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Kevin Leavitt
05-25-2008, 08:41 PM
Thought I'd start a new thread so as not to hijack Mary's thread any further.

Matthew Gano wrote:

You probably explained this in a prior discussion, but I was curious about what it is you think might be confusing or otherwise detrimental to a soldier. Referring to your remarks about institutional and personal aims, I can understand how a lot of the Aikido componants might not fit very well: some reishiki could potentially waste time and I understand how trying to not harm an attacker could get you killed in a firefight, but it seems to me the physical qualities of Aikido (aikijutsu, essentially), as well as many of the concepts would be pretty useful.
Relaxation in particular seems invaluable. I'm not a soldier so I don't want to sound presumptuous; please forgive me if I do, I know these are just an outsider's take. When I think of a tense soldier I think of a fear-based, rigid mindset. When i think of a relaxed soldier I think of a fearless, flexible mindset. Obviously these are merely my own perceptions, but I'm curious about how you would characterize the two.
Take care,
Matthew

It is not that it is not useful to train relaxation skills. I'd recommend reading "On Killing" by Grossman, and also "In Search of the Warrior Spirit" by Strozzi-Heckler for two good examples of dealing with the pyschological and cultural mindset of the military, especially as it applies to Soldiers.

Anyway, it has more to do with methodology than with the concept. That is, how you train. If you want to be good at shooting relaxed in a stressful environment then you train shooting in a stressful environment, not wearing a Gi in a dojo practicing aikido.

My OCS candidates at the beginning of every class used to ask me how they could improve their pushups, well the answer I always gave them was simple...do more pushups.

Sure the physical qualities that we train in aikido are very relevant and I find my training to be personally helpful in my daily life. I also feel I have benefited in many ways from my training.

It is also the case with many other soldiers as well. Personally I feel that others too could benefit from the "soft" lessons that aikido has to offer.

However, you are dealing with an institution, a successful one, that has been evolving since the early colonial days.

So, how long does it take you to realize the "soft" or "internal" benefits of aikido? 2 months? 2 Years, 10 Years? 20?

How do you sustain such a practice with an instituion that has to take 18 year olds and put them in the heat of battle within a few short months?

What do you spend your time doing with them? teaching them aikido, or teaching them how to move into the heat of battle and react properly, even when scared?

How do you best train them?

The answer is through Stress Induction models.

BJJ is a good example martially of a stress induciton methdology. You can take a novice, put him in a program, and have him fairly martially proficient in a realitively short period of time. Sure, at the upper levels, it requires and you benefit from the same level of finese and relaxation of internal arts.

BJJ works on a stress induction model that more or less follows the philosophy of "train as you fight". Which is why you see it being so successful up front.

There is a certain pyschology you try to induce or to exploit in a warrior. Stress induction models build this.

It isn't for everyone. It ain't about fairness or being equal. It is about forging mental toughness. There are many that wash out of training or quit because it is not for them. Better to have it happen in training than in war.

those that "graduate" or become soldiers become so because they have the values and mindset that the Army is looking for.

The stress induction model helps build confidence, skills, and habits. In turn this helps reduce fear and encourage relaxation which flows out of the confidence, skills, and habits.

Being able to put a bullet on target in a CQB environment requires a great deal of conditioning and training. It starts in basic training with having a drill sgt yell at you and inducing stress. You go to a rifle range and learn how to put well aimed shots on targets at 300 M. Which requires learning how to control breathing and is taught.

You then spend time perfecting your shooting crouch and posture and doing dime drills and reflexive fire training, which by the way requires many of the same attributes you might find in suburi.

You do it over and over and over again, developing habits and muscle memory.

You then do it from the inside your vehicle, in buildings, and etc.

Think of doing a thousand suburi cuts over and over again. After a while you either learn to relax...or you get very tired!

Same with soldiering. You learn soldiering by doing soldiering. Train as you fight.

So, what is left?

What each individual finds is important mentally and spiritually for their own well being and state of mind.

For me, martial arts through the Modern Army Combatives Program, BJJ, and Aikido keep me physically, mentally, and spiritually "in shape".

Others have other things that they do. Some might play rugby, soccer, attend church, some choose to supress themselves emotionally and detach from the situation (denial, which is not a good thing).

Anyway you have to separate the institution from the personal when you start talking soldiering. It is not that aikido is not beneficial, it is simply a different methodology that is not as effective at training the same things we train in soldiering.

Sorry for the long post, I hope this helps explain it some.

Kevin Leavitt
05-25-2008, 09:07 PM
Dan Harden Wrote:

Well I don't know how a single question (asked twice, then answered) equals "all this talk about..."
I referenced what I have read and what I have been told personally by guys recently out of spec ops, along with some guys who train with Vlad and Michael, I asked Kevin how he thinks his model would compare to their training model involving extensive relaxation in motion. Oh well.

The rest, William, was addressing an idea often expressed by Kevin over the years that somehow relaxation in internal training, was static, stagnant and could not by used in grappling/Judo/ BJJ or any live environment. It's all here in many, many threads and posts. When I saw the same thought come to light again in this thread regarding relaxation and a failure to be able to move well, it piqued my interest. I can understand a lack in understanding of real power and speed in relaxation and structure from the people he regularly trains with, but I thought he would see something more from his new pursuits. Especially since he has trained with Ark and Mike.. I guess not.
Time and different levels of experience on both sides have formed opinions. It's just an old debate not worth pursuing any longer. I'd just as soon thank Kevin for his service and be done with it.
I'm out.


Dan, I can't really comment on Systema or Vlad's training as I have never worked with them, only seen it on the internet. Looking at Vlad's stuff on the internet though, I find how he moves and does things very interesting.

