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Friday, July 31, 2009

Female TKD Practitioner Sets world record

From: Sun Coast Pasco

Cheryl Cleveland celebrated Independence Day by setting a world record. While competing July Fourth at the U.S. Open World Martial Arts Championships in Orlando, she set a martial arts record for most boards broken by a female with a side kick.

"Cheryl broke five 1-inch-thick pine boards placed back to back in a metal holder with a skipping side kick," read a related news release. "In recent years the record was four boards, held by multiple women from around the world. Now Cheryl and one other competitor from Texas hold the world record at five boards."

Cleveland, 30, is chairwoman and CEO of Community Fun and Fitness Center in New Port Richey. She has 24 years of martial arts experience, and was first introduced to the sport at age 6.

"My main focus has always been Tae kwon do but I also explored Kenpo, Uechi Ryu, Capoeira, Kali Kuntao, and Kung Fu a bit too," she said. "I first got involved when I was 6 years old. One of my older brothers was taking Tae kwon do and would come home and show me what he learned in class."

"He was really just using me as his training dummy," she said, adding with a chuckle, "I don't remember if I joined because I liked what he was showing me or felt that I needed to defend myself from him."

She considers her new world record the highlight of her career.

"I have won quite a few trophies in sparring, forms, and board breaking but never anything like this," she said.

She first learned about this world record through extensive online research before the tournament; armed with this information, Cleveland started working toward a new goal.

"I made sure I did 100 crunches, practiced my forms, and side kicked a heavy bag as hard as I could every morning," she said. "Sometimes I would kick the heavy bag so hard that the bones in my fingers would hurt from the shockwave...I knew I had a good kick when that happened."

At the actual event, Cleveland set the new world record on her second attempt.

"Once I realized I had broken all of them it was such an awesome feeling," she said.

Cleveland, also a tae kwon do instructor at the New First Baptist of Odessa, wants to pass this feeling onto her students, inspiring them to overcome the odds to achieve their goals.

"This is a story of perseverance I can tell my students because my side kick was by far my worst technique for years until right before I got my black belt," she said.

Inspiring people to get the most of martial arts and fitness is the idea behind Community Fun and Fitness, Cleveland's Pasco-based nonprofit organization headquartered in a building donated by New First Baptist Church of Odessa.

Community Fun & Fitness Center, at 1234 Gunn Highway, is a nonprofit organization in Pasco County that will offer donation-based fitness classes and community service events for all ages and all incomes, she said. "I formed this organization in 2007 with hopes that I could provide all ages, toddlers to senior citizens, a place to join physically and mentally beneficial classes (like martial arts and dance classes) all on a donation-based system so that everyone could afford to take part in something that has been such a good part of my life," she said.

She even took out a personal loan to pay for the $100,000 renovations the building needed before its scheduled 2010 opening.

"We just got a new roof, and this week the building is getting a face lift with new exterior paint and a new parking lot," she said. "I really hope once we are open people will rush in to take advantage of our donation based classes."

In Cleveland's eyes, the rewards of studying martial arts are well worth the work.

"The most important benefit by far is confidence, especially for women," she said. "Women usually feel that there is nothing they can do if they are attacked by a man who is so much bigger and stronger than them. In the first class I have my students learn to break boards with a palm strike. Right away I see their confidence grow and I know that they are already more able to defend themselves should the need arose. Flexibility is also something that I see develop in students. Other benefits are: strength, endurance, discipline, overall health, the list goes on and on."

In the future, she plans to compete at the US Open World Martial Arts Event again in 2010 - this time, she'll try to break her own record.

"Next year I will try for six!" she said.

~武德为首, Martial Art Virtue comes first

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Shaolin Demostration

This is video footage from a Martial Arts Appreciation Event taken on 25 July 2009

Shaolin Monk Demostrating Flexibility Routine

Nine Section Whip Demostration (you cant see the chain clearly, its too thin)

~武德为首, Martial Art Virtue comes first

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

5 Reasons to start a martial art journey

From: Examiner

With the summer months creeping up on us, many in the Detroit metro area are looking for activities for their kids and themselves. Detroit has such a rich community ripe with activities and programs for families. But deep down in your heart, after watching countless Jet Lee and Jackie Chan movies, you want to enroll in a martial arts class. You ask:” Is it worth it?” or “Am I going to be flying through the air like those guys in the movies?” This leads to the often asked, “What benefits can I get from martial arts?”

Chances are you won’t be flying around like Chow Yun-Fat in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (unless you have five guys that follow you with those huge wires and harnesses). There are many other reachable rewards that martial arts training offers you.

Here’s a sample of some worthwhile benefits:

Social- Martial Arts classes often have people from different backgrounds, personalities, and careers. Mingling with these people can open up a world of experiences and friendships. You may find yourself trying sushi, bean curd, or even octopus in addition to hanging out in places you may have not been aware of.

Cultural- Learning some traditional martial arts such as Karate, Kung Fu, and Capoeira will introduce you to customs, terminology, and music of exotic foreign cultures. Not only will you be able to kick to the ceiling or execute the Tiger-Crane form, but you will be able to impress your friends when you got to the local Chinese food joint.

Mental- Focus and concentration are key elements in all martial arts and is of great importance on a test, on the job, or when writing a great informative blog. Through focused disciplined training and a “can do” attitude, a person can call upon tremendous focus in their daily lives. Martial arts are one of the best vehicles for focus and discipline; the Marines use martial arts training to instill even more focus in its soldiers. If it’s good enough for the Jarhead then it’s good enough for you and me!

