Catch Full Speed Punches out of the Air

One of the classes in Clear’s Silat Phase 1 is how to Catch Full Speed Punches out of the Air.

This is a timing and perception training class much more than it is an application class. In other words, it is not that we Catch Full Speed Punches out of the Air and hold the attackers punch while making some maniacal B movie laugh as the attacker falls to their knees and melts away at our feet.

In fact if you can successfully catch an attackers punch you had better be moving on to your next attacking technique in process without delay or you are likely to be holding their first punch while they land the second punch on your head and then continue to hit you. They will marvel later that you actually caught their punch but then they beat you badly as you stood there attempting the maniacal movie laugh.

So, what is the benefit in a fight of Catching a Full Speed Punch out of the Air?

First of all if you can perceive well enough to do that then your response to any movement the opponent makes should be timed well enough that you can outpace and out position them fairly easily.

For most people speed and power diminish after they reach a certain age somewhere between 40 and 60 years of age. However, timing and perception continues to improve as long as you are physically well and continue to train.

I have had quite a number of teachers in their 70s and 80s who are physically quite capable and who move quite fast and well. When you talk to them about speed they will quickly tell you that they are much slower than the average 20 year old in good shape but that their perception and timing are what is making them appear to move so fast.

To catch a full speed punch out of the air you will want to train the basic Clear’s Silat vision method of sleepy eye as well as action beats reaction and positioning skills such as Welcoming Posture # 1 and constant motion. When you put all of these elements together you really get a good look at what the art is supposed to look like and it makes sense how this is an art that is used to defend yourself against multiple attackers armed with bladed weapons.

The better you can get at naturally moving with all of these elements happening at the same time the more correct your practice and performance of the art will be. This includes your evasion, flanking attacks and your counter attacks.

Fighting Rhythm

Fighting Rhythm refers to the repetitive pace and timing that you are moving to when you are in motion to fight.

A rhythm is a pattern that continually repeats. In a fighting rhythm the movement of the person continually repeats or flows to a certain beat in a repetitive pattern. The movement can range from quite simple to very complex.

The benefits of a rhythm are that the average person can normally maintain a rhythm for quite awhile (several minutes or longer) without fatigue. This is partly due to the fact that the conscious mind is not overly stressed and is able to rest in a rhythmic state.

The downside of rhythmic motion for fighting is that the movement pattern can usually be figured out by an observing opponent and then they can reasonably predict your next move or moves and counter you just prior to the move or as you begin to make the move.

A simple drill to work on rhythmic motion for fighting is to have your partner stand in the center of a circle and field your strikes while you use rhythm and move around them and throw your strikes from the outside position of the circle.

Silat Walking, Shaking Hands & Running 2

Silat Walking, Shaking Hands & Running are aggressively moving attacks designed to overwhelm or trick an opponent while giving them no time to decide when or how to counter the coming attack. The less time the opponent has to analyze the attack the better. Part of the surprise of these methods is the sudden turning of the tables on the attacker. They were attacking and now with very little or no warning they are having to defend themselves. It is designed to take out the attacker before they can mount a decent defense of any kind.

Running style is intended to overwhelm and run over the opponent in the same manner as walking style but much faster and with a greater ability to close in and change as needed. The real use of running style is to get all the way next to the opponent and pepper them with full body power open hand shots to the tune of 6 – 12 per second. We train 2 basic running style drills to help build the ability to do this properly while maintaining safety in the training.

The first Running style drill is to have your partner hold their arms up in front of them in the hug the tree or hold the bowl posture then run up to them as fast as you can and pepper their arms with open hand strikes. Start in the front and run to the left or right as far as you can up your partners arm without hitting your partner on the shoulder(s). Then, continue back in the other direction back across the front of your partner and all the way back up the other arm. When you get close to the opposite shoulder then quit hitting them and run past them to simulate having gone through the opponent.

The second Running style drill starts with your partner in a fist fighting position. They swing on you in slow motion and try to maintain as much fighting integrity as they can while continually slow motion fighting and moving while you are performing the drill. The running style practitioner runs up to the fist fighting partner in slow motion and in slow motion open hand peppers whatever they can hit wherever they can hit it. Start with the arms and move into the face, head, shoulders and upper body. It should be obvious that in a real situation that the recipient would quickly and aggressively get the living daylights smacked out of them.

