Good talk on blocks

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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:36 pm

Those are the minor acts of destruction. Teaching, at the edge of life and death, involves major acts of destruction.

Since part of the skill of real confrontation involves internalizing risk and fear, the student must be exposed to real risk and real fear.

Whether it's at the high end of two man kata training where a slight lapse in concentration shattered a collarbone or boxing and breaking ribs or a drill with safety equipment and rules that still sent a third of the participants to the hospital, it had to be faced.

We make training as safe as we can, but for the few for whom this is not a hobby they eventually need to reach the edge and spend some time there. Still, the destruction that arises here is peripheral, accidental. Injuries happen when you play hard, but the injury isn't the point.
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:39 pm

This is sobering...

But sometimes the injuryIS the point. Usually it's a psychological break, not a physical one.
A good instructor carefully brings a student to the edge of this cliff, gives them all the tools they need to fly, and pushes them off. Some fly. Some don't.

It's important to be clear here, but very difficult. For every physical inefficiency that slows and weakens a strike, there are psychological issues caused by history or inclination or false information that can cripple you before you even move.

Illusions that must be faced and shattered. Once he has them to a certain skill level, Mac puts his students through a multi-man drill with the intent of immobilizing them to helplessness and then to continue the beating.

For a young, strong, male fighter it is psychologically crushing... but the only thing that is crushed is a stupid illusion of invulnerability.

Some learn, dropping one of many illusions. They fly at the edge of the cliff.

Others never return to class, imagining what they will and should do to prevent it ever happening again, rescuscitating their illusion.
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:41 pm

I remember some of my breaks- when my judo instructor showed me the old follow-throughs, turning a fun sport into a frightening art, I thought about quitting... but chose to accept the responsibility.

When my shoulder dislocated in a match, I learned that pain and injury weren't that big a deal. My first Bull-in-the-Ring I learned that my instinct, even when I was too tired to lift my arms, was still to fight.

My last Bull, just after knee surgery I learned that I would rather be crippled than let the team down. And I learned that if I was scared enough I would pray.

They were shattering, but shattering an illusion is like shattering a constricting shell. It's not like breaking a bone, something structural.

But when you, as an instructor, push it to this level you don't know who will fly and who will fall.

Whether what breaks is a shell or a bone isn't up to you. The student decides. That's scary.
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:53 pm

Walter Mattson wrote
Regarding Master Takara's advocacy of body rotation: it's not that he specifically teaches a unique method, it's just that from his very first observation of Western students_

he like every other Okinawan teacher before him, observed that we all looked like we were expending way too much effort for too little result.

He identified the root cause as a failure to understand that the biggest muscle mass in the body is below the belt, that the big muscles fire slower than the smaller ones in the upper body and if they all fire at the same time the target won't feel the input of the hips and legs.

(imagine a baseball pitcher trying to throw a fast ball from Sanchin or any other rooted stance) The fist is our baseball!
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Wed Feb 13, 2019 6:00 am

Dave Young »

STOPPING POWER

Many people at the camp have broken boards, concrete blocks, even baseball bats.....but these same people pulled their power during some simulations...DID THEY PULL THEIR POWER OR IN FACT HAVE NO POWER?......

the same power that broke these hard objects...were unable to hit someone in a protective suit that is designed for HIGH BLUNT TRAUMA......the question is WHY?...

How does a small woman weighing 100 lbs at best, lift a car up off the ground the save her child...but in another setting is unable to execute a few pull ups....WHY...?

Here are some possible answers...;

People respond in many different ways when under stress...the BIG act small and the small have become GIANTS.....WHY...?

Over time we have become very knowledgeable in this area...we have learned that in times of critical stress we act in the mid brain...gross motor skills take over....and there is a direct connection between the (physical) response or an ACT and the actually (mental) commitment needed for a real life response...

How to correct this is in training...we do this each and every day in our training...In our other Reality Check Forum we talked about a few of these.....I am hoping in time for next year Summerfest we will have address more of these factors to draw to our Seminars there....Thanks for thinking of me Van..

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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Wed Feb 13, 2019 6:08 am

knife and scenarios

Dana Sheets »

Some things seem OK - but many strategies were only successful after they'd been slashed enough for the attacker to wear themselves out a bit.
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Wed Feb 13, 2019 6:12 am

Roy Bedard »

So here is a good glimpse into the ugliness of combat. No pre-arranged movements, no pre-arranged responses. Only a sudden primal survival reaction that leaves the attacked cut in almost every case.

