Leon Wright was inducted into the Black Belt Hall of Fame as its 2010 Self-Defense Instructor of the Year. This was not a lightly granted honor for the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program (MCMAP) expert because his martial arts credentials and expertise in the field of self-defense moves are impressive.
With more than 40 years of experience in a range of Asian fighting styles, Leon Wright is a 10th-degree black belt in and the founder of souseiki ryu sekkinsen shigaisen, an art that is formally recognized in Okinawa and Japan, as well as the United States.
MCMAP Instructor Leon Wright Demonstrates Self-Defense Moves Against a Roundhouse Punch
Leon Wright’s post-U.S. Marine Corps life has been spent serving the United States’ men and women in uniform, overseeing daily operations of numerous coalition forward operating bases in Afghanistan. It’s during this work that he volunteers his free time to teach the self-defense moves of souseki ryu to a growing group of students.
In addition to that already impressive roster, Leon Wright is a fifth-degree black belt in MCMAP — a rank one step higher than the maximum fourth degree normally available to gunnery sergeants. Additionally, Leon Wright is a certified MCMAP subject-matter expert, authorizing him to teach the MCMAP program as a civilian.
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While the name of Leon Wright’s martial art — souseiki ryu sekkinsen shigaisen — may seem complicated, it’s actually based on simplicity, efficiency and realism. Souseki refers to “time of creation,” ryu to “school” or “way,” sekkinsen to “close combat” or “infighting,” and shigaisen to “street fighting.”
According to MCMAP instructor Leon Wright’s website, souseki ryu is a “non-classical, American martial art focusing on self-defense and realistic street situational training” technically derived from a variety of martial arts disciplines, including the following:
In the above video depicting self-defense moves from Leon Wright's extensive training in a variety of styles — including MCMAP techniques — the Black Belt Hall of Fame member shows you, the viewer, how to defend yourself against a roundhouse punch.
In the video, Leon Wright assumes the ready posture in front of his opponent. When the opponent throws a roundhouse punch (or, as Leon Wright calls it, a "haymaker"), the MCMAP instructor executes a high elbow block, then steps into the opponent's personal space to deliver an elbow strike to the jaw.
Next up in his sequence of self-defense moves is the application of pressure to the knee to get the opponent off-balance. The MCMAP and karate expert then overhooks the man's left arm just above the triceps before sweeping the leg in question. Still holding the opponent's arm, Leon Wright executes a standing armbar while drilling his knee into the opponent's ribs.
If this sequence of self-defense moves has not finished the attacker, the MCMAP instructor has a couple of finishing moves at his disposal. If he's armed, the MCMAP techniques expert can put a knife to the attacker's throat. If empty-handed, he can apply choke pressure or fire a straight punch to the opponent's face.
About the Author:
Raymond Horwitz is the director of digital media for Black Belt. This text was partially repurposed from the article "Art of Combat" by Patrick Bamburak, published in the January 2012 issue of Black Belt.