Kuntao Silat Kali Hawaii


Articles By Instructor

The Misnomer of the Term :

Self Defense



Self Defense is often referred to inaccurately as the physical event of fighting your way out of a criminal attack on your person. This is NOT Self Defense, this is fighting. Self Defense is the actions you took/take to not be involved in a physical confrontation.

Criminals who prey on others have certain things they look for in their victims. Knowing these things will significantly bring the odds down that you will not be chosen as one.




Most have a daily routine, going to school, work, gym, jogging, driving the kids to school, etc. etc. A criminal bent on making you his victim will study this and use your routine to get the jump on you.

Every once in a while, change up your times, your driving routes, your jogging path, gym time. This makes you a harder target.




As we go through life’s appointments, events, timetables, work, we are always thinking ahead. Did I remember this ? Did I do that ? Will I be on time ? These pressures take our attention somewhere else as we go to the next location we need to be.

The criminal searches for those who are not fully in the present. This gives them the element of surprise when they pop into your life, giving them the advantage. Take this away from them by being aware of your surroundings, and who is in them.



Unfortunately, as our lives become more complex, our spare time gets taken up and health & fitness issues take a back seat. A criminal looks for those who are weak, timid around others, unsure of themselves, or have physical problems.

One should carry themselves proud & confident and try to maintain a semblance of basic fitness. Just walking strong, aware, & confident says to the criminal, this is not an easy mark.


Most people know & understand the term “ the bad part of town “ and where that is & how to avoid it. Your location can lend itself to the advantage of the criminal element if you are not aware of where you are, or where you’re going.

If you are out of town, travel with people who know the area. Victims are usually chosen because they are alone, outnumbered in a strange place, in the dark, isolated so not to be able to cry for help.

Walking down a dark alley where you see several strangers, seated on a car, smoking cigarettes, is not a great place to go.

Parking your car during daylight hours knowing that there is no lighting for your return in the night, is not a good idea.

Instances such as these is where your awareness needs to kick in.




This is a state of mind needed, in this day & age, as dangers grow for the individual. A bad economy, high population count, homelessness, unemployment, drug and alcohol use, poor police numbers are all factors contributing to the uptick in violent crime.

Taking into account the previous four subjects, one should have a checklist they use whenever going somewhere. Using all five of your senses to locate & observe problems forming around you, your location, and where you’re moving to.


If keeping out of conflict is as easy as stepping off the sidewalk, or crossing the street, why would we not do that ?


Quickly assessing each location we frequent with a detective’s :

Who, What, Where, When Why, & How while leaving our senses open to input, we allow ourselves to be aware of all issues which could develop into a problem.




Leaving an area in which you see problems developing is one of the wisest choices in a self defense strategy. If your self defense protocol was in good working order you would never gone there.

One of my first lessons in martial arts class : the very wise teacher asked the class ………… “What is the best form of “self defense” ? No one spoke.


He ran out of the classroom and said, “ Don’t be there “

Instructor Dana J. Mattos







Major Principles of

Unarmed Combat

Outside the arena of sporting events there is a zone of contact, in which we as aware individuals, know that criminal elements select & search for, to gain the edge over their victim. When it comes to the confrontation we have to agree that the first rule is, “there aren’t any rules”.

1. Fight Direct & Dirty.

There can be nothing remotely mistaken about a confrontation on the street with a person with criminal intent. Playing fair, or having honor in combat will not help you to survive. Bricks, sticks, rocks, bottles, gouging, kicking, stomping, biting, will show your assailant that you aren’t skittish about being right there in the gutter with him. Be Direct. Hit first, fast & hard.


2. Vital Targets.

Watching many talk about fighting, I often hear the term, “that’s not a legal target”. I prefer to think of “those” targets as game enders. While not in a sporting event, we’ve already said there are no rules. Eyes, throat, testicles, fingers, toes, back of skull, and/or any other weak point that may present itself should be at the forefront of our offensive structure.


3. Attack the Attack

Defense is a loser’s strategy. Turn defense to offense upon entry, surprising an attacker with a crippling counter offensive. There is nothing more demoralizing than have your plan go to hell because your victim is more dirty, ready, and determined to win at any cost.


