Stealing the Energy is redirecting your opponent's strength or energy at your will.
Several years ago, the beginnings of Glen's Stealing the Energy theory were formed
after Glen had been studying classical Hung Gar Kung fu for a few years. Glen recalls that day while training
with his Sifu, James Lore (Lore King Hung) in Toronto:
"I threw a punch and he blocked me, and he grabbed my wrist. And I tried to pull away from where he was
grabbing me, I was pulling and heís really strong. And he said to me, 'Why are you wasting your energy going
where Iím strong? Kick me in the shin and then I'll let go.' "
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So what exactly is Stealing the Energy? Glen explains:
"Your opponent has an energy focus. To steal the energy, you strike that area
or you strike a different area; you take the energy away from where itís strong, and then you can attack where
the energy is now weak. If his energy is high, you go low. If his energy is low, you go high.
So youíre basically moving your attackerís energy around at your will, so you can get the best of him."
"Thereís nothing really mystical about it. I'm not teaching something that hasn't been done before. Stealing the
Energy is in everyone's style. I'm
not doing anything new and I haven't invented anything - I'm just explaining it in a different way."
But for Glen, Stealing the Energy is more than just the foundation of his fighting style.
Developing and refining the Stealing the Energy theory and applying it to the Hung Gar style, was his way
of personalizing the Hung Gar style, making it his own - a part of himself. Stealing the Energy is also the
manifestation of Glen's belief that one shouldn't change one's natural movement to mimic technique in a given
style. Instead one should incorporate and adapt technique to one's own natural movement while still staying true
to the classical foundations of the given style.
Glen teaches Hung Gar Kung fu both from a classical base as well as his more
contemporary Stealing the Energy concepts.
The Stealing the Energy framework is ideal for teaching Women's Self-Defense Seminars.
Many 1-2 day self-defense seminars demonstrate detailed "one-size-fits-all" techniques which the women learn via
memorization. However, in a real-life crisis situation there is a good chance that either a woman will not be able
to effectively recall and use these techniques or that these generic moves will simply not be effective in that given
crisis situation. Therefore, rather than memorized "one-size-fits-all" techniques, Glen prefers to teach
self-defense techniques based on an individual's instincts, motions, and personality, giving them moves that they
can "make their own".
Such individualized techniques are more instinctive and can therefore be easily adapted
to fit the particular situation resulting in a more effective means of fighting off an attacker.
Therefore, Glen introduces the women to a way of thinking about self-defense -- namely the
Stealing the Energy theory and then teaches the basic techniques of self-defense (punching, kicking,
etc.) from within the Stealing the Energy framework. The idea is that when a woman is attacked her first
response should be to determine where the attacker's energy is and then "steal" his energy by fighting back where
he is currently weak rather than by attacking him where his energy is currently strong. Though Glen will make
suggestions, he encourages the women to use whatever basic technique feels most natural for them in the given
"... Iím not the boss - they kind of are, and Iím kind of their overseer, where Iíll say, 'Okay, that was
good, you might want to do this', or Iíll suggest. All of a sudden Iím not really teaching anymore. Theyíre teaching
themselves, and Iím there to help them out, lead them through, but theyíre the ones doing it.
So itís like a discovery, but itís not a discovery that Iím force-feeding; itís a discovery that Iím pulling out."
For a more detailed explanation of Glen's Women's Self-Defense Seminars see
Teaching Self Defense to Women