Combat Sanshou Fightstopper Technique

Yesterday, Paladin Press posted my entry in their “Fightstopper” video series on Youtube. Overall, the feedback has been pretty clear: either very positive or very negative. There doesn’t seem to be a lot of middle ground. But that’s OK, we’re all entitled to our opinions. However, most of the negative comments came from people who seemed to be very much misinformed or intent on promoting their own agenda. That’s why I decided to add their critiques to this post I was already writing. But first, some background.


How it started

Almost two years ago, while filming Combat Sanshou: Tiger and Snake, the people at Paladin Press asked me if I wanted to collaborate on one of the projects they had planned for their new website. The tentative title was “Killshots” (which is why you hear me mention that word in the video) and now the series has been launched under the name of “Fightstoppers”.

The idea was to ask each author who came in for a shoot to make a one-minute video of one technique for a very specific context:

What do you teach somebody when he needs to end the fight right now?

So we’re not talking about a woofing contest or an MMA bout. Nor is this a context in which you need to restrain a drunk at a party. It is very specific:

  • It has to be extremely effective.
  • You can’t take any chances.
  • It has to be quick and simple.
  • It has to be something even a beginner can learn quickly.
  • Most importantly: it has to end the fight right away.

These are very specific circumstances. To be perfectly clear, I interpreted them with one additional parameter present:

If you mess up, you die.

So I based my technique on all these parameters, including this last one. This is important and we’ll get back to it but first, here’s my video:


The basic technique as I show it here is very simple to perform. If you can throw a one-two punch, you can do this one too. But there are some very specific reasons why I do it this way. There are also a number of variations and then there is the specific context of when to use it. Let’s get started on all that. [Read more…]