Self-Defense Videos

2016 Black Belt Gift Guide for That Special Martial Artist in Your Life!

The staff of Black Belt gets to see and sometimes use the coolest products in the martial arts world. (No, we’re not hiring right now.)

Because it’s the season of giving, we decided to look back at the items we’ve come across during the past year or two and post the most interesting ones — with clickable links — for your convenience. These are a few of our favorite things.

For the Frugal Buyer!

Bruce Lee’s Fighting Method: The Complete Edition

Since their rerelease as Bruce Lee’s Fighting Method: The Complete Edition, the four volumes from the founder of jeet kune do have taken on a new life for a new generation of martial artists. The hardcover book features digitally remastered photos of Lee, a chapter by Ted Wong and an introduction by Shannon Lee. It’s the perfect complement to the Tao of Jeet Kune Do. $24

Nigel The Ninja

The “mission” of Nigel the Ninja is to gather information about the martial arts by studying other young-artists-in-training. A great source of fun and inspiration for any home or gym, Nigel stands 12 inches tall and has a felt body and a resin head. It comes with a sling bag and back-story notecard. Coloring book sold separately. $30


Bruce Lee Action Figure

Bandai and Tamashii Nations have released a Bruce Lee action figure that comes equipped with a staff, a nunchaku, a pair of kali sticks and detachable body parts: three extra heads and nine extra hands. It stands 5 inches tall and is fully posable. $50



ProForce Open Face Headgear

What makes this piece of protective gear special? A heavy-gauge, reinforced vinyl shell. Lightweight molded-foam padding. Multiple openings for maximum air circulation. Plus, the open-face design is lightweight and visibility-friendly. The integrated strapping closure makes it fully adjustable. $60


Tai Chi Documentary

Barry Strugatz made The Professor: Tai Chi’s Journey West to tell the world about Cheng Man-Ching. In the 1960s, the master moved from his native Taiwan to New York, where he began teaching his art — often controversially — to Americans. This moving documentary, available on DVD or as a download, is guaranteed to make you want to take up tai chi chuan, and it might even have you tearing up by the end. $25

ProForce Compression Shorts

This compression garment uses a wicking fabric to draw moisture away from your body, thus helping keep you cool and comfy. The muscle-hugging stretch fabric is reinforced with flat-lock seams. The meshed pocket allows air to circulate and keeps the vented groin-protecting cup in place during the most strenuous workouts. $40


Traditionz Shirts

These two greats of the martial arts world have joined forces to launch Dragon Traditionz. The company markets a product line composed of active wear for martial artists and anyone else who appreciates shirts and hoodies with great graphics, great materials and great construction. $24-$39 each


For the Working-Class Shopper!

Grapple Buddy

After collaborating with a Brazilian jiu-jitsu instructor, Century Martial Arts created the Grapple Buddy. It gives young students an easy way to practice their ground techniques without the distractions that can accompany working with a human partner. This child-size dummy is made of high-density foam and reinforced vinyl for maximum durability. $80

Century Kicking Jeans

Suitable for a variety of styles, Kicking Jeans from Century Martial Arts are rugged denim pants that offer durability without sacrificing comfort and breathability. These stylish and contemporary jeans are made from a special blend of denim and elastane fibers with a stretch range of approximately 30 percent. The VariFlex Twinseam design allows for optimal flexibility with a generous gusset for kicking. $60

Ultimate Karate Collection

Hayabusa recently introduced the Ultimate Karate Collection. It includes everything a serious practitioner needs: professional-grade sparring gloves, shin protectors and footpads, as well as uniforms that are designed for competition and training. There’s even one uniform that’s been called the world’s finest gi. $13-$150


Tribute Jiu-Jitsu Gi

The 96 Especial Jiu-Jitsu Gi is a tribute to Brazilian jiu-jitsu legend Ricardo Liborio’s victory at the inaugural IBJJF World Championship in 1996. He became the first world BJJ champion, despite the fact that he was competing in a weight division above his own. Century collaborated with Liborio to create this gi and make it suitable for future champions. $130

For the Big Spender!

Spyderco Nirvana Knife

This top-of-the-line folder from Spyderco came from the mind of Peter Rassenti, who created a design that uses a solid piece of titanium to form the handle. Named Imported Knife of the Year by Blade magazine, it features a stainless-steel blade that’s 3.76 inches long. The materials and resultant weight — 4.8 ounces — make it feel substantial and high quality, like a family heirloom waiting to be passed down. $720


Richard Ryan: How Speed-Hand Striking Can Give Women an Element of Surprise

Richard Ryan Discusses Speed-Hand Striking -- post on Black Belt magazine website at one of the nation’s leading authorities on self-protection and tactical weapons training, Richard Ryan is a longtime advocate of the scientific approach to self-defense. Richard Ryan is the founder of the Dynamic Combat Method and the co-founder of iCAT (Integrated Combative Arts Training) with Joe Lewis and Walt Lysak Jr.

In this nearly four-minute mini-seminar video, the reality-based martial arts expert discusses the palm vs. the fist, using speed to one’s advantage and how to open up the chance to escalate a conflict or escape an attacker.

Richard Ryan Goes In-Depth With the Concept of Speed Striking

Learn how to use an attacker’s weak spots to your
advantage in this FREE download!
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Bigger Than You by Exploiting Vital Targets

Is There an “Ultimate” Technique?

“Obviously, every situation is different,” says reality-based martial arts expert Richard Ryan, “so you’re not going to have any one thing that’s gonna generically be able to take care of all sorts of situations. But the possibility that a woman gets accosted by somebody who … thinks that they’re physically superior … that’s a good advantage for her because she can use the element of surprise. [For the element of surprise], we teach what’s called a speed hand.”

What Does the Speed Hand Look Like?

To see the speed hand in action, watch the video above!

In verbally describing the speed-hand technique, Richard Ryan says, “What we do is teach … how to just strike out and catch a person right in the eye/nose area — almost like a pushing action. What that will do … is at least buy one second, one moment to do something. [Once you’ve gotten the speed hand in], run like hell in the other direction.”

Tips for Execution of the Speed Hand

“Head down, knees bent, hands up, try to deflect anything that you can possibly deflect,” Richard Ryan explains, “and, the moment you can, drive your open hand into their facial area and run.”

What’s More Important? Speed or Force?

Richard Ryan explains in-depth and takes the principles behind the speed-hand strike into action in the video above!

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Combat Focus Shooting Expert Rob Pincus Discusses the Not-So-Picture-Perfect Reality of Self-Defense Against a Knife Attack on the Street

You’re out for a walk in the city at night and a man approaches you. Before you know it, he comes at you for a knife attack.

What do you do?

In a martial arts magazine, self-defense experts could suggest a variety of counterattacks — some from the traditional martial arts arena, some from the modern martial arts such as krav maga, and others from the reality-based self-defense world of combatives and the like.

The common element, though, would be a picture-perfect execution. “Assailants” attack when the self-defense instructor tells them to, the photographer directs the angle, and there would probably be the opportunity for a second take — not to mention the in-studio snacks and option for lunch when the shoot wraps.

But what does a not-so-picture-perfect knife-attack scenario look like? Combat Focus Shooting expert Rob Pincus talks about that in his latest video, shot exclusively for

Rob Pincus Discusses Self-Defense Against a Knife Attack Under Pressure in a Dynamic Situation

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Armed with a training gun, Rob Pincus reacts to the approach of his assailant calmly in an attempt to diffuse the potentially lethal situation. As the attack situation escalates, so does the volume of Rob Pincus’ voice as he urges the assailant to “Stop!” and “Stay back!” as they clash in a flurry of advances, retreats, twists and turns. Rob Pincus deflects the attacker’s knife arm outward so as to keep it extended and away from his own torso’s vital organs. This hyperextension throws the attacker slightly off-balance.

While he attempts to regain ground so as to get his knife hand back into the game, Rob Pincus sneaks his right arm under the opponent’s left shoulder and forces that left arm up and over to (a) keep the attacker’s left hand away from the firearm stowed on his belt and (b) open up the attacker’s own vital-organ section and get him into position for the most effective usage of said firearm.

It’s a loud, messy scene. The combatants are all over the place. There is no “take two.” These guys are playing for keeps, and it’s not very photo-friendly. “You can see that in a dynamic environment,” Rob Pincus explains, “it’s much harder to actually make all that look perfect.”

Rob Pincus continues: “And as we know, with any complex motor skills, when you do them at speed and under pressure, they’re going to look sloppy. … The key was keeping [the attacker’s right] arm, using an outside-90, using a forearm technique — kind of a SPEAR System technique — to keep that knife away from my body until I can get pressure and control and then slip my underhook in to a point where I can get set up to duck in.”

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“Mack” on Movements, Weapons and Targets in Combat

Richard "Mack" Machowicz on weapons, movements and targets for Black Belt magazine.Richard “Mack” Machowicz, an ex-Navy SEAL and former host of the cable-TV series Future Weapons, as well as a student of taekwondo, muay Thai, kali, boxing, Brazilian jiu-jitsu and Paul Vunak’s jeet kune do, discusses the three dynamic elements of combat (movements, weapons and targets) in this exclusive footage shot on location by Black Belt magazine.

“Rarely if ever will you experience combat,” Richard “Mack” Machowicz says, “and most likely you will never see combat in a literal sense, but the principles that make for effectiveness in battle are relevant to the daily challenges you face.”

It’s his way of telling people that the benefits of what he’s about to explain extend far beyond fighting. After interrogating Richard “Mack” Machowicz for 10 minutes, however, I learn that it would be a huge mistake to dismiss him as a guy who uses self-defense to preach self-help. It would be just as erroneous to brush him off as just another retired military man who doesn’t know that the skills civilians need are radically different from the skills soldiers need.

Twenty minutes into our interview, it’s clear that Mack is a martial artist who can throw down and a guy who sees the big picture with respect to violence. Which is probably why he’s so successful at what he does.

Get the inside story of one man’s transition from being “just a fighter” to being deployed to the Middle East as an elite combatant in this FREE download!
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After he’d become a hand-to-hand-combat instructor for his SEAL Team and studied muay Thai, kali, boxing, Brazilian jiu-jitsu and Paul Vunak’s take on jeet kune do, Mack found himself in an interesting quandary. “There were so many ideas I wanted to convey that [I had to convert them] into simple principles,” he says. “Why? Because people tend to get stuck on technique. They don’t understand that techniques apply to specific situations at specific times in specific ways. That means techniques are limited. Principles are more universal. The basic principle of ‘target dictates weapon and weapons dictate movement’ can apply to everything in life because everything is a target, a weapon or a movement.”

Mack explains that fighting is composed of three dynamic elements, then forces me to exercise my brain a bit to see the light: “From nukes to hand-to-hand combat, everything in life is a movement, a weapon or a target.”

During the photo shoot to accompany the interview, he put the theory into practice with our creative director, as shown in this video:

Ex-Navy SEAL on Movements, Weapons and Targets in Combat

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Israeli Martial Arts: Krav Maga Expert Eyal Yanilov Shows You How to Disable an Opponent and Defend Yourself From the Ground

Krav maga expert Eyal Yanilov in action.Eyal Yanilov is, by far, one of the most respected krav maga practitioners in the world today. He is currently listed as “master level 3/expert level 8” in krav maga — the highest rank krav maga founder Imi Lichtenfeld ever awarded to any student. Eyal Yanilov’s official title today is chief instructor of Krav Maga Global, the organization he founded in 2010 to spread real krav maga to the world.

In the cover story for the March 2011 issue of Black Belt, Eyal Yanilov demonstrated a series of krav maga defenses against variations of the front kick. In this exclusive video, Eyal Yanilov demonstrates his “disable and defend” moves.

Eyal Yanilov Shows You How to Disable an Opponent and Defend Yourself From the Ground Using Krav Maga

Watch Alain Cohen, Moni Aizik, Darren Levine and others demonstrate their
krav maga techniques in exclusive videos and DVD excerpts!

In the above video’s technique sequence, Eyal Yanilov is sitting on the ground when the aggressor approaches and begins his kick. “In the sitting position,” Eyal Yanilov explains, “[I will deflect] the kick when moving the body out from the area of the attack.”

The krav maga expert shifts to his left to evade the foot and simultaneously deflects the leg with his left arm. “We call it 200-percent defense,” Eyal Yanilov says. “One-hundred-percent efficiency with the hand, 100-percent efficiency with the body.”

Eyal Yanilov explains the final section of the krav maga technique: “As soon as I [can], I counterattack. The moment I [shift] my weight and there’s no weight on the legs, I [can] already function to kick with them.” Eyal Yanilov then falls onto his left side and unleashes side kicks to the man’s leg and body, which prompts him to explain, “From this position, I attack … and from this position, either I continue to attack or move away from the danger zone,” as he finishes his opponent and escapes.

Eyal Yanilov began his training in the Israeli art at age 14 under Eli Avikzar but then shifted to the legendary Imi Lichtenfeld, founder of the system. Eyal Yanilov so impressed the krav maga master that he became Imi Lichtenfeld’s assistant. His primary assignment was to commit the art’s principles and techniques to paper. The result was Krav Maga: How to Defend Yourself Against Armed Assault, co-written by Imi Lichtenfeld (as Imi Sde-Or) and Eyal Yanilov, which was published in 2001 — three years after the founder passed away.

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