Karate

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

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

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…

Ezekiel Choke to Americana Lock

Ezekiel Choke to Americana Lock

Here is another attack using the same sneaky Americana I've been using from under the head. In this example, we go from the Ezekiel Choke and our opponent defends it. Because my weight is side shifted, my savvy friend will feel my opposite leg go light, and try to push my knee into half guard to gain a better position. 

Rather than stay there and let them get half guard, we skip over to position 2 of Side Control. Now they defend the position by trying to build a frame. This presents the arm in a vulnerable position to grab it from...
 

Build a Mountain - Stop Your Opponents Crushing Side Control

Build a Mountain - Stop Your Opponents Crushing Side Control

Do you hate being crushed in your opponent's side control? Here's something I've been working on in my game that will hopefully help your game. Building a mountain under your opponents crushing side control can give you space and mobility for countering their attacks, and possibly bringing us to a better position.

The Straight Punch - Throwing the Forward and Reverse Punch

The Straight Punch - Throwing the Forward and Reverse Punch

The Straight Punch - devastating and destructive! Forward and Reverse punch are a good place to start when learning to punch in Mantis Boxing, or other striking arts. They are destructive, and can easily be modified to open hand strikes if necessary. 

The following video shows the in's and out's of...

How to Throw a Punch...Safely

How to Throw a Punch...Safely

Having an improper structure, leaving a finger misplaced, or snapping our elbow, can all cause lasting damage, injuring ourselves more than the object we are trying to hit.

Whether we are hitting bags, pads, mitts, makiwara boards, or sparring partners, it's important to keep these tips in mind to keep us punching without injury for years to come.

Pluck (Cǎi 採) - 3 of 12 - The Keywords of Mantis Boxing

Pluck (Cǎi 採) - 3 of 12 - The Keywords of Mantis Boxing

Pluck (Cǎi 採) is the third 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.

With Pluck (Cǎi 採), a short sharp pull down, or powerful snap, we can feed our adversary into a disadvantaged position. Commonly used after Mantis Catches Cicada, and White Ape Invites Guest.

How to Drill Your Basic Footwork Skills

How to Drill Your Basic Footwork Skills

Basic Footwork is pivotal in understanding how to move when fighting/sparring. Bad footwork creates vulnerabilities in our game that our opponent can capitalize on. Once we have an understanding of our basic footwork skills, Mirror Drill becomes a great tool to help train fluidity and responsiveness, as well as range sensitivity, and neutral position; where our guard/blocks work best.
 

Hooking Legs

Hooking Legs

The Leg Hook is a great easy to use takedown, but sometimes our opponent steps out on us on our first attempt. Here, Thomas helps demonstrate how we use a combination of Mantis principles (strike, hook, pluck, hang, lean) to execute our initial outside leg hook attempt, and then a follow-up inside leg hook if they step out. 

Afterwards we tackle the ground component and what happens if they immediately try to pull guard.

"I'm Not Ready For That."

"I'm Not Ready For That."

"I'm not ready for that." is a healthy approach to training things that overwhelm us.

Here are a couple of counters to the standing guard pass to help your game. Years ago I learned the second of these moves at a workshop with Renan Borges. I was still a white belt at the time, and even though I really liked the move, it wasn't something I was ready for. 

Hook (Gōu 勾) - 1 of 12 - The Keywords of Mantis Boxing

Hook (Gōu 勾) - 1 of 12 - The Keywords of Mantis Boxing

Hook (Gōu 勾) is the first 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.

A Praying Mantis seizes it's opponent with it's large arms and hooks. It pulls it's prey off balance and devours it on the ground. When observing the mantis against a larger foe, one can see the mantis pounce, take the back, use it’s legs to hold on, and continually gain control of it's opponent while it bites and gains better hook positions to keep it safe.

Advanced Footwork Training

Advanced Footwork Training

Today we're going to show advanced footwork drills to help you with your countering capabilities. These will help position you for counter-strikes, counter-kicks, takedowns, etc. 

WARNING - start with Basic Footwork before attempting to use this in sparring. It's better to understand the liabilities of each position before going live. 

Defending Against the Bear Hug - PASS vs. FAIL

Defending Against the Bear Hug - PASS vs. FAIL

Jumped from behind? Your opponent got position on you? No matter how it happened, it's a bad place to be. Join me and my special guest Sensei Ando as we show what to watch out for, and how to make one of the most commonly failed escapes, succeed.

Mantis Captures Prey - How to Stop the Underhooks

Mantis Captures Prey - How to Stop the Underhooks

The underhook is a powerful tool in the hands of an opponent who knows how to use it. They have leverage, control, and setups for numerous takedowns. So how do we stop our opponent from getting the underhooks? With this awesome move from Taijiquan called Fist Under Elbow, and what I like to call Mantis Captures Prey.

Defending the Worst Position Ever!!

Defending the Worst Position Ever!!

The High Mount combined with striking is a deadly combination. This is by far, one of the worst positions you can get stuck in on the ground. The traditional BJJ escape for mount - bridge, trap, and roll doesn't work quite yet, and meanwhile our opponent is raining punches on us, and bringing the thunder like Poseidon.

All too often, we panic in this situation and end up flailing, or trying to grab arms. Here we show a technique we call - 'Shield Up / Shimmy Up' to help you deal with this problematic position. We have to work from where we are, not where we want to be.

Training Your Elbows and Joint Locks (Chin Na)

Training Your Elbows and Joint Locks (Chin Na)

Joint locks (Chin Na) are fun!!! If you are into pain that is. ;-) Seriously, standing submissions are very cool; unfortunately, they can be extremely difficult to pull off for real. 

Here is a more advanced drill to help you train ways to...

Collapse and Fall Into Ruin - (Beng 崩)

Collapse and Fall Into Ruin - (Beng 崩)

A huge thanks to Gene Ching and the team at Kung Fu Tai Chi Magazine for publishing my article this month. Such an awesome presentation! Thank you to my team - Holly Cyr, Vincent Tseng, Max Kotchouro, Bruce Sanders, and Sean Fraser for your assistance in making this happen. I am honored.

Mount Attacks to Help Smaller Fighters

Mount Attacks to Help Smaller Fighters

Fighting bigger opponents can be frustrating when we try and control the mount position. I know I avoided the mount most of the time as a BJJ White Belt after getting tossed around repeatedly. After a while, I started using the high mount to setup some attacks. Here's are two videos highlighting some attacks from the mount. 

Learning to Walk Again

Learning to Walk Again

The original title for this article was "Why is BJJ easier than my [insert Stand-Up Art]?" This was a question proposed to me last year when we were taking submissions for the
 Swamp Talks videos. Truth be told, it was a question that made me uncomfortable at first, as I assumed it would be misconstrued. This question, out of all of them, really stood out to me and made me think.

It made me think about something I hadn't previously considered. Something that was clearly...

The Truth on Effective Strike

The Truth on Effective Strike

Effective Strike (Xiao Da), is the Chinese principle of striking to vital targets, or targets that have more destructive impact than other areas of the body. This is a common concept in many styles of martial arts. I recall the first time I showed up for Tae Kwon Do/Hapkido class back in 1991 -  my teacher said - "Want to kill a man? Hit here, here, here, or here." I was happy, but stunned.

The Dirty History of Tai Chi

The history of Tai Chi, correctly called Tai Ji Quan, disseminated to the masses, is often a mythical story that involves an art form thousands of years old with Taoist immortals, monks, and fairies. Commonly it is propagated that a non-existent type of magical energy, will heal the practitioners body and/or throw opponents without ever touching them. This is a fictional portrayal that in the West we call a fairy tale and in the East they call wu xia.