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

Moderator: Van Canna


Postby David Elkins » Thu Jul 01, 1999 5:59 am

I took the liberty of copying #1-3 because for me it's sometimes a hassle to have to scroll back up to see what someone is talking about (how's that for shugyo!)

1] In spite of training , real fights always go down as sloppy affairs !
2] There is almost never back and forth action in a real fight ! They are usually over between two and five seconds and you can tell the winner after about a second and a half ! One or the other will always , very quickly , land that good shot that renders the opponent semiconscious who then continues to "flail" ineffectively as he gets pummeled to the ground and stomped on !
3] Real fights are much faster than we envision , almost as a cat fight !

A while back I saw a movie titled Casino with Robert DeNiro and Joe Pesci. If you haven't seen it, relative to this thread, forum, and self-preservation, you should. Within the first 10 minutes or so of the movie there is a "fight" scene that provides gut wrenching testimony to the truth of #1-3 and the nucleus of what has been said on this forum since its inception. I assume that not everyone will run out and rent the movie so I'll briefly describe it. Believe me, knowing what happens doesn't take away a bit from the impact of seeing it.

Bar scene: Pesci is DeNiro's "bodyguard." Wiseguy insults DeNiro. Pesci goes from talking to blind raging fury with minimal verbal or postural escalation; prison style jabs a ball point pen in the wiseguy's neck/chest multiple times; as I recall, knees him; and puts the boots to him as he goes down. I didn't time it, but I suspect it was over within the five second parameter Quinn presents.

Moral? Sensei Canna stated "In my view , the best "sensitivity" training has to do with reading the opponent's " intent" before a blow gets underway !
This is done by working on blow perceptions and angle of attack drills by learning to recognize the "cues" your opponent gives before uncorking the blow ! Lots here to talk about !

Good training,
David Elkins
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Postby RACastanet » Fri Jul 02, 1999 12:39 am

Hi Gary sensei. Hmm..... a rebuttel:

Points well taken. No, I really do not know what my response would be to an unprovoked attack. My response was to Van sensei's supposition, a right (or left) overhand or round house of some sort.

Outside of a few schoolday skirmishes, I've never had anyone really want to tangle with me. Perhaps it is my demeanor and size - 6'2" and 200lbs, the way I carry myself, luck, who knows. But, I believe that training in some gross muscle memory that just might work in a pinch is a good idea. There are others that I work on for a low 'tackleing' attack, grab from behind, all out of kata and bunkai that we practice often.

Also, the assumption you and others make is that the response is a fair fight 'empty hand' defense, to which I say 'bullsh*t! I've got way to much gray hair to want to engage in a fight with a punk.

I long ago appreciated the advantages of a weapon, be it a pocket stick, something with an edge, something a little longer in reach..... and some working knowledge of where the really nasty pressure points are.

The #1 reason I come to camp, other than to enjoy the great time of just being there with all of you, is to spend time with the likes of Raffi D. sensei and Evan P. sensei and others who can show me how to 'defang' would be attackers. (Van, if you read this please spend a little time with me at camp to be certain I am developing the proper mindset.)

Also, in the great Commonwealth of Virginia, law abiding citizens such as myself are allowed to carry something a bit more interesting than a swiss army knife. Anyone attempting to do bodily harm to myself or loved one is definitely going to see a bright light. Even my instructor, Bill Glasheen sensei, sees value in a 'projectile' weapon and thoroughly enjoys it when I take him out to the range for practice. For all I know, he is a closet member of the NRA! Oh my, I'm on a soapbox......

Lets have a Sam Adams and a big smoke at camp later this month. Raffi tells me he is bringing the cigars.

Regards, Rich
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Postby Collin Warder » Fri Jul 02, 1999 8:11 pm

Gary Sensei:

I believe that Van Sensei was referencing statistical averages for techniques thrown in street fights. Based on the average, you are pretty much guaranteed to see a right hook comming your way.

I also think that it is pertinent to recognize the vast differences between sparring and true physical altercations. I have been in plenty of "street" fights, more so even than many of the sifu/sensei's that I have studied under. Never once have I encountered a straight punch, but almost every time there has been shoves, grabs to the arms and wild, flailing hooks (sometimes my own). Certainly, never has a "street" fight that I have been involved in unfolded like a sparring match.

Of course combat is a dynamic thing, and you should train as such, but the wise will not ignore the patterns that exist in human conflict. Sparring is a wonderful thing. It trains every facet of your body for proper martial movement, and really helps develop footwork and timming, but if you want to get a feel for a "real" fight, turn on the Discovery channel and watch two baboons go at it. Isn't this what the chemical cocktail is all about?

"Fact is, trying to pull something off in a fight is a lot like trying to fit a round peg in a square hole."

These words are poetry, and I agree 100%. However I think it is necessary make note that what is difficult is going into a fight thinking circle block, straight punch, front kick, and then trying to pull it off. You must accept a fight for what it is, at the moment that it is occuring, and respond according to it's flows, with no pre-conceived notions of what will be or what you will do. This truth, however, does not make it any less important to train for what will probably occur.

