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What makes a martial art effective

What makes a martial art effective. This is from Scott Sonnen a Sambo practitioner.

• Sustainability: In order for a training method to be useful, it must be non-destructive to the practitioner. If you cannot sustain the ability to practice it because it destroys your body, it will not be of any use when you need it.

• Evolution: One needs to experience the unexpected and unfamiliar in order to foster continued evolution. Although sound mechanics are universal, training methods must be allowed to evolve as all approaches are relative to the time, culture and event in which they were born. Any means necessary to accomplish the task. Any potentially valuable method should be weighed and tested on its own merit regardless of origin or association.

• Aliveness: One needs fully alive resistance to become mentally tough and emotionally controlled. Only through actual uncooperative competitive opposition does one truly own knowledge.

• Transferability: Good mechanics are universal (context-free), so studying them will allow you adaptability to whatever circumstances you encounter. Regardless of what format, so long as ideas are considered and tested, the adaptation is always organic, never in isolation.

The oldest Mixed Martial Art system

This martial encompasses stand up techniques as well as a good ground game. Also addressing the transitions between the 2 ranges with very solid practical applications. Pankration dates back further than most martial arts. There are few older, but they don't have anywhere close to reality-based techniques required for self-defense.

Depending on the reference Pankration is between 2700 to 3000 years old. This art calls Greece it's home and was an actual Olympic sport. The very 1st UFCs were closest to actual Pankration. No weight classes, no time limit and very little rules.

The Spartan's adopted Pankration as their preferred empty hand combat style and by most accounts took it to a very high level.

Most experienced martial artists will agree that the American pioneer of Pankration is Demetrios "Jim" Arvanitis. I remember in the late 70s reading about him in Black Belt or Inside Kung Fu and seeing the pictorial demos thinking that Pankration looked very cool.

But same as today as back then nary a Pankration school exists. He stopped teaching the public in 1991 and only trains fighters and a select few of his representatives which are very few and far between.

He has put out roughly 30 books and they are all a very good read.

As always.... nothing new under the sun. Just a different approach.

Train hard and look up Pankration it's very interesting.

The watering down of all martial arts

 I love America and the free market for sure the issue at hand of course is that a lot of cutting corners happen in the pursuit of the almighty dollar.
It affects all areas of industry. Everything from the food we eat to the water we drink. America has created some of the most unique inventions and innovations to make life easier for sure.
At the same time the balance of scales has went in the opposite direction which causes both damage and destruction.
When martial arts first made its way to America only the strong survived and a 10 yo black belt wasn't even a topic.
Now we have 8 yo black belts in every suburb and world champions in every city. America has taken a once cherished accomplishment and turned it into a fugazi.
The youngest black belt I have encountered was 6. The lady asked if he could wear his belt from his other dojo so he wouldn't have to start over and I thought......no worries he is 6. When he came to class with a black belt I about fell over. When I said he couldn't wear that she looked at me with an attitude and stated that he has been training since he was 3 and he should be allowed to wear it. Without going into the conversation let's just say they didn't become members.
As far as I am aware there are only 2 systems that won't award a black belt until you are 18. Jiu Jitsu and Kenpo. I know some Kenpo schools that now award black belts at 16 but it wasn't that way until a couple years ago.
I wish young black belts were the only problem of what America has done to the martial arts. Musical forms, acrobatics, a heavy focus on antiquated weapons, stripes every month and a new belt every other month, punching from the hip, locking out punches and kicks, breaking boards, black belt clubs (long memberships that pretty much guarantees you a black belt). The list goes on and the focus has gone from self-defense to nonsensical areas to develop a fake confidence.
I have seen programs where they are marketing a 3-year black belt for jiu jitsu. I know an instructor that will award you a black belt after about 6 years of training 3 days a week. I don't agree with that but that's America.
Martial means military. Military arts are what we practice. Fights are ugly, I don't want art I want effective.
Sadly, it is not the art that ineffective. It is what has happened when it jumped the shark. Think TKD is ineffective watch the Korean Roc Marines. That is some impressive stuff. Watch Okinawan Karate body conditioning from Okinawa. Watch Karate training in Japan and you will come away with a different perspective.
It isn't the art....its what was done in the pursuit of the dollar.
No gym I know of in MN. that teaches MMA, kickboxing or jiu jitsu waters down anything. So, get yourself to your local academy and start training now.
If you or your kids are in karate, kung fu or tkd?? Please unenroll after their time is up and put them in an academy where they will really learn practical self-defense.
If you don't want to do that, please enroll them in wrestling or boxing. Two great American martial arts that don't care about belts and they will learn how to really defend themselves.
I would put any 1-year wrestler or boxer against a black belt and 95% of the time the black belt would lose.

How the belt system came to be

There are a lot of myths about the belt ranking system. The most common being is you wear your white belt until it turned black and that is how you obtain a black belt.

Jigoro Kano can be credited with bringing the belt system into modern day martial arts. He is accredited with bringing not only the belt system but resistance-based training as well. He is the founder of Judo and modified jiu jitsu into a resistance based sportive art. Which improved many aspects of what was currently being practiced.

He copied the black belt from swimming. An advanced swimmer in Japan received a black ribbon tied around the waist. He copied that and the beginner was a white belt and an advanced student was awarded a black belt.

The colors came into play some time later. It was a French Judo practitioner that came up with I believe a green belt rank to retain students as many were quitting before black as the European wasn't as patient as the Japanese and needed to be rewarded.

The American's being even less patient took it a step further and created many other ranks. Which were then adopted universally around the world with many different colors in different styles. The history on who did what when becomes real muddied as everyone tries to take credit for different colors.

That is the basic history blanketing the martial arts as a whole. I will post a nice summary of the Gracie jiu jitsu belt system tomorrow which is real interesting.

which way is correct

There are many healthy ways
to eat for optimum performance.

Many will argue on their way being
the only way. There are just to many
success stories from each diverse
way of eating. So for me to tout
any certain method as the right
way would be foolish.

Keto, Atkins, Vegetarian, Vegan,
The Gracie diet, Whole 30 it goes
on and on and on.

To sum it up the great Jack Lalane
said it best.....if it comes out of a box
bag or a can, don't eat it.

Experiment and find something that
works for you.

the evil leg

Don't let these warm days
make you sit at home. Get
to the gym.

Getting a good group of people
together who show up and have
their skills improve.

Even if you never want to compete
there are upcoming opportunities
to get on the comp team. It will sharpen
your skill sets 10 fold.

below is one of my favorite leg kick
highlight reels......we are a leg kick gym.


Eat clean

There is a great plan that is based on earth foods and proper combinations on www.americanfistlaw.com