Monday, September 30, 2013

Telescopic Baton on TV: Lucy Liu in Elementary S02E01

I'm starting another project. Making animated GIF's of the Telescopic Baton in TV and Movies, much like one of my other projects, namely, making animated GIF's of the Balisong in Movies and TV.

Leading off this series is Lucy Liu as Dr. Joan Watson in the CBS TV series, Elementary. Elementary is an updated telling of the great detective, Sherlock Holmes, bringing him into modern times and setting him in New York City. Partnered with a female Dr. Watson, the duo help NYPD solve crimes. The first episode of the second season broadcasted on this past Thursday, Sep. 26, 2013. It featured Liu's Dr. Watson stopping a Bad Guy running away from Sherlock Holmes in Washington Square Park.

Liu has mentioned she has had Filipino Martial Arts training in this LA Times magazine interview:

I’ve heard that you train regularly in martial arts.
I studied kali-eskrima-silat [Filipino sword and stick fighting] when I was young. I thought it was really beautiful, and I wanted a hobby, so I started doing that. It came in handy for a couple of projects, but people make it out like I’m some expert, and I’m not. I studied for some films, but if somebody came up and tried to judo chop me, they could probably get the best of me.

Liu has also used the baton in her movie with Antonio Banderas, Ballistic:  Ecks vs Sever. At some point in the near future, I will be making animated GIF's from that movie.

Another 2 movies with Baton usage that comes to mind are Clint Eastwood's In the Line of Fire and Jennifer Lopez with George Clooney in Out of Sight. If you know of more, please let me know.

Enjoy Lucy Liu in action with a Telescopic Baton!

Please check out another animated GIF set I made of Lucy Liu with not one but two telescopic batons!

In case you missed the entries in my Balisong Knife in Movies series please check out:

For other Elementary GIF Sets, please check out:

Some of Fedor's fights (9 Full fights)

Years ago we hardly had anything to eat. Now I earn more money and I see every opponent as a man that tries to put me back to that poorer period. That man has to be eliminated.” 
~Fedor Emelianenko

Saturday, 9/28/13, was Fedor's 37th birthday which I posted about here:

Today, in celebration, here are 9 of his fights in full.


Fedor vs Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira I (Mar 16, 2003)

Fedor vs Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira II (Aug 15, 2004)

Fedor vs Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira III (Dec 31, 2004)


Fedor vs CroCop (Aug 28, 2005)

Fedor vs Mark Hunt (Dec 31, 2006)

Fedor vs Andrei Arlovski (Jan 24, 2009)

Fedor vs Brett Rogers (Nov 7, 2009)

Fedor vs Dan Henderson (July 30. 2011)

Fedor vs Pedro Rizzo (last fight before retirement) (June 21, 2012)

Of Fedor's 40 (well 39, as one was a No Contest) fights, which is your favorite?

For more information on Fedor, please check out the following links:

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Vunak's Top 50 Combat Secrets Ch. 32

Chapter 32 – A Successful School

When we say a successful school, we must first define the criteria for success ? Some people’s definition of success is purely motivated by finances, other people’s definition of success is having a school of kick ass fighters that does well on the sport circuit. Be it jiu-jitsu, mma, boxing, kickboxing, etc… (This type of success tends to satiate one’s ego in lieu of one’s wallet).

My definition of success for school owners, is that a school provides a balance for them. The balance by which we are referring is between finances and your own personal training. In many cases, in our quest to have a successful school, there is too much emphasis on teaching and not enough emphasis on one’s personal training.

As Inosanto has told me repeatedly for over 30 years, our school should be our job and our sand box to play in at the same time.

A successful martial arts school is a combination of brick and mortar and flesh and blood. What do I mean by this? Back in the 60’s and 70’s we saw schools popping up under the auspices of a franchise. What I mean by this is if someone had a big name, they would parlay their name into a chain of schools. Chuck Norris had a chain of schools, the Tracy brother’s had their chain of schools, Ed Parker had his chain of schools, etc, etc… (This is the flesh and blood paradigm). This business paradigm of the times did not require that the schools look good, did not require that they were equipped well, hell it did not even require that they were hygienic. However, people came, that business paradigm was a success for a while, but like building a house on a foundation of sand, it eventually crumbled.

As we got into the 80’s the business model shifted, and school owners no longer had to be stars, or champions, the only requirement in the 80’s was that the schools were decked out. When you came into a school in those days it looked like a 24 hour fitness. Equipped with wooden dummies, matts, bags, etc… This particular paradigm of the 80s, what I like to call the brick and mortar paradigm, was also successful for a while, and it also eventually failed miserably. Students would go to the same classes, being taught the same stuff by a litany of mediocre student/instructors. These instructors of the times did not need talent, fighting ability or even personality. All they needed was their very large decked out / expensive facility.

As we fast forward to 2010 and review this subject again, it is quite obvious, that the contemporary paradigm has way more to do with brick and mortar and way less to do with flesh and blood. And this is the epicenter of our topic this Sunday.

95 out of 100 school owners now a days, are absolutely anonymous. By this I mean they have no reputation as fighters, no reputation as teachers, and have put far too many of their eggs into their school, and far too few of their eggs into themselves. (At this point I shall attempt to address the 5 greatest ways that one can one can put their eggs into “themselves”).

