Submit Your Martial Arts Articles Now

There is one week remaining in the Best Martial Arts Writing of 2006 Contest.  I am disappointed in the low number of entries so far, considering the dozens of martial arts bloggers I know visit this website.

Please do not be intimidated by the name of the contest.  Take it as an opportunity to promote your own martial arts articles, whether or not they are among the greatest works of mankind.

I am lifting the requirement that your entry was written in 2006; you can submit any posts written before the end of the contest on March 17.  However, I still want you to nominate your own work, and not the work of other authors.

I have some great ideas for future contests, some including tangible prizes.  Your participation in this writing project will determine whether I sponsor any others in the future.

5 comments on “Submit Your Martial Arts Articles Now”

  1. Broward College Kenpo: We exist to provide individuals with a process for living a happier life. We encourage one’s personal and social wellbeing/spiritual growth by focusing on their present lives. For your thoughts/actions of today will indeed influence your future experiences. Even as you read his note, you are living a past encounter that lead you here, thus recreating this spiritual event.

    The ultimate objective in our teachings beyond personal safety is the attainment of Present Moment Clarification, Spiritual Enlightenment, and/or Buddha-hood. Present Moment Clarification refers to the open mind that is aware and constantly learning about itself. Spiritual Enlightenment / Buddha-hood is the complete development of the enlightened mind. Buddha-hood is a mental state that is the most beneficial that a human being can have to live a happy and worthwhile life.
    • Spiritual Enlightenment / Buddha-hood is beyond ones culture, race, gender, educational status, or religious denomination. Regrettably most people think that enlightenment is based on clever knowledge. Others, think that enlightenment is merely becoming attached to and memorizing the writings of the Buddha, other religious dogma. These individuals are lost whether they are Buddhists or not. Attachment and entrapment of ones mind within the realm of Buddhism is just as bad as the entrapment of the egotistic mind in any other spiritual/religious/philosophical venue.
    • One who wants to follow the teachings of the Broward College Kenpo Should do so in order to help oneself and others.
    • What looks weak might in fact be strong. What is soft might be hard. Likewise in our teachings what is appropriate for one person may be nonsense to another. What works for some may not work for all. It is up to each individual to follow the path of spiritual enlightenment in a way most successful for them. Being mindful/compassionate of the views/opinions other paths.
    • All sentient beings are the same beyond race, gender, and culture. Any other views beyond this can be considered wrong views and will not help one attain enlightenment naturally.
    The place of true cultivation is within your heart/spirit. You should be an expression of the beauty of this world. Seek all that is beautiful and express it through your behavior.
    • Cultivate compassion for it is more important to the world than love.
    Seek health and longevity.
    • The female and male bodies are but vehicles to higher states of being.
    Do not allow the self/ego to become attached and lost to there superficial forms.
    • Engulf yourself, swim in and drink of the sea of Present Moment Clarification, Spiritual Enlightenment, and Broward College Kenpo.
    Listen to people from various cultures/ philosophies / religions then you can become a broadminded person.

  2. The Everyday Benefits of Martial Arts Training

    Some people feel martial arts training is just for those rare moments when you or a loved one is attacked, but what if martial arts could be used everyday of your life…?

    Would that interest you more? Is being more aware of your surrounding, faster, stronger, better balanced, better reflexes and the ability to think clearly under stress important to you?

    Then martial arts is the perfect activity for you! Warning, always consult with a physician before engaging in any physical activities. Let me tell you about some of my personal experiences that could benefit you….

    Environment Awareness

    Spend some time with surprise attack drills and multiple attack drills and see if that doesn’t increase the overall awareness of your environment.


    I have good reflexes, but I’ve also just become plain faster. Part of my increase in speed I must credit to the Honolulu Sparring Club. A bunch of great tournament fighters who taught me how to look stupid by not letting me get away with things in which I had become accustom to getting away.

    Training with people faster than you and doing speed drills will increase your overall speed.


    I am definitely stronger from some of the solo martial arts drills I’ve developed and practice.

    The strength itself comes not only the expected places, arms, legs etc., but to unusual places as well. For example, my inverters and everters, which are the muscles which turn my ankles in and out, gained strength from executing multiple kicks while balancing on one foot. I’ve taken steps off unseen curbs and into unseen holes that should have sprained my ankle, but it just doesn’t happen. My back is stronger too from back kicks.

