1. SELF-AWARENESS

This is the beginning stage of any transformation.  Everything that we try to accomplish outside of our self-starts and ends on the inside of us.  We must learn to understand our own strengths, weaknesses, likes & dislikes to accomplish the task of first conquering and controlling our self.  It is only after this task is accomplished that we can develop the ability to conquer and control others when necessary.  The first step in self-awareness is recognizing and defeating “The Big Lie.”  The Big Lie is any lie that we tell ourselves for the sake of relieving guilt, or presenting a false sense of security within.  When we develop comfort inside of lying to our self, we are sure to lie to everyone else. This forces everything that comes from inside to be only a lie.  This will build a world of deceit and confusion around us and we will never seem to get anything correct.  We must first learn and admit to the truth about our self or we can never see the truth in the training that is being received. 

2. AWARENESS OF SURROUNDINGS

Sensible awareness of what surrounds us is crucial for the sake of our own personal development & safety. The things and people that are around us emit energy, influence and acts that can disrupt our self construction.  Our surroundings can affect our emotions, perception, decisions, and even our lifestyle.  Awareness of surroundings will also be focused  deeply on for the sake of Personal Protection.  Recognizing, understanding and predicting the daily possible dangers that you can encounter will strengthen your self-defense protocol.  You will learn to use your surroundings as your advantage, and as a tool to our disadvantage attackers.  You will learn to read the signs, traps and behavior of potentially dangerous areas and people.

Awareness of surroundings plays an important role when assessing a “self-defense” situation. We have to take into account many factors such as; terrain; weather; time of day; escape routes; trap areas; defense tools; etc…  Your education in assessing these conditions will aid you in selecting the correct MindStrong Martial Arts technique to execute in a required situation. 

3. HEALTH & FITNESS

The Martial Arts is the oldest "strength endurance", "fat loss", "muscle gain", "cardio blast", workout program in existence weighing in at over 1,000 years old.  It has NEVER needed to change or alter with the hottest fad like current new age workout programs.  That's because  it WORKED and NEVER FAILED!  And in addition to all of these fitness perks, the Martial Arts instills true Personal Protection, discipline, a code of honor, structure, calmness, long lasting relationships, and courage enhancement.  MindStrong uses the practices of the Martial Arts to build it's clients minds and bodies in a uniquely powerful manner that can not be matched anywhere else.

MindStrong clients are educated in nutrition, calisthenic, and fitness regimens to build their bodies.  These routines release positive brain fluids that motivate a positive attitude.   Many cases of depression, anxiety, frustration, anger, sickness etc...  are simply the fallout of bad eating, bad drinking, and neglected health habits. 

4. SELF-CONFIDENCE

Nothing provides a more powerful feeling of confidence and safety than knowing that we can readily defend our self against any stranger.  MindStrong clients will be trained to escape grabs, block punches and kicks, and even deliver lethal Martial Arts strikes to an attacker if needed.   This will allow them to walk the streets without fear of predators and criminals. The techniques and results of many Martial Art techniques appear impossible to recreate to those who aren't familiar with the Arts.  And when MindStrong clients acquire the ability to properly execute these techniques, a new window of heightened confidence and self belief is opened.  They immediately realize that they can be better!  This revitalizes their life and happiness. Training in the Martial Arts offers MindStrong clients the opportunity to push their limits through fatigue and discomfort.  It tests their patience and dares their discipline.  All of these instill strong Mental Toughness traits that easily transfer into daily life at work and home.  Martial Arts training places it's practitioners on a direct path to the discovery of their true self, while accompanied by an honorable group or others on the same mission.  

5. FOCUS & STILLNESS

The mental state determines if the maximum result of what the martial Arts has to offer will be achieved.  The Martial Arts teaches the benefit and techniques of proper breathing to relieve stress, recover fatigue, and reset irrational thoughts.  Mind Calming is also taught to aid in controlling & guiding emotional responses.  Training in Visualization through Martial Arts training gives one the power to prepare for challenges and approach them with confidence, courage, enthusiasm, and a plan to win!

