Good talk on blocks

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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Thu Feb 05, 2015 5:23 pm

Stryke
Van raises good points on what it would take to bring someone like this down


Marcus also points out that sometimes, despite avoidance intent, we get caught in situations unable to extricate ourselves from.

One of the caveats for my students has always been to be very careful at how they think about their strength, power delivery, techniques they believe in, stopping power they envision of their techniques, their aging bodies, their typical workouts, mostly displacing air in the dojo, etc., when thinking of a street fight...

Not many students want to envision coming up against a 350 pounds ex con brute like the one in the clip...or the one that assaulted and knifed forest rangers on the Boston common, some months ago`.

Something else to keep in mind is that those individuals also are under a huge adrenaline dump as they engage and may well be impervious to any 'power strikes' we envision delivering and putting them down...no matter how strong we think we are.

These thoughts alone help us martial artists develop the concept of 'not being there' even as we practice drills/bunkai work.
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Thu Feb 05, 2015 5:30 pm

Five Dragon
Okay, let's say there is this big bad man. If you were a predator, how would you attack this man?


Good question...why are we attacking him, where, when? What emotion is triggering our intent to attack this man?
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Thu Feb 05, 2015 5:38 pm

Take a look at this clip

http://atlantablackstar.com/2014/11/24/ ... ot-reason/

and you will realize how hard it is to bring a big crazed man down...even after being shot...this can go a long way to dispelling some of the delusions we might have at our 'stopping power' with empty hands.
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby gmattson » Thu Feb 05, 2015 8:43 pm

I was able to get the time-frame study of the "sucker" punch inserted in my last post.

The topic is about blocking and I still teach and firmly believe that our Uechi blocking actions are not tools that should be considered to be our first line of defense. They are, as practiced in our kata, great intercepting forces during an unexpected attack. . . a "flinch" reaction to an incoming and unprepared-for attack. . . which buys you time and hopefully an opportunity to retaliate.

In other words:

Unexpected assault = a flinch blocking reaction, resulting in a moving away (diagonally is best) from the attack and striking the attack and attacker (if lucky) with a blocking action.
Preemptive attack = reading a situation and determining that you must act before being acted upon. Once you begin the attack there should be no reason to block since all your actions are focused on preventing your opponent (or victim, if you are not police or can prove you were justified in starting the fight) from making any counter-attack.

Speculating what a block is, without considering the conditions surrounding the encounter where the technique is used, is not fair or objective.

Interesting discussion. Hope my comments will help present a fair understanding of Uechi kata and the use of blocks by those of us who firmly believe in their study and use. . . based on how I have described my understanding of the Uechi blocks found within our kata.

Note: Fortunately for the victim in the filmed attack that I posted, he has a record of the attack which proves he did not provoke or deserve the "preemptive" attack he received from the big guy.

Image
Tough to discuss such a "sucker" punch situation. I write more about avoidance than engaging, in these no-win encounters. I captured three images involved in the first video. The "victim" is still unaware that anything is happening as the bad-guy is "loading" his sucker punch in the first image. In the second, the punch is on-the way and the victim is still completely unaware of what is happening. By the time the next FRAME of the clip is captured, the punch has landed and the victim in on his way to the floor. (A little bit like being hit head-on by a car coming at you in a two lane road)

How do you prepare and deal with either encounters? YOU DON"T! How do you avoid getting into either encounter? As soon as the drunk woman began acting up, leave the building and call police instead of trying to communicate with the woman or her boyfriend. Car situation? Hope your reflexes are very good!

Bad guys don't telegraph their intentions, bow to their victim before punching and are masters of deception and hitting first.
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Stryke » Fri Feb 06, 2015 12:04 am

Unexpected assault = a flinch blocking reaction, resulting in a moving away (diagonally is best) from the attack and striking the attack and attacker (if lucky) with a blocking action.


First of George this is my opinion and I respectfullly disagree below , I think you know what I mean , your great clip in this thread I posted shows you understand and teach to these truths yourself.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QtOQxVcbQ1Q

So in the interests of conversation.

a flinch isn't a block its an instinctive cover , (position cover and entry can build of this caught state) , and it sure as isn't a kumite drill bounce away touch the power ...... even on an angle , it may be possible to do this move if you predict and see it , but I still wouldn't recommend or ingrain it.

if you dont see it coming you might be lucky enough to get your hands up , the best course after that is to spear in so instead of moving into the attackers power arc you get inside it , negate it or smother it , infact moving in is just as simply and more effectively programmed as anything else. In and around is optimum and strike as you move is another layer.

