In this seminar, enjoy a rebroadcast of a session with defending ISKA weapons world champion Jackson Rudolph courtesy of our friends at Century Martial Arts! Jackson is known for his bo routines that combine powerful traditional striking and innovative release techniques for demonstration and competitive purposes.
By third degree Shou Shu Kung Fu black belt, certified teacher of Xing Yi, and writer Noel Plaugher.
When you hear the words "martial art weapons," undoubtedly the image of Bruce Lee's body, glistening with sweat, and dual nunchucks tucked under his arms, comes to mind. We watch amazed as he dispatches a series of attackers, all attacking one at a time, with ease. But aside from being a flashy addition to a martial art movie, what good are they?
In all of the styles I have studied there have been weapon forms, and initially, I was loath to learn them always questioning, "What's the point? Am I going to walk around with a broadsword? A six-foot staff? However, to ask the question was really missing the point. True, that today training with weapons for combat or self-defense may not be practical, but that doesn't mean they aren't useful.
Studying weapons has many benefits.
The weapon becomes an extension of your body and by moving around a broadsword, staff, or Bokken you will improve your body motion and have a better feel and understanding of energy flow. Using a weapon, especially training with a wooden one like a sword or staff, will build up strength in your arms, shoulders, and core as well as better coordinating the hips and hands. You tend to get an overall integrated feeling with your body the more you train. You will feel the difference in your empty-hand techniques as well. Moving the weapon will help you move everything together with unified power.
One thing that became apparent the first time I took out an entire shelf full of cherished ceramic knick-knacks with my staff, is that training with weapons will also help you better understand fighting distances. If you can imagine a series of shrinking circles, with yourself in the middle, it will help illustrate the various distances and ranges from: long weapon (staff), short weapon (sword), kicks, hand weapons, and grappling. If your training encompasses all these distances you will have a more complete knowledge of the space between you and your opponent.
Does your art have weapon forms? If so, get started with those. Start slowly and build up your skill. If your style doesn't have any weapons, then train in something that does. In this age of Covid-19, you can find a lot of material on YouTube. Review some weapons forms that look interesting to you, order your chosen equipment and start.
Jackson Rudolph Bo Staff Tip of the Month: Showing Difficulty in Traditional Forms www.youtube.com
Remembering my mishap with the decorative ceramics, you should consider how much space you need. I prefer to practice my weapons outside. Sometimes I go to a park, or just workout in my driveway. I like training outside, there is plenty of room and the rain, sun, and wind feels good on my skin. Do what works for you.
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In this exclusive video, Richard "Mack" Machowicz discusses and demonstrates targeting principles during an outdoor photo shoot for Black Belt magazine!
Richard "Mack" Machowicz, an ex-Navy SEAL and former host of the cable-TV series Future Weapons, as well as a student of taekwondo, muay Thai, kali, boxing, Brazilian jiu-jitsu and Paul Vunak's jeet kune do,discusses the three dynamic elements of combat (movements, weapons and targets) in this exclusive footage shot on location by Black Belt magazine. "Rarely if ever will you experience combat," Richard "Mack" Machowicz says, "and most likely you will never see combat in a literal sense, but the principles that make for effectiveness in battle are relevant to the daily challenges you face." It's his way of telling people that the benefits of what he's about to explain extend far beyond fighting. After interrogating Richard "Mack" Machowicz for 10 minutes, however, I learn that it would be a huge mistake to dismiss him as a guy who uses self-defense to preach self-help. It would be just as erroneous to brush him off as just another retired military man who doesn't know that the skills civilians need are radically different from the skills soldiers need. Twenty minutes into our interview, it's clear that Mack is a martial artist who can throw down and a guy who sees the big picture with respect to violence. Which is probably why he's so successful at what he does.
Get the inside story of one man's transition from being "just a fighter" to being deployed to the Middle East as an elite combatant in this FREE download!
From MMA to CQC: Tim Kennedy on Army Combatives, MACP, SOCP, Combat Fitness and the Future of Close-Quarters Combat
After he'd become a hand-to-hand-combat instructor for his SEAL Team and studied muay Thai, kali, boxing, Brazilian jiu-jitsu and Paul Vunak's take on jeet kune do, Mack found himself in an interesting quandary. “There were so many ideas I wanted to convey that [I had to convert them] into simple principles," he says. “Why? Because people tend to get stuck on technique. They don't understand that techniques apply to specific situations at specific times in specific ways. That means techniques are limited. Principles are more universal. The basic principle of 'target dictates weapon and weapons dictate movement' can apply to everything in life because everything is a target, a weapon or a movement."
