There is an ancient Chinese belief that one who trained at the original Shaolin Temple had to ultimately pass the test of “The 18 Chambers.” Only if the student successfully made it through to the 18th Chamber, was he then permitted to take the permanent Temple markings of the red hot urn upon his inner forearms. This signified completion of his training and classified him as one of the most lethal, and proficient warriors in the land. The Chamber tests were divided into three categories. There were six physical tests; six mental tests; and six spiritual tests for a total of (18). A successful graduate of the (18) Chambers was considered undefeatable and prepared for any challenge that may have come his way. Now a warrior monk; his body, mind and spirit functioned as one. Whether this "legend" is true or simply a metaphor is not important - the concept is worthy of pursuit.
Modern Cyber-Physiological Science has identified an extremely intimate, triune connection between the body, mind and spirit of the human organism that all people should pay strict attention to. It has been proven that an unconditioned mind cannot lead a “battle conditioned” body into a situation where that same mind is fearful or not willing to go. Likewise, a “battle conditioned” mind cannot fully express itself through an unconditioned body that cannot keep up with the mentally conditioned battle plan. The “spirit” is the second mind or inner conscience, belief, moral and ethical filtration and perception mechanism that connects, and either supports or disagrees with the proposed actions of the mind and body.
Using the more modern viewpoint and analogy of, “a chain is only as strong as its weakest link” would most accurately describe the training philosophy of the Surgical Strike Program of Close Quarter Combat and Defense. If any link of our “combat chain” should become weakened or break, the entire chain will fail. In mortal combat, failure of the chain means death; and death for us, our loved ones, or the person whom we are assigned to protect, is an unacceptable outcome. For this reason, the Surgical Strike System™ training curriculum addresses each link of the warrior’s chain, in an effort to reduce the percentage of failure in life and death combat to as close to zero as possible.
Dr. Joseph Bannon Ph.D. designed this system to be functional and applicable at the level of Presidential Protection, Special Government Operations, Tactical Law Enforcement, Counter Assassination, and other Life and Death type scenarios. The Surgical Strike System™ addresses the body, mind, and spirit of the “whole person” engaged in combat; and is not limited to just teaching the physical body, physical techniques that are apt to fail during the stress of battle. We train the “entire combat chain,” not just one or two links of the chain.
· A strong, conditioned body with an unconditioned combat mindset will get you killed.
· A strong, combat conditioned mindset with an unconditioned body will get you killed.
· A strong, conditioned mind and body with a confused and unconditioned spirit will get you killed.
· A strong body, mind, and spirit acting as one in unison, will keep you, your loved ones, or your assigned protectee alive.
The following modules and levels of Surgical Strike System™ training are philosophically based and structured after the Ancient Wisdom of the “18 Chambers” of the Shaolin Temple, enhanced by the Modern Medical Science and Cyber-Physiology of the “18 Chain Links” of the Human Body, Mind, and Spirit. All training programs are based on the knowledge contained in the following Chambers.
The "18 Chambers" of Ancient Wisdom and Modern Knowledge:
Chamber One – Introduction: Introduces the instructor’s biography, formal education, real world life experience, martial arts and law enforcement background, as well as the theoretical, philosophical, martial, scientific, medical, historical and practical perspectives that make up the essence and concepts of the Surgical Strike System™ of Combat and Street Survival. This is where the philosophy of “concepts being superior to techniques” becomes understood by the student. Single (one on one) and third party (partner, loved one, or protectee) rescue applications and drills are presented in each of the following modules. (Lecture and Demonstration).
Chamber Two – Strike School: Identifies the human body’s personal weapons as well as how to use and shape them for maximum effectiveness in combat; including Weapon / Target medical-martial arts compatibility training. (Brief Lecture – Demonstration and Hands On).
Chamber Three – External Warrior: How to ‘develop’ these personal weapons to make them even more effective (Shaolin Temple Iron Palm and Finger Principles); “strike mechanics,” and whole body integration for the maximum generation of devastating strike power; as well as diet, nutrition, herbal medicine, exercise and natural resistance body strengthening techniques. (Lecture - Demonstration and Hands On).
Chamber Four – Sensitivity and Instinctive Reaction Training: Presents the Chinese martial art concepts of “Chi Sao;” “Sticky Hands” and “Wu-shin” (The Second or No Mind). This module is the foundation of the program where all other modules are rooted from. The concepts of “feeling” intent before “seeing” it; flowing like water as opposed to moving like a rock; developing intuitive reactions; functionalizing natural flinch factors; advancing towards an attack as opposed to retreating from it (Wing Chun Principles); shifting, footwork, trapping and double strikes, while learning to functionally and effectively fight and operate within the intimate and extremely deadly “Trapping Range” of potential mortal combat. (Brief Lecture – Demonstration and Hands On).
