October 2nd, 2012
I came across a pretty good reminder that you guys might find beneficial, too.
The Dalai Lama asked me to let you know that have the power to change your state of mind.
As time goes on, you can make positive changes. Every day as soon as you get up, you can develop a sincere positive motivation, thinking,
“I will utilize this day in a more positive way. I should not waste this very day.”
Moving to a more grateful state of mind is a choice that can become a habit.
Carpe diem, my friends!
August 29th, 2012
After learning that a local Krav Maga school would be offering a free 90 minute introductory session on Saturday afternoon, I was very interested to say the least.
For those of you not too familiar with Krav Maga, here’s something I posted about it many moons ago to bring you up to speed.
I counted 20 participants plus 2 instructors (1 female, 1 male) who were knowledgable and approachable.
After a brief warm-up and light stretching, we proceeded without further ado. And it got real. Real fast.
Basic fight stance. Always keep arms up and hands/fists protecting one’s jaw.
A lot of partner exercises and striking pads.
Front jab and cross. First using your fist, then using the heel palm of your hand.
It looks something like this:
We then moved on to a very basic and extremely effective technique: The Front (Groin) Kick.
There are self-defense situations in which the attacker has already closed in on you and you cannot execute either of the described techniques.
Let’s say he’s applying a two-handed front choke or a choke from the side. Yep, Krav Maga offers responses to that, too.
Break the choke by pulling your opponent’s hands to the side like this:
What about a choke from the side? Yep, they got that covered, too:
To top it off and to add that some more adrenaline, we formed one line of 10 participants who were the defenders and another line of 10 who were the attackers.
As a defender, you were to close your eyes and only to know and expect either a front or side choke and respond accordingly.
Your attackers would constantly change. All of this with loud “Angry White Male” music.
Our instructors incorporated numerous cardio exercises during our 90 minute session and I must say I wasn’t the only one with a dripping wet shirt after everything was said and done.
If you’re looking for a good workout and a practical approach to self-defense, you have a real option with Krav Maga.
Stay safe, my friends!
Women’s Judo: From Olympic Bronze To MMA World Champion And What’s Next For Olympic Gold Medal Winner?
August 11th, 2012
I will be absolutely honest with you, again.
I have not been watching much Olympic Game coverage this time around, simply because my schedule has been posing other priorities lately.
But there is something on my mind that I have to post about and it is Olympic-related.
Four years ago at the Beijing Olympic Games an American judoka won the first Olympic medal ever for the U.S. judo team. It was the bronze medal and as we all know by now that definitely means a spot in the limelight.
This year at the London Games we experienced another first. An American judoka who took the top spot and won the first Olympic gold medal ever for American judo.
So, who are we talking about here?
4th degree judo black belt, Ronda “Rowdy” Rousey, and currently ranked the world’s #1 pound-for-pound female MMA fighter can look back on a stellar judo career which has lifted her to her current MMA ranking and celebrity-like status.
As a 17-year-old, Ronda was the youngest judoka at the 2004 Athens Olympics and that same year she became the World Junior Judo Champion in Budapest, Hungary.
In 2006, she won both Judo World Cop in Birmingham, England and the bronze medal at the World Junior Championships.
A year later, Ronda was able to attain the silver medal at the World Judo Championships and follow up with a bronze medla at the 2007 Pan Am Games.
Two years after winning Olympic bronze at the 2008 Beijing Games, Ronda officially entered the MMA arena and has been wreaking havoc on her opponents, usually ending their bouts by submission via Ronda’s trademark armbar.
It looks something like this in one take:
Ronda’s current professional Strikeforce MMA record is 5-0 and she is scheduled to fight Sarah Kaufman on August 18, 2012 who will be dealing with this kind of stuff. By the way, in case you’re not a friend of the background music,
simply turn down the volume, like I did.
But wait, there’s more!
Just last week, on August 2, 2012, fellow American Kayla Harrison won Olympic gold at this year’s Olympic Games in the -78 kg category. She had to overcome some major obstacles during the previous years to achieve her Olympic greatness.
