Clear Self Defense Techniques (Applications of Martial Arts Bow)

Here at Clear’s Martial Arts we don’t put much stock in the formalities and pageantry associated with Martial Arts and Kung Fu movies.

(If you haven’t yet learned basic manners and how to get along with others, you really don’t need to be training our material yet.)

However, there are a few formalities that have direct martial applications.

One of these is the martial arts bow. Different systems have different bows but they all are full of quick and dirty street applications.

This is from the DVD “Kung Fu Bow and Fighting Applications” where we teach the fighting apps of the bow we use in Clear’s Silat classes along with the apps for several common martial arts bows.

This DVD is included with the Clear Defense package that will be on sale April 19 – 21.

Where did Sigung Clear’s Yiquan come from?

It’s Q&A time. A reader asks,

“Where does Sigung Clear’s Yiquan come from?”

Another version of this question that pops up occasionally is less polite,

“How the hell did he learn all this different stuff?!”

To answer the second question: This year marks Sigung Clear’s 40th year in the arts. 40 years of research, study, travel, and hard work will do that.

Sigung Clear first began learning Yiquan from his original Xing Yi teacher Tyrone Jackson.

Our Xing Yi lineage is:

Kuo Yun Shen > Wang Xiangzhai > Lee Ying Arng > Dr. Fred Wu > Tyrone Jackson > Richard Clear.

Wang Xiangzhai is also the creator of Yiquan.

Master Wang felt that Xing Yi was often taught with too much emphasis on ‘outer form’, neglecting the essence of true martial power. So in the mid 1920’s He started to teach what he felt was the essence of the art and simply called it Yiquan.

An approach that is similar in many ways to the Kuntao emphasis on practicality and function over form.

Because of Master Wang’s influence, the Xing Yi that Richard Clear learned from Tyrone was mixed with Yiquan and heavily influenced by this philosophy of focusing on the essence of the art.

Of course, Sigung Clear has continued his studies since that time. Learning Xing Yi & Yiquan from a number of skilled teachers in the US and in China. Including from his Kuntao & Silat teacher Willem deThouars.

Our upcoming Yiquan course is a distillation of this study.

It will focus on the core of Yiquan and teach you why it does what it does and how it does it.

How to train it, how to build it, etc…

You can study the Yiquan course in two ways:

1 As a standalone program this course will teach you how to fight with Yiquan, why it does what it does and how to build the internal skills it’s known for.

2. For our Xing Yi students, this should be considered an advanced training module. It will teach you the Yiquan part of our Xing Yi curriculum and take your skill to another level.

The Yiquan course will be available on January 20th.

More details will be available soon at:

https://www.clearsilat.com/yi-quan

Don’t waste time standing around when you could be learning to Fight with Yiquan.

Standing runs rampant in all the Internal Arts but none more so than Yiquan.

Unfortunately there are major pitfalls with standing practice that very few practitioners avoid.

…and as a result they don’t learn the skills they’re looking for and instead build bad habits that have to then be unlearned before they can get to square one.

In these two videos Sigung Clear discusses the Yiquan training progression:

…and how to train Yiquan the traditional way:

…but first I want to cover two common mistakes folks make when trying to do standing practice.

1. Know Why & What You’re Doing!
People often approach standing with vague ideas about what they’re working or gaining from the practice.

Be specific!

Each time you stand you should be working on a very specific skill or skillset and have very specific goals in mind.

for example, if you’ve chosen to work on root during your next session then you should pick a specific quality of root you wish to improve upon. For example: depth of your root.

Then, don’t just try to get deeper. Be specific. If the deepest you can root is 20 feet (the minimum for first level push hands certification) then try to push it to 25.

2. Don’t stand too long!

You’re trying to transform your body (or mind.) This does not come easily. It takes hard work over time.

Just like strengthening the body through weight training, if you can do a high number of reps you’re probably not using enough weight to be effective.

If you are working correctly then it should be very difficult to stand for more than 15 minutes, If you can stand for more than 15 minutes then, most likely, you are NOT practicing correctly or working hard enough.

Standing practice can only produce the benefit it’s supposed to when paired with an understanding of the fighting application and internal principles of the art.

Though it’s important to understand the traditional public teachings, function must always come before form.

Stay tuned for more on our Yiquan course. Coming January 20th.

What is Yiquan (I Chuan) & How do I fight with it?

We have two new videos up on youtube about the art of Yiquan.

Yiquan is a powerful branch of Xing Yi that focuses on the role of the mind (Yi) in fighting. Like Xing Yi, Yiquan is very aggressive and very powerful.

What is Yiquan? (I-Chuan)

How to Fight with Yiquan.

Over the next few weeks we’re going to dig deeper into Yiquan and what it’s about as we prepare for the release of our Yiquan course on January 20th.

If you’re not already subscribed to our Youtube channel, I recommend doing so while you’re watching those videos.

Power Striking Package

Power-Striking-Package

Hit Harder, Faster & Save over $150

This 5 disc package will rapidly increase your striking power at short distances and build explosive speed.

