Sifu Brian Bennett

To: All Sifus, Black Belts and Students of Mo Duk Pai From: Professor Fred King re: the passing on of Sifu Brian Bennett
Thursday, April 14th a wonderful person and Sifu passed on.  As many of you may know Sifu Brian had terminal cancer for some months now. I know many of you had the opportunity to say good-by to him before he left and it was, per him, greatly appreciated. I had the honor to spend some time with him the previous week and we spoke about his training, his love for his teacher (Sifu Hosman) and all the help he’s received over the years from the student body. He was extremely greatful for all of that. I was able to speak to his mother who was extremely proud of her son and his last months and how he dealt with it all. There’s so much to say about Brian—the big man with the big heart, the gentleness and power, his laugh and curiosity, his wanting that others do well—all admirable qualities for anyone. We were lucky to have had him with us. He gave more than he took. Thanks Brian.Your journey will be a good one………’s well deserved.
Professor Fred King, Founder.

Three of Three


I managed to film three submissions a few weeks ago in advanced class – the armbar, the reverse key lock and the guillotine. Today, I got around to editing the videos for the guillotine.
The idea behind this video is the same as it has been for the other two videos: to look at the same submission from at least two angles in hopes that students will gain a broader understanding of the move and thus be able to “fit in” the move more often during a live rolling session.
The three submissions we tried the guillotine from were the guard, the mount and the cross body.  Two rules apply for securing the choke from all these positions: get the arm deep and take away your partner’s hips.  Getting the arm deep from the guard means pulling your partner towards you as you simultaneously lift yourself up towards them.  It’s also often helpful to use the not choking arm to pull the choking arm in deeper.  Getting the arm deep from the mount means getting your partner to lift up their head (perhaps in reaction to some other attack you are making) and then sliding your arm underneath.  It’s usually difficult to get assistance from your free arm to secure the choke from the mount but it can be helpful to grab your own shirt with your choking arm and use that grip to help deepen the move.  Securing a deep lock from the cross body often involves going for (or pretending to go for) the key lock, getting your partner to lift their head up to try and fight you off and then giving up the key lock to slide an arm behind their neck.
To take away your partner’s hips when you’ve got them in the guard, try bringing your legs as far up their torso as you can.  The higher up you are, the more difficult it is for them to posture up and resist the submission.  For the mount (or the cross body, after you move to the mount position to finish), loop your feet on the inside of your partner’s legs and then push away with your leg strength (it’s called the grapevine).  This will pull the lower half of their body away from being able to fight against the choke.
No doubt there are countless other positions to get this choke from and equally many ways to secure it.  Keep looking!

Reverse Key Lock: Two Approaches


The video shows the reverse key lock (a.k.a. the kimura, hammerlock or figure four armbar) from two positions, the guard and cross body.
From the closed guard, you can secure the lock and maintain a closed guard but it is often easier to go to open guard and rotate 90º.  This angle (yes, angling works in standup and groundwork) puts your partner in a weaker position to use their strength against you, so long as you secure their torso with a body lock or by simply pushing down with your top leg.
From the cross body position, you’ve already got the advantage of a 90º relative to your partner, so to make matters worse for them and to make it easier to secure the lock, push their ‘other’ arm up by their ear by scooting your hips towards their head.  This will make it very difficult to use that arm in any functional way to fight what you are trying to do.
Once you’ve got the reverse key lock from those two positions, see where else you can set it up from.  Application is all about adaptation, after all.

The Armbar and Angles of Attack


The armbar is one of those fun techniques that can be practiced many different ways, from many different angles.  In fact, the more ways one learns it, the more opportunities one sees to apply it and the more one begins to understand the underlying principle behind all instances of the technique.
Three basic positions to learn the move from are: the mount, the guard and cross body.  Are these the only starting positions that one can apply the submission from?  No way – but you’ve got to start somewhere.  Practice all three a few times before every grappling session and pretty soon you’ll be seeing more and more angles from which to achieve the armbar.