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History of BJJ
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, or simply BJJ is one of the most influential martial arts of the
modern day. It has touched the lives of thousands thought
the whole world. But where and how has all of it started? Hi, my name is RokasLeo and today we are going
to look at a brief history of BJJ. Although the name of BJJ strongly emphasizes
“jiu jitsu”, not everyone knows that it’s roots are actually that much closer to Judo,
than one could think. It all started in Japan in the late 1800,
when professor Jigoro Kano started reinventing the traditional Japanese Jiu Jitsu, which
was strongly loosing it’s popularity because of the changing times of the Meiji Restoration
and the end of the samurai class. Sensei Kano was strongly influenced by Jiu
Jitsu himself, which helped him become not only stronger, but also a better person, what
lead him to the passion of sharing his experience. The more he taught the traditional Jiu Jitsu,
the more he realized that he wanted to change the emphasize of his style so that it would
be not only more efficient, but also more accessible and profound. As his art grew and became widely known, he
slowly started introducing the name of Judo (“The Gentle Way”), yet to most it was
still know as simply Kano’s Jiu Jitsu. In 1904, one of the senior students of Sensei
Kano, Mitsuyo Maeda, together with a couple of other Kano’s students, were offered a
chance to move to the States, which they saw as a great chance to further promote the already
increasingly popular Kano’s Jiu Jitsu. Their demonstrations were very well received
across the whole nation and in the further years Maeda even traveled around Europe to
give demonstrations there as well. In 1914 Maeda ended up in Brazil where he
continued to give demonstrations. A series of his demonstrations were presented
in a circus in Belem, where he met Gastao Gracie, a business partner of the circus,
and became good friends. In 1917 Gastao’s son Carlos Gracie, at the
time only 15 years old, was so impressed by Maeda’s demonstration, that he decided to
start learning from him. Maeda took on Carlos and a few other Brazilians
as his students, teaching them his way of Jiu Jitsu. Although technically it was already Judo,
one of the brothers of Carlos in a much later interview said, that he learned of the name
Judo only in 1950’s when Judo was introduced as a sport in Brazil and that Maeda himself
referred to his style simply as Jiu Jitsu. Carlos Gracie dedicated himself to the study
of this Jiu Jitsu and later on shared his knowledge with his siblings , from which,
most notably, was Helio Gracie. Carlos and his brothers where often training,
what sometimes involved even actual fighting, yet Helio was not able to join their brothers,
since he was too frail and sickly. Nevertheless, he continued to watch his brothers
train and slowly started developing his own training methods and techniques which relied
less on physical strength and more on skills. As the Gracies, alongside Helio, continued
to develop their Jujitsu to be as effective as possible, Judo was slowly emphasized more
as a sport, focusing less on ground techniques. With time these differences between the two
styles became increasingly evident, what today, makes them hardly recognizable as once being
so close to each other. In 1925 Carlos opened the Gracie families
first BJJ academy. The academy was managed by his family members,
of which most, also practiced Jiu Jitsu. During this period, the Gracies not only taught
their martial art, but also participated and even organized their own rule-less fights,
which back then were known as Vale Tudo. The Gracies were able to win most of their
fights and thus became famous. Their students started including famous artists,
architects, politicians and various doctors. Later on, members of the Gracie family move
on to the States, to further promote their art. Here they started organizing the Gracie Challenges
– open events which invited masters of different martial arts to challenge members of the Gracie
family and their style of Jiu Jitsu. Rorion Gracie, son of Helio, even offered
100.000$ to anyone who could defeat him or his brothers in these matches. Following the success of these matches, the
Gracie’s became notorious in the martial arts world. To differentiate between the other Jiu Jitsu
styles that were practiced in the day, they started referring to their style as the Gracie
Jiu Jitsu or was sometimes reffered to as Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. The fame of the Gracies was already high,
yet Rorion wanted to make it even more popular to the main public. In 1993, this desire eventually lead to the
creation of “The Ultimate Fighting Championship” or UFC, which was co-hosted by Rorion, a no
“holds barred”event, similar to that of Vale Tudo and the Gracie challenges. It was promoted to find out who would be the
strongest fighter, bringing eight different practicioners of various martial arts to fight
each other. Rorion hand picked Royce Gracie, his younger
brother, to represent the Gracie Jiu Jitsu. Royce was able to win the tournament, mostly
by using his Jiu Jitsu skills. The UFC proved to be very successful, thus
bringing a huge amount of attention, specially to the winning style of the event. Although already relatively successful, after
the event the Gracie’s Jujitsu’s popularity sky rocketed. Many people of the time, started seeing it
as the most effective martial art with other fighters even implementing it’s skills to
their regime too. These events lead to hundreds of thousands
of people training BJJA not only in MMA, but also in it’s own popular sports form as
BJJ tournaments. The Jiu Jitsu which touched the Gracie family
and was developed by them, continues to be highly respected and further evolved not only
by it’s family members, but also by dedicated people through the whole world. Thanks for watching our Brief History of BJJ. If you liked it – don’t forget to share
it with your friends. What Martial Arts Brief History would you
like us to cover next? Let me know in the comments. Also subscribe to be the first one to know
when it comes out! This was RokasLeo and see you on the virtual
mat again soon! If you want to know how BJJ effected the lose
of popularity in Aikido, click on the video on the left. If you want to know more how BJJ influenced
MMA, click on the video on the right. Also, let me know in the comments what Brief
History video would you like next. 8 Facts About Muay Thai
These days Muay Thai is widely known as one of the most efficient striking martial arts
because of it’s use and popularity in MMA. Yet sometimes we forget the deep heritage
and traditions that it comes from and some of the reasons it exists. Here are eight essential facts about Muay
Thai that make it such an amazing and unique martial art. Fact I
Although Muay Thai litery means Thay Boxing, it is also referred to as the “Art of Eight
Limbs” or the “Science of Eight Limbs”, because it makes use of punches, kicks, elbows and
knee strikes, thus using eight “points of contact”, as opposed to “two points”
(fists) in boxing, and “four points” (hands and feet) used in other more regulated combat
sports, such as kickboxing and savate. Fact II
The Thai were on constant guard against attack from neighboring countries, including Burma
and Cambodia. Needing an efficient way to protect themselves,
Muay Thai became a primary part not only of the Thai culture but was also a mandatory
training part of the Thai military. Thus Muay Thai evolved in the midst of war
as the military continued to train soldiers for centuries in the art of Muay Thai refining
the skills, tactics, and techniques with the wars against the invaders. Fact III
Being partially a product of constant battles, Muay Thai uses the body to mimic the weapons
of war. The hands become the sword and dagger; the
shins and forearms were hardened in training to act as armor against blows, the legs and
knees became the axe and staff, and the elbows to bring down opponents as with a heavy mace
or hammer. The desired end result was having the body
operating as one unit. Fact IV
Muay Thai, with it’s rich history and culture is full of honor, respect and dignity. Sometimes it is called “The Sport of Kings”
as the Thai monarchy has always played a prominent role in the development of the art and sport. Here the same values applied. One of the kings, wanting a fair fight, was
known as “The Tiger King,” who was infamous for disguising himself in a tiger mask while
competing in tournaments to hide his royal heritage since if the other Thai fighters
would have known it was their King, they would have bowed before him and pleaded not to fight
out of deep love and respect. But the King hid his identity to have fair
and hard fought match with each of his opponents, as a result being a great example of the values
of this martial art. Fact V
While in many Dojos and martial arts these days, a new practitioner can feel that he
deserves respect and full attention just because they paid the monthly fee, when young men
want to enter into a traditional Muay Thai gym in Thailand to become a fighters, they
must first pay respect to their teacher and give respect and honor to the gym where they
will train. There may also be a significant initiation
where the prospective student must spend time in meditation at a temple, or perform some
ritualistic tasks. Students are also usually expected to give
some form of gift or offering, such as white linen cloth, flowers or incense along side
a some small monetary offering. Fact VI
One of the oldest traditions of Muay Thai is a dance called “RAM MUAY”, which every
fighter performs before a fight. Before every fight the boxer “seals the
ring” by circling it three times, after which they perform the ritualistic dance,
showing respect to their opponents and opposing camps, as well as parents, teachers and whatever
religions they may believe in. Many boxers will also display their techniques
in this warm up giving the perfect opportunity for their opponents to study them. For some boxers the Ram Muay represents deep
spiritual beliefs while for others it’s the perfect warm up before a fight to get
the mind and body ready for competition. Fact VII
The Thai people are known for being superstitious and their belief of evil spirits and ghosts. Muay Thai is also influenced by this culture. Fighters have for centuries used special tattoos,
wards, amulets, and ceremonies to increase their good fortune and ward off bad luck and
evil spirits that might follow them into the ring. Some fighters will often go the temple, a
witchdoctor, or a high-ranking priest to have tattoo inscriptions in Thai language etched
into their skin. The powerful inscriptions are supposed to
provide special protection, grant strength, courage, long-life, or even sexual prowess. Fact IIX
Muay Thai fighters often begin training when they are 6 to 8 years-old. They will begin fighting between 8 to 10 years
of age and may have as many as 120-150 fights, which is 3 times as many as a very active
boxer, before they are 24 years old. The typical Muay Thai fighter in Thailand
trains many hours every day, yet most of them do it not because of a good life. Many fighters will fight every 3-4 weeks just
