Relaxed Power: Release From Wrist Grab

Sometimes it’s a paradox that less is more.  With this release from a wrist grab, it definitely works better the more relaxed you do it.  The less strength and force you use, the better it works.  This actually gives some advantages to women as men tend to rely of strength more than ladies do.

One thing that I didn’t quite explain in the video, is that when you have skin on skin contact (such as with a grab), any changes (such as one person tensing up) can be felt practically instantaneously by the other person.  This is because the information is transmitted directly via the nervous system.  It is quicker than seeing something happen, as there is a very small delay between the eye detecting a movement and that information being relayed to and recognised by the brain.  This is why so many Chinese martial arts do “sticky hand” exercises as it trains and develops this sensitivity.  Also, you can tense without actually moving, so the eyes might not notice, but the nervous system will straight away.

Anyway, I think the video will be self explanatory without me explaining it all here.  If you find it useful please like, share and leave a comment below.  Thank you.

Style Comparison: Which Way To Move Your Hips For Leading Hand Techniques

Karate girl doing knife hand strikeWhen it comes to leading hand techniques, different styles move their hips/waist in different ways for certain leading hand techniques.  In particular, techniques that are part circular where the hand moves from the opposite side of the body to it’s own side (such as Downward Block, Back-Fist Strike, etc).

Some styles such as my main style of Shotokan Karate push the lead hip forward with the technique (as you would a jab), whilst others (notably Taekwondo/Tang Soo Do) rotate the hips in the same direction as the hand (hips move as you would with a reverse punch).  Both ways have different advantages and disadvantages and I wouldn’t say one way is better than the other.  In this video, I compare some of the differences.  I do however focus a bit more on the Shotokan Karate way of moving the hips as obviously it is the mechanism that I know better having trained it for so many years.

Please leave your feedback below as to how your own style performs these movements.

Different Levels Of Training In Traditional Martial Arts

When real fighting/self protection can be really chaotic and messy, why are traditional martial arts so fussy about good technique with so much attention to fine detail and accuracy. It’s because traditional martial arts basics movements and kata/patterns/forms train us on several different levels simultaneously.  I have Continue reading “Different Levels Of Training In Traditional Martial Arts” »

Martial Arts Body Mechanics & Structures Vs Fitness & Strength

Some martial art schools/associations/franchises put a lot of emphasis on fitness and strength training.  A good work out gets the endorphins going and people come out feeling good and happy, stress levels reduced and a general feeling of well-being.  Being fit always feels good.  Sometimes the fitness may consist of doing a lot of circuit type training and/or doing everything fast all the time.

Whilst I am definitely in favour of being fit and strong, I am not in favour of emphasising these aspects over good body mechanics and body structures Continue reading “Martial Arts Body Mechanics & Structures Vs Fitness & Strength” »

How To Create More Impact In Your Martial Arts Technique?

It is often said that generating impact is mainly about applying your body-weight and moving it into the technique.  I personally think that this explaination is a bit simplified and that there is a bit more to it than that.  So some of what I am going say here goes against conventional wisdom, so please bear with me to end before accusing me of sacrilege!

Ok, so what is the main factor that generate impact in a technique? Continue reading “How To Create More Impact In Your Martial Arts Technique?” »

Correct Elbow Position For Punching

Following on from the last post on spinal alignment, here’s another video on the correct elbow position for punching and how it affects the shoulder alignment and fist position.  It’s a small detail that it often overlooked, Continue reading “Correct Elbow Position For Punching” »

Technique: Spinal Alignment

In most traditional martial arts the spinal alignment is maintained in a straight upright position.  But despite telling students over and over again, many of them still tend to lean forward.  In the video below, I hope to provide a demonstration of why keeping the back straight and upright helps techniques to flow more easily, fluidly and efficiently! Continue reading “Technique: Spinal Alignment” »

Is Stretching Important For Martial Arts?

There has been some debate over the years about stretching before training in martial arts and also for exercise in general.
I’ve heard some martial artists say that they don’t stretch before training as they’d rather train with the body that they have than the body they’d like to have!  Meaning, if you were to get involved in a physical altercation, you won’t have chance to warm up and stretch; Continue reading “Is Stretching Important For Martial Arts?” »

The Different Levels Of Traditional Martial Arts Training

Training in traditional martial arts simultaneously trains you on several different levels.  Not properly understanding this can lead to confusion and trying to apply a given technique in an inappropriate manner.  So first of all, lets look at the different levels at which any technique actually trains you: Continue reading “The Different Levels Of Traditional Martial Arts Training” »

Techniques As A “Shorthand” For Learning Principles

Some of the newer and more reality based martial arts which emphasise real self protection (as opposed to sport) such as Krav Maga and Systema argue that the strength of their system is that they emphasise principles of movement rather than techniques.  They argue that most of the older Oriental martial arts by contrast put the emphasis the other way round, on techniques more than principles.  They argue that this makes their arts better for learning self defence more quickly and effectively. Continue reading “Techniques As A “Shorthand” For Learning Principles” »