Training includes:

  • 3 Inch Punching, 1 Inch Punches, and No Distance strikes.
  • Learn to deliver a minimum of 3 – 5 hits per second (and sustain that rate of fire for at least 5 minutes.)
  • Eliminate wasted motion.
  • Become ‘Suddenly quick.’ So the opponent wont see it coming.
  • How to increase power as you increase speed.
  • Efficiency training for faster strikes (while actually moving slower.)
  • The Basic Seven power building exercises
  • The Advanced “Insane” Seven power building exercises

Package includes the following DVDs:

  • Power Striking: 7 Insane Ways to Triple Your Striking Power in 30 Days or Less – $147
  • No Distance Power Striking (2 discs) – $250
  • Speed Striking (2 discs) – $250

Clear’s Silat: Escape from Holds – Street Self Defense

Explosive Efficient Effective

Explosive Efficient Effective

Learn quick and effective self defense techniques from Kuntao Silat expert Richard Clear.

In this video you’ll learn to destroy the grabs tackles and holds that would otherwise prevent you from escaping a life threatening situation.

Also available online from Vimeo on Demand

The 5 Elements of Martial Arts Speed Training

In Martial Arts speed is essential,
…but simple being fast isn’t good enough.

No matter how much natural speed you may have, proper training will beat it.

The good news is that no matter how slow or clumsy your are, if you put in the work, you can become fast.

There are 5 elements of speed training in the martial arts.

1. Power must be present

As soon as you tell someone to move fast they throw out good body mechanics and leave behind all their power.

Not only speed is useless if you can’t do anything with it, but true speed cannot be had without good body mechanics.

So, not only did they throw away power for a small speed gain, they throw away the potential of becoming truly fast.

Good body mechanics are essential for both power and speed.

Starting by training the principles of power and you will have built a foundation for speed as well.

2. Physical Conditioning

This is the most obvious and often over emphasized of the 5. You do need to put in some time preparing the body for explosive movement by training the tendons and ligaments. You also need to practice moving fast occasionally.

Here are two exercises that strengthen the body in preparation for fast explosive movement. (Among other benefits.)

Clear’s Bagua Exercise #1 for Internal Power, Strength & Flexibility

Wing Chun Lesson 1 – How to build Iron Body & Internal Power

3. Economy of motion

This is deceptively simple.

Don’t move more than you need to.

Most martial artists have much more wasted movement than they realize and to make matters worse they pause in their movement frequently.

Unfortunately, they move too quickly to notice these errors.

In an effort to be fast they are missing the very errors that are slowing them down.

The majority of your sparring and partner drills should be practice at an excruciatingly slow speed.

..and even when you do train faster, make sure to always move slower than your opponent.

If you are moving efficiently, their speed won’t matter.

If they beat you because of speed then you have efficiency errors. Slow it back down until you are going slow enough to catch the errors and correct them.

4. Suddenly Quick

Your speed is useless if your opponent knows what you’re going to do before you do it.

Your intentions must be hidden. You must be able to work from any position.

You must be able to go from nothing to something in an instant. Most people have a ‘get ready’ stage between nothing and something. Even when this is subtle it will make your speed less effective.

5. Relax

Relaxation is almost a prerequisite.

It doesn’t matter how much other speed training you do. If you are tense you cannot be fast.

Tension limits your ability to fully engage your body’s mass, violating rule #1. It slows down your physical movement negating the benefits of physical conditioning (#2) and limits your mobility (#3 economy of motion.) Tension also greatly increases the visibility of any telegraphing you do (#4 suddenly quick.)

Remember, there is always room for improvement in relaxation. and the benefits of relaxation are exponential in nature. Even small gains will have significant benefits.

Speed with Age:

Inevitably, a certain amount of speed will leave us with age.

However, if you train all 5 of these principles properly, you can maximize your full speed potential.

…and more importantly you’ll be quicker than all the young whippersnappers.

Learn to build explosive Speed and Power with our new DVD:

https://www.clearsilat.com/speed-striking

Is this common Kung Fu myth slowing you down and robbing you of power?

A common myth in the martial arts is that you should tense at the moment of impact.

Like any good myth it’s based on fact:

kinetic energy (KE) equals one half mass times velocity squared (KE=1/2m x v²)

This formula shows that we need to increase speed and mass to get more power.

So the strategy is to do everything you can to get your fist moving as fast as possible then right at the moment of impact you tense your entire body. The theory is that by tensing your whole body you are now striking with your entire mass instead of the mass of your fist or arm.

In practice this will only get you so far.

If you have major alignment errors, then you can use tension to limit the amount of power you lose at the joints.

However, this tension puts a limit on how much power you can get into your strike and it can cause injury.

Here’s how it works:

Alignment errors separate the body limiting how much mass you can get into your strike.

If your shoulder is not aligned properly, then you can’t get the mass of your body engaged and only your arm mass will be in the strike.

Tension also separates the body, but not as much.

