SW Portland Martial Arts Blog

April 18th, 2017

Tonight in sparring class, we wrapped three fighting principles into one technique.

The three fighting principles were: extension, bridging the gap, and independent motion. The technique was the skipping front kick.

In the skipping front kick, you move the lead leg (which is also the leg you kick with) first. This is independent motion. The purpose of this is to disguise the action. If the kick was excuted by first moving the back foot forward, then your opponent would have an easier time seeing the kick coming and an easier time countering the kick.

Next, after moving the lead leg first, you hop forward. This helps cover the distance between you and your opponent, the very definition of bridging the gap.

The final step of the skip kick is to extend the leg. Since the word extend is in the previous sentence, I won’t even bother to point out how the kick includes the fighting principle of extension.

The truth is that you could probably fit all 26 of the fighting principles in there. That may seem like it makes them so amorphous as to be useless. To the contrary, the fighting principles are not exclusive. They are merely ideas that help us see techniques from different angles, thus hopefully allowing us to apply those techniques in different situations.

Self Defense and Martial Arts

April 4th, 2017

Sometimes people want to study martial arts.  Sometimes people want to take a self defense class.  We’re fine with that.  We offer self defense seminars.  We offer martial arts classes.  We think that, long term, martial arts provides students with a thorough understanding of practical self defense.  We think that regular training helps students understand their capacity in terms of what threats they can realistically handle because they’ve gotten enough feedback from drills and against the active resistance of their partners.  We think that self defense seminars are fabulous at introducing students to actual threats that exist in the real world and giving them some basic physical and mental skills to cope with those threats.

So if you are interested a self defense seminar, check out our new Self Defense tab.  If you want martial arts, check out our Martial Arts tab.  We’re here to help, either way.

Get up!

February 22nd, 2017

How much grappling is a Mo Duk Pai student expected to know?  As a starting point, for an orange sash, the student should be able to fall safely, get an untrained opponent (of their same size) off of them, and be able to stand up quickly and safely from the ground.

Tonight in class we drilled two of those ideas – falling safely and getting up quickly off the ground.  Falling safely means knowing how to sit down and reach towards the ground with your hips (and not try and break your fall by reaching with your hands. Getting up quickly and safely means being able to stand while a partner is taking swipes at you and not get knocked out – the technical standup is a great tool for this.

The video shows two students taking turns falling over safely and then standing up quickly and safely.  Hopefully that helps clarify (some) of the expected ground game competency we expect from an orange sash in Mo Duk Pai.


January 18th, 2017

Functional movements.  Yes.  Most of the time in CrossFit we do big movements like the clean and the burpee – movements that translate to real life motions.  That’s good.  Let’s keep doing that.

But sometimes it is valuable to break things down into simplier movements.  Sometimes it is valuable to target an area.  The reason could be to prevent an injury or to shore up a weakness.  It’s okay.  If you’ve got crappy elbows try doing some bicep curls.  You can do those and still be a CrossFitter… they aren’t against the law.

The video shows a couple accessory movements – the one legged KB deadlift and the Cuban press.  Try them.  If they help you, great.  If they don’t, no worries.

Tight Hips?

January 17th, 2017

What to do about tight hips?  Well, probably lots of things but here are a coutlet things that have helped me and I’ve seen work for other people as well.  These two moves, the boxed pigeon and the death stretch, work particularly well together.  They create some sort of double whammy loosening on rusty hip joints.

My advice is to do 2 minutes on each side for both these moves.  Do some squats before and after and see if it makes any difference in terms of your ease of movement.  If it does, maybe stick with these two moves for a while.  If it doesn’t… don’t.  Mobility work is all about finding out what works for you.  Steal from others but only keep what gives yo7 positive results.