The Reality: Routines, Time, Priorities, and Your Life

We are nearing the end of February, and you are probably comfortably out of the holidays and back into the grind of your routines. 

Your New Year’s resolutions have probably been squashed. You had tons of enthusiasm a couple of months ago but maybe now you are facing REALITY. You might think to yourself:

"Those dreams and goals I had were too lofty."

"I don’t have enough time in the day to accomplish what I want to accomplish."

You can’t make it to martial arts class, there is too much going on. You can’t get your workouts in because other stuff takes priority. You can’t meditate. You can’t spend time playing with your kids. You can’t walk your dog. You can’t meal plan, grocery shop, and prepare meals either!

I talk to students all of the time that tell me when they are on the mat training they are happy and inspired to make changes in all of the other areas of their life. They might be kneeling at the end of class during meditation, soaking up the vibes of the dojo, and thinking about how inspired they are going to be to make a change starting today.

BUT THEN, they walk out the doors of the academy back into the world and get caught up in the chaos of our culture. Before you know it, work, commitments to family and friends, iPhones, traffic, Facebook, Netflix, and so many other things start to battle for our attention again, and we might never even think about those plans we had while we were kneeling on the mat.

In fact, they tell me that often they won’t slow down and think about those things again until the next time they are in the academy. It happens with their martial arts practice too, they have full intentions of going home, making some notes on what they learned, practicing a little bit or going over the techniques in their mind, but then they walk out and never think about it again until the next class. By that time it’s too late - they’ve already forgotten the technique.

*A huge tip for this one, by the way, is to sit down inside the academy with your notebook and take some notes before you leave the dojo. Then pull out your notes before the next class and go back over them - even if it is right before class! We see students that have tons of success with this formula.

I hear you. I really do. But the reality is that you have the same amount of time in your day as every other human being on the earth. And if your day truly is too full to do the things that you said you’d do at the beginning of the year, the reality is that it’s not because you don’t have enough time, it’s because your true priorities are revealing themselves.

Your priorities are what you spend your time doing. We might say that our priorities are things like our family or our health, but if we aren’t spending our time in those areas, then they aren’t our true priorities.

So what are your priorities?

If you really want to know, keep a genuine time log for a week, but don’t change anything about what you do right now. Funny thing is, you probably won’t be able to stop yourself from changing just a little bit, because when you start realizing how much time you are spending on Facebook, or watching Netflix, you almost can’t help making some changes.

Some of the things that we are spending our time on might be out of our control, but are there any areas that are in our control? And sometimes other things are genuinely just more important.

I don't want you to quit your job and train all the time. I don't want you to skip out on playing with your kids to get a workout in.

But I do want you to just stop at the store and buy a few groceries instead of waiting in the drive thru line. I do want you to put your phone down and get a workout in. 

Your health is a crucial piece to you living a long, happy, and fulfilling life. You have to make it a priority too!

The question is do we just tell ourselves that we are too busy when there is actually quite a bit of free time in there?

Try your best to just track and not change anything about what you are doing. Then add up all of the time doing the different activities and discover what your TRUE priorities are.

Now, if you want to make a change…pick one of those categories that you’d rather not be spending so much time and allot that time to doing one of the things you do want to be doing. 

You have to curate your lifestyle. You have the same 24 hours as everyone else, you just have to decide how you’re going to spend them, and then do it!

Choki Motobu - Brawler, Ruffian, Master.

**Today's blog post was written by PMA FILKENJUTSU Black Belt, Gary Hall. Today also happens to be his birthday! This was written by Sempai Gary in preparation for his Black Belt Test this time last year. This is a longer post, but a great look back in history at a prominent martial arts figure. As we have discussed in previous posts, our Kenpo lineage traces back to a man named James Mitose, and many believe Choki Motobu to have been one of Mitose's teachers.

Sempai Gary does a great job of bringing his story to us - enjoy!

- SiFu David


Brawler, ruffian, master. Choki Motobu has to be considered one of the most unconventional karateka luminaries of his very special time.

EARLY LIFE

Choki Motobu was born on April 5, 1870 in Shuri, Ryukyu Kingdom (now Japan). His father Choshin was a descendant of the sixth son of the Okinawan King, Sho Shitsu, namely Prince Sho Ko, also known as Motobu Chohei (Iwai 1994). Due to this lineage, the male members of the family were permitted to retain the "CHO" character in their given names (Sells 1996).

Young Choki, as third son to Choshin, was regarded by the Okinawan culture of the day as the rough equivalent to a feudal lord in social status. It has been stated by the noted historian Kinjo Hiroshi that although Choki was fathered by Choshin, Choki's mother was not his wife, but a courtesan. Choki was thus only a half-brother to his elder Choyu, the eldest son in the family. It has been further suggested that he was constantly reminded of this fact as a child, and this may have contributed to his rather stern temperament. Choki's eldest brother Choyu, in the Okinawan tradition, was given a fine education. He was also taught the family's secret "Ti" (fighting art) tradition that was only passed on to the eldest son. Young Choki was never allowed to participate. By some accounts, however, Choki secretly looked on at his elder brother's training and picked up many rudiments of the art. (Ross, 2012)

MArtial Arts background

The background of these Okinawan fighting arts can be traced from their origins elsewhere up to and through China. With the coming of the Bronze and Iron ages, weaponry and the means for employing such weapons improved. Early Greece (approximately 700 B.C.) recorded a systemized and cultivated form of self-defense called pyrrhic and pankration which utilized kicking, punching and wrestling in combat. In India, around and about 1000 B.C., the warrior class Kshatriya was believed to have a martial art skill known as vajramushti. 

China’s introduction to the martial arts is somewhat vague, but according to historians, it is widely accepted that Boddhidharma, an Indian monk and first patriarch of Chan or Zen Buddhism traveled by foot in the sixth century across the Himalayas into China’s northern province of Hunan. There, he settled in the Songshan mountains at the Shorin Ji (Shaolin temple) and introduced to the priests in the monastery 18 exercises and 2 sutras called Ekkinkyo and Senzuikyo. With the passing of time, these exercises of Boddhidharma (called Daruma Tashi by the Japanese, also known as Tamo by the Chinese) which represented the movements of animals, both real and mythical, were furthered refined and developed into a fierce form of self-defense known as the Shaolin temple fist method (shorin-ji-kempo). Thus, the shaolin temple is believed to be the birthplace of systematized martial arts. This is especially significant to the development of Ryukyu martial arts, as generations of secrecy have created a veil of mystery around the development of Okinawan karate. It is known that this Chinese method of self-defense flourished throughout Asia and eventually found its way to Ryukyu archipelago. 

okinawan history

History has recorded that in 1392, 36 families emigrated from China to Okinawa for cultural exchange. It is known that among the 36 families were experts in the martial arts who solidified the growth and interest of Chinese Kempo in Okinawa. Since the Ryukyu people were able seafarers and traders who frequented foreign ports, wares purchased in Indonesia and Southeast Asia were brought to Okinawa and were reshipped to China, Korea and Japan. Through this extensive trading and foreign contact, the already existing methods of self-defense in Okinawa expanded. The establishment of the Sho Shin ruling dynasty in 1477 brought about a ban on weapons across Okinawa. This move to more completely control the citizens became a very important development in the refinement of both armed and unarmed combat.

The year 1609 remains one of the most significant in Okinawan history. The outcome of one of the many Japanese civil wars of that time saw the Satsuma clan of southern Kyushu defeated by the Togukawa clan. As per the customs of the day, close governmental scrutiny was maintained over the losing (Satsuma) samurai. By decree of the ruling Togukawa clan, the Satsuma was permitted to march against the Ryukyu islands. This was done to both punish Okinawa for its refusal to provide with materials needed by Japan for an earlier attack on China and to remove the Satsuma’s samurai from the Japanese homeland because of the persisting armed threat they posed. This military expedition effectively took away Okinawa’s independence, making way for complete Japanese control.

A number of prohibitive ordinances proclaimed by the Satsuma warlord,  Shimazu, addressed a complete ban on weapons by the Okinawans. Arms found in their possession were immediately confiscated and the owner severely punished. Many clashes ensued, with the Okinawans being forced to utilize any and all weapons available. These weapons often took the form of hands and feet as well as agricultural and fishing related. Several failed attempts of disunited resistance led to the various kempo and tode societies banning together to form a unified front. The result was a new fighting style that was simply called te and was translated as hand

During the early years of development, te was shrouded in secrecy due to draconian laws addressed at eradicating all semblance of any Okinawan martial art. Eventually, Japanese occupation ended with Okinawa becoming an official part of the empire. However, the centuries-long underground training and application of te did not end overnight, it was too ingrained. However, the passing down of these necessarily brutal techniques had been done without being committed to writing so they were effectively only handed down to a select few. With the occupation lifted, the martial art now known as karate (the name having been changed from te sometime in the 1800s) was now the fighting art of Okinawa. Methods or systems began to evolve and became categorized as different ryu (styles). These ryu took on the characteristics and thinking of those destined to become the masters of that particular system. By 1903 karate had become more or less standardized into these ryu, many of which are still being taught today. (McCarthy, 1987)

Motobu's Style

Against this history, Choki Motobu’s personal fighting style was primarily his own invention rather than a reflection of any established system of the time. He learned some of the Motobu family style by watching his brother practice and utilized the knowledge by bullying others into street fights so that he could test his techniques in action. He had a great deal of enthusiasm for the martial arts, but most Okinawan masters refused to teach him for fear he would certainly misuse the skills (Wilson, 2010). McCarthy seeks to debunk the entirely self-taught notion to some degree, “Although he was reputed by his detractors to have been a violent and crude street fighter, with no formal training, Motobu was a student of several of Okinawa’s most prominent karate practitioners. Many teachers found his habit of testing his fighting prowess via street fights in the tsuji (red light district) undesirable, but his noble birth may have made it hard for them to refuse him instruction (McCarthy, 2002).

