Understanding the Reasons for Success or Failure in Self Defense

As I said in yesterdays article on properly understanding and teaching Kata I promised an article as to how the brain fuctions and why this understanding of Kata is so critical to self defense success.

Here is an article I wrote years ago on the RAS of the brain. This information applies to all aspect of life, not just self defense.

Reticular Activating System

The RAS or Reticular Activating System is a part of the brain believed to be linked to motivation and success in humans. The RAS is a network of nerve fibers that originates in the medulla oblongata (brain stem area) and proceeds up through the midbrain into the neocortex, the place where thought is processed.

The purpose of the RAS is to detect new and different stimuli. When something new or different is perceived in the environment, the RAS alerts the brain to possible danger by causing an ”arousal state.” If a stimulus, such as a sound, is repetitive in nature, the RAS will calm the brain and causes it to enter various peaceful states, depending upon the nature of the stimulus.

So why is this so very important? Being part of our subconscious mind we have no direct control over it. However with some work and training, we can program this area of the mind to help us become successful in life.

How often do we get in our own way when it comes to success? You lay out a plan, only to work hard and fail in the end. I had so many people tell me that they don’t set goals because they know they will not achieve them. This is where the RAS comes in.

The reason for our failure is deeply linked and rooted to our subconscious mind. On this level, even though consciously we wanted to succeed, our subconscious mind expected us to fail, so we do.

Let me explain how this works in real life. Let’s say you decide you want to buy a Corvette. You are suddenly very interested in this car. You see more and more of these cars on the road, on magazine covers etc. Are there really more corvettes on the road? No, your RAS is at work seeing the ones that are there. The RAS is like your guidance system. If you are consciously looking for success, but your subconscious expects failure, you will find it!

Are you aware that your conscious mind only controls 17% of what you actually do? The other 83% is handled by your subconscious mind. Take a look at those figures. 17% of your conscious thoughts and actions are now going to handle your path to success, while the other 83%, the part that believes you will fail, will control the rest of your path to success and your life. If you are counting on your conscious mind to be in control your life, without reprogramming your subconscious mind, you are fighting a losing battle.

So how do you change this vicious cycle of that is controlling your life?

1) You must become 100%, absolutely sure, without a doubt, crystal clear about your wants, goals, needs and desires.
2) You must use your imagination and VISUALIZE these goals as complete! Your imagination is your greatest asset in life!
3) Write these goals down and review them each and every day! No breaks!
4) Record your own voice talking about these goals and dreams as if they already exist! Listen to them before you go to sleep at night.

Remember that everything that exists in this world was created TWICE. The first time was in the MIND.

for success in self defense it is critical you understand how the mind works, how the mind learns.  There are ways to train to get there.  Kata does hold “a key” when understood fully!


The above is a excerpt from my upcoming new eBook on the Psychology Of self Defense. You can read more about this book from the link below.

Kyusho Jitsu and the Psychology of Self Defense


Overcoming Dogma – What can be learned from your Kata?

What is tradition really? Does it actually exist? Is it a bad thing?

Honoring the past is always a good thing, however there really is no such thing as tradition. Things change and evolve and often times we don’t really even notice it. Those in the west who celebrate Christmas, do you do it the exact same way you did as a child?

Kata is one of those traditions in many martial art styles and systems. They have “traditional” interpretations that are taught, which is GREAT! Unless the tradition is focused too much on, and is told that it is the ONLY way. That is when we have DOGMA.

DOGMA is ALWAYS BAD, because it leads to ideology.

Kata is a method by which someone can learn the “ins and outs” of combat without spending every waking moment is battle. Today some people do not believe this, but that is simply because of their limited thinking.  Saying “I am a realist” means you are closed minded. We have enough of that in our world now, we don’t need more! We need open minded people, looking to learn about and develop “possibilities!”

Kata has been taught like it is some kind of truth. This is not education it is indoctrination. It is one thing to teach 1+1=2, but then to say that this equation is some kind of truth is wrong.  That equation can be changed by adding or removing numbers, brackets etc. It is a building block to understanding math. Not truth. It is accurate, but that is all.

