How to Defend Against the 2-Handed Front Choke



A 2-handed front choke is a common street attack move. Not only can it be a controlling move, but it can do some serious harm. Because the choke can constrict the carotid arteries (which are responsible for blood flowing to the brain), any number of things can happen. If the choke lasts for around 10 seconds, it could leave the victim unconscious. If the choke lasts for around 30 seconds, it could lead to brain damage. If the choke lasts for 60 or more seconds, it could lead to death. So to that end, It is a good idea to have the defense to this attack prepared. Many martial arts systems advocate a striking strategy to get out of this situation. While that might work, there is no guarantee. The attacker could be much bigger and stronger than you, where your striking strategy might get them even angrier and choke harder. They could be on chemical substances and not be receptive to pain. So the best thing we can advocate is a scalable strategy that works on everybody, that just gets you out of the situation. The leverage based principle from Jiu Jitsu is just that. This self defense technique works for children, women, and men.

The steps are:
1. Tighten the Neck
2. Get in Base
3. Get Out
4. De-Escalate

Practice it slowly at first. Just get the steps down. Then, when you feel more and more comfortable with the steps of the front choke defense, you can have your partner raise the level of intensity of the choke. Don't forget to make the crazy face!

GET IT: Free Choke Defense Comic Book here: http://bit.ly/2BcIrav If you're ever wondering, "Where are some self defense classes near me, where I can learn this 2-handed choke defense in person?" You should definitely check to see what is offered in your community. Our videos serve as a reference and an intro, to hopefully prompt you to seek out face-to-face instruction. In person instruction is the best. Make sure the martial arts school you choose is a good fit for you. Follow Us for more Self Defense Techniques Instruction on social media:
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How To Escape a Headlock with Punches

A headlock is a common street attack move. Generally, a headlock is control position. You'll want to turn your face towards the attacker, so your trachea doesn't get compressed. Once you've done that, the headlock isn't too damaging, although, it is uncomfortable, and annoying. Once the attacker starts throwing punches with the other hand, that is when this becomes a very dangerous situation. They could beat your face to a pulp, causing you serious injury. So, it is in our best interest to know how to defend and escape a headlock with punches. The bonus here is that I give you a strategy to try to de-escalate the situation, and at least make an attempt to stop the fight. Of course, in other tutorials, I will show you what to do if the fight persists, but a big theme of my self defense strategies is to escape and de-escalate. Many martial arts tutorials don't emphasize the de-escalation part of the techniques. So this martial arts technique has a few steps that you want to make sure you get down:
1. Manage the Punches
2. Pin the Arm
3.Create the Opening
4. Get Out
5. De-escalate

Take it slow. Each step of this self defense move has several layers of details to pay attention to. The headlock with punches is a very dangerous position to be in, so it requires some extra attention, to make it work. Practice slowly, get all the steps down, then eventually bring up the intensity, little by little.

GET IT: Free Self Defense Comic Strip here: http://bit.ly/2zJ2p94

If you're ever wondering, "Where are some self defense classes near me, where I can learn this headlock with punches defense in person?" You should definitely check to see what is offered in your community. Our videos serve as a reference and an intro, to hopefully prompt you to seek out face-to-face instruction. In person instruction is the best. Make sure the martial arts school you choose is a good fit for you.

Follow Us for more Self Defense Techniques Instruction on social media:
Twitter - @AustinKungFu
Instagram - @AustinKungFuAcademy
Facebook.com/AustinKungFuAcademy

https://youtu.be/sa5sTiBtryo

Self Defense Technique Against a 2 Handed Shirt Grab

We have another tutorial on a classic Gracie Jiu Jitsu technique! It's a defense against a 2 handed shirt grab. There are more violent approaches, but we wanted to show you a more peaceful one that is about escaping through leverage mechanics, and trying to de-escalate the situation. Here is the YouTube link: https://youtu.be/gWPUSbwElYo

A 2 handed shirt grab is control and intimidation tactic that can lead to a potentially very violent situation. It is in your best interest to know this self defense move to escape the situation and possibly even de-escalate it. In one variation of this basic martial arts move in Jiu Jitsu, there is a follow up elbow strike. I opt not to do that, because if I can escape and have a chance to de-escalate the situation, I will. This is my philosophy on personal defense - to be able to get home safely. If I can do it by avoiding violence, I will always choose that path, first. Make no mistake, in home defense tactics, if your life is on the line, then yes, by all means, strike, kick, lock, choke, whatever you need to do. But if it doesn't need to go there, then I would strongly advise not to take it there.

