This article is the third of three excerpts from the Wally Jay book Small-Circle Jujitsu, in which the late founder describes the foundational ideas of his system of jujitsu techniques. These concepts are essential reading for anyone looking to get started in the art — or, on the opposite end of the spectrum, to get back to basics and address negative habits that may have developed over the years. Read Wally Jay's 10 Principles for Execution of Small-Circle Jujitsu Techniques (Part 1 of 3)! Read Wally Jay's 10 Principles for Execution of Small-Circle Jujitsu Techniques (Part 2 of 3)! Wally Jay's Small-Circle Jujitsu Techniques — Principle #9: Rotational Momentum Rotational momentum is one of the major types of movement in small-circle jujitsu techniques. Henry Okazaki demonstrated this back in 1944. It is a method of creating strong off-balancing moves as a preliminary to throwing the opponent. By holding the opponent with both hands, you circle both hands in the same direction. One hand pulls while the other pushes. As the opponent leans to oppose your influence, you circle back, adding your force to his own body momentum to shift him off-balance. Wally Jay's Small-Circle Jujitsu Techniques — Principle #10: Transitional Flow The purpose of learning the art of transitional flow for your jujitsu techniques is to enable you to counterattack any intentions of your adversary by fluidly moving from one technique to another. Watching a polished technician change jujitsu techniques is an impressive experience. He moves like a dancer instead of a brawler. He is relaxed, confident, calm, quick and mobile. His change of counter-techniques is dependent on what his attacker does. Normally, the first transitional change is sufficient to subdue the opponent. If necessary, he moves into a second transitional change.

Delve deeper into small-circle jujitsu with our new FREE Guide — Human Pressure Points: 3 Jujitsu Techniques by Small-Circle Jujitsu Founder Wally Jay — available now for FREE download!


Before you can do this, however, you must be able to apply each individual technique proficiently. You must be able to focus efficiently, stick to your opponent and distract your opponent's concentration effectively. The transitional flow is the most advanced art of the entire system. By the time you begin to develop the ability to apply this principle, you should be able to read your attacker‘s intentions, through your fingers, palms, forearms, upper arms and shoulders. In applying most finger and wrist locks, your ring finger or your pinkie are the most sensitive parts of contact. Grip firmly but do not tighten your grip. Otherwise, your opponent will be able to sense your intentions. This is why in the application of any lock it is not necessary to go into a fighting stance. It takes so little effort to create pain. Relax, stand straight and prepare to be mobile. This is the time you do not need stability. Mastering transitional changes enables you to constantly flow from one technique to another and still maintain total control. By cultivating a sensitivity to your opponent’s slightest movement, you will be able to react spontaneously in unforeseen situations, especially when you meet resistance to your original technique. The principles of transitional changes in jujitsu techniques are as follows:
  • Exert continual pain during transitions. This not only will deter retaliation, but by increasing the pain as needed, also will discourage any escape attempt, which must be anticipated because your opponent is bound to sense that the transition is his best opportunity to escape.
  • Create maximum pain without dislocating the joint. This will show the attacker that you can injure him, if necessary, just by adding a little more pressure. This will cause him to fear you.
  • Mobility is needed during transitions rather than stability.
Editor's Note: This piece was adapted for online presentation from a previous version published in Wally Jay's acclaimed book Small-Circle Jujitsu. The five-volume DVD series by Wally Jay based on his book is available in our online store. Professor Wally Jay passed away May 29, 2011, at the age of 93. To read tributes and learn more about Wally Jay, visit smallcirclejujitsu.com.
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Do you want to maximize your self defense skills? Learn the game of combat chess and most importantly the queen of all moves.

Allow me to intercept those who would object to the title of this article. I'm not claiming that there's a secret move, shortcut or hack that will give you the edge in any fight. Even if there was an ultimate weapon or strategy, you likely would avoid it because you
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Looking to buy some weights to gain some strength?

Looking at Dumbbell, Kettlebells or Weighted bar? How about an all in one that won't just save you some good amount of money but also space? Look no further, we bring you the GRIPBELL!

Let's face it, when we do want to work on some strength building, we don't want to go around shopping for 20 different weight equipment things. That would just not want us to even do any sort of strength training. But what if we only needed a few, a few that can do the things we want without having 20 things lay around? That's where the GRIPBELL comes in. Let me clarify with you first, these are not some heavy duty, muscle exploding weights, they are for building the level of strength we as martial artists want without going crazy and insane in bulk sizing!

