Dealing With the First Big Hit

The first solid hit I ever got was rewarding. It was in my first month or so of MMA training, back before I ever picked up a sword. I was a young and not so spry 30, my opponent was a broad shouldered 19 year old beast. I caught a left hook to the temple so hard that both feet left the ground, and I flew sideways for about a meter before crashing into the wall…still on my feet, still in guard. The world was pretty wobbly, but I was inordinately pleased that I was still up and in guard. George St. Pierre just retired from MMA competition after booking more time in the cage than anyone else. One of the concerns people had brought up was the amount of damage he had taken in the ring. It accumulates. Muhammad Ali had an incredible ability to dodge blows, but he’s…

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Traditional Arts in the Modern Martial Arts World

I love watching the UFC these days. It’s progressed and developed to the point where a good bout looks like sparring from old-school martial arts. Lyoto Machida’s fight against Mark Munoz was pretty much exactly what I learned to do in Shotokan Karate. Control the distance in the fight, look for the perfect opening, and strike to finish. I love traditional martial arts. I think they are wonderful repositories of technique and tactics. A good teacher of a traditional art is a walking encyclopedia of mayhem. They should be capable of devising a solution to any martial problem from within their own system, as was handed down to them from their teacher. Put a traditional martial artist in the cage with an experienced MMA fighter? It’s going to be a bloodbath. Or at best, the traditional fighter is going to look like a raw beginner with a heavy dose of…

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New Year, New Blood

Fresh crop of new students showing up tonight. I’m curious as to how the typical New Year Resolution crowd will show up for us this year. Martial arts in general don’t get the same influx that gyms and the bookstore weight loss sections get. People don’t think of martial arts as a solution the way they do of a treadmill. What we do get is people who use the start of a new cycle as an excuse to do something they’ve wanted to do fora  while, but have put off for reasons. It takes effort to do something new, and it’s okay to use the impetus of the season for a kickstart. New students starting tonight are going to have a different experience than everyone did a year ago, when we were still a fledgling school. Beginners got tossed in at the deep end, with just a few words of…

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