24 December, 2014

New training space for Chris

Chris is the only kung-fu man I know with a kwoon made out of steel...

Here are three photographs I made this morning...

Chris 1

Chris 2

Chris 3

21 December, 2014

The Form

To the past, present, and future students of Southern Kung Fu.

The Form
by Anthony Revill

The single most important training habit I learned from my sifu, Kevin Earle, was to do my Form every morning. In fact, the Form (Sil Lum Tao) is essential for me in starting each day. It affects how I am in the world, and imbues my day with qualities that have become indispensable to me.

When Kevin became my sifu, I recognised that I was in the presence of an unusual kind of self-defence instructor. Kevin wasn’t the only guy around who could knock people down or throw them to the ground. However, early on, I felt there was something more to him. It was this recognition of a difference that helped me become receptive to what he was really teaching me. It’s true that I heartily embraced the business end of Ving Chun Kuen kung-fu: the intercepting, deflecting, entering, punching, striking, stomping, and other ways of engaging with the enemy. Nevertheless, this external manifestation of Ving Chun Kuen’s methodology, despite being fun and challenging to practice, is merely the flowering of a more fundamental essence.

So it is that when prospective students walk through my door, this is what they are looking for. They want to learn how to engage an enemy. And that’s all well and good; I can teach them that. Yet, by the very nature of their desire, they are focused on the external – and with the external they shall remain for some time. Because of this, the Form puzzles them. It’s an anomaly. It will begin to make some sort of sense as knowledge flows into it, as ongoing training informs it. However, to a beginner, I can accept that the Form is simple, slow, and tedious – something they copy in class because they’re told to. To them, it’s as external as any of their other training; and, considered externally, it makes little sense.

Furthermore, the Form does not look combative. A student may wonder what place it has in a self-defence class. As some sort of solitary, contemplative exercise, it smacks of downtime – a mere indulgence on the part of the instructor. (In class I have said, “What does the Form have to do with fighting? Nothing… and everything.”) Accordingly, I have little doubt that some of my students cannot wait to skip through the Form in class, so they can get to the good stuff. Legion are they who do their Form in class because they have to, and at no other time. I had to learn to love the Form, and I persisted with it because my sifu valued it so highly. He reinforced its importance by his own example.

My challenge, then, is how to facilitate a student’s interest in the Form. Newer students underestimate its value, while I cannot overstate its value. One reason for this is the experience of depth. For beginners, Ving Chun Kuen kung-fu is broad, containing many disparate elements, like a wide but shallow lake; while for me the art is like a very small pond, with such depth that I can step into it and disappear. This is the quality of Ving Chun Kuen that holds my interest. Over time, as the student navigates the lake, gradually understanding that the elements are all qualitatively alike, the lake begins to shrink in diameter, and it starts to deepen.

Essentially, the Form is a felt experience. Possibly it can be understood and discussed intellectually, but in practice the student has to come out of the head and into the body, so to speak. Thoughts running continuously through the mind are formations in themselves, competing with the exercise for attention. Memories, imaginings, old conversations, possible new ones, ongoing issues and the problems of a busy life – they all vie for the top spot in the student’s awareness. Nevertheless, the student must come to realise that training while distracted in this way is counter-productive. I do have suggestions and strategies for my students regarding this, but none of them involve the suppression of thoughts. Rather, a shift in awareness can be useful, guiding the attention away from the unfettered activity of the mind. Once this is accomplished, the mind can be recruited effectively, with its powers of intentness and focus of force through the gaze of the eyes – but empty of words, pictures, the past, future, and other formations. In this way the Form is grounded in the present moment, with the mind and body inseparable in purpose. Put another way, cultivation and projection of force involves the awareness, engagement, and unification of body and mind.

Here I have chosen to write primarily of the formless, and the irony of using a form to develop the formless is not lost on me. Yet there is no better method I know of that can impart the real depth of Ving Chun Kuen except that the student consistently practice their Form. And this is the aspect of my training that has made all the difference for me, namely, my commitment to practicing every morning, as inspired by Kevin. The Form is far more than a set of positions and actions that the student learns by rote, performed exactly the same way thereafter, repeated in a mechanical, unvarying fashion. The Form is actually a process, continuously progressing day-by-day, much like the human being practicing it. Initially, the student may see the Form as something separate from themselves which they have to conform to, but, really, there is no Form until they enact it. It’s a matter of perception. At first, their method of positioning, breathing, moving, focusing, projecting, etc., is imposed upon them by me. I am giving them the seeds of an idea, an idea that is not tangible until it finds expression in the kung-fu practitioner. Moreover, this aspect of training is never brought to a conclusion, for the Form represents the continuing evolution of the student; it is not only a doing, but a becoming.

