Marvin Vettori fell into the trap that so many Israel Adesanya opponents make, bringing the fight to the UFC middleweight champion then paying the price losing a one-sided unanimous decision in Saturday's UFC 263 main event from Arizona. Having struggled against Vettori in winning a split decision 3 years ago, Adesanya displayed his precise, counter striking game this time around moving and avoiding most of Vettori's blows while answering with sharp punches and kicks.
Vettori's best moment came in the third when he got a takedown and took Adesanya's back looking to sink in a choke. But Adesanya escaped scrambling to his feet, putting in an unintentional eye poke along the way, and then chopping up Vettori's leg with low kicks. After taking a front kick to the groin at the end of the third, Vettori seemed to lose all steam and Adesanya dominated the rest of the way for the win.
The co-main event was a rematch of last year's Deiveson Figueiredo-Brandon Moreno flyweight title fight draw. Moreno was on point getting a takedown in the third round and instantly leaping into a rear mount applying the choke for a submission to become the first Mexican-born UFC champion.
UFC 263: Israel Adesanya Post-fight Press Conference
Joe "The Brown Bomber" Louis is often rated as one of the heaviest punchers in boxing history. We know that he augmented his natural power with Jack Blackburn's schooling on his step-and-punch method.
Louis also had speed. For a big man, he put some quick movements together.
Speed is often an innate attribute. It can be helped along with smooth, efficient drilling, but for the most part, speed is a God-given gift. But there's an attribute of speed that can be developed, and that speedy attribute is balance.
Let's have a listen to trainer Walter Smith and what he saw as Blackburn's biggest assist to Louis:
"He taught him balance. As long as a man keeps himself on balance when throwing punches‚ that is one of the basic things of boxing. If you don't have good balance, your punches are not going to be effective."
But let's not take Smith's word on Blackburn's insistence on balance. This is the Brown Bomber himself on what he believed was Blackburn's greatest advice:
"You ask me what one great thing he taught me stands out in my mind? It was the trick of balance — balance in setting to hit, balance in delivering a punch, balance after I landed, but most important, balance if I missed. Balance in action was his god."
Are you hearing that? Balance in action was his god. This, in turn, became one of Louis' self-admitted vital tools.
So how do you make balance an important part of your own game? With the lightweight bag.
Everyone knows that the heavy bag is a staple of boxing training. When it comes to developing power, there's nothing quite like it. The bigger the bag you can handle, the better.
But to develop balance in delivering heavy hands, it's wise to spend time on bags lighter than you would usually consider. For instance, if you commonly work a 90- to 100-pound bag, you should spend a like amount of time on, say, a 40-pound bag.
Ideally, you should throw just as hard as you did on the bigger bag and not adjust for the lightness. Resolving to throw heavy despite the smaller size of the bag will give you more sway and create more chaotic angles that force you to "find your balance" in the middle of misses, near misses and bag grazes.
The following is a bag rotation designed to impart a good balance of speed and power. You'll need a heavy bag and a lighter bag as described above.
Round 1: Bang the big bag hard and fast.
Round 2: Bang the light bag hard and fast. Strive to not reduce your speed or power. There will be more misses and/or awkward moments initially, but that's OK. It's part of the learning process one needs to acquire balance.
Rounds 3-6: Repeat rounds 1 and 2 for two more cycles.
Your goal as a striker is to always find your balance and, should you momentarily lose it while throwing hands, always be able to recover your balance in a heartbeat.
Realize that often fighters miss in the ring when being off-balance matters the most. Therefore, strive never to be off-balance.
Programming your brain by engaging in gym sessions that train you to deal with occasions when you miss the bag or focus mitt will allow you to get a bit closer to the reality of combat. It's also the best way to start making balance in action one of your own gods.
One More Reason to Buy a Heavy Bag
Benefits pertaining to power, speed and balance are widely known to result from heavy-bag workouts. However, few martial artists know that upper-body strength also can be enhanced. Your options for exercises are limited only by your imagination.
- Push-Up: Place your feet shoulder-width apart on a bag that's lying on the ground with your hands shoulder-width apart on the floor. Perform a standard push-up. Repeat 10 to 20 times to develop your pectoralis major.
- Dip: Begin with your feet shoulder-width apart on the floor, your knees bent at a 90-degree angle and your body facing away from the bag. Squat until you can touch the bag. Your hands should be shoulder-width apart on it with your fingers pointing toward your butt. Lower your body as far as possible by bending your elbows, then return to the starting position. Repeat 10 to 20 times to build your triceps.
- Row: Straddle the bag, bend your knees and hold the harness that's attached to the top of the unit. Lift the top of the bag to your chest and slowly lower it back to the floor, allowing the bottom to remain stationary. Repeat 10 to 20 times to strengthen your trapezius and latissimus dorsi.
- Front Raise: Get a bag with a water-filled base. Remove the padded top section. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent. Grasp the end of the top section and lift it in front of your body. Once your arm is horizontal, lower it. Repeat 10 to 20 times with each arm to develop your anterior deltoids.
- Lateral Raise: This exercise is similar to the front raise except that you lift and lower the top section while it's at your side. Repeat 10 to 20 times with each arm to build your lateral deltoids.
- Military Press: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent. Grasp the bag and base (filled with enough water to match your ability) and lift it to face level. Hold it horizontal as you slowly raise it overhead and lower it. Repeat 10 to 20 times to work your posterior deltoids.
- Biceps Curl: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent. With your arms straight, grasp the bag and base by the ends. Slowly bend your arms to move the unit toward your shoulders, then lower it. Repeat 10 to 20 times to hit your biceps.
- Triceps Extension: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent. Hold the ends of the bag and base and lift it overhead. Slowly bend your arms to lower it behind your head, then extend your arms. Repeat 10 to 20 times to strengthen your triceps.
