In 2010, the World Hwa Rang Do Association published a DVD documentary detailing the genesis and evolution of the Korean martial art of hwa rang do to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the art and the organization. Watch the untold story of hwa rang do founder Dr. Joo Bang Lee's efforts to form a unified Korean martial arts system and the controversial path on which the art and its leader would find themselves. And learn the true story of the legendary Michael D. Echanis, perhaps Dr. Lee's and hwa rang do's most famous disciple. Features interviews with Dr. Lee and his eldest son, Grandmaster Taejoon Lee. Includes a treasure trove of archival footage and rare photos. (c) 2010 World Hwa Rang Do Association. "Hwa rang do" is a registered trademark of the World Hwa Rang Do Association.
The 2021 Diamond Nationals took place on October 8th and 9th, the first time the prestigious event has been hosted since 2019. World class competitors gathered in Minneapolis, Minnesota to test their skills in forms, weapons, point sparring, and more.
In the early 2010's, Ken Warner (otherwise known as ZenInc on YouTube) always shared his "Top Five" on Facebook after major sport karate events. Reflecting on these posts has inspired me to write a top five article of my own for the Diamond Nationals, and I plan to continue writing these articles after each tournament I attend. Special thanks to Ken Warner for his contributions to documenting sport karate history. Without further ado, here is Jackson's Five for the Diamond Nationals.
5. Seniors in the Spotlight
Photo Courtesy: Becca Leiker via Facebook
Senior competitors have been fighting for more recognition in recent years and all of that hard work is finally paying off. The Diamond Nationals introduced the Diamond Ring title for the 30+ age division back in 2010, with Eric Tremblay of Canada becoming the inaugural forms and weapons winner. The 2021 finals for this division featured the bo form of Top Ten Team USA's Becca Ross-Leiker, who has one of the most decorated résumés of any female competitor in history, against the traditional kata of Team KTOC's Samuel Diaz III. Ross-Leiker would win the contest by unanimous decision, becoming the first competitor to win a Diamond Ring in the junior, adult, and senior divisions. Diaz represented the senior competitors well too, not only by making it to the senior Diamond Ring final, but also winning the men's bladed traditional weapons division against the younger athletes with his powerful kama routine.
4. Junior Point Fighting on Stage
Photo Courtesy: Mason Bumba via Instagram
Much like the senior competitors, the junior point fighters have been lobbying for more recognition in recent years as well. These combined efforts are why Black Belt Magazine now features both senior divisions and junior point fighting in their official sport karate rankings. It was a breath of fresh air to see both the male and female 14-15 age groups have their grand championships featured on stage. The boys' match saw Mason Bumba of Top Ten Team USA use his speedy movement to evade the attacks of Team Next Level's Jeremiah Alvarez and earn a 3-1 victory. Lady warriors Alexi Jimenez of Team Legend and Callie Garrett of Team Dojo Elite also had a showdown, in which Jimenez was able to get the win by a score of 5-2. Featuring these young athletes on stage more often will give spectators and coaches alike an opportunity to see the talent that is headed to the adult division in the coming years on display.
3. The Future of Men's Weapons
Photo Courtesy: Dawson Holt via Instagram
Speaking of talent coming to the adult division, the future of the men's weapons category is in good hands. The talent in the 14-17 boys' division is incredibly deep thanks to the likes of Mason Bumba, Esteban Tremblay, Phillip Brumme, Riley Tracy, and company, but here I will focus on the two that made it to the finals at The Diamonds: Ben Jones and Dawson Holt of Team Competitive Edge. Ben "The Truth" Jones is one of the most innovative bo competitors on the circuit today. Opening his form with a spinning release catch that lands immediately in striking position, and ending with his own signature take on one of my tricks (my finger spin fashioned into what he calls The Ben Spin), his routine has excitement from start to finish. Jones suffered a drop at the end of his performance on stage, which allowed his teammate Dawson "Mr. Clean" Holt to have an uncontested victory. Holt, in my opinion, is the cleanest single sword competitor we have seen since 4x Diamond Ring winner Kalman Csoka. Whether it is traditional or creative/musical/extreme, you can be confident that Dawson Holt will put on a clinic of solid stances and clean cuts. This duo and their peers will dominate the men's weapons division for years to come.
