Archive for January, 2011

10 Questions With Rener Gracie

Posted in 10 Questions, Jiujitsu with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 31, 2011 by Combative Corner

Photography by: Blanca Marisa Garcia

Rener Gracie is a 3rd generation master in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu.  You know!… The family art that has been on the lips of just about every single inspired mixed martial artist since the beginnings of the UFC?  This is as it should be as Rorian (Rener’s father) actually came up with the idea of the Ultimate Fighting Championship® on 1993.  Rener and his brother Ryron have the monumental and exciting challenge to spread Gracie Jiu-Jitsu to students the world over through the Gracie Academy.  (click the above image to visit the Academy website) Click – here – to visit their YouTube Channel.

(This interview took place Jan. 22nd, 2011 & conducted by Michael Joyce)

Click PLAY to listen to our full video.

Read Rener’s answer to our special “Bonus” Question, right here!


You’ve got 6 months to train… the money is on the table.  Who would you personally like to “have a go” at?

RENERGRACIE– I would fight any giant, basically.  For me, that’s the only special part.  Find me a giant, who doesn’t believe in jiu-jitsu.  How about that?

COMBATIVECORNER – So you would like to arm lock Andre the Giant?

RENERGRACIE –  I want a giant that does not believe in jiu-jitsu.  If I fight Brock Lesner, who is now the new favorite jiu-jitsu student of the world, it doesn’t have the same value as fighting Brock pre-jiu-jitsu.  So, give me a giant… you know… someone that outweighs me by 80-100 lbs, who doesn’t believe in the effectiveness of jiu-jitsu and that would be my fight.

…What I could do with a fight like that is educate thousands of people, and they’ll say, “Wow! – he’s smaller, yet the technique and patience prevailed.  I want to learn what he’s doing!”  Does that make sense?

COMBATIVECORNER – Yes it does.  And maybe there’s a giant listening to us now that is saying to himself, “Hey! I’m a giant and an unbeliever!”

RENERGRACIE – Send him to the Gracie Academy, Michael!  Send him to GracieAcademy.Com.  We’ll take it any day!  That’s the Gracie Challenge.  It’s been like that for about 85 years.  …The reason we fight less now and because I’m not excited to fight professionally, is because I feel like I’m fighting my family.  It’s like fighting my brother.  And although I respect and admire the guys work ethic and incredible talent and dedication it take to be effective as a MMA fighter, it doesn’t excite me to overcome jiu-jitsu.  Do you see what I’m saying?  Or to be defeated by it.  …But if I fight a giant that doesn’t believe in jiu-jitsu, it’s definitely a chance to show the people.  Let’s make it happen!  We don’t need money.  We’ll do it for free.


Taijiquan Gems of 2010

Posted in Internal Arts, Internal Development, Martial Arts, Styles, Taijiquan with tags , , , , on January 26, 2011 by Combative Corner

Tai Ji Quan (whether you shorten/spell it as “Tai Chi” or T’ai Chi”) is an amazingly fun and therapeutic artform and martial art.  In 2010, we at the CombativeCorner were able to post some great articles and two fascinating interviews.  If you haven’t checked it out already, we highly suggest that you do!  We hope you all have gotten off to a wonderful 2011!


Chen Huixian / Chen Zhonghua


What is Tai Chi? (by: Johnny Kuo)

Reflections on Chen Style Taijiquan (by: Michael Joyce)

The Beginner’s Mind (by: Johnny Kuo)


Posted in 10 Questions, News with tags , , , , on January 26, 2011 by Combative Corner

The CombativeCorner has had one heck of a start!

What started out as a small blog has turned into a legitimate, informational center for anyone wishing to explore the martial arts (and themselves).  The exploration is one in which readers can get a broad perspective, an even balance if-you-will, of the ins-and-outs, from self-protection, to each and every individual martial style.

Help us in our goal to break 100,000 views this year!

You can help us do this by bookmarking our website, by sharing our articles and interviews on Facebook and Twitter… and by continuing to spread the word to friends.

Of the various articles we run at The CombativeCorner, none has been more popular than our 10 Questions With… articles.

Here’s our



Let us know what YOUR favorite was… and why?

We look forward to hearing from you!


Don’t miss the first 10 Question Interview of 2011,…

with none other than Mr. Rener Gracie!

* Top 3 Interviews were based solely on hit count.

Our “Meditations On Violence”

Posted in Discussion Question, Products, REVIEWS, Violence with tags , , , , , , on January 20, 2011 by Combative Corner

A Comparison of Martial Arts Training & Real World Violence

Sgt. Rory Miller’s book (his website ), has been a popular read for those of us in the martial arts world.  Particularly those of us that teach self-protection and seek to understand the reality of violence (at least on an intellectual level) without having to seek the hazardous (potentially deadly) real-life experience of violence in-action.  While it is very true that many martial artist today (especially those teaching people how to survive) need a reality check.  Katas, technique, and even trying to condition ourselves for the “unknown” may be vain attempt to (as I put it) “feel comfortable in our own skin.”  While there are lots this book that I liked, there were some parts that I, still, am a little unsure about.  Below are three examples from the book that I would like there to be a discussion on. [click on the pic to find it on Amazon]

Please offer your comments below

(from pg. 6) –my comment in brackets

They (martial artists) teach self-defense and sparring and streetfighting and fitness and personal development, as if they are the same thing.  They aren’t even related.

[Not even related?]

