Long, Boring Summer Days…

Let’s talk about a different purpose of the role of the martial artist.

Yes, we train for fighting. We know how to prevent a knife-wielding attacker from killing us. Our skill is a trade–should we ever find ourselves out of work. We know how to teach people to lose weight, build muscle, face their insecurities and fears. We are making ourselves and our student healthier and live longer. But there is something that we don’t talk about in the martial arts, that is far more important than all of this.

We protect our families. I am not referring to beating up muggers who try to take our wallets or threaten our families. I mean that we must make our families safe. I think I’ve told you before about a young rape victim who joined my school a few years ago:  Her father is a Grandmaster.

Nuff said.

I’ve taught guys whose Dads were martial art teachers. Young women whose boyfriends, husbands, brothers, cousins, uncles–sons–were martial artists. Why? Shouldn’t this segment of the market already know how to defend themselves? It should. But sometimes we are so wrapped up with work, teaching, paying bills, that we neglect to teach and protect those closest to us.

I just opened a new school and store in South Sacramento, just one exit down from my old location of 8 years. So, I’m passing out flyers almost every day in the morning before it gets too hot, and guess who I’m meeting?

Your kids. Your sons and daughters–even teenagers–at your homes. Anyone see a problem with that?

My children are 4, 10 and 11 and I will never allow them to be home alone. At that age, some parents believe they are old enough to be home alone but I don’t even believe a teenager should be home alone. Okay–maybe for a few hours–but never all day long, for weeks at a time. I’m sorry, but I know damn well none of you will leave your jewelry unattended all day long for weeks at a time, or your cars unlocked all day. Am I correct? Then why, my friends, are our children–our precious pearls that could not be replaced in a thousand years–home by themselves?

I’m going to spare you the parent-to-parent-scolding.

Wait, no I’m not.

Don’t you realize that there are men out here:  Cable installers, maintenance men, landscapers, postal workers, even martial arts teachers–who go home at night and watch child pornography and other crazy stuff like that–and the only thing they need to go from voyeur to criminal is access to unsupervised children????

I have a question I ask my kids. I point to two men when we’re out, sometimes a homeless guy and then a guy who is nicely dressed… And I ask them, “which one looks like a child molester?” Do you know the correct answer?

They both do. Any man who is not their father is capable of being a molester. They can look like handsome models, they can look friendly grandfathers, they can look like ME–and no man is to be trusted. They are not to talk to any stranger when I or their mother is not around. Especially if they are at home. My children know this, do yours?

So, I’m passing out flyers, and these kids are so bored at home that when they hear my putting a flyer on their door they jump up to open the door and see what’s going on. Often, they will ask me about my classes. Very bad.

Just so you know, when a child approaches or calls you about martial art classes, don’t make conversation; tell them to have their parents call. Children should not be discussing business anyway.

I have had kids tell me they will tell their parents when they come home. That is bad too. Children should not be letting strangers know that there are no adults home. If they answer the phone and someone asks for mom or dad, they should say “mom/dad is busy”–never “not home”. Teach your kids that.

Which leads me to my next point. Why are these kids home alone? Young children are like cubs in the wild, vulnerable to prey. Did you think that the child predators will for some reason avoid your neighborhood? Even teenagers should not go without supervision. Maybe they are old enough to fight, but teenagers could still be seduced by smooth talkers, even other teenagers. With the music they listen to, the sex scenes in every movie that comes out, the way they are dressing and dancing these days… do you really think your teenagers don’t need supervision? All children have to have a responsible, trustworthy adult around them. Period.

The Solution: In every circle of families, there has to be a stay-home mom or other responsible adult. Let’s say there are five kids in your circle, various ages. Each family pitches in $50 per week, per kid, plus a donation of food, drink and a little entertainment money. If somebody has to, let that parent use your minivan Monday thru Friday for transportation (or trade cars). The kids won’t be bored, I guarantee it. They will have playmates. They will have transportation to the park, mall, library, etc. They will have adult supervision, and you don’t have to worry. And on top of that, the family that is on a one-parent income will have an extra $1,000 a month. Problem solved. The predators won’t have access to your kids, and summer won’t be as long and boring as it normally is.

Oh, the teenagers… Okay if there are a couple of teenagers in the group, then each family should throw in an extra $20 a week (five families = $100) to be split and paid to the teens for helping with cooking, supervising and cleaning. What teen is going to turn down $50 of easy money? And trust me, they will have their hands full and can’t play doctor while they are dealing with kids from 5 families…

My brothers, this has to be done. You must put priority on educating your children about strangers. No one is to be trusted. You won’t allow strange people to drive you car, why give them access to your children while you’re not home? If you can afford to, then see if your neighborhood has a day camp. This is the one thing I won’t criticize the McDojos for:  There is definitely a need for a safe place for kids to hang out, even if they are learning mediocre martial arts. 😉

Lecture is over, stepping down from my soapbox. Thanks for visiting my blog.

