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 Post subject: CRITICAL CONDITIONS
PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 1999 5:17 am 
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The ongoing quandary in the mind of students as to what works and what doesn't in a street fight is perpetuated by the myriad of styles and techniques and opinions and arguments ad nauseum ! Such confused state of mind programs you to freeze like a deer in the headlights when the' flag flies' !

The ' right ' system and training method is the one that flows naturally with the physiological changes engendered by the flight or fight reflex gripping you by the throat when your perfect world turns to S** in a split second ! In spite of this forum's attempts to focus the issue , still many of us harbor denial and delusional fantasies about hand to hand /weapon combat !

Let's see : you walk back to your parked car in a dark side street and find four punks sitting in it tossing beer cans at you as you approach and getting out to encircle you ! Now your heart rate goes through the roof , your breath becomes shallow in hyperventilation , your legs feel like mush , your brain feeds you gibberish thoughts , your friends tunnel vision and auditory exclusion tap on your shoulders , fine motor control and manual dexterity leave town , your judgment is impaired , the major muscle groups kick into high gear ….you are now into gross power mode ! Complex tasks are impossible to perform ! What defines complex ? Would you believe just positioning yourself for engagement becomes a complex task ?

So what tools are you bringing with you to this decisive event of your lifetime ! Okay >> a black belt you earned working out twice a week for two years , lots of katas , kumites , stilted , safe, bunkais and very limited free sparring , no tournament exposure , no weapons of any kind but lots of theories that anyone who 'violates your sanchin ' is dead meat ! Anything else we should know about ?? I am not counting on too many responses !

Peace,




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Van Canna


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 Post subject: CRITICAL CONDITIONS
PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 1999 10:35 am 
Hello Van.

I remember on several occasions way back....

What I discovered that works in Uechi-ryu FIRST, is an automatic reflex action performing a circle block and getting in a physical position ready to fight when startled into a 'situation,' perceived or real. The mind is also there too for an instant (What you do with it during that instant is up to you).

THIS, I say, happens from doing Uechi-ryu kata many times. It is only one of the side benefits of doing kata. I'm going to break with the pack, and say I have put a lot of salt into Uechi kata even though I am not a kata person. MANY OTHER things in Uechi are important too, such as the inherent design and makeup of the style itself; but I only wanted to touch upon one item, at least for now, Van.



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Allen - uechi@ici.net - http://www.uechi-ryu.org


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 Post subject: CRITICAL CONDITIONS
PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 1999 11:38 am 
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Van wrote
! Now your heart rate goes through the roof , your breath becomes shallow in hyperventilation , your legs feel like mush , your brain feeds you gibberish thoughts , your friends tunnel vision and auditory exclusion tap on your shoulders , fine motor control and manual dexterity leave town , your judgment is impaired

These are nearly the exact feelings I had last month when I got the blue screen of death and the message" cannot write to hard drive"

A bit of a joke, but there I was in a totally unexpected situation with literally no back up.

It's the same in any confrontation, be it at work or on the street, you have to train for the situation.

In everyday life it can be made easy, there are techniques to deal with difficult people, to speak publicly with confidence, etc, but in life or death scenarios??

I've known people in my life that I swear had absolutely no fear. If they weren't one of the good guys (most of the time), they could have been psycopaths. I think perhaps they developed their mind set by training. Getting into a lot a fights ( street that is ) learning techniques and their own abilities.

What do we have? It seems that sparring is the closest we have to the real thing. It should be a major focus in today's dojos.

VTY

Kevin


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 Post subject: CRITICAL CONDITIONS
PostPosted: Thu Apr 08, 1999 1:03 am 
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Location: MARSHFIELD, MA. USA
Sensei Van:

I think you are right. If our training cannot take the edge off the chemical dump, we are in trouble.

I have been in similar situations, one road rage, a verbal battle on the Orange Line.

My tournament experience is limited. However, taking a tournament stance is inflammatory in some situations. In the road rage situation, I quickly stepped back and raised my hads to sort of Sanchin. HE made two stepping moves towards me, and I had enought room to back out of range, so the first punch didn't get thrown.

The Orange line involved several local residents challenging my authority to ride the line in their 'hood, I looked at them and bobbed my heard and smiled while trying to emanate "If you actually come after me, I will try to kill or maim you if I can"

I got lucky and I guess they didn't have guns. I did have a sidearm, but no vest.

I was so scared it surprised me. If things had gone the tiniest bit defferent in the Orange Line scenario, I would have gotten sliced up.

I will concede that fear arising from these incidents has kept me from ever getting out of a car ro discuss matters in the sAGAMORE Rotary ("Local Attorney Assualts Youth?"

Or ride the orange line.

Cowardice----or prudence.

Your Comments welcomed.

