Affordable Wing Chun Kung Fu lessons

Many people have heard of Wing Chun Kung Fu courtesy of the IP MAN movies, as well as its most famous practitioner: Bruce Lee. Have you ever had the desire to learn it, but you don’t have a school near you? Or maybe there is one, but you can’t afford it?
Well now both your problems are solved, thanks to Steve Grogan’s Wing Chun Kung Fu lessons, exclusively for sale on!
Steve has studied Wing Chun since 1995, learning from both the Ip Ching and Leung Sheung lineages. Across 4 lessons, he teaches different Wing Chun forms and includes lots of juicy extras. Each lesson is laid out in a Basic, Standard, and Premium package.
SIL LUM TAO: The first form, which introduces the most common hand techniques. Premium package includes these FREE gifts:
                   Centerline theory
                   How wing chun is different from other styles
                   CIRCUIT TRAINING: an ebook on one of Steve’s favorite exercise routines
CHUM KIU: The second form, which introduces pivoting and kicking. Premium package includes these FREE gifts:
                   Increase your power
                   Why Wing Chun favors speed over strength
                   NUTRITION GUIDE: Steve’s guide to affordable, healthy eating
BIU JEE: The third form, which introduces techniques like elbows and finger jabs. Premium package includes these FREE gifts:
                   Chi Sao explained
                   The Straight Blast: what it is and when to use it
                   THE SEARCH FOR THE WARRIOR’S PATH: Steve’s musings on the wide world of martial arts
MOOK JONG: Also known as the Wooden Dummy, this lesson is self-explanatory. Premium package includes these FREE gifts:
                   How to improve footwork
                   Immoveable elbow theory
                   THE BULLY FREE FITNESS GUIDE TO A BULLY-FREE LIFE: the main tome of Steve’s business (currently in the works), Bully Free Fitness, which looks into the phenomenon of bullying and explains how to live bully-free
Check out each individual page for some amazing extra offers, like express delivery, one-on-one Skype time with Steve, and several other cool videos. Start your path to Wing Chun mastery today!

Self Defense Considerations for Men

Much has been written in books, ebooks and blogs about how resource predators might focus on women as mugging targets, but men certainly aren’t immune. If a predator notices distraction, self doubt, or weakness he’ll just as soon take down a man as a woman. Also, keep this in mind. A resource predator can be turned into a survival predator under the right circumstances, and a survival predator losses almost all sense of barrier between themselves and their target.

Consider a drug addict who is coming down off of a high. That drug addict quite literally feels like he is dying, and the only way to save his own life is to get a few hundred dollars fast for the next fix. If you happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time your confident stride won’t save you. He is attacking.

Most men think of muggings as one-on-one showdowns. The attacker walks up, shows you the gun or knife, and demands your stuff. You give it to him, but if he looks away for a second…wam! Chuck Norris kick to the hand or head and it’s on. Realistically, when a mugger wants to attack anyone (especially a man) they want as little fight as possible. That means the attack is coming as a suckerpunch or quick stick in the ribs. No muss, no fuss. Your stuff is theirs and they are on their way down the road.

Alternatively, criminals who hang out in a pack will overwhelm you with sheer numbers. This is useful for two reasons:
1. They get your stuff
2. They get to enforce territory and prove to each other how “bad” they are

A robbery like this is both asocial (for monetary gain) and social (prestige gain). While mental and emotional manipulation does happen, the likelihood of violence to put things in order is much higher. When one male feels threatened by another they begin a display of chest puffing, finger pointing, loud noises, etc. This dance can be activated over territory dispute, rule infraction (educational beatdown), or some other perceived slight. In fact, it can start with no provocation at all if the monkey in question wants to prove a point to everyone around them or to their particular group (status seeking shill). The interesting thing about social violence for men is that it isn’t just the little guys who are susceptible. True, smaller men can be pushed around and beaten for fun, which is essentially grown up bullying, but large men can prove more valuable prey. When a large man is beaten a real point is proved and the individual/group doing the beating gains even more prestige. Avoiding social violence is more feasible than most men think.  Always remember Michael J. Fox in “Back to the Future”. Nobody calls him chicken…and he repeatedly gets into bad situations because of it.

