Archive for October, 2010

New Book : “Living The Way” Is Here!

Posted in Peace & Wellbeing, Products with tags , , , , , , , on October 28, 2010 by Sifu Freddie Lee

CombativeCorner’s very own, Sifu Freddie Lee comes out with his first book entitled, “Living the Way: Balancing Body, Mind and Soul.”  Author Lee shows “the Way” towardss happiness, love, and peace through living the simple life in modern society.

Publication Date: Oct. 28th, 2010

US paperback, 5″ x 8″.  76 pages. English.

Price: $10.00


The Truth On Stun & Run Tactics For Self-Defense

Posted in Discussion Question, Martial Arts, Self-Defense, Teaching Topic with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 27, 2010 by chencenter

My concern, especially since I deal (primarily) with women’s self-protection, is the level of safety revolving around the “attack response.”  I teach that, when a confrontation is deemed a threat to your safety, pre-emptive striking (that is, striking before they do) is best.  Remember, the situation dictates the response.  Male or female, fear will be present.  Our bodies will automatically transition to a heightened state of alertness.  If a threat exists, and verbal communication/de-esculation fails – or is non-applicable to the situation, you must ACT!  If it’s a true threat to your Life, I pray that you do!

A question that raises some eyebrows, even with highly-experienced teachers is, “Hit and Run or Hit, Follow-Up (and/or Finish Him) and then, Run?”  This article was inspired after reading from Geoff Thompson’s book, The Art of Fighting Without Fighting.  He writes:

If you are forced into an attack situation – this should be an absolute last resort – make it a telling blow to a vulnerable area.  Explode into the opponent with every fibre of your being, then run!!  Many defence gurus advocate a second strike, a finisher.  If there is a choice in the matter, don’t do it.  The few seconds you buy with your first strike could easily be lost if you linger for even a second.

On this one point, Geoff and I differ slightly.  Although this is a “safe” answer, the situation must be defined.  Is this a strong male with any martial art background, or is he talking specifically about a female, possibly with no experience at all?  Does he/she have a route of escape or is he/she “boxed in?”

Just to make it clear  – I teach both aspects: Stun & Run, AND Stun, Finish & Run.  I believe that many (not all), but many of my female students could, if they properly employed the 3 Ts (Tools, Target Area & Tactics), ensure their chance of escape – They do this by exploiting the “aftershock”/time lag  (The time between when the assailant gets “clocked” and the time it takes him to respond from the blow) following a quick, stunning shot.

As long as students (male & female) are taught to think & train realistically on “how they are to react” it prepares and offers greater flexibility when encountering a real-life violent encounter.  Hit & Runs surely open up a window of opportunity, but has it been truly put to the test when a male attacker has the environmental variables (ex. no bystanders to intervene) to chase their victim down?  Does a follow-up shot put the attacker at a greater disadvantage or does it do the opposite – which is, more time/distance to grab, restrain and continue with his initial plans?

The lines are open! Let everyone know your opinion.

Even better than your vote, is a detailed comment.  Help your fellow students, and instructors by enlightening us on your thoughts on this very important topic.

Training Partners – By: Johnny Kuo

Posted in Martial Arts, Training with tags , , , , , , on October 26, 2010 by mindbodykungfu

Johnny Kuo :

Originally posted on his Group “Mind Body Kung Fu

I sometimes get asked whether training with beginners is boring or pointless. When you advance to a certain level of skill, it can be frustrating to have to train “below your skill level.” However, I choose not to view it that way. After spending a significant amount of time (years actually) as the only I-Liq Chuan guy around and having to build a group from beginners, I’ve come to appreciate the opportunity presented by training with a beginner.

It is tough to advance your skill when your abilities are not being challenged. As with any skill, you need to push your limits to broaden your understanding. The value of training with a beginner is not in pushing your limits. What training with a beginner does is force you into a teaching role. The best way to learn something is to have to teach it. You may think you know something, but trying to pass on your knowledge reveals gaps in your understanding. You need to fill in those gaps by approaching the skill from many different perspectives so that you can deal with the myriad of different backgrounds and unexpected questions you receive with beginners. While you may not advance your skills interacting with a beginner, you can still deepen your current level understanding and solidify your basics. That in itself is invaluable foundational training.

Training with anyone, beginner or advanced, is an opportunity for mindfulness practice. Training should always involves focusing the mind to be aware. Boredom can set in while training with a beginner, but this is a fault with the advanced practitioner rather than the beginning student. Zoning out with a beginner is losing your attention to the moment. The goal of the practice is not just to develop superior martial ability; it is also to hone one’s awareness to perceive the conditions of the moment. It is also prudent not assume that the beginner is inferior in skill. Someone trained in another art is only a beginner in your art. You need to pay attention simply because a “beginner” may still penetrate your defenses due to inattention or incomplete understanding on your part.

