What’s In a Name? Distinguishing Judo From Its Sister Arts

Image source: superstarjudo.com

Judo originates from the Japanese martial art jujutsu. Judo itself would later give rise to many variants, including Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Despite their common origins, however, each of the different martial arts derived from jujutsu varies in fundamental ways.

In many ways, judo and its descendant sports bear the hallmark of their progenitor art. Jujutsu had its origins in the constant fighting in Feudal Japan. The grapples and throws were among the most effective ways that Samurai warriors could pin down and incapacitate an armed or armored opponent without relying on a weapon.

Judo represents a refinement of these original techniques, relying on turning the opponent’s own force and momentum against them. Much like its predecessors, judo also focused on getting the opponent pinned down, with the understanding that the battle is over once the opponent is on the ground. This makes judo an excellent martial art to learn for self-defense and can be practiced largely noncompetitively.

Image source: bjj.org

The sport aspect of judo was later intensified in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, which focused heavily on achieving victory over an opponent and using every move to that end. Throws are worth points based on execution but do not finish the battle. Unlike judo, where fighters must stand back up when no fighters can remain on the ground until a submission hold is accomplished.

As a result, it is far more competitive than its predecessor and can be more prone to injury, although observers would note that it looks remarkably less violent than the faster-paced Judo.

Peter Spennato has spent years training in judo and Korean Tang Soo Doo. For more updates on martial arts and the disciplines associated with them, visit this blog.


Can Weight Training Help Martial Artists?

Martial arts novices are often confused whether weight training or lifting is helpful or harmful to their training. The uncertainties are largely based on the belief that weight training bulks up the body and muscles, which can affect the flexibility and speed required to master the common martial art disciplines.

Image source: combinedmartialscience.com

In reality, weight training is actually beneficial – only if the appropriate method is chosen. There are different types of weight training, namely:

  • bodybuilding, which is done for aesthetic purposes and not primarily to produce functional muscles required in athletics;
  • powerlifting, which has a goal of developing pure strength and mass through slow, heavy lifts;
  • fitness lifting, which is chosen by those who just want to stay healthy with no other purpose for weight training;
  • Olympic lifting, which builds power, strength, and muscle control and good technique; and
  • HIIT (high intensity interval training), which focuses on small bursts of exercise periods to build endurance, conditioning, and stamina, instead of strength.

Among these five, the most conducive technique for martial arts are Olympic lifting, HIIT, or a combination of both. They help develop a strong base for strength, fundamental martial arts movements, and endurance – without sacrificing speed.

Image source: building-muscle101.com

Peter Spennato, DDS is a martial arts specialist and defense instructor, having been trained in the different disciplines, such as judo and Korean Tang Soo Do. He is also a weight lifting enthusiast. Click this link for more articles about martial arts.

Fundamental Judo: The Concept Of Seiryoku-Zenyo

Most Asian martial arts, including Judo, are heavy in technical and theoretical principles of practice. In Asia, martial arts is more than just a physical activity. It is inextricable from moral and spiritual dimensions.

Image source: kingofwallpapers.com

Practitioners of judo have trained under the concept of Seiryoku-Zenyo, or the maximum and efficient use of energy. It is the good or proper use of the mind and body. This watchword or slogan is operated by the Japanese word “zen,” which means good that overcomes evil. “Seiryoku” is a two-character Japanese word that came from the words “sei” for spirit and “ryoku” for force. Seiryoku-Zenyo applies to different types of endeavors, and it helps a person fully utilize physical and spiritual energies for a unique purpose.

Judo is a martial art that uses the motion and momentum of the opponent to apply power, such that the “weaker” fighter can beat the “stronger” one. It is also an attack and defense martial art where practitioners can apply their learnings even outside of the dojo.

Sport - 2014 Commonwealth Games - Day Two
Image source: http://www.chenaie.com

This concept of maximum efficiency or Seiryoku-Zenyo teaches Judo practitioners the value of fighting within one’s means, and not with the express aim of overpowering an opponent.

Dr. Peter Spennato is a martial arts instructor with decades of training in Judo and Korean Tang Soo Doo. He is also an expert in handling firearms and has trained under the industry’s finest teachers. Learn more about martial arts and self-defense by visiting this page.

The fisherman’s itinerary The best fly-fishing locations all over

While fishing can be done almost any natural body of water, there are some locations that are truly ideal in satisfying the fisherman’s need to catch fish and relax while doing so. Here are a few locations all anglers worth their salt should put on their bucket list:

Bighorn River, USA – Found in Eastern Montana, the Bighorn River is home to large brown trout, although lucky folk may catch a rainbow trout too. Carp and shad also make up the population in Bighorn’s waters.

Image source: Wikipedia.org

Exmouth, Australia – There are tons of species to be found in Exmouth’s flats. Bonefish, milkfish, and queenfish are just some of the inshore residents, but anglers who venture offshore may find a bounty of tuna and black marlin. The elusive Indo-Pacific Permit also hangs around the area.

Chimehuin River, Argentina – Patagonia has a lot of rivers, and Chimehuin is one of the best fishing locations for trout fans who want a picturesque background to their angling – the waters are beautifully clear and are described by some visitors as having a blue glow.

