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PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2004 10:59 pm 
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Location: Randolph, MA USA 781-963-8891
Hey boys and girls, and of course, Sensei!,

Long time no hear. I have been extremely busy both professionally and personally, but I do pop in from time to time and check things out. I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season.

Let's get to it. I have read much about this theory that going forward is the best possible way of defending oneself. Moving forward and never giving ground, that sort of thing. I have read about how people have done tremendous research on the subject, blah, blah, blah. I have heard and read how people look at one or two people in the past and say things like, that's how they did it, so it must be right, blah, blah, blah. This sort of thing goes on and on and on with everyone having the definitive answer to it all or knowing someone who does.

The answer is simple, no one has the complete answer or method. Why? Because everyone is different. The attacker is different, the defender is different, the environment is different, and the condition is different. Why argue it? Because we love to.

Kata teaches us this and that so it must be effective when looking at real situations. OK, sometimes I suppose. Bunkai and prearranged kumite teach us nothing when it comes to a real fight. That's just nonsense! Freestyle sparring or randori is the only real training for a "real" fight. Sorry, cant' be convinced about that either. So where does it all end? I don't know.

Let's just narrow this conversation to the subject of direction in a fight and perhaps we can go off on tangents later. I've heard how people say that going forward is the best means of defense because someone or a group of people have "scientifically" examined it from all angles. These people totally disregard those arts which have been around a lot longer than these modern "Scientists." For example, the ancient jujitsu arts of Japan, or the ancient weapons systems of Japan (and China I suppose) have in them movements that go to the side and back with technique that they believe work. Where was the labortory for these experiments performed? Where it counts, on the battlefield! So let's consider the souce and the validity of some of these modern people's ideas. Where have they experimented? In tournaments? On the street? You decide which one is more valid.

mike


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2004 7:03 am 
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Mike-

Do I detect a New Year's resolution to jump start this area? ;)

I think it's easy to confuse forward motion with forward stepping.

The old JJ styles were heavily based on a last ditch defense against a battlefield weapon such as a sword or spear, so closing was critical. The finishing techniques that worked... throw with the proper follow-through, strike with the target based and extended, or spine lock required you to be really, really close.

I think that this operational necessity, to close with the threat, was seen through the filter of dueling, where the opponent always starts in front of you. 'Closing' became 'moving forward'.

In a more modern self-defence situation, taking the fight to the threat is a much higher-percentage option than going on the defensive. The dynamics of blocking are poor in that even if successful, you have gained nothing but time... and too often that time is used by the threat, who is on the offensive, to hurt you some more.

So, if you mean that stepping forward is the only way to step, I agree that's crap.

If you mean that closing is BS, it's a core piece of my strategy.

Rory


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2004 1:01 am 
Quote

The answer is simple, no one has the complete answer or method. Why? Because everyone is different. The attacker is different, the defender is different, the environment is different, and the condition is different. Why argue it? Because we love to.


** no we argue it because were after the best method that gives the best increase of odds , Knowing that you fight how you train if your lucky , we want to train the techniques that are most likely to help and leave the decision making to the dojo .

Quote

Let's just narrow this conversation to the subject of direction in a fight and perhaps we can go off on tangents later. I've heard how people say that going forward is the best means of defense because someone or a group of people have "scientifically" examined it from all angles. These people totally disregard those arts which have been around a lot longer than these modern "Scientists." For example, the ancient jujitsu arts of Japan, or the ancient weapons systems of Japan (and China I suppose) have in them movements that go to the side and back with technique that they believe work. Where was the labortory for these experiments performed? Where it counts, on the battlefield!

**
Wow , the battlefeild !! , If yet to see these studies published , or the video footage , I know for a fact that the style i practice bears little resemblance to what it once did , In fact most styles have been proven to have changed markedly over the years , Isnt Judo a case in point ? , they are deffinately not what was trained for the battlefeild , so wheres the proof , lets decide the validity of a style thats been intentionly changed to be safer to the opponent ? . (not saying they dont have lessons but as some would say go deeper ;) )



I beleive closing is a better option than retreating , angle deffinately , both ways , retreating straight back is near ludicrous IMHO , yup have expirement in the ring and on resisting opponents , but thats not a valid test is it :roll: , Research , study , and expirementation , are the only way we can develop , rote learning is good if were all the same , and in this your correct there is no one answer , but it would be ridiculous if we did not share or knowledge and learning so others can come to there own conclusions . Saying going forward is not better for me ... well that`s Bull*** !

hope you had a happy holidays and all is well :D


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2004 4:20 pm 
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Metaphorically speaking, going forward nonstop is always better. You want to always improve your position, never slow down and never settle for what you have until you have the ability to end it.

