Answers…or Questions?

Training partner of mine said something today that I thought was very well put. Paraphrasing roughly:

“Most martial arts offer answers;

Interdisciplinary (or multi-disciplinary) training presents questions.”


ECQ Knife Defense Takedown

Craig Douglas posted this refinement of the Underhook and Bicep Tie clinch in knife defense at the Shivworks Alumni page here:


The Hook N Ties are my favored Enhanced Close Quarters clinch as they are conducive to many takedowns. Seeing this refinement Craig offered, I saw a great opening for combining knife defense with a leg sweep takedown based in the same body mechanics and postural manipulation this position provides.

Here they are:

Front and back views:


Some description on the mechanics from the back view, showing how the underhook and postural mechanics work:


Methed Martial Arts


Ever handle a guy tweaking hard on meth?

Or try to restrain him without any damage done – to him or you!

PCP? Spice? Bath Salts? In the throes of excited delirium?

There’s a point – you will not talk them down. That doesn’t happen and anyone who says different is selling something….

Perhaps someone having a psychotic break?

How ’bout a combination  of one or more of the above – what I call the Three Ds- drunk, drugged, deranged?

Recently I had two reminders of this kind of “high” performance: One just a guy freakishly strong for his size- where once again jiujitsu proved its effectiveness as a method of restraint; The other a dude doing spectacular, movie-quality stunts in his supercharged state of desperation.


Think you might be dealing with some of these in a self defense encounter?

That this could be the guy you cut off – or that cut you off and you just had to say something out your rolled-down passenger window?

Or that you yell at to “Back Off!”when all he did was try to bum a smoke?

Or that you said “hey!” too when he stepped on your foot on the bus?

How are you preparing to handle such people? What are you learning? Because many instructors betray a lack of experience when they begin talking about what “works.” When they make it seem like every encounter is “easy,” like a drunken panhandler that can barely stand.

Sure the latter are probably more likely, but is that really what you are training  for?

Over the years I’ve heard teachers, and read posts and blogs say some good things,  only to shake my head when they wax pedagogical on things way outside their lane. And don’t think that former cops and convicts,  bodyguards and bouncers, and “street fighters” are immune….All such claims to fame are prevalent in the personal myth-making (and money making) in the training community.

What people say they know, and how they say it, says a lot about what they don’t know.

I don’t take much for granted, nor do I take certain statements – or certain instructors – very seriously. Even though the rest of the world seem to think they are preaching gospel. You just need to have been around long enough, and seen enough, to get a balanced sense of things.

Double Sleeve Footsweep

…from Travis Stevens:

My thinking on foot sweeps has changed. Once I thought they were quite timing and skill dependent, and so more for a specialist to focus on than for the average practitioner of sele protection.

But frankly they are no more skill dependent than other takedowns, and require less strength and body commitment in the throw as an added bonus. Nor are they more skill- or timing dependent than the ground maneuvers we promote and count on for self defense such as mount and guard escapes or modified spider guard.

So Do the Judo. Adding foot and leg attacks to ones repertoire will pay tremendous dividends in terms of efficient and effective takedowns.