Archive for the martial arts Category

The Deadlier the Better?

Posted in martial arts with tags , , on November 28, 2008 by freakychinaman

People nowadays with some basic knowledge of martial arts like to find out which is the best martial art to do, and I’ve heard more than once muay thai/ thai boxing because it’s so brutal and deadly; but just because it’s the most deadly (merely making a point with an example, don’t spam me with “NOO! MUAY THAI IS NOT THE MOST DEADLY!!! YOU SUCK!!!!” and the technicalities of whether muay thai is effective…) does it mean it’s the most effective? Take this into context of a fight (and I’ve used this in a previous entry but I’ll save everyone the trouble of finding it), just because your hits will take my head off doesn’t mean it will land. And sometimes Thai boxers really don’t have much of a concept of self-preservation, so unless you have a medic standing by every time you fight and a few months to rest afterwards, it’s not too effective if you want to live long.

Another point I also like to stress these days is that even if this guy is trying to mug you, breaking his arm will probably land you in jail, not to mention in most cases in the modern world it’ll be something a lot less serious, like a drunk trying to pick a fight at a club or someone’s bullying you at school. A karate sempai once told me that we train to be technicians, learn to control ourselves and others, be able to do just enough to achieve our goal… and also able to go a bit further if we may so wish. A good example to illustrate is in wrestling and grappling type techniques, which is why you see stuff like judo and jujitsu (the “ju” meaning gentle/soft) is very common in police and military training (or their version of it), not saying it’s limited to that, it can also be things like pressure points and weak spots, how to avoid injuries etc.

gayjujitsu

[I know it doesn’t aid my claims, but I can’t see me doing a jujitsu post so I might as well put it here for the sake of it… and I am well aware of the differences in spelling, but it’s Japanese to English, technically none of them are right anyway, so bite me.]

I’m currently learning Goju Karate right now (I have the link up on the panel if you want to look into it), and a reason I’ve been liking it so much is we do a good mixture of the hard (ie strikes and hard blocks) and soft (ie grapples, ground fighting, parrying-type blocks etc), thus the term Goju (“go” = hard/violent; and ju as above… although I would admit some of the stuff we do aren’t part of the usual curriculum, because I’m sure not all schools do ground fighting…). This gives me a greater arsenal to utilize in different situations and I can play smart at times that I might not want to play tough (being an average Asian dude in a western society, it’s more than likely gona be the case).

[Anyways, it’s been a long time since I did an entry, had exams a while back so I also stopped training for 2 weeks, finally got back 2 weeks ago but in the first 10 minutes or so I got a patella/knee cap dislocation on my left knee from doing waza kumite (technique sparring)…. which was pretty sad since I don’t really know how I managed it, all I remember was being taken down… either way, Im out of action for at least 2 more weeks before I can train properly again…]

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Apocalypse or blessing?

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Camera angle fighting

Posted in martial arts, rant with tags , , , on October 9, 2008 by freakychinaman

Ok, I just watched the bourne supremacy and I almost got motion sickness. Not just because of the constant car chases, and going in and out of buildings; but the stupid camera angle fighting.

Camera angle fighting is when there’s a fight scene of some sort and the screen keeps swapping to a bunch of cameras that seem to be held by people with Parkinson’s!

Ok, this is how fights use to be like on the big screen:

This is how it is now:

Seeing that the acting in most of these films aren’t important nor any good anyway, might as well get some that can fight, at least that’s easier to find. (seriously, Jacky Chan can’t act… and fuck, Hollywood killed him too… But I’ll talk about that later)

Boxing: a martial art?

Posted in martial arts, personal with tags , , , , on July 12, 2008 by freakychinaman

Finally, I have been freed from the imprisonment of end of semester exams at Uni, so it’s time to give this place a new update.

I’ve lately been watching a classic anime series (in between, after, and a bit during study…) called ‘Hajime no Ippo’. It’s about a young boy that’s quite obviously on steroids going from a shy little Japanese ‘kid’ (.. like for most anime I use that term loosely, the age never seems right…) to a shy little Japanese boy beating the crap out of everyone all over the world, all thanks to Boxing! (anyways, it’s a great show and I would be watching it right now if I didn’t use up the download quota…)

so anyways, this show has inspired me to do an entry on boxing.

