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Thread: How to get better?

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    Dharma_Punk is offline
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    Default How to get better?

    So, how do you get better at martial arts, and fighting in general? Practice, practice, practice, I know. But what else? I work out on the heavy bag fairly often, and run through forms and sets. I've heard getting a double-ended 'goofy bag' helps a lot with coordination and timing? What tips and tricks have helped you develop more speed, power, and over all skill through the years?
    "Given enough time, any man may master the physical. With enough knowledge, any man may become wise. It is the true warrior who can master both....and surpass the result." - Tien T'ai
    "If you train very hard, you will be very good." - Remy Presas

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    Default Re: How to get better?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dharma_Punk View Post
    So, how do you get better at martial arts, and fighting in general? Practice, practice, practice, I know. ... I've heard getting a double-ended 'goofy bag' helps a lot with coordination and timing?
    Practice, practice, practice- but, you already know that.

    Double end bag- mine is set up as a stacked pair. Standard cylindrical de bag and , over that, a round offset bag. The offset is from Ringside, and the attachment straps are to one side so that when you hit it, it doesn't just fly straight back. Ball is at head height, cylendar at torso level, for obviouse reasons.

    I recomend you get a Ringside catalog if you want innovative training aids. They have a lot of good training equipment and supplies.

    Dan C
    There are things that are worth knowing for their own sake, worth finding for the pure joy of discovery.

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    Default Re: How to get better?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dharma_Punk View Post
    So, how do you get better at martial arts, and fighting in general? Practice, practice, practice, I know. But what else? I work out on the heavy bag fairly often, and run through forms and sets. I've heard getting a double-ended 'goofy bag' helps a lot with coordination and timing? What tips and tricks have helped you develop more speed, power, and over all skill through the years?
    The MOST neglected side of martial arts training is the "mental Side".

    It doesn't take much time, and it needs to be done correctly.

    Then miracles happen.

    Dr. John M. La Tourrette

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    Default Re: How to get better?

    Here's just a few ideas I had a while back. A friend of mine asked me to contribute an 'article' to his martial arts website, and this is an exerpt from it (actually it's about 80-90% of it) so it was written to 'martial artists' in general...that's why it says things like "If you are a grappler..."
    Here goes:

    1. Train for realism.
    Learn to discern between techniques/movements that look good, ones that work well in the ring and ones that actually give you the upper-hand in a high stress fast paced encounter.... these three things are Not the same; they are different. QUESTION what it is you do and why it is you do it. What's the tactic? Is it realistic? Would it give you the upper hand in most situations? Could you easily reproduce that kind of technique while under sudden and intense stress? Is there some way that you could achieve the same objective quicker or easier?
    There's LOTS of lessons w/in the arts we train in, many of the best are just below the surface and must be Earned...but they make a big difference down the road!!!
    ((Bear in mind: not all elements of an art have to do with "combat reality", many things, like forms, have to do with the refinement of your motion and more subtle lessons and conditioning, and the ongoing perfection of the absolute basics is a must as they are THE building blocks of Everything else we do.... don't throw out the baby with the bathwater. Some things produce exact skill sets, other refine and sophisticate HOW you do what you do and still others engender certain qualities...etc. Don't assume that just because you don't yet see what the 'usefulness' of a thing is that it doesn't have any. It might be the very thing to unlock lots of your ability later. you never know, but your instructor should...follow their lead.))

    2. Train hard.
    Never let up. If you are training with at least ONE of your reasons for training to be able to survive a violent attack, then learning perseverance is concern 1. Push yourself. I've heard that the words "Kung Fu" can be translated as "Hard work".... see.....the ancients knew that good results only come from Hard work!! So do some. (ok... do a lot)

    3. Train frequently.
    You will respond the way you train, period. The MORE you train, the more your reactions will occur w/out the need for conscious decision making...it will become a matter of sensitivity and spontinaity.

