Author: Sifu Wik

11 Crucial Home Defense & Security Tips

German Shepherd by Christoph Schmid

While there are countless reasons to pursue self-defense training, one we hear often from students when we ask them what motivated them to start training is that they want to know they can protect themselves and their loved ones.

Knowing how to physically defend yourself doesn't have to be the only method to do that. These 11 tips will make sure that if the worst does come to pass and you find yourself in a situation where you need to protect yourself and your home you'll have a higher chance of making sure everyone comes out of it safe. This is absolutely not a comprehensive list - there are a lot of things to consider in planning for a situation where an intruder has entered your home - but it will get you started.

Understanding the Mindset of an Intruder

Professional burglars spend time to plan out their targets and perform enough reconnaissance to make their work as easy as they can. This means they are not the type who will be breaking in when someone is home. You are more likely to get an intruder that falls into one of the categories of:

  • Inexperienced Burglar Who Doesn't Realize You're Home

  • Burglar Desperate Enough to Not Care You're Home (Someone Suffering from Addiction, etc.)

  • Burglar Who Knows You're Home & Enjoys the Thrill / Potential for Violence

  • Unknown Intruder Who Specifically Intends Harm (Kidnapper, Rapist, Murderer, etc.)

  • Known Intruder Who Specifically Intends Harm (Domestic Abuse, Angry Ex, etc.)

Most of these types of intruder are willing (or already decided) to do you or the people in your home harm. Intruders who aren't will generally run when it becomes clear someone is home. Because of that distinction you should always treat an intruder who doesn't run when confronted as one who is a threat to your life. For that reason you need to be prepared to do what's necessary to end the threat. Even in a situation where your life is threatened it's not necessarily easy to get in the mindset of being prepared to fight for your life, so it's important to know the type of person you're likely up against in order to be mentally ready.

Broken Glass

Home Defense & Home Security Tips

  • Have a Plan and Supplies Ready - Do you have a plan in place for what to do if you wake up to a house fire? Do you have a plan for if a tornado is about to hit? Do you have a plan for a flood?

    Hopefully, you answered yes to all of those. A home invasion should be treated no differently than any of those other emergency situations. You need to have a plan in place for exactly what you and everyone else in the household should do as soon as it becomes clear there's an intruder. Everyone needs to know the plan well enough to execute it out of habit, without panicking. If you have a plan in place but your spouse or children don't know it well enough then you don't have a plan. Know what room everyone should get to for safety, have backup options in place in case you or a family member is cut off from that room, and know where your supplies are and how to use them.

    Panicked people tend to wander, or try to bolt. Having a predetermined rally point or hiding place and knowing that a specific spouse or older children are in charge of moving elderly family members or the younger children will help ensure no one endangers themselves.

    Another aspect of this type of planning is having your supplies in place where they will be most useful. If your safe point is the master bedroom do you have a flashlight, firearm, first aid kit with CAT tourniquet and quick clotting agents, and backup phone or charger stored there? Do you have any critical prescription medication, inhalers, etc. that a family member might need if you are barricaded in there? Just like you would stock a safe area in a basement with food, water, a radio, and other things in case of a tornado if you have a plan for an intruder but no supplies you might as well not have a plan.

  • Evade, Hide, and Barricade - Always place a focus on avoiding contact first. The best way to guarantee an intruder can't hurt you is to not be where they can reach you. If you're alone in your home and close to an exit when you discover an intruder, there is nothing wrong with exiting your home to seek shelter at a neighbor's. If you can't outright escape like that, or if there are other family members to consider, get everyone to your designated safe point as quickly and safely as you can.

    If an intruder blocks access to your designated safe point then having a secondary place to hide is important. Particularly in situations where you are unarmed, concealing yourself until you can move to a better position or until police arrive is often the best bet. Trust in your family members to follow the plan and call the police.

    Your safe point should be a room with a limited number of access points which you can securely barricade. This can mean specific hardware improvements like installing deadbolts, kick plates, and solid wood or metal interior doors - or it can just mean knowing there's a heavy dresser on hand to shove against the door. Your barricade should be set up so that everyone in the room can be positioned at a 90-degree angle from the barricade and entry. This not only allows the best positioning to engage the attacker before you're seen if it comes to it, but it also clears the likely line of fire through the door itself if the intruder has a firearm.

