Showing posts with label training. Show all posts
Showing posts with label training. Show all posts

August 12, 2014

Dit Da Jow - Healing Bruises & Contusions with Traditional Chinese Liniments

Traditional Dit Da Jow / Tieh Da Jiu, often translated as either "Fall - Hit Liniment" or "Iron Strike Liniment," is a traditional Chinese herbal remedy used to help heal contusions, bruises, sore joints etc.  Because of the nature of the liniment it became synonymous with martial art schools and groups, and over time each family developed their own specific recipe for both the herb content as well as the methodology in which it was brewed.

In general the herbs help to facilitate blood flow and the movement of lymph through the injury.  Some recipes (such as the one I offer) bring lots of heat to the injured area.  These elements combined help to speed along recovery and shorten the injury time.

My experience with Chinese medicine is limited to the many amazing healers I have met in New Mexico, and the 500 or so hours I took at Natural Therapeutic School that covered general principles and theory.  I have studied some Tui Na (Chinese massage) and have been taught many various things from my friends in NM that were DOM's, but I cannot say I can prescribe anything so the following should be read with common sense and the knowledge that I am just some schmuck babbling on a blog that you happened across one lazy Tuesday afternoon.

My introduction to jow and its usage came via the Chinese martial arts and my first CMA teacher Dug Corpolongo in the Burque, NM.  Dug has an eclectic approach to the arts and it was via him that not only did I learn the basics of CMA, but also I owe a debt of gratitude for influence on me spiritually in regards to my future in Chinese Philosophy and Religion at university.  Dug knows a fair amount about herbs and massage and he was kind enough to impart his knowledge and info onto me through the years.  His friends Kurt Saenz and Phil Romero also shared their knowledge of traditional Chinese healing methods learned in guan's across Asia.  Many martial artists were also healers of one sort or another, so the knowledge of how to hurt and heal is not as cliche as one would sometimes assume!  Kurt and Phil learned from their respective masters Augustine Fong and Hawkins Cheung respectively.

The list grows for me in New Mexico as I was very tied into the CMA community which was small and many students were also students at the various acupuncture and healing schools (we had up to 6 at one time in a 120 mile radius around Albuquerque!!).  So jow recipes and talk got thrown around quite a bit, and quite frankly none of them were bad, but nothing to get excited about.

Then I met Mike Biggie via Steve Cottrell one day while competing at Tony Yangs Wu Tan Invitational in Akron, OH.  As a gift Mike gave me a bottle of his latest batch of jow and it was amazing!  I had some serious bruises from getting hit on my ribs and his jow healed it up within 3 days!

Now for those of you whom are unfamiliar with Mike Biggie, well you really have not studied your North American CMA history because he has been here since the early 70's.  Known for his devastating Choy Li Fut, Mike's mistress is Northern Mantis.  Namely HK Seven Star!  As a "hobby" Mike has studied Chinese herbs, only Chinese herbs, for as long as he has trained CMA.  He has no degree.  He does not treat people.  But he has collected recipes, studied the various qualities of combining herbs, and treating various ailments of his own for over three decades!  To say he knows a thing or two is quite the understatement.
Luckily Mike and I are basically from the same stock and hit it off quite well.  As a matter of fact he is one of the few "old timers" I stay in touch with.  And it is through him that I get my herbs for the recipe I have (story for another time about the recipe I have from the mid 1800's).  I also learned Iron Palm technique from him, and he has taught me a lot about liniments, jows and herbs as well.

This liniment is perfect for anyone who does any kind of contact sport!  I have had friends use it on their kids bruises from soccer and football.  My mother used it for arthritis.  I use it in recovery from serious injuries.

I just found a batch that was prepared in the fall of 2004, and has been untouched since.  It is some of the best jow I have ever come across and I am getting rid of the last little batch I have.  Limited amounts are available so email me if you are interested: [email protected]

4oz Bottles $40 + S&H

8oz Bottles $75 + S&H

Again email me if interested: [email protected]

Train Hard, Train Smart!

