The Ultimate Fighting Championship

It’s no secret that martial arts has indeed come a long way over the years.  Many years ago, Bruce Lee helped the arts become even more famous, when he developed his style of Jeet Kune Do.  He participated in several movies, showing the world his speed and finesse.  Since then, movies have been a popular way to showcase martial arts skills.

Back in the early 1990s, something known as the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) came along to take things one step further.  Even though there have been other competitions similar to the UFC, none of them had the flair and the dedication as UFC did.  When it first began, the UFC paired different styles and different weight classes.

The result were exciting fights with varying results.  The first ever champion was a man from Brazil named Royce Gracie.  Gracie was the first to introduce Brazilian Jui-Jitsu in this way, opening up the eyes of everyone who witness him fight.  After the first UFC tournament, Brazilian Jui-Jitsu was instantly viewed as the best martial art. Royce weighed under 200 pounds, and he was completely dominating people nearly 3 times his size.

Gracie would go on to win UFC 2 and 4 as well.  He was the most dominating in the sport, and opened the eyes of everyone across the world.  In UFC 3, he didn’t lose, although he ran into a very tough fighter who nearly beat him.  Gracie came back in UFC 5 for a superfight match up with Ken Shamrock, which would go the distance and end in a draw.

Other fighters have done exceptionally well in the UFC, although none of them had the impact as Royce Gracie.  Fighters like Ken Shamrock, Dan Severn, Oleg Taktarov, Matt Hughes, and Matt Sylivia have also done very well.  Matt Hughes is also regarded as one of the best, as he fights in the Welterweight class and is considered pound for pound to be the best fighter in the world.

In the world of MMA (Mixed Martial Arts), the UFC has made a big impact.  In the beginning, there were no rules and no judges, just one on one fights until someone either tapped out, got knocked out, or the ref through in the towel.  Fighters also fought in a tournament style as well, which took 3 fights to win the championship.

Over the years, there were several changes.  The UFC would start with judges after a few years, along with eliminating the tournaments.  The fights would eventually go to one on one, which was great for the fans.  Although the fights didn’t have time limits in the beginning, they do now.  The non title fights are three 5 minute rounds, while the title fights are five 5 minute rounds.

If a fight goes to the judges, the judges decide the winner.  There are three judges, which normally change with each different UFC.  Judges are there do determine the winner if there is no knockout or submission, while the ref is there to protect the fighters.  The referee can stop a fight as well, if a fighter is unable to defend themselves.

With all the changes in the rules of the UFC, it’s only a matter of time before the UFC gains a lot more popularity.  It is more popular today than it ever has been, which tells you that martial arts have come a long way.  Martial arts is very popular these days, with competitions such as the UFC being one of the most popular sports in the world.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

The Techniques Of Muay Thai

A majority of the offensive techniques that are used in Muay Thai utilize a students hands, feet, elbows, and knees to strike an opponent.  In order to bind the opponent for both defensive and offensive reasons, there is a small amount of grappling on the feet that is used – the clinch.

The clinch occurs when someone gets in your circle of radius, inside of your comfort zone.  To execute knees and short kicks from the inside, the clinch can be very useful.  The Thai fighter makes great use of the clinch, tying up on opponent on the feet then pounding his stomach, ribs, knees, and legs with brutal knees. Knees are very popular techniques with Muay Thai, as Thai fighters spend a lot of time training their strikes – especially knees and elbows.

Although high kicks to the opponents head looks amazing during the fights, experienced Thai fighters always say that knees and elbows have a lot more impact, and they do the most damage to the body.  If a Thai fighter is very experienced and has enough power in his strikes, he can quickly and easily kill someone with his techniques.

In all Muay Thai techniques, two in particular have become very popular with other styles of martial arts.

The roundhouse kick
The roundhouse Thai kick is a very useful technique for both self defense and competitions, proving to be very efficient when it is executed properly.  Thai stylists execute the roundhouse kick by a straight leg and the entire body rotating out from the hip.  The hip is locked shortly before the thrown leg makes impact with the opponent.  If executed properly, the roundhouse kick can easily render someone unconscious.

