Chinese Martial Arts

Countering the Clinch (Lǒu 摟) - FRAME! FRAME!! FRAME!!!

Countering the Clinch (Lǒu 摟) - FRAME! FRAME!! FRAME!!!

The clinch can be a nasty place to be stuck. When our opponent is larger, and/or stronger, and has their hooks on our neck, some of our escapes can be difficult to…

Tear Down the Monkey

Tear Down the Monkey

A critical analysis of the fighting stance we've been using for years. And why I got rid of it.

I recently went through some changes in my teaching and practice. One of these recent changes was in our fighting stance. The reasons for these are many, and too lengthy to explain for these purposes. However, the root of any changes I make are always born of a desire to improve things for myself and my students.

Let’s compare the stance we were using for years, the Monkey Stance, with the…

Mantis Captures Prey Takedowns

Mantis Captures Prey Takedowns

Trapping the elbow as our opponent shoots for the underhook. They go for the position under the arm to try and set up a variety of throws, or gain positional control. What we have lying in wait for them…

Pat Horse Method - Yang's Kick Defense

Pat Horse Method - Yang's Kick Defense

There are two variations of this move found in Yang's Cotton Boxing style (now known as Taijiquan). After another round of kick defense training, I recalled the hand pattern preceding the…

Change Moon

Change Moon

Change Moon is an alternate throw from the clinch. Sometimes our attempts at…

Diagonal Flying

Diagonal Flying

When grappling in the flank position, and tied up, Flying Diagonal showed up as a good counter to our opponent’s counter for Double Seal Hands, or in general -

Seize Leg - Mantis Heel Kick Defense

Seize Leg - Mantis Heel Kick Defense

I absolutely love this heel kick defense. My favorite one to practice, as you'll see in the video; thank you Thomas! There are two variations of this depending on…

Tame Tiger - Heel Kick Defense

Tame Tiger - Heel Kick Defense

Here's a great counter to the heel kick. This move is actually inside Tai Ji Quan forms, but I adopted into my Mantis Boxing system after seeing it in Muay Thai and realizing what it was. It's an awesome counter/defense against the heel kick, and definitely one I want in my arsenal.

There are some nuances to it, and inside this video I'll highlight 3 fail points that are common and how to avoid them. Check it out.

LEAN (Kào 靠) - 12 of 12 - The Keywords of Mantis Boxing

LEAN (Kào 靠) - 12 of 12 - The Keywords of Mantis Boxing

Lean (Kào 靠) - to lean against one’s opponent. Due to the heavy reliance upon grappling and clinchwork in Mantis Boxing, Kào is an important keyword when engaged close range with the enemy.

Postural Defense

Once we are entangled…

ADHERE (Tiē 貼) - 11 of 12 - The Keywords of Mantis Boxing

ADHERE (Tiē 貼) - 11 of 12 - The Keywords of Mantis Boxing

Adhere (Tiē 貼) - space management. Creating space when on the defense, and removing space from our opponent when on the offensive. If you want to reduce the level of control an enemy has on you - framing them, slipping the hooks, and increasing distance can help keep you from getting toppled.

On the inverse, when attacking the opponent, removing their…

STRIKE (Dǎ 打) - 10 of 12 - The Keywords of Mantis Boxing

STRIKE (Dǎ 打) - 10 of 12 - The Keywords of Mantis Boxing

Strike (Dǎ 打) - at it’s root, Mantis Boxing is a style of stand-up grappling. However, we need tools to get to the clinch and then throw; especially against an active and violent opponent. The style includes strikes and kicks to either...

Swamp Talks - What Type of Gloves Should You Train With?

Swamp Talks - What Type of Gloves Should You Train With?

MMA Gloves or Boxing Gloves? Which should you train with? This is a great question we are going to tackle today in this new Swamp Talks. The type of glove we use in training…

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…

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.

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 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...