#1 Become an author, and write articles for magazines.
The nano-second anything is put into writing, the writer is automatically assumed an expert. And “you” the writer also becomes a star. And finally you the writer gets one more thing… each article is a minimum of 6 pages long. Each full page costs roughly 2 grand in advertising. You the writer gets to advertise yourself and your school, through black belt magazine or Inside Kung-Fu, whatever, with what would equate to a $12,000 ; once this process gets up running, one can advertise in 5 magazines each month, which is $60,000 in adds, and literally do this in perpetuity.

#2. Make your own instructional video tape.
Just like one who writes their own articles, one who stars in their own video tapes, is also projecting authenticity and recognition. When I made my first video tape in 1985, I remember spending back then, $10,000. Now that same process can be done for under $1000. Each video tape, back in 1985, cost $7 a piece ! Now a days, an entire 8 DVD set can be done for under 6 bucks. In simple numbers, if one sells a 6 dvd set for $100, and simply just sells one package per day, they would be making $36,000 a year, for free advertising.

#3. Travel the World Teaching Seminars.
As long as you have something cutting edge to offer. And as long as you have some sort of name / some sort of reputation it is guaranteed that their will be school owners world wide that will want to bring you in to do a seminar. If you do, 1 seminar per month, and your fee for the seminar is $2000, and you sell 10 of your tapes while you are there, you are now promoting your school, and yourself for free, while making another $36,000 a year.  

#4. Further Your Authenticity as An Author, and Write your Own Book !
It is one thing to own a martial art school, and it is something all together different to be an author who owns a martial art school. I can speak for myself when I say, my career, took off more, when I wrote my first book, than anything else I’ve done. When one is an author, they are not looked at, as the Rocky esq type guy, who is simply a fighter/thug. When one writes their own book, there is a genuine respect, inherent, with someone not only physical but cerebral. Now lets talk money, I will not reveal any of my personal figures to you, however this I will say, I make more money with my books, than all of my videos put together !

#5. Now I have saved the best for last. (Intensive Personal Training Programs) 
There are 1/10 of 1% of martial artists on this planet, that have acquired sufficient clout, respect, and reputation to pull off the most lucrative and personally fulfilling aspect of martial arts today, Intensive Personal Training Programs… We have invented, formulated, and perfected the art of flying in anyone from all over the world, training them for 2 days, and completely metamorphoses these folks into fighters. And in tandem with this persons new abilities, we certify them as an apprentice instructor in Bruce Lee’s Jeet Kune Do.

From this point on whoever receives this certification can count on doubling their income for the rest of their days. It is our experience that people literally trip over themselves to be certified in Bruce Lee’s Jeet Kune Do. And that is why, it is so important to us to create instructors, with appropriate scruples to not take advantage of this fact. In conclusion, please allow me to sum up the theme of our topic. It is my opinion that school owners now a days, put too much emphasis on their schools, and too little emphasis on themselves. Over the past 30 years, and literally thousands of trials and tribulations, we have concluded that the aforementioned 5 ways, are the most expedient route to financial success. In summing up… Attempt to become an author and write for major magazines. (When the average person attempts this feet they will find that their articles are put on a waiting list for up to 3 years). For all of our members, I circumvent this process, help edit your article, and get it on the editors desk within a month ! #2 attempt to make your own instructional video tape. When the average person tries to make their own video tape, it literally looks like something Clark Griswald put together in his spare time. It has taken me 20 years, and thousands of permeations in order to find the write formula for a successful videotape. For all of our members, you fly out to California, and I literally produce, direct, and star in your own instructional video tape for you. When you leave my home in one weekend, you will have a product, that you can sell and be proud of for the rest of your life. #3 When the average person attempts to advertise themselves, for seminars, they will find few people are interested in flying them in. For all of our members I give you our professional official certificates, with Bruce Lee embossed on the background! I sign one signature as Head Instructor, and my members sign the other signature as Instructors. Once again the recipient of this certificate is now certified in our Company Progressive Fighting Systems, as an apprentice instructor in Bruce Lee’s Jeet Kune Do. #4 When the average person attempts to write a book, they will find that they have spent several months, lots of hard work, and at the end of the day, they will have nothing but a hand full of papers. This is due to the fact, that it is very difficult to get a book published. Without the right publishers, that book doesn’t mean much. For all of our members, we have our own publishing company. Additionally, we work in tandem with several other publishing companies, included but not limited to Black Belt, Inside Kung-Fu and Century. #5 When the average person advertises for Intensive Personal Training Courses, ie, individuals flying across the country for training, they will find that they have done nothing but waist, advertising dollars. There is not substantial motivation to justify such a trip in most peoples eyes. Does anyone know the next 5 words that I am about to say ? … You got it…

    For all of my members, they can advertise certifying someone in Bruce Lee’s Jeet Kune Do.
Furthermore this certificate will be accompanied by my signature and endorsed by Progressive Fighting Systems!

Good Luck, God bless, Happy New Year, Love Vu !

Please check the Table of Contents for links to other chapters of this Online Book.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Happy 37th Birthday Fedor!

Today is Fedor Emelianenko's 37th birthday!