    4. Don't be afraid to get hit.
    It's a common ailment!! ...and for good reason, we SHOULD have an aversion to pain and discomfort; it's a safety mechanism. But on the same token, we need to be in control of our 'need' for safety. You can train safely and still receive some good contact. Sparring is good...........to a point. But dont' make the most common mistake of training to improve your sparring, spar to improve your training. When the "ring" becomes the focus of your training it looses it's positive effect on your ability to survive a REAL encounter. Take your core tactics in your art (not sure what yours is) and express it while padded up. Also: While drilling on self defense encounters and two person drills (anything where you are exchanging contact with another person........or two) agree before hand that you'll both take 'some' contact. Don't punch infront of your targets!! If you train to stop your fist before a target, then you are TRAINING AND PRACTICING MISSING!!!!!! You don't want to get good at missing and make THAT your ingrained response. Can't emphasize that enough. I'm NOT saying to waylay each other. NO NO! Don't break your toys or you'll have nothing to play with. But I am saying that 'some' contact is very good. Keeps you from getting that "STUN" effect that many streetfighters expect their hits to produce. If contact makes your cringe and cover or even just causes you to hesitate or blink... they have you. Period. Learn to face the contact and give some too. It's difficult to learn about the proper projection of force "at, on, in and through" a target if you always stop at the "at" part.

    5. Make good use of focus mits and a heavy bag.
    NOT one of those free standing bags....but one you can really make GOOD contact with. Focus mits (on the hands of a good partner who will challenge you but not out-pace you) will work to highten your ability to guage distance and strike while in motion. Also....if your partner really knows what they are doing and how to move the mits, then they can challenge you defensively as well by lashing toward you with them intermittently.....making you weave/dodge...etc. as you strike. These are a Great training tool, good for conditioning as well. Then the HEAVY bag.... one of my favorite tools! There's nothing that helps you become confident of the power you can deal out like actually DEALING it on something that can take it. But don't just train your normal punch, get those crosses, uppercuts, hooks, jabs, backhands, palms, hammer fists....etc. Work ALL of your tools. Don't neglect your feet on the bag either. Punches and kicks to the air are fine and we should all do them to make sure that our form is just right and whatnot. BUT: We must fine tune our tools/weapons to be able to strike while moving and move while striking....and to be able to deliver the force at, on, in and through a target!!! These two training tools are GREAT!!

    6. Study the human anatomy and find it's liabilities.
    You may have good strong/swift basics, you may train with contact and work your skills a great deal.... but if you don't chose the BEST targets for your weapons, then you're only doing half as well as you could. By chosing the most 'choice' targets to strike/grab or 'negate' you'll be increasing your effectiveness and when you do that, you can afford much greater efficiency....as you can do more with less. So study the techniques of your art, scrutinize what their effects would be on the attackers body... chances are you'll learn a lot about the weaknesses of the human body. There's a whole study of the structural liabilities of the human body and how to make the best use of these in combat..... learn this and train with this in mind. PICK your targets, don't just make an "Upper body shot".... say what you're hitting "Floating ribs", sternum, clavicle...etc. Having strong weapons (punches, kicks...etc.) is great, but having 'weak' targets to exploit can make even a weak strike POWERFUL. Definitely something to think about. ((Side note: if you like, there's also the study of how to affect the body through the use of pressure points or "Kyusho". This is sometimes contraversial as not everyone thinks this works or is efficacious. Find out for yourself. Personally, I find it a Very interesting and beneficial study. Do a search on the word "Kyusho" and you'll probably find things out. Discern your sources though, some are good, many mediocre....lots O' Bad. Like I said: Find out for yourself First hand, it's the only way. I can personally recomend the curriculum of "Kyushojitsu" under the auspices of "Kyusho International" Headed by Shihan Evan Pantazi. MUCH more info can be found at www.kyusho.com ))

    7. Diversify your skills.
    If you are a grappler, learn to fight with your hands and feet as a striker. If you are a 'striker'...learn to grapple. If your art emphasizes kicks, learn to punch....if your art emphasizes hands, learn to kick. If your school emphasizes the "hands on" aspect (great) then study and learn and appreciate the good that's to be had from forms, solo drills and the like.
    PLEASE NOTE: I'm Not saying "leave your art". Not at all!!!!! What I am saying is that you should Keep your art and love it for all your worth.... but fill the gaps. NO art is "complete". I know I'll probably catch some guff from that statement, but I believe it. Once you've gained new skill sets that compliment the whole of what you do, find a place w/in the context of your system where this info will fit in well... perhaps the new striking skills will lead well to one of your more accomplished/useful throws or maybe it's the throw that's new and your familiar striking skills will help you enter to gain a better vantage point from which to steal your attackers balance from beneath him. In the end your skills need to find a balance, a homogenous context so that your skills flow and can be expressed seamlessly.... after all, fighting is not a 'partitioned' activity, it's a fluid dialogue.

