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Australian Dollar Jigsaw Mats

Strong Australian dollar keeps Jigsaw mats cheaper

The recent improvement in the rate of the Australian dollar against the US dollar will work to keep jigsaw mat prices lower. As jigsaw mats are manufactured in and imported from China they are priced in USD. Any appreciation in the AUD therefore has a favourable effect on pricing.

Despite the recent and surprising run back higher for the AUD, HSBC’s chief economist came out late Friday afternoon with a statement saying that ‘Despite an improving domestic picture and unwarranted concern over a China hard landing, in our view, we still continue to see AUD-USD lower as the year progresses targeting 0.86 by the end of 2014’.

As such lower prices may not be sustained over the longer run. This makes purchasing EVA jigsaw mats now the wise thing to do. Especially considering that the AUD has been very strong recently which may not persist much longer.

EVA jigsaw mats - gym mats

Ezymats – jigsaw mats for kids

Ezymats are the ideal mat for kid’s playrooms. Their 40mm thickness offer maximum protection for those little mishaps. Young children are always falling down especially during play-time. Eva jigsaw mats are a great way to ensure that your treasured kids don’t get hurt during their most vulnerable growing period. The jigsaw construction makes assembly easy and stops the mats from pulling part.

jigsaw mats

EVA Interlocking Jigsaw Mats for MMA

EVA interlocking jigsaw mats such as those sold by Ezymats are a form or safety flooring commonly used by a variety of martial arts especially MMA (mixed martial arts). They are used to minimise the impact of falling during training. All martial arts have training methods which from time to time necessitate falling to the floor. Especially in MMA, where there is combination of martial arts including judo and wrestling,  students can be expected to throw one another on to the mats. Jigsaw mats are an excellent way to mitigate the effects of being thrown or falling. Also where there is grappling or rolling on the flour jigsaw mats help create a clean even surface to training to take place.

EVA (Ethylene vinyl acetate)

EVA is one of the materials popularly known as expanded rubber or foam rubber. EVA foam is used as padding in equipment for various sports such as ski boots, bicycle saddles, hockey pads, boxing and mixed martial arts gloves and helmets, wakeboard boots, waterski boots, fishing rods and fishing reel handles. It is typically used as a shock absorber in sports shoes, for example. It is used for the manufacture of floats for commercial fishing gear such as purse seine (seine fishing) and gillnets. In addition, because of its buoyancy, EVA has made its way into non-traditional products such as floating eyewear. It is also used in the photovoltaics industry as an encapsulation material for silicon cells in the manufacture of photovoltaic modules. EVA slippers and sandals are currently very popular because of their properties like light weight, easy to mold, odorless, glossy finish, and cheaper compared to natural rubber. In fishing rods, it is used to construct handles on the rod-butt end. EVA can be used as a substitute for cork in many applications.

EVA is used in the manufacture of the Adidas Jabulani football and Native shoes. EVA is used in orthotics, fire safe cigarettes (FSC), surfboard and skimboard traction pads, and for the manufacturing of some artificial flowers. It is used as a cold flow improver for diesel fuel and a separater in HEPA filters. EVA can easily be cut from sheets and molded to shape. It is also used to make thermoplastic mouthguards that soften in boiling water for a user specific fit. It is also used for impregnation of leather. Additional uses are in the making of nicotine transdermal patches since the copolymer binds well with other agents to form gel like substances. EVA is also sometimes used for making body bags. So EVA is a multi-purpose product used in a number of products not just jigsaw mats.

Jigsaw

The jigsaw mats is modelled on the same concept of jigsaw puzzles. A jigsaw puzzle is a tiling puzzle that requires the assembly of numerous small, often oddly shaped, interlocking and tessellating pieces. Each piece usually has a small part of a picture on it; when complete, a jigsaw puzzle produces a complete picture. In some cases more advanced types have appeared on the market, such as spherical jigsaws and puzzles showing optical illusions.

Jigsaw mats are available in a number of different thicknesses. The activity usually determines what thickness is used. The higher the impact the thicker the mat. So for example activities such as judo will user a thicker jigsaw mat then say aerobics. Both activities require jigsaw mats to minimise effects on the body and joints.

Different Specifications for Jigsaw mats

Specs for our 20mm jigsaw mats below:

SIZE: 1mx1mx2.0cm
STRIPES: T stripes
COLOR: red/blue,yellow/green or as per customer’s requirments
HARDNESS:60 degrees
DENSITY:130kgs/CBM
PACKING: 5PCS/woven bag
DISC:Foam EVA, no odour, flexible, bright colour, suitable for taekwondo, karate, gyms etc. Also suitable as playing mats in children’s play areas.

Specs for our 30mm jigsaw mats below:

SIZE: 1mx1mx3.0cm
STRIPES: T stripes
COLOR:yellow/blue, red/blue or as per customer’s requirments
HARDNESS:45degree
Density:110kgs/CBM
PACKING: 5PCS/woven bag
DISC:foam EVA, no odour, flexible, bright colour, suitable for taekwondo, karate, gyms etc. Also suitable as playing mats in children’s play areas.

Specs for our 40mm jigsaw mats below:

SIZE: 1mx1mx4.0cm
STRIPES: T stripes
COLOR:yellow/blue, red/blue or as per customer’s requirments
HARDNESS:45degree
Density:110kgs/CBM
PACKING: 5PCS/woven bag
DISC:foam EVA, no odour, flexible, bright colour, suitable for wrestling, judo, jiu jitsu, taekwondo, karate, gyms etc. Also suitable as playing mats in children’s play areas.

 

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Detroit Lions linesman Andre Fluellen studies Wing Chun

by Jeff Arnold

DETROIT — Andre Fluellen has always had a bit of Kung Fu fighting spirit inside him.

He dabbled in martial arts as a kid and was intrigued by Bruce Lee movies. But it wasn’t until he saw another movie, the 2008 “Ip Man” recently that the Detroit Lions defensive lineman discovered an ancient and once secretive form of training he hopes will help set him apart.

Fluellen stumbled upon the Detroit Kung Fu Academy during a Saturday-morning shopping trip. After one lesson studying Wing Chun, which combines grappling and striking, he was hooked. And with time on his hands during the NFL lockout, Fluellen has been able to focus on his new-found passion.

Detroit Lions lineman Andre Fluellen takes between 5,000 to 10,000 punches each training session.
The storefront studio has about 50 students — none of whom match up with Fluellen’s 6-foot-2, 295-pound frame. But size doesn’t matter.

“The first couple of days kind of humbled me because even the littlest women, the littlest people can knock me off my stance, knock me sideways or pull me down,” he said. “I was like, ‘How is this happening’?”

Fluellen learned Wing Chun has more to do with technique than physical girth. His sifu — or instructor — Owen Matson, instructed Fluellen to not give up his centerline but rather, to protect it at all costs.

Fluellen came to view training partners not as fellow Kung Fu pupils, but as offensive linemen, pushing him to perfect precision moves.

Matson has seen Fluellen succeed at a form of Kung Fu other athletes struggle with.

“This doesn’t look like what’s on TV,” Matson said. “But Andre knew it would be different. He values the tradition, he values the training and he digs deep. I often leave it up to the individual student to see how hard they will push. He pushes hard.”

During a standard training day, Fluellen may take between 5,000 and 10,000 punches — which he equates to fending off a similar number of blocks.

In time, Fluellen, who has registered 2.5 sacks in four seasons, anticipates Wing Chun will lead him to more success on Detroit’s defensive line.

‘When I learn the structure of Wing Chun, there’s no telling what I will be able to do to offensive linemen,” he said. “But I don’t think you will see this catch on [with too many teammates] unless I come back with something like eight sacks this year.”

Yip Man

Wing Chun

Wing Chun, also known as Ving Tsun or Wing Tsun, is a concept-based Chinese martial art and form of self-defense utilising both striking and grappling while specialising in real world, close-range combat. Wing Chun is practiced globally in over 64 countries and is the world’s most popular form of Southern Kung Fu.

Wing Chun was made popular by Hong Kong based master Yip Man. He later taught the legendary movie actor Bruce Lee whose popularity spread the system world-wide. Mass emigration of Wing Chun practitioners throughout the world further ensured the spread of the system on a global scale.

