Vunak Part 3



PFS: You have mentioned that you do not agree with everything that everyone says. Could you give us some examples?
What I would rather do is start out by telling you things I do agree with. Lets take our cousins, the Straight Blast Gym, for an example. I will list some of the main areas that the SBG has in common with PFS.

Full Contact Sparring
Jab, Cross, Hook, Uppercut, Overhand
Thai Boxing
Passing the guard
North-south position
Arm locking
Foot locks
leg locks
Head butts, knees, elbows
Full contact weapons sparring

As you can see, we do so many things similarall of the above techniques we both train full-contact; we are both heavily into sparring, both very heavily into groundfighting. One of the major dissimilarities between our respective curriculums is that SBG appears to have thrown out anything involving self-perfection drills.

PFS: What is your personal opinion of self-perfection drills?
I believe them to be the cornerstone of our training.

PFS: Could you please elaborate?
I have over 5,000 students worldwide. My clients include everyone from the hardest-core animals that you could ever imagine i.e. some of my military special forces all the way to the other end of the scale, including physically challenged children in my Adapt For Life program. I am not in the martial arts to just fight. That would be the Vunak in his 20s. As Dan has spoken so eloquently, we first must travel through the physical door, then the mental door, next the emotional door, and finally through the spiritual door. Not to sound corny, but to me, spirituality means being able to help a wide spectrum of peoplein every walk of life.
One of the toughest hurdles is for a martial art instructor to keep his students. The main reason students quit martial arts is the same reason they quit anything in life they get bored with it. After all, if you were having an incredible amount of fun doing something, you certainly wouldnt quit. I cant tell you how many times Ive had the incredibly fulfilling experience of going to a school that has been doing the same things day in and day out. I teach them a drill they have not seen before, and all of a sudden, the spark comes back! People, its a beautiful feeling to know that you have an enormous repertoire of training methods and knowledge to pull from.
I can assure all of you that all of these beautiful drills that have been passed down to us from Dan and Bruce have a place somewhere in our lives. When Im teaching my Navy SEALs, do any of you actually believe that I have these animals out there doing sumbrada or hubbud? Of course not. Nor would I do those kinds of drills if I were teaching NHB fighters. In these cases, our curriculum is simple: Rapid Assault Tactics. Full-contact boxing, kickboxing, stick and knife fighting. Brazilian Jiu-jitsu mixed with Kino Mutai. Thats it thats the entire curriculum.
If any of you could be a fly on the wall while Im teaching a military outfit to prepare for a combat mission, you would be a little surprised. Mr. Down to Earth, happy-go-lucky California boy Vunak is up in peoples faces, screaming, cussing, and yelling. With the SEALs I made a point of sparring everybody, all the time. Tempers would fly, testosterone was very thick, and for 8 hours a day we never stopped. I can assure you that there are not many people on the planet as conditioned or as prepared for combat as these guys.
This Navy SEAL curriculum, combined with an onslaught of Killer Instinct/emotional training I believe to be the best curriculum for the military. You may ask, if this is the best curriculum, why do anything else?
Well, before I answer this, I would like you to pause for a moment, take a deep breath, and empty your cup. I will now share with you an epiphany I had that changed my entire life. This is the main reason for any success that any of you may think that I have had.
We, as martial arts instructors, must be able to cater to as wide an audience as possible.
Everyone out there is not a bad-*** Navy SEAL, and everyone out there is not a 250 pound, 65 NHB fighternor do they particularly want to be. If you people want to be successful in your schools, I highly recommend that you take this point to heart. The advice Im giving you is not theory, it is fact.
Allow me to share with you just some of the people on my client list. We teach, for example, wellness programs to corporate America; one of our clients is IBM. When I drive to L.A., put on my suit and tie, and elevator up to the top of the skyscraper to teach 75 businessmen and women between the ages of 40 and 60, do you think these people want to glove up and kickbox, or hit the mats and grapple? This is when you will thank your Maker that you have an enormous repertoire of energy drills, self-perfection drills, reference point trapping, and basically everything that many people are proscribing so vehemently.
When Im working with most of our 46 police departments, do you think Im allowed to just have these guys going around head butting or boxing pedestrians? This is when I thank God for locking, Dumog, controls, come-alongs, etc.
When Im teaching womens self-defense (which constitutes 50% of the people on the planet) do you think that these women want to go toe-to-toe with men doing NHB stuff?
When Im teaching my annual doctors convention in Atlantic City do you think these people want to risk breaking their hands, or want to work pummeling and takedowns? Of course not this is when I pull out carrenza, numerada, sumbrada, etc.
When Im teaching disabled kids, some of whom are confined to a wheelchair, it takes every scrap of knowledge and imagination I have to tailor these self-perfection drills for them.
When I teach an anti-carjacking course, much of the battle takes place seated, fighting someone outside the window. This is when Wing Chun, centerline, and reference point trapping once again become relevant.
You see, I am at a stage in my life where certain things are extremely important to me. Because God has blessed me with a unique gift, I want to be able to give back; to be able to help people in all walks of life, not just teaching ***-kickers to kick *** better! To this very day, the single biggest high Ive ever gotten came from a kid named Lydell. He was a nine-year old boy who was confined to a wheelchair. He was so shy the day I met him, he wouldnt even look me in the eyes, and he absolutely did not want to practice martial arts. Roughly six months later, Lydell could slam you in the shins with his chairs footrest, abaniko you in the head with a stick, and knife you in the groin, all while wearing the biggest ****-eating grin you ever saw.
I hope this post helps all of you to see the big picture. I would ask all of you one favor: If youre ever browsing the forums and you see any topic that is in this interview, please refer people to my web site, as this is going to become a permanent fixture. (
In closing, I would like to leave you with a poem from Dan:

We are all climbing different paths through the mountain of life
And we have all experienced much hardship and strife.
There are many paths through the mountain of life
And some climbs can be felt like the point of a knife.
Some paths are short, and others are long;
Who can say which path is right or wrong?
The beauty of truth is that each path has its own song
And if you listen closely, you will find where you belong.
So climb your path true and strong
But respect all other truths, for your way for them could be wrong.
-Dan Inosanto


I hope you got much from this. I apologize for the three part business. I was in a hurry and thought about doing it this way first.
Thanks and be safe
You're welcome. Paul has meant a lot to me and my training and I thought it would be great for all interested in JKD to read. This site has some very evolved people posting here.
Originally posted by IFAJKD
You're welcome. Paul has meant a lot to me and my training and I thought it would be great for all interested in JKD to read.

I skimmed this when you first posted it but having just started JKD under one of Mr. Vunak's instructors I came back to read it again. I'm glad it was here.
sorry about how late this is. I'm back now. Glad you enjoyed it. Very important to understand some of what was written here.
IFAJKD: thanks for putting that up. Not a JKD man myself (yet?) but very interesting stuff. Certainly very useful in my understanding of JKD.

No Problem. Glad you liked it. Find a good JKDC Instructor. It's well worth it.

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