August 2012

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Adapted from Kapap Combat Concepts: Martial Arts of the Israeli Special Forces by Avi Nardia and Albert Timen with Special Adviser John Machado

Israeli Martial Arts: Avi Nardia and John Machado Demonstrate the Intersection of BJJ Techniques and Kapap Self-Defense MovesKapap expert Avi Nardia and Brazilian jiu-jitsu master John Machado demonstrate the intersection of kapap’s “relative position” concept, Brazilian jiu-jitsu ground movements and close-quarters combat with firearms in this exclusive Israeli martial arts video excerpt from Kapap Combat Concepts — Vol. 4: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Applications. Simply put, the kapap concept of “relative position” is the best position for you to be in at any particular moment and is determined by your environment and the position of your opponents. By taking your situation, condition, state, position, stance and posture into account, you’ll be able to maintain the advantage throughout a fight.

Israeli Martial Arts Training for Maximum Versatility

To prepare their students, kapap instructors such as Avi Nardia throw as many variables at them as possible through realistic and creative exercises. Kapap instructors train their students in potential conflict locations, which can include stairways, elevators, parking lots and cars.

A kapap instructor might also momentarily blind his students with flashbulbs or strobe lights to imitate conflicts in which they can’t see, or he may have them fight in water to overcome a natural human fear.

And in this video featuring kapap expert Avi Nardia and Brazilian jiu-jitsu master John Machado, the focus is on using the ground movements of BJJ techniques for more effective self-defense moves in kapap — in this case, self-defense moves involving a handgun.

Israeli Martial Arts Video Avi Nardia and John Machado Demonstrate How BJJ Techniques on the Ground Influence Kapap Self-Defense Moves Involving Firearms

Getting Started in Kapap

Because fights never go completely as planned, kapap instructors like Avi Nardia want their students to be able to make quick decisions to assess their relative position when real conflict requiring decisive self-defense moves breaks outs.

The ground is a good place to start learning about relative position and how it works with self-defense moves because it helps Israeli martial arts beginners overcome their fear of being thrown or hit. Security, law-enforcement and VIP-protection personnel, on the other hand, might find ground-based self-defense moves as taught by BJJ techniques experts like John Machado difficult because they are taught to never fight on the ground unless they have backup.

Even if you’ve never done any ground work for your self-defense moves such as those found in BJJ techniques, you could still find yourself unarmed and fighting for your life on the ground. And even if you’ve studied Israeli martial arts, knowing how to integrate movements from BJJ techniques into your self-defense moves from the ground can make a huge difference in your response.

Whatever your combat background, however, remember that real safety in conflict depends on simple skills that address every facet of defense.

True Kapap Requires Discipline

Calculating your relative position under stressful circumstances requires practice. Israeli Special Forces units, for instance, learn how to consider and deal with variables that can affect their relative position and subsequent self-defense moves until such planning becomes second nature.

However, it’s important to understand that the questions, elements and variables a person learns to consider depend entirely on the individual because civilians, police officers and soldiers rarely prepare for the same encounters. Instead, they must all consider their own abilities and experiences to determine which techniques and positions will work best for them during a fight.

In fact, true masters of this principle from the Israeli martial arts will begin considering their relative position from the moment they wake up in the morning — long before any conflict begins. It is simply their second nature to take into account every factor that could affect their safety every time they leave their homes.

Kapap has made relative position an integral part of its current system because the principle is flexible and benefits practitioners of any skill level. Because kapap borrows techniques and principles from many systems — including BJJ techniques — students will always have the necessary tools to gain the best position during a fight. Also, kapap puts a great deal of emphasis on the first move of a fight because it will determine the combat options for the conflict’s duration.


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Adapted from a Black Belt article by Edward Pollard Photo by Rick HusteadYesterday  

BJJ Techniques: Pedro Sauer’s Instructor Alvaro Barreto on How to Improve Your Lapel ChokesPedro Sauer is a well-known name in the world of Brazilian jiu-jitsu. His BJJ techniques are noted for their technical accuracy and elegance, and he is a well-respected seminar presenter.

Pedro Sauer earned his black belt from Helio Gracie and Rickson Gracie in 1985. In 1986, Pedro Sauer began his career as an instructor of BJJ techniques when he was asked to teach with an organization known in Brazil as Corpo/Quatro (“body of four”), where he continued training under 9th-degree red belt Alvaro Barreto.

Alvaro Barreto is one of three brothers — Alvaro, Sergio and João Alberto. Upon being introduced to Brazilian jiu-jitsu, each of these brothers became proficient in BJJ techniques in their own way.

The Barreto brothers were originally associated with the Gracie family during the setup of a challenge match. Alvaro’s brother, João Alberto, was singled out as a competitor by Helio Gracie and appeared in many televised challenge matches.