Before she started training with 4-time judo Olympian, Jimmy Pedro in Wakefield, Massachusetts, who by the way trained Ronda Rousey, before she moved the West Coast, where she is now training under Gene “Judo’Lebell and
and Armenian grappling greats such as Gokor Chivichyan and Edmond Tarverdyan, Kayla Harrison Harrison took up judo at the age of six, having been introduced to the sport by her mother who was a black belt.
She began being trained by coach Daniel Doyle, and won two national championships by the age of 15. However, during that period Doyle was abusing Harrison, who reported it to another judoka, who in turn told Harrison’s mother.
She subsequentally reported this to the police. Doyle was convicted and sentenced to a ten-year prison term. A month after the abuse was revealed, she moved away from her home. (Source: wikipedia).
In 2010, Kayla became World Judo Champion in Tokyo, Japan and the following year 2011 she won the bronze medal at the World Championships in Paris, France.
At the Panamerican Games in 2010 and 2011, Kayla won first bronze and later gold!
One could say that this development has cemented here standings in her current category of -78 kg and has helped her attained Olympic glory by winning the 2012 gold medal.
So, what’s next for Kayla Harrison? Will she follow Ronda Rousey and possibly enter the world of mixed martial arts?
Her grappling skills and her groundwork certainly give her an excellent starting position.
Take a look at what Kayla Harrison is capable of:
July 25th, 2012
With the Olympic Games 2012 scheduled to begin in only 2 more days, I find it timely to introduce you to a very impressive Olympic fencer.
Olympic fencing distinguishes itself from historical fencing, which is considered among the so-called family of combat sports using bladed weapons.
The three weapons of Olympic fencing are the following:
Foil—a light thrusting weapon that targets the torso, including the back, but not the arms. Touches are scored only with the tip; hits with the side of the blade do not count, and do not halt the action. Touches that land outside of the target area (off-target) stop the action, and are not scored. Only a single hit can be scored by either fencer at one time. If both fencers hit at the same time, the referee uses the rules of right of way to determine which fencer gets the point.
Sabre—a light cutting and thrusting weapon that targets the entire body above the waist, excluding the hands. Hits with the edges of the blade as well as the tip are valid. As in foil, touches which land outside of the target area are not scored. However, unlike foil, these off-target touches do not stop the action, and the fencing continues. In the case of both fencers landing a scoring touch, the referee determines which fencer receives the point for the action, again through the use of “right of way”.
Épée—a heavier thrusting weapon that targets the entire body. All hits must be with the tip and not the sides of the blade. Touches hit by the side of the blade do not halt the action. Unlike foil and sabre, Épée does not use right of way, and allows simultaneous hits by both fencers. However, if the score is tied at the last point and a double touch is scored, nobody is awarded the point. (Source: wikipedia)
When we talk about Olympic fencing, I don’t know about you, but the U.S.A. is not one of the countries that immediately pop into my mind as being anywhere close to a force to reckon with.
I usually think of countries such as France, Germany, Italy, Hungary and Russia.
However, the Americans have been increasing their worth in the world of Olympic fencing throughout the years.
Among these fencers, one young lady certainly stands out individually, but she has also contributed to the success of the women’s team.
Having won 2 Olympic gold medals in the individual sabre competition in 2004 (Athens, Greece) and thus becoming the first American fencer to win the gold medal in 100 years, Mariel Zagunis attained her second gold medal in 2008 (Beijing, China).
Originally from Beaverton, Oregon, Mariel is the one to beat at this year’s London Games.
Both her parents were rowers during the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal, Canada and both her brothers are fencers.
Mariel started with fencing at the age of 10 and throughout the seventeen years of her on-going career she has won numerous World Championship titles as well as numerous national and international events.
July 8th, 2012
I believe that cross-training along with conditioning will make you a better athlete and martial atist.
Several years ago I stumbled across conditioning exercises that originated in India and that will make you gasp for air and what’s really cool, you don’t need any equipment or even a lot of space to do them.
Known in Japan as ‘The God Of Wrestling’, Karl Gotch incorporated a lot of these same exercises into
his incredibly rigorous training regimes, for himself and his students.
Born Karl Istaz in Antwerp, Belgium, in 1924, he later became famous as Karl Gotch.
He was an excellent amateur wrestler who even competed for Belgium at the 1948 Olympics in freestyle and Greco-Roman disciplines.
Gotch later wrestled in the United States and at the end of his illustrious career in Japan after which he went on to train other professional wrestlers.
