Wednesday, December 29, 2010

You Show, I Show, We All Show, "Kyusho!"

  The (obvious, LOL) obsession with Kyusho -and it's relation to RyuTe-, generates a lot of inquiry's to this blog. As I have stated previously, we don't overly focus/concentrate on it, as it is simply another portion of study contained within it's curriculum. We don't utilize any confusing and unrelated (in our opinion) concepts (TCM, BFD, S.H.I.T.) to determine these factors, and student's are taught these principles in conjunction with their standard instruction of techniques (i.e. no “special” classes or “restricted” member/group mandates). Many of the points utilized, will (often, because of the “slow” practice being utilized) only create a minor reaction from their use, but student's are taught to use, and identify them when/where they occur and prove to be the most effective. 
  The following are some of the basic principles that we teach to our student's in relation to Kyusho (point) utilization, these are also used to identify the factors/conditions that create those situations that allow for their use (and are also used to demonstrate/validate/discredit any principles/methods or techniques presently being taught or experimented with). We make every attempt possible to identify (for the student) the physical/neurological reasons for the demonstrated responses to the applied techniques. (Note* A Pain response/reaction is not considered “acceptable” to be the sole, or only factor for determining a technique's effectiveness). Very often, body motion/reaction (in response to the point's utilization) is the desired result from a point's use.

Accepted Application “Rules/principles” (presently utilized)
(The following are principles that we presently teach/explain to our student's during the instruction of technique application)

Muscle Activation, IS Nerve Activation
  Nerves permeate the entire body. They control every physical action made by an individual. Any strike which creates a perceived pain, could be argued as being, and is in fact a nerve response. RyuTe strikes are intended to be directed upon predetermined locations (points) which cause/create specific responses upon the receiver. This is more easily accomplished, when strikes are directed upon “active” (ie. “firing”) nerves/muscles.

Active vs Relaxed (Muscle)
  When a muscle is in use (i.e. “active”), from/because of it's contraction, the nerves that control/create that contraction, are considered Active. If the muscle is in a relaxed state, then they are dormant (Inactive). Though, when dormant (and responses are often much less), they can still be achieved, but higher levels of accuracy and/or power may be required to create a desired reaction.

Body weight activation of Muscle(s)
  When/if one's body weight is being carried/maintained by any particular limb (and the muscles contained therein) then that limb's nerves/muscles are considered to be active (or activated).
Note* (This is also referred to as being “Loaded”, the act of creating this state/condition, we refer to as “Loading”, and is directly related to “active/activated”)

Cross-Crawl, (for determining “viable” targeting)
  An Understanding of the “Cross-Crawl”(a.k.a. “C-C”) application of body motion, is imperative for understanding the recognition of active/relaxed muscle groups. This theory describes the body's (natural) balancing properties/actions, and how they are applied to any/all actions made when one's body is in motion (and/or standing upright). The model for this principle, is the inter-relationship of the body's actions made while walking.

Touch (for “activation”) of Muscles
  This type of activation, is an example of the “lack” of required pressure for creating the necessary activation of muscle groups. This is illustrated by having an individual extend one arm forward, then another individual will press against any singular (1) side of the extended hand/arm. The receiver (uke) should note the (resultant) “activated” muscle groups (throughout the whole body) that result from this (minor) pressure. The direction of applied pressure (against the out-stretched hand) should be varied (as to the direction of the pressure being applied) and the resultant changes in response to those variations (throughout the receiver’s body) should be noted. This example is also used to demonstrate that excessive contact/power, can be detrimental to a technique's application (“tuite”, being the best/easiest example of this principle).

Same-Side activation
 Although “C-C” creates specific cross-body actions/responses, there are also Same-side results/effects that are created from the activation of specific “points”.

Body weight activation / C-C Targeting
This is in reference to the C-C theory (of activation) of the diagonal quadrant(to the “activated/struck” limb/point) area of the body, and it's utilization for determining preferred targeting towards the corresponding/interrelated quadrant of the body .

Additional student study includes:
(Though related to the above principles, these often apply to individual target striking methods)
Muscle belly vs Muscle Tendon (and/or conditions that would affect either)
Directional Muscle Strikes (in-line vs cross)
Muscle “Fold” Strikes (between the muscles) when/where/direction of.

  These “rules/principles” are usually shown in relationship to the individual techniques being taught/shown to a student at the time. Again, this aspect is not (overly) dwelt upon (during instruction).
  Each of these are subjects which Taika has mentioned while demonstrating/teaching application of techniques. (Again) All that we have done, is to collect those concepts, and have provided a “list” (of them) for our student's use. Whether they choose to utilize them (or not), is their choice. 
  The knowledge of it's (Kyusho's) use, and/or effects, though definitely(in our opinion) “useful”, are not mandatory knowledge for a technique's effective application, nor for a student's continuing study. Though versions of many of the provided concepts are utilized by numerous methodology's/systems, student's are not always (made aware of ?) familiar with their relationship to a technique's application. In addition, though many of these are demonstrated/explained singularly, they most often are utilized in conjunction with each other (i.e. “multiple” principles are being utilized during a technique's application).
  It's my opinion, that this is  sufficient (and more than enough) information to explain the majority of what "we" teach (in regards to basic kyusho implementation). Exact targeting and direction (of strikes) is often dependent upon the required result and/or situation (as opposed to simply knowing "where" to strike). That aspect, should be studied/discovered from individual research (meaning "figure it out for yourself", LOL). All of the above theories, can be found (in/on medical related sites) on the internet. They aren't (personally) created or made-up theories, they are established principles that are presently utilized by various medical practices. We are (only) applying them in relation to what we are doing.

