Combat Hapkido

Combat-Hapkido Techniques Video: John Pellegrini Demonstrates Self-Defense Moves Against a Throat Grab

Combat hapkido expert John Pellegrini executes self-defense moves during a Black Belt magazine photo shoot.
Combat-hapkido creator and Black Belt Hall of Fame member John Pellegrini is one of the world’s leading authorities on hand-to-hand combat. In this video, he demonstrates the combat-hapkido method for defending against a throat grab.

In a street attack, things can get ugly real fast. An attacker can reach for your throat, aiming to either stop you in your tracks and take your wallet or aiming to stop you in your tracks permanently.

During military combat situations, such an attack is usually aimed at the latter conclusion.

So self-defense moves such as those used in combat hapkido are designed to quickly immobilize an opponent and render their attack ineffective — as demonstrated in this video:

COMBAT-HAPKIDO TECHNIQUES VIDEO
John Pellegrini Shows You Self-Defense Moves to Use Against a Throat Grab


The attack in this video is staged slowly for demonstration purposes, but John Pellegrini’s response via fast self-defense moves is anything but slow. He immediately deflects the course of the opponent’s outreached arm at a speed sufficient to counter a full-speed attack.


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“He tries to attack me … you know, grab me by the throat or punch me or whatever … I’m going to move [his arm] this way,” John Pellegrini explains as he launches into combat-hapkido self-defense moves that immediately remove him from the line of fire, as it were, and to the outside of the attacker’s grip.

Once he’s on the outside, he can then use further techniques to hit the opponent’s support structure to start the immobilization process.

“I’m going to attack the leg that supports the weight of the body while I hit the face,” John Pellegrini says, explaining the next stage of this scenario. The simultaneous buckling of the leg coupled with the facial impact sends the opponent to the ground quickly and decisively.

While it may seem obvious, John Pellegrini stresses that speedy reflexes and protection of vital points are essential training points for effective execution of combat-hapkido techniques. “The logical thing to do is protect your windpipe,” he says. “Most other courses of action can leave you incapacitated. Since you never know what’s coming, it’s best to use what warriors call mushin, or the ‘mind of no mind.’ Don’t form in your mind [an image of] what’s going to happen. Instead, keep it clear so you can react and adapt without hesitation.”


About the Artist:
John Pellegrini is the author of the book Combat Hapkido: The Martial Art for the Modern Warrior, a full-color book that explains how classical hapkido techniques inspired the street-effective moves in his system and how the self-defense moves of combat hapkido can be used to defend against strikes, kicks, grabs, chokes, knives and guns. To contact him, write to Defensive Services International Inc., 4960 S. Gilbert Rd., Suite 1-485, Chandler, AZ 85249. Or call (480) 895-9700 or visit the Defensive Services International Inc., website at dsihq.com.…

Combat-Hapkido Self-Defense Moves by John Pellegrini: Neutralize Any Threat!

“Forget the fancy high kicks, lose the forms and stop wasting time with healing, meditation and breathing exercises or outdated traditional weapons training. It’s time for people to get down to business so they can learn to protect themselves. They must forgo the stuff that is not connected to self-defense.”

So says the Black Belt Hall of Fame’s 2004 Instructor of the Year John Pellegrini, creator of an eclectic art called combat hapkido. The Asheville, North Carolina-based instructor — and author of Combat Hapkido: The Martial Art for the Modern Warrior — has stirred up quite a commotion by issuing blunt statements like those, but he offers a good argument for his point of view.

“The average American goes to class for only one hour twice a week,” John Pellegrini says. “A martial artist with limited training time should use what time he has to learn and perfect the self-defense material. He should do the fitness and health stuff at the gym or on his own.”

John Pellegrinni’s combat-hapkido brainchild is a hybridized version of traditional hapkido, the Korean martial art that is claimed to have descended from Japanese aikijujutsu. “While synthesizing it, I retained many of the strong aikijujutsu self-defense basics that are inherent in hapkido, and by adding new techniques, I created a comprehensive self-defense system that is up-to-date for today’s society,” John Pellegrini says. The new self-defense moves found in combat hapkido include defenses against empty-hand assaults, modern knife attacks, gun threats and impact weapons.

In addition, John Pellegrini’s combat hapkido contains elements of kuntao silat, jeet kune do and Brazilian jiu-jitsu. John Pellegrini selected those arts to shore up hapkido’s empty-hand and ground-fighting arsenal.

All that augmentation was necessary in creating combat hapkido, John Pellegrini says, because the self-defense component of the Korean martial arts in general needed to be revived. John Pellegrini says he agrees with those who claim the Western interpretation of them has overemphasized sport and turned them into little more than a day-care activity for children.


See how another Korean martial art was altered in the name of sport in this FREE Guide — Taekwondo Forms: Uncovering the Self-Defense Moves Within Traditional Taekwondo Patterns.


That attitude earned combat-hapkido founder John Pellegrini the respect of many martial arts professionals, including those in the military and law-enforcement communities. In this article, John Pellegrini takes Black Belt readers through four sequences highlighting self-defense moves drawn from combat hapkido.

John Pellegrini’s Combat-Hapkido Self-Defense Moves
Technique Category 1: Empty Hands

Elbow Entry, Takedown and Reverse Armbar: Use your elbow to shield yourself against incoming strikes as you enter your attacker’s infighting range, take him down and lock his limb.

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Start by facing your attacker in the combat-hapkido awareness position, which is a ready stance similar to the one a boxer uses in the ring. Your shoulders are squared to him, and your open hands are held just below eye level.

This combat-hapkido position enables you to tap into an immediate transitional flow and execute a dynamic entry into the close-quarters fighting range, John Pellegrini says. It also helps you avoid settling into a stance that is immobile or overly rooted.