Blocks as blocks well..... , attack the attack works if you read it , flinch is hardwired , movement works .

but are we still talking about catching strikes out of the air in 2015 ? , if were not then its time to talk in terms of cover , position and flinch , this block terminology is plain distracting at best , and dangerous at worst. The japanese doesn't even mean block right ? , if I was one of the tenth dans on here I would be sending out a memo.

How do you prepare and deal with either encounters? YOU DON"T! How do you avoid getting into either encounter? As soon as the drunk woman began acting up, leave the building and call police instead of trying to communicate with the woman or her boyfriend. Car situation? Hope your reflexes are very good!


Best peice of advice in the whole thread , Now my follow up question , if you have the mind and awareness and common sense to do this , then how the hell is that a sucker punch where is your common sense , or better put tactical awareness.


Bad guys don't telegraph their intentions, bow to their victim before punching and are masters of deception and hitting first.


yelling screaming pushing and poking have to be some of the clearest signals I've ever seen , and enough info for the great advice

How do you prepare and deal with either encounters? YOU DON"T! How do you avoid getting into either encounter? As soon as the drunk woman began acting up, leave the building and call police instead of trying to communicate with the woman or her boyfriend. Car situation? Hope your reflexes are very good!


failing that should we not be aware the potential attack is coming ?, and reflexes put you behind , you have to be following a plan IMHO

to quote Tony Blaur

Action beats reaction , so the only way to beat action is to be in action


As in the kata cover reposition and counter as one go forward and enter .
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby gmattson » Fri Feb 06, 2015 1:33 am

So in the interests of conversation.

a flinch isn't a block its an instinctive cover , (position cover and entry can build of this caught state) , and it sure as isn't a kumite drill bounce away touch the power ...... even on an angle , it may be possible to do this move if you predict and see it , but I still wouldn't recommend or ingrain it.


Maybe we disagree on this specific definition of a "flinch". I understand and agree with you, that for most people a flinch is simply a startled reflex in response to an unexpected attack. However, our Uechi kata is repetitive "inward" arm moves to centerlines rather than the normally instinctive "outward" responses found in untrained individuals. Tony Blauer's "spear" is a good example of this action, which coincidentally is one of the most important moves (in my estimation) found in the kata Seisan and in other configurations in other kata. Programming a similar reflex with our body directional movements during the "flinch" is more difficult. It has been my experience, working with students and in my own practice, creating a "forward response" with our bodies is not a simple redirection of movement but a completely new mindset that I don't believe is possible under most adverse conditions.

Van and I went back and forth on this regarding a Blauer training clip where I slow-motioned the action of a Blauer student reacting to an attacking movement (a drill) and the student moved to the rear in response while performing a spear defense. Van pointed out that the student was "in control", which I agreed, but on the other hand, we were discussing the question "if in the flinch, will the student go forward or to the rear". Based on my experience it is best to not attempt reprogramming a "attacking" mode, since you really don't have time to do anything other than slightly modifying an inward and upward "flinch" movement while your body moves wherever your primal instinct takes it.

if you dont see it coming you might be lucky enough to get your hands up , the best course after that is to spear in so instead of moving into the attackers power arc you get inside it , negate it or smother it , infact moving in is just as simply and more effectively programmed as anything else. In and around is optimum and strike as you move is another layer.


Here you express your belief that a flinch reaction must only be a "getting your hands up" followed by a "spear" action. My belief is that the "spear" movement becomes part of the initial hand/arm reaction. I believe that this action is not something you can simply tell yourself you should do or accomplish through a weekend seminar. Rather, it is programmed into the practitioner through years of kata training.

And of course, my videos and articles are my opinions only and as a student of Uechi-ryu I am still learning.
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Stryke » Fri Feb 06, 2015 2:53 am

Good post I can see your position, i do see where it fits clearly though I see inside and outside in uechi , its all in the circles right?

to clarify my position.

Here you express your belief that a flinch reaction must only be a "getting your hands up" followed by a "spear" action. My belief is that the "spear" movement becomes part of the initial hand/arm reaction. I believe that this action is not something you can simply tell yourself you should do or accomplish through a weekend seminar. Rather, it is programmed into the practitioner through years of kata training.


I agree it becomes one action with practice , but I also believe the spear action is about going forward the spear is about the thrust yes? , even if you jump backwards you come forwards , blocking in classic context still doesn't fit. Position cover entry again.