Fedor's accolades are many including one of the greatest MMA heavyweights of all time as well as one of the greatest MMA fighters of all time!

Enjoy these video clips!

Highlight clip

Celebrities discusses Fedor

Training compilation

Happy 37th Birthday Fedor!!

Which is your favorite Fedor fight?

For more information on Fedor, please check out the following links:

Vunak's Top 50 Combat Secrets Ch. 31

Chapter 31 – The first minute of the fight part 2

Guys… this particular chapter obviously hit a cord. As we were flooded with emails and questions, which included but were not limited to several “Yeah Buts”. Please forgive the fact that I am going to be bouncing around a little bit as the impetus of part two was based on several questions, that I will try to answer.

What is the best weapon to hit somebody with, should I go to the eyes or the groin first ? Is it true that a better first shot is initiated if we can fool the opponent to look the other direction either verbally or with our eyes ? Which lead should I be in when I initiate my first shot ? Questions that all have this general tenor, assume one thing, and that is that we are in a range to already hit our opponent, furthermore it is us that gets to choose which blow and which target. The problem with this is a simple one, if you can hit the opponent he can hit you. If you can jab the opponents eyes, the opponent can jab your eyes. Therefore the first rule of Jeet Kune Do is to Intercept. In order for an interception to occur, we must be outside the range of our opponent.

If an altercation looks like it’s going to escalate into something physical, in those first seconds of the match one needs to get in a safe range(Bruce Lee named this period Preliminary Analysis). As you see in part 2, we are reverse engineering Bruce’s process to help give you guys the whys.

Now our particular altercation takes us up to, stepping out in to a safe range during our preliminary analysis, taking a deep breath and beginning Phase 2.

Phase 2 has us relaxed in a fighting stance, breathing, and in safe range. Conversely, our opponent is doing none of the above, and out of rage and stupidity, the opponent is encroaching upon us, in order for his attack. Now using Bruce Lee’s # 1 principle of economy of motion, we strike with our longest weapon to the opponent’s closest target. This is of course the shuffle kick to the groin.

This will do one of two things. It will either end the fight completely. Or create a relationship between you and your opponent, where you are the puppeteer and the opponent is your puppet. When you hit the groin, the opponent’s in pain. When we fake the groin, the opponent drops his hands, and then we attack the eyes. Then we reverse this process, fake the eyes, and then go to the groin. This second stage of the fight Bruce appropriately named “Pot Shotting”.

I will begin Phase 3 by answering a few questions. I stated that our phase 3 termination was elbows, knees, headbutts, and biting. This facilitated several questions… Is there anything more violent than that ? Is that the very limit ? My answer is a definitive no, hell no ! If one is in the middle of their phase 3 rally, with headbutts, elbows, and knees, and know that there are two other guys in the wings while our assault out of the Thai clinch is occurring, one may step it up by of course grabbing a bottle, breaking it, with repeated jabs and soonketties to everyone’s face in the bar, combining this with projectile weaponry, pool balls, bottles, and Kinamutai face bites that would make Hannibal lector look timid.

One escalates the game to these heights to protect their family during a lethal mass attack, once any of these blows land, people tend to scream and bleed profusely. And we use this asymmetric military paradigm to affect our escape. I hope this answers all of your questions…

Please check the Table of Contents for links to other chapters of this Online Book.

Friday, September 27, 2013

IN MEMORY OF: Mangisursuro Mike Inay (Dec 11, 1944 - Sep 27, 2000)

Source photo:

13 years ago today Mangisursuro Inay passed away. He was one of Manong Angel Cabales students as well as Manong Max Sarmiento's. I've never had the honor of training with him. One of his students, Ray Terry, used to run the Eskrima-Digest, an emailing list discussing the Filipino Martial Arts. It was a staple of the FMA scene in the 1990's into early 2000's. With the advent of WWW forums and Facebook, Eskrima Digest shut down. Many FMA luminaries were regulars on ED as well as other Martial Arts/Self-Defense notable instructors.

Here are some video clips in remembrance:

Inayan System of Eskrima - Father and Son

Progressive Inayan Part 1-5

Progressive Inayan at the gathering of the Masters in Greenbay WI. with Mangisursuro Mike Inay, Guro Jenna Inay, and Shihan Russ Rhodes, blending the Inayan Eskrima system with the Shinkodenkai Kenpo Ju-Jitsu system.

Inayan Eskrima - Demo

Inayan Eskrima demo in Washington State ~ 1992. Steve Klement and Jon Ward assist the founder of Inayan Eskrima; Suro Mike Inay (RIP).

Inayan Eskrima - Seminar clip

Inayan Eskrima Seminar done in Inverness, Scotland - 1996. Steve Klement assist the founder of Inayan Eskrima, Suro Mike Inay (RIP).

My sincerest condolences to Mangisursuro Mike Inay's family, students and associates.

RIP Mangisursuro Inay

For more information, please check:

UFC 44: Randy Couture X Tito Ortiz - 2nd set of GIF's

Yesterday marked the 10th anniversary of the historic matchup between 2 popular UFC champions. I made animated GIF's from Rounds 1-2. If you missed that entry, please check out:

Today I have animated GIFs from Rounds 3-5 for your stroll down memory lane.