Confidence- Feeling in control of yourself and various situations definitely gives you confidence to go out and face your day with power and bravery. If you can survive doing 1,000 kicks or 500 reverse punches you understand that you can survive another hard day at work or school. As a martial artist there are very few challenges that you won’t be able to overcome and your head will be high when you walk into a room.

Physical- Lastly the ability to kick over your head, punch through a board, or perform a perfect handstand cannot be overstated. Unlike traditional bodybuilding your muscles won’t bulge out, yet they will be very strong and be able to endure long periods of activity. Walking up a few flights of steps will be boring and you’ll want to sprint up those steps. An ordinary stroll on the Riverwalk will change into a desire to jog on the Riverwalk. The urge to participate in a marathon or indoor rock climbing will be within reach. And to top off all that you’ll be able to spot danger and protect yourself when needed.

So, if you’re are looking to spice up your life and get off the couch this summer grab a Yellow Pages, an I-Phone search or the nearest internet search engine and look for Detroit martial arts or martial arts in Detroit and begin the same journey I took 20 years ago. While I can’t guarantee that you’ll be the next Tony Jaa, Jet Lee or Jackie Chan I can tell you your life will be enhanced and you will meet some very cool people and it will be fun, challenging, rewarding, and eye-opening.

~武德为首, Martial Art Virtue comes first

Goal of a Martial Artist

From: Examiner

Japanese Karate Master

In all aspects of the Martial-Arts, regardless of what style a person chooses to learn, the path of a Martial-Artist is more than just learning to become a weapon, and learn various of movements in Self-Defense, is really to master his/her soul.

Studying the Martial-Arts, is a journey to the path of becoming a Master of the Martial-Arts, as the style becomes a form of a religion, than just knowing how defend one-self on the street or in violent situations.

The Mind:
As the student grows into the arts and learns how to kick, punch, jump, grapple or throw, and all the various of movements is being mastered, it really starts from the mind, which also becomes psychological to think forward.

Since most of our motor functions of the body really is being controlled from the brain, it really starts how one views themselves to achieve a goal or set a path, in mastering the art which ever style it maybe. If you tell the child he/she cant learn, and they are no good, eventually the child might accept it in time, as the child becomes self aware of his/her ability whether it be scholastic or academic studies, to perform something physical, or to learn new tricks that even a dog can learn.

The Human Brain

Same principle as for adults, if one tells them own selves,” It cant be done and it wont be achieved”, then the practitioner have already defeated ones own self. If you think and try to know you can, and do your part to make the effort, it can be done, as time progresses in his/her training. The mind is only as expandable as you wish it to be regardless of your age and health.

Organs and Muscles and Bones of Male and Female

The Body:
We all come from different forms, shapes, and sizes whether we are old or young. We all have different limitations to what life has offered us in each different stage of our lives.

Some come from health problems, such as cancer, diabetes, or have different disabilities from all walks of life that limit his/her to be at a perfect state.

Life does come in trials and challenges, regardless what they may be, studying the Martial-Arts, are only given barriers to what the individual wishes to limit themselves to be.

There are no barriers in the martial arts, other than speaking to yourself, “ If I can, I must, and if I must, I will Aaasaaahhh!!!!” If you do have some physical limitations, there is always a style that is a right fit for everyone, you just have to find what is best for you.

Though Martial-Arts is about Self-Defense, it is also about enhancing your body, to live and become a healthier person.

Insert photo caption or credit here

The Spirit:
The spirit, in many cultures, can be translated differently, depending on his/her beliefs on what is a Spirit.

But in the Martial-Arts, is a form of action that only comes from within the person, the wiliness to strive to improve, and the desire to grow in the chosen style.

In Tae Kwon Do, many instructors teach of “ The Abominable Spirit”, or having a positive attitude, or more less, to keep trying.

Though Martial-Arts is about learning how to fight and defend one-self, it is about filling the inner self with clean feelings, that will only fill the heart to be happier. Life is challenging in all forms, as we grow older, we learn from life’s lessons, though it wont be solved by punching or kicking a punching bag, but overcoming life through the martial arts, we learn to “Endure To The End”. Martial-Arts is a peaceful way of living as the spirit overcomes the stresses of life

Studying the Martial-Arts, training the Mind, the Body, and the Spirit, for in it’s intensive practice and self-mastery, we can strive to become better people, and to live a better life through. The Martial-Arts is a way of life as life becomes our teacher, which is, experience, who is our true, Master

Martial Arts Free Style Demo

The Mind, The Body, and The Spirit, moving as One in Unison.

~武德为首, Martial Art Virtue comes first

Monday, July 27, 2009

Difference between Judo and BJJ

From: Martial Arts Club Directory

After 30 years of doing anything – or anyone - continuously, one might find themselves at a crossroads, perhaps feeling that change is in order. Some call this a mid-life crisis and as a result may get married, divorced, re-married, divorced again, commit a crime spree or just buy a white sports car. At 45 years of age, I’d already done most of the above.

My case was different. The crisis I was experiencing was a Martial Arts Mid Life Crisis. Yes, 30 years of doing any martial art – Judo in my case – can do that to you.

So I strayed and left my first martial art love for something new – Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ).

Why BJJ? I suppose the seed had been planted back in 1993 after witnessing my first UFC. Watching Royce Gracie choke and armlock his way to victory using techniques familiar to and practiced by Judoka everywhere, but with funky names like the Kimura, Guard and Triangle Choke.

Other reasons for choosing BJJ were to test my Judo skills against this fairly new art - 95% of which takes place on the ground - and to better learn how to fight off my back.

So, I joined a BJJ Club. What follows are some first hand observations and noted differences between these 2 related, yet different, martial arts:

1. Lineage: Judo was developed in Japan by Jigoro Kano in the late 1800’s, a variation of Jujitsu. As its namesake implies, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) was developed and modified in Brazil by the Gracie brothers after having being taught Judo.

