Steve Nasty Anderson on the Sport-Karate California Blitz vs. MMA Superman Punch

Steve Anderson started competing in karate tournaments in the early 1970s in Southern California. By 1980 Anderson, who’d gained the nickname “Nasty,” had become the top sport-karate fighter in America. He dominated the Karate Illustrated/NASKA circuit for the next decade. Anderson, who’s called Canada home for 20-plus years, is now vice president of the Canadian WKA National Team. He runs a successful martial arts academy and trains his 10-year-old daughter Osha, herself a World Kickboxing Association champ. In this article, the 58-year-old discusses his trademark “California blitz” and its MMA counterpart, the superman punch.

What exactly is the California blitz?

The blitz is a punching technique that’s used to quickly close the gap between you and your opponent by simultaneously delivering a jab and a cross as you move in.

Steve Nasty AndersonSteve Anderson demonstrates the original version of his California blitz done without the jump. It was developed in the 1970s for point-karate competition. Anderson begins in a fighting stance (1) and opens with a jab, which he executes with a forward lean designed to cover distance (2). After a quick step forward (3), he uncorks the reverse punch (4).

When did you start using the technique?

In the 1970s, I noticed Howard Jackson using a similar technique while fighting taller opponents. He was able to close the gap by practically running in [and] punching, as opposed to the traditional shuffle reverse punch that was used at the time. I am 6 feet 3 and a 100-meter sprinter, so I worked on developing a unique way to get off the line quicker. I watched some video footage of myself fighting and noticed I was doing similar [things], so I fine-tuned the technique until it became what’s been known since as my California blitz.

What advantages did it give you over your competition?

In those days, the fighters had great kicking and punching ability but lacked lateral movement and forward motion. By implementing my blitz into a tournament format, I was able to score with offensive punching techniques faster than they could counterattack. And while my opponents were focused on my hands, I was able to score more with my kicks.

Do you attribute your unprecedented winning percentage in sport karate to this technique?

Mastering the blitz definitely gave me an advantage over the average competitor, but within months, many of the other top fighters began using the same technique. My winning percentage was a result of a number of factors, including:

•     I worked harder in training than anyone — or at least I told myself I did.

•     I competed in more tournaments than anyone, averaging more than 50 annually.

•     Since sport karate was my career, I needed the prize money.

•     I never got hurt or had injuries.

•     I fought with my brain rather than my brawn.

•     I used a scientific approach to fighting and always studied my opponents.

•     I truly believed I was going to win every single fight.

Steve AndersonTo show the diving version of the California blitz, Steve Anderson recruits his instructor, Orned “Chicken” Gabriel, to hold the pad. Anderson initiates with the same jab, this time performed as he’s about to go airborne (1-2). Anderson leaves the ground to close the distance (3), then unleashes his power technique in the form of a right cross, making contact before he lands (4).

There have been comparisons of the California blitz and the MMA superman punch. How are the techniques similar?

The superman punch is the California blitz. They both:

•     have fighters exploding from the ground, jumping off the lead leg,

•     end with a cross or straight right punch, and

•     have fighters jumping up and forward to close the gap and hit opponents [who are] out of range for traditional punches and kicks.

How do they differ?

The California blitz was designed for sport karate, which is a speed and accuracy [contest]. In sport karate, the first scoring technique gets you a point, and you don’t need a knockout to win. Bearing this in mind, there are some differences between the two techniques:

•     The blitz uses the extension of a jab to propel your momentum forward, then lands the jab.

•     The blitz uses your back leg to start the momentum of the jump forward, rather than up, to cover ground quicker.

•     The blitz travels like an arrow rather than a rainbow, which is more widely used in MMA.

•     The blitz [lets] you surprise your opponent with an unforeseen jab or backfist, followed by the cross for good measure.

Sport-karate star Steve Nasty Anderson

What advice do you have for MMA competitors looking to increase the effectiveness of their superman punch?

First off, I commend all MMA fighters for their use of the superman punch. It’s a technique that takes time …

Neck Attacks: Self-Defense Moves to Escape Chokes and Fight Back!

The neck is vulnerable — plain and simple. Compared to the rest of the human body, it is remarkably weak in its structure — and yet it houses some of the body’s most vital pathways for circulation and respiration, not to mention outright support of the skull. Therefore, neck attacks emerge as a no-brainer for incorporation into self-defense moves.

Scott Bolan, a specialist in mind/body conditioning for execution of self-defense moves, says, “One solid smash to the throat will cut off a person’s air supply, essentially cutting off the power supply to the house. You can survive for only a few minutes without oxygen — once you don’t have air coming in, nothing else matters.”

Scott Bolan Explains How Self-Defense Moves Using the Centerline Can Get You Out of a Choke

Consider a scenario in which an attacker chokes you from the front with both hands, Scott Bolan suggests. “Along the centerline is where human beings are the weakest,” he says. “You turn your body so he doesn’t have access to your centerline. While turning, you hit his arms with your arm, which is flexed so it’s closed to your centerline to break his hold.”

When countering such neck attacks, Scott Bolan says, the next step would be to fight back. One of the self-defense moves he demonstrates is wrapping one arm around the opponent’s neck and forcing him back to break his balance.

