In This Hub:
Adrenal Decay
Aliveness and Other Nonsense
Basic vs. Fundamentals
Effective Movement
Evaluating an MA
Finding Range
Four Focuses of MA
Know Your Tools
MA/SD/DT Training
Message to Instructors
Muscling Your Movement
Mushy Movement
Power Generation & Delivery
Receiving Force
Repercussions of Violence
Training Goals
Unnecessary Movement
What If Monkeys
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Legal Aid/Training
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Terry Trahan

Leading the Way
Tim Bown
(Martial arts instruction)

Trauma Aware Self-Defense
Anna Valdisseri

A nation that will insist on drawing a broad line of demarcation
between the fighting man and the thinking man
will have its fighting done by fools and its
thinking done by cowards.
                            Sir William Francis Butler


Martial Training

On this page:
Adrenal decay | Aliveness and Other Nonsense* | Angles | Application (bunkai) | Basics vs. Fundamentals | Distance | Effective Movement | Evaluating a Martial Art | Finding a Technique's Optimum Range | Four Focuses of Martial Arts | Know Your Tools | McDojo | Message to School Owners/Instructors | Muscle | Mushy Movement | Power | Receiving Force | Stance | Technique | Training Goals | Unnecessary Movement | What If Monkeys

This martial arts sub-hub is collection of tips, ideas and concepts for training. Issues that by sitting down and considering you can -- and will -- greatly enhance the effectiveness of what you are doing. This no matter what level you are at.

Our reasoning for this is twofold: First, is so that a student can use these ideas to learn the art/style/system/training that he/she is involved in. These are explanations of issues, challenges and concepts that are often confusing and/or poorly explained. This is not a condemnation of your instructor, what it is based on is that often an instructor does moves so instinctively that it can be difficult to articulate them. By explaining these concepts the student can learn and faster, easier and with greater comprehension.

Our second reason, is to provide a set of explanations that instructors can use to communicate to the students ideas that are often difficult for beginners to grasp. Elements that the instructor may understand instinctively, but often has a hard time communicating -- for the very reason that they are so ingrained that they are unconsciously done. These elements, while they are instinctive to the instructor, are not apparent to the student. And without specific articulation and explanation, a majority of your students will never develop these attributes. (And we suspect that the frustration of trying to make partial techniques work plays a significant role in student drop out).

Both purposes help students learn faster and focus on important aspects that must be present for them to effectively apply what they are learning. What we wish to do with this section is address elements relating to training, understanding and the application of your art/system...that's complex enough without muddying the water with all kinds of other issues..

Adrenal Decay
Get a cup of coffee before you go to this page. Most of what people 'know' about adrenal decay is advertising. I take a chainsaw to the misconceptions, misunderstandings, mythology -- and most of all -- marketing that surrounds your martial arts training and adrenal decay.

Aliveness and Other Nonsense

There are some bad training paradigms that have crept into the martial arts world. Unfortunately, ill informed instructors, commercialized schools and watered down martial art systems have given marketers of these 'training fads' a target rich environment to draw people from traditional martial arts. See how many of these' what you think you know is advertising' that you've fallen for.

Understanding slight directional changes in how you are applying force has a major effect on how much work you have to do and how effective you are. Learning how to correctly use angles is a critical step in improving how effective you are -- and if your opponent can keep on resisting you.

Application (Bunkai)
The sad truth is that most of what is explained as the uses of moves from forms/katas simply does not work. That does not, however, that the move cannot work. There are several ways that thing can -- and do -- go wrong. We provide a checklist of ideas you can use to analyze why a move isn't working the way you were told it does.

Basics vs. Fundamentals
Many people do not understand that -- although very close in meaning -- there is a difference between these two terms. A difference, that if you do not consciously address, critical components will be lost from instruction. Unfortunately, most people neither know or address these differences and by doing so rob themselves and their students of effectiveness.

Where you are standing has major influence on whether at technique is going to work or not. Notice we didn't say 'whether or not you can do the technique' we said whether it is going to work or not. Unfortunately many people try to make a technique work from the wrong distance, in doing so they rob themselves of power and effectiveness. This introduction to the importance of distance (range) will help you understand why so often things aren't working.

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Effective Movement
The importance of effective movement cannot be understated, it is a fundamental. Unfortunately, it is a fundamental that's significance has been lost to many people -- including most instructors. This page not only addresses the standards of effective movement, but the tactical and strategic implications and applications.

