A while ago I was doing a giveaway and Jesse Crouch from Martial Explorer said to me: “Hey buddy, how about a little something special for the people that are linking to you and talking about your stuff?”
I realized shortly after that, dangit, he was right! Since then I’ve been waiting for an opportunity to make that happen (which has finally arrived).
My free ebook “The Student’s Guide to Surviving a Traditional Dojo” is out and ready to go! As people get a chance to check it out, I would greatly appreciate any links, reviews, or discussions of it. But, instead of just being grateful, I’d like to offer up some sweet prizes to anyone generous enough to mention the book on their own website.
First let’s talk about the prizes, then the finer details.
For this contest there are going to be 3 winners (thanks to my good friends at Karate Depot). Each winner will be selected at random from the pool of participants. I will utilize a randomized computer program to ensure no shenanigans when selecting winners. Since the ebook is going to be about longevity in training and getting the most out of your martial arts experience, the prizes will reflect that goal:
3rd Place – Sheng Hua (Invigorating the Spirit) – Music CD
The music contained within this CD is based off of ancient Chinese therapeutic sounds. Using “The Origin of Disease in The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine”, Sheng Hua seeks to unite a healthy mind and body to create a strong spirit. What could be more important to training than a strong spirit?
2nd Place – Elite Leather Focus Target
There was a lot of buzz about this cool little training tool during my last giveaway, so I thought I would bring it back for another go. This double sided striking target is of the highest quality and can greatly assist both kicking and punching practice.
1st Place – Complete Macho Warrior Sparring Set
The Warrior Sparring Set is Macho’s top-of-the-line series. Complete with headgear, footpads, handpads, and mouthguard, this prize can prepare a new student for the rigors ahead or add some quality pads to a school’s inventory.
How To Win
To be entered into the contest, you must hyperlink back to the ebook in some fashion from your own website (the appropriate url and link info will be provided on monday’s release). Your link can be as simple as a sidebar hyperlink, or as involved as a entire post. If you review the book, it does not have to be glowing and positive in order to be entered (although I’d appreciate it, haha).
If you personally manage to convince another writer to talk about the ebook and link to it, not only will I enter their name into the drawing, but i’ll put another entry in for your name. Yes, this is a pyramid scheme – but one where everybody wins.
Although i’ll likely be able to track everybody’s links, if you’d like to be sure you get proper recognition include a comment in the field below about what you’ve done or email me at ikigai108 @ gmail.com.
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I’d also like to take a moment to thank everyone who submitted tips to the ‘words of wisdom’ section. For those people who I wasn’t able to include, it was mostly a factor of repeated concepts rather than me disliking what you had to say. When there was overlap, I went on a first-come-first-entered basis just to be fair.
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News update from the world of Ikigai – I am one of the authors in the newest issue of Jissen Magazine.
For those who are unfamiliar, Jissen is an online publication created and run by Iain Abernethy. Iain is a strong voice for traditional martial arts in the online community and I was very pleased to be able to contribute to his magazine.
My article for this issue is entitled “Okinawan Karate: An Eclectic Arsenal”. It is an exploration of the roots of traditional karate and an analysis of the way the original masters thought and trained.
Despite the serious divide between eclectic arts (like Jeet Kune Do, MMA, etc) and traditional arts, there are actually more connections than one might think. For example, did you know that old-style karate actively encouraged fighting and training from all three ranges, long, mid, and close? Furthermore, there were distinct methods of grappling known as Tegumi which were an integral part of the karate curriculum.
Another fact that often shocks modern practitioners is level to which instructors would share students, and encourage them to seek out knowledge from different sources. This hardly sounds like the strict, only-learn-from-me-I-have-the-secrets method we see today does it?
They may be buried underneath the sands of time, but the realities of classical training are still there for us to unearth. If you’re interested in finding out more about the development of karate and how history seems to be repeating itself – download the latest issue of Jissen for free – http://www.jissenmag.com/backIssues.asp
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Get it while it’s up – Lyoto Machida vs Sugar Rashad Evans – http://www.mma-core.com/videos/_Lyoto_Machida_vs_Rashad_Evans_UFC_98?vid=10005048&tid=100
Sometimes these fights are taken down due to legal purposes, but if you check it out asap you’ll get to see one of the greatest demonstrations of karate in The Octogan ever recorded.
I know the last post was about MMA too, but I figured this was worth mentioning. If you haven’t been following, Lyoto Machida is a Shotokan stylist who has been making waves in the UFC. Machida is an extremely well rounded karate fighter who also holds a black belt in BJJ (click here for his dvd set).
I wasn’t paying close attention to Machida’s progress until I read an excellent analysis of his role in the UFC over at Way of Least Resistance. Dan goes into much deeper detail than I intend to about Machida’s overall fighting style and how it is being received.
For me personally, I didn’t expect to see much of a difference between Machida and other UFC fighters. I figured his background was being hyped up, but that his overall approach would be the same as everyone elses. After seeing the fight video I can tell you my mind has been changed.
Machida uses some classic karate strategies that thrilled me when I saw them in action. His stancing, control of distance, timing, and techniques were beautifully karate. At one point (around 6:20) he throws a perfect straight punch that had trademark retraction, leaving the bulk of the force in Rashad and knocking him for a loop.
Evans, who has never before lost a fight in the UFC, was completely baffled at trying to find range. His techniques whiffed because Machida placed his body in a forward zenkutsu style stance, which oriented his head differently to his front leg than what boxers are accostomed to.
Machida’s kicks came with exceptionally small telegraphing. In the UFC, Muay Thai kicking has become prevelant and that usually entails front foot movement and hip opening for huge amounts of power. Without that telegraph, Machida was able to land big kicks.
So is Karate the Ultimate Style Again?
I think a lot of karate people are getting excited about Machida, which is annoying a lot of MMA people (and rightfully so in some cases). Lyoto is an exceptional fighter with great all around experience and it is my hope that he is respected as an individual rather than a cardboard cut-out of karate. I happen to know that a lot of karate people do not train the way he does, and would be trying to ride serious coattails by suggesting Machida is a representative of what all karateka can do.
That being said, the people that are downplaying Machida’s style are drinking a little bit of haterade. There is definite karate in Lyoto and it is proving to be extremely effective.
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