Author Topic: The influence that MMA style fighting has on Martial Arts today.  (Read 13104 times)

Offline NYKaju

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Re: The influence that MMA style fighting has on Martial Arts today.
« Reply #15 on: May 07, 2006, 07:38:41 AM »
 One other disadvantage I see in MMA is that it teaches brute-force punching over precision striking.  A lot of strikes that can easily KO someone just aren't used because they require too many years of training to perfect (ridge-hands as an example) and most MMA fighters don't train long enough before going pro to develop those techniques.  All in all, however, I can't help but he happy by the movement.

I'd like to get your and some others thoughts on this particular topic now that you brought it up. I had an argument a whiles back with another one of the instructors up at my school as to the practicality of the ridge hand. I've always found it to be one of my favorite strikes (while drilling) but never really used it in sparring due to the necessary striking points to make that strike particularly useful. But my friends argument is that if I'm in a position to use a ridge hand, then I'm in a position to use a cross/hook punch which has a much higher percentage rate of success, and is much easier to flow into other techniques from. Of course I disagreed because I always felt that the ridge hand strike when applied properly could easily fold and "flow" into other grabs and locks. I attempted numerous times sparring him with saftey gear on to prove our points, and sure enough it seemed damned near impossible to pull off such a strike (for me personally at least) whether it be to the throat, face or anywhere worth hitting. On the same token I kept eating punches in that range once I dropped my guard to do it.

Eseentially we came to agree that it was a useful and practical technique, but only for an earlier stage in the fight when you'd want to take your opponent by surprise off of an initial lunging type attack. Anyone else have any experiences with that?
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Offline cirillo

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Re: The influence that MMA style fighting has on Martial Arts today.
« Reply #16 on: May 07, 2006, 09:42:38 AM »
NYKempo, I would agree with you.  The ridgehand is probably not the best example.  There are probably only a few situations where it is effective.  Not the best example, but it still does bring up a valid point.  Jason's point is probably that soft targets with precision are de-emphasized by MMA bouts.  The lack of throat techniques and eye gouges really would limit any really practical martial artist.  Obviously, somebody a lot bigger comes after you, you are going to want to finish them, not punch them or choke them out.  MMA doesn't allow techniques that would be best for this and certainly MMA practitioners would not practice or work on those techniques.  Actually, I doubt a small person would even try to play in the MMA ring for that reason, it still remains just a game. Too bad they don't allow knives and guns. 8)
« Last Edit: May 07, 2006, 09:44:36 AM by cirillo »
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Offline Wado

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Re: The influence that MMA style fighting has on Martial Arts today.
« Reply #17 on: May 07, 2006, 10:38:43 AM »
The front hand ridge hand strike can be used like a jab, targeting the eye. This can set up the rear hand punch. Striking to the eye is not allowed in the MMA competition rules.

The rear hand ridge hand probably works better for a shorter person verse a taller person. Grab the person's arm with the front hand and follow- up with rear ridge hand strike across the body (clothesline) or to the groin. There is often no practical way to grab the arm of an opponent in MMA competition. Someone wearing a GI or other long sleeve clothing would make the grab easier.

The more hooking ridge hand can target the back of the head/neck. Not a legal target in MMA competition.

--------------------

More or less what I say is a factor in what techniques to use is determined by the shape of the tool/weapon verse what targets are legal. Some tools are better shaped for hitting vital targets than others. Things can alter the shape of the tool such as wearing boxing gloves verse barefisted. It is more practical to use the "right shaped tool" to get the job done.

Then comes how proficient and experienced one is using that tool in real situations.

For instance, the Muay Thai slicing elbows that cut open the head are designed to do that. These are legal in UFC rules. They are a valid technique, one that could be used in self-defense. I don't know of many that do not think elbow strikes are very useful. My predition is that if the rules continue to allow them, you will see more and more fighters start to get really good at using them because they are the right shape tool for what they are intended to do.