JOHN

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 Post subject: CRITICAL CONDITIONS
PostPosted: Thu Apr 08, 1999 2:15 am 
Prudence, John. My hat is off to you for holding back. Your <font color=orange>Orange Line</font> buddies would have turned <font color=blue>purple</font> if they'd gotten within range of one of your Sakuto Geries.<font color=red>

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Allen - uechi@ici.net - http://www.uechi-ryu.org


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 Post subject: CRITICAL CONDITIONS
PostPosted: Thu Apr 08, 1999 10:32 am 
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Posts: 2073
Location: Boston, MA
John,

The orange line is nowhere near as dicey as it used to be. Ride with confidence and nobody is going to bother you on the train. Plus, most know it is a trap to do anything on the train. The driver or porter can call ahead to the stations, and the mbta police are there waiting when things go down.

The stations are more likely the place where things happen. I have gotten into different situations there but only one fight. Keep your wits, act confident and generally be aware and you avoid getting into most things.

The one time I got into it, I was rushing to work for a graveyard shift (in college days) on a weekend. Some guy posing as MBTA worker took my token money at the old Forest Hill Terminal. No big deal and I should have known better as he was not dressed in uniform but I was rushing and not paying attention. The money didn't bother me but when this guy tried to stop me from getting on to the platform and was cursing me out and race baiting me, that was a little different. I went to the toll collector to complain. The toll collector just shrugged his shoulders. Now, I was really p*ssed and on the verge of being late for work. I took matter into my own hands and went after the guy. I remember knocking him down with a side kick. He got up and bolted towards the escalator. Unfortunately, it was the wrong one as it was coming up. He turned and faced me. I knocked him down again, grabbed him and threw him down the escalator. He rolled down and landed in a somewhat sitting position. But the escalator bought him up again. As I was in a total rage at this point, I kicked him down the escalator again. At this point, the bell rang to signal the train was taking off. Good thing. It woke me up. I ran back and jumped over the turnstile. The driver already shut the doors but a middle age black guy had stuck his foot into one of the doors to keep it open. I dashed through. The guy looked at me with a grin and said, "Bad day, eh...?" He apparently saw the whole incident. I said, "Yeah, thanks." I got to work on time.

Righteous rage helps. But I prefer not to have it because, frankly, I know I can end up killing somebody in that state. Better to avoid altogether if you can. Funny thing... If you try to avoid and get really pushed, then rage does set in almost automatically.

david


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 Post subject: CRITICAL CONDITIONS
PostPosted: Thu Apr 08, 1999 6:48 pm 
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Location: Boca Raton, FL
"Such confused state of mind programs you to freeze like a deer in the headlights when the' flag flies' !"

Hopefully, we have instilled in ourselves the proper mindset to ACT, to do SOMETHING, when the **** hits the fan. No, not the fancy techniques that look so pretty, cause we know they are going to be shut down by the adrenalin dump. But rather the ability to use straight forward, powerful, hard hitting techniques - this is what should surface under the situation.

The ability to fully commit yourself with extreme prejudice must be practiced as intently as we practice our kata. Your mind must be focused on the fact that YOU are the attacker (even though you didn't initiate the confrontation) and that you will prevail over the assailant.

Whether or not you carry a weapon, you must be prepared to use anything and everything that is available to you to end it quickly. And if you DO carry a weapon, is your mindset such that it will allow you to bring the weapon into play without hesitation, if necessary? If not, then stop fooling yourself and leave the damn thing home where it belongs.

Count on being hurt, to some degree. And get over it! You can't stop to ponder why your arm is bleeding - the cretin is still there, intent on causing you more physical damage. You can lick your wounds later, after you drop the dog to the curb.

Moe Mensale


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 Post subject: CRITICAL CONDITIONS
PostPosted: Thu Apr 08, 1999 10:12 pm 
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Posts: 311
Location: Washington DC area, USA
We must be in sync. I haven't been here in a week, yet I wrote about a similar topic on my webpage (visit it, the article is called "It's Not About Fighting") where some guy tried to browbeat me about how he thinks it is not important for his kids to learn how to fight even thought they study karate.


I am all for sparring, point, freestyle, and otherwise. I know that it ain't the real deal, but neither is going to the gun range, yet I think it works and it helps. If you have a good group to work with they are going to get you to a point where in sparring, you get what I call "small doses" of that fight or flight chemical dripped into your blood stream--not enough to get you mad or scared, but enough for you to feel taxed. In the dojang I am in now, the teachers have the philosophy of working us juniors to a point where we are fighting just at or slightly above our fighting ability. We don't get thumped on mercilessly, but we do get probed on our weaknesses--whether it is leaving a particular spot open too much or only being good at a particular range--until we correct that problem, then it's on to the next thing. Twice this year we have had nights where a person spars and everyone in the class gets to critique his/her technique, with the Master Instructor having the final analysis (sort of like Jerry Springer making the final point).

