and royce offical site http://www.roycegracie.tv/fan/interview/5.htm
"Paul@Choke - Apart from Jiu Jitsu, do you do train specifically on your striking skills?
Royce Gracie - I have a French guy. His name is Nono and he's based in LA. He runs a Hapkido school, but he's adapted training around me to suit my needs. Like I said before, I'm not going to stand and exchange firepower. It's more like a couple of hits to come in or a couple of kicks to come out. So he's modified a style of Hapkido, Boxing and Kick Boxing to suit my style. Actually, because I'm not fighting right now he's teaching me some stick fighting."
His stand up coach is a man named "nono" who is a Won Moo Hap ki do guy. Won Moo Hap ki do is a bit more street oriented than other Hap Ki Dos.
"Yes sir, Mr. Nono
A small martial arts school challenges children and their parents to grapple with pain
by Kevin Cody
A dozen barefoot 5- to 12-year-old students in white kimonos lined up on the blue mat facing the room-length mirror on a recent Tuesday evening. Mr. Nono stood before them holding Mr. Stick, a two-foot long rubber-padded pole. He told the students he wasnít happy. He asked if they knew why. No one had the correct answer.
"Because you didnít hug me when you came to class. Always hug me at the start and the end of class," Mr. Nono told them.
To reinforce the admonition, he walked down the line cracking each kid on the head with Mr. Stick. He walked back to the center of the dojo, and faced them again, still looking unhappy.
"Now, Mr. Nono is really angry," he said. "Mad Dog, why am I angry?" he asked the smallest kid in the class.
"Because we didnít hug you," the boy answered hopefully. Wrong answer. The entire class received another crack on the head. Not friendly taps, but hits that rang their bells. Tears welled up. The studentsí parents, crowded on the window seat, began to look uncomfortable.
"Brain. You always have the answer. Why am I angry? You have five seconds to save your classmates," Mr. Nono said. He started counting.
At the count of four Brainís face lit up. "Because we didnít block," he said.
"Very good, Brain. Never let anyone hit you without blocking, not even your teacher," Mr. Nono told the class.
An unlikely choice to each children
Nonoís One on One Hapkido is a small Pier Avenue storefront sandwiched between the Java Man coffee house and CíEst La Vie clothing in downtown Hermosa. A speed bag and a few dummies and pads for kicking and punching are the only visible accessories. The walls are bare except for an American flag, bars for stretching and a few framed photographs of martial arts masters. One is Master Kwon, Nonoís teacher whose Torrance dojo is a place of pilgrimage for hapkido students from around the world.
Hapkido is a Korean martial art defined as "the way (do) of coordinated (hap) inner strength (do)." Students learn to bring their opponent under submission, ideally with little or no injury to the opponent, using a bewildering number of kicks, punches, blocks, breakholds, and chokeholds.
Nono accepted only adult students when he opened the dojo in the early 1980s. Most were professional martial arts fighters or members of law enforcement. But there were also Lakers players, doctors, lawyers and other non-professionals with a variety of motivations for studying hapkido.
Dr. David Fogelson stopped in Nonoís dojo six years ago on a walk from his Hermosa Beach home to the downtown. The white-haired, 55-year-old oral surgeon had been a tennis player until his knees gave out. Years of bending over patients had also taken a toll on his body.
"You can look at a guy and tell heís a dentist. Heís all crinkled up from being hunched over patients year after year," Dr. Fogelson said.
The doctorís curiosity about the martial arts dated back to his sonís days as a martial arts student. It was reinforced shortly before he moved to Hermosa when he awoke after midnight in a pool of blood outside his Marina del Rey apartment. He has no memory of the mugging.
"Nono told me if I wanted to work out, go to a gym. People here become family. At the time I didnít realize the level of commitment he would demand. But without Nono and his students, I donít know how I would have gotten through either the physical or mental stress of work over the past few years," he said.