Nothing I have written is meant to imply that the Form is a closed system all of its own. It does not exist in a vacuum. Indeed, all of the other training within Ving Chun Kuen begins to inform the Sil Lum Tao and flesh it out. The Form begins as a small number of copied movements and positions, without any real internal substance. This has to change. Left to its own devices, it simply does not encompass enough experience on the part of the student to enrich it. Therefore, every other exercise in class is important, particularly partner work and the practice of the other forms. The student’s growing awareness, skill, and knowledge, developed from the ground up, is incorporated into the Form, there to be refined and improved – only to be returned to the training exercises in class once more. Effectively, this constitutes a cycle of enrichment, without which Sil Lum Tao would remain impoverished, its efficacy limited. Furthermore, like a sapling subjected to the elements, the idea must be put under all types of pressure to develop its resilience and vigour, as in the practice of sticking hands for example.

Having said that, there comes a time when the Form begins to give more than it gets. It remains the linchpin of Ving Chun Kuen’s combat practices, yet also moves beyond this, becoming a personal process towards self-mastery. More specifically, it is about switching on to internal definition, bringing the locus of control increasingly towards centre, away from the manipulations of external threat. In light of this, there is a stage of maturity to be reached in kung-fu training where the obsessive focus on dealing with perceived enemies gives way to more of a focus on dealing with ourselves. The Form’s cultivation of structure and posture, groundedness and stability, relaxation and expansion – along with awareness and intent – comes to signify assertiveness rather than aggression. And that is how I sometimes describe the Form, as an act of assertiveness; that is, a daily renewal of our attitude, confidence and determination.

To sum up, I have written about Ving Chun Kuen directly from my own experience, and touched on some of the ways in which the Form holds meaning for me. In doing so, I am aware that I am still going through the daily discipline of this training, and that my views may change – possibly as early as tomorrow morning. The day-by-day renewal through Sil Lum Tao is what keeps my kung-fu growing, much like an everlasting springtime.

© 2014 Anthony Revill

16 December, 2014

Training over the holidays

Monday, 22 December - class as usual

Wednesday, 24 December - closed

Saturday, 27 December - check with Hadrian and/or Pete

Monday, 29 December - class as usual, Hadrian in charge

Wednesday, 31 December - class as usual, Hadrian in charge

Saturday, 3 January 2015 - check with Hadrian and/or Pete

Monday, 5 January - class as usual - and back into it for another year...

 And in other news... Last night at training, Pete had his T-shirt torn half-off by someone who shall remain nameless, Shane, so we may have to take up a collection to buy a new shirt for him.

12 December, 2014

Self-defence in the News - No. 74

Car park attack victim plans to kickbox 


December 11, 2014



PARTNERS AGAINST CRIME: Brit Horne, 20, from Nawton, and 
her dog Envy fought off an attacker in a supermarket carpark. 

A routine trip to the supermarket ended in a terrifying ordeal for a young Hamilton woman when she was attacked in the carpark by a stalking stranger.

Brit Horne has been left unable to sleep and off work after she was grabbed from behind by a man in what police believe was a sexually motivated assault at Bridge St Countdown last week.

The 20-year-old managed to fight off her attacker with the help of her three-year-old dog Envy, who latched onto the man's arm.

She kicked the man in the groin and escaped unharmed, but the emotional impact has taken its toll.

"I was just going to get dinner and you would think you would be alright, I have never been more grateful to come home in my life."

Horne wasn't a regular at the city supermarket and had visited two others in search of American hot dogs when she stopped at Bridge St about 8pm on Wednesday, December 3.

As she made her way around the aisles she felt someone watching her.

"I wandered around and noticed this guy was everywhere that I was, and every time he had a different object in his hand, it was really strange."

The man, described as a short Indian man aged in his late 30s, never said a word to her.

"I turned around and he was kind of standing there looking at me."

Horne gathered the items she needed, paid at the self-serve checkout and returned to her car near the centre of the carpark.

Loading the groceries into the driver's side, Horne says her three-year-old staffi-cross began snarling from the back seat.

"I was saying hello to my dog then she started growling - she was barking so much she started foaming at the mouth."

Suddenly a man grabbed her around the waist, pulling her back.

"All I felt was this arm coming past my waist, and this hand coming past my face, then she [Envy] jumped out of the car onto this guy's arm.

"I thought what do I do - my dog was on his arm so he let go and I turned around and saw it was the same guy."

Horne kicked the man in the groin leaving him stumbling in pain.

"I just grabbed my dog and got him into the car, got into the driver's door and locked it, I looked around and couldn't see him."

Hamilton police said the man fled the scene but it was unknown if he was on foot or in a vehicle.

Detective Sergeant Matt Cranshaw said police believe the man's actions were sexually motivated. "This was an attack with sexual overtones and is of concern to us," he said.

He praised Horne's quick-thinking actions and ability to assess the situation.

Since releasing supermarket CCTV footage of the alleged attacker this week, police have received numerous reports from members of the public and have identified a "strong suspect", said Cranshaw.

However, police are still looking to speak to any witnesses of the supermarket carpark attack.

Horne said there was a scattering of people in the carpark during the attack on dusk. "I saw people looking around but I don't know if they saw it happen."

Horne, who has never had self-defence training, has now signed up to a gym and is planning to take up kickboxing.

"I just hope the police find him, he has to be someone's neighbour or co-worker, someone has to know him."

Cranshaw believes the incident is a "one-off" and Horne's safety is not at risk.

Anyone with information can contact police on 07 8586200, or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

 - Waikato Times

08 December, 2014

Self-defence in the News - No. 73

Woman and dog fight off alleged attacker


Published: 5:20PM Thursday December 04, 2014 Source: ONE News 


A dog bite and a kick to the groin - Woman and dog fight 

off alleged attacker



A woman and her dog fought off a man who grabbed her in a Hamilton carpark in an attack police say had sexual overtones.

The 20-year-old was grabbed from behind as she opened her car door in the Countdown supermarket carpark on Bridge St around 8pm yesterday.

The victim's dog jumped from the car and bit the man on his right forearm, while the woman kicked him in the groin.

The man, described as being Indian in appearance, short and aged between his mid 30s and early 40s, fled the scene.

Police want to speak to any witnesses or anyone who may know of a man matching the offender's description.

"This was an attack with sexual overtones and is of concern to us," Detective Sergeant Matt Cranshaw of the Hamilton CIB says.

"We commend the complainant for her swift action and are providing support for her".

06 December, 2014

Kung-fu brothers

Saturday training today with (left to right): Chris, Pete, Hadrian, Brendan.

18 November, 2014


Photo by Jonathan Chilton-Towle in The Star

13 November, 2014

Self-defence in the News - No. 72

International student fights off attacker 




An 18-year-old international student fought off her attacker as he attempted to kidnap her on Thursday night.

Detective Sergeant Will Loughrin said the student was studying in the library of the Eastwest College of Intercultural Studies in Gordonton, north-east of Hamilton, when she was grabbed.

"...as she was working at a computer, she was grabbed around the neck and dragged by an attacker who we believe was trying to get her to a car parked on the grass outside an adjoining room," he said.

"Unable to scream very loudly due to being held round the throat, the woman has kicked and lashed out, scratching the man with her fingernails before breaking free."

The young girl ran for help and the attacker fled in the car.

"This victim has obviously been quite traumatised by what has happened and we are ensuring she gets the support she needs from Victim Support and from translation services," said Loughrin.

Police are looking for a description of the vehicle which they describe as a white, older model station-wagon.

"The only description we have of the man is he was Maori or Polynesian and aged in his early twenties," said Loughrin.

Police were also interested in hearing from anyone in the Gordonton area who may have seen this vehicle in the few days before the attack because they believe it had been loitering around the Eastwest campus.

Alternatively, people who have information and want to remain anonymous can call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

"People who find themselves in similar situations are advised to try and make as much noise as possible and defend yourself by using sufficient force to prevent harm to yourself or those with you. If someone does attempt to take you away, go to the nearest place other people are to raise the alarm."

- Stuff

11 November, 2014

Self-defence in the News - No. 71

Girl fights off attacker


Girl fights off attacker with jiu jitsu skills




A teenager with martial arts skills has earned praise from police after fighting off her alleged attacker.

The 16-year-old, speaking about her ordeal for the first time, said she "bolted"
home, allegedly leaving the man who tried to molest her stunned on the footpath.

The Year 11 student was happy to speak about her ordeal but her parents asked that she not be identified to protect her until the alleged offender had been caught.

She was resigned to the fact there will always be "scumbags" in the community, however it had knocked her confidence walking around what she thought was a safe area.

"I should be able to walk around without fear of being attacked," she said.

She encouraged other teens to scream, and fight back if they were ever confronted.
"They don't expect a small girl to fight back."

She had been walking home from a job interview at The Plaza in Hastings about 4.30pm on October 29 when a group of guys leaned out of a car wolf-whistling at her.

As she walked through a carpark a group of teenage boys also gave her a bit of lip.

"I thought what the hell is happening today, I just wanted to get home."

She continued on down Caroline Rd when she heard someone approaching on a bicycle. Instead of whizzing past she heard the bicycle slow.

Her heart was pounding when a "dodgy looking guy" started riding alongside her.

He started making lurid comments about her figure and suggested she go back to his house.

"I was looking straight ahead trying to ignore him ... and asked him to please leave me alone. He was being sleazy, and so creepy."

She tried to cross the road when he got off his bike and started walking next to her.

The man grabbed her and pushed her into some bushes.
"I should've screamed but I got a fright and it didn't click."

Instead she elbowed him in the testicles and punched him in the face, causing his tooth to cut through his lip. Then she ran.

She sprinted until she reached her doorstep and rang her mum who notified the police.

The teen said practising martial art, Brazilian jiu jitsu, gave her more confidence to confront her attacker.

She said she still counted herself lucky because if the alleged attacker had been any bigger, she would've struggled to stop the attack.

Police praised her quick thinking and defensive moves.

"This is a great example of how young people, especially females, should be aware of personal safety and know what to do if they are approached or attacked," Detective Jeff Foley said.

Police are still looking for a man described as Maori, aged between 20 and 30 of a medium build and height, wearing a large, black hoodie.

- The Dominion Post

02 November, 2014

Kung-fu man

Southern Wing Chun instructor and my senior student

Photographer: Anthony 01-11-2014

01 November, 2014

Jamie and Chris

Jamie from Ving Chun Kuen Waihopai visits Chris in Dunedin

22 October, 2014

Labour Day

This Labour weekend:

There is no class on Saturday 25th.

On Labour Day (Monday 27th) Pete is in charge, and will open up at the normal time.

18 September, 2014

Self-defence in the News - No. 70

Dairy owner strikes back against armed robber




Dairy owner strikes back, chases robber 



TAKE THAT: Dairy owner Pran Sharma fought off an 
armed intruder who tried to rob his dairy yesterday.

A would-be robber got more than he bargained for when he pointed a knife at a Waitara dairy owner in Taranaki yesterday afternoon.

A man walked into the Raleigh St Dairy at about 2pm and made his way behind the counter to where owner Pran Sharma was sitting, making up orders, Sharma said. The intruder pointed a knife at him and demanded money and cigarettes.

But Sharma was having none of it. He hit the intruder with an electric kettle and as the man moved backwards Sharma grabbed a jar of lollies and whacked him again.

"I was not scared. I tried to grab the knife," he said.

"He was lucky to escape. I was really angry."

The exchange lasted less than a minute, before the man took off out the door with Sharma after him.

Sharma chased the robber across the road, yelling at him to stop and come back. But the man disappeared up a side street.

When Sharma returned to his shop a neighbour told him he had called the police.

Sharma has owned the dairy for more than two years and has only had one other problem, when a man tried to get into the dairy when it was closed.

He was caught on the security camera, recognised and went to jail, Sharma said.

And he was confident the police would catch this intruder.

Detective Mike Thorne of Waitara CIB said police were still looking for the offender.

They had footage from the dairy's surveillance system and he was confident local knowledge would produce some information.

In the last fortnight, two shops in South Taranaki had been targeted by armed robbers wanting money and cigarettes.

On September 1, Hawera's Subway Dairy owners were allegedly threatened by a teen armed with a small pistol. An arrest has been made in the case and a 17-year-old Hawera man is due to reappear in court on October 7.

And last Saturday, the owners of Chris's Dairy in Opunake, were confronted by a man wielding a large kitchen knife.

- Taranaki Daily News

07 September, 2014


The Form 
  • Grounding exercise
  • The last movement from the Bil Jee form: how it works and why it works
  • The cyclical nature of Wing Chun's three forms 
  • Pushing the planet away/decompression and straightening
  • Structural power and the postural groove
  • The neck connection
  • Fishbowl full of agitated, muddy water
  • Surprise! (Who is surprised?) Throwing the switch
  • Explosive close-range hitting
  • Internal attraction/density (magnetism analogy)
  • Grand Central Station
  • Breathing: how to breathe while doing The Form, and why it helps to pay attention to it
  • Weight: what is affected and what is not
  • The dynamic equilibrium of relaxation (within The Form) 
  • Using The Form to move back to centre (remember my story of getting up on the wrong side of the bed)
  • The relativity of yin and yang (remember my illustration of the outdoor grass area and the inside of the hall) and some of its relevance to us

Hands-on and experiential

Sunday 7 September 2014

8:45 AM - 12:00 PM

In attendance: Hadrian, Rachel, Chris, and Anthony (instructor).

24 August, 2014

Self-defence in the News - No. 69

Woman vigorously resists attacker


"Daylight sex attack at campus" 



Police are investigating a violent daylight sexual attack at Waikato University this morning.

A 20-year-old woman was confronted by a man aged in his 20s at the maths and sciences block about 8.30am, before being punched and dragged into a secluded area of the university grounds, Hamilton police said.

The woman screamed and "vigorously resisted" the man throughout the attack and eventually managed to flee her attacker, police said.

The offender was described as dark skinned male about 160-170cm tall and of medium build.

He had shoulder length black hair off his face and was wearing dark trousers and shoes, and a white long-sleeve sweat top with two distinctive black lines down the full length of the sleeves.

If anyone saw a person matching this description or has any information they are asked to call the Hamilton police or Crimestoppers (0800 555 111).

- Stuff

23 August, 2014

Self-defence in the News - No. 68

Christchurch dairy owner scares off knife-wielding robber


"Pepper spray sends knifeman fleeing"



Footage shows a man entering a Christchurch dairy before pointing a knife at the shopkeeper in a robbery. 

A Christchurch dairy owner scared off a knife-welding robber by threatening him with a can of pepper spray.