I think sparring is the best way to go right now, until everyone can afford virtual reality brain uploads or we can all where heavy duty combat suits. The only other way would be to pick fights in dives and seedy parts of town (and I used to know a guy who trained that way--he'd get right to the point of testing for 1st dan in a system, disappear, and wander around Baltimore and DC trying out his techniques on people.) I for one am not up for fighting for no reason, so I'll stick with the dojang, thank you very much. If we go around beating up people and getting beaten up just to see if it "works", we are nothing more than a bunch of thugs. Besides, we could get into a bunch of street fights and still not be really proving anything; how can you guarantee that the person you pick at random is a worthy opponent? Most people that I know who are good street fighters are either going to avoid fighting you or will shoot you or knock you over the head with a bat, stick, tire iron, ashtray, brick, shoe, or lamp if they even SUSPECT that you have martial arts training. And most of these people I know that will do that HAVE MARTIAL ARTS TRAINING THEMSELVES!

Besides, the way it's been going since I hit 2nd gup, would you believe that the last tournament I was in felt like a BREAK?!?!

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Email: <A HREF="mailto:creativebrother@yahoo.com">creativebrother@yahoo.com</A>
Web Page: http://creativebrother.freehosting.net


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 Post subject: CRITICAL CONDITIONS
PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 1999 2:47 am 
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Location: Boston, MA
Sorry about the digression. The Orange Line is sort of an extension of my home and work since it almost takes me from door to door.

Tracy, you asked some interesting questions about weapons. You said MA's have been about weapons. Yet, the Uechi system does not have weapons in its curriculum (though some instructors like Raffi D have incorporated that). While the mindset needs to be there for all weapons on the continuum, for the sake of discussion, I think the gun has to be separated out. It's an intermediate distance weapon whereas knife/club/stick are more close quarters weapons that are extensions of the hand. How do people train with knife and club in context of the Uechi Ryu framework? Yes. If we use these weapons, then we should train to go in quickly and powerfully. But if the opponent is armed, especially with an edged weapon, do we really want to go straight in? My thinking (at least for now) is No, if we want to avoid what the Japanese refer to as "ai uchi" ( mutual killing -- love that term for a bloody mess). This would then require different tactics and some different footwork (I think) than what one normally sees in Uechi. It would also require modifying the focus of our attacks. Instead of the straight take out approach which I think we likely end in ai uchi, we need to focus on taking out the other's weapon or weapon hand. The distance work for this is different than going for the body.

I am still pondering some of these questions. What are other people's thoughts on the weapons in the Uechi framework?

david


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 Post subject: CRITICAL CONDITIONS
PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 1999 3:21 am 
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Great responses !

J.T. >> thanks for sharing your experiences ; along with David's , they have lots to teach us all !

You said < If our training cannot take the edge off the
chemical dump, we are in trouble.<

True ! Free style open tournaments with heavy contact allowed and bulletman /redman armored opponent scenarios do come close to positive harnessing of the chemical cocktail ! The brutal tourneys of the 60's produced some formidable real life fighters !

Peyton Quinn writes that the bulletmen fight scenarios engage the adrenal response so as to gain better control over this biochemistry !

Hear this : " conditioning oneself to use the survival -enhancing properties of their adrenaline reaction while de-conditioning the negative effects of [as in choking like a pig in a total freeze up show] is as close to a martial arts "secret" As I have ever come across !" { Quinn }

< If an individual has never faced stand up aggression and violence before , then he will freeze up and choke when confronted with it < {Quinn}

< The practical self defense benefits of getting used to the adrenal reaction are enormous << { Quinn }

What tools ? >> Let's Cut the bull and "ballistic masturbation" let's train and immerse ourselves in mental/physical scenarios eliciting the adrenaline response in all phases of practice , including kata ! Then let's Seek out Tracy Rose Sensei's redman drills with a 280 lb. armored bully with " predatory body carriage , projection of hostile intent and the shout " Hey , **** head what the F** you looking at ? " Then the charge ! Lets see then how good our Uechi Ryu really is !!

I will address other points later !


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Van Canna


[This message has been edited by Van Canna (edited 04-08-99).]


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 Post subject: CRITICAL CONDITIONS
PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 1999 3:51 am 
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Quinn writes , and some of you with first hand experience will know , that the peak adrenal effect with the great strength , speed, power and tolerance to pain , is a short lived , quick burst of intensity , which can be easily squandered unless timed perfectly ! The second shot of adrenaline and action burst , apparently is not as powerful or useful as the first !