Chamber Five – Strike Traumatology Part I (Western Allopathic Medical Perspective): Now that we understand how to use our newly discovered arsenal of “personal weaponry;” we must now identify and learn about the strike “targets” and “how” to strike, locate and set them up in combat. The medical implications of a strike; dispelling and demystifying some age old techniques and fables; learning the anatomy and physiology of the body and identifying its most vulnerable and most difficult to defend points; shaping the weapon to fit into the target (weapon / target compatibility); surgically and confidently striking these targets while simultaneously knowing what medical and scientific implications to immediately expect. (The isolation theory of “Reduction”). (Lecture – Demonstration and Hands On).
Chamber Six – Mindset Part I (The Biochemical “Yang” Component): The interrelationship between the human mind and body (Cyber-Physiology) cannot be taken seriously enough. “The body cannot follow where the mind cannot lead; nor can the mind lead where the body is not conditioned to follow.” One becomes the anchor which slows down or completely halts the movement of the other. Here, the student learns exactly what takes place in the body when under attack or stress. The “fight or flight” phenomenon; limbic system and the amygdala organ; adrenaline influence; “positive and negative” feedback loops; increased rates in body physiology; “tachypsychia” phenomenon; the positive and negative aspects of our survival systems; killer instinct and super-human strength; as well as other high octane ignition factors that initiate these bio-chemically based events. (Lecture – Adrenaline Drills and Hands On).
Chamber Seven – Boa Constrictor Techniques: Combat is not just limited to strikes, kicks and punches. The art of pressure and torque application is equally as important. Presented here are the "Devil Hands of Dim Mak" Techniques, Chin-Na and Eagle Claw concepts of joint locks; control holds and pain compliance; bone and joint breaks; painful and immobilizing pressure points; and escapes and breakouts from holds. The techniques and options of ripping or tearing flesh, muscles and tendons; crushing and occluding blood and air circulation are also presented. The medical and scientific “anatomy of a joint lock” as well as the psychological principles and human motivation factors of “seek pleasure or avoid pain” are also incorporated into the training. The human “steering wheel theory;” ‘escape and submission’ mentality; and the four energy option levels of (control; create pain or unconsciousness; break or tear; and kill) are included to give the student a full spectrum of their “use of force” options. (Lecture – Demonstration and Hands On).
Chamber Eight – Impact Weapons: Presents the Filipino Art’s perspectives of “learning the angles before the strikes;” (There are hundreds of martial techniques but only a very limited amount of angles to deploy them); Attack, defend and control the opponent’s incoming angle in order to control the weapon; the stick, knife, yawara short stick, and the hand, all submit to the same angles – this maintains similarity between all weapon and weaponless techniques with less information to recall under stress; maximum conveyance of energy into the opponent; energy physics, fluid dynamics and impact traumatology; as well as strike drills with the simultaneous use of personal weapons. (Brief Lecture – Demonstration and Hands On).
Chamber Nine – Mindset Part II (The Psychological “Yin” Component): Just as a key is required to start a car engine; the biochemical and high octane “survival engine” innately within all of us (as described above) requires a similar ignition key. This “psychological key” however manifests itself in the form of a thought; belief; a psychological triggering mechanism; the human will; and pre-conditioned mind-scripting exercises. Freezing; the ever popular “brain fart;” confusion; age regression under stress; “we react under stress exactly as we have previously trained;” and the “I have no idea why I did that” syndrome is discussed in detail. Methods; mental exercises; auto-hypnosis and mental conditioning drills are joined with adrenaline and “killer instinct” control drills to maintain the needed balance of fear; anger; gross and fine motor skills, as well as developing the ability to “turn on” and “turn off” our high octane supercharger system at will. You will be required to bring a photograph of your family and or loved one for subconscious programming exercises. (Lecture and Mental Conditioning Drills).
Chamber Ten – Internal Warrior: Now that we have already addressed the need to condition the tendons and musculature of the physical body, and incorporate a nutritional and flexibility program; we must now address the need for aerobic, cardiovascular and pulmonary strength and endurance training. We must also cultivate our “Chi” energy, inner strength and balance, peaceful and warrior meditation & visualization skills, and the relationship of our body, mind and spirit through Chinese “Chi Gung” breathing forms and exercises. (Lecture, Aerobic and Mental Conditioning Drills).
