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Posts of category  "Martial Arts"

Like anyone whose whole is greater than the sum of her parts, Mia Kang doesn’t quite compute. Model on the rise? OK. Finance whiz? Sure, throw it on the pile. Black eyes, bruises and lots of sweat? Wait, what?

The 28-year-old half-South Korean, half-British beauty made waves this year when she graced the pages of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue in the annual publication’s rookie class. But what has turned more heads than her statuesque 5-foot-10 frame is her work in the ring. In early May, “Killa” Kang fought and won her first professional Muay Thai fight in Thailand, and by TKO, no less.

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The former mixed martial arts fighter known as War Machine was sentenced Monday to 36 years to life in Nevada state prison for kidnapping, beating and sexually assaulting his ex-girlfriend and attacking her male friend at her Las Vegas home in 2014.

Jonathan Paul Koppenhaver will be eligible for parole in 36 years, when he will be 71 years old.

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Soon, every player will have a hometown hero.

Tekken 7, the latest 1-on-1 fighting game in the long-standing Tekken franchise, was released worldwide for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on June 2.

For the developers at Bandai Namco Entertainment, this was an opportunity to refine their legacy characters; Nina Williams, Heihachi Mishima, Paul Phoenix, and Yoshimitsu are still present, and have been so since the original game debuted in 1994. But Tekken 7 was also an opportunity to broaden the game’s appeal—by incorporating different ethnicities into the game, along with their respective cultures’ fighting styles.

The earlier Tekken games were hyper-stylized and cribbed liberally from kung fu films and television; developers paid less attention to this current sort of cultural matching. But that was also before there was an organized, competitive infrastructure for the franchise, and before Tekken was an e-sport. Perceptions started to turn with the release of Tekken 3—specifically, the debut of capoeira fighter Eddy Gordo. In those early days of Tekken development, the fighting style came first; developers knew they wanted a capoeira fighter, and so they created animations that closely aligned with those techniques. Then, they built Gordo’s character around that template, which blended punches and kicks with acrobatics and dance.

But today, Tekken developers are more focused on cultural representation. And so, they start with the character’s origin. Everything else proceeds from there.

“Recently, we’ve tended to focus on where there is an active [Tekken] community that isn’t yet represented in the game,” said Tekken 7 designer Michael Murray in an email interview with Motherboard. “[Then], as much as possible, we try to find a martial art that matches the character’s setting.”

Take, for example, Filipino newcomer Josie Rizal, who is named after Filipino national hero José Rizal.

“The Philippines is a place where Tekken has always been very popular,” said Murray. “The coloring of her costume and some of the elements of her costume are inspired by the Philippines. And our community spokesperson, Mark “Markman” Julio, is of Filipino descent. He also helped with developing the character look and setting.”

Rizal’s default costume contains red, blue, yellow, and white, which are also the colors of the Philippine flag. Her clothes have floral designs of the sampaguita, the national flower of the Philippines.

 There was a bit of controversy when Rizal first debuted. Players derided Rizal for not looking Filipino enough and for cribbing so blatantly from her country’s iconography. But while she is a bit on-the-nose, she’s a start. Filipino representation in video games is scarce, and Rizal, on the whole, is a positive portrayal.

Rizal’s primary martial art is kickboxing. The developers did, however, include elements of her native country’s eskrima tradition.

“The most important thing when designing a character is how the gameplay mechanics mesh with overall strategy,” said Murray. “So in the end, there were only a few techniques inspired by eskrima. Eskrima typically parries or neutralizes an attack, and then rapidly counter attacks. Some of her throws and her punch reversal technique were inspired by this.”

Another new character is Katarina Alves, a Brazilian woman who practices savate. Savate is indigenous to France, but it also has a strong presence in Brazil–the result of a longstanding cultural exchange between the two countries. The developers referenced both recorded savate footage and YouTube savate videos to accurately depict the techniques. Specifically, Alves’ kicks—the ones in rapid succession with a single leg— were directly sourced from real-life footage.

They can be performed by mashing a single button, which is why Murray calls Alves “beginner-friendly.” She echoes back to Eddy Gordo, who was a similar, beginner-friendly character in Tekken 3. Gordo helped expose capoeira to a wider audience beyond the martial arts community. Alves, based on her design, is poised to do the same thing for savate.

“[In Tekken 7,] we wanted to provide a few characters that looked bad-ass but were still accessible to newcomers,” said Murray, “and this concept is very clear in Katarina Alves.”

“Even if you don’t know how to play well yet, jamming on the buttons will still let you perform flashy kicks in quick succession,” continued Murray. “Beginners will hopefully be attracted to the character and be motivated to improve.”

