Abiding Place

Sensei Canna offers insight into the real world of self defense!

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Re: Abiding Place

Postby Rick Wilson » Mon Jun 16, 2014 4:23 am

Part Five:

QUOTE: “The 'no mind' approach engenders tactical blunders; especially in view of the fact most of us martial artists receive no training in street tactical applications of force. Think of what you do or what most teachers teach in a class and you will understand why.”

I both agree and disagree.

The “no mind” approach often taught is what you have called in the past, Van “Dojo Mushin.” The think of nothing and all will be well and you will do what you have trained to do – without conditioning.

I see this much like being told to relax. Every time I tried to relax sparring my brain relaxed and I got smoked.

Then I read that the Chinese tern Song which is often translated as “relax” should be translated as “loosen.” For some reason this had a profound affect on my understanding. I loosened my body but not my mind and it went much better.

Too often the training of no mind is taken as going into some zombie like state without thought at any level.

I see the no mind state where, if possible, you have already used your higher functions to determine your goals and strategies and now it is time to turn everything over to the lower functions to enact the tactics. You do not become entangled with any thing you see and evaluate and respond.

You do not stop thinking; you simply do it on a non-verbal level. You see the lines of incoming force. You see the holes. You see the proper path or track, you respond and all that happens in the smallest portion of time because the cue immediately engages the response.

So Van I agree completely that if you think you can stand there and not process anything then you are going to get hurt.

However, the processing must take place at a deeper level so to me “no mind” means no verbal or higher though process. You are in the thick of it. A mass attack you conditioning is to escape. You look for holes and aggressively go for them. But you let your conditioning do that rather than try and think your way out.

No mind for me is a state of using your conditioning rather than trying to think of doing what you trained to do.
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Re: Abiding Place

Postby Rick Wilson » Mon Jun 16, 2014 4:34 am

Part Six (the last for now):

QUOTE: “The problem when we talk about "self defense", is that there is no one situation. The subject is literally vast. Like snowflakes.”

Brilliant statement.

Ponder most training.

How often is it a person attacking from the front?

IF that is the assault you are most likely to encounter in your life then that is good training.

IF that is merely a step in learning principles and then it is taken into a different approach then it is still good training just one step in it.

If you wanted to assault someone, not monkey dance, but really assault someone because you needed something they had would you attack from the front?

Would you take out a sentry walking up to them from the front?

Of course not.

So as the quote says the subject of violence is vast and determining what form you are most likely to face should directly affect how and what you train.

Certainly train for others but if you have never trained that straight punch coming from the side and the hand to your backside then you will be in for a large surprise that the movements you used to deal with a straight punch from the front don’t work as well when it is from the side. And the perception time is very different.

So determining what violence you are most likely to face in your life should determine what and how you train and condition.

If you are going to go to bars and monkey dance then maybe coming form the front is not so bad – until his friends jump in :P

Think about it if all your training is one on one and from the front is that the assault you will face?

It does not mean that training doesn’t have value, it just means you have to take it further.
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Re: Abiding Place

Postby Van Canna » Mon Jun 16, 2014 4:12 pm

Thanks Rick, brilliant posts
Ponder most training.

How often is it a person attacking from the front?

IF that is the assault you are most likely to encounter in your life then that is good training.

IF that is merely a step in learning principles and then it is taken into a different approach then it is still good training just one step in it.

If you wanted to assault someone, not monkey dance, but really assault someone because you needed something they had would you attack from the front?

Would you take out a sentry walking up to them from the front?

Of course not.

So as the quote says the subject of violence is vast and determining what form you are most likely to face should directly affect how and what you train.

Certainly train for others but if you have never trained that straight punch coming from the side and the hand to your backside then you will be in for a large surprise that the movements you used to deal with a straight punch from the front don’t work as well when it is from the side. And the perception time is very different.

So determining what violence you are most likely to face in your life should determine what and how you train and condition.

If you are going to go to bars and monkey dance then maybe coming form the front is not so bad – until his friends jump in :P

Think about it if all your training is one on one and from the front is that the assault you will face?


