Sunday, 25 April 2010

Hojo Undo

Hojo undo is the Japanese term for supplementary exercises and the tools used in the martial arts, mainly Traditional Karate. The hojo undo tools are made out of stone (cement), iron, wood and straw.
Traditional hojo undo training develops physical strength, stamina, speed, discipline, muscle coordination, posture and flexibility!
I will go through all the different types of traditional hojo undo tools
Let's start with:

1. The Makiwara - The most well known of hojo undo!
This link explains what it is:
There isn't a modern day equivalent to the makiwara. Unlike the heavy bag, the makiwara more accurately simulates the hardness of the human body, thus making it more effective for training and conditioning our strikes. I personally think that every martial arts warrior should use one, especially if you practice the martial arts for self defence!
Also a padded Muk Yan Jong can help condition your strikes as well!
Please check this link out about why you should use a makiwara:

2. Chi Ishi - Is sort of like a dumbell which is weighted on one side only! It's made out of wood and stone (concrete) and is flexed about in a number of ways to help increase the strength of your fingers, wrists, hands, arms and chest. Also it helps with your posture!
Heavy Indian Clubs used by olden day strongmen and wrestlers also do the same thing!

3. Ishi Sashi - These are hand held weights made out of stone (concrete) and shaped like padlocks. You can use these to practice your punching techniques and also other exercises.
You can also use kettlebells and dumbellls as well but make sure they don't weigh any more than 7kg (15 pounds.)
Remember people hojo undo training is not about getting big muscles (they slow you down.) It's about overall physical maintainence and improvement!

4. Makiage Kigu - Simply a handle (made from anything) with some rope attached to the middle and the end of the rope is some type of weight! All you have to do is twist the handle to raise or lower the weight.
This trains your wrists.

5. Nigiri Game - Ceramic jars that can be filled with water, sand or whatever to increase their weight! You grip them with your fingers around the rim. You can practice blocking techniques and also move about in diffrrent stances to improve your stances and posture. Also by gripping the jars with your fingers it helps increase your finger strength.
They don't have to be ceramic jars, you can use say empty protein powder jars/contai ners as well!

6. Tetsu Geta - are iron sandals which are gripped by the toes! The practictioner moves around and practices certain kicks with them on (mainly the snap kick, low roundhouse kick and the side kick!) This type of training strenghtens the legs and improves kicking speed!

Please don't be tempted use ankle weights. They're dangerous as they grip around the ankles and destroy them over time!

7. Jari Bako - Is simply a large bowl filled with sand, rice, dried beans, gravel or even ballbearings. All you have to do is simply thrust your fingers into the contents of the bowl!

8. Kongoken -A large iron oval shaped ring mainly used by Goju Ryu karateka. you can use it for solo or partner training! Using this tool correctly can strengthen the legs, waist and arms (including the shoulders)

9. Tan - Is just a barbell made out of wood and stone (Cement.) Again I repeat this should not be used in a weightlifting or bench pressing way!
One of the ways you can use it is to roll it down your arms and throwing and catching it with your forearms continuously!
I wouldn't do that exercise with a metal barbell or actually use one in general!

10. Maki Stick - Is basically a wooden paddle which you use to beat yourself with across the arms, legs and torso.

Well that's it ............ I think!?
Here are some links with information about Hojo Undo:

Happy Training!!!

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Why Is It So Hard To Get Girls?

As you guys should know I have the worst luck with women!
Yet what can I do?
I've given up on British women altogether, too broke to go abroad and for prostistutes and fed up with using my hands!

Oh well I'm screwed...................... actually I'm not screwed, I ain't getting any lol!

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Is Hip Hop Dead Now?

More and more I find myself asking this question. And I have come to the conclusion that Hip Hop is Dead and Alive!
Here's my explaination!

So how is Hip Hop Dead?
It's Dead in a sense that American Hip Hop is shit now! It's glory days are over! Gone are the great lyrics, the funky beats, the dj scratching on hip hop songs today etc!
Back during the "Golden Age" of American Hip Hop (1984 -1997) Rappers were so diverse!
Some rappers would rap about crime and violence (N.W.A., Ice T), some would party rap (Whodini,Will smith) , some would tackle political or conscious issues (Public Enemy, KRS One, De la Soul) some rappers would rap about how great they were or are (Big Daddy Kane, KRS One, Kool G Rap) and some just rap for the hell of it (Beastie Boys.)
Yet, all (well most) had a thing called "talent". They let DJ's scratch on their songs. Even Underground American hip hop isn't all that great! Underground cats have lost their spark and have become up their own arse (not all of them though.)

Here's a quote which I heard:
Mainstream rappers have can't rap, while underground rappers can't entertain!