Another example is fish hooking. Apparently there were "hookers" that had such finger strength that they could grab others and hook them under the flesh and bones like a fish hook and tear and rip things immensely well. The fingers were the right shaped tool for the job and by being so strong in the fingers they were able to use fish hooking to defeat opponents. Yes, this includes the before mentioned hooking under the ribs and other bones such as the collar bone. Fish hooking is illegal in MMA competitions.

When I was growning up, one of my best friends worked in a butcher shop doing clean up. He spent hours a day with a spray hose. After a few months his right hand grip was enough that it felt to me like he could crush bone. Maybe not but I will tell you that none of the escapes against grabs worked against him, even though the techniques use leverage. You would either have to resort to striking to weaken him first or use shucking or techniques to gain even better momentary leverage. If this guy had grabbed an adams apple, an ear, the flesh of the face or mouth, under the ribs, or any loosely hanging flesh, and twisted... I would have hated to see the results.

He had the right shaped tool and he could use it.

In reality, how many people try to use the less than ideal shaped tool for the job and even if they have the right shaped tool, how many aren't really that good at using that tool in a real situation?

My first karate instructor when asked what was the meaning of Goju (hard/soft), he answered something to the effect that it was to strike a soft target with a hard weapon and to strike a hard target with a soft weapon. That was it... keep it simple.




« Last Edit: May 07, 2006, 10:44:28 AM by Wado »
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Offline Jason Goldsmith

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Re: The influence that MMA style fighting has on Martial Arts today.
« Reply #18 on: May 07, 2006, 11:38:36 AM »
Wado, I like your analogy of the right tool for the right job--my point is basically that MMA fighters have a much more limited striking toolset than what even their rules allow--and thus you see very few well-placed strikes to the jaw, etc that have a high-KO potential.  The Iceman is an example of the opposite of this observation--he has very good precision and knows how to adjust his strikes in flight, and thus we see his amazing KO-potential. 

In regards to the ridgehand, however, I did deliberately mention that as a good example, at least for me.  I use it constantly in sparring (continuous, not point) and it works very, very well.  You can place it to the back of head on the location of the skull corresponding the visual cortex in the brain, which if struck will significantly stun someone.  Additionally, it can be used as you triangulate an opponent to hit them in the jaw, and if it misses (or if it hits) can be pulled into an elbow or used to tear down their guard.  It is also advantageous when mixed in with round-punches (roundhouses) as the initial angle looks similar, but the final angle is different, allowing for a lot of deception.  However, I do agree that is rather "funky" to have a primary technique, but it can be made to work, and work well.

Regardless, my main point is that I am still suprised by the limited range of strikes employeed in MMA--especially at the lack of backfists.  While not as powerful as a jab or straight punch (for many people) they are good at sneaking into the jaw, and thus I would expect to see a lot more of them, and other such "martial artist" strikes.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2006, 11:40:27 AM by Jason Goldsmith »
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Offline Wado

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Re: The influence that MMA style fighting has on Martial Arts today.
« Reply #19 on: May 07, 2006, 01:31:16 PM »
I do like how you mentioned the backfist. Professor Baxter showed me a backfist attack to the side of the head that follows up in one flow into a forearm rake across the one of the coratid artery. This is a follow through the target type of backfist instead of a recoil type. Also, looking at old film footage from around forty years ago, the backfists then appeared to be done from a hand back position (right hand down by groin or back by left hip). The backfist in this case was more of a back hand (open hand strike with back of hand). It was very fast and hit hard, however because it travelled such a far distance, you basically had to have very good timing to pull it off.

More modern karate backfist has turned more into a combination of an uppercut and a jab. It is quick, can be fired from the guard, and is like a jab.

The reason you don't see much backfists in MMA is I think they fall more into the category of a jab because that is how they are taught by many. Nothing wrong with that technique, but if you look at it, you don't see a lot of jabs in MMA either.

