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Use of Forcillo

Posted in Crime, Miscellaneous, News, Training, Violence with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 26, 2016 by hybridfightingmethod

FullSizeRender

photo credit: The Toronto Star

I have so much to say since Toronto Police Service’s Constable James Forcillo was convicted of attempted murder in the 2013 shooting death of 18-year-old Sammy Yatim.  I’m prepared to be a pariah, as I may be seen that way after expressing my opinion.

A quick history

Yatim was on a Toronto streetcar, high as a kite, and whipped his penis out and started masturbating in front of a group of women in the back of the streetcar.  He then took a switchblade (illegal in Canada) and attempted to slash one of the girl’s throats. She managed to block the attack with her purse. Moments later everyone from the streetcar emptied onto the street, leaving Yatim on the streetcar pacing back and forth alone, still with knife in hand.

When police arrived, Yatim was screaming things at them, like “pussies” and “pigs”, while the responding officers repeatedly commanded him to drop the knife. Instead of complying Yatim, advanced on the officers, and was subsequently shot 9 times and killed.

There are a few sticking points that I’d like to talk about, as this situation has caused significant public outcry in defense of Sammy Yatim and criticism of Toronto Police – specifically James Forcillo.

Some of the things that the public say were uncalled for were:

  1. Shooting Yatim in the first place instead of many other force options (eg. bean bag shotgun, tazers, riot shields, etc.)
  2. Shooting Yatim several times after he was already shot and downed.
  3. A reminder that James Forcillo had drawn his firearm 12 times while on duty in the last 3 years.

I would like to suggest that unless you’ve had a knife pulled on you or seen what a knife can do, you have no clue what you’re talking about (and the jury probably also had no clue). You don’t grasp the magnitude of danger a knife-wielding assailant poses; Nor how much that danger can be enhanced when the assailant is drugged or mentally ill.

Mental illness and substance abuse make someone unpredictable. Think about how you might react to a situation like this if you were the first office on scene.

You’re responding to a call about a knife-wielding attacker on a streetcar. When you arrive the attacker still has his knife in hand, taunting you while your firearm is drawn and pointed at him.  Every command you issue to drop the knife is met with “fuck you pussy”, ” fucking pig.” Then he advances. What would you do?

A knife is lethal force. Yatim demonstrated intent and ability to kill (again, knife still in hand while advancing).  Because of this, after 5 days of jury deliberation, the original charges of 2nd degree homicide and manslaughter were dismissed.  As Forcillo did, however, get convicted of attempted murder – and due to the severity of this charge – the lesser charge of aggravated assault was dropped.

Security camera footage from the streetcar now released to the public shows police entering the streetcar after the shots were fired, and kicking the knife out of Yatim’s hand. This occurred after the extra shots were fired once Yatim was already downed.

Excited delirium is a condition that has allowed many criminals to have superhuman strength, and in some cases take shotgun blasts or multiple revolver shots and still fight until they bleed out. If Yatim was down, but still had a knife in his hand (again, the officer kicked it away upon entry), he could have potentially stabbed an officer, possibly in the femoral artery. A stab wound to the femoral artery has the potential to be fatal in minutes. This isn’t a far-fetched conclusion.

Ontario Use of ForceUse of Force

For those that say that the officer was too quick to shoot, should have backed up and increased the distance, don’t understand real violence and intent.  You advance on a threat, removing their capacity to attack. Giving them more space is irresponsible, as it gives the assailant more opportunity to attack.

The chances of a bullet passing through and hitting a bystander increases if Yatim was let out of the streetcar.

As for tazing him, only police supervisors are equipped with Tasers. Forcillo is not a supervisor; a Taser was not an immediate option.

Wait for riot shields and board the streetcar?  Haven’t seen the movie 300 have you?  The first officer through the door is the first casualty, usually suffering the first stab or slash wound.

Bean bag shotgun?  Knife is lethal force.  And Forcillo didn’t have one at his disposal.

“Police in the UK don’t shoot and take threats down with pepper spray.” Because they don’t have guns, and I bet your tune would change when UK cops get mowed down by semi and fully automatic weapons that criminals don’t seem to mind using.

