Main Sections of the Site
This website contains a lot of information, so it is important to know what is here, so you know what to look for. The order if the material in the menus is the order of learning - understanding, stances, movements, blocking then application of all the previous into defense techniques. The content of this site is as follows:
- Navigation - How to move around this site to get from any point to any point
- Content Customizing - How to save articles you like so you can find them easily
- Defense Basics - This covers several sections to prepare for training. 1. Pointers to avoid situations where you will need to defend yourself, 2. Being safe in training and not hurting yourself or your training partners, 3. the Yin Yang symbol and how you can use the 'balances' it teaches to get a lot more out of training, and 4. Warming up and stretching so you are less likely to strain yourself during training.
- Stances - all movements need a strong and flexible stance. These need to be learned before you learn the technical side of defense
- Movements - This covers the movements that will be used in the self defense techniques. We will first explain the basic aspects and requirements of the movements, so all will be better and stronger, then we will show the first 39 different movements - all have different applications. The beginners will learn the common ones and the Advanced students will be given more challenge. There is also a section here that discusses moving from one movement to another, and how to make one flow into another.
- Basics of blocking - if you can't block, you will be hit and no defenses will be useful. This section explains how to best block an attack so you are not struck. Often a strong block alone will cause an attacker to think twice.
- Types of Attacks - Understanding how you can be attacked will prepare you for the defense. The aim here is to know what is likely to happen so you can choose how you will defend before the attack comes out - you do not want to wait for an attack to come before then deciding how you will react. Beginners will learn the common punches, pushes and grabs and will learn and practice the initial blocking for them.
- Defense Techniques - Now you will have learned stances and movements, how the attack will come and how to block, you can now assemble all that information into effective counters. This is grouped into attackes from punches, wrist grabs and body grabs for ease of searching. This is also not only tagged by movements, so you can research individual movements, but is tagged by 'Soft' and 'Hard' techniques, so you can choose 'Soft' if you want to learn to protect yourself but don't want to learn to hit anyone.
Advanced Defense - This section is for the next level of learning - those of you that want to really understand what is going on and why - how to make all your previous learnings faster and harder. In the 'Movement Mid-positions' section you will learn more uses for the movements by using the 'loadup' positions as defensive movements. In the 'Mechanics of Strikes' section, you will study all the different aspects of each movement and understand how you can improve each part to add power and speed, and make the defense movements a lot more effective. A lot of club students will complain and defense movement does not work - this is the understanding they are missing. 'the 'Understanding the Body' section will cover all the parts of your body you can use to defend yourself, as well as all the points you are aiming for on your opponent.
Practice Drills - Once you have learnt the movements, you need to practice. This section does not discuss the execution of the movements as much, but gives you the drills to use to practice the movements. The more you practice, the more second nature the movements will be, the faster and the stronger.
The Process of Learning
One of the aims of this site is to explain the purpose and the risks for each topic – the student will learn why something is being done. Each of the techniques contains step by step photos and explanations about what is happening, how to perform the movement for the most efficiency. Ultimately, video clips with full speed and slow motion instruction will be added to compliment the photo instructions.
There are two levels of describing the process of learning:
1. Learning Self Defence as a subject.
Self defense contains many topics. For the whole subject to make sense, it needs to be learnt in a systematic way. The order of this site is the same as any self defense or martial arts club, although most clubs miss some important stages. Jumping around the topics will be confusing and will limit your learning. We will start with the basics and slowly build on those as you become comfortable with them. If you skip the basics, you will only cheat yourself - there are no shortcuts in learning something properly.
- Go through the Overview material. This will align definitions of self defense and cover not only safety aspects but fundamental ideas which will aid in all of your learning.
- Practice the Stances. All movements rely on a strong base, so this needs to be covered before techniques are practiced
- Practice the movements. All self defense techniques will use these movements, and if you are not performing them correctly, the defense techniques will not be as easy.
- Practise the blocking. Counters to attacks will not work well if you can not block quickly and effectively.
- Learn the main methods in which someone will attack, then practice the blocking movements for those attacks. The more you practice these, the faster and more natural they will become.
- Learn the self defense techniques - these will use all the previous steps you have learnt up until this point.
- Experiment with the range of techniques available and narrow these down to 6-10 of your most favourite. Practice them the most often, but keep practicing new ones.
- Continue to the Advanced Self Defense section which will not only give you a great deal of additional techniques, but gives a lot of tips and tricks on how to improve the speed and power of the ones you have already learnt.
It is important to note that none of this material is 'read once and forget' - regularly review previous material and remind yourself what it was. No-one can memorise all the information detailed here. Learn stances, for example, then learn movements, then review your stances to ensure you are not drifting off the material you have already learned. All good senior black belts in all arts will regularly practice movements they have been doing for years.
2. Learning the individual techniques.
While the section above refers to the whole training process, this section refers to the learning of each individual topic.
- Read the introductions to understand what is going to be covered and why.
- For each technique, read the explanations about what technique will be focussed on and why it is done, as well as the advantages and disadvantages for each. The more you know about the technique, the better it will work. A good technique used in the wrong application will not work - you need to understand 'why' something is being done.
- Step through the photos and associated instructions
- Practice with a partner, taking turns with the movements
- Record your favourite techniques to practice the most. The more you practice, the more natural and automatic they will be.