Posts Tagged ‘MMA’

Since the internet was made publically available, it has changed the world in so many ways. In general, it has increased the connectivity of ideas and thoughts, which can be positive but also gives the ability for any idiot to have a voice. Don’t get me wrong, I am generally for free speech, but now with so much information, it can make it difficult for the average person to know what’s what.

For martial arts, I think it has been a good thing. For a long time, individual styles have been isolated to specific regions and cultures. Through the advent of the internet, it has allowed a mix of martial arts ideas and thoughts to arise all over the world. The internet is probably what helped MMA expand so rapidly, for instance.

Now, in the world of martial arts, this means that it is time to adapt or die. It also means that anyone can put up their videos, whether good or bad and sell their brand of martial arts.

For some videos like the ones below, it can be easy for the average person to decern bullshit or not.

But for other videos like the following, it can cause confusion to both those in the know and those who are not in the know.

I came across the above video on a page for one of the numerous Krav Maga organizations I follow. This video faced criticism in the comments section and rightfully so. However, some of the criticism had me concerned mildly.

First, let’s start with the valid concerns:

  1. I am generally against women only classes due to the unrealistic nature of the attack scenarios often presented. On the bright side, I did see a male in a demo which seemed to be an instructor, but it is unlikely he was attacking with realistic pressure or aggression which causes an unrealistic expectation for a woman in their ability should they ever need to defend themselves. There are some other males, but again the pace of and training of this class seems to be oriented to the woman. Personally, I see no difference in training women vs. men. It’s just a matter of building every individual into the best version of themselves. I structure my classes the same regardless of the balance of gender in my class. Also, if a woman is uncomfortable training for violence in and around men, it is a consideration that some form of counselling may be advised. Women need to understand that whether right or wrong, most attackers will be male and bigger and stronger and often more aggressive, so they must train for reality and not ideas or fitness. In addition, I refuse to teach people who demand that I cater to their version of self-defense. A colleague of mine was recently asked to teach a Krav Maga class without any reference to violence or anything that may seem traumatic. Remember, as Bruce Lee said, you are ready to learn when your cup is empty.bruce_lee2
  2. It is unnerving fact that many people only seem to want to learn self-defense when violence around them rises, rather than preparing for it even during peaceful times. Remember, Krav Maga is so you may walk in peace. Even during times of peace, you should learn and practice. With that being said, Anti-Semitism against Jews never went away and is on the rise in most countries again. Though in Canada, it has a low occurrence, this is probably why so little Jews (at least in Vancouver) participate in Krav Maga or other martial arts. Remember, it is better to be a warrior in a garden than a gardener in a war.
  3. Praying isn’t going to save you in a violent situation, only violence will. If you aren’t training properly with aggression you may be in trouble. Also, while Krav Maga is not about fitness, being in reasonable shape to act and move quickly is important for proper self-defense. The reality is in a given situation, you may have to run for a few kilometres and the techniques and athletism shown in this video is slow and sloppy. So how prepared are these woman really? This doesn’t mean they cannot become something more, but the training needs to reflect this and in this section of the video at least it does not.
  4. Some of the techniques shown, such as the “cavalier” or knife disarm are old and risky especially for such a group of people. The fact that numerous Krav Maga organizations still use such techniques is shocking to me as to much can go wrong with them.

Now, I have a couple of thoughts regarding some of the comments I saw on the page where I found the video:

  1. Something is better than nothing. Even if this training is mediocre and unrealistic, it is a start.
  2. The people on the page seemed unfamiliar with the older cavalier technique. This is a historical Krav Maga technique and should be known by all practitioners regardless of whether or not you like it. The fact that they were unfamiliar suggests the individuals of this organization very rarely train with other organizations and lack perspective in Krav Maga. It also shows that they are not familiar with the historical development of Krav Maga. To me, this is bordering on an insular and cult-like mentality, which I am strongly against. I always encourage individuals to cross train, even when they are not convicted of another organisations abilities or moves.

Now, of course, the folly of the internet is releasing a video without proper context. I very rarely like to release a simple clip without some kind of explanation. If you show too little of a specific move or concept without full background information it is very easy to pick apart on the internet. I see videos all the time, from people I respect, that I think are ridiculous because there is no context.

