roXor media

martial arts, computers, dorks

Posts Tagged ‘Martial Arts

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

Tagged with

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 ,

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

Tagged with , , ,

Dojo busting

*start rant*
I’m not a fan of dojo busting, I think it’s disrespectful and ignorant (can’t you sense the impending but?), but… The Systema guys make me crazy. It’s not that I don’t think it’s a legitimate martial art (whatever that means), it’s the promises they’re making. I get the impression that many of the sub-systems within Systema are trying to advertise that they are comparable to Krav Maga, MCMAP, or Silat Sharaf. I’ve met and worked out with some of these guys, they seem a little psychotic, and take the practical nature of their arts very seriously.

I’ve ranted about this before in Martial Arts Stuff Ep 10, but it grinds my gears every time I see it. And maybe I’m way off base. You never know if you think something sucks because your too ignorant to see it, or too smart to be taken by it. I’ve got to believe that after being in the martial arts for 25 years, I can smell bull shit when I step in it. I’ve never had a problem with the arts that are “less than” combat oriented, but it’s dangerous to sell someone self defense that won’t work when when they need it to.

  • end rant*

Written by Dan

April 2, 2009 at 8:00 am

Giving advice in class

I was doing some dummy work at my Wing Chun class the other day, and noticed a guy working next to me. As part of the green belt test at my school we have to perform the wooden dummy form in a minute or less. This is actually quite challenging as it’s more about the efficiency of motion and proper structure then it is about speed. If you focus on the speed aspect of it, you get stuck using too much power to be fast, you have to force yourself to use relaxed energy.

This of course is just setup for my actual post. So… I was watching this guy doing his form, working on getting it under a minute, which I had just tested for 2 months ago, so it was still fresh in my head. I suggested that he relax, breath, and most of all not lean into the dummy. Leaning into the dummy is a common mistake, one that I still struggle with myself.

I gently said, “you should occasionally stop during your form, and make sure your posture is correct, it looks like you might be leaning forward.”, trying not to say “your form is wrong”. He stopped leaning forward and turned out his form was faster.

He later told me that he started out not really listening to me, to quote him “I was thinking, oh no another sifu wanna be”. This made me realize two things.

One is the importance of listening, I’ve learned things from people that had been at my school for a week, you should take in everything, filter out what doesn’t fit for you. Not just block everything out that doesn’t come from a source that you think is the only one you should listen to (heck, that person might be wrong).

The second is the importance of teaching “softly” when you are not the instructor. When you aren’t an instructor, you are a peer with everyone else in the class and everyone else in the class should be treated as such. When you give advice or direction, you need to do it from a place of respectful consideration, not “my belt is darker, so you need to listen to me”. The more respect you give others the more they will give to you.

Written by Dan

March 30, 2009 at 8:56 am

Firearms in the Martial Arts

I did a study on guns for my black belt test in SYD (it seems like many moons ago now). I pulled out the curriculum for the little shindig over in Iowa and remembered that I had actually written a little statement about guns and the martial arts. But, before you read on, know this, I’m a finger on the trigger nazi. If you forgot everything you ever learn about firearms just keep this one thing in your brain. KEEP YOUR FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER…until you’ve aquired a target.

Keep your fniger off the trigger

Even when injured severely, his finger is "off" the trigger.

Firearms in the Martial Arts

The role of the firearm is becoming increasingly more substantial in our society. As martial artists, the modern firearm, like any other combat tool, cannot be left out of our arsenal. Firearm is a broad category that covers many different weapons. Specifically, I will be covering hand guns and how they can be safely trained with, and incorporated into ones martial practices.

I feel it is important for any martial artist to be aware of firearms and safe firearms handling since firearms are a common tool used today by many people; both good and bad. Firearms are just as common as knives, sticks and other weapons and should not be neglected in our training. The curriculum that I’ve defined will, over the progression of five levels, cover a variety of gun handling topics starting with safe gun handling. The training will progress onward to cover various stances, shooting from a draw, tactical reloading, and night time shooting. At its culmination, it will cover using a firearms in a close quarters encounter.

Mental & Physical Awareness

Due to the extreme range of a firearm working with one requires some extra special mental preparedness, as well as even more highly attuned body awareness. A knife, for example, can be just as deadly as a firearm. However, accidentally cutting yourself with a knife will rarely lead to lethal injury. The chances of obtaining a lethal wound from an accidental discharge of your firearm are much greater. You should never allow the muzzle of your firearm to cross over any part of your body.

Similarly, you should always be aware of where your muzzle is pointing. With a knife, merely pointing it at someone will carry a slim possibility of wounding said person. Pointing a firearm at someone, however, can prove very deadly with a simple pull of the finger whether that trigger pull be purposeful or accidental. Be aware of what or who your muzzle is crossing when you move it.

When using a weapon you are often instructed to not forget that you also have many other weapons. Just because your holding a stick, doesn’t mean you should forget that you have another hand and two feet. While this is an excellent mindset, I will propose a slightly different twist when working with a firearm: Always be aware that you are holding a firearm.

If you forget for just one instant, it could change your life forever.

Written by Sterling

March 24, 2009 at 9:56 pm

Posted in Martial Arts

Tagged with , ,