His training in traditional Indian wrestling along with bodyweight calisthenic execerises contributed to his extraordinary leg endurance and strength.
Three exercises that stand out and together are considered “The Royal Court” are the following:
- Bridge, Hindu squats, and Hindu push-ups.
If you happen to have a deck of 52 playing cards, you are closer to having the Karl Gotch Bible than you think.
The conditioning workout that I found at SensibleBeing.com goes something like this:
Clubs: Double the value for Hindu Squats.
Spades: Double value for Hindu Jumper Squats.
Diamonds: Number value for Straight Pushups (or half moon pushups)
Hearts: Number value for Hindu Pushups.
Number Cards (2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)= Given value.
Face cards (Jacks, Queens, Kings)= 10 value.
Aces= 11 value.
Jokers= 20 value.
Shuffle the deck well. Deal the top card. Do the number and exercise for that card. Then, without rest, deal the second card, and on and on until the entire deck is finished.
For example we will look at 10 random cards…
3 of Clubs= 6 squats
Jack of Spaids= 20 jumpers
King of Hearts= 10 hindu pushups
6 of Diamonds= 6 pushups
9 of spaids= 18 jumpers
King of Clubs= 20 squats
Joker= 40 squats or 20 hindu pushups
Jack of Diamonds= 10 pushups
Ace of Spaids= 22 jumpers
3 of Hearts= 3 hindu pushups
According to SensibleBeing.com, this workout done at a reasonable pace should take about 30 minutes.
And because visuals make it all easier to understand and to execute, here’s a video clip I found for you:
June 24th, 2012
Black Gameness Elite BJJ Gi on Sale
Today on BJJHQ is the Black Gameness Elite Jiu Jitsu Gi for $175. It’s cheaper than the $250 Koral MKM Black and Gold Limited and way cooler.
If you don’t already, follow BJJHQ on FB to stay up on the best Jiu Jitsu deals.
June 17th, 2012
It’s been some time since my last post. Things have been crazy busy and I hope you guys are doing well.
I have been wanting to write about a former Muay Thai and Western boxing champion for the longest time and today seems the best day to do just that.
He’s been referred to as the Muay Thai equivalent of Muhammad Ali. In some circles even as the Bruce Lee of boxing. If you have never seen him fight before, then you’re in for a treat right after the end of this post. Just stay with me, alright?!
Samart Payakaroon was born Samart Thipthamai on December 5, 1962 in the Chachoengsao Province, Eastern Thailand. Samart is considered a Muay Thai legend, having amassed a jaw-dropping career record of 129 wins and only 19 losses and 2 draws in different weight classes. But Samart didn’t call it a day after dominating the Muay Thai ring for years. He went on to become a WBC World Champion in the 57 kg weight class.
He started his training with his older brother Manus at their family’s home. His official M.T. career started under Petaronsiminit and he then transferred to Camp Sityodthong to train under Master Yodthong at the age of 12.
His entry weight was 35 kg and at the end of his Muay Thai career Samart fought in the 57 kg weight class.
Samart was the Lumpinee Stadium Champion in 4 different weight classes in 1980 and 1981.
Lumpinee Stadium is THE modern symbol of Muay Thai. It is an indoor arena with a seating capacity of close to 10,000 and is run by the Royal Thai Army. Security is managed by armed Military Police officers.
And yes, gambling is part of the deal at this venue.
Interesting fact about Samart is how technical his fighting style was. Instead of simply standing in front of his opponents and duking it out, he would manage the ring extensively and create openings to wreak painful havoc.
You can imagine that as an accomplished Muay Thai competitor Samart’s kicking abilities were nothing short of extraordinary, but just as impressive was his striking arsenal which created a boxing career after he ended his Muay Thai tenure.
In 3 years from starting his boxing career in 1982, Samart had a fighting record of 11-0 which gave him a shot at the WBC Super Bantamweight title. With a K.O. against Lupe Pintor he became Thailand’s 10th world champion.
Samart ended his professional boxing career with an impressive 21-2 record.
According to latest information, Samart teaches at his very own camp, at the Poptheeratham Gym.
And he doesn’t stop there. Throughout the years, Samart has created a name for himself in the entertainment industry by acting and singing in numerous productions.