Especially for Krav Maga, a move or concept should be fully fleshed out. If it is a move, you should show it both in slow motion and in its full speed application. This way, it solidifies the argument you are trying to make. I get it that people do not wish to give away to much for free, but the reality is if you release one bad video, it can be picked apart easily by those on the internet.

Let’s be honest, the quality of your video matters as well. A flashy, well-produced video, even if it isn’t that great technically, can draw out the sales. But if you have the money for such a video, why not produce something that also shows off technical prowess under realistic stress and conditions?

The internet unified the martial arts community and the world, and yet we are still so divided. Krav Maga, for example, is more fractured than ever. There are so many schools and organizations some which are better than others, but most which are garbage. Too many people pretend to know what they are doing and still get students because of the content they release. In addition, in many cases, the fact is they have a captive audience from a group of people who may not have the proper perspective or background knowledge when it comes to Krav Maga or self-defense.

Beware of videos on the internet, which can make or break you as a self-defense practitioner. Put content out there with some discretion and make sure it doesn’t misrepresent you if you are good, or over represent you if you are not so good. Although, you probably don’t even know…

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On December 30th, 2016, many around the world watched as former female bantamweight champion, Ronda Rousey was defeated epically by current and deserved champ, Amanda Nunes. It was a flawless victory for Nunes. It was the end of an era for Rousey.

Firstly, I want to say Ronda Rousey was a great example for women in MMA. She helped fight the sexist stereotype that women don’t belong in the ring and that women can’t be warriors. Well, they’re dead wrong. I have no doubt that, at some point, Ronda will be inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame. But… for Ronda, her entire purpose was winning. Inevitably, when you lose with this as your mentality, it can be mentally devastating. She admitted on Ellen that her knockout loss to Holly Homes affected her mental health drastically

Even during her walk-in to UFC 207, despite her initial trademark Ronda Rousey face, you could see that she was not the same Ronda she used to be. In the end, she was clearly and beyond dominantly defeated, and just like before she couldn’t handle this loss. Part of this has to do with her mentality that “winning is everything.”

The day after Ronda’s loss, her mother Dr. AnnMarie De Mars posted on her personal blog:

All of those who have criticized Ronda for taking a loss so to heart, for not just ‘shrugging it off’ don’t understand that what made Ronda so successful is that she cares DEEPLY about winning to an extent that I don’t believe the average person can wrap his/her head around.

Caring deeply about something and working your hardest to achieve it doesn’t mean you make the right decisions 100% of the time. Wouldn’t it be a nicer world if it did?

The idea that “winners focus on winning, and losers focus on winners” is bullshit. A true champion employs a strategy. Part of any strategy is learning your opponent and focusing on their strengths and weakness so that you can better be prepared to deal with them.

Of course, if you are focusing on winning and not putting in the training hours to get there, then you may have a problem.

In the same fight card, Cody Garbrandt beat Dominic Cruz, who hasn’t lost in over 10 years. Not only that, he beat him fair and square in a 5-round fight with Cody being the clear victor. Cody had said that he’d been looking at Dominic since he was 12 or 13 years old. But this isn’t what people are calling “losers focus on the winners.” Cody’s focus was a goal, not a purpose. It was a goal to become a winner by beating Dominic, which is a health goal because it gives him something to work towards. Not everyone who was a champ is the best there ever was. Look at Michael Bisping, who is the current champ at 185 lbs for example. He’s not the best in the history of MMA, but he kept working and kept believing in himself and eventually the opportunity came up for him to get the belt. Yet, he is still someone who had some devastating losses. You could also compare Ronda’s reaction to her loss to how Dominic handled his loss post-fight.

With Ronda, it shows why the idea that “winners focus on winning” is dangerous. Especially in the fight industry in which there are high stress and high risk, inevitably something’s got to give. Winning cannot be your purpose. You will eventually either physically or mentally fail or lose, and facing reality then will be far more devastating than when you live as someone whose sole purpose isn’t just to win.

Adversity, loss, pain, and failure are all things I, myself have faced. Yet, I keep on pursuing my endeavors. If you cannot face the potential for loss, you are going to have serious problems reaching your goals. Winners don’t focus on winning. The sole purpose of winners isn’t winning. It is dangerous for your overall mental health if you are someone who believes this, so please stop. Winners should not focus on winning because that causes overconfidence and underestimation of the tasks or opponents in front of you.

