Good talk on blocks

Sensei Canna offers insight into the real world of self defense!

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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Fri Jan 12, 2018 4:29 pm

Brat »

This post is in response to the moderators request that I elaborate on boxing power. I would like to thank all the positive responses to my post as I have never seen a bunch of more open minded and friendly MAs.

We boxers(true ones) have a unique way of generating knockout power that I find missing from a lot of martial arts today. Boxers channel their weight into their punches by moving their bodies abruptly forward and rotating their hips when they punch.

Its basic physics actually, just transfering potential energy(your weight) into kinetic energy(the punch.

I like to illustrate this principle by asking someone to hit a heavy bag as hard as they can as many times as they can.

Most of them will throw 10 punches at the most before they are panting and totally wore out.

Then I will step up to the bag and literally split it in half punch after punch for over a minute.

The person usually has formed the opinion that I must be some kind of a super bad ass or have unlimited endurance-neither of which is true.

The difference is that his or her punches are being generated by arm strength while I am just snapping my arm out there and letting my body weight provide the force.

Lokk at it this way when you rely upon your strength alone to punch you are drawing energy from a "gas tank of both cardiovascular and anaerobic energy.

When this supply of energy runs out you are left without power as your "tank" is empty. But by using your "mass in motion" and transfering your body weight to provide the power, the only energy you are using is the amount it takes to snap your arm out there.

You dont start losing weight with every punch you throw do you? No! Thats why its possible for those who truly know how to utilize this principle can throw punch after punch and not lose an ounce of power-because its not being depleted.

The truth is society in general has a warped view of power and strength. Most would attribute it to body builders and people with big muscles but that is a gross misconception.

The truth is that a 110 lb. 14 year old girl has enough potential punching power to knock most grown men flat on their backs. This can probably be no better illustrated than in the UFC XVI bout which featured Mark "The Hammer" colman against Maurice Smith.

Now I'm not going to say that Maurice is the best puncher in the world, but he was a boxer and was outweighed by Colman (a wrestler) who was also a gargantuan ripped bodybuilder.

Maurice had a problem with Colman earlier in the match but after he regained a standing fight he hammered the larger Colman to death. In fact Colman was taking such a beating from the smaller Smith that he kept looking up at the clock to see if the match was nearing the time limit!

Sadly though most boxers in America dont know how to really power punch. I was taught by a guy from Denmark named Dieter who roomed with me for a year at college.

Most boxing in the U.S. is what I call slap happy boxing-an effect of the demonizing of many combat sports in this latter part of the century. Well lets face it KOs are not looked highly upon in boxing these days especially amateur like golden gloves.

And why should someone train to power punch when the goal is to score points? I think that recently the UFC has made some changes because of many do-gooders in society are afraid someone will get hurt-BAD.

And that is why power punching has all but dissapeared from boxing-because power punches can, and have on occasion killed people. Oh well sorry for such a long post.

But if anyone is intrested by this concept its not hard to assimilate into your traing with a little modification to your existing style. In fact there is a good book out on this subject which contains much of the details on how to do this. It is called"Championship Streetfighting" by Ned Beaumont, and its available through Paladin Press.

A friend of mine a few months ago had the book which I borrowed and discovered that much of what Beaumont presents is pretty much the same stuff I learned from Dieter with a few things I didn't like shifts. Anyway I think its a godd guide if your intrested in just utilizing knockout power the way Ali and Joe Lewis(the boxer) did.

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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Fri Jan 12, 2018 4:32 pm

Collin Warder »

I have a friend who used to practice Balintawak Escrima and he once explained his concept of power hitting to me. The key, according to him, is dropping into the punch.

Sure he says hip rotation and forward momentum are very important, but it is the use of that dropping motion that really generates power.

I agree with that theory however one problem with this, and other theories of power hitting, is that they are usually cocomitant with over-commitment.

If you throw your weight forward, rotate your hips, and drop into the punch, you will generate amazing power, but what if that attack doesn't work?

Will you be in a position that you can QUICKLY regain yourself and flow into secondary or tercery techniques? The skilled fighter probably can, but not all are truly skilled.

When considering power hitting techniques, the fighter also has to consider how much power is needed. As much as you can muster! I don't think so, not at all.

Giacomo di Grasse said that one only needs to employ the wrist and elbow to make a thrust (with a rapier) effective. Granted we MA's aren't working with rapiers but the concept holds true for us.

The rapier is effective with little power because the minimal surface area on the foible (blade tip) amplifies the force of the thrust.

It thus follows that striking weapons such as your boshikens and shokens require less initial power to be effective than say a palm heel strike.

