Posts Tagged ‘Lloyd De Jongh’

The Quest for Combative Truth
Meeting with Lloyd De Jongh

Many years ago I started a quest for combative truth. As a lifelong martial artist I have always been in search of the Holy Grail of combatives. As you can imagine this quest has led me to many styles, systems, and people. At one point I was amassing a ridiculous number of techniques from various systems and going insane trying to categorize them into a neat system that I could teach. But each time I would look at my notes I would replace things with new techniques I had collected. This was extremely frustrating and a huge waste of time.

The good thing is my experience has helped me over the years to see past the smoke and mirrors. It has helped me get through the murky waters of technique collecting and useless BS. I recently made a huge decision to step back for a while and purse other worthwhile goals. After my meeting last night that decision has been derailed… the journey continues.

Before I go any further I know that there are those of you who are hobbyists that train for the social aspect and fitness martial arts offers. I also know there are those who are simply trying to make a buck and therefore don’t care if a technique works or not just as long as the check clears. I get that I really do. This article is for those of you who are looking for something more, your own combative truth. People like us train in back alleys, back yards, garages, and warehouses all over the world. I know you are out there and I believe I have found what we have been looking for.

A few years ago I mentioned a style of knife fighting called Piper Knife which originated in Cape Town South Africa. I did research and I found that a couple very prominent West Coast schools had trained and were integrating this new unorthodox system into their own. (I say unorthodox only because it is so completely different to anything EVER taught here in the States) a little while later I found a website and a Piper basics DVD was being offered from Erik Peterman who himself is a force to be reckoned with and is a wealth of information.  The video featured this guy who moved unlike any other person I have ever seen, his name is Lloyd De Jongh, number 2 Guardian in the Piper system.Cape Town

I thought I had pretty much seen it all, after 36 years in the fighting arts you may tend to think this. Well Lloyd De Jongh changed that for me. His movements were so rhythmic yet explosive and smooth, that I was first intimidated by what I was seeing. All I remember thinking was how awful, no no no, how terrifying and utterly painful it would be to be attacked by him. It was a complete sense of utter hopelessness. And this after 36 years and multiple black belts was all I could think. It was at that moment that I knew I needed to know this, I needed to understand it. My quest had found a new destination.

Ok let’s fast forward and get to the good stuff.

My experience meeting and training with Lloyd De Jongh

When I first met Lloyd it was like meeting anyone. He is down-to-earth, intelligent, and very personable. Being a world traveler like he is will do that to a guy. First impression, nice guy very unassuming and I felt comfortable talking to him.

When we began training he made contact very quickly that is something I like in training especially as a student. I want to respect the technique and the only way to do that is to feel it. He went into some of the history and culture that gave birth to this incredible style of fighting, he explained the various stick fighting tribes and other African based fighting systems that have been around for thousands of years. He explained Pipers beginnings and how it was developed from an ambush style criminals used to attack people.

His goal was to understand what it is these criminals were doing and to adapt it into a system of fighting that could be taught and shared to help good people from becoming victims. Understand Lloyd’s background is in American Kenpo Karate. But he saw a need to understand something that was completely different from the regimented basics and categorized techniques that are most of the martial arts styles being taught today, he needed a solution to combat this criminal fighting style.

As he began taking me from core principles to various concepts developed from this incredibly dynamic culture I immediately understood that I was getting an almost complete overview and introduction to this terrifying and explosive fighting style that Lloyd has adapted. When most of us think about Piper we think Knife, blade based fighting. The first 2 hours of training was empty hand, of course he would mention that it translated from knife to empty hand and back again. I was so amazed at the concepts I was learning for empty hand work that I didn’t even think about the knife.

Lloyd showed me how natural reaction played a part in this. There are schools of thought on how to break the freeze effect by using your natural physical response and I have always found it sound advice but I never saw a solid demonstration that I thought was logical, of course not until Lloyd demonstrated how he uses natural reaction. It was great to see that no matter what position he was in he was strong, and had a powerful base from which to launch an attack or fake a retreat. When we are told that our bodies are weapons there is no style in the world that illustrates this more than Lloyd’s version of Piper and how he teaches it.

I mentioned how deception plays a role, let me just say the experience was humbling to say the least. It was like watching slight-of-hand magic trick that always resulted in a strike to the head and one strike that had me seeing a few stars.

Me with Lloyd De Jongh

Me with Lloyd De Jongh

 

Whenever he would demonstrate a movement I didn’t know if he was coming or going, attacking or retreating. When he would attack I would have bet the farm on where he was about to strike or stab… let me say I would have lost the farm every freaking time. At times he appeared off-balance and for a split second I would begin to think “A ha this is my moment…” But as I said deception plays a big role. So many truths I thought I knew were dismantled in front of my eyes. He completely destroyed many styles I have learned over the years… I mean completely crushed them! I loved it.

This is something I need more of, I’m reawakened, obsessed with what Lloyd has to offer. This system he has is unlike anything you will ever see. And because we are trained the way we are here in the west you will have reservations about it at first, but once you hear what Lloyd has to say as he teaches it, it will make perfect sense and there is no argument. Understand too that this is a system that was developed to handle the criminal element in Cape Town South Africa. We need to evolve this to fit the threats we experience and have to deal with where we live that goes for anyone who learns this. It should evolve to fit the environment you are in.

Anytime I have been taught a style or system of fighting there is always 100% of the time a point at which I think “Ok I have to learn this stupid technique to get my certificate or to “Know” the system” I’m not the only one many of you have learned a technique and thought, “Has this guy ever been in a real fight before?” But you learn it anyway because there is something else to attain or you learn it because it will eventually unlock the secrets to the universe or simply out of respect. Well I couldn’t find any of those techniques with Lloyd. There was not one moment that I felt safe even in a friendly training environment or felt I had any advantage at all. Lloyd could be nearly 10 feet away and all I could think was “Crap this is gonna hurt.” Like I said earlier Lloyd De Jongh crushed many truths I thought I knew. At one point I had to release myself of the responsibility of trying to retain and remember everything he was teaching and just go back to enjoying this experience on my journey.

Please do me a personal favor check out Lloyd De Jongh hit him up on Face Book see what he has to offer. If it’s up to me those of you in the New England area will see much more of him in the coming future. Hit me up as well if this is something that is interesting to you. You will not regret this. Contact me let’s get a dialog going about this. If you are a school owner this will truly enhance your school. Open yourself up to infinite possibilities. Please share this article!

Mayhem Forward!

Sean Anderson
Mayhem Combatives