Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Utilization of Kyusho Locations

  When I began my study of RyuTe, there were dozen's of new concepts and ideas that I had to get my head wrapped around. Many of those concepts had been (weakly) mentioned in some of the other systems that I had previously toyed with, but none presented them as something that every student would be working on/with (almost immediately), regardless of their rank.

  One of the most popular of those subjects, was Kyusho. Many students (myself included), attempted to organize what Taika was showing us (in regards to their locations and applications). Sadly, this often became a Cluster-f*%k operation. Numerous locations could be used for multiple purposes depending on how they were manipulated (direction, type of impact/pressure, whether the location was being flexed or relaxed, etc.). There were numerous variables to almost every instance of a locations use! What made it worse, was that if the wrong manner was used in an inappropriate situation, there would be little to no reaction.

  Taika never really stressed any particular general manner of kyusho application. Locations were shown/taught as they became applicable to what application we were working on (at the time). This meant that a kyusho location could be (only) mentioned (in passing), or studied specifically depending on what that classes emphasis was that night.

  Much like our Tuite Principles, all of the relevant points were not presented/mentioned at same time. They had to be collected through the attendance of numerous classes. Individual's who only studied for short periods of time, were never exposed to Taika's entire instructional method (which is why long-term students of Taika dismiss those wanna-be pretender's as being fraud's and charlatan’s).

  The collection of general application rules, was awkward in several (application) respects. Teaching a location, Only for the purpose of knowing to strike/use that location, seemed to be counter-productive, as well as counter-defensive. It tended to encourage student's to attempt to strike only those locations. Not every location produces a usable reaction unless additional factors are also in effect.

  If a particular location on the forearm (of an aggressor) is struck when that aggressor's arm is relaxed (and not striking), the reaction will be little, if any. When that same location is struck as that aggressor is attempting to strike the Tori, that aggressor will be dropped to their knee's (and their strike nullified).

  But, OMG!!! they weren't knocked-out! and that's what all kyusho points are used for! (uh, not so much). Many kyusho locations cause/create less than (that particular manner of) dramatic responses. That doesn't make them less useful, only that their use is often dictated by the situation (not necessarily by the user's intent).

  It should be remembered, Kyusho means vital-point. Vital, is a relative term, what's (actually) “Vital” depends on what one needs to accomplish. What this means, is that although we'd all like to believe that we would (just) Knock-Out an aggressor, unless the situation allows for it to be able to occur, it probably won't (sigh). This in turn, mandates that our other defensive skills be proficient as well. It's in those regards that knowledge of kyusho/atemi locations becomes more applicable.

  A great deal of noise is made in regards to multiple locations being (required to be) struck, in order to effect any result, this is nonsense. I've both watched and received one of Taika's strikes (that have resulted in either a KO, or a numb (as in “dead”) limb. In either case he only implemented a single striking action.

  We have our own student's practice arm strikes on a regular basis. Even though performed lightly, only limited contact practice can be attempted (before they painfully choose to change the technique their working on).

  Having read several (different) theories about kyusho locations, I've never completely agreed with any one of them (singularly). I've found a combination of several of them to be closer to my own experience and knowledge.

  First and foremost, is the complete dismissal of any/all “KI/Chi, Meridian” nonsense. None of it applies, works or explains any of it. That Shit is only being used to suck-in gullible moron's that are unwilling to investigate the subject for themselves. The understanding of the human neurological system is a tremendous undertaking, and one that I (certainly) make no claims to of mastered (at all).

  That being said, it doesn't mean that it's impossible for the (only moderately educated) average person to be able to understand the basics, or at least with a little effort on their part, LOL. The RyuTe association has several doctor's (medical specialists) who are able to explain the physical/neurological reasons for the reactions caused/created by the strikes that Taika is teaching to us. Taika himself, doesn't know (or care). He say's it doesn't matter. As long as you know that if you do “A”, it will result in “B”, then he doesn't care what “A” is doing. The only thing that's important, is “B”.

  I am exposed to the meridian tripe on a regular basis (I receive multiple E-mails daily). Every one of them, exert more mental and physical effort on any one application, than I would consider necessary for students to use for an entire confrontation. What they consider to be “Tuite”, is re-hashed jujutsu techniques that can (many times) be easily countered.

