ADAPTIVE STREET AND GROUND FIGHTING SELF DEFENSE AND INTERNAL MARTIAL ARTS

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 "BEST OF" GC SELF-DEFENSE FORUM POSTS
 Heavily edited archive with redundancies eliminated.
Original spelling and grammar remain.
To comment, go to our active GC Forum.

 Special thanks to Patrick for tackling this massive undertaking!


To read the ENTIRE "Best Of" document, click here.



GUIDED CHAOS TOPICS...

Frank

I want to be respectful about this but i don't know how else to say
it......i don't see how you can be loose when somebody's trying to rip
your face off!!! I've been in 1 or 2 bad scenes and your adrenline goes
thru the roof. I just used every ounce of strength I had to get out of
there and i was so tired I almost puked. I've also read articles from
experts on how you've got to keep it simple and hit as hard as you can,
like one good palm to the nose over and over. How you stay loose and
*adapt* or *improvise* like it says on your website.....I don't know.
No disrespect but I don't see it. I'd come to a class but it's a plane
ticket.

___

Ari

Excellent question (or observation) Frank!

The term "loose" probably doesn't denote to most people what Guided
Chaos is getting at. That's why Lt. Col. Al prefers the term "pliable,"
and other masters describe it in other ways. (Check a near-future blog
post of mine for something interesting that Tim Carron told me about
looseness.) It's like the Tai Chi term "Sung," which is usually
translated as "relaxation," but according to some masters actually
means something different (albeit related) which isn't accurately
translatable.

Yes, the fight-or-flight response (which includes a large infusion of
epinephrine or "adrenaline" into the blood stream) can cause you to
explode with maximum strength (far more than you can normally summon).
However, how does your body USE that strength? Do your antagonistic
muscles strain against each other, yielding no movement or very
inefficient movement? Or do they work together in a more efficient
manner, allowing the body to move and change direction with maximum
velocity? There is nothing in the fight-or-flight response that
dictates the former. Your nervous system does not automatically start
tensing all your skeletal muscles involuntarily (although it does
increase pretension or muscle tonus--the state of being PREPARED to
tense explosively).

Taking "looseness" to the max in Guided Chaos training increases the
body's ability to use its muscles EFFICIENTLY, stress or no stress.
John Perkins sometimes uses this analogy: Imagine two people being
chased through an urban area. One is a sedentary man, the other is
Mikhail Baryshnikov. Which one is more likely to trip and fall?
Basketball players train to change directions unpredictably and
quickly. Such ability to USE MUSCLES EFFICIENTLY (i.e. being able to
tense and relax them quickly in coordination with each other precisely
when needed) does not disappear under deadly stress. Applied to combat,
such efficiency manifests itself as the ability of the muscles to tense
and relax in coordination to maintain movement and freedom of action
rather than stopping and straining against superior resistance (this
also relates to sensitivity . . . and balance and body unity!).

I've been in (thankfully few) fight-or-flight situations, but in none
of them did the "adrenaline rush" lock up my muscles, leaving me able
only to strain inefficiently. In fact, in one case, I was able to run
faster than I've ever run before, over curbs and uneven pavement! My
coordination was not GONE, even though my strength was enhanced. In
another I was able to multi-kick extremely quickly and with great
coordination from a supine position. I was not limited to simply
piston-driving my legs together in a leg press motion.

That's what we're looking to do in Guided Chaos by training
"looseness": to be able to make BEST USE of the added strength the
fight-or-flight response gives us in order to move where we need to
move as quickly as possible while attacking with maximum power without
being stopped or broken.

And remember, being just a little "looser" than the other guy is a BIG
advantage. . . .

Suggestions for further research: The article "Way of Adaptation" (you
get it with the E-newsletter subscription) and a review of the Guided
Chaos Newsletter Archives. Lots of good stuff in there addressing the
manifestation of "looseness" under real life-or-death conditions.

Hope this addresses your concern.

P.S. Guided Chaos actually does start beginners with close combat
training, which is the simple, straightforward stuff you refer to.
After they get that down, they then train the ability to adapt and
continue to land those strikes effectively no matter what the
circumstances.

___

Patrick

I was reading the Attack Proof book again. It talked about dropping.
I understand dropping for offense, but I can't wrap my brain around
defensive dropping, or dropping into a pocket. How do you drop
defensively?

___

Ari

First of all, I'm not sure whether this is an honest question on your
part (i.e. it could be just a "let's liven up the forum" thing), as I'm
pretty sure I've felt you do the stuff I'm about to explain in
training! But hey, maybe you didn't consciously know what you were
doing (or you just didn't think of it as "defensive"), so here are some
ideas:

1) Drop striking may be considered "defensive" when you drop strike an
incoming limb, as in a destruction. John talks about this extensively
in the recent Newsletter "How to stop a 400-pound bouncer's punch" (or
something like that). Lt. Col. Al has explained drop striking incoming
limbs as what you should do if you just can't get out of the way of
something or attack a better target before you're penetrated. This
shouldn't be confused with blocking, as a) you really do attack the
incoming limb with damaging force, and b) you don't retreat while doing
it, but instead bounce off the splashing impact right into strikes to
vital areas as your body advances. (Some might call this an "attacking
block," but I think that breeds the wrong mindset.)

2) You can drop to take the enemy's balance with a pulse so as to
negate whatever he is throwing at you. You see John do this in class a
lot while demonstrating "pure Keech." Once he has a hand on you, he'll
feel whatever's coming and throw your balance with barely any movement
(via a small drop) enough to negate any move you may be trying to make.
This is defensive in that the drop throws the balance in order to stop
any attack . . . but the loss of balance of course creates the opening
for John to move in and destroy.

3) As for dropping into a pocket. . . . A while back, Lt. Col. Al
explained to me that the only way to reliably pocket a good drop strike
in order to prevent it from penetrating your center is to drop as you
pocket. Dropping while pocketing is the only way to pocket quickly
enough to absorb/evade the sudden penetration of a good,
non-telegraphed drop strike. Think of dropping not just as a way of
generating power, but as a way of making your body move at absolute
maximum speed for a split second. Whatever you do as you drop, you'll
be doing as fast as you possibly can, thanks to the burst of adrenaline
speed the sensation of falling automatically creates in your body. (The
example I always use is from second grade when I was leaning back in my
desk chair to impress the girls, and leaned a little too far. As my
body started to feel itself falling backwards, it immediately went at
maximum speed to recover balance and prevent itself from falling.) The
only way to move quickly enough to have even a hope of getting out of
the way of a full-speed drop strike is to move just as quickly via a
drop. Of course you'll also need good sensitivity in order to feel the
strike coming soon enough to react. The best solution, as usual, is to
not be there in the first place.

4) There are many other possible examples of "defensive dropping." As
you quickly move offline to evade an attack, you drop into your new
root point in order to gain instant balance. This was defensive in that
you were getting out of the way of an attack. Even a drop strike to an
attacker's neck could be considered defensive (in a court of law!) in
that you did it in order to prevent him from killing you!

As you can see, a source of confusion regarding "defensive dropping"
may be the artificial absolute demarcation between "defensive" and
"offensive." All of the examples I gave above (there are many more)
could be considered both offensive and defensive. Even pocketing itself
can be considered offensive in that you do it in order to gain space
for yourself to generate an attack while taking space away from the
enemy and throwing off his sense of distance (another recent Lt. Col.
Al lesson). I believe in the old Forum Archives, John makes a point in
response to a question from Carl S., something along the lines of
"Guided Chaos is a defensive art that can be very offensive." The whole
point of Guided Chaos is to prevent injury to ourselves and loved ones,
not to go around attacking others. This is clear from the Guided Chaos
mantra, "Challenge no one." But of course, when forced to go physical
in order to protect ourselves and loved ones, we must "attack the
attacker" in order to shut down his ability to do us harm. So we're
offensive in defense. Offense and defense, yin and yang, flowing
together, "Ya can't have one without the . . . OTHer." (Insert favorite
Al Bundy quote. . . .)

___

Patrick

Thanks. Number 3 was what I meant. Let me clarify my question a
little better. Doesn't dropping harden you for a split second? If I
am correct, wouldn't that be detrimental when receiving a blow? I want
to stay soft while pocketing, just in case I misjudge the strike. Can
you stay soft at the end of a drop?

P.S. I wasn't trying to liven up the conversation. I may even drop
pocket and not even realize it.

___

Ari

This is probably getting beyond my pay grade, but I'll give it a shot:

I don't think dropping *necessarily* "hardens" you. Through subtle
muscular control, you develop the ability to direct the rebound energy
as necessary. If, for example, you're directing it into a strike,
you're supposed to send the wave of energy through the "nine pearl
gates" (i.e. the properly aligned joints of the foot, ankle, knee, hip,
spine, shoulder, elbow, wrist, hand) to strike the target. This
actually requires that the joints be aligned but loose, so that the
wave of energy may traverse them without getting stopped. The
full-speed muscular contractions associated with dropping do not
necessarily happen all at once on both sides of all joints, "hardening"
the body, but in very rapid sequence in order to carry the energy
generated in the drop. The "ice" effect at the end of a strike
(steam->water->ice->steam) comes from the alignment of the body between
the root and the apex of the strike's penetration, not from the entire
body's tensing up like a statue, even for a split second.

