paul vunak

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I found this video on Youtube, I think it’s Paul Vunak from his Jeet Kune Do instructional video series “Jeet Kune Do Concepts & Filipino Martial Arts” but unfortunately it’s uncredited. (If I’m wrong, someone correct me.) The quality isn’t great (it’s from the 1980s, before the invention of DVDs or streaming) which makes reading his chart all but impossible and it’s long (43 minutes). I don’t expect you to stick around for the full thing.

However, I hope you all stick it out through the first five minutes (at least) because he covers the concept of “ranges”. Ranges are based on the distance from the opponent when the body’s different weapons become useable. I identify them as “kicking, punching, grabbing, grappling”, Vunak identifies them as “kicking, boxing, grabbing, grappling”. Same difference. In the video he walks the viewer through each of the different stages and describes what they mean with visual examples.

When you know nothing about physical combat and even if you do, understanding these ranges will be useful for when you’re sitting down to write your fight scene and have difficulty visualizing how it works. It helps for getting a feel for exactly how close your characters are when they start and how quickly it’s going to progress as the space between the two combatants compresses.

One thing you’ll notice in the video is that Vunak doesn’t stay within the separate ranges as he performs his techniques. Each technique brings him closer and into a different range. This is part of why the Maxim of “all fights end up on the ground” is true. Kicking range brings you into punching range, punching range closes to grabbing, and grabbing transitions into grappling.

Basically it will help you get a handle on:

“How close does my character need to be for a kick?”

“How close do they need to be for a punch?”

“How close do they need to be for an elbow or a knee?”

This video will help you figure out those distinctions and avoid some of the more silly descriptions that end up plaguing author’s fight scenes.

-Michi

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and then the brain swells and death occurs so be extremely careful when you do this