The low kick
The low kick is a common Muay Thai attack, that involves a circular movement from the stylist’s body to kick the opponent in his upper shin area.  If the low kick isn’t blocked or defended, it can quickly lead to fight being ended.  After a few well placed low kicks, the opponent will be unable to put pressure on his legs due to the bruising, and will eventually crumble.

With other martial arts styles, such as Tae Kwon Do, stylists use snapping kicks that are indeed faster to execute, although they have less power. Muay Thai on the other hand, teaches stylists to follow through with kicks, using the shin instead of the foot.  Nearly all of the techniques involved with Muay Thai emphasis movement with the entire body, which means rotating the hip each time the stylist kicks, punches, or blocks.  The techniques are slower, although they are far more powerful that techniques found in Tae Kwon Do and even Karate.

As a lot of people already know, the training and conditioning training found in Muay Thai is nothing short of legendary for the intensity and rigorous training.  The training in Muay Thai aims to harden the weapons used in the martial art to a high degree.  Students who have been training in Muay Thai for many years can absorb a beating, yet if they land a shin kick it will feel as if you have just been hit with a sledgehammer.

All in all, Muay Thai is a very dangerous martial art that teaches punishing blows with very little grappling.  Thai stylists are physical strong, capable of taking an opponent out with just one well placed strike.  Muay Thai is also one of the most well known and most popular styles in the world today – which is why you shouldn’t hesitate to study.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

The Speed Of Kempo

Throughout the world of martial arts, the style known as Kempo is one of the best. Kempo uses extremely fast strikes, which is the area it is most known for.  Kempo has been around for many years, originating from Japan.  It was tested on the ancient battlegrounds, using punches, kicks, and very little grappling.  Kempo employs weapons as well, including disarming techniques against opponents who are using weapons.

What many don’t realize, is that Kempo is actually an older form of Karate.  To be more specific, Kempo mainly uses the forbidden techniques of sport karate and kickboxing to create a devastating means of self defense.  Throughout this deadly martial art, stylists will be taught that every block is a counter, and ever counter is a block.  Instead of simply blocking an attack, stylists will learn how to block in a way that executes a strike.

The most well known aspect of Kempo is speed.  If you’ve ever seen it in action by someone who has been studying for many years, the hand speed of the stylist is simply amazing.  Those that have been practicing for many years, including black belts, are able to execute techniques with blinding speed.  Often times, a Kempo stylist can land many strikes before you can even get the chance to counter – or block.

The hand speed in Kempo comes from something known as “speed striking”.  Although Kempo uses weapons and weapons training, it is more an unarmed martial art that teaches students how to defend themselves in any situation.  This style isn’t about just going around and hurting people though, as stylists learn a lot in terms of self control, and only to react when they are given no other option.

The speed striking in Kempo takes many years to master.  Students of the art will practice forms on a daily basis, which helps with the speed.  By practicing a certain movement over and over again, students will get faster and faster.  They will practice with other students, the instructors, and also with equipment such as punching bags.  Over time, students will get amazingly quick and able to execute strikes with amazing speed and precision.

Shadow boxing is also essential to developing speed with Kempo.  Students will spend quite a bit of time shadow boxing, learning their own movements.  As a result of shadow boxing, students will learn physical resistance as well as improve their levels of fitness.  This also helps with technique as well, as students will be engaging in practice with themselves.

The main exercise where speed striking will really come into play is with sparring.  When sparring, students will test their knowledge and skills against other students.  The instructors will pay close attention during this exercise, to see just how well the students are learning.  Sparring can be very fun to watch, especially when there are two black belts squaring off.  The more time a student spends sparring, the faster he will develop in the art of speed striking.