2. Uniform: Judoka wear heavy weave Gi’s (kimonos) tied by a belt and with no undergarments (save underwear – hopefully); BJJ practitioners tend to wear a single weave and much lighter Gi that is also tied by a belt. They also tend to wear funky form fitting and shiny undergarments called rash guards that can be worn under the gi or without: For lack of a better term, they’re cool. Furthermore, BJJ practitioners adorn their Gi’s with color-coordinated patches and logos, usually representing clubs, organizations and/or both. Again, the coolness factor.

3. Fighting Styles: Traditional Judo clubs focus on throws and takedowns which are scored accordingly. For example, a perfect throw, one that demonstrates control, power and impetus can score a perfect point, the equivalent of a knockout punch. A perfect throw (Ippon) is the ultimate goal of most Judoka. One can also win on the ground via a submission (choke, arm lock) and/or hold down. Most Judo Clubs will focus 70-80 percent (or more) of their training on throws with the balance on ground work. Conversely, BJJ practitioners spend about 80-90 percent (or more) on the ground. Throws and takedowns are secondary and are scored as such. The ultimate goal in BJJ competition is a submission.

4. Tempo: For advanced BJJ competitors – blue to black belt – matches can run from 6 to 10 minutes with the majority of the contest taking placing on the ground/grappling. The average Judo match – for advanced and beginners - runs 5 minutes, with the majority of the contest taking place standing up. Unlike BJJ, if a Judo contest does go to the ground, fighters are given very little time to work into a hold down or submission and if there is no immediate progression, fighters are quickly brought back to the standing position. As well, a lull in action from either fighter results in penalties. As a result of shorter matches and penalties for inactivity, Judo fights tend to be faster paced and more frenetic. BJJ fights tend to have a slower tempo as fighters work on the ground to gain position, control and eventually, submissions. Extended durations may also result in a slower and more deliberate pace during BJJ matches, in large part to conserve energy and to set an opponent up for a submission.

5. Terminology: Steeped in Japanese tradition, Judo throws and techniques have Japanese origins and names. For example, the fireman’s carry (a common wrestling takedown) is known as ‘kata-guruma’ in Judo. Another common wrestling takedown – the double leg takedown – is known as ‘morote-gari’ in Judo. The rear naked choke is known as ‘hadaka jime.’ BJJ, on the other hand, has exotic and descriptive names that roll off the tongue and pique the imagination. For example, ‘peruvian neck tie,’ ‘omoplata,’ ‘nonoplata,’ ‘gogoplata’ and more. Other techniques have been anglicized and named so that the average person can easily visualize them, even those with no martial arts background. For example, the ‘guillotine choke,’ ‘clock choke,’ ‘collar choke,’ ‘spin around armbar,’ ‘guard to arm lock no gi.’ These terms, for lack of a better term, just sound cool.

6. Belt Gradings: Judoka begin at white belt and from there, progress to yellow, orange, green, blue, brown and eventually black belt. At each level, students are required to know a certain number of throws and hold downs to advance. For black belt, it is necessary to perform ‘kata’ which are also known as forms. Prior to being eligible for a black belt and performing ‘kata,’ a Judoka must first compete and accumulate points by entering tournaments and winning fights. Depending on how they win and the rank of the person(s) they beat, they are awarded points. The process is very formal. An enthusiastic Judoka that practices 3-4 times per week and that competes should be able to attain their first degree black belt within 4-5 years. Like Judo, BJJ uses a belt grading system, but that is where the similarity ends. BJJ practitioners start as white belts and progress to blue, purple, brown and black belt. After attaining each belt, stripes may also be awarded to signify progress and levels of competence. Rather than forms, belt gradings are informal and conservative in nature: belts are awarded at the instructor’s discretion and seem to be heavily influenced by attendance, progress and time spent on the mat. That said, a BJJ practitioner may remain at the same belt level for years at a time. An enthusiastic and avid BJJ practitioner should be able to attain their black belt within 8-9 years. An exceptional student, perhaps sooner.

7. Honorifics: Seniority and respect play a large role in Judo. Senior students and/or instructors are referred to as ‘Sempai’ and are the equivalent of mentors while ‘Kohai’ are the equivalent of trainees. In Judo, the term ‘Sensei’ is usually reserved for 3rd degree black belts and up, but may be used by colored belts when addressing any black belt. The term is used in reference to those that have achieved a certain level of mastery and maturity. In BJJ, the equivalent of Sensei is Professor and is only used when addressing black belts. The term ‘professor’ has a scholarly overtone and again, is one that the average person can easily identify with.

8. Profit vs Non-Profit: As a rule, Judo Clubs are run as non-profit and can often be found in community center’s and/or rented out spaces. It’s rare to find a Judo Club as a standalone storefront/entity. Unlike Judo, BJJ is for profit and charges accordingly; charging what Judo clubs ought to be charging.

9. Conduct: Judo tends to be formal in its on-the-mat interactions. For example, it is proper etiquette to bow before entering and after leaving the dojo mat area. It is also proper etiquette to bow to your partner before and after a randori (freestyle practice or sparring) and/or ne-waza (ground work/grappling) practice session. BJJ clubs are less formal and as a rule, emphasize camaraderie more so than formality. For example, prior to and following a practice session (rolling), participants will shake or slap hands. Should one partner submit the other during a rolling session, they will break and shake or slap hands. At the end of the BJJ class, everyone is acknowledged and appreciated for their efforts with hand shakes, hand slaps and partial hugs.
Note: this is the behavior demonstrated at the BJJ club that yours truly belongs to and, as a result, can not be verified as common practice among all BJJ clubs.