  Is what I teach/use the answer? That's debatable, the difference being, that I'm willing to change my methodology if/when what I'm doing is proven wrong (to me). It's not like I haven't done so in the past, that was what got me involved with RyuTe 34 years ago.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Lost in Translation

  When I switched my training to Oyata's, from my previously practiced system, I was presented with numerous clarifications (if not corrections) of kata, motion, technique, theory, essentially everything that I had previously thought that I already understood.

  Over the years, listening to Oyata has (always) been interesting. His command of the English language has improved immensely, but the subtle use and implications of certain words still elude him (hell, they do me too!, LOL).

  When I listen to Oyata speak, I don't (always) care for the translator's interpretation of what was said. In his desire for clarity, Taika (even after having made his statement in English) will often have a translator restate what he (Oyata) had just said. I've found that interpreter’s will over-simplify (if not change the meaning of, IMO) what was just said.

  To be fair to some of those translator's, Oyata doesn't exactly make it easy to do their job, LOL. He doesn't always slow-down, or allow time for the interpreter to catch-up (before changing the subject). In a “perfect world” a written transcript would be handy (for numerous reasons), but I'm sure even that would create later debate.

  Video recording of Oyata's seminar events (well, domestic ones...), or at least the one's that feature Oyata, are (presently) not allowed. Oyata was concerned that person's would believe it possible to watch a video, and then feel that they had experienced an actual training session (and believe that they had actually learned something, even though not being corrected/clarified first-hand by Oyata).

  This belief is the equivalent of watching a Football game, then proclaiming that you could (then) do everything that those guys did!
 This is stupid, and I understand Taika's logic in feeling that way. But for those that did/have attended those seminars, it would provide a useful reference (for what was shown and worked on).

  Beyond the (physical) techniques shown/worked on (my own interests are in regards to), a written transcript of what was discussed (by Oyata) would be convenient for future reference. These would be both for the present study by some, and for settling (the inevitable) disagreements by future generations (and for confirming/disputing claims made by those who were expelled).

  Word of Mouth, is undoubtedly the most inefficient method of transferring information between individuals (much less generations). The written word is likewise subject to translation deficiencies (by either the recorder, or the reader). The Video medium has been presented to me on several occasions (as an option). This medium has numerous weaknesses as well. This is evidenced by the multitudes of people who attempt to perform Tuite after having only watched video clips of the techniques.

  To actually learn Oyata's methodology, one would require a combination of any number of these methods. Different student's have different resources available to them. The most efficient (IMO) is through an actual instructor(s). One on One instruction provides the greatest number of learning options (for the student).

  Student's should (when able) utilize a number of different instructor's (in the same system). Some instructor's have a real problem with that idea. Be it because of a power issue, or a denial of Sainthood (or supposed, knowledge level), many student's are denied the option of alternate study from another (or any other) instructor (even within the same system?).

  Even Oyata was shown things from different instructor's/training partners. This isn't to say he was their student, only that he was shown some things that the individual shared with him (usually Kata).

  His greatest advantage was that he spoke the same language as those individuals. I'm hesitant to learn (anything) from someone outside of Oyata's system (much less from another country). As a rule, at least here, we (both) would be speaking the same language (both in our training, and in our native tongue).

  I tend to believe, that there has been a great deal of misinterpretation made between the East and the West. One of the biggest factors that drew myself to Oyata's instruction, was his (total) avoidance of any mystical or spiritual/religious explanations for anything he teaches. It's based purely on technique, and application knowledge


Saturday, April 21, 2012

Turn and Face the Strange

Ka-ka-ka-ka-Ka ta (Turn and Face the Strange)

 I keep encountering blogs that are written about various opinions of what bunkai from the Naihanchi kata could be. The many varied and diverse interpretations can be (simplistically) divided between sparring/sport and practical (protective) application.

 I don't really have any concern for the sport/sparring applications (see those opinions elsewhere), My interest is towards the protective applications aspect. When others present their opinions on what various motions might represent, I like to compare them to those that I'm aware of (if I'm aware of a technique for the motion being presented).

 When I began my study of RyuTe, the bunkai I utilized for my students was still simplistic. As my knowledge increased, the bunkai that I used changed as well. Strangely enough, not always to becoming more complicated, only different. For many motions, the bunkai became or remained simplistic (technically speaking) but the results became more pronounced.

