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Bill Danosky
04-12-2008, 10:38 PM
I thought it might be a good idea to distinguish between street brawling, self defense and actual life-and-death combat.

In a one-on-one fistfight, you might decide to do some ground grappling. This is typically about proving who's tougher. You may get some interference from the crowd, but this isn't necessarily influencing your tactics. You can lose and live.

In a self defense situation, you want to decisively end the assault, avert the robbery, etc. and basically escape. Going to ground willingly is probably not a good idea because it's assumed you're against more than one opponent. If you lose you might die.

In a real combat situation, guns and other deadly weapons are in play and no tactic or technique is off-limits. You'll be killed if you lose.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu dominates the first situation and tends to win the argument about who's the toughest individual. But you're a football for the second, third, etc. opponent.

Krav Maga is combat style fighting. It's about killing deadly attackers.

Aikido is great for things like bar bouncing. Get control of a person or situation with the minimum amount of scuffle and injury.

It seems vital to have more than one skillset up your sleeve. I hear O Sensei did.

Aikibu
04-12-2008, 10:51 PM
Combat is clearly defined to me as violence commited by one person upon another ( or one nation upon another) with the intent to seriously injure or kill them.

That includes street fights

Bar brawls

Domestic Violence

War

Here's a real life paradox on combat... I know an Aikidoka who died over a parking spot...He tried to reason with the perp... the perp hit him in the face... He fell... cracked his head on the curb and died...

Did the Aikidoka fail to realize he was in a "combat" situation???

Sadly I think so....and so did the justice system so the dude went to jail for murder 2...

William Hazen

Bill Danosky
04-12-2008, 11:09 PM
This is getting close to the point of my post:

I don't think it's all war. Therefore, I think using war waza in every situation is not a good idea.

You can't know whether it's another person's intention to seriously injure you vs. killing you, so you need to be able to adequately control the situation.

Even in the case that someone means to kill you, you may not necessarily elect to kill them if you know you can subdue them with a decisive pin. But if your instinct tells you it's called for, you'd better have some real budo in your repertoire!

Walter Martindale
04-13-2008, 03:06 AM
Combat is something I hope never to experience.

Was speaking with a veteran of the Korea conflict recently - he said, among other things, one of the things you rarely read about and don't have in the movies is the smell of a war. The smell of dead, rotting bodies. The smell of boots that you've taken from a dead enemy because yours were inadequate, and then not taken off in 3 months of active duty. He also spent some time in Indochina, and has an interesting outlook. Most of what a pencil-pusher sees as important really doesn't matter, and he has no time whatsoever for bureaucrats. Always looking for an opportunity to crack a joke.

What is combat? Fight. Fight until you're unconscious (I've borrowed this phrase from someone, can't remember who). If you don't end up unconscious and your opponent does, you're lucky - get the heck out of there before he wakes up and sues you or before his friends show up. Hope the heck that a) the opponent doesn't know you for later retribution or legal redress, and b) that the opponent actually does wake up - modern forensic science will find your DNA unless your combat was executed from a significant distance. Some joke that it's better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6, but it's better to be neither - avoid combat where possible. If your life, or that of someone who needs protection is in the balance - that's "self defense" and most likely justifiable.

If you do end up unconscious and, subsequently, you wake up, you're lucky whether or not it feels that way.

If you don't wake up, well, it's over, and it's someone else's problem. If you want to save your loved ones from having to deal with the aftermath of an unsuccessful combat session, avoid it. As Churchill said, "Jaw, Jaw is better than War, War". (Jaw being an euphimism for discussion, in case anyone doesn't get it.)

I hope I never experience combat, no matter how much "self defense" training I do.

W

Flintstone
04-13-2008, 04:24 AM
I don't think it's all war. Therefore, I think using war waza in every situation is not a good idea.
Somehow I feel like, indeed, all waza is "war waza". Just with a different ending move. But then I never experienced combat so...

Kevin Leavitt
04-13-2008, 08:48 AM
Call it what you want put violence is violence. On the very base level We come up with reasons and justification for doing what we are doing.

The term War is typically used by nations, states, or larger groups of people than smaller. The term war typically means that there is an on-going or protracted plan to dominate or incapacitate another so as you can control or cause him/her to capitualate. (or something like that). It can be as small as a gang in a city.

Wars can be fought for many reasons, of course. The key to them is that they are usually diliberate, require pre-meditation, and usually have a campaign or smaller subsets called battles, skirmishes, or whatever else you decide is appropriate for inflicting violence.

That out of the way......

Bill, I think you are getting somethings kinda tied up together.

Fights, brawls, self defense, and all that...knives, guns etc....it is all violence. One or more parties for whatever reason have chosen to commit an act of physical or mental violence against another.

It may be pre-meditated or not...

It could be a flash of drunken, hormonal emotion like in a bar fight.

There might be some implied rules, or some established rules mutually agreed upon.

Each side may have is own established paradigm about what he or she thought the rules are. They may not match!

Rules, there are always rules. Especially for soldiers in what we commonly refer to as war. LOTS of Rules! More than you care to know...pages and pages of rules. Geneva Convention, Rules of Engagement, Escalation of Force, Memorandums of Understanding, Memorandums of Agreement, Uniform Code of Military Justice...I could go on!

I think it is important to not confuse MACRO concepts with MICRO.

Geneva Convention would be an example of MACRO.

MICRO would be two guys involved in a hand to hand fight with the intent of killing each other.

At that point each is fighting for his life. Rules don't count at the moment of battle, in all cases you can use whatever means to survive. In all cases, to include soldiers, once you have rendered the individual incapacitated or unable to effect the fight, you must stop.

Same rules apply in civilian world. No difference.

Bill,

I also disagree with your generalizations of BJJ, Krav Maga, and Aikido. They are training methodologiess, not defaults for fighting.

A BJJ guy knows as much about multiple opponents as anyone, so to imply that he would not be able to handle himself with more than one is not so.

Krav Maga, certainly spends a fair amount of time teaching down and dirty stuff. However, it does not have the corner on the market of lethality. Ask yourself why the U.S. Army does not train our Combatives this way, when we could have chosen to do that?

Aikido, sure it has somethings in it that are good for Bar Bouncing. BJJ has the exact same things in them, and to be honest may even be better given the closeness of people in bars for the initial engagement. Aikido, especially when you consider Jo Waza, has some very useful things in it for combat that other arts don't practice much.

I see where you are going with the Concept of MMA. Yes all the arts have various strengths that cause one to be well rounded as a martial artist.

If one were to study BJJ, Krav Maga, and Aikido they would be probably more well rounded than someone who did not.

You can also waste a great deal of your time if your goal is simply to be "combat efffective".

the secret to being "combat Effective" is to simply "train as you fight". That is, figure out the strategies and scenarios that you will encounter in combat, and then you focus on developing the skills necessary to exploit them.

difference is Timing, speed, and realism that you add to your training. Known to many as Aliveness.

The more you add, the more experience and skill you will gain, (If you can survive the training :)) There are tradeoffs of course.

Once you become focused in the area, it doesn't matter what you call it or what you study, the situation drives the training and your responses and lessons learned from them become your waza.

See organizations like Tony Blauer's company for good examples of training this way.

Is there room for Budo? Most definitely, for reasons other than simply gaining "hard combat/fighting skills".

That is another topic all together though!

Enough of my ramblings.

Bill Danosky
04-13-2008, 08:58 AM
Somehow I feel like, indeed, all waza is "war waza".

Maybe we could agree that all waza that includes hitting,cutting or stabbing your opponent with any object at hand, breaking their bones, stomping them on the ground, gouging their eyes, etc is "war waza".

I'd even venture that shooting your opponent is war waza. I'm considering here what happens in your mind when you're making your last stand.

Kevin Leavitt
04-13-2008, 09:11 AM
If your contemplating your life as it was...then you know you are dead.

Ketsan
04-13-2008, 05:55 PM
Combat to me is the implimentation of any strategy designed to overcome or subdue another person or group of people.

Buck
04-13-2008, 06:43 PM
Can it be that we are making too much of cookie cutting? Didn't O'Sensei say there is no difference from fighting one person or many.

Brawling, isn't that shouting, quarrelling, and yelling in a place of worship? We can eliminate that.

Self-defense isn't going to change if your fighting for your life, or fighting to avoid harm. Self-defense isn't going to change if your on the street, in a ring or on a battle field. If your being attacked in your home, or on the street, or on a battle field you fight to protect yourself from harm with all you got, with what ever you got.

Sport fighters fight differently in a ring then on the street. Sport fighters like boxers, and MMA fighters are sport fighters. It is entertainment. The fighters are paid to fight not play a game like football, or hockey, and are under rules in a ring. In a bar fight, a professional sport fighter has an advantage over many, so does a good martial artist, and so does a good scraper. If any of those who are attacked in their home do have a weapon they will use it first before going mono a mono. It would be the same for those trained in martial arts or not.

If your under an attack that isn't a sports fight then your fighting for your life and limb. You fight with everything you got and if you life depended upon it. You may not kill your attacker, or bust him up once you have control over him. That is your choose. But I don't think what your trained in as is important as how hard you fight.

Does MMA fighters fight harder, sure some do. The serious ones, like Dana White said, "to weed out the [wimpy] and the posers" so not everyone in MMA is a tough or good fighter. Not everyone in martial arts are ineffective. Just as there are some street scrapers who are very effective street fighters.

I think you have two areas of fighting, self-defense and sport. That's all there is. You have two types of people. One is those who want to be and can become professional fighters. The other is everyone else. You can find good people in both that can defend themselves on the street, and those who can.

I think MMA fans sometimes are trapped seeing things only in us vs them. That is because of the early BJJ saying stuff to promote them selves. You can train any dog to hunt, but talent is something you can't teach.

You can’t predict what a person will do under duress of a stressful attack. Some people will jump into the fire and save a baby from a burning building. Others will freeze unable to move. The advantage MMA or boxing has when in many competitions you can learn not to freeze. Being a solider in a combat zone where there is real pressure for survival trumps MMA. Or just going out and getting into real fights on the street using your martial arts or street skills, if you don’t become a solider. Again, we have two types of situations real and controlled. It isn’t what you train in, it is who you are. When you in a real life and death situation your under duress, and you will grab the most effective tool to eliminate the threat. You need to be trained to act under duress to use that tool. It doesn't matter if it is from Martial arts, MMA, dirty street fighting or the prefered tool of choice when it comes to saving your life, a gun.

Bill Danosky
04-13-2008, 08:28 PM
I like this observation about sport fighting and real fighting. But I think cops, for instance, have a different mentality and set of techinques than soldiers, so I'd suggest that there are maybe two different levels of "combat". Which is what I'm asking about here.

