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May
18
comment How to deal with an “anti-violence” instinct during sparring?
You're right, but you're arguing something Val wasn't arguing. Val's point was that sparring felt like a different situation than a real-life defense situation. That, in real-life, Val would internalize it differently. Val would use force against a real threat, but doesn't feel like the anxiety about causing harm would get in the way like it does in class. In class, Val's life is not really being threatened. That's the distinction. Probably in real life, this anxiety of Val's would still occur. It's just that in real life, Val can justify using force and be okay about it.
May
9
comment How to deal with an “anti-violence” instinct during sparring?
Both Judo and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu can be competitive. They have tournaments. And some (not most) of those schools require wins in competition in order for rank advancement. That's all I meant by saying you should ask about that. Those schools are aggressively sport-focused. You probably want a less sport and more fundamentals/defense-focused school to begin with, one that lets you compete if you want, or not... Judo is focused very heavily on throws, less on mat-work. BJJ is focused on mat-work (wrestling), less on throws, and is generally a bit more practical. Start Googling. ;)
May
9
comment How to deal with an “anti-violence” instinct during sparring?
There are differences in the types of injuries between grappling and striking based styles, yes. Striking based styles have more muscle pulls, nose breaks, bloody noses, finger breaks, arm breaks, concussions, broken ribs, tooth and jaw injuries, eye injuries, and bruising. Whereas grappling styles have a lot more ankle sprains, toe sprains (from sticking into the mat), finger tip sprains (from grabbing the gi), spine and neck injuries, rashes, scrapes, and knee, elbow, and shoulder injuries. But injuries are much more frequent in striking styles.
May
9
comment How to deal with an “anti-violence” instinct during sparring?
Hey, thanks for the kind notes. The statistics show that grappling based styles like judo are far less injury prone than striking based ones. Wushu is awesome, but make sure to get with a gymnastics instructor to help you with your aerials, somersaults, back flips, butterfly twists, etc. Those can be tricky and tend to be very injury prone and hard on the joints. At the very least, find a gymnastics school which has "open gym" times that let you use their foam pit and other safety equipment, usually for just $5-$10 per hour. Usually there's someone there that will spot and guide you, also.
Apr
21
comment As a beginner, how many classe(s) a week to take?
Short and to the point! I was about to say the same thing.
Apr
18
comment What are the main uses of aikido in self-defense?
In my experience, it's the opposite. Many of the Aikidoka I've met have been more hot-headed and egotistical than BJJ and MMA guys, or pretty much any martial art style I've seen. To this day, I have not figured out why that is. But this is anecdotal. We don't have any way of determining which style imparts bad intentions on the student. I will say, though, that it doesn't really matter what others do with an art. It's what you do that matters. If you go into any martial art and come out thinking you're invincible, you might end up looking for trouble. BJJ/MMA/etc. are very humbling styles.
Apr
18
comment What are the main uses of aikido in self-defense?
Yeah, I don't really see a difference between self-defense and fighting in the practical sense. I guess you're making a distinction between doing as little as you need to in order to escape (as in "self-defense"), and going all the way to beating someone (as in "fighting"). I think you won't be able to escape without knowing how to fight, period. You might get lucky, but it's not reliable. Whereas, guys that learn styles that prepare them for fighting are able to escape these real-world situations much more reliably.
Apr
17
comment What are the main uses of aikido in self-defense?
Well if you're fine with what Aikido teaches, no problem. Keep doing it. That you believe you're just doing "self-defense" and not actually learning how to fight tells me you haven't really thought about what it means to be in a real life confrontation. Most important is being familiar and comfortable with each range of fighting: free fighting, clinch, and ground. Maybe add stick and knife training to the mix also. Otherwise you're going to freeze up or make terrible mistakes the moment you're in a situation you don't recognize and haven't trained to deal with.
Apr
17
comment What are the main uses of aikido in self-defense?
Also just wanted to note that yes, kung-fu and karate also do a lot with the wrist grab. You can see it in kata. The fist chambered at the hip? That's a wrist grab. So in karate and kung-fu, you're doing a lot of grabbing (either his wrist or the end of his sleeve), and pulling it back to your hip with your left hand while striking with the right hand. This is usually to unbalance and throw while simultaneously striking. Fun to think about, but it's not something you'll encounter for real. It's only done as a defense. And karate/kung-fu people rarely even know about it.
