Top 10 Martial Arts: Full…

top 10 martial artsWhen you think about martial arts, names like Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, and Jet Li might come to mind. Bruce Lee was considered one of the most influential martial artists of all time. Then, you have Chan and Li who have been major movie stars that incorporate Chinese martial arts into their films. Many people ask, what is the best martial art out there? Well, I’ve come up with a list of the top 10 martial arts out there, you can try them and decide for yourself! Are you looking to start your own martial arts academy? If so, check out this course on Running a Dojo.

In the 90’s the US popularized Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). MMA is a full contact, combat sport, that combines grappling and striking, with standing and ground fighting. MMA allows a wide variety of martial arts and techniques, creating a unique dynamic that favors a versatile martial artist. MMA often involves Judo, Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Boxing, Karate, Kickboxing, and wrestling.

Martial arts are practiced for a variety of different reasons including self-defense, physical fitness, entertainment and competition. Some even consider martial arts as a way of achieving spiritual growth. If you’re interested in finding the right martial arts for you, check out our course on Martial Arts for Beginners. I have accumulated a list of the the top 10 martial arts today, not in any particular order.

1. Judo

Judo is a competition based sport that originated out of Japan. The primary objective is to throw or takedown your opponent for points. Although it was created for sport and exercise, it has proven to be an effective martial art in close combat through the use of leverage. “Maximum efficiency, minimum effort” is the cornerstone of the martial art. With proper technique and balance, a person can beat a much larger opponent. The major weakness in the art of judo is the lack of any striking techniques in competition or practice.

2. Kickboxing

Kickboxing can be for fitness, self-defense or sport. There are different origins of the sport, but we are most familiar with the American version of kickboxing. Kickboxing combines punches, knees, headbutts, and kicks to disarm an opponent or attacker. A swift front kick to the face is more than enough to disarm any person. The key to kickboxing is speed and agility, the person must strike before the attacker can react and respond.

Advanced kickboxers are known to do “combat qi,” which involves physical conditioning of the body through repeated damage, until there are no pain signals that are sent to the brain to distract the fighter. Some highly trained kickboxers will roll a baseball bat across the surface of the shin for hours a day to break down and rebuild the tibia there. After repeated damage, the tibia grows back stronger and thicker each time, until the fighter can kick hard objects without feeling pain in the shins. The major weakness of the sport of kickboxing is that there is very little attention paid to self defense throughout training.

3. Karate

Karate originated in Japan and is practiced primarily for sport. It involves the typical kicking, punching, elbows and also incorporates open hand techniques. The main focus is on attack deflection, controlling and disabling attacks that come from directly in front of you. Instead of focusing on hits to the face and head, punches are directed towards the solar plexus, just below the sternum, a weak point on the body. This will effectively knock the air out of the opponent and disable him.

4. Aikido

Aikido is a martial art that originates from Japan and is designed primarily for self defense. The creator of aikido wanted to make an art that a person could use to defend themselves, without causing injury to their attackers. Aikido loosely translates to “the way of harmonious spirit.”

The majority of aikido is not striking, it is based on the principle that an attacker exposes themselves each time they go on the attack. The person is supposed to recognize the vulnerability and respond with an attack to ensure that he is not exposed himself. The defender is instructed to go with the movement of the attacker and use his momentum against him, instead of fighting against it.

You may recognize Steven Seagal as a movie star that practices Aikido, believe it or not, he is an authentic 7th degree black belt! His trademark move was the forearm return. An attacker comes at him with a straight punch and he steps to the side, grabbing the wrist, and using the momentum with a twist to disable the attacker’s wrist. The attacker will likely be put off balance and may break his wrist in the process.

Aikido also includes joint locks, a grappling technique that extends the joints to their maximal degree of motion. These do not take much speed, but rather proper technique to disable an attacker.

5. Taekwondo

Taekwondo, a Korean martial art, combines both self-defense and attack, as a way of sport and exercise. The martial art focuses on high kicks and quick hand movements. Taekwondo is based upon the belief that the leg is the strongest and furthest reaching limb that a person has, thus having the greatest potential to be used as a powerful weapon while keeping an attacker at a distance.

The sport is very good to enhance agility, power, balance, flexibility and endurance. You may have seen these martial artists on tv breaking wood planks, cement blocks or bricks with their bare hands and legs. These athletes combine their mental focus and acuity with the strength and technique they develop through training.

6. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is an all around ruthless sport based out of Brazil. Martial artists are taught vicious and aggressive moves such as eye gouging, choke holds, biting, grappling, hard striking, and joint locks. Once an attacker is brought to the ground, the first step is to grab a limb and manipulate it at the joint until it breaks. After the attacker is immobilized, the martial artist can unleash an arsenal of fists and elbows to the face.