10. Perception: Although an Olympic sport, practiced world-wide and over 100 years old, Judo has an image/PR problem. In general, the Judo community has no idea how to market itself. If Judo were an animal, it would be on the endangered species list. On the other hand, BJJ is flourishing. It is marketed as a form of self-defense and a staple to any serious mixed-martial artists game. No doubt helped in large part by the UFC, Royce Gracie’s early success and the continued success of BJJ practitioners in mixed martial arts.

In essence, both Judo and BJJ are great sports/martial arts that have a lot to offer both purists and mixed martial artists alike. Now, if Judo can learn from the BJJ brain trust, it just may have a fighting chance of surviving the coming decades. In the meantime, I’ve temporarily traded in my Judo black belt for a BJJ white belt and am enjoying every minute of it.

~武德为首, Martial Art Virtue comes first

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Teaching Gospel Through Martial Arts

From: Rankinledger

Broken boards, broken glass and bent rebar steel are the tools being used by a local martial arts group to spread the gospel.

"Namido Fire Team" is the name of the group which is made up of local martial arts teachers. Alex "Buddy" Cooper III leads the team. He said the team tries to reach out to those who might not attend a conventional church service.

At a recent demonstration Cooper said, "We preached God's word and broke boards. We had a couple of guys lay on glass while others piled on top of them. One soul was brought to Jesus when he witnessed one of our guys bend rebar with his bare throat."

Like other members of the team, Cooper has been practicing martial arts for years. Traveling at their own expense the team travels all over the southeast taking the gospel to where they are invited to speak.

"There are many physical parallels to a person's spiritual walk. You have to have discipline to follow Christ and read your Bible and pray and it takes discipline to train in the area of martial arts. These demonstrations give us a window to people that is free from all religion and it seems people are more apt to listen," said Cooper.

The children's pastor at Cornerstone Church in Pearl is on the team. Pastor Brian Means said he uses his talent to help mentor kids and show them the love of Christ. Means holds classes at the church and charges only $25 dollars a month which is donated to the church. However he has given lessons for free for kids who couldn't afford to pay.

"I have been using Christian Martial Arts as a ministry tool for several years now. It is a great way to mentor kids who don't have any structure or caring adults in their lives. It gives them an outlet and keeps them off the streets so they don't get involved in drugs or crime," said Means.

Michael Frazier is the associate pastor of the Morton Church of God. He travels with the team and said it is easy to see art imitating life through the demonstrations.

"We come in and speak on the spiritual warfare that is outlined in the Bible.

~武德为首, Martial Art Virtue comes first

Taekwondo amputee still gets his kicks

From: Gazette

Ben Schwenk doesn’t remember a lot about the worst 11 days of his life.

After overcoming bone cancer, he underwent 17 surgeries in less than two weeks in 1990, as doctors unsuccessfully tried to halt a relentless staph infection that turned his left knee into the size of a basketball.

His leg was amputated above the knee, but a radical operation preserved his calf muscle, quadriceps and hamstring — kept together by a steel plate and eight screws. And it opened the door for an improbable taekwondo career.

The Air Academy High School graduate, competing with a specially designed prosthetic leg, has quickly climbed the ladder in the world’s most practiced martial art, needing only 21 months to attain a blue belt — seven rankings below a black belt.

Schwenk, 37, took up taekwondo in 2007 alongside his adopted son, Daniel, hoping the endeavor would atone for his failed bid at disabled skiing and provide discipline for a “big, tough kid” accustomed to bullying others in the foster care system.

He said his son “put his foot down. He wanted nothing to do with taekwondo.” Making matters worse, Schwenk, training under 2000 Olympian Barb Kunkel at the Academy of Life and Leadership Taekwondo in Colorado Springs, struggled performing some kicks and stances, and his lateral movement was limited.

A new prosthetic leg from Mandy Myers of Colorado Springs-based Horizon Prosthetics increased Schwenk’s flexibility so much, the self-proclaimed “Transformer” can swing his left shoe 6 inches above his head and snap boards like they’re toothpicks.

As Schwenk got better, he noticed his 12-year-old son, a notch below him at purple belt, developed “a heart to do things for others. Instead of focusing on him, he’s focusing on others.” Plus his wife, Michelle, started taekwondo, and she already has advanced to orange belt — the highest beginner level.

“I don’t make every stance look absolutely perfect, but we’re doing it,” said Schwenk, who placed first in forms and second in board breaking at the Rocky Mountain Open last year at the Olympic Training Center.

If taekwondo becomes a Paralympic sport, Schwenk maintains he could qualify because his powerful front kicks and axe kicks — his prosthetic leg often generates more strength than his right leg — are enough to compensate for inconsistent roundhouse kicks.

His biggest problem? Sometimes, his prosthetic leg falls off during practice.

“I don’t think that’s good,” he quipped. “Moving around can be really challenging. If (his prosthetic leg) has to be synchronized (with his right leg) or if it has to be a certain form, that is my biggest challenge.”

Schwenk called his prosthetic leg a blessing in disguise.

“I wouldn’t be who I am without it,” he said. “I wouldn’t have experienced so many other things. I wouldn’t have met my wife. I would have never gotten here. … I lost my leg, but I gained my life.”

~武德为首, Martial Art Virtue comes first

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Using Martial Arts to help disabilities

From: seMissourian

Instructor Alan Williams helps Alexis Johnson, 9, of Oak Ridge, with her kicks at Children Tae Kwon Do class Thursday at Outerlimits LLC. The class was a mix of traditional students and adaptive students with disabilities. Johnson has a mild form of cerebral palsy making it harder for her to kick with her left leg.
(Elizabeth Dodd)
[Click to enlarge] [Order this photo]
Alexis Johnson, 9, started wearing leg braces when she was 18 months old after being diagnosed with cerebral palsy. For about an hour she takes off the braces and wears a tae kwon do uniform to practice martial arts with her instructor, Alan Williams, part of her treatment.

