Archive for June, 2011

Tony Blauer : Outside 90

Posted in Self-Defense, Techniques, Training, Videos with tags , , , , , , , , on June 25, 2011 by Combative Corner

One of the human body’s natural reflexes is to push away danger – may that be an incoming potential attacker or an actual violent push, tackle or punch. In respect of trajectory, angles and speed that reflex surely can look different.

In this short video, taken at a recent “Be Your Own Bodyguard” Seminar Coach Tony Blauer, founder of the S.P.E.A.R. System and CEO of Blauer Tactical Systems shows basic applications of this natural defense mechanism.

[Above video and description via PDRgermany’s Youtube Channel]

Secret to Gracie Jiu Jitsu Mastery

Posted in Day's Lesson, External Arts, Jiujitsu, Philosophy, Teaching Topic, Training with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 20, 2011 by chencenter

Two very lucky members of the Combative Corner, Michael (Founder/Left) and Brandon (Contributing Author/Right) get their second workshop with two giants in the world of jiu-jitsu teaching, Ryron & Rener Gracie.

Here are a few of the highlights and insights that will benefit us all!

Michael Joyce

As many of you know from my last article regarding Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, Brandon and I had the opportunity to take a workshop with Ryron in Virginia and due to a last-minute change, we received his brother Rener in our home state of North Carolina.  It was a special privilege for me as Rener was gracious enough to give us an in-depth interview (if you missed it… you can catch it here or on YouTube).  Personally, it was very special to meet Rener after speaking with him in January (for about an hour and a half) and now, to meet this master-teacher (and all-around-great-guy) face-to-face.  The workshop went splendidly as this future blue-belt (me) began to truly understand a fundamental aspect of GJJ… the hooks (and Superhooks)!  With a little spot-on coaching from Rener, I was (and still am) well on my way.

But what pulled the whole lesson together was something that I think all students should understand.  As we gathered around Rener and he began to field our questions, he posed this question to us,

“How does someone reach black belt status?”

Answers came from from each area of the room.  A common word that was said by one, and was surely thought of by the rest of us was the word “Practice.”  But Rener mentioned that there are many students that practice intensely (even with them at the Gracie Academy)… come to class regularly and it still takes quite a bit longer (than expected) to reach the next level.  So what really makes the difference?  The ANSWER?… [Keep reading]

Brandon Vaughn

The one thing I admired about Rener was how much encouragement he gave everyone at the seminar while they were working on the techniques he was showing us.  He didn’t just throw in a “good job” here or a “that’s it” there.  He seemed genuinely excited when he saw someone finally “get” the technique and in my opinion that is the sign of great teacher.  I was also impressed by how approachable Rener was for someone who is so well known.  I have met plenty martial artists who love to walk around like they’re “too good to be in your presence” and none of them were half as talented or did half as much to benefit the martial arts as Rener and the rest of the Gracie’s have.  I consider myself truly lucky to have attended not one but two Gracie Jiu-jitsu seminars this year. They are addictive!

The Answer:

(Paraphrasing)  “The difference between a white belt and a black belt is the amount of time it takes to ‘make the recovery’ – from acknowledging the result/defeat/submission, to understanding and internalizing the result.  Many immediately, after being submitted, want to “go again” and there are others that get incredibly frustrated with themselves (even beating up themselves on the drive home).  “Making the recovery” is, again, about:

Acknowledging – Understanding – Internalizing

Make it work for you!

Michael Joyce & Brandon Vaughn

 

Final Note:

On an additional note – Rener made this connection- that the difference between him and each of us, is only that he understands (obviously in a very deep way) the possibilities (i.e. technical or strategic options) sooner, and has, therefore, a much more sensitive (and thus effective) “threat detector” when grappling.  Learn to understand the game of jiu-jitsu… because (in the words of Rener Gracie) “You cannot master that which you do not understand.”

Interview with Rener Gracie (part 1) : HERE

Interview with Rener Gracie (part 2) : HERE


Never Getting Tied Up | Movie Look : Zodiac (2007)

Posted in Day's Lesson, Discussion Question, Safety, Self-Defense, Teaching Topic, Videos, Violence with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 9, 2011 by chencenter

In a brutal scene in the 2007 film Zodiac [clip below], a couple relaxing lakeside, is approached by the black and hooded ‘Zodiac Killer’ (true story; 1970’s San Francisco Bay Area).  The Z.K. instructs the woman to take from his hand a rope to bind to her boyfriend’s wrists.  Watch the video below (or if you remember the scene from the movie) – please offer your insights on the how the violence was played out.  Was there anything that the victims did wrong?  Just how big was their window of opportunity?

The Combative Corner was able to enlist two other self-protection professional’s perspectives on this scene; Melissa Soalt of Dr. Ruthless’ Practical Primal Self Defense and Roy Elghanayan of Krav Maga LA.

MICHAEL JOYCE :  What would strike me immediately (if I were the man in this scenario) is that the “Man in Black” not only had a gun, but was dressed as an executioner.  This, obviously, should not be taken lightly.  Considering the isolated area and the fact that there was very little cover, running away/running for help would be an iffy proposition.  If I felt very confident that my girlfriend and I could outrun (and if the car was close) the attacker, I would most certainly take that option.  However, my advice (if continuing with the “hostage” scenario) would be to whisper to my girlfriend to tie it very loose, so as when the Zodiac Killer comes to inspect her work, I immediately attack him.  I would hope that my girlfriend would assist me in this action as well.

