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 » Sat Nov 16, 2019 9:34 pm

When your life is literally on the line (and each time you are in a violent encounter in the street, you should assume it can escalate to that point), things that seem so easy in class are extremely hard to do. Because this time, when you mess up, you could die. A good example of this is the knife fight in Beijing I covered a while ago: it’s easy to say you should close in and defang the snake but when you’re ass is on the line, it’s a lot harder than it looks.
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Sat Nov 16, 2019 9:39 pm

A thug with even only a little bit of experience will pull the knife in such a way that you don’t see it. The assumption should always be that he’s armed, even if you don’t see a weapon in his hands. This is another critical difference with competition fighting, where there is no doubt your opponent is unarmed.
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Sat Nov 16, 2019 9:40 pm

As mentioned above, on the street, the knife is often used and then felt before it is seen. Knife wounds also don’t always bleed as much as you might think. That doesn’t mean there isn’t any damage though.
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Sun Nov 17, 2019 5:44 am

Under intense adrenal stress, the human brain can distort reality. Your memory of events is not necessarily accurate. It might be, but you might be totally off too. As in, claiming you did the opposite of what actually happened.

For more information on this, I recommend you read On Combat and On Killing. Both books give in depth information on this topic (and much more)

◾If it was captured on video, the quality of the video determines the information you get. The angle at which the footage was taken, moving or stationary camera, lighting, etc. all play a huge roll in determining what actually happened instead of what it looks like at first glance.


Case in point 1:

A friend of mine is a LEO and he does lots of scenario training. What follows afterwards is a debriefing and analysis of what happened, what went wrong, what needs to be improved, and so on.

It is not uncommon in those debriefings that people claim the total opposite happened of what another guy says, despite the fact that they were standing right there together, seeing and experiencing the exact same thing.

The same happens (perhaps even more so) in debriefings of actual life and death situations.
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Sun Nov 17, 2019 6:16 am

Distance, distance, distance. If you are emotionally hijacked and decide to stand right in front of somebody picking a fight with you, keep your distance. That means he has to be at the very least out of arms reach.

Preferably a step further out than that. Any closer and you will not have the time to react if the guy decides to hit you first.

Humans are just not that fast, no matter how hard you train, because there are limits to how fast your brain can perceive danger, have your nervous system relay orders to your muscles and then have these contract fast enough so you start doing something useful. It’s just not in the cards, so keep away.


Don't fall into the BS trap of choosing to close the distance with an unknown opponent because someone has told you Uechi Ryu is a 'closet' style.

The moment you close the distance there is a blade about to enter your gut.
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Sun Nov 17, 2019 6:27 am

Don’t just block. If you do have to block, then don’t just use your arm. Try to move your head out of the way, lean sideways or back, step away, whatever but don’t just stand there waving your arm around. Add other components to your defense as well.
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Sun Nov 17, 2019 6:30 am

Don’t assume it will be a punch. I saw only a couple experienced people throwing the first punch. Most were sloppy amateurs. They can kill you just as dead as the pros, you shouldn’t think otherwise.,but the experienced fighter will not necessarily start the fight by punching you in the head.

He might stomp your foot or instep first, push you off balance, twist your shoulders to get your back, hit both high and low at the same time, etc.

Or he might have palmed a knife and plunge it into your gut.

Having your arms up, ready to block a high punch won’t help you then. Keeping him at a distance will…

These are all things I believe are crucial in making any self-defense technique work but there’s one missing component, perhaps the most important one. You need to be perceptually ready. That means you need to have a certain type of mindset, focus and concentration to be able to pull off whatever you have planned.

It is something you need to train for specifically and experience definitely also helps to understand this concept better.
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Sun Nov 17, 2019 6:33 am

If you’re unfamiliar with the adrenal dump and the mental and physical consequences of real fighting, chances are you won’t get this part right. Which is why I believe all the previous aspects are subordinate to this one: without it, even having your hands up high isn’t necessarily enough to block that punch in time.
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Sun Nov 17, 2019 6:35 am

If you look at the big picture I’m trying to pain with this post, you’ll find that I come to this subject with a specific theory: in a fight, time equals distance.

Whenever you fight, in the ring or in the street, time is measured in milliseconds (100ms or less for a well trained punch) which means that half a second is a long, long time.

He who controls the distance between the combatants determines how long it takes to hit the other and therefor who gets hit first.