She also had a pool cue behind the door if she needed it.

Police have this week renewed calls for public assistance to identify the hooded perpetrator, who fled as soon as she held up the spray can.

But they warn dairy owners have few legal grounds to justify arming themselves.

Security footage of the June 23 incident at Avenues Dairy, on the corner of Worcester St and Fitzgerald Ave, shows the hooded man walk into the dairy and put a can of beer on the counter.

He requests cigarettes, and the dairy owner asks him for ID.

The man then pulled out a large knife, which Detective Hamish Beer said "has that cheese knife look about it".

The female attendant responds by grabbing a can and holding it up.

Beer would not comment on what it was, but a visit to the dairy found it was a can of pepper spray, which the small, friendly woman, still had handy, but out of a customer's reach.

She did not need to spray the offender that day. She just held it up and he ran, she said.

The dairy had been robbed only a month earlier, when two intruders, one holding a knife, threatened the female shop attendant, demanding cash and cigarettes. She called out to an associate, and they fled empty-handed.

She is not the only city dairy owner taking matters into her own hands.

In June, a Yaldhurst dairy owner wrested an air rifle off robber who demanded cash and tobacco pouches. Alexander William Edward Cottrell, 17, ran off empty-handed.

In October, another dairy owner fended off knife-welding robber Carly Denise Laughton, 27, with a chair. She was jailed in March after confessing to the robbery.

Detective Senior Sergeant Mark Warner said dairy owners could justify arming themselves only  if they had recently been robbed and feared it might happen again.

Otherwise, they risked prosecution for possessing a restricted or offensive weapon, he said.

Whether or not a dairy owner would face charges for fending off a robber with a weapon would be assessed on a "case by case basis", he said.

Dairy owners should instead consider security measures such as automatic doors and panic buttons, Warner said, but he conceded these came at a cost.

Offenders had little to gain for robbing dairies.

They often left with nothing or "very little", yet police and the judiciary took the offence "very seriously", Warner said.

Anyone with information on the June 23, Avenues Dairy robbery was asked to phone Detective Beer on (03) 363 7400.

- The Press

16 August, 2014

Self-defence in the News - No. 67

Woman fights off attackers


"Victim fought off attackers"

 By Hamish McNeilly 

16 Aug 2014

Joseph Lepper hides from the camera in the High Court at Dunedin while pleading guilty to a sex-related attempted abduction. Photo by ODT. 

A student who fought off two abductors on a mission to rape has made her parents ''insanely proud''.

The victim was supported by her family when her two attackers appeared in the High Court at Dunedin yesterday.

Joseph Lepper (37), of Motueka, pleaded guilty to a charge of detaining a woman without her consent with intent to have sexual intercourse with her.

Yesterday, co-accused Zane Alexander McVeigh (18), of Kaiapoi, was sentenced to two years and eight months' imprisonment on the same charge.

On the night of October 19, the pair were in Lepper's van cruising the warehouse precinct when Lepper spotted the victim walking in dimly lit Vogel St about 9.30pm.

''I'm going to do that bitch,'' he told McVeigh.

The victim, who cannot be named, fought off the pair as they tried to bundle her into the van, which was angle-parked in front of the 22-year-old.

In her victim impact statement, the victim said she ''had an inkling'' something was wrong when the van went past and stopped.

''It was a testament to her bravery that she was able to fight you off until help arrived,'' Justice Graham Lang, who had watched CCTV footage of the attack, said.

After the offenders appeared in court, the victim told the Otago Daily Times she was pleased her attackers were off the street and they did not harm anyone else.

''It is the best outcome from a worst-case scenario.''

The victim admitted she ''did well'' to fight off the two men long enough until others came to her aid.

Her parents, who live in Christchurch, said they were ''insanely proud'' of her actions.

''And I haven't seen how kick-ass my daughter was in the [CCTV] video,'' her mother said.

''A month previous [to the incident], she was at home chopping wood and literally couldn't even physically lift up an axe.''

Earlier, the court had heard how the attack had impacted on her last year of study.

She failed an exam and struggled to return to Dunedin to visit her sister, who was studying.

She was determined to move on with her life, and had a final message to share.

''Hopefully, we can teach men in society that they shouldn't be doing this kind of thing, as it is not acceptable ... and they won't get away with it.''

Her father said the attack was not a reflection on the city, and noted both men were visitors to the city.

''I don't think it is a sad indictment on Dunedin as such - it is sad there are people like that around.''

The victim praised the ''very good'' work of Dunedin police.

Her mother said she hoped McVeigh - whose offer of restorative justice with her daughter was declined - would learn from the incident.

''For a young man, let's hope he can turn his life around.''

29 July, 2014

Self-defence in the News - No. 66

Having car door locked thwarts carjacker


"Carjack victim turns up at police station - told to ring 111"

By Kristin Edge, Hannah Norton


The woman drove straight to Whangarei Police Station, pictured, after an attempted carjacking but says she was told to ring 111 instead.

