Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Here's a little different approach, Jeet Kune Do from Lopez Kali-Silat. Sometimes Wing Chun has the apperance of the opponent being "pecked to death by ducks", with multiple short range punches. In this example, far less traditional, heavy boxing hits are used in the early part of the video, and the best hand trapping sequence begins in the second half of the video.
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Edmonds on "Threading"
The first video in today's series shows Australian Grant Mathers demonstrating a simple, straightfoward trapping technique. Easy to see.
In the second video we see again see Edmonds demonstrating a more complex trap called "threading". Now the action is in very close, at grappling range. We have to remember, the trap need only be for a brief moment so that a hit can take place. This type of trap is NOT a joint immobilization for control, just an opportunity to hit. For the people out there that practice Yang-style Tai Chi Chuan, there is a move at the end of the first set, right after "parry and punch" that represents "threading". Some schools call it "serpent slides back", but after "parry and punch" the left "parry" hand sweeps under the punching arm right before the "push". This is also a version of "threading", and live drills like this point out the application in an otherwise obscure movement.
(edit.) Ah, and not to overlook the "Fan Jang" arm sweep in Bagua, I believe there is some "threading" going on there also!
Monday, October 29, 2007
Today we open up the hand trapping series with a guy named Bobbe Edmonds demonstrating a "gate trapping" technique. This one involves rolling the elbow over the opponents arm. What intrests me is that we have used this elbow roll (Sorry, I'm not up on wing chun terminology) but it was generally with a backfist strike instead of a trap. Here he traps both of the opponent's arms and then with a slight variation, locks one arm against the other. Nice...
And you gotta love the informal setting, in an unfinished garage--Very Dojo Rat!
Saturday, October 27, 2007
I think this may be the first Bruce Lee video I have posted. This will be the start of a series on hand trapping. It's interesting how our personal fighting styles evolve. When I was a wrestler, every fight went to the ground. Then in Tae Kwon Do, it was all about kicking. My hand techniques were limited to big power-strokes for brick and board breaking. Then came Kenpo, and the western boxing drills. Lots of hitting replaced the high kicks. Now, with Tai Chi Chuan and related arts, I am hooked on sticking and close-in manipulation.
Let's start with this ANCIENT video of the late great Bruce Lee. This must be from the mid-sixties, when young Dojo Rat was getting his first black eyes and bloody noses. Check out Lee's wide traditional stance. I'm quite sure he changed it to a more nimble and narrower stance later. The video is grainy and sometimes difficult to see, but it shows the young master at work. It's 7+ minutes long, with black screen between shots, so stick with it.
Much more on hand trapping all next week!
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Now, most of us hope not to be caught in this situation, (at least not again..) but let's say what if...
How do you defend yourself until the guard comes in to seperate you from the attackers?
1. Put your back to the corner so you only defend your front side?, or-
2. Agressively take the fight to the crowd?
What weapons do you have?
1. Kicking (as shown)
2. Knee strikes
3. Shoulder/hip slams
5. Sweeps (more difficult with handcuffs)
--My favorite kicks are knee level, they can do serious damage. Knee strikes to the gallbladder meridian on the outside of the thigh can drop a guy.
--It seems like getting close will neutralize the kicks coming in, bringing you into hip/shoulder/knee and head-butt range.
--You'd better hope the guard comes in, 'cause you can't fight these odds forever...
(edit.) Note that "The Suit" says "in this state if you kick with a covered foot, it's a deadly weapon"...
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
For those that read my previous post on "High Crimes", and are either freaked out, pissed off or unsure of where our country is headed, you should check out this excellent post at Martial Development: "Inside Every Martial Artist Is A Dangerous Criminal".
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
The Omega Man
Planet Of The Apes
So the last Dojo Rat post was probably a little too much for some folks, let's all ease back into martial arts slowly-- by having a little movie time together!
For us old guys that grew up in the '60's, these movies were as big as "Woodstock".
Everyone pictures Charlton Heston, who played "Moses" and represents the National Rifle Assiciation, as a true "conservative". But as we peel back the first layer of Heston and look deeper, we see he has co-operated on many very progressive movies.
