Archive for August, 2010

Roundtable Discussion 004: Next Best Style

Posted in Roundtable Discussion, Styles with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 31, 2010 by Combative Corner

Six martial art instructors were asked,

“If you were given only one style/system of martial art to study (besides your primary discipline), what would it be and why?”

Sensei Robert Lara – For me it would be Wing Chun Kung Fu.  I already train Wing Chun and that is why I picked it. Because it works! No messing around. A very solid and sound fighting art.  It is very much like the Japanese Aiki arts. To control your attackers mind and take away there intent to do harm to you or others.  To stick to an attack once launched is a very sound way to apply control. Be it deflecting blocks, Punches, Elbows, Chops, Low kicks. Sweeps, Throws.  I Love Wing Chun!  I have great love for all the arts but there are those systems that you know are for you.


Sensei Brad Vaughn – If I could study one martial arts style it would be Kung Fu. It really doesn’t matter what style(though I think Southern Shaolin would fit me nicely) because I find any and all forms of Kung Fu both beautiful and dangerously effective at the same time. I’ve had the opportunity to study a couple of different styles, first in college and now recently and I never cease to be amazed by it. It is my “holy grail” of martial arts. I train hard in the martial arts hoping that one day I will be worthy to become a black belt in Kung Fu as well. I would love to just take off to China for a couple of years and just immerse myself in the culture and study Kung Fu up close and personal and then return to the states a true Kung Fu Masters but I don’t think my wife would go along with that.


Sifu Freddie Lee – Jeet Kune Do. Because there are no limitations. It is not a style or a system, it gives you the realization to go beyond.


Coach Johnny Kuo There are so many choices of martial arts that it’s difficult to answer this question. Almost any art would be a viable choice given access to a talented instructor. If I had to choose an art besides I-Liq Chuan, I would pick Arnis. Arnis has several characteristics I find appealing: it emphasizes partner practice, blends offense and defense, doesn’t require a lot of equipment, has a no-nonsense approach, and most importantly, it just looks fun.

I also like the fact the Arnis is not dependent on physical prowess; skill is a much more important factor for proficiency than size and strength. Swinging two sticks to beat the daylights out of your opponent seems so primal and basic, yet there is subtlety and beauty in the art. To me, it seems like Arnis would develop practical martial skills, enhance the mental ability to read the conditions of offense and defense, and have good skill carry over to other arts.


Coach Michael Joyce – Silat.  But I’m actually going to be very specific with this one.  Over the last few months, I’ve glimpsed numerous martial art video posts (as I enjoy seeing forms progress, applications worked, and maybe pick up on some new training exercises/methods).  One channel really impressed me, as my main draw to the martial arts is the science behind efficient and effective self-defense.  The channel that I came across was Maul565 and the style is Silat Suffian Bela Diri.  Maul Mornie is the instructor and came from Seria, a small town in Brunei Darussalam.  He is currently based in the United Kingdom and does workshops across the country, stressing “Minimum Effort, Maximum Effect.”  My kinda guy!  Can’t wait to learn more about this style through his videos, and perhaps, one day, by him personally.  Check his website out HERE.



[ HERE ]

The Prodigal Son Gets Schooled (Again)

Posted in Fighters, Martial Arts, ULTIMATE FIGHTING with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 29, 2010 by Combative Corner

The world of mixed martial arts embraced BJ Penn, at least at one point, as one of the (if not the best) pound-for-pound fighters in the world.  Penn, a skillful artist that could quickly find the answer to dismantling his opponents, either by extremely well-timed punches or by masterful submissions.  The answer did not come so easy when Penn fought Frankie “The Answer”  Edgar in Abu Dhabi on April 10 (UFC 112); and after his retake exam on Aug. 28th (UFC 118) in Boston, Mass…. the so-called “Prodigy” failed to make the mark.

As a martial artist and fight fan, I must say that I’ve been highly impressed with Edgar, especially from his decision over Sean Sherk (UFC 98) in 2009.

Last night, I watched in amazement as he did punctuated his position as the lightweight champion by a unanimous verdict of 50-45, 50-45-50-45.  Frankie, like a continuation of his first fight with Penn, kept great movement, and at each turn kept Penn guessing.  He showed he was in top form by taking Penn down to the canvas on multiple attempts – only slipping up once in round 4 when Penn almost got Edgar’s back.  Other than that one moment, I was never worried.  Penn looked like the same fighter that showed up last April, whereas Edgar was well conditioned and had a few more tricks up his sleeve.

