29
Jun

When it comes to arguments on the Internet, nothing I’ve seen in the martial arts has spawned as much emotion and posturing as the debate over the effectiveness of certain martial arts systems for self defense. I’d like to throw my hat into the ring on the side of reason. Brace yourself, this is going to be a long post.

First, when I talk about self defense I am not speaking about any mutually agreed upon combat - including many bar-fights. I’m talking about a violent response to the threat of, or to actual, violence. Non-violent responses fall into a different categories, mitigation, avoidance, personal protection - etc. If there is no threat or actual violence then we are most likely talking about assault.

continue

Category : martial arts | self defense
9
Jun

There is a a lot of fluff, fighting and puffery on the Internet about almost everything in the martial arts these days. Particularly, pressure points get a lot of attention. There seem to be two divergent camps with a lot of people in extremes on both sides: 1. pressure points are really effective, 2. Pressure points don’t work.

This post comes from my real-world experience of decades in the martial arts. Your experience may vary. But this is what I have objectively found: continue

Category : martial arts | self defense
4
Jun

I was saddened today to learn of the death of actor and martial artist David Carradine. Carradine, 72, was apparently found dead in a Bangkok hotel where he had been staying while shooting a film.

Initial stories and rumors (suicide, murder, accident) are already flying around the net as one might expect from the passing of such a celebrity. Regardless of details, his passing is a tragedy.

Carradine was one amongst a  handful of actors, Bruce Lee, Chuck Norris etc. who really popularized martial arts in the United States. He, of course, is best known as Kwai Chang Caine in the Kung Fu Series.  Most recently, fans got to enjoy his acting skills in the Kill Bill franchise.

He was a legend who became a proponent of the martial arts, Eastern medicine, and philosophy. My heart goes out to his family and friends,

Category : news
27
Apr

I have been enjoying a great new show on Spike TV called “Deadliest Warrior” where experts pit historical warriors against each other to determine who would win a fight. If you haven’t seen the show, combinations such as Spartan vs. ninja and pirate vs. knight are played out. Weapons, armor, and tactics are compared and tested scientifically.

At the conclusion of the show, a computer simulation is run to determine which warrior would compare most positively in a real face to face fight.

continue

Category : TV | martial arts | self defense
13
Apr

I recently had the chance to attend some “reality based” self defense training with a friend of mine who had never practiced martial arts before. On our second class, my friend had his wrist broken - most likely by an overzealous beginner during a gun takeaway exercise.

What happened?
continue

Category : martial arts | self defense
10
Feb

From first-hand experience I can tell you that about 90% of what the world believes about martial arts and self defense comes from movies and TV. There are many unrealistic portrayals about self defense - so let’s tackle the idea of dueling.

When you watch the hero of your favorite film face off with his arch-enemy and duke it out for 4 minutes without mussing his hair - that has virtually nothing to do with self-defense. Fighting in sport and television has little to do with self-defense. That’s dueling.

Most of the time, these media fights play out like the bar fights I’ve witnessed. They are essentially mutually agreed upon combat. Once you’ve agreed to fight, it’s no longer self-defense.

Real self-defense usually involves a sudden and violent surprise attack where a predator tries to overpower a target. Usually the target is not attacked from the front, with lots of warning, on mats, under bright lights, after stretching for 20 minutes, and while wearing special training clothes. Frequently attackers work in groups, carry weapons, and refuse to fight fair.

Every tool in your arsenal including screaming, running away, pulling out a gun, calling 911, using pepper spray, throwing a mean round-house kick to the temple, etc. is 100% useless unless you can effectively deal with the initial attack.

Self defense has only one goal - get to safety.

It isn’t about winning a fight or arresting your attacker (unless you’re a cop and we call it defensive tactics). Self defense isn’t about teaching your attacker a lesson, or getting an ego boost out of kicking a guy’s butt at a bar.

I hope you’ll take these words to heart and let them inform your training choices and your mindset.

Category : martial arts | self defense
3
Feb

Once in a while, I like to poke my head behind the web stats curtain and take a look at what the wizard is doing behind the scenes. Today, I found an interesting trend that I need to share.

It seems that - visitors to this blog who come via twitter have a 10% lower average bounce rate.
continue

Category : Twitter | seo