Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Brandon Lee

In my opinion I feel many look at Bruce Lee and not much at his Son Brandon. This could be many simple factors, but I'd just like to look at some of the qualities that Brandon held, or what we could see on the screen. I am a big fan of him and respect him for being his own man. Something his Father would have wanted.


Smooth - I feel he was so smooth in the way that he moved that he captured the economy of motion perfect, although very fast and graceful like Bruce, I feel he moved smoother. Look at him next to Dolph Lungren...

Grounded - He was down to earth in his ways and although not a fanatic he studied Wing Chun & MuayThai. It's safe to say we would have enjoyed to train and hang out with him...where as it would have been great to train with his dad but maybe scarier too in ways?

Creative - He was a deep gentle man I feel, The Crow was an excellent movie as was Rapid Fire. Rapid Fire was where we seen a lot of his Dad come out in him, he was amazing in that film...demonstrating all his arts including Jeet Kune Do into one. In a lot of ways it seemed to be his peak movie, a lot like Enter The Dragon and The Crow was his closing. Brandon was also very acrobatic and choreographed his own fight scenes. This showed an understanding.

Hidden Side - Who knows what things of his Dads he had or studied, or the deep loss he felt after been trained by his from toddler to boy? Who knows what other methods he kept to himself like Bruce?
One thing I think about is Bruce Lee's early screen test where he is congratulated on the birth of his Son, and asked any sleepless nights, to which he replies..."About four hours." [Laughs]
How many times would Brandon have watched that part, or his footage with his Dad?
If it were your Dad what would you have done, or be doing?
Maybe it was too much for him, hence him just enjoying his youth and returning to the Arts to study under Dan Inosanto.
For me he was one of the best Martial Artists around in his own right, and quoted that he kept at his training.
What do you keep at reading this?
Maybe we can relate to Brandon better than we think...

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Boxing vs Kicking?

Is not Boxing a Martial Art?
Yes, it is a warfare art and yes we use it for Kick & Thai boxing, and yes it can cover block and parry as well as defend against kicks. I want to share some advice however, do not bob n weave too much against another fighter who is a martial artist. I made a schoolboy error on the mats. I was doing well ducking some flying kicks and even bobbed a high round kick. I was it seems enjoying it so much that I did not realise I was dropping my head a lot. Of course I was timed by the other guy who greeted me with a left low round kick to the nose as I came up. (silly boy)
Worst thing was I knew and everyone else knew that I would have gone on to beat him or get 2nd place.
Traditional styles such as Karate stay up right in a stance, this is because they will deal with more than punches. Look at Muay Thai? They have it all covered and stay upright, because if your head is too low you may meet a knee!
People often say a good boxer would win over a martial artist...
depends on both and what tactics are employed, distance is king as both will be fit, or should be. Anyway, this was a quick heads up (pardon the pun) as you can see I test it all out first and yes the mats do break your fall!
Just remember to keep your head and you will get ahead.
Good luck, Duane.

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Can we heal quicker with Martial Arts?

"Ouch." - ET
If only we all had a great little Alien friend (apart from me) to wash away our pain. Today I wanted to look at when us as martial artists fall ill. To be fair it sucks and if your a man if sucks even more, well because we cant deal with it very well.
 I recently have recovered from food poisoning due mainly through my own lack of attention, so the price was pain and karma had me served. At first I thought it was man flu, shakes, cloudy head. Then all the not very nice areas that I will keep under my hat, if I was wearing one and so I can keep friends. It knocked me off my feet, so areas of my life suffered including my poor Wife. Anyway out of commission and a cramping belly (take note of the symptoms) it was no food for 3 days only water. As a result my weight hit my fighting weight again (bonus) but I was very weak (hate feeling weak - STRONG) To be fair water is our best friends and we all should keep some with us. Forget about how much people say you 'should' be drinking, just drink it throughout your day, at night and then when you wake up. So then, after a nasty ordeal and new found respect for all those who have fell victim to it, I began to heal and in some ways it maybe was a good thing to give the body a quick fast period. 
The Doctor rang me (not Dr Who, he was busy) and he was taken back by how fast I had recovered, even though the time period may have seemed reasonable. However he was ready to prescribe me some treatment, (not my brain, too tough.) I told him I'm better, taking my vitamins and gently training my martial art as my chosen exercise.
"O right, sounds like you have turned a corner." he answered.
Now I know it matters not how fit we can become, if nature is attacked by illness it can be just as simple as that. Never forget this though, the better your body and mind is the tougher a host you may be. I know for sure the fact that I am active training, thinking and how I am as a person has helped me bounce back. I began training even in pain, I needed to sweat this demon bug out and help myself along. Not everyone chooses to do this... It's this mindset self mothering and awareness, where as some wait to be 100% (and rightfully so) but being a martial artist we have to take control as soon as we can. 
Because like it or not we are fighters, that's why. 
And at times the battle is right within ourselves...

