July 2013

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by Raymond Horwitz
Photo by Thomas Sanders

Tim_Tackett_Chinatown_JKD_DVD_Preview_150x150Learn the jeet kune do straight lead punch in this Chinese martial arts DVD preview for Chinatown Jeet Kune Do: Essential Elements of Bruce Lee’s Martial Art, which is the companion jeet kune do DVD for Tim Tackett and Bob Bremer’s well-received jeet kune do book of the same name.

This martial arts DVD, with jeet kune do techniques demonstrated and narrated by second-generation Bruce Lee student Tim Tackett, illustrates many of the abstract jeet kune do concepts, jeet kune do philosophy and concrete jeet kune do techniques from Bruce Lee’s martial art described and analyzed in great detail in the matching book.

DVD PREVIEW | Straight Lead Punch from Chinatown Jeet Kune Do: Essential Elements of Bruce Lee’s Martial Art

Tim Tackett’s jeet kune do DVD curriculum for Chinatown Jeet Kune Do: Essential Elements of Bruce Lee’s Martial Art includes techniques and principles such as:
stances
footwork
hand tools
kicking tools
defenses
attacks
hand-trapping tools
Each DVD chapter features on-screen cues for viewers to consult specific sections of the Chinatown Jeet Kune Do book for conceptual elaboration and more information about the jeet kune do techniques, making this a valuable learning tool for instructors and students alike!
Special features include demonstrations of sparring drills, on-screen introductions by the featured instructors and a special behind-the-scenes preview of the book, Chinatown Jeet Kune Do — Volume 2: Training Methods of Bruce Lee’s Martial Art.

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by Patrick Bamburak & Raymond Horwitz
Photo by Peter Lueders

Big_John_McCarthy-150px-OPT2Have you wondered exactly how to become a MMA fighter? Have you asked yourself how the fighters know all those MMA techniques? Do they take MMA fighting classes? If yes, then where? If you’ve been asking these questions, then you have come to the right place.

In his book, Let’s Get It On! The Making of MMA and Its Ultimate Referee, pioneering ref “Big” John McCarthy gives you as close a look as you can get of the rise of the sport of mixed martial arts without having to take a punch.

As MMA’s original official, McCarthy’s opening command of “Let’s get it on!” is the battle cry that has sent countless MMA fighters charging headlong toward glorious victory and agonizing defeat.

From his unique vantage point just inches from the action, McCarthy has witnessed all the ligament-stretching, bone-breaking, unconsciousness-inducing MMA techniques that are behind the sport’s greatest victories.

He’s seen the best of the best duke it out for that coveted W inside the cage. If you’re looking for answers as to how to become a MMA fighter, watch McCarthy demonstrate five of his favorite MMA techniques in these five exclusive videos shot at his Ultimate Training Academy in Valencia, California, where MMA fighting classes show a wide variety of students how to become a MMA fighter!

“Big” John McCarthy’s Favorite MMA Techniques #1: Rear-Naked Choke

Style: Brazilian jiu-jitsu | Learn it from: Royce Gracie

“This choke, when properly applied, can force a submission or knock the opponent out,” McCarthy says. “Royce effectively used the technique against larger and stronger opponents time and time again to prove that size doesn’t matter when you have a weapon like this in your arsenal.”

MMA Techniques Video #1
“Big” John McCarthy Shows You the Rear-Naked Choke

“Big” John McCarthy’s Favorite MMA Techniques #2:
The Jab

Style: Boxing | Learn it from: Anderson Silva

“A good jab can go a long way in MMA, but it’s still very underutilized,” McCarthy says. “The jab in MMA is not the same as boxing and needs to be employed differently, but it remains the quickest and straightest punch a fighter has in their toolkit. Having a good jab helps you maintain the proper distance and can keep your opponent off-balance, disrupting their striking game and takedown attempts.”

MMA Techniques Video #2
“Big” John McCarthy Shows You the Jab

“Big” John McCarthy’s Favorite MMA Techniques #3: Double-Leg Takedown

Style: Wrestling | Learn it from: Georges St-Pierre

“This basic wrestling technique is usually taught on the first day of practice, and its importance in MMA is huge,” McCarthy says. “Having a good double-leg can keep you in position to control the fight by giving you the ability to bring your opponent to the ground when you want to go there.”

MMA Techniques Video #3
“Big” John McCarthy Shows You the Double-Leg Takedown

“Big” John McCarthy’s Favorite MMA Techniques #4:
The Clinch

Style: Wrestling | Learn it from: Randy Couture

“Randy set up many of his attacks by using the clinch and often combined it with his superior grappling skills to grind his opponents down,” McCarthy says. “It doesn’t look like much from the outside, but there’s a lot going on when two fighters end up in this position. The clinch is tiring and causes you to use excess energy to defend against it if you’re not as accomplished in the technique as your opponent. Having a good clinch can easily be the difference between winning and losing in the cage.”

