by John Perkins

#1.... Picture yourself traveling up in a freight elevator about 7' by 8'. You are with
two well dressed men. You are carrying a brief case. Suddenly one of the men hits the
emergency button while the other turns toward you with his right hand reaching behind his
back. The man who has turned towards you now steps in your direction with his head
slightly down and his eyes focusing on you.

 What is your next step?

 Do you---
A.  Ask them what's going on?
              B.  Grab for your handgun or folding knife?
              C.  Step back with your brief case raised to protect your face?
              D.  Step off line and attack the man approaching you using your brief case
                   as a shield?

The answer is D. Since the elevator was stopped for no apparent reason by one of the
men you should be ready for something out of the ordinary. The fact that the second man
turned toward you with his hand behind him and stepped in your direction and has focused
on you should set off your alarm bells.

This is a situation that actually happened to one of our students. Luckily he did
"attack the attacker." The man approaching had a knife as did the first man who pushed the
stop button. Our man stepped sideways and sprung off the door of the elevator and drop
kicked the approaching man. He did not stop there. As the button man went into action he
stopped him with a dropping side kick which struck above the knee. He next went into a
Hell-evator frenzy. On exiting the elevator, the police were called. The emergency
personnel who treated the two men thought that our man attacked them with a heavy club or
similar weapon.

If you chose B you most likely would not have had time to pull your weapon and stop from being stabbed and/or slashed repeatedly.

If you chose A you might have been lucky enough to find out that these were sales men who
wanted to sell you some sharp looking knives.

If you chose C you may have kept your face protected at the cost of a stab to various
body parts.

Of course some of you may have thought to yourself that maybe it was just coincidental
that the man stopped the elevator and the other made an aggressive move toward you. In
fact, that is how most victims think. The reason for the attack was never
discovered. In fact, the lawyer for one of the attackers argued that our friend attacked
them first.

Consider seriously how you would have reacted.

#2....Imagine that you are parking your car and a truck pulls up next to you. You have a
handicap that prevents you from being able to run. You realize that the driver who is now
approaching you is someone who you fired a while ago. He wants some back pay but he is a thief who actually owes you money. He has a friend with him who joins him in arguing with you.

The one you fired is wiry and strong and used to hard manual labor. He is an expert
at clearing brush and knows how to wield a machete. In your mind you have no reason to
think that this could ever develop into a violent situation. After all you've known the guy
for quite a while and feel that he is just letting off steam. What you do not know is
that this guy is not fully sane by your standards. During the argument you have
unknowingly dissed him in front of his friend which means that he must kill you. He then
makes his move which is calculated and hidden. While you are distracted by the other
person he slips his hand into his truck and suddenly turns on you with both his hands
holding an object that you cannot instantly identify. He steps toward you while holding
the object as if he is going to hit a low ground ball.

 Do you:
            A.   Ask him what's up?
            B.   Grab for your knife or gun as you step back?
            C.   Put your hand in front of your face as you step back?
            D.   Close the gap and attack?

Of course by now you have figured it out. You attack the attacker instantly. You go in
close to prevent him from swinging whatever he is holding. In this case it was a machete.
If you chose A you would have been chop meat. If you chose B you would have been chop
meat. If you chose C you would have been missing your hands and become chop meat.

Seriously ask yourself what you actually would do. Imagine that your ability to retreat
was blocked off for some reason. Being faster than your attacker won't help you here. Do
you choose diplomacy at a time like this? Do you tend to hope for the best? Have you ever
actually faced death before? Do you tend to hesitate to see what the man is holding? Do
you freeze thinking that this isn't really happening? You must answer honestly.
No one is grading you. This is just an exercise to allow you to look into yourself and
find out how you think. I hope that your future training will be guided by this.

Take care folks, JP

Your Questions:


When engaged in the Contact Flow drill, is part of the underlying mechanism
to disrupt your partner (or attacker's) rhythm--that is, become one with it
so you can change for that opening?