Watching and feeling John and other Guided Chaos masters move, they
seem to "flow through" their drops, hardening where needed and staying
soft everywhere else--NOT freezing outright, even for a split second,
while dropping.

So, if I am correct (those more experienced, PLEASE step in!), don't
think of dropping as a hardening of the whole body, but the use of
instant relaxation into a new or current root point to generate energy
that may be directed as needed, into an aligned strike or pulse, a
rapid change of position (including a pocket), an instant recovery of
balance, etc.

I KNOW I've felt you do this to me (drop-pocketing) frequently, and can
visualize when it's happened: my fist moves to penetrate at a downward
angle into your midsection, and you simultaneously pocket, turn to move
your body to the outside of my attacking arm, and shoot out a chop or
palm with your arm that is parallel to my attacking arm (i.e. your
right arm chops/palms if my left is punching)--all on one drop. Now,
perhaps you were "hardening" at the end of that drop (possibly
unecessarily), but as far as I can recall, in most cases you were far
enough out of the way that it didn't matter. We can play with this idea
the next time we work together.

___

Tai Chi's Relation to Guided Chaos

Ken F.

John Perkins extracted the internal principles of Guided Chaos from his

experiences as a student of Master Wayson Liao, who is arguably the

most skilled Tai Chi practitioner alive.

In my own experience with this, when I first touched hands with Lt.

Col. Al, I falsely concluded that there was no way he was simply

training drills taught in Guided Chaos. His skill level and mastery of

the principles/sub-principles in the book were so high that I thought

he had to be doing something else despite his reassurances that he only

did Guided Chaos drills.

In order to better understand this over the years I have read the

"Tai Chi Boxing Chronicles" by Kuo Lien-Ying, "The Complete Book

of Tai Chi Chuan" by Wong Kiew Kit, "Tai Chi Classics" by Waysun

Liao, "Tai Chi Theory and Martial Power" by Dr. Yang Jwing-Ming,

"Tai Chi Chuan Martial Applications" also by Dr. Yang Jwing-Ming and

the "Inner Structure of Tai Chi" by Mantak Chi and Juan Li.

While I obviously took a circuitous route to arrive at my conclusion,

what I've discovered is that due to John Perkin's brutal honesty and

desire to get to the heart of the matter, he was able to develop a

methodology for developing the internal concepts that internal stylists

aspire to achieve, yet in only a fraction of the time. Here are a few

examples of how Tai Chi or internal principles are distilled into KCD.

Let me start from the floor with the footwork and work my way upward.

The Ba Gua Circle walking for instance, although effective is nothing

but a mystified version of box stepping. In other words while the foot

work is correct, Ba Gua takes a more circuitous route in order to

achieve it. By the way, this is no different than the type of footwork

employed by the Matador in a bullfight. As simple as this may sound,

unfortunately many people who train in the internal arts still make it

more complex than it should be.

One Legged Balance as taught in many internal styles applies to all

sport/human movement and is not merely strength so much as it is your

ability to shift to a new root point and control your own equilibrium

without having it controlled by your opponent/attacker. However, the

martial art practices of Horse Stances or any wide leg stance that

doesn't allow you to instantly shift from foot to foot can get you

killed by a proficient fighter because they destroy mobility.

400 years ago, Miyamoto Musashi, who had no formalized training (good),

yet killed 67 men mostly with a wooden sword specifically stated that

your fighting stance should be as natural as walking. Yet in spite of

this, many martial art systems still teach the wide stances as it they

have any basis in the type of movement that happens in a real fight.

As far as your spinal cord, your only concern is really keeping your

lower back relatively straight. In the internal world, this is done

specifically by focusing on controlling your center of gravity which is

located two inches below the navel toward the center of your body. In

the world of sports medicine, this is also known as strengthening your

central core to avoid anterior pelvic tilt. Tai Chi practitioners go to

tremendous lengths to ensure that their entire spinal cord is perfectly

straight, however with a properly developed core this is unnecessary.

Spiraling, which is gently twisting your feet, ankles and knees outward

is only effective when used in the context of dropping. However,

because many practitioners of the internal arts never practice to

develop their drop striking or what is known in Tai Chi as "Cold

Power", they never make the logical connection or attribute it to

some mystical force rather than a principle of physics.

___

Admin

Just for the record, John Perkins met and exchanged notes with Wayson

Liao but absorbed his methodologies primarily through his student Dr.

Drew Miller, former Coordinator of Degerberg Martial Arts Academy,

Chicago Illinois.

___

Heavy Bag Training

Mike C.

I just got a BOB (Body Opponent Bag). It's the XL version that is a bit

longer so that you can kick and knee. It's a pretty sweet bag.

The only downside is that sometimes I forget it's in my room and for a

second I think a big, angry Nazi broke into my house. Needless to say I

instinctively grabbed my Remington 870 on one or two occasions.

I was wondering if there were any heavy bag drills that anyone can

recommend. For the past few days I have just been doing 15 minutes of

basic close combat strikes.

Any other thoughts?

___

Ari

Congrats on getting your BOB!

When I first got mine years ago, I didn't tell my apartment mate and

when she got home that night to a dark house she freaked out when she

looked in my room. I had some explaining to do! My girlfriend also

needed some time to get used to sleeping under BOB's watchful gaze,

especially after I put a jacket with a hood on it and she thought that

in the dark it looked like a photo from Abu Ghraib. . . .

Anyways, I assume you have the free-standing version, as opposed to the

hanging version--right? The free-standing one is more common.

I think the first thing you should start doing on BOB is light, very

free and relaxed Anywhere Striking. Bounce freely and easily between

various ridges, as if your limbs are floating, letting each weight

shift send your weapons loosely and randomly into the good targets.

Don't worry about hitting hard and especially don't try to push through

your hits. Just let everything bounce. You'll find if you start slow

and loose, and get the whole body swinging through everything,

gradually your speed will increase until almost without realizing it,

you're effortlessly demolishing BOB. Treat your knees just like your

other ridges in this drill. Start moving around BOB once you're going

smoothly from the front. Beware of leaning anywhere, especially

backwards, because of the funny angles BOB creates because of the base.

Work in multi-directional strikes, e.g. hitting the body one direction

and the head the opposite direction. Experiment and imagine what

certain combinations would do to a person's neck or spine. . . .

You can also start polishing the sphere, then step closer to BOB so

that your random motions "become" strikes as BOB "gets in your way."

Try this with Psycho Chimp, and also while Washing the Body at the same

time.

A drill that Al had me do was to get into zany positions in front of

BOB, on the verge of losing balance, and strike out from there while

recovering balance. Can you say inadvertant MEGA-DROP??? Think of

things like bending to get into a car, getting up off the floor, having

just been struck hard, etc.

Of course, you can do all these drills from a wobble board.

Another good one is to do the Rocket Step drill Matt Kovsky shows on

the Companion DVD Part 1, where your relaxed palm strikes with full

weight shifts and waist turning accelerate and compress until you're

dropping and hitting as fast as possible.

Something Al told me is that you don't have to fill the base all the

way. In fact, keeping it on the light side will help you keep yourself

from PUSHING instead of STRIKING (splashing). Remember that just as

you're trying to make a heavy bag dent and jump when you hit it, rather

than move and swing, you're trying to make BOB dent and jump rather

than lean and fall.

I believe all the drills John shows in class involving pushing a heavy

bag away and then stopping it cold on the return with a good drop

strike or drop kick can be done with the BOB, perhaps with less

challenge on the BOB because of the mechanics involved. Just be sure

not to lean into the strikes/kicks--drop straight down so that you keep

your balance even if you miss or the target vanishes.

Try "entering" on BOB, coming in with kicks to strikes, dropping

offline while striking (especially onto a wobble board--see Companion

DVD Part 2), using the Dog-Dig and other stuff. Imagine BOB has a knife

and keep him away with kicks as you move offline. Push him half-way

over, turn away, release, and fright reaction into strikes when he

snaps back and hits you.

This is more than enough to get started. Have fun and experiment. Try

closing your eyes, touching BOB somewhere, then guiding your strike and

drop from there--no pulling back. Remember to use BOB primarily to

develop your balance, looseness, sensitivity, body unity and total

freedom of action, rather than just banging on it to condition your

weapons or develop "power." This is where many start pushing and using

excessive muscle in a misguided attempt to "feel" like they're hitting

harder. Remember that good hits should feel effortless. Also, dressing

BOB up with an old coat or something and putting sticks in the sleeves

to simulate arms introduces further possibilities. . . .