At his Outerlimits martial arts school near Oak Ridge, Williams uses his 31 years of experience in martial arts to teach traditional students and students with disabilities. Putting on a uniform and earning a belt rank gives his students a new outlook on their treatment, he said.

"There's more to it than trying to make it interesting," said Williams, who is also a physical therapy assistant at Southeast Missouri Hospital.

After having 11 joint surgeries throughout his life, Williams said he knows the physical therapy regimen from a firsthand perspective. With children especially, he said, an element of fun helps the treatment.

Johnson said she likes working on her roundhouse kick. She said she practices in the grass at home because she falls down often, but never gives up.

Kevin Henry of Jackson instructs blocks during an adult tae kwon do class Thursday at Outerlimits LLC.
[Click to enlarge]
"I like to learn the defense because it will help you when danger comes, especially when your parents are elderly," she said.

After two months of tae kwon do she is showing improvement in balance and flexibility, said her grandmother, Vera Archer. For example, she can now stand flat-footed and brush the floor with her hand, Archer said.

During class, Williams gives her goals encourages her to kick higher, especially with her weaker left leg.

"Alexis is one of those kids, she's just determined," Archer said.

Archer said she notices the small improvements in the left leg but still tenses up sometimes while watching the class.

"I try not to show those things to her," she said. "Kids read us like books."

Williams said he started teaching at the hospital in 1998. Since then he has taught at various locations in the area. In fall 2008, he and his wife, Jani, built and opened his own school in the country. He also teaches a class once a week at the SEMO Alliance for Disability Independence in Cape Girardeau.

Williams said individuals with disabilities are often written off, but he helps them with their weaknesses. He works with students who have cerebral palsy, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, Down syndrome and are recovering from a brain tumor.

"I know what their specialties are and what they can and can't do," he said.

Kevin Henry, 41, started studying with Williams nine years ago while in a wheelchair. He now uses a cane and credits martial arts with helping him learn to walk.

"I wouldn't have even tried if I hadn't come," he said.

Henry was 21 when he started having double vision, the first symptoms of spinal cerebral ataxia. The neurological disorder that targets the cerebellum has since affected his speech and ability to walk.

"All that crap you don't think about, your cerebellum does," he said.

He said he started by standing up, finding his balance and throwing punches. He eventually relearned to walk after gaining more self-confidence.

"I'm going to stand here and not fall over," he said, recalling his thought process. "I'm going to walk across the room and not fall over."

Henry, a brown belt, helps with the children's class, which is an hour before the adult class he attends.

He said he changes his technique to fit his abilities. Sometimes he pivots more to keep his balance and prevent from falling down.

Williams said his students with disabilities are adaptive.

"There are no limits, only modifications," he said citing the motto of his school.

~武德为首, Martial Art Virtue comes first

Friday, July 24, 2009

Salt Sprinkling In Sumo

On mounting the dohyō the wrestler performs a number of rituals derived from Shinto practice. Facing the audience, he claps his hands and then performs the leg-stomping shiko exercise to drive evil spirits from the dohyō.

Stepping out of the ring into their corners, each wrestler is given a ladleful of water, the chikara-mizu ("power water"), with which he rinses out his mouth; and a paper tissue, the chikara-gami ("power paper"), to dry his lips. Then both step back into the ring, squat facing each other, clap their hands, then spread them wide (traditionally to show they have no weapons).

Returning to their corners, they each pick up a handful of salt which they toss onto the ring to purify the ring ridding of evil spirits. Some also sprinkle salt on their body to pray for protection. The salt also serves as sterilisation for abrasions during the match.

~武德为首, Martial Art Virtue comes first

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Definition of Martial Arts

From: Examiner, Nicolas Rodriguez

Image from Video Game Classic Street Fighter: Gouken

In the days of the first creations of man, there was an ideal of being able to adapt to the land, as man knew there was danger from all sides, which different forms of Martial Arts have been created for one purpose, Self-Defense.

There are variations of Martial-Arts, from most parts of the world, as weapons were designed, so was the human body to utilized as a weapon of Self-Defense, either in the arts of war, protecting one self from bandits, to learn how to fight back from being a victim to those close to us who cause us harm. What are the Martial Arts?

Is it just punching, kicking, grappling, and being able to hurt the attacker? Or is it just an expression of the body that performs movements with or without weapons in a Self Defense situation? To many, it can be just a way to get back in shape and start feeling young again, to have a healthy, strong and flexible body. Martial, really defines warfare or battle in combat at life and threatening situations. Art, as what it explains for itself, is an expression or form of movements, whether it is sculpting, painting, linguistics or building. But to define the term, is really an expression of the body performing movements of a Self-Defense experience.

To name of the various types of Martial Arts and explain the origins and different styles which expresses the Art, could take a long journey back in time, to interpret how what we know or what we watch on a movie, on video games, and what history has to tell us about the Martial Arts.

To only name a few, Tae Kwon Do (The way of the hand and foot), which has become popular in North America where it originates from Korea. Karate (Open or Empty Hand) which originates from Japan, Kung-Fu (literally translates as Chinese Boxing) which is originated, the style or father of all Asian Martial-Arts. As time elapsed and as each style has evolved to its environment, such as other grappling styles, Pankration, Jiu-Jitsu, Greco-Roman Wrestling, so have the weapons have become an essential part of each style.

