Friday, November 30, 2018

The Arms are the Example

 When the new student begins their study of a defensive art, they are shown the rudimentary movements for the application of techniques. Those motions can be strikes, grabs or motions that place an aggressor at a physical disadvantage. An important aspect of achieving that advantage is the student's understanding of the natural weaknesses that exist within the human anatomy. Attempting to understand the entire body's weaknesses can be an ominous (and unnecessary) task. We begin that instruction with the student understanding the movements, weaknesses, and vulnerabilities of the arm. We start with the arm because an aggressor's arm will be the more easily accessed and vulnerable to the student's defensive applications during a confrontation.
 Once those vulnerabilities are understood by the student, that knowledge can be applied to the remainder of an aggressor's limbs (during the student's application of defensive actions). 
Various instructors attempt to have their student's learn those locations throughout an aggressor's body. We've found that understanding those locations within the arm, will act as a "reference" for the remainder of the limbs. Those Strikes delivered upon an aggressor's torso will have greater variance than those locations that are on the limbs (arm's and Leg's). The variance that exists between the different body (torso)-types (and weight) are more diverse than what will be present between (different) individual's arms. 
Our students begin with learning how to perform strikes that are made on the aggressor's arms. Strikes made upon the Torso, are addressed differently as they commonly will only be accessible once the arms have been neutralized. When the student gains an understanding of those arm strikes, that same knowledge can be "transferred" to be used when striking the leg's (as the locations that are learned to be utilized on the arm's, can be directly applied for use when striking the leg's). Every location that is shown on an aggressor's arm, can be directly correlated to use on the (opposite) Leg of the aggressor. Fortunately (for the student), they have their own body for referencing those locations. Though most of those locations are known/recognized (by the student), they need only understand the correct angle that they need to be struck at (to elicit the desired result). The majority of those locations can be struck at various angles to elicit different results/reactions. Those variances are dictated by how the limb is being utilized (by the aggressor) at the time of the defender's impact (upon the aggressor's limb). The correct (or more effective) manner to utilize a particular location is always dependent upon how the aggressor is using that limb at the time. The utilized locations are places where the nerves and tendons are readily vulnerable to external impacts and manipulations being applied upon them. 
The term "Kyusho" is commonly used to describe these locations, though "Atemi" would (IMO) be more accurate. "Kyusho" implies a devastating result from its use when more often the locations only exemplify a particular vulnerability (more akin to the meaning of "Atemi", or "distraction"). The whole "labeling" thing, becomes a contest of semantic's. Just as with the whole "TCM" fallacy, these are simply locations, that may or may not have any actual relation to one another. We have chosen to utilize Oyata's perspective on any relationship that those locations may have with one another (which has shown to share a greater relationship to Western medicine than to any "TCM" theories). Those relationships are directly related to commonly recognized principles that are used (and readily available) within Western medical texts. The theories and concepts of TCM are based on random idea's and vary depending upon the presenter's perspective. By using Western theories, they're subject to (multiple) reviews that can either validate or invalidate those ideas. Though variances will exist, those differences can be logically explained/identified and will be demonstrated through recognized models of/for behavior and reaction (rather than through some "obscure" example, I.E. "the position of the tongue" during the application of a technique). For myself, I can now recognize why Oyata dismissed (all of) the TCM Theories. Yes, some of it can demonstrate certain actions and reactions, but it cannot be confirmed, justified or even replicated through demonstrated examples upon varied/multiple individuals. Additionally, one need not learn (much less understand) the often confusing idea's that are contained and taught within that Theory. Oyata's methodology is based upon how motions should be performed the most naturally, and effectively. To the casual observer, those differences often appear to be very subtle, but they change the manner for how those motions have been commonly taught and used. By using Oyata's "Force Efficiency" application manner, those locations are more practically (and easily) utilized. This training begins with how the student is shown to perform the initially introduced body positions and limb motions (Stances and Defensive Strikes). Those variances (from how they are typically seen being done) are dependent upon the student's use of Force Efficiency. Every motion taught, must be performed with that principle being utilized. Student's are inclined to "separate" the instructed principles (from the various motions beings shown to them). To become effective, those principles and various motions must be integrated in order to produce the desired results. This was the concept (ka han shin, ja han shin) that Oyata continuously stressed. Until that concept is an integral part of the student's motion/technique application, any concern for "Atemi/Kyusho" is a futile effort. 
It bears mentioning, that there exists an overbearing concern by student's, in regards to the use of "knock-out" (Neck) strikes. The majority of that concern falls into two camps, the first is in regards to safety (and any lasting effects), the second is in regards to the subjects "recovery" following the strike. The safety concern is one that is justified, but for "healthy" students and the use/application of lightly applied strikes, that concern can be minimized. Over-enthusiastic student/instructor application of those (neck) strikes should not be tolerated (nor even allowed). The lighter application of those motions will convey the desired understanding/result without causing unnecessary risk to the recipient. For healthy student's/subjects, the use of lightly applied neck strikes should not be a concern. The more "troubling" concern (IMO), is in regards to what is being "taught" as being "recovery" technique's/actions (being performed upon recipients of those often "excessively" applied strikes). For the average (and "healthy") recipient, the effects caused by those strikes are more related to "fainting" than to anything else. The commonly taught "Recovery" classes taught by many of those individuals who use (IMO) excessive force with their instruction methods are (medically) total Bullshit.
If you choose to use the TCM theory (for whatever you are doing), when applying "first-aid" (to those victims/recipients), you should utilize "actual" First-Aid methods and techniques. Being on the receiving end of a "neck strike", is most akin to the effects from fainting (a sudden fluctuation in the blood flow of the brain). Strikes applied to the neck, only cause a fluctuation in that blood flow (and they certainly don't cause a "restriction" of blood flow to the brain). Those strikes only affect the blood flow from the brain (similar result, just a technicality that's regularly misunderstood). What should be recognized, is that the subject is experiencing what is more closely related to a "fainting spell". With that being understood, the "medical" response SHOULD be to lay the subject down (if not additionally raise the legs). This allows the blood flow (and pressure) to more easily/readily return to normal. What is commonly seen (within the TCM instruction) is the exact opposite. Additionally, they are commonly seen "slapping" the subject's on (either) the same or opposite sides of their neck (to "stimulate" blood flow?), which as any “first aid” course will inform you, does nothing (productive). Worse yet, they sit the victim up (which limits blood flow to the brain (but provides a longer recovery time, and makes the strike appear to have been more effective). When people try to promote the whole “Chinese Medicine” tripe, this is one practice that goes against any logical treatment method.
What I find sad (if not disturbing), is that these groups often require their people to have been through this (their) “training” classes to learn this nonsense. I'm regularly confronted/questioned why I have such disdain for these types of “training” practices, It is mostly in regards to the regularly promoted stupidity that is associated with it.