CRUSH (Bēng 崩) - 9 of 12 - The Keywords of Mantis Boxing

CRUSH (Bēng 崩) - 9 of 12 - The Keywords of Mantis Boxing

Crush (Bēng 崩) - to ‘collapse and fall into ruin’. Also known as 'crushing' in many Chinese Martial Arts usages. Bēng is used to attack the vital targets in the midsection of an opponent. Effective strike targets such as: the liver, stomach; ribs, and the real treasure - the solar plexus, or central palace in Taijiquan. All of these targets can…

ENTER (Jìn 進) - 8 of 12 - The Keywords of Mantis Boxing

ENTER (Jìn 進) - 8 of 12 - The Keywords of Mantis Boxing

Enter (Jìn 進) - or advance. This encapsulates a variety of ranges in a fight. Starting from the furthest range to the closest. Check out this article and video for details on how ‘Enter’ works with Mantis Boxing…

Going Nerd Level on Blocking

Going Nerd Level on Blocking

Today I'm going NERD LEVEL on blocking. This is an interesting detail I found that can make or break your blocking. I can't explain the why, so I'm calling on all…

HEAVY ASSAULT! - Circle and Chop

HEAVY ASSAULT! - Circle and Chop

HEAVY ASSAULT - Go heavy, or go home! This striking combination, plucked right from the catalog of Mantis Boxing techniques passed down for centuries, is to overwhelm the opponent with big, destructive, blows. Connecting with the first one is ideal and effective, but if they duck, or move back, the second…

Hook vs Circle Punch - What's the Difference?

Hook vs Circle Punch - What's the Difference?

What's the difference between a Hook Punch and a Circle Punch? Are they really that different? Yes, and yes. 

The Hook Punch is used at a closer range, similar to an uppercut. It works well when you are striking in tight, or engaged in a Clinch (Lǒu 摟). In here, a long range strike will extend beyond my opponent. We position the arm in a tighter hook shape to help…

Whipping Fist

Whipping Fist

Light, fast, yet highly effective'; the Whipping Fist is a great punch to have in your arsenal. Check this video out for more on how to throw it, and pad drills, and bag drills that you can use to perfect this sneaky shot.

6 Positions of Side Control - How to Drill and Improve Side Mount

6 Positions of Side Control - How to Drill and Improve Side Mount

My Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu teacher (Andre 'Dedeco' Almeida) showed me this awesome Side Control drill when I was a new White Belt. It is one of the best drills I've seen for…

The Scraping Fist

The Scraping Fist

The Scraping Fist - like a low uppercut, or body shot. One of the advantages of this punch, is the fact that unlike throwing a straight punch…

Guest Appearance: Fight for a Happy Life with Sensei Ando

Guest Appearance: Fight for a Happy Life with Sensei Ando

I had the honor of being invited onto Fight for a Happy Life martial arts podcast with host Sensei Ando. The episode just released today. 

Check out our conversation on topics like - freedom, defining success, barriers to students progress, living life, and weird questions about what I want on my deathbed/tombstone (is this guy planning to kill me???), and lots of laughter.

Monkey Grips! How I Strengthen My Grips and Keep Them Healthy

Monkey Grips! How I Strengthen My Grips and Keep Them Healthy

Fingers hurt after training? Grips not strong enough to hold on when grappling? Check this out.

Grip strength and health can be a really important thing for martial artists. Grip intensive arts such as Judo, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Shuai Jiao, and other Grappling Arts, all require/build grip strength, and put a great deal of wear and tear on the fingers. Today I'm going to show you the methods I use to keep my grips not only strong, but healthy. For strengthening: exercises like rope...

Guest Appearance: The Strenuous Life Podcast w/ Stephen Kesting

Guest Appearance: The Strenuous Life Podcast w/ Stephen Kesting

On the latest episode of his podcast - 'The Strenuous Life' - BJJ Black Belt and founder of Grapplearts, Stephen Kesting and I debate the value of Kung Fu, and if it can coexist with BJJ and MMA. I think you are going to like this! I highly recommend his channels if you haven't already found him!

"Can Kung Fu, BJJ and MMA coexist? Maybe they can, and maybe they can even learn from each other.