I don't believe it must only everything is grey right? , but that it is an optimal beginning , and yes it needs to be ingrained , and yes as in the kata . But more importantly through drilling against progressive resistance . Yes with much training and yes its in the style so I don't see why it cant be done as a integral part of training because I train this way.

what I don't train is things that work against this ingraining , we all know which part of Uechi I'm talking about , and I am not a Uechi practitioner because of not training this material so keep in mind it's an outsiders view of how to train. Its the kata and conditioning and scenario work/fighting for me


but none of this is the block mindset or the block reference or the block language .

what I dont understand is the insistence to move back away even to the angle and block .... just like it isn't presented in the kata , no flinch different thing altogether . Such footwork is an option when you have reading/time but ingraining as a defensive action is poor your moving from a bad place to a worse place if your not in the lead, the beating will most likely continue you have disrupted nothing.

I understand/assume from our conversations you believe its natural/likely to do so , I believe its as much programmed ingrained as going forward and is strictly a manifestation of other drilling , I have had a lot of luck programming folks to move into other positions and advancing , it is quite easy once it is realised to be safer and surprisingly the smaller folks seem more comfortable with it once they can make it work , as moving away never seems to provide the safety they crave.

Of course you have more experience than me. But I've gone right down the rabbit hole in regards to trying this approach, and of course Id wish to share my own small learning results successes.

I dispute it is about aggression , although aggression can be a useful tool , I would suggest a deliberate intent more useful and in fact primary to any self protection . I find it more use-full to trigger a proactive fear response , get scared forward so to speak if emotion is even needed.

Of course happy to disagree , and think we agree on more than not

I do think thinking about blocking differently is probably the number one issue in regards to effective practice, I don't even use the word.

Would love to see the next stages of your soft hands sometime if there available.
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Fri Feb 06, 2015 5:29 am

This is really a great article on the subject matter being discussed.

http://dandjurdjevic.blogspot.com/2011/ ... eflex.html
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Fri Feb 06, 2015 5:39 am

So I'm skeptical of unlearning the "flinch reflex". I think people can modify the nature of their flinch, but not the very tendency to "recoil from danger" when surprised.

People can even modify the flinch reflex so as to "enter" or move forwards. This is consistent with traditional martial arts techniques, particularly at an intermediate or advanced level, where forwards (or at least forwards-angled) taisabaki or tenshin (body movement or evasion) is taught as a response to attack.

Conclusion

Traditional eastern martial arts are often lampooned for their "blocks". The assault comes from 3 main camps - 1.combat sports practitioners who have adopted a valid, but glove-determined methodology of evasion without "blocking"; and

2."kata revisionists" who argue that "a block is anything but a block"; and

3.certain "reality-based" practitioners who draw their inspiration from either combat sports practitioners or "kata revisionists" or both.

Yet when you look at it objectively, the flinch reflex is entirely compatible with the traditional approach of using defensive hand movements with an evasive body movement.

All traditional eastern arts do is attempt to shape the flinch reflex into something more productive. Because denying the flinch reflex is pure folly. Millenia of evolution can't be overwritten by a few martial arts classes - or even decades of them. When you are surprised, you will flinch. To assume that you won't (be surprised or flinch) is just wishful thinking.
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Stryke » Fri Feb 06, 2015 7:30 am

And that'd be true if they started from a context of flinch, and not block , same exact discussion

Still plucking punches out of the air..... Its not a cover, its a specific block to a specific move in a specific sequence 99% of the time.

The fact the art the Kata the historic system is not broken, is not a defence for the current practice.

But to each there own.

Got to love the term Kata revisionist .... I thought that was the point, dig into the Kata

I'm really sorry if anyone thinks I'm one if the lampooners , I'm really just trying to share and talk method
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby gmattson » Fri Feb 06, 2015 10:18 am

I completely agree with the last article you referenced Van.

There will always be exceptions, but generally speaking, a person cannot train themselves to react to a sudden, unexpected attack with a primal charging forward into the attack. . . especially when the person attacking is physically larger. . .

There will always be exceptions, but generally speaking, a person cannot train themselves to instinctively move into danger when the danger is unexpected and happens fast.

Unfortunately, these situations accompany many of the rare fight situations the average person experience in life.
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby robb buckland » Fri Feb 06, 2015 11:58 am

We drilled on this last night in class with a blended group of adults children (not always a good idea) beginers and blackbelts the results were universal. The startle/flinch response was to drop the back foot and raise the hands (Tony Blauers Spear or as I say..scary movie hands...lol) , The trained response was similar to what follows the 'Seisan jump' the knee strikes groin/ internal quadrecep,while simultainiously the forearms intercept the incoming punch (dead arm, medial nerve) lead hand naturally lands on the (Brachial plexus origin) neck.......

The sucker puncher lies in a puddle on the floor....(thanks Art) :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :lol:


As far as being a 'kata revisionist' goes.....In the automotive world a car is surely adapted for 'the track' vs the street !!
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Fri Feb 06, 2015 4:13 pm

gmattson wrote:I completely agree with the last article you referenced Van.