Martial Arts training when taught properly can lead to higher intelligence, not just repetition of motion. Kata is a stepping stone to a greater understanding of movement, and when the “ah ha” moments happen for the student, the ability to respond properly in a self defense situation. Not just “react.”

So how does this happen? I will now explain. When you do something repetitively, beginning at about 3200 repetitions it become muscle memory. You can do it without thinking! (consciously). However muscle memory in an attack will NOT assure you will “respond” with the correct “technique” to defend against an attacker.  This is were some people think free sparring will solve the problem. But it will not do that.  At least not for most people.

Traditionally, because most of us “teachers” follow the path of our teachers, martial arts is divided into 4 parts.

  1. Foundation movements
  2. Kata
  3. Kumite *free Sparring*
  4. Self Defense

And there is often times very little relationship between these 4 parts. Kumite does not look like Kata or Self Defense.  So on the street the student has a great potential to FAIL. Some will not, but they tend to be “natural fighters” and would be OK with or without the training.

So what is the solution?

Discovering how to make a connection between the 4 elements of study, and teach the correct way to “see” the many possible interpretations of the Kata in relation to different attacks. This will connect the movements in muscle memory to a subconscious “reason” to execute the movement. Then we begin to build successful self defense based on martial arts teaching.  But most importantly not just for the “natural fighting” but the average man or woman who chosen to learn.

This also, when taught correctly this allows the student to apply their understanding of the art and science of pressure point self defense called Kyusho Jitsu, to quickly end the confrontation with the correct amount of force for the situation.

It is time for a New Paradigm in the self defense industry. Instructors need to understand that because what they do works or worked for them does not mean it will work for the majority of those taught.

In tomorrows post I will explain exactly why this method will work.

If you want to get started now, take a look at the link below.

Understanding how to interpret your Kata



Control Techniques in Kyusho – Injecting energy

Joint locks and manipulation is what my root art is all about. The root art I studied in my 1st 16 years of training is actually called Kuk Sool Hapkido. However my Korean Grand Master did not call it that. I discovered our linage from him one grading day at a dinner table with a bottle of Scotch. There are reason he rarely spoke of it, but that is for another time.

Now when I went out on my own in 2000 I wanted to vastly improve what we were teaching, make it more effective for self defense and the street.

When I met up with Grand Master Steve Stewart in 2001 it changed everything for me! Adding Kyusho to these locks revolutionized everything we were doing! Today the art I teach, which I renamed in 2005 to Hon Sang Mu Sa Hapkido is always evolving and adding more to make it better for real life street defense.

Now below I am offering a hidden video on a Kyusho Principle of “injecting energy” into a point.  Take a watch! Oh and please subscribe to our channel! There is a lot more free content coming!!

We also have a brand new video series on the 15 Principles of Kyusho Jitsu! Check out the link below for all the details!

New 15 Principles of Kyusho Video Series


The Beginners Mind and Pressure Point Self Defense

Be a White Belt Again

Who is it that successfully learns and develops in the martial art? There is an old saying that goes “a black belt is a white belt who never quit.” When I began training in the arts it was 1/1000 who made it to black belt. Today the odds are much better, because for the most part the brutality and I do mean brutality in training is gone. An example is learning to do a flying sidekick by having a staff swung at your legs.

The training is intense, but the cruelty for the is long gone.

Very few people who want to simply learn to fight survive in the martial arts. At least in the western world anyways. Why? Because there are easier solutions for thugs. That is why the gang problem in the USA and Canada is so intense. It requires no training, no work, to fight. If you are losing other will step in. All you need is to just be a thug.  This is the bottom of the barrel in society. Too bad…

So do I ever worry the knowledge of Kyusho will be misused? NOPE not at all! After  30 plus years of teaching, i have learned that a THUG is not motivated to train. Plus it does not take me more than 10 minutes to tell in person what type of “human” someone is/ The signs scream loud and clear if you pay attention!

A “B” grade martial arts student dedicated to training often does not succeed in Kyusho. Why? Because it demands more of them then they are currently giving. Many will not add more to their plates, at lease not seriously, and you must be serious in the study to succeed in Kyuhso!

It is “A” students who succeed in Kyusho to any real level of proficiency! But these people have a “calling.”