    8. Study weapons.
    The study of weapons can VERY often have a good effect on your empty hand work and can really lend some insights and depth............besides, training with weapons is a good idea anyway.

    There's more things one can do. Perhaps more "Makiwara" training to harden the weapons and perfect the ability to "transfer" force through a specific trajectory...as you do when practicing 'breaking'.
    After all is said and done, it's YOU that must be satisfied that what you are doing and HOW you are doing it... will serve you well when the chips are down and getting home in one piece is all that really matters.

    Please let me know what you think...., good or bad, agree or disagree. Feedback is important!
    An idea shared is an idea DOUBLED!

    Your Brother
    John
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    ((if you use "FaceBook", look me up there by name))
    "Striving for success without hard work is like trying to harvest where you haven't planted"
    ~ David Bly

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    Default Re: How to get better?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brother John View Post
    ...Please let me know what you think...., good or bad, agree or disagree...
    That was a very well written and thought out artical with lots of good points, thank you. I wish my instructor did pad work, but as of now we don't do any. I've thought about asking him if he would mind incorperating it into some of our workouts, as I think it would make us all better fighters.

    On the mental side of things, what do you suggest? I meditate on most days for around 20 minutes a day, but what else could I do?
    "Given enough time, any man may master the physical. With enough knowledge, any man may become wise. It is the true warrior who can master both....and surpass the result." - Tien T'ai
    "If you train very hard, you will be very good." - Remy Presas

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    unshackled-chi is offline
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    Default Re: How to get better?

    John pretty much handled/owned this one haha, i will add a few things that i did and i have noticed a difference.

    On your heavy bag, stratigically place some x's or box's cirrcles what ever you feel like, so that your not just hitting a giant bag, but making yourself train your aim always. With that i would say treat your bag like an enemy, never let your hands drop, protect yourself at all times, in short dont be sloppy.

    Also i took a stick of PVC about 6'0 and stuck it in an old umbrella holder, made two make shift targets , ones a head of course and the other i have at knee height for practicing stop-hits to the knee, this guy works man, because he fights back hahah. if you drive a nice punch on the PVC guy , you better know how to block lol.

    And i would say the most important thing anyone could do , is spar, spar and spar some more, if you got a mate that is willing to pad up with you , i would forsure take advantage.

    And your physical fitness/cardio, make sure you can go the distance and not gas out, learn from every art , keep an open mind, if it works for you ,personally , train it. Other than that keep it simple, undertsnad ranges and how to move in and out of them with ease.

    Sorry for the sloppy post im in a rush
    "Mighty power like steel is our Kata and heritage which require a long time of practice and training. It is what men are seeking, just only for their self-respect and self-defense."
    MASTER MEITOKU YAGI

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    Default Re: How to get better?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brother John View Post
    Here's just a few ideas I had a while back. A friend of mine asked me to contribute an 'article' to his martial arts website, and this is an exerpt from it (actually it's about 80-90% of it) so it was written to 'martial artists' in general...that's why it says things like "If you are a grappler..."
    Here goes:

