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Nu-Seiki Karate Student Manual

                                          BARREN COUNTY MARTIAL ARTS, LLC

                                                               Nu-Seiki Karate  

                                                    Founder Sensei Larry Williams


                                                    Pronounced as New-Say-Key             

             “Nu” stands for “New” in English, and “Seiki” stands for “Century” in Japanese


                                         Student Manual   (Website version)



History of Karate --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Page 4

Nu-Seiki Karate ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Page 4

Rules of the Dojo --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Page 5

Kata list -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Page 5

Japanese numbers  -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Page 5

Japanese words -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Page 6

Traditional karate terms and their meanings -------------------------------------------------------Page 7

Terms related to street violence ----------------------------------------------------------------------Page 8

Basics (Traditional) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Page 9

Basics (Modified) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------Page 10 & 11

Sparring Development drills ------------------------------------------------------------------------Page 12

Self-Defense Game Plan -----------------------------------------------------------------------------Page 13

Awareness----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Page 13

Escape --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Page 13

On Guard ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Page 13

De-escalation ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Page 13

Pre-emption -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Page 13

Control your emotions -------------------------------------------------------------------------------Page 13

Pre-emption / Interception / Reactive --------------------------------------------------------------Page 14

De-escalation tools -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------Page 14

No rules in the streets --------------------------------------------------------------------------------Page 14

How to train -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Page 15

Flanking ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Page 15

Ambush recovery -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Page 16

Basic defaults in your self-defense toolbox -------------------------------------------------------Page 16

Highly effective strikes ------------------------------------------------------------------------------Page 17

Sucker punch counters -------------------------------------------------------------------------------Page 17

Slapping combinations -------------------------------------------------------------------------------Page 17

Slammed against the wall ---------------------------------------------------------------------------Page 17

Dealing with a knife attack --------------------------------------------------------------------------Page 18

Swimming Underhook -------------------------------------------------------------------------------Page 18

Seven angles of knife --------------------------------------------------------------------------------Page 19

Subject Brandishes a knife --------------------------------------------------------------------------Page 19

Sewing machine style attacks -----------------------------------------------------------------------Page 20

Slammed against the wall with a knife attack ----------------------------------------------------Page 20

Knife threat to your body (robbery attempt in open space) -------------------------------------Page 20

Quick escapes -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Page 21

Club / Bat attacks -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Page 21

Intercepting the subject’s reach for a weapon ----------------------------------------------------Page 22

Takedowns --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Page 22

Chokes -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Page 22

Pins for control ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Page 22

Strike practice for pads, bags, and BOBs ---------------------------------------------------------Page 23

Street knowledge ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------Page 23

Awareness color code --------------------------------------------------------------------------------Page 23

Dangers of the streets --------------------------------------------------------------------------------Page 24

Guard stance (submissive, passive, and aggressive guard) -------------------------------------Page 24

Woofing stage of the interview ---------------------------------------------------------------------Page 25

Pre-threat recognition skills -------------------------------------------------------------------------Page 25

Misdirection, Deception, and Pattern interrupt ---------------------------------------------------Page 26

Unarmed defense against firearms -----------------------------------------------------------------Page 26

Handgun disarms -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Page 27

Long-gun disarms ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Page 27

Student’s promotion dates and notes ---------------------------------------------------------------Page 28


                                                                          Page 4




Karate is a science of unarmed self-defense and counterattack. The person using it employs parts of the body to ward off an attack and to injure the attacker by striking him with a severe blow in some vulnerable area of the body. Some techniques must be practiced without making contact because of the damage that could result.


Karate means “empty hand” in Japanese. The name emphasizes the fact that no weapon is used. Instead, karate converts areas of the body into weapons to aim at an opponent’s weak spots.


The art of Karate is more than 1000 years old and originated in Eastern Asia. A monk, named Bodhidharma traveled from India to China to teach the Buddhist faith. He developed a series of fighting techniques in which he used to trained monks to become stronger. Over a period of years, the monks spread throughout China, and they shared their knowledge with the Chinese peasants. They used these fighting techniques to defend themselves against armed bandits. By the 17th century, these fighting skills had transmitted to the island of Okinawa. In 1922 Karate was introduced to the Japanese public through and Okinawan master, Gichin Funokashi. The Japanese highly developed the art, and Karate flourished in Japan. By World War II, Karate had reached the United States. Today the art is chiefly associated with Japan and is taught in many different styles around the world. Gichin Funokashi is considered by some to be the father of modern karate.


Nu-Seiki Karate


I began my study of Karate in July of 1984, it was after I got my black belt in Goju-Shorei Karate in 1990 that I switched my main focus of martial arts to research and development of self-defense. Over the years, with the help of my students I put together a system of self-defense that I called New Century Combatives. In 2022 I decided to mix the two disciplines to form my own style of karate. Nu-Seiki Karate.