"Krava Maga" (Close Contact/Fighting)

Israelian Military Martial Arts

When speaking of weapons, many are more familiar with perhaps a knife, sword, or an axe, which were more assessable to normal people on a daily routine, which have been used for hunting, cutting meat, or chopping wood. As in life, being human, means making mistakes, or be part of the problem not part of a solution, to cause harm to other human beings. In our human history, ever since the first history recorded about war from ancient scriptures from the bible, people have learned to kill and hurt other people.

As in the Martial-Arts has been evolved, it has changed depending on the persons environment, whether it be fighting with or without weapons. Chinese Martial Arts has been a foundation, on all Asian Martial Arts, on utilizing weapons for a life and threatening situation. All styles of Self-Defense have used some form of weapons to be able to have the advantage to a fight either it be to save a life or take a life.

But are the Martial-Arts all about creating danger or to eliminate harm? The Art is really on the beholder, as with the great comic hero, Spider-Man, has always reminiscent the words of his Uncle, Ben, and “WITH GREAT POWER COMES WITH GREAT RESPONSIBILITY”, so is the same with the Martial-Arts. The Martial-Arts is a form of a military discipline, but not only to teach the student to control his/her anger, but to be self-disciplined to have that control his/her emotions.

Any style can teach a person to hurt a person, but it takes personal integrity to uphold his/her behavior, to limit the extent of the emotions that comes from anger or from negative thoughts. It’s really how a person lives their life style, to be an example, and lead with knowledge of being responsible for the use of that power.

This message is really about how to live to be a better person, as the Martial-Arts develops a sense of character, as the body forms to become a human weapon, but also how to channel ones energy psychologically, as well as physical. The Martial-Arts was created for man, not for man to create the Martial-Arts, for it’s a spiritual journey as it becomes a physical encounter of the mind.

~武德为首, Martial Art Virtue comes first

Martial Art Pics

~武德为首, Martial Art Virtue comes first

Monday, July 20, 2009

Laws of Self Defense

From: Close Protection World


Private Defense includes both self-defense and the defense of a third party

These concepts are common law concepts and as such valid universally!

This defense attacks the state of mind arm of a crime providing a complete defense against successful prosecution.


-Threat of physical harm is unlawful
-Threat of physical harm is against you or another's legal interest
-Threat of physical harm is occurring or objectively imminent


-Directed at the perceived attacker or agent thereof
-Objectively necessary to have acted at all or in that way
-Action was commensurate to the harm threatened
-Where aware of the fact that you were acting in Private Defense


The Defense of Necessity allows you to harm an innocent a third party (Defeats Terror)

These concepts are common law concepts and as such valid universally!

This defense attacks the state of mind arm of a crime providing a complete defense against successful prosecution

Fault is attributed to the Assailant - moral blame is yours to assimilate


-Threat of physical harm is unlawful
-Threat of physical harm is against your or another`s legal interest
-Threat of physical harm is occurring or objectively imminent
-You are not the author of your own misfortune


-Objectively necessary to have acted at all or in that way
-Action was commensurate to the harm threatened
-Where aware of the fact that you were acting out of necessity"


You are escorting your principal through an open field, there is no way for you to get to cover, there is only one way to protect the live's of your team and that of your principals. A man using a small female child as a shield, whilst wielding an assualt rifle jumps up from behind a low wall to your right. What are your options before he starts to systematically off your team?

1) You're an hero... You shield your principal as your team engages. You all die in the procces.

2) As you are legal allowed, you shoot through the little girl killing her and killing the threat. Your team is safe and so too is your principal, other then emotion issues, sorted. You will more then likely be arrested, but the case will be dismissed because you exercised your legal rights. You have to live with it, but it's legal.

Still a dilema nonetheless, but at least now you know your legal rights.

~武德为首, Martial Art Virtue comes first

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Bare foot or shoes?

From: Examiner

Martial arts is generally thought of as a barefoot sport unless shoes are specifically required to the type of martial art, i.e., wrestling shoes for wrestling, savate shoes for savate. Generally practitioners of a mix of martial arts have their shoes pulling double duty to spare the extra expense. (Wearing savate shoes both for wrestling and savate, for example.)

In some blended systems, footwear is left up to the individual practitioner.

The case for shoes:

  • Shoes help avoid calluses from pivoting on bare feet.
  • Shoes help prevent frequent toe jams and mat burn.
  • Shoes will stay in place better than the strap on foot coverings.
  • Wrestling shoes provide better footing for explosive movements (shooting).
  • Your feet will remain cleaner and warmer. If you have a cut or open sore on your foot, shoes are a good idea to prevent infection.
  • If you've sustained any recent injury or have chronic problems with your feet or ankles, shoes may be a smart idea.

The case for bare feet:

  • If you lack control beware of injuring the person you're working with when wearing shoes. You may feel the impact of your kicks on your feet less and thus kick harder.
  • If you're not used to it, wearing shoes may take a while to get used to and your form could suffer until you acclimate.
  • Fitting shoes can be tricky. Like any other athletic shoe, there is more to it than just size.
  • If you become used to shoes and then are suddenly unable to wear them because of class requirements or other reasons, you may sustain some blisters while you get used to bare feet again.

There are a few things that should be taken into consideration if you decide to give up bare feet. Never wear old gym shoes that you use to walk to work or run outside. You'll carry all of the unwanted dirt and bacteria they've picked up onto the mats, this is inconsiderate to those who go barefoot or grapple on the same mats. Avoid wearing running shoes as they have too much traction to be used for martial arts. To avoid unnecessary discomfort, don’t wear a new pair of martial arts shoes during a competition or a lengthy seminar.

