I’ve been training martial arts for over 25 years, I’ve been teaching for 15. Martial arts to me is a system of health, of adaptation. This is first and foremost, warriors weren’t always fighting, they were practicing. If it’s time to farm we farm, fight we fight, dance… well you get it. If we train to the point of injury, we’re missing the point. My teachers were in better shape at 65 than most people will be in their peak at 25. I keep to that intention for all of us.
It’s all about stepping into the true power it creates. Alignment, breath, balance, flexibility, connection. It creates a power not just strength, so much that it sometimes seems metaphysical, even to ourselves. When GI’s first saw Karate in Okinawa, the people were so small but so powerful, they thought it was magic… It’s not. It’s very normal to be powerful, its how or bodies naturally want to be. I love seeing the look in someones eyes when they effortlessly hit a target harder than they could even imagine. Time after time of putting all their strength into that hit and nothing. Like the dreams of hitting or fighting or running, but you just can’t. Then the balance, relaxation, and breath set in, you’re worn out, can barely lift your arms and WHAM!!! Power… it shows up. When the head turns off, the body takes over. Practice.
This is great cardio, and the basic concepts of balance, breathing, good footwork & head movement are universal, especially when developing our habits as martial artists. Watch any match. We can do the most beautiful forms and embody cranes and dragons, but when it comes to fighting, the first few years, we will resort to kickboxing.
- Learn to flurry and keep your hands up.
- Learn distance control through footwork
- Pad work develops relaxed power
- Great cardio and it’s really fun
Practicality & simplicity is a must for self defense. Our first line of self defense is our health, then learn to be aware, then learn to fall. After that we can play with vital areas and ways to deal with violent situations. Again this is really fun too. I love seeing confidence build, and trauma being released from the body. Learning to speak up for ourselves and to develop a nervous system that’s proactive towards our well being. That’s awesome
Nabard (traditional Persian Combatatives)
This stuff is cool. Great movement… eccentric and practical which is a rare combo in martial arts. To me, this is a “Graduate” system. Like Bagua or tai chi. When you get your basics down this will add so much to your angles and power.
This was my first martial art. I love it… Throwing and grappling. Learning how to manage your weight and control someone else’s center is the key.
Most fights go to the ground. Learning how to be relaxed and present when in that situation is vital. Many striking arts avoid this work, it’s not in the rule books. A good ground game is often the most direct route to getting back up on your feet safely.
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