Movies about Martial Arts

»Posted by on Aug 15, 2019 in General | Comments Off on Movies about Martial Arts

Movies about Martial Arts

The popularity of the martial arts has leapt ahead with the advent of movies with fight scenes and warfare. The most popular have been those with Bruce Lee as the main star. Bruce was born in the USA in 1940. During his younger years, he had minor parts in various films and, in total, he acted in about seventeen movies, and four TV shows and Bruce became the epitome of martial art actors. Initially taught the martial arts by his father, Bruce studied further under various masters until he was eighteen.

Fist of Fury

In this movie, Chen (Bruce Lee) starts working at a factory and promises his family to stay out of confrontation, which might lead to fighting. When some members of his family disappear, he must break his promise and take on the villain. He fights students of master Suzuki of the Japanese dojo, and in an epic fight, he beats all the students using his skills with the nunchaku. The master then attacks Chen with a samurai sword which Chen takes off him and kills him.

Enter the Dragon

This is Bruce’s last movie before his death in 1973. He must infiltrate a gang involved in drugs and slavery. The contest becomes personal when he realises that the group were the cause of his sister taking her own life. Enter the Dragon is considered the highest martial arts film ever produced. The final scene is in a hall of mirrors which Bruce must smash to find and kill his enemy. Other actors who have played a part in the popularisation of the martial arts must include Chuck Norris. Some of his movies are Hellbound and Invasion USA.

Hellbound

In this movie, Chuck takes the part of Frank Shatter with Calvin Jackson (Calvin Levels), two detectives in Chicago who are investigating the murder of a Rabbi. The investigation takes them to Israel where they deduce that the baddy is Prosatanis, the Devils sidekick. He, Prosatanis, has attempted to take over the world previously, but he was stopped by King Richard the Lionheart who smashed his source of power, his wand. King Richard then banishes him to an underground dungeon. His accidental release sets him off again on his mission to dominate the world, but first, he must collect together the pieces of the wand. The detectives must stop him once and for all.

Invasion USA

This movie starts in the swamps of the south of the USA. It features gunfights to satisfy the most bloodthirsty fans. This is a typical 1980’s cold war film in which the communists try to invade the USA via Cuba. His, Norris’s, ability with his machine gun plays out numerous shooting scenes, and there are enough bombs and explosions to stop an invasion! Also depicted is the attempt to bomb a bus and an epic fight out in a shopping mall.

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History of Martial Arts, USA

»Posted by on Aug 12, 2019 in MMA | Comments Off on History of Martial Arts, USA

History of Martial Arts, USA

The history of Martial Arts in the USA does not go very far back in time. In 1948 the first association of the arts was started. The United States Karate Association was inaugurated in 1948 when karate was brought back by army personnel after the Second World War.

The first exhibition/competition was staged at the University of Chicago in 1963. With the help of Theodore Roosevelt, instructors were brought out from the East, Japan in particular. The USA armed forces soon recognised the value of the arts and Judo was introduced to the USA Air Force as part of the personnel’s training in unarmed combat.

As there were many martial arts instructors in Hawaii, which became a state of the USA in1959, their teachings soon spread to the other States. When Robert Trias, a combatant in the USA Naval Reserve, learnt the art, he was based in the Solomon Islands. This is where Tung Gee Hsiang, a Chinese missionary of Buddhism, taught Okinawan Shuri-Te karate. He and Trias started the first karate training facility in the USA. In 1959, Bruce Lee’s skills in unarmed fighting and acting featured in films about the martial arts and brought them to the American public, generating immense interest.

The purpose of martial arts is to teach individuals in personal defence and attack when in a combat situation. Although it is difficult to assess the number of schools and students in the USA because of “back yard” schools, it is believed that there are 16000 dojos and nearly four million students. Most Asian schools have strict religious philosophies such as Buddhism, Daoism and Shinto. Methods of training include group training or katas practised by individuals or pairs.

Types of Moves

  • Striking: Punching, including kicking, hitting with knees, elbows and hands.
  • Grappling: Throwing, locking in the joints, and pinning the head, among others.
  • Weapons: There are many different types of weapons used. Some of these include swords, spears, axes, sickles, clubs or sticks, bows and arrows, and blowguns, to name a few.