Since it's established that under stress you fall back on your training, a martial artist might benefit from training under three modes of fighting. Then you'd have different skillsets to resort to, depending on what mentality your instincts trigger.

And yes, it sadly seems like the Aikidoka in William's post misinterpreted his situation. He would have had a much better chance of surviving his encounter had he fought instead of talked.

Buck
04-13-2008, 09:41 PM
I goofed. I didn't pay enough attention to what you said. I think more in undivided terms. There are no levels of martial, it is all martial. I look at it as matching up the circumstances of defense with the circumstances of the attack. I guess you can say blending, harmony or adjusting to the attack with the proper force and application needed to defeat the attack. Gee, I really shouldn't give feedback on this because all combat is combat in my mind. If I thought differently I might be able to give feedback.

Let me added, that it is experience in conflicts that let us know when talking will defuse the situation or to fight. Misinterpreting a situation is easy to do. Most people try to talk a situation down first, and use reason. Most of are taught that in school at a very early age. We carry that through out our lives and it works in many situations. The law tells you that too. We are civilized right? I think the Aikido did what he was trained to do. I don't think he expected to be hit over a parking spot. Why would the Aikidoka attack some one over a parking spot in the first place.

Buck
04-13-2008, 10:40 PM
Most people know assault and battery is against the law. Most people don't do it. Instead we fight with words. The Aikidoka who was killed didn't expect to be hit, because he was being attacked with words. He let his guard down. What killed him wasn't the hit but the impact to the hard ground from being hit. Was he in a combat situation, by having some one argue with him over a parking spot? I am not sure what level of intensity the arguing was at. The other guy may have normally argued over the spot in a common manner that many of us experience in our daily lives. A situation that rarely results in violence. How hostile was the other guy, was he giving any indication he was going to strike? Tough situation to call when you don't have all the facts.

Say your in crowed line and bump in the person behind you accidentally as a result of the crowd. The person you bumped into then stabs you in the back,or less violently punches you with your back turned. Did you know you’re in a combat situation? I don't think the Aikidoka did either. Hind sight is 20/20, as they say. It is really difficult to know what people will do.

We are not super people with super sensory perception telling us we are in a combat situation. We are people. Because we are people the key then is the universal self-defense rule of being aware at all times. Even if you do you are still susceptible. To be attacked in public only requires the attacker to have that right split second to attack.

Really what I am saying is, I am cutting the unfortunate Aikidoka some slack. He was human, and it was unfortunate he died over a paking spot. Honestly, it is a sad commentary on our civilization. I don't think even if he was MMA trained for example it would have made any difference sadly. I think the only difference might have been in his personality and background, and not what art he practiced.

Just my old hayp'ny worth.

What is combat I think is a good question.

Bill Danosky
04-13-2008, 10:46 PM
I've heard a lot of the training Secret Service agents go through is sort-of "spot the loony" in the crowd. So a lot of aggressor profile stuff.

Instincts are a key element of this conversation- As Aikidoka, it's great knowing we have soft options or we can seriously injure an opponent. But then you have a responsibility to correctly surmise which level your encounter is, and mount the appropriate response.

That's why it's so easy to make a mistake, and I bet the Monday morning quarterbacking is relentless if you survive a deadly enounter.

If you're doing a kote gaeshi on a gun weilding opponent, how close to kihon is it going to be? You don't need much discretion to know how far to take it. Against a drunk at a wedding reception, a little softer technique might be in order...

Kevin Leavitt
04-13-2008, 11:00 PM
Bill wrote:

I like this observation about sport fighting and real fighting. But I think cops, for instance, have a different mentality and set of techinques than soldiers, so I'd suggest that there are maybe two different levels of "combat". Which is what I'm asking about here.

What is the difference in mentality?

What are the two different levels of combat that you see?

Some clarification of these two points might help me to understand a little better about what you are looking for.

Bill wrote:

Since it's established that under stress you fall back on your training, a martial artist might benefit from training under three modes of fighting. Then you'd have different skillsets to resort to, depending on what mentality your instincts trigger.

What three modes are you referring to? Sport, Law Enforcement, Soldiering?

What are the different skillsets you are talking about?

Not sure I understand what you mean by "mentalities your instincts trigger"?

You refer to instincts in your last post, what instincts are you talking about specifically? startle/flinch? or others?

Not trying to be a pain in the butt, but I don't really understand what you are trying to get at...sorry.

Buck
04-14-2008, 12:01 AM
I am sorry for posting so much. What I am getting at is that sure people can say that the Aikidoka failed. If he was using my art, they would say, then he would be alive. Well that is hindsight. Every one can be defeated.

I am also saying combat doesn't have levels, people have levels. A cop doesn't use deadly force on someone running a red light, or when a fleeing suspect is caught by a cop is immediately thrown to the ground, and choked out. Another example is why take a drunk to the ground mount him then ground n' pound until he is K.O.ed, only because he took poor swing at you and missed in a bar? Sport MMA fighting isn't good for public use, it works on one level. The ring level where it dominates. Or when you find yourself on the ground, and the other guy is on top of you.

Aikido works on many levels, but on one level it doesn't work well on is sport fighting. Aikido works well when controling someone is important. I know of cops who use it when they need to cuff someone. I know Aikido is good for come-alongs, and disarming someone, be it a gun or a broom strick. Aikido doesn't work well when your on the ground.

Combat then is any situation where you realize you are needing to defend yourself physically. How you react to the threat is based on your profession if it applies i.e. a cop or solider, personality and background, your martial art and level of training, other training outside martial arts, and the type of situation your are in. To say MMA fits all situations is as wrong as to say Aikido fits all situations. I think combat can be looked as levels two levels, mock which would be things like Randori and ring fighting, and actual combat such as any real situation. Real combat has degrees of intensity, from the awkwardly swinging drunk, to someone shooting at you.

I think some people mix that idea up, and confuse mock fighting for the real thing. In a real fight it comes on quick most of the time. Some fights have the common telegraphing of trash talking, then bumping or pushing, then going to blows. But not every situation follows that pattern. Or it doesn't require the K.O.ing of the attacker. Decernment and having the skills to meet as many levels as possible is what I think helps keep the combat situation to a low intensity level. In that way you have greater control over the situation and being able to managable it better.

Every art and sport has a weak point. Knowing your weakness is a strenght in any combat situation. Not thinking you have a weakness is fatal. Lots of people do make that mistake. For me, Combat is one thing, and not parted out. It is being able to read the combat situation properly and apply the right skills and tools accordingly, that is the key. Not an easy thing to do. People have to train in stressful situations and under duress to be more successful than not. Not everyone has the training for that or does train to do that. And when they find themselves in that situation where they are not trained and are not prepared, they experience fail. Failure can be freezing or over-reacting. It isn't the art then, it is the person who trains to deal with real situations (real combat) accordingly. I am just saying one size doesn't fit all. Just because you train, it doesn't mean you can or you will. Real combat of any kind or intensity isn't in found in ring, or a dojo. A ring is a competition, a dojo is a place to train. Both are different types of training. At the end of the day what really matters?

I could be way off base. I don't want to sound if I am arguing with anyone. It's my hayp'ny thrown in. A different angle.

SeiserL
04-14-2008, 06:19 AM
I have long said that training is not sparring, sparring is not fighting, fighting is not combat. The difference in intent and intensity.

I am with Leavitt on this one for some obvious reasons.

DonMagee
04-14-2008, 07:07 AM
I love how mma fighting is always ground fighting. There are plenty of guys in MMA with weak ground skills who prefer to stay on their feet and knock people out with brutal punches and kicks. No different then 99% of all striking martial arts out there with the sole exception of the fact that they actually get to use the tools they develop.

To me it all sounds like elitism. If you say MMA is impractical, then by logical extension, everything else that is used in MMA must be impractical. I submit that TKD, Karate, Judo, BJJ, Japanese Jiujitsu, (and thus by extension all aiki variants including aikido) must all be worthless.

The only difference between sport and street is the regard you have for your opponent and the mindset you approach the fight.

My favorite example of 'real' self defense was a bunch of bjj guys bullshitting after a workout. A few white belts were talking about what they would do if they got attacked in a bar. One talked about his take down knocking the guy out, the other talked about his ground and pound, another mentioned he was more a striker and would punch the guy out. Finally a very experienced mma fighter and blue belt spoke up. He said "I would just try to stay away until the bouncers came and threw him out."

So here we have a bunch of new guys dreaming, and a experienced fighter showing how to use that knowledge. I think he has it figured out much more then 99% of the martial artists out there.

Bill Danosky
04-14-2008, 10:54 AM
Bill wrote:

What is the difference in mentality?

What are the two different levels of combat that you see?

Some clarification of these two points might help me to understand a little better about what you are looking for...
Not trying to be a pain in the butt, but I don't really understand what you are trying to get at...sorry.

The mentalities are what's especially interesting to me. I have observed that in a low intensity conflict (let's say, the aggressive drunk in a bar scenario) you are in a state of mind where you're operating on some instinct and yet you still have some cognitive influence. You decide how to handle the situation, but the execution of your actions are dictated by your training and habits.

In a situation where your survival might be threatened or you are extremely angry, an interesting thing seems to happen- you revert to what I call "observer mode" where you are acting purely on instinct and are almost watching from behind. It's almost like, "Oh, look what I'm doing. How interesting." Your thoughts have no influence on your actions and probably you have to reconstruct the event later just to know what you did.

I have heard from people who've been there, that in extremely high stress combat (desperate, hand-to-hand combat) there is often yet another state of mind. This is the "last stand" mentality I referred to earlier. Your animal instincts are directing your actions and even though you have characteristically given up your hope of survival and a future, you will do anything just to keep fighting. Time slows down. Nonessential functions are shut down and a strange sense of calm is described by people who've experienced this.

The "anything" you'll do to keep fighting here, plus the actions your instincts direct in the first two scenarios are what I'm getting at. I'm suggesting that if you train distinctly for each of them you'll have clear and appropriate responses and your actions will be optimal, as long as you correctly discern the situation you're in.

What do you guys think?

Demetrio Cereijo
04-14-2008, 11:51 AM
I have heard from people who've been there, that in extremely high stress combat (desperate, hand-to-hand combat) there is often yet another state of mind. This is the "last stand" mentality I referred to earlier. Your animal instincts are directing your actions and even though you have characteristically given up your hope of survival and a future, you will do anything just to keep fighting. Time slows down. Nonessential functions are shut down and a strange sense of calm is described by people who've experienced this.

What do you guys think?

Have you asked them if they'd like to be there again?

Bill Danosky
04-14-2008, 02:14 PM
I assume you're being smart, Demitri. But there's an interesting answer to your question- Have you asked them if they'd like to be there again?

In the first two types of incidents, yes they might. The action can be addicting and those survivors might even become thrillseeking types afterward.