With the role of the teacher, there is an element of gratification from training a beginner. It does take work to pass on knowledge, and teaching can sometimes take a fair bit of mental and physical energy. But watching the light bulbs turn on as principles click is highly satisfying. The more I teach, the more I get to observe understanding blossoming. Watching the growth of understanding is a nice perk of the teacher’s role.

Training a beginner is never really boring. The training process with a beginner can be tiring as you may need to assess and correct poor movement patterns, find ways to prod their understanding, and present concepts from multiple perspectives. All that effort can be rewarding though. You get to deepen your understanding, get extra mindfulness training, and most importantly, build up your future “advanced” training partners. (original post)


Johnny Kuo


CombativeCorner Profile

One-On-One with Freddie Lee : Sparring

Posted in Martial Arts, Training with tags , , , , , , , , on October 25, 2010 by Sifu Freddie Lee

Sparring is necessary in order to become proficient in the combative aspects of martial arts.  But we must be clear on what constitutes as sparring and how far we shall take the sparring in order to increase our ability but at the same time remain healthy and safe.  We learn the physical aspect of martial arts to protect ourselves from harm not to place ourselves into greater physical harm.

If you are to spar to the point of which you receive broken bones, broken teeth, fractured bones, loss of consciousness, and torn ligaments which create long term complications, then I would say that you have forgotten about the initial purpose of practicing martial arts.  You are supposed to practice martial arts to protect your own health, not to cause unhealthy damage to your body.

With that being said, we must be intelligent when we spar.  We must not spar out of competition but rather with the intention of increasing our ability so that we are more likely to survive a deadly confrontation on the streets.  Sparring is not restricted to entail sparring with protective equipment.  Protective equipment can actually hinder a martial artist’s development rather than increasing one’s ability.

Wearing headgear and protective padding hinders ones natural field of vision, restricts movement, and hinders natural flexibility and speed.  It also gives the student the mistaken assumption that they can withstand more damage than they really can so they are more likely to dangerously expose vital parts of their bodies whereas if they were not wearing protective equipment they would be more conscious on protecting their vital organs.

Compare it to a knife fight.  When real knives are used, a martial artist must be intently aware of not exposing any part of the body to be sliced or stabbed, otherwise death is more likely to occur.  In unarmed fighting, the concept is similar.  One well placed timed punch or kick can disable an attacker, so the student must be intently aware of not exposing ones line of defense to allow the opponent to deliver a damaging attack.

Advanced practitioners of martial arts either need no protective equipment or have a very minimal use of protective equipment when sparring.  That is because they have precise control of their attacks, and they can deliver attacks without placing their sparring partners health and safety in jeopardy.  Advanced practitioners know a well timed attack with proper placement, speed, and power when they see it.  They know that if their training partner had delivered the attack at 100% in real life, there would have been significant damage.  Thereby they are able to learn and better their ability by that observance without the unnecessary need of placing their own health and safety in jeopardy.

Beginners do not have this awareness while sparring.  Beginners do not learn to protect their vital areas until those vital areas are attacked with resulting damage.  Because of this, many beginners need to wear protective equipment to minimize the chance of injury.  But a beginner who spars with an advanced practitioner can spar with minimal protective equipment because the advanced practitioner has adequate control of his attacks in which to minimize the chance of causing injury to the beginning practitioner.

An example:  A beginner who is wearing headgear may need a punch delivered at 60% of the instructor’s power in order to receive a feeling of daze to learn that he had mistakenly exposed himself.  A beginner who is not wearing headgear may only need a punch delivered at 20% of the instructor’s power to receive the same feeling of daze in order to have the same learning experience.  An advanced practitioner will be able to control his delivery of attacks in order to help the beginner achieve his learning experience without the need of using protective equipment.

The use of little to no protective equipment is highly preferred because it is the most realistic.  On the streets, in real life, one does not wear protective equipment.  One stands as is, no headgear, no groin protection, no fist protection, no chest protection, no shin protection, etc.  The only advantageous protection one does normally possess is feet protection from ones shoes.  A martial artist will use his feet protection of shoes to his advantage when kicking.  But as far as the other parts of his body, he must be intently aware of protecting himself from harm and utilizing his hands and feet to deliver attacks at their utmost efficiency while causing the least amount of injury to himself.

Sifu Freddie Lee


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10 Questions with Ari Bolden Knazan

Posted in 10 Questions, Jiujitsu with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 22, 2010 by Combative Corner

Ari Bolden Knazan runs a little website,… you might have heard about it.  It’s called Submissions 101.  If you haven’t, we at the CombativeCorner are not really sure what planet you’re from (we can assume it’s not Earth).  Besides running his website, Ari teaches jiu-jitsu at his school, Victoria JuJitsu Academy in Victoria, British Columbia.