We humans are sensitive creatures, especially to the subtle cues given off by one another. A criminal’s job is to find viable prey in the right place at the right time. If you have the tools to raise their level of risk or doubt then they will likely pass you up for a better victim. It’s not guaranteed, but it ups your chances.

That being the case, you want as many tools as you can fit into your toolbox.

Tool #1: Training
This is going to seem obvious, especially to the martial artists reading this. Martial arts training can provide you with physical assets to defend yourself. Even more than that, they can give you a sense of confidence that exudes from your posture, eyes, mindset, and walk. As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I’m not an intimidating person in size or appearance. Nevertheless, through martial arts I have developed a gaze and motion that has helped me dissuade trouble on more than one occasion. Like I said, it’s not bulletproof, but it helps. In terms of choosing a particular martial art to aid in your self defense skills, I’m not going to recommend one over another. This article can help if you need a starting point. In truth, it’s going to be the quality of the teacher moreso than the art that helps you develop a potent skillset. Some arts like Krav Maga tend to get right to the point in terms of rape prevention, mugging assault, etc. Arts like Aikido take a more long-term path, but offer higher levels of personal serenity (useful for social encounters, right?). You need to take stock of yourself and your potential predators in order to find the art that will help you most. If all else fails, enroll in a self defense course locally and start building from there.

Tool #2: Habit Changing
While reading this article I hope you’ve come up with a few ways in which you are vulnerable. Perhaps you park in a bad neighborhood. Maybe you’ve walked home alone at night a few times. Whatever it is, you need to have the courage and willpower to make improvements. Walking alone from Class A to Class B may be convenient for you, but is it so unthinkable to inconvenience a friend to go with you? Are there no arrangements that can be worked out? This isn’t just for women. A lone male that looks like he has money and isn’t paying attention is just as vulnerable.

Tool #3: Personal Presence
Fake confidence is useless. Any decent criminal will see through it. Conversely, excessive bravado may instigate a social situation where you get an ego-deflating beatdown. What you really need to develop is personal presence. Personal presence is a smoothness and seriousness that indicates you’re not looking for trouble but are willing to participate if it finds you. Presence requires acute awareness. It isn’t jumpy, lazy, or angry. A smooth glance and a wry smile with serious eyes. These are presence. Prolonged training helps develop presence but you should work on it whether you have training or not. Start with the honest thought that if a person attacks you, you will fight back until you are dead. If you can genuinely adapt that mindset presence will come eventually.

Tool #4: Implements
Self defense needn’t be empty handed all the time. Any woman would be remiss if she didn’t travel with a convenient tool such as a Tazor, pepper spray, Kubotan, or even a gun if they are allowed on campus. The key here is learning how to use them in a pinch. As we mentioned earlier, assaults and muggings can occur quickly. In addition, most people aren’t used to their own adrenalized state and don’t realize the loss of fine motor control that happens. As such, a tool deeply buried in a purse or one that has finnicky gadgets is essentially useless. To make an implement valuable the individual MUST train with it and become routine in it’s usage. Dorm rooms are a must-have location for some sort of self defense weapon. What’s allowable will depend greatly on the university’s specific rules, so check them ASAP. I usually recommend a jo to anybody and everybody. In short, the jo is a piece of solid wood about three feet long. It attracts zero attention from RAs, roommates, friends, or anyone else. Why would it? It’s just a dowel rod that looks like you might hang clothes on it. Thanks to its compact size, the jo can be placed conveniently near your bed or doorway. Imagine if you were escaping from an aggressor where you might try to escape to, or where someone might try to take advantage of you. Have it near there. The length of the jo can keep the assailant out of arms reach until you gather your wits and are ready to really fight back. As a quick note for the jo, I recommend using a thrusting motion to the opponent’s face followed by repeated swinging motions to beat them into submission. Do not start with a swing as most people’s flinch reflex will block it or catch it. The straight thrust causes a better flinch and is much tougher to catch.

