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 email@example.com 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.
Date: 22nd March 2018
Starting a new martial art is a commitment. You are giving up your time, your money, and putting your body under some stress. So it’s important to find the right club for you. Use our Find a Club Locator Map to find clubs in your area, and then use our handy guide below to find the best club for what you’re looking for.
Proximity to you
When you’re starting out, your club needs to be close enough so you will keep going back. Its location needs to fit in with your day, as you’ll be going after work / school etc, or taking time out of your weekend.
As you get more into your martial art you’ll find that you’ll be willing to travel further for sessions / seminars / tournaments / gradings, but to start with stay local.
Instructors do not have to have a black belt to teach a class, so do not be put off if you turn up and find a non-black belt is teaching. But your instructor should be allowed to teach by his / her governing body, and preferably insured.
In the age of the internet everyone has an opinion. Check out the club’s Google / Yelp / Facebook page and have a look at the online reviews and comments. Remember that the internet is a wonderful and awful place, so take all comments, good and bad, with a pinch of salt.
What do you want?
Do you want to hit, grab, throw, use weapons, get fit? Each martial art has a different approach to fighting and training. Check out our martial arts style guide to get an idea on what each one offers.
Do you want formal or informal?
Do you want to call your instructor Sensei / Sifu, or Dave? Some martial arts are very formal, and some are very relaxed. This can be down to the art itself, or the instructor’s teaching style.
All of us thrive differently under these different styles, so think about which one you prefer. Try both out, and decide which one you feel more comfortable in.
Go and Try It Out
You never have to go back to a class, so make a list of the ones you like the look of and try a few out. Most offer a first lesson free, so it shouldn’t cost you very much to have a few taster sessions.
Sport Club vs Training Club
Some clubs focus only on competitions, some on training, some both. Again, try out different variations to see which you prefer. Also have a think about whether you want to compete, or just train and work through the grades.
It Should Be Fun!
If it doesn’t feel like fun, don’t go. Find somewhere you enjoy. That’s how you will keep it up in the long run. Martial arts training will be hard at times, frustrating and even painful. But it should always in the end be fun.
Date: 12th March 2018
How Much Should I Spend Marketing My New Martial Arts Club?
In a world where the economic climate is difficult, setting up and running a profitable club can be tricky. To give you a helping hand, here are some tips and hints from us to help you promote your club for free, or for as cheap as possible!
Pretty much every company / club in the world has a social media account of some sort now, and your new club should as well. They are free, great for finding new students, and great for keeping in constant contact with existing students.
The following social media channels all offer free pages / accounts:
The important thing to do is work out which of these mediums suit you / your club / your style. Most people will search to see if your club has a Facebook page, so that's the only one we would say is essential. The rest depend on you. The more you use, the better your SEO will be.
SEO if you weren't sure stands for Search Engine Optimisation, and simply means how high up a search engine's pages do you appear when people search for you or for a related word to your club. The higher you are, the easier people will find you.
All these social media channels offer you the chance to pay for advertising. The great thing about most of them (especially Facebook), is you can set your budget, and only pay for the audience you reach. You can also set your advert to only be seen by people in a certain area, with certain interests, and also of a certain age / gender – all this means you can reach the people you want to.
Google Trends is a great free tool from Google that allows you to see what people are looking for on Google. Simply type in a word or phrase (i.e. your club's name or "martial arts") and see what the top related search terms around the world are.
You might be thinking why this information is useful. Well you can use this information when thinking about what to talk about through your social media pages, or on your website. The closer your content is to what people are looking for, the more people will find you and your page. Easy!
Another great free tool from the world's largest search engine, Google Analytics is a must for your website. Simply open an account, add the Google Analytics code to your website (ask your website provider if you are unsure), and then you will have access to a world of data that you will help you optimise your message to your potential new students.
Google Analytics will give you more data about your website than you can probably handle. Here are some of the key things you can find out from this data:
All this data can be used to streamline your marketing.
