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 Post subject: COMBAT KATA CONTINUED
PostPosted: Thu Aug 19, 1999 11:03 pm 
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“Like I said once before, probably 90% of all the martial artists I've ever seen can't fight at all, and don't want to learn.” [ Maurice]

Truer words never spoken! It hurts, doesn’t it?
But how many really believe it? Look at the way they strut!


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Van Canna


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 Post subject: COMBAT KATA CONTINUED
PostPosted: Fri Aug 20, 1999 1:03 pm 
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Van Sensei-
You wrote:"Truer words were never spoken! It hurts, doesn't it? But how many really believe it?Look at the way they strut."in response to "Probably 90% of all martial artists I've ever seen can't fight at all,and don't want to learn."

I do agree.After all, martial arts replace the need to learn to fight for most people, and they feel if they learn the magic movements, that's all they need.

And most fall into this category.On the other hand, many who can actually fight, have lousy technique.

There was a concept taught us back in the Sixties and very early seventies, I haven't heard much of lately.That is that you should train to "make your techniques work" in a real situaton, train against opposition and resistance with parters who aren't gonna let you do the technique.

I also believe in training to defend against real type attacks, not the step back and stand in downblock stuff.

Though I don't know the Uechi style, I do admire it, but I hear on this forum that some Uechi people have the same problems of training.This surprises me, for I thought it's a pretty realistic system.Still think so.My system is a distant relative, Okinawan Kenpo.We also do Seisan, for instance.Though a different version.

Is it that some do not want to do it like it is meant to be done?

This much I'll say:You are right on about what happens when it really goes on, so to speak.Lot of training goes out the window.Got to ask, then, if that is proper training or just what we used to call 'candy dancing?'

I'm in favor of only using training that produces real-time results, if itcan be done, and I do believe kata, properly done, to be at the core of at least one type of that training.

If done with the proper focus, intensity, form, power and speed.

Anyway, just some thoughts.
John


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genjumin


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 Post subject: COMBAT KATA CONTINUED
PostPosted: Fri Aug 20, 1999 2:16 pm 
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just a random aside...
van sensie wrote:
Like I said once before, probably 90% of all the martial artists I've ever seen can't fight at all, and don't want to learn.” [ Maurice]
Truer words never spoken! It hurts, doesn’t it? But how many really believe it? Look at the way they strut!

*****
I was mugged once a trio. During the interview the leader dropped down into some david carradine kung fu stance, hands waiving over his to exemplafy his threat..

I was in shock at the stupidity of the moment. After I put managed to shut my drooping jaw I thought "good god, it's christmas morning"

so many people believe their own press. they smoke to much of that foo foo dust...


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 Post subject: COMBAT KATA CONTINUED
PostPosted: Fri Aug 20, 1999 7:49 pm 
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Fighting is such an abstract concept to most. It is the one activity that nearly everyone secretly desires to have great competency in. Few however will take the time to learn and understand its complexities. The physical skills in fighting are certainly an applied science and like any other scientific undertaking, it demands adherence to certain fundamental rules. Aside from the inate ability to shield from attack, there is no natural ability to fight and to win conflicts with any measure of certainty. All fights by the untrained are merely games of chance. I have heard the aggressive untrained refer to themselves as 'street fighters', but I think we have to use the term 'fighter' very loosely from a martial perspective. To these folks fighting is something that they make up as they go along, usually counting on their attitude, size and strength to support their martial endeavors. They would be best to settle their disputes with the flip of a coin since there is already no predictable outcome in the contest.

Since we know that most people will never actually be involved in a fight, we also understand that anyone can pose as a fighter with relative impunity. People are usually judged by others on their 'apparent' ability to fight (size,race, gender, stature, attitude, language) not their actual physical prowess or knowledge of fighting skills. These are the paper tigers we hear so much about.

I see people walk around with 'fighting eyes' all of the time, visually issuing a warning - "don't mess with me."

I've come to realize that this is nothing more than posturing, one of the precursors, Grossman (On Killing) points out, to the fight or flight syndrome that comes with a direct challenge. I think it is a product of a mass insecurity felt by many people who do not have confidence in themselves or their abilities. Within the animal kingdom, the unprotected must always put up their best act in order to feel protected. The small, weak and unprotected must bare their teeth and make lots of noise in hopes of scaring off a would be preditor. It's proven to be a pretty good tactic even though it's total BS.

This is why I think that all people should be required to learn how to fight as part of their school curriculum. This would ironically have the opposite effect of what might be expected by the uninformed. I believe that the net result would be less fighting. It would lead to mutual respect,less inciteful posturing and remove the tendency to dominate - since most would understand the true risks associated with conflict and the painful price of oppression.