Evaluating a Martial Art
How can you tell something is 'good' if you don't know what you are looking at ... or what you are looking for? There are key points to look for when evaluating a martial art's effectiveness.

Finding a Techniques Optimum Range
Now that you know distance/range is so important for power delivery how do you find it for a particular technique? Here is a simple series of experiments you can do to find a technique's optimum range.

"The Four Focuses of the Martial Arts"
While there are many reasons to study the martial arts, there are basically four main focuses. Each focus is valid and worthwhile. Each is extremely specialized and tailored to achieve a certain goal. It is by recognizing the four different focuses that allows you to select the school, style and focus that best suits your needs.

Know Your Tools
One of the most ignorant things anyone can say is "I know that already." This simple statement is why the counter -- common among survival trainers -- of "What you think you know will kill you" was developed. Before you can apply your tools in different situations you have to have thought about how to do it. Although largely philosophical, the points made on this page will forever change how you look at training.

Message To MA School Owners/Instructors
Fads, fashions and trends affect what is taught as martial arts. However, we suspect there is something looming on the horizon that will not just have an effect on your teaching, but that if you don't adapt to it, it will crush your business. The Open Message to MA School Owners/Instructors is to give you a chance to prepare for what we see is coming as the future of martial arts.

There are many reasons a school can turn into a McDojo. The biggest problem is the poor training that they provide can burn you out on the martial arts. However, if you leave a belt factory for better training another problem you'll face a different problem from learning a watered down system. That is that McDojo training makes it difficult to relearn a movement -- but in an effective way The different ways of moving will conflict with each other. Instead of having to relearn everything, learn how to spot a McDojo.

Unfortunately, many martial artists when they are in the wrong range and moving poorly try to compensate by using muscle. If you're big and strong enough it might even seem like you are making a flawed technique work ... you're not, you&'re using muscle. Many problems arise from this, not the least of which is a smaller, weaker person cannot make a bad technique work this way. We take a look a this and the other problems that arise from using muscle to try to make your martial arts work.

Mushy Movement
The challenge is not how to generate more force, the challenge is how not to waste the force you are already generating. Unfortunately, many people -- by not understanding the significance of their system's movement -- fail at this challenge. Worse, many martial artists -- in trying to solve this problem, by cross training -- end up creating more problems. Over and above the tendency to incorrectly move within their own system, quite often, cross trained individuals end up attempting to execute moves from other systems based on their original style's body mechanics. This results in additional loss of power. This page addresses the fundamentals of power generation through body movement.

Many people mistakenly believe that effective fighting is about how much power you generate. We disagree. We feel that being able to effectively deliver power into you opponent is more about what you don't do to lose power. And while the list long of what people don't know about power generation, it is even longer with how they lose power.

Receiving Force
Although written for law enforcement officers, this page may prove useful to martial artists in its explanation on how to take the force your opponent is generating without losing the ability to operate tactically.

Odds are you weren't taught how to use stances properly. Here are concepts that your instructor more than likely didn't explain to you about the Stances you use.

It's time to take a long hard look at what you think a technique is. What does a technique do, what doesn't it do? And what do you need to be focusing on when you teach a technique?

Training Goals
What are you expecting out of your self-defense training? Before you think you are getting effective self-defense training, you had better understand the different training goals and what is involved in different types of training.

Unnecessary Movement
There is a BIG (did we mention big?) difference between what generates power and what you think generates power. Unfortunately, what you think makes for a powerful move plays way too big of a part in how you move. Many people, in attempting to add in more power actually are robbing themselves of power by putting in extra and unnecessary movement.

What If Monkeys
It seems that no matter what seminar you go to there is always someone asking "What if it doesn't work?" Although this page is important for students to read, this page is by and large written for martial arts/ self-defense instructors, giving them advice on how to handle WIMs

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Writing Violence
MacYoung e-book
(Defensive action and failure)

Bunkai-Jutsu Kata
Iain Abernethy
(Analyzing kata)

Indonesian Fighting Fundamentals
Bob Orlando
(MA, Kuntao, Silat, training)

Effortless Combat Throws
Tim Cartmell
(MA, SD, law enforcement)

Chokes and Sleeper Holds
Alain Burrese DVD
(SD, MA, street)

Hardcore heavy bag training
Wim DeMeere
(MA, self-defense, training)

Liar, Cheat and Thief
Maija Soderholm
(knife and sword)

Speed Training
(MA, reflexes, increasing speed)

Way to Black Belt
(Martial art progression)

Musashi In Plain English
Peyton Quinn
(MA, Philosophy)

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