___

Techniques vs. Concepts/Principles

Arnold Kelly

Just wanted to start by saying that I am finding the topics discussed

on this forum to be very enlightening. With that said, I have a

question that I hope someone will be happy to answer.

I was involved in a discussion on another forum about self defense and

I was informed that in order to learn "practical" self defense you

should NOT learn ANY techniques, but instead focus ONLY on concepts and

principles. My response was that while knowing effective concepts

and/or principles is the best way to handle the "uncertainty" of

defending yourself, you HAVE to have a set of "basic tools" in order to

be able to effectively APPLY the concepts/principles you were taught.

I have noticed that even though you guys advocate "formlessness", you

do practice WW2 techniques (which are my tools of choice, too).

So am I correct? Or am I missing something important?

___

Ari

In Guided Chaos, the close combat methods are taught primarily to

provide immediate capability in a beginning student, as well as to

inculcate proper mindset about self-defense. A student can experience a

huge increase in his/her self-defense capabilities after just a few

hours of close combat training. The same cannot be said for

principles-only training (e.g. a few hours of learning and practicing

the exercises and contact flow).

However, as a student advances in his/her training of the principles,

the set close combat methods should begin to dissolve. Some of the

exercises classified in the book as "close combat drills" should still

be utilized (e.g. Anywhere Striking and Gang Attack), but the complete

freedom of action that Guided Chaos training fosters should be applied

to the drills.

Here's an example of what I mean:

In close combat training, you will learn how to do an ax-hand strike or

chop. Your elbow is in front of your face and you'll externally drop in

while striking with the edge of your hand, while the other hand remains

high to protect your head and throat. This is the close combat

technique of delivering a chop.

In Guided Chaos (or "Pure Keech" as John Perkins sometimes calls it

while demonstrating, as opposed to "Keech-ized close combat"), you may

deliver force through the edge-of-hand ridge (striking surface), but

the "delivery system" is simply your body's expression of balance,

looseness, sensitivity and body unity, guided subconsciously. There is

no chop "technique" involved, no prescribed position for your body, and

no conscious thought of "chopping" the enemy. Sure, sometimes your body

position may look like the classic close combat position, but that

would be pure coincidence. In Guided Chaos, you simply sense and move.

You can apply the Guided Chaos principles to virtually any formalized

"system" of fighting, e.g. Keechy close combat (close combat strikes

such as ax-hand, chin-jab, tiger-claw, elbow, knee applied with

superior balance, looseness, sensitivity and body unity, as well as

maybe internal dropping) or Keech boxing (limited to fist strikes), but

"Pure Keech" is truly formless. Any possible ridge may be used for any

purpose (e.g. striking, breaking, off-balancing). Every individual will

move differently according to his/her physiology and psychology. For

proof of that, just watch each of the Guided Chaos masters apply their

stuff. One might think he's watching demonstrations of different

"martial arts"!

I hope this addresses your question.

In summary, start with close combat "techniques" to give students a

fighting chance from the very beginning. However, after that, pure

Guided Chaos has no techniques.

___

Ki Chuan Do and the "sportfighters"

Robert

Hi my name is Rob and after wasting my time in a TaeKwonDo McDojo for

about six months I decided to quit and look for a martial art that

will allow me to defend myself on the street.

While browsing through some books I found "AttackProof" and I believe

that I have found what I was looking for. If I lived in NewYork I

would be attending classes at one of your locations but unforyunately

I live in California.

Recently I introduced myself on Bullshido.com and I started asking

questions about martial arts styles and saying that I'm interested in

a street style like Krav Maga, CQC, and that I really like KCD.

Apparently that forum is full of insecure, closed minded and childish

people. As soon as I mentioned John Perkins and KCD they all exploded

in a torrent of foul language.I was shocked!It's pretty close to a

BJJ, MMA cult.

I've read some of the old threads, in 2004, where they offered to send

"Omega the Merciless" a Kung Fu and NHB fighter, to New York to test

his skills against one of Master Perkins advanced students, and the

fight would be recorded on video.

Apparently the offer was declined (?) and then they all started saying

that they proved you were all frauds.

Please do not get this the wrong way. I'm not trying to start

anything. I have a lot of respect for Master Perkins and for the KCD

students who have shown remarkable restraint on the forum while they

were attacked and insulted by the Bullshido trolls who basically do

not present any rational argument against anything. All they do is

gang up and "flame" anybody who has a different view.If you're not

BJJ, Muay Thai or Judo then you are a troll.

I would like to ask, why was the challenge not accepted? From what

I've been reading on this website and forum you have already dealt

with highly trained martial artists from other styles including

grapplers and they were beaten and overwhelmed by the KCD

instructors.Why not put this on video and show the world? I mean, I'm

sure that if these claims were proven KCD would take off in a big way.

Why not let Major Al take down that Omega person and have it all on

video? Why allow the Bullshidokas to disrespect Master Perkins and say

that he is a fraud, when all could be settled with a few videotaped

matches.

My second question.

There are no KCD schools anywhere near where I live. I have the book

and I want to get the DVD's. How should approach training? Shoud I

practice the principles on my own and start taking a martial art like

CQC or Wing Chun (who has the Chi Sao sensitivity exercise similar to

Contact Flow).

If I train in a regular martial art like BJJ, Judo, Jeet Kune Do, will

the practice of the drills help me become a better fighter?

Sorry for the long post, I'm new to the martial arts and I'm trying to

get as much info as I can so I won't waste my time in a useless style.

___

Admin

Hi Rob--

Glad to have you aboard and thanks for your question. This is a very

reasoned and dignified posting and it deserves a like-minded response.

The "Challenge" referred to was made and encouraged by 3 overzealous

enthusiasts of KCD (one of them was not even a member of our school at

the time) and NOT by any authorized representative of Ki Chuan Do or

the Attackproof.com website. The individuals responsible were severely

reprimanded.

John was prepared to set up a workout with legal waivers and other

safeguards, but by this time the above mentioned "discussion" had

rapidly degenerated into a typical, infantile, webforum cyber-slog

along the lines of "my Daddy can @#%&* your Daddy" with disgusting

obscenities and actual physical threats issued against John and other

members of our school. This is absolutely the wrong attitude and

environment for an enlightened "exchange of knowledge." No one is

welcome in our school who makes threats against its members. This is

not only unethical and illegal, it's foolish since our school is

filled with active duty police and military. This was a regretful

scenario and shall not be repeated.

We have nothing to hide and will work out with anybody from any style

with respect and the right attitude. John Perkins has an open

invitation to anyone with an open mind to come and work out in a safe,

non-threatening and non-competitive environment. Chapter 1 of our book

states: "Challenge no-one" and throwdowns and competitive matches are

not and never have been what KCD is about.

Sportive competitions have rules which prevent life threatening

injuries and thus allow the participants to easily use full speed and

full force. KCD principles were designed specifically to cause injury

or worse for real-world life and death situations (with and without

weapons) at full force and speed. We're not talking about patterned

technique training where "if you do this, I'll do that... and just

imagine that I'm breaking your arm." Our stuff is completely free-form

and non-cooperative and you can actually feel stuff happening to your

body just short of injury.

Also, our goals, methods and training are different: we do not intend

to "win," gain submissions, taps or even knockouts. A "throwdown" demo

with KCD won't work because the intentions don't mix. A sportive

competitor won't stop unless he is submitted, taps or is knocked out.

Since we don't do locks, holds, or go for knockouts, there is no

opportunity for a highly motivated competitor to stop unless his eyes

are gouged, windpipe crushed, etc., which is how we train

exclusively.

The cops, military and security personnel attending our classes know

how easy it is to permanently damage or kill a human being when the

gloves are off. Obviously we can only demonstrate to a certain point

on a live person. But we need to be clear on this: there are ways to

make certain that what we teach will work in reality.

Our training is completely free-form, unchoreographed and absolutely

anything goes, except for injuring your training partner (which isn't

to say that it doesn't happen occasionally). You don't actually have

to have your throat crushed or neck broken to know how certain blows

and manipulations can work: they occur frequently and randomly as a

spontaneous part of the motion. You definitely feel all this every

time you Contact Flow. There's plenty of free-form physical

interaction in a typical class for a person to judge the of

what we do.

High level grapplers and martial artists who visit are not subjected

to matches or "beatings"; they work out with us and many of them

choose to join. Much of our school is made up of these people and

nobody's preventing anyone from getting on a plane and seeing for

themselves.

As for your second question Rob, here's what we recommend:

"HOW DO I PRACTICE KCD IF I DON'T LIVE IN NEW YORK?