Not sure how it would work for us in the Army though since I don't have any experience with it.

Here is how we train MAC-P.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TCyzrVx2ahw

Obviously on a daily basis we are not training at this level of intensity, but when we spend time training everything we do is based on this endstate.

So I hope you understand when I have to go in the ring and face one of these guys that is gunning for a piece 43 year old Field Grade I have to figure out how to survive.

So far, as interesting and intriqued with the internal stuff, I have not yet figured out how to effectively implement it, or figured out how it will help me survive a bout in MAC-P or with the enemy.

I am trying, but so far I am not successful. Heck I can't even do it well in an aikido class!

I personally think soldiers would better benefit by spending more time training in MAC-P than anything else when it comes to training for combat.

KIT
05-25-2008, 09:20 PM
Good thread, Kevin.

I come from the LE side of the coin, both patrol and special ops (SWAT).

You simply have to train "CQB" and tactics as you would a martial art. It is, in fact, a martial art. To echo Kevin, you also have to train extensively in "stress induction" (what in LE is called stress inoculation), in other words, against a resisting, opposing will trying to do the same thing to you. In other words, judo/BJJ/MMA approach to randori where both sides are trying to "win." In LE, this takes the form of force on force training (with marking cartridges or hand to hand combat). The nice thing is, the level of resistance can be ratcheted (sp?) up or down based on the level of the trainee or the level of familiarity with the skill set.

Regarding tension and relaxation, I think this is a critical point, one that Kevin has alluded to.

The "tense" guys, the kind I like to call "fear biters," are the guys screaming on the radio so that they are unintelligible, the guys who are so amped up they can't properly assess a situation, the guys who get so jacked up when they are on a door prior to an entry, or when they are in a high stress incident that everyone around them is concerned, gets a higher level of stress, and wonders about the "loose cannon." They are out there, and sometimes I think there are more of them than not.

The relaxed guys, the ones with the "flexible" kamae (with all the mental and physical aspects that connotes), are the ones who are together, breathing deeply on the door, focussed and "electricified" yet not amped, and whose presence helps to control the others. I have been on operations where an abrupt change in circumstance, or a surprise location of the suspect, jacks everyone up and the screaming starts until someone yells out "stand by" or "calm down." I have actually told people to take a deep breath, and told them to "remember your breathing" just before a door was breached and shots were fired because I knew we would perform better as a team if guys were focussed.

Calm is contagious, but so is fear based tension. Reality is a balancing act between the to and staying keeping the bubble closer to calm and relaxed than to tense. There is just no time, sometimes, to focus on being relaxed so it has to be ingrained through training that makes you relax under duress. Competitive martial arts (a la Judo, BJJ, etc.) are an excellent way to learn what that means. What you learn has to be removed from the sportive context and applied to the combative one.

Kevin Leavitt
05-25-2008, 09:20 PM
Here is another link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6vNstM6cwCM&feature=related

This link shows some soldiers (novice) at a local post conducting MAC-P training. What is interesting is it shows you the basic attitude and menality of soldiers. Not sure what these guys are, but they are not SF guys.

Most of these guys are not fighters and probably don't know jack about martial arts form the look at the skill level. The thing to look at is their mentality and attitude.

We talk about this quite a bit in MAC-P. The agressive ones win the ones that aren't lose. How relaxed do the winners look?

How relaxed or better yet "mentally prepared" for battle do you think these soldiers would be after training this way? better or worse?

Aikibu
05-26-2008, 02:41 AM
Thanks for the great posts Kevin and Kit.You both hit the nail on the head. I really have nothing to add except my alluding to learning the OODA Loop which I posted in the other thread...

I have personally experianced the most intense combat training the Army has to offer which is the basis for my posts on the subject and a point of referance for you good folks.

In my experiance the Army training methodology is the quickest most efficient way to convert fear biters into cold blooded killers...

Where you go from there parses into an even greater paradigm but for that I must depend on those who have survived the experiance of Infantry Combat or Officer Involved Shootings. I completely trust and reley upon both your opinions in that regard.

I first read Dave Grossman's book when it came out. there is some dispute regarding his historical thesis however...A companion book about the paradigm of military training is SIr John Keegan's excellent "The Face of Battle" along with one Kevin my be familiar with "The Mask of Command."

William Hazen

KIT
05-26-2008, 11:16 AM
In my experiance the Army training methodology is the quickest most efficient way to convert fear biters into cold blooded killers...



...and the ability to remain self-possessed and NOT over-reacting or resorting to "spraying and praying" when under that kind of pressure.

That is one of the greatest benefits of this training methodology (which is very similar to the current police force on force training paradigm, at least with agencies that are cutting edge).

You create people who are more confident with use of force, which in turn often makes them less apt to use force inappropriately. Force Science Research Center showed this with some studies on Simunition f/x scenario training. The more exposure one has to such things the colder one's blood gets, so to speak. It sounds harsh, but it actually saves lives.

FWIW, if you are training appropriately, under realistic duress with realistic dynamics, I have learned that is about 2/3ds the battle when the bullets (or the blades, or what have you) are real.

The other is more personal: and where I think the true warrior mindset comes in. Training in progressively more demanding force on force trains the mind and body in much the same way combat sport does: it makes you physically tougher, and it refines your tactics and technical proficiency.

That other 3d is in being "okay" with facing death. I disagree with some classic bushi writers on the warriors job being "to die." Facing death, certainly, but anyone can throw their life away. I think Musashi pointed that out.

One must be absolutely willing to face death;

but absolutely unwilling to die.

I have only two reasons for doing so (putting myself in harm's way): to protect my family, and in certain rare circumstances in my professional duty. I have only had to face the latter situation. Thankfully!