The key to the art is understanding and recognizing your own and your attacker’s center of gravity. Once you learn to lower your own center of gravity underneath that of your attacker, you can manipulate his body and throw him off of you. There is also an understanding of balance where if your attacker reaches out with one part of his body, the other part must balance. It is the standing leg that the martial artists learns to disable and break. Each defense becomes a counter attack.

7. Traditional Boxing

Muhammad Ali would float like a butterfly, sting like a bee each and everytime he entered the ring. Western boxers are known for their agility, both with their punches and without. These athletes can throw punches harder, faster, and more on point than any other martial artist. Just to learn proper punching technique takes several years!

There is no kicking allowed, so you best be sharp with your hands and quick with your feet to keep your balance. Boxers are usually very lean, tough, and solid. They are not as thick or heavy as body builders, because they rely heavily on their agility in the ring. Boxers are ingrained with the idea of protecting their head and learn from the very beginning to keep their gloves up.

Boxing is very natural to a lot of individuals and it can be a lot of fun. This martial art is readily available at most martial arts gyms and many traditional gyms as well. It provides an excellent outlet for sport, discipline, conditioning, and fighting.

8. Wrestling

Wrestling is one of the oldest forms of combat, probably originating from Europe. I’m not referring to the WWE, which many of you may think is true wrestling. On the contrary, traditional wrestling is performed on a mat with no ropes. Wrestling is one of the few martial arts that is also practiced in schools everywhere, from middle school all the way up to college.

9. Krav Maga

Krav Maga is Israel’s national martial art. It has been designed for the purpose of street survival and it is taught to the entire defense force of the country. This martial art involves aspects of Jiu Jitsu grappling and ground fighting, Karate kicks and knees, and traditional boxing punches. This is not a simple sport, in Krav Maga, the defense is aimed at killing the aggressor. The defense is also the attack. It is a counter attack of sorts where you protect yourself from attack, while simultaneously incapacitating the attacker. They also focus on attacking weak areas of the body, namely the eyes, groin, and throat.

10. Muay Thai

Muay Thai originated in Thailand and is also known as the Art of Eight Limbs. This martial art uses punches, kicks, knees and elbows in forming an attack. The sport can be very violent and brutal, but due to many safeguards today, it has become a more universal sport for fun and entertainment. Muay Thai is also one of the staples of MMA style fighting because it not only incorporates western boxing punches, but also brings in kicks, knees and elbows.

I’ve given you a list of the top 10 martial arts today, now its your turn to try them out! If self-defense is your motivation, also try looking at our course for busy and working adults, 30 Minute Self Defense. If you’re looking for something for the little ones to get involved in, check out Martial Arts for Kids.

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30 Facts About The Karate…

You’d better start practicing those crane kicks again! More than 30 years after Daniel LaRusso and Johnny Lawrence faced off in one of cinema’s most iconic showdowns, The Karate Kid is making a comeback. A sequel to the hit 1984 film (which has already spawned a few sequels, plus a remake) is making its way to YouTube Red as a new series, currently titled Cobra Kai, with both Ralph Macchio and William Zabka reprising their roles.

According to Variety, “The 10-episode, half-hour series, coming to YouTube Red in 2018, picks up 30 years after the events of the 1984 All Valley Karate Tournament. A down-and-out Johnny Lawrence (Zabka) seeks redemption by reopening the infamous Cobra Kai karate dojo, reigniting his rivalry with a now successful Daniel LaRusso (Macchio), who has been struggling to maintain balance in his life without the guidance of his mentor, Mr. Miyagi.”

While we await more detail on the series, let’s take a look back at the movie that started it all.

1. PAT MORITA WAS INITIALLY TURNED DOWN FOR THE ROLE OF MR. MIYAGI.

In the early 1980’s, Pat Morita was best known for his comedic work as Arnold, the restaurant owner on Happy Days. According to the 2013 book The Films of John G. Avildsen, Morita was Avildsen’s first choice for Miyagi; however, producer Jerry Weintraub felt that audiences would not take him seriously in the role due to his background in comedy. After Morita grew a beard and added a Japanese accent to his screen test, an impressed Weintraub had a change of heart and Morita was given the part.

2. DANIEL LARUSSO WAS ORIGINALLY DANIEL WEBBER.

Wait. What?!? It sounds blasphemous, but in original versions of The Karate Kid script, Daniel LaRusso’s last name was Webber.

3. JOHNNY LAWRENCE WAS DONALD RICE.

While we’re at it, let’s get this out of the way, too: Johnny Lawrence’s name was originally Donald Rice.