As with all things, heavy hitting has its trade offs. Consider the type of strike you are using, the situation, and the effect you wish to achieve. I am in no way saying you don't need to hit hard as hell, just consider how much of your body you want to commit to a technique. Food for thought.

-Collin
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Fri Jan 12, 2018 4:38 pm

david »

Those who know me will confirm that I have a fatalistic streak in me. I believe if it's one's time go, there ain't much one can do about it. Well... today was not my time.

Going to lunch with my coworker, we passed Knapp Street in Chinatown. It's pretty much a small street -- almost an alley -- cutting between Harrison Ave, Kneeland St and Beach St. I caught some quick movement down Knap, turned and saw two muggers dragging an old man into a hidden spot.

I yelled out and ran into Knapp getting within 30 feet of the spot, I saw the two muggers rifling the old man's shirt pocket. They knew we were coming and were looking up towards our direction. Soon as the saw us, the two bolted out of the spot. we were probably within 25 feet at this point.

One took off and the other turned towards us and started fumbling into his leather jacket. I told my co worker to run and call the police. She took off. At the same time, I turned sideways and pulled my knife.

I actually beat the mugger to the draw. But instead of the knife I expected, he pulled out a black matte finish auto.

He had out in front and a bit to the side, pretty much pointed downward (probably trying to impress me with the size of his toy and I was.)

The thought occurred to me I was going to get shot but then I saw the fright in him despite his threat to "blow" my "f^cking head off!" I backed off slowly facing him.

Can say why then but in retrospect I figured if he were to rush me I would have a chance by rushing at him with my knife. I also knew I didn't want to die being shot in the back. It's the macho streak in me -- I ain't dying without a fight.

Anyway, he started to back out towards the other end of the street. I can see a couple back there looking but not knowing what was going on. The victim was still hidden in the recessed spot off the street. I yelled in Chinese, "He has a gun! He has a gun!" The folks back there cleared out.

The mugger turned, ran down the street and turned a corner towards Kneeland. I backtracked to Harrison ran around the corner to Kneeland and ran after the guy, keeping my distance. He turned back to see if I was following. I was.

He turned up Washington St. towards Downtown. I figured I knew where he was headed, knew I couldn't take him myself and turned back to the Harrison/Kneeland corner where Wai Wai restaurant is located.

At that point, the victim came around the corner and the owner of Wai Wai was standing outside. The owner had caught the tail end of the action. He told me my coworker was inside talking to the police. I told the victim to go sit inside the restaurant and I went in as well to talk to the police on the phone to give a description.

Within minutes the two cruisers pulled up. I jumped in with one and told them where I thought the mugger was headed. When we got to the kneeland/Washington intersection, the driver turned south towards New England Medical and my office instead of downtown where the mugger was headed.

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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Fri Jan 12, 2018 4:40 pm

Don't ask me why. Didn't make sense. The mugger would blend in better downtown with more people than at the New England Medical where there is less people and less diversity of people.

The whole time, I also kept saying "the S_O_B is going to jump on a train. He his going to jump on a train!" So the cops pulled over at the New England Medical stop and two cops jumped out and went the station.

The third cop is kid I knew from the community. I told him the SOB went uptown. He said okay, radioed his partners about where he was going, turned the cruiser and we shot up Washington St.

We get to Essex Street, and cop on detail at the Millenium Project construction site ran over. Said he saw the mugger run into the station before the APB and ran after him, figuring the kid did something since he was running and looking suspicious. Said he just missed the kid because he jumped onto a departing train.

Anyway we headed back to Wai Wai restaurant so the cop can take statements from the victim, me and my coworker. After I gave my statement, the cop said I was "lucky" and I did the "right thing" by backing out of there.

I quickly responded (because I was still p^ssed off), "I knew what I was doing. I've seen it before..." He looked at me and said, "okay" and left at that.

The fact was I knew exactly what I was doing, though I won't claim every action I took was "right". I was pissed at them for mugging the old man in MY community.

And when the mugger pulled the gun, I was really P^SSED OFF that he did that to me. I wanted to get SOB badly.

I can tell you honestly that the chemical dumped kicked in and didn't go away for hours. But I was not panicked and I maintained a clarity the whole time. I always figured if it was my time, so be it. I tell the ones I love everyday, "I love you." I ain't got no problems with going doing what I think I have to do.

When I left my office at 8 PM tonight, I still had not recieved a call from the police to go to a line up. This means the muggers likely have gotten away -- this time.

The victim sustained a bruise knee. He said he lost $20 from his shirt pocket. He said he would have lost more if we had not intervened.

