knee strikes

International correspondent Antonio Graceffo's series continues his interview -- and a training session -- with Ong-Bak star Tony Jaa's first martial arts teacher, adjan Sak Chai.

Editor's Note: In Searching for Tony Jaa: The Hottest Martial Arts Movie Star Since Jackie Chan and Jet Li (Part 2), international correspondent Antonio Graceffo sought — and found — an audience with Tony Jaa's first martial arts teacher, Sak Chai. In Part 3, the author of Warrior Odyssey: The Travels of a Martial Artist Through Asia continues that conversation and delves into a discussion regarding Tony Jaa's muay Thai.The neighborhood where Sak Chai lives is poor, and he worries that local kids might become drug users. "I invite them to my house and train them for free," he says. "We train long staff, sword, gymnastics, contortion and muay Thai boran mixed with krabi krabong. I also teach them self-defense. I want them to learn so they'll be good people, not so they can fight professionally. However, if they chose to fight, I support that, too. I don't train them specifically to be actors, but the top four students went to Bangkok to live with Tony Jaa and be in the movies. "Tony didn't make it on physical strength. He made it because he's respectful and helps his teachers and their students and his family. He meditates a lot in the forest with monks from the temple. The monks taught him special meditation for universal strength and the power of earth, water, air and fire. It was this spiritual power that allowed him to make Ong-Bak."

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International correspondent Antonio Graceffo heads to Bangkok in search of the real story behind Ong-Bak star Tony Jaa in this exclusive series! In Part 1, he's granted a rare interview with Jaa's parents.

Just when most moviegoers were ready to abandon all hope that a fresh face would ever appear in martial arts cinema, we got Tony Jaa, star of 2003's Ong-Bak. As an added bonus, he brought with him a deadly new fighting style. In the blink of an eye, the sacred Thai art of pounding a person senseless with the knees and elbows was introduced to the world. Aside from having the most incredible fight scenes ever and showing us Bangkok rather than Hong Kong, Ong-Bak is an important movie for two reasons. It was the first major film to feature muay Thai and the first Thai movie to have wide distribution in the States — all thanks to a high-flying martial artist from the jungles of Southeast Asia. And now Tony Jaa is making the leap from Bangkok to Hollywood thanks to his recent casting in the upcoming Fast & Furious 7, helmed by Saw director James Wan and starring Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Paul Walker and veteran actor Kurt Russell. Watch a video of Vin Diesel and Tony Jaa training:

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When you move inside kicking range and punching range, you enter trapping range. There, attacking arms get deflected and immobilized; and knees, elbows and head butts cut loose. Learn how Jang Mu Won Hapkido handles close-range combat.

When you move inside kicking range and punching range, you enter trapping range. There, attacking arms get deflected and immobilized; and knees, elbows and head butts cut loose. Hapkido teaches a variety of hand techniques for trapping range, says Jeffrey D. Harris of Jang Mu Won Hapkido, the international organization founded by Black Belt Hall of Fame member Chong S. Kim. “When your opponent grabs you, you trap him with his own arms as you move in to twist and throw. We cover that extensively,” he says. Stephen Petermann, also of Jang Mu Won Hapkido, describes the art’s simple trapping philosophy: “It’s OK to just trap his hands so he can’t smack you, but it’s better to get them out of the way so you can smack him. One of my favorite techniques is to trap the guy’s arms, then kick him in the face with an outside crescent kick.” Against Weapons Traditional hapkido knife defense falls into this range because the attacker’s knife-wielding arm often gets trapped before the weapon is taken away or directed back toward him. “The general way is to control the limb with the weapon using a trapping technique, joint manipulation or pressure-point strike,” Jeffrey D. Harris says.

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In Part 2 of this beginner's guide to MMA, UFC veteran Nate Marquardt comments on the psychological side of the MMA game and techniques to focus on in training!

In Part 1 of this exclusive interview, Black Belt discussed boxing techniques, BJJ techniques, MMA diet and conditioning with Nate Marquardt. You can read Part 1 of this exclusive interview here.

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