MMA Techniques Video #4
“Big” John McCarthy Shows You the Clinch

“Big” John McCarthy’s Favorite MMA Techniques #5: Roundhouse Kick

Style: Muay Thai | Learn it from: Jose Aldo

“Jose Aldo showed what a good roundhouse kick can do against Urijah Faber,” McCarthy says. “He attacked from all angles, and the power he generated and the damage he caused with his roundhouse eventually eliminated Urijah’s takedown ability — and ultimately Urijah’s ability to even move in the fight. A properly delivered roundhouse kick is like being hit with a baseball bat.”

MMA Techniques Video #5
“Big” John McCarthy Shows You the Roundhouse Kick

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by Robert W. Young
Photo by Rick Hustead – February 8, 2013

CSK2Most martial artists now realize that all fighting takes place at specific distances, which are commonly designated as kicking, punching, trapping and grappling range. Many also have learned that proficiency in only one range does not guarantee success in a street fight because real confrontations can flow from one range to another in the blink of an eye. Therefore, students often look to other styles for supplemental skills that their primary art does not teach. For example, a boxer may decide to study savate for kicking, wing chun kung fu for trapping and judo for grappling.

Yet hundreds of thousands of martial artists around the world see no need to search outside their own system for these techniques. Practitioners of the Korean art of hapkido claim to be privileged to study a style famed for its powerful kicks, varied hand strikes, effective trapping-range techniques, and versatile joint locks and throws.

In this article, Stephen Petermann and Jeffrey D. Harris — instructors under Black Belt Hall of Fame member and Jang Mu Won Hapkido founder Chong S. Kim, an original student of Choi Yong-sool — examine the issue at hand: Does hapkido effectively cover all four ranges of combat?
Kicking Range

Perhaps more than any other country’s arts, those of Korea come well-equipped for fighting in kicking range. Hapkido is no exception. Yet its leg techniques differ from those of many other arts because of the tremendous power imparted by pivoting on the supporting foot and following through with full leg motion.

“In hapkido, the goal is to deliver as much impact as you can,” Stephen Petermann says. “If you don’t add those last few inches with the pivot of the foot, you’re holding something back. So you pivot on all your kicks; that gives you the ability to get six inches [of reach] the person didn’t think you had and to move your energy farther toward him.”

Hapkido divides kicking range according to distance, and certain kicks fit into each category. “How do you kick an opponent when you’re face to face?” Stephen Petermann asks. “Let’s say you want to get out of a situation and retreat, but you feel you need to defend yourself while you’re doing it. You can turn and do a scooping back kick or inside kick, even face to face. If you’re going to grapple with him, you might still use a heel kick to hit him on the tailbone or thigh while retreating. Just because you’re face to face doesn’t mean you have to grapple; you can still kick.”

Jeffrey D. Harris identifies several ranges within the art’s concept of kicking range: very close, where knees are used; medium distance, where a front-leg front kick will work; greater distance, where you can use a rear-leg front kick; and the greatest distance, where a jumping front-leg front kick or rear-leg jump kick can be used. “We don’t just train close; we don’t just train far,” he says. “We train in all the ranges so we can defend against those ranges.”

For practical self-defense, though, Jeffrey D. Harris advises beginners to stick with the basics. “The low- to middle-range kicks work best for self-defense,” he says. “The high spinning heel kicks and [similar techniques] are extremely difficult, especially in a fighting situation, but they’re not impractical because you’re also dealing with the element of surprise. Who’s going to expect you to jump into the air, do a 360-degree spinning heel kick and land it?”

Three Heights

“The high, middle and low kicks are very important because they give you better choices, better opportunity,” Stephen Petermann adds. “When you’re fighting a particular stylist and he defends middle or high body very well, you can kick him low. In styles where they tend to squat more and place more weight on the front leg, obviously a sweeping kick will not work. But because of that disadvantage, a high kick can be successful because he can’t get out of range quickly enough.”

Low-line hapkido attacks can knock a leg out from under a person or even tear flesh and break bones, Jeffrey D. Harris claims. “We have kicks to the knee, shin, ankle and feet; sweep kicks to the back of the leg; stomping kicks; kicks in which you grate the blade of your foot down the front of your attacker’s shin and end with a stomp on his foot and a twist at the bottom for good measure,” he says. “There are also hooking kicks to the back of the leg, blade kicks to the shin and muscle-tearing kicks.”

