Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Train with The Karda Group

Now here's a guy I would really like to train with;
Branden Wyke is one of the instructors at "The Karda Group". The group trains in a mix of Filipino/Indonesian arts with a heavy influence on knife work.
In an e-mail chat with Branden he described the training group:

"A lot of the guys have instructorships in a different things. A few are instructors under Inosanto in Kali, Silat, and JKD. Some are Muay Thai instructors, and one of the guys in Wing Chun. Then some of the guys have spent time in a lot of other stuff like lua and some Filipino martial arts like Sayoc Kali, and Atienza kali.
We've spent most of the time the last couple of years working on knife and empty hands vs knife because there seems to be a lot of unrealistic practices going on -either guys aren't training under the right amount of randomness and stress or they were training a LOT of stuff that was about killing an empty handed man...we wanted to get away from that kind of stuff and explore what was really working and in the right context.
We've been working the emptyhands stuff too -just organizing it in a structure that can roll with it well if the other guy pulls a weapon."

Now, I have to admit that I am not that skilled in knife work myself, which is something I intend to work on. I have some basic disarms, Aikido knife defense, basic weapon stripping etc.
With that said, here are my observations on Branden's teaching and technique:

First of all, Branden has had very good instruction. You can tell because he teaches very well also. No esoteric terminology, basic stuff western lunkheads and Dojo Rats can understand.
While all the defenses in his videos use gross motor skills (something that will work in a stressful situation) he demonstrates sensitivity to the opponent's weapon and body movement. In other words, Branden does not try to out-muscle his attacker, but he follows the movement of the blade and adjusts to a controlling position.
He does however, use his body mass to bear against the attacker rather than arm strength alone. This fits with the general theme of internal martial arts; follow the opponent's movement and force him to deal with your body mass as a unified whole.
Let's not fool ourselves; there is going to be some huffing and grunting in a real struggle against a resisting opponent, and this type of training adds necessary realism. One thing to note - Branden exhales consistently, which maintains a breathing rhythm allowing him to pace his endurance and emphasize the yin and yang of yield and press.

I suggest anybody interested to look at the other video's on "The Karda Group" website, linked HERE.

You can contact Branden for training information here:

Public Class:
Location: Relentless Martial Arts
6202 S. Sheridan Tulsa, OK., 74133
Times: Mon 8-8:50pm & Wed 6-6:50pm
Contact: Branden Wyke
918 806 8912


Branden Wyke said...

Thanks for the shout out man! -just realized that I need to update the phone number on our blog. The new number is 918 949 6099.

nemovic said...

not sure what he is trying to demonstrate.....but the attacker does not properly stab or cut....great mistake to grab with to hands the oppenents arm he still can hit you with his other arm!

two solutions 2. try to go with the flow like the do in systema (although only against stabs not against cuts as far as I can see from the clips on youtube)

just wanted to say my opinion on knifes....


Branden Wyke said...

Hey Nemovic! -yeah, not a lot of offhand striking going on in that video. We are trying to put out the videos in a way that just stacks in the information one piece at a time, so that people can see whats being isolated there specifically and then at the end of each video combine that piece with everything else we've gone over so far so you can see how it looks in the mess. Off hand striking is coming soon just because it does happen.
Other stuff we going to show
-More feeds/attacks that happen in and out of the scramble at range like the more common combinations that guys are getting us with. As well as the attacks that change line that guys are getting us with.
-Hand switching (I think this is way more an issue than the offhand striking and will probably show it first)
-Head grabbing/racking while in the scramble
-Drawing your own weapons in and out of the scramble...realistically

-And then anything else that guys are being successful with when we play or that we see happen to other people.

btw one of my training partners is a systema guy ;)..and they have some good stuff that works well. You see a lot of that two on one stuff in those kind of European martial arts -Sambo especially.

If your ever in the area we'd love to train with you! More training partners we get, the more new holes we can find in our own game to fix -thanks man!

Dojo Rat said...


I watched the Systema video, some of it is good. But the Karda vid is knife against empty hand, perhaps caught off-guard, stopping the attack, neutralizing the blade, and working a counter.

The Systema was more field combat knife vs. knife.

Go to the Karda website and look at his other videos and you will see the progression he is teaching.
What I found out is that a lot of throws, arm/shoulder -breaks/dislocations and takedowns from our training can be worked once you get to the inside or outside control position.

nemovic said...

hey branden!thanks for the invitation....makes sense to show the moves isolated....keep up the good work!

I have no great experience in training with knifes, only from few ving tsun seminars, to be honest i would never try to fight a guy with a knife, only if I can not run away :)

But makes sense to train this stuff even for greater awareness!!

Sensei Strange said...

Yeah fighting a guy with a knife is a last ditch effort. After those pictures you posted last year, I have sworn off the idea. Fun challenge in the dojo though.

I will film some of my latest knife work for you to take a gander at. I have taken to a constant movement strategy, rather than this videos hold and pound. Different strategies for different skill sets.

I hate being an armchair critic, but we have found that any time you grab the wrist of a knife man you get instantly cut. That is the first move we work on every session - the wrist gets grabbed, turn the blade and cut. Thus far I have not met anyone that could hold my wrist without getting cut. That is the major reason we went with a different strategy than what I see here.

Those Tulsa boys should come down to Lowry Sensei's Winter gathering at WindSong Dojo in Oklahoma City. There will be lots of good players there.

Branden Wyke said...

Thanks for the critique! I agree with you though, It's always better to move, keep your head on a swivel, and try to keep range...just not always possible if the guy is a 240 lb freight train with the intent to run me over. Guys trying to cut up your wrists and that kind of thing will get addressed eventually in some later videos -and it'll end up changing the structure of how that whole scramble looks.
Lookin forward to seein your video man. Are you going to put it up on youtube?

Dojo Rat said...

Think about prison shanking: hidden short weapons.
The oh shit! factor in grabbing the weapon hand is there.
I find that the takedowns and throws can be set up from the inside and outside control positions.
By the way, when are you going to come to the wilderness and drink Beer with me?

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