Vortex Control Self Defense Principles

Auszug aus der Rohfassung von Sam Fury

The following principles are the core of Vortex Control Self-Defense. Without these the rest of the book is just a bunch of techniques which you can mimic. With these the rest of the book becomes just a few examples of how these principles can be applied, and which you can therefore replicate and/or use to create techniques customised to yourself. The Vortex Control Self-Defense Principles are all of equal importance and are presented here in alphabetical order.

Constant Barrage
In Vortex Control Self-Defense there is a constant barrage of slapping, twisting, pulling and pushing of your opponent.

This serves at least one (usually serveral if not all) of the following purposes:

  • It confuses and disorientates your opponent.
  • Often you move your opponent one way while striking from the opposite direction. This increases the force in your strike.
  • The movements in themselves bring a certain degree of discomfort and pain.
  • You place your opponent in the ideal position for the next move.

This also makes use of Newton's first law of motion which states that states that "An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force." In application to your movement it basically means that it is better for you to keep moving once you are in motion. It takes more energy to stop and then restart that it does to continue an existing motion. In addition, the continued motion will be faster and therefore more powerful than if you were to start from non-movement, i.e., inertia.

Grounding yourself means to be solid with the ground. It gives you stability and power. When you are grounded you have more stability and can generate more power into your attacks. Power from strikes comes up from the ground. This is a well-known concept in the world of martial arts.

It is well-demonstrated in the weight distribution drill. A simple exercise you can do to get the feeling of grounding is to pretend you are drilling your body into the ground. You can also use the act of grounding to increase damage, i.e., letting gravity do it's work. This is well-demonstrated in angulated stepping and the bomb-kick. To get the feeling using grounding in this manner lift both your legs off the ground without jumping. Just let gravity do its thing.

Body mechanics paired with physics plays a big part in the efficiency of Vortex Control Self-Defense.
By using parts of the body as fulcrums you can gain more leverage, apply locks, break limbs, etc.

One-Handed Fighting
Both arms are utilised in the demonstrations in this book but the whole style was developed so that most of them can be done one-handed. This will come in handing during a real situation if you are holding something you can not drop, e.g., a baby, or if your arm gets injured. Once you have a good grasp of the techniques you should train to do this. Just omit using your rear hand or lead hand depending on the technique.

Power Angles
This is another principle based on physics and body mechanics. There are certain angles that are the strongest. Your limbs should never be below 120deg or above 160deg. 120degrees is best for defense. Any smaller and your arm will easily collapse when pushed towards you. 160degrees is best for attack. Any larger and your arm can be easily pushed to the side. Being larger than 160degrees will also make it more susptable to being captured, e.g., placed in a lock.

As a general rule, keep your limb at 120degrees. When you strike extend it to 160degrees and then let your body push through. This combines power angles with grounding. Add in spring loading and aim for the spine and you have the ideal VortexControl Self-Defense strike. 

This is based on the centerline theory which is common in many martial arts, including Wing Chun.
The following is an excerpt from the book Basic Wing Chun Training which explains the center-line principle.

In vortex Control Self-Defense, instead of putting your offensive focus on your opponent's centerline as described above, focus on your his/her spine. Doing so makes the idea of striking through your target more intuative. Also, the spine can be affected by the many jerks, twists, etc. which are prevelant in VortexControl Self-Defense.

Spring Loading
Yet another principle based on the combination of body mechanics and physics is spring loading. Bruce Lee was also a big fan of this concept, although he used to make the comparison to a coiled snake. The basic premise is that your muscles can be pushed in like a spring. They are then released in strikes which increases speed and therefore power. Speed in strikes is not just how fast you reach the target. You must also be fast to recover. Recovery is to reload the spring which you can then send out again. In your arm your tricep is the spring forward and the bicep is the spring back. Using your two arms to alternate doing this allows you to make multiple strikes in very quick succession. Spring loading is also used in your legs. The groin kick is a clear demontration of this, but it is present in all movements. It is important to remember to remain relaxed. The spring is loaded and released, but never tensed so much that it slows you down.


Taking Space
Always crowd your opponent. Get in his/her space and claim it. Constantly push your opponent back and do not let up.

Take whatever your opponent gives you and use it to your advantage. Whichever way he/she applies pressure, flow with it. Redirect it if needed, but there is no need to directly oppose it. Another use of the thankyou principles is to always take something back, e.g., when retracting your limb from a strike grab your opponent's arm or nose-ring.

By using the motion of a vortex (like water going down a sinkhole) you can easily break through your opponent's defense. For example, if your opponent is pushing your hand in a certain direction you can use a vortex motion to move under and around it. This is actually the basis of the curve entry. Another way to use the vortex is if your opponent grabs your arm. A fast vortex motion will most likely free you from his/her grip while you counter-strike in the same motion. In most cases you will want to vortex towards your opponent's spine, i.e., towards his/her centerline to attack through. .

Warfare Stratedy
The stradegy for attack in Vortex Control Self-Defense mimics that of warfare.

1. Assess. First you must gather intelligence so you can make the right decision regarding your enemy. In warfare this is done through things like espionage. In self-defense it is better understood as "sizing-up" your opponent.

Within a few seconds of studying your enemy you can know any weaknesses (such as obvious injuries), sense fear (or lack there of), assess his/her ability (speed, strength, skill), etc.

You can also assess your surroundings such as possible escape routes, available weapons, etc.

2. Bombs. After assessment, should you feel that fighting is necessary and/or innevitable, you attack with bombs. The military uses planes and mortars. In VortexControl Self-Defense we have our own "bombs".

3. Infantry. Finally, once the bombs have done their job, the infantry is sent in. This translates to the use of entry techniques and the fighting formula.

The anology of water going over the edge of a waterfall is used often to explain how to perform certain movements used in the techniques.
The freefall of water is also akin to grounding. 

The principle of weaponising means to make as many movements attacks as possible, even if they are primarily defensive. Here are a couple of examples.

  • Instead of just placing your foot down after a kick, use it to stomp your opponent's knee or foot.
  • When defending against an incoming strike, don't just block it. Instead, block it in a way that hurts your opponent also, e.g., punch his arm (a stop-hit).
  • Your intention may be to apply a lock, on the way you can make various strikes.
  • On retraction of your limb after hitting your opponent, hit him/her again during the retraction.

Yin and Yang
The well-known Chinese Taoism concept of Yin and Yang is applied in VortexControl Self-Defense where Yin is "soft" and Yang is "hard". Soft does not equal weak, and it is the combination of soft and hard, fast and slow, light and heavy (grounded), etc. that will make your techniques work together. Here are some examples to demonstrate the use of Yin and Yang in context to VortexControl Self-Defense. These are just a few examples of a concept that applies to everything.

  • Tai Chi is very Yin (slow and soft) in practice and to the layman they may seem useless for combat, but if you speed the movements up to become Yang (hard and fast) they can be devastating.
  • In training it is useful to use more Yin and less Yang so as not to get hurt in practice.
  • When an opponent strikes you can recieve his/her attack using Yin, going with the flow of his/her motion. You may also defend against it using yang, attacking your opponent's limb as he/ahe strikes. A third option is to use a combination of Yin and Yang where you recieve the attack by flowing with it and then redirect the energy in a manner of Yang to coutner attack.
  • When using your hand to meet an attack, if your fingers face fowards it is considered Yin. If your fingers face up it will be Yang. When your fingers are up the hard boney part of your hand is exposed, but when your fingers are forward it is not.