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 Post subject: CRITICAL CONDITIONS
PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 1999 6:32 pm 
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Location: Boca Raton, FL
David,

Concerning your question about facing weapons, the worst thing you can do is maintain any sort of distance between yourself and the assailant. What you are doing is maintaining yourself in a defensive position which will eventually lead to your demise!!

You MUST attack in order to get control of the weapon hand/arm (not the weapon). Once you do this, then you can dispatch the assailant with your in-close body weapons (elbows, knees, throat strikes, etc).

As far as facing the gun goes, I will defer to Van and Tracy as I have not done much in this area.

Moe Mensale


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 Post subject: CRITICAL CONDITIONS
PostPosted: Sat Apr 10, 1999 12:26 am 
Hi Moe.

We all talk about how to get the weapon away from someone else. What if you are the holder of the weapon? Just remember to always be conscious of holding it with a death grip.



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


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 Post subject: CRITICAL CONDITIONS
PostPosted: Sat Apr 10, 1999 2:16 am 
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Tracy,

Yes. The distinction is important: knife fighting vs. fighting with a knife. Before getting into that distinction I want to touch upon the gun. A gun is good but there are limitations to it that need to be recognize. Way back, I was friendly with a security guard who was licensed to carry. He was on the Orange Line, sitting at the end of a train when a group of teens came on board and started marauding (best term to describe it) the passengers. One of the teens started to approach my friend. My friend shook his head and pulled aside his coat to show his 357 mag. The kid turned around and went back to preying on the other passengers. I asked my friend why he didn't intervene. He said something to the effect of, "Sh*t! Who am I going to shoot in there, there were so many of them, never mind the innocent folks who might get a strayed bullet. I just made sure they didn't touch me."

Anyway, knife fighting vs. fighting with a knife. The past year has been an eye opener training in the FMA's. Initially, I thought these guys were nuts. The overwhelming majority carry two or more knives on them. (I admit to actually carrying at least two at all times now. So, something rubbed on.) Those who can, with a ccw, will also have a gun, an ASP baton, pepper spray, minimag and God knows what else. Why? Because they consider themselves warriors first and foremost and are "dressed" that way, meaning they are always prepared for the worst case scenario. The worst case is confronting one or more armed bad guys. The assumption is the bad guy also knows his weapon(s). I find it interesting that the training is largely focused on weapon against weapon. As I watch some of the more skilled (and even less skilled) practitioners, it is clear that fighting one of these guys without a weapon is almost a guaranteed trip to the morgue. This is especially true of the knife. A good edged weapon DOES NOT NEED a lot of power behind it to do lots of damage. This is an incredible equalizer for the small or weaker individual. I have a custom blade that can almost make you bleed just by looking at it. More importantly, in slashing/puncturing drills with a six inch thick roll of suspended newspapers, this knife cuts through like a hot knife through butter. On softer materials like flesh, tendons, ligaments, arteries...

The fact is the FMA practitioner never wants to confront someone with an edged weapon without one of his/her own. It's also interesting to note that a lot of the drills in knifefighting (or stickfighting) involve the following sequence of parrying/blocking, defanging and then the debilitating/killing blow. I believe the assumption is that without defanging, even after the parry/block, the opponent still holding his weapon will have an opportunity to kill you as you try to kill him. My own (albeit limited) experience with knife sparring bears this out. Attacking without defanging first almost always ends in mutual killing. Also, when you go straight for the kill, whatever difference in reach gives an advantage to the person with the most. This is equivilent to what one experiences or sees in horse stance sparring. However, if one attempts to defang first, the reach is nullified because all one has to do is to reach the knife/weapon hand of the opponent. If successful, than the opponent is yours for the taking without undue risk of being stab first by a longer reach as one goes in for a stab/slash. The implications of defanging on Uechi is this, don't assume a static stance with your hands out in classic Sanchin posture. Those hands will become hamburger real quick. The hands has to stay closer in, with the palms facing more inward (the inside of the arms/palms are "bleeder" targets". You have to be more balanced and mobile as opposed to balanced and strong (there is a distinction here). If you are not mobile, you will be even less so when the opponent slashes out the muscles and ligaments around your kness.

