Masters

Be Water is the latest documentary in the 30 for 30 series. It chronicles Lee's life from his early days, including a sometimes-turbulent childhood, to his first foray into teaching kung fu into America, his start in film and return to Hong Kong, where he made the films that would launch him into stardom.

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As soon as a developing self-defense situation is detected, a wise martial artist thinks about quickly removing himself or herself from the situation, says John Hackleman, a master of Hawaiian kempo. "If you can, talk your way out of it. Use verbal judo or de-escalation. Or get in your car and lock the door — that's the best-case scenario. If you have to, use stun and run.

"But you need to train for the worst-case scenario. If somebody punches you in the face for no reason, the de-escalation period is over. That's the scenario I'm interested in. I'll let the psychologists deal with everything else.

"Some instructors recommend trying to instill fear in an attacker, but Hackleman is not a fan of that tactic. "If he's on crack, there is no logic," he says. "And you could kick a person in the groin, and he could still manage to attack you. You've got to separate him from his consciousness."

Hackleman, who appeared on the cover of the December 2017/January 2018 issue of Black Belt, identifies several methods for achieving that goal. They include blunt-force trauma to the head from a strike or kick, interruption of the blood flow to the brain from a choke, and loss of blood as a result of a knife wound or gunshot."

When you've done one of these, then and only then are you safe," Hackleman says. "If you're an adult, this is what your training should focus on."

Three Kickboxing Legends Step Back Into the Ring!

Spoiler alert! Kickboxing superstars Jean-Yves Theriault, Wally Slocki and Bill Wallace recently returned to the ring in Ottawa, Canada. Motivated not by money or belts, the former champs did it for charity — and for the benefit of fans everywhere. While raising money for a good cause, these legends proved that the martial arts can be a pursuit for practitioners of any age.


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Edged-weapon attacks are on the rise. Throughout the European Union, they're almost epidemic. Even worse, edged weapons used in attacks overseas many times aren't the 4-inch folders Americans are used to seeing. They're 10- to 12-inch-long kitchen knives, which makes many of the standard disarms taught in martial arts schools more dangerous, if not impossible. The problem has grown so significant that London Mayor Sadiq Khan recently issued a proclamation: "No excuses. There is never a reason to carry a knife. Anyone who does will be caught, and they will feel the full force of the law." He basically banned knives for civilians to carry.

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BLACK BELT: "You win 100 percent of the fights you don't have."— Kelly McCann, combatives instructor

Jarret Schonbrun: I teach my students de-escalation as part of self-defense. I always tell them that if it comes to a point where they need to use blocks/strikes, then they have already failed (but make sure that you fail successfully if needed!)

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