So by tensing the shoulder you’ll get more mass engaged (but still a fraction of what it could be.)

This tension causes some major problems:

  1. It slows you down. You are freezing everything for an instant. This limits your momentum (part of why it limits your power.) It also means that your next strike comes on instant later. It may not seem like much, but in a life and death situation every instant counts and these stops add up quick. An opponent who doesn’t make this error can quickly be several steps ahead while using less effort than you.
  1. In addition to the long term health effects of tension, anytime you focus force on part of the body that is misaligned you increase the risk of injury. Tension can reduce this risk in the short term (unless the force is great enough to overcome the tension.) However, it also serves to focus the force on the tense area.

In the example above, if you tense your shoulder during every strike to compensate for the alignment error, eventually you will develop a bad shoulder.

We see this a lot.

The most common issues are bad backs, shoulders & knees from years of using tension to compensate for poor alignment while playing a sport, doing physical labor or training.

The solution is simple.

Work on your body mechanics!

Good alignment means less power is lost at the joints. You can stay relaxed, engage more body mass and you can move faster.

Not only can you move faster and hit harder, you are much less prone to short and long term injury.

To learn more about the body mechanics of speed (without sacrificing power) go check out the new Speed Striking DVD.

Wednesday is the last day it’s on sale.

https://www.clearsilat.com/speed-striking

Clear Silat Self Defense Certification

Earning a Clear Silat Self Defense Certification demonstrates your proficiency in this explosive aggressive fighting method and an in-depth knowledge of self defense fundamentals.
Instructor-Certification-1

Preparation for the Clear Silat Self Defense Certification can be completed in as little as 4 months. However to prepare adequately in such a short period of time will require A LOT of hard work and dedication.

To pass this test you must have an in-depth knowledge of self defense fundamentals, the fighting use of the open hand and the Clear Silat Self Defense fighting method, applications, exercises, energies, games & drills.

You must also have the internal strength and explosive power to use the Clear Silat Self Defense method effectively.

The Marketing Gimmick that’s damaged Kung Fu

There’s an insidious marketing gimmick that’s wormed it’s way into the martial arts.

In fact, it’s become so pervasive that it’s become ‘common sense wisdom’ at this point.

Many teachers & students spread this myth without even realizing it’s a marketing gimmick.

You’ll recognize it when you hear it, and like all good lies it’s partially based it truth, so bear with me and I’ll break down why it’s so effective and why it’s so destructive.

It can come in many forms but usually it goes something like this:

“It takes many years to learn the martial arts.”

“There is no quick fix to becoming proficient in any martial art”

“Becoming proficient in any martial art system (meaning a foundation with good basics) takes a few years with hard practice.”

“Very few can actually utilize Taiji well enough to fight! This idea that you can use Taiji to fight with after a few years, is ludicrous….”

This message is very powerful and it resonates with a lot of people.

There is some truth to it. Complex arts like Tai Chi or Bagua do take a long time to master. There are many advanced skills which take many years to develop. You will continue learning new things about these arts your entire life.

After all, the term ‘Kung Fu’ does mean “skill through hard work over time.” Students are told to “eat bitter.”

This message also builds on the Kung Fu movie mythology of wise men training on mountain tops and grueling training montages.

Also, a lot of folks are fed up (rightly so) with our on-demand culture where everybody wants everything now and we want to cure all our problems with a quick fix pill.

And so this myth appeals to us greatly and it resonates with our sense of truth and righteousness.

Now, here’s the problem.

Mastering an art and basic proficiency are light years apart.

These arts were created for survival.

When old kung fu masters taught their kids, do you think they said,

“Son, in a few decades you’ll be able to use what I’m showing you to protect yourself in this violent world.”

No, they taught their kids how to protect themselves as quickly as possible.

Sure they spent many years honing their skill and refining it and learning more advanced things.

…but basic, I can use this to save my life, functionality? They taught that very quickly to their kids.

So how did the time it takes to master an art get confused with how long basic proficiency takes?

Like I said, it’s a marketing gimmick.

If you sell someone the idea that it takes years to become proficient, then they’ll keep coming back for a long time and you don’t have to deliver very much.

It’s a way for the teacher to avoid responsibility for a lack of skill in their students.

What if the student doesn’t listen, they don’t work hard enough, maybe they just learn differently and need to be shown in a different way.

With this myth the teacher doesn’t have to take responsibility for the effectiveness of their teaching method. They don’t have to learn how to connect with people and how to teach in different ways for different people. They don’t have to be there for their students to help them learn how to learn and develop good practicing methods.

They can blame the art.

…and they can keep this going for years or decades before the student catches on.

Teachers who talk about getting results in short periods of time are not common.

…and for good reason.

If you tell someone that they can learn a skill quickly, then you have to deliver.

Anyway, I’m putting away my soapbox for now.

If you’d like to learn the self defense method that Sigung Clear teaches his children, it’s here:

https://www.clearsilat.com/silat-dvd/clear-defense-street-self-defense-13948.html