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 » Wed Mar 11, 2020 8:59 pm

KNOCK - KNOCK
Post by ... Patrick James

It was the scariest night of my life. In fact, it was almost the last night of my life.

I was 16 years old, and about to come face-to-face with 4 men armed with 1911s and cut off shotguns.

I was over visiting my dad late one night when I saw the Buick pull up behind the house. I pressed my face against the back door of the house and tried to figure out who was coming to visit in the middle of the night.

I didn’t know my dad had any friends who’d come over so late.

Little did I know, these weren’t friends at all.

When I finally caught a glimpse of their weapons, I ran screaming into my dad’s bedroom. It was right about then that I knew I was going to die…

What It Really Feels
Like to Be Helpless


As the men circled the house trying all the ground level windows and doors, I knelt behind my father’s bed shaking in fear and praying as he frantically told the #911 operator our rural address.

The emotions I had at that moment are really too intense to put into words.

I could never do justice to what it feels like to regret all the moments you didn’t spend with loved ones and doing things that actually mattered… all the invitations you declined to spend quality time with friends… all the travelling that you’d never do… the graduation that you would never experience.

I can’t convey to you how miserable it is to know that in a few short minutes, your soul will be disconnected from your body. I can’t tell you about the misery of imagining your mother’s reaction to hearing that her son had been murdered.

But the worst part of it all (and the part that still makes me mad to this day) is knowing that, at that exact moment, my future was squarely in someone else’s hands. Under someone else’s control…

You see, my dad was no stranger to guns. But his little Smith and Wesson 6-shot revolver was no comfort to me—and it would do little to help us against these four adversaries…

Not because 6 shots of .38 special are ineffective, but you have to understand that my dad had probably bought the gun with the same ammunition that was in it.

I don’t think he ever even practiced. It was at that instant that I learned that the mere presence of a gun is no comfort, as I used to believe. You have to know how to use it, and use it effectively.

My dad didn’t. And our lives were going to end because of it…

There was nothing left to do but lay in wait. My dad sprawled out on the floor, phone set down so he could hear what was going on outside the room, with his little revolver pointed at the door, and a small pile of .38 special hollow points scattered on the floor nearby.

All I could do was wait…

Obviously, my life did not end that night, years ago, that I spent in fear on the floor of my dad’s bedroom.

After ten minutes of an agonizing wait that seemed like hours and hours, three State Police cruisers and two county police SUVs had our house surrounded and flooded with spotlights, and the #911 operator was instructing my dad to leave his weapon in the bedroom, and for the two of us to walk out of the room and toward the back door with our hands raised.

The Buick was gone. The only things they had left were fingerprints.

By the grace of God, the men didn’t see fit to gain entry to the house at any cost, because by a simple kick of any one of the windows, they certainly could have- easily. To this day, I have no idea what their intentions were.

Patrick James
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Mon Mar 16, 2020 7:52 am

It's Either You, or Him

I like this article from Tim Larkin

Someone's going to get it right first. Someone's going to get stabbed in the neck, and someone's going to be doing the stabbing.

So... In a life-or-death situation, which do you pick?

While 'none of the above' is the hands-down best choice, that's not always an option. So of the two, 'do' or 'get done,' which one is you?

Yes, it's a stupid question--when given such a stark, limited choice we'll all choose to be the one doing it, right?

And yet, unless you're actually training to be the one doing it, you won't pick the obvious answer, even though you know in your gut it's the right one.

When viewed through a social lens, taking into account self-defense laws, societal mores, and even spiritual concerns, 'hitting first' is wrong. It's aggressive, offensive, and only the 'bad guys' do it--it's a defining feature of the violent criminal.

When taken at face value, the facts of violence show that second place is first loser. The first one to get it right--the first one to cause a serious injury and take advantage of that fact--is almost always the winner.

The first one to take an eye, break a leg or bounce a head off the concrete usually gets the chance to do it again.

Training to wait and see, to block and counter is training to die. It's training to let the other guy dictate what happens--it puts him in charge and sets you up for disaster. It puts you permanently a half-step behind.

