Professional kickboxers Keith Livingston and Martina Sprague teach the kickboxing defensive tactics of the pick and catch. This instructional segment is taken from the Complete Kickboxing Essentials video.
Excerpted from Principles of Unarmed Combat by Mark Jacobs
When using lateral motion to avoid an attack, the attack can come either in the form of a head-on charge or a strike. Against the head-on charge, an attack we’ve described as a “rushing tactic”, if the opponent starts his charge from far enough away, you may see him coming and be able to time a side stepping movement where you wait until the last possible moment before your opponent makes contact with you and then execute a lateral motion taking one step to the side with each foot to move your entire body out of the way. If the
opponent is charging hard enough and you’ve timed this correctly by waiting until just before he reaches you, it’s likely the opponent will sail past you exposing his back and possibly tripping over or crashing into any object that was behind you.
This move can also be done moving just one foot to the side and leaving the other foot where it was in the hope that your opponent will trip over it. However, this is probably the more difficult and dangerous option. The main goal in avoiding the head-on charge with a sidestep is to remove your body from the path of your opponent. By leaving your foot and lower leg in his path, you run the risk that it can still be grabbed, stepped on or otherwise become entangled with your opponent’s legs. When using lateral motion to avoid a strike, typically a punch to the head, taking a single sideways step with one foot is often enough to make your opponent miss. Sometimes seen in boxing when “slipping” a punch, an example of this would be when you start out facing an opponent at 12:00 with your left side forward.
If the opponent has his left side forward and throws a left jab to the center of your face, an appropriate slipping motion might consist of taking a single, small step to your right, toward 3:00, with your right foot while simultaneously moving your head to the right. Keep in mind, these are small movements—usually not much more than one foot in length—done to allow you to avoid an opponent’s attack while still leaving you close enough to counterattack. The left foot doesn’t have to move because it’s not necessary for it to move in order for the head to shift over this short distance. Also, by simply moving one foot rather than two, less time is needed to recover and counterattack.Read More
Footwork is an integral part of almost every martial arts practice routine. From simple stepping and sliding to complex combinations of steps, each martial art uses footwork as a means of setting up attacks and defenses. Taekwondo, however, has a class of footwork that is not found in other arts - the aero step.
The most advanced innovation in taekwondo footwork, the aero step can give you a significant edge in sparring, whether in the ring or in the dojang. An aero step is performed by lifting your front or back leg into the air and kicking with your other leg before stepping down. On paper this sounds like a jumping kick, but it is quite different. The aero step is intended to carry you forward or backward, not upward like a jump. In fact, the stepping foot is rarely more than twelve inches above the ground and sometimes it barely skims the floor.
Advantages of the Aero Step
The aero step carries several advantages in sparring. Most obviously, it will confuse your opponent as to which leg you intend to kick with. If you begin with a right leg aero step, your opponent will assume that you are going to use your right leg to kick. You can easily surprise him by bringing your left leg up to hit him while he is still focusing on your retreating right leg. Because the aero step resembles the chambering motion for a roundhouse kick, it is easy for your opponent to be deceived and commit to a counterattack too soon, leaving you with the perfect chance to score. Secondly, the aero step is a deceptive way of covering extra distance when kicking. By shifting your body weight forward or backward while stepping, you can cover extra inches or even feet, bringing your kick into striking range before your opponent realizes what's coming. The aero step is also an excellent method for increasing the speed, and therefore the power, of your kicks. When we look at individual techniques later in this article, you will see specific illustrations of how you can increase the power of your kicks. Finally, aero step kicks are impressive to watch and may sway the judges your way in a close match.Read More
Excerpted from Wrestle and Win: The Wrestler's Guide to Strength, Conditioning, Nutrition and College Preparation by Steve Kimpel
When you see a wrestler that is explosive, you notice how fast and powerful he or she executes moves. If given the choice, most wrestlers would probably want to be fast and explosive rather than just being strong. However, a lot of people think that this means it is more important to lift a lighter weight fast than to lift a heavier weight, which you can only do slowly.
