KI CHUAN DO TRAINING TIPS #2:
WHAT DO I DO IF I CAN'T ATTEND
KCD CLASSES IN NEW YORK?
We get asked this a lot so here's our standard advice for far away
Unfortunately, except for military, police or government seminars,
we're still a local NY outfit. Typically, if a group of 30 or more
students could be put together, Lieutenant Colonel Al Ridenhour
or Master Perkins would fly out to do instruction.
It's hard to suggest an alternative, because we really are very
different from anything else out there. JKD has the right philosophy,
but the wrong approach (too many arts chasing too many brain cells).
Tai Chi has the right concepts, but doesn't teach them to Westerners
(if the teacher even knows them). Krav Maga is good basic self
defense, but it's become politically correct and lacks Tai Chi's
internal energy (as does JKD). It's up to you to synthesize what's
Our advice is to find a school (Close Quarters Combat or American
Combato based on Applegate, Fairbairn & Sykes) that teaches simple
basic strikes, like palm heels to the face, eye gouges, edge of hand
to neck, head butts, knees, and low kicks, train them as fast and
hard as you can against various targets, from every angle, in every
combination, and combine it with completely free-form "play"
with as many different partners as you can (without hurting each
other). Add a course in basic self defense awareness and
confrontation de-escalation. Finally, you can try and find a Tai
Chi school that teaches REAL combat tai chi and incorporates
internal energy principles (like softness and "cold power").
It might be practical to take ROSS (Russian Martial arts or Systema)
as long as they offer some opportunity or forum where you can
practice free form fighting as opposed to regimented fighting (as
long as it's not a bunch of psychos who go home bloody every
night--only once in a while). This way, you have a place where
you can "secretly" work in Ki Chuan Do (KCD) principles and
see what happens. This can be helpful because KCD principles
can work with any art--KCD is not about techniques--it is a WAY
Barring this, if you can find a Tai Chi PUSH HANDS class, you
can make some great progress if you have some open -minded
workout partners because--I have to be honest--Ki Chuan Do
has more REAL Tai Chi in it then 90% of those professing to
be doing classic Tai Chi. You just work in deadly striking movements
at SLOW push hands speeds along with the typical pushes, brush
Another possibility is to join a Jeet Kune Do school because they
tend to be fairly open-minded. Again, you could try out some KCD
with an open-minded partner and try to develop that way.
Of course, having the book Attackproof with the Companion DVD
is fantastic for reinforcing concepts, as are the 2001 and 2003
Seminar tapes for giving visual explanations of vital drills like
Contact Flow and Polishing the Sphere. Hope this helps!
Home of Martial Realists:
"A true link between Internal and External Martial Arts"