History of Wing Chun

The earliest known mentions of Wing Chun date to the period of Red Boat Opera.

The common legend involves the young woman Yim Wing-chun, (Wing Chun literally means ‘forever springtime’ or ‘praising spring’,) at the time after the destruction of the Southern Shaolin Temple and its associated temples by the Qing government:

After Yim Wing-Chun rebuffed the local warlord’s marriage offer, she said she’d reconsider his proposal if he could beat her in a fight. She soon crossed paths with a Buddhist nun – Ng Mui, who was one of the Shaolin Sect survivors, and asked the nun to teach her fighting. The legend goes that Ng Mui taught Yim Wing-Chun a new system of martial art that had been inspired by Ng Mui’s observations of a confrontation between a Snake and a Crane; this then-still nameless style enabled Yim Wing Chun to beat the warlord in a one-on-one fight. Yim Wing-Chun thereafter married Leung Bac-Chou and taught him the style, which was later named after her.

Since the system was developed during the Shaolin and Ming resistance to the Qing Dynasty, many legends about the creator of Wing Chun were spread to confuse enemies, including the story of Yim Wing Chun. This perhaps explains why no one has been able to accurately determine the creator or creators of Wing Chun.

Characteristics

Balance, structure and stance

Some Wing Chun practitioners believe that the person with better body structure will win. A correct Wing Chun stance is like a piece of bamboo, firm but flexible, rooted but yielding. This structure is used to either deflect external forces or redirect them.

Balance is related to structure because a well-balanced body recovers more quickly from stalled attacks and structure is maintained. Wing Chun trains the awareness of one’s own body movement derived from muscular, tendon, and articular sources. Performing Wing Chun’s forms such as Chum Kiu or the Wooden Dummy form greatly improve proprioception. Wing Chun favours a high, narrow stance with the elbows kept close to the body. Within the stance, arms are positioned across the vitals of the centerline. Shifting or turning within a stance is carried out variantly on the heels, balls, or middle (K1 or Kidney 1 point) of the foot depending on lineage. All attacks and counter-attacks are initiated from this firm, stable base. Wing Chun rarely compromises structure for more powerful attacks because this is believed to create defensive openings which may be exploited.

Structure is viewed as important, not only for reasons of defense, but also for attack. When the practitioner is effectively “rooted”, or aligned so as to be braced against the ground, the force of the hit is believed to be far more devastating. Additionally, the practice of “settling” one’s opponent to brace them more effectively against the ground aids in delivering as much force as possible to them.

Relaxation

Softness (via relaxation) and performing techniques in a relaxed manner, is fundamental to Wing Chun.

Tension reduces punching speed and power. Muscles act in pairs in opposition to each other (e.g. biceps and triceps). If the arm is tensed, maximum punching speed cannot be achieved as the biceps will be opposing the extension of the arm. In Wing Chun, the arm should be relaxed before beginning the punching motion.
Unnecessary muscle tension wastes energy and causes fatigue.
Tense, stiff arms are less fluid and sensitive during trapping and chi sao.
A tense, stiff limb provides an easy handle for an opponent to push or pull with, whereas a relaxed limb provides an opponent less to work with.
A relaxed, but focused, limb affords the ability to feel “holes” or weaknesses in the opponent’s structure (see Sensitivity section). With the correct forwarding these “holes” grant a path into attacking the opponent.
Muscular struggle reduces a fight to who is stronger. Minimum brute strength in all movement becomes an equalizer in uneven strength confrontations. This is very much in the spirit of the tale of Ng Mui.

Centerline

While the existence of a “central axis” concept is unified in Wing Chun, the interpretation of the centerline concept itself is not. Many variations exist, with some lineages defining anywhere from a single “centerline” to multiple lines of interaction and definition. Traditionally the centerline is considered to be the vertical axis from the top of a human’s head to the groin. The human body’s prime striking targets are considered to be on or near this line, including eyes, nose, throat, solar plexus, stomach, pelvis and groin.

Wing Chun techniques are generally “closed”, with the limbs drawn in to protect the central area and also to maintain balance. In most circumstances, the hands do not move beyond the vertical circle that is described by swinging the arms in front, with the hands crossed at the wrists. To reach outside this area, footwork is used. A large emphasis and time investment in training Chi Sao exercise emphasizes positioning to dominate this centerline. The stance and guard all point at or through the center to concentrate physical and mental intent of the entire body to the one target.

Wing Chun practitioners attack within this central area to transmit force more effectively, since it targets the “core center” (or “mother line”, another center defined in some lineages and referring to the vertical axis of the human body where the center of gravity lies). For example, striking an opponent’s shoulder will twist the body, dispelling some of the force and weakening the strike, as well as compromising the striker’s position. Striking closer to the center transmits more force directly into the body.

Punches

Due to the emphasis on the center line, the straight punch is the most common strike in Wing Chun. However, the principle of simultaneous attack and defense (Lin Sil Die Dar) suggests that all movements in the Siu Nim Tau with a forward execution flow into a strike if no effective resistance is met, without need for recomposure. Other explicit examples of punches can be found in the Chum Kiu and Bil Jee forms, although these punches may appear to be superficially different they are simply the result of the punch beginning from a different origin position while following the same fundamental idea, to punch in a straight line following the shortest distance between the fist and the opponent.

The punch is the most basic and fundamental in Wing Chun and is usually thrown with the elbow down and in front of the body. Depending on the lineage, the fist is held anywhere from vertical to horizontal (palm side up). The contact points also vary from the top two knuckles, to the middle two knuckles, to the bottom three knuckles. In some lineages of Wing Chun, the fist is swiveled at the wrist on point of impact so that the bottom three knuckles are thrust forward adding power to the punch while it is at maximum extension.

The punches may be thrown in quick succession in a “straight blast” or “chain punching”. When executed correctly, it can be used as a disorienting finisher.

When executing the punch, you must relax and use your shoulders. The punch comes from the body and not the arm. Like most other punches in martial arts, Wing Chun punches with the body.

Wing Chun is often criticized for encouraging weaker punches that do not utilize the whole body[citation needed]. However, as per the formal name of the punch (which is translated as “The Sun-character Rushing Punch (or Hammer in Cantonese)”)[citation needed], a practitioner typically would thrust their full body weight towards their opponent, with the fist as the “nail”, and their body as the “hammer”. With each successive punch, the practitioner would step in closer and closer to the opponent, driving the fists forward as a hammer drives a nail.

Wing Chun favors the vertical punch for several reasons:

Directness. The punch is not “loaded” by pulling the elbow behind the body. The punch travels straight towards the target from the guard position (hands are held in front of the chest).
Protection. The elbow is kept low to cover the front midsection of the body. It is more difficult for an opponent to execute an elbow lock/break when the elbow occupies this position. This aids in generating power by use of the entire body structure rather than only the arm to strike. Also with the elbow down, it offers less opening for the body to be attacked while the forearm and punch intercept space towards the head and upper body.
Strength and Impact. Wing Chun practitioners believe that because the elbow is behind the fist during the strike, it is thereby supported by the strength of the entire body rather than just a swinging fist, and therefore has more impact. A common analogy is a baseball bat being swung at someone’s head (a round-house punch), as opposed to the butt end of the bat being thrust forward into the opponent’s face (wing chun punch), which would cause far more damage than a glancing hit and is not as easy to evade. Many skilled practitioners pride themselves on being able to generate “short power” or large amount of power in a short space. A common demonstration of this is the “one-inch punch”, a punch that starts only an inch away from the target yet delivers an explosive amount of force.

Alignment & Structure. Because of Wing Chun’s usage of stance, the vertical punch is thus more suitable. The limb directly in front of the chest, elbow down, vertical nature of the punch allows a practitioner to absorb the rebound of the punch by directing it through the elbows and into the stance. This is a desirable trait to a Wing Chun practitioner because it promotes use of the entire body structure to generate power. Whereas, the rebound of a horizontal punch uses only the arm to strike. In this elbow-out position the hinge-structure directs force outwards along the limb producing torque in the puncher’s body.
Kicks

Kicks can be explicitly found in the Chum Kiu and Mook Jong forms, though some have made interpretations of small leg movements in the Siu Nim Tau and Bil Jee to contain information on kicking as well. Depending on lineage, a beginner is often introduced to basic kicking before learning the appropriate form. Traditionally, kicks are kept below the waist. This is characteristic of southern Chinese martial arts, in contrast to northern systems which utilize many high kicks.