In the third instance- where the likelihood of survival was negligible and the fighting was desperate and dirty- not at all. Those survivors often become lifetime pacifists.

I wonder if that was a factor in O Sensei's famous revelation? I've never heard detailed accounts, but he was apparently faced with death on quite a number of occasions. Even though he was promoting peace when he was travelling in China, his experiences there did seem to influence his philosophies...

Aristeia
04-14-2008, 02:30 PM
. Another example is why take a drunk to the ground mount him then ground n' pound until he is K.O.ed, only because he took poor swing at you and missed in a bar? Sport MMA fighting isn't good for public use, .

Are you suggesting that MMA doesn't have good options for simply controlling someone?

It's interesting to me how some of us here sometimes cop flack for talking MMA/BJJ and yet it's never us that brings it up. This thread is a perfect example.

You really don't need to come up with complex theories to explain why training Aikido is a good thing. "I like it and it makes me a better person" should be enough.

Aikibu
04-14-2008, 03:21 PM
You really don't need to come up with complex theories to explain why training Aikido is a good thing. "I like it and it makes me a better person" should be enough.

Glad someone other than just me feels this way. :)

William Hazen

KIT
04-14-2008, 05:00 PM
Some of the comments on this thread give me the feeling that I have just been stabbed in the eye - does that count?? :freaky:

Seriously, though, I think Bill is closer to my definition of it, if only in terms of the immediate threat to life aspect.

I will leave MMA out of it - I just don't think there is enough background here amongst most of the posters to properly address MMA in its combat-adapted format.

And, ahem, Dana White is NOT an MMA fighter....

Speaking from the LE/tactical perspective, simple threat of violence/presence of violence I do not define as a combative encounter. The potential is always there, but has to be realized in my mind for the definition to change.

I have been within feet of multiple people armed with knives in the midst of critical encounters. ALL were ended at gunpoint without anything more than proning out and a wristlock/pin prior to cuffing. Many, many more involving people armed with firearms, and even shots fired prior to arrival, or even shots fired after our arrival but which were resolved without anyone getting seriously hurt.

Was that combat? I think a Marine with experience in Fallujah would beg to differ.

Those were people who willingly submitted to authority and threat of danger to themselves. They weren't interested in fighting. The vast majority of police arrests involve zero or very little physical force - that isn't even a fight, let alone "combat."

We have a saying - I'd rather have a shooting than be in a gunfight. If I ended up shooting a man armed with an Airsoft pistol, though a legitimate legal shooting if I felt it was real and I was threatened - is that combat?

I think there has to be an imminent, intentional, interpersonal threat of serious bodily injury or death for it to actually be "combat." I think soldier or LE or citizen, if life and limb is on the line, it is combat and there isn't much difference in terms of use of force or mechanics. The rules are no different for a cop, a citizen, or a soldier if you can articulate actual threat - its the level that you are able to respond with deadly force that is different for them, and the type of encounter you will more than likely face.



I have heard from people who've been there, that in extremely high stress combat (desperate, hand-to-hand combat) there is often yet another state of mind. This is the "last stand" mentality I referred to earlier. Your animal instincts are directing your actions and even though you have characteristically given up your hope of survival and a future, you will do anything just to keep fighting. Time slows down. Non-essential functions are shut down and a strange sense of calm is described by people who've experienced this.



There is another state of mind, but I wouldn't call it "last stand." If I have learned anything from a taste of that mindset, it would be that animal instincts will often get you killed - they are what allows people to be overwhelmed even in stress scenarios with simulated threats, let alone real ones. Besides, animal instinct is to run FROM threats (like gunfire), not run toward them. As a professional you are tasked to run into that gunfire and your training has hopefully prepared you to do so.

Appropriate training is what you must rely on to override animal instincts, while still being informed by them, because there is literally no time to think - all your thought processes must be on the tactical situation, improving it, and keeping from getting overwhelmed by it.

Do anything to keep fighting - absolutely! This is the default mindset and MUST be so ingrained that it is almost instinctive.

NEVER, EVER, EVER give up the hope for survival. Absolute wrong mindset to have. People with minor injuries have given themselves up to die, and done so, or done nothing to mitigate or improve their situation and only survived by luck. But luck more often favors the Prepared.

And would some of us like to be there again? It depends how you define it - like to? No. Willingly do so because it is a professional obligation? Because it validated your training and experience, and "if not me, then who?" Absolutely 100%

It depends on how you process what happens to you - how well prepared you were for it to begin with. Being absolutely willing to do it again is beyond the comprehension of many people that have never been there and never will - even fellow professionals who carry guns and go into harm's way.

Some people get it, and know exactly why.

KIT
04-14-2008, 05:24 PM
These guys might be able to help us define "combat:"

http://www.warriorsthefilm.com/Movie.html

They also shed light on the question of "What is a Warrior?" Something that judging from the frequent threads asking just that question, many participants on martial arts forums seem to struggle with.

Buck
04-14-2008, 09:00 PM
Kit,

Great information and input, I got a question. Would you agree that a person who has a mind set of not wanting to be killed or injured-unwillingly- when caught in a fight would be combat? And that the levels of duress are based on situation. Including those being attacked have experience vs. those not experienced at all in high stressful situations? For example, like the girl beat up by 8 others, thinking she was going to die then and there before she was K.O. She may have felt the same level of duress prior and during that point of when she got K.O. The same duress and intensity that a trained solider might feel for the first time while being in a fire fight. Wouldn't both these people feel high levels of duress even though their situations aren't the same? Isn't each an example of a real combat situation?

What do you say about when 2 MMA fighters enter a ring, they both know that there is a ref to stop the fight and protect a fighter. There are medics, trainers, and doctors at ring side to aid them. Both know each will have to comply to a list of rules, i.e. no eye gouging, face stomping, and the list goes on. Is that combat or is it a tournament competition? Are the mind set same as the solider and the girl? What am getting at is, isn't part of real combat not knowing there is someone who will step in and stop it. Not having rules, or being matched up against someone who is your same weight and height. Not having all the other things that go into competition that make a safety net? Physiologically know you have a safety net does play a role in changing the mind set. The purpose of having a safety net is so the fighters don't suffer serious or life threatening injury, like having a eye gouged out, so they can make the next fight.

What do you think? Just curious what your take is.

Kevin Leavitt
04-14-2008, 09:20 PM
Bill wrote:

The mentalities are what's especially interesting to me. I have observed that in a low intensity conflict (let's say, the aggressive drunk in a bar scenario) you are in a state of mind where you're operating on some instinct and yet you still have some cognitive influence. You decide how to handle the situation, but the execution of your actions are dictated by your training and habits.

In a situation where your survival might be threatened or you are extremely angry, an interesting thing seems to happen- you revert to what I call "observer mode" where you are acting purely on instinct and are almost watching from behind. It's almost like, "Oh, look what I'm doing. How interesting." Your thoughts have no influence on your actions and probably you have to reconstruct the event later just to know what you did.

I have heard from people who've been there, that in extremely high stress combat (desperate, hand-to-hand combat) there is often yet another state of mind. This is the "last stand" mentality I referred to earlier. Your animal instincts are directing your actions and even though you have characteristically given up your hope of survival and a future, you will do anything just to keep fighting. Time slows down. Nonessential functions are shut down and a strange sense of calm is described by people who've experienced this.

The "anything" you'll do to keep fighting here, plus the actions your instincts direct in the first two scenarios are what I'm getting at. I'm suggesting that if you train distinctly for each of them you'll have clear and appropriate responses and your actions will be optimal, as long as you correctly discern the situation you're in.

What do you guys think?

I don't know if I follow you too well on this line of thought or if I completely understand your thought process or catagorization of things.

Not saying you are necessarily wrong here, but I don't really know how to answer this directly.

I suppose I don't delineate things quite that far. I don't get in bar fights, so I can't say I would know what mentality would occur there.

Also, I don't fight violently over domestic issues where emotions run high and anger comes in to play.

As a soldier though we apply the same emotion and skill I suppose through low intensity conflict (LIC) all the way up to High Intensity conflict (HIC). You simply condition and train to respond appropriately based on what is presented to you and what the ROE call for.

Sure the level of fear and andrenaline may increase, yes things may slow down or may seem sureal to you. It is why you must train and condition yourself physically and mentally to respond in training.

If you don't do something in training, you probably won't do it in battle when there is not time to think about it. Training becomes habits, habits become automatic.

well trained habits are not instincts.

On "doing anything to survive":

That has not been my observation Watch some of the knife attack videos, most people seem to be in a state of denial and still processing what is happening, they never fight back they join the "fetal fight club" or watch themselves get stabbed as they sprawl their hands out to stop the attack.

Watch the early UFCs for another good example. Several fighters joined the FFC. Once their basic game plan was broken, they had nothing but instincts left, and they curled up on the floor in a tight ball to protect themselves.

I had a lady a few years ago get her arm caught in a subway, passengers stood around looking at her still processing it. Sheep....instincts.

You can have all the cognitive processing and rationalization you want too, but it may not matter if your enemy is controlling you. You will always be processing it one step behind him.

So, it boils down to habits and things that are ingrained at the muscle memory level. Train as you fight.

It is about increasing the intensity and stress level as far as you can and maintain acceptable levels of safety (or acceptable levels of risk) replicating the conditions you will face. You then work on the things you need to do in those situations conditioning the responses until they are ingrained. You can then call them "skills".

Skills may be "instinctual" but they are not "instincts". Some of the skills will be like riding a bike..you never forget. Others are perishable and you must train them over and over again in order to retain or improve them.

Anyway, that is my experiences. I don't know much about the Mentalities etc. Some people or mentally and physically tough, and some chose not to be. From my experiences "giving up" is a decision that you make on your on accord with free will. Either you do or you don't.

Physical stamina is gained through working out, that is all I can say about that. EIther you have it or you don't. there are varying degrees, of course.

Their is a linkage between being mentally and physically tough as well.

So, you have skills and habits, you choose to be mentally tough, and you develop/condition your body to be able to bring yourself to the fight....everything else is the situation presented.

That is how I see it basically.

Buck
04-14-2008, 09:28 PM
Are you suggesting that MMA doesn't have good options for simply controlling someone?



Nope, not at all.

Bill Danosky
04-14-2008, 10:50 PM
It sounds like many of the members have a background in law enforcement or the military? Most seasoned cops (and combat vets) have probably had a scene go bad and have at least seen the second state.

Maybe the usual cuff-and-stuff tactics aren't working and the perp begins to turn the tables a little. I am thinking you've got to have another level of game worked out ahead of time, and maybe one more after that, in case things really don't turn out.

What makes the difference? What we're willing to resort to? Aikidoka are somewhat unique because we train to decide how hard we're going to do a technique each time. So there's a built in sense of ethics.