2. Men's Weapons
Photo Courtesy: Alex Mancillas via Instagram
The discussion of up-and-comers moving towards the adult division makes the perfect segue for the current men's weapons division, which made for a thriller that Saturday night. Donis Coronel sent his whip chain flying off stage to take himself out of the running, and Alex Riggs dropped a kama in the midst of an excellent routine to be disqualified as well. However, the rest of the division did not disappoint. The kama forms of Team Paul Mitchell's Alex Mancillas and Team Infinity's Connor Chasteen would partake in an epic war with the double bo routine of Rashad Eugene. Mancillas kicked the division off with a high-flying form reminiscent of Tyler Weaver, and he added a wide variety of releases using both kama at the same time. Chasteen would follow with an expert-level form of his own, jam-packed with difficult releases and manipulations. Eugene closed out the division with his signature charisma, even yelling "LET'S GO" towards the back of the stage before his routine began. He landed his double bo form, but had to chase down a couple of his releases that could have been the difference in this incredibly close division. When the dust settled, Alex Mancillas would help Team Paul Mitchell go five-for-five on Diamond Rings for the evening and win by one one-hundredth of a point.
Photo Courtesy: Century Martial Arts (left) & Point Fighter Live (right)
Despite all the incredible action mentioned prior, there were two undeniable "mega-fights" that sport karate fans got to enjoy at Diamonds. The first was Team Impex's Morgan Plowden versus Team Dojo Elite's hometown hero Ki'Tana Everett, a rematch of the open weight final from the day before which Everett won by a score of 6-3. These women are unquestionably the top two female fighters in the United States and their matchup in the finals was sure to be a clash of titans. Both combatants had their moments in the first round and the Minnesota crowd heavily supported Everett, but in the second round the crowd would be silenced as Plowden pulled away and let out a victory yell as time expired with her in the lead 9-4.
The other megafight was the highly-anticipated matchup between current lightweight king Bailey Murphy of Team Straight Up and heavyweight leviathan Richard Avery Plowden of Team Impex in the special Last Man Standing division courtesy of Jessie Wray's Virtual Fight Tour. This was another rematch from open weight, where Murphy pulled out a 7-5 victory. It was evident that Plowden wanted revenge in the finals as he threw his patented reverse punch with power early and often. It was a thrilling back-and-forth fight as every time Plowden would land and score, Murphy would recover and score with his incredible movement and speed. The three-minute match would go to sudden-death overtime where the fighters clashed time and time again, and the win easily could have gone to either side depending on the judges' calls. In the end, Murphy Mania continued as "B-Reel" scored the final point to end what will go down as the fight of the year in all likelihood. Rest assured, I have a feeling this is not the last time we will see Bailey Murphy and Avery Plowden duke it out.That will do it for the first installment of Jackson's Five. Join the conversation on social media and let us know what your favorite moments from the Diamond Nationals were, making sure to tag Black Belt Magazine and myself. Stay tuned to BlackBeltMag.com for more news and updates from the world of sport karate.
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Asthma was recognized as early as Ancient Egypt .The word asthma, given by Hypocrates in 450 BC, is from the Greek ἅσθμα, ásthma and it means "panting" .
The most frequent symptoms are wheezing, coughing, chest tightness, and shortness of breath. These episodes may occur a few times a day or a few times per week. Depending on the person they may become worse at night or with exercise. It is most common with children, more often with boys. Later, there is an increasing number of women, especially at the older age.
Asthma is caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors as air pollution and allergens. Diagnosis is usually based on the pattern of symptoms, response to therapy over time, and spirometry.
Medications are provided in the form of metered-dose inhalers.
Lots of scientists, primarily pulmologists, but also others as sport trainers and parents have been asking themselves if asthma patients should take up any sport and which would be the most convenient. It is undisputed that intensive training in certain circumstances can trigger the asthma attack or it can increase the risk together with some other factors.