Thank you - Duane.

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Reflections on Outdoor Training

 So, as summer is drawing to an end I thought it would be useful to look on some of the basic fitness workouts that I had indulged in, as most of my Finger Pointing articles have been based on Solo Training in Martial Arts Illustrated Magazine. But first a quick thank you to you for reading what I share, it means a lot so thank you. Putting the summer night Mosquito attacks to one side [laughs] I have had some good short workouts that I have added when pressed for time. Just little young me and a field, a place in nature with peace and quiet.
 After running to my secret training location, or one of them I would stretch do some kicks and punches or Kata. Then I would work on some rolls that I found great fun and I maybe looked insane to passers by. What was nice was the children playing on the parks who would stop and look at me doing the martial arts moves and they seemed to enjoy this strange man kicking the football posts and holding a crab arched pose... I hope to have at least inspired them to get involved, or pester mom and dad to take them :)
 Tea is made, right...so I found working on my own I could gain some clarity of mind and spirit, joggers on and improved my rolls to a degree. On my travels I found a football post to condition my arms on and do pull ups of all kinds on, and no matter how you do it that exercise is always a challenge. With all the space available to me I worked on some spinning kicks and other body weight calisthenics...and came up with my own 100 push or press up routine - acend2decend.
 20 on knees, 20 standard, 20 feet elevated, then reverse, 20 standard, 20 on knees. What a nice burn out! But the best thing for me was my discovery of working my abs on a hill. Basically crunches facing up and leg raises facing down. incline my decline! The natural gravity was the equivalent of an ab board but with no ab board! It was great, I loved every minute of it and it never took as long or as many reps to burn them out and roll over crying.

Above all, it's them little times where you can work things out by yourself and you just feel young at heart out and about. Plus I felt like I had one up on the world, as most 34 year olds would be with family or in the gym. I can do all everyday things but I also choose to preserve myself, well at least keep the blood moving. Although I will still train in the winter conditions summer is summer. For some I may come across as a single minded fanatic lol but I love to chill out and do nothing too. To be fair there is nothing wrong with gyms as long as you put in the work there alone or with a friend, I have showed you what you can get up to so the rest as they say is up to you. I have not got the best body but I am fit enough for life and I will be fit enough for my Son. Tennis, basketball they are great activities. Even play football...that's a thought...I had the whole pitch to myself, does that mean I scared them off?
Until next time, take care and I hope you take a little bit of use from what I have to share.
- Duane.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Bob Sykes... A Finger Pointing Special

This months article focuses on Martial Arts Illustrated Magazines very own editor Bob Sykes. For those of you who have not heard of him....well he's the reason...
Are still hiding.
I feel very honored to have been able to ask him some questions, in which I feel clear up and help martial artists out there. As a child who grew up reading his mag and knowing deep within me, even then... that when I would be older I would reach out to him, in the writing world and try to help others who still have that little boy within with many questions.
Regardless of publication, Bob is a great martial artist, a fair person and has walked the walk. He has a sense of humour that can be friend or foe, a true Maverick for any lad to look up to.
Enjoy... Duane.

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Jim Kelly...a cool cat.

 I'd just like to put a few words of respect on my blog for the late Jim Kelly. Jim Kelly was a great Karateka and athlete. He has been compared to Bruce Lee and Ali for his speed agility and muscle tone. Upon remembering the emails we sent back and forth he was a polite humble guy who always gave his fellowman the time of day. He was also fond of tennis.
I have gone more in depth in an article for Martial Arts Illustrated Magazine and hope we can all enjoy his work and warm human qualities.
- Until next time... Duane.