As for Liddel's KO ability, yeah, I would not be sane to want to be on the receiving end of it. There is some scientific reasoning behind it apparently. I've been instructed that if the opponent has their mouth open then the uppercut and hooks to the chin have a much better chance of breaking the jaw or knocking someone out.

If you think about it, when people are surprised, sometimes their jaw drops, this leaves them more vulnerable for being knocked out. In MMA, people have mouth pieces and hopefully learn to keep their mouth closed and chin down so KO on the chin is very difficult. However, the longer the rounds and fight, the more tired people get, and when people get tired, once again their jaw tends to drop as they open their mouths more to breathe. Then comes that Iceman KO punch to the chin. IMHO.
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Re: The influence that MMA style fighting has on Martial Arts today.
« Reply #20 on: May 07, 2006, 08:44:47 PM »
I just ran across this on the web. it's from a local MMA school here in San Diego that is using this as one of their marketing to question traditional Martial Arts schools. The comparative ploy can be found below. The traditional points are on the left and MMA style on the right. What do you guys think?? Pretty cheap shot if you ask me.

TRADITIONAL MARTIAL ARTS vs.  FIGHT FIT

Choreographed art form that takes years to perfect  / What works in reality right now!
Special uniform /  You wear what you feel comfortable in
Beautiful karate stance  /  Forget about a karate stance you won't have time
Techniques that require several moves that in most cases won't work  / Techniques that are quick & effective
Takes 4-5 years to get a black-belt /  With regular practice your self-defense skills will be equal to a black-belt within 3-6 months
Teaches nothing or very little about awareness and effects of adrenal stress  / Awareness and adrenal stress techniques are practiced so you won't panic
Teaches you to block and counter Teaches you to penetrate, incapacitate & terminate

Offline badsifu

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Re: The influence that MMA style fighting has on Martial Arts today.
« Reply #21 on: May 07, 2006, 09:10:16 PM »
They've got a lot of good points.

If you want to be "traditional" then fine, but accept the fact that you are using 50-100 year old material on an increasingly better informed society where just about everyone has done some kind of martial arts training.  Personally, I would rather teach techniques that work now, in methods that help today's student as opposed to lie to myself and try to fool others by saying my stuff is "for the street."
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Offline NYKaju

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Re: The influence that MMA style fighting has on Martial Arts today.
« Reply #22 on: May 07, 2006, 09:31:30 PM »
I just ran across this on the web. it's from a local MMA school here in San Diego that is using this as one of their marketing to question traditional Martial Arts schools. The comparative ploy can be found below. The traditional points are on the left and MMA style on the right. What do you guys think?? Pretty cheap shot if you ask me.

TRADITIONAL MARTIAL ARTS vs.  FIGHT FIT

Choreographed art form that takes years to perfect  / What works in reality right now!
Special uniform /  You wear what you feel comfortable in
Beautiful karate stance  /  Forget about a karate stance you won't have time
Techniques that require several moves that in most cases won't work  / Techniques that are quick & effective
Takes 4-5 years to get a black-belt /  With regular practice your self-defense skills will be equal to a black-belt within 3-6 months
Teaches nothing or very little about awareness and effects of adrenal stress  / Awareness and adrenal stress techniques are practiced so you won't panic
Teaches you to block and counter Teaches you to penetrate, incapacitate & terminate


Cheap shot? Perhaps. Valid comparisons? I'd say so. To me, too many schools are caught up in their art and lineage that they miss the forest in the trees so to speak. Like I said in my initial post to this, MMA style training is something that every martial artist should take into account to re-evaluate where they are at. The biggest argument into the flaws of a typical MMA school tend to be the ruleset argument. And I completely agree with that. They do not teach things that won't work in the ring/octogan/whatever. But the lack of dirty tactics, as well as street based self defense training does not discount the valid positives that MMA brings to the table. To say otherwise, would be lowering yourself to level of the MMA guys (like the one that made this ad) that say that all other martial arts schools are useless because they aren't full-contact and representing in the ring.