to be able to support their family. Unlike boxing in the West, regular Muay Thai
fighters in Thailand make very little money from each fight bringing home about $100 – $150
dollars every month which is barely enough to support one person, much less a family. Martial arts these days are influenced by
our fast pace and desire to receive more in less time and effort, but remembering the
traditions and cultures that these practices came from, we can also remember that it is
meant not only to create an efficient fighter, but also to improve our lives and our character
as a whole. Muay Thai is one great example of this. Real Cost of MMA
We all enjoy a rush of adrenaline. We all love to see great strength and competition
being presented to us. A sight of an MMA fight can be an amazing
and inspiring event. After watching it, we can feel on a high in
our own lives wanting to achieve more and become more. And that is an great thing. Yet everything has a cost. Everything has two sides to it. And so, definitely does MMA. Hi, my name is RokasLeo, and today we are
going to look at the brief history of MMA and one of it’s dark sides. Mixed martial arts is not a new thing. It actually dates back all the way to 648
B.C. when Greek Pankration, a martial art combining boxing and wrestling techniques,
was introduced to Olympic games. Yet the MMA we know today, in it’s history,
is more rooted in Brazil, early 19 hundreds, were Vale Tudo, or “no holds barred” matches
were born. Mitsuyo Maeda, a Japanese Judo champion who
migrated to Brazil, in 1917 met Carlos Gracie, a Brazilian man who started training with
him and learning what was then still widely known as Kano Jiu Jitsu, named after it’s
founder. Carlos later shared the obtained knowledge
with his brothers, thus starting what we now know as Brazilian Jiu Jitsu or simply BJJ. The Gracie family, wanting to promote their
Martial Art, started organizing their own Vale Tudo events where they challenged different
combat arts to prove their effectiveness and most of the times were actually successful. In early 1980 – Rorion Gracie, the son of
Helio Gracie, one of the founders of BJJ, moved to the States where he continued the
tradition together with his brothers and held up the “Gracie Challenge”where they took
on all comers . Rorion even offered 100.000$ to anyone who could defeat him or his brothers
in a Vale Tudo style match. The Gracies were becoming notorious in the
American Martial Arts community, yet Rorion still had a desire to bring the Vale Tudo
matches to the main public, to further promote the Gracie Jiu Jitsu. This eventually lead to the creation of “The
Ultimate Fighting Championship” or UFC, a no “holds barred”event which was streamed
in pay-per-view television. The event was won by Royce Gracie, a member
of the Gracie family, who mainly used his families Jiu Jitsu, thus leading various fighters
to include BJJ and also others styles of martial arts into their training régime to get better
edge, in this way, creating a modern take on mixed martial arts or MMA. Although the event was planned to be a “one
off”, it received such huge success, that a chain of further UFC events followed, creating
a strong tradition of MMA fights in the whole world. Yet as every event, it had it’s dark sides
too. UFC, in it’s early days, had a reputation
of being extremely violent, to such an extent, that it even draw the attention of the U.S.
authorities, leading to thirty-six states enacting laws that banned “no-hold-barred”
fighting. Following the criticism , UFC increased cooperation
with state athletic commissions and redesigned its rules to remove the less palatable elements
of fights while retaining the core elements of striking and grappling. Following some other changes, in 2001, it
gained it’s way back to the pay-per-view television and became the fastest growing
sport in America. Yet despite the changing of it’s rules,
it still has a hidden shadow that is actually a huge danger to every MMA fighter up to this
day. In the beginning of UFC’s history, fights
didn’t involve as many punches. This actually wasn’t so much a result of
strategy, as it was a result of lack of gloves. Although many could think that a punch to
the head without gloves lead to more impact, in reality bare knuckles of the hand are quite
fragile and early MMA fighters often even broke their hands punching their opponents
in the tough bones of the head. Back in the beginning of UFC, most winning
strategies almost always involved grappling. Because of the lack of gloves, going for knockout
punches was a dangerous strategy, making grappling the safer, more effective choice. Yet that was not as enjoyable for the crowd
to watch, of which most part, wasn’t aware of the grappling subtleties happening on the
ground. In wanting to increase the mass appeal of
the sport, UFC added gloves which lead to heavy punches to the head becoming a common
strategy to win a fight with a knock out. Many other rules and scoring changes to favour
strikers were added too, to make the sport more thrilling to watch. While surely this strategy was very successful
in a commerce sense, it also added a huge, hidden cost to the fighters themselves. With receiving constant punches in the head,
increasingly more studies started showing a huge and common danger of brain injury in
MMA. The American Journal of Sports Medicine in
2014 found that a regular MMA fighter suffered a traumatic brain injury in almost one third
of professional bouts, later stating that “Rates of KOs and TKOs in MMA are higher
than previously reported rates in other combative and contact sports.” While there are many dangers to brain damage
itself , not everyone know that it can be not only serious, but also permanent, and
largely irreversible. Various symptoms of brain damage include mood
swings, loss of consciousness, amnesia, irritability, slowed reaction times, and sleep disturbances,
leading to significant changes to a fighters life. A famous MMA fighter Gary ‘Big Daddy’
Goodridge, who is only in his forties, has to take multiple medications suited for Alzheimer’s
patients and suffers constant memory loss, which is often noticed by his close friends. It is also believed that brain damage can
lead to depression with more and more fighters being diagnosed with the illness. This does not only lead to a great decrease
in the quality of fighters personal life, but also leads to a growing danger of possible
suicide. While the fatal effects of depression are
still a theoretical danger, the brain injury itself can sometimes even lead to direct,
deadly results itself. Just recently, in April 9, 2016, Joao Carvalho
suffered so many punches to the head during a single fight, that 20 minutes after a technical
knockout he fell ill and 48 hours later died in a hospital of brain injury. The sustained damage was based strongly on
the open rules of the fight, which allow a sequence known as “ground and pound” where
an opponent takes the other to the ground obtaining a dominant grappling position and
then striking the opponent in a long sequence of punches, only until the referee interferes. This fatal event opened up intense discussions
about the danger of MMA, especially in relationship to brain damage, with some people even suggesting
to bring back bare knuckle fights to decrease the sustained damage. Yet so far, the future direction of the sport
is still unclear. Everyone who enjoys watching MMA fights has
their one or two favorite fighters. Yet besides enjoying their charisma and amazing
skills on the screen, do we spend enough time thinking about what cost they have to pay
to offer that sight to us? Are we really ready to sacrifice the quality
of life and even the lives themselves of these great fighters for our own entertainment? Or should we talk and involve ourselves more
into seeking change that would be for the benefit of these respected people. Do you think the rules of MMA should changed? Or do you think the price is actually suitable
for the sport? Share what you think in the comments. Also, check our other Brief Martial Arts History
videos to see a different perspective on the popular martial arts. This is RokasLeo and see you on the virtual
mat again soon. History of Martial Arts
Anyone could name a whole set of different martial arts. Most have tried at least one of them at some
point in their lives or actively practices it. Yet when we look at the history of martial
arts, at best we know a few stories about our own practice, yet what to speak about
the whole history of martial arts in the entire world. Hi, my name is RokasLeo, and today we will
fill this gap with a brief history of the roots and evolution of all martial arts in
the world. Definition
Before we begin, let us define what a martial art is. The word ‘martial’ derives from the name of
Mars, the Roman god of war, making the term ‘Martial Arts’ literally mean the arts of
Mars, or to put more simply – the art of war. This term comes from 15th century Europeans
who were referring this way to their own fighting arts that are today known as Historical European
martial arts. Yet in it’s entirety, Martial arts through
history can be defined as systems of codified practices and traditions of training for combat. While each style has unique facets that makes
it different from other martial arts, with some of them being more linked to spiritual,
religious beliefs or philosophies, a common characteristic – is that they are all systemization
of fighting techniques. And these systemizations started very early
on throughout the entire world. Antiquity
The earliest evidence of martial arts comes from depictions of fights, both in figurative
art and in early literature. Although Martial arts are commonly associated
with East Asian cultures, the oldest work of art depicting scenes of battle, dates back
to 3400 BCE Egypt in paintings. A section found in the Indian Vedas from 1700
– 1100 BCE, already contain references to martial arts with both armed and bare-handed
combat. Looking even further to the West, boxing became
a part of the Olympic games in Greece as early as 688 BCE with detailed depictions of wrestling
techniques being preserved in vase paintings of the Classical period, while the Romans
produced Gladiatorial combat as a public spectacle starting from 3rd century BC. Greek Pankration – a martial art that included
empty-hand submission with scarcely any rules used techniques from boxing and wrestling
but also other types, such as kicking and holds, locks and chokes on the ground, where
the only things not acceptable were biting and gouging out the opponent’s eyes. Pankration is actually even considered to
be one of the very first Mixed Martial Arts in history. Looking back at Asia, where most of our well
known martial arts originated – according to a legend, in China, during a semi-mythical
dynasty more than 4,000 years ago the Yellow Emperor introduced the earliest fighting systems
to his country. Yet the earliest historical references to
Chinese martial arts found in the 5th century BCE where a hand-to-hand combat theory, one
that integrates notions of “hard” and “soft” techniques, is mentioned in a book. Interestingly enough, the foundation of traditional
Asian martial arts is actually most likely not only a blend of early Chinese, but also