Eg Ur Watershed, Mongolia – Catch-and-release practitioners who head to Mongolia may run into the monstrous taimen, a relative of the salmon that can grow large enough to eat rodents and birds – they generally stick to fish, however. Visiting Mongolia to fish for taimen or the Asiatic trout species in the waters may also prove to be a unique experience as they’ll have the opportunity to stay in a traditional yurt.

Image source: Wikipedia.org

Northern Saskatchewan, Canada – Walleye, pike, and arctic grayling are some of the most sought-after fish in the lakes studding the area. Touring fishermen can book packages to fly out from an area resort to the best fishing spots with experienced fishing guides.

When not teaching martial arts, self-defense instructor Peter Spennato enjoys hiking and fly fishing. Follow this blog for more articles about his interests.

Self-Defense Techniques Worth Remembering

Most people associate self-defense with kicks and jabs. These powerful moves are useful, but there are other important things to considerations when it comes to learning self-defense. Here are some techniques everyone should remember:

selfdefensetrainingImage source: Archiveslives.com

1. Be aware of the surroundings.

Awareness is the first key to defending oneself. It doesn’t matter if it’s in a crowded area or an empty street. A person must know how to take in the details of his or her surroundings. Being instinctive yet calm in a suspicious environment is important to stay safe.

self-defense-techniques-890x395_cImage source: Einvestigator.com

2. Know the pressure points.

These body parts are the most vulnerable. The eyes, nose, neck, and knees are the target points that must be hit when a person is being attacked. To incapacitate the attacker even for a few moments, a person must know how to defend using the elbows, knees, and head. A strong elbow through the nose can cause injury.

3. Use common objects.

Keeping keys or a pen in the pocket could be helpful in desperate situations. Having a pepper spray or even something as simple as a perfume spritzer can help a person get away from an attacker. These simple objects must always be easy to reach for faster defense in case of an attack.

As much as possible, it is much safer to avoid contact. In the event of a mugging or other similar occurrences, it is better to leave possessions than to sacrifice personal safety. For assault or personal attacks, the victim must try to get as far as possible from the attacker especially after defending oneself. In self-defense, a person’s safety is the top priority.

Peter Spennato is a martial arts specialist and defense instructor. He has undergone martial arts training for decades, namely judo and Korean Tang Soo Doo. Visit this bog for more information on martial arts.

Using Meditation In Judo: Enhancing Fighting Skills

Image Source: natgeocreative.com
Image Source: natgeocreative.com

To view judo as a means to protect one’s self gives an imbalanced representation of the martial art. Judo is a way of thinking; a guiding principle that manifests itself in a sound mind and the ability to fight. Popular media has emphasized the latter as the most profound facet of judo; yet for many masters, it is only when the art is done with meditation and Zen does it achieve proper fruition.

The achievement is based on diligence. Those who train in martial arts or mixed martial arts are told to improve on their fighting techniques daily. The goal is to achieve physical strength and to build resistance. One never knows when to defend himself of herself. Still, physical training is merely an action towards a goal. Steps without substance lead to a person knowing how to fight but not understanding why.

Image Source: worldjudoday.com
Image Source: worldjudoday.com

This is where meditation comes in. It provides the necessary introspection for the fighter. Many masters rarely engage in battles because they have already reached the point of true understanding. They are not cowards, but they also do not needlessly pick fights to prove their strength.

Meditation also has a physical benefit. Studies show that daily and powerful mindfulness techniques improve the immune system and enhance general well-being. Fighters typically are stressed and can over-exert themselves. The practice of meditation can ensure total mind and body health.

Peter Spennato is a martial arts specialist with advanced training in judo and Korean Tang Soo Doo. He wants to help people better understand the importance of martial arts – that it goes beyond throws and grabs. Learn more by following this Twitter account.

Hiking Essentials: Things To Pack For a Supreme Adventure

Image source: seeker.com
Image source: seeker.com

Hiking is an adrenaline-pumping activity enjoyed by most outdoors enthusiasts. Regardless of whether they explore nature on their own or do it with the company, they will always find themselves having fun. It is not to be taken lightly, however, because traversing a trail in the wilderness requires some degree of effort and survival skills.

There are many factors to take into consideration when aiming to conquer a mountain, such as the heat, dehydration, insect bites, and even wild animals. Injuries are also sometimes inevitable. The activity requires serious preparation, including bringing some essentials to enjoy it fully without any hitches.

Hikers need a spacious and lightweight backpack. The bag doesn’t have to be too big because people won’t need the extra storage space unless there is a camping involved. It also has to be lightweight because the hiker will be carrying it all the time during his trip. An ample amount of water is also needed because dehydration is a constant threat with this kind of outdoor activity. Some water bottles filter the water from the streams or creeks right away, making things a little bit more convenient.

Image source: backcountry.com
Image source: backcountry.com

Thick socks and high-quality hiking shoes are also necessary to prevent straining the knees and avoid foot blisters. For sun protection, a hat and sunscreen will definitely go a long way. For emergency situations such as scratches, sprains, or abrasions, both a first aid kit and a multi-tool should come in handy.