Throughout the years, Kempo has proved to be a martial art with very fast strikes.  It is one of the fastest striking martial arts in existence, although it teaches students self control and how to avoid confrontations.  Kempo is taught all around the world, making it an excellent martial art for children as well.  From adults to children, the martial art known as Kempo can teach self defense, harmony, self control, self confidence – and how students can help others in the world live a better life.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

The Many Styles Of Kung Fu

The martial art known as Kung Fu is very old, yet very powerful.  There are several different forms involved with Kung Fu, that only add to the power and mystique.  Below, we will go over a majority of the different styles and forms that make up Kung Fu.

White Crane style
The spirit of the White Crane has led to what many martial artists consider to be the most graceful system of Kung Fu.  The pattern for the White Crane style was patterned after a crane bird often found in marshes and open plains.  The White Crane defense forms and attacks are nothing short of amazing, often known as “deadly beauty”.

Although the techniques within the White Crane style can take years to properly master, they simple and to the point.  White Crane stylists are masters of self defense, although they are taught to avoid confrontations.  Even though a stylist can handle himself in any situation, he will avoid a fight at all costs and only react with physical action when he is left with no choice.

Wing Chun
From a Chinese standpoint, Wing Chun is the essence that the opponent will attack, absorb, and then neutralize the attack.  Then, the opponent or attacker will back off, pursue, then counter – disengage his restriction from arms, and then retaliate with a deadly and penetrating force.

This philosophy will take years to fully understand, and years of practice to master.  Technically speaking, Wing Chun uses a steady and never ending forward flow of energy that’s based on the principle that a straight line is the shortest distance between two points.

Offensively, Wing Chun is all about a combination of intercepting and straight lines with deflecting arcs.  In general, it is an aggressive close quarter style that pushes offensive attacks and takes the fight right to the attacker.  In other words – Wing Chun doesn’t care nor does it put a lot of time towards the more traditional block and counter routines.

Hung Gar
Hung Gar is more or less an adaptation of the Tiger system of Shaolin that emphasizes close quarter techniques.  Hung Gar isn’t much on distance fighting, although it is very effective in close quarter situations, such as alleys and in small rooms.  It is a very strong system, teaching stylists to handle themselves properly in areas where other martial arts seem to fail.

Praying Mantis
Nearly 400 years ago, a man named Wang had a vision.  Using a praying mantis that he was able to capture, Wang studied it’s movements.  By using what he saw, he created and founded the style of Praying Mantis.  Wang perfected his own martial art style by continuing to observe both the offensive and defensive movements of the praying mantis, and using them with his style.

The Monkey style
Even though it is thought of a comical approach to martial arts, the Monkey style is actually one of the deadliest martial arts systems in the world.  This style dates back to the 1840s, when missionaries were first allowed passage into China.

The Monkey style all began when a peaceful maned named See resisted arrested after accidentally killing an officer of the law.  See was sentenced to prison for his crime, where he spent all of his time watching the prison apes.  He found them amazing, and would watch them from his cell, which his also helped to pass the time.

Over his ten year prison sentence, he studied the way the apes moved, paying very close attention to how they defended themselves and fought each other.  Then, when he was released from prison, he adapted his style, becoming known as the Monkey Master.  A lot of people joined him along the way, and began to learn his Monkey system which is still very effective today.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

The Belt Colors Of Taekwondo

The belts and their colors that are used with Taekwondo aren’t just a random assortment of colors that are used to separate the ranks in the martial art.  In Taekwondo, each belt color has a meaning that lets fighters known about their advancement and increasing knowledge.  Belts are also great for the stylist, as they let the stylist know just how far they have progressed.

The colors of the belts found in Taekwondo vary, as they represent the advancement of rank, as well as the growth of the student.  It can take a long time for students to move up the ranks, all depending on their knowledge and how quite they adapt to the techniques and forms of the art.

Below, are the colors and belts of Taekwondo, along with their meaning.

White belt
A white belt is the symbol of birth, or the beginning for the stylist.  Students that wear white belts are just starting out, searching for the knowledge to continue Taekwondo.

