How and Why to Break Your Rhythm in Kickboxing

What you throw may not be as important as how you throw. Everyone is throwing the same strikes, but changing your rhythm, feinting and faking make it difficult for your opponent to react. Here Coach Vince Salvador shows how to vary combinations to increase your likelihood of landing.


Coach Vince Salvador:
I have one, feint, one two. And I make it look like I’m going to kick by looking down for a second. Right? So, that’s two different feints. Head feint, a visual feint. All right? Now he thinks low is coming. I go high. So I looked down, punch high. So again, hit him with the first jab. Second one I feint. There. When his leg comes down, I fire on that leg or I just keep continuing with my hands. Right? Depending on the situation where he’s at, but now I’ve layered my attack. So the first one. Right? Second one. Now he’s knows that blocking. Now he knows so he’s blocking. I go one there, feint, chop back into that leg. So again, one, big feint. Here look down. Two, three. Low kick or two, three body shot, wherever you guys want to go with it. Right? So again, one, big feint, look down, two, chop. Right? Try it up. Good. So watch. Like look down for a second. All right? So I got one, feint, look down.

So when I set everything up, his legs like start to come up. You don’t have to extend that jab. I can go here, but I can go one, feint, two. Right? I can use the feint to throw my power to set up the hook. So I can go look one, feint, two, three. So you can alter it for your body style, right? For your body type. So I don’t have to go one, big feint, one, two, three. Sometimes I can go one, big feint, two, three, chop.

So go right into it.

Coach Vince Salvador:
So try going into that right after that. It’s a one, feint, two, three, low kick. Closing your eyes ain’t going to help you with the blocking. Got to keep your eyes open. Elbows down. Look at my elbows. So if I’m relaxed, my shoulders don’t burn and I can control everything I do. But if I’m here every time he punches now, I make a big reaction. Now look, all of this is open. Right? But if I’m right here relaxed and he punches, whatever he throws, I’m relaxed. So if he goes for his drill, he goes one, feint, one. Right? I’m still looking right at him. Again. Again. You see how that reaction helps him build his reactions. You see what I’m saying?

Look at my elbows. So if I’m relaxed, right? I don’t, my shoulders don’t burn and I can, I can, I can control everything I do. But if I’m here every time he punches now, I make a big reaction. No, look, all of this is open, but if I’m right here with, and he punches whatever he throws, I’m relaxed. So if he goes for his drill, he goes, one thing, one, I’m still looking right at him again. Yeah. You see how that reaction helps him build his reactions. You shouldn’t turn.

Kickboxing Sparring Session at The Arena

Sparring is a tricky game. For the novice that wishes to get a deeper understanding technical sparring will really make you appreciate the learning. Fighters will inevitably have to get tested in sparring before battle. There needs to be a balance of hard sparring to test your toughness, and technical sparring to build technique. We may go too hard sometimes, but we would rather our fighters be tested in the gym long before they get tested under the lights.

Using Pendulums and Pivots to Create Better Striking Angles in Kickboxing

The details and strategy are what sets apart levels of instruction. Not every technique is for everyone or useful against every opponent. Teaching concepts and strategy during class will not only teach the students a series of techniques but the thought process to build a deeper understanding. Here Coach Chuck teaches some kickboxing techniques to obtain superior angles of attack, while minimizing openings to be countered.


Coach Charles Martinez:
So the pendulum creates the space I retract. See, I threw the hook, my body’s here. If I step too far past him, I can’t throw the second hook, right? So from the time that I hit the pendulum and step back, I show the right hand, I turn my knuckles over. Hook to the body, hook to the head again. All right. Let’s go.


Right, so the right hand got you through, right?


Big hard body shot. Hit at the rear foot as you throw that second hook.


Puts you all the way out or you could bump step. So you can get from here to here to here, and just slightly pivot.

After I got you here, I don’t want to go… and end up on the end of this punch.


Right? So from the time that I go here, boom boom boom, boom boom.

You could pendulum out, I just don’t want you to step and leave yourself right here. Because sometimes you throw this jab inside and then you just step back and you’re right here and you’re within range. So if you pendulum out and then you take a step, I chase, you’re outside my leg and you’re over there. Right? Because I’m chasing the direction you’re going.

Right, so throw the two. Pendulum left foot to right foot.


So the pendulum creates the angle.


Yeah, so you did the initial pendulum. Go back.


Go back. So the initial pendulum was in pretty much a straight line.


This one creates more of a crescent than an actual… And now you’re 90 degrees up, yeah. Yeah.

The Story of Jacob Macalolooy’s Life Long Journey in Martial Arts

Jacob Macalolooy is a life long martial artist, coming from a long family tradition of fighting. This is his story and his reflection on his training as he approaches the end of being an elite level amateur boxer looking to go pro. From Kajukenbo, to Kickboxing and MMA, to Division One Wrestling, and now Boxing, Jacob personifies the way of living the martial arts life.