This drill is intended to get you as close as possible to the reality of using the technique while maintaining safety for both people and particularly the recipient of the Running style. If the Running style is performed correctly then the recipient will feel completely overwhelmed and shut down by the running style practitioner.

Silat Walking, Shaking Hands & Running I

This post is about Silat Walking, Shaking Hands & Running. I have already written several posts about Continuous movement and it is important to note that Silat Walking, Shaking Hands & Running like most Silat utilize continuous movement as a fighting tool.

One of the things that set the Silat Walking, Shaking Hands & Running class apart from the other basic Clear’s Silat Phase I continuous motion classes is that the Silat Walking, Shaking Hands & Running styles are offensive in nature. Instead of evasive movement to lead the attacker(s) into a bad position the Walking style heads straight for the attacker to run them over. When performed correctly the aggressor will “feel” like they are about to be ran over. This requires the practitioner to let the arms swing fully and to stride forwards with an intent to overwhelm and go through the attacker. Not around or to them but through them without breaking stride.

Walking style is a great technique to use against a stationary attacker who is blocking your path. Shaking hands style is used against an attacker who is moving around a bit more but who is not yet scrimmaging or running. Running style is for an attacker who is scrimmaging or swinging with a lot of physical motion such as a boxer who is dancing around using a lot of footwork.

The shaking hands style is a decoy art that is about timing. I extend my hand to the attacker as if to shake their hand while using walking style to go right up to them. If they so much as look at my extended hand then they will normally physically respond to late to protect themselves. It is a trick and timing is of the essence. If I extend my hand to soon then the attacker has time to see my hand and move, adjust or attack before I can reach them. If I extend my hand to late then the attacker will not see my hand and will move or attack.

6 Keys to using Zero Pressure

There are several keys to effectively using Zero Pressure in a real fighting situation.

As I stated in my previous post Zero Pressure is about controlling the opponent and can be used to escort out an unruly patron or the drunk relative who always wants to fight at the family get together. You don’t really want to hurt them but you can not let them hurt anyone else either. When using Zero Pressure if you need to hurt the person then you walk / run them into the wall and let the sudden impact with a much larger object stop them. In a multiple attacker situation when and as appropriate you run them into their friends who are trying to attack you. The idea is to get them to hit and beat up each other while you remain mostly untouched.

The keys to effectively use Zero Pressure are:

  1. Keep your body close to theirs so that if they try to quickly speed up and run away to get out of Zero Pressure then you have time to compensate and stay with them in the Zero Pressure position.
  2. Keep your arms in a position so that when they turn to the sides to spin around on you that you are able to use your forearms to cut off their turn and position while you adjust to the new Zero Pressure position. You want to feel what they are doing or trying to do with as much of your forearms as possible so that you can respond to their actions before they have time to actually get half way to completing them.
  3. Keep your head down a bit so that they can not intentionally or accidentally head butt you in the face.
  4. Run your knee into the back and side of their leg continuously so that it keeps them off balance and less able to run away or turn around on you.
  5. If they try to lean on you so that you can not gain a horizontal Zero Pressure position then Zero is from the top down and you need to push them straight down into the floor in the direction they are leaning. At first if they are leaning like this you will feel their body weight is overwhelming you with resistance in all of the 270 degrees that you have been working with and Zero Pressure is gone on the horizontal plane you are working with because they are putting everything into moving towards you. They are actually moving towards the floor but it may take some practice to fully understand this and use it to your advantage.
  6. Practice getting into Zero Pressure immediately after entering so that once you have navigated their strike you are automatically in Zero Pressure and using it fully and correctly.

Silat Zero Pressure

The Zero Pressure Zone is the area between the shoulder and the back, known in pa kua as the dead zone, where you are able to control the opponents movement with very little physical effort.

To learn how to control the Zero Pressure Zone place one hand on the side of your partners shoulder and one hand on their back. Have them push against you. You will find that they can generally push in one direction and that in other directions they will have no power or Zero Pressure. You control and push them in the direction where they have no power / Zero Pressure.

Have your partner push into the direction where they feel you are controlling them from. Then when you check you will feel that there is still an area of Zero Pressure but that now it is in a different direction or position than before. This is because when they place emphasis in a different direction then the Zero Pressure Zone simply changes to somewhere where they are not putting force or emphasis.