Variations on a front kick are performed striking with the heel. The body may be square and the knee and foot are vertical on contact (Chum Kiu), or a pivot may be involved with the foot and knee on a plane at an angle (Mook Jong). At short distances this can become a knee. A roundhouse kick is performed striking with the shin in a similar manner to the Muay Thai version with most of the power coming from the body pivot. This kick is usually used as a finisher at closer range, targeting anywhere between the ribs and the back of the knee, this kick can also become a knee at close range. Other kicks include a stamping kick (Mook Jong) for very close range and a sweep performed with the heel in a circular fashion.

Every kick is both an attack and defence, with legs being used to check incoming kicks or to take the initiative in striking through before a more circular kick can land. Kicks are delivered in one movement directly from the stance without chambering/cocking.

Uncommitted techniques

Wing Chun techniques are uncommitted. This means that if the technique fails to connect, the practitioner’s position or balance is less affected. If the attack fails, the practitioner is able to “flow” easily into a follow-up attack. All Wing Chun techniques permit this. Any punches or kicks can be strung together to form a “chain” of attacks. According to Wing Chun theory, these attacks, in contrast to one big attack, break down the opponent gradually causing internal damage. Chained vertical punches are a common Wing Chun identifier.

Trapping skills and sensitivity

The Wing Chun practitioner develops reflexes within the searching of unsecured defenses through use of sensitivity. Training through Chi Sao with a training partner, one practices the trapping of hands. When an opponent is “trapped”, he or she becomes immobile.

Chinese philosophy:

“Greet what arrives, escort what leaves and rush upon loss of contact(來留去送,甩手直衝)”- Ip Man
Close range

Wing Chun teaches practitioners to advance quickly and strike at close range. While the Wing Chun forward kick can be considered a long range technique, many Wing Chun practitioners practice “entry techniques”—getting past an opponent’s kicks and punches to bring them within range of Wing Chun’s close range repertoire. This means that theoretically, if the correct techniques are applied, a shorter person with a shorter range can defeat a larger person by getting inside their range and attacking them close to their body.

Curriculum

Forms

Forms are meditative, solitary exercises which develop self-awareness, balance, relaxation and sensitivity. Forms also train the practitioner in the fundamental movement and the correct force generation of Wing Chun.

San Sik (translated as Separate Forms) are compact in structure. They can be loosely grouped into three broad categories: 1) focus on building body structure through basic punching, standing, turning, and stepping drills; 2) fundamental arm cycles and changes, firmly ingraining the cardinal tools for interception and adaptation; and 3) sensitivity training and combination techniques.

It is from the forms and san sik that all Wing Chun techniques are derived. Depending on lineage, the focus, content and intent of each form can have distinct differences which can therefore have far reaching implications. This also means that there are a few different ideas concerning what constitutes progression in the curriculum from form to form, so only a general description of overlap between different schools of thought is possible here.

What’s commonly seen are six Wing Chun forms: three empty hand forms, one “wooden dummy” form, and two weapons forms.

Siu Nim Tao

The first, and most important form in Wing Chun, Siu Lim Tao, is the foundation or “seed” of the art from which all succeeding forms and techniques depend Fundamental rules of balance and body structure are developed here. Using a car analogy: for some branches this would provide the chassis, for others this is the engine. It serves basically as the alphabet for the system. Some branches view the symmetrical stance as the fundamental fighting stance, while others see it as more a training stance used in developing technique.

Chum Kiu

The second form, Chum Kiu, focuses on coordinated movement of bodymass and entry techniques to “bridge the gap” between practitioner and opponent and move in to disrupt their structure and balance. Close-range attacks using the elbows and knees are also developed here. It also teaches methods of recovering position and centerline when in a compromised position where Siu Nim Tao structure has been lost. For some branches bodyweight in striking is a central theme, whether it be from pivoting (rotational) or stepping (translational). Likewise for some branches, this form provides the engine to the car. For branches who use the “sinking bridge” interpretation, the form takes on more emphasis of an “uprooting” context adding multi-dimensional movement and spiraling to the already developed engine.

Biu Tze

The third form, Biu Jee, is composed of extreme short-range and extreme long-range techniques, low kicks and sweeps, and “emergency techniques” to counter-attack when structure and centerline have been seriously compromised, such as when the practitioner is seriously injured.[18] As well as pivoting and stepping, developed in Chum Kiu, a third degree of freedom involving more upper body and stretching is developed for more power. Such movements include very close range elbow strikes and finger thrusts to the throat. For some branches this is the turbo-charger of the car. For others it can be seen as a “pit stop” kit that should never come in to play, recovering your “engine” when it has been lost. Still other branches view this form as imparting deadly “killing” and maiming techniques that should never be used if you can help it. A common wing chun saying is “Biu Jee doesn’t go out the door.” Some interpret this to mean the form should be kept secret, others interpret it as meaning it should never be used if you can help it.

Wooden dummy

The Muk Yan Jong form is performed against a “wooden dummy”, a thick wooden post with three arms and a leg mounted on a slightly springy frame representing a stationary human opponent. Although representative of a human opponent, the dummy is not a physical representation of a human, but an energetic one. Wooden dummy practice aims to refine a practitioner’s understanding of angles, positions, and footwork, and to develop full body power. It is here that the open hand forms are pieced together and understood as a whole.

Weapons

Baat Jaam Do (Eight Chopping/Slashing Knives”)

A form involving a pair of large “Butterfly Knives”, slightly smaller than short swords (Dao). Historically the knives were also referred to as Dit Ming Do (“Life-Taking Knives”).

Luk Dim Boon Gwun, or “Six and A Half Point Pole”.

“Long Pole”— a tapered wooden pole ranging anywhere from 8 to 13 feet in length. Also referred to as “Dragon Pole” by some branches. For some branches that use “Six and A Half Point Pole”, their 7 principles of Luk Dim Boon Gwun(Tai-uprooting, lan-to expand, dim-shock, kit-deflect, got-cut down, wan-circle, lau-flowing) are used throughout the unarmed combat as well. The name six and a half point pole comes from these 7 principles, with the last principle:Lau, or Flowing counting as half a point.

Chi Sao

Chi Sao (Chinese 黐手, or “sticking hands” is a term for the principle and drills used for the development of automatic reflexes upon contact and the idea of “sticking” to the opponent (also known as “sensitivity training”). In reality, the intention is not to “stick” to your opponent at all costs, but rather to protect your centerline while simultaneously attacking your opponent’s centerline. In Wing Chun, this is practiced by two practitioners maintaining contact with each other’s forearms while executing techniques, thereby training each other to sense changes in body mechanics, pressure, momentum and “feel”. The increased sensitivity gained from this drill helps a practitioner attack and counter an opponent’s movements precisely, quickly, and with appropriate techniques.

Chi Sao additionally refers to methods of rolling hands drills (Luk Sao). Luk Sao participants push and “roll” their forearms against each other in a single circle while trying to remain in relaxed form. The aim is to feel force, test resistance, and find defensive gaps. Other branches have a version of this practice where each arm rolls in small, separate circles. Luk Sao is most notably taught within the Pan Nam branch of Wing Chun where both the larger rolling drills as well as the smaller, separate-hand circle drills are taught.

In some lineages (such as the Yip Man and Jiu Wan branches), Chi Sao drills begin with one-armed sets called Dan Chi Sao which help the novice student to get the feel of the exercise; each practitioner uses one hand from the same side as they face each other. Chi Sao is a sensitivity drill to train and obtain specific responses and should not be confused with actual sparring or fighting though it can be practiced or expressed in a combat form.

Chi Gerk

Chi Gerk or “Sticking-legs,” is the lower-body equivalent of the upper body’s Chi Sao training, aimed on developing awareness in the lower body and obtaining relaxation of the legs.

Tae Kwon Do

Taekwondo is a Korean martial art. It combines combat and self-defense techniques with sport and exercise. Taekwondo has been an Olympic event since 2000. Taekwondo was developed by a variety of Korean masters during the 1940s as partial combination of taekkyeon, Okinawan karate, and other traditions.