Mack explains that fighting is composed of three dynamic elements, then forces me to exercise my brain a bit to see the light: “From nukes to hand-to-hand combat, everything in life is a movement, a weapon or a target."
During the photo shoot to accompany the interview, he put the theory into practice with our creative director, as shown in this video:
RICHARD "MACK" MACHOWICZ VIDEO Ex-Navy SEAL on Movements, Weapons and Targets in Combat
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Two-time UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir explains how he balances diet, workouts and MMA training against the backdrop of family and everyday life. Learn from a guy who’s definitely “been there, done that” so YOU can start improving your OWN program!
Download this FREE Guide to starting an MMA diet to fuel your
MMA workouts and enhance your MMA techniques:
The MMA Diet: How to Fuel Your Tank for Better Execution of MMA Techniques and Self-Defense Moves!
FRANK MIR VIDEO: BEHIND THE SCENES AT HIS MMA TECHNIQUES PHOTO SHOOT Watch the MMA Techniques Expert and MMA Workouts Powerhouse Being Photographed for Black Belt Magazine
Enjoy Training to Improve Your MMA Techniques“I’m constantly in the gym because I enjoy being a martial artist,” Frank Mir says. “Who doesn’t love to go to the gym and train if you’re into martial arts? I spend two or three days a year in an octagon with millions of people watching, and that provides me with the chance to be at the gym every other day, hanging out with my family and friends and doing what I love most.”
The Dangers of Overtraining During MMA WorkoutsIf you get hurt in your MMA workouts or preparing stronger MMA techniques for a big fight, chances are you’ll have to wait months for another shot. Frank Mir found that out the hard way when a shoulder injury prevented him from facing Antoni Hardonk on April 5, 2007. He wasn’t able to meet him in the octagon until August 25 — some four and a half months later.
Get the Best Martial Arts Training and MMA Techniques Coaching From Top InstructorsFrank Mir has a top-notch team that puts him through the necessary paces during his MMA workouts and training to power up his MMA techniques. He hones his wrestling skills with Mike Whitehead and Ricky Landell. Robert Drysdale has been his Brazilian jiu-jitsu coach for years. He credits Jimmy Gifford for helping him develop his boxing ability and footwork. Shawn Yarborough and Peter Pinter, one of Mark DellaGrotte’s head instructors, push him on the finer points of muay Thai. These pieces of MMA techniques training work synergistically, he says. “It’s not like I listen to one guy for half an hour by himself. All five or six guys are standing there at the same time, and whenever I enter an area of their expertise, they offer input.”
Perform Anaerobic Exercises in Your MMA Workouts“I’m not a big proponent of heavyweights going out for a jog,” Frank Mir says. “I’ve just never been a believer in building up cardio for a fight. Fighting is very anaerobic, so that’s the type of training I do.”
Focus on Resistance Training Exercises During MMA WorkoutsFrank Mir hits the free weights three to four times a week as part of his MMA workouts to strengthen his MMA techniques. “I believe they build more stabilizing muscles and balance than machines do,” he says. “You want to build up to intensely physical exercises. The more intense, the better it’ll be for you.”
Deploy Combat-Conditioning Exercises During MMA WorkoutsFrank Mir says he lifts heavy during his MMA workouts for one reason: to get stronger doing movements he’ll need to perform MMA techniques in a fight. “Weighted pull-ups, for example, use muscles you’ll use in a grappling match,” he says. Similarly, he recommends jump squats to train your legs in a way that will benefit you in combat.
Use Circuit-Training Exercises in Your MMA WorkoutsFrank Mir likes to break up the monotony of weightlifting during his MMA workouts with circuit-training exercises like hoisting a huge tire and slamming a sledgehammer into a tractor tire. Sometimes he’ll drag a heavy weight for five minutes, give himself a one-minute break and resume the dragging, which simulates the pace and the explosiveness of MMA techniques in a fight. He varies the intensity of the drills during his MMA workouts to make sure he’s hitting his muscles and cardio from every possible angle. He might bob and weave under a rope for 45 seconds, then clean and jerk a 200-pound stone 10 times in 90 seconds. After that, he might switch back to a low-intensity exercise before finishing with something that’s super-high intensity. It’s his preferred way to simulate the chaos of fast-and-furious MMA techniques in the cage.