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Wisdom with age?

When we are young we seem  to recover almost right away, but how about over your twenties? At times we view food as an aid to gaining or putting on weight, but recently I have noticed some of my own personal changes. Of course this relates to maybe your work life not just working out. Rest is important.

Nutrition is the vital components your body needs to function. I have just taken some chewable multi vitamins and some Glucosamine Sulphate for the joints. This is very important to the martial artists, to help the hips out. I found after been busy in the home and not eating the right foods for a while and not stretching as much I felt terrible, almost like I aged over night. The body gets used to its outlet, so if you suddenly stop your activity for too long you may suffer. Doing too much will be the same also. I feel great as it goes, just done my training and have good nutriments inside and if there is not any truth in it well at least the piece of mind is peaced. Enjoy all parts of life, just be sensible that's the way I'd say. No self burdens, just a bit of research. Drink some water every day, as that is mostly what we are.

Keep the blood flowing and the oxygen circulation, don't do too much and don't do too less.


Finger Pointing...Training outdoors in all weather.

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

British Open 5th May 2013

I'll be doing Light Contact on the mats, should be a great day.

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Just be intense but calm with yourself?

"A Martial Artist trains with an intense focus but a calm mind."

Friday, 1 February 2013

Don't be a January Warrior

The world is full of enthusiastic fitness wannabes this time of year after the festive season. This is also a hang on of extremities, for we spoil ourselves and then kid our selves we will get a grip come January. Add to this the bad weather we whether and most of you will have not touched a drink as yet. This is what I see..
It won't last.
Why? Because it's a yearly repeated phase. Many do so well and become fit but they hit it too dedicated and within a few weeks they give back in the their comfort vices. It's natural, but I advise this..
It has to be a gentle lifestyle change, new years resolutions are only a repeated trap for some. Others do well with it, but come Feb people like to socialize again and feel human and not live like a caveman or woman. You owe it to yourself not to be fickle. 
Look at what you eat to much of and minimize it, but still have smaller quantities. Next step is exercise that you enjoy but not working out everyday, maybe 2-4 times a week?
Don't become a victim of the January cycle, break the mold and stand free for you are alive. If you never workout then starting it will work, if you have never cut down on junk food, then doing this will help. So combine the two, not been extreme pushing the training to hard or feeling you have to kill yourself everyday as life requires energy else where also.
Treat January as the first month of your new birth as a new you but progress in a way that keeps you on track and not off it, watching the train of February roll by.

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Reasons To Get In Shape And Stay There.

Getting in shape for some may be difficult but once there they may find it more fun to maintain. Others can find it easy to get there but then let it slip after they get into it. We all will have our different reasons and goals to workout. My advice is find something you enjoy and never put too much pressure on yourself. Above all remain consistent. This is the secret, if you lapse then self forgive and get back on your horse. Remember even small changes will add up so think long term with patience. Some like myself may be slim but it does not mean I can become laid back about my health. Don't train too much but do it enough that it gets you results, it should be therapeutic and not always exhausting. A risk most undertake is a burn out because they are parents and have jobs and train hard and diet. This cannot last, for one of these areas will fall into neglect. If you want a beer or some chocolate then have it, but just a bit and don't live on these vices all day every day. Its a life style change and should be exciting see yourself transform. You will have to train your mind to be strong for if you show yourself any weakness then you will give in to YOU! Be fit for your family, but above all for you. The fitter you are the more luxuries you can enjoy as you will be a vessel of heat.

I'm excited about my training this year, I'm aiming to become the best shape I can be. The reason for this is I am fighting in May, so I have a purpose, a goal. Once in that ring if I have not done the work I lose easy - simple. If I enter in good nick then I can handle either outcome. I want to be lean and get my body fat down low, the odds are against me in ways I will not get into here. The second part of the year I can focus on other areas and give the intense fight training a rest, maybe more weapons, forms or other activities.
Good luck to us all together we can do it!
- Duane.