In the field of martial arts, there is a lot to know. You have new terminology, new exercises, and a lot of hard work. If you have the dedication to become successful, you can go far. However, without the proper martial arts training gear, you might not get very far. Without it, you can definitely get seriously injured.

There are many different types of training gear that you could purchase. Some training gear is good for protecting your body directly. Other types of training gear strengthen your body, thereby protecting it in the long run. Both are essential to being the best fighter you can be. Let’s look for the review of best martial arts training gear that you might need along the way.

Headgear:
Headgear is one of the most important pieces of protective training gear because it really helps you to protect your head from injuries, which are serious and can also be fatal. The headgear that you choose must be comfortable to wear, be lightweight for ease of movement and should be well padded around the crown of the head and also along the base of the head that is most likely to be damaged during the training process. You should consider some of these factors before going to buy a headgear.

– The material used in the headgear construction

– What kind of protective features are included in this headgear

– How many protective features exist versus other headgears?

– Is it easy to clean or not?

Body Armour:

This is one of the foremost pieces of equipment that you have to consider before joining any martial art or karate sparring. It will protect the trunk of your body, especially, the kidneys, ribs and also prevents your liver from damage.

Gloves:

Nowadays there are many different and varied styles of martial arts gloves that are available in the market Each and every style has its own function. Basically, the boxing gloves come in the standard sizes like 10, 12 and 16 ounces. The lighter gloves are used for competitions while the heavier ones are for training purposes. These are designed for use with wrapped hands. Generally, the martial arts training gloves are open-handed which allows for strikes with finger thrusts and fists.

Shin and foot guards:

These offer great protection for the attackers as well as the defenders. These shin and foot guards are made from  polyurethane and foam, which are very light and easy to clean as this is the most important feature for a lot of people.

Iron Palm Bag:

This Iron Palm bag must be constructed of extra heavy canvas and can be filled with steel shots. It is great for developing the strength in your fingers and hands. If you want to improve your open hand techniques, do so with one of these.

Conclusion:
Having the right training gear is obviously very important for practicing all forms of martial arts. If you want to be the best fighter you can be, it’s important that you combine the best training equipment with an attitude of persistence.

Why would you study martial arts today? Well, first and foremost, I would say obviously to defend yourself. I’ve heard people say that you don’t need regular martial arts today because it’s not a hand-to-hand world anymore, it’ guns, knives, bombs, airplanes, and drones.

I disagree. In my life I’ve definitely been in a handful of actual physical confrontations where martial arts has come in handy. I haven’t won them all, but each one made me realize I need to expand my repertoire to other things. I haven’t lost them all either. I’ve had a knife pulled on me twice. I’ve had to defend my own doorway with a knife one time. I definitely feel that they have a relevant place as far as hand-to-hand combat goes.

Beyond that, I study martial arts for what I refer to as “complete self-defense.” So meaning to defend myself, not just against another person, but to defend myself against what happens to our bodies with old age. To defend myself against an unhealthy lifestyle, to defend myself against laziness, to defend myself against stress, to defend myself against the urge to quit. To me it’s about all those things. Because one thing martial arts does for you, if you’re with the right group of people and in the right mindset, is it keeps you healthy. It keeps you healthy physically if you’re with the right group of people. It keeps you healthy mentally because it gives you something to push for and strive for. It obviously helps you defend yourself.

A beginning martial artist, what should they focus? A beginning martial artist should focus on the basics. No matter what art it is if you don’t have the basics and fundamentals everything else is going to collapse. I feel that you need to work on listening to your instructors, truly listening to them, not just letting them talk and you’re letting them to finish and then you go try to do whatever and not know what you’re doing and then try to fake it. You see that happen all the time.

Be consistent even when it’s not convenient. You see this a lot. I can’t tell you how many people have told me they didn’t come in the class because they needed to mow the lawn. That grass will be there tomorrow. Consistency is what pushes you forward. You may not have the greatest day today and the greatest day tomorrow, but if you’re consistent there are still things that you’re learning in those processes. If you’re hit and miss then you’re going to have the results of someone who’s hit or miss. That’s all there is to it. Be consistent even when it’s not convenient. Consistent, by nature, takes out convenience.

I will say also, train for longevity. Especially in the beginning, beginners want to hit everything as hard as they can. They want to use as much muscle as possible. They do what I call squeezing for no reason. They just get ahold of you and just squeeze to hold on because they don’t know what else to do yet. Their strength ratio and their technique ratio or not proportional. The more technique you get the less strength you need.