Such training causes people to try to block having just been stabbed--they get stabbed, they try to block it as he pulls the knife out and sticks it in them again, they try to block that over and over and so on to the inevitable end.

Violence, as a survival tool, has but one purpose--shutting off a human brain. To that end you have to focus your efforts on injuring the other man. Instead of worrying about what he's going to do to you, you want to make him worry about what you're doing to him.

Hit first, break things, and keep going until you're finished with him.

(Now, context is everything--violence, the way I'm talking about it, is only appropriate where you could expect him to do the same to you if you didn't act, and where inaction could cost you your life. It's stupid to do this to someone over a barstool... but it becomes chillingly 'normal' during a workplace shooting.)

It's simple cause and effect. You can either:

1) ACT to cause injuries in him, or

2) REACT to what he's doing, setting yourself up for failure.

It's funny how when this is presented as it was in the beginning of this letter (stab or be stabbed?), everyone agrees that the choice is obvious; whereas when it's time to train everyone gets into their defensive 'fighting' stance and wants to wait and see what the other guy's going to do.

There is no scale to the facts of violence--either you're the one doing it, or the one getting done. Period. Guns, knives, sticks, fists & boots... it doesn't matter. You're either on him or he's on you.

Injury is the fact that makes the difference. If you don't know how to reliably cause crippling injury, and what to do with it, I don't blame you for wanting to ball up and hang back. Without injury violence is a chaotic crapshoot.

But once you know how to ACT on him to make him REACT--once you know how to injure him & drop him so he can't get back up, once you know how to cripple a criminal who was dead-set on doing it to you, so that he has NO CHOICE in what happens next, well, then you'll understand what I'm talking about and you'll always want to be the one doing it first.

Knowledge breeds confidence--the confidence to be the one doing it instead of the one getting done. Knowing how to injure a man--and knowing what to do with that injury--is the shortest route to victory in life-or-death violence.
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Mon Mar 16, 2020 7:59 am

When taken at face value, the facts of violence show that second place is first loser.

The first one to get it right--the first one to cause a serious injury and take advantage of that fact--is almost always the winner.

The first one to take an eye, break a leg or bounce a head off the concrete usually gets the chance to do it again.

Training to wait and see, to block and counter is training to die. It's training to let the other guy dictate what happens--
it puts him in charge and sets you up for disaster. It puts you permanently a half-step behind.

Such training causes people to try to block having just been stabbed--they get stabbed, they try to block it as he pulls the knife out and sticks it in them again, they try to block that over and over and so on to the inevitable end.


This is the scary part of a violent street fight...and the how we train...not that blocks should not be practiced...but an understanding of what we are ingraining.
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Mon Mar 16, 2020 8:17 am

The one thing you can be sure about is that the current situation of corona virus getting progressively worse, will see much Xenophobia, and other emotional upheavals in people...we will see increasing confrontational mannerism, in just about any walk of life, including 'car wars'...you stand the chance of being attacked out of nowhere for no apparent reason in days ahead...be sure to keep your distance from people and don't be foolish behind the wheel.

If you are ever attacked, forget closing the distance, or grappling...right now in class, if you are still going to attend class, start to learn avoidance moves with off line stepping techniques. This is no time to think blocking moves that put you in close contact with anyone risking contamination...in your classes stop practicing two men sets and keep at least three feet away from anyone in the dojo.

An Aussie mom group's argument about the coronavirus outbreak turned into a violent brawl that left one unconscious.The fight started between a pair of moms on a Sydney mothers' group chat site and ended with the two in the hospital, according to police.

The woman, ages 33 and 36, planned to settle the argument over the health effects of the coronavirus outbreak in person Tuesday in the Brookvale suburb, each bringing backup, but neither was able to break up the brawl.

The 36-year-old mom was treated for a head and shoulder injury and a cut to her arm, and the 33-year-old mom was treated for a sore shoulder and other non-life-threatening injuries.
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Mon Mar 16, 2020 8:27 am

People in the US are worried about the new coronavirus outbreak. That concern is warranted: the virus is a scary new threat, it can cause serious harm, and there aren’t any medications that can stop it.

