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I grew up in New York City back in the days when it was a dangerous place to be. The New York of today is really nice but when I was there it was an adventure to walk across the street. Anyway, at the tender age of eight I was in my first knife fight. My opponent was another eight year old kid who wanted the candy bar I had just bought.
I stepped out of the local candy store to find a scruffy looking kid threatening me with a knife.
“Give me that candy bar” he ordered.
To be honest, I was struck with terror, and I ran back into the candy store.
“Help me” I yelled to the shopkeeper “There’s a kid outside with a knife and he wants to cut me up!”
“That is none of my business” answered the shopkeeper “Get out of my store! Go!” he screamed, as he opened the door and threw me out. This was the old New York where nobody wanted to get involved with anything.
I walked out of the store. The kid was still there, and now he was grinning. He knew I had no one to help me, and he figured I was at his mercy. He waved the knife at me. Before he could say anything, I smiled at him and said
“Cool knife! Where did you get that?”
His expression changed from confident attacker to surprised kid. I stepped closer to him.
“I have a knife, but it’s nothing like yours.” I spoke.
He held the knife up sideways and said “I stole it from Sam’s Sporting Goods”
“You STOLE it!” I replied “Wow that's boss! How’d you do that?” (In 1960's NYC, 'boss' was the word for 'cool')
“I just put it in my pocket and walked out. They never knew” was the reply
I took my cheap little pocket knife out and showed it to him
“This is my knife. It’s OK for cutting stuff but no big deal. Want to see it?” I asked him
“Sure. Want to see mine?” he replied.
Hard to believe, but we looked at each other’s knives, talked awhile, and he forgot all about the candy bar that was now hidden in my pocket. We parted as some sort of friends.
Please pay attention to what happened here. I said something to affirm the other guy. I put myself below him. He had a cool knife, I had a so-so knife. I made him think he did something I admired. He stole the knife; I asked him how he did it. I established some level of trust, and then I exploited it by swapping knives with him. Now I had the good weapon and he had the cheap junk in his hand. At this point, I won the fight, hands down. We both walked away unharmed. A good ending to what could have been a disaster, and I kept my candy bar.
The sum of all martial arts is to maintain peace. If you can finesse the situation to maintain peace, you show yourself as a true martial artist. I was able to win this fight without striking a blow. I could describe other incidents from my life that turned out quite differently, but I look at this challenge as one of my greatest accomplishments.
Ignoring that first hit, not stopping to check before it’s over, it’s an honest lesson to practice. For a black belt, not knowing the shock and pain of true combat is a vital loss to one’s overall skill. The sharpest Katana was tested by cutting, not by assuming it was sharp. So should a martial artist know that they can receive as well as give a damaging blow and continue to defend themselves.
My Sensei demanded sparring in order to advance.150 hours to reach black belt in addition to skills and forms and every minute logged needed to be with another student or sensei of higher rank and skill. 150 hours for each rank after the first for the next. It was brutally hard, and ultimately saved my life.
During the summer of 1995, I was attacked by three “skinheads”. I know many of those reading this are from elsewhere in the world, so I’ll just say these skinheads fashioned themselves as white supremacist and shaved their heads as a mark of their kind. Regardless of the intentions they had for me, I left the confrontation with a broken eye socket, separated shoulder and split knuckle….
The initial hit was intended for the back of my skull. I passed them on the street and they immediately jumped me. I was turning to confront when the small club one of them was carrying hit me across the eye.
Ignore the pain, the shock, it’s not easy, but it will save you if you can do it. Remember the training, but don’t be kind when it’s you or them.
As the club came out of contact with my face and the white flash stopped, he took a ridge hand across his throat while his next friend wrapped his arm around my neck and started to “chicken wing” me, but didn’t have a good grip since I wasn’t going to let him have one. I grabbed his first two fingers and pulled him away and turned the hand over, I grabbed the other two fingers on the same hand and pulled them apart, his hand broke and split between the middle and third fingers. He was done, but throat guy and his uninjured friend were not. I got tackled and landed badly by the third guy who in hindsight was probably not very interested in this fight, he waited too long. I pushed guy three upwards and found his hands under me and tossed him as far forward as my legs would let me to get out of the hold, I had to tear a muscle in my left shoulder to get out. His face scraped across the concrete and I started to stand as his friend tried to hit me with the club again, hitting my arms and hand defending my face.
I pushed him away and as he approached again, hit him in the groin as hard as I could. He winced and doubled, I went for the club and used him to stand and kicked out his knee, bringing him down and finished with a cross elbow on the point of his jaw.
The scraped one received a final kick to his mouth as well and I will note, cried worse than the one with a split hand.
