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Every morning in the wild a gazelle awakens. One thing is for sure for the gazelle for that day, as every other: She must run faster than the fastest lion. If she cannot, she will be killed and eaten.

Every morning, a lion awakens. For the lion, too, one thing is certain. This day, and everyday, he must run faster than the slowest gazelle.

Whether fate names you a gazelle or a lion is of no consequence. It is enough to know that with the rising of the sun, you must run, and you must run faster than the day before, for the rest of your days, or you will die.

We all have to run; run the race of life. – An African Poem, Race of Life, Netflix 2017

Occasionally instead of putting on my usual Netflix debauchery, I find it soothing to watch a nature series or documentary. Recently, I started to watch the shot Race for life on Netflix. The beginning starts with the poem as written above.

Of course, I have seen variations of this quote prior usually on motivational posters or in business guides, but this is so far my favourite.

It seems to me despite what the Lion King taught us about the circle of life, the newer generation either do not understand it, accept it or simply ignore it. This two is applied to evolution and how it operates. There is a common myth believed by most that evolution has some kind of definitive set end goal. The truth is it does not. It is simply a mechanism following some kind of not tangible universal code based on the principles of action and reaction.

For the gazelle to avoid the lion it developed speed and agility, and for the lion to catch the gazelle it must rely on explosive power, strength and strategy. Evolution is simply the action of one species or entity reacting to its environment or predators so that it can best continue to exist as a species. The saying, Adapt or Die could never be truer.

As you can see above, each species reacts to the others defence mechanism so that it can better survive.  – Futurama: Into the Wild Green Yonder

When it comes to the environment for example, though I fully support sustainable practices, it is also a myth that the environment must stay in a constate static state. With or with out human intervention or existence it operates on an action reaction potential. Species have lived and died for millions and millions of years prior to human existence because they like us now operate based on the same universal code that guides the evolutionary process.

Let’s take a look at the free market and apply the evolutionary process as well. Cars to be specific. If you look at any decade you can often see a distinct style and specification for cars. There was once a time for example when big cars with big engines were popular. Now it’s all about fuel efficiency and safety. So how do the evolutionary principles of adapt or die apply here? Simple, Auto makers must adapt their product lines to which are being sold based on the consumers purchasing power. If an automaker continues to make the same thing because that’s what they are known for unless they are trying to be a small niche market, they too will most likely die because they failed to adapt. As the consumer no longer demands the product that they are offering.

We can sit here and pretend things will always be the way they always were or are but this is foolish as this does not seem to be how things work, anywhere.

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I recently wrote an article called The Specialist vs the Generalist. One of my students told me there definitely needs to be specialist which I do address albeit briefly, and yes I agree. However, just like in nature specialist do not adapt well to change. Usually, species that are overly specialised will parish should anything drastically change such as their food source adapting to them or the environment changing. While species that are more generalistic in nature can either adapt to the new settings, such as find a new food source. or move to a new location and adapts as has happened many times in the past. For example species in the past that were once land dwelling but are now aquatic or were aquatic but are now land dwelling.

I again make the argument that for the time being humans when compared to other species are in general generalists.

As always I like to connect things to Krav Maga and Self defence when possible. In a given self defense situation, it is unlikely that things will go according to the way you trained in the gym. And this is to be expected. A good Kravist can evolve and adapt in the moment based on their training, experience and ability to survive any given situation. This is why I focus heavy on critical thinking in training in addition to our moves. The ability to critically think in the moment gives you the greater chance to evolve and adapt while still applying Krav Maga principles like retzev (Continous Attack).

This is probably why so many traditional martial arts fail to be practical in realistic self defense. They chose to stay rigid and strong to the cultural and regional beliefs or methods that did not apply in other areas of the world. Or they adapted in the wrong way to focus more on sports application thus making them less adapted for the street.

I really do not know, at least on an intrinsic level why people fear change so much. I guess it’s currently a primal reaction that we are having difficulty evolving out of. The reality is, whether you are a gazelle or a lion, rich or poor, black or white, a planet, a sun the universe. If you cannot adapt to the change around you, you will only struggle, stagnate and die (literally or figuratively).

So just like the Gazelle or Lion keep on running and learn to adapt in a way that gives you a long, healthy and meaningful life.