Nowadays, at the beginning of 21th century, there is a prevailing opinion that a certain physical activity helps fighting the illness, reducing and alleviating symptoms. The activities suggested by physicians include swimming in warmer water and exercising in more humid air, walking, yoga, workouts, short track running, light cycling etc. The patients should, of course, take care of the environment and themselves. Doctors often suggest taking up some other sports as martial arts. In fact, it is not widely known that the exercises from martial arts are the most suitable for asthma patients. There are lots of yoga exercises in martial arts that were introduced by Bodhidharma in Shaolin round 520 AD.
Martial arts require fast and explosive movements among which there are short, but very useful pauses for asthma patients. The practitioners often perform short running and a kind of workouts. Most of martial arts pay attention to a special breathing technique. Such a technique is performed in kung- fu (chi kung, tai chi chuan, pa qua etc.) in karate (for katas-sanchin, tensho etc.) ,in tae kwon do (forms), but also in aikido, hapkido, judo and many others. The right breathing implies deep breathing caused by diaphragm and chest movement. It is also important to expire completely, which enables the next complete breath. The right breathing technique is practised at the very beginning of martial art practice and many trainers emphasize its importance.
All in all, during a sport activity the depth of breathing is increased while respiration is reduced, thus the lungs capacity is enlarged, and circulation and heart function are improved. The appropriate breathing technique reduces muscle tensions which causes the right muscular distribution. Frequent martial arts practice reduces weight. Obese people have the problem that fat tissues reduce breathing functions and can cause respiratory inflammation.
The martial arts exercises can be performed both inside and in the open air.
By practicing martial arts children strengthen chest muscles thereby improving lung function. This applies not only to the arts; Kung-fu, karate, tae kwon do and aikido, which in practice require a certain special breathing technique. In other martial arts and skills such as Judo, BJJ, sambo, boxing, kick boxing, wrestling, and mixed martial arts and the like, trainees not only develop upper body, especially the arms and shoulders, but also strengthen the muscles of the chest, which positively affects the breathing function.
Often certain exercises are performed in the open, either along the coast or practising on the mountain. This method of exercise in the fresh air is especially beneficial for those suffering from asthma who have an allergy to dust mites or dust. Exercise in nature is not recommended in certain season for patients with so-called seasonal asthma. Such people should avoid outdoor area at the time of flowering plants, because of pollen in the air. Then they can get asthma attack even if they perform moderate exercise like thai chi or some kata, which would otherwise be definitely recommended. They should avoid to go out and exercise in the cold air. Patients with asthma, unlike other athletes, have to warm up before exercise longer, more carefully and more gradually. Practicing martial arts definitely has an advantage over other sports because warming is longer and more thoroughly carried out. Such warming will largely prevent tightness in the chest. As they carefully and gradually warm up asthma patients should slowly and gradually cool the body in order to prevent asthma attacks directly after exercise. After the training it is good to take a shower with warm water, because it will facilitate the possible symptoms of the disease, and help with muscle relaxation. Also, people suffering from asthma need sports and exercise with short and intensive efforts, followed by a phase of rest. Resting after exercise is necessary in order to slowly change the temperature of the air in the lungs of asthma sufferers. Patients should take some of the fast-acting medication just before exercise. Also, they should definitely take a break, if symptoms of the disease start to appear. During exercise medication should be always at hand, and taken if necessary. It is of most importance that in the first training the patients warn the coach of their disease, and inform him of the methods of providing assistance in the event of an attack. Most coaches have some knowledge about asthma, but they won't mind if they are reminded of certain methods of first aid in patients with asthma. The advantage of martial arts coaches in relation to some from other sports is the fact that they are usually better informed of a variety of sport injuries.
Lots of parents wonder whether the coach will react and know to help their child at the time of an asthma attack. Martial arts coaches, due to their coolness,and because of various injuries they have already seen, will certainly be willing to help your child. A child with asthma attacks can start panicking, but you can be sure that a martial arts coach will not panic, but be mindful, focused and helpful. The coach's coolness will help the child to calm down, relax and start to breathe easier and more regularly. In the case of an attack, the child may sit, take the medicine and the coach should see if the child takes medication properly. Remember, the person who suffers from asthma must never be allowed to exercise with you if there is no cure. There can be several months without asthmatic attacks, or the attacks appear in a smaller and milder form, and then quite suddenly there is a strong attack.