This is a conversation I had with with Kung Fu stylist (and BJJ brown belt) Randy Brown in which we touched on the history of Chinese martial arts and what made them less effective over time, what traditional martial arts look like when you start training them with resistance, and much more. I think you’ll like this one!"

The Tiger Tail - My Most Hated Throw!!!

The Tiger Tail - My Most Hated Throw!!!

This was truly one of my most hated throws. In 2009, on one of my semi-annual sojourns to San Diego to train with my Mantis Boxing teacher at the time, I was introduced to this personal menace. 

The primary purpose of this trip, was for my teacher to share with me the 20 throws of Mantis Boxing that his 8-Step Mantis Boxing teacher had...

The Russian Twist - 1 of my Favorite Core Strengthening Exercises for Mantis Boxing and BJJ

The Russian Twist - 1 of my Favorite Core Strengthening Exercises for Mantis Boxing and BJJ

This is by far one of my favorite exercises for building core strength. When we're boxing, grappling, we use our core constantly to twist. In boxing, it is to assist in power generation in a punch. In grappling, it is to throw someone, maneuver on the ground, or twist our way through an escape. 

Transverse core rotation is a term thrown around a bit, and in Mantis Boxing, and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, we do a ton of that! The Russian Twist is a low tech exercise to do at home, or add to your gym routine, and can help us with...

Wicked (Diāo刁) - 7 of 12 - The Keywords of Mantis Boxing

Wicked (Diāo刁) - 7 of 12 - The Keywords of Mantis Boxing

Wicked (Diāo刁) is the seventh of the 12 keywords of Mantis Boxing. The keyword formula houses the principles that define the art. They have been passed down from generation to generation for hundreds of years.

Diāo 刁 translates as Sly, Tricky; Wicked. Seems pretty vague, I know. However, when we're fighting, the use of deceptive tactics becomes part and parcel to the art we are doing.

If we are a Boxer, we'll rely heavily on fakes and feints to expose weaknesses, or create weaknesses in our opponent.

If we are a Grappler, pretending to go for a choke in order to get someone to expose their arm so we can apply an Arm Bar, is another variation of this theme.

Musashi, the famed Samurai of the Book of Five Rings fame, used deception to defeat opponents, or fluster them, and it is a common tool of strategy in order to win a battle, or fight. 

One of the many ways we use this keyword in Mantis Boxing, is...

Best Exercise to Improve Cardio - The Double Under - Mantis Boxing

Best Exercise to Improve Cardio - The Double Under - Mantis Boxing

Looking to improve your cardio on and off the mats? This is one of the best exercises for increasing your cardio. The Jump Rope is a phenomenal tool for this, but getting to the Double Under ramps it up to a whole new level.

Hang (Guà 掛) - 6 of 12 - The Keywords of Mantis Boxing

Hang (Guà 掛) - 6 of 12 -  The Keywords of Mantis Boxing

Hang (Guà 掛) is the sixth of the 12 keywords of Mantis Boxing. The keyword formula houses the principles that define the art. They have been passed down from generation to generation for hundreds of years.

Hang (Guà 掛) wears down our opponent, and forces more... 

Connect (Zhān 粘) | Cling (Nián 黏) - 4 & 5 of 12 - The Keywords of Mantis Boxing

Connect (Zhān 粘) | Cling (Nián 黏) - 4 & 5 of 12 - The Keywords of Mantis Boxing

Connect (Zhān) - connecting with the opponent. A principle found in Mantis Boxing as well as Taijiquan. The process of trying ‘to stick’ to them. This can be done by grabbing, hooking, finding a way to slow down the limb e.g., a retracting arm, a leg, or taking advantage of a limb left behind.

Cling (Nián) - is the act of sticking once we are engaged. Once connected, staying in contact i.e., clinging, sticking, following, allows you to ‘feel’ where your opponent is at all times, and control limbs. Instead of the floating limb being able to bite you.

Check out our latest video in the series on - 'The 12 Keywords of Mantis Boxing'.

Kids Mantis Boxing Photos

Here are some photos Coach Holly took during the Kids Mantis Boxing class on Saturday. Enjoy.

The class is learning how to 'press' the chin and escape the clinch/neck hooks. Applying pressure upwards in a controlled manner to escape.