Hi Steven, basically with KCD disrupting the opponent's rhythm is the least of what
should be accomplished. Yes you should learn to meld with the opponent while
training in contact flow. With enough hands-on practice you will learn to
disrupt the opponent's balance, timing, psychology and expectations in
shorter and shorter time intervals. It eventually gets to the point where
even before actual contact is made certain visual clues will predetermine
how you accomplish one or all of the above seemingly without effort. When I
work privately with a student or a senior student works with someone with
less experience we usually try to keep the movement just a hair above the
ability of the one being trained. Leaving some openings at odd intervals
also helps to develop this. There are quite a number of methods that I and
the advanced instructors use to graduate the student's awareness of the
elements of melding and causing interference, disruption and distraction and
ultimately destruction of the enemy, in more military terms.

Take care, John Perkins

I know that this might be a complex question to answer, but what if you are up against a big strong fast monster. One that towers above you, where chin and eye strikes are out of the question. What is the best course of offensive action?

Hi Tony. I am 5' 10" tall. I teach NYC bouncers many of whom are over 6' 6" and weigh more than
350. I admit that if I move in a way that does not use the KCD principles to the maximum
I have a great deal of trouble when fighting with some of these quick, large and young
men. As far as getting to their eyes is concerned, I have found that their eyes, neck,
ears, groin etc. are not actually out of reach. I do have 50 years of experience though.
I cannot lie to you and say that if you are diminutive that you can fight a much larger
man without much training. I know that Killeen, Jenny, Elaine and other female students
of mine who are advanced can and do defeat the average men even some with martial arts
black belts. Killeen is 5' 3" tall and was the one who actually caused Lt. Col. Ridenhour to
join our class because of her ability to keep him from hurting her while she dished out quite
a bit of mayhem.

Again, it does take some time to become proficient in KCD. If you believe that
simple striking and throwing techniques will work against serious very large attackers then you
must practice them like a religious zealot. As far as reaching the eyes etc. most people
usually must bend down to lower themselves to strike or grab a smaller person. Here is
where you may get the chance to hit the eyes and throat. You should have highly developed
hand strength to hit a big throat successfully. Eyes are another matter. If you are
fighting anyone and cannot reach eyes or throat you can attack the groin.

You may wish to grapple a seriously large man but that may prove difficult. KCD ground fighting
methodology usually helps a great deal in this regard. You may wish to check out the
newest dvd which is all about ground fighting KCD style. Just telling you
to find a good position at real fighting speed and punch or strike the groin is not much
to offer. If you are a very strong kicker you may have some chance to kick a shin, knee
etc. well enough to do some damage. Again, you should have very developed KCD principles
to enhance your kicking etc. Remember: most of the bouncers I teach are fast and can be
furious. Do not think that a big man is neccessarily slow. Some are just as fast as anyone
else. You could always just join a MC dojo and feel good in spite of reality. There are
many charlatans who would be only too happy to take your money and feed you whatever you
wish to hear. Real combat is not a joke. You must practice to the utmost, real tried-and-true
methods. You may consider carrying a handgun but remember that if attacked close up
quickly you may not have time to get to your weapon.
--John Perkins

How do you deal with a headlock?

A headlock can be applied from many directions with various results. Sometimes a
headlock is applied for limited use such as a sporting event. Here it probably is against
the rules to grab the testicles of your opponent and crush them.

If a person is applying a headlock with murderous intent but lacks the ability to turn
it instantly to a neck break then you may have the time to attack the testicles and maybe
reach your left hand (assuming that he is holding your head against his right side) over
his head and take out his eyes or grab below the chin and pull him backwards.

A properly applied head lock is one where you would grab the head of your opponent and
while grasping your left hand with your right you twist your right arm and squeeze your
outer forearm into the temple and outer skull on the eye causing a crushing effect while
sumultaneously pulling the head forward and upward with the head locked against your
right side while falling backward thus causing a neck dislocation at high speed. This
should all be done as fast as possible so that the opponent has no time for counter

If you carry a knife there are a few ways to use it to thwart a neck breaking head lock.
I assume that you are interested in bare handed methods.

I hope that this helps you.
Take care, John Perkins

Your style is for survival on the street and I have incorporated a few drills into my training. However, the place in which I train and I do Silat does not spar in Silat, but Vale Tudo/Thai Boxing....... The majority of people who train there do that. Thus you are putting up with relentless Thai Kicks or MMA applications....... What drills can be done to be able to cope with the pressure of this as sparring to me is just a game of chess. Thus, no matter how much you want to free flow or pressure test you end up having to defend yourself from becoming a punching bag for an egotistical Vale Tudo/Thai Boxer...... Who to me are only good at fighting in the gym and when you break the rules with these guys, they don't like it. I was thinking of developing my punching power and going from there.

