Monday, July 29, 2013
If there has been “1” subject, that has been completely blown out of proportion (in the martial arts community), it would have to be in regards to the “knock-out” (types of) Neck strikes.
Unfortunately, these “demonstrations” have become (and are now what most people believe them to be) as being “the” (standard?) technique that demonstrates your level of ability (?).
The most commonly asked question (of myself) was “did Oyata knock you out every class?” uh, no, he didn't. Over 32 years of study with him, I was only “knocked out” twice (by Taika). I was “dazed”, knocked “loopy” (whatever you'd like to call it) Dozen's of times (though the effects from those strikes were commonly less than a minute or two).
The average (beginning) student, is often under the impression that “all” they (really) need to learn, is how to “knock somebody out” (the rest of that “stuff” isn't even necessary then).
And that's where the problems begin (at least for an instructor).
The majority of this “Fantasy” (belief) is regularly propagated by charlatan’s that promote (their) “TCM” nonsense, and attempt to convince people that (in order to perform those strikes) they need to learn a pile of (completely unrelated) nonsense before “they” will be able to perform these types of strikes. NONE of which is true.
The biggest problem (with performing the neck strikes) as they are typically being practiced, is in the expectations of the person performing the strikes. Although they often can be, they will (more commonly) only provide a temporary “stun” (response) of the struck subject. Of course that's not to be trivialized, causing an aggressor to (literally) “freeze” for several seconds provides an enormous advantage.
Additionally, it's not as if they're (even capable of) running after you if you choose to take off (it's more of weaving stumble really). In my opinion, the concern is really (or should be) in the manner that these strikes are being practiced.
All one has to do is go to “U-Tube” and google “knock-out strikes”. You can see dozens of these idiots wailing away on their students necks (young, old, thin and fat one's). This is NOT how the practice of these types of strikes are supposed to be done (it's mostly the instructors that have sadistic streaks that do this nonsense).
Aside from (simply) performing blunt trama strikes upon these gullible individuals (usually, their own students), they aren't even doing what they are advertising (usually, that they are performing “Pressure-Point” strikes, ...yeah, right).
When I'm asked about them (in regards to our class), I have to (begrudgingly) admit to teaching our students how to perform them. It's (definitely) not because I don't approve of them, it's more because I (then) have to (once again) explain about how and why they are not the “end-all” self defense technique (that everybody wants them to be).
They can be very effective, but they also require that you to perform them only when the circumstances allow for them to be utilized. I don't concern myself with the (bullshit) notion that “these won't work on everybody”. That is a cover your ass statement (used by the salesmen that are promising the world with their effectiveness, if "YOU" do it correctly, LOL).
For the elaborate responses that they are guaranteeing (for every strike), they have to to say "you" did something wrong, because it just isn't going to happen.
Most (new) people will point out that Oyata would always get a dramatic response (when he performed his strikes upon people at seminars), and that was the point. Taika was attempting to recruit students, so he would turn into the showman, and perform for the audience. How he did neck strikes (in a class environment) was very different than how he would do them in a public seminar.
In our classes, We attempt to demonstrate (to our students) that it is rarely necessary (or practical to expect) to cause the person to loose consciousness (when performing one of Taika's neck strikes).
Even when done lightly (as we do in our classes, and that's commonly with neck padding being worn), the response is more than sufficient to illustrate what would happen in an actual confrontation (and it will familiarizes the student with the effects that are made upon the recipient, as well as how little physical effort is required to do so).
Those (poor) people on U-Tube (who were on the receiving end of those "muscled" neck strikes) were covered with bruises (on their neck?, WTF?). In 30+ years, I never suffered any bruises from any neck strikes performed upon me (at least from Taika, LOL), and I always felt the reaction.
The most common correction (that a student to needs to make to their technique), is to use less force. Too many people attempt to perform a neck strike, as if they were trying to break a stack of boards. This "can" work (? sometimes), but it is not the type of a strike that Oyata was known for, or ever taught.