Jacob Macalolooy:
My names is Jacob Noah Macalolooy. I’m a lifetime martial artist, and I’m currently an elite amateur boxer fighting at The Arena.

My family has a deep history in martial arts and fighting. My grandfather and his brother were boxers. And when my dad was a young child, he started training in Kajukenbo. It’s a self-defense art from Oahu, Hawaii. It was during the 1940s, there were a lot of sailors on the island and they would get in fights with the locals. So the locals had to come up with a more effective fighting style and self-defense style. So these five masters got together from karate, judo, jujitsu, kenpo, and boxing, and they basically blended their styles to create this traditional mixed martial art.

In 1997, my dad was able to start his martial arts school just out of my grandparents’ garage. And eventually we got our own building and that’s pretty much how I grew up. I grew up in a dojo and ever since I started doing martial arts, when I was about five years old, I started wrestling at the same time.

Every wrestler has a love-hate relationship with the sport just because it’s so tough and it’s so grueling and hard on the body and the mind. So in high school, I never really wanted to wrestle in college. I just thought of college as a time where I was supposed to have fun, but by the time I was a junior in high school, I started to get some offers. And I started to realize that my wrestling could really give me an opportunity to have a higher education and it can just really open doors for me.

So getting the opportunity to wrestle at Columbia university, was really something special. There’s no way that I would be the athlete that I am now had I not competed at the D-1 level in wrestling for Columbia university.

September 2018, I started training at The Arena. I was mainly just training with the MMA guys, but I always had this idea that I might be able to compete in boxing. So I started getting in Coach Basheer’s ear. He’d seen me in there scrapping with MMA guys. So, that’s pretty much his perspective of me. “Yeah, yeah, you think you can just come in here and box because you got some MMA stuff.” But I knew as a martial artist, I really had a foundation, so I knew that would be able to switch gears and really just focus on my hands and focus on my movement.

I just stayed at it and I just kept training hard. And one day Coach is like, “All right, you can go jump in with one of my guys.” And I showed him what I really had to offer. It has just been such a learning and growing experience to be able to learn under Coach Basheer. I just feel really blessed and excited and grateful to be part of this team. Now I’m getting ready to compete in my last competition as an amateur at the Nationals in Louisiana. And from there as soon as possible, I’m going to try and get my pro debut.

Being a fighter has always been a core part of my identity ever since I could remember. And really being close with my family, having a big family, competing ever since I was a little kid and just always having all this support. And there’s really no feeling like it, especially when you’re successful and for them to cheer you on and to just be proud. There’s just nothing that motivates me more. And here in San Diego, I have my own family and that just adds to it on a whole different level. I’m really just planting seeds for it right now. And soon enough, I’m really going to start to see the fruits of all my work.

What is Your Motivation for Training?

We’re all walking different paths. Coach Charles Martinez discusses how everyone we interact with on this martial arts journey has different goals and motivations. We should help build each other up instead of letting our egos and greed dictate how we treat each other. Leading into the new year we will all grow and get stronger together.


Coach Charles Martinez:
Hello. My name is Coach Charles Martinez from The Arena and today I wanted to discuss a motivation. I want to take this from a slightly different perspective, often in sport especially in these combat sports that we all train in, the motivation is always to be the best and to smash everyone. And I think we forget sometimes that that’s not what most people’s motivation was when they came into the gym. A lot of people are training to address fears or to feel more powerful and I think a lot of times we, especially if you’ve been training a long time or you’re a fighter, or you’re a competitor, you have the tendency of looking down on people that aren’t as good as you. And just because they’re not as good as you at this sport that you’ve chosen to be good at it doesn’t make them lesser. It just means that either their athletic ability isn’t as high, but really their motivation could be different than yours.

Just because your motivation is to go out and be the best in the world, maybe that’s not theirs. Maybe their motivation is to feel stronger, to just be more comfortable in their skin every day and maybe that’s what they’re getting. So sometimes we have the tendency of getting frustrated with our training partners and kind of forgetting that we were new once also. Maybe they’re new, maybe one day they’re going to be your best training partner, they don’t have to be a world beater to give you good work.

So I think sometimes we stray away from that and we forget that we’re all walking a different path but we all ended up in the same place. So if you take that and you treat everyone as if, hey, this could have been me on one of my first days and if someone was kind of crappy to me, maybe I would have never come back. So I think once you switch your perspective, if you could look from outside of yourself and see that maybe this person’s not like you, maybe they’re scared, maybe they’re terrified and they don’t want to get screamed at. Maybe they’ve never been an athlete, maybe they’ve never played a sport. They came here to feel better and to feel empowered and how you treat them, even if something trivial, something like, hey, good job. Even if it wasn’t a good job, just that little bit of motivation might be the reason they come back the next day. And maybe one day they turn into a valuable training partner, but either way, even if they’re only here for six months and it improves their life somehow, and it was worth it, that was their motivation, not yours.

