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 » Thu Aug 09, 2018 10:08 pm

Darren
As I stated earlier in this article, there is quite a large body of “psychological” research into stress and fear. One of the leaders in this field is Dr. Seymour Epstein who in 1994 did a comprehensive review of this topic area. Dr. Epstein had come to the conclusion, from a psychological perspective, that a person has “two” distinctly different modes of processing information during a spontaneous high threat situation:

1. Rational Thinking: (low emotional arousal states) able to calmly engage in the conscious, deliberative, analytical cognitive processing

2. Experiential Thinking: ( high stress and emotional arousal) an automatic, intuitive mode of information processing that operates by different rules from that of the rational mode, far more efficient during times of high stress than conscious deliberate thinking

Dr. Epstein, based upon his research, points out “In most situations that automatic processing of the experiential system is DOMINATE over the rational system because it is less effortful and more efficient, and, accordingly is the DEFAULT option.” This is especially true in sudden, high stress, situations requiring instant physical performance
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Thu Aug 09, 2018 11:05 pm

A second pathway is known as the “low road” which is triggered by a spontaneous/ unexpected attack.

Here, the brain will take control of the body with an immediate “protective reflex” (downloaded directly to the brain stem where all of our reflexive responses to danger are stored), which will override any system of combat that bases its ability on “cognitively” applying a physical response.

This is especially true if the trained response is not congruent with the “protective reflex” (this is exactly what I observed in the 1992 video study that I conducted and mentioned earlier in this article)
Darren


So this is the reason why some of the stuff you train with and think is now 'ingrained' will work in play, like in a dojo, but will leave you unprotected in a real fight.
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Thu Aug 09, 2018 11:06 pm

look at what you are doing in the area of self protection and ask yourself, is my training “congruent” with the above noted information, if not change what you are doing
Darren
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Thu Aug 09, 2018 11:14 pm

· Train on the concept of “commonality of technique.” The initial plan “A” strategy that I use in an unexpected spontaneous assault (be it armed or unarmed), is no different than in an attack that I do see coming.

Why, because no matter if the brain goes “high road” or “low road”, my “congruent” gross motor skills will work in both paths. This is a definite tactical advantage.

· Understand that although the “low road” reflexive motor responses cannot be changed, they can be “molded” to fit a combative motor skill technique that are useable during a spontaneous attack.

I use the Somatic Reflex Potentiation response, which I call “penetrate and dominate,” in all my programs.

Tony Blauer uses the flinch response in his SPEAR system. Richard Dimitri also incorporates the flinch in his training at Senshido.

· Fortunately, there are methods of reducing fear and inhibiting the fear response (see Siddle’s 8 steps to management of SSR earlier in this article.)
Darren

This is good information, however it is my personal feeling that some of us practitioners would not really be able to 'penetrate and dominate' against a very dangerous opponent who is bigger/stronger/heavier and intent at closing in on you to kill you. We have seen many example of this on my forum.

You pull this 'penetration/domination' on the wrong guy, whereas you should have outflanked him...and you will be buried with the last Sanchin salute.
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Fri Aug 10, 2018 8:48 pm

...It's also vitally important that you don't delude yourself when it comes to the INTENSITY of the attacks you're facing in training. It's just too easy to get the idea that an attack's full-on when it's not. ...Your attacker must be giving it ALL he can! It means if his attack gets through your defence you'll be hurt. As disturbing as this may sound there's no other way to get the confidence is vital to your ability to defend yourself successfully in a real situation.
Sharp Phil

Not only we must figure the INTENSITY of the attack...but the kind of opponent now facing you for real...one that, try as you might, you won't be able to block as his strikes are so powerful, he'll fold your wauke like spaghetti.

Unless you learn and feel comfortable in 'flanking' attacks...you are going to get a beating on the street...you can bank on it.

All the best fighters 'outflank' their opponents.
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Fri Aug 10, 2018 8:55 pm

2Green »

Just thought I'd throw this up for comment if anyone's interested:

I spend a lot of time in rock or country bars in the midst of a lot of very drunk and sometimes rowdy characters. Being in the band means you're not anonymous and often approached by a variety of strangers.

Over the years, being 5'6" & 150lbs, I've often anticipated getting grabbed or suckered by a patron for whatever reason.

So I have certain casual defensive postures which I've adopted and just wondering what some of the more experienced forum-ers think of them:
Let's say some character says "Hey buddy, c'mere for a sec while I ask you something!"

So now I'm in close proximity...here's how I maintain distance and defense.

1: "Washing my hands" looks like I'm doing jusy that, or rubbing them.This puts my hands almost up to throat level, in front and guards the ribs and chest.

2: "Stroking the moustache": covers the chin, puts hand up. other arm crosses the belly above the belt and hand cups elbow.
Protects face, ribs, solar plexus.


3:"Say again, please?": Fingertips on near shoulder of patron, head slightly sideways to "hear better". Other hand hitching up my waistband.

Hand on patron's shoulder blocks that arm,prepared for hard push away, detect arm movement through shoulder. Other ("hitching") protects stomach and ribs.