Make Your MMA Diet Like a Cave-Man DietFrank Mir once said that when he’s training for the next display of his MMA techniques in the cage, he likes his MMA diet to mimic that of a cave man. In other words, his MMA diet minimizes his intake of processed foods. “I don’t do that quite as much as I did before because my weight is more in control,” he says. “Eating that strict makes you more lean, and it’s difficult for someone with my frame to carry the weight that I’d like to. “But for the most part, we’ve decided as a family that we won’t eat a lot of processed foods. In my house, we don’t have bags of potato chips and soda. If you open the fridge, there’s orange juice, water and organic milk. We do eat breads — the hard breads, stone-ground wheat. Pretty much nothing you would pop in a microwave is going to be in my home.”
Find Healthy Foods to Eat for Your MMA Diet“A lot of health problems you see — heart problems, liver problems, weight problems and diabetes— [come from] not eating healthy,” he says. “Get 100 people who eat right and 100 people who eat garbage, and the 100 who eat garbage are going to be the ones at the hospital. There are times I’ll enjoy a pizza with the family, but we don’t eat fast food every day.”
The Benefits of Fish Oil in One's MMA Diet“Nutrabolics, a Canadian company, ships me my supplements, and I use them extensively,” Frank Mir says of his MMA diet. “The only thing they don’t have that I use is fish oil — I’m pretty big on that just because of cholesterol. I’ve always tried to pay attention to cholesterol because of my father being from Cuba. He works out and takes good care of himself, but he has an issue with cholesterol. The doctor explained to him that he has a genetic predisposition, and I inherited that.”
Protein Shake Supplements in Frank Mir's MMA Diet“I’m big on protein,” Frank Mir says. “Every time I sit down to eat, I make sure it’s in the majority of my food. We eat a lot of chicken and fish, but every once in a while, I have to have some red meat — once every two weeks, I’ll get a nice steak in my system.” Most of the protein in Frank Mir's MMA diet comes from lighter sources, he says. “I supplement with protein shakes — two a day to make sure I cover my bases. If you go without protein, you can break your muscles down and start feeding off them. That’s not a good thing. You want to keep your muscles fueled properly so your training is more productive.”
Whey Protein Isolate in Frank Mir's MMA Diet“I’ve always been a big whey user, the double-filtered isolate,” Frank Mir says of his MMA diet. “It’s easy to mix, and I don’t have any problems digesting it. I drink a gallon of milk a day, so I get a lot of protein through that, also.”
Frank Mir’s First Leap Into a Public Show of His MMA TechniquesFrank Mir put his MMA techniques to use publicly for the first time when he was 21. “It scared me,” he recalls. “The idea of combat with another human being was terrifying, and I didn’t want it to be something that paralyzed my decision-making skills. It’s annoying when something has such control over you.” His solution was to leap into the lion’s den. “When I was walking down to my first fight, I could hear my heart beating,” he remembers. “I couldn’t even swallow — I stuck the mouthpiece in and almost vomited because I was so cottonmouthed. You couldn’t even tell the color of my eyes because they were so dilated.” Now when he walks down the aisle and into the octagon to bring his MMA techniques to bear, he’s as cool as a cucumber. “I almost have to ask somebody to make me mad,” he says. “I felt bad about the Cheick Kongo fight because you could see me yawning as they announced my name. I didn’t mean it as a sneer — I really was that relaxed.”
How to Cut Fat From Your MMA WorkoutsIf you think right and train for better MMA techniques the right way, there’s no reason to spend eight hours a day in the gym or the dojo, Frank Mir says in regard to MMA workouts. “How much can you really accomplish? You warm up, cool down, strategize, talk between sets and rounds. Once you break it all down, you’re really only working out for 40 minutes. Cut the fat off your workouts. If you’re not being productive, go home and spend time with your wife and kids.” More About Frank Mir:
- Frank Mir: Official UFC Profile Page
- Frank Mir's Page for Fans on Facebook
- Follow Frank Mir on Twitter