Sammy Smith
Century Martial Arts
Ever since I was four years old martial arts has grown into becoming a large part of my identity. When I first started kenpo karate, I had no idea that this would become a passion which would then turn into something my life revolves around. As I continued my training, I became more and more serious about the art and soon found myself entering competitions.

Pretty much my entire childhood revolved around competing and becoming the best sport martial arts athlete, and very little of any other activity. This type of lifestyle taught me that I needed to be focused and dedicated without any distractions if I wanted to succeed- and I was fortunate enough to learn this at a very young age. The harder I worked and the more hours I put into training, the better I would become and eventually made a name for myself. This process and the recognition I was getting became addictive and I just wanted to keep reaching my fullest potential.

Sammy Smith Karate Young

Sammy Smith

But it's not all pretty and full of sunshine when you're trying to become one of the best. There were a lot of times throughout my training sessions where I'd go through injuries, mental blocks, and plenty of insecurity. I'd get so furious and annoyed at times that I would want to give up. But that was the true testament of a champion because a champion never gives up until their point is made. However, I found out throughout the years of competing that I would continue to fight this battle of an "ebb and flow." There were times I felt like I was on top; unstoppable, and winning everything, and there were other times that I felt like I should just "throw in the towel." And to be honest, I feel like every great athlete in any sport goes through these waves and it's all part of the journey. The more you become invested in something, the more you emotionally attach yourself to the outcome.

Sammy Smith Nunchucks

century martial arts

If you experience an "ebb" or lower point, it's going to impact you even harder because of the dedication. This poses a mental challenge that many great athletes must learn to deal with when competitions or practices don't always go their way. Being a professional martial artist, I've learned to overcome those negative emotions and recycle them into positive motivation to make sure I stay at the top.

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Bruce Lee Enter the Dragon / Enter the Dragon/ Warner Bros.
Bruce Lee really did have the Midas touch when it came to training. Most people think Bruce was advanced and complicated, but he was the master of simplicity. He was not worried about doing the jump-up flip spin-around back kick. Not sure if there is one. But by the time you land, Bruce would just throw a simple kick or punch to knock you down as you landed to the ground. However, that is the point. Simplicity is often overlooked because of the coolness and the latest and greatest workout when simplicity produces the most significant effect. Super complicated does not mean superior. This is actually reverse in fact. We see super complex exercises that don’t need to be. Truthfully, if an exercise or method is not straightforward in its approach, then it probably is not good.
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Woodley Paul 2
Photo Courtesy: CBS Sports

Tommy Fury, half-brother of heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, has withdrawn from his upcoming bout with undefeated YouTuber-turned-boxer Jake Paul due to injury, per ESPN. The match was supposed to be contested at 192 pounds for eight, three-minute rounds on December 18. Thanks to former UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley, the show must go on.

Woodley, who was defeated by Paul via controversial split decision in August, will seek redemption on short notice. The announcement of the rematch comes less than two weeks before the event takes place. According to Paul, Woodley will receive a $500,000 bonus if he is able to land a knockout. However, Paul doesn't expect this to happen, claiming that he is going to "punish" the 39-year-old mixed martial artist.

The Woodley-Paul grudge match is not the only exciting fight on the Showtime pay-per-view card, as ESPN's #3 ranked female boxer Amanda Serrano will take on Miriam Gutierrez in the co-main event. There will also be another celebrity matchup between 3x NBA All-Star point guard Deron Williams and 5x NFL Pro Bowl running back Frank Gore, who will duke it out in a heavyweight bout.

A social media sensation versus a former MMA world champion. Two world class lady warriors. A former professional basketball player versus a member of the NFL 2010's All-Decade Team. Who will have their hand raised that night? Stay tuned for more news and updates about the event from Black Belt Magazine, both here on our website and on social media.

Instagram post from Tyron Woodley:

Karate training
Shutterstock / Kzenon

I have a confession to make: I’m a romantic for cheesy martial art movies.

One of my favorite things to watch in kung fu cinema is a teacher tortu–er, training a novice student. Of course, it is easy to see how we fit in the script. Regardless of our level, it is important to have a mentor who can help guide us properly in our training.

A big part of our growth as people and martial artists is finding the correct ways to be challenged and to promote our depth of understanding. While that duty often is seen as only befalling on the person you study under, there are various things we can consciously do to mix up our training to glean better benefits.

Check out these methods and you’ll soon be able to add new levels of realism to your training and find any hidden holes in your techniques!

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