The fact is that slow-speed movements in the weight room increase your overall strength and enable you to move all weights faster. For example, if your max on the bench press was 150 pounds, you probably would not move that amount of weight very fast on that lift. However, if you increased your strength to 250 pounds, you would be able to move 150 pounds a lot faster and more explosively.
If you had to choose between doing a light weight fast and a heavy weight as fast as you can (which would still be slow), pick the heavier weight. A light weight limits the amount of force you need to use, because you coast through much of the lifting phase, so you can control the weight.
Imagine doing a bench press with about 30% of your one-repetition max (1-RM). If you push the bar as fast as possible off your chest, you are strong enough to create such momentum in the first couple of inches that you would literally throw it off your chest if you applied a full effort through the full press. On the other hand, if you are training with 80% or 90% of your 1-RM, the weight is heavy enough that you have to push as hard as possible through the entire range of motion.
This isn’t to say that you should never train with high speed in the weight room. Just use equipment that can safely be thrown, such as a bag of sand or a medicine ball. (In case you were wondering, a “medicine ball” is a soft, weighted ball, often the size of a basketball.) When your intent is to throw something, you don’t need to slow it down, so you can go as hard as possible through the entire range of motion.
Throwing a medicine ball is an excellent way to train with high-speed in a chest-pressing movement. You can develop high-speed strength with a squat exercise by hugging a weight to your chest and doing jump squats.
Of the traditional weight room lifts, power cleans, snatches and overhead pushing exercises work best for high-speed lifting, although you still need a fairly high percentage of your 1-RM, so that momentum does not become an issue. Using about 75-85% of your one-rep max for these exercises will develop your strength, but allow you to move the weight quickly. You can also use dumbbells for most power exercises.
Excerpted from Combative Elbow Strikes by Jeff W Rosser
Elbow strikes are not limited to only stand-up fighting. They also can be employed on the ground and, regardless of whether you are on top or bottom, an elbow strike can be used to deliver a powerful blow as well as set-up joint locks, escapes, and reversals. In fact, given the nature of ground fighting, elbows are one of your best weapons in such a confined space. The following application offers a defense, reversal, and joint lock from the bottom with the opponent in your guard.
Starting from your back with your opponent in your guard, deflect your opponent’s punch outward using a knife hand block. Grab the wrist of your opponent’s punching hand as you pull his hand down and pin it flat on the ground.
Use your opposite arm to execute a round elbow strike across your body to the other side where you have your
opponent’s hand pinned. The elbow strike can be used to strike your opponent’s chin while also putting yourself in Reminder: Please, exercise extreme caution and work slowly whenever practicing this technique. It only
takes a little pressure to elicit severe pain from this technique and any additional pressure will seriously injure
your training partner.position to go for a shoulder lock.
Reminder: Please, exercise extreme caution and work slowly whenever practicing this technique. It only takes a little pressure to elicit severe pain from this technique and any additional pressure will seriously injure your training partner.
As you complete the elbow strike, reach over and back under your opponent’s arm and grab the wrist of your opposite arm. As you do this, drop your feet to the ground. This will make it possible for you to escape from the bottom position.
Now, lift your opponent’s hand off of the ground and bring it up and back toward your opponent’s back.
As you complete the technique, place your free leg over the attacker’s back to prevent him from rolling forward to escape. Keep his elbow at the height of his shoulder and lift up on his wrist pushing it away from his back. It is important to maintain a right angle at the shoulder in order to maximize the effectiveness of this shoulder lock.
The best way to be able to break an opponent down and pin him when you need to in a real situation is to drill on it so much that it becomes instinctive behavior. You shouldn’t have to “think through” what you’re doing. By the time you’ve thought it through, your opponent has escaped or reversed the situation, and your opportunity to pin him has been lost.
Before you can drill on moves, every athlete needs good coaching. There are a lot of good coaches teaching good skills, so make it a point to seek one out and learn from him. A vital key to your development as an athlete is a good coach. Your grit and determination will take you a long way, but a good coach will make that journey a lot easier. While you most likely will have one person who you will recognize as your main coach, there will be a lot of people along the way that you can, and will, learn from. This photo shows the author, Steve Scott, coaching his athletes at a typical workout.