Shihan put you down light as a feather because they can. But you know they could separate your upper and lower torso along the way if they chose to.

KIT
04-14-2008, 11:25 PM
Phil

Perhaps not surprisingly, I strongly follow Kevin in his thinking. We are both trainers of guys who face "combat" situations, typically in very different environments, but because he teaches close combat, probably more alike than not.

Kit,

...Would you agree that a person who has a mind set of not wanting to be killed or injured-unwillingly- when caught in a fight would be combat? And that the levels of duress are based on situation.

In general, yes. They are often based on the person as well. Some people will overreact to a situation that would not necessarily be combative, and their psychological and physiological reaction might be the same as a much more trained and experienced person would undergo in a much more "combative" situation. Some people get completely overwhelmed in Simunition scenarios - which aren't even real, though the stress they produce can be for some people.

Including those being attacked have experience vs. those not experienced at all in high stressful situations? For example, like the girl beat up by 8 others, thinking she was going to die then and there before she was K.O. She may have felt the same level of duress prior and during that point of when she got K.O. The same duress and intensity that a trained solider might feel for the first time while being in a fire fight. Wouldn't both these people feel high levels of duress even though their situations aren't the same? Isn't each an example of a real combat situation?

To my thinking, yes. Eight on one in a committed attack, even unarmed, is a lethal threat situation. I would shoot people who were doing that to me. Understand, too, that there is a certain level of default to experience - that soldier who might have been shot at repeatedly from guys fifty or a hundred yards away, and might be a crack shot, might freak out and lose all composure when attacked by eight guys at close range who intend to stomp him to death.

- RE: MMA - snip -

Physiologically know you have a safety net does play a role in changing the mind set. The purpose of having a safety net is so the fighters don't suffer serious or life threatening injury, like having a eye gouged out, so they can make the next fight.

What do you think? Just curious what your take is.

Hmmm, let me see if I can address this and how I think about it without causing too much of a stir.

Physiologically, actually, the results will be very similar, and I think there is some research to show that this is the case.

Though I've trained it, I've never fought MMA, but I have to tell you, Judo shiai has been next to my closest experience to real, "combative" physical encounters (in other words not "resisting arrest" but situations where people have bitten me, eye gouged me, groin grabbed me, attacked me once we went to the ground, etc.). The speed, dynamics, and heart pounding intensity have been very close.

I can only imagine that MMA, with far less rules, would be closer still. There is a safety net for obvious reasons, but while the brain intellectually understands that, which will lessen the stress, the body really doesn't know the difference.

The closest experience to the real thing has been intense, close quarters, combined Simunition with hand to hand combat drills - where the other guy is actively trying to shoot you from a few feet away to contact distance.

Once again, not the real thing, but the dynamics and speed closely mirror reality.

Some people will decry MMA as rules bound and not like real fighting, and yet hold up Simunition force on force training as tantamount to real gunfighting, though it is just as rules bound and "unrealistic" in a completely different way...

And others will do Sim drills as if it is "paintball with real guns" and lose much of the training value in it.

Still others will "nut up" as if it was the real thing and they actually think they are going to die - as Kevin talks about people go fetal, I've seen them throw their guns down and run out of the room, I've seen them simply give up, completely go "out of scenario" and raise their hand and go "my gun's not working!!!"

The point is its TRAINING. No training perfectly mirrors reality because the MINDSET is different. Even if the dynamics are relatively the same. Some folks don't even have the mindset to handle the simulated reality, let alone the reality.

Force on Force Simunition drills and scenarios, and MMA, are the next best thing to real combat. The difference is in how we approach both in our minds.

Now, as Kevin says - as you train, so shall you do. Don't for a second mistake me as saying that I think that MMA is "all you need." I have seen MMA fighters who are also officers completely ignore that guns are involved in a situation in favor of MMA moves that get their guns taken away. I've also had them tell me "I never thought of that" when I show them combative applications of standard MMA moves but applied to gun or knife - I don't tell them the dirty little secret that I stole much of my thinking on that from traditional martial arts, especially armed jujutsu.

You have to integrate that in your training - mentally and physically. I try to discipline myself when doing Judo or BJJ to think how I would access a weapon in certain situations. Or I will place my hand on a partner's face momentarily, and say to myself "eye gouge" or the like, just to make sure I pattern that thinking in my training. I also have other training outlets where I can much more directly incorporate those things - without actually eye gouging, etc. though - and deal with weapons based stuff - there is simply no substitute than having a blue or purple belt level, or higher, BJJ guy who is also a cop, familiar with guns, and familiar with your holster, actually trying to take your gun and use it against you in a freestyle "gun grappling" fight. Add striking and dirty tactic "benchmarks" (since you aren't actually doing it to each other) and that is about the closest you can come to reality.

In the end, no matter what you are training, if you are not training with combatively realistic dynamics in addition to a combatively realistic awareness, you aren't training as realistically as you can be. This is admittedly less important for the martial artist than it is for the armed professional, by and large.

KIT
04-14-2008, 11:29 PM
Aikidoka are somewhat unique because we train to decide how hard we're going to do a technique each time. So there's a built in sense of ethics.


Not unique at all, its part and parcel of how Judo is applied as well. Many standard Judo throws even in their sportive version will seriously hurt an untrained person, especially on concrete.

Kevin Leavitt
04-14-2008, 11:30 PM
Not sure about cops...but soldiers don't have "scenes that go bad". They have battles and fights, in which they fight, die, win, and survive (hopefully). Might be semantics, but I think it is important to look at it in the proper light. It's not like we are trying to avoid the situations.

I don't think aikidoka are unique at all, or have a corner on the market of choice concerning how hard they get to do a technique. I think the way we train lends us to think that way, which I think is dangerous thought. Certainly training and skill can expand they choices you "might" have, but aikidoka don't own it by any stretch of the imagination.

Ethics are on the person, not in the techniques...techniques are not ethical, only the choices we make to take action. Again, aikidoka study to be ethical I think, but that does not mean we have more or less skill in what we do when acting in a martial capacity. Ethics I think are a mental thing or a state of mind.

Maybe Shihans can or can't do this. Certainly in a dojo in a controlled environment they can demonstrate the range and skill that is possible...I don't think though it directly transmit to reality. They may or may not be able to demonstrate the same level of skill or proficiency in a combat environment over anyone else....too many variables!

Aikibu
04-14-2008, 11:31 PM
What makes the difference? What we're willing to resort to? Aikidoka are somewhat unique because we train to decide how hard we're going to do a technique each time. So there's a built in sense of ethics.

Shihan put you down light as a feather because they can. But you know they could separate your upper and lower torso along the way if they chose to.

This as they say... is a whole other ball of wax and I don't think Aikido is unique in this regard at all.... Every Martial Art I have ever seen or practiced has a "built in sense of ethics."

Ethics don't mean squat if you don't practice them under all conditions Combat or otherwise and my heart goes out to those currently in harms way who have to act outside of those ethics because they don't have time to think about ethics before they pull the trigger or lase the "suspected terrorist safe house" or drop the "surgically precise" JADAM on same safe house only to spend the rest of thier lives dealing with the "minimal collateral damage"

Some of the most ethical people I know Men I would follow into the gates of hell get to spend the rest of thier lives haunted by what they had to do in War.

My God Bless them and ease thier suffering.

To compare Aikido's "ethical structure" as unique in the light of this kind of reality is rediculous

"War is HELL and cannot be refined least men grow too fond of it!"

Rant Over

William Hazen

Kevin Leavitt
04-14-2008, 11:36 PM
an example of ethics:

I am a vegetarian because I believe it wrong to uneccessarily take life when it is not required. I value all life equally, and think killing is wrong.

That is my ethics and values.

However, it does not mean there are not conditions that exist in which I will not kill.

In the situation that Kit mentions, 8 on 1 with presumed intent, I am not going to ponder my personal ethics against killing at that point in time.

Did I fail in an AIki sense? Did I fail to follow an ethical life or path?

KIT
04-15-2008, 12:43 AM
However, it does not mean there are not conditions that exist in which I will not kill.



Ah, but it would still be wrong, no? A big thing I wrestle with, in flirting with Buddhism but embracing a life that has as part of its calling the possibility of having to kill others.

Interesting piece on Thich Nhat Hahn on NPR last night - on how one can be a "Bodhisattva with a Gun."

http://speakingoffaith.publicradio.org/programs/thichnhathanh/transcript.shtml

While I won't be hugging anyone while wearing a gunbelt (had a suicidal gal try that on me once, after asking me if I would shoot her if she tried to take my gun...), the question is an interesting one.

Have Gun, Be Mindful.

Even taking the Buddhism out of it, ethics and professionalism drive us toward NOT overreacting, but at the same time addressing the potential that any person we arrest could be the "one" that gives us the fight of our lives. That is a precarious balance that calls for a lot of self-possession. Studies are showing that cops who regularly train in force on force scenarios tend to make more appropriate use of force decisions.

Kevin Leavitt
04-15-2008, 04:19 AM
Kit, well you've hit upon the main issue I struggle with constantly. Anyway, I like to think I am on the path of the bodhisattva. I will have to listen to the link you sent today.

I think for us, it is important to be mindful. I came to grips with it when I realized that I should not seek violence, but need to do my best to ensure that I and the soldiers that I represent are as best trained as possible to receive violence. The better trained they are, the better more choices they have to engage in acts of combat skillfully. In doing so, hopefully I can engage mindfully with compassion, which should (hopefully) lessen the amount of conflict and harm in the world.

It definitely is a tricky area wrought with two sides of the coin. That is, it is easy to see how one also might see me as a enabler of violence. For another, staying away from my profession might be the best spiritual path. Both would be right, I believe.

Anyway,

Ironically, I think it has strengthened me as a warrior in many ways.

You see things like Abu Grahab happening, and you want to make sure that you train people to be strong and compassionate, and to make the right choices. That is what shows me that there is room in the military for people with a strong spiritual base to help others alleviate suffering, not create more!

DonMagee
04-15-2008, 07:29 AM
Do anything to keep fighting - absolutely! This is the default mindset and MUST be so ingrained that it is almost instinctive.



This is one of the greatest skills combat sports develop. It is developed to the point that you see people who are knocked out still 'defending' themselves or swinging as they go down. I quickly figured out there are two types of people in boxing. The guys with experience who will hardly blink as you punch them in the face and will just instead use that as a chance to hit you. And the guys who close their eyes and turn their head away when you punch them in the face, and they get knocked out. I strive to (well actually I strive to not get hit) be the first type of guy.

Bill Danosky
04-15-2008, 11:12 AM
I heard it said somewhere that no one has the right to intitiate force. I can't remember the source anymore but I always thought that was a good ethical basis.

