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 Nov 01, 2019 6:29 am

Reason why you want to be very careful on what you post on line about yourself, your 'great skills/training' how tough you say you are etc.

An earlier post indicated that in the case of a questionable killing by an otherwise "good guy", an investigator would go into the subject's social media postings to see if there were any indications of predisposition for such a killing.

Before retirement I was an embedded contractor with a federal agency that strongly discouraged any of us from engaging in social media because of the chance that it could paint a target on one's back.

The agency wanted to keep us in as 'gray' a condition as possible, and I accepted that as part of the job and never signed up for nor participated in social media.
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Fri Nov 01, 2019 6:35 am

I can't stress enough that simply knowing how to use a firearm isn't enough. It is only a piece of the skill set you simply must have to keep your pirate ship sailing.

Please, I'm asking respectfully as I care about this forum and those here, if you don't have a command of the English language, can't express yourself with the poise and skill of a university professor, can't paint a picture of an incident completely understandable to an independent third party, or maintain the self-discipline to evoke the emotion and necessary composure, determine how important your freedom is to you and please obtain these skills.
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Fri Nov 01, 2019 6:50 am

Violent situations are chaotic, confusing, and stressful. You may do things under stress that you would NEVER do if you were given time to think about it. But no matter what you do, you'd better be able to explain that what you did seemed like the right thing at the time.
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Fri Nov 01, 2019 5:02 pm

Command presence is how you get sized up...when someone sizes you up.

I think it is composed of:

- Physical fitness: because it communicates what you are capable of doing.

- Attitude and demeanor: because they communicate what you are willing to do.

- Positioning: because it indicates what you have done. Someone that has been in a fight before and recognizes the signs of one coming will seek a position of advantage, cover, or other opportunities to dominate.

Much more is communicated non-verbally prior to a confrontation than verbally and words are overemphasized. Your appearance and demeanor say much more about what you will / can do than what commands you provide.

People can't hear your perfectly executed commands over the sound of how loud your gut is. :-/
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Sun Nov 03, 2019 2:58 pm

Weapons or not in a defensive encounter...you hurt someone bad...you need to read this from Gabe Suarez:

http://www.warriortalk.com/showthread.p ... ATH-PART-2

1). As soon as it is safe and practical, you need to call the 911 system. You, not your wife or your kid, or the poor bystander you commandeered into helping you. You need to do it, and it is the first phone call you need to make because you can bet others are calling on what they saw. But note, as soon as it is safe and practical.

If it is not safe, you may need to get someplace safe first. That is perfectly acceptable. Your call does not need to be the first the police receive, but they do need to receive it. They are coming and it is incumbent on you that they have the best information so they treat the event as it truly was and not as they might think it is.

2). The first call. You need to control yourself. It has always been a common expected trait of adults to control themselves so ignore immediately anyone that tells you will not be able to do so. That doesn't mean it will be shorn of any emotion or excitement. Certainly your words must be genuine, but emotional outbursts never help anyone get their message across.


3). Your conversation with the 911 operator should have the framework already established. And it will be a conversation. many people think they will make a canned statement filled with magic key words whereupon neither dispatchers or officers will ask anything else and the entire event will freeze until your attorney descends on a cloud. It doesn't work that way. Set the frame work of your words and conversation beforehand using the Flowchart Of Justified Deadly Force.

4). Your words will establish your victim status. The framework should involve what happened, who you are, and establish initially and many subsequent times subsequent to that, that you are the victim.

There are ways to accomplish this without seeming contrived or false. Something like, "Hello...two gang members just tried to kill me. They tried to steal my car at gunpoint and I thought they were going to kill me. My name is....". That is a good way to set the tone and your role in the event.



5). Your words will include the following points. They may be prompted by a question from the call taker. Transmit in short bursts, not a long drawn out diatribe. It should be a conversation and not a monologue.

a). What happened - this should detail what the bad guys tried to do. Note the subtle difference between "I was just in a shooting" and "Two gang members just tried to kill me". Wield words like you wield your weapons, with class, skill and dexterity.


b). Who and where you are - They likely already know the where in general, but tell them you have taken cover behind the black Tahoe at the end of the lot..."because you were afraid they were going to come after you".

Identify yourself by name. Then describe yourself physically. And again, it should be genuine so practice it.

"Hey guys listen...I am the victim...please tell the officers that I am no threat to them. I am a male white, fifties, 6 feet and 190 pounds. I am wearing a blue shirt and tan pants. I am a victim." Keep stating the obvious and it will be transmitted and accepted.


6). The mission of the call taker is to get as much information for the responding officers as possible so that they can arrive, secure and resolve the event safely.

They do not want to shoot a good guy anymore than you want to shoot a police officer. But this is a tense situation and the call taker may or may not be skilled.