I’d say those are the big ones: learn the basics, listen to your instructors, and be consistent even when it’s not convenient, and train for longevity. For advanced students or long term martial artists, I would say the things to focus on would be the exact same things as a beginner. Those are the things, most likely, that got you to be an advanced experience martial artist so why would you stray from that? That’s what propels you forward, that’s why beginners forcus on it, because it propels you forward.

I’m going to tell you about the top five deadliest martial arts weapons. I will tell you a bit about the history of each weapon and then show you how to use it.

Nunchucks

nunchucks

First is the nunchaku, also referred to incorrectly as “nunchucks.” Nunchucks are if you have multiple nunchaku. It’s only nunchucks if you’re carrying three pair or more. This is an Okinawan weapon. It was used originally to flatten rice. A lot of people don’t know but rice actually grows on plants in the shape similar to tomatoes, they’re somewhat bulbous. You just set the rice plants on the table and smack them with the nunchaku to flatten the rice.

Tonfa

tonfa

Secondly is tonfa. This is another Okinawan weapon. This was originally used to help steer wagons. The short end of the tonfa would stick into a mechanism and the long end would be rotated to steer your wagon like a steering wheel or steering stick. As far as a weapon you grab the short end of the tonfa and swing the long end into your opponent in a whipping action.

Sword

sword

The sword. This is something that was not originally used in combat back in ancient Japan. Back in ancient Japan this was called an “obo,” and what it was used for was food preparation only. When you got hundreds or thousands of soldiers out fighting they’re going to get really hungry come back and you got to prepare god knows how many egg rolls and so you’re using the blade to chop a lot of food at once. That all changed one day when someone was upset about the food and they went to complain to the cook and ended up attacking them and cutting the cook in half and realized that we should probably start using this as a weapon. One thing I don’t see enough people taking advantage of is the handle itself. It’s long and hard and you can pull it out and strike your opponent very and if you do it in a rapid fire succession it can be really devastating.

Bo Staff

Next is the “bo” or “bo staff.” It is supposedly something that was used to carry buckets of water, but every time I do it one bucket will just slide off the slide. I did some research and found out this was used in two ways. One was to churn butter. If might have a butter brother and he was sitting down and I was sitting on his shoulders the butter bucket could be much taller and we would be able to churn more butter this way. The other end was used to relieve constipated yaks by inserting it into the hind end of the yak.

You

And of course the last and deadliest weapon of all is you. If you train properly maintain focus and don’t waste your time on bullshit then you are a human weapon.

In Conclusion

Well hopefully you learned something about the history of these weapons. Again, don’t use any of these weapons without proper training. Drop me a line if you enjoyed this article.

Do you want to see these weapons in action?  Check out the video below!

 

I’m going to be covering the question – Am I too old to start training in martial arts? The answer to that is it all depends on your age in relation to your goals with training for martial arts. For example, is your goal in your martial arts training to become physically fit? Is it to be combat effective? With that in mind your age and your overall physical fitness is going to determine the answer to the question am I too old to start training in martial arts.

Age

Now first off if you’re in your twenties and thirties you are definitely not too old to be starting martial arts. I hear people say that all the time that they didn’t start when they were a kid, I can never be good. Not to mention that kids gain flexibility within a short period of time as their bones are partially cartilage. But as far as physically goes, if you’re in a decent shape then there’s really no reason why you can’t start martial arts.

But there are other ways to match your skill to theirs if that’s a concern of yours. One thing to do is to simply improve your skill in an area that they don’t have. That’s something you can train to get an edge up on them to close that gap with experience.

Let’s say you’re getting into your forties and fifties. That’s when your goals with your martial arts training starts to come in to play.

Goals: Fitness or Combat Effectiveness?

If your goal is fitness or combat effectiveness then you just have to make sure that you dedicate ample amount of time and consistent training.

If your goal is to be combat effective and your body is still in decent shape, it is better to examine first your accumulated injuries throughout life. If you had bad knees from football in high school or have a bad elbow from your job or anything like that, that’s definitely going to factor in your effectiveness with certain martial arts. For example high impact martial arts like taekwondo or kickboxing will take a toll on your joints and if your joints of are you taking a beating over your lifetime then that may not be the martial art you want to start. You may want to consider more of a soft style of martial art like tai chi.

If your goal isn’t to be combat effective and it’s just fitness and you can skip with the preparation and just go straight to jumping into martial arts training with the soft styles. Something that isn’t so high impact and of course that will be an excellent way to lose weight or to get back into shape considering the diet as well. You should be able to jump right into that.

But if those are your two goals, then it’s just a matter of devoting consistent time to training and having a little bit of patience as it might take a bit longer to sort of build your flexibility.