From karate I took the basics needed to develop good kicking and punches needed for sport karate (kata and sparring).  I used a large part of my combatives curriculum for self-defense. This was the beginning of Nu-Seiki Karate. “Nu” represents the word “New” of the English language, and “Seiki” is a Japanese word representing the word “Century” of the English language. Nu-Seiki Karate is an American Karate style developed in the 21st Century.


                                                    Founder, Sensei Larry Williams


                                                                        Page 5


Rules of the Dojo


  1. Safety First

  2. Bow when you start or finish a class.

  3. Refer to the instructors as Sensei during class.

  4. A full karate uniform is to be worn in Dojo during class.

  5. Always clean the dojo’s safety equipment before putting it away.

  6. Always be respectful to the school, Sensei, and to other students.

  7. No horse play in the dojo, karate is a serious class.

  8. Always maintain good personal hygiene.

  9. Do not attempt to teach what you are learning without expressed consent of Sensei.

  10. Any classes by appointment should be on time or notify the sensei.                                        


Kata List


            1. Oiyu (oi-you)              

            2. Pinon Shodan   

            3. Pinon Nidan

            4. Pinon Sandan      

            5. Pinon  Yodan    

            6. Pinon Godan                

            7. Epmi 

            8. Kankudai  


Japanese numbers


  1. Ichi (eet-chee)      

  2. Ni – (knee)                                               

  3. San – (sahn)                     

  4. Shi -  (she)                       

  5. Go -  (go)                         

  6. Roku – (roke)                   

  7. Shichi – (she chee)                      

  8. Hachi – (hah chee)                       

  9. Kyu – (kyoo)                    

  10. Ju – (joo)                          


                                                                        Page 6


 Japanese words


  1. Heisuki-dachi------------Formal Attention

  2. Fudo-dachi---------------Formal Attention Advanced

  3. Hachyi-dachi-------------Get Ready Stance

  4. Kiba-dachi----------------Side Fighting Stance

  5. Zenkutsu-dachi ----------Forward Fighting Stance

  6. Ko Kutsu-dachi----------Wide Back Stance

  7. Koneko-dachi------------Narrow Back Stance

  8. Tsuru-dachi---------------Crane Stance

  9. Mae-Tsuru-Kyu----------Cross Step Stance

  10. Seiken-Zuki---------------Forward Punch

  11. Gyaku-Zuki---------------Reverse Punch

  12. Riken-Zuki----------------Backfist Strike

  13. Haishu---------------------Backhand Strike

  14. Tate-Zuki------------------Vertical Fist

  15. Shotei-Zuki----------------Palm Strike

  16. Empi------------------------Elbow Strike

  17. Mae-Ude-Ken-------------Forearm Thrust

  18. Nagashi--(Punch Away Block)--Double hand Push

  19. Shuto------------------------Knife hand strike

  20. Tettsu------------------------Hammer fist strike

  21. Jodan-Age-Uke-------------High block

  22. Chudan-Uke ----------------Middle block

  23. Gedan-Uke------------------Low block

  24. Shotei-Uke------------------Palm block

  25. Shuto-Uke-------------------Knife hand block

  26. Mawashi-Uke---------------Round Block

  27. Mae-Geri---------------------Front Snap Kick

  28. Mae-Ken-Geri---------------Front Instep Kick

  29. Mae-Kekomi----------------Front Thrust Kick

  30. Mae-Fumi-Komi-----------Front Stomp

  31. Yoko-Kekomi--------------Side Thrust Kick

  32. Mawashi-Geri---------------Roundhouse Kick

  33. Mae-Tobi-Geri--------------Flying Front Kick

  34. Yoko-Tobi-Geri-------------Flying Side Kick

  35. Mawashi-Tobi---------------Flying Roundhouse Kick



                                                                       Page 7


Traditional Karate terms and their Meanings


Dojo (doe-joe) – Exercise Gym for Karate

Dachi (da-chee) – Stance

Kyu ( Q ) rank----under Black Belt

Dan rank – Black Belt level

Geri (gerry) – kick

Hajime (ha-ja-may) Start

Karate (ka-rah-tay) – Empty hand

Karate Ka (ka-rah-tay-kah) Student of Karate

Kata (kah-tah) Prearranged Form

Kiba Dachi (key-ba-da-chee) Side Fighting Stance / Horse Stance

Kiai (key-eye) – Yell

Kumite (koo-me-tay) – Contest

Obi (o-be) –belt

Mae (may) – Front

Mate (mah-tay) – Wait (stop)

Rei (ray) – Bow

Sensei (sin-say) – Teacher

Uke (oo-key) Defender

Tori  (tor-ee) Attacker

Zen (zen) – meaning peaceful and calm. Thought, absorption, meditation.

Zuki (zoo-key) – Punch

Yoska Rei (yoh-ska  ray) –Formal attention – Bow

Gi –(gee) – uniform


                                                                        Page 8


Terms related to street violence.