Mat Uchikomi (Fitting Practice or Repetition Practice)
Training on a consistent basis with discipline and forethought is what separates a champion from a tough guy who likes to roll around with his buddies. Drill training is essential for learning skills and making them work for you. Spend a large amount of time every practice in drilling on your moves in addition to going live or randori.Read More
Dear Sang H. Kim,
How do you build strength in your legs, also balance for demonstration and control? (I.e) Hold your leg far out above your head for a side kick or high roundhouse without losing stability or balance or simple having no problem being mobile with your legs. I am in Tae Kwon Do and am almost at a full split, but are there any exercises that help develope pure strength in your legs.
Thanks in Advance,
Michael DiPalermoRead More
In this video, Jeff Rosser demonstrates another of the applications for the upward elbow strike from his new 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. See more videos at Jeff's YouTube Channel.
Excerpted from STRIKE LIKE LIGHTNING: MEDITATIONS ON NATURE FOR MARTIAL ARTISTS by C. V. Rhoades
Rain could be considered either as an air element, because it comes from the sky and clouds, or a water element.
Rain can be soft and hard. Soft like the droplets of a spring rain storm. Hard when driven by high winds or slashing out of the sky during a cloudburst. Sometimes the small droplets feel like hail stones against the skin.
Rain, like its sister, snow, can be both beautiful and deadly. The soft spring rain that greens the grass and waters the earth. The long awaited rain after a drought. The first rain that, with persistence, melts the leftover snow from winter. The torrential rains that wash out gullies, cause river banks to overflow and cause massive flooding. The horizontal rains driven by winds that break trees and flatten fields of grain.
One raindrop, of it’s self, can do little. It is when several join together that it creates enough water to wet the dry earth, or cause a stream to overflow.Read More
I am a sixteen year old male and have been doing martial arts for 3 years. I have done kung fu and have now moved on to taekwondo and am enjoying it greatly. I have purchased Warrior Speed and found it very useful but I find it very hard to come up with a good training plan to increse speed and muscular strength. I have a reasonable knowledge about human anatomy and would be very grateful if you could use your knowledge to make a routine. Thank you for your time,
Peter, EnglandRead More
This video, by Steve Scott, is an in-depth analysis of the headroll application of Juji Gatame from a spiral ride start that is used in sambo (demonstrated by Derrick Darling with Dre Glover and Mike Pennington). This technique one of the many applications of Juji Gatame found in Coach Scott's book Juji Gatame Encyclopedia.
by Sang H. Kim, author of Junsado Fundamentals, Standing and Ground Combat
I am a lifetime marital artist and former combat instructor in Special Forces. I have developed, written and taught combat and self defense courses around the world to more than 100,000 students and instructors. Even after more than 35 years of experience in martial arts training and combat survival experiences, every time I enter an unknown environment, I always question myself on "What if…"
No matter how experienced you are in the martial arts or how confident you feel in defending yourself, awareness is a far more powerful weapon than any other you practice in the training hall. Don't be an easy prey. Watch for signs that signal danger during the following stages of interacting with a potential assailant:
Stage #1: Approaching
Remember: Don't Run Away from Danger; Run to Safety. You don't need to beat or defeat an assailant - there are no winners in self-defense. Your only goal is to escape safely.Read More
I just had a question on the breathing. I read of how it can preserve moisture and all but when I do try this I find I do not receive enough air to keep going and to breath I need to breath out my mouth to get more air.
Answer from Aaron Hoopes, author of Perfecting Ourselves: Coordinating Mind, Body and Spirit
As I'm sure you are aware, breathing through the nose is of the utmost importance when practicing breathing exercises. The nose has a number of defense mechanisms that prevent impurities and extremely cold air from entering the body.