4. “YOU’RE THE BEST” WAS ORIGINALLY WRITTEN FOR A DIFFERENT MOVIE.

Although “You’re the Best” will be forever tied to the montage of fight scenes during the All-Valley Karate Tournament, Joe Esposito’s song was originally written by Bill Conti and Allee Willis to be used in Rocky III. It was ultimately replaced with Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger.” Esposito revealed this information in a 2008 interview on the Adam Carolla Show where he said that “You’re the Best” was turned down for use in the movie Flashdance as well, and was replaced with Michael Sembello’s “Maniac.” The ’80s truly had an embarrassment of riches when it came to montage songs.

5. FREDDY REALLY DID TAKE A SOCCER BALL TO THE FACE.

As Daniel and his new friends play soccer on the beach, his eye is caught by Ali Mills, the beautiful blonde from the Hills. Coolly trying to impress her, Daniel shows off his soccer skills only to have the ball knocked away by Freddy (played by Israel Juarbe). Watching closely, you’ll see that poor Freddy takes a direct hit to the face as he brings Daniel back to reality.

6. DANIEL’S ICONIC SHOWER COSTUME IS FORESHADOWED IN MIYAGI’S WORKSHOP.

At the Halloween dance, Daniel mentions that his shower costume was made by a friend. The assumption that he’s referring to Mr. Miyagi is confirmed in the previous scene where parts of the shower costume can been seen hanging in the background as Miyagi prepares jack-o-lanterns in his workshop.

7. MANY OF THE FILM’S LOCATIONS ARE STILL INTACT AND LOOK MOSTLY THE SAME.

A few sources provide fascinating photos of the current state of many filming locations used in The Karate Kid. For the most part, these California-based locations are still recognizable and look very much the same as they did back in the mid-1980s. For a complete look at these filming locations, visit itsfilmedthere.com or the Karate Kid Site at fast-rewind.com.

8. IT TOOK A WHILE TO DISCOVER THE FILMING LOCATION FOR MR. MIYAGI’S HOUSE.

Although most filming locations from The Karate Kid had been found long ago, Mr. Miyagi’s house eluded avid location hunters for a long time.

Taking the art of finding filming locations to a whole new level, in 2014, one fan did some major sleuthing to finally confirm the location of Mr. Miyagi’s house, which was demolished in the late 1980s.

9. MR. MIYAGI’S WORKSHOP WAS ACTUALLY A PARKING LOT.

While the apartment complex itself looks very much the same in real life as it does in the film, one exception is the portion representing Mr. Miyagi’s workshop. Opening to the exterior of the building, this area of the complex was actually an open parking area which was walled off for the sake of the film. Comparing a shot from the film to an image taken from Google Maps Street View, this transformation is very clear.

10. TWO RUN-INS WITH JOHNNY WERE DELETED FROM THE FILM’S FINAL CUT.

The original Karate Kid script includes two confrontations between Daniel and Johnny which were eventually cut from the film. The first takes place in the school cafeteria, just after Daniel has bought lunch for Ali. Seeing them about to take a seat, Johnny hurries over just in time to sneak a piece of blueberry pie onto Daniel’s chair. Standing up with his pants covered in blueberries, Daniel is equally embarrassed and livid. In a brave act of revenge, Daniel smears what is left of the pie across Johnny’s shirt and mayhem ensues. A photo from this scene can be found on the back of the B.B. Hiller novelization of The Karate Kid.

The other scene occurs later in the film and also takes place at school. Coming up from a drink at the fountain, Daniel finds himself face to face with Johnny and stands up for himself once again by questioning the practices of the Cobra Kai.

The original script reveals this exchange:

Daniel: We both know you can kick my ass seven ways from Sunday. So why do you still bother?
Johnny: Maybe ‘cause I like to.
Daniel: You ever think he might be wrong?
Johnny: Who?
Daniel: Your teacher.
Johnny: Watch your mouth, asshole.

11. MR. MIYAGI GAVE DANIEL A SWEET RIDE.

Casual viewers of The Karate Kid know that Mr. Miyagi gives Daniel a cool yellow car for his birthday. Classic car enthusiasts may recognize this smooth ride as a 1948 Ford Super DeLuxe Club convertible.

12. CHUCK NORRIS DID NOT DECLINE THE ROLE OF JOHN KREESE.

It is widely rumored that Chuck Norris was initially considered for the part of Cobra Kai Sensei John Kreese, but turned down the role as he did not want to be associated with a character that represented martial arts in such a cruel and aggressive way. Norris has stated that he was never offered this role but likely would have turned it down for these reasons if he had been. Likewise, director John Avildsen does not recall Norris being offered the role.

