Monday, July 30, 2007
Emin At Demonstration
The William Cheung Fight
Well, I have to say, this guy's quite a fighter.
In the previous post on Wing Chun, Jose' wrote in the comments section that he had met Emin at seminars in Spain, and the guy definately had some "attitude". The second video is a somewhat embarassing incedent where Emin challenged Master William Cheung at a seminar in Germany. No telling what started this, but Emin jumps Cheung and they go at it. The BJJ and groundfighting guys will like this; the fight goes to the ground in a tangeled mess. Two expert hitters and the fight still goes to the ground. It looks to me like after the initial blows, Emin just tries to contain Cheung, I'm sure he could have easily finished him off.
Saturday, July 28, 2007
Wing Chun Infighting
Wing Chun On The Street
Partick at Mokuren Dojo recomended several Blogs this week, one of which is "Fist Of The Red Rebel", a Wing Chun site by Adam Williss. Red Rebel has lengthy and deep analysis of all aspects of Wing Chun Kung Fu, and the site hooked me back into thinking about Wing Chun training drills.
The first video is with Sifu Emin Boztepe and assistant Michael Casey demonstrating Chi Sao, or "sticky hands".
Honestly, I see my arts approaching a fusion state; I began as a high-school wrestler, went through 2nd Dan Black belt in Tae Kwon Do (1980's), 3d Dan in Kenpo, two years Aikido, twelve years Tai Chi and countless Small-Circle Jujitsu drills via Wally and Leon Jay. The Wing Chun we learned was from Ron Ogi, the top student of James DeMile, who was Bruce Lee's student and friend.
The excellent Chi Sao demonstrated above is a piece of my personal puzzle, waiting to be inserted in it's proper place. If you review some of our video's of San-Shou, Push-Hands, lock flow and hitting drills, and imagine them all flowing into one, that's where I want to go. Due to the current popularity of ground-grappling (BJJ etc.) we've reviewed some matwork lately, but the last place I want to end up is on my back in a guard in the parking lot of a rowdy bar. Better to fight upright and get quickly back to your feet if knocked down.
The second video appears to be some kind of skinhead brawl. Notice the fighter in the black shirt takes a classical Wing Chun stance, leads with a kick and is bear-hugged by his much larger opponent. In textbook Wing Chun self-defense, he uses a elbow smash followed by a neck-crank for takedown - along with a few stomps. I don't know the source of this video, but it shows how effective a few good techniques can be against a much larger opponent.
--So I hope all you fellow Dojo Rats out there don't mind, but we may go for a bit of a Wing Chun ride here...
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
I think I have an idea about the UFC wanna-be critics that have commented on our joint-lock flows. UFC uses strong gloves with wrist support. therefore, unlike in self-defense, UFC guys don't use wrist and fingerlocks.
So here's an idea about upper-body lock-flows, and I really like this one.
--I still believe some young UFC fans don't quite get it.
The guest thrashee is our youngest Shima Dojo Rat, Zack... "Zackie Chan"
Monday, July 23, 2007
Now this is some serious Bad-Ass joint-locking action. If only other Korean styles were this agressive! I am going to look into these guys further, but in the mean time here's another UFC pinhead typing from his mother's basement:
(Re: One of our joint-lock flows Posted on YouTube
Johnf85 (1 day ago)
hey i have a question, how come they dont use this in the ufc? hahahahahaha
UFC does use joint lock flows. You must be new to this.
Johnf85 (4 hours ago)
haha no, and ufc does not have worthless akido name one match that has this crap
This kind of attitude makes me realize that there is a dark and ignorant side of UFC that that is more like teen-age Pro Wrestling fans. I am sure it's not just me that thinks this. Kids look at these guys and probably don't realize that most of them go through intensive Traditional Martial Arts training when they are young, and then achieve the MMA fighting level.
Take it for what it is, the UFC is here to stay. It has brought a dose of reality to our fighting systems, but like every fight sport it degrades and waters down street self-defense because there are safety rules and referee's, not to mention the danger of relying on groundfighting among people who could put the boot to you.
I have a feeling we will be posting on this for a while...