Yellow belt
A yellow belt is the first ray of light that shines on the student, giving them new strength to the Taekwondo martial art.  Students that have yellow belts have taken a great step in learning, and have opened their mind to new techniques.

Green belt
A green belt is the symbol of growth, or a seed as it sprouts from the ground and begins to grow into a plant.  Students with green belts are continuing along the path of Taekwondo, learning to develop further and redefine every technique they have been taught.

Blue belt
A blue belt represents a blue sky, with the plant continuing to grow upwards, heading for the sky.  Students with blue belts continue to move higher in ranks, as the plant continues to grow taller.  Students at this stage will also be given additional knowledge of Taekwondo so that their mind and body can continue to grow and develop.

Red belt
The red belt is the heat of the sun, with the plant continuing the path upwards toward the sun.  Students that possess red belts are higher in rank, as they have acquired a lot of the knowledge in the art of Taekwondo.  Red belts also tell the students to be cautious, as they gain more knowledge and their physical techniques increase.

Black belt
A black belt is the best of the best.  It symbolizes the darkness that is out there beyond the light of the sun.  Once the student is given a black belt and begins to train other students, he will teach all that has been taught to him.  Black belts recognize the best students, as they continue to teach others the art of Taekwondo, and continue the never ending cycle of training.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

The Basics Of Tae Kwon Do

Tae Kwon Do is a modern martial art, well known all around the world for it’s lightning fast, often high, spectacular spin kicks.  Tae Kwon Do has been around for many years, originally founded in Korea.  It translates to “the are of punching and kicking”, or the “art of unarmed combat”. The martial art Tae Kwon Do has four disciplines – patters, self defense, break test, and sparring.  It isn’t just one of these disciplines that make up the art, but a combination of them.  All 4 of them are important, especially for those looking to advance in belt ranking.  To advance in a belt, there are certain tests that students need to pass. One of the great things about Tae Kwon Do is the fact that there are no age limits, and it can easily be learned by young children.  Children of all ages will quickly learn fast reactions playing games, learn respect, and they will also learn their abilities as well as their disabilities. The competitions however, are a bit different for children than they are for the adults.  Even though the participants will wear full body protection, children can only kick and punch to the body, as no shots to the head are allowed.  The competitions in Tae Kwon Do is what makes the art so very dominating.  A majority of students that practice this martial art do so because of the competitions. The competitions can be very exciting to watch, as they can get very competitive.  Contrary to what many may think, the competitions aren’t deadly, nor are they anywhere close to being as dangerous as Muay Thai fights.  Competitors will wear full protection, including head gear.  For adults, kicks to the head are allowed, although a majority of stylists can block them before they make impact. In order to participate in the competitions, stylists will need to have a certain level of experience.  It can take years to become good enough, especially for those who win.  Competitions are a great way to learn, especially if there are participating fighters from other areas of the world.  The skill of a stylist is a very important factor with the competitions and tournaments.  If you have a black belt fighter going against a white belt – the results will normally be quite obvious. All things aside, the art of Tae Kwon Do is a great martial art.  Stylists can learn kicking, punching, blocking, and the spectacular movements the art is known for.  Tae Kwon Do is practiced all around the world, meaning that there are just as many places to learn this art as there are Karate.  For an art that won’t disappoint – Tae Kwon Do teaches self defense and a whole lot more.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

The Basics Of Judo

The martial art style Judo can mean a lot of things to different people.  In reality, it is a fun and exciting sport, an art, a discipline, an activity, a way to protect yourself, and quite simply a way of life.  Although you may hear many different meanings, the word Judo actually means all of the above and several more.

Original founded back in 1882, Judo comes from the feudal Japan fighting system.  Upon founding, Judo was a refinement of the martial art jujutsu.  Jujutsu is one of the oldest martial arts styles, dating back hundreds of years.