-- "Soylent Green"; --Al Gore's global warning has come true. Remember, this movie was made in 1968. The Earth is dying, and the secret is that the main source of protein is from dead people. Just like "Mad Cow Disease" (Cows eating cows). the Earth is doomed. Not exactly a "conservative" perspective.
--"The Omega Man"-- Here, Heston is a lone scientist pitted against anti-science (Bush administration type) zombies that are pissed-off because other scientists created biological warfare. They hunt each other down, as Heston has what may be the first-ever hot inter-racial love affair on screen--(remember, 1968). Lots of action, this may be my favorite.
--"Planet Of The Apes"-- Well, this one almost doesn't need explaining. This is a complete role reversal. The Apes are in control, and the Gorillas are War-like, not the same as the Orangatans. Humans are the beasts. Once again, in the end we are reminded that long ago, the earth was destroyed by humans. Now the Apes are in control.
I believe that Charlton Heston represents, through these films, that there is common ground regarding saving the Earth, balencing racial harmony and the value of self-defense and weapon use. These films made people aware of environmental degradation, resolving racial disparity, and the potential end of civilization.
If you are too young to have seen any of these, check them out. I would recomend starting with "Soylent Green", which may be the most powerful of all three.
Saturday, October 20, 2007
Every now and then, The Dojo Rat is compelled to take a left turn away from Martial Arts and explore the dark world of Political Arts.
I believe it was Plato who said “You may not be interested in politics, but politics is interested in you”. That statement has never been truer than today, where the big ear in the sky we call the National Security Agency vacuums up every spoken telecommunication and keystroke we make.
Now you might say: “But Dojo Rat; President Cheney has instructed us that everything has changed since the attacks on 9-11”.
Ah, but no… everything changed BEFORE 9-11… Check out this piece, C/O the Seattle Times, 10-13-07:
By Ellen Nakashima and Dan Eggen
The Washington Post
WASHINGTON — Former Qwest Communications International Chief Executive Joseph Nacchio said the National Security Agency (NSA) approached Qwest more than six months before the Sept. 11 attacks about an unidentified NSA program, according to court documents unsealed this week. Nacchio, who is appealing a conviction for insider trading, also said the government withdrew a $200 million contract after Qwest refused to participate in an NSA program the company's top lawyer said was illegal.
Details about the alleged NSA program have been removed from the documents, but Nacchio's lawyer said last year that the NSA had approached the company about participating in a warrantless-surveillance program to gather information about Americans' phone records. Nacchio's account, which places the NSA proposal at a meeting on Feb. 27, 2001, suggests the Bush administration was seeking to enlist telecommunications firms in programs without court oversight before the terrorist attacks on New York and the Pentagon.
--(D.R.) So, Nacchio claims that after Qwest, the ONLY telecommunications company that refused to go along with the ILLEGAL wiretap scheme BEFORE 9-11, the government came after him Soviet-style on a trumped-up insider trading deal.
-- And let’s not overlook this little item: The Cheney “Energy Task Force” had plans on the table to “Carve up” Iraq’s oil resources before 9-11 also!
Documents turned over in the summer of 2003 by the Commerce Department as a result of the Sierra Club’s and Judicial Watch’s Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, concerning the activities of the Cheney Energy Task Force, contain a map of Iraqi oilfields, pipelines, refineries and terminals, as well as two charts detailing Iraqi oil and gas projects, and “Foreign Suitors for Iraqi Oilfield Contracts.” The documents, dated March 2001, also feature maps of Saudi Arabian and United Arab Emirates oilfields, pipelines, refineries and tanker terminals. There are supporting charts with details of the major oil and gas development projects in each country that provide information on the project’s costs, capacity, oil company and status or completion date.
Documented plans of occupation and exploitation predating September 11 confirm heightened suspicion that U.S. policy is driven by the dictates of the energy industry. According to Judicial Watch President, Tom Fitton, “These documents show the importance of the Energy Task Force and why its operations should be open to the public.”
--(D.R.)And oil just hit $90 a barrel yesterday. Of course, none of this would come to fruition without “A new Pearl Harbor”. Here is a summary of the neo-conservative “Project For A New American Century” game plan:
The 90-page PNAC document from September 2000 says: “The United States has for decades sought to play a more permanent role in Gulf regional security. While the unresolved conflict with Iraq provides the immediate justification, the need for a substantial American force presence in the Gulf transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein.”
