June 12, 2014
5 Ways to Legally Punch People in the Face in Cape Town
A swashbuckling word-nerd and life-time student of the creative edge, Alessandro spends his time cooking up funky stories and getting his teeth kicked out at Thai Boxing. His geekiness comes in useful where he gets put to work fashioning digital content that sizzles. When not searching for the perfect metaphor, Alessandro hunts for the quirky, the arresting and the powerful, since following Dr Seuss’ maxim you gotta:
“Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the THINKS you can think up if only you try!”
Are you having a bad day? Have you seen too many celebrity baby names? Too much much excessive punctuation? Is Justin Bieber on the radio?
It's ok. Life is full of petty torments. You may want to punch someone in the face. But you can't. It's illegal. Right?
Wrong! Here are 5 martial arts in Cape Town that perfectly combine fitness, spirituality and violence to sooth your soul and make everything right again in the universe:
1. Dragon Power – Muay Thai and Mixed Martial Arts
Dragon Power is one of Cape Town’s leading gyms and fitness centres, roundhouse kicked into creation 11 years ago by Quenton ‘Dragon’ Chong, a former World Muay Thai Champion. Muay Thai (The Art of 8 Limbs”) is Dragon Power’s core martial art, a combat sport much like kick boxing (4 limbs) but with extra weapons courtesy of legal knees and elbow strikes (the other 4 limbs) and nasty clinch fighting (stand-up grappling). Muay Thai is the most commonly used striking art in Mixed Martial Arts today because of its directness, simplicity and power.
The gym has its fair share of stars, with numerous champions, formers champions and most of the South African team in its colours, not to mention Hollywood celebrities who have trained under Chong’s banner, including Randy Couture, Wesley Snipes, Pierce Brosnan and Steven Seagal. These guys (including Mr Miyagi!) and others adorn the walls alongside numerous models (Tanit Phoenix) and other South African celebrities (Colin Moss) who have trained at the gym.
Like many high profile gyms, Dragon Power is not all about the fighters and celebrities, offering core services to the ordinary oddball on the lookout for fun and addictive fitness training. The school’s also offers Mixed Martial Arts classes, Brazilian Jujitsu, self-defence, classes for kids, personal lifestyle advice and CQP courses for security guards and personal bodyguards. It also hosts Fight Nights, which draw many of the beautiful people of Cape Town.
Address: 51a Auckland Street, Paarden Eiland, Cape Town. 7405
Tel: 021 511 9888
2. Karate Zen – Okinawan Karate
According to Grand Master and Karate author Shoshin Nagamine, "Karate may be considered as the conflict within oneself or as a life-long marathon which can be won only through self-discipline, hard training and one's own creative efforts.”
Karate (translated as “open hand”) is a striking art using punches, kicks, knee strikes, elbow strikes and open hand techniques such as knife-hands, spear-hands, including palm-heel strikes. Some forms of Karate, such as Karate-Zen’s Okinawan Goju Ryu (hard-soft style), also include grappling techniques.
Karate-Zen (established in 1971) teaches Karate as a sport, including all the way up to provincial and national levels, weapons training and kumite (sparring) and kata (form). The school has spread throughout the Western Cape and into Namibia and England, with over 40 dojos in South Africa alone, including over 3,000 members and 140 registered black belts.
Karate is represented at the highest levels of striking in Mixed Martial Arts and K1 by the likes of Semmy Schilt , Lyoto ‘The Dragon’ Machida, Georges “Rush” St Pierre, Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva” and Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell, who have had formidable success against all styles.
INSIDER TIP: Get 3 month’s free training! SMS ZEN to 306010.
Address: 88 Voortrekker Road, Goodwood
Tel: 021 591 4411
3. Chinese Martial Arts and Health Centre – Kung Fu
Kung Fu, a colloquial term for Chinese Martial Arts, consists of various families of fighting styles. Amongst them are Northern Shaolin Long Fist and Hong Quan, ancient arts taught at the Chinese Martial Arts and Health Centre and practiced throughout the world.
