SW Portland Martial Arts Blog

Kickboxing class

February 14th, 2020

Your dream of a kickboxing class has been granted. The Wednesday 10am boxing class is now a kickboxing class. Don’t be sad. You can still punch… now you get to kick too!

What will we do in class? Technique, padwork, drills, and sparring.

What kinds of technique? Punches, kicks, evades, blocks, checks… all the things that happen in kickboxing.

What kind of padwork? The fun kind, where sometimes you do prescribed combos and sometimes you freestyle but always you sweat and smile.

What kind of drills? The functional kind, where you work with a partner on timing, distance, and control.

What kind of sparring? Kickboxing, of course! We keep the contact light, and targets include the legs, body, and head. If your terrified of the sparring, don’t worry – you can skip it but we can also scale it and help you find that happy spot of challenge just above being bored and well below being terrified.

Is this a fitness kickboxing class? You’ll sweat but no, we are focused on the sport of kickboxing, solid technique, and the application of those techniques. That doesn’t mean you can’t use the class as a workout opportunity, it merely means you’ll be building skills while getting your heart rate up.

Bring a mouthpiece if you plan on sparring. If you’ve got 16 ounce boxing gloves, bring those. If you’ve got a pair of shin guards, bring those. If you don’t have gear – no worries, you can borrow ours… except mouthpieces. That’s gross. We don’t share those 😁.

Angle of Attack

January 31st, 2020

Pick your favorite technique. Now that you’ve got that in your head, how many different positions can you execute that technique from? If you can only picture yourself doing the move from one place, then applying the principle of angle of attack might be a useful exercise for you.

Let’s take the armbar as an example. Many of us learn the armbar from bottom guard position, and learn to finish it by pushing out partner over onto their back. Can you picture finishing the move with your partner still sitting up? What if your partner stands up, could you finish it from there? And if they stack you up and rotate your belly toward the ground, could you finish it from there?

Thinking about different angles, of course, is only the first baby step. The real work is getting a patient partner and actually finding all those angles. Ideally, you’d pick someone who knows the technique pretty well, and maybe has a few ways of executing it that you don’t. Move, play light, and see how many different positions you can execute the move from. What was once merely your favorite technique will soon become your favorite endpoint that you can see how to get to from almost anywhere.

2 FREE Months Tuition Raffle

December 31st, 2019

Heart starting goodnessWe’re trying to get an AED installed in the gym and (surprise) they are expensive little machines! Help us raise some $$ to make the gym a heart happy place, and at the same time, enter to win the chance to get 2 months of free tuition.

If you’re already a member and you win, we’ll pause your payments for 2 months. If you aren’t already a member and you win, you’ll get 2 free months of training. If you just want to give us money for an AED and you win, we’ll let you give the 2 months to someone else or we’ll pick the next name in the hat.

$10 gets you one ticket and one chance to win. $18 gets you two tickets and two chances to win. $25 gets you three tickets and three chances to win… you don’t have to stop at three. Buy as many as you like!

Punch Cards and Raffles
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Grappling Tournament!

November 29th, 2019

Ready to roll? We are. Come join us on Saturday, January 18th from 9:30am-1pm for a grappling tournament!

Kids? Yes! 9:30-11am. Ages 5 and up are welcome. Don’t know submissions? We’ve got a positional division just for you. Know submissions? Yeah, we got a submission division too.

Adults? Yes! 11am-1pm. Since the highest rank BJJ students we’ve got are blue belts, we’re making it a tournament for white and blue belts.

Go to the events page for more info!

Brown/Black – Gear Switching

October 28th, 2019

Doing some writing to communicate some ideas that I think will help MDP students specifically, but hopefully martial artists more generally, in their training. This piece is about the value of being able to switch gears which is an incredibly important concept in martial arts (if what you’re doing isn’t working, do something else) and I think is particularly important for MDP students going for the rank of brown/black.

Switching gears quickly is a skill that is expected of higher ranks. The capacity to go from a Sparring round to cogently answering a question about ethics is a huge part of the challenge you will encounter during your brown/black test.

How does one build such an abstract skill as “switching gears”? Through practice and graduated resistance. The most amusing and clear example of gear switching in sport is the game of chess boxing, in which athletes alternate between boxing and chess in two minute rounds. Either game, boxing or chess, is a deep well of skill and strategy. To have the capacity to go from knight forking to uppercutting is truly an impressive display of gear switching.

While you’re welcome to do some chess boxing, the ways to build your dynamic gear switching toolbox are unlimited. The classic approach is to do partner work hard (sparring, reps, pad work, grappling, throwing, etc) and then with no break, do all the forms you know. In a similar vein, you could play Randori for 5 minutes then give yourself 5 minutes to write a Haiku. You could stick spar for 10 minutes then practice hand balancing for 2 minutes. You could do 10 minutes of alternate 30 seconds of heavy bag work with 30 seconds of holding the bottom of a squat.

Why is gear switching important at brown/black? Because problems change and we want MDP black belts that can adapt to that change. In boxing, you may have to change from outside fighting to working from the clinch. In self defense, you may have to change from trying to de-escalate, to striking, and then back to de-escalating. Hopefully, by working on your gear switching toolbox, you’ll find your capacity to change in the face of dynamic problems greatly increased.