of Indian martial arts, since extensive trade occurred between these nations in 6th century
B.C. as they shared not only their merchandises, but also culture and knowledge. Only later in China, during the Warring States
period in 480-221 B.C. extensive development in martial philosophy and strategy of it’s
own emerged, as described by Sun Tzu in The Art of War (c. 350 B.C.). All this could be considered the dawn of martial
arts, as these early forms continued to be further developed and evolved in the Middle
Ages. Middle Ages
Most Japanese martial arts origins can be found in the Middle Ages during the development
of the warrior traditions of the samurai and the caste system that restricted the use of
weapons by other members of society. Originally, samurai were expected to be proficient
in many weapons, as well as unarmed combat, reaching for the highest possible mastery
of combat skills, which brought a lot of attention to the development of martial arts. Although it is likely that the first iron
swords were manufactured in Japan in the fourth century, based on technology imported from
China, the oldest schools of Japanese swordsmanship in existence today arose in the 14th century
and such arts as Battōjutsu literally meaning “the art or science of drawing a sword” developed
in the mid-15th century. In order to know how to counter an opponent
with a sword, the well known Jujitsu began developing around the 15th century too, combining
various Japanese martial arts which were used on the battlefield for close combat in situations
where weapons were ineffective. In contrast to the neighboring nations of
China and Okinawa, whose martial arts were centered around striking techniques, Japanese
hand-to-hand combat forms focused heavily upon throwing, immobilizing, joint locks and
choking, as striking techniques were ineffective towards someone wearing armor on the battlefield. Exploring martial arts during Medieval Ages
in China, we come across an early legend in martial arts, that tells the tale of an Indian
monk known as Bodhidharma (also called Daruma), believed to have lived around 550 A.D. who
is credited with influencing the unarmed combat arts of the Shaolin temple in China, while
also finding the meditative philosophy of Zen Buddhism. It is sometimes considered that actually here
the martial virtues of discipline, humility, restraint and respect were developed. With regards to the Shaolin fighting system
itself, the oldest historical evidence of Shaolin participation in combat is from a
recorded battle which happened in 728 CE and a defending of the Shaolin Monastery from
bandits around 610 CE. In Korea, a martial art also developed in
the Middle ages known as Ssireum where it gained widespread popularity starting from
the 14th century. The West wasn’t as far with combat sciences
from it’s Asian contemporaries in the Middle Ages, with pictorial sources of medieval combat
being already present in 11th and 13th century, where an earliest martial arts manual also
comes, detailing sword and buckler combat, compiled in a monastery and consisting a manuscript
of 64 images. Unfortunately, these days in the West we do
not have a strong tradition of these arts as they faced many changes in the Modern Ages. Modern Ages
In Europe, the martial arts strongly declined with the rise of firearms and as a consequence,
martial arts with historical roots in Europe do not exist today to the same extent as in
Asia. Despite that, a number of historical fencing
forms and manuals still have survived from 1400 to 1900 A.D. and many groups today are
actively working to reconstruct older European martial arts to become a part of our culture
again. The process of reconstruction combines intensive
study of detailed combat treatises produced, including such styles as sword and shield,
two-handed sword fighting, halberd fighting, jousting and other types of melee weapons
combat. All this reconstruction effort and modern
outgrowth of the historical methods is generally referred to as Western martial arts. Some well known modern martial arts emerged
in the West as well during the modern ages. A well known martial art called Savate was
born mainly from a mixture of French street fighting techniques in the beginning of the
19th century and this art is still quite actively practiced today. Even further to the West – Capoeira, a today
well know Brazilian martial art that combines elements of dance, acrobatics and music was
developed in by West Africans beginning in the 16th century. Most fighting styles that are being practiced
as traditional Chinese martial arts today, reached their popularity in the Modern Ages
too. The increase in the popularity of those styles
is a result of the dramatic changes that occurred within the Chinese society in the 20th century. The present view of Chinese martial arts are
strongly influenced by the events of the Republican Period in 1912–1949, when Chinese martial
arts became more accessible to the general public as many martial artists were encouraged
to openly teach their art. At that time, some considered martial arts
as a means to promote national pride and to build a strong nation, thus many training
manuals were published, a training academy created, as well as demonstration teams travelled
overseas and numerous martial arts associations were formed throughout China and in various
overseas Chinese communities. Some of the best known Martial Arts developed
in Japan during this period too, after the Meiji Restoration in the 19th-20th century
which ended the ruling of the samurai class. Martial arts such as Judo, Kendo, Aikido,
Karate and many others where mainly formed during this time mostly by people wanting
to preserve traditional ways of combat, with the samurai culture fading away into history
and also with the desire to adapt the old ways to the new. The Western interest in East Asian Martial
arts dates back to the late 19th century, due to the increase in trade between America
with China and Japan. Relatively few Westerners actually practiced
the arts back then, as they considered them to be a mere performance, yet it didn’t
stop Edward William Barton-Wright, a railway engineer who had studied Jujutsu while working
in Japan between 1894 and 97, who was the first man known to have taught Asian martial
arts in Europe, helping to spread them and to change peoples wrong beliefs. Interestingly enough, he also founded an eclectic
martial arts style named Bartitsu, which combined jujutsu, judo, boxing, savate and stick fighting. Yet Asian Martial Arts weren’t still as
influential until the later 1970s and 1980s which witnessed an increased media interest
in the martial arts, thanks in part to Asian and Hollywood martial arts movies. This helped bring huge attention to these
practices, their popularity and growth, with the help of such prominent movie figures as
Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan and Jet Li, who have been responsible for promoting Chinese martial
arts in recent years. With time, Easter Martial Arts where brought
more and more commonly to the West and with it other martial arts started to emerge as
well, one of the most notable ones being what we now call Brazilian Jujitsu, which was actually
more a changed and evolved version of early Judo. Year after year martial arts kept evolving
with the appearance of Mixed Martial Arts or MMA, various military combat based martial
arts such as Israeli Krav Mag and more. Epilogue
These days we tend to limit our definition of martial arts only to the Asian combat practices. But in truth the Martial Arts history in the
world is far more wider and intriguing as most of have thought. Thus we tend to forget that there are so many
martial arts that have a unique heritage and deserve their own right and respect in this
world, weather it’s the playful Capoeira, medieval sword fencing, philosophical Aikido
or combat efficient Krav Maga, they all have their right place in this world as they shaped,
mixed and changed with the changes of time and cultures. What Made Bruce Lee so Brilliant? Although it’s already decades since Bruce
Lee passed away, even today thousands of people are inspired about his charisma and martial
arts skills. He has given us amazing stories, sights And
insights, that we still find amazing. Yet what made this martial arts superstar
so great? Why can’t we never get enough of Bruce Lee? Hi, my name is Rokas Leo and this time we
are going to look at a brief history of the secret of Bruce Lee. Born in 1940’s at the Chinese Hospital in
San Francisco’s Chinatown, according to the Chinese zodiac, Lee was born in both the hour
and the year of the Dragon, which according to tradition is a strong omen. Yet despite being born under a good sign,
Bruce’s life had it’s ups and downs right from early age. After Lee’s birth, his family moved back
to Hong Kong, where he was constantly taunted by English school boys who appeared to feel
superior to the Chinese. This lead Bruce to constantly getting into
fights and eventually to the desire to learn martial arts. In 1957, Lee began training in Wing Chun Kung
Fu, where he already started showing signs of great persistence. After a year into his training, most of his
fellow students refused to train with him when they learned of his mixed ancestry, as
the Chinese were generally against teaching their martial arts techniques to non-Asians. Being as persistent as he was, Bruce did’t
stop because of that and instead, managed to convince his teacher, the great Yip Man,
to teach him personally, which was a very rare success to any of his students. Bruce became deeply devoted to his training,
with intense training olso showing great success, yet his devotion to development didn’t stop
here. Besides his martial arts practice, not many
know that he was also into dancing, acting and even poetry. He even won the Hong Kong Cha Cha Championship
and despite that the movie industry in China back then was not big at the time, following
his passion for acting he starred in more than 20 films before leaving the country. At the age of 18, in 1959, Lee returned to
United States with $100 in his pocket to continue his high school education. To earn money he taught some dancing and later
worked as a live-in waiter for a restaurant. Following his yearning for growth, in 1961
he joined the University of Washington. Again he displayed his perseverance by completely
devoting himself to studies here. In order to further deepen his knowledge of
martial arts he intensely studied philosophy and psychology alongside drama and various
other subjects. In order to support himself financially he
started teaching Kung-Fu, first to his close friends and later, encouraged by them – opened
his first martial arts school and even taught in the University where he met his wife Linda
during the training. Following the success of his teaching, Lee
decided to become a professional instructor and soon after opened a second school. Yet his hunger still didn’t stop. In 1964 some Chinese kung-fu practitioners
from San Francisco, objecting Bruces’ teaching Chinese martial arts to Westerners, challenged
him to a duel with the terms, that if Bruce would loose, he would have to stop teaching. Bruce Lee was able to win, yet despite that,
he was unhappy of not being able to beat his opponent in less than 3 minutes and thus decided
