Year's Parting Shot

It has been a dynamic year for Indomitable Mind Body Combat Academy with seminars, gradings, media exposure, blogging, organizing course and seminar content and the general running of the school has presented plenty of challenges and growth for me as an instructor. I have had some students make good progress and advancement. Consistency is the key as mentioned previously. The mental aspects of combat need to be practiced as well as the techniques to ingrain the indomitable spirit in the subconscious.


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Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

This week I have had students ask me to explain the blood choke or sleeper hold. The sleeper hold is something that we use in Krav Maga and it is a technique that has been used by many militaries and police departments. I remember as a teenager going to a Billy Bragg concert and a  support band, I think they were The Beatniks, talk about an African American graffiti artist who was choked to death by the NYPD. They performed a song about it; I think it was called “Blind Eyes of Justice”. In retrospect I personally think that the incident was probably a result of incompetence rather than racism or police brutality.

Many suspects would go limp when the officers would apply the hold only to escape as soon as the hold was released; it was a trick which was common knowledge on the streets. I think the cops held the sleeper hold too long to make sure that the suspect was not faking which resulted in his death. This is the reason why police departments in the US no longer use the sleeper hold. However I still think the sleeper hold is one of the most effective ways of stopping someone particularly if the individual is on drugs and immune to pain and other locks.

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As a seasoned and experienced martial artist, I find it hard to think and feel the same as I did when I first started training. I was a scrawny and uncoordinated 14 year old who would spend any spare change he had on the coin operated Double Dragon or Kung- Fu Master. I used to watch the animated character throw flawless techniques to lay the bad guys out on their ass, sometimes taking multiple opponents out with one mighty strike. In those days I thought that if I perfected my round-house and my reverse punch I would be able to achieve the same results thinking that the digital animation of the video game was modeled on real fighting skills of martial artists whose ability far surpassed even that of my instructor. This was before the console boom of the early nineties and of the Street Fighter and Mortal Combat games with their outrageous action.

I remember watching my instructor hopping on one foot snapping out crisp head high roundhouse kicks before chambering his knee and repeating the motion over and over again as he would chase a target pad across the leisure center court. In my mind I could see the bad guys getting knocked down as they all attacked in a line. As I would slam the reverse punch into the air shield I would imagine that through constant repetition I could develop a strike that would send shock waves through an attacker’s internal organs and break ribs. As I would perform the kata I would think that through some magic the movements would take out any man who dared attack someone who knew this sequence of blocks and strikes.

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I was looking at a news article online where police officers in Australia tasered a suspect about 9 times on a CCTV recording inside the station. They were obviously using the taser as a pain compliance device. It was quite appalling to watch with the suspect screaming out as he was getting tasered over and over again surrounded by officers; it looked nothing short of torture. The article stated that the suspect was refusing to undergo a strip search.

It made me wonder whether any of the officers had any training in the use of the kubotan. I know if I had applied the kubotan on the suspect he would not be screaming out like that but grinding his teeth and tapping for me to stop, agreeing to comply with anything. Unfortunately lack of training is all too frequently seen in situations like this and when it hits the media eye the consequences are quite ugly. That is why I breathe easier as a Krav Maga instructor knowing that there is a huge demand for the skills that I teach.

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Defensive Tactics

“Security against defeat implies defensive tactics: ability to defeat the enemy means taking the offensive.” - Sun Tzu “The Art of War”


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