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Many different types of "blocks" are taught in most martial arts school. We are taught high blocks, low blocks, middle blocks, knife hand blocks, etc. Some schools will also teach how to use the legs to block an attack, as well.

The purpose of this writing is to possibly open some minds to the possibilities of going outside the box and considering alternatives to the basics.

Blocking is taught as a way of protecting oneself from harm. Truly, we don't "block" anything, as a non-martial artist would think of it. What we call "blocking" is more of a redirection of an opponent's attack, or even a counterstrike against the opponent's attacking limb.

To block something would mean to put something, like your arm, leg or other body part directly in front of the attack. That would certainly hurt and possibly cause some damage. The goal should be to move the attack out of the way in order to prevent injury and provide a way to fight back. For example, many schools teach blocks as a limb moving toward the strike such as a circular high block.

The movement required for a block might have other uses, if you keep an open mind. The blocking techniques can also be used as attack techniques. For example, your "low block" may be used as a striking technique against the outer thigh of the attacker. Your high block might be used as a strike to the jaw. The set up for a block can be used as a deflection, as well as the actual block.

Doing a block or a series of blocks will most likely not end an attack. A block needs to be followed by a counterattack. While the block is usually taught as a separate technique in order to learn it correctly, it should also be used in combination with a counter.

The more you know, the more you realize how much you don't know. Intensive books can and have be written about basic techniques. With this writing, I am hoping to create interest in exploring the additional possibilities for what we have been taught and what we teach others.

About Grand Master Stevens

GM Stevens has been training in taekwondo for 47 years under the tutelage of the late legendary Grand Master Richard Chun. He holds an 8th degree black belt and is certified in the USA and in Korea. Grand Master Stevens is a member of the Board of Directors of the prestigious Richard Chun TaeKwonDo World Headquarters organization. He has been very active in his community and has been a volunteer with the Glen Rock Volunteer Ambulance Corps for over 11 years. He is a certified member of C.E.R.T. (Community Emergency Response Team).

Gary Stevens Taekwondo is located at 175 Rock Road in Glen Rock, New Jersey.

For more information: call (201) 670-7263, email: StevensTKD@aol.com or go to www.StevensTaeKwonDo.com

Having partners at or above your skill level is important for improving in your martial arts training. At some point, however, you will probably find yourself with a shortage of skilled partners, especially if you are an instructor.

This can happen for any number of reasons: students can move away, change their work schedules, start a family, etc., and just like that, you find that you're the highest-ranked student, or sole instructor, in your gym or dojo. This doesn't have to be a bad thing. In fact, if you take advantage of it, even working exclusively with lower-ranking classmates or students can improve your skills.

I used to host a twice-a-week training session at my dojo where I invited mostly black belts from other schools (as well as a few of my advanced students) to come and run drills. It was a blast. These were tough two- to three-hour sessions where I got to work with fighters of all different sizes, speeds, and technique preferences. My sparring improved dramatically over the next few months, and I don't think I've ever been in better shape. But unfortunately, it doesn't always work out that way. And as the old saying goes, "You gotta work with what ya got." So, make it hard on yourself.

I like to set handicaps when fighting my students. Specifically, I focus on forcing myself to work on improving my weak areas. Is you right leg weaker than the left? Then only kick with the right leg when sparring your students. Not much of an inside fighter? Don't kick at all. Training with partners of lesser skill not only helps you improve your weak points but gives them an opportunity to improve as well by working on strategy. It's also great for building their confidence. It can also be a low-cost opportunity to test new techniques and combinations, which benefits you as well.

In grappling, just like sparring, there is little benefit to wrapping lower ranking classmates into pretzels over and over, for them or you. Instead, let your partner put you in a bad situation. Let them get the mount; help them sink in that choke or armbar. If you start standing, such as in judo, allow your partner to get the superior grip before attempting a throw. This way you will get comfortable working out of a weaker position and your less-experienced partner can perfect their technique (and get experience using multiple techniques, if you get out of their first one).

You might think that giving advantages like these to students who may be far beneath your skill level is much of a challenge. Trust me, you'll reconsider that sentiment when you wind up sparring a 6'5" novice with zero control over his strength after deciding to only use your weak leg, or have a 250-pound green belt lying across your diaphragm trying to get an armlock after you let them get the pin. Remember, this is exactly what you signed up for: a challenge.

If you find yourself at the top of the heap without partners who are sufficiently challenging, there is no need to despair. Use it as a low-stress opportunity to improve your weaknesses and develop avenues to help your less experienced classmates and students to grow. You may even be surprised. One day they might present more of a challenge than you ever imagined!
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