To bring this home for the majority of readers, something to chew on and think about and "get right with" when they consider how this topic may relate to their own training in aikido and self defense:

Visualize frequently. The way that I think it was Suzuki Shosan said a warrior must daily meditate on his death in various and sundry ways to get accustomed to that thought.

He's partly right.

I change one thing: daily meditate on facing death, on all sorts of hideous scenarios on threats to your person and to that of your family.

But ALWAYS stay in the fight. Literally visualize being shot in the face and continuing the fight to save your family and yourself. Don't always be the "easy" winner, but come up with almost impossible odds and defeat them.

Come up with different responses to the same scenario, but always overcoming.

The way I like to put it:

Be a Warrior, not a Worrier.

KIT
05-26-2008, 11:22 AM
LOL. Kevin I just noticed your avatar - that would be a perfect rolleyes smiley!

Kevin Leavitt
05-26-2008, 11:55 AM
I think boddhidharma probably got tired of being asked if sitting in a cave for 10 years worked in real life.

Ketsan
05-26-2008, 02:20 PM
I think boddhidharma probably got tired of being asked if sitting in a cave for 10 years worked in real life.

Nah, I reckon he was in the cave to escape being asked if Kung Fu worked and he only came out once he'd defeated that part of himself that got p***ed off when people asked. :D

SeiserL
05-26-2008, 06:07 PM
"The more you sweat in training, the less you bleed in combat."

"You fight the way you train."

The closer the training scenario simulation to the target application, the easier to generalize and transfer (especially gross muscle memory) acquired skills.

Kevin Leavitt
05-26-2008, 07:30 PM
Kit,

The one thing that always concerns me with these types of methodologies is that they may not always consider the "whole" of the person.

Strozzi-Heckler Sensei rights about this very personally in "In Search of the Warrior Spirit".

The Challenge is training someone this way and then having them return to normalcy after the battle.

In the army we have alot of ways we try to help people mentally and spiritually, however, it is a personal challenge in many cases.

I think Musashi has alot to offer in this area for warriors.

I am curious is to how LEOs deal with this as they tend to be more closely integrated into communities and families than soldiers.

Kevin Leavitt
05-26-2008, 07:44 PM
Here is a good example of CQB training we did last year when I was in Germany. It shows the amount of control and methodicalness we try to instill in soldiers and teams.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TslN22Yx39g&feature=related

Michael Hackett
05-26-2008, 11:00 PM
Interestingly enough, recent studies have shown that the law enforcement officer who has taken a life in the line of duty will only serve another 18 months on average. That includes both "good" and "bad" shootings.

What usually happens after the smoke has cleared is that supervisors and investigators respond to the scene. Most agencies will seize the officer's weapon (some will give him a replacement at that same moment and others won't) for various tests. He will be interviewed by criminal investigators and administrative investigators and then taken off duty for a period of time and not allowed to return until he has been psychologically debriefed and cleared. Assuming the shooting was legal, moral and within policy, the officer can just about count on being named in a lawsuit that will drag out several years. There is some evidence that other officers who voice their support for the action actually make the situation worse for the shooter.

We get, to various degrees, great training on when to shoot, when not to shoot and how to shoot. We don't get much training on the aftermath of a shooting incident and that appears to be almost as crippling as incoming rounds can be. My thought is that the officer isn't given the support of his peers in a prolonged combat environment and that his basic mission is that of a peace officer rather than soldier. In the Hollywood version, the soldier only kills those defined enemies who are trying to kill him, while the cop only shoots to wound or (my personal favorite) shoot the weapon from the bad guy's hand.

The training for military folks and law enforcement folks is similar, but so different at the same time as to be apples and oranges so to speak.

KIT
05-27-2008, 12:01 AM
Its not the peers that are the problem. Its the administrators. Overwhelmingly the officers who report "problems" after a shooting don't have a problem with the shooting, but the ill conceived and poorly handled reaction of administrators.

Things regarding peers are a different story, some good some bad. I won't go into that here.

Michael Hackett
05-27-2008, 01:39 AM
Remarkably, as a former administrator, I agree with you in part. What I was referring to was the locker room conversations where brother officers pat you on the back and tell you how great it was that you dumped someone and similar. Many, if not most, officers have related that they didn't feel like shooting someone was a great feat deserving of accolades. They are confronted with all the issues I mentioned earlier, plus they seem to second guess themselves and are quite bothered by those kinds of comments. What I've heard from them in my own experience is that they would be pleased if their brother and sister officers simply said "I'm glad you're OK" and let it go at that. Asking him "what did it feel like?" and those kinds of things just aren't very helpful to someone in turmoil, and they are.

Now, what we suits can put them through is pretty bad too. Some pretty bright agencies are now doing things like giving patrol supervisors an extra duty weapon to immediately exchange with the shooting officer, arranging for a peer counselor immediately, having support immediately available for the officer and before any questioning, and requiring a psych debrief - some officers wouldn't ask for help under any circumstances, believing that they will look weak in front of their peers. By requiring the debrief in each and every case, it becomes mandatory and the officer can effectively save face. He may or may not get some benefit from the counseling, but since he doesn't have a choice, he can't be viewed as a weakling by those around him. Not perfect, but good steps to help someone recover from a terrible situation.

I've seen exactly what you describe. The very first Officer Involved Shooting I was associated with, the officer was disarmed, placed in a patrol car and informed that he was under arrest for murder! This all took place in the very first minutes of what was clearly a legitimate use of deadly force. The involved officer was disturbed as you can imagine, but went on and had a successful career and everyone learned something from the whole event. I would like to think that we are much better now. Some are and surely some aren't.

