Again, it’s been a while since the last post but rest assured I’ve kept busy!
Unified Weapons Master (UWM) finally went out with their ‘Call to Arms’ early this year, announcing that they were looking for fighters for their inaugural fight event. After completing Continue reading →
In preparation of a more in-depth article on HEMA (Historical European Martial Arts), I wanted to share this recent and excellent free-to-watch documentary on this rapidly growing martial art.
Although BACK TO THE SOURCE focuses on historical fencing (as opposed to modern sport fencing) and thus only covers a part of the various styles that would be considered HEMA, it is still a great introduction for those wanting to know more.
So grab thine popped corn, sheath thy longsword and enjoyeth the watch!
Remember the first couple of UFC events? They remain my favorites, as for the first time you had a televised event with traditionally trained martial arts purists facing each other on neutral ground. No more talking about how the superior ‘Eagle Claw’ style would rip out hearts, or how the ‘Dim Mak’ strike would immobilize any opponent. It was time to put your gloves where your mouthguard was. And boy, was it showtime.
UFC 1 – Savate vs Sumo. Lasted all of 26 seconds.
In a few short matches, the martial arts world was given a collective ice bucket wake-up call and the legendary black belt turned out to be just that – a belt, with the color black. It was clear that many of the traditional martial arts had flaws that were readily exploited by the more pragmatic styles like Muay Thai (Thaiboxing) and Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and as a response the hybrid style of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) exploded in popularity.
Fast forward two decades, and every event is largely the same; two MMA fighters facing each other, both trained in the same tried-and-tested repertoire of grappling and striking techniques. Frankly, it’s boring me to tears. That said, I appreciate what events like UFC provides – a pragmatic testing ground with agnostic rules that allows for sports-oriented martial artists to try their mettle.
Now, Australian-based Unified Weapons Master (UWM) intends to provide a similar arena for any and all martial arts that use weapons. Continue reading →
A lot of us who practise martial arts go through a solid mix of emotions when we watch action movies. This ranges from the guilty pleasure of the glorifying 80’s flicks a la ‘Bloodsport’, to the face palm inducing cringe-fest that is ‘Street Fighter’.
But back in the day, when we started training (and even before that) we were at first awestruck with how impressive our respective arts are. So. Much. Awesome.
The 20th century folk hero for martial artists everywhere
Getting towards the end of my story, but it isn’t over yet!
Having recovered from my knee injury (to a degree) and scored some trophy loot, I could see the next big challenge looming on the horizon – the legendary Black Belt.
Even though I had been training since my teenage years, I actually had never had the opportunity to attain it. There was always something that got in the way, such as my school shutting down, me moving to another city, and so on. Even though my Capoeira blue belt could be seen as the equivalent of a black belt (as it marks you as a graduado, a graduate) it was still not a black belt. But now the time had come. Continue reading →
My own thoughts on one should handle injuries and incidents in martial arts training. If you have any advise of your own, feel free to add it in the comment section! For more secrets, read here.
As we dedicate ourselves in a field of inherently violent nature, it’s pretty unavoidable that you will at some point get injured or unable to train. That said, I consider martial arts generally speaking to be a relatively safe hobby. I base this statement on that the average student gets an acute awareness of the risks involved in the regular training, which makes him both wary of getting hit or accidentally hurting a fellow student (or at least it should be that way). Normally, a martial arts school also promotes control, discipline and self-restraint which make it a fairly safe environment. In addition, any teacher worth his salt will ensure that students are built up gradually and not exposed to violent situations that they can’t handle (especially nowadays when students might sue the school).
Nevertheless, sometimes misfortune rears its ugly face and something happens that takes us out of training for a while. But with so many other things in life, being aware of this risk makes you able to prevent it or at least handle it in ways that gives you less grief – so read on and get empowered.
Darkest chapter in my story so far, where what comes up must come down.
For as long as I can remember, I have always loved martial arts. It is my passion, pure and simple, as it is what truly makes me feel alive. Regardless of style, all martial arts bring with them a seemingly endless array of challenges and rewards – which is what makes it all worth the effort. Continue reading →
The next chapter in my story, when it becomes apparent that it is time to move on.
I am far from what you would call a spiritual person, and as a happy agnostic I feel that there must be something greater than us that started it all, but until I feel certain of what that certain is I will keep myself open and accepting of most possibilities (except Scientology). But when it comes to fatalism, I do pick a side – as a big fan of the concept of ‘free will’, I put my faith in the belief that although we are born into circumstances out of our control, we are still able to make our own choices throughout our lives and influence our future. The idea that we would all be subject to a predetermined fate irks me. When astrology claims that my ‘Leo’ personality is defined by how the planets were aligned at the time of my birth, it feels like an insult to my ego and independence (which, ironically, is very much typical Leo behaviour).
Came across this when I was digging through the troves at the local bookstore. Pretty interesting concept.
Most people probably know of the book Art of War, written by Sun Tzu. It contains his advise on how to be ‘successful’ in war, if such a term can be used. I got a copy of my own and made a brave attempt at reading it, as it is considered the quintessential piece ever written on how to come out on top from a conflict. However it’s not as straightforward as it sounds – or perhaps the difficulty lies in how straightforward it is. When Sun Tzu writes about how to deploy forces on different types of terrain, it can be a challenge to see how you can apply the strategies on your own personal level. Currently it is still enriching my bookshelf, yet to be conquered.
Read it on the train whilst muttering to yourself, and you’ll never have to share a seat again
Fortunately, this is exactly what writer Martina Sprague has done in her book ‘Lessons in The Art of War’. Continue reading →