4. KISS (Keep it simple, stupid)

Nice fancy, flowery, & elaborate techniques are great for demonstrations & shows, but under fire quickly turn to dung. Simple sure structure & striking will deflect and destroy an attacker’s will and deter his resolve. Deliver your attack without mercy and with all your power.


5. Momentum

Delivering a single blow, and watching to see if it was effective will only let the tide turn on you. Initial entry should be followed by a ruthless series of techniques, delivered with controlled aggression until the attacker is rendered harmless. With more than one attacker, one should move from one to another quickly, giving them no time to set up strategy.


6. Expect Injury

No matter how strong you get, or special martial style you train, you will not have an invisible force field around you. You should be prepared to inhale pain, and work with injury. Criminal elements are not usually courageous, nor known for great combative skill, but they are usually tough & had some experience with street fighting. Never under estimate your attacker.


7. Stay off the Ground

Stay mobile, keep your balance, stay upright. This gives you the means of escape if the situation is not a winner for you. Understand that on the ground you are susceptible to the same dirty tactics you wish to use. If your attacker goes to the ground keep him there with brutal kicks & stomping techniques.


8. Awareness & Preparation

Training physically through scenarios should also be backed up with mental training. Running your mind over all “what ifs “ and injecting them into physical training will reinforce good conditioned responses. Staying alert, away from bad situations, will minimize contact with undesirables but when SHTF one should be able to rely on the physical/mental link to react.


Instructor Dana J. Mattos




Hit the Switch



Developing a foundation for Self-Defense tactics all too often gets formed on an opinion developed from cinematic representations. This erroneous information is far from the realities of a violent attack in a street fight condition. These pre-formed opinions, worked into a strategy for self-defense are ill informed at best, and downright dangerous.

Criminals routinely use deceptive strategies to try and exploit our patterns of daily life. They have no scruples and base these strategies in cunning and viciousness to achieve their goals.

You should find yourself angered by people being bullied, beaten, robbed, and subjected to a myriad of senseless violent behavior. Injury and humiliation BELONGS to a victim because, on many occasion, victims unwittingly set themselves up by being unaware. You will often have onlookers who will egg the violence on to feed their need for violent entertainment, with no empathy for the victim. The point is …. Be aware, don’t be a victim !

Reaching deep inside yourself, ( some don’t have to reach far ), and pull up the anger it takes to not be a victim. This is at the core of a self-defense strategy…………………….and more appropriately…. Self Offensive System . To “Hit the Switch” is the ability to take oneself from a rational, contemplating human being, to a snarling cornered animal in the time frame of hitting a light switch.

No victim woke up in the morning thinking they would be on the receiving end of events that would cause physical trauma or degradation to them or their family. This happens frequently because dirtbags never rest their plans on finding that unaware person, distracted by normal everyday activity. This should make most of you angry and indignant ! You need to tap those feelings to develop strategies to live your life by. You need to form and train strategies not only to a violent attack with unrelenting physical resolve, but also to understand dirtbag strategies, and be able to see them forming around you so you don’t fall into the trap.

Setting your awareness and physical training deep in this indignation will greatly increase your chances of not being caught surprised and flat footed by the wolves who would feed on you. Being tactically aware of criminal indicators gives you the “ heads up “ that pre-fires your attitude not to succumb to your fears. “ Fight or Flight response “ has been discussed in many forums, at many levels. One does not have the “ Luxury of flight “ when having to defend family. Your fight response needs to be released with immediate, effective, and explosive ferocity in the face of trouble. You need to “ HIT THE SWITCH “

Bad guys are not hiding behind every door, and in every alley way. Knowing this we must keep this dark part of us leashed, until needed. By not walking around with our head up our ass, and observing and recognizing potential situations, you will give yourself a sense of peace. Peace in the fact that you have lowered the percentages of you, and your family, feeling this kind of pain. Maintaining a comprehensive and tactical mindset to deal with criminal activity is simple responsibility on your part.

We need to understand not to go over the threshold of good sense, and use too much force in a situation where it is not warranted. This would drop us into the same category as the dirtbags we prepare ourselves for. The more situationally aware you are, the easier it is to detect and check criminal behavior before it has a chance to manifest itself fully. If all we need to do to avoid confrontation and injury is step off the sidewalk, that is easy and requires minimal effort. On the other hand, if physically attacked we should be ready with our finger on the switch.