First, go to the "Find a Training Partner" page. Second, find a school

(Close Quarters Combat or American Combato based on Applegate,

Fairbairn & Sykes) that teaches simple basic strikes, like palm heels

to the face, eye gouges, edge of hand to neck, head butts, knees, and

low kicks, train them as fast and hard as you can against various

targets, from every angle, in every combination, and combine it with

completely free-form "play" with as many different partners as you can

(without hurting each other!!). Add a course in basic self defense

awareness and confrontation de-escalation. Finally, you can try and

find a Tai Chi school that teaches real combat tai chi and incorporate

internal energy principles (like softness and "cold power").

It might be practical to take ROSS (Russian Martial arts or Systema)

as long as they offer some opportunity or forum where you can practice

free form fighting as opposed to regimented fighting (as long as it's

not a bunch of psychos who go home bloody every night). This way, you

have a place where you can work in Ki Chuan Do (KCD) principles and

see what happens. This can be helpful because KCD principles can work

with any art--KCD is not about techniques--it is a WAY of moving.

Russian Systema has a fairly free-form practice system. Barring this,

if you can find a Tai Chi push hands class, you can make some great

progress if you have some open-minded workout partners. You just work

in deadly striking movements at slow push hands speeds along with the

typical pushes, brush backs, etc.

Another possibility is to join a Jeet Kune Do school because they tend

to be fairly open-minded. Again, you could try out some KCD with an

open-minded partner and try to develop that way. Note that it's

important at some point to come to NY to feel what KCD feels like from

Master Perkins or a senior instructor to verify that you're on the

right path. That "feel" takes seconds to understand (but longer of

course to master).

In addition, a wing chun training partner can be helpful; we have some

members who train with WC practitioners and get a lot out of it if

they can agree to mix their Chi Sao with Contact Flow. It depends on

the people you meet. We also have students who train BJJ. Good

grapplers tend to develop a higher level of full-body Sensitivity than

many other stylists.

In general, we recommend working out with as many different people

from as many different styles as possible.

___

Robert

I just finished watching your DVD on Native American Groundfighting

and I have some questions.

At some point Major Al says that boxing is not good for self defense

and that there are only a few people in the world who could make it

work . However I've been reading on people like Geoff Thompson who's

been in a lot of serious encounters as a bouncer and he recommends

boxing as a first line of defense on the street and crosstraining in

grappling.Here's the link in case somebody wants to look into it:

http://www.knucklepit.com/mixed-martial-arts-geoff_thompson.htm

Also I personally know boxers/muay thai people who succesfully not

only defended themselves in street fights but were able to do a lot of

damage to their opponent with ease. Fairbarn seems to be saying the

same thing about his techniques" They are not designed to compete with

the boxer or judo expert, they are for pulling yourself out of a jam."

A lot of the anti grappling defenses shown in the video focus on

eyegouges and neckstrikes to stop the grappler. I've been told that

there are Vale Tudo events where absolutely everything is allowed,

including eyegouging, and they do not make any difference to the

outcome of the match. For example in Vale Tudo 94 in Japan, Gerard

Gordeau (a superb striker) eyegouged Yuki Nakai, a judoka, and

permanently blinded his eye. Nakai kept on fighting with a blind

bloody eye and won the fight with a heel hook. Not only did he beat

Gordeau but he got into another fight in 20 minutes(with one eye

blind!). I've also seen such a fight on video where everything was

allowed, the striker attempted some kind of eyegouges in vain as the

BJJ person went for the takedown, took him down lightning fast and

ended by snapping the striker's arm.

I'm not questioning the effectiveness of KCD or trying to start a

debate, it's just that some of these sportfighters are bringing up

some good and logical arguments. I'm sure that there are a whole lot

of internal principles in KCD that cannot be seen on video but have to

be felt in person. I am and will continue to be a firm believer in

internal martial arts done the right way. I just like to keep an open

mind on everything and ask questions,especially when there are good

arguments on the other side.

___

John Perkins

"I have one question to start with. How many blind Vale Tudo fighters

are there? I have heard this stuff many times before. If you saw one of the UFC fights a

few months ago you would have seen where one of the fighters was accidentally poked in

the eye, causing him to stop fighting for quite a while until he felt better. That was only

a shallow scratch.

I worked on a crime scene where a teen ager killed his father while under the influence

of angel dust. The father was forced to strike his son repeatedly on the head with a

hammer but died when his son gouged deeply into his eyes and penetrated into the brain. I guess that the old man should have practiced for many hours a day to become effective

enough to stop his son with some boxing and grappling. Oh! I almost forgot: the father was 30 pounds heavier and worked as a laborer.

I was caught on a stairway fighting for my life against three men where I was forced to

poke one of them in the eye (which stopped him) allowing me to get out my firearm and club one of the others into unconsciousness. The third ran off. I guess I should have boxed and grappled these guys. The two I dropped had knives on them which they were not able to pull out in time. The situation happened suddenly-- they and I were surprised on the staircase when I ran into them in the middle of a drug deal.

I agree with Mr. Thompson concerning mixing boxing and grappling. In certain situations

where you are not worried about being stabbed to death or jumped by an attacker's friends, a young, strong, well trained man could make the sportive stuff work. It is even better when the opponent is less well trained and less strong. I could not imagine what would happen if a person were relegated to fighting fair against a larger, stronger and well trained man. Developing KCD principles will make most of your training work better.

I teach some of the best and biggest bouncers in New York City. I was hired for a few

reasons; one of which is to teach these men to deal with other men of similar size who are

bodyguards to some bad guys who frequent certain night clubs and like to get their way,

using their bodyguards to take care of business. Many of these bouncers are trained in

boxing, ju jitsu and some were college football linemen. The smaller ones were about 6'

5" tall weighing in at 275 lbs to 300 lbs. the larger ones are 6' 8" or more and weighing

in at 360 lbs. to 440 lbs. All of them are quick and can be ruthless. All of these

bouncers found that they could fight far better in a very short time once they developed

more balance, timing, sensitivity, looseness and power.

I have seen some good boxers and martial artists deal with fights in bars pretty well. I

have also seen some good practitioners get their heads handed to them by bigger and

stronger men. None of them fared well against multiple attackers.

Fairbairn may have stated that using the basic close combat stuff was not designed to

fight a boxer or other professional fighter. I would agree that this could be true. There

was very little time in WW2 to train men to fight so only the most basic strikes were

taught. In KCD we take these strikes to a new level. Developing your attributes to a high

degree and learning how to effectively put these strikes together under chaotic conditions is only the first step in KCD training.

To go further and train in the Guided Chaos principes over time will allow even far more

effective strikes which can be performed on the move with a serious assailant.

I know of a fight that took place in Iraq where a knife wielding maniac attacked a U.S.

military member. The military man was attacked so quickly that he could not bring his

rifle up to bear for a shot and was forced to crush the knifer with his rifle. Do you

think he should have stuck with the BJJ training he received?

I can only say that if you are young and strong you can make much of the sportive

fighting work under proper conditions. I believe that training in the various sportive

martial arts is excellent for conditioning and in most cases develops good sportsmanship

and character.

I personally would not wish to fight anyone without good reason. If a person wished to

fight me using grappling technique should I fight him fair knowing that his training is

based on limb breaking and strangulation? Of course not. How do I know how far someone will go with a strangle hold for instance? If someone wishes to attack

me with potentially deadly force should I be relegated to fighting fairly? How many friends does he have waiting to stomp me into dust? Since my life may be on the

line and somehow my attacker was able to get close to me and attempt to take me down

should I not hit him in the throat or pierce his eye or cut him? I will not answer this

question. I leave it to you do think on this. Remember there is no guarantee that your

attacker will be nice. That is why we practice for worst case situations. There is no room

for machismo on the street or even in your local bar. Unless you are a mind reader you do

not know the intention or your assailant(s). This is one reason why we practice delivering the most power to the most vulnerable targets availabe.

I hope this helps you understand why Guided Chaos/KCD principles are important.

Take care, JP"

___

Drills to improve weapon training

Mike C.

I am a firm believer that first and foremost one should train with

weapons in order to successfully defend themselves. Sadly this is a

world where conflict is settled by guns, knives, rockets or IED's. And

hand to hand combat should compliment whatever weapon training you

already have. I'd hate to be one that carries a knife or owns a gun

and doesn't know how to properly use one.

Letter writing(Split-Brain Writing) is a drill that appears to work well in helping one

draw a handgun and also slam an axe hand into an opponent, or helps

one draw a knife with the weak hand, what have you. The slam bag

seems to improve weapon retention, grip, etc. Body unity drills seem

to help point shooting. Taking a padded stick and doing full body

drops on a heavy bag seems to simulate a rifle pretty well.

I was wondering if there were any other KCD drills/exercises that

anyone could recommend that emphasizes weapon use.

___

Patrick

First practice taking out your carry knife/gun/etc. out in a safe

environment. i.e. don't stab yourself or put a bullet hole in the

wall. Wear heavy clothing. Wear gloves if you wear gloves. Sit down

and try it. Park you car in the garage, close the door and the try

drawing it with the seatbelt on.