    Better Balanced

    As you read earlier, executing multiple kicks is a great balance exercise. I seem to feel my center of gravity better than the average person. I also attribute this to evasive drills. Even if I do trip I catch myself.

    Better Reflexes

    There’s a difference between being faster and having faster reflexes. A reflex is a reaction to a stimulus. A reflex can be learned or involuntary. Pulling your hand away from heat would be an example of an involuntary reflex. A learned reflex, which is what I’m discussing here, is gained through repetitive movement such as a factory worker who screws on the same nut and bolt and passes it on. Eventually this movement, through repetition, is sent to a lower part of the brain closer to the spinal cord. A learned reflex is also referred to using a very inaccurate term muscle memory. Muscles have electrical and chemical reactions, not memories. The proper term is learned reflex.

    Although reflexes are primarily specific to the activity you’re practicing, martial arts has such a wide variety of reactions trained within us, I personally find myself reacting quickly to anything from leaping out of the way of a car in which the moron is turning right while looking left at traffic or catching a pen before it hits the floor.

    I find both blocking drills and evasive drills excellent drills for increasing reaction time or learned reflex speed.

    Thinking Under Stress

    It’s dark. I’m traveling down highway 16 in Illinois with a female friend of mine. The car ahead of me is going awful slow.

    NO WAIT!


    I slam on the breaks then begin pumping them to maintain control of the car.


    I veer left and avoid the car while breaking.


    I veer right to avoid that car, finally stopping.

    The emergencies over, my body was relaxed, yet ready to spring into action, my adrenaline was pumping. I made note of these physiological responses as though I were a third party looking inside myself. All these emergency functions subsided in 30 seconds to one minute after we had stopped safely.

    My friend on the other hand couldn’t settle down for half the night.

    But wait, I told you everyday uses right? I’d be a pretty bad driver if I did that everyday. The same exact training, to think clearly under stress, is used every day at work. Deadlines and sales presentations, the ability to think clearly and outside of the box are not only a part of martial arts training, they’re a sign of leadership abilities!


    Yes, you can find other activities to give you all of these everyday benefits, but there is not one single activity that I can think of which encompasses all of these benefits into one activity AND teaches you to protect the physical and mental shape in which you’re trying to stay.

    About the Author

    J. Richard Kirkham is a dual certified teacher specializing in alternative teaching methods and a martial arts instructor. He currently resides in Honolulu with his wife Jan and son Rylan.

    He’s the author of:
    Step by Step Learning Martial Arts Internal Energy Strikes Ebook and NOW FREE Bonus Full Version Video
    Solo Martial Arts Drills for Training in Martial Arts by Yourself
    How to Exercise Throughout Your Day Printable Ebook

    Feel free to join any of his free martial arts forums for all martial artists and for Hawaii martial artists.

    [Excessive links removed. –Ed.]

  3. Isometric Exercises to Increase Striking Power in Martial Arts

    Isometrics is an old often forgotten method of increasing muscular strength. It has several advantages for increasing a martial artist or self-defense practitioner’s striking power as well.

    What is Isometrics?

    Isometrics may be defined as a muscular contraction in which the amount of work performed is equal to the resistance.

    A very basic example of an isometric exercise is pressing your palms together in front of your chest. Caution: because isometrics involves complete muscular contractions people with high blood pressure are at a higher risk for a heart attack during this type of exercise. Always seek the advice of a physician before engaging in any physical activity.

    Advantages of Isometric Exercises

    No Equipment to Little Equipment is Necessary

    Train anywhere you want to when you want to. Even if you’re traveling you’ll find the simple pieces of equipment right there in your hotel room

    Isometric Exercises Can be Done Anywhere

    Train anywhere you want to when you want to. Even if you’re traveling you’ll find the simple pieces of equipment right there in your hotel room

    Isometric Exercises Can be Done Discreetly

    Train anywhere you want to when you want to. Even at a meeting isometric exercises can be executed discreetly.

    Lack of Muscular Bulk Development

    Those of you interested in developing muscular strength without the normal increase in the size of muscular fibers as found with isokinetic and isotonic (force resistant range of motion exercises such as weight lifting) isometrics, possibly do to the lack of motion, is a solution.

    Complete Relaxation of Antagonistic Muscle Groups

    When any athlete attempts to increase power a relaxation of the opposing muscle groups hindering the attempted action is not only necessary for an increase of power but for a conservation of energy as well.