"Budo is love" is a great Zen koan, for those with sitting practices. The dichotomy of violence and compassion seems like it's always been a struggle for warriors seeking enlightenment. I think it's a mark of good character that you guys are wrestling with this.

SeiserL
04-15-2008, 12:09 PM
The dichotomy of violence and compassion seems like it's always been a struggle for warriors seeking enlightenment.
IMHO, no dichotomy. I deeply love the people I stand watch over. If it requires violence to keep them safe. Then it is violence born out of love and compassion. No struggle. Statement of fact. But make that decision before you walk into battle.

Aikibu
04-15-2008, 01:55 PM
IMHO, no dichotomy. I deeply love the people I stand watch over. If it requires violence to keep them safe. Then it is violence born out of love and compassion. No struggle. Statement of fact. But make that decision before you walk into battle.

Concur 100% I am a long time follower of the way myself and it brings to mind a Koan/Parable taught to me not long ago...

The Master and his Student were traveling to a village when they came upon a large stream with a ford. At the ford they found a beautiful but delicate woman who seemed to be quite anxious about making the crossing...She saw them and asked the Master if he could carry her across as the stream was swift and she did not know how to swim. With a chuckle the Master picked her up and all of them crossed the stream. After setting her gently down, in gratitude the beautiful woman kissed him on the cheek and bid him thanks and farewell....

A few miles up the road The Master noticed his Student has a puzzled look on his face...They made eye contact and the Student asked, " Master is it not true that we are forbidden to touch a woman?" "Yes it is true" The Master Replied..."Our vows do not allow for us to touch them in any way." "But Master" The Student pleaded "You carried that beautiful woman across the stream!"

"Why are you still carrying her?" The Master replied.

William Hazen

Bill Danosky
04-15-2008, 03:41 PM
Another serendipitous turn of the conversation. O Sensei seemed to become more powerful the more compassionate he became. (And personally, I believe the Shihans I've trained with are as good in real life as they are on the tatami, by the way.)

I know this is really twisting the thread, but do you suppose that's the real meaning of "Budo is love"? O Sensei could deal death and destruction on an unparalleled level, but was it because he chose not to, or in spite of it?

Or maybe once you've realized that you can do whatever you want with an attacker, why not cut them a break?

SeiserL
04-15-2008, 04:38 PM
Or maybe once you've realized that you can do whatever you want with an attacker, why not cut them a break?
IMHO, now you are learning. First you have to have the ability and intent, then you can choose not to use it. If you really don't have it, then you can't choose not to use what you don't have.

d2l
04-17-2008, 01:39 PM
The only thing I can add to this topic is my own experiences. As a Soldier and Correctional Officer, when faced with life and death situations (fire fights, an inmate with a shank hell bent on killing you), everything seems to just STOP. For me, I'm not thinking of what technique to use. I'm not standing there racking my brain. It's almost like you blank out at the time of engagement. My mind is totally clear, I'm just not thinking of anything. After things have settled down, I always ask what did I do? An outsider not involved tends to have a clearer picture than the person in the "storm". To me, my experiences would define combat. Kinda hard to explain. :)

Kevin Leavitt
04-17-2008, 08:18 PM
A serious subject, but what the heck....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rqla4Y8gWq8

Bill Danosky
05-05-2008, 03:48 PM
I'm now on the verge of saying that combat involves more than two opponents. Not that there's no such thing as 'single combat'- But in Aikido and Krav Maga training, for instance, multiple opponents are frequent enough that it's given you don't want to ground fight.

Ron Tisdale
05-05-2008, 04:02 PM
Heh...combat is any time the guy(s) say(s)

see this stick?? I'm gonna put your head on it!

B,
R

Kevin Leavitt
05-05-2008, 05:30 PM
No one in their right mind "wants" to ground fight.

Bill Danosky
05-05-2008, 11:10 PM
I have heard in combat you have to do some things you don't want to do. Some things you want to avoid at all costs, like grounding an opponent and submitting them when there are an unknown number of other opponents on the field.

Better to gamble on tactics vs. several foes and be wrong than the other way?

Kevin Leavitt
05-06-2008, 04:11 AM
I always insist that they submit by a triangle choke, it is my signature move.

KIT
05-06-2008, 11:51 AM
Direct link doesn't work:

Journal of Non-lethal Combatives, Jan 2007
Going to the Ground: Lessons from Law Enforcement
By Chris Leblanc
Copyright Chris Leblanc 2007. All rights reserved.


Law Enforcement Officers (LEOs) go “hands on” in both armed and unarmed physical confrontations more often than perhaps any other armed professionals. Within the self-defense and martial arts communities, this naturally has led to a great deal of interest in the experiences of officers in physical encounters. And no other information coming from the law enforcement community has received as much attention as an elusive set of statistics that purportedly show that 90% (or more) of physical altercations “go to the ground.”
The responsibility for the popularizing of this statistic is most often laid at the feet of the famous Gracie family, proponents of the art of Brazilian jujitsu, and dismissed as a shameless attempt at marketing themselves and their family fighting system which, not coincidentally, emphasizes fighting on the ground.

Unfortunately, I have yet to see a single source within the martial arts community -- affiliated with the Gracies or otherwise -- that accurately cites the actual study, or that does not either accept the statistics (or repudiate them) almost wholesale. If the constantly repeated Internet forum discussions and “letters to the editor” to various trade magazines are any indication, the topic has actually become an emotional argument for some. That argument usually finds those who practice Brazilian jujitsu or a similar system with a strong ground fighting component supporting the stats, and those who practice an art with minimal or no ground grappling denying their relevance. After personally posting the information below on several Internet forums with a wide dissemination, I still see the statistics often misquoted, misunderstood, and misapplied. I have seen them dismissed as pertaining “only to law enforcement,” and explained away as not offering lessons for self-defense.

The statistics provided here are quoted directly from the ASLET (American Society of Law Enforcement Training) pamphlet for their July 1997 Use of Force Training Seminar. The training was presented in Los Angeles by Sergeant Greg Dossey, Sergeant John Sommers, and Officer Steve Uhrig of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD). It includes a description of the study and methodology used in investigating Use of Force incidents by LAPD.

In 1991, Sergeant Dossey, an exercise physiologist with the LAPD, completed a comparative study of use of force incidents reported by LAPD for the year 1988. Sergeant Dossey looked at all 5,617 use of force incident narratives written by officers in 1988, and devised a method for codifying the information contained and analyzing it for what they identified as dominant altercation patterns. The study was replicated in 1992 by LAPD’s Training Review committee.

Below, I will provide direct quotes (in italics) from the 1997 ASLET report along with some analysis and commentary which should help shed more light on what lessons law enforcement and the concerned citizen can glean from the study. After that, I will do the same with information taken from a 2003 survey of attendees at a Calibre Press Street Survival Seminar.




1997 ASLET “Use of Force Training Seminar: Future of Non-Lethal Force Training--Reality Based and Integrating Techniques for Non-Lethal Force Training”

For the purposes of this article, the significant findings of the 1997 ASLET study are: [EN1]

1. During 1988, there were 316,525 arrests made by LAPD.

5,617 (1.7%) of these arrests required the completion of a use of force report.

2,031 (0.6%) altercations developed from these arrests. “Of the 5,617 reports examined, only 2,031 incidents contained a sufficient level of aggressive resistance by the suspect toward the officer to qualify as an altercation.”

Thus, the study confirms what every police officer knows: most arrest situations involve little or no use of force, and minor resistance does not qualify as a “fight” (or in this case, altercation). Semi-compliant persons are often stopped by a mere order to comply or with a firm control of an arm or wrist for handcuffing. Nonetheless, even these low level uses of force may require use of force reports in many agencies, as does the pointing of a firearm at a subject who may not resist physically in any way. This study has accounted for these facts.

2. During 1988, there were an average of 867 arrests and 5.6 altercations per day. Eight hundred fifty six officers reported injuries from such altercations. These 856 officers missed a total of 2,095 days from work due to injuries sustained in altercations.

3. Altercations were most likely to develop from the following field activities: disturbances of the peace (33.8%), traffic stops (18.5%), and observed narcotics activity (14.8%).

4. Over 90% of the subjects involved in altercations were male; only about 9.5% were female.

5. Five scenario patterns accounted for 95% of the altercations: “Within each of these five patterns, a description of the most frequent first, second, and final combative action was generated by the computer… Four combative actions by suspects accounted for almost two thirds (65.8%) of these I.O.D. injuries; the officer was kicked 23.4 percent, punched 16 percent, thrown/tripped 15 percent, or was bitten 11.4 percent. In 1988 the average officer in uniform and assigned to the field was in less than 3 altercations.” The thrown/tripped statistic includes injuries sustained from wrestling on the ground.

As for the five patterns, they were:

Subject pulls away from an officer’s attempt to control the subject’s arm. “33.7% Officer grabbed the subject by the arm and the subject pulled his arm away; the most frequent second act was the officer applying a joint lock (32%) and the most frequent final subduing act was the officer taking the subject down to the ground (46%)”

Subject attempts to punch or kick the officer. “25.4% Subject ran at the officer and swung punches and kicks; the most frequent second act was the officer evading the subject and striking him with the baton (26%; a close second was taking the subject to the ground 22%) and the most frequent final subduing act was taking the subject to the ground (35%).”

Subject refuses to assume a searching position. “19.3% Subject refused to assume a searching position as verbally ordered by the officer; the most frequent second act was the officer applying a joint lock (35.5%) and the most frequent final subduing act was taking the subject to the ground (36.5%).”

Subject flees and officer pursues. “10.5% Subject ran from the officer, officer chased the subject; the most frequent second act was the officer taking the subject to the ground (40%) and the most frequent final subduing act was also taking the subject to the ground (39.5%).”

Subject takes a combative posture, but does not attempt to strike the officer. “6.8% Subject assumed a fighting, martial arts, or boxing stance but did not attack the officer; the most frequent second act was the officer striking the subject with the baton (38%) and this was also the most frequent final act (41%).”

The study also included the percentages of injuries based on targeting of the attacks. For example: kicking resulted in injuries to the legs (36%), the head (27%), the rib cage (22.5%), and the groin (14%). Although several fractures occurred, the most common injury was a bruise to the legs, head, ribs, or groin. The most common injury suffered in ground fighting was a strained lower back.

6. The report concluded: “Nearly two thirds of the 1988 altercations (62%) ended with the officer and subject on the ground with the officer applying a joint lock and handcuffing the subject.” Given this, it is better put that the LAPD data says when officers physically fought with suspects (versus simply encountering minor resistance or non-compliance which required a minor use of force, but did not escalate into an altercation), 95% of the time those fights took one of five patterns, and 62% of those five types of altercations ended up with the officer and subject on the ground with the officer locking and handcuffing the suspect.

