Archive for category Tae Kwon Do
Black Belt Taekwondo Training
When one reaches a Black belt in Taekwondo one has a problem. Interestingly, most people realize this problem even before they reach a black belt in that martial arts. The problem is one of reaching higher levels of martial expertise, or, in other words, getting good at taekwondo sparring.
After all, if one stays in TKD pure, they do get better, but slowly, and this is because they aren’t given any forms that drastically alter their freestyle methods. So one has to search out better forms, better methods, ways to shape the freestyle ability. And, this means often going outside the formalized art.
Now, the problem with training outside the system is that it tends to make everything sloppy. It is hard to find a system that fits together with the TKD method. Using the legs so much, and so uniquely, the art doesn’t mesh with something like savate or muay tai.
The one art that does mesh well is Kwon Bup. We are not speaking of the ancient Kwon Bup, for that has been fairly well lost, and may not even be a good match for modern Taekwondo, anyway. No, we are speaking of the art developed some forty years ago through the Kang Duk Won.
The Kang Duk Won was one of the arts that was used in developing modern taekwondo. It was powerful, used legs well, and reached its highest form when done by a fellow name of Bob Babich in San Jose.
One of the things that Bob did was create several forms to add to the Kang Duk Won. These forms were strong, very straight line, and moved the art from legs into fists, and explored certain concepts of simultaneous block and strike.
The first couple of forms of Kwon Bup are basic, almost karate, and could even replace some of the karate style basics, as they are quick and logical and easier to learn.
The middle three forms are the heart of the matter, however. These are the ones that teach a person how to stay inside and translate from foot to fist.
The last two forms are very interesting, but they tend to move into weapons and a very unique kicking form.
The weapons form is handy, as the distance of a street fight can move from weapons to feet quickly. It’s nice to play with this concept of handling weapons with feet. Though, to be honest, this is not the real intent of the form.
The kicking form, however, is state of the art. It tightens up the Korean kicking styles, pulls the power into the hips, and shows multiple kicks in a VERY realistic manner.
That about sums it up. The Kwon Bup is very handy, and if you do a little googling you might be able to find some info on it, but the data will be scarce. It is not well known, but that’s sometimes the way it is. The best stuff is hard to find.
Anyway, whether you consider it or not, it is a viable concept as far as advancing your black belt taekwondo fighting studies.
I always surprised when I don’t see exercises like the one I am about to tell you about used freely in Karate training. The following exercise cuts your reaction time down to nothing, and it does it with just an hour or two of training. Check out the video, and then I’ll tell you more.
Where I came up with this one was in feeding people punches to help them block. Being a bit insane, looking for more punches to block, wanting to do the exercise faster and more so i would get to the end of it, I decided to have two people feed the defender.
So two people would stand, shoulder to shoulder, in front of the blocker, and they would throw slow strikes.
Not fast. You can overwhelm easily, and there is no gain then. And, you don’t want to create bruises. You want the guy to input data, not refuse the data because he is getting hurt.
But feed the strikes slowly. Left or right, doesn’t matter. Just keep feeding them slowly.
Now, the two feeders should be looking for the edge. They should be trying to find the point of overload, and stay just below it. You don’t want to go so fast the blocker can’t block, you just want him to get used to it all. After a short while, you’ll find that you can bump up the speed of your strikes, and the blocker learns faster.
Now, one thing to be careful of.
The blocker will overload, and this might manifest in a number of ways, maybe just missing the blocks all of the sudden, making too many mistakes, that sort of thing. But usually the blocker will want to strike back. He’ll snap. He won’t hit hard, but he’ll be unable to stop himself from hitting back.
Well, of course. He is overloaded, filled to the top, and he needs to relieve the pressure. That’s okay.
Try to catch it before it happens, and simply rotate one of the strikers into the blocking position. Round and round we go.
Now, this works wonders. Do it during class, five or ten minutes at a time, and within a month the students will get very relaxed, their blocks will hurt more (tell them to go softer), and they won’t be overwhelmed when the fists start flying fast and thick.
If you like this training tool, check out Monster Martial Arts. I have all sorts of drills like this one embedded in the courses. I especially recommend Matrix Karate. Do a matrix of blocks and you will learn ten times faster, and know ten times as much. And make sure you pick up a free martial arts book on the homepage while you’re there.
I chuckle when I see these young kids train. They look so good in their karate uniforms, they are so proud, yet I wonder how many of them can be crazy enough to really learn the real martial art, and actually get some real karate power.
Check out the vid, then I’ll tell you more.
Look, if you want to saw a piece of wood, you don’t take a half a dozen cuts and then stop, you watch the cut, make sure it is happening right, and you continue, no matter how sore you get, until the wood separates.
Now, if you want to break a brick, a simple trick, you simply set it up and start hitting it. And you hit it and hit it, and you focus on it until you don’t even see the rest of the world, and the brick eventually separates.
