Blog: Martial Arts in San Diego and Worldwide

Self Defense Seminar for the UCSD Pi Beta Phi Sisterhood


On February 11, 2018 we held a special personal safety / self defense seminar for the UCSD Pi Beta Phi sisterhood in our San Diego martial arts training center in Carmel Valley.

What a fun and energetic group!

We covered many self protection topics, including the following:

  • Awareness, its importance for personal safety and how to develop it
  • Escape: how to escape from situations before they turn bad
  • De-escalation techniques (verbal and physical) and how to be assertive
  • Fighting: how to hit with good power, what to hit, and how to defend yourself on your feet as well as on the ground

Keep practicing!!!

Here are some excerpts from the seminar:

Iain Abernethy Karate Seminar in San Diego

iain-abernethy karate instructor

A special treat is coming up in December 2017, when world-renown karate instructor Iain Abernethy will be in San Diego.

Sensei Abernethy has been instrumental in the practical karate revolution of the last two decades. A life-long martial artists who has trained since a young age, Sensei Abernethy’s knowledge of applied karate and karate kata applications (bunkai) are well known worldwide. He is a prolific author of books and articles, with the former including, Bunkai-Jutsu: The Practical Application of Karate Kata, Karate’s Grappling Methods, Throws for Strikers: The Forgotten Throws of Karate, Boxing and Taekwondo, and Mental Strength: Condition Your Mind, Achieve Your Goals. Sensei Abernethy also produced many DVDs and YouTube videos. His podcast, Iain Abernethy — The Practical Application of Karate,  is one of the most popular karate and martial arts podcasts in the world. For more information about Iain Abernethy, see here. Read more ›

Knee Pain in Martial Arts: Causes and Remedies


It is an unfortunate fact that many martial artists suffer from knee pain. In this article, we will discuss a common source of knee pain common to practitioners of karate and other martial arts. We explain conditions that create and exacerbate such pain, how to identify those conditions, and how to remedy them.

Knee Pain and Joint Alignment

Joint pain can be very frustrating. Many suffering martial artists want to train, but chronic knee pain holds them back.

If your knees hurt during or after training, there is a good chance you may be exacerbating the condition by placing your knees in improper alignment. Martial artists of all experiences can fall into patterns of movement that are unhealthy for their joints. Repeating such movements can lead to injury over time.

There are two items of good news. First, movement patterns can be improved. Second, improved movement patters not only help prevent injury, they also increase your striking power and fighting abilities.

The knee is often the body joint that starts hurting first. This is because the knee joint is located in between two very mobile joints: the hip (above), and the ankle (below). Let’s look at our anatomy and understand what “joint alignment” truly means. Read more ›

Kokusai Butokukai Summer Camp 2017 at ZBBK

zbbk zen bei butoku kai

The annual  International Kokusai Butokukai Summer Camp will take place July 30 to August 5, 2017.

This year’s camp is hosted by the Zen Bei Butoku Kia (ZBBK) at their excellent facilities in Santa Cruz, California, USA.

The camp includes intense training in Karate, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Kobudo, Aiki-Jitsu, Tai-Chi and Qigong, as well as lectures.

Of course, there will be plenty of time for socializing with fellow martial artist and making new friends. Read more ›

Self-Defense Combat Inside a Car, Bus, Train or Airplane


For self-defense, awareness, escape and de-escalation strategies take precedent over fighting. When we are aware, we can identify problems before they turn into a situation requiring employment of physical skills.

Still, as we train our practical karate, it is useful and fun to practice physical self-defense skills in different environments. We present some fun exercises and ideas for developing combat skills inside a car. Similar concepts apply in physical self-defense in other vehicles such as trains, buses, and aircraft. We routines use those in our San Diego practical karate dojo.

Read more ›

Practical Karate: Learning to Hit Hard


Developing the ability to hit hard, reliably, and in a variety of situations, is a key practical karate skill. Being able to generate good power and hit hard is very useful in self-defense as well as in combative sports.

Simply said, the only way to learn to hit hard is to practice it. Therefore, impact training should be a key component in any practical karate program. “Air punching,” as is typically used during basics/kihon in most karate programs is invaluable in learning proper movement pattern and precision. However, air punching/kicking, etc. alone will not teach martial arts power generation. Read more ›

Happy Holidays 2016


Happy and healthy holiday season for all, from Full Potential Martial Arts in San Diego!!!

Here is a martial-arts/karate themed Happy Holidays card I designed.  Can you recognize the techniques in the artwork?

(Answers below) Read more ›

Bruce Lee, The Tao of Gung Fu


It is safe to say that, in popular culture, there is no martial artist more famous than Bruce Lee. Named “one of the most influential people of the 20th Century” by Time Magazine, Bruce Lee is an iconic figure throughout the world, representing both martial arts and Chinese culture.

A recently re-released book, Bruce Lee, The Tao of Gung Fu: Commentaries on the Chinese Martial Arts, offers views into the formative thoughts of the legend that is Bruce Lee. Although published after Bruce Lee’s premature death, the book was mostly written by Bruce Lee (with edits by writer John Little). In fact, Bruce Lee, The Tao of Gung Fu, is the only book that Bruce Lee ever authored (more about this below).

Bruce Lee, The Tao of Gung Fu makes an interesting read not only from a martial arts perspective, but also historically, culturally, and philosophically. Although the book refers to “Chinese Martial Arts,” the writings are equally relevant to other martial arts. Truth is truth, regardless of style or origin of the art.

A word of caution: although the book does touch on Kung Fu techniques, it should not be viewed as a martial arts instruction manual.

On a personal note, Bruce Lee played an important role in my martial arts career. Through his movies – in particular, Enter the Dragon –  I became interested in the martial arts. This led my parents to enroll me in judo at a young age (I started training in karate later). Read more ›

Escaping from the Top Hold


A top hold can occur in a self defense situation. For example, it is common for untrained people who are thrown to the ground (or stumble during a fight) to attempt to escape on their hands and knees. This allows the assailant to establish a top grab. Read more ›

Carmel Valley / San Diego Dojo Anniversary Training, 2016


Some video notes from the celebrating another anniversary for the Full Potential Martial Arts dojo in Carmel Valley / San Diego.

It is hard to believe that it has been five years since we moved to “92130”!

It was a great pleasure to train with students and friends. Special thanks to Sensei Paul Billimoria, Sensei Andy Prouty and Sensei Sandy Pappas for sharing your knowledge of karate and traditional martial arts!

See you at training!