Abiding Place

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

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Re: Abiding Place

Postby Stryke » Sun Jun 15, 2014 4:36 am

8)

The reason you don't think of anything is you should be dealing with the situation, not some story of what's happening

The place you abide has to be the now, the deliberate decisive act to get the job done.


watch without knowing, and be deliberate.
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Re: Abiding Place

Postby hoshin » Sun Jun 15, 2014 5:39 am

Van, of course your right and i have no way of knowing if Nagamine belived in the "no first strike" in his heart or if that was just the polictical correctness of his day. i do belive after WWII there was a ban on martial arts and the Oki's had to prove to the U. S. that this was a sport and this should be taken into account if its true. as was pointed out tho this is what the courts will deem appropriate in most instances. if a witness cant tell who the agressor is you may be in for trouble. i do think the mind set of no first strike is ingrained in the systems of karate. As Fred questioned "do i step back as in kumite practice" our own system has this flaw of waiting for the punch and then preforming a wa-uke to block before the strike. the cadance of hojo undo is ingrained in the student from day one. ichi...block, ni...strike. to me this is not the correct way. for my own personal kata i never think of wa-uke as a block, never. i know everyone who posts on this sight is of the same fighting mind set ( Van you have taught us well about reality :D ) but i go to other sights or talk to other martial artists and i just have to shake my head. the illusion people have of their martial arts effectiveness is a very strong cup of cool aid.
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Re: Abiding Place

Postby fivedragons » Sun Jun 15, 2014 5:42 am

I might be wrong, but I always interpreted that phrase as meaning that you shouldn't allow the other person to strike you.

With a sword, there is no tit for tat.

It actually can be interpreted to mean your concept of both hands clapping at the same time.

"there is no first strike" does not say that our karate hero does not strike first. It says "there is no first strike".

If one wanted to, they could interpret this as meaning that the conflict was born into this life with you, as karma, and there is no beginning or end, until it is somehow transcended by learning how to not be in conflict.

Hell if I know what these people are trying to say. :lol:
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Re: Abiding Place

Postby fivedragons » Sun Jun 15, 2014 6:21 am

For example, when I think of all the writing that has been done on meditation (getting your mind right), the only meaning is in the person who practices it. There are so many different approaches to the subject, and so many explanations of what it does, and why one should do it, but all of the teachings lead to the same thing. The best thing I have ever seen about meditation is from a shaolin monk who sits down, closes his eyes and says "now don't think about anything".
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Re: Abiding Place

Postby jorvik » Sun Jun 15, 2014 11:53 am

I think the sentiment is not to attach your mind to any activity or any outcome. When I did Aikido I would sometimes just move and somehow I would throw people. I spoke to my teacher who was a national judo champion ( and had learnt his Aikido in Japan) and he told me that he had been in national competitions and thrown people and not even realised that he had done it. I think of it as a kind of muscle memory type of thing, if you let your mind get out of the way then your body will just do what it has been trained to do, if you have trained correctly.
Similarly when I play guitar sometimes it feels like it is not me playing, like I am listening to someone else, then when I catch myself and try to look at the music or work out where my fingers should be I end up playing rubbish :lol: ..can happen with kata as well. :wink:
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Re: Abiding Place

Postby Van Canna » Sun Jun 15, 2014 2:06 pm

When you give it some serious thought, it should become clear that if you sense impending violence that may well lead to your being killed or suffer severe injury…

…allowing an attacker to strike first with you being on the defensive…means you are allowing the attacker to seize and maintain offensive control in an attack, a condition from which you may never recover.

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.

Read the books of Rory Miller and you will get an education like no other.

Anytime you use force in a street fight, whether it be pre-emptive or 'defensive' you will be embroiled in legal tangles, even more so as a martial artist on the belief that you are a dealer of deadly force.

Again, in these discussions, it helps for us to envision the kind of fight, and the circumstances of it, that would trigger protective action on our part.
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Re: Abiding Place

Postby Van Canna » Sun Jun 15, 2014 3:05 pm

We are going to be in a mess of trouble in a fight whether or not we strike first or after the attacker has begun the assault. We will need to articulate justification to police and the courts _our use of force reason against an attack or perceived threat of impending violence.

