Tai Chi in Action

ktadmin Posted in Styles, Training notes, Video,

The other night I got into a discussion and was asked what the best Martial Art is… Of course this is a loaded question and like everything else in the world everyone things theirs is the best! Obviously that isn’t possible so anyone that disagrees with my way must be wrong… πŸ˜‰ just kidding… So the question was which Martial Art is the best. This led to talking about some of the competitions I’ve seen and some I’ve posted about here. Boxer versus martial artist, kung fu versus karate, etc. Then I threw everyone a curve ball which I like to do…I said Tai Chi. That look you have right now, that is the same look they had! Yes, Tai Chi the moving meditation that old people practice so they don’t break anything, Tai Chi. Why?? First let me say I do not practice Tai Chi and have never even taken a class. What? That’s right. I base my opinion on my years of practice and reading and research and interactions with other martial artists. Tai Chi is a moving meditation but it is a Martial Art, one that focuses almost entirely on control of yourself. In a very recent post I wrote about this very topic, if you can control yourself you can usually maintain control of a situation. But there is much more then that. Tai Chi taken years sometimes decades to perfect and it is all done in slow motion focusing on the flow of Chi. Chi is the power behind all of the Martial Arts (if you believe that sort of thing) but Tai Chi spend the most time developing it. It is also my opinion that Tai Chi isn’t a very effective Martial Art until you have practiced for many years. Long years of repetitive learning make the motions practiced second nature. Any fighter with built in reaction is a formidable opponent. I have also been told that since you practice Tai Chi very slowly it changes your perceptional awareness allowing you to seemingly slow down the movements of your opponent. So there I said it, Tai Chi, I know there will be those that ridicule my opinion, especially the MMA crowd. I welcome your thoughts and comments, even your ridicule :p But remember this is my opinion based on my experiences, etc.

It may be useful if you can see how you can use Tai Chi as a fighting art and how the movements are based on actual Martial techniques. With that in mind I found this video:

The Uses Of Tai Chi Chuan

Stepping Aside:

ktadmin Posted in Training notes, Video,

I often have a discussion with my students about stepping aside. This is perhaps one of the least talked about defensive moves but it is probably one of the most important. When met with confrontation, fight or flight kicks in to help determine what to do. If we choose to fight we tend to stand our ground and attempt to best our opponent. Over the years I have witness countless students stand their ground and attempt to block an attack they could have easily avoided. My presumption is that in an aggressive situation we become so focused on the task at hand, defend and defeat, we lose the bigger picture. If you ever watch a true Master spar you should notice how easy it looks, almost effortless. Many times his opponent isn’t as skilled so this makes sense but even a Master can be caught off guard now and then. Yet this doesn’t seem to happen. I have also seen students perform with similar skill though they lack the technical skills.

A term to describe this is “Training Perspective”. This comes with experience. The Master gains it through years of practice to the point that beginners appear to move in slow motion when sparring! Students who lack technical skill but are use to fighting can also gain this perspective. The more you do something the more second nature it becomes. What I’ve been describing is simply that training to operate in an aggressive situation. The nice thing about the Training Perspective is the ability to see the situation clearly. This brings me back to my original point, avoiding as a form of blocking. Blocking an attack by simply moving out of its way is a great move on many levels. First no contact no potential injuries. Second it can be intimidating as hell to your opponent, of course it can also put them on guard too. Stepping aside also leaves your opponent very vulnerable to your attack since typically their side or back is exposed. Think about adding stepping aside to your blocking drills.

In the mean time I thought I’d add this video clip of an old Wendy’s menu since when I was learning we use to repeat, ‘step aside, please step aside’ when training. It was funny then and still is to me but really this part is her for me! If you enjoy it all the better. πŸ˜‰

Stand Strong and Fight Back

ktadmin Posted in Self-Defense, Training notes,

We humans are a meek bunch. It seems pretty common for us to cower and submit when faced with a conflict. I run into this mentality very often when teaching new students in self-defense classes. Having never been in a physical conflict most people are squeamish at the idea. More over many people feel they can reason with an aggressor to diffuse the situation. I always explain to people that how they react is their choice and if they choose to submit that to is a decision. Likewise if they choose to reason with their aggressor it is their choice but I always point out they lose the advantage. While I do not agree with these decisions I respect them.