I needed surgery, suffered intense headaches and was generally not in a good mood for some time. But they lost. They lost a hand, teeth, a normal walking gate and probably the ability to make more skinheads for a while. I lived, and I have contact martial arts to thank for me keeping my head.
Sensei Christopher Lucente
My first experience was in a real street brawl using fudo-shin- ju-jitsu. It happened a night (8 p.m.) on home stretch ave. In georgetown guyana. I was with my friend, we were about to attend an event at the sports hall, so we were parking the car. Some guys approached us in a car and one said that they wanted the parking spot we were in. So i asked the guy 'who the f... Are you'? Two guys came out of the car and said 'do you know whose car this is? This is tops car' (tops is toppin butcher; a drug lord from guyana) after this tops came out of the car and he said to me ' they don't have no coolie bad man' and i said 'it don't have no ape that can fight with man'. So he challenge me to a fight and i took it. He ordered his body guards to keep out and to form a circle.
(he is very famous for running and grabbing you by th legs). He rushed to grab, i jumped in the air and came down with an elbow strike into the back of his neck, dropped in a zen and rolled to his right hand side. I stood up and he was still in a daze, so i went back in with a front jump kick, i hit him in the chest and he was leaning forward. I leaped into a cat stands and went behind him, i then stuck my fingers of my right hand into his nostril and pulled him backward using my left hand as a brace behind his neck. At that moment i asked him ' you want us to play this for real or not' and at this point he signaled me that he surrender. I let him go with the hope of the worse but he was honorable enough. He then said 'from today, respect for the man, but i will name you the coolie bully' (coolie refers to the indian race). This event can be confirmed by anyone in guyana.
My second incident
i was walking along ave.
Of the republic heading towars water street and just
in front of the bank of Guyana, three guys rush up to me. The first guy take
out a knife and swiped it across my face and i got
cut under my chin on the left side.(people in Guyana don't stick you up with a
knife, they use it and then ask later). At that moment i realised that it was
serious. Immediately i gave him a right front kick
somewhere between his groin and abdomen followed by a back kick with the same
foot to the other guy who was behind me. The guy to my left side, i attacked with a side kick, he moved and immediately i pivot on my left foot attacking with a spinning hook kick
with the right foot knocking him down. The rage was more that i was about to kill them. At that moment someone was approaching
from the direction of the bank and shouting 'stop! Stop! Police!' so i asked 'so where the f... Was you all the time'? He said
to me 'calm down,calm down, take it easy'.
My attackers were arrested and taken away. The guy claiming to be the police was really the chief security officer for the bank of Guyana and he said to me 'what i have seen was real and i am contracting you to teach my officers'. Therefore i was contracted by the bank of Guyana to teach their officers. Attached are the the letter of appreciation issued to me from the bank of Guyana and a group photo of the bank officers and myself.
During my visit to Barbados my student arranged to have a TV interview with myself concerning fudo-shin-ju-jitsu and giving those who would like to know more an opportunity to do so. A few guys called my student and told him that if his teacher is so good and could beat them, they would join me. The challenge was taken up under the condition that we fight for real. After the fight, the attached paper clipping speaks for itself.
On one particular Christmas time I was deployed on a special 'Shop Squad' targetting hieves in the city (Bristol) main shopping precinct. I called in to one large Camera store (Dixons) where the management would provide Police Officers with a drink from their vending machine. I noticed a suspious looking guy who was acting strange at one of the check outs. As I approached him he turned and elbowed me in the face and I tried to arrest him. I saw him pull something from his jacket which turned out to be a small knife and I began fighting with him. I eventually managed to restrain him until backup arrived.
As soon as the man had hit me, I had quite a violent struggle with him during which time I managed to press my personal radio button to shout for assistance from other Police Officers. What I didn't know at the time was hat as soon as the store manager saw the struggle he immediately locked the doors which actually prevented other Police officers coming to my assistance. Ater I had restrained him the manager opened the doors, so that other officers could come to my assistance.
Once I had restrained the man and taken him back to the Police Station I found that he was in possession of lots of stolen Bank Cards which he been using to obtain goods. I put him in a cell, each of which has a 9inch x 9inch security hatch on the door which can be opened. At this point I went off duty and handed the case over to another Police Officer who was taking over my duty.
I later discovered that the man had told the Officers in charge of the Prison Cells, that he couldn't breath and asked if the hatch could be left open, which they did for him. When officers weren't looking he managed to squeeze through the 9 inch x 9 inch opening, climb up over a security wall and barbed wire, plus climb a pipe that had a special 'anti-climb' surface, and escaped to freedom.
A Sergeant who was just going off duty recognised him in the street and had to restrain him again and take him back to the cells. This guy was desperate to avoid prison, but eventually he confessed and I believe he received a 6 month prison sentence.
