Kali Tactics for Stopping a Grappler

It’s not about who’s better, or which art is better. In reality, it’s about who gets to the best position and tactic first. Respect all martial arts and martial artists but, most of all train with each other, learn and have fun!

Kali instructor Paul Ingram shows how he uses slapping as a tactic to destabilise a BJJ black belt. He uses the reaction to grab an ear or reach for a weapon.


Jedi Mind Tricks

“Art of misdirection”… “power of persuasion”…”Jedi Mind Tricks”…call it what you want, not everything is what it seems. Here Senshido’s Wes Derequito explains how body language matched with proper verbal defusing can help you gain an advantage in a potentially violent confrontation.


The 5 Gates

Out of the corner of your eye, you see something coming towards your head… with malicious intent. Is it a fist, bat, blade, or… a magpie? (At least in Sydney, AU, yes that’s one potential attack Yi need to be aware of the possibility of). You don’t have time to discern what it is exactly, nor the precise angle or trajectory of the attack.

Depending on how close and sudden you’ve perceived the threat to be, you may instinctively shield your head with your arms before anything else, in order to protect your brain. If the threat is a bit further away and you’re actually paying attention, observing your environment, it would tend to be a bit less of a surprise, as you’re afforded the luxury of space and time. If you’re not actively observing your surroundings however, then it doesn’t matter how close or sudden an attack is because by that stage you’ve likely already fallen victim. Awareness is by far your strongest power base for self-defense.

However, if someone is deceptive enough, or sudden enough and with enough violence of action, you can still be caught unawares, at least to a degree. And that can potentially induce some kind of instinctive reaction in relation to the perceived direction of the object (weapon) you feel is getting too close for comfort. Now that weapon (presuming hand / edged or impact weapon) will be traveling along a certain trajectory, or line of attack. And so the logic goes that you needn’t learn a counter to this, this and that move, but rather one counter that will effectively neutralize any attack originating from that angle. And so on for all the angles of attack.

The Filipino Martial Arts describe up to 12 angles of attack, generally. The problem is that most people simply will not have the time to recognize subtle differences in angle like this. And at the end of the day, the variation in your response to any one of those minute angles is insignificant; your response will not really change in essence.

Therefore if we were to simplify the Filipino 12 angles of attack, we might come up with four areas, zones or gates, ala Wing Chun, from where an attack might travel along. From this perspective, anything that comes from the general area of “Gate 1”, corresponding very roughly to the Filipino “Angle 1”, can be dealt with using the same or similar response (whatever that may be for you). And so on for Gate 2, 3 and 4. What Gates 1-4 all have in common is that they travel AROUND centerline. And given that, they can all be dealt with utilizing the same defensive concept, taking into account whether the attack is coming in in the high line (gates 1 & 2), the low line (gates 3 & 4), from the left (1 & 3) or from the right (2 & 4).

In the JKD school of thought, there is a 5th gate, and in contrast to gates 1-4, the 5th gate trajectory is linear, coming not around but THROUGH the centerline. Gate 5 attacks can be high or low, but they are all linear.

In this video, I explain the “Five Gates” and give examples of counters and follow ups for the context of street self-defense. Enjoy.


Attacking the Eyes Pre-Emptively and Non-Telegraphically

In this video, Michael Matlijovski of KMA Shellharbour shows how to attack the eyes in a pre-fight scenario where your threat assessment tells you that your opponent is too dangerous for you to simply walk away from. In order to get that first shot in, you need the element of surprise on your side, and so masking your intentions to strike is of paramount importance. In addition to masking your intentions behvaiourally, you also need to reduce any telltale signs that your strike is coming during its physical execution. Ideally your strike should be felt before it is seen. There are various ways to accomplish this, and here Michael explains how. Enjoy.


Defending a Straight Right in a Street Fight

Michael Matlijovski shows a defense to a right cross found in Filipino Martial Arts as well as Korean Hapkido – the brush, trap and power slap. The brush and trap serve as a deflective entry, opening up the opponent’s center and setting up the power slap.



Taking the Back & Getting the Choke in a Street Fight

There are only two surefire ways to end a fight physically – knock out or choke out. You can do an incredible amount of damage via ripping, tearing, gouging, even breaking limbs etc etc, but these type of tactics will not necessarily stop a determined or jacked up opponent.

When executed properly, a rear sleeper hold (otherwise known as a rear naked choke) – temporarily cutting the blood supply off to the brain – is an effective way to de-escalate a fight by force. This footage (ca 2005) was shot during a live class at UNSW.

