Rayners Lane Taekwon-do Academy once again played host to pressure point guru Sensei Rick Clark on Monday, 22nd May.

The celebrated author and founder of the Ao Denkou Jitsu fighting system flew over from the States only a couple of weeks after a major heart operation, demonstrating his strong desire to live life to the full and undoubted indomitable spirit.

Students from the academy were joined by Karate practitioners and main examiner Mr. McCarthy (VI degree) in a three hour session that covered a wide variety of techniques including throws, locks and potentially lethal knock-out techniques which illustrated a mere fraction of Sensei Clark's extensive knowledge.

Trained in Ryukyu Kempo (8th Dan), Chung Do Kwan Taekwon-do (7th Dan), Ju-jitsu, Judo, Modern Arnis and Hapkido, Sensei Clark demonstrated how certain techniques contained in the patterns of a number of styles (even basic ones such as najunde bakat palmok makgi- low section outer forearm block) could be applied to real-life self-defence scenarios. Seminar attendees were also shown some potentially devastating applications involving pressure points.

Taking common aggressive postures (such as finger pointing, grabbing wrists and clothing) as a starting point, Sensei Clark took students through step-by-step examples of how they could counter an attacking threat. One move included two strikes to pressure points near the elbow joint and the leg followed by a lightning quick sweep and throw.

Other applications involved restraining an opponent through the use of wrist and finger manipulation which proved to be very painful when correctly executed, as students on the night could testify, especially those used by Sensei Clark as guinea pigs!!

Due to his currently fragile health, Sensei Clark could not teach for the whole session to he took a well-deserved break mid-way through the seminar. Sensei John Titchen stepped into the breach and shared a few techniques with the students, including an unorthodox "shoulder push" designed to take an aggressor by surprise before striking to end a confrontation.

The evening came to a close after Sensei Clark allowed students to execute (very lightly!!) some knock out techniques which were certainly eye-opening to those of us who had not come across them before and a useful reminder of the potentially lethal nature of martial arts.

A valuable and insightful seminar, I'm sure I speak for all instructors and students present on the night in thanking Sensei Clark for coming over to teach again, especially given his current medical condition.

Rick Clark Pressure Point Seminar
22nd May, 2006
by Marek Handzel