After learning that a local Krav Maga school would be offering a free 90 minute introductory session on Saturday afternoon, I was very interested to say the least.
For those of you not too familiar with Krav Maga, here’s something I posted about it many moons ago to bring you up to speed.
I counted 20 participants plus 2 instructors (1 female, 1 male) who were knowledgable and approachable.
After a brief warm-up and light stretching, we proceeded without further ado. And it got real. Real fast.
Basic fight stance. Always keep arms up and hands/fists protecting one’s jaw.
A lot of partner exercises and striking pads.
Front jab and cross. First using your fist, then using the heel palm of your hand.
It looks something like this:
We then moved on to a very basic and extremely effective technique: The Front (Groin) Kick.
There are self-defense situations in which the attacker has already closed in on you and you cannot execute either of the described techniques.
Let’s say he’s applying a two-handed front choke or a choke from the side. Yep, Krav Maga offers responses to that, too.
Break the choke by pulling your opponent’s hands to the side like this:
What about a choke from the side? Yep, they got that covered, too:
To top it off and to add that some more adrenaline, we formed one line of 10 participants who were the defenders and another line of 10 who were the attackers.
As a defender, you were to close your eyes and only to know and expect either a front or side choke and respond accordingly.
Your attackers would constantly change. All of this with loud “Angry White Male” music.
Our instructors incorporated numerous cardio exercises during our 90 minute session and I must say I wasn’t the only one with a dripping wet shirt after everything was said and done.
If you’re looking for a good workout and a practical approach to self-defense, you have a real option with Krav Maga.
Stay safe, my friends!
The more I have been reading about Col. Fairbairn and the fighting system of Defendu or gutter fighting, the more intrigued I have become.
Defendu incorporates movements and techniques from Tenshin Jiu Jitsu, but what makes it unique, is that with the assistance of Eric A. Sykes, he actually made techniques easy to learn and to remember, especially when under stress.
As this system does not call for any complicated moves and physical fitness, just about anybody can achieve proficiency in a fairly short period of time.
Originally, Fairbairn developed and taught Defendu to the 9,000 Shanghai police officers and even to the famed 4th Marine Regiment known as the China Marines.
Get this: Fairbairn founded, developed, trained, and headed the Shanghai Riot Squad. It was the first ever Special Weapons & Tactics Unit, and even today it serves as the prototype for S.W.A.T. teams as we know them.
Did I mention that this all occurred between 1907 and 1940 in Shanghai which was considered one the most dangerous cities in the world at the time?
First an international settlement and later under Japanese occupation, Shanghai dealt with a tremendous amount of gang wars, drug trafficking, murder, political assassination, prostitution and kidnapping, just to name a few.
Defendu is considered as the first police defensive tactics system. Defendu includes striking, kicking, biting, gouging, trapping, holds and joint locks, throwing etc. in close quarters.
What appeals to everyone serious about self-defense is that it gets right to the point and avoids high kicks and jumping techniques which can look great on the Big Screen, but shouldn’t necessarily be used when you just want to get home safely.
Fairnburn was an accomplished Kodokan judoka (certified by Jigoro Kano!) who also incorporated some basic ground fighting techniques along with chokes and take downs as the basic grappling defenses.
After retiring from his police work in Shanghai in 1940, Fairbairn returned to war-time Great Britain where he received the assignment to train British and Allied commandos at a top-secret location. The special operators were then responsible for training the US Army, Marines, Rangers and OSS (later CIA) operatives.
Col. William Ewart Fairbairn was born in 1885 and died in 1960. He was a British soldier, police officer and while training WWII Allied forces and later Western intelligence services, he was considered the most knowledgeable expert of hand to hand combat at the time.
Here you can see Fairbairn demonstrating elements of his system together with another close combat legend, Rex Applegate.
And here is what Bill Wolfe has to say about Col. Fairbairn:
Anybody remember the Patrick Swayze movie “Road House”?
You know the one in which he plays a professional “cooler” (i.e. specialized doorman, or bouncer) with a mysterious past who is enticed from his current job in New York City by a club owner to take over security at his club/bar.
I agree that this was not one of the finer specimens presented on the Big Screen, but at one time or another in our lives we just want to watch a couple of fight scenes, right?!
Did you know that martial arts great, Benny “The Jet” Urquidez, was actually the fight choreographer? Really ….
But there’s another martial arts great I wanted to tak about who is also known as “Road House” and for me he is the Real Deal.
I’m talking about Grand Master Steve Sexton, 8th degree Hapkido black belt.
He is a street fighting legend in the San Fernando Valley area of California who has been in real combat situations. On a regular base, Master Sexton is one of the few martial artists who uses traditional Hapkido techniques in real life self-defense situations.
Master Sexton has over 25 years experience as a professional Bouncer and his Hapkido skills have kept him safe in countless dangerous street fighting encounters against all kinds of aggressive people out to do bodily harm.