Apr
17
comment What are the main uses of aikido in self-defense?
Yes, many forms of martial arts do the old "wrist grab" stuff. Doesn't mean it's very useful. Aikido practices it because Aikido inherits its style from classical jujitsu, from Samurai origins. In these Samurai ryu, people were taught to grab the wrist to prevent someone from drawing their sword. So in that context, wrist grab defenses were actually useful. For most modern, real-world situations, it rarely comes up. So to dwell on it and spend lots of time on it is time inefficient. There are more important things to go over.
Apr
2
comment How to avoid knee injury?
I recommend stopping all activity that causes knee pain, first. Second, head to a sports medicine doctor or physical therapist to figure out what's going on. You might have a serious knee issue. TKD can cause long-term chronic knee injury, even if you're doing right with the right form. Sorry to tell you that. Yes, weight training helps (squats in particular). But have a PT prescribe the exercises. Don't just think you can try stuff on your own. This is serious stuff. Do not go back to TKD until you've figured it out. I can't emphasize that enough.
Mar
20
comment Avoiding Knuckle Scrapes with Bag Work
Haha. No problem. Give it a try and see how it goes. Just make sure the ones you get have no padding. You'll actually have better luck if you look for the cheapest ones you can find. The more expensive kinds have padding and individual finger guides, etc. Those are a nice idea, but it works best when it's just a mitten (no fingers) and no padding. I also think vinyl is the best material.
Mar
20
comment Avoiding Knuckle Scrapes with Bag Work
Have you tried bag gloves? They're not boxing gloves. I'm talking about the kind that's really very thin, not the padded kind of bag glove. Something like this: vintagetoys.com/toys/classified/2359
Mar
16
comment How to fix velcro wrist strap on boxing gloves?
So there's no tear in the glove? It's just that the velcro has worn so much that it no longer works?
Mar
14
comment Is 16 too late of an age to start hapkido or judo?
Completely agree with this, Dave. So many people put off doing martial arts because they believe they're not in shape enough to start. I think it comes from anxiety. They think they'll be laughed at or teased. It's not true. No beginner is expected to be able to walk into a martial arts school and be particularly good at anything the first day. Or even the first year. And the type of conditioning you can do on your own often doesn't translate well into the types of physical activities you do once you're in a martial art. So don't wait. Just do it.
Mar
2
comment Blisters from sticks
By the way, your diagram shows blister locations exactly where I would expect them. The locations aren't the problem. Your grip isn't the problem. Your problem is just your hand hasn't gone through enough / proper conditioning to get calluses. Later you'll get calluses on all of those points, and the blisters will no longer happen.
Feb
27
comment Do pins in judo have to be standard pins?
Yeah in our Judo club in high school (an offshoot of the British Judo Association), so long as you could hold your opponent in more or less the same position for 30 seconds (we had 30 seconds, but official rules are 25 seconds I think), it counted as a full point. It didn't even matter if you were in an official hold, so long as it was a hold. So there was a good deal of slack given to what a "pin hold" should actually look like. But that was our school. Not sure if it's the same in official olympic rules judo.
Feb
20
comment Are there any effective Kung Fu fighters in MMA?
Yes. And keep in mind that modern MMA has a lot more rules than older MMA did. The relaxed rules (allowing even kicks to the groin, fish-hooking, small joint manipulation, etc.) did not give the traditional fighters any better results. Now, it is dangerous to optimize for MMA rules, since it can leave holes in your defenses when it comes to real-life self-defense. That's why a lot of MMA people also did/do a self-defense oriented style like Gracie Jiujitsu.
Feb
19
comment Are there any effective Kung Fu fighters in MMA?
Yeah, I was going to mention Cung Le in my answer as well. Sanda / sanshou is legit. It just doesn't look anything like what we think of as "kung-fu".
Feb
19
comment Are there any effective Kung Fu fighters in MMA?
A lot of times people complain about these sorts of fights. They say, "He didn't even use such-n-such martial art. This fight shouldn't be taken seriously." The answer to that is that people find out very quickly what works and what doesn't in these cases. If they're not doing something that resembles kung-fu (or aikido, or karate, or whatever), then it's probably because they realized in that very moment that none of what they know would apply in this situation. Either that, or they simply didn't have enough time to show their style, which happens a lot also.