We should not even think about raising our hands to someone unless we have reasonably perceived we are in imminent danger of death or serious injury.

This perception should be shared by witnesses and even reflected on camera.

The question for the judge or jury should be: when did the fight start that reasonably called for 'protective action' on our part?

Did it start at the time an attacker actually launches a physical attack or is gearing up for an attack with harmful intent you have perceived?

And is there a threat or display of weaponry? Is there an obvious disparity of force about to come your way?

Generally, the legal view is that we do not have to be hit first or a hit first attempted before we can take action for self protection. Our defense may include pre-emptive striking in a situation that has reached a point of no hope for de-escalation or retreat/escape.
"An attempt to strike another, when sufficiently near
so that there is danger, the person assailed may strike first,
and is not required to wait until he has been struck."

– 16th Century English Self Defense Law -


All well and good, but we still have to be able to prove it in court. But what are the alternatives? Damned if you do and damned if you don't.

You weigh the situation and you make your decision.

One thing is for sure…if we allow an opponent the advantage of a first strike, regardless of our assumed abilities to block and counter, we may well end up in a pine box or a wheel chair.
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Re: Abiding Place

Postby fivedragons » Sun Jun 15, 2014 3:26 pm

Van: "Damned if you do and damned if you don't."

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

When I was thirteen, I lived on the border between two suburbs of L.A., one predominantly upper middle class white, while the other was mostly Latino, many of who lived in a "gang culture". Two different worlds that existed next to each other separately.

Once, a mexican kid rode by my house, and I said "nice bike". He looked at me and my friend and said "I'll f#ck you up". A while later, some guys came up to to my friend in a pizza store and told him that he shouldn't be around me, because they were going to kill me.

HA HA. Now I had a .22 rifle at the time. My stepfather had several guns in the house. When I think about it, there are literally thousands of possible outcomes to this situation. I did not tell anyone about the threat, and lived in a kind of amorphous dread for several months until we moved. Nothing ever happened to anybody. So what is the correct "self defense" in this scenario?
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Re: Abiding Place

Postby fivedragons » Sun Jun 15, 2014 3:38 pm

One aspect of self defense would the awareness not to say "nice bike" to someone I don't know, from a different culture that would view me as a possible threat, maybe threatening to jack him for his bike, as that is what would be implied where he lives. Awareness comes with experience.
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Re: Abiding Place

Postby jorvik » Sun Jun 15, 2014 7:26 pm

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

That is spot on. You will not know what you face physically or mentally and it is not worth trying to think like a cop or a prison officer when you face a criminal, you have to think like a criminal, but chances are you will not even know if he is a criminal or not. Some of the most innocent baby faced youths are quite capable of slicing your face with a box cutter. The only defence is constant vigilance and making sure you have the odds on your side. Don't go to shady bars, or big venues with crowds and alcohol, try not to live in a bad area. Most important of all don't try and work out their psychology or try to out think these people, they have been bred this way like some pitbulls are bred to fight, or they just have the "Crazy" gene and last and probably most important is make sure you know who your friends are. My old dad always used to say that if somebody said he was your enemy, then he really wasn't a real enemy, because the real enemy will try and act like a friend.
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Re: Abiding Place

Postby Van Canna » Sun Jun 15, 2014 9:01 pm

Great post, Ray.
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Re: Abiding Place

Postby Rick Wilson » Sun Jun 15, 2014 9:59 pm

Coming late to the party so I will start back at the beginning and post a few times on the topics raised.

QUOTE: “To speak in terms of your own martial art, when you first notice the sword that is moving to strike you, if you think of meeting that sword just as it is, your mind will stop at the sword in just that position, your own movements will be undone, and you will be cut down by your opponent, This is what stopping means.