Notice the instructor shouts only to get the knife. There is no shouts about knee to the stomach, strike the groin, elbow to the head. Only - "get the knife".

This is the concept introduced by many combat specialists and is so poignantly described in Gladwell's book BLINK.

It is also the theory of the Chess game that I posted on this forum. If you want to engineer a strategy you first study the innate response. You figure out what happens in the blink of an eye.

You do these tests a bunch of times and come to understand what your hands do, your body does, your mind does when suddenly and brutally attacked.

Then you train to it. You see, you cannot train a first response, so you have to learn to train to the first response.

Looking at these videos you see a few episodes where these guys try to make something happen. They get lost in a technique that isn't working.

They get stabbed and slashed and still they work that single technique ad nauseoum. This is what happens when we over-engineer a response in the dojo. We cloud the issue by suggesting that there is one better solution to the problem than any other.

We suggest that there is one right solution and we drill it. What we discover by testing the trained response is that the law of specificity almost always turns the fight to the favor of the assailant.

In our business we have to learn how to reverse engineer our tactics. Let the BLINK factor speak for itself.

So what to do about these types of attacks as a teacher? How do you get students to prepare for them? How do you teach to survive them?

I have my own ideas, but I'd like to play devil's advocate on this one and see what others have to say.

Good stuff Dana.

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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Wed Feb 13, 2019 6:14 am

Norm Abrahamson »

I don't know what guidelines were in place for the drill, but one thing I noticed is that the unarmed fighter always seemed to wait for the the knife attack.

As soon as you know there is a knife in play, I think you need to do something fast.

For the drill, it would probably be to immediately strike the armed opponent.

My one "real life" experience happened when I was 11. As soon as I saw the knife I was gone. No delay, no posturing. I still see escape as a reasonable response to a knife attack.

Sincerely,

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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Wed Feb 13, 2019 6:24 am

There will always be problems with this:

1. Do you think that the way we train [wait for the punch/attack to be thrown before we ‘block it and counter’] might get us into to the same ‘wait’ situation as above? If not, why not?

2. On the other end, striking first, may expose us to legal jeopardy.

3. And in many cases, if an assailant pulls a knife, we won't see him do it.

What we may think is oncoming as a punch or a shove may just have a blade hidden in it.

No question that if you see someone pull a knife on you, the best way is to run away if you can...but you can still be chased down and stabbed in the back.

Karate people will have a tendency to 'stand their ground' against someone with a knife simply because of our training assumptions.

Utter foolishness.
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Wed Feb 13, 2019 6:25 am

If you want to engineer a strategy you first study the innate response. You figure out what happens in the blink of an eye. You do these tests a bunch of times and come to understand what your hands do, your body does, and your mind does when suddenly and brutally attacked. Then you train to it. You see, you cannot train a first response, so you have to learn to train to the first response.
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Wed Feb 13, 2019 6:30 am

Sammy Franco calls it ‘Defensive recognition’ _ the ability to recognize/sense _ and identify that an attack has occurred or is incipient. <

Then you must train in acquiring the ability to trigger a ‘defensive solution’ with the appropriate tactic and tools. Either flight or fight.

Next you train to learn to respond in ways that denies the opponent his freedom of any intended movement in a final manner as Dave young points out.

And careful about what you ‘bring to bear’ upon the opponent.

It is all well and good to say ‘I’ll preempt him’ _ but what do you hope to do this with? Does what you ‘bring’ really have any stopping power?

Or will you make this worse for yourself because you ‘dared’ to fight back?


Dave young noted at camp that the same people who broke boards/bats etc.

were not able to register any stopping hits on the red man suit...yet most of us feel we have great stopping power.
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Wed Feb 13, 2019 6:35 am

Roy Bedard »

The response of the body is automatic. It cannot be fully controlled except in some small way through proper breathing exercises. There is a chemical reaction that will override a well thought out rational plan in order to protect the one who is burdened with the sudden bad news that they may be killed in the next few moments.

As Norm points out, a first strike, a pre-emptive strike is a good idea. Regrettably, it is the not realizing part that results in pre-emptive strikes rarely occurring.

To present an effective defense with a pre-emptive attack, where you are actually in control of your attack or defense, where your body has not engaged the limbic system, requires that you first understand the cues and key features of an imminent attack...and be right about it.

James Burke, in his book The Day the Universe changed says, "It is the brain which sees, not the eye. Reality is in the brain before it is experienced, or else the signals we get from the eye would make no sense."