As for Forcillo’s history of pulling out his firearm, let’s look at this logically. If an average police officer works a 40-hr. week (likely probably more), and responds to 3 calls a day, that means in a 5-day work week an average officer responds to 15 calls a week. If you take two weeks out for vacation, that’s about 750 calls a year. In three years that’s 2250 calls. This is an conservative estimate. So, Forcillo drew his firearm 12 out of 2250 times.  That means his gun came out in 0.5% of his calls (we already know this is a conservative estimate).  With the increase in Toronto gun and knife crime, how unreasonable does that sound to you?  In my view, it sounds very reasonable. Trigger happy?  I think not, for a frontline officer.

Final Thoughts

I don’t care about bleeding hearts and compassion here. The fact remains that a disturbed person tried to sexually assault, injure, or kill another human being.When told by police to drop his weapon, he taunted them and advanced, leading to his death. To be sure he was no longer a threat, Forcillo shot him (as the first responder, Forcillo was lead officer; he was on point and everyone else was to follow suit) several more times. Again, the onus was on Forcillo to act, and he did for his own safety, for the safety of his colleagues, and for the safety of the public waiting on the street.

On top of all of this, we have to remember that police are not immune to the shitstorm of a limbic system “fight or flight” response; causing loss of logical thought, and loss of a large portion of motor skill.

I believe James Forcillo acted appropriately, even if a judge and jury didn’t come to that conclusion.

It’s a sad day for justice. In fact, there is no justice here. The only justice occurred in 2013 when a young monster was stopped before he had a chance to became an older monster.

I know most will still be critics and use of force “experts” from the comfort of their couches and office jobs, while police will still go out every day and face the risk of death to protect those critics. That is why they are heroes.

Below are video links and the Canadian National Use-of-Force Model you can observe to help you make up your own mind:

https://youtu.be/dx2iQnYMQfM

https://youtu.be/xyMUyv_vf1k

https://youtu.be/89VWeqSKPcU

https://youtu.be/-jP96xewXDI

https://youtu.be/FGvdnPow1oE

Attachments:

Sammy Yatim’s chilling final moments released

Preview YouTube video Toronto Streetcar shooting July 2013 CCTV Security Footage Sammy Yatim

Toronto Streetcar shooting July 2013 CCTV Security Footage Sammy Yatim

Preview YouTube video Toronto officer’s trial sees video of Sammy Yatim shooting

Toronto officer’s trial sees video of Sammy Yatim shooting

Preview YouTube video Sammy Yatim Shooting – TTC Streetcar Audio and Multiple Video Views – Const. James Forcillo Trial

Sammy Yatim Shooting – TTC Streetcar Audio and Multiple Video Views – Const. James Forcillo Trial

Preview YouTube video TTC surveillance camera 4

5 Ways to Choose the Right Gym

Posted in Martial Arts, Miscellaneous, Training with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on January 9, 2015 by Combative Corner

The tree has been taken down, the decorations have been packed away, the presents have been exchanged, and the last Gingerbread man has been eaten. Yes, the hustle and bustle of Christmas is over, and after all the holiday parties and eating at 14 different relatives houses, its time to get back in shape for the new year. New Year’s is by far the busiest season in the Wellness and Martial Arts industries. Everyone is ready to change their ways and get in shape, but before you make those changes you have a choice to make, which gym is the best ?

Eight Points GymFirst of all that question can be answered in a few different ways depended on what your goals are. For instance, if you want to become the next great Muay Thai Champion or fight in the UFC you might not want to sign up at the local YMCA and expect to go places, but no matter what your goals are (get in shape, learn self defense, or become a fighting champion) there should be some basic things that all good gyms who want to see you succeed have in common. Choosing the right gym and trainer is the MOST important step a person can make to actually reaching their goals and making LASTING changes that go from whimsical new years resolution to concrete lifestyle change. Below are 5 simple things to look for when shopping around for a gym. It doesn’t matter what kind of gym (Fitness, Muay Thai, Jiu Jitusu, Gymnastics, ect), these 5 simple things should be present.

1 Good Gyms and Trainers have Nothing to Prove: *I see this one all the time in the “MMA” gyms. Some guy with 2 amateur fights and a closet full of “skull” T shirts opens a “gym” out of a store front or someones basement. He has no real experience to speak of, so when new members come to class he goes hard on them to try and prove (to himself and to the prospective member) that he knows what he’s doing. It can also occur in the fitness industry. The so called “personal trainer” you hired who just got their PT certificate in the mail after taking a 4 hour class, doesn’t really understand how the human body works or how to invoke real change so he just screams “One More” or pushes you way past your limit to prove to you that his work outs are hard and he knows what he’s doing. This is an extremely dangerous situation and a HUGE red flag. If you are at a gym with this problem you are basically risking your health every time you come to class. A good trainer and gym who are well educated in their craft should have NOTHING at all to prove and their focus should be on building members up not on using members as dummies, showing off how much they know.

