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Martial Arts and Relaxation: Why Tai Chi Is Good For the Elderly

Blog7 - Martial Arts and Relaxation: Why Tai Chi Is Good For the Elderly

In the last ten years or so, there has been a boom in people who practice Tai Chi in parks and other open public places. A majority of them are adults who are entering their autumn years. So this prompted a curiosity in us as to why that is and why Tai Chi is good for the elderly. We hope you enjoy today’s discussion!

What is Tai Chi?

This particular martial art finds its roots in China. It is all about synthesizing the flow of chi or energy in the body. It involves a series of slow and flowing movements. A majority of the practitioners of this particular form of martial art are adults and the elderly.

tai - Martial Arts and Relaxation: Why Tai Chi Is Good For the Elderly

Why is Tai Chi Good for Elders?

Reduces Stress

Just because a majority of those practicing tai chi are retired, this does not mean that their lives are any less stressful. The calming sway and ebb of movements involved in Tai Chi have been known to reduce stress in the elderly by about 46%.

Improves Balance

One of the main concerns of health practitioners is the fact that the elderly are often at risk for falling. Balance tends to go away when your legs aren’t as steady as they used to be. Those that practice tai chi will be exposed to motions that help improve their balance and strengthen their leg muscles.

A lot of tai chi involves staying still on your legs while your arms do a variety of motions. Eventually, the legs will have to incorporate the movement but they are carefully planned and carefully executed.

tai2 - Martial Arts and Relaxation: Why Tai Chi Is Good For the Elderly

Good Exercise

Do not let the gentle movements fool you in any way. While Tai Chi is not as physically demanding as other forms of martial arts, it still will make you exert effort. Tai Chi falls under aerobics and even good cardio.

Conclusion

Tai Chi has a lot of good benefits for those that practice it—no matter what their age is. One of the reasons why Tai Chi is so popular with the elders is that it is that set of practitioners that really get to maximize the benefits at their late age. Exercise is truly important when you are an elderly person and we think it is great that tai chi can help elders to achieve healthier lifestyles.

What other reasons do you think exists as to why it is good for the elderly?

For the Strikers: Why Does Muay Thai Continue to Be So Popular?

Blog6 - For the Strikers: Why Does Muay Thai Continue to Be So Popular?

The nation of Thailand is one that has a very deep sense of sense and culture. What most people (and us, incidentally) find so fascinating about Thailand is the fact that this is the birthplace of Muay Thai. For those who aren’t familiar with the concept of Muay Thai, it is a martial art which utilizes sharp strikes using fists, forewarms, elbows, knees, and shins.

In the world of popular culture, the character of Sagat in Street Fighter utilizes this particular style. Muay Thai is a very popular form of martial art and is greatly used in the world of competitive Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). Since there is no denying the fact that it is enjoying massive popularity, we couldn’t help but wonder why. In our exploration, we’ve found a few good reasons why:

Most anyone can do it

Muay Thai is one of the best martial arts to choose regardless of your body type. While there are some that say that Muay Thai is for tall people, we beg them to remember that this originated in Asia where the average height rarely goes above 5’11 feet.

thai - For the Strikers: Why Does Muay Thai Continue to Be So Popular?

Muay Thai is all about the eight strike points: two hands, two elbows, two knees, and two shins. That is what you need to join this martial art and since most people have these naturally, they can join the art form with very little trouble.

It is physically demanding

For those who have tried various dieting or fitness regimes but can’t seem to make it stick, Muay Thai is a good choice. As it requires repetitive strikes to build up the striking power, it is quite physically demanding and will work out the whole of the body.

Physical exertion is a great way to release stress and lose some pounds in the process.

Effective form of defense

The world has always seemed a little bit more terrifying lately—especially for women. Muay Thai offers basic striking moves that are effective self-defense moves. More and more people are utilizing the basic move set of this martial art because of its efficacy in keeping the practitioner safe.

Conclusion

Muay Thai is a martial art that spread like wildfire all over the world for a reason. We believe that it will continue to grow in popularity as the years go by. As long as there are people who are in need of protection or an extra boost in their health, Muay Thai will always have people interested in it. We recomended this dobok.

Why do you think Muay Thai is so popular?

Silver Screen Darlings: Martial Artists That Enjoyed Success in Hollywood

Blog5 - Silver Screen Darlings: Martial Artists That Enjoyed Success in Hollywood

We have mentioned before about the fact that martial arts and their practitioners are heavily featured in our popular culture.  Today, we wanted to take a look at those who have enjoyed significant success in Hollywood.

Jackie Chan

This martial artist is notorious for doing his own dangerous stunts. It’s gotten so bad that it is rumored that no sane insurance company will want to offer him a policy. He practices Chinese martial arts, Hapkido, and even Taekwondo. In some of his films, he showcases Judo and even Jeet Kune Do.

jackie - Silver Screen Darlings: Martial Artists That Enjoyed Success in Hollywood

He’s had massive successes in his Asia but it was his crossover to Hollywood that made him a legitimate international sensation. His movies include Rush Hour, Shanghai Noon, and even a remake of The Karate Kid

Jet Li

Anyone who enjoyed movies will have either seen or heard of The One. A wholly unique take on how amazing Jet Li is as an actor and a fighter as he played both main characters. Jet Li practices Chinese Martial Arts, Baguazhang, and Wushu.