“Even should Saddam pass from the scene,” the plan says U.S. military bases in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait will remain, despite domestic opposition in the Gulf states to the permanent stationing of U.S. troops. Iran, it says, “may well prove as large a threat to U.S. interests as Iraq has.”
A “core mission” for the transformed U.S. military is to “fight and decisively win multiple, simultaneous major theater wars,” according to the PNAC.
The strategic “transformation” of the U.S. military into an imperialistic force of global domination would require a huge increase in defense spending to “a minimum level of 3.5 to 3.8 percent of gross domestic product, adding $15 billion to $20 billion to total defense spending annually,” the PNAC plan said.
“The process of transformation,” the plan said, “is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event—like a new Pearl Harbor.”
--(D.R.) And I’m not even going to get started on the events on 9-11, the “New Pearl Harbor”.
In plain English, what we have here is evidence of “High Crimes”. The game plan for a permanent military occupation of the Middle East oil fields (and subsequent lies that led us to war), the Cheney Energy Task Force carving up the oilfields, and the illegal wiretapping of Americans (for political reasons) All BEFORE 9-11.
This is the most arrogant, Imperial, unconstitutional administration in American history. The likes of Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld have been planning this power grab since they served the Nixon and Ford administrations.
And you say “Dojo Rat, aren’t you afraid of getting on some government list”?
Well, I’m already on that "list". We shouldn’t even have “lists”.
I saw a great bumper sticker the other day: “Impeachment: it’s not just for blowjobs anymore”.
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Here's an example of the type of basic drills Mike teaches. These help us learn about "whole body power"
There are applications towards the end of the video.
The seminar I attended was billed as Mike's only trip to the U.S. for this year, he now lives and teaches in Belgium, and his website is HERE
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
These are two of my favorite Mike Martello videos. I put these together because of the contrast they provide for the type of training that Mike packs into his classes. The first video shows the power he can generate, despite his small size. Notice the whole-body motion, the use he makes out of waist turning, swinging his arms in a full range of motion to strike, check or set up locks. His joint locking employs much more circular and spiral motion in the set-ups than what we have been practicing at our Dojo.
The second video is of a Bagua class, and it clearly shows supple, loose yet structured body movement. Here Mike teaches Xiao Kai Men, a linear Bagua form. We did not practice this entire form at the seminar I attended, but used select pieces of it in solo and partner application. Notice the "coiling snake" stepping pattern at 3:42 in the video. This is the stepping pattern I have been dying to learn for a year now, and we went over it for quite a bit at the seminar. Not only is it a beautiful pattern, stepping and coiling, but it has a great application for countering a wrist lock. Lots of "drilling", as in rotational extension, and expanding of the joints. Just fantastic stuff, I absolutely love it...
Monday, October 15, 2007
Ah yes, the Dojo Rat has made it back from the mean streets of Seattle and a fantastic seminar on Internal Martial Arts with Mike Martello.
The best seminars are always packed full of information and action. This one filled my brain to the overflowing point. I honestly learned more in two days with Mike and the crew than in six months of regular training.
Generously hosted by Jake Burroughs of “Three Harmonies Chinese Martial Arts Center”, the two days I attended was the tail end of a week long intensive with Martello spanning both weekends. Attendance was strong with people traveling from as far away as Texas and Southern California.
Let me begin by saying that Mike Martello is the absolute BEST instructor in the mechanics of body movement I have ever been to. At somewhere around 5’2” tall, Mike has not been able to rely on out-muscling larger opponents. Therefore, through the gifted instruction of his teachers, he has learned the physics of how to get the most out of rooting, waist rotation and whole-body movement. Not only can he demonstrate this, he is able to transmit this knowledge directly to students through clear principles and plain language. In two days I did not hear the word “Chi” mentioned once.
Much of Mike’s movement is based on the power of relaxation, momentum and isolating body parts while maintaining proper structure. We have all heard this, read this, but it is difficult to experience it. Through simple drills, Mike was able to help us identify where we are holding tension in our bodies.