So this Basic Self Defense technique has 4 + 1 Bonus parts:
1. Make Yourself Heavy
2. Arms Set Up
3. Legs Set Up
4. Break the Grip
5. (Bonus) Back Away
Get It: The free Self Defense Comic Book! http://www.austinkungfuacademy.com/book1

If you're ever wondering, "Where are some self defense classes near me?" You should definitely check to see what is offered in your community. If you're in the Austin, TX area, be sure to check us out, and contact us! Our videos serve as a reference and an intro, to hopefully prompt you to seek out face-to-face instruction.
Follow for more Self Defense Techniques Instruction on social media:
Twitter - @AustinKungFu
Instagram - @AustinKungFuAcademy
Facebook.com/AustinKungFuAcademy

 

How To Escape A Shirt Grab

We have a video explaining this self defense move, of how to get out of a single handed, standard shirt grab:

With a single handed shirt grab, the intent is to display dominance. It can also be to control and restrict the movements of the victim. It is imperative to know how to escape this situation with the correct martial arts movements.

I've broken this down into 3 steps:
1. Create the Opening
2. Back Foot Thru, Turn Around, Butt Out, Head Out
3. The Crank

After you understand the basic steps, try connecting them in a fluid manner, but slowly. Once you become more comfortable with that, take it a little faster.

This movement has more of its philosophy roots in Jiu Jitsu, where the purpose and objective is to blend with the attacker's energy, and utilizing leverage and timing as a way to neutralize and counter the attack. 

But it is the forward intent of Kung-Fu that you need to commit fully to the move, and make it flow seamlessly, literally turning 3 steps into 1. 

See the video here: https://youtu.be/ZN2vbZfz5rc

Can Senior Citizens Start Jiu Jitsu?

Absolutely, if the instructor has the right mindset! Here's the problem, though - most instructors cater their Jiu Jitsu training to younger folks. 

When I was searching this topic, I saw the most asinine response to a similar question. The question was, "Can old people do Jiu Jitsu?", and the responses were typically along the lines of yes, just look at Helio Gracie or Rickson Gracie. These gentlemen have been doing Jiu Jitsu since they were children. Their entire life and livelihood is Jiu Jitsu! Hardly a fair comparison to, say, my Dad, who is 80 and has not done martial arts ever in his life.

Could my 80 year old Dad start Jiu Jitsu? Well, it depends on the teacher. Sport school? Not on your life. How about a Gracie school, like Humaita? NOPE, I would like to see my Dad live some more years! 

The training regimen and methodology tends to favor the younger. However, Rener Gracie says, "Jiu Jitsu can be adapted to anyone." 

And I fully agree! Methodology is important. Today, there is so much emphasis on Randori, that it is weeding out the people who need Jiu Jitsu the most - the weaker of society. 

The Japanese created a brilliant concept of Kata, or prechoreographed routines, as a way to develop the fundamental ideas of the techniques, in a safe and predictable manner. Once someone showed proficiency in the Kata, then they moved onto Randori. 

So If the Jiu Jitsu school made their beginner class very focused on Kata, that is, prechoreographed drills, it definitely would make their programs a lot more accessible. 

Kata and forms have gotten a really bad rap, not because of the fact that it is not directly organic combat, but for people making their combat ability more than what it actually is by doing very good Kata. So I think the concept of Kata is not necessarily refuted, as much as the notion that someone deems themselves a high level master having focused more on Kata than Randori.

For a senior citizen starting out in Jiu Jitsu, I would say start with focusing on Kata first, to get your mind and body connected with the structure and geometries of the motions. Then work on timing and energy of the Kata.

Hopefully, after that, you will have developed some sound foundational attributes, and begin a very light and limited Randori. Over time, you can increase the scope of the Randori very progressively.

When people talk about particular Jiu Jitsu moves, I always think, yeah, that's cool, but could your mother or grandmother do that move to protect herself? If not, then what would you do or tell your mother or grandmother if she wanted to learn to protect herself? 