BJJ TECHNIQUES VIDEO Alvaro Barreto, a Highly Respected Instructor of Pedro Sauer, Shows You His Take on the Lapel Choke

However, João Alberto broke an opponent’s arm, resulting in the cancellation of the show. He soon detached from the Gracies and, with his brother Alvaro — who had also risen through the ranks to become a distinguished instructor and was teaching children BJJ techniques at the Gracie Academy by age 17 — opened up his own school.

These days, Alvaro Barreto focuses on the educational aspects of BJJ techniques. His foundation for teaching BJJ techniques is based on four components: self-defense, submissions, throws and ground fighting.

Alvaro Barreto strives to teach every student that jiu-jitsu doesn’t stop at the edge of the competitive sphere. Its purpose is not to create better fighters but to develop better human beings. According to Alvaro Barreto, a complete martial artist must have discipline and commitment to persevere.

At age 24, Alvaro Barreto opened the Academia Alvaro Barreto in the Copacabana quarter of Rio de Janeiro, where it remains to this day. It was later renamed Corpo Quatro, which means “body of four,” from its four partners. He centered his operations in that school, allowing him more time to focus on seminars and private classes.

Alvaro Barreto teaches several group classes a week but holds private lessons every day. “He’s not a guy who sits back with his arms folded and gives orders,” his son Eduardo Barreto said during an interview for a story in the April 2009 issue of Black Belt. “He shows how to do it and actually does it with you.”

These days, many of Alvaro Barreto’s seminars take place in the United States. While they’re open to the public, they’re usually held in conjunction with the associations run by the aforementioned Pedro Sauer, who’s based in Herndon, Virginia, and Pedro Carvalho, who operates out of Rancho Cucamonga, California.

In fact, Pedro Sauer has one of the largest jiu-jitsu organizations in the world —  the Pedro Sauer Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Association — which reaches more than 250 affiliate schools.

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Adapted from an article by Dr. Mark Cheng, Senior RKC Photo by Rick Hustead

In this never-before-seen Korean martial arts video footage from the Black Belt archive, hwa rang do grandmaster Taejoon Lee, author of the Korean martial arts book Hwa Rang Do: Defend, Take Down, Submit, demonstrates the visually impressive spinning leg-scissor takedown and submission technique.

Born out of the martial and medical wisdom of Korea’s ancient Hwarang knighthood and organized into a modern system by Black Belt Hall of Fame member Dr. Joo Bang Lee in the mid-20th century, hwa rang do encompasses the full gamut of combat techniques.

KOREAN MARTIAL ARTS VIDEO Taejoon Lee Demonstrates the Spinning Leg-Scissor Takedown and Submission

While other arts showcase their power primarily with punches and kicks, HRD practitioners soar through the air with whirlwind hand and foot strikes, as well as grounded locks, throws and grappling moves that demonstrate the utmost finesse.

A Brief History of the Art’s Evolution as Told by Taejoon Lee

Taejoon Lee, the eldest of Joo Bang Lee’s children and heir apparent to the system, sheds light on the historical evolution of the art: “When hwa rang do first came to the United States, everyone wanted to learn how to punch and kick. The flashier moves brought in more students, so my father adjusted the curriculum and ranking system from his original Korean teaching structure to fit our new home.”

“Back then, grappling wasn’t very popular,” he continues. “People who were interested in martial arts wanted effective techniques that looked good, too. With a kick, you can generally get an idea of its power without having to feel it, but a submission technique requires experience for you to appreciate it.

“Ground grappling, by and large, isn’t as visually exciting as percussive techniques are. Just look at the way the rules have changed in the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Because spectators demanded more visual excitement, the promoters restart the fights [in a] standing position if there’s too little action on the ground.”

How Dr. Joo Bang Lee’s Art Brought Flair to Its Demonstrations

Viewing footage of HRD training and demonstrations held in Korea during the 1960s, it’s easy to see that Joo Bang Lee was right on the money. Between demonstrations of their breaking and weapons prowess, practitioners can be seen performing a plethora of joint manipulations, throws, takedowns, ground-grappling moves and submission techniques.

Taking Korean Martial Arts Into the Future

Continuing with his father’s mission to make HRD a viable and well-rounded system that meets the needs of its environment, Taejoon Lee has developed a new system for training students to survive nonlethal encounters — which, no matter what some might argue, make up the majority of self-defense situations.

The three-step process combines the joint manipulations, takedowns and throws of HRD into a defend–take-down–submit format that’s an effective alternative to knockdown–and–drag-out combat.

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Why you should listen to her:
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When Scilla Elworthy was 13, she sat in front of her television set watching as Soviet tanks rolled into Budapest. Immediately she started packing her bags. “What are you doing?” her mother said. “I’m going to Budapest,” she said. “They’re doing something awful and I have to go.” Years later, Elworthy is a three-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee and a recipient of the Niwano Peace Prize. In 2002 Elworthy founded Peace Direct, which supports local action against conflict, and in 1982 founded Oxford Research Group, a think-tank devoted to developing effective dialogue between nuclear weapons policy-makers and their critics. Beginning in 2005 she helped set up The Elders initiative as an adviser to Sir Richard Branson, Peter Gabriel and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

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