On Saturday October 21 and Sunday October 22, my school, with the assistance of the U.C. Davis Hapkido Club, will be hosting a vital point striking seminar with Prof. Rick Clark.
This will be the second time that I’ve hosted Prof. Clark for a seminar in the Bay Area, and the first time, I believe, he has ever taught in the Sacramento area. In my opinion, out of the handful of instructors who travel around the world teaching the art vital point striking, Prof. Clark is one of the very best.
While Prof. Clark’s comprehensive and technical knowledge on the topic of vital point striking is unquestionable, it is his practical, no-nonsense,
non-esoteric approach to teaching the material I really respect. Unlike many vital point practitioners who explain the art by comparing/contrasting vital point striking to the Chinese medical practice of acupuncture, or the relation between vital points and internal energy such as chi, Prof. Clark simply shows the practical application of vital point striking techniques.
Of course to categorize his seminars as just “vital point-striking” wouldn’t be accurate. He teaches so much more. Clearly, Prof. Clark does teach specific points of the body to strike, many which can cause tremendous pain. However, he does not stop there. Prof. Clark also teaches joint manipulations, takedowns, groundwork (grappling), and pins—all of which, of course, focus on using proper anatomical weaknesses of the body.
By teaching the various forms of vital point striking—pressure points (nerve plexus), blood-gate, and joint manipulations—Prof. Clark’s system compliments any style of martial arts. Many of the techniques he teaches can be found within the forms practiced in the arts of Tae Kwon Do, Jujutsu, Karate, and Kung Fu.
However, while the techniques may be the same, Prof. Clark teaches them on a deeper level, a level many practitioners are never exposed to. He teaches a level of adeptness which, when learned properly, often makes these techniques of self-defense more effective, efficient, and easier to utilize in the real world.
As a vital point instructor myself, I have heard the controversy over whether vital points work or not, especially in reference to death strikes and “delayed death strikes.” I’ll be the first to say there is a lot of misinformation and misunderstanding in regards to these topics. The same can be said for no-touch knockouts.
Nevertheless, vital points do exist, and they are effective. The problem is most people never learn to use them properly in a systematic manner. Just poking someone in a specific place isn’t going to work.
In addition one must learn the proper methodology of attacking specific points, especially when it comes to applying them on a person who is attacking at full speed.
No one seminar can teach a person to fully utilize vital point striking, but attending a seminar such as the one taught by Prof. Clark can start one on the road to examining the potential of the techniques they already know. Clearly, Prof. Clark’s seminars are designed to expose one to the original intent inherent in the old fighting methods.
My martial art philosophy is that THERE ARE NO SECRETS, there is just information one hasn’t been told, been exposed to, or discovered yet. No one teacher, no matter who they are, what rank they hold, or how many systems they have studied, has all the answers. Those who wish to discover the deeper meanings within the martial arts, the true essence of what martial arts were intended to be will eventually seek out this information.
For those on the path of searching for these deeper meanings, and the old life-protection skills often overlooked or lost in many systems, now you have the opportunity to train with someone who will openly share this information.
I truly believe anyone attending Prof. Clark’s seminar will gain valuable insights into the nature of traditional martial arts, and leave with a renewed desire to search for even deeper understanding of the arts they practice.
Of course my students, and fellow martial artists who know me not only come for the valuable information, but also to witness Prof. Clark demonstrate his techniques on me. OUCH!! I hate finger locks.
For biographical information of Prof. Clark, or information on Ao Denkou Jutsu go to www.ao-denkou-kai.org/