The beauty is, there is a curriculum in place that is meant to be the most scalable Jiu Jitsu program out there, and it can be adapted to anyone. Will it make you a Jiu Jitsu master? No. Will it give you a foundation of Self Defense oriented Jiu Jitsu that you could potentially build off of? Yes.

 

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The Hardest Part About Doing an Armbar!

The Armbar or Straight Arm Lock from on top of your opponent (which is called the "Mount"), can be tricky to do.

The trick is to:
-put your weight on your hand on a part of their body (sometimes chest, or, if they are turned sideways, on their head.

-lean to the side of rear leg. Really open up your hip of your rear leg, like a butterfly stretch, and lean.

This way, when you swing your other leg around, your hips won't come upwards, off of your opponent. You want to avoid that, because if you create space, you lose a bit of control. In that moment of lost control, they could get up, or slip their arm out. 

So, stay in close. Keeping that closeness is probably the most challenging part, so you'll have to drill it for awhile. Try doing it with your opponent turned on their side, first. That way is actually easier, because their position already has you elevated, so you mainly just need to lean to the side to bring your leg over. Get comfortable with this version, first.

Then, try it when they are flat on their back. This is a bit harder, because you have to elevate yourself a little, and that part comes from putting your weight on your hands, on their chest. 

This technique is kind of like a yo-yo, in it's process for learning. You can have the theoretical concepts in your head, and visualize it, but you won't actually own the skill until you actually do it, drill it, and readjust your execution each time. 

And, of course, once you have mastered it on one side, get it on the other. Sometimes people might be a little too eager to try it on both sides without mastery of one. That is not the most efficient way to learn. It is much better to master it on one side, to the point where you no longer have to think about it, and it becomes a reflex. After that, generally speaking, you''ll be able to make the transference to the other side much easier. 

armbar.jpg

I Don't Know if I Agree With This...

When it comes to dealing with bullies, it can be tricky, especially if you know martial arts. Let me just say that the anti-bullying techniques and concepts we teach come mainly from the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy in Torrance, CA. I think their philosophy and methodology is on point, and thus have adopted a good chunk of it.

That being said, I'm not sure I agree with their latest video on dealing with bullies. It is one of their 10-year-old students talking about how he dealt with bullies at school. The Gracies thought they should showcase this incident as proof that their program works.

Here's the video, and then my analysis to follow:

Overall, I'm sure the boy won't get bullied again, and to that end, he is successful.
However, I feel the need to share the 3 things I find somewhat problematic with how he handled the situation:
1. The Gracie Bullyproof method is, "Talk, Tell, Tackle." For those that don't know, "Talk" is letting the bully(ies) know that you don't appreciate what they did/said, and to stop, and never do/say that again. "Tell" is if the bully continues, you must tell grown ups - teachers, parents, counselor, principal, so they can intervene with the situation. "Tackle" comes in two parts - verbal and physical. After you've done the Talk and Tell, you then corner them into a decision, "Are you challenging me to a fight? If yes, I'm not afraid of you. If no, then leave me alone". So if they say yes, then, you proceed with the physical altercation.
So, in this case, he did not "Tell". He did not get grown-ups involved. The Gracie Academy kind of dismissively treats that as, "Whoops, he skipped a step." But in my experience, when kids skip that step, they end up getting into trouble. Why? Because they instantly went from verbal warning, to taking matters into their own hands. And in this case, it was over a skateboard. And it was at school, where there were grown-ups. I think omission of this step is a big deal. He was lucky that he didn't get into trouble, because if he had done "Tell", and then had to deal with the bullies physically, he would have been able to build an alibi to say that he covered all his basis before he got physical with them. I think for the Gracies is to dismiss the importance of the "Tell" phase is a little short-sighted.

2. The Gracie have an important philosophy when it comes to dealing with multiple bullies or attacker - don't stay there, get out! Run away any way you can! That is the only reliable strategy on how to deal with multiple attackers. They even play dodgeball in their Bullyproof classes to emphasize this principle. This boy was lucky that the three boys didn't all gang up on him and attack him at once, because if they did, he'd have been beaten up. This concept on getting away from multiple opponents is such a major principle with the Gracies, that they made a whole video on the topic:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KH9-K6bkETQ

So to see a direct violation of this principle also made me raise an eyebrow on why they chose to feature this story.

