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Kelly Worden
Martial Arts Innovator Extraordinaire

By John Saylor


This past year I’ve been plagued by a nagging hip injury which has hampered my throwing skills considerably. Since these throws had taken most of my life to develop I was very depressed. But rather than do a swan dive off the top of my barn I resolved to find some skills I could improve on until my injury healed. This search led me to a very useful training device which I believe will help us greatly improve our fighting skills. But first let me tell you a bit about how I discovered this training tool and the gifted martial artist and instructor who devised it.

 

Over the past year or so I’d been studying several DVD’s by Mr. Kelly Worden who, although I’d hate to confine to a rigid category, I would describe as a Modern Arnis, Kali, Jeet Kune Do, Combatives/Self-Defense instructor. Whatever label you choose to put on him, he’s very good at what he does. Anyway, while browsing across his website I came across a new solo training tool devised by Mr. Worden which he dubbed “The Silent Fighter Training Partner.” The “Silent Fighter” looks something like a traditional Mook Jong (wooden dummy), but is padded, wall-mounted, and more versatile. Since I wanted to get more practice on hand and leg trapping, joint breaks, and related striking skills, this seemed like the answer I’d been searching for. And even better, these were skills I could work on without aggravating my hip injury.

 

Shortly after visiting Kelly Worden’s site I hobbled upstairs, got my credit card, and ordered the “Silent Fighter.”

As soon as it arrived I started practicing the techniques I’d seen on Kelly’s DVD’s, as well as the Systema skills I had learned over the years. This led to a correspondence with Kelly and he kindly invited me to his Springfield , Illinois summer of 2010 seminar as his guest. I made the 8 hour drive each way and was glad I did!

 

Shortly into his seminar it was obvious that attacking Kelly Worden would be like challenging a cross between a world-class Sushi chef and a Vegematic. His slice and dice skills with various bladed and impact weapons have been honed into lightning-fast reflexive actions through unbroken decades of continual training. He’s also a gifted teacher---animated, fun, and able to break things down so that every student, from the most talented to the complete novice, is able to practice and learn highly effective, real- world, self-defense skills.

 

In addition to teaching his Modern Arnis and other reality-based skills to civilians, Kelly Worden is also contracted to teach the Army Special Forces soldiers at Ft. Lewis , Washington near his home in Tacoma . This struck a chord with me since my son Dan, who just got back from Afghanistan , is now stationed at Ft. Lewis . Dan just signed up for another 4 years and hopes to do another tour (what’s wrong with him anyway?), and I’m hoping to hook him up with Mr.Worden for some training. Although there are no guarantees in hostile environments, I know that training with Kelly Worden will increase his odds of survival because it specifically addresses the needs of soldiers tasked with clearing buildings and other situations common to urban warfare. This specificity of training seems to be ignored by some who teach ground-fighting from the guard and other more sport-oriented skills and pass it off as combatives. In a combat situation, or even a skirmish at your local watering hole, for example, scooting around on your butt while fighting in the guard could get you killed. In either situation we have to assume the assailant is armed and that there will be more than one attacker. This is why Kelly addresses ground-fighting with an emphasis on getting back to your feet so that you can access all your weapons. This type of specificity is characteristic of Kelly Worden’s instruction, not just on the ground, but in all aspects of self-defense and combatives training.

 

To find out more about Kelly Worden be sure to visit his website at www.kellyworden.com. While you’re there be sure to read about his “Travel Wrench.” This is one of the best covert self-defense tools I’ve found. The Travel Wrench is inexpensive, legal to carry, and a very functional impact weapon. It will amp up your strikes by about 10! And you grapplers will love it because, unlike most other impact weapons, you can grab an opponent without losing hold of it since it loops around your index finger.  You’ll also want to pick up Kelly Worden’s Travel Wrench instructional DVD and booklet as well as his other excellent DVD’s.



John Saylor and Kelly Worden
Shingitai Director, John Saylor  with  DATU Kelly Worden
 

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