Sunday, July 22, 2007
From "Martial Tai Chi"
Joanna Zorya from the excellent website "Martial Tai Chi" has been in somewhat of a disagreement with Scott and his readers at "Weakness With A Twist".
Joanna's "Martial Tai Chi" site is dedicated to de-bunking the concept of Qi (Chi) as a necessity to the combat aspects of Tai Chi Chuan. Scott Phillips leans more to the Chi side of the argument, and Ol' Dojo Rat here falls somewhere in the middle.
Joanna's site offers a number of very well thought out articles such as "A Practical Guide To Qi", "The Trouble With Qi" and "The Rise And Fall Of A Martial Art". She also has short video clips of fighting techniques That are not only practical but follow all principles of the Internal Arts without emphasising Chi flow and other esoteric methodology. As she states in her writing, as maximum Yin (soft) will turn to Yang (hard), the Tai Chi Chuan community at large is seeking to recover the lost applications of their art, which has been absorbed into the "New Age" movement.
Readers of The Dojo Rat Blog know that I too am extremely frustrated with Tai Chi practitioners that have absolutely no clue with what they are doing in the forms. It drives me crazy that I know twenty-year practitioners that can't even demonstrate push hands let alone self defense techniques. My Tai Chi Chuan class includes both.
But here's where I split with Joanna; I can not completely reject the notion of Chi.
Even if thinking in terms of Chi is just some kind of meta-programming, or self hypnosis, I believe it is a useful process. Much of Chi Kung is visualization, and even professional atheletes have proven how visualization improves performance.
While I realize that the "Chi Freaks" can spin into a zone of impracticality, There are things I have experianced that suggest evidence of the unknown. We all experiance premonitions, hints of psychic flashes, dreams that provide insight. Neither modern science or myself can tell you just how my dowsing rods allow me to find buried water and electrical lines (a subject I may do an entire post on later).
To reject the concept of Chi (Qi) completely is to also reject the essence of the magical and beautifully interconnected world we live in.
Joanna's "Martial Tai Chi" site has some of the most thought provoking articles I have read on this subject, and the thread at Scott's "Weakness With A Twist" is a great discourse between various knowledgeable practitioners. Check 'em out at the links above.
Thursday, July 19, 2007
The Pagans are pissed off about this one, from Sky News in the UK:
Pagans have pledged to perform "rain magic" to wash away cartoon character Homer Simpson after he was painted next to their famous fertility symbol - the Cerne Abbas giant.
The 17th century chalk outline of the naked, sexually aroused, club-wielding giant is believed by many to be a symbol of ancient spirituality.
Many couples also believe the 180ft giant, which is carved in the hillside above Cerne Abbas, Dorset, is an aid to fertility.
A giant 180ft Homer Simpson brandishing a doughnut was painted next to the well-endowed figure in a publicity stunt to promote The Simpsons Movie released later this month.
It has been painted with water-based biodegradable paint which will wash away as soon as it rains.
Ann Bryn-Evans, joint Wessex district manager for The Pagan Federation, said: "It's very disrespectful and not at all aesthetically pleasing.
"We were hoping for some dry weather but I think I have changed my mind. We'll be doing some rain magic to bring the rain and wash it away."
She added: "I'm amazed they got permission to do something so ridiculous. It's an area of scientific interest."
Here's the link...
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Pat over at Mokuren Dojo has started a discussion on "What is a warrior"? You can follow the thread on the Convocation of Combat Arts Forum here.
I have been reading "365 Tao, Daily Meditations" by Deng Ming-Dao. There is a short reading for every day of the year, and this is the one I read this morning:
Can you be both martial and spiritual?
Can you overcome your ultimate opponent?
To be martial requires dicipline, courage and perseverance. It has nothing to do with killing. People fail to look beyond this one narrow aspect of being a warrior and so overlook all the other excellent qualities that can be gained from training. A warrior is not a cruel murderer. A warrior is a protector of ideals, principle, and honor. A warrior is noble and heroic.
A warrior will have many opponents in a lifetime, but the ultimate opponent is the warrior's own self. Within a fighters personality are a wide array of demons to be conquered: fear, laziness, ignorance, selfishness, egotism and so many more. To talk of overpowering other people is inconsequential. to actually overcome one's own defects is the true nature of victory. That is why so many religions depict warriors in their iconography. These images are not symbols for dominating others. Rather they are symbols for the ferocity and determination that we need to overcome the demons within ourselves.
