Hey everyone, it’s an early Christmas here at IkigaiWay. I’m pleased to bring you the second installment of my Community Prize Giveaway series!
One of the things that makes the internets so great is the massive amount of interaction possible. People with similar interests and passions can get together and truly benefit from one another. IkigaiWay has an awesome group of commenters and readers, and that is something I appreciate greatly. In addition, there are two quickly growing communities on Facebook and Twitter that are augmenting the message I think we are trying to spread on a website like this (that the martial way is a noble and worthy pursuit!). That being said, I’d like to continue to encourage/thank all the readers here with a giveaway of some really cool prizes.
How to Win
Winning one of the prizes I have lined up is really quite simple. Leave a comment here, on Facebook, or on Twitter. Commenters are submitted to my random drawing program which selects a winner. The contest will run for appx 1 month…starting….now.
What is There to Win?
For this giveaway I have the pleasure of teaming up with the good folks at TheMMAZone.net. Tony and his team are working hard to accommodate online shoppers and are offering a bunch of quality products, a few of which he was kind enough to provide for this giveaway. For the traditional artists out there, don’t worry – MMAZone has gear for people of all different styles.
Give em a visit!
The Revgear kicks far outperform more classic foam dipped foot gear. Foam dipped have the potential to crack and wear over time, where as the Revgear feature a more flexible brushed surface while providing great protection. Top quality elastic is also used for the hook and loop closure.
To qualify, join the crew on twitter!
The Tiger Claw Mitts are extended all the way down to the lower forearm to provide enhanced protection. the striking surface is thickly padded and features a very comfortable hand compartment for the trainer/partner. Dual wrist loops ensure stable usage.
To qualify, join the Facebook crew!
IkigaiWay Website Prize
The last prize is dedicated to anyone who leaves a comment right here on the website itself. I think you’re really going to like these – Tiger Claw Muay Thai Striking Pads.
These serious pads are designed to resist the crushing kicks and blows of Muay Thai kickboxers. They feature thick, durable padding with a quality leather covering. The bag is secured through one comfort handle and two wrist strap. Useful for a wide variety of training regiments!
To qualify, leave a comment on any post you see coming up for the next month (counts on old posts as well).
I’ll be coming out with some new content asap, and I try to keep things updated on Facebook and Twitter daily. Hope to see you around.
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Just this past weekend Branden Strickland, a friend and fellow karateka, tied the big knot. Branden and Laura had an outdoor service that went off with great success. The weather cooperated unusually well, the scenery was excellent, and even their corgi Yoda behaved like a little gentleman.
Over this past summer Branden had to balance his work life, his ensuing wedding, and his black belt test all at the same time. Needless to say every day was smooth sailing with little to no stress. Despite how easy all of that must have been, Branden successfully got his black belt in Okinawa Kenpo Karate/Kobudo…and now in commitment as well.
Here are two additional photos, one of a group of Branden’s dojo mates and one of me and the big man himself.
Big congrats again to Branden and Laura. I dispense small thoughts about karate and the martial way here on this blog, but I am certainly not capable of giving advice in the marriage realm. Perhaps some of the more experienced readers out there can step in for me and give Branden a few cents worth of wisdom!
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The funny thing about technique is that it can be very alluring. Martial arts inspire great leaps of imagination and originality. So much so that people (including myself) are often tempted to examine all the various possibilities of technique. This can range from exploration of bunkai, self defense, takedowns, chokes, grappling methods, vital point striking, etc etc etc.
So what’s wrong with imagination and exploration? Nothing – I wholeheartedly encourage it. What I do want to warn you about though is technique overload.
The Age Old Battle: Quality vs Quantity
How many prearranged self defense techniques do you really need to learn? 20? 100? 200? Certainly having some available is desirable because it helps program the body during times of stress (much in the same way kata can). Unfortunately it can be extremely easy to go off the deep end and over plan. If 5 prearranged knife self defense techniques are good, certainly 50 would be better right?
In my experience (both personally and having interacted with people of other styles and arts), an abundance of prearranged techniques or series of techniques can actually hinder a person’s real ability to defend themselves. This occurs for two main reasons:
#1 Tons of techniques are learned in a shallow fashion. This is the same problem with too many kata. There is no time to acquire muscle memory through rote repetition. As fancy as some prearranged tactics can seem, they are useless if the body can’t conjure them up when it counts.
#2 Too many options create a mental roadblock. Take for example a punch to the face. If the mind must choose between 60 techniques regarding how to handle that punch, it wastes valuable milliseconds processing that decision. If, on the other hand, you’ve trained yourself to naturally shift out of the way using 1 out of 5-6 mastered block/strikes, your body can simply proceed naturally and move on to dispatching the opponent.
Fear and adrenaline should never be underestimated when it comes to compromising the wonderful things we are able to do in the dojo. A beautiful 4 point kyusho knockout technique that looks astounding on a compliant opponent becomes a jumbled mess when your heart rate is jumping and your hands are shaking.
If you study your art for long enough, you’ll begin to understand the core concepts that make so many different techniques work. Things like timing, distance, weight distribution, balance, and generation of power. It is then that a scant few techniques can take on a wide variety of personas.
Keep Exploring…Just Be Warned!
Explore your style with my blessing and encouragement. Just be sure to give as much attention to naturalness. Let yourself be attacked in unexpected ways. Give yourself opportunities to fail and find out where your weaknesses are. Don’t be too quick to cast aside basic, simple techniques (those are the very techniques that could save your life).
Most of all, whether we are talking about technique, or rank, or titles, or whatever, remember – quality outweighs quantity!
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