You can play this game continuously. The hardest part of the game is to push into Zero Pressure. Most people want to push where they feel force and pressure. This is because then you feel like you are fighting something. To push into Zero Pressure feels strange at first because you feel like you are fighting against “nothing”.

People appropriately tend to think that when you push into nothing that nothing will happen. When you push on Zero Pressure you are simply pushing where the opponent does not place any emphasis and so you move their body even though you do not feel much force or emphasis fighting against you. This is part of the reason that Zero Pressure is so effective.

Generally, Zero Pressure is used so that you do not have to unduly harm the person you are using Zero Pressure on. This is an excellent bouncer technique and also a good technique to use in a multiple attacker situation so that you can control one attacker who is between you and the other attackers.

I will write more about the keys to effectively using Zero Pressure in a fighting situation in my next post.

Silat Smothering

From a fighting perspective smothering is the idea of furiously attacking the opponent so that they are unable to fight back because they are completely overwhelmed.

One of the basic things necessary in order to smother effectively is to attack the opponent with your entire body against their entire body using your body weight to overwhelm their limbs and positioning.  You overwhelm their entire position starting with their limbs but continuing into and through their body so that they feel like they can not do anything due to the lack of space and that they have to make space and get their arms free from being pushed into their body in order to do anything to you.  Of course you continue forward and into them so that they feel like they never have enough space to work.

As they continue to try to get space you continually force your way into all available space between you and them. So, to do anything they feel like they have to continually withdraw.  You continually advance so that they feel like they can never get enough space to work.

The biggest skills to study to master smothering are:

  1. How to be right next to the person while continually working your way into and through their position even as they withdraw and retreat.
  2. Learning how to enter against various positions and stances so that smothering of the opponents position begins as soon as you make contact with them.
  3. Learning how to move in and shut down whatever response the opponent may have to your initial entering and continual advance into their position.

You will really want to learn how to do all three of these skills as one continuous motion that happens so fast that the opponent simply can not respond before they are completely overwhelmed.

Silat Retreating Forwards Techniques

Here is a basic list of Retreating Forwards Techniques.

1. Evade – Covered in the last post on Retreating Forwards.

2. Flanking – Step out to your left or right at 90 degrees and then step back into the opponent while leaning in and moving forwards the entire time. The shape will look similar to this < or > .

Think of roller skating or ice skating. if you do not lean in a bit then you will fall over your own skate due to your momentum. In the case of the physical technique you are in an extremely weak position if you are not leaning in towards your opponent all of the way through the movement. The trick is to step far enough away with the first step so that they can not hit you while you are flanking and to over run their position on the way back in. Your lean into them does not have to be much and in fact can be slight enough so that they can barely see it if they are looking for it.

You can flank this way against any straight punch or kick and against a hook if you are moving to the opposite side of the incoming strike. So, if they are throwing a hook from my right side then I am stepping out to my left.

3. Crowding & smothering – I can step directly into the opponent and run them over crowding and or smothering their ability to throw a technique. I will be writing at least one full post dedicated to the topic of smothering.

4. Penetrate through the attacker.
When the opponent throws a big hook I simply launch myself (leading and making contact with my forearms) straight through the middle of their arm with my entire body weight. The idea is to make their arm collide into your entire body weight moving forward and through them. If the arm collides with your entire body weight moving forwards and through it then typically the arm will be temporarily paralyzed from the impact with the body momentum and weight.

Another option is that if the attack is a big haymaker and I can step in and hit / shove their head in the direction that their fist is coming from it will completely stop the incoming hit.

Silat – Retreating Forwards

Retreating Forwards is basically the idea that you always go forwards and never back up.  At the same time, you may need to get out of the way of an incoming attack.  You get out of the way by moving forwards.

Running from an overwhelming or unnecessary situation is well within our parameters of effective self defense.  We will try to escape from gunfire, multiple attackers armed with machetes and other such overwhelming odds and we will try to get away from the drunk who is stumbling around but insistent on fighting to the death over some drunkenly misperceived slight like we looked at him the wrong way.  The drunk may need a lesson but we do not want to go to jail and / or get sued for killing him or breaking him into little, barely recognizable pieces.

