Excerpted from Winning on the Mat: Judo, Freestyle Judo And Submission Grappling by Steve Scott
Throwing another human being to the mat or ground relies on a number of factors, not the least of which is skill. To achieve the skill of being able to consistently throw a resisting, fit and skillful opponent, an athlete should completely understand why his throwing technique works. A good way to examine “why” is to break down the process of a throwing technique into its individual parts and see how they fit together to make the whole thing work. Before we start, please keep in mind that all four of these parts or elements listed here work together. They are sequential in nature and rely on each other for a successful result.
I think it goes without saying that the largest amount of time spent in skill learning and development is in the area of throwing techniques. Newaza, the groundfighting of judo, jujitsu and other forms of submission grappling, has a shorter learning curve than nage waza, the throwing techniques. The reason for this is that throws almost always must be done in a moving situation and as a result, takes place faster than the pace of action in groundfighting. Also, in standing situations, there is more space between the bodies of the contestants and knowing how to close that space skillfully takes time and practice. These two reasons make the margin of error greater when attempting to throw an opponent, and as a result, an athlete must spend more time working on the exact movement necessary to insure a high ratio of success. In every aspect of judo, small things often make big things happen and this is very true in standing judo and throwing techniques. An athlete can make his opponent take only one step with a hip fake and then launch him with a powerful throw for the Ippon. That little thing, a quick hip fake, is what set off a chain of events that led to the big thing, the Ippon-scoring throw.Read More
Excerpted from A PART OF THE RIBBON: A TIME TRAVEL ADVENTURE THROUGH KOREA'S HISTORY, a children's adventure novel set in ancient Korea, by Ruth Hunter and Debra Fritsch
They landed on a secluded, grass lawn surrounded by a high wall. Far away, they could hear the sounds of a city; people and animals going about their daily business. But here, it was a green oasis, quiet and peaceful.
Young men, some in topknots and others with single braids, sat on their knees and wrote furiously at low tables. One young man stared blankly at the high, stone wall facing him and rocked silently back and forth, digging the toes of his black shoes into the ground. His eyes lit up. Abruptly, he stopped rocking. He removed a fine brush the size of a pencil from a jade-green porcelain holder. He briskly dripped water from the parrot shaped dropper into the powder on the yellow-green porcelain ink stone.
He stroked his brush across the stone to mix the ink. He rapidly painted Chinese characters on the rice paper lying on the short legged table in front of him.
"What happened? Did I step on the ribbon?" Charlotte asked.Read More
Dear Mr. Christensen: Solo Training is a great; no Awesome book !! How should I train at home for counter attacks to the push kick (mostly open stance front leg)? My teacher had suggested that the black belts in my class use this to counter my offensive sidekick. (It has presented more of a challenge than my brown belt level can comprehend). Any help would be greatly appreciated. By the way, I just ordered your book Fighting Power . I hope this well make my side kick even more effective.
Good luck and keep writing.
Jim HardRead More
In this video, Jeff W. Rosser teaches an application for the upward elbow strike from his forthcoming book, "Combative Elbow Strikes: A Guide to Strikes, Blocks, Locks, and Take Downs." This application uses the upward elbow strike to block a haymaker followed by an arm bar to a take down. Preorder "Combative Elbow Strikes" at Amazon.com.
See more elbow strike application videos at the Combative Elbow Strikes Youtube Channel
Kicking range is one that is greater than your arm’s reach (though you can stomp, and shin kick much closer). It’s true for the potential attacker and it’s true for your kicks.
Some skilled martial artists can stand virtually chest to chest with you and still kick you in the head. Fortunately, these people are rare. Untrained people need distance. You need it to land your front kick and side stomp kick, and so does the attacker.
How do you know when he is going to kick? That can be a tough call. It’s an easy one if he says he is going to kick you—“I’m gonna kick your head in!”—or he has shown that he is a kicker: He just kicked a lamp, your car door, a pet, or he has kicked you in the past. When Loren got a police call about a man kicking out store windows or kicking another person, he would watch the man’s feet and maintain a large gap until it was time to move in and take him down.Read More
Hi Sang H. Kim,
My Name is Sohail From Scotland I am blue belt in taekwondo I have got your Complete Taekwondo Kicking and Aero Kicks as well. Thanks it's really helpful and great. I want to ask the folowing questions.
- Whenever I do turning kick my knee cross the target. Can you help me how can i avoid this so my knee don't cross the target? And during the side kick my knee drops. Can you tell me reason for that?
- I need to break the brick with my knuckle. Can can please help tell me which is the best way of conditioning the knuckles?
- What is the good exercises to achieve the muscle control?
Excerpted from Explosive Muay Thai: Beyond the Basics by Jerry Heines and Amorndet Ranjanthuek
Imagine you step into the ring, the bell sounds, you and your opponent move towards each other and the dance starts. Whether you know your opponent or are meeting for the first time the question comes up:
"How can you be sure on the reaction he will have when you begin to initiate your combinations? And how will you handle his reactions?"