After this report was published, LAPD instituted a program that included training in ground control skills, which in turn were based on modern judo and jujutsu grappling skills specially adapted for law enforcement. A follow-up study presented the following conclusions:

Use of force incidents and use of force percentages were reduced. The average 5.6 altercations per day in 1988 reduced to 1.7 altercations per day in 1991. Certainly, other factors were involved, [EN2] but Sergeant Dossey has been quoted (at Defend University, www.defendu.com) as saying he believes this was in part due to increased confidence in handling altercations.

Injuries were reduced. Suspect injuries were down 34.6% and officer injuries were down 17.7% in 1991.

The same 5 patterns still accounted for 90% of altercations. Although the same basic patterns applied, the chance of officers receiving a punch or kick attempt increased from a 2-11% chance (depending on scenario) to a 25-71% chance (depending on scenario). Officer involved in shootings increased by 6.3% as well. Thus, it appears that even as officers became better trained, suspects were becoming more violent.




Calibre Press Survival Seminar, 2003

In its April 2003 online newsletter, Calibre Press published results of a research project completed along with PPCT Management Systems. This project measured the other side of the equation, namely the frequency in which police officers were forced to the ground by attackers. About 1,400 cases were reported by officers attending the Calibre Press Street Survival Seminar. [EN3]

Respondents were asked whether an attacker had ever attempted to force them to the ground. More than half (52%) reported this had occurred. Of that number, 60% reported that their attackers had been successful in taking them down. Of the 60% taken down, 52% reported receiving ground control training prior to the event, and 40% after.

At the time of the assault, most of the assailants were under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. Most of the takedown incidents occurred during domestic and other disturbance calls, or during traffic stops. These are the same situations in which the majority of officers are assaulted and killed each year (31% during disturbances, accounting for 15.6% of officer deaths, followed by traffic stops, accounting for 15.1% of officer deaths).

45% of the attempts to take the officer down occurred during interviews

40% occurred at handcuffing

10% at escort

5% during booking

Standard assault patterns took the following forms:

Pulling the officer to the ground (33%)

Pushing the officer to the ground (28%)

Tackling the officer to the ground (24%)

Kicking or punching the officer to the ground (15%)

Once the officer was down:

The subject continued to assault the officer once the officer was down (64%)

The subject fled (31%)

The subject waited for the officer to get back up to continue the fight (5%)

Of the ground fights, suspects generally continued with grappling and pinning techniques (77%), or used punches, kicks, and strikes (66%). However, in 21% of the cases, the subjects attempted to disarm the officer, with 5% being successful. As a side note, the FBI states that of 594 law enforcement officers killed between 1992 and 2001, 46 were killed with their own weapon.

On the ground, the officers tended to use weapons other than firearms:

Pepper spray (OC) was used 29% of the time

Impact weapons (sticks, batons, flashlights, handcuffs, etc.) were used 26% of the time

Hands, feet, holds, etc., were used 24% of the time

Officers used firearms in just 13 cases (less than 1% of attacks). However, during these 13 uses of firearms, three resulted in suspect fatalities.

Final Comment

Statistics should be viewed more as guidelines than as specifics. The varied situational, environmental, physical, and psychological intersections that occur within confrontations make each and every one different. However, if similar patterns occur time and again, the patterns should not be ignored.

The LAPD study does not show that “90% of fights go to the ground.” Instead, the LAPD study shows that 95% of altercations took on one of five familiar patterns (with which any street cop will be intimately familiar). It also shows that of that 95%, 62% ended up with both the officer and the suspect grappling on the ground.

Obviously, being professionally charged with restraining someone versus being primarily focused on escaping an attack will change the dynamic of a confrontation after the initial engagement. This is why I believe police in an arrest situation are more likely than a citizen in a self-defense situation to stay on the ground during a physical encounter.

Nonetheless, it is interesting to note that more than half the officers surveyed by Calibre Press reported that suspects had attempted to take them down, and that the suspects accomplished this 60% of the time. Of that number, the overwhelming majority stayed on the ground grappling with the officer (77%). When considering these patterns of assault, they are of the same nature as criminal assaults on citizens. In other words, the mechanics of an assault (versus the mechanics of arrest) do not change simply because one of the people involved is a police officer. [EN4]

To conclude, one can quibble with the exact percentages, but being on the ground happens frequently during serious altercations. Could a person’s being taken down and not having an effective means to deal with the situation increase odds of death or serious injury, either to him/herself or to the assailant? My personal view is that this is the case.

About the Author

The author is a law enforcement officer and use of force instructor in the Pacific Northwest.

Sources

Dorsey, Greg, John Sommers, and Steve Uhrig. (July 1997). “Future of Non-lethal Force Training-Reality Based & Integrating Techniques for Non-Lethal Force Training.” ASLET Use-of-Force Training Seminar, originally presented at the Los Angeles Airport Hilton and Towers, Los Angeles, California, July 10-12, 1997

Dunston, Mark S. (April 2003). “Instructor’s Corner: Ground Fighting -- Assaults on Police Officers,” Calibre Press Street Survival Newsline #630

Endnotes

EN1. The 1997 ASLET study also goes into liability concerns such as excessive force complaints, lawsuits, and settlement amounts paid out, but these are beyond the scope of this article.

EN2. During this period, TASER use increased by 76.7%. This factor should not be ignored when evaluating the reduction of altercations and suspect/officer injuries.

EN3. These seminars take place yearly throughout the United States and include officers from all walks of the law enforcement profession, from federal agents to patrol and tactical officers, detectives and corrections personnel, and any other type of sworn law enforcer.

EN4. In the cases involving violence that I have seen in which neither of the involved parties was an LEO, most had a significant portion (or at least a significant moment) during which one or both of the participants was on the ground, or fighting under conditions that were similar to ground fighting (e.g., on a bed, on a couch, etc.).

DonMagee
05-06-2008, 12:50 PM
Great read. I'd like to see something like that only targeted on domestic violence.

KIT
05-06-2008, 02:40 PM
Great read. I'd like to see something like that only targeted on domestic violence.

Not quite sure what you mean, Don - officers in responding to domestics, or the dynamics of DV altercations?

We've discussed here before (somewhere...) that the rough numbers for "civilian" encounters, based just on a snapshot in my experience but no real data, are probably not so high for fights going to ground, but still significant enough to be a major concern in terms of self defense simply because the danger increases exponentially once you go down in an uncontrolled environment.

DV is probably the same, though due to where such encounters occur and size/strength disparities women in DV frequently report being pushed/thrown down onto the floor, onto couches, beds, seats in cars, etc.

All of these are more "ground fighting" problems than they are standing problems.But I don't know of anyone who has done a formal study documenting where civilian encounters occurred, particularly not DV encounters.

When it becomes "combat" is obviously also another discussion. We have to remember too that definition and what you do may change radically based on the environment.

Military battlefield? Military "operations other than war?" Single operator/soldier/officer or team environment? Side of the road traffic stop gone bad? High risk entry with team? Routine pat down that suddenly turns into lethal assault? Foot chase followed by hand to hand fight? And so on...

There are s**t-hot SWAT cops/military operators, military and LE combat vets, who "rule" in a guns up, team centered, tactical environment but are fish out of water when dealing alone with a single, motivated bad guy who manages to close with them, let alone take them down and get on top.

One of the things I have tried to impress on our tactical guys was not to be so wedded to solving all their problems at the point of gun - because tactics can fail, bullets don't always hit, and don't always stop a guy when they do, and you may not be in position to use the gun to solve it to begin with.

Little consolation in being some "elite" shooter/tactical operator if you can't fight your way out of a paper bag hand-to-hand. A fellow trainer and former SWAT guy recently said something to me that made a lot of sense: working in a team environment often covers up for lack of individual skills.

All over the place, I know, but the thread is about defining something that is hard to really define. Maybe its like "obscenity." We know its "combat" when we are in it!!

DonMagee
05-06-2008, 03:22 PM
Not quite sure what you mean, Don - officers in responding to domestics, or the dynamics of DV altercations?

We've discussed here before (somewhere...) that the rough numbers for "civilian" encounters, based just on a snapshot in my experience but no real data, are probably not so high for fights going to ground, but still significant enough to be a major concern in terms of self defense simply because the danger increases exponentially once you go down in an uncontrolled environment.

DV is probably the same, though due to where such encounters occur and size/strength disparities women in DV frequently report being pushed/thrown down onto the floor, onto couches, beds, seats in cars, etc.

All of these are more "ground fighting" problems than they are standing problems.But I don't know of anyone who has done a formal study documenting where civilian encounters occurred, particularly not DV encounters.

When it becomes "combat" is obviously also another discussion. We have to remember too that definition and what you do may change radically based on the environment.

Military battlefield? Military "operations other than war?" Single operator/soldier/officer or team environment? Side of the road traffic stop gone bad? High risk entry with team? Routine pat down that suddenly turns into lethal assault? Foot chase followed by hand to hand fight? And so on...

There are s**t-hot SWAT cops/military operators, military and LE combat vets, who "rule" in a guns up, team centered, tactical environment but are fish out of water when dealing alone with a single, motivated bad guy who manages to close with them, let alone take them down and get on top.

One of the things I have tried to impress on our tactical guys was not to be so wedded to solving all their problems at the point of gun - because tactics can fail, bullets don't always hit, and don't always stop a guy when they do, and you may not be in position to use the gun to solve it to begin with.

Little consolation in being some "elite" shooter/tactical operator if you can't fight your way out of a paper bag hand-to-hand. A fellow trainer and former SWAT guy recently said something to me that made a lot of sense: working in a team environment often covers up for lack of individual skills.

All over the place, I know, but the thread is about defining something that is hard to really define. Maybe its like "obscenity." We know its "combat" when we are in it!!

I'd just like to see a report that breaks down physical violence used in domestic violence cases. Like the number of men who attack women vs women who attack men, the kind of attacks most used (striking, restraint, weapons, verbal, etc). Just from a intellectual standpoint.

KIT
05-06-2008, 03:43 PM
Ah, got it. That would be a huge undertaking.

Kevin Leavitt
05-06-2008, 04:22 PM
Thanks for the info Kit. I remember reading this before.

Aikibu
05-07-2008, 01:13 AM
I hereby nominate Kit LeBlanc as the new Secretary of Defense for his well reasoned reality based assesments of both the Martial Arts and Self Defense...

His Picture is next to Common Sense in the Dictionary.

Anyone want to second the nomination? :)

William Hazen

KIT
05-07-2008, 09:12 AM
LOFL! :)

Thankfully I wasn't drinking my morning coffee when I read that or my keyboard would be toast.

Thanks for the endorsement.

