Friday, November 23, 2012

Hakka Martial Arts Documentary

Thanks to Sifu Garry Hearfield for the link. Lots of great video to watch here, if you are a fan of Southern Chinese Martial Arts (Yau Kung Mun, Bak Mei, Lung Ying, etc.).

Drop me a line/comment, let me know what you think.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Tactical Flashlight

From The Art of Manliness - How to use a Tactical Flashlight

What Is a Tactical Flashlight?

In today’s post we’re not talking about just any old flashlight. We’re talking about tactical flashlights. What makes a flashlight tactical? A tactical flashlight is simply a flashlight that’s been designed for tactical (i.e. military or police) use. Many tactical flashlights are designed to be mounted to a weapon for low-light shooting. They’re typically smaller than traditional flashlights, emit much more light, and are made of weapon-grade aluminum for maximum durability. While tactical flashlights are designed primarily for military and police units, as we’ll see below, they’re also a really handy everyday and personal defense tool for the average civilian.

A small (not too small) flashlight should be part of your everyday carry. I carry one for the mundane tasks of looking under the car seat for items dropped, under furniture, in closets, etc. Generally once a day I use my surefire for something non-tactical.

As with many items, it is a multi-use item. Everyday carry is something to invest a bit of time in - most days (rarely) you do not need a weapon, but there is a much higher usage for lights, first aid kits, etc.

Be prepared for all life is going to dish out.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Video review and youtube video comment

Two items for today - a review of  Scott Sonnon's 'Primal Fitness' and a comment on a youtube video site.

Primal Fitness (PF) - the latest product to come out of

Like TacFit Commando, PF is provided to you via download. There are a lot of downloads with PF - I hope you have a fast Internet connection.

PF is based on the same 4-day wave, combined into 7 cycles for a total of 28 days. There are excellent mobility and cooldown sessions combined with the workouts. Where PF differs from TacFit Commando is that while TacFit Commando is based entirely on the Tabata type exercise session, each wave in PF concentrates on a different method of training - one wave Tabata style, one wave an 'Every minute on the minute' method, etc. The variety makes for an interesting month of training.

One other difference is the emphasis on heart rate and recovery - PF stresses this to a much higher degree than TacFit Commando does. Both are great for providing 'healthy' training, not just fitness. PF explains and emphasizes it more.

I would recommend either course. I feel the Commando option (minus the marketing techniques) is the better 'fitness' routine, the PF a better, long term option. I also feel the Commando option is an easier 'out of the box' system - it takes a bit of tweaking to get into PF - for example, the warmup and cooldown for Commando is available as a separate video clip, with PF you have to decide what you want to do for the warmup. not bad, but with Commando the option is already there for you.

As a public service announcement - sign up for rmax's newsletters - they will keep you up to date on sales and other events.

If this review helps you, drop me a line and let me know.

On to youtube - a friend (thanks, Sean) sent me a link to a fellow performing many gung fu forms, specifically Hung Gar. He writes in the comments about 'original' Hung Gar being played in a tight space, and performs Tid Sin Kuen and Gung Gee in a hallway (and later a Kwan Dao set in an apartment).

Overall, I like his performance - worth a second or third look, in my opinion.

'International Security' Book Review

The Kindle version of 'International Security, Personal Protection in an Uncertain World" by Orlando Wilson recently came out.

I have waited for this to come out for a while, and was not disappointed. Mr. Wilson has delivered a very good personal security primer here.

Not a book of checklists or esoteric philosophy, Mr. Wilson presents the essentials of security to the reader in a manner that requires the reader to evaluate their own security needs, and take action appropriately. He includes some brief examples from his career in Executive Protection to help illustrate his points.

I feel this would be a very good companion book to 'Escape the Wolf' by Clint Emerson.

I would like to see both books in the future include more personal examples of what to do, such as in this article from HammerHead Combat Systems on using reflections in daily life for situational awareness.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Review - Jik Bo Kuen Applications

As promised, here is the review of Warrior Body Buddha Mind's Omei Bak Mei Jik Bo Kuen Applications video.

As you are aware, I am very pleased with the instructional video and the circling hands video. The Applications video is also a winner.

I like the format the Sifu Christer has put together, breaking the form down segment by segment, and then showing applications (examples) to what he has broken down.

There is a lot of material in the form, and lots of places to pay attention to the smallest details to get the best results. Jik Bo Kuen is considered a beginners form, and also a Master's level form.