If you have any additional thoughts, check in at the link to the forum above-
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Film maker Floyd Webb at "Searching For Count Dante" continues to find fascinating material on the martial arts in Chicago in the 1940's through the 1960's. One of his recent posts cites a publicized match between Judo master Masato Tamura and American wrestler Karl Porjello. Tamura was a highly regarded master in Chicago at the time, and is remembered for secretly teaching martial arts to black students at a time when this was unheard of.
Buried in a link provided in Webbs post is this interesting history of Boxing in Japan in the 1920's - Here's a snippet:
Watanabe also told the reporter that boxing was well suited to developing Japanese he-men. First, he said, the sport classified boxers according to weight. Thus stature was irrelevant and everyone got to compete equally. Second, participation built character by encouraging participants to do their best. But most importantly, said Watanabe, if the Japanese were to compete internationally, then "boxing is the best medium, for it is a universal sport today. Its progress after the World War has been astonishing."
Ironically, the "he-men" developed by Japanese collegiate boxing were as often Korean as Japanese. The first Korean champions to be mentioned by name in Japan Times appear to have been Ko of Meiji, Ko of Nihon University, and Jo of the Nihon Boxing Club, all of whom won matches in the Meiji Jingu Games of November 1929. It is possible that Jo was Teiken Jo, who was later ranked sixth in the world.
The reason was that most Japanese boys who liked combative sports liked judo and kendo better than boxing. Furthermore, when the Japanese schoolboys did box, it was often politely. For example, in February 1931 Kari Yado wrote in the Japan Times that during bouts between Japanese students, whenever one "delivered a hard blow, he would apologize by bowing his head slightly or by showing a friendly look in his eyes. There was no knockout in those days. When a boxer began bleeding in his nose, a cry of horror went up [Promoter Yujiro] Watanabe had a hard time explaining to the student boxers that they need not and should not refrain from hitting a groggy opponent. 'You must cultivate the spirit of manliness,' he roared."
Koreans, though, were subject to all kinds of discrimination and therefore found boxing clubs good places to safely and happily punch Japanese in the nose.
Sunday, July 15, 2007
From The Chicago Sun Times:
'Give me your money' -- make that a hug
July 15, 2007
WASHINGTON -- Police on Capitol Hill are baffled by an attempted robbery that began with a handgun put to the head of a 14-year-old girl and ended in a group hug.
It started about midnight June 16 when friends were finishing dinner outside a D.C. home, authorities and witnesses said. That's when a hooded man pointed a handgun at the girl's head.
''Give me your money, or I'll start shooting,'' he said, according to the witnesses.
One guest replied, "Why don't you have a glass of wine with us?'' said Cristina Rowan.
The intruder had a sip of Chateau Malescot St-Exupery and said, ''Damn, that's good wine.''
The would-be robber took another sip and put the gun in his sweat pants.
Then the man apologized.
''I think I may have come to the wrong house,'' he said. ''Can I get a hug?''
Rowan wrapped her arms around the man, and the four other guests followed.
The man walked away a few moments later. The group called 911. AP
Saturday, July 14, 2007
A Black Taoist Production
While we are on a movie theme, Black Taoist has been producing some pretty funny Kung-Fu comedy. While it's nowhere near the quality of this violent production by Our favorite "Black Belt Mama" (scroll down to video), it's still pretty damned funny.
Thursday, July 12, 2007
In a follow-up to my previous post on the UFC I thought it somewhat appropriate to run this video from HBO's excellent show "Deadwood". The background is a long-awaited fight between the enforcers for compeating intrests in the rapidly growing gold town of Deadwood, South Dakota. In this scene, Swearingen's man Dan Fights Hurst's man "The Captain", and it ain't pretty. If people can get beyond the murder, mayhem and non-stop swearing in this series, I highly reccomend it- it's available through netflicks.
The point of all this is this is how a real fight took place in the old days. My suggestion to all those UFC fans is that the UFC has rules because it is a sport. There can be no finger-locking, vital point or pressure point striking. There is a referee that can stop the fight.
