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9 Apr 2013
30 Aug 2012
While many martial arts view MMA as a bunch of savages, and completely different from their own refined martial art, the overlook the fact that their target audience is increasingly draw to it. To many people who would have studied Karate in the past, MMA means simply:
The ability to fight on the feet as well as on the ground, and not be embarrassed when my friends ask me about my hobby.
Make sure your gym offers some elements of standup striking, as well as some grappling, and call yourself an MMA gym.
Why? Because it’s what people are searching for. Google Insights for Search show searches for MMA growing each year, and searches for Martial Arts, Karate, Kung Fu, and all of the others declining. Like it or not, your branding needs to change or die.
Stop hating MMA. Start seeing the value it striking as well as grappling, and get on the bus, while keeping the elements of your art that make your gym so good at that aspect.
There are no islands.
You will nto be able to survive in the long run as just a BJJ dojo, or just a Muay Thai or Kenpo facility. If you don’t offer all of the elements your students will find somewhere that does.
This includes Grappling and Striking at a minimum. But you can’t even just think of BJJ when you think of grappling anymore… Wrestling will need to be a part of your training as well.
I know… It is going to break a lot of hearts, and traditionalists will fight this tooth and nail. but even in BJJ competitions they not only offer Gi and no Gi divisions, but we are starting to see more interest and participation in the no Gi side than we are in the Gi.
Bottom line: Your students can walk proud in a pair of fight shorts and a t-shirt. But dropping by the 7-11 in their Gi after practice looks about as cool as if the marched in wearing a their Dungeons and Dragons costume.
Does this mean there will be no place for the gi, or that there isn’t value in training with it? No. But if you don’t offer any no Gi classes now, you had better start.
22 Aug 2012
He chuckled, and asked if I had decided to really stick it to him that day.
I responded that no, I wasn’t being more aggressive, or trying to push harder. I just somehow knew, each time we approached each other, that it was going to go my way. I was just having fun with it. I was on a roll.
It was in saying it, in actually thinking through what to say, that I really came to the revelation.
I don’t always do that well. I don’t always think I’m going to be successful in hitting my moves. In fact, when I’m not sure if I’m going to perform well or not I tend not to.
It makes me think of Kayla Harrison, who just took the first US gold medal in Judo ever. She commented many times about how she knew she would win. How she pictured herself receiving the gold medal, and just knew it was going to happen.
So the thought for today: Win before the match. Picture yourself there, and know you will be. Karate, Wrestling, MMA, it’s all the same. Know you are going to win.
19 Jul 2012
19 Jul 2012
19 Jul 2012
Introduction to Muay Thai
It wasn’t until 2000 when I was introduced to Muay Thai. Both Kru John Valentine and myself started at the same time and I can still remember surge of excitement we both felt about the training. The school was based in a small building (600 square feet) located in a strip mall and had no ring, no fancy heavy bags, no pictures on the wall, just some inexpensive martial arts mats and the smell of hard work and sacrifice. The sounds of traditional Thai music could be heard when you pulled up in the parking lot and lured you in like a lighthouse. That school was owned by now Grandmaster Toddy who is revered as one of the best trainers in the world. While not accomplished back then our school housed many greats. Such as, the likes of future television stars and MMA/Muay Thai World Champions Kit Cope and Gina Carano, both of which which, went on to become huge stars in their own rite. Training daily along side with fighters of this caliber made you push yourself to be better and also led to many painful lessons of fighting. Both Kru John and I have many permeant reminders and lumps on our shins and bodies which have served as mementos of our time spent there. That time was magical. Everything was new and every day was an adventure. During my time there I also built an appreciation for the true beauty in Muay Thai and it’s simplicity. It is often called “the art of eight limbs” because it makes use of punches, kicks, elbows and knee strikes, thus using eight “points of contact.” Make no mistake, even though most Muay Thai techniques may seem simple and direct, as compared to other forms of martial arts, they are very effective and will still take years to master.