There were several key points that Sifu Christer brought out, not directly related to any one technique.
1 - Have faith in the techniques.
2 - Maintain the correct distance when practicing - the 'attacker' needs to feed the punches and grabs realistically (although slowly at first). This trains the eyes to recognize real threats, and also prepares you for the psychological effects of someone in your face.
3 - Have the correct mindset. Don't play patty cake with the arms, seize and strike with body weight. Of course, don't injure your partner - no one will play with you if you keep breaking them.
4 - The form is very strict in its footwork, angles, structures, etc. The applications will not necessarily be as strict. Adapt and become fluid in your actions.

I recommend you purchase all three videos. They will help you understand your respective martial art, and build a firm foundation for learning other sets.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Omei Bak Mei Circling Hands

I ordered the 'Omei Bak Mei Circling Hands' video (download) from Warrior Body Buddha Mind (WBBM) last week.

Starting with the download itself - what a pain. But this is due to my location (middle of a landlocked, dusty/sandy country with limited bandwidth on the best of days). Sifu Christer was a great asset, being patient with my multiple attempts to get a complete download. I also downloaded the Ly Jik Bo applications video (review coming later).

As noted on their site, the audio quality in a few places was bad - but only in a few small areas. It was a minor distraction, and did not detract from the instructional quality.

I liked the format of the video. With a brief introduction to the circling hands 'training platform' - it was right into the meat of the instruction. I liked the way they took the form Yum Yeung Jik Bo Kuen from beginning to end and how to apply it from the circling hands practice.

The circling hands video compliments the  form video - both urging relaxation and use of body (rise/sink/contract/expand) movement and not just arm and shoulder. I also liked the emphasis on it being a developmental drill and not a competition.

If you haven't bought the Yum Yeung Jik Bo Kuen video - do so before getting the circling hands video. It will make understanding both so much easier.

I have had exposure to several methods of 'sensitivity' training - hubud-lubud, Chi Sao, etc. - and like the combatives application that the WBBM bring to the table (mirrors my own ideas/experiences). Rather than focus on a rigid structure of movement, they tend towards a quicker, more dynamic method of movement. Kinda hard to explain in words, but the would rather you get moving and experience the exercise than worry about doing it 'properly'. The other arts tend to take a little longer to get to the useful stages (in my opinion).

Drop a comment, let me know what you think. Tell your other martial arts training partners about my site - the more the merrier.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Warrior Body, Buddha Mind

Warrior Body Buddha Mind - not a new site (been around a year or so in its present location - but a treasure trove of information regarding Yau Kung Mun, Bak Mei Pai and other arts.
I like the way that Sifu Garry Hearfield has researched the roots of the various arts, getting to the core methods of them.
I have several of their products, and find them to be extremely helpful in either a) introducing me to concepts I didn't have a grasp on, or b) exposing me to a different way of looking at what I currently train in.
Stop by and check them out.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Situational Awareness - September 2012

Seems to be in the forefront of the news I see lately - here are two articles (same site) dealing with the topic.
When Things Go Bad - deals with mental preparation, before a situation develops.
A Practical Guide to Situational Awareness - discussing how to achieve good SA without going into the 'paranoia' stage.
As always; read, study and apply the techniques that work for you.
Enjoy the links? Drop me a comment and let me know if we are providing relevant content for you. Thanks.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


This post is a bit 'off' the normal Yau Kung Mun pathway, but ....
This is from - a site about free diving.
Although this deals with sharks in particular, it can be used to illustrate the importance of awareness and its importance to our security/survival.
The author looked at the surroundings, the influences of geography on his location, and made a decision - based on his observations. Later, he was told there was a high-incidence of shark attacks there.
Do the same with your destinations - grocery store, new harbor to explore, etc. Conduct a quick observation/assessment, decide if things are in your favor and then act upon the decision.
Just wanted to illustrate that the concept of awareness is not limited to security issues. It is a tool we can (and do) utilize all the time.

Thursday, August 30, 2012


Just realized how long it had been since a posting here.

Was talking with Sean, and realized I have been neglecting the blog.

So, here's the update:

1. Finished up a 3 month stretch of yoga (usually twice a day) sessions, mobility and other recovery-type workouts. Kept weight down, improved some mental calmness, but I need to do some interval type work to get the blood flowing and improve my morale.

2. Started working with a new student, Jesus. A friend of my sister in law, he wanted some martial arts and general conditioning workouts. In two months of sporadic (due to my schedule, mostly) - he has learned the sequence for the stance set and the first set, Tung Chi Kuen. And more importantly, he has worked on it over the periods when I was not available. His dedication shows in his improvement each time.