Trevor Wilcox teaches the Blauer Mirror Drill and Spear Entry as a basis for applying arm drags to gain efficient access to the opponent’s back and end the fight by rear sleeper. Two choke entry variations are shown as well as additional footage of students working the material in class.


Kick Defense from the Ground

Whichever way you look at it, being in an inferior position on the ground in any fight sucks, sport or street. It sucks even more on the street, where you most definitely don’t go to the ground by choice. Perhaps you slip or trip and fall, maybe you are shoved and lose balance, both you and your opponent might fall to the ground during the struggle of a clinch, maybe your opponent is bigger and stronger than you, or maybe he has some takedown knowledge, whether or not it’s from martial arts (e.g. rugby).

Regardless of how you might get there, the fact of the matter is that ground happens. And if it does, your priority is to survive and get yourself to a better position. For the street, better position always means on your feet where you are mobile, and ideally your opponent less mobile so that he has a reduced ability, no matter how temporarily, to chase you as you make an escape to safety.

In this video, Michael Matlijovski shows a kick defense tactic for situations in which your opponent is standing and trying to kick you in the head while you are on your back. A bad situation to be in. Enjoy and look out for more great material from Michael in the near future.


Guillotine Defense

The guillotine is a staple submission in any grappler’s or mixed martial artist’s arsenal, and variations of it can also be common in the street in the form of a front headlock, etc. Being choked in any way shape or form is not a fun experience, but there are some simple checks and balances that you can put in place to ensure you don’t get your air or blood supply cut off, preventing you from being choked unconscious, or worse. Once you’ve saved your neck so to speak, you can retaliate according to the rules of engagement governing the context of your fight. Combat sports, self-defense, security, law enforcement etc, are all contexts that carry with them different rules of engagement which in turn dictate the retaliatory tactics that the defender can respond with.

Michael Matlijovski of KMA Champion Martial Arts Shellharbour teaches the fundamentals of a guillotine defense.


What’s your sign?

Not just a cheesy pick up line, but actually a very useful tool while working the “door” at a bar and/or club. What I mean by this is; EVERYONE knows their astrological sign, right? However if your birthday is March 25th, you most likely don’t know, nor don’t care about the astrological sign for someone whose birthday is June 6th. Hence, while working the door a patron presents you an ID (and you suspect its fraudulent, maybe their older brother or sister’s ID)… ask them “What’s your sign?” If they give you ANY answer besides the correct “sign,” you know it’s a fake ID and therefore potentially saving your employer’s liquor license, which in turn, keeps you employed.


Quick example: a few weeks ago I was working “the door” of a popular Los Angeles nightclub. A gentleman didn’t have his ID, and begged me to let him in with the rest of his friends. In my opinion he did look to be in his mid-twenties and could easily pass for the “legal age.” I refused, stating that the ABC (Alcohol Beverage Commission) was very strict over the past few weeks and our nightclub would therefore lose their business if I let him in without proper identification. After a few more minutes of his whimpering and standing near the club entrance like a vulnerable homeless puppy, he left with a friend (whom had already entered the club legally and therefore was “stamped” for re-entry.)

Two minutes later the friend reappeared, showed his stamp, and entered back into the club. Fifteen minutes after that, the gentleman without his ID returned, this time his ID was out and ready… (not in his wallet, like everyone else who comes to a club/bar.) I immediately realized that (1) how did he get home and back to the club so fast on a busy LA night, with traffic going every which way? Which, by the way is insanely impossible to do on a Friday night in Los Angeles. (2) Why wasn’t his ID in his wallet? Well, because he didn’t have one… which leads to an internal rhetorical question, as to how is he going to be an actual customer without any money? And (3) This photo looks VERY similar to his friend whom he exited with fifteen minutes prior.

Intently staring at the ID, I asked him what’s his birthday, which he immediately rattled off: “March 8th, 1984.” “Great” I replied. Handing back his ID I asked him what his “sign” was. Without thinking he replied “LIBRA.”

“Gotcha!” Libra’s are: September 23rd – October 22nd. From there, I denied him entry and informed him that it’s our clubs policy that we must immediately notify the police of ANY fake ID’s and/or impersonation. Speaking into my microphone I said: “Code 7 at the door,” (We don’t have a Code 7) and then informed him that the police usually arrive within 3-4 minutes of a Code 7. And if he wanted, he could hang around and show the ID to the officers. He left in disbelief.

Donnie B Old School Muay Thai vs Street Haymaker

This is purely a street specific technique. A haymaker is a commonly thrown punch in the bar / club setting , and a gift from god as it provides so many targets for you to choose from. The multiple opponent stuff is sloppy, but you have to remember that no multiple opponent situation will ever be exactly as you train it to be.
– Donnie B