Hard to believe it was 10 years ago and 121 UFC's ago!


Round 3 - An opening flurry with a rare kick from Randy!

Tito was determined to get this takedown. IIRC, this was Tito's only takedown.

Round 4 - Randy's Ground and Pound

Round 5 - One more takedown for good measure

The Spanking

In Randy Couture's autobiography, he wrote this about the spanking:

Time was running out for Ortiz. By the fifth round, he was desperate and needed a knockout or a submission if he was going to pull off the win. on the mat underneath me, he tried to roll to a kneebar, but I ended up sitting on his thighs and turned my body at an angle so he couldn't finish the move. The only thing I could see was his butt staring up at me. I couldn't go anywhere else myself, and it just popped into my head to spank him on the ass.

I didn't think about it much at the time, and later people told me they had thought I had tapped out to the submission. Thank God referee John McCarthy knew what he was watching and saw that Ortiz had nothing on me. We ended up scrambling for the remaining few seconds, but Ortiz had nothing to stop me with. The bell rang.

I have to give Ortiz credit because he never did break. I felt him teetering in the fourth and fifth rounds. I felt him struggling, but then he'd get pissed off and fight back. he refused to go down, and I respected that.

"Becoming the Natural:  My Life In and out of the Cage"
By Randy Couture with Loretta Hunt
Simon Spotlight Entertainment
Copyright 2008
ISBN-13:  978-1-4169-5780-5
ISBN-10:          1-4169-5780-4
Page 180

For further info:

My previous Randy Couture entries:

Thursday, September 26, 2013

10 yrs ago at UFC 44: Randy Couture X Tito Ortiz

I made these animated GIF's for the 10th anniversary of the historic fight between Randy Couture and Tito Ortiz. By winning, Randy unified the Light Heavyweight Championship!

Check out the GIF's and relive the thrilling memories of this memorable fight!

Round 1 Takedown - Real-time and Slomo (throughout the fight Randy was on top with his GnP game)

Round 2 - after this takedown, it was all Randy on top GnP

2 slomo's of the takedown

Will have GIFs from Rounds 3-5 tomorrow.

For further info:

My previous Randy Couture entries::

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Lameco Eskrima - Enganyo (Entries)

In Lameco Eskrima the advanced methods are taught through Enganyo or entries: The centerline in any martial art needs to be defended with any blade work 

Line of engagement is very important. On all of these the blade never retracts. Think of your blade it like a jet plane, it never stops it just drops or goes up in or out to the target

Enganyo #1 Mataas sa Baba
Go high-go low:

Enganyo #2 Mababa sa itaas
Low to high

Enganyo #3 Malapad sa makipot
Narrow to wide centerline to shoulder or heart

Enganyo #4 Makipot sa malapad
Wide to cenerline

Enganyo #5 Malapod Malapot
Wide to wide; shoulder to shoulder S=factor

Enganyo #6 Makipot malapot
Cutting to the fingers; most will put finger's up to defend take them

Enganyo #7 Mababaw sa Malukong
Shallow to deep; hand to heart cut blade hand or empty hand

Enganyo #8 Malukong sa mababaw
Deep to shallow go to body cut hand coming out

Enganyo #9 Sa-ak-sak
Broken rhythm stop and go thrusting

Enganyo #10 Pagkumpas ang baraw
Fakes up down inside and outside

Defensa at enganyo suklian
Kilos Paa footwork:
Retirada apak sa likod both feet-shuffle back both feet
Retirada Lutang-hanging leg just pull leg back and touch the toes then back to position.
Retirada Pasabat-cross the leg back

Perserve the right distance much withdraw and you lose you chance to develop only moving an inch from the thrust of the blade... it takes great skill in distance to do this
Wasay; contact the arm find the line and cut; locate and relocate the blade.

Matuwid nadaan; direct attack they move you thrust

Tusok sa Kamay; stab to the hand, use both hands to capture and stab. Stab and use the punyo butt end

Pasungkit-hooking back of the blade

This are tactics that develop attributes needed to fight with the blade...and survive. Knife fighting is a very scary situation and it needs to be take seriously.

Deepest gratitude to Guro Ben Fajardo for the share.

In case you missed the earlier posts in this Lameco Eskrima series, please check out:

Happy 56th Birthday PG Edgar Sulite!

Today would've been PG Edgar Sulite's 56th birthday. Although he left us too early, he will always be remembered!

Check out the Filipino Martial Arts magazine, FMA Informative for 2 PG Sulite/Lameco related issues:

Happy 56th Birthday PG Sulite!

For further info:

In case you missed it, please check out:

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Vunak's Top 50 Combat Secrets Ch. 30

Chapter 30 – The First Minute of the Fight

Encounters can be broken down several different ways. In this case we are going to be emphasizing how a fight actually starts and what to do in the very first minute.

In order to facilitate this we are going to divide a street fight into two areas. One is a mugging type energy, in this sort of fight you go from 0-100 in a nano-second. In this sort of fight one is walking down the street and they are literally mugged. This type of encounter dictates that we circumvent the preliminary analysis and pot shotting and go directly into the rally. This kind of encounter happens so quickly, in many occasions, one doesn’t even get the chance to feel that typical adrenaline dump. Like a knee jerk, if I started and you ended it, using just the rally. This particular type of fight happens less than two percent of the time. In far more cases physical altercations are preceded with a minor vehicular collision, name calling, verbal abuse, pushing, and eventually escalating to a full blown street fight.

