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Scouting Film Locations

Renegade Wing Chun

I have been scouting out new locations to do some outdoor filming. This footage may be include in our next movies. Look for three new video releases in our Wing Chun instructional series coming this winter. All new productions!

These videos will be:

  1. Wing Chun Sil Lim Tao Form and Solo Drills
  2. Wing Chun Chum Kiu Form and Solo Drills
  3. Wing Chun Bil Jee Form and Solo Drills

© Copyright Todd Taganashi 2019

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Fate

Todd Taganashi

“I am already given to the power that rules my fate. And I cling to nothing, so I will have nothing to defend. I have no thoughts, so I will see. I fear nothing, so I will remember myself. Detached and at ease, I will dart past the Eagle to be free.”

~ Carlos Castaneda

© Copyright Todd Taganashi 2019

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The Must Make a Choice

Renegade Wing Chun“In Kung Fu as in life, you must choose your way and dedicate yourself to that way. Believe in it and pour all your time and resources into it. In this way you can maximize the benefits of your actions. If you choose to spread yourself over too wide a range your efforts will not bring about the maximum results, like giving a dime to 10,000 charities. You must find a cause you believe in. You must choose but you my choose wisely.”

© Copyright Todd Taganashi 2017

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Self Awareness and Ego

Renegade Wing Chun

The difference between self-awareness and an over inflated ego is defined by the character of the individual and their own internal dialog. Self-truth is easily hidden from others but not from ourselves. As warriors it is vitally important that we understand ourselves, both strengths and weaknesses. In that way we can find true confidence in who we are. This self-awareness is also vital, and a key element to self-improvement.

True self-awareness becomes self-confidence, and when projected outwardly it will become evident to all who we encounter. It could be described as a sort of an easy going happy-go-lucky feeling. The false ego is also very evident and disturbing. We have all been around those people who just don’t seem right. We feel it – we feel uncomfortable around these people. Their false truth is projected outwardly to hide their fears and inner conflict. If this false truth is not tempered, these lost individuals will slowly but surely lose touch with not only the world around them, but the world within themselves.

The tragedy of todays man is not his social condition, it is the delusion of self, and the lack of will to change himself.

© Copyright Todd Taganashi 2017

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Focus of the Eyes in Personal Combat

Renegade Wing Chun

I have heard of a strategy of combat in where you stare ferociously into your opponent’s eyes, as if to show your indomitable fighting spirit. But this is not my way. First off, I have never been very worried about my opponent’s eyes hurting me. If you focus your attention towards the eyes, you are apt to miss the movements of the real weapons that can (and will) actually hurt you. Additionally, although I have never experienced this, by staring into the opponent’s eyes you run the chance of being drawn into the opponent. The term used to describe this is “the opponent steals your spirit.” In laymen’s terms your strategy backfires and it is you who gets psyched out. Some would argue – I’m a “Badass” and it is I who will psych my opponent out with this tactic. For my part I would rather concentrate on my opponent’s real weapons and leave the eye staring to all of the “Psyop” warriors out there. While they are attempting to psych me out by trying to stare into my eyes, I will be ignoring them. After all they are nothing but an obstacle to me. I choose the tactic of concealing my spirit and my intent.

I prefer directing my gaze at the opponent’s torso, about three or four inches over the solar plexus. The gaze is loose and almost hazy, relying on the peripheral vision (which is much faster than a direct stare) to pick up on any movement from the opponent. Much the same way as we keep our hands in a central guarded position in Wing Chun Kung Fu, focusing the eyes in this way we can react to a low, mid-level, or high attack with optimal combat efficiency.

Focusing the eyes at the opponent’s torso is not without its psychological advantages. I have tested this method not only in sparring situations but in real life close combat. Although I can’t attest to how my real world opponents psyche was affected, many of my students have told me that the way I gaze at their torso and ignore their attempts to make eye contact is unnerving and makes them wonder what I am thinking. They have descried it as if I was “staring straight through them.” Yes, that is what I want.

So in conclusion, there might be times when I would stare directly into my opponent’s eyes. Maybe it would be just as I deliver that final knockout or killing blow. In which case the gaze could be described as the wild man’s “Gaze of Death.” But otherwise I think that I will save my eye gazing techniques for the more intimate times in life that I share with my lady friend.

© Copyright Todd Taganashi 2017

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The Mind in the Art of Knife Fighting

 

Renegade Wing Chun, Todd Taganashi

Knife combat situations are extremely high-stress scenarios. Just the mere sight of a sharp blade in the hands of an individual who is bent on your destruction is enough to cause paralyzing fear in some men. There is no cowardice in fear, but you must not let this fear control you. Through training you develop skills and gain confidence in your technique, and that will help to minimize your fears. But, if you have never faced a hostile opponent’s sharp blade, you can easily underestimate the effect that the element of fear can have on your individual mindset. When engaged in a real world “fight for your life” knife fight, you will undergo certain psychological and physiological changes. As the element of fear sets in you will be overwhelmed by feelings of nervous anxiety and anticipation, your heart will start to beat at an accelerated rate, and you will get an intense adrenaline rush. Depending on your mind set, these variables can set in to play a definitive emotional reaction. This is commonly referred to as the “fight or flight” syndrome.

As a Knife Fighter, you must learn to master the element of fear in combat. The best technique that I know to control your fear while engaged in battle is slow and deliberate breathing. This is a tried-and-true method used by elite martial artist for centuries. In this technique you curl your tongue and press it against the roof of your mouth and breathe through your nose and exhale slowly deeply through the mouth. If you find yourself out of breath or flustered, use the same breathing technique except inhale through and exhale through your mouth making a low almost silent “ahh” sound.

Some will try to tell you that the best method of defense and offense in knife combat is the “Berserker Method”, an all out frenzy of violent aggressive movement. While that might  be an effective method of dealing with a low level or unskilled opponent it could lead to burning yourself out prematurely. Or in worse the case scenario “Going from the frying pan directly into the fire.” Without the skill to back it up most experts will agree your chance of survival is not good. On the other hand at the advanced level which we hope to acquire as a Martial Artist or “Knife Fighter” our goal is to remain calm both physically and mentally.

Although sparring with blunt knives is a good method of training a knife fighter to perfect his combat technique. There are many drawbacks to this as well. The true “fear of death” emotional response cannot be recreated in a friendly sparring match with your training partner. The big problem here is that after continuously practicing “safe sparring” a kind of nonchalant attitude sets in. Since there is no real danger of getting hurt, many martial artist develop this sort of kamikaze attitude towards knife fighting. I have seen knife sparring matches that would have literally been over in the first 3 seconds. Yet the combatants keep on fighting as if they were going to just suck up the pain of that slash across their face or thrust to the stomach. Without getting to graphic the body goes into shock, your vision becomes burry, yu begin to feel week and dizzy. Death is not far away.

So then how does one go about develop the ability to control the mind and fear under such hostile conditions? Do you have to face life or death combat on a daily basis?  My advice is that you learn to control your fear by taking up an extreme sport like mountain climbing, skydiving, or race car driving where controlling your fear is an ever present and crucial element. In this way you can experience real life fear and learn to deal with it in a way that no other set up training scenario could ever accomplish.

After all that is said and done, you will still never know how you will react until you see the flash of steel coming at you from a stranger on a dark stormy night. At that moment you will realize the true importance of “The Mind in the Art of Knife Fighting.”

© Copyright Todd Taganashi 2017