Now fighting with a knife. Absolutely, go in quick and powerful. BTW, you have the opportunity to use the knife without deploying the blade (a sort of more merciful approach if not more legally sound). More than one oppponent, then you have to decide real quick whether they are willing to show as much mercy as you would by not deploying the blade...

Moe, I would agree with you if one were backed into a corner with nowhere to go and no weapon of one's own. (I hope never to be in that position.) But, I have to say at this point, rushing in, in my mind, is rushing to one's death against a skilled opponent. Trying to control the opponent's weapon hand, especially when that person knows how to snake this way and that, cutting, slashing and stabbing throughout, while hitting you at the same time with his "live"/free hand is just not optimal. In some ways, waiting for the person to commit seems better. At least you have an initial idea where he is going with that weapon and hopefully be fast enough to counter it. Rushing in, you have no clue what his counter will be with the knife.

Several months ago, I was in an all day workshop with Tuhon Bill McGrath of Pekiti Tirsia International. I found it interesting that in encountering a knife attack. He advocates parry, hit the knife hand/arm (kyusho), hit the head, push off and get the hell away. With some distance, pull your gun or knife or some other available weapon. There seems to be two assumptions: One, it's almost suicidal to continue engaging a weapon wielding opponent if you have an opportunity to hit and run. Two, you should have a weapon(s) of your own to access immediately after breaking away.

Just some of the things I've been thinking about.

david

[This message has been edited by david (edited 04-09-99).]


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 Post subject: CRITICAL CONDITIONS
PostPosted: Sat Apr 10, 1999 8:37 pm 
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Location: Boca Raton, FL
David,

Let me clarify - With any kind of distance involved, I would never advocate rushing into an attack to attempt any kind of controlling technique. I would prefer to let the assailant first commit himself to the attack, then parry and counter. Once committed, the assailant may find himself uncentered and you being off-line of the original attack and in a better position to finish.

But you have to remember, these attacks don't usually happen at shouting distance. You are most likely going to be in the touchy-feely range, in which case you better be prepared to launch your own preemptive strike. If I am close enough to you to smell the jalepeno burger you had for lunch, and you draw a blade, I can, 1)turn and run, which causes its own problems, 2)create distance in order to draw my own weapon and counter, which could lead to a prolonged, messy affair, 3)strike first, fast and with extreme prejudice.

Every situation is going to be different and I don't think that we should treat it like prearranged kumite but be willing to be flexible in our options. And remember what Tracy said, "Movement is king but power rules...."

Allen, yeah, "death grip" is a fitting term, hey?

Moe Mensale


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 Post subject: CRITICAL CONDITIONS
PostPosted: Sun Apr 11, 1999 12:31 am 
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Location: Boston, MA
Moe,

Thanks for the clarification. We agree though I hope to never find out for real. Image

Regarding "death grip", good for fix blade. Could be a problem with some of the more common tactical folders out there with linerlocks. People are finding out the hard way that linerlocks not perfectly fitted or designed can release an imopportune times with a tap on the knife spine or death grip. I had one linerlock that fail with the lightest of taps. Could have cut my fingers off since I use for drills. Test all linerlocks with taps on the knife spine and white knucke gripping before relying on it. For what it's worth for those interested, the are some newer tactical folders now with more dependable locking mechanisms: the "Axis" lock by Benchmade, the rolling lock by REKAT, and the "integral lock" by Chris Reeve Knives but also available with Mission Knives, and Benchmade. Some of these newer locks are finding their through licensing to some of the more popular manufacturers.

david


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 Post subject: CRITICAL CONDITIONS
PostPosted: Sun Apr 11, 1999 6:02 am 
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Points to ponder :

1] < My point is that you will be engaging and hopefully
using training that you have received while going to weapons……Integrating weapons with your Uechi is paramount…….Yet with control of your
body, mind, and spirit adding a weapon is natural. ……..Some movements in the kata w/o weapons seem pretty
pathetic.... you will
probably 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.... 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< [ Rose sensei]