Find a Club Databases
A lot of pages offer you the chance to advertise your martial arts club for free. We at Bear Martial Arts are no different here and we have our own Find a Club Locator Map. It's free to sign up and we strongly recommend that you do.
There are lots of databases like these around the internet (none quite as good as ours, obviously!) and it's worth signing up to all the free ones. Each one will give you new exposure, a new web page with your club's details on - all helping improve your SEO further.
On our site you can go one stage further, and advertise your events for free on our Martial Arts Calendar. It's worth taking advantage of this as well.
Blogs are another free way to promote your club. Writing a blog and linking it to your club has lots of advantages:
If you wish to write a blog for us then please do! We will publish it through our social media channels, and on our site - where we will also link it to your site / club.
You can spend however much you wish on a website. There are providers that give you great free website, managed websites that cost a modest fee per year, and then all singing and dancing websites that cost a less modest fee.
The free website services are more than adequate for a website to advertise a martial arts club, especially when you are starting out. Providers such as Wordpress and Wix are definitely worth checking out.
Date: 9th March 2018
Here are some of our favourite podcasts, sorted by each art so you can easily find the right ones for you.
Do you listen to / create a blog that should be included here? Let us know!
Date: 23rd February 2018
We all have different goals as martial arts practitioners. For some it’s fitness, for some it’s learning self-defence. But the most common goal for most of us is that elusive, powerful, magical black belt. But a question we are often asked here at Bear Martial Arts is this – do you actually need that black belt to teach?
Certainly, within almost any club, once you are past novice level your instructor will ask you to teach a few of the novices / lower grades. All this is part of your journey to black belt, and very a sound teaching strategy.
As you become a “high grade” you will be asked to teach more and more within the class, maybe even reaching the point where you cover a class for an ill / late / holidaying instructor.
The real question though is this - when can you run your own club?
The answer is a relatively simple. Each club will have rules in place, where you reach a certain grade and you will be able to teach your own class. In this writer’s experience, my Jiu Jitsu association let me teach my own club at brown belt / 1st Kyu, whereas my Kung Fu club allows students to teach their own class at red sash (2 from black, Chinese equivalent of 2nd Kyu).
Of course, running your own club without wearing the all powerful black belt has its own set of challenges. A black belt to new comers commands a respect and sense of authority, so you will find retaining new students a challenge. But if you are good enough they will soon see that, and success will be yours.
If you are reading this and wish to teach your own class but have not yet reached black belt, have a chat with your instructor and find out what their rules are – you’ll then know what goal you need to set yourself when it comes to gradings.
Teaching a club Is very different to running one, so unless you are setting up your new class on the same night as your current training night (your association would frown upon you setting up direct competition!) make sure you keep your training up as well, so you can eventually earn that black belt.
Date: 1st January 2018
It's 2018 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 2018 kickstarted:
Date: 11th October 2017
Apart from our blog (obviously!), there are some other great martial arts blogs out there for every type of martial art. Here are some of our favourites, sorted by each art so you can easily find the right ones for you.
Do you read / write a blog that should be included here? Let us know!
Date: 25th September 2017
There are a million reasons why people opt to desire to learn a martial art. From getting fit and more healthy, to learning self defense for their own safety, and even to begin competing on an amateur or professional level. Interestingly, more and more people are striving to explore the world of martial arts for another reason: helping to combat against their personal struggles with ADD/ADHD. In this brief article, we will be delving into what precisely ADD/ADHD is and how martial arts is transforming the lives of millions of people who struggle with attention disorders and how it may potentially even be able to help you or someone that you love.
Avoid the Tedious: It is a well known fact that exercise of any form is one of the best ways to keep your body and mind working and active to their optimal health and well being. However, people, both children and adults who have attention disorders can find it pretty tough to find the right kind of sport or exercise that not only fits their needs and goals, but is also one that they will want to stick with. Most sports and other forms of exercise tend to be super repetitive and tedious which will all too often leave someone with ADD/ADHD feeling bored and will inevitably just give it up.
