Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Body Conditioning.

Preparing the body through training for improving in any form of martial arts, sport or to achieve a good fitness level is Body Conditioning. So the conditioning would vary from activity to activity and also as per the goals we set. 
In martial arts like Boxing or even Muay Thai stamina is very vital as in boxing a fight could go on upto 15 rounds, so they start their training daily with a good long jog varying from 10 -20km and then follow it up with lots of skipping. After this they go ahead with other training. This is also a form of body conditioning preparing the body to be able to fight for 15 long rounds.
Similarly in Kung - fu there are lots of various means and equipment for body conditioning, two of the more widely known ones are the plum blossom poles and the wing chun dummy. The plum blossom poles are an assortment of wooden poles of varying heights fitted into the ground and the practitioner stands on top of them improving his stances, balance, co- ordination and perfect flow in leg movements. While the wing chun dummy is like a striking post of wood, which gives the practitioner a chance to simulate a real fight situation from blocking to striking the wood improving his speed, power, technique, strength and conditioning the bones and muscles of the knuckles, palm, forearm and even the feet.
Being more fond of the Japanese martial arts lets look into them too. In Okinawan karate training there are numerous equipment all aiming at strengthening muscle and bones, improving technique, skill, speed and co-ordination. Some of the equipments are Makiwara (striking post), Kongoken ( this is a heavy man sized iron ring which was brought to okinawan by Master Chojun Miyagi after observing wrestlers of Hawaii using them), Makiage Kigu (wrist roller), Kami (they are jars to improve gripping and techniques of the hand), Tou (this  is a bundle of bamboo sticks tied together used to condition and strengthen the fingers and palm) and so many more. All of them aim at toughening flesh and bones into forged steel. In Judo which is basically a grappling art form the practitioners whole body gets conditioned by the numerous falls and throws they execute in practice. The body gets accustomed to breaking falls without any injury even if they are thrown on a tiled floor or the road. In the art of Aikido though they also use lots of break falls but since the techniques are based on joint manipulations their joints like the wrist get conditioned with repetitive practice of the various locks easily able to sustain a lock many times more than an untrained person can.

Body Conditioning is very vital in martial arts training since it improves ones skill, stamina, technique, co-ordination, speed, power, strength, stances, balance and so on. Moreover conditioning the body reduces the scope of injury. Even if one area of the above qualities is underdeveloped it would hamper the martial artists ability and his skill. Many masters get so engrossed with the constant quest to improve that from their breathing, walking style or any daily routine activity is changed in such a manner that they are constantly training for eg :- walking in sanchin dachi or striking the walls while climbing up the stairs and so on. 
I personally am very fond of Body Conditioning and am sure it has helped me improve as a martial artist.   

Monday, June 7, 2010

Defense against circular punch/ jab or slap

I hope you all are able to comprehend the techniques and am sure the videos are of great help to understand better.
Today we will look at defense against a circular punch / jab or slap. Always remember to train only under supervision of a qualified instructor. Those who are not regular martial arts practitioners should avoid trying the techniques as you may injure yourself.

Lets say you are being attacked by a circular punch to your face with the right hand of the attacker. Move sideways into your attacker with your right foot. This gives you a good chance to block and yet be safe from the attack. Once you have moved in strike with your right palm (knife edge or Shuto) onto the forearm of the hand which is punching you. While you strike hold the punching hand with your left hand. The strike on the forearm will shake up the attacker. After striking the arm move your right hand sideways which will result in your elbow striking the attackers ribcage area. After striking the ribcage move out from below your attackers arm which you are holding. Catch the right wrist of the attacker with your right hand while your left palm pushes hard onto the elbow joint of the attackers arm. Keep practicing it again and again and again. Happy training.

We will be regularly updating videos of self defense techniques and their explanations and also videos on training sessions.

Kindly use caution while training as the idea is to learn and not injure your partner practicing with you. 

Friday, June 4, 2010

Defense against over head knife attack

 I have always strived to make movements and combination's as realistic and practically feasible as possible. Most of us being right handed the chances are always high to be attacked by the right hand of the attacker, that does not mean we don't train for an attack from the left hand. Lets look at how to defend oneself from a overhead knife attack. Please note do not try this without supervision of a qualified instructor

Lets say we are attacked by a knife in the right hand of the attacker.
Fast movement is always vital in a good defense. So move out to your left side blocking the right forearm of the attacker with your right hand. Moving out of the range of attack is always safer in case your attempt to block is foiled. Once blocked catch the knife wielding right hand of the attacker. With the left hand give a powerful Ura Tsugi ( inverted half punch) to the rib section of the attacker. Then hold the back of his collar (near the spine) with your left hand. As you hold the collar strike with your left foot to the side of the attackers right knee. The foot should be struck with the sole area. This will bring down the attacker and causing him excruciating pain specially in his right knee and leg. Allowing you to walk away peacefully and unharmed. This is a simple and effective technique where in just 3 moves including the block we have our armed assailant immobilized and on the floor. Those who are not regularly training in martial arts may not be able to comprehend the technique easily, I request such readers to not try this with friends or if attacked on the road unless you have trained under a qualified instructor as half knowledge is very dangerous for both partners.