In 1923, perhaps in an effort to find greener pastures, Motobu moved with his family to the city of Osaka on mainland Japan and was hired as a night watchman at a textile company. ( Iwai, 1994)     One day he attended a series of exhibition matches by a Russian (or German) boxer who had been touring Japan as part of a cultural exchange program, fighting Japanese jujitsuans and other martial artists (karate was then unknown in Japan). Motobu, though 52 years old at the time, could not resist entering the competition. He is said to have simply dodged and blocked the Russian’s punches for the first round, without countering. In the second round the Russian charged in and was abruptly stopped by a front kick to the solar plexus, then felled by a single strike to the temple (or under the nose). The Russian was knocked unconscious—some say he never fully recovered—to the great astonishment of the audience, who had never seen such techniques. (Wilson, 2010). This great victory, however, was the catalyst to what some martial artists would characterize as one of the most famous conflicts between leading exponents of their art, the two Okinawan karate masters who helped pioneer the introduction of karate into mainland Japan (Apsokardu, 2012).

motobu and funakoshi

As background, Funakoshi Gichin is the founder of what is now called Shotokan Karatedo. He is commonly referred to as the father of Japanese Karate, and rightly so. No one did more to bring karate to the forefront in Japan, and Funakoshi's efforts to get karate recognized by the Japanese Butokukai (the Japanese organization established by the government to oversee, preserve and promote martial arts in Japan) were immensely impressive. Interestingly, among his peers and teachers, Funakoshi was never considered a dominant fighter or technician. He gained his reputation as a gentleman of elegant thought; a man of philosophy, linguistic skill, political acumen, and of course karate talent.(Apsokardu, 2012) Standing in stark contrast to this elegant and culturally polished rival was the practical and pragmatic Motobu (his detractors were in the habit of referring to him by a childhood nickname “Saru” or “ the Monkey”. Which interestingly enough was a nod to his unusual agility).

When the aforementioned boxing event was reported in a 1925 issue of Kingu, (a popular national magazine),  it was Funakoshi's image, not Motobu's that appeared, although Motobu's name was correctly reported. Some have suggested the reason for this error was purposeful, the articles having been authored or information augmented by Funakoshi's students. Another explanation is that image of Motobu just was not available and the magazine just substituted an image. Whatever the reason, this event exacerbated a rivalry that was really based on professional and personal animus. The differences between Funakoshi and Motobu weren't just theoretical; they encountered and disliked one another. Motobu considered Funakoshi to be rather soft and superficial in his understanding of karate. He observed the changes Funakoshi was making (considered school karate) and decried them as moving away from the true core of Okinawan karate that he had seen and experienced.

Funakoshi on the other hand looked upon Motobu with disdain due to his constant rough behavior and his apparent lack of social grace.  Funakoshi did not believe Motobu was a proper representative of karate. Perhaps this was only natural. Funakoshi was a natural politician. He was also organized and philosophical. He had been an Okinawan educator, taught Okinawan school karate, was fluent in Japanese and its social customs, and was comfortable as a karate educator in Japanese society. Motobu, in contrast, had avoided formal schooling on Okinawa, thus never became fluent in the Japanese language or its culture. Motobu's karate was also somewhat self-developed, partly from experience in small personal classes by his karate instructors, partly self-taught in challenge matches the back streets of Okinawa. In personality, Motobu was also much more direct, outspoken and opinionated. 

What is without question, is the popularity generated by this unexpected victory propelled both Motobu and karate to a degree of fame that neither had previously known in Japan. Motobu was petitioned by several prominent individuals to begin teaching. He opened a dojo, the Daidokan, where he taught until the onset of World War II in 1941. Motobu faced considerable difficulties in his teaching, chief among those was his inability to read and speak mainland Japanese. As a result, much of his instruction was through translators, which led to the rumor that he was illiterate. This rumor has been largely discredited by the existence of samples of Motobu's handwriting. Motobu was active in the martial arts until his death on April 15, 1944 in Shuri, Japan. It is worth mentioning that his legacy is being carried on by his third son, Chosei, who at age 91 still teaches his father’s style, Motobu-Ryu.

My introduction to the life of Choki Motobu has brought me back to what FILKENJUTSU SiJo Bruce Corrigan has said on more than one occasion (I will paraphrase): “We know what we teach works, the history of martial arts is populated by some rough individuals, but as a consequence of their lifestyle these techniques are street tested”. Choki Motobu was a fascinating figure to research: practical, pragmatic and dedicated to his craft. 

Gary Hall, February 2017

 Gary Hall (1st on the left, back row) is pictured here after receiving his Black Belt in FILKENJUTSU Kenpo - February 19, 2017.

Gary Hall (1st on the left, back row) is pictured here after receiving his Black Belt in FILKENJUTSU Kenpo - February 19, 2017.


Works Cited

Alexander, G.W. Okinawa, Island of Karate. Lake Worth: Yamazato Publications, 1991. Print.

Apsokardu, Matthew. Funakoshi vs. Motobu. Fighting Arts. 2012. 11 Feb 2017.

Bishop, Mark. Okinawan Karate; Teachers, Styles and Secret Techniques. London: A. & C.                  Black.  1999. Print.

Iwai, Tsukuo. Koden Ryukyu Karatejutsu. Tokyo: Airyudo, 1994. Print. (Partial translation by    Joe Swift)

McCarthy, Pat. Classical Kata of Okinawan Karate. Valencia: Black Belt Communications,    1987. Print.

McCarthy, Patrick and Yuriko. Motobu Choki: Karate, My Art. International Ryukyu Karate                    Research Group. 2002. Print.

Ross, Tom. Choki Motobu: Through the myth to the man. Fighting Arts. 2012. 11 Feb 2017.

Sells, John. Unate. London: W.M. Hawley, 1995. Print 

Wilson, Wendell. Essays on the martial arts. Mineralogical Record. 2010. 11 Feb 2017.

FAQ - What is a Red Belt?

One of the purposes of this blog is to answer some of the frequently asked questions from our students, parents, and others interested in the martial arts, self-defense, or just health and fitness.

In the martial arts world, one of the things that people are often most curious about is the belt system. What do the different colors mean? How long does it take to get them? Why do various arts have different colors?

Today, let’s take a minute to clear up the Red Belt.

In some Korean martial arts, you will see a red belt used as one of the standard colors leading up to the Black Belt. That is not the red belt that we are discussing today. The red belt that everyone is curious about is the one you see the “old guys” sometimes wearing.

Different martial arts use it in different ways, but most commonly, you will see the red belt worn by someone who has reached 10th degree in their particular style. 10th degree is the highest rank achievable.

Two of the primary martial arts taught at Progressive Martial Arts Academy are Kenpo and Jiu Jitsu. Specifically FILKENJUTSU Kenpo and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

Kenpo has many different groups, and all have decided on different ways of using the ranks and colors. In our method of teaching Kenpo (FILKENJUTSU), we do not currently use the red belt. 

For example, the highest ranking Black Belt in our family, is my father, Bruce Corrigan. He is the only 10th degree Black Belt in FILKENJUTSU and is the founder of our method of teaching. He prefers to just wear the Black Belt with ten stripes (or even just a plain Black Belt!). He also has a Black Belt with a red border which denotes that he is the founder/head of the family.

In Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, at 7th degree the belt worn is red and black, at 8th degree it is red and white, and at 9th and 10th degree it is red. Check out this trailer for an upcoming documentary done by BJJ Hacks on the Red Belts - 

For more on belt ranks and instructor titles check out these posts:

Ranks and Titles, Part 1 - http://www.pmaoakridge.com/blog/ranks

Ranks and Titles, Part 2 - http://www.pmaoakridge.com/blog/titles

The Importance of the Black Belt - http://www.pmaoakridge.com/blog/blackbelt

The Black Belt Problem - http://www.pmaoakridge.com/blog/theblackbeltproblem

I did a breakdown of our different colors for our YouTube channel a couple of years ago too - 

At the end of the day, your belt is used to keep your gi (uniform) together. We often place a little too much importance on what color it is. And at a time when many martial arts have been watered down, and promotions have been sold rather than earned, what is most important is that you are training with a good teacher who also has legitimate training.

Wait, if you're reading this you are training, right? If not, please call me NOW at (865)481-8901 or email me at dcorrigan@pmaoakridge.com and schedule a FREE private introductory lesson. 

It is free, and there is no obligation to keep training afterward. Come see for yourself why this will be the best decision you've ever made.

That's enough for now, see you on the mat!

What are some of your questions? Comment on Facebook or email them to me at dcorrigan@pmaoakridge.com and I'll try to cover them in future posts!

Get Worse to Get Better

I want you to think back to the time in your life just before you began training martial arts and visualize a scenario in which you may have been attacked at that point in your life. 

Maybe you started training when you were a teenager, and a realistic scenario might be someone giving you a hard time in high school. 

Or maybe you started training martial arts during your twenties, and a realistic scenario might be someone that’s had a little too much to drink at the bar you’re at with some friends. 