    1. Train for realism.
    Learn to discern between techniques/movements that look good, ones that work well in the ring and ones that actually give you the upper-hand in a high stress fast paced encounter.... these three things are Not the same; they are different. QUESTION what it is you do and why it is you do it. What's the tactic? Is it realistic? Would it give you the upper hand in most situations? Could you easily reproduce that kind of technique while under sudden and intense stress? Is there some way that you could achieve the same objective quicker or easier?
    There's LOTS of lessons w/in the arts we train in, many of the best are just below the surface and must be Earned...but they make a big difference down the road!!!
    ((Bear in mind: not all elements of an art have to do with "combat reality", many things, like forms, have to do with the refinement of your motion and more subtle lessons and conditioning, and the ongoing perfection of the absolute basics is a must as they are THE building blocks of Everything else we do.... don't throw out the baby with the bathwater. Some things produce exact skill sets, other refine and sophisticate HOW you do what you do and still others engender certain qualities...etc. Don't assume that just because you don't yet see what the 'usefulness' of a thing is that it doesn't have any. It might be the very thing to unlock lots of your ability later. you never know, but your instructor should...follow their lead.))

    2. Train hard.
    Never let up. If you are training with at least ONE of your reasons for training to be able to survive a violent attack, then learning perseverance is concern 1. Push yourself. I've heard that the words "Kung Fu" can be translated as "Hard work".... see.....the ancients knew that good results only come from Hard work!! So do some. (ok... do a lot)

    3. Train frequently.
    You will respond the way you train, period. The MORE you train, the more your reactions will occur w/out the need for conscious decision making...it will become a matter of sensitivity and spontinaity.

    4. Don't be afraid to get hit.
    It's a common ailment!! ...and for good reason, we SHOULD have an aversion to pain and discomfort; it's a safety mechanism. But on the same token, we need to be in control of our 'need' for safety. You can train safely and still receive some good contact. Sparring is good...........to a point. But dont' make the most common mistake of training to improve your sparring, spar to improve your training. When the "ring" becomes the focus of your training it looses it's positive effect on your ability to survive a REAL encounter. Take your core tactics in your art (not sure what yours is) and express it while padded up. Also: While drilling on self defense encounters and two person drills (anything where you are exchanging contact with another person........or two) agree before hand that you'll both take 'some' contact. Don't punch infront of your targets!! If you train to stop your fist before a target, then you are TRAINING AND PRACTICING MISSING!!!!!! You don't want to get good at missing and make THAT your ingrained response. Can't emphasize that enough. I'm NOT saying to waylay each other. NO NO! Don't break your toys or you'll have nothing to play with. But I am saying that 'some' contact is very good. Keeps you from getting that "STUN" effect that many streetfighters expect their hits to produce. If contact makes your cringe and cover or even just causes you to hesitate or blink... they have you. Period. Learn to face the contact and give some too. It's difficult to learn about the proper projection of force "at, on, in and through" a target if you always stop at the "at" part.

    5. Make good use of focus mits and a heavy bag.
    NOT one of those free standing bags....but one you can really make GOOD contact with. Focus mits (on the hands of a good partner who will challenge you but not out-pace you) will work to highten your ability to guage distance and strike while in motion. Also....if your partner really knows what they are doing and how to move the mits, then they can challenge you defensively as well by lashing toward you with them intermittently.....making you weave/dodge...etc. as you strike. These are a Great training tool, good for conditioning as well. Then the HEAVY bag.... one of my favorite tools! There's nothing that helps you become confident of the power you can deal out like actually DEALING it on something that can take it. But don't just train your normal punch, get those crosses, uppercuts, hooks, jabs, backhands, palms, hammer fists....etc. Work ALL of your tools. Don't neglect your feet on the bag either. Punches and kicks to the air are fine and we should all do them to make sure that our form is just right and whatnot. BUT: We must fine tune our tools/weapons to be able to strike while moving and move while striking....and to be able to deliver the force at, on, in and through a target!!! These two training tools are GREAT!!