13. SENSEI KREESE WAS A MILITARY VETERAN.

Upon Daniel’s first visit to the Cobra Kai dojo, he is faced with a wall full of awards recognizing the accomplishments of the students and their sensei. Among the plaques and trophies is a photograph showing Sensei Kreese wearing full military fatigues and recognizing him as “Karate Champion” and a U.S. Army captain from 1970-1972. Kreese’s military service is referenced again later in the Karate Kid trilogy when viewers are introduced to Terry Silver—a Vietnam veteran and successor to Kreese as the Cobra Kai sensei.

14. DANIEL WENT TO WEST VALLEY HIGH SCHOOL.

Although the name of Daniel’s school is never mentioned in the film, it is subtly referenced in a scene at his locker, just before he tells Ali about the “agreement” he has made with the Cobra Kai. A sticker inside the locker door suggests that Daniel attends West Valley High School.

15. ROCKET COMPUTERS WENT BANKRUPT.

Daniel and his mother moved to California as a result of her new job with Rocket Computers (“Flight to the future!”). The original script reveals why Freddy had “never heard of it” and also sheds some light on why it seems that Mrs. LaRusso might be an employee of the restaurant across from the Cobra Kai dojo.

As she shares with Daniel:

“They went bankrupt!…[But] listen to this. I walk out of Rocket with the beginning of Excedrin headache one through ten about to come on, and I’m going back to the car when this woman comes flying out of this restaurant, The Orient Express, and she’s screaming, ‘I quit! I quit!’ Right behind her is this guy and he’s yelling just as loud, ‘You can’t quit! You’re fired!’ It’s one minute to noon, people are coming in to lunch, I’m the first but only applicant — I got the job!”

When Daniel questions her new position as a waitress, his mother clarifies that she is not a waitress. She is a hostess.

16. MRS. LARUSSO READS VINTAGE MAGAZINES.

Mr. Miyagi stops by the LaRusso’s apartment to fix the faucet and finds Daniel practicing karate. While Miyagi was surprised that Daniel was trying to learn karate from a book, it is also surprising that the magazine underneath the book was published in April 1969.

I guess this then-15-year-old Easter issue of Family Circle explains the bunny cake clipping seen hanging on the refrigerator door (although it doesn’t explain why the LaRussos were planning for Easter in September).

17. PAT MORITA DID NOT PERFORM THE CRANE KICK.

The tournament semi-finalists included Johnny Lawrence, Bobby Brown, Daniel LaRusso, and a character credited only as “Karate Semi-Finalist,” played by black belt Darryl Vidal. Vidal shows off some flashy moves before being eliminated by Johnny, who advances to face Daniel in the final.

Vidal is now a 10th degree black belt and one of the most respected teachers in the sport. His involvement with The Karate Kid was not limited to the action seen in the tournament. Earlier, in one of the most memorable scenes from the film, Mr. Miyagi performs the crane kick from atop a wooden post on the beach as Daniel observes from a distance.

But it was not actually Morita on the post—it was Darryl Vidal, serving as his stunt double. These details are confirmed in the DVD commentary track and Vidal himself provided this information to the Karate Kid Site at fast-rewind.com: “I am the stunt double for the scene where Mr. Miyagi is on the post on the beach. It isn’t noted in the cast list at the end where I am just listed as the semi-finalist. I am dressed in a body-suit, and bald-head wig.”

18. DANIEL AND HIS FRIENDS HAVE AMAZING T-SHIRTS.

Although Daniel hides his “No More Mr. Nice Guy” tee under a button-up, Freddy proudly wears his “Makin’ Bacon” shirt for all the world to see.

19. HAPPY GILMORE’S GRANDMA LIVES IN DANIEL’S APARTMENT BUILDING.

Entering his new apartment building for the first time, Daniel stops to speak with a woman who reveals she is from Parsippany, New Jersey. Moments later, she provides Daniel with some less-than-clear directions to Mr. Miyagi’s workshop. You may recognize her as Frances Bay—the character actress who played Happy Gilmore’s grandmother.

20. A BAND FROM THE SOUNDTRACK APPEARS IN THE MOVIE.

The Karate Kid soundtrack includes the song “No Shelter” by the band Broken Edge. The band can be seen in the film playing on stage at the Halloween dance.

21. PAT JOHNSON WAS AN EXPERT, A REFEREE, AND A TOY

Pat Johnson was responsible for the choreography of The Karate Kid’s fight scenes. Johnson, a well-known karate expert, also played the part of the referee in the film’s final match. When the Remco line of Karate Kid action figures hit shelves in 1986, a figure based on Johnson as the tournament official was included in the Competition Center set.