I'll try to answer this in the best way I can but understand that you may not like my full response.

First I'll tell you that the best way to develop your punching power is to learn how to "Drop Hit." Here's why, 
---It requires no continuous muscle tension or great strength 
---It requires no windup or chamber 
---It's perfect for fighting nose-to-nose, where the most mayhem occurs and where there's no room to
   pull back and chamber a strike 
---It delivers more energy in less time 
---You can deliver it at any angle, including upward 
---It causes far more internal damage to the enemy 
---It doesn't disrupt your relaxation, sensitivity, or balance; instead, it augments them  
If you read "Attack Proof" where we discuss this and then go on our web site and if you already haven't done so, subscribe to the "Free Newsletter" you'll be able to read the newsletter "KI CHUAN DO TRAINING TIPS #7" that discusses a training program as to how to drop punch. This will allow you to strike with bone crushing power within a relatively short period of time. I've included some of the parts of this newsletter at the end of this email to get you started, I would have included the whole thing but I don't want to crush your bandwidth since it's a rather lengthy Newsletter. 
The other thing you will want to do is to learn how to take their space as to not allow them the opportunity to get their stuff off in the first place and this can only be done by working on the balance exercises as outlined in our book and stepping in using the Long Step technique to crowed them as you move in to strike. This takes a little practice but is not hard to do. Again these are outlined in Attack Proof as well. 
Now I'm going to get into the part that you'll probably not want to hear but I think I owe you nothing less than the blunt truth. Understand that for a variety of reasons you're never going to reach a happy medium with these guys. What they are doing is a sport and when they go to class to train it's all about ego whereas what you are trying to learn to do is to save your life in a real fight and the two are not the same, period! Trust me, I've been there and done that, so I know where you are coming from. Just the fact that you can clearly see the difference that they can't, speaks for itself. I can't make the choice for you but I feel that as time goes on eventually you're probably going to be better off if you leave where you train because at some point you're going to see the futility in training for a reality of combat that just doesn't exist. 
I know this is hard because I'm sure you probably have a good rapport with many of the people you train with otherwise you would stop training with them, but be advised that as your skills in real fighting grow, so will their frustration in what you are doing to them. Since their minds cannot obviously distinguish between fact and fiction any attempt on your part to try to change them will be met with hostility. Understand that many of these people are very accomplished fighters in their own right and have invested a lot of time, money and effort in developing their skills and it's a bitter pill for them to swallow when they discover that while that stuff may work in the ring with rules it is a recipe for disaster in a real street fight which is where it really counts. 
More importantly they have developed a lot of emotional attachment to their art [or emotional investment to be accurate] which is far more powerful a motivator to defend the indefensible than all of the money they have spent over the years learning their given art, which is why they act with anger and hostility whenever you are able to best them when using even the simplest of street fighting techniques.  Do not, do not, do not underestimate how fragile people's egos are even if they are a master in a given art.  I've seen this too many times and based on my experiences over the years what eventually ends up happening is either the person studying KCD on the side eventually leaves their former school out of frustration or they are made to feel unwelcome because they become dominant amongst the other students and eventually leave anyway. 
I once had a student who was a big time tournament fighter in our local area (we'll call him Paul), and after training with us for several months he decided he was going to enter this tournament that he attends every year. Both Grand Master Perkins and I told him not to do it because his fighting ability has changed and he'll probably end up getting thrown out of the tournament or end up having to clobber someone for real. Well, what the hell do we know, right? So he enters the tournament anyway which he easily won by the way but what he had to say to us about the experience was even more profound. He said that during the tournament he had hit one guy so hard he kicked him off the mat and into a garbage can, the guy afterward refused to fight. One guy he hit so hard the guy literally started to cry. By the way these were all body shots where people were wearing protective vests. It got so bad that he was told, now get this, that if he kept hitting so hard he would be disqualified from the tournament. I kid you not! To make a long story short after that experience he never went back to that art. He saw it for what it was and made a choice and to this day he is one of the more gifted instructors in our system and he has not regretted leaving his former style one bit. 
If you wish to continue training there in order to work the principles against different things and for the good workout that's your choice. In my mind however, it's very simple: if I went to a mechanic to get my car fixed and he wasn't giving me the service that I was paying for, that would be the last time he would ever get my business. Well the martial arts should be no different-- if you feel that you are not getting what you are paying for then you need to do the right thing for yourself and take your business elsewhere, even if it means starting your own training group.  
Well I hope this helps. The stuff I promised on Drop Hitting is below, and please feel free to contact me through the website at any time. Take care and good luck.