KIT
05-27-2008, 10:44 AM
Michael

I think it depends on the officer, and depends on the shooting. I know guys who have no trouble at all with the thought of having "dumped" someone - virtually ALL of their issues are with administrative follow up and screwed up policies afterwards - from virtually ignoring there was a shooting at all (in this day and age, believe it or not!) to having an officer on admin leave after a shooting call daily and "check in" in a demeaning way, to an administrator without credibility.

That officer was "saved" because people congratulated him and told him he did a good job.

There seems to be a trend in LE Administration to address all shootings by all officers as the same kind of traumatic event - a cookie cutter that all shootings screw all people up.

Truth is, some people are more than willing to shoot people that need shot. In fact, doing so is a validation of their training. Not because they "wanted" to shoot someone, but because for some, that is the ultimate challenge to face in LE and they want to be known as rising to the occasion when the occasion justified it, rather than shrinking from it.

These kinds of guys scare administrators. Example: during Katrina, a number of our guys wanted to volunteer to go down to New Orleans to help - going through the necessary channels to make it offical.

They were summarily told "No," and it got back that the reason was "our people aren't going down there to shoot people."

Or the bank robber/hostage taker shot in the face by an officer - only to have the media told it was in the chest, because "we can't have people thinking we shoot people in the head."

I know for a fact the officer had no problem with doing what he had to do. The heartburn came from administrative dissembling, hand wringing, and excessively "poor baby"-ing a guy who was perfectly OK with what he did.

Sure, some aren't keen on ever facing that challenge, but do it if they have to.Those may have some problems.

Some are willing, but second guess whether they "should have" under their particular circumstances. Also a potential problem.

Some never, ever want to face it, and indeed run from it. They are not indicative of the profession as a whole. And tend to have the worst problems.

As I say, most cops carry a gun to defend themselves, not to step in harm's way to defend others. Most will do it if they have to, but for some, it is the driving purpose of the profession. To Serve and Protect. Some are more servants, some are more protectors.

I think addressing them all as if they are all the same is the primary issue. I don't have the answer, but I think the dialogue is a good one. All views just have to be brought to the table.

I've nver seen anything as bad as your "under arrest for murder" situation - yikes!

Michael Hackett
05-27-2008, 01:20 PM
Hi Kit,

I think we are hijacking the thread somewhat, but my question to you is should an agency develop a tiered form of response to a police shooting event? I fully agree that some officers are more willing than others to use deadly force. Some are truly reluctant for whatever reasons and some will do just do it because they have to. I personally think it would be detrimental to the health and welfare of the involved officer if his agency presumed what his emotional state is at that point and would be in the future. I honestly believe a standardized approach is the best answer for these situations, albeit the approach MUST be reasonable, well thought out, and designed to care for the officer.

As you said, some folks won't be bothered at all and some will be devastated. I've only personally known of one of the former. I think part of the program is to ensure that those who may be damaged aren't compared unfavorably to those few who aren't and that's why I support the mandatory debrief process for all hands. I think our views are fairly aligned, but our vantage point is just a little different.

Aikibu
05-27-2008, 02:35 PM
I think this excellent exchange between you illustrates a key premise in Dave Grossman's book and the reason that although LE and Miltary training takes a different approach towards the paradox of killing someone The results of killing someone are almost the same in both venues. According to Grossman

Human Beings have a natural aversion to killing other Human Beings and there are real consequences for the survivor.

Physcological Trauma affects almost 1 in 3 frontline combat soldiers. I don't know what the stats are for L.E. "Shooters" but since most are at close range (i.e within eyesight) I'll bet it's the same and considering the stress most Officers go through in the course of thier day I wonder if there is ANY management/treatment method for healing those folks who undergo such trauma Civilian or Military....

William Hazen

Kevin Leavitt
05-27-2008, 08:25 PM
Not hijacking the thread at all! It is good to hear you guys talk about the "day after".

KIT
05-27-2008, 11:42 PM
Grossman bases some of that fundamental premise on the work of SLA Marshall, who admittedly cooked his books to support a foregone conclusion. Strategos International and other forums have discussed this extensively, and IIRC someone has written a critique of Grossman. Google those in combination and you'll get some fascinating reading.

That being said he has some good things to say - just take with a grain of salt.

Michael - I don't know the answer. I don't mean to imply that a mandatory debrief shouldn't be the order of the day - but administrators and psychologists need to accept that officers will have different responses and come from different places, and that after the initial debrief they cannot be dealt with in a cookie cutter manner.

I do believe that we are going to eventually see a greater division between the kind of cops that do "armed social work," and the kind that "protect society" from a blatantly martial stance.

Obviously all will have some overlap, but I see particular officers being pre-selected for more the warrior role. For example the current discussion in the field regarding choosing school resource officers for their tactical acumen, which is an about face from the current "officer friendly" type that are overwhelmingly in that role. Problem is, many of the "tactically inclined" are not ideally suited, and less than thrilled, about that kind of work.

So many questions, so few answers, I know.

Michael Hackett
05-28-2008, 01:45 AM
There actually was a movement some years ago to create several different career paths for local law enforcement. One path would be traditional patrol, which included tactical and other specialized "warrior" type units. The second would be for investigators and the third for administrative roles. That really didn't go too terribly far. Part of the consideration was that the patrol types would be the ones getting hurt, killed and worn out. Sounds kinda like the infantry as opposed to the 506th Messkit Repair Company?

In my own agency we had psych evals done on every SWAT candidate, after creating a model. It was really fascinating to read the evaluations. In a few cases, the doc suggested that we pass on the individual, but what was most remarkable to me was his assessment of the individual for leadership or other roles. For example, the doc would tell the candidate and us that the candidate should not be considered for a leadership role in the team, but could be counted on to be a highly reliable perimeter officer or similar. The various team roles were suggested such as entry team members, sniper/observers, security, logistics and so on.

