Thursday, June 23, 2016

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Monday, May 23, 2016

A Story Of Personal Transformation Through Martial Arts

Martial arts like Kung Fu are associated as much with character building and personal development as they are with self defense.

In this week's video blog post I share a personal story of my own experience of personal transformation as a result of my kung fu training.

The night before my first full contact fight I had a profound realization that changed how I look at martial arts and those I train with forever.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Coaches Corner - Push Hands Tips


 In this week's on the mats I'm going to introduce a new channel segment called Coach's Corner as we take a look at some competition Push Hands footage coming up right after this.

Troy was that my mini seminar in La last month and asked me on Facebook to take a look at video of him doing some competitive Push Hands in the Pasadena California ICMAC tournament in participating in last month and give them my feedback.

First of all props to you Troy for stepping out on the Mast test your skills I think that always has to be said and you did awesome if you're not familiar with competition Push Hands it can vary wildly depending on the rules set and who's judging but in this case the rules were pretty free so it was essentially like a nogi Judo match.

First thing I'm going to offer some critical feedback based on my background in I Liq Chuan, which is entirely principle-based and Troy already received lots of tactical suggestions on Facebook so we're going to focus mostly on body mechanics as opposed to any individual technique and then I want to end the video on a positive note by pointing out three really nice moves I spotted by Troy.

The first tip I want to offer is to make better use of the wrist as opposed to the hand for control which is one of the things I talked about when I was in LA. I caught a couple of times where your hand was laying flat on the opponent's arm and he was able to use it against you.  Maintaining the wrist as the point of contact will help you keep that as a pivot point.

 The second tip is getting more comfortable with the lower hand and our lower hand sticky hand drills can definitely help with that. To me it looks like you spent a lot of time and energy just trying to fight for the upper hand position. Working on getting a little better at being able to control your opponent from the lower hand wood go a long way especially when a much larger opponent is basically just posting out on you like we see several times and your match.

Lastly I would work on maintaining the alignment of the shoulders and the hips a little more which we would talk about under the 13 points or the balance of yin yang, but we see here where you move either the hips or the shoulders first, as opposed to both together, winding in and out of the feet, really compromising the position of the spine and limiting your ability to transfer power from the ground to your opponent or vice versa.

 On a positive note I was really impressed with how you managed to avoid what in kung fu they call a creeping or osoto gari in Judo despite being totally caught up in the double underhooks, which I think is actually called a Whizzer and wrestling if I recall correctly.

Secondly there's a point in the first round where you'll end up with your back turned to the opponent and you use a very bagua kind of stepping and turning to reorient yourself quickly and prevent your opponent from taking advantage of your back and lastly, I thought you did a very nice job of controlling your opponent's arm early in the first round preventing him from getting that half guillotine after your failed single leg attempt.

That's it for this week's on the mats and our first edition of Coach's Corner. Would you like some feedback on one of your videos? Hit me up on Twitter at lawyer going through or drop a comment below and as always thanks for watching and subscribing and I'll see you guys next time.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Martial Arts Techniques - The Arm Drag



 What's up, YouTube. Welcome back. In this week's On The Mats I want to show you three variations of a classic grappling technique - the arm drag.

 I said I wanted to show you guys three, count 'em, three, three fingers - three variations of the arm drag. I know that commonly the arm drag is used to set up a follow-up take down, so a classic arm drag basically would be done as a cross-body arm drag. Where you're gonna grab the tricep and pull the arm across your opponent's body. 
Control the wrist, grab the tricep, pull the arm across the body.

So these are three variations of the arm drag that aren't quite strictly like a grappling or wrestling-style arm grab. From the background I train in, I Liq Chuan, we wanna try and have everything be spherical but before you can be spherical you break it down. Sphere has x, y, z - three axis (that's two axis?) so when you break things down that way you wind up with different planes - horizontal, front and saggital. I want to show you one application of arm drag from each of the different planes. Frontal is up and down, left and right. This cross-body arm drag is already frontal. As said in the beginning of the video usually an arm drag by itself is not a finishing move so you're gonna follow up with something.

Most of the time you're using the arm drag as a follow up for some kind of take down. From the arm drag, the opponent's body still turns and you can see how it affects his balance, too, we're gonna come in for some head control. We still want to control the hip and just shoot in to control the head. From here, we just follow through and they're gonna break right over. Once you get that hip control, follow through with some head control and they'll go right down. Or, from the arm drag here, you're gonna step in with your opposite leg and use the elbow, put the elbow into the collar bone to take down from there.

 The next variation that I want to talk about is sagittal. Saggital is up and down, forward and backward. On this one you need to threaten your partner's face. If you don't threaten their face, they won't.. if they're not responding to the threat you can pretty much do what you want anyway, so we're assuming that they're trying to defend themselves, in which case you want to threaten their face. There's your up. Down, you're gonna grab the tricep and step back with the body weight. And see you see from here they're off balance, lock...[push].

 The third variation that I wanna show you is horizontal. On this horizontal variation, from the outside we're gonna scoop the hand in, come up to the elbow for control, and push the arm out and away from the body. I'll show it again from this side. Pass the hand over, drag and push that arm out away from the body. When you use a little force on that, it's a nice attack to the elbow. A nice little joint lock.

 We want to build towards a progressively more free application of that so from just practicing the move a few times to get the feel of it. Now, like I said in our background, I Liq Chuan, [a lot of things we use from the spinning hands, so we're gonna start spinning and practice from there. And from spinning, more sticky. Alright, so that's it for this week's On The Mats. I hope you guys enjoyed it. If you did, go ahead and hit that subscribe button down below, or click the 'i' for other video suggestions. Thanks for watching. I'll see you next time.