This also keys in the importance of more practice of our tenshin movements in creative ways, the so called getting off the X that lethal force trainers stress during their seminars.

When in the Infantry, I recall numerous drills to ingrain into a sentry the ability to swirl off line should he sense an attack coming from behind.
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Re: Abiding Place

Postby Van Canna » Mon Jun 16, 2014 4:20 pm

I like this from aikido
Aikido stresses the idea of the centerline. The centerline runs from the top-center of your head, straight-down your body, equally bisecting it. The centerline is significant in aikido because most of your vital targets--face, throat, solar plexus, and genitals--fall along the centerline. The centerline is the core of you, the vulnerable, solid center that, if injured, affects your very existence. If your arm is struck, while it might be painful, you will still be able to function, even if it's only to run away. If you're struck in a vulnerable spot on the centerline, you may well be down or dead.
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Re: Abiding Place

Postby Van Canna » Mon Jun 16, 2014 4:21 pm

So in aikido, rather than "holding the line" and defending ourselves, rooted on one spot, we move off the line of attack to a more advantageous position. Moving away from an attack can be done intelligently or not so intelligently.

For example, if our partner kicks or strikes and we simply move straight back, even though we may avoid this first strike, we have remained on the line of attack and allow our partner another opportunity to strike again.

Likewise, if we jump wildly to the side, we again avoid the initial attack, but we've now created space between ourselves and our partner--space that our attacker will probably fill with a new attack. Again, we've just put off the inevitable.
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Re: Abiding Place

Postby Van Canna » Mon Jun 16, 2014 4:23 pm

Intelligent moving in response to an attack in aikido usually means blending by entering or turning. (We use the terms irimi and tenkan for entering and turning. Some schools use the terms omote and ura to describe similar concepts. Although there are some subtle differences between these terms, we'll take them as being equal in this book).

Irimi means entering

Irimi is a great, hidden secret in aikido, strangely missing in many other martial arts. Irimi means entering.
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Re: Abiding Place

Postby Van Canna » Mon Jun 16, 2014 4:24 pm

Entering, like many concepts in aikido, initially seems to be counter-intuitive. For example, your attacker is about to smack the top of your head with a large pipe. It seems like the last thing you'd want to do is enter into his sphere.

Irimi means entering to a safe place. In the above example, you enter behind your attacker, where it's safe. But you get there as if you are going to pierce directly through your attacker's own center. With an irimi movement, you head straight for your attacker's center and then veer off to the side at the last moment.
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Re: Abiding Place

Postby Van Canna » Mon Jun 16, 2014 4:27 pm

Irimi provides a number of advantages. Because you don't block or run away from an attack, you give the attacker the illusion that he is going to hit you. He thinks that his attack will proceed as planned and so he doesn't hold back or change directions. This works to your advantage.

You can "disappear" right before your partner's eyes with a good irimi. Once I was practicing irimi nage with a kohai (junior student) when he performed a marvelous irimi movement. I came in to strike, my target was right in front of me and he appeared as though he was going to just stand there and let me hit him. He was relaxed and smiling. I struck hard and fast and my experience was that he simply vanished before my eyes. His entry was so clean and pure that I didn't see him slide by me, but he just "winked out of existence." Of course, he "winked" back into existence moments later behind me and threw me to the mat.

Irimi is the force of the spear, the force of a tidal wave. Your irimi movement should both pierce your partner's center and also wash over your partner like a giant wave. A good irimi movement is a force to be reckoned with!


We do have this concept in Uechi but it seems at times that some are not able to distinguish it.
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Re: Abiding Place

Postby Van Canna » Mon Jun 16, 2014 4:28 pm

The other typical movement we do in aikido is the tenkan, or turning movement. Tenkan turns when pushed. If our partner comes to push us in the chest, we roll around the extended arm, keeping close contact with the attacker's arm and body. By rolling, we get out of the way of the attack and we position ourselves at our attacker's side, which is a much safer place than in front of him.
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Re: Abiding Place

Postby Van Canna » Mon Jun 16, 2014 4:29 pm

Like irimi, the tenkan movement saves us from being hit by the initial strike and puts us in a relatively safe position, where we can follow up with additional movements or techniques.