2] <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…..[Moe]

3] < 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! < [Cecil]

4] But if
the opponent is armed, especially with an edged weapon, do we
really want to go straight in?….. 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. …….He advocates parry, hit the knife
hand/arm (kyusho), hit the head, push off and get the hell away.
With some distance, pull your gun or knife or some other available
weapon. There seems to be two assumptions: One, it's almost
suicidal to continue engaging a weapon wielding opponent if you
have an opportunity to hit and run. Two, you should have a
weapon(s) of your own to access immediately after breaking away.
< [David]


COMMENTS: What's clear is that 'empty hands' martial arts are very limited , but a poor compromise, in the real world of conflict survival in this day and age of weapons proliferation , especially knives ! All of you out there doing the 'strut' with your conditioned legs and traditional delusions of grandeur because of your training 'pedigree' will not be able to fight on your terms , envision it as you will ! A face slapping contest with a wimp is not a fight ; but when your day comes you will probably be up against some determined individual who is probably armed , has done this before and enjoys it !

Then you will learn something else the hard way i.e., you probably won't see the knife attack coming ;when staring into the muzzle of the 'sudden gun' you will deny it and freeze in the grip of fear in spite of your 'disarm' techniques ! Many will be totally helpless unless the attacker moves or stands still in the specified manner programmed in your training with two men sets etc.,[ fat chance] ….one of the 'secrets' that will dawn on you is that under the stress your body will have a tendency to revert back to instinctive reactions natural to the primal brain response >>> [ the klutz response] … bypassing to a certain extent all of your great martial arts training !

I know I am going a bit overboard on the negative , but it is important for us and the students we train to realize very clearly that indulging in dojo fantasy and systems 'overload ' is suicidal ! The only fight you should really be preparing for is the 'criminal attack' The rest you should walk away from ! But criminal attacks are fast, violent affairs, that thanks to weapons and surprise and incredible speed, leave the victim stunned and defenseless !



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Van Canna


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 Post subject: CRITICAL CONDITIONS
PostPosted: Sun Apr 11, 1999 10:14 am 
Yeah, Moe.

Funny term, but true. It is so easy to loose concentration on the weapon holding hand and actually forgey you are holding something unless you get a wakeup call.

I'm sorry I only have time and energy these days for a 'bounce-dive' off these forums and can't get into the discussions in any detail, but I have been reading and absorbing Van's material.
<hr>
However, Van's last paragraph hit me (pun). The criminal attack is far different and deadlier than the typical barroom brawl where someone just doesn't like you or he thinks you have been fooling around with his woman. The criminal attack moves in on you as fast and as unpredictable as a shark.

I still say that if you practice your kata and all the other Uechi-ryu 'stuff' including sparring, you will develop an automatic reaction to an incoming attack. This automatic reaction is something that you do even if the attack happens too fast for your eyes to see and for our brain to communicate with your conscious self.

I know some people on this forum have been getting down on 'reactions' and saying that you have to do the 'actions,' but this is one time that without the reaction you can be dead.

I remember a childhood friend who had grown up to be a 'professional' street-fighter. Professional because all he knew how to do in life was take someone out. We briefly reunited when I was in my 20s and he showed me some of the 'stuff' he learned during the 10 years or so we had not seen each other. He was only playing, and even being fully aware that he was going to attack me, each time he already had done his thing before I recognized I was under attack. This guy was a tough person and a real killer, and probably wound up either dead or in prison.

It seems that these people's entire lives revolve around how they can take and kill, and continually train to do so; this is their life. These kinds people are on the other side of the fence of us mere mortals, and you can only hope they stay on the other side.

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


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 Post subject: CRITICAL CONDITIONS
PostPosted: Sun Apr 11, 1999 4:30 pm 
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Allen writes: < I still say that if you practice your kata and all the other Uechi-Ryu
'stuff' including sparring, you will develop an automatic reaction to
an incoming attack…I know some people on this forum have been getting down on
'reactions' and saying that you have to do the 'actions,' but this is
one time that without the reaction you can be dead.>

Comments: Good observations ! However ---- Research by Siddle would suggest that in order to perform the 'right' reactive skill under combat it is not enough to practice a series of movements thousands of times under the static conditions of dojo practice!

