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deadly martial art

April 3, 2008

I posted a few videos on Ki Chuan Do groundfighting on April Fool’s day and after writing about “respecting other martial arts” I thought I’d better practice what I preach. So I’m about to give Ki Chuan Do its due respect.

The first clip is the actual video of a Ki Chuan Do practitioner demonstrating its approach to groundfighting. The other, a Bullshido reaction to the actual video.

Like all things unfamiliar we point at it and make fun at it. Bullshido did it a few years ago, which means my joke-to-laugh reaction time is extremely slow.

But I’m sure there’s something more to it than just imitating an epileptic seizure. Since the purpose of this style of groundfighting is, by their own account, not for sport and perhaps more suited for self-defense, I’ll be using Mark MacYoung’s criteria for analyzing the effectiveness of a technique.

What makes this technique effective?
Constant movement, full range and mobility of the legs.

What is the purpose of this technique?
To create distance, provide an obstacle and possibly injure or discourage an attacker.

What are the critical components that must be present for this technique to be effective?
The attacker must be directly lined up in front, not off to the side.

What is the stratigic application of this technique?
Against multiple opponents, against an edged weapon and if unable to prevent going to the ground this is the ideal position to be in (yeah, I watched the other clips). Useless against a long range weapon.

What is the optimum range for this particular technique?
Kicking range (while on your back on the ground). Useless standing up and in grappling range.

What gives this technique power?
Weight and power of the legs, and “hip” movement. Or a pair of steel toe boots.

What is the structural position for this technique to effectively deliver force?
For “axe” kicking, push kicking and heel strikes – flat on your back. For “scissor” kicking – on the side of your back.

If I am nowhere near the actual “purpose” or “stratigic application” it’s because my answers are based off of observation only. And I am not a grandmaster or senior student of this art. I’m sure they would be able to answer the previous questions with clarity. There is an article on their groundfighting method as well.

Then some questions I thought up:

Why should this technique be used?
This technique should be used because it is 1)a gross motor skill, and 2)it goes immediately from [borrowing terms from SGB] Introduction to Intregration. The time it takes to “learn” this and then “use” against a live resisting opponent seems to be ridiculously short. Basically almost ANYONE can use this style of groundfighting.

Is this a lethal technique?
Nope. (and yes, there is a difference between effective and lethal)

I believe this works. Really.

If you look at MMA fights where one guy is one the ground and the other is standing and they both remain in front of each other – that’s basically Ki Chuan Do groundfighting without the excessive kicking. It’s a stalemate and more often than not the grounded fighter will be stood up to resume activity.

And then there’s Demian Maia’s straight line theory in BJJ, where keeping your opponent in directly front of you at all times is the best chance of preventing a guard pass. The same principle works in favor of Ki Chuan’s wild kicking groundfighting (yes, I’m sure there are actual targets and objectives when they kick like that but that wasn’t on the youtube clip now was it?)

However, just because I think this works, does not mean I’m going to religiously proclaim this as being superior to other forms of grappling or groundfighting. There’s a lot more to grappling, self-defense and groundfighting than meets the eye.

According to Tony Blauer, “A good grappler knows a lot of moves, a great grappler knows when to abort them.” And Richard Demitri states something similar, “It’s imperative to learn how to grapple and even more important to respect its limitations.” These two instructors do not dispute the effectiveness of grappling nor dismiss it all together. What they are saying is that there is a time and place for grappling even in self-defense. And it is just as significant to know when it is useful and to know it’s limitations. In fact, I think that can be applied to any delivery system, any martial art, any technique, and any range of fighting.

Even Ki Chuan Do.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. April 7, 2008 2:37 pm

    No. Just… no. You’re trying to be nice, I understand. That’s the mature way, certainly. But there’s just no way. I got sucked in to watching a buncha the other vids as well, and I won’t say there’s NOTHING of use in their system [though, personally, hard pressed to find it.] But not this.

    I mean, I’ve seen a guy effectively incorporate a tai chi palm strike in sparring, so I’m not knocking everything that’s not MMA, but this… yikes.

    …the point that you can see this in an MMA fight “without the excessive kicking” doesn’t hold water [for me, of course.] Because the “excessive kicking” is the only thing that might render it, in some circumstances, remotely practical. The only thing that might ever make this effective is the sheer spastic nature of it, the overkill, the “throwing everything but the kitchen sink” at it.

    The difference between this and some measured, defensive upkicks and butt scooting… that’s just night and day. The body mechanics and theatrics alone render it pretty useless.

    IMHO of course. Mileage varies, etc, etc.

    I watched a clip where he *was targeting* weapons from this position, and basically it was guys holding out their hands to get kicked, dropping weapons and “taking turns” during a mass attack.

    But props to you for trying to see the bright side and staying positive.

  2. April 8, 2008 9:35 pm

    Heh heh. I tried. 😉

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