Thursday, March 26, 2015

Warrior Cultures


Warrior Culture

3-26-2015 Last night I watched a very long Youtube interview video where this MMA coach talks about warrior culture. He felt that the best warriors were from Europe. It was very interesting to hear all the historical information that he had accumulated, but sadly it was an ear sore to hear his extreme bias and prejudice. I then asked myself why does he have to say these things? Is it because so many people say that Samurai warriors are the best, and it became annoying for him? Which is understandable because anyone who speaks with their own bias as if it were the only view point that matters is extremely annoying. Sadly he was making the same mistake himself. If this was the reason why he had to retaliate and claim that the European warriors were the best, then really it's not about the Samurai warriors at all, it's about the annoying behaviors some people have. The mindless people who say this warrior is the best or that warrior is the best, are really just parroting some pompous jerk's words. Every culture has warrior culture, every one of those warriors were amazing in their own way. So to say one is better than the other is stupid. He seemed to have a hatred towards Asian culture, and he continued to bash the Mongols. He said that those guys were only successful because they were on horse back and were good at archery. He said that if they went into the woods of Europe they wood loose in close range combat. This is a silly argument because warfare includes everything, just like in MMA, some guys are good at stand up striking, others are good at dirty boxing, others sprawl and brawl, while others ground and pound you, and let's not forget the submission experts. One field isn't better than the other. His argument is like saying Boxing is the best because your suppose to fight like a man. He said that the ancient Japanese warriors are not that impressive because they only fought each other, meaning they did not test themselves in the world. He said that any warriors that didn't battle other warriors from other countries probably aren't that good. Once again this is a silly argument because Boxers only face boxers, and wrestlers compete against other wrestlers, and they can still be very formidable because they are very good at what they do. After watching his very long interview, at the end he basically stated that he himself had European warrior blood line running through his veins. So I think at the end of the day he was just basically promoting himself. The interviewer was a young martial artist who marveled at this guy's historical knowledge ignoring the extreme bias and said that this guy was one of the best martial artists he had ever trained with. All I have to say is be careful folks, don't put your instructor on a pedestal, and watch out for any extremely negative point of view that has a superiority complex. A superiority complex just leads to prejudice. Don't hate, make peace.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Solo and Partner Training

Solo Training On my Youtube channel I focus most if not all my efforts on solo training. However I don't want students to think that solo training is all that's necessary, there are many more areas that are just as important, such as partner training. I mainly focus on solo training on my Youtube channel because I understand that most people are probably watching my videos at home or in their office. They may not have a training partner, fancy equipment, or even that much space for the matter. I want to make instructional videos for those that can't afford to go to a martial arts school, or for those people that may be stuck in a hotel somewhere. From my own experiences I can tell you that there were more times where I have been at home and alone rather than training at a school with partners. For that simple reason alone, I think it is wise to learn how to become adept at solo training. If you become good at solo training, then you will always be able to train, no matter where you are. While there are many important things in solo training, if I had to say what is the most important, I have to say that it's to just shut up and train. Simply because when your solo training there is a tendency to over think things and get lost in your own head. People tend to become too critical of others, and worry too much about what other people are doing. Don't compare so much, study yourself, hone your skills, be honest to yourself, and you will find that martial arts done right is positive, nurturing, and a self correcting path. Partner Training If you look up FMA videos on Youtube, you will see that most of them are partner training videos. If it looks unrealistic to you, understand that what they are doing is for skill development, not for gaining realistic experiences. If you want to beat on something you should practice on a old junk couch, or hanging tire, not your training partner. Full contact sparring is a test of your skills, development of your combat skills is a completely different animal and it should be done differently. In Grappling magazine which was released a long time ago, I read a quote from Rickson Gracie where he says to develop skill you have to spar without using your strength, speed, flexibility, or any kind of attributes. When you add all the other stuff it becomes more realistic but then it takes away from the skill development. Bruce Lee is often misunderstood for the quote where he said something along the lines of if you want to become good at sprinting, you have to run. Martial arts wise I think people misunderstand that as if you want to be good at fighting you have to train by fighting. I think he meant one needed to incorporate realistic training methods. I do not think that he meant for you to make all of your training into full contact sparring. I also do not think that he meant for you to make full contact sparring the most important part of your training either. For partner training I have to say that most important thing is to become a good training partner. To get the most out of your training sessions you also have to help others become a good training partner too. If your able to make an environment where everyone is a good training partner then you cut out the drama and results. I have had CEO types come in to my school as clients rather than students and they demand to learn a particular skill and all they care about is themselves. This kind of aggressive get what you want mentality only makes you miss out on things because at the end of the day it should be about team work. And so much more can be accomplished through a strong team compared to a strong individual.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