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 Post subject: forward anyone?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2004 8:43 pm 
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Go forward to strike, trap and run through and dominate an opponent during a confrontation. Yet, it is NOT the only direction to use to get to that ultimate position.
What I hear Mr. Murphy describing, something I have written about is, The Art of Combative Pressure While Not Advancing. It is not the same as Constant Forward Pressure. But used together, during the conflict, one can advance, give ground, step off at the angles, use set ups and methods of attack to get to the finish.
I also agree with Mr Lauzon. Forward is better in getting to that simple finish that we all strive for.
So many systems use forward pressure in conjunction with the ending a confrontation, they can't all be wrong.
Ken

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"Battle until the opponent surrenders"
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2004 2:01 pm 
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Let me go at it one at a time:

Miller Sensei. Que Pasa? Long time, no hear. I hope all is well. Btu, to the subject at hand.

Forward motion or forward stepping? A matter of semantics I think. To me they are one in the same. To go forward is to go forward no matter what we do. If someone lunges at me and I move into his space without actually making a step, it is still going forward. All the old style jujitsu styles I have seen or read about do indeed deal with facing a weapon, but getting close depends on the weapon and the angle it is thrown. For example, in working with the jo - someone attacking me with the jo - (jo-jitsu), there are techniques where I back up against the attack and work at more of a distance. There are many times where I go straight back or back to my angles, as prescribed in my taesabaki exercises. Do I then move into them on the counter-attack? Sometimes, but not always. Sometimes I take the attacker in the other direction using their energy.

And where is the definitive explanation that says that closing on your opponent is a higher percentage move? Do we just take that for granted? Once again, I would say that would depend on the situation and who and where you are fighting. I could think of many instances where buying time would be a more prudent move.

I'm certainly not knocking your MA practice or style. Closing is just as viable in my opinion. I'm just saying that it's not the only way and the old styles, at least in my opinion, say just that in their tested movements.


Stryke,

Thanks for input. I agree that we fight how we practice. I think that is common sense, and of course we all want to think that what we practice is the best. That is why I have a hard time looking at some of this "scientific testing" of strategy and claiming its the end all. Because someone puts on a Michelin Tire Dummy suit and attacks us "all out," doesn't simulate reality to me, and thus can not be considered valid.

I don't claim that styles have not evolved over the years, I'm saying that the testing methods of the styles of old were done in REAL situations; whereas today, they simply can not. I don't quite get the Judo example, perhaps you could explain that more. Judo is a derivitive of Jujitsu. Kano, to my knowledge, never created Judo to be a "fighting art," it could not have been tested in the way described above. Is that knocking Judo or Judoka? No way! I have the utmost respect for those dudes, but I think they would even tell you that in a "controlled" atmosphere of the Judo arena, giving space to your adversary is sometimes a good thing.

I'm not trying to persuade anyone to not to go forward anymore. If you are comfortable with it then, as you say, you have to do what you practice for. However, the situation is always different, which means the defense must almost always have to be different. Don't put away going straight back either, sometimes it's the best (especially if it is the only way to go).

Good to hear from you!


Joe,

I should know better than to try and persuade you of anything :-) But.... I will disagree with you that going nonstop is "always" better. It doesn't work in warfare, and can never be certain in "real" situations on the street. You make a great point in that you always want to improve your position, but, what is that position and where, location-wise, is the improvement? That's where going back comes into it.

Ken,

I've never spoken with you, so I will say welcome and thanks for your input!
I would like to read the material you wrote about. Is it available anywhere?
I think that you are really agreeing with everyone here. Could you elaborate on it more?

Thanks everyone!

Mike


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2004 8:23 pm 
Thanks for the reply , I do understand were your coming from , Judo was probably a bad example of a traditional art , I was using it more as an example of how much an art can change over the years .

Maybe semantics get in the way in this subject , by going forward I mean closing with the attacker , getting close , controlling and smothering there intent , yes you must have the skills to go back , but it is only prolonging the fight , and putting you at risk of there attack .

i see going backwards as more of a dueling concept than a fighting concept , It can be effective when you can predict the opponent to stay within the rules , or it`s a prearranged engagement , face to face with no surprise , kind of like points sparring .

But when attacked with surprise , i feel the best option is to instantly smother , instead of playing catch up and giving the opponent the cahnce to continue his work .