On the night club circuit he has experienced every type of assault from one-on-one confrontations to multiple attackers. He’s been shot at and has disarmed numerous knife, bottle and club wielding crazies. He attributes his survival to the hightly effective self-defense techniques of Korean Hapkido which includes striking, kicking, throwing, joint locking, chokes, ciruclar movements, angle attacks, weapons disarming techniques, leveraging, redirecting your attackers force against himself and much more.
Remember that Patrick Swayze movie “Road House”? Well, then you’ve got a glimpse of the Legend of Steve Sexton, hence the nickname “Road House”.
And if you think a cane can only fulfill one purpose, think again:
I just got the news that the respected JKD (Jeet Kune Do) practitioner and instructor, Sifu Ted Wong, passed away last week.
May I offer my heartfelt condolences to his family, friends and students.
In case you find yourself reading today’s post and not being aware of who Ted Wong was, I would like to share a profile by Teri Tom that originally appeared in the December 2006 issue of Black Belt Magazine:
Ted Wong: 2006 Man of the Year
By Teri Tom
“It’s the stuff of legends, really. A story of serendipitous privilege and great personal anguish.
In 1967 Ted Wong was living in Los Angeles’ Chinatown when a friend tipped him off about a class at Bruce Lee’s Jun Fan Gung Fu Institute.
Acceptance to the class had been by invitation, and members were expected to have prior training. Wong snuck into the class with no experience, and when Lee saw him, he asked, “Who are you?”
Wong thought he’d be given the boot, but instead, the two struck up a conversation in Cantonese. Lee made an exception and let Wong stay.
Wong wasted no time making up for his lack of experience, and before long he was training in Lee’s backyard, having become his most frequent sparring partner.
From July 27, 1967 to October 14, 1971, Wong studied under Lee at least 122 times. According to Lee’s own appointment books, Wong spent more time receiving private instruction than any other person.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a martial artist who’s more qualified to teach advanced Jun Fan jeet kune do—which is why Wong was certified by Lee himself.
M. Uyehara, author of Bruce Lee: The Incomparable Fighter, agreed. He wrote: “I still think Bruce considered Ted Wong as his protégé before his death. Wong was his constant companion for the last few years. Besides working out on Wednesday nights, Wong also came to see Bruce on weekends. When Bruce needed a sparring partner, it was Wong he selected.”
But that period wouldn’t last. With Lee’s death in 1973, Wong found himself without a teacher.
What followed is a story of great pain, moral integrity and self-reliance.
While others were quick to capitalize on their association with Lee, Wong threw himself into 15 years of seclusion.
There was still so much to learn, so he went back to the origin: the writings his teacher had left behind.
He tracked down the sources that influenced those writings, books that had been in Lee’s library.
He relied on his photographic—or, more precisely, his “filmographic”—memory to draw connections between what he’d seen Lee do so many times and the principles outlined in his writings.
When he lost his instructor, Wong faced the same temptation we all do: to look to outside sources—different masters, different styles.
He chose to do the opposite, and it wasn’t an easy path to follow. But Wong had all he needed: the road map left by his teacher and the benefit of many hours spent with one of history’s greatest martial artists.
In the 15 years that followed, Wong developed a solid understanding of what Lee had tried to teach him. Wong didn’t supplement his arsenal with techniques from other arts. The only thing he added to Jun Fan jeet kune do was an understanding and analysis designed to enable future generations to benefit from Lee’s lifework.
In the 15 years it took Wong to connect the dots between his training and Lee’s writings, others misinterpreted those writings and misrepresented their teachings as jeet kune do.
Although reclusive by nature, Wong couldn’t remain silent. The damage propelled him out of the shadows in the early 1990s.
After decades of turning down requests for interviews, he found himself in the spotlight. Still, he refrained from adopting a traditional approach.
While he could have turned a handsome profit by opening a school, Wong didn’t go that route. Maintaining the integrity of the art was more important.
Even now, he privately teaches only a half-dozen students in the Los Angeles area.
Instead of running a school, he’s taken his act on the road. He’s planted JKD seeds in countries around the globe, including Japan, Hong Kong, Puerto Rico, Sweden, Holland, Scotland, Italy and Spain, as well as across the United States.
He’s made regular trips to those locations for years and built a small army of loyal students. Without a facility to run, he can pick and choose his students based on their character and interest in the art.
In his spare time, Wong serves on the board of the Bruce Lee Foundation, where he contributes his time as an adviser and instructor.
For his selfless contributions to the foundation, the legacy of Bruce Lee and the art of Jun Fan jeet kune do, Black Belt is proud to induct Ted Wong into its Hall of Fame as 2006 Man of the Year.
Jun Fan jeet kune do is a registered trademark owned by Concord Moon.”
Sifu Ted Wong, R.I.P.
Man, on this day exactly 37 years ago in Hong Kong, the most influential martial artist and martial arts movie star died at the young age of only 32.
The world knew him as Bruce Lee, aka Little Dragon. He was born in San Francisco in 1940, but he and his family moved (back) to Hong Kong while he was still very young.
And even though it’s been almost four decades since he passed on, Bruce Lee still lives on in so many ways, because he has been able to touch millions of people through his acting and teachings.
