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COMBATIVES 5 FIGHTING TACTICS TO KEEP YOU ALIVE

IN THAILAND!

DONNIE
YEN
STAR OF
THE IP MAN
MOVIES

WHY BILL
WALLACE IS
STILL KICKING
AT AGE 70
WHEN TO
USE SILAT'S
HARIMAU STYLE
WHAT NOT TO
DO DURING A
DISARM
JUNE/JULY 2016

blackbeltmag.com

SUMMER
TRAVEL
GUIDE
LEARN MUAY THAI

HOW THE
FOUNDER
OF JUDO
SAVED THE
MARTIAL
ARTS OF
JAPAN

Display until 7/26/16

contents
6 / 7. 2016

COVER STORY

30 DONNIE YEN

Exclusive interview! Meet the


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wing chunOHJHQGWROLIHLQWKUHH
Ip Man movies. The Black Belt
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a Black Belt+DOORI)DPHUWDONV
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JIGORO KAN

FEATURES

38 TRAINING IN THAILAND
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you the lowdown on three
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the focus of your next vacation.

48 10 COMBATIVES TACTICS
AND TECHNIQUES EVERYONE
NEEDS TO KNOW
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Black Belt Hall of Famer Kelly
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clavicle notch.

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BLACK BELT - JUNE/JULY 2016 - VOLUME 54 - NUMBER 4

CONTENTS

18

FIGHTBOOK
In Super for 70 Years, Bill Superfoot
Wallace sounds off on the state of the
martial arts in his life and in America on
the occasion of his 70th birthday.

20

DESTINATIONS
Roving-reporter Antonio Graceffo goes to
Cambodia to investigate Khmer wrestling.
Along the way, he learns why so many
locals treasure it as a means to preserve
WKHLUQDWLRQVPDUWLDOKHULWDJH

22

KARATE WAY
An essential component of most martial
arts is kuzushi, which is Japanese
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Contributing editor Dave Lowry argues
that a better translation might be breaking
down the foundation.

24

COMBATIVES
In Disarmingly Alarming, Kelly McCann
delves into the subject of disarms. Done
properly, they can save the day. Done
poorly, they can be lethal for you! All
students of self-defense would do well to
heed his advice.

26

PAYCHECK
8

EDITORS NOTE
10 TIMES
57 ESSENTIAL GEAR
62 BLACK BELT PAGES
66 FROM THE ARCHIVES
VOL. 54 NO. 4. BLACK BELT (ISSN 02773066, USPS 985-820) is published bimonthly by Cruz Bay Publishing, Inc., an
Active Interest Media company. Advertising
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7KH NQRZQ RIFH RI SXEOLFDWLRQ LV 
Flatiron Pkwy, Boulder, CO 80301. Periodicals postage paid at Boulder, CO and at
DGGLWLRQDO PDLOLQJ RIFHV 32670$67(5
Send address changes to Black Belt, P.O.
%R[3DOP&RDVW)/
&XVWRPHU VHUYLFH     6XEscription rates in the United States are one
\HDU&DQDGD)RUHLJQ 86
funds only). The publisher and editors will
not be responsible for unsolicited material.
Manuscripts and photographs must be accompanied by a stamped, self-addressed
return envelope. Printed in the United
States by RR Donnelley, Strasburg, VA.
2016 by Black Belt Communications LLC,
an Active Interest Media Publication. All
rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited.

Black Belt looks at the ins and outs of


teaching martial arts for the local parksand-rec department and other not-forSURWJURXSV

28

FIT TO FIGHT
Have you heard about the gray-man
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martial artists who prefer to blend in with
their surroundings and thereby avoid
FRQLFWUDWKHUWKDQDWWUDFWLQJDWWHQWLRQ
and being noticed.

54

SILAT SHORT
Burton Richardson teaches a short
course on harimau, the tiger style of silat.
)LQGRXWZKHUHLWFRPHVIURPDQGZK\LWV
still useful.

60

COMPANY SPOTLIGHT
&HQWXU\0DUWLDO$UWVKDVEHHQD[WXUH
of our community for decades. In this
H[FOXVLYHLQWHUYLHZWKHIRXQGHURIWKH
company reveals the secret of his success.

WWW.HAYABUSAFIGHT.COM
GEORGES ST-PIERRE
MMA WELTERWEIGHT CHAMPION

VOLUME 54, NO. 4 JUNE/JULY 2016

LESSONS
FROM THE
FLINTSTONES

just caught a fascinating episode of Big Picture Science, a weekly podcast in


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consumption by the public. In the episode, titled Gene-y in a Bottle, the hosts
spoke with Lee Goldman, M.D., dean of the medical school at Columbia UniYHUVLW\7KHLUGLVFXVVLRQUHYROYHGLQSDUWDURXQGWKHFDXVHVRIGHDWKWKDWDILFWHG
Paleolithic human populations.
6SHFLFDOO\*ROGPDQVDLGWKDWVWXGLHVRIKXPDQUHPDLQVIURPWKLVSHULRGZKLFK
extended from roughly 2.5 million years ago to 10,000 years ago, reveal that a common cause of death for our hunter-gatherer ancestors was blunt-force trauma, usually to the left side of the head. Some 15 percent of people met their end this way.
Strangely, Goldman said, after those prehistoric humans settled down and became farmers, 25 percent of them died from strikes to the left side of the head.
Being a person who loves to augment his martial arts knowledge with information
from sources outside the arts, I started thinking about the lessons that those observations could hold for self-defense enthusiasts.
7KHUVWWKLQJLVLWSUREDEO\PHDQVPRVWFOXEELQJVZHUHGHOLYHUHGE\ULJKWKDQGHG
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IDFHGDQ\DQJU\NLGZLWKD:LIHEDWZLOOLGHQWLI\ZLWK$ULJKWKDQGHUVWULNLQJWKHOHIW
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can conclude that a downward diagonal strike with a bludgeon comes naturally to
our species. That means a modern attacker on the street likely will be skilled at it
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The follow-up to this is that martial artists would do well to master blocks, parries
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DOOWKHUHDUHSOHQW\RIVWUHHWWKXJVQRZDGD\VZKRDUHQWPXFKPRUHGHYHORSHGWKDQ
Paleolithic man.
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evidenced during the Paleolithic period: cowering. In general, those who chose to
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or those who ran away. That means most, but not all, of the people alive today are
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are the two options advocated most often in the martial arts.
&RZHULQJDQGSOHDGLQJIRUPHUF\GLGQWZRUNZHOOIRUFDYHPHQDQGLWVXQOLNHO\WR
work well for us.
Robert W. Young
Editor-in-Chief

BLACK BELT I JUNE/JULY 2016

GROUP PUBLISHER Cheryl Angelheart


GROUP BRAND DIRECTOR Alexander Norouzi
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Robert W. Young
GROUP ADVERTISING DIRECTOR
Donna Diamond Riekenberg
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SPECIAL PROJECTS EDITOR Vicki Baker
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PRODUCTION MANAGER Patrick Sternkopf
ART DIRECTOR Paul Duarte
VIDEO EDITORS 5LFKDUG$OH[DQGHU-RVK%UXPHOG
MARKETING MANAGER Laureen OBrien
CONTRIBUTING EDITORS
Floyd Burk, Mark Cheng, Antonio Graceffo,
Mark Hatmaker, Mark Jacobs, Dave Lowry,
Kelly McCann, Keith Vargo
CONTRIBUTORS
Daniel C. Docto, Peter Lueders, Hayward Nishioka,
Robert Reiff, S.D. Seong, Joshua Swanagon,
J. Torres, Neil Vilppu
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Efrem Zimbalist III


EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN
Andrew W. Clurman
PRESIDENT & CEO
Brian Sellstrom
EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT & CFO
Patricia B. Fox
EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT OF OPERATIONS
Kim Paulsen
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VICE PRESIDENT OF IT
Kristy Kaus
VICE PRESIDENT OF RESEARCH

BLACKBELTMAG.COM

www.RussianMartialArt.com

10

BLACK BELT I JUNE/JULY 2016

BLACKBELTMAG.COM

TSUTOMU OHSHIMA
TIME CAPSULE

In large part, the popularity of shotokan karate in the United


States stems from the efforts of one man. His name is Tsutomu Ohshima.
Born in Nagasaki, Japan, on August 6, 1930, Ohshima
started training in sumo, kendo and judo but, interestingly,
QRWLQNDUDWHZKHQKHZDVMXVW\HDUVROG+LVUVWWHDFKHU
was his father.
While a student at Waseda University in Tokyo (1948-1953),
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VKLHYHQWXDOO\UHFHLYLQJKLVIWKGHJUHHEODFNEHOWIURPWKHPDQ
who founded the art. Along the way, Ohshima also trained unGHU+LURVKL1RJXFKL6KLJHUX(JDPL7RVKLR.DPDWD:DWDQDEH
Tadao Okuyama and Matsui Shibuya.
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ZLWKKLP7KHIRUPHUFDSWDLQRIWKH:DVHGD8QLYHUVLW\.DUDWH
BLACKBELTMAG.COM

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in 1969. It now boasts more than 100 dojo in the United States.
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As for Tsutomu Ohshima, he plans to be there. The 85-yearold martial artist is in good health and still views the propagation of shotokan as his mission in life. www.ska.org
JUNE/JULY 2016 I BLACK BELT

11

SCOTT ADKINS TO STAR


IN THE RETURNER

Boundless Pictures has cast Scott Adkins as the lead in an upcomLQJDFWLRQOPWLWOHGThe Returner. It will be produced under the label
Firebrand.
The movie follows John Piper, the owner of a speakeasy who, after
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along with his family. Piper mysteriously returns from the dead and disFRYHUVWKDWKHKDVQLQHOLYHVWRH[DFWKLVYHQJHDQFHDQGQGSHDFH
Scott Adkins is one of the most dynamic and talented artists working
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He brings so much to this role, not only in terms of his physicality but
[also] his great intensity and presence as an actor. We are incredibly
H[FLWHGWRKDYHKLPLQWKHOHDGUROH
$GNLQVDOVRZLOOEHYLVLEOHLQ/LRQVJDWHVCriminal, which co-stars Ryan
5H\QROGVDQG.HYLQ&RVWQHUDQG0DUYHOVDoctor Strange, which features Rachel McAdams and Benedict Cumberbatch.

Photo by Robert Reiff

Scott Adkins is one


of the most dynamic
and talented
artists working in
lm today.

DONNIE YENS THE MONKEY KING


ARRIVES ON DIGITAL HD
7KH0RQNH\.LQJ+DYRFLQ+HDYHQV3DODFH starring Black Belt Hall of Famer Donnie Yen is now available on Digital HD courtesy of Cinedigm. The movie was nominated
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billion yuanDWWKHFRXQWU\VER[RIFH
In the movie, Yen 5RJXH2QH$6WDU:DUV6WRU\,S0DQ plays Sun Wukong, aka
WKH0RQNH\.LQJ,WVDIDQWDVWLFDOWDOHRIWKHEHORYHGFKDUDFWHUVOHJHQGDU\RULJLQWKDW
comes from the early chapters of -RXUQH\WRWKH:HVW a Ming-dynasty classic. Chow
Yun-fat &URXFKLQJ7LJHU+LGGHQ'UDJRQ and Aaron Kwok 7KH6WRUP5LGHUV co-star.
In a nutshell: A divine monkey born out of a heavenly crystal, Sun Wukong has magical powers but is lacking in judgment. Under the tutelage of a wise master, the king of
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WKHJKWEHWZHHQJRGVDQGGHPRQV+HSUHYDLOVLQVSHFWDFXODUEDWWOHVDQGOHDUQVJUHDW
lessons but pays a heavy price.

12

BLACK BELT I JUNE/JULY 2016

BLACKBELTMAG.COM

#MATMOMENT CONTEST TO SUPPORT


U.S. JUDOKA AT RIO OLYMPICS
On April 1, 2016, Dollamur Sport Surfaces a leading manufacturer of high-perforPDQFHRRULQJIRUPDUWLDODUWVPL[HGPDUWLDODUWVZUHVWOLQJDQGRWKHUSK\VLFDOSXUVXLWV
launched its #MatMoment contest to support judokaDQG2O\PSLFEURQ]H
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14

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16

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Wang Bo Photo by Peter Lueders Burton Richardson Photo by Robert Reiff

NEWS BITES

FIGHTBOOK
ate that people like it. They keep wanting to see the original, so I guess I
must be the original.
What do you teach nowadays?
      ity stuff. Its funny lots of times, the
seminar topics start out as something
entirely different, but they end up want
be able to kick somebody in the head,
even though sometimes its ineffective.

Lately, Ive been [teaching] the roundhouse kick and hook kick to the head
while focusing on doing the side kick to
the body. Using it to the body gives you
something to score with, and if nothing
else, you can knock your opponent away
with it. If a person can work the side kick
effectively, it can be a great weapon.

A Conversation With Bill Superfoot Wallace on the Occasion of His 70th Birthday

by Floyd Burk

eople just cant get enough of martial arts senior statesman Bill Wallace.
The living legend retired as an undefeated full-contact world champion
with 23 victories, and since then, hes remained active in the arts, teaching

Black Belt caught up with Wallace shortly after his birthday and peppered him with
questions. Heres what he had to say.

You just turned 70, and we wanted to


wish you a happy birthday.
Thanks, but getting old isnt what its
cracked up to be. Im not too happy
about facing the fact that Im 70. I just
thank God for Advil because in my business, theres always going to be lots of
aches and pains.
How have you kept your body in such
great shape?
I always have and always will keep
       
 
kicking just to get the legs moving. I do
    
       
18

BLACK BELT I JUNE/JULY 2016

good three-minute rounds. Finally, I do


some weights light weights and lots
of reps just to maintain.
One of the keys to bag work is using
the bag like its a person. Dont just stand
there, doing your moves in one spot.
Move around the bag while working on
quickness. Work the kicks, punches and
combinations you like, and every once
in a while, work in some power with the
hook punches. Learn to love it. Have a
blast. I still do its a ball.
Are you still busy on the seminar
circuit?
Im busy every week, and Im booked
much of the rest of this year. I appreci-

What are you doing now that you


werent doing 20 or 30 years ago?

before. And some of that comes down


to kick. No matter what your age is or
if youre not that good, you can still do
      
Its good for me, too, because it changes
things up and keeps the teaching fun.
What trends are you seeing in the
martial arts?
 ing techniques and hand combinations.
They like the speed more, and someone
like me can show them how to develop
their speed. People are learning, too.
They are really improving at punching.
BLACKBELTMAG.COM

Photo by Rick Hustead

Super for 70 Years!

How do you motivate people and


keep them interested in learning

Theres some irony here. People want to
know how to kick, but a lot of them really
dont want to work at it like they should.
I throw more kicks at my seminars than
some practitioners do, which is silly.
       
talking to each other. Meanwhile, Ive

Im not saying everybody [is like this].
There are a lot of people who work really hard and have become fantastic
kickers. I just wish more people would
do the work because theyd feel a lot
better if they did.

In real life, you have only a brief amount of time to choke


somebody out before someone pulls you off or somebody else
comes along and hits you over the head with a crowbar.
What about MMA? Do you like it now?
Its getting better and better, and the
     
       
    
Theyve learned how to defend against
     




 
       
    

      

Can what you teach now help a
martial artist whos interested in
doing MMA?




     
not the least bit sideways. Remember
       

a lot better.
     
    
      
      
        
       
      
 
       
      
       




      
       

It sounds like theres not much a person cant do using the ways of Wallace. Besides teaching those ways,
what keeps you busy?
 
riding motorcycles and driving sports
      
       
 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Floyd Burk is a


San Diegobased 10th-degree black belt with
more than 40 years of experience in the arts.
To contact him, visit the Independent Karate
Schools of America at iksa.com. To contact
Bill Wallace, go to superfoot.com.

DESTINATIONS

Fighting to Preserve the Khmer Martial Heritage, Part 1

Two drums are beating. Wrestlers, dressed in colorful loincloths, dance. As they whirl around the mats, they take the
form of various animals, including the monkey, crocodile and dragon. The dancing, which can last several minutes,
serves the dual purpose of warming up the muscles and paying respect to the trainers.

hen the signal is given,


they tear at each other in
a frenzy, each man trying
to throw the other. The
drum beats faster.
The men look like two crocodiles
locked in a battle to the death. Then,
seeing that neither will gain the advantage, they break off and resume
their dance. The bout continues in this
fashion until one participant manages
to throw the other. Theres a scramble
on the ground; it ends when one mans
     
referee declares a winner.
THE ACTION is part of the traditional
wrestling championship that takes
place in Cambodia each August. The
venue is the stadium that also hosts
the Olympic wrestling championship.
Although held on the same day, the two
grappling sports differ dramatically in
execution and outcome.
Olympic wrestling is a popular sport
20

BLACK BELT I JUNE/JULY 2016

played by athletes who wear singlets


made of spandex. The Cambodian national team, based in Phnom Penh, is
composed of 10 men and six women.
Naturally, they lead the nation in number of medals won.
Both of Cambodias Olympic wrestling coaches were trained abroad,
one in Russia and one in North Korea.
In addition to adequate equipment
and twice-daily training sessions, the

stipend of $30, which, although meager
by Western standards, is slightly higher than the average monthly income
of $26. With so many advantages, its
nearly impossible for provincial teams
to compete in Olympic wrestling.
IN CONTRAST, traditional Khmer wrestling happens on a more level playing

and Kandal tend to dominate.
The best wrestlers are from Pursat province, said Vath Chamreun, a

    
in Phnom Penh. He pointed out that
those who compete in Olympic wrestling are barred from participating in
traditional wrestling.
In part, that prohibition explains why
the sport of Khmer wrestling is at risk
of dying. Many locals have vowed not
to let that happen, however. They see
preservation of the ancient sport as a
matter of national pride and culture.
Before the Khmer Rouge, nearly every village wrestled, Chamreun said.
They wrestled at festivals and on holidays such as Khmer New Year or Pchum
Benh. But the art was banned during
the Khmer Rouge time, and many of the
top wrestlers and coaches were killed.
In the early 1980s, wrestling was still
banned under the Vietnamese. In 1985
      
wrestling again, Chamreun said. It

Laughing, he made it sound as though
some villagers had a bit too much rice
BLACKBELTMAG.COM

Photo Courtesy of Antonio Graceffo

E\$QWRQLR*UDFHR

It was very dangerous, since nearly all the kicks


were in the head. People got killed all the time.
wine and then just started having a go
at each other. Whatever the truth is, traditional Khmer wrestling was reborn.

First, the soldiers trained in wrestling.


Later, they trained with swords, sticks


ONCE VIETNAMESE domination of


Cambodia ended in 1991, a few villages
resumed traditional wrestling. Most did

    
         bokator and other
traditional Khmer martial arts, said
Chamreun, whos writing a book about
       

There were many martial arts in
Cambodia, dating back to the Angko    
      
Khmer martial arts. They used wrestling to choose the strongest men to be
rated wrestling into military training.

AS HISTORICAL PROOF of his claims,


Chamreun referenced the bas-reliefs




and organized a wrestling tournament,


      
      teers came. They used incense sticks,
cut in half, to time the rounds.
      
      
When you were thrown on the ground,
that was a loss.
    
    -

 
could also use some martial arts techniques such as kicks.
He went on to note that kicking occu
techniques that were allowed. If a man
was being thrown, Chamreun said, he
was allowed to kick but only when
the man was airborne.
    
was a child, some old men told him
about the olden days when you could
kick. It was very dangerous, since
nearly all the kicks were in the head,


allowed to strike in Khmer wrestling.
(To be continued.)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: $QWRQLR*UDFHIIRV


ERRN:DUULRU2G\VVH\7KH7UDYHOVRID
0DUWLDO$UWLVW7KURXJK$VLDLVDYDLODEOHIURP
$PD]RQFRP

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your risks.
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martialartsinsurance.com

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the most dangerous risk
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saw coming.

KARATE WAY

The Leverage to Prevail

Youre probably familiar with kuzushi. The Japanese word is used frequently in the martial arts, most often in judo.
Its typically translated as taking an opponents balance.

uzushi is an integral part of


judo and other grappling arts.
You cannot simply walk up to
someone and throw him at
will although this is often thought to
be the case among those who have no
experience with grappling. Instead, you
must cause your opponent to become
off-balance, which sets up the possibility of a successful throw.
It may seem fairly straightforward,
but its enormously tricky and profound. As such, its the subject of ongoing training for martial artists.
THE MOST OBVIOUS reason we
should strive to understand how to
manipulate kuzushi is that we humans
like our balance and we dont give it up
easily. We are obviously stronger when
were balanced in our posture which
means, among other things, that bad
guys can do more damage when theyre
balanced than when theyre not. A key,
22

BLACK BELT I JUNE/JULY 2016

by Dave Lowry

then, to beating those bad guys is taking away this advantage. In some cases,
merely making kuzushi work can render a threat neutralized.
The second reason for devoting effort
to mastering kuzushi is we can see that
the act of taking someone off-balance is
not always in the realm of the physical.
Kuzushi has implications far beyond that.
Off-balancing is an adequate
translation for kuzushi but nothing
more. Perhaps a better way to think of
it is breaking down the foundation.
There are various ways to accomplish
this. Jigoro Kano, judos founder, explained that pushing an opponent
whos pushing back creates a stalemate, but pushing the opponent, even
a little, just as hes pulling you will take
his balance. It also works in reverse:
He pushes as you pull, and his balance
is again broken. Using this principle,
kuzushi can be accomplished in different directions, leading the opponent if

he doesnt take the initiative and responding if he does.


A MORE SOPHISTICATED version
of kuzushi can be seen in tai chi and
other internal Chinese arts, as well as
in some systems of Japanese jujitsu. In
the simplest example, you extend your
hand, and as your opponent reaches
for it, you pull it away. His balance is
taken as his reach naturally extends a
little too far.
This manipulating of an opponent can
become so subtle and perfectly timed
that it looks faked, with the adversary
seeming to throw himself around. Yes,
there are fakes, to be sure, with credulous students duped into taking falls
which leads to some of the silliest
displays of martial arts imaginable.
So its easy to dismiss the real examples
of sophisticated kuzushi that are not
acts but are expressions of a very welltrained martial artist.
BLACKBELTMAG.COM

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bt|8b8F88ObFbnb|b|O88bOn8OqO8
While these more subtle manipulations of kuzushi are impressive, they
are not, in the end, the most critical expression of off-balancing. The serious
study of kuzushi begins in the realm
of the psychological. The real value of

mental balance. It entails upsetting that
mental balance before the physical as
IN EIJI YOSHIKAWAS 
biography of Miyamoto Musashi is a
vignette of the swordsman eating in a
small noodle shop when a group of bullies begins accosting him, trying to draw
edging them, Musashi calmly snatches

The men had judged Musashi, from his
poor clothes and scruffy appearance, as
an easy target. His deft handling of chop     
from under them. This is kuzushi.

Kuzushi as a critical element of strategy is where the lessons of the dojo become applicable in everyday life. Creating confusion, uncertainty, doubt
these are effective methods for disturbing the equilibrium of an opponent.
IMAGINE SOME   
encountered in a park or restaurant.
    

threatening you.
      
anything, you say in a shaky voice.
     

Which is more effective? With the
    
       
reinforcing his balance psychologically.
     self and causing at least a little confu
      

        
at least a little part of him is wonder
you a cop? Somebody who might have
a weapon or some talents that could
be trouble for him? It might not be
much drunks and bullies can be determined and are often poor decisionmakers but your words and the man

      

What you do with it, how you proceed,
is up to you and your training.
This example of kuzushi illustrates
why a better translation might be leverage. Gaining leverage over an opponent is not a guarantee of victory
or success. It is, however, the basis for
building the potential.
To purchase Dave Lowrys books, visit
amazon.com.

COMBATIVES

Disarmingly Alarming

Disarms are among the most debated topics in the martial arts and combatives communities, and for good reason. The
consequence of doing them poorly can be lethal.

FIRST,     
teach when to attempt a disarm than
it is to teach how to disarm. Disarming
someone whos wielding a deadly
weapon should be undertaken only
when you have no alternative. Knowing
if you have to disarm someone is more
about reading the incident than knowing
a technique. Many times, a weapon will
be brandished to compel a person to
give up his or her money without the
criminal intending to use it at all.
Having said that, could you be
accidentally shot through sympathetic
muscle tightening? Poor gun handling?
Hate? Sure! Thats why disarms are so

worse, sometimes the criminal doesnt
even know his own intent. A crime
24

BLACK BELT I JUNE/JULY 2016

often follows a path thats completely


unpredictable: An ATM robbery turns
into an attempted rape turns into
a murder. A burglary turns into an
assault turns into a shooting. So does
that mean you should always attempt
to disarm? Well, thats the real bitch
you simply cant know, even though
you really want to. And anyone who has
hard and fast rules or who speaks in
absolutes is foolish.
Every disarm attempt puts you at
risk of losing your life. Not long ago,
an accomplished Brazilian jiu-jitsu
instructor and father of three was
killed while trying to disarm a man in
Brazil. Its a valuable reminder that
even the most skilled can end up dead.
So the answer to When do I attempt a
disarm? can only be When you know
you need to.
SO WHAT CONSTITUTES a disarm?
Does it have to end with you stripping
the weapon and giving tacticool looks

left and right as so often is the case in


training? No. I recommend broadening
     
the following:
You make an attacker unwilling
to use his weapon. Say he has a knife.
Every time he lashes out, youre able to
avoid being cut badly and youre able
       
his eyes as you hollow out to evade a
stomach slash. Then its a groin kick
when you sway back to avoid a neck
slash. Lastly, you block a forehand
slash and execute a chin jab, leaving
him staggering. That guy just might
decide hes not into cutting you
anymore. Disarmed.
You make an attacker unable to
use his weapon. He pulls his pistol,
and you avert the muzzle. In the
ensuing struggle, the trigger is pulled,
but because you hand-washed the
      
punch him unconscious. Disarmed.
In a struggle with a knife-wielding
BLACKBELTMAG.COM

Photo by Robert Reiff

ather than discuss various


disarming techniques and
there are so many of them I
thought it would be better to
discuss other important considerations.

by Kelly McCann

A guy with a baseball bat says hes going to take your head off. Youre able to
position yourself on the other side of some parked cars, and although hes
threatening, theres no way he can use it against you. Disarmed.
attacker, you see an opportunity for a
nasty armbar and blow it on as hard
as you can, popping his bursa like you
just stepped on Bubble Wrap. His arm
doesnt work anymore, and you knock
        

at his side. Disarmed.
A guy with a baseball bat says hes
going to take your head off. Youre able
to position yourself on the other side
of some parked cars, and although hes
threatening, theres no way he can use
it against you. Disarmed.
You make an attacker incapable
of shooting you by taking away his
pistol when he points it at you. Or
you take away his knife when he stabs
at your stomach. Or you make him miss
when he swings his club at you, then
block on the backhand strike and take
it away. Disarmed.

Disarms have so many variables


from the type of weapon to the time
and space that are available to you
that its important to broaden your
perspective on just what constitutes
     
any action that creates a condition
in which the weapon cannot be used
against you.
OF COURSE, anytime the weapon is
active the stick is swinging, the knife
is stabbing, the trigger is being pressed
the need to attempt a disarm is
immediately apparent. Its for such
situations that you should include
disarm failures in your training.
Disarm failures are unsophisticated,
inelegant recovery movements and
techniques that can be implemented
immediately should a disarm go south.
An example is if a pistol-toting thug

yanks his gun back when you make


your initial movement toward his
weapon. What now? Another example:
A knife attacker realizes he has two
hands and punches your head after
you initially gain control of the knife
arm, knocking you senseless and the
knife free.
Certainly, you want to model success,
but you always have to consider failure.
    
and grunge up your techniques by
thinking about what youll do if they
fail. Its the only way to prepare
yourself for what will surely be one
of the most harrowing experiences of
your life.
For information about Kelly McCanns
combatives course, which can be streamed
anytime, anywhere to your digital device,


PAYCHECK

Low-Risk Teaching

At some point, almost every serious martial artist thinks about being a sensei,
about having his or her own school and students. After all, what could be better
than getting paid to spend time in the dojo doing martial arts?
by Mark Jacobs

f course, the reality of this


dream can be daunting.
Owning your own school is
fraught with risks and expenses, including rent, insurance and
utilities. And starting a school from
scratch, with no bodies to populate

well as discouraging to any prospec
empty gym.
Fortunately, theres a middle ground
between having no school and owning
     

26

BLACK BELT I JUNE/JULY 2016

through an outside facility. There are


countless entities, from YMCAs and
community centers to colleges and universities, where it might be possible to
start a small martial arts class that allows you to make a little money while
garnering teaching experience.
MOST PLACES want these things,
said Matthew Green, who runs a
school of swordsmanship called the
Pirate Dojo through the Parks and
Recreation Department in Willington,
Connecticut. If youre willing to give

OF COURSE, there are downsides, too.


Black Belt contributing editor Floyd
Burk and his wife Martha have taught
in both private schools and public facilities in Southern California since the
early 1980s.
In your own dojo, youre the boss
and you call the shots, Floyd Burk said.
You can tell people you dont get along
 
YMCA programs, you have a supervisor
who lets you know when someone calls
them to complain about you or your
class, and you have to explain and correct whatever problem occurred.
There are other obstacles. Youre at
the mercy of the facility and its schedule, which might mean having the location or time slot changed at the last
minute. And there can be issues with
a lack of storage space and student
continuity. This last drawback may be

classes are often run in sessions that
last a few months. There might be a
downtime of several weeks or, in the
case of a university martial arts club,
several months before the next session starts, and that can make reten
Still, an instructor has to start somewhere to develop a following.
MARGARET THOMAS, a shotokan karate stylist, taught for several years
through universities and community
centers before opening her own school
in Coventry, Connecticut. She said starting out teaching at an outside facility can be a way to develop the base of
BLACKBELTMAG.COM

Photo by CHEN WS/Shutterstock.com

your time to teach, all these towns are


looking for stuff.
While you also could start a class
in your garage or backyard, there are
advantages to teaching at a third partys facility.
Kevin Meisner, whos taught martial
arts at outside facilities since he started

30 years ago, said there are fewer hassles associated with following this martial path than with going your own way.
I dont have to worry about recruiting students or signing anyone up, he
said. I teach through a town recreation department, and they take care
of the advertising, register the students, collect the money and schedule
the space. All I have to do is show up
and teach.

As an independent contractor, youll take a percentage


of the fee charged to each student. The amount often
between 50 and 66 percent is up to you to negotiate.
students youll need to eventually open
your own school.
It has a lot to do with the facility
youre teaching in, she said. I only had
a handful of students who stayed with
me when I started my own school, but
      nitely helpful in this.
While you work on creating that base
of dedicated students, you can still earn
a little money. How you go about that
will vary depending on whether youre
working as an independent contractor
or an employee.
As an independent contractor, youll
take a percentage of the fee charged
to each student. The amount often
between 50 and 66 percent is up to
you to negotiate. While this is potentially more lucrative, as an independent contractor, you may be required

to pay for your own liability insurance.


If you teach as an employee of the facility, however, you may be covered
under its policy.
If you want to be an employee, youll
also have to negotiate your income.
Some facilities pay by the hour, ranging from minimum wage to $30 an
hour. Others pay by the session. Keep
in mind that no one is getting rich
solely from teaching at a community
center or YMCA. And in the case of a
university martial arts club, you might
not be paid anything.
THE GOOD NEWS is, there are additional methods of earning money
while teaching at someone elses establishment. In general, theyre the
same methods youd use in a commercial school: selling uniforms, equip-

ment and school T-shirts; offering additional classes; hosting seminars; and
holding tournaments. Just make sure
you clear your plans with the people
running the program.
When doing that or simply when
youre trying to convince the people in
charge to have a martial arts class
its important to act and dress professionally, Burk said. Present an upbeat
demeanor. Bring printed materials
such as a course outline, along with


Wherever you wind up teaching, all
the instructors included in this column
agreed that attitude is the key to success. Its really not something people
do for money, Thomas said. You have
to do it because you care about bringing the art to the next generation.

FIT TO FIGHT
RAS in action. Years ago, a friend asked
if he could borrow my pen. Because
I like to joke around, I held it out and
then slowly pulled it away as he tried to
grab it. Had I yanked the pen back, he
would have noticed and stopped reaching for it the motion would have triggered his RAS and caused his brain to
react. Instead, my slow motion made
him continue to reach, subconsciously
following the pen and almost falling
over in the process.
The RAS is very important to the gray
man. Being noticed by it is what you
strive to avoid while moving stealthily through a crowd. Everything you do
should be so subtle its not worthy of
another persons attention.

Blend in, Fade Away

Beautiful weather persuades you that its a perfect day for a walk. As you stroll along,
you enjoy the sights and sounds of the city. However, you cant help but notice that
somethings not quite right.
by Joshua Swanagon

our martial arts training has


instilled a heightened sense of
situational awareness, and its
alerting you now. You remember a news report last night about a trial that didnt go as everyone expected,
then realize that people are growing
restless over the news. Youre witnessing the beginning of a riot.
You start to look for an exit route.
Unfortunately, the pressure is building fast, and youre at the center of it.
But then you remember something you
once heard about the ability to fade into
a crowd, to be seen yet unseen, to become the gray man.
The gray man has the ability to blend
into his environment. He avoids doing
things that stand out or attract attention.
Following the gray-man principle can enable you to conceal your skills, training
and abilities long enough to pass through
a crowd and get to a safer location.
The art of stealthily moving around
during a period of chaos of staying
28

BLACK BELT I JUNE/JULY 2016


to master. For most people, becoming inconspicuous and innocuous is a
learned skill. Its for you that this column was written.
LIKE A CAMERA, your eyes pick up ev
you try to process all that information,
youll suffer from mental fatigue. Thats
     
ter that determines whats important
and what isnt. Its called the reticular
activating system. The RAS eliminates
the nonsense and takes note of potential threats (like sudden movements),
objects that might intersect your path,

animal shapes, and so on. At the same
time, the RAS pays little attention to
shadows, dull colors, natural hues and
things that move slowly or in a nonthreatening manner.
The concept of aiki (from daito-ryu
aikijujutsu) provides an example of the

THE PACIFIC OCEAN is home to the


mimic octopus, an animal that can blend
into its environment by changing its skin
color and texture in ways that mimic ordinary objects. It also can disguise itself
as different animals. You obviously dont
have the ability to do this, but you can
change your appearance with respect to
clothing and environment.
Consider the military. In battle, soldiers

environment. Their uniforms use colors
similar to the surroundings and patterns
that break up silhouettes, thus enabling
them to hide. Going further, snipers often
wear ghillie suits, clothing that sometimes has branches and leaves attached
for an even better blend.
Children practice the art of the gray
man without even knowing it. Because

peers to determine the right clothes
and mannerisms to blend. These are
the same principles the gray man applies. If you step out of your house in
black tactical cargo pants, a black shirt
and hat with black glasses, youre not
going to merge with any crowd unless youre heading to the SHOT Show
and plan to spend all your time in the
Law Enforcement and Tactical Room.
Instead, aim to wear what the locals

assuming youre not on vacation in
Hawaii, where that would be blending.
In general, opt for nondescript jeans,
simple- or natural-color shirts and a
plain baseball cap. If you happen to
have an EDC (everyday carry) kit, use
an ordinary backpack instead of a tactical model. I have a leather backpack
that I love, but I realize it wouldnt be
BLACKBELTMAG.COM

Although situational awareness is important for everyday survival, maintaining an


alert air and having your head on a swivel can appear to some people as erratic
behavior or, even worse, as an indication of your experience or skills.
the best choice if I wanted to disappear
into a crowd because I get compliments
on it all the time. Everyone notices it.

swivel can appear to some people as erratic behavior or, even worse, as an indication of your experience or skills.

ITS ALSO IMPORTANT to do as the locals do. For martial artists, that can be
hard to do because you carry yourself
    
to move like the natives. Urban areas
have their own pace, one that allows
people to fall into a groove with each
 
 
ent from those around you, soften up.
       
 ing anything that might attract attention.
You also should avoid the martial arts
fostered habit of surveilling an area. Although situational awareness is important for everyday survival, maintaining
an alert air and having your head on a

WHENEVER POSSIBLE, avoid making


prolonged or direct eye contact. Neuroimaging studies have shown that eye
contact can increase the ability to remember or recognize a face. Also, if you
make eye contact with someone and
then turn your gaze, it might indicate to
eling or what your intentions are.
Another issue with eye contact is its
potential to be misread. Some people
regard it as a sign of aggression, while
others interpret it as a desire for conversation. Both can cause people to notice

Likewise, your clothing should not
make provocative statements. People
tend to notice messages that are religious or political in nature whenever

they differ from their own beliefs. If



strap the chum bucket to your body before you jump in.
IN AN IDEAL WORLD, the ability to
    sary. Unfortunately, we live in the real
world, and the need is becoming more
  ricane Sandy to Ferguson and Baltimore,

in greater and greater numbers. Anytime you have large groups organizing
for any reason, the number of agitators
rises. Becoming the gray man is one way
to help ensure that you can exit the mob
before you get caught in the middle.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Mark Hatmaker is


a Knoxville, Tennessee-based trainer
and the founder of Extreme Self-Protection.
extremeselfprotection.com

#AimFitness

THE MARTIAL ARTIST


WHO BROUGHT A WING
CHUN LEGEND TO LIFE IN
THREE IP MAN MOVIES TALKS
ABOUT FILMMAKING,
FIGHTING, FAMILY AND
THE FUTURE!
BY DR. MARK CHENG

Photos Courtesy of Well Go USA

DONNIE
YEN

   
    
    

   

 wushu  
Black Belt   
    
   
    
  
   
  



    



    
    
    

 Once Upon a
Time in China II
 hung gar  
    Iron
Monkey   
   


    
    
    
 
    
   
wing chun
   Ip Man. 
32

BLACK BELT I JUNE/JULY 2016

   
    
      
 


  
    


   
   


     

   
    Ip Man
3,    
    
   
    
   
  
    
    
  Black Belt 
   
    
   
     

 
    

Its an honor to nally
meet you. I have a gift
for you from someone
you might have heard
of: Dan Inosanto.
Wow! Thank you so much.
Ive heard so much about
him and followed his career for years, but I never
had the opportunity to
meet him in person. Please
thank him for me.

I spoke to him just


before coming here,
and hes a huge fan of
yours. Not only does he
love your movies, but
he also had high praise,
saying that Bruce Lee
wouldve been pleased
with your work had he
lived to see it.
Thats overwhelming.
Please thank sifu Inosanto
for me. [He tells his wife

and his manager excitedly in Cantonese that Dan


Inosanto was the training
partner, best friend and
top student of Bruce Lee.]
I always wanted to study
Filipino kali from him. Ive
been a Bruce Lee fan ever
since I was a kid, and as
you probably know, I did
an homage to him by reprising the role of Chen
Zhen (whom Lee portrayed in Fist of Fury) in a
TV series and feature lm.

ute to him with those roles


was huge for me. Ive always said that if Bruce was
still alive, Id have become
his most devoted student.

How did that weigh on


you when you were offered a chance to portray Yip Man?
The pressure was huge,
and it came from a variety of angles, too. Let me
share a bit of background
with you. The rst time I

The whole
point of me
doing those
movies and
playing those roles
was out of respect to
Bruce Lee.
Absolutely. Your performance in Legend of
the Fist is one of my
favorites.
Its funny people asked
me whether I knew that
Bruce Lee had already
done that role. The whole
point of me doing those
movies and playing those
roles was out of respect to
Bruce Lee as a way of
showing how much he inspired me in my career.
I could never be Bruce
Lee. Nobody can. Nor could
I imitate him in a way that
would do him or the role
justice. But just paying trib-

got a call to play the role


of Yip Man was a couple
of decades ago, but that
movie never got made due
to problems with the lms
backers. Years later, I was
at a press conference in
Beijing and got another
call from a producer, saying that theyd spoken to
grandmaster Yips family,
gotten their blessing, were
going to make a movie on
him and wanted to cast me
in the lead.
But there was already a
lm about Yip Man (The
Grandmaster, starring Tony
Leung and Zhang Ziyi)
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JUNE/JULY 2016 I BLACK BELT

33

Donnie Yen in Ip Man 3.

that the famous director


Wong Kar-Wai was going
to direct. I asked about
that, but the producer said
not to worry since Wong
has a reputation for taking
his time on projects. Even
though we were going to
involve the same namesake
character, they would tell
their story and we would
tell ours.
When the public got
word that we were going
to do Ip Man, people in
the entertainment industry started drawing lines
and picking sides. Critics
claimed that our director
Wilson Yip wasnt qualied
to direct a project of that
magnitude. At that time, Id
just nished police movies like SPL: Kill Zone and
34

BLACK BELT I JUNE/JULY 2016

Flash Point, which had a


ton of over-the-top action
sequences and MMA-based
ght choreography. Those
movies and Special Identity
were the rst Hong Kong
action movies to take MMA
grappling techniques and
communicate them in a cinematic language. So critics
also said that I wasnt suitable for the role of grandmaster Yip or to showcase
wing chun cinematically.

All this even before you


started shooting?
Yes. I never expected there
to be so many doubters,
even though I knew this to
be an iconic role.

Preparing for a role like


that must have been

different, considering
your extensive martial
arts background. What
was your foundational
training in with your
mother? Was it modern
wushu?
No, it was traditional
Shaolin kung fu and then
tai chi, but my tai chi is a
little different. My mothers
master Fu Wing-Fay had
a different style, and Ive
added my own avor to
my tai chi.

Growing up in Boston,
did you get to experiment with different
martial arts?
When I was a kid running
around Chinatown, hung
gar was really big, really
popular. I used to study the

old Lam Sai-Wing books


on hung gar with the line
drawings and practice
those stances and postures. But back then, I was
so curious and excited to
learn martial arts from any
source, regardless of style.
I just wanted to absorb as
much as I could. Im still
that way when I see something I like.

Did you get any formal


wing chun training back
then?
Unfortunately, I did not.
But there was one kid that
knew a little bit, and wed
skip school and train in
the park together, sparring
and practicing techniques
on each other. Back then,
I was just trying to learn
BLACKBELTMAG.COM

moves from the different


styles and systems, including taekwondo not just
Chinese martial arts.

You mentioned Bruce


Lee as a source of inspiration. Did you watch
other kung fu icks?
Oh, yeah. I was a big fan
of those movies as a kid.
Id see some move that I
thought was cool or some
character that inspired me,
and Id try to imitate them
physically or philosophically.

When it came time to


prep for Ip Man, I understand that you spent
time with both of Yip
Mans sons.
I actually spent a lot of
time studying Yip Mans
BLACKBELTMAG.COM

personal story in terms of


his history and background,
not just studying wing
chun. To get as close as I
could to the source, I spent
time with his sons, listening to them talk about their
father, their family life and
their art. I even went to
Futsan (Foshan, China) to
see where he lived.

Were the Yip brothers


your technical trainers
for the movie?
I actually had a bunch of
different wing chun trainers to help me learn the
forms and the basic drills,
like the lap sau and chee
sau (sticky hands) drills.
The big thing they helped
me with was learning the

I actually spent a lot of time


studying Yip Mans personal story in
terms of his history and background,
not just studying wing chun.

forms. I didnt have three


years to devote to mastering wing chun, so I could
only try to embody the
mindset and philosophy.

So there wasnt just one


master who oversaw all
your training?
No. I didnt want to try to
be a clone of any one sifu.
I knew that I could never
imitate grandmaster Yip
Man perfectly. I could only
do the role justice by offering my interpretation
of his philosophy in movement. Actually, studying
the old black-and-white
lms of grandmaster Yip
was very valuable. If there
was one source that I
tried to draw on most,
that was it.
JUNE/JULY 2016 I BLACK BELT

35

Wing chun is also a physically


conservative style. Youre not going to see
a lot of flash or wasted movement.
I also tried to get a
sense of Yip Mans movement and personality
from his students outside
the family. I actually used
social media a lot to see
how the different groups
interpreted wing chun.
It was very interesting.
It gave me a chance to
see how different wing
chun people expressed
the system physically
and strategically. From
the super-traditional to
the more modern and
aggressive versions, I
wanted to get a broader
view of what direction
people were taking the
art. All that figured into
how I moved and how I
portrayed the character.
Luckily, the public reacted well to it.

There seem to be some


signature moves in the
ght scenes throughout the Ip Man franchise.
You see a lot of the mun
sau posture from Yip Man
because it ts [him]. He
was originally from a wellto-do family, scholarly, very
reserved. Wing chun is also
a physically conservative
style. Youre not going to
see a lot of ash or wasted
movement. So making the
action exciting meant that
the ght scenes had to
educate the audience in a
way that made those more
efcient movements visually appealing.
36

BLACK BELT I JUNE/JULY 2016

In Ip Man 3, as in the
two previous movies,
theres a strong thematic element of family. Theres a push-pull
thats evident between
Yip Man and his family
in which hes pulled out
of involvement in some
aspects of the martial
arts while being motivated to accomplish
more as a martial artist
because of them. Is this
a bit of art imitating life
with you?
Absolutely! As you can see,
my wife Cecilia is here in
the room with us, as shes
also my business partner,
but I absolutely know how
that goes. Luckily, my
wife sees everything I go
through. She understands
me and what I need to do.
For an actor to really nail
the character, he has to live
through something similar
to be able to call on that
kind of emotion and bring
it to life for the camera. If
youve never been through
something, you wont have
the same depth of experience to be able to share
on-screen.
Whats smart about
Wilson Yip, the director of
the Ip Man movies, is that
he not only understands
lmmaking but he understood what kind of stages
I was going through in my
personal life. So he wasnt
just creating another role
for me to play. He made
it so that I could bring

something special to the


character as it was written
and the character would
allow me to express those
aspects of myself, as well. I
cant tell you how precious
that kind of work environment is in acting.

Earlier, you mentioned


wing chuns economy
of motion in comparison to other styles of
ghting. Are the physical challenges of lming a wing chunspecific lm versus a period
piece or an MMA-type
piece much different?
Ill be very honest with you.
The long sequences of an
MMA-inuenced ght scene
where theres a lot of hard
falls, rolling and having to
do take after take after take
to capture the essence, the
power of the technique visually man, thats so hard
on the body!
If you look at some of
the action sequences in my
other lms like Flash Point
or Kung Fu Killer never
mind the ght scenes
the sheer physicality that
I try to show on camera is
intense. My body has certainly paid a price for that.
I get different types of
therapy every two days so
my body can function.
Really, the most difcult
thing about the Ip Man
lms is portraying grandmaster Yip Mans character
correctly. More than the
physical challenge, the Ip

Man movies are mentally


and emotionally challenging as an actor. I always
believe that once you get
the character down, the
style, the physical expression comes naturally.
After Ip Man 1 and 2, I
was lucky and very glad
that the audience embraced me in that role. And
the style that I delivered
was acceptable enough for
most wing chun people, so
physically the role wasnt
too difcult for me.

After you did Ip Man


and Ip Man 2, did the
wing chun world give
you any special status?
Look, I come from a traditional martial arts household, so I know how it goes
with status. [chuckling]
I dont care about seeking status in martial arts
from my lms. Like if you
asked me to teach you
wing chun, Im not the guy
whos a wing chun master.
There are many other people whove devoted their
lives to learning, researching and developing wing
chun. Those are the wing
chun masters, not me.
Whats important to me
is that authentic, traditional martial arts were overlooked for years in favor
of making more exciting
action lms. But now that
audiences are more educated and can recognize
traditional martial arts, its
more important than ever
for me to portray these
arts and the personalities
around them with a certain
dignity thats appropriate.
The ght scenes have to
convey a sense of realism,
as well as communicate
the principles of the styles
that are portrayed.
When the movie does
well and inspires people to
do more with their lives,
thats the reward for me.
With the Ip Man movies,
its not about what I did for
BLACKBELTMAG.COM

wing chun; its about focusing on a character that inspires people. Its not about
wing chun versus this style
or that style anymore.

Last question: I heard


a rumor that you were
phasing out martial arts
lms. Whats the scoop
with that?
Im human. Sometimes
we say things in the heat
of the moment. For me,
there have been days when
my body is just tired of
the beating that I put it
through in a high-powered,
high-intensity action ick.
But at the end of the day,
if I sit down and watch TV
or see an action sequence
on the screen and think,
Oh, come on! Thats it? I
can do better than that!
then it stirs that competitive spirit. Im an actor, but
inside Im also a ghter.
As for kung fu movies, I
dont really have as much
motivation to conquer anything more, especially after
doing roles from Guan
Yun-Chang in The Lost
Bladesman to the Ip Man
franchise. But especially
when it comes to contemporary ght scenes, I feel
like theres a lot of knowledge about using martial
arts and cinematic techniques in harmony that I
still have left to show, that I
still want to show.

Speaking of contemporary ght scenes,


your fans are eagerly
awaiting the release
of Rogue One: A Star
Wars Story to see what
you bring next.
[grinning]

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Dr.


Mark Cheng is a Black Belt
contributing editor and doctor
of traditional Chinese medicine.
In his free time, he teaches
shuai chiao, tai chi and kettlebells. For more information,
visit drmarkcheng.com.
BLACKBELTMAG.COM

JUNE/JULY 2016 I BLACK BELT

37

Training
in Thailand
A Guide to Finding the Muay Thai Gym Thats Best for You
by Daniel C. Docto

38

BLACK BELT I JUNE/JULY 2016

BLACKBELTMAG.COM

Sawasdee krab.
That phrase, which is Thai for Hello,
should be among the first ones you learn
before you head to Thailand to polish your
kickboxing skills. If it sounds daunting,
dont let the prospect overwhelm you.
It doesnt take a lot of preparation to
arrange a training trip, especially with the
information thats provided in this article.
Maybe youre a muay Thai noob. Maybe youre
new to international travel. Maybe you
want to tune up your skills for a fight.
Maybe you want to get in shape and lose
weight. Relax. Ive got you covered.
At the end of this article, I will give the
answer in true Thai style to the
question of which gym is best for you. Im
betting that once you finish reading, youll
be raring to go to the other side of the
world and start kicking. And theres a good
chance youll make it an annual event.

BLACKBELTMAG.COM

JUNE/JULY 2016 I BLACK BELT

39

BROTHERS MUAY THAI


Also Known As SitSongPeeNong
Location Bangkok, Thailand (near Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport)

Cost of the Basic One-Week Program


$380 for one person, $270 per person
for two people

First Contact The owner, Khun Tim,


was the training manager for the Fairtex Pattaya Muay Thai Resort when I
met him in 2006. He opened a center in
Bangkok to prep his own guys, then decided to convert his house into a second
facility, called Brothers Muay Thai.
The Sell We have eight twin-share

Facts This is a recently launched muay

rooms with single beds that can be


converted to double-bed rooms for
shared or single occupancy, a representative said. All our rooms are attractively furnished with the modern
      national standard hotel. They include
air conditioning, hot water, cable television, a refrigerator, a writing desk
and free wireless Internet.

learning muay Thai should regard this


 
people usually train here to prep for a
bout. Consequently, it has connections
with places and promotions, which can
assist you if youre looking for a match.
I really like this facility, and every time
I train here, it reminds me of the true
spirit of muay Thai. Its guaranteed to

Beginners are welcome.

Website sitsongpeenong.com

Photos Courtesy of Daniel C. Docto

Thai gym, and it shows. The facilities


and equipment are new and clean. Royal Kings Park is across the street, serving up a perfect venue for early-morning roadwork. The gym attracts Thai
nationals and foreigners alike because
of its resident celebs, including Buakaw
and Kem Sitsongpeenong. Most of the


Evaluation Foreigners interested in

40

BLACK BELT I JUNE/JULY 2016

BLACKBELTMAG.COM

AO-NANG STADIUM GYM


Also Known As Ao-Nang Raja Muay
Location Ao Nang Beach, Krabi, Thai-

      
 
      



ride from Bangkok)

First Contact     

Thai Stadium Gym

Cost of the Basic One-Week Program





Facts      

     

      
         

BLACKBELTMAG.COM

muay Thai center in California and


      
friend invited me to tour the country
ible Ao Nang Beach. I didnt know the
     
 


       
     
      


do it!

Evaluation 
      
          

    


Website aonang-thaiboxing.com

The Sell    
      -

JUNE/JULY 2016 I BLACK BELT

41

PATONG STADIUM GYM


Location Patong, Phuket, Thailand (near
Chinatown and Patong Muay Thai Stadium)

First Contact -

$350 for one person, $250 per person


for two people

tong, I noticed signs for a muay Thai


 
facility is within walking distance of
       
immediately felt that I was part of her


Facts        
Phuket to cater to foreigners and the
       
Citizens of numerous nations train
here; the latest wave comes from China
     
During my stay, a 12-man Chinese team
was present, and the night I went to the
     


The Sell Martial artists who study


here have the option of lodging at a
spiffy new resort next door, which
      
higher on the luxury ladder than a stay
    
the trainers are generally younger (in
     
      
      

Evaluation The training here is top     


      

nightlife can distract you from your rea 
resisting temptations, your training


Website
der construction)

Photos Courtesy of Daniel C. Docto

Cost of the Basic One-Week Program

nice match for taller, heavier, English

42

BLACK BELT I JUNE/JULY 2016

BLACKBELTMAG.COM

FINAL STEP
Now, all thats left is to set the date for
your training trip to Thailand. The low
season is June, July and August. Thats
when most Westerners have vacation
time, but its also when Thailand experiences its rainy season. Know, however, that the rain isnt constant. In the
10 years Ive lived here, Ive seen some
amazing days during those months. Its
all about attitude. If it rains, think of it
as a break from the heat. If its sunny,
well, just learn to enjoy the temps.
In the middle of April is Thailands
new year, a time of friendship and family fun. Toward the end of the year, youll
see perhaps the best weather, along

with two major holidays: Loy Krathong


     

and the kings birthday on December 5
(when there are muay Thai events all


One more thing: I promised to name
the best muay Thai gym in Thailand.
People often ask me about this, and I
always answer in true Thai Buddhist
style: There are no absolute truths, but
there are some truths to live by. In that
vein, there is no one best muay Thai
gym in Thailand. There is only the best
gym for you, and thats the one you like.

Some people want a modern facility,


while others want traditional. Some
want to delve into Thai culture, while
others just want to have fun. Some
ers want to cross an item off their bucket list. Rest assured that at almost every
training center in Thailand and especially at the three gyms listed here
youll be treated like family. Thats the
norm in the Land of Smiles.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Daniel C. Docto is


a former boxer and California state kickboxing champion who lives in Thailand.

How to Have an
Amazing Trip!
In Thailand, the typical training schedule entails two
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sparring and/or clinch work.
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JUNE/JULY 2016 I BLACK BELT

43

The Man Who Created Judo Is


Responsible for Something Even Bigger
Saving the Martial Arts of Japan!
by Hayward Nishioka

n 1853 Commodore Matthew


Perry sailed into Edo harbor (now
Tokyo) with four steam-powered
warships. The United States was
on a mission to open Japan to the outside world, and the arrival of this mini      ued until the following year when Perry
    

Perrys steamships offered indisputable
proof of how far the rest of the world
had progressed while Japan hibernated

 

      
the doors to the Tokugawa.
    
      
forward-thinking Japanese sought to
restore the emperor as the supreme
 

of him lay an arduous task: helping his

    
Japan began to metamorphose into
a modern nation. It didnt happen
smoothly, however. The old ways had

adopted. Before, the shogun reigned
supreme, and his daimyo 

     

     


   
 The Last
Samurai
of turmoil.)

    ji
      
       
        
    


    
the advantages of these new ways, he

BLACKBELTMAG.COM

Another one of his priorities was im     


future generations of knowledgeable
                 
would be able to obtain at least a high
During this upheaval, the martial arts
were being tossed aside. The rationale
           

      
Many arts were regarded as having outlived their usefulness. Kenjutsu, jujitsu,
bojutsu and other systems, while not
outlawed, waned in popularity.
Ultimately, however, the martial arts
       
regarded as integral parts of the new
     
efforts of one man. He was trained
       
        
before graduating from what would


larger adversaries. Postgraduation,
     
at Gakushuin University and then at a


      
       

President Ulysses S. Grant and other
dignitaries. Perhaps just as important
as his ability in jujitsu was his ability

         
           
exponents from around the world.
He would later use those ideas to re 
      
    er and the man who saved the martial
     
    stood that the arts represent more
sary; theyre a means of making better
human beings.

      
     
     

      
   
model.
       knowledging the role that games play
 

known that games helped prepare a
      
bit of tweaking for added safety, par    
for the defense of the state. This line
       
the Middle Ages, when knights would

lington is remembered for his words:


      
        
   dojo? Cultivation of the
drive to prevail over an adversary or

    
      

No one in Japan understood this better than Kano. Its what prompted him
to state, The body is the instrument for
      


Kano believed that inherent positive


qualities existed in the Japanese martial arts and that they should be pre
do so, however, hed have to make the
martial arts palatable to the govern 
      
demonstrate those positive qualities.



       
     
for sports. They were badly needed be     
was mostly foreign to Japan. It was
      
JUNE/JULY 2016 I BLACK BELT

45

Jigoro Kano, right

     
one person was put down.
Kano was also instrumental in the
development of the judo gi. Before he
    
were worn. Unfortunately, they tore regularly. The judo gi most likely was born
     randori
over kata and the need to deal with the
    
     
material must exist, he turned to the
  happi   

      
      
    

that, too.
     
Kano envisioned, the Japanese martial
arts used the menkyosho system. It en
          
were then signed and dated by the in    
offered these letters to their students,
      
46

BLACK BELT I JUNE/JULY 2016

markers that distinguished beginner


from expert.
    
      

dan
      

kyu,
a brown belt.


     
     
      
Three of the most popular are jiko no
kansei  jita kyoe (mu     seiryoku
zenryomum effort). All refer to qualities judo
training engenders. More important, all
      
       
      


Self-perfection: In judo, this is evi     


    
are different for everyone and even
for the same person at different times.
    
quite different from throwing a resisting opponent, and both are different
     



     

    
     
     
not. There is mutual welfare even when

       

   mum effort:      most every judo throw. Even against an
self saying, That seemed like I used

your body parts are in alignment at the
right time while your opponents body
parts are not.
BLACKBELTMAG.COM

To understand the deeper meaning of



    
others. The important thing is that they
    
        
      
     
Kano envisioned.


Although were fortunate to have been
born in an age of sporting events and
martial arts, this was not always the
       


     ated. This was also the age of physi
movers and shakers in our universities


     
    kendo and
other martial arts into the Japanese ed

    
efforts earned him the title of father of
           
 
       
for transforming the bujutsu (martial
arts) into the budo (martial ways), thus
     
with modern sports, the budo survive

translate into improved lives and im
whats needed to prevail in battle.
      
better people than we would have been

had we not taken the martial path. Posi           


the ego when mistakes are made in a
game, as opposed to when mistakes are
made in real life.
ed in the bowing we do in judo. Bow
     
meeting or greeting others but also as
     

the gratitude they feel toward their in
    


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Among his many


accomplishments, Hayward Nishioka was a
1967 Pan-American Games gold medalist
DQG%ODFN%HOWV-XGR3OD\HURIWKH<HDU
DQG-XGR,QVWUXFWRURIWKH<HDU

Eishoji Temple, where Jigoro


Kano started teaching in 1882.

Black
Belt Hall
of Famer

KELLY
McCANN

Teaches You
Proven Skills
for Street
Survival!
BY J. TORRES
PHOTOGRAPHY BY PETER LUEDERS

In case you didnt read Part 1 in the April/


May 2016 issue of Black Belt, combatives is

       
the moves were borrowed from traditional
martial arts, while others come from trial and

components of combatives are stand-alone
and easy to execute when the adrenaline is
pumping, which makes them the perfect sup

6
TECHNIQUE: CHOP WITH THE AX HAND
Called the shuto by karate practitioners, the ax
hand is a staple of combatives for one simple reason: It works. Being a gross-motor movement, its
also part of combatives authority Kelly McCanns
minimalist arsenal.
Its a very powerful strike delivered diagonally
downward onto a guys brachial plexus region or
virtually anywhere on the side of the neck, he said.
It totally works.
For best results, strike with your thumb perpen

a cup that allows your hand to collapse on impact. Instead, thrust the thumb out to make the hand rigid.

ing a lot of energy into a small area. With the ax
hand, youre taking the force that would otherwise



so the strike penetrates deeper, McCann said.
Best part is, the blade of the hand is a soft weapon,
meaning its naturally protected during impacts.

hand when you make contact, he added.
When it comes to target selection for the ax hand,
versatility is the name of the game. Soft targets,

also can use it to clear an attackers arms out of the
way. Even if you hit him in the upper arm, youll
cause discomfort, and that can enable you to move
him around or counterattack.
7
TACTIC: TRAP YOUR FOE TO PREVENT ESCAPE FROM YOUR COUNTER
      
       
your opponent has enough common sense just to
move away from you, the source of his sudden pain.
Combatives teaches that you can prevent that by
gripping him as you go to town.
Keeping your opponent from retreating also can
bolster your striking effectiveness, McCann said. I

like to drop my left arm down onto the outside of my opponents right arm and hold him above the elbow using a concept we call hanging onto the upper lever. If I hold onto the
lower lever his forearm he might be able to pull away,
but if I get my hand above his elbow and trap it, he cant.
Then I can hit, gouge and elbow him.
An alternative self-defense solution entails executing a
face-mash takedown, McCann said. Once Ive created that
fulcrum that prevents him from getting away, I add pressure
to his head. Where the head goes, the body follows and
hes on his ass.
Foe trapping also has a psychological effect on the aggressor. Say, for example, that hes wrapped an arm around your
neck in the same way a schoolyard bully would to execute a
side head lock. You can immobilize him by pinning his headlocking arm against your chest and then counterattack.
Pinning his arm in place buys you time to counter, McCann said. Plus, theres a huge mental aspect to it. Normally,
people try to get away from their attacker. When you aggressively attach yourself to him, in his head hes going, WTF?
For a moment, hes focused on getting away from you rather than attacking you. It changes the dynamic from you being the prey to you being the predator, McCann said. For a
second, he stops thinking, Hey, Im gonna grab this guy by
the neck and As soon as you grab him, hell stop his attack.
That doesnt mean he wont attack again; it just means for
that second, youre doing something he doesnt like.

8
TECHNIQUE: UNLEASH THE ELBOW STRIKE
Its easy to extoll the virtues of the elbow strike. The weapon
is hard but sturdy, which means it can hit almost any target

tool, its wickedly fast. And its naturally positioned at nearly
head height, which makes it ideal for striking an opponents
face. All that makes the elbow a combatives favorite.
Your hand should be relaxed when you do the elbow
 
arm, elbow and shoulder, and that leads to a slower strike.
It also reduces your range of motion. Its better if you point
your thumb at your sternum, leave your hand open and loose,
and then slash down with the elbow.
Can you slash down if your attacker is taller? Yes, McCann
said. Even if theres a height disparity, you can still do that.
You may not hit him in the face, but you can hit the pectoral
muscle, sternum or collarbone.

always make contact with a body part. If you do a horizontal

if you strike down and he sways back, youll hit something.



to make contact with bone. Feel that once in the training hall,
and youll know why its often called a destruction.

CHOP WITH THE AX:


After extending his
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50

BLACK BELT I JUNE/JULY 2016

BLACKBELTMAG.COM

TRAP YOUR FOE: Kelly McCann (right)


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UNLEASH THE ELBOW: 7KHHOERZVWULNHZRUNVDJDLQVW


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EHFDXVHWKH\UHOLNHO\WRQLVKWKHDOWHUFDWLRQDQGVRPHDUH
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7ZRJKWEHQGHUVDUHWKHHOERZWRWKHWKLJK OHIW DQGHOERZWR
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EXPLOIT THE CLAVICLE NOTCH: Kelly McCann (left) attacks


-DFN6WUDGOH\VFODYLFOHQRWFKORFDWHGDWWKHEDVHRIKLVQHFN
0D[LPXPHIIHFWLYHQHVVFRPHVIURPXVLQJWKHQJHUVWRDSSO\
SUHVVXUHLQZDUGDQGWKHQGRZQZDUGLQVWHDGRIMXVWIRUZDUG

These techniques, called gunting in the Filipino martial


         

 








9
TACTIC: EXPLOIT THE CLAVICLE NOTCH


 
 



between you and your attacker because nobody likes that



 
 

 

          



 

          


10
TECHNIQUE: DRIVE HOME THE KNEE THRUST
muay Thai



 



DRIVE HOME
THE KNEE:
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Learn No-Holds-Barred Combatives From Kelly McCann!


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ZHOODVWKHEHVWGHIHQVHDJDLQVWWKHPRVWFRPPRQVWUHHWZHDSRQV
+RZGRHV0F&DQQNQRZWKHPDWHULDOKHWHDFKHVLVWKHEHVW"+HVWHVWHGLWLQWKHURXJKHVWPRVWGDQJHURXVSDUWVRIWKH
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\RXUPDUWLDODUWQRZWREHFRPHDPRUHHIIHFWLYHJKWHU
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SILAT SHORT
1

3
4

Harimau: Invoking the Tiger

58

BLACK BELT I JUNE/JULY 2016

As evidence, Richardson demonstrates


a self-defense technique that begins from
a twist stance. In Southeast Asia, people
commonly sit on the ground in the sempok
there is a necessity, Richardson says.
There are many uses for the positions,
from countering back sweeps to baiting
opponents to attack carelessly.
In the sequence, the attacker threatens Richardson while hes seated (1).
Rising to one knee, the silat stylist impedes the kick by blocking the knee

while he moves his head forward to


where the kick is less powerful. (2).
Richardson then scoops the kicking leg
and places his hand on his opponents
shoulder (3) so he can send him to the

In a street situation in the Western
world, you may not want to drop to the
ground when an attacker approaches,

self on the ground or if you have to
start there knowing the techniques of
harimau can come in handy, he adds.

WANT MORE SILAT?

Silat for the Street is the title of a new online course from Black Belt and Burton
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Photo by Robert Reiff

n the trendy rush to identify


moves that are effective in the

the Middle East, its easy to dismiss traditional techniques as being
out of touch with the realities of the 21st
century. Its worth remembering, however, that every unrealistic move that
exists likely became part of a martial

Consider harimau, the tiger style of
silat. Skeptics criticize the low postures,
but they seldom take time to learn about
harimaus origin or consider its usefulness. The harimau style from Sumatra
is known for low postures, says silat
instructor Burton Richardson. [It] is a
great way to move on the ground. When
the terrain is slick, it is advantageous to
voluntarily start in a low position instead
of slipping to the ground by accident.

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COMPANY SPOTLIGHT

Century
Celebrates
40th
Anniversary!

by Robert W. Young

persons occupation certainly


isnt the most important thing
in life, but when you have a
job youre passionate about
and good at, life sure is a whole lot
more fun. Mike Dillard, the martial artist who founded Century Martial Arts
(centurymartialarts.com), is a man
whos having fun. For 40 years, he says,
Ive had the best job in the world. Our
world. Ive dealt with larger-than-life
personalities, incredible athletes and
some of the greatest leaders you could
ever imagine.
Note his use of the number 40. It
denotes a fact that most martial artists
havent paid attention to but that our
    
Century has been making martial arts
equipment available to the masses for
four decades. To commemorate the anniversary, Black Belt presents this Q&A
with the man who started it all.

Over the past four decades, martial


arts supply companies have come
and gone while Century has continued to grow. What does Century do
that the others dont?
We believe in the life-changing power of
martial arts. We are also very customer
oriented. What other supplier has a staff

60

BLACK BELT I JUNE/JULY 2016

BLACKBELTMAG.COM

Photo by Robert Reiff

When you founded Century Martial


Art Supply, did you know you were
creating a company that, 40 years
later, would be the leading supplier
of martial arts uniforms and gear?
I thought it was a sport and industry that
was in its infancy in the U.S. I believed
there was room to grow. I also knew from
      ketplace that was poorly served. I wanted
a place at the table as history was made.

of dedicated black belts who teach and


train together on a daily basis? We offer
more than 20 opportunities each week for
our team members to train in a variety of
martial arts, from taekwondo to Brazilian
jiu-jitsu, jeet kune do, tai chi,
and even yoga. We test the very products
that we sell here on our mats day in and
day out. I believe we have the best R&D
team around, which is constantly working
with our customers and internal martial
artists to innovate the products that martial artists crave to hone their skills.
We also hold ourselves to the highest
standard of quality testing in the industry. Our quality team works tirelessly
to make sure our products are compliant, tested and relentlessly checked out
to ensure were delivering a consistent
product to our customers.
And theres the Martial Arts SuperShow.
We put on the largest trade show every
year in Las Vegas for our customers to
advance their professional education.
This year marks our 15th annual show,
where we gather the industrys brightest
and most talented speakers and martial
artists to raise the bar for martial arts instruction, as well as the latest innovations
in product and service offerings. This is
our way of giving back to the industry. We
also celebrate the accomplishments of a
particular martial artist who has stood out
among their peers through the decades
with the Lifetime Achievement Award.
We believe people are changing lives, so
we like to shine the light on those who
carry on the great tradition of martial arts
through service to their students, instructors and communities.
Century has ongoing collaborations
with leading martial artists. For example, I believe your staff regularly
     
coaches. What do you gain from
those relationships?

This is a special fraternity. These are


our brothers and sisters. Product ideas
and product testing are part of it, but
we get off on being in the middle of the
action. Leaders like Greg Jackson and
Mike Chaturantabut have been invaluable to us and the arts. We believe that
we have some of the most talented
staff members around, but we also believe that there are so many great martial artists who can open our eyes and
minds to a new way of thinking about
our products. We want to be on the
front end of innovation for the industry, so collaborating with other great
minds who put in countless hours
helps us be creative and speeds up our
time from idea through execution.
Its also energizing to talk to people
who are working with the top martial
artists about the exciting things that
we are working on to help the industry
evolve. In the end, our relationships
are what last. We believe that to be the
best, we need to work with the best.
Martial artists know Century as a
supply company, the force behind
the Martial Arts Industry Association, the organizer of the Martial
Arts SuperShow and the publisher of
MA Success magazine. Are there any
facets of the company that martial
artists dont know about?
Yes. Most people dont know about the
work done in our research and development department. Its one of the
most extensive in the sport. Our focus
on safety is beyond anything else Ive
seen. Our budget for safety research
is outstanding. At any given time, we
might have close to 50 safety-design
products in development.
We should mention the work done
by the Martial Arts Industry Association. This association was started by
     

       
a lot of good work. MAIA consultants
mentor many schools and programs
into being successful operations. It
provides a forum for school owners to
exchange ideas and best business practices. MAIA has hosted the Martial Arts
SuperShow in Las Vegas for 15 years.
MAIA has sponsored many curriculum and teaching programs in the arts,
which are available to schools.
Like all successful companies, Century no doubt has plans for future projects and products. Is there anything
imminent that you can reveal here?
I cant disclose much. We share safety
test information because it is the right
thing to do. Headgear technology and
testing always tops the list. I will say
that training technology is coming
our way. Sublimation printing is starting to help with minimum orders and
turnaround times. New fabrics are
more wearable.
One of the biggest things weve been
working on is the new skills-and-drills
website from the Martial Arts Industry
Association, MADrills.com. Finally, the
industry will have an extensive library
ter through to keep their classes fun and
exciting. Not only are there hundreds of
drills, but what sets MADrills.com apart
is the ability for instructors to actually
create playlists or class plans and save
     rated with a number of great instructors
to put together a well-rounded library
of drills, including Apolo Ladra, John
Hackleman, Ricardo Liborio and Melody
Shuman, to name a few. We want to provide the best platform and tools to the
industry, and we believe that MADrills
.com is one of the great new tools to save
instructors time as well as a way to teach
great classes.

In the end, our relationships are what last. We believe


that to be the best, we need to work with the best.

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40

JUNE/JULY 2016 I BLACK BELT 65


BLACKBELTMAG.COM

From
the
rchives

Vol. 16, No. 6, $1

The 174th issue of Black Belt


was dated June 1978. It was
76 pages long and featured
shotokan karate stylist
Takayuki Mikami on the cover.

The unconscious grunt we voice when pushing a car or [piece


of] furniture is a kiai of sorts, writes Millard S.L. Seto, M.D. The
major difference between the grunt and the kiai is that the kiai
is used deliberately for a desired effect. The grunt is an unconscious result of the pushing effort.
The four books that make up %UXFH/HHV)LJKWLQJ0HWKRG are
selling for $5.50 each.
A company called Pro-Fighting Equipment Ltd. begins an ad
campaign featuring welterweight champ Earnest Hart Jr.
Modern-DUQLV founder Remy Presas has released a series of
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to 10 minutes of run time each.
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That would be the son. The JP in the article is the MXGRND who
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(with AnnMaria De Mars) of :LQQLQJRQWKH*URXQG from Black
Belt Books.
Judo is much more mental than physical, Pedro Sr. says. You
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66

BLACK BELT I JUNE/JULY 2016

Century Martial Arts releases the Grabber Glove, open-palm


KDQGSURWHFWLRQWKDWVXUHO\ZRXOGQGDKRPHLQDQ\st-century GRMR that teaches grappling along with striking.
California Highway Patrolman Ted Mason offers a wonderful
example of the unifying power of WDQJVRRGR There is a difference in religions in our house, he says. My wife is a Buddhist,
DQG,DPD&DWKROLFVRZHFDQWJRWRFKXUFKWRJHWKHU%XWZH
have the martial arts to keep us together.
6KRWRNDQV Takayuki Mikami elaborates on the differences
between American karate students and Japanese karate
students. American black belts may be stronger in their skill
because they are freer to move during free sparring, he says.
And this is why many Americans win in competition. They
are not thinking as much about traditional form in the way the
Japanese students tend to. So the Japanese student often
loses by a fraction of the timing.
-LP0DWKHULGHQWLHVDFUXFLDOVWHSLQEHFRPLQJIDVWDFTXLULQJ
the ability to respond to what is presented rather than what is
anticipated. In computer terminology, this would be known as
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that we never guess wrong.

(Note: Back issues are not for sale.)

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