April 12, 2014

NWJJA: The Best Training Period

Hands down the best training crew one could ask for.  From L-R: Shadow / Eric "The Dark Mountain" Montenegro / Brian "Mr. BJJ" Johnson (our fearless leader) / The Best Looking Wrist Locking Expert This Side of the Mississippi / Denise Holcomb (Brian's first black belt) / Justin Guyer.

If you are in the Pacific NW and are NOT training at NW Jiu Jitsu Academy, then stop by and experience the difference.  Quite simply accept no substitutes! 

January 26, 2010

Great Article on Progress In BJJ

Though geared towards BJJ, Cane Prevost's latest entry on his blog is an excellent post, and one that all of us deal with at some point in our careers on the mat... measuring progress.

In the Chinese Martial Arts (CMA) their is traditionally no rank structure set up. Some schools have borrowed from Judo's lead with colored belts, or sashes. Some teachers used the disciple method to offer rank, or announce a certain students level. Basically a teacher asks you to become a disciple of his. Some teachers have dozens of disciples whose responsibilities and roles change teacher to teacher. Other instructors such as my Mantis teacher Hu Xi Lin only takes on a few disciples, and is very selective about whom he lets that close.

Tournaments are certainly another method in which to measure progress, but like Cane states... not always the most accurate method. Though I think competition at some level is crucial for promotion, as it forces one to face certain fears and facts, and I truly believe one has not clue how he will react until put under at least that minimal amount of pressure!

For me, I try to look and see if I am improving from the last time I was on the mat. Ultimately this forces me to be honest with myself (sometimes too honest), and to face the issues I need to face in order to patch the holes I need to, to improve my game. Are you better than last night? 6 months ago?

Though we train in groups of various sizes, the martial arts are ultimately a very personal journey with each one of us bringing our baggage (good & bad) on the mat with us each night. The ego is a funny, very powerful energy that is ever present in our lives and it can have amazing influence on our very core primal being!

For some of us training represents a method, a natural forging process where we put our ego to the flame and pound it, reshape it, crack it, pressure it, punish it until it screams, to the point where we collapse our ego and simply accept the realities of the mat! Like Cane states in his article "The mat doesn't lie." We can fool ourselves all we want, but in the end resistance is futile. We are our own worst enemy and our ego is the sword in which we impale ourselves!

Train Hard. Train Smart.

April 3, 2009

Leave Your Ego at the Door

Some of you may have seen this before, but I find it invaluable to re-read every week. For ego is our biggest enemy and can make or break the best of any man or woman! I see so much ego in the martial arts, and many people neglecting some of the most obviously sound principles that martial arts training supposedly conveys; humbleness - discipline - respect - camaraderie - and the elimination of the ego.

Give this a read and meditate upon it. I think you will find it to be valuable, and you will be a better student, partner, and martial artist. This was written by a grappler, so for those of you who do not grapple just substitute whatever art you practice in lieu of "grappling!"



Leave Your Ego at The Door
Author: Jason Scully

It’s very important that you make sure you check your ego at the door from your first day grappling. If you don’t control your ego, you may not realize it, but it’ll slow down your learning progress and improvement substantially.

Here are some things that you may experience if you don’t learn how to control your ego.

* You’ll get frustrated and angry. Many times this happens with people who feel they should “already” do well in grappling and not get submitted or controlled. If that were the case then you wouldn’t need to take any classes.

* You’ll think you’re not learning anything because every time your ego gets in the way you’ll get frustrated, lose focus, and not pick up what is being taught as well.

* You won’t enjoy your training. The more you get mad at yourself or your partners due to your ego, the less and less you’ll have fun training. This usually leads to individuals quitting something they may have really enjoyed and benefited from in the future.

* You’ll get injured. Having an ego is one of the most common ways to get injured. Why is that, you may ask? This is because you’re stubborn. You refuse to tap and you don’t want to accept a “loss” in training. This type of thinking is very chaotic and will lead to
injuries very fast.