In Korean, tae (태, 跆) means “to strike or break with the foot”; kwon (권, 拳) means “to strike or break with the fist”; and do (도, 道) means “way of life”. Thus, taekwondo may be loosely translated as “the way of the foot and the hand.” The name taekwondo is also written as taekwon-do, tae kwon-do, or tae kwon do by various organisations.

Taekwondo training generally includes a system of blocks, kicks, punches, and open-handed strikes and may also include various take-downs or sweeps, throws, and joint locks. Pressure points, known as jiapsul, are used, as well as grabbing self-defense techniques borrowed from other martial arts such as Japanese judo, Korean hapkido, and Korean wrestling or ssireum.

Karate

Karate is a martial art developed in the Ryukyu Islands in what is now Okinawa, Japan. It developed from the indigenous martial arts of Ryukyu Islands (called te (手?), literally “hand”; tii in Okinawan) under the influence of Chinese martial arts, particularly to that of the Fujian White Crane. Karate is a striking art using punching, kicking, knee strikes, elbow strikes and open hand techniques such as knife-hands, spear-hands, and palm-heel strikes. In some styles, grappling, throws, joint locks, restraints, and vital point strikes are also taught. A karate practitioner is called a karateka.

Although Karate is not widely used in mixed martial arts, it has been effective for some MMA practitioners. Various styles of karate are practiced: Chuck Liddell, Frank Mir and Stephen Thompson are known for Kenpo Karate. Lyoto Machida and John Makdessi practice Shotokan. Bas Rutten and Georges St-Pierre train in Kyokushin. These are just some of the few MMA fighters that have karate in their training curriculum.

Styles of Karate

Chitō-ryū (千唐流) is a style of karate founded by Tsuyoshi Chitose (千歳 强直 Chitose Tsuyoshi?), (1898 – 1984). The name of the style translates as: chi (千) – 1,000; tō (唐) – China; ryū (流) – style, school, “1,000 year old Chinese style.” The character tō (唐) refers to the Tang Dynasty of China. The style was officially founded in 1946.

Chitō-ryū is generally classified as a Japanese style because Chitose formulated and founded Chitō-ryū principally while living in Kumamoto, Japan. However, some modern practitioners feel it is better categorized as an Okinawan style given that its roots and techniques are firmly grounded in and derived from traditional Okinawan Tōde (唐手). This belief is warranted since the style’s founder, Tsuyoshi Chitose, received first the rank of Judan, in 1958, and then the rank of Hanshi, in 1968, from the Zen Okinawa Karate Kobudo Rengo Kai (All Okinawa Union of Karate-do and Kobu-do).

Gōjū-ryū (剛柔流), (Japanese for “hard-soft style”) is one of the main traditional Okinawan styles of karate, featuring a combination of hard and soft techniques. Both principles, hard and soft, come from the famous martial arts book used by Okinawan masters during the 19th and 20th centuries, the Bubiji (Chinese: 武備志; pinyin: Wǔbèi Zhì). Gō, which means hard, refers to closed hand techniques or straight linear attacks; jū, which means soft, refers to open hand techniques and circular movements. Gōjū-ryū incorporates both circular and linear movements into its curriculum, combining hard striking attacks such as kicks and close hand punches with softer open hand circular techniques for attacking, blocking, and controlling the opponent, including locks, grappling, takedowns and throws.

Major emphasis is given to breathing correctly in all of the katas but particularly in the Sanchin kata which is one of two core katas of this style. The second kata is called Tensho, meant to teach the student about the soft style of the system. Gōjū-ryū practices methods that include body strengthening and conditioning, its basic approach to fighting (distance, stickiness, power generation, etc.), and partner drills.

Gosoku-ryū ( 剛速流) is a style of Karate which was founded by Takayuki Kubota. Gosoku stands for hard and fast, which suggests a combination of techniques both from the fast and dynamic Shotokan style as well as from the strength-focused Gōjū-ryū style.

Isshin-Ryu (一心流 Isshin-ryū) is a style of Okinawan karate founded by Tatsuo Shimabuku (島袋 龍夫) and named by him on 15 January 1956. Isshin-Ryū karate is largely a synthesis of Shorin-ryū karate, Gojū-ryū karate, and kobudō. The name means, literally, “one heart way”. As of 1989 there were 336 branches of Isshin-ryū throughout the world (as recorded by the IWKA), most of which are concentrated in the United States.

Kyokushin (極真) is a style of stand-up, full contact karate, founded in 1964 by Korean-Japanese Masutatsu Oyama (大山倍達 Ōyama Masutatsu) who was born under the name Choi Young-Eui. 최영의. Kyokushin is Japanese for “the ultimate truth.” Kyokushin is rooted in a philosophy of self-improvement, discipline and hard training. Its full contact style has had international appeal (practitioners have over the last 40+ years numbered more than 12 million).

Ryuei-ryu (劉衛流 Ryūei-ryū) is an Okinawan style of karate. It was originally a family style of the Nakaima family of Naha and is now one of the internationally recognized Okinawan karate styles. It is practiced in the United States, Argentina, Venezuela, Europe, and Okinawa.

Shindo Jinen Ryu (神道自然流) is a form of karate that was founded in 1933 by Yasuhiro Konishi (康弘小西 Konishi Yasuhiro?).

Shitō-ryū (糸東流) is a form of karate that was founded in 1931 by Kenwa Mabuni (摩文仁 賢和 Mabuni Kenwa).

Shōrin-ryū (小林流 , little forest way), is one of the major modern Okinawan martial arts and is one of the oldest styles of karate. It was named by Choshin Chibana in 1933, but the system itself is much older. “Shōrin” is the Okinawan language pronunciation of Shaolin (小林) as in the Shaolin Temple of China. “Ryu” means “style”. Shōrin-ryū combines elements of the traditional Okinawan fighting styles of Shuri-te.

Shotokan (松濤館 Shōtōkan) is a style of karate, developed from various martial arts by Gichin Funakoshi (1868–1957) and his son Gigo (Yoshitaka) Funakoshi (1906–1945). Gichin was born in Okinawa and is widely credited with popularizing “karate do” through a series of public demonstrations, and by promoting the development of university karate clubs, including those at Keio, Waseda, Hitotsubashi (Shodai), Takushoku, Chuo, Gakushuin, and Hosei.

Funakoshi had many students at the university clubs and outside dojos, who continued to teach karate after his death in 1957. However, internal disagreements (in particular the notion that competition is contrary to the essence of karate) led to the creation of different organizations—including an initial split between the Japan Karate Association (headed by Masatoshi Nakayama) and the Shotokai (headed by Motonobu Hironishi and Shigeru Egami), followed by many others—so that today there is no single “Shotokan school”, although they all bear Funakoshi’s influence.

As the most widely practiced style, Shotokan is considered a traditional and influential form of karate do.

Shuri-ryū (首里流) karate, is an eclectic martial arts system developed by Robert Trias (1923–1989), the first person to teach karate in the mainland United States, who opened the first dojo in 1946 in Phoenix, Arizona. Later in 1948 he formed the first karate association in the U.S., the United States Karate Association (USKA). The USKA became one of the largest karate associations in the country; its membership included almost all of the early top karate instructors. The style of Shuri-ryū is taught in the United States, parts of Europe, and South America and is related to other Trias styles of karate such as Shōrei-Gōjū-ryū, Shōrei-ryū, and Shōrei-kai.

Uechi-ryu (上地流 Uechi-ryū) is a traditional style of Okinawan karate. Uechi-ryū means “Style of Uechi” or “School of Uechi”. Originally called Pangai-noon, which translates to English as “half-hard, half-soft”, the style was renamed Uechi-ryū after the founder of the style, Kanbun Uechi, an Okinawan who went to Fuzhou in Fujian Province, China to study martial arts and Chinese medicine when he was 19 years old.

Wadō-ryū (和道流) is a karate style; three organizations now teach the Wadō-ryū style: the Japan Karate-dō Federation Wadōkai (abbreviated to Wadōkai; “Zen Nihon Karate-dō Renmei Wadokai” in Japan), the Wadōryū Karatedō Renmei, and the Wadō Kokusai Karatedō Renmei (abbreviated to Wadō Kokusai; also known as the Wadō International Karatedō Federation [WIKF]).

