About Featured Expert: Hock Hochheim has taught force necessary combat strategies and education in self defense laws to citizens, the police and military all over the world in places like South Africa, Australia, Germany, Europe, The United Kingdom, China, Southwest Asia for the military and of course, other countries and throughout the United States. Hock has actually done more in real life than most people reputed to be…“ famous and experienced.” Currently Hock teaches hand, stick, knife and gun combatives in some 40 seminars in 11 or 12 allied countries a year.
The following is a condensed version of the full audio interview, which can be found in the above link at Science of Skill’s SoundCloud station.
Marcus Roth: Hey there, folks. Welcome again to the Science of Skill podcast. This is Marcus taking over for Coach Dan, and I’m on the horn tonight with Hock Hochheim where he has spent over the last 20 years gaining experience in the field of combative training and education on self defense laws. Now he’s here on the podcast today to share his insights. How did you get into self-defense training?
Hock Hochheim: Well, I’ve always had an obsession or a fascination with fighting, I guess, ever since I was a kid, ever since I saw television and movies and so forth. I just felt that I needed to know all that, all those tricks that they were doing. After I graduated high school, I took off on a motorcycle for a couple years, went from the New York City area and went north into Canada. Wound up in Texas in 1972 because it was supposed to be warm all year round and started taking Ed Parker Kenpo Karate back in the day, of course, when there were no kids. In fact, the school in the early ’70s, the windows were painted about five feet up so kids couldn’t even look in the school to see what we were doing. It was thought to be too violent for kids to be involved. I was 18 or 19 or something, and of course I never stopped since. I went in the army, military, police, was a patrolman and investigator and was always interested in training with all the stuff at that time. Got out, became a Texas cop and a detective and a patrolman and never stopped doing karate, jiu jitsu. Then in the mid ’80s I, always looking for the next best thing, I started in the with the JKD crowd in 1986. I started doing the JKD, the Thai boxing, the great collective of Dan Inosanto material. Of course, I just never stopped doing stuff. When you do all that, I got heavily into Filipino martial arts just because it was there and it was the next new thing. I went to the Philippines a couple of times and began to amass black belts just because they were occurring and happening.
MR: I think there’s a lesson here to be found for viewers, is that you’re talking about stepping away from the dogma. What would you say to a listener? They may be probably enveloped in one martial art. What would you say is a danger of becoming fully attached to that one belt? Obviously, if a system has a certain specific strategic weakness, that’s inherently going to be a problem. What would you say speaking to the dogma more specifically?
HH: Well, first of all I think a person needs to know what they want to do realistically. I never realistically wanted to be in martial arts. I just wanted to steal from them to find out what was going on. But you become socially involved with your friends and the instructors and everything and you wind up staying. First of all, ask yourself what you really want. Then, if you want to do as a hobby traditional karate, I am happy for you and you should be very happy and you have all my blessings in the world. Fighting is fighting. You fight where you fight. That includes hand, stick, knife, gun. It’s a big, generic mix. The pursuit of that is what fascinates me and it may not fascinate someone else. They might love all the other stuff, and if you love it, that’s fine.
MR: So over this cast I think we’re going to be talking about the right tool for the job. You’re obviously experienced in a wide variety of systems and tools. Let’s first address concealed carry and other firearms. When do you believe it’s right to use a firearm for self defense, and when may it be too much for the job or just not in a good scenario where you can actually use one?
HH: Having had to carry multiple weapons, and police do all the time, they’re consciously, or even subconsciously after a while, aware of what they should pull at the right moment. It’s really, really tricky to … The training today for common citizens carrying a gun is very shallow and limited. Of course, a handgun is a … You can really screw up with using one and still work. Same thing with a knife. It’s a very forgiving weapon in the case you could be a total idiot with a gun or a knife and still be successful.
MR: Along those same lines, what are common places that you simply can’t bring a firearm and potentially even when you are doing it with a concealed carry license?
HH: Well, you know, I hope that everyone will check their local law. A couple of new things are happening that I find interesting is, I believe it was Kansas went with their highest evaluation of the Second Amendment and they don’t need to get concealed carry licenses anymore. This has put an entire staff of concealed carry permit instructors out of business. They don’t need them anymore. It may go like that in other states. I don’t know, but if you drive over into Colorado for lunch, you’re in trouble. In many states, like in Texas, they identify if 52%, I don’t know, I can carry a gun everywhere being a retired cop, so I don’t follow these too closely, but if it’s a restaurant that primarily serves food you can carry the gun in there. If it’s one that has got a primary liquor advertising kind of approach, then you can’t. Then you have the businesses that put their notice on the door, “Don’t carry a gun in here. We don’t want you,” whether they serve more food or not. There’s the case of the Tennessee woman who’s legally got a pistol, goes up to visit New York City and I think goes to Statue of Liberty. No, no, no, it was the Empire State Building. The sign as you walk in says, “Do not bring any weapons in here,” or something. She walks over to the main desk and says, “Where can I lock my gun up?” All the people freak out. She, of course, is thinking that maybe there’s a gun lockup because that’s what they have in Tennessee when you go into these places. They arrested her, and she got in a big bind and then somehow a lawyer got her off. I love the meme I see all the time about New York. It says, “Welcome to New York – You are now under arrest.” They have so many laws and stuff. The moral of that story is: Check your local law.
MR: I know some towns and states have very different laws about various knives. Can you tell the listeners what are some of the regulations that may be in existence in their state, such as blade length or spring assisted knives? Now, I know it’s going to vary from even town to town, but certainly state to state. What are are some general go-tos you could give our listeners here?
HH: Now, the blade length. Look at the blade length. Of course, I teach in Australia, I teach in England, I teach in very non-knife places where they just freak out. Now, if you’re in Australia and you go out in the outback, they don’t really care what knife you have because everything out there can kill you. Basically, you go out in Crocodile Dundee territory and you’ll see guns and knives and stuff like that. On the coast line, the civilized cities and stuff, you cannot have any knife at all at any time unless you’re in the post office cutting boxes open and you run across the street to the sandwich shop. Then the police say, “What’s that on your belt or your pocket?” Then you say, “I work over here.” Then it’s okay. You have to have a really good reason for having any knife.
MR: Right, exactly. As we talked about, you have to weigh the cost. Is this knife worth bringing to New York City right now?
HH: I have students who are detectives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. We were at a seminar and they said he was going on vacation in England and he said, “Ah, I can’t bring my gun but at least I can have my knife.” Uh, no. Not really. He was shocked. I said, “You better not wear that knife in London.” He was absolutely shocked. You would think, “Well, he would have a idea about that,” but no. Don’t do it.
MR: Yeah. Totally understandable on that. It looks like this is going to be the end of our podcast here. It’s been really great to have you, Hock. If someone wanted to reach out to you specifically for maybe more information or to know where your next seminar is, how would they go about that?
HH: Well, the webpage is forcenecessary.com, those two words put together.
MR: Great. That’s about all the time we have here. This has been Marcus Roth and Hochheim on the Science of Skill podcast, signing out.