22. THE KARATE KID INCLUDES SOME FAMOUS FAMILY TIES.

Dutch, a member of the Cobra Kai, was played by Chad McQueen—on of legendary actor Steve McQueen.

Early in the film, Freddy invites Daniel to a beach party with his friends. Among those friends was Chucky, played by Frank Burt Avalon, who happens to be the son of singer and beach film veteran Frankie Avalon.

At the Halloween dance, Daniel has a raw egg smashed on his head by a guy dressed as a chicken. The chicken boy was played by Todd Lookinland—brother of Mike Lookinland, Bobby of Brady Bunch fame.

Larry Drake, later of L.A. Law, is credited as “Yahoo #2,” and you may also recognize Larry Scott from the original Revenge of the Nerds in the role of Jerry.

Lastly, although uncredited, actor Andrew Shue appears briefly as an arbitrary member of the Cobra Kai. He is the brother of Ali Mills herself, Elisabeth Shue.

23. IT’S ALL FUN AND GAMES UNTIL SOMEONE BRUISES HIS CHIN

In the DVD commentary, Ralph Macchio suggests that the bruise seen on his chin is real—a result of a roundhouse kick that struck him during the Halloween night fight against some teens dressed up in skeleton costumes.

24. PAT MORITA’S GIVEN NAME IS USED IN THE CREDITS.

As previously mentioned, Morita was well-known prior to The Karate Kid for his comedy work on several TV shows, including a recurring stint as Ah Chew on Sanford and Son. Producer Jerry Weintraub suggested that Morita’s credit in the film include his given name—Noriyuki—so as to sound more “ethnic.” Therefore, the role of Mr. Miyagi is credited to Noriyuki “Pat” Morita.

25. THE TOURNAMENT VICTORY WAS NOT THE END.

The Karate Kid was not intended to conclude with Daniel’s victory over Johnny at the tournament. The opening scene in the sequel The Karate Kid Part II, which sees a parking lot confrontation between Kreese and Miyagi, was the original film’s original ending. Both B.B. Hiller’s novelization of the film and early copies of the script conclude with Miyagi tweaking Kreese’s nose and the members of the Cobra Kai dropping their belts around their defeated leader.

26. DANIEL SHOULD HAVE BEEN DISQUALIFIED … MAYBE.

In an amazing breakdown written for overthinkingit.com, Matthew Belinkie considers the legality of the crane kick within the rules of a typical karate competition. According to Belinkie, competition rules prohibit participants from striking their opponent using “full power.”

Going on to discuss this matter with an expert in karate competition, he confirms that in most cases, Daniel would have been disqualified as a result of the maneuver.

27. MANY OF THE ACTORS ARE ACTIVE ON SOCIAL MEDIA.

Several of the original cast members are active on social media sites. Ralph Macchio chimes in on Twitter along with Martin Kove, William Zabka, and Tony O’Dell. On Facebook, Ron Thomas actively promotes his real-life dojo and martial arts training. If you follow any of these guys, you’re sometimes treated to behind-the-scenes gems like this.

28. THE MAIN CAST REUNITED FOR AN AWESOME MUSIC VIDEO.

What do you get when you combine Dennis Haskins from Saved By the Bell, the core of The Karate Kid cast, and the band No More Kings? You get the amazing 2007 music video for a song called “Sweep the Leg.”

29. RALPH MACCHIO HAS POKED FUN AT HIS ENDURING KARATE KID CHARACTER.

In 2010, Ralph Macchio appeared in a video for Funny or Die as he humorously attempted to shed his “good guy” image.

30. A COMPLETE REHEARSAL OF THE FILM IS AVAILABLE ON YOUTUBE.

Hold on to your seats, Karate Kid fans. If you weren’t aware of this already, prepare to have your minds blown. An entire rehearsal of The Karate Kid is available to view on YouTube. Included in the run-through are several dialogue variations and a few scenes that didn’t make it to the final cut of the film. If you’re a diehard Karate Kid fan, you’ll definitely want to check this out for yourself.