Or maybe you began training in your forties, and a realistic scenario is that someone having a bad day has a case of road rage and gets out of the car to teach you a lesson!

Now, let’s imagine how that scenario goes down and how you might have responded to the attack, assuming that you can’t get away and the attack was physical. You haven’t learned how to throw a proper punch yet or how to parry a strike. You haven’t learned how to take down an aggressive opponent or escape from the mount. You haven’t learned how to prevent being killed by a knife-wielding attacker.

I am proposing that it’s possible you would have done better defending yourself in that scenario than you would have after taking a few martial arts classes.

“WHAT!?” “THAT’S OUTRAGEOUS!” “WHY AM I TRAINING THEN?”

Stay with me for a minute. The ultimate level of mastery in the martial arts is when we are performing the techniques taught to us without thought. In the Chinese arts, this is called “mushin.” 

It is highly unlikely that you will have achieved mastery with your martial arts abilities within a few months of training. Therefore if you are in the same scenarios we thought of above, but with a little bit of martial arts training, it is highly possible that you will hesitate and think about what you should do. What techniques are you going to use? 

In that moment of hesitation and thought, we could be overrun and beat up.

You may have fared better had you been attacked before you began your martial arts training because you would not have thought about what to do. When the attacker threw a punch, you would not have thought about how to block it because no one would have ever taught you how to block it. Therefore you would have just reacted with some flinch response. And whatever that response is, would have been better than hesitating while you were trying to come up with the perfect response.

Now, of course, there is still a high percentage chance you would not have handled the situation well without any training and be beat up or worse. All I'm saying is that it's possible that you could do worse with just a little training than had you done none at all.

good-plan.jpg

Over time, we will train your automatic responses to be effective and efficient responses of a martial arts master. These will eventually become your reflexes. How long?

Somewhere between 20 to 10,000 hours. 😉 More on that here - 

http://www.pmaoakridge.com/blog/hours

Bruce Lee used to explain this by saying that before you begin training, a punch is just a punch. Then, you start training and realize a punch is much more than you thought! You now are thinking about how you stand when you punch, how your body moves, which part of your fist to make contact with, what to do after you punch, and more! At some point, you train long enough that a punch goes back to just being a punch. Those other details are still there, of course, but they’ve reached the point of mushin which means you aren’t thinking about them anymore - you are just throwing a punch.

This level of skill is IMPOSSIBLE in the beginning stages of training as the techniques have not been repeated enough for this to be possible. It is for this reason that at our academy students do not spar with each other until later in their training when they have had an opportunity to develop a solid foundation of proper technique, control, and reflexes - which will then be enhanced by sparring, not hampered by it.

If caught in a scenario like the ones listed above, remember that all 3 of these were scenarios involving ego and can often easily be avoided. If you are caught in a scenario that cannot be avoided, try your best not to hesitate.

The key will be to just fight. 

The Triumph of Human Intelligence Over Brute Strength

Jiu Jitsu represents the triumph of human intelligence over brute strength.”
— Helio Gracie

Helio Gracie is the founder of the famous martial art, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. His son, Rorion Gracie, was my father's first teacher in Jiu Jitsu and the creator of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).

Helio's quote above is one of my all-time favorites, and this past Winter Break I even had it put on the wall in our academy. The thing is though, when people see this quote and the word "triumph" or are told that martial arts teach smaller people how to overcome someone bigger and stronger than them, they tend to think that "triumph" or "overcome" means "to dominate".

If you watch any footage of Helio Gracie fighting, you will see something much different.

In the following fight, notice how Helio is thrown like a rag doll a couple of times before finally securing a move that will render his opponent unconscious and win him the match. This match is narrated by Helio's son, Rorion.

You see, the primary goal of Jiu Jitsu is just to survive against your attacker. Ideally, that would end with you choking them unconscious so you can get up and get home safely, but it may be just protecting yourself until help arrives, or until such time that you can run away.

Recently, I heard of a scenario in which an untrained male (internet troll) is claiming that he could defeat female mixed martial arts fighters because of how much stronger and faster the average man is. A female MMA fighter decided to take him up on the challenge, and it was held at an academy (as such a match would probably never be sanctioned by any organization).

Take a look:

 

As a martial arts instructor, I have seen this exact scenario play out multiple times. We get the opportunity to see our female students, smaller male students, older students, or any of our students for that matter, train with brand new students who are just getting started.

When I was a kid, I witnessed my Mom choke out a local wrestling coach with the same choke Helio used in the above video. 

I remember at age 18 watching my wife (girlfriend at the time), control a man that outweighed her by at least 80 pounds (of muscle). He started the match telling her that he was not going to use his strength. About midway through the match, he said, "I take it back, I'm going to use my strength." It didn't help.

You see it isn't that size, strength, and speed don't matter. They certainly do, as we've touched on many times on this blog before. It's just that they CAN be overcome with training.

One of the key takeaways from the video above is how quickly the in-shape male runs out of gas. An untrained opponent is not conditioned to fighting the same way as someone trained will be. In fact, not even close.

I will always remember a student coming to train at our school here in Knoxville when I was a teenager. He was an Olympic marathon runner, sponsored by Adidas. Arguably, one of the most "in-shape" athletes on the planet. He can run 26 miles faster than almost anyone else alive. BUT, within 30 seconds to a minute of grappling, he was utterly exhausted - just like every other person that begins training in Jiu Jitsu. This alone is one of the most important reasons to train.

Solely by training martial arts on a regular basis, you are preparing yourself physically and mentally for an altercation that your opponent will be grossly underprepared for if they do not train. We will teach you to weather the storm, and when their gas runs out, your opportunity to come out on top or to get away will present itself.

The funny thing is, in the interview after the match, the man states that it went about the way he expected and that he dominated until he gassed. What he should have said is that he dominated until she dominated! While his strength and speed allowed him to win the early exchanges, it quickly deteriorated, to the point that he actually tapped out to the exhaustion. That means he gave up (defeated both physically and mentally) due to just exhaustion - not from being hit or submitted by something like a choke.

At the beginning of this post I mentioned Rorion Gracie creating the UFC. Well that was now 25 years ago. At this past weekend's UFC event (the two hundred and twentieth event), we got to witness this exact scenario play out.

In the main event for the Undisputed Heavyweight Championship of the world, Stipe Miocic weathered the storm of the fearsome striker, Francis Ngannou, to keep the belt and remain the UFC Heavyweight Champion. In the process, he set a new record for Heavyweight title defenses (3). The strikers are so powerful in this division, the fighters have an extremely difficult time keeping the belt for very long before someone else comes along and knocks them out.

Francis Ngannou was promoted as the most fearsome Heavyweight to ever step into the octagon with the most powerful punch ever recorded at the UFC Performance Institute. In his last fight, Ngannou knocked his opponent out with one punch - an uppercut so hard that his opponent was lifted off of his feet by the punch.

Ngannou came out swinging this fight too but had run into an opponent with a gameplan to avoid Ngannou's punches, use his wrestling and Jiu Jitsu to get the fight to the ground, and control him. Despite Ngannou's 20-pound weight advantage, he was unable to escape from underneath Miocic. He had zapped all of his energy trying to knock Miocic out and defending against the grappling positions with a lack of technique (he is still relatively new to the sport). 

The fatigue allowed Miocic to cruise to his 3rd title defense, but gave the rest of us another clean example of overcoming strength. 

Don’t Get Bent Out of Shape When Getting In Shape

“Getting in shape” is one of the most common New Year’s resolutions. It’s a great goal, but, unfortunately, it’s also one of the hardest resolutions to keep. We’re almost halfway through January, and many of the people who just knew 2018 was going to be their year to get fit, are already struggling - some may even have decided to give up already.

Gym memberships skyrocket at the beginning of each new year, but while gyms may see an initial spike in attendance, those numbers quickly decline. Why? Because getting in shape is hard. 

We all know why physical fitness is essential. We grew up hearing about the benefits of exercise in elementary Physical Education and learned about body fat from unforgiving middle school bullies and learned about muscles and ligaments in high school health and physiology classes. As adults, we get to hear about the endless benefits of eating green, leafy vegetables and taking brisk, daily walks from our concerned mothers or spouses or doctors. No one here is arguing that exercise and a well-balanced diet are bad things - everyone knows they are good. That’s why so many New Year’s Resolutions are some variation of a physical, mental, or nutritional improvement.

So we aren’t going to spend the next few minutes waxing on and on about why getting in shape is good for you. Instead, we are going to talk about all of the reasons it’s HARD, and look at a couple of strategies that might help you get through it.

1. Get Out of Your Own Way

From my own experiences getting back in shape after periods of inactivity, I know that the first thing I have to do is get out of my own way. For anyone that has a job or a family, taking time for yourself - even just an hour or two a week - can leave you feeling guilty and even stressed.

These feelings are totally normal but totally unnecessary. Taking time for yourself is vital for your overall well being, and as we all know from those elementary school PE classes, exercise can release stress and improve focus. Taking time for yourself can put you in the frame of mind to solve that problem you’ve been working on at your job or help you be more patient and present for your kids. How can you take care of your other responsibilities if you don’t take care of yourself?

Get out of your own way, and unabashedly take time for yourself!

2. Lose the Negative Perceptions

While you’re getting out of your own way, let go of the negative perceptions you have of yourself and the perceptions you project, accurately or inaccurately, on the people around you.

