Training Secrets

Aug 6, 2018 | in Training Secrets

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We shouldn’t have to stress the importance of warming up before training. But there’s too many MMA trainers that do not warm up before training or even before they participate in a match. What these athletes don’t realize is that their bodies are more prone to injury when they don’t complete simple drills.

So, what warm ups should trainers add to their routine?

Here’s a few of the top drills for MMA trainers:

  • Running Patterns - this includes skipping, high knees, butt kicks, among others to get the heart rate up and the body ready for a session.
  • Dynamic Warm Ups - this consists of full range of motion exercises like arm circles, hip circles, lateral lunges and more to get their muscles ready for training.
  • MMA Specific Motions - adding motions like takedowns, striking, and others at a lower intensity and speed can also help the muscles prepare for training at full speed.

Additionally, athletes should incorporate any warm up activities, at a minimum of 5 reps per action, that focus on range of motion, balance and stability as those will help their body prepare for the training session to come.

Aug 3, 2018 | in Training Secrets

Learn how you can improve your martial arts techniques, skills & abilities in any martial art

drawing of two martial artists training on heavy bagMartial arts techniques training is one of the three components which compose the assimilation process or the system of any martial art – press here to read

The C-S-T-T The Theory - concept-strategy-tactics-technique - provides us with an end result - A “list” of mental, physical and technical qualities, which we want to acquire in order to achieve our goals. .

In this article we will talk about the assimilating stage of any technique qualities

Some helpful reading material:

To check out the checklist

The 5 questions any technique must answer...

In other words – What are the training stages, in our martial arts techniques training, which will make our techniques become our natural reactions and reflexes; which will cause them to become our second nature?

The four stages of martial arts techniques training


1. “In the air”.

2. Against resistance – Object feedback

3. With a partner

4. Against a partner


Jul 31, 2018 | in Training Secrets

"It should be known that the secret principles of Goju Ryu Karate exist in the Kata"
-Chojun Miyagi

If Karate-do is an art, then kata is the martial artist’s portfolio. Like any good painting, kata can be enjoyed on the superficial level for the sheer beauty of its movements. But as the talent of the artist grows those same movements begin to display a hidden quality, much in the way the brush strokes of a fine painter add depth to the subject. This hidden quality is the bunkai, or application of, the kata.

But why bother with this application, this bunkai? Shouldn’t we be focused on sparring? Isn’t sparring a more accurate representation of what we’ll need to save ourselves and our loved ones on the mean streets of modern society?

Clearly sparring is a valuable aspect of martial arts instruction. Sparring teaches confidence, timing, control (both physically and emotionally) and, depending upon the intensity, it allows the student to experience being hit in a controlled environment. However, in a true life and death situation sparring has one glaring problem: both parties shake hands and walk away.

The intent of this short essay is to explore the history and application of kata while also presenting an argument to support more study into the Okuden Waza (hidden techniques) that the kata bring to self-defense applications. To quote Iain Abernethy Sensei,

"The kata are a collection of karate’s most brutal and effective fighting techniques, including not only the commonly practiced kicks and punches, but also neck cranks, throws, chokes, strangles, joint locks/dislocations and many other grappling techniques."1...

Jul 9, 2018 | in Training Secrets

There are two type of breathing use when performing a kata. The first is called “ibuki” or quick energy breath. Ibuki breathing is done at the execution of blocks, kicks, and punches. The second is “nogare”, or slow breathing. Nogare breathing is usually done when moving from one position to the next or when there is a pause in the kata. Through the practice of proper breathing the student is able to keep mental composer throughout practice in the dojo and in his everyday life. Correct breathing will enhance a students mental and physical endurance as well as his concentration, focus and develop the warrior spirit necessary to be a good martial artist. Effective and the body.

by Jack M. Sabat
Jan 8, 2017 | in Training Secrets

martial artist utilizing sanchin breathingSanchin (三戦) is a kata of apparent Southern Chinese (Fujianese) origin that is considered to be the core of several styles, the most well-known being the Okinawan Karate styles of Uechi Ryu and Goju Ryu, as well as the Chinese martial arts of Fujian White Crane, Five Ancestors, Pangai-noon and the Tiger-Crane Combination style associated with Ang Lian-Huat. Tam Hon taught a style that was called simply "Saam Jin" (Cantonese for "Sanchin"). The name Sanchin, meaning "three battles/conflicts/wars" is usually interpreted as the battle to unify the mind, body, and spirit; however, there are other interpretations.