Kickboxing

Kickboxing is a product of three martial art forms, karate, boxing and Thailand’s Muay Thai. The first World Championships were held in 1974 and has developed into an accepted martial art, but it still has not been approved by the International Olympics Committee.

When kickboxing gained popularity in the ‘70s, most fighters came from a karate background and had trouble with following through with their blows as karate exponents were taught to pull back on their punches. The sport requires a tremendous amount of fitness if opponents want to last the full ten rounds.

Competition

There are many kickboxing associations around the world, and each has its own rules and regulations. Therefore there can be no fair international competitions as some associations allow clinches and kneeing and others don’t.

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Swords Throughout History

»Posted by on Aug 4, 2019 in Fighter | Comments Off on Swords Throughout History

Swords Throughout History

Swords have been used for attack and defence throughout written history, as well as in some of the Mixed Martial Arts. Blades came in many shapes and sizes designed to suit the fighting style of the swordsman. Originally cast in bronze, which was soft and needed constant sharpening, this metal was replaced after hundreds of years of use, by iron and steel as the superior metal.

The Khopesh

The khopesh is an early example of a bronze sword used by the Egyptians which was far superior to any other material used before. It was curved in the form of a sickle with less curvature, but the sharpened blade was on the outer edge. It also had a secure hook on the end of the module, although it is not sure what the use of this was as it did not lend itself to stabbing the enemy and withdrawing the blade. It also featured as a ceremonial accoutrement. It was at its best in close combat situations, and the shape lent itself to slashing. Pharaoh Tutankhamun had two khopeshes entombed with him for his journey to the afterlife.

The Kukri

For many centuries this was the weapon of choice of the Gurkhas of Nepal. The short blade was sharpened on the inside curve of the blade which lent itself to close combat where it was able to cut off limbs (and even heads) with ease. It first came to the attention of the British in the early 1800s. The British Army quickly appreciated the speed and usefulness in battle, and the Gurkhas were incorporated into the British forces as a brigade. They became a feared force and excelled themselves in the Second World War and today, are loyal to the Queen of England.

The Ulfberht

In the eighth century when the Vikings were invading Europe and the British Isles, in the quest for women, booty and farmlands, their sword, the Albert, instilled fear in those places that they invaded. The steel used to forge the blades was from high carbon, making the sword superior to any other sword carried by their foes. Only in the 1800s did anyone equal the steel manufactured by the Viking blacksmiths.

The Katana

This sword is arguably the most beautiful and useful fighting blade in history. In Japan’s fighting history this weapon was used by the Sumari class of fighters who followed the Bushido Code and served the Emperor and their Lords. The strength, lightness and sharpness were legendary, and swordsmiths took great pride in their craft. The skill of the Samurai in the use of the Katana has developed into a recognized martial art.

The Ixwa

This was developed by Shaka Zulu in Southern Africa in the early 19th century as a close combat stabbing sword. This weapon made the Zulu’s invincible, and the enemy feared them throughout Southern Africa. The blade was about 300mm long with a 600mm shaft. It was not designed to throw and when the enemy had pitched their spears, the Zulus moving in and attacked with impunity.

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What are Mixed Martial Arts?

»Posted by on Jul 25, 2019 in Fighter | Comments Off on What are Mixed Martial Arts?

What are Mixed Martial Arts?

Mixed Martial Arts is a combination of various fighting styles. It is a full-contact sport allowing striking, kickboxing and wrestling, whether standing or off the feet on the ground. The competition is practised by both genders but separated into two leagues.

It was in the 1990s that the MMA was formed to regulate rules and regulations. The MMA mushroomed all over the world, and it is estimated that there are about 450 000 followers. Clubs and gyms popped up wherever students wanted to participate. Promotions staged events which attracted adults and children alike.

Two federations were established independently of each other, but along similar lines, both with the vision of setting rules and regulations to level the playing field. These were the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation and the World Mixed Martial Arts Association. In 2012 the two bodies amalgamated to form the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF).

To promote the MMA, the IMMAF made it a policy to support and encourage all clubs that were teaching MMAs for the benefit of all participants and ensuring and enforce the rules and regulations. It is also the aim of the IMMAF to have the sport recognised and included by the IOC (the Olympic Games) to the four-yearly Games. There are, however, reasons why the IOC has not accepted the MMAs credentials, and this should soon be resolved.