Not surprisingly, some Korean arts have been criticized for having too many specialized kicks that might never get used in real life. Outsiders are sometimes left wondering why more practical leg techniques are not emphasized. “First, younger students have to accomplish the basics — the front kick, inside kick, outside kick, side kick and roundhouse kick,” Stephen Petermann says. “If they don’t accomplish those, the rest of it is wasted. Once they have, they go on to other kicks [according] to whatever level they’re capable of. But the basics have to be good. For beginners, having a kick for every possible situation becomes overload — they don’t really need it.”

Yet Stephen Petermann acknowledges the usefulness of such varied kicking practice. “How often are you going to use a jump two-man front kick?” he asks. “Probably not very often, but you need to train your body to accomplish these things so your basic kicks become even better. Certainly, we have some very esoteric kicks, such as the toe-in-the-throat kick. That’s one of my personal favorites, but would it be my first choice in a fight? Absolutely not. Is it one you’re ever going to use? Gosh, I don’t know. But it’s still a useful technique, and it improves your overall understanding of what you’re capable of.”

Once they’re inside kicking range, where hand techniques usually take over, hapkido practitioners are quite capable of continuing to defend themselves. “Most of the punching we do is straight, karate-style punching; beyond that is open-hand strikes,” says Stephen Petermann of Jang Mu Won Hapkido, the self-defense system founded by Black Belt Hall of Fame member Chong S. Kim.

“A jab is something that is difficult to deal with, but because a boxer isn’t trying to put you away with his jab, there’s the opportunity to get around it and hit him,” Stephen Petermann says. “Most people know how to jab when they come in; we don’t have to train them. But they don’t know how to deliver a very powerful punch, stab or palm strike when somebody is right up close to them.”

In addition to the ordinary straight punch, hapkido students learn closed-fist and open-hand strikes for varying distances. “When you’re in close and try to punch somebody, that’s not the best time” Stephen Petermann says. “For the most damage, you want him out at the extreme range of your arm. But you have to be able to deal with him up close, so you’re going to change that straight punch into a palm strike or stab.”

Fight Strategy

In hapkido, the goal is to make students move away from technique-oriented striking — throwing an uppercut and aiming for the floating-rib area — and toward target-oriented striking — wanting to attack a certain pressure point and determining that a precise knuckle strike will best accomplish that. In other words, an exact target is identified before a technique is chosen. “If you fight somebody and you just want to punch him, you shouldn’t think in those terms,” Stephen Petermann says. “In self-defense, you should think, I’m going to hit this point, not this area.”

“Pressure points are very important when using your hands, especially when your opponent is more powerful than you,” says Jeffrey D. Harris, also an instructor in Jang Mu Won Hapkido. “You can’t overpower him with strength, but you can create severe weakness in his body by using the various pressure points.” There are half a dozen good ones all over the body that function well for the average person, he says.

But not all hapkido hand strikes target a pressure point, Stephen Petermann says. “We hand-strike for a particular target — not necessarily a pressure point but certainly a weak spot.”
Another important strategy of hapkido hand strikes is disguising what you’re doing, Stephen Petermann adds. “Very rarely do you see [other arts] put proper attention on looking at the person’s eyes, making your face not say, ‘Here it comes; get ready for it.’ Also, looking into a person’s eyes tends to make him look into yours; that allows you to sneak your hand up and hit him with something unexpected.”

Combat Options

Whenever hand strikes are discussed, a question emerges: Should you opt for open-hand strikes to prevent injury to your knuckles and wrist or choose closed-hand strikes, which can inflict more pain on your attacker but which may damage your own body? Hapkido promotes the view that the art should include all techniques and the student should choose what works best for a particular target in a particular situation.

“Everybody knows that if you palm-strike, you’ll never hurt your hand,” Stephen Petermann says. “But if the target is the bone over the eye and you want to make him bleed so he can’t see what you’re doing, are you going to use a palm strike? You may, but you won’t accomplish what you want. So you have to use a knuckle strike. Yes, it might hurt you to get that, but if you don’t, you may lose.”

On the street, you must be prepared to exploit any opportunity to stop your attacker, even if it means risking injury to yourself, Jeffrey D. Harris says. “As Master Kim is fond of saying, ‘You don’t always have a chance to get to what you’d like, so when you get a chance, you take it.’”

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by the Editors
Photo by Peter Lueders – Today

RondaAnnMaria150Tough guys, we have plenty. In fact, on any given day you can’t swing a nunchaku around the Black Belt office without hitting a self-defense expert, an MMA champ or a street-hardened master who has dropped by for an interview or photo shoot.

Tough girls are a different matter.

First off, we don’t have as many women cycling through.

Second, not all the female martial artists we deal with are into fighting; some practice the arts for other, less physical reasons.

These two female martial artists, however, bring some special accolades and history to the table. Both were featured on Black Belt magazine’s recent two-part article series, “Tough Girls: 10 Female Fighters Who Scare Us.”