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BJJ Promotions

Posted: May 18, 2017 by Donna in Uncategorized
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Promotions are responsibilities, not gifts.

If you really want to own a black belt, you can buy one on Amazon for less than $15. But without it being earned, it is an accessory with no meaning.

It’s also not something you choose for yourself, aside from the effort you put into your own development. Promotions are chosen for you, by a mentor experienced enough to know your progress and put it into context better than you can. That’s the thing about progress – it’s never linear, and is incredibly difficult to see clearly from the inside. Almost no one feels they’re fully at the next level yet, so there’s an adjustment period where you “grow into” your new belt.

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That being said, there are minimums and standards for being promoted. Here’s my take on what the expectations are at each belt level. Technical ability develops throughout, but it’s only one facet of BJJ learning.

White belt: The beginning. The focus is on learning, on developing a new instinct, and on physically learning the motions. This is where the humbling process begins, where we learn strength is not the greatest virtue.

Note: Children have an additional three belts – yellow, orange, and green – which mark their progression before they are at least 16 and eligible for their blue belt.

Blue belt: Students demonstrate proficiency across the basic positions, attacks, and escapes. Students should already be showing mentorship to their training partners and demonstrate a commitment to each other and to the sport.

IBJJF minimum: None

Purple belt: Purple belts demonstrate an understanding of advanced positions, attacks, and escapes, as well as the concepts and body mechanics behind them. Students should be adopting the philosophy of jiu-jitsu in their life, including through strong mentorship and teaching skills, and an eagerness to impart knowledge to others.

IBJJF minimum: 2 years from blue belt

Brown belt: Students are giving back to the BJJ community. At brown belt level, students are continuing to develop a wide array of techniques to a high level of proficiency and regularly engage in teaching/mentoring.

IBJJF minimum: 1.5 years from purple belt

Black belt: Beyond giving back to the BJJ community, black belts demonstrate strong leadership. They show an interest in continued learning and evolving their skills, as well as an eagerness to share with the community.

IBJJF minimum: 1 year from brown belt

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Some students are eager to climb the ranks, and their belt is a huge source of pride. Others try to deliberately avoid promotions, skipping seminars and dodging responsibilities. Here’s the truth: you are where you are, stripes or not. It’s only a matter of whether your rank matches your abilities.

This week’s Krav Maga and BJJ Curriculum: May 8-14, 2017

Posted: May 8, 2017 by urbantacticskravmaga in Uncategorized

*Note: What specifically is taught in class, how it is taught, and examples used are subject to the instructor, their level and experience. These posts are not an excuse to miss class as they are only a snap view of what skills are covered.

My Wife, Krav Maga, and I: A Love-Hate Relationship

Posted: November 1, 2016 by Forge Fitness + Martial Arts in Uncategorized

A few weeks ago, we published an article from BJJ instructor Donna Marion about the perks of having a partner who trains in the same sport. Krav Maga instructor Josh Hensman decided to share his experience from the perspective of his wife, who does not train, on how Krav Maga impacts their relationship.

JoshAt the time that I first met my partner over 6 years ago, I was not training in any martial arts. Many years before meeting her, I had done karate, had dabbled in Wing Chun Kung Fu, and played with Capoiera. I decided to start training in Krav Maga relatively early in our relationship, so maybe she did not feel like she had much say or impact on what I did in my life at the time.

In hindsight, that was probably lucky. My wife admits to having a love-hate relationship with me… the Krav Maga practitioner me. She loves to see me doing something I enjoy immensely, but she hates to see me come home with bruises, scrapes, strains and sprains. So what does my wife think of her husband training in this intrinsically pragmatic self-defense system? 

My wife’s perspective of Krav Maga

Me: What were your first impressions when you found out I was learning KM?

Her:  There were definitely mixed feelings of excitement and sadness. Excited that you found something you were so interested in partaking and sad that it meant you were going to be even busier than you already were. Keep in mind, at the time I didn’t know what Krav Maga was aside from a style of self defense.

Me: What did you think when I started coming home injured?

Her: I was concerned. It shocked me how bruised you would be sometimes after KM, but more concerned that you didn’t seem bothered by it. I was quite upset at you a couple of times. You had some injuries that were more serious: muscle and ligament injuries, and head and neck injuries. I mean, some of these could impact you for the rest of your life!

Me: What did you think of KM when you tried it?

Her: I thought KM was super cool. I didn’t feel too out of place in class and I learned a couple of self-defense techniques I hadn’t known before. We practiced over and over again the head butt, eye gouge, ear clap and running away. Oh! And let’s not forget the painful 360 block – bruises all along my arms. I definitely felt a tad more confident walking out the doors.

Me: Has your perspective changed as time has gone by? How?

Her: I still think KM is a super cool and useful! I’d say it over and over again – KM is a very unique style of self defense as it’s effective and suitable for anyone to learn.  I personally went back to KM couple more times hoping to continue learning different techniques, but found myself learning the same techniques and that demotivated me to continue.  I do understand that practice makes perfect – I just don’t have the patience for it.  

Me: Does having a husband who knows KM make you feel safer?

Her: I hate to admit it, but yes.  That doesn’t mean I’ve felt unsafe before you started KM, I just feel more safe seeing the techniques KM teaches and watching you practice at home. It also makes me feel safe knowing you are personally safe wherever you are.  

She loves Krav Maga because…happy-wife-happy-life

She loves me. Being such a loving and considerate person, my wife loves to see me happy. She knows that training in Krav Maga makes me happy.

But she hates Krav Maga because…

She loves me. (Editor’s note: Awww!) Since my wife cares for me so tremendously, she intensely hates seeing me get hurt. For example, when I recently did my Green Belt Test, she couldn’t bring herself to come and watch. But, she did look after me in the aftermath!

Where to draw the risk-reward line in Krav Maga?


As one of the lead KM instructors at UTKM says, “Happy Wife, Happy Life.”
I tiptoe the line and try to practice sensibly to avoid major injury. However, if I sustain a major injury, I will always choose to put my wife and family first. This may mean indefinitely hitting pause on higher level Krav Maga training, particularly the high intensity and high risk components. But hey, that means instead of practicing, I can spend more time teaching Krav Maga. There is always a silver lining!

Locked ‘n’ loaded in Tel Aviv

Posted: September 27, 2016 by urbantacticskravmaga in Uncategorized
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I have traveled around the world, encountered and observed many places, and from my experience, there is no country like Israel. Once, I was sitting in a cafe in Tel Aviv’s central bus station on a Sunday morning, and looking out I can see uniform-clad young men and women carrying weapons returning to their bases. Tourists watch in awe at the sheer amount of weapons being carried on the streets. Residents pass by without even seeing it.

It is a normal part of their lives.

Taking a closer look, I see that not every weapon is the same, nor are their owners. Each weapon is different. Some have carrying handles, some have flashlights, some are old, some are new, some are made out of plastic and some are made out of metal. Each soldier is also different. Their colorful unit shoulder tags, strings and berets tell people which unit they belong to and what kind of specialty they possess. Some soldiers wear their uniform like pajamas and others iron their shirt straight and tight.

A soldier’s personality is shown through his or her rifle

Throughout history, soldiers everywhere have put effort into decorating their swords, bows, knives and other weapons. It is not just for the sake of art, but to make a statement and show one’s character. However, none of these warriors of the past could have imagined that in today’s Israel, weapons would be part of the youth culture. In Israel, weapons take the place of the backpacks and sneakers worn in North America.

Soldiers with an antique model belong to either an armor or artillery unit, but in battle they use tanks or cannons, not their rifles. They are saying, “I only carry this rifle around because I have to, I do not think I will have to use this old piece of junk.” Soldiers with newer models are saying, “I am a first-line combat soldier and this is my pride and joy. I am cool because my rifle is the newest.” Additional gadgets, such as sights or an extra tactical foregrip, become a statement telling everyone, “Look! I am different from rest of you guys.”

It’s just like taking your phone with you

These young troops don’t just carry their weapons to and from the bases. They also have it on them while performing their ordinary daily routines: shopping, walking on the street, sitting down for lunch, or even kissing loved ones. I once saw a young soldier at a cafe using a laptop – she held her rifle between her legs to protect it, while drinking coffee and surfing the internet. Another intriguing sight was a young male soldier wearing a sleeveless tee, sandals, a backpack, and his rifle. The whole picture was an oxymoron. Is he relaxing? Or is he getting ready to fight? His outfit tells me he could be merely taking a stroll, heading to the beach, or waiting for a train, but his loaded weapon tells me otherwise.