There was another interesting movement in the mid 80s at San Diego PD. Norm Stamper, who was an Assistant Chief at the time, wanted to do away with ranks and replace them with "agent" "supervisor" and "manager". As I recall his proposed program, he also wanted to eliminate the traditional uniform as well. That didn't go anyplace in San Diego and Norm didn't implement it in Seattle when he became Chief there. There were a couple of California agencies that did experiment with a blazer and slacks uniform, but I don't think there are any left today.

We are still asking the same questions of ourselves that O.W. Wilson pondered when considering our basic mission. Each jurisdiction and each community is different in their real and perceived needs and each agency is challenged to meet them. As soon as I can figure it all out, I will write my textbook and questions on the promotional exams will come right out of my book!

KIT
05-28-2008, 09:04 AM
Mike

RE: Leadership/pre-assigned roles.

That was VERY forward thinking. Some of that just kind of happens with guys gravitating to what they want to do, but then again, some guys end up in positions where they are in over their head - and it affects the entire unit.

Interesing re: the blazer and slacks - I think its morphed into a different look for people in most specialty units, a kind of cross between tactical cop (vest worn outside, drop holster) and polo shirts and 5.11s or jeans. There is good and bad to this, but the softer look (minus the CDI gear) has some positive benefits.

We've really gotten off the track from "Military Training Methodologies, now!

Bill Danosky
05-28-2008, 11:28 AM
Let's roll with it, then- How about hearing the flip side of this issue?

As a hippie civilian type, I prefer that police officers have all the necessary capabilities to protect themselves and effectively carry out their duties, but that they keep in mind their primary responsibility is to protect and serve the public.

Even those of us who're sterling citizens feel more threatened than sheltered by our police forces. Admittedly, cops have had a bad run locally- a couple officers have been fired for excessive use of force flashlights, one is being tried currently for stalking and raping a number of young women, and one shot and killed a retarded teenager during a pullover for a gas station pump and driveoff a few years back.

I'm not playing Polyanna- I see it's tough and plenty dangerous out there. But since we have street cops and administrators both present, I'd love to hear how everyone thinks we can have a kinder/gentler constabulary.

Aikibu
05-28-2008, 11:34 AM
Mike
We've really gotten off the track from "Military Training Methodologies, now!

Perhaps...LOL But there is a definate link between LE and Military Methodologies. Lots of folks (including me) complained loudly after 9/11 when he whose name is not worth mentioning took most of our response to terrorism out of Law Enforcement's hands and force fed it to the Military. Five years later we appeared to have come full circle with both Military and LE training methodologies blending together a heck of allot better and the Military adapting more of a LE mindset in terms of Counterterrorism/Asymetric Warfare....

On the tactical leval ala CQB these days from what I have been told you almost can't tell the differance.

When I was an Military Advisor/Observer of the LASO SEB's CT Team for the 84 Olympics believe me that was NOT the case. LOL
After a few tactical exercises run on Fort MacArthur most of those poor SEB Deputy's realized they needed to totally revamp thier tactics for CT.

Like I said I have been out since 94 I have watched a few Demo's since then both LE and Military and like I already mentioned I can't really tell the differance tactically.

William Hazen

KIT
05-28-2008, 12:42 PM
Bill

By way of explanation, I think you are conflating two issues.

Pointing to unprofessional and criminal behavior with an implication that this is indicative of the "protector" types is not what I am talking about. It is thuggish behavior no matter who is doing it. Plenty "kinder, gentler" officers who ride roughshod over the public are the same folks that would be unable and unwilling to place their lives at risk to save you during a hostage situation or active shooter.

All LEO are of course in service to the public, and it is their duty to do so professionally and by adhering to best practices. It is in the nature of their service.

Let's start from a baseline of professional, non-criminal behavior. (Not disregarding that you certainly have individual officer and even systemic problems within some police organizations leading to the lack of trust that Bill is talking about.) Then again, you also have people who just hate cops, and people who are scared of them, no matter what they do.

The disinction I am making is you have "protectors," in other words more warrior types, who are mentally more suited for proactive and decisive tactical action against violent criminal - and as William has touched on - terrorist threats.

By "servants," I mean the more social servies oriented types who got into LE not to place themselves between the bullets and the citizens, but to be a conduit for social services of all types. Or, to investigate incidents after the fact. Those who carry weapons primarily for self defense, and not to willingly go after a shooter in say a business or a school.

In instructing active shooter and hostage rescue, I have seen and heard of qualified, working street officers who essentially say "if this were real, there is no way I'm going in there. I don't care what is happening, its not my job to get killed for somebody else."

It is no officers job to "get killed" for someone else. It is very much an officer's job - with weapons, training, and body armor that victims of shootings, etc. don't have - to risk their life in an effort to save others. Certainly, any tactical officer must absolutely have this as a core conviction.

Michael Hackett
05-28-2008, 03:56 PM
When I went to the Sergeant's Academy (yes, they had paper back then) John Morrison was one of the instructors who said something that I found to be profound. He said that there are three types of police officer in any agency. He said that in the event of a crisis, the first would drive as quickly as he could to the scene, thinking all along "Boy, I hope I get there before this is over!" The second would drive reasonably and directly while thinking "Boy, I hope they have this under control before I get there." The third would drive away in the opposite direction and find an old woman jaywalking.