Chamber Eleven – Strike Traumatology II (Traditional Chinese Medical Perspective): We now analyze and learn the very different human anatomy and medical system of the Asian Culture (Acupuncture points; Zang-Fu organs; The Five Elements; Internal energy; Pressure Points; Chi-flow and the meridians); as well as “The Two Dragons of Dim Mak” (Healing and Destroying). “Death Touch” and "Delayed Death Touch” points are philosophically and practically presented. (Lecture and “careful” Demonstration).
Chamber Twelve – Dim Mak and Black Medicine Techniques: Now that we understand a new theory of anatomy, physiology and medicine (for most); we now put this theory into the practical application of functional street combat. We learn how, when and where to ‘pressure point’ strike our opponent; “the major Chinese strike points” known as the "Ghost Hands of Dim Mak;" “striking the foot to affect the head;” as well as strike techniques that have a “deep energy effect” within the body and mind (Shen). (Demonstration and “very careful” Hands On).
Chamber Thirteen – Ground Fighting and Standing Grappling: Bruce Lee stated that, “no martial art is complete unless it includes ground combat” (where many battles end up anyway). Things do change on the ground and in order to survive the event; we “must” know what to do as soon as we land. There is also a midway point between the “punching and kicking” range and the ground known as “standing grappling” or “trapping.” This is the most lethal range to engage in combat, yet so few people are proficient here. Again “Wing Chun” and “Jeet Kune Do” concepts are presented to the student for this range. “Entry” – “Pain and Pressure” and “Termination” phases of combat are covered in detail. Filipino Dumog (wrestling) and Kino Mutai (sustained biting; eye gouging and pinching) are added to demoralize and unbalance even the most proficient ground fighter. Here, we either win on the ground or create enough distance to get back up on our feet to either escape or resume. (Lecture – Demonstration and Hands On).
Chamber Fourteen – Improvised Weaponry: If it fits in your hand or even if it is "nailed down;" it is a weapon. “Killing someone with a pencil;” “blinding the eye with a credit card;” “using the pin on the back of your badge to initiate an acupuncture session;” “striking and crushing the throat with your wallet or this months issue of Reader’s Digest;” “using the antennae of your cell phone as a deep tissue striking instrument;” and how to access the “creative mind” when needed to survive. (Lecture – Demo and Hands On).
Chamber Fifteen – Edged Weapons (Attack and Defense): So many law enforcement officers; special operators and executive protection agents carry edged weapons as a “backup” but lack the proper training in how to use them. Here we pay tribute and honor to the Filipino arts of knife fighting; Escrima; Kali and angle training. First we review “the angles of attack” and focus on controlling angle sectors as opposed to the edged weapon itself. We see the edged weapon as an extension of the hand. We study the difference between a “physiological attack” and an “anatomical attack.” We focus on attacking body parts that will immediately become dysfunctional when cut. We review the medical cut chart and become familiar with the various “bleed out” times of each cut site. Once we become proficient at “attacking” with an edged weapon; we then are able to learn the concepts of “defense.” (Lecture – Demonstration and Hands On).
Chamber Sixteen – Firearms (Takeaway and Retention): Simply and theoretically put; “we always take theirs and we never lose ours.” But should it not go as planned someday; we must have a “fast and efficient remedy” immediately at hand. With a firearm confrontation, we are afforded only (3) options; to “tactically move towards the threat;” to “tactically move away from the threat;” or to tactically give the illusion of surrender while looking for a more opportune time to act. (Lecture – Demonstration and Hands On).
Chamber Seventeen – Multiple Attackers: Fighting more than one person is not fun, nor is it fair. But then again life is not fair and we must always be ready to deal with it. In theory, a multiple attack is very similar to a video game. We must simultaneously keep our attention focused on more than one threat at a time. We study the important aspects of “gang” and “animal pack” psychology and learn techniques to turn it around for our benefit. We survive until we “terminate” or are able to escape. We learn the importance of becoming “multi-task oriented” while deploying “spread fire” and "confusion" tactics. (Lecture – Demonstration and hands On).
Chamber Eighteen – Final Scenarios: Here the student has the opportunity to put into use the skills that were learned within each of the modules. They now all come together. The Filipino concept of “Carenza” (immediate weapon to weapon and weapon to hand drills) are utilized to encourage the student to think “tactically;” “creatively” and “transitionally” while under stress. The “Redman” concept, “shadow sparring” and “simulations” are used; followed by a psychological and tactical debriefing and program graduation. (Hands On).
Chamber Nineteen – Instructorship Certification Courses: Basic; Intermediate and Advanced Instructorship Certification Courses are available to selected graduates of the Bannon Institute of Specialized Martial Arts and Healing Sciences who have successfully completed the Certified Theory and Practitioner Levels of the Surgical Strike System™ and /or EFT Program or VIPMMA Street Survival Series.