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Ultimate Martial Arts

Martial Arts Unlimited

The topic of what is the Ultimate Martial Arts has come up quite a few times in my 25+ years of training.  Everyone wants to discuss whose Martial Arts Style is the best and whose Martial Art Style will Ultimately win in a fight or a battle.  As I discussed before, all styles of Martial Arts is good.  Martial Arts, in general, is objective and anyone in any style of Martial Arts can be effective or ineffective in using the technique.  But here is where this discussion changes.  I still fully believe that all styles of Martial Arts is good and there is no one Ultimate Martial Arts, but people are different.  People are what make their style the Ultimate Martial Arts or the bottom of the barrel Martial Arts.  There are two classifications of people in the Martial Arts.  I know you are probably saying to yourself, Jeff there is ranking and belt colors and all that, how is there only two classifications?  Well we are not discussing individuals and their rank here.  We are discussing the overall Martial Arts and what type of people are in the Martial Arts.  Also the discussion will lead to what make a Martial Art the Ultimate Martial Art.  Now back to the 2 types of people in the Martial Arts.  There are teachers, which were once students and should always be students of another teacher and there are students.  I say teachers are always students because there is so much to learn that they are forever students.  A good teacher can also learn from his students.

Teachers

You have probably heard the saying, the student has become the master.  Well this is true at a certain point.  But also it leads to ego’s and other types of problems that prevent a style from becoming the Ultimate Martial Arts.  Martial Arts is for combat, hence the first word, Martial.  I have met many teachers, even in my own style, that have changed the style and only learned certain parts of the style that it no has been eliminated from being able to be classified as the Ultimate Martial arts.

My style of Okinawan Seidokan is a full-on combat style that teaches survival and true self defense and protection.  I am taught by my teacher how to fight and how to survive a fight with minimal injury to myself.  His teacher taught him this way and it is the way that all Martial Arts should be in my opinion.  I am not sure how many of you know what Kata or forms are but they are basics.  I bring this up because we have teachers in our style that believe that Kata is used for actually fighting an opponent.  These teachers only teach Kata and the tradition but they do not teach the practical use of the techniques in the Kata.  Even though I am taught the ways of combat and my teacher teaches this way, the people that are only teaching Kata and traditional instead of practical have taken my style out of the running for Ultimate Martial arts.

This is true of many styles as teachers change what they teach and they get older and refuse to teach practical knowledge.  But I will teach as my teacher taught me and my students will have a full working combat knowledge of Martial Arts so they can be considered Ultimate Martial Artists.  So in summary, teachers, people, can end up taking a style out of the running for Ultimate Martial Arts.

Students

You might think students are just that and do not have a say in their training.  But the student has the ultimate stay because he/she picks their teacher.  A student has a choice to become an Ultimate Martial Artist or the choice to become a Kata and forms person.  By the way, a Ultimate Martial Artist knows the Kata and the forms as well and is well rounded in their training.  Ultimate Martial Artists know their style and know how to use what they are taught.  I was told by a very wise individual that a martial artist does not realize the potential until they make the style their own.  This means that a true Ultimate Martial Artist has trained in their style and has figured out what works for them and what does not work.

In the end all styles of martial arts are good.  It is the artist him or herself that makes the style an Ultimate Martial Arts style.

Jeff Masterson
Martial Arts Unlimited
http://martialarts.te24365.com
jmasterson@te24365.com

Martial Arts Shoes

Martial Arts Shoes

I know that many people do not think about this but your feet are where all your nerve ends are.  Why do you think foot massages are so popular?  Everyone is on their feet and their feet are used all the time.  This would be the same with Martial Arts.  Your feet are weapons.  That is why a good pair of martial arts shoes will make you happy. 

Depending on where are you are training and what training surfaces you are using, a good pair of martial arts shoes will save your feet.  Martial arts shoes protect your feet from all sorts of hazards.  Martial arts shoes are different in they usually have a very thin sole which is meant to provide flexibility and movement.  But there is also another benefit to having this sole.  It protects the bottom of your feet from the surface of the ground you are training on.

Another benefit to martial arts shoes is they protect your feet against your opponents’ bones.  If you kick your opponent in the teeth then your feet will be protected.  Also, they provide protection against other bones.  These are some good reasons to find and wear some good martial arts shoes.

Now I know for you ladies out there, there is a fashion sense that we need to meet.  As you can see if you visit the page with the shoes on it, you will see that there is a wide selection.  Go ahead and look around and see if there is something that catches your eye.

Here’s to your training

Jeff Masterson
http://www.martialarts.te24365.com 
jmasterson@te24365.com

Martial Arts Training Equipment

Martial Arts Training Equipment

Today we are going to talk about martial arts training equipment.  There are two basic segments of martial arts training equipment.  Solo training equipment and partner training equipment.  Martial artists can practice on their own or they can practice with partners.  That is the beauty of martial arts.  It is very versatile according to how the martial artist likes to train. 

Solo Training:

In solo martial arts training, the martial artist is training by his or herself.  They do not need equipment to do this.  Especially if the martial artist is practicing kata or technique by kicking or punching to the air.  But to develop power and/or get used to hitting objects with the techniques, the martial artist needs equipment.