So now let us address this type of scenario, once again which in deed will happen 95% of the time. Using Bruce Lee’s lexicon, the first twenty seconds of the match is called preliminary analysis. One’s goal during this stage is two fold.

#1. Take several deep breaths and calm yourself down. While you are doing so, from the very safe distance, analyze your opponent. Get a feel for how this fella is moving. If he is squared off with his knees bent, and an obvious look on his face that, “I’m going to come at you with a double leg takedown”, you will smell wrestler.

If his hands are down, with know sense of distance or form, and swinging wild elliptical blows, you will sniff out that this guy is a street fighter. And finally if he is in some low convoluted stance with his hands on his hips, then the answer to your analysis is Karate Man.

Once these first 10-30 seconds have gone by, and we have taken several deep breaths, calmed ourselves down, and have a sense for who we are fighting, our next goal is to dictate the range and cadence of this match.

And the two best tools to do this are, a jab and a shuffle kick. We use these two tools because, the Jab can equate to the eyeballs, the shuffle kick can equate to the groin, both tools can be flicked out with an excellent risk to reward ratio.

Again this stage of the match is called pot shotting. Picture that you have figured your opponent out and you stick him in the face with a couple of jabs, then you fake a jab, and come to the groin. Then Fake the groin, come back with a jab. This continual attack enables us to go high-low-high, engaging progressive indirect energy. And at the same time, if either of these blows land, it could end the match. Now that we have our opponent, flinching, scared, nervous, and biting on our fakes. It is time to close this deal and go home to our family. Enter Rally…

The termination of this fight that we call a rally, is best executed by a straight blast, with a succession of head butts, knees, and elbows, from a Thai clinch(sound familiar). In conclusion, the first 20 seconds of this fight we stay at a safe distance, take several deep breaths and check out this fella. Next we go to pot shotting, where we stick him with jabs and shuffle groin shots. And finally, after one of said shots connects, we follow up with the rally. And during this final stage of rally, should be our greatest explosion of punches, knees, headbutts, elbows, and face bites. And just like a math problem, if we ever want to test Bruce’s theories, just multiply your division by watching a world class MMA match. These same principles are now being applied some 40 years later(see St Pierre vs Koschek 2, Dec 11, 2010). Until next week !

Please check the Table of Contents for links to other chapters of this Online Book.

Vunak's Top 50 Combat Secrets Ch. 29

Chapter 29 : The Great Eight

When people ask me over the years why Dan Inosanto’s students move differently from other Jeet Kune Do factions ? The empirical answer is they are better athletes. Long answer, gets into why… In martial arts as with any other sport there are specific techniques of the game that enable us to differentiate between football, basketball, mma, stick fighting etc… When these techniques are given to a cross section of people, regardless of what sport or martial art style we are talking about, then the quality of these people at the end of the day is determined by the better athlete.

So out of a 100 people, you will most likely have 5 that excel to the top of their game, additionally you will most likely have 5 that have extreme difficulty doing basic stuff, and the other 90 folks, are on a floating DNA scale. And their success, in their chosen sport or art, has been pre-determined by their respective level of attributes. This includes but not limited too, speed, power, timing, coordination, lateral footwork, conditioning, line familiarization, etc…

When I met Dan Inosanto in the mid 70s, he explained to me how he figured out how to work around this genetic conundrum. He explained, that if we practice our techniques out of drills that involves movement and resistance, that not only will be learning the techniques but we will be improving our attributes simultaneously. As opposed to practicing our techniques out of some lapel grab, or fake punch. Over the many years of training with Bruce Lee and other Filipino masters, and out of the 30 years that I have trained with Dan, there are 8 such drills. Each one of these drills brings out a different set of attributes and a different type of movement.

  1. Hubbad
  2. Chi-Sao
  3. The Thai Clinch Drill
  4. Pummeling
  5. The Lop-Sao Drill
  6. Sumbrada
  7. Numerada
  8. Serrada

These 8 drills combine, weapons with empty hands, Kali with Wing Chun, single direct attacks, attacks by combinations, PIAs, etc… These drills are purely magical. I have witnessed Dan, and I have myself made athletic street fighters out of clumsy mild mannered people.

These drills like anything else can be done at a very basic level, where folks are just repeating the shell of the drill. Or each of these drills, can have full contact sparring, (complete with eye jabs, face bites, and jiu-jitsu) intrinsically woven in to the confines of the drill. The reason why these particular 8 drills, create a functional fighter, is complicated enough to fill 5 encyclopedias. However for now, suffice it to say, that by returning back to each drill, in between our very lethal techniques, this returning back to the shell of the drill, is extremely difficult and requires exceptional athleticism. Standing in the middle of the ring and duking it out takes very little other than a set swinging, conversely when two people are duking it out for a few brief seconds, and then they must return back to a specific drill say, chi sao, this returning back to chi sao, enables a fighter to forever protect his centerline for the rest of his life. The returning back to Hubbad on the other hand gives one the ability to angle or zone. Returning back to sumbrada say with a stick or a knife, gives one the ability to flow without thinking. Returning back to serrada out of full contact stick sparring, gives one the reflexes of a startled mongoose etc, etc…

In conclusion when we give our students these 8 drills, and then teach them our agenda out of these drills, not only are we guaranteeing the functionality of our students, we are also keeping it fun, which guarantees the functionality of our check book.

