The world of martial arts isn’t just about being serious! Martial arts films have alsoRead more
In the world of “sports entertainment”, everyone on the planet has probably heard of the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). While most people are quick to dismiss them as fake fighters, there are some of them that are actually tested in the field of mixed martial arts.
MMA or Mixed Martial Arts is the foremost battleground in competitive fighting. Rather than being used for self-defense, MMA is all about pitting one fighting style against another for sport and competition.
Otherwise known as the “Beast Incarnate” who takes his opponents to “Suplex City”, Brock Lesnar has enjoyed a rather good career in both WWE and MMA. It was said that he left the WWE because he was made of sterner stuff and chose to test his mettle in MMA.
What was interesting is that during his first fight, he lost. However, this taught him a major lesson in humility and hard work. He achieved a good run and returned to WWE triumphant where he held the Universal Championship which wrestler Finn Balor had to give up due to an injury.
WWE fans will be quick to note this particular name. Not only did he enjoy a good run in the WWE, he is a UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) hall of famer. Anyone who has followed MMA will automatically note that this man is one of the biggest reasons why MMA became as popular as it did.
He showed the world shtoofighting and even kickboxing and how it could be utilized effectively in decimating his opponents.
One of the more recent additions to the WWE family, she made quite a splash in 2018 Royal Rumble where there was some criticism about her appearance. It was said that she stole the thunder from the Royal Rumble winner Asuka then was thrown into a rather slapdash feud with Stephanie McMahon.
While she has yet to truly make her mark in the WWE halls of history, there is no denying the star power that this lady has. There is no denying her fighting capabilities either. She is the first ever American woman to ever achieve an Olympic Medal in Judo. You can argue and say it was a bronze one but it is still one heck of an achievement.
MMA and WWE are both physically daunting. It takes a different kind of person to be able to do either—let alone both of those things. We take our hats off to these incredible athletes and thank them for providing the world with more examples of peak physical fitness and mastery of their art.
Who else do you know made the jump from MMA to WWE and vice versa?
In the world of martial arts, any practitioner will tell you that belts actually matter. In any system where there is a hierarchy, it counts to know where you are. Today, let’s explore more about this concept. We believe there is a need to discuss this because we’ve been getting questions regarding the importance of colored belts.
The colored belt system is in place for a reason—several reasons in fact. Here are a few of them:
It is always very important to know that there is a goal and what exactly will tell you that you are closer to that goal. The colored belt system provides a very physical representation of the progress of a student.
Noting the progression is truly important for children who practice martial arts. They need to be able to see that they are getting somewhere in the hobby or practice that takes up so much of their time. The reward center of the brain triggers quite well when the promotion exams are completed successfully.
It isn’t just the children that benefit from having a clear marker of progress. Adults need to see that they are getting somewhere as well. It isn’t just the skills that progresses with each belt. It is also the expected maturity that goes along with it that matters.
The different colors usually represent something in the journey of the student. For example, most beginners will always begin with the color white. This not only represents the fact that they are complete novices. It also represents the fact that they are a clean slate—ready to take on the skills that they are going to learn.
The many different colors of the belts provide a different lesson and meaning in the teachings of the martial art. Different colors mean in different forms of martial arts. It would be beneficial to practitioners to familiarize themselves with the meanings. It will certainly help them better understand the art that they are trying to learn.
Colored belts matter and will continue to matter as long as there are people that continue to pursue martial arts. We think that more people need to verse themselves as to why colored belts are an integral process of learning martial arts. Doing so will better help the community; especially the younger set of practitioners.
Why do you think the colored belt system matters in the world of martial arts?
The world of martial arts isn’t just about being serious! Martial arts films have also been known to be quite humorous. Today, we will be looking at some solid examples of martial arts films that are guaranteed to make you laugh.
Since there is much gravitas that usually accompanies martial arts and how it is featured, it is wholly refreshing to have comedic elements intertwined with it in these following films:
Kung Fu Hustle
This is one of the top tier martial arts comedy films that truly found worldwide success in the box office. Directed, produced, written, and starring the phenomenal Stephen Chow.
