Is Preserving Traditional Martial Arts A Good Thing?

It is not uncommon to see martial arts adverts to the effect of “authentic such-an-such martial art”, or “we teach traditional such-an-such style, true to the teachings of the 34th Grandmaster of the whatever Shaolin temple”.

There is a certain logic to it. If something has been established to be effective, then by preserving it, theoretically you pass down something that continues to be good! If for example something has been tested on the battlefield (as many traditional arts have) and has been proven to be successful, then on the surface it would appear to make sense to preserve what has been proven to work rather than risk changing it to something that is unproven! Continue reading “Is Preserving Traditional Martial Arts A Good Thing?” »

Ideas For Training At Home (Part 7): Mokuso (Meditation) In Martial Arts

It’s often said that the most important thing in self defence is the mind. Mokuso (meditation) is often skirted over in martial arts training, seen as just something to clear the mind before training and calm you down again after training.

But meditation is a method of developing the mind which has martial applications as well as being for self development and health. It allows better connection between the conscious and sub conscious minds, enabling better instincts and intuition to develop. This can carry into all areas of you life, but having a improved intuition has obvious applications for self defence. Continue reading “Ideas For Training At Home (Part 7): Mokuso (Meditation) In Martial Arts” »

How & Why Traditional Martial Arts Got Dumbed Down

Many of the traditional martial arts that we train today have been dumbed down from the effective combat method that they originally used to be.  There are a number of social and political reasons.  The following is a broad generalisation as even within a given system, different masters would have taken various different paths.  This post is just an overview and is not intended to be exhaustive. Continue reading “How & Why Traditional Martial Arts Got Dumbed Down” »

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” »

The Conscious And Subconscious Minds In Martial Arts

This is a very big topic which you could probably write a whole book about, so I will attempt to do justice to this topic but please accept that I can’t cover it all in just a single post.  There is much written about the subconscious and conscious minds, but this post will mainly focus on how the 2 parts of the mind relate in a martial arts context. Continue reading “The Conscious And Subconscious Minds In Martial Arts” »

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?” »

If You Happen To Be Caught Up In A Terrorist Attack

As most people will know, there have been several terrorist attacks here in the UK over recent months, two of them involving vehicles running people over and following up with knife attacks.  Now the chances of actually being caught up in such an incident, I would say are very unlikely.  However, you never know! Continue reading “If You Happen To Be Caught Up In A Terrorist Attack” »

The Rise Of The McDojo

For anybody not familiar with the phrase, a McDojo is a school that teaches a watered-down and impractical form of martial arts in the name of making money.  The “Mc” is taken from “McDonald’s”, as in mass produced – low quality!  They usually have all the expensive designer gear too, which you have to buy from them of course. Continue reading “The Rise Of The McDojo” »

How To Create Kime (Focus) & Do We Really Need Tension At The End Of The Technique?

“Kime” is a Japanese word, roughly translated as “focus”.  It is where Karate derives it’s power from at the point of impact of a punching or striking technique.  But how well is it understood? Continue reading “How To Create Kime (Focus) & Do We Really Need Tension At The End Of The Technique?” »

Emotional Content In Martial Arts And An Interesting Experiment

This clip below is now an iconic scene from the Bruce Lee movie, Enter The Dragon, where Bruce Lee is teaching a student.

Bruce Lee:  “Kick me”.
Student looks surprised.
Bruce Lee:  “Kick me”. Continue reading “Emotional Content In Martial Arts And An Interesting Experiment” »