Peter Spennato is a martial artist and defense instructor who is also into outdoor activities, such as hiking and fly fishing. Subscribe to this blog for more on his interests.

Earning Respect: The Gracie Challenge

Brazilian jiu-jitsu, or BJJ, has gained quite a following since its inception more than a century ago. The philosophy and techniques of the martial arts have mostly appealed to non-athletic and non-muscular people as they learn how to defend themselves against bigger, stronger, and heavier opponents. But the road to respectability and popularity had not been a smooth journey for its practitioners early on.

The Gracie family is synonymous to Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Since the late 1910s, the family has passed on the style from generation to generation and countless students. The first member to learn BJJ was Carlos Gracie, studying it from Kodokan judo master Mistuyo Maeda. And in his attempt to promote the art and superiority of Gracie’s style of BJJ, Carlos issued the first Gracie Challenge in the 1920s.

Image source: attacktheback.com
                      Image source: attacktheback.com

The Gracie Challenge was vale tudo, or a no holds barred match that featured a smaller Gracie against a larger and more athletic opponent. The Gracies defeated martial artists of many different styles and lost just a few fights, earning respect from a lot of people.

Rorion Gracie, Carlos’ nephew, would, later on, introduce Brazilian jiu-jitsu to the U.S., where at that time eastern martial arts dominated. And in his effort to gain local respect, he brought the Gracie Challenge along with him.

Image source: espn.go.com

It was effective as they won a huge number of fights that drew the attention of large crowds of students from different martial art styles. The no holds barred fights would also lead to the creation of mixed martial arts fighting and, eventually, the institution of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Peter Spennato is a very proficient martial artist of many different styles, which now include Gracie jiu-jitsu. Connect with him on Google+ for more discussion on martial arts.

How Judo Came To America

Judo, a martial art founded in Japan, has been a cornerstone of many mixed martial arts and self-defense techniques for decades. The physical as well as mental discipline of the art is impressive, and thousands of practitioners in the United States have the Japanese to thank for that. But how did it reach America?

jigoro-kanoImage source: http://judokastore.com/


In 1887, Kodokan Judo was officially recognized in Japan. It was developed in a way that allowed it to be practiced as a sport. Physical education, competition ability, and mental training were the goals of Kodokan Judo. Only the highest ranked members were taught any other action deemed too lethal for sport.

USJF LogoImage source: http://www.clovisjudoclub.com/

A few years later, Kodokan Judo’s founder, Jigoro Kano left Japan to travel around Europe and the United States. Kano and his followers tried their best to teach judo to people in other countries. This task, for the most part, was difficult.

In 1892, Takashima Shidachi gave seminars in the Japan Society in London on judo, earning the interest of many people.

By 1907, Gunji Koizumi came to the United States, and became the first documented judo instructor in the nation.

Today, the United States has three major judo organizations that help promote the art, sport and competitions. These organizations are the United States Judo Association, United States Judo Federation, and USA Judo.

Peter Spennato is a martial artist and an instructor. He has trained in a number of martial arts for decades, including judo. He is proficient in the handling of firearms having trained under former SWAT commander Rick Brown of La Puenta Sheriff Department. For more discussion on martial arts, read this blog.

The Way of the China Hand: A Brief History of Tang Soo Do

Not a lot of people are aware about Tang Soo Do (pronounced as tong-soo-do), a traditional Korean martial art. But its origins date back two thousand years, and was a system of the common people to protect themselves from samurai swords.

Tang Soo Do is considered an empty handed self-defense. “Tang” represents Chinese influence in the development of the modernized martial arts. Grand Master Hwang Kee, the founder of Moo Duk Kwan, studied the current Tang Soo Do form in China. When Korea was occupied by Japan more than a hundred years ago, the local Koreans were forbidden to practice their traditional martial arts. Many Koreans escaped the Japanese rule, and trained martial arts in China.

Image source: carytangsoodo.com

“Soo” is translated as “open hand.” The martial art has techniques for striking that involve the use of open hands. It also meant to trick the opponent into thinking the warrior is un-armed. While a lot of martial arts are designed to go on combats with a chosen weapon, Tang Soo Do artists work with only their bare hands.

When the Korean peninsula was unified under the Silla Dynasty, Hwa Rang Dan warriors combined the philosophies of Won Kwang and Soo Bak Ki to form Soo Bak Do. Soo Bak Do was included in a code of chivalry for the Korean peninsula unification. In the Yi and Koryo Dynasties, martial arts were used for sophisticated combative art and recreation.

As Taek Kyun and Soo Bak Do practitioners were forbidden to do martial arts during the Japanese occupation, artists continued their training underground. After the Second World War, the Tang Soo Do became an official sport and organization.

However, in 1965, the Korea Tang Soo Do Association wanted to unite all Korean martial arts under one name. But those who were for Tang Soo Do chose to remain traditional with their craft rather than join the Tae Kwon Do association.

Peter Spennato is a proficient martial artist who has been training since the 1960’s. Know more about Tang Soo Do and other traditional martial arts when you visit this blog.