2 Good Gyms and Trainers have a Clear, Repeatable “Roadmap” to Success: *When going on any trip you need clear and precise directions on actually how to get there. When you get in your car to go somewhere that you aren’t quite sure of, you plug in your GPS and it guides you and gives you the road map for the destination. Gyms are no different. When you walk into the gym and sit down with the trainers they should be able to lay out a road map detailing how they will help you get from the starting point to reaching your goal. They should have a repeatable process that they have done with clients and members in the past to help reach goals. If you go into a gym and some guy is teaching head kicks one day to complete beginners, then showing those same beginners crazy 8 punch combos the next day, that is a red flag and you should probably look else where. You definitely should be able to see a system in place to build people up from complete beginner to advanced practitioner.

3 Good Gyms and Trainers Actually Charge People: * This is a no brainer. A real business that is good at what they do charges for its services.

4 Good Gyms and Trainers have a Credible Resume: * The person or gym training you should know what they are talking about and have a credible resume you can actually fact check. In this high tech age of Smart Phones, Ipads, and Google, its easy to type in the name of a potential gym or trainer into the search bar to see if claims they make on their website actually exist. If a guy says he is a 15-0 Kickboxer who has fought in the UFC 3 times, then when googling his name nothing comes up but old pics of him and his Frat brother “Leon” hanging out on the beach during spring break, chances are he’s lying. Always do the research so you know exactly what you are paying for.

5 Good Gyms and Trainers Believe in You: * Making changes is hard, reaching goals is difficult. There are times when you will want to give up, times when you will wonder if its worth it. In those times, you need a support system, someone who believes in you and believes you can reach the goals set before you, even when you don’t believe it yourself. A good coach and good gym family will have a positive uplifting atmosphere that inspires people to be their best and reach for their goals. If you are always surrounded by negative energy or an overbearing trainer that always points out what you doing wrong but never tells you when your doing something right, its not going to be to long before you give up on your dreams of ever getting in shape or learning something new. When you choose a gym your choosing a partner to come alongside and invest in your life to help you make lifelong positive changes, so make sure you choose a gym that wants to see you succeed and believes in you instead of just looking at you as a paycheck.

KRU CHRIS CLODFELTER

EIGHT POINTS MUAY THAI

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Improving Your Muay Thai with Sparring Drills

Posted in Muay Thai, Training with tags , , , , , , , , on October 22, 2014 by Combative Corner
Chris Clodfelter Kick 1One of the best ways to really improve your overall Muay Thai is through proper Sparring and Sparring drills.  Proper Sparring is used to develop timing and distance and should focus not so much on power but on attacking and defending with good Muay Thai technique.  It is NOT a competition were you are trying to ‘beat” your partner to a pulp or show him how good you are.  It should be positive learning experience were both you and your partner are improving together.  Sometimes when your new to sparring you might draw a blank soon as the bell rings and then spend most of the time dancing around occasionally throwing a jab or leg kick.  One way to really help the “newbie” and “experienced professional” alike get the most out of each sparring session is through Sparring Drills, actually putting yourself in different situations where you take the “thinking” out of it and you just “react”.  There are tons of really good drills that a good Instructor can help you with, but today we’re only going to cover a few and hopefully give you some ideas on how to really jump start and improve your sparring sessions.  Enjoy 🙂
Teep vs Boxing:
In this drill each person has a “job”.  One person can only box or use hand techniques and the other can only Teep or Push Kick.  As one guy steps in to Jab or throw a Cross the other guy lands a Push Kick to the leg or body.  This is an EXCELLENT drill to work on timing for the Teep.  It can also be helpful to the other person cause it forces them to learn how to use their boxing effectively with out getting caught with a pushkick on the way in.  Try this drill for a couple 3 min rounds switching “jobs” each round so both guys get to work the Pushkick and the Boxing.Three for One:
This is a really fun drill that helps you really learn how to attack back in combinations opposed to only throwing single techniques the whole time.  One person can ONLY throw ONE technique (a Jab, a Cross, Teep, Round kick, ect), the other person must defend the one technique and fire right back with a 2-3 punch combo followed by a kick.  For instance, one person will throw a jab then immediately the other person defends the jab and fires back with a Jab/Cross/Round Kick.  They continue this for the whole 3 min round then switch every round.  One big rule with this one is that NO MATTER if you get hit or defend the ONE Technique you HAVE to fire right away with your Three Technique Combo so you get used to firing right back in a fight.  This is a great drill that really forces you to attack back with combinations!Round Kick vs Jab/Cross:
In this drill one person throws either a Jab or Cross and the other person counters with a round kick.  If a Left Jab is thrown it is countered immediately with a Right Round Kick to either the leg or the body, if a Right Cross is thrown it is countered with a Left Round Kick to the leg or body.  Kicking can deliver a much more powerful blow in a fight than punching but the key is finding your proper distance and timing and thats exactly what this drill will work.  In the beginning go slow and as you get the timing better you can speed the drill up a bit.

