January 2013

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by Raymond Horwitz Photo from the Fumio Demura book, Tonfa: Karate Weapon of Self-DefenseToday  

Tonfa Blocks: Karate Weapons Training With Fumio Demura“Though not as flashy or as glamorous as the nunchaku, the tonfa is nevertheless an important tool in the kobudo tradition,” says karate weapons master Fumio Demura in his classic book, Tonfa: Karate Weapon of Self-Defense. “Two tonfa in the hands of an expert make a poetic and graceful contribution to the art of kata.”

“The tonfa is also an excellent tool for the development of stronger hands and wrists, especially for achieving necessary power in blocking and striking during empty-hand techniques,” Demura continues in his karate training book. “This is where the tonfa is particularly desirable in practice over such weapons as the bo or nunchaku.”

Using One of the Most Unassuming-Looking Karate Weapons In Your Karate Training

“Swinging the tonfa requires a snap of the wrist not unlike that used in the last instant of a karate punch,” Demura explains. “By developing control — for instance, learning to stop the swivel motion of the tonfa by gripping the handle harder — hand strength will improve rapidly.”

Karate Weapons Master Fumio Demura in Action!

In this exclusive video excerpt from his karate weapons DVD Tonfa: Karate Weapon of Self-Defense, Demura demonstrates the intersection of karate-training moves and karate weapons as extensions of the human form.

KARATE WEAPONS VIDEO Karate Weapons Master Fumio Demura Demonstrates Tonfa Blocks!

Intersection of Weapon and Body

“In order to deliver or receive a powerful blow, the parts of the tonfa must be strong, yet flexible,” Demura says. “Several hardwoods which are not too brittle will satisfy this requirement, with the most popular materials being oak and cherry wood.”

As for how the tonfa and the human body intersect, Demura says, “The length of the tonfa is determined from the grip to the back of the head. While holding the tonfa, the back head should extend past the elbow by about one-half inch. Once this distance is determined, the balance of the tonfa can be adjusted by reducing the length from the grip to the front head. Under these requirements, one must choose a length and balance to fit his physical characteristics and strength.”

Fumio Demura on Maintaining Your Weapon

Just how do you take care of a solid blunt weapon? Shouldn’t it basically take care of itself? According to the karate weapons master, this particular weapon does have a weak spot.

“Normally, the tonfa is made of oak and consequently is very sturdy,” Demura explains, “but the connection between the grip and the main body can be a source of weakness. This location should always be checked before each practice to prevent injuries. The tonfa can also be varnished, if desired, and should be cleaned periodically with a cloth moistened with olive or other vegetable oil.”

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Compiled by Raymond Horwitz
Photo by Laura Guerrier
  Today  

                                  How to Use Fighting Sticks: Three Stick-Combat Videos by Filipino Martial Arts Expert Julius MelegritoInducted into the Black Belt Hall of Fame in 2011 as its Weapons Instructor of the Year, Julius Melegrito holds a seventh-degree black belt in the Filipino arts. He also holds a taekwondo fourth-degree black belt, a third-degree black belt in combat hapkido and a second-degree black belt in tang soo do.

The creator of the Stix4Kids program as well as the Philippine Combatives System and the Philippine Martial Arts Alliance — an international organization devoted to the self-defense systems of his homeland — Melegrito operates Martial Arts International schools in Bellevue and Omaha, Nebraska.

In this roundup of Melegrito’s stick-combat technique videos, the Filipino martial arts expert covers three topics:

  • single-stick disarm
  • basic sinawali
  • redonda

Filipino Martial Arts Master Julius Melegrito on Single-Stick Disarms

“Your whole purpose in classical Filipino stick fighting is to hit your opponent until he’s out of the fight,” Melegrito explains. “In practice, you use your stick to his stick as close to his gripping hand as you can manage while staying safe, but in a real fight, you’d hit the hand. It usually makes him drop the weapon. Of course, in a fight, an attempt to hit his hand might miss, which is why you must practice follow-ups.”

FIGHTING STICKS VIDEO
How to Execute an Effective Single-Stick Disarm in Stick Combat

Filipino Martial Arts Master Julius Melegrito on Sinawali

“Sinawali, also known as two-stick drills, are very very important because they are a bunch of striking patterns,” Melegrito says. “These are really fun to do, especially when you do [them] with a partner.”