 It still amazes me, how people will strive to complicate the simplest things (and usually to lower levels of applicability). Of course there are those (still) who don't believe any techniques (beyond the “kicky-punchy” ones) are depicted in the kata motions. Those practitioners are content to continue utilizing simplistic motions that rarely work beyond the walls of the training hall, but if they're happy, then more power to them.

 That isn't what I've been taught, nor is it what I teach to my students. RyuTe doesn't (necessarily) focus upon only certain techniques. It's emphasis is more upon learning what (already) known motions are applicable in any given situation (and the principles that make them applicable).

 The simplistic (and often obvious) motions that are used by many systems as being the represented bunkai would hardly need to be included in a mnemonic exercise for students to repeatedly perform (a.k.a.”Kata”). The vast majority of (supposed) bunkai that I've seen being presented, are of well-known/recognized motions and techniques. Evidently it's obviously easier to inject known techniques, than it would be to (actually) study the kata to learn any different ones.

 What is often ignored (and has possibly been lost through the modification of the traditional kata by some), is the individual limb motion(s) made within the kata. Certain motions performed during the kata are used (extensively) in numerous techniques/applications, yet could be easily ignored if the motions purpose were unknown/recognized as being important (to those techniques application).

 It appears (at least to myself) that many practitioners/instructors have become sedentary in their study of the kata. They (only) look for the known applications. It's my own opinion that the purpose of kata is NOT to (only) review the known, but to be able to recognize the known, and to (further) apply it to additional situations (through the examples of motion provided within the kata).

 This would make all the motions within the kata (equally) important (including the trivial ones), and the (actual) bunkai limitless (depending upon one's experience/research). The search, for some individual technique (for each motion) has always seemed self-defeating (to myself).

 Right or Wrong, by using this approach to bunkai, we have developed several technique applications that we presently teach to our students. If/when they are proven impractical, we modify and/or eliminate them (from our technique repertoire). More importantly, don't be afraid to experiment, this is how new developments/discoveries are made.
Turn and Face the Strange (as well as the New and Unknown).

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Apathetic or just Pathetic?

  Somehow, my teaching associate and myself became involved in a conversation about the popular “Passive/Internal” martial arts. This would include Tai chi, Aikido, etc. (and several of what many might consider to be internal martial arts). I've no longer invest much concern with these types of pursuits, nor have I been convinced that they warranted any either.
  I've written previously of my Aikido excursion, and any exposure that I've had (or mentally suffered through) with Hapkido, has been equally disappointing. I did enjoy Judo, not as a defensive method, but as a learning tool. My exposure to Jujutsu (regardless of the flavor) has always been lukewarm. That methodology just always seems to be ...lacking (and usually in numerous ways).
  My associates greatest problem (with the majority of these methods) would appear to be the methods of practice that many of them use. Aikido in particular (when practicing responses to striking methods) uses ridiculous aggressive motions (being utilized by the uke). These methods are not intended to be representative of an actual aggression. They are being used for learning the principles of motion (performed during an aggression).
  Additionally, the tori is intentionally attempting to not cause injury (to the uke). Aikido seeks a different finally to a conflicts resolution than when compared to how RyuTe trains students. Aikido stresses that the uke should receive little (if any) injury in response to their aggressive behavior. 
  In recent years (the past 20 or so) “CombatAikido has become (somewhat) popular. Essentially, all it amounts to is smaller circles of technique application, and the addition of some strikes. And yeah, that's what the Fat Blow-Hard Stephen Segal purports to practice.
  Even when shortened, or shrunk (condensed?), I've never been real comfortable or impressed with, nor confidant about Aikido techniques and their effectiveness. Over time (and with experience) I've learned numerous counters and manners to neutralize the application of those (types of) techniques. I've also heard it argued that RyuTe uses several Aikido/Jujutsu techniques. That I can dispute (being familiar with both). Though appearing similar, the motions applications are distinctly different (which makes all the difference in the world when/if attempting to apply a counter-technique to them).
  Our most recent exposure to these forms of application, were observed on postings by an individual that was claiming (to of had) exposure to RyuTe (as well as a dozen other arts, and yes, he had multi-level dan ranks in most all of them (though not in RyuTe), and yes, he is under 25yrs. Old, so you just KNOW he must be good).
  He was having one of his mook's perform the typical run at the tori with your hand over your head with a shuto (attack?). He then performed the standard sweep the arm back and forth, then throw the uke away (technique?). He also had pictures of his student's holding (obviously) Fake guns (to what end I have no idea, I do KNOW that HE has zero firearm knowledge, much less how to deal with individual's who would have one).
  It's individual's like this that need to be ignored (until they go away). That, or run them out of town (I understand Tar & Feathering is now illegal). All that they accomplish, is screwing up perfectly innocent student's by making them believe that the Crap that their peddling is worth a shit (Gods forbid he should be charging them, that would constitute fraud, IMO).