3. Sifu Garry Hearfield has been hard at work on his Warrior Body Buddha Mind site, and has been working with Sifu Christer on the Burning Palm series. Check out here and here. He also has a FaceBook presence, check out his work.

4. I have been working on my yacht security blog (here) and become a micro distributor for Alarm Locks. Plus the day job, diving, boating, family time and all that.

Drop a line, check out my other sites, tell your friends to comment and ask questions and I'll be forced to update more often.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Omei Hung Mo Bak Mei Yum Yeung Jik Bo Kuen DVD

Review of Omei Hung Mo Bak Mei Yum Yeung Jik Bo Kuen DVD

Produced by Warrior Body Buddha Mind, this DVD covers the entry/foundation form of the Omei Bak Mei system – Yum Yeung Jik Bo Kuen. Applications of the form will be covered in a future DVD.

Overall, the content of the DVD is outstanding. Sifu Garry breaks down the set, from the beginning salute to the ending salute, with a fine attention to the body dynamics involved. His analysis of the forms movements bring the theoretical knowledge of Rise-Fall-Expand-Contract to a practical usage. This is what makes the form a beginner's basic entry level set and a foundation for all other sets in the Bak Mei lineage. In addition, he explains how to use 'spiral' type movements with the rise and fall actions. A lot of items to consider for a 'basic' set.

Sifu Garry emphasizes that the practitioner will need to get the 'feeling' of the movements, rather than merely copying the movements.

The DVD has a nice external training portion, illustrating some common Southern Chinese style exercises and equipment, with an emphasis on using them in a manner consistent with the Bak Mei principles he outlines in the set.

As a consumer of Martial Art DVD's, there are a few drawbacks to this one. The action takes place in
what appears to be a small apartment. This limits the ability to see the entire video played out in its proper manner. While good from a standpoint of concentrating on certain movements (a step-by-step sequence), it detracts from the overall flow of the form. It also makes understanding the footwork a bit difficult, unless you are already versed in Bak Mei style stepping. I have seen some of his outdoor training clips, perhaps there could have been a couple of iterations of the form added to the DVD.

One other point, is the uniform shirt he is wearing tends to take attention away from what his hands are actually doing at certain points. In my opinion, it would have been better to do certain portions of the form in a T-shirt, clarifying some of the circular actions.

Bottom line, if you are interested in seeing the mechanics and theory of Omei Hung Mo Bak Mei, buy the DVD. It will help explain theory and help you to apply the theory. I look forward to seeing more DVD's from Warrior Body Buddha Mind productions.

While the DVD gives clear instructions on the performance of the set, I believe you still would need guidance and feedback to properly perform the actions. If you have a Hakka martial arts background, you could follow along and perform the set. If you come from a Karate or other martial art background, the method/manner of movement may be quite foreign to you.

I personally have added this set to my daily practice. I feel that internalizing the movements will help me in all my other Yau Kung Mun sets.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

May Update

Just a post covering what is new with me.

Doing a lot of yoga lately - had a recurrence of nerve impingement. So, no hard physical activities (pull ups, pushups, etc.) until the numbness goes away. Alternating the mobility and yoga from Scott Sonnon's programs early in the day, and different yoga workouts in the evening. Just finished the's basic and intermediate 21 day challenges. Not bad, good resource for non-yoga types like me.

Spent a bit of time reviewing the Omei Hung Mo Bak Mei Jik Bo Kuen DVD - will post a review shortly. Bottom line - nice foundation set, full of relevant information.

Been doing some Yoga Nidra sessions before going to sleep - deep rhythmic breathing and relaxation seem to go hand in hand with the awareness of the sessions.

Putting some time and effort into learning about business stuff, too. Check out and let me know what you think.

All this and a full time job, too.

As always, comments welcome, spread the word about the blog. Looking for students interested in learning traditional Chinese Martial Arts, clients for the yacht security consultation business.

Random images from the blogosphere....

Friday, April 27, 2012

OC Spray

Here's a nice write up from Modern Combative Systems - Offensive/Defensive use of OC Spray.

One of the principles of close quarters combat, as I have been taught, is to cause 'chaos' and unbalance the adversary with every movement. Whether done via physical means (striking) or psychological (a ruse) - take his physical and/or mental balance and keep on leveraging him off balance until the situation is resolved. OC Spray offers a means to get the initial 'chaos' started - then resolve the situation. This may entail striking the adversary or departing the area.

In my way of thinking, you will need empty hand skills (and mindset) to offset the initial attack, buying time to employ other weapons, if necessary, or escaping. Same as with firearms and knives - you may not be able to draw (outdraw ?) the adversary on first contact. Something to think about.