Tag Archives: self defense techniques

Newsletter 1031The Secret of Karate Bunkai

We actually didn’t all them bunkai,
we call them ‘Promise Fights,’
or ‘form applications,’
or simply techniques.
But the real description was…

‘Promise Fights.’

It was explained to me that
they were the ‘promise of a fight.’
It was decade before I figured out
what the phrase actually meant.

Before there is action there must be thought.
Action does not occur before thought,
action cannot occur at all without thought.
The actual word would be…


A postulate is the thought before the action.
So without a postulate
there is no action.

to drill those techniques until you are sweating blood
is to make the postulate work.
It is to make the idea work,
is to make the concept work.
It is the postulate…
or it is
the promise that your technique will work.
The more you drill
the more your promise will come true.

a couple of things.
If the technique is flawed the promise won’t come true.
If the technique is a poser the promise won’t come true.
If the technique is inappropriate,
poorly put together,
or mechanically or dynamically unsound…
the promise won’t come true.

if the technique is correct and appropriate,
if the technique matrixed…it will come true.

all conditions being met,
this where the magic starts.
Endless drilling = martial magic,
and in the most extreme sense of the word.

I remember one time I struck a fellow in the face,
pulled my punch,
didn’t touch him,
and he staggered away holding his chin.
My promise,
my postulate was so strong,
he thought he had been hit.
I had actually changed his reality with a thought.

That takes a LOT of drilling
with the correct techniques.

We took our techniques form the forms.
Basic techniques from pinan one through pinan five.
Up to green belt we had about 20 techniques,
real basic things,
block and counter.
We drilled those until we
And never missed our target,
never flubbed a block.
We would do the technique twice on each side.
If we made a mistake we would do the technique
more than twice.
Sometimes a lot more.

Come the green belt test
we would run through the promise fights
in about five minutes.
And that was considered slow.
And we were judged for perfect form.
We had to have perfect form in the middle of a fight,
and every technique was considered a fight…
with ourselves,
could we meet the demands of discipline.

Think about it,
ten seconds for two attacks,
ten seconds for us to attack our partner twice,
20 seconds and we had done one promise fight.
20 promise fights times 20 seconds,
400 seconds
6 1/2 minutes
No hesitations.
You can’t hesitate in a fight.

Okay, brown belt we had maybe 50 techniques,
fifty promise fights or ‘bunkai.’
20 seconds for both partners to get through each technique
times 50 = 1000 seconds.
Or…17 minutes.

Sometimes the instructor
would have us do just the techniques
from a specific form or two
and we would really focus on getting things perfect and fast.

Black belt we had about 70 techniques.
1400 seconds,
or…23 minutes.

About the time we were ready for black belt testing
you would see fellows sweating blood after class for hours
trying to get the promise fights into the required time frame.
Once the black belt test started
the instructor would just sit there and watch,
and you NEVER wanted him to make a check on his clipboard.

A green belt test you could make a few errors,
same with the brown belt test.
There were NO errors allowed on the black belt test.

Do you know what kind of mental focus is required to achieve this?
Superhuman is the only word that comes to mind.

And we did it in about three years.
And we ended up being totally intuitive.
Simply, we were not allowed to think about what we were doing,
so we didn’t,
and the only choice we had,
the only result
was intuition.
We had to know what we were doing
with no hesitation.
You can’t hesitate in a fight.

if this seems brutal,
it actually wasn’t.
It was just demanding,
and done on a gradient,
first you only have to do 20 techniques,
then you only have to do 50 techniques,
then 70 is reachable.

So that is the secret of the bunkai,
of the form application,
of the…promise fight.