A true champion focuses on the learning experience. Winners focus on the process of how to always be the best version of themselves. Sometimes, this means to take a loss and learn from it to be better. A true champion also knows when it’s time to stop because eventually the enemy of time always catches up and that’s a battle you cannot win. If winners focus on winning, in the end, they will be sorely disappointed how that turns out. Winners focus on learning and growth, and how to be the best version of themselves that they can. If this means you won’t be the champ or continue your infinite winning streak, as the French say, C’est La Vie!

Such is life!

 

This February, I had the pleasure to host Lior Offenbach’s combat Krav Maga instructor course and his Law Enforcement and civilian seminar here at Urban Tactics Krav Maga, Vancouver. The instructor course is 7 days long and each seminar is 1 day long. Lior and I shared the same teacher, Mr. Zeev Cohen. At Zeev’s school, I saw how a normal Israeli Krav Maga class should be conducted; tough, aggressive, no time wasted……etc. Enormous gratitude to Lior who is willing to come to Vancouver where most other big Krav Maga organization would not want to come because of population density. Overall this was my 7th Krav Maga instructor course in my Krav Maga career and it’s interesting to compare Lior’s course and teaching method with other instructors and courses I received in the past.

 

My Krav Maga Instructor Training History so far:

 

  1. IKMF civilian instructor course part 01- Netanya – Avi Moyal, Gabi Noah
  2. IKMF civilian instructor course part 02 – Montreal – Avi Moyal, Thierry
  3. IKMF civilian instructor course part 02 and G2 Grading Test – Hong Kong – Avi Moyal
  4. IKMF civilian instructor course part 01 – Taiwan – Avi Moyal
  5. KMG Military Krav Maga instructor – Serbia – Eyal Yaniolv, Moran Laskov
  6. CT 707 Krav Maga instructor – Buffalo City – Nir Maman
  7. Combat Krav Maga – Vancouver – Lior Offenbach

 

The Course

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This is not a fighting course. I do not recall sparring even once during this course which is similar to most of my previous Krav Maga Instructor courses where sparing was kept to the minimum. The reason for minimal sparring is this is an instructor course; not an operating course. As an instructor and operator in combat fighting, you should already have enough operating experience in Krav Maga or other combative sports or systems before taking this course and you should be sparring and/or fighting on a weekly basis anyway. In Lior’s course, we spent about 60 percent of our time on technique and 40 percent on teaching each other the new techniques we learned as a class. During that 40% teaching component of the course, participants use each other as students and practice teaching classes over and over again. Of course, Lior is staring at the student acting as instructor like a hawk; looking for every little mistake.

Learning the technique is a tiring process but for most it is more tiring trying to learn how to run a class in a fast pasted, no nonsense Israeli Krav Maga manner. The hardest part is you are literately re-teaching what you just learned a couple hours prior to your fellow classmates. During the teaching phase Lior will push your buttons, stress you out and ask random questions to simulate what you will face as an instructor in a real class.

 

Lior covered every detail of every phase of the class; from the “wow factor to anchor the audience (students) to how to cut techniques into manageable training steps so both the instructors and the students can remember.” If you are fortunate enough to take Lior’s Krav Maga classes you will be amazed at how smooth things are run and that is because Lior is like the “Steve Jobs” of the Krav Maga world. He does all the hard work in the background so things operate smoothly for the public. After all, Lior taught a couple hundred people per class every night while he was operating a Krav Maga school in Tel Aviv.

 

Techniques:

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Overall there was about an 80% overlap of technique that I already knew and 20% was either something new or a modification; but there was a lot of key elements and vital information on Krav Maga techniques and tactics only a seasoned and street experienced police officer and Krav Maga expert would know. I have to say I have never met any Krav Maga instructor with so much experience in actually using “Krav Maga” in real life other than Nir Maman.