Yoshukai (養秀会 Yōshūkai) karate is a branch discipline of the Japanese/Okinawan martial art, Karate–dō, or “Way of the Empty Hand.” The three kanji (Japanese symbols) that make up the word Yoshukai literally translated mean “Training Hall of Continued Improvement.” However, the standardized English translation is “Striving for Excellence.” Yoshukai Karate has been featured in Black Belt Magazine.

Kick Boxing

Kickboxing is a group of martial arts and stand-up combat sports based on kicking and punching, historically developed from karate, Muay Thai and Western boxing. Kickboxing is practiced for self-defense, general fitness, or as a contact sport. kickboxing can be considered a hybrid martial art formed from the combination of elements of various traditional styles. This approach became increasingly popular since the 1970s, and since the 1990s, kickboxing has contributed to the emergence of mixed martial arts via further hybridisation with ground fighting techniques from Jujutsu and wrestling.

There is no single international governing body. International governing bodies include International Combat Organisation, “World Association of Kickboxing Organizations” “World Kickboxing Association” World Kickboxing Association, “International Sport Karate Association”;International Sport Karate Association, International Kickboxing Federation, World Sport Kickboxing Federation, among others. Consequently, there is no single kickboxing world championship, and champion titles are issued by individual promotions, such as K-1. Bouts organized under different governing bodies apply different rules, such as allowing the use of knees or clinching, etc.

The term kickboxing (キックボクシング) itself was introduced in the 1960s as a Japanese anglicism by Japanese boxing promoter Osamu Noguchi. It was a hybrid martial art combining Muay Thai and karate which he had introduced in 1958. The term was later also adopted by the American variant. Since there has been a lot of cross-fertilization between these styles, with many practitioners training or competing under the rules of more than one style, the history of the individual styles cannot be seen in isolation from one another.

The French term Boxe pieds-poings (literally “feet-fists-boxing”) is also used in the sense of “kickboxing” in the general meaning, including French boxing (savate) as well as American and Japanese kickboxing, Burmese and Thai boxing, any style of full contact karate, etc.

History

Overview

Since kickboxing is a broad term that can be used both in a wide and narrow sense, this can make understanding the history somewhat difficult. Some of the earliest forms of kickboxing included the various Indochinese martial arts especially muay boran, which developed into modern muay thai.

However in terms of modern competition, it was during the 1950s that a Japanese karateka named Tatsuo Yamada first established an outline of a new sport that combined karate and muay thai.

This was further explored during the early 1960s, when competitions between karate and muay thai began, which allowed for rule modifications to take place. By the middle of the decade the first true kickboxing events were being held in Osaka.

By the 1970s and 1980s the sport had expanded beyond Japan and had reached North America and Europe. It was during this time that many of the most prominentgoverning bodies were formed.

In Japan the sport was widely popular and was regularly broadcast on television before going into a dark period during the 1980s.
In North America the sport had unclear rules so kickboxing and full contact karate were essentially the same sport.
In Europe the sport found marginal success but did not thrive until the 1990s.
Since the 1990s the sport has been mostly dominated by the Japanese K-1 promotion, with some competition coming from other promotions and mostly pre-existing governing bodies.

Along with the growing popularity in competition, there has been an increased amount of participation and exposure in the mass media, fitness, and self-defense.

Japan

On December 20, 1959, a Muay Thai among Thai fighters was held at Tokyo Asakusa town hall in Japan. Tatsuo Yamada, who established “Nihon Kempo Karate-do”, was interested in Muay Thai because he wanted to perform karate matches with full-contact rules since practitioners are not allowed to hit each other directly in karate matches. At this time, it was unimaginable to hit each other in karate matches in Japan. He had already announced his plan which was named “The draft principles of project of establishment of a new sport and its industrialization” in November, 1959, and he proposed the tentative name of “karate-boxing” for this new sport. It is still unknown whether Thai fighters were invited by Yamada, but it is clear that Yamada was the only karatekawho was really interested in Muay Thai. Yamada invited a Thai fighter who was the champion of Muay Thai (and formerly his son Kan Yamada’s sparring partner), and started studying Muay Thai. At this time, the Thai fighter was taken by Osamu Noguchi who was a promoter of boxing and was also interested in Muay Thai. The Thai fighter’s photo was on the magazine “The Primer of Nihon Kempo Karate-do, the first number” which was published by Yamada.

There were “Karate vs. Muay Thai fights” February 12, 1963. The three karate fighters from Oyama dojo (kyokushin later) went to the Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Thailand, and fought against three Muay Thai fighters. The three kyokushin karate fighters’ names areTadashi Nakamura, Kenji Kurosaki and Akio Fujihira (as known as Noboru Osawa). Japan won by 2–1: Tadashi Nakamura and Akio Fujihira both KOed opponents by punch while Kenji Kurosaki was KOed by elbow. This should be noted that the only Japanese loser Kenji Kurosaki was then a kyokushin instructor rather than a contender and temporarily designated as a substitute for the absent chosen fighter. Noguchi studied Muay thai and developed a combined martial art which Noguchi named kick boxing, which absorbed and adopted more rules than techniques from Muay Thai. The main techniques of kickboxing is still derived from Japanese full contact karate (kyokushinkai). However, throwing and butting were allowed in the beginning to distinguish it from Muay Thai style. This was later repealed. The Kickboxing Association, the first kickboxing sanctioning body, was founded by Osamu Noguchi in 1966 soon after that. Then the first kickboxing event was held in Osaka on April 11, 1966.

Tatsu Yamada died in 1967, but his dojo changed its name to Suginami Gym, and kept sending kickboxers off to support kickboxing.

Kickboxing boomed and became popular in Japan as it began to be broadcast on TV. By 1970, kickboxing was telecast in Japan on three different channels three times weekly. The fight cards regularly included bouts between Japanese (kickboxers) and Thai (muay thai) boxers. Tadashi Sawamura was an especially popular early kickboxer. In 1971 the All Japan Kickboxing Association (AJKA) was established and it registered approximately 700 kickboxers. The first AJKA Commissioner was Shintaro Ishihara, the longtime Governor of Tokyo. Champions were in each weight division from fly to middle. Longtime kickboxer Noboru Osawa won the AJKA bantam weight title, which he held for years. Raymond Edler, an American university student studying at Sophia University in Tokyo, took up kickboxing and won the AJKC middleweight title in 1972; he was the first non-Thai to be officially ranked in the sport of Thai boxing, when in 1972 Rajadamnern ranked him no. 3 in the Middleweight division. Edler defended the All Japan title several times and abandoned it. Other popular champions were Toshio Fujiwara and Mitsuo Shima. Most notably, Fujiwara was the first non-Thai to win an official Thai boxing title, when he defeated his Thai opponent in 1978 at Rajadamnern Stadium winning the lightweight championship bout.

By 1980, due to poor ratings and then infrequent television coverage, the golden-age of kickboxing in Japan was suddenly finished. Kickboxing had not been seen on TV until K-1 was founded in 1993.

In 1993, as Kazuyoshi Ishii (founder of Seidokaikan karate) produced K-1 under special kickboxing rules (no elbow and neck wrestling) in 1993, kickboxing became famous again.

North America

Hook-punch

Count Dante, Ray Scarica and Maung Gyi held the United States’ earliest cross-style full-contact style martial arts tournaments as early as 1962. Between 1970 and 1973 a handful of kickboxing promotions were staged across the USA. In the early days the rules were never clear, one of the first tournaments had no weight divisions and all the competitors fought off until one was left. During this early time, kickboxing and full contact karate are essentially the same sport.

The institutional separation of American full contact karate from kickboxing occurs with the formation of the Professional Karate Association (PKA) in 1974 and of the World Kickboxing Association (WKA) in 1976. The impact of the WKA on world martial arts as a whole was revolutionary. They were the first organised body of martial arts on a global scale to sanction fights, create ranking systems, and institute a development programme.

In the eighties, many fighters defected to the rival World Karate Association (WKA) because of the PKA’s policy of signing fighters to exclusive contracts; plus, the PKA sanctioned fights exclusively with what has become known as “full contact rules” which permit kicks only above the waist as opposed to the international rules advocated by the WKA which is similar to kickboxing promotions in Japan and other countries in Asia and Europe. Because of the cost vs. revenue contracts within the PKA, many of the promoters also left the organization and formed the International Sport Karate Association (ISKA) in 1985, and in the late eighties a struggle for control of the PKA developed between the Quines and equal partner Joe Corley, leading to the decline of the organization as a business entity.The right to use the organization title was afterward contested.

