Podcast Episode 008: Interview with Dennis Dilday

In an effort to make up for the delay of the last episode, episode 008  is an extra long one. I interview Dennis Dilday, who is both an experienced chiropractor and Tai Chi Chuan practitioner.  We hadn’t talked in a long time, so this is us catching up and talking in detail about the art we practice, self-defense, health, injury prevention, body mechanics and much, much more. Enjoy!

Show notes:

1. Tai Chi Chuan

2. Miscellaneous topics:

3. Dennis Dilday online:

Thanks for listening!

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Webcast 001: Introduction and fundamental concepts

As promised a while ago, here’s the first webcast. You can watch it here below and I added some resources to the content guide underneath.

Some quick info about this:

  • Making this video takes me less time than writing down everything I said in it. As Ive been pretty busy lately, this is an alternative to writing for getting information out and answering questions.
  • I plan to make each episode 15-30min. so you can easily view it or listen to it during a commute or a lunch break.
  • I’ll do one or two webcasts each month.Topics will be whatever I have on my mind at the moment, interviews with interesting guests, other stuff.
  • If you want to ask me something for the Q&A part, leave a comment here below. No guarantees, but I’ll consider it.

That said, here’s the webcast:

Content guide:

1. Introduction

Some information about me, my background, martial arts and self-defense training, my professional background and so on.

Hong Kong Brawl

Loren .W. Christensen books and videos

Dan Docherty books


2. Fundamental concepts. 7min.

There are two fundamental concepts that influence my training, teaching and writing about martial arts and self-defense.

Marc MacYoung’s email list

Marc MacYoung books

Writing Excuses podcast

Brandon Sanderson books

Dan Wells books

Howard Tayler

Learn from the masters


3. Q & A. 24min, 55sec.

Question from Tom Colbert about the differences between martial arts, self-defense and combat sports.

From the Octagon to the street

Ground fighting against a knife attack

Boxing for self-defense


4. Get in touch. 28min, 45sec.

New book/video email notification list





How to get fast hands for martial arts

I wrote about some of my training a while ago and in the comments section, I received this reply:

Hi Wim!

Thank you for this Post that shows that sometimes Hard work beats natural Talent.

I have almost the same problems with Flexibility and Speed as you in my Martial Arts Training (Taekwondo).

Can I ask you what was or is your specific Training to get your Fast hands? Tubes? Lots of Push ups?

Greetings from Stuttgart Germany
Tino Carta


I think this is an interesting question so instead of writing a quick comment in reply to Tino, I made this “how-to” guide here so all of you can use it. There’s a lot of ground to cover so let’s get started.



What are fast hands?

Well, obviously that means you can move your hands quickly. Which is true enough but there’s more to it in my opinion, especially in the context of martial arts.

These are the goals I had in mind when I started training to get fast hands:

  1. Be able to move my hands with as much speed as possible.
  2. Be able to go from one technique to the next as fast as possible.
  3. Be able to do this with accuracy. 
  4. Be able to do this with power. 

Other people will have a different definition and that’s fine; this is what works for me and I think it covers the most important aspects for martial arts. But you are obviously free to do things differently if you have different needs.

Let’s take a look at each of those points in a bit more detail before I talk about the drills and exercises. [Read more…]

Renzo Gracie, Twitter and self-defense: a case study of what not to do, Part Two

I figured it wouldn’t take long… I just checked my mail and the haters are pouring in their bile after my “Renzo Gracie, Twitter and self-defense: a case study of what not to do” post.

For the benefit of the slow:

  • I did not insult Renzo, nor did I say MMA doesn’t work for the street (though you have to admit it is pretty ironic that a Gracie prefers boxing techniques when he’s attacked in the street over taking a guy down to grapple with him. :-))
  • What I said is that Renzo broke the law and was stupid in tweeting and doing interviews about it. The only thing that needs to happen for him to get arrested is those two guys filing a complaint or the DA deciding to prosecute him.
  • Both those options were made a very likely reality by Renzo’s own actions of spreading incriminating information. In a court of law, this is called “evidence” and it is used to put you in jail. Given the amount and the nature of the incriminating evidence he has given, I don’t see how he can avoid a guilty verdict if it goes to court. I could obviously be wrong, as I’m not a lawyer. But I’ve had lots of law enforcement professionals, police officers and Alain Burrese (who is both a lawyer and a self-defense expert) confirm that Renzo is potentially in big trouble.
  • What most haters are failing to understand: this incident isn’t about MMA. It’s about the law. According to my understanding of the law, Renzo Gracie was wrong on so many levels it’s just sad.
  • If you want to make it about something other than the law, you’re missing the point. If you refuse to accept that the law applies to everybody, even MMA champions, then you are sadly out of touch with reality.
  • And once and for all, I couldn’t care less about those two thugs. If they were in fact trying to rob Renzo, then I really don’t care if they got beat up for it. That’s their problem. What I wrote about was Renzo’s actions and his lack of judgement; those two thugs are irrelevant in that specific discussion.

The whole purpose of my blog post was to make two points:

  • Just because you are a MMA, muay Thai, whatever champion, doesn’t mean you understand self-defense. Combat sports and self-defense are different animals all together. Renzo just proved this for the whole world to see.
  • When you are involved in an incident like this: shut your mouth and get a lawyer. Don’t give the opposing side ammunition to put you in jail.

Anybody who fails to understand these points or wants to bring up something else in an effort to make Renzo into a hero for what he did, don’t bother sending it to me. I have a lot of respect for him as an athlete; the man is a legend in the Octagon. But in this incident, he was legally in the wrong. And he was stupid in announcing his actions to the world. That’s all there is to it.

Anything else you want to mention in his defense is not relevant to this incident. It may be relevant to other things, but not this incident. 

I hope I made myself sufficiently clear. If not, then I can only shake my head, walk away and tell you “That’s all I’ve got.”

Renzo Gracie, Twitter and self-defense: a case study of what not to do

Last night, Renzo Gracie was apparently involved in an attempted mugging. In and of itself, that’s not such a big deal; people get mugged all the time. What is special about this case is two things:

  • It’s Renzo Gracie, an MMA legend.
  • He posted live updates on his Twitter account before, during and after the whole thing.

As far as I can tell from Renzo’s account, here’s what happened:

  • He was in New York, walking to his car at night, when two guys follow him.
  • He spots them following him and confronts them.
  • He knocks one of those guys down with two punches and the other one runs. Renzo chases him for half a block.
  • Then Renzo goes back to the first guy and hits him a few more times.
  • Renzo gets his car and decides to go looking for the runner.
  • He spots him, drives a bit further to park his car and then ambushes the runner by jumping on his back and choking him out.
  • Then he punches the unconscious guy in the eyes to make sure he has two black eyes.
  • He repeats the process two more times: he chokes him out and punches him, speaking to the guy in between chokes to scare him.
  • He takes off and goes home.

I’ll get to the finer points of how stupid Renzo acted in a bit but first, here’s the whole twitter feed he posted about the mugging: [Read more…]