Combat hapkido is unique in that it straddles the line between the ancient and the modern. As the word “hapkido” implies, combat hapkido has roots in old-time Korea. But the addition of “combat” indicates that it’s been modified and updated to better address the needs of reality-based self-defense practitioners. So even though it’s an old art, it’s also relatively new—which is precisely why it’s attracting the attention of growing numbers of martial artists. “Combat hapkido is down-and-dirty self-defense; it’s not geared for children or sports,” says John Pellegrini, the Chandler, Arizona-based martial artist who founded the style. “I don’t use the old methods—forms, ancient weapons, leaping and bounding maneuvers, or static stances and positions that have been proved ineffective in close-quarters combat. However, I’ve retained many of hapkido’s deeply rooted aikijujutsu basics and effective self-defense components, and blended them with elements from selected grappling and striking arts.” Outlined below are three of John Pellegrini’s favorite combat-hapkido combinations.
Dr. Craig's Martial Arts Movie Lounge
When The Fast and the Furious (2001) sped into the psyche's of illegal street racing enthusiasts, with a penchant for danger and the psychotic insanity of arrant automotive adventure, the brusque bearish, quasi-hero rebel, Dominic "Dom" Toretto was caustic yet salvationally portrayed with the power of a train using a Vin Diesel engine.
Justin Lin's climb up the Fast & Furious ladder matches the film titles, fast and furious. He's the only director to shoot five sequels (3, 4, 5, 6, 9) with F10 on the way. The resulting action composition in F9: The Last Saga (F9) has been brewing since his intro to Bruce Lee and Lin's early subliminal and now obvious influences from Jackie Chan.
When I first discussed Bruce Lee with the Taiwanese-born, Los Angeles-raised Lin in 1997, he shared, "Whether Asian Americans like it or not, they all have a relationship with Bruce. When I was 10, I was deeply disturbed watching Bruce's Game of Death (1979). There was a guy who vaguely looked like Lee interspersed with shots of the real Lee, right down to a photo of Lee pasted onto a mirror to make us believe the guy in front of the mirror was Bruce. Yet when I first saw Bruce Lee on screen, I felt his power, he gave me the strength to strive for something. After learning about the film's freaky news, I thought, how in the hell did the double get that job?"
Lin addressed this question in his first martial arts film, Finishing the Game (2007). Co-starring Sung Kang, Lin also hired fight choreographer Don Thai, who at the time was a close associate and one of Jackie Chan's protégés.
Years earlier, Jackie Chan's Opera brother Corey Yuen directed Jason Statham's breakout martial arts film Transporter(2002). Around the same time, Jackie Chan's stunt double/fight choreographer, Andy Cheng, was priming Dwayne Johnson in Chan's style of action too as the fight coordinator on Johnson's first martial arts film Rundown (2003).
The Fast & Furious films began as street drag-racing movies, perhaps influenced by the demented driving antics of Steve McQueen in real life and in his movie Getaway (1972). Yet with the addition of Dwayne Johnson as CIA agent Luke Hobbs in Fast Five (2011), whose job was to track down and capture Dom, the franchise morphed into a car-llection of visceral flicks filled with over-the-top, outrageous, literal high-octane car stunts.
Then just as you think there's no more juice in the engines, apart from flashing red buttons connected to newfangled fuel-injection systems, which are attached to nitrous oxide canisters capable of giving short bursts of Star Wars light speed, Furious 7 (2015) arrived. F7 upped the martial arts ante by casting legitimate martial artist Jason Statham as the rogue assassin Deckard Shaw who ran pugilistic mayhem around Dom and Hobbs.
Yet with F9, Lin translated Lee's power into his action sequences and saw how Chan's fights used the tangible qualities of space and how Chan continually transforms it from the confines of small rooms, alleys or a high-rise's narrow ledge to the vastness of a castle, mountaintop, or rooftops of big towering buildings. Like Chan, Lin achieves these transformations via extended chase sequences where each unpredictable redefinition of space adds to the scene's momentum by creating a giddy farce. As his characters move through new environments, they confront new circumstances and possibilities.
