Class Notes – October 2, 2012

David D. ran class while I was stuck in Newark, NJ. As usual, he provided very interesting and detailed notes afterward …

Instructor: David D.
Attendance: Bryant, Dan K., Asim, Brian, Alex, and Rob.


Tuesday we explored fighting strategies that offered approaches for target acquisition. Two concepts were explored to achieve the objective of hitting the target; they were sleight of hand and hubud.

Sleight of hand is a strategy borrowed from magicians to get inside an individual’s ability to manage their attention. Once the individual’s attention is diverted they become a psychologically and physically disarmed target. Hubud (ways to tie and untie) in the Filipino martial arts is known to enhance one’s reflects to enter and divert forward pressure, such as a jab. The hubud strategy can when removed from the pattern effectively help one parry and get to the outside of an unorthodox fighter’s (southpaw) jab, thus restricting their movement. We will look at the motion behind these two strategies as ways to meet our fight objectives.


  • Attention management explains ways to manage one’s ability to stay focus during a situation.
  • Cognitive illusion is the clinical term for misdirection.
  • Palming to conceal or cloak the deployment and positioning of the blade in a palm down position with body movements making it difficult to track by the receiver.
  • Reference points describe any momentary entry point of contact when bridging an attack.
  • Situation awareness is the ability to ask critical questions that raises the receiver’s level of awareness to urgent issues, in this case weapon deployment.

Purpose: The purpose of the lesson module is to track awareness and perceptions of blade deployment and extract principles from fight strategies for target acquisition.

Goal: Explore cognitive illusion concepts (loading, misdirection, attention management, and appearance) that most effectively divert attention or exploit the shortcomings of the receiver’s vision and awareness. For instance, breaking eye-contact and positioning one’s body to the receiver’s blind side allows you to enter their space.

Objectives: In a slow to moderate pace scenario (1) increase awareness of situational issues in social gathering (2) encourage feeders and receivers to be vigilant about preserving their space, (3) utilize misdirection to divert the receiver’s attention away from an unseen action using a palm down technique called palming, (4) apply hubud to decrease response bias and maximize response rate.

Training Method: Incorporate the seven principles of cognitive illusion used by magicians Penn & Teller (Wikipedia, 2012). Discover and explore how the seven principles enhance tactical decisions.

1. Palm – To hold an object in an apparently empty hand.

2. Switch – To secretly exchange one object for another.

3. Ditch – To secretly dispose of an unneeded object.

4. Steal – To secretly obtain a needed object.

5. Load – To secretly move an object to where it is needed.

6. Simulation – To give the impression that something has happened that has not.

7. Misdirection – To lead attention away from a secret move.

Explore the hubud pattern from the orthodox and unorthodox boxing stance.

Materials: Small training folders. (See video Penn and Teller Explain Sleight of Hand http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oXGr76CfoCs)

Demonstration of scenario:

You are working in a bar as a cooler when you notice some pissed off 6’ 3” drunken football player yelling profanities at a rival team fan — it’s difficult to make snap decisions because your view of their bodies are obstructed by other patrons. As it appears the rage de-escalates, as the feeder turns and walks away he stabs the receiver who abruptly collapses on the floor from a stab womb. The witnesses reported they heard the feeder say he was getting a beer. What was the feeder’s rational thinking? How did he use simulate, misdirection, and loading to acquire his target?

Activity: Re-enact the Scenario

Activities were designed to help the receiver to make better observations and informed decision. Create diversion based on the demonstration (loading, misdirection, attention management, and appearance) that most effectively divert attention or exploit the shortcomings of the receiver’s vision and awareness.

1. Turn away from the receiver while placing hand on wallet slowly deploy blade from your carrying system. As you are turning towards bar deploy blade and strike the receiver in a non-specific target in the abdominal area (15min).

2. Face the target in a submissive stance with hand on the hips elbows pointing out, slowly deploy the blade and palm it from the rear carrying system. Allow the blade to rest against the width of your forearm and then place the blade palm down resting on the receiver’s back and gradually on the receivers left shoulder (15 min).

3. Position yourself by standing next to the left of the receiver, place your right hand on his left shoulder and move your left hand in an arcing motion in front of his eyes. Observe the receiver’s captivation because of the noise environment need to hear you, then walk the receiver one step forward while talking and with the left hand torque his neck to the left onto your chest, with the right hand pushing his shoulder forward exposing his right carotid artery. With the body locked against the left side of your body, deploy your blade insert to the kidney (15 min).

Hubud activity:

  • Identify and explore from hubud reference points for entry to acquire targets vitals. Run the hubud pattern from orthodox 45 degree angle, horizontal side-to-side, and unorthodox 45 degree angles (20 min).
  • Extract from the pattern way to use hubud to get outside/behind an unorthodox fighter’s (southpaw) jab and apply free-flow (15 min).


    What are some basic signs to consider:

  • Was the technique physically impossible?
  • Was the method appropriate to achieve the objective of target acquisition? (Appropriateness: Does the technique takes into consideration any risk objectives represented in accessing your target without making judgments about its value?)
  • How long did it take for you to seek an advantage or an opening?
  • Where were your reference points?
  • Did you follow a series of reference points?
  • How difficult was it to diffuse the target defense?
  • How long did it take for you to get your hand and feet into position?
  • What is the strategic advantage of the position?
  • What is the environment like?
  • How long did it take for you to capitalize when the opportunity presented itself?


  • Think about what you would be witnessing while in a fight.
  • What principles from this activity were you able to extract from this lesson to improve your decision making? (Hint, your answer is your principles)
  • What should you be concerned about?
  • How should you keep someone from entering reaction gap (your sphere of influence)?
  • How accurate was your assessment of the movement?
  • How has this activity help you avoid the danger of a comprise reaction gap?
  • How has this activity closed gaps in your perception?
  • Where is my escape route?
  • What might you hear and see?
  • What might happen?
  • What is the strategic advantage of the position?
  • What is the environment like?
  • Does environment make perception of movement harder or easier?
  • How was the knife cloaked and deployed?
  • Does the technique make targeting easier or harder?


  • Appropriateness: Does the educational activity takes into consideration all the educational objectives represented in education without making judgments about their value, and or appropriateness?
  • Acceptability: Is the educational activity accepted by trainees?
  • Feasibility: Is the educational activity capable of growth by a regular progressive series of changes into a more complex unit?
  • Interpretability: Does the educational activity have the ability to interpret various types of fight data?
  • Precision: Is conclusions accurate according to educational activity standards?
  • Reliability: Is it systematic utilized in scientific method to uncover patterns?
  • Validity: Is it reliable and accurate for interpreting assessments?


  • Magichacker929 (Producer). (2008). Penn and Teller explain sleight of hand. Retrieved from
  • Wikipedia. (2012). Sleight of hand. [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/



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