These were evident in his films Romeo Must Die, Kiss of the Dragon, Unleashed, Cradle 2 the Grave, and in The Expendibles franchise. One of the reasons why Jet Li was so endearing was the fact that he was not taking the ‘unassuming’ character route that Jackie Chan did with his persona.

Bruce Lee

Of course, if we were making an article about well-known Hollywood martial artists, Bruce Lee would have to be in it. Arguably one of the more famous people to have graced the world, Bruce Lee opened up the gateway for other martial artists to be commercial successes in their own right.

bruce - Silver Screen Darlings: Martial Artists That Enjoyed Success in Hollywood

While Bruce Lee started as an extra and an eventual minor character, he captivated the world with his charisma and his utilization of Jeet Kune Do, Wing Chun, and Chinese martial arts. His films include Fist of Fear: Touch of Death, Enter the Dragon, and The Game of Death. It is highly unfortunate that he passed on while still in the prime of his life.

Conclusion

We can actually say that it is thanks to these individuals that the spark of interest keeps getting ignited for the newer generations. These particular martial artists are special because their actions are forever secured in the films that they have created. If there was ever a person who wanted to explore the world of someone who could practice martial arts, they will have a lot of options to pursue.

What other martial artist would say enjoyed Hollywood success?

Top 5 Video Games That Heavily Feature Martial Arts

Blog4 - Top 5 Video Games That Heavily Feature Martial Arts

Martial Arts have long had a hand in building childhoods in more ways than one. For anyone who is a fan of video games, they will be the first to tell you about the fact that there are so many video games out there that heavily feature martial arts. It only makes sense, doesn’t it; given the fact that martial arts can be used for fighting if required by the practitioner.

With that in mind, we posed the question for those in our writing team that played video games. Which video games did they believe heavily featured martial arts? After all, they can’t all be ranked the same since some will be able to give martial arts justice more than others. That said, we would like to share our Top 5 games:

#5: Dead or Alive

While there has been massive controversy about this particular game series because of the gratuitous exposure of the female fighters in various states of undress or poses, one should not discount this. Dead or Alive is one of the pioneer versus games that was on the very first Playstation.

dead - Top 5 Video Games That Heavily Feature Martial Arts

This game series focused heavily on hand to hand combat. While there were some the veered into the realm of impossibility, there were others that still had martial arts at its core.

#4: Dynasty Warriors

While this game is of the hack and slash genre, it still heavily features martial arts. Martial arts does transcend past hand to hand combat. There are martial arts that are weapon based. There would be kenjutsu which is heavily focused on sparring. There would also be Aikido which has been known to use the staff.

This particular game follows the selected warrior as they utilize their weapon against massive armies.

#3: The King of Fighters

kof - Top 5 Video Games That Heavily Feature Martial Arts

Another one of the older genres of fighting games! King of Fighters introduced some pretty popular video game characters like Mai Shiranui. We placed this game into the list because we believe that this game helped to cast a wide net for the concept of martial arts. While the fighting styles in the game might be fictitious, they had real world styles at their core.

#2: Tekken

This continues to be one of the more popular games that have reached worldwide fame. Tekken while a hand to hand fighting game, boasts the fact that the move set of their characters are primarily based on real world fighting styles.

Karate, Kenpo, Aikido, Capoeira, and so many more are all carried by their characters.

#1: Street Fighter

streetfighter - Top 5 Video Games That Heavily Feature Martial Arts

Of course, our number one pick is the one that started it all. The Street Fighter series introduced the world to the idea of fighting games. The main characters of Ken and Ryu both use a style that is very reminiscent of karate. The character of Sagat was centered on Muay Thai which also represented the country he was from.

Conclusion

Mind you, the picks we have are chosen because of our own set of preferences. So you are more than welcome to build your own top 5 list of martial arts video games. In any case, one of the reasons why martial arts remains alive and well in the consciousness of newer generations is the fact that video games like the ones we listed above exist.

What video games would you add to this list if you could?

One for the Kids: Four Benefits that Martial Arts Have for Children

Blog3 - One for the Kids: Four Benefits that Martial Arts Have for Children

There is no understating the fact that there is much to be gained from being a practitioner of martial arts. Today, we’ll be looking at the major benefits that martial arts have for children. As you may know, martial arts have always been a wholly physical activity. While there are a lot of misgivings about having children practice martial arts, we believe that there is a lot to be gained for them.