That’s not to mention the cancellations of schools, popular events, and the general disruption to people’s lives it’s causing.

But fear, and the things people do when they’re afraid, changes and drives the societal impact of the virus. Viruses can’t function on their own: they require a host, a person, in order to survive and reproduce.

That person makes choices and behaves in certain ways. When that person’s behaviors are driven by fear, it can lead to discrimination and decision-making out of line with public health recommendations — which can make the outbreak even worse.

That’s the major common thread connecting outbreaks from the Black Death to the current novel coronavirus outbreak: fear and panic can magnify the harm done by a virus.

“People can get worked up and do bad things in response,” says Philip Alcabes, professor of public health at Hunter College and author of Dread: How Fear and Fantasy Have Fueled Epidemics from the Black Death to Avian Flu.
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Mon Mar 16, 2020 8:28 am

In the US, panic over rising case counts has triggered a rush on grocery stores and pharmacies. In New York City, for example, there’s hardly a bottle of hand sanitizer to be found, and pasta and beans are in short supply.

It’s good to prepare for disruption to everyday life, but there’s a difference between preparedness and panic buying — and the later can cause shortages.

More troublingly, people in the US and around the world have also been buying up supplies of surgical masks and respirators, despite pleas from experts not to.

Masks may offer some people comfort, but they don’t provide much protection against illness if they’re not used properly (and laypeople usually don’t use them properly).

When they’re squirreled away in people’s homes, they’re not available for health care workers who actually need them and know how to use them.
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Mon Mar 16, 2020 8:30 am

Panic also unearths racism and discrimination. The novel coronavirus originated in China, and when it started to spread, anti-Asian racism took off around the world. The same thing happened during the SARS outbreak in 2002.

It’s an old story, Alcabes says. “When the Black Death first came to Europe, there were rumors in Switzerland that a Jewish guy had a secret recipe for poison and was putting it in drinking wells,” he says.

“It caused a series of really dreadful attacks on Jewish communities.”

The fear doesn’t create prejudice; it just reveals it. “It allows it to manifest. And it can do so in ways that can be really harmful to people,” he says.

Also harmful are rumors and misinformation, which can spread quickly during epidemic outbreaks. They had devastating effects during the 2014–2015 Ebola outbreaks in West Africa: people kept sick relatives home because they were afraid of treatment centers.

When they tried to care for them without proper equipment, they quickly became ill themselves. That let the disease spread among families, which made the outbreak harder to contain.
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Mon Mar 16, 2020 8:35 am

People often turn to misinformation out of fear and when they can’t access or don’t trust information from experts or public health officials, Rob Blair, assistant professor of political science and international and public affairs at Brown University, told The Verge. Believing misinformation can then create distrust in experts. That cycle may lead people to disregard public health advice and continue to, for example, buy and hoard masks or to ignore recommendations around isolation and quarantine.


People forced into isolation and quarantine will become very dangerous to deal with. Start thinking now how whatever you have learned in karate can really protect you when you suddenly become the target of an attack out of nowhere...from people who may be contaminated.

This is a good time to carry OC pepper spray...
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Mon Mar 16, 2020 3:20 pm

With social distancing and closings of gyms...I wonder if karate classes would be
deemed an irresponsible activity/

The corona virus is incredibly contagious.
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Fri Mar 20, 2020 6:17 am

Gun sales have spiked as consumers who worried that people are becoming desperate and unpredictable amid the outbreak rushed to buy weapons and ammunition.


You can already see mannerism change in people. Rudeness is increasing...selfishness is evident in grocery stores... people dart in front of you with their shopping carts...will steal from your cart...will argue with you...and soon enough there will be physical attacks in food markets...tailgating and road rage is increasing.

Your karate will get worse as you are no longer able to workout in class format as you practice social distancing.
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Sat Mar 21, 2020 4:52 am

A warning

The world may be upside down. Many may be living in mortal fear. Millions of us may be losing our livelihoods, and our minds.