These are all fairly common and non-threatening postures, but I use them for a reason.

I NEVER stand around with my hands in my pockets or behind my back ("at ease"). I always tense my stomach when approached.

I always leave a gap of four inches or so between my body and the bar or table, as a buffer if I get pushed, or run into by a flying victim.

I never put all my balance on one leg.

I sweep for drunks and bad-dude types (easy from the stage!) and always nod and smile at the bouncers when I arrive & leave.

I do that even if I'm in a bar I'm not playing at. Bouncers know who's trouble. If they have to break up a fight they might remember the "friendly" and haul out the right party!

Beware of washrooms. You're cornered and out of sight of help. Stay nearest the door and keep the "circle of awareness" on high.

2Green
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Sat Aug 11, 2018 1:22 pm

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krymrgn »

This is just a quick thank you to Van and all who contribute to these forums. I have gained a lot of knowledge and found myself remembering and thinking back to the things talked about within the topics, durring classes.

Several issues have brought further growth in my practice, and I wanted to let everyone know it is appreciated - and it DOES help those who read and think about what is being said.

Kerry
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Sat Aug 11, 2018 1:23 pm

Brett »

I agree this is a site that has helped me grow.

Thanks for the opportunity to learn Van.
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Sat Aug 11, 2018 1:25 pm

90% Agression, 10% Technique

RACastanet »

This is how one of the top trainers at the USMC described a winning fight using the techniques being taught.

Attitude, desire and mindset are the most important aspects of being successful in a confrontation.

Any thoughts or comments out there?

Rich
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Sat Aug 11, 2018 1:58 pm

hthom »

I used this example many times:

Which dog do you think will win a fight, a Doberman or a St Bernard?

It's the same with street fights. Attitude and ferociousness are way ahead of everything else.
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Sat Aug 11, 2018 2:00 pm

Panther »

Long, long ago I was involved in an encounter which fortunately I walked away from. I was with someone who relayed what happened to Shihan while others were standing around (while I was teaching another class)...

When I walked out of the class, the "tale" got told to the exiting students and I was asked, "What did you do?" The only thing I could even think to answer was, "I survived."

Want to gain some insight into people's "dojo-mind"...

There are plenty of folks here who have 1) rank (some high ranking, some very high ranking) and 2) have "survived" an "encounter".

Sooooo... Try going to a dojo where you aren't known, sign up for some classes, put on a new gi and white-belt. Soon, you'll have a whole bunch of people critiquing every move you make... And you thought you had pretty good form!


What gets even more interesting is when that green or brown belt tells you that if you keep doing your technique that way, you'll never survive "on the street".

Panther
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Sat Aug 11, 2018 9:53 pm

Our training ways

1. The most important aspect of the training we do is the realization that aside equal engagement considerations, the one thing that becomes critical in any self defense situation is the effectiveness of your striking someone with a technique that generates stopping power and that it does not hurt you as you deliver it.

2. Most classes you attend will have you make some minimal contact upon your partner and or generally punch and kick air without being able to really determine its stopping power upon an opponent and its safe delivery for you and your body parts engaged in the strike.

3. You need to get some 'feedback' on your strikes to develop the confidence they are effective, yet not hurt you in delivery.

4. Class activities and programming, ingraining, of techniques that will have a decent chance of emerging from our style and being effective in a self defense situation, in ways that they will not hurt us as they are deployed_

_must be geared to the body structure, condition and age of the practitioner lest they get us in trouble with self inflicted injuries and or a serious beating from an opponent whom you pissed off with ineffective strikes.

5. It is for this reason that the best teachers will set aside a good portion of the class to impact training.
In my view, the best ways of impact training is to use a combination of a heavy bag on the floor and the 'Bob Dummy'...this one in particular as it programs good targeting upon a human body along with feedback.

6. It's like the saying: we must know our limitations...problem is as we age we do not accept them and_ even if we do occasional impact training_ we will bang in ways and individual techniques that will hurt us in the delivery and will take a long time to heal if ever.


7. So using impact training we explore which strikes our bodies will allow us to use with some degree of effectiveness, and without causing injury to ourselves.
But you will not see this in most classes with an emphasis on blocks and counters to 'air targets'

8. On the street chances are someone will give you a serious beating, as usually your attacker would be much younger and stronger to begin with, and he won't feel much 'stoppage' because of his adrenalized state.

9. Uechi kata gives us a box of tools ....we must train in feeling comfortable with whatever tool is likely to emerge for us at our age, and given our physical condition...and likely land on target.

10. You need to program 'targeting' and this is where the Bob dummy is very useful, giving you some sort of guarantee that the technique you will end up using will be landing on a decisive target.

11. Many students, especially the ones nursing injuries, are loath of impact training as they feel the hurt to their bodies even more in landing decent strikes on the Bob dummy.

12. In my class, I tell the guys they are in control of what they do...I may make suggestions, but in the end it is their being comfortable and safe with any technique we might practice for impact that helps them with programming.

13. So you would try or decide not to try any impact technique depending upon your present physical/injuries condition and projected effectiveness.
This is the study you need to immerse yourself in during class, both in blocks and strikes...where by selection you identify your best effective and safe techniques for you to ingrain...based on who and what you are...or you are just practicing more delusion.