In Conclusion

I’ll leave you with an anecdote. When I was younger and training we had this guy come in who was forty nine. He first started with a white belt. Over the years he just kept coming in and training once or twice a week and by the time he was fifty four he became a black belt. He ended up being one of the most flexible males in class. It was pretty inspiring.

So are you ready to start your new journey to the world of martial arts?

This post is long overdue.  Now, I’m just able to start talking about it.  Last month, we lost a good friend, Phil Leslie.  Pardon me, but this post is to salute to a friend.

Phil was a friend and helluva fighter even to the last day.  Back in the day, we used to think about all the things we wanted to do once we grew up and learned the skills to pursue higher ambitions.  He was more of an intellectual, and I was more of an athletic type. Our friendship — though, odd to some — seemed to be packed with good times, though, he left us too soon.

Phil lived in the Los Angeles, CA area.  As adults, we would come across each other and it was a great time when we could recall the good times we had together.  He would ask about how the martial arts school was doing, and I’d provide updates.  I’d ask him about his family, and hew would give me updates.  It seemed so strange that even the West Hills movers his family used after the passing would remark about how wonderful of a man he truly was.  Phil, you certainly touched us dearly and you won’t be missed.

Phil was an entrepreneur at heart.  Even as a kid, he would plan these really interesting business ventures, and his ambitions served him well in his later years.  He was a bright guy, and very easy to get along with.  With me as a martial artists enthusiast, I have to say that some of the inspiration for forming the training center could have been attributed to Phil and I’s conversations back in our earlier years.  Phil had a way to inspire and support people in unique ways.

He always treated people right.  Phil always was looking to add value to people’s lives.  No matter what he did, if it was for progress and making a positive difference, he was all in.  I was inspired to do community service because of the example Phil set.  He was always looking out for the other person.  Phil will never be forgotten.

Even as he was consulting for local moving companies in the area, he always had a way to ensure that the other guy would win without being a threat for a conflict of interest.  He was a negotiator and mediator, and with as kind of a heart as his, he always — always — found a a win-win situation to make everyone happy in all the dealings that I’ve known he was involved in.  He brought charisma and passion wherever he went, and his devotion was infectious.

I promised myself I would commemorate his life in some form.  Roses and card didn’t seem like enough.  This coming Spring, we will be holding a special day to talk about friends from our lives– both, new and old.  Once we get the event finalized, we’ll keep you updated by providing more information on our blog.

Still with a heavy heart, we will endure with love.

-Frank

A lot of new people that come in would like to have training with us. Some of their questions are how can they improve on their self-defense training and others.  Will you become a ninja by training with us?  Probably not.  In this post, I’ll try to explain the difference.

I was inspired by a recent post which talks about the difference between MMA fighters and ninjas.  Of course, there are several differences to consider.  It’s worth a read.

A Fighter or a Ninja?

Here at Frank’s, we train fighters.  Will you become a ninja by working with us?  The answer is no, but will you gain valuable skills which can help save your life in a street fight?  The answer is yes.

A lot of people want to know how to get the best use of their martial arts training and there are a lot of opinions out there on the internet.  One of the things that you want to know for sure is: will your training actually help you in your everyday life?  Unless you’re planning to become a ninja, we encourage you to consider training as a fighter.

Take a recent example. Jon came in last year around this time and wanted to improve his abilities to protect himself in case of a fight.  At that time, he had no prior fighting experience.  Within the first couple weeks, training was brutal for Jon – but he fought through it.  By the time summer came around, Jon was ready to take on anyone who challenged him.  Jon became a fighter.

There are several things to keep in mind.  With our training, we do have access to training equipment, but we don’t have the equipment you would need to be a ninja.   If you need your ninja equipment, it’s in a whole other category by itself.  We train fighters for combat.  You can get your ninja stars elsewhere.

The New Year is of course a really busy time for us as people are considering getting martial arts training.  If you have ideas on how we might be able to assist you in achieving your self-defense goals, feel free to contact us!

image of action figure of Bruce Lee

Seventy-percent of the people who start martial arts training is because they feel weak or have the need to be strong. If somebody feels strong and confident they don’t feel the need for martial arts. There are a lot of reasons why people start training, but it’s typically because they’re struggling with their weakness. Your self defense instructor might not want you to know – that if somebody doesn’t think they’re weak they typically won’t start martial arts training in the first place.

Struggling with Weakness

And guess what, chances are, that your instructor probably started off needing this training that he or she gained from martial arts. Your martial art instructor might have been bullied by people when he/she were young or maybe felt insecure/inferior in some way or another. Same goes with me, I was bullied when I was younger by my brother and by the people at school, and one day I just got tired of it and I said enough is enough.