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Considerations of Collapsing the Bi-Pod Aggressor

 The human body, is an amazing balancing act. It balances upright, on 2 support shafts (the “Bi-pod”, if you will) that each consist of multiple hinged joints, that are all in a constant state of adjustment. Despite the instability potential, that frame is consistently in a state of locomotion, moving the torso (which additionally has limbs hanging to either side of it) to whatever location the controlling mind wishes it to go to.

 Regardless of these obvious potential weaknesses, Much ado has been made of the ability to place an opponent upon the ground. Or (maybe more accurately) how to do so while gaining, or maintaining control over that opponent while doing so.

 The most common method of doing so, is via brute force. Which, as long as your strong enough, and/or bigger than the subject being moved, isn't usually a problem. But when your not, then alternative methods are required.

 Taking into account the physical construct of the human body, one wouldn't think that would be such a big deal. The difficulty comes from that pesky brain that people have in their head. Despite the (often obviously) limited social and/or reasoning skills that the owner may possess, the brain (working on a subliminal basis) maintains the body's position and state of balance with fairly regular consistency.
 Consider the conditions that the body faces when a person experiences a “Tripping” incident. Though (often) completely unexpected, the body attempts to prepare for an impact while simultaneously trying to correct and remain upright. The total number of independent actions that are required to accomplish this feat would fill several typed sheets of paper. To perform these same tasks consciously, could not be accomplished.

 Most often when we are attempting to force an individual to the ground, it is being done to (either or both) prevent any further aggressive behavior and/or to control that individual's ability to perform any further aggressive behavior (for what-ever reason).

 That is commonly accomplished by placing the individual on their stomach (face down) upon the ground/floor. The higher level of difficulty (for the student) is doing so without causing them injury/harm. Though pain is not a relevant factor to being able to accomplish this, it's inclusion/occurrence (when applicable) does make it simpler.

 There are several methods of collapsing the standing individual. This can be done by the manipulation of an upper extremity (meaning the arm's), or by direct impacts made upon the legs. Manipulations/impacts upon the torso tend to require greater amounts of force/effort to effect even equivalent reactions (than when made upon the upper extremities).

 The neck and upper chest regions would (of course, LOL) be the exception to this (as either are very susceptible to impacts). For beginning students, these areas are already being emphasized as primary targets (both being easily accessed and able to be used with multiple striking methods).

 The more difficult method (for the beginning student) is the manipulation of the upper limbs to effect a take-down. New student's mistakenly assume that the purpose of the arm/wrist manipulation is to cause/create damage to that limb (that happens to only be a side-effect). The (main) purpose is to effect a collapse of the aggressor's support system (legs). This allows for further manipulation (of the upper limbs), which is required to apply the control positioning upon the aggressor.

 Even if utilizing strikes upon the aggressor's legs (to effect their collapse), some manner of control needs to be in-place upon the aggressor's upper body/limbs to effect control of that collapse (lest the aggressor be able to escape that control despite being taken down).

 The most difficult part of accomplishing a take-down, is the ability to control the individual once they are there. For that reason we spend an inordinate amount of time teaching students the (many) variables that will be encountered when they have placed someone there (and what's required to maintain control of that individual). 


Sunday, April 15, 2012

Runnin' on Empty..

 I found an article that someone had written (sorry, I don't remember who the author was) that attempted to justify the use of the Japanese kanji for Kara that was used to replace the (original) kanji that meant China.

 The author went to great extremes to justify their reasoning for using the kanji (and the subsequent translation) for “Empty”. Although the author did a decent job of doing so, I thought it sad attempt, for what was a mistaken understanding (from every native account that I've ever heard).