The proper execution of "technique" is priority on the Martial Arts dojo floor.  In doing this, focus is directly enhanced through the synchronization of the mind and body as they communicate to execute techniques correctly.  This effort of the Martial Arts directly instills Mental Toughness that automatically transfers from the training floor to everyday life.  

6. ATHLETICISM DEVELOPMENT 

The Martial Arts offers the best athleticism training because it is the intent of the Martial Arts to help it's user "master" his or her complete body.  Mastery of the body includes speed, power, strength, endurance, flexibility, toughness, control, discipline, effort, character and more.  It is the only sport or training regimen that actually teaches it's user to gain control of all aspects of his mind, body and even spirit.   Martial Arts practitioners develop powerful cores, arm strength, leg strength, tendon strength, the ability to accept hits and impact, along with the other benefits of fitness training.  Athletes who choose to train in the Martial Arts quickly convert into super athletes!

7. LIFE VALUES 
Ask any truly accomplished Martial Artist anywhere what's the greatest positive contributor within their life, and they will say the Martial Arts.  The Martial Arts is a gift to mankind that teaches life lessons that we can not learn at school, in the streets, in sports or even at home.  Powerful lessons, ideologies and tactics in respect, honor, perseverance, resilience, humbleness, righteousness, justice, selflessness, sacrifice, acceptance, etiquette and more.  It’s no wonder why so many vibrant people depend on the Martial Arts to accompany them within their lives. 
8. COMBAT SKILLS 

The Martial Arts empowers people of different sizes, sex and age to execute an effective defense against bigger, stronger and sometimes even more skilled individuals.  Martial Artist walk through life without fear of confrontation, bullies and even criminals.  When a practitioner becomes highly skilled in the Martial Arts he, or she sometimes finds himself with hopes of a confrontation with a predator so they can righteously unleash & test their skills.  This is when an ultimate confidence has been achieved.  

The Sparring of the Martial Arts has been researched and rated by experts as one of the best activities that builds solid Mental Toughness.  Sparring teaches Martial Artist to no longer fear one of most people's greatest fears.  ...to be HIT!.  When a practitioner learns not to fear being hit, there isn't much else in life to fear.  This places the Marital Artists mental state to that of a Tiger vs a sheep when compared to the majority of the population.  Martial Artists lead the way.       

MMA FIGHTING PROVED the TRUTH!

...But not ALL of it!

When MMA Fighting first hit the scene (Known as "NHB No Holds Barred" then), I was quick to step up to test my skills.  And YES, MMA fighting proved that many of the claimed superior skills of belted Martial Artists who never participated in actual combat, were very ineffective in executing their techniques under true fighting pressure.  Boxers, Wrestlers and Jiu Jitsu practitioners dominated one dimensional Martial Artists without question inside the Octogan and/or ring.  This eventually began to drive fans and even students away from decorated Black Belt Masters who were not willing to compete against MMA fighters to "prove" that their Discipline actually worked.  MMA fighters and their fans challenged, ridiculed and even insulted practitioners of the "Traditional" Martial Arts sometimes to the point of bullying and assaulting them.  The world of MMA began to express that all Black Belts were fruads and so were their Martial Art disciplines.   

As an MMA fighter I was no fool.  I could see the truth because I was right in the middle of it.  It was true.  There was no way that a Karate' or Tae Kwon Do Black Belt would ever have a solid chance at beating a trained MMA fighter inside the cage or Ring.  Practitioners and competitors of MMA began to lose total interest in anything that the one dimensional Traditional Martial Arts had to offer.  MMA competition had proven over and over again that the Traditional Martial Arts were USELESS!  And I personally agreed totally that the Traditional Martial Arts WERE and ARE USELESS!!!

 

...to someone who doesn't understand the Martial Arts!