Dr. AnnMaria De Mars

Background of This Judo Techniques Master: She’s been a judoka since she was 12 and coached since she was 14. She’s also the co-author of Winning On the Ground: Training and Techniques for Judo and MMA Fighters (featuring Ronda Rousey and Kayla Harrison), among other books, and — oh, yeah — the mother of MMA sensation and definitely-a-judo-techniques-expert-in-her-own-right, the aforementioned Ronda Rousey.

Qualifications of This Judo Techniques Master: In 1984, Dr. AnnMaria De Mars became the first American judoka to win the World Judo Championships. That means her judo techniques were first-rate back then — and the fact that she’s remained actively involved in the sport means she’s kept herself up to date on technical developments in the judo world.
Comments Regarding This Judo Techniques Master: “She’s tough,” says Lito Angeles, author of Fight Night! The Thinking Fan’s Guide to Mixed Martial Arts. “I saw her on Inside MMA, and she threw around Bas Rutten pretty well.

“They say judo is the combat art that has the most female competitors. That means it has the biggest base of elite female fighters, and that, of course, means the level of competition is higher. So any martial artist who was a world champion in judo has to have great skills.”

Having great skills entails knowing plenty of throws among one’s judo techniques and being able to do them flawlessly. That translates into having the ability to function on the feet as well as on the mat — which, it could be argued, is better than just knowing mat fighting from having practiced BJJ.

“When a competent judo exponent like De Mars blasts you to the ground — and it’s concrete instead of a mat — a lot of damage can be done,” Angeles says. “That’s a great skill to have.”

Making matters worse for the assailant, with judoka at this level of mastery in their judo techniques, it’s next to impossible to even lay hands on them. “As soon as you reach out, you give them something to grab,” Angeles says. “That’s all they need to off-balance you and slam you into the ground.

“Street self-defense should technically be about stun and run. You don’t approach it like a street MMA fight. You want to do enough to be able to safely get out of there. Judo throws are like stun and run because you’re not attaching to the attacker. The common reflex is for the other person to hold onto you when you try to throw him, but a really hard slam will stun him badly enough to make him let go.”

One Black Belt editor grappled with the person who made No. 1 on the aforementioned “Tough Girls” list &mash; and based on such experience, he’ll readily attest that the list was full of women who can handily kick male butt. (“Isn’t it reassuring to learn that the promises of the martial arts — you know, all those claims about being the great equalizer — are legit?” he says about the incident.)

That No. 1 tough girl? None other than …

Ronda Rousey

Background of This Judo Techniques Master: A judoka since the age of 10, Ronda Rousey has medaled in international competition numerous times. In 2008, Ronda Rousey bagged a bronze in Beijing, becoming the first American woman to win any Olympic medal in judo. For that victory, she was inducted into the Black Belt Hall of Fame. In 2010 she dipped her toe in MMA and continued her winning ways. As of this post, her record stands at 7-0.

Qualifications of This Judo Techniques Master: To complement the world-class catalog of judo techniques and skills she acquired from the likes of Jimmy Pedro, Ronda Rousey is being schooled in grapping and MMA by Gokor Chivichyan and Gene LeBell. “She’s a girl, but she has guy skills,” Chivichyan says. “I think she could fight men at her weight and win with no problem. Her submissions, ground fighting and takedowns are all excellent.”

“Her boxing has recently come around — she busted a pro boxer’s jaw in a fight,” Gene LeBell says. “Ronda has heavy hands. I’d rate her skills as nearly a 10 in everything.”

Also of note is that Rousey is the daughter of Dr. AnnMaria De Mars, the martial artist who occupied the No. 7 spot on Black Belt’s “Tough Girls” list. Coincidence? We think not!

Comments Regarding This Judo Techniques Master: “Ronda was a guest on The Ultimate Fighter Season 15 — Dominick Cruz brought her in to put on a clinic,” Fight Night! author Lito Angeles says. “She injured his knee with a throw — that’s why he’s out. She then demonstrated on all the guys on his team, and during the post-throw interviews, they all said she’s a badass. She pinned them down after the throws, and they said she was crushing them. They were all believers. You could tell they underestimated her.”

Starting with a foundation based in judo techniques, acquiring experience in the Olympics and then moving into MMA and boxing is a wonderful progression, Angeles adds. “Some people have criticized her for not having good stand-up, but I think it’s just that she hasn’t had to use it yet because her judo skills are so good — she’s defeated all her opponents by armbar.

“Ronda is the most vicious fighter on [Black Belt’s “Tough Girls”] list. She has no problem breaking arms — there’s a lot to be said for any martial artist who can do that intentionally. She’s hard-core.”

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