Some coaches can confuse an asthma attack with a panic attack. Sometimes it happens that a child gets an attack just before the fight or a competition, but some coaches attribute it to nervousness or fear that is present in the child. Of course, a certain stress in combination with other
factors may be one of the causes of asthma attacks with the child. If this happens, don't let the first impression fool you, don't immediately conclude that a child, who is sick, is afraid of fighting. Basically, most of these children later become very successful competitors. One of the reasons for this is that, due to their illness they are very disciplined in training, which is necessary for the martial arts.
It is very important that such a child understands the importance of discipline and self-control in the martial arts as well as of healthy lifestyle and the importance of physical exercise. The martial arts coach may often, easier than the child's parents, instruct the child to a certain strict regimen of life that he(she) must carry out. Such children accept discipline in training, as well as a sport mode of life better and faster than other ones.They hardly ever give up training, even if all of their group do. They'll come to the training even sick and the coach will sometimes have to slow them down or stop for their own safety.
Do not be surprised if such a child after a certain period of training requires that the coach puts him (her) in a fight. The young asthma patients wants to show themselves or to others that they are not only as good as the others but even better. What is interesting is the fact that they mostly succeed.
Make sure that children with asthma take enough amount of liquid water as they moisturize the mucous membranes of the respiratory tract and dilute the buildup of mucus. Thus they prevent a possible asthma attack.
The coach needs to emphasize the need for healthy eating with such children, and show them the bad habit of consuming fast food (various hamburgers, etc.).
It is recommended that these children are sent to some camps, and that clubs (school) know how to organize them .Of course it can't bring major health changes so soon. In order to achieve it, people suffering from asthma should change the climate, and stay there for at least about three months to get their body adjusted.The best climate is with dry and hot air with no air pollution (such as Egypt or Israel, etc.).
The bad thing for such a person is to go first to the mountain shortly after to the sea, because it means changing climate twice, which is not good for them. Also, if they exercise outdoors it is not suggested that such persons should exercise near large rivers, or in the valleys, as well as places with high humidity.
The Karate Kid
On the other hand it is recommended to exercise and stay at sea or the mountain. However, for asthma patients the best place to practice is at a certain altitude where the sea and mountain air mix.
Martial arts coaches should know that women in older age often suffer from asthma. Female hormones, like estrogen, can affect the respiratory system as well as allergens and pollen. The increase or decrease of estrogen and its fluctuations can trigger an asthma attack. The stabilization levels of estrogen can have positive effects on asthma. The level of hormones in women drastically changes during the menstrual cycle, but the most dangerous period for an asthma attack is just before the start of menstruation. Any woman who suffers from asthma and wants to exercise and be active should take account of that period.
Also, it is desirable to know that women who exercise during menopause more often receive asthma attack.
Martial arts have plenty of advantages compared to other sports for asthma sufferers. By training wrestling, judo or BJJ (MMA), people with asthma strengthen their neck and neck muscles, and it also has a positive effect on the breathing function. Moreover, in these martial arts there are a lot of flexibility exercises and stretching exercises, which strengthen the muscles that help in respiratory function.
Dealing with these martial arts the practitioner, in particular strengthens the upper body and chest muscles, which helps with breathing.
The main characteristic of martial arts clubs is discipline, something that persons suffering from asthma absolutely need. All the time the coach must have control over the training of the person who suffers from asthma. He is the one who sets limits to ill persons and takes care of their condition.
At the training, nothing can be performed without the permission of the coach, so that asthma patients will not be allowed to perform exercises that are not appropriate for them if the coach has not approved.
For martial arts coaches the following issues are very important: the persons suffering from asthma who practise judo, wrestling, sambo, BJJ, MMA, etc., must be aware of the fact that in the hall there will be a certain amount of dust or mites. With each roll ie. fall, a certain amount of dust rises up. This won't harm other practitioners but people with asthma will feel it. Don't be surprised some air freshener has been used in the hall, or something to clean mats. What other exercisers do not even notice may interfere with the exercise. Don't be surprised if the person who has asthma during exercise gets irritated with some floral perfume, deodorants, shampoos, and even the material of which has been made kimono. All of the above, in combination with other allergens, can cause asthma attacks.