sparring


I was fortunate to have trained in a variety of martial art styles. I like to divide martial art styles into three major categories, Traditional, Tactical, and Sport. And I've been able to train in styles from all three of these categories. I did this because I feel that the styles found in each one of these categories could help me get a more complete picture. Regardless of what style I trained in, I always realized the value of sparring. I feel that if your serious about combat then you need to have enough sparring experience. I also felt that I had an advantage over some people because not only did I have sparring experience, but I also had experience sparring against practitioners from various styles. Typically a Judo person only trains and competes against another Judo person, same with Boxers going up against other Boxers, Karate Vs Karate, and Wrestling Vs Wrestling. I think most people will agree that sparring is necessary to become effective. However it's funny that the same people who say sparring is important will also say that combat sport is not realistic because it's a sport. To me sport competition is nothing more than sparring cranked up to the extreme. It's more intense, more competitive, more difficult, and more on the line than regular sparring. My logic is simple, since they are the same creature, if sparring is beneficial then so is sport competition. On the flip side I've had students tell me they want to spar full contact in my class. I ask them why and they say because it's how you get good. I tell them it's how you get hurt. While sparring is important, people tend to focus too much on the winning and on the success rather than on the learning. It can inflate your ego. It's also very easy to end up sparring against those that you know are weaker than you which will only further increase your illusions of grandeur. A few of my students wanted to spar so that they could test out their techniques and skills. And once again the testing becomes more important than the learning. Students want confirmation that they are getting better, but confidence should come from how much work they put in not from passing a test or some measurement of who they can beat. Often times in Tactical martial arts, practitioners will wear safety gear and go all out in the name of realism. Often times I think they don't put in enough time training their skills, but instead they focus on the testing. So even if they pass their test their technique is severely lacking. The instructor will often times give the wrong impression by saying that in real life technique is ugly. Real life is difficult and chaotic, it can easily reduce your skill, but you should still sharpen your technique as much as you can. Don't say that real life is ugly as an excuse to be sloppy. When you do hone your skills, you need to isolate the technique and train it in a fixed pattern. It becomes very unrealistic, but it doesn't matter, because your working on skill development. The things that make it realistic will hinder your skill development that is why we separate skill development from realistic training. You definitely need to practice both, but if you combine the two you might get confused and not get the most out of training. Plus, contrary to popular belief you cannot develop as much skill while sparring full contact. Bruce Lee said something like, if you want to run fast, you need to run. So if you want to be able to fight, then you need to spar full contact. What people forget is that Bruce Lee did sticky hands drills, he also did forms, he also engaged in technique practice, and striking bags. He was an animal for training according to Chuck Norris. What I'm trying to say is that Bruce Lee did both, he didn't just spar. Fight Application When using martial arts in a real fight, the first step is to have a plan, any plan, from any style, and you should be one step ahead of your opponent who at this point let's just say is a brawler, he just has to make up stuff on the fly, and that is a tall order in an intense extreme circumstance. Level 2 is to use the details from the plan against your opponent. Slip their right cross, and counter with a left hook to the body and right cross to the chin. Your setting them up because your know that their right cross is not crisp, that they over extend it and they are a little slow to bringing it back. Even if your opponent has a plan too, you can defeat them if they are not as thorough as precise, you can find holes in their game plan and exploit these weaknesses. Level 3 is to see the big picture and use it against them, so if your facing a guy who is using level 2 details against you, then even though you may not know the exact details of what they are looking at, you know that they are setting you up, and you can counter that with something they aren't going to be able to see because they are too focused on the small things. They get so lost in their own world that they can't possibly keep up with every detail, they forget to see the big picture. Level 4 is a guy who can change games plans in the middle of a fight. Fedor Emelianenko was one of the few fighters I've ever seen do this so well at such a high level. Being able to use multiple plans adapting to your opponent making them have to keep up with you is so rough on them. It's like living in a harsh environment where it changes from one extreme weather to the next. Extreme heat, ice cold blizzard, hurricane, tornado, etc. I don't know what Level 5 is, and it's interesting to think about it. But it's also interesting to apply this to domestic fights. People get into fights all the time with their girl friend or family members. When you do, can you apply the above tactics? Because ultimately your loved one is not the right person you should be fighting with, there has been some sort of miscommunication and fighting is a loss for both of you.

