Friday, April 6, 2012

The Myth of What Can, and Cannot Be

  I have read several accounts of how the ability to do something is (somehow) not possible, or is unrealistic to accomplish. I found this attitude to be prevalent in several subject areas regarding martial arts (in general). Namely, in regards to the accomplishment of utilizing strikes for the purpose of blocking/defeating an aggressor's strike, and of (simultaneously) causing injury to that striking arm.

  The arguments that I've read against the occurrence/practicality of these (types of) strikes, have been (IMO) ridiculous. In what realm of existence does anything that requires practice, suddenly become impractical, much less impossible?

  The most prevalent argument (being made), is that by doing so, you will still be struck (WTF?), I've yet to figure out how this argument is substantiated. Granted, I've only my own thoughts to go on, but I have to presume that these individual's are basing that opinion on the idea (belief?) that your attempting to strike the aggressor's fist/hand.

  I base that belief, on the fact that I continually watch (those same individual's) perform their Parries/Blocks upon the hand/wrist of an aggressor's arm. Inevitably, these same individual's are chasing the aggressor's hand/fist as it motions towards their face (in the hope, that they will be able to catch (up to) and deflect it).

  When we (in RyuTe) are taught to protect ourselves from an aggressor's strike, we are performing those actions (with the intent), to cause injury to that aggressor's arm. In addition to preventing the aggressor's motion from completing it's (intended) course of action, that limb should not be in an equivalent state of physical readiness as when it first made that attempt (because of sustained injuries from our defensive motions).

  For the seasoned practitioner of RyuTe, a protective action is rarely a singular limb's motion. Being in possession of two arm's, we generally attempt to use both of them in our protective motion. (usually) While one arm is striking an aggressor's limb, our other arm is acting as a backing (or “cutting-board” as Taika puts it) to prevent excessive deflection of their limb (from our strike upon that limb).

  To do this effectively, requires that one be familiar with the bodies (overall) natural Range Of Motion (ROM). Not only of the aggressor's, but of their own as well. Very often, having (first) struck the aggressor's limb, that same motion/strike will continue in order to strike (again) elsewhere upon the aggressor (with both being performed as one continuous motion).
Another often overlooked point, is that even when (only) deflected, we still have the option of striking the uke's arm as they return it (via kakae strikes).
  This continuous-motion, cannot be (effectively) accomplished without an understanding of the limb's natural motions (of both the uke and the tori). I believe much of the disregard being made towards the defensive striking capabilities of a defender, are made from the limited understanding of the limb's motions being made during the described actions (by both the uke, and the tori).

  When the aggressor/uke strikes at the defender/tori, they are targeting a specific location (usually the face/head). Once that attempt is made, it will be retracted (commonly, in order to be used in another attempt). Though the specific direction made when going out isn't always known, the direction that limb will take during it's return is always recognized. It's during that return trip that the limb is most easily struck.

  When pointing this out, the most common (and usually smugly stated) retort, is that you've already been struck (so your strike can't/won't even occur). Though our emphasis is upon striking the aggressor's limb (during it's strike attempt), that emphasis should not end with the aggressor having failed at that initial attempt (via the applied parry of that strike). Body motion (the tori's) will also be utilized and The uke will still (as in always) retract their arm (in order to attempt another strike). It's during that retraction, that the defender/tori should be (again) attacking the aggressor's limb.

  Most of those who have argued with me (over this issue) have (mistakenly) made the assumption that I disagree with the deflection (parrying) of an aggressor's strikes. I too additionally do so, on a regular basis (parry strikes, not just argue, LOL). But, I can/do also strike the aggressor's arm before/during and/or after their initial strike attempts.

  The fact that I deflect/prevent an aggressor's strike from completing it's initially intended course of action, does not conclude the altercation (if only, LOL). It's for that reason, that I don't (only) emphasize parries during a defensive action. They should not (or ever) be considered a singular technique. They only accomplish a singular result (redirection). Though generally preventing their initially intended purpose, the stricken limb can can still be re-utilized (to repeatedly make the same, or similar attempts).

  What I generally encounter, is individual's who only desire (if not insist upon) to strike the head/face of an aggressor. I've never been threatened (much less injured) by anyone's face. And yes, striking it can cause various results that might assist in your defense during an altercation. But person's will rarely just allow you to strike them there. It is usually the best defended location on the aggressor.

  Conversely, if I cause your arm to go numb (as in, you can't even hold, much less pick-up anything to hit me with it). Your very unlikely to be that great of a threat to me (something akin to a one-legged man in an ass kickin' contest?). Person's also rarely protect, or even worry about their arms being struck (their ignorance works to our advantage, LOL). This also affords me plausible deny ability (when being questioned by L.E. Officials afterwords).

  In numerous subjects, one can accept/deny a topic based solely upon their perception. The problem (of course, LOL) is that their perception could be unknowingly skewed (and provides them a false understanding/interpretation of the situation). It's this mistaken perception, that I feel has made individual's believe that an aggressor's arms can't be injured (by the defender striking them).


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