There’s a Japanese saying that goes like this “he who must prove how good he is, is unsure himself.” That might have been my case when I was a kid. But not anymore. I haven’t been in a street fight for 21 years and I’ve been doing martial arts for 22 years. I’ve been in a sanctioned mixed martial arts fight, sanctioned boxing, and sanctioned grappling tournaments. I’ve done some real fighting, but haven’t had a real fight because I haven’t done anything worth fighting for, since then.

I thought it wouldn’t be worth it if I or my opponent goes to jail. Although the other guy might probably end up going to the hospital or might even die. If I would have to fight, the only reason would be a life or death situation. Life or death situations is something that you can avoid or get out of. I don’t fight for the sake of fighting or hurting people just to prove anything or just to feel better about myself.

Warning

So I want you guys to be aware that some martial art instructors are abusive in different ways.

If you come up to a martial art instructor and he’s got an attitude or he has something to prove or he’s very aggressive towards people, then he’s a bully.  And what he’s done now is the reversed roles. That kind of instructor was most likely been bullied before and then he found the power and now he believes that he can bully others. You have to be careful and avoid these kind of instructors.

So just watch out – if your instructor typically hurts students, someday he’s going to hurt you. But also understand that there a lot of instructors that spar with their students. I spar with all my students because I know I have the control. If the instructor is just very aggressive and mean beyond any reason, you can just walk out. People like that, once they don’t find value in you, they’ll turn on you.

I highly suggest that you find a good and wise martial art instructor.

You can learn about the resources that we are designing for trainers and students by visiting our website: http://frankwhitetrainingcenter.com/

 

Image of two girls performing martial arts

Which martial art is the best martial art? We need to consider a couple of things before deciding which martial art is the best martial art.

Know your Purpose

So first and foremost what is your purpose for practicing the martial art? Is it to defend yourself in the streets or to go out in the ring and win matches?

If you’re going to use it on the streets, it should be something that is more close range and that has a lot of hitting mainly because wrestling on the street, or grappling is actually a better word for it, is not safe because your enemy may have a knife or they could be stronger or heavier than you. There’s no weight class when battling on the street. So a martial arts that focuses on hitting and joint locks and lots of joint manipulation, especially small joint manipulation is key for a good martial art that is suitable for the streets!

If you’re going to go for the ring, you can choose any martial art that you want to choose based on your preferences. For example, if you’re a hitting person like me then go for western boxing. And if you’re grappling a person then go for something like wrestling or jujitsu. So that’s kind of up to you, you know?

Things to Consider

First things first, practice makes perfect. So even if you’re doing the best martial art out there that is created by aliens, if you are not practicing hard enough then you’re not going to be any better than someone who doesn’t study martial arts at all. So practice, practice, practice!

Another thing to keep in mind is that quantity is not always good, so just practicing three times a day for 6 days is not good because you also need to recover; your neurons need to learn the movement patterns, stuff like that.

Something I get a lot is “Is boxing or kung fu better?” Well it depends, whoever practices more will win. Of course there are some advantages to both martial arts.  For example, a boxer would be better with angles, a kung fu guy would be better with kicks and different fist strikes and different joint manipulations.

Another thing to consider is ranges. You’ll need a martial art for each range. So there is a kicking range, a punching range, elbow and knee range, grappling range, and ground fighting range.

When it comes to kicks there’s no better martial arts better than Kung Fu types and taekwondo. Also lots of Muay Thai, American style kickboxing and French kickboxing. So practice a combination of these.

For the punching range there’s no better punching sport than boxing. Practice your jabs, your crosses, your hooks, upper cuts, your hooks to the body, body shots, everything. Also learning some type of Kung Fu is going to help you because they have all kinds of fist strikes.

Practicing using your elbows and knees are going to help you in close range battles tremendously because when someone is trying to stab you with a knife and comes close to you and you can’t kick them the only option is to elbow them. By protecting your body at the same time or knee them in the groin because that’s the safest option.

For the grappling range, which is when someone really gets close to you and tries to throw you to the ground or tries to get you into a joint lock, Brazilian jujitsu and wrestling are really good for these types of situations. Other than that you could also use Judo for throws because if you are good at throws then you’re going to devastate your opponent and just break them.

In Conclusion

To put this all together the idea is that you will create a new type of mixed martial art of your own. There’s a quote from Bruce that says “absorb what is useful, discard what is useless and add what is specifically your own.” So if you take that advice, you will learn martial art skills that will be best suited for you that can be used on the street.