Tit for Tat:
This is by far one of my favorite drills for developing proper Muay Thai technique while also working on getting hit and firing right back.  In this drill one guy throws a 2 to 3 punch combo followed with a leg kick or body kick defends and fires right away with his own 2 to 3 punch combo followed with a leg or body kick.  This drill should feel the most like actual sparring with both guys moving around and throwing techniques like they would in a “live” sparring session.  This takes all the guessing and wondering out of it and allows you to turn your mind off and just react.  This is also a great drill for developing your combos.  When firing your 2-3 punch combos use a variety of different techniques so you don’t get stuck doing the same combos every time in “live” sparring.

With all these drills it is important that you be safe and HAVE FUN and take care of your partner, because without them YOU wouldn’t be able to train.  Every time you step out there to spar you should be learning something so relax, put the ego aside, and really work on getting better and improving.

10 Questions with Sally Arsenault

Posted in 10 Questions, Jiujitsu with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 7, 2014 by Combative Corner

Sally Arsenault CombativeCornerI (Michael Joyce, CombativeCorner Founder) came across Sally when researching jiu-jitsu uniforms and rashguards.  There were 3 things that caught my eye: (1) She’s a passionate practitioner of jiu-jitsu and it showed in her writings. (2) She doesn’t hype herself up and honestly strives for improvement on and off the mat and (3) she’s the same size and stature of my wife, Jennifer.  It’s always exciting and empowering to see dynamos in action.  After catching up with her on Facebook, she agreed to give us an interview – and we’re overjoyed and honored to add her to our Combative Corner family.

[above photo credit given to Aggro Photography]

What brought you into jiu-jitsu?

There were a lot of different things happening leading up to my trying jiu jitsu. I used to get up every morning at around six to lift weights and it was never much fun. Then my training buddy moved away and it became more of a chore than anything. I used to read some of Tucker Max’s stories on Rudius Media and a couple of the blogs he hosted covered weight lifting and Mixed Martial Arts (a few of those writers cover MMA and for Bloody Elbow now including Ben Thapa and Tim Burke). There was also a blog called The Bunny Blog by Erin Tyler. She had been getting into Muay Thai and wrote about how satisfying her training was so I began developing an interest in martial arts. Around that time I was robbed at gun point a couple of times and felt pretty vulnerable so everything kind of came together. I tried Muay Thai first but quickly switched to BJJ. Where I’m so small, it made sense to learn a martial art that a small person developed to defeat a larger person using leverage and strategy rather than strength.

Tim Burke [website]

Ben Thapa [website]

Tucker Max [website]

Erin Tyler [website]


How does jiu-jitsu add to your life off the mat?

Jiu-Jitsu has gotten me into the best shape of my life.  I’m much healthier now at 38 than I ever was at 28 or even 18.  I also met my boyfriend at jiu-jitsu, but aside from him, I find that spending my free time among people who work so hard to improve themselves has motivated me to consistently improve my life in every way.


If you had to name them right now, what would be your 3 favorite submissions?

My three favorite submissions are the triangle from guard (vide0), the belly-down arm bar (video) and the arm triangle (video).


You’re also a writer for Breaking Muscle.  How did you get that gig and what is your role there?

