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!


Herneith said...

That does sound expensive. For self-defense and training, why not get a gun or a baseball bat, LOL. Just kidding. Martial Arts sounds interesting. Too bad I'm a clutz or I would take some courses! For now I will stick to my own form of martial arts, d&a, duck and run!

IDIOT face said...

@ Herneith:

I do have a baseball bat in my house! LOL!
I like your style of martial arts as well. However, you might get into a situation where you won't be able to run away!

A martial art that is suitable for women is Wing Chun Kung Fu. It doesn't really to much on physical strength and is very practical for the street!
(Wing Chun Kung Fu was invented by a woman!)