But to look at the assertions piece by piece:
"Choreographed art form that takes years to perfect  / What works in reality right now!"

This is a pet peeve of mine. There is plenty of kata within my system, but sorry I'm just no fan of it all. For purposes other than fighting prowess (ie: moving meditiation/appreciation of art/exercise/looking really cool) then that's fine, but if you want to learn how to defend yourself and fast then there are plenty of better methods.

"Special uniform /  You wear what you feel comfortable in"

Nothing more than a cheap shot. I wonder how this guy would feel about insulting all the BJJ and Judo guys that wear their "special uniforms"  ::)

"Beautiful karate stance  /  Forget about a karate stance you won't have time"

Many arts contain impractical stances that are based more on ideology than on reality. But if this guy is advocating the notion that a proper stance is meaningless to train in because "you won't have time to worry about it" then he has no idea what he's talking about in regards to building habit/muscle memory and quite simply how to fight in the slightest sense.

"Techniques that require several moves that in most cases won't work  / Techniques that are quick & effective"

Again this seems to reference ideology over reality, something I've seen far too common, especially with overly elaborate and complicated Ken/mpo techniques. And I know the arguments for how to properly teach those techniques (I do this stuff for a living) but from what I hear alot of schools don't break it down, and instead just make students memorize countless sets of these techniques and expect them to be able to fight.

"Takes 4-5 years to get a black-belt /  With regular practice your self-defense skills will be equal to a black-belt within 3-6 months"

This I can vouch for personally. Until I began training with more "liveness" with realistic sparring, proper resistance in drilling techniques, and an overall more realistic sense of what's going to work and not going to work I quite simply couldn't fight. I know guys I train with currently in BJJ that could effortlessly walk right through black belts of numerous styles that don't train with proper resistance. It's not a matter of superior techniques or style, it's a matter of dealing with realistic aggression from a skilled opponet with perhaps the influence of an adrenal surge. If you don't know what it feels like to be under those circumstances, everything you've learned goes out the window.

"Teaches nothing or very little about awareness and effects of adrenal stress  / Awareness and adrenal stress techniques are practiced so you won't panic"

Said above.. ^

"Teaches you to block and counter Teaches you to penetrate, incapacitate & terminate"

Another cheapshot in my opinion. Blocking and countering has it's place, and claiming to do something vague like "penetrate" in its place is pretty lame. I think I know what they mean, but they could have worded it better.

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BJJ under Matt Serra
Judo under Mark Staniszewski
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Palma

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Re: The influence that MMA style fighting has on Martial Arts today.
« Reply #23 on: May 07, 2006, 09:35:40 PM »
I agree with you guys!

But I had to make an attempt to defend my "Traditional" buddies out there who still train just for the 'Art" of the Martial Arts.

Offline NYKaju

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Re: The influence that MMA style fighting has on Martial Arts today.
« Reply #24 on: May 07, 2006, 09:41:05 PM »
They've got a lot of good points.

If you want to be "traditional" then fine, but accept the fact that you are using 50-100 year old material on an increasingly better informed society where just about everyone has done some kind of martial arts training.  Personally, I would rather teach techniques that work now, in methods that help today's student as opposed to lie to myself and try to fool others by saying my stuff is "for the street."

Bingo. You said it right there, better informed society. We are living in the information age. We have access to knowledge about just about anything and anyone. All martial arts are based on concepts, and all techniques are based off of those concepts. Some concepts are good, some are bad. Some of the good concepts work better than other good concepts. Despite what "traditionalists" may tell you, barehand fighting is still an evolving concept in itself, and in todays world MMA is on the cutting edge of those ideas. We go from Boxings primacy telling us that swinging with our fists is the best, to the early UFC's where you'd think that grappling is the most effective thing you could ever train in to dominate anyone, to now seeing a healthy mixture of striking + grappling = Ground'n'pound being the weapon of choice for finishing a fight. Hand to hand combat is still an evolving thing in itself, and to see it still changing in a secure environment such as MMA bouts tells you we still have a bit to learn. There's an article in one of the black belt mags, where one of the Dog Brothers claims that his MMA system that incorporates barehand Kali will revolutionize how fighters fight. Maybe he's right, maybe he's wrong, but if we've learned anything, it's that we all have alot to learn....wow that was corny....whatever I'm done typing.
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Offline NYKaju