Royce Gracie is Nonoís most prominent student. The Gracie Jiu-jitsu Academy in Torrance founded the no-holds-barred, pay-for-view Ultimate Fighting Championship. Royce is a repeat winner of the event. Gracie Jiu-jitsu emphasizes ground fighting, where most street fights end up. Nono coaches Gracie in kickboxing and stand-up techniques.
He was in Gracieís corner last May in the Show of Pride Grand Prix Championship Fight in Tokyo, against the Japanese no-holds-barred champion Sakarabe. Royce fought the final 45 minutes of the 105-minute fight with a broken foot and a torn Achilles tendon, before his corner threw in the towel.
Asked to explain how the 175-pound Gracie could force fighters twice his size into submission, or fight seriously injured for nearly an hour, Nono answered, "A warriorís heart."
In the late 1980s, Nonoís adult students began asking him to teach their children. They were concerned about the downsides to their childrenís privileged upbringings ó including lack of discipline, lack of respect for authority, and ignorance of lifeís less pleasant realities ó both Mean Streetís and Wall Streetís.
Nono thought the idea was crazy.
He had a military background, not a kindergarten teacherís. His teaching philosophy was based on relentless persistence. Persistence requires discipline. Discipline is learned from mistakes. In the martial arts, mistakes are painful. He didnít believe parents would tolerate him inflicting pain on their kids.
Nor was he interested in running a martial arts mill, where the goal is to advance students from white belt to black belt as quickly as possible ó with testing fees at every level.
If he taught children, the parents would have to watch. Tuition checks would be made out to Warriors on Wheels, a New York martial arts academy for the physically handicapped. The academyís motto might also have been the motto for Nonoís childrenís class: "If I can do this, I can do anything."
Not for everyone
Nonoís reservations werenít unfounded. He started one class of 10-to 12-year-olds with seven enthusiastic students and supportive parents. After a year four remained. After two years, two remained. There were dozens of reasons for the attrition. Adolescent rebellion was one. Another was the lure of win-win youth activities that promise self-esteem without pain.
Three years passed before the two who persisted were allowed to test for their yellow belts. In the first part of the test students must demonstrate mastery of the yellow beltís seven punches, six kicks, four punch-block combinations, five kick-blocks, six breaks, five block-punches and five block-kicks, as well a similar number of white belt exercises.
The second part of the test is a street fight against two adult students. Oneís hand was sprained from an opponentís kick in the street fight. The other was choked into submission.
"This is not about practicing forms in front of a mirror. A street fight is about how much pain you can take," Nono said in congratulating the boy who fought on with the sprained hand.
Children who start at younger ages have proved to be more willing students. Nono has a theory as to why.
"If you want to plant a tree first brace the tree so it will grow straight. If it grows crooked it canít be straightened," he said.
Seven-year-old Alexa, inspired by watching her parents study with Nono, begged permission to join the childrenís class. But after observing a class she changed her mind. One month later she asked to observe the class again, and this time said she wanted to join. Her mother wanted her to learn self-defense. But the improvement in her dancing and soccer playing from the kicking and stretching exercises are what motivates Alexa.
Another girl, who has graduated to the adult hapkido class, attributes her development as a varsity high school volleyball player to hapkidoís blocking and hitting drills.
Sometimes the transference of skills doesnít come naturally. Mad Dog was being picked on by neighborhood kids because of his small size. When he complained to Nono, Nono made him fight every kid in the class. He won most of the fights, and stopped being afraid of the neighborhood kids. They donít bother him anymore.
Nonoís use of corporal punishment is easy to defend in the abstract because of its immediate results. One parent, after observing his childís uncharacteristically respectful demeanor in Nonoís class, suggested to the childís grammar school principal that the school be declared a martial arts academy for the sole purpose of bringing back corporal punishment and control to the classroom.
But not every parent believes in sitting by while children are thrashed by the teacher and other students.