A woman who drove straight to Whangarei police station to report an attempted carjacking is appalled she was told by a constable to ring 111 to get a police officer to attend.

Police yesterday apologised to the woman, saying the officer was inexperienced and in the wrong. It was the second attempted carjacking in the city in less than a week.

The 21-year-old Whangarei woman, who did not want to be identified, was at the front counter of the Whangarei Police Station just after 12pm on Thursday when she was offered a landline to call police but opted to go outside and use her cellphone.

Only minutes before she had been in her car and stopped on Otaika Rd waiting to turn into Tarewa Rd when a man standing on the central traffic island tried to open her driver's door.

She described him as of Maori descent, aged in his late teens, of a stocky build, and dressed in a black hoodie with a blue T-shirt or collar.

"He yanked the door and looked at me," she said.

Fortunately her car door was locked and she was able to drive away.

"I went to the police station straight away and was told it would be faster to call 111 and they could dispatch a unit."

Acting Whangarei/Kaipara Area Commander Inspector Justin Rogers said the officer who served her had less than six months in the force, and had limited front counter experience.

"This is not the preferred response from police and he should have called 111 himself on the radio.
We have spoken to the officer about the matter," Inspector Rogers said.

Following the call to 111 a patrol car was dispatched immediately but, as more than 10 minutes had passed, the man could not be located, he said.

"Police would like to remind people that if a crime is in progress they should call 111 immediately. If you are in a car, you can call 111 from your cellphone."

The woman said she chose to go into the station rather than ring 111 as she was only three intersections away and was distressed after the incident and wasn't thinking completely clearly.

"They should have seen that I was distressed. I would have expected a better result," she said.

Meanwhile, police are investigating an incident at the BP Wylies Service Station on Maunu Rd last Monday where a man tried to get into a car parked on the forecourt.

A woman, who was in the passenger seat of the car, said while the driver had gone to pay for fuel a man came into the car and began searching for the keys in the ignition.

Police had not received a complaint regarding this incident, but due to the serious nature of the allegation contacted the service station and viewed the CCTV footage.

The footage shows a man in a hooded red jacket opening the door, reaching in and then taking off.

Anyone with information can contact Whangarei Police on 09 430 4500.

The Northern Advocate

18 July, 2014

Kung Fu Archive

I made these 20 photographs in May 2002 at Earle's Academy. The camera I used was my old Nikon FG 35mm manual focus SLR, with a standard 50mm lens. Thank you to my regular training partners of the time for allowing me to photograph them in the kwoon: Jacim T., Trevor J., Sean J., Ben G., and Chris M., all skilled wing chun men. And thanks also to Kevin.

Left to right: Ben, me (self-portrait), and Trevor. 

Ben (left) and Jacim. 






Jacim (signing in). 

Jacim (left) and Ben. 

Jacim (fook sau) and Trevor.



Left to right: Sean and Chris. 

Left to right: Maria and Sean. 

Foreground: Sean and Maria. Background: Trevor and Jacim. 

Left to right: Sean and Trevor. 



Left to right: Trevor and Jacim. 

Foreground: Trevor (left) and Sean. 
Background: me making the photograph, reflected in the mirror.

03 July, 2014

Self-defence in the News - No. 65

Teenage girl fights off attacker 



A teenager attacked in her Hawke's Bay home last night escaped with scratches and bruises after the man fled when she screamed and fought him off, police say.

The 16-year-old Napier girl had left the front door of her family home open for her parents when she arrived home around 11.30pm, as they were following her in a separate car.

The girl noticed someone come through the front door of their home on Logan Ave, Marewa, and reached for a phone when she saw it was not her parents, but a male intruder.

The man described as "part-Maori in his 30s", threw the teenager up against a wall, Detective Ross Alexander said.

She screamed and tried to fight him off, and the man fled just minutes before her parents arrived home.

The girl was shaken, and suffered scratches and bruising in the attack but was otherwise unhurt.

Nothing was taken from the house and there were no sexual overtones to the attack, Alexander said.

"We believe this may have been an opportunistic attack and is a timely reminder to everyone to keep their houses secure at night and be mindful of strangers in their neighbourhood.

"We are very keen to speak to anyone who saw a person acting suspiciously in the Logan Ave area last night. Someone may have seen this man walking along the street or perhaps in nearby streets," Alexander said.

The man was described as being of stocky build with short dark hair, and about 1.7m tall.

He was wearing a dark-coloured hoodie and pants, and fingerless gloves.

- Anyone with information about the man should contact Detective Alexander at Hawke's Bay police on 06 8310806, or information can be left anonymously on Crimestoppers 0800 555 111.

 - The Dominion Post

24 June, 2014

Fighting-staff training yesterday

Anthony & Instructor Chris - 1

Anthony & Instructor Chris - 2

Anthony & Instructor Chris - 3

Photographs by Casey

22 June, 2014

Self-defence in the News - No. 64

Shop owner wrestles gunman 




A dairy owner bravely wrestled a gun from a masked man who walked into his store and demanded cash and cigarettes.  