Throwing techniques with the hope that something hits a target is not going to be a very effective method. Your training in shadow sparring, pad work, bag work and with partners all should be with a specific target in mind when you throw techniques. Otherwise you just enjoy a great workout. As noted before, you need to see the technique land, feel it connect and see the result mentally. This will ensure that your subconscious becomes programmed to know which techniques can or should be used against the various intended targets depending on your capabilities. For example, if you are not very fl exible then you may not want to try kicking to the temple of an opponent but kicking to the leg is fine. So get to know yourself, your strengths and weaknesses and fold these into your training; emphasize your strengths, protect your weaknesses. Some weaknesses of course can be turned into strengths through hard practice, which is again an example of the continuous changes we experience in our lives. Today’s weaknesses can very well become tomorrow’s strengths.Read More
Excerpted from The Science of Takedowns, Throws and Grappling for Self-defense by Martina Sprague
Author Martina Sprauge outlines some the key concepts of a successful takedown:
The attack line is created by linear movement between you and your opponent, and allows your opponent to attack more effectively. When faced with an aggressor, stay slightly to one side of the attack line, move back and forth across the attack line, or employ circular motion to thwart his attack. If you have the opportunity to initiate the move and use your momentum to knock your opponent off balance, try to stay on the attack line in order to focus your power in the direction of your attack. This does not mean that you have to operate along your opponent’s centerline; only that you should move linearly and in the direction of power.
The centerline is an imaginary line approximately five inches wide, running vertically on the front or back of your body. Striking the targets found on the centerline (nose, jaw, throat, heart, solar plexus, groin, base of neck, spine, and tailbone) is likely to cause serious injury or death. The centerline is also where your strength is focused. Any time a technique is not lined up with your centerline, power loss occurs. The closer you can keep your techniques to your centerline, the more powerful and effortless they will be.Read More
by Sang H. Kim
Author's note: The following article is intended to give a brief overview of knife defense tactics for the experienced martial artist.
Many years have passed since I survived dozens of missions as a special agent while serving in the Korean military. Many missions involved combat, both with weapons and with fists. A few members of my elite 202 unit survived, many never made it.
Looking back, I find something valuable for my friends who couldn't make it at the time. In the Academy for Special Agents at Jeong-Neung, Korea, my combat instructor T.K. Kim used to scream at us during the grueling knife-fighting training sessions, "Do not run away from your opponent, get closer to him! Dissolve the knife in your head!"
The cardinal rule of combat, whether against a knife or an empty-handed adversary is "Stay close to your opponent!" Especially when your opponent is armed with a knife, there is often no way out but to stay close and fight. The keys for surviving in close quarters combat against a knife are:Read More
Excerpted from COMPLETE TAEKWONDO POOMSAE by Kyu Hyung Lee and Sang H. Kim
The movement order of each Poomsae is predetermined so you must practice accordingly. The predetermined movement line is called the Poomsae Seon. Every form begins and ends in the same place. Poomsae also begins and ends with etiquette, as manifested in the bow.
There are three principles:
- Poomsae must have beauty and power.
- Rhythm is derived from softness and strength of force.
- Technique is made of the slowness and rapidness of movement and the contraction and expansion of the body.
1. Each Poomsae movement is divided into preparation for the movement and the main movement. In preparation for a movement, you rotate your trunk, move your feet and prepare to block or strike. During this stage, relax your entire body and move your feet into a transitional stance while simultaneously chambering your arms or leg. Next, perform the main movement, the block, punch, strike or kick. At the moment of impact, focus your force on the target and snap your hand or foot to maximize the power of your movement.
2. For each movement, maximize the rotational force of your waist and the snapping motion of your strike. In Poomsae, you can increase your power by rotating your waist slightly when blocking, striking or punching. Avoid bending your trunk forward or sideways, as this reduces the power of your technique.
3. Power and Rhythm: When performing the preparation phase of a movement, relax your shoulders and coil your trunk to the side. When performing the main technique, focus all of your force into the target at the moment of impact.
4. Rhythm and Speed of movements: The preparation movement and main movement should be rhythmically and seamlessly linked. Avoid pausing in the middle of a technique.
5. When blocking, kicking and punching, always use both arms. In the preparation for the movement, one arm stretches toward the target direction while the other arm prepares to block or punch.
6. Always look at the target and align your body properly.
7. Accurately perform each stance. Adjust the width and length of your stance according to your height. When forming your stance, one step generally means the distance of one walking step forward. Pay attention to the degree of bend in your knees.
8. When kicking, bend your knee and kick as high as you can then quickly recover your balance.
Excerpted from The Art of Joint Locking by Arlo Welty
This is a basic finger lock. Done from a biceps grab, move away from the open hand and bring your hand up to the outside of their arm. Elevate your elbow and turn to face 45-90 degrees from their arm. Depending on the height of your opponent you may need to assist the application with forward pressure to keep the fingers locked. If the fingers slip out either regrab for a joint lock flow or box your way out.
