David-Dorian Ross – Martial Arts for Your Mind and Body
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What Will You Learn?
Discover an introduction to many styles of martial arts, including kung fu, karate, tae kwon do, judo, jeet kune do, and krav maga.
Learn about the physical and mental aspects of martial arts, from the proper form for blocks, kicks, and punches to the necessary self-discipline and focus to succeed.
Study with eight world-class experts to discover the proper techniques so you can perform these techniques at home and beyond.
Martial arts. This phrase conjures up images of peak physical and mental fitness—speed, flexibility, and strength married to meditation, focus, and self-discipline, an image amplified by everything from elegantly choreographed Hollywood movies to mixed martial arts (MMA) cage matches. But the reality is that “martial arts” serves as an umbrella for an amazing range of beneficial and highly specialized practices, from kung fu to tai chi to jeet kune do.
One of the most intimidating aspects of pursuing martial arts is learning enough to understand what works best for you. What is the difference between practicing the quick jabs and furious kicks of karate and tae kwon do, the grapples and rolls of judo, the flowing forms of tai chi, or the street-fighting grit of Krav Maga? These forms of fighting have certain things in common, yet each practice has its own unique philosophy as well as a physical and mental approach. And yet, too often, students and prospective students never get to explore first-hand, and benefit from, the range of opportunities in the martial arts.
Martial Arts for Your Mind and Body offers an immersive introduction to nine leading examples of martial arts. Hosted and brought together by tai chi Grandmaster David-Dorian Ross, these 25 interactive lessons (one more than a typical course) give you a solid grounding in the different philosophies, styles, and techniques of the major martial arts families. For this course, Master Ross has hand-selected seven guest instructors who are award-winning experts in their fields. Whether sensei, sifu, or champion competitor, your teachers are drawn from the best of the best.
You don’t have to be a cross-training warrior or MMA fighter to benefit from exposure to a variety of martial arts. In fact, with suitable guidance, practicing martial arts offers invaluable physical and mental benefits to people of all ages, at all levels of physical fitness. From self-defense to the physical benefits of a disciplined exercise regimen, to the balance and harmony that studying martial arts can bring to all aspects of your life, Martial Arts for Your Mind and Body is an ideal place to begin, resume, or deepen your practice.
Survey Nine Families of Martial Arts
David-Dorian Ross has designed a survey of the martial arts, offering a unique foundation for improved physical and mental training, all of which can help you identify specific practices and traditions that may be especially benefical for you. The course lets you experience, albeit far more efficiently, the same sorts of explorations Master Ross undertook as a young practitioner, when he set out to find the right style of martial arts for himself. With seven guest instructors to accompany him, Master Ross takes you on a tour of:
- Karate: The way of the “empty hand” is perhaps the most well-known Japanese martial art in the West. From kicking to kata, learn the physical and mental techniques that make it such a formidable practice.
- Tae Kwon Do: Like karate, tae kwon do is known for lightning-fast high kicks and the breaking of boards. Find out how this form became so popular quickly after its development in post-World War II Korea, and what makes it unique among martial arts.
- Kung Fu: Beginning in China as far back as the 5th century, this practice has influenced most other forms of Chinese martial arts, and been codified into dozens of variations, many named after animals. Gain insight into the history and basic techniques of kung fu, as you explore the white crane style for close- to medium-range interaction, and then sample a long-range style for maximizing your reach known as praying mantis.
- Tai Chi: Martial arts are not only about speed or vigorous combat. Tai chi has that option but has famously developed practices to cultivate slow, graceful movements, with innumerable benefits for well-being. Tai chi (taiji quan) traces its origins to China in the 17th century.
- Judo: Known for its grappling, flipping, and throwing techniques, judo is an art of surprising grace from Japan. Practice the drills and techniques of “the way of gentleness.” Judo was the first martial art to use the belt system to classify fighters by skill level.
- Jujitsu: Akin to judo, Japanese Jujutsu and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu are “the pliable fighting art,” and make use of groundwork and wrestling holds to take control of the opponent. Get ready to stretch into new forms!
- Muay Thai: Originating in Thailand but often known simply as kickboxing in the West, Muay Thai is unique among martial arts for the way it incorporates shins, elbows, and the clinch into its fighting style. See why Muay Thai is a favorite among MMA practitioners.
- Jeet Kune Do: Developed by Bruce Lee as a hybrid of traditional Asian martial arts and more modern, global styles, jeet kune do is fascinating for the way it can be adapted and transformed by every individual practitioner.
- Krav Maga: Blending elements from jujitsu, boxing, wrestling, and more, Krav Maga forms a type of street fighting about what to do in situations with no rules. First developed as a way for Polish Jews to defend themselves from fascists, Krav Maga is the signature fighting style of the Israeli Defense Forces.
In addition to these major families, you will also learn about qigong, a system for understanding and working with energy, or Qi, that is frequently practiced alongside other martial arts like tai chi. You’ll also learn meditation techniques and other aspects of the mental and even spiritual side of the martial arts.
Learn Stances, Blocks, Kicks, and Chops
While Master Ross and his colleagues discuss and personally embody the theory and ideals of their respective practices, this is very much a participatory course. Set in a unique dojo-style studio, each of these lessons gives you the chance to work out alongside the instructors, giving you a true immersion in the martial arts. Workouts include warmups, drills, shadowboxing, combos, and partnered exercises. For instance, you will:
- Try an extended “horse stance” exercise to improve your mental toughness.
- Learn kata with Sensei Akira Fukuda, the Team USA Olympic coach, and master of all five styles of karate.
- Improve your physical and mental well-being with Master Ross’s TaijiFit flow workout.
- Participate in a series of one-step sparring exercises with Grandmaster Dave Wheaton.
- Perform a pattern of closed fist and open palm kung fu punches, followed by a combination drill.
- Explore the “why” of Muay Thai kickboxing combinations with five-time world kickboxing champion Kathy Long.
- Find out how to defend against chokes, shirt grabs, and attacks from behind in the Krav Maga style of street fighting.
- And much more.
Physical Mastery, Mental Practice
Master Ross’s approach in this course is to pause and give pointers for each technique. Special camera angles and 3D modeling show you all aspects of each move, and Master Ross’s deep understanding of how to help anyone reap benefits from martial arts ensures that you are able to join in and participate safely from lesson one. With this unique approach, you will be ready to punch, kick, block, and grapple your way into improved physical fitness.
But of course, practicing the martial arts is about more than physical fitness or self-defense. Training regularly, with exposure to more than one martial art, benefits all aspects of your life, giving you greater focus, confidence, and self-discipline. The unparalleled experience of nine styles in this course will give you fresh insight into what martial arts are all about, and greater clarity about your own life and goals. Martial Arts for Your Mind and Body is here to show you a way to your best self.