The Martial Life

Learning how to BE a martial artist.

Archive for August, 2008

Something you don’t hear often, I apologize.

Posted by Kevin Smith on August 27, 2008

Hi everyone, the first thing I want to do is apologize for not being able to write lately. I have been extremely busy the past week and a half. In today’s “modern” society, it is almost unheard of to apologize. But I do every time I am wrong (which is a lot) or even just to ease someone elses pain.

I am going to start writing on this blog at least 2-3 times per week. Hopefully in the near future I can write every day. I have a lot to say and not that much time to do it, so I will keep these posts short for your convienence and mine. The next post will be coming tomorrow.

Kevin B. Smith


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Brazilian Jiujitsu vs. The World

Posted by Kevin Smith on August 18, 2008

I have been asked many times lately if Brazilian Jiujitsu is the best self-defense system in the world? Well here is my answer. No. Now don’t get me wrong BJJ is great, But if you are wanting to learn something for real life effectiveness than it is not necessarily the way to go. In a real fight you do not want to be on the ground. The person might have friend who will stomp on you, or a weapon might come out, ect. In my experience 4 things usually happen in a real life confrontation.

1. The fight is with Multiple Attackers not just one person.

2. The fight involves a weapon or multiple weapons.

3. The fight hits the ground.

4. A combination of the above.

BJJ is meant for one on one no weapon fights. In the real world this does not happen much. In fact, I have not seen a 1 on 1 fist fight since I was in school. A real martial art must address everything I have put here from a very scientific point of view. Not a “do this cause it worked for some guy 2000 years ago” type art. So when you are looking for a martial arts school from a self-defense stand point, make sure you consider this.

Kevin B. Smith

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I have a secret for you, it’s called sprinting.

Posted by Kevin Smith on August 13, 2008

While Running is a great activity to aid in fat loss, it has one drawback, it only speeds your up your metabolism while running and for a short period afterwards. If you would like your metabolism to fly at the speed of light 24 hours a day, I have a secret for you. It’s called sprinting. Sprinting not only burns HUGE amounts of calories while sprinting, it also keeps your metabolism flying for days after. Sprinting combined with running / jogging can bring amazing results, especially when combined with a clean and healthy diet!

Benefits to sprinting

Sprinting is an amazing exercise period. It is a great tool to help in fat loss, kill stress as well as increasing your metabolic rate for days. On top of all this, sprinting is a great exercise for your hamstrings and can help sculpt and tone those muscles you would kill to have.

How far should I sprint?

I recommend doing 50m-100m sprints to start out. I recommend finding a 400m track and sprint for 50-100m, then walk at a brisk pace double what you just ran. I suggest doing upwards of 10 sprints per session. Beginners should probably cut that in half and work their way up to doing progressively more sprints.

How many days a week should I be sprinting?

I suggest spreading your sprinting out evenly and doing it two times a week. I typically do mine on Mondays and Thursdays. It is imperative you leave enough time for recovery between each day as your muscles will need time to grow and heal. Not only will spreading it out help you recover faster it will also keep your metabolism peaked more evenly and prolong the effect.

Sprinting Mechanics

No two athletes run exactly the same; however sprinting mechanics should remain the same for all athletes. This article examines how to identify and troubleshoot flaws in mechanics and offers correct technique suggestions for the six major areas of sprinting mechanics.

Arm Action

sprintsIf the athlete runs with tense arms, have them practice loose, swinging movements from a standing position. Remember to have them swing from the shoulder and keep the arms relaxed and at approximately 90° of flexion at all times. Although the arms work in opposite direction to the legs, they must be coordinated with the action of the legs for maximum sprinting efficiency.

Body Lean

The athlete’s body should have a slight forward lean (no more than 4-6°). It is important to note that the angle of lean comes from the ground and not from the waist. The lean is caused by displacing the athlete’s center of gravity in the direction they are running and leaning and bending from the waist will interfere with the correct mechanics of sprinting.

Foot Contact

DO NOT RUN UP ON YOUR TOES!!! The toes offer no power or stability to the runner and if they run on their toes, they will not be able to run fast. Instead, have them stay on the balls of their feet and push against the ground, but don’t reach and pull toward the ground; this strategy will result in injuries and poor sprinting mechanics and slow times.


This is the worst and most often misunderstood element of sprinting. Don’t have them reach and overstride to increase stride length, but rather have them push against the ground and let the foot land underneath the center of gravity. Any placement of the foot in front of the center of gravity will cause “braking forces” that will result in the body slowing down.


Try to prevent being too quick because too much turnover will cause the athlete to run fast in one place and not much ground will be covered. Remember that quality sprint speed is a combination of stride length and stride frequency and one does not replace the other.


Don’t try to power through a race or sprint effort. To run fast, stay relaxed, running tight will result in slower times.
Kevin Smith

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Posted by Kevin Smith on August 10, 2008

Hey Everyone, I hope this will be a great Blog for all Martial Artists. My goal here is to present the full life of a martial artist. Not just the martial arts themselves. I will talk about topics such as Philosophy (concerning the martial arts and life in general), Fitness, Nutrition, Meditation and even spiritual practice. I will also be reviewing products, videos, and anything else that can help you on your journey as well. I really hope that you all get a lot out of this

If anyone has a question, comment, or concern, please email me directly and I will respond. If I think it is a great question, then I will also post it on this blog.

Until then
Kevin B. Smith

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