Category Archives: Martial Arts

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Charity TV advert for Help for Heroes

A few posts a go, you may remember me mentioning a varsity charity kickboxing fight night (Bath VS Loughborough Uni). This post continues on from Being a star for a day, by showing you the final TV ad!

They did shoot a lot more footage but things get cut, oh well I still get my two seconds of fame! I’m surprised by the amount of people who that quick glimpse! Watch out for it on all most TV channels (so far it has been seen on Sky One, BBC1, ITV, and Channel 4).

Martial Arts for Martial Artists

In my opinion to become a great fighter (as well as building on the Triangle hypothesis: technique, power, and speed) you must be skilful in long , mid, and close-range combat and ground fighting.

By long combat I don’t mean metres away from you opponent using guns and ninja stars. Instead, I mean an adequate fighting distance, i.e. before someone invades your personal space. This often tends to be around two metres. Since, most people’s legs are longer than their arms, I suggest a kicking martial art (and obviously from my background), I recommend Tae kwon-do (TKD). One aspect of TKD is learning how to cover distance (by stepping behind, skipping, and jumping etc), which is ideal for long range combat.

For mid-range combat, legs may be ineffective, so I suggest the use of hands through Boxing. Boxing will not only improve your punching power, but agility and body movement.

My choice for close range is a mixture of Muay-Thai and Brazilian Ju Jitsu (BJJ). Once in your opponents comfort zone it’s important to strike as fast as possible without big lavish kicks and spins. Elbows and knees can be effective blunt tools of destruction. However, most close range fights get tied up in clinching or/and go to the floor. That is why I propose BJJ.

So to summarise, I recommend TKD, Boxing, Muay-Thai, and BJJ as key martial arts to learn in becoming a great all round fighter.

Sparring Strategy

Great fighters need more than just technique, power and speed. They also need a good dynamic strategy. Strategy ought to be tailored to a specific opponent or situation. It is also good to have a “default strategy” – a strategy you automatically revert to without thinking about it. In my opinion, the best method of this is continuous attacking (some followers of Kung Fu also adopt this approach). When you are hit, automatically hit back nonstop until your opponent is no longer a threat. This will minimize the damage to yourself.

This line of attack relies on the use of combinations of techniques, not just the one hit wonders which often miss. This is one of the reasons why I think TKD (and other martial arts which practice patterns/forms/katas) is better than kickboxing. TKD teaches patterns (a sequence of movements against an imaginary opponent) which can be adapted for use in default continuous sparring.

One advantage of this strategy is that for the majority of the time, you are in the dominant position. If you land your first attack, then your opponent will likely be hurt or stunned, but even if you miss, your opponent is prone to be “on the back foot.” They will be reacting rather than acting, which means you get to dictate the fight.

Obviously, this strategy should be used with caution. You shouldn’t go running in all gung ho. Timing is everything. Pick your moment to attack carefully, as kicking and punching thin air is just a waste of energy.