mark cheng

Gun defense is a touchy topic for martial artists. This tang soo do stylist field-tested all his theories and tactics before he started teaching them.

After capturing my attention with his blade work, Larry Wick of Split Second Survival moves on to firearms. He takes out a training weapon — in this case, an Airsoft gun — then clears it and hands it to me with the same instructions: “If I move, kill me." Again and again, regardless of the setup position, Wick handily moves through or past me, ending up almost every time with my training gun in his hands. In every instance, he moves forward or at a slight angle. Not once does he step back or retreat.

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This martial artist tested the effectiveness of gun and knife defense, and what he learned will make you more proficient at stopping armed attacks!

If you think Split Second Survival, the brand of gun and knife defense being propagated by Larry Wick, is just another modern martial art or self-defense course, you couldn't be more off base. Wick, a veteran instructor and high-ranked tang soo do black belt, has a unique way of dealing with two of the most feared street weapons, and he's on a mission to share it with the world. The Fairbanks, Alaska-based instructor believes that most of what's being taught in blade- and firearm-defense courses is not just ineffective; it's fatally flawed.

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Florida-based kung fu instructor John Wai explains what his art's three-pronged attack is and why it's so effective in self-defense.

Choy lay fut is one of the most widely practiced styles of kung fu in the world, and one of the art's rising stars is Plantation, Florida-based John Wai. He began training in wing chun when he was a teen, then studied choy lay fut and ended up falling in love with its perfect combination of forms, weapons and full-contact fighting.

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Sanshou is not quite kung fu, and it's not quite MMA. It's a Chinese amalgamation that lies squarely in the middle, and it has a lot to offer competitive martial artists who value tradition.

When people talk about the mixed martial arts, countries like Brazil, Japan and the United States come to mind. China seems to be more closely associated with the traditional arts. The average enthusiast probably imagines remote villages, where old people do tai chi chuan in the morning and children learn their families’ esoteric styles of kung fu after nightfall. Welcome to the 21st century. The mainland Chinese martial arts community, while still stubborn in its stylistic chauvinism, has followed a relatively new training format for decades. Called sanshou or san da, (“free hands” or “free strikes”), it’s not bounded by one martial art. Lacking only the ground-grappling portion of vale tudo, it allows for full expression of nonlethal techniques.

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