Knife Defence Highlight #9

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Knife Defence Highlight #9

Postby Rick Wilson » Fri Feb 16, 2018 8:40 pm

Knife Defence Highlight #9

Note: I wrote an entire book on knife defence called “Watch Out For The Pointy End” so these are snippets and highlights only.

#9 Not your grandfather’s traditional – or is it?

I heard the other day a person who kindly, and out of respect for me, bought my book but then looked at the pictures and concluded it was “traditional” and at that point I believe they lost interest, didn’t read it and didn’t try anything in it.

I was a little taken aback because I would have hoped they would read the book before passing judgement but – to each their own.

It had me ponder two questions:

1. Was it “traditional?”
2. And if it was, then was that bad?

I have looked into knife defence now for a number of decades starting with the more Jujitsu approach and the works of Michael D. Echanis, a Senior Instructor for the Special Forces/Rangers and Hwarangdo practitioner, then moving on to the Filipino Martial Arts (FMA), and a limb destruction method from an Goju/Kung Fu practitioner. Not to mention my Uechi Ryu influence. So, I feel confident I can determine if what I do is “traditional.”

I suspect the pictures of the Cross Block Intercept (CBI) may appear to those who haven’t read the book as a version of the traditional X-Block but if you read the book you’ll know they serve entirely different purposes and it is NOT an X-block. The X-Block was intended as a block, a jamming technique, something I don’t believe in after watching numerous clips of knife strikes driving passed a jam to stab. The CBI is intended to be used as you move and avoid the strike to place sensors on the weapon arm and afford, if possible, some control over the weapon arm as you either propel the bad guy away, disable them or take control.

So, if that is what was being referred to as “traditional” then I reject it as false.

Now if they had read Michael Echanis’ book on knife defence then they would see the seed of always moving to avoid the strike as you lay hands upon them. I gladly accept that connection to tradition.

The movements I use can be found in any traditional martial system or, frankly, any self defence system, so yes, it is traditional if you look at the movement in a traditional system or no it is not traditional if you look at the movement in a more modern system. There are only so many ways to move that can be taught quickly.

The contact and control come from my Uechi Ryu background but are closely connected to FMA and Silat systems, so depending on if you think of those arts as traditional then I accept that as well.

However, in many traditional styles and modern system, there is one factor you will not find in my book. Most systems have numerous options for incoming strikes and most systems have different responses depending on what line of force the blade is coming in at. I don’t. My response is almost identical for all incoming lines of force, and the slight difference can be conditioned easily. So, in that sense it is neither traditional nor common either.

My approach is based solidly in many principles and these principles and body mechanics can be found in many traditional arts, in particular Taiji, so again in that sense it is traditional.

My approach uses Operant Conditioning and that reflects more on what I have seen in modern self defence systems rather than my exposure to the traditional arts; therefore, not a traditional approach.

My approach is built for what is out there in real assaults today. Now someone might see in the beginning of the book where the attacks are large and far away and some would link those to certain traditional styles; however, if you read the book the large attacks are only step one of a learning process as you learn and gather the skills to handle someone grabbing you from the side or behind to sewing machine stab you and therefore if you haven’t read the book you might make the mistake of thinking this is another knife defence book that doesn’t deal with real attacks but – if you read the book - you find it certainly tries to.

In response to the first question of was it traditional, well, many traditional arts have good things in them and those are reflected in my approach. There is also where I depart from traditional systems for training and ways I differ from some modern self defence systems as well.

Since what I have taken from the traditional arts works; therefore, the response to the second question is: no, that is not a bad thing.

I wouldn’t call what is in the book “traditional.” Certainly, my exposure to traditional arts has influenced what I do, just as my exposure to more recent systems and practitioners of self defence have influenced what I do. I tried to bring the best of tradition into it as a blend with modern day reality based self defence.

About all I can say is if you’ve read the book then you are certainly able to express your opinion. While we might disagree on points, it is your opinion and valid.

However, if you haven’t read the book then I’d ask you give it a try before forming an opinion on if it is traditional and if that is a bad thing.

But thanks for buying the book…. Oh and if you haven’t – please do.

[Watch Out For The Pointy End]


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Rick Wilson
 
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