The High Price of Free

Flawed teaching is like a disease, passed along from teacher to student—not dissimilar to how STDs are spread. This is why we entrust our teachers to provide us with clean instruction-- to hold themselves to the highest standard of academic acumen, practice and structured methodology, so that students don’t inherit the toxins of inadequacy. Sadly though, many teachers are unable to overcome the appeal of placing ego, applause and adulation over the realistic and humble assessment of one’s own skill.  In my experience, most people believe they are experts, they succumb to the need to be right, and they regurgitate everything they are taught. However, the self-proclaimed status of expertise is accompanied by an overwhelming impulse to introduce one’s own “style” and “design” to the traditional drill, and these nuances weaken and dilute the system.

Today I looked up 3 drills on YouTube, which were Hubud, Heaven 6 and Wooden Dummy. I was appalled at what I was viewing, and lamented that people just don’t know what they don’t know. I was watching a Hubud “expert” and I counted about 5 or 6 fatal flaws that would probably get you beaten up or perhaps killed if you performed like he did. Honestly, everyone is an absolute expert. This Hubud teacher was probably about 38 years old, and he had an impressive gym, however he was teaching utter nonsense. The Heaven 6 expert was about 30-35 years old and again his instruction was, from my perspective, all wrong. The last clip I saw was wooden dummy, and their channel had 300k plus subscribers. I was disgusted at what he was teaching, and this expert was about 30 years old. REALLY, that in itself is absurd.

I am poignantly aware that YouTube is a free and convenient medium of learning and entertainment, and this appeals to many students wishing to expand their training and prepare themselves for combat. But I implore you, dear reader, to constrict your YouTube viewing to cat videos and “epic fail” montages, as most of the content you receive is worth every cent it costs. There are no minimal qualifications for posted material—literally anyone can proclaim their adroit insight and start “instructing”. Don’t endanger and delude yourself into believing that the cheapest instruction is the best—I assure you it is not. Further, you will fight how you train. If you train broken methodologies, this will be reflected in your fighting. I sincerely hope that you never have to test what you learn on these channels, but again, we don’t train martial arts because we have a false sense of security. We train martial arts because we realistically face the likelihood that violent situations do emerge and we don’t want our safety to be left up to chance. If you are of this mindset, then do yourself a favor and find the most qualified instruction available, even if it costs you a few bucks.  

Please understand, it is not my intent to bring other martial artists down. I gain no pleasure from pointing the finger or highlighting flaws in others. However, I place the well-being of my students and followers above the ego preservation of counterfeit teachers. Particularly because I believe many students cannot see the errors in these teachings. After all, their demonstrations look cool, they seem convincing, and unless you actually test it in a real-life attack, the ways in which it falls apart will not readily reveal themselves. Unfortunately, by the time you have the chance to really see the cracks in the system, you may already be dead. Just like a boat that you test out for the first time in the middle of the ocean, you don’t see the holes until you are sinking under the waves.

Frankly, it angers me that anyone would masquerade themselves as an expert in a field wherein erroneous technique can lead to fatal outcomes. In my view, this is not any different than someone doing surgery with a 1-year certified nursing assistant-level training. You just don’t do it because it’s unethical and wrong. Unfortunately, the field of martial arts has no consumer protection, but fortunately, smart people take these things into consideration and healthy skepticism when making life and death decisions.  Please, do your homework and research before you train any martial arts system, online or otherwise. You will fight just like you train, so train the best methods and methodologies possible. If you are training a broken system from an underqualified teacher, by all means, stop, before you commit these ineffective movements to your muscle memory.

Our KI Fighting Concepts Online martial arts library is a lifetime compilation of my work in multiple systems, with 40 plus DVDs offering the highest quality training material. My wife, Miss Addy Hernandez, and I have 67 years of Martial arts training and 32 degrees of various Black Belt rankings. Our martial arts library has subscribers from dozens of countries all over the world, and I am deeply honored by the opportunity to reach students who have the integrity and perseverance to master the best systems. At only $9.95 per month, it’s as close to free as you can get, without the fatal flaws inherent in other instruction that is out there for the taking. Don’t march like a zombie toward the “free training” sign without stopping to consider what it might REALLY cost you.

To enroll the KI Fighting Concepts Online Library, please visit