Archive for November, 2010

How to Stop the Tackler –Crossface

Posted in American Arts, Technique, Videos with tags , , , , , , , on November 30, 2010 by bigstickcombat

I asked my nephew James, the champion wrestler, what his primary defense is against the opponent who shoots. He replied the cross face, which he demonstrates here.

We square off and I (on the right) prepare to go for a double leg tackle.


I shoot for the outside of James' lead leg. Note how his arm drops to counter.

James' forearm comes up across my face.

James sprawls, throwing his legs back and placing his weight on me (by lowering his hips). It's hard for me to counter, even if I drive or get both arms on one leg, because he is twisting my head in the other direction.

This video shows the basics of the crossface and sprawl.

Remember, in Bruce Lee’s fighting stance, he kept his lead right arm low, with the elbow resting on his hip. Could this be useful against the shooting opponent?

In this video (at the very end of the clip) a wrestler uses a crossface like the aikido entering throw irimi nage, at least as practiced by Steven Seagal, who uses it to great effect.

Steven Seagal Performs Irimi Nage



Hero of the Week: Victor Perez

Posted in Commentary, Weapons with tags , , , , , on November 29, 2010 by bigstickcombat

In the article Victor Perez is called a “good Samaritan,” but it’s more accurate to describe him as a hero.

Hero Victor Perez

An 8 year old girl was kidnapped from in front of her home in Fresno, and an Amber alert was issued.

When Victor Perez recognized the kidnapper’s truck from a newscast description, he jumped in his own truck and chased the suspect. Victor kept cutting off the suspect’s truck. Then he saw the kidnapped girl’s head pop up into view, and the gang member push her head back down.

Eventually the gang member released the girl and sped off. Victor stayed with the girl and reassured her. He dialed 911.

A massive police dragnet snared the fleeing hoodlum. Who is now under arrest for a number of charges, including kidnapping and –sadly– sexual assault.

Not everyone has the courage to confront a gang banger like Victor did, but being prepared helps to boost your willingness to confront a criminal, in addition to putting the odds in your favor in the event of violence. Luckily, the kidnapper didn’t have a gun, but would you be prepared for that eventuality? Suppose the kidnapper you corner emerges empty handed, or with a knife, are you armed?

The Kuntawman has suggested putting a knife on the seat, that you can grab as you “reach for your wallet.” We’ve previously discussed tire knockers, long armed ice scrapers, and even the concealment of knives and guns in your car (Check out this post based on Amo Guro Blackgrave’s wisdom.)

If you cannot carry a gun legally inside your car, one option is to carry it in your trunk. Even if it is unloaded, it is quick and easy to load a magazine into an automatic pistol and rack the slide. The scenario is:

  • pop the trunk via the driver’s seat latch,

  • move to the back of the car, keeping the car as a screen between you and the perp

  • get behind the axle (the most solid and protective part of the car)

  • load the gun and fire as necessary

Another option, mentioned by Mas Ayoob, is to ram the attacker with your car. Anyone who targets you in your car with a gun is fair game, as the number of cops who have shot and killed criminals who try to run them over will attest.

Knocked Centsless Coin Purse Palm Sap

Posted in American Arts, Resources and Product Reviews, Weapons with tags , , , on November 28, 2010 by bigstickcombat

D3 Knocked Centsless Palm Sap

I have written about the relatively obscure palm sap earlier.

I came across another example of a palm sap. It is the D3 Protection Knocked Centsless palm sap. There is a video tutorial here.

Keep in mind that carrying a palm sap can get you into trouble, while a coin purse is perfectly legal.







Striking Area Knocked Centsless Coin Purse Palm Sap


Finger Band for Knocked Centsless Coin Purse Sap

Review of the Spyderco Pikal Knife

Posted in American Arts, Resources and Product Reviews, Weapons with tags , , , , , on November 27, 2010 by bigstickcombat

Spyderco Pikal Folding Knife

The Spyderco Pikal folding knife was designed from the ground up as a fighting knife. Furthermore, the knife was specifically designed around a set of techniques.

The Spyderco Pikal was designed by the people at Shivworks, who have no-nonsense, rock solid technique. As far as I can tell, the group is composed of law enforcement and corrections officers. Nothing focuses the mind on the ugly reality of edged weapons like working in a prison. (If you go to the bottom of this page, they have some free pdf tutorials that are some of the grittiest I’ve seen.)

There are also some online video tutorials (here and here) that outline how to draw the knife, as well as a simple set of techniques to use it. The Pikal is meant to be held in a reverse icepick grip, with the blade facing in toward the wielder. The techniques are sound and very effective, the sort of thing a beginner could pick up and use in no time flat.

[The group claims that “pikal” is “to rip” in Bisaya (Cebuano), but it’s not. My research says maybe Ilonggo. Suffice it to say that when I trained with Master Ed Planas, the saber grip was called “saksak” (“stab”) and icepick grip was called “pakal.”]

Spyderco Pikal in Reverse Icepick grip

The guys at Shivworks make a very important point that their techniques are easily used in emergency situations with impromptu weapons, like pens. My thinking is increasingly headed in the direction of icepick grip. If you look at all of the common emergency or semi-impromptu weapons, they are stabbing or puncture weapons, not cutting weapons. If all of your training is with knives, and your techniques is designed to employ blades, you may come up short when employing an emergency weapon such as a pen, pair of scissors, awl, ice pick, screw driver, etc, because they have no cutting edge.

Sarah Palin’s Kali versus Halibut

Posted in Commentary with tags , , , on November 26, 2010 by bigstickcombat

Sarah Palin with Club

Sarah Palin is under fire for clubbing a halibut while filming her reality TV show. Animal rights activists are calling the episode of her landing and clubbing a halibut a “snuff film.”