To retreat forwards if you are going to move in a direction that is behind your current position (i.e. you are facing North and want to run South) then you must move forwards and turn in a forwards movement while turning around.  If you are going to turn and run from a situation or opponent who may be pursuing you then you will usually want to see the way you are traveling and the situation or opponent you are escaping from at the same time.  This requires some specific physical positioning and the use of  peripheral vision.  You could also retreat forwards and escape by turning left or right and running straight ahead in the new  direction.  Please remember that in retreating forwards you also turn to the new direction by utilizing forward movement.  Most people tend to turn in a way that actually causes them to move backwards while they are turning.  Turn by moving forwards.

Silat is a Closing Art

In the last post I stated and detailed the first 2 steps to Clear’s Silat Ranges of Fighting. The 3rd step of Clear’s Silat Ranges of Fighting was introduced and will be elaborated on in this post.

The 3rd step for proper utilization of Clear’s Silat Ranges of Fighting is to learn how to transition from one range to another effectively. An example of this is training how to get from 1 to 2 steps out of Kicking Range into Pukulan “Collision” Range in a way that does not cause you to get hit but allows you to go all of the way in and through your opponent with your various techniques.

Silat is a closing art. A closing art closes in on the opponent and goes all of the way into and through them finishing by coming out the other side. You will want to train to go all of the way into the opponent starting from various distances and positions and carefully /safely training to go all of the way through them. This is not just a grappling position. It is a collision that is closer and completely flush to the other person leaving no available or open space for most holds and grapples with the idea being to go through the opponent and to break them in the process. I have had a fair amount of grapplers look at me funny when they first hear this and then when they see or feel it they quickly agree that the majority of grappling arts popular today need a little bit of space between the 2 practitioners for the grappling arts to be effective.

A NOTE HERE: Practice carefully and safely. It is hard to find partners if you hurt those you practice with and people who are seriously injured by you playing to rough tend to want to harm you back when they are in the sweet position to do so and sometimes sooner. Please be careful, safe and professional in your training.

You may have noticed that grappling is not a range in Clear’s Silat. That is because trapping and grappling / breaking just like striking can occur at every distance. So, which distance is grappling? All distances can be used to trap, grapple and break.

To train the Silat Closing Art carefully practice and train to go in and through an opponent starting from various positions and distances using your various tools and techniques. Work to always end up on the other side of the opponent to continue running or fighting after you have broken through them. Being able to smoothly and efficiently work / fight through the ranges and get finishing breaking moves that immediately end the situation is a signature technique of most real Silat.

The 7 Ranges of Fighting

The Ranges of Fighting in Clear’s Silat are as follows.

  1. Shooting or Throwing Distance
  2. 1 to 2 Steps out of Kicking Range
  3. Kicking Range
  4. Punching Range
  5. Knee Range
  6. Elbow Range
  7. Pukulan “Collision” Range

Clear’s Silat Ranges of Fighting are based on the distance that your torso is from the torso of the recipient and how far their torso is from you.

The first step is to learn the ranges.

The 2nd step is to learn what techniques can be used at each range and where and how they can be used. For instance at 1 to 2 steps out of kicking range you can hit the opponents extended kicking leg with your hand, foot, knee or elbow.

You can punch, kick or grapple at every distance from 1 to 2 Steps out of Kicking Range to Pukulan “Collision” Range. However, what you punch, kick or grab / break and the way you punch, kick or grab / break will be different at every range.

In Pukulan “Collision” Range you can use all of your bodies tools and weapons. They will be used differently than they are at kicking range but they can be used at this distance with quite effectiveness. Both striking and grappling can be performed quite well at this distance. There is simply to much info for me to try to post it all here. You will want to see our video on this in order to get a better idea of how to effectively use your tools when in this close body contact range.

The 3rd step for proper utilization of ranges is to learn how to transition from one range to another effectively. An example of this is training how to get from 1 to 2 steps out of Kicking Range into Pukulan “Collision” Range in a way that does not cause you to get hit but allows you to go all of the way in with your various techniques.

I will write more about the 3rd step of Clear’s Silat Ranges of Fighting in my next post.

Silat Constant Motion Fighting

In Silat Constant Motion Fighting is used in almost every facet of the art. The only exception is when you are hiding and when you are in stationary decoy and welcoming postures. Some welcoming postures stand still as part of the trick of deception and decoy. The rest of the time the art moves and for very good reason. The culture where Silat is from is a bladed tribal based culture where multiple attackers are the norm. If you stand still against an attack from multiple attackers swinging bladed weapons who are attempting to hack you to bits then you will most certainly die. As a result in Silat, Constant Motion Fighting is a hard and fast rule of survival.