So sometimes I think we forget, we think everyone is looking at the world through our same perspective, it doesn’t have to be that way. Maybe their motivation is different than yours. You should still respect it because ultimately that’s what we’re all here for.

Enson Inoue Speaks About His Interpretation of Victory

Everyone has a different interpretation of the meaning of victory. Master Enson Inoue shares his warrior spirit outlook on what victory means to him. For sport or for life, ultimately you must give your ALL.


Enson Inoue:
Everyone has different interpretations of victory. And it can be real superficial, it can be really deep. Some people, victory is getting your hand raised at the end of the fight. Some people, victory is coming home alive. That is a form of victory. But then if you go deeper, there’s another form of victory. Like Glenn said, giving everything you got. Win, live or die, giving everything you got.


So that, I believe, is controlled. You can control that victory. Winning and losing is hard to control. I always told you guys before, don’t dwell on wins and losses, just give everything you got. Whatever comes with it, it’s like the tail of a dog. When he turns the corner, if the dog walks around the ring right there, I don’t know if his tail is going to be on the left side or the right side, but I know it’s going to be on one of those sides.

It’s like when we fight. We don’t know if we’re going to win or lose, but we know it’s going to be one or the other. And can you control it? You can try. You can train hard. You can get ready. You can fight hard. But you can’t control it. So no sense to dwell on it.


My view of victory in the fights is not getting my hand raised, it’s giving everything I got to the very end. My sign of victory in life, I always have this image of a building burning and a child on the second floor. My sign of victory isn’t walking, going home that night. My view of victory on that is running into the building and see if I can save that person, whether I live or die. That’s my victory. Okay. So just food for thought. Yeah. It’s a different range of success and different ideas of what people view as success.

7 AM Muay Thai Sparring Session

“Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Often quoted by Bruce Lee about martial arts learning. You must learn, but you must also apply and get uncomfortable. Sparring is a reminder that there are negative consequences to making mistakes here.

How to Get the Most Out of Your Martial Arts Training

Here’s Coach Charles Martinez discussing the effective mindset of learning martial arts techniques. How you learn can be as important as what you learn, take two minutes and listen to some advice about how to get the most out of your training.


Coach Charles Martinez:
Hey, this is Coach Charles Martinez from The Arena, and today I wanted to talk briefly about how to get the most out of your learning. Now, sometimes in a class setting, maybe there’s multiple things being taught. They might not all specifically apply to you in your game right now. But in a class, I feel like when I’m teaching, I usually feel like I’m teaching to the middle of the room. Some of the technique is above the head of a new person, but it’s a little too simple for the advanced person. As you’re learning things, maybe you could be attracted to certain technique more than others, and maybe that’s… It could be a body type, it could be where your skill level is currently, so when you’re taking in information, this is kind of the information age for martial arts. Everything is out there. Fundamentals are fundamentals across the board, but then after you learn basic fundamentals, you want to start developing your own game.

There’s this Bruce Lee saying of, “Absorb what is useful, reject what is useless, and then add what’s specifically your own.” I think that’s important, but first… You don’t know at first what’s going to be the most useful for you. So when you’re taking in information, try and take it all in. Maybe there’s a piece today that you can apply today. Maybe the bare bones of what’s being taught today is important for your fundamentals of your game. Maybe one of the moves, or one of the versions of the move, just doesn’t make sense to you; you just don’t get it. And that’s fine. Maybe it’s not applicable to you today, but it could be. It could be as you get older, whereas maybe you have an injury, or maybe there’s an easier way of doing it. When you’re young, you have the tendency of behaving one way. When you’re older, maybe you find a path of least resistance a little bit easier. So the technique often is taught across the board, to everyone in the room, regardless of tall, short.

A good coach, as you start to develop, if you’re training specifically for yourself, you can start to tailor and decide what’s best for your body type, and your game, etc. But first you have to have the basis to build that on top of. Sometimes the technique is just not for you; maybe it’s just not for you ever, maybe it’s just not for you right now. I think when you have that mentality as you’re learning technique, it will be a lot easier to develop what is your own, but also have an open mind of other technique that could be applicable down the line, or it could be applicable against a different opponent, or a different body type. I think once you have that, you can draw something useful out of all technique, rather than being like, “I like this. I don’t like that.” Maybe you don’t like it right now because you don’t understand it right now, but down the line, you might be able to really draw something from it that benefits your game. That’s your tip.

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