Numerous MMA federations around the world are affiliated to the IMMAF but represent different countries. These include the USA, Australia, China, France and others such as South Africa and Cypress.

Physical Injuries

Although MMA fighters sustain many injuries, mainly cuts and bruises, which seem more spectacular due to the number of bloody wounds, it is boxing which is the most dangerous and the practitioners sustain more significant injuries. These can include head trauma and concussions, broken bones, facial and eye damage. Boxing rules have changed for the Olympics, i.e. headgear for fighters. Will MMA fighters have similar regulations forced on them by the IOC? Will the MMAF accept these changes if required by the IOC? Can anyone imagine the soldiers wearing headgear, gloves and maybe soft boots?

The Olympics

Until now, the IOC has denied the MMAF’s applications to participate in the Olympic Games. When the Olympic games were started in Greece in 776 BC, most of the participating sports were war orientated, such as javelin and discus, wrestling, boxing, running etc. So, most of the allowable games were similar to those being contested at the Olympics of today. In fact, in 688BC a combined sport, pankration, was formulated to include those contact sports – just like the MMA of today. Has the IOC lost sight of where it is going and where it came from? Pankration also had its own set of rules. No eye-gouging, no biting, no testicle grabbing and no fingers up to the nose!
The Olympic Games is to showcase man’s desire to compete and to pit his strength against his opponent.

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The History of Wrestling

»Posted by on Jul 18, 2019 in General | Comments Off on The History of Wrestling

The History of Wrestling

Wrestling is one of the first sports practised by man. 15000-year-old cave drawings have been found in France, showing men pitting their strength against each other. Carvings and pictures in caves and tombs show combatants in holds still used today. Different forms of wrestling have evolved over the years which have culminated in the way used today at the Olympic Games.

The Samarians

The Samarians practised wrestling which included the use of referees to oversee the rules of the fight. The Epic of Gilgamesh, together with the sculptures and other forms of art mentioned already, discusses wrestling as it was 5000 years ago, which even predates the bible!

The ancient Egyptians

The ancient Egyptians enjoyed the sport and drawings showing hundreds of combatants engaging each other to show their skills and strengths.

The Greeks

Revered the art of wrestling and the famous participants were idolised. The Olympic contestants had to excel at a combination of different sports, discus, the long jump, the javelin and long and short distance running – wherein the wrestling was the main and final event. The winner of the wrestling was the competitor who managed to get his rival down on his back, hips, knees, chest, or elbows. The winner was crowned as the athlete of the games – the only award given! After the games, the combatants who had oiled their naked bodies and were subsequently covered in sand and dirt would bathe in hot water, and they would then have slaves scrape the oil and sweat off with a curved instrument called a strigil.

The Romans

In Roman times, wrestling was the sport of choice at all social levels – from the aristocracy to the soldiers and down to the shepherds in the fields. Unfortunately, in 393, Emperor Theodosius put a stop to any pagan events, which led to the demise of this type of game. Although wrestling continued to be a popular sport, it never reached the popularity of the olden times. Many attempts were made to introduce wrestling again; it wasn’t until Pierre de Coubertin formed the International Olympic Committee in 1896; it was never a national sport.

Professional Wrestling

Professional wrestling, which started in France in 1830, was considered a show and competed with wild animals, fat women, deformed people, and hairy women in travelling shows. The sport then spread around Europe. Fixing of matches and fraudulent results brought the competition into disrepute. Modern wrestling at the turn of the last century wrestling was introduced to the United States of America. When nit was reintroduced to the Olympic games, it gained popularity with public opinion. The World Wrestling Federation (WWF) grew with media such as television, and although this is not wrestling in the pure form, it is a lot more exciting and appreciated by the spectators. It is showmanship at its best and still requires a tremendous amount of skill and athleticism.

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Martial Arts and the Money It Generates

»Posted by on Jul 11, 2019 in Fighter, MMA | Comments Off on Martial Arts and the Money It Generates

Martial Arts and the Money It Generates

Martial Arts is filled with gruelling action, creating a fascination with the sport. It is this fascination which it delivers in the crowds that are continually increasing the volumes of viewers. Large groups bring in significant revenue, making the sport in the end, very much a game about money. But the large crowds are mainly driven by a few valuable fighters. Hence let’s explore who are the top five fighters in UFC bringing in megabucks and receiving a handsome reward for doing so.