How do Israel’s elite fighters fight back against neck attacks? What kind of neck attacks do they use in their counterstrikes? Find out in this FREE Guide — Krav Maga Security System: How Israel’s Elite Fighters Train.

It’s then up to you whether you want to break it with a neck crank or use your free hand to implement a devastating neck strike to the throat.

Using neck attacks as self-defense moves in this fashion can be extremely effective due to their immediate shock to the system, thus interfering with your opponent’s ability to breathe. “The best weapon for [throat strikes],” Scott Bolan says, “are the edge of the hand, the elbow, the forearm and, if his head is angled back, the fist.”

In the event an attacker comes at you with a punch or a knife, it may be time to use one of Bolan’s favorite neck attacks — a maneuver called the “egg breaker,” which combines striking and grappling.

Scott Bolan Demonstrates the “Egg Breaker” Counterattack

“You block [the punch or knife attack] and trap the arm, then strike him in the neck with your elbow before wrapping your arm around his neck,” Bolan explains. “Then you fall backward. His head hits the pavement and breaks your fall.”

When training to counter neck attacks with self-defense moves such as the egg breaker, Bolan notes that it’s important to the land on the opposite side of your body and butt to protect your partner. “In the real world, however,” Bolan says, “let all your weight drive his head into the ground. There’s a good chance of a knockout, but it could also be lethal.”

For more information about Scott Bolan and Mike Gillette’s training programs and products for mind/body conditioning for optimized execution of self-defense moves and more, visit and…

New Jean Jacques Machado Grappling DVDs Coming Soon! Set Will Feature Submission Grappling, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Mixed-Martial Arts Techniques!

Based on their acclaimed best-selling book of the same name, Jean Jacques Machado and Jay Zeballos’ highly anticipated three-DVD set, The Grappler’s Handbook: Gi and No-Gi Techniques, serves as a martial arts multimedia companion wherein the two Brazilian jiu-jitsu masters demonstrate takedowns, chokes, holds and submissions in living color and in exhaustive detail. Filmed at the Jean Jacques Machado Academy in Los Angeles, this set will offer multi-angle coverage (front, three-quarters and overhead) of each technique with step-by-step instructions, contextual explanations for each technique’s application, and an optional on-screen subtitle track with page-specific book references for an even deeper learning experience!

Jean Jacques Machado and Jay Zeballos’ Upcoming Three-Disc Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu DVD Set Demonstrates Techniques Found in The Grappler’s Handbook: Gi and No-Gi Techniques Book

Special features in this set will include the following:

Jean Jacques Machado and Jay Zeballos demonstrate a Brazilian jiu-jitsu takedown.

Techniques featured in this set will include (but certainly will not be limited to) the following:

  • Closed Guard to Back Control
  • Gi Choke Using Sleeve Control
  • Omo Plata Reversal When Opponent Posts One Leg
  • Guard Pass Defense to Brabo Choke
  • Arm Drag to Back Control to Rear-Naked Choke
  • Progressive Attacks From Leg-on-Shoulder Closed Guard
  • Double-Underhook Pass to Crucifix
  • Leg Sweep Butterfly-Guard Pass
  • Side-Control Escape Counter to Armbar
  • Tripod Choke
  • Anaconda Choke From Turtle Top
  • Jumping to Closed Guard
  • Butterfly Guard
  • Arm Trap to Shoulder Lock to Strikes
  • Reversal From Closed Guard
  • Standing Guard Break With Pass
  • Triangle Choke From Open Guard

If you’re interested in these upcoming DVDs, the book on which they are based is available in our online store! World-renowned teacher Jean Jacques Machado highlights the secrets behind gi and no-gi techniques for martial artists of all levels to successfully transition between styles.

Richard Bustillo’s JKD Techniques: The Hammerfist Combo

To help you become as successful as possible in your self-defense training, Richard Bustillo shared four of his favorite defensive jeet kune do techniques with us.

Bustillo devoted much of his life to preserving and propagating the timeless teachings of Bruce Lee. Bustillo was one of the “Little Dragon’s” first followers in Los Angeles, and he was partly responsible for training Bruce Lee’s children in the martial arts.

Although Bustillo, who was Black Belt’s 1989 Co-Instructor of the Year, can trace his martial beginnings back to a nondescript Hawaii judo club he joined when he was 10, he has also trained in boxing, kajukenbo, escrima, Thai boxing, wrestling, jujitsu, silat and, most recently, tai chi chuan. Yet he never lost sight of Lee’s message, which is embodied in his jeet kune do.

For more JKD techniques and training advice, check out The Ultimate Guide to Jeet Kune Do.

“When I was 24, I met Bruce Lee, and I studied with him at the original Chinatown school,” Bustillo says. “I was one of the original students there. Bruce emphasized the importance of being well-rounded in all ranges, and now at the IMB Academy, we focus on that concept. We like to use weapons in long range, boxing strikes and kicking in middle range, and grappling and trapping up close. You have to know all those ranges to be successful in self-defense.”