3. Rener Gracie said that the student handled this peacefully, without becoming a bully. Although I don't think that the student is a bully per se, he did throw the first attack. The student became physical by doing a "Power Push". Granted, that's not a strike, but it is provocation. And this method is provoking a physical attack. So, in essence the student started a physical fight with 3 other kids. While I do understand the importance of drawing a line in the sand, I'm not sure if I am completely on board with physical provocations. Aren't bullies the one who start out with pushing people around?

At the end of the day, I'm glad the student is safe, and probably won't get bullied again, and I guess since he followed some of the steps outlined in the program, they deemed it worthy for exposure. But someone like me, who teaches the concepts of this program, I was a little uneasy about this being a perfect example of their system applied in a real life setting. But, no situation is perfect, I get it. This one, though, seems to have some major violations.

Testing Video for Quarter 4

The test for Quarter 4 will be SATURDAY, DECEMBER 9th.

Please save the date, and plan accordingly, as THERE WILL BE NO MAKE-UP TESTS!

If you miss this test, then you'll have to plan for the next one on March 24, 2018. 

Here is the video of the material that will be on the test:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kmqUEmpTAic

Remember, the whole point of testing is to get the experience of performing in front of a large audience. With this in mind, the preparation will be much more focused. 

And finally, please be sure to consult the Members Only Video Blog (click on the "Members" tab) to get logistical information about testing, before consulting us.

Testing Video for Quarter 3

The test for Quarter 3 will be SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 9th.

Please save the date, and plan accordingly, as THERE WILL BE NO MAKE-UP TESTS!

If you miss this test, then you'll have to plan for the next one on Dec 9. 

Here is the video of the material that will be on the test:

https://youtu.be/fXdmHyTBJdM

Remember, the whole point of testing is to get the experience of performing in front of a large audience. With this in mind, the preparation will be much more focused. 

And finally, please be sure to consult the Members Only Video Blog (click on the "Members" tab) to get logistical information about testing, before consulting us.

Testing Material for Quarter 2

The test for Quarter 2 will be SATURDAY, JUNE 17th.

Please save the date, and plan accordingly, as THERE WILL BE NO MAKE-UP TESTS!

If you miss this test, then you'll have to plan for the next one on Sept 9. 

Here is the video of the material that will be on the test:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z6p_qSThHpk

Remember, the whole point of testing is to get the experience of performing in front of a large audience. With this in mind, the preparation will be much more focused. 

If you are a Youth Black Belt (no degrees), here is your material for the next pin:
https://youtu.be/R_mD8u0fxWI

If you are a Youth 1st Degree Black Belt here is your material for your next pin:
https://youtu.be/zow-P1fRRTA


Good luck, and have fun! 

Testing Material (Q4 2016)

5-6 Year Olds:
Fundamentals:
Yum Chop, Jaap, Snap Kick

Form Combination:
Fu Jow, Kick, Punch-Punch, Jang

Ground Techniques:
Stage 1
Double Ankle Sweep
Scoot Back, Get Up in Base


7-8 Year Olds:
Fundamentals:
Gwa, Chuin, Side Kick

Form Combinations:
Gwa, Kam, Chin Ji, Biu, Chuin
Fu Jow, Kick, Punch-Punch

Ground Techniques:

Stage 1
Double Ankle Sweep
Scoot Back, Get Up in Base

9-12 Year Olds:
Fundamentals:
Pek, Kam, Ax Kick

Form Combinations:
Gwa, Kam, Kick, Pek, Cheong Nan, Chop
Fu Jow, Kick, Punch-Punch, Jang
Gwa, Kam, Chin Ji, Biu, Chuin

Ground Techniques:

Stage 1
Double Ankle Sweep
Scoot Back, Get Up in Base

 

Myths About Women's Self Defense Tactics

When it comes to women's self defense tactics and strategies, here are the common ones you tend to hear about:

1. Kick him in the groin!

2. Poke him in the eyes!

3. Scratch him!

4. Bite him!

5. Punch him in the throat!

Well, these MIGHT work. But really, it's not likely. What is more likely is that it will make the attacker more angry, and want him to further impose his will on her. What is more likely is that she will miss, or not generate enough power to do damage, thus further aggravating the attacker.

Instead, the following concepts are far more reliable:

1. Manage the distance to manage the damage. Either be all the way out of striking range (2 arms length distance away), or all the way in, clinching (like a hug), because strikes have very little effectiveness there.