I injured my knee a couple of years ago and started reviewing some of the gear I had around the house.  BJJ is a sport that’s been primarily practiced by men and where I’m 5’0 and about 105 lbs, there wasn’t a lot of gear that would fit me back in the day.  I wasted a lot of money on ill-fitting gear and wanted to prevent others from doing the same.  I also started interviewing my teammates and other people in the martial arts community that I wanted to learn from so my little blog started accumulating content.  I’ve been a big fan of Breaking Muscle for a long time and when I saw that they were looking for martial artists to contribute, I submitted my blog for consideration.  MY BLOG

Initially I was a guest contributor but eventually I was kept on as a weekly contributor.  That’s actually another thing I learned from Tucker Max.  In his article, “How to: Find a Mentor (and Succeed Even if You Don’t), he said, “To earn a position, start by giving lots of work away for free: If there is a person you specifically want to work for, learn about them, figure out where they need help, do it, then give it to them.  FOR FREE.”  I feel very fortunate to be a part of the Breaking Muscle team and considering how many talented writers and athletes are out there, I’m still kind of surprised they chose me!

Tucker’s article: [link]

One of the articles that I eventually wrote for Breaking Muscle talked about life lessons I had learned.  One of them came from talk show host Kelly Ripa.  On their show one morning she was telling Regis that she was going to be on the cover of a magazine.  Regis teased her, saying wasn’t she special?  Kelly’s response was “Why not me?”  Why shouldn’t she be on the cover of a magazine?  I never actually thought they would say yes when I asked to be a contributor at Breaking Muscle but I remind myself of Kelly’s words in those situations.  Now I always ask for what I want even if it’s likely I’ll be rejected.  You never know who will say yes! Enthusiasm goes a long way.

Life Lessons article:  [link]


What do you like and dislike (if anything) about competing in jiu-jitsu/grappling tournaments?

What I really like about competing is that it’s the ultimate reality check.  No one is going to go easy on you at a tournament and if you have a skilled opponent, they will help to identify the weak areas of your game.  Training with the same people all of the time, you get into a lot of the same battles over and over again, so it’s a great way to get a fresh perspective.  I’m not a huge fan of competing but I would like to go and compete in New York or Boston at some point.  I expect that there would be more women in my division at those tournaments.


Do you supplement your jiu-jitsu training with anything?  If so, what might that be?

Yes, I supplement my BJJ training with strength training and cardio.  My training outside of BJJ varies but I basically read Joel Jamieson and William Wayland’s work and do what they say.  Joel Jamieson has coached UFC Champions like Rich Franklin and Demetrius Johnson.  He actually wrote a book called Ultimate MMA Conditioning and just came out with the Conditioning Blueprint DVD that helps athletes understand energy systems and build a training plan tailored to their performance needs.  I also use Jamieson’s BioForce HRV system to evaluate my fitness level and monitor recovery to prevent over-training.

Joel’s site: [website]

William Wayland is based int he UK and has helped guys like UFC fighter Luke Barnatt to develop knock out power in their hands, in addition to overall strength and conditioning.  He’s the author of Powering-Through and contributes regularly to Scramble’s blog.

Book: [website]

Scramble: [website]


What is your message to women in regards to studying the martial arts (or jiu-jitsu in particular)?

My message to women is to be authentic.  If you want to learn jiu-jitsu, learn jiu-jitsu.  Remember why you are there.  Be a good student and the rest will follow.

BJJ classes are usually made up of 90% men and 10% women, if you’re lucky.  There is so much content available online about women and jiu-jitsu, I would recommend they carefully consider what they buy into.  I feel the most self-aware and well-articulated insight and advice regarding women (and men) training in jiu-jitsu has been contributed by Valerie Worthington on Breaking Muscle.

Val: [website]


Are you a fan of the mixed martial arts? Why or why not?

I love mixed martial arts.  I’ve always been impressed with the innovation and heart shown by the athletes.  The UFC is coming to Halifax in October and I can’t wait!

What are your short-term martial art goals?

I teach a women’s beginner class at Titans Fitness Academy in Halifax, NS.  My short term goal is to perfect my own basic techniques and help the students in my class to do the same.  It’s so fun to learn slick, new techniques but I’m really enjoying drilling the basics again with them.  I did a study on the most common finishing moves since the inception of the Invicta Fighting Championships and it turns out that they’ve been sticking to the basics too! [link]

My women’s class info: [link]

What are some of your favorite things to do outside of the gym/dojo/mat?

I actually don’t have a lot of free time.  I work full time, I write my articles for Breaking Muscle and Jiu Jitsu Style if I have something lined up, I train and teach a few times a week and on weekends I go to visit my boyfriend and train at his club.  I’m also resuming Certified General Accountant certification classes very soon.  It’s hard to find the time to do much else.  I like to shop online if that counts.

Bonus Questions
If you were an anime character, what special power would Sally have?

I don’t know a lot about anime but I think if I had a special power it would be to make myself twice as heavy as a I look so I could squish people at BJJ.