  1. De-escalation – (talking calmly to the subject to lower his desire to attack)

  2. Pre-emption – (to hit first)

  3. Pre-emption distance - (close enough you can touch him without moving your feet)

  4. Justification for pre-emption

    1. You must truly believe that the subject will attack if you don’t hit first.

    2. If you are at a safe distance from the subject, and if you move forward to strike, it will look like you started the fight. If you start the fight, you can’t call it self-defense.

  5. Spike – Is to strike with the tip of the elbow from a framed head cover. (Caged head)

  6. Flank – Moving to the side of the subject.

  7. Main artillery – Is a few strikes in your toolbox to be considered your main weapons.

  8. Pincher Attack and how to avoid it.

  9. Interview – is when the subject is in your face making threats.

  10. Cage – means to cover the head with hands and arms. Also referred to as “Caged head” or “Framed head”


                                                                         Page 9


Basics (Traditional)



  1. Formal Attention----------------------(Heisuki-dachi)

  2. Formal Attention Advanced---------(Fudo-dachi)

  3. Get Ready Stance.--------------------(Hachyi-dachi)

  4. Side Fighting Stance (narrow and wide)-------------   (Kiba-dachi)

  5. Forward Fighting (loose guard)--------------------------(Zenkutsu-daci)

  6. Wide Back Stance (knife hands)-------------------------(Ko Kutsu-dachi)

  7. Narrow Back Stance (knife hands)-----------------------(Koneko-dachi)

  8. Crane Stance-------------------------------------------------(Tsuru-dachi)

  9. Cross Step Stance (front or rear)--------------------------(Mae-Tsuru-Kyu)


Blocks (from a Get Ready Stance)

  1. High Block (as you move into forward stance)---------------(Jodan-Age-Uke)

  2. Middle Block (as you move into forward stance)-------------(Chudan-Uke)

  3. Low Block (as you move into forward stance)-----------------(Gedan-Uke) say G don

  4. Palm Block (as you move into a narrow back stance)-----------------(Shotei-Uke)       

  5. Knife Hand Block (as you move into a narrow back stance)------(Shuto-Uke)

  6. Round Block (as you move into a narrow back stance)-------------(Mawaski-Uke)


Strikes - from Get Ready Stance and moving into a Forward Fighting Stance.

  1. Forward Punch------------------------------(Seiken-Zuki)

  2. Reverse Punch------------------------------(Gyaku-Zuki)

  3. Backfist--------------------------------------(Riken-Zuki)

  4. Backhand---------------------------------------(Haishu)

  5. Vertical Fist------------------------------------(Tate-Zuki)

  6. Palm Strike-------------------------------------(Shotei-Zuki)


Kicks (from traditional karate stances)

  1. Front Snap Kick-------------------------------------------------------(Mae-Geri)

  2. Front trust kick (with heel or ball of the foot----------------------(Mae-Kekomi)

  3. Front Instep Kick------------------------------------------------------(Mae-Ken-Geri)

  4. Side Thrust kick (narrow or wide side stance)----------------------(Yoko-Kekomi)

  5. Rear Snap Kick from Get Ready stance------------------------------(Ushiro-Geri)

  6. Hook Heel Kick (sometimes thrown as a slap with bottom of foot) ------------(Kagato Geri)

  7. Flying Front Kick (not a required kick)------------------------------(Mae-Tobi-Geri)

  8. Flying Roundhouse Kick (not a required kick)----------------------(Mawashi-Tobi)

  9. Flying Side Kick (not a required kick)--------------------------------(Yoko-Tobi-Geri)


                                                                     Pages 10 & 11

Basics (Modified)



  1. Street Guard

A stance with hands in a ready position. Your hands can be any position of readiness, but if you want a better chance at protecting yourself against his attack, your hands need to be higher than the subject’s hands during the interview.