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It’s no secret that the paparazzi can be frustrating for many celebs (heck, even North West isn’t having it), but one of our favorite couples, Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner, don’t seem to mind all that much. In fact, as of late the couple has been handling being hounded by the paps in a very, er, interesting way.

On Monday (June 5), the couple was captured out and about in Los Angeles along with DNCE’s Cole Whittle (this isn’t the first time they’ve been third wheeled — looking at you, Nick Jonas). Instead of just ignoring the paparazzi, all of them decided to have some fun messing around with the photographers. They broke into some pretty fly martial arts moves, leaping into the air with high kicks and some dramatic poses. What a hilarious way to troll the paparazzi.

But they didn’t stop there. No, the goofy trio was seen again yesterday (June 6) doing the same exact thing during a parking lot kettlebell session, which most definitely had to confuse (or amuse?) the photogs. Looks like they’re really practicing their skills.

Needless to say, Joe and Sophie have proved yet again that they’re total #relationshipgoals. The two are clearly comfortable hanging with each other’s friends and fam, and seem to have a playful, fun relationship with lots of laughter. They’ve been dating for nearly six months now and we look forward to more silly antics from the duo.

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This drawing from the self-defense book shows an abdomen strangulation technique that can render an attacker trying to rape a woman unconscious.
Credit: Kiyohara Ryusai/Public domain

A translation of a martial-arts book published in 1914, which was written by a woman for women, describes a group of Japanese women who banded together to form the Women’s Self-Defense League in order to fight off attacks from men.

Nobatake Yaeko wrote the book — whose title translates as “Self-Defense for Women” — under the pen name Nohata Showa — and she published it in May of 1914. In the book, she describes and illustrates a number of martial-arts techniques that women can use to fight off attackers. These techniques include throws, ways to break an attacker’s arm and a technique that strangles the abdomen of an attacker who is trying to rape a woman. [See Photos of the Images of Martial-Arts Techniques from the Book]

It has a detailed chart showing the weak spots on a man (called Kyusho). “Kyusho are points on the body that can cause damage if struck hard, or they can be used to resuscitate a person. If you violently strike any of these Kyusho, it can render a person unconscious and even stop their breath. Good and proper people would do well to learn these points,” Showa wrote. The book, written in Japanese, was translated by Eric Shahan, who specializes in translating 19th- and early 20th-century Japanese martial-arts texts. Shahan also holds a San Dan (third-degree black belt) in Kobudo.

The techniques described in the book are derived from a martial art called Jujutsu. “The fundamentals of Jujutsu is to use the opponent’s power. You can win by moving nimbly at the right time, without using much power. Should you ingrain these techniques into your body, even a cute weak girl can wrap up a large man and achieve a win!” wrote Showa, according to Shahan’s translation.

Showa wrote in the book that she had used the techniques successfully. “While I was returning to my abode from running an errand just the other night I encountered a frightful situation. I was able to imitate the handful of Jujutsu moves I learned and, despite my slight form, was able to avoid falling prey to a dastardly scoundrel. It was an absolutely thrilling experience.”

In the book, Showa decries what she described as a surge of violence against woman in Japan and talks of an organization called the Women’s Self-Defense League, which was formed to combat it.

“My dear sisters, my dear daughters, the way in which the citizens of this country have fallen is truly regrettable is it not?” Showa wrote in the book. Some men “feel no qualms about affecting disrespectful conduct around us.” Showa wrote, “A resolute solution to men’s debauchery continues to elude us.” She also takes aim at Japan’s politicians, who she said were ignoring the problem.

The Women’s Self-Defense League not only trained women to defend themselves against attackers, but the organization also handed out awards to women who successfully stopped an assault.

“Should any reader of this book have, by chanced toppled, restrained or otherwise through self-defense measures thrown a ruffian or [man] attempting mischief this organization will award you … a large certificate reading ‘Meiji Imperial Achievement Award,'” Showa wrote, noting that this award could also be given to women who find new ways to spread martial-arts knowledge, or help more women get access to the book or others like it.

So far, Shahan’s research has revealed little additional information on Showa or the Women’s Self-Defense League beyond what is given in the book, he said. In the book, Showa “claims to have been a women’s historian,” Shahan told Live Science in an email. Given the Jujutsu techniques that Showa describes in the book, it’s possible that she ran a dojo dedicated to teaching martial-arts techniques to women, Shahan said.

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At some point in your career, I’m sure you’ve wondered where exactly you stand in comparison to your peers.

The more dedicated we are to leveling up, the bigger our goals become. Thus, adding to our arsenal in order to achieve our goals is only natural. One of the essential qualities we can develop is mental toughness. With mental toughness, we’ll be able to face any challenge and solve any problem that may come our way. It also helps us put our emotions aside and remain focused on the task at hand.