    6. Study the human anatomy and find it's liabilities.
    You may have good strong/swift basics, you may train with contact and work your skills a great deal.... but if you don't chose the BEST targets for your weapons, then you're only doing half as well as you could. By chosing the most 'choice' targets to strike/grab or 'negate' you'll be increasing your effectiveness and when you do that, you can afford much greater efficiency....as you can do more with less. So study the techniques of your art, scrutinize what their effects would be on the attackers body... chances are you'll learn a lot about the weaknesses of the human body. There's a whole study of the structural liabilities of the human body and how to make the best use of these in combat..... learn this and train with this in mind. PICK your targets, don't just make an "Upper body shot".... say what you're hitting "Floating ribs", sternum, clavicle...etc. Having strong weapons (punches, kicks...etc.) is great, but having 'weak' targets to exploit can make even a weak strike POWERFUL. Definitely something to think about. ((Side note: if you like, there's also the study of how to affect the body through the use of pressure points or "Kyusho". This is sometimes contraversial as not everyone thinks this works or is efficacious. Find out for yourself. Personally, I find it a Very interesting and beneficial study. Do a search on the word "Kyusho" and you'll probably find things out. Discern your sources though, some are good, many mediocre....lots O' Bad. Like I said: Find out for yourself First hand, it's the only way. I can personally recomend the curriculum of "Kyushojitsu" under the auspices of "Kyusho International" Headed by Shihan Evan Pantazi. MUCH more info can be found at www.kyusho.com ))

    7. Diversify your skills.
    If you are a grappler, learn to fight with your hands and feet as a striker. If you are a 'striker'...learn to grapple. If your art emphasizes kicks, learn to punch....if your art emphasizes hands, learn to kick. If your school emphasizes the "hands on" aspect (great) then study and learn and appreciate the good that's to be had from forms, solo drills and the like.
    PLEASE NOTE: I'm Not saying "leave your art". Not at all!!!!! What I am saying is that you should Keep your art and love it for all your worth.... but fill the gaps. NO art is "complete". I know I'll probably catch some guff from that statement, but I believe it. Once you've gained new skill sets that compliment the whole of what you do, find a place w/in the context of your system where this info will fit in well... perhaps the new striking skills will lead well to one of your more accomplished/useful throws or maybe it's the throw that's new and your familiar striking skills will help you enter to gain a better vantage point from which to steal your attackers balance from beneath him. In the end your skills need to find a balance, a homogenous context so that your skills flow and can be expressed seamlessly.... after all, fighting is not a 'partitioned' activity, it's a fluid dialogue.

    8. Study weapons.
    The study of weapons can VERY often have a good effect on your empty hand work and can really lend some insights and depth............besides, training with weapons is a good idea anyway.

    There's more things one can do. Perhaps more "Makiwara" training to harden the weapons and perfect the ability to "transfer" force through a specific trajectory...as you do when practicing 'breaking'.
    After all is said and done, it's YOU that must be satisfied that what you are doing and HOW you are doing it... will serve you well when the chips are down and getting home in one piece is all that really matters.

    Please let me know what you think...., good or bad, agree or disagree. Feedback is important!
    An idea shared is an idea DOUBLED!

    Your Brother
    John
    Outstanding! That's all I can say, Brother John. Outstanding.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    Michael Huffman
    1st Black, AKKI
    www.akki.com

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    Default Re: How to get better?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brother John View Post
    Here's just a few ideas I had a while back. A friend of mine asked me to contribute an 'article' to his martial arts website, and this is an exerpt from it (actually it's about 80-90% of it) so it was written to 'martial artists' in general...that's why it says things like "If you are a grappler..."
    Here goes:

    1. Train for realism.
    Learn to discern between techniques/movements that look good, ones that work well in the ring and ones that actually give you the upper-hand in a high stress fast paced encounter.... these three things are Not the same; they are different. QUESTION what it is you do and why it is you do it. What's the tactic? Is it realistic? Would it give you the upper hand in most situations? Could you easily reproduce that kind of technique while under sudden and intense stress? Is there some way that you could achieve the same objective quicker or easier?
    There's LOTS of lessons w/in the arts we train in, many of the best are just below the surface and must be Earned...but they make a big difference down the road!!!
    ((Bear in mind: not all elements of an art have to do with "combat reality", many things, like forms, have to do with the refinement of your motion and more subtle lessons and conditioning, and the ongoing perfection of the absolute basics is a must as they are THE building blocks of Everything else we do.... don't throw out the baby with the bathwater. Some things produce exact skill sets, other refine and sophisticate HOW you do what you do and still others engender certain qualities...etc. Don't assume that just because you don't yet see what the 'usefulness' of a thing is that it doesn't have any. It might be the very thing to unlock lots of your ability later. you never know, but your instructor should...follow their lead.))

