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Insights and Training Tips from Tactical Arts

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Insights from the Tactical Arts Academy

Why not just punch him in the face?

Why not just punch him in the face?
You may feel like punching him will solve the problem, but it could end up killing you.   In our self defense systems, we avoid punching for two reasons. One reason is that it is really easy to break your hand by punching someone.   It is pretty common for boxers to break their hands, even when they are wearing gloves and have been trained to punch properly.  You are likely to hurt your hand or wrist if you punch someone without any hand protection.   Most people focus on training to punch the head, especially the face.  The problem is the human skull is really hard.  While punching a softer part of the body may be ok, the head is problematic.  If you break your hand, you may not be able to strike again, control your attacker, hold a weapon or pull a trig...
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Mobility - Oblique Side Smash

Mobility - Oblique Side Smash
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This exercise will help reduce low back pain while improving lateral extension and rotation. IMPROVES: Trunk rotation, lateral extension EXERCISE: 1. Lay on a foam roller positioned below your ribcage and above your hipbone.   2. Roll your side, twisting your torso over the roller.  Smash your high glute,  quadratus lumborum ( QL ) and oblique.    3. For a more intense rolling session, extend your arm further overhead to stretch the tissue while rolling. Use this mobility exercise to take care of your back.  Mobilizing this area will give slack to your other problem areas. Kelly Starret recommends using a rumble roller, but a lacrosse ball or other tool that allows you to dig into the tissue will work. Credit: Becoming a Supple Leopard , Kelly Starrett Mobilit...
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Training the Transition - Connecting the Dots in your Training

Training the Transition - Connecting the Dots in your Training
Are you training the transition?  If not, the expression "change or die" may have a more real and immediate meaning to you. What I mean by transition, is the transition from one technique or tactic to another. Though a curriculum may contain many great techniques, it may not include a training approach that specifically prepares the student to switch to another technique when one fails or is inaccessible because of position, injury or environmental conditions. When I started teaching law enforcement personnel in the mid 90's with Erwin Ballarta, I saw a huge disconnect between empty hands and firearms training.  This was actually true in law enforcement as well as in the firearms community of private citizens.  Though there has been some improvement over the years, it is sti...
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Refreshing your Muscle Memory - Wasted Warmups and Specificity

Refreshing your Muscle Memory - Wasted Warmups and Specificity
If you aren't tailoring your warmups to match the mechanics of application and technique you may be wasting an opportunity to make more progress in less time.   Whether you are teaching a class or just preparing for your own training there is a lot more you can do with a warmup than just touching your toes and doing a few lame jumping jacks.   A good warmup will increase the heart rate, speed blood flow, increase the respiration rate, raise muscle temperature, and stimulate fluids to lubricate the joints.  It should start with simple, multi-joint movements that do not require much coordination.  The intensity should start low and gradually increase.  You will know that your warmup is working when your students start sweating.  I usually start my classes with f...
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Training for Success with the Four Walls

Training for Success with the Four Walls
Recently, our level 1 Pekiti Tirsia students have been working on the Four Walls method (a.k.a Quatro Cantos and Apat na Paligid). Progress is good so far, but the key will be in their understanding. We started the training with basic coordination and body mechanics. We then developed timing and proprioception through repetition of the entries. We added combinations to the entries and developed more dynamic movement - removing hesitation and artificial pauses. Once the coordination was right, we added reaction training to embed the skills in the student. I have found that though very simple, the Four Walls techniques are often misunderstood. The misunderstanding often lies in the perception of how the technique will be applied. If you want to be successful, you must really understand the t...
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