Friday, January 16, 2009

John Perkins' ATTACKPROOF kichuando

For the past several months I've been reading a book, Attack Proof: The Ultimate Guide to Personal Protection, over and over again, regularly if not constantly. This book is a primer on some of the drills and methods used in John Perkins' kichuando. One of the reviews on Amazon is titled, "This is not your father's karate." And it certainly isn't. These guys have taken a lot of flak from various folk because of the unusual-looking system and the bold title of the book.
I found the book to be very insightful and informative. It is filled with drills and exercises intended to promote relaxation, flow, sensitivity, and power. These attributes are then applied in a bare minimum of CQB techniques like the palm jabs, eye rakes, elbows, and knees. The result is an interesting eclectic style that appears to be a combination of some Chinese internal arts (minus the exotic terminology) and good-old WWII-era Army CQB.
One of the things that I thought was really remarkable was the apparent similarity of what I was reading to the aikido that we do. Of course, kichuando comes from a different point of view than the aikido tradition, but over and over I kept reading things that made me say, "yeah, that's exactly right!" For instance, the cornerstone of the system - the practice that all the rest of the book leads up to - is Guided Chaos, the kichuando form of randori or push-hands, and again, I found striking similarities between the Guided Chaos that I've seen on YouTube and the push-hands-like hand randori that we practice. If you are looking for a different perspective on the principles that drive our randori aikido, check this book out.
Overall, I would highly recommend that you get the book and read through it a few times. Stay open-minded and consider how the things that you are reading are similar to, or different from, your art and your ideas. This book will certainly be an education for you.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, yes, it's an interesting book. There are a few things I might take issue with, but overall, I was struck by how much certain things in the book resemble things that we're already doing in our class. What's interesting to me is that Mr. Perkins appears to be asserting that his methodology is based on research and experience in, among other things, law enforcement, and yet it has considerable similarity to certain other arts which shall remain nameless, which claim roots going back hundreds of years.


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