Thank you Jon, that was a beautiful response.

I understand what you mean by my having separated "harmony" and "reading your opponent" and I agree that if you're at that point you've already harmonized with him/her. I was just at the library today and flipped through a Black Belt magazine which featured Scott explaining certain principals used in ROSS. I don't remember it all, but I remember that the principles mentioned are included in your response.

Scott had said:

"The SOFT-WORK™ technology allows you to neuromuscularly train rhythm, so that you are totally attuned to your opponent's [unique] fluxuating chorus of attacks."

He mentioned that this was presented in the Military Knife Fighting videos. Is this information found on any other ROSS videos? I don't have much interest in the Knife Fighting videos at the moment (though I did fall in love with the Kali training I was exposed to so who knows...). This is a subject I find really fascinating so I'd love to absorb how ROSS incorporates this aspect during training.

Jon had said:

"From what I've seen I feel that ROSS approaches these concepts differently from most JKD."

From what I hear, it seems ROSS approaches everything differently from other styles :). Based on your jkd experience Jon, do you feel these concepts would be more easily absorbed through the ROSS methods? Is ROSS a system that complements and enhances other styles alongside the one(s) you're currently practising?

Sorry I'm so ROSS-clueless. Once I get the tapes, I'll have a much better idea of what this system is all about.


Thanks for the response Scott.

Just so I'm clear, does this mean that SOFT WORK is explained in the Shock Absorbtion series? If so, that's
great since I'll be getting the tapes in the near future. Can anyone let me know if this is the case?

This discussion reminds me of something that came to me a while ago. When I was training in jkd (concepts), we would refer to sensitivity as the ability to correctly interpret the pressure being exerted by our opponent whenever we touched (either during trapping, clinching or grappling). We referred to spatial relationship as the ability to judge distances and the time it took to move within the different ranges. The point is that we viewed these as separate concepts.

I found, however, that the better I became, the more the two concepts seemed intertwined somehow. The major difference between both on a simplied level is that in one there is tactile interaction and in the other there isn't. When you're touching someone, you eventually get to the point where you can close your eyes and "see" what the person is attempting to do (an awesome drill, btw). When you're boxing/kickboxing, you eventually get to the point where people look as if they're moving in slow motion while attacking and you have all the time in the world to decide if you want to intercept, destroy the limb or simply evade. To me it feels almost the same as if my eyes were closed and I simply "felt" the intentions before they were carried out. Has anyone else felt this way or am I just a freak :).

Anyway, it got me thinking that perhaps this idea of sensitivity is not limited to tactile interaction as we know it. I really feel that eventually all fighters can or should get to the point where whether they're touching their opponent or not, they can read them like an open book. Once you can do that, you can "harmonize" (as Scott put it) with your opponent much more easily. Once you can harmonize, it becomes much easier to "interrupt" this harmony to your opponent's detriment through the use of broken rythm, attacking on the half-beats/quarter beats, etc.

Any opinions, comments, obsene gestures :) would be appreciated.


Hi lefthooker,

I'd be happy to give you my interpration of broken rythm as long as you understand I'm still a student of the subject and not an authority.

Put simply, broken rythm is all about breaking certain patterns that come up during fighting that people get into. Examples of patterns would be: a person who always charges in as soon as the ref says "Fight!", using a certain combination (say jab, cross, thai kick) repeatedly or fighting at the same speed every time. Once you understand what patterns a person uses, you can go about off-setting those patterns.

Here are some examples. If you're known for your leg kicks, your opponent will be wary of your kicks and will bring their leg up to defend it and may drop their hands. Seeing this, you set the person up by making it look as if you're going for another leg kick when you're actually going for a head kick. If your opponent is prone to certain combinations at the same speed every time, you can start using half-beats to off-set his game plan. If he attacks with a jab-cross-thai kick over and over, you can anticipate the cross as soon as you see the jab and time your attack accordingly. Think of each attack as a beat: jab=1 beat, cross=1 beat, thai kick=1 beat. As soon as he jabs, you can decide how you'd like to deal with the follow-up cross (intercept, destroy, evade) and act between each beat, a half-beat as it were. Alternatively, you could make two attacks, one after the other, between his jab and his cross, and these would be quarter beats.

