A library of Key side arts and training activities for complementary and enhanced skills training
Parkour is the art of mobility over and around obstacles whilst running to and from places and situations in a fast and economic manner that requires flow, grace, and style. It's origins as a sporting activity are in the assault course training of the French Foreign Legion military group and derived from the traditional practices of many eastern martial arts.
Free Running is a recent extension to or, a derivation from Parkour that includes various gymnastic tricks just for the fun of it, and showing-off of course. Pure Parkour, however, is about managing and minimising risks during the activity, for which reason, unlike free running, it is entirely consistent with self-defense/martial art principles and objectives.
Break-dancing is a modern dance born on the streets (hence its nickname of street-dancing) that contains quite a considerable amount of floor gymnastics and even acrobatics to match even the best of the world's conventional gymnasts.
Break-Dancing has, however, not only borrowed from gymnastics for its repertoire of balance holds, spinning and gyrating tricks at break-neck speed, but, like Parkour has even borrowed ideas from the martial arts.
In turn, martial artists can learn and greatly benefit from the practice of break-dancing in the realm of fluid and fast movement from position to position whilst still on the ground is an excellent martial skill for ground fighting and defence from the ground. This combined with the general footwork, body control skills, balance, coordination, rhythm and timing and fitness aspects makes it an excellent martial skills training in itself.
Few of us expect or even want to become Break-dancing experts, but there is no denying the benefits from doing some of the basic training. For one thing, it can be really fun and enjoyable to practice our mobility skills in this way, one of the few times when music is appropriate within martial arts training.
Fitness & Strength Training
Fitness and strength training (FAST) is important for a variety of reasons, ranging from general health and fitness to fitness for a specific purpose, such as a sport /or other activity.
For example, long-distance running is focused on systemic endurance and tries to minimize body mass in order to lighten the load that needs to be carried by the legs. Marathon runners generally have a higher percentage of slow-twitch fibers compared to Sprinters and weight lifters who have a large percentage of fast-twitch fibers. Sprinting requires great leg power, but the body needs to be kept balanced for both body control as well as aesthetic reasons.
Body Building is the polar extreme where we are trying to increase our body muscle mass (hypertrophy). . Power Lifting is focused on the extremes of weight resistance training in their efforts to develop maximal strength (neural development) for a specific exercise or feat of strength.
Parkour requires running capability combined with good leg power, particularly plyometric power for jumping and other explosive tricks. Break-dancing requires a strong core and shoulders. Martial arts have a whole body allround capability requirement. In all cases, however, all-round robustness is needed.
Unfortunately, unless you are a dedicated athlete with nothing else to do 25 hours a day - 8 days a week, there is rarely time to do everything according to the theory books. To save time and improve training efficiency we must integrate fitness and strength training into our training without sacrificing the skills development and application/conditioning aspects.
The difference with skill based sports such as these is that we need the training to be more functional for the purpose. We call this functional fitness and street strength training. To achieve this Lii-Kan Jitsu draws on several concept-based fitness programmes created by SeTs ry for self-defense and Parkour training in particular.
No matter what we do, to some degree or other, the strength component is the adaptation that provides the foundations for all of them.
Chi Kung (Bio-Energy Training)
Chi Kung is the stuff of folk- lore and martial arts legend. The benefits are multi-faceted from physical to mental and even spiritual benefits that the Indian Yogi refer to as the 8 Sidhi. Chi Kung includes meditation but, includes much more. Meditation is a purely mental exercise, such as in Zen meditation where they try to minimise all their bodily functions and emotions in a process of disassociation in the search for ' reality'. Chi Kung explicitly cultivates and directs the body's internal energy systems using external and/or internal methods. I.e. instead of dampening down the energy systems as Zen practitioners do, Chi Kung practitioners try to activate and raise their energy levels to acquire the 8 Sidhi and ultimately 'enlightenment'.
There are unfortunately very few people in the wolrd who really know and can practice these arts to a high level. Much of the real knowledge is scattered far and wide amongst small disparate groups or individuals and often practiced in secret. After all, this is the stuff that gave rise to religion and thereby all the religious factions and wars of history such as the crusades and the Templar Knights etc. However, the far eastern traditions do not seem to have become quite so bogged down in the religious interpretations, doctrines and power politics that have plagued the western and middle-eastern variants. The Indian Yoga systems, however, seem to have been misdirected and miss-represented in the west as purely fitness and health systems. Only the Kundalini Yoga system seems to have managed to maintain a steady focus on the meditative and chi kung (Bio-Energy Training) purposes.
The first stage or level of enlightenment is said to take many years to achieve (>20 years according to the Chinese), though this may owe much to weak techniques or a lack of willingness to teach people any faster for both (perceived) safety and control/power purposes. In practice, there are schools and systems that can get you to this first level within three months of steady and dedicated practice, one of which, is taught and practised as part of the Liikan Jitsu training system. The risk with this speed of development is the students mental and emotional (spiritual) readiness to embark on such a journey, which inevitably must be taken alone. To this end, Lii-Kan Jitsu combines Chi Kung training with Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), which has proved to fit hand-in-glove' with Chi Kung theory and practice.
Neuro-linguistic Programming (NLP)
NLP is a modern school of psychotherapy and mind skills that is intuitive and fits very snugly with the martial arts and traditional eastern knowledge systems such as transformational psychology in the practice of Chi Kung, yoga, and meditation in general.
It has direct relevance and application to self-defense, security, and risk management in general.
It helps us prepare mentally for the Chi Kung training.
NLP can also usefully be complemented with sports psychology and applied psychology in the form of business skills, such as presentation, sales, and negotiation skills all of which, provide a practical and unobtrusive way of practicing fundamental skills in a multi-faceted way. In fact, leading exponents of NLP have often described it as the 'Martial Art' of communication skills.
NLP is primarily derived from the work of the foremost and leading practitioners of Cognitive Behavioural Psychology, with supplements from other Therapy disciplines, and even Shiatsu. So much so that those professionals even commented on the achievements of NLP to identify and clarify what they were actually doing, in a way that they and no others had been able to do at that time. So, for academic pontiffs and plaintiffs to debunk it out of hand is akin to shooting themselves in the foot. However, there is a problem, in that with the wide popularity and spread of the system, as always, many frauds have jumped on board and caused much damage to the system's reputation and people's understanding of it.
Anyone who thinks they can learn and use NLP or, any other such system in 4 days on some seminar is a complete foo
Real NLP courses are demanding and last (at least) for up to a month, full-time for each of the 3 basic levels. The practice, learning, and skill development does not stop there, however. Even NLP is not enough for real-life self-defense and martial purposes. For that purpose, it must be extended, adapted, and integrated with real self-defense skills. Again, only fools and horses would think otherwise.
Criminology & Victimology,
Security and Risk Management...
CVSR Management is normally regarded belonging to the realms of career professionals, however, nothing could be further from the truth. Much helpful knowledge for self-defence purposes can be gleaned from the study of these disciplines, just as many so-called security professionals would be well advised to learn and understand a great deal more about self-defence and operational security officer skills and requirements.
'As it is above, so it is below'
There is a proverb that, 'As it is above, so it is below', which, means that the principles are always the same no matter what level you are practising at. In fact, the underlying processes and patterns are usually the same also, with the main differences appearing only at the level of procedures, tasks, and techniques. To properly understand the principles, processes, and patterns that provide the guiding framework for our activities and actions, it is usually easier to learn and understand them in physical self-defense, precisely because of the more direct, concise, and concrete experience of cause and effect involved.
Conversely, an understanding of how and why people become victims of crime (Victimology), can help us to avoid it and control if not allay many of our fears. This provides us with the information we need to analyse the risks realistically and create risk management plans. Equally, an understanding of why and how some people commit crimes (Criminology), whether through Crimpattern Analysis or Offender Profiling, can greatly help us to determine suitable tactics and strategies for protecting ourselves against specific threats and attacks. Conflict Intervention and Management works best when properly informed about the types of attackers and attacks, moderated by the likelihood and outcome risks they present.
Personal security starts with basic physical training, but, sooner or later must incorporate some degree of Criminology and Victimology knowledge within a framework of Risk Analysis and Management in order to remain up-to-date, effective and efficient with the resources available. Much of this (the constants) has already built into the Lii-Kan Jitsu system, but, many aspects require continuous and on-going study and research in order to remain up-to-date and relevant.