The Ultimate Technique?
At last! Toni and I have been busy with our new web series. We are excited to announce that our Evolving Martial Artist is about to premiere.
If you’re part of our TanDao clan and subscribe to our newsletter, you will get the preview of our first Evolving Martial Artist episode, The Great Equalizer.
I will reveal the Ultimate Technique. Well, sort of.
I’ve spent over five decades in the states and Asia practicing and exploring different fighting styles like karate, jkd, tae kwon do and Shaolin kung fu. After all these years immersed in the art and science of striking, I realize what experienced martial artists discover – there is no Ultimate Technique. Sorry.
At the same time, there is a technique that requires little strength and is effective against a bigger and stronger opponent. It is perfect for a smaller and weaker defender in an extreme self defense situation.
Is it a kick, a punch, a choke out, a joint lock?
In TanDao we call it the Great Equalizer. It is a common technique known to all but few martial artists train to use it. It is an advanced technique that requires specialized training to make it practical. But for a life and death encounter, it is the Great Equalizer.
Do you know what technique I’m referring to?
Sign up for our newsletter to get the answer and deeper insight into practicing the Great Equalizer. May our Evolving Martial Artist web series bring your reality based self defense to the next level.
Keep practicing and exploring,
Seventy three years ago in the year of the dragon (1940) during the hour of the dragon a martial arts legend was born. Bruce Lee, nicknamed the Little Dragon, has joined the pantheon of mythic and pop heroes like Hercules, Achilles and Superman.
Bruce Lee is undoubtably the most famous martial artist that ever lived. Why?
Bruce Lee had “it”. He had magic.
His bi-culturalism and blending of athlete, entertainer, educator and innovator and dedication to spread his passion to the world has made his name synonymous with martial arts.
And that’s it. Bruce Lee popularized the martial arts. His charisma, intensity, extraordinary skills, innovative modernization of the centuries old secret art of Chinese kung fu, has inspired the world wide renaissance of indigenous fighting arts like pankration, systema, krav maga, and savate.
Just watch Lee move. It’s a zen slap. Though his fights are totally make believe, his artistic genius crafted his authentic skills, our heroic fantasies and cinematic technique to convey an experience that talks, profound philosophy books and great martial art demonstrations may not.
The martial spirit – what ever that means intellectually – explodes from the screen and strikes to the core or our being. We feel it in our guts..
Lee transmits the “it”. So the guy – certainly one of the greatest – who inspired me decades ago is still wowing others to the martial arts.
Martial artists argue whether or not Bruce Lee was the greatest martial artist that ever lived. Read our TanDao newsletter to learn my take this. JKD is one of the three styles that comprise my TanDao System.
Keep Practicing and Exploring,
At TanDao, we usually present self defense techniques and tips to give you the martial edge in the street – the warrior movements. But Evolving Martial Artists are also part scholars, who think about the deeper meaning of martial arts and part monks, who seek to mindfully apply their power to everyday living.
Here are six questions that I pose in my Red Book, TanDao for Evolving Martial Artists
1. How do traditional and modern martial arts differ?
Evolving Martial Artists bridge traditional and modern ways.
The divergence of MMA from tradition has created very different definitions of martial arts. Modern styles are evolving the technical and fighting aspects but are incomplete. Tradition embraces philosophy, healing and meditation but the knowledge is fragmented and the teaching method is incompatible with today’s mindset.
2. What are the universal principles underlying all styles?
Evolving Martial Artists explore comparative combat.
Karate, boxing, kung fu – all employ punches. Yet the reverse punch, right cross and vertical punch use different body mechanics. Only by probing deeper into stylistic distinctions will we discover techniques, strategies and tactics common to all methods.
3. What is true mastery?
Evolving Martial Artists aspire to authentic mastery.
With the glut of masters the world over, the title “master” is almost a meaningless cliche. We must reconnect to the deeper spirit beyond the pop view. The authentic master is a holistic ideal that embraces intellectual, moral and spiritual qualities that go beyond physical prowess.
4. Are there hidden “secrets”?
Evolving Martial Artists seek the secrets.
The hallmark of traditional martial arts is secrecy. Some say this is a myth. With the advent of internet, blogs, videos and articles on virtually any technique, master or system is available. But “secrets” do exist since each generation only a few were taught the esoteric transmission.
