Wednesday, December 14, 2011


  Although I often state my opinions about something that someone else does or says, I don't usually identify whom that person is. A few months back, I was given a “pod-cast” of a popular seminar instructor (Iain Abernathy). I'd previously seen a few of his opinions, and didn't really have one of my own about him (at least in regards to what he promoted) until I had gotten a chance to listened to it (which is only fair).

  Compared to the majority of idiots out there, he's not that bad. I can agree with a lot of what he says, but I disagree with a lot of how that (at least what I've seen/heard) he's applying it. Going by his statements (not just my opinion), he states that he believes the jaw to be a primary target? From my own view, this is an odd choice (or at the very least, a distinctly male choice and perspective), with little in the way of subjective combative reasoning, or at least from an defensive/instructional point of view.

  The jaw, though having several distinct weaknesses to it's construction, still has numerous strengths to it's defense. #1, it requires a precise strike be made upon it to accomplish the (generally) desired result (a “knock-out”). Though located upon the head (which has numerous inherent weaknesses to it), it also has the ability to absorb (through deflection) any applied force that is subjected upon it (by moving, or “rotating”).

  Additionally, even when one attempts to strike a completely untrained individual (upon their head/jaw), even they will naturally motion it, and/or protect it, to avoid /dissipate that impact. Any action that is made towards an individual's face, will instantly be avoided, most commonly by simply turning their face away from the imminent impact (which in turn dissipates any applied force).

  The striking of the jaw, is a distinctly western trait, most often going back to the Marquess of Queensberry rules. Those “Rules”, were developed to prevent 2 individual's from causing serious harm to one another. When one views fighting methods of most any other culture, face strikes, are being directed towards the nose or eyes. Preferred strikes then migrate downward towards the mid-(body) section & groin areas.

  He states that he advocates neck strikes (which I wholeheartedly agree with). He also dismisses the whole meridian/acupuncture BS avenue of application (again with my agreement). In general, he talks a good-line. The problem (as I'm seeing it), is that what he shows (technique wise), is pretty hokey (if not, down-right amateurish).

  This could very well be the result of teaching and/or focusing upon (lower) kyu-rank students, or possibly because that level of application is all that he is concerned with (for which there is nothing wrong with that effort).

  The purpose of this blog, is to enhance my own instructional content. This information was presented to me in the (honest) effort to assist in that endeavor. Having never previously reviewed it, I felt it only fair to offer it attention and consideration. I have done so.

  For many, I'm sure he offer's a new perspective on kata and/or application. For myself, not so much. Most everything that he promotes is old-hat (been there, done that, and moved-on to better things). Maybe if he ever decides to move on himself, to more involved levels of application (which actually means simplifying what he's attempting to do), I'll become interested in what he has to say.

  Much of what he promotes, is based on what he considers to be obvious and simple interpretation (including application). For introductory study, I have no problem with that. But when one learns the (so-called) advanced methods, one finds that they are often more easily applied (though often requiring more precision in their execution).

  I can recognize and appreciate the probability of a lowered application ability in a (real) situation (compared to when training in a class), but that doesn't mandate that one resign one's self to the inevitability that your skills will deteriorate to those of an untrained oaf when you are (actually) attacked.

  I'm not sure why, but he (still) advocates “sparring”. If nothing else, this would be enough for me not to take what he has to say too seriously. For all his proclaimed research, he still hasn't figured out that sparring has nothing to do with what most people are being taught to do.

  Despite all his claims of applicability, it still hasn't become obvious to him, that sparring bares no relationship to any of it. Until that realization is made, what he teaches/does will be mired in the disillusion of a false premiss and therefor, not worth my attention.

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