From: Tony Cecchine
Re: Learning true street self defense may mean ditching the grappling
You know, I am so extremely proud of the Lost Art of Hooking series. It truly revolutionized grappling and it displayed to the world the effectiveness of American Catch Wrestling beyond a shadow of a doubt. So many people have used my techniques (and many have stolen them as well, sadly) that it has literally touched every part of the civilized world.
The one thing that has always bothered me though, is that it has labelled me as a wrestler, a grappler, a submission specialist. All honorable titles, but I am and have always been, a bit more than that. I was a striker first and a street fighter in perpetuity. The LAOH only showed a small portion of what and who I am as a fighter. I was MMA (and more) before there was MMA.
I was immersed in a world of violence. Death, rape, beatings, knifings, shootings, even bombings, all of those things touched my life. It was sadly incredible. During the 70’s, Cleveland was a hot spot for violence. It was known as Bomb City USA. I was thrust into the heart of the ghetto. No suburban life for me. And I will tell you this, it left scars, both physical as well as mental. I cannot even begin to tell you what I (and my family and neighbors) went through. It’s too shocking. It brings up too many bad memories. Suffice to say, when it comes to street violence, I speak with authority. Big time authority. I’ll put my knowledge and experience up against anyone in the world. I wish at times I didn’t have the experience, but for what it’s worth, it stoked me. The horrible bullshit I went through fed me with a desire to survive.
Life In The Hood
For those of you who live in a bad neighborhood now or who have lived in one in the past, you know all too well the dangers and stresses that that environment can bring. It is especially concerning when you have no alternative to live elsewhere. Some people just don’t get that. They think if the neighborhood is so bad, why don’t you move? Those of us who have survived that environment know good and well why you sometimes cannot move. And for those who are lucky enough to get out, you still have to worry about those that you care about that are still stuck there.
In many ways it is truly an urban combat zone. PTSD happens to people who are considered civilians. There are plenty of neighborhoods in the world where it is a literal war zone. The enemy isn’t necessarily an occupied force. It is people who were born and raised in the same area where you live. You learn quickly that each and every day you wake up is a lucky day. The key to increasing your odds of survival is unparalleled knowledge and skill. You must possess that knowledge and skill to give yourself a fighting chance.
It would take a sociologist to explain all the reasons that crime exists. One of the main factors when I have been confronted with violence has never been to ask “why”, rather to ask, “what am I going to do about this”. And you have to ask yourself that question in the blink of an eye. You have to immediately change the roles and become the one who acts rather than the one who reacts. And when you make the commitment to act you better have the tools to give an Oscar-winning performance. Otherwise they will be reading about you in tomorrow’s paper or hearing the report on the local news. So I’ve never bothered with asking why. All I cared about was taking out the bad guy.
Enter the Training
I was lucky enough to have several men enter my life to teach me how to fight. Their background was in boxing, wrestling, and martial arts. Each and every one of them was extremely knowledgeable and quite concerned with my health and welfare as best they could be. Their skills that they transmitted to me paid off in spades. I worked diligently to become not only a great fighter, but a great survivor. I’ve known some good fighters that sadly didn’t survive. And the shocking revelation that I learned was that there is at times a difference between being a fighter and a survivor. Being a fighter is something you do. Being a survivor is something you are.
I’m More Than a Striker. I’m More Than a Wrestler.
I’m not one that cares too often for labels. It’s sometimes hard for me to explain to people what exactly it is that I teach. It’s more than boxing. It’s more than amateur wrestling. It’s more than Catch Wrestling. It’s more than MMA. And it’s more than martial arts. I don’t care what you call it. All I care about is that it enabled me to survive for more than 50 years.
Helping You Out
I sometimes cringe when I see techniques being taught to people and being marketed as self-defense. I realize that more often than not, the instructors have never been in a serious altercation. I don’t care how many trophies they racked up. The trophies are pretty much meaningless in a street fight. You can assess their experience without even having to talk to them. Just look at what they teach. And if you’ve ever been in the heat of battle, you should quickly see the ridiculousness of some of those techniques being shown.
I am here to tell you that learning to truly defend yourself, your friends, family, and other loved ones is not easy. You have to be in shape both physically as well as mentally. You have to know cutting-edge techniques. You have to be able to flip that switch and disassociate yourself from how you normally act and think. You have to become completely and utterly single-minded and focused on the task at hand.
I am here to teach you real techniques. Techniques that will take practice. But techniques that will save your life. It doesn’t matter how much I would charge to teach you these techniques. The price of your life is beyond any dollar amount.
Questions asked. Brutality Explained. Myths Debunked.
Let me ask you a few questions.
- Do you think you can defend yourself sufficiently?