 

I mean no disrespect to any instructors I have learned from in the past but I can categorize instructors into a few categories:

 

  1. Technician
  2. Teacher
  3. Warrior

 

All Krav Maga or other system instructors have these three roles in them. The only difference is the percentage of each element they embody. Lior scored superb in both the technician and teacher elements but he scored extremely high in the warrior section. Coming from a sports combative system and army background, I often get into debates as to whether or not Krav Maga is a “ Self-defense “ system or a “ Fighting “ system as its name translates to, “Contact Combat”. Personally, I think the big Krav Maga organizations are leaning more toward the “ self-defense “ and “ technique “ approach rather than the hardcore warrior training as in the old school Krav Maga. Lior’s presence in this community is a welcome fresh breeze to those who still believe that Krav Maga can be combative as well as defensive in practice.

 

 

Overall Philosophy:

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Lior is a big fan of the generalization of attacks versus creating hundreds of thousands of defense techniques against hundreds of thousands of attacks – why not use what works? For example, almost all of the techniques against empty hands attack can be converted into attacks from knives.

 

Most good instructors point out that too many choices confuse people – Hick’s law. Of course there are specific threats that need specific techniques. Lior challenged us, especially those who are instructors already, to question what techniques we could take out of our syllabus to make Krav Maga even easier to learn for students.

 

According to Wikipedia:

Hick’s law, or the Hick–Hyman Law, named after British and American psychologists William Edmund Hick and Ray Hyman, describes the time it takes for a person to make a decision as a result of the possible choices he or she has: increasing the number of choices will increase the decision time logarithmically. The Hick–Hyman law assesses cognitive information capacity in choice reaction experiments. The amount of time taken to process a certain amount of bits in the Hick–Hyman law is known as the rate of gain of information.

 Strong Base as beginning to everything:

One thing that most Krav Maga or martial arts instructors overlook is the importance of a strong base. For Lior, without a strong base you might as well roll over and accept your fate because all upper body defenses require a strong base in order for these defenses to function. The first step for all of our moves during the class is a strong fighting stance and base. Some traditional Chinese martial artists comment that the way Combat Krav Maga focuses so much on the base almost reminds them of the old school Chinese Kung Fu from 1890 – 1944 when people were using Kung Fu literately to fight for their lives on daily basis. It is a high praise consider at this period of time Chinese Army were using giant sword facing the Japanese Imperial Army and god fathers of modern combative such as Mr. Fairbarin and Sykes were horning their street fighting skill on the street of Shanghai.

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Kick it Old School

 

Adding pushing and pulling movement to all attacks:

As mentioned before, I learned most of the techniques covered in Lior’s course in previous other Krav Maga instructor courses; but adding pushing and pulling movements from/to the attackers changed the dynamic of those techniques. Honestly speaking, it is unrealistic to think most attacks will not come in force. Unfortunately, few Krav Maga instructors consider [that] when they teach their students and I have to admit, I am “guilty as charged” as well at times.

 

Conclusions:

Lior Offenbach with Jonathan Fader and Borhan Jiang

Overall this is not a super physically demanding course but a superb mentally demanding course. The seminar on the other hand is both tough and physically demanding. Lior is very detail orientated when it comes to teaching every technique. A move is not just a move and a technique is not just a technique. In Combat Krav Maga there is a lot of detail, physics, psychology, etc., behind each and every one of those moves. After all, the devil hides in the detail and after learning those details and being able to perform without thinking, we shall fight like devils – just like Lior.

 

 

Red men challenge force protection personnel

If I had a dollar for every time a Law Enforcement officer told me that he or she was too busy to train, I believe I could buy myself a fancy steak dinner………..with deserts. Joking aside, few LE ( Law Enforcement ) officers want to train on their own time. After talking to many LE officers the from Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Canadian Border Service Agency, Vancouver Police Department, Translink police, New West Police, Buffalo City Police, Federal Corrections gave me some insight as to why they do not want to train  and add skills outside of the job.

Some of the reasons include:

  1. They are too tired to train after their shift is over
  2. They feel they are not obligated to spend their own money and time when the agency (command) should provide the necessary tools and trainings for their work
  3. They are afraid to train in systems that might or will contradict with what they are taught in the academy. They do not want to get themselves in trouble during the arrest process.
  4. They simply have no interests to train themselves
  5. Budget

 

Let’s take a look at these.