While the session I attended was billed as “Soft principles of Mantis Boxing”, many of the drills were common to Taiji and Bagua. We practiced a push-hands pattern that I have not seen in the Yang or Chen Taiji styles, and worked on a “Coiling Snake Bagua” stepping pattern that I have been dying to learn for over a year now. I couldn’t get the smile off my face!
There was quite a bit of Chin Na joint manipulation, which as was pointed out to me are much more subtle than the joint-lock-flows we have been practicing at our Dojo. Mike had valuable suggestions about how to round them out with more circular and spiral movement, and how to capture the opponent’s center in a relaxed, loose yet structured way. Both the Chin Na and throwing techniques were not employed from static grabs, but from capturing the opponent’s hand or arm in a punching sequence.
One of the most significant things I came away with was the intrinsic energy of expanding all of the joints of the body, not only in fighting application, but to “nourish” the joints and ensure health through flexibility in old age—something us older Dojo Rats have to continually work on. Mike Martello’s seminar left me with dozens of new exercises and drills that I intend to share with our Dojo, each one meshing perfectly with what I currently practice and can improve on.
As always, Jake Burroughs was a terrific host for the seminar, and I look forward to attending more training sessions with Jake and his crew in the future.
Jake Burroughs of “Three Harmonies Chinese Martial Arts Center” can be contacted in Seattle at (206) 941-3232, and his website is WWW.threeharmonies.com
Coming up: The best of the Mike Martello videos
Friday, October 12, 2007
Old Tai Chi Sign
New Tai Chi Sign
I may be a martial artist, but I'm no graphic artist.
On Monday and Wednesday nights the Dojo Rats at Shima Dojo practice our fusion of Kenpo, Small-Circle Jujitsu, Boxing, Aikido and-- more than ever, the Chinese internal arts. There is a great deal of farting, sweating, swearing and of course beer drinking towards the end. Therefore, it is a closed program, invitation only.
On Thursday nights, the general public is invited for Yang-style Tai Chi Chuan and push-hands. Things are a little more civil.
But back to the sign; I hand painted a semi-crappy sign for the Tai Chi Chuan class that has been up for quite a while now. For our wedding anniversary, my wife and a couple of friends made this really nice sign, machine engraved, hand painted and very custom.
One year for our anniversary, I gave my wife a woven-willow trapper's backpack. We called that "The Wicker Year". Then she gave me a nice tree-pruning ladder. That was "The Aluminum Year". So I guess this is "The Cedar-Plank Sign Year".
-- On another note, I'm off to the mean streets of Seattle for a Seminar with Internal Arts expert Mike Martello, and I'm very excited. The seminar will be hosted by Jake Burroughs and Mike will be teaching "The 12 Soft Principles of Mantis" Kung Fu. A full report will follow when I return.
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Parked at number #58 on page two of Toplist is one of my favorite Blogs, Uchi Deshi, which can be found HERE.
Uchi Deshi is a diary of the drama, deeds and mis-deeds of a group of traditional Aikido students at a live-in Dojo near a beach in California. Richard and the other senior students attempt to ride herd on both dedicated, sincere students and a handful of slackers while striving for perfection in Aikido. Problems often occur while trying to explain to their very traditional Sensei why they are brewing beer in their rooms, or how a bucket of cold water has become the alarm clock for lazy students who sleep in rather than attend classes.
Here is a short, edited version of what happened to one of the students, Boris:
From Uchi Deshi:
Boris was a deshi for almost 4 years. He moved in as a beginner and got his shodan (black belt) with Ryan. As he advanced in Aikido, however, Boris became increasingly interested in jujitsu, and began taking jujitsu classes while still a deshi. As uchi deshis, we are supposed to concentrate on learning the Aikido of Morihiro Saito Sensei, as taught by Sensei. Because we are focusing on Aikido, we aren’t supposed to study other martial arts while living at the dojo.
Girl Dylan, who was then Sempai (senior) Uchi Deshi, told Boris that Sensei would be angry if she learned that he was studying jujitsu and practicing it at the dojo. Boris replied that he would take his chances, and Boris and Natasha, his erstwhile girlfriend who was also a deshi at the time, continued their study of jujitsu at a nearby Aikido dojo.