Siddle writes that survival and combat training consists of several elements : Threat recognition ; response selection to specific threat [ critical to perform the skill competently] and the mental resolve to carry it through !

Static skill repetition [ katas , bunkais, kumites ] can only go so far as to real life programming , yet people continue to believe they have the end all answers to any potential assault situations ; they believe it with such brainwashed fervor that they are propelled into the "shuffle and strut " as soon as they don a gi ! Very comical ! Much like the punk of the Beverly summer camp who was fond of performing 'solo' techniques of doom cutting a swath through the ranks especially close to Tomoyose -sensei and who got his brains beat in while reacting to what he knew was coming , by busying himself into a stance !

The studies by Siddle reflect that in order for the automatic response to be of reactive and effective quality , it must be cultivated with a reality based threat stimulus [ as real as you can make it ] !

" This can be accomplished if instructors examine their training and coincide the skills learned with a stimulus which simulates a threat that the student will meet in combat "

Think about it ! And what of the mental challenge to ourselves ? Look at most dojo workouts , one hour of stilted applications , lots of bull **** talk , paranoid liability concerns " look but don't touch " , but lots of mushin extravaganza !

So what " mind maps" are we bringing to the fight ? Isn't fair to say that most MA practitioners today , with some notable exceptions, have never faced even a small threat , much less a street mugging or sexual assault , and since responding to such a threat has never been a part of their life style , is it really a wonder that most will freeze or flail ineffectively ?

It is happening now : somebody, having looked innocuous , suddenly pulls a gun on you six feet away as you are about to enter your car " Hey M*** F *** give me all your money " Now what of your reactions ???




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Van Canna


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 Post subject: CRITICAL CONDITIONS
PostPosted: Sun Apr 11, 1999 6:35 pm 
Hello Van.

Thank you for your response, Van. People, it seems too often, get down on kata and their kumites, etc., just like they are living in a glass house. So the point I wanted to make was that, in Uechi-ryu anyway, everything we do in class, the whole pie, is extremely valuable in a fight situation. And it certainly trains us for an unexpected close-in sudden fight situation. Id does so better than most other styles I know of. Maybe It is only I who admits knowledge of that value, because, for me, before karate came the fight and I see true hard fighting right inside Uechi-ryu. But then again, what do I know I am just rapidly becoming a crippled old man looking to retire in a few years.

But to repeat movements of times is not enough, I wholeheartedly agree. This is where your mindset comes in -- the trilogy of mind-body-spirit.

And the gun at 6 feet? What distance can you get out of a fully outstretched arm? Maybe just shy of 3 feet. And the leg? Add an additional foot (no pun). What can you possibly do except maybe throw anything you are carrying with you into his face in hopes of distracting him so YOU can attack? What if you don't have anything to throw? I'm afraid [Freudian slip - I'm scared] there is not much you can do, except talk if you can, unless the toter makes a fatal mistake.

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


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 Post subject: CRITICAL CONDITIONS
PostPosted: Sun Apr 11, 1999 11:48 pm 
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And the sudden gun at 6 ft ? Thoughts of disarms ? How desperate are we ? Your action may not beat his reaction at that range !

Lets see : remember the denial response ? As taught by luminaries as Mas Ayoob and master combat instructor John Farnam , this is one of the most prevalent armed conflict trauma effect ! How many times has our life been threatened lately ? Not many , maybe never !

But when it suddenly occurs , the event is so far removed from your ordinary orderly life that your brain will not let you believe it is actually happening to you ! People also go in denial of this denial syndrome !

Under deadly encounter mental faculties become degraded , complex tactics and survival response mechanisms are suppressed ; the assailant is just as nervous as you are , his finger will be on the trigger , he is probably tripping on some substance ; if he as much as reads your signals wrong , you will catch a bullet or two !

