Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Martial Art Films Part 1

When I was growing up I was lucky enough to watch so many Martial Art films.  It hadn't turned me into a psychotic nutjob, but someone who enjoys films with beautiful choregraphy, appreciates stunts and the craft of filmmaking.  From Bruce Lee's Way of Dragon, Jackie Chan's Drunken Master 2 and even the original Karate Kid, I have always been a fan.

I am going to write a massive piece on Martial Art films in future but please enjoy the following.  This fight scene is from SPL(Sha Po Lang). Donnie Yen had a string of hits in Hong Kong but this film shot him into the stratosphere and at the time 2005, one of the best martial art films I had seen for a while.  Not only Donnie Yen stars in this film but also the legendary Sammo Hung. This is part of the final fight from the SPL.




Wednesday, March 06, 2013

UFC on Fuel TV 8: Return of the Axe Murderer!



I have been following MMA since I would say UFC 2 and then became a fan of PRIDE FC. The sport has definitely evolved since the early days of UFC. It was a brutal free for all and was more about seeing which Martial Art was better than the other and compelling watching for the brutality of the fights.  In the early years UFC drew criticism from causal viewers; it was labelled “Human Cockfighting”.  At one point UFC was close to closing down altogether.

Enter Zuffa Entertainment who took over the ownership of UFC in 2001 and turned it into the giant it is now. With more rules and regulations in place, UFC quickly stormed the mainstream losing the human cockfighting label.  It now regularly sells out arenas around the World and its PPV buy rates rival boxing PPV’s and have surpassed those of professional wrestling giant, WWE.

While UFC was striving in the USA with stars such as Tito Ortiz, Chuck Liddell and Ken Shamrock, PRIDE FC was having equal success in Japan.  Stars such as Wanderlei Silva, Quinton Jackson and Dan Henderson really made their mark on the MMA fight scene in PRIDE FC even though Henderson and Silva had a run in the UFC previously.  All three returned/arrived in the UFC in 2007, soon afterwards PRIDE FC was bought out by the UFC.

Wanderlei Silva was almost unbeatable in his run in PRIDE FC. His knockout power and sheer stand up fighting brutality made him a fan favourite in Japan and around the World.  Wanderlei Silva had made a steady start in the UFC, with a mix bag of win and losses.  He seemed more tentative and tactical in his fights and with his reconstructive face surgery he literally was not the same fighter, certainly not the once fearsome undefeated 5 year middleweight champion of Pride FC.

However on March 3rd Wanderlei “The Axe Murderer” Silva returned to full devastating form.  Brian Stann who himself is a heavy hitter, probably had the slight edge over Silva,as he was younger, ranked higher and also Silva reluctantly pulled out of scheduled fight with Stann in 2011.  However Japan was where Silva really made his name and the 15,000 strong crowd were 99% behind him.

After the initial touching of the gloves, I did not expect a hard hitting fight, more of a mutual respect fight full of tentative moves and stalling.  How wrong was I.Brian Stann was the aggressor looking for a quick knockout with a flurry of punchers and backed Silva into the fence, but Wanderlei fought back and matched him punch for punch. The crowd went berserk, I went berserk, Silva was back.  In fact it felt like watching the Pride FC Middleweight champion who was about to destroy another opponent for just staring at his belt, except this time there was no belt, just his pride(no pun intended).  At one point after some furious punches, Silva nodded and motioned Stann to come at him, something he hasn’t done in ages. That was the moment I knew Silva was going to win.
Silva finished Stann in the second round with some brutal punching, Stann had a noble fight back but Silva was too strong and too much like the Silva of old. It was a great win for Silva and also for Stann as it won the fight of the night. It was also a great win for the UFC as it’s ratings doubledon Fuel TV due to this main event.  Some commentators have mentioned that Silva should now retire from the sport; if he did this would be a great fight to end his illustrious career.

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Lun's new blog

My brother Lun has a great new look to his blog and an article on a local karate club.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

A new direction

I realise I still get 500 hits per month on a blog I stopped 3 years ago!This was the time I stopped Martial Arts but I still keep in touch with my peers and have facebooked almost all my instructors. Therefore I am going to try and post new content soon and take this blog in a new direction! Watch this space!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Rising up again?



I wrote an epilogue to the Martial Arts Journal in February 2010, however something has rekindled my interest again which might lure me back.

1) My brother rejoined Steve Powell's JKD class last week

2) In addition to that my brother and I have been trying out the Tabata training method in the gym.

This Tabata training consists of
1) warm up
2) 20 seconds work
3) 10 seconds rest
4) repeat 7 more times

I read a lot of MMA and combat training guys do this conditioning training but I am doing it to get back into condition again! Being a team leader at work(although I do a lot of walking around) you do tend to ensure you have a nice meal every night to replenish the energy spent sorting stuff out. However with my brother Lun going back to JKD and this Tabata training being very enjoyable who knows?

I might start kicking some pads again......

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Epilogue


My last blog entry was 9th June 2008, today is 7th Feb 2010, a year and almost 8 months since I last posted, which is a very long time. Lots of things have happened during the last year and 8 months as not all was Martial Art related which meant I couldn’t possibly write this blog on a weekly basis. I would say that my Martial Arts Journey is officially over for now. The last class my brother and I held as instructors of Warriors Eskrima was back in July 2009.


Why did we stop? Well my brother Lun, had to have an operation on his hands but more importantly celebrated the arrival of a beautiful baby girl in November. I got married in August plus having to concentrate on my career as a team leader at a telecoms company I work at. Greater things have taken priority at this moment in our lives. With my brother and sister in law celebrating the birth of their child and Elaine and I getting married it was a great year for the brothers Lok.