Tool #5: Smart Decisions
No one deserves to be assaulted, sexually harassed, or mugged. But that doesn’t mean it won’t happen or that your choices won’t effect the outcome. If you’re a woman and you find yourself walking around in high heels, a short skirt, half drunk and alone…well you know. It’s bad. If you’re a guy and you’re dressed very nicely, looking studious and nerdy, with an air about you that you’d really rather not fight…well you know. It’s bad. Keep cell phone usage to a minimum. Dress intelligently for your circumstances and if you need to be at risk in terms of clothing or activity utilize a group.

Athlon KickBoxing Challenge: 2016 WAKO West Coast Regional Championships


We are looking for martial artists wanting to compete in our KickBoxing Tournament to be held on Jan 23-24 inside the Los Angeles Convention Center during the Fit Expo. Check out our event poster and press release. Please help us make this new event a success!



Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Versus Japanese Jiu-Jitsu

Which is better for self-defence, Japanese or Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?

These are both fine styles, and while I am trained in a Japanese style of Jiu-Jitsu I have taken a handful of classes in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, attended a seminars, read the books, and followed the buzz.

In this comparison I say go for instructor and school over style.

Look for:
Safety in training
Technical excellence
Skilled and well-behaved students
Good training atmosphere
An emphasis that fits your goals
No lock-in contracts
An experienced martial arts practitioner is going to be in a better position to be discerning than a complete new-comer.

Some more on emphasis. Consider:
Self-defense vs sport
What are the main areas of technique that you are training?
Balance between drills (kata) and free practice (randori)
These factors vary from style-to-style and instructor to instructor.

The broad technical areas in martial arts are striking techniques, throwing techniques, standing grappling techniques, groundwork techniques, and weapons.

Japanese Jiu-Jitsu

In the style of jiu-jitsu that I practice the main areas of emphasis are throwing, groundwork, and standing grappling (what we call restraint and control). Striking is there from the outset, but has less emphasis, and weapons enter later. I personally emphasise the self-defence and health aspects, with a little competition for fun and stress-testing, but not an aim in-itself. We do mainly drills, with a little free practice. If we are optimized for one thing, it's general self-defence.

Because there were many styles of Japanese Jiu-Jitsu -- not to mention the "reconstituted" styles -- technical emphasis and training methods will vary from school-to-school.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

In Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu the main emphasis is going to be on groundwork, because that's their speciality. So if you opt for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu you can expect to get good at ground-work comparatively quickly, while development in other areas seem to be taught later, if at all. Sports / self-defence seems to vary between instructors, but since they are into no-holds-barred, my primary concern would be about safety-in-training. Expect lots of free practice, but this may vary between instructors.

While it is true that a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioner can bring a fight to the ground, in self-defense against multiple attackers you need to keep your feet to escape. You may need to look for a school that teaches a separate class in self-defense to complement the usual classes. The Royce and Charles Gracie book Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Self-defense Techniques shows what to look for (and the techniques shown look very familiar to anyone schooled in the Japanese techniques).


Instructor and school over brand. Talk to the instructor, ask around, see if you can try out a sample class. If you can find an "old-timer" who has been teaching for more than -- say -- 25 years, (s)he should have a good perspective on all these issues.

The essentials of Jeet Kune Do as a concept

Many people think that they can make there own version of Jeet Kune Do without taking a Jun Fan class. This is a serious mistake. Jeet Kune Do is a process, not a product, and it begins with Jun Fan. There is a strict process that you go through while taking classes in Jun Fan that will teach you the fundamentals that lead to Jeet Kune Do. In my studies early on I was taught that Jeet Kune Do is not a system; rather it is a concept. This is no simple matter, and is not amenable to a simple explanation. To follow the path Bruce Lee cut, we must begin with the fundamental elements Bruce Lee developed. Only when these Jun Fan fundamentals are mastered, can a JKD student begin to experiment with different styles, such that, over time, he or she can create an approach that is truly his or her own. This is not simply a matter of “add styles and stir”. Rather, there are defined concepts that one follows in developing a personal “style” based on the fundamentals of Jun Fan.