Congratulations Frankie, that’s five straight wins, and your first title defense!


Randy Couture vs. James Toney

As on the fight card was Hall of Fame MMA legend Randy “The Natural” Couture versus boxing legend James “Lights Out” Toney.  I had to admit, as a boxing fan, this fight was very interesting to me.  But I had serious doubts that Toney would be able/allowed to through even one “big shot” in this match… and I was right.  Randy wasted no time in teaching Toney what mixed martial arts are all about.  After mounting and slowly side-constricting Toney since the opening seconds of round one, Randy inched in an arm choke that left Toney stretching out for referee intervention.  Sad, but we all know it was coming.  Hopefully no one lost too much money on this fight!  Randy by arm-triangle choke at 3:19 of Round 1.

What would have been much more exciting would be James Toney vs. Kimbo Slice.  What says everyone out there?


Michael Joyce

The Combative Corner

10 Questions With Chris Clodfelter

Posted in 10 Questions, Fighters, Muay Thai with tags , , , , on August 22, 2010 by Combative Corner

(1) How did you know that you wanted to fight competitively?

From the time I watched my first martial arts movie I knew thats what I wanted to do, be a professional Martial Artist.  I was a huge Bruce Lee, Chuck Norris, and Ninja Turtles fan.  I would watch their movies over and over and try to mimic the moves, but it wasnt until I was around 9 or 10 and I saw the movie Enter the Dragon with Bruce Lee that I really thought of growing up to compete in the Martial Arts.

(2) What are some of the fighters/martial artists/coaches that have made an impression on you?

I have had so many teachers and coaches who really inspired me over the years but I would have to say 3 come to mind as having the biggest impact on my life as a Martial Artist.  First was my Jiu Jitsu and striking Coach, Mickey Heath.  I started training with Sensei Heath when i was around 14.  I had already acieved a Black Belt in Amercian Karate, but this was my first taste of Jiu Jitsu and Muay Thai.  After he showed me a leg kick, it changed everything about my stance and style of combat.  I also had my first taste of grappling.  Rolling with the more advanced students and getting beat down over and over was both exciting and The biggest reason he had an impact on me, was that he taught me the true values of Martial Arts.  He taught me discipline and respect for both my competitor and my coaches and important life lessons of humility and perseverance.  The next person who had a tremendous impact on me was my main muay thai coach, Arjan Rick Davis.  Arjan Davis taught me the true culture and essences of Muay Thai.  He showed me the all the details that made the art both effective and deadly and really gave me the tools to become a world champion.  Then final person who has had a huge impact on my growth as a martial artist is Muay Thai Legend, Grandmaster Toddy. Getting a chance to work and train with him was a dream come true and i learned so much about how to really interact with my own students and fighters and how to bring out the best in their performance as well as my own.

(3)  Was there a fight that you’ve been in that, in part or in full, did not go so well?  If so, how do you go about improving your results?

Yes, 2 fights in particular come to mind.  In the first fight I was fighting a very tough wrestler and jiu jitsu stylist in Alabama.  At the start of the fight he caught my first kick and slammed me down on the ground and proceeded to pound my face in over and over, after about 2 minutes of this I was able to wait for the perfect opportunity and catch is arm and lock it in a tight armbar from the guard that forced him to tap and give me the victory.  In that fight I learned that no matter what is going on or how bad it looks there is always a way to win if you take a deep breath, relax, and focus. The second fight was one where it didnt go as good as the  I made a split second mistake in a tough bout and it cost me the whole fight. For a split second I turned to my stomach to try to get to my knees and then to my feet, but my opponent read my moves and sunk in his hooks to rain down punches until the ref stepped in, in that fight I learned that it only takes one split second miscalculation and things can go from great to not so great…lol

(4)  I know that your a man of strong faith.  How does your spirituality play a role in what you do?

It plays a HUGE roll in who I am as a person and as a martial artist and professional fighter.  I am very humbled that God allows me to do what I love for a living and he gives me the breath and the strength to get through each fight and workout, with out him NOTHING is possible.

(5)  What are the biggest problems that you confront when you are preparing for a fight?