 What the author attempted to do, was to justify empty as being a philosophical euphemism for a martial arts spirituality (“empty cup” and whatnot). Sorry, this is Bullsh*t. The kanji transposed for kara (china), was kara (meaning open), not “empty”.

 How many times have you heard arguments concerning the empty-hand art (that has weapons ? ). It was never intended to represent “empty”, it has always been recognized as meaning ”open” to the Okinawans (except to the Japanese of course, and thereby the Americans).
 Open-hand makes sense, Empty-hand is just stupid. Because portions of the art don't include weapons, does not make it an empty-handed art form. Everything regarding “Open” directly relates to what is taught (at least in RyuTe).

 Taika relates this concept/belief philosophically as well. The Open-hand is one which is offering assistance and help. The empty-hand is one that is wanting (if not begging). Those systems that utilize the image of a fist (for symbolic reasons) are (in many ways) offensive and detract from the true nature and performance of Te as being the art form that it is. It also emphasizes an unjustified proclivity to striking with the closed hand.

 One of the most difficult tasks as an (RyuTe) instructor, is teaching new students to not use the (stereotypical) tight “fist”. Inevitably, when someone makes a fist, they want to strike someone (usually the assailant, LOL) in the face. When they make the loose fist (as taught in RyuTe) that “hit the face” desire, isn't so pronounced.

 My teaching associate went to the trouble to create a document explaining the proper “RyuTe” fist (it's on the RyuTe forum for association members). I believe a lot of the confusion stems from student's who've transitioned from other systems. The assumption being, that “a fist, is a fist, is a fist”, uh, not so much.

 It goes back to the open/closed-hand debate. The open hand, will move faster, be stronger and can accomplish more than a closed hand (fist) is ever able to. This is often (already) known and recognized, but seems to be readily dismissed (usually because it conflicts with one's prior beliefs/assumptions).

 I've written before on the relevance of semantics. This relevance is obvious (or should be) when comparing open to empty. Westerner's are embarrassing enough, LOL, without making arguments for a mistaken interpretation.

 Just listen to the moron's cry, who've been kicked out of the association for doing their deceitful practices. Their excuse is always “Taika said he "didn't care!” (if they even bothered to ask him). Which is a typical Okinawan/Japanese response, he “didn't care”, what you thought, or what your reasons were, don't do it.

People hear, only what they want to hear......

Friday, April 13, 2012

Teaching Trash, While (Also) Teaching RyuTe

 Having reviewed the general membership of the association (via the RyuTe website and viewing the listed web pages), I find it interesting that there are a number of Dojo that (still) teach another system in addition to teaching RyuTe.

 I find this extremely odd. I mean, I understand the need to generate funds to pay the bills, but beyond the instruction of children, why would you bother? (with those other systems).
I'm sure there are some who would read this and determine that I am being (extremely) biased. They would of course be correct, I am biased (and hold no reservations about being so). But beyond that bias, I've seen no system that compares to RyuTe (as far as self-and/or Life, Protection). If my interest was in “Sport” Karate, then I would have only limited interest in RyuTe (it's a poor choice for training in that field). 
 The vast majority of RyuTe Yudansha are, and have been, converts from other systems. They commonly held some Yudansha level rank in those systems. This means that they didn't “come-up” through the Mudansha ranks in RyuTe, and (therefor) weren't exposed to the same training that would (usually) be received from having done so.

 When interested students observe these person's classes, they see what those instructor's have always taught (IE. Their previous teachings). People will tend to not change the little things in their instruction methods. They commonly don't (yet) realize that those little things, are what makes all the difference (in what's learned).
For example, they continue to have student's tuck their hands at their sides (when performing punching strikes). They have student's perform kicks and strikes the same as they always have taught. 

 They haven't abandoned their previous teaching/learning methods. Many of the individual's who have been expelled from the association, likewise never modified their prior (to beginning RyuTe) teachings (to emphasize the RyuTe methodology) Mostly, because they never had gone through those teachings methods themselves (being “bestowed” with their ranking when they joined the association).

 Taika had the regrettable habit of allowing newly converted student's to retain their prior rank. This (in turn) allowed a number of (we'll say) not so deserving individual's to procure undeserved rank, without having (actually) learned the RyuTe methodology of application that subsequently would of been procured.