Excerpted from Throws and Takedowns for Sambo, Judo, Jujitsu and Submission Grappling by Steve Scott
Your first actual point of contact with an opponent is how you grab him and how he grabs you. In every throwing or takedown technique, how you grab your opponent dictates the success of the action. Whether you and your opponent are wearing a jacket or are in a "no gi" situation, the better you control your opponent with your grip, the better you throw him. An important point to remember is that if you don't grip or tie up your opponent well, you most likely won't throw him very well either. Before you can control your opponent's posture, movement or other aspects of throwing him, you must have a grip that works for you. Your throw often flows directly from your grip or tie up and this is why it's vital that you have good gripping skills if you want to be able to throw opponents with a high ratio of success. There are three primary gripping situations. They are:
Neutral Grip. You and your opponent are on even terms and have a lapel/sleeve grip. This is taught to beginners so they have freedom of movement and can work on equal terms when learning new throwing skills. For recreational practice or learning purposes, this is the ideal grip to start with. This is a neutral grip and gives neither fighter the advantage. I recommend learning the basic, core throws from the neutral grip initially. After you have learned the fundamental mechanical skills of the throw, adapt your grip to one that will work best for you in the way you want to use the throw.Read More
Dear Master Kim,
I am a 44 year-old cho dan student in Tae Kwon Do. I work out consistently in the dojang and at home (weights, NordicTrac, running), and have achieved a reasonably high level of ability and fitness for my age. A nagging problem that has exacerbated recently is upper-body rigidity. Sah Bum Nim reminds me constantly that my punches during forms (pyung ahn, cholgi, and black-belt level WTF) are being "pushed" and that they tend to rise as if I'm skiing. Also my elbow is traveling away from my body as I punch. He believes the source of my problem is that my shoulders are not sufficiently relaxed. Do you know of drills, exercises or techniques I can employ to solve this problem? If I "focus" on relaxing, I tend to tense up more!
Thank you for your help.
Bob, NYRead More
Excerpted from Stop Kicks: Jamming, Obstructing, Stopping, Impaling, Cutting and Preemptive Kicks by Marc De Bremaeker
Stop Kicks can be categorized in 4 broad types:
(1) Kicking the attacking limb. You kick the incoming arm or leg to block it, while inflicting pain and damage. You can either kick into the path of the attack to stop the forward movement, or kick it sideways to inflect its course. These are not fully stop-kicks, as they do not ensure
full stopping of the attacker’s forward momentum.
They are more “leg blocks” than Stop Kicks, but will generally be effective enough to at least dissipate the energy of the attack. Of course, like always, there is a whole array of nuances in between the two and classification can be difficult; we shall present many examples in the text.
For the sake of completeness, we will present succinctly the array of possible Leg Blocks in this introduction. This category is illustrated below.
Excerpted from Martial Arts Drills By Sang H. Kim
Boredom is the biggest enemy of every martial arts teacher - your students' boredom and your own. Teaching classes every day, year after year can become monotonous quickly if you are not constantly searching for new teaching ideas, drills, games, exercises and techniques. Not only will your students be bored doing the same old drills, you will be bored teaching them over and over. To maintain an excited, active student body and keep yourself excited about teaching, you need a ready source of ideas and brain ticklers.
This section is meant to be just that. A resource that you can turn to while you are developing your lesson plans or just before you head out of the office to start a class. A quick reference guide packed with new ideas as well ideas you might have long forgotten or that may lead you to create your own games and drills.
Below are a few ideas excerpted from this section of Martial Arts Instructor's Desk Reference:
Making an obstacle course in the training hall is a great class starter for kids' classes. Don't let anyone stand around waiting in line - assign a time killing exercise like jumping jacks or running place between turns at a station. Some ideas for stations to keep everyone moving:
- Jump over a pile of kicking shields
- Crawl through a tunnel of kicking shields without touching them
- Jump over a series of heavy bags laid about two feet apart
- Kick or strike a hanging target, hanging bag or stand up heavy bag
- Weave around a line of hand targets
- Duck walk under a hanging heavy bag
In this video, coach Steve Scott presents some ideas that may be helpful to anyone who wants to add the Georgian grip to their grappling arsenal. The Georgian grip is a near-side over the back grip and this video shows how it can be used for O Soto Gari and what is commonly called the Kharbarelli Throw. Demonstrated by Derrick Darling and Mike Pennington with coaching by Steve Scott.
Steve Scott is currently working on a new, comprehensive Sambo text, scheduled for release in early 2015. Check out more of his instructional videos on the Welcome Mat Youtube channel. You can also find his instructional books at Amazon.com
The following passages are excerpted from the book The Art of Harmony by Sang H. Kim
Mountains and valleys,
Rocks and streams,
Birch and pine,
Birds and sky,
Short and long twigs,
Strong and soft winds,
Straight and twisted rivers,
Are perfect neighbors.
They are the strokes of life.
Without them, we are a stranger
On a lone desert
Painting an empty canvas.
No stroke, no sky.
* * *
When I was a teenager, my father used to pile up junk in the backyard. They were tons of copper wires, giant wooden wheels, a house- sized pile of electric poles, and strange looking giant plastic dishes. I asked him what they were for and he replied that they were left over from his work. I wanted a place to play, so I asked him to clean them up, but he told me to wait. So I waited more than ten years.Read More