Not Just for Blowing Your Nose

In the end, everything is a weapon.  My teacher never stopped reminding of that fact.  He expected us to employ everything in our immediate environment, without hesitation, to defend ourselves.  Please enjoy this brief exerpt from my training journal, along with a video introduction to Handkerchief concepts, followed by Sifu Chris Entus in a humerous improvised demonstration.

"Remember, everything is a weapon...," he spoke, eyes darting toward the handkerchief as he wiped sweat from his forehead.  On that sultry August afternoon, we had already finished an exhilarating warmup.  Showing defenses, he ordered I attack with the mid-sized stick.  As I did, he flared the handkerchief,  dropping it onto my head. While I struggled to regain my bearings, he grabbed the corners of the handkerchief and launched a front choke, driving me to the ground.

"My computer's working!"  laughed Sensei as I bounced in the dust.  I attacked again, coming for the top of his head.  He blocked upward, using the handkerchief as a snare against my stick.  Suddenly, the snare snapped outward, launching my stick into space.

We continued for hours.

I attacked with a knife, and then a sword.  He responded by snagging me, strangling me, smothering me, lifting me off the ground, and blinding me...all using the handkerchief.  There seemed no end to the multitude of techniques he improvised on the spot.

Sometimes, he did the same with other common objects.  One autumn, we snacked on nuts while watching TV.  He reached over, took an acorn, a pecan, a brazil nut, and a walnut.  For over two hours, he showed how each could be employed in unique nerve attacks against incoming aggressors.  Each held its secret.  What worked for the walnut did not necessarily work for the acorn.  What one lacked in maneuverability, it gained in hardness.  The brazil nut may have been awkward, but its shape allowed for nerve crushing attacks not available to the rounded shapes.  They almost seemed to have been designed by a gifted craftsman, giving each its strengths, and each its limitations.

Basic Concepts

Sifu Chris Demonstrates

These clips are exerpted from
Sticks, Tricks and Useful Bits
(currently out of print)

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