    Do you see what I’m getting at here? Once it becomes a learned reflex (please don’t use the incorrect term muscle memory muscles don’t have memories) to relax opposing muscle groups and a full contraction of agonistic muscle groups is developed as a learned reflex combined with drills to increase speed, power is increased with less energy!

    Yes I know a huge statement in the beginning of a dissertation but I wanted to get you as excited as I was when I formed my theories which were later tested and through testimonials proven.

    More on My Power Development Theory for Isometrics

    The formula for kinetic energy (energy of motion) is 1/2mv^2. That’s half mass times velocity, which is basically speed, squared. You’ll note speed is a more important factor, however since we’re discussing strength in this article how can we work with and increase mass?

    Gross Motor-Coordination

    Gross motor-coordination is the use of agonistic muscle groups in proper timing in order to increase the ability to and efficiency of work. To be more precise to a martial arts and self-defense point of view coordination of your body to hit harder. You may feel you do this already but let me ask you, can you ever hit hard enough or are you always striving to find ways to hit even harder?

    One solution I’ve discovered to increasing gross motor-coordination is by improving stability in order to generate the greatest potential for force in and through a strike. I have never released this information except in my ebook and downloadable video Step by Step Learning Internal Energy Strikes. Obviously with a family to feed I cannot divulge the content of my entire work, but let me get you excited with this bit of information….

    Positioning Yourself in a Striking Position and Utilizing Isometric Contractions Will Increase Stability by Improving Form!

    YES! Think about what you’re trying to achieve with your stances for striking.

    No weight shift in the opposite direction of your strike.

    Optimal penetration for greatest injury potential to your attacker to increase your chances of survival.

    Isometrics is an exercise in which you can’t compensate lack of stability with speed. For example, plyometrics is a system of exercises in which explosive power is used and developed. This is a great system of exercise of which I also support, but, as in many fast paced speed type of drills it’s very easy to compensate with speed a lack of proper mechanics which would give you even more speed and power when properly developed.

    I, along with my readers have noted, by positioning oneself to emulate a strike in a stationary position against a resistance equal to or greater than the muscular effort needed for a complete contraction, proper form for this position is realized especially after fatigue begins setting into the primary striking limb and the body attempts to compensate with agonistic muscle groups for that striking position! In other words proper body mechanics (sorry I know it’s an over-used phrase) is realized and a learned reflex and kinesthetic sense (awareness of the body in space) develops for this more proper position with greater advantageous skeletal positioning.

    Are You Thinking Now?

    If you are I did my job. If you’re the type of person whose training is slowed down by yabutting everything let me save you the trouble. ALL training exercises are just a part of the whole. Thus I’ll list some of the disadvantages of isometric exercises.

    Disadvantages of Isometric Exercises

    Lack of Muscular Bulk Development

    Yes I know I listed it as an advantage, but some people want the bulk. Those of you interested in developing muscular strength without the normal increase in the size of muscular fibers as found with isokinetic and isotonic (force resistant range of motion exercises such as weight lifting) isometrics, possibly do to the lack of motion, is a solution.

    Increased High Blood Pressure during Isometrics

    That was the first thing I told you. So check with your doctor before engaging in any physical activity.

    Muscular Strength Improves at The Angle of Contraction

    Let’s use the pressing hands example again. You’re only improving muscular strength with your hands together. In order to improve muscular strength throughout your entire range of motion you will need to execute the isometric exercises at three different ranges of motion for the exercise.

    Lack of Speed Development

    Again just a part of the whole. You’ll need to add some speed drills to your repetuare. Those who join my newsletter receive a free speed drills book.

    Lack of Dynamic Gross Motor-Coordination Training

    Make sure you practice your techniques moving throughout your range of motion as well as your isometrics.


    Obviously the disadvantages of isometric exercises are compensated for in my book and video. The advantages of the little used training method are definitely utilized. I firmly believe isometrics is an important part of anyone’s training system with it’s advantages for both strength and stability training.

    About the Author

    J. Richard Kirkham is a dual certified teacher specializing in alternative teaching methods and a martial arts instructor He currently resides in Honolulu with his wife Jan and son Hunter. Mr. Kirkham has produced three works with include isometrics in the system of exercises.

    Step by Step Learning Internal Energy Strikes which has been completed in both printable ebook and video format describes how to develop power from nonstriking exercises to the dangerous relaxed strikes with complete follow-throughs.

    How to Exercise Throughout Your Day has also won praise by readers as an idea giving and forming work for those with little time in their schedules.

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