc.
Did we give it a new name and call it Gitchie Goo and the nine Dragons?
No. I don’t have three hours to explain the whys and wherefores but I sum up the major reason why MMA will never be a MA due to one major flaw. It’s called RESPECT! or should I say lack thereof-:)
Nothing wrong with learning another sport like MMA. Just don’t insult the oriental teachers who are turning over in their grave by claiming its a martial art. Have a great weekend and I wouldn’t lose any sleep over this thread. I thank everyone for their valuable opinions and I RESPECT your positions even if on opposite sides of the fence. If you Ned further clarification, take it up with AMY-:) Just kidding Amy-San. Now where’s my ‘bloody’ coffee. LOL! ”—ASL/Hanshi