Thursday, August 21, 2014

First Ever Shaolin Temple Fighting Tournament

Is a fighting competition at the Shaolin Temple a good thing?

The South China Morning Post is reporting that the Shaolin Temple is planning on hosting its first ever "world martial arts competition".

It's being billed as an opportunity for martial artists all over the world to come and compete together in forms, "iron body", and even fighting (presumably San Shou/Sanda). But, as with pretty much anything in the martial arts world, this announcement is having mixed reactions.

A lot of folks are pretty excited about it. Many martial arts can trace their lineage, in some form or fashion, back to Shaolin. So, to have a tournament in this historically important martial arts "cradle" is a big deal.

However, you've also got the "anti-competition" crowd who's bitching that Shaolin is no place for this kind of event. The argument is that fighting and competing somehow hurts the reputation of the temple. Obviously, this completely ignores the fact that the temple had a fighting force which participated in armed conflicts at as far back as the Tang dynasty.

My opinion is, this is a good thing for martial arts in general and traditional martial arts specifically. Shaolin Temple is a major symbol/archetype in the martial arts community. Having an international competition where martial artists of various styles can compete as friends and fellow fighters is very positive.

What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments section.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Floor Bag for Solo Grappling Training

The floor bag is an excellent tool for training grappling solo.
In a perfect world, we'd always have access to a willing and able training partner. Unfortunately, we don't live in a perfect world and many of us are forced to spend part of our time training alone.

While this may not be a huge deal for a striker who can always work on the heavy bag or do some shadowboxing, it is kind of a big deal for a grappler (or mixed martial artist working on his ground game) who's art relies almost exclusively on partner work.

You could do solo drills on the mat, but without some sort of implement to stand in for a live partner those drills can feel a bit empty. Luckily there exists a very simple, very cheap tool you can obtain right now: a Floor Bag.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Increase Your Pain Tolerance with...Exercise!

Can exercise improve pain tolerance?
I came across a pretty interesting article today about the effects of exercise on pain tolerance.

Recently, researchers from Australia (University of New South Wales & Neuroscience Research Australia) discovered that exercise can increase people's ability to tolerate pain.

They took 24 healthy participants and split them into two groups. Both groups were given an initial pain tolerance test to determine a base-line. The first group was then allowed to go on about their daily lives with no changes in their exercise habits. The second group, however, was placed on a 6 week aerobic cycling program where they exercised at 75% of their VO2 max for 30 minutes 3 times a week.

After six weeks both groups were brought back into the lab where they had their pain tolerance tested once again.

The no-exercise group showed no change in their ability to tolerate pain. But the exercise/cycling group showed a marked increase in their ability to deal with pain (as well as improved aerobic fitness). I've got a hunch that many who come to this blog aren't going to be surprised by this research. But, it's still cool to have research confirm something that has a direct impact on our training as fighters.

I wonder if anyone is currently conducting research on how taking a kick to the face affects pain tolerance?

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Countering Low Kick Defense

Found this video the other day and wanted to share it with you guys.

It's from Dustin Johnson out of Acadiana Muay Thai in Baton Rouge, Louisiana - Very good stuff:

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Shoulder Health for Fighters

A lot of  fighters spend most of their time worrying about improving those attributes that make them a better fighter - like strength, speed, reaction time, etc... But very few spend much time thinking about the correction of muscle imbalances and the injuries that are associated with those imbalances.

This is a shame since muscle imbalances are extremely common among martial artists and these imbalances can lead to injury. Obviously, injuries will take you away from your training and that'll keep you from progressing and competing

Nobody wants that.

Among the most common places for a fighter to experience muscle imbalance and injury is the shoulder girdle. So, in this post, I'm going to share with you some strategies and exercises I use to my shoulders and the shoulders of those I work with healthy and strong.