  • Have a Police Script Ready - It is unavoidable for there to be some level of panic in a situation where someone has invaded your home. Panic will make you forget details, repeat things, speak quickly and unclearly, and in general make it more difficult for the emergency operator to get the key information they need to get help to you as quickly as possible.

    Having a planned list of what information to relay to the emergency dispatcher ready and stored with your other supplies in your safe point will make sure you don't miss key information, and that if the only person in the safe point able to call 911 is a small child or someone more likely to panic they have a clear list of what to convey.

    The key information to include is: Where You Are (Both Your Address and Location Inside the House), Where the Intruder Is, What Is Happening (Number of Intruders, Is Anyone Injured, the Intruder's Entry Point, Possible Intent), Whether You any Family Members or the Intruder Are Armed, What You and Any Family Members Look Like and Are Wearing, and lastly What the Intruder Looks Like and Is Wearing.

    The operator may request additional information, but that basic list will get them enough crucial information to ensure help, and the right help, gets there as fast as possible.

  • Make Your Home a Hard Target - You will never be able to stop someone from entering your home who wants in badly enough. However, having enough complications present for the intruder as possible can encourage them to give up, or choose another house. Even in cases where the person knows you and is specifically targeting you it can make the difference between having enough time to enact your plan and being caught unawares.

    Make sure you have adequate outdoor lighting, preferably on a motion sensor. Install an alarm system, even if you don't have it connect to a security company. Install sturdy deadbolts and kick plates that are rated to be kick and crowbar resistant. Make sure any sliding doors have a metal security bar, and that all windows both lock and have burglar latches engaged. If you have windows within arms reach of a door install a deadbolt with a keyhole on both sides so that a person can't smash the glass and reach in to unlock it. Keep bushes and anything that might provide concealment trimmed low and away from windows so there aren't any hidden places for an intruder to attempt to break in. Don't leave ladders or other tools out that could be used to break into your home where anyone can access them.

    We cannot emphasize enough how important it is to remember to always lock your doors.
    We cannot emphasize enough how important it is to remember to always lock your doors.

    It's also a good idea to consider a camera system. Personally, I'm a fan of Nest cameras - they're not necessarily the cheapest option, but when it comes to security trying to go the cheapest route isn't always the best idea. Having a camera system is both a potential deterrent and also a good way to ensure if you have to defend yourself you have video to verify self-defense claims. An outdoor camera at the front door will also allow you to see who is knocking without standing right behind the door in a potential fire zone.

    Lastly, please do not ever hide a key to your home outside. Ever. If you absolutely must have a backup key outside put it into a combination lock box that is secured to something or bolted to the structure from inside the box.

  • Get First Aid Training - Things don't always go to plan. In a home invasion situation you or others may make it to your rally point having suffered gunshot wounds, lacerations, puncture wounds, etc. It's not enough to have a well-stocked trauma kit, you need to know enough emergency aid to deal with these types of critical injuries. It also gives you the tools to save the life of an intruder once you have neutralized the threat - once they are no longer a danger to you and your home is clear there's no reason not to stabilize them.

    If you've never had any kind of emergency medical training you likely don't even know how much there is you don't know beyond controlling bleeding. How to identify and clear obstructed airways, how to properly seal a sucking chest wound and provide chest decompression, and how to avoid shock or hypothermia are all things you may not have even realized you should know.

    The Red Cross and other organizations often offer first aid and emergency aid training. You should also check with your local community center as many offer classes in first aid and/or CPR free for residents. We also work with EMTs to offer occasional seminars in trauma first response.

  • Know How to Defend Yourself - This one probably goes without saying, but knowing how to defend yourself with and against a variety of weapons is important. While you should try not to engage any intruders until placed in a situation where it is unavoidable, having the skills to do so is critical.

    When learning for the purpose of home defense you should include empty hand, blade, blunt instrument, and firearm training at a minimum. Additionally always be sure that any weapon or self-defense tool you keep with your supplies or close enough at hand to use in a home invasion scenario is one that you specifically train with. If you keep OC spray in your nightstand but have never practiced charging and deploying it, the odds of you successfully doing so in a high-stress situation significantly diminish.

Firearms for Home Defense

Firearms can be used for home defense but there are several things to take into consideration when choosing the right one for you.
Firearms can be used for home defense but there are several things to take into consideration when choosing the right one for you.

These last few tips deal specifically with considerations for the inclusion of firearms in a home defense plan. The topic of whether or not to - and how best to - prep, store, and deploy firearms in a home defense situation is one that deserves it's own article. These tips will give some basic guidance in the matter for those considering their use.

  • Drill Your Deployment - You should already drill the plan you've put in place in case of a home invasion, particularly if you have family members to consider. Having a firearm in play adds the additional level to your drilling of being sure you, and anyone else who may need to, can access and deploy the weapon safely, quickly, and efficiently.

    If your firearm is in a safe you need to practice opening that safe to access the firearm. You might be shaky and pumped full of adrenaline, or groggy and half asleep. If the first time you have to try to access and deploy your firearm from its storage place is when you hear glass breaking downstairs then you're setting yourself up for failure. Your spouse and any children you deem capable of doing so should also be drilling. You might not be home, might be cut off from the safe point, or might be critically wounded before anyone can react.

    It's a personal decision on who you want to be entrusted with access to the firearm. Odds of self-injury with a firearm are much higher than odds of an intruder breaking in, so it's important to know that allowing access won't make everyone less safe than they otherwise are. Know that those with access are both responsible enough to have it, and properly trained to do so. The one exception to making things as real as possible is that when drilling never use a loaded firearm - the chance for injury to yourself and others when trying to train yourself to do things quickly isn't worth it.

  • Get Tactical Training - Logging thousands of hours of range time is not the same thing as firing from a compromised position in the dark at a moving target while your fight or flight system is kicked into high gear. Seek out qualified instruction specifically targeted to situations involving an intruder in your home. Whenever possible do this training with the actual firearm and gear you keep ready for that situation, or at least an identical model of firearm. Be sure that any family members entrusted to deploy a firearm if needed also have adequate training.

    While we work some elements of the Center Axis Relock system of close-quarters firearm combatives into our training at the Academy in our firearm defenses, we lack the facilities for live fire training. Locally I often recommend people to the Tactical Training Center run by T.I.G. as a great option. They have the proper facilities to provide the type of training needed, a full team of expert instructors, and offer classes in topics like cover and concealment, firing from a vehicle, and night fire that you can't often find at a basic indoor range. They also offer occasional special courses specifically in home defense and emergency medicine.

  • Choose Your Firearm Carefully - There are a lot of considerations that need to go into choosing a firearm that you intend to deploy in the case of a home invasion.

    Your MK18 Daniel Defense 5.56mm SBR with tactical foregrip, EOTech XPS3-0 HOLO Sight, and Streamlight 69265 TLR-2 rail mounted combo green laser sight/flashlight might make you look like such a bad-ass the intruder's likely to wet themselves - but can you maneuver it in that narrow hallway? Can your spouse or child handle it effectively? Will rounds that miss their target penetrate to a neighbor's house or apartment, or your child's bedroom?

    Unfortunately, there are no one-size-fits-all solutions. That SBR I described may be a terrible choice for one person and an ideal one for another. Some things you have to consider when selecting a firearm, or even choosing between handgun, shotgun, or carbine, are: the potential for overpenetration (drywall does not do a great job stopping bullets), maneuverability of the weapon in your home, ease of operation under stress, ease of operation by others (a shotgun might not be a good choice if your 12-year-old daughter has to be the one grabbing the gun), ammunition capacity, and availability and ease-of-use of attachments such as flashlights.

    Take time to determine what firearm will be the best fit for your situation, and then make sure everyone who will potentially have to operate it has been trained to do so.

  • Ambush, Don't Stalk - While part of you may want to attempt to sweep and clear your house, either once you've determined someone has broken into your home or once you've neutralized an initial intruder, you should never do so unless you have to retrieve and secure a family member in another part of the house.

    Clearing a room is something best done with a team. If everyone is hunkered down in your safe spot there is no reason to try to clear your house - wait and let the police do it. Especially without anyone backing you the room for error moving through a building with a hostile intruder in it is enormous. By contrast, if you're hunkered down at a 90-degree angle to a barricaded entry point that is the sole way into a room the odds are stacked much more in your favor.

    Even as the rest of the family is moving to your safe point, if you can take up a position to cover the area at a channelization point while they do there is no reason to go looking for the intruder. If everyone is asleep upstairs and you hear someone breaking in on the first floor, it's always going to better to take up a covered position at the top of the staircase than to rush downstairs to engage. Setting an ambush and letting them walk into your sights is safer than risking stumbling into theirs.

A Focus on Preparedness

These are just a handful of tips to help you ensure you're prepared to keep yourself and your family safe in the event of an intruder. There are more considerations than can be reasonably covered here, but the central point that unifies all of these are cultivating an attitude of preparedness.

The odds of an aggressive intruder breaking into your home while it's occupied are relatively low - so don't let thinking about and preparing for things like this get you worried. It doesn't accomplish anything to dwell all the time on whether or not a tornado is going to come through, you just set things up so that if it ever does you're ready to do what's needed to keep everyone safe. The same goes for this sort of situation.

If you have specific questions about any of these tips, feel free to reach out via the Contact page or give us a call at 513-760-5553.

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The Five Types of Martial Art

Boxing and Types of Martial Art at the Wik Academy of Martial Arts Cincinnati Ohio

Trying to choose a martial art to train in when you're just starting out can be daunting. Just here in the Cincinnati area there are so many to choose from with such a wide variety of backgrounds, structures, and goals - how can you know which is right for you?

One thing that can help you make an informed decision is knowing the five basic types of martial art. Once you understand those and where different arts fit in, you can decide what classes to take or arts to study based on your own goals.

What Are the Five Types / Categories of Martial Art?

While there are a lot of different ways to categorize and group different martial arts, we're going to look at the five groups you can use to sort different arts by focus. Those five categories are:

  • Traditional

  • Restorative

  • Eclectic / Hybrid

  • Sportive

  • Combative

These categories aren't in any way exclusive, and many arts span several with one being the primary category but with elements of others. Each category also exists on a gradient, and different schools or instructors within the same art might emphasize different categories more. Rather than divide things up by striking art vs. grappling art vs. weapon art or criteria like that, these categories sort the different martial arts out by their goal or focus.

Let's look at what each one means and give some examples.

Traditional Martial Arts

Traditional martial arts put a heavy emphasis on passing down the traditions or culture of the art and its place of origin.

These arts often have a number of etiquette and cultural rules, use a lot terminology from the primary language of the art's place of origin, and involve a sense of ceremony. Due to having to learn and adhere to new rules of behavior - such as when and how to bow, how to address instructors and students of varying rank, how to sit or stand at attention, etc. - Traditional arts often wind up incorporating a lot of discipline and character building aspects.

These tend to be good arts for people who want to experience new cultural traditions, experience a strong sense of community, be introduced to new philosophical concepts, or improve their discipline. They also tend to be good for younger children because of the emphasis on rules and proper behavior.

Some examples of arts that are often categorized as Traditional martial arts are: Shorin-Ryu Karate, Tae Kwon Do, Hung Gar, Capoeira, Aikido, Wing Chun, & Kendo

Restorative Martial Arts

The next category, Restorative martial arts, are arts whose primary goal is to improve the health of the practitioner above all else. This includes both physical and mental health, and arts in this category may work on improving strength, mental focus, flexibility, breathing, cardiovascular health, and more.

Many of these have a meditative aspect to them, although that's not necessarily required. They also range in how strenuous they might be, with Tai Chi being an example that usually falls on the more gentle end and fitness kickboxing being an example that nearly always falls on the higher intensity end. Regardless all of these arts are concerned first and foremost with making you a healthier person rather than preparing you for a competition or giving you the tools to destroy an enemy.

Restorative martial arts are great for people who care most about getting healthy. If the thing you want most out of your training is to learn to focus, calm your mind, or improve your overall wellness, then arts which fall primarily in this category will be a perfect fit.

Some examples of arts that are often categorized as Restorative martial arts are: Tai Chi / Taijiquan, Some Forms of Silat, Fitness Kickboxing, Baguazhang, Aikido, & Capoeira

Eclectic or Hybrid Martial Arts

The third category, Eclectic martial arts or sometimes called Hybrid martial arts, are martial arts that make it a main focus to take elements from a wide range of other arts and incorporate them into a unified system.

Arts in this category tend to have strong secondary categories that inform the types of things they adopt from other arts. What sets arts aside that can be called a primarily Eclectic martial art over one of the other categories is the emphasis on changing, testing, and openness to the incorporation of new ideas.

Eclectic or Hybrid martial arts generally make a great fit for people who want to get exposure to a variety of training methods and styles. If you prefer the idea of testing, changing, and improving over the idea of continuing a long unchanging tradition, then martial arts in the Eclectic category will be a good fit.

Some examples of arts that are often categorized as Eclectic or Hybrid martial arts are: Jeet Kune Do, MMA / Mixed Martial Arts, Kajukenbo, Hapkido, Krav Maga, Pencak Silat Mande Muda, & SPEAR

Sportive Martial Arts

The Sportive martial arts category encompasses all of the arts whose foremost goal is training a student to win in a competition.

Sportive martial arts often, but not always, have a smaller range of individual techniques to learn and instead spend more time drilling specific aspects, simulating competition events through things like sparring, and improving the physical attributes that will most benefit an athlete in that sport. There may also be more strategic learning like analyzing other competitors or figuring out how to utilize competition rules to your advantage.

People who want to compete - whether in actual tournaments or just unofficially with other students - will fit best in one of the Sportive martial arts. If you have a strong desire to test yourself and use your martial art against someone the Sportive arts are often the best option to do so.

Some examples of arts that are often categorized as Sportive martial arts are: Boxing, ITF Tae Kwon Do, MMA / Mixed Martial Arts, Wrestling, Muay Thai, Fencing, Brazilian Jiujitsu, & Savate

Combative Martial Arts

The final category is that of Combative martial arts. What places a martial art in this category is a primary focus on dealing with a sudden, violent, potentially fatal attack - often though not exclusively as part of your career or position.

What sets Combative martial arts apart from the 'combat sports' styles of Sportive martial arts is the lack of an agreed upon location, rules, or initiation of combat. In a Sportive martial art such as MMA both combatants know what rules they and the other combatant must operate under, they know where the encounter will take place and what type of terrain to expect (generally a flat, well-lit, clean ring with clear boundaries), and they know the encounter has begun because its start is designated by a bell, referee, or other indicator.

Combative martial arts lack all three of these. There are no limitations on what can be done, you don't know where the encounter will happen or the conditions of the location, and the start of the encounter might be getting a knife placed at your throat or getting hit in the back of the head with a bat. These arts often train students ways to kill or maim, and often incorporate or even focus on some type of weapons training.

It's important here to make the distinction between self-defense and fighting. Self-defense is when a person is attacked with no means for escape or deescalation. A fight is the opportunity to leave or deescalate is present but a person makes the decision not to take it.

Two men arguing in a bar who square up and come to blows are in a fight, because one of them could have chosen to walk away, and this situation actually more closely resembles what Sportive martial arts prepares people for. A man coming up behind you with a knife while you're at an ATM and telling you to get into his van is in a self-defense situation, and this more closely resembles what Combative martial arts train for.

Combative martial arts are an excellent fit for people who work in dangerous professions - such as law enforcement or military personnel - or for those whose primary concern is being assaulted by someone with the intent of murdering, raping, or kidnapping them or a loved one.

Some examples of arts that are often categorized as Combative martial arts are: Krav Maga, Pekiti Tirsia Kali (as well as other Arnis / Escrima systems), MCMAP, Silek Harimau Minangkabau, & SPEAR

Final Considerations on the Five Martial Art Categories

These categories should be considered as general guidelines as there is always going to be a lot of overlap and variance between instructors. There are also some that overlap more commonly than others. For example, Eclectic tend to overlap with Combative and, to a lesser extent, Sportive arts but very rarely with Traditional or Restorative arts. Similarly Restorative and Traditional martial arts can often be found with a lot of overlap, but rarely do Restorative martial arts coincide with Sportive or Combative arts.

There can also be a range of different areas of focus with an art depending on the instructor. Some Muay Thai instructors for instance may focus more on the cultural heritage and traditions of the art and be less concerned with prepping students to compete placing it more in the Traditional art category. Other Muay Thai instructors may work more with athletes or MMA fighters to perform better in competitions and downplay traditional elements like the Wai Kru or other Thai customs removing the Traditional art elements entirely.

As another example the Jeet Kune Do classes at our Academy here in West Chester are structured in a way that places it solidly in the Eclectic category (we make a point of including elements from a variety of arts and helping students what works best for them). However, we teach with a very strong secondary element as a Combative martial art since we include many elements from Krav Maga, Kali, forms of Silat, and other primarily Combative arts and we approach our training through the lens of an unexpected violent assault.

Other JKD instructors may emphasize different training goals, such as training with MMA fighters to improve their performance, or passing on the philosophies and traditions of Bruce Lee. None of these approaches is inherently better or worse than the others, but it makes it important to know where each instructor or school fits in relative to your goals when you're choosing an art and where to train.

When you understand these categories relative to your goals, and how different arts can fit into them, it makes choosing a martial art to study a much easier process.

If you're interested in learning more about the arts we teach, you can reach us via the contact page or find the next class on our schedule and come visit.

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Seminar Venue Changed

Due to the overwhelming interest we've received in this coming weekend's Silat Buka Lingkaran seminar with Head Instructor Alvin Guinanao we've decided to move the event to a larger training space so that we can better accommodate more students.

The seminar will now be held at:

The Inner Circle / Tri-State IMB Academy 7009 Burlington Pike, Florence, KY 41042

The schedule remains the same, training will be Saturday and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. both days. Please arrive early enough to stretch out and warm up as well as take care of checking in and getting any necessary waivers signed.

This also means we're now able to re-open registration since we have more space! If you wanted to register before but didn't make it before we filled up, you can once again register by clicking here.

We also want to remind everyone that due to the seminar there will be no regular classes this Friday, Saturday, or Sunday.

If you have any questions about the seminar or registration, don't hesitate to give us a call at 513 760-5553.

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Professor Jak Othman Returning in August

Professor Jak Othman will be leading a Harimau Berantai seminar at the Academy on Saturday, August 6th and Sunday, 7th from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days.

Pre-registration is currently $140 for both days and $80 for a single day until July 1st when registration costs go up, so if you're interested in training with Professor Jak make sure to register early so you get the best price.

You can register online here.

Professor Jak will cover the unique Harimau Berantai style of combat with knives, karambits, keris, and more. Don't miss this chance to train with one of the legends of the silat community.

For any other questions about the seminar, feel free to contact the academy at 513-760-5553 or e-mail us at

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Open House Week May 20th Through 27th

From Friday, May 20th through the following Friday, May 27th we'll be holding an Open House Week.

During the Open House Week all of our scheduled classes will be free for everyone, so if you have friends or family who have always wanted to come try out training, or you yourself have been on the fence for a while, come in and enjoy free, no-obligation classes all week.

In addition to the free classes, we'll be having special events, cookouts, and a raffle for every person who came in and trained for the first time during the week. The winner of the raffle will win two certificates (one for them, and another for a friend) for one month of free training, plus a free uniform and pair of training gloves. If the winner was referred by a current student, that student will also win three free hour long private lessons.

The full event calendar for the week will be posted soon. In the meantime you can see updates on our Facebook event page for the week at:

If you have any other questions about the Open House Week you can also always give us a call at the Academy at 513-760-5553.

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Teen Self-Defense Classes Starting Now

We're excited to announce we now have teen classes opening up to the thirteen to seventeen age range.

These classes are specially designed to instill the skills needed for students to defend themselves effectively while learning in a fun, supportive environment. Our teen classes are carefully structured to provide the martial training, physical conditioning, and mental preparedness to build a strong foundation for when students are ready to advance into the adult classes.

The teen martial arts classes are held on Tuesdays at 5 p.m., and on Saturdays at 1 p.m.

If you're interested in providing your teenage son or daughter with the skills to defend themselves and the self-confidence and discipline to succeed in everyday life give us a call at 513-760-5553 and we can set a time to sit down and discuss your goals to find a training program that's right for you.

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An Introduction to Cane Fighting

As one of mankind's oldest weapons, it's hard to beat the simple effectiveness of the stick. Combine that with the fact that a walking cane can be carried in many places other tools like blades and firearms cannot and you have an extremely versatile force multiplier that can accompany you almost anywhere.

Due to the age of the weapon there are countless stick based systems. We're going to look past the common stick arts like Kali, Arnis, and Pekiti Tirsia and examine two arts we teach at the Wik Academy that utilize specifically the walking stick or cane.

La Canne de Combat

La Canne at the Wik Academy of Martial Arts

The first is the art of La Canne de Combat, an art closely connected with Savate. Originating in France at least as far back as the early 1800s Canne de Combat utilizes the cane in a manner reminiscent of the foil used in fencing. It was a popular gentleman's self-defense discipline throughout the 1960s, and there are tales of assassins using the art in occupied France during World War II to dispatch high ranking Nazi officers.

After being largely codified into a sport in order to survive as a discipline the original self-defense oriented techniques which include more targeting of vulnerable areas, throws, chokes, and joint locks using the cane have come to sometimes be called canne défense. Another variation which blends in a range of kicks and striking from Savate also exists, generally called canne chausson.

The canne de combat techniques that we teach at the Academy come down from the Federation de Savate Boxe Francaise through Professor Salem Assli.

Silek Harimau Minangkabau

Silek Harimau Mingangkabau Tongkat at the Wik Academy of Martial Arts

The walking stick, ortongkat, was traditionally the last weapon a practitioner of Silek Harimau Minangkabau learned and was considered the weapon of Grandmasters. It was thought that it took the years of experience and wisdom of a Grandmaster to be able to defend effectively against enemies armed with machetes and other more lethal weapons.

The tongkat techniques of Silek Harimau Minangkabau include low-crouched stances that allow a defender to hook and catch the legs of attackers with the crook of the cane, loose hand locks and blade immobilization techniques using the stick, and extended long and mid-range strikes.

Our Academy's Silek Harimau Minangkabau comes down from the Hanafi lineage through Grandmaster Maha Guru Richard Crabbe De-Bordes. Maha Guru De-Bordes will be leading a seminar this month in both empty hand and walking cane techniques.

If you're interested in learning effective self-defense techniques using empty hands, blades, and a variety of other tools contact us to schedule a time to come in and discuss your goals.

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Maha Guru Richard Crabbe DeBordes Seminar in March

Maha Guru Richard Crabbe DeBordes will be coming to the Academy March 19th and 20th to teach a special seminar on Hanafi lineage Silek Harimau Minangkabau. He will be instructing in both empty hand and cane techniques.

In addition to being a world authority on Silek Harimau Minangkabau Maha Guru DeBordes has taught and acted as an adviser to many special forces groups and police tactical teams, and has also acted in a capacity as a presidential security aide for the Republic of Ghana.

Pre-registration cost is $140 for two days and $75 for a single day. Day of seminar pricing for those who don't pre-register will be $150 for two days and $80 for a single day. For anyone testing for rank with Maha Guru DeBordes there is an additional $50 testing fee.

The seminar itself will be from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday March 19th and 20th.

To pre-register please click here.

You can see Maha Guru DeBordes in action in this video from a seminar held in Moscow:

If you have any questions about the seminar, feel free to contact the Academy at 513-760-5553. You can also view the Facebook event page for the seminar by clicking here.

Filed under: Announcements

Professor Jak Othman Harimau Berantai Silat Seminar This Weekend

The special silat seminar with Professor Jak Othman is just a few days away, so we wanted to remind everyone again of some important information for everyone able to attend. There's still time to register if you're interested in training with Professor Othman, just click here. Even if you can only come for one day, training with someone as skilled and knowledgeable as Professor Othman is an opportunity you don't want to miss.

Equipment to Bring

Some protective equipment is required for the seminar, make sure you bring eye protection, forearm guards, shin guards, and - if male - a cup. You are also strongly recommended to bring a rubber training knife and a training karambit if you have them and, if you attended the previous seminar, a training kepak kecil (small axe). We will have some available to borrow, but it's best to bring your own.

Professor Othman has said he prefers the TP Training Knife from Century, we will have a few of them available for purchase at a discount for seminar participants.They are normally $24, but seminar participants can purchase them for $18 on a first come first served basis while our stock lasts.

There will be small breaks both days to eat. Some deli meats and items for sandwiches will be provided so be prepared to bring a small amount of extra cash to chip in for those or a packed lunch for yourself.

Professor Othman often brings other items for sale, including training equipment, apparel, and live blades, karambits, and axes so it's usually a good idea to bring a little extra cash in case there is anything else you find you want.

Dates and Time

There will be no regular classes Thursday Feb. 18th through Tuesday Feb. 24th. Students who are testing for promotion in Harimau Berantai Silat under Professor Jak Othman have been provided the times for testing on Thursday.

The seminar itself will be on Saturday and Sunday Feb. 20th & 21st. We will begin at 10:00 a.m. and end at 4 p.m. both days. The Academy will be open at 9 a.m. both days, and it's recommended you allow yourself time to warm up before beginning at 10.

If you have any other questions about the seminar, feel free to contact us at the school at 513-760-5553.

Filed under: Announcements

New Movement Focused Fitness Classes

We're excited to announce new movement based fitness classes on Mondays and Fridays at 5:30 p.m. These classes are free to all current students, regardless of what training membership they have.

Why Movement Focused Fitness?

It's an unfortunate fact that the nature of modern life is very static. Most people wake up to sit at a breakfast table, then sit in the car for their commute, then sit at a desk at work or at school, then sit in the car for another commute home to spend their evening sitting on the couch in front of the television. When you add all of that up, a large majority of people spend more hours of their lives in a seated position than they do standing or moving.

In an era of modern conveniences where you can have groceries and food delivered to your door at the click of a button and decades worth of entertainment at your fingertips we have largely lost the necessity for movement and physical expression. This may not seem like a problem until you recognize how much of our biology works on a 'use-it-or-lose-it' system - the price we pay for an easy lifestyle spent in a comfy chair is stiff joints, aching backs, limited mobility, and a myriad other problems.

A fitness program built around natural movement patterns rather than the type of constrained movement patterns you get from modern fitness machines allows your body to reach its full potential by not only building the strength necessary to efficiently move your own body in whatever way you want, but the flexibility and the cardiovascular health to do it smoothly and efficiently without finding yourself doubled over and gasping for breath.

Movement Based Fitness for Martial Arts

Movement based fitness is particularly effective for the martial artist because of the way it develops all three of these areas - strength, mobility, and endurance - simultaneously in the same workout.

The very nature of martial arts and self-defense is efficient, powerful movement. Whether your goal is to become a professional fighter or just to develop the skills necessary to keep yourself and your loved ones safe being in total control of your body and movements is key. It's not just practitioners of the traditional arts like Silat and Wing Chun that benefit from this control and flexibility; the successes of MMA fighters who have embraced movement based training such as Connor McGregor, Georges St-Pierre, and Carlos Condit is definitive proof that when you move better you fight better.

What Should I Expect in a Movement Based Fitness Class?

While each thirty minute class will be a little different, you can expect to balance, crawl, roll, carry, run, throw, lift, and fight. Classes will use a minimum amount of equipment so you can repeat these workouts whenever you want at home without having to invest in expensive machinery or pricey gym memberships. Occasionally we may also take our workouts outside into sunshine.

Every class will contain movements that improve your strength, cardiovascular conditioning, and flexibility/mobility. The workouts are also programmed out so that no movement pattern is left behind, pulling, pushing, isolaterally and unilaterally loaded movements, bending, jumping, isometric and dynamic movements, and more.

We're beginning with thirty minute classes and will eventually expand into hour long sessions. These classes are free to all students regardless of their chosen training program, and won't count against your class credits.

If you're ready to start improving your fitness in a functionally holistic way, come in for a workout Mondays and Fridays from 5:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Filed under: Announcements