Self Defense

The other day, I had a student come in to my Dojo, that had trained in Martial Arts for about one year.  I asked what moves he knew to defend himself, if he was grabbed.  He said, that “he did not know any  self defense moves”.  I was pretty shocked at the comment and asked him what he knew?

He knew how to do kicks and punches but only from punching/kicking range.  He did not know what to do if someone was right next to him.  That to me is a big issue, because a person that does not work on self defense from a closer range is missing a very big area in their training.  What if someone tackles you, grabs you from behind or simply holds on to you?   You obviously can’t ask them to let go, so you can feel comfortable, then hit him from a reasonable distance from you.  So, what do you do?

First, you better bring yourself up to speed.    Ask your instructor what to do if someone gets a hold of you and hopefully he has a good answer.  Sometimes things get overlooked because you are too busy learning competition moves and not taking the time to work on other things.

Second, if your instructor does not do any self defense, go to and ask some questions.  You are likely to get a million answers.  See what works for you and keep it simple so the moves will work under stress situations.

I have always felt that if you were attacked, had been trained and had to use your self defense moves, you should know what to do.   Doing something is better than doing nothing.  So, if you have questions about defending yourself ask you instructor to work on self defense techniques in class today.

7 tips on how to survive summer Karate training

Here are a few tips of how to survive summer karate training effectively:

1. First you must get off the sofa and not become a couch potato! It is too easy to say “it’s summer, I just want to play video games and hang out with my friends”. Make your training happen! Don’t grow sprouts, young spuds!

2. When it is hot, hydrate with H20 or some Gatorade. Don’t sit all day, then all you are doing is chilling.

3. Hit a Century Wavemaster and get some of the rotten behavior out of you. You know how you get when you sit around doing nothing and say “there’s nothing to do”. Burn some calories and get a sweat going.

4. If you are training, you are leaving your brothers and sisters alone. They will love the break, your parents will be relived and you will learn how to become better with your martial arts training.

5. Work on a few skills that no one else will work on during the summer. You don’t have to kill yourself but do learn a cool trick or do something difficult that no one else you know can do. Twirl a Bo staff, twirl a nun-chaku, learn a creative kick but do something to advance your skills.

6. If you have a tough time training in the summer because of the heat, don’t stop all activity, do your training in bits and pieces. Try ten minutes working hard and five minutes at a slower pace but keep active! Activity is key!

7. At our Wausau Martial Arts school we teach that “focus” is the most important thing. Our culture in the United States is very different than other countries. We jump all over the place and try different activities to keep ourselves busy. We tend to get sidetracked all the time. Part of the discipline in Martial Arts has to do with sticking with things.

If you jump around all the time, you never become a master at anything but become good at quitting everything. We get in an activity and quit it in a few weeks. Pretty soon we have developed a pattern and we get used to quitting everything we do. That is where Martial Artists need to be different. Stick to your goals and get the job done no matter how difficult and challenging. Just get it done!