The International Kickboxing Federation (IKF) was founded in 1992. It is the most active kickboxing sanctioning body in North America and one of the top 3 worldwide organizations. The IKF also hosts the Largest All Amateur – Full Contact & Muay Thai – Kickboxing Tournament in the World, the IKF World Classic.

Europe

World Association of Kickboxing Organizations

American kickboxing was promulgated in Germany from its inception in the 1970s by Georg F. Bruckner, who in 1976 was co-founder of the World Association of Kickboxing Organizations. The term “kickboxing” as used in German-speaking Europe is therefore mostly synonymous with American kickboxing. The elbow and knee techniques allowed in Japanese kickboxing by contrast were associated with Muay Thai, and Japanese kickboxing went mostly unnoticed in German-speaking Europe before the launch of K-1 in 1993.

By contrast, in the Netherlands kickboxing was introduced in its Japanese form, by Jan Plas and Thom Harinck who founded NKBB (The Dutch Kickboxing Association) in 1976. Harinck also founded the MTBN (Dutch Muay Thai Association) in 1983, and the WMTA (World Muay Thai Association) and the EMTA (European Muay Thai Association) in 1984. The most prominent kickboxing gyms in Netherlands, Mejiro Gym, Chakuriki Gym and Golden Glory, were all derived from or were significantly influenced by Japanese kickboxing and kyokushin karate.

Dutch athletes have been very successful in the K-1 competitions. Out of the 18 K-1 World Grand Prix championship titles issued from 1993 to 2010, 15 went to Dutch participants (Peter Aerts, Ernesto Hoost, Remy Bonjasky, Semmy Schilt and Alistair Overeem). The remaining three titles were won by Branko Cikatić of Croatia in 1993,Andy Hug of Switzerland in 1996, and Mark Hunt of New Zealand in 2001.

Individual rulesets

Kickboxing has a number of different rulesets. For example, American Kickboxing and/or American full contact karate restricts to strikes using punches and higher kicks; whereas some other arts often regarded as “kickboxing” allow low kicks and even knee strikes, elbows, and grappling maneuvers. All forms of kickboxing use an identical scoring system, however. A winner is declared during the bout if there is a submission (fighter quits or fighter’s corner throws in the towel), knockout (KO), or referee stoppage (technical knockout, or TKO). If all of the rounds expire with no knockout then the fight is scored by a team of 3 judges. The judges determine a winner based on their scoring of each round. A split decision indicates a disagreement between the judges, while a unanimous decision indicates that all judges saw the fight the same way and all have declared the same winner.

Full contact

Full contact rules, or American kickboxing, is essentially a mixture of Western boxing and traditional karate. The male kickboxers are bare-chested wearing kickboxing trousers and protective gear including: mouth-guard, hand-wraps, 10 oz (280 g). boxing gloves, groin-guard, shin-pads, kick-boots and protective helmet (for amateurs and those under 16). The female kickboxers will wear a sports bra and chest protection in addition to the male clothing/protective gear. In addition, amateur rules often allow less experienced competitors to use light or semi-contact rules, where the intention is to score points by executing successful strikes past the opponent’s guard, and use of force is regulated. The equipment for semi-contact is similar to full-contact matches, usually with addition of headgear. Competitors usually dress in a t-shirt for semi-contact matches, to separate them from the bare-chested full-contact participants.

Notable fighters under full contact rules include Dennis Alexio, Joe Lewis, Rick Roufus, Jean-Yves Theriault, Benny Urquidez, Bill Wallace and Don “The Dragon” Wilson.

Rules:

Opponents are allowed to hit each other with punches and kicks, striking above the waist.
Elbows and knees are forbidden and the use of the shins is seldom allowed.
Clinch fighting, throws and sweeps are forbidden.
Bouts are usually 3 to 12 rounds (lasting 2–3 minutes each) for amateur and professional contests with a 1 minute rest in between rounds.
International

International rules, or freestyle rules (also know as Kickboxing in Europe, American Boxing in France and Low Kick in WAKO) , contrasts with full contact rules in that it allows also low kicks. The male kickboxers are bare-chested wearing kickboxing trousers or shorts and protective gear including: mouth-guard, hand-wraps, shin-wraps, 10 oz (280 g). boxing gloves and groin-guard. The female kickboxers will wear a sports bra and chest protection in addition to the male clothing/protective gear.

Notable fighters under international rules include Rick Roufus and Abraham Roqueñi.

Rules:

Fighters are allowed to strike their opponent with punches and kicks, including kicks below the waist, except for the groin.
Elbows and knees are forbidden.
Clinch fighting, throws and sweeps are forbidden.
Bouts are 3 to 5 rounds for amateurs and 3 to 12 rounds for professionals, all rounds lasting 2 minutes each. Each round has a 1 minute rest in between rounds.
Muay Thai

Muay Thai, or Thai boxing, rules usually sees bouts contested over 5, 3 minute rounds and male fighters bare-chested wearing shorts and protective gear including: mouth-guard, hand-wraps, shin-wraps, 10 oz (280 g). boxing gloves, groin-guard and sometimes prajioud arm bands. The female Thaiboxers will wear a sports bra and chest protection in addition to the male clothing/protective gear. Muay Thai is unique in that it is the only style of kickboxing that allows elbows, knees, clinch fighting,throws, sweeps and low kicks. Groin strikes were allowed until the 1980s in international Muay Thai and are still permitted in Thailand itself (though the boxers wear cups to lessen the impact). Kicking to mid-body and head are scored highly generating a large number of points on judges’ scorecards. Moreover, kicking is still judged highly even if the kick was blocked. In contrast, punching is worth fewer points.

Notable fighters under Muay Thai rules include Apidej Sit Hrun, Buakaw Por. Pramuk, Changpuek Kiatsongrit, Somsong, Krongsak, Rob Kaman, Ramon Dekkers, Coban Lookchaomaesaitong, Dieselnoi Chor Thanasukarn, Saenchai PKSaenchaimuaythaigym, Samart Payakaroon and Yodsanklai Fairtex.

Rules:

Fighters are allowed to strike their opponent with punches, kicks, including kicks below the waist, elbows and knees.
Clinch fighting, throws and sweeps are allowed.
Bouts are generally 5, 3 minute rounds with 2 minutes rest in between, but 3 round fights are used.
Oriental

Oriental rules, also known as Japanese kickboxing and K-1 rules, is a combat sport created by the Japanese boxing promoter Osamu Noguchi and Karate practitioner Tatsuo Yamada. It was the first combat sport that adopted the name of “kickboxing” in 1966, later termed “Japanese kickboxing” as a retronym. Oriental rules bouts were traditionally fought over 5, 3 minute rounds but 3 round bouts have since become popular since their inception in the K-1 promotion. The male kickboxers are bare-chested wearing shorts (although trousers and karate gis have been worn) and protective gear including: mouth-guard, hand-wraps, shin-wraps, 10 oz (280 g). boxing gloves and groin-guard. The female kickboxers will wear a sports bra and chest protection in addition to the male clothing/protective gear.

Notable fighters under Oriental rules include Peter Aerts, Remy Bonjasky, Toshio Fujiwara, Ernesto Hoost, Albert Kraus, Masato, Giorgio Petrosyan, Tadashi Sawamuraand Semmy Schilt

Rules:

Fighters are allowed to strike their opponent with punches, kicks and knees including kicks below the waist, except for the groin.
Elbows are forbidden.
Limited clinch fighting is allowed.
Bouts are 3 to 5 rounds (lasting 3 minutes each) with a 1 minute rest in between rounds.
Head butts, throws and sweeps were banned in 1966 for fighters’ safety.
Sanshou

Sanshou, or Sanda, is a form of kickboxing originally developed by the Chinese military based upon the study and practices of traditional Kung fu and modern combat fighting techniques; it combines traditional kickboxing, which include close range and rapid successive punches and kicks, with wrestling, takedowns, throws, sweeps, kick catches, and in some competitions, even elbow and knee strikes. The male fighters are bare-chested wearing shorts and protective gear including: mouth-guard, hand-wraps, 10 oz (280 g). boxing gloves and groin-guard. The female kickboxers will wear a sports bra and chest protection in addition to the male clothing/protective gear.