Jan 8, 2017 | in Training Secrets

temple gateIt is common knowledge that eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly is needed to have a healthy and strong body. Without exercise, the general condition of the body suffers. Without a healthy diet, we lack the calories and nutrients we need for physical and mental health. However, air is arguably more important that diet and exercise. Because we work hard to earn money to buy food (or work hard to grow food to eat), we have learned to value food. Air is free, and so it is easy to forget its importance, but we can go far longer without food and water than we can go without air. Breathing (along with digestion, sleeping patterns, and blood and lymph flow) is a part of the body's cyclic patterns, but is often overlooked and rarely practiced. Daoist breathing exercises are breathing practices designed to activate the diaphragm muscle, expand the lungs, and invoke the body's innate relaxation response. There are four major types of breathing (调息tiao xi) used in Daoist practice. These are natural breathing, reverse breathing, dantian breathing, and embryonic breathing. These breathing practices can be used on their own as a spiritual meditation practice, or used to compliment your martial arts training, allowing your to reach a deeper level of mental and physical health.


by Jack M. Sabat
Dec 19, 2016 | in Training Secrets

1. Began private training at the professional Koei-Kan Karate-Do academy on State St. Santa Barbara. Upon acceptance into the dojo, Liddell starting the basic program of striking / kicking / and defensive tactics in and around the traditional atmosphere of the Koei-Kan dojo.

Jul 4, 2016 | in Training Secrets

May 1, 2016 | in Training Secrets

When most people think of recent Iron Palm Masters the only person who comes to mind is Lee Ying Arng the author of “Iron Palm in 100 days”. Of course we all know the legend of Ku Yu Cheung also called Ru Gu Zhang in Mandarin. But somebody who has gone under the radar is Sifu James McNeil. Sifu McNeil is really a legend in his own right, for years he has instructed his students at his Little Nine Heaven Taoist Institute in various styles of Kung Fu and of course Iron Palm techniques. Sifu McNeil has demonstrated over the years similar techniques and power as the legend himself Ku Yu Chueng.

Apr 16, 2016 | in Training Secrets

two shadowy figures battling with swordsKenjutsu, as opposed to Iaido and Kendo is the art of using a live blade in combat. It is not a sport or 'do' (way). In medieval Japan, the Kenjutsu practitioner's focus was on cutting down an opponent without sustaining any injury to himself. Like any type of live blade work, the situation was do or die, therefore, the swordsman must be sure that when the blade strikes in the heat of battle it cuts clean and sure from whatever posture or position they are in. Although this has little application in today's society, serious students of sword work should focus on the intent of the sword rather mimic the actions. One practical application of the sword today is in tameshigiri. Tameshigiri is literally test cutting, but it is not enough to statically cut a straw target. Tameshigiri should also be a test...

Apr 10, 2016 | in Training Secrets

An excerpt from "The Japanese Way of the Artist" by H. E. Davey


If the Ways can be considered philosophies, then they are “philosophies” with a physical expression, or philosophies discov­ered through their physical expression. Chado (tea ceremony), shodo (calligraphy), kado (flower arrangement), and others can be thought of as Ways of art and life whose physical expression is keiko, or “practice.” But what constitutes keiko and why? Let us turn to kata, which are the means through which the Ways are practiced.

Kata means “form,” in the sense of a prearranged form or formal pattern. In shodo, students strive to make exact copies of tehon, which are either books of classic calligraphy or samples of their sensei’s brush writing. In sumi-e, “ink painting,” every novice copies a spe­cific painting and isn’t allowed to progress to the next subject of study until the copy is exact. In the tea ceremony, chado disciples must work through a set series of rituals two centuries old, and in the martial Ways, practitioners endlessly repeat established com­bat sequences.

Yet even in Japan, there are those who claim that, in the mar­tial arts, for example, fixed, predictable kata do not correspond to real-life combat. Similar comments could be made regarding the kata of many Japanese arts, not just budo. And these critics are correct in that the kata of any Do are artificial to the extent they are predetermined. They are incorrect, however, in supposing that practicing kata is inefficient and cannot lead to spontaneous action. 

Mar 18, 2016 | in Training Secrets

Too many karate-ka today relegate kata to a secondary status behind practice of kumite. This is a mistake. This view, I believe, represents a profound misunderstanding of kata’s role and purpose.

Kata should instead be the foundation of karate training. Why? Three Points of discussion:

- Philosophy & Zen
- Relationship to sports karate
- A time chest of advanced self defense techniques for black belts

Kata allows students to share a pool of knowledge which the greatest karate-ka of the past, and present, have used to study the Way. The kanji (Chinese character) for kata can be interpreted as a pictograph representing a bamboo lattice window. Sunlight can shine through such a window leaving a pattern which is defined by not only light but also the presence of shade.

This “Yin-Yang” essence in kata is noted in such opposites as fast/slow, hard/soft & still/movement. For example, at the...

Dec 14, 2015 | in Training Secrets

woman kicking assailantIt is true that In California the law allows a person to kill an assailant in self-defense.

But, are these two statements true or false?

In California, a person claiming self-defense...