Mike Sigman
05-07-2008, 04:05 PM
an example of ethics:

I am a vegetarian because I believe it wrong to uneccessarily take life when it is not required. I value all life equally, and think killing is wrong.

That is my ethics and values. Not true, Kevin. According to a recently released Swiss report, you may be something of a murderer.... because you certainly don't "value all life equally". ;)

http://www.ekah.admin.ch/uploads/media/e-Broschure-Wurde-Pflanze-2008.pdf

Mike

George S. Ledyard
05-07-2008, 05:40 PM
There are s**t-hot SWAT cops/military operators, military and LE combat vets, who "rule" in a guns up, team centered, tactical environment but are fish out of water when dealing alone with a single, motivated bad guy who manages to close with them, let alone take them down and get on top.

One of the things I have tried to impress on our tactical guys was not to be so wedded to solving all their problems at the point of gun - because tactics can fail, bullets don't always hit, and don't always stop a guy when they do, and you may not be in position to use the gun to solve it to begin with.

Little consolation in being some "elite" shooter/tactical operator if you can't fight your way out of a paper bag hand-to-hand. A fellow trainer and former SWAT guy recently said something to me that made a lot of sense: working in a team environment often covers up for lack of individual skills.



I think that "combat" is relative easy to define... It's combat when you cross the line at which the threat is "deadly". When you perceive the threat represents a reasonable risk to you (or someone else) of serious and lasting bodily harm, then you are at the Deadly Force" level of confrontation. At that point it is combat.

Law Enforcement is difficult because they are expected to deal with an entire range of force and do so routinely. The percentage of their encounters in which the subject(s) fail to comply and physical force is required is about 1%. The number which end up in a full out level II confrontation in which impact techniques are required is even smaller by quite a bit. The number of those which end up in a situation which crosses the line into all out "combat" is very small. But when it does, due to the lack of good training for our officers, the risk to the officer is VERY high. Most training officers are given is geared towards restraint. What deadly force training they get typically revolves around the use of the firearm. Very few get what I would call Level III empty hand training which would contain deadly force empty hand techniques. Officers die regularly due to this situation.

With the military or high risk law enforcement personnel, it's even more difficult, in my opinion. The role of the military in recent times has changed. They are frequently in situations in which their roles move between combat and peace keeping, between combat and policing. One of the things that the military has had to do is introduce low level force training into what had traditionally been simply combat training.

Then when you look at counter insurgency missions in countries like Viet Nam or Iraq, you get such an untenable situation that for the average guy out there under fire from folks he was told he was there to help, it becomes very hard not to fall back into the "kill them all, let God sort them out" mindset. When you can't tell the difference between your friends and the enemy, or they can change at any moment, it's quite clear that the "perceived threat" that justifies deadly force in civilian law enforcement is there pretty much 24/7 for those folks. So the continuum of force gets really simplified... Verbal then, if no compliance, then deadly force. For these guys, hand to hand skills represent the very last mine of defense. Hand to hand only takes place when firearms have failed.

It's interesting that, we tend to give the wrong people, the wrong training. So-called "high risk" teams are apt to get by far the most training. That's logical. But that training might include things like DT. My partners and I developed a DT for SWAT and High Risk Entry Teams block of instruction. Several of the area departments did the training and incorporated the block into their regular training.

But in actuality, when was the last time you heard of an officer having his weapon taken away and getting shot with it on an entry team? How often do the members of an entry team get in a knock down drag out fight in which an officer is seriously injured or killed?
It doesn't happen very often and if it does, the fact that there is a team doing the entry, that the whole thing was known to be high risk from the get go, tends to make the whole thing less likely to result in serious injury or death for the team members.

Most of the officer involved fatalities have taken place on the street in the type of encounter which happens every single night for a patrol officer. Six to eight feet away in low light conditions. The subject goes for a weapon and bang, an officer or a subject (or both) is shot. In any number of these encounters, if the officers had had good Level III or deadly force empty hand skills, it would have been more effective to have delivered physical technique before trying to access the sidearm. At that distance, if the subject has initiated and the officer is surprised, the officer will not reliably access his weapon before the subject does. The higher percentage move would be to deliver some serious impact technique and then access ones weapon. But officers are not typically given this type of training so they get involved in a wild west shot out type scenario, hoping they are the fastest.

The ground fighting issue is an interesting one. I don't know if there has been any study which has shown the percentage of officer losing his gun to a subject between the ground and standing. Of hand I would suspect that the majority would be on the ground. Anyway, what we do know is that 95% of the time, if an officer loses his firearm to a subject, he is shot with it. So automatically, if a subject goes for an officer's gun, it's deadly force or combat, if you will. If a statistical connection could be made between the likelihood that, if he goes to the ground, an officer will lose his weapon or sustain a serious and lasting injury, then going to the ground with a violent subject could be assumed to be a deadly force situation.

There is a clear need for training of the type which Kit has worked on developing which focuses on close quarters empty hand as an extension of weapons retention and this should include ground work with deadly force techniques. Ground fighting practice should always be done with a holstered practice weapon so that grappling is always considered as an aspect of weapons retention. Typical mixed martial arts moves do not do this.

I am sure Kit knows the guys from our King County Sherrif's department who developed the "Arrestling" program. It's a fine program which teaches ground fighting with the firearm aspect for law enforcement.

Anyway, since the thread is about what is combat. I would reiterate that any situation in which in which I think it possible that one or the other of us will die is combat. In law enforcement this is typically a short term, incident related mind set. In the military it can be almost a state of being when in extended operations in time of war.

KIT
05-07-2008, 06:26 PM
I think that "combat" is relative easy to define... It's combat when you cross the line at which the threat is "deadly". When you perceive the threat represents a reasonable risk to you (or someone else) of serious and lasting bodily harm, then you are at the Deadly Force" level of confrontation. At that point it is combat.

.

I am in total agreement with all your assessments, George. Good show.

I recently received Instructor certfication in Arrestling, something I am particularly proud of, as it is not the typical 40-hours-to-instructor class but rather takes years to achieve.

Great points re: empty hand vs. guns at close quarters, and groundwork involving firearms (in holster and in hand - the problem gets even more interesting when EACH has a gun in play...). Extreme, but a certain Ohio trooper had just this sort of shooting.

Same with your addressing of the tactical team environment. The force and teamwork is usually so overwhelming that shock, surprise and overwhelming force tend to make for "entry combatives" being relatively short work.

The "combat" threat in the tactical team environment is quite rare, but when it is there, things have gone pretty bad! That's why we say we'd "rather be in a shooting than a gunfight."

Kevin Leavitt
05-07-2008, 07:35 PM
Good post George, thanks for spending the time to do it.

For what it is worth, Tuesday, I am attending a workgroup meeting on "way ahead" for the Army Combatives Program.

George S. Ledyard
05-07-2008, 07:43 PM
The "combat" threat in the tactical team environment is quite rare, but when it is there, things have gone pretty bad! That's why we say we'd "rather be in a shooting than a gunfight."

No question, the son of one of my best friends was killed going through the door on an entry. The subject was standing just inside the door with a rifle at the ready...

Kevin Leavitt
05-07-2008, 08:15 PM
Not true, Kevin. According to a recently released Swiss report, you may be something of a murderer.... because you certainly don't "value all life equally". ;)

http://www.ekah.admin.ch/uploads/media/e-Broschure-Wurde-Pflanze-2008.pdf

Mike

Well you know the Swiss, their arguments are always full of holes! :)

Good read, thanks for providing the link.

KIT
05-07-2008, 11:53 PM
No question, the son of one of my best friends was killed going through the door on an entry. The subject was standing just inside the door with a rifle at the ready...

If you are talking about B.L, my condolences. Happened when I was at the Academy. I work with guys who knew him.

Bill Danosky
05-08-2008, 10:56 PM
Law Enforcement is difficult because they are expected to deal with an entire range of force and do so routinely..... The number which end up in a full out level II confrontation in which impact techniques are required is even smaller by quite a bit... Most training officers are given is geared towards restraint. What deadly force training they get typically revolves around the use of the firearm. Very few get what I would call Level III empty hand training which would contain deadly force empty hand techniques.

My original thought in posting this thread was to explore how Aikido might be suited to police and military work since you have a range of hard and soft techniques to choose from.

Now I'm even more convinced after reading what Ledyard Sensei wrote. Especially given that the police are occasionally captured on video using excessive force, which might be avoided with more training in correctly discerning the threat level and responding appropriately.

And Aikido teaches lots of counters to the specific attacks Kit mentioned in the ASLET and Calibre studies that would help professionals stay in control of those level II and III situations.

George S. Ledyard
05-09-2008, 02:53 AM
My original thought in posting this thread was to explore how Aikido might be suited to police and military work since you have a range of hard and soft techniques to choose from.

Now I'm even more convinced after reading what Ledyard Sensei wrote. Especially given that the police are occasionally captured on video using excessive force, which might be avoided with more training in correctly discerning the threat level and responding appropriately.

And Aikido teaches lots of counters to the specific attacks Kit mentioned in the ASLET and Calibre studies that would help professionals stay in control of those level II and III situations.

Check out the Koga Institute and Robert Koga. He was the first person in the US to teach an Aikido based Defensive tactics system to the police. He was the trainer for the LAPD way back in the day.
Koga Institute (http://www.kogainst.com/)

Kevin Leavitt
05-09-2008, 04:38 PM
My original thought in posting this thread was to explore how Aikido might be suited to police and military work since you have a range of hard and soft techniques to choose from.

Now I'm even more convinced after reading what Ledyard Sensei wrote. Especially given that the police are occasionally captured on video using excessive force, which might be avoided with more training in correctly discerning the threat level and responding appropriately.

And Aikido teaches lots of counters to the specific attacks Kit mentioned in the ASLET and Calibre studies that would help professionals stay in control of those level II and III situations.

I can't speak from an LEO point of view as I am not one, but from the military, I can....

I think it depends on how it is taught and approached. Certainly there are aikido instructors that have much to offer us in this area. I'd like to think that there is much room for improvement in what we are taught in the military when it applies to spectrum of force. I find much in the aikido curriculum which we could learn from as a military.

That said, again, it depends on how it is approached. There is only so much time, and you have to prioritize about what you spend your time doing. You also have culture and demographics to contend with. So, if you only have so much time, and you only have so much interest that will be invested...what do you teach? What is most important?

Our Army Combatives program contains many of the principles of aikido while not necessarily focusing on any of them.

Is there room for growth in our program? Yes. However, I think you have to reach a certain level of skill development in areas that most aikido dojos don't spend time on like BJJ dojos do spend time on.

The principles are there and are definitely there and you are never told "no you can't do that."

Labels like "aikido" and "BJJ" serve to help us frame things so we can have conversations and group a certain collection of things, but really I hate to use them as the are so limiting when you think about it.