Usually, the tenkan movement will continue with the turning motion by leading our partner's energy around in a circle or spiral of which we are the center.

Tenkan is the force of the tornado or cyclone. You are in the center and your partner is flung around the edges of this cyclonic force.
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Re: Abiding Place

Postby Van Canna » Mon Jun 16, 2014 9:44 pm

I wrote
“The 'no mind' approach engenders tactical blunders; especially in view of the fact most of us martial artists receive no training in street tactical applications of force. Think of what you do or what most teachers teach in a class and you will understand why.”


I did not explain myself clearly.

As you read below, keep in mind that my opinions were heavily influenced by Lethal force trainers[Mas Ayoob and John Farnam]...I continue to maintain that Lethal force training with deadly weapons[pistol, rifle, shotgun and assorted improvised weapons] under such stellar trainers...is 1000% better and more realistic in street combat than any martial arts trainer.

The classes were divided by classroom work as well as combat scenarios, day and night.

The classroom work was headed by published specialists in their own fields.

One of the most critical aspects of any confrontation is the decision making process that all of us will experience without even knowing why, in microseconds on the basis of what specialized training or knowledge we may or may not possess.

We also will be held to 'decision making' by a jury of peers.

Now...the so called 'mushin' to me is purely physical, a bodily reactive process.

If an attack is an ambush, then I will go along with the 'mushin' as it stands.

But most attacks, as even Rory will explain, are not ambushes as you will have some advance warning of sort that you will sense.

Unless you have some specialized training ingrained as to 'decision making'...you will blunder.

Once you have a subconscious programmed along a decision making response action based on a myriad of concepts[the average martial artist does not possess but takes for granted]...

The 'decision making' occurs at the speed of light and chances are it will be the right one...with _'physical mushin' _on its coat-tails.

Many of our martial arts fellowship also owns/carries weapons of some sort...but an extremely low percentage has even thought of attending specialized training such as at the Lethal force institute or with DTI [defense training international] run by John Farnam.
As I tell my students,

I’m not here to tell you what to do.

I’m here to tell you what’s going to happen when you do. Then, you make your own, informed decisions. I’m not here to suggest you do the ‘right thing,’ nor the ‘moral thing,’ even the ‘legal thing.’ I’m suggesting you do the smart thing, from the standpoint of your continued good physical health, financial health, mental health, and general well-being.
John Farnam
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Re: Abiding Place

Postby Rick Wilson » Tue Jun 17, 2014 12:09 am

QUOTE: `Now...the so called 'mushin' to me is purely physical, a bodily reactive process.

If an attack is an ambush, then I will go along with the 'mushin' as it stands.

But most attacks, as even Rory will explain, are not ambushes as you will have some advance warning of sort that you will sense.

Unless you have some specialized training ingrained as to 'decision making'...you will blunder.``


I agree 100 %
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Re: Abiding Place

Postby Van Canna » Tue Jun 17, 2014 3:48 am

Thanks Rick.

Worth restating
As I tell my students,

I’m not here to tell you what to do.

I’m here to tell you what’s going to happen when you do. Then, you make your own, informed decisions. I’m not here to suggest you do the ‘right thing,’ nor the ‘moral thing,’ even the ‘legal thing.’ I’m suggesting you do the smart thing, from the standpoint of your continued good physical health, financial health, mental health, and general well-being.

John Farnam


Here is John Farnam...both Jim Maloney and I trained with him.

http://defense-training.com/dti/instructors/
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Re: Abiding Place

Postby Stryke » Tue Jun 17, 2014 4:28 am

8)
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Re: Abiding Place

Postby jorvik » Tue Jun 17, 2014 6:03 pm

There are different ways of thinking about Mushin and not attaching your mind, as 5d said there are many different situations we may face. The problem is we may be all making valid observations about different situations.
I was thinking of technique in a very classical Aikido sense when I posted.

a situation like this

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

especially the group attack, if you concentrate on one opponent too much, you lose, also if you do not concentrate on your technique enough you lose. It's as Rick said about tension, if you are too tense then you are fighting against yourself.and you can be mentally tense as well.
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