Samurai Shodown Sen Hitting Europe


Those who were waiting for the release of the latest Samurai Shodown here in the states, known as Edge of Destiny, are still wondering what happened. After being scheduled for a November release, the 3-D faster-paced update disappeared from Gamestop’s website, and publisher Ignition has yet to say a word.

For those in European countries, Rising Star Games has decided to pick up the release. Rising Star is ditching the US naming, sticking with the original name of Samurai Shodown Sen. The title is an Xbox 360 exclusive, and has a scheduled for a Spring release.

While trailers deliver a somewhat disappointing new pace for the series, seeing these characters in updated 3-D form seems like a positive, certainly a far cry from previous attempts at taking the series into the third dimension in Samurai Shodown 64.

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Muscle up for martial arts

Joe Weider’s Muscle & Fitness April 1, 2002 | Helenius, Tatiana Use weight training to improve your kicking and punching power Admit it: Ever since you first saw a rippedto-the-bone Bruce Lee busting up boards and bad guys on the big screen, you’ve thought about learning martial arts. But as a bodybuilding wannabe, you were torn, wondering if all that kicking and punching would slow down your progress in the gym.

Can these two disciplines complement each other? While only a select, gifted few individuals can achieve complete mastery of both bodybuilding and the martial arts, serious bodybuilders will find that studying the fighting arts can help you build your body and mind. And the opposite is also true: If you desire to be the next Bruce Lee, training with weights will make you a stronger force in the dojo. lower back exercises

Here, some of the best martial artists on the planet reveal how they incorporate trips to the weight room into their training, as well as how the arts can help aspiring bodybuilders better themselves. So straighten out your gi, kneel down and listen intently: Class is about to begin.

Similar Disciplines Intensity. Determination. Focus. Teeth-baring grit. Put the right elements together and the result is explosive power, a trait shared by champion bodybuilders and top-ranked fighters.

Serious weight training builds lethal musculature, and martial arts deliver flexibility and endurance – so a combination of both disciplines gives you an edge in both arenas, according to actor and martial arts stuntman James Lew. “One of the weaknesses of bodybuilders is that their body movements away from the weights suffer; there is sometimes a rigidity, even an awkwardness, in their motion. On the other hand, martial artists who don’t weight train consistently deprive themselves of the power edge in their martial arts techniques.” So adding a bit of martial arts training to a gym routine – and vice versa – delivers double impact. Hitting the weights gives a fighter more power, and self-defense training translates into a body awareness and grace that bumps a bodybuilder’s posing routine and everyday movements from awkward to awe-inspiring.

Looking at the training routines of some of the top fighters, you’d notice a lot in common with a typical bodybuilder’s regimen. For instance, International Fightning Championships (IFC) light-heavyweight champ Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell follows a weight training program filled with power cleans and compound sets, coupled with a diet of 3,000-4,500 calories a day. The major difference between his and a bodybuilding routine lies in the extra emphasis he puts on cardio to build his endurance. “I’ve seen fighters who were in much better physical shape than their opponents – but the other guy would outlast him and take the fight,” he says.

Conditioning for combative sports differs from general conditioning in that it must be more functional rather than just appearance-oriented, according to personal trainer Bret Hamlin, who helps Liddell with pre-fight conditioning.

“It really doesn’t matter if Chuck can bench press 400 pounds or squat 600 if he hasn’t trained his body to be physically strong after 20-30 minutes of uninterrupted physical exertion,” Hamlin explains. “We’ve seen bodybuilder or powerlifter types in no-holds-barred (NHB) and mixed martial arts competitions: They do well for 2-3 minutes, but then lose 80% of their strength and can’t continue to fight to their full potential. Strength on its own cannot be our objective; it must be strength over long periods.” Liddell trains in the gym by taking muscle groups to failure through high-intensity drop sets, compound sets, supersets or giant sets, then adds sports-specific movement (kicks, punches, etc.) during recovery from the set. He never stops moving during the workout because he trains to emulate competitive fighting conditions even when he’s outside the octagon.

“In the ring, I might exert a tremendous amount of energy or strength performing a throw, tackle, knockout combo or escape, but I’m not going to get a 90-120-second rest period to recover and regain strength. I still have to perform. So that’s the way I train – everything is geared to match actual fighting conditions,” Liddell states.

Honing Your Art If you’re ready to go full-on into a combat discipline, or if you’re already advancing through the ranks of a school and you’d like to use weight training to improve your abilities, you’ll need to build a resistance routine that complements your arts practice without detracting from it. First off, you’ll want to limit your time in the gym dedicated to building muscle: Three sessions per week should be plenty.