Although you see the sword that moves to strike you, if your mind is not detained by it and you meet the rhythm of the advancing sword; if you do not think of striking your opponent and no thoughts or judgments remain; if the instant you see the swinging sword your mind is not the least bit detained and you move straight in and wrench the sword away from him; the sword that was going to cut you down will become your own, and, contrarily, will be the sword that cuts down your opponent.
-Takuan Soho 1600's”

Part One:

“when you first notice the sword that is moving to strike you, if you think of meeting that sword just as it is, your mind will stop at the sword in just that position, your own movements will be undone, and you will be cut down by your opponent, This is what stopping means.”

One of the things we have been focusing on in our training this year is to not become “entangled.” When you allow your mind to be distracted or directed by something the aggressor is doing you become entangled and your mind is focused there and not on what you need to do.

A simple drill is to have one partner close their eyes and have the other partner grab their shirt or gi with a real thudding impact. See if they can respond to the movement created rather than focusing on the grab itself. When the assaulting partner follows up with a strike it will become obvious what becoming entangled gets you: “you will be cut down by your opponent.”

Part Two:

“, if your mind is not detained by it and you meet the rhythm of the advancing sword; if you do not think of striking your opponent and no thoughts or judgments remain; if the instant you see the swinging sword your mind is not the least bit detained and you move straight in and wrench the sword away from him; the sword that was going to cut you down will become your own, and, contrarily, will be the sword that cuts down your opponent.”

This part to me speaks to a second level of ability and gives a glimpse of the third level.

“if the instant you see the swinging sword your mind is not the least bit detained and you move straight in”

Do not become entangled and do what you need to or as I have referred to it in training simply do the move. Be indifferent (but not oblivious) to what they are doing and do what you need to do.

“you meet the rhythm of the advancing sword” Here is a glimpse of the third level where you do not do the move - you allow the right move to happen. You meet the meet the rhythm of the advancing attack. You allow them to be the creators of their own defeat. This isn’t a pacifist approach but rather using what is given to you to defeat them.

Here are the three levels as I have been pondering them:

1) Do the technique: Basic step the aggressor does something and you react with a technique you have learned. The technique is irrelevant could be a throw or the Spear or a Wauke, but the key is you are reacting to the aggressors move with a trained move. Often this has the “clash” Marcus highlighted. There is no Flow to this. (Note: I know Tony’s SPEAR system is a conditioned response I am using referring to someone having learned to do the physical Spear move as a technique not the SPEAR System itself. Hence Spear vs SPEAR.)

2) Do the move: In the next step you are indifferent (but not oblivious) to the aggressor's move and you simply focus on “doing your move.” This has moved you out of reacting into responding and trained techniques are long gone as you move to conditioned responses where you respond to the aggression by simply doing what you need to. You do not become entangled in what they are doing. Here you have an effect on them and it feels effortless to you but they feel the clash if you will. There is a feeling of Flow to this.

3) Allow the move: In this step you move to where Ralston talks about allowing the aggressor to defeat themselves. You are not reacting. You are not doing a conditioned response. Rather you are responding with something generated or created by the aggressor themselves. Here again it is effortless for you but while there may well be pain involved the aggressor is baffled by how it all happened. This is true FLOW.
This is a progress we need to be aware of in training. There are three levels and each level is a step that you have to walk though before you can reach the next.

I am going to say that there are martial artists who I believe have this third level without a doubt but I watch their students attempting to do what they do and in my opinion they just don’t have it. I believe it may be caused by the students trying to respond at a level without doing the work and the training to walk through the steps.

Marcus: "fixating on meeting force will limit you forever at colliding , once you can meet you can progress to joining , merging , helping and leading." YES!
Last edited by Rick Wilson on Mon Jun 16, 2014 4:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Abiding Place

Postby Rick Wilson » Mon Jun 16, 2014 3:46 am

Part Three:

Quote: “there is no first strike in karate”

This comes from the 20 precepts written by Gichin Funakoshi. And Funakoshi Sensei believed that “once karate enters, the issue becomes life or death. He saw karate as a deadly art that could kill and therefore you should never take the offensive unless life and death were at stake. Although, as he explains in his book “Karate-do My Way of Life” on pages 110 to 112, when he took a “firm grasp” of a robber’s testices he broke his own rules.
Some say this is proven by every Karate Kata beginning with a defensive move but I think that is a limitation of their views of applications.