Heavy Bag/Punching Bag

Heavy bags and punching bags are not exclusive to boxers.  Even though boxing is a form of martial arts.  The martial artist can train on a heavy bag/punching bag without having a partner.  By using the heavy bag, the martial artist can develop strength in their kicks and punches.  One thing a martial artist will want to get for heavy bag/punching bag training is a good set of gloves.

Focus Mitt

I know what you are going to say.  Jeff, focus mitts are used if you have a partner.  Well here is the beauty of using focus mitts in your personal training.  I was taught this trick or technique for using focus mitts in my solo martial arts training.  Here it goes.  Take a rope or twine or some strong string.  Tie it to the back of one of the focus mitts.  Hang the focus mitt from somewhere high but not to high you are going to hurt yourself when you kick it.  Then the martial artist can practice focusing their kicks on the mitt without needing a partner.  Pretty slick and it works well.

Wing Chun Equipment

Ok so for those of you that practice a Kung Fu style, there is the Wing Chun equipment that you can use in your solo martial arts training.  The first Wing Chun piece of equipment that we will discuss is the Wing Chun Dummy.  This is usually a vertical post with horizontal posts sticking out from it.  This is used by a Kung Fu stylist to practice the blocks and punches and to condition the knuckles, arms and elbows of the martial artist.

Then there is the Wing Chun Sticky Hands strength training ring.  This ring is used to practice the hand technique of the martial artist and provide strength to the techniques.  A martial artist that is studying another style besides Kung Fu can benefit from both this ring and the Wing Chun Dummy.

Partner Training:

This type of training is exactly what it sounds like.  The martial artist trains with a partner.  Usually this involves sparing or technique sparing which is very controlled light sparing.  It could also involve kick pad training or focus mitt training. 

Kick Pad

This is sometimes called a shield or a blocking pad.  One of the martial artists holds the pad and the other kicks it.  This is good for a martial artist to do so they get the feel of what it will actually be like to kick a person.  Usually the two martial artists rotate or take turns kicking the pad.

Focus Mitts

Yes, here are the focus mitts again.  Now what I have found is there are two ways to do partner martial arts training with these.  These are mainly used to practice punches and sometimes kicks in combinations.  The first way to use them is one martial artist will hold the mitts and the other will punch and kick them.  The other way to use them is the trainer holds the mitts and the martial artist focuses punches and kicks on them.  You see this a lot in boxing and kickboxing.

Boxing Gloves/Sparing Gloves

We all know what these are.  These gloves are used in martial arts training to protect the partners from injuring each other.  Martial Arts is dangerous already and you can be seriously hurt in training but these gloves will help to prevent unnecessary injury.  The partners wear them while sparing with each other so that they do not injure each other.

There is so much more equipment out there.  The martial artist should look through it all and decide what will work for their training.

Thank you and have a great evening.

Jeff Masterson
http://martialarts.te24365.com
jmasterson@te24365.com

Martial Arts Training

Hello again.  This is Jeff.  Martial Arts Training can be very intense.   But can also be very good for the physical and mental strength of the Martial Artist.  Let’s dig into what Martial Arts Training can and probably involves.  We will go over conditioning, physicality and mentality.  My teacher always instills the mental and the physical as one.  What your mind perceives is what your body can do.  This visualization of physical activity can translate to almost any sport and is used by many athletes.  You will also find that many athletes had some form of Martial Arts training in their lifetime.

So, let’s get into the nitty gritty of what is involved in martial arts training.  We will start with one of the most important places to start with Martial Arts Training.  Flexibility is a key component of Martial Arts Training.  You probably have seen many Martial Artists that can kick straight up over their head or do these spinning head kicks.  Well this is flexibility.  If you are going to start your Martial Arts Training, the first place to start is by stretching and creating flexibility in your muscles.  Plus stretching and warming up will prevent injury from happening.  When I first started my Martial Arts Training, I did not realize how much flexibility I did not have.  My muscles where so inflexible, I thought every time I kicked I would pull a muscle.  But stretching and warming up is just like the training itself.  Practice makes perfect.  So, start your training with a good stretch and warm up of the muscles.  There are some good books on the subject here Martial Arts Training Books.

Now depending on your teacher and style as well as the class you are in, your Martial Arts Training can consist of traditional training which will include kata, basic punches and kicks, traditional stances and much more.  I have attended many Martial Arts Training classes, traditional and practical.  Practical would be the self-defense techniques and the sparing.  If the Martial Arts Training consists of both traditional and practical training then the Martial Artist will be well rounded and will be prepared if he/she needs to use his training.  What I have found, if I practice the traditional then then my practical fighting skills improve as well.