  If a reader's system/school teaches anything similar (or different), I would be curious to know about it (including any alternative methodology's for determining those locations). What I don't want to be drawn into, is any discussion regarding “TCM” (I've already been down that road, I have all the guiding literature in regards to it, I have read it, and found it to be contradictory, inconclusive and (generally) misleading (in regards to what is being attempted with the application of Kyusho). I also feel it is being unjustifiably utilized to present it's advocates, as being unnecessarily (meaning “unjustifiably”) knowledgeable (in this subject).

  Should that be considered “harsh?” (I hope so). “I” consider those individual's as “Con-men”,”Snake-oil Salesmen” and (basically) a waste of (any) of my own, or my student's time.
  “If”, (or when-ever) the subject (of TCM) is brought up (much like bile, from a tainted meal) either “to”or “around” him, Taika becomes very frustrated (as he feels you are wasting his time). He considers (and I agree) that the both the subject, and those persons who choose to pursue that subject, are attempting to avoid (actually) researching, and practicing what is already being presented to them.
  They're seeking some form of complicated answers, to both explain, and to justify their own inability to understand (that which has already been shown to them). As opposed to researching the “whys”of what has been shown (and can be readily seen, that it works), they instead, choose to pursue some complicated (if not misleading) methodology, in order to avoid that understanding (and thereby validate their own justification for not understanding).

  I am familiar with (a couple of) methods (similar to our own), that aren't based around some "secretive" Mumbo-Jumbo. I've partaken in discussions with those individual's before, and we've had (civil) debate's (and actual discussions, in regards to/about them, LOL, so I know that it's possible to do so). I make no claims that the methods that we utilize are the only one's that will work (only that they are what we presently use, and teach to our student's).

With that being my (probable) "Last" post of the year, Bring on the “FLAK”...


Anonymous said...

Kyusho & Tuite is what elevates Ryu Te from typical TKD or watered down karate. I say as long as people don't get too far out w/ it ala Dillman, I love hearing about it. Happy New Year Open hand :)


Lee said...

I think that one of the main reasons there is so much crazy stuff out there is that in typical American fashion (most of the martial arts community we deal with) people want the quick fix.

They want the miracle pill to loose 20 pounds.
They want the miracle pill to fix their illness.
They want the get rich quick scheme they see on an infomercial to get them rich.

So people see someone like Taika who has spent over 65 years of his life training in the arts (possibly quite a bit more given his father's art) knock someone out using a flawless technique and think "If I only knew the 'trick' I could do that." They don't want to practice, they just want to do it. They totally forget that he started his first real martial training during WWII if not before.....he really has never said much about anything he father did with him. For the large part of his life, BUDO has been his full time job. How many martial artist can say that? Most of us (except this retired blog owner)have full time jobs. We also have family commitments, 45 year old homes that are falling apart, etc. Taika has spent the time to where he can flawlessly and effortlessly strike me in the neck, taking me out of circulation for minutes, all while looking like he is doing nothing. BUT, he has practiced. He still practices every day. So those that don't have the decades to practice full time, look for the cheats. There are no real cheats. You have to learn the points, the angle of attack, etc. And this also requires a good training buddy. In the old Okinawa days after the war I know from Taika that he and a couple of his close buddies would beat each other relentlessly, constantly experimenting. Tony and I do that, lots of experimenting. But not everyone enjoys the pain of this experience. You have to really want to learn it, and have to just realize that pain is temporary, damage is not. A lot of students don't like to experience this. I've found 2 that really would spend time on it in my years of teaching and neither of them are still around. So I have to suffice with beating on Tony and him on me. This is really the only way you are going to learn in my opinion.

The OTHER top reason for all the B.S. is that people have something to sell. Whether they are trying to sell something for financial gain or personal EGO gain. I find a lot more do it for the EGO. If you baffle a lot of kindergarten students with a simple magic trick, they think you are cool. Baffle a lot of new/fresh martial arts students with mumbo jumbo that they have no way to confirm or deny scientifically they will tend to believe you. If you say a bunch of stuff that is over a students head and it appears to work, they will probably believe you. And EVEN if you do have the secret to the universe, trying to explain it is not always necessary. Taika likes to say that we over analyze things. There is no point in teaching Trigonometry to Kindergarteners.

I like to teach a student a point. Have them poke around on that point on themselves. Pushing at different angles, different depths.
Then have them do that to a partner in class or better yet, multiple partners. Push straight. Push and make a circle. Pluck the nerve. EXPERIMENT.

This is all BEFORE they actually learn to deflect a punch and go in and strike the point. They just are experimenting with the feel of it on themselves and others.

Then teach a simple combination where someone punches, pushes or kicks and they do something to get to that point.

Then continue up the ladder adding things like loading and such.

I REALLY TRULY believe that too many people try to explain stuff (right or wrong) too much in the beginning and all it does is cloud the mind of the student. To me it is like trying to teach the most advanced kata at full speed to the student their first day in class. It would be just overload.

Have I rambled enough? I'll sum up with this, there is no shortcut to training.

Anonymous said...

The thing is there's a guy I work with that's 260lbs of muscle that's been in martial arts over 30yrs, since childhood. If he strikes w/ a ridge hand on the neck or behind the head, guess what I'm out. I won't let him do that because I know from just tapping myself it's too easy to do. There's a limit to everything nothings foolproof, you hit by a huge guy your gone no matter what you know.

Allowing yourself to get hit by these strikes is foolish, WE KNOW THEY WORK! No need to end up with future damage, nobody can help you then.


Lee said...

Practicing to it with LIGHT touch isn't foolish. And there are tons of other strike locations other than the neck if you are sensitive there. Go back and look at videos of Taika doing knockouts with very little force. No bruteness. Then go and look at Georgy Dillweed doing fatboy forearm knockouts. Big difference.

Anonymous said...

Your right, light touch is enough :)