My Thailand Experience
Last year for my 40th birthday, I treated myself to a trip to Thailand where I had the opportunity to watch several live Muay Thai matches at Lumpinee Stadium in Bangkok. If you have the opportunity I highly recommend it. I became centered in all that I had learned and it was for me a religious type experience as I watched tradition, sport and brutality come together as one. The music called to me like an old friend and I was taken back to my early days of training and fighting. It was amazing to watch these guys go at it, and I was surprised at how young they were as it was not uncommon for fighters to start training at camps from age 6 or 7, so by the time they are in their teens, they are seasoned professionals with many fights under their belt! It was an experience I will never forget and will forever cement the feelings I have about the importance of the sport, my training and martial arts.
So whatever discipline you choose to train in, no matter if you are 5 or 50, remember, learning is a life-long process. I encourage you to continue your journey, you are never too old to learn. Learning keeps our minds alert and able. Acquiring new knowledge makes us feel useful and good about ourselves, and who knows maybe, we could even make some new friends along the way.
Never become so much of an expert that you stop gaining expertise. View life as a continuous learning experience. (Denis Waitley)
I thought inclosing, I would list a funny top ten list (David Letterman style) of the
Top 10 Signs You May Be Doing Too Much Muay Thai. Maybe you can help me complete this with examples of your own:
Enjoy your Journey
Top 10 Signs You May Be Doing Too Much Muay Thai
10. You find yourself saying “Sawadee” more than you say hello.
9. You accidentally slam your shins into the coffee table but feel no pain.
8. You put your girlfriend in a thai clinch when she tries giving you a hug.
7. You find yourself shadow boxing on the dance floor when you go to the club.
6. Your new favorite clothing designer is “Fairtex”.
5. You eat Thai food almost every day hoping it somehow improves your technique.
Dean “Dino” Lazarkis is contributing writer and a lifetime resident of Las Vegas His martial arts training extends decades and includes focus in Muay Thai, Brazilian Ju Jitsu and MMA. Professionally he is the owner of Delta Realty and Development and is extremely knowledgeable of the local fight scene. He also currently manages several up and coming professional fighters.
18 Jul 2012
29 Jun 2012
Welcome to summer! Ready to wring your kids’ necks yet? Want to help them find a more productive way to focus that crazy energy?
Well, good news! Hidden Valley MMA is offering two sessions for the kids. Each one is a five days long. Imagine that… Monday through Friday, you get a break, they have the time of their lives, learn something, and come home completely tuckered out, and ready to snuggle down in your lap for a nap! (Just click on the picture to see it larger)
22 Jun 2012
20 Jun 2012
There are a lot of pieces of what make up a good MMA game. There are elements of striking, takedowns, and grappling. To fill these needs you may choose to draw from Boxing, Krav Maga, Muay Thai or others for your striking, Judo, Sambo, Wrestling for Takedowns, and most likely Jiu Jitsu for that lethal ground game.
But as I have worked on some of these skills I have noticed something odd that I wanted to comment on. There are a few things that seem to be “like riding a bike” (at least for me. What I mean by that is that as I learn them, and refine them, each change starts to just “feel right”. It becomes almost natural to do.
But there are a few things that just seem to challenge my brain and muscle memories. Some things that I feel like I have to constantly put effort into, or they start to go stale on me, and I find myself doing things wrong. In particular (for me): I struggle so badly with dropping my hands when I kick. At least I know this isn’t just me… I see a lot of folks struggle with it.
But there is another that I struggle with: My Judo.
It drives me nuts… As soon as I start striking, I tend to fall into whatever groove I developed over time. As soon as I’m on the ground, I start using my jitz, and it just feels right. But if I go a few months without working on my Judo, I find myself doing standup like a damn wrestler again: Locking up, fighting defensively, trying to use strength more than kuzushi, always wanting to face my opponent on the feet, rather than wanting to spin my back to them for a Tai Otoshi, or similar throws. AAArgggg! Where did my training go?
I don’t seem to struggle with this same tendency in the other areas of my game.
Have others faced this same problem? Is Judo counter to the way our brains like to work, or is it just me? Do you have any elements of your fight game where you fight to overcome natural tendencies like this?