    2. Train hard.
    Never let up. If you are training with at least ONE of your reasons for training to be able to survive a violent attack, then learning perseverance is concern 1. Push yourself. I've heard that the words "Kung Fu" can be translated as "Hard work".... see.....the ancients knew that good results only come from Hard work!! So do some. (ok... do a lot)

    3. Train frequently.
    You will respond the way you train, period. The MORE you train, the more your reactions will occur w/out the need for conscious decision making...it will become a matter of sensitivity and spontinaity.

    4. Don't be afraid to get hit.
    It's a common ailment!! ...and for good reason, we SHOULD have an aversion to pain and discomfort; it's a safety mechanism. But on the same token, we need to be in control of our 'need' for safety. You can train safely and still receive some good contact. Sparring is good...........to a point. But dont' make the most common mistake of training to improve your sparring, spar to improve your training. When the "ring" becomes the focus of your training it looses it's positive effect on your ability to survive a REAL encounter. Take your core tactics in your art (not sure what yours is) and express it while padded up. Also: While drilling on self defense encounters and two person drills (anything where you are exchanging contact with another person........or two) agree before hand that you'll both take 'some' contact. Don't punch infront of your targets!! If you train to stop your fist before a target, then you are TRAINING AND PRACTICING MISSING!!!!!! You don't want to get good at missing and make THAT your ingrained response. Can't emphasize that enough. I'm NOT saying to waylay each other. NO NO! Don't break your toys or you'll have nothing to play with. But I am saying that 'some' contact is very good. Keeps you from getting that "STUN" effect that many streetfighters expect their hits to produce. If contact makes your cringe and cover or even just causes you to hesitate or blink... they have you. Period. Learn to face the contact and give some too. It's difficult to learn about the proper projection of force "at, on, in and through" a target if you always stop at the "at" part.

    5. Make good use of focus mits and a heavy bag.
    NOT one of those free standing bags....but one you can really make GOOD contact with. Focus mits (on the hands of a good partner who will challenge you but not out-pace you) will work to highten your ability to guage distance and strike while in motion. Also....if your partner really knows what they are doing and how to move the mits, then they can challenge you defensively as well by lashing toward you with them intermittently.....making you weave/dodge...etc. as you strike. These are a Great training tool, good for conditioning as well. Then the HEAVY bag.... one of my favorite tools! There's nothing that helps you become confident of the power you can deal out like actually DEALING it on something that can take it. But don't just train your normal punch, get those crosses, uppercuts, hooks, jabs, backhands, palms, hammer fists....etc. Work ALL of your tools. Don't neglect your feet on the bag either. Punches and kicks to the air are fine and we should all do them to make sure that our form is just right and whatnot. BUT: We must fine tune our tools/weapons to be able to strike while moving and move while striking....and to be able to deliver the force at, on, in and through a target!!! These two training tools are GREAT!!

    6. Study the human anatomy and find it's liabilities.
    You may have good strong/swift basics, you may train with contact and work your skills a great deal.... but if you don't chose the BEST targets for your weapons, then you're only doing half as well as you could. By chosing the most 'choice' targets to strike/grab or 'negate' you'll be increasing your effectiveness and when you do that, you can afford much greater efficiency....as you can do more with less. So study the techniques of your art, scrutinize what their effects would be on the attackers body... chances are you'll learn a lot about the weaknesses of the human body. There's a whole study of the structural liabilities of the human body and how to make the best use of these in combat..... learn this and train with this in mind. PICK your targets, don't just make an "Upper body shot".... say what you're hitting "Floating ribs", sternum, clavicle...etc. Having strong weapons (punches, kicks...etc.) is great, but having 'weak' targets to exploit can make even a weak strike POWERFUL. Definitely something to think about. ((Side note: if you like, there's also the study of how to affect the body through the use of pressure points or "Kyusho". This is sometimes contraversial as not everyone thinks this works or is efficacious. Find out for yourself. Personally, I find it a Very interesting and beneficial study. Do a search on the word "Kyusho" and you'll probably find things out. Discern your sources though, some are good, many mediocre....lots O' Bad. Like I said: Find out for yourself First hand, it's the only way. I can personally recomend the curriculum of "Kyushojitsu" under the auspices of "Kyusho International" Headed by Shihan Evan Pantazi. MUCH more info can be found at www.kyusho.com ))