Police are looking for the would-be robber who fled empty-handed from Yaldhurst Discount Dairy, on Yaldhurst Rd, Christchurch, about 6.35pm, yesterday.

An air rifle was left at the scene. 

Detective Sergeant Hamish Wilson said the dairy owner initially complied with the gun-toting man's demands but took matters into his own hands when he realised it was not a high-powered rifle.

"When the robber has pointed the firearm over the counter the [owner] grabbed the barrel and wrestled it off him," Wilson said.

"Whilst the dairy owner was lucky on this occasion to escape without injury we would recommend that anyone in that situation comply with the demands of the robber and contact police as soon as possible."  

The alleged robber was described as a European, of medium build, 1.8m tall and wearing a grey jacket over the top of a black hoodie. His face was covered with a black cloth.

Anyone with information is asked to call Christchurch police on 03 363 7400 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

- The Press

05 June, 2014

The Way of the Wood

Fighting-staff training with Chris today...

Chris Holmes 

26 May, 2014

Today's class

Class today, Monday 26th, is cancelled.

See you Wednesday.

Self-defence in the News - No. 63

Woman hits attacker with saucepan


Stalker hit with saucepan, charged

May 23, 2014

A Sydney man has been charged over an assault in which he was repeatedly hit over the head with a saucepan by the woman he followed home.

Police say the 23-year-old followed a woman to her unit block in McMahons Point, on the city's north shore, on April 9 and grabbed her from behind.

But he ran off when his victim smacked him several times with a large pan she was carrying.

Police have linked the man to two other incidents earlier the same day, with one woman allegedly followed from Milsons Point Railway Station and another from the street into a building in North Sydney.

Police arrested the man at a home in Oxley Park, in Sydney's west, on Friday and later charged him with three counts of stalking. He was also charged with assault with intent to rob and trespass.

He was refused bail and is expected to appear at Parramatta Bail Court on Saturday.

24 May, 2014

Saturday training today...

Kung-fu men
Left to right: Pete, Hadrian, and Chris.
Photographer: Anthony

01 May, 2014

Self-defence in the News - No. 62

Intended victim fought back


Intruder stabbed in home invasion

Thu, 1 May 2014

by Brendan Manning


A man who broke into a rural Manawatu property demanding drugs left with a pair of scissors embedded in his stomach after his intended victim fought back, a local farmer said.

Police said the 45-year-old woman got up about 6.40am yesterday at her Opiki property to investigate a noise she thought might have been her partner returning from milking.

Instead, she was confronted by a man armed with a knife.

The owner of a number of farms in the area, including the property where the attack took place, Helen McAloon, said she and her husband Michael rushed to the victim's aid after receiving a call from her partner.

"He was milking the cows and he had to race home ... he just informed us that there'd been a home invasion and his partner was hurt.

"She was a little bit hurt and obviously very distressed.''

The two men broke in demanding drugs, Mrs McAloon said.

"She put up a bit of a fight and they took off.

"She just said that two guys had broken their way in. I think they must have gone through a back door. She said she [had] locked it, but some of those old houses, the locks aren't as good as they should be,'' Mrs McAloon said.

"She fended them off with a pair of scissors, they're still in their gut ... [Police] will be trying to comb the hospitals to see if someone came in.''

Mrs McAloon said it was the first time she had heard of drugs-related offending in the area, and the attack had shaken up the close-knit community.

Palmerston North Detective Sergeant David Thompson said the attack escalated when the woman couldn't comply with her attacker's demands.

"We understand that during this time he [the attacker] has received a wound to the stomach with scissors,'' he said.

Following the attack, the offenders fled in a vehicle and the injured woman barricaded herself in her room and called police.

The victim was being treated at Palmerston North Hospital for her injuries.

The offenders were still on the run. Police wanted to speak to anyone who saw a vehicle speeding and driving dangerously in the Opiki area between 6.50am and 7.15am.

The first offender is described as Maori, with a noticeable missing tooth. He was wearing dark clothing. The second man was described as Pakeha with blond hair.

Anyone with information was asked to contact Constable Nick Parlane on 06 215 4962. Alternatively information can be provided anonymously through Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

19 April, 2014

Easter training

Yes, training today (Saturday).

And yes, training Easter Monday as well.

Usual times.

28 March, 2014

Self-defence in the News - No. 61

Hero warden saves assault victim


Bay of Plenty Times

A Tauranga parking warden ran to the aid of an assault victim in ACC yesterday and held the offender until police arrived.

The parking warden, who wanted to be known only by his first name Peter, was patrolling past ACC on Grey Street when a woman ran out calling for help.

Peter entered the building and saw a man who was obviously out of control.

Peter said he helped an ACC staff member to restrain the offender and called police.