Speaking to Bill's concerns a little. I share your fear of bad cops and they do exist. There are some that never should have been hired in the first place and slid through some cracks, or managed to hide their pathology so well that they appeared to be quality candidates. Those folks actually get weeded out in fairly short order in most agencies. Where we get disappointed is when a good officer does something really stupid. People make mistakes certainly, but mistakes that relate to serious misbehavior such as excessive force, planting evidence and so forth are progressive in nature and, in my personal view, a result of poor leadership. Police leaders MUST set standards and enforce them, universally and constantly. More importantly they must model the conduct desired. If you study the Ramparts scandal at LAPD, the overwhelming conclusion I reached was that we had a bunch of young cops were largely unsupervised, unmonitored and unaudited. That doesn't suggest that the involved officers didn't make some conscious choices, nor does it suggest that they didn't know they were doing something wrong, unethical, against policy and against the law. They certainly did, but they did so in a climate where they could.

One of the biggest hurdles cops have to face is the idea of the ends justifying the means. Frankly I don't subscribe to that philosophy and don't want to work with or for anyone who does. I certainly don't want them working for me. For me, only proper means will ever achieve proper ends.

Bill Danosky
05-28-2008, 04:27 PM
Kit and Michael- Those are some great observations, which I've come to expect from you. I'm waiting to hear your solution, though.

It's not fair to expect the police to be infallible paragons of virtue, but that's almost what they need to be. I'm sorry, but I think the same is true of our soldiers involved in wartime "police action". We (Americans) are supposed to be the 'good guys' and that doesn't leave any room for being human, I'm afraid.

As tempting as it is, we can't afford to lower our standards of behavior when we're representing our way of life. Especially when the 'bad guys' are doing it. Too many resentments are caused when the ultimate authorities in our lives are clearly in the wrong.

The best example I can think of is what our kids (actually, no matter what they say) want in a dad- That firstly, even though they have you wrapped around their finger you can and will kick ass when you have to. And secondly, you're right when it comes down to it.

KIT
05-28-2008, 06:32 PM
Bill

I think one solution would be training. Force Science Research Center is demonstrating that they can show that officers with repeat exposure to force on force training make better use of force decisions and are less affected by stress - in other words they are inoculated to stress, as Strategos would put it.

The issue is that in most places citizens pay the same cops to write parking tickets and respond to 9 year olds that won't go to school, to be the ones to respond to a hostage rescue, a terrorist incident, an active shooter, or a bank robbery. Something has to give.

If you put them all on the road, but with the expectation that some go to some things, and some go to others, and then give them the appropriate training time and selection processes for specific "specialties," you get a better product. This is in place with full time SWAT teams, but even there, they are often tasked with doing many things that cut down on their training time. Corners get cut.

John Robb of Global Guerillas (not Rob John, but another guy that sounds like he has two first names...) had some interesting ideas in this area. He foresees the armed contractor business taking off here, when we finally start having regular enough terrorist incidents to make an impression (over and above the routine active shooters we have across the country today.)

He foresees a professional, tactical, contractor community that well to do communities with a high tax base will hire for the express purpose of dealing with high violence threats, essentially putting the police out of that business. Highly paid, highly trained security personnel that work for specific communities.

Of course, the less well off will have to deal with the regular old police protection, whereas if you live in some tony area you may have three ex-Delta operators on retainer, who live in the community, and who will deal with anything of violence that happens.

I think that is a little much, but I do think policing will increasingly specialize into different realms so that kind of thing becomes the de facto practice. The level of professionalism increasingly expected of the public in each realm will end up being exclusionary for people handling multiple "major" specialties.

Bill Danosky
05-28-2008, 09:19 PM
Maybe just a shift in the paradigm of their approach would help. Who was it that posted the link to the article about the work the Vietnamese Buddhist leader Thich Nhat Hanh is doing with police groups? Kevin maybe?

I read it and it was filled with all these endorsements of hard core cops who got their minds blown with understanding and compassion.

Not that it made them soft or weak but gave them a little healthier perspective. That has to take some of the stress out of the job when you feel more like it's actually doing some good.

Kevin Leavitt
05-28-2008, 09:41 PM
Perhaps...LOL But there is a definate link between LE and Military Methodologies. Lots of folks (including me) complained loudly after 9/11 when he whose name is not worth mentioning took most of our response to terrorism out of Law Enforcement's hands and force fed it to the Military. Five years later we appeared to have come full circle with both Military and LE training methodologies blending together a heck of allot better and the Military adapting more of a LE mindset in terms of Counterterrorism/Asymetric Warfare....

On the tactical leval ala CQB these days from what I have been told you almost can't tell the differance.

When I was an Military Advisor/Observer of the LASO SEB's CT Team for the 84 Olympics believe me that was NOT the case. LOL
After a few tactical exercises run on Fort MacArthur most of those poor SEB Deputy's realized they needed to totally revamp thier tactics for CT.

Like I said I have been out since 94 I have watched a few Demo's since then both LE and Military and like I already mentioned I can't really tell the differance tactically.

William Hazen

William,

Reminded me of some Civil Disturbance training I did about 10 years ago with the VA State Police with my National Guard unit. We were doing the ole troops on a line and move through town, and started to get to a wide area, the crowd was starting to flank our formation so I started breaking off soldiers to realign the formation. Yelled over to the trooper who was my counter part with his formation, after a few minutes I realized that troopers worked pretty much alone and they had no concept of fire teams or squads so they could not task organize on the fly. THey moved well as one big block, but were not very adaptable!

It was interesting to learn the differences...we all assumed that because we were in uniform that we had the same understanding of tactics and movement.

Kevin Leavitt
05-28-2008, 09:45 PM
Shifting paradigms in large organizations like police forces and militaries is not an easy thing to do. Since 9-11 the military has transformed tremendously in ways many of us thought should have been done alot sooner.