Instructor Dana J. Mattos




Violence - A Final Answer ?

A lot of people like to think they are “non-violent.” Generally, people claim to “abhor” the use of violence, and violence is viewed negatively by most folks. Many fail to differentiate between just and unjust violence. Some especially vain, self-righteous types like to think they have risen above the nasty, violent cultures of their ancestors. They say that “violence isn’t the answer.” They say that “violence doesn’t solve anything.” They’re wrong. Every one of them relies on violence, every single day.

On election day, people from all walks of life line up to cast their ballots, and by doing so, they hope to influence who gets to wield the axe of authority. Those who want to end violence — as if that were possible or even desirable — often seek to disarm their fellow citizens. This does not actually end violence. It merely gives the state mob a monopoly on violence. This makes you “safer,” so long as you don’t piss off the boss. All governments — left, right or other — are by their very nature coercive. They have to be.Order demands violence.A rule not ultimately backed by the threat of violence is merely a suggestion. States rely on laws enforced by men ready to do violence against lawbreakers. Every tax, every code and every licensing requirement demands an escalating progression of penalties that, in the end, must result in the forcible seizure of property or imprisonment by armed men prepared to do violence in the event of resistance or non–compliance. Every time a soccer mom stands up and demands harsher penalties for drunk driving, or selling cigarettes to minors, or owning a pit bull, or not recycling, she is petitioning the state to use force to impose her will. She is no longer asking nicely. The viability of every family law, gun law, zoning law, traffic law, immigration law, import law, export law and financial regulation depends on both the willingness and wherewithal of the group to exact order by force.


When an environmentalist demands that we “save the whales,” he or she is in effect making the argument that saving the whales is so important that it is worth doing harm to humans who harm whales. The peaceful environmentalist is petitioning the leviathan to authorize the use of violence in the interest of protecting leviathans. If state leaders were to agree and express that it was, indeed, important to “save the whales,” but then decline to penalize those who bring harm to whales, or decline to enforce those penalties under threat of violent police or military action, the expressed sentiment would be a meaningless gesture. Those who wanted to bring harm to whales would feel free to do so, as it is said, with impunity — without punishment.

Without action, words are just words. Without violence, laws are just words.

Violence isn’t the only answer, but it is the final answer.

One can make moral arguments and ethical arguments and appeals to reason, emotion, aesthetics, and compassion. People are certainly moved by these arguments, and when sufficiently persuaded –providing of course that they are not excessively inconvenienced — people often choose to moderate or change their behaviors.

However, the willful submission of many inevitably creates a vulnerability waiting to be exploited by any one person who shrugs off social and ethical norms. If every man lays down his arms and refuses to pick them up, the first man to pick them up can do whatever he wants. Peace can only be maintained without violence so long as everyone sticks to the bargain, and to maintain peace every single person in every successive generation — even after war is long forgotten — must continue to agree to remain peaceful. Forever and ever. No delinquent or upstart may ever ask, “Or Else What?,” because in a truly non-violent society, the best available answer is “Or else we won’t think you’re a very nice person and we’re not going to share with you.” Our troublemaker is free to reply, “I don’t care. I’ll take what I want.”

Violence is the final answer to the question, “Or else what?”

Violence is the gold standard, the reserve that guarantees order. In actuality, it is better than a gold standard, because violence has universal value. Violence transcends the quirks of philosophy, religion, technology and culture. People say that music is a universal language, but a punch in the face hurts the same no matter what language you speak or what kind of music you prefer. If you are trapped in a room with me and I grab a pipe and gesture to strike you with it, no matter who you are, your monkey brain will immediately understand “or else what.” And thereby, a certain order is achieved.

The practical understanding of violence is as basic to human life and human order as is the idea that fire is hot. You can use it, but you must respect it. You can act against it, and you can sometimes control it, but you can’t just wish it away. Like wildfire, sometimes it is overwhelming and you won’t know it is coming until it is too late. Sometimes it is bigger than you. Ask the Cherokee, the Inca, the Romanovs, the Jews, the Confederates, the barbarians and the Romans. They all know “Or else what.”