Martial artists know the value of mental toughness. It requires them to be at the top of their game physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. It is what helps them persevere and get through a match when they can barely stand. There’s no doubt we can learn a thing or two from them.

Today, Evolve Daily reveals 5 practices martial artists use in order to hone mental toughness. Perhaps we can use these techniques in our career and our daily lives for us to unleash greatness within:

1) Visualization

ONE Welterweight World Champion Ben Askren has worked hard to become one of the best fighters in the world.

For ONE Welterweight World Champion Ben Askren, visualization is one of the keys to his success as an athlete. From the time he was wrestling at the University of Missouri, he would picture his matches in his head and play them out in every scenario possible.

When we believe in something enough, there’s no doubt that we can achieve it. Visualization requires constantly imagining yourself accomplishing your goals. This helps you prepare for what’s coming next.

2) Self-Affirmation

BJJ World Champion Alex Silva works hard at the Evolve Fighters program.

Many martial artists practice self-affirmation. It is a powerful mental process that requires you to constantly remind yourself that you are the best. Eventually, your subconscious mind becomes influenced, and you end up believing it.

The legendary boxer Muhammad Ali constantly practiced self-affirmation, proclaiming in public that he was “the greatest.”  The more we repeat our affirmations, the more real they become.

The more we believe in ourselves, the more we can achieve. We are all capable of greatness; we just have to convince ourselves that we are.

3) Goal Setting

Being well rounded in BJJ means training both in the gi and no-gi.

At one point or another, we feel like we have reached the pinnacle of our careers. We may wonder, “What else is there to aim for? I’ve already achieved all that I can.” Or what if we feel like we aren’t progressing, or that we’re just stuck with a routine? Goal-setting may be the solution to these problems.

By acknowledging that you have goals that you must achieve, it means that you have to work harder. It will truly put your talents to the test and push you out of your comfort zone.

Life is competitive; there is definitely no room for slacking off. We must continuously work on becoming the best version of ourselves or else we’ll get left behind. Remember, there’s always someone who is willing to work harder and take your spot – don’t give them that chance!

4) Focus On The Present

BJJ World Champion and ONE Superstar Brodinho Issa trains hard at the Fighters Program at Evolve MMA.

Sports psychologists say that the average, untrained person has a limited attention span. This has an effect on the way we do our work. When we’re under pressure to meet a deadline, we get into survival mode and do everything haphazardly.

In order to become more focused, sports psychologist Mike Edger suggests practicing the 3 R’s:
1. Recognize when you are off task and take action.
2. Regroup by interrupting your train of thought and prepare to refocus.
3. Refocus by directing your attention back to execution.

Former UFC Welterweight World Champion Georges St-Pierre says, “I only focus on the present moment.” Whether you are trying to complete a task or rushing a deadline, your complete focus is required at all times. This allows you to stay calm and in control under duress and accomplish what you set out to do.

5) Maintain Eye Contact

The elbow is arguably the most dangerous weapon in Muay Thai.

Maintaining eye contact, whether with our colleagues, bosses, friends or even strangers, reveals our personal strength. If you want to appear confident and at the top of your game, make good, lasting eye contact with anyone that you encounter.

Former Boxing World Heavyweight Champion Mike Tyson says: “I walk around the ring, but I never take my eyes off my opponent. Then once I see a chink in his armor, boom, one of his eyes may move, and then I know I have him.”

The moment you break eye contact reveals how anxious and intimidated you are, giving your opponent the impression that he is more dominant than you. In life, it is important that we demand respect from our peers. Doing so will give us an edge and convey a sense of dominance and power.

The more we think like warriors, the more certain victory is in life. By learning how to adapt these strategies in your career, rest assured; you will be ready for anything. To learn first hand how martial arts helps develop these skills, give martial arts a go!

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In New York City, more residents are taking safety into their own hands.

JKD NYC is a self-defense martial arts studio in Midtown that bases its teachings on Bruce Lee’s martial arts. Owner Chris Moran said he has seen a 15-percent spike in business since the election in November. Many of the new students are women.

The studio teaches vital skills like weapons training, which shows individuals how to use everyday objects like umbrellas and flashlights as a form of protection. It also teaches striking and kickboxing classes along with Brazilian jujitsu — all vital skills to keep yourself safe.

Hate crimes in New York City have increased 35 percent from 2015 to 2016 even though crime rates have declined during that same period, according to the NYPD. Mayor Bill de Blasio blamed President Trump for the spike.

Moran said that some of his clients started coming to him because they felt unsafe after the presidential election. Corporations called the studio to book self-defense courses for their employees, as well.

