Saturday, June 2, 2012

Stop Fighting

  One of the Big misconceptions that student's have when they begin training with us, is that they are learning how to fight. At no time have we ever stated that we were teaching students how to fight. We train students to defend themselves from a physical assault.
  If/when someone doesn't know the difference between these to two subjects, then we have to explain our definition of these two subjects (to them). A “fight” is a contest of dominance, usually agreed to by the involved party's. An assault, is an attack upon someone who is not a willing participant. 
  I tend to be a little anal, when it comes to using words correctly (in their proper context). I'm by no means perfect at it, but I do give it an honest attempt.
  When I hear/read about people training to fight, I usually have to read/inquire further in order to determine the (actual) intent (from their implied training). Very often, it is exactly that (they're learning how to fight). They train to do some manner of competitive combat, with protective equipment, and a referee, and all the clean, safe things that will allow them to return (every week) to repeat it again and again.
  Training to defend one's self from an attack, by an individual who intends to cause you harm (if whatever it is that they want, doesn't happen), is a completely different event (than some contest between two padded-up individual's with a Judge present to prevent injuries).
  I'll grant you, it's difficult to practice the defensive applications being taught, without incurring some risk of injury. It's because of this risk, that most instruction is carried out with the use of padded protective gear. It isn't the use of the gear, that trouble's me the most. It's the fact that both participants are covered with it (tori, and uke).
  If the tori is practicing application of a striking technique, then why should they have (any) protective padding on? Is not the uke supposed to be the one being struck? (and would therefor require the protective padding).
  If/when both parties are covered in protective padding, what's the point of anything that's being done? I'm sorry (sort of...), but that just seems asinine to me. Who is really gaining anything (applicable) from that sort of practice?
  People do not move naturally when covered in this padding, nor do they strike naturally (either offensively, or defensively). Having both parties don this padding and fluff upon each other for 5 or 10 minutes at a time is not training (for an assault).
  The mere fact that both parties are covered in protective padding removes any perception of (actual) threat. Additionally (at least in RyuTe), by wearing this padding (upon the hands) one's technique's are greatly diminished (if even able to be performed at all).
  I've been involved with numerous discussion's about the practicality (or even probability) of the application of defensive strikes being applied upon an aggressor's arm's (during a confrontation). Like anything else, these motions must be practiced. The most common (if not regular) response that I receive, is that whomever has been repeatedly beat upon (their arms) and has never suffered any result that would not allow them to continue an assault.
  I believe the greatest mistake that people make in regards to these (types of) strikes, is that they consider them individually. If someone were to (only) receive 1 strike upon a location on the arm, I could understand the hesitancy in believing their applicability. But just as I wouldn't expect a single strike (alone) to the torso, to be able to incapacitate someone, neither would I expect a single strike to a limb to (completely) incapacitate that limb either.
  We commonly perform several strikes (in close succession) to attain a complete nullification of an arm's ability to function. Granted, for many person's, a correctly applied single strike can create an ineffective/unusable limb (for a short time), but more commonly, several strikes are being implemented to create the desired effect/result.
  I believe it's the idea of striking a limb (instead of someone's face) that seems to bother people the most. They (apparently) seek the visual satisfaction(?) of striking their opponent/aggressor's face (despite the fact that it's been repeatedly proven that doing so, does little to end an altercation/assault).
  The biggest problem with fighting an attacker, is that it does nothing to stop the attacker. It's a totally different mindset. Fighting, implies that someone will give up and/or they will quit. Defending one's self, means that you win, or you lose. If you don't understand the difference, then you've never actually been attacked.

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