Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Animal Techniques Part 3

 The Crane represents grace, balance and breathing. The Crane prefers to work at a distance from the opponent and at angle off-line from his attacks. This can involve using long range striking to keep an attacker away, short range strikes like knees and elbows to drive an attacker back, or creating space while grappling in order to set up a reversal or counter attack. Effective use of Crane requires the development of balance.  With a calm and quiet nature, its movements are soft, relaxed and circular. However, they are explosive and can be used in close or at a distance. The Crane has excellent balance and is very good at disturbing the balance of others. The Crane is very aware and evasive. Many underestimate the Crane's power. It doesn't have much body weight, but it utilizes it very well and it positions itself effectively. The Crane has excellent stances, but its understanding of being in the proper position at the proper time is probably its most valuable resource.

Friday, April 24, 2020

Animal Techniques Part 2

Leopard this time:

The Leopard represents speed and agility. The Leopard is more precise than the tiger. Leopard strategy uses speed and angulation to confuse and overwhelm an opponent. Leopard strategy uses rapid fire striking combinations to attack multiple targets from every conceivable angle. The result is an opponent who doesn’t know where to defend and is always open to attack. Training in Leopard strategy involves developing speed and agility.   The Leopard's power is primarily produced from a loose, relaxed, whip-like action generated by speed and balance as well as limber waist and hips movements. The Leopard employs many crushing techniques and a lot of Internal strikes with the hands. It gets in close to do its damage. From The Leopard, we learn speed and agility in our techniques. The Leopard is extremely fast and angular. It is noted for its sudden changes of movement and varied angles of attack.

Sunday, June 09, 2019

What is Self-Defense: Kenpo Jiu-Jitsu by James Mitose

This classic is back in print. My copy was printed in the early 1980s. The original was printed back in 1953. Most of the Keno/Kempo taught in the United States traces directly back to James Mitose, and the most famous of his students, William Chow.

Sunday, July 08, 2018

Animal Techniques

The branch of Shaolin Kempo I study has a lot of "kempo" techniques.  These are similar to the combinations, but are not numbered, and are not rank required techniques.

Personally, I like teaching kempos.  Plenty of interesting techniques that isn't in the forms and combinations.  I throw a lot of them at my students, with the goal of having them remember the ones that work well them.

Some are sorted by the traditional five Shaolin animals.  That method helps in remembering them as well.  If you have two of each animal, you have ten kempos right off the bat.

When the students hit the brown/black levels, I want them to start identifying the animal techniques by principle, not just because their teacher told them so. So I put together short description of the principles of each of the five animals.  Here is the description of tiger techniques.  I'm starting with Tiger, because I like Tiger techniques.

 Tiger is an offensive strategy that deals with using committed force and structural alignment to attack with maximum power. The Tiger represents courage, tenacity and power.  By learning to use their whole body as a single unit, students exposed to Tiger are able to generate the most power possible. The Tiger relies on frontal assault, aggression, and power. Ripping and tearing as it moves always pressing. The Tiger is very powerful, direct and aggressive. The Tiger commits its entire mind and body into each move. There is no hesitation in the Tigers mind.  Tiger strategy is very effective when an opponent is trying to maintain distance using Crane.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Quart of Blood Technique

I'm a big movie buff, so I have a habit of using obscure movie references.

A classic example is the "Quart of Blood Technique."

The term comes from the 1983 comedy "Trading Places."

In order to establish cred (and not get his ass kicked) in jail, one of the characters demonstrates a martial arts move called the "Quart of Blood Technique."  That is because when you are finished with the technique, a quart of blood drops out of your opponent.  He learned because he is a "Chain Belt."

I use the term for a technique that will seriously harm your opponent.  "If you have to drop your foe quickly, and you don't want them getting back up, and there are no witnesses, what technique would you use?  That would be your "Quart of Blood Technique.""

Ya, it's goofy, but then so am I, and I teach a lot of teenagers.  It sticks in their head and makes them think.

How much is a quart of blood?  It's two pints, or double what you lose in a standard blood donation.
There are approximately 10 pints in an adult human.  So a quart is about 20% of the total amount of blood.  Loss of 40% (two quarts) is considered fatal.   Losing 20% quickly is no fun either.  Rapid drop in blood pressure.  Then they will probably continue to bleed.  So an actual Quart of Blood technique is nothing to joke about.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Observations on 3 Combination

I was watching YouTube videos on 3 Combination today.