Silat Constant Motion Fighting can be used to run away to live and fight another day. It can also be used to furiously and continuously attack until your opponents can no longer attack you. In Silat Constant Motion Fighting is generally used for one or both of these purposes. In extreme self defense situations standing in a pose and waiting for the attackers to come to you one by one will get you killed as they will simply surround you and then overwhelm you or hack at you with their blades until you eventually bleed to death. Constant Movement is essential to avoiding such a terrible outcome.

A moving target is much harder to hit. If an attacker chases you to hit you and you are properly trained then there is an excellent opportunity for you to use Silat Constant Motion Fighting to hit them while they are trying to get into position to hit you. The opponent never gets to strike you because you continuously hit and run them until they are so injured that either you can escape (the first and best legal choice) or finish them off if necessary.

If an attacker wants to stand and fist fight Silat Constant Motion Fighting immediately disrupts their plans because we simply won’t stand still for it. Most kickers can not kick while they are running or even while walking and usually they stop walking to aim and throw a kick. When the attacker stops you are still moving and so the attacker usually can not land a foot on you at all. Grapplers have the same problem.

Remember the UFC matches where the 2 opponents would run around the ring for 30 minutes because every time the grappler would shoot in he would get empty air or get hit on his way in as the defender moved out of the way. Silat Continuous Movement Fighting makes it quite difficult for a grappler to get a decent grab on you and they can not easily lock you up because the constant movement makes it hard for them to get in close enough to tie you up.

If the grappler insists on trying to get a serious grab on you while you are continuously moving then they usually become quite vulnerable and expose themselves in ways that make it easy for you to get them in ways that most fighters find unacceptable when their life is on the line. This is simply because it takes so much more commitment and energy to grab and hold a moving target. As an example I will simply state this: A child or small animal that wants to be picked up is generally easy to get a hold of and secure. A small child or animal that does not want to be picked up and runs from you can be quite difficult or nearly impossible to get and if they are fighting then you are most likely going to get bit, kicked and scratched even though you are a lot bigger and stronger than them. If they know where and how to hit and hurt you then imagine that as opposed to the random striking, clawing and biting they are likely to do.

Play with Silat Constant Motion fighting while on the move for a while. At first you may only be able to evade. If you have the patience for it you will also find that most opponents will be unwilling to commit to attacking you. As you practice and get better at it you will be able to move and attack at the same time. You can also drill moving and attacking against a training partner whose job it is to get to you without getting tagged by you in the process.
After you get good at it drill Silat Constant Motion Fighting against multiple attackers.

Have fun.

5 Silat Welcoming Postures

Silat Welcoming Postures are actually moving positions that utilize deception and decoy to attempt to trick an opponent into making a bad decision or moving into a bad position.

I will use some simple examples to illustrate the idea of Silat Welcoming Postures. These examples will help me to make the point about what Silat Welcoming Postures are but these examples are generally are not used in the islands as they are to overtly obvious to another Silat fighter. However, the examples I am listing here could generally be used in our culture if you have the deceptive skills to pull it off.

Example 1: Stick your hand out and offer to let the other fighter strike it so that you can get his hand with something hard such as your elbow when he goes for the bait.

Example 2: Stick your head out and offer to let the other fighter strike it so that you can evade the head attack and attack him as he comes in. Think of the bull fighter who holds the cape in front of the bull only to stick the bull with the sword when the bull comes charging in.

Example 3: Make it look as though you have a bad leg that you can not move very well and when the attacker tries to capitalize on what appears to be a weakness you then have him as you are quite prepared for his attack and actually very strong in the leg that you offered as bait.

Example 4: This one is the kind that Silat tends to really use. Make it look like you are really defending yourself but have one little positional error that is very slight so that it looks like an actual mistake or poor position that you are not aware. It could be an arm that is held a little to low and forward making it appear like an actual mistake of position as opposed to something being offered. Or it could be a foot that you make it look like you are trying to use to creep towards the opponent while you are actually extending it for bait while hiding the fact.

Essentially these are traps that you are waiting to spring as soon as the attacker comes into range or begins to get into a position to take advantage. If you have one position and then change into another very different position and the opponent follows suit you may have an advantage to attack them while they are changing positions.