There will always be exceptions, but generally speaking, a person cannot train themselves to react to a sudden, unexpected attack with a primal charging forward into the attack. . . especially when the person attacking is physically larger. . .

There will always be exceptions, but generally speaking, a person cannot train themselves to instinctively move into danger when the danger is unexpected and happens fast.

Unfortunately, these situations accompany many of the rare fight situations the average person experience in life.


It is difficult to argue with these points when as George sensei points out, the danger is unexpected and it happens fast.

Rare exceptions aside, we don't want to teach our average student, and even the not so average student, to instinctively move into a 'lion's jaws' the lion being the 350 attacker we see in the clip.

I keep saying this over and over but nobody listens...same as nobody wanted to listen to my admonitions about the physical and mental changes that occur in everyone of us when the chemical cocktail triggers_ when I first began to post on this forum.

Same as, with few exceptions, most students even with great training...will never be able to pack stopping power techniques enough so to do damage and 'stop' an enraged 'bear' like the one in the clip, that outweighs them by 100 pounds and towers over them by 6 inches or more...in fact many times what will happen is your 'techniques of doom' will further enrage such an opponent who now has a further excuse and mission in his mind to reduce your body to rubble.

This by far is the biggest problem for most of us who under the delusion of 'martial masturbation' bounce off the 'bear's targets' and end up in his clutches.

All that we teach, think we know, and practice so 'effectively' in the dojo...will always be dependent on the nature and size of the attacker at any given time on the street, whether by true ambush or not...yet we see so many techniques being taught as the 'final solution' to any street attack.

Here is Tony Blauer
THE ANSWER: TOTALITY IN TRAINING..
While 'totality' may appear to be grandiose, the reference is merely a philosophically based argument that suggests that 'we' must look carefully at the combative arena, the environment and specifically the opponent through a disciplined threat assessment filter. This will enable us to customize training to provide the greatest tactical advantage for the next engagement.


George is correct that we cannot really train against a sudden sucker punch coming when not expected...much like getting broadsided by a truck that blew a stop sign.

But now let's forget the ambush and the flinch argument...let's say that for whatever reason, you must face and fight that guy in the clip who is now moving on you.

You don't know, can't tell, if he is going to tackle you and crush you in a bear hug, or is going to throw a barrage of punches, including jabs, hooks, uppercuts and overhands shots, fueled by his gargantuan momentum.

I think this is where Stryke's question is good to ponder...

Do we pick punches from the air with blocks?

And my question: do we move in on the guy with our techniques of doom and end up in his clutches? What do we do? Do we back away so he can track our moves?

Which way will our body want to move 'genetically' in any high stress situation?

Blauer
Here's how the system evolved: Pain, Fear of Pain & the Flinch

In 1988 while working on an isolation drill, something unique occurred. Fear. Impact. Pain. Swelling. The drill was called the 'sucker punch drill' and it blended verbal aggression, natural stances and any sucker punch. The defender had a mouthguard and no offensive choices other than maintain a non-combative natural stance and he could evade, block or jam, but not strike. The aggressor (wearing 16 ozs. gloves) was allowed to taunt, gesture, point and launch a solo shot anywhere on the body at any time.

That's it. The aggressor was allowed to encroach (in other words, there was no 'sparring' distance established) and the threats could be anything from any situation (money, mugging, bar room, etc.).

This forced the defender to engage the aggressor cognitively and verbally without establishing any sparring-type rhythm. It also served to distract the defender from concentrating on the physical tools exclusively.
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Fri Feb 06, 2015 4:16 pm

Blauer
The drill was fantastic because true sucker punches are surprises even when your "spider-sense" is picking up danger.

Furthermore, the learned muscle-memory blocks and interceptions were mostly ineffective at extreme close quarters and especially with the verbal distractions (just like in real-life). With the verbal and the threat of impact, resulted in a natural 'startle-flinch' reaction to the suddenness and proximity of the attacks.

The overwhelming conclusion was that sport trained skills, no matter how theoretically vicious or effective (against a consenting opponent, or ice or bricks and boards) did not readily appear when the opponent controlled the distance and time of attack.

This drill and the research that ensued was a huge springboard moment in the evolution of training for real fights vs. sport fights. What resulted from this innovative drill back in 1988 spawned the S.P.E.A.R. SYSTEM™ and inspired an entire martial movement towards more realistic training and tactical choiceS.
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Fri Feb 06, 2015 4:22 pm

What do we agree/disagree with Blauer's comments?

How would the Blauer method have worked for the victim in the pizza joint attack?
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