Tag Archives: mma

Going For The Groin

Erik and me on Tsuken Island (Okinawa – 2011) Click the picture to fully appreciate Erik’s expression. 🙂

A while ago, I had received an entry back from a writing contest. The judged submission included a scene where my hero and heroine were caged together to breed gladiators for the Survival Race–a blood sport where the last man alive wins. My hero was eager to mate. My heroine…not so much. In fact, Addy fended off Max’s advances with a knee to the groin.

Addy’s knee-jerk reaction (sorry bad pun) was quick and effective. I liked it. The judge didn’t. Her comment was that my heroine “wouldn’t have been able to knee the hero in the groin because men protect that area all too well.”

What! Was this judge serious?

Was she really suggesting that a woman shouldn’t target the groin? Ever? Apparently she has:

  • Never taken a self-defense class. I don’t know of a self-defense instructor who doesn’t teach how to strike the groin. It’s a great target for a woman to strike because it doesn’t require strength to cause debilitating pain thanks to sensitive nerve endings.
  • Never practiced a martial art. Not only do martial artists learn how to protect their groins, they learn countless ways in which to strike them too. Seriously, it’s almost an art in and of itself. You can strike it with your heel, the ball of your foot, a knee, a shin, a hip, a punch, an uppercut, a back fist, an elbow, a ridge hand, and a slap just to name a few. We haven’t even talked about weapons yet. Oh, and don’t forget the grab and squeeze! A Chinese woman actually killed a man earlier this year by squeezing his testicles.
  • Never heard of the no hitting below the belt rule in sports. Even in MMA (Mixed Martial Arts), a fighting sport that lets you get away with a lot, doesn’t stand for that. I found 31 fouls in the rulebook on the UFC website. Number seven is no groin strikes of any kind.
  • Never heard of a protective cup. Again on the UFC website, the first piece of protective equipment required is a groin protector for the men. Not to mention companies insuring martial arts schools require them too.

If men “protect that area all too well” then why is it necessary to make safety rules, and hard plastic or steel shields? Hello! The reason is because you only need a small amount of pressure to create a lot of hurt. A finger flick can make a member sore.

Granted that the groin may not be the opportune target every time. Men can and do protect that area. But not always well enough, and not when they least expect it (the latter was the case in my scene). If they protected themselves 100% of the time, there wouldn’t be hours of footage on YouTube and America’s Funniest Home Videos with surprise hits to that most tender area.

Needless to say, I didn’t change that scene. It’s a good thing too, because my editor’s comment upon reading it was, “Good Girl. Ha!”

So what do you think? Do you agree with the judge or the editor? I love hearing from you. Please leave your thoughts in the comments section.

By the way, if you’re interested you can read this scene in my debut novel, CAPTIVE, available now for pre-order on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other retailers. Captive releases electronically April 1st and in print April 2nd.

~K.M. Fawcett

Training for Martial Artists

Martial arts in and of itself is an awesome, full body workout. But most martial artists also train to improve their speed, conditioning and skill level. If your hero or heroine practices martial arts or depends on his fighting skills for survival, practice and conditioning will a significant part of his lifestyle.

A fighter’s power originates in his center. Kicking, punching and grappling require core strength. Weight training is utilized, but so are exercises like yoga and pilates, which also improve balance and flexibility necessary for martial arts.

Fighting requires aerobic conditioning or endurance, but being able to respond with a short burst of intense energy is also important.  Martial artists commonly use interval training to improve their anaerobic conditioning.  An example of interval training would be three minutes of easy jogging followed by a one minute sprint, two minutes of easy jogging, then a thirty second full-out run.  The lengths of the intervals are varied, as is the intensity of each.  The more irregular the workout, the better.

Fighters workout in constantly varying ways to continue to challenge their bodies.  Jumping rope is a popular cardio exercise for boxers and martial artists.  It encompasses physical exertion, rhythm, and coordination, three vital skills for all types of fighting.  Fighters run, they climb ropes, lift kettle bells, throw and carry medicine balls.  They drill with repetitive kicks and punches on heavy bags and with partners using hand-held mitts and bags.  Fighters do endless varieties of push-ups.  And this is a MMA (mixed martial arts) fighter’s idea of a sit-up.

Drills are specific exercises meant to teach patterns in fighting.  An example would be something like this.  The trainer throws a punch.  The fighter move his head out of the path, parries or blocks the punch, then counters with a punch to a practice mitt held next to the trainer’s jaw.  The same pattern is repeated many times.  Drills help fighters develop muscle memory so they respond to a strike quickly.

Sparring is practice fighting.  Participants typically pad up with protective head gear, mouth guards, padded gloves and boots. Sometimes even shin and forearm pads area worn to avoid the painful bruises that result from blocking kicks and punches. Male fighters wear special, heavy-duty athletic cups.

The type and intensity of training will depend upon the martial artist’s need and style.  A character who studies Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu will utilize different exercises that someone who trains in Kenpo.  Do some research to add the proper detail to your hero or heroine’s workout.