Take a look at this post from Scott at "Weakness With A Twist". It describes a nearly similar fight that took place. Here's an excerpt:
The…sport of bragging and fighting was also introduced to the American backcountry, where it came to be called “rough and tumble.” ….it was a savage combat between two or more males (occasionally females), which sometimes left the contestants permanently blinded or maimed. A graphic description of “rough and tumble” came from the Irish traveler Thomas Ashe, who described a fight between a West Virginian and a Kentuckian. A croud gathered and arranged itself into an impromptu ring. The contestants were asked if they wished to “fight fair” or “rough and tumble.” When the chose “rough and tumble,” a roar of approval rose from the multitude. the two men entered the ring, and a few ordinary blows were exchanged in a tentative manner. Then suddenly the Virginian “contracted his whole form, drew his arms to his face,” and “pitched himself into the bosom of his opponent,” sinking his sharpened fingernails into the Kentuckian’s head. “The Virinain,” we are told, “never lost his hold…fixing his clows in his hair and his thumbs on his eyes, [he] have them a start from the sockets. The sufferer roared aloud, but uttered no complaint.” Even after the eyes were gouged out, the struggle continued. The Virginian fastened his teeth on the Kentuckian’s nose and bit it in two pieces. Then he tore off the Kentuckian’s ears. At last, the “Kentuckian, deprived or eyes, ears, and nose, gave in.” The victor, himself maimed and bleeding, was “chaired round the grounds,” to the cheers of the crowd.(p. 737)
So, for those that think UFC is the only way to test your fighting skills, there are a lot of techniques you are not training for...
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
We had posted our last joint lock flow drill last week and got this comment on YouTube:
MJED1978 (1 week ago)
that isnt gonna work dude
try that in ufc and get your ass handed to you
And here is the response of my training partner, who was working me over in the video we made:
Response: (1 week ago)
Thank you for your input. If you listen to my opening comments on the video, I state that I would never intend to fight in this exact sequence. Rather, it is a matter of applying principles in motion. You compare these moves to what you see in the UFC....Several years back I was fortunate to share a teaching seminar with UFC fighter Matt Hume....His segment was all about joint lock flow on the floor; beautiful stuff, and very effective in the UFC as well.
(D.R.) With a little digging I found this compilation of UFC fights that all end in a joint lock or choke. If you watch, you will see that all the fighters TRANSITION AND FLOW into the final technique that ends the fight.
So MJED1978, '78 probably being the year of your birth, I've been pounding on dudes since before you were born. I can tell you thet these drills are very important to develop spontaneous reaction controlling someone in a fight.
Furthermore, not every confrontation can be resolved by hitting someone. Professionals, policemen, bouncers or people catching shoplifters can't beat on people.
Make sense now?
Monday, July 9, 2007
The Men Who Stare At Goats
Pat over at Mokuren Dojo posted This Review of Richard Strozzi-Heckler's book "In Search Of The Warrior Spirit", a book I had reccomended because Aikido is part of the theme. As Pats review suggests, the book touches on the difficulty of an Aikido instructor's experiance teaching a group of Green Berets in a special military program. This program used sensitivity and bio-feedback in an attempt to create a super-soldier. Heckler obviously did not realize how deep the entire program went, which is detailed in Jon Ronson's "The Men Who Stare At Goats". Ronson gives the entire (unclassified) background of "The First Earth Battalion", which used Psychic Spies and other unorthodox warfare with mixed results. For instance, assassin training included developing photographic memories, to walk into a room and know at an instant where every pencil, chair, ashtray or other potential weapon lay, down to minute details. The title refers to a special lab, "The Goat Lab", where a large group of goats were kept. The subject would concentrate his psychic energy on one goat, and kill it while sitting in a room nearby. It is not exactly clear how well this worked, but Ronson's sources said at times it was performed successfully. You can see the obvious implications of this. Ronson travels across the country, interviewing people who were involved in the secret program, including martial artists that train assassins.
Now, most of us don't go for this Woo-Woo side of the martial arts, which borders on the occult. None-the-less, the military (and not just ours) is involved in this stuff. Here is a post from last January I did on "No Touch Knockouts" Which I have witnessed, performed by various Masters, with mixed results. There is a guy on YouTube who is offering thousands of dollars to anyone who can do one of these "no touch knockouts" to him, and I don't think he has had any takers.