Big versus Small

What is interesting is the contrast to this mentality in the animal kingdom. As captured in this picture in the animal kingdom you stand strong and fight back. If you don’t you’re usually lunch. Animals

have a keen sense of self-preservation. We can learn a lot from animals, especially the lesser aggressive or predatory animals. These animals rarely pick a fight and if they see one coming will attempt to avoid it. Yet if they are protecting something important, their young or food, they will put up a fight. Cats and Dogs are good examples for the discussion. Dogs typically have the size and

lethal weapon advantage over cats, yet when push come to shove the cat will fight back. They won’t submit in the hopes that the dog will rough them up and move along. No the two options they see is avoid the situation or fight back. The cat certainly won’t expect another animal to come to their aid.


Today to many groups advocate relying on a restraining order and the police for protection (usually specific to domestic situations). While I always advocate following through on legal recourse you must always be prepared. Yes I have heard and witnessed the psychological trauma which can physically cripple a person. However, ultimately we have to decide if we allow this person to continue to have control over us? That is the root question as hard and complicated as it can be. The first step to taking control is being in control. Notice I didn’t say “feeling” in control. You need to be in control of yourself first. Like the cat often the best way to stay in control is to take it on immediately before the aggressor has the advantage of size, equipment AND the environment.

Remember this is food for thought, not a condemnation of any decision, certainly not advice for any specific situation! But think about it because we are formidable opponents when we believe we have the right to go about our lives with being harrassed or abused…and remember the cat…

Horton is a Great Example!

ktadmin Posted in Entertainment, For Kids, Reviews,

Took the kids to see Horton Hears a Who! this weekend and let me tell you I enjoyed the Movie as much as the kids did, more even!! This is a must see for anyone with kids or anyone who enjoys a well made movie. Most of us already know the story line but for those who don’t Horton is an Elephant who finds a spec that he thinks (correctly) has people on it. Sorry if that spoils anything… His quest to protect and save them is the focus of the movie. There are so many great lessons that this movie reinforces I’m not sure where to start. Friendship, loyal friendship, respect, commitment, standing up for those who can’t stand up for themselves, sacrifice, make that personal sacrifice, believing in yourself, and facing fear.

I strongly suggest you see this movie and then use it when instructing a kids Martial Arts class, What would Horton do? Parents and Instructors can use this great film to help illustrate the complex concepts listed. There is even a great scene where Horton imagines he is a Karate Chopping hero, very cool.

For the big kids the animation and cinematography were stellar, if you are into the sort of thing. πŸ˜‰

Horton Hears a Who!

Anti-Theft System

ktadmin Posted in Fun Stuff, Video,

This was too good not to post! The perfect anti-theft device we would all have it were available!

Don’t Fight It…Breath

ktadmin Posted in A Zen Thing, Training notes,

Meditation Point #121

Breath Inverted

Today’s Post made possible with the use of FlipText.net.

2008 Shotokan Karate Championships

ktadmin Posted in Announcements & Press Releases, Competition,

2008 Shotokan Karate Championships and 2008 WUKO/USA TEAM PAN-AM TRYOUTS

2008 JKA Shotokan Karate Championships
For More Information Please Visit American JKA

Weapons Practice

ktadmin Posted in Entertainment, Fun Stuff, Weapons,

Heads Up!

Use your head but not literally!

Martial Minds

ktadmin Posted in Announcements & Press Releases, News, Site_News,

Now you can Add feeds from both this blog (Martial Thoughts) and our forum (Martial Discussions) to your iGoogle page for easy viewing! That’s right KarateTraining.org has just completed developing the first Version of our iGoogle Gadget for your use!!

Customize your Google search page today and stay current on all the latest News and Discussions!

Always Be Prepared…

ktadmin Posted in Events & Holidays,

Always be prepared