Being in shape should increase your confidence, but I’ve been merrily on my way to a healthy body and mind and found myself stuffed into workout clothes that I think make me look like a busted can of biscuits. Self-consciousness happens to the best of us, but we have to let those negative thoughts go.

Everyone thinks they look weird when they run. No one’s stomach stays perfectly flat when they’re sitting down. Most people have a smidgen of fat on their arms that they think flaps in the breeze when they wave. I have wheezing asthma that makes me honk like a goose whenever I do aerobic exercise. Everyone has insecurities, don’t let them hold you back from everything you are capable of and everything you can be.

3. Stay in Your Own Lane

And while you’re on the road to getting in shape, STAY IN YOUR OWN LANE.

In the past, I’ve fallen into the habit of comparing myself to the people training around me whom I’m sure are thinner/stronger/faster/more graceful than I’ll ever be. Focus on your own accomplishments and strengths instead of dwelling on what others can do. Spend your time challenging yourself and learning what your body is capable of instead of being envious of what you see others doing.

If you keep comparing yourself to others, you’ll never feel like you’re good enough. You might start thinking, “what’s the point?”, and give up when you’re really only just getting started. There will always be someone who is better at something than you are. You can’t be the best at everything; you can only do your best in everything. Let go of your spirit of comparing. 

4. It's Uncomfortable

Let me tackle the most obvious hardship of getting in shape last: It’s uncomfortable - even painful at times. Getting in shape is no joke. Your muscles will be screaming one minute and then feel like jelly the next. Your chest will get tight because you can’t breathe and you’ll feel like your heart’s about to pop, but somehow you keep breathing (or wheezing in my case) and your heart keeps beating, and eventually you finish that first jog. The first run turns into a second run that turns into a weekly run and then a daily run and before you know it you have run farther and faster than you ever thought possible.

In the beginning stages of getting in shape, everything can feel overwhelming or difficult. It’s achieving that end goal that feels so good: fitting into that old pair of jeans, seeing your cholesterol or blood pressure go down, passing that stress test, or just having more energy to spend on your family or hobbies.

So how do we get from exhaustion to exhilaration in one piece?

Here are a few things that worked for me:

1. Don’t go it alone.

Find an accountability partner. It can be a friend, family member, or a training partner. It can be as simple as discussing your goals together or strategizing for how you can help each other get there.

My training partners started dragging me on a weekly run with them after I came back from an absence. The farthest I had run before these weekly meets was 1.5 miles - and I thought it was AWFUL. Before I knew it, I was running 3…4…5…miles with them, and the next thing I knew, we had completed a half-marathon together. It was one of the most rewarding experiences, and it will be a favorite accomplishment of mine (though I hope to never do it again…ever) forever. I would never have met my goals without their encouragement and, some days, them physically dragging me on my run to keep me accountable.

 Me and my training partners the morning of our 1/2 marathon!

Me and my training partners the morning of our 1/2 marathon!

2. Find something you love to do.

I’m a martial artist, and I love it. My classes provide an excellent full body workout, and the supplemental workouts I do outside of class are to improve my skills as a martial artist (and also because I really like cake). I’ve found something that I love to do that keeps me fit and motivated. If you are looking to get in shape, discover that for yourself: dancing, running, rowing - there are endless opportunities. Fitness doesn’t have to be limited to a gym.

 Yeah, that's me. Scary, right?

Yeah, that's me. Scary, right?

3. Keep Going

Finally, have the mettle to keep going. When the path to your goals gets uncomfortable, don’t give up. That goal is right in front of you if you only push through.

Remember, you’ve come too far, to only come this far. You can do it; I believe in you!

2017 PMA Year in Review

The week between Christmas and New Year’s is one of my favorites of the entire year. After getting extra time with family for Christmas, we have a week to look back on the past year and plan for the year ahead.

This year was full of many good memories, but I’ll take just a minute to highlight some of my standouts and then the video can do a pretty good job with the rest!

February 2017 - Gary Hall and Linda Davis were promoted to Black Belt in FILKENJUTSU Kenpo!

April 2017 - We took our Youth Competition Team to NAGA Atlanta, and they earned 6th place at their first significant tournament!

May 2017 - Brittany Corrigan and Kristie Fox finished their instructor training program/test, and became official PMA instructors!

May 2017 - Brittany, Charlie, and I had the opportunity to spend 11 days in Brazil, with our close friends Felipe and Ana, and their son Bento. This trip will forever be one of our greatest adventures and favorite memories. We can’t thank Felipe enough for bringing us to his home and showing us his city.

July 2017 - PMA students took a field trip over to my Dad's dojo in Knoxville to surprise him during his class for his birthday!

September 2017 - My brother, Nick, and his wife, Kylie, welcomed their first child, RJ Corrigan, into the world!

October 2017 - PMA’s Youth Competition Team brought home 2nd place at the NAGA Tennessee Grappling Championship out of 38 teams!

November 2017 - Sempai Madelyn Fowler competed in her first tournament and brought home the silver medal at the NAGA North Carolina Grappling Championships in her No-Gi division, and the gold medal in her gi division!

I liked competing when I was a child and young adult, but it never became a love of mine. However, coaching Jiu Jitsu has genuinely become one of my favorite aspects of my life. This year, we have had some incredible performances from our students (in both wins and losses), and I couldn’t be more proud!

December 2017 - Progressive Martial Arts Academy turned 15 years old! And December couldn't have been a better month. Brittany Corrigan and Kristie Fox were promoted to Black Belt in FILKENJUTSU Kenpo! And Austin and Eli Fox were promoted to Junior Black Belt, along with many other students earning their next rank this month. We closed out the year with a wonderful holliday party, and some fun last classes of the year. For the kids class, we had 60 kids out on the mat together! 

Here are our Top 10 songs played from 2017 at PMA (dominated by Imagine Dragons this year!):

1. Feel It Still by Portugal. The Man
2. Believer by Imagine Dragons    
3. Whatever It Takes by Imagine Dragons
4. Thunder by Imagine Dragons    
5. Shape of You by Ed Sheeran
6. Rise Up by Imagine Dragons
7. Stay by Zedd & Alessia Cara
8. Something Just Like This by The Chainsmokers & Coldplay
9. Hard Times by Paramore
10. Shine on Me by Dan Auerbach

You can listen to the playlist while working out this week and getting ready for the new year here: 

 https://itunes.apple.com/us/playlist/pmas-top-10-songs-of-2017/pl.u-LRyv4IBkmEE

We had a crew of senior students and instructors in over the holiday break helping us update the dojo a little bit, so get excited about a new look when you come in next week! Thank you so, so much to the people that helped us out with that - you know who you are! :-)

We expect incredible things out of 2018, and can’t wait to share it on the mat with all of you.

Now, enjoy this video to wrap up 2017.

Happy New Year!

David Corrigan
Owner/Chief Instructor
Progressive Martial Arts Academy

The Slow-Moving Plague

Consider some of the following information from the CDC:

More than one-third (36.5%) of U.S. adults have obesity.

Over 70% of U.S. adults over the age of 20 are overweight.

Approximately 84 million American adults—more than 1 out of 3—have prediabetes. Prediabetes is a serious health condition where blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough yet to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes. Of those with prediabetes, 90% don’t know they have it. Prediabetes puts you at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.

The good news is that if you are prediabetic, or are overweight or obese, we know what lifestyle changes need to be made to prevent, delay, or even reverse these conditions.

The bad news is that SO DO YOU. The problem we are facing is not a lack of information. In fact, you could argue that we have way too much information. The amount of information practically freezes us. And it changes on a daily basis.

Carbs are good…no, carbs are bad.

Fat is good…no, fat is bad.

You should do more cardio…no, you should do more strength training.

This diet is the best…no, THIS diet is the best.

These conflicting statements that are thrown in our faces all the time confuse us, and freeze us in our tracks. We aren’t sure if we have the PERFECT diet or exercise plan, and so we just stay put and continue deeper and deeper into this hole.

That is until something we see on Facebook, or someone tells us about something that convinces us we have found the perfect plan. And we follow it for a little while, but that idea was such a significant overhaul of our current lifestyle that we started to slip a little.

We gave into some cravings.

We skipped a workout.

We just don’t feel like this plan is the one for us. 

But Monday is coming right around the corner, so let’s try again next week!

And we make it a couple of days into the new week before inevitably slipping again. Before you know it, this cycle brings us back to where we were before the plan, and we give it up. Only to fall out of shape even worse than we were before the miracle plan tried to save us.

But it’s okay because a NEW YEAR is coming up!!!

On this magical day, January 1, everything will change. I will overhaul my life and finally be the person I want to be. Even though nothing makes this day any different than any other day, the difference is now the New Year motivates me.

Well, we all know how that works too, don’t we? Eventually motivation from the new year will be gone.

So, let’s not fool ourselves this year.

Try something a little different this year: I want you to take your time and write out 26 habits that you think are the most important for you to change your life. Just to get you started, think of some things like:

Eat slowly and enjoy your food.

Stop eating before you are stuffed.

Exercise daily, but make it something you love.

Eat a few servings of vegetables every day.

Eat REAL food.

Take 5 minutes to meditate every day.

And so on and so forth. With all of the information you have available to you, what habits would you pick? Now, lay them out in a logical sequence, where one habit builds into the next one whenever possible. What order would it make the most sense to learn all of these habits?

Now plot them on your calendar, and spend 2 weeks working on each one for the next 52 weeks (year), and tell me where you land this time next year.

