Functional JKD Hand Trapping For Self Defense and MMA

**Available via online streaming only. Physical DVDs in the works**

For sample videos, click on the YouTube graphic. You will have access to 4 clips. Click on the top right button to access a drop down menu of the clips. 

  • 76 videos
  • 5.5 hours of instruction
  • Over 2 hours of video breakdowns of trapping used in live sparring or fighting so you can see just what trapping looks like against a skillful, uncooperative opponent. 

Based on Bruce Lee’s Jeet Kune Do approach to sparring-based hand trapping. A “For The Street” empty hand program.

Download the sparring logs and testing requirements here.

You might be wondering, "Why should I invest in this Jeet Kune Do Hand Trapping For Self-Defense and MMA program? Why do I need functional hand trapping?” Very good question.When I bring up hand trapping to MMA fighters, I usually get responses like, “Hand Trapping? Isn’t that from the Wing Chun style in the Ip Man movies? Or what Bruce Lee used in Enter The Dragon? Or the techniques Brandon Lee (whom I trained at the Inosanto Academy) used in Rapid Fire?” Yes and no.The hand trapping that most people think of does come from self-defense arts of Wing Chun Kung Fu and Bruce Lee’s Jeet Kune Do. But what you see on the big screen is the cinematic version which requires a well-trained, cooperative partner or stunt man to make it work.But what about trapping in a real fight, especially against a skilled aggressor in a competition or self-defense situation? Can one really apply hand trapping against an MMA fighter? Or is it all just fantasy martial arts that don’t work in the real world? (We’ve all seen the videos of kung fu Masters being easily beaten by an amateur MMA fighter in China.) Let me assure you that trapping, when trained correctly, does not just work, but can give you a big advantage against a trained striker in a self-defense or sport environment. Let me explain.When I was nine years old I endured a horrible situation where I was abducted by an adult predator. This is where my obsession with self-defense started.I first began learning hand trapping in 1980 from Sifu Dan Inosanto and Sifu Richard Bustillo, both students of the great Bruce Lee. In fact, Inosanto was the one who Bruce Lee chose to take over the teaching duties at Lee’s Los Angeles Chinatown Jeet Kune Do school when Lee began doing movies. As the years passed, I became an instructor and Inosanto’s demonstration partner in class. (He taught 18 classes a week in Los Angeles and I was at every one of them.) I also accompanied him on US and international seminars and headed up the Inosanto Academy of Martial Arts demo team.I later spent many years training and traveling with Sifu Larry Hartsell, the man known as the most formidable fighter of all of Bruce Lee’s students. Trapping was an integral portion of his self-defense training.Decades later, after continuous study of many martial arts, movie appearances and choreography, magazine covers, coaching MMA and BJJ (Brazilian jiu-jitsu) world champions, and being inducted to the exclusive Black Belt Magazine Hall of Fame, I turned my attention back to Bruce Lee’s art of Jeet Kune Do. Although I used many JKD principles and techniques when I coached UFC and BJJ fighters, I hadn’t done a deep dive into Bruce Lee’s art in quite a while. Earning my black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu while training and coaching MMA at a very high-level required extreme concentration and focus. When I changed a portion of my focus back to Jeet Kune Do, I did so with new eyes earned through a great deal of fighting and sparring experience with world class athletes. This reexamination gave me an ever higher regard for the genius of Bruce Lee and his JKD. He was so far ahead of his time.While scrutinizing the trapping portion of JKD, I realized that, previously, I hadn’t fully grasped the importance of this area. I used it often when choreographing Hollywood movies, but I didn’t have much success applying trapping during sparring in my younger days, and I didn’t see anyone else applying hand trapping in fighting either. So I didn’t see it as practical in real fight conditions. That was a mistake.There is footage of Bruce Lee sparring (with Sifu Inosanto and Sifu Taky Kimura) in 1967 at Ed Parker’s International Karate Tournament in Long Beach, California. Not tournament style, but full contact with kicking and striking to all targets, plus throwing. It was Jun Fan JKD sparring. And guess what Lee used successfully in those brief sparring sessions? Yes, hand trapping. And very effectively.In 2016 I started on a mission to discover how I could apply hand trapping in vigorous sparring against skillful opponents. I applied my science background (I graduated in biology from USC) and methodically tested and retested the various types of hand trapping against a variety of uncooperative opponents in the boxing, kickboxing, and MMA environments. I assumed it was going to be a long, difficult process, but I was surprised at how quickly positive results appeared. The truth is, if you have developed enough striking skill to defend yourself and anticipate punches and kicks coming, adding the fight-specific hand trapping maneuvers is fairly simple. It takes some drilling of the individual elements to ingrain the techniques, then sparring time to get the timing. If you follow the training outlines provided with this course, I’m sure that you will gain this hand trapping advantage in a relatively short period of time. Just like my students have.During this experimentation process, longtime instructor Sifu Richard Bustillo, a Hawaiian born and raised boxer and student of Bruce Lee, visited Hawaii for a seminar. Chatting outside before the seminar started, I told him (with some surprise in my voice) that I had been applying trapping in the ring at the Palolo Boxing gym. Even compound trapping. He peered at me with a gleam in his eye and said with no surprise, “That’s cause you know how to fight!” Lesson learned.Hand trapping adds a completely unique facet to kickboxing, MMA, or self-defense. Instead of just blocks and strikes, trapping procedures allow us to remove barriers to our striking or momentarily keep the opponent from striking while we counter. This provides a significant advantage over someone who is not familiar with hand trapping.It has many practical uses for self-defense as well. Over the years, I’ve had many JKD trained bouncers tell me that they used trapping regularly to deal with unruly patrons.Trapping is also a great way to get to the clinch for control or takedowns. In a self-defense situation, it provides an excellent way to preemptively stop an attack before the irate aggressor unleashes. And trapping is absolutely essential for stifling a violent aggressor’s attempt at drawing a weapon. If you want to enjoy the benefits of hand trapping for self-defense, in sparring, or for combat sports such as MMA, boxing, or Thai boxing (Muay Thai), you need thorough training in trapping methods that work against truly resisting opponents, and you need to know how to practice those techniques to optimize your skill. This is what this program provides.The Functional JKD Hand Trapping For Self-Defense and MMA program is an extremely in-depth certification course on how to apply a variety of traps in various situations where hand trapping will give you a distinct advantage. You will use trapping as an additional facet of your kickboxing, MMA, or self-defense strategy. After practicing the various drills included in this program, you too will be able to apply trapping in sparring, self-defense, or combat sports competitions. I even added a short section on how you can use hand trapping in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. (It’s actually easy in BJJ.)All this may sound good, but we know that talk is cheap. That is why I’ve included over 2 hours of sparring clips where I break down hand trapping as it is applied in real time in live sparring or fighting. And it’s not just me doing the trapping. I have clips of my students here in Hawaii along with clips from students in Ohio, Illinois, Virginia, and Italy all successfully applying hand trapping in sparring. Even my wife Sarah (a JKD Unlimited instructor & BJJ For The Street black belt) makes a few appearances applying trapping in sparring.I put in a lot of extra time and effort to include sparring breakdowns so that you can see how it actually looks in fighting. Instead of just theoretical demonstration on a cooperative partner, you need to see what it actually looks like in order to better understand how you can apply the moves yourself. I even break down examples of hand trapping applied in boxing, kickboxing, and MMA competitions.One word of warning. There are a lot of people teaching what they refer to as “functional trapping”, but most teach methods that haven’t been pressure tested. These instructors often show techniques that only work because their trained partner is cooperating. Many of these instructors are sincere in their teaching, but sparring was never part of their training. They are merely passing on what they learned.In this day and age of constantly having a video camera handy on your phone, ask yourself why an instructor doesn’t show sparring footage of a technique if that technique is actually functional. If the instructor knows how to make the techniques work in sparring conditions, then they should be able to show the techniques in live sparring. (Unless they are older and no longer able to spar.) Unfortunately, much of the trapping that is taught as functional is actually the demonstration or cinematic side of the art.Then we have some instructors who resort to what I call “fake sparring” (I have a whole section on this in the program.) They move around with a partner to make their audience think they’re sparring, but it’s actually a choreographed routine. If you really know how to apply hand trapping in sparring, you don’t need to choreograph a fight scene in order to demonstrate the techniques. If you know how to do it, you can just get with a partner, turn on the video camera, and start sparring.None of the clips in this program were set up. They were extracted from actual sparring sessions where hand trapping was applied against a partner who didn’t want that trap to be applied; just like in a real fight. And with training, you will be able to able to apply these as well.Do you want to take your kickboxing, MMA, Jeet Kune Do, Muay Thai, Karate, Kenpo, Tae Kwon Do, boxing, or other self-defense striking art to a higher level? Do you want to be able to play a game that your opponent isn’t even aware of? Then I highly encourage you to get this program and up your level. I don’t hold anything back, and, as always, I simply tell the truth as I have experienced it through applying the scientific method to martial arts. Honest martial arts is what we’re after. Pressure testing is the way.For those who want to eventually teach my Functional JKD Hand Trapping For Self-Defense and MMA, I’ve also designed this program as an instructor certification course. It’s the same program, but you will log rounds of drilling and moderate intensity, safe sparring and then send in tests to be reviewed. You will eventually become a certified Functional JKD Hand Trapping For Self-Defense and MMA instructor, making you eligible to teach this program in your school, to fighters, or in workshops and seminars. That’s a great way to spread the method while supplementing your income. 

Download the sparring logs and testing requirements here.

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