Jeet Kune Do Technique: Hammerfist Combo

Face your opponent in a right-hand-lead stance, which positions your strong side forward, Bustillo says. “You feed him a right hammerfist, which draws his right hand into blocking. You then trap his right hand with your left hand and attempt to strike with a second hammerfist, but he blocks it with his left hand.”

To bypass his defenses, you execute a lap sao, in which you pull his left hand across his body, thus tying up both arms. “Then you can successfully land your hammerfist on the third try,” Bustillo says. “And with his hands still trapped, you immediately execute an upward elbow to the chin, then drive the heel of your palm into the bridge of his nose.”

[ti_billboard name=”Jeet Kune Do Hands Part 1″]

Such a punishing combination is appropriate only in dire circumstances, Bustillo says. “Because a hit to the bridge of the nose or temple can do severe damage,” he says, “you should do things like that only to stop aggression toward you—but you must stop the attacker as quickly as you can.

“When you’re trying to execute this sequence against a dangerous opponent, you must have confidence so you can be fluid and quick. Try not to let him upset your flow or destroy any of the techniques, but if something should happen, you just have to adapt to the new situation.”

Richard Bustillo’s JKD Techniques Series

Part Two: Clinch Counter
Part Three: Kick Interception

Fight Smart in Close-Quarters Combat Using Wing Chun Techniques

In the martial arts, one school of thought holds that you should change your game to match your opponent’s. Example: If you’re a stand-up fighter and you’re facing a grappler, you should immediately switch into grappling mode. Problem is, that requires you to train to such an extent that each subset of your skills is superior to the skills of a person who focuses on only that range of combat. Your grappling must be better than a grappler’s, your kicking must be better than a kicker’s and your punching must be better than a puncher’s. It’s a tough task, to be sure.

Another school of thought holds that you should never fight force with the same kind of force. In other words, don’t try to beat your opponent at what he does best. Instead, use a set of concepts and techniques that will enable you to nullify his attacks and nail him when he’s not expecting it. The best set of concepts I’ve found is called the science of wing chun, as taught by Black Belt Hall of Fame member William Cheung. It offers a strategic approach to combat that’s guaranteed to help any stand-up fighter prevail on the street.

Before beginning, a few words about wing chun are in order. Supposedly developed by a woman named Yim Wing Chun, the system is based on scientific principles that allow the practitioner to achieve peak performance in any combat situation, even against a larger opponent. It does so by teaching you how to fight smarter, not harder. The key to achieving that goal lies in the following seven principles.

Wing Chun Principle #1: Maintain a Balanced Stance

When you’re in a balanced wing chun stance, your opponent won’t be able to read your intentions because you’re not telegraphing the way you’ll fight. He can’t discern your commitment to any move or to any direction.

The stance requires a 50-50 weight distribution at all times. That enables you to move either foot in any direction at any time. Having maximum mobility, at a moment’s notice, is essential for dealing with armed or multiple attackers. Being balanced also conserves energy, which allows you to channel it to other uses while under attack.

Once your opponent moves, wing chun teaches that you should immediately shift into a side neutral stance based on the side of your body he attacks. If he comes from your right, you deal with him by using your right arm and right foot, and vice versa. Your stance is now similar to that of a boxer, except that you’re oriented at a 45-degree angle so you’re less open to his blows.

Wing Chun Technique #1: Leg Sweep

[ti_billboard name=”SequenceA”]

William Cheung (left) faces his opponent, Eric Oram, in a side neutral stance (1). Oram throws a left jab toward Cheung’s right side, causing Cheung to counter with a right palm strike (2). The opponent then tries a roundhouse punch, which Cheung counters with a finger-thrust block (3). He tries to force his roundhouse punch but Cheung moves with the arm and maintains control of the elbow (4). The wing chun master then hits him with an elbow strike (5) before taking him down with a leg sweep (6-7). He finishes with a series of punches to the head (8).

Wing Chun Principle #2 Attack Your Opponent’s Balance

In any kind of fighting, balance is everything. Strive to maintain yours while attacking your opponent’s. Often, that entails getting him to lean too far into his technique, overcommit to his movement or overextend his body. Without proper balance, he won’t be able to move, block or strike effectively.

In general, grapplers employ a strategy that involves an overzealous commitment to a move. They’ll lean, lunge or throw themselves forward in an effort to take you to the ground, which is their preferred environment. At that point, they’ll attempt to mount you and punch, or they’ll choke you unconscious. That’s all well and good as long as you don’t take advantage of their momentary lack of balance.

In wing chun, you control your opponent’s balance and then deflect his force primarily by controlling his elbow. As Cheung likes to say, if you control his elbow, you can control his balance.

Wing Chun Technique #2: Balance Disruption

[ti_billboard name=”SequenceB”]

The opponent (left) closes the distance and grabs William Cheung’s right arm (1-2). Cheung interrupts his balance with a palm-strike push aimed at the man’s elbow (3). He then pulls the trapped limb down to effect a standing armbar (4). Cheung pushes the opponent to the floor (5) and neutralizes him with punches (6).

Wing Chun Principle #3: Control Your Opponent’s Elbow

Always watch your adversary’s lead elbow. Why the elbow? Because whenever a person’s arm moves to strike you, so does …