14. It is a selection process you need to immerse yourself in and it will take discipline and constant practice. If you don't do any of this...your class, as good as it might be, is seriously deficient as you will just end up hurting yourself in a real fight.

15. Furthermore, as we age ... we must get away from the head on clashing of our younger years, and begin to embrace seriously the concept of 'outflanking' of an opponent...that is also found in our Uechi style instead of persisting in the deadly belief 'we can handle anything' because that type of thinking will expedite your demise in a confrontation against an opponent you did not figure on.

16.The outflanking drills that I use are against the most habitual attacks we can expect...and every student in class has a say on how he feels he could be attacked and I expect them to program the...'evasive' _ 'flanking' skills against those possibilities.

17. After all this you then is to drill either against the wall or while free moving , to avoid and flank/redirect common incoming attacks...it is there you will find out if you have the footwork and reactive speed.

18. It takes discipline, especially because most students today do not engage in slammer free sparring as we did in years back.

19. You need to 'know' if you can 'move' off the line of force against you, and you need to know what strikes your body can handle without fracturing the 'weapon' keeping you safe.
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby paulg » Sun Aug 12, 2018 11:57 am

A long time concern of mine in my study has been whether nukite strikes are realistically applicable. They appear frequently in the Uechi kata, probably more frequently than in other styles. There probably are a minority of students whose hands are strong enough to actually strike someone hard with a nukite. But I think most of us would bend or sprain or break our fingers if we tried, especially under the pressure of high adrenaline and imperfect aim (and don't think you can execute a perfectly aimed strike between the ninth and tenth rib in the fury of a fight). One of my guys thinks doing the nukite in the kata is a good method of hand strengthening even if it is never used as an actual strike. And this is particularly true of sanchin, which is not intended to be a fighting kata in the literal sense. Maybe those few students who do a lot of hand training, with the jars or the bucket of sand and pebbles, etc, do develop sufficient hand strength. Or people who work in a physical job, like plumbers or masons. I have been experimenting with substituting a closed fist for the nukite in some kata, and that feels very realistic. I know Art R turns his fingers out, to hit with the palm heel rather than the finger tips. What do other people think?
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Sun Aug 12, 2018 3:21 pm

Good post Paul, thank you.
Good points on the nukite. I recall Tomoyose sensei saying that the nukite strike should always be aimed at soft tissue targets [throat]_

Even so, I find the most useful application of this pointy technique where your hand is already next or a few inches away from the soft target, and you ‘push in’ at different angles seeking penetration.
I don’t like to get to the soft tissue from a fully chambered nukite position as the fingers are vulnerable to jamming/bending/grabbing on the way to the target.

One way to practice this safely and to strengthen the fingers is to work with a partner pushing each other back and forth with fingers pressing against the stomach.

Your student is correct as Tommy san also told me that his one and only way of ‘hand conditioning’ was sanchin and not any ‘sand/gravel’ etc./but with the addition of the ‘jars’ which do develop a very powerful grip/Nakahodo style.

“I have been experimenting with substituting a closed fist for the nukite in some kata, and that feels very realistic. I know Art R turns his fingers out, to hit with the palm heel rather than the finger tips. What do other people think?”

That is good _and one example of it is the nukite strike to the ribs being performed with the inverted fist which the boxer in my class refers to as the ‘shovel hook’ that can be devastating.

Other than that I caution students on punches to the head area as the chances of getting the knuckles punctured by teeth with resulting deadly infection are pretty high[Allen Moulton almost died from such an infection/he got to the hospital in the nick of time]_

Another likely chance is breaking the hand/wrist that impacts against an opponent’s forehead…at which point your self defense is over.

Rabesa is correct in turning the nukite into a palm strike, which is the safest and one of the strongest natural body weapons…very safe to use and with a good chance of ‘stoppage’ thrown at various targets….front and back of an opponent.

This is practiced a lot in my class against the Bob dummy…watch the elbow strikes and palm strikes.

And unless you do this against the bob dummy you are not developing much stopping power in the workouts.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fo1JvTAKTpk
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Sun Aug 12, 2018 3:54 pm

Here is another impact training exercise we use in my class where you learn to strike using body torque and compression to enhance your stopping power using gross motor techniques that will not hurt you.

I also teach the evasion/flanking' footwork against the dummy.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4HQcfnZJyIA

Another 'must do' drill is to have one person hold a free standing bag on the floor and have the class take turns in kicking it with low kicks, not necessarily the front snap kick [as under stress it will be jammed/grabbed] and doing the kicks with body torque...especially the low roundhouse...always using your shin bone as the weapon and not your foot, because in the chaos of a confrontation you might break your ankle...if you are a soccer player you will understand why.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uPX2kWGxlgw

And you are only fooling yourself if you think 'proper conditioning' will save your ankle joints from breaking in a slammer kick against an opponent's shin or knee.

This is a picture of me when I was a soccer striker...even with very powerful conditioned legs there were many times when I was taken out of play with ankle injuries from impact.

Image
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