Reason 1 : I am too tired to train after my shift is over

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Policing is a tough job and, unless a person has done it before, you cannot relate to the challenges of the job both mentally and physically. First, they carry 25lb to 35 lb of police gear constantly. That alone is physically draining. Second, the night shift is just plain tough on anyone. Third, most agencies are undermanned and they often pull double shifts. Some agencies are more difficult than others because of the nature of its work. For example, in municipal forces most LE officers are trained as first responder on the scene. They are able to pass the follow-up tasks such as detective work with other departments of the same agency. That is not the case with federal agencies such as the RCMP. RCMP officers are responsible for the entire investigation of the crime and everything that is related to the crime. That puts an extra burden on their work day. These are not just jobs but ongoing, often disturbing cases.

Reason 2: They feel they are not obligated to spend their own money or time because the agency (command) should provide the necessary tools and training for their work

In the academy or depot, some argue that the police training is good for 90 % of the police work; from writing a report to a gun fight. If there is anything else more that needs to be done, the agency should provide it because that’s their job. The higher ups should come up with the training program and allow officers to train during their shift.

Reason 3: They are afraid to train in systems that will contradict with what they are taught in the academy and get themselves in trouble during the arrest process.

This logic is probably the most legit reason for officers not to want to train in systems like Krav Maga which is a highly aggressive and striking based system. Sadly, recording technology means that everything our officers do is put under the public microscope. The general public has an “untrained“ eye and judges any aggressive move such as striking as an inappropriate use of force. The public will judge a situation based on their perceptions and not from the mindset established by training. It is a sad reality that modern LE officers have to face in today’s world.

Reason 4: They simply have no interest to train themselves

I have met many good LE officers who take no interests in firearms and martial art training. One of our former students said, “ You do not want to go and spend several hours on your day off to shoot guns when you carry one 24/7. “ Many LE officers just do not have the dedication and interests to train in martial arts on their leisure time.

Reason 5: Budget

Believe or not, LE officers are well paid in Canada compared to their US counterparts. Like everyone else, they have their economical burdens such as mortgage, child support and so on. Some people just cannot justify paying a gym membership to train themselves when most of the time they are not going to use the training. Many of us live well and we can probably make a distinction between things that are wants rather than needs.

Those are legit reasons and most issues come from the agency (commands) not individual officers. However, living in this imperfect world we can only rely on ourselves to address some of the issues. After all, isn’t that what being a LE officer is all about — being the solution, not the problem?

Solutions:

  1. In the sports medicine world, LEO’s, firefighters and military personnel are known, as “ industrial athletes.” Meaning, no matter how tired they are from their shift they still have to maintain a certain fitness standard for their job. They can always choose sports like boxing and grappling that are also great cardio and muscle workouts on top of training good hand-to-hand fighting skills. Kill two birds with one stone.

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  1. I recommend that people spend their own money on extra training. Just like everything in government, most agencies only do the bare minimum. After all, just like everyone else, the department has a limited budget. For command, buying new pistols might be viewed as more important than hand-to-hand or combative training. If LEO’s are worried about their personal budgets, find out if there is a discount. Most martial art gyms and ranges offers LE/ MIL discounts ( UTKM offers 30 % off ). Some people might have skills useful for a seminar and could barter an exchange.

 

  1. If people are worried about using excessive force learned in training outside of command, the concern is legit. Consider the school and their experience working with LEO’s. They know that the more training their students have, the more likely they are able to respond effectively under stressful conditions. Better-trained first responders are more comfortable getting physical, responding faster, and staying calmer. Well-trained people become more effective during extreme stress compared to people who have less training. A reporter asked UFC champion Jon Jones once “Are you afraid of walking into ring? “ Jon Jones said “ It is my job. You don’t ask a mail man if he is afraid of walking into a post office.”

 

It is your job and you chose this route. The more prepared people are for the job, the less mistakes you are going to make.

4& 5. Marry your job with your interests and pick a hobby that is related to your work. Life is fair: everyone only has 24 hours but it is how we use that 24 hours hat makes a difference. Some cops once said that “Policing is not a job but a life-style.” We all have different hobbies: fishing, movies, running and so on. If we can choose hobbies that can enhance our ability to do our jobs, then why not ? After all, we can all go fishing when we retire.

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“ If you only have a hammer in your tool belt then every problem looks like a nail “ When LEO’s do not have the right tools to handle the dynamics of police work, it usually leads to “ excessive force “ or even “ deadly force.”