Knife drill - Get a rubber knife. Do close combat strikes against a

heavy bag, while stabbing a slashing the bag. Throw in kicks and

throw the bag to the side with body unity to simulate offbalancing an

opponent. If you can set up multiple bags in close proximity. Make

sure you go around, between and keep the bags moving. Here is the

important part. Be cognizant of anytime you cut or stab yourself.

Gun drill - Get two airsoft guns, preferably electric. Make several

pellet traps. Put them at different distances and elevations. Have a

gun in each hand. Shoot one target with one hand then another with

your other hand. Don't aim and have the guns at your side. Or have

them on the table. Don't fire one gun more than once. This is

because they don't have recoil and really only simulate the first

shot. Get crazy. Shoot while moving. Fall onto soft furniture while

trying to hit two targets. Try split brain firing. Fire the left gun

to a target on your right without turning. Fire from the hip. Get a

holster and do close combat strikes on a heavy bag and suddenly pull

out the gun and fire at on of your targets. Be creative.

___

What age would you reccomend teaching children.

Falchi

I have studied KCD for a while and would like to teach my kids when

old enough. I know from experience that this system works and would

like to prepare my daughters and sons for the real world. I have

started my son (2 1/2 years old) some basic balance and box step.I

figured to wait teach "push hands", but what age would you reccomend.

___

Patrick

It is more about the mental age, than the physical age. There are

a lot of deadly moves that should only be taught to someone who

understands when it is to be used. The difference between someone

trying to kill/kidnap/molest you and the school bully pushing you to

the ground, for instance.

People are never too young to learn the principles. Looseness, body

unity and balance. Have them stand on one leg, on a wobble board or

any unstable surface. Playfuly push them around. Make a game out of

it. If you have the book, have them do the drills (the non-violent

ones) Again, make a game out of it. Do contact flow with them. No

strikes of any kind. Try to tickle them and take their balance.

Attach objects to your shirt and pants with duct tape. They win if

they can pull it off of you without falling or being pushed or falling

off the wobble board.

Here are some self-defence drills for kids. Pick them up and when you

do, have them bicycle kick you. When you drop them, have them run out

the door. Teach them to yell at the top of their lungs, "Help!

Mommy! Daddy!" while they run away. There are others, but I can't

remember them right now. Just remember, strikes won't work against

someone who outweighs you by 200 pounds. The bicycle kicking is about

making them hard to hold so they get dropped, not to injure.

Once they hit a safe mental age, all you should have to do is add

targeting to the vitals and refining of drop strikes.

____

2. "Why teach dirty techniques such as eye gouges when they require no skill, don't work on skilled fighters and don't end fights anyway?"

Ken F.

The problem with this thinking is in believing that we are saying the

eye gouge in and of itself requires special skill. No. That simply

takes moral will. What requires special skill is the delivery which

allows you to subconsciously change with the moment to moment

variables of fighting an uncooperative or resisting opponent.

As far as the assessment that eye gouges/dirty techniques don't end

fights, let me elaborate on our thought process. When we strike,

because we are rooted we are essentially always striking with the

support of the ground. Therefore, I may strike you with enough force

to break your ribs, yet I still don't expect it to do anything but

impede your progress for anytime longer than a split second. It's the

same thing with an eye gouge, depending on how deeply you penetrate

you could potentially end it, but if not, you at least maintain

control of the head and still maintain tactile sensitivity.

It's not that we can beat a grappler within the dynamics of grappling

or even outbox a boxer within the dynamics of boxing. I wouldn't even

try as I'm smart enough to know the dynamic of sport fighting is not a

game that's meant for me to play. Boxing and grappling require an

extraordinary amount of time and skill to pull off in a real fight

against a skilled opponent and only a small amount of the most

talented people can actually get to the point where they can fight at

the highest levels with those methodologies. This point falls on deaf

ears to the majority.

Multiple, repeated drop strikes to vital targets, penetration of the

eyes, full force head/neck manipulation and crushing throats are

methods that potentially end fights. Since it's not rocket science,

anyone with enough moral will can do these techniques. For this very

reason, we simply train to get better than everyone else at those very

measures. We are not waiting to get into arm bars or leg locks before

we go for the eyes. We come out of the gates with these methods so we

can prevent it from happening in the first place and the reason why

people can't stop us from doing it is because of the principles. You

either get better at the same game or you suffer the consequences.

And no, we don't have to bust people up to prove this as that would be

completely immoral and counterproductive, primarily because we are

training to deal with criminals in unrestricted environments, not

other martial artists or curious people wondering if what we say is

real. Therefore, in case you are caught in speculation about this

system, which outside of this site is usually 100% BOGUS and

ERRONEOUS, simply pay us a visit and feel it for yourself.

___

My buddy got mugged

Dale Z.

Sometimes I wish all good folks watched a KCD tape or two, or went to
a class. My buddy got muggedcarjacked(kinda) the other day
and...well heres what he wrote in his blog:

"I was sitting at the stoplight when all of the sudden a young black
male, probably not even as old as me, manually popped my passenger
side door lock and jumped in my car. He didn't have any weapons that I
could see, but I wasn't going to chance it so he told me to drive to a
spot in the subdivision which I did. As soon as I put the car in park
he jacked me in the face and grabbed my keys out of the ignition. As I
was trying to grab the keys back from him another black male opened my
driver's side door and demanded I give him my wallet and cell phone. I
hesitated for a second with my wallet and he yelled at me again so I
did it. As the one guy got out of my car he tossed me back my keys and
I drove off."

The only thing I've really said to him so far is "You're lucky, it
could have been much much worse."

When I read this, I got seriously upset with him for driving off to a
secluded area with this guy. He wanted to take him into his territory
and it can only end up BAD. It did end up BAD for him, but it didn't
end up TOO BAD(because he's still breathing).

Obviously awareness, knowledge of never going with a kidnapper ever,
and othre KCD principlesknowledge would have been useful to him that
day.

I guess I'm posting this just to show that the violencecrime really
IS out there, closer than you think, so be aware and prepared! Stay
safe!

(ps - to Ken Freeman, this took place in Harvey, Illinois. We know
how safe that town is. )

___

The Secret of Ki Chuan Do

Patrick

There has been a lot of discussion of how to get better at KCD. It is

very simple, do the exercises and when doing contact flow, go the same

speed as your training partner. That's it.

Some people think that people who get a lot better faster must have

some secret training. They don't. They just work harder, more often

and understand the concepts better. Also some people are naturals.

They subconsciously understand the concepts and their body is

naturally more athletic. But that only gets them so far.

I was talking to John. He said words mean nothing. You can say

everything correctly, but if your body doesn't move correctly, the

philosophical aspect means squat. You can be a great KCD practitioner

and have no idea how to explain how you move. Think about it. How

many times has a master of KCD told you that you did something great

and you had no idea what they were talking about.

THE REAL SECRET - If your mind and body are not ready, you cannot go

to the next level.

If your rational mind tells you that you can't do something, then you

can't. That is why you do better when you think of nothing or about

something completely different than the contact flow that you body is

doing. If you body isn't strong or flexible enough, then you can't go

to the next step. Mind you, I am not talking about brute strength. I

am talking about the fine muscles in the legs, arms and body. The

ones that give you power when your body is in weird and difficult

positions.

___

Iron Palm/Bean Bag Dropping Exercises

Robert

I just got the DVD's in the mail. They are packed with useful info and

are worth every dollar, I'm so glad I finally got them. I watched

many self defense DVD's but these are totally different. It's a

complete no-nonsense, no BS approach to real street combat. Goodbye

Muay Thai.

Now as to what I wanted to ask, I have a traditional 5 pound canvas

iron palm bag filled with mung beans, would that be appropriate for

doing the bean bag dropping exercises or does it have to be leather?

On the DVD Major Al says that this is the real Iron Palm training.

Until now I have been doing it the traditional style in which you have

the bag in front of you on a desk and you just let the hand drop on it

without adding any muscular force. It's a gentle strike compared to

the full dropping in KCD and it builds the hands very slowly over the

course of many years so as not to cause loss of sensitivity,

deformation of hands etc. Several thing I wanted to ask:

-How often can I do the bean bag dropping exercises? I find the KCD

method to be more taxing on the hands and I know that overdoing hand

conditioning can lead to arthritis later on.

-Should I continue using Dit Da Jow with the KCD method?

-Also should I continue with the traditional chinese Iron Palm method

or should I just stick to the KCD exercises?

-How long should one stay on the bean bag before advancing to iron

pellets? In the traditonal system there is an intermediate bag of

rocks between the beans and iron.

- This may sound like a no brainer but here goes. I was also thinking

about getting into Iron Body training. Now I know in KCD we should

yield to strikes and be soft...should I just forget about it or is

there a benefit? They say it's also good for your health, circulates

the chi etc.