to deepen his exploration of martial arts even more, what lead him to the evolution
of his own style – Jeet Kun Do. In August 1964, Bruce was invited to give
a public demonstration of his martial arts skills where he performed so well, that he
was later suggested to star in a new TV show called the “Green Hornet” as the main
sidekick. He also continued to teach Jeet Kun Do as
he opened up new schools, yet here his passions of martial arts and acting have collided as
he soon realized that if he will continue to open more and more schools, he will start
losing the quality of his teaching. Eventually Bruce decided to become more focused
in his teaching and also devote more time to acting. Nevertheless that didn’t stop Bruce from
further developing his understanding of Martial Arts. Where most practitioners stop at a certain
skill level, Lee not only continued to hone his skills, but also read and wrote extensively
his thoughts about physical combat, psychology of fighting, philosophical roots of martial
arts, motivation, self-actualization and even liberation of the individual. There was rarely a time when Bruce was doing
nothing—he was often seen reading a book, doing forearm curls and watching a boxing
film at the same time. Despite becoming extremely proficient, his
arduous training also lead to some negative results. Because of his extreme exercises, he eventually
ended up hurting his spine so badly, that the doctors predicted he would never be able
to do Kung-Fu again. Yet even here he was able to show his perseverance
and stubbornness to not take life’s detours as final. After spending six months in bed, Lee created
his own recovery program, which followed carefully, eventually lead him back to full martial arts
practice. Even in his acting career he had ups and downs,
but never stopped seeking his goals. Having limited attention in Hollywood, Bruce
visited Hong Kong where he was offered to star in various movies which had great success. This lead him to writing and even directing
one of his today legendary movies: “The Way of The Dragon” which was also starring
Chuck Norris. With Lee becoming famous in the East, more
recognition in the West came too and the first ever Hong Kong-American co-production movie,
now famously known as “Enter the Dragon” has been filmed. Unfortunately in 1973, when Bruce was only
32 years old, he didn’t live to see the huge success of his last movie, as he suddenly
died, from what is now believed to have been a hypersensitive reaction to an ingredient
in his pain medication. We often times like to think, that success
is given only to the few, lucky ones. That it’s all about talent and that being
an inspiring figure is meant only for the selected ones. But when we look closely at the unfortunately
short, yet amazing life of Bruce Lee and the positive impact he had in the history of the
world, we start to understand, that it is not all only about being born under a positive
omen. Imagine if Bruce would have become discouraged
in his early age because of the taunting. Imagine if he would have stopped training
martial arts when he was told that it’s not meant for non-asians. Imagine if he would not have dove into his
passion for acting and dancing. If he had not dedicated himself to arduous
studies and training and constant deepening of his knowledge. If not for all the persistence and endless
hunger that he had, we would have never been touched by his wonderful life. Being born under a good omen is possibly just
a light, positive push in the beginning. Yet everyone has their ups and downs in their
lives. Nonetheless, we see in Bruce Lee’s example
that it’s not about being lucky, but it’s about always staying hungry, always trusting
in your passion and never stopping in the quest to achieve your goal. If Bruce Lee ever had a secret to his success,
it is This. Do you agree with our conclusion? If not, what do you think was Bruce Lee’s
success? Let me know in the comments. Want to know more Brief Martial Arts histories? Check the BJJ history in 5 minutes. If you liked the video, also, click the like
and subscribe buttons to support our channel – that helps us a lot. This was RokasLeo and see you on the virtual
mat again soon. Check to see how Brazilian Jiu Jitsu conquered
the world. We’re going to look how BJJ conquered the
world. Is Steven Seagal’s Aikido Real? Most of us know Steven Seagal as an Aikido
master, turned movie star. Despite loosing his strong stand in Hollywood,
he is still loved by many. Yet when you look at his life more closely,
many plot holes start to pop out. Being a controversial figure as he is – one
can only stop and wonder – what was the influence of Seagal to martial arts and his
primary art – Aikido? To better understand the answer, we will have
to look at some details that are often left unmentioned. There are loads of caricaturist montages about
Seagal. One could argue, that a caricature could be
made about anyone. Yet it is also said that there is 60% of truth
in every joke, which means that every caricature is actually inspired by something. That seems to be true about Seagal when you
look at the details of his past. It turns out that Seagal has a strong reputation
in Hollywood as a pathological liar. There are many stories about his distorting
of truth. One of the more commonly known: his claim
to have been an operative in CIA and also a member of the NAVY SEAL. In 1988, he told Los Angeles Times: “”You
can say that I became an adviser to several CIA agents in the field, and. through my friends in the CIA, met many powerful
people and did special works and special favors.” Yet it was stated by many of those associated
with the CIA, that this claim is absurd. As one of the examples, in a story told by
Gary Goldman, an ex-mercenary and former business partner of Steven Seagal, while they were
together on a trip, he realized that Seagal had no clue how to even use a map or a compass. In his letter to Times magazine he wrote that
Seagal: “would surely die of starvation if he was given a compass and a map that led
to a restaurant five miles away.” A story like this really puts some doubt about
the possibility of Seagal ever being a CIA operative or a former Navy Seal, even more
so with him never giving any proof about it. Actually, even Steven Seagals Aikido background
story has been caught being suspicious. Based on “Peoples” article published in
1990, during various interviews Seagal indicated that it was anywhere from 1968 to 1973 that
he went to Japan. According to enrollment records at Fullerton
College, he attended classes from the fall of 1970 and left after the fall of 1971, putting
him at age 19 before he could have departed for a long stay in Japan. Of course, it could have been a mix of dates
in Seagal’s memory, but what these dates contradict with, is that Steven was also claiming
that he studied with Morichei Ueshiba, the founder of Aikido. This was not only denied by one of Ueshiba’s
Western students, Terry Dobson, who stayed with the founder during that time, but Morihei
also passed away in 1969, during the time when Seagal was recorded to be still in College
in the States, making his claims even more so ridiculous. One element that is often used to fortify
Seagal’s image as a ‘great’ martial artists, is the often proclaimed statement,
that he was the first non-asian person to open a Dojo in Japan. Based on ‘Peoples’ investigation, it turns
out that the Dojo that he was teaching in Japan, belonged to his former wife’s, Miyako
Fujitani’s, father. Looking at all these claims and contradictions,
Seagals role as a martial artist and an Aikidoka become really peculiar. Seagal had been into other series of trouble
as well. To begin with, he had a series of law suits
for sexual harassment and there are many recorded stories of different women sharing how awful
and sexually inappropriately Seagal was acting with them. Up until now, Seagal has had three law suits
for sexual harassment, spamming from 1995 to 2013. He has also been reported acting unethically
and violently in the filming set, most notably when he intentionally punched actor John Leguizamo
during a rehearsal, when John laughed from Seagals statement: “I’m in command, what
I say is law, anyone not agree?”. There had been numerous other troubling events
that were recorded about Seagal in various situations, yet these alone mentioned before,
are already enough to create a big sense of doubts about his personality and credibility. One could argue, that maybe some of these
stories are not true, that maybe it is just what happens to actors in Hollywood, with
lots of gossiping. Yet then why so much trouble with Seagal in
particular? With so many of these stories and recorded
facts, for all of them to be out of thin air, it becomes hard to believe. Yet trying to prove if it is true or not,
is not our main goal. It is now time to come back to our original
question. Without doubt, Seagal has been an important
figure in the development and popularization of martial arts in the West. Popular culture always had a strong influence
on people’s interests. With Seagals fame rising, rose also the fame
of martial arts and Aikido even more so. Many came trying martial arts after seeing
his movies. Yet what image has he presented about Aikido
and martial arts in general? Most martial arts masters who have demonstrated
incredible feet’s, even after turning famous proclaimed self-development and good example
as of utmost importance in martial arts. Up to this day we still look up to the founder
of Jeet-Kun-Do and famous actor Bruce Lee, who would go about saying: “To me, the function
and duty of a quality human being is the sincere and honest development of one’s potential.” Many other great martial artists would promote
good character and example as well [collection of quotes]. Yet looking at Steven Seagals actions, it
alsmost seems that he was acting the opposite, showing a terrible example of how a true martial
artist should be. What is even worse, is that many still associate
Seagal as a representation of Aikido. Yet the founder of Aikido constantly emphasized
that a true martial art should be a means of creating good individuals. He would often say that: “The goal of Aikido
is to reconcile the world”. Yet did Seagal represent this at all? Steven Seagals movies not only lacked completely
mentioning the philosophy of Aikido, but to make it worse, in his movies, he would always
go about injuring and utterly destroying his opponents. With the excuse of them being bad guys, he
would sometimes be hurting them beyond common sense. Some could say that Seagal was just playing
his role as an actor, but even then, an actor always has a choice at what movies to start. Although, his support of violence, which contradicts
the essence of Aikido, does not end there. Even in his life, he is proud to this day
of having a close connection to Russia’s president Vladimir Putin and expressing personal
support to the annexation of Crimea. We all have a choice to whom we connect ourselves
with, but here we speak of supporting a leader with a very controversial situation and worse
so, a military war strategy, which has the outcome of violence and loss of lives. Could that ever be called a representation
of Aikido? It is clear that no human is perfect, but