What type of student in the arts are you? If you consider yourself to be a A student, perhaps take a look at adding pressure points and its understanding to your current training.

If you are already a student of Kyusho, keep going! The knowledge can be and is a game changer in a self defense situation.

Below is a form to join our Free Kyusho jitsu Mini Course! Sign up today!

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Attack Along the Meridian – Kyusho Tips

The 1st principle that is taught in the Novice Kyusho Jitsu Courses or Study Groups is “attack along the meridian.” It at first seems to be a very basic principle, but the more you train with it, the more you begin to understand how “deep” the principle goes.

There is a pun there too for those at a master level!

From the wording of the principle it looks like it means to strike the points on a meridian in order. Such as hitting GB-01 and then perhaps GB-20. While that is not wrong, there is more to it!

First the principle is the most effect on the longer meridians, especially for the beginner! However the best strike is to distance them as far apart as possible!

As an example SP-6 and then SP-21! You will see a HUGE difference in effect. Try it out! Even better is to cross body with each strike!

Now we are going to be starting a NEW weekly series on YouTube very shortly! It is going to be call Kyusho Tip of the Week! This will be on Fridays!

Follow the link in the picture to our channel and subscribe to get notification of when the videos go life!

Kyusho Jitsu World Live-Steam beginning Saturday August 19th!

That is right! Master Scott and I will begin hosting the Kyusho Jitsu World LiveStream on YouTube beginning on Saturday August 19th from 12:00pm – 2:00pm EDT!

We will be doing this weekly, each Saturday at the same time to get things started! We will of course be talking Kyusho, but also many other aspects of the martial arts, self defense and training!

This show will be fun too! Subscribe today to our channel so you will receive notification of new videos and of when we go live!

So why would you want to join us? Well beside the fact that martial arts people love to talk about martial arts things there will also be FREE SHIT given away each week!

Below is the link to our channel!

Subscribe NOW!

Join Our YouTube Channel!


How hard do you really need to train for violence in today’s world?

Young man being mugged in a dark tunnel by a violent man

I have to stop watching YouTube videos, honestly the things that are said hurt my head! I watch the HUGE egos of men talking about self defense, making assumptions and not having a CLUE!

What I was hearing yesterday was you need to train like a professional fighter to be prepared for a professional fighter. If that is actually true we need to ban all combats sports because we are creating monsters. But the video was all CRAP.

Terrorism is a big concern today and it should be! However these men are armed and operate randomly. Buy lottery tickets because your odds are better then meeting one! Plus you cannot defend  against an assault riffle or a bomb.  Even in places like France and Belgium where terror attacks are daily, if you stay out of the no go zones you will be OK. Now I have a strong few on these zones, but that is not the sunject here.

What the average person will meet, is a “drug addict” or a “gang member” considering the idea of robbing you because he thinks it will be easy.

BUT, sometimes these criminals go to far and violence does ensue! As running is always the best choice, that is what is always suggested, but sometimes you cannot run!  If you must stand and defend you do have a certain advantage if you are aware of it!

  • You were chosen because the attacker thinks you will be easy.
  • If you train consistently you can give this person a BIG surprise!

But you need certain skills to pull this off successfully! If you fail it just maybe your life! The first is the right “mindset.” Without the right mindset you are in deep trouble. This is in reference to the “fight or flight” reflex. Now I am currently working on a new eBook to help bring people to this level. It is called The Psychology Of Self Defense and can be read about below.

Next of course you need the physical skills that come from training in a martial art. I assume since you are reading this post still you are a martial artist. Next you need to understand how to take those skills and apply them to end the conflict FAST.

I have an eBook available called Understanding Neurological Knockouts you can check our from the link below.

Aside from all this, TRAIN then TRAIN some more!

Oh before I forget I have a FREE 3 Part Video Mini Course on understanding Kyusho jitsu Neurological Knockouts. You can subscribe below!

Have a great day!


Bringing Sport and Street Martial Arts Study Back Together! The Kyusho Connection

Time to reach out and reunite a lot of the martial arts world. Not by trying to say that MMA is better than traditional, or that traditional is better than MMA. Only to say that learning never stops, and we need BOTH aspects!