Our problem is not a lack of information, it is understanding how to make change happen. One habit at a time is the way to do it!

This is the way Precision Nutrition (PN) has built their nutrition and lifestyle coaching program. We teach our students that martial arts training is a "Way of Life," and that means you should integrate things like healthy lifestyle habits, nutrition, yoga, meditation, fitness, etc. into your life. The Precision Nutrition platform has powered our ability to offer nutrition and lifestyle coaching to our students, and we couldn't be happier with it. 

We can only open up a few spots in the program at a time because we just don't have enough time to coach a ton of people. We'd love for all of our adult students at Progressive Martial Arts Academy to go through this program because it lines up so beautifully with the "Martial Arts Way of Life." It is the missing link we were looking for for so many years. Unfortunately, we cannot take everyone on at the same time.

We will be accepting a small group of men and women that wish to embark on a year-long program to build the habits and skills necessary to reach and then maintain the healthiest version of themselves. This program with either myself or PMA instructor and certified PN coach, Kristie Fox, as your coach will begin Monday, January 1, 2018.

If you are interested, please email me at dcorrigan@pmaoakridge.com to reserve a spot and get more information.

Changing your nutrition and lifestyle doesn't have to be complicated, boring, or ineffective. If you are sick of trying new diets and exercise programs year in and year out, this is a 1-year program that will help you slowly change your habits to live the healthy lifestyle that you want.

Through PN's ProCoach software, we will provide the nutrition and lifestyle portion of coaching online with daily habits, lessons, and assignments. We’ll get to see your progress, provide feedback on a regular basis to your assignments and progress, and answer any questions you may have along the way. This program can be done 100% online! So wherever you are in the world, don't hesitate to email me.

Space is extremely limited, so please do not wait to email - dcorrigan@pmaoakridge.com.

I recently heard someone on a podcast I was listening to refer to what’s happening with health in this country as a “slow-moving plague.” I view this element of what we do at Progressive Martial Arts Academy as maybe one of the most important. We’ve always been able to make a large impact on people’s lives through martial arts training, and we are so excited to now be able to help with nutrition and lifestyle coaching too.

I hope you have a great 2018! Even if you don’t go through our coaching program, I hope you will take the advice above and give it a shot. Let me know how it works out. Remember, one habit at a time!

 

Break the Enemy without Fighting: The Avoidance of Battle and How to Win by Losing

Nonviolence is not to be used ever as the shield of the coward. It is the weapon of the brave.
— Mahatma Gandhi

As a martial artist, and a Kenpo practitioner in particular, I have understood from the moment my training commenced that fighting is wrong. Humans were never meant to be pitted against each other: robbing and cheating, hurting and humiliating, striking out at one another until bruises form and blood pools. Killing each other...it goes against humanity - or at least the quality of being humane; which I equate with being human. 

 Brittany in the very beginning of her martial arts journey - training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu at 17 years old.

Brittany in the very beginning of her martial arts journey - training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu at 17 years old.

Fighting is wrong. But sometimes, it’s necessary.

It’s necessary because, despite the fact that we shouldn’t hurt each other, we do. Children shouldn’t be kidnapped. Women shouldn’t be raped. Men shouldn’t be drafted to die in wars that shouldn’t be happening in the first place. But they are. 

Fighting is wrong, but sometimes it is necessary, and if I need to fight, I’m going to do it well. I’m going to fight as instinctively as I blink, as competently as I walk, as confidently as I know my name. I’m going to study and practice and learn, and, in doing so, I’m going to know how to avoid the fight in the first place. (The Creed of the Kenpo School, n.d.)

As a student of FILKENJUTSU, I pledge to fight “only if attacked or provoked by what I recognize to be a real threat,” but I hope to resolve every confrontation in a non-violent way and only after I’ve exhausted every effort to avoid the confrontation in the first place (Corrigan, B., n.d.). Kenpo is not a weapon - it’s a secret. And winning is not my goal - peace is (The Kenpo Creed, n.d.). But at the end of the day, “survival is my main objective,” and I will do whatever is necessary to protect myself and my family (Corrigan, B., n.d.). 

When faced with a potentially dangerous confrontation, avoiding violence would obviously be the best case scenario, but how do we do that? The man who brought Kenpo to the United States, Grandmaster James Mitose, laid out some steps for us to follow in his book, What is Self Defense? (Kenpo Jiu-Jitsu)

When discussing Go Shinjutsu (the art of self-defense), Mitose advised practitioners to steer clear of trouble, to examine conscience before acting out of anger, to decide never to use fists in public unless it’s inescapable, and, in those cases, “exert every effort to defend yourself and others.” (Mitose, 1981)

 Brittany with a couple of her closest friends and training partners, Kristie Fox and Linda Davis, before running in the Secret City Half Marathon.

Brittany with a couple of her closest friends and training partners, Kristie Fox and Linda Davis, before running in the Secret City Half Marathon.

So how can we steer clear of trouble?

In my opinion, this is a two-part answer: through awareness AND by walking the fine line that blends confidence with humility.

I shouldn’t have to worry about walking home alone at night or accepting a drink from a friendly acquaintance at a bar, but the reality of the world I live in is that, at the very least, I will have to ignore cat callers on that walk home and dump that free drink into the potted Ficus in the corner because it might be laced with a date rape drug. 

Before I continue, let me state this very clearly: it is never a woman’s fault when she is attacked. I don’t care how short her dress is or how friendly her smile is - at the end of the day, men should and do have the ability to NOT rape women. But since one in five women will be raped in their lifetime (CDC, 2012), I follow a few easy, and non-violent, tips to proactively protect myself - or steer clear of trouble.

In In Search of Kenpo (1984), Mitose writes that “awareness is the essence of Kenpo,” and I believe it is also the essence of self-defense.  So my first step in trying to avoid a fight is to be aware - of my surroundings, of the people around me, of any circumstance that could affect me. 

I pay attention to where I am. Am I inside or outside? How is the lighting? Is it public or sheltered? What is the fastest route to safety in the event of an emergency or altercation? 

I pay attention to people in the area. Is that person following me? Why is that person approaching me? Why did that person park their van next to my car in an otherwise empty lot? That person is acting erratic - be cautious. That person has been drinking - be mindful of that.

I also pay attention to what I’m doing. I don’t want to appear to be an easy target. When I’m walking to my car, I make sure I already have my keys in hand so I don’t appear distracted by digging for them in my purse and so I can get into my car quickly. It’s also a good idea to keep your finger on the panic button. In the event you are attacked, the alarm will draw attention to you - and attention is something criminals want to avoid.

The last thing I’m conscious of is what I’m wearing. Hear me out before you get offended - I stand by what I said earlier. It should never matter what a woman chooses to wear; clothing is not consent, but if I’m unable to avoid the fight, I like to know that my footwear won’t impede me from surviving. Obviously, wearing close-toed shoes with a thick sole would allow for a more damaging kick should I need to use them as a tool to defend myself, but my biggest concern is making sure I feel confident running in whatever I have on my feet. When it comes to fight or flight, flight is the best option! 

Speaking of confidence, that’s the final piece of attire I don. I never want to appear timid to passersby. I make eye contact with people as they pass or approach so there can be no doubt in their minds that I see them. I make my boundaries clear. If someone is approaching, and I feel unsafe in any way, I tell them plainly to stop. If they need directions, I can help them from a comfortable distance - the worse case in that scenario is that I feel embarrassed because they think I’m weird. If they have darker intentions, I’m already drawing attention to myself and signaling to my would-be attacker that I won’t be an easy mark. Never be ashamed to establish boundaries - whether with an acquaintance or a stranger. Like Sun Tzu (5th century BC/1910) said, “Invincibility lies in the defense.”

 Brittany began her Kenpo training under the founder of PMA and FILKENJUTSU, SiJo Bruce Corrigan. Here she is after earning her purple belt in Kenpo, alongside her husband (SiFu David Corrigan), father-in-law (SiJo Bruce Corrigan), and mother-in-law (SiGung Meg Corrigan).

Brittany began her Kenpo training under the founder of PMA and FILKENJUTSU, SiJo Bruce Corrigan. Here she is after earning her purple belt in Kenpo, alongside her husband (SiFu David Corrigan), father-in-law (SiJo Bruce Corrigan), and mother-in-law (SiGung Meg Corrigan).

I’ve been speaking about awareness from a woman’s perspective, but it’s important for everyone - including children; confidence equally so. Carrying yourself with confidence is key, not only in identifying yourself as a poor choice for a victim but also in shutting down bullies. And shutting down bullies is an essential part of steering clear of trouble and avoiding a fight.

In Zen in the Martial Arts (1979), Joe Hyams describes a real-life situation he faced when he nearly caused a traffic accident, and the other driver was overcome with a case of road rage:

The driver shouted abuse at me. I apologized, but he kept up the tirade and blocked my exit. He then got out of his car and came to my window, continuing the harangue. Again I repeated my apology, but he said he intended to teach me a lesson. I scrambled across the passenger seat and got out the side door to put my car between us.

 “I told you I’m sorry,” I said.

He started to edge forward. I shifted my body minutely so that my weight was centered. I     had taken a classic “ready” position from which I could move instantly. My mind was calm, open and relaxed, and I was confident in my ability to handle whatever happened.

 “I had to jam on my brakes to avoid hitting you,” he said a trifle less aggressively.

 “It was my fault,” I agreed.

 “Yeah, well, okay,” he said, and walked back to his car.