It is because of this concept that becoming a predictable fighter works against you when fighting someone who sees your patterns and acts accordingly. Conversely, it makes things more challenging for your opponent when they have no clue what to expect next from you because you act so unpredictably. This concept can also be seen when dealing with people who have severe mental, emotional or psychological problems. Their erratic behaviour makes them potentially dangerous at times because you don't know what they'll do from one moment to the next.

As I said, this is simply my interpretation of broken rythm. Anyone who disagrees or has corrections to make is very welcome to do so. Hope that clarifies it for you lefthooker.



Soft Work is discussed on the "Shock Engineering" video. But IMO you need the other two Shockability tapes to appreciate the prerequisite concepts.

It's a fascinating series of tapes, if you get them you won't be sorry.

Thanks for clearing that up ajn. I'm going to be getting the maximum performance package in the near future so yes, I'll definitely be getting my grubby hands on those tapes. I can't wait!!!!


Hello all,

I posted this question on the jkd forum before hoping Joe Maffei would respond
but no such luck :(. I had asked about the application of rythm in sparring/fighting.
I'm referring to things like broken rythm, half-beats, quarter beats, etc. Specifically,
I was looking for answers where you don't just "talk" about it, but support your ideas
with some examples.

The reason I'm asking this here is that I was wondering if ROSS had made a
science out of this or if it's simply taken for granted that people will pick this up
naturally during sparring. I have found for myself that the more I spar, the more I
understand about certain concepts and tactics that aren't easily absorbed as a
beginner. In terms of broken rythm and attacking during the half-beats, I've found
myself applying these things in sparring without being consciously aware of it. So
basically I just want to know if Scott has found a way to explain the use of rythm in
such a way that it cuts down on the time it takes to understand how to use it.

Your responses would be much appreciated.


Hmmmm, not much input on this thread. Why is that, I
wonder? Anyway...

Thank you for the compliment KENWINGJITSU. As far as my
"rythm observations", here's what I can offer: As I
mentioned before, when you grapple enough you eventually get to the point where even when your eyes are closed you can still "see" everything your opponent
is doing because your sensitivity becomes so heightened through constant grappling (wow, that was a mouthful!).
However, this doesn't help you unless you also have the ability to react quickly enough to openings that present themselves and know what kind of techniques best suit the circustmances. If you possess these 3 attributes, you can take advantage of broken rythm in grappling.

Here are some examples: Normally bjj grapplers tend to start grappling on the knees and they start slowly, applying a lot of pressure while on top and moving at a
reasonable pace. If you get used to this pace, grappling with a wrestler can be a rude awakening. It feels like a grenade blowing up in your face when you grapple with some wrestlers. To make matters worse, they sometimes say "Take it easy on me as I'm not used to this kind of grappling, ok?". Next thing you know their charging at you at 100/mph! They've clearly interrupted the pace at which you'd become accustomed to grappling at. Obviously this puts you on the defensive and screws with your game plan if you're not prepared to deal with it.

Another example is one which my friend Zee (women's nhb champion) tells me about. Because she's short and has strong arms (actually she's REALLY strong everywhere!), it's quite difficult to get an armbar on her. When she's being mounted by someone that she can't get off her, she'll extend her arms in the hopes that her opponent will take the bait and try to armbar her. Once the opponent goes for it, she pulls her arm back during the half-beat (before the armbar is completed) and escapes the position. This kind of bait can be applied in many different ways.

These are just a couple of examples, but once you grasp the idea you can apply it in all sorts of ways. Hope that helps.


Wow. Lautaro.......bravo on that description. WHat are some of your "rhythm observations" in grappling? Anyhting oyu've experimented with?

Sweet bro...thanks.