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Told my Sensei, “Boards don’t hit back.” What happened next…

Master Avi Nardia and Ken Akiyama goofing off again.
Having some fun with Sensei Avi Nardia. 🙂

More on “tameshiwari” board breaking:

In the classic martial arts film “Enter the Dragon”, Bruce Lee faces off against a karate man who, in an effort to intimidate Lee, demonstrates his skill at breaking boards. Master Bruce famously responds to the karate man, “Boards don’t hit back.”

It was a smart comment for the situation depicted in the film, but that doesn’t mean that breaking boards is altogether worthless. Here are three reasons to break boards:

1. First of all, breaking boards is fun! The real reason that most martial artists practice is because they enjoy it. From the outside, a lot of people assume that everyone who practices martial arts does so for the sake of mere fighting ability. Whether you are practicing karate, krav maga, or even an art that does not focus on striking, such as Brazilian jiu jitsu, the simple truth is that breaking boards is just a lot of fun.

2. Building confidence. Breaking board and bricks with your own flesh and bone sounds pretty scary. When you overcome that fear, you are able to strike with full concentration and commitment. That is a powerful expression of confidence. Confidence is a critical skill in self defense, professional situations, and overall life. When you show yourself that you can break a solid board with your bare hands, you may see yourself in a new light!

3. Skill development. If you get even a little bit serious about breaking boards, your targeting, focus, and follow through will improve dramatically. In addition to those benefits, your body with start to adapt. You will develop thicker skin on your striking surfaces, your bones will harden, and your strength will increase.

I recommend that pretty much everyone should break a few boards in their life. Whether you train jiu jitsu, judo, karate, or krav maga you will undoubtedly have fun breaking a few boards.

Finally, I should mention that most martial arts schools use special boards that are about half way in between pine and balsa wood. You should definitely seek professional instruction for martial arts and breaking boards. It’s not the hardest thing in the world, but there is definitely a technique to it.


Teen Self Defense: Thinking Ahead

In about 9 months, parents will be taking final measures to prepare their teens for success at college. For some that will include scheduling a self-defense lesson at Akiyama Dojo. I sense immense responsibility and pride in empowering college-bound teens with self defense skills and mindset for protecting themselves, and ensuring their success under challenging conditions.

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Cross Training Martial Arts

A good teacher has to figure out where you are, where you need to go, and how to get you there. If you are simultaneously studying with another teacher, the second teacher will have a different assessment and idea of where to take you. Therefore, every time you study with each of your two teachers, you may be traveling in different directions.

You may be happy in thinking that you are getting the best of both worlds, but your divided focus will be very frustrating to your teachers. You will probably never know, but when your best teachers get tired of seeing you go in different directions, they will give up on you.

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5 Reasons Why Women Should Train Jiu Jitsu (That Aren’t Self Defense)

In an article published on jiujitsutimes.com Avery Clements details 5 reasons why women should train BJJ that aren’t self defense.

I thought it would be a great launching point for some of my own ideas. Here’s a link to the full original article

1. It teaches you to love your body for what it can do rather than for what it looks like.

Blame it on the media, society, whatever you’d like, but it’s clear that many women live their lives focusing on how small their waist is or how big their bust is or how their body doesn’t look like that body.

Jiu jitsu erases a lot of those insecurities by showing you all the awesome things your body can do.

This is such a great point. I love seeing new joiners realize that, with a little bit of understanding of fight-physics they actually possess tremendous power. They first key is to experience your ability and then you will naturally gain confidence and esteem in your ability rather than simply how you look or how others perceive you. Once you start to see yourself in a more positive and empowered way, you will exude a new type of confidence that others will pick up on. Our BJJ classes near Manchester, NH will not only improve your self-image but training with us can actually improve your entire world.

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Sportsmanship at Rio2016

Sportsmanship means to always honor your opponent. All too often, we see the winner of a match immediately begin celebrating victory; throwing ones hands up and jumping, the delight of a roaring mob.

Competition is an expression of pushing oneself to the utmost and testing oneself against worthy opponents. Even in one-on-one competitive sports, the ultimate goal should not be to destroy or dominate ones adversary.

A true sportsperson respects and appreciates ones opponents. After all, if not for the commitment, talent, and hard work of your opponents, you wouldn’t have anyone to test your skill against. During actual play, competition is expected to be intense and relentless, within the bounds of the ruleset. However, once play is over a sportsperson should demonstrate respect for ones opponent, referee, coaches, and the sport.

After securing a victory at Rio, Egyptian judoka Walid demonstrated excellent sportsmanship by showing true care and respect for his French opponent who was injured during the match.

Womens BJJ in NH

Check out this great video profile of female Brazilian Jiu Jitsu athlete, Michelle Nicolini.

If you think this looks like fun, join our women-friendly jiu jitsu classes in Londonderry, New Hampshire!

Our dojo features a very welcoming environment. Our BJJ culture is all about working cooperatively with teammates in order to help each other reach great heights, every day! Voice or text 603-247-8546

How to Start Krav Maga, Karate, & BJJ

One of the most common obstacles that people encounter toward starting training is the notion of waiting for everything to fall into place and be “perfect” so that they will be able to really commit to training in an amazing way.

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Machado BJJ Makes You Better

Beginner BJJ classes at AMA consist of one hour of range of motion, movement study, and technique, plus thirty minutes of live grappling or “rolling” as it’s known in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

When we go to live sparring in our Londonderry BJJ classes, we focus on developing the same skills and quality of movement that we practiced in class. When new joiners begin sparring they soon enjoy a big “A-HA” moment when they realize that the key is to focus on personal improvement, rather that trying to dominate ones training partner. It seems like a lofty goal, but we have a very easy to follow method for teaching people how to spar in a way that fosters mutual benefit and camaraderie.

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