Please check the Table of Contents for links to other chapters of this Online Book.

Monday, September 23, 2013

REVIEW: Greg Jahiel - "When Buddhists Attack" by Jeffrey K. Mann

Photo Credit:  Tuttle Publishing

I recently finished "When Buddhists Attack: The Curious Relationship Between Zen and the Martial Arts" by Jeffrey K. Mann, and highly recommend it to anyone interested in exploring the relationship between Zen and the martial arts (in particular Zen and the Samurai). There are many things I liked about the book, but foremost among them are the facts that the author is an academic, whose field is religious studies, but who has also practiced Zen and martial arts. This means that he not only has a solid first-hand grasp of both Zen and the martial arts (in this case, Goju-Ryu Karate), but also has academic training in conducting scholarly research. The result is a work of breadth and depth that is surprisingly readable.

The book began with a brief but comprehensive overview of Buddhism, and then moved into a more involved exploration of "Warrior's Zen." On the surface, it may be difficult for modern readers to understand how a form of sitting meditation such as Zen could be of use to warriors whose lives were defined by violent combat. Mr. Mann showed how Zen was in its own way the perfect complement to swordsmanship. Through regular and rigorous meditation, Samurai were able to train their mind to be "fluid and responsive." (p72). Additionally, Zen helped practitioners accept and overcome fears related to their own inevitable death. Thus, on the battlefield practitioners would be more likely to maintain clarity of thought, and be less likely to hesitate or choke up at critical moments.

A common myth among non-meditators which the author helped dispel bears repeating here. The myth is that meditation is a pleasant escape from reality. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth, as the author explained:
"True zazen is not a pleasant escape from our daily lives. It is discipline. Meditation that is not rigorous in its mindfulness is what Omori Sogen calls 'empty zazen.' Such easy sitting 'will be of no use no matter how long, how often, or for how many days we may sit during sesshin. It is far better to sit earnestly even for five minutes.' So, those who find their zazen to be painful, difficult, distracted and mentally exhausting can appreciate that they are not wasting their time." (p 117).
 As one who often struggles with distractions during meditation, I especially appreciated this advice!

This brings us to the next section of the book, entitled "Meditation." While the information related to meditation in this section may not be entirely new to experienced meditators, even long-time practitioners will find material they can apply to their own practice. The author covered basics of posture, breath, and mind. He also explored some of the benefits of meditation. For the martial artist, the benefits are clear
"a strong mind while sitting will be a strong mind while standing; a strong mind while standing will be a strong mind while fighting" (p 119).
For the non-martial artist, there are also benefits:
  • improved concentration,
  • an increased sense of mental and physical well-being, etc. 
But he reminded the reader that to practice Zen in order to gain something misses the point. A basic assumption of Zen is that it simply clarifies what is already there - thus nothing of value is added (which the word "benefit" implies). Additionally, if we become too attached to the idea of obtaining or acquiring something then we set ourselves up to suffer, either in the present (by wanting what we don't have) or in the future (when what we obtain changes, or it turns out to be different from what we thought it would be). This is a fundamental principle of Buddhism. So the author answered the question of benefits in a very Zen-like way:
"...we might say there are benefits to zazen; then again, we might not" (p 123).

The next two sections were of particular interest to me. The first section, "Mushin and mindfulness" explored both Zanchin and Mushin primarily (but not exclusively) within the context of martial arts training and practice. Mushin (the notion of "no-mind") is a concept that is frequently misunderstood, as is the related concept of Zanshin (a sort of passive alertness and awareness). These concepts were examined using examples from Kydo (Japanese archery), Aikido, competitive sport karate, and shodo (Japanese calligraphy), among others. It was refreshing to read about them within these contexts.

The next section, the chapter on Ethics, got into the seeming contradiction of how one who engages in a spiritual practice that is rooted in non-violence can engage in violent acts. At a certain point, anyone who has trained in the martial arts and has an ethical framework which values non-violence is confronted with this contradiction. Indeed, to me this quandary formed the heart of the book. This chapter was nuanced, and explored not only how practitioners themselves could frame violence (for example, justifying a violent act if it prevented greater harm), but also how Zen teachings could (and have been) misused in order to justify violent actions.

In the final chapters, "The Contemporary World of Budo" and "Is it Zen" the author looked at the current state of Budo (primarily Judo, Karate, and Kendo) and wrapped up trying to answer whether Zen is, in fact, present in the practice of Budo. As in the preceding chapters, the author delved into these areas thoughtfully and critically.

When I finished the book I felt like I had been on a wonderful journey. Overall, I think that this book is one of the best non-fiction martial arts/ philosophy books I have read. It stands alone as a comprehensive inquiry into the relationship between Zen and the martial arts, and (with its varied source material, all fully cited) can  be used as a jumping-off point for further research/ inquiry. At 208 pages it is fairly easy to get through. I also suspect that other readers (like me) will be coming back and re-reading for years to come.

