Self defense expert and author of "Surviving the Unthinkable," Tim Larkin demonstrates, with the help of the Wall Street Journal, three self defense moves everyone should know.
The first thing you should know about Jeet Kune Do is: there are no rules when it comes to the fighting element of the martial arts form. The second thing you should know is: there are several rules regarding the philosophy practitioners must embrace before practicing Jeet Kune Do.
Founded by Bruce Lee, JKD is style without style, fighting without fighting, the art of expressing the human body through combat.
Be Like Water
In JKD practitioners must be like water.
Water adapts itself to any container. It's soft and soothing, yet powerful enough to penetrate rock. It flows smoothly without hesitation. The essence of water was the foundation for Bruce Lee's philosophy in life as well as in his creation of JKD.
Once you've wrapped your mind around the idea of adaptation and moving without hesitation, you can now wrap your mind around the fighting elements behind JKD.
JKD focuses on minimal movement with maximum effect and extreme speed.
Most street fights only last a handful minutes before a winner is declared. The reason: we get tired.
In JKD, the focus on minimal effort is designed to increase your longevity and strength. If you can outlast the other person, you stand a good chance of winning the fight.
The JKD fighting style is about using different tools in different situations. Teachers have broken it down into four categories: kicking, punching, trapping and grappling, with various techniques flowing smoothly between each.
As you can see by the categories, once people started practicing JKD the essence of the art form instantly began to deteriorate.
In a nutshell, minimal movement means using offense and defense as one.
For example, in a fight you can either block then punch or you can block as you punch. Taking what was originally two moves and merging them into one conserves your energy, thus giving you more stamina during a fight.
No Fixed Forms
In traditional martial arts, practitioners are required to memorize a series of form sets to advance to the next level.
Form sets, or "Kata," are solo enactments of fighting scenarios, and the moves showcase the practitioner's ability to do a variety of techniques such as blocks, punches, kicks, and stances. Form sets are repetitive and rhythmic and do nothing to prepare you for a real fight.
In JKD there are no fixed positions, and Bruce Lee did not stress memorizing solo form sets in JKD training.
Although he did not believe in fixed forms, he wasn't entirely against their use. Using traditional martial arts techniques in actual combat, if the situation warranted, was all part of the JKD philosophy of style without style.
Good Defense Is A Strong Offense
In JKD, speed and strength are everything. The best defense is a strong offense, and JKD teaches using your opponent's momentum against them.
When you jump into water, water doesn't resist. It simply moves with you and then waits for the right moment to crash down. The same can be said for JKD.
Hand-to-hand fighting requires physical contact. In order for an attacker to hit you they must move towards you, thus creating momentum.
Momentum gives you an opportunity to strike. Momentum takes energy to create, and that energy can be redirected if your strike is strong and fast enough.
Straight Lead & Non Telegraphic Punch
The straight lead is the foundation for all punching in JKD.
The straight lead is not a power strike but a strike built for speed. It should always be held loosely, never stiff. This adds to its speed and makes it harder to see and block. It should be tightened up only on impact, adding a snap to your punch.
The straight lead is not only the fastest punch in JKD, but it's also the most accurate. The speed is attributed to the fact that the fist is held closer to the target. Its accuracy is gained from the punch being thrown straight forward from your center line.
The straight lead punch can be thrown from multiple angles and levels, and if used correctly, it will keep your opponent on edge.
Like a cobra, a JKD strike should be felt before it is seen. This means you initiate your punch without any physical or emotional indicators.
Physical indicators are things like tensing your shoulders or moving your feet and body. In JKD the attacks should catch the opponent off guard, throw them off balance, and leave them unable to defend against further attacks.
The key to non-telegraphic punching is that you must keep your body and arms loose, only becoming tense upon impact. There should be no wind-up movements or “get ready poses” before any of your strikes are thrown.
Become a Student
Now that you know the basics of JKD, the next step is to become a student.
Martial arts styles provide more than just techniques. They offer training, theories, and mental attitudes. Learning multiple styles of martial arts allows you to experience a system of totality. Only through learning a system completely will an artist be able to absorb what is useful and discard the rest.
In JKD the choice of what to keep is based on personal experience with various opponents over time. It is not based on how a technique looks or feels or how precisely it mimics tradition. The beauty of JKD is, only you decide what works best for you.
When it comes to self-defense there are a handful of simple, effective tactics anyone can use no matter how big or small they are. Boxing the ear is one such tactic.
How to "Box an Ear"
Cup your hands and in a wide, fast, circular motion, slam them both against your opponent's ears as hard as you can.
Strike with the palms of your hands not your fingers.
Boxing the ears is an underused technique that can produce a violent sound wave that has the potential to blow out your attacker's eardrums.