Goal Setting: Martial arts can show you how to set concrete goals of which are actually attainable. Many people who struggle with having to cope with attention issues find it difficult to feel that sense that they are winning at something in their life, which can be incredibly discouraging. With martial arts, you are learning and building upon a foundation that is reaching toward an ultimate goal that you will achieve with practice and discipline. And this of course can help you increase your overall sense of self-worth and a feeling of total control.
Starting Routines: Martial arts is a great way to see and understand how different tasks can be broken down into manageable pieces. Martial arts are broken up into countless movements of which are often linked together, and when you take a martial arts class you will learn these various techniques on a level that works to your personal skill set. You will learn, repeat, and then add new steps when you are ready. You literally learn at your own pace and do not move forward until you are completely ready. This is something that can be taken into your personal life as well, particularly with regards to work or school. Instead of seeing everything on such a broad basis, you will be able to see the task at hand on a piece by piece level which will allow you to process the project as a simple routine instead of a daunting workload.
Improved Concentration: Attention and focus are crucial to martial arts training. You will learn the ability to maintain your focus, even if you start to drift off. This again is something that can be taken into your (or your child’s) personal life as well. As when you or your child starts to daze off in work or school, you can take that knowledge from your martial arts training to reset and regain your mental focus to whatever the task is at hand where your attention must be.
Mind Over Body: Martial arts is a great way to learn balance and physical coordination, which is perfect for someone who struggles with the inability to sit still due to ADD/ADHD. With martial arts training you will learn that your mind is far stronger than your body and even when the thought of having to sit quietly and still seems like an impossible feat, it is most certainly something of which can be accomplished with the right frame of mind. Martial arts classes are also an awesome way to get out some of the excess build-up of energy that we all experience throughout the day! You can work out all of the emotions that you deal with such as pain, anger, resentment, stress, or depression.
Personal Practice: A great aspect about martial arts training is that once you learn the fundamentals of and get started with your training, it is something that can be practiced pretty much anywhere you go. If you find yourself feeling stressed out at work, take a break and head to the nearest park to work on some of your forms. Or if your child is lashing out because of a bad day at school, allow them the opportunity to put on some gloves and practice their punches on a punching bag in your garage or workout room! In fact, a great idea to bring martial arts into your home is to create a personal space for you to practice at home, anytime. There are a number of awesome, affordable punching bags, check out MMA Gear Addict for a comprehensive list of some of the top ranked ones, and you can be sure to find one to fit both your budget and your living space.
There are a number of reasons that martial arts can significantly assist those who are battling ADD/ADHD on a daily basis, and whether you are struggling with it personally or have a child or other loved one who is dealing with attention issues, martial arts can help. Martial arts will teach you respect, discipline and self-worth in a manner that is unmatched in any other form of physical activity.
Written by: Amy Koller, MMA Gear Addict
Date: 10th September 2017
It’s no secret that Comic Book Characters kick ass, with the rising trend in superhero movies pretty much anyone who watches them will be impressed by the display of the heroes (and villains) martial prowess; and if you are anything like me you will get all upset because you aren’t a chiselled badass with witty one liners.
But just how practical are they? For the purposes of this article not exceeding the entire length of this magazine I will be taking a cursory look at one of my personal comic favourites Batman.
Going from Batman’s Bio courtesy of http://batman.wikia.com/ Batman started his Physical and Mental Training at 11 and had mastered full body control at 18, which you know is achievable if you look at the way Shaolin monks can train and condition themselves from a very young age.
In terms of fighting style Batman has no end of them; he is a master of 127 different styles (a tad ridiculous) and is feared and respected through the entire superhero community. His prowess was displayed in Batman: Year One where he takes out an entire SWAT team with a mixture of Martial arts, theatrics and stealth.
Courtesy of DC Comics: Batman Year One
You are probably sitting here thinking; well what bearing does this have on me as a Martial Artist? I’m not the Batman and never will be.
My tenure as Batman was short lived…
Well that’s true but the fantastic thing about Batman’s martial arts skills is that he has one weapon in his arsenal which we all (hopefully) own… his mind.
Going toe to toe with some absolutely over powered people with just his knowledge of martial arts is going to be tough. What Batman mostly utilises and what you can use too is tactical thinking.
