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Archive for the ‘Martial Arts’ Category

My New Dojo

KSK LogoSo I’ve started training at a new school. KSK Martial Arts is my new training home. What a great group of guys, but more on the later.

At KSK the focus is on practical training, but still paying respect to the traditions of the martial arts. What it’s not is an MMA gym, there’s a culture of respect and humility, and an attitude similar to any you’d find in the most traditional studios. The instructor calls his system a curriculum, not a style. My understanding is that it’s a collection of techniques from Jeet Kune Do, MMA, and various Philippine martial arts. What’s different is the way, and the order in which they are taught. The system is broken down into: striking, trapping, clinching, manipulation, and grappling. Many of the techniques taught are surprisingly applicable in all of these classifications.

Guru T. Kent Nelson is the instructor you can see his qualifications here, needless to say he is an expert in what he teaches. The quality of the students reflect his teaching philosophy, they have been patient with me as I’m learning, quick to laugh, and talented martial artists.

The ground work is totally new to me, and instead of teaching me techniques right off the bat, guru Nelson has instructed me to take some time to get comfortable on the ground, working the wrist and arm techniques taught from the trapping drills. The students I’m rolling with are allowing me to really learn and get comfortable, without it being a competition when we hit the mat.

I’m very happy to have found KSK martial arts and add them to my expanding family of awesome martial artists.


Written by Dan

September 22, 2010 at 9:47 pm

Posted in Martial Arts

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Unarmed defense against a knife?

I’ve always been skeptical about unarmed defense against a knife (UDAK), I think it’s important to train in all aspects of the martial arts, but with UDAK is there really any point?

Watch the video, look at the size of those guys, and many of them seems well trained. But in a small room, with someone pumping a knife into your gut like a jackhammer, there’s little hope, if any, to survive. Many of the “survival” techniques in the video depend on you pulling out your gun. OK, I think it’s training for bodyguards and the like, but what happens to the poor sap that doesn’t have a gun? Screwed…

So where does that leave us? My advice, is to train with the assumption that your opponent is untrained, or you have a weapon. If you’re facing a trained knife fighter, even one with minimal training, and you don’t have a weapon, you will not survive.

There is a possibility that I’m wrong, no matter how slight. So, I would also say don’t stop experimenting and learning, and if you do find yourself in the unfortunate position, never stop fighting. Sometimes even a trained knife fighter can make a mistake and give you the opportunity you need to survive.

Written by Dan

May 15, 2009 at 10:26 am

Posted in knife, Martial Arts

Tagged with ,


It means tiger, and it is painful on the legs. Sensei Nick teaches us some Harimau and it is really good stuff. He got everyone thinking about level changes during combat. And it looks cool, too. We took a few videos so enjoy!

This is a clip of the style, to see what we worked on check out the links
(btw, I think Nick is on the right in the picture at the beginning of the video)

Edit: Nick is an instructor in Pencak Silat Sharaf.

Harimau Overview

Basic Movement Pattern


Attribute Builders

Gun Groundwork



Written by Sterling

May 6, 2009 at 8:00 am

Posted in Martial Arts, silat, videos

Tagged with ,

Learning vs. Practicing

PracticeI enjoy learning new things. It’s just part of my character. I’m not a big fan of practicing. So to drill the same thing over and over again, does not hold my interest.

The unfortunate fact of life is that you can never be great without practice, and lots of it. With talent alone you can be good, but to truly excel at anything you’ve got to practice.

Repetition grinds action into long term memory. These long term memories serve as domain knowledge in order to give you perspective on other learning experiences. Without practice the knowledge will not be stored in long term memory.

Martial arts provides a good example. If I practice a jab for an extended period of time, I will have a great deal of domain knowledge about jabs, more so then someone that practices a variety of techniques. I will also be able to evaluate other techniques against that knowledge. There is a balance to this and identifying your goal is important. If your goal is to be the the guru of jabbing, you’ve got to practice techniques within that domain.