Number Five, Demolition Man

In the heavyweight division, Alistair Overeem has been making a name for himself as being a decorated fighter. Being a champion in their own right, he has deserved a position in many promotional avenues over the recent years. These include Strikeforce, Dream and K-1 World Grand Prix. He has had victory over some great names, which brought him higher earnings and increased sponsorships. Bringing him to number five on the list with an income of just over $6 million.

Number Four Goes to the Greatest Striker

Anderson Silva or Spider Silva is a Brazilian mixed martial artist with the reputation of the greatest striker ever in the Octagon. His performance brought him to Mecca, Cage, PRIDE and other MMA promotions. After a short ban due to a positive test for synthetic testosterone, he returned and continued his success. Earning a total income of just below $7 million.

Canadian Strength, Georges Rush St-Pierre

With an annual income of slightly over $7 million, this Canadian mixed martial artist is third in the line of highest earners in the industry. Before retiring in 2013, he had a winning streak of 12 fights with the UFC and then continued further with triumphing over Johnny Hendricks. Just before his return in 2017, he defeated Michael Bisping, making him middleweight champion. A title which he shortly afterwards gave up due to ulcerative colitis. Still, the fight alone earned him $2 580 000 plus bonuses and increased sponsorships.

Michael Bisping, The Count

Not only known for his performance in both Cage Rage and middleweight, but also his brilliant trash-talking skills. Also known for being an actor as well as a sports analyst and then being the only fighter ever to win the UFC Championship from Britain. Even though he made a lot less from the fight he had with St-Pierre, it came after he already had a winning streak of five matches. His total annual income delivers him in second place, only slightly further above the $7 million-mark than St-Pierre.

The Champion – McGregor

Miles ahead from number two in the position of highest income is Conor McGregor with earning well over $9.5 million. The Irishman has a fast mouth and a sharp wit which made him a superstar in the field of combat sports. This seriously increased his marketability and delivering on the pay-per-view numbers. His fight against Mayweather is still standing at 4.3 million buys as the pay-per-view event scoring the second-highest ever.

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More Doubt for the Return of Conor McGregor

»Posted by on Jul 6, 2019 in MMA | Comments Off on More Doubt for the Return of Conor McGregor

More Doubt for the Return of Conor McGregor

It has now been a long wait to find out more about the return of Conor McGregor. He retired about four months ago with a post on social media, but nothing has been considered. Dana White says Conor will be returning to the octagon in 2019 and the fighter has not let me know anything about retirement.

Thus, most of us can only assume the retirement is another attention-seeking matter, much like we saw back in 2016. However, that retirement treat lasted for only two weeks.

Now, in July 2019, McGregor throws yet another curveball with news about his possible return still not happening due to a hand injury. He posted on Instagram about the matter where he is in hospital and getting a cast on his hand. This could mean he is out for the 2019 season and we might not see him come back at all.

Let’s face it, McGregor has been out of the fighting scene for almost a year now having lost his last fight at UFC 229 in October of 2018 against Khabib. Sure, his separation from MMA started with a six months suspension for his part in the brawl after the fight, but that has been cleared and he could have taken part in fights since May.

According to Dana White a few months ago (just after the retirement post), Conor was talking to him about a comeback in MMA, possibly lining up fights. He even offered Conor a co-main event, which was thrown back in his face as McGregor wanted shares in UFC before he would attend the match. Unsurprisingly, they didn’t agree.

About this Hand Injury

The hand injury would mean even more time away from MMA for Conor McGregor, which could eventually lead to the fighter retiring and focusing fully on his new Whiskey adventure. However, things seem a little fishy with the hand that was hurt late in May 2019.

This week, McGregor posted another video where he takes part in the bottle cap challenge, which involves a spin wheel kick. Of course, McGregor nailed the challenge and even went as far as to challenge Floyd Mayweather. The interesting thing is that McGregor didn’t have a cast anymore, making it seem as if his hand has headed quite quickly.

His coach revealed more details about the hand in an interview not so long ago, claiming McGregor hurt in hand while training. He accidentally punched a spur on the back of the head. The coach also reported that McGregor is currently going through therapy for the hand and should be in full swinging action soon.

Interestingly, the coach went on to talk about what McGregor wants, which is to follow through with retirement. At the end of the day, that is what McGregor said he wanted, still just somewhat unreal.

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