Website –   –YouTube Channel

(1) When did you start your martial art training (in what styles) and did you always want to teach professionally?

I started martial arts training when I was a kid (at age 10. I got serious about the martial arts at 14 when I saw Above the Law with Steven Seagal. I was amazed at Aikido because it was so different than the chop em sock em movies of the 80’s (karate/kung fu/ninjustu). I moved from judo to Aikido to Jujutsu (Japanese Jujutsu: Daito Ryu and Goshin) to nogi 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

I had always wanted to teach but I never saw myself as martial arts teacher. I thought I was going to teach high school at one point. I’ve always had a passion, and I think, a gift, for instruction. I kind of fell into teaching martial arts in 2003 when a bouncer I worked with suggested I open up a school.

(2)  You currently have almost 56,000 subscribers on youtube and are #58 most Subscribed (Canada).  Was there success right away? Or did it take a good while before viewers-equaled-students?

You Tube is a funny thing. I just started putting up a few videos and didn’t think anything of it at the time. I just wanted to share some on my Japanese Jujutsu with ‘people’. It took about 6 months and I started getting requests and more people joining up. I was kind of surprised to be honest but I soon realized that there was a major lack of instructions (martial arts) on the internet. I also found a niche in doing submission videos. My style of teaching really seemed to appeal to people and I just kept going on from there.

(3)  What is the hardest part about running your business?

If you are talking about Submissions 101, it probably is the insane amount of time I have spent recording video, editing and emails. I have (thank goodness) stream lined it down to a fine science now and I also have many people doing videos for us. This is a GREAT thing as my vision was to have many different people bring their flavor to teaching jiu jitsu. I get over 100 emails a day ranging from you tube comments, to request to general emails to people joining our mailing list. Its a lot.

(4)  As an avid follower of professional mixed martial art competition, who do you most enjoy watching and why?

I always cheer for the grappler. I can’t help it. If a BJJ guy is fighting, that is the guy I want to win. However, there are some really exciting guys that I like watching such as Aoki, Guida, Cro Cop, and Wanderlei (to name a few).

(5)  Who was your martial art idol growing up and who’s your idol now (if different)?

As a kid, Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris were my big ones. I actually met Chuck Norris is Vegas at age 8 and told him how much I liked him. I was also a HUGE Sho Kosugi fan (Enter the Ninja!). Later on, Steven Seagal was the guy who pushed me in a strong martial art direction. I don’t think I have idols anymore…but I certainly have mentors and people I admire.

(6)  What is your least favorite chore/errand/task that you have to do? (either daily or weekly)

(laugh) My wife and I call them “Blue Jobs and Pink Jobs”. Taking out the trash, emptying the liter box, mowing the lawn…those are all blue (male) jobs in my household but those don’t really get to me. I really don’t like to empty the dish washer. I do like doing laundry and vaccuuming though (strange, huh?).

(7)  What is Mr. Bolden passionate about outside of the martial arts and why?

Film (dark intellectual stuff) is one. I also LOVE listening to music. My music of choice is ambeint, dark wave, 80’s new wave, house and moden hard rock. I am also big on writting.

(8)   Does Mr. Bolden teach his wife ju-jitsu or is this too dangerous?

I used too! But she does yoga full time so she doesn’t have time. She has a NO JIU JITSU rule at our house. I will start to play wrestle with her and she drops the “NO MOVES” line. Oh well…

(9)  If you had to pick one or two of your favorite ground techniques what would they be?  or if that is too hard…. an alternate question could be “What are one or two of your most used techniques”?

My favorite moves change from year-to-year, but if I had to pick, I would say the triangle arm bar from side control, the heel hook and the peruvian necktie. My most used techniques though? Collar chokes. I find my self choking people out about 80% of the time.

(10)  What’s on the plate for Mr. Ari Bolden/10th Planet/Submissions101? Any big news, events, products, etc that you’d like to unveil… or (as an alternative question), “what’s one big, future aspiration for you and your business?”

Submissions 101 is going to get a face lift. We are adding more videos from BIG names and I want to reach 100,000 members by 2012. We have several side projects going on and an iphone app in the works. I have a DVD that I will start filming in a few months on “street Jiu Jitsu and self defense” that I am looking forward too.

But my main goal is the one I have had since the get go: Build bridges and bring jiu jitsu to those who don’t have access to it or just spread the word of it. It is a WONDERFUL art – be it nogi, gi or traditional. I also want to share my philosohy that there are many ways to do the same techniques. Don’t get too narrow in you view of the world or you will “miss all the heavenly glory” (to quote Bruce Lee!).


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