In many fights, the guy to land the first solid blow wins the fight. Or at the very least, he has a distinct advantage.

This means that timing and distancing are two interwoven subjects. You can’t discuss one without the other. I’m not going to do that there but I’d like to refer you to Timing in the Fighting Arts, which I wrote together with Loren.

To the best of my knowledge, there is no other book that covers this topic exclusively and in the amount of detail we did. So if you’re interested in more on this topic, you might enjoy reading it.

Of all the products I have out there, this is the one I like best because timing is a fascinating subject to me and I keep on learning more about it.
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby paulg » Sun Nov 17, 2019 1:13 pm

The way these self-defense stories typically go, the Bad Guy is a huge monster with no conscience picking on you, who are kind and warm and minding your own business. But what if YOU are the much bigger person, have a black belt in martial arts, made a few insulting wisecracks which then led to the confrontation? Think it doesn't happen that way sometimes? How would you justify "self-defense" in that situation?
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Sun Nov 17, 2019 6:05 pm

paulg wrote:The way these self-defense stories typically go, the Bad Guy is a huge monster with no conscience picking on you, who are kind and warm and minding your own business. But what if YOU are the much bigger person, have a black belt in martial arts, made a few insulting wisecracks which then led to the confrontation? Think it doesn't happen that way sometimes? How would you justify "self-defense" in that situation?


You make an excellent point, Paul. I think over the long years we all have seen the type of martial arts practitioner you describe.

The display of arrogance, superiority complex, the 'better trained', the 'better sensei' syndrome, The 'Okinawa syndrome' ...and on and on...

We have seen such individuals 'at work'/on display/in Dojo/mixed company/and even on the street.

You might recall what I posted a few times about the several newly made Shodan imbeciles ...who traveled to the combat zone to pick fights to prove their 'martial prowess'...getting their asses handed to them...as well as other idiots trouble makers simply because they were 'trained'...who learned the hard way about the dynamics of real violence as we all read in books from the great Rory Miller.

Reason why I recommend that all practitioners read his books: 1. Meditations on Violence' and 2. 'Facing violence'...

But what if YOU are the much bigger person, have a black belt in martial arts, made a few insulting wisecracks which then led to the confrontation? Think it doesn't happen that way sometimes? How would you justify "self-defense" in that situation?


I think it would depend on the circumstances.
Some states also consider instances where the person claiming self-defense provoked the attack as imperfect self-defense.
For example, if a person creates a conflict that becomes violent then unintentionally kills the other party while defending himself, a claim of self-defense might reduce the charges or punishment, but would not excuse the killing entirely.


Regaining the Right to Defend

Despite the general rule, aggressors can gain the right of self-defense in some circumstances. It comes down to who the aggressor was at the moment defensive force was used.

Deadly aggression. To earn the self-defense right, an aggressor who employs deadly force must generally “withdraw” from the conflict and in some way communicate the withdrawal to the other person.

Suppose Donald tries to stab Violet in the neck with a knife. Violet fights off Donald, so successfully that Donald runs away and hides. Violet pursues. Donald has to communicate to Violet that he’s done with the confrontation in order to have the right to self-defense.

Otherwise, Violet might think that Donald is simply regrouping in order to attack again. If Donald doesn’t communicate his withdrawal to Violet and he kills Violet in what might otherwise be self-defense, he’s guilty of murder. (It might work for Donald to come out of hiding, drop the knife, and yell, “Hey, I’m sorry and I give up! Please don’t hurt me.


And so 'it reads'...but I think general common sense would prevail under judgment.

I were sitting on a jury, I'd be hard pressed to justify self defense by some idiot with a black belt who started the confrontation to begin with.

One simple truth is [regardless of 'legal opposition'] is that a martial arts practitioner's training will be used against him, as he will be held to a higher standard of personal responsibility.

I.E., would a reasonable martial arts black belt, have acted the way this defendant did in this confrontation?

As Walter Mattson said, once in similar discussion, when some martial artists turn into 'flaming martial idiots' it is not the fault of the 'art' but the pre-existing personality disorders the practitioner brought to the Dojo.

We have all seen such examples and many have come to an ignoble end.
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Mon Nov 18, 2019 5:54 am

Ancient Voices

By John Farnam

Ancient voices with their advice to gunmen and poker players:

"You may not always be right, but you can always be convincing."

Announce your orders with a self-assured voice. This applies even when you are announcing checks and folds.