___

Ari

Glad you like the DVDs. Lots of training there for you.

I'll try to answer your questions one-by-one (and remember, this is my

opinion only--in the end, it's your body):

--I started out with a store-bought canvas bag. After a while I bit

the bullet and got the Guided Chaos slam bags (two versions). They're

simply "more better," higher quality and perfectly suited to the task.

However, until it started wearing out and "leaking" (cheap zipper),

the canvas bag served me well.

--I've been told that hitting things backed by an unyielding surface

is what eventually damages the hands. Therefore, hitting a bag placed

on a table, even lightly, may be more damaging long-term then hitting

one more intensely out of the air, or one place in your hand or lying

on a mattress or cushion. Realize that the Guided Chaos slam bag

training does a lot more than just condition your hands: done right,

it works timing, dropping, body unity, splashing energy, speed and

dynamic hand tendon strength. Hitting the bag in the air from all

angles introduces all these other important elements that simply

smacking a bag sitting in front of you doesn't hit on. Remember that

the Guided Chaos slam bag training should be done with no muscular

exertion, save the quick snatch to grab the bag after the hit on some

drills. You must stay completely relaxed in order to drop and

penetrate the bag so quickly that it feels like solid rock and doesn't

move away.

--Start out with a couple times a week on the slam bag training.

Having sore muscles in the hand after the training (like sore muscles

after a weight lifting workout) is fine. So long as it's not

debilitating, that's your hand getting stronger! However, any "deeper"

pain, numbness or tingling in the joints/bones is to be avoided. Stop

the session immediately if you start to feel this. If it happens every

time you work the slam bag, consider ditching your bag and getting the

official Guided Chaos one (which is designed not to damage you and can

be used by virtually everyone). You also may simply have to start

easy, hitting lightly and gradually building up. Once you get a feel

for it and experience no "bad" pain, you can start getting creative

and listening to your body in terms of frequency and intensity.

--I've never used Jow and am unaware of its benefits. I'll usually

just wash my hands with warm and cold water and soap after training

(primary so that my hands don't smell like cow skin--but it's also

relaxing/soothing).

--Personally, I'd stick with the Guided Chaos method because a) it has

so many benefit beyond typical "iron palm" training, and b) I've met

people who got very damaged even by "light" or "proper" iron palm

training (e.g. severely swollen hands), but I've yet to meet anyone

who's been damaged by Guided Chaos slam bag training.

--These days, I believe John Perkins says that just sticking with the

bean bag is sufficient for most people. As you get better, simply hit

it harder and more creatively! That said, I know that Lt. Col. Al

likes his heavy steel bag, as does Ken F. in Chicago. Personally, the

steel bag I have doesn't allow me to hit full-power without numbness/

tingling. Therefore, I use the bean bag for most of the training,

reserving the steel bag for LIGHT hitting and simply throwing and

catching from various angles for tendon strengthening.

--Re: Iron Body training: I don't know much about it. However, I look

at it like this: How much time do you have in a day/week to train? For

me, in a given amount of time, I'd give priority to the training

methods that I KNOW give the most tangible benefit, with no risk of

damage. Best example: Guided Chaos balance training. Ninja Walk,

Vacuum Walk, Indian Walk, Long Stepping, Atomic Leg Crusher, Wobble

Boarding, Balance Walks on Stairs and Balance Walks with Weights,

among others. EVERYONE can improve his/her balance, and better balance

provides the "health benefits" of improved proprioception, better

combative ability and reduction in the risk of experiencing serious

injury from accidental falls (one of the worst killers/hurters as we

age). Add the Guided Chaos tendon strength exercises, energy drills

and groundfighting exercises (some of the best core strength exercises

around). Finally, neglect cardio and conventional strength training at

your own risk. Now, after all this and regular contact flow and close

combat practice with training partners, if YOU still have time to get

in some Iron Body training and you think it's useful, well, have at

it! It's a question of priorities.

Personally, I'd rather do more balance training!

___

 

Master Teaching Master

Patrick

At class today I saw Al teaching Matt. You can learn a lot by

observing these lessons. Everybody teaches the fundamentals. In

fact, what I learned were just fundamentals, but taken to the extreme

limit of them.

Body Kiching - You know how you use your arms to not challenge the

other person's strength, but get around his limbs to hit? That's is

what Al was showing Matt. He said that John doesn't just pocket and

turn to avoid a shot. John uses his torso as a fifth limb. He puts

his body through that just made opening to step closer. This frees

his actual limbs to deal the damage.

Tool Destruction - This was very hard to explain in words. In person,

it would be far simpler to just show you. Anyway . . . If you ever

flowed with Al, you know how he chops your arm and it feels like your

arm is going to break. Al was showing Matt how John does it

differently. All it is, is a change in angle and intent. John chops

Al's arm to send the shock directly to Al's shoulder. Either he has

his shoulder dislocated or he just takes his limb completely out of

the way. Al said John does this to Al, because Al is too loose and a

simple arm destruction will not work. By changing the angle of the

strike to cause the arm to pull on the shoulder, it forces Al to have

structure.

I hope I explained it well. Please post any questions and I will do

my best fill in the blanks.

___

Ari visits Chicago again

Dan Knudsen

I was fortunate enough to be invited to train with Ken and Ari upon

Ari's latest visit to Chicago. I had contacted Ari by E-mail when I

recognized his name from the TMA I was studying, and noticed he had

switched to KCD.I had purchased the Attackproof book, Kill the Enemy,

and the Slambag dvd, so I definately was interested in KCD.

What amazed me the most was their striking power! I had never felt

such powerful strikes. They did not "chamber" the strikes in any way

and I know they were holding back and just giving me a sample of what

KCD strikes were all about. No muscular tension, very little range of

motion(non-telegraphing) and torso shots felt like a shockwave going

through me.

These things have to be experienced to be appreciated. No amount of

reading or watching dvds can communicate what is really going on. For

example I thought I had an idea of how to drop but Ari showed me how

to drop the right way very quickly. He is an excellant teacher.

I have had a lot of martial arts experience but I felt like I didn't

know anything when working with Ken and Ari. They are impressive.

I am going to re-read the book because I think that I will have a

better insight as to what is being said.

Thanks for the training guys!

Ken I will call you this week.

__

UNDERSTANDING GUIDED CHAOS

Kevin

As another post on Ari's return trip to Chicago shows that Guided Chaos/KCD (GC) has a new convert. Dan had previously read the book and watched the videos but now had the opportunity to see and feel a little taste of what people who live in the NYC area are fortunate to be able to train in GC on a regular basis under the few Masters of the art. I

have heard people who have seen the tapes but never had first hand experience with GC questioning the effectiveness of the art or the legitimacy of the tapes. To them it appears to be a lot of hocus pocus like so many other martial arts tapes out there. I know that if I only had tapes to form my view of GC, I would probably be quite sceptical too.

However, I have met a few of the people who has visited NYC and attended a class or two and almost all of them immediately realize that there is something really spectacular

about GC. The problem for some is being able to accept what they are actually seeing

and in some cases feeling (since GC is so different from what traditional martial arts teach). There is definitely a disconnect between their conscious and subconscious levels. The conscious level is unwilling to accept what their subconscious picks up and accepts intuitively. Their subconscious picks up the reality of what's happening but their conscious level tells them that the self defense movements (techniques) just can't be this simple or how is it possible to generate such hitting power with just a flick of the wrist, or how is it that no matter which way or where I move, it can't be possible for the GC practicioner to be cutting off the area that they are trying to step to before they actually start their motion.

We see many people in the NYC area who come to class to see what GC is all about and never return for another lesson. I will not bore you with my speculation why people comes to class and swears that this is the art that they have been searching for only

never to return I am sure they have their reasons I just hope they are being honest with themselves.

I have been studying GC for 6 years and at times still get mesmerized by the simplicity yet effectiveness of the art. I continuosly re-read the book and re-watch the videos and

pick up new information every time.

Part of this is because as I learn more my understanding of GC raises itself to a new level and I can observe and learn things in a different light then what was possible before.

As you learn more GC you will realize there are different levels of understanding the same principles and applications based on your understanding of the system.

l suggest that all of you who have not had the opportunity of working with the GS Masters get to NYC to attend a class or a seminar or if that is not possible then organize enough people in your area to hold a seminar there.

I would like to hear from others about their growth in GC and their perspective on the system and if their understanding has changed much as they continue to learn.

____

Ken F.

I would personally like to speculate on why we get people that come

in, feel and even admit that they were helpless against us, yet never

return. The answer is ego.

Imagine if you were mislead to believe some of the negative comments

made about Guided Chaos/KCD on some of these internet forums/schools.