Lt Col Al
How Do You Drop?
Simply put, Dropping Energy refers to a spasmodic lowering of the entire body weight into a current or new root. Whatever your body weight is, it becomes a formidable weapon when you get it moving all at once in accordance with gravity. The sensation of dropping is similar to having your legs kicked out from under you, stumbling off a curb, or falling asleep at the wheel of your car and then jerking awake. It resembles the effect when you sneeze and your whole body spasms and drops. The energy is explosive but involuntary. You want to be able to control it at will, directing it to any weapon. When fueled by your fear and permitted to flow by relaxation, the damage dished out by dropping can be substantial.
Dropping consists of two parts that happen simultaneously:
1. Stand with your knees slightly bent then try to bend them more so quickly that for a split second your whole body becomes weightless, so that a slip of paper could actually be inserted between your feet and the ground. Most beginners make the mistake of actually jumping up first, which entirely misses the point.
2. Halt the drop with a snap to start the shock wave of energy. You don't want to drop more than a couple of inches at most. Think of it as snapping a wet dish towel or cracking a whip; you're essentially trying to "catch the bounce" your body makes as it's stopped. Your momentum bounces off the floor through your feet and back up your body to be channeled into whatever weapon you're using.
You can drop into one or both legs or from leg to leg.
Seven Step Drop Program 
Here's a series of progressive exercises that you can practice on your own. Please note: In order to develop the ability to drop on your strikes the most important thing you must develop is your balance. Without balance you can do nothing, for you need to be able to "catch" and control your body as you strike, since the power emanates from your root through your center of gravity. As you drop you must land with your foot flat with your center of gravity rooted over the foot you drop on. STEP ONE - stand with your hands out in front of your arms, shoulder height and slightly bent with your wrists relaxed. This position looks exactly like the first move in the Tai Chi form. As you drop and catch yourself, perform a palm heel strike, focusing on timing your strike with your drop. Your arms should feel the contraction of the muscles with the hands "snapping" into the palm heel strike. Your hands should strike outward in front of you with no more than three to four inches of movement.
Start off slow, focusing on developing the timing and then gradually pick up the speed.
Resist the temptation to "launch" with your legs by jumping up in the air first. This is a common mistake and will not add one iota of power to your strikes.
Upon dropping, ensure that all motion in your body ceases and hold your position for two full seconds. You should feel yourself rooting to the ground with each drop, knees bent, ensuring that you do not hop forward or lean in any one direction dropping straight down. This will ensure that as you strike you are able to do so with maximum contraction of the muscles and balance. Make sure as you recover before your next drop that as you return to the original position, you are totally "relaxed" between each drop.
Repeat this over and over for two minutes or until the point of fatigue.
STEP TWO - repeating all of the steps in step one, upon dropping, ensure that all motion in your body ceases and hold your position for one full second. In doing so you will now begin to cut down on the amount of time it takes between your strikes while ensuring that as you strike you are able to do so with maximum contraction and balance.
Repeat this over and over for one minute or until the point of fatigue.
STEP THREE - upon dropping, ensure that all motion in your body ceases and hold your position for one half a second cutting down even more on the amount of time it takes between your strikes to gather yourself, again focusing on striking with maximum contraction and balance.
STEP FOUR - stand with your hands out in front of your arms, shoulder height and slightly bent with your wrists relaxed. As you drop and catch yourself perform a side chop or "shuto" strike focusing on timing your strike with your drop. Your arms should feel the contraction of the muscles with the hands "snapping" into the strike. Again your hands should strike outward in front of you with no more that three to four inches of movement.
Ensure that the hands are already in the proper position to make the strike work as if you were striking for real, focusing on hitting with the side of the hand, not the fingers. Now, you want to drop and strike as fast as you can, making sure you remain balanced as you strike and relaxed in between strikes.
Again do not lean forward or hop as you strike. Make sure that you are striking as you catch yourself when dropping.
STEP FIVE - repeat step four only now, drop on one leg, alternating the feet, and begin to develop the dropping on one leg. Do not lean forward or to the side and do not hop as you strike. Make sure that you are striking as you catch yourself when dropping, ensuring that your center of gravity is directly over the rooted leg. Once you gain proficiency at this, begin dropping employing various strikes hitting within your sphere of influence with every possible weapon you can imagine.
STEP SIX - repeat step five, striking and moving in every possible direction, striking with every possible weapon within your sphere of influence. Ensure that as you step you maintain your body unity. Then begin the Ki Chuan Do exercise Polishing the Sphere (see Attackproof: the Ultimate Guide to Personal Protection), intermixing it with drop hitting.
STEP SEVEN - drop until you can't drop anymore and repeat several times a week until it is infused into every fiber of your being. You should mostly feel this in your legs, later you will want to do this against a heavy bag, then on the wobble board, then on the board against the heavy bag, on one leg etc...