You’ll also want to tailor your workout. Instead of focusing workouts around bodyparts like a bodybuilder would, you’ll focus on exercises that translate directly to strength in kicking, punching and throws. In martial arts, much attention is aimed toward the center of the body as a source of power. That makes abdominal exercises critical, as well as lower back exercises to maintain an equilibrium of strength. Functional, multijoint moves that work the muscles of the upper body synergistically are also crucial, as are basic lower-body strength moves such as the squat.

Lew, a 35-year veteran of the martial arts who has fought on-screen with the likes of Jackie Chan, Jet Li, Jean-Claude Van Damme and Steven Seagal, was an early convert to the benefits of combining weight training with the arts. “The Chinese theory of Yin and Yang, meaning ‘balance in life,’ applies perfectly to physical conditioning. What do you need to have fantastic kicks? The obvious answer is powerful leg muscles, in addition to great flexibility.” Even though the defensive arts often center around punches or kicks, Lew, whose specific discipline is Shaolin Kung Fu, trains for all-around power. “The reality of being able to kick with optimum effect is that you have to train the entire body, not just one muscle group. The fundamentals of kicking require you to kick from the ground up.

The entire body must come into play to explode in a kick that will devastate your target. Your upper body must also be in tune, to explode into action and complement your kicks. Look at any world-class sprinter’s body: Naturally, we know they must train their legs to their peak condition. But you find them with incredible abdominal development and powerful shoulders, chest, back and arms, as well.” Crouching Tiger, Hidden Benefits The best martial artists develop a lot of strength without adding a lot of size, allowing them to be agile and quick while having a lot of power. if, however, your first passion is bodybuilding, you want to get big – so why would you want to jump into martial arts, which seem to have goals contradictory to your own? go to site lower back exercises

If you want to take your chosen discipline to the highest levels of competition, you likely won’t be able to continue making great bodybuilding progress at the same time unless you have extremely good genetics. Yet if you look at martial arts as simply a component of your muscle quest, and limit your time and involvement, you can reap a number of bodybuilder-friendly benefits. You’d do best to dabble – one or two classes a week – enough to get a little cardio, improved flexibility and a strong mental constitution that’ll help you focus in the weight room.

NHB competitor John Lewis, who studies Brazilian JiuJitsu and has trained top fighters like Ultimate Fightning Championship (UFC) middleweight champ Tito Ortiz, IFC super-heavyweight champion Gan McGee and Liddell, says the mental benefits of martial arts transfer to any sport. “Mind-set is everything,” notes Lewis. “You are what you think you are, and you’ll be what you think you’ll be. To be elite in anything takes a strong will and sense of direction. Those are qualities serious bodybuilders and martial artists share – they’re willing to push themselves past their limits to reach the next level.” Cynthia Rothrock, a 53″, 115-pound beauty with five black belts to her name, including belts in Tae Kwon Do and Wu Shu, points out that martial arts and weight training really complement each other because the basic training tenets are similar. “You’re concentrating on technique, on stretching to prevent injury and on proper breathing, and you need to focus on what you’re doing. Bodybuilders can benefit from martial arts because it makes them more flexible, gives them a good cardio workout, and teaches them control and balance. At the same time, they’re learning the art of self-defense, learning how to strike with accuracy, and how to react to explosive situations instinctively, without thinking.” Takin the Plunge For those of you who want to take the headfirst flying leap into elite martial arts training, we provide two weight training routines in this article. Use the beginner routine if you’re a novice in the weight room, and the more advanced routine if you’re already pretty confident around heavy iron. Both are designed to augment your martial arts training without sending you into a state of overtraining.

As mentioned earlier, don’t hit the weights more than three times a week if you’re attending multiple martial arts classes and getting in a few hours of practice on the side. With that in mind, if you’re ready for the challenge, take off your shoes and jump on the mat. Kumite!

[Sidebar] In martial arts, much attention is aimed toward the center of the body as a source of power. That makes abdominal exercises critical, as well as lower back exercises to maintain an equilibrium of strength.

[Sidebar] Intensity. Determination. Focus. Teeth-baring the result is explosive power, a trait shared by [Author Affiliation] Tatiana “Tanya” Helenius is a free-lance writer/producer, screenwriter and lyricist currently living in Paris Her work has appeared in Time Out magazine (international editions) and on CNNFN broadcast television.

[Author Affiliation] Ruddy (pronounced Rudy) Esther, who appears in the photographs accompanying this article, is an advanced martial artist and former pro kickboxer He lives in Miami Beach, Florida, where he works as a bodyguard and trainer He is available for one-on-one boxing, kickboxing and Thai boxing lessons. Contact him at 305-502-3691 or

Helenius, Tatiana