There are top athletes who suffer from asthma, too. Thus, among them there are champions of the largest sports competitions, such as World Championships or Olympic Games. Some of them are suffering because of a genetic predisposition, but most of them are suffering because they have been exposed to frequent long-term exposure to certain allergens during prolonged and strenuous exercise.
There are those athletes who suffer from asthma immediately after the termination of sports career. Unfortunately, among the athletes who take medication for asthma, there are those who cheat the sport authorities. The medicine for asthma is classified as a doping agent, and it can be used during the competition only by those athletes who have a medical certificate of illness. Unfortunately, wishing to win, some athletes pretend to be patients. But what they do not know is that these medications are not safe for health, especially for healthy people.
I hope I've at least partly answered the question that is often asked: whether people with asthma can take up sports and which ones are suitable. I also hope that I have helped to complete the understanding of the disease and thus facilitate the exercising for people suffering from asthma. Martial arts coaches, parents, and their children, people with asthma, it is useful to be informed about the disease so that the asthma attack would not surprise you. Be prepared, because the martial arts teach that nothing should surprise us!
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Bruce Lee's Back Exercises for Explosive Punching Power and Speed
Did you ever wonder why Bruce Lee was so focused on training his back muscles?
The back is like the core. It stabilizes the spine and shoulders. It also connects the power of your hips and arms to push, pull, rotate, and punch.
The force of your punch relies on your body, not just your arm. The power of your punch is generated by moving the mass of your body. The tension your muscles can create will determine the force and speed they can produce. There are many factors involved in developing your punch. However, strengthening your back is a good place to start and you will see instant changes in speed, power and explosiveness of your punching technique.
The Back is the Foundation
The back is the foundation for all pressing movements, for example, the chest and shoulders. When you do chest press or a shoulder press, the back stabilizes their movement. So, the strength and stability of the back is essential to develop your chest and shoulder press as well as your punching speed and power.
The purpose of Bruce Lee's back training routine was to strengthen his upper and lower back muscles as well as strengthen the rotational elements in his punching movement. You can see how and why he tweaked exercises. For example, when he did cable rows, he would rotate his palm up and down. In his bent over rows, he would rotate his spine at the top of the row to contract his opposite oblique of the arm doing the row.
Bruce's ways of back training produced size and strength of his back and the neuromuscular pattern of his punching technique- all three things needed to be fast and explosive. Understand, when it comes to big muscles, if you notice in photos of Bruce Lee, had a back like a cobra. It was wide and big. However, his shoulders were not. Big shoulders will slow you down.
Training your pulling motion is important to throw those fast 1-2 repetitive punches. When you throw or release your punch, you have to pull that arm back and rechamber the arm to punch again. So, you pulling motion will improve that, not just pressing. Also, the lat muscles connect the shoulder to the hips to transfer power effectively and maximally.
How to do Back Movements Effectively
- Retraction: squeeze your shoulder blades together. When you row for example, try to touch your shoulder blades together.
- Depression: pull your shoulder blades down. For example, when you do a lat pulldown, keep your shoulders down or focus on pulling them down.
- Elevation: when your shoulder blades rise up. For example, when doing upright rows and shrugs, you shoulder blades will lift up.
- Stabilization- is when your shoulder blades are in a neutral position. For example, when doing kettlebell suitcase carries or overhead carry walks. The purpose is to stabilize the shoulder blades.
The Bruce Lee Back Workout Routine
1. Bent over barbell row
2. Punching with dumbbells
3. Chin-up (overhand)
4. Chinning to the back of the neck
5. One-arm low-pulley row
6. One-arm kettlebell row
7. Behind the neck pull-down
8. Good morning
11. Stiff-legged deadlift
To see Bruce Lee's exercises, click on the video below and like and subscribe to see more videos of Bruce Lee's training as well as fitness, strength, and nutrition.
Lee focused on 8 to 12 reps for all the exercises, except when punching with weights. Punching with weights he would use about 2-3 pounds and punch repeatedly for 100 reps.
A rule of thumb to keep in mind when training your back.
- Train your pulling and rowing movements with 8-12 reps. You want to develop speed and strength in your arms.
- Train your lifts like deadlifts, between 5-8 reps to develop stability strength of the back.
- Train your carries with endurance.
If you would like more info about strength training, check out these books.
THE BALANCED BODY
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