Example 5: Silat definitely uses this one. Change from one position to another and do it so that you look to be open while changing positions. When the opponent tries to capitalize on the opening they are actually stepping into the trap. This requires that the Silat practitioner be very skilled at both the positions and the changing between positions including having a multitude of fighting options in each part of the positions and transition. The skill needs to be high enough that it looks like there is an opening which is in reality a trap that can be sprung at any time.

Silat Decoy

Silat Decoy arts use the idea of decoy in a number of different ways. In this post I will elaborate a bit on Silat decoy using fighting position, Personal Body Slapping and Upper and Lower Body Arts.

In fighting a decoy often refers to the idea of a fake hit or feint. Although a Silat fighter may utilize a feint they will much more often use their body position to try to make the opponent think that they are attacking from a direction or with a body part that is different from the direction or body part that they are actually really using. As a result sometimes strikes are thrown at odd angles or from strange positions compared to most conventional fighting methods.

The application is to cause the opponent to not see what you are actually attacking them with until it is to late and ideally they never see or realize what direction or / and what body part / tool they are being attacked with. Only, if they are still awake, after being hit should the opponent know they were hit and as soon as their focus goes to where they were hit then another technique is applied somewhere else equally unexpectedly.

In Silat Decoy you will also find the practice of personal body slapping. The slapping in Silat can be used to make the opponent look in the direction of the sound of the slap while a real strike comes from another direction. A personal body slap or stomp is meant to be disorienting or distracting even for an opponent who is moving and fighting more intelligently.

Also, in Silat Decoy arts we have the upper and lower body art. The lower body art uses foot, knee and leg methods including leverage including tripping and trapping. The upper body art is everything above the waist. To use decoy with the upper and lower body arts is a fairly simple matter but it must be trained to be performed well.

One of my favorite Silat Decoy techniques is as follows: An upper body strike is thrown or defended against while I am stepping on the opponents foot. The opponent sees the upper body strike / defense but does not see the step on the foot.

Another Silat Decoy technique is to kick the leg of an approaching attacker and when they are pitched by the contact then I apply the upper body art strike or grab to them. They do not realize the upper body art is happening until it is to late.

In the next post I will continue to add some info about the Silat Decoy art with a focus on Silat Welcoming Postures.

Striking With Power (Nine Angles Part 3)

One of the basic principles studied when practicing the nine angles of attack regarding external blunt trauma striking is that power can only be transferred one of two ways.
1. Strike through the target
2. Bounce off of the target
When you stop on the target at the point of contact with the target then no or very little power gets transferred.

When practicing the nine angles of attack first practice swinging all of the way through the target from one side to the other in the cases of angles one through six so from extreme right to extreme left or vice versa and from up to down and from down to up in the cases of angles seven and eight.

The next way to practice the nine angles of attack is to bounce the strike out and back in at a point midway in front of you. Practice doing it where you throw an angle 1, 3, 5, 7 and 9 then an angle 2, 4, 6 and 8.

If you look at the possibility of strikes using each hand once and either retracting from a bounce or striking through then you have approximately 17 possibilities with each arm / hand multiplied by the same number of possibilities with the other hand. So 17 X 17 = 289. If you throw either hand one more time then you have another 17 minimum possibilities for a total of at least 4,913 options just by using these nine possible basic moves with either a pull through or a retraction.

One of the major secrets of so-called Karate blocks is that they are not blocks at all but are in reality pressure point strikes. The only way for them to be effective and actually work is for the practitioner to do as I have stated above. This may seem strange since most Karate forms strike or throw a block and then stop.

This method of stopping the motion at best was only meant for very new beginners to learn the kata patterns and at worst it is an outright deception that is intended to keep non-devotees in the dark regarding the actual applications of the art. There is unfortunately a lot of this and it is not limited to Karate.

The idea that these pressure point strikes are blocks is something that crept into the teaching of the Karate katas in the 1960’s. I have spoken with more than one person who trained in the 1960’s who have personally stated that one day they were learning the moves as pressure point strike and at the very next class they were being taught as blocks without any mention of how or why this came to be and without ever again mentioning the reality of the moves as pressure point strikes.

Anyway, one last word on the nine angles of attack. If you look at an angle 2 it moves in the same manner as an upward block (pressure point strike) in traditional Karate. If you look at an angle 6 it moves like a downward block in traditional karate. If you move your arms pulling in behind yourself with a angle 3 and 4 and then move your hands back out in front of you with an angle 3 and 4 then you are performing another Karate hand move. In fact with the nine angles you can achieve every karate hand blocking (really striking) and striking moves in the majority of Karate styles all of the way up to the 3rd degree black belt. Not bad for a little nine move set that can be easily learned in just a couple of hours.