I admit it this blog began when I was at my lowest ebb professionally at work and I used to write this every week because along with the Martial Arts I was doing at the time I felt like I was achieving something. However it was something I really enjoyed doing on a weekly basis. Ever since work picked up again I didn’t go back to write the blog every week in fact I thought I would leave it out altogether after the June 2008 blog.

However 2009 wasn't totally Martial Arts free, we attended two seminars that we hosted for Krishna Godhania in which we had a great time stick sparring and learning stick sparring techniques. We also attended a handful of JKD lessons at Steve Powell’s which was also great fun as we learnt different stick techniques. For us though the highlight of last years Martial Art calendar was Dennis Martin’s combatives seminar that was hosted by Greg Hall.

This seminar just put everything I have been training for into perspective. This seminar first made me think “What the hell is he sitting us down for and going off power point slides” and then got me thinking “That was the most intense 3 hours of training I have ever done!”

Based on WW2 combative concepts so you can use something as soon as you get out of the seminar, the two objectives where as follows:

1. Whatever we learn on the course, we should be able to use straight away.

2. Whatever you learn should stick with you for life. These objectives were emphasised throughout the course

You can read on my brothers take on this day here

The whole seminar was amazing and to top it off you fight the bullet man. A six foot man in a bulletman suit which made him around 6ft 5inches. It wasn’t just about fighting him however, after 3 hours of combative training which included 3 sets of ten reps of 10 exercises each and then intense pad work and some grappling, each of us was asked to spar with him individually.


Now here’s the catch as we were all asked individually to spar with the bulletman we didn’t know what we were getting into. I won’t spoil it for you but it’s intense and fun. More can be read on the seminar here Dennis Martin article as his website seems to be down at time of writing.


So no regrets everything that I have done in Martial Arts I am proud of, everything I tried out I have learnt from. I talk fondly of how it helped me out in crappy times and I will always train now and then with Lun. I made lots of friends, met new people, even famous people through Martial Arts. Thanks goes to Mark, Gaz and John who were our last students.


I thank everyone who visited this blog over the last few years and apologise to those who visited for the last year and 8 months expecting an update! Thank you for all your kind comments. The great thing I liked about the blog is the photos that we took. I have deliberately featured two of my favourites on this blog.


So here is the final picture for now. It features the pad we used at Steve Powell’s where it all began in 1983, the sticks I used for Warriors Eskrima which began in 2002,the t-shirt I purchased and wore at the Minnesota Kali group summer camp in 2002 under Rick Faye, the boxing glove I used in the stand up classes at the Karl Tanswell’s straight blast gym in which I trained in from 2005 to 2006 and the berimbau that my Capoeira instructor Danny Henry gave me in which I trained from 2002 to 2006.

Good times, No regrets.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Grading Day




As the alarm went off on June 8th at 6.45am, I was wondering why would I set it that early on a Sunday and then quickly realised it was grading day for our students! I haven’t been updating the blog because mainly I wanted to get this day out of the way. Three weeks ago if you asked me to write my blog I would probably type a simple question mark and not write anything because that was my opinion of one of our students doing the grading.

Fast forward 3 weeks later the guy delivered and had a great grading along with our other student.

And I am really damn happy not only for him but both of our guys because they trained hard for it.

As we made our journey to Warwick, Lun prepped our students Gaz and Mike by giving them a couple of Filipino Martial Arts books to read. Both of the guys were about to do their level 1 grading which is tough in that it would be their first grading in Warriors Eskrima and there was a fair amount to know and do.

Having got to the venue we saw Johnny Cowan’s army of students ready to take the grading, one of those in particular was Keith who was grading for his level 6 which is the level in which you have to pass to become an apprentice instructor. However, Johnny had several other students taking their grading at varying levels.

We didn’t grade in the comfy surroundings of the school hall, but a boxing gym which was once owned by Jackie Turpin. The boxing gym was actually pretty cool and I hope we have future gradings there.
So after greeting Krishna Godhania
and introducing him to our students we were ready to grade.

Johnny was in charge of the grading with Krishna Godhania assessing whilst my brother Lun and I watched. It must have been quite intimidating with 4 people watching you grade but a few of Johnny’s guys have met Lun and I before (and also you may find that I don’t look intimidating at all)
However once we began everyone flowed, I was watching Mark and Gaz and they looked great and most importantly remembered everything. In fact everyone looked fluent, when everyone started their sumbrada drills(which is a stick flow drill) I saw varying degrees of speed but everyone doing it correctly.


Like I said earlier the guys did great and I am really proud that they train at our club. There were no mind blanks, no hesitation. Everything went exactly to plan. By far, the guy who had the toughest grading was Keith(sparring one on one,then two on one then it was three against Keith) he was doing his level 6 and really kicked some ass, well deserved and a great grading.


After the grading Krishna Godhania as always gave us an excellent mini lesson which involved knife defence. Later he told us he was happy with the standard of our students which is awesome! To top it all off we saw a Delorean parked at a service station the way home!(yup I am a Back to the Future fan)

Other than the grading these past few weeks Lun and I have been mainly concentrating on the grading stuff in our lessons. We also went to Steve Powell’s JKD Class a couple of times and some great lessons under Chris Sibbald and we will be coming back at some point. I also like to give a shout out to Lee who hurt his hand and will stop him from training for a while, get well dude.


Anyways this blog post is dedicated to everyone who passed their grading this weekend!