Man, oh Man, Roy, you are raising some real interesting points!
>>Choice is based upon the ability to make a rational decision and my point is that this does not naturally occur when we are under the spell of a stress induced combat mindset. One cannot sit in tranquility and say with certainty what they would do in combat. There are are too many stress related variables beyond our control. <<
Absolutely true. I love it when I hear people say they would do this or that in this or that situation. Doesn't go down that way. One just does one comes "naturally", meaning without thought. The only thing we may be somewhat assured of is whether one has in himself/herself to go at if need be. What specific thing we do is another story. Sometimes it's effective and sometimes it's not. For example in a melee, one can't think about anything excepting striking down the one in front and then moving on. In the process, you can be hit by another from the sides the back, etc. But, you still can't take focus from the one in front. Only after dealing with that do you deal with next, whereever the next is coming from. ANy preconceived notion will slow you down because it may not match to the situation that is fluid and fast.
>>Much of this discussion is now focusing on 'best options' and 'selective stancing'. These are all valid points in theory but according to our observations they are not likely to occur when under assault - when the heartrate increases and the chemicals work their way into the bloodstream. <<
I agree with this also. You do what comes "naturally" or, I believe, also what may become come "second naturely." The originators of our style may very well be more knowlegable than they are credited for by making the stances similar to what one would take naturally and using that as a platform for various techniques. Yet, I have seen boxers/kickboxers fight and take on bladed stance. The years of training in drilling and sparring (?equivilent of kata and kumite)have made this stance "natural". But in the course of engagement, especially on the offensive, the body will naturally square up more to allow the utilization of the available weapons from either side. The bladed stance may be the preliminary "defensive" posture to avoid the first attack before a launch into a full squared up counterattack.
>>. For this reason, the tactics of sparring and combat cannot be compared. In sparring, there is no stress induced entry into the dark realm of the primal combat mindset. Instead, a competitor remains rational throughout the 'fight' and changes his strategy to ensure a victory over his opponent. A competitor has the power to plan and execute tactics with controlled precision. He knows his 'fight' lasts three minutes and he often uses his time wisely. He assess whether he is up or down, and makes adjustments to achieve victory. In other words...he thinks. <<
I posted last year after the tournament that I didn't feel any great adrenaline rush during the competition. I am not sure if people didn't feel that I was talking trash. But I was speaking the truth for me. A sparring match IS NOT a fight and I have had my share fights to know the difference. The possible outcomes are substantially different. However, if one is very wedded to winning or losing in competition, or are relatively new to competitive sparring, I can see how one would experience some extent of the chemical dump. But it will be a smaller dump than one would experience in a real encounter. As such, yes, one can act more "rationally" in the ring. Nevertheless, sparring is a form of training that can help prepare one for a real encounter (my opinion) though it needs repeating that there is a huge gap from sparring to real fighting.
>>Fighting and sparring are not the same thing and cannot be discussed in the same context, particularly because of the variant mindsets that drive them. If I were to coach a Uechi competitor in the finer points of winning medals I would suggest that he or she first widen their stance, fight in a more bladed position and move away from the opponents attacks. If I were to coach a warrior into combat I would suggest just the opposite on all of those counts.<<
Yes, agree with you again. Fighting is not about playing with techniques, trying this or that. The only thing in the mind is to strike down the opponent -- PERIOD. If there is a defensive posture, it will be very brief to avoid the opponent's first attack. Thereafter it's counterattack/attack until the opponent is dispatched with.
>>Our kata clearly coaches the warrior.<<
I am inclined to believe this more after having read your perspective. But I also still believe that other methods can do so as well.