the more we expose ourselves to the general public, the more conscious we should become
that our actions do matter and that others will potentially take us as an example for
what we stand for. When this leads to a strong impact, we have
to be very conscious of what we do, in order to show a good example, not only for ourselves,
but also for what we represent. Seagals movies has brought a lot of attention
and flow to martial arts, yet for what cost? Even these days there are still people who
would come to various Dojo’s wanting to be the next Steven Seagal. But is that what we really want people to
think of martial arts? Is that how we want a true martial artist
to be represented and thought of? A person of pathological lying, sexual harassment,
one using force without sense? Worse so, many people when being asked if
they know Aikido, often connect it to Steven Seagal, as a representation of what it is. Yet it is so far from what Aikido really stands
for, that despite all the attention that it brought, it only makes one wonder if there
was more gain then actual harm, to peoples ability to understand what Aikido is truly
about. So I ask again to look back at what we might
have taken for granted. Steaven Seagal is for many a representation
of a martial arts, and specially that of Aikido. But is that really a representation that we
want to have? Do we really want to take Seagal an example
and support him in that? Or should we rather take him as an example
of what a martial artist shouldn’t be? The more we will be aware of the true situation,
the easier it will be for many to understand how it truly is. Martial arts should not be vehicle for misconduct. It should be a vehicle for self-development
and the bringing of the best of ourselves, not only in fights, but even more importantly,
into our daily life. But as long as we will accept terrible examples
as a representation of it, we will probably never get very far. Let’s become clear on what is what and start
cleaning the harm by supporting those, who show a true example and doing our best to
living a good example ourselves. What do you think a true martial artist should
be? Do You think Steven Seagal is a good example? Join the discussion bellow in the comments
in searching for what true martial art. Also subscribe, if you like the video, to
further explore these topics together. This is Sensei Rokas and see you on the virtual
mat again soon! Greatest Martial Artists
We are all inspired about the greatest martial artists that ever lived. But did you ever wonder what made them the
greatest? How come they were different from everyone
else? In the next 17 minutes, I will answer this
question by briefly looking at the history of the greatest martial artists. We will start our history by looking at 400
to 190 BC ancient Greece, or more specifically – Sparta. The Spartans are famous up to this day as
creators of one of the first professional armies, where their warriors were intensely
trained from the early age of seven, all the way up to 20, although their emphasis on military
fitness began virtually at birth. All Spartan infants were brought before a
council of inspectors and examined for physical defects, and those who weren’t up to standards
were left to die. Spartan warriors were feared as the most powerful
army in the Greek world and commonly known that one Spartan was worth several men of
any other state. In 480 BC, in the famous battle of Thermopoly,
Spartan King Leonidas, personally lead an army of 300 Spartans and few thousand Greek
soldiers into a battle against a much greater Persian army of more than a hundred thousand. Tactically using a narrow coastal pass of
Thermopoly, also known as “The Hot Gate”, with their extremely developed battle skills
and tactics, Leonidas and his small group was able to hold against the Persians for
more than two days of battle. Eventually, they were killed because of a
local Greek, betraying a secret path to the Persians, which lead to the assault of the
Spartan army from the rear. Having dedicated their lives to the martial
way, Spartan warriors could be easily considered to be as one of the first greatest martial
artists of history. Yet although they were exposed to grueling
and sometimes brutal training, not many know that they were also taught poetry, music,
academics and sometimes even dancing and politics. Each Spartan Warrior followed a strict code
of honor and placed emphasis on liberty, equality and fraternity. To simply put, they had a deeper purpose for
developing. They were not training to be simply brutal
fighters, but rather to become pillars for their society. Support of their community was the source
of their passion for constant improving, which surpassed technical training only and lead
them to be extraordinary warriors that are legendary till this day. To continue our journey, we’ll shift the
attention further East, by looking at 5th century China, or more specifically – the
famous Shaolin Monastery, where Shaolin Kung-Fu has been created. Although it would be hard to point out the
greatest Shaolin Kung Fu master of all time, throughout centuries, many of them have displayed
incredible skills in this martial art. By developing not only their techniques, but
also their bodies and minds, they are famous for being able to withstand incredible force
and demonstrate amazing feats, such as breaking glass with a needle. Many Shaolin Kung Fu masters have defeated
various foreign opponents from Japan, Russia and Europe in duels, proving the effectiveness
of their style, also proving them to be some of the early greatest martial artists. Yet here we can ask again: where did those
skills and passion for their art come from? Although it is not always confirmed, the creation
of the famous Shaolin Kung Fu is often dedicated to Bodhidharma, an Indian Buddhist monk, that
brought Chan Buddhism to China, which later became known in Japan as the famous Zen Buddhism. Bodhidharma was a Bodhisattva – a Buddhist
term of a person seeking self-fulfillment, in order to help all sentient beings. It is clear that Bodhidharma was lead by this
motivation, as he spent nearly all his life developing himself in order to help others. Bodhidharma spent a big part of his life in
the Shaolin Monastery. Based on a famous legend, he lived in a cave
next to the monastery for 9 years, where he spent his time meditating while gazing at
a wall and being silent. It was also said, that he was disturbed by
the poor physical shape of the Shaolin monks, after which he instructed them in martial
arts techniques to develop both mind and body, thus Shaolin Kung Fu was born. Shaolin Monks continued to train Kung Fu,
yet also alongside practiced meditation and the teachings of Buddhism. They dedicated themselves to this path in
order to develop themselves and thus, to better aid others. In other words, they too possessed a deeper
purpose for their training and did not limit it to technique. To further this journey we will continue not
so far from China – to ancient Japan, 10th to 16 th century – where another legendary
class of warriors has originated. Japanese warriors known as the samurai, were
famous not only for devoting their lives to mastering various martial arts, but literary
arts as well. Samurai were expected to be cultured and literate,
and admired the ancient saying “bunbu-ryodo” – or “The pen and the sword in accord”. The Samurai were also taught that the path
of the warrior was one of honor, emphasizing duty to one’s master, and loyalty unto death. Their devotion was so highly emphsized, that
a samurai who has lost his honor or failed his master, was meant to commit a suicidal
ritual known as Seppuku. As in our previous stories, we face again
a devotion surpassing just martial arts, and also one focused beyond personal self, which
lead to emergence of some of the greatest martial artists of all time. There are many samurai throughout history
which are famous for their skill in battle and strategy, but Myamoto Musashi stands out
as one of the greatest duelists and martial artists. Born 1584, he was educated by his uncle in
Buddhism, basic literary skills and also the sword. There are many controversial stories about
Musashi’s oddities, such as that he have rarely bathed or changed his clothes as well
as having suffered from a somewhat disfiguring skin condition. Yet history agrees about his excellence in
the way of sword. Musashi is said to that won his first duel
when he was just 13 years old and continued to travel through Japan, engaging in more
than 60 duels, always undefeated. Yet he did not limit himself to martial arts. Having mastered the sword, he also spent years
studying Buddhism and was an accomplished artist, sculptor, and calligrapher. Musashi had little concern for his own personal
comfort or even his life and dedicated himself entirely to his development. At the end of his life he also attempted to
transmit his knowledge of self-development and sword by writing a book called the Book
of Five Rings. Here he emphasized that samurai should understand
not only martial arts, but other professions as well. His teachings said: “Think lightly of yourself
and deeply of the world”. This connection of devotion which is not limited
to martial arts was also found in more modern day Japan. The bridge from 19th to 20th century brought
a few different great martial artists. Jigoro Kano, born 1860, early on became interested
in a Japanese martial art known as Jujitsu. Kano’s father was a great believer in the
power of education, and he provided Jigoro with an excellent education, yet being a slim
child, Kano had a strong wish to become stronger. When a family friend told him that Jujitsu
was a good way to develop strength, Kano decided to find a teacher, which was not an easy task. At the time, Jujitsu was becoming strongly
unpopular, due to the decline of the samurai and the beginning of a new era, yet that did
not stop Jigoro’s effort. He started going to various body therapists,
assuming that they should know the martial arts teachers. Eventually one of the people indeed directed
Jigoro to a Jujitsu instructor, which taught him his knowledge. Yet after mastering Jujitsu, Kano felt that
learning technique was not sufficient, thus he started improving the learned techniques,
while also adding an emphasis on philosophy and self-development. This mix in turn lead to the creation of what
is now known as Judo. Sensei Kano later stated that: “I therefore
anticipated that practitioners would develop their bodies in an ideal manner, to be outstanding
in matches, and also to improve their wisdom and virtue and make the spirit of Judo live
in their daily lives. […] We should be able to move properly in
response to our opponent’s unexpected attacks and should also not forget to make full use
of every opportunity during our practice to improve our wisdom and virtue. These are the ideal principles of my Judo.”. Just a few years after Jigoro Kano, in 1868,
Gichin Funakoshi was born in Okinawa, a Japanese island where Karate has originated. He was a weak and sickly child, yet nonetheless
his parents brought him to Karate training, where Funakoshi continued to develop great
skill and strength. In 1922 he moved to Japan, where he stayed
in a small room of a dormitory, doing cleaning and gardening during the day and teaching