 

Image of martial arts school

Have you been asking how you should choose a martial arts school? That’s a great question. It comes up a lot. I think you need a mixture of everything. A good foundation in self defense and a good understanding of how people will attack you. I also think that you need a long term view on your martial arts. Your martial art has to be of some benefit to you in the long term that doesn’t have anything to do with conflict because you may never ever use your martial law for conflict in which case why would you invest all of that time into training in the first place.

Where to Start

The first thing that we’re looking for is a school that’s somewhere relatively local. There’s no point in having a great school if you’re not going to be able to get there and if you’ll not be able to maintain it. Becoming good at martial arts isn’t an overnight thing, it takes time.

The Right School For You

The next thing I’d be looking for is some nice people. Sometimes people running schools just aren’t nice people at all. They enjoy inflicting pain on you making things as uncomfortable for you as possible. When I first started my Aikido training there was a guy that was training with us. He would come into our class and he would have bruises. And I’d say “What’s that about?”  In some respects when you do your martial arts training it is good to shake you up.

Some mistakes I made when I first started training – I was so enthusiastic and I was running all over the place I was having to wake up at 6 AM. I burned myself out in the first 2 years. If you’ve read our previous posts you know that we advocate a mixture. I’m not really too interested in mixed martial arts because mixed martial arts is solely designed for kicking people up. I ain’t really interested in kicking people up. The way to get around that problem is to start off with one martial art. Once you’ve been there for maybe one or two years, start to think about training in another school. And always remember this is your training, this is your life, make sure that you are happy with your training. It’s the most important thing. If you are unhappy then it’s a frickin’ waste of time!

Go to Training

The things to watch out for, if you are not looking forward going to training. It should be a pleasure, you should be missing the people, you should be enthusiastic. If you are hesitant or have a feeling of dread, this isn’t the right school for you.

If your instructor or your teacher is afraid of you seeing other martial arts and they’re afraid that you might leave, then this isn’t the right school. The teacher should be relaxed. Teachers should be okay and happy that you’re exploring.

You can also learn different martial arts on our training center http://frankwhitetrainingcenter.com/

 

Here’s an idea to help with motivation, and help with retention for Karate Instructors. You can pass out martial arts certificates based on random things or specific things like “the best listener of the day”. Another award might be “the best kicker of the day”. There are a variety of options when you use your creative mind. This kind of change of the patterns of the class gives instant gratification as students are earning their belts.

Other ones might be for kids that are just “excited to be here”. For some of the credit kids that maybe aren’t athletic and struggling to get awards and are overlooked, you can provide mini-prizes to keep them engaged.

You can also create a “best ‘blank’-of-the-day”, but you could do punch or you could do striker, best yell of the day, etc.  You could also use a concept like rope skipping.  We do rope skipping and I have that’s a jump rope that has no middle and with the best or most 30 seconds of jump roping.

At one time, I had off site locations so you could list them all on one certificate. Pass out stickers for the kids to put on their certificates; maybe one, two or three stickers to customize it and make her/him look and feel part of the cool groups.

The students used to stick them on their shirt — and I made them stick them on the paper because it usually will stay. I find if I say, “Hey guys we’re going to pass out this best kicker of the day certificate at the end of the class”, I’m gonna see who’s got the best kicks for the day. Or who’s going to be an all star for today.

It’s one of the things that I found that really motivates a lot of the kids – and they’ll perform at higher levels than you even expected – its like “wow they’re really working hard for that!” It gives them some self esteem, it helps them with their spatial awareness, etc.

Another one we put stickers on is “other things you can do”. Yes like I said you can incorporate your school curriculums. For a hi-tech folks out there, you could put a QR code right on the certificate and then their mom or dad could scan it with their smartphone and you could take him to whatever page you want– whether it’s a video of the class or picture of the class or your enrollment page.  You know could you be creative on that tip.

Other things that I found that works really well in addition to the stickers, is putting your name on it.   You have parents sign a release where you can take pictures and photos what I would do it my next location is free do the certificates what the pictures of the kids are so for example let’s say this was an actual face of a kid.  You would have a blank space that they would say “best ‘blank’-of-the-day” and then have five blank certificates already printed up with her/his picture on it.  I guarantee you, if his or her pictures on the certificate they’re gonna keep it, they’re going to treasure it. You can also change the borders of the certificate- — some don’t have borders and some have borders.

What I found, kids that get the outstanding student once, they seem to always get outstanding ones so they’re good. Let her/him know that they’re good, but kind of change up to certificates. Change up the borders, and colors of the certificates.  Hopefully these tips help you generate your own ideas for helping retention in your school!

For more tips, you can check out our website: http://frankwhitetrainingcenter.com/