  1. Vertical Fist - used 2 ways---------------------(Tate-Zuki)

    1. As an intercepting strike

    2. As a preempted strike

  2. Palm - 3 ways-----------------------------------(Shotei-Zuki)

    1. Lead hand

    2. Rear Hand (usually used with a grab/index)

    3. Thrown as a hook

  3. Elbow---------------------------------------------(Empi)

    1. Round Elbow (with one hand pulling the head onto the elbow)

    2. Elbow Thrust (two ways, to kidney and the back of head).

    3. Elbow to rear (low and high)

    4. Elbow as an uppercut

    5. Downward Elbow (vertical forearm)

  4. Forearm Thrust - 2 ways--------------------------------(Mae-Ude-Ken)

    1. With a lunge

    2. With a step through.

  5. Forearm hook (2 ways, as a hook to side of neck, and a close line to the front)

  6. Forearm Club (thrown like a knife hand)   

  7. Jab

  8. Double handed Push

  9. Straight Punch (a straight reverse punch to the head)---(Gyaku-Zuki)

  10. Knife Hand Strike (Traditional karate chop)--------------(Shuto)

  11. Knife Hand Thrust (throat is the target)-------------(Shuto Kekomi)

  12. Hammer Fist (3 ways) ----------------------------------------(Tettsu)

    1. Downward

    2. Lateral (fore knuckles up)

    3. Lateral (fore knuckles down)

  13. Spiked Elbow (from a caged/framed head)

  14. Slap with lead or rear hand

  15. Headbutts (include the lunging headbutt)

  16. Fore Knuckles Punch - (neck is the only target)

  17. Fore Knuckles Hook punch

  18. Body bump (to knock him off balance)

  19. Pushing one head into another.

  20. Cradle Blow (used to get a gag reflex from grappling range)

  21. Throat grab (used to choke or to gain compliance)

  22. Rapid Eye Blitz

  23. Impactive Clinch                                  

                                                   Modified Basics continued next page.

                                           Basics (Modified) continued.



  1. Cage the head (also called frame the head, this will place the tip your elbow in position to spike.

  2. Extended block (lead hand block from old school boxing)


Kicks (from street fight positions)

  1. Push Kick

  2. Front shin kick to groin.

  3. Sweep kick (to ankle or lower leg, don’t snap it back, take space)

  4. Round kicks to legs (Three angles)

  5. Hook heel kick to the groin or inside of the leg.

  6. Side Kick to the legs.   

  7. Oblique kick (to shin or knee)

  8. Stomp (main target is the leg of downed subject)----------------------(Mae-Fumi-Komi)


                                                                      Page 12


Sparring development drills


Any sparring in the dojo will be done based on point fighting rules.


Three basic movements of sparring

  1. Attack  

  2. Run from attack

  3. Jam and counter

Closing the gap

  1. Inching and Waddling  

  2. Draw him in by moving back

  3. Broken rhythm

  4. Fake and go (use hands to set up kicks, use kicks to set up hands)

Sparring techniques

  1. Backfist

  2. Reverse punch

  3. Ridge hand

  4. Fade away strike (backfist or reverse vertical fist)

  5. Round kick (using front leg and rear leg)

  6. Slip round house

  7. Side kick

  8. Slip side kick

  9. Fade away kick

  10. Heel kick

  11. Ax kick

  12. Front kick

  13. Spinning back kick

  14. Spinning hook

  15. Sweep the leg and punch

  16. Sweep the leg and kick


Listed above are just a few of the techniques used in sport karate. As the student progresses, he or she will find ways to use these and other techniques in combination. Make your own list below if you want to list your favorite techniques.


                                                                       Page 13 


Self-Defense Game Plan


Practice awareness all the time. This will greatly increase your chances of picking up on threats early enough to avoid conflicts.


  1. Awareness, and Avoidance (See awareness “color code” in Street Knowledge page 23)

    1. A fight avoided is a fight won, and no one got hurt.

    2. If approached by anyone you don’t know and this person tries to engage you in conversation, walk past them and turn back to face them, so you can see to your rear. This type of attack is called the pincher attack and it is commonly used by criminals.

    3. Developing awareness when you meet people while walking. As they approach and pass, turn your head slightly and use your peripheral vision to make sure the person keeps going.  This is not being paranoid it is developing awareness skills.


  1. Escape at the first opportunity.

    1. Before the fight starts.

    2. At any point during the fight if escape presents itself.

    3. As soon as the threat is no longer a danger.


  1. On Guard. (Protect your space with a guard stance)

    1. Take a deep breath and breathe.

    2. Remain calm.  

    3. Help to control tunnel vision, by purposely scanning with your eyes.

  2. De-escalate – talk your way out of the situation.

  3. Pre-empt.

    1. If you wait too long to pre-empt you may have to intercept.

    2. If you wait too long to pre-empt and interception fails, you are now hit.  Cage, base and attack.

  4. Control your emotions. Do not continue your attack when there is no more threat. Be able to shut down your aggression when it is no longer needed. If you continue your attack after the subject is no longer a danger, it is no longer self-defense.


                                                                   Page 14

Pre-emption / Interception / Reactive - Your first strike will always fall in one of these three categories.


  1. Pre-emption is to hit first. (Best chance of success is to attack while he is talking)

  2. Interception is to block and hit him as his attacks.

  3. Reactive attack is to attack after you blocked out of reflex. Ambush recovery is a form of reactive attack.



De-escalation tools


  1. The apology de-escalation. (know at least one example)

  2. Feed his ego de-escalation. (know at least one example)

  3. Create space to get distance. It could be a step back, or a push. The best thing to do if you push him away is to step back yourself as you push rather than shoving him backwards. A lot of people will see the aggressive push as justification to attack you. Don’t keep backing up. At some point you must stand your ground if you have no avenue of escape.

  4. Deceptive dialog to set-up pre-emption (know at least one example)


No rules in the streets, but there are guidelines.