Although I stood confident and ready to respond to an attack, it was unnecessary. By apologizing for what was indeed my fault, I had defused his hostility. And by not acting aggressively, I had removed the necessity for him to prove anything by attacking me. 

I had ‘won by losing.’
— (p. 132)

Accidents happen. They’re just a part of life. But when our accidents affect the lives of others, things can get tricky. We have the power to control how we react to “spilled milk,” but we can’t always control the reaction of the person we spilled the milk on.

The scenario above and the angry man’s reaction is quite common, especially among men. Whether over a fender bender or a perceived verbal slight, men often respond by posturing. 

Sometimes posturing is a defense mechanism. The man wants to appear big, loud, and intimidating to ensure he maintains the upper hand in the situation. Other times, posturing is a form of bullying or a means to escalate trouble for the thrill of it.

Whatever the case, it is important to respond to posturing - and bullies - both cautiously and confidently, as Joe Hyams did. He addressed the man calmly, never allowing his tone to encourage the man’s rage. Though it was clear that Joe didn’t want the confrontation to end in a fight, he prepared for the need to defend himself from a physical altercation by putting space and an obstacle between him and his would-be attacker and staying guarded in his stance. 

His stance not only prepared him to deflect or intercept an attack, but it also telegraphed to his opponent that he was prepared to fight if need be which gave the other man pause and took the edge off of his anger. It made the angry man question his next step. Did he really want to “teach Joe a lesson” if Joe wasn’t going to be a cowed target?

The other step Joe took to diffuse the situation was to accept responsibility for his mistake and apologize for it. It took a couple of tries, but eventually Joe’s humble acceptance of fault and his refusal to be argumentative took the wind out of the angry man’s sails.

 Brittany alongside some training partners after a hike to the top of Charlie's Bunion in the Great Smoky Mountains.

Brittany alongside some training partners after a hike to the top of Charlie's Bunion in the Great Smoky Mountains.

Ed Parker once said (as cited in Hyams, 1979, p.132-3), “The only reason men fight is because they are insecure; one man needs to prove that he is better or stronger than another.” Joe’s expression of: ‘It was my fault. I’m sorry. I don’t want to fight you, but I will if you force it,’ defused the other man’s aggression. He, “balked the enemies power,” and “forced him to reveal himself (Tzu, 5th century BC/1910).” The angry man had nothing to prove after Joe accepted the blame.

It can be hard to humble yourself during emotionally charged or potentially dangerous situations, but sometimes it is necessary in order to avoid the fight or even just to survive it. Your pride is not worth your life. If all it takes is a simple apology to get out of a threatening situation, then by all means, apologize. If someone points a weapon at me and demands my wallet or purse, or even the shoes on my feet, you better believe I’m giving it to them. And by doing so, I’ll be steering clear of trouble - or at least not fanning the flames.

In a situation like that, depending on whether my mugger is armed and what his weapon of choice is, I might be capable of winning the physical confrontation and keeping my purse. Maybe he doesn’t appear to be armed, and I become so angry with him for having the audacity to take what’s mine, that I decide to fight back.

Maybe I overpower my attacker, subduing him and watching him get carted off to jail. Or maybe my attacker pulls out a gun from his waistband and shoots me. If the latter, I not only lost my purse, I lost my life. 

Anger can be one of the hardest emotions to control. It makes us impulsive, almost unstable at times. We can’t think through problems the way we normally would, and as a result, it’s easy to end up doing something we regret. That’s why, during conflict, it’s important never to act violently in response to anger, only danger. With only a letter difference, how do we learn to identify the difference between anger and danger in regards to hostility? (Corrigan, D., personal communication, 2017)

 Brittany at the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Brittany at the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Let’s look at an example:

If someone bumps into me in a crowded aisle of a grocery store, and I respond by shoving them back, did I act in response to anger or danger? I let my annoyance of the situation get the better of me. Instead of showing the stranger grace and striving for peace, I let the frustration of the noisy crowd and my exhaustion from shopping at the end of a long day guide my senses. I let an accidental or even an intentional, careless push be the straw that broke the camel’s back and I pushed back.

Now, if I had been the original pusher, and the person I shoved responded by pinning me up against the wall of canned beans and screaming at me, we’d be looking at a different situation. My reaction now would be in response to danger. I am being threatened and have a right and a desire to defend myself. The person’s angry response led us into dangerous territory.

So when facing an angry opponent, how do we avoid the battle? If possible, resort back to your posturing steps and try to diffuse the other man’s anger and make a safe exit. If, however, the situation continues to escalate and a physical altercation is eminent, the use of force is necessary. If avoidance is no longer possible, as per the rules of FILKENJUTSU (Corrigan, B., n.d.), “I will employ 100% force, commitment, attention, and single-minded purpose to defend myself, my family, and those in my charge.”

Pay attention to yourself and your opponent. Are they angry and posturing or have they become a danger to you or those with you? Is your response motivated by your temper or a threat? Avoidance is always our goal, but if the fight is unavoidable, it is imperative that you defend your life. “He will win who knows when to fight and when not to fight (Tzu, 5th century BC/1910).” 

In order to examine a conflict clearly and to determine if fighting or avoidance is the best response, just like anger, you have to be able to see around your fear. Fear is not always a bad thing. In fact, it’s usually a response to something we perceive to be dangerous; our brains analyze the situation and tell our bodies we need to stay alive. Fear can increase your endurance, physical strength, and adrenaline - all in the name of survival. It’s a tool that helps keep us alive, but problems arise when we stop using fear as a tool and let it overtake us completely. As I mentioned earlier, when attempting to diffuse potentially violent situations, we have to remain calm. We cannot cower away from bullies. 

 Over 60 hours into her Black Belt test, showcasing self defense techniques.

Over 60 hours into her Black Belt test, showcasing self defense techniques.

My instructors often say, “Fear is False Evidence Appearing Real.” When we’re still in the avoidance phase of a confrontation, this idea is more important than ever. We aren’t in danger yet, and any fear we feel is in response to the perception or anticipation of danger. We’re balanced on the point of a knife. If we’re able to resolve the battle non-violently, we’ll fall back to the side of safety, but if the battle escalates into a fight, we tip over the edge into danger. We have a better chance of landing the outcome we hope for if we stay centered in the present moment, focused on dispersing tension instead of dwelling on what hazards could come if we fail.

So how do we learn to control our fear before it overtakes us? By making a friend of it. This concept, once again, leads us back to confidence. We have to develop confidence in our ability to handle our fears by growing familiar with them. This could be as simple as visualizing what scares us most or as heart racing as facing our fears in person. (Hyams, 1979)

And if our fear is that we will be physically attacked and forced to defend ourselves or loved ones, face it head on. Decide now that you are willing to fight for your life if it comes down to it. Think about what is important to you and what you are willing to do to protect it. I know that if I am threatened, not only will I be fighting for myself, I will be fighting to make it back to my family because they need me. 

Fear has no place in a battle for survival - there’s no room for it. In a life or death situation, take advice from Bruce Lee, “Forget about winning and losing; forget about pride and pain. Let your opponent graze your skin and you smash into his flesh; let him smash into your flesh and you fracture his bones; let him fracture your bones and you take his life! Do not be concerned with escaping safely - lay your life before him!” I am willing to walk away from an attack bloody and broken as long as I walk away alive.

Luckily, it probably won’t come down to that! Our minds usually blow scenarios out of proportion. By visualizing our fears and how we plan to react to them, we can shrink them back to their proper size. Things are not usually as bad as we first imagine them to be. As our confidence in our abilities to overcome our fears grows, the possible outcomes - real or imagined - become easier to manage. (Hyams, 1979)

But what if, during the moment, we lose our control and negative thoughts, images, or fears fill our minds? Visualization can be as instrumental in getting us back on track here as it was in helping us overcome the thoughts in the first place. I like to imagine myself grabbing the stressful thoughts and clenching them in my fist until they’re ground into dust. Then I take a deep, fortifying breath, and as I exhale, I imagine blowing the dust away. If you find your mind filling with negative thoughts and “what-ifs” during a confrontation, seize them and destroy them before they have a chance to take hold. (Hyams, 1979)

Bottom line, you’ve heard the age old adage, “There’s nothing to fear, but fear itself.” As cliche as it sounds, it’s still very true. Don’t let fear hold you back. Don’t let it control you. Don’t let it make the decisions in your life. One of my favorite quotes about fear came in a commencement speech at Tulane University given by actress Dame Helen Mirren (2017). She said, “Don't be afraid of fear. Throw caution to the winds. Look fear straight in its ugly face and barge forward. And when you get past it, turn around and give it a good, swift kick in the ass."

 Brittany and her 4 year old son, Charlie, on the day she received her Black Belt in FILKENJUTSU Kenpo.

Brittany and her 4 year old son, Charlie, on the day she received her Black Belt in FILKENJUTSU Kenpo.

My last piece of armor in avoiding the fight is what I have affectionately named “The 3 Itys.” Flexibility. Adaptability. And Ingenuity.

Be flexible and opportunistic. Being trained in the martial arts, I have equipped myself with the tools necessary to overcome an opponent both violently and non-violently, but often times the actual opportunity for success is provided by the opponent. I have to be prepared to alter my game plan to capitalize on my opponent’s weaknesses. “The opportunity to secure ourselves against defeat lies in our own hands, but the opportunity of defeating the enemy is provided by the enemy himself (Tzu, 5th century BC/1910).”