"Right-action/right-mind." A timid voice and bearing always projects weakness and confusion of purpose.

"Be righteous in thought and deed."

Angle shooters are universally despised, as are petty thieves.

Worrying about getting caught and subsequently disgraced will always drain your energy and make you weary.

"You are at the center of only your own universe." You and your troubles are of no interest to anyone else.

Other people really don't care about your failures and your excuses for them, and if you talk about them constantly, you'll be generally held as a loser and regarded with contempt.

They will all quickly get the impression they are superior to you. Why would you want to reinforce that perception? Keep your troubles to yourself.

"Only victims are victimized." People with patterns of loser behavior, such as whining, sniveling, self-pity, blame-shifting, rationalizing, excuse making, and never taking personal responsibility for their own actions encourage victimizers to select them for victimization.

Conversely, winners always look and act as if they are walking on sunshine, even when they are inwardly troubled.

Victimizers customarily pass them by.

"You brought nothing into this world when you came, and you'll surely carry nothing out when you leave."

Everything in between is just fluctuation. Difficult to retain when on a losing streak, but remember this day is just one of many thousands in your life.

Always take the long view, the longest view possible, and allow today's annoyances to recede into proper prospective.

"Don't speak ill of those who make you look good." There will always be those greater and lesser than you.

When someone is in the process of losing to you, don't distract him from his task with unkind comments!

"Gain is only important to those who have nothing important in their lives."


futility. If gain is the only thing that matters to you, you'll become so hooked on the feeling you get from a positive outcome, that the pressure to perform will cripple you.

You won't bear the strain. What matters, and the only thing that does matter, is the way in which you influence history.

By comparison, accumulated wealth is pitifully inconsequential. Live a full life. You'll die soon enough!

"Don't just look. See!" Study everything carefully. Most of all, look at yourself as others see you.

The easiest thing in the world to do is stay where you are, particularly when you're comfortable.

The drudgery of perpetual self-improvement is something that is easy to procrastinate. But, the better you know yourself, the better your game.

"Think, don't 'feel."' Ask yourself, "How can I use this information to improve my situation?" Never ask yourself, "How does this information make me feel?"

Those who are enslaved by their emotions and "feelings" are perpetual losers. They are universally regarded as weaklings, and are thus

consistently selected for victimization. They only care about "feeling good," and they are deathly afraid of "feeling bad." They therefore predictably act exclusively according to that interest.

At every turn of a card, you have a choice. You can deal with the new information rationally and use it logically to plan your next move, or you can " feel" your way to calamity.

You have a choice: You can use the information to improve your play, or you can use it to alter your mood.

You can think your way to victory, or you can wallow in fantasy-land, where everything that makes you feel bad is displayed on an imaginary scoreboard, labeled "How I feel right now!"

"Feeling good about yourself" is something which must be earned; earned over the long haul.

Instant "good feelings" are fleeting. If you chase them, the way an addict chases his next fix, you'll blunder into one disaster after another.

Runaway emotions are like fire. When you don't put it out, it will burn itself out!

"The unarmed are not just defenseless. They is contemptible."


/John
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Mon Nov 18, 2019 6:08 am

Advice from Lawyers

John Farnam
Sage advice from criminal defense attorneys with whom I work:

When I am asked by lawyers to provide them with expert consultation in shooting cases, I always make it a point to ask several, general questions about strategies for gun owners/carriers. This advice I, in turn, pass on to my students:

The most dangerous and damaging single thing one can do in the wake of a lethal confrontation, the one act that fatally damages most claims of legitimate self-defense? Answering questions asked by police investigators, at the scene, without first insisting on having your attorney present.

Even seemingly innocent-sounding statements like, "I didn't mean to....", " It was an accident.....", "This is terrible....", and "I can't believe I did that...." are, in fact, monstrously incriminating.

Attorneys tell me that the strongest part of the prosecutor's case is almost always directly founded upon indiscreet statements made, at the scene, by the accused, to police.

On the other hand, saying nothing to police carries risks also.

When those on one side of the incident talk freely to the police, and those on the other side say nothing, talkers automatically go into the "victim" column on the investigator's notebook, while the silent go into the "perpetrator" column.

Those assigned distinctions tend to be permanent and will color the investigation from that point forward.

The best compromise is to have your well-rehearsed tape loops ready to go.

Tape loops need to be emphatic and unmistakable, but neither rude nor insulting:


"Officers, I want to cooperate, but I want my attorney here first" , " I'll be happy to answer all your questions just as soon as my attorney is here."