To be honest I have never considered boxing a martial art. Boxing is a sport: it has rules, it has boundaries, and therefore it has limits. Martial arts to me is something that you can use anytime, anywhere, against anyone (given you had some essential gear e.g. weapons). This conflicts with boxing firstly because these guys don’t use their legs to fight. The biggest problem here is the lack of defense: boxers have a very high center of gravity, this keeps them light on their feet and easier to shift their weight around; the trade off is it’s much easier to impair their movement and damage the lower limbs (as well as groin shots), which is a fatal flaw on the streets. The second problem is they only have 2 weapons: their left fist and their right fist. So you’ve lost flexibility in your fighting, as oppose to those who train with kicks, knees, elbows, headbutts, grapples, palm strikes, throws, shoulder strikes……. and so on.

The cognitive state from doing boxing is also very different: due to the fact there are really only 2 hazards you have to worry about (left and right fist) this is where your concentration goes when you defend, and with the rules in the ring you don’t have to worry about the other guy doing anything tricky either. One example I always think of is weaving. Even though it’s used in other martial arts as well, there is no sense of danger in the boxing ring of someone kneeing you in the face, so the movements are more dramatic and lower. And I’m not sure how often this is used or is McKoy the only one to use it, but the “corkscrew” punch is another technique I find to be protected by the rules of no grappling and limb breaking. The corkscrew is THE example of an over extended and self-exposing move, to the point I personally think out weights the power of the punch.

[And no, I did not base all of this simply on a cartoon show… well maybe a bit on the corkscrew, but wiki’ed it and it was there so it’s fine by me]

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when you think you’re all alone in this world…..

*taken at “yuen’s market”, sunnybank, QLD*

You are not a RPG character

Posted in martial arts, personal, Uncategorized with tags , on May 9, 2008 by freakychinaman

Often (if not always) any discussion I have concerning martial arts involves people categorizing themselves or others as either long/mid/close/in strikers (then further split into boxers and kickers…), weapons, grapplers, ground fighters etc. I think it’s good to know your strong points and it gives you a focus in discussion, but when you categorize yourself all the time you psychologically limit yourself. This also goes for any other matter like types of knowledge, preferred music and movies etc.

I’ve had friends tell me that they’re boxers (not the ones you wear…) or wrestlers, and pretty much that’s all they focus on; so the wrestlers don’t practice their punches and the boxers don’t bother grabbing, and I think this is just giving yourself a handicap. If I must categorize myself, I would say I’m a mid-range striker (over a swordsman simply because I’ve fought more in unarmed), but I still like grapples and ground fighting (though not good at it…), and I brawl quite a bit. We are not fucking RPG characters: we don’t have to pick a certain trait and focus on maxing it! And we don’t have a crappy leveling system, you can train up your abilities as you go… I suppose this leads back to my previous statement that just because you do taekwondo you don’t need to do fairy kicks all the time and Judo people can punch too…

[the next time I see someone write that Jeet Kune Do deals more “crits”, I will spam them with viruses]

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random picture of the day: too late…

Haidong Gumdo: the beginning

Posted in martial arts, personal with tags , , , , , on April 23, 2008 by freakychinaman

My journey into the martial arts world was nothing spectacular or any point of enlightenment, mine started as a 13 year old overweight boy wanting to do a bit of exercise and do something cool; and what better way than to wave a sword around in a skirt?

I (left if you haven’t seen me before) also dragged my cousin (right) into it: who (for the record) also quit

Haidong Gumdo is a Korean martial art focused with sword fighting (“gumdo/Kumdo” and “Kendo” both mean “the way of the sword” except one’s the korean pronunciation and one’s Japanese). The basic breakdown of it is it’s very similar to its traditional Japanese counterpart (and I don’t mean the “I keep slapping your head” type), though what I gathered has a greater focus in wide arch slices for multiple opponents and some differences in the stances; but they still use the Japanese style swords and the forms have the same type of movements. I’ll just leave out the history of the art simply because there’s just a lack of legitimate evidence of its origins and development.