Sensei learned of the situation while watching television one day. She saw a commercial for another dojo, which prominently featured Boris and Natasha doing jujitsu. Dylan had accurately predicted Sensei’s reaction. Sensei expressed her feelings on the matter in no uncertain terms. Boris, characteristically, questioned the rule prohibiting the study of other martial arts, but Sensei made it clear that if he wanted to study jujitsu, he would have to leave the dojo.
Boris curtailed his jujitsu studies and stayed at the dojo.
After years of studying Aikido, the Art of Harmony, Boris somehow developed an interest in Ultimate Fighting. He was soon determined to become a cage fighter. Boris eventually left the dojo and moved to Arkansas, where his family lived, and studied Muay Thai in order to round out his combat skills. Boris entered a competition and proudly reported that he was knocked out in the first round.
After a year in Arkansas, Boris drove back to California. Boris’s intitial plan was to stay at the dojo for a month while he looked for a job and an apartment.
On his first night back, Boris got drunk and backed his car into a utility pole. On his 2d night back, Boris got drunk and was banned forever from Justino’s bar. On his 3d night back, Boris got drunk and got in a fight with some local thugs. He came home with a black eye and a fat lip.
Aikido teaches defense against multiple attackers, but Boris preferred to use his new jujitsu skills to take one of his assailants to the ground. When I asked about his fat lip, Boris explained that he could have submitted his attacker, but the remaining thugs beat him up first.
(D.R.)- I've been telling Richard that they could have a hit as a reality T.V. show with material like this.
Boris has demonstrated the problem with relying on ground or submission fighting that I have been rattling on about for some time now. Look, I was a pretty good wrestler in school. Most of my fights then went to the ground, but in today's world there are too many variables. The risk of getting your head kicked in by a third party while you are working on an armbar is a definite possibility. Worse yet, knives could be involved. Boris was lucky. He was just playing with drunks. There are some very, very mean and serious people out there that could have hurt him far worse.
Go on over to Uchi Deshi, and read about the adventures and mis-adventures of a group of dedicated, live-in traditional Aikido students!
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
As part of our tribute to Korean arts, here's a good example of how far WTF and Olympic Tae Kwon Do has strayed from the roots of Korean fighting systems. The video (begins with a short slide show) is somewhat of a tribute to Joo Bang Lee, who resurected the art of Hwarang Do, the Korean version of the Samurai. Lots of knives and heavy contact.
One of my training partners had an opportunity to train with some Hwarang Do guys years back, and it was an interesting story: In the 1960's, an American Army officer stationed in Korea saved the life of a young Korean boy. The boys father was extremely grateful, and just so happened to be a fantastic martial artist. To repay the favor for saving his son, he offered to teach the American soldier's son everything he could about his fighting system. The American boy grew to become an incredibly skilled martial artist himself.
Fast foward to the Dojang where my friend was training in Tae Kwon Do. My friend earned the respect of the American officer's now-grown son, who dropped into the TKD school occasionally. My friend was invited to train with him and his buddies in Hwarang Do, at their private studio, located in a big double garage at one of their houses. The perimeter floor of the garage was lined with broken boards, cinder blocks and rocks. He told me this small group had trained together for years, and they blew his mind. They were doing blindfolded sword cuts, knocking apples off each other's head. He said they tended to be head-hunters in their sparring but basicly beat the crap out of each other. He was fortunate to have trained with them for a short while, and then lost touch when he had to move to a different location. What he saw really impressed him, and was representive of the way Korean systems used to train before the era of the McDojo.
Monday, October 8, 2007
Well, for as much as I gripe about WTF Tae kwon Do sport fighting styles, the Koreans make up for it with Hapkido. Hapkido is simply one Bad-Ass fighting system.
Our old TKD school, under Master Tae Hong Choi, had one night a week that was just Hapkido, but it never got quite as flashy as the techniques in this video. I was so interested in Hapkido, I bought a rattan cane like the ones I'd seen the masters use. One class I happened to have my cane with me, and Master Choi saw it and flipped out. He loved it and proceded to give me a painful demonstration of how the Hapkido cane is used. In fact he loved the cane so much, he asked me if he could have it. Well, "of course" I said and handed him the cane. The loss of my cane was nothing compared to the honor of giving it to the Master of our system. Mr. Choi went on to use it in demonstrations and I had some first-hand lessons in the use of the cane. This video is Master Lee Chang Soo, and he does some pretty serious cane techniques toward the end of the video-- very nice!
Thursday, October 4, 2007
Continuing our Old Guy Martial Arts theme:
Man, 73, Thwarts Home Robbery With 'Karate Skills'
Oct 03 2007 12:14PM
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Each morning Bill Garner sips a cup of coffee on the front porch of his north Columbus home. But on Tuesday morning, his routine didn't go as planned when he said two armed men tried to force their way into his home.
Garner, 73, had just stepped outside at about 7 a.m. when two young men confronted him. Garner (pictured, right) said one of the men put a gun in his face and demanded to go inside, 10TV's Patrick Bell reported.
"I had a cup of coffee right on the porch like I do every morning and they attacked me," Garner said.
Instead of complying with the men's demands, Garner decided to fight back.
"I didn't let them in the house," Garner said. "What was I supposed to do? Were they supposed to get into my house? No, brother, no."
Garner said he fought back using martial arts, but not before he took some lumps of his own.
"They were surprised because I knew karate, you know?" Garner said. "I got beat up terrible. My arm and beat up in the belly."
After a short struggle, the two men fled from the home, Bell reported.
"I'm 73 years old, I know karate, I know judo, I know everything," Garner said. "Nobody comes into my house without my permission."
Garner said he wanted to defend his home in part because his wife of 51 years recently died, and he did not want anything stolen from the home, Bell reported.
The two men are still at-large, police said.
(D.R.): Thanks to James Keating at COMTECH
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
Old Hapkido Master
Last post featured a very old T.T. Liang performing the Taiji San-Shou form, today we view one Bad-Ass old Hapkido master at work... Wow! This guy doesn't hold back, you know his students must just be cringing in expectation of the pain that will follow.
While Hapkido is a Korean hybrid of Tae Kyon and Aikijitsu, there is a distinctive Korean flavor to the movement. Much more linear than Bagua and Aikido, but with it's grappling roots in Chinese Chin Na.
Look for this example: See how he really makes use of shoulder and hip checks to reverse direction. This is generally in closer in than other locking systems (in my opinion) and is used very effectively. It also reminds me of Kou, or "shoulder/hip" in Tai Chi Chuan.
All in all, a very painful demonstration! I wonder what the Aikido and Jujitsu guys out there have to add?
Tuesday, October 2, 2007
Master T.T. Liang San-Shou Form
Dojo Rats On The Same Form
Here is the late T.T. Liang performing the Tai Chi Chuan 88-movement fighting form. Contained in this form are endless pieces of the Tai Chi Chuan puzzle that can lead to years of study and perfection. Every time our instructor, Michael Gilman, reviews the form with us we find an unlimited string of variations and subtleties that never fails to amaze us. This is where a Tai Chi Chuan student explores the potential of yielding and proper application of force. We are still in the learning stage on this form and have years to go to perfect it. Although I have learned literally DOZENS of Tae Kwon Do and Kenpo forms in my past arts, this is the most sophisticated form I have ever learned. Recently I had a controversy to deal with when our version of the form was posted on YouTube. Some guy wrote in and said that it wasn't San-Shou, and therefore I should take it down or re-name the video. He stated that San-Shou was fought in the ring to the knock-out. I thought about it for a while, and realized he had a point. Even though every Tai Chi Chuan master that has ever taught this form has called it "The San-Shou Form", I renamed our video the "88-movement Fighting Form". The writer who was offended used a Chinese name, and I got the impression he was writing from somewhere in Asia. Upon reflection, I think he might have been doing the same thing that MMA/UFC whiners do with their complaining about martial "ARTS" not proving up to their standards. Oh well...
As I have said before, COMBAT BRINGS NECESSARY PAIN, ART NECESSARILY BRINGS PLEASURE.
Videos and Books by T.T. Liang are available at: http://shukuangpress.com/products/ftm...
Monday, October 1, 2007
Ok,Ok, I know everyone has been waiting for October's "Cute Hippie Chick Of The Month" feature, so buckle your seat belts for this one!
I mean, I know Capoeira is a Brazilian Dance/Martial Art, but I had no idea they had moves like this...