 

While fighting as a professional MMA fighter, Muay Thai Kick Boxer I was also a professional bodyguard and bouncer.  I fought and risked my life far more in the security field than I did in the arena.  And I used more techniques from the TRADITIONAL MARTIAL ARTS when combating in the streets, than MMA Sport Fighting techniques.  Now don't get me wrong, I am IN NO WAY DISSING or Undermining MMA and it's potential.  I AM a pioneer of MMA.  And that is why I can not allow it's hidden weaknesses to make it fragile even though most cannot see it.   It is my DUTY to strengthen MMA with TRUTH just like MMA Fighting strengthened the Martial Arts with truth.  ...And here's the truth.

 

There is a difference between fighting an opponent in an arena with rules and a person there to assure that both fighters stay within those rules, than battling against a person with no rules who most likely is determined to end your life.  Allow me to give you just 6 (six) powerful deciding factors in a self-defense situation that makes Traditional Martial Arts techniques better to use than MMA Sport techniques.

#1.  ELEMENT OF SURPRISE.  You wouldn't announce to your for that you are about to fight or wanting to fight.  The goal would be to catch your foe off guard not to start when the bell rings.  This is where a KUNG FU PALM STRIKE to the nose; KARATE HAMMER FIST to the temple; TAE KWON DO SIDE KICK to the chest all would come in extremely handy before even taking a stance.   Additionally, these techniques can be executed from a "standing position" without taking a stance unlike MMA Sport Competition techniques.

#2.  ADDITIONAL ATTACKERS  The BACK KICK of KARATE' and the SPINNING SIDE KICK of TAE KWON DO are excellent tools to use for the attacker who is sneaking up behind you while you are facing your initial attacker.  There are no techniques or training drills in MMA Sport competition training to fight a person who is behind you.  All techniques and defenses are directed at a single opponent who is directly in front of you.

#3.  ATTIRE & CLOTHING.  Many, if not most Traditional Martial Arts do part of their training in their regular, everyday clothing to discover the techniques that they can use while restricted by their daily attire.  This allows realistic preparation for a possible public attack.  Even the Gi of Traditional Martial Arts simulates the discomfort and restrictions of everyday clothing.  MMA Sport training is always done in loose fitting shorts & tanks tops, or t-shirts that give no restriction or even discomfort towards movement.    

#4.  WEIGHT/SIZE DIFFERENCE.  Traditional Martial Arts practice techniques that are designed to work on all size opponents.  Sparring is even done against classmates of all sizes and sexes.  MMA Sport Sparring and competition is strictly confined to weight classes with no emphasis ever placed upon battling against a bigger, stronger opponent.  

#5.  WEAPONS.  Most of your Traditional Martial Arts have a protocol to defend empty handed against a stick, knife and/or gun which is what will most likely be used during a street confrontation.  MMA Sport Training never practices defending against weapons and has no techniques or protocols for facing an armed attacker.

#6.  INJURY.   Traditional Martial Arts spend much of their training striking with bare fist hand, feet, elbow, knee and even head butts against hard bags, and surfaces that mimic the human body.  This forces them to strike correctly as they condition their striking area.  MMA Sport Training is always done with wraps, gloves and other gear that protect the trainee from injury.  Focus is never placed upon precision when striking, or the conditioning of striking limbs for the purpose of contact with human bone. 

Of course I have many more points than these obvious 6 that proved to me that the MMA vs Traditional Martial Arts war had not been judged effectively.  The Traditional Martial Arts still had much to offer us all outside the arena and even inside.  They even had advantages to offer us that MMA could not compete with.   And as a dedicated pioneer of MMA I could not allow MMA lovers to miss out on all of the greatness of the Traditional Martial Arts that was getting ignored and overlooked.  So I decided to take the next step to the next level of MMA and create a Modern Mixed Martial Art that would bring the next truth to everyone who would take the time to explore it.