5. Is the key to power qi or biomechanics?
Evolving Martial Artists integrate science and intuitive wisdom.
The use of modern scientific disciplines like biomechanics, physiology , psychology and anatomy help us grasp the often mystical and obscure notion of qi or life force energy. Yet the Chinese intuitive model of qi power defies our rational world view.
6. Is a martial art a spiritual path?
Evolving Martial Artists seek the unknown realms.
Although phrases like mind, body spirit are common in describing martial arts, the intellectual and spiritual are not addressed with any depth or systematic teachings. Today’s martial arts focus on sport and defense. That said, there is still a hidden connection to ancient wisdom traditions waiting to be discovered.
These questions are underlying themes that complement our self defense studies.
What do you think? Is there any validity or are these questions irrelevant to kicking ass? Please tell us your views.
Keep practicing and exploring,
PS — And if you miss the warrior tips, check out this week’s newsletter which discusses a secret training method for effective power striking, used by both karate legend Mas Oyama and Bruce Lee.
Today weekend seminars that specialize in gun and knife disarms are common. These seminars are “fun.” Fun? What do you mean? This is life and death.
Exactly, it can be deadly – for you.
Decades ago, I studied under Sifu Chan Poi (Grandmaster of Wah Lum Northern Mantis) traditional kung fu weaponry: sword, staff, three sectional staff, etc. It was fun!
But it was the formidable Uechi Ryu black belt, sheriff and SWAT team member, Sensei Bob Bethany, who first exposed to me to REAL knife and firearm defense. It was scary!
After all, what are the chances of being attacked by a spear wielding attacker on city streets? But a knife and gun? That’s different.
Here’s the problem: the best of these seminars DO teach intelligent theory and practical knife and gun disarm techniques. But they DON’T train you to instill instinctive reflexes nor the psychological mindset to cope with a terrifying encounter that brutally destroys all vestiges of our super hero fantasies.
And without intense specialized training over a period of months and years, intellectually knowing the greatest knife and gun disarm is useless. With today’s hectic lifestyle, we barely have enough time to develop our basic unarmed defense skills.
Don’t even entertain the idea of ever using them in the streets without constant specialized training.
So unless you are in special forces, law enforcement or security and professionally train to internalize these knife and gun disarms, then I would advice you to learn these moves for “fun.”
Martial art weekend seminars are valuable for exposing us to martial skills outside our style. But superficially learning new techniques, without the follow up of months and years of training is dangerous.
Evolving Martial Artists always seek to expand their knowledge but cautiously avoid developing a false sense of security.
Explore, practice and reassess,
P. S. Check out our TanDao Newsletter for tips and techniques to give you the martial edge.
Martial arts, in a word, is about power. Most basic is physical power. Whether a punch, hook, cross, palm or tiger claw, we want more power. Right? Of course we practice hitting and kicking the bag, and focus mitts. We also develop our strength with relentless pushups and weight training. What else?
Here are two closed door secret tips of to give you the power edge.
#1 – Develop the Capacity To Penetrate
When kicking and punching drive your force deep into the opponent’s centerline axis or into the spine. Incorrect use of the heavy bag and also controlled sparring where blows are pulled can develop bad habits.
Do not hit ON the target, hit right THROUGH the target. Too many times martial artists aim to hit the target rather than THROUGH. I know this sounds like a cliché we all know already, but only the champions and masters seriously train for years to develop the skill to make penetrative strikes natural and instinctive during the chaos of combat.
#2 – Align The Bones of Your Body Weapon
A big secret: Alignment is power. Whether you are using your fist, palm, elbow, foot or knee to hit, there are precise methods of aligning the limb that will magnify power. But a secret teaching behind kung fu and karate form training is the precise skeletal alignment when executing a punch or kick.
What foot position or angle of the fist will maximize force on impact?
Alignment differs depending on the type of punch or kick used and the angle it impacts the body. For example, if you are executing a reverse punch your technique will be structurally stronger if your elbow points to the ground. For hooks and uppercuts. make sure that your elbow follows the same trajectory as your fist. The old masters taught how to align the bones when making a fist. This must be studied and learned. Takes years to understand.
These two tips – they are big secrets – are doorways for you to investigate the subtleties of power.
Think about it.
Keep practicing and exploring,