I’d like to give a shout-out to my sponsors, if you don’t mind.

Thank you Jesse Bellevance at Killer Bee Kimonos for the amazing custom gis! You can save 15% on any custom gi with code CUSTOM15.  People can also save 10% with code FACEBOOK10 on all other Killer Bee products.  Bill Thomas at Q5 Combat supplements has also been so supportive, keeping me healthy with their amazing products. The ones I use the most are the Amass Whey Protein, Krill Oil, Joint Armour, Warrior Green, BP8 Stinger and Vitamin D3.  Shipping is free in the US and you can save 10% with code SALLY10.  Finally I’d like to thank Martin Blaise of Aggro Photography for the amazing photos he’s provided me with.

Interview with Jesse at Killer Bee: [link]

Custom Gi Preview (Women’s):  [link]

Killer Bee Gi Reveiew: [link]

Thank you very much, Michael! I wish you and your readers all the best!

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Kennedy on “What is Martial Art” : RTD 018

Posted in Discussion Question, Martial Arts, Philosophy, Roundtable Discussion with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 17, 2013 by Combative Corner

TJ Kennedy 001

Bruce Lee said in his infamous television interview with Pierre Burton, that martial art is the expression of self. That, in my opinion, is what “art” is. When applied in a combative context, what component of the “self” is one expressing, exactly?

It is my opinion, that martial art can be defined as the following:

The articulation of one’s combative intent through the medium of human movement.

To have an objective in mind, and to achieve this objective using the only instrument one has – his or her body (and weapons, if present, as an extension of the body).

Each individual will articulate his or her movements differently, and will indeed choose different tools to perform different tasks. This is where individuality comes into play. Where the expression of self is seen. The differences in articulation are the result of differences in physiology, culture, personal ethics, etc.

The more one practices using their body to articulate combative intent, the more prolific and efficient they will become in their art. There will be a singularity – a cohesion of techniques and increased fluidity of movement.

That is the denotative meaning. However, there is a significant connotative interpretation of martial art that I’d like to discuss.

That is, the more one engages their mind to act in tandem with their body, the more centered and aware they can become. This union of mind and body can lead to expanded consciousness.

There is an ineffable quality to martial art. A difference in intent. A fighter will fight for status, for resources, etc. A true martial artist…..or warrior…..will fight to protect that which he or she values. Their motives may be love, justice, compassion, etc.

A “fighter” is a role, whereas “martial artist” is a way of life;

a state of being.

These are my thoughts on what “martial art” is. 

I welcome any comments.

T.J. Kennedy

Founder of the Hybrid Fighting Method

MORE ON ‘WHAT A MARTIAL ART‘ IS COMING SOON

Lee on “What is Martial Art” : RTD 018

Posted in Discussion Question, Martial Arts, Philosophy with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 15, 2013 by Combative Corner

Freddie Lee FMKRTD 018: Martial Art is the balanced integration of the body, mind, & spirit & its expression of it. Martial Art is the integration of Yin/Yang. Martial is Yang, Art is Yin. The balance is Martial Art. The imbalance is not Martial Art but rather a corrupted version of it. A balance is like walking on tight rope, it is easy to become unbalanced in which to fall. Those who are balanced correctly are representing harmony between the two forces of Yin/Yang. Yin/Yang goes by the philosophy of Tao. Martial Arts is the Tao. True Martial Arts must integrate the Physical, Mental, and Spiritual. Any lack of, is not Martial Art. Any and all combat sport is not Martial Art, it lacks the spiritual. Football, basketball, golf, tennis, etc. are not Martial Arts, it lacks the scientific development of combat, it lacks the spiritual understanding, and it lacks the complete physical development that is relevant to self-defense, sports is not Martial Arts.

Dancing is not Martial Arts, but it retains the creative/artistic qualities of Martial Arts. Michael Jackson was not a Martial Artist, but he clearly was an Artist. Mike Tyson was a Boxer, not a Martial Artist, he would more closely resemble a street fighter than a Martial Artist. Although Mohammed Ali was a professional Boxer, his inner spirit, his expression of compassion, his inner character in standing up against the Vietnam War, his gracefulness in the ring, made him resemble more of a Martial Artist rather than a street fighter. A Martial Artist does not fight for money, a Martial Artist will not hurt others for profit, a Martial Artist will find another way to make a living. A Martial Artist will not train others to become bullies, a Martial Artist will train others to become good, loving, and compassionate people within.