Notable fighters under Sanshou rules include Pat Barry, Liu Hailong, Cung Le, Shahbulat Shamhalaev and Shamil Zavurov.

Rules:

Fighters are allowed to strike their opponent with punches and kicks including kicks below the waist, except for the groin.
Elbows and knees are forbidden (with the exception of some competitions).
Clinch fighting, throws and sweeps are allowed.
Bouts are 5 rounds (lasting 3 minutes each) with a 1 minute rest in between rounds.
Shoot boxing

Shoot boxing is a unique style of kickboxing popular in Japan that utilizes standing submissions such as chokeholds, armlocks and wristlocks in addition to kicks, punches,knees and throws. The male fighters are bare-chested wearing skin tight trousers and protective gear including: mouth-guard, hand-wraps, 10 oz (280 g). boxing gloves and groin-guard. The female kickboxers will wear a sports bra and chest protection in addition to the male clothing/protective gear.

Notable fighters under shoot boxing rules include Rena Kubota, Kenichi Ogata, Hiroki Shishido, Andy Souwer and Ai Takahashi.

Rules:

Opponents are allowed to strike each other with punches, kicks, including kicks below the waist, except for the groin, and knees.
Elbows are forbidden.
Clinch fighting, throws and sweeps are allowed.
Standing submissions are allowed.
Bouts are 3 rounds (lasting 3 minutes each) with a 1 minute rest in between rounds.
Techniques

Punching

Punching techniques are very much identical to boxing punches, including

Jab – straight punch from the front hand, to either the head or the body, often used in conjunction with the cross
Cross – straight punch from the back hand
Hook – rounded punch to either the head or body in an arching motion, usually not scored in points scoring
Uppercut – rising punch striking to the chin.
Short straight-punch usually striking to the chin
Backfist usually from the front hand, reverse-back fist and spinning back-fist both usually from the back hand – are strikes to the head, raising the arm and bending the arm at the elbow and then straightening the arm quickly to strike to the side of the head with the rear of the knuckles, common in “light contact”.
Flying-punch struck usually from the rear hand, the combatant hops on the front foot, kicking back with the rear foot and simultaneously extending the rear hand as a punch, in the form of “superman” flying through the sky.
Cross-counter a cross-counter is a counterpunch begun immediately after an opponent throws a jab, exploiting the opening in the opponent’s position
Overhand (overcut or drop) – a semi-circular and vertical punch thrown with the rear hand. It is usually when the opponent bobbing or slipping. The strategic utility of the drop relying on body weight can deliver a great deal of power
Bolo punch – a combination of a wide uppercut/right cross/swing that was delivered seemingly from the floor.
Half-hook – a combination of a wide jab/hook or cross/hook
Half-swing – a combination of a wide hook/swing
Kicking

The standard kicking techniques are:

Front kick or push Kick/high Kick – Striking face or chest on with the heel of the foot
Side kick – Striking with the side or heel of the foot with leg parallel to the ground, can be performed to either the head or body
Semi-circular kick or forty five degree roundhouse kick
Roundhouse kick or circle kick – Striking with the front of the foot or the lower shin to the head or the body in a chopping motion.
There are a large number of special or variant kicking techniques, including spinning kicks, jumping kicks, and other variants such as

Hook kick (heel kick) – Extending the leg out to the side of the body, and hooking the leg back to strike the head with either the heel or sole
Crescent kick and forward crescent kick
Axe kick – is a stomp out kick or axe kick. The stomp kick normally travel downward, striking with the side or base heel.
Back kick – is delivered with the base heel of the foot.
Sweeping – One foot or both feet of an opponent may be swept depending upon their position, balance and strength.
Spinning versions of the back, side, hook and axe kicks can also be performed along with jumping versions of all kicks

Knee and elbow strikes

The knee and elbow techniques in Japanese kickboxing, indicative of its Muay Thai heritage, are the main difference that separates this style from other kickboxing rules. See ti sok and ti khao for details.

Straight knee thrust (long-range knee kick or front heel kick). This knee strike is delivered with the back or reverse foot against an opponent’s stomach, groin, hip or spine an opponent forward by the neck, shoulder or arm
Rising knee strike – can be delivered with the front or back foot. It makes an explosive snap upwards to strike an opponent’s face, chin, throat or chest.
Hooking knee strike – can be delivered with the front or back foot. It makes a half circle spin and strikes the sides of an opponent
Side knee snap strike – is a highly-deceptive knee technique used in close-range fighting. The knee is lifted to the toes or lifted up, and is snapped to left and right, striking an opponent’s sensitive knee joints, insides of thighs, groin
Defense

There are three main defensive positions (guards or styles) used in kickboxing. Within each style, there is considerable variation among fighters, as some fighters may have their guard higher for more head protection while others have their guard lower to provide better protection against body punches. Many fighters vary their defensive style throughout a bout in order to adapt to the situation of the moment, choosing the position best suited to protect them.

Slip – Slipping rotates the body slightly so that an incoming punch passes harmlessly next to the head. As the opponent’s punch arrives, the boxer sharply rotates the hips and shoulders. This turns the chin sideways and allows the punch to “slip” past. Muhammed Ali was famous for extremely fast and close slips.
Bob and weave – bobbing moves the head laterally and beneath an incoming punch. As the opponent’s punch arrives, the kickboxer bends the legs quickly and simultaneously shifts the body either slightly right or left. Once the punch has been evaded, the kickboxer “weaves” back to an upright position, emerging on either the outside or inside of the opponent’s still-extended arm. To move outside the opponent’s extended arm is called “bobbing to the outside”. To move inside the opponent’s extended arm is called “bobbing to the inside”.
Parry/Block – Parrying or blocking uses the kickboxer’s hands as defensive tools to deflect incoming attacks. As the opponent’s punch arrives, the boxer delivers a sharp, lateral, open-handed blow to the opponent’s wrist or forearm, redirecting the punch.
The cover-up – Covering up is the last opportunity to avoid an incoming strike to an unprotected face or body. Generally speaking, the hands are held high to protect the head and chin and the forearms are tucked against the torso to impede body shots. When protecting the body, the kickboxer rotates the hips and lets incoming punches “roll” off the guard. To protect the head, the kickboxer presses both fists against the front of the face with the forearms parallel and facing outwards. This type of guard is weak against attacks from below.
The clinch – Clinching is a form of standing grappling and occurs when the distance between both fighters has closed and straight punches cannot be employed. In this situation, the kickboxer attempts to hold or “tie up” the opponent’s hands or enter neck wrestling position. In one way to perform a clinch, the kickboxer loops both hands around the outside of the opponent’s shoulders, scooping back under the forearms to grasp the opponent’s arms tightly against his own body. In this position, the opponent’s arms are pinned and cannot be used to attack. Other forms of clinch involves getting control of opponents neck by collar tie or upper body by underhooks,overhooks and body lock. It is often in the clinch where knee, elbow, sweep and throw techniques are used.

Brazilian Jiu-jitsu (BJJ)

BJJ is a martial art, combat sport, and a self defense system that focuses on grappling and especially ground fighting. Brazilian jiu-jitsu was formed from early 20th century Kodokan Judo ground fighting (Ne-Waza) fundamentals that were taught to, Luiz França and Carlos Gracie by master Mitsuyo Maeda 前田 光世. Brazilian jiu-jitsu eventually came to be its own art through the experimentations, practices, and adaptation from the Judo knowledge of Carlos and Hélio Gracie, who then passed their knowledge on to their extended family.

Jiu-Jitsu came to international prominence in the martial arts community in the early 1990s, when Brazilian jiu-jitsu expert Royce Gracie won the first, second and fourth Ultimate Fighting Championships, which at the time were single elimination martial arts tournaments. Royce fought against often much larger opponents who were practicing other styles, including boxing, shoot-fighting, muay thai, karate, wrestling, judo and tae kwon do. It has since become a staple art for many MMA fighters and is largely credited for bringing widespread attention to the importance of ground fighting.