This “concept” expression of JKD became taboo in the 90’s when many Bruce Lee wannabes started telling the world that every “concept” person is not really doing “authentic” Jeet Kune Do. It was said that since they are doing Filipino Kali, Thai Boxing or Pechak Silat they were practicing arts that Bruce Lee did not know. Since he did not do it, neither should we. JKD, they said, should remain just exactly as Bruce Lee practiced it and never change. Nothing could be further from the truth. My instructor always encouraged us to grow and experiment in the same manner that his instructor (Bruce Lee) told him. We were instructed that the art should continue to evolve, that it had no boundaries. The evolution of JKD should not die with Bruce; but rather it is a living art, living in the hearts and minds of JKD practitioners everywhere. It was taught to me that Bruce Lee was forever researching different martial arts and that he himself was constantly changing with the times and different influences around him. Ask anyone who knew him and they would tell you that the 18-year-old Bruce Lee they knew was not the same as the 32-year-old man they had known before he died. Commonsense would tell you that there would naturally be changes in a teen maturing into a man. So why is it so hard for everyone to come to terms with Bruce Lee’s concept of Jeet Kune Do providing the intellectual foundation for the continued growth of the art even after the man is gone? Bruce Lee founded a school of thought as much a martial style. Like anyone who founds a way of thinking, be it Sigmund Freud inventing modern psychology or Margaret Meade inventing modern Anthropology, theirs is only the first word on the subject, not the last. The subject continues to grow through those who follow their lead and apply their concepts. For us life goes on, just as Bruce Lee wanted it to.

Bruce said that the only thing you can be sure of is change. So, my instructor continued on with this philosophy and continued to grow and develop the art, bringing in new influences and new ideas. My instructor started to research other methods just as his instructor (Bruce Lee) had done. Bruce Lee talked about the martial artist as being the sculptor. But in order to begin sculpting one needs a mass to start chiseling at. This mass would be the systems you study. It is not acceptable to look at one system and say that I like their roundkick and to look at another system and say I like that punch, so now I have just created my own system of Jeet Kune Do. This arbitrary association of preferences ignores the key concepts of JKD. What Bruce wanted was for the student to go through a system thoroughly, and only after he or she understood the system fully, its advantages and disadvantages can he or she really start to chip away at it. Only someone who has mastered one or more systems can begin to add and remove what does not work specifically work for that person. Student must know that no two truths are the same. Everyone is unique; this is concept one and, for some reason, very hard for many to understand. This is why my instructor teaches Jun Fan and Jeet Kune Do Concepts. Jun Fan does not change; it is the foundation and will remain forever the gift Bruce Lee left us. On the other end Jeet Kune Do is not a system and it is not bound by the same rules as Jun Fan; so it is forever changing. Jeet Kune Do, because it is just a way of thinking, is an approach, an attitude taken by the individual based on Jun Fan principles. For this reason every Jeet Kune Do instructor will look different and perform differently. Since they are being true to themselves, and individualizing the art to truly create a system that will serve them, no two will look the same. But if the artist starts with a solid foundation in Jun Fan, and follows the concepts as they develop what works for them, that practitioner will know Jeet Kune Do as Bruce Lee really meant it to be known.

Focus: Chinese Long Swords

Here are a few fun items I’ve run across. The first is a video from the National Geographic Channel about Chinese long swords. I’m kind of a sucker for documentaries about this sort of thing, even when they are a little simplistic.

The second is a website I’ve liked for a while now, I’m not sure how I found it, probably through an aikido-mate, but however I did, I’m glad. The website has a few pay items, but a number of freebies. It’s a great source for translations and demonstrations of old Chinese martial arts. Finding and studying such resources are a great benefit for any martial artist interested in his/her history of their art, whether ancient or modern.