Now, there is more to it, you want to be able to break that brick with one chop, but the message here is that you have to give yourself over to a fanatical mindset.
You have to dedicate yourself, and do it and do it and do it, and have the firm knowledge that you will not quit, that you will squash any ideas of quit, that you will get where you are going.
It’s funny, I see some martial artists from other countries, and they are actually a little more rabid than USers. Well, there mommie didn’t let them stay home from school if it was raining. She didn’t bring them milk and cookies and console them if the homework was tough…she told them to dry up and get the durned job done.
That’s how it used to be in America, and thats why we achieved greatness.
We can have greatness again, even if you were coddled as a school child.
Simply dedicate yourself, be a fanatic. Tell yourself you are going to do that form a hundred times a day every day for one year,a nd then do it. Belive me, you will understand that Kata, and you will have abilities that you never even dreamed of when you were a lazy school kid. It’s up to you, but you have to give yourself over to fanaticism, and that is the secret of real karate power. If you want to learn more about this mindset, pop over to Monster Martial Arts and pick up a free book. It’ll tell you how to arrange your martial arts so the fanatical mindset can really bite.
I often tell people about this, got reminded of it in a newsletter recently, and I want to talk again about the worst dojo in the world.
It was cold in the winter, and we had no heat.
It was hot in the summer and we had no air conditioning.
The bag was ripped and stitched together until it looked like a child of Frankenstein.
The mat was made of sail, and it was ripped and stitched and duc taped until it looked like Frankenstein’s rug.
The front windows had big cracks in them, and duc tape held them together.
There were no back windows, just bars and a shallow alley.
There was a hole in the corner of the ceiling in the changing room and rain poured in.
The toilet was slanted 30 degrees, and it was old and corroded.
Now, that was the bad. Here is some good.
The teacher knew his martial arts. There was electricity in the air when he taught.
He could get us to know his martial arts.
The students were all supremely dedicated.
Lot of hells angels, they made sure everything was kept real.
No girls or kids. They had separate classes.
No contracts, everything conducted on handshake.
The classes were so crowded we had to learn how to survive in a mob. (Imagine thirty people in a car and a half garage)
No talk about theory, just sweat until we couldn’t walk.
I frequently couldn’t press the pedals in my volkswagon, my shins were that bruised from blocking. I would drive home ‘clutchless.’
There was a golden glow to it all. This was chi energy, and it was pushed into every student there. It was irrefutable.
I stayed at that school for some five years. Got my black belt, and my life was changed.
If you want that art that I studied, it was Karate before Funakoshi came along. Check it out at Kang Duk Won.
First thing you’ll probably learn, when you enter into a Martial Arts training hall, is how to make good martial arts stances. This is because stances create the foundations for the fighting disciplines. How you stand has to do with how you lock the body to the ground, and make it into a class AAA machine.
Systems that don’t have stances will not generate the massive amounts of power that the classical martial arts develop. I am talking about all the systems of Karate, including Shotokan, Goju Ryu, Uechi Ryu, shito ryu and so on. The odd thing is that systems that don’t have stances could introduce stances into their systems easily, and thus increase their power tremendously.
To begin, the first stance is the natural stance, in which you simply stand with your feet shoulder width apart and feet angled to the front. Since this is natural, and takes no real instructions, we won’t go into it. Simply, this type of stance doesn’t generate power.
To build an Hourglass Stance, which does generate energy, start with your feet together. Keep the toes touching and swing the heels out, then keep the heels where they are and swing the toes out, then keep the toes fixed in place and swing the heels out again. Lower the stance slightly, push the knees together (stand pigeon toed) and breath to the tan tien (the one point located just below the navel).
To create a back stance, from the hour glass stance simply swing one toe all the way out and settle your weight on the other leg. You might have to move the foot turned out slightly to the side, as you want to be able to move without having to go around your own hips. This is an extremely useful stance for getting ready to fight, as you can crouch and launch with no discernible movement.
Next we will build a horse stance, Mabu in the Chinese martial disciplines, and Kiba Dachi in the Japanese systems. From a back stance simply keep the toes of the front foot where they are and move the heel out, and let the weight settle evenly down the legs. This is a high horse stance, and if you spread the legs further to the side and get lower you can create more energy.
Finally, to make a front stance, simply turn the toes of one of the feet in the horse stance outwards and sink your weight on that foot. You may want to move the front foot more to the side so that the feet are on shoulder wide parallel tracks. This is a great stance when you want to move forward in an attacking mode.
There are many other stances you can make, and it is simple to figure out a foot or leg motion to do these. These would include such stances as the crane stance (lift one leg), the kneeling stance, the cross kneeling stance (dragon), and so on. The main thing to remember is that you should be able to position yourself so that you can make the transition through the karate stances while conserving, and even creating, more and more power.
