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Bando Minute

The Bando punching drill

Now that we have all nine punches captured in a Bando minute, use today to review the nine punches and see if you can go through the entire punching drill. Think about principles that we’ve taught and whether you’re incorporating them into each punch: The straight punch The turn punch The rising punch The hook […]

Use of the Zone notation system

A key aspect of sharing knowledge is to have a common notation and set of terms that can convey more complicated ideas. So for example, in our stepping drill we have a sequence of steps, each with a name. In teaching, I can use the name of the step as a shorthand to convey a […]

Following Instructions

Did you ever take one of those tests in school that started “Write your name at the top and then read through the entire test before answering the first question”? It’s really a test of your willingness to follow directions – the last line in it says something like “Put down your pencil without marking […]

The groin punch

This punch has a somewhat deceptive name. It’s called the “groin” punch and in our punching drill, your imagined target is the groin. A lot of people practice this with a target that’s much higher, and I tease my students that they shouldn’t be imagining a hugely tall person in front of them. To do […]

The arrow punch

The last punch in our punching drill is the arrow punch. This punch ends like a straight punch, but starts with the punching hand and elbow at eye level, with the fist facing out. It’s a natural punch that can follow a rising block or a side block, since the hand is high already. Here’s […]

The hammer punch

The hammer punch is a powerful strike with the bottom of the fist. Picture someone banging on a table with their fists, impatient for dinner, or banging on a door, yelling “Let me in!”. The difference between those motions and our hammer strike is that instead of using the elbow as a hinge, the strike […]

The stick punch

The stick punch is a pure “power” strike, using the entire arm as the delivery mechanism. This strike is powered by your lats and shoulder muscles – the muscles in the arm have the job of keeping the arm in a strong, locked position. It’s like a strike with a bat, with your arm replacing […]

The cross-body punch

The Cross-body punch gets a lot of momentum by its diagonal movement from the opposite hip to the final strike, which is about shoulder high. The key to the cross-body is the placement of the punching hand. Imagine you are drawing a sword, getting ready to brandish it in front of you (I’ve been reading […]

Ordinary Objects

When we are in a self-defense situation, it’s pretty much not of our own choosing. We don’t get to pick the environment we’re in, we don’t get to change our clothes, and we don’t get to pick our favorite tools for self-defense, unless we happen to have them with us. Do you remember the three […]

What can you do under pressure?

One of my Bando teachers, Sayaji Errol Younger, would point out the difference between knowing of a technique versus having it truly in your repertoire of techniques that can be counted on. He would say: It’s not what you know that counts, it’s what you can do under pressure. Being able to do a fancy […]