Many martial arts today are more-or-less descendants of such older arts. Knowing how people used them back in their more military days is enlightening. Many weapons we know today were somewhat different in the past. Some weapons were more in vogue, but for one reason or another fell out of favor. One example being the Japanese battle sword which was replaced by the smaller and more familiar sword. Very few of these examples exist today. There’s an example in the video on this page.

Reading from the above website, this type of weapon came over from China and the fighting style was changed by the Japanese and was effective enough that the Chinese were developing styles to defend against it. In any case, fighting against someone who’s effective in using a 2+ meter blade would be pretty tough. In any case, this is some of the stuff that’s out there and frankly, pretty interesting. I think the history is often far more interesting than the myths, but that’s me. [reblogged from]

Tips for Mixed Martial Arts Newbies

There are two kinds of MMA fighters – those that train for fun and those that train as a career. No matter which kind you’d class yourself as, everyone has to start somewhere. Whether you already know that you want to go on to be an MMA fighter or you’d just like to use it as a way to build muscle, knowing how to start is the key.
Getting into MMA fighting can be difficult, especially if you’ve got no idea where to start. With perseverance and continued effort though, you’ll be able to notice the improvements in your body before long.
Follow these top 10 training tips to get yourself started:
1.) Do your research

Before you join a gym to start getting into MMA, research your options. You should always join a gym or a training programme where MMA is a key player. Go for gyms that lots of MMA fighters attend, or go to MMA classes.

2.) Try before you buy

A lot of gyms will offer free ‘taster’ sessions in MMA, so you can try it out before you commit yourself. Even if you’ve got experience of other martial arts, MMA might not be right for you. Give yourself a bit of time to figure out if you enjoy it.

3.) Be honest

If you do decide to keep at it, you’ll need to be open and honest about your fitness levels. Your trainer will need to know precisely where you need to begin; otherwise you might end up harming yourself. Don’t worry about being embarrassed – as mentioned, everybody has to start somewhere.

4.) Always stretch

MMA isn’t just about strength; flexibility also plays a big part in this discipline. Stretching after your MMA workouts can help to improve your flexibility, and it’s likely to become one of the easiest parts of your training. You’ll need to keep at it though, as skipping your stretching can quickly put you right back where you started.

5.) Forget about bodybuilding

Bodybuilding and MMA do not mix. While you do need a high level of strength in order to overpower opponents in the ring, being too built up can drastically limit yourself. Bodybuilding and MMA use completely different techniques, with MMA being fluid and bodybuilding being static and single-jointed. You’ll still need to do some weight training when doing MMA, but you should forget about attained the same kind of bulging muscles as professional weightlifters.

6.) Work on your core

By training your core you’ll be able to increase the power of your punches and kicks. This is because your core is the centre of your being; it’s where all of your strength comes from in the first place. Try hanging leg raises, sit up punches, plank rolls and other core exercises to build up your strength.

7.) Eat the right foods

An MMA fighter’s diet needs to be high in protein, fat and carbohydrates. You’ll need
to take nutritional supplements to increase your protein intake, and make sure you’re
consuming enough calories per day to sustain your training levels. Eat foods such as:

- Turkey
- Eggs
- Fish
- Legumes
- Avocados
- Nuts
- Oils

8.) Be patient

Just as Rome wasn’t built in a day, you won’t become an MMA fighter overnight. The worst thing you could possibly do would be to rush into your training and begin doing exercises that are above your ability level. You should always push yourself, but understand that it takes time to build muscle, strength and flexibility.

9.) Get some rest

Getting enough rest following a workout is key to building your strength up. Your body needs time to rejuvenate after a high impact workout; otherwise the muscles you’ve focused on won’t get a chance to build up.

10.) Know your weaknesses

And finally, always understand what your weaknesses are in order to better yourself. Regularly reassess your workout regime so that you can switch and change it depending on which parts of the body you need to work on. Be modest enough to admit to yourself where you need help, and ask for advice from fellow MMA fighters if you think you need some assistance.