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Re: The influence that MMA style fighting has on Martial Arts today.
« Reply #25 on: May 07, 2006, 09:42:03 PM »
I agree with you guys!

But I had to make an attempt to defend my "Traditional" buddies out there who still train just for the 'Art" of the Martial Arts.

Hey thats fine, and I will take it a step further and say that those that train in styles merely for the "art" doesn't necessarily mean they cannot fight. I am only saying there are better ways of learning how to fight and defend yourself.
Sensei/Coach James Mayors
Ronin Martial Arts
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BJJ under Matt Serra
Judo under Mark Staniszewski
"You don't rise to the level of your expectations, you fall to the level of your training"

Palma

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Re: The influence that MMA style fighting has on Martial Arts today.
« Reply #26 on: May 07, 2006, 10:10:34 PM »
Amen brother and great thread by the way NYKEMPO!

You really know your stuff brah!

Offline John Bishop

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Re: The influence that MMA style fighting has on Martial Arts today.
« Reply #27 on: May 07, 2006, 10:46:24 PM »
I hope no one here is putting Kajukenbo into the same category as "traditional" martial arts.  We may have some traditions we follow like traditional titles and uniforms, but that's where the resemblance to "traditional" arts ends. 
Kajukenbo was cross training long before the MMA craze began.  And it was not aimed at sport competition, where there are padded floors, rules, and only 1 unarmed opponant.  The training was and is for the most part still strenous and as real as can be done without the risk of serious injuries.  And quite a few times after a session of bull in the ring, there's usually some blood, a few tears, and some students that never return. 
I may agree that there are a few fighters on the street nowdays who are more capable then the old common street thugs, but the percentage in our society is probably less then 1/2 of 1 percent.  There may be a whole lot of people watching the "ultimate fighter" from the comfort of their couch, but todays American society is for the most part extremely overweight and out of shape.  This lifestyle is so prevelent in our society today, that now 12-13 year old kids are getting adult onset diabetes due to lack of excercise, and obesity.
50 years ago Charles Atlas was running adds in mens magazines claiming his program will help whimps who were tired of "getting sand kicked in their face".  And today the adds have changed to "deadly fighting techniques" that are far superior to martial arts and can be learned in a fraction of the time that it takes to be a black belt.
For the most part I believe that success in self defense is dependant on 3 things, in this order:  1. Heart (courage, spirit, intestional fortitude, whatever you want to call it), 2. physical conditioning, 3. martial/fighting skills.     
 
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Offline badsifu

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Re: The influence that MMA style fighting has on Martial Arts today.
« Reply #28 on: May 08, 2006, 12:35:57 AM »
Professor Bishop:

Some people teach Kajukenbo that way - as a traditional art.  A more traditional approach to everything was how I was taught.  It was probably similar to the way you learned because of our lineage being from the same branch of the tree.

I occasionally visit other schools and then re-visit them periodically to see if they are moving forward.  I have been to some schools that start each class the same way and do the same techniques year after year with little to no variation.  All because that was the way "my instructor" taught it.  They have placed themselves in a bubble and all outside material is deemed ineffective on the street or that won't work because it deviates from the notebook aka "bible."  The rest of the world moves forward, but these people refuse to join in on the progress.  They see what they have as the best art and everything else is useless or sub-par - so why learn it?