Anyway, my thoughts on the subject.

KIT
05-09-2008, 05:21 PM
...and from the LEO perspective, I would agree with Kevin. The combined integration of what you do from the arrest and control/combatives perspective is the goal.

Aikido-as-art has just as many limitations as BJJ-as-art does, or any other. But each has elements that fit nicely into the total package when trained and integrated appropriately.

Bill Danosky
05-09-2008, 08:28 PM
Aikido-as-art has ...elements that fit nicely into the total package when trained and integrated appropriately.

You probably know this- The Kidotai (those black armored Tokyo riot police) agree- They are required to complete the famously grueling, year long Yoshinkan boot camp before they get their button. And nobody thinks they're not ready for duty.

Civilian students at Hombu that get the nod from Kancho can enter the Senshusei course, too. That's like letting civilians into Navy Seal training!

KIT
05-09-2008, 09:59 PM
You probably know this- The Kidotai (those black armored Tokyo riot police) agree- They are required to complete the famously grueling, year long Yoshinkan boot camp before they get their button. And nobody thinks they're not ready for duty.

Civilian students at Hombu that get the nod from Kancho can enter the Senshusei course, too. That's like letting civilians into Navy Seal training!

Bill

I do. And we probably have two completely different ideas on what that means that we will never be able to adequately hash out on the Internet.

Many police Stateside are required to train in antiquated and inadequate training methods for what they do.

We have no idea if that is the case with the Kidotai, if they do that course for the grueling part of the training and not the techniques, if they do that training and then go to the Judo dojo "for the real stuff," or if they combine that course with all sorts of other things to make what they do work for them.

We don't know that half the team thinks the class is a waste of time but would never challenge the status quo because that just isn't done...

That is the point I am making about assuming too much value to a "martial art" versus a combative system. The two are not the same. I know cops that think Systema is a great system for armed professionals, and I know cops that think it will get someone killed.

What does that all mean? I don't think there is a real answer to that question. Certainly not one that can be solved without being in the same room.

Bill Danosky
05-09-2008, 11:18 PM
Senshusei is specifically an accredited Yoshinkan Instructor course. They don't teach people anything except how much guts they have, and very hard Aikido technique.

Hombu makes it grueling because they want the certificate to really mean something. It's very long because they want to make sure you don't make it unless you're truly in posession of the techniques.

It turns out guys like Robert Mustard Sensei. I think he could perform shomen irimi nage on someone trying to hit him with a car.

KIT
05-10-2008, 12:32 AM
I've read the book. I have a lot of respect for that training program, and as aikido goes I see Yoshinkan as a robust system (BTW, I am not an aikidoka), and heard great things about Mustard.

But, like the SEALS Hell Week, its a different thing than technical application.

Spiritual forging, a gut check, what have you, can be found in a number of disciplines that have nothing to do with practical, technical application. To tie this back into the thread, does something like that have a direct effect on one's performance in a "combat" situation?

Of course. But it doesn't necessarily pay the bills for any and all situations.

I recently finished Marcus Luttrell's Lone Survivor. Excellent book detailing the harrowing experience he went through. He describes Hell Week, and credits his warrior spirit during his experience in Afghanistan with being forged in large part by what he underwent during that event. There is talk about the SEALS that they win fights with entire bars full of people because they are in so much better shape, and have so much more warrior mindset, than everyone else.

But that experience did not teach him anything about how he would have dealt with, say, a State Champion wrestler trying to take him down in a bar and bash his head in with a beer bottle from a technical perspective. Though he could get just as dead in the latter situation.

I will try to make some sense here, so bear with me.

Combative function, across the spectrum that one may encounter based on ones needs, is comprised of several things. Today LE training refers to it as the "Survival Triangle." The traditional version of that being Shin-Gi-Tai. Mind, Technique, and Body.

To be truly prepared across that spectrum mentioned above, you need all three. And different types of all three.

If all your martial art is based on is "principles," and you do not work on specific technical aspects for specific problems (with principles naturally manifesting through technique and vice-versa), you are underprepared for the combative spectrum, though you may be perfectly capable in certain limited circumstances.

If all your martial discipline is about is "mindset," the same applies.

If all your discipline is about is "technique," or "conditioning," same again.

Now each and every one of these things may be all you need in a particular set of circumstances. It may be all you ever need if you are never really challenged in a serious struggle across the spectrum. And in different situations, one may be more important than the other - my most serious encounter involved no "martial arts" technique at all, but I credit walking out of a room after suffering a critical injury with a foundation in mindset and conditioning that I directly relate to martial arts training.

That does not mean the same performance would transfer to a situation where I would need technique, or a specific set of techniques: say groundfighting, or weapon retention, or what have you.

I may have the shin and tai all squared away - I may have the gi even - say in aikido, or in muay Thai.

But if the particular combination I need in that circumstance, when my life is on the line is the shin, the tai, and the gi - specifically groundfighting against a larger, stronger, skilled wrestler who beating my head in from on top of me and I don't have that skill to access;

I will probably end up dead.

Likewise, I may have the gi and the tai all squared away: I may be in incredible shape and be dialed in on all my fighting skills in every phase or range - but if my mindset is not there that day, and if I take that bullet, or get stabbed, or punched in the mouth and find myself swallowing gulpfulls of blood and teeth and panic and think: "I can't deal with this, I'm just gonna roll over and hope he stops,"

I will probably end up dead.

There are so many more layers and it can get so much more complicated than that - maybe I don't have the ground skills for that wreslter, but I do have weapon skills, but because I haven't trained those skills under legitimate force on force circumstances with a partner who is actually trying to defeat me, I choose to draw my weapon at a time when he has superior position and he takes it from me, and now I am swallowing blood, have a wrestler on top of me, who just took my knife or gun.... I may have the mindset and conditioning to deal with that, but those will run out rather quickly if I don't have an inkling of the proper skills, or integrated skills, to deal with that situation.

Which is why I remain very wary of the defensive tactics instructor or LEO or soldier with "one system," or one approach to doing something and thinking that it is "complete," and all he'll ever need.

Hope I am making sense, its hard to put into words.

Kevin Leavitt
05-10-2008, 05:30 AM
Some very good points being made.

I mentioned a while back that their were cultural and demographic issues that impacted training in the military. These played a big part when ultimately deciding what we would spend our time training on. The program had to not only be relevant, but it had to be sustainable and something that our soldiers would be willing to do.

Japan, obviously, is a different culture, and the riot police a subset of a subset. What training might work there, may not work so well in the U.S.

All warrior cultures develop some sort of forging process for elite warriors. I proudly completed Ranger School a while back, one of my greatest mental and physical accomplishments. There were lots of technical things we did there, and it was a leadership school, but it was much more than that. (Kit points out some good examples above).

On the purpose of Combatives training:

My Friend and founder of Modern Army Combatives, Matt Larsen has some good quotes that I think escape people some times. They are key though to the importance of this type of training, and point to the realitive value of the technical aspects of training.

1. The Defining characterisitic of a warrior is the WILLINGNESS to close with and destroy the enemy.

2. The winner of the hand to hand fight is the guy whose buddy shows up first with a gun.

3. We do combatives not because we of the skills you learn will be useful in a fight, but because learning how to fight will make you a great fighter when the moment arises.

It is first and foremost about producing warriors, less about the technicial aspects. This is why, I think systems that focus on technical aspects of fighting vice the forging aspects of fighting fall on a less than enthusiastic audience when you present it to "warrior professionals" many times.

That and you always have the guys that are willing to collect the pay check, put on the uniform, and pretend. You will always have those guys in the system reqardless.

Kevin Leavitt
05-10-2008, 05:38 AM
Bill,

I was just reading through your post. I hope you don't think that Kit and I think aikido type training is not a valid form of training. As obviously the Japanese feel it is worthwile.

Some Trivia: Who played a big part in the founding and shaping the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program (MCMAP)?

MCMAP does not look like anything to do with aikido. MCMAP as with MACP (Army), you can find all the basic underlying principles, but the methodology looks nothing like what you find in aikido dojos.

KIT
05-10-2008, 09:38 AM
Bill,

I was just reading through your post. I hope you don't think that Kit and I think aikido type training is not a valid form of training. As obviously the Japanese feel it is worthwile.

.

This is true, and why I wanted to avoid that impression. HOW you do something is more important than the something you do.

I have been favorably impressed by some people's application of aikido or aikido-like strategies and techniques. I have seen others that were no so impressive. I have seen some excellent BJJ based combatives stuff offered, and some very poor examples.

George S. Ledyard
05-10-2008, 09:48 AM
You probably know this- The Kidotai (those black armored Tokyo riot police) agree- They are required to complete the famously grueling, year long Yoshinkan boot camp before they get their button. And nobody thinks they're not ready for duty.

Civilian students at Hombu that get the nod from Kancho can enter the Senshusei course, too. That's like letting civilians into Navy Seal training!

Actually, that training is done for only one reason and that is to toughen those guys up and get them in shape. If you look at what riot police do on the job there is virtually no opportunity for anything that resembles Aikido (other than jo and they get their jo training from Jodo folks at the department).

Bill Danosky
05-10-2008, 04:55 PM
Bill,

I was just reading through your post. I hope you don't think that Kit and I think aikido type training is not a valid form of training. As obviously the Japanese feel it is worthwile.

Some Trivia: Who played a big part in the founding and shaping the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program (MCMAP)?


Since I'm highlighting what a huge range of techiniques and training there is in Aikido, even I would say there are dojos whose programs are not suited for real life applications. So it seems like we are all three thinking the same thing.

I do want to mention that Yoshinkan Aikido is very much more martial than some types, and deals with both kinds of ukes- willing and unwilling.

BTW, Kevin- Who did play the part in founding the MCMAP?

Kevin Leavitt
05-10-2008, 05:18 PM
Richard Strozzi-Heckler Sensei. A good read on the subject, and I highly recommend it, his book, "In Search of the Warrior Spirit". You should get the latest edition (This year or last year), as it contains updates since he originally wrote it back in the late 80's.

The DNA of aikido is in MCMAP. While not directly involved with the Army's MACP, the same underlying principles are there.

I hear that Yoshinkan is very forthright in their approach. I have no experience with it so I cannot comment.

Get the book and read it if you have not! :)

Bill Danosky
05-11-2008, 11:40 PM
That's very interesting- We are taught that those odd attacks uke originates are from ancient weapon retention techniques. Katate is derived from someone trying to stop you from drawing your katana, and that kind of thing. I'll admit they're outdated now, but these were still valid attacks when O Sensei was learning. It's always fun to have nights where you practice your waza against more western attacks.

It'd be interesting to study applying Aikido skills to the statistical attacks in that Calibre Press report. You guys are really lucky to have regular access to the miltary and police programs.