Martial Arts is not purely just self-defense. A soldier is not a Martial Artist, a Police Officer is not a Martial Artist. They are both in lack of the spiritual development, and they are clearly in lack of the artistic and creative aspects of what makes an Artist. They may possess or have knowledge on the most efficient way to kill, but they are not Martial Artists. In Martial Art, there is an aspect of creativity and self-expression that cannot be found in self-defense tactics alone. Self-Defense tactics is more scientific, it is not artistic. There is clearly a difference between self-defense and Martial Arts.

Martial Art requires an understanding of the Eastern way of living and being. Martial Art derives from the East, not from the West. In order for a Westerner to truly understand Martial Art, he must surrender his Ego and learn the ways of the East in which to create a balance between East and West. The Westerner is representing Yang, the East is representing Yin, the westerner who refuses to learn the ways of the East, cannot be a Martial Artist. He can be a soldier, he can be a fighter, he can be capable of defending himself in combat, but he is not a Martial Artist. The West teaches violence and effective ways of killing, the East teaches peace, love, and compassion, learning both ways creates the balance, creates the harmony.

Belt JiuJitsu Jiu-Jitsu GJJ White JTBBThe proud wearing of traditional uniforms that represent the culture of the East is important in Martial Arts. This shows the appreciation of the history, culture, and ways of the East. Uniforms play a significant role in society. We know who a Police Officer is when we see his uniform. The mailman has his uniform, the UPS driver has his uniform. The sales clerk has his uniform. The uniforms that you choose to wear will represent your understanding and appreciation of the Martial Arts. If you choose to wear no uniform, the Martial spirit is still within you but the public will not be able to identify you as a Martial Artist unless they already know what it means to be a Martial Artist. Combat Sport Fighters, Street Fighters, and thugs have their own uniforms that represent their ways. Martial Artist’s have uniforms that set themselves apart.

If it is not the uniform, it is also the way you move and the way you physically express yourself as a Martial Artist. A Martial Artist knows how to move like a dancer, most Fighters do not. A Martial Artist is graceful with his movements, most Fighters are not. A Martial Artist is peaceful with his expression, fighters are not, they are destructive. A Martial Artist will demonstrate his talents and abilities without having to hurt others, a Fighter will hurt another for a price. A Martial Artist has a good heart within and will not abuse his powers. A fighter is an immature child who is irresponsible with the powers that he possesses.

Martial Artist’s are found in all walks of life doing good for society. You will find Martial Artist’s that make a living as actors, fire fighters, Police Officers, soldiers, teachers, personal trainers, fitness instructors, nutritionalists, professors, doctors, dentists, service clerks, security guards, etc. You will find Martial Artists who take on professions that are contributing something positive to society. You will not find Martial Artists in Combat Sports, you will find fighters, boxers, wrestlers, bullies, and athletes, but not Martial Artists. It is not easy for talented Martial Artists to reach fame, as there are less and less professions available in the entertainment businesses that require the unique skills and talents of Martial Artists.

The invention of computer graphics and the use of stunt doubles has nearly eliminated the need for movie producers to hire Martial Artists for action roles. Martial Artist’s are left with occupations that are typically low-paying and do not provide the opportunities to reach worldwide fame. A Martial Artist in the real world is like the very talented and inspiring teacher that is known locally but not worldwide. Fighters are known worldwide and get paid much money because they are willing to hurt and destroy others for profit, similar to how a drug dealer can make much more money compared to a Police Officer or how a “porn star” or stripper can make significantly more money than a school teacher.

Martial Artists are becoming more extinct in the real world, just as many of these beautiful wildlife animals are becoming extinct because the human population has taken over the world and have used up all available resources. The humans move in, the wildlife disappears. Fighters are moving in & Martial Artists are disappearing, that is the reality of the situation. No more is the public idolizing Martial Artists like Bruce Lee & Jet Li. The public is now idolizing Fighters. Those who see and observe what is occurring can make a change for the better in which to represent the Martial Arts the way it is meant to be represented.

Sifu Freddie Lee

Founder & Owner
Tao of Freddie’s Modern Kung Fu

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You Must Be High If You Wanna Wear Heels!

Posted in Health, Miscellaneous, Self-Defense, Training with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 1, 2012 by hybridfightingmethod

High heels cause such damage to a person’s body, it is completely nonsensical to wear them for any occasion. Each person has the right to do whatever they want to their own body – but I would like to challenge our view on high heels. Stilettos, Wedges, and Pumps all share one thing in common – they damage your body.