Adaptability goes hand in hand with flexibility. One of Bruce Lee’s most famous quotes is about water and it’s ability to adapt to whatever container you put it into. It adjusts its game plan to deal with whatever environment it finds itself in, and wholly examines that space.  It lets go of expectations to live in the present, and forgets the past immediately when it finds itself in a new and different space.

 Brittany and her 1 year old son, Auggie, enjoying a family favorite meal on Cow Appreciation Day!

Brittany and her 1 year old son, Auggie, enjoying a family favorite meal on Cow Appreciation Day!

In our lives, we will face numerous conflicts. You can try to be hard and unmoving, determined to hammer at your problems until something breaks - them or you. Or, you can try to be like water. Go with the flow. When you encounter an obstacle, slip through it’s cracks and take possession. Just don’t forget, if you come across a situation where it is necessary to use force, water can crash too. Bottom line, don’t try to make your environment or problems adapt to you - adapt to, and overcome, them.

The final, and my personal favorite, “ity,” ingenuity, is all about outsmarting your opponent. Perhaps the best description of this comes from one of Bruce Lee’s better known movies, Enter the Dragon. In one particularly memorable scenes, Bruce Lee is on a ship out to sea when he’s approached by an arrogant martial arts practitioner that tauntingly asks what system Bruce Lee trains in. His response, “the art of fighting without fighting,” is met with disbelief, and the arrogant man demands Bruce Lee show him some of his art. 

When Bruce Lee refuses and tries to peacefully leave, the arrogant man blocks his exit, posturing. Lee seemingly relents. He agrees to show the man if they take a small boat to an island close by as there isn’t enough room on the ship they’re on. The man agrees and proceeds to climb into a rickety, wooden dinghy at the side of the boat. Once he’s on it, Bruce Lee takes the line securing the dinghy to the ship and casts the man out to sea giving the line to another passenger with instructions for him to drop the line if the man tries to reel himself back in.

Bruce Lee eliminated the threat without violence - the best outcome you can hope for from a confrontation. That is the art of fighting without fighting.

 Brittany and her close friend/training partner, Kristie Fox. They went through their instructor candidate training and Black Belt candidate training together, culminating in their 3-day Black Belt test on December 1-3, 2017.

Brittany and her close friend/training partner, Kristie Fox. They went through their instructor candidate training and Black Belt candidate training together, culminating in their 3-day Black Belt test on December 1-3, 2017.

So how do you break an enemy without fighting? First and foremost, it is my belief that you should study and train some form of martial arts. Knowledge is power, and the knowledge and skills I have acquired through my martial arts journey have instilled in me a physical and mental ability to defend myself and others, first by using my mind to avoid the battle, and finally, by using my physical ability to end a fight if avoidance alludes me.

The practice of Kenpo and Jiu Jitsu has also grown my confidence and self-esteem immeasurably, traits this paper has discussed in depth as contributing factors in the avoidance of battle. 

Apart from the actual study of self-defense, you should learn how to steer clear of trouble by being aware of your surroundings and the possible threats you may find there. You should build both your confidence and ability to stand up to bullies and your manifestation of genuine humility when the situations warrants it. Never let your ego dictate your actions - your life is not worth your pride.

Learn to differentiate between a person’s inconsequential anger and the threat of danger as well as how to respond to both situations. Know how to control your own anger and the reactions it impulsively encourages.

Make a friend out of your fear. Get to know it. Get comfortable with it. Then barge through it and give it a kick in the ass on your way by.

Be flexible - change your game plan when necessary. Be adaptable - adjust to your environment. Be ingenious - outsmart your attacker. 

Know when to walk away from a fight, and be happy to do so. Know when it is necessary to fight, and commit your entire self into surviving.

Know yourself and recognize that it is okay, wonderful even, to win by losing.

 Brittany alongside her husband, David Corrigan, on the day she received her Black Belt in FILKENJUTSU Kenpo.

Brittany alongside her husband, David Corrigan, on the day she received her Black Belt in FILKENJUTSU Kenpo.

On a final note, I was reminded recently that even my masters have masters (Hyams, 1979). My chief instructor, SiFu David Corrigan, though an accomplished practitioner Jiu Jitsu, believes he pales in comparison to the legacy of his late teacher Professor Pedro Brandao Lacerda. 

My stand up system, FILKENJUTSU, wouldn’t even exist if the founder, SiJo Bruce Corrigan, had not started his Kenpo journey under the tutelage of the late Professor Nick Cerio who left a gift behind in his quote, “To win the fight without fighting, that is the true goal of a martial artist.”

And I know from following the example of my masters and the masters who came before them that I want to be a true martial artist too.


References

Cerio, N. (n.d.). Personal Communication. 

Corrigan, B. R. H. (n.d.). The FILKENJUTSU Manual. 

Corrigan, D. R. (2017). Personal Communication. 

Hyams, J. (1979). Zen In The Martial Arts. New York, NY: Bantam Books.

Lee, B. (1975). Tao of Jeet Kun Do. Santa Clarita, CA: Ohara Publications, Incorporated. 

Mirren, H. (2017). Commencement Speech. New Orleans, LA: Tulane University. 

Mitose, J. M. (1981). What is Self Defense? (Kenpo Jiu-Jitsu). Sacramento, CA: Kosho-Shorei     Publishing Company.

Mitose, J. M. (1984). In Search of Kenpo. Sacramento, CA: Kosho-Shorei Publishing Company.

National Center for Injury Prevention and Control - Division of Violence Center. (2012) Sexual     Violence: Facts at a Glance. Atlanta, GA: Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Tzu, S. (1910). The Art of War. (L. Giles, Trans.). London, UK: British Museum. (Original work published 5th century BC)

Weintraub, F., Heller, P., Chow, R. (Producers), & Clouse, R. (Director). (1973). Enter the     Dragon [Motion Picture]. China/United States of America: Warner Bros.

The Kenpo Creed. (n.d.)

The Creed of the Kenpo School. (n.d.)

 

Grafting

*The next two blog posts will be longer posts featuring articles written by our two most recent Black Belts, Kristie Fox and Brittany Corrigan, in preparation for their Black Belt Test. This week we are featuring Kristie's article, which takes a unique look at the concept of "grafting." It was fun to read her perspective on this as a scientist. Come back next week for a great post from Brittany on the avoidance of battle.


Grafting is a horticultural technique used to join parts from two or more plants so that they appear to grow as a single plant (Bilderback, NC State).  These techniques are used to change varieties, repair damaged plants, increase the growth rate of seedlings, and get double benefits from combined strong varieties.  As horticulturalists combine trees of complimentary traits to breed a more resilient or fruitful variety of tree, martial artists have combined the best traits of one martial art with another to breed not only a long lineage of influence and wisdom but also the benefit of combining the best of numerous cultures and people into a single system of self-defense. 

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 I’ll never forget one of my very first classes with SiJo Bruce – it was the first time I had heard the word “grafting” used in connection with the martial arts.  We were taking one of the easier punch defense combinations and adding it to the end of a club defense.  Now I had been fairly proud of my combination in the past, and I had learned the club defense reasonably well.  However, when I attempted to “graft” the techniques together, it was a disaster.  I couldn’t get the motion down and I kept mixing the order of the techniques.  It was painful.  The idea was to take the lessons from each of the techniques together and make them a stronger, more robust form of self-defense.  That was four years ago.  I didn’t realize at the time that this was just the beginning of the application of grafting into my own martial arts experience.  As I began to learn techniques from some of the different arts in the FILKENJUTSU method, including Filipino Kali, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and Kenpo with deep Asian roots, I was inspired by the international and historical significance of all the different arts – all in their own way contributing to the whole, complex idea of self-defense. I’m a bit better at grafting now, and I understand better what Bruce Lee meant by “A so-called martial artist is the result of three thousand years of propaganda and conditioning.”  

 Kristie with some of her training partners after testing for Purple Belt in Kenpo. Purple belt is a big step in a student's Kenpo journey as it is the first intermediate rank, and the student switches to a black uniform.

Kristie with some of her training partners after testing for Purple Belt in Kenpo. Purple belt is a big step in a student's Kenpo journey as it is the first intermediate rank, and the student switches to a black uniform.

The martial arts have grown out of many years of challenging oneself, fighting, and training individuals throughout history.  While some of the arts have died out from lack of usefulness or changing cultural conditions, each has left its mark on the martial arts that we practice today.  The application, adjustment, and improvement of each art into a new culture or time period has developed into a grafted system stronger than any of the original arts in their independent state.  As the martial arts developed and traversed many Asian countries into the Hawaiian Islands, throughout Brazil, and finally across mainland United States, each movement configured a more complete and thorough system, improving each former technique in its weaknesses and maintaining and developing its strengths.  The result is a method like FILKENJUTSU that draws on these grafted ideas and produces a more robust living system that continues to grow and improve in the same manner as its ancestors.

 Kristie's 5 children all train martial arts too! Photo credit to Julio Culiat.

Kristie's 5 children all train martial arts too! Photo credit to Julio Culiat.

While we are not completely clear on all the details, it seems that somewhere between the 5th and 6th century BC, Daruma, a Buddhist monk, prince, and warrior from India who traveled to a Shaolin temple in China discovered the monks had become physically weak.  He taught them simple movements that developed into what we now know as the martial arts.  Later, those traditions, which became the roots of the Kenpo system of martial arts, migrated to Japan most likely through the Buddhist temples.  Of course, our written records from this time are sparse and the details are unclear, but the tradition of training with movement for physical strength is certain.  The Kenpo practices developed and were passed down within families for many generations.

