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Defensive Spacing

Postby Kevin Mackie » Sat Oct 03, 1998 5:55 am

Van - re: the assault on the officer.

I have not read the story but...
Here is situation with a trained law enforcement officer, armed I might add, whose antenna should have been up at attention while stopping a motorist, (he should have been as alert as possible, he would have had to ask the person to step out of the car??)

What went wrong? Inexperience?, not concentrating, procedural error? MINDSET? Not a strong enough initial response? (shoot first ask, questions later?)

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Postby moulton » Sun Oct 04, 1998 12:10 am

Hello David.

You mentioned your interest in knives. I was in Chinatown earlier today, stopped in Silkie's, and just opposite my books were several books on butterfly knives. I thumbed through them and thought it would be worth mentioning to you. The smaller of the three had the 12 postitions of attack which might coincide with your Kali training.


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Postby Cecil » Wed Oct 07, 1998 11:26 pm

Mr. Van Canna,

Your story about the killer drunk reminded me so much of the Real Fighting book where Quinn is up against this big dude who ignores his straight punches to the stomach. Sounds like the approach Quinn took to use the environment as a weapon (i.e., hit the guy with the wall, a bar or the floor) would have worked well on that killer drunk (of course it's easy for me to say that here behind the safety of a keyboard). That's what I had to do in a similar but by no means as severe situation where a guy was just as stronger or stronger than I was and would not go down when kicked. This is why I think that martial arts students need to be well rounded in their training and not just be "strikers" or "grapplers" or "kickers" but all that and then some, so that if one thing ain't working, you can do another SIMPLE technique.

Any thoughts???

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Postby david » Thu Oct 08, 1998 11:53 am


I would agree with you about trying to be "well rounded". The caution is that "simple" techniques are not simply so. It takes time and practice to thoroughly incorporate moves into the body's memory. Try to learn too much too soon. Nothing gets incorporated well and you become a mess of ineffective actions/reactions. Pick the approach that best suits your physical and mental strengths, work and perfect that before going on to other approaches and techniques.

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Postby Van Canna » Fri Oct 09, 1998 4:45 am

All your discussions above really bring us back full circle , over and over , to what it is that you are prepared to do , will really be able to do , how far you are willing to travel to obliterate your attacker and save your life ! Sadly , most of us lack the resolve to be ruthless in battle as evidenced by our 'conscience ' objections to the total destruction concept we should be espousing as an integral part of our survival mindset ! The signs are everywhere ….like 'I really don't want to hurt my opponent ' ….like ' a good martial artist really has no need to hurt anyone ' …' you can block him ..knock him out with gentle touching ' ….and on and on …..

In the mean time you are programming yourself to fail , because you are thinking of your opponent as a human being while he thinks of you as a piece of meat ! We all like to identify ourselves with the samurais , but keep on stumbling along the way at every block because of our humane concerns for the enemy and the consequences of the fight !

When you think of samurais , you should think first and foremost of the fact they were taught to enter conflict prepared to kill or be killed ….and they did not have any mental blocks about using weapons in addition to their substantial unarmed martial arts skills ! And so they were schooled in ruthless philosophy in their cat-quick adroitness as complete ' killing machines' in ferocious mindset !

Again , you must make up your mind in advance how far you will take your commitment to prevail , what escalation you will mindset to explode in fireworks succession and how ' complete ' an armor and weapons you are willing to embrace ! The less willing you are to envision yourself in a role which may well involve killing your opponent by whatever means necessary , the less effective you will be under real life confrontations without even realizing it ! The reason is that your cultivated or natural forbearance will override the fury you will need to strike as the hammer of Thor …your restraints , your fear and objections to weapons , and fantasies about your martial arts prowess will block your most vicious efforts and you will be lost !

Police officers , like civilians , all too often are unable to deal with violent attackers of the extreme vicious breed ! They lack the same 'mindset ' that we do for reasons of poor training and 'reasonable force' requirements which 'castrates' them more often than we think ! Most of us are truly bewildered when we say to ourselves later ' I never knew or expected he was going to be so tough or put up such a fight ' ! But your confrontation , if it ever comes , won't be of the extreme prejudice kind ..right ? Broken record ? You bet !!

So what's the point to this discussion ! The point is that for most of you who have not been in a real fight , only dojo skirmishes and a few free style dances , when the time finally comes upon you it will be with relentless, mind numbing violence and most likely with some sort of weapon in it and it will find you devoid of the brutality you need to finish the fight in your favor …by any means …beginning with your empty hands …progressing to improvised weapons …environment weapons ..and real deadly weapons as a last resort ! THAT IS THE REAL MEANING OF BEING WELL ROUNDED !! Trouble is most of us still think of personal combat as a game and your mind sees you always going for round two where there is none !

Most martial artists , really think about it , are not , will not be very effective in close quarters , brutal , savage engagement , especially when a weapon is drawn ! We just think we will be …and as I have said before ..I have handled cases of excellent practitioners who were overcome in a blind moment of SAVAGE adversarial fury without being able to fire ' a shot' ! Oh , I know , they were not Uechi Practitioners -right ? But you may keep on dreaming …you have my permission ! How many of you will really understand the message here ?

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Postby moulton » Fri Oct 09, 1998 10:29 am

Hello Van

Not Uechi?

I remember when I was a kyu student that several students with the black dye on their belts still wet visited the Combat Zone to prove their worth and learned a lot about fighting that day as they discussed it amongst themselves from hospital beds.


P.S. The Combat Zone (official colloquial name) is the seedy infamous section of Boston where one can find anything he wants, including getting trashed.

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Postby Tom J Paglia Jr » Fri Oct 16, 1998 5:21 am

If the situation is serious enough to warrant combat,then it is serious enough to utilize whatever methods are necessay to win. There is no right or wrong in combat just the victor and the vanquished. A SAD TRUTH BUT A FACT JUST THE SAME. If you are not prepared to take physical action to this extreme then you are placing yourself in grave danger in a conflict. If you do not feel that you have this type of resolve then you would be much better developing your abilities as a skilled runner or sprinter.

PS>>From some of the incidents listed in the post I think a good case can be made as to the short comings in the utilization of striking techniques alone as a complete self-defense art. I think that most of the traditional fighting arts( those with roots over a half century ) always included grappling and joint locking as an integral part of their system. I've seen a lot of people handle a well placed strike, but never saw one jump up too quickly from a throw that landed him on his head or back from four feet in the air. Or chase his victim down the street with a broken foot or knee.

[This message has been edited by Tom J Paglia Jr (edited 10-16-98).]
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