So from a training perspective if we are to train for defense against "real" attacks, we have to invent reality in a controlled environment. We have to make it seem real. We have to use props and specific environments. We have to use actors and bring about real emotions to induce combat stress.

Yes, we have to get out of the Gi, and even out of the dojo. We have to spend less time studying specific techniques and more time studying specific situations.

We have to invent scenarios that are not fantastic or outlandish, but rather typical in order to discern the features of human interactions that are normal versus those that are abnormal in order to create a mechanism for an early warning system that tells us that danger is present. In short, we have to come of age.

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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Wed Feb 13, 2019 6:42 am

Roy Bedard »

I would remind that karate is a form of self defense only if you want it to be. It can also be a cultural study, a fitness program, a macho endeavor to impress your friends, a money maker and even a babysitting service. Intent matters.

But as a self defense system it has to be looked at and commented on from the back of the room. It has to be reverse engineered to answer the question, "Why do we do what we do?"

When you free yourself from dogma you recognize that time and place matter. The karate practitioners paradigm is built mostly upon eighteenth century Asian combat, designed specifically for that distinct time and place under those cultural values, attitudes and norms.

Because of this single reference point it can be argued that karate is "more real" when practiced in Asia which still embraces many of those cultural norms that were around at the time of karate's birth. Certainly those times have changed, but what is really different is the rules of engagement in the west.

The west is, and has been a strikingly different culture with a different set of values, attitudes and norms. The west is more independent, more individual, less homogenized as a culture and it breeds a different, more aggressive,more brutal breed of predatory criminal.

Absent drunken barroom fights, a fight in the west is far more likely to result in serious injury or death. The US consistently posts top numbers for aggravated assault and murder when compared to all of the developed nations during times of peace and among a civilian population.


So what we see when we take the raw martial arts and apply them to actual combat in America is that they are a bit mismatched.

They aren't necesarily designed to deal with the new kinds of attacks that the west offers; that's obvious, but I think in a more profound sense, they are operating in a highly litigious society that discourages pre-emptive strikes and mentally conditions its members to be able to articulate the attack that was percieved so that reasonable people, who will stand in judgement agree that the defense was necessary.


This overly cautious mindset causes a form of denial that has become a cultural norm. It creates a habit of dismissing critical intuitive feelings that an attack is imminent. In America we force the art to be a science, and science requires proofs.

Gut feeling, intuition, spider-sense, call it what you will are all very real things indeed, but very indefensible. That's why in the last post I said that... you have to be right.

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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Wed Feb 13, 2019 6:47 am

Roy Bedard>>

How does one describe intuition to a peer group who stands in judgment of their defensive pre-emptive attack? Well, we try to characterize it in physical, observable behavior.

Yeah, we got a million auditory and visual descriptors, yet none of them speaks as loudly as the intuition that makes up the hardwiring of the primitive brain. Usually what we are describing when we talk about these indicators and cues is nothing more than posturing behavior, what Rory once describe as the monkey dance.

In fact, someone exhibiting these "indicators" is often doing what animals do to avoid fights. They make themselves appear larger and louder. They change colors. They call upon subtle primitive facial expressions as signs of warning.

They close distance and in doing so express their territorial boundaries. They set up lines for you not to cross.

We can sell this to a jury easily. These are agreed upon indicators of aggression regardless of how accurate they are.

But if you really want to train and teach others to recognize true aggression you have to get in touch with intuition.

Predators do not do any of those things we describe. They would not want to give their position away. When animals hunt, they try to blend in not stand out.

They try to conceal themselves not appear larger. They are quiet, stealthy rather than loud and threatening. They penetrate territory, striking hard, vicious and fast.

Then they exit, and disappear. They do not claim territory for themselves. They violate it. They are wanderers not homesteaders.

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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Wed Feb 13, 2019 6:50 am

Roy Bedard>>

The amazing thing is that we are all hardwired to perceive danger, recognize its imminence and respond in a blink to a primal fight and/or flight response. It is our intuition that keeps us safe and alive. Nothing more...or less.

Yet intuition is dismissed as being non-scientific, and therefore a liability. It's tough to train to it because it defies proof.

So most dojo's today teach to wait for a visual attack, an apparent motive. Not on purpose mind you, but rather it is implied in the way we perform the ritualistic combat scenarios.

Intuition is absent in most classical dojos and it will remain absent until we leave the dojo, its hardwood floors and secure walls which trap in the values, attitudes and norms of eighteenth century Asia .


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