Haidong Gumdo is a very simplistic martial art (not saying this in a bad way), the techniques are very direct and allows for a lot of freedom in terms of attacking angle and defending area. With that said there also isn’t that much to really learn, and it’s mainly just developing the skills to use them and training. I often have people tell me that the stances (especially the short stance: basically your usual long stance but you tuck your back leg in so that the knee is directly below you and your front knee is in front of your hip..) will screw up your legs, but I reckon that does the art injustice: the stances can seem awkward, but if you have the calibration of your hip and trunk the movements are ergonomically fine. One point that I think should be emphasized is that these movements are designed to support the SWORD, so you wont have the same balance or dynamics of the body as your average combat type martial arts.

I never really had many problems with the art itself, I left mainly due to the whole McDojo phenomenon happening, i.e. the head instructor (who was actually very good) pretty much stopped teaching and the classes just became systematically the same everyday mainly comprising of workouts; the fees were at a ridiculous level (fuck I paid like $450 [something like that, it’s a sum that people will slap me for anyway] for my blackbelt, and this didn’t include my sword..); and pretty much anyone who grades gains a level, and this happened every 1.5 months till you get to the grade just below 1st dan (I know some people that make it to BB in a year…), so we had have an overflow of posers and kiddy black belts, and a bunch of people that were teaching me that I would probably easily take down in a fight. Finally the most disappointing part of the training is that there’s no sparring (if you want to refer to the pictures in this post, they we pre-rehearsed fighting sequences), so I don’t even get the chance to prove my point… so all these factors simply just forced me to leave.

However I am definitely happy that I joined the club: it got me fitter (the training there is still the toughest I’ve experienced), gave me a better understanding of myself, and some of the skills and techniques I still use in my own training (and I actually still practice, just not as often as I should). Well, that’s my summary of my Haidong Gumdo experience that lasted for over 5 years (more on my old blog if you want to flick through some entries), some of it was frustrating but most of it was fun. For those that do Haidong Gumdo out there, I will once again state here that I am not meaning to insult or degrade the art, I have just simply moved on… to things that are more practical (trust me, you won’t get that many chances to swing a samurai sword around when you go out). I also further reemphasize it was some of the PEOPLE and clubs I had issues with (and taken into account how many people leave after black belt, I know I’m not alone…).

[Those people that I’ve complained about above, if you know who you are: go kill yourself, you’re an insult to humanity and degrade all those that deserve the title of a martial artist. If you are as incompetent enough as to be incapable of suicide: leave me a message and I’ll lend a hand. If you’re not sure if I’m talking about you: leave me a message and I’ll lend a hand…]

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Random picture of the day: homosexual prostitution market at depression

[taken in the University of Queensland refectory]

Women’s self-defense: why women are getting raped and assaulted more often

Posted in martial arts, rant with tags , , , on April 20, 2008 by freakychinaman

“women’s” martial arts has always been that itch I just can’t scratch without being called sexist, even though I never think that I’m in any way being unreasonable or biased against women. I know a few women out there that I’m sure would be able to kick my ass pretty easily… but then again, there’s only one way to find out…

My biggest problem would have to be: “why women’s martial arts?”, what is the difference compared to our normal martial arts?. Unless you’re telling me you plan to throw hooks at people with your breasts or insert a dagger in your vagina; the last time I checked women still have 2 arms, 2 legs, 20 phalanges, and a head. How I see it, women’s martial arts is just another money making scheme for girls to keep fit, look cool, feed their ego, and at the same time not break a sweat. The only real excuse I can find to support the term is scenario based focusing such as sexual assault, someone stealing your purse… yea, that’s about it, I tried…

When I evaluate a martial art/skill (basically everything), I just think about what works realistically [i.e. are my reflexes really that good? will that guy just stand there while I jump around him? can I really tap a guy in a pressure point with my pinky while he’s elbowing my face?]. And when I think about the division of the sexes in something like martial arts (and anything competitive really..): “I’m pretty good for a girl” just doesn’t cut it. People always say that girls do push ups on their knees because of mechanical disadvantages with a less broad shoulder width, and that this way is ‘equivalent’ to the normal on-your-toes ones. keyword here is “equivalence” (here go the double standards again…); I just don’t get the logic behind this: since you’re already at a biological disadvantage with body portions and muscle development, shouldn’t it be that you work twice as hard rather than half of what the guys do?