In a country like Israel, carrying a weapon is a statement of youth. Rifles are often a statement of toughness and machismo, but in a place where being dauntless and courageous is everything, the warrior ethos is unisexual. Even before the creation of this nation, both men and women fought side-by-side here, protecting their homeland.

Once, I asked a young Israeli woman who had her rifle slung across one shoulder and her purse on the other, what was inside her purse. She said, “You know, the usual girl stuff: make-up, lipstick, tissues, and my extra M16 magazine.” In that moment, I realized that the Israeli saying was true, “If you are going to break a girl’s heart, make sure to do it when she is not carrying her rifle.”

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Gun culture is a normal part of growing up in Israel

Seeing these young soldiers with their duffle bags, rucksacks and weapons, I was violently awakened from the peaceful illusion of Tel Aviv. This country is at war. After a few days of comfort in their homes, these youth – barely old enough to buy a beer in Canada – are going back to their posts, checkpoints, tank turrets, jeeps, or the streets of Gaza. In contrast, most Canadian youth know nothing about self-sacrifice and giving some of their best years to serving their nation.

I know for sure that these young Israeli soldiers would prefer not to spend those three years of service in khaki uniforms, receiving less than $40 a month, and dealing with dangerous terrorists or boring paper work. They would rather use that time to do whatever they want, like travelling, working, or studying as young Canadians do. However, despite the hardship and dangers, every Israeli I have encountered tells me that he or she would do it again for their country.

Over a period of 4 days, from May 12 – 15, the Canadian National Judo Championships were held in the Olympic Oval in Calgary, Alberta.  Hundreds of athletes from across the country and most provinces traveled to Alberta and converged to compete in the highest level judo tournament of the year to decide who would be the 2016 Canadian National Champion for their respective divisions.  My 14-year old daughter Christine, who only began taking judo just two years ago, came in first place in her division and won a gold medal.  This is how she did it.

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Christine – right

From Krav Maga to Judo

Before Christine started judo, she wasn’t new to martial arts.  She was in the kid’s Krav Maga class for a couple of years so she was already fit and used to having the commitment that martial artists need in order to be successful.  The strong message from her Krav Maga instructor to stay off the ground resonated with her, and one day she asked if she could try judo so she could learn some techniques to use if she should find herself in a ground fight one day.  She discovered that she liked the elegance of judo and immediately wanted to test her skills in a competition when the tournaments started up again in the Fall.  Because Christine is rather light for her age, she has always been in divisions where there aren’t many other girls so her first real tournament had just two other competitors.  She came in first place, was bitten by the competition bug, and has been competing in the local tournaments ever since.

The strong message from her Krav Maga instructor to stay off the ground resonated with her, and one day she asked if she could try judo…

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Over the next year and a half, Christine competed in several tournaments–mostly local and travelling only as far away as Seattle.  Her first tournament in Seattle pitted her against green and blue belts when she herself was only a yellow belt, and although Christine didn’t win a single match, she looked at the situation objectively and didn’t let the loss get her down.  Christine knew she would likely lose but she decided that she would make those other girls earn their wins and she wasn’t going to give them anything.  Her spirit and self-esteem were strong, and she walked away from that tournament determined to one day come back and beat those girls in a future competition. She continued to compete in tournaments, both winning and losing, but always learning from her matches and taking that experience to the next one.  Her goal was to participate in the 2016 BC Winter Games and represent the zone for her division, and by this time she had earned her green belt.

Road to the Judo Nationals

1The BC Winter Games and the Judo Nationals were only 3 months apart, and Christine wanted to go to Nationals just so she could experience the environment of a high level tournament.  In order to qualify, one must attend training camps, specific selection tournaments, and a minimum number of BC Team practices.  The camps and team practices are grueling and tough, and it takes a certain level of will and commitment to be able to not let them get you down.  After the first team practice where Christine was tossed around like a rag doll, I sensed that she was at a low point and I asked her, “I bet you want to quit judo now, don’t you?”  She just nodded, “Yeah.”  It was a quiet ride home.  However, the additional training was not only helping her qualify for Nationals, but was also good preparation for the upcoming BC Winter Games.  She toughed it out and continued to fulfill the qualifications so she could attend Nationals after the BC Winter Games were out of the way.