local students Karate in the night. Later on, Funakoshi opened his Dojo and continued
to introduced karate to the Japanese. He is considered the founder of Shotokan Karate-Do,
perhaps the most widely known style of karate, and is attributed as being the “father of
modern karate”. In addition to being a karate master, he was
an avid poet and philosopher who would reportedly go for long walks in the forest where he would
meditate and write his poetry. During his life, Funakoshi wrote “The Twenty
Guiding Principles of Karate” where he laid out 20 rules by which students of karate are
urged to abide in an effort to “become better human beings”. One of the principles state: “Apply the
way of karate to all things. Therein lies its beauty.”. During the same time, another renowned martial
artists lived in Japan. Born 1883, son of a landowner, Morihei Ueshiba
was a weak, sickly child and bookish in his inclinations. In his early days he witnessed how his father
was beaten by a group of people. This experience lead Ueshiba to take a promise,
that he will become strong in order to protect people around him. Ueshiba started studying several martial arts
during his early life, and was well known for his physical strength. In 1915 he met Sokaku Takeda, a master of
Jujitsu, and was deeply impressed by his skills. Ueshiba even built a Dojo in his own house
to invite Takeda as a permanent house guest, in order to continually learn from him. After years of training, he became a master
of the art himself. Ueshiba became famous for his own martial
arts skills, which lead to advanced practitioners of different martial arts coming to train
under him. He was so respected, that people referred
to him as O’Sensei – translated as “the great teacher”. Yet Ueshiba did not limit himself to martial
arts. He also went under a regime of spiritual training,
regularly retreating himself to the mountains and performing purification meditation under
heavy waterfalls. He was deeply concerned about other people
and decided that a new martial art, based not only on technical skills, but also on
self-development is necessary, thus he created Aikido. Morihei taught that: “Life is growth. If we stop growing, technically and spiritually,
we are as good as dead.” Another great Karate master who was famous
for his strength and skill lived in the early 20th century Japan. Masutatsu Oyama, commonly known as Mas Oyama
– was born 1923 in South Korea. He began studying Chinese martial arts at
age of 9 from a Chinese farmer who was working on the farm. One story of Oyama’s youth involves his first
teacher giving young Oyama a seed which he was to plant; when it sprouted, he was to
jump over it one hundred times every day. As the seed grew and became a plant, Oyama
later said that he was able to jump between walls back and forth easily. In 1938, Oyama moved to Japan, where in 1946
he started learning Shotokan Karate, from the second son of Gichin Funakoshi. Mas, later on became so devoted to Karate,
that he retreated to mountains for fourteen months where he spent all his time training
in isolation, followed by a second time, which lasted 18 more months. Oyama became so strong, that he did not only
defeat various rivals, but was also able to fight and kill live bulls with his bare hands,
sometimes even snapping their horns at the end. In 1957, he created his own Karate style known
as Kyokushin, which emphasized grueling training and full contact practice fighting. Yet as our previous great martial artists,
Oyama also emphasized self-development. He was highly influenced by Musashi’s “The
Book of Five Rings” and even wrote over 80 books himself. He was passionate about sharing his knowledge
and taught that “Although it is important to study and train for skill in techniques,
for the man who wishes to truly accomplish the way of budo, it is important to make his
whole life in training and therefore not aiming for skill and strength alone, but also for
spiritual attainment.”. As we move further, our attention shifts to
the West, where some of the greatest martial artists also lived their lives. Born 1913, a Brazilian child named Helio Gracie
was frail and sickly. When his brother learned Jujitsu and shared
it with his family, Helio wasn’t allowed to be a part of the training, which involved
actual fighting, as he was to fragile. Instead, he stood aside and tried to understand
the mechanics by watching. Faced with this physical problem, he started
developing techniques, which were not based as much on strength, but rather on skill and
became so good at this, that when he was 18 he was given his first no-holds barred fight
against a boxer, which lasted less then a minute as Helio choked his opponent out. Helio and his brothers continued to develop
his techniques what lead to the creation of Brazilian Jujitsu. Yet this style would probably have not developed,
if it was not for the passion of Helio to give a chance for the weaker to win against
the strong, by creating a martial art, not based on strength. He saw this development surpassing martial
arts and being also a development of character. As he once said: “Jiu-Jitsu is like a philosophy. It helps me learn how to face life.” As we move further in time, no list of greatest
martial artists of the West could suffice without Bruce Lee. Bruce was born 1940,
at the Chinese Hospital, in San Francisco’s Chinatown. According to the Chinese zodiac, Lee was born
in both the hour and the year of the Dragon, which according to tradition is a strong and
fortuitous omen. Indeed, it did seem to be true for his although
short, yet highly influential life. After Lee’s birth, his family moved back
to Hong Kong, where he spent his childhood. In 1957, after losing several fights with
rival gang members – Lee began training in Wing Chun Kung Fu, under a master named Yip
Man. After a year into his Wing Chun training,
most of Yip Man’s students refused to train with Lee after they learned of his mixed ancestry,
as the Chinese were generally against teaching their martial arts techniques to non-Asians. However, Lee showed a keen interest in Wing
Chun, and continued to train privately with Yip Man himself. Despite his training, Lee often got involved
into street fights, which lead his father to the decision of sending him back to United
States to pursue a safer and healthier life. In 1959 Lee began teaching Chinese martial
arts to all people of different race and cultural background. In 1961, Bruce started studying drama in University,
where he also studied philosophy, psychology, and various other subjects. In 1964, after an impressive public demonstration
of his martial arts skills, Lee was invited for an audition to a television show and was
chosen to play the sidekick of a hero in a show called “The Green Hornet”. This brought him enough attention, that some
years later Lee started playing main roles and getting more attention in the film industry,
eventually becoming a super-star. With the combination of his martial art skills
and charisma, he had a strong influence on both martial arts and the genre of martial
arts films. Yet he did not limit himself to physical technique
only. Lee himself was well-read and had an extensive
library. He was influenced by teachings of Taoism,
Jiddu Krishnamurti, and Buddhism. In 1967 he developed a martial art which he
called Jeet Kune Do, governed by a philosophy of self-development. Bruce Lee said himself that: “Too much time
is given to the development of skill and too little to the development of the individual
for participation. … Jeet Kune Do, ultimately is not a matter
of petty techniques but of highly developed spirituality and physique.”. Born in the same year and also a friend of
Bruce Lee, although today Chuck Norris to most is known as a form of humor, he was actually
a highly influential and prominent martial artist. As a child, he was nonathletic, shy, and scholastically
mediocre. His father, went on alcohol drinking binges
that lasted for months at a time. Embarrassed by his father’s behavior and the
family’s financial plight, Norris developed a debilitating introversion that lasted for
his entire childhood. Yet in 1958 he joined the United States Air
Force where he became interested in martial arts, which helped him in his development. After he discharged from the military in 1962,
he continued to train and teach Karate, while also participating in tournaments. Although he had a varied beginning, experiencing
both winning an loosing – in 1968, he won the Professional Middleweight Karate champion
title, which he held for six consecutive years. In 1969, he won Karate’s triple crown for
the most tournament wins of the year, and the Fighter of the Year award by Black Belt
magazine. Chuck has also received a black belt in Brazilian
Jujitsu and made history in 1990 when he was the first Westerner in the documented history
of Tae Kwon Do to be given the rank of 8th Degree Black Belt Grand Master. Yet his passion to martial arts was also not
limited to technique. During his life Norris created his own style,
“Chun Kuk Do”, translated as “The Universal Way”, which gave great focus to self-development. He was also known as a philanthropist, political
activist and a devoted Christian and wrote several inspirational books. His determination that lead him to learn martial
arts was also present in all of his life. To quote Chuck: “ I’ve always found that
anything worth achieving will always have obstacles in the way and you’ve got to have
that drive and determination to overcome those obstacles on route to whatever it is that
you want to accomplish.” Our last story, although arguably calling
a boxer – martial artist, is about a man who brought boxing to the next level. Muhammad Ali, born 1942, showed at an early
age that he wasn’t afraid of any bout—inside or outside of the ring. At the age of 12, Ali had his bike stolen,
and told a police officer, that he wanted to beat up the thief. The police officer, who was also boxing coach,
suggested that Ali should first learn how to box. Thus his career began. Ali showed great skills and performance in
matches, winning almost all of his fights, including the Light Heavyweight gold medal
in the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome and in 1963 the heavyweight champion of the world
title. Ali was known for his lightning speed and
fancy footwork. Yet Muhammad also shown interest in various
other subjects. He was concerned about religious freedom and
racial justice, which led him to join a controversial movement for the rights of African American
people, called the “Nation of Islam”. This lead him to resist his draft to serve
in the Vietnam War, what created various difficulties in his life, yet was an inspiring example
for many. In later years he also became involved in
philanthropy raising various funds for developing countries and on other needs, thus going beyond
his fighting skills. When he opened the Muhammad Ali Center in
his hometown he said: “I wanted more than a building to house my memorabilia. I wanted a place that would inspire people
to be the best that they could be at whatever they chose to do, and to encourage them to
be respectful of one another.” Most of us are so concerned about becoming
