ADAPTIVE STREET AND GROUND FIGHTING SELF DEFENSE AND INTERNAL MARTIAL ARTS

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KI CHUAN DO TRAINING TIPS #15:
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YOUR QUESTIONS:

Hey Major Al,
I've been a practitioner for over 30 yrs. For the last 8, I have been involved in a program called CBT, {COMMMANDO BATTLE TACTICS} in Philadelphia PA. The guy who claims to have conceived this system says that he came up with the techniques on his own.

Within the past 2ys I have come accros the works of Col. Applegate, Maj. Fairborne and Sykes. And now Master Perkins. The Attack Proof book shows a lot of the things that I learned in CBT. Plus when I saw Master Perkins on Spymaster, I saw a lot of the system again! Is it possible that the guy in Philly ripped Master Perkins off? And if so, does the Name, Dan Wilson sound familiar? Plus how can I become a part of KCD family down here in Georgia? I just want to part of a respected bonafied system! Tired of being ripped off! Please get back to me Maj.

ANSWER:

Thanks for your question. We try to give credit where credit is due which is why we are the first top give credit to Applegate, Fairbairn and the like who can be said to be the founders of modern CBQ tactics. However, these days it's hard to say whether or not someone ripped us off or not. If for some reason they are using our concepts and have absorbed them into their system then fine that's why we wrote the book, just as long as they don't claim ownership over something which is unique to KCD. As for joining the KCD community if you go to our web site where you can sign up for our emails alerts then you can keep up with all of the latest information and receive our newsletters along with seminar announcements. Well thanks for your question.

Al

QUESTION:

Throwing mystical bull aside do you believe that hardening the body is a waste of time eg hands, forarms, shins, neck, and stomach to minimise injury. I'm sure you've heard about the true shaolin monks that hang themselves from a tree with a ribbon. Do you think that the mental ability for such practise has any self defense or self awarenes benefits?

ANSWER:

Toughening body parts has been a long tradition with many martial arts. Boxers have been doing this since the Roman Gladiatorial games. Along with some level of toughening techniques it is advisable to learn to flow with an attack or "soften" the body to absorb blows. In many cases when facing a seriously powerful striker of greater weight just toughening alone is often not enough. In fact in many cases a person who believes that toughening will work against a stronger opponent will not evade attacks and stand in place and be damaged unneccessarily.

In answer to the questin of the spiritual or martial benefit of hanging oneself from a tree with a ribbon I just have a question. Why bother with a flimsy ribbon if the ribbon is so weak why not just levitate? If it is a truly spiritual action just rely on the spiritual who needs a ribbon?

JP

Those who have excessively developed their hands thru constant toughening drills tend to develop arthritis and other joint problems, making them useless for much else.

Matt Kovsky

QUESTION

I would like to direct this question to all KCD instructors- it's one of a sociological nature. I live in NYC and often find that people,like animals, try to engage your stare and dominate the staring as to see which one of you will be the lion vs. which one will be the lion's lunch. I try my best to be aware of my surroundings at all times and this often leads me to look people directly in the face. In actuallity, I am continually scanning my surroundings and analyzing for any signs of anything off-beat.

However, this presents itself as a bit of a double edged sword. On
one hand, if you don't engage the other persons stare they might
interpret that to mean that you are weak and thus you have just become a target for easy annihilation. However, on the other hand, if you do engage many take it as an immediate challenge and become enraged by the person accross the way is "eyeballing them".

Hence my question, in the streets of the concrete jungle is it better to hold the other person's gaze without an offensive demeanor or is it better to not engage in this childish game (which proves absolutely nothing at all) in the first place?

-Adam C.

ANSWER

It is better to keep vigilant but not intrusive.

You can scan your vicinity and not stare directly into the eyes of some potential belligerant. You can take notice of them so that they know that you are alert but limit the scan and keep on moving with a purpose.

In most cases if the person is a criminal looking for his next meal ticket he will observe that you are conscious of your surroundings and will look further for a more inattentive target.

