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Spinning Back Kick – Technique Of The Week

The Spinning Back Kick is not a necessary tool to have in most combat sports or in self defense situations. But honing in on this technique is a power move that will have a huge impact on your stand up / kickboxing game.

Spinning Back Kick - Technique Of The Week

What Is A Spinning Back Kick?

A spinning back kick is a thrusting power kick usually aimed to the body or head of your opponent. The back kick is thrown by the rear leg using a 180 degree spin, turning towards your back side. Its the the most powerful kick you can throw.

via GIPHY (Conor Mcgregor drilling teep to a spinning back kick)

The spinning back kick’s initial momentum comes from the same leg your kicking with. After your rear foot presses off the earth, that same leg will slightly retract while simultaneously turning your lead foot, leg, hips, shoulders, and head 180 degrees. Extending and landing the back kick as soon as the 180 degree turn is complete. Your opponent should be in your peripheral vision slightly before contact.

Some Key Points To Consider when Throwing the Spinning Back Kick:

  • The kicking leg should travel in the straightest line possible
  • Keep your body as vertical as possible
  • Learn how to throw the kick without winding up
    • without turning foot in first
    • without turning your body too far ahead of your kick

If its your first time learning the back kick i recommend turning your foot 90 degrees while stepping to the side before initiating. This will make the execution easier and clears your back kick to travel at a straight line.

Once you start getting the hang of the back kick, learn how to executing it without stepping to the side or turning your foot. Tightening up any telegraphic movement and improving your ability to back kick at a moments notice.

When Should You Consider Throwing the Spinning Back Kick.

  • After a Jab
  • After a Straight Right

Learning to follow up with a spinning back kick with just the two option above will greatly increase your back kick’s capacity and opportunity.

Common Spinning Back Kick Mistakes

  • Head and body swings wildly (bad for balance and following up)
  • Kick landing after completing the 180 degree turn (too slow)
  • Leaving body behind / leaning too far back (bad for balance and following up)
  • Kicking leg flared out (bad for balance, accuracy, speed and power)

Fighters with a Strong Back Kick Game

Muslim Salikhov

Cung Le

Benny The Jet Urquidez

Joe Rogan

Spinning Back Kick Compilation Video

Other Resources To Consider:


Sanda / San Shou

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The 80/20 Rule To Martial Arts Training: Stop Wasting Your Time

Applying the 80/20 rule in your martial arts training will not only save you time, but you will also progress faster. The goal is to identify what makes the biggest and least impact in your training in order to prioritize your time and attention for a greater outcome.

I briefly mentioned the 80/20 Rule in my previous post: Get The Most Out Of Your Training – Martial Arts

8020 Martial arts training

Also known as Pareto’s law, the 80/20 rule states that roughly 80% of the results comes from 20% of the causes. For an example, 80% of business sales comes from 20% of the clients. The 80/20 rule can be applied to anything, today you will be applying it to your martial arts training.

“The goal is to find your inefficiencies in order to eliminate them and to find your strengths so you can multiply them.” – Tim Ferriss

Making the 80/20 Analysis in Your Martial Arts Training

The first step to the 80/20 analysis for your martial arts training is what do you want out of it. Self defense? competition? fitness? having fun? or how to apply a specific technique?

Identify the 20% that meets your goal the most. Below are a few questions you can use to identify this 20% of your training:

  • What would you do to get the most out of your training if you only had 30 mins to train? How would you do it?
  • If you could only spar 3 rounds , who would you spar with? how hard would you spar?
  • If you only had time to work on 3 different techniques, what would they be?
  • If you only had time to do one drill, what drill will that be?
  • If you have to prepare for a fight in 2 months, what would you do?
“One does not accumulate but eliminate. It’s not the daily increase but daily decrease. Hack away at the unessential.” – Bruce Lee
“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.” – Albert Einstein

When applying the 80/20 analysis to your martial arts training you, the goal is to hack away the excess and narrow it down to the bare essentials that will increase your bottom line.

Once the bare essentials are identified, create a training plan your willing to execute. Create timelines to measure and manage your progress. Re-analyze and modify as necessary. Below is one example on on how I applied the 80/20 law to my martial arts training:

30 Minutes a Day is All It Takes – The Heavy Bag

I was able to narrow down specific movements on the heavy bag targeting the following 30mins a day.

I always have a plan when i use the heavy bag. Each 3 minute round I work on two specific combinations aiming for a total of 40-50 reps per round with 1 minute rest in between. Each combination has a minimum of three strikes and at least one defensive movement (snap back, weave, or slip).

Each repetition is initiated and finished using footwork with 100% effort in speed, explosiveness, and power. Once achieving the repetition goals I’ll sit and throw random punches and kicks with no pauses until the round is over.

Each round I am throwing 200-300 strikes, totaling 1200-1800 strikes for 6 rounds within 30mins. While working my legs, footwork, distancing, power, speed, endurance, and defensive movements that I’m also anchoring into my nervous system using jedi mind tricks (visualization – check out this article for more info). Also the non-stop intensity eliminates any slack through out the heavy bag session, optimizing my time spent.

Applying the 80/20 rule to my martial arts training has brought me clarity and focus. It helps me prioritize whats important and eliminate what is not. I was first introduced to the 80/20 rule by Timothy Ferriss’s Book Called The 4-Hour Workweek. Check It out

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I personally believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”




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Bruce Lee Quotes Be Like Water

For this blog post i gathered all the quotes i can find on Bruce Lee quotes be like water. I listed any Bruce Lee quote that suggest being adaptive or shapeless.

“You must be shapeless, formless, like water. When you pour water in a cup, it becomes the cup. When you pour water in a bottle, it becomes the bottle. When you pour water in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Water can drip and it can crash. Become like water my friend.” – Bruce Lee

“Be like water making its way through cracks. Do not be assertive, but adjust to the object, and you shall find a way around or through it. If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves.

“When my acute self-consciousness grew to what the psychologists refer to as the “double-bind” type, my instructor would again approach me and say, “Loong, preserve yourself by following the natural bends of things and don’t interfere. Remember never to assert yourself against nature; never be in frontal opposition to any problems, but control it by swinging with it. Don’t practice this week: Go home and think about it.” – Bruce Lee

“After spending many hours meditating and practicing, I gave up and went sailing alone in a junk. On the sea I thought of all my past training and got mad at myself and punched the water! Right then — at that moment — a thought suddenly struck me; was not this water the very essence of gung fu? Hadn’t this water just now illustrated to me the principle of gung fu? I struck it but it did not suffer hurt. Again I struck it with all of my might — yet it was not wounded! I then tried to grasp a handful of it but this proved impossible. This water, the softest substance in the world, which could be contained in the smallest jar, only seemed weak. In reality, it could penetrate the hardest substance in the world. That was it! I wanted to be like the nature of water.

Suddenly a bird flew by and cast its reflection on the water. Right then I was absorbing myself with the lesson of the water, another mystic sense of hidden meaning revealed itself to me; should not the thoughts and emotions I had when in front of an opponent pass like the reflection of the birds flying over the water? This was exactly what Professor Yip meant by being detached — not being without emotion or feeling, but being one in whom feeling was not sticky or blocked. Therefore in order to control myself I must first accept myself by going with and not against my nature.” – Bruce Lee

The natural phenomenon which the gung fu man sees as being the closest resemblance to wu wei [the principle of spontaneous action governed by the mind and not the senses] is water:

Nothing is weaker than water,
But when it attacks something hard
Or resistant, then nothing withstands it,
And nothing will alter its way. – Lao Tzu


The above passages from the Tao Te Ching illustrate to us the nature of water: Water is so fine that it is impossible to grasp a handful of it; strike it, yet it does not suffer hurt; stab it, and it is not wounded; sever it, yet it is not divided. It has no shape of its own but molds itself to the receptacle that contains it. When heated to the state of steam it is invisible but has enough power to split the earth itself. When frozen it crystallizes into a mighty rock. First it is turbulent like Niagara Falls, and then calm like a still pond, fearful like a torrent, and refreshing like a spring on a hot summer’s day. So is the principle of wu wei:

The rivers and seas are lords of a hundred valleys. This is because their strength is in lowliness; they are kings of them all. So it is that the perfect master wishing to lead them, he follows. Thus, though he is above them, he follows. Thus, though he is above them, men do not feel him to be an injury. And since he will not strive, none strive with him.

Be Like Water: The Philosophy and Origin of Bruce Lee’s Famous Metaphor for Resilience

“Adapt what is useful, reject what is useless, and add what is specifically your own.”
― Bruce Lee

“Mistakes are always forgivable, if one has the courage to admit them.”
― Bruce Lee

“If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.”
― Bruce Lee

“If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done.”
― Bruce Lee

“Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself, do not go out and look for a successfull personality and duplicate it.”
― Bruce Lee

“Not being tense but ready.
Not thinking but not dreaming.
Not being set but flexible.
Liberation from the uneasy sense of confinement.
It is being wholly and quietly alive, aware and alert, ready for whatever may come.”
― Bruce Lee

“Notice that the stiffest tree is most easily cracked, while the bamboo or willow survives by bending with the wind.”
― Bruce Lee

“Take things as they are. Punch when you have to punch. Kick when you have to kick.”
― Bruce Lee

“Using no way as a way, having no limitation as limitation.”
― Bruce Lee

“Don’t get set into one form, adapt it and build your own, and let it grow, be like water.”
― Bruce Lee

“The idea is that flowing water never goes stale, so just keep on flowing.”
― Bruce Lee

“If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves. Moving, be like water. Still, be like a mirror. Respond like an echo. ”
― Bruce Lee

“Obey the principles without being bound by them.”
― Bruce Lee

“The less effort, the faster and more powerful you will be.”
― Bruce Lee

“Take no thought of who is right or wrong or who is better than. Be not for or against.”
― Bruce Lee

“Set patterns, incapable of adaptability, of pliability, only offer a better cage. Truth is outside of all patterns.”
― Bruce Lee

“If you follow the classical pattern, you are understanding the routine, the tradition, the shadow — you are not understanding yourself.”
― Bruce Lee,

“Bring the mind into sharp focus and make it alert so that it can immediately intuit truth, which is everywhere. The mind must be emancipated from old habits, prejudices, restrictive thought processes and even ordinary thought itself.”
― Bruce Lee

“In the middle of chaos lies opportunity–Bruce Lee”
― Bruce Lee

“Emotion can be the enemy, if you give into your emotion, you lose yourself. You must be at one with your emotions, because the body always follows the mind.”
― Bruce Lee

Bruce Lee Images & Quotes
Bruce Lee Jeet Kune Do: 5 Ways Of Attack

Bruce Lee Quotes Be Like Water

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Best Knives For Self Defense – Retention Concealment Access

Knives come in all different shapes and sizes. Some specialize in thrusting and others in slashing. Some are great for concealment and others are great for retention. The best knives for self defense depends on your preference, occupation, environment, training, and usage.

Before we move on I would like to make it clear that this is about self defense. If you are looking for self defense knives for protection its important to research and know your local laws on self defense and the laws around carrying and using knives for self defense. Read my 8 Rules of Self Defense to learn more

Blade Types For Stabbing And Slashing

When choosing a knife for self defense, you should consider the blade type and its capabilities. Each blade type specialize in a different tasks such as carving, stabbing, chopping, or slashing. To find out more about blade types check out this article.

Best Knives For Self Defense

In a self defense situation anything with a point can be used for stabbing. But some blade types penetrate deeper than others and some are designed with specific slashing capabilities. Here are a few blade types ideal for stabbing and slashing:

  • Clip-point knives – ideal for deeper and quicker stabbing. The design makes it easier to insert and retract while minimizing resistance or drag. But the downfall is that the tip of the knife is much weaker.
  • Spear-point knife – also designed for stabbing but with a more durable tip than the clip point.
  • Daggers – are somewhere in between the clip-point and spear-point knives. Designed for stabbing but weaker than spear-point knives, yet stronger than the clip-point knives.
  • Tanto knives – Have stronger tips but least penetration. Slashes may not be as deep mostly designed more for chopping. Another unique characteristic of the tanto knife is that it has a secondary point used for “snap cutting” creating an awkward wound.
  • Drop-point knives – a versatile blade type. It has a stronger tip than most and also capable for  deep slashing.
  • Trailing point knives – meant for deep slicing or skinning. Mostly common in skinning and fillet knives, but can also be found as a tactical folding knife.
  • Karambit knives – meant for slashing and hooking with limited stabbing capabilities.

Knife Retention

When shopping around for the best knives for self defense you should consider the retention attributes of the knife. Will it slip out of your hand (with or without blood) while fighting; will your hand run up the blade when thrusting; or whats the required grip tension in order to keep the knife secured in your hand. Here are some systems to consider.

  • Retention rings – Great when using the index finger, not so much if you use your pinky. Downfall of this system is it only favors one specific grip.
  • Handle Hooks – Great for preventing the knife from slipping out of your hand.
  • Lanyards – Great as a back up recovery when wrapped around your wrist if the knife accidentally slips out of your hand. May not necessarily prevent slippage. Most knives don’t include a lanyard

Knives With Retention Features:

 Cold Steel Pro Guard / Point Guard Knife


Knife Concealment & Access

Concealment is an important element to consider when choosing the best knives for self defense. Also consider accessibility, if it requires two hands or just one and the distance and effort to gain access to your knife.

Types of Knives and Best Places For Concealment & Access

Neck Knives – Great for concealing under your shirt with decent access hanging slightly below the sternum. The downfall is it may requires 2 hands to access the knife.



Folding Knives – Great for clipping it in the front pocket a shirt for concealment. Easy one hand access. This particular one has a snag open feature that deploys the knife automatically as you pull it out of your pocket making it great for one hand deployment.


Best knives for self defense belt knives


Fixed-blade Belt Knives – Great for concealing in the front waist line with easy access and one hand deployment.




Best Knives For Self Defense

Based on my preference when considering the best knives for self defense, I need the knife to first be a thrusting tool, slashing would be secondary, and then everything else follows. Below are some knives i would consider as an EDC and for self defense.

SOG Seal Pup Elite

  • 4.85″ Clip-point Blade.
  • Comfortable grip.
  • Lanyard hole
  • Light-weight.
  • Ideal placement would be on the belt under the shirt.

Cold Steel Spartan

  • Kukuri Style Deep Belly Clip Point (versatile for stabbing & slashing)
  • 4.5″ Blade Length
  • Handle Hook Retention
  • Tip down pocket clip for quick deployment

Spyderco Manix 2 XL

  • 3.875″ Spear-Point Blade
  • Handle Hook Retention
  • Tip down pocket clip for quick deployment

Cold Steel Pro-Guard / Point Guard Knife

 Cold Steel Pro Guard / Point Guard Knife

  • 4″ Blade length
  • Pistol Grip Retention Ring
  • Designed as a neck knife but can be modified to be placed on the belt
  • Easy Fixed-Blade Concealment

Ka-bar TDI Law Enforcement Knife

  • 2 5/6″ Spear-Point Blade
  • Pistol Grip Retention
  • Belt-Clip Sheath
  • Easy Fixed-Blade Concealment

SOG GB1001-CP Gambit

  • 2.58″ Karambit Blade
  • Retention Ring
  • Multi-Angle Belt-Clip Sheath
  • Easy Fixed-Blade Concealment

Spyderco Endura 4 Wave

  • 3-13/16″ Spear-Point Blade
  • Snag Open Feature When Pulled from pocket
  • Tip down pocket clip for quick deployment

Spyderco Karahawk Knife

  • 2.35″ Karambit Blade
  • Retention Ring
  • Snag Open Feature When Pulled from pocket
  • Tip down pocket clip for quick deployment

Columbia River Folts Minimalist Bowie

Best knives for self defense belt knives

  • 2.125″” Deep Belly Clip-Point Blade
  • Finger Choils Grip Retention
  • Belt-Clip and Paracord Neck Knife Carry

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Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I personally believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”











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Pawing Jab – Technique Of The Week

The jab is a simple and versatile tool, but also the hardest punch to master. As the most important and thrown punch in combat sports, its not used to end fights, but sets up everything else that does. The best type of jab for that is the pawing jab.

pawing jab - technique of the week

What is the Pawing Jab?

The pawing jab is used interchangeably with the flicker jab. Although related, they are too different types of jabs. The more practical synonym for pawing is to feel, and it is precisely what you do with the pawing jab.

The mechanics of pawing the jab doesn’t require any other movement other than the arm extending towards the face of the opponent in a metronome (not always), but not necessarily to make contact. Below is a video of Guillermo Rigondaux who paws with the jab as a catalyst to his game.

The pawing jab is a technique that does several things simultaneously.

  • Gauges distance
  • Sets up other punches
  • Obstructing opponents sight
  • To provoke an attack
  • Controls the rhythm
  • Creates deception
    • Opponent’s perceived distance and reach
    • Conceals advancement / Footwork
    • Lures opponent to a deceptive rhythm

Pawing Shadow Boxing Drills – Pawing to Connect

While metronomically throwing out the pawing jab, practice your footwork and throwing other punches and kicks at a moment’s notice in a broken rhythm.

Pawing Focus Mitt Drills – Pawing to Provoke

Have the holder feed you random punches while metronomically pawing the focus mitts. Work your counter punches off the pawing metronome.

Pawing Advice

  • Learn how to paw going backwards
  • Learn Paw follow ups with the same hand
  • Paw in a way you can throw any strike at moment’s notice

Common Mistakes

  • Getting hypnotized by your own metronome.
  • Not being ready at a moment’s notice.

More Resources:

Thomas “The Hitman” Herns (boxing)
Andrew Tabiti
Saenchai (Southpaw Muay Thai)
Broken Rhythm Basics (Article on broken rhythm)

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