 The majority of those individual's have since been purged from the association (and of course have since then also promoted themselves to higher “Dan” levels, including 10th Dan, LOL). Even the most recently expelled hadn't attended any training in 10 years! Yet, they still “claim” those 10 years as having been time training with Taika?

 As far as retaining the instruction of a prior system (when the instructor has converted to RyuTe), I am at a loss. I don't really understand why. It would seem far more practical, to teach RyuTe, and offer “sport karate” (as optional) classes for those so inclined.

 RyuTe offers a “Sport” Kumite competition (though not everybody may be up to/for it, LOL). I (personally) don't participate in it anymore, or even instruct that manor of practice (I do recommend to my students whom to go to in order to participate in it). It's focus isn't Self/Life Protection, so I don't want to waste my own (or my students) time in regards to it.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Detailed Practice of Arm Strike/Parry

  The Practice of this motion begins with the tori and the uke standing face to face, at an arm's length distance from each other (confirmed, by the tori placing his hand on the shoulder of the uke to establish that distance).
  This description is for a Right-Hand dominant person. If the student is Left-Hand dominant, they should adapt these instructions accordingly. Additionally, it should be noted that the Free-Air practice of the Tori's arm motions is the same as when practicing with an uke, whether the uke is attempting to strike with either arm, the tori's arm motions remain the same. 
Non-Dominant (Left) Hand's Motions
  Practice is began with both parties having their hands at their sides. When the uke begins their strike, the tori should motion their Non-Dominant side hand straight upward and palm-up (bending/pivoting at the elbow, until the hand is (essentially) vertical, and the elbow is extended forward from the body (towards the uke) and continues in an arcing motion rotating to palm-down.  
 This motion is both downward and towards the uke (ideally, parrying the uke's intended strike with it's motion).
It should be noted that the tori's hand, does not have to contact the uke's hand or wrist. Contact can be made upon any part of the uke's striking arm (from just below the shoulder level of the arm, to the forearm of the striking appendage). Additionally, at this stage of practice, there is no intended or implied Grab being made (upon the uke's arm). This motion's intent, is to redirect the uke's strike away from it's intended target.
  Individual Practice of this arm's motion should be made before proceeding to the next layer of this motion.
Dominant (Right) Hand Motions
  The tori's Dominant-side hand/forearm should cross the body low by crossing/protecting the groin area. This arm will then raise, remaining to the inner-side (nearer to the body) of the Non-Dominant hand's motion. It then raises to a vertical position just forward of the tori's body (with the elbow motioned forward in conjunction with the Left elbow's position), and then motions forward. In most systems, the emphasis is made upon the lateral/outward arm motion. In RyuTe, that emphasis is forward.
  These Two motions are done together and either in conjunction with, (or slightly before) a Straight kick. This kick has the potential/probability of causing the uke to lean forward, which in turn, assists the tori in the follow-up Neck Strike, commonly performed with the tori's Dominant-Side Hand.
  Once the student has sufficiently practiced these motions, the tori will be taught to rotate (their body) to either side during the execution of these motions. This adds distancing to the tori's initial position (in that the uke's original target location, the tori's Face has been moved), and doing so also motions the tori away from the uke's (still) free arm.
  There are also several different manors of using either arm in this particular motion. What is initially shown/practiced, is only the beginning motions. There are alternative motions for either arm that can be utilized (depending on the uke's or the tori's actions and/or responses).
(The first practiced response is for an uke that is attempting to strike with their Right Hand.)
  As soon as the tori detects the uke's motion of their Right arm, they should be motioning their own Left hand upward towards the uke's shoulder (as was practiced). Upon reaching the uke's shoulder the tori's hand will rotate (with the palm facing the uke's center-line). That hand will then motion towards the uke's center-line, and proceed downward towards the uke's waist-line (Palm-down). 
  The Tori's Right arm should be crossing/protecting the groin area, while raising to act as a back-up for the Left arm's action. As tori becomes confident with the success of their Left hands motion, their own right hand should be motioned laterally (till vertical), then motion forward (towards the uke). Depending upon the uke's position at that time, the tori's targeting of that arm could be several locations (Neck, Chest, Temple). 
(The 2nd practiced response is for an uke that is attempting to strike with their Left Hand.)
  As soon as the tori detects the uke's motion of their Left arm, they should be motioning their own Left hand upward towards the uke's Right shoulder (as was practiced with the prior example). Upon reaching the uke's shoulder the tori's hand will rotate (with the palm facing the uke's center-line). That hand will then motion towards the uke's center-line, and proceed downward towards the uke's waist-line (Palm-down). This motion should be done with the intent of wiping downward upon the front of the uke's chest. 
  As was done previously, the tori's Right hand motions across (in front of the groin area) and raises to a vertical position with the elbow extending towards the uke. Unlike the prior example, at this point, this arm may (already) be in contact with the uke's striking hand/arm. Whether it is, or isn't, the tori's Right arm (and elbow) should be extended towards the uke. 
  This motion will allow for one of two occurrences, either the tori will strike the uke's (upper) arm (preferably at a taught kyusho location), or the tori's hand will travel over the top of the uke's striking arm (which leads to several options of/for further manipulation). In either occurrence, the uke's striking attempt is negated. 
  Regardless of whether the student is practicing for an uke's Right or Left handed strike, the captured uke's arm will (initially) be taught to be placed into an Arm-Bar, and the uke will be manipulated into a submission position (usually face-down on the ground). 
  When the basic execution for both of these protective motions is learned, we have students begin to include the kicks with their protective actions. The kicks will modify the motions of the uke, previously made motions will be amplified/exaggerated (often extensively).
  As mentioned previously, follow-up motions (for either arm situations) are as varied as they are extensive. Those motions can be modified to be used as simple submission, or to causing the subject's loss of consciousness, to termination of the subject (in obviously extreme circumstances). 
 I've written before about striking the uke's arm (when it is attempting to strike you), I've also stated that it isn't always possible/practical to do so, but that doesn't negate the practicality of all strikes being made (or even able to be made) upon the aggressor's arms. These protective motions (when performed correctly) exemplify that belief. 