What people are ignoring is that a fish hauled in is still alive and dying slowly. A blow to the head is quicker and more humane. More importantly, a large fish on a boat is a real threat, as seen in this video of a marlin seriously spearing a man (not for the squeamish!). In fact, that page is full of other videos of game fish injuring boaters. Sadly, there are people who fail to grasp that a shark on a boat is still dangerous.

Sarah Palin Launches a Number 1

A club is standard gear on many boats. Which leads me to –Why isn’t it a stick? In the photo, Sarah is clearly using a club, with a handle and greater weight at the striking end.

Examples of Native American designs are also clubs rather than sticks.

My point is that martial artists typically regard sticks, with straight lines and uniform diameter from one end to another, as weapons. Yet in case after case where people must depend on a blunt weapon to put someone (or some animal) down, they rely on clubs.



Native American Fish Club

Prepare Yourself for a Home Invasion

Posted in Commentary, Weapons with tags , , on November 25, 2010 by bigstickcombat

In this article two armed men knocked at a door, then burst into the home, demanding money and drugs. After they shot the husband, the wife grabbed a .357 magnum and 

Chiappa Arms Rhino Revolver in .357 Magnum. Interesting in that the barrel is aligned with the lowest cylinder, not the top cylinder like most revolvers.

shot one of the intruders, killing him.

This story could have ended very tragically, but for three factors:

1) They had a gun in the home

2) Everyone in the home knew where it was

3) Everyone in the home could use it.

The following comes from “Secrets” of the Filipino Fighting Arts:

When I moved into my last home, I chose places in the house where I kept weapons. This included two machetes, three knives, a spear, several cocobolo sticks, a push dagger, and a firearm. I pointed these places out to my children and warned them not to touch them unless a stranger was in the house. I also promised a near-death experience if they touched these weapons out of curiosity. Only the teenagers knew about the firearm, but even my 9 year old was taught about the locations of my blades and all were taught to attack the hands and throat of the stranger. All members of my family were taught Eskrima, and my wife and I sparred almost weekly. She is a law enforcement officer and I would be livid when she came home from work with injuries, so I insisted on her studying my arts. She trained for the “Battle of the Badges”, and within a few months of our wedding I was confident that she was safe with her hands alone. The home, in my opinion, is not safe unless every member is a soldier. My children trained weekly, and they sparred every Wednesday. On top of that, they boxed and fenced with a fencing club. The warrior must arm his family as well as himself, or he is wasting his knowledge.

Understand that there is no safe haven from violence, and even when you are home, there is vulnerability. If you are attacked in your sleep, you should have a defensive tool available within an arm’s reach. If you are in your car, you should have a weapon available as easily as a feigned dropped set of keys or wallet. If you are fumbling in your back pocket for cash, some sharp object needs to be a quick grab away. Your family will never be completely safe 100% of the time, so if anyone needs access to a weapon, even your children needs to be able to find a blade. I have a 10 year old boy who is crafty enough to be able to plunge a blade into the neck or bladder of even skilled Eskrimador. My daughter’s specialty in fencing is the foil, and because of her fast footwork, has even managed to thrust me a few times in playful combat. Prepare your family for defense, because you are their protector and the best way for you to protect them is to teach them to protect themselves.

And never, ever, forget your role as warrior–because this role does not end at 5 p.m. every day. It does not occur only on weekends, or 5 or 6 days a week. When you leave your blade at home, or your firearm in the cabinet, or your plastic knife in the glove compartment of your car (HARD plastic, that is; it gets past metal detectors), you are basically convincing yourself that you know for a fact that no violence will occur today. And you really don’t know that, do you? I didn’t think so. If you ask me, I’d say that you were in denial, hoping that “today isn’t the day”… but we don’t carry weapons because most attacks occur on weekends, and certainly not at 6 in the afternoon when you’re going to the mall, right? Are you sure?

Arm yourself. Arm your family. And always have a weapon available, because you can “always” be attacked–at home, in the car, while you sleep, when you shop. This is the life of a warrior… We are the armed among a sea of the unarmed. Like the guard dog in my previous article, you are not one of the prey, unless you choose to be.

Chiappa Rhino .357 --The .357 in 4 inch barrel is a good home choice. It can also shoot 38 Special, and +P rounds.

In reading this excerpt, we see several key ideas:

1) Weapons are secreted throughout the house and the car. You should have weapons prepared in every environment you are in, –home, car, workplace. I teach at school, so I can’t have a gun or a knife, but I can have a heavy metal stapler, or solid steel scissors, or a heavy flashlight “in case the power goes out.”

2) Every member of the family is trained. They know where the weapons are, and know how to use them. Like in the news story, what if you as the defender of the home are incapacitated or killed? Can the other members of the family step up to defend themselves?

3) Prepare your family for various scenarios. You will NOT get in the car. You will NOT let then tie you up. You will NOT surrender your weapon, no matter who they threaten to kill.

Learn a Killer Headlock

Posted in American Arts, Technique with tags , , , , on November 24, 2010 by bigstickcombat

My nephew James, the champion wrestler, showed me a head/neck lock that he uses to great effectiveness. Basically, once he cinches this hold on an opponent, he’s toast.

The feeling of this lock is like your head is 50 feet under water and it’s about to burst, in addition there is compression on your neck.

James often goes into this hold from a hip throw.

Often the opponent's energy and momentum as he shoots can be used to throw him.

Neck and arm control. I can do little with my left hand. (Back up knife?)

Note how James uses his hip, which is stronger than my arm.

Pushing the arm up against the head

James grasps his own bicep. The pressure on the neck and head is crushing.

Another view. Is something funny?