10
votes
2answers
950 views

Should I train differently to spar guys who are bigger than me?

I am a 2nd degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do. I have a few tournaments coming up and I am training in my sparring techniques. I am 12 years old with 2 national sparring championships (and on the ...
6
votes
6answers
2k views

How should I expect my fist to change over time from punching?

My knuckles were at one point fairly pointy, with deep valleys between them. I noticed after a while that the first two knuckles (where I generally strike with) have flattened out slightly. I can even ...
5
votes
1answer
182 views

What is a good mat system for home MMA training?

I practice in WCMA and BJJ, which means I can spend a fair amount of time on the ground working on flows, take downs, clinches, locks, etc. I've been looking around for a decent mat system that I can ...
1
vote
3answers
249 views

What are the ankles good for, relative to stance work and mobility?

What are the ankles good for? What is their most efficient use? I posited, somewhere else, that they are good to absorb the energy generated from moving out of a stance. In martial practice, how can ...
21
votes
11answers
4k views

Why do martial artists “shout” in the execution of a technique?

When I see people doing forms, participate in competitions, or break blocks of concrete or wood with their hands, they are always vocally expressive in what they are about to do. What names do this ...
12
votes
6answers
15k views

Mouth guard / gum shields - tips?

I've recently starting light sparring (Muay Thai and Boxing) and use one of those single boil+bite style gum shields. How often should I need to re-mould it as it seems to have lost it's fit after ...
3
votes
4answers
340 views

How do I keep the bo staff from moving off centre as I train in twirling it?

I'm practicing Yuan-style Tai-Chi, and I'm having difficulty keeping the bo staff from moving off centre as I twirl it - I consistently find my hold slightly to one end or another after a series of ...
13
votes
6answers
923 views

What do I need to keep in mind when picking a martial art as a bouncer?

For a bouncer, who is already larger, fitter and stronger than average, which martial arts training would you recommend? Which skills training, or other properties of the martial art, dojo and ...
1
vote
3answers
325 views

What should I look for in order to develop self-defense skills as quickly as possible? [closed]

What should I look for in a school or training program that would indicate that I will develop self-defense skills very quickly? Does my body weight or height or any other physical characteristic ...
10
votes
1answer
282 views

Has Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu been recognized as a form of Jiu-Jitsu in Japan?

In North America, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practice and instruction is quite different from what is found in schools of Jiu-Jitsu that describe themselves as Japanese. Are the two martial arts still ...
6
votes
4answers
2k views

Did Karate really originate in the Okinawa region of Japan?

Several Karate instructors I've spoken to indicate that Karate originated in the Okinawa region of Japan. However, when visiting the region and speaking to some of the local Karate students, they ...
2
votes
1answer
397 views

How popular are the different styles of Aikido?

I've been reading about the different styles of Aikido on wikipedia and I was wondering how popular each style is? I know that in my country the vast majority of schools teach Aikikai style (I ...
7
votes
6answers
348 views

What are the classical/canonical books for Aikido (all styles)

What are the classical/canonical books written about Aikido? I am interested in all styles (aikikai, iwama, yoshinkan, shodokan, whatever) training "manuals" as well as more philosophical work. I ...
7
votes
4answers
303 views

Shoulder Tension

Whenever I go into a fighting stance or do techniques I have a tendency to carry a lot of excess tension in my shoulders. Even when I consciously relax my shoulders, it'll be noted that I am "too ...
11
votes
12answers
5k views

What are good exercises for building grip strength for judo and BJJ?

I'm looking for exercises to help maintain a grip on an opponent's gi while pulling them around. There are two elements to this: strength and endurance. Meaning, I want my grip to be hard to break but ...
10
votes
7answers
2k views

How are joints affected in the long term by martial arts practice?

When doing certain exercises, I get the feeling that they would cause stress on the joints after doing them for years and years (such as elbow joints in the instance of wing chun chain punches). ...
12
votes
8answers
18k views

How do I increase hip flexibility for round kicks?

In the process of doing a round kick, or roundhouse kick, you need to turn your kicking leg over, to be perpendicular with your body. When I do this I loose significant height on my kick and can ...
6
votes
7answers
586 views

What are good exercises for strengthening knees to hold stances better?

About a year ago I suffered a major knee injury and while I have been cleared to return to the dojo and train, I still have some weakness in the knee. What are some good exercises to strengthen the ...
15
votes
7answers
1k views

Why are firearms not part of the martial arts world?

Systems of martial arts utilize of variety of weapons that include polearms, blades, and blunt objects among others. While Systema and some branches of ninpo budo taijutsu include firearms as part of ...
4
votes
2answers
363 views

Alexandre Dumas' Three Musketeers: 17th century French Rapier

In "Les Trois Mousquetaires", we have a lot of sword fights. We have a dozen different people who are described as really good sword fighters. What sword schools were active during the 17th century ...
11
votes
3answers
662 views

Training Body Reading Without Sparring

When I did rapier, with some emphasis on sparring as well as structured drills, one of the things you got very good at was reading the other person's tells. Some of which were things that could be ...
7
votes
3answers
845 views

How to maintain closed guard with short legs?

I find it quite tricky to maintain a closed guard as I shortish legs, I find that its not that hard for someone to break it open. Is there any good advice on how to keep a good closed guard if you ...
22
votes
11answers
3k views

Drills for reducing your natural “flinch” reaction

When going into a longsword bind, or getting hit as part of a Kata, I tend to flinch visibly and shut my eyes. What are some exercises I can do, solo or with a partner, to help me keep my eyes open?
21
votes
23answers
4k views

What are the purposes of martial arts forms?

A lot of martial arts use forms as a part of the training. They are taught and drilled. One benefit, of course, are the applications that you get from them. Small books of self-defense and movements ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

Do ninja follow the bushido?

Until recently I have been told that ninja do not abide to a moral code (in particular, the samurai bushido), and that the definition of a ninja is "a warrior without honor". Is this true? A ninja is ...
4
votes
4answers
521 views

I have very little toe flexibility - are there other front kicks I can use?

I have very limited mobility in my toe joints, to the extent that I can't pull my toes back the way you need to to perform a front kick, so currently the only forward kicks I know I can manage are axe ...
6
votes
7answers
1k views

Rule 1: Cardio. What exercises are worth doing to increase cardiovascular fitness?

So, I am looking to increase my general cardiovascular fitness to fit better into the martial art training I do -- Aikido but that should only matter a little. The main question is What exercises ...
10
votes
5answers
339 views

Going up on the ball of the foot for a front snap kick

This may be getting into technical minutia, but it's something that's been bugging me since I first came across it. I've seen multiple different views (as one might expect) for the position of the ...
13
votes
2answers
2k views

Do shock knives make a good 'training' alternative to real knives for knife fighting sparring?

Often when doing in knife fighting sparring, people tend to ignore that they've got cut. I've seen shock knives on the net, and they seem kind of interesting as they at least give feedback that ...
13
votes
2answers
2k views

What kind of damage can your hand get from holding the barrel of a fired gun when disarming it?

I have a background mostly in Krav Maga and ICS (Israeli Combat System), and one of the techniques taught for disarming a gun, involves grabbing the barrel of the gun and pushing it to the side before ...
10
votes
6answers
8k views

Lowering heart rate at will

I train archery as part of my martial arts training. What is the best way to lower or control heart rate before taking shot? Assuming I have been doing activity that raised it. I know just waiting for ...
7
votes
7answers
5k views

How to improve speed and footwork?

I always receive some very bad sidekicks when I try to go offensively while in kickboxing. Mainly because I try to make a jab with my right hand but the kick comes too fast (or I'm too slow) I have ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

How to avoid toe injury?

This question is more focused on kickboxing since it is the discipline I practice. But it would be of course handy to know for martial arts in general. I have been training for a bit more than a year ...
13
votes
7answers
1k views

What is the oldest documented Eastern Martial Art that is still practiced?

Probably the oldest overall is something like wrestling, but of the eastern arts, what would be the oldest that people still practice?
13
votes
8answers
671 views

What characteristics should I look for in a sensei?

Finding the right teacher is important. While personal achievement has it merits just because someone is good at something doesn't make them good at teaching that same thing. Are there core ...
30
votes
19answers
6k views

Which martial arts focus on self defense?

I'm trying to make sure I ask this question in a manner that doesn't make it subjective or argumentative. While all martial arts have merit, I believe those merits lie in various areas. Which ...
48
votes
14answers
2k views

How do you prepare for the stress of a real self-defense situation?

How do you prepare for a real stress situation, in which you are forced to defend yourself or others? I'm not talking about avoiding conflict; assume that you have already tried all that is possible ...
12
votes
6answers
530 views

What is a good age to introduce children to a martial art?

I have seen different recommendations for different styles as to what age to introduce a martial art to a child, sometimes as young as 4 years old. Factors such as attention span and interest of the ...
9
votes
3answers
165 views

Bokken and Jo restoration

I have an old jo and bokken that are quiet damaged after repeating hitting other fast flying pieces of wood. Is there a way to bring those back to life from an aesthetic point of view as they are ...
7
votes
6answers
4k views

Morning exercise routine for student of Aikido

What would constitute good routine after you get up in the morning to make your body more acclimated for hard lessons later in the day? I'm talking not just about muscle exercises, but stretching and ...
26
votes
10answers
10k views

Is weight training useful in martial arts?

This may sound like a bit of a daft question, but I have heard and read different sides. On the one side, people say weight training will increase your strength and power and therefore will be ...
14
votes
5answers
737 views

What's the most effective way to discipline students (particularly juniors)?

When teaching martial arts, particularly to juniors we sometimes run into problems with discipline. Most people assume that you can hand out physical exercise as a good disincentive to poor ...
10
votes
8answers
2k views

How can I improve my teaching of ukemi or break falling?

How can I improve teaching forward and flip (kote gaeshi and sumi otoshi for those that know what it looks like) breakfalls? I have been teaching those for a while and students do pick them up and ...
11
votes
6answers
723 views

What exercises are safe (or not) for total beginners?

I am kind of a total beginner. I did some Tae Kwon Do when I was little, but I don't take that much into account, considering everything; I always liked Martial Arts and everything that revolves ...
4
votes
1answer
132 views

Ueshiba and Tomiki picture identification

Does anyone have any historical information about the following picture: when was it taken? Who is in the background? Where was it taken? What was the occasion?
8
votes
4answers
648 views

Are chi-sao-style drills found anywhere other than in Wing Chun?

Is there any other martial art apart from wing-chun, that uses technique or drills like chi sao (sticky/sticking hands)?
0
votes
4answers
605 views

Wing chun modification with only palm heel strikes?

Wing chun seems to be very effective style. But why they are using so much punches (like chain punch)? Punching can lead to serious injuries and is not as effective as palm strikes. Look at this ...
7
votes
6answers
373 views

Exercises to help “getting lower” when performing Jiu-Jitsu throws

I am relatively tall - when practicing many Jiu-Jitsu throws I am frequently given the advice to "bend my knees more" or to "get lower". When I really focus I find this is very effective ...
13
votes
9answers
3k views

What's the difference between Internal and External martial arts?

What is the difference between External martial arts and Internal martial arts?
11
votes
8answers
4k views

Exercises to improve balance when kicking

When performing kicks, I quite often lose my balance, which results in me being positioned in a stance where I'm more exposed to attacks. This is normally due to me trying to raise my leg for the ...

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