~武德为首, Martial Art Virtue comes first

Friday, July 17, 2009

Stretching and flexibility in Martial Art

From: Examiner

Have you ever noticed in the movies, watching famous actors such as Jackie Chan, Jean Claude Vanne Damme, Steven Segal, Jason Statham, Cynthia Rothrock, Lucy Liu, and Michelle Yeoh, why all of these actors could perform such graceful and magical moves?

In the Martial-Arts, such as Tae Kwon Do, Karate, Kung-Fu, Kickboxing, and including many other styles, it is not only about the kicking or punching and not about throwing moves in the art itself.

It does rely on a lot of stretching, plenty of exercise, such as aerobic and anaerobic workouts, but it also does involve having the body agile or loose to not pull a muscle.

The body is much like a rubber band, the more you stretch constantly or have a daily routine to exercise the body, the more loose and flexible the body becomes. Its much easier as younger children learn and study any sport or physical exercise, such as in the Martial-Arts, it takes discipline and the will to want to be flexible.

For those who don’t consider yourself young as what you once used to be, there is still time to develop and improve on your flexibility and on your health. There are a few basic simple stretches that one can practice or train on when wishing to be able to perform a full side split or front split.

Each muscle in the legs, have different sets of fibers which the body must be loose enough or warmed up enough, to keep the kicks to become flexible in performing a strong kick, or to be able to kick head height.

Upper Body Stretches

Okinawa Japanese Style Side Kick

The upper body, as well as the upper and lower back, neck muscles, all must have the flexibility to be able to punch, strike, and perform guarding positions, or be able to evade from an attack.

So as in this case, even the joints and bones have to be able to move in a quick reaction or be able to act on a move either attacking or moving away from an attack.

The better your upper body, arms, back, and neck are loose enough or warmed up to train before a hard workout in the dojo or at home, it is essential to warm up the fibers of the body to keep it loose.

Side and Back Stretch

Tae Kwon Do High Side Kick

Regardless of what style you train to learn in the Martial-Arts, without flexibility, loose joints, warmed up body, it is easy to cause injury when wishing to train harder or go over your limit of what your true goal is in the martial arts.

This is also especially true, in the case if you are confronted in a real life situation, if your body is not loose enough.

If your body is not prepared to perform or execute a move from an attack, you could more likely injure yourself more than actually being confronted by an attacker on the street.

Not only the body has to be ready to have a great work out in the Dojo, but also, be ready when your life depends on your flexibility if it is your last line of defense, before you are able to call authorities for further emergency assistance.

If you were to pull a muscle or strain a joint, how would you able to defend yourself, and those who are your loved ones and people who are close to you, when they will need your assistance in a life threatening situation?

Shaolin Side Kick Stretch Demo

Capoeira Brazilian Dance/Martial Arts High Kick

The Martial Arts is a beautiful form or expression, that allows you to be open in a way that no other sport can allow you to do.

Other than from dancing and gymnastics, the Martial-Arts, allows you to express your body.

When it means being able to defend yourself and your loved ones, and to be able to have a great work out for either your health, or for competition.

Remember, it will not come over night to have those nice flashy, hard, and powerful kicks, or the quickness and manipulation of the hands, but it does take a great part of your time to stretch you lower and upper body.

What you put into it is really what you get out of it. It all depends on how far or what your mind stretches you where you wish to be.

Side Split Stretching Demo

Front Split Stretch Demo

~武德为首, Martial Art Virtue comes first

Self Defense for a Man

~武德为首, Martial Art Virtue comes first

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Weirdest Knockouts in MMA

From: Calgary Sun with videos linked

Unexpected Ong Bak style back elbow (Watch 2:52)

Self KO while attempting takedown

Pete Sell looked to have Scott Smith wounded with a stiff body shot. However, as he went in for the kill, Smith put everything into one big Hail Mary shot, dropping Sell.

The pressure from the submission causes Hughes to temporarily black out and powerbombs Newton to the mat, knocking him out. (watch 7:14)

Double KO in 8secs

Aweful job being a ref sometimes

Trying to kiss your opponent is really a bad idea

~武德为首, Martial Art Virtue comes first

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Teen dies after match

Vincent Tan, a first-year IT student at Nanyang Polytechnic, had picked up the sport only a year ago. -- PHOTO: COURTESY OF THE TAN FAMILY

IT WAS only his second taekwondo competition and 17-year-old Vincent Tan was fighting an opponent two belt levels above him.

Barely a minute into the sparring match last Sunday, his slighter-built opponent, who had a brown belt, gave Tan a kick in the neck which ruptured a main blood vessel to his brain.

Tan, who held a green belt, was seen fumbling with his head guard for a few seconds before tumbling onto the ground.

First aid was immediately given to him, but he never gained consciousness. He died on Thursday afternoon in hospital.

The polytechnic student's death has now prompted the People's Association (PA) to suspend all taekwondo competitions while it reviews the procedures usually undertaken in such events.

'We are reviewing our processes to see if any improvements need to be made. In the meantime, we have suspended all taekwondo competitions pending the review,' said a PA spokesman. The police are also investigating.

PA said the competition, held at the Kampong Kembangan Community Club, was organised by the Greenville Residents' Committee and Singapore Taekwondo Gymnasium (STG). It had attracted more than 180 participants and was scheduled to run from 9am to 9pm, but was later cancelled.

All participants were required to wear safety gear, including head guards, and were given a safety briefing before their bouts.

PA said Tan lost consciousness at about 9.30am, and certified first aid workers from St John Ambulance Brigade, Alexandra Hospital and the Red Cross immediately attended to him while an emergency ambulance was called. He reached Changi General Hospital about 20 minutes later, with Vivian in the ambulance.

His distraught mother, Madam Nur Julia, said she cannot accept her only son's death and wants answers from the organisers.

