Saturday, 29 September 2012

Good workout

While I do recommend a good weight training program it is very obvious that martial arts provide an excellent cardiovascular workout. It is also an excellent way to release tension.

A common denominator to most styles is kickboxing. The techniques of karate, taekwondo and kung fu can all be adapted into a sparring form that employs fists and feet. While I do recommend sparring with more advanced techniques at a later stage kick boxing is usually the safest way to start free sparring.

The Nunchaku

Known to some as a part of the Okinawan Karate arsenal and to others as the Chinese two-sectional staff this is yet another weapon which is not extremely effective, but that can with the appropriate skill, surprise and incapacitate adversaries.

Be sure to have attacks ready and available for when you do have the room to use the waepon to its fullest potential or when you are in a close quarter situation or confined space that does not allow for flailing movements. The attacks are not swinging attacks, but rather whipping attacks with the force thereof concentrated on the point of impact. Should the force not be concentrated like this the result is usually the user hitting himself. 

Jian Form

The Chinese sword is said to be mainly a stabbing weapon. It springy, supple blade remainds me a lot of the rotor blades of a helicopter, though. And I have seen slicing attacks being dealt with it. In attack and defence the is a weapon requires speed and accuracy. Like most Chinese weapons- the jian is useless in the hands of an unskilled user. 

Sword Form

Swords in the Chinese and Japanese systems can be classified in two categories, cutting swords and stabbing swords.

Although slicing as well as stabbing attacks are performed with both the design of the sword determines the preferred form of attack.

A strong curved blade like the Chinese "Tao" knife (actually it is a sword, but the Chinese insist on calling it a knife) and the Japanese Katana makes it suited for cutting attacks. Having learnt to sink my chi into descending blows as used in Hsing-Yi Quan ( a form of Wudang Kung Fu) I incorprate these descending attacks into my katana form too.  

Monday, 24 September 2012

Empty Hands Form

Form practice usually involve multi-directional attacks. It is a very bad idea to be surrounded in a real fight and the fighter has to keep all his opponents in front of him as much as possible. It is, however, necessary to practice attacks in all directions as well as defences against attacks from all directions.

Keen senses and a good use of peripheral vision are skills that forms cannot develop. With a clear mind and keen senses multi-directional attacks make the fighter a one man fighting force capable of disposing of multiple opponents. 

The Sai

The Sai is a weapon which became known to the West when it was found being used on the Ryukyu Islands during the 1920's. Generally recognised as a "karate weapon" its techniques strongly resemble karate techniques.

The Sai is a bludgeoning as well as a stabbing weapon, with prongs that are used to trap weapons. Although it can be used as a single weapon, the Sai is usually seen used in pairs. This allows for the practitioner to incorporate the teachings of Musashi's Nito Ryu- style of sword fighting. Twirling movements during form practice improves dexterity.

Before thediscoveryof the Sai on the Ryukyu Islands the Samurai in Japan had a truncheon with a single prong called the Jutte. It is very likely that the techniques taught by karate schools nowadays would employ Jutte tecniques as well, especially when the weapon is used against a sword.

The Long Staff

The staff can be used for thrusting attacks, but practice mainly involves swinging blows. The grip allows for a section between the hands which is used for blocking and a long section which is left free for attacking.

A defence with the staff would involve twisting the hips and turning the torso to avoid straight thrusts to the torso, putting the staff between the head and a descending attack and turning to place the staff between the body and horizontal swinging attacks. Attacks to the legs are dealt with by raising the target leg clear from attack, sweeping the staff downward or a combination of both.

The staff is further an excellent tool to strengthen the wrists and grip and to train the body for throws.

Punching Bag

I really enjoyed my punching bag- while it lasted.

A good measure of technique and power is a solid target to hit. :) And the bag makes for a great workout too. :)