I will state it again, that if you rely soley on 50-100 year old techniques that makes you a traditional martial artist.  Sijo didn't see 40 year old curriculum as it was taught by Chow and Mitose as being sufficient.  So he created Kajukenbo.  And then he re-created it.  And did it again and again.  Kajukenbo isn't a traditional art, because the majority that are in it refuse to rest on their laurels.  They continue to cross train, adapt their training methods, and re-evaluate what techniques work vs. what doesn't.

As far as the numbers of trained fighters on the street, I really don't care what the percentages are.  I continue to cross train in order to reduce those numbers.  I figure they are doing the same so I better do it faster, harder, and smarter.  I continue to keep an open mind and add new material to my weaponry, and at the same time, try to do honor to my roots by keeping the level of intensity high.
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Offline John Bishop

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Re: The influence that MMA style fighting has on Martial Arts today.
« Reply #29 on: May 08, 2006, 02:46:22 AM »
Professor Bishop:

Some people teach Kajukenbo that way - as a traditional art.  A more traditional approach to everything was how I was taught.  It was probably similar to the way you learned because of our lineage being from the same branch of the tree.

I occasionally visit other schools and then re-visit them periodically to see if they are moving forward.  I have been to some schools that start each class the same way and do the same techniques year after year with little to no variation.  All because that was the way "my instructor" taught it.  They have placed themselves in a bubble and all outside material is deemed ineffective on the street or that won't work because it deviates from the notebook aka "bible."  The rest of the world moves forward, but these people refuse to join in on the progress.  They see what they have as the best art and everything else is useless or sub-par - so why learn it?

I will state it again, that if you rely soley on 50-100 year old techniques that makes you a traditional martial artist.  Sijo didn't see 40 year old curriculum as it was taught by Chow and Mitose as being sufficient.  So he created Kajukenbo.  And then he re-created it.  And did it again and again.  Kajukenbo isn't a traditional art, because the majority that are in it refuse to rest on their laurels.  They continue to cross train, adapt their training methods, and re-evaluate what techniques work vs. what doesn't.

As far as the numbers of trained fighters on the street, I really don't care what the percentages are.  I continue to cross train in order to reduce those numbers.  I figure they are doing the same so I better do it faster, harder, and smarter.  I continue to keep an open mind and add new material to my weaponry, and at the same time, try to do honor to my roots by keeping the level of intensity high.

Sigung:

I think we may be thinking of "traditional" in differant ways.  To me "traditional" means to follow certain cultural and martial traditions without diviation.  I think Kajukenbo broke all these traditions from day one.  But at the same time it established it's own unique traditions, that any traditional stylist would probably say "are not traditional".  Things like using black belt titles that are used in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean systems.  And many other things.

I believe that Kajukenbo has a core curriculum and training philosophy that is superior to many martial arts.  But I agree with you that it would be foolish to believe that it has the answer to all self defense needs in this changing world. 
I also believe that this core cirriculum should not be changed or have techniques subtracted from it.  As a example, we have 21 "punch counters".  I may feel that some of them are not very effective because they don't work well for me.  But, they may work great for someone else.  8 or 10 punch counters may work great for me, 8 or 10 may work great for someone else, but they may not be the same 8 or 10.  So my feeling is keep all 21. 

Now, we also know that a "punch counter" may only have 3-4 moves, but that practitioners are free to add "adlibs" to the technique to make it more complete. 
Yes, there are probably some instructors who will not teach anything more then the core cirriculum.  But I have not found that to be true with the majority of Kajukenbo instructors I've met.  To me, learning more judo, jujitsu, kung fu, etc. techniques only adds to the effectiveness of the core cirriculum, and it still stays "Kajukenbo".     
               
We may have different opinions on how well trainied todays street criminals are, but I agree with you that you should always train the best you can in case you ever come into contact with that 1% of society that might be training harder then you.     
John Bishop  8th Degree-Original Method 
Under Grandmaster Gary Forbach
K.S.D.I. # 478, FMAA


"You watch, once I'm gone, all the snakes will start popping their heads up!"  Sijo Emperado