The bottom line is, the U.S. military thinks this stuff may work, and has been involved in these types of training programs. I have read accounts of the Russians, who have been ahead of the Americans in all things Psychic, training their elite killers in this also.
Ronson's book opens a view into a dark world of Psuedo-science and the military-occult industrial complex. It takes up where Heckler's "In Search Of The Warrior's Spirit leaves off. "The Men Who Stare At Goats" is a quick read and is suprisingly humorous, considering the subject. It's also chock-full of martial artists that he interviews along the way.
Friday, July 6, 2007
Here's a nice example of some push-hands techniques that I think transfer well into self defense application. This instructor appears to be able to develop some real throwing power. It appears effortless not because of power, but his keen sense of the physics involved. You can call it Yin-Yang action, or push-pull, but his best tosses involve letting one side go, or yield, go yin while the other side goes yang and pushes or shoves out. Sometimes it looks like he is holding the steering wheel of a large truck and making a sharp turn. Of course, he convienently has his leg posted as a fulcrum to rotate his opponent around.
The other thing I see is that one way he captures the opponents center is by locking a limb (arm) straight and connecting right to the center-- the other is to collapse the arm, fold it up to provide the links of a chain that can be wound into a chin-na joint lock. I'd love to train with this guy. His website is www.wudanginternal.com
Wednesday, July 4, 2007
All of us will spend time today reflecting on the state of our Nation, and more importantly the world at large.
I am old enough to have lived through the horror of the killings of Jack and Robert Kennedy, Martin Luther King, the shootings at Kent State, Vietnam, Watergate, and The blatant disregard of the rule of law and the United States Constitution during Iran-Contra.
What do all these events have in common? The answer is the progressives, the peace marchers, the working poor always get killed.
I had friends that traveled to Central America in the 1960's. They told me that every small house had two pictures on the wall; one was of Jesus and the other one was President John F. Kennedy. What has happened to the benevolent nature of our good country? Have we entirely lost our way? For those of you out there that have children, what are we leaving them to deal with in the future?
In countries like Russia or China, when the population gets a little uppity they simply roll out the guns and tanks to quiet things down. In our country, very sophisticated propaganda is necessary. So between the Paris Hilton news stories there are complex "framing" issues, such as terms like "healthy forest initiative" which allows nearly unlimited logging, and the "clear skies initiative" which actually allows for more air pollution. We are currently experiancing a case of "the pot calling the kettle black", in which those who are charged with protecting our great nation are the ones who will sacrifice one of their own CIA agents in a shameful cover-up of the lies that were used to lead us to war. We all know this is but the tip of the iceberg, with our Titantic steaming along loaded with torture scandals, illegal spying on United States citizens, stolen elections, huge corporate scandals and generally the most corrupt administration in recent United States history. For the first time in memory, it is against the law to hold a protest sign in view of the President. To question the actions of government is considered un-American. We all know this is wrong. Those that follow history realize the founding fathers of our country are rolling over in their graves. Let's hope there is time to turn this ship around, to save it's passengers and live to sail another day.
Our friends are sharing quotes of famous Americans today, so I too will offer these:
"If Fascism comes to America it would be on a program of Americanism" - Huey P. Long, governor and senator from Lousiana, 1935 -- and
"Any people anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up and shake off the existing government and form a new one that suits them better. This is a most valuable and sacred right- a right we hope and believe is to liberate the world". - Abraham Lincoln, 1848
Monday, July 2, 2007
Here we are in our joint-lock flow drill #6, I think we have about nine of them. Once again, this is not a fighting sequence, it is a learning drill. This is all about sensing and adapting to the movements of the opponent. Believe me, my friend Corey could have cranked on me and hurt me bad at any time during this locking sequence. I have tried to resist before and had a near dislocation. With that in mind, we try to run this drill with smoothe continuity and take all the slack out of the linkages involving the locks. This drill is representitive of the Small-Circle Jujitsu system of Wally and Leon Jay, and is very effective when combined with hitting skills.