I for myself can honestly say that it was Bruce Lee on the big screen that got me hooked on martial arts (in my case Shotokan karate for starters).
This post is not intended to be about me or even to re-hash Bruce Lee’s biography, but what I would love to hear your stories and experience about getting started in martial arts, self-defense training and how Bruce Lee affected your life.
I will leave you with this video clip as a tribute to honor Bruce Lee’s life and accomplishments:
I always like trying out different workout programs. So a couple of years I borrowed a DVD from a friend.
And I gotta tell ya that I got a really good sweat from what I was following on the screen.
The program is better known as TaeBo and it simply combines numerous training elements from Taekwondo/Karate and Western boxing while creating a high-octane environment in the privacy of your own home.
TaeBo has helped and continues to help millions get and stay in shape.
It is not a self-defense program, even though the man behind TaeBo certainly can defend himself.
He is a 7th degree Taekwondo Black Belt and his name is Billy Blanks.
Before introducing his immensely successful brainchild, Karate Hall of Famer Billy Blanks was actually a very accomplished martial artist and boxing champion (Massachusetts Golden Gloves Champion) which he explains in the following video clip I found for you.
Hope you enjoy it!
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Many times even seasoned martial arts practitioners are overwhelmed by the variety of self-defense techniques at their disposal.
More often than not the solution to a problem, in our example, self-defense could be much easier than we first think.
And that’s why today I thought it might be a good idea to draw our attention to a self-defense technique that doesn’t even require years of training, if applied correctly in the appropriate situation.
Bruce Lee said it best, when faced with a choice of hitting your opponent in the ribs or poking him in the eyes, you go for the eyes every time.
The technique that I am referrring today is simply known as the eye jab.
You can use this effective technique to “buy time” during a surprise attack and to thwart an attacker.
What’s really cool about the eye jab is that even if you miss the eyes, your attacker will blink and will give you the opportunity to follow up.
Should your jab however connect, meaning touch his eyes, they will immediately water and your attacker’s vision will severely blur.
The rest is up to you.
Especially among Kali and Jeet Kune Do practioners this swatting finger jab is a popular hand technique.
And because one doesn’t require a lot of strength the eye jab is a very practical technique. It does rely on speed, accuracy and timing.
Thus, if you have just halfway decent motor skills, you can do this one, no matter how physically fit you are.
Just make sure you are loose and not stiff during its execution. It’s like swatting a fly.
It’s also very important that your fingers of the jabbing hand are close to one another and slightly bent to avoid injury on the finger joints in case you accidentally hit bone on impact.
You should try to project toward the target without telegraphing it to your attacker.
The actual execution reminds me of a striking cobra.
I found a video clip with the legendary Paul Vunak, who puts it all together with an eye jab, elbow strike and head butt.
The execution is so fast that you might want to watch it a couple of times.
Use the eye jab responsibly and always stay safe!
I Really Hope Thiago Alves …. - 26 Year Old Brazilian MMA Fighter And Superb UFC-Welterweight FacingThe Biggest Challenge Of His Life.
Do You Punch Like A 7 Year Old? I wish I could punch like this kid. Find out what I mean.
Inglourious Basterds And Infamous Choke On The Ground Got Me Thinking About A way Out.
Move Over, Jackie Chan And Jet Li, Because Here Comes Donnie Yen Who Stars Again As Wing Chun Legend, Ip Man
The Kid From Beaufort Who Became Heavyweight Boxing Olympic Gold Medalist And World Champion And I Had No Idea Until Last Week.
Erin Go Bragh! And Don’t Forget The Shamrocks! Ireland Forever And Boy, Did I Enjoy St. Patrick’s Day In Savannah.
I would apppreciate your feedback to any of my previous posts and even topics that I haven’t touched on yet.
Has anybody else out there seen “Inglourious Basterds” by Quentin Tarantino?
I found this movie very impressive in many ways. I’m however not into the violence and brutality that Tarantino usually puts on display in his movies and that has become sort of his trademark. But I guess he’s gotta do what he’s gotta do.
Anyway. There’s one scene that got me thinking in terms of self-defense, especially, but not only for women.
Actress Diane Kruger plays German spy Bridget von Hammersmark who gets strangled while pinned down on the floor.
The brutal Nazi officer, played by Christoph Waltz, who won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, has a firm grip on van Hammersmark’s throat and he has no plans of letting her go.
What ya do?
I found this video clip that might be a way out and I would love to hear from y’all:
St. Patrick’s Day was awesome and the rest of the week wasn’t too shabby either.
If you are a single mom or know someone who is, please take note of this Personal Safety Alert For Single Moms.
We all know that Bruce Lee could punch and kick, but he also knew something about the art of fighting without fighting.
Surprise – surprise! What you didn’t know about pro golfer Phil Mickelson.
This guy blows me and his opponents away: The Best Pound-For-Pound Fighter, Also The Best Ever Fighter In The World?
Amazing: Ultimate Fighting has become a household name, but what did the first ever Ultimate Fighting Championship, UFC 1, Look Like?
Talk soon, my friends.