Iso-Defensives ( ID)
John McKean

Due to the level of excitement generated when I recently taught protective tactics to airline personnel around the country, many participants have expressed interest in continued self training despite having to work around a great deal of travel. As an instructor of WW2 hand-to-hand maneuvers, I've developed a perfect supplementary training system that not only teaches the important motor skills of these highly evolved hand strikes, but also offers a combined aerobic/anaerobic training system of the highest order. Based on the extensive, well-tested work of exercise pioneer Dr. Len Schwartz (author of the immensely popular HEAVYHANDS), this non-equipment method simultaneously develops strength, endurance, and flexibility in a simple 15-20 minute daily training regimen. For those so motivated, this mode of exercise solves all fitness needs without any requirement to ever visit a gym or perform outdoor activities within unfamiliar locales. Although nothing replaces actual striking, with its required snap and speed, on a spar mannequin, the "Iso-Defensives" workout aids greatly in developing proper balance, timing, and explosive power. Very importantly, regarding actual hand to hand tactics, our ISO procedures educates the TOTAL BODY to deliver maximum striking force through coordination of major muscle groups. Toward the delivery end, this high repetition exercise perfects ideal body, arm, and hand positioning. And, hopefully, during the time involved a trainee will practice the all-important VISUALIZATION of deploying the techniques during actual situations. Dr. Schwartz's revolutionary "moving isometric" system is very adaptable to the five hand strikes as taught in our ID airline & home security (very close quarters situations) program. One merely has to strike in perfect form with one hand while resisting with the other. Tension and speed can, and should, be varied. Of course, as taught in my seminars, a trainee must learn to thrust the entire body into each strike, generating from the hips and even pushing off the toes. All five movements should be performed in a stationary position and also while advancing. Let's now consider the performance mode of each strike. First is the "shot put jab." Starting at center of chest position as in the first photo, one hand checks the speed of the second while a slightly leaning back upper body rocks forward. The hand, in "tiger claw" configuration, propels forward, not fast-not slow, under a "moving isometric" form of pressure. None-the-less, try to always "jump start" your strike and let it terminate at full strength, only being stopped by the resisting hand. Do several with one hand, then switch, or alternate every strike between right and left. After some moves in-place, advance forward striking with the same hand as the foot advanced. Envision an attacker in front and take out his eyes, nose, and chin in one deft movement!
Next is the "thunder clap". Make a narrow looping swing (remember space limitations within an aircraft, office, or even a closet!) while providing hand resistance. As in the third and fourth photos turn the body in the direction of the swing, keeping the whole body in alignment. Shift the feet and generate power through the toe on the striking side. This move is best done while standing in place, alternately working from side to side. This is an excellent exercise for the waist, while you imagine popping an assailant's eardrum!!
The "front hand edge" advances with the forward thrust of one's upper body and resistance on the key area of the strike (remember any section of the entire forearm bone can hit-I like to place my resisting hand at the base of the throwing hand or even on the wrist area). Don't forget to begin with the striking hand in a "pledge" position on the chest (and keep the elbow up). This is a wonderful strike to move around a room or through the hallways of a house; I enjoy turning corners, quickly pivoting to face an imaginary bad guy and firing the "weighted hand" into that throat! Look down and keep the head under your chopping hand.
A vertical hand edge is resisted at its bottom. Start with the hand in tight and very near the ear with the elbow up and forward. Chop down and sink the legs to deliver maximum force, and to get good thigh exercise! Picture snapping his collarbone! A great total body exercise is the devastating forearm/elbow thrust (last photo). Resist near the center, but recall that the entire forearm bone is your weapon. Keep the upper arm/forearm in a rigid "L" position and deliver with a turn of the hips and power generating at the conclusion with the toe. On this blow the opposite foot is advanced in coordination with delivery. Another super maneuver to bounce around within a multi roomed dwelling! You'll feel, and develop, the upper lat muscles of the back, the sides, hips, and legs all coordinating for delivery of maximum power with this major blow. When this one lands, with your newly acquired strength, a potential mugger is history!



Don't hesitate to put several of the "Iso-Strikes" together to generate more excitement and your own measure of creativity. Remember, in actual use you never want to rely on just a single blow. Find ways, even in the slower Iso mode, to develop flow patterns with various combinations. Also, you can perform this exercise system practically anywhere, even while seated. Keep your mind active during Iso-Defensives, and these maneuvers will quickly become instinctual if ever they're needed! A word about "ownership." PLEASE develop your own Iso moves, based on need or simply your own instincts, as Dr. Schwartz and I do practically every day! Those in other branches of martial arts can quickly come up with effective, fitness-producing Iso applications dictated by their particular hand and foot movements, as can those who participate in almost any sport. Above all, I challenge you to THINK!!

"HAND" RULES (Mannequin & Enemy)
· Speed-snap strike (like cracking a towel)
· Relaxed power - hand should slightly "bounce" off target to deliver full energy and shocking impact
· Generate power from mid body (think hips!)
· Keep elbow up - hand edge and forearm blows
· Center other hand for follow up strike - launch from position without chambering
· Do not immediately withdraw striking hand - leave it where damage can be applied
· Eyes looking downward (watch enemy's hands) - do not target strikes
· Maintain close and closer distances - go in to your attack, never back away
· Tip of tongue on roof of mouth while striking
· Forward movement and sink legs on impact
· Visualize actual scenarios - train with intent, ruthlessness, and rage
· Pre-empt strikes - use verbal action trigger
· Practice often - strikes should become automatic
· Explode on the first strike, don't sacrifice power to get to the second
· Keep striking until a threat is completely nullified