Here we aim to bring you martial arts news and articles from around the web, especially the more whacky and weird aspects. We will also post blogs here from the Bear Martial Arts team, and also from you guys.
If you fancy writing a blog or posting an article, please email firstname.lastname@example.org your article and we will publish it on our site. You'll get full credit for your article, and we will even promote your own website / blog if you have one :)
Please note that any articles which are offensive, or are deemed inappropriate, will not be approved for publication.
Author: Bear Martial Arts Team | Date: 3rd January 2017
It's 2017 and there is never a better time to kickstart a new and improved training program, or even to get started if you aren't currently training.
Here are some of our favourite videos to get you in the mood.
Also, here are some of our favourite blogs to get your 2017 kickstarted:
Author: Bear Martial Arts Team | Date: 27th December 2016
Many of us who train in martial arts dream of one day running our own class. But have you ever wondered what you actually need to put a class together? Here are 7 of the most essential things you need to get started.
1. The Correct Grade To Teach
Not all schools require you to reach black belt before you teach - each school will have a minimum grade requirement before you branch off with your own class. Find out what that grade is from your instructor and you will have a target to aim for so you can start your own class.
If you plan on teaching independently of your school, we highly recommend getting your black belt first - it's the best way for new students to respect you as a teacher, as a black belt carries a magical aura with it to novices.
Teaching martial arts means teaching a physical and dangerous art to people with no or little experience, and also people with experience. Accidents will happen, so cover and protect yourself by taking out the appropriate insurance. A quick google search will bring up many providers who can help you with this.
3. A Place To Train
This almost seems to silly to mention, but you need a place to hold your classes. This means finding a space, paying for it, keeping it clean when you use it etc. Also, making sure your students can reach it easily, it has adequate parking etc are all important things to consider.
It's a risky strategy to start a class and just hope people turn up. Numbers will probably be low initially. A good idea is to ask friends from your existing class to come along, so any newcomers will see other people who have been trained, so they won't feel intimidated.
There's nothing worse than holding a class and then one novice appears!
5. First Aid Experience
As mentioned with the insurance, you are teaching a dangerous art. Make sure your first aid course is up to date so you can deal with any minor incidents. Also, make sure you carry a first aid kit to every class.
6. Teaching Experience
Before you start your new class, get experience in your existing class with teaching. Ask your instructor if you can take a group of students through a technique, or even take a few classes under their guidance. This experience, along with the feedback from your instructor, will be invaluable when you go it alone.
"Build it and they will come" - this old saying doesn't really work. In the modern day advertising does not have to be expensive, or even cost money at all!
Author: Bear Martial Arts Team | Date: 24th November 2016
Master Ken shows us all how it's done with an incredible attempt at the Mannequin Challenge
Author: Bear Martial Arts Team | Date: 7th November 2016
Whether you are a student or an instructor, you have probably come across difficult students in your class. Managing difficult students is an important skill for instructors to learn, and if you are a student knowing how to deal with them will help make your lessons more enjoyable and useful for yourself.
Here are some of the more common behaviours of difficult students and how you might go about dealing with them.
Over enthusiastic / violent with strikes and techniques
Anyone who has done martial arts for a period of time will know that there are defensive techniques that involve strikes either as a weakening strike, a finisher or as the main technique.
Not all the time your opponent has their guard up (either due to the nature of the novice, or because the opponent has disarmed the guard). Eventually you will come across a student who does not let this deter them from hitting with full power. This can be dangerous, or at least very annoying. No one wants to go home from class injured or with cuts and black eyes, so this is behaviour that needs to be addressed.
In most cases the student is probably just over eager to show intent (a term we instructors use pretty much every lesson), but this intent needs to be harnessed. Tell the student their intent is impressive, but that a good martial artist also needs to show restraint when appropriate. If you are a student and do not feel comfortable telling another student this, ask your instructor to do so.
If you find a case where a student is truly violent, an instructor needs to take them to one side and ask them to show restraint or leave the class (a violent person doing martial arts is not necessarily a bad thing, as the arts can help calm a bad temper, as long as that is the student’s intentions).
Convinced that none of the techniques taught would work in real life
Training means a lot of the time that we cannot fully execute a lot of techniques – everyone in class would get injured every week if we did. That also means that your training partner has to show some willing when it comes to having techniques performed on them. This can be a sore point with some newer students, who become convinced that this false environment is showing that the techniques are not realistic, rather than just adhering to health and safety.