If an important bit of information is not asked for, like your physical description, be sure to volunteer it. Remember that the more information the responding units have about the reality of the event and your role, the safer it will be for you as well.


7). First Contact with the first responders. Hopefully by now, you have made multiple micro statements about your victim status and the preliminary information received by other means is supportive of that fact.

Coupled with your self-provided description and nutshell description of what the bad guys did, the responding officers are forming an opinion about the situation.

When they arrive, it is all very simple. First point is don't have the pistol pointed at them, or held in an aggressive manner. Whether you holster or not is a point of debate.

I carry appendix and am very fit so holstering is very easy to do. I would most likely have holstered before the police arrive. Second point is do as you are told. This is not the time to discuss your rights.

This is the time for them to control and secure everything, including you. They are good at this and the less compliant you are, the more forceful they will be.
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Sun Nov 03, 2019 5:29 pm

To disengage, all we need is a suspicion. Something is strange or out of place...something makes us feel uncomfortable. And you may not be able to explain exactly what that is, but the "something" should not be ignored if the strategy is to leave.

To do this well we need that relaxed awareness of our world and all that occupy it that the samurai called "zanshin".

Different from the active, searching, attitude of the American "mind-set", this is more casual and not divided up into segments or colors. It is simply there. Watchful but not tense, aware of everything to a degree and accepting the information without initial judgment.

It is based on the bane of the "progressive", profiling. We profile people, locations, events, and times of day. To those whom this makes feel uncomfortable, we offer no apologies. As has been said recently, reality doesn't care about your feelings.

To disengage before the fight or threat, this is all that is necessary. Awareness of peril and the conviction to act upon what you see, hear, smell or sense.
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Sun Nov 03, 2019 5:31 pm

It is based on the bane of the "progressive", profiling. We profile people, locations, events, and times of day. To those whom this makes feel uncomfortable, we offer no apologies. As has been said recently, reality doesn't care about your feelings.
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Sun Nov 03, 2019 7:40 pm

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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Sun Nov 03, 2019 8:15 pm

In relation to the so called Martial 'arts'...Gabe Suarez does not like the word 'Arts'...he feels it should be 'A Martial discipline' not a 'martial art'...I agree.

For the judicious teacher who also understands the unforgiving nature of violence, such up front discussions ought to be mandatory, because as the student comes to him for ‘self defense’ reasons _ the student begins his exposure to violent action and concepts with a view to solutions by violent [martial] means.

Because of his TMA practice he will be stepping closer to the threshold of the world of violence, in many cases not understanding the subculture of violence and street code that is very pervasive in today’s day and age. The student might know even less about the ‘dark side of man’ he might well be up against _ that will be a test of his ‘martial skills’ _

He may well decide he has what it takes to deal with a situation and ‘stick around’ whereas, absent karate lessons, he might have withdrawn.

There was a time when TMA was afloat in mysticism: A belief in the existence of realities beyond perceptual or intellectual apprehension that are central to being and directly accessible by subjective experience.

Often movies relate the realities of life in microcosms.

When we see the savagery these days perpetrated on the streets of the world and America, a very poignant movie comes to mind: ‘The Crow’ _

The story is quickly described. A gang of drooling sadistic criminals, under the guidance of a sadistic mastermind have atrociously killed, on the eve of their wedding, a beautiful, perfectly happy young couple. The woman was violated and endured a 30-hour death-agony in the hospital, her fiancé was shot, crashed through a window, and fell to his death.

Not too far fetched after reading news reports of similar events.

I tell my students that if they are thinking self defense as a component of their practice, then they better become serious students of violence in addition to familiarization with violence tooling.
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Sun Nov 03, 2019 11:38 pm

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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Tue Nov 05, 2019 5:04 am

How to win a Fight


On fighting. I will say that other than grabbing some dude by the throat who insisted on coming into our room in Portland during the Junior Olympics, I have not been in a "real fight" in some years. But back in the day, it was a weekly...sometimes daily event. I still have the Internal Affairs documents to back up the statement. Here is the deal.

1). You do not square off in a real fight like guys do in the cage, ring, mat or whatever. Example: If you are bigger, stronger, younger than me and you square off against me, I will gain the distance I need to and fill your body with every single bullet I have. Its not a case of "My kung fu is stronger", it is a case of I am going to win no matter wtf I have to do.

2). Real fights are either ambushes (think sucker punches) or successful reaction to ambushes. To pull off an ambush (and that was what I tried to ALWAYS do), all you need is a hard fist and some ass to back it up (or a big flashlight, sap, etc.), and some commitment. Oh yes...good timing as well. Reaction to ambushes require some "covering/distancing" skills and the ability to turn defense into attacks. I pulled that off a few times but the first way is better.