Northern Shaolin Long Fist includes 10 bare-hand forms, including the various famous animals (Tiger Style!), and weapons like the saber, straight sword and spear. Likewise Hong Quan includes Tiger, Crane, Snake, Leopard and Dragon styles and include forms like the Subduing Tiger Fist, Iron Wire and Tiger-Crane, as well as halberds, fans and umbrellas. These techniques are also offered tactically as a no-nonsense self-defence course.
The Chinese Martial Arts and Health Centre has schools in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Australia, Germany and the United Kingdom. It also offers Tai Chi, Chi Gung (the alignment of breath, movement, and awareness for the purposes of exercise, healing, and meditation), pilates and fitness training and is particularly strong in the spiritual dimension of martial arts.
Mixed Martial Artists who use applied Kung Fu (Sanshou) to devastating effect in Mixed Martial Arts include Cung Le, Pat “HD” Barry, Roy “Big Country” Nelson and KJ Noons.
INSIDER TIP: Print your Golden Ticket here and get a week’s free training.
Address: 85 Station Rd, Observatory
Tel: 021 448 2594
4. Ninjitsu Ryu – Ninjitsu
Ninjutsu is the strategy and martial art of unconventional warfare and espionage. The 18 traditional skills of Ninjutsu include spiritual refinement, unarmed combat, sword, stick and staff, spear, naginata, kusarigama, throwing weapons, pyrotechnics, disguise and impersonation, stealth and entering, horsemanship, water training, tactics, espionage, escape and concealment, metereology and geography.
Ninjitsu Ryu teaches awareness, survival and protection techniques through movements and deflections, pressure points, organ strikes, muscle targets and joint manipulation. This is complimented by training against multiple attackers, take downs, locks, holds, grappling and disarming techniques. Ninjitsu Ryu also teaches weapons like sword, ninchuck, belt, kali sticks, knife work, shurikan, tonfa and single hand fighting. The school’s stated goal is that its students are able to defend themselves from 90% of untrained attackers within 6 months of training. You can literally be a ninja.
INSIDER TIP: Minimum age to join is 16
Address: Cnr Lw Main Rd and Collingwood, Observatory
Address: 150 De Wet St, Goodwood
Address: Sunningdale Sports Club - Bowls Club House, Waterville Crescent, Sunningdale
Tel: 082 777 6493
5. Gracie Jiu-jitsu – Brazilian Jiu-jitsu
The core tenet of Brazilian Jiu-jitsu is that a smaller, weaker combatant is able to defend and defeat a much larger and more powerful opponent through the use of leverage, technique and submission chokes and holds.
This philosophy was executed during the Ultimate Fight Championship when the Gracie family (founders of the art) sent one of the smallest members (Royce Gracie, at 80kgs) to fight against monstrous opponents, some over 30kgs heavier than him. Royce revolutionised martial arts when he dominated all opposition from all martial arts at consecutive tournaments. The world took notice.
Today Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a component of almost every modern fighters’ training as well as many of the world’s military programs. The art emphasizes taking an opponent to the ground and maximising mechanical advantages over physical strength, allowing practitioners to neutralise and submit their adversaries, making it suitable for anyone of any weight, age or gender.
The Gracie School teaches the art of the famous family, focussing on self-defence. It also offers a Combatives course, a Kids course, self-defence in extreme sitautions, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu tailored for Mixed Martial Arts and classic BJJ technique training.
INSIDER TIP: Apply for your FREE 10 day trial here:
Address: Merlot Centre, 1 Merlot Avenue, Parklands, Cape Town
Tel: 0861 GRACIE (086 147 2243)
Still keen to break a sweat, but on a budget? Here are 5 free ways to exercise in Cape Town. Want something a little more relaxing? Enjoy the top 5 spas in the Mother City. If you're enjoying these kinds of articles, you should follow us on twitter here.