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Three Kenpo Techniques for a Street Fight

Kenpo Techniques for Survival

These three kenpo techniques-and you can develop them as taekwondo techniques, or karate techniques, or whatever–will help you survive any attempted mugging. They are quick, they are nasty, and the are built so that you can be the one that walks away. Just don’t use them unless there is a real threat to your life!

kenpo fighting self defense

Be the winner!

pa kua chang instructor

How to Analyze Kenpo Techniques for Real Fighting

To be sure, I developed these self defense techniques in karate tournaments a few decades ago. They can be used in the ring, but only with proper control. Use them on the street however, and you must use them without holding back.

The first technique is to break the fingers right at the beginning of the fight. Many people will have open hands, not always, but enough to where this technique will really work. So when you close the distance, assuming you are not kicking first, you must strike down on his fingers with a good, quick fist.

If you can break his fingers he will have second thoughts about attacking you–injuries do that to a person. In his head he will be going, ‘you mean I’m going to get hurt?’ And if he does continue to fight he will have one hand that isn’t worth much.

Second thing, goes right along with breaking the other fellow’s fingers, is to push his arms down. Force them down, trap them so he can’t use them, and you are going to have a heck of an advantage. This is what Bruce Lee used to do with his ‘Straight Blast.’

Third, you want him to blink. This fits right in with the shooting motion of the hands as you move into him and break his fingers and trap his hands. If you can shoot the fingers all the way to the eyes, and actually strike the eyes, then you are going to be fighting a fellow who can’t see. That is going to be a definite advantage, eh?

But even if you don’t manage to blind the attacker, if he blinks and thinks backward in his mind, then he will already be halfway to losing the fight. He will have gone from attacking you to defending himself. A mugger going backwards is not nearly the threat as one who is aggressively moving forward.

To summarize, the points in this article are break things on the way in, push his arms down, and make him blink or blind him. These three strategies should be the start and heart of any good defense if you want to save your life. So if you practice these karate techniques and I certainly don’t mind if you call them taekwondo techniques or Kenpo Techniques-you won’t be the loser in a street fight!

kenpo techniques

Dragon Kung Fu Next Step After Tiger Kung Fu!

Dragon Kung Fu After the Tiger

Dragon Kung Fu refers to internal martial arts training, and tiger kung fu refers to external martial arts systems.

Dragon Kung Fu would include such Chinese martial arts as Pa Kua Chang, Tai Chi Chuan, and so on.

dragon kung fu

Official Symbol of Kung Fu at Monster Martial Arts

Tiger Kung Fu would include such systems as Hung Gar, but would go outside the Chinese to such systems as Shotakan Karate (Tiger Emblem), Kyukoshinkai, and so on.

The main difference between the hard and the soft, or the external and internal martial arts systems, is emphasis on muscles in the hard, and emphasis on the growth of Chi from the Tan Tien in the hard.

Though, to be honest, do the Tiger Kung Fu styles long enough, and you will morph into the harder Tiger systems.

Now, most people consider that all you have to do is gear your training to development of tan tien based martial arts, and that will transform you into a dragon kung fu stylist. And this is true. But, there is an easier way, one that works more in conjunction with Tiger Kung Fu styles.

This means that if you do what I am about to tell you, you can easily transform your hard style into a soft style with just a little shift in your training.

To make the transformation from tiger kung fu methods to dragon, first learn how to make grab arts out of the self defense techniques you practice in the forms.

This can be easily done, and probably the best example of this is the Matrix Aikido method.

Now, here is where the change really starts. You must learn how to use less and less force when doing those grab arts.

Instead of slamming with the hips, learn how to nudge and unbalance, and let the unbalancing technique take its course.

Now, I could tell you dozens of things, but I shant. It would turn into a complex discussion, instead of a conceptual principle.

Heck, take apart those techniques by the thousands, get complex, but always refer back to this principle of using less and less effort.

And that is the way you transform Tiger Kung Fu into Dragon Kung Fu.

Here’s a great article on how to make Dragon Kung Fu out of Tiger Kung Fu, and here’s an interesting online martial arts course on the subject.

There Are Only Eight Martial Arts Techniques On The Planet!

It is true that there are only eight Martial Arts techniques in all the Arts. I wrote an article on this a while ago, but a few people have asked me to clarify, so let me write again. Hopefully I won’t be saying the same things twice. Check out the video and I’ll tell you about these eight.

There are eight specific kinds of attacks one will encounter in combat. These are when somebody initiates an attack in the following ways. A club, a knife, a gun, a sword, a spear, a fist, a foot, and an attack from behind.

You could stretch some of these martial arts attacks, or perhaps claim that not all should be included, but remember I chose these after three decades in the arts. There is reason for my choices, and these reasons have to do with analyzing the potential motions one faces in life. Guaranteed, these eight techniques include virtually all attacks, and even allow for future growth of the martial artist.

You could break things down further. For instance, you could analyze everything as a line. Thus, there would be a middle-sized blunt line, a short sharp line, a line of projection, a long sharp line, a middle-sized curved sharp line, a line from the ground, a line from the shoulder, a line from the rear.

You could extend the Catchers (which is what I call these eight martial arts moves) by including such notions as a line with a bend (hinges), such as a nunchuck or triple section staff. Or a flexible line, which would define a bullwhip. You wouldn’t be in error, but studying my eight moves will prepare you to handle other potential lines.

Now, here is the big caution, warning, or whatever you want to call it. Technically the Catchers are advanced techniques. This is because one should study a variety of techniques, even whole arts, in depth and to an extreme before working on the Catchers.

The Catchers, you see, can best be implemented if one knows all the variables of motion behind them. If one has not studied whole arts, all the potential ranges and attacks and so on, then one simply does not have sufficient data (depth and variety) to make the Catchers work. So you must, simply must, study not just one art, but a whole range of related arts.

This means that you must study not just taekwondo, but pa kua chang and Kenpo and taekwondo and so on. Truth, the Catchers were actually made because of studies in a range of different arts. Guaranteed, you must have a lot of information at your fingertips if you want to make these Martial Arts Techniques work in any situation.

The Catchers are the logical result of studying Blinding Steel and Matrix Kung Fu (Monkey Boxing). Head over to Monster Martial Arts to learn more about these arts.

A Sergeant in Iraq Is Sure Glad He Knows Monkey Boxing!

Karate Black Belt

Monkey Boxing is the best Way to Learn Weapons!

Sergeant Nathan Robertson knew he was going to catch heck. He was supposed to be back with the convoy at the checkpoint, but the Lieutenant had insisted on keeping him late to translate. Now he had a two hundred yard walk through the darkest of Bagdad’s alleys.
He moved swiftly, keeping to the growing shadows, hoping not to be noticed by any hostile.
Funny, when they first arrived they had been treated like heroes. Now they were hated. Money from Washington was drying up, the bought Arabs didn’t want to stay bought, and every extra day spent in this sandbox was fraught with more tension, more confrontations, more danger.
Well, so be it. His was not to whine and cry, he had a job to do and if the ragheads (he knew he wasn’t supposed to call them that, but darn it!) wanted them gone he was more than willing to hop on a transport and–
Two shadows appeared in the mouth of the alley.
Nathan started to backtrack, then stopped.
An Arab was closing up behind him.
The three men wore robes over camos, were unshaven, and eyed him like a jackal eyes discarded dogmeat.
Damn! he thought, I didn’t want any trouble!
He estimated the situation. It was further to go backwards than forwards. Two in front, one in rear. And then he saw the long curved blade the one in the rear was carrying. A scimitar. One of those old cutting tools the Bedouins loved.
Nathan made up his mind and started to move forward.
Once in motion, Nathan Robertson was a tank. He wasn’t built like one, but his mindset made him pretty formidable.
The two Arabs in front tensed and got ready, and the one in the rear ran to get in on the action.
The only thing going through Nathan’s mind at the moment was I hope that Monkey Boxing Stuff works!
Nathan’s kid brother had gotten a hold of a Monkey Boxing Course, and they had had a ball while on leave. They had gone through the locks and holds, and practiced the weird freestyle drill for hours. It was great fun, a chance to hang with his bro, and now the proof was in the pudding. Outside of the Monkey Boxing, Nathan only had the normal military hand to hand stuff, and he didn’t think that was going to be enough for this situation.
At the point of impact Nathan drew back slightly, the Al Qaeda on the left dove in with two hands in an attempt to grapple.
Sure, as if Nathan would survive a three on one grapple.
Nathan smacked the man’s hands down and brought a knee up. The Arab’s nose exploded in red and he fell on the ground. Fortunately he fell in front of the other Arab, because the knee shot had hurt Nathan’s knee.
Darn, reality could hurt!
But, hurt or not, Nathan had no time, nor inclination, to whine about it. The second raghead–damn political correctness, there are honorable Arabs, and then there are raghead terrorists like these idiots–swung a club at him.
Nathan locked the arm, and just like it had shown on his brother’s Monkey Boxing DVD, he two stepped and whirled the terrorist into the man rushing from the rear.
The two men collided like uncoordinated lovers. The smack of their faces smashing into each other was like somebody popping a paper bag, and the one in the rear dropped his scimitar.
Nathan couldn’t help but grin. Two Monkey Boxing techniques and three bloody noses. And Sore heads when the saps woke up.
Well, that Monkey Boxing stuff had worked fine, and he was glad he knew it. And, so thinking, he exited the alley and ran for the checkpoint.

If you liked the story, you should look into Monkey Boxing. I recommend the page on Blinding Steel at Monster Martial Arts. That’s where you start. And don’t forget to pick up a free martial arts book on the home page.

Energy Flux Concept Can Be Used in Kung Fu Self Defense Techniques

This is a very easy and intuitive way to weaken your opponent simply by using an energy flux concept. This concept can be used before you use any of the kung fu self defense techniques, or before karate kumite. You can use it when any confrontation happenswhich is going to require you to use physical force on somebody.

Now, it won’t knock somebody out, I can’t guarantee  that you will win a fight, that is going to depend on the degree of dedication you apply to your normal martial arts training. But it may weaken him in a subtle way, and give you the edge in launching the first strike. I don’t know about you, but even a slight edge is something I want to bring with me to a kung fu fight, or any kind of martial arts fight.

Now, to set this concept up, you need to know something about the body, and about the energy of the body. There is a main pathway for energy which runs right up the front of the body and down the back. This pathway is a main meridian, or channel, for major energy flow in the body.

What we want to do is disrupt this energy for just an instant, and cause the opponent’s body to move more slowly. We are going to do this by reversing the energy flow in the central meridian. This is very easy to do, and will slow the opponent’s body down.

To make sure you knowhow this technique works, have a partner stand with his feet shoulder width apart and his arms straight out to the sides. Now, press down on his hands gently, and you will notice how much force you have to apply. Second, place your finger on his neck and trace a line down the center of his body to the belly button, and now press on his hands.

You should notice that he gets noticably weaker. Now ‘zip’ your finger from the belly button to the neck, and you will notice he is stronger. This quick (1 to 2 seconds) motion slows his energy down, or returns it to normal speed (depending on which way you go), and the result is weaker or stronger.

Practice this with many different people. Don’t tell them what you are doing (until after), just practice zipping and unzipping energy. After a while you will actually be able to stand back and trace the path with your moving eyes, and cause weakness or strength.

Now, depending on you and your dedication to the martial art, this may or may not take a while to accomplish. It will happen sooner if you are a dedicated martial arts fanatic, and you practice your kung fu techniques religiously, and, especially if you have matrixed your martial art and understand how energy flux theory works. That understood, that is how you use the energy flux in any kung fu self defense techniques.

If you want to know more about energy flux theory, matrixing, or the best Shaolin Kung Fu in the world, check out the courses at Monster Martial Arts.