Awaiting enlightenment,
Collin Warder
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Postby Bob » Sat Jul 03, 1999 1:06 am

I could hardly agree more. There is another issue in regards to closed fist headhunting that is often overlooked and that I brought out in an article that I wrote for Karate International - and that is the risk for blood borne infection.
When you strike with the closed fist it is not unlikely to tear skin upon the jagged structures of the head and face (uneven contours around the eyes, teeth, etc). It is also not unlikely that the person being punched will bleed. The blood from the punchee can enter the torn skin on the puncher.
Open hand striking (such as in Uechi ryu, PaKua Chang, Motobu ryu, Dai Yoshin ryu) can render effective strikes with no lacerations to the hand. I have my students tap a hard surface with their knuckles and then with their palm and they soon see the difference.
You can also gain greater control of impact with the palm. With a little practice most people can learn to do select breaks with the palm (stack up several boards or bricks and break just one preterminated one), which is hard to do with a punch.
The UFC has opened many who practice at the local McDojo that typical sport karate is perhaps less street effective, but at the same time it has led many to belive groundfighting is the best thing around. After they get grapple on concrete covered with broken glass they will change their mainds. Stand up hand striking WILL WORK.
There is a big difference between sport karate, Budo and original Bujutsu. Sports are designed for a fair exchange of evenly matched people to exchange techniques safely, not to end a fight quickly. That is why boxing matches can go 15 rounds. Bujutsu has always been 1-4 moves.
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Postby gjkhoury » Sat Jul 03, 1999 3:25 am

Hey guys!

OK, let's do battle! No, actually, let's be friends. Actually, why is everyone picking on me? I feel hurt. . .and oh so alone!

Rich-san: You wrote: the assumption you and others make is that the response is a fair fight 'empty hand' defense.

No, actually, I make no assumptions. In fact, after reading and re-reading my post, I cannot find a single reference to any such 'assumption" whatsoever.

Hey, man, you have a knife, bottle or other and want to use it, more power to you. Personally, I do not train with weapons because I KNOW that the same statistics you quote say I will NOT BE HOLDING ONE in the moment I need it! (Fodder for another post, perhaps?)

Collin-san: You words ring true! Especially enjoyable was your comment about The Discovery Channel baboons!

However, earlier in your post you write: I also think that it is pertinent to recognize the vast differences between sparring and true physical altercations. . .Certainly, never has a "street" fight that I have been involved in unfolded like a sparring match.

And like many of your predecessors, I think that you might be putting the proverbial words in my mouth.

Yes, I am the "sparring guy". I am also a real student of the fight game (not just boxing, either). Please re-read my post. My point is exactly what you state: Train however you like in your dojo or in your competition, but it's NEVER GOING DOWN THAT WAY! NEVER!

My point was merely this: The second you decide on a favorite technique, you're F*cked! Why? Because you're going to try to "pull it off" on the wrong guy at the wrong time.

Being a "righty", I am well aware of the statistics that point to a right punch being the first you'll see in an altercation in the street. That information did me no good several years ago when I got my bell rung in a bar by some lefty punk who I had assumed would be one of the rightys you're all counting on!

Yes, I spar. . .a lot! Yes, I like what I do. . .a lot! But please don't fall into the category of narrow minded nobodies who automatically assume that this "specialist" has no appreciation for or skills in any other asset of martial arts information and or training.

And to all, I again say: If sparring is not the "real thing" (and I, like you believe this to be true), good luck to you "kata queens" who think that you're ready for the Grim Reaper after your nightly Sanchin! HA!



Gary J. Khoury
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Postby Van Canna » Sat Jul 03, 1999 4:15 am

Gary writes :" Just a word to the wise, and a caveat for our junior readers.
punch you're training for at your dojo will probably be the left you
mentioned, thrown by a skinny street punk who just spit in your
face! "

And Collin : "You must accept a fight for what it is, at the moment
that it is occurring, and respond according to it's flows, with no
pre-conceived notions of what will be or what you will do. This
truth, however, does not make it any less important to train for
what will probably occur."

Such succinctness by both gentlemen !

If we know/perceive where the mode of attack will come from we prepare in "time mind" and scan a response action which we program ! Thus a realistic study of the most common " body progression" of adrenalized average skilled assailants is useful to program responses for !

Then you move your drills one notch higher to simulate as many defensive /counter variations as you can think ; dynamic , tactical _ simulating the pressure __of diverse skilled individuals coming at you in unpredictable motion , and suddenly !

Training in this manner conditions the student against that "lost time" he perceives in responding to random attacks ! Lost time triggers anxiety compounding the cocktail , fine motor skills quickly vanish , tunnel vision becomes more acute and the defender is launched into irrational response !

And so Gary rightly writes:" My point? Train for technique, yes. Heck, we all have our favorites.
But in the face of violence act and react."

Herein lies the rub ….." the study of reaction time principles may be one of the critical aspects of survival training " {Siddle}

But how to go about it !! And how to program explosion in your moves ??

Van Canna
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Postby Joe Madonna » Sat Jul 03, 1999 2:31 pm

well to me a throat strike is the best.
its straight down the tube. and if you can grabe at the end of the strike
and touch your fingers together all
the better! sparring,kata,drills are a
great work out.but maybe some day ill use them .when i started karate i wanted
to do it all.but the older i get the
simpler i want friends always
trying to test me.(you know lets see
what mr. black-belt can do !!) funny
how my hand always finds there throat!!!
basic is best i think but you got to
keep your options open.thats why i stated to take groud fighting.and thats
where bob is wrong. he stated every-
ones running off to grapple.and we
should think different after going
down on glass or tar,concrete.well bob
in real life,do you think you can pick or choose when & where you go down?????
and when your down there whats next????
and not all of us that started groundtraining want
to forget stand up.but a lot have and
their very wrong. i'd much rather do it
on my feet.but there's no gaurantee.



Joe Madonna
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Location: bridgewater ma. u.s.a


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