Helpful tips on how not to pull guard

October 17, 2010

Hello All,

In this video Stephen Kesting (www.grapplearts.com) does a great job explaining both gi and no gi methods so you don’t have to pull guard. We at Synergy Martial Arts discourage our students from pulling guard, we want our students to end up in top positions because of our emphasis on self-defense matieral.

I know many people feel that guard is a superior positon for the person that pulls guard, but that statement is usually made by someone who grapples with opponenets who are in the same weight class and on mats. I know from personal experience that pulling guard on concrete is not the best idea for your skin.

While I was training in California with Paul Vunak he had me grapple from our knees in his driveway against a guy who was much larger than me. Due to our size difference I did pull guard and used a scissor sweep gain knee mount. When were done I saw the results of the guard pull, my knees were scraped up and my partners elbows were scraped all from about 60 seconds of controled grappling.

While some of the scissors sweeps in here may result in the same if you used them on the street they do not allow for your opponent to use his weight to press on you like in a traditional guard pull.

Enjoy,

Shawn

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I cannot believe that I am posting these two videos!!!

October 5, 2010

Hello All,

Today I was looking for some good videos on actual street fights and I ran across this video of actor/martial artist Michael Jai White talking about non-telegraphic motion with Kimbo Slice on the set of a movie.

Now I can hear you saying ” Shawn you must be out of your mind??? Michael Jai White and Kimbo Slice???” But Michael Jai White does a fantastic job of explaining and showing non-telegraphic motion to Kimbo.

I can hear all of you Kimbo Slice critics out there muttering under your breath that Kimbo is a bum etc. Before you judge him realize that he was recruited by the University of Miami to play college football. I really believe that if Kimbo had started MMA 10 years ago he and developed a good game he could have been an amazing MMA fighter.

As for Michael Jai White I knew that he had been training Martial Arts for a long time and had train with some very good Instructors but really have not seen or heard him speak on Martial Arts ever. This is one of the better explanations that I have heard and I have much respect for him and his ability now.

Enjoy,

Shawn


Does your focus mitt training look like this?

October 5, 2010

Hello All,

Quite often when people come to train with us for the first time they ask how much sparring we do. When I tell them that we don’t do a lot of sparring to begin with they are often surprised. Before I go on let me state that our goal at Synergy Martial Arts is not to make a stable of high level MMA fighters but to make well-rounded Martial Artists

While I believe that sparring plays a very important role in the developement of a Martial Artist, in my experience sparring can also be very detrimental to a Martial Artists developement. If students are a different skill levels and the higher skilled student takes liberties it can lead to very bad habits.

I believe that mitt holding is a perfect answer to sparring for learning strategies and improving students skill levels and confidence. I believe that Ajarn Chai is one of the best pad holders out there because when he holds for you it feels like sparring but it comes with instruction on how to improve.

Watch this video and evaluate if your mitt holding looks like this. If it does not please give me a call so we can discuss how to bring your mitt holding up to speed.

Train smart and train hard,

Shawn


A great quote from Sijo Bruce Lee on Martial Arts training

October 3, 2010

Hello All,

As I was going through some material written by Sijo Bruce Lee I came across this one and it felt that it was a good fit for today.

In Jeet Kune Do, it’s not how much you have learned, but how much you have absorbed from what you have learned. It is not how much fixed knowledge you can accumulate, but what you can apply livingly that counts. ‘Being’ is more valued than ‘doing’.

I find that this is not only true for practitioners of Jeet Kune Do (JKD) but for Martial Artists in general. People debate that my jab is better than your kick, my double leg is better than your sprawl, my rubber guard is better than your guard escape… You get the idea.

One technique is not better than others, it’s the training method and then how it is applied that makes the difference. The mistake I often see people making is what we call technique collecting, looking for the next cool and exciting technique but failing to understand where and what the application is.

When a student technique collects they lack the depth of understanding that comes from learning training methods and then performing the repetitions that is needed to develop proper mechanics and the application for that technique under pressure.

An example of how we use this at Synergy Martial Arts is how we train trapping. We spend a little time with reference point trapping then we use the straight blast to get them used to the different reference points with progressive movement and resistance.

From there we look at punching combinations and angles with in those combinations that we can get the reference points again with progressive movement. We also look at trapping from clinching and grappling. All of this will be done with and without gloves on.

In closing we believe that researching training methods and then backing those training methods up with good solid technique and application produces students that not only have a depth of techniques but also understand the way that the technique should be applied.

Train smart and train hard,

Shawn


This is why I love Martial Arts!!!

September 28, 2010

Hello All,

This was posted by some of my friends on Facebook and it is why I love Martial Arts. Over the years I have trained and taught I have met many people who have many excuses as to why they don’t train, many of them being not enough time or physical limitations. I think that this video blows all of those excuses out of the water, because I can guarantee you that this students learning curve is much slower than all of us reading it but he persevered.

I would also like to congratulate his Instructors as well for giving someone a chance that many people would underestimate and want to turn away. Over the years I have found that the students that challenge me are the ones that make me a better Instructor. The amount of creativity that they had to do to improvise and adapt the techniques for him is awesome.

People ask me why I train and teach Martial Arts and this is the reason. Martial Arts provides people with a method of how to gain self-confidence and improve. When I was training group classes at my Sifu Dave Hatch’s I had a fellow student that had Cerebral Palsy, his work ethic and courage was so inspirational to me, it made me train harder. He would always try something and if he could not perform it he and Sifu Dave would work on how to modify the technique so that he would.

Before I step off my soapbox if you are making excuses for not exercising, training Martial Arts or whatever your goals are watch this video and ask yourself how much effort did this Martial Artist put into his training to get to this level.

Enjoy,

Shawn


Help Us Kick Domestic Violence Butt on October 16th 2010!!!

September 24, 2010

Hello All,

Did you know that October is Domestic Violence Awareness month? Also did you know that in 2007 in the state of Michigan there were reported 73,927 domestic violence offenses? That to us at Synergy Martial Arts is a pretty frightening statistic!!!

Please join us in our efforts to defeat Domestic Violence. We have teamed up with the area shelter in Livingston County LACASA (www.lacasa.org) and all proceeds from the workshops will be donated to LACASA.

Kicking Domestic Violences Butt

  • When: October 16th, 2010
  • Times: 9-10am, 10-11am, 11-12pm
  • Where: Synergy Martial Arts, 8540 Hamburg Road Brighton Mi
  • Cost: $5 for 1 hour class all proceeds will be donated to LACASA

Please join us for this fundraising event it will be a lot of fun, goes to a good cause and who knows it could save the life of you or a loved one.

For more information please contact Shawn Kitzman @ 517-672-2386. Here is a video of some of the material that will be covered at the workshop.

 

 

 

 


Watch this to find out how to develop the proper mindset for Self-Defense

September 22, 2010

Hello All,

In this video Sifu Paul Vunak (www.fighting.net) talks about fear, rage and the proper mindset to survive a violent attack. I trained with Paul from 2002-2009 and one of the biggest things that I took away from training with him was the proper mental mindset for Self-Defense. Paul is able to pass on his experience in many fights in a way that is so easy to understand that you almost feel foolish.

In this video he talks about Bruce Lee’s mindset in fights, the 3 places that you can get hit in a fight and how to control fear & rage if you are attacked.

Enjoy,

Shawn