~Greg Jahiel

NOTES:  My deepest gratitude for this review from my friend, Greg Jahiel, who is a student of both Zen and the martial arts! Domo arigato gozaimasu Greg!! Please check out Greg's other review: REVIEW: Greg Jahiel - "Smile at Strangers" by Susan Schorn.

For more information, please check out Tuttle Publishing.

REVIEW: Belisarius - "How to Read a Book" by Mortimer Adler

Perhaps ironically, one of the books that I have most enjoyed recently is simply called "How To Read A Book" by a man named Mortimer Adler. Perhaps this book is a useful one to consider, too. As it can be a hard book to find (it was written during the '40s or '50s), I'll try to give the Cliff Notes version:

Adler gives several levels for reading a book:

  1. Pre-Reading: a fast review to decide if a book deserves more careful reading. Read the preface and the table of contents; run through the index quickly looking for familiar and unfamiliar terms; flip through the bibliography. You can actually "drain" a book of major concepts in a short period of time this way.

    You then go to a kind of systematic skimming, flipping through and reading a few paragraphs here and there, and then turn to the very end and read the author's summation of the book.

    Adler believes that this whole process of "pre-reading" should take between thirty minutes and an hour at the most. At the conclusion, you should decide if you want to take your valuable time to read the book in its entirety. Most books will not survive this filtering process, in my frank opinion. There are just too damn many good books out there and too little time to read them for one to screw around with a substandard book. I just put them on my shelf and leave them there.
  2. Superficial Reading: A fast reading which is designed to avoid getting bogged down in technical jargon or superficial detail. Skip the parts that are difficult or poorly written and reserve the right to terminate the whole exercise if it becomes tedious. A writer who cannot articulate his thoughts in a coherent manner does not deserve your attention, unless this is the only possible book to read on the subject in question. That does suck and it does happen.

    If the book gets through this and you think it is worth going through the harder, more technical spots in detail, you have the next level...
  3. Analytical Reading: if superficial reading is the best and most complete reading that is possible given a severely limited time frame, analytical reading is the best and most complete reading that is possible given unlimited time. This level is reserved for those great, timeless works that are trily deserving of being studied in great depth. Lots of notebook paper and supporting research material goes with this level of reading.
  4. Syntopical (also called "Comparative") Reading: at this level, you are interested in an entire subject to the point where you will create your own bibliography and goes through a compare/contrast analytical-level reading process between the books on your list. This can literally take a chunk of a lifetime and is reserved for those couple of subject areas in which you want to become an expert.

NOTE:  My sincerest gratitude to Belisarius for his kind permission in letting me archive his review. Posted to TPI circa 2005.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Bruce Lee - The Art of Learning

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Today's entry will conclude my short series on The Art of Learning. It's Bruce Lee's "The Three Stages of Cultivation."

"The Three Stages of Cultivation — The first is the primitive stage. It is a stage of original ignorance in which a person knows nothing about the art of combat. In a fight, he simply blocks and strikes instinctively without a concern for what is right and wrong. Of course, he may not be so-called scientific, but, nevertheless, being himself, his attacks or defenses are fluid. The second stage — the stage of sophistication, or mechanical stage — begins when a person starts his training. He is taught the different ways of blocking, striking, kicking, standing, breathing, and thinking — unquestionably, he has gained the scientific knowledge of combat, but unfortunately his original self and sense of freedom are lost, and his action no longer flows by itself. His mind tends to freeze at different movements for calculations and analysis, and even worse, he might be called “intellectually bound” and maintain himself outside of the actual reality. The third stage — the stage of artlessness, or spontaneous stage — occurs when, after years of serious and hard practice, the student realizes that after all, gung fu is nothing special. And instead of trying to impose on his mind, he adjusts himself to his opponent like water pressing on an earthen wall. It flows through the slightest crack. There is nothing to try to do but try to be purposeless and formless, like water. All of his classical techniques and standard styles are minimized, if not wiped out, and nothingness prevails. He is no longer confined."
~ Bruce Lee

From Bruce Lee's personal notes.

In case you missed previous installments, please check:

Here's hoping some point from this series helped/will help you in your Learning!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

James DeMile - Three Stages of Learning Technique

Photo Credit:  James DeMile

Bruce lee was a conceptual martial artist and believed in accelerated learning.


In order to be a conceptual martial artist where you have the ability to understand the proper way to do technique and break it down to know how to train, you have the learning how to learn concept. Learning how to learn concept means when you are presented a technique, you break it down to learn what the reason for the technique is. Also you learn the details of what makes the technique work and if it will work for you.

Learning is a very dynamic process where it involves learning in the mind and in the body. Basically there are two types of learning: conceptual and training. Conceptual is the learning in the mind. Training is the learning in the body. Before you get into training, you must learn the conceptual process which involves the three stages of learning.

The first stage is to understand the purpose and mechanics of the technique. The conceptual learning involves getting a graphic picture of the concept. - Understand what it involves and how it is applied. This process involves the mental work of the technique. It is a process to consciously learn the principle. First learn the technique, its theories, degree of practicality and principles of application.

