Relaxed Power: Release From Wrist Grab

Sometimes it’s a paradox that less is more.  With this release from a wrist grab, it definitely works better the more relaxed you do it.  The less strength and force you use, the better it works.  This actually gives some advantages to women as men tend to rely of strength more than ladies do.

One thing that I didn’t quite explain in the video, is that when you have skin on skin contact (such as with a grab), any changes (such as one person tensing up) can be felt practically instantaneously by the other person.  This is because the information is transmitted directly via the nervous system.  It is quicker than seeing something happen, as there is a very small delay between the eye detecting a movement and that information being relayed to and recognised by the brain.  This is why so many Chinese martial arts do “sticky hand” exercises as it trains and develops this sensitivity.  Also, you can tense without actually moving, so the eyes might not notice, but the nervous system will straight away.

Anyway, I think the video will be self explanatory without me explaining it all here.  If you find it useful please like, share and leave a comment below.  Thank you.

A Different Take On Bassai Sho Karate Kata Bunkai

The 2 Bassai katas (patterns/forms), Bassai Dai and Bassai Sho are thought to have been authored be the martial arts genius, Soken Matsumura.  Matsumura was head bodyguard to the King of Okinawa in the mid to late 1800’s.  Bassai is often translated as “storming the fortress”, which is very ironic, as Matsumura being head bodyguard for the King, with most of the official work being conducted in the Shuri Castle, would in fact of been defending the fortress (Shuri Castle) rather than storming it.
Continue reading “A Different Take On Bassai Sho Karate Kata Bunkai” »

Do Traditional Martial Arts Really Work Under Pressure?

This is an old chestnut that keeps going around every now and again; do traditional martial arts really work under pressure in the street?

Many people argue that they don’t, after all, we’ve all heard of a story where a black belt in whatever style ends up getting beaten up by a street fighter.  There are also lots of stories of martial artists, some even quite low grade, who have used their martial arts to successfully defend themselves.  Which story you quote depends on which side of the debate you’re on.

Now when you consider that there are literally millions of people around the world who practice martial arts, just by the law of averages there are bound to be some who are successful in defending themselves and some who are not.  So until somebody can come up with some studies and statistical data (I’m not aware of anybody doing so yet) I think we have to be careful how much we read too much into such stories. Continue reading “Do Traditional Martial Arts Really Work Under Pressure?” »

Style Comparison: Which Way To Move Your Hips For Leading Hand Techniques

Karate girl doing knife hand blockWhen it comes to leading hand techniques, different styles move their hips/waist in different ways for certain leading hand techniques.  In particular, techniques that are part circular where the hand moves from the opposite side of the body to it’s own side (such as Downward Block, Back-Fist Strike, etc). Continue reading “Style Comparison: Which Way To Move Your Hips For Leading Hand Techniques” »

Tekki/Naihanchi Shodan – Partner To Pad Drill

Brian Bates practising kata
Brian Bates demonstrating Karate kata

I saw this video today and liked it, so I thought I’d share it.

It features Brian Bates, 4th Dan of Zanshin Karate Academy who I’ve had some interaction with via Facebook.  He’s very good at Karate kata practical applications (bunkai) having trained with many of the top kata bunkai experts in the UK and also having a background in Aiki Jujutsu, which gives him considerable extra insights.

This video looks at the Karate kata, Tekki/Naihanchi Shodan.  What’s clever about it, which you don’t often see, is that he demonstrates the applications to the kata movements with a partner, and he also does them with pads so that you practice and hit the target hard at the same time.  So without further ado, here’s Brian’s video: Continue reading “Tekki/Naihanchi Shodan – Partner To Pad Drill” »

Target Hardening (Part 2) – Special Considerations For Women

This post follows on from the previous post on Target Hardening (Part 1) but covers issues that predominantly (though not exclusively) effect women.  It would probably be beneficial to read Part 1 first then return to this post, it’ll make more sense that way. Continue reading “Target Hardening (Part 2) – Special Considerations For Women” »

Target Hardening (Part 1) – How Predators Select Victims

First of all just to be clear, this post is talking about how predators select their victims and how to harden yourself as a target; with regard to asocial violence.  That is the type of violence where the perpetrator does not want an audience (witnesses), such as a mugger, rapist, serial killer.  This is as opposed to the bar room or class room bully who does want an audience to show of that they are the alpha male/female.  For the sake of this post, we’ll primarily focus on the mugger as that is the most common type of asocial violence.  For more information on the differences between social and asocial violence, please follow this link.

When the subject of street predators comes up in my classes I often ask, “how do lions hunt”? Continue reading “Target Hardening (Part 1) – How Predators Select Victims” »

What Is The Ultimate Aim Of Self Protection?

Self protection is a phrase that is often used, but what does it actually mean and what is it’s ultimate aim?  Well, self protection is a phrase that was initiated by Peter Consterdine, co-founder of the British Combat Association and it’s daughter organisation, the World Combat Association.  Loosely speaking, it combines “hard” physical skills of striking, kicking, grappling, etc; with the “soft” skills of de-escalation and dissuasion, using assertive behaviour.  The hard skills are usually referred to as self-defence and are the actual skills of violence; whereas the soft skills are non-violent and sometimes referred to as conflict management. Continue reading “What Is The Ultimate Aim Of Self Protection?” »