- Do you think you can defend others if called upon?
- Do you think you can get into the mind of your attacker?
- Do you place yourself in high risk situations?
- Do you have a full grasp of the legal repercussions that may befell you in your community?
- Can you deal with both physical and mental pain and anguish?
You’ve heard the expression fight fire with fire I am sure. Sometimes that certainly needs to be done. But frankly, how many times have you seen or heard of firefighters actually resorting to using fire to put out another fire?
Cliches won’t help you survive a deadly encounter I’m afraid. Be extremely leery of those “experts” who keep regurgitating the same old tired and false “facts.” I’m here to to tell you that MUST have a plan to survive. You cannot count on getting “lucky” every time. You may have to be ruthless and destructive. You may have to issue pain unlike anything you thought you could possibly do. Your only alternative would be to end up being a slab in the county morgue. You may think you cannot live with the thought of becoming violent in order to survive an encounter, but I am here to tell you that if you don’t rise to occasion and use the proper tools (whatever the scenario would deem appropriate), you may not live at all!
The Snap, No Tap Series: An Important Backstory
When I was in negotiations with Paladin Press to film this series, I informed them that it was going to be revolutionary and utterly realistic. I talked often with one man that was involved with this project. His name is David Dubrow. I told Dave that I don’t just talk the talk, I walk the walk.
The project took a while to get off the ground because of scheduling. Paladin was quite busy. However, we settled on December 2008. I rounded up my crew and we waited anxiously for the day that we would fly to Boulder, Colorado and make Reality Streetfighting Video Instructional history.
I talk about always being prepared on the street. I talk about the enemy not giving a damn about how old you are, what kind of condition you are in, what sex you are, etc. I talk about having to rise to the occasion no matter what. And rising to the occasion to film this video series is exactly what I had to do. For in July 2008 I broke my hip. I did not tell Paladin Press. I continued to deal with my injury and wait for that plane trip from Chicago.
In November 2008, about a month before the shoot, I suffered another set of horrendous injuries. I ruptured my bicep tendon, tore my rotator cuff, tore my labrum, and broke my collarbone. Three days later, my dearest friend dies. Guess what? I went through with the video even though I was in great pain emotionally and physically, because like I told Dave from the very beginning, I walked the walk.
I showed on this video series that real fighting is as mental as it is physical. This, along with the Lost Art of Hooking, are my crowning achievements as far as video instructional education goes. I will stack the Snap, No Tap DVD series against any video series in the world.
This series comprises 7 Volumes on 12 DVDs (or MP4s) that last an astonishing 16 HOURS. There’s simply NO possible way I can convey all the material I cover on this web page. But I am here to give you SOME examples. Believe me, there is an amazing amount of material.
- Penetration Step
- Fireman’s carry
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Let me continue:
- Hand Fighting
- Takedown Defense
- The Brutal Sprawl (this isn’t amateur wrestling folks)
- Fundamentals of body control and body formation
- Fundamentals of proper punching
- Elbow Strikes
- Knee Strikes
- Defensive strike counter measure
Now if that’s all I showed on the Snap, No Tap Series it would garner a considerable fortune without question. But guess what? There’s even more:
- Head movement
- Standing Submissions
- The Quintessential Double Wristlock
- Figure 4 Choke
- Figure 4 Front Face Lock
- Standing Rear Naked Choke
- The Brutal Side Headlock
- The Crippling Full Nelson
- Escapes from the ground
- Arm Drag
- Head Lock neck breakers
- Stopper Toe Hold
It’s RIDICULOUS the amount of material on this series. PLUS! I have one DVD dedicated in part to real world Street Psychology. This isn’t Sigmund Freud or Dr. Phil stuff. This is what it’s like to deal with a psychotic. Remember this, you cannot rationalize with someone who is irrational. Traditional psycho therapy takes many, many sessions to PERHAPS make a difference in someone’s life. You have but mere SECONDS to deal with someone on the street.
Look, like I said before, I will stack this video series against any other in the world. When you get this series, you’re getting as good as it gets.
You want to know something funny? I didn’t even come close to putting all my knowledge on this video series. There simply isn’t enough time. But what I did in this video series is give you absolute fundamentals and techniques that you must master in order to have any chance of street survival. It is asinine to think that some little trick or disarm that you can learn in an afternoon is going to actually work against a crazed and violent assailant. Get with the program and realize that defending your life and the life of your loved ones is as serious as it gets. You need to invest the time and effort it takes to become a formidable adversary rather than a helpless victim.
I’m telling you that teaching people to survive street encounters is far more important to me than training champion fighters. And I have trained MANY champion fighters. I want you SAFE. To live another day.
P.S. No personal assistants were harmed in the making of this video.