Nine Angles of Attack (part 2)

Click here to read Part 1

5. Angle 5 is like a golf swing. Your right arm continues from where you stopped behind your neck and shoulder on your right side. You then swing it through hitting their kidneys or scooping up one of their legs or knocking a kicking leg away. I highly recommend using an open hand slap to do this. Angle 5 finishes behind your neck and shoulder on the left side of your body.

6. Angle 6 picks up where angle 5 left off. Angle 6 is like a reverse golf swing. Your right arm continues from where you stopped behind your neck and shoulder on your left side. You then swing it through hitting their kidneys or scooping up one of their legs or knocking a kicking leg away. I highly recommend using an open hand slap to do this. Angle 6 finishes behind your neck and shoulder on the right side of your body.

7. Angle 7 picks up where angle 6 left off. Your hand is in the shape of a fist. Raise your right arm straight up into the air and then drop it straight down in front of you as you turn. Continue the motion finishing with your fist behind your neck and shoulder on your left side. Think of Angle 7 as a strike to the top of their head, top of their nose or into their teeth. Try to make the downward angle so straight that opponent will have trouble actually seeing it. Angle 7 can also be a downward arm break.

8. Angle 8 picks up where angle 7 left off. Your hand is in the shape of a fist. Drop your right arm straight down into their groin and then raise it straight up in front of you as you turn. Continue the motion finishing with your fist behind your neck and shoulder on your right side. Techniques for Angle 8 include the groin, the bladder, the stomach and under the chin. Angel 8 can also be an uppercut.

9. Angle 9 is a straight punch with a fist out in front of you.

9 Angles of Attack (part 1)

The Nine Angles of Attack are a basic numbering system that we are utilizing to make it so that two practitioners can rapidly drill and play. The utilization of the numbers are that each number is used to convey a specific angle direction and technique designation. This is so that when I say the number 1 my partner knows exactly what I mean and no further explanation is necessary.

It is also so that when we discuss where an error or problem occurred we can speak about it in terms of numbers thus saving a lot of time and energy. For example if my partner brought an angle 1 but would have been much better off to bring an angle 5 then I have stated a whole paragraph by telling them “you wanted an angle 5 on that one”.

There are many different systems that utilize different numbering systems for the angles of attack. I have found the one I am listing here to be the most useful for me as the numbering system is simple and easy for beginners to quickly learn. The angles of the angles of attack do not change if you are empty handed, if you have a knife or if you have a stick. The angles are the same regardless. The biggest difference in position if you have a knife is if you are holding the knife in a stabbing position or in a slicing position.

All of the angles except for angles 5 & 6 utilize the hand shape of a hammer fist. Angles 5 and 6 tend to use the open hand.

The Basic Nine Angles of Attack are:

1. Angle 1 is an arcing motion to their temple or where the neck and shoulder meet. The important thing to remember is that your right arm rises from behind your own right sided neck and shoulder area and goes as high as possible before it falls. The angle 1 flows through and finishes behind your left neck and shoulder area.

Angle 1 can also be used to hit through their arm if they are standing in a fists raised like a boxer position.

2. Angle 2 picks up right where Angle 1 left off. Angle 2 is an arcing motion to their temple or where the neck and shoulder meet. The important thing to remember is that your right arm rises from behind your own left sided neck and shoulder area and goes as high as possible before it falls. The angle 2 flows through and finishes behind your right neck and shoulder area.

Angle 2 can also be used to hit through their arm if they are standing in a fists raised like a boxer position.

3. Angle 3 picks up right where Angle 2 left off. Angle 3 goes straight across like a sideways hit to their neck or ribs or kidney, sternum or spine and finishes up behind your left neck and shoulder area again. The difference in your striking height is not determined by the position of your arm as much as it is determined by your legs.

Angle 3 can also be used to hit through their arm if they are standing in a fists raised like a boxer position.

4. Angle 4 picks up right where Angle 3 left off. Angle 4 goes straight across like a sideways hit to their neck or ribs or kidney, sternum or spine and finishes up behind your left neck and shoulder area again. The difference in your striking height is not determined by the position of your arm as much as it is determined by your legs.