3). Whenever you can, USE WEAPONS and hit as hard as you possibly can. Think beyond contact weapons such as knives and sticks. Think parked cars, shop windows...gravity...traffic, etc.

I do not recall a fight EVER going longer than a few seconds, and extended cardio capability was never a factor. But strength was. Explosiveness was. Capacity for violence and suddenness was.

So think of a real fight like an MMA match that starts unexpe3ctedly and lasts 15 seconds. Going to the ground? I am not saying it won't happen, but what I do know is that the thinking back then was that the "suspect" took you down, you were immediately going deadly force. I may end up with a broken arm, but you bought that with the five 38 special enemas from my J-Frame, or the need for a new lung or kidney that my knife just destroyed.

In retrospect, the only time a fight went to ground was when the bad guy got foot-swept and then pummeled for a handcuffing. Things may be different today, but if you ambush the bad guy and KO him with a sap, it won't matter what his skills are.

So...is winning the fight THAT MUCH of a physical challenge? That is why I do not advocate "training for the fight", but rather training for fitness.



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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Tue Nov 05, 2019 5:16 am

OK...."street fight", as a prelude to a robbery, or as a sudden response to a perceived slight, or even a racially motivated (lets beat down the white guy) thing - OR - a "mutually agreed upon fist fight" in the back alley of the bar.

If you got to see them get gassed out, I think it was the latter. I have seen homeboys do that as well, but it was vastly different than the three second shanking. One was inteneded to kill as fast and as effortlessly as possible...the other to demonstrate that one guy was "tougher, had bigger balls, etc."
And few educated men that have weapons and common sense will get into such things.
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Tue Nov 05, 2019 5:19 am

Most rarely encounter violence -except- in movies/tv where they accept the fantasy and then go back to their peaceful path. One would wonder how many of those seeing this vid have considered their ability to confront and survive someone interrupting the trip from the movie to their car or apartment.
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Thu Nov 07, 2019 5:14 am

f.Channell »

A great deal of the movement in Iaido is pre-emptive striking.
You sense an attack and beat them to the punch.

Blocks, while seldom used, occur while turning or stepping to the rear in that system.

I think with the age of our kata, possibly as old as Iaido forms, we have to look at them as killing forms, not self defense forms.

With the kata travelling forward in Uechi, it is hard not to assume the wa-uke may be used as a preemptive sweep to expose targets, or to jam an opponents arms to strike and-or take down.

Evidence of this is seen in the Seisan Bunkai. Also in the Kanshiwa Bunkai in master Uechi's book.

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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Thu Nov 07, 2019 5:35 am

Most real threats in a public place, where witnesses abound, are usually pre-ceded by the ‘interview’_and by and large the majority of confrontations will occur in locations where there will be other people and most likely cameras from business establishments and or from the ubiquitous cell phone.

it is our job to learn to deal with interviews...something we don't learn[automatically] just by doing katas. There is a judicious learning process as talked about by great reality trainers such as Rory Miller and other force on force luminaries. It is our responsibility to 'self educate' if we are to teach self defense to a hapless new student who just joined a school for example.

Nobody is advocating pre-emption of anything that really poses no threat. Only the paranoids would even try such things... and there have been many paranoid personalities on these forums...as well as many 'bombastic' individuals who if ever in a serious street fight, would come to an ignominious end.

And ‘knowing’ means education in violence dynamics, people interactions, and legal concepts.

I would recommend reading the ‘Gift of Fear’ a book I covered here in detail years back. You would then learn how to develop the ‘PINS’ [pre-incident indicators] _ and then read and reread Rory Miller's books on violence dynamics.

As the lethal force trainers put it: not many people understand such things, they only think they do. They don't know what thy don't know. And this applies to most of us TMA practitioners.

Special training and studies are required.

Also, it is good to ingrain the fact that pre-emptive striking will not insure your success every time unless you understand the dynamics of violence, the nature of the enemy, the superior worth of some opponents, and the capabilities of your skills and power in a moment of total chaos. A very humbling process.

One thing that most of us should ask ourselves is _ assuming we get through to the opponent with a pre-emptive strike_ do we really have the knock down power_ the stopping power_ to shut the opponent down_ or will we make him more pissed off and more determined to now take your head off?

Landing a stopping shot with an empty handed weapon can be a seductive thought only to be let down at the critical moment.

Do we all think we have the ‘stopping shots’? Of course we do…reality can teach us how wrong we are in a desperate moment of no return.

Do you think you can deliver those great chopping leg shots to your opponent as he moves in ways you cannot anticipate? And will you hurt your own legs and feet while kicking the legs of someone twice your size and bone structure three times heavier and more solid than yours regardless of your 'conditioning' ? And at what stage of your life is this all going to happen? You are not going to be thirty years old forever. And life is full of foolish old men thinking that they get better and stronger the older they get.
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