Okay ; under stress we revert back to basic techniques we have practiced thousands of time ? How many times have we practiced disarms upon a hand gun , when was the last time we did ?

In 'kill or get killed' Col. Rex Applegate explains that disarming in actual practice is a very personal matter and one that must be understood by a person who has real confidence in himself and his skills ! No two situations will be exactly alike , differences in size and temperament of the individuals and their respective mind states cannot be reduced to reliable mind maps !

It is only when the gun or the gunman is within arm's reach of the victim that any disarm should even be thought of having a chance of success ! He can often be enticed within disarming range , but you won't recognize the man standing in your shoes at that moment, lapping a frozen fear adrenaline cone !

In his famous training of combat forces , Applegate's training and assiduous practice was very realistic and with real weapons fully functional , some with blanks under very controlled conditions !

How many of us train that way ! For that matter how many really know the gun they would take away from someone ! Most are afraid of guns or are antigun , yet they think they can disarm someone after a few lessons !

The knife : you will probably first realize you have been the victim of a knife attack when you see and taste your own blood ! But if you are lucky to see the knife before it slices you into skin flaps , according to the lethal force institute teachings , the real importance is time and distance between you and the assailant ! The rest of the response action , whatever you may be prepared to dish out , is secondary !


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Van Canna


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 Post subject: CRITICAL CONDITIONS
PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 1999 7:28 am 
TRS has a good series on gun disarming. A couple of guys, whose names escape me at the moment, geared up and fired wax bullets at each other. The discovered a couple of things:

One of the disturbing things they found was about clearing the gun (hand moving the gun one way and your body shifting the other). If you move the gun in the usual manner -- towards the inside i.e. if the gun is in the aggressor's right hand your left hand moves it to your right -- you have applied just enough pressure on the trigger finger to have it fire a millisecond sooner than if you clear the gun to the outside. The difference is the bullets caught them almost every time on the edge of their body. Clearing outward makes the ensuing lock harder but presses the trigger finger off the trigger giving you a millisecond extra time. They cleared the wax bullets every time with this way.

They also showed that a common technique that strikes to the nerve just up on the inside of the forearm, thus stunning the arm and "clearing" the gun outward has a 50 % chance of bending the wrist leaving the gun pointing (and firing) directly into your body.

A technique they suggested to get the aggressor closer to you, when they are giving you orders or directions, is to look too stupid or too terrified to understand. They said a common reaction is to prod the victim into compliance by getting in their face with the gun. To do that they have to get closer.

No experience in this -- comments?


Rick


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 Post subject: CRITICAL CONDITIONS
PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 1999 11:06 pm 
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Hello all,

Some random responses to all this great input.

1) Anyone use waterpistols in training? They are safe and provide a biofeedback that keeps the training from degenerating into a child's game of "got you....no you didn't"

2. As far as I'm concerned I never ever want to get into a knife fight with anyone. Neither do I want to spar with a predator, much less have an old west gun fight. The only way to go for me is radiating a no jive attitude, negative response to interview, and preemptive unrelenting assault hoping that my movement is sufficiently timed and mobile so that I'm not used as T-ball practice by the boyz behind the car.

3. One of the best awareness training experiences I've had (other than a vicious childhood) was Sanchin training as a kyu. I trained with a Sensei who would walk around the practitioners silent as a cat and blitz you with lightning speed from unknown directions. It's amazing how refined the senses become. Straight Sanchin, nothing fancy.

4. It's hard to imagine that Pangai Noon if truely a White Lotus society member (re: Sensei Campbell's forum) trained for the overthrow of the Ching unarmed. Just as in the case of Wing Chun's Bot Jam Doh (8 slash broadswords) perhaps much of our curriculum would work very nicely with an edged weapon in one hand? Not just thrusting and slashing, but also ripping, butting, and hammering in conjunction with the free hand and feet.

Situation: predator approaches man with three lit cigarettes in his mouth and asks for a light

Response: "I don't smoke"

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Good training,
David


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