There are lot of them.  Many of them want to 'fix' problems with combination.

IMO, those problems come from not executing 3 Combination correctly.

For example, the second strike is not a back fist.  It's a back two knuckle punch.  The person in the video made a good point about hurting the bones in the back of your hand if you missed the target with a back fist.  The replacement strike he offered in the place of the back fist was a hammer strike, which is the same as the back fist in gross motor skills. I still prefer the back two knuckle punch, which is a linear strike, as opposed the circular strike of the back fist or hammer.

There are also a lot of good videos that show some interesting variations of 3 combination.  I'll post links to those later.

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

True words

In practice, never allow speed to replace good form.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Things I want work on in my next class

Two Man Fist Set
Wrist and other joint locks
Take down techniques 

The order of the last two is important. 

Monday, October 19, 2015

Butterfly Swords

So I've got a few years of butterfly sword work in.  Now to start teaching a form to some of my students. 

Monday, April 06, 2015

A note on uniform sizes

Just a note on “traditional” martial arts uniforms.   I’ m not under the “bell” in their sizing curve.

To get a uniform that fits without tailoring, I wear a size 7 top and size 5 pants.  

Thursday, February 05, 2015

New Class

My teaching schedule has changed.

I'm now running the Adult Black Belt Classes.

I've done Black Belt only classes before and they are fun.  Especially when you have Sandan & Yondan's in the class.  

You can go deeper into concepts and principles, which is way cool.

Spend most of last class digging into Swift Tigers with the upper ranks.  

The lower ranks were analyzing each other doing Six Kata.  A good skill for them to develop.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Eight hands of the Leopard

One of the other black belts at the school (Tom) found this technique.

I like it.  Interested in your opinions.

I like that the opening block is counted in the "eight hands."  That fits with my "blocking is striking, striking is blocking" mantra.

Monday, April 07, 2014

I hope this isn't one of your students

I really hope this isn't one of your students.

First off, I've got over three decades of active martial arts experience as well as a similar amount of time in the computer networking field.  I've been on line longer than the existence of the WWW, and have been active on various martial arts forums over that time.  I've hosted and updated the Kempo/Kenpo FAQ since the early 90s, and have a Kempo blog I infrequently update. Over the decades of doing research for the FAQ, I've communicated with system founders, system inheritors, and senior Masters.  Who have been, with few but notable exceptions, extremely polite and well spoken.  

Then you get the trolls.  For example, here is an email exchanges I had right after I got home from work today.

Random person with  a gmail account (RPwaGA): "What about Kempo system x?"    [names withheld to protect other people associated with that system]

My reply: "Tell me about.  Is there a web site with data on it you recommend?"

RPwaGA: "Google"

My Reply: "Let me guess.  You don’t work in marketing."

RPwaGA: "Nope. But I am not going to do your research for you. Unless of course you pay me."

My Reply: "So you want me to do the research to promote your system and you’re talking about me paying you?
You don’t have a sales background either. :-)"

RPwaGA: "You wrote an online article. If you are not going to list one of the oldest kempo arts around, then your article is not only biased, but inaccurate."

These is where I refer to two old Internet terms, "Killfile" and "Plonk."
My background is on line.  A good chunk of my research is on line.
As I've said, I've contacted, and have been contacted by, system founders and other heads of systems, and for the vast majority of them, have had very pleasant, informative conversations on various styles of Kempo.

This person brings none of that to the table.  No history, no background, no common courtesy, just rudeness, insults, and, as the Star Trek nerds say, he has "no guramba."

Seriously, rec.martial-arts had 13 year olds with a Sailor Moon fetish who troll better.

I hope this is not a student of anyone on this forum.  If he is, please have a quiet talk with him about common courtesy and respect.  It's been my experience that those are goals most martial arts should strive for.

Monday, July 01, 2013

Jim Kelly, R.I.P.

I just found out that Jim Kelly died yesterday of cancer in San Diego.

Jim Kelly, best known for his role as Williams in Enter the Dragon, was a martial arts instructor before he started doing movies.  He also had a successful career as a tennis pro after his film career.

I own some of his other movies, including Black Belt Jones and Black Samurai.  Excellent martial artist, a much better actor than his B-Movie career gave him credit for, and from what I hear, a gentleman to his last breath.