With F9, Lin goes beyond these confines. Dom learns that his long-lost renegade brother Jacob (John Cena) has become a deadly assassin who's in cahoots with Dom's mortal enemy Cipher from The Fate and the Furious (2017) and her new psychotic partner Otto. Their aim is to find two halves of a top-secret gadget that can control the world's security network. It's time for Dom and his speedster band of brothers/sisters to unite to save the world from this terminally ruthless trio while dealing with family secrets.
In 1999, Diesel told about his bouncer and boxing background in New York, and his love for the 1970's Shaw Brother kung fu films adding with a bellowing calm voice, "It would've been cool to be in one of those movies, the weapons, the wires, the fights."
By a strange twist of fate, Diesel is doing a kung fu film that's as close to being a 1970s, Shaw Brothers wuxia movie than he could ever have imagined. His weapon of choice isn't fists, knives or kung fu, but a 1968 Dodge Charger with car fufight choreography.
Dom can maneuver his cars to block, deflect and parry oncoming forces of sideswiping and head on attacks from other autos, armored vehicles, giant transporter trucks and even a flying wing. His car fu has skills that can catch and intercept flying members of his team out of mid-air death plummets that are more radical than a square route.
The wire-fu car fu is as outrageous as it sounds. In one moment Dom can be speeding along then he pulls of this dodgy move that's akin to maniacal spider falling from a ceiling toward your unsuspecting head on the end of a single strand of silk thread.
Stunt coordinator J.J. Perry who was into Hong Kong stylized action since his beginnings, choreographed a handful of unique fights that are well worth the watch and there are two particular fights that take into account the yin and yang balance of combat.
One is Dom's rough and tumble, smash and crash brawl as he becomes a human muscle car in a wide-open underground warehouse where he takes on droves of heavily armed punch and crunch security forces. The opposing energy is a powerful light focusing on the F9's fighting women, Letty, Mia and newcomer Elle taking on a team of marauding mercenaries within the tight confines of a small Tokyo apartment. It's a close quarters, tag-team action fray using medium shots, where each lady does 2-6 techniques per take.
In Chinese numerology, nine represents longevity and so it's no wonder that F9 will continue the franchise's staying power where breaking the speed limit is a way of life.
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A blog series analyzing the parallels between Jiu-Jitsu and Mental Health
Beyond the surface, though, lay some intriguing parallels that feel almost as if they were created by design. Jiu-Jitsu and Mental Health are so interchangeable you could be talking about either when saying philosophical phrases, such as: It's a lifelong journey. There's always someone better. Focus on what you can control. Tapping doesn't mean giving up. (Don't worry, I can explain that).
Over the next few weeks, we'll break some of these subjects down and delve a little deeper into the fascinating similarities between Jiu-Jitsu and mental health.
Part 1: It's a lifelong journey
Mental Health is a lifelong journey.
There are things you'll learn on certain days that may be interesting, but don't necessarily hold too much significance. That's because they are only pieces of a whole puzzle. But when you look back in a year or even ten years from now, they may hold an entirely different meaning to you. Some will even become foundational building blocks you've built your entire life around.
Like with anything, though, you must put the work in.
In the same way, we build muscles in the gym, so they are there when we need them, we can build "muscles" in our mind. Take meditation, for example. It's such a useful tool that has a whole host of benefits beyond just giving yourself time or "quieting your mind."
Yet we often hear, "Oh, I meditated while I was depressed, but I'm better now, so I've stopped doing it."
Look, it's amazing when you find something that pulls you out of the darkness and into the light. Truly. And if that's what you needed at the time, I applaud you for picking a healthy coping mechanism. But to give up when you feel better seems a little counterproductive.
