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Martial Arts Illustrated, September 2009

Dojunim Grand-Master Ralph Allison introduces: CHI COMBAT SYSTEM

Do you get the feeling that a lot of Martial Arts styles are “stuck in a rut”? CHI COMBAT SYSTEM was created as a fresh approach combining all that is useful (and practical) from several of the most popular styles known in the world today. So, perhaps what you are reading in this article may well be … the next step in MARTIAL ARTS EVOLUTION!

Bruce Lee already indicated in the olden days that sticking to one style alone is dangerously limiting. So: the answer for the “perfect system” was quite simple. That answer was to combine all that is useful for self-defence from various popular martial arts styles that work for self defence and health enhancement. This way a martial arts system could be as “complete” as can be. Now, with the newest advancements in the knowledge of body bio-mechanics and further advances in self-defence techniques from various styles, that dream of creating a complete system has come within reach.

Often, when people hear the word “new”, their minds immediately block off the information and say “I better stick with what I know” without giving the new idea a chance to sink into their minds!

Promoting the development of better health in our bodies and discard unnecessary movements which just exist for the sake of “tradition” was our set goal. But a senseless throwing together of techniques from different styles is not good enough. There must be a streamlined harmony of techniques that work together and not contradict each other. Also: CHI COMBAT SYSTEM was able to come up with some new fresh techniques and drills as we did not want to be a mere copycat of other styles. Anything new must be taught on different levels (from easy to advanced) so everyone (on that belt level) can absorb it without any problems. A successful style must be logical enough so that it can be taught in Children’s classes and interesting enough for Adults classes and for advanced practitioners from other styles who wish to make a change. This has been achieved in our CHI COMBAT SYSTEM Martial Arts Schools!

Overcomplicated and confusing teaching methods have been done away with! It is important for martial arts Instructors to realize that everyone is on a different level. Newcomers to the martial arts and children must be taught in a way that is easy enough to understand but still be interesting. Repetitive movements and repetitive teaching methods will only bore the new students and sooner or later they will give up. However, we have not done away with Patterns ( Katas / Hyungs) as such movements are important for left-right brain development and focusing, especially in children. We believe, we have given advanced students, who came to see us proof in class that there is room for them to progress as we have shown new techniques which can be useful for their advancement.

Our “Safe Sparring” policies, specialized Children’s Classes and varied Adults Classes made our style popular with Instructors and students from a number of other martial arts forms. So far we have attracted Instructors and practitioners from Tae Kwon Do , Kickboxing , Choi Kwang Do , Judo , Jiu-Jitsu , Won Hwa Do and several Karate styles (such as Shotokan and Issinryu) who found our new system a “breath of fresh air” !

It is unfortunate that there are still certain Martial Arts Teachers out there who are not really interested in teaching a full martial arts spectrum at all. This kind of attitude leads to losing students.

Why should people have to cross-train ( meaning = train in different martial arts styles ) when there SHOULD be a martial arts system that combines all that is useful in self defence and enhancement of bodily health ? How can one martial arts system say: “Do not do this movement or technique; it’s not part of our style “- if it is valid and of great use to the practitioner?

As this is not really an attitude of the 21 st Century and not beneficial to the practitioner (or School Owner / Instructor) we have introduced these exiting new changes.

Giving a rough overview, in CHI COMBAT SYSTEM there are several levels of learning:

  • Children’s Martial Arts classes are a beginner’s stage where young Kids learn in a disciplined, yet fun-way how to attain character development, better succeed in school and gain more confidence. Better behaviour must be achieved also whilst leaning our martial arts moves for self-defence against bullies. Abductor awareness and what to do if such situations occur is part of the training too. As they grow up and their young minds are able to absorb more, they can go through all the stages of medium level and eventually higher level learning.
  • Adults’ beginner level is for all ages. In the Adults and Teenager’s Classes we teach them to start getting healthier by slowly increasing their body-metabolism, learning fluid blocking, punching and kicking techniques to targets such as punching bags or focus mitts. They also learn the elements of how to behave in a potential or impending street attack. In addition: Introduction and basic elements of more advanced techniques and drills will be shown. Adult’s classes have the introduction of defence against weapons, locks, arm and leg-bars and introduction to Pressure Point Defence. Learning tactics against stronger opponents is especially interesting for the ladies and men of less powerful build at that stage.
  • Intermediate, advanced students and Instructors learn how to control EVERY self-defence situation including advanced defence against a weapon attack, advanced locks (controlling an attacker), pressure points and free sparring. Free sparring is a voluntary exercise, under safe supervision. We do not allow full contact in free sparring or any other sparring as the well-being and health of our students is our No. 1 priority.

The long-term health implications of full contact sparring have been well documented by medical professionals. That is the reason for us not recommending it or implementing it in our art. Our punches and kicks are stopped shortly before making contact, blocking is light contact. We have found that these kind of sparring methods increase the willingness to learn in the student as well as being conducive to a much higher level of friendship and positively charged atmosphere in class. Whilst having a good discipline we also know it’s important not to neglect having a certain kind of fun-aspect in our martial arts schools.

CHI COMBAT SYSTEM is a very open Martial Art

This means that young children as well as more mature persons are able to join in. We give everyone a chance to learn and a lack of flexibility won’t be a stumbling block either in order to advance. Our classes are “user-friendly” for everybody to learn at the beginner’s stage and get more interesting as people progress through their belt ranks. The blend of making classes easy enough for beginners and interesting for advanced students (or to those from other styles) is the great advantage of our CHI COMBAT SYSTEM class structure. Instructors who came to us from other martial art forms found this very useful for implementation in their teaching.

Our safe sparring principles, health exercises and extremely varied, street wise self-defence moves makes it an ideal art for children and adults alike. We successfully blended the smooth movements of Kickboxing and T`ai Chi with the knowledge of Karate , Tae Kwon Do , CKD , JKD as well as Aikido and Jiu-Jitsu’s close range defences. We accept that all martial arts have something to offer. We at CHI COMBAT SYSTEM took that “something” and blended it into our art with the addition of several new fresh moves too. We believe, this makes our art much less limiting!

THE NEED TO LEARN DEFENCE AGAINST A WEAPON

To have a system which is as complete as “can be “all the core ESSENTIALS must be learnt.

In Britain alone there is a knife attack happening every 5 minutes. Therefore it doesn’t make sense in our opinion to leave out defence against weapons in Adults martial arts classes. We have scrutinized and analysed the different types of defence against a weapon and discarded ineffective movements and replaced them with movements that actually work. This is always practised in a safe manner by using hard rubber knifes in order to avoid serious injuries in class. Our Instructors found this useful and it is a very popular part of our teaching with students also.

Another problem is that too many martial arts systems put unnecessary burdens onto their students and Instructors. Why should a student or Instructor have to learn a different language such as Korean or Japanese in order to be able to progress in their art? We use certain simple instructions such as “start” and “stop” in Korean which has proven to be not difficult for our practitioners. Incidentally the Korean symbols on our Certificates are a direct translation of CHI COMBAT SYSTEM and are pronounced “Gi Jeun Do“. The Chinese symbol for “Peace” is depicted on our Black Belt Dan Certificates in order to show the honourable intentions of our martial arts form.

THE IMPORTANCE FOR HAVING CHILDRENS CLASSES

Children are the Future in our society! So we place a special importance on Children’s Martial Arts. Our Kids Martial Arts classes are quite different from our Adults & Teenager’s Classes. Although some principles of dealing with an attack are the same, Kids need to successfully learn how to deal with a bully without becoming a bully themselves. So called “abductor training” must be given to kids. Our Instructors also teach Kids the need for character development, being disciplined without being too harsh on them, self control and for them to realize that progressing at Primary School is to their benefit in later life. We have a close inter-action with the Parents: Advancement in their Martial Arts belt-rank must also show in better behaviour at home and an improvement in school marks. We saw great successes with our children who had learning difficulties – some of them quite severe. We were able to help children with “Attention Deficit Syndrome“, ADHD ( attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) as well as children classified as “special needs”. The mind is a powerful tool – if the Martial Arts instruction is on the appropriate level it can literally change children’s (and Parents`) lives for the better!

OUR RECIPE FOR SUCCESS

Many instructors get heavily squeezed financially by their organizations. Some of those organizations take away a lot of the rewards a school owner should be getting. This kind of commercialism (fleecing) has been eradicated in our art. School owners need proper support. They need to know what works and what doesn’t. This extremely valuable support is being made available from us.

The recipe of our growth will be very simple: What does the STUDENT want and what do our INSTRUCTORS want and find useful for running the schools in our System? It is quite a desperate situation when a student or Instructor feels he/she is “stuck” with a martial arts style because they think “ Oh well , I guess it’s just as bad in any other art”. Not so! The path of ignorance is a dead end. Through frank inter-action with our students and Instructors we know that Progress is an ongoing process which never stops! The mind must never be closed to advancement asstopping in advancement means going backwards!

If you, the reader, are from another style and unhappy with your present system, feeling you are being held back, then feel free to contact us with any questions you may have.

We will be organising Seminars and produce DVDs for “special interests”: Adults` Defence-against-Weapons Seminars to include Pressure Point defence techniques, grappling and how to control an attacker through locks. Special programmes and DVDs about Stress-Management-Meditation are in the pipeline too. The legal information regarding Self Defence is available as well since we have Police Officers training with us.

Check out our website for the latest news on the following: Seminars, Instructors` Conversion Programmes, DVDs , Television presentations and introduction-classes for all. We hope to bring people together in the martial arts, rather than estrange them and aim to become the fastest evolving Martial Arts System world-wide. We know that large martial arts organizations often stop evolving as they reach a sizable level and then start to become irrelevant with regards to progress. We shall not allow this to happen as we continue to grow larger!

Instructors and Students from other disciplines who changed over to CHI COMBAT SYSTEM all found their transition to our art quite easy and a pleasant experience. These Instructors will be opening brand-new school locations in the very near future. This will be advertised on our website which gets updated periodically!

We believe CHI COMBAT SYSTEM to be the next step in martial arts evolution!

Credits: Thanks to Richard Hadley for the majority of the photo-shoots, also J. Wagner and Instructors Peter Townsend and “Amun Ka” Clarke.

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