Melegrito then proceeds to describe the open strikes of basic sinawali, using his fighting sticks to gesture:

  • Strike 1: to left shoulder of the the opponent
  • Strike 2: to right shoulder of the opponent
  • Strike 3: to left knee of the opponent
  • Strike 4: to right knee of the opponent

“If you apply that [practice of fighting sticks] with a partner,” Melegrito explains in his stick-combat video demonstration of sinawali, “you want to make sure you have better control. You don’t want to hit too hard. … Your job is not to devastate the sticks and knock [them] out of [your partner’s] hands. Your job is coordination.”

FIGHTING STICKS VIDEO
How to Practice Sinawali for Stick Combat

Filipino Martial Arts Master Julius Melegrito on Redonda

In this third video, Melegrito demonstrates the redonda twirling drill for two Filipino fighting sticks! Watch as the Filipino martial arts master wields two Filipino fighting sticks so they look like helicopter rotor blades. Meanwhile, a training partner holds his own Filipino fighting sticks as contact guides.

FIGHTING STICKS VIDEO
How to Execute the “Redonda” Training Drill for Two Fighting Sticks

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by S.D. Seong & Raymond Horwitz Photo by Rick Hustead

Karo Parisyan’s Favorite MMA Moves: 2 Arm-Lock Techniques and a Triangle ChokeLove him or hate him, Karo Parisyan is a force to be reckoned with in the mixed martial arts. A veteran of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, King of the Cage, World Extreme Cagefighting and several other promotions, he counts Matt Serra, Nick Diaz, Chris Lytle and Shonie Carter among his vanquished foes. This expert in MMA moves was deemed worthy of facing Georges St-Pierre and Diego Sanchez — and although he lost both bouts on the scorecards, merely being granted a shot at either one would be a huge accomplishment for any fighter.

In this exclusive mixed martial arts technique video, Karo Parisyan shows us three of his favorite MMA moves: two arm-lock techniques and the triangle choke.

After the jump, check out what Karo Parisyan has to say on a variety of topics!

MMA VIDEO Karo Parisyan Shows You Three of His Favorite MMA Moves: 2 Arm-Lock Techniques and a Triangle Choke!

Karo Parisyan on Preparation for MMA Moves

Grappling is always there, so you have to make sure you have a solid base in it. I’ve been successful because I have my judo down, but I still polish it every now and then. You also have to be ready for ground and pound. Another part of the mixed martial arts you need to focus on is hands, both for boxing and for stand-up fighting.”

Karo Parisyan on Hand Skills in MMA Moves

“I train in muay Thai and boxing. They’re [used in combinations that flow from] kicks into punches. You don’t have to train specifically to go out there and do a boxing match, but you should be able to make your opponent respect your stand-up, your power and your skills. If you can’t initiate a takedown, you have to at least be comfortable when you’re standing up until you can get into the clinch.”

Karo Parisyan on Chokes and Arm-Lock Techniques

“Chokes are good in MMA, but if you’re into throwing like I am, locks are great because you’ll have a ‘handle’ on your opponent after he hits the ground. That makes it easy to maneuver his arm into an armbar or a kimura — or downward arm crank, as Gene LeBell says.”

Karo Parisyan on Finishing

“It’s fine to really push for a submission, but you have to realize that it’s easier to lose when you do. Sometimes you put so much into a technique or you hold your breath while going for the submission that you get tired. That leaves you open. Then your opponent might escape and get positioning on you.”

Karo Parisyan on Training Partners

“If you’re [training MMA moves], you have to train with partners who are also MMA fighters. However, you should pay attention to what athletes in other sports do to improve their conditioning. The more you know, the better.”

Karo Parisyan on Being in Top Shape

“When you’re in shape physically and can fight for five full rounds, you don’t really have to care how in shape your opponent is. Mentally, you have to put yourself in the indestructible zone. I tell myself: I’m going to do stuff to my opponent that he never even thought I would.

Karo Parisyan on Unexpected MMA Moves

“I like to come in from different angles. Passing the guard, I’ll punch my opponent and elbow him from spots where he won’t see it coming. I’ll go for a submission halfway, then stop and throw a hard elbow to give him a cut. Or I might ground-and-pound him into a submission — by hitting him hard and inflicting some pain on his body or face, then taking advantage of an opening and going for the finish.”