But, even as so much else falls away, some American values endure: Self-interest, ignorance, cruelty, racism.

As the best of us come together (not too close!), bucking each other up and trying to soften the blows of the catastrophe wrought by coronavirus and abject incompetence at the highest levels, others continue to do what the worst of us have always done: Look out for number one.

Some things never change. Isn’t that comforting?

As John F. Kennedy said lo, those many centuries ago: “Ask not what you can do for your country. Ask what you can do for yourself as your country falls apart.”

It’s truly a comfort to see the president try to racist his way out of this problem, as he has so many others, repeatedly calling coronavirus “the Chinese virus” and giving his lemmings an excuse to harass Asian-Americans.

And substituting his hunches for the expertise of the nation’s top infections expert? And chuckling — with what, pride? — when our Republican governor says Massachusetts can’t buy desperately needed medical supplies because it’s being outbid by the feds.


This is where our martial arts practice will be put to the test. There are countless yahoos surfacing from the cracks of solipsism to take their place in the great unwashed legions...you can not only see and experience them in person when out and about shopping for necessities...you can also smell them as they tailgate you having found another 'justifiable reason' to 'lick your bumper'...

Soon you will be involved in verbal and physical fights with the 'corona zombies' and you better be prepared as you will find out quick enough how good you really are.
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Tue Mar 24, 2020 5:46 am

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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Tue Mar 24, 2020 6:44 am

Dangers of Task Fixation

Good article by Mercop
Under extreme stress human beings can experience what is known as task fixation. Task fixation means that they are 100% focused on the threat at hand and will likely continue use of the same tactic, movement or tool even although it is not proving effective.

Very often during force on force with firearms we see someone being charge with a knife or bludgeon at a distance, they are shooting as fast as they can but remain flatfooted. They keep shooting and the bad guy just will not go down. After being cut/stabbed a few times they learn to move off line. Just because you have a tool in your hand does not mean you can ignore everything else.

Another example is during a stabbing when an attacker is on top of the victim and keeps stabbing him with ice pick type stabs. Responding to an attack with these gross motor responses that utilize a cyclic type motion decrease the chance of the officer transitioning to another tactic or tool when doing so should be obvious.

Task fixation is even more dangerous during open hand edged weapons when the person being attacked grabs the weapon or the weapon wielding hand without moving off the centerline. Even when this does not prevent them from getting stabbed for some reason they fail to let go in order to do something else.

My default defense against task fixation during bad breath range confrontations is to habitually move in at a hard 45-degree angle to my attackers right. Since 93%+ or the population this puts you to their non-reaction. This accomplishes several things whether the confrontation involves open hand, impact weapons, edged weapons or a pistol.

Suppresses their weapon hand.
Moves you off the center line.
Puts you to their outside.
Allows you to off balance them with a push.

I have found that once you are on the outside you kinda get reset and realize that you have more options that bridge to other options instead of getting stuck.


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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Tue Mar 24, 2020 6:55 am

The task fixation is largely hard-wired: the prefrontal, sensory, and motor cortexes work together under live-fire, and once it finds something that seems to be working, the brain keeps doing it,
and it explains chain thrusting with knives to people who expend all their ammunition into a threat and continue to pull the trigger on an empty weapon.

Just as the finger goes "click click click" on the trigger, the brain keeps doing that with the command to do so.

Tunnel vision and task fixation are usually the result of heart rate, which is elevated and in turn caused by epinephrine (adrenaline) in the blood. The more epinephrine your adrenal glands dump in, the worse it gets.

The amount dumped in is all courtesy the hypothalamus, which in turn is getting kicked in the crotch by the amygdala... so the bigger you perceive the threat, the more likely you're subject to tunnel vision and task fixation.


Among fighter pilots, it's called "target fixation", and it's caused the demise of numbers of experienced pilots.
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby paulg » Tue Mar 24, 2020 11:48 am

Speaking of task fixation: watch videos of real fights and you will see this. When someone throws a punch or combination and it does not connect what do they do next? Very often, it is the same thing again. And again. Likewise true for the defender.
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