 Kristie with friends and training partners, Brittany Corrigan and Linda Davis before running the Secret City Half Marathon.

Kristie with friends and training partners, Brittany Corrigan and Linda Davis before running the Secret City Half Marathon.

There are many other roots that we see develop in these Asian countries.  In Japan for another 1000 years, there was much upheaval and turmoil. Power struggles amongst wealthy landowners were common place.  The samurai developed as warriors that fought for local lords to rule a particular area (Usborne 271).  These were highly trained individuals with a strong code of honor.  Jiu-Jitsu was the art developed by the Samurai.  They were usually armored and on horseback.  Jiu-Jitsu developed as a way to fight when they found themselves on the ground and without a weapon and it evolved to include throwing, joint-locks and strangles due to the restricted mobility and agility from the armor.   As Japan opened its borders to Westernization in the mid to late 1800s, the samurai tradition fell out of favor.  Jigoro Kano (1860-1938), an educated man and a practitioner of Jiu-Jitsu, recognized the usefulness and importance of Jiu-Jitsu, and took many of the same ideas and techniques but developed a new name –Judo meaning the gentle way and adjusted the art so that it could be practiced both safely and realistically and would be more accepted by a people ready for the samurai traditions to fall by the wayside..  It was the official art used by law enforcement in the late 1800s, and continues to be popular to this day.  As each of these arts in China and Japan grew and spread throughout the country, it retained the best traits of the tradition from which it came while grafting in new and more progressive ideas as it developed with the people and culture of its time. 

 Kristie with her teacher, David Corrigan, after being promoted to Blue Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

Kristie with her teacher, David Corrigan, after being promoted to Blue Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

Another significant development emerged as Kenpo spread across the Pacific Ocean and was introduced to the island of Hawaii.   James Mitose was born in Hawaii in 1916 but was sent to Japan at an early age for his formal education at the family temple.  The martial art and religious system his family practiced had been taught only to family members in secrecy due to the upheaval in Japan for the last several hundred years.  It was called Kosho Shorei Ryu – The Old Pine Tree School.  He returned to Hawaii and started teaching his art in Hawaii.  After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Mitose recognized the need for a shift in precious family traditions.  He opened a school so that all races could be instructed in his family’s art.  This was a significant shift in martial arts training which had historically tended to stay within family groups (specifically, particular castes of society).  It began to take on a distinctly American flair.  The idea that all races could benefit from this type of training was a “melting pot” influence brought to the forefront by Mitose’s experience and struggle with the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor.  This particular “graft” of new ideas into old ones became the major branch from which most Kenpo traditions in the West have stemmed.  

 61 hours into her Black Belt test, over 40 years old, and mom of 5.

61 hours into her Black Belt test, over 40 years old, and mom of 5.

Around the same time, Maeda, a Japanese practitioner of Judo, migrated to Brazil.  He was a direct student of Jigoro Kano and skilled in the art of Jiu Jitsu & Judo.  He was assisted by a local politician, Gastao Gracie.  In thanks, Maeda agreed to teach his son the art of Jiu Jitsu.  Subsequently, the Gracie family opened the first Brazilian Jiu Jitsu school in 1925.  They continued to develop the style with no-rules fighting contests both in the academy and on the streets.  Similar to the Hawaiian neighborhoods, Brazil was known for its rough and rowdy neighborhoods and gangs.  This “testing” of their style of self-defense helped to draw back in some of the more ancient but very practical and tangible techniques of self-defense.  Nonetheless, the training maintained its “sustainable” status using techniques that could be continually practiced throughout the lifetime of the student without great injury. Once again, the political and cultural landscape helped to determine the growth and direction of a practical and useful method of self-defense as martial artists grafted some old ideas back into a more developed and progressive system.

 Kristie, with her husband, Sam, and their 5 children - Austin, Eli, Maggie, Grady, and Mollie. The whole family trains at PMA!

Kristie, with her husband, Sam, and their 5 children - Austin, Eli, Maggie, Grady, and Mollie. The whole family trains at PMA!

The Gracie family and Mitose’s students were trained and tested in Brazil and Hawaii, respectively and continued to develop their arts.  Eventually both arts moved across mainland United States.  Mitose’s student, William Chow, trained Adriano Emperado, who together with the Black Belt Society, developed the system of Kajukenbo – which recognized the need to combine all the greatest aspects of different martial arts including Karate, Judo & Jiu Jitsu, Kenpo, and Kung Fu.  These martial artists gathered together in Hawaii and trained one another. They shared methods that combined hard powerful techniques with throwing, locks and sweeps, fluid hand motions, flexibility, agility, and evasions.  This major graft once again had a distinctly American ideal in recognizing the gifts and talents of different histories, the weaknesses of each system, and  combining them to create an even more efficient and successful system of self-defense (Walton, Kajukenbo History).  Students of the Kajukenbo system eventually moved to the United States and the art that developed from so many various arts spread across the U.S.  Additionally, the Gracie family migrated to the U.S. and created the Ultimate Fighting Championship which tested their Jiu Jitsu style against any other system of self-defense.  While for a time Jiu Jitsu was a completely dominant system in these fights, over time it created a new style of student who must learn numerous styles of martial arts in order to become a complete competitor.  As these arts migrated across the US, many wise students continued to recognize the need to draw on the various styles of martial arts and sought training under various instructors. The grafting of techniques from one art to another continued.

 Female FILKENJUTSU Black Belts!

Female FILKENJUTSU Black Belts!

The story of the martial arts throughout history is a great parallel to the history of our people.  There were many creative developments and inventions, as well as numerous failings and abuses throughout history.  None of the fathers of any of these arts were without mistakes or shortcomings.  Each story is laden with missteps, pride, and arrogance.  Yet the strength of the story of the self-defense system we use today lies not in the perfection of a single person or system, but in the idea that we can draw on the experience and history of those before us, and by applying their wisdom and adding our own, we can continue to grow into a life-giving system that’s strength is far beyond what one people or system could create on their own.  It is quintessentially American.  Our forefathers, in the creation of our own system of government, took the ideas of many different governments such as England, France, and even the native Iroquois people, to come together and create an even stronger system of government.  Grafting is not seamless.  John Bunyan said it this way, “Where there is grafting there will always be a cutting, the graft must be let in with a wound; to stick it onto the outside or to tie it on with a string would be of no use. Heart must be set to heart and back to back or there will be no sap from root to branch.”  John 15 in the Bible says, “No branch can bear fruit by itself, it must remain in the vine.” (New International Version, John 15:4). There have been numerous breaks in relationships resulting in irreparable divides as students parted ways with their instructors.  Nonetheless, we find that those minor injuries where the grafting actually occurred and NOT the severing of a branch – those are the places that become the strongest and offer the most life to the tree of modern self-defense.

 Kristie on the day she received her Black Belt, with her FILKENJUTSU Black Belt brothers and sisters.

Kristie on the day she received her Black Belt, with her FILKENJUTSU Black Belt brothers and sisters.

The FILKENJUTSU method is a great example of the power and elegance of grafting.  By patiently pursuing various martial arts and their histories, SiJo Bruce Corrigan has created an extremely strong and deeply rooted system by grafting well-tested systems into a complete system that will fit any person regardless of their strengths and weaknesses.  The opportunity to learn both the system and history of FILKENJUTSU will not only grow a student in the methods of self-defense but will also introduce them to the martial arts way of life that seeks out tried and true techniques and grafts them into their own lifestyle.  Bruce Lee said, “Adapt what is useful, reject what is useless, and add what is specifically your own.” As a student of FILKENJUTSU, I recognize that I must remain patiently attached to the tree to receive the benefits, knowledge, and experience of what is useful.  Launching to seed and going off on my own would only lead to cutting myself off from the resources that I gain from an extensive root system.  I hope that we as martial artists are more interested in the root of martial arts than the different decorative branches, flowers or leaves.  It is futile to argue as to which single leaf, branch design, or attractive flower you like. When you understand the root, you understand all that contributes to the growth of the art and the individual.

Works Cited

Bilderback, Ted, et al. “Grafting and Budding Nursery Crop Plants.” NC State Extensions Publications, NC State, 30 June 2014, content.ces.ncsu.edu/grafting-and-budding-nursery-crop-plants.

Bingham, Jane, et al. The Usborne Internet-Linked Encyclopedia of World History. EDC Publishing, 2009.

Birch, Jane, et al. The Kingfisher History Encyclopedia. Kingfisher, 2004.

Cho, David LoPriore Sensei Kai. “A History of Kosho Shorei Ryu.” Oldpinetree.com Portal - Home, Kosho Shorei Shin Kai, www.oldpinetree.com/kssk/History-of-KSR.html.

Gregoriades, Nic. “A Brief History of Jiu-Jitsu.” Jiu-Jitsu Brotherhood - Grappling & Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Videos and Techniques, Jiu-Jitsu Brotherhood, www.jiujitsubrotherhood.com/starting-brazilian-jiu-jitsu/a-brief-history-of-jiu-jitsu/.

Lee, Bruce. Tao of Jeet Kune Do. Black Belt Books, 2014.

Mitose, James M. In Search of Kenpo. Kosho-Shorei Pub. Co., 1984.

The Holy Bible: New International Version. Zondervan, 2005.

Walton, Charlie. “Kajukenbo History.” Kajukenbo History, Kajukenbo.org, www.kajukenbo.org/history/.