Roy


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 Post subject: COMBAT KATA CONTINUED
PostPosted: Sat Aug 21, 1999 4:48 am 
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Roy Bedard Sensei posts:The reality of fighting and also of defensive posturing.

Now That was interesting! I nelieve you are right about learning to fight having the opposite effect most people would expect.

It reminded me of something my first Judo sensei told me back in 1967.His name was Preston Pugh sensei, sandan, he had been in Okinawa in the Air Force and also did a little Shorin ryu karate which he taught us in between Judo classes.

He never talked about any actual experiences he may have had, was always gentle of demeanor even when throwing us around the mat like a whirlwind,but somehow you got the idea he had been there.And that he didn't like it, bt accepted it.

So one day it was just him and me talking about judo in the locker room, after class, and I asked him about it.

And he told me, with a kind of sadness I have to call philosophical, one sentence I have never forgotten from that day to this:"The more you know about fighting, the more you know what can go wrong."

I was fifteen then, but the lesson affeced me deeply, and I never felt the need to ask him more on this subjec, for it seemed he had summed up all his wisdom on the subject of fighting with those few words.And you just brought it all back, more, you just showed me my impression of Pugh Sensei was correct.He had been there.

His advice to me has probably saved my life on more than one occasion.

The defensive posturing stuff was delightful.Even though, as you say, it is pure BS, it works.:-)

Who was it who said the appearance of power is sometimes more important than actual power?Or "Power perceived is power achieved?"

Here's a good one: On occasion I have been "braced" by some would be tough guy of the sort you describe, all fierce gaze and swagger.

And smiled, throwing him totally off.Why was I smiling?I was thinking of many severe trining sessions over many years with several teachers who beat me worse in training than I ever had been in the streets, and when informed that one of these worthies was going to kick my ___, I smiled to think that they would really have to go some to outdo a few of my teachers.:-)

Kind of funny, but the never proceeded to try to do so, and several commented as the backed away that they really didn't like that smile.

Maybe its lke a moutain climber being told to watch himself on the staircase.I know we should never underestimate a potential attacker, but sometimes, dogonnit, it was just funny!:-)

Thank you, Sensei Roy,
John Versteeg


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 Post subject: COMBAT KATA CONTINUED
PostPosted: Sat Aug 21, 1999 1:55 pm 
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The 'glare' and 'posturing' reminds me of a story. . .

Back in the 70's, I ran an annual tournament. The eliminations were held at my Cambridge Street Dojo. One of my older students wanted to compete. He had absolutely no tournament fighting ability, no technique! I tried to convince him that at his age (about 50) that the experience might be dangerous. In spite of my suggestion, he signed up. He won his first three matches by presenting his opponents with the fiercest, most frightening face/grimace/posturing I've ever encountered! He kept chasing his opponents around the ring, trying vainly to hit them with something! I believe the first two matches were won because his opponents kept running out of the ring!

Finally, in the fourth match, his opponent rightly realized that all Chuck (DiBlasi) had was a powerful stare. . . and proceeded to hit him with three clean shots for a win.

A great example of how a strong will and expression can win a battle without blows!

Not sure how Chuck would fare in an actual street fight, but I know he would have been prepared for the staring battle that proceeds some fights.

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GEM


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 Post subject: COMBAT KATA CONTINUED
PostPosted: Sun Aug 22, 1999 5:24 am 
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GEM Sensei posts The Story Of The Winning Stare.

Wow! That is really funny!But so true.How many people want to go against someone with that fierce countenance and glare?

And who wants to be the first to find out what if anything is behind it?:-)

Btw, greetings to Mattson Sensei.Your book The Way Of Karate was one of the first(and best) I ever read, and inspired me to begin study of Okinawan Kenpo and Shorin-ryu, back in '72, in Ohio.There wasn't any Uechi ryu there then, or I'd have taken it.

I owe you much and many thanks.In the book, you tell about the three kata repetitions a day method of training, which is my core training practice for many years now.You told about the three year and ten year marks in training, which are so vital to know about, and you also told about the secret techniques hidden in kata, which led me to search these out from the very beginning of training.

Also you taught me, through your book, the cycle of kata , which I always have trained according to, though with different forms.

I never thought I would be able to actually thank you for all the help you gave me, but now, thirty-three years later, I get to do so.

Sensei-from the bottom of my heart:I thank you for sharing your knowledge and wisdom, so long ago, with one so young as I, through your book.

I cannot tell you how much it has meant to e, through the decades intervening,in my quest to understand the martial arts.I will only say, the principles you set forth in that book, have been my guiding lines, in all the arts I studied.And they have served me well.

Again, I thank you.Domo Arigato Gozaimasu, Sensei.

