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?

You Must Be Between the Ages of 1 and 200…

The martial arts are no discriminator when it comes to age or gender. We’ve all seen the seniors in the park practicing Tai-chi, the mixed-age mixed martial arts fighters, and, if you read one of my most recent posts, little four year-old kids breaking their first board. So if you think you’re not the right age to begin a martial arts practice, either at a studio or at home, think again. Continue reading You Must Be Between the Ages of 1 and 200…

Martial Arts in the Garage – or Anywhere

I recently saw a video of a young man putting down some extra large tatami finish martial arts mats in his garage. The video began with him unwrapping the delivery (very well-packaged), and showing the camera the size of the mats. They really were extra large, so he then showed the camera the space he had to put them down. It was in his garage, which included a heavy-duty bag suspended from the ceiling, and the space was significant. Using clocked time-lapse, he then proceeded to install his mats. In less than 10 minutes he had the entire space covered. Then he began his demonstration. Continue reading Martial Arts in the Garage – or Anywhere

Iron Crotch for Colds? Maybe Not…

In a recent Huffington Post article, a master of “iron crotch kung fu” was quoted as saying that he believes strong blows to his groin have helped him stay healthier – that he has had fewer colds since beginning this practice at age 67. I doubt anyone reading this blog practices kung fu in quite the same way, or for the same reason. So how and why do you practice martial arts? Continue reading Iron Crotch for Colds? Maybe Not…

Leveling the Playing Field

I recently watched a video of a former student of mine competing in a wrestling competition. The flooring was comprised of thick, soft mats that allowed the competitors excellent traction. I was surprised how easily she defeated boys twice her age. Her skills are excellent, and I wondered how many other girls out there could be competing at or beyond their age level. Continue reading Leveling the Playing Field

Keep It Going

In these coldest months of the year, fitness often takes a little shift as people have to find indoor workout options, like indoor running tracks, and martial arts. If you’re used to sports or running or other outdoor methods of staying healthy and fit, getting on the machines or picking up weights can seem a little restrictive, and in fact, if done without first getting appropriate instruction, can lead to decreased range of motion as muscle develops. Martial arts in particular is an excellent way to avoid this—you’ll get a nice mix of cardio and resistance training, and the practice will take your body through its whole range of motion, so you don’t have to worry about some of the potential hazards of other kinds of exercise. Continue reading Keep It Going