It’s the same with martial art styles in general, if you want to be an expert in a given system you have to practice that system, the more you practice within that domain, the more expert you become. When you practice in different systems you gain perspective at a different level, your expertise becomes more general. The brain handles narrow domain knowledge better then broad, the factors become too many to effectively evaluate a particular technique. Your knowledge becomes more general.

Thus, you can never be at the top of a domain unless you relentlessly practice. If the domain is to broad, you’ll never be able to process all the experience to reach a level that you would have if you stuck with something more specific.

Written by Dan

April 28, 2009 at 9:37 am

Posted in Life, Martial Arts

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The under rated sport of San Shou

Everyone is trying to figure out the right balance between brutal, no rules, fighting and a sport that’s interesting and enjoyable to watch. The current trend of UFC/Pride/Etc… makes for much more interesting viewing then a traditional boxing match. The biggest problem, is the ground work.

For an experienced martial artist I love watching the ground work, the chess game that ensues when fighters go to the ground. The problem is for people that don’t have the knowledge of ground work, they just see two guys wrestling around, not seeing the maneuvers for position and the threats of locks and chokes.

So Chuck Norris creates the World Combat League which has a bunch of rules to keep the action going, here’s the short list: No Throws, No Takedowns, No Ground Fighting, No Clinching, No Holding, No Stalling, No Passivity.

wclLooks like kickboxing to me and there are too many rules. I get that it’s meant to guide the fighters to more action, to keep the crowd engaged. But it’s too much, it feels contrived.

San Shou on the other hand has a nice balance, here are it’s rules: no elbow strikes, no chokes, no joint locks, and clinches are broken quickly. It makes for a rock-em sock-em fight, with dramatic exclamations of sweeps and throws. Who knows, maybe soon we’ll be seeing San Shou on The Ocho.

Written by Dan

April 23, 2009 at 9:40 am

Posted in Martial Arts

Tagged with ,

Boosting performance in tournaments

As I was reading this Times article I remembered a guy I used to go to tournaments with would take a spoon full of honey before a sparing match to give himself a little energy boost.

coffeeReading the evidence from the article, a small bit of caffeine can make a large difference in performance. I would think this difference would be more relevant in activities that require a large burst of action in a short period of time, such as 3, 2 minute rounds.

With all the energy drinks on the market, and the ease of getting them. What’s to stop everyone from doing this at tournaments? How can you compete if you don’t do it?

Having been there, I know that a small boost can make the difference between first and second place. Personally, I’m done with tournaments, it’s fun and a great experience, but it’s not much of a measure of you as a martial artist.

The idea of doping added to biased judges, and inter-dojo politics, might mean that tournaments are going the way of the Dodo, or simply be out of reach for the hobbyist martial artists.

Written by Dan

April 17, 2009 at 8:30 am

Posted in Martial Arts

Tagged with , , ,

One eye jab and it all goes to hell

During a recent UFC match I saw one of the guys get poked in the eye. The whole fight stopped. Now, I’m not sure, there may have been a little acting involved, but a hard, well trained fighter got stopped in his tracks with a move a 12 year old girl could have pulled off.

The whole sport vs. martial art thing came into focus. I think the difficulty has been that the MMA guys are dangerous people, they train hard, they are (usually) in amazing physical condition. They also continually test their techniques, to a level that martial arts cannot. This is not a group of individuals that I’d want to get angry.

Now imagine a world where those same guys train just as hard, are just as disciplined, but train in a martial art that includes the intent to mame or kill. Although the techniques cannot be tested, it’s good to have an awareness of them, and they can be practiced in a controlled and safe setting.

As with every great debate, there is truth on all sides. And I believe that the majority of the Martial/Fight community respects and learns from each other. Unfortunately it’s those that are the loudest that have the most visibility.

Written by Dan

April 9, 2009 at 8:21 am

Posted in Martial Arts

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