Honestly, this reasoning reflects on the agency and command; however, in this imperfect world it is usually the individual who takes on the duty to make the necessary change. Don’t fall victim to your department or command’s lack of foresight and politically inspired budget cuts. Ask a person who requires your protection and service to show-up ready to do your job. You think your training is not up to speed I pledge to “ take the steps to find the solution to those issues because otherwise, you are a liability to the public safety not an asset. “

Most importantly, work with your family and community for ways they can support you in helping you find the resources of time and money to train. We all want our LEO’s, first responders, military, and firefighters to return home safely.

Warriors Den Podcast

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

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Justin Pierrot, Christiaan Allart and Jonathan Fader at Budo MMA Vancouver after a podcast

Justin Pierrot is the founder and host of The Eye of the Storm Podcast  and writer for www.mmasucka.com Christiaan Allart is the Co-host and BJJ and kickboxing instructor at Budo MMA vancouver.

Find Justin on twitter and Facebook and Instagram

Find Christiaan on Twitter and Facebook and Instagram

 

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

 

Traveling Krav Student – A Perspective in Constant Shift.

I have the pleasure of a job that travels up to 75% of my time and all of the fun, adventure, and pain that can go with it. Traveling alone provides both a sense of freedom and a near constant potential for events to go either positively or negatively in the extreme. A necessity for preparedness for that “worst possible case” has turned my focus to Krav as a highly practical mind and skill set for my life. Through training, I’ve begun shifting how I move through, react to, and think about my surrounding.  Adopting an awareness as well as constantly planning for immediate, violent, and the very real possibility for danger would have driven me to paranoia and edginess in the past, but physically preparing for these events in combination with the mental shift has had the opposite effect; I am alert and aware, but confident, calm, and relaxed in my daily environments.  As a bonus, maintaining that alert state has taken my head out of my phone and into the fascinating and beautiful world we inhabit.  As I travel, I see more, learn more, and interact with incredible people more than I ever have before.  I am dedicated to continuing this forward progress through Krav; both the physical and mental art.

I find Krav establishments wherever I travel, and participate in their classes to learn all I can, from everyone I can.  I place value in learning from a variety of people and perspectives to broaden my own thinking of techniques, situations, and ideas.  At Urban Tactics I found instructors and students who embody all that Krav is, and they graced me with a welcoming and interesting experience.  They didn’t hold anything back, and I am happy to say that I was exhausted by the end of each lesson.  Borhan and Jon are great instructors bringing a variety of new techniques and new critiques to my repertoire that I will continue to develop and incorporate into my practice. Skills and drills can prepare a person, but the sparring was certainly a humbling experience. It was headgear and mouth guards, gloves and very little held back. Call me strange, but I was glad to learn some lessons at the far reaches of an opponent’s gloves. I have a healthy respect for how much I have yet to learn. Yet, I was able to bring new ideas back to my hometown gym and spread some of the lessons among others.  I greatly appreciate the conversations I had with those at Urban Tactics that broadened our scope.  Krav is all about using whatever works, after all, and I certainly learned many variations and adjustments that may be handy in rough situations.

Best of all, it was fun.  Smiles were seen all around through and despite the heavy breathing of all the students.  The culture is one of dedication, respect, and shared goals.  I feel lucky to have been a part of it.  One last lesson to share: it’s humbling, entertaining, and encouraging to hear laughter through a mouth guard.

Written by: Abby Evers

Delta Krav Maga: http://deltakravmaga.com/

As a  strength and conditioning coach, students in our school often ask me what they can do to be more fit for Krav Maga (KM). My first thought when anyone asks me what they can do to be fitter, is why? Or more precisely, what is it you are going to be doing that makes you want or need to be fitter? In the world of fitness training, context is king. “I need to be fitter because I have young kids and I can’t keep up with them anymore”; “I want to be fitter so I can train more effectively in my sport”; “I am having trouble lifting and carrying my groceries these days, so I want to get stronger”. The reason, situation or context here is vital and plays a large part in guiding the components of your subsequent training program.

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To come back to martial arts, conditioning performed for one martial art is often  very different to that done for another, based on the physical demands of the discipline. For example, having trained for high level sport karate competitions I know that developing speed and explosive power is essential, whereas overall strength and explosive power are higher priorities for wrestling. As many of you probably know, unlike most martial ‘arts’, KM  is not a competitive or artistic discipline. In fact, it is more accurately a martial system than an art. So to decide what type of conditioning is best suited to improving the fitness of KM practitioners, I need to know what demands will be placed on their bodies when using KM.

