Martial Arts Round-Up – Mar 18, 2011

By Sensei Serge Sognonvi and Carmen Sognonvi
Originally published at

Here’s a round-up of the best martial arts-related news stories and blog posts that we came across this week.

How Do Your Assumptions Hold You Back?
When it comes to self-defense, one of the most dangerous things you can do is hold false assumptions about martial arts styles, or about your own physical capabilities. In this post, jiu-jitsu instructor Lori O’Connell explains why we must “be willing to challenge our assumptions and accept that reality can unfold very differently from what we expect, regardless of what we’ve trained in, learned, or experienced.”

What Should I Be Focusing On? A Karate Dilemma
Karate blogger Jesse Enkamp responds to a reader who wrote in asking what aspect of karate training he should focus on the most. Enkamp’s advice? “Keep focusing on everything; if you want to become a true expert you can’t cherry pick anyway.” There are peaks and valleys in training, and sometimes pushing through periods where progress seems slow is what sets one martial arts student apart from another.

Deadlift! Deadlift! Deadlift!
If he had to choose only one exercise to do, MMA strength and conditioning coach Rob DeCillis would choose the deadlift. Why? Because it strengthens everything from your glutes to your grip, and if you do it right, it can reduce the risk of injury. DeCillis also shares a couple videos that can help improve your deadlift technique.

Suggesting an Attitude
Martial arts author Phillip Starr shares a story that demonstrates the power of the mind. He convinced his student that a simple pine board was made of an unbreakable material. His student should have easily broken the board, but couldn’t because he was held back by his beliefs: “The wrong word(s) at the wrong time can have dramatic and even disastrous effects.”

Take Up More Space
“Have you ever seen someone demonstrate kata and seem larger than life regardless of their physical size? They take up space with their presence.” Martial arts instructor and blogger Michele shares that and 3 other tips on how taking up more space can benefit your martial arts training.