13
votes
8answers
1k 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 ...
13
votes
10answers
1k views

Start attacking instead of blocking while sparring

I have been practicing kung fu for the past one and a half years. I can do head level basic kicks like roundhouse, side and front kicks but when I spar I don't feel like attacking the opponent. I seem ...
13
votes
6answers
1k 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 ...
13
votes
3answers
425 views

When doing Aikido practice why should the attacker adapt to the defender?

I'm an Aikido beginner and haven't had many classes yet, so I hope this is not a stupid question. My teacher recently said that when we practice with someone then the attacker should adapt to the ...
13
votes
7answers
2k 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
9answers
6k views

How do I improve my attack speed?

This question is a little different than a previous question on speed and footwork. Recently my sensei critiqued my sparring, saying my block and counter techniques are pretty strong, but I'm lacking ...
13
votes
1answer
285 views

Is there any information on pre-19th century Irish weapons-based martial arts?

Several Irish weapons-based martial arts were recently brought to my attention (through the writings of John Hurley): Scianóireacht - knife arts Tuadóireacht - various forms of axe-fighting ...
12
votes
6answers
1k views

Bad boxing club or wrong idea of the sport?

I have done a boxing-for-starters class in a nearby club and after that joined the club for the regular training. As I really enjoyed the sport and got into sparring the fun faded because my sparring ...
12
votes
6answers
2k views

How to improve my skills when I'm highest ranked

Recently I moved to a new city. I have been training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for more than 14 years. In my old academy, I used to have partners of all ranks and sizes; this is very important in BJJ. ...
12
votes
12answers
3k views

How does a non-grappler train to be ready to avoid grappling in a real-world situation?

I train in non-grappling arts. I have a reasonable amount of experience with this. However, I'm not sure how I would deal with an untrained opponent coming to grapple with me -- or someone whose ...
12
votes
7answers
3k views

Do Aikido wrist locks work against stronger opponents?

As a part of my training in TKD, I learned how to do some wrist locks for basic self-defense applications. These are quite similar to some techniques from Aikido. However, in practice (during sparring ...
12
votes
10answers
1k views

What can I practice to remove tension from my movements

I'm a Wing Chun student and my Sihing regularly tells me that I shouldn't be so tense in all my movements. A lot of techniques in WC require smooth arm and leg movements to react to our opponent's ...
12
votes
7answers
3k views

Wearing a fitness tracker during a martial arts session

I have always wondered how to measure the calories expended during a training session (I practice Aikido, but this is a general question regardless of art or style) and I have found little advice on ...
12
votes
4answers
443 views

What are the possible signs some has lost consciousness when being choked?

I thought this would be obvious, someone would just pass out and go floppy. However last week during rolling I got someone in a sleeve / Ezekiel choke while in my guard and he didn't tap out. He ...
12
votes
7answers
593 views

How do I keep a safe distance from potential threats without escalating the situation?

How do I maintain martial awareness of a person's movement and intent when that person is very physically close (conversation distance, or passing on the street) to me? The situation could be a guy ...
12
votes
2answers
321 views

Do all schools of BJJ come from the same root?

Do all schools of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) come from the same original source? Or did some come down different path ways and hop on to the BJJ marketing wagon?
12
votes
4answers
256 views

What is the best way to work with a partner who misunderstands the drill?

Regardless of the two-person drill, sometimes you have a partner who's certain he understands the drill, particularly when he's been doing it a while. Unfortunately, that's ... Not always true. In my ...
12
votes
2answers
330 views

“Aikido is first and foremost BUDO”

The above sentence has been attributed to O'Sensei and I'd like to use it as a motto for my dojo's website. Problem: I can't find a reliable source about when/where he said this. Or a proper Japanese ...
12
votes
3answers
3k views

Is there any documentation of newaza in Fusen-Ryu?

Renzo Gracie's book Mastering Jujitsu makes the interesting and not otherwise repeated claim that BJJ is descended directly from Fusen-Ryu rather than Judo. Allegedly, while Judo was cleaning up at ...
12
votes
6answers
695 views

How can I try to engage students who don't really want to be there?

I teach Aikido at a local community college. Roughly half of the kids are there just to fulfill a P.E. requirement. These students can be frustrating because they aren't really interested in martials ...
12
votes
9answers
4k 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
2answers
1k views

Can someone learn Krav Maga moves without exacerbating injuries?

Would like to learn Krav Maga but have injuries that mean I would only be able to learn it in a limited fashion. I would want to learn it for self defense purposes after being accosted by a male in ...
12
votes
12answers
22k views

What are the differences between ITF and WTF Tae-Kwondo?

My kids currently train under UKTF, which follows ITF guidelines and techniques. Will this cause problems if they move to a WTF trainer? They aren't quite at black belt yet, so I'm hoping that if they ...
11
votes
7answers
720 views

What information should I consider when choosing a martial art to study?

I'm in below-average shape and thinking about taking up the study of a martial art for a handful of reasons: I want to get in shape but need external "guilt factors" to motivate me not to skip ...
11
votes
7answers
903 views

How important is lineage when it comes to credibility or trustworthiness?

I was doing some surfing today and noticed a few mentions of lineage when considering a given school/dojo. The people asking about lineage of a given school seemed to feel that if the instructor(s) ...
11
votes
10answers
19k views

How do I increase my wrist strength for punching?

When I throw a punch, sometimes my wrist doesn't stay straight and I run the risk of spraining it. What kind of exercises can I do to strengthen my wrists so that my wrist isn't going to bend when I ...
11
votes
4answers
696 views

Is hitting hard objects really effective in making bones harder?

In several martial arts, there seems to be methods to consolidate for example fists and kicks by hitting them on hard objects. I am an amateur martial arts fan and wonder if these are real. Does ...
11
votes
3answers
230 views

When moving to a new city, what considerations need to be taken into account finding a new teacher?

I took Shidokan for several years, and was very happy with my dojo and my sensei. I recently had to move for work, and I know from experience that these are two of the most important parts of your ...
11
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
11k 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 ...
11
votes
6answers
500 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
926 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
2k views

What can I do to improve my squat for judo throws during randori?

I am 6 foot 2 inches and weigh about 90Kg - I find it very difficult during randori to get a full turn in for (for example) O Goshi. My instructors are always telling me that I need to get lower and ...
11
votes
5answers
952 views

How to overcome fear to jump?

I practice Taekwondo. My biggest hurdle at the moment is that I am afraid of falling down. For example, when I do a scissor kick, I was told to level my torso to kick higher. But I am afraid that I ...
11
votes
4answers
2k views

Why Do Pressure Points Work Differently Against Different People?

In Hapkido we do a great deal of training with various pressure point techniques. These include pinches that hit a nerve (e.g., on the inside of the leg or on the outside of the elbow) or strikes that ...
11
votes
4answers
644 views

What are the key changes when moving from TKD-based point-break to continuous sparring?

A few years ago, my Taekwondo organization (ITF-based if that makes a difference for purposes of this question) made the shift from point-break sparring (sparring stops after one side scores, resets ...
11
votes
6answers
2k views

What is the application for tai chi's single whip?

What the bleep is going on in tai chi's single whip posture? It seems to be emblematic of tai chi, being a pose frequently struck by practitioners in the presence of cameras. The actual sequence ...
11
votes
4answers
2k views

How should a novice train if unable to join a dojo yet?

I have wanted to start learning a type of martial art for a long time, but my lifestyle didn't help (I have lived in 5 countries in the last 10 years, changed location at least once in each of those ...
11
votes
3answers
207 views

Are students with disabilities tested differently?

I don't use testing when I teach; I observe and promote when students are ready (hopefully avoiding various observer effects). That said, I judge individuals based on their individual capabilities and ...
11
votes
9answers
7k views

Best weight lifting exercise to develop a Wing Chun chain punch

What would be some good exercises to develop more power in a Wing Chun chain punch? Is it as simple as working on my triceps?
11
votes
2answers
212 views

What are the functional differences between the five main T'ai Chi styles?

As someone who is looking to start practicing T'ai Chi for health and meditative benefits rather than any deeper philosophical reasons, I find quickly that there are 5 'main' styles listed, which each ...
11
votes
3answers
16k views

What is the strategic difference between Krav Maga and Systema?

What are the general tactics of Krav Maga as opposed to Systema? For instance, the tactics of Silat are to hurt the other person so badly they can't hurt back. Another example would be that the ...
11
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
289 views

Where do kneeling and bowing down in Kung Fu come from?

In our dojo (Kung Fu) we kneel and bow. Where did this tradition come from?
11
votes
1answer
639 views

Are Aikido joint locks harmful to children?

Note that this question is a mirror of this one on skeptics.se. Due to the lack of answers, I thought here might be a good place to seek more. Feel free to answer in either. There is a fairly wide ...
11
votes
4answers
7k views

How do I increase flexibility to achieve a full split?

I am 21 years of age. I have been learning taekwondo for a year. However, I am still unable to achieve a complete split. What are exercises that I can do to increase my flexibility to reach a complete ...
11
votes
4answers
322 views

Is there a written, authoritative source I can reference for interpretations (Bunkai) of Karate (Shotokan) katas?

I'd like to learn more about the various applications and interpretations of Karate katas. Is there a written source I can use?
10
votes
10answers
543 views

Men hitting women too hard in martial arts

I am the only woman cross training between three different schools filled with ten or so men in each. In many of my classes, if I do not fully understand a technique, they will hit me with more and ...
10
votes
9answers
26k views

How can I speed up the recovery of a bruised leg?

There are those who say you have to cool and those who say you have to warm your leg, there are those who say you should rest and those who say you should keep using it as you would normally. It makes ...
10
votes
8answers
1k views

What Defines Something As A Martial Art?

I've recently run across several conversations where someone goes to great lengths to clarify that a certain style is not a martial art. Mitro's answer to this question on Krav Maga for example: Is ...

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