I see it as one of the moral and training guidelines written by Funakoshi who was trying to emphasise Karate-DO as a way to develop character as well as deadly force.

So you can take Funakoshi’s view that unless it is a life or death situation you cannot use Karate in offence or as a moral guideline not to start anything. We see from his own writings that there are times even when it is not life and death where Karate is applicable.

If we apply it to the real world today and the legality if you live by never seeking or starting the violence and can articulate that you did not initiate the violence then it is a sound principle. Thinking of it as you must “block” first is not how it was written or how I feel it should be interpreted.

I also think there are situations that may not be life or death where proper training in the force continuum make offence appropriate - simply my opinion.

van: "…allowing an attacker to strike first with you being on the defensive…means you are allowing the attacker to seize and maintain offensive control in an attack, a condition from which you may never recover." YES!

The Twenty Precepts of Gichin funakoshi:

1. Karate-do begins with courtesy and ends with rei.
2. There is no first strike in karate.
3. Karate is an aid to justice.
4. First know yourself before attempting to know others.
5. Spirit first, technique second.
6. Always be ready to release your mind.
7. Accidents arise from negligence.
8. Do not think that karate training is only in the dojo.
9. It will take your entire life to learn karate, there is no limit.
10. Put your everyday living into karate and you will find "Myo" (subtle secrets).
11. Karate is like boiling water, if you do not heat it constantly, it will cool.
12. Do not think that you have to win, think rather that you do not have to lose.
13. Victory depends on your ability to distinguish vulnerable points from invulnerable ones.
14. The out come of the battle depends on how you handle weakness and strength.
15. Think of your opponent’s hands and feet as swords.
16. When you leave home, think that you have numerous opponents waiting for you.
17. Beginners must master low stance and posture, natural body positions are for the advanced.
18. Practicing a kata exactly is one thing, engaging in a real fight is another.
19. Do not forget to correctly apply: strength and weakness of power, stretching and contraction of the body, and slowness and speed of techniques.
20. Always think and devise ways to live the precepts of karate-do every day.
Last edited by Rick Wilson on Mon Jun 16, 2014 4:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Abiding Place

Postby Rick Wilson » Mon Jun 16, 2014 4:04 am

Part Four:

Quote: “this is taking OODA and going around it. Finding the neural pathways that do not involve the frontal cortex.”

I heard a great quote from Randy King of KPC Self Defence the other day: “Conditioning is who we are; training is who we would like to be.”

This is a very important statement to understand.

To be successful in the direst of circumstances we must respond through conditioning rather than try to react with training.

Everyone reading this forum knows a true violent assault means no time to consciously think of how to respond.
You will go to what you are conditioned to do. This may shock many by not being what they train to do. I was working with a person the other night responding to a simple grab and they responded by grabbing the assaulting hand with their right hand. There was some confusion and it didn’t go as well as the person wanted so they said I should have grabbed with my left hand and then…

I said no that is you trying to do a technique you were trained to do. Grabbing with your right hand is what your personal conditioning made you do so first – deal with that and work from there, and then we can work on why you were entangled with a grab that really was inconsequential.

Training needs always to go through a process that leads to conditioning. I am not talking about simple repetitions here because regardless of how many times you have repeated a technique it may not have been imbedded in that deeper older part of your brain that houses conditioned responses.

I learned a great point at Rory Miller’s seminar in Edmonton in May. He says train what you would like them to do and make corrections on the mechanics and performance then take it into a conditioning drill BUT NEVER MAKE A CORRECTION DURING CONDITIONING. Let the success or failure of what they do be the teacher. ALWAYS END ON A SUCCESS.

If you make corrections during conditioning (not training) then you engage that higher functioning of the brain to analyze etc and you are no longer building habits.

This is a very important point when building conditioned responses.

It does not mean you do not train!

It means training is where you learn what you would like to do AND conditioning is where you make it what you would actually do.
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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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