It is one thing to be able to pull off a variety of very badass looking kicks and punches, but anticipating your opponents next move, using the threat of your footwork and body stance to maneuverer them into a position, which you can exploit will take a lot of work and time. If you can master the mind-set of a true Martial Artist, with enough training you will easily learn those techniques.
As a Martial Artist I often get disheartened when I spar someone better than me or I watch a professional such as Jet Li on the camera.
But neither Jet Li nor Batman would have got to the level they are today without what I think are the most important qualities of a Martial Artist.
Without challenging yourself as a Martial Artist you will never grow as an individual, it is all too easy to practise those techniques which make you feel like Batman but what about those really gritty ones that you just can’t do and end up ignoring?
Use your Patience to continue trying the technique, practice with friends or ask your instructor to help.
Stay dedicated, can’t exactly get that throw or kick right? Practise it 50 times a day. Keep calm, if you are anything like me you will get angry, upset or feel inadequate if you can’t make the grading benchmark or you lose in sparring but every loss is a lesson and every lesson helps you improve.
Most importantly never give up. Be it your cardio slowing you down or your opponents are so good you suspect they secretly fight crime in spandex, you have only truly lost when you lose the battle in your mind.
Courtesy of quickmeme.com
Now, being patient/dedicated and calm isn’t going to be the only thing to help you in a martial arts session, hell my Grandma’s local Vicar has all those qualities but sadly he isn’t much use in a fight, she absolutely destroyed him. You need to actually be in fairly good physical condition and a half decent fighter if you want to come out on top.
Let’s take a look at how Batman typically trains. Once again using the handy http://batman.wikia.com/ there is a section on how he does it.
“Batman began his physical and mental conditioning when he was 11 and then intense physical training and weight lifting at age 12”
Okay so that’s a little hard-core, but let’s break it down. Obviously this is in the realm of fiction but to be any good at Martial Arts my own personal belief is that you need to train in general fitness as well as whatever art you happen to do.
Cardio exercise is very important, sparring an opponent can often come down to lasting longer than them in order to attain full releas…victory. Flexibility is also crucial, being able to lift your leg to at least your waist and have a wider range of motion A) gives you more options when you are sparring and B) can help you resist a submission, just try not to let yourself get a dislocated joint.
Being conditioned through intensive workouts lets your mind and body adapt and cope with physical punishment so when you do get punched in the face or have your spine broken by Bane you will have a slightly better coping mechanism.
“Wayne abstains entirely from drinking alcohol, though he presented Bruce Wayne, his alter ego, as a borderline alcoholic (he created this illusion by drinking ginger ale and pretending it was champagne). Batman's refusal to drink was directly linked to keeping his body in its absolute best.”
Alcohol is pretty bad for sports people. Alcohol in itself is a diuretic which means it makes you produce more urine, leading to more toilet breaks, leading to dehydration (Lots of pee = Oh dear). This is bad because you need to be hydrated when you exercise as this aids the body’s flow of blood throughout the body.
After drinking alcohol the liver can’t produce as much glucose (or as I like to call it fight fuel) which means you have low levels of blood sugar, less energy means you will not be at your peak training capacity.
That being said, training can be a kickass hangover cure.
Batman doesn’t drink because it hinders his training and overall ability to fight crime, I see no problem with moderation but in order to progress forward we all need to cut back on the Friday drinks!
Batman trains in every style imaginable, in every way possible in order to counter any weaknesses he may have, to be prepared. To be more like him don’t just train in the stuff you love, train in the stuff you hate as well. If you suck at kicking, practise those kicks stretch off and kick some butt! If you find grappling hard do some strength training, learn some techniques and practise.
Train your very hardest, never give up and who knows, perhaps you can be the Hero we need…
Date: 5th September 2017
To enter our competition and have the chance to get your hands on one of 5 of our t-shirts and a Bear Martial Arts notebook, please simply fill out the form below. We will pick, at random, 5 winners on 1st October 2017. Good luck!
Competition terms and conditions: