If you want to watch videos of police purportedly assaulting someone in the pursuit of an arrest, it will only take you seconds to find them online. It doesn’t matter that they often lack context, only include the part the videographer wants you to see, or actually depict legitimate police/security brutality, the fact is arrests often look overly brutal to people who don’t know what they’re watching.
Below is a video of a smooth arrest by police. It begins with an arrest by an off duty police officer who controls the suspect until Vancouver Police arrive. When the police arrive, despite running and showing signs of andrenalization, they quickly take control and hand cuff the suspect. Now this video is a good example of a clean arrest. While I’m sure many people will attribute the behaviour of the police to it being filmed by a private citizen, the truth is probably a little more simple.
The suspect in this case is just trying to escape. And he’s not fighting to escape, he’s just trying to get free in the most instinctual way possible. He’s not really fighting back, he’s not using strikes to create an opportunity to escape, he’s just trying to find a gap and feel his way free. And the off duty RCMP officer does a great job of taking away his space and keeping him down until the VPD arrive. When they do, even the poor effort the suspect is making to escape ends, and they are able to control him without much effort.
Our style of Can-ryu Jiu-jitsu was created incorporating the PolicePressure Points System, a set of nerve motor and pressure points specifically chosen by Professor Georges Sylvain (our style’s founder) for their ease of use and effectiveness for law enforcement. There are a number principles that are taught related to their use to make the system’s application more effective. One of these is the “overload principle.” (more…)
Martial arts seminars have unique characteristics that differentiate them from standard ongoing classes in a school or club atmosphere. They are usually not your own students who will benefit from building on the knowledge base you offer over time. They may not even be from the same style as you, or even the same martial art. As such, I take a different approach to teaching them so that students make the most of the experience.
As a complement to my martial arts training, I like to do cardio and strength training workouts at home to break up the writing work I do at my desk during the day. I run 3x a week, sometimes with sprint intervals, sometimes wihtout, but usually I do one 5k, one 8k and one 10k each week. As for strength training, I have two full-body workouts, one with a stronger emphasis on upper body and one with a stronger emphasis on lower body. These are workouts that only require a kettlebell (I use a 20lb one), some hand weights, a bench or small table, and a mat or carpeted area. Here is my home workout area in my basement:
Having taught martial arts for nearly two decades, you come to notice certain learning habits people have that come from societal influences. For example, in Western society, people have don’t feel comfortable “failing” at something. When they attempt to do something, they want to do it as close to perfection as possible, which influences the way they practice a skill.
In Jiu-jitsu, some will start a technique then stop half-way through as they realize they’re not getting it quite right. If I let the student keep doing this, it would be entirely possible to see that student stop and re-start a technique over and and over without actually getting through it once before the class is called to see the next technique. Another way the unwillingness to fail can manifest is when a student either asks lots of detailed questions, or spends a lot of time talking about it, analyzing how it’s supposed to work, etc. These types will spend so much more time talking about it, fooling themselves into thinking that simply talking about it will make them better at it, that they don’t spend as much time practicing it. These types strategies for avoiding looking foolish or “failing” at a technique can hurt one’s mentality towards self-defense, as well as one’s development as a martial artist. (more…)
A martial arts friend and colleague of mine sent me an email yesterday to wish my happy Mother’s Day. He said, “This may seem weird, but I wanted to wish you a Happy Mother’s Day. Not sure if you think about it this way, but you are truly a mother to your dojo.” It was the nicest thing I heard all week.
In self-defense or live training exercises like sparring, it is rare that you would get to hit a completely static target unless you managed to stun or distract the person first. That’s why it’s important to practice target tracking and this drill covers one particular aspect of it. It allows you to practice striking while your target is moving backward or while you yourself are backing away for whatever reason. (more…)
There are a lot of different martial arts out there with a lot of different styles of hand positions that are used as their main fighting stances. The hand positions that are adopted are generally developed around the goals of the art. So in determining how you should hold your hands, you should keep this in mind. (more…)
In my book, When the Fight Goes to the Ground, there are chapters detailing a variety of ways to defend against specific types of ground combat situations, from hold-downs and submissions to kicks to the head and knife attacks. We demonstrate each move in detail, which might lead one to believe that our goal is to provide a form of ground defense that is no more than a “if this, then that” type of prescriptive approach, when it is quite the contrary in reality. While I do go into detail about true self-defense being adaptive, and that the “techniques” I show for defending against various situations are only to serve as examples of the principles in action, it is difficult to make this point clear to readers. The less experienced are more likely to simply take the examples and practice them alone, rather than fully explore the principles behind them. (more…)
If you read our blog regularly, you probably know that we are strong proponents of personal development in and through the martial arts. Learning self-defense and getting/staying fit are the main reasons most students join us, but the ones that stay over the long term usually find other less obvious benefits that seep into them over time through their training. Today, we’re going to feature the top 10 articles related to personal development in and through the martial arts in the history of our site. Here they are below. Enjoy!