Thanks for the feedback


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 18, 2004 12:21 am 
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I think that if you keep constant pressure on someone in an educated manner, you will come out on top. Someone who has to defend cant attack. Going forward should mean improving your position and situation, you dont want to give them time to attack you, so if you keep constant forward pressure on them, they have nothing to do but defend. This is why Brazillian Jiu-Jitsu works so well, you keep the attack going and dont slow down and let them mount any type of offense. Fighting/going with someone who doesnt know ground is a cake walk if they dont have any training, its rediculously easy to make someone do what you want, no matter how formiddable they may be on their feet.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 19, 2004 3:04 pm 
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Movement in a backward or sideways direction is often nessasary. This "making of space" is needed to escape or re-position against an effective attack. Giving ground and giving up forward pressure while on the offensive is and invitation for your opponent to make effective space thus keeping him in the game.

Joe points out that keeping the attack going is an intergral part of BJJ and I have found this to be true. It is this ability to continuely attack that will catch an opponent.

Mike makes good points on how effective taesabaki can be in offbalancing an opponent. This giving of ground against a forward moving opponent is used in many judo and wrestling takedowns. The giving of ground however is slight and there should be a constant pressure of either pulling or pushing.

So my point is??? When attacking keep constant pressure on the opponent until you reach your goal (knockout, tap, control) When you need to regroup from a failed attack or an opponents effective attack, make enough space to allow yourself a chance to affect another attack.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2004 12:19 am 
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JDeLuca wrote:
So my point is??? When attacking keep constant pressure on the opponent until you reach your goal (knockout, tap, control) When you need to regroup from a failed attack or an opponents effective attack, make enough space to allow yourself a chance to affect another attack.



BINGO.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2004 6:12 pm 
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Seems to me that it doesn't make sense to be too dogmatic here. If you teach or preach that one direction is always the best in a fight, then you will sometimes be wrong. Confrontations in or outside of a dojo are fluid. All 360 degrees of the compass need to be used. Situational awareness dictates the best direction to move at any one time.

And there you have my two cents.

Norm Abrahamson


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2004 6:27 pm 
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Mike,
Articles are posted here.
The 2 are written out of sequense, with a third in the plans to tie them together.
Cool thread. Just keep up the combative pressure!

http://www.geocities.com/wrcma/articles.html

Guro Ken

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Ken Smith, Jr.
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"Battle until the opponent surrenders"
www.wrcma.org/jetcity


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2004 6:43 pm 
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"Seems to me that it doesn't make sense to be too dogmatic here. If you teach or preach that one direction is always the best in a fight, then you will sometimes be wrong."

Always go forward as in keep the pressure on them, not necesarily straight ahead in front of you. Keep pressure on them and they have no choice but to keep defending themself. If you have him on the run and stop, you give him time to get ready and come back on you or mount an offense.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2004 5:21 pm 
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Keeping aside competition strategy and working from the early JJ assumptions that your opponent has a sword and, for the moment, you do not (broken or dropped) in a battlefield setting.

An unarmed man standing still is a sitting duck, not just for the swordsman who is right there but for every body, so movement of some kind is essential.

Disengagement was certainly an option, but you can't run faster backward than he can run forward (remember the 21' rule) and turning to run takes time and also risks being killed by your own people. (Mike- this paragraph is not part of my argument but an explanation of the setting. This is one of the factors that required medieval warriors to have an unarmed tool box.)

Given that you must kill or disable a man with a weapon unarmed, I submit two basic facts.
First, that you can't finish from a distance. We already know that JJ strikes tend to be more effective than karate strikes not because of body mechnics but because JJoka tend to control and extend the target with the non-striking arm, something that can only be done at very close range.

Second, each time you cross the critical distance range of the weapon you are in peril of a lethal wound.

The JJ solution is to cross the distance once only. Backing up, side stepping (not a tai sabaki where you can actually close the range with a sideways or circular action) both involve crossing the critical distance line TWICE. Once to engage, once to escape.

I'm not dogmatic about many things, and I can envisage situations where something else is required. But I am adamant that your primary toolbox, the things that are reflexive when you are scared and surprised, should be simple and reliable. When the threat needs to be eliminated NOW and you are unarmed, closing is the simple and reliable solution.

Rory


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2004 6:11 pm 
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Its not about the art as much as the outcome... when I see someone chasing me down with a sword in a setting where I cant run away... then Ill come back and listen. But I dont see too many sword wielding attackers around... which I am very garetful for.

"When the threat needs to be eliminated NOW and you are unarmed, closing is the simple and reliable solution. "

This is the most important part... the message of the entire post. Close the distance and control the fight because someone who may be armed is less dangerous in close, especially when you can control his arms as opposed to having them flailing at you.

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