Angle 4 can also be used to hit through their arm if they are standing in a fists raised like a boxer position.

Whole Body Power – One of the real secrets of 1 Touch Knockouts!

When you use proper waist and knee power together while relaxed you will gain the benefits of whole body power. Start by first taking the waist and knee power exercises and doing them without any waist or knee movement and then do them with both the waist and knees acting in coordination at the same time. There should be a significant difference in power.

Also, if you shift your body weight from one side to the other by shifting on your feet and then allow the weight to transfer into your pushing or pulling action then you will add another dimension to your power altogether. Trained properly you will find that this kind of training will give you powerful movement and striking ability while you are relaxed and moving relatively effortlessly. The trick to using this for self defense is to train fluidly and softly while maintaining the integrity of your body enough so that whatever action you are performing is done by your whole body as fast as you can move to do it.

If you apply yourself to this training then you will find that the transference of body weight required to perform 1 Touch knockouts is something you can build into your movement so that whole body power is available whenever you need it. This kind of movement is essential for all of the advanced material in Clear’s Silat.

Keep up the Good Training.
Please send me any questions you may have.

Knee Power

Knee Power primarily works on the vertical up and down aspect of power and although you are bending your knees it is about the use of your legs for power. That power can be utilized in your horizontal movement and added to your waist power. When first learning and working on Knee power isolate any tests and drills so that you just work on your knees and legs while not using any waist motion so that you can see what your knees (legs) will do without confusing the issue.

In this training you really want to gain a visceral understanding of how it feels and what you need to do to really use your legs for power.

In waist power you are mostly working on the horizontal movement. In knee power (leg power) you are working on vertical up and down movement. When you add the two together you are working on being able to express more power in all directions.

Here are a couple of knee power (leg power) tests and exercises.

Try pushing a resisting partner or heavy object without using knee power and then push against the same resisting partner or heavy object while using knee power. There should be a noticeable difference. Also, try throwing a punch in the air without using knee power and then do the same punch using knee power by squatting half way and then bouncing upwards as you throw the punch and dropping back to where you started without delay. Essentially do it as a bouncing action. Then do the punch again without using knee power to get a good comparison between the two things.

Another good comparison exercise for knee power is to have a strong partner grab you. Try to pull your partner without using knee power and then try to pull them using your knees / legs for power. Also, try to escape by pulling your arm away without using knee / leg power then do the same thing again but primarily using your knees / legs as the source for power.

Waist Power

In Clear’s Silat Phase 1 we have a class to specifically work on Waist power, Knee power and whole body power. Waist power is often mentioned in many sports and physical disciplines and I find that most students have had some exposure to the concept and principle of waist power. However, I also find that most people do not “physically” know the difference between moving the waist and turning the hips.

To the untrained eye, for waist power, turning the waist and turning the hips appears to be the same thing. But, these two things are very different from each other. The hips are bones and part of the skeleton. The waist is primarily muscle. The ramifications of this are huge. The ability to physically turn the hips is quite a bit more limited than the ability to turn the waist and the range of motion of the waist is much larger than the range of motion for the hips.

Also, using the hips for power over time actually damages the hips and in most people eventually over 20 – 30 years calls for a hip replacement surgery in order to fix the damage that has been done to the bone. Actual waist power has quite a different affect. Correctly training and using the waist for power builds the core muscles and is very healthy for the body as a result.

One of the basic ways to differentiate between hip and waist motion is to stand with your feet at slightly wider than shoulder width, stand up tall with your legs locked or stand in a strong horse stance and practice turning your upper body 90 degrees to the left or right. Make sure that your hips stay facing the front. To exercise the waist muscles and to work on your range of motion turn 90 degrees or more back and forth to the left and right. Do not be alarmed by your breathing because when you do this correctly you will feel your diaphragm pumping up and down as you turn.

For a comparison of waist power and no waist power try pushing a resisting partner or heavy object without using waist power and then push against the same resisting partner or heavy object while using waist power. There should be a noticeable difference. Also, try throwing a punch in the air without using waist power and then do the same punch using waist power then do it without using waist power one more time to get a good comparison.

Another good comparison exercise for waist power is to have a strong partner grab you. Try to pull your partner without using waist power and then try to pull them using your waist for power. Also, try to escape by pulling your arm away without using waist power then do the same thing again but primarily using your waist as the source for power.