Getting Punched Will Make You a Better Grappler

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Do your training buddy a favor and smack the shit out of him next time you spar. Will he forgive you? Hell, he should thank you. Flow is great and technique drilling is absolutely important, but… if you aren’t regularly putting yourself into the mindset of a real fight, you aren’t preparing yourself for a real fight. …The easiest way to do that is to get your grapplers to hit each other.

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Parallax Error

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I remember being a 1st kyu brown belt in Japanese karate back in the late 1980s. I was to be evaluated for my first black belt very soon. I was steeped in the detail of techniques, training intensity, and constant pressure of a student rising to his first dan promotion. I vividly recall my pride in ability. I felt I could fight off any attack, win any fight, and deliver ikken hissatsu: to kill with a single punch.

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Train For Yourself

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Your instructor is human. Don’t let yourself get sucked into a cult of personality. One of the fundamental and nearly universal aspects of martial arts training is the intense loyalty students feel to their instructor. I believe you should be loyal to those who are loyal to you, meaning you should devote your loyalty where it is earned. In some circumstances the loyalty I have seen students devote to instructors borders on blind zeal.

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Snake Oil Salesmen

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Know how to distinguish the theatrical, vaudevillian Martial Arts. Unless you seek pure entertainment, these are the charlatans of the martial arts world. There are plenty of martial arts to stay away from completely. The reasons for these vaudevillian martial arts are as varied as the arts themselves. Some just want to trick you out of your money (snake oil salesmen). Others really believe they are on to something, and often almost never realize they are part of a charade.

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