good at martial art techniques, that as soon as we learn it, we stop, because we have no
greater inspiration to go further. Yet looking at the examples of the greatest
martial artists, it becomes clear, that the greatness of martial art skills does not end
at physical development. Each of the great martial artists, through
all of history, saw a deeper reason for their training. They had a concern for more than themselves
and became devoted to master various abilities and arts to aid others in their development. When they learned their techniques – they
did not stop. Their passion for greater goals lead them
to go further than anyone else. They devoted themselves to becoming the best
they can be, thus becoming masters not only in martial arts, but also in life. Which martial artist do you think was the
greatest in history? Click on the image or on the links bellow
to vote. Also, what do you think makes the greatest
martial artists? Join a discussion in the comments. If you liked the video, click to subscribe
to know when the next video like this one will come out. This is Sensei Rokas, and see you on the virtual
mat again soon. Relevance of Martial Arts Today 600 years ago in feudal Japan our lives would
have depended on how good we are at martial arts. Similar rules applied to Medieval Europe or
Ancient Greece and Rome. Yet Martial Arts are not the same as in the
past. So why Martial Arts are still relevant today? What made them change in the history of time? The last country to still use martial arts
as a priority for surviving deadly encounters was Feudal to Modern Japan. In 1860-es, when steam engine and telegraph
were already in use and America was fighting it’s civil war, the warrior class of the
samurai were ruling Japan. Their chances to live another day depended
on their martial skills and having to fight until death was a common event. Yet after the Meiji Restoration, when the
military ruling came to an end and Japan opened up to foreign countries, all the exposure
to different cultures and technology lead to a fall of the need for martial arts. Martial arts such as Kenjutsu (the way of
the sword) and Jujitsu became unpopular. People started believing it was out-dated
and while being challenged to a death duel or participating in close combat battles came
to an end – few saw reasons to practice it. Those devoted to Martial Arts came to conclusions
that their practices had to be changed according to more modern times. This created opportunities for masters such
as Jigoro Kano. Sensei Kano – a devoted student of Jujitsu,
understanding the changings of time, excluded deadly techniques and stressed great emphasis
on physical and moral development. Thus Judo – a martial art suitable for the
times was born. Further development of martial arts was also
influenced by the different situation that modern day presented. Martial arts became increasingly more important
as a tool of self-development and competition, rather than as a tool of survival, thus giving
birth to modern martial arts that we practice today. Nevertheless this contradicts with some peoples
thinking. No doubt there are extreme cases such as military
hand-to-hand combat training which can still be decisive in a matter of survival and other
professions which deal with physical conflict all the time. Yet being attacked to a regular person in
a life threatening situation is increasingly rare in most countries. Despite that some people still see martial
arts as means of survival. But then if martial arts are still primarily
a matter of survival, why do we keep dressing with Japanese GI and practice bows and continue
to develop techniques which are often not useful in a self defensive situation? Too often we forget the meaning of martial
arts today as a tool of development and spend hundreds of hours preparing for that one encounter
that we might never have. We end up arguing about which techniques are
effective and which martial art doesn’t deserve to exist. We end up living in tension and fear of conflict,
rather than becoming self confident and ready for more than just brawling in the streets. Surely, martial arts can be beneficial and
very important in self-defense situations, but they are so much more than that. Yet whilst we will see it as a means of survival
primarily, we will miss so much more that it can offer. Let me know your thoughts about the situation
of martial arts. Also, subscribe to follow when the next video
will come out exploring martial arts from a different view and check what already is
out there on Aikido Siauliai YouTube channel. This is Sensei Rokas, stay inspired. Aikido’s Loss of Popularity – Brief History Aikido has been in a wave of controversy for
years now. Even the once considered “God of Aikido”in
popular culture, is now being washed away in the mud. But what? has happened to this art’s, once
former glory? Where? did it all go so wrong? Morihei Ueshiba, also known as O’Sensei
(Great Teacher) born in 1883 during his life has become a master of a classical a Jujitsu
style of Aiki-Jujitsu, a form of Kenjutsu – Japanese Swordsmanship and Jojutsu, the
art of the combat staff. He was also a devotee of various spiritual
practices, spending a big part of his life in meditation and studies of sacred texts. With years of experienc, he has come to connect
all of his knowledge into a Martial Art that he called Aikido. Aikido was so highly respected that for a
certain period of time, only people who had a recommendation, were allowed to practice
it. Many famous martial artists through entire
Japan came to train with Ueshiba and had a lot of respect for him. Yet these days Aikido is looked with a lot
of skepticism by fellow martial artists, most notably by that of MMA and BJJ, although not
excluding many others. But in order to realize where this has started,
we will have to take a better look at the past. Traditional Jujitsu was created and developed
in Japan by the samurai, mainly to defend against armored and potentially armed opponents
in battle field or in other places. Yet after the Meiji Restoration in 1868, which
ended the samurai class, completely changed people’s relationship to martial arts. Various martial arts, including Jujitsu have
started to be considered unfashionable and had little interest to people. Also, with the changing times, most of Jujitsu
masters started to conclude that their art has become impractical and thus stopped their
practices entirely. Yet Jigoro Kano, born 1860, being bullied
in his childhood decided to learn Jujitsu nevertheless. After long and difficult search for a teacher,
who would be still willing to teach, he eventually not only came to learn the art himself, but
also became a master of it. Yet he did not stop there. With Jujitsu still being unpopular and not
accepted by general public, Sensei Kano decided to not only change some of the techniques,
but also to rediscover it’s emphasizes and philosophy, which suited more the modern day. Thus Judo was born – a martial art that
was more adapted to the current time. Judo has become increasingly popular and it’s
practitioners constantly won in contests against other styles of Jujitsu, thus proving it’s
superiority. Hearing all the talks about it, Mitsuyo Maeda,
born 1878, became interested in the art and started practicing it in his early years. He ended up studying with Jigoro Kano’s
senior students, with the supervision of the Judo founder himself. As Judo became known in the United States,
it was decided to send more judoka’s there from Japan, to promote the art. Maeda took the opportunity. He travelled around the whole West, not only
teaching but also constantly participating in various demonstrations and contests. In 1914 he first visited Brazil, where he
engaged in his Judo activity and became well known. While in Brazil, in 1917 he met Carlos Gracie,
who soon became his student and ended up learning from Maeda for a few years. Carlos, having learned Judo, back then also
known as Kano Jujitsu, later on he continued to pass his knowledge to his other Gracie
brothers. Amidst his brothers, the most notable one
was Helio Gracie. Born 1913, Helio was a frail child, thus he
wasn’t able to perform many of the techniques himself, due to the lack of physic and other
health issues. This in turn lead him to modify and improve
what he was taught. Continuing to improve what they have learned,
Carlos’ and Helios’ jujitsu has become so effective that they decided to start hosting
an event, which was already popular in Brazil, known as Vale Tudo – a full contact, unarmed
combat event, with limited set of rules, where the Gracie brothers would compete against
other styles of combat. Here the Gracies were actually able to defeat
most of the opponents. When the Gracies went to the United States
to further promote their style, they started referring to it as Gracie or Brazilian Jujitsu
to differentiate from other names. They kept constantly improving their style
and proving it’s effectiveness against various fighters, which also supported their technical
growth. Thus the roots were born of the such a well
known Martial Art that these days we often call with the simple abbreviation of BJJ. With tournaments of various martial arts becoming
increasingly popular, various martial arts had started to be blended together. Brazilian Jujitsu had also a big influence
in this mix, since in 1993, the first Ultimate Fighting Championship, also known as UFC was
hosted, where Royce Gracie, the son and student of Helio Gracie, won the tournament, thus
leading to a realization, that BJJ has to be included in the practice of what has become
known as Mixed Martial Arts, or MMA. With the popularity of MMA and it’s various
tournaments rising, the development of the blend of various martial arts continued. This blend, as much as BJJ, focused on eliminating
everything that is not necessary and increasing the efficiency of a fighter in a tournament
and leaving only whatever is most practical. In other words, practicality and efficiency
has become the basis of modern martial arts. Yet here we reach the point where we come
back to Aikido. With it’s deep philosophical roots, Morihei
Ueshiba did not approve any competition. He stated that Aikido is meant for reconciling
conflict and the betterment of the individual, rather than deciding who is more efficient. Thus Aikido was never exposed to an urge of
needing to improve it’s techniques in order to perform better in tournaments, or was never
continuously forced to look at it’s lacks. Also, ironically enough, despite that O’Sensei
kept improving and changing his art, many of the Aikido instructors refused to change
Aikido techniques on a fundamental level, trying to honor the founder in this way. Some main Aikido teachers, such as Sensei
Morihiro Saito went so far as to make it his primarily goal to preserve the art exactly
as it is. While this corresponds to the cultural values
of Japan, to preserve and honor the past, this phenomenon has been transmitted to the
West as well, with many instructors refusing to make any substantial changes to the art,
thus leaving Aikido with the same form and techniques, with only minor changes. Not having any exposure to competition and
being preserved by it’s instructors, Aikido has become static, while BJJ and MMA has continued
to constantly improve, thus eventually starting to give controversy to the art, as to if it