As the attacker approaches and prepares to strike with his right hand, step forward and to the outside with your lead (left) leg. While advancing, lift your right elbow directly in front of your centerline. That will keep him from making contact as you close the gap.

Next, drop your right elbow and trap his deflected right arm under your right arm, then hit the side of his face with a left palm heel. Maintain contact with your palm and drive him backward until he falls. Adjust the hold you have on his limb to make it more secure, after which you can effect a reverse armbar.

Complete the immobilization by dropping your left knee onto the right side of his neck and jamming your left thumb into the pressure point located on the side of his neck just below his ear, John Pellegrini says.

Brachial Stun and Neck Crank: Stun a lunging attacker with a quick strike to the area near the windpipe, then apply debilitating pressure to his neck.

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Begin this set of self-defense moves in a right-foot-forward awareness position. When the assailant lunges toward you with his arms outstretched, pivot counterclockwise — ensuring that you remain on the inside of him — and strike the right side of his neck with your right forearm.

Simultaneously grab his right wrist with your left arm and wrap your right arm around his neck until his head is held firmly against your torso. Lock your hands and lift to crank his neck.

John Pellegrini’s Combat-Hapkido Self-Defense Moves
Technique

Combat Hapkido’s John Pellegrini on Women’s Self-Defense, MMA and Military Training

To help us learn more about traditional training in a modern world, our friend GK Zachary from AdultMartialArtist.com sat down with combat-hapkido founder John Pellegrini.

Pellegrini’s been inducted in more than 20 martial arts halls of fame and has been on the cover of 17 self-defense magazines, including our own. Why? Because he’s the perfect ambassador for the arts.

Long before Pellegrini became one of the world’s most popular self-defense instructors, he served in the elite 1st Airborne Regiment of the Italian army. Following that, he used his martial training to work in law enforcement, corporate security, investigations and executive protection.

Pellegrini now holds ninth-degree black belts in hapkido and taekwondo, and his combat-hapkido system is extremely popular with law-enforcement and military personnel. As if that weren’t enough, he is also a certified jeet kune do and aikido instructor.

If ever someone deserved the title of grandmaster, it’s Pellegrini. Enjoy.

—Jon Sattler

GK Zachary: Do traditional martial arts still have relevance for martial artists in an area increasingly dominated by MMA and reality-based martial arts systems?

John Pellegrini: Absolutely. Mixed-martial arts practitioners are wonderfully trained and highly disciplined fighters. But this training is only for a few individuals willing to dedicate themselves entirely to the sport and accept the rigors of the training, the pain and the inevitable injuries. Most people will not ever contemplate that kind of training.

By contrast, martial arts are for the other 99 percent of the population. They are not just a sport or fad. Instead, they are a philosophy of life and a discipline of combat that requires serious training and dedication but also the right martial spirit. True, some overly traditional and ritualistic martial arts will continue to lose popularity and maybe fade from the scene, but the major traditional, mainstream arts, such as jujitsu, aikido, hapkido, kempo and taekwondo will always be popular because they have so much to offer to so many people.

Zachary: What are the three most important principles an adult martial artist always needs to remember?

Pellegrini: First, self-preservation. In other words, don’t get hit. Avoidance of physical conflict is extremely important. You want to understand the range of a confrontation. If you can’t walk away from a potentially violent confrontation, you want to know how to close the gap on your opponent and take control of the situation.

Second, the speed and accuracy of a technique are more important than simply being strong. You don’t want to get involved in a slugfest with an assailant.

Third, self-control. Adult martial artists need to exercise exceptionally good judgment within society’s moral and legal framework. A measured response to any threat is essential.

This moral angle cannot be emphasized enough. The “gladiator approach” that MMA and other fighting sports have popularized are often inconsistent with the martial arts philosophy. Consider, by contrast, the samurai of feudal Japan or the Hwarang or Sun Bi warriors of ancient Korea. Yes, they could be violent. Yes, they could kill. But they always did so within the context of a strict, indeed indispensable, code of honor.

The unrestrained violence that typifies gladiator sports is not a good role model for today’s youth. It is in part responsible for a culture of violence and as such has lost much of the spirit of the traditional martial arts.

Zachary: There have been several notable cases of sexual assault in the media lately. Is combat hapkido a good choice for women looking to learn how to defend themselves from rape and sexual assault and why?

Pellegrini: Combat hapkido is perfect for women because its self-defense techniques are easily learned and do not require great strength. They are based on science. When a 100 pound woman can confidently and routinely take down a 200 pound man using combat-hapkido techniques, you know that there is a science behind it. That’s what makes combat hapkido exceptionally effective for women’s self-defense training. Knowledge and skill, not brute force, is the key.

And it blends well with other women’s self-defense training programs such as Melissa Soalt’s Fierce & Female, RAD, PPCT’s Sexual Harassment and Anti-Rape Program, and similar programs.

Zachary: Your commitment to the U.S. military is well-known (and appreciated) in the martial arts community. Are you continuing to train military personnel here and abroad?
Pellegrini: Yes, but our policy is to talk about such training only after the fact. There are issues of security and confidentiality that require us not to disclose the sites of our future training seminars for the military and the specific units involved. But, yes, we maintain very close relationships with the military and the law-enforcement community. For example, two weeks ag,o we conducted a military combatives seminar for the German Luftwaffe (air force) at their base in Germany. Military combatives is what …

Combat-Hapkido Defense Against a Lunge

Combat-hapkido creator and Black Belt Hall of Fame member John Pellegrini is one of the world’s leading authorities on hand-to-hand combat. In this video, he demonstrates the combat-hapkido method for defending against a lunge!