You decide that you are going to secretly come in and wreck what you

thought was a lot of cooperative demonstrations so that you can please

your superior/instructor with a beautiful story. You come in and

realize that not only could you not get any of your techniques off,

you also realize that you could have been subtracted from planet Earth

at any given time at the discretion of the guy you thought was a

brainwashed idiot.

How do you return to your forum/school and explain that? You can't. If

so, you start realizing that not only were the people you were

listening to a group of pure fools, you also realize that you are

completely violating your very own belief system. So you choose to

ignore it . I'm sure this is done in various ways ranging from, "well,

I worked with their top guys, of course THEY can do it". "If only I

spent a little more time on my takedowns, it was my fault I lost, I

gotta train harder".

Also, the truth of the matter is that Guided Chaos simply isn't for

everyone because it takes a ton of humility to realize that while you

were skilled in one paradigm, you have to completely fall back to

ground zero to get good in a more dynamic form of fighting.

Other reasons range from loyalty to their instructors, lack of time,

lack of motivation, or whatever. All of that is fine because in truth

I personally do not care if someone returns or not. It's available for

those who want to learn a truly applicable dynamic of non-sportive

fighting and those are the only people I'm actually concerned with.

___

 

Revelations

AllanR

My latest in class "revelation" (defined as the moment when a concept

I have been literally beaten over the head with, sometimes for years,

finally becomes clear)......

Al approaches, reaches out to make slight arm to arm contact...I

then wait to feel some impetus to move.....NO!!!! DUH!!!

Simplicity..Just step in to hit!!!! Move to hit! How many times have

I heard that??? The mere feather light contact with his structure

(after all, I know he is "up to no good") must launch me into a

potentially lethal strike...step, defend, attack, devastate, all in

one lightning like direct movement.

Later, same class. Working with Kevin, getting beat from pillar to

post, unable to mount any effective defense. Feels like I'm constantly

trying to catch up - he beats me to the punch every

time....DUH! ..until Kevin clues me in.."remember, every movement must

be a hit" OH, OF COURSE!!!! MOVE TO HIT!!! Every move must be a

simultaneous defense and offense. I'm getting hit because I'm being

inefficient. Don't defend, move to where I am protected and, AT THE

SAME TIME, HIT! Unavailable, yet unavoidable. I've heard the GC

mantra over and over and finally the light bulb goes on, the universe

realligns itself and my BODY seems to finally hear! Kevin and I go

again and I'm finally hitting him, not allowing him to catch up! It's

so damn easy. Simplicity.

Which brings me to the new "Eye Of The Storm" DVD. It is ESSENTIAL

viewing for anyone trying to understand the GC concepts, especially

without the benefit of hands on instruction. It's like 6 hours of

private lessons from John, Al, And Matt. The next best thing to being

there. Also alot of footage us regular attendees have never seen, and

need to see over and over and over...until it clicks!

I've been through the 3 DVDs twice now..I can watch over and over

and see and hear new stuff each time...as I evolve in my training I

take away something new with each viewing. The chapter breakdowns make

it easy to find the info your looking for. Having my teachers

available to review key concepts, when I am ready to hear and see, is

invaluable. Matt has outdone himself...these DVDs are probably the

single best training tool yet. A bargain at twice the price!

___

[tumbleweeds rolling by. . . .]

Ari

Given all the lively discussion lately (I hope this means everybody is

spending so much time training that they just have no time to check

the forum!), figured I'd throw something out there:

Working with a very experienced new guy today reminded me very

forcefully about how Guided Chaos is in the beginning and in the end

primarily mental. This guy, a very well-built, quick and athletic

mixed martial artist (who in John's estimation could wreck most dojos

and "masters" if he wanted to) seemed genuinely impressed and

interested in learning what John and I introduced him to. However, he

was trying so hard to explain everything we were doing to him in terms

he was familiar with that I think he mostly missed the points we were

trying to teach, even though we taught them a dozen different ways! My

attempted explanations of lack of conscious control, subconscious

sensitivity, complete freedom of action and perception of human

movement rather than identification of techniques were met with

questions about exact movements and strikes, the sequences I used,

what I would do against this or that, etc. And, he was trying so hard

and so quickly (perhaps not on purpose) to "score" with his trained

techniques that he was rarely able to begin to get a feel for the

qualities of movement I was trying to impart. To his credit, he did

"get" that I was much looser than he was and that this helped me.

Often when John did something to him and then stopped to try to

explain what he did, the guy would immediately try to hit John rather

than listen to the explanation. John would then patiently continue to

try to get his point across.

Now, I am NOT knocking this guy personally at all. He is very

physically talented and seemed to really be trying to understand what

was going on, unlike many first-timers who just get smacked around and

stare at you blankly. Rightly or wrongly, I attribute his apparent

aggression in trying to hit John after John stopped moving and in

trying to out-speed and out-strength me to his previous competitive

training, not necessarily to ego or a conscious need to get over on

people. In the grand scheme of new students, especially those with a

lot of previous training, this guy did very well. The point is, the

mental preconceptions that must be abandoned to even begin to

understand and train Guided Chaos are so deep and so blinding that

it's sometimes baffling to those who have already even begun to crack

through. After you destroy the initial mental blocks, Guided Chaos is

actually so simple and straightforward you'll wonder what took you so

long (even if it really wasn't that long!).

Now, to put this in perspective, after getting slammed around by Lt.

Col. Al later in the class, I was told by him that given my

development in terms of the principles of balance, looseness,

sensitivity and body unity, and my understanding of the futility of

brute strength, I'm ON THE EDGE of actually becoming good at and

beginning to understand Guided Chaos--if only my BRAIN would get out

of the way and allow my body to just do what it wants to do! Evidently

there are a lot more mental blocks along the way, at least for

me. . . . (In fact, I've heard this from Al before. Evidently, I've

been "on the edge" for a while now. Who will break through his mental

blocks first, I or the new guy???)

DISCUSS!!!

___

AllanR

Great stuff, Ari. To your summary about the depth of mental
preconceptions that must be abandoned I would add, and perhaps even
emphasize the EMOTIONAL preconceptions that must be overcome..as you
recently pointed out while working with me, if you tense up when you
can least afford to, when you sense you are "in trouble", all is lost.
Its easy to be loose when things are going well. The "natural"
response to get tense is probably tied to ego and self perception
issues...you have to "not care what happens" in order to stay loose
when being pressed. Developing the confidence to allow your body to
do what it needs to without emotion and intellect getting in the
way...that seems to be the challenge, at least for me. Thanks for all
the help.

___

Trained With 250 Pound Skeptic Yesterday

Ken F.

Yesterday I finally got a chance to work out with a guy that I went to

h.s. with who found out that I trained in the art. Anyway, just some

details. He is 6', 250lbs and used to squat 700 pounds in reps (NOT A

TYPO) during his college days. He wrestled in high school and I know

for a fact that he has issued some extreme beatdowns. He literally

kicked our fastest track star (4.3 sec 40 yd dash at the time) so hard

that his shoulders folded inward and he got stuck in one of the

football lockers. Can't lie, I was slightly worried but knew that I'd

be fine as long as I stayed on my game and didn't attempt to challenge

his strength.

Anyway, it started with me showing him how to do Anywhere Strikes and

the ferocity that we deliver strikes in a real fight. I let him feel

drop strikes and I even let him hit me in the body to show him how

looseness protects you from extreme striking power. Even though I know

we aren't supposed to do this, I was just in the mood. Sorry. We then

did some free fighting where I told him to do whatever he wants and he

called me today and told me he was impressed at how easily I kept

getting behind him. (Credit this to the attributes of looseness and

one legged balance.)

Sometimes he would go into stances or knuckle up and I'd simply back

away as I emphasized to him that you're either "in the fight" or

you're simply playing games. Other times, I'd go in with some Close

Combat strikes where I would seriously pull my strikes. Sorry folks,

but sparring has NOTHING to do with real fighting. That is an aspect

that is necessary for sport fighting only. The more I think about it,

the more I realize that it's really just a way to either conserve

energy for sport fighters, measure for angles to enter the fight or

just flat out posturing.

I then showed him how we train Contact Flow and not surprisingly, his

sensitivity was really good, most likely from the wresting. His

strikes were full from the waist up but were completely disconnected

from his legs. Hmmm...wonder where I've seen this before. I continued

to simulate throat CRUSHES with my thumb on the side of his adam's

apple as well as neck breaks so he started trying to grab and control

me. Sorry folks, but once again, grappling/controlling someone moving

at high speed is nearly impossible unless your sensitivity is in the

stratosphere. Even then, unless you quickly transition to something

else, it puts you at an extreme disadvantage unless you're fighting

against someone who is simply unaware of the possibilities.

Of course, the argument came up that no fight looks like this. True,

but I had to correct him. While you are supposed to cut your attacker

down with the same determination as one of the people infected with

the Rage virus from 28 Weeks Later, if you meet resistance, for split

seconds in time your sensitivity will have to react to pressure in the

same manner as Contact Flow, in fact this is the reason why I kept

getting behind him. Also, some people don't have a neck where you can

easily end it (really fat people and genetic freaks), so you have to

be constantly adaptable.

