KI CHUAN DO TRAINING TIPS #4:
DO YOU HAVE THE RIGHT KIND OF ENDURANCE?
by John Perkins
I recently met an old classmate of mine from High School.
I asked after his family and what he does for a living. He
is a large Chinese American about 6'1" and 230 pounds
in great physical condition. He works on Wallstreet as a
stocktrader. I told him about much of my past history and
told him a little about KCD. The first thing he said to me
after I explained that I was a martial arts teacher was
"How could that be possible? You are way too fat."
He shocked me with his statement. I never had someone
just blurt it out to me so directly. Yes I have had many
practitioners of various martial arts question me and in some
cases I have endured some ridicule by some practitioners who
have never experienced KCD first hand who just make the
crude small-minded statements about my physical appearance.
This one encounter with one of my old buddies prompted me to
write the following concerning physical conditioning and fighting.
Since 1983 I have had some health problems which have made
it nearly impossible for me to maintain a lean, muscular body.
Over the years since then I have found that it was imperative
that I develop and continue to develop methods of fighting that
do not rely on a high level of endurance. Before I go any further
I just want to say that if you are a member of the armed forces
or law enforcement it is very important to maintain a high level
of health and endurance because you never know when you
will have to fight in a protracted life and death struggle. It can
happen anytime, day or night especially when you are on duty
in enemy territory.
Getting back to my personal situation: I have found it necessary
to develop the ability to destroy an attacker in 1/2-4 seconds.
This is about the amount of time a person has to survive a
serious attempt by one or more assailants bent on taking your
life. Assuming you had your awareness in gear and had some
chance of mounting a defense in time you have only a very
short time to survive. Let me state one more time: it is far better
to be in great condition in a fight or just for enjoying life than to
be in poor physical condition.
Now we will look at the complexities involved in a real physical
assault vs. a competition match. The vast majority of serious
close combat encounters happen with one or more armed and
unarmed attackers who usually get to pick the time and place
for the occasion. The vast majority of attacks occur in less than
4 seconds. Some may last up to 10-15 seconds. These events
do not follow a TV or movie script where the good guy takes
a bullet in the shoulder or other part of the body and next runs
about 20 blocks up and down stairs and over fences where he
then knocks the weapon out of the bad guy's hand and proceeds
to beat him up for about one to two minutes all over the street.
The vast majority of these real life cases end up with the
attacker winning. Many times the victim is unconscious before
he hits the ground. For this type of situation it is most important
for the good guy to have the ability to mount an explosive and
often deadly pre-emptive or counter-strike. Here is where having
the ability to hit decisively from nearly any angle with extreme
force is paramount.
When Billy Bob and some of his buddies want to dance on your
head or someone more sinister wants to take your life, just being
in good shape and knowing the wrong way to fight is not worth
all those months and years of strenuous training.
Most training for sporting bouts is the wrong training. You can
train for all the wrestling, boxing, judo, jujitsu, karate and kungfu
you like, but it will do you a world of good to practice how to
explode like a bomb into the face of a potential attacker. This
type of training could be added to your sport fighting regimen
without harm to your sport or art.
KCD exercises and drills will enhance your overall timing
and power and balance and sensitivity needed to deal with
the unexpected and often chaotic blitz attacks that is real in
the street or the battlefield. High endurance is needed for the
battlefield. It is not often needed for a street engagement.
PRESSURE POINTS AND OTHER INEFFECTIVE TACTICS
Learning to drop into your strikes with full force from every
angle is more important for the street then being able to wrestle
for ten minutes straight. If you have fallen or are taken to the
ground by one or more attackers, you should have the ability
to rip and tear into fleshy areas with your hands, bite and kick
to the most vulnerable areas with the speed of a wild animal.
Ripping and tearing ability is enhanced by grip and hand
toughening training. The drop-hit training practice on the
Buffalo Bag explained in detail on our DVD is one of the
best methods of creating a hand that can poke, spear and
crush flesh. By practicing slam catching on the bag, you
harden the hand while developing a very fast and powerful
grip which can be used as a weapon against the soft body
targets such as the throat, ears, eyes, groin, fingers, hair, etc.
Eye gouges are not only applied by a jabbing action. While
your hands are feeling along the face and head of an opponent,
you can find the eyes easily as if you were searching for the
holes of a bowling ball at high speed. The eyes can be scratched,
pushed or penetrated if needed to incapacitate an attacker bent on
Basic pressure points are usually not effective against an attacker
high on drugs or adrenaline. Strikes which are used for pain
compliance are also of little value. A submission hold, armor
leg break can work if you are proficient against a single,
unarmed, untrained attacker who is under some extraordinary
influence and is bent on killing you. It may be far simpler to
crush the throat, eyes or testicles for a quicker release from
If you are fighting an attacker and can apply an effective choke
hold you may find this option appealing but don't try it on an
armed man who also may have an accomplice or two waiting
to hurt you. It is easier to crush the throat with a strong sudden
grip to the Adam's Apple and be able to move into the next
situation as soon as possible.
Neck breaks are possible to apply at high speed but again,
not as fast as just gouging the eyes or crushing the throat or
striking vulnerable targets of an attacker bent on taking your
life. Remember, the attacker can attack you ruthlessly in the
same manner. This is why it is most practical to be able to read
situation before it goes too far. You need to be aware to avoid
situations entirely, run away, and if that's not possible, attack
or counter attack explosively and accurately with all your
power like a panther gone wild. The bottom line here is that
you must learn to get your stuff flying in an instant. Endurance
is not the most important element here. It's great to have just in
case you have to run to or from your opponent or survive a
long drawn out shooting attack where a lot of running and
hiding is in order.
If you need to use a weapon, you should know how to use it
under the most awkward and high speed conditions possible.
Much of KCD training contains 15-30 second drills done at
the highest speed possible with the greatest output of power.
We have found that people who are long distance runners,
boxers and wrestlers will loose their ability to fully contract
their muscles within 30 seconds of full exertion or less. This
is true for most people in fair condition also.
In sport fighting there is often some time to catch your breath
and not be worried about having your neck broken or a knife
cutting you. If you watch the tough man competitions where
all hell breaks loose with 2 gloved opponents you will notice
that because you only have 3 one minute rounds, the fighters
are often maxed out within 30 seconds of the first round.
Because they are wearing large soft gloves and are matched
up by weight class there is some time to catch some wind
because there are no lethal blows to the throat or other dangerous
areas being thrown.
If you find yourself on a stairway being pulled, pushed, punched
and kicked by a few drug-crazed psychos you will fare better if
you know how to kill your opponents in a short a time as possible
before they kill you. Knowing how to keep your feet and deal
out horror to your enemy is the best way of surviving or even
conquering adversaries bent on your destruction.
Until next time, good luck in your training!
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