If the person is a bully he will see that you carry yourself with dignity and awareness and that could spell trouble for him.

If he is a psychotic he may attack and you will hopefully have some idea of what is about to happen and leave the area because you were alert or if you must fight you will have some sort of state of readiness from which to defend yourself.

If you run across a gang of men or youths in your path turn around and walk back the way you came before there is time for one of the bad ones to start with you.
Good luck, JP


QUESTION

What do you think of the Filipino 'Slapping Hands' technique? I think they have elements of 'looseness' and 'whipping effect' and they are less damaging (to the attacker) than your regular closed fist punch. However, I think they work better for striking the face and groin. Can slapping hands be incorporated in KCD? Are they practical in real life fights?

ANSWER

If you have had a chance in the past to view our last set of video clips you will notice that Lt. Col. Ridenhour demonstrates how to incorporate what looks like a slapping attack to the head of a very strong grappler. A few practitionsrs of various sport and martial arts claimed that the slapping was not effective to stop an attacker. If you had read the subtext and listened to the verbal description you would know that Lt. Col. Al was purposely not applying any force to what looked like slapping strikes to the head. The grappler who, by the way, can bench press bet. 475 and 500 pounds and can strike with power and speed as well as shoot and grapple quite well was attacking with power which was nullified by the Lt. Col. Any one of the slaps, if applied, could have stunned or caused the 260 pound grappler to go unconscious, which is fully acknowledged by the grappler. Why do you think that slapping to the helmet was banned in professional football.

Loose weak whippy slaps are not what I am talking about. To knock a man unconscious or cause concussion you must use a dropping slap or at least a full body rotation type slap.

If you are able to drop slap a person to the side of the head with full connection from the feet to the hand while dropping into the slap you will impart more energy into the head of someone than you can by just punching in most cases.

If you are fighting in the battlefield a solid drop slap to the helmet of the enemy can stun him. From what I have seen, the slapping by the Phillipino fighters does not have the dropping element. They do seem to depend on slapping to the face with a followup blow from an elbow or a kick or knee, for instance.

Even though the regular slap, in most cases, lacks power for a knockout it can break a nose or if the fingers are sufficiently loose can take out an eye or as you state, slam into someone's groin and double them over. If you need fight stopping power you should practice drop step slapping along with the full array of chin jabs, elbow, side of hand, punch, kicking, eye gouge, neck snapping, knee, and forearm strikes with dropping along with as many other strikes as possible.

Whip strikes like those done in some Russian arts are practiced with full body motion and have a great deal of power. Many people see the slap strikes and whip strikes of other martial arts and think that they are the same as the KCD loose style strikes but there is a big difference in the internal application.

In KCD the seeming sloppy slappy strikes are thrown with a full connection of the body all the way down to the feet with full dropping force. This is why we have a great deal of trouble practicing on each other with power even wearing fist helmets with neck braces or professional football helmets. We must pull the drop slap strikes on the human targets and mix the attacks with strikes to moving dummy targets. At full speed this can get a bit dicey. In most cases only the more developed students can be relied upon not to accidentally strike full power into the helmet of the armored fighters. The fist and red man helmets which have a strong plastic face protector can be used in practicing high speed eye gouging attacks. (A bit of lipstick on the shield which can look like eyes will allow a person to see if their fingertips have struck directly or if only their hand hit the eyes causing a more blurred smear on the shield. Lipstick on the finger tips shows a good strike.)

The same equipment can be used with practice using light weight sticks like rattan under 3/4 inches in thickness. Or with asp batons but not with full weight heavy night sticks or heavy canes. I hope that this helps you.

Take care, JP

QUESTION

My question is what exactly is the native american fighting style? How are they similar yet different from other martial arts? What moves and discipline do they use in all aspects of their style?

ANSWER

What I call Native American Style fighting is basically what I learned from my father and uncles who were brought up in the hills of West Virginia. Here they practiced many "Indian Wrestling" techniques. Some of these techniques are for practice with friends to develop balance and agility and power. One of the excercises which was commonplace in much of the country is where two people stand with their left foot forward with the inside portion of the left feet aligned and touching each other. Next the two opponents grasp their right hands tightly. The object of this excercise is to force the opponent to move his left foot as little as an inch by throwing the opponent's balance.