To emphasize this point, he pulled out a wad of $20 bills from his pant pocket. Like alot of immigrants, he kept most of his cash on him.

I am grateful to be sitting at home, in front of this computer while my kids sleep in bed and my wife is in the next room. Today was not my time...

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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Fri Jan 12, 2018 5:56 pm

I should emphasize something that was not clear in my description last night. I pulled my knife standing sideways to the mugger and tucked it tight against my leg. This is how I practice the draw.

The mugger never saw the knife and would not have until I was ready to use it. This probably saved me from getting shot.

I think if he saw the knife, in his agitated state, he might have taken a shot at me. There are two schools of thought on the knife.

One is to pull it and show it which may then back an attacker off.

Two is to pull it and not show it. Rather, let the opponent "feel it."

I am in the second school. The knife is not a toy.

You pull it only when you think and are willing to use it. Maintain the element of surprise.

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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Fri Jan 12, 2018 6:03 pm

I think the tragedies that are perhaps preventable are the saddest.

We can implement measures that can prevent another tragedy or tragedies but these are too late for the victim.

About five years ago a 4 year girl got literally crushed on the street by a huge construction rig going down the street, next to the school.

I got there just in time to hold the distraught father back as he kept trying to get under the rig while they covered what was his little girl with a blanket.

The blanket looked as it was covering just pavement.

That was how flat... I had nightmares for weeks, waking up crying... What could I have done to prevent it. Nothing.

But afterwards we change the speed zone around the area, installed blinking red lights and painted "School Zone" warnings all around the surrounding streets, got more strict enforcement.

Did it help the victim? NO. Has it prevented other accidents tragedies with young kids? I would like to think so. But fate is fate.

On a final note, I am bothered by one thing about my reaction in the situation -- when the guy "reached" I was thinking "knife". Instead, it was a gun.

That anticipation almost got me killed. I should have known better. This leads to another thread for those interested in the "force continuum."


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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Fri Jan 12, 2018 6:05 pm

Everything that Van writes should be read and re-read by everyone. Van is wise. What he writes is absolutely true.

Still... You (and few others) would probably have done the same thing.

In my building recently, a gentleman had a heart-attack and fell face-forward onto the floor. He cut his mouth when he hit. This place is crawling with medical people (nurses and physicians).

Nobody would help the man because he had blood coming from his mouth. Yes, they were right. You could have gotten HIV or hepatitis while trying to perform CPR.

So the man just stayed on the floor like a sack of potatoes and turned blue.

The ambulance got there much too late.

He died.

Several of us who were not there (like myself) were in tears about it. We thought...just maybe we would have said screw it and risked our life to save his. Maybe...

We now have a mouthpiece on every floor of the building for such future events.

And I sure wish you'd change your mind about that cell phone.

- Bill
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Fri Jan 12, 2018 6:07 pm

A number of years ago, people in the community were ripped off by roving gangs of Asian youth who jumped out of cars and surrounded their victims during the evening hours.

I and some other folks met with Captain Conway of Precinct A to talk about what the police can do. Not much.

Precinct A encompasses Chinatown, North End, Downtown, Park Sq (hotel area)and Charlestown. We asked about his deployment in the evenings.

His reply was that he had a cruiser in the North End/Charlestown, one in the Park Square area and one "roving."

Think about it... three cruisers for how many square miles of dense city neighborhoods...?

I know the deployment has been upped, but not by much, in the past several years. You CANNOT rely on the police for protection. Only your awareness and your wits.

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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Fri Jan 12, 2018 6:11 pm

Van Sensei has written numerous posts about the "force continuum" to break through our denial about what can happen out there.

Even though I should know and believe his admonishments intimately given all my past experiences where weapons have been drawn, somehow, I had carried this misplaced "ethical" notion that to carry a weapon was "bad" and never did.

However, with several incidents in the past several years, I was led/forced to consider the practice of edged and impact weapons as well as to adopt the carry of an edged weapon. My most recent experience reinforced that this is the route to go, for me, and that I have a ways to go yet on the force continuum.

Following the most recent incident, I reread an article, "Why Not Bring a Knife to a Gunfight?", by Michael Janich, a knife instructor, in the most recent issue of Combat Knives magazine.

Basically, his points reiterate what Van sensei has been strongly proposing in these forums all along. I think the following is worth considering because it is a different voice with the same perspective. It certainly has been driven home for me again.

"The more I learn about self-defense and weapons use, the more I am convinced that there is no such things a 'gunfight,' or a 'knifefight', or a 'fist fight.' A fight is a fight.