I understood that it had always been the objective of any created Martial Art, to provide a group of united people an effective defense form, that could be passed on from generation to generation.  The primary purpose of any true martial art had always been self-defense.  It is there after that reasons such as personal development, competition, fitness and fun were then considered.  Whenever a martial arts style was created, the following subjects were a pre-requisite:

 

  1. It had to be effective against the modern enemy.

  2. It had to be effective on modern terrain.

  3. It had to be effective in modern conditions.

  4. It had to be repeatedly tested and proven to be effective by the creator and his pupils.

  5. It had to be somewhat practical for others to learn and master for use and to pass on to others.

 

After over 30 years in the martial arts, a 15 year professional fight career and a 15 year professional bodyguarding and bouncer career, I have learned much about the true use of the martial arts for a person’s needs in today’s society.  The most important lessons that I’ve learned is that many different martial arts have something to offer the needs of today’s martial artist, and that not one single martial art has everything that is needed.  Of course the mixed martial arts has made its mark on the modern martial arts agenda, and as one of the pioneers of the mixed martial arts I am in total agreement.  However, the concentration of the mixed martial arts or MMA by most great martial artists today has mainly been for sport and entertainment reasons.  Even though I was a well accomplished MMA and Muay Thai sport fighter, my intentions on the development of my MMA differed from others.  Since my side job during my fight career was professional bodyguarding and club bouncing, my first necessity for my MMA needs was self defense.  It is here, when my life and the lives of others depended on my martial skills that, I learned these important factors:

 

  1. Proper awareness can shut down an attack or potential fight 99% of the time.

  2. 100% of fights start on the feet and can be kept there by someone who is properly trained.

  3. Fighting on the feet allows more attack choices, defenses and an escape if needed.

  4. Knowledge and skill in different martial art discipline techniques allows effective defenses and attacks in any and all areas whether confined or open.

  5. Knowledge and skill in different martial art discipline techniques allows effective defenses and attacks on different terrains and surfaces.

  6. Knowledge and skill in different martial arts discipline techniques allows effective defenses and attacks against foes of different sizes, strengths, speed, sex, age, intention and fighting skill level.

  7. Going to the ground on the streets will quickly lead to unfair play of outsiders.

  8. Going to the ground on the streets can lead to injury from foreign objects such as rocks, glass etc….

  9. Going to the ground on the streets cancels escape options if needed.

  10. There are easily learned techniques that will stop another from taking you to the ground.

  11. One must have competent knowledge of ground control fighting in one's arsenal just in case the fight ends up on the ground.

 

While under sometimes life and death duress, I created a fighting style that allowed me to stay within these parameters that I could use for self-defense, sport fighting, and even that the everyday person could use to defend his or herself properly in the world today.  My style proved effective in the fatal arena of the streets, and the endurance and skill challenging arena of professional sport fighting.  I named it Muay Thai Sprawl. 

I chose this descriptive name because Muay Thai was my primary striking art, that I proved to be most effective when under serious pressure, and the Sprawls of wrestling were the dominate techniques that I used to keep the fight on the feet where it belonged.  I also added different techniques from other martial arts styles to fully complete my Muay Thai Sprawl style.  This would assure that anyone who is armed with this style will be prepared to stand against any attacker.  I incorporated the following into Muay Thai Sprawl:

 

  • Additional stances, strikes and blocks of Karate’, Kung Fu, Tae Kwon Do & Jeet Kune Do

  • Throws of Judo

  • Takedowns and takedown defense of wrestling

  • Grappling understanding of Russian Sambo & Jiu Jitsu

  • Street fighting knowledge and techniques learned through bodyguarding and bouncer work

 

Muay Thai Sprawl is the proven most effective Mixed Martial Art style for the modern man, woman and child for today’s world.  Your full development in this MMA style will fortune you with a complete understanding of the basics on how to defend yourself against other martial art attacks, and how to attack with speed, power and trickery with the world’s most effective martial arts movements.  You will also be fortuned with exceptional fitness and mental development of courage, confidence and inner peace.   Train hard and Muay Thai Sprawl will be there whenever you need it.