SW Portland Martial Arts Blog

One Leg at a Time

October 20th, 2016

For most people, the pistol is merely a rumor.  They don’t have one and they don’t really see any path that leads to getting any closer to making a pistol the reality.

Put another way, we need other one legged motions that help us build the balance, strength and confidence that will lead us eventually to the pistol.  The Cossack shut might be one of those moves for you.  It might also be completely impossible for you.  No worries.  There are many paths to pistol mastery.  There are many starting points.  The Cossack squat is merely one move that might help.

Drill Building

October 18th, 2016

Our next training block involves the clean and the pistol.  Both moves can be very challenging and for most of us it is super helpful to have some drills that break these very difficult moves into smaller pieces.

The video above shows a drill called the barbell warmup (for the clean).  This drill will help you understand how to use your legs to whip your arms up to the proper position.  You will be seeing this drill a lot over the next 10 weeks. Practice it!  Love it!

Seminar Bulldozer!

October 12th, 2016

stix-arnis-weapons-spiral-rattan-sticks-with-carving-1There are currently 4 events in under our event tab.

A 6 week stick fighting course taught by Sifu Kevin Jackson that will meet every Saturday in November and December (except for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years).

A 3 hour internal martial arts seminar on Monday, October 24th taught by Sifu Shanti (not the one from MDP – a different Sifu Shanti) that focuses on how to find your own structure and using that to unbalance someone else.

A “male only” self defense class.  We’ve done a “women only” self defense class and have had great success and feedback with that.  Now we’ll see what comes from this class.  If it’s anything like the women’s class, I will end up learning more than the students.

And finally, we have a Tai Chi seminar led by Sifu Anthony Sang that happens on December 17th and 18th.  He will be teaching a short form and applications of that form over the course of 6 hours.

We hope you’ll expand your martial arts world by attending one (or all 😉 ) of these fantastic opportunities.

Getting Smooth

October 1st, 2016

We all want to go fast.  It’s a natural urge.  Fast seems like a really good idea in martial arts.  The thing is, if we don’t have any concept of what we are doing, if we are just flailing around then all going fast is going to do is make us flail around fast.

Even with all that warning, it is STILL tempting to go fast.  Maybe it masks our mistakes.  Maybe it masks our nervousness.  Maybe it masks our desperation.

Tonight in class, we aimed for smooth instead of fast.  The hope is that when we practice faster, we’ll move with competency instead of panic.

Why Pummel?

September 16th, 2016

Why is the pummeling drill a basic?  Because, in my opinion, it is a basic standup wrestling drill.  While we aren’t a wrestling specific style, we are generalist martial artists and the ability to take someone down is a solid martial skill to study.  Therefore, we should have some basic takedown skills – like the pummeling drill.

The drill gets at two ideas that set up a lot of takedowns – the undertook and taking your partner’s balance.  The underhook is when your arm is under your partner’s arm.  Taking your partner’s balance (in pummeling specifically) means hitting them with your shoulder and getting their weight to go back on their heels.

To show how the drill can lead to a takedown, I included a few clips of us practicing oummeling drill to the front body lock.  You’ll notice how when we practice the takedown we’ve got double under hooks – both arms under our partner’s arms.  While it isn’t a required position to take someone down, it makes it a lot easier to compromise their structure (by bending their spine back).