On another evening a series of fights broke out along the night club area of the city centre, I saw one victim unconcious on the floor and had to shield him from a group who had kicked him to the ground.
I had lots of experiences of this nature, but sadly this was and is common for Police Officers to deal with. Several of my colleagues were killed on duty.
The mustering point for a 10-mile run in Miami was a park frequently used by homeless. It was late in the day and the vendors were shutting down when I went to visit the public restroom. I was standing at the trough, minding my own business (literally!) when I felt something hard pressed into my back and a voice over my left shoulder told me to remove my belt pouch (fanny pack) and hand it over my shoulder and "no one would get hurt."
These days I have to assume that anyone threatening me with a weapon intends to use it. I pivoted on my right foot, hooking my right arm under his (his gun hand), and capturing his right wrist immobile in my bent elbow. In this position I was 3/4 behind him and I brought my left arm across his neck, forcing him down and stretching him over my right knee.* I kicked out his sole remaining supporting leg and "helped" the back of his head make contact with the porcelain lip of the urinal, cutting open his scalp and leaving him unconscious. I then kicked his gun underneath him, found a policeman near the restroom and told him that there was a drunk sleeping in the men's room. I warned the cop to be careful because I believed the drunk was in possession of a firearm.
At the curb, a few blocks later, I "lost my lunch"... but I didn't lose my life.
* This is the "left hand down-block; right hand kamae" position found in Pinan Godan kata and most versions of Passai Dai kata
I am soke David Dantonio of the Bufukan Ninpo Bujutsu Dojo. I am by profession a retail loss preventionnmanager/consultant. While working on a drug store chain lp rehabilitation job i observed a man placing tylonol into his coat. He was clearing out the whole shelf. I approached him and took him into custody. This particualr company had a policy against handcuffs so i placed him into an arm lock and secured him in the front office....but just as I went to pick up the phone to dial the police he launched his attack. I countered his punch with a parry and an irimi nage.
He got up and ran to the rear of the store and i followed him...as he ran he was throwing things from the shelves at me....I finnaly secured him and he went for his pocket....I kicked his groin three times with shin kicks that raised him from the ground...he responded with a "dont hit me there".
I pushed him away and told him to go and he said he wanted to kill me...we again went for his pocket so a slammed his carotoid artery and then grabbed his throat...all to no avail....mind you i him him about 6 times ...
The police finally arrived and it took all three of us to down him and as we did he tried to bite me...so i had to placed my knee on his mandable andlock hin elbow and wrist.
At court i found out he was on pcp and when i saw him he was in a wheel chair from the groin kicks.
It goes to show one that we cant be overly confidant nor cocky when we enter battle.
Whilst I was serving as a Police Officer I received a radio call to go to the aid of another Officer who was trying to detain a violent person. I went to his aid and I saw a very young man, who was of small build and quite skinny fighting with the other, Police Officer. The man was running over the tops of vehicles and was proving difficult to restrain.
The young man concerned appeared very violent and crazy, so I assisted and tried to detain the man with the other officer. To my surprise he proved exceptionally strong and I later discovered that he was high on drugs. It seemed that everything that we tried to restrain him did not work and even more Police Officers were called to assist. Although I was already a high ranking Black Belt this young man was impervious to pain and seemed to have supernatural strength. In the end it took about 8 Police Officers, including myself to restrain him.
I believe that in a society where drug abuse is becoming more common, Martial Arts self-defence techniques must adapt to recognise and equip people with more appropriate skills. This is why I am going on a pressure point knockout course to gain information about how to subdue people who may be violent or unwilling to co-operate. It is essential.
Many years ago, while teaching in one of my Kyokushinkai Karate Academies, a former young Brown Belt student who was dissatisfied with the grade given him by the Examination Board, entered the Academy and challenged me in the presence of my other students, Beginner to Black Belt Assistant Instructors.
Of course, the Black Belt Assistant Instructors were totally upset and each of them wanted to physically discipline him. I told them that it was not their fight because it was my duty to be the disciplinarian, having set the example.
Whilst employing evasive action in defence against the apparently possessed young man who tried his best to kill me if he could have, I found it necessary to stop him after the second minute with an Iron Palm Technique in the region of his chest.
Unfortunately, because of his high agitation, the impact caused him to collapse and he was clinically dead for a little while. It was necessary to revive him. When he regained consciousness, he begged forgiveness and was given. We embraced each other and the warmth of the former Teacher-Student/Father-Son feeling engulfed us.
We are now both better men after this experience.
When the Chinese Martial Arts films had invaded Guyana, Instructors from other Systems of Karate often had walked into my Academies and challenged me to fight in order measure their skills as I was the only one to have fought the Japanese. I did not subscribe to 2nd Place.