Bag Stand Boxer Combo | Century Martial Arts
Century Martial Arts currently offers a bundle complete with heavy bag, stand, and boxing gloves.
- Wavemaster or Torrent (any bag) - Black Belt Magazine ›
- Find the best bag gloves for your training - Black Belt Magazine ›
The Covid-19 pandemic brought challenges to the martial arts industry that have never been seen before.
In my latest series of articles "Martial Arts After the Pandemic," I examined how school owners and organizations had to adapt to the new environment. Even though some school owners managed to find new ways to keep their businesses running, and keep students engaged, many took heavy losses.
While most school owners are clawing their way back from the economic abyss brought on by Covid-19, it will be years, if ever, that they can find a way to pay off the debt and unforeseen expenses brought on by the required shutdowns.
Recently, a bipartisan bill was introduced in Congress to help bring back the health and fitness industry, including martial arts schools. The Gym Mitigation and Survival Act or GYMS Act would provide welcome support in the form of a 30 billion dollar grant program to those that had to hang tough during the pandemic.
Q and A About the GYMS Act
To find out how this bill can help the martial arts industry, I asked Helen Durkin, Executive VP for Public Policy of the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association, (IHRSA) to break it all down.
What is the IHRSA?
IHRSA is a trade association representing the global fitness industry.
Will the GYMS Act help martial arts school owners that have been struggling during the pandemic?
The broad definition of eligible entities means that martial arts studios would be eligible for the grants created by the GYMS Act. The Act defines an eligible facility as "instruction in a program of physical exercise and which offers space for maintenance and development of physical fitness" There are some exclusions but, I don't see that they would apply to martial arts school owners. So yes, if it passes, martial arts studios should be eligible to apply for the grants. *(see definition of eligible entities at end of article)
Where is the bill in terms of the legislative process now?
You and your readers can look at the online dashboard at any time and to see how the bill is progressing. Just look at ihrsa.org/dashboard.
Here's where things stand right now. Currently, there are 129 sponsors in the House. Our target is to get 150 sponsors in the House to send a loud and clear message to House leadership that Congress supports helping out physical activity centers. We have excellent momentum and believe we will reach that target. (With the martial arts industry's help.)
In the Senate, several Senators have expressed support for the bill. We are working with the bills original sponsors to get both sponsors from both sides of the aisle. There is progress and momentum on the Senate side, it's just not reflected in the bill count yet.
What can a typical school owner expect to receive from the bill?
Here's a summary of the bill.
The Grant would cover
- Initial grants are the lesser of 45 percent of 2019 revenue or $20 million.
- Eligible entities with revenue of 33 percent or less in the latest quarter compared to the corresponding quarter in 2019 are eligible for a supplemental grant. The supplemental grant may not exceed 25 percent of the initial grant.
- The aggregate amount of grants to an eligible entity and any affiliated businesses may not exceed $25 million.
○ An eligible entity may use grant funds: for payroll costs, rent, utilities, mortgage interest, interest on debt accrued before February 15, 2020, worker protection expenditures, payments of principal on outstanding loans, payments made to independent contractors (1099-MISC), settling existing debts owed to vendors, maintenance expenses, administrative costs, taxes, operating leases, advertising, fitness equipment, subscription, and software expenses that are within the scope of normal business practice, payments required for insurance on any insurance policy, costs required under any State, local, or Federal law or guideline related to social distancing, and any other expenses that the Administrator deems necessary.
Will the funds be administered similarly to the Payment Protection Program (PPP)?
We revised the administration to align with what was outlined in the Save Our Stages bill that was passed December 2020. The Small Business Administration will make the grants. None of the conditions of the PPP would apply to this grant.
What can students and school owners do to help move this bill along and be enacted?
It's really easy. Use this 1-click campaign and students, school owners and employees can ask their members of the House and Senate to sponsor the GYMS Act. It is great for your elected officials to hear that you too need help.
Is there anything else our readers should know about the GYMS Act?
Go to TheGYMSAct.com to learn all the ways you can support the GYMS Act. If you want to do more than just the one click campaign you can call or reach out to your member of Congress. Help get to 150 sponsors in the House and build the list in the Senate. We have all the materials you need to do that on TheGYMSAct.com. You can see talking points on the bill and more. There is also a link to contact us if you want to do more.
The time to act is now. Let's all do our part and bring back a thriving martial arts industry.
*GYMS ACT Eligible Entities
Eligible entities include fitness facilities providing instruction in a program of physical exercise and which offer space for the maintenance and development of physical fitness.
The following are not eligible entities:
- Facilities for golf, hunting, sailing, or riding;
- Facilities which are part of a State or local government entity;
- Facilities for which the health and fitness components are incidental.
Eligible entities with equity or right to profit distributions of not less than 50 percent, and which have the contractual authority to control any business, are considered to be affiliated with that business.
- Practice Makes Positive: Why People of All Ages and Fitness Levels ... ›
- How to Stay Motivated in Your Martial Arts and Fitness Training ... ›
Barbara Matic became Croatia's first ever judo world champion Thursday fighting off a late choke attempt to defeat Japan's Yoko Ono in the women's 70 kg finals in Budapest, Hungary. Matic scored late with a tani otoshi throw tripping Ono to the mat though Ono got a strong grip on the lapel of Matic's gi going for the choke. But Matic was able to survive until time expired to claim the title.
While Matic came into the world championships unseeded, Spain's Nikoloz Sherazadishvili was the number one seed in the men's 90 kg class and lived up to the billing winning the gold. Sherazadishvili had to go into golden score (overtime) to secure the title in the finals against Uzbekistan's Davlat Bobonov where he countered Bobonov's outside trip attempt with an inside trip to take the match.