Make Your Martial Arts Movies Movie Perfect!

Newsletter 851

Perfect Moves in the Martial Arts

Happy Almost Summer!
it’s raining here in LA,
but tomorrow it will be 70 degrees,
and perfect for working out!

Got a MOST interesting email from Jon P.
It asked the question that bugs us all…

Hey Al, this may seem like a silly question, I don’t know if you’ve ever seen the Ipman trilogy or not, but if not then here is a clip to better set the stage for my question-
while I know it’s just a movie and everything is staged and choreographed, my question is : is there any way a level of competency in a fight like the type we see in the above clip, or similar ones likes it, could ever be achievable in a real fight?

Is there one among us
who has not watched martial arts in the movies
and wondered how to get that perfect?

Back at the Kang Duk Won,
this would have been about 1973,
there was an assistant instructor named Ron.
One day one of the fellows
pointed out that the forms were less than useful in a fight.
We could all feel the silence
as Ron turned to the fellow,
and we expected some kind of lecture,
or quick remark,
or something.
We didn’t expect what happened.

Ron: “Name a form.”
Student: “Pinan Two.’
Ron: “Let’s freestyle.”

They bowed,
and the student attacked.
Ron actually used the first movement from Pinan Two,
used an outward block and that useless back hand high block.
Then he stepped forward,
slashed down,
and went under the student’s arm.

Nobody really knew what had happened.
Nobody had ever seen somebody actually use the form.
Needless to say,
jaws dropped.

Ron: “Name a form.”
Student: “Pinan Five.”
They fought,
and Ron used one of the later moves from Pinan five
and totally undid the student.

Ron: “Name a form.”
Student: “Bot sai.”
When the fight started Ron jumped in with the first move,
blew the guy back
and straight punched his chest
and knocked the guy to the ground.

Ron even let some of the students call out individual moves from the forms,
and there was nothing anybody could do.
He simply used the forms,
in the middle of freestyle,
to do what he wished.
It was an uncanny and unbelievable demonstration of pure art.

It turned out that many of the upper belts could so such things,
but nobody was as good as Bob Babich,
who was the head instructor.

If you want more information on Bob
check out

right now,
let me tell you a little story about him.

Bob trained with Don Buck,
which meant that he trained with Mas Oyama,
who was Don’s direct teacher.
Then Bob met Norman Rha,
and he studied the Kang Duk Won
and opened his own school in San Jose.

After a few years Bob had promoted a few fellows to Black Belt.
One of the fellows was Johnny V.
Johnny was much admired,
and was EXTREMELY good.
Johnny decided to open his own school,
he did so,
and it was right down the street.
A block away from Bob’s school!

He was actually competing with Bob!

And here is the phenomenal part…
he still expected to come to Bob’s classes!

Some of the fellows told Bob what Johnny was doing.
Bob got tight around the eyes.
And Johnny walked in.

Bob started the class.
There was a short stint of stretches,
the basics,
the forms,
applications of the forms,
and then…freestyle.
We lined up
two lines facing each other.
Freestyle for a moment,
then bowed and stepped to the right.
The guys at the end moved to the other side,
and we all freestyled new partners.
Bob had started at the top of the line,
Johnny at the bottom.
They met in the middle.

Everybody in the room could feel the tension.
Bob and Johnny bowed.
Johnny started to move,
and Bob touched his eyeball.
Johnny couldn’t even blink,
let alone move his head away.
They began again.
Johnny tried to move away,
Bob touched his eyeball.
Just a touch,
a bare touch,
but Johnny could feel things happening inside.
For ten minutes they sparred,
and no matter what Johnny did
Bob touched his eyeball.
When freestyle was over,
when the class was over,
Johnny walked into the back room and sat down.
He just sat there,
hanging head,
and after a few minutes he began to sob uncontrollably.

this is an absolutely true story.
this particular bit of martial arts
has been in the movies.
It has been years since i saw it,
I’ve forgotten which movie.
Might be Jet li,
that rings a bell,
but somebody can remind me which.

But the point is this,
you CAN make your martial arts perfect,
perfect to a point which movies would be hard pressed to duplicate,
at least without FX, wires and trampolines.

What does it take?

you need to find a good martial art,
one that hasn’t been messed with by tournaments,
sparring gear,
vested interest,
and so on and so on.

One that has been tried and tested
and formed over generations,
and which has grown only by the inclusion of that which really works,
and then only when that technique fits
with the concept of the martial art in question.

What I call a Closed Combat System
(see earlier blog on CCS)

Or you could just study a matrixed martial art.
That would be a pure art,
one which adheres aa concept
and all the hidden moves
are easy to see.

Here you go…

Have a great work out!

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especially the blogs…

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