The practice of the use of the tomahawk and knife was practiced free style with a good deal of ground fighting positions applied. Usually a sink plunger substituted for a real tomahawk and a stick or rubber knife substituted for a real knife.

The object of this training was to cause a man who is standing to fall through the use of kicking and tripping and hooking movements which can become quite tricky when applied at high speed. As the opponent falls or moves into position he can be chopped or slashed appropriately.

Many of the men who practiced with my father and uncles were coal miners from the vicinity and much mixing of ideas and techniques occured.

One idea that my father worked on was to go to ground with an axe handle and use centrifugal force to enhance the strikes of the handle while simultaneously tripping more than one opponent.
Much of these exercises were the product of what my father and uncles refered to as dirty fighting or fighting to survive or "Indian Wrasslin". They claimed that the practices were of native american origin mixed with some of the fighting brought over from Wales and Scotland which over the years developed a life of it's own. You can see this phenomenon in the Phillipino styles today. For every village there is an individual style of training.

The primary difference with this type of folk style fighting and traditional martial arts from the orient is that much of it was experimental and functional for real world fighting. There were no sanctified forms but a lot of common sense backed by hard practice.

I took what I learned from my father and uncles and extrapolated on it and developed a methodology which allows students to learn some basic movement and develop more personalized movements.

The kicking is not structured like Karate or Tae Kwon Do. It sort of resembles short tight very low to the ground break dancing with the addition of movements which allow for maximum force application to the kicks and trips which are applied to lower ankles, knees and groin etc. and allow for the use of various weapons to be used quickly and effectively without harm to the wielder.

There are many martial arts which teach kicking from the ground and many of these techniques are effective.

In Kill Bill Vol. I there is a 3 second spot where there is a crowd of attackers who entered the building on motor cycles and during the melee the Heroin goes to the ground with two katanas and spins with the swords taking out a number of bad guys from this unorthodox position which bears some resemblance to the axe handle methodology.

I hope that this is helpful to you. JP

QUESTION:

HOW DO YOU TRAIN WITHOUT KILLING EACH OTHER?

Hi. I recently picked up a copy of Attack Proof. I first heard about it after putting "Real life self defense" in a search engine. The basic premise seems very logical which is what stirred my interest. I've long thought that "real" fights seem to bear no resemblance to stylized martial arts forms and have wondered how useful they would be in a real confrontation.

A couple of questions.

First - given the purpose and nature of the Attack Proof techniques - i.e. to seriously injure or even kill your opponent, how does one practice in a way that truly simulates "on the street" conditions? Obviously you won't get invited to many holiday parties if you go around hospitalizing training partners. Seems it would difficult to get a real feel for how it works if you're not working against a real person and/or having to pull your strikes, and it probably isn't a bright idea to hang out in rough bars looking for a "practice session". Thinking of an old Bill Cosby routine about taking karate lessons - "I started walkin' down the street with dollar bills hangin' out my pockets..."

Second - if one were to buy just one of the videos, is there one you feel best shows an overview of the techniques in use?

Btw, that same Bill Cosby routine humorously outlined one of the principles talked about in the book, regarding things not going the way you expect. To paraphrase "...then one day, it happened. I heard a voice behind me - 'stick 'em up'. I tightened up, swung around with a karate chop and...got nothin'.... it was a midget..."

Anyway, thanks for your time

Robert

ANSWER

Hi Robert--

The most significant attribute that makes our training "real" is the lack of planned choreography. As we state over and over again, all formal techniques go out the window in a real attack. It is not as important to slam your training partner with full power or gouge his eyes out; this is a pure ego endeavor and can and should be done against improvised targets such as we describe in our book, besides, under adrenaline, all humans have all the power they need to defend themselves. Yes, certain basic striking tools (which are common to all fighting arts) need to be practiced (altho "real" strikes, such as those used in war are to be distinguished from sportive strikes used in point fighting and competitions), but it's HOW they are used that's key. Even in "Ultimate" competitions there are rules restricting methods and strikes. In combat there ARE no rules and pushing your fingers thru your partner's eyes is unnecessary as long as you can get to them whenever you want (as well as protect your own). With Contact Flow you get very good at this.