    7. Diversify your skills.
    If you are a grappler, learn to fight with your hands and feet as a striker. If you are a 'striker'...learn to grapple. If your art emphasizes kicks, learn to punch....if your art emphasizes hands, learn to kick. If your school emphasizes the "hands on" aspect (great) then study and learn and appreciate the good that's to be had from forms, solo drills and the like.
    PLEASE NOTE: I'm Not saying "leave your art". Not at all!!!!! What I am saying is that you should Keep your art and love it for all your worth.... but fill the gaps. NO art is "complete". I know I'll probably catch some guff from that statement, but I believe it. Once you've gained new skill sets that compliment the whole of what you do, find a place w/in the context of your system where this info will fit in well... perhaps the new striking skills will lead well to one of your more accomplished/useful throws or maybe it's the throw that's new and your familiar striking skills will help you enter to gain a better vantage point from which to steal your attackers balance from beneath him. In the end your skills need to find a balance, a homogenous context so that your skills flow and can be expressed seamlessly.... after all, fighting is not a 'partitioned' activity, it's a fluid dialogue.

    8. Study weapons.
    The study of weapons can VERY often have a good effect on your empty hand work and can really lend some insights and depth............besides, training with weapons is a good idea anyway.

    There's more things one can do. Perhaps more "Makiwara" training to harden the weapons and perfect the ability to "transfer" force through a specific trajectory...as you do when practicing 'breaking'.
    After all is said and done, it's YOU that must be satisfied that what you are doing and HOW you are doing it... will serve you well when the chips are down and getting home in one piece is all that really matters.

    Please let me know what you think...., good or bad, agree or disagree. Feedback is important!
    An idea shared is an idea DOUBLED!

    Your Brother
    John
    Outstanding! That's all I can say, Brother John. Outstanding.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    Michael Huffman
    1st Black, AKKI
    www.akki.com

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  13. #9
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    Default Re: How to get better?

    Conditioning.

    Cardio, strength, flexibility...the better shape you are in, the better figthter you will be, and the better you will hold up to the changes of time.

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    Default Re: How to get better?

    Know your reason to fight. In other words, find the reasons deep down that would lead you to hurt, maim, or kill another human being. Forget all of the esoteric "do" concepts for the moment, and meditate on what it is to protect your very existence, or that of someone close. Interestingly, often the notion of protecting one's self doesn't conjur up as powerful emotions as protecting someone we care for (a spouse, lover, or especially, a child). I have taught a number of adults that didn't quite get the combative mindset until you explained to them the thought of their children in mortal danger at the hands of another. "Oh...you mean THAT mindset..." is the sort of epiphany that occurs. So, find that internal fire, know it like your own hand, and that will form the basis of your martial action. All the rest is just details after that.

    I agree with Mr. LaTourette on this one - the mind is too seldom practiced. A mother or father defending their child is arguably one of the most viscious creatures in the animal kingdom. Its an instictive, predatory, dominant state of being that is out to utterly destroy whatever threat is present. We must develop the capacity to bring ourselves to this state of mind rapidly, and allow the mind to strategize and make quick decisions for the body to execute. I personally believe we must be prepared for the kill, and such preparation implies all facets of one's life, not just the mental and technical aspects. Morals, ethics, spiritual beliefs, and surrounding laws form the framework of how we should handle any engagement, and these must be reviewed in the solitude of one's own mind, away from the mats, in a time of peaceful reflection. Its critical we train how to practice engaging from a normal state of mind to an egaged state. Because this frame of mind is based on our own internal values, its with us at all times, and should therefore be available for use in an instant.

    Good thread, look forward to more.

