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Wael's Blog (72)

Surviving a multiple attacker assault while on the ground

Here's an article I just posted about this on my blog:


It seems to me the basic skills you need in this scenario are:

  • How to cover your head and protect yourself.
  • How to take someone down my manipulating their leg & knee.
  • Find the weak point in the circle around you and break out.

Added by Wael on December 31, 2016 at 11:11am — No Comments

No Style!

I was feeling down as I often do on Saturday evenings, with no classes and Salma away at her mom's house. Finally roused myself to go to the gym, where I lifted weights then hit the heavy bag with a vengeance. A very fit young man approached me and said, "What style is that?" I said, "No style!", gave him my card, and went back to work on the bag. Feeling much better now. It's amazing what a difference exercise can make.

I mostly don't think in terms of styles anymore. I think in…


Added by Wael on September 26, 2016 at 5:36pm — No Comments

Never Surrender in Sparring

Something I wrote for my students:

One of the most important things you can do in martial arts class is to finish your sparring session strong. Most sparring sessions are timed. A one or two minute session is common. If you get hit in the face or take a punch to the gut and you're hurt or winded, keep fighting. If you're tired, out of breath, or feeling overwhelmed, keep fighting!

If you are stick sparring and just took a hard hit to the arm and can't feel your…


Added by Wael on April 17, 2016 at 10:25am — No Comments

The five most common seminar pitfalls and how to avoid them

This is an article I just wrote on the most common problems encountered at martial arts seminars - especially injury - and how to avoid them.


Added by Wael on December 17, 2014 at 10:13pm — No Comments

The Hapki way - power and humility

To live the "Hapki" way is - among other things - to conceal your power, and to have a sense of humility born of self-assurance.

Someone insults you - walk away. They insult your family - walk away. They block your way in the road - walk around them.

Why? Because your…


Added by Wael on June 4, 2014 at 10:02pm — 2 Comments

Mental Patter - Psyching Myself Up

My mental patter when about to hit a 315 lb squat set (while staring at the weight and breathing deeply):

"This is nothing. It doesn't exist. It's made of air, feathers, helium, cardboard, tissue. It's a Hollywood prop. One time special, today only, all feathers. Energy is matter and matter is energy, so all that matters is my energy. The weight is nothing. It's an illusion, it doesn't exist. Only my heart is real. I'm a wrecking ball, a…


Added by Wael on March 19, 2014 at 10:04pm — No Comments

To win a fight, know your range and your tools

This is an article I just wrote in response to a friend's question:

To win a fight, know your range and your tools

Added by Wael on December 13, 2013 at 11:38pm — 2 Comments

Zen proverb: "How am I supposed to know?"

A samurai once asked Zen Master Hakuin where he would go after he died.

Hakuin answered 'How am I supposed to know?'

'How do you not know? You're a Zen master!' exclaimed the samurai.

'Yes, but not a dead one,' Hakuin answered.

For us as martial artists, the point is that we only truly "know" anything through physical experience. If not real-world conflict, then dedicated partner practice with steadily increasing resistance. "Knowledge" contained in theory or…


Added by Wael on November 12, 2013 at 9:33pm — 4 Comments

The 3 D's

Professor Kimo Ferreira says to watch out for the 3 D's: attackers that are drunk, drugged, or deranged. Things that work on a normal person might not work on the 3 D's. You might hit such a person twenty times and they might not even feel it (I've been on the other end of that equation, where I've been in fights and gotten hit in the face, and it felt like nothing more than a mosquito bit).

That's why we have joint locks & breaks. Break someone's arm or leg and you…


Added by Wael on November 6, 2013 at 9:52am — 3 Comments

Hapki Thoughts

An attacker throws a punch and I blend with his energy and throw him... that's Hapki (harmonious energy).

A man speaks to me aggressively, insulting me. I wave him off and walk away. That's Hapki as well.

A stranger smiles and says, "Good…


Added by Wael on October 16, 2013 at 5:15pm — 1 Comment

Hapkido and Car Repair - Same Principles?

Me: "Hapkido principles are circular motion, water and non-resistance."

My Jujitsu Sensei: "My car needs all those things as…


Added by Wael on October 7, 2013 at 9:24am — No Comments

Struggling all of a sudden

Hello everyone. 2012 was a good year for me. I lost 40 pounds and felt so much lighter on my feet. My knees stopped bothering me, and my breath was good.

My business also thrived in 2012 and for the first time I didn't have to choose which bills to pay and which to delay.

I continued practicing martial arts and attended two major seminars. I came back on to this website and responded to several old threads.

Then, on November 28, my father died…


Added by Wael on January 10, 2013 at 10:00am — 11 Comments

Train Like a Hero

Some people get into martial arts because they fantasize about being superheroes.

Of course Marvel-type superheroes don't exist, but real heroes do. They defend themselves and their families, and they fight for truth and justice in the world.

But here's the thing: if you want to be a hero, you have…


Added by Wael on October 29, 2012 at 1:19pm — 3 Comments

Trying to do things the Hapki way

This week we worked on the bent-wrist hammer lock. It's taught initially off a wrist grab. Your attacker grabs your wrist. You circle your held hand around to the outside and grasp his wrist from underneath and then twist his arm to raise his elbow and create a "bridge". You throw a hacking forearm strike into his ribs and go underneath the arm. As you pivot to face his back, your free hand controls his elbow, while your other hand locks his wrist. You then drive the arm up toward the locked…


Added by Wael on August 29, 2012 at 1:49pm — 6 Comments

It's real out there!

I wonder at students who come to class and only go through the motions. Their strikes are half-hearted and their stances are poor. I tell them, "I want to see energy! Commitment! Even when you're not really hitting your partner, put some energy into your movements!"

It's real out there, people. Psychos are gunning people down. We're not only learning martial arts for our health. This is life and death stuff.

Along the same note, there are only two types of…


Added by Wael on August 19, 2012 at 10:30pm — 16 Comments

Worn Out

I teach Hapkido and Silat informally, and I love both arts with a passion, but in both arts I have a few years of formal instruction followed by many years of self-guided exploration. No meaningful rank in either art. I would like to open a proper Hapkido school in the future, but I don't see it happening…


Added by Wael on May 8, 2012 at 11:42pm — 13 Comments

Hapkido & Taekwondo School in Chapel Hill Survives the Recession and Grows

From the Chapel Hill News:

Martial arts training center weathers the recession


Added by Wael on March 23, 2012 at 11:30pm — 5 Comments

Thoughts On Fighting

Thought for the day: do everything you can to avoid a fight - avoid dangerous situations, don't escalate conflicts, walk away from trouble, don't fight over words or insults.

But when there's no way out, and a fight is unavoidable, fight hard! Fight ferociously, coldly, rapidly and unrelentingly and don't stop until the enemy is no longer a threat.

You know the Terminator, from the movies? (Any of the Terminators!). I sometimes think the Terminator…


Added by Wael on February 24, 2012 at 11:43am — No Comments

Big Week

Big week coming up for me. I have a Shorin-Ryu Kenpo seminar from January 31st to February 2nd; then a Kokodo Jujitsu seminar from the 3rd to the 5th, culminating in my black belt test in Jujitsu. We'll have three sessions each day, morning afternoon and evening.


It was not planned for the two seminars to be back-to-back this way, it just worked out that way.

In Hapkido I've been reviewing basics. For a while there I was delving deeply into defenses against…


Added by Wael on January 29, 2012 at 11:52am — 11 Comments

First Female Kuk Sool Won Master, Nice Story

Here's a short video about the first female Kuk Sool Won master, Choon Ok Harmon:


Her story is touching. She overcame a childhood of extreme poverty and prejudice against…


Added by Wael on January 5, 2012 at 1:40pm — 3 Comments



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