DR. RUTHLESS :  My professional advise is common sense. Already stated — NEVER allow yourself to be tied up by a criminal. Period. This is classic- using one victim’s fear and pain against the other. As soon as he says, “Don’t get up…” All their alarms should go off. Feign submission for a spell if you need to to (goal is to lower bad guy’s aggressive aroussal; allow him to feel in control.  One of them NEEDS to act and close in on the gunman, grab the gunhand etc… and now there’s two against one!!!! (Would be great if it was the female because the gunman would least expect that. Then the man rushes in…)

The ZK essentially (as is not terribly uncommon) TOLD them out out-loud WHAT HE WOULD DO : “I’m not afraid to kill a man,” he said.

Also kneeling position offers some great explosive moves. (Simple one: yank his ankles hard and fast and very snappy – toward you while shoving him back in the groin region to send him slamming back and down hard. (of course there’s the issue of handgun…) Other from kneeling options too… snappy springing moves and then grab gun hand – slap gun off “kill line” Too tehcnincal for this…but you get the idea… ACT!

Hope is not a strategy– I don’t mean to blame these innocent peoples but c’mon folks– don’t believe the words of a f&#$% criminal!— Part of the work here is that we NEED TO GET OVER OUR FEAR OF INJURY– that’s critical for people to act in such dangerous scenarios- something else has to be more pressing than your fear…. like survival.  It always entails a risk – but this scene is clearly shouting out ” this ZK IS going to kill you both!” I think nowadays (today versus then) more people get it.

ROY ELGHANAYAN :  The guy obviously misjudged the situation.  Based on how he (Z.K.) was dressed (and his initial demands) he thought (perhaps) it was a random mugging situation.  What the victim should have done from the beginning was act like a victim – nervous – confused – (etc).  And hopefully the attacker will come closer & do what he wants, because in this example the attacker is keeping a distance between himself and his victims.  And because of this distance (and because the attacker has a gun) the only thing you can do is pray.  Your goal is to get the attacker at close range so you can grab the gun.  If you can’t do that, you have a problem…  How do you get him closer?  Don’t give him your wallet or keys.  Make him come and get it.

[If the scene plays out, and the guys HAD to toss the Z.K. the wallet and keys]  What the male should have done (as she was going to get the rope) would be to move his hands to the front.  Hopefully the gunman won’t care whether he’s tied up in the front or the back.  If she did this, and the Z.K.  was okay with this, the guy can do the technique really well (See Roy’s Video).

Another thing is that hopefully the woman wouldn’t just stand there.  She shouldn’t rely on anyone to save her.  You need to protect yourself – your family – your husband – So when she walks up to the gunman – boom!  She moves the gun away, she redirects the line-of-fire, she’s there to attack.  And the thing is that the attacker would not expect that from her!…

You’ve got to train for these situations.  Unfortunately if you take a cardio kickboxing class (or something similar) you won’t be ready to deliver what’s needed in this scenario.  In order to get to the level you need, you must train hard – not just physically but mentally as well.

Michael Joyce is the owner of The ChenCenter and founder of The Golden Thread System in Winston-Salem, N.C., & the author of 2 books on self-protection.  He is constantly  active teaching Women’s Self-Defense Workshops.  Visit his CombativeCorner profile for more information [here].

Melissa Soalt, or more famously known as Dr. Ruthless is an award-winning teacher of women’s self defense and a Black Belt Hall of Fame recipient.  She is currently liberating women from the jaws of fear.  For more information, visit her website at dr-ruthless.com.

Roy Elghanayan (his CC Interview – here -)is the owner of Krav Maga L.A. and a leading authority on reality-based combatives.  He’s a two-time Israeli Krav Maga National Champion and former trainer of the Israeli Special Forces.  For more information, visit his website KravMagaLA.Com.

WE WOULD LOVE TO HEAR YOUR THOUGHTS ON THIS SCENARIO

You Can’t Teach Experience

Posted in Day's Lesson, Philosophy, Teaching Topic, Training with tags , , , , , , , on June 3, 2011 by chencenter

I just finished reading a terrific blog by a therapist friend of mine (Geoffrey of Stay-Tuned Therapeutics in Flagstaff, Az) and it motivated me to write a similar post of my own.

What an important topic! And unfortunately it is just this, the lack of “experience” that continues to be the bane of our ‘proper’ professionals.  It truly IS what separates the men from the boys and the women from the girls.

The fact of the matter, as a ‘Coach’ (which is what I prefer my students call me) I see ‘experience’ as being that which puts most people off… that which leads them to a place of discouragement.  Within one lesson (whether it’s taijiquan, fencing, etc) I’ll inevitably see “The Look” cross over their face… a face that once held a consistent gleam of excitement.

One of the reasons I call myself ‘Coach’ is because I’ve always found it most suitable to what I do.  “Master” always had a distasteful ring to it.  I  remember my first encounter with one of my favorite teachers of all-time, Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming (YMAA), and as a sign of respect I called him “Master Yang.” He just smiled and said, “Call me Dr. Yang, or Teacher,… but call me master and I call you slave.”  Still funny to this day.  Anyway, I digress…

We, as teachers, ‘coach’ our students in a particular thought, a way of doing something, we re-align their bodies to be more bio-mechanically sound and we (hopefully) motivate them and inspire them to practice and refine their skills… but it’s always been helpful to remember that –

Experience is what you get when the teacher walks away.

And for all those students out there that wish to be Jet Li in just a few lessons, or if you’re the intellectual that watches YouTube instructional videos, but never calls up a friend to actually work the techniques… experience is never gained, the brain is only momentarily stimulated and given a false sense of capabilities.  Lesson for today/weekend:

Let’s get some experience.

Michael Joyce

ChenCenter.Com

Let us hear your thoughts, questions and insights at the CombativeCorner by posting your response below.  We can also be contacted on Facebook or Twitter

%d bloggers like this: