“Dan Inosanto … is one of the people most responsible for keeping the jeet kune do flame alive. He has done a great deal to expose the art of jeet kune do to the entire world by holding seminars and writing articles and books since the passing of Bruce Lee.
Were it not for [Dan Inosanto], jeet kune do might possibly have died with Bruce Lee. [He] has also gone into his own roots — searching out the many Filipino martial arts and many of the Southeast Asian arts to offer his students jeet kune do concepts through the interpretation of other vehicles such as kali, muay Thai and pentjak silat.
[His] take on JKD is considered an added dimension in the jeet kune do timeline. He has followed his own light and found the best within himself.”
— William Cheung and Ted Wong, from their out-of-print book Wing Chun Kung Fu / Jeet Kune Do: A Comparison Vol. 1
Such words of high praise from two of the martial arts’ most famous luminaries only serve to further highlight how proud we were when this talented and professional martial artist visited the offices of Black Belt magazine a few years ago to shoot a cover story and a wide range of other photography for future usage.
Below you can see exclusive footage from that day, pulled from our extensive digital-video archive EXCLUSIVELY for this presentation:
EXCLUSIVE DAN INOSANTO VIDEO The Kenpo and JKD Expert, Filmed Behind the Scenes at Black Belt Magazine
Thailand is renowned for its fearsome fighters. Kickboxing insiders often refer to muay Thai as the king of the ring because of its devastating shin kicks, elbow strikes and knee thrusts. Those familiar with the history of warfare have an equally lofty opinion of krabi krabong, the Thai art of weaponry.
In the Thai language, krabi refers to “short sword,” and krabong translates as “long staff.”
The meaning is concealed but clever: Regardless of the dimensions of the weapon, krabi krabong teaches you to attack or defend effectively by developing your ability to use fundamental movements and strategies. Whether armed with a stick, a blade or nothing at all, you have viable options and familiar answers.
In the United States, one of the Thai weapon art’s foremost experts is Black Belt Hall of Fame member Dan Inosanto. He studied under several masters, including Col. Nattapong Buayam.
KRABI KRABONG VIDEO Col. Nattapong Buayam Demonstrates Krabi Krabong Double-Sword Action for Black Belt Magazine
The Colonel’s Pedigree and Expertise
A former Thai special-forces instructor, Col. Nattapong Buayam is no stranger to physical aggression and combat. Well-versed in modern Thai boxing and muay boran — the bare-knuckle father of muay Thai — the colonel has a special affinity for krabi krabong.
“In battle, in close-combat warfare, you are usually not fighting barehanded,” he says. “You have a rifle, bayonet, knife or some other implement. If you’re fighting barehanded, that’s a last resort. So an effective soldier should know how to use almost anything as a means of securing victory.”
That’s where krabi krabong comes in, teaching a variety of weapons — including the dagger, short sword, long sword, halberd, spear and mae sok, a tonfa-like device. The daab song mue, or double swords, are the trademark weapons of the system and often the first ones learned. (See the video above!) The training forces you to develop coordination with both hands, which facilitates the delivery of powerful attacks and a strong defense using either side.
“Krabi krabong is very old — from the days when the Thai people went to war all the time,” explains Col. Nattapong, as he’s known. “If one of your hands or arms gets cut, you still have to fight your way through the battle. So being able to use both of your hands and both sides of your body is a must with krabi krabong training.”
The Marriage of Krabi Krabong and Muay Boran
Because of that openness to using the entirety of the body while wielding a weapon, it makes perfect sense to develop maximum familiarity with the techniques of muay boran. Muay boran is known for its brutal strikes, many of which were banned in modern competition until the advent of no-holds-barred matches.
MUAY BORAN VIDEO Col. Nattapong Buayam and Dr. Mark Cheng Demonstrate Muay Boran for Black Belt Magazine
During my studies with Col. Nattapong, he taught muay boran techniques during our “rest” periods. This allowed my hands to take a short break from the hours of gripping and swinging the swords.
Starting with defenses against punches, we progressed into attacks and counters using the whole body, centering on wickedly painful punches, elbows, knees and kicks.
After combining them with deft footwork, I found myself able to dart into striking range, even when facing an armed opponent. A truth of training: Knowing how to use a weapon helps you understand how to avoid suffering the punishment of that weapon.
A role model to millions, film star Michael Jai White has studied the martial arts for 30 years and is far from finished!
An observant fan once referred to Michael Jai White as “Denzel Van Schwarzenegger.”
The nickname is as accurate as it is hilarious — an amalgam that creates the perfect triad to describe Michael Jai White: actor, martial artist, fitness icon.
Plenty of celebrities have ascended to superstar status by standing atop just one of the three pillars that support Michael Jai White’s career.
Years of rugged training have produced a work ethic that enables him to nurture all three sides of himself.
The lifestyle is possible, Michael Jai White says, only because of the discipline he learned in the dojo.
MICHAEL JAI WHITE VIDEO How Black Belt Magazine, Traditional Martial Arts Discipline and Working With Teachers Such as Joe Lewis Led Him to Success in His Life and Career
“I’m not one to spoil myself,” Michael Jai White says. “I’m living the life of a professional actor, but I train like a professional fitness person, and I do martial arts like a professional martial artist. I don’t have an assistant. And people who don’t do a quarter of the work I do have an assistant — sometimes two. People say, ‘How do you have the time?’ It’s all about discipline.”
Better yet, trust 10th-degree black belt and jujitsu master George Kirby to show you how jujitsu can counter the sucker punch before impact and take down your opponent using vital targets and energy redirection!
Jujitsu is known as the “gentle art” because it focuses on submitting your opponent with speed and ease without inflicting permanent damage. It’s therefore well-suited for law enforcement, mixed martial arts and sparring applications.
In this exclusive martial arts technique video, American Ju-Jitsu Association co-founder and budoshin jujitsu pioneer George Kirby shows you jujitsu techniques to counter a sucker punch! George Kirby outlines two counterattacks to stop the sucker punch and immobilize your opponent using vital targets, energy redirection and pressure points.
Long before the Brazilian jiu-jitsu revolution swept the United States, George Kirby began studying the gentle art to help deal with the stress of grad school. Little did he know that his tutelage under sensei Jack “Sanzo” Seki was the beginning of a martial arts journey that would shape America’s understanding of jujitsu for decades to come.
By 1968, Seki could sense George Kirby’s potential as an instructor and told him and fellow student Bill Fromm about an opening at a local YMCA in Burbank, California. When Kirby pointed out that as brown belts they were too inexperienced to teach, Seki responded, “Now you’re both black belts. Act like it.” And so began the teaching career of one of traditional jujitsu’s most respected and beloved masters.
A year later, George Kirby followed another one of Seki’s suggestions and collaborated with Bill Fromm to form the American Ju-Jitsu Association, which has grown into a governing body renowned for bringing together jujitsu practitioners from around the world. He’s also the founder and chairman of the Budoshin Ju-Jitsu Dojo Inc., a nonprofit educational foundation, and the Budoshin Ju-Jitsu Yudanshakai, a research and educational foundation.
In 1996, George Kirby launched a new jujitsu program for the city of Santa Clarita, California, where he continues to share what he’s learned. Along the way, he perfected his craft in the public-school system, where he taught jujitsu and social studies for nearly four decades.
A prolific writer, George Kirby has penned a half-dozen jujitsu books, and his self-defense essays have appeared in numerous publications, including Black Belt.
In 2000 Kirby reached the pinnacle of his profession when he was promoted to judan (10th-degree black belt).
In recognition of his 40 years of teaching, Black Belt proudly inducted him into its Hall of Fame as their 2007 Instructor of the Year.
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Caitlin Dechelle is a martial artist whom you’ve seen in films and television more times than you may realize. She has co-starred with the likes of Jackie Chan in films such as Chinese Zodiac and appeared in TV series such as Nickelodeon’s Supah Ninjas. In 2013 and 2014, Caitlin Dechelle has appeared as a stunt double in nine episodes of MTV’s popular Teen Wolf series. In 2015, she will appear as a stunt double for Olympic judoka, MMA fighter and actress Ronda Rousey in Fast & Furious 7, the latest installment of the blockbuster action franchise.
Along the way, she has also carved herself a spot on the karate tournament circuit, going on to become the Black Belt Hall of Fame’s 2007 Competitor of the Year.
A few years ago, Caitlin Dechelle visited the Black Belt studios for a photo shoot and we were able to capture her in her element as she demonstrated a variety of kicks, flips and sword moves for our cameras.
Here, for the first time anywhere, we present a glimpse behind the scenes of that shoot.
CAITLIN DECHELLE: BEHIND THE SCENES Ronda Rousey’s Stunt Double for Fast & Furious 7 Shows Black Belt Magazine What She’s Got in This Exclusive Photo-Shoot Footage!
According to Caitlin Dechelle’s official website, she began her martial arts career at age 8, and by age 13, she started her long association with XMA founder and Power Rangers actor Mike Chaturantabut. She traveled the world with his group promoting XMA and went on to earn more than 85 international martial arts world titles.
Eventually becoming a teacher at XMA, Caitlin Dechelle eventually moved into stunt work for films and television, during which time she also began studying the craft of acting. Her studies paid off with a starring role in the indie film Champions of the Deep: The Sword of the Sea and guest-star roles on Nickelodeon’s Supah Ninjas series.
More footage of Caitlin Dechelle performing in her karate demo reels can be found on the Karate page of her official website, as can a variety of photo galleries featuring pictures of her and martial arts movie stars such as Jackie Chan and David Carradine, MMA champion Matt Hughes and celebrities such as Taylor Swift, Chris Tucker and Reese Witherspoon, as well as photos of her competition triumphs and touring days with XMA and the Paul Mitchell Team.
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