Does Your Martial Art Work?
I had studied Chinese Kenpo Karate for two years. I was an instructor, and I had written the training manual for my school.Then I ran into a Hells Angel.
The story actually started when the restaurant I was working at hired a geeky looking kid. I didn’t like him much, but then one day I saw him kick a wall. The wall shook like the 1906 earthquake, and I knew that he knew something I didn’t.
So I got to know him, and he said he studied Kang Duk Won Korean Karate. He said he didn’t know it well, which I found hard to believe because I had seen him kick a wall harder than a donkey kicks a pervert. He said, however, that his brother knew a lot more than him, and let’s go talk to him.
So that night, I think it was a Tuesday, we went down to a house in Sunnyvale to meet his brother. As we pulled up Alex said to me, “I should probably tell you that my brother is a Hells Angel.” I blinked, but, naive me, heck…I knew Kenpo, right?
His brother was a couple inches under six feet, a little shorter than me, but he had the outlaw look in his eyes. We talked martial arts for a while, and then he boldly stated, “Your Martial Art doesn’t work.” Then he wrapped two of the gnarliest fists I had ever seen into my shirt front and told me to work my first technique on him.
I began to move. I held his fists in place with one hand and brought my forearm up to break his elbows, I struck his wrists with my nerve paralyzing downward chop, and when I went to chop him in the neck he tossed me through a wall. Yes he did…all the way through the wall.
He laughed and helped me up, and then he told me to grab his shirt front. I did, and he showed me the self defense technique from his martial arts school. He reached over and punched me in the chest so hard that…that’s right, I went right through the wall again.
This is a true story, and being tossed through a wall twice changed my life, definitely changed the way I was learning martial arts, and prompted me down the road to other martial arts and how to really make them work. I spent over a half dozen years at the Kang Duk Won Korean Karate school, worked alongside all manner of people, including hells angels and other outlaw bikers. Included in my education was why a martial art doesn’t work.