Origins

Mitsuyo Maeda, was one of five of the Kodokan’s top groundwork (Ne – Waza) experts that judo’s founder Kano Jigoro sent overseas to demonstrate and spread his art to the world. Maeda had trained first in sumo as a teenager, and after the interest generated by stories about the success of Kodokan Judo at contests between Kodokan Judo and jujutsu that were occurring at the time, he changed from sumo to Judo, becoming a student of Jigoro Kano. Maeda left Japan in 1904 and visited a number of countries giving “jiu-do” demonstrations and accepting challenges from wrestlers, boxers, savate fighters and various other martial artists before eventually arriving in Brazil on November 14, 1914.

Gastão Gracie was a business partner of the American Circus in Belém. In 1916, Italian Argentine circus Queirolo Brothers staged shows there and presented Mayeda. In 1917, Carlos Gracie, the eldest son of Gastão Gracie, watched a demonstration by Maeda at the Da Paz Theatre and decided to learn judo. Maeda accepted Carlos as a student and Carlos learned for a few years, eventually passing his knowledge on to his brothers.

Although the Gracie family is typically synonymous with BJJ, another prominent lineage from Maeda via another Brazilian disciple, Luiz França. This lineage had been represented particularly by Oswaldo Fadda. Fadda and his students were famous for influential use of footlocks and the lineage still survives through Fadda’s links with today’s teams such as Nova União and Grappling Fight Team.

Sibling Hélio Gracie gradually developed Gracie Jiu Jitsu as a softer, pragmatic adaptation from Judo that focused on ground fighting, as he was unable to perform many Judo moves that require direct opposition to an opponent’s strength.

Training methods

Sport Brazilian jiu-jitsu’s focus on submissions without the use of strikes while training allows practitioners to practice at full speed and with full power, resembling the effort used in a real competition. Training methods include technique drills in which techniques are practiced against a non-resisting partner; isolation sparring, commonly referred to as positional drilling, where only a certain technique or sets of techniques are used, and full sparring in which each opponent tries to submit their opponent using any legal technique. Physical conditioning is also an important part of training at many clubs.

Primary ground positions

Grappling position

During the ground phase of combat the BJJ practitioner strives to take a dominant or controlling position from which to apply submissions, these positions provide different options.

Side control

In side control, the practitioner pins their opponent to the ground from the side of their body. The dominant grappler lies across the opponent with weight applied to the opponent’s chest. The opponent may be further controlled by pressure on either side of their shoulders and hips from the practitioner’s elbows, shoulders, and knees. A wide variety of submissions are initiated from side control. It is also referred to as the side mount. Additionally the typical side mount increases opportunity for the dominant grappler to advance to more dominant and less used type of side control known as the mounted crucifix position. In this position the dominant grappler has their body at the very top of their opponents torso as well as one arm controlled by between both of the top grapplers arms as well as the other arm trapped between their legs. A mounted crucifix spells almost certain submission by the trapped opponent. Variants of the side control include: Brazilian Crossbody, Kesse Gatame, “Wrestler Pin” and Knee Pin.

Full mount

Full Mount is considered one of the most dominant grappling positions.
In the mount position the practitioner sits astride the opponent’s chest, controlling the opponent with their bodyweight and hips. In the strongest form of this position the practitioner works their knees up under into the arm pits to reduce arm movements, limiting their ability to move or counter the submission attempts. Full Mount can be used to apply armlocks or strangles.

Back mount

When utilizing the back mount (often known in Brazilian jiu-jitsu as the back grab or attacking the back), the practitioner attaches to the back of the opponent by wrapping their legs around and hooking the opponent’s thighs with their heels[25] or locking in a body triangle by crossing their own heels. Simultaneously, the upper body is controlled by wrapping the arms around the chest or neck of the opponent. This position is often used to apply chokeholds, and counters much of the benefit an opponent may have from greater size or strength.

Guard

The jiu-jitsu practitioner in blue is demonstrating a type of closed guard
In the Guard, the practitioner is on their back controlling an opponent with their legs. The practitioner pushes and pulls with the legs or feet to upset the balance and limit the movements of their opponent. This position comes into play often when an opponent manages to place the practitioner upon his or her back and the practitioner seeks the best position possible to launch counter-attacks. This is a very versatile position from which the BJJ practitioner can attempt to sweep (reverse) the opponent, get back to the feet, or apply a variety of joint-locks as well as various chokes.

The three main types of guard are Open, Closed, and Half. In closed guard, the bottom grappler has their legs around the opponent’s trunk and has their ankles closed together to provide control and a barrier to escaping the position. In the open guard, the legs are not hooked together and the bottom grappler uses their legs or feet to push or pull in a more dynamic fashion. Open guard also has a less common variant called butterfly guard in the bottom grappler brings their legs up and feet together, the name derives from the resulting butterfly wing shape. Butterfly guard increase both space to manoeuvre and/or counter their opponent with their shins or arches of their feet against the competitors inner thighs. In the half guard, one of the top grappler’s legs is being controlled by the bottom grappler’s legs.

Submission

The majority of submission holds can be grouped into two broad categories: joint locks and chokes. Joint locks typically involve isolating an opponent’s limb and creating a lever with the body position which will force the joint to move past its normal range of motion.[4] Pressure is increased in a controlled manner and released if the opponent cannot escape the hold and signals defeat by submitting. Opponents can indicate submission verbally or they can “tap out” by tapping the opponent or the mat. (Tapping one’s own body is dangerous because the opponent may not be able to tell if his or her opponent is tapping.) A choke hold, by disrupting the blood supply to the brain, can cause unconsciousness if the opponent does not submit soon enough.

A less common type of submission hold is a compression lock, where the muscle of an opponent is compressed against a hard, large bone (commonly the shin or wrist), causing significant pain to the opponent. These types of locks are not usually allowed in competition due to the high risk of tearing muscle tissue. This type of lock often also hyper-extends the joint in the opposite direction, pulling it apart.

Joint locks

A practitioner attempting an armbar submission
While many joint locks are permitted, most competitions ban or restrict some or all joint locks involving the knees, ankles, and spine. The reason for this is that the angles of manipulation required to cause pain are nearly the same as those that would cause serious injury. Joint locks that require a twisting motion of the knee (called twisting knee locks or twisting knee bars, or techniques such as heel hooks, and toe holds) are usually banned in competitions because successfully completing the move nearly always results in permanent damage that requires surgery. Similarly, joint manipulations of the spine are typically barred due to the inherent danger of crushing or mis-aligning cervical vertebrae. Leglocks are allowed in varying degrees depending on skill level, with straight ankle locks being the only leglocks allowed in the beginner division, or white belt level, straight kneebars being allowed in the intermediate division, or blue belt level and toeholds with the pressure applied inwards are allowed in the advanced division (purple, brown, black). Some competitions also ban submissions involving the crushing or compression of muscle tissue. Most competitions do not allow heel hooks, which are considered to be exceptionally dangerous to competitors.

However, most joint locks involving the wrist, elbow, shoulder or ankle are permitted as there is a great deal more flexibility in those joints and those locks are safe to use under tournament conditions. Also, some fighters practice moves whose sole purpose is to inflict pain upon their opponent, in the hope that they will tap out. This includes driving knuckles into pressure points, holding their opponent’s head in order to tire out the neck (called the “can opener” or kubi-hishigi) and putting body weight on top of the sternum, floating ribs, or similarly sensitive bones. These moves are not true submission moves; they are generally only used as distractions mostly in lower levels of competition. They are avoided or aggressively countered in middle to upper levels of competition.

Chokes and strangles

A rear naked choke are common forms of submission. In BJJ, the chokes that are used put pressure on the carotid arteries, and may also apply pressure to the nerve baroreceptors in the neck. This kind of choke is very fast acting (if done properly) with victims typically losing consciousness in around 3–5 seconds. In contrast, an air choke (involving constriction of the windpipe) can take up to two minutes, depending on how long the person can hold their breath, and may cause serious damage to the throat.

Interlocking Jigsaw Mats

Anthony and Elvis from SPMA open new school

SPMA has moved the Liverpool MMA, BJJ and Muay Thai Kickboxing Gym to Moorebank. The new location is a better and nicer facility and has unlimited parking! The address is 3/1 Field Close, Moorebank. SPMA are having Grand Reopening on Sunday 13th April from 10am to 2pm. Their event will have special guests, special membership sign up offers, free BBQ, free jumping castle and will be officially opened by the mayor.