Nothing's more harmful than a martial art
 that's in-effective in actual self-defense.
Choki Motobu (1870 - 1944)

Reflex Fighting Arts is an American JiuJitsu system. Descended from authentic Japanese JiuJitsu and focused entirely on practical & ethical self-defense, it's not a competitive sport.

Built on decades of training under some of the top instructors in the West, it evolved by comparing techniques & tactics among other fighting systems, while reducing the need for strength & speed by re-engineering techniques using solid science. The result is a disruptive self-defense program which hijacks the body's built-in reflexes to boost combative success while reducing the learning curve.

This integrated fighting system is rooted in a number of component arts:

Originally the close-quarters combat art of the Samurai, jiujitsu was literally no-holds barred; combining grappling, striking and weapons such as knives and swords. Meaning adaptable art, jiujitsu is a fighting system which evolves to integrate the best available tactics and weapons.

In late 19th century Japan, martial arts practice was made illegal as part of the country's struggle to modernize. Battlefield jiujitsu was re-purposed for law enforcement. Originally used to momentarily immobilize an opponent so a backup weapon could complete the task, joint locks were transformed into submission holds for use during arrests.

At the same time, Jigoro Kano modified throwing techniques to eliminate the ballistic joint dislocations they once employed, allowing jiujitsu to be used competitively as part of a new martial training system emphasizing personal character development over combat effectiveness. Hence jiu-jitsu the martial "art", became ju-do the martial "way".

Today's competitive jiujitsu, descended from judo, doesn't allow strikes, but this isn't ideological; It's a holdover from a time when combatants wore armor, which made punches and kicks ineffective.

Indigenous to the Philippines, kali is a weapons-based art which practices empty-hand skills as a secondary concern. Today club-length rattan or hardwood sticks are used, but these are just training aids. The same skills are applied to knives, machetes, swords, improvised weapons and empty hands. It has a long history of use in actual combat ranging from personal self-defense to countering occupations by Spain and Japan.

A hallmark of kali is it's use of the weapon a lever or hook, making it an integral part of grappling techniques, increasing the effectiveness of small knives and sticks over cutting or striking alone. Another characterstic is in making opponent's limbs primary attack targets to reduce their offensive and defensive capability before moving in to close-quarters combat.

References to "kali" have been found in records dated to the 8th century, but the meaning of the name is actually unknown. Due to annexation by Spain in the 16th century, more widely-known names for these arts are of Spanish origin; escrima or "fencing" and arnis or "harness".

This civilian self-defense art originated in Okinawa prior to annexation by Japan, and is derived from Chinese Kung Fu. Today it's viewed as "kickboxing for kids" with a side dish of useless dances known as kata or "forms", but this is really due to the corruption of Japanese karate-do by Western culture. In Okinawa, karate-jitsu remains an efficient system of self-defense.

The original meaning of kara-te was "Chinese hand", but today it means "empty hand". The current meaning is actually the legacy of early 20th century marketing by Okinawan instructors to address the nationalist tendencies of their Japanese clients. Other names for this art include kem-po or "Chinese fist" and to-te or "knife hand".

The punches, kicks and blocks we now associate with karate are actually not a big part of Okinawan kempo. In it's original form, it combines grappling and striking to dislocate joints and attack nerves & arteries. It looks less like kickboxing and more like an Okinawan version of Philippine "dirty boxing". It's also not an empty-hand art; Okinawa was a dangerous place prior to modernization, so weapons training has always been integral to the art.

A set of skills designed to end a fight within mere seconds, this is a sub-art within other martial arts. Meaning first technique, it was was historically not seen outside the instructor's innermost circle of trusted students. Such secrecy has led pop-culture to misrepresent it as "the death touch". In reality, kyusho is grounded in a deep understanding of anatomy & neurophysiology which, when not misused, can stop an attack efficiently without inflicting serious injury.

A sub-art of kali, this practical streetfighting art consists of empty-hand applications of skills otherwise performed using sticks, knives and machetes. Commonly called "dirty boxing" in the Philippines, it's not suited to competition. Hallmarks of the art include tight integration of grappling, ballistic joint locks and strikes delivered to vital targets. It's also known by the Spanish name Mano-mano or "hand-to-hand" and by the Tagalog names Suntukan, Pangamot and Panantukan.

Italy 2015: Teaching the use of spinal reflexes to apply a standing arm bar.
2015 World Kyusho Summit: Awesome group!
Italy 2015
Teaching the use of spinal reflexes
to apply a standing arm bar.
2015 World Kyusho Summit
Ronchi, Italy

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