    Cheers,

    steven Brown
    UKF

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    Default Re: How to get better?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brother John View Post
    Here's just a few ideas I had a while back. A friend of mine asked me to contribute an 'article' to his martial arts website, and this is an exerpt from it (actually it's about 80-90% of it) so it was written to 'martial artists' in general...that's why it says things like "If you are a grappler..."
    Very well written, John. Thanks for the terrific contribution.

    Respects,
    Bill Parsons
    Triangle Kenpo Institute
    www.trianglekenpo.com

    "I know Kenpo!" "Cool... do you know how to use it?"

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    Default Re: How to get better?

    Outstanding, Brother John
    Ty for posting it.
    Yours Truly
    Kenpo0324

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    Default Re: How to get better?

    Brother John,


    I'm very pleased with your post, however I do have a different take on a particular item, and since you asked for feedback...


    Under #4 you make the following statement: “If you train to stop your fist before a target, then you are training and practicing missing!” With the intent of this statement I whole-heartedly agree, if in fact the student is under the impression they are “missing” the target intentionally. Unfortunately the concept of control is commonly taught in this manner. In fact I've heard many a MA instructor use those very words. The reality is that when control is properly taught, it is not teaching to “miss” it is teaching to strike a different target. For example, if I'm using a center-face stop punch in a technique, my goal in practicing with a partner is to use the same punch with the same power, speed and accuracy, but to punch the target that is just shy of where the street target will be (with the partners agreeing with what equipment and how much shy). You must choose the target or you will miss it! We use a couple of focus pad drills to teach and practice control, which can easily be transitioned to a heavy bag or dummy (the Ultraman is my favorite, obviously).


    Again, great points.


    Respects,
    Bill Parsons
    Triangle Kenpo Institute
    www.trianglekenpo.com

    "I know Kenpo!" "Cool... do you know how to use it?"

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    Default Re: How to get better?

    One thing I would add is to develop a habit of visualization, if you haven't already. Make sure to spend some time by yourself practicing your techniques and forms against a visualized opponent who you believe is going to take your head off if you don't perform your technique well. If you do this, it's hard NOT to fully focus and put full effort into your moves. Are you really hitting the right spots on this opponent? Do all of your moves have enough power? While visualization is important in class if you're doing kata or performing techniques by yourself, I'll mention again that you should spend some time at this by yourself, at your own pace with no other distractions (music, TV, etc). I'd say that this improved my focus and led to an increase in speed.

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    Default Re: How to get better?

    Brother John talked about basics, and I agree wholeheartedly. I think a lot of people don't like going over basics because they've "gotten past" that point, having arrived at their upper belt ranking. I also think it's a giant mistake to think that way.

    I wrote something in Beginner's Corner you might want to scan for ideas: Ten beginner's tips

    One thing about beginners is that they're made to focus on the basics, and the basics are what make you a competent martial artist. Over time, some of the stuff you learn (and still know) can get covered up by other things, and while these new things may be good, they're never more important to your progress than the basics.

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    Default Re: How to get better?

    Quote Originally Posted by bujuts View Post
    I agree with Mr. LaTourette on this one - the mind is too seldom practiced. steven Brown UKF
    This is similar to the thread started by Celtic about mind, body and spirit, which in the Oriental arts is Technique (waza or wasa), activity (ki) and mind/spirit (shin).

    All three are necessary.

    Dr. John M. La Tourrette

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    Default Re: How to get better?

    But I think everyone is forgetting one thing, it is so basic. The very first thing is that a person has to make the decision to get better and do what is needed to get there. Before anything else the individual must make the decision not to "half ass it", pardon my French. After making this decision they need to do their homework. You must thoroughly understand why you are doing what you are doing and not just going through the motions. This is one of my biggest pet peeves with individuals, all they want to know is the how and not the why. Only knowing the how will get you half way.
    "To hear is to doubt. To see is to be deceived. But to feel is to believe." -- SGM Ed Parker

    "Sic vis pacem parabellum - If you want peace, prepare for war." -- "The Punisher"


    "Praying Mantis, very good. . . For catching bugs." --Jackie Chan

    "A horse stance is great for taking a dump" --Jet Li

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