For this reason, I personally do not find them attractive – and in fact – find them quite the opposite.

Heels are only worn for the cosmetic appeal, and because of society’s patriarchal impositions on women and their own assumptions about beauty and sexual selection. They really serve no actual function.

People in all sorts of cultures do ridiculous things to their bodies in order to appear beautiful. They cut chunks of their skin out, file their teeth into fangs, and they elongate their necks to the point where they look more like giraffes.

I have heard martial arts instructors suggest using them in a self-defense context, citing them as useful trauma-causing tools. I question whether or not this is actually the case. Surely almost ANYTHING can be used as a weapon, but by the same token why not carry a banana with you everywhere and stick the pointy end into an attacker?

Let’s look at the 2 kinds of violence a person is likely to face – social and asocial – and examine if high heels really can be useful.

SOCIAL VIOLENCE

When does someone put on heels? When they are going out on the town, or out for a nice dinner, or out to a special event.

If social violence is to occur, it is going to be very difficult to flee the situation while wearing heels, so the heels will likely come off.
However, if there is social violence occurring, there is usually alcohol involved (after all – where are we wearing heels?…..in places that serve alcohol). Violence and alcohol share a first cousin, and that cousin is broken glass. You rarely have one without the other in settings where alcohol is served. If you cut your foot open on broken glass, especially in a public area – you risk blood loss and infection – as well as giving yourself a disadvantage toward the end of protecting yourself.

“Yeah, but you can take off your heels and use them to stab attackers in the eyes”, or other such arguments are ludicrous. Even if there is no broken glass or other rough terrain, it would take you an exceptional amount of time to remove your heels and to use them with enough force and accuracy to do any significant damage. You could have a far better effect (and far quicker) with even just an open hand. The time you would take to remove your shoes to use them as a weapon is longer than the time it would take to already be severely injured by your attacker.

They can be used to dig into shins and feet, but your stability would be far too compromised to really be optimally mobile (as you would want to be for the duration of a personal attack).

ASOCIAL VIOLENCE

What if you are attacked asocially? This would be a possibility if you are on a date, walking to your car after a long day at the office, waiting for a taxi to go to your best friend’s birthday….or a million other possible scenarios. Typically you are alone.

In an asocial setting, you very rarely see the violence coming. The attack is likely an ambush. Heels will hinder you in many of the ways described above. The difference here is that you have even less time to deploy them as you are already under attack. Again, you could probably do far more damage and better your chances of escape using your bare hands.

Of course, if your shoe was already in your hand for some reason, then you could use it – but the odds against this being the case seem astronomical.

THE OTHER SIDE

Some people argue that women are not going to let go of wearing these types of shoes, and because of this they craft entire classes and programs around performing self-defense in heels. While I can see their point, this attitude perpetuates an illogical meme, rather than challenge the currently held norm.

I wore high heels once. I volunteered with the White Ribbon Campaign – an organization that works toward the goal of ending violence against women and girls. We conducted a “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” fundraiser, where participants walked a mile in high heels.

A great cause indeed. During the stiletto and pump marathon, women chuckled and guffawed at the men hunkering around like their knee caps were inverted. You could almost hear the collective “Now you know what it I have to go through.”

But did anyone stop to ask, “Why the hell do I wear these stupid things anyway?” They are worn because women think they are pretty, and make them look good. And men perpetuate this idea, to the detriment of women’s health.

What a shame…that a woman would think that she HAS TO go through that torment just to look appealing.

Transgendered men that try to emulate women also put themselves through hell to look like women, and also force themselves into the little hobbling devices.

To train women realistically in heels is a liability. I would imagine that if you jostled a woman around in a manner similar to what she would experience during REAL violence (and not cardio karate playtime with friends), you would have enough broken and sprained ankles on your hands to fill an entire armada of hospital beds.

Violence is difficult enough to navigate without crippling your chances. I mean, why not fight blindfolded, too? After all, blindfolds make you look sexy and classy.

CONCLUSION

In summation, heels of any sort are horrible for your body, and are not so great for functional use in self-defense contexts.

Flat-bottomed shoes are where it’s at. They can be sexy, stylish, functional, and comfortable with components that actually aid your posture and stability.

We really should be making conscious choices for functionality in fashion.

High heels should be nothing more than a history lesson.

T.J. Kennedy

Hybrid Fighting Method

* high heel image above courtesy of imagepoop.com

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