Judo made the biggest impact in 1964 when it was first introduced into the Olympic Games.  Now, it is practiced by millions of people all across the world.  Judo can help students stay in shape, excel in all areas of competition, stay protected with self defense, and several other things.  For a majority of students, Judo is practiced just for fun.  Although it starts out as fun for many, it quickly turns into a way of life, a burning passion if you will.

Similar to other martial arts styles, Judo has rules that ensure the safety of those competing in the competitions.      Students of Judo who are looking to test their skills will enjoy the competition levels, which range from club meets to national tournaments, and on up to the well known and best level of competition – the Olympic Games.

Judo is known best for it’s amazing throw techniques.  What many aren’t aware of, is the fact that Judo is more than just throws.  It also involves grappling on the ground, controlling holds, arm locks, leg locks, and even choking techniques.  Judo teaches all aspects of self defense, from a grappler’s standpoint.

Another great thing about Judo is the fact that anyone can study, male or female, and even those that are disabled.  Judo is also inexpensive to participate in, taught throughout the year, and it appeals to everyone.  This martial art is also unique in the sense that even the elderly enjoy practicing it on a daily basis.

Judo also helps students learn and develop respect and self discipline.  It offers the chance to learn self confidence, leadership skills, power, flexibility, and physical prowess.  Judo has evolved quite a bit over the years, going from a fighting art to competition status.  These days, there are separate Judo ranks for kids, adults, and seniors.

The martial art Judo, which means “gentle way” teaches you the applications that you need for self defense as well as competition.  Judo is unlike other martial arts, in the sense that it combines the best of grappling with awesome throws that require little to no strength – but more of the way you position your body.  This is an excellent martial art – that anyone can enjoy.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

The Art Of Tai Chi

Tai Chi is an ancient martial art, one that was practiced for centuries in China as an exercise, a martial art, and a way to improve the internal flow of energy in the body.  It emphasis correct form and feeling with each and every movement, which is why it is always taught to be practiced in a slow and gentle fashion.

By involving the entire body with little to no impact, Tai Chi promotes strength, flexibility, and stamina.  With the entire body being taught to move as a whole, Tai Chi cultivates the link among the mind and the body, helping to enhance one’s coordination and balance.  It can also help with the joints as well, especially if an individual is very stiff in the joints.

Although it was developed to be a martial art, it involves very little striking, offensive, or even defense techniques.  Tai Chi is a movement and breathing art that works all of the major muscles and joints in the body, helping to circulate internal energy, or chi.  The Chinese believe that internal energy, or chi is what prevents or stops diseases.

When practicing the art, the body will remain very soft and relaxed, just like it was suspended from the top of the head with the joints being similar to that of a puppet.  The mind of the student is focused on each movement, focusing on the flow of energy.  By being relaxed and focused, you allow the energy to flow through your entire body.

Even though you are soft and relaxed, you are still constantly moving.  The energy that flows through your body never stops, it keeps you moving.  When you move in reality, it takes little to no energy to make a movement.  By using your chi, everything you do seems as if it is weightless.

In combat, the Tai Chi student uses his opponent’s energy against him.  The stylist is very relaxed, believing that the energy of the opponent can be used against him.  There is little to no strength involved.  When the opponent becomes weak and tires himself out – the stylist attacks.  This way, there is very little energy left for defense or even attacking.

Tai Chi is one of the oldest styles of martial arts, and one of the hardest to find these days.  Just like other martial arts, such as Tiger Claw and Ninjutsu, it can be very hard to find a dojo that teaches the art.  If you can find a dojo that teaches the art of Tai Chi, you really shouldn’t pass it up.  It can teach you a lot about internal energy and your spiritual well being – learning more about yourself than you ever thought possible in the process.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

The Art Of Shootfighting

Although it can be a very provocative martial art, Shootfighting is still one of the most popular martial arts styles in the world.  The art of Shootfighting is very old, originating from Japan as a way of self defense.  Even though it is great to use for self defense purposes, this martial art is more popular as a ring sport in competitions such as the Vale Tudo and the professional Shootfighting leagues found throughout Japan.