  1. There are no guarantee of anything you do in a fight being successful. Your best defense is don’t be there, the next best defense is a strong offense.

  2. When the fight is on, it is always your turn. It is not a sparring match.

  3. Constant forward drive. (Eat space) If you are on your toes and going forward with attack, and the subject is going backwards, he is losing.

  4. In the pre-fight stage during the interview, never close the gap to pre-empt. If you are not close enough to touch the subject, he will most likely see your attack coming.

  5. Never take a fighter’s stance during the interview. Keep the element of surprise on your side. Hands must be open, not clenched into fist. Talk with your hands.

  6. When using Control holds or Pins for the purpose of controlling the attacker, use them with a verbal command to indicate you want to stop fighting. This might calm him down instead of forcing him to fight harder.



                                                             Page 15


The Techniques




How to train


For the most part the training content listed here is not a list of combinations and techniques. It is only a list of things to train. You can choose a personal solution to deal with any situation and drill that solution to make it your own. As time goes on if you discover a better solution, change what you train. 


You should not see how fast you can go from one strike to the next. Always keep enough time between the strikes to confirm your next target is available, then focus on the speed and power of the strike. Always be prepared to branch to something else if your current technique is failing, and always escape at the first opportunity.






  1. Flank as you use one or both hands to pull at his arm, now run. (Low level of force option.

  2. Palm slap to groin as you flank to either side, follow up with a variety of strikes.

  3. From the flanked position, use the body bump to move him or to break his balance.

  4. The subject is square, he shifts weight and hand goes out of sight, double hand pass to his shoulder and arm as you flank to his side. Monkey grip catch his arm then attack.

  5. For use against two subjects, slap the groin as you flank to line the attackers up, palm strike the head, push, and maybe add the body bump while pushing the head of the first subject into the other subject.


                                                                  Page 16


Ambush Recovery (Cage/Frame your head).


  1. Attacked from your left. Cage and counterattack.

  2. Attacked from your right. Cage and counterattack.

  3. Spike with elbow to your right of his center, go offensive.

  4. Spike with the cage to your left of his center, go offensive.

  5. “Solo drill” from a relaxed stance imaginary attacker on either side. Practice dropping into the “Framed Head” position for each side at random. Simulating you spotted an attacker in time to spike as you close the gap toward him.

  6. Ambushed from the rear with a push or a strike. Default to a counterclockwise rotation and get on the offensive. (Protect the head as you rotate)



Basic Defaults in your self-defense toolbox. (Use this list or build your own)

  1. Index, Straight Punch or Palm strike to the head.

  2. Index face, vertical fist solar plexus, forearm thrust to neck, knee kick to a target.

  3. Vertical fist, forearm thrust, knee. (Subject is square in front)

  4. To his left side (subject is bladed right), vertical fist to the heart, forearm to the neck.

  5. To his left side (subject is bladed right), vertical fist to the heart, pass behind.

  6. To his right side (subject is bladed left), vertical fist to the liver, forearm to the neck, knee kick to body.

  7. From his left/rear, punch to kidney, palm to skull, elbow to back of the head.

  8. From left/rear, palm to skull, hook slap back of head, elbow to kidney, elbow to head.

  9. From his right rear, move to right side, forearm thrust to the neck, knee. (Taking the underhook as you move to the front is an option)


                                                                  Page 17


Highly Effective Strikes

  1. Closed stance, forearm chop to the neck.

  2. Closed stance, lunging forearm thrust to the neck.

  3. Closed stance, lunging knife hand trust to the neck.

  4. Lunging Headbutt

  5. Instep kick to groin.

  6. Impactive Clinch

  7. Stomp to the back of the knee


Sucker punch counters (train as a trigger to go from freeze frame positions)


  1. Counter from guard after a reflexive block against right sucker punch. (Best block is frame the head)

  2. Counter from guard after a reflexive block against a left sucker punch. (Best block is frame the head)

  3. Subject throws a left and right. (Best block is frame the head)

  4. Subject throws a right and left. (Best block is frame the head)

  5. If he fakes, attack him.



Slapping Combinations


  1. Lead hand slap and forearm thrust, knee. Foot work is either Step-thru or Lunge.

  2. Rear hand slap and forearm thrust, knee. Footwork is a Lunge.

  3. Impactive Clinch - Lead hand slap to pull onto the rear hand forearm hook, then pull face to shoulder.


Slammed against the wall.


  1. Two handed lapel grabs.

  2. Two handed chokes.

  3. One handed lapel grab.

  4. One handed choke.

  5. Forearm on your throat or chest and pressed to the wall.

  6. Grab and a punch coming. May or may not be backed to the wall.


                                                                   Page 18

Dealing with a knife attack.


You have absolutely no business going unarmed against a knife if running is an option. There are no guarantees. If you are faced with the threat of a knife and running is an option, run. There is a lot of information available on how to deal with a knife attack. Some stuff is good, but some will most certainly get you killed. How does someone with no experience and no training know who to listen to? My answer is do a lot of research and use common sense and make your own decisions. Just because your best friend has been training in martial arts his whole life, don’t assume he has the best answer.


Some say to defeat a knife you must learn to fight with a knife. I think there is a lot of truth in that statement, but I don’t want to learn to fight knife on knife either. If I can run, I will.


Others say gain control of the knife barring limb and get the attacker to the ground. I like that concept except for one thing. When you gain control of the limb it is still a fight until you gain and maintain control. If he slips out, you are probably dead, or the fight for control starts over. If the attacker is committed on sticking the knife in you, he will very possibly do it before he allows you to see it.

                                                                        Page 19

Swimming Underhook (unarmed against a knife in motion)


My intention would be to hurt him on first contact. If he is hurt on first contact your chances for survival has just increased. This is why I say that unarmed against a knife in motion, I am only thinking of one technique if I can’t run. “Swimming Underhook” This is a forearm thrust across the neck or face at the same time my other arm is deflecting the attack with the “Swimming Underhook”. First contact (if successful) will hurt him and take his balance. Finished with a knee.


As for the knife fighting experts out there, I would hope that anyone who has dedicated themself to becoming an expert is not the kind of person who will attack innocent people with a knife.



Never attack first against someone brandishing a knife. He will see you coming. Always look for an improvised weapon.  If you must go unarmed against a knife in motion keep your hands higher than his and palms facing inward. Intercept the knife attack with the “Swimming Underhook”.


You must swim with the arm that mirrors his attack. Expect the attacker to attack fingers, hands, arms, or even kick to set up his more lethal strikes with his knife.


Be sure to drive through with the forearm on neck to destroy his balance and hopefully knock him out as you employ the swimming underhook. If you break his balance, he must first fight to regain his balance before he can get back to attacking. This gives you a slight advantage.


Understand it does not matter how good you think you are; no one has a guarantee of being successful when going unarmed against a weapon. 

Seven angles of knife


The only reason to train these counter attacks is just so you develop reflexes that might come in handy in the case you block a knife (or other weapons) out of reflex. If the situation is real and the attacker is at sparring distance it will be like sparring unarmed against a knife, and in that case, I only recommend the swimming underhook with a forearm thrust to the neck or face or throat.


 First learn all the drills from the right guard against either of his hands. Then practice as if you were left-handed against either of his hands.


  1. Seven angles of knife attack. (Offense only of the knife)

  2. Reflexive block drills for seven angles.

  3. Reflexive blocks and your counter.

  4. The advanced drill is to block against random attacks. (Practice this without the follow up and with your follow up)



Subject brandishes a knife


Number one defense is to run, but if you can’t run and de-escalation is not working, and you feel you don’t have a chance unless you pre-empt his attack, here are a couple options.


  1. Clothesline - If he is keeping his knife to his rear side but he is close and making threats, and his lead hand is out in front for any reason. Throw the forearm (close line) as you move behind his lead arm. This is a risky move. If you try this from outside of the pre-emption range, he will see you coming. This is not a technique you look to set up. Only practice this so that if you find yourself in a position for the clothesline (forearm hook across his throat or face) it will have been made available in muscle memory. 

  2. Cross Instep snap kick against someone that is brandishes a knife out in his lead hand. If you try this kick, it must be very fast and with the front foot. I have pulled this off a few times in training drills. I have never fought in a rear knife attack. This is not the knife disarming kick that we all have seen so often in movies. It is different and harder to see coming. The best defense against a knife if you have a choice is always to run.


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Sewing machine style knife attacks.


  1. Same side lapel grab and stabbing. Knife in his right hand.

  2. Same side lapel grab and stabbing. Knife in his left hand.

  3. Cross grabbed with his left hand to your left lapel, stabbing with his right hand.

  4.  Cross grabbed with his right hand to your right lapel, stabbing with his left hand.

  5. Single collar tie hold and stabbing. Knife in his right hand.

  6. Single collar tie hold and stabbing. Knife in his left hand.


Slammed against the wall with a knife attack.


  1. Knife in his right hand and to your neck. Work all practical positions.

  2. Knife in his left hand and to your neck. Work all practical positions.

  3. Knife in his right hand and to your belly.

  4. Knife in his left hand and to your belly.

  5. Knife in his right hand and to your groin.

  6. Knife in his left hand and to your groin.

  7. Knife to your face with pressure.



Knife threat to your body. (Robbery attempt in open space)


  1. Closed stance the knife in his right hand to the right side of your neck. Holding you with his left hand.

  2. Closed stance the knife is in his left hand and to the left side of your neck. Holding with his right hand.

  3. Open stance, the subject has the knife to the front side of your neck.

  4. Experiment with many possible positions of being held up with a knife to your body in open space. Learn to make up techniques on the spot if needed.

  5. Main drill is to make up ways that you could be held up and look for ways to deal with it.


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Quick Escapes and escaping when you get caught off guard.   


Quick escapes are the first line of defense against any grabbing attack. So many times, in martial arts training people practice escaping holds, locks, and pins, after they allow their training partner to get them in a locked position. Such practice is needed, but the first line of defense should be to escape before they complete their technique. Because there is no guarantee that any technique will be successful. In some cases, you may not want to use a quick escape. Examples: if his hands are tied up with grips on you such as with numbers 10 and 11 (listed below), he can’t block your strike with the hand or hands he is holding you with.


  1. “Quick escape 1” Quick escape 1 is an escape against rear chokes. Use this to spin out to the rear as soon as you realize something is coming around your neck. Spin out and counter.

  2. “Quick escape 1” has failed, now you must escape the choke.

  3. “Quick escape 2” Quick escape 2 is escaping a rear Bearhug with their arms coming around you below your shoulders either under your arms or over your arms as they attempt a rear bearhug. The same technique is also good for escaping against a “Full Nelson”.

  4. Quick escape from the Thai Clinch.

  5. Quick escape from a double leg takedown.

  6. Rear bear hug arms pinned. (Quick escape failed)

  7. Rear bear hug arms are free. (Quick escape failed)

  8. Quick escape from the side head lock (Schoolyard bully headlock). Slip out as it goes on.

  9. You got caught in the side headlock. You need a technique to escape.

  10. Quick escape from a wrist grab.

  11. Quick escape from a lapel grab.

Club / Bat attacks. (Right or left-handed attacker)

  1. Club hanging to his right side in his right hand. Intercept his attack.

  2. Club hanging to his left side in his left hand. Intercept his attack.

  3. Club hanging to his right side in his right hand, but now he chambers with both hands getting ready to swing at your head. Intercept his attack.


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Intercept the subject’s reach for a weapon.

  1. Attack before he gets the weapon out.




  1. "Overhook Side Control” takedown.

  2. “Underhook Side Control” takedown.

  3. “Armbar” takedown.

  4. “Outside Wrist Twist” takedown

  5. “Arm bar / Chin lift combination” takedowns. Two choices, Armbar or Arm Carry take downs.

  6. Closed Stance Sweep

  7. Open Stance Sweep


Chokes – Start from Guard stance in front of the subject, and also use these chokes as you approach from the rear.


  1. Figure Four Rear Naked Choke

  2. Palm to Palm Choke. Choice of two targets, trachea, or carotid arteries.

  3. Face-lock / Neck Crank. (for pain compliance with the use of a verbal command)


Pins for Control Use a verbal command to assist.

  1. Trachea grab and a pin to the wall.

  2. Arm bar pin down

  3. Recovery Position control.


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Strike practice for Pads, bags, or BOB.               

  1. Partner holds a pad over the back of his shoulder for palms and elbows.

  2. Rapid Eye Blizst

  3. Double palms (to ears)

  4. From side, hammer fists. (Fore knuckles down)

  5. Knife hand to from folded arms stance.

  6. Stomps

  7. From guard, lead hand knife hand thrust.

  8. Cradle blow (to get a gag reflex)

  9. Fore knuckles punch. The neck is the only target.

  10. Fingertips gouge to eyes, neck or the jugular notch. (to get a reaction)



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Street Knowledge


Awareness (Color code)

White  - Totally turned off to your surroundings.


Yellow  - Paying attention to your surroundings, actively looking around, make it obvious that you are                aware of your surroundings. Yellow Alfa is a step    between Yellow and Orange. You are in a                situation that could turn into danger, so you are just more aware of the situation at hand.


Orange - You have a problem, now is the time to plan your action.

Red - Time for action, fight, or flight. Failure to act may lead to freeze.





Dangers of the streets - Any stranger that approaches could be a threat, but don’t be paranoid. No matter, male, female, and no manner how well they are dressed or nice they are, just understand that this could be a rouse. So be on guard, but not paranoid.

  1. First response is to keep a safe distance and stay calm. Do not start out by being aggressive. If he insists on getting close to you, be assertive and keep distance.  Be prepared to intercept if he attacks first.

  2. Pre-emptive attack - You must truly believe that you are about to be attacked before you can justify any pre-emptive strike of your own. It will not be seen as self-defense if you must close the gap to hit the subject.

  3. Intercept his attack. You can use the same technique to intercept that you had in mind pre-empt with. The only difference is that you are now hitting him as he closes in on you. Let him get close enough to you that your technique will be successful, and so that any witnesses won’t be able to say you charge the guy and attacked.

Guard Stance - Submissive, Passive, and Aggressive

  1. Guard Stance (right guard or left guard) (hands in motion, talk with hands)

    1. Submissive Guard – letting him think he is getting his way. This may not even look like a guard at all, but this could be used to set up your pre-emptive attack. This is an example of fake compliancy.

    2. Passive guard - calm tone trying to de-escalate but without giving in to his demands. Being apologetic as you attempt to de-escalate. 

    3. Assertive guard - guard is in place but taking an assertive position. Street language may be employed. Not going to give in. Letting the subject know you will not allow him to have his way.

    4. Aggressive guard – Posturing, use of street language may be employed, create distance by shoving the aggressor away. By creating distance, you hope to create the flight not fight response in the subject.

  2. Three non-assuming guard positions.

    1. One hand on the chin or face

    2. Hands folded across your chest and ready to strike or block.

    3. Praying hands stance

  3. Peacock Stance - the bad guy may use this while interviewing.


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Woofing stage of interview (at any time during this process be prepared to intercept)


  1. Start de-escalation attempt by using the passive guard first.

  2. If being passive does not work, switch assertive.

  3. If assertive is not enough, switch to aggressive.


Pre-threat recognition skills

  1. Being observant in your everyday activity and let your instinct guide your actions. One example of pre-threat recognition would be the spotting of two more subjects at a distance and notice that one has spotted you and is now talking to his buddies, and now they all look in your direction.

  2. Anytime a stranger approach and attempts to stop your movement by asking for help, directions or for anything, this could be a setup for attack from your rear (Pincher attack), or he could be using deception to get close enough to assault you himself. Prevent the pincher attack by walking past the subject and turn around to look at him. This will prevent you from being attacked from behind while you are distracted.

  3. If the bad guy has you engaged in deceptive dialog, he will usually give you a cue just before he attacks. Cues to look for are: looking rearwards, shifting weight, grooming cue such as touching the face, nose, ear, or running the hand though the hair as he is talking, hand obscurement, pointing and use of deceptive dialog.

  4. Aggressive dialog. When someone approaches you with aggressive dialog it is obvious that he may attack.  


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Misdirection, Deception and Pattern Interrupt. These are tactics used by the bad guys, you should know them and make use of them to increase your chances of success in the event you decide to pre-emptively attack. Misdirection is getting him to look away. Deception is making him think you are doing one thing while you are really doing something else.  Pattern interrupt causes his brain to freeze for a second. The bad guys use these tactics often before they attack. You can use these same tactics to set up a pre-emptive strike.

  1. One good example of the deception is to ask a question (while splaying your hands in explanation) such as “What do you want? This will make him think, maybe you are going to comply with his demands. When he answers, you pre-empt.

  2. Misdirection- Saying or doing anything that will cause him to want to look away. One example is to glance over his shoulder and say something to the effect of “I don’t need your help”. For a split second he cannot help but wonder who is behind him. While his mind is occupied with that thought, you pre-emptily attack.

  3. Pattern interrupt is saying anything that will cause the subject to stop his thought process and try to understand what you meant by what you said. You can say just about anything that makes absolutely no sense. One example, look him straight in the eyes and say, “you want credit or debit”. While he is lost in thought, you pre-empt.


Unarmed Defense against Firearms 


Gun disarms are only possible at “Extreme Close Quarters” range. If someone tries to rob you at gunpoint give up your stuff. Stuff can be replaced but your life cannot. The only time you should try to disarm the attacker is if you feel you have no choice and will be shot anyway. Remember that there is no guarantee that anything you do will work. There is a lot of stuff on the internet about disarming someone with a gun or knife and much of it requires controlling the weapon bearing limb until you can take the attacker to the ground and gain control. Some of it looks effective, but it is still a grapple for control until you disable the attacker. I believe that causing a serious injury on first contact will greatly increase your odds of success. With all these dangers in mind we will now plan our actions for gun disarms. For the scenarios listed below, develop what you would consider your best technique.


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Handgun Disarms

  1. The subject is in front of you with a handgun pointed at your upper body.

  2. The subject is in front of you with a handgun pointed at your lower body.

  3. The subject is to your back with a handgun pointed at your upper body.

  4. The subject is to your back with a handgun pointed at your lower body.

  5. The subject has a grip on you with barrel of a handgun pressed up under your chin.

  6. If you can think of other scenarios list them below.





Long-gun Disarms

  1. The subject is in front of you with the weapon pointed at your upper body.

  2. The subject is in front of you with a weapon pointed at your lower body.

  3. The subject is to your back with a weapon pointed at your upper body.

  4. The subject is to your back with a weapon pointed at your lower body.





                                                                  Page 28


Promotion dates       

Student ________________________________________Start date___________________

                                       Yellow belt (6th kyu) _______________

                                       Green belt (5th kyu) ________________

                                       Blue belt (4th kyu) _________________

                                       Purple belt (3rd kyu) _______________

                                       Red belt (2nd kyu) _________________

                                       Brown belt (1st kyu) _______________

                                       Black belt (1st dan) ________________


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