Here is what must be understood about Martial Arts Training.  Martial Arts is the art of combat.  To be a Martial Artist means to be a warrior.  Martial Arts was developed by the farmers that were not allowed to have weapons.  They needed a way to fight back against oppression.  They could also do Martial Arts Training under the radar of the oppressors.  So when doing your Martial Arts Training, remember that you are training to be a warrior and you need to have the warrior spirit.  Always train to the best of your ability and know that you are part of a long tradition of warrior that have fought and won against many odds.

Thank you

Jeff Masterson
http://martialarts.te24365.com
jmasterson@te24365.com

About Martial Arts Unlimited

Martial Arts Unlimited

Welcome to Martial Arts Unlimited!! My name is Jeff Masterson . I am a 6th Degree Black Belt in Okinawan Seidokan Karate and Kobudo. I believe in the full philosophy of Martial Arts. I also believe all styles are good. No one style is better than another. Please browse the site and have a good time learning your chosen style of Martial Arts.

I have been in Martial Arts for over 25 years. When I began I knew very little about the Martial Arts. I just know I wanted to learn and become proficient at it. I did not research on the origins of Martial Arts and how it began. I knew that I wanted a good teacher and a true style. In my searching I found my teacher who came directly from Okinawa, Japan and trained under true masters of Martial Arts. I knew that this would be my teacher in this journey.

Our head master in Okinawa, Japan passed away in 2013 and the style has moved to his predecessor. My teacher and I have now been approved to start our own association under the main association by the new head master. With this being done, I am now an officer in our association and I can now pass on my knowledge I have learned to other beginners and even some advance students as they join the journey into the Martial Arts lifestyle with me.

Now I want to help others who may have an interest in the Martial Arts and give back by passing forward my knowledge.

From the beginning of my search into Martial Arts to were I am now in Martial Arts, I have had friends, teachers and other students helping me. Martial Arts is something that is passed down from Teacher (student of another teacher) to student. Martial Arts can provide many benefits to people. I want to share those benefits with others and hopefully inspire others to enjoy and love the Martial Arts lifestyle.

A Little Story About My Martial Arts Life.

Growing up I was always a bigger kid. Not in the sense that I had muscle, but more in the sense that I was chubby and out of shape. My parents were not big on sports or physical activity so did not really have a role model there. But the one thing I love the most was watching the old Kung Fu movies. Yes your know the ones were the impossible becomes the possible and everyone in them seems to have super powers. Those were my role models and I love to imitate their moves after watching the movies. But I weighed so much it was hard to imitate the movements to their fullest. But I always tried very hard to look like them. I know not realistic.

As I got older I lost hope that I would be a martial artist so I set the dream aside. I played football in High School. Also ran track and did shot put and discus. I was in better shape once I reached high school and I felt much better. But I found that I was out of focus on a lot of things. Especially studying in school. After high school I really had no focus in life. I was working a dead end job and not going much of anywhere.

Then I met up with an old friend from high school. I had not talked to him in a while. I found out he had been studying Martial Arts for years. We discussed all the aspects of Martial Arts and my fire for it was rekindled. I insisted to meet his teacher. We went to the dojo and his teacher did a demonstration for us. I was hooked. I had found my teacher and my style.

Not long after that day I was training in Martial Arts every day. A day would not go by that I would not practice some aspect of our style. But more than that I saw other improvements in my life. I started to become more focused in my life. Martial Arts gave me the drive to go back to school. It gave me the discipline to complete school all the way to my Master’s Degree. It has brought fitness into my life which has given me good health. And it has given me the confidence to know that I am strong and can accomplish anything in my life. You see, it was Martial Arts that changed my life for the better. Martial Arts provides a good foundation for the movement through life.

Evolution

Through my years as a Martial Artist I have seen an evolution in the overall concept of what Martial Arts is. There has also been a lot of segmentation of Martial Arts. But whatever your segment is, whether it be fighting, kata, weapons, etc. your must practice. Practice makes perfect. As my head master and my teacher have always imprinted on me, “Practice makes perfect but make sure your are practicing perfectly.” What they meant by this is always given 100% and practice as though your are really there.

Practicing like this can lead to better kicks, stronger punches and overall improvement of technique 100 fold.

So have a look around and if your have anything to share in respect to Martial Arts, please share. I love to hear about others progress and training.

Here is to your training

All the best,

Jeff

Founder of Martial Arts Unlimited
http://martialarts.te24365.com/
jmasterson@te24365.com