Dear Mr. Stark,
I am a Staff Sergeant, currently working in Military Intelligence. I also design training programs and courses for entry level soldiers, Non-Commissioned, and Warrant Officers.
I utilized some of the material in the tape series to supplement the combative for my soldiers prior to my deployments. On more than one occasion the locking techniques came in useful during traffic control points, as was material from the throwing tapes. In short, things that I picked up from Mr. Shaw’s video series helped to guard the safety of my soldiers in combat and lead directly to one of them coming home alive! The way I see it, I sort of owe him a big thank you…
As for the ”coming home alive stories”, I’ll be happy to relate a couple of them.
While performing a vehicle search at a traffic control point in Ar-Ramadi, I had pulled a local out of his car (he resisted the idea of getting out). Although I was armed, I had holstered my M9 pistol and had a Maglite in my right hand. I didn’t notice that the man had a knife so when he slashed at me I responded with a stick parry that I learned from my HanFooWa training. It was a cross parry with the weapon to the opponent’s weapon and a checking the opponents weapon hand with your free hand. I turned the parry into a grab and pulled him into the outward strike with the flashlight. While he was stunned from the strike to the head, I shot under and performed Seoi Nage, which I picked up from the tape on throwing, and that ended the encounter very well.
Another time, we were clearing a building in Falluja (this would be in June or July of 2003-I forget the exact date), and one of my soldier’s peeled off to check a room. When he stepped inside he was surprised by an Iraqi rifle in his face, from his firing side. He was ordered to drop his weapon, which he did.
The Iraqi was making him walk backwards to stand against the wall. In avoidance of being executed, my soldier stepped offline of the weapon’s muzzle with an advancing open angle step and grabbed the weapon. He kicked him with a heel kick to the shin and (as the tapes recommend) then softened him up with a head butt (with his helmet) and took the guy down with Mr. Shaw’s version of Osoto Gari.
This particular soldier was one of my green belts and both the kick and the throw were incorporated into his training via the tape series. He even followed the guy to the ground with a “devastation enhancement”. Afterwards he told me that as he performed the throw, he remembered that segment on the tape and went with it.
There were numerous other examples of using the Reverse In-Bent Wrist Lock to control people at the traffic control points. I used the wrist rollovers quite a lot to control people that were resisting while we were zip-cuffing them. I even used the trick of slapping the sides when a subject placed his hands on a doorframe to keep from being taken out of a house. I picked up that one from one of the Slick Tricks and Wicked Moves volumes.
Hopefully the above related incidents explains why I’m such a fan. The way I see things is that both I and at least one of my soldiers probably wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for the information that I picked up from Mr. Shaw’s material.
At a minimum the information in the videos certainly made our jobs several orders of magnitude easier. On a more personal note, as an instructor, I have no doubts that the changes that I have made to my syllabus of including as much of the material from the video series as well as the time I spent in the Casper school have been nothing but positive. I am of the opinion that the information that I have incorporated has resulted in better trained, more well-rounded, and frankly higher performing and knowledgeable martial artists and soldiers.
I am not by nature effusive or overly congratulatory but when someone makes the impact on me and my students and soldiers the way that Mr. Shaw has, I feel obligated to take the opportunity to thank them and do whatever I can to repay them, in whatever small way, I am able. So, once again, if I can do anything to assist you in your project, continue to spread the word for you guys, post information, or just represent what you guys are doing in any positive way, I’ll be more than happy to do so. Just let me know.
Sgt.. M. Chapman: (5th degree Black Belt. Shotokan, Kobojitsu, Kendo, Boxing, Kenpo – 25 yrs. exp.)
Mr. Bill Shaw
You don’t know me but my name is Sean Kincaide. I am a soldier in the U. S. Army. I am also a student of Sensei Chapman. I deployed with him in Iraq in 2003. I am one of his black belts (green back then) and I am proud to say that I am the guy he told you the story about. We (Sensei’s students) “grew up” as martial artists learning Shotokan mixed with Kenpo, but the key ingredient in every class was Han Foo Wa , or Shaw’s Karate as Sensei referred to it. I know that he trained in a couple brick and mortar school with some of your black belts and if there is a video or an article that you wrote or filmed I think he has it. … I gotta say that I’m damn glad he did since I’d probably be dead if he hadn’t picked up that throw from your tapes and taught it to me. I could almost hear you as I performed the throw. Thank you.
Sensei sent me a set of the videos and I plan on starting to incorporate the material immediately into my combatives training with my soldiers. Thank you. I now understand why so much of what I was taught came from you. Sensei may not be a Han Foo Wa teacher, but I consider you to be part of my family tree now that I’ve seen the influence you had on my Sensei. Thank you for that, thank you for the tapes, and thank you helping build and preserve the arts for our generation. Sensei is always strict on paying respect to those that came before, and I’m glad I got the opportunity to do so with you.
I asked Sensei Mark to pass this along to you. Thank you again. I’ll be signing up for your website as will my students. We can’t wait for new stuff.
Sgt. Sean Kincaide