Still not sold, the old, "I could've taken you down argument came up".

First of all, I have no idea where this obsession with taking people

down has come from. I do not care if you take me down or not, because

in the real world you score no points for this. Of course, he started

trying to take me down...and failed. Nevertheless, I finally allowed

him to take me down and pulled my knees up and this is when his

skepticism disappeared.

I actually don't really train it as often as I should, but Native

American Groundfighting is the only ground fighting methodology that's

necessary. Even though I took off my shoes and wasn't moving anywhere

near full capacity. He was rendered helpless. I now know for a fact,

that the whole "I'll eye gouge you if you take me down" argument is a

moot point because if you fall correctly and use Native American

Groundfighting, it is completely unnecessary. In fact, the eye gouge

approach might be a step backward from this perspective. Simply do not

allow anyone to attach themselves to your body and don't stick

yourself in a 2 dimensional box in a 3 dimensional world.

Unfortunately, this is just one of the flaws I see with arts,

including BJJ when they fight with their legs from the ground. It's

too static and there's no change in angles with their legs, thus

allowing people to get pass their guards.(Not sure if this is to

encourage grappling or simply due to lack of awareness of the

possibilities.)

He finally admitted that Guided Chaos is a killing art and was unlike

anything he's ever experienced, so he's supposed to be coming back on

Monday for another session. If I can make him good in the principles,

it'll make me better as I'll have to really stay on my game to deal

with him. This is nothing new for New Yorkers, but it's really to let

those people who are training on their own know how far you can go

with dedication to the principles. These days I'm having sooo much fun

with the system. Even though it's a hobby for many of us, it's a

serious hobby and it actually works in real fights.

___

Ken F.

Good News and Bad News:

First the good...I trained with him for 2 hours Friday and told him to

come at me with everything he had. He's now a firm believer in the

principles and will be a force when he absorbs them into his

subconscious. On our feet I was able to neutralize his attacks with

dropping strikes, head manipulation and even though I couldn't stop

him from hitting me, looseness prevented any penetrating shots. He

tried to shoot in but I simply leveraged his head so effectively that

he now thinks he's too slow and that I need more skilled people;-)

Thanks John...dropping energy is my protection.

Now the bad...We went back into ground mode. Once again he was unable

to attach to my body due to me kicking or pulling one or both knees

up. The important point is that he also prevented me from doing the

same thing to him after an extremely short time of me informing him of

my strategy so please don't think I'm claiming to be Superman because

I'm not. Pulling Guard in a real fight is completly counterproductive.

For the sake of demonstration, I ALLOWED him to mount me. I did this

because I wanted to see if I could leverage him up with a groin attack

or slide my arm under his groin so that I could leverage him. DEAD

END. He had on some pleated corduroys and I'm telling you flat out,

when he mounted me, it was impossible for me to slide my arm under his

groin. The bottom of his pants were loose and they stretched out with

extreme tightness when he mounted me.

Now for the profound...The way I got him off of me was once again with

Native American Groundfighting. I started thrashing him with my knees

and when he would post forward with his hands, instead of waiting for

him to recompose I kept throwing his balance away with my legs. By the

way this was with grapevines and he still couldn't stop it despite

outweighing me by 60 pounds. And NO, I didn't bridge him as that

movement, as far as my experimentation goes is completely unneccessary

when you use your legs properly. As demonstrated on Kill the Enemy,

the mount is an inherently unstable position if you are actively

resisting.

Once I got a little space I quickly spun my legs around so that I

could visciously kick him. Of course I pulled everything, but being on

the receiving end he clearly got the point. John and Al are 100%

correct when they state that leg locks are not an option in these

situations if you are truly moving with bone breaking aggression. No

one can grab your legs when moving at maximum speed and if they try

they run the risk of getting their arms broken. If they do have enough

skill to grab you they run the risk of sustaining some extreme brain

trauma. Also, we found out that if you are moving ballistically and

actively resisting it's practically impossible to get a high mount.

The best part is that anyone can do these things with the right

principles and the right mindset. It doesn't require training 6 hours

a day or world class athleticism. Either people in the MA community

are simply overlooking these simple solutions or the people that try

to control us with grappling are doing something technically incorrect

which allows us to dominate them. Hey anything's possible because

there are countless fools out there who thought their "anti-grappling"

would work only to get themselves smashed. Nevertheless, I will be

experimenting with every single possibility imagineable in the near

future as I'm not going to leave any stones unturned. Early next year

I will even invite some people that I know actually fight in MMA bouts

to come in so we can do some friendly free fighting.

___

Ari

Great stuff Ken!

Glad to hear you're okay. Sounds like that guy coulda really broken

you had you not been loose and sensitive and hitting him hard.

I know you already know this (even though you don't listen ;) ), but

for the benefit of anyone reading this: DO NOT allow newcomers to

"take their best shot" so that you can demonstrate looseness, except

in the context of contact flow (where you're already in contact and

moving with him). Remember that if you simply stand right in front of

him and tell him to hit you in the body, all he needs to do is have a

sudden freak-out and "miss" your torso and nail you in the throat and

you're done. Likewise, DO NOT put yourself in disadvantageous

positions, such as underneath his mount (BTW, no matter how chaotic

your Guided Chaos, this is STILL a place we'd rather not be . . .

just

like the ground in general!). If a newcomer wants to know what you'd

do if you were mounted, tell him to try to put you there first.

Of course, once the "newcomer" becomes a trusted training partner

with

nothing to prove and a strong desire to learn from you, then go ahead

and experiment with all positions and possibilities (while staying

safe, of course).

Remember that in the case of sport grapplers, ALL of their stuff is

DESIGNED to allow them to go full-speed, full-power without serious

repercussions. Guided Chaos, in contrast, has FINAL repercussions

when

applied full-speed. So, when the two meet in the context of "just

playing around" or trying to "proove" something without serious

injury, one guy can go for broke and do everything in his power to

"win," while the other guy's PRIMARY concern is holding back, pulling

his shots and generally hindering himself so as to keep from injuring

the grappler! With a high level of sensitivity and good awareness of

the effects of his hits, a Guided Chaos practitioner can certainly

"make his point" in this context, as Ken did and as many others do

often. Still, it is NOT at all representative of real combat, and in

some ways (not all), it is actually MORE DIFFICULT than real combat

for the Guided Chaos practitioner!

I think the fascination with grappling, dating in this country back

to

1993 when Royce Gracie "unexpectedly" (for the uninformed) won the

first UFC, is a direct result of the severe disease of "pattern

recognition" in the mainstream martial arts and combat sports

communities. Most martial artists and athletes back then defined a

"fight" as the toe-to-toe, slug-it-out, stand-up sparring paradigm.

Wrestlers defined a match as a struggle for the pin with points for

takedowns, reversals and escapes. All that people could recognize and

understand were the particular patterns of their chosen arts or

sports. No one was prepared for a "little" Brazilian guy to bait huge

kickboxers, wrestlers and karate fighters (with poor balance and

sensitivity) into overextending so that he could easily take them

down

with refined wrestling movements and then wear them down on the floor

by giving them no space to move before tying them up and choking them

out from both top and bottom positions. Royce presented patterns to

them that they were unfamiliar with and unprepared to deal with. When

the public saw this, it seemed almost magical--simply because it was

so different from their previous very narrow references. Much of that

fascination still persists. People think that just because "set-up ->

takedown -> positional dominance -> submission" blew their minds,

it'll blow everyone else's mind. Note, however, how quickly Brazilian

dominance ended once wrestlers and even some kickboxers gained even

passing familiarity with the submission fighting pattern. Today, with

the mainstreaming of MMA, people include the three "phases of a

fight" (kickboxing stand-up, wrestling/hitting clinch and submission/

hitting ground) in the pattern they are comfortable and familiar

with. . . . But this pattern is still based on a) a sportive paradigm

of two athletes facing off at a scheduled time alone in a clean ring

with rules and intent to show dominance rather than to kill, and b)

discrete techniques and narrowly defined movement patterns in each of

these "phases" (including named punches and kicks and "hierarchies"

of

positional relationships in clinch and ground, etc.).

In Guided Chaos, we learn (as John and his students have always

learned, at least since the '70's) to deal with the movement of the

human body. Period. No limits. No surprises. No preconceived notions.

Most people have . . . no idea.

Hence the perennial, "Yeah, but if I went at you with a double-leg

takedown and then mounted you, REALLY fast, you'd have no

chance. . . ." Hey man, don't judge me by your own shoddy standards.

If you're a human and you're moving, you're in my element. If I'm

doing anything besides typical kickboxing and wrestling moves . . .

you're out of yours.

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