Contact flow develops your nervous system to spontaneously and creatively find and avoid blows while being perfectly aligned and balanced; you don't need to apply excessive speed and power to reap the benefits. It is usually performed very slowly to maximize the recogntion of new openings and defenses, however as you progress, it can be done up to full speed because you can develop the mechanics of full power strikes without driving thru your partner's targets. This will become much clearer when you've finished Parts 2 and 3 of our book, or seen a video. When you actually touch hands with one of our instructors and feel what's going on, you'll realize instantly and completely what we're talking about.

The 2001 Seminar video is our most comprehensive overview tape right now, altho our new DVD explains the first half of our book in far greater detail with very specific solo and partner training exercises.

Thanks for your interest and good luck in your training.

Matt Kovsky
Attack Proof co-author

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Thanks for the great book! I look hard for good combat training material, and this book is certainly the one that I have drawn the most from. I have many of great books from many great authors and martial artists, but if I had to recommend any one of these to someone whom I cared about, it would be Attack Proof. The presentation makes the material real and applicable by the reader. It is very hard to achieve this when the martial artist tries to express a technique with words and even pictures. Your book does this remarkably well.

Best regards,
J.J

Greetings Attack Proof , I just finished reading your book. I have been eyeing it up for about a year and finally got a chance to check it out in a Borders book store in Tucson. Needless to say after a short review, I bought it. At the risk of sounding patronizing, I loved it. It is the most comprehensive book on reality martial arts that I have read to date.

I have read the other reviews of this book and I haven't seen one that really hits the mark. Some people say its simple, others say very complex. However they all agree its a great book. My sense of this book is that like any really great book, it speaks to all levels regarding its topic. There is a depth of knowledge in this book that will take several reads and a lifetime of practice to truly appreciate. Yet, there is enough surface information regarding basic, yet devastating, techniques to satisfy the needs of a beginner or someone interested in developing real self protection skills. The explanations of the drills and techniques are extremely thorough and the pictures help to support a working understanding of how to duplicate these.

I am a martial artist with some 20 plus years of training with most of that time spent exploring and developing a reality based system. I feel that out of this open minded focus, I have done a fair job with weeding out the unnecessary and possibly harmful practices of some of the more traditional arts (such as choreographed practice) while developing a system of self protection which is responsive to the uncertainty and chaos of a real combat situation. It did not take me very long to understand the impracticalities of some of my traditional training.

Very early on I noticed that the moves that I executed with blinding precision in the dojo failed miserably when I attempted them on my only moderately resisting buddies who I would experiment with at home. I also put much reflection on the fights that I was unable to avoid both before and after my martial arts training began. Now I can not claim to have been in hundreds of potentially deadly altercations to have come to these conclusions. I have only been in maybe 20 real fights in my entire lifetime and only a few of those had the potential to be deadly. But it doesn't take a rocket scientist to notice the chaotic nature of any altercation.

Its almost like you have to purposely ignore that quality (chaos) when you are pretending to train self defense with choreographed techniques. Anyway, the system that I have developed attempts train the practitioner in being able to respond unconsciously to the variables of an altercation. Through my explorations and personal practices, I feel that I have developed this ability to a fair degree, however, my difficulty has been in developing targeted drills and practices to help the practitioners I work with to develop these same attributes without going through 20 some years of experimentation.

Your book, Attack Proof has given me many great ideas with which to fill in the holes in my ability to facilitate the process of more quickly developing unconsciously responsive self protection skills in the students I work with. Thanks! I can't wait to read it again to uncover another level of understanding. Your tapes are also now on my list. Thanks again. Brian

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