My message here, is that Instructors should not only know about the Human Anatomy and Physiology and Basic First Aid but also about reviving students knocked into unconsciousness by studying the Acupoints relative to revival as part of rapid recovery;
Stephen Michael Monasingh
I have had a former Brown Belt student whom had decided to rush the development of his Ki power by reading a variety of literature, most of which hinged on the occult. Of course, he went into experimentation.
This interference with the unknown opened his Spiritual channel to invasion by demonic forces. He became violent and destructive. He had threatened to kill his parents, burn their house to the ground and then kill himself.
I was informed about this development only one year after by his father whom had tried everything else to cure his son.
To relieve this saddened young man, it was necessary for me to Fast and Pray for three days. Yes, I am also a Born Again Christian.
I hasten to add that if it was not for my Martial Arts foundation, I would not have been able to ward off and disarm this poor young man whom had attacked me with a pair of Sais (Short Swords used by the Okinawans to defend themselves against the Samurai Sword attacks of the Japanese invaders)!
After exorcising him in the Name Of Jesus, he returned to normalcy three days after.
My personal belief is that Jesus Christ is the Greatest Martial Artist to ever walk this earth.
ALSO, No Instructor should rush to teach the development of the Ki or Chi as each individual evolves at his/her own pace. The Instructor should be there to protect and guide his/her student along this path if it should be recognized. Have frequent discussions with the student about his/her personal experiences before and after each training session so that necessary assistance could be given.
Ki or Chi energy could be either destructive or helpful for better health. Let us concentrate on better health.
Stephen Michael Monasingh
Over a decade ago, I was walking alone one night just after 21:00 hours when I was suddenly pounced upon by five bandits. One choked me in a“sleeper-hold (maybe he watched a lot of wrestling on the television) while one each secured my arms extended. The fourth was trashing me with a piece of wood and relieving me of my spectacles, my fiancйe’s gold chain, my wrist watch and my wallet. The fifth and largest of them all came from the front to finish me off.
The only reaction at that time was to direct a kick into his spleen area. He drifted back and rushed in again to the same kick at the same spot. Only when he began to collapse did the others release me and hurried away with him and my belongings.
I reported to the Public Hospital in Georgetown about what transpired and the receptionist nurse wanted to admit me for my injuries. I declined but told her that someone (description given) will have to be admitted within four hours and will die within three days.
The following day, the nurse called me at my office to inform that the said person was admitted within an hour after I had left the Hospital, crying out for abdominal pains and could not have urinated. The Doctor inserted a tube to facilitate urination and the bandit began to continuously urinate blood instead of urine.
He died on the second day and the Post Mortem disclosed that his spleen was ruptured as it gushed out after an incision was made. There were no marks of violence on the abdomen of the deceased.
Now, this death is not something of which I am proud. However, it was not my time to die and God gave me the strength to survive that vicious attack by five bandits.
The technique used is one I call the Vacuum Technique. The return of the kicking attack to a bent knee position, is trice the speed with which it was executed. Energy continues to flow between point of impact and point of return.
Much care has to be taken not abuse such. This may be similar to what the Chinese call the Delayed Death Touch.
Stephen Michael Monasingh
The train I was traveling on was stopped at a small unattended suburban station when I was witness to a bag snatch robbery. The victim departed the train to pursue the criminal and I followed after both.
The victim stayed on the platform but I gave chase across the rail yards which turned out to be a messy job because of a water ditch that neither the perp nor I noticed until we were both in it. He crawled out first and jumped a fence into a residential back yard. Then a strange thing happened, I heard him in a quiet but insistent voice tell me to hurry up and get over to him. It seems he thought I was an accomplice.
So in my best Rambo, I rose from the murky waters and said I dont think that I am who you think I am. This was all the time it took for him to grab a half brick he found lying at the side of the house and to aim it at me. So Im on one side of the fence and he is crudely armed and on the other side of the fence with the lady’s handbag. I wasn’t there to wear a brick, which is what would have happened if I had attempted to climb the fence, but I also wasnt going to walk away empty handed. So I used two of the modern martial artist’s greatest tools my vocal cords and my brain.
I pointed out how I understood he was in need of cash, but how unfair it was of him to target another underprivileged person, especially one who was just a visitor to our state and in dire need of the bag as she was so far from home. I gave one hell of a sob story and it worked. He handed over the bag and vacated the scene. I gave the bag back to the owner and it turned out that she actually was an interstate visitor.
Anyway, my contribution is this: No one technique works all of the time, which is why we seek variety in knowledge. Talking won’t work all of the time, but aside from walking away, talking to avoid violence should be the most often attempted combat technique.
Darren Wurm. WR.HJ-N
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