Gatdula’s 3-5-7 Tactic

AKA, “What if I had two weeks to teach someone self-defense”

AKA, “How to improve your fight performance 100% in 3 workout sessions”

AKA, “A Super-Technique”

I am going to teach you all a technique (yes, by blog…) and I guarantee that if you do exactly what I say, the way I say to do it, and you fight withsomeone who has not read my blog–I guarantee no one can fuck with you.

Excuse the language. Sometimes, I use bad language. But I’m actually breathing heavy because this is one of those techniques that I believe in that damned strongly. This, my friends, is a “super-technique”. Just do a little search from the main page about my definition of a “super-technique” and you will understand what I am getting ready to share with you. Anyone who has trained with me to fight in the ring knows this technique, and I know that if I use on you, you’re going to get hurt. If anyone is in the Sacramento area and would like to call me on what I am saying. I will prove this technique’s worth to you. Trust me I rarely offer something this valuable to strangers–regardless of how simplistic this tactic may seem.

First, some background. This is one of the first techniques I coined when I was a young man itching to open a school. I had heard my grandfather talking about no one should open a school who has not been fighting long enough to have his own way, and long enough to be able to prove that this “own way” is superior. I thought up this technique while working at the post office at Dulles Airport, and had to wait until the Christmas season ended to test it. When things slowed at the post office, I returned to my normal schedule of working out with friends and competing and used it on everyone. By the time I was working part time for a Kim’s Karate location owned by this man, Nathan Teodoro, this was one of the techniques I brought with me. The first student I trained this way was a young lady who had achieved the green or blue belt (forgot her name, maybe Nathan can help me out) but couldn’t fight. It took about three or four private lessons before she not only lost the fear of fighting, but became one of the dominant fighters in that dojang–male or female. I went on to teach it to a ton of people along my journey. When I encounter someone who wants a sparring tip, all I need is about two hours with you to teach it–and if you can spend two weeks training with me I can make it the most reliable skill in your toolbox.

By the way, Nathan is an old friend, and the last time he saw me I was about 22 and weighed around 125. He doesn’t know about this blog. Let’s see if he finds this article. Perhaps in the next few days I will post an article about him and our friendship and the influence he had on me as a young man.

Back to the technique, when I inherited a couple of students from a local dojo, one of them, Mani Bean (that’s a nickname, she’s a kid), had crazy legs but needed work on her hands. This was the technique that gave her balance. Today you would never know that this young national level fighter ever had a problem using her hands. (If her name sounds familiar it’s because I wrote an article about her. Just do a search on her nickname)

And now, the technique:

  • the 3-5-7 technique is a machine gun blast of three punches, five punches, or seven punches. they must be delivered in about the amount of time most guys can throw one or two.
  • you must deliver them with malicious intent. meaning, no Tae Bo punches folks. and no punching for patty cake drills. by the time your opponent has blocked one punch (assuming he is able to block one), you will hit him 2, 4 or 6 more times. trust me, and “gunting” won’t work on this, if you throw it right.
  • the punches are set up by any other technique–a side kick, a round kick, a hook punch, a jab, a fake… you name it. the secret here is that you must practice each set up and follow up as a separate technique. so, based on the example I just gave, you have 15 different techniques: side kick>3 punches, side kick>5 punches, and so on
  • you will even have the punches set up by blocks:  slap block>3 punches, slap block>5 punches, blah blah blah. DO NOT SKIP THIS PART.
  • now, when you practice it, you will move around with your partner. then when you’re ready, attack or have him attack you, then you time the 3/5/7 punches for the moment he rests after blocking or delivering the attack. if you attack with it, you will kick him, and the moment he blocks, follow up with the punches. if you are countering, have him try to hit you, and the moment you block successfully–attack him. don’t give him room to breathe or fart…
  • the whole attack should be over in about 2 to 3 seconds.
  • now, do each separate technique 500 times. if you identify 5 attacks and 3 counters, then you will execute the technique 4000 times. do not waste time getting your numbers, and do not skip this step!
  • don’t forget your evading and making the opponent miss! follow up failed attacks with the 3-5-7
  • by the way kiddos, this works in full contact fighting, point fighting and the street. take it from me: I’ve done all three with it.
  • when countering, it is important that your partner really tries to hit you. if he does a “youtube” attack, the technique will not work for you when you need it. the two different skills (use against a real attack, use for demonstration) are vastly different.
  • when throwing the attack, you must do it with conviction, with power, and with the intent to hit the opponent. you cannot do it any other way.
  • that’s it!

See, I’m a simple kind of guy. I don’t believe it lengthy, complicated drills. I don’t like a whole buncha variations. When it’s learned, trained and utilized this way, trust me: you will destroy your opponent. The tactic is really a collection of techniques that develops the skill of using the 3-5-7. Not exactly the kind of Kuntaw technique you’d find on your favorite “Deadly Art of Moroland” DVD, but at least you won’t need to wear a dress or bathe in chicken blood to make this shit work.

If you have two weeks to train someone, Habib Ahmad (my student who asked about it), that is just the perfect amount of time to develop a working level of knowledge with this technique. Remember, 500 with every version of this tactic you come up with.

No time? Then only have 2 or 3 variations.

Don’t forget squats, burpees and pushups. Vital to making any martial arts technique work. Thanks for visiting my blog.