Well the biggest problems is juggling my time.  Being a father, teaching my classes, training my fighters, spending time with my girl, and then finding time for training my self can be a full time job in itself.  So scheduling and trying to juggle everything would definately be the toughest part of the preparation.

(6)  What goes through your mind before the ref drops his hand to begin a match?

I relax and let the training take over.  I have a certain game plan that I have worked and prepared for so I try to focus on that but I still leave room for the fight to flow.  You can have a game plan but the fights dont always go as planned, so you definitely have to be flexible.

(7)  As a Traditional Martial Artist, what is your opinion of people entering the sport as a “Mixed Martial Artist?”

I truly would have to say I have mixed emotions.  On one hand the idea of mixed martial arts is amazing, two warriors competing to see who is the better athlete.  That is how I see my fights, when I step into the cage I want to test myself and my style but on the other hand a majority of guys in MMA (especially) the new crop of fighters seem to have no respect and very little ethics.  Just go watch 90% of your local mma shows or old TUF episodes with guys peeing on each other’s pillows and getting in drunk bond fire brawls.

(8)  You begin each match with a ritualistic, Muay Thai movement.  Can you fill our readers in on what that’s about?

That is called the Ram Muay and Wai Kru.  It is the ritualistic dance to honor your instructor, teachers, coaches, and family.  It also serves as a great way to warm up before a match and get your head right.

(9)  Is there a stigma or reputation that people have for you (or your profession) -good or bad- that you’d like to address here (or wish could be changed)?

I would like everyone to know that not all MMA athletes are like the “Junie Browings” of the world.  MMA is a true proving ground for Martial Arts and athletes of all styles, many of the competitors are down to earth and overall nice guys who are very focused and determined to reach a goal.

(10)  Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?

Definitely see the gym growing even more and producing even more champions.  In my personal career I see myself competing for about another 7 years and winning even more world titles and fighting in even more shows.  Competing in the UFC is another goal, I was an alternate on Season 12 of The Ultimate Fighter reality show, so i would like to take the next step and compete for the organization.  I also want to fight more in Thailand, I have my first fight scheduled for Dec. in Bangkok so I am pumped.  Thank you again for taking the time to interview me and for spreading the word about the values of the martial arts.


AGE:  30

STYLE(S): Muay Thai

PROFESSIONAL RECORD: MMA 9 wins 6 losses/ MUAY THAI 7 wins 1 loss

TITLES/TITLES HELD: Current United States Muay Thai Associations Pro MMA Lightweight World Champion and Current Circle of Fury Pro MMA welterweight world champ



Being Proficient In Combat : By: Sifu Lee

Posted in Philosophy with tags , , , , , , , , , , on August 11, 2010 by Sifu Freddie Lee

Ultimately Martial Arts should be for health preservation and spiritualism.  But it is my firm belief that a Marital Artist MUST be proficient in defending himself from a violent encounter.  And with that expectation, it requires very much physical training, technique training, cardio training, strength training, flexibility training, etc.  Basically a true Martial Artist should train like a competition fighter but do not compete.  It’s very easy for a weak inefficient Martial Artist to promote mental and spiritual development over physical development because they have the luxury of skipping a very important aspect that requires years of development.  To me, they are not complete.   In order to be complete and balanced a true Martial Artist must go through hard physical training, become extremely proficient in self defense, and then come to the realization that there is no need to fight.  As mostly all fights occur within the mind between the ego and the true inner spirit.

We must realize the clear distinction between a Martial Artist and a Wise Sage.  For example Lao-Tzu, Buddha, J.Krishnamurti, and Osho are not Martial Artists, they are great spiritual sages.  Mentally and spiritually strong but physically weak.  Now someone like Bruce Lee, is a balanced Martial Artist.  As a disciple one must decide for oneself which path he wishes to partake in.  Does he wish to be a Wise Sage or does he wish to be a Martial Artist who has become a Wise Sage?  A disciple can skip over the physical if he wishes and come to the realization that physical combat training is no longer necessary, but if he does so, then he would no longer be a Martial Artist.  As specifically what sets the difference between a Martial Artist and a Wise Sage is that a Martial Artist has continued to realize the importance of self defense technique development and invests a balanced portion of his time to develop himself in that respect.

Sifu Freddie Lee

[View His Profile]

%d bloggers like this: