Author Archives: Vitaliy

Best Self Defense Weapons You’d Never Believe Could Protect You.

What if I said that in your everyday life you are carrying at least 5 different props that could actually be used and considered to be self defense weapons? There just happen to be plenty and you’re literally not going to believe what some of them are.

Picture this for a second: Say you’re walking at night after work/school/ect… with a couple of things on you:

  • A bagpack.
  • Keys.
  • A cup of coffee (hot).
  • A wallet.
  • Books and/or magazine. 

If someone attempted to mug you, which of these items could you use to protect you? The answer is ALL of them. Let’s see just how these everyday items could be used as self-defense weapons:

A bagpack: If it has books and is heavy, you can swing it at the mugger.

Keys: You can wield is like a knife. Keys may not be sharp, but if swung quickly, you can cut someone. Be careful.

A cup of coffee (hot): I think this is obvious, but splashing the coffee in the mugger’s face is also realistic.

A wallet: Throw it at their face to distract them and kick them in the groin and/or use the distraction to run away.

Books and/or magazine: Your books can deliver some seriously damage if you hit someone in the head with it. Your magazine if rolled up and swung with all your power can also deliver devastating injuries. I’ve been hit by magazines in my self defense classes and let me tell you it hurts and we get hit on the arms so imagine for a second what this could do to someone’s head. You can also watch movie clips from the Bourne Trilogy here to see just how different props are used for self-defense.

Now these aren’t the only things you can have on you. Here are some other very common everyday items you could have on you that can be used to protect you should the need arise:

  • A pen/pencil.
  • An iPad, iPod, ect…
  • A cellphone.
  • A musical instrument (guitar, flute, ect…)
  • A walking cane. 
  • Your belt. 
  • A necklace, key chain.
  • Ect…

What if you’re not carrying any of these? What if you just decided to take a stroll and have nothing on you? Well it just so happens props are laying around everywhere. You just have to see it! Here are a few examples:

  • Broom sticks laying around on the street, especially in trashcans.
  • Trashcans.
  • Chairs
  • Sticks (from tables and/or any other props)
  • Ect…

I could keep going on these ideas, but I think you’re starting to see the point. Any prop can be used to protect you is the bottom line I’m trying to point out. A person who is educated and aware of the possibilities of self-defense and the limitless opportunities for using these props is someone who is much more likely to get out of a confrontation alive and in good condition than someone who doesn’t. It’s usually never a good idea to fight someone hand-to-hand especially on the street because you never know what they may be carrying.

In addition the props mentioned above are also GREAT equalizers. If your enemy is taller/stronger/faster/younger than you, these tools can level the playing the field.


How To Avoid A Fight: The Best Methods

People often wonder how to avoid fights, especially if they live in an environment where this kind of stuff happens on a daily basis. Though for many this is a difficult thing to do, I would like to recommend a a couple of very important methods you could use to help yourself avoid a confrontation. This method mostly applies to people who:

  • Live in urban areas such as the city.

These methods aren’t exactly rocket science, but in truth when you’re in a confrontation, it’s very difficult to think naturally because of the fear and adrenaline rushing through your body. However if you keep these methods in mind if and should a confrontation take place, you’ll be able to avoid it which is the best outcome of any situation in the subject of fighting.

Method 1: Always stay in areas that are lighted and/or public. 

This will obviously be no surprise to any of you reading this, but this is crucial. Avoiding a confrontation often means being in place where it’s unlikely to happen and in places that are public and/or places that are lighted are a much safer place to be than alone in an alley or on a street where there’s no one. 

Method 2: If you feel you are being pursued or followed, move to a safe place such as a store or place where there are many people and call the police.

Always head (within a pubic setting) to a nearby public area. Being in these places may very well neutralize the pursuers because he/she/they may be worried about attacking you where others can see them. It also allows you to stop and call the police and get help if need be.

Method 3: Should an altercation take place, always keep your hands high. Here’s why:mirko cro cop fight stance

People often keep their hands down and try to diffuse a situation by keeping their hands in front of them or at their sides, leaving their face completely open. This allows for sucker punches to come in and potentially knock you out. This is something that’s preventable if you keep your hands high. Read this tutorial on proper fight stances.

In short, this (guy on the right Mirko Cro Cop) should be your defensive stance. It allows you to defend against sucker punches, but also leaves you in an attack position if it gets down to it. Always leave your hands open to make it look like you’re not there to fight.

Method 4: Always walk away and if need be, run to the same safe place as mentioned in method 2. 

It’s pretty much never worth getting into a fight with anyone, especially on the street. You never know who you’re up against and it’s never worth the risk to find out. 

What if all of this fails? 

If the shit hits the fan and you have no choice but to defend yourself, it’s time to do exactly that. I would recommend (if you haven’t already done so) register for the free lessons to the sign up form on the right. You’ll immediately get tips on exactly what sorts of moves you should perform to end fights quickly.

Have you ever had an experience where you safely got away or had no choice but to fight? If so, please share your story. I’d love to hear it and everyone reading this could also learn from it. 




Stick to Simple Techniques & Not Fancy Ones.

Most people who are new to martial arts usually want to learn the fanciest techniques first before anything else. They want to know elbowthe most bad ass move/s that takes down an opponents of multiple opponents with ease. And while there are such moves, in reality, the best self-defense tool you have is sticking to the simple techniques or as most call them, the basics.

What do I mean by basics? Well let me put this into perspective:

It’s better to know how to throw a proper jab/cross/hook/kick/eblow than how to do some kind of 4-5 crazy move technique that takes out your opponent. 

Why is this? Because in reality, in most circumstances you may find yourself in: Street fight, ring, sparring session, ect…, the simplest techniques will always work better than some kind of fancy one you see in the movies. Everyone is different, but time and time again, the universal moves, which happen to be the simplest always work best. 

When I spar, 99% of the time, the methods which work best are the simplest ones: Jab, cross, hook, uppercut, kick. Rarely am I ever able to pull of something fancy. Even the most elite fighters on this planet, including special forces soldiers always stick to basics to succeed. This should tell you something! 

Even my trainer who has 20 years experience in JKD and Kali has written articles about this in Black Belt Magazine and told me in person that in the end, no matter how good you are, no matter how much you know, the simplest techniques work best. This is coming from a guy whose been in more fights than he could count. 

But is there any room for fancy techniques? Sure there is, but first you need to learn basics to establish a solid foundation. I’ve said this in a previous article: Before you learn to run, you need to learn to walk. Before you learn to walk, you need to learn to stand. 

Standing in this case is the core foundation. Without it, you will not be able to walk or run. The same applies to martial arts. You need to learn basics:

  • Proper stand up which you get from boxing, Muay thai & MMA. If you have any of these classes in your area, take them! 
  • You need to learn proper foot work. Being able to move in and out of a fight is imperative for safety and victory (victory in this case could even mean running away). 
  • You need to learn how to block basic punches. 

It is only after you have these foundations down that you can move into more advanced techniques. Think of it this way:

You learn how to take down people, but run into a person you can’t take down. Since that card won’t work, you’ll have to rely on other methods to protect yourself. 

You learn how to use illegal moves on people, but stumble onto someone who knows basic stand up and won’t let you get near them. Then you need a plan B. Plan B could be basic self defense.

Look at most street fights or ask someone whose been in them what worked out: Most of the time, you’ll hear them say it was a hook, or a take down, or something basic. This speaks volumes and adds to my points: Simplicity is the key to victory.

Examples of simple techniques:

Jab, cross, hook: Most basic punches and combos, but they work extremely well! 

Back fist, hammer fist: Much more powerful than a regular punch. These moves have the ability to knock pretty much anyone out.

Basic kicks. Could be thai kicks, karate kicks, ect…: Kicks deliver much more damage than punches and are VERY effective for self defense.

A slap to the ears: Knocks the opponent out of their equilibrium. 

A palm thrust to the face: Great self-defense move which could end up breaking a person’s nose.

Elbow strikes: Much more damaging than any punch. Elbows are also GREAT for close quarters situations. Another perk of elbow strikes is that they can deliver a lot of damage without hurting you since the elbow is VERY hard.

Knee strike: Most damaging strike in muay thai and for good reason. A good knee strike can knock the breath out of your opponent and help you end the fight quickly without furthering the conflict. 

All of these methods work very well and against pretty much everyone, regardless of height, weight, strength. Let these basics be your bread and butter when it comes to self defense. 

Even Bruce Lee himself encouraged being as simple as possible. His art, JKD was all about that and finding the easiest and fastest ways to take down an opponent and that is usually via simple techniques!

Get a free course on self defense right here and learn the basics! 

What do you guys think? Do you have a story where this was proven true/not true? Please share your thoughts below!




The Importance Of Having A School/Partner To Practice With.

Although this site is all about providing a free way to learn to protect yourself, in the end, nothing beats learning in real life. If youNYT2008101710590105C can find a school in your area which teaches things like boxing, muay thai, jiu jitsu & mma and you want to learn self defense, go to these schools.

These places will give you a hands on approach to learning systems that have been proven to help you protect yourself. They don’t all work in every situation, but it’s a hell of a lot of better than learning nothing, I assure you.

There is also the aspect of learning to take a punch and conquering your fears. In schools, you’ll have to spar and defend yourself. Getting this practice there will help better prepare you for the outside world.

Finally learning from people who are certified in the field is much better than learning on your own or from videos. You can get good training there too, but you’ll eventually need someone to help correct your form. This isn’t always the case for everyone, but it’ll happen quite often.

What happens if you don’t have a school in your area or can’t afford it?

Utilize the free self defense newsletter you get from this site. Get it here. And find yourself a partner to work with you. A lot of what you learn needs to be tested with someone willing to try it with you.

One thing to keep in mind is the importance of being SAFE when practicing self defense with your partner. Don’t do moves that are meant to hurt people and utilize them on your partner. Practice it with them. Do it slowly and focus on the form. Make sure you ALWAYS keep your partner’s safety in mind.

If possible try to get multiple partners and work together. One thing I commonly do in my school is switch partners. This allows you to practice the same moves on different people/styles which in turn helps you improve your own skill set.

Some partners are taller/smaller. Some are weaker/stronger. Which means as you switch you’ll have to adapt to the new partner and their skill/s and adjust to make sure the same move works.

You’ll also discover some moves may not work the same way on different opponents, but at least you’ll know what works on who. This is all part of training and growing as a martial artist.

In the end this is you should go about things:

Find a school which teaches self defense.

If there is no school in your area or you can’t afford it, then…

Learn from the free newsletter on this site and find a partners to work with. Get it here!


When Sparring, Always Utilize These 7 Rules…

Sparring is a MAJOR part of learning to protect yourself. Doing pad work over and over again can make you look good and helpsparring your form, but in the end you’ll need to spar to be able to transcend into the next level of training. So when you begin sparring, I always recommend following these rules:

1. Try to if possible always have someone supervise you and your sparring partner (preferably a certified trainer): A trainer will be able to see what’s going on, if you’re dropping your defense, stopping you or your partner if one or both of you go too hard and keep things in check. Many times beginners and even advanced fighters lose their cool in sparring and end up hurting each other. Someone must be there to constantly supervise you and make sure that kind of stuff doesn’t happen.

2. GO LIGHT: I can’t stress this enough. When I say go light, I mean so light that swinging feathers will hurt more, that’s how light it should be. Do NOT go hard in sparring unless you and your partner BOTH possess years of experience. Most beginners will do either 1 of 2 things when they begin sparring:

A. They’ll go super hard thinking it’s a fight or trying to prove something. Many times they’ll go hard without even realizing it. Communicate with your sparring partner if they are doing this. Let them know it’s too hard and to lighten up. Safety first. Sparring is meant to learn, not hurt one another.

3. GO SLOW: This is also as important as going light. Too often sparring partners swing too fast to even think and end up brawling. This is a HUGE mistake and it destroys your training especially if you are a beginner because it ruins your form. Go slow, focus on the training you do on pads and experiment! Get training here.

4. Communicate with your sparring partner: I mentioned this before, but I’d like to emphasize it separately.  You and your sparring partner are working together to both better each other. You’re not competing against one another, you’re helping one another improve. That’s what you need to understand.

If you see your partner dropping his hands on certain punches you throw, let them know. If they are going too hard, let them know. If you want to try something, let them know so they help you perform it.

5. Always perform every move you choose to do SLOWLY and carefully to ensure the safety of both you and your partner: There will be times you’ll want to try something fancy like a takedown of some sort of trapping maneuver. If this is a move you’ve never done, warn your partner or let them work with you to help you perform it. Do it slowly and carefully. 

6. Always wear at least a mouth guard and wear 14 oz gloves. If you’re going super light, a mouth guard should suffice. If you’re going to be taking sparring to the next level, I would recommend at least head gear. In any situation (unless strictly grappling) always wear boxing gloves. 14 oz are ideal. Get 14 oz boxing gloves here.

7.  Don’t get hotheaded. I’ve made this mistake and so have many others. You’ll often times find yourself in a situation where you’re getting hit and in many cases may even be put to “shame” by your opponent. Don’t let your ego get to you and start fighting hard. Keep yourself in check. If it’s going to hard, let your opponent know. 

Understand that goal of sparring:

In the end sparring is a growing experience. If you plan on learning to fight, you absolutely need to learn to spar. For most beginners, sparring is a scary thing to go through. I myself was frightened to do it for an entire year in my school.

But it’s something you have to overcome. How? You get in there and DO IT. As you get better and better with sparring, you can increase the intensity of it.

I’ve been in matches where the other opponent will come at me HARD and I’ll have no choice but to defend myself. That’s when your mind shuts off and your reflexes kick in.

That’s what you eventually want to get to because if you ever get into a real fight, this stuff will protect you, but before you get to that point, you need to start from the basics and keep it light, slow and safe.

Never bully your opponent if you’re better than them. If you see one type of punch/combo landing on them, slow it down, repeat the same punch/combo and let them work on defending it and vise versa. 

Keep it clean, safe and fun! 


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Learn Basics First, Then Move Into The Fancy Stuff…

Too many times when learning to fight, people at least in large majorities always seem to want to learn the most fancy techniques. It’s because of all the Hollywood movies we’ve seen where people are taken down effortlessly with moves that make our jaws drop, or our skepticism arise.

But in reality a lot of the fancy things you see on screen as well as in training is:

1. Unrealistic.

2. Takes TONS of training.

3. Requires you learn the basics first.

And the last point is what I want to touch base with. Before you learn to run, you need to walk. Before you learn to walk you need to stand. The same kind of analogy applies to martial arts.

In order to learn the awesome moves you saw in the Bourne trilogy, you first need to get the basics down. If you already signed up to the newsletter, you’ll be hearing this from me again and again.

The Basics Part I: The PROPER Fighting Stance:

I can’t believe how many places have their own way of doing this. My school teaches the JKD fighting stance which is very similar proper fighting stanceto boxing but allows for versatility against kicks, grappling and weapons. Here are 2 images (on the right) which give you a good representation of that.

How to have a proper stance:

Step 1: Put your feet together.

Step 2: Take your right foot, and bring it out diagonally about 1 1/2 feet away from your left foot. Why is the left in front? Because this is the standard stance every fighter starts with, whether they are a lefty or righty. 

Step 3: Bend just a little bit.

Step 4: Put your hands up such that your knuckles cover your face and the only thing showing is your eyes. Use a mirror as reference. If you see your face, you’re going to get hit. Notice how in the picture, the man is keeping his hands down. This is important as it protects your lower body and side from attack.

Never weight too much on your feet. Be light on them but at the same time be ready to lean on them if pushed or grappled with.

The Basics Part II: Basic Punches & Combos:

Before you perform what you saw Bourne do, you need to learn the basic punches. Jabs, crosses and hooks. Sounds simple when proper hookyou think about it, but I can guarantee you 9 out of 10 people will get it wrong. 

All of these moves stem from a proper stance. Having the right stance puts you in a better position to throw powerful punches and defend against them as well.

When throwing the jab with your left hand, extend and twist the arm.

When throwing the right cross, make sure to pivot your right foot as you throw the punch.

When throwing a left hook, make sure to twist your left foot and turn your hand sideways. Use the picture on the right for reference. 

Notice the left hand’s position. It is twisted such that the wrist is facing the opponent. This is your reference.

If you’re a subscriber to the newsletter, you’ll get access to videos and tutorials on how to do these basic combos as well as exercises to help you learn and master them.

Putting them together and advancing towards the next levels:

Learning to have a proper stance and punching properly is essential to any fighter. When all the fancy stuff goes out the window, these will be the moves that will win the fight. My own trainer has stated that in all his years studying all the arts he has, in the end the best moves are the simplest ones. Keep that idea in mind! 

Is there ever a place for fancy things you see in Kali and in the movies? Yes. For example, in Kali there is a basic nerve destruction move called the gunting. It involves blocking the opponent’s attack and hitting their nerve on the bicep/tricep with your other arm. To do it you need to know how to properly block an opponents arm and the right motion of the counter. That you get from learning the basics. 

If you watch a lot of videos where different style of martial arts are put against each other (Wing Chun vs Kickboxing), you’ll almost always see the fanciness that is Wing Chun (though it has many good uses) destroyed by basic kicks and punches from the kickboxer. 

These are 2 of the MANY examples which point to a need to learn basics first. As for advanced techniques, learning the basics automatically makes you more prepared to learn the advanced moves and absorb them faster. Don’t try to go for the advanced stuff first. Start with the simple things and make them your bread and butter. 

Do you have any questions/comments you’d like to add? Please share them below!


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The Importance of AVOIDING Fights

Avoid fighting at all costs. This is something you often hear at pretty much any martial arts school/fight gym and sometimes it sounds very cliche. But when you start to look deeper into the situation, you’ll quickly realize the wisdom behind this approach. I’ve only been in 2 street fights in my entire life. Everything else was from training which is a whole other ball game. 

First and foremost let’s analyze a few pros of avoiding fights:Pros

1. You prevent the situation from escalating further (this varies and isn’t always the case).

2. You avoid getting into legal trouble (being sued, being arrested, or both).

3. You never know who you’re up against, who they know, how many friends they have or what they’re wielding. It’s just better to avoid it altogether.  

4. Fighting can be a very stressful and dangerous situation.

5. You could get hurt or even killed.

Now let’s analyze a few cons:

1. You are in a situation where backing down from a fight hurts your reputation. Maybe you’re in school or with friends and this makescons people think you’re a coward. 

2. You back down from a bully only to bullied more. I’ve experienced this twice in my life and it truly sucks. 

3. Pride/ego issues. What if you’re with a girlfriend/woman you seek to impress and she sees you back down and thinks less of you? Or how about if you think so highly of yourself that backing down is not going to happen and you’re ready to fight and even die for your pride.

Keep in mind this last one is based on ideas, not reality that A LOT of people may have which affects their actions. This particular one can really lead you into some serious trouble and it’s always important to distinguish pride and safety.

In short, my bottom line when it comes to figuring out what to do is this:

  • Sometimes walking away REALLY means being the bigger man/woman. Do it. Do it and DO IT unless…
  • You have a scenario where walking or even running away is not an option, then and only then should you protect yourself. 

I’ve functioned under these beliefs for a very long time. They haven’t always served me well (or in hindsight they may have) and some people would think of me as a coward if I back down from a fight. But let me share some positive outcomes from fights that ALMOST happened to me in real life and let you be the judge: 

Real Life Scenario 1:

I used to have a friend who trained with me in school. One day after finishing class, she asked me to help her walk home because she was experiencing a heat stroke. Obviously I agreed. I carried her things and mine on one hand and and held her up in the other. 

As we were walking, a homeless man walks up on my left side, looks at me and sprays me with a water gun in the eye. I didn’t know whether it was a joke or he was trying to start a fight so I looked at him and said what was that for? He says I pushed him in a crowd while walking which may very well be true since this happened in NYC where crowds are large and it happens all the time.

Never the less I said I didn’t do it and he kept instigating and saying things like “Come at me *curse word*, I’ll kill you”. He stood his ground, the girl grabbed my arm and I was kind of in a bind. This guy had a wooden parrot on his shoulder and a large staff on his other hand (Not making any of this up people). 

But regardless, I held my position and stared him down. I won’t lie, I was scared and this is in spite of me having 2 years of training under my belt then. But even though I was afraid, I wasn’t lost. I already had my targets picked out and knew if he stepped forward, I’d go straight for his eye (a VERY effective target). 

Then he backed away, and while walking backwards said if he ever sees me again, he’ll kill me, blah blah. Truth be told at that point I didn’t really pay attention to it, just shrugged it off and walked on. No fight happened. No one got hurt. 

This all happened in less than a minute but felt like an eternity of stress. 

Real Life Scenario 2: 

I was at a bowling alley with my younger cousin. Left of us was a family with their father who was a large 200 pound+ dude. A few times I passed his bowling area which interupted him. This was on my part by accident because I didn’t know what other way to go. 

But this REALLY pissed him off and he started yelling at me and at one point we were at a stand off. I held my ground he held his, though it’s obvious I was in the wrong.

We both went our ways, sat down after about 15 minutes of me ranting on in my head about how I wanted to beat him up, I walked up to him, apologized for being in the wrong and shook his hand. 

Afterwards while my cousin and I were playing, he walked up to me and complimented my swing of the bowling bowl. Everyone left home happy. 

In this scenario, the trigger was on anyone’s side, but sometimes you have to look past your ego and see if you’re wrong and diffuse the situation. Think about how much worse that scenario would have become. 

Real Life Scenario 3: 

I was driving up to my gym and did a few circles in the parking lot before finding a spot. As I was walking up to my the doors, a guy from a distance yelled “YO!” in a very confrontational way. I stopped, turned around and looked at him. 

He said “You know you almost hit me back there right?”, all in a confrontational tone. I replied “Nope”. He replies “You did.” So I smiled in a sarcastic way, turned around and said “Ok whatever”. He replies “And don’t *curse word* get pissed”. I didn’t bother with it and walked on.

I then took out my anger on the punching bag in the studio. In this scenario, I may/may not have been in the wrong, but what ticked me off was his attitude. In my neighborhood there are A LOT of douche bags who act tough and do stupid things without thinking.

Could I have walked up to him and started a confrontation? Absolutely! But I chose not to do that.

What lessons can be taken from these scenarios:

In these 3 scenarios, all of the fights could and were avoided. One of them ended happily. Could they have been worse? Hell yes. But they were because and this is SO important to note: IT ISN’T WORTH IT! 

What About You? What Would YOU Do? 

In all of these scenarios, the “trigger” was on my side and it was my conscious choice NOT to pull it. Would you? Let me know in the comments section below. If you have your own personal story you’d like to share, by all means go right ahead!


New website coming soon!!!

Hey guys, sorry for the REALLY long delay in fixing up the website. I’ve been going through other website projects but want to thank ALL of you who have been loyal to this site and asking me about the new layout!

Here is what’s coming to this site:

  • New structured training guide to learn to fight like Bourne. You will have begnnner-advanced training methods to work with and start from the bottom up! No confusing anymore. The new training will offer you SOLID foundations to work with!
  • NEW Store! This site will now sell products related to Kali you can use in your training. All of these products are optional to use, but they will make for great training props if you’re serious about learning to fight like Bourne.
  • Updated posts on popular Bourne and related subjects posted several times a week! Let’s get some fun conversations and discussions going people! We are going to build a community where we can learn from another and share training tips, experiences and more!

If you’re new to this site, I highly recommend signing up to the newsletter to the right as it will keep you posted on how soon the new site will be launched!

Great things are coming to!