Most of today's mainstream American rappers are nothing but one trick ponies! All they do is rap about money, bling, love and how "gangsta" they are!
Granted some rappers in the golden age were also one trick ponies but at least they had talent.

I think the hip hop group that best describes what has happened to hip hop today is the Black Eyed Peas. Before Fergie the Black Eyed Peas were sick and they made one of the best hip hop albums of all time - Behind The Front.
Ever since Fergie joined the group they're an insult to my eardrums. They don't make hip hop anymore, the make dance/pop!
Quite frankly the Black Eyed Peas sold out but I digress.

So how is Hip Hop Alive?
Well it's alive because of 2 reasons:
1. Hip Hop is global now, There's Japanese Hip Hop, South African Hip Hop, Brazillian Hip Hop, French Hip Hop, German Hip Hop etc! No longer is it about the Americans!
While the U.S.A. will always be the home of Hip Hop and will always be an inspiration! Other countries will always have their own take on Hip Hop.
2. Hip Hop is a culture not just a genre of music. It composes of 4 (I think 5) elements -
DJing, MCing, B-Boying and Graffiti (I think beatboxing should be included as well!)
So long as just one of the elements exist so will Hip Hop!

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Distributism - Another Economic Way?

Lets face facts - Capitalism and Socialism can't and won't work. However I've been looking up on a strange socio-economic theory called Distributism.
Here's a link to explain what Distributism is:

I don't know if it can work. However, it couldn't be any worse than Capitalism and Socialism.......... could it!?

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Martial Arts Essentials

I've been studying the martial arts (properly) since June 2000 and I've never looked back! Many martial artists practice for allsorts of reasons! Some practice for self defence (like me), some for sport, some to stay in shape, some for spiritual development (me also but not my top priority!)
I think that having the right equipment is just as important as the 3 K's of Karate,
Kihon - Basics
Kata - Forms
Kumite - Sparring

With the right equipment one can train themselves properly in the martial arts!
Here's what I think as martial artists who's primary concern is self defence, the equipment that we should use (please note that sportfighters can benefit a lot from some of the traditional and more obscure equipment and training that is used with the equipment aswell!)

1. Focus Mitts - Mainly used by sport fighters but can be adapted for self defence (traditional or RBSD styles.) These help focus your punches, palms, chops and elbows. Kicks and knees shouldn't not be done on them!

2. Thai Pads - Are really just larger and heavier versions of the focus mitts! These come in pairs (usually) and are worn across the forearms. They are usually rectangular. About 18" long, 8" wide and 4" thick.
You can work all sorts of striking techniques on Thai Pads. However stuff like running strikes e.g The running side kick, the running shoulder charge etc shouldn't be done on them!
This is what they look like:

3. Kicking Shields - As the name suggests! These are held with both hands and as close the body as possible!
Not only can they be used for kicking practice but also for shoulder and belly strike practice as well e.g. The Bajiquan shoulder strike!
This is what the look like:

4. Hand/Wrist Wraps - While I have 2 pairs of them, I personally wouldn't recommend them if you are concerned about self defence! Like it or lump it most street fights are going to be bare knuckle affairs! For sparring and competition they're useful!
All bag and pad work should be done with bare knuckles if you are mainly concerned about self defence!

5. Punching Bags - Great for endurance, physical strength and practicing combos! While there are many types of punching bags, I only recommend 3 for self defence:
The Heavy Bag (or uppercut bag), The Tower (Pedestal) Bag and The B.O.B.
(All things being equal, I'd rather have the B.O.B. they are much more realistic.)

6. Hojo Undo - Are the tools and the exercises that are practiced in Okinawan Karate! Hojo Undo help strengthen the body. One of the most famous hojo undo tools is the makiwara!
There are several hojo undo tools and I will write a blog about them and their uses later on!

7. Iron Rings - I wish I had some but they're expensive! They are mainly used in Southern Chinese Kung fu styles but they can be adapted to whatever martial arts style.

8. Muk Yan Jong (wooden training dummy) - These rock but my god they are expensive. These train your forearms, shins, stances, posture, angles, put some padding around some areas and it can improve your strikes as well! One of the best pieces of martial arts equipment ever!

9. Herbal Ointments - By this I mean Dit Da Jow medicines, Muay Thai Oil (Namman Muay), The medicinal oils of Kalarippayattu etc. Great for helping the body to heal!

10. Protective Gear - You know the usual, Chest Protecter, Headgear, MMA/Grappler gloves etc. However if you're concerned about self defence I would rather use MMA/Grappler gloves over the Boxing and Karate gloves!

Well that's it! I hope you guys are rich. Buying all this stuff is expensive! LOL!