Monday, March 2, 2015

vampire journals from Full Moon

vampire journals
film review by Wmpyr

If you like the Subspecies series from Full Moon, then this one fits right along. I was pleasantly surprised and impressed, it's totally different from Full Moon's other vampire title Decadent Evil, and goes along the lines of telling a classy vampire story much like the Subspecies films that focus more on the mood and story telling rather than the gore and campyness.

PIT AND THE PENDULUM BY FULL MOON

pit and the pendulum
film review by Wmpyr

I remember seeing this film back in the early 90s on cable. It helped that I saw a making of feature in addition to the film itself. Back then I remember being fascinated but also sickened by it at the same time. This is basically a torture flick. There are some interesting scenes such as when they were searching for the devil's sign on the poor girl, the herbal witch who eats up gun powder, and an intense flogging sequence that will have you cringe. Overall it's just a little too disturbing for me. I prefer the comedy horror from Full Moon rather than their serious attempts like this one. I do like the historical setting, it was believable to me, it took me into that era. Lance Henriksen does a good job acting as the psychotic inquisitor. The story made enough sense to me, explaining how the inquisition conducted unfair practice.



GHOULIES IV film review by Wmpyr

Ghoulies 4 (1994)
film review by Wmpyr

I was really looking forward to Ghoulies 4, and I really wanted to like this one, since it starts off with a very campy feel to it, a demon worshiping ninja chick takes out some security guards and then spray paints a pentagram on the floor to summon her master. Sadly the story/screenplay is what ruins this, it's a big mess and I don't know what the heck is going on, and another negative probably has to do with the Ghoulies, we see two, and they really don't do a whole lot even though the film is titled Ghoulies, they seem pretty minor in the actual film. The best part of this film I have to say are the fight scenes, if it had anymore it would turn into a B-movie martial arts flick. It's not a terrible flick, because it's easy watching, but it definitely has some huge problems if you want to enjoy it, like I said, I really tried to like it.



Sunday, March 1, 2015

Housebound film review by Wmpyr

HOUSEBOUND (2014)
film review by Wmpyr

I was very surprised by this New Zealand flick. All the characters were written great and played well by the actors. The first part of the film convincingly gives you the impression that it's a supernatural flick, and then delightfully changes it to an action thriller. The concept of the Eugene character is great and when they finally meet up with him and he shows them the drawings, it was a really memorable scene. And that's the thing, this film is loaded with many good scenes. Highly recommended. When Kylie puts on the cheese grater on her arm like a gauntlet, I was on the edge of my seat rooting for her to kick some butt! Her parole officer Amos who suddenly reveals himself to be a paranormal investigator I lol so hard, it's such a fun well made flick 5/5 stars.



trancers III from Full Moon

Trancers 3 (1992)
film review by Wmpyr

I've been wanting to watch this Full Moon flick for a while now. I did enjoy the first 2 films, but I have to say that this one so far is my favorite. From the moment Shark the large android that Jack Deth likes to call Godzilla, makes an appearance I was all happy because even though I didn't remember this film, I remembered Shark all these years. I like the training facility run by Colonel Daddy Muthuh. I thought Dawn Anne Billings looked magnetic in this physical role that required her to have some fight scenes. I could tell that she has dance training, she along with many of the other actors did a good job bringing many of their qualities to the table. I thought the plot was going to be a jumbled mess, but it was actually quite straight forward and I was just able to enjoy the action, however I did miss the slow motion watch. Looking forward to seeing the Trancer films that come after this one.