When KM practitioners have to use their skills it will either be in a school training situation or real life. Unlike other martial arts which involve competitions there is no specific time frame for which a KM practitioner needs to prepare. No five-minute round that is finished with the ringing of a bell. If you are attacked in real life, that engagement could last five seconds or five minutes. While most street fights tend to end pretty quickly, if confronted with multiple assailants you could be facing an ongoing skirmish until you can break free and make your escape. So should a KM practitioner be training for every situation? Ideally yes. Most of us though do not have two hours a day, seven days a week to work on our fitness in addition to our skill based training. Those sorts of numbers are only achieved by professional fighters or the obsessed. We can, however, train to develop the appropriate energy systems and improve our overall muscular strength, power and endurance.

To better illustrate what I am trying to achieve with this training plan imagine a real life situation where you are confronted by three would-be assailants. After being threatened for money and sensibly tossing your wallet to their feet, they decide to attack. You assess and react to the initial attack (5 seconds) and then run for it. After a short five second sprint (10 seconds), one of the assailants catches you by the shirt and pulls you to a stop. Again you defend and strike that individual while attempting to maintain good positioning and awareness of the other assailants (20 seconds). You break away a second time and start running, but get surrounded as you reach a wall (30 seconds). This time you have to engage with all of the assailants, pacify two of them and repel the last  (50 seconds) before starting to run again. You finally stop running when you can no longer see or hear the last assailant (120 seconds). From start to finish the encounter lasted two minutes.

Now, aside from making the mistake of disengaging too early, which enabled the attackers to catch you again, what can you observe or speculate about the movements in this example?:

–          many full body movements occurred

–           there were bursts of more intense movement

–          heart rate and breathing rate were high

–          there were very few times when rest could be achieved

Now I know that not every encounter will be the same or even similar to this. If, however, we consider this to be a worst case scenario as far as the length of time involved, then we can use it to guide our training. Based on the above analysis, the training for such a situation would need to include the following:

–          full body movements

–          explosive movements [1-10 seconds]

–          short intense bursts [10-30 seconds]

–          longer, semi-intense efforts [30-90 seconds]

–         few or no static rest periods within the work phase

KM requires training that shares common elements but is different to other martial arts, as it is not a sport in which rules and regulations help to define necessary training areas e.g. five minute rounds in the UFC. The real-life practice of KM is highly variable but will certainly involve short bursts of intense full body movement, interspersed with somewhat less intense activity, along with potentially fast paced running. In the next article I will suggest ideas for structuring an initial solo workout program and provide an example program, that could be used to begin training.

Written by: Josh Hensman

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

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

Sarah “Cheesecake” Moras is a UFC fighter who fights out of Toshido MMA (Rory MacDonalds original gym) in Kelowna BC. She has a professional record of 4-2-0 with and upcoming fight at UFC Fight Night 71 on July 15th in San Diego California. She previously fought for Inviticus FC prior to joining the cast of The Ultimate Fighter Season 18: Team Rousey vs Team Tate. She made her UFC debut against Alexis Dufresne where she won by unanoumous decision due to her active fighting style. Sara always was and clearly always will be a fighter and if she can get another big win in the UFC against Jessica Andrade she has nowhere to go but up.

Jonathan Borhan and Sarah MorasOutside Toshido

The story behind her nickname “Cheesecake” was due to the fact she could not play her original song at her professional debut and thus chose the song cheesecake from the muppet show as seen below. It should be noted that Miesha Tate took the name cupcake 1 week after meeting Sarah when Sarah already had her nickname…Future Grudge Match?!?

Sarah’s Interview after her initial debut win when her opponent missed weight by 8 pounds:

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

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

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Ryan Steacy is a movie Armourer and is a 21 year BCR reservist in the Canadian armed forces. He is also a firearms expert and marksmen and is the co-founder of BC’s own Action Rifle League . In his past life he also taught Defendo for many years and dabbled in MMA and kick boxing. He even once went to help protect ships from Somali pirates as a private military contractor. Ryan is an all round interesting guy and is a good friend of our own Borhan Jiang.