She was at a low point and I asked her, “I bet you want to quit judo now, don’t you?” She just nodded, “Yeah.”

The BC Winter Games is a good multi-disciplinary sports event, but is not considered a very prestigious tournament in the judo world, primarily because the competitors are limited to BC residents only so the pool is not very large.  Even though there are eight zones in BC, there were only two other competitors in Christine’s division and unfortunately, just 3 weeks earlier Christine fractured her thumb in a Kamloops tournament and was advised by her doctor to not compete in the Games. In spite of her injury, Christine’s coach taped up her thumb and she competed regardless, eventually losing to a blue belt in overtime and winning silver.  Now her goal was to get healthy so she could be competitive at Nationals only 3 months later.

Christine’s goal going into Nationals was three-fold: (1) to experience the environment of competing in the highest level judo tournament of the year, (2) to win one match, if possible, and (3) if she didn’t win a match, then she’d give the other girls the fight of their lives.  Her first match was with the blue belt to whom she lost against in the BC Winter Games, and to whom160514-23 she’d lost twice before in overtime.  As the scoreless match was winding down, it looked like history was going to repeat itself for a fourth time when, with 8 seconds left, Christine forced a penalty on her opponent and she won the match.  She was ecstatic, and with tears in her eyes she walked off the mat into the arms of her colleagues who surrounded her and congratulated Christine on her win.

With that psychological monkey off her back, Christine couldn’t be stopped and ended up beating a green belt from Saskatchewan, another blue belt from Ontario, and a brown belt from Quebec to secure her first place win.  During the match with the green belt the other girl accidentally punched Christine as she was going in for a throw, and in the video you can clearly see Christine’s head thrown back.  The girl started to say “Oh, I’m sorry…” when Christine shook it off and threw her to win the match.

So what does it take to be a champion?

With every victory, there are usually several aspects that contribute to the win.  In Christine’s case, there were many factors: she had great coaching, strong camaraderie from her teammates, access to excellent training, she had the will to win and perseverance even when the going got tough.  She even reached out to a fitness instructor from UTKM to have him put together a personalized strength and conditioning program for her.  Christine doubts that she would have gotten as far without the proper support system in place, and is grateful to everyone who helped her progress.  In the next season Christine will be in a new division with older and heavier opponents, but she will be bigger and stronger as well, so who knows what will happen at next year’s Nationals.  If she keeps focused and continues to receive the support that’s in place, she should continue to do well.

She had the will to win and perseverance even when the going got tough.

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Christine – centre stage

 

Sports Drinks – Do You Need Them When Exercising?

Posted: March 19, 2016 by Forge Fitness + Martial Arts in Uncategorized
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So do you? Well, it depends…

Whenever I am at a gym, martial arts school or fitness centre I see guys (yes, mostly males) gulping down sports drinks such as Gatorade, Powerade, or something made from a powder. I often ask myself, is that drink necessary in this situation? To answer this I usually observe the individual’s activity, and more often than not, I answer my own question with a resounding ‘no’. I want to be clear though, there is a lot of confusion about sports drinks and hydration in general. Hopefully this brief article will clear-up some of the misinformation to help you understand how to drink effectively, and what to drink when you do.

Sports Drinks as a Marketable Product

Let’s be honest. We all know that nutritional supplements and ergogenic aids (performance enhancing supplements) are big business. They are huge in competitive and elite sporting circles, as they genuinely can give an edge to a competitor, and also because when the public see their favourite athletes slurping on a cold sports brew at half-time, this is good for sales. The companies that make them know that the real money is in marketing these products to the general population. So, companies have a vested interest in seeing sports drinks sold to Joe and Josephine Public in order to increase profit. Does that mean sports drinks don’t work or are unnecessary? Read on…

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What is a Sports Drink

For the purpose of this article a sports drink will be considered to contain electrolytes (sodium and potassium) and carbohydrates. Most commercial sports drinks contain both, but sometimes the electrolytes are missing. Typically a before and during exercise sports drink should contain 6-8% solutes, so a 500mL drink would 30-40 g of carbohydrate plus electrolytes. A post-exercise recovery sports drink would likely have a higher carbohydrate load.