The basic acknowledgement that order demands violence is not a revelation, but to some it may seem like one. The very notion may make some people apoplectic, and some will furiously attempt to dispute it with all sorts of convoluted and hypothetical arguments, because it doesn’t sound very “nice.” But something doesn’t need to be “nice” in order for it to be true. Reality doesn’t bend over to accommodate fantasy or sentimentality.

Our complex society relies on proxy violence to the extent that many average people in the private sector can wander through life without really having to understand or think deeply about violence, because we are removed from it. We can afford to perceive it as a distant, abstract problem to be solved through high-minded strategy and social programming. When violence comes knocking, we simply make a call, and the police come to “stop” the violence. Few civilians really take the time to think that what we are essentially doing is paying an armed band protection money to come and do orderly violence on our behalf. When those who would do violence to us are taken peacefully, most of us don’t really make the connection, we don’t even assert to ourselves that the reason a perpetrator allows himself to be arrested is because of the gun the officer’s hip or the implicit understanding that he will eventually be hunted down by more officers who have the authority to kill him if his is deemed a threat. That is, if he is deemed a threat to order.

There are something like two and a half million people incarcerated in the United States. Over ninety percent of them are men. Most of them did not turn themselves in. Most of them don’t try to escape at night because there is someone in a guard tower ready to shoot them. Many are “non-violent” offenders. Soccer moms, accountants, celebrity activists and free range vegans all send in their tax dollars, and by proxy spend billions and billions to feed an armed government that maintains order through violence.

It is when our ordered violence gives way to disordered violence, as in the aftermath of a natural disaster, that we are forced to see how much we rely on those who maintain order through violence. People loot because they can, and kill because they think they’ll get away with it. Dealing with violence and finding violent men who will protect you from other violent men suddenly becomes a real and pressing concern.

A pal once told me a story about an incident recounted by a family friend who was a cop, and I think it gets the point across. A few teenagers were at the mall hanging out, outside a bookstore. They were goofing around and talking with some cops who were hanging around. The cop was a relatively big guy, not someone who you would want to mess around with. One of the kids told the cop that he didn’t see why society needed police.

The cop leaned over and said to the spindly kid, “do you have any doubt in your mind about whether or not I could break your arms and take that book away from you if I felt like it?”

The teenager, obviously shaken by the brutality of the statement, said, “No.”

“That’s why you need cops, kid.”

George Orwell wrote in his “Notes on Nationalism” that, for the pacifist, the truth that, “Those who ‘abjure’ violence can only do so because others are committing violence on their behalf,” is obvious but impossible to accept. Much unreason flows from the inability to accept our passive reliance on violence for protection. Escapist fantasies of the John Lennon “Imagine” variety corrupt our ability to see the world as it is, and be honest with ourselves about the naturalness of violence to the human animal. There is no evidence to support the idea that man is an inherently peaceful creature. There is substantial evidence to support the notion that violence has always been a part of human life. Every day, archeologists unearth another primitive skull with damage from weapons or blunt force trauma. The very first legal codes were shockingly grisly. If we feel less threatened today, if we feel as though we live in a non–violent society, it is only because we have ceded so much power over our daily lives to the state. Some call this reason, but we might just as well call it laziness. A dangerous laziness, it would seem, given how little most people say they trust politicians.

Violence doesn’t come from movies or video games or music. Violence comes from people. It’s about time people woke up from their 1960s haze and started being honest about violence again. People are violent, and that’s OK. You can’t legislate it away or talk your way around it. Based on the available evidence, there’s no reason to believe that world peace will ever be achieved, or that violence can ever be “stopped.”

It’s time to quit worrying and learn to love the battle axe. History teaches us that if we don’t, someone else will.


The First 30 Seconds

Accomplishing the defeat over your attacker within 30 seconds, one must press the envelope with anatomical knowledge, therefore moving inside the opponent's mind and fracturing his decision making cycle by pressing a continuous superior position.

Regular training and improvement in your chosen style, makes you analyze options within the confrontation, giving incredible foresight into possible outcomes creating a speed in which you are always several steps ahead. This, in turn, makes the outcome inevitable.

Instructor Dana J. Mattos