It can also cause extreme vertigo for your attacker, giving you valuable time to get away.
Video How To
Current Black Belt, Moose Tyler performs Taekwondo form set, Palgwe 2 as part of her Junior Black Belt Test on Oct. 5, 2012 at Grand Master Reeder's Martial Arts Center in Oklahoma City.
Current Black Belt, Moose Tyler performs Taekwondo form set, Taegeuk 2 as part of her Junior Black Belt Test on Oct. 5, 2012 at Grand Master Reeder's Martial Arts Center in Oklahoma City.
The Pocket Shark by Cold Steel might look like an average marker, but on closer inspection you'll find it's a versatile and efficient self-defense weapon.
The Pocket Shark is made from high-impact plastic and has walls four times thicker than similar markers. It's sturdy build allows it to withstand blows and rugged treatment, making it an excellent self-defense tool to ward off attackers.
Not only is the Pocket Shark good for percussion blows and getting joint locks or submission holds on an attacker, it also comes in handy if you need to break glass if ever you were trapped in a building or car.
The pen actually works, and the screw-top lid stays fastened in place no matter how rough you treat it.
Plus, it's light, easy to carry and only costs around $10.
If you're looking for a discreet, effective, multipurpose tool to add to your arsenal, then order a Pocket Shark today.
1st Dan, Moose Tyler completes the board breaking portion of her skills test.
Often overlooked as a tool only to be used when the lights go out, the flashlight is an effective and easy-to-use weapon that everyone should carry at all times.
When it comes to defending oneself there are a few vital areas you should focus on: sight, sound, and air. A flashlight won't be as effective against an attacker's ability to hear and breath, unless you know how to use it, but it can be useful at interfering with sight. And, you don't have to have years of martial arts training to use one. Anybody can do it.
Sudden exposure to bright light causes someone to flinch and instinctively adjust to the change. These few moments of distraction gives a person time to create distance and potentially escape a harmful situation.
Flashlights can also be good at detouring violent acts in the first place. When you think about it, attackers want to keep their identity anonymous. A bright light can be like a big spotlight on the attacker's face.
Plus, who carries flashlights regularly? Police do. It might be enough to cause hesitation in your attacker, which could be enough to help you out of the jam.
CHOOSING A FLASHLIGHT
When selecting a flashlight think small and durable. You want the flashlight to be quickly accessible and easy to operate.
Jumbo flashlights, though great as potential weapons, are hard to carry in your pocket. Cheap flashlights are not reliable and might not be bright enough to have any real effect.
There are many flashlight manufacturers out there, but most flashlights designed for safety and survival are more expensive that standard flashlights.
A FEW OPTIONS
Surefire is one of the more popular (and expensive) brands on the market. Their flashlights can be found in a variety of distribution outlets.
Surefire makes all their products in the United States, hence the price tag, and they are a superior company due to their high quality, durable products.
Fenix Tactical is another quality flashlight maker, though their products are made in China. They are a bit cheaper than Surefire yet still offer the same level of quality and durability.
No matter the brand you choose, make sure your flashlight is powerful enough to shine a bright light, easy enough to operate, and durable enough to take a beating. Remember it can act as a very short metal pipe in your hand, if need be. You don't want it to be so fragile it breaks under the stress of your own grip.
If you don't already carry a flashlight on your persons, or at least in your purse, start now. It's such such a simple, smart, easy, and effective weapon to use. It just doesn't make sense not to.
The Mayor of Mooseville completes the board breaking component to earn her black belt in Taekwondo on March 1, 2013.
About The Dojo
The Dojo is Mooseville's premier martial arts training center. We push our athletes to reach their fullest potential both physically and mentally. Founded by Moose Lee, The Dojo offers a variety of classes in all things martial arts.
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This Bruce Lee MIMOBOT from Mimoco is a 16GB Flash Drive complete with the tiger claw cuts, yellow tracksuit, and matching nunchucks. The bad guys won’t get near your data with this little gem.
About Moose Lee
Moose Lee's fascination for martial arts began at a young age. At 4, Lee watched Enter the Dragon in the back of her parent's station wagon at the drive-in. It was an experience that has shaped the martial artist today.
Current Level: 2 Dan
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Simple, effective, easy, and readily available, don't underestimate the power of a good flashlight when considering what to include in your mobile arsenal.
Tip: It's good to have a few things in your hands when walking to and getting out of your car. Keys, cell phones, flashlights, and other items can be thrown at an attacker to give you a few moments to get distance, but you don't want to be overloaded. Too many things in your hand can render both you and your projectiles impotent.
In daylight we recommend: keeping your phone and keys in your hand with a flashlight in your front or back pocket.
In the dark, we recommend: putting your cell phone in your pocket and keeping your keys and the flashlight in hand.