“Secrets” of the Filipino Fighting Arts
Words from a Modern-Day Warrior

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.

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One Response to “Gatdula’s 3-5-7 Tactic”

  1. An excellent idea! I truly did enjoy reading this article and it makes me realize that the FMA isn’t or doesn’t have to be as complicated as we (and I mean us as FMA practioners!) make it out to be. I believe there are times when we as artists attempt to complicate or make things more difficult for ourselves, when in reality the only real way to advance is to keep it simple, and continue to practice the technique or skill OVER AND OVER again until its automatic. Lord knows I don’t like doing strike after strike several hundred times, yet how else will I KNOW what I am capable of executing in a real fight for my life.


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