|Knife Defense training at self-defense|
clinic at the University of Wyoming.
The one on my left stepped into neko ashi dachi (猫足立, what martial artists refer to as a Cat's stance). The one on my right was holding a knife in his hand, but mostly hidden at his right side.
My instinct was to take the first thug on the left. Warnings went through my mind that he must be a martial artist. I was not scared, but relaxed. My years of training had taken over and things started to move slowly.
The left attacker threw a right hook. Immediately, my mind went into the mode of mushin - something martial artists develop over time. My thoughts, although were moving at the speed of light, seem to slow to a snail's pace. It was as if I could just step to the side and analyze everything, and then step back into combat when I was ready. I was not thinking just responding, yet I was thinking, but not thinking how I would respond - so I left it up to my muscle memory, or years of karate experience.
|Classical knife defense using Te Waza (hand throw proceeded by |
a strike to the jaw or kick to the chest.
Teaching self-defense to individuals or groups who have never trained in self-defense is very rewarding. To see people discover how they can use elbows, palms of their hands, feet, fingers, thumbs, knees, car keys, books, computers, purses, backpacks, skateboards, body weight, etc for the first time is as exciting for them as it is a pleasure for me. To see the expression on people's faces when they successfully use a technique for the first time is a tremendous boost to their confidence.
|Sensei Kyle Linton defends knife attack by Hanshi Andy Finley at University|
of Wyoming clinic.
Self-defense clinics are usually for only one night. In the past, I taught classes and clinics in self-defense for women at the University of Wyoming and elsewhere. I tell all of these students that they must plan to practice the self-defense applications for the rest of their lives, as kata (shadow boxing) and periodically with friends - otherwise, the state of mushin (not thinking) will likely not be achieved. So all they have to do, is each week when they go to the gym (or exercise in their front rooms) is warm up with their own personal kata and imagine an attacker grabbing their wrist, etc, and then they must strike back as I taught them in the clinic or class - with power and focus.
|Teaching white crane karate at the University of Wyoming, Soke Hausel |
leads group in crane wings technique in kata followed by teching bunkai
(applications) of this and other techniques.
As an example. Get a friend (and be very careful) to grab your right wrist. Next (do this slow as some people get accidentally hit in the chin) step in with right foot and bring your right elbow straight up towards their chin. This should work fairly easily because the aggressor has a weak point in their hand. You have just learned your first self-defense technique. You can use this same technique for double wrist grabs, lapel grabs bear hugs from the front, etc.
All people should have training in pragmatic self-defense. It has been said that an armed society is a polite society.
Statistics from several years ago reported ~25% of all college women will experience some form of sexual assault by the time they graduate! If we started teaching our children traditional martial arts in public schools, they would become experts in self-defense, obesity would decline and most people would learn to respect one another. We need to change our schools environment and start sending our kids and family members to train in traditional martial arts classes and keep them there! Or better still, bring martial arts to the schools as they do in Japan and in some places in India.
|University Students take advantage of|
free self-defense clinic taught by Hall of
Fame Soke Hausel and sponsored by
grants from ASUW
Wouldn't you feel much better walking across campus at night, or to the bus stop, or just getting into your car at the grocery store if you had trained in martial arts all your life. You would realize, without thinking, that your car-keys are an effective weapon, or your geology book could leave a sizable indent on some one's hand, or simply using a cross-scissor strike (a very simple technique developed by a Chinese female centuries ago by watching white cranes) on some one's neck, they would fold like a paper doll and collapse to the ground.
With proper training, you can learn to defend against most attacks, but it requires commitment. You must practice, practice practice. You must get to the point where you can defend yourself by NOT THINKING. This can only be done by constant training.
SELF-DEFENSE CLASSES & INSTRUCTORS
If you think you can learn to defend yourself by attending aerobic kickboxing classes, you are sadly mistaken. A few years ago, I was asked to teach kickboxing at Gold’s Gym. The women were surprised by my tactics – I unplugged the stereo and asked if any of them could defend against a simple wrist grab – none could. I then proceeded to teach them how to defend against a multitude of grabs using techniques that were very similar to one another. And I was shocked (as were they) that the previous instructor had misled them by telling them they were learning self-defense.
Self-defense requires continual training. Of all of my students, several of my females have been notable standouts. These people made a lifetime commitment to training in martial arts. All it takes is one attack to change your entire life – so you must always be prepared for that one attack.
Ask yourself when you exercise while punching and kicking. If I were to strike someone with a single punch, would it knock them out? If you answer no, I'm not sure, or I don't know - you likely do not have the proper power to defend yourself.
My recommendation is to visit the school you might be interested in, and watch a class and talk to the instructor. Does the instructor seem to be personable and competent? If not, look elsewhere, you must be able to get along with your sensei (instructor). This is one of the more important aspects of martial arts.
After I had been teaching martial arts for about 30 years, I taught a clinic to a group of taekwondo black belts. These people ranged from 1st degree black belt to 5th degree black belt and all of them taught at various martial arts schools in western Wyoming and eastern Idaho. They all were very good martial artists and we had a great time training - at noon when we took a break, the owner of the school where the clinic was held, handed out IB profin to all of the class members - they were putting a lot of energy into training – but none of them had ever trained in street self-defense prior to that clinic! They had a wonderful time learning to use their hands for self-defense and two even became my students.
So how does one identify traditional martial arts from a sport martial arts? If you start training in a dojo (school) and you see many trophies, you are in a sport school. If you hear music during training, you are in a sport school.
I was told by one student about a sucker punch - the only time he had ever been decked. The attacker came up to him to apologize, grabbed his hand to shake & threw a hook with the other hand while he was distracted by the apology & handshake. This could happen to anyone. So, it is best that you train for such situations over and over.
If you are interested in traditional martial arts, research the Internet for starters. Personally, I would look for schools with considerable Okinawan/Japanese lineage; but this is my personal bias. Schools like Shorin-Ryu, Shito-Ryu, Goju-Ryu, Wado-Ryu, Kyokushinkai, Shotokan are usually good.
Successful self defense requires good physical fitness and constant practice with force (must be able to react without thinking). Martial arts teach self confidence, physical fitness, focus, and respect. As a result, we often receive groups from around the world who are interested in learning our system of martial arts along with many beginners.
|We call this technique - cowboy pole |
dancing. The attacker is quickly
immobilized and forced to ride his
own arm as his head is driven into the wall -
see how this works at
The human body has nearly 400 pressure points (i.e., a point below the ears, temple, eyes, soft area behind collar bone, base of neck, groin). We also train our female martial artists to use any weapon available to them and strike some of these points. For instance: 1. car keys, 2. key chain, 3. pen, pencil, 4. fingernails, 5. spare change, 6. rings, 7. glasses, 8. shoes, 9. umbrella, 10. Mace, hair spray, 11. pocketknife, fingernail file, 12. book, brief case, purse, magazine, 13. student I.D., credit card, 14. comb, hair brush, 15. manrikigasari (chain or rope), 16. belt, 17. Even your cell phone – it has edges that are hard and can be put to use. But the best weapons available for any martial artist or person are those that God gave us: open hand, palm, fist, back fist, fingers, knuckles, elbow, knee, foot.
To find the right instructor – look at the instructor’s diplomas. Search the Internet for information on the school and the instructor, talk to some of the students, watch a class, see if you feel comfortable with this person. There are no international committees that require registration of martial arts instructors, so check out the instructor where you plan to train. There is no government oversight on martial arts certification (thank God!), and it is common knowledge that the majority of instructors are not certified by any legitimate martial arts association - many have no certifications, and others have certifications sold to them by unethical organization.
PERSONAL SELF-DEFENSE CLINIC in PHOENIX
If you would like to have a good introduction to self-defense and are located in the Phoenix East Valley, you and 5 (or more) of your friends or neighbors can schedule a 2-hour self-defense clinic. All you need to do is to get each person to pay $25 and you can schedule your own clinic at our school. I look forward to hearing from you.
The Arizona School of Traditional Karate is located along the south edge of Mesa and northern edge of Gilbert, Arizona. The Arizona School of Traditional Karate focuses primarily on adults and families.
Oh, by the way, after I had finished the first attacker in Albuquerque, the second one lost all of his desire to attack. I ordered him to drop his knife and then allowed him to step in to assist his partner in crime. After seeing what had happened to his partner, I guess he didn't want to take the chance of something similar happening to himself.
This happened in 1975 while I was working on a PhD under Dr. Burt Kudo in the Department of Geology and Geophysics and had been a nidan black belt (2nd degree black belt). I suspect those two never attacked another person.
|Soke Hausel demonstrates knife defense on Shihan-Dai Kyle Gewecke |
(4th dan) at University of Wyoming
white crane karate clinic in 2010.
CHECK OUT OUR CLASS SCHEDULES
For more information – see:
ARIZONA TRADITIONAL KARATE TRAINING
VISIT OUR DOJO IN MESA, ARIZONA
Map to Dojo
Our center is open to the public. Learn the traditions of Okinawan Karate & Kobudo & how we are trying to make this world a better place, one person at a time at the Arizona School of Traditional Karate.
We introduce meditation, philosophy, Japanese and martial arts history in our karate & kobudo classes at the Arizona School of Traditional Karate.
CLASS SCHEDULE: Check out our schedule and stop by and watch a class.
We have some of the lowest rates in the East Valley.