At that point, police are obligated to stop questioning you.



However, they may say something to you like, "You can go the 'lawyer-route' is you want, but it won't do you any good." , "You better start answering questions now, while you still have the chance." , "All we want to do is just clear this up." , "You'll feel much better after you talk with us." or,"We only have a few questions, strictly routine..."


What they are trying to do is persuade you to definitively rescind your demand that you have a lawyer to represent you during questioning.

Once you say, "Okay, I'll talk with you," they will assume, correctly, that you've changed your mind and no longer want a lawyer.

Don't do it! Continue to remind investigators that you still want a lawyer and continue to politely decline to answer questions.

So, when first confronting arriving police officers,

(1) assume a non-threatening posture, with both palms turned outward and clearly visible. Make sure no guns or other weapons are visible.

(2) Get into the "victim" column" right away with, "Officers, thank God you're here!"

Then (3) identify yourself by saying, "I'm the one who called." VCAs don't call the police very often!

When asked what happened, say: "That man tried to murder us," pointing in the direction of the perpetrator.

Then comes (4) "I'll be happy to answer all your questions just as soon as my attorney is here."

Beyond that, shut your mouth. Don't sign anything and don't "consent" to anything.

If arrested, submit peacefully and without comment.


When asked if you understand your rights, say "No." When asked what you don't understand, say, "I don't understand any of it."

Tape loops need to be practiced every time we go to the range. None of the foregoing may seem important, until the unthinkable happens.

Then, I promise you, the nightmare will begin, made all that much worse when you don't know your lines_


/John
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby paulg » Mon Nov 18, 2019 11:35 am

I think what I was trying to get at in my post above was that we need to develop our sense of strict personal honesty about how much we ourselves contributed to the violent confrontation. While attacks against totally innocent victims do occur (in robberies, for example), they are the minority of violent encounters. The majority are 'mutual affrays' in which both sides contribute something to the escalation. Of course, the way we are built psychologically as human beings leads us to want to rationalize and justify our behavior after the fact ("I just asked him to move over a bit" was actually "Hey, move, ass****!") or locking eyes with someone who is obviously looking for trouble, or laughing off the warning from friends who suggest you don't want to go into that biker bar that is known for trouble, etc, etc. I remember back in the 60's there was a (misinformed) notion among the general public that black belts had to 'register their hands' and had to 'give a verbal warning that they know karate' if they were confronted. This speaks to the idea that trained and certified people ARE held to a higher standard. And I think not just legally, but morally as well.
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Mon Nov 18, 2019 6:44 pm

Paul G
I think what I was trying to get at in my post above was that we need to develop our sense of strict personal honesty about how much we ourselves contributed to the violent confrontation.


I agree with your entire post, Paul. But there are times when, despite our attempts at self control, and the realization we are sure to end up in big trouble, physically, legally and financially...we push on into a confrontation.

I think it has to do with the 'Emotional High Jacking' taking control.

http://www.bookrags.com/studyguide-emot ... #gsc.tab=0

Under certain conditions, the limbic brain can overwhelm or hijack the body to respond to a perceived threat while bypassing the neocortex. Also called a neural hijacking, the emotions take charge.

In such moments, people are described as 'blowing up' or 'losing it' with the reaction seeming impulsive and out of proportion to the stimulus. The amygdala in the limbic system stores emotional memory assigning meaning to feelings. To lose the amygdala is to lose passion and connections to the world.

Neuroscientist Joseph LeDoux, working at the Center for Neural Science at New York University, discovered that the amygdala acts like a sentinel with the power to seize control and drive the body to act before the rational part of the brain, the neocortex, can analyze the...


We have covered the book 'Emotional intelligence' on this forum before. It is a very powerful force as you know, Paul, from your work.

And, as I have seen many times, the very fact we train in martial arts, can be a 'trigger factor' whereas, without any training we would probably better accept the fact we might get our ass kicked pretty bad if we give into the 'impulse'...thereby 'self preservation' instincts would prevail.

Generally, as Rory puts it, martial artists over exaggerate their skills to deal with real violence, and are mainly inexperienced in real violence dynamics...thus the reason why so many take a bad beating or get killed...like the case I had about the great karate tournament fighter, who was brutally killed by the Jamaican gang banger in an apartment building...stabbing him more than fifty times and then cutting his throat.
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