You have to be slow and careful when you start getting down on the interpersonal level and crossing the lines into mental and spiritual aspects within warrior cultures. Not something you experiment on like you do in many businesses where you can try things out to see how they impact productivity. You are dealing with peoples lives, both within the organization and the population/citizens that they interface with.

KIT
05-28-2008, 11:00 PM
Well said, Kevin, which is a reason I am somewhat circumspect with non-LEO teaching LEO in this area. Since I am somewhat blunt in my way, I think this stance gives offense at times, but it is because we are dealing with lives that I am so direct.

I have little patience for either the totally traditionalist my-style-is-best camp, or with the totally anti-traditionalist camp, vis-a-vis this stuff because lives are really on the line. Some people seem to be feeding their own modern samurai fantasies, and others seem to think sport martial arts meets each and every need because of what happens in the ring.

The real key is to have martial artist/professionals with enough real experience and open mindedness that no system is a "complete system" in terms of professional application, so that the audience accords it credibility and has confidence in the message. I have seen some martial artists, including serving officers, whose "martial artistry" has made them the butt of jokes rather than inspired the troops.

This damages a defensive tactics/officer survival program, which can have a deleterious effect on people's physical confidence in a realm where they need it most.

Likewise, I have seen folks totally enthralled with the latest MMA fighter's foray into teaching soldiers or and wondered if people have even considered the difference in environment or the presence of weapons.

Bill Danosky
05-29-2008, 11:39 AM
When I was watching the military combatants videos that were posted, it looked to me like the Army has their own MMA. Don't you think it's a bad idea for them to be going to ground so much? It seems like that would be a disadvantage on the battlefield.

It just looked like they were slugging it out and wrestling, rather than using techniques.

Bill Danosky
05-29-2008, 12:12 PM
Shifting paradigms in large organizations like police forces and militaries is not an easy thing to do. Since 9-11 the military has transformed tremendously in ways many of us thought should have been done alot sooner.

You have to be slow and careful when you start getting down on the interpersonal level and crossing the lines into mental and spiritual aspects within warrior cultures. Not something you experiment on like you do in many businesses where you can try things out to see how they impact productivity. You are dealing with peoples lives, both within the organization and the population/citizens that they interface with.

I agree, and maybe I should underscore that I'm not proposing anybody change the way they handle a physical encounter (Although as a martial artist, I think a lot of them could do better). But a softer approach to the interpersonal exchanges would be an improvement in many, many cases. I really do understand that hardened street cops are not typically "warm and fuzzy" types and you can't change stripes on a zebra.

It's probably difficult to handle a lot of the things you see as a cop or soldier with out getting pretty callous. That's why I think Thich Nhat Hanh's approach is so applicable. The practice of "engaged Buddhism" allows them to minister aid in war zones and not get dragged down by it. If you don't have a way to get by it all, there's no way you could do it for long.

KIT
05-29-2008, 01:18 PM
When I was watching the military combatants videos that were posted, it looked to me like the Army has their own MMA. Don't you think it's a bad idea for them to be going to ground so much? It seems like that would be a disadvantage on the battlefield.

It just looked like they were slugging it out and wrestling, rather than using techniques.

Of course it is a disadvantage on the battlefield, just as it is in the street. It raises the level of danger exponentially.

None of which means it will never happen. And when it does, especially in a life and death confrontation, you want to have done a lot of realistic, serious ground combatives and ground familiarization because that is what will save you.

You'll need to be proficient on the ground, if not comfortable, when things are real because of how much more dangerous it is. That is not by any means an indication of the fact that the preferred paradigm is fighting on the ground.

So, it is a GOOD idea that they train on the ground. The bad idea is not training on the ground, avoiding it, in fact, and believing that you will always be able to do the same in real life.

Bill Danosky
05-29-2008, 04:04 PM
Not being a military person, I wouldn't be an expert. But I heard an Israeli military (Krav Maga) instructor say that if you go to ground, you're dead.

That's a battleground perspective from someone I thought to be pretty credible. Life is different there, but probably more like what those soldiers would face in combat that what life is like here.

I don't know what the background of those videos was but it appeared that the combatants are under rules like MMA, and single/single combat is more like what we're terming "sport fighting".

KIT
05-29-2008, 10:14 PM
Yeah, I saw that show too.

FWIW, if your attitude is "If I go to the ground, them I am dead," you probably will end up that way.

If you assume anything can happen, and prepare for it, you are that much further ahead.

Kevin Leavitt
05-29-2008, 11:32 PM
Yes, Kit is correct. I don't accept the notion that if I go to the ground I am dead. Too fatalistic to me. You want to develop skills to be able to recover and regain tactical integrity again.

Guys that brush off ground skills really don't know how to train them and with one wave of the hand dismiss this whole range of fighting as irrelevant. Not smart.

That said, most equate grappling and combatives with "ground fighitng". We have BJJ and GJJ to thank for that stereotype as it is very effective to fight this way from that perspective when you consider the "Gracie Marketing factor of the 1990's".

Grappling skills and combatives is about more than ground fighting. I figured the videos I provided showed a pretty good range of that spectrum.

Of course we spend alot of time on the ground, it allows for a base of training and development of some pretty critical body skills, much like swariwaza.

Also, as I mentioned in the other thread, you have to be careful not to make the mistake that this method of training is technically based, that is we are learning particular patterns, skills, techniques ala RBSD style...you are really training body mechanics and movement, timing, tempo, speed.

Not to pick on Krav Maga, as I think they do alot of good stuff, however the method of practice can lead you to develop a perpsective that is technically based and you develop a "stylistic" fighting paradigm that leads you to believe that a fight will be occur in a certain "Krav Maga" way.