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Commonly Made Attempts of Aggression

  On several occasions, I have been asked to describe what manner of aggressions (attacks) that I initially train students to protect themselves against. Though obviously, I can't initially train anyone to defend against every/any possible manner of aggression possible to be attempted against someone, I can provide training to respond to commonly attempted aggressions.
  The techniques that Taika taught to us, are able to be easily adapted to most any manner of aggression that is attempted upon us. Fortunately, those techniques were developed to be adaptive, in that they can be used against numerous manners of aggression (with little to no change in execution manner). This ability makes the student able to be unconcerned with which arm (Right or Left) is being used against them (only that they are able to recognize that the aggressor is attempting to strike them).
  This list of aggressive motions is of the actions that I/we have determined to be the most commonly encountered in confrontational situations. Though (no doubt) there are others, this list provides a student with a base set of situations to work from (for easier practice reference).
1- Hand Push to Chest
2- Hand Push to Chest
Forearm Grab – Chest Level
(Horizontal & Vertical in front of the tori) Single Straight/Cross-Hand of Uke Grabbing
Wrist Grab - 2 on 1 High/Low (Vertical Forearm being grabbed)
Both Wrist's Grabbed High (Arms Vertical)
Shoulder/Lapel/Upper-Arm Grab
Punch to Head-Straight/Cross Arm
Punch to Stomach-Straight/Cross Arm
Roundhouse (Hay-maker) Straight/Cross Arm
Jab (Uke's Forward Hand, When both are held up in front of the Tori)
Knee to Groin
(Foot) Kick to Groin/stomach
  Though each of these aggressions could be done in numerous ways, we begin student's defending against the basic/most obvious versions of each (which are what is most commonly encountered).
  Strangely, I'm often questioned the most about why I don't emphasize defending against kicks to the head? Well, In 50 years, I've only encountered someone (trying) to kick me in the head (on the street) once, (as in 1 time). I've never encountered anyone else ever having it happen (though I'm sure somewhere, sometime, it has). If/when it has, I'd be inclined to believe that the individual did something to allow it to happen (because it sure as hell isn't a naturally easy motion to occur, and it's very easy to stop/prevent). 
  Being recognized for Tuite, RyuTe has scores of responses for grabs and pushes (of virtually any/every sort). As with the strikes, these initial defensive responses are to introduce the student to the systems technique ideology and to expand their initial awareness of the abilities for the technique responses. Every motion taught, can be easily transitioned into alternative techniques that are taught to the student later in their training.
  The initial techniques shown/taught are to provide the student with a response (even though they are only beginning their study). The techniques are not complicated and introduce the student to common motions that are used in numerous applications that will be taught later in their study.
  As the student progresses in their training, alternate targeting and follow-ups are shown to the student to utilize with those same motions. Those basic technique motions are continually built upon, which provides the student with further alternatives to multiple situations, all being based upon the same protective motions that they began their study with.
  I've previously described most all of these applications here (though not always in great detail, LOL). We regularly review (and update) the taught motions/responses to these situations. Students will often have questions (“what-if's”, LOL), and we will provide answers to those questions. Most importantly, is that the student is able to maintain a comfort/basic ability level for each of the listed situations.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Aggressor "Types"