In Japan Shootfighting is a sport that is very popular.  The bouts take place in a ring that is similar to wrestling, ropes and all intact.  There are normally rounds, as well as a referee who is there to call the bout and stop it if need be.  Fighters will wear gloves and go at it full contact.  Submission and grappling is legal as well, which makes the fights more interesting.  Fighters can test their skills in Shootfighting against some of the best Japan has to offer with these bouts.

Shootfighting is popular in the United States as well, although it is more popular throughout Japan.  There are American fighters such as Ken Shamrock and Bart Vale who are experts in Shootfighting and travel to Japan on a frequent basis to compete in tournaments and bouts.  The atmosphere in Japan is very high, as they show a lot of passion and desire for the matches over there.

In technique and form, Shootfighting is a mix of striking and grappling.  It teaches students to be prepared for anything, standing or on the ground.  There are a lot of bone breaking moves taught with this art, from arm locks to ankle locks.  Most of the techniques that are taught to the student use a mixture of strength and technique – bringing very drastic results.

Even though a lot of people classify Shootfighting as being a form of pit fighting, it is actually quite a bit more.  Shootfighting does incorporate a lot of stand up fighting, in the form of punches, elbows, and kicks.  On their feet or on the ground, stylists can execute moves that will end a fight quickly.  The submission locks are the deadliest forms of defense and attack with this martial art, as they target a specific limb and focus on breaking it in two.

As a martial art, Shootfighting is very hard to beat.  It teaches students to be aggressive in battle and end the fight as quickly as possible.  It also teaches students self control and self esteem as well.  There are no belt classes with Shootfighting, as it is more or less a self defense system that was originally designed for the streets.  It has proven to be very effective over the years, both on the streets and in competition.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

The Art Of Hapkido

The martial art known as Hapkido is an art of complete self defense.  Those who study it are more than capable of defending themselves in any type of situation, being more than able to apply their confidence and discipline from the art to enhance their lives, protecting themselves and those that they love as well.

Hapkido teaches students to use minimal force with any stronger opponent.  Contrary to other martial arts, it doesn’t involve strength to execute the techniques.  To control the opponent and take him down, Hapkido focuses on pressure points and the impact they have on opponents.  It also involves a very powerful arsenal of thrusts, spin kicks, and sweeps.  If they are executed properly, the moves from this martial art can be very effective against opponents and attackers.

Along with kicks, punches, and pressure point attacks; Hapkido also uses wrist and joint manipulation locks, along with several throwing techniques.  All together, there are nearly 300 categories of special movements in Hapkido that involve nearly 3,500 techniques.

Hapkido is a very popular martial art, which is mainly due to the fact that just about anyone, regardless of age or weight can practice the techniques.  The martial art also involves systematic training and stamina exercise, which can improve your health.  You don’t need to be in the best shape either, as Hapkido can actually help your body as well as your health.

Studying Hapkido will also help with developing your muscles, along with your posture, controlling your weight, developing confidence, self control, even fulfilling your spirit.  Although it is mainly based in self defense techniques, it also teaches you how to become a better person and get yourself back in health and in touch with your spirit.

Throughout the style, the linear techniques work together to form a solid base in which all of the circular techniques can be perfected.  Everything in Hapkido is tried and tested, in order to come up with a balanced blend of techniques and skills that are apt for any situation.  With Hapkido being a martial art of self defense, there is a lot of practice involved blocking attacks in many different situations.  This way, the stylist can be more prepared for any situation he finds himself in.

Today, Hapkido is practiced by men and women of all ages, even little children.  It is a very beneficial martial art, one that can be utilized from nearly any position or direction, such as lying, sitting, and standing.  It is an art of self defense, and can even be deadly if the stylist is proficient with the techniques.  What makes it even more deadly though – is the fact that a lot of people aren’t familiar with it.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS