Awareness: The First Layer of Personal Defense

I missed the opportunity to attend a seminar by Datu Kelly Worden a couple of weeks ago; thankfully Guro Belton Lubas used the power of social media to share some righteous footage from the seminar; as I was watching the live stream I was literally blown away by what Datu was saying and couldn’t wait to blog about it!  A couple of months ago I wrote about the correlation between Critical Security Controls and Personal Security Concepts. Within the Cyber Security realm we want to be aware of all the devices and software within the computing environment (network) and those controls are defined here:

In my previous post, I exchanged “Authorized and Unauthorized” with Awareness. Therefore the concept can be applied to the realm of personal security a bit easier.  However our environment is more dynamic than the computing environment and has the potential to changes from moment to moment.  For example, when we are at home / personal dwelling it is a bit easier to determine what is “authorized and unauthorized.” When we leave that space and venture into the public space the environment becomes more dynamic and the sense of “authorized and unauthorized” applies to who and what we allow into our personal circle / bubble. Personal Safety then becomes more about the awareness of who and what is around us and at what range to we let them get into before having to go into fight or flight mode.

As we move between environments are we going to be actively engaged in awareness or are we going to stare at the phone and or walk around with headphones oblivious? Being unaware is a vulnerability that can be potentially exploited by a threat and compromise our personal security and our family’s security.

Awareness can be actively practiced with family members too.  I was talking with a good buddy and the topic of teaching family members to be aware of the surroundings when grocery shopping came up; an example is having the kids monitor the parking lot as the parent is putting away the groceries. When incidents occur in a parking lot it’s usually when the “victim” is unaware.

Anyway, I just wanted to write a quick post about awareness since the opportunity presented itself.

Thanks for reading!

Open hand or Closed Fist?

The advantages or disadvantages of using a open palm vs close fist has been a topic of polarizing discussion but most agree there is a time and place for both.  Obviously I would not advocate one of the other everyone has their preferences as to why and when they prefer use each method of striking.

Guro Burton Richardson touches upon many reasons in the following articles:
These 10 Silat Strategies Will Expand Your Consciousness and Make You Better at Self-Defense! Part One

These 10 Silat Strategies Will Expand Your Consciousness and Make You Better at Self-Defense! Part Two

When people doubt the power of the open palm slap I like to refer them to this video:

One of the techniques I like to teach in class comes from Jesse Glover; Datu Worden affectionately refers to it as the “B*itch Slap” you can find similar techniques taught in other systems where it may be known as the “dead arm slap” which is not to be confused with those ridiculous dead arm punching videos where two guys punch each other in the arm.

Here is a nice clip of Jesse Glover demonstrating techniques he always shared at camps:

The empty hand strategies fit well within the Filipino Martial Arts; one of the things I like to do first is use the sinawali pattern known to most as “Heaven” to correlate the weapon movements to empty hands, at first we begin sticking to form just to get the movement down; we then translate it to the empty hand drill from Modern Arnis known as Brush, Grab, Strike and progress from there.

Another Sinawali that I refer to as “two count” teaches the student to target the head and knee is great reference for the correlation of weapons movement to empty hand.

Datu Worden breaks it down very nicely in this excerpt from his DVD titled “Bridging Hands Striking Relations.”

You can purchase the DVD here at

I probably could go on and on as this is a favorite topic of mine but I’ll stop here so you can enjoy the clips.

If interested in learning more stop by the school:

Warrior Collective of WA
12401 NE 60th Way #A7
Vancouver, WA