Strength and conditioning is preventive maintenance. Stretching is preventive maintenance. Not rolling with the new guy that is all biceps and no brain cells is preventive maintenance. But not paying attention to these areas means, sooner or later, you're going to have to be reactive. You'll get injured, and eventually, you'll be visiting the doctor or knocking back pain killers in a desperate bid to try and stay on the mat. It's all so, well, reactive.
Meditation is just one mental health tool that you should consider for your preventive maintenance. It's unlikely to create an impenetrable fortress on its own, but to put it in language we understand, it'll form an integral piece of your guard game. There's only one way to get better, though, and that's to keep working at it… forever.
Giving up when you feel better is the equivalent of getting fit for a wedding or working on that summer beach bod. Once you've achieved the goal, you stop going to the gym, and slowly but surely, all that good work starts to fade away. Then, one day, when that little brat on a moped swipes your new cell phone out of your hand, you've got zero chance of catching him; you should have stayed ready.
Now, as I said, mental health is more than just meditation. It's a combination of dozens (hundreds) of components that intersect every area of your life. It's the people you hang around with, the voice inside your head, the books you read, and the way you see the past. It's how you identify. It's how you interpret the world. It's how you perceive reality. And in that sense, it's pretty much everything.
Just like martial arts, it's a lifelong journey with no finish line and no way to complete it. It takes constant work and commitment. And the only way to get better at it is, you've guessed it, to do the work. Relentlessly, tirelessly, with passion, curiosity, determination, and accountability. You have to learn and relearn and effectively "drill" the same things over and over and over again. It can be boring sometimes, sure. But it's better than the alternative.
You must keep showing up and revisiting even the simplest of principles. Until, one day, you become so at ease with it that it becomes second nature; your "true north."
So, on that fateful night, when you accidentally pass through some forgotten alley in your mind, and you feel a long-dormant anxiety attacking you at your most vulnerable, you'll have the tools ready and waiting to automatically protect yourself. You stayed ready.
If you can get to that point, you'll no longer be fighting for your life; you'll be fighting with it.
Read more at bbmjiujitsu.com
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Emergency Action Plans (EAPs) help speed up your response to emergency situations, reduce injury severity, mitigate damages associated with a catastrophic event, and save lives. An EAP is not an emergency evacuation plan. For assistance in developing an emergency evacuation plan, consult your local fire and police departments for help.
When you create your EAP, assign specific responsibilities to staff members and cross-train key personnel. You can use injuries and emergencies experienced in the martial arts industry to create various scenarios, and practice responding to them. Make sure staff know where emergency equipment is located and how to use it. Post emergency contact numbers prominently by telephones for easy reference.
If a student receives a blow to the head, for example, it is imperative to assess for a concussion promptly, and it may be necessary to activate your EAP. Your plan requires pre- and post-incident guidelines, along with procedures for third-party intervention. Pre-planning involves gaining an understanding of concussions, how to evaluate a student's condition, and any legal requirements for a concussion management program. Post-incident planning may involve contacting emergency services, removing a student from practice or competition, and working with a physician to determine when it is safe for a student to return. Learn more about concussion management at www.cdc.gov.
Documentation, such as an incident report, is instrumental for improving your response. It is important to maintain thorough records for communicating with emergency responders, insurance adjusters, and others. Keep your documentation factual. Don't express your opinion regarding negligence or what you can do in the future to avoid a similar incident. You can gain additional insight on how to effectively capture incident report information by reviewing the article, Careful reporting can clarify claims.
Documentation is critical if you need to communicate to the media. Designate one spokesperson—typically the owner or facility manager—and train employees to direct all media inquiries to this contact. Consult your attorney before releasing any information to the press.
Periodically review your EAP to help staff gain an understanding of their role and to help identify areas that need modification. Should an emergency situation occur, contact your insurance company as soon as is practical.
You want the best for your students, but you also need to protect your business. For over 40 years, Markel* has been providing specialized insurance policies designed specifically for martial arts schools. Get a free, customized online quote for your martial arts studio now by clicking here, or call +1.800.943.7613 to get started.
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