Here are four examples of these benefits:

Getting Exercise

It is no secret that a majority of our youth face a massive obesity epidemic. This is due to the fact that gadgets and social media are more their cup of tea as of late. It is not entirely their fault—it is, after all, the parents that put those gadgets into the hands of the youth.

kids1 - One for the Kids: Four Benefits that Martial Arts Have for Children

Joining a martial arts school gives any child the chance to exert themselves in a wholly positive and safe way. There is no secret in the fact that martial arts can be physically demanding; regardless of the school or mastery that you choose to pursue.

Instilling Discipline

Anyone who has ever pursued martial arts will tell you that one of the biggest things that they will teach you is discipline. Children can be rather impetuous and stubborn. Learning discipline from an early age can help them steer away from bad decisions.

Gaining Friends

One of the biggest problems about crossing the threshold into adulthood is that we tend to forget how difficult it was to try to find friends or how terribly real peer pressure was. With children, it would be important to be very mindful of who we expose them to.

kids2 - One for the Kids: Four Benefits that Martial Arts Have for Children

Martial arts schools do come with some rivalries but they are carefully noted by the teachers of the school or dojo. Friends made in martial arts schools carry the same teachings and the same values which can lead to more positive friendships in the future.

Learning Respect

One of the biggest worries that parents have in general is how children are mostly losing touch with the concept of respect.

In a martial arts school, respect is one of the strongest backbones that they nurture. It is ingrained in every single lecture. As martial arts helps provide a connection to the past, it is important that there is respect between each member of the school from the teachers to the students themselves.

Conclusion

Martial Arts shouldn’t just something that should be practiced when one is looking to defend one’s self. There are a plethora of other reasons why martial arts would be worth pursuing—especially when children are involved. Going through the different benefits we’ve mentioned above, what other benefits could you think of that children could gain from Martial Arts?

International Heroes: Our Personal Picks for Martial Arts Excellence

Blog2 - International Heroes: Our Personal Picks for Martial Arts Excellence

In the world of Martial Arts, there are those whose names truly stand head and shoulders above the rest. There are those that are favored above all else and we have our own personal picks. This discourse was borne out of a question that was sent to us a couple of weeks ago. Someone had phoned in a question asking who we admired most for their martial arts excellence.

We went around asking our writers for who they thought were exceptional in their achievements in the world of martial arts. As it turns out, a majority of us carried the same thoughts and the same people in mind. With that said, we would like to share with you some people that we firmly believe truly elevated martial arts as a whole while they were in pursuit of their own goals.

Esai Maeda

This person was known by another name: Conde Koma. It was this person that introduced the art of Judo or Japanese Jiu-Jitsu to a family in Brazil in 1914. This family is the Gracie Family. If you aren’t familiar with them, they are the family that went on to establish a dojo or school that is solely responsible for some of the best fighters that MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) has seen in this century.

Yip Man

Yip Man Class - International Heroes: Our Personal Picks for Martial Arts Excellence

More commonly known as Ip Man, this person has dominated the consciousness of a majority of fans and non-fans of martial arts. Thanks to a few movies starring Donnie Yen (also an incredible martial artist) a majority of people now truly appreciate what this person has done to contribute to the popularity of Wing Chun and how he helped Bruce Lee achieve his own specialized set of skills.

Conclusion

We understand that there are more but these two individuals are the ones that truly stand out in our esteem. What we look forward to is finding more people that will truly stand out in the field of martial arts.

Who do you hold at a high esteem in the world of martial arts?

Starting It Right: What is Martial Arts?

Blog1 - Starting It Right: What is Martial Arts?

There has always been something rather appealing at the idea that you can defend yourself with simply a few good punches or well-placed kicks. However, is that all that martial arts is all about?

What Exactly Is Martial Arts?

For beginners and those who are have a passing inclination toward martial arts, it can be described as the flashy sect or ability where people turn their bodies into actual weapons that can either be used to hurt or protect. While that can be a description or definition that many can get behind, it is a rather limited point of view.

Martial Arts would be, first and foremost, a discipline that is the culmination of traditions, practices, and skills that are primarily stemmed from the desire for self-defense. While a majority of the more well-known martial arts are known to stem from Japan, there are a lot of different forms of martial arts that are tied to the cultures of different nations all over the world.

martial - Starting It Right: What is Martial Arts?

What is interesting about Martial Arts is that at its very core, it is supposed to be about self-defense—it just so happened that a majority of it has been used competitively and even as a form of aggression (as present in its representation in movies, TV, and various forms of media).

Beyond having the capability to protect yourself when it comes down to it, martial arts continues to have a huge following worldwide because of what you can obtain from it. Those that practice martial arts are able to retain healthy lifestyles—something that the elderly set and young children would be able to truly benefit from.

Conclusion

Martial Arts continue to be the source of pride for several individuals and for very good reason. Martial Arts provides not only a way for people to protect themselves and stay healthy at the same time; martial arts also provides a deep connection between the generations that have passed to those that live on today. It is those teachings and traditions that make the culture truly rich.

On a personal standpoint, what do Martial Arts mean to you?