Sammy Smith Karate
In general, to be specialized in something means that you are known for doing one specific thing. For example, orthopedists are doctors that specialize in the bones of the body. Orthopedists even have specializations within themselves (some specialize in knees, some in hips etc). When you are specialized you can spend more time studying and excelling in that one area instead of focusing on multiple areas where your focus will be more widespread.

The same can be applied to martial arts and competitions. There are several different styles in martial arts. I have a black belt in both Kenpo karate and Tae Kwon Do. These two styles although they are both martial arts they are totally different from one another. From my experience Kenpo uses a lot of parries and fluid movements to get to the end attack which is very quick (but impressively dangerous). In Tae Kwon do there are a lot of blocks and kicks that are linear and straight to the point. Chances are that if you are a Tae Kwon Do practitioner that you have amazing kicks!

In sport karate competitions there are a lot of different divisions (each also having different rules and qualifications). There are the CMX divisions (creative, musical, extreme) for both weapons and forms. There are also traditional forms and traditional weapons. To go even further, in the 18+ adult divisions creative weapons and traditional weapons is separated by bladed and non-bladed weapons, and traditional forms is broken down by style of the form (Kenpo, Korean, Japanese, soft style). If you are just starting to compete it is always encouraged to get experience in as many divisions as you’d like. When I began competing I did almost every division I could; I did all the CMX and both traditional divisions. Even though I was successful in both (CMX and traditional), as I continued to compete, I learned that I liked the CMX divisions a little more. There is nothing wrong with liking traditional divisions over CMX ones, it’s all preference. (Also something important to keep in mind is that it is possible to be successful in both CMX and traditional divisions at the same time, as well as forms and sparring- there have been several competitors that have proven this to be true).

My recommendation to competitors starting out would be to try everything and decide over time which you like better. This advice goes for type of division and choice of weapon as well. I am known for nunchucks, but I have used both kamas and bo staff throughout my competition career. However, at some point it is encouraged to find what you like and to stick with it this way you can start to build your reputation and become recognized (and specialized).

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Executioners From Shaolin
Executioners From Shaolin / Lau Kar-leung

Dr. Craig’s Martial Arts Movie Lounge

In Part I, I covered the following films from 1970-1976 in order of the years the films came out: Brothers Five; The Avenger; Fist of Fury; Black Tavern; Chinese Iron Man; Defensive Power of Aikido; Fists of Vengeance; The Gallant;Pacific Connection; and The Tongfather. The last 10 films are presented in a similar fashion.
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Bruce Lee’s “10,000 Kicks” Challenge – Complete 10,000 Kicks in 10 Days

2021 Update!

The Power of the Martial Spirit = Master Yourself so You Can Be of Service to the World.
For millions of Americans, hungry kids are their reality. Not enough money to buy groceries. Not enough food to last until the next paycheck.

Black Belt Magazine, The Bruce Lee Foundation, and Sifu Harinder Singh are calling all Martial Artists and School Owners to come together to Kick Off the New Year and unite to Kick Hunger Away. Let’s make #10000KICKS go viral.

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Shutterstock / Slatan
When we think of superheroes, it is likely that images come to mind of Superman flying high over Metropolis, Spider-Man swinging from wrist-spun webs, or any variety of lasers shooting from alien eyes, some kind of magic weaponry, or ancient mystical powers. However, some superheroes created their superpowers, such as Batman, Green Arrow, Nightwing, The Punisher, and more. They forged their formidable skills through rigorous training and relentless dedication. And we can all do that. Can’t we?
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