One boy eagerly attended the twice-weekly class for nearly a year. The parents were divorced and the father observed the class. One day the mother brought the boy. He never returned.
On a recent Tuesday, a middle-aged man poked his head into the dojo after observing the class through the picture window, and told Nono, "Donít hit the kids."
"What if I hit you instead," Nono said.
"Iíll hit you back," the man said.
Nono laughed appreciatively, and then told the man to mind his own business. The Good Samaritan went on his way, seemingly assured that no harm was being done.
Grappling with pain
After impressing on the Tuesday night class the importance of blocking, Nono had the students practice "standing up in base" ó the first exercise taught in all hapkido classes.
The students sit cross-legged on the mat. As one of the students calls count, they kick out at an imaginary attacker with their left foot, block with the right hand and spring to their feet.
Then they repeat the exercise, reversing their hands and feet.
All of the exercises are done with both sides of the body so that the students become ambidextrous.
The stand up in base was followed by the splits. Both boys and girls must be able to do full splits for the white belt test. The dexterity that comes with the splits enables the students to kick over their heads. Dough Boy was having trouble getting all the way down.
A few hits from Mr. Stick got the 12-year-old surferís crotch within inches of the ground. His face contorted in pain. The remaining few inches were beyond his mental ability. Mr. Nono kicked the boyís right ankle out, then his left ankle and finally his crotch hit the mat.
"Suck up the pain and take a deep breath," Nono ordered.
After regaining his composure, Doughboy stood up in base with the knowledge he could do something moments earlier no one in the room except Mr. Nono believed he was capable of.
The students were ordered back in line and asked if they had finished their homework before coming to hapkido. All answered yes. But Brain, when pressed, acknowledged that he didnít finish his homework. His lying earned him a crack on the head from Mr. Stick.
"Homework is like standing up in base or doing the splits. Homework is practice. The more you do it the better you get. Your goal next week is to have all of your homework done before coming to hapkido," Mr. Nono told the students.
Mr. Gumby, a round dummy, was placed in the middle of the mat. The kids lined up at one end of the dojo, ran at the dummy, then tucked their heads and somersaulted through the air.
"No hands, no fear, roll to your feet," Mr. Nono instructed them.
They ran through the drill a dozen times.
Then Mr. Nono raised the dummy upright and asked the students what they learned the previous week.
"Five seconds, Kamikaze. One, two, three, fourÖ"
"The jump spin side kick," Kamikaze answered.
Kamikaze demonstrated the kick, but missed the bag.
"The bully only gives you one chance. Jump at me, not away. Before you kick I want you to concentrate on three things. Look your opponent in the eye, land in the same spot and donít fall down," Mr. Nono told the class. When they missed a kick he ordered them to repeat aloud the three things they were to concentrate on.
After several rounds, all of the students were hitting the bag without falling down.
"Now, I want to tell you a secret," Mr. Nono said. He asked Alexaís mother, a purple belt, if she had learned the jump, spin, side kick. She said she hadnít.
"That is a black belt kick. You all did it. Belts mean nothing," he told the students.
With 10 minutes remaining in the hour-long class, the students matched off for grappling. The goal was to pin oneís opponent, or to convince him or her to tap out from pain. Punching and kicking were not allowed. Choking and break holds were. Losers were called losers and ordered off the mat.
"Some students are more gifted than others. But with persistence the equation comes into balance. Iím not here to babysit. Iím here to bring out whatís inside the kids," Nono explained to a parent unused to seeing his son called a loser.
A plaque on the wall near the dojo door quotes from South African President Nelson Mandelaís inauguration speech: "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measureÖWe ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of GodÖ"
At the end of class the students lined up, faced the American flag, slapped their hands against their sides, and recited in unison, "Cha ryut, kyung ye ("attention, bow" in Korean)."
Then they turned to face their teacher, slapped their hands against their sides, and repeated, "Cha ryut kyung ye."
After bowing to Mr. Nono, the students raced to hug him. ER