Tuesday, July 10, 2012
Too Close for Comfort
When discussing distancing in a conflict situation, I've found that different systems adhere to different standards (of what each considers to be preferred). We've found that the majority of our students (at least when beginning their training) are very uncomfortable with the practice distance that we have them begin with (initially being at an arm's length).
Though this is the ideal distance for defensive technique application, student's (initially) believe they should be further away from an aggressor. This is (very) often the result of attempting to equate what we do, to a boxing match (or some other sport situation).
What we do, and teach our students to do, is to survive a confrontational situation, while suffering the least amount of physical damage, as well as inflicting as much damage as is necessary to bring about that result.
Sport (types of) training, do not teach that ability. When training in other systems (been there, done that) the emphasis is on striking predetermined “safe” locations. The student is actually restricted from impacting any effective locations.From a defensive perspective, a person needs to be able to limit the ability of an aggressor to strike them, and (yet) still be able to physically debilitate that aggressor.
It is not that uncommon, that people will (unconsciously?) attempt to create an equal situation (ie. “squaring off”) if/when provided with the opportunity. In an Dominant Alpha-situation, this is somewhat expected (though hardly a requirement, LOL). But to do so in a predator/victim encounter (?), border's on stupid.
Ideally, an aggressor should not be able to strike the defender, yet the defender should be able to strike the aggressor (In an ideal world, right? LOL). Well, with proper distancing, it's an entirely plausible occurrence.
The only real problem, is for the defender to decide what constitutes a effective/productive strike. The generally ignorant, will proclaim that a/the “knock-out” is the (only) effective impact. Without disregarding the fact that the ability to attain this result (with any/every attempt made) is fairly difficult, it makes more sense to focus our student's efforts on performing actions that can create effective results without providing the same, or equal opportunity to the aggressor.
This entails refocusing our strikes, to perform them upon the aggressor's arm's. By maintaining enough distance, that allows the defender to strike the aggressor's arms (yet the aggressor's hands can't reach the defender's head), they can provide strikes that can numb/nullify the effectiveness of that aggressor's arms to be able strike with them.
The most common argument made against these (types of) strikes, is that (whomever) the individual dismissing them is, has participated in countless/endless/specific (training?) that included repeatedly striking the (meaning their) arm's, and that they have learned to, or were always able to (still) utilize their arms (after having done "their" strikes upon them).
Frankly, BFD.. someone's prior experiences carries very little importance with me (on this matter). I understand skepticism, and would generally agree with that sentiment. But total dismissal (based upon one's own limited experience) is simply stupid.
I participated in various (forms of) martial arts for 9 years before encountering Taika (and these manners of strikes). Until having experienced them (for myself), I might have agreed, or at least wanted to have them demonstrated upon myself (before forming a final opinion).
I've come to the opinion, that those who would reject the idea (of being struck upon their arm, and losing any ability of that arm), have convinced themselves that they are (somehow?) beyond injury.Though, if that same person were to have banged their shin, and were unable to walk for an (albeit, short) period of time, That would be different (and only because they'd experienced it before).
Until it is excepted, that one can perform an effective amount of injury to an opponent's arms (or legs), the endless (if not pointless) ideal of a knockout being the (only?) preferred/acceptable end to a confrontation, then students will persist in their own distortion of what constitutes effective defensive tactics.
Every motion should have an applicable purpose. That purpose should only contribute to the over-all goal of ending the confrontation. That should not automatically equate to (permanently) causing injury to an aggressor. It was with this thought, that Taika refined his kyusho and atemi strikes.
If, after having injured an aggressor's arm's/legs, they continue to present an obvious threat to either your self, or the well being of another, then one could very well believe that they have no choice but to escalate the amount of injury to the aggressor that's believed to be necessary to protect themselves.
Now what level it is that may be construed as being necessary, is debatable (as well as situational).