Traditional Martial Arts

How Jeff Smith Became a Kickboxing Champion —and One of the Most Respected Instructors in the World!

In the early 1960s, when Americans were first hearing about The Beatles, Jhoon Rhee operated four martial arts schools in Washington, D.C., Virginia and Maryland. The man who would become known as the father of taekwondo in America also regularly traveled around the country to a dozen clubs, where he tested students trained by his black belts. One such club was located on the campus of Texas A&M University, where Jeff Smith's mother worked and Jeff, then a teenager, delivered newspapers.

"One day on my route, I noticed a sign for a karate demonstration at the student-union ballroom," Smith recalls. "I went and wanted to enroll [in the club], but it was for college students only. I talked to my mother, she talked to the dean, and they decided to let me and several other of the faculty kids in.


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Master Wong Shares His Insights on the Role Awareness Should Play in Your Training and Proves Why He's Become a YouTube Sensation!

Start With the Right Philosophy!

All martial arts are good, Master Wong says. However, people often believe otherwise because they see moves that are done differently from what they're used to in their style and they seem ineffective."People want to learn, and when they don't understand, they start to slag each other off," he says. "Newcomers don't know any different. When things like that happen, students get confused."A good instructor needs to educate students, teach them that nothing is best and everything is good. The key is the context in everyday life in which you use it. As long as you make use of it to change you, to become a better version of yourself, to improve yourself, it is good for you."People may learn martial arts to fight, to hurt others, even to kill others. But martial arts are about the mindset that comes with training the body, mind and spirit. When people don't understand that, they put fighting on top of everything."


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One very effective tool in a martial artist's toolbox is the roundhouse kick. This kick is seen in a variety of styles, from taekwondo to mixed martial arts. Depending on which art the kick is used in, the kick will be executed differently.

In taekwondo, the roundhouse is usually aimed at the head. By lifting the knee straight up, the kick can be launched above the opponent's block. If the knee is not lifted, the kick can be easily deflected and a counter blow delivered.

The kick for taekwondo can be easily practiced by using a chair positioned almost against the knee. The practice involves picking the knee straight up and kicking over the chair without knocking it down. The kick should be done until it can be accomplished in one fluid motion. If you have a partner, practice using a kicking pad held head high.

For MMA the kick is done differently due to the gloves worn by opponents. The target zone is the rib cage, under the blocking elbow. Consequently, the knee should be pointed to that target with the foot following into the target zone.

Be conscious of the type of sparring you are doing and protect yourself at all times.

Skipper Mullins (right) vs. Thomas LaPuppet

Lewis "Skipper" Mullins, one of the great, early tournament champions of American karate, passed away yesterday. Known as an innovator of flashy kicking techniques, Mullins was widely regarded as the premier lightweight tournament fighter of the 1960s.

Mullins began his martial arts training in 1963 under American taekwondo pioneer Allen Steen. Within a year he was scoring victories at major martial arts events like Ed Parker's International Karate Championships. He joined the U.S. Marine Corps in 1965 but continued to train and compete developing a famed rivalry with Chuck Norris.


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FROM SOUTH KOREA: I've watched thousands of martial arts movies, but I've never witnessed one like director Lim Kyeong-taek's No Mercy, which recently played at the San Diego Asian Film Festival. Throughout the movie and even during the credits, you could have heard a pin drop.

I didn't see anyone leave their seats. When the crowd filed out of the theater at the end, people barely looked at one another. My guess is no one could escape the unspeakable premise presented by the movie's gruesomely uncomfortable plot.In-ae (played by Lee Si-young) is a bodyguard who, because of some previous brutal tactics she used to help a client, gets sent to prison. Upon release, she assures her mentally challenged, high-school-age sister Eun-hye that she'll never leave again. Later, Eun-hye unwittingly falls in with the wrong crowd and gets kidnapped, but the police don't seem to care. Eun-hye is sexually abused by a group of teens, who pass her on to equally evil men. In-ae must then face the question, What do you do when you confront the men who raped your sister?No Mercy is full of such touchy subjects, including school bullying, treatment of the mentally challenged, sex trafficking, exploitation of minors, and complacency and hubris on behalf of law enforcement. Furthermore, it blurs the lines between politicians and criminals.At the Brussels International Film Festival, Lim spoke about the movie: "I wanted to express the woman as a victim without avoiding that real expression of being a victim.

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