Karo Parisyan on Losing (Or When Favorite Moves Like Arm-Lock Techniques and the Triangle Choke Don’t Work)

“When you taste a loss, look at yourself in the mirror and see your cuts. Think about the depression you’re feeling, how bitter and nasty it is. Then think about how you never want to feel that way again — all that emotional pain, that self-criticism.

“Then, if you have to, go back to the drawing board. Get back on the horse and start riding again. The difference between a man and boy is that men don’t give up at certain times and boys do.

“My advice for the people around a fighter who just lost is this: We don’t like to be pitied. We hate it when somebody says, ‘I told you that you should have done this.’ Don’t say anything. Let us recover, then tell us whatever you want when we’re in a calmer state of mind.”

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by S.D. Seong and Raymond Horwitz Photo by Rick Hustead 

Brazilian Martial Arts Expert Pedro Carvalho’s BJJ Techniques: Passing the Guard to Full MountPedro Carvalho immigrated to the United States in the early 1990s and quickly gained a reputation for holding nothing back. The owner of 11 medals won in jiu-jitsu tournaments in his native Brazil, he publicly espoused the belief that instructors should share with their students even their most advanced BJJ techniques because the way those students perform in competition reflects back on their teacher.

That idea prompted Pedro Carvalho to declare in a 1995 interview in Karate/ Kung Fu Illustrated, one of Black Belt’s sister publications, “I make sure I teach them everything I know. Even in Brazil, some places don’t teach you all the stuff, but I do.”


Turn the tables on your opponent with this FREE BJJ techniques download! 4 Submission Escapes From Jean Jacques Machado


Fast-forward to 2013. Pedro Carvalho now has more than 30 years of grappling experience under his frayed belt and a growing network of jiu-jitsu schools across the United States, and he’s every bit as willing to share his knowledge with his students — and, fortunately, with the BlackBeltMag.com audience.

In this exclusive BJJ techniques video, the Brazilian martial arts expert shows you how to pass your opponent’s guard and move in for the full mount!

BJJ TECHNIQUES VIDEO Brazilian Martial Arts Expert Pedro Carvalho: How to Pass the Guard and Get the Full Mount

“In any discipline of study, including a martial art like Brazilian jiu-jitsu, the keys to successful training will always be pace and progression,” says Pedro Carvalho in the introduction to his books, Brazilian Jujutsu — Volume 1: Gi Techniques and Brazilian Jujutsu — Volume 2: No-Gi Techniques. “Each must be explored and experienced to facilitate the best skill development.”

Pace and Progression for Developing BJJ Techniques

“Pace refers to the rate at which new information is given or received and to the speed that the student practices,” the Brazilian martial arts expert explains. “To ensure successful skill achievement, the student should refrain from training or attempting techniques that his instructor believes are beyond his level.”

Such a principle, Pedro Carvalho says, is especially true when it comes to sparring. Until certain BJJ techniques are practiced an adequate number of times, attempting them in sparring can cause a student to lose faith in valuable techniques simply because he is not yet capable of performing them well.

“Each student should pay attention during practice to each detail of a given technique, and it should be repeated slowly and smoothly with a gradual increase in tempo as the technique begins to sharpen,” Pedro Carvalho explains.

Progression refers to the routine used in the class and to the order in which techniques are given to the student.

Essentials for Training in BJJ Techinques

Each class is made up of three progressive elements, each element being essential to proper training, according to Brazilian martial arts master Pedro Carvalho:

  • Warm-Up and Drill: Students are guided through a series of exercises that allow them to stretch and strengthen the muscles particular to Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
  • BJJ Techniques Instruction: Each move is broken down into its various component. The average number of techniques taught in a given class is about three.
  • Sparring: Students are given the opportunity to test their skills against one another and observe other students sparring.

“Most Brazilian jiu-jitsu schools have similar technique progressions, and as long as your instructor is a recognized black belt, you are in good hands,” Pedro Carvalho says.

For an optimal training experience, the Brazilian martial arts instructor recommends:

  • Find training partners who will train safely and allow for sufficient practice.
  • Find a qualified instructor; if he is not a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt, then he should at least be a recognized representative of a specific school, not merely someone teaching a generic variation of Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
  • Study your movements and techniques in detail, ask a lot of questions and spar as often as possible.
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