As a result, Moran has taken the extra steps to make sure people know his studio is a safe place for individuals of all ages, genders, beliefs, and color.

He said the spike in clientele shows that people are finding healthy ways to overcome stress and empowering themselves to be their own protector, something he sees as a positive.

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When it comes to karate masters who embody ever facet of the martial arts: it doesn’t get much better than Mr. Miyagi. Self control, discipline, and only wrecking someone’s s**t when they totally deserve it.

That kind of stern love, care, and dedication is what a true karate master must embody in order to become as respected and effective as Miyagi. Otherwise, you’re just another chump in a karate gi who’s trying to stroke their own ego and get a few kids from the neighborhood on your subscription plan.

But that hasn’t stopped deluded and self-proclaimed “karate masters” from going out into the world and convincing people their hot stuff. Trouble is, when it comes to fighting, it’s pretty clear to see in two seconds whether or not you’ve got skills. And these guys possess no skills whatsoever.

1. The “No touch” martial arts master tries his intimidating BS on an actual fighter and, well, it goes exactly like you’d expect.

This guy convinced people he could beat them only with the power of his mind – he’s a master of deflection who mastered the art of no one being able to hit him. Apparently, there’s at least one person in the world who can. Ryuken the “Psychic” bet Iwakura Goh $5,000 he would beat him in a fight using only his mind. He not only loses the fight, but the cash as well.

2. This Taekwondo Instructor who can’t even break a board.

Not only does he not break it – he ends up kicking in the air and hitting a girl in the head with it, making her cry. Yeah.

3. This Brazilian Jiu Jitsu “expert” who claims to have a black belt from a prestigious team gets called out by head instructor of that prestigious team.

The Jay Querioz saga is an interesting one. Jay was not only a whack martial artist, but a whack instructor and an absolute conman. Plus, I’d see that the second someone walked into a dojo with their black belt wrapped around their t-shirt and shorts.

4. This Fake Black Belt tried to train at a gym filled with UFC Champions.

There was a time when Blackhouse MMA guys pretty much ruled the UFC. Lyoto Machida, former Light Heavyweight Champ and Anderson Silva, former longtime Middleweight champion of the world, had insane sparring sessions there, along with former featherweight champion of the world Jose Aldo (who’s only ever lost two times in his career and is an absolute savage). And this guy thought it would be a great idea to pretend like he was a black belt at this gym where the best of the best train. Wonderful.

Ruben Alvarez the BJJ black belt, instructor, and competitor gives more context to the incident in a video below.

5. The Legit Karate Champion who made up a BS “no-touch” knockout.

George Dillman was a national karate 4 years in a row. He trained with Bruce Lee. He trained with Muhammad  Ali. He is a 10th degree black belt. The man is an amazing pioneer and karate legend in his own right. He might’ve gone a little loopy over time, however, because he had people convinced he could knock people out without even touching them. He couldn’t use his “Qi” power to knock anyone out on camera in front of a National Geographic camera team. He tried to explain his failure as best as he could.

 “The skeptic was a totally non-believer. Plus — I don’t know if I should say that on film — but if the guy had his tongue in the wrong position in the mouth, that can also nullify it [Qi power]. You can nullify it — you can nullify a lot of things. In fact, you can nullify it if you raise those two big toes! If I say I’m going to knock you out, and you raise one toe, and push one toe down… I can’t knock you out. And then, if I go to try again, you reverse it. If you keep doing this, I won’t knock you out.”

Yikes.

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Are colored belts the worst thing to happen to martial arts?

Grapplearts Founder Stephan Kesting thinks so. Belts can not only become an obsession for people (“Why didn’t I get my blue belt? I almost tapped out a blue belt!”) but they put a huge target on your back. When you get ranked up to blue belt, all of the white belts want to tap you. When you get your purple, all of the white belts and blue belts want to tap you.

Furthermore, if you focus on your belt, you might quit after you get your belt. Why shouldn’t you? You’ve achieved your goals, haven’t you? You set out to be a BJJ black belt. Now you have it, so why not just quit?

That’s not to say Stephan doesn’t understand the purpose of belts. They not only give you a sense of external validation for your accomplishments, but they give your instructor an idea of what you should know.

But belts are simply to be wrapped around the waist, not for us to be wrapped up in.

Stop obsessing over that next rank. Instead, continue learning as much as you can and recognize that martial arts are a lifelong journey, not a destination.

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Why do you never see martial arts manifest in a life and death survival situation where the attacker catches it’s victim by surprise? Tony Blauer contends that the ability to thwart an attacker intent on killing you is already built inside all of us. Hard to believe. Watch the entire video and leave us a comment!

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