If you want to see graphics and a free video showing what you have learned here go to Learn Karate Online. This is an absolutely free lesson.
Using Karate and Kung Fu to handle Zombies, sounds like I’m getting ready to rib you, doesn’t it? Well, glad to disappoint, but there’s some s traight goods coming at you. I’m going to tell you about one of the best books on tactics for handling large crowds of people, call ’em zombies if you wish. Before I do so, check out the video, I’m using all sorts of different arts to handle a couple of guys. I’m controlling the distance, locking and block and…taking names. Watch, and then I’ll tell you about a book that might be better than the Book of Five Rings, or The Art of War.
The Book is called The Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks. It is written tongue in cheek, many would say over the top, but it is the best and most concise overview of battle tactics I have seen. Look let me give you a scenario.
Food shortages are happening all over the world, some people say they will come to a city you live in. When that happens a couple of weeks and people will be out of food. At that point they will start wandering the streets, breaking into houses, looking desperately for a crumb.
Isn’t that how a so called ‘zombie’ works? Wanders the street looking for brains? Brains being a code word for people who have had the smarts to store up and hoard food.
So, when the starved come calling, do you know how to fortify your house so it can withstand attack? Do you know the tactics for not letting the zombies know when you are cooking? Do you know how to set the sombies up when you want to wipe out a bunch of them?
Now, this book goes everywhere, for every eventuallity, and it is better than any military manual I have ever read for straight forward urban survival.
I know it may be mean (politically incorrect?) to call hungry people zombies, let alone treat them like an enemy, but when the mob is at your door, you’ll be glad you read this book.
And, that said, there is one mistake that nearly all people who have read this book make…they don’t study the martial arts. They are reading it for a hoot, they are stuck in fantasy land and don’t know the way out.
If you really want to survive food shortages, riots, even attacks by the police (you think they won’t be hungry?) then this is the book for you.
This book, and karate or kung fu, or some other martial art, will help you handle any zombies. So get the book, and head on over to Learn Karate Online and get some absolutely FREE Karate Training. A zombie attack might be right around the calender, and Karate is the art of choice for laying waste to hordes of the undead!!
Joey was coming home late. The reason he was late was because he had stayed extra to help his karate teacher clean the dojo. Mops and brooms, wiping windows, even cleaning the bathrooms…it was small price to pay for his karate lessons.
He had just turned on to his street when he caught sight of Buck and Sammy up ahead. Joey groaned inside. They were bullies, and they liked to pick on him. Of course, that was before they got picked up for petty theft and went to juvenile hall for a few months. And, that was before Joey started his Karate training.
“Hey! Lookie lookie! It’s our old pal!” Buck was always the first to talk, the one to start the bullying. He tried to get a reaction, and then his larger friend would move in with the taunts and pushes.
“Hi guys,” Joey responded. “Glad you’re out and about.” He was determined to try to be polite and friendly. It was something his instructor always told him. Fists end a fight, but manner don’t let the fight happen.
“Ooh, he’s glad we’re around again. Ain’t that neat, Sammy?”
“That’s neat,” grinned Sammy.
Joey tried to move past, but Buck moved in with him and put an arm around his shoulder.
Sammy moved in behind, and Joey knew what the large wannabe gangster was going to try.
A simple trip was his favorite fight starter. He would kick at Joey’s foot, try to get him tangled, and when he stumbled, Buck would be all over him.
Knowing what was going to happen was half the game. Training was the other half. Joey knew what was going to happen, and his instructor had drilled him on sneak attacks.
As Sammy kicked at his foot Joey lean forward and executed a picture perfect rear kick. It caught the oaf in the belly, and Sammy was shoved back.
Buck had started to move, he was trying to get a headlock.
Joey simply knelt, Buck was moved forward, and Joey, now slightly behind the thug, brought his ridge hand up between the loud mouthed bully’s legs.
Buck opened his mouth, dropped to his knees, and groaned. Then he started to upchuck. Streams of green fluid, fast food and a bit of beer, spewed forth onto the sidewalk.
Joey stood up and turned. Sammy, the tougher of the two was up and moving towards him.
“I don’t want any trouble,” said Joey, backing away.
Sammy muttered a dirty word, then threw a haymaker.
Joey knew about haymakers. They were the tool of the uninformed, easy to see a mile away.
Joey leaned back and the punch whistled past, then the youngster simply stepped forward and launched a perfect Karate Snap Kick to the groin.
Sammy was the tougher of the two thugs alright. He didn’t fall down. But he did follow the example of his friend…he began to hurl the contents of his stomach. And he hurled them all over the back of Buck’s head!
“Sorry, guys,” Joey backed away from the puke splattered duo. “I really am glad you’re out, and I really don’t want to have any trouble with you.
From that day on, Joey never did have any trouble.
