Wednesday, March 14, 2012
What a Freakin' Pain in the Neck
The most whored-out aspect of being involved with the practice of RyuTe, is the public infatuation with Taika's K.O. Strikes. Although these constitute a very small portion of what is taught/learned in the RyuTe system, it (obviously) garners an unfair portion of attention.
First off, they are greatly misunderstood, what is generally seen, is the demonstration of a neck-strike being applied to a willing recipient. They are being performed to demonstrate that everyone is susceptible to certain manors of being struck, and that strength is not the main factor in their use (or in their effectiveness).
Anyone who (attempts to) emphasize Chi/Ki or any other wanna-be (magical) nonsense as being relevant to their application, is LYING TO YOU. There's nothing “magical” about it. Yes, I could go into all the medical reasons that the reaction occurs, but why? I am not a neurologist (so why should you believe me?). There are plenty of medical resources on the internet, look it up for yourself. The only difficult part of finding out, is knowing how to ask the right questions.
The majority of the naysayer’s, are those whom have never even experienced those strikes (as the recipient). They determine their opinions based only upon their visual experience (of the event).
The most popular argument against the ability to even utilize these strikes, are based on the claim that they can't be implemented during a confrontation (to myself, this one is especially stupid).
The difficulty doesn't lay with the ability to do them, but when to do them. If your still playing the sparring game, you will (have far more serious problems, LOL) rarely (ever) be able to utilize these types of strikes. The physical dynamics (of either the tori or uke) necessary when attempting them, are dependent upon the actions that occur during that situation and don't usually allow for their implementation (and still prove to be effective).
Every example which I have seen done (both in person, and on video) by person's outside of the RyuTe Association, have been heavy-handed (and not in a good way, LOL) attempts to use brute force to accomplish that attempt. Considering that the common implementer (of those attempts) is someone with minimal to NO experience (with physical confrontations), they make incorrect assumptions about how to apply those strikes.
There's also the prominent (and valid) concern with physical injury/damage being done from repeatedly receiving those (types of) strikes. Having received those strikes myself, from Taika (and even from my associate, LOL), physical damage is rarely a concern. Beyond the (mental) shock from the initial impact, the physical concern over receiving those strikes (when/if done properly) is usually minimal (and the effects dissipate rather quickly).
Student's often are under the mistaken assumption that any reception of those (types of) strikes will create some type of (?) permanent damage. As with any physical activity, the possibility of incurring an injury is always present, especially when practicing any form of martial art.
What I find strange, are those that feel that participating in (fully-geared) sparring, (done at full power) is “safe”, while receiving any manor of point strikes, are dangerous? If that were so, wouldn't those fully protected professional Football players be in perfect health when their careers are over?
The only time that these neck strikes should be considered risky/dangerous, is when the applier is using excessive power to apply the strike (in order to accomplish any result). A total “knockout” is a ridiculous and/or dangerous goal to be attempting anyhow.
A momentary “fuzz” or “light-headed” result, is a more than sufficient result for a lightly applied strike. These light strikes are far more practical (and predictable) in an actual confrontation. They are additionally much easier to accomplish than the much touted knock-out strikes are. Of course, the “KO” result can also be accomplished with those Light-handed strikes, they only require greater precision.
An additional problem that comes with the heavy handed approach, is the resultant bruising and skin abrasions (along with split-lips/eye-brows/cheeks/ears etc.). Any manor of liquid (like) substance that comes out of an aggressor, posses a potential threat to the defender's physical well-being. Maybe not in those initial moments of a confrontation, but possibly in the months following that confrontation.
Somehow, being able to state that you Won a confrontation, then fall victim to the effects of a body-fluid based pathogen that the aggressor infected you with, is a bit pathetic (considering there's rarely a need to intentionally create blood-flow from an aggressor).
Anyone who's ever been involved in a physical confrontation, is aware of the fact that cuts, and the subsequent bleeding from them, are a very possible occurrence. This is the fallacy of the ground and pound (idiot's), and honestly, is the reason I'm not too keen on working out with them.
I have enough friends and family member's involved in the medical field, that I'm very aware of the risks involved with those possibilities. For that reason when I'm confronted with someone who wants to argue that point strikes and Tuite manipulations are a waste of their time, I usually want little to do with that individual.
Aside from the potential viral effects of this blood-letting, the legal implications from unnecessarily causing an aggressor to bleed (or at least leak fluids of any form) are rarely worth their occurrence, even for the potential entertainment value (intentional or otherwise).
Working with L.E. Over the years has also brought to my attention the greater awareness and importance, of the post-confrontation encounter/interview between yourself and L.E. Officer's. If/when that (supposed) aggressor is covered with (what are potentially) unnecessary injuries, it may become difficult to argue that they were necessary. One should always assume that everything they do to that aggressor, will potentially be used against them in a court of law.
To myself, this only adds to the viability of the practice of these (types of) strikes. Unless applied in the manor that the amateur’s use them (with brute force), they leave only minor (if any) traces of their implementation, and minimal (again, if any) apparent surface trauma. Utilized in the manor Taika has clearly demonstrated (lightly), these strikes would rarely cause sufficient permanent damage to warrant concern, yet will obviously suffice to create effect.
It should be understood that this by no means, implies that any light tap upon an aggressor's neck can/would or even could cause a sufficient reaction to aid the tori in defending themselves. Neck strikes are nothing more, or less, than yet another technique to be utilized as applicable if the opportunity presents itself. They are not effective when performed haphazardly, or without practiced intent.
Regardless how they're presented to student's for practice, it should be understood that they are nothing more (or less) than another technique to be used as needed. They are not the end-all epitome of the available techniques. There are numerous other techniques available that are arguably more practical.
Though neck strikes may be impressive, there are many factors that have to come into play before they can be efficiently applied. This is why they are (generally) not taught until a student has learned a majority of the more basic motions.