~武德为首, Martial Art Virtue comes first

Friday, July 10, 2009

A little on Taekwondo

From: Examiner

Aaassaahhhh!!!!!!!! Aaacheeyy!!! Haaa paasooo!!!!!
Huh?? What was that??? Oh, in the essence of the martial arts, such as in TKD, when connecting a punch or kick to the opponents body, making noises is not only is part of an breathing exercise, but a part of generating power from the attack when upon striking a part of the body.

It helps the student to keep a focus on the target as breathing becomes part of a source which demonstrates the strength and power of that strike. Breathing is a must in all styles of martial arts, whether making a noise to fend of foes, or to help control breathing patterns in a fighting situation. So that’s good information for all of you to know.

In TKD, the punches and the kicks, all have a real secret, which takes time and training in the art itself, is being precise on the accuracy of the strikes, having the correct speed, to maximize the power in the attacks in Korean Martial Arts.

In this beautiful art, which many are fascinated by its kicks and aero dynamics of its fighting style, to hit the opponent, a TKD stylist must have the speed, to not only be the first to get the hit, but to be also be quick enough to step out of the way from an attack from the opponent.

In the beginning as the student starts off learning the basics, through out his/her training, speed and precision will follow after learning a set of kicking and punching patterns. The student must be the first to strike, to knock out the attacker, and be the first to stay out of range. Most trained fighters in TKD, fight from a long distance, where it is not open for close range attacks, which speed and precision must come into play, to get the first hit, as power combines from the quickness of the attack.

Usually in TKD, fighters may start from a side fighting stance, where the shoulders and the hips, are directed towards the target. This position allows the stylist to be quick on his/her feet, and to allow for free of movement, where jumping or hopping becomes easier to perform to either do a flying kick in the air to reach in for distance from long range attacks. Regardless of what moves the TKD stylist chooses to utilize to strike his/her target, the important part of the art is to have the speed and precision to generate power at the target.

It maybe similar to boxing, but instead of having the body or the chest to be faced towards the target, being able to fight on a sided stance allows the body for free of movement and motion, where it is easily generated to increase the speed and precision which allows the power to connect from the twist or turn of the hips.

TKD-Tornado Kick

Either the strike could be a punch/strike or kick, twisting of the hips, and turns or spins increases the power of the moves in Tae Kwon Do. But without speed and without precision, the move will not connect accurately, and will leave the stylist to be off guard or to be left open from an attack from the opponent. Timing is everything when making its first or second move in this art. One false impression or one incorrect move towards the target could be devastating when being left unprotected from a serious injury from the other opponent

Upon Accuracy and Speed hitting the body

In TKD, it’s an art form that allows freedom of expression, especially as the kicks can become a powerful weapon, either in fighting on the street, or in a tournament competition. Speed must be first where you can be first to strike; Precision is for the accuracy where the hit must be targeted at the attacker, as the Power becomes the weapon when the movements are combined in Tae Kwon Do

Speed + Precision = Power (All from the mind)

~武德为首, Martial Art Virtue comes first

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Nice Left Hook
~武德为首, Martial Art Virtue comes first

Taekwondo Unarmed Combat Demo

This is done a year ago at a local martial arts night event, enjoy.

~武德为首, Martial Art Virtue comes first

Monday, July 6, 2009


~武德为首, Martial Art Virtue comes first

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Martial Art Pic

~武德为首, Martial Art Virtue comes first

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Robber battered trying to rob a 71 year old boxer

From: The Sun

THIS is how a burglar looked after he made the mistake of breaking into the home of a 71-year-old ex-boxer.

Gregory McCalium

Vicious Gregory McCalium, 23 - jailed for 4½ years yesterday - looked like a "car accident" victim after he was punched by battling grandad Frank Corti

Still got it ... grandad Frank Corti

Still got it ... grandad Frank Corti

Frank - woken by noises as he lay in bed with his wife Margaret - DODGED the knife as the yob lunged at him in his hallway, FEINTED and DECKED him with two massive right hooks.

The former Army boxer, who as a 16-year-old won the National Association of Boys Clubs Championship, then coolly made a citizen's arrest and waited for cops.

A judge yesterday told McCalium - who wound up with a black eye, split lip and severe swelling - he "got what he deserved".

After seeing him jailed, modest Frank insisted he had no choice but to "restrain" him. He said: "We are pleased he won't be troubling us for a few years."

Hero ... Frank in his heyday

Hero ... Frank in his heyday

The retired car worker told how he came face-to-face with the hooded lout at the foot of his stairs in Bolney, Oxford.

Frank - famous for his fearsome right hook when he boxed as a featherweight in the Royal Engineers - said: "He took a slash at me.

"If I needed to I would do it again. I had the advantage of having done some boxing training and retained the ability to punch." McCalium's lawyer told Oxford Crown Court: "Photographs of the defendant showed what looked like a car accident.

"Photos of the scene looked more like a murder scene."

Cocktail waiter McCalium - a troublesome neighbour of the couple - denied aggravated burglary but was convicted by a jury.

Recorder Angela Morris told him: "Luckily, Mr Corti was an able-bodied 71-year-old who was able to defend himself."

She added: "Elderly and vulnerable people are entitled to demand the protection of courts from people like you who decide to take matters into your own hands and enter a property with a weapon."

Frank, just 5ft 5in and who in his boxing heyday weighed 10st, said: "The element of surprise was with me and I hit him with my right hand - hard - just below the eye.

"He was almost knocked out and the knife fell out of his hand."

Childhood pal Colin Goodenough, 73, who used to spar with Frank at Baliol Boys Club, said: "I want to shake his hand. We need more like him."

~武德为首, Martial Art Virtue comes first