has any practical use at all. There had been some attempts to make Aikido
more efficient, such as “Real Aikido”, created by a Serbian man named Ljubomir Vracarevic. The so called“Real Aikido” is based on
Aikido techniques, with the attempt to modify them in a more efficient and practical way,
yet while it maintains a similar external shell to Aikido, that was founded by Ueshiba,
it does not touch upon the original philosophy or spirit that the founder felt are absolutely
necessary in this Art. Which brings us to the second wall that Aikido
is facing. Many of Aikido’s instructors, even included
the top students of Morihei, were so focused on the technical side of Aikido, that most
of them neglected the spiritual side almost entirely, which again brings us to an ironical
fact – for Ueshiba, the spirituality and Aikido were inseparable. He even went so far as to saying that: “These
techniques are only for health! What Aikido is about – is spiritual”. Yet even these days, so many instructors are
so focused on trying to prove Aikido’s liability as a martial art, or try to preserve it so
much, that the spiritual side of it becomes left out. While even senior instructors and many Aikidoka
are facing this conflict, not being clear on what Aikido is or where it should go, the
art is left with so much controversy and space for criticism. Yet what if we would change this? Sensei Morihei Ueshiba saw Aikido as a tool
to reconcile the world and to help individuals improve not only their physique, but most
importantly –their character. For him – technique was just a platform,
upon which he could share his message – that True Victory is the Victory against oneself. The world already has plenty of effective
martial arts – yet it is still missing an effective way to reconcile it. O’Sensei saw that – and that is the reason
he created a different martial art, and not a continuation of Jujitsu. If O’Sensei wasn’t concerned about proving
Aikido against other Martial Arts and he wasn’t so concerned about the importance of technique
– why are we? As long as we will put Aikido in the same
box as BJJ or MMA, it will never become as popular. Even if we would modify and adapt it’s techniques,
yet we would loose the essence of it – what would the use of Aikido be? I say – let’s stop comparing football to
chess. Let’s respect them, appreciate and benefit
from what they are. Aikido can be a unique tool to make a difference
in people’s lives and that of the world. It does not deny the chance to improve it,
make it better and adapt it to this day. Actually – it needs that! But just changing the technique will never
be enough. As long as we will continue to put it into
existential competition to other martial arts – we will never have the space to reveal
Aikido’s true message and purpose and it will never have the popularity that it deserves. I say – let’s stop fighting against other
martial arts, trying to prove something against them. Let’s stop trying to preserve the external
shell of Aikido. Let’s stop wasting time and start re-discovering
and presenting Aikido for what it is. A practice, meant to help each individual
become better and to reconcile the world. How to do this? We will have re-discover again, together. But we start – with asking this question
and not trying to prove something or to win against others. Do you agree with this message? What do you think Aikido should change in
order to make a difference? How do you think it should adapt to these
days? Let us know in the comments bellow. Also, don’t forget to subscribe, to know
when the next video will come out. This is Sensei Rokas, and see you on the virtual
mat again soon! Analysis of “Aikido Master in MMA” Hi, my name is RokasLeo and I’m going to
do an analysis of a viral video called “Aikido Master in MMA” part 1 and 2 where a supposed
Aikido practitioner is fighting in an amateur MMA fight against two different fighters. Before I begin there are a couple of disclaimers
I need to make: I wouldn’t normally do such a video, but respecting a request from one
of my subscribers, I decided to take up the challenge. It’s important to note that despite doing
Aikido for 13 years, I haven’t participated in an organized MMA style match nor am I a
competitive fighter. Personally, I do not see Aikido meant to be
a practice meant for competitions and I feel that it has a different purpose, but nevertheless
I wanted to share a few thoughts to give some understanding of what was most likely happening
in the strategy of the Aikido practitioner. I did do some Wing Chun and BJJ, but I’ll
share only a few ideas as a young Aikido instructor that I have in connection with a few sparring
matched I had a while ago with my friends and some Aikido practice related thoughts. Second disclaimer: this video does not belong
to me, so if you would like to see the original, follow the link bellow and support the original
channel if you like this kind of videos. Last disclaimer: Aikido as many different
martial arts depends strongly on the style and instructor that you are learning it. One fighter can not be taken as an absolute
example, but only as a reference for analysis at best. With the disclaimers said, let us begin:
Now you have to realize that traditional Aikido is not developed for modern competitions. Most styles don’t put a lot of emphasis
on strikes as you will see in this video too and it mainly emphasizing locks and throws
from grabs and punches since it derives from traditional Jujitsu, based on dealing with
armored samurai opponents on a battlefield where punched and strikes aren’t effective. The Aikido practitioner is wearing white GI
pants in this video. As you see he is very relaxed, an often emphasis
in Aikido and also waiting for a strike, what is a common practice in Aikido too, which
brings us to my first point. Most Aikido techniques could be called receptive
or in other words – defensive, meaning that we receive a strike or attack and then try
to use that energy, which is not necessarily well suited for a competitive match, but rather
a street situation, since many strikes, specially in the beginning of a competitive fight are
faints, meant to try out the distance and the opponent. Yet again as you see in the video the Aikido
practitioner, as soon as he sees a strike he jumps on the strike, most likely going
for a technique. When that doesn’t work, he seems to be receptive
again, waiting for the next attack, trying to block, but then a punch to the head leaves
him disoriented and searching for space to recover. From here on the disorientation is visible
and then from my perspective, he seems to let go of his first initial strategy and just
vaults in to attack randomly, without a specific strategy, which in turn becomes defensive
and eventually panics, most likely because of a lack of clarity of his actions in a sum
with disorientation and eventually is defeated. In the second video we jump a couple of months
ahead. We see the same Aikido practitioner against
a different fighter. He still maintains the relaxed stance, yet
this time after the first fight, he seems to change his strategy and becomes more initiative,
being the first one to go for striking and stepping in. He still seems receptive to strikes, yet probably
with the experience of the last fight, this time he doesn’t wait for the attack, but
rather steps in to try to grab his opponent, most likely again looking for a chance to
apply an Aikido technique. He seems to be more focused this time, expecting
more strikes and again, as soon as he sees a leg coming at him, he catches it as a supposed
opportunity to go for a throwing/pinning technique. They both go down on the ground and the Aikido
practitioner goes for a choke, which doesn’t really seem very effective, most likely due
to the lack of experience in neck chokes which is also rarely a part of Aikido curriculum. As his opponent looses the neck choke, the
Aikido person looses his balance and falls down. He does seem to try to keep his distance using
his legs, but he doesn’t seem comfortable on the ground either, since ground work is
not a part of traditional Aikido. His opponent uses the chance and goes for
ground and pound as the Aikido practitioner seems to lose his composure and looks for
a way out of it. Finally he grabs his opponents arm, which
is again an understandable approach from an Aikido person, either hoping to use a traditional
technique or by now, simply being defensive. Both of the fighters seem a bit lost in this
situation and eventually depart to a greater distance. The Aikido practitioner seems to still hold
his ground, showing a difference between his first fight and he again seems to go for the
same strategy as in the beginning of the fight, being initiative and most likely going for
shorter distance and a potential grab. As that doesn’t work, he seems to switch
again to being receptive and trying find a chance as he defends. With that not giving result, he seems to bounce
back and forth between his two strategies, but then after a punch to the head, he again
becomes disoriented and his moves start to begin to seem random. Finally another blow to the head finishes
the fight. The referee still gives a chance for a ground
and pound, but it’s already obvious the fight is over. Aikido today is not a very popular martial
art between competitive fighters, but I feel it’s important to understand that it’s
actually not developed for that purpose. I do understand some people trying to go in
to competitions to “prove” Aikido works, yet being designed for a different purpose
it should be either recreated, or simply, practiced for what it is. The founder himself discouraged his students
from competing and was very clear that Aikido for him was a self-development tool. It does work under different circumstances,
in an unpredicted fight and it also depends on who and how the person
is practicing, but Aikido shouldn’t be judged by a single fight on YouTube under unknown
conditions as it should not be pushed it into a box that it doesn’t
belong to. While MMA fighters train all the time preparing
for their fights and emulating them constantly, Aikido practitioners develop different skills
not really meant for the same purpose, thus when being pushed into
these conditions, it cannot really live up to them, and truthfully – shouldn’t. If you saw my previous videos, you know that
I don’t promote Aikido as the ultimate combat martial art, yet I see it as a great tool
for self-development which also works as self-defense. I did my best to analyze this fight to give
some perspective on what the practitioner attempted, but not to justify it. If someone wants to make Aikido into a competitive
sport, they should probably change the name of it, yet if you want to practice Aikido
it’s important to understand it’s limits and to respect it’s purpose. For those who want to compete, should go to
competitive martial arts, yet for those wanting to practice Aikido, should do so.

4 thoughts on “Awesome Interactive Martial Arts Video – Brief Martial Arts

  1. Thanks for another "interactive video". I like how you're doing these! (Subtitles would be welcome– you can occasionally be difficult to understand in English.) Thanks again!

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