* You’ll injure you’re training partners. The same goes for you injuring your training partners. The worst-case scenario you can have, is two people grappling together who don’t have their egos in check. This is a disaster waiting to happen. One person may refuse to tap,
while the other may refuse to release a submission that they know they have applied correctly. What’s the result? An injured training partner whether it’s you or the other person.

* You’re training partners may not want to train with you. People who have egos on the mat are usually the ones that most grappling members avoid. The reason for this is because they don’t want to get injured or deal with rolling in a competitive manner when they just want to
get some good relaxed training in for the day.

There are many ways that you can control your ego and enjoy your training from the beginning. The sooner you do, the better off you’ll be.

Ways you can control your ego are:
* Accept that you will get submitted. It’s going to happen. If you don’t ever get submitted then you probably don’t need to train in grappling. You’re already good. The chances of this really happening are slim to none, but that would be the case. Know that you will get
submitted eventually and do the best you can to learn from it and try to ensure that you will make it much harder for your training partner to get you again in the same thing. This way you’ll actually be learning.

* Make sure you tap to avoid injury. The other end of the spectrum is actually tapping when someone has a submission sunk in correctly. Not tapping only leads to you getting injured or you possibly looking silly because you are left unconscious in front of everyone. Just tap
if they have it, and improve from there.

* Accept that there are people who are better then you. Once again if there aren’t people who are better then you when you first start grappling, you either need to find another gym to train at or you’re a special type of person who already is good at grappling (probably not
going to happen though). The sooner you realize that many of your training partners have put the time in and have more technical knowledge then you, the quicker you’ll improve and will be able to feed off of the knowledge they can provide.

* Accept that if you are new you won’t know anything about grappling and the more you train, the more you’ll learn. Most new students start with a clean slate. The more you train and the less you have an ego the quicker you’ll fill up your database of techniques and your grappling will improve every training session.

* Don’t get mad or frustrated. This will only hold you back and decrease your learning rate. The more you get frustrated the less time you will actually spend on learning. You are focusing more on being upset that you “lost” then actually being excited that you have something to learn and improve upon. You have many more days to train in the future, so try not to spend any of those training session aggravated with yourself or your partner because it’ll only end up making that current training session a waste.

* Take every situation as a learning experience because that’s just what it is. When an instructor show’s you a move or concept, learn from it. When you get submitted learn from it. When you submit someone, learn from it. When you escape, learn from it. When you compete, learn from it.

* Don’t be vengeful. Just because someone got the best of you or tapped you doesn’t mean that you have to get revenge on them. Training isn’t a competition or a battle; it’s a learning tool.

* Don’t sulk. Don’t go home with your head down and upset that you didn’t do well or you got tapped out. Sulking isn’t a healthy attitude. It doesn’t lead to anything good or productive. There isn’t any need to feel down about your training and then bring it home with
you. Training is supposed to be fun and a stress reliever. You shouldn’t feel any pressure when you train. You shouldn’t feel nervous when you train. You should be excited about going to class because you know you’re going to get a great workout, learn some great things, and
have fun. Regardless of how you performed in class, know that you still did something and still got something out of it in some way.

* Don’t repeat your actions. If you keep doing the same thing over and over again, chances are you’re going to experience the same result. If you keep experiencing the same result then it’s going to lead to the ego kicking in and then frustration and anger begins. Try your best to
change your actions. That way you can experience different things related to the same situation. By doing that, you’ll eventually figure out an answer to the problem and then you’re well on your way to improving your grappling.

The benefits of training in an ego-free manner are:

* It’ll keep you from getting injured.
* You’ll learn much faster.
* You’ll have training partners that will like training with you.
* You’ll ensure that you train in a safe and comfortable environment.
* People will be comfortable asking you questions and answering your questions.
* You’ll want to train more and you’re instructor will be even more willing to help you.

As you can see from reading this section, it doesn't pay to have an ego in grappling. Having an ego will only lead to negative effects in the long run and will hinder both your learning and it will crush the positive experiences you can gain from participating in grappling. Remember to have fun, relax your shoulders, and be calm when training. Everyone including yourself will benefit from it.