Back to School…Bullies

It’s sad to say, but there are parents who consciously prepare their children for the eventuality of facing bullies as part of their back-to-school routine. It’s not sad that they’re preparing them, but sad that it has to be done. There are many ways to approach it; talking about how to diffuse a situation, learning the strength of walking away, but also knowing how to protect yourself physically. That’s why many back-to-school activities involve martial arts practice at a studio, but also at home. Continue reading Back to School…Bullies

Long, Safe Martial Arts Practice at Home

Your home martial arts practice area probably looks nothing like that of the monk in the picture, but at the very least you can improve your space with the addition of some new tatami finish martial arts mats. If you practice without them, you could be cutting short the duration of your practice by years. Continue reading Long, Safe Martial Arts Practice at Home

Martial Arts to Protect Schools, Hospitals, and National Identity

That’s a tall order, but in Indonesia, that is exactly what Pagar Nusa does. It is the martial arts wing of the moderate Muslim Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), a social welfare organization in Indonesia, building and protecting hospitals and schools among other socially beneficial projects. Why would those kinds of institutions need protecting? Unfortunately, the rise of the Islamic State has prompted many in Indonesia to be on their guard, especially those most vulnerable to attack and to recruitment. Continue reading Martial Arts to Protect Schools, Hospitals, and National Identity

From Wrestling Champion to Mr. President

From now on, it’s just political wrestling for Mongolia’s new president. Khaltmaa Battulga, a wealthy businessman and former martial arts star, will be leading the country out of debt and back to a strong economy, according to his campaign focus. How many political/martial arts analogies will there be out of this election? Plenty, I’ll bet.  Continue reading From Wrestling Champion to Mr. President

Martial Arts vs. Martial Arts

Practicing traditional Chinese martial arts is an exercise in participating in historically honored traditions, even if the rice straw mats have been replaced by foam martial arts mats, the public events are not watched by a handful of  immediate observers but by millions with access to the Internet, and the competitions within one particular form have evolved into competitions between 2 or more particular forms of martial arts. Is this the new martial arts? Continue reading Martial Arts vs. Martial Arts

A Step Up for MMA?

Every now and again, martial arts pops up in the news for something especially crazy, and a whole bunch of the previously-uninitiated get on board to see something special. This time around, it’s the Conor McGregor vs. Floyd Mayweather bout, set to test an MMA fighter against a legendary boxer and make them both a ridiculous amount of money. Mayweather is kind of a headline magnet, as undefeated professionals with long careers often are, but this fight is set to be unique not just for its crossing of martial arts, but for his opponent’s history as well.

Conor McGregor is almost a household name at this point, (not such an unusual thing in martial arts anymore—thanks, Ronda Rousey), but a few short years ago, there’s almost no chance you would have heard of him. In fact, part of what makes him such a great counterpoint to Mayweather is his history. McGregor was unknown until recently, and relying on government assistance to get by in his native Ireland. He got into the right bouts and made the right moves, and suddenly he’s about to make around $100,000,000 on a single fight. His rise to fame is one of those few things you can call meteoric, and so who better to test him against at this point than an aged, (one might even say weathered), but undefeated boxer sitting atop the world, right where McGregor wants to be?

Even if you’re not usually into martial arts, this will be a fight you’ll probably want to keep an eye on, especially if McGregor ends up winning. Historic moments in sports come from players like these two. Plus, a McGregor victory might lend further credence to the contention that MMA outpaces other styles of martial arts in terms of raw power and the ability to use one’s body to beat the stuffing out of somebody else’s body. If McGregor loses, it’s likely Mayweather will never feel the need to prove anything to anyone again in his life, and he can go back to retirement, comfortable in his legendary status. Whoever wins, it’s going to be a controversial night.

Is Old vs. New Really Necessary?

If you’re a martial artist or martial arts fan who isn’t into MMA, you’ve probably dealt with the criticisms of the traditional martial arts by the MMA crowd that they’re inferior since they don’t provide as much in the way of actual self-defense. In fact, there was a recent controversy in China over a bout between a Tai Chi master and an MMA fighter that was decisively finished in a matter of seconds by the MMA guy who was seeking to prove his practice’s supremacy over the others. He might have had the edge in that particular match, but his critics recognized something he failed to see: the traditional martial arts have a lot more to offer than protection from people with MMA and Krav Maga training. Continue reading Is Old vs. New Really Necessary?