But let’s have a look at what he is most famous for.
By the way, if you don’t enjoy the music, just turn down/off the sound, just like I did. Haha.
May 23rd, 2012
Jon Bones Jones
Get Jon Jones MMA Shorts for $25 (normally $60) today on MMAHQ
Great MMA shorts and gear deals every day on MMA HQ.
April 17th, 2012
As if boxing weren’t tough enough.
In a very conservative and rather traditional society and country like Afghanistan it’s not only the physical training aspect of Western boxing that makes it a challenge.
It can be more than just a challenge. At times it can be even life-threatening if you are an Afghan female and striving to become the best boxer you can be.
A group of Afghan girls and women doing just that are simply known as the ‘Burqa Boxers’.
The burqa is the outer clothing worn by women in some Islamic traditions to cover their bodies in public places and yes, that would include countries such as Afghanistan.
Well, the girls and women we’re talking about today are certainly respecting that part of it all, even or especially while training.
However, even within their own families some of these female boxers are experiencing harsh criticism to say the least.
At times they have received extreme threats that prevent them from training, as in the view of their critics in their home country of Afghanistan the boxers are not complying with Islamic law and traditions.
To me these boxers and coaches appear to be very dedicated and most of their friends and families to be supportive of their pursuit to be the best that they can be.
Chilling memories become all too real, when you think of them training at Kabul’s Ghazni stadium where years ago the Taliban would execute women.
At this same place, 17-year old Olympic hopeful for this year’s London games Sadaf Rahimi trains among dusty floors, broken mirrors and hardly lit hallways.
It didn’t surprise me when I heard that there is a lack of appropriate training equipment. They don’t even seem to have a boxing ring.
And yet Rahimi and her peers are determined to continue to float like a butterflies and sting like a bees.
March 19th, 2012
If you happen to live in the U.S. of A. you know that there is hardly a way around March Madness.
Well, how about a healthy antidote without any known negative side effects and no FDA approval needed?
Yep, martial arts quotes. Some will make you think and others will make you smile.
“A warrior may choose pacifism; others are condemned to it.” – Author unknown
“Don’t hit at all if it is honorably possible to avoid hitting; but never hit softly.
“- Theodore Roosevelt
“Cry in the dojo. Laugh on the battlefield.”
- Author unknown
“Each of us has his cowardice. Each of us is afraid to lose, afraid to die. But hanging back is the way to remain a coward for life. The Way to find courage is to seek it on the field of conflict. And the sure way to victory is willingness to risk one’s own life.” – Mas Oyama (Kyokushin Karate)
“He who hesitates, meditates in a horizontal position.” – Ed Parker (American Kenpo)
“Do or do not, there is no try.” – Yoda (Jedi Arts)
“Always be able to kill your students.” – Masaaki Hatsumi (Bujinkan Ninjutsu)
“A good martial artist does not become tense but ready, not thinking but yet not dreaming. Ready for whatever may come.” - Bruce Lee
“Champions aren’t made in gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them – a desire, a dream, a vision. They have to have the skill, and the will. But the will must be stronger than the skill.” - Muhammad Ali
“Courage is being afraid, but then doing what you have to do anyway.” - Rudy Giuliani
“The one who has conquered himself is a far greater hero than he who has defeated a thousand times a thousand men.” - The Dhammapada
“Success is going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” - Winston Churchill
“Success is never final. Failure is never fatal. It is courage that counts.” – Winston Churchill
“Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.” - Napoleon Bonaparte
“The more you sweat in training, the less you bleed in combat.” - Navy SEALs
“Those who are skilled in combat do not become angered, those who are skilled at winning do not become afraid. Thus the wise win before the fight, while the ignorant fight to win.” - O Sensei Ueshiba
“The measure of a man is not in how he gets knocked to the mat, it is in how he gets up.” - Unknown, but could have been me. Really.
“Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.” - Mahatma Gandhi
“You carry on no matter what the obstacles. You simply refuse to give up … and, when the going gets tough, you get tougher. And you win.” - Vince Lombardi
“If you’ll not settle for anything less than your best, you’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish in your lives.” - Vince Lombardi
“No one can defeat us unless we first defeat ourselves.” - Dwight Eisenhower