2. Use leverage-based submissions to subdue them. This means techniques such as breaking the arm or shoulder (e.g. armbars, figure four locks, shoulder cranks) or chokes (e.g. rear naked choke, guillotine choke, & triangle choke). These submissions don't really look like they are attacks, but they wind up severely damaging the opponent. Breaking the arm/shoulder and chokes are universal ideas that apply to all human bodies. In other words, a punch or a kick's effectiveness depends on how much power is behind it and how much force the opponent can absorb. An arm break or choke will happen, regardless of how much punishment the attacker can take -  a break is a break and no oxygen to the brain is no oxygen to the brain!

These ideas are much more accessible to practice. The more you practice this in a simulated experience, the more natural these movements become. Here is an example of one of these practice sessions. Keep in mind, she has been training with private lessons for several months:

Women's Self Defense Video

Our Podcast Episode 1 Is Up!

Austin Kung Fu Academy now has an official podcast!  We call it Kung Fu Konversations.  Check out our first episode, titled "Successful Martial Arts Teaching Methods" where we discuss student engagement, important details about teaching martial arts classes, teaching philosophy, and more!

Click the link below:

http://www.austinkungfuacademy.com/kung-fu-konversations/2016/10/21/kung-fu-konversations-ep-1-successful-martial-arts-teaching-methods

Look, You Must Get Comfortable With the Closeness

We get it - getting in close to your attacker is not very comfortable. But, it is THE BEST strategy! 

Our personal space is very important to us. But when someone is violating your personal space in an effort to dominate you, get in even closer, and get control of the situation!

You are very hard to hit and attack when you are in close. You can escape/defeat opponents twice your size without being a "martial arts master", by simply getting in really close, and knowing a few techniques. 

If you develop comfort with the closeness, it gives you the ability to stay calm in worst case scenarios. Read that sentence again and again. 

Watch this video of one of our female students using highly effective self defense techniques, simply because she is comfortable with being close to her opponents. It offers her greater protection, leverage, control, and ultimately, dominance!

https://www.facebook.com/AustinKungFuAcademy/videos/10154119539754372/
 

A Little About Combat Strategy

When we watch martial arts in movies or TV shows or YouTube clips, we tend to see a lot of kicking and punching. That is kind of the hallmark of the visual representation of martial arts.

In a real self defense situation, while punching and kicking do have their place, and can serve you, it is best and safest to neutralize any type of striking exchange with a clinch. A clinch is basically a hug! 

When you have clinched the opponent, you have dramatically decreased their striking arsenal. They cannot effectively punch or kick at you when you are hugged on to them tightly. You have essentially taken their fight away from them. It is an incredible technical concept!

Now, once you have them in the clinch, their behaviors are quite predictable. And with each predictable behavior comes an effective response. Let's go through some, shall we?

1. If they decide to try to punch you while you are clinched onto them, they will have to lean back a little bit. In that lean, you drop your shoulder into their chest and pull their hips in, and that is called a "Body Fold Takedown".

2. If they decide to try to push on you, they have to stabilize their stance, so that means their stance is wider. In that case, hook their leg, dip your shoulder into them, and turn, and that is called the "Leg Hook Takedown".

3. If they decide to bring their hips away in an attempt to escape out of the clinch, walk your hands up to the back of their shoulders, bring both of your feet up next to theirs, then squat, shoot back, and wrap your legs around them, and then one at a time, wrap one arm around the back of their neck, and another on one of their arms. This is called "Pulling Guard".

4. If they decide to try to wrap your head/neck out of desperation, you pop your head up like a turtle, turn around, get to their back, then bring one foot up next to theirs, and straighten the other leg out, while blocking their other foot and pull them down. This is called the "Rear Takedown".

5. If they break out of the clinch somehow, and it is hard to get back into the clinch, drop down, grab and pull behind their knees, put your foot in between theirs, and drive your shoulder into their midsection. This is called the "Double Leg Takedown".

These are all extremely effective strategies. They are not the flashiest moves, but they work very reliably well. These are all concepts that come from Gracie Jiu Jitsu. We teach and practice these concepts at Austin Kung-Fu Academy. In addition to the great training you get in traditional Kung-Fu, we want everyone to have a very reliable self defense strategy that doesn't involve too much of the kicking and punching, but rather work more towards neutralizing, controlling, and exhausting aggressive energy, rather than over-power it.