Assuming your awareness is not high, or there are more than one attackers, what do you do if someone gets a hold of your hair? getting at their neck, eyes, and even feet would be pretty difficult, and someone else controlling your movements is pretty frightening.
I'll answer your question first dealing with if someone gets a hold of you then I will discuss awareness. You better believe this is frightening which is why we teach what we teach the way we teach it.
First of all even if someone gets a hold of your hair if you are determined to survive believe it or not it will not stop you from fighting. The reason that the bad guys grab the hair is because it is an excellent control point for most people because they fear getting their hair pulled out more than staying alive. Also understand that this is something that you see all of the time in the movies where a woman gets grabbed by the hair and she immediately becomes compliant. This is a false notion which in my view only sets people up on a subconscious level to become victims. First of all if possible don't let them get close enough to grab your hair, meaning keep your awareness up to not allow people to invade your space without your permission especially people you don't know. If for some reason they get the drop on you and grab your hair, no matter how much it hurts, fight with everything that you've got, going for the eyes and throat. Bite, kick, do what you have to do but above all else do not give up fighting and do not give in to the pain. Also do not try to wrestle back with them-- focus only on hitting; grappling with them will only slow you down and plays right into their hands, especially if they're bigger or stronger. If someone else is involved and they are trying to control your movements, go ballistic. Think of it like this, take an alley cat, what do you think would happen if you picked up that cat, shook it around and then held it up to your face? That's right-- it would claw your eyes out, it's just not something you would do. Well you are 100 times more powerful than an alley cat but you have to be willing to become as ruthless as an alley cat because your life may depend on it. Remember: if a person gets close enough to grab you and they haven't already knocked you out there is only one reason they are trying to control you, and that is because they may be trying to move you to a more secluded location to victimize you. You must resist this with all your might and at the first opportunity escape. Understand that it is very difficult to control someone who does not want to be controlled which is why you see two, three, sometimes five police officers trying to control one person-- including women. Just watch an episode of "Cops" and you'll see exactly what I'm talking about. As for awareness, the truth is, it doesn't matter what you know (including Ki Chuan Do), if the bad guy gets the drop on you, you're done. Real attacks happen lighting fast and come from everywhere and out of nowhere, which is why we say awareness is your first line of defense.  If a location looks bad or feels bad, it probably is, so you need to avoid it, if it can't be avoided then your awareness to your surroundings is crucial. Awareness is a skill that everyone has but is often overlooked in martial arts training, mostly because people don't understand it.  Awareness is being in tune with your surroundings, developing a more outward focus on what is going on rather than an inward one so if something looks odd or doesn't feel right then you need to trust your "Spider Sense" and be on guard. If you drive, then understanding how to develop awareness is simple because it is the exact same skill one uses when driving a car in which your focus is on the "big picture": looking outward, observing everything that's going on in order to anticipate danger.  In the same manner you must develop this same subconscious skill when walking to become in tune with your surroundings, and like driving, the more you do it, the easier it gets until after a while it becomes second nature. Through awareness you begin to develop almost a "sixth sense" for avoiding trouble since you generally observe potential problems before they arise, allowing for time to counter a potential threat. Since none of us (including myself) ever knows what another person is going to do from one moment to the next, you must keep an outward focus when out and about at all times. Again this may seem difficult to do at first, but so did driving a car. Once you got used to driving, it became something that you do without thought. In subsequent newsletters I will cover this topic in more depth.  Hope this helps and please feel free to contact me.
--Lt Col Al