Got a couple of bullies on your block? Karate is the best, fastest, and easiest way to deal with them. Head over to Learn Karate Online and get a free lesson!
A lot of people try, and a lot of people fail. To be precise, out of a thousand people that start the journey to a Karate Black Belt, only 1 or 2 will make it. Check out the video, and then I’ll tell you how to be sure that you make it!
So, how do you make sure you are going to make it?
First, pick a good school. Not a make money trophies in the windows school, but a long time hole in the wall that has a record of good, solid martial arts, and the students to prove it.
Second, dedicate yourself. Put a picture of Bruce Lee (or some other martial artist that you admire) on your front door, and bow to it every time you go out. Make it a reminder that you will make every single class. And, if ever you feel like not heading out to the dojo, pick yourself up by the scruff of the neck, and GO!
Now, that is really all there is to it. Dedicated school, dedicated student, and the martial arts will seep into your soul like chicken soup into the belly of an invalid.
Of course, there are a few more things you can do.
One, read everything you can, and not just on Karate. Read about every martial art, think about how they will fit together. Bring the techniques to your school and ask others about them. You will get an education far beyond your wildest dreams. It’s creative thought, man, and that is what an art is about.
Two, haunt the internet. Don’t buy the bushwah, don’t get involved in the internet hype, just learn how to tell when a fellow is serious, and when he is just an internet marketer trying to grab your bucks. The more you look at, the more educated you become, the easier this will be. Once you know the difference, examine what other legitimate artists are doing. Learn their moves, see how you can use those moves in your own art.
Finally, work out, work out, work out. Be at school early, and stay late. Help beginners, and you will find the advanced students will help you. That’s just the way the universe works in a real karate school.
Now, if you do what I have told you here, you will make it. The only thing you have to understand is that rewards go to the sincere, the dedicated, the honest and hard working. All others quit and go to the movies and think about how great it would be to be a karate black belt. They will wonder about what you know. Now go for it, and may all the skill on earth be yours. Go to Learn Karate Online if you want some free lessons to get you started!
For the last half dozen years the legend of just how tough Chuck Norris really is has been growing. Hundreds of ‘factoids’ had Chuck doing everything from conquering the martians to ending the war, uh, all wars, and all with a grunt and spinning side kick.
So how tough was he?
He learned Korean Karate (Tang Soo Do) in Korea. An assignment in that country would make anybody tough. The winters are long and hard, the summers are boilers. In addition he is supposed to have earned his black belt in just over a year.
He taught martial arts, and eventually made his way into the movies. Movies don’t make a person tough, on the contrary, they usually soften a person up, compromise his morals.
Chuck did have his troubles, an out of wedlock child, but any compromising he did seems to have faded, he must have learned his lessons, and in finding a more moral (Christian) base for life he seems to have found his true toughness.
He has promoted drug awareness through his programs, and fought the spread of AIDS.
In addition, the martial arts programs he started are in full swing. His Chun Kuk Do martial art has thousands of followers world wide.
So how tough was Chuck Norris? Well, he beat Hollywood, and he helps the downtrodden. All those other factoids, like Chuck scaring the devil into closing down hell, or convincing Obama not to run again, they are just icing on the cake. If you want real tough martial arts, the best martial arts on the planet, drop by Learn Karate Online. Pick up a free martial arts book on the upper right home page of Learn Karate Online.
I’m speaking as a martial arts teacher here, but I trust you will be able to use my data concerning the hardest thing to overcome in Karate training, or any martial arts training.
I’ve had people come in my school and tell me what I was supposed to teach them. They would lay out their curriculum, and then disappear.
And, if you think this is an oddity, consider the old Japanese zen parable (made famous by Bruce Lee), you can’t put more tea in a cup that is full…you must empty your cup.
One guy came into my school and all he wanted to do was find a temple on the mountain and kneel at the feet of the master and learn all the really secret things. It was obvious that he had been reading too many comic books; he just wasn’t connected to reality. Heck, if I had told him to do a horse stance for five minutes he would have cried and wailed like a baby.
The main thing these days is the youtube martial artist. This is a guy who has poured over youtube, looked at all the martial arts, done what he saw on the screen. He actually isn’t toobad, except that he has no idea what he is doing. The snippets on youtube, no matter how extensive, are not instruction, they are advertising clips designed to lure the unwary and easily excitable.
What? You thought you were going to find the secret of the universe on the internet? that you could just google ‘Secrets of the Universe’ and they would just flash onto the scree…instant enlightenment and all the martial arts downloaded into your brain like Neo?
Empty your cup, grasshopper, then learn how to sweat. The best things in life are not necessarily free…they have to be earned with sweat and bruises and a humble attitude.
Pickup a Free Martial Arts Book ar Learn Karate Online. In Karate training, or with any martial arts, it’s best to start at the beginning and dedicate yourself.