The weapon or tool you use to defend yourself will depend upon what you have at your disposal at that exact moment.

A moment later, the situation may change, requiring new tactics and quite possibly a new weapon.

If you’re not prepared to adapt to the changing circumstances of a violent struggle. you’re not prepared. Period."

Look seriously at why you're training and whether you are truly meeting what you need. Keep practicing and stay safe.

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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Fri Jan 12, 2018 6:17 pm

Nothing like armed conflict trauma that brings home the reality of what a likely confrontation might be these days as opposed to what we have manufactured in our minds a “fight” would be like for us!

It makes no difference how competent you think you are with your hands and feet, or knife or gun, or how deadly you imagine you would be;

until you can make yourself react in a sound tactical way within the time segments critical to your response action, all you have is worthless!

Armed conflict trauma results when a person is exposed to a potential life-threatening situation, and in the wake of such experience all the vulnerabilities surface with violence breaking through the denial barrier!

The whole world turns topsy-turvy, as the images of invincibility fade rather quickly!

As we have said before, most decent people don’t get into fights; the ones that do are recidivist troublemakers and more often than not will be armed one way or another while coming at you!

When you emerge through the fog of your initial denial [giving the assailant the time segment advantage] you realize suddenly with a deep emotional shudder that the moment has arrived for you, that there is indeed someone who wants to harm you, possibly kill you! Here he is killing you as stand there incredulous that your time has come and you are being killed.


A fight is a natural primal struggle for survival, and that is really where you are, and you must take vicious countervailing measures with extreme prejudice in order to survive!

And you are dreaming, if you still fantasize your fight one on one with an opponent who will crumble easily under your “true” Uechi techniques! Chances are you will be up against multiple opponents; perhaps each one of them more than you could handle alone!

And you find out befuddled that all the techniques you are able to deploy are nothing but your arms just flailing.


If you are studying martial arts to become a “better person” and stay in shape, and so on, that is fine! But if you want to factor in the self defense equation, better get into it a lot deeper!

Thank you David for teaching us some serious lessons!
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Sat Jan 13, 2018 12:22 am

I've read the replies by you about why an attack works and I have few questions for you. Please keep in mind that these questions are not meant to antagonize anyone they are for my own enlightenment on your form of self defense that I am alien to.

I have studied Savate, judo and am a former golden gloves boxer. While I agree that the psychology of an attack is superior to the defense attitude I also find an overwhelmig number of martial artists who are afraid of getting hit.

As a boxer I got hit a lot and Im convinced that most martial artists dont really know how to hit as when I sparred with them their full power blows had very little effect.

The mentality of most karateks that I have come across has been what I call the finishing blow attitude. Meaning that they save all their power for an opening in which to throw a finishing blow in hopes of dissabling an attacker.

I find that mentality odd and unproductive as I learned how to throw one knockout punch after another in boxing by utilizing the "mass in motion" principle.

Most boxers myself included can throw sometimes 120 bone crunching punches a minute against a heavy bag without breaking a sweat as our power does not rely on strength but weight and motion.

we mostly block by parrying and dodging while throwing these punches at our opponets.

Most karate guys, black belts included had neither the speed or the power to stop me and their blocks could never keep up with any combination.

They also were very reluctant, almost scared of getting hit to the point that their defense was eventually backing away from me to avoid the attack. Oh sure they threw some kicks too but they too bounced off my stomach like ping pong balls as did their blows.


Often i would absorb a direct hit to the face while going in for an uppercut or a hook that they, by nature of their strike had left themselves wide open for I recoiled from their blow to deliver a punch that would usually knock them flat.

One black belt an assistant instructor commented that my punches were stronger than his kicks. It became apparent to me that none of them had any clue how to truly generate power in their punches the way I was taught.

Is this standard in the martial arts in general? How do deal with a situation like this in your system. Do you utilize concepts that are diffrent from lots of the run of the mill styles(jappenese, korean) if so what are they?

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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Sat Jan 13, 2018 12:29 am

The primal response actions that are hardwired will take precedence over anything else you would like to think you have programmed through your training and that 100+ seminars you have attended, from pressure points to knife fighting!

I.E., blood flow redirects from our extremities to the major muscles, thighs, chest, and arms! __Hand dexterity and coordination suffer from the vascular occlusion, resulting in deterioration of fine and complex motor skills!

