Four lies and one martial arts fact

Jesse over at The Martial Explorer has tagged me in an awesome bit of blogging tomfoolery. Being rather chuffed to be picked out for this (despite the fact he tagged my almost 2 weeks ago!!!), here ’tis:

The meme works as follows. You post five things about yourself. Four are untrue. One is true. All are so outlandish, implausible or ridiculous that no one would be inclined to believe that any of them are true. And despite the pleas from your readers, you never divulge which is true and which are fabrications. You then tag five other people (four seriously and one person you are pretty sure would never participate).

  1. During a home training session, I caused irreversible damage to both myself and my boxing station
  2. When I was much younger, inspired by pop culture icons The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, I performed a jump kick while waiting to get picked up from school and snapped my leg in half whilst mid-air, sending the other half flying across the road
  3. My brothers and I used to break into my Dad’s tool shed when we were kids and fight each other with spades, rakes and sticks in the spirit of Monkey (or as it was locally known, Monkey Magic)
  4. When I was still in primary school (which is elementary school for those of you on the North American continent!), I used my newly-learned Taekwondo techniques to successfully defend myself in a classroom scrap
  5. I can still effortlessly perform vertical axe kicks with my prosthesis

There are elements of truth in all of them, so good luck!

Should they happen to drop by (and haven’t been tagged already!), I’ll tag BBM from Black Belt Mama, Wim over at Wim Demeere’s Blog, Patrick from Mokuren Dojo, Jon at EPIC Martial Arts, and brother Tank (who can leave a reply in the comments if he’s interested :P) πŸ˜‰

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Open your mind

Matt over at Ikigai posted an awesome and humble post on the importance of keeping an open mind when approaching the study and practice of martial arts. There really isn’t a whole lot more to add to what he’s covered, and I can see my journey through a lot of what he has said. While I don’t have anywhere near the knowledge and experience he has, it’s nice to know I’m not the only one who has put the walls up and have tried to tear them down in trying to learn about martial arts wholistically as time has gone on.

For me, I have found that posting in good, open-minded martial arts forums (like OzBudo) have been one step in getting my mind out of the comfortable space it had setup with regards to martial arts, and attending seminars and training with people of varied experience also helps. While there are systems I still have a personal preference for over others, I’ve found I have really started to lower the irrational prejudice I had towards other styles, especially since at times they were petty or ill-informed, and to see things as wholistically as possible.

So this is a tip of my hat to you Matt – I’m committed to making it a habit to empty my cup πŸ˜€

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On padwork…

I was reading a post over at EPIC Martial arts on padwork earlier (I’m trying to finally get back to reading up on what my fellow MA bloggers have been up to, they’ve been busy!), and it got me to thinking – padwork is awesome πŸ˜€

In my current style, we haven’t done a lot of padwork, but Sensei has mentioned introducing it a bit more recently. In my previous style we had the opportunity to do a bit of padwork, but it was mainly working on focusing/learning targeting for kicks and punches. Jon’s post discusses the effectiveness of training with doing padwork with real intent on both side of the equation – not just one person hitting a target continuously, but moving around, applying pressure, making you fight on both sides.

I see this as having plenty of benefits – first up, it helps train stamina, which is an essential attribute you need as a martial artist. It teaches you to target and focus under pressure. It makes you learn that fights are two-way interactions with your opponent, you can’t just fire out technique after technique without considering all the variables involved otherwise. And finally, it lets you practice heavy contact in a sparring scenario with relative safety.

Hopefully with all this I haven’t missed the point of Jon’s excellent post, so please drop by and have a look, it makes for great reading! I’m going to make a mental note to talk with my Sensei about this later on this week to see if we can do it, as I reckon padwork is awesome πŸ˜€

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