Wednesday, October 10, 2018

The Oyata Te Defensive system

The Oyata Te Defensive system, is intended to train students in effective manners of defending themselves when they become involved in an (unarmed) confrontation. It is taught with a "defensive" aspect ("non-aggressive"). Various applications are instructed to be utilized in/for authoritative situations as well (I.E. Law Enforcement/Security applications).
There exists a fairly common belief, that the practice of a "defensive" art does not include (or even instruct student's in) applications that are intended to cause/create injury. There is no implication being made that a "defensive" art is not capable of causing/creating injury upon an aggressor, only that it is not the intended goal with its use. The priority of a defensive methodology is to protect the user ("first, and foremost"). There are situations where that objective can only be achieved by inflicting sufficient damage/injury (upon an aggressor) that the aggressor is unable to continue their assault. The argument that a defender should (always) be able to "immobilize" (or even restrain) an aggressor (rather than cause/create injury upon them), is an unrealistic expectation. Even when an aggressor can (successfully) be restrained, the situational circumstances may not allow for that to be a valid expectation to utilize in every situation).
The purpose of a defensive methodology is to is to instruct the students of that methodology to protect the student from receiving physical injury if/when they find themselves attacked and/or physically threatened. Although that may require the student to inflict physical (limb) impacts upon that aggressor, the training focus is mainly upon learning to apply manipulations upon an aggressor.
The student of Oyata Te is initially shown to be observant of their surroundings. “Avoidance” is the most practical method of “Self-Defense” and requires the least amount of training or skill to accomplish. The most commonly encountered “aggressor”, is someone who is known to the victim. The majority of physical altercations begin with some level/degree of verbal interaction (whether "hostile" or not), and has escalated into a physical exchange. These can (often) be avoided by not using any "challenging" or "derogatory" language or phrasing during that (verbal) exchange. If the exchange should become physical, the student's first priority, is to avoid becoming injured. Next, they need to neutralize the aggressor's ability to continue their assault. New students are inclined to focus on the second of these defensive aspects. If the first is not achieved, the second is moot.
Providing an effective method of defense should be done by combining one's initial (defensive) actions with those that achieve the second (simultaneously).
The student begins their study by learning the “Natural” movements (ability's and inability's) of their own body. The student's knowledge/awareness of those abilities and limitations allow them to more effectively utilize those motions when applying various instructed applications.
The initially shown motions are (obviously) defensive. Those motions (when they are correctly utilized) are used as transitions to the application of technique responses intended to end a confrontation. The situation will commonly dictate what that will consist of. Because any application has the potential of being miss-applied, and/or being ineffective, the student should be familiar with (multiple) variations of/for those applications. There is no "one-technique" that will work (effectively) in every situation.
The (latest) "popular" trend (in the martial arts community), is the "single-motion" defense. These are commonly "attached" to some alphabetical acronym that makes them easier to remember. I can agree with the concept, but not with what is being shown for the application of those methodologies. These motions are taught as being a "basic" response for any/every type or manner of (attempted) assault. Every one of them (that I've observed), lead into a "grappling" situation. As long as the student is physically strong (enough), the student will (commonly) be able to maintain a superior advantage. If the student is smaller (than the aggressor), they are automatically at a disadvantage. Oyata's methodology avoids the (creation of a) situation that would allow these factors be (or become) a determining factor to the instructed applications.

Once the natural ability's (and inability's, if not limitations) are understood (by the student), they can begin to implement the necessary adjustments to the instructed motions (to maintain their effectiveness in use). A student's initial training is (often) in regards to dispelling (numerous) false/inaccurate assumptions about “natural” and/or commonly used (if not taught) motions. The easiest way (IMO) to discern whether a motion has been taught inaccurately, is if/when that motion has been (purely) instructed in regards to the individual limb's potential. The inclusion of the (remainder of) user's body is treated as being supplemental to the applied motion/action. This is regularly displayed when students perform "regimented" practice (with student's lined-up in formation) to review the instructed motions. This is commonly being done with the students arranged in “Horse” stances (for their arm motion review), and “Back” or “Forward” stances for the leg techniques. This will (subliminally) train the student to assume those positions prior to the techniques use (in a defensive use/situation).
This type/manner of practice is done (primarily) for the instructor's benefit. It achieves little to nothing for the student's abilities (in regards to the individual motion). It is mainly done, because that's how the instructor (originally) learned it (and they haven't considered the probable consequences that result from practice done in that manner). Justification is attempted through "commonality" of use (with no concern in regards to the detrimental results from having done so). Within the practice of Oyata Te, we have attempted to avoid these detrimental training practices. We are continually modifying our own training methods to reflect that objective.
The (next) most “popular” type of practice that we don't include, is that of "sparring" (as it is popularly practiced). Our (equivalent) is closer to that of "3-4 step" (defensive) practice (though could easily be considered "freestyle"). This is done with both student's beginning in "natural" stances, and following the "begin" command, the (pre-designated) aggressor, begins their assault. This practice can include the use of protective gear (or not). The match is commonly ended when one participant is immobilized and/or submits. There are no "points" in these matches, they are intended to be for the student's experience with the use of the instructed motions and applications.
This manner of practice is considered (in general) to represent when the student has failed to perform the instructed applications correctly. If/when those applications were done correctly, the (“fight”) situation would not be as likely to occur.
Student's are shown the (basic) use of the “Tuite” applications early on in their training (often from their first class). As the student's abilities with those motions progress, the situations that they will become applicable within are increased as well (during the student's training) including when those motions can be initiated by the student. Many of the basic techniques are commonly bring dismissed as impractical or too rare (in their occurrence) for the student to concern themselves with their (varied) use. The use of "slow speed" practice (to represent a confrontation) can demonstrate the value/applicability of those techniques when being properly applied.
Tuite is an integral piece of the Oyata Te system (having an equal importance as the instructed stances, strikes and application's provide). Those systems that provide (their own) versions of it, (often) treat it as a separate study. Within the Oyata Te system, It is trained for and is utilized in conjunction with the use/application of the more commonly recognized defensive motions (used during a defensive confrontation).

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