Fine movements of the fingers and hands are degraded most of all [particularly in our fingers]. __Epinephrine and other hormones release in our blood stream will cause all muscles to tighten including the clenching of our fingers into the primal fist! __

The legs will go heavy on us, we will forget all the glamorous martial arts techniques, all the fancy stances, the fancy locks, the fancy take downs etc__

Mental, rational ability, your critical decision making process to think tactically, will deteriorate terribly__ you will forget most of the complex principles and techniques you have paid hundreds of dollars for at “seminars” __ your muscle memory will betray you__

As indicated By Siddle, studies by Weinberg and Hunt [1973] found that even moderate levels of body alarm reactions affect fine muscular control, and that cognitive skills degrade with even a slight increase in stress!


Under the kick of the “adrenaline dump” your increased strength is channeled very effectively through your “ gross motor” delivery vehicle which you should hone in your practice of Uechi-Ryu!

This means cut out most of the useless talk and the fancy crap and useless applications in your training and work your body to mimic what it will do on its own accord in a confrontation!

Get away from any punching techniques if you can, our punches really cannot be relied on as stopping blows like a boxer; we simply don't have the power and technique as a boxer.

you must cultivate the open hand strikes to the throat, eyes, and bridge of the nose, as well as the yanking pulling/trapping motions of the circular Uechi “ blocking pattern” to tie up and control for a takedown!
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Sat Jan 13, 2018 12:30 am

The training methodology of a karate-ka is totally different from the boxer, who is generally much more conditioned for toe to toe exchange, can throw lightning fast and powerful combinations that would cut the karate-ka to pieces if he expects to match every boxer’s punch with a block!

Also the karate-ka will have difficulty absorbing the constant punishment a boxer will deal to his body [in spite of our body conditioning drills], not to mention his face…one or two shots by a boxer to the martial artist’s face and the fight is over!

The philosophy of the Uechi system is to strike sensitive targets [throat –eyes as an example] , with open hand strikes while at the same time chopping the legs of the opponent with shin kicks [very well conditioned.
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Sat Jan 13, 2018 12:32 am

Brat,

I respect the dues you've paid. I trained in a boxing gym for about six months and the pro's in the gym where I trained could knock a house down and keep doing it for a long time. They were studs! (Mitch "Blood" Greene, Buster Drayton, David Bey, and Burt Cooper to name a few).

I think that your post may reflect several important issues beyond your relative skills which sound considerable.

One is that it suggests the pathetic state of training in the contemporary martial arts venue. Sensei are sometimes unwilling or financially unable to risk closing their doors because they train "too hard."

Getting hit is part of hard training. I assure you that I've been hit by karate-ka so hard that I thought their fist was going to emerge from my spine. No joke! Same with kicked. My first Sensei used to do a conditioning drill where we would round kick each other in the shoulder. I've heard bells from that one just like taking a good hook.

Secondly, although your encounters with karate-ka sound fairly one sided, there are practitioners who engage in "real" karate training who would prove noble adversaries.

Did you take any shin kicks to your thighs/knees from your opponents? Did you take any shin kicks from a karate-ka who can break a 2x4 with his shins? Were your spoken or tacitly acknowledged rules of engagement such that knees, elbows, flesh grabs, eye jabs, head butts, and ripping of the testicles were allowed?

Did any of your opponents hit you with a forearm smash that is capable of breaking a Louisville slugger? How about the toe kick that Sensei Van mentioned which some of our proponents use to break six 1" pine boards stacked together? Man, that will perforate anyones favorite liver!

Obviously, these questions are rhetorical. These strategies are not used in sportive encounters. It makes it hard to go have a beer together afterwards when one guy has lost his testicles, one eye, and his liver has hemorrhaged Image

As you can tell from Sensei Van's post regarding suggestions 1-12, there are those in karate who aspire to more than whippy/snappy tournament tag. This forum is a great resource to discuss "real" training.

You sound like a Uechi kind of guy, Brat. Is there a dojo in your area? Check it out, you'd love it!!!

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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Sat Jan 13, 2018 12:34 am

Nice thread. The "psychology of attack" -- love this phrase. Yes, absolutely must have this. Even in defending, you must be attacking. One must be thinking of and attacking even in parrying, blocking, ducking, slipping. All movements lead to and are part of attacking.

To maintain a psychology of attack you must have faith that you will and can do what it takes to take the opponent out. This is premised on hard, sincere training. There are some differences in approaches or emphasis as there are differences among various proponents and their attributes.

Frankly, no one way works for all. But all would agree that "psychology" and the training behind it, must be tested, developed and maintained in a "freestyle" situation.

Frankly, it all comes back to the proponent. I've seen boxers who could definitely kick butt (figuratively) on a lot of "martial artists". I also know some serious martial artists who could kick butt (figuratively and literally) of most boxers. They have the "psychology of attack" and the "power" to back it.

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