John Versteeg


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 Post subject: COMBAT KATA CONTINUED
PostPosted: Sun Aug 22, 1999 2:22 pm 
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reply to Roy,
I have often noted the paradox suggested by your contribution to this thread. The best trained fighters are the least likely to go around starting fights. Why? Because the best martial artists are the people who take the hours upon hours, days upon days, weeks and months upon years and years to forge their bodies and their techniques into a natural way of being (and reacting)... in order to do so one must first be possessed of certain strengths of character. Namely. perseverance, frustration tolerance, faith in the teachers' authority and motivation to do the hard work. These traits are the exact opposite of the impulsivity, impatience, low frustration tolerance and diffuse anger of the comon bully! "Street fighters" (who you aptly describe as not being trained fighters in any real sense of the term)intimidate by size and bluster, usually take their victims by choosing those who are easily intimidated (how many of these "tough guys" stand up to someone one on one?. When they go up against trained force, say, the drunk disturbing the peace who tries to take on four police officers and ends up maced and cuffed, their destuctiveness is usually of the diffuse, explosive sort (as opposed to the focussed and directed. These are people who go down in a blaze of self-styled glory; they like to get hurt as much as they like to hurt others... their behavior is more of an adult-sized tantrum than anything else.
Interesting that so many of us train with the notion of the "Mother of all adversaries" in the back of our minds... the highly trained "bad guy in the black hat" from countless movies and nightmares who will test our highest skill. Yet the truth is that martial arts trained people tend to respect each other and are the least likely to end up fighting with you. In class in the dojo yesterday my sparring partner stopped the action and said something like "You wouldn't have been able to catch and hold my kick if I had gone relly fast"...my response, "I'm really not expecting to fight a highly trained and expert martial artist like yourself...". Am I being naive? I don't think so, but I'd like to hear what you think.
The paradox shows itself this way, too: we train and spar with other trained martial artists, and our skills tend to cancel each other's out... so you do not realize how skilled you have truly become with the years of training. Spar with someone who has not trained in martial arts (maybe a naturally tough and strong athlete, say) and I'll bet you will have more of an appreciation of your skill level.
Responses, please.


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 Post subject: COMBAT KATA CONTINUED
PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 1999 7:05 am 
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Paul Giella Sensei asks for responses to the question, do we train to fight a trained martial artist, or an untrained bad guy?

My response is to expect the worst out there, and train for it;some bad guys do know martial arts.

Respects,John Versteeg.


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 Post subject: COMBAT KATA CONTINUED
PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 1999 10:00 am 
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We train to be as good as we can be and, if need be, to fight as hard as we can. I submit we should have no regard for what type of opponent we may face because that is a matter of chance. Rather, we must insure that our intensity and mindset are optimal. These are things we can control.

david


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 Post subject: COMBAT KATA CONTINUED
PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 1999 4:59 pm 
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Another interesting story on the subject of the the "combat stare" and posture.

During a national Naginata-Do competition, one of the masters of an old school of Naginata-Jutsu fought in a match. She never fired a shot at her opponent. She simply took a stance and walked forward, and forced her opponent to flee off of the strip.

The effect of a strong stance and powerful bearing can go a long way...


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 Post subject: COMBAT KATA CONTINUED
PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 1999 9:33 pm 
Posturing is definatley the biggest factor in a fight. Attitude is everything. Criminals/bullies are like any other predator in the foodchain, they can pick out the weak and injured. If you look afraid and helpless especially during a confrontation, you're a prime target. People who look relaxed, like they know something you don't, are the ones to fear. Criminals know that. They are going to go for the EASY victim. If I'm walking to my car at night, I'll put my hand in my purse like I'm holding a gun (sometimes I really am and sometimes I'm not) but they are going to pass me over for someone who looks less dangerous. I also favor that "I've had a really bad day, so go ahead and try to f*** with me, I dare you" look. It does wonders.

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Shelly


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 Post subject: COMBAT KATA CONTINUED
PostPosted: Tue Aug 24, 1999 12:05 pm 
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Good Morning John Versteeg, Why don't you thank Sensei Mattson by buying some of his new books and tapes?


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 Post subject: COMBAT KATA CONTINUED
PostPosted: Tue Aug 24, 1999 12:21 pm 
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Hi Paul, I don't think it's easier to fight an untrained fighter or martial artist. When the unfortunate occurs and I'm in a fight I'm settled in and the radar is ON.
When someone throws that punch from the floor (a windup and punch from behind themselves for "power"), I don't think they are a novice. I think is this a feint for a left jab, or kick, or diversion for an attack from the rear? Then I block and throw everything including the kitchen sink at the opening.
They say the number one fencing expert is not afraid of number two. They are afraid of the person who just picked up a foil or sword.


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