To do this you must separate the technique by isolating it out. Find out what basic positions are needed. Learn mentally all the body mechanics. What is its purpose? When do you use this technique? What are you trying to accomplish? What is it designed for? What is its theory of application? Get an overview of the technique by evaluating its move. Is it practical in its overall general use and not in its exact form? Is it useful to you as a fighter?

The second stage is to teach the body. Present the technique to the body to see if it can do it, then teach the body slowly. Once the conceptual process is understood, you program the body. Teach the body the technique and see if the body can perform the exercise. See if the body can do it. You are not looking for skill, speed or power but you working on the basic lines to see if the body can accomplish what you want.
Once you see clearly the function of the technique, teach the body carefully so all the principles can be applied. It is the process to practice the technique until you can successfully apply it. If you see a technique with value, you must ask how much effort it will take to teach the body. You must see if it complements your present abilities. Once you have gone through this process, now you either validate or invalidate the technique. You can believe in the technique now because you have gone through this process and not because someone told you it will work. You understand what makes the technique work.

Once you see that the body can do it and understands the physical motions, then you are ready to train.

The third stage is training of the technique for repetition and skill building.

Once the mind understands the technique and accepts it and the body is taught the movement; free the body from any expectations. Get the mind out of the way. The last process is to train the body to move in a natural way. You discard the concept and let the body do the work with increasing speed in a natural way.
Do not anticipate tension or criticism; just let it do its thing from the mental to the physical in the last part of learning. Once you teach the body a technique, get your mind out of the way. Let the body achieve the technique naturally with the flow. You dissolve the concept once it becomes automatic and a part of you. You are the concept. Do not hinder yourself with technical knowledge.

In my teaching, I acknowledge that a student will have other interests in his life and will be very busy, I do not want to take any more of his time than I have to. Therefore by explaining everything to the student in the beginning, and have him work on the different elements that make up the technique, it seems a little slower than having him jump in and train hard. Because he is taught the technique properly, when he trains the technique, it will be done better each time he does it. His learning potential will be higher because he will not be practicing bad habits and will accelerate the manner in which he learns technique. The student will be able to correct his mistakes and get the necessary repetition to practice the proper way.

Learning how to learn means to have the ability to learn at your own pace. You learn at your own learning curve so that even if you want to learn as quickly as you can, by following the three stages of learning, you are actually going to learn faster and better. An important part of learning is your attitude towards getting the proper information and spend the necessary time to really understand what is it that you are trying to accomplish.

Copied from James DeMile's Facebook Sept 12, 2013 status update.

For other entries in this The Art of Learning series, please check out:

Please check out these other articles by Sijo DeMile:

James DeMile - Bruce Lee’s Five Stages for Accelerated Learning

Photo credit:  James DeMile

Bruce Lee’s Five Stages for Accelerated Learning

One – Bruce Lee had an extraordinary ability to simplify the complicated. He felt much time was wasted in training techniques that could be learned a in a much shorter period . He determined that if you separated, speed, power and technique as individual arts you could learn one and then add it to the other. Brilliant. By developing speed as a natural action, you could learn a technique, add speed and immediately have a fast technique. Same with power. Since the applied concepts of speed and power were constant, once you learned them you did not need to train in them any longer. You could focus on the refinement of technique and then add speed and power.

Two – Natural neuro-muscular learning.and imprinting. This means that the technique is designed for the muscles natural range of motion. The advantage of this approach is that the muscles learn and imprint much easier and quicker and most important retain memory longer without constant reinforcement. Biking and swimming are only two examples of this imprinting process, once learned, never forgotten.

Three – Breaking each technique down into specific elements. Bruce Lee felt that by breaking things down you could identify their strengths and weaknesses and see how to restructure them into a better technique for a specific application. Also, it allowed the instructor to teach the technique more quickly since the students could clearly see the steps to practice and how the pieces fit together as a single technique.

Four – Developing core concepts that allow one technique to be applied in a variety of scenarios rather than learning more techniques. Such as: Applied Startle can be used offensively or defensively and in any physical action or reaction. A ready stance that can absorb or give an attack. A strike that can be for body control or self defense.

Five – Learning How to Learn
*Clearly understand the purpose and structure of the technique.
By realizing the purpose the student is able to put a value on it, which will affect his motivation in training. Being aware of the structure or how it works gives the student references to know if he is training properly.
*Show it to the body and see if it can do it naturally. If the body has to adjust in any way, stretch or warm-up in order to do the technique effectively, then it is not a good technique for the individual since he will not have time to warm-up when confronting an assailant. Using natural movement as a reference tells a student the long term value of any technique.
* Train, Train, Train. Once the student understands and sees the body can do the proper movements in a natural flowing way, then they switch to total training to develop a natural spontaneous application.

Copied from James DeMile's Facebook Status Update on Aug 28, 2013.

For other entries in this The Art of Learning series, please check out:

Please check out these other articles by Sijo DeMile:

Friday, September 20, 2013

BOXING: Some more Ken Norton Sr fights

Photo credit:

In Ken Norton's passing, I'm posting some of his memorable fights.

Ken Norton vs George Foreman March 26, 1974

Ken Norton vs Larry Holmes June 9, 1978

Ken Norton vs Earnie Shavers March 23, 1979

Hope you enjoy this look back on some of Ken Norton's memorable fights.

RIP Champ


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