now back to women’s ‘self defense’, which is the more bullshit stuff marketed all over the world. These classes usually educate you in the art of somebody grabbing you by the wrist then you twirl around like a fairy till he lets go, while totally ignoring he also has 3 other limbs; the classes also educate you 175 techniques of how to kick someone in the balls. And what qualifications do you need to teach such a class? here’s one I got off an apparently highly regarded women’s martial arts organization:

http://www.nwmaf.org/mc/page.do?sitePageId=61891

to break it down:

  • I need to have joined a martial art/ self defense group for 3 years, but only needing to train for 20 days
  • know how to do an upper, middle, and lower block; be able to break-fall
  • babysit your students and shower them with love and care
  • been ‘violently victimized’
  • make class as friendly as possible, reassuring your students that your would be attackers will be just as polite
  • be happy to lower your standards if your students find it too hard
  • paid the organization for a year
  • conform to a load of feminist bullshit (i.e. it is never a women’s fault)

[here’s some other shit to look at while you’re at it: Oh My Fucking Goddess Martial Arts…]

A lot of these ‘self defense’ ideas are not just unrealistic and ineffective, but it can also be dangerous. For example this guy wants your wallet, edging a knife at your throat: normally you would just give him the wallet (at least I would…), but no, you’ve mastered the way of knocking his hand away and giving a punch to the solar plexus… then you realize arms don’t just go limp once you touch them and you don’t successfully defeat an attacker by landing 1 punch that has shit all power to it. So now you’ve successfully pissed the guy off and you get stabbed, have your arms and legs broken, and your nose is pointing in the wrong direction, and your wallet’s still taken. congratulations.

All you women out there wanting to learn how to protect yourselves: learn a real martial art, not the 2 month program shit. Understand that males have a biological advantage in physical activities, accept it, but don’t be discouraged by it: aim to be a good fighter, not just a good female fighter (but try not to use drugs). If you aren’t prepared to put some effort into it: get either a tazer, pepper spray, baseball bat, with a pair of scissors; and if you want to learn how to REALLY defend yourself, learn to sprint, and try to use common sense more like ‘don’t walk through dark alley ways alone at night in a miniskirt’ and calling people “girl bashers” will not always stop someone from bashing you.

[Feminists are the ones responsible for making men look down on women: genocide all feminists to restore world order!]

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random crap of the day: How many 5 year olds could you take in a fight?

hm…. I’m pretty sure I can do better than that… well……..only one way to find out!

The mentality of a fighter

Posted in martial arts, personal, philosophy with tags , , , on April 4, 2008 by freakychinaman

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I have always believed that to be a great fighter, you must have to be fighting to protect something. This can be anything from a person or religion, to your health or pride; but when you fight to gain, such as to conquer or grab some cash on the side, the will will never be as strong. The logic is that to protect is a need in which failure leads to a loss, and if you need to fight for it then the loss would be a dear one; whereas for gain the motivation comes only from greed, losing just means everything is back to how it use to be. I’m not saying that greed isn’t a powerful driving force, I mean it’ll get you to being good, but not great.

I am a person that enjoys fighting, I love the fact that it’s the competition of every aspect of 2 people (…or 3.. or 10…): speed, agility, strength, skill, intelligence, durability and plain guts (if they haven’t already been spilled), and that you can create your own tactics and variations in moves depending on your opponents without needing to follow rules(as oppose to sports such as: running= just run FASTER!!; swimming: just swim FASTER!! etc), however I have no real need for it. The things I want to protect are not in any immediate danger nor in any environment that could lead me to believe so: I nor the ones I love are living in a war zone , I’m not bullied and picked on, and I have no religion and nor am I really an atheist, I simply don’t care. I’m a pretty lazy person, and at this point in my life martial arts is an interest to me and a precaution for any future encounters when I DO have something to protect; but having no real application for it in my everyday life I won’t be training 12 hours a day kicking palm trees and punching concrete slabs (and a lot of the time I find working out just repetitive and boring, but that can differ depending on how drugged I am).

As a martial artist, as well as a person, I’m still really just starting. So considering the average life expectancy in this day and age… I guess I should pick up the pace and find something worth protecting in this world.

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[Random picture of the day: well actually I got this a while ago now and I’ve already criticized it in my old blog, so you guys be the judge, I can’t even be bothered wasting time writing about this (if you don’t see what’s wrong in this ad, you’re probably a star wars fanatic and trains in the art of the force)]

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