I competed in the 80’s and 90’s in the full and point fighting Taekwondo circuits. Not the national levels, but the lower levels. It was a great experience, however not my passion!

Today MMA is tearing the sports world apart! It has all but crippled boxing and has had an impact on wrestling too! The physical condition of the fighters is awe inspiring! But, no one can maintain that for a lifetime!

Recently I saw a video show on YouTube of a well respected, retired MMA fighting stating “pressure points don’t work on the street.” He is talking so out or turn, not having a clue what he is saying it worries me. Because his lack of understanding he can and will impact someone else’s decisions in life, and perhaps cause serious harm in doing so!

It will be like me giving advise to an MMA Fighter, I am NOT QUALIFIED and because I competed and won about 80% of my fights still does not make me qualified to coach! Because he has won a “street fight” or 2 does not make him any kind of expert. Thus the problems we have today with misinformation!  Don’t talk about what you do not know about! If you have not seriously trained in it, you have no valid opinion. I cannot comment on BJJ because I have not done it! I can only say I hear good things, and i hear bad too. But I have no opinion!

The fact is for all MMA fighters, TKD or Judo players both injury and AGE catch up with you! That is as big a reality as death and taxes is. You may win today if attacked, but it will be a different world when you are 55, pain from injuries all day long and some 22 year old punk decides to hurt you because he “wants a shot” at the title.

You NEED an advantage for that time in your life.  And like retirement you need to start NOW. Adding the study of Kyusho to your knowledge is a WIN for you, but first you have to drop the ego and open your mind.

I know personally 2 great fighters and martial artists back home in Canada, both men train champions, and both will testify to the importance of this knowledge to them. I know personally police, military, and tactical teachers who will say the same thing. If you want the names email me. I never namedrop on a blog without a heads up to the person I am talking about.

So lets get together and bridge the gap between the sport arts and the self defense arts. Take a look below at the FREE Kyusho jitsu Mini Course below. Look at the information and train on it! I would love to hear about your results too!

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Understanding 2 Way Action and Making Kyusho Work

Kyusho Jitsu, the science of pressure point self defense is really a science.  Here is a definition of the word.


  1. NOUN
    1. the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment:

This is how we study and learn as teachers and students of Kyusho jitsu. Science is NOT a DOGMA vomited forth by an authority like it is so often done today! It is the study of possibly and repeatable events or results.

The progress of Kyusho over the years has been very solid and steady. New things are discovered about the bodies reaction to stimulation all the time. This is why the study of Kyusho is so exciting for those of use seriously doing it. There is always something new!

Back in Kyusho’s humble beginning a pioneer of the arts, Professor Wally Jay brought something to Kyusho that revolutionized its effectiveness.

That was 2 Way Action! Today 2 Way Action is a cornerstone of the art and study, but sometimes people have problems understanding and applying it! Without 2 way action you will fail to make many things work!

Watch this video for a much deeper understanding of 2 Way Action, along with the lost art of visualization.

If you have any questions please feel free to email me at master@kyushojitsu.ca

Join our FREE Kyusho Jitsu Mini Course Today! Use the form below!

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Have a great day!


Fast Knockouts are Needed in Self Defense

Pressure Points are the Equalizer!

If you find yourself in trouble on the street and you cannot run, which always the VERY best solution, and you have failed to talk your way out of it, then you need to end the issue FAST.

For years pressure point / neurological knockouts have been misunderstood. You can tell how badly by the number of negative opinions. These opinions are based on misinformation!

However I regress! To be successful on the street doing a pressure point knockout you need a deep understanding.  There are places all over the body, not just the head where a neurological knockout is possible! There are at least 10 I can think of off the top of my head, which means something will always be available to strike when needed!

But you need to know these points and TRAIN THEM!

That is why I created an introductory, FREE 3 video course to get you started! If you would like to join this course just fill out the form below, and each day you will get a link to download a free video and explaination of how to do it.

You can take this information and stop there, or join our course for more. It is up to you!

I am also going to be offering some really cool next week for people who follow us on Facebook. I am going to offer a FREE critique of any video knockout you submit to me via Facebook!

More on this coming shortly!

Here is the form to join our Free 3 Video Knockout Mini Course!

Get Access NOW

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