SELF-DEFENSE MULTIPLE CHOICE TEST
The one you fired is wiry and strong and used to hard manual labor. He is an expert
Q CONTACT FLOW...
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
Q FIGHTING MONSTERS...
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...
Q HAIR GRAB...
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