It follows the tale of a street urchin who is trying to join a gang by the name of Deadly Axe Gang. The misadventures that follow have moments of pure hilarity. It also really helps that there are some heartwarming parts to the tale.
What we like about this particular film I the fact that it carries traditional Chinese music so the audiences are treated to not just a fun and funny time. They are also treated to the rich culture that Chinese music has to share.
Kung Pao! Enter the Fist
Released in 2002, this wholly American film pokes a bit of fun regarding the Hong Kong made martial arts film of the 70s and 80s. It has the badly dubbed dialogue, the absurd jumps to enter fighting scenes, the odd panning of the cameras, everything.
The story follows the adventures of The Chosen One and his exploits in trying to defeat the main villain, save his love interest, and pretty much save humanity from an unexpected threat. If we’re being vague, that’s only because we don’t want to spoil anything for you.
What we like about this particular film is the fact that it took a whole new jab (at the time) at the genre of martial arts films and how they were—quite frankly—rather ridiculously made in its earlier incarnations.
Shaolin Soccer is actually one of the first comedic marital arts films that Stephen Chow had created, directed, and starred in. This film was released back in 2001 and you could say that this is the one that started the hilarity.
This film follows a Shaolin monk and his brothers in arms as they utilize their martial art skills in order to rejuvenate interest in their art. Of course, they do this by applying it to the most unlikely thing ever: soccer.
What we like about this particular film is the fact that it uses a topic that reaches a wide audience (soccer) and ties in elements of a shared goal.
The films we mentioned above surely gave our funny bones a work out when we watched it again for research! While we advise that you take the “realism” with a grain of salt, some of the martial arts moves that were featured in the films were still grounded in actual fighting styles.
Which funny martial arts film would add to this list if you could?
Never let it be said that cartoons do not provide critical lessons that people of different ages can learn from. In today’s discussion, we wanted to shine a bright light on the critical life lessons that one can pick pup from Avatar the Last Air Bender.
As you may know, NWA Cyberspace is dedicated to the topic of martial arts and if you’re wondering what Avatar the Last Air Bender has to do with that, you would be surprised. Avatar is quite rich in ethnic representation and it also reflects many different martial arts per nation. The world of Avatar features four nations: Fire Nation, Earth Kingdom, Air Temple Nomads, and the North and South Water Tribes. Each of those nations has people who can manipulate the elements their particular nation is tied to.
However, there is one person, the Avatar that is able to wield all four elements and is supposed to maintain the balance between each nation. However, the Fire Nation has declared war on the other nations and it is up to the young Avatar to restore balance. The premise is pretty heavy for a children’s cartoon but it has moments of levity. What it has in abundance are lessons that are picked up along the way as the Avatar strives to learn the other elements. Lessons such as:
While there is a sense of urgency with the different nations becoming more and more fractured because of the Fire Nation, this show teaches its audiences that patience in the face of urgency can mean the difference between success and defeat.
Despite being from different nations or being on different sides of the fight, the show teaching the audience that you can actually empathize with your opponent and that it is not a sign of weakness.
This is one of the driving forces of the banished prince of the Fire Nation. He believed that his honor was taken from him when he was banished by his father. As such he would have said and done anything to reclaim it. Later on, he came to realize that his honor was something that no one can take from you.
One of the best things that Avatar teaches children and adults is that being kind is not a luxury. It is something that can be given to even an enemy and that at times, showing a bit of kindness now will snowball into something greater later on.
The characters of Avatar the Last Air Bender are surely a colorful bunch. Despite the fact that the show ended quite a while ago, it is something that many still go back to in this day and age. Do yourself a favor and watch Avatar the TV series when you can.
If you happen to be a fan, what critical life lesson did you learn from Avatar the Last Air Bender?
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.
Why is Tai Chi Good for Elders?
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%.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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?
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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?