It is important to remember that in order to breathe in more air you first need to expel as much old air as possible from the lungs. Once the lungs are empty breathe in slowly and deeply through the nose and you will find you are able to get enough air. It does take some practice, but I think, with time, you will find that your breathing is improving.
Of course when training in the martial arts, breathing strictly through the nose is unrealistic. In fact it is physically impossible since the body's demand for oxygen increases too fast for the nose to handle the flow. However, while doing specific breathing exercises it is important.
Think of it as a closed circuit within the body, breathing in through the nose and out through the nose. If you open your mouth, you break the circuit and your energy dissipates. Concentrate on relaxing when you breathe and it will be easier.
This article is adapted from information in the Hapkido Essentials and Self-defense video app
Hapkido means the way of coordinated power. It consists of over 300 techniques with thousands of variations organized into three major groups: empty hand vs. empty hand, empty hand vs. weapon and weapon vs. weapon. Each group of techniques can be further categorized as offensive or defensive. Empty hand techniques include kicking, punching, locking, throwing, and immobilization. Weapons techniques include the knife, cane, rope/belt, club/short stick and sword. One of the most unique aspects of hapkido is its emphasis on techniques done from unusual positions such as the prone or seated position.
There is a great deal of emphasis placed on uniting the body as a harmonious whole and focusing the body's natural energy in the performance of hapkido techniques. Methods for doing this are taught in great detail, making hapkido one of the most scientifically developed martial arts.
There are three guiding principles in hapkido: hwa, won and yu. Hwa means using the opponent's strength against him. Won means moving in a circular pattern. Yu means flowing like water. Combining these three principles is the foundation of hapkido's power.Read More
I have tried using visualization in my workouts, but it doesn't seem to work. What am I doing wrong?
Juan Morales, Miami, FL
Answer from Dr. Jacob Jordan, author of Total MindBody Training:
I would recommend that you first take more time on the first step to effective visualization: relaxation. Go through the exercises listed in the book for step by step relaxation before attempting any visualization. Adequate relaxation is a must to engage the right brain dynamics necessary for this technique.
Second, I would suggest you might try concentrating more on how the mental image feels rather than stressing the actual mental picture. If imaging a kick, try to sense how your supporting leg would feel, how your hips would turn with the action and the position of your back and shoulders.
Some practitioners are simply more kinesthetically (physically) oriented and will ingrain techniques more effectively through sensation than by visual cues.
Best of luck with your training.
Excerpted from Grappler's Guide to Strangles and Chokes by Steve Scott
While we all may like to think that we’re the ones putting our opponents in bad situations and not having to be defensive very much, the fact remains that being skillful at defending yourself against strangles and chokes is an important aspect of any form of grappling. If you want to be a complete grappler, you need a good defense. Being able to stay in the fight and being well versed in keeping your opponent from tapping you out means that you are competitive and doing what is necessary to try to turn the tables on your opponent. Just like John Saylor said; “Staying out of trouble keeps you in the fight.” As long as you’re in the fight, there’s the possibility that you will win.Read More
Hello, my name is Ragnar and I'm from Iceland. Just about a month ago or so I begun training Karate. I've bought the Ultimate Flexibility: For Martial Arts video already and have found it really helpful as I've never really been very flexible. I am now training for about 40 minutes per day at home (at least) using the Easy/Moderate Workout and often the flexibility for kicking part. I also tend to add a few stretches with a partner (when possible) which I learned in my Dojo and well, after such a short period I already feel much better. I was wondering if you might have any tips on how to train my balance and such? I have found that when kicking I could have a lot better control over for how to land and such and be able to improvise my control over the leg while it's in the air. I am really dedicated to studying this and have/will continue to spend a lot of time doing so. I was also wondering if you would have any suggestions of which videos to buy in order to be able to practise more at home?Read More
In this video, Jeff W. Rosser demonstrates an application for the outward and downward elbow strikes from his forthcoming book, "Combative Elbow Strikes: A Guide to Strikes, Blocks, Locks, and Take Downs." This application uses a high line outward elbow strike to lead into an arm bar and wrist lock using the downward elbow strike and finishing with a take down.