(from pg. 66)

– When the physiology is kicked into higher, more animalistic ranges, the trained fighter is often unprepared. –

[Compared to an untrained fighter? Just because a trained fighter has “more to lose” I don’t personally believe (0r should I say, I’m not yet convinced) that an untrained person is “more” prepared.  I say this is highly individual.]

(from pg. 81)

-If you get an opportunity to leave, leave.  EVEN IF IT MEANS LEAVING YOUR FAMILY BEHIND.  Your information from the inside may make a huge difference in tactical operations.-

[To me, personally, leaving IS a good idea… if this is an episode of 24 and CTU has no leads.  The need to protect (especially in males) is software that cannot be overwritten (in most cases).]

What are your thoughts everyone?  The Lines are open….

Self-Defense Mastery With T.J. Kennedy

Posted in Self-Defense, Teaching Topic with tags , , , , , , , , on January 17, 2011 by hybridfightingmethod
Human behaviour fascinates me.  Having been a bouncer for seven years I have witnessed some interesting behaviour from people of all sexes, classes, races, etc.  Some sober, and some under the influence of what we’ll call “contraband substances”. 

Human behaviour has become a HUGE topic of interest to me, so years ago I would buy and read any book or magazine that I could find that talked about the psychology of human behaviour.

This led me down a rabbit hole of books, videos, articles, discussions, etc., all on evolutionary psychology.

From an evolutionary standpoint, all of our behaviour, down to every minute detail – is influenced by the greatest influencers to all humankind…natural and sexual selection(aka – genetic replication/reproduction).

Our entire world and its structures, economy, memes, values – are all ultimately rooted in natural and sexual selection.

From an evolutionary perspective, I (as a man) have three base purposes:
Procreation, protection, and provision.  To have offspring.  To protect myself, my mate, and my offspring from competing males and other predators.  To provide the resources necessary for them to survive and thus pass on my genes to the next generation… infinitum.

The more I studied these concepts, the more overlap I saw in various elements of human behaviour – namely motivations for sex/love and violence.

I have spent many hours consuming and studying material on love, sex, relationships, seduction, dating, etc., and the more I do, the more I see them as a singularity with self-defense concepts.

One such source of my studies is dating ‘guru’ David DeAngelo.  Listening to his audio “Mastery Series”, I have gleaned information that is useful to us in our journey of self-defense mastery.

The first, is a concept known as a ‘Johari Window’.

“A Johari window is a cognitive psychological tool created by Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham in 1955 in the United States, used to help people better understand their interpersonal communication and relationships.” (Wikipedia: Johari Window)

In DeAngelo’s modification of this concept he explains the learning process we go through as people in mastering any new skill.

The process can be broken down into four steps that are described as follows:

Step 1. Unconscious-Incompetent.

In this step you are unaware that you do not possess the skill in question.  Ignorance is bliss.  In a self-defense context this would be something like not even ever thinking about self-defense, and never taking the time to learn it.

Step 2. Conscious-Incompetent.

In this step, you become aware that you do not possess the skill in question.  In our context again, it may be that you or someone you know was attacked and was the victim of violence – which makes you aware that you have this incompetence.

Step 3. Conscious-Competent.

You seek out the necessary information and training to attain this skill.  As you learn, you think about the application of what you’re learning.  For self-defense this could mean thinking and applying specific responses to specific attacks (stimuli).

Step 4. Unconscious-Competent.

This is the step where you no longer think about your skills; you just perform.  If you were to be attacked, your body and mind react according to how you’ve trained, essentially bypassing any conscious effort or thought.

So…that’s WHAT we go through to learn these skills, but HOW do we get there in our journey to self-defense mastery?

As Bruce Lee once said:

“Accept what is useful.  Reject what is useless.  Add to it that which is specifically your own.”

DeAngelo outlines this in what he calls his “Five Steps to Personal Evolution”.

They are as follows:

1. Imitate the best until you are getting consistent results.

Find an instructor(s) and study directly under them.  Study videos, books, articles,
etc.  Gather as much information as you can, and find what works.  For example, try technique “A” against an attack, and then “B” and “C” and so on.  See which one(s) lead to success the most.

Do this until you have become proficient in what you’ve been learning.

“Accept what is useful…”

2. Learn how to make finer and finer distinctions until you can clearly see why each approach works or doesn’t work in each situation.

Using the principles you’ve learned, analyze WHY these things will or will not work. Analyze context – this is important because something may work in some situations, but not in others.  Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater just yet!

3. Learn to assign higher and lower values to behaviours, results, mistakes to create an internal values system to guide you.

Start refining and cutting out unnecessary techniques or principles that you found not useful, and condense everything that’s left into your own personal “system”.

“…Reject what is useless…”

4. Learn to create variations of great ideas and to combine great elements of great ideas to evolve improved versions.

Play around with what works.  Try different techniques in different scenarios according to your new principles and values system.

5. Innovate.  Come up with your own ideas.

Take everything you know, and start to add your own ideas to it, to make it “better”or at the very least, more suited to you as an individual.  Perhaps fill in gaps that exist in your personal system with your own ideas.

“…Add to it that which is specifically your own.”

This is how, over years and years, I came up with the Hybrid Fighting Method – and how you can also innovate and create a system that works for you.  The Hybrid Fighting Method (HFM) is a core system that is effective for all – and is malleable for you to shape it to your strengths and preferences.

As Kenny Werner, musician and author of “Effortless Mastery” says:

“There is nothing difficult; only unfamiliar.”

Apply yourself; follow these steps, and you will achieve self-defense mastery.


T.J. Kennedy
Hybrid Fighting Method

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