He also writes that adrenalizing too late can be as dysfunctional as adrenalizing too soon or choking !

" Proper mind , includes the ability to control and harness the positive effects of adrenal stress while suppressing the dysfunctional ones .This means recognizing the first precursor , the interview , and dealing with it effectively and immediately " { Quinn }


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Van Canna


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 Post subject: CRITICAL CONDITIONS
PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 1999 4:32 am 
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J. T. ,

You wrote < My tournament experience is limited. However, taking a tournament
stance is inflammatory in some situations.<

Comments: It is not as much as a stance but body positioning you are looking for , instinctively , that is ! And You always want to be in a position to launch a preemptive strike once you read the fight is unavoidable or imminent ! The way Gary teaches "point sparring" he instills that concept !

The road rage incident >>> I would like to know how it began , how you ended up out of the car , what words were exchanged , what was the distance between you and the adversary , what was your mind state , what triggered the attack ! Were you carrying a gun ?

Regards ,

Van


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Van Canna


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 Post subject: CRITICAL CONDITIONS
PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 1999 5:09 am 
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Location: Marlboro,MA US
Back on subject: What tools do you bring to a altercation?
"The ' right ' system and training method is the one that flows naturally with the physiological changes engendered by the flight or fight reflex"

One of the most effective ways of training/fighting is to use a target based method in your training. Reinforce this targeting system within all parts of your training structure. Under stress it will work. Most training that I have witnessed is to disjoint, this is the block, the is the fancy step, this is the counter... It just doesn't work that way. Arnold Palmer, one the greatest American golfers ever wrote that the golf swing is so complicated that most golfers cannot hold more than a single swing thought. He recommends having one thougth process that ties all other aspects together. By training with the single thought, all aspects of the training pull together and remain cohesive under stress. This, in my opinion, is how one should train and prepare to fight..

Weapons: If you think karate was developed so unarmed people could fight guys with long blades (who were spectacularly trained also)then you are mistaken. MAs have always trained in the weapons on their day. In our day it is knife, gun and club. Training is the specifics of a weapon i.e firearms is important. It is also important to train the weapon into your overall skill set. For example the police teach a kneeling firing position for aimed fire of a handgun. In this position an officier cannot cover 360 degrees. Mas Ayoob made a slight mod to this position that he learned through kendo. The result was a fighting stance that allowed officiers to cover 360. The point is that we spend time learning a system (hopefully a well integrated system and not a series of moves) then throw that system away for a weapon. When we work with knives we integrate the knife with what will have trained to do and hopefully will do. We don't change everything because now we are fighting with a knife....

sorry for rambling, not enough coffee.
later


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 Post subject: CRITICAL CONDITIONS
PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 1999 2:27 pm 
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Morning David,
I really hope I get a chance to meet you someday, you have a tremendous amount to offer. My last posting rambled somewhat, your reply was right on the money. A firearm is an immediate 'distance' weapon yet most uses of a handgun in selfdefense are at contact ranges. My point is that you will be engaging and hopefully using training that you have recieved while going to weapons. Fending off some mutt trying to hump your leg (maybe while he is trying to stab you or tie you up while his two buddies beat you about the head and shoulders with clubs like a whack-a-mole game). Integrating weapons with your Uechi is paramount.

Knives: Two scenarios you are knife fighting or you are fighting with a knife. If you are knife fighting (i.e he has one you have one and you left your firearm at home) then you change slightly to accomadate the problem. You are armed and they (they because of the legal and civil problems, remember intent and ability!) are not then you will be fighting with a knife. It will be very similar to what you do w/o a knife. Imagine grabbing a kicking foot with one of Uechi's scooping movements. The natural follow on movement would be to use the right hand holding a blade and cut ankle tendons. Circle blocks with a knife in one hand!!! Seisan strikes to the groin with a knife....

Uechi does not formally teach weapons. Yet with control of your body, mind, and spirit adding a weapon is natural. That should be a focus of your training. I would bet that ancient Oki's faced against armed soldiers looked pretty quickly to arm themselves. They must of practiced with their weapons yet those weapons were outlawed. Why wouldn't they change movements in the kata to favor weapons? Some movements in the kata w/o weapons seem pretty pathetic....

thoughts???
again thanks for the excellent reply.


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 Post subject: CRITICAL CONDITIONS
PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 1999 2:37 pm 
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Got interrupted...

You will do what your training says. If you have specialty training such as Phillipino training with knifes then that is what you will do. If you train in Uechi then that is what you will do. If you train in Uechi and don't accomadate a weapon such as a knife they you will probally charge in or stay in close w/o controlling the person or weapon and get yourself killed. Fighting is a dynamic scenario, not a static bunkai. You must be flexible in your training to survive. Movement is king but power rules....


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