The man, who was accused of punching an ACC staff member and pushing computers and equipment off desks, was arrested.

Peter wanted to praise the actions of the staff member who, despite being assaulted, managed to get the offender into a headlock as Peter arrived to assist and helped to restrain his arms.

A third person then helped to restrain the man until police arrived. Peter said they had to hold the man for about 10 minutes.

All other ACC staff had retreated behind locked doors by the time police arrived.

20 March, 2014

The hand is the cutting edge of the mind. 

- Jacob Bronowski
The Ascent of Man (1973) 

13 March, 2014

Self-defence in the News - No. 60

Woman escapes attempted attack


Man sought over attempted attack at Auckland Botanic Gardens


Photo / NZ police

A woman escaped an attempted attack after being grabbed from behind while jogging through Auckland Botanic Gardens this morning, police say.

The 44-year-old was jogging through the park around 8.30am when she was grabbed by an unknown man who attempted to pull her off the path.

She managed to get away, and the man made off towards the east side of the gardens, near Katote Close.

He is described as being around 5"11 tall and of skinny build with dark skin, wearing a turquoise coloured hoodie and long black pants. He was wearing socks but no shoes.

Police advised people to avoid dark or isolated places while running or walking alone, and to keep cellphones close by. If possible stay within view of traffic or pedestrians.

Anyone who can identify the man, or who witnessed the incident, is asked to contact Counties Manukau crime squad on 09 261 1321 or anonymously contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

02 March, 2014

Self-defence in the News - No. 59

"He fought for his life."


Bible in US driver's pocket stops bullets

Wed Feb 26 2014 

 The Bible that a US bus driver kept in his pocket saved his life after it stopped two bullets from piercing his chest, stunned police say.


Rickey Wagoner (Ohio RTA)

"There was obviously some kind of intervention involved in this incident because he probably should not be here," Sergeant Michael Pauley of the Dayton, Ohio police told reporters on Tuesday.

Rickey Wagoner, 49, had stopped his bus to fix a problem in the early hours of Monday morning when he was approached by three teenagers in what appears to be gang-initiation attack, WCPO news reported.

"He heard one of the suspects say it was time to kill a polar bear to get into a club," Pauley said.

"He fought for his life."

Wagoner was shot twice in the chest but managed to stay standing and struggled to wrestle the gun away from his attackers.

"I had a book in my pocket," Wagoner told a police dispatcher in a call released to local media.

"At first I thought it went through. It just feels like I've been hit with a sledgehammer in the chest."

One of the teenagers slashed him in the arm with a knife while he fought for the gun, which went off during the struggle and shot him in the leg. But he managed to get both weapons away.

"I stabbed one in the leg with my pen," Wagoner said in the 911 call.

"He hollered and that's when they all ran."

Wagoner picked up the dropped gun and shot after the fleeing teens but told the dispatcher he didn't think he hit them.

© AFP 2014

12 February, 2014

This Saturday, 15 February...

All of the senior guys are away on other business,
so there will be no Saturday class this week.

So... Take a break, do the Form, and see you Monday.

09 February, 2014

Self-defence in the News - No. 58

Surfer punches shark in the face

Darren Mills


Bitten surfer punched shark 




A surfer being attacked by a shark in a Southland bay punched it in the face to free himself from its grip.

The 28-year-old man was on his board about 50m out from Porpoise Bay Beach, near Curio Bay, about 8.30 last night when the attack happened, police said.

Nick Smart was surfing about 100 metres away and witnessed the incident.

"He was sitting on his surfboard and the shark came up from nowhere and hit him.

"He struggled for a bit and then punched the shark and it let him go."

The man then made his own way to shore before being assisted by a doctor and a nurse, who just happened to be at the beach, Smart said.

They applied a tourniquet and gave him first aid and blankets while they waited for an ambulance to arrive.

The man was surprisingly calm throughout the entire ordeal, Smart said.

"He was totally coherent and talking.

"He was definitely in a bit of pain but he handled it really well.

"His partner was on the beach and she was right there as well so he had a lot of support."

The man's friends believed it to be a sevengill shark, although they couldn't be sure of that, and thought it was about two to three metres in length, Smart said.

An ambulance arrived about 40 minutes after the attack and transported the man to Southland Hospital, where he remained in a stable condition today.

The man was bitten three times from his thigh to his calf and there was "lots of blood", a police spokesman said.

The attack was a real shock to everyone in the Catlins area, Smart said.

"Mate, it's the first time there has ever been a shark attack in the Catlins and there has never been a shark attack in this bay.

"There's been so many dolphins in the bay over the last few days as well.

"I've spent thousands of hours in this shore break and the thought [of a shark attack] doesn't even cross my mind ... but it does now."

The attack would not put surfers off from returning to the water, with some already saying they were keen to get back out there, Smart said.

"There is no-one out there at the moment but there is people wanting to go out and there will be people out there later today."