The same thing happens I think in aikido as well, because we filter out alot of the "pressure", Speed, timing...you are left with principles and techniques. When that becomes your mindset based on experience of practice...then you do tend to look at things such as grappling and groundfighting and wonder "why are they doing that?" It doesn't make tactical sense to fight this way, so why would you put yourself in that position.

Two reasons, you train to your point of failure, and you are training in a pressure/stress induction method that encourages a more natural response with skill and body movement.

Hate to drag the UFC into it, but it is relevant as a test bed for fighting that is pretty good. All fighters today recognize that ground fighting skills and some grappling are at least relevant in a empty handed fight. Most grapplers today recognize that skills in arts like Krav Maga and Muay Thai are also relevant. So regardless of your thoughts of the "Rules of the Cage" it should at least show us that there are certain things that are important in fighting empty handed in general that we can learn from.

Dismissing "groundfighting" because you if the fight goes to the ground you are dead anyway shows a lack of understanding of the dynamics of this method of training, IMO.

Sorry to be so blunt, but that is my experience.

I am always happy to get with guys that say this and have them show me where I am wrong.

It usually ends up with them looking at things with a new outlook. (Not that I am some macho stud that goes around picking fights and humiliating people by any means.) Good, mature and intelligent martial discourse is what I am talking about.

FWIW, my club, trains BJJ/Ground skills with a Krav Maga school here in the local area, it is a good fit between both styles.

KIT
05-30-2008, 12:14 AM
When I see the ground stuff in Takeuchi-ryu, or Araki-ryu, or Nagao-ryu, or Sekiguchi-ryu, or other older (Sengoku) ryuha, I know I often think - what the heck were those guys thinking! Don't they realize the "samurai battlefield" was no place to be on the ground!

Funny, how its often not even commented on if its old, and Japanese, but if its some kind of modern combatives it "got it from BJJ and MMA" and is considered non-sensical.

I think the fact that you see this stuff in the aforementioned ryu and others is both a factor of their ongoing development and later embracing of a "sport" fighting format, AND a recognition that sometimes things go bad and you had better be able to fight from really bad spots if your goal is combat survival, versus martial artistry.

Aikibu
05-30-2008, 12:28 AM
Good Posts Kit and Kevin

I like to toss some of the Koryu Arts into the mix as well as Silat and the Phillipino based combat arts....

I think the UFC and MMA are great laboritories for learning self defense under duress but I would like to stress that there is a distinct differance between SD and Combat Arts...

Namely combat arts focus on killing/disabling the opponent in a melee environment as quickly as possible and while Melee's seem to be uncommon I know Matt Larsen and company have documented over 700 H2H engagements in the current conflicts. It would be interesting to see if he has parsed these into how many of them went to the ground. I have come to reley on his work as the gold standard.

SD to me seems to parse itself more into protecting life than taking it but perhaps that is too general an assumption given the thousands of flavors of "Martial Arts"

I love our Aikido because Shoji Nishio attempts to blend the spirit of Aikido (protecting life) with the principle of the fight being over at the moment of contact.

I remain intrigued by the paradox. :)

WIlliam Hazen

Aikibu
05-30-2008, 02:35 AM
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/30/sports/othersports/30fight.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&hp

William Hazen

Kevin Leavitt
05-30-2008, 04:29 AM
Matt and I were at lunch a couple of weeks ago and he made the emphasis that the Army is not looking to produce MMA fighters, in fact we want guys that want to fight, but are not looking to become UFC fighters. The training and focus is different and you will not that the Army does not sponsor any such event today.

Why?

While their are many similarities, the organizations don't reflect Army values enough, and our focus is slightly different.

As Yurk points out in the article though, that it takes a certain amount of "fighting spirit" and desire to go into combat just as it does into the ring.

Lots a similarities, but differences as well.

Kevin Leavitt
06-06-2008, 07:43 AM
Tim,

It was good to meet and train with Takeo and you. I think you guys are on the right track because you think and analyze things critically. Now if we can only get Takeo over to the Army where we can make better use of him!

I will probably break my answer down into several post. due to time, focus and length.

First: Training guys to be funcitonal quickly.

This will be tricky to answer as it has many conditions to consider.

The military is an institution or an "industrial complex" if you will. As such you have to consider efficiencies. There are always tradeoffs of course given time, money, and endstate. So, training and what you do will always be constrained by those parameters.

It is not always a bad thing, in fact I think it to be good in many cases. Consider the extreme alternative. unlimited time, money, and no endstate. Sound familiar? That is how most dojos operate successfully within a free market economy intentionally or not intentionally.

Endstate meaning that I have a fairly definitive skill set at a certain point and time and can demonstrate it under a particular set of parameters and conditions.

That bar might be quite low.

"Be able to show 2 ways to escape the mount both by the numbers and at full combat speed".

So, when you talk "be effective or functionally quickly" it is a loaded question we are dealing with!

The military training model takes into account stages of development and maturation in abilities as well as recognizing that not everyone develops the same way, has the same interest, or skill sets.

An Admin Clerk is not going to have the shooting skills of a Ranger Infantryman, however both of them will have the same basic ability to handle the weapon and put well aimed shots center of mass at some level. The Ranger simply can do it under much more challenging conditions.

The constraints and operating environment make all the difference in the world.

So, our "basic" model of combatives training is framed by endstates and operational conditions. That is we establish evalutation criteria in which we measure your skills against.

Aunkai does the same really. The Bo Staff exercise we did would be a good example as well as games like "push hands" etc. Ark sets up operational conditions in which to measure how well you are growing.

If you listen to what Mike and I debate, I think much of it has to do around the fact that we both simply evaluate things on different models