Alpha                                                                                                                           Predator

  As a rule, I don't “pimp” other websites. Not that I'm being a Dick-Tator about it, I just don't want to (indirectly) offend any of those sites writer's (which I am prone to doing, though not always intentionally). This doesn't mean I always agree/disagree with them, only that I don't wish them to believe that I'm berating anything at them directly (If I did have a particular bone to pick with anyone, rest assured, I have no qualms about doing so, LOL).

  A few weeks back, I was reading the Low-TechCombat site's publication “Human Combative Behavior Manifesto”. They requested that I submit an opinion of it (which I did), and I thought I'd augment that opinion here (and Yes, it was positive).

  When discussing aggressor “types” (with my students), it can be distracting (as an instructor) to differentiate between the different categories of aggressor that they (the civilian student) could be facing. What this publication provides, is a (simplistic) manner to quickly categorize the type of aggressor that the student is dealing with. 
  The basic break-down (of the publication), is that there are 2 (basic) categories of aggressor that a person will have to contend with, these are the Alpha and the Predator. Each has distinct tendencies and traits that have to be dealt with differently.

  The Alpha-type, is what/whom 95% of all confrontations will be with. These are the individual's (male or female) that have decided, for whatever reason, that you, are or have, caused them to (either) lose status or can be used to gain/regain that status (through a physical altercation, ???....NO, I don't know the answer/reason to/for every situation, LOL).

  This “type” is also the least life-threatening of the two categories. Though any situation can become deadly (whether intentionally or not) For the vast majority of these types of confrontations, one can verbally deescalate the level of physical danger (commonly, with a simple apology). Though seemingly reprehensible to many, this simple tactic will defuse many of the Alpha made threats. 
  The Predator though, is the aggressor (and confrontation) that you'll likely never see, until your already in the middle of it (and usually already hurt and/or bleeding). The predator doesn't want you to know that they're after you, and will go to extremes to prevent you from knowing, until they've already attacked.
  The Predator is ONLY interested in Money, or your Life Ending (for what-ever reason). These individual's Cannot be reasoned with (nor will they even spend any more time talking than is necessary). They only want your money/items (jewelry, car, electronics, even clothing). None of which is worth your life (meaning let them fucking have those stupid fucking THINGS).
  If their goal is to Kill you, then you likely won't even be given the opportunity to prevent them from doing so. People who have survived these types of attacks, have stated that they were in denial up to the point that they passed out (usually from loss of blood).
  Though the Predator is whom most people claim to be learning to protect themselves from. More often than not (and for endless other reasons) the truth is that most are learning a martial art, to defend themselves in an “Alpha”(type of) confrontation/situation.
A number of my student's are Law Enforcement Officer's, so they  are (often) dealing with those Predator types. the majority of my students are not (officer's), so they are usually being confronted with some manner of disgruntled Alpha (or "wanna-be"). When I write about confrontations, the majority of that subject matter, is based upon the Alpha (model) confrontation. I believe the majority of classes like to claim that their material is based upon the Predator (type aggressor) model, but I believe that to be a generally unjustified, as well as inexperienced claim.

  The site Low-TechCombat (over-all) deals with situational and instructional techniques and subjects. Though not always being about subjects that are relevant or interesting to myself, I'm certain that many people will find the site very captivating. Their “manifesto” I believe to be a decent read, and I have actually incorporated it into my own student's reference material.