One way around this is to apply the techniques full speed with experienced partners. Get two black belts to fight it out as a demonstration, showing how the techniques really work (black belts should be trusted to do this without actually killing each other).
Pad work for striking techniques is also useful, as you can get students to hit the pads much harder, illustrating that the strikes would be very painful.
Another tactic here is to set up some light / medium sparring in the group, and get your students to use these techniques in a fight scenario. Most students should eventually see that the techniques can be pulled off to good effect.
Eventually though, any martial art is only effective if the practitioner puts in the time to learn it and apply it – some students may just have too closed a mind to put the time in with an open mind. These students should maybe be told to try a different past time, or asked to have much more patience whilst they learn the art.
Author: Bear Martial Arts Team | Date: 18th October 2016
If you are an instructor who has listed your club on our Find a Club map (don't worry if you haven't, listing is free of charge and you can list your club here), then you can get yourself a free Bear Martial Arts t-shirt or notebook (you choose which!)
To get yourself your free gift, simply share / retweet our Facebook / Twitter post from 18th October 2016 (relating to our World Martial Arts Leaderboard app) on your club's Facebook page or Twitter account, and then email us with a link to your share / retweet, along with a link to your club's page.
Once we have verified these we will ask you which item you want and then send it to you for free. Simple!
*Offer subject to availability. No cash alternatives.
Author: Bear Martial Arts Team | Date: 2nd August 2016
At some point during your training you will hit a wall. You might reach black belt and think there’s no where left to go, you might hit a wall mid-grade and feel like you can’t improve further, or you might just get bored with your training and feel like you don’t want to go on.
Here are our tips on how to get over the bump and become the martial artist you want to be.
Talk to Your Instructor
Your instructor has been there and done it all. You know this because they’ve reached the level you are striving for, so in their own training at least they have hit many walls. They’ve probably also helped many students through similar hurdles.
Tell them about the problems you are having with training. A good instructor won’t hold it against you or take it personally, they will help you through and design bespoke training to help reinvigorate you.
Take a Break
Take a few weeks off training. Hit the gym instead, go abroad, or just spend a few weeks at home in front of Netflix. Let your body and your mind reset, so when you do restart you’ll hopefully feel fresh and ready to train harder than ever.
Train Even Harder Through It
If you’re particularly strong willed, you can get through your lack of motivation by training even harder. Go more times a week to the gym or to class. You’ll see improvements faster, which might help elevate your motivation worries.
Be Inspired By Your Heroes
Who has inspired you? Which famous person has led a life that you wish you had? Learn their journey. Read their books, watch their films, follow them on social media, find YouTube videos of them – learn what drove them to achieve the greatness you admire.
Once you’ve learnt what drives them, and what methods they use to achieve what they’ve achieved, use that to drive you on.
It might be that you’re training in the wrong art, and it takes a strong person to admit that the time and dedication they’ve put in to something wasn’t put in the right place.
There’s nothing wrong with admitting this – the key is to realise this and put your energy into the right thing. So if this is you, go out and find what you do want to do. Try as many new martial arts as you can, and find one that excites you again.
Create New Goals
When going through the ranks, goals are easy to see – usually a new belt, and attached to that new belt are techniques to learn and improve.
New goals when not a black belt could be to focus on your weakest area (kicking, grappling, fitness etc), so to learn how to beat that one person in class that you can never win against when sparring.
Once you’ve reached black belt this becomes a little harder, as you’ve learnt most techniques in your art, and you’re pretty good at all of them. Simply “get better” is a tough motivator when you’re that good already. You’ll have new grades to achieve, and you’ll still want to get one over your instructors in sparring, but you’ll need to be smarter to find the goals to suit you.
Instructors are even harder to motivate, as your techniques are already pretty perfect, and there isn’t much left on the syllabus to learn. You can always improve your techniques, but you should really focus on improving your teaching, and improving your students. If this isn’t enough, try new arts so you can teach new things and be an even better fighter, get even fitter (instructors can spend more time teaching than training), and focus on making your school even more successful.
Go To The Route of Your Art
This is a little expensive, but a good way to reconnect with your art is to go train where it came from (e.g. Jiu Jitsu in Japan, Kung Fu in China).
Getting back to where it came from is a great way to see your art from a different perspective. This writer has trained in Japan, China and Brazil in those country’s native arts, and can personally confirm that these experiences can be life changing for your training.