20 Awesome Martial Arts Quotes

I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times - Bruce Lee (you might recognise that one from our website)

Cry in the dojo, laugh on the battlefield - author unknown

Champions aren't made in gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them - a desire, a dream, a vision. They have to have the skill, and the will. But the will must be stronger than the skill - Muhammad Ali

It's not whether you get knocked down, it's whether you get up - Vince Lombardi

Remember...you're expressing the technique, not doing the technique - Bruce Lee

Five Secrets of Japanese Goju Ryu: Move quickly, sound calm mind, be light in body, have a clever mind and master the basics - Gogen Yamaguchi

An unwillingness to deal forcibly with violence does not equate to moral rectitude - Mary Malmros

1-2 out of every 100 students reach Black Belt and of those only 1 out of every 1,000 achieves his 2nd Dan - Masutatsu Oyama (Sensei Jim at Ultimate Kickboxing is a 3rd Dan)

It's not just self defence, it's about self control, body discipline, and mind discipline and breath techniques. It involves yoga. It involves mediatation. It's an art, not a sport - Elvis Presley

A black belt is nothing more than a belt that goes around your waist. Being a black belt is a state of mind and attitude - Rick English

To win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the highest skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the highest skill - Sun-Tsu

The ultimate aim of Karate lies not in victory or defeat but in the perfection of the character of its participants - Gichin Funakoshi

You may train for a long time, but if you merely move your hands and feet and jump up and down like a puppet, learning Karate is not very diffferent from learning a dance. You will never have reached the heart of the matter; you will have failed to grasp the quintessence of karate - Gichin Funakoshi

To be a warrior is not a simple matter of wishing to be one. It is rather an endless struggle that will go on to the very last moment of our lives. Nobody is born a warrior, in exactly the same way that nobody is born an average man. We make ourselves into one or the other - Kokoro

Without knowledge, skill cannot be focused. Without skill, strength cannot be brought to bear and without strength, knowledge may not be applied - Alexander the Great's physician

Given enough time, any man may master the physical. With enough knowledge, any man may become wise. It is a true warrior who can master both...and surpass the result - Tien T'ai

We do not rise to the level of our expectations. We fall to the level of our training - author unknown

Masters of the martial arts believe that a strong body and mind go together - you can't improve one without working on the other - Laura Scandiffio

What ancients called a clever fighter is ont who not only wins, but excels in winning with ease - Sun Tzu

It's better to practice a little than talk a lot - Muso Kokushi

Kickboxing and Street Fights

A lot of people take up martial arts for the self defence aspect - to know that if a situation presents itself, they will be able to hold their own and get out of a fight with minimal injury. Many just take up kickboxing so that they don't feel afraid of potential fights and feel safer walking home at night. Opinions are divided regarding whether or not kickboxing can be applied to fights outside the dojo, but being a kickboxer is bound to be an advantage if you know how to apply your training properly.

To apply kickboxing to a street fight, you need to forget the 'sport' aspects of it, and apply the basic techniques. The primary difference between a sport/competition fight and a street fight are the rules - basically, on the street there are no rules. You may get press ups for swearing, spitting, hitting below the belt or not showing respect to your opponent in the dojo, but in a street fight these things may well help. Once you realise that you're not sparring, you'll also realise that a lot of techniques are simply dangerous in a street fight - spinning hook kicks are likely to land you on the floor if your opponent grabs your leg, kicking above the belt is just foolish unless you're extremely fast and it's unlikely you'll start with your guard up in a proper stance. For a lot of people, these differences alone mean that they can't transfer their knowledge of a fight sport into a real fight.

But once you get past those differences you can really see the advantages of kickboxing. The warm ups and exercise mean that you will be stronger, faster and have more stamina than the average guy down the pub. While stamina may not be much of an advantage as most street fights don't last as long as a competition fight, your speed and your strength will put you at a huge advantage if you apply them properly. A good punch is a good punch, whether it's landing on a pad or someone's nose - the basic techniques of snap punch, reverse punch, rising punch etc, coupled with experience putting them together in quick succession mean you won't waste energy swinging lifeless punches and once you get a hit in, you know how to continue. Sparring will get you used to ducking, weaving and being in a fight situation, so you should be able to evade any attacks more easily.

Finally, one of the major advantages of a martial art is increased confidence. After a while of training, doing thousands of press ups over several months, achieving your next belt and knowing that you have a killer roundhouse punch will boost your confidence, and it shows. The way that you carry yourself, look at people and communicate change with it, so the likelihood of getting in a fight decreases as people go and try to find an easier target.

The ECKA syllabus is largely based on self-defence, as are our competition rules. If you would like to find out more about how kickboxing can help you defend yourself and improve your confidence, go to our website to book into one of our classes in North London.

Pictures of our brand new dojo

**Edited with new information and pictures as we've finished the ground floor**

We've been busy at Ultimate Kickboxing, moving into our new premises. The new schedule kicked off a few weeks ago, with specialised sparring classes and new classes for juniors and adults.We've also created a specialised personal training space in the top floor. If you'd like to book in for a class, or find out about the personal training area, just contact us using the info on the website or the form on this blog.

 The main training hall.
 From outside - still need to get a sign up!
 Speedball area and extra equipment.
 The main hall again
 Hall and seating for parents etc.

 The dojo is 'L-shaped', with the main training area  in one side, and the speedball and equipment area in the other.
 The speedball area.

The personal training space

Our personal training space upstairs has a smith machine and dual cable-pulley maching, as well as freeweights, a swiss ball and other personal training equipment. We're currently on the look-out for a treadmill to add to the collection. If you're interested in hiring a personal trainer here, or in hiring the space for use as a personal trainer, contact us by clicking here.

5 Factors that Win a Fight

We can all spot a good kickboxer when we see one - the techniques come from nowhere, the forms are perfect and you never know what's coming next. There are 5 basic factors that mark a good kickboxer from a great one, and make the difference between winning a losing the competition.

1. Speed

If you can move faster, you can land more techniques - it's fairly simple. Training yourself to get faster also helps you build stamina as you have to push yourself harder and harder on the pads and in sparring sessions to land your punches and kicks faster than before.

2. Stamina

Without stamina, you can't last the entire fight - rounds might sound fairly short at a few minutes, but when you're bouncing, kicking and punching almost every second of them you'll get very worn out if you don't train hard enough. By the third round, fighters are often lowering their guard and hitting slower, which means that a fit fighter can win by gaining points in the third round even if they didn't score as many in the first or second.

3. Unpredictability

If you can't see a technique coming, you can't guard against it. The neater your kicks and punches are, and the faster you are at throwing them, the more points you'll score.

4. Adaptability

Roughly the same as unpredictability, with a slight twist. Most fighters have a particular style, and in serious competitions your opponent and their coaches will study your style. If you can change it to suit your opponent's weaknesses, you're at a clear advantage. Most styles are developed according to the fighter's weaknesses (and playing to their strengths) so to be able to adapt your fighting style you need to have consistent techniques; your punches need to be as good as your kicks, you need to be as good with your left leg as you are with your right and you need to be as fit as you are fast. Being a well-rounded fighter can often win more competitions than being fantastic at one particular technique, but average at the rest.

5. Dedication

Probably the most important factor of all. To be a fast, fit, well-rounded fighter, you need to train hard, and train often. The fighter that wins will be the one that eats right, exercises consistently, takes care of themselves and always pushes themselves beyond their comfort zone. A fighter isn't made in a week or in a class - it's a lifestyle choice.

For information on training and classes, go to Ultimate Kickboxing in North London.