The Importance of Being… Hydrated

Water has a number of important roles in your body. With 60% of your total bodyweight made up by water, suffice to say, if you run out of water you die. With only 1-2% of body water loss your heart has to work harder and your aerobic endurance decreases. Continued fluid loss ensures further consequences. When exercising, fluid loss is most likely from sweating, particularly in hot climates. The highest recorded sweat rate was 3.7 litres per hour, by Alberto Salazar when preparing for the 1984 Summer Olympic Games. Replacing fluid lost from sweating when exercising is very important. Rule of thumb, the more you sweat, the more you should drink.

When to Drink

It is a great idea to start drinking before you begin your exercise. During exercise a consumption rate of approximately 250mL every 15 minutes should be sufficient for really intense or long duration, sweaty training. For lower intensity or shorter exercise periods, periodically sipping water is fine. Remember not to wait until you are thirsty! Once you feel thirsty you are already 1-2% dehydrated. Continue drinking once you have finished exercising to ensure adequate recovery.

What to Drink

If you are going to be exercising for less than 45 minutes, then water alone is probably sufficient. Should that 45 minutes be high intensity, high sweat yielding exercise, it will be important to replenish both electrolytes and macronutrients soon after exercising, and a sports drink during/after the session might be worthwhile to decrease your recovery time.

Have you ever experienced muscle cramps during or after exercise? This is likely due to  a loss of electrolytes from your body through sweat. If you are anything like me, you will have noticed that sweat tastes salty. This is because it has a high concentration of sodium. Electrolytes are essential to effective muscle contractions, so when you are losing them quickly through sweating, you will need to replace them reasonably quickly. The fastest way – a sports drink. Longer duration vigorous exercise, high intensity exercise, and exercise in hot climates are three contexts in which using a sports drink does make sense.

Where sports drinks truly come into their own is competition events. If you are competing in a long duration (+45 minutes) event or have multiple events on the same day sports drinks can be vital to maintaining high performance. This is even more essential in hot climates or events that require high intensity physical work.

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Please use re usable water battles when possible.

To Drink or Not to Drink?

Definitely drink! If you are trying to decide whether that drink should be water or a sports drink, ensure that you consider the ambient temperature of the climate you will be exercising in, the intensity of exercise, and the duration of exercise, before making your choice.

Warriors Den Podcast

Download on iTunes Today! https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/urban-tactics-krav-maga-warriors/id969549693?mt=2

Donna Marion is a BJJ Purple Belt and instructor at UTKM. In this podcast we discuss what its like being a respected BJJ player in a male dominated world. In addition we discuss self-defense and other sensitive topics.

Donna Marion Teaching

 

Taiwan BJJ Academy  台灣巴西柔術學院

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Taiwan BJJ is the most well known and established BJJ school in Taiwan. It can be said that Taiwan BJJ has truly contributed to the development of BJJ here in Taiwan. Personally, I also share some great memories with this institution. In 2009 I was a member of the Taiwan BJJ team that competed in the 2009 Bangkok BJJ International Open. The team was made mostly of members of Taiwan BJJ Academy, Evolution MMA and Tough MMA. We did an excellent job at the tournament. I personally won bronze in my division. Although the team was made of mostly members of Taiwan BJJ Academy, we were a cohesive team that trained and coached each other throughout the tournament.

Facility:

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The school used to be located near Taipei city hall and just like every other gym back then, it had only the bare essentials: mats……and that’s about it. The school back then was small and potentially dangerous to train at if too many members were there at once. The new gym however can only described as sexy. It is located in a huge basement with plenty of space, lockers, a shower room, changing rooms, front counter and a small shop. It has full-time staff at the front you can talk to instead of talking to the instructor and interrupting the class.

Coach:

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Professor Makoto and I

Professor Makoto Ogaswara is truly humorous fellow but takes his BJJ craft very very seriously. Professor Makoto Sensei is a first degree black under Wendell Master Alexander and André Pederneiras Nova União. Professor Makoto compete frequently internationally and he is also a true leader within the BJJ community here in Taiwan and I had personally receive many helps and instructions from him. In addition, professor Makoto ‘s Chinese has significantly improved compare when I first meet him.   He can now communicate fluently in Chinese and also teach BJJ in Chinese.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Impression:

The overall impression of the member’s fighting style is that they are very tight. Their movements are precise and more cautious compared to North American fighters. It also means there is less chance for you to attack. Some of the guys also have excellent stand-up game. This is not very common in the BJJ world.   The bottom video is one of their athlete I had the pleasure to roll against.

During my short stay and rolling with their members, I did not see lots of De La Riva, or X-guards among their members but I only roll with about 2 purple belt, several white belt 4 strips, 2 blue belts……etc.  Taiwan BJJ, as its title says, is a BJJ school. Their grappling style caters more to sports BJJ competition and less to MMA application. Generally speaking, different schools have different applications – some cater to BJJ competition like Budo MMA (Scott Boudreau, 4 times world champion and Mike Hansen 2014 NAGA Champion), Clinch MMA ( Sal Ram, champion makers of some the finest MMA fighters and top OneFC fighters in Asia, like Typhoon Paul Chen ) or a more self defense approach like Gracie Jiu Jitsu.

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Overall:

I would recommend anyone who is visiting Taiwan to train at Taiwan BJJ. It is professional, friendly and in some ways this school still has a pioneer spirit as the first serious BJJ school in Taiwan. It is just a bunch of people who like to roll and train.

Contact Info:

Website : http://taiwanbjj.org/en/taipei/

Address: Jilin Rd., #12-3, B1, Taipei, Taiwan
Tel: 02-2531-7383
Email: contact@taiwanbjj.org
Nearest MRT Station: Songjiang-Nangjing, Exit 3

 

 

 

 

My annual trip to Taiwan always takes me to the some of the best martial art
schools & MMA gymin Taiwan. The martial art culture and spirit deep within Taiwanese
people. Compare to Canada, the Taiwanese martial art community is subtle, small, and tight. Like or not, the Taiwanese society is not a big fan of martial prowess and less reveal about this type of culture. You would not know some of your friends, neighbor are martial art lovers unless they tell you.

Ranlee Muay Thai Gym 仁李泰拳館

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Impressions:

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Borhan in the middle

During my visit in Kaohsiung, the southern city of Taiwan, our Taiwanese UTKM instructor Pedro brought me to his Muay Thai Gym: Ranlee Muay Thai Gym. Training here is old school Muay Tai training: hard, tough and authentic. I would even say more authentic than the Muay Thai training I receive when I was in Vancouver. No offense to my Canadian Muay Thai trainer.Simply put – many North American Muay Thai gym has adopt its style more suitable for MMA purpose. Whereas in Thailand and Taiwan, Muay Thai stills remains more traditional and a Muay Thai gym can thrive by being single discipline focus. It would be difficult for the gym in Canada to do the same.

Coach:

Coach Ranlee is a veteran in Muay Thai world and remains closely connection with the Muay Thai community in Thailand and also Burmese boxing ( Lethwei ). Interesting background regarding Coach Lee; Coach Lee grows up in Burma as the descendants of the last KMT legions that got stuck in Burma. Some of these KMT soldiers later become the king pin of the infamous Golden triangle. There is a toughness and ruthless growing up in place and time like that. Burmese boxing ( Lethwei ) is quite similar to Muay Thai but allows head butt and use ropes instead gloves during a match.

Coach Lee also retain several formal pro-Muay Thai boxers such as Erik Massion from
Germany help him train new recruits. Both coach Ranlee and Erik Massion hold incredible pad works for their students and know when to push and when to cut the student some breaks. Holding pad for your students is another skill set that takes years to develop.

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Facility :12494797_1027151884015092_2694413682173487653_n

Overall, Ranlee Muay Thai Gym offers a very old school, self-made type of training experience, exactly like  gyms in Thailand. Everything is hand-made; from punching bags, boxing stages to signs. However, the teaching is top notch. Everyone in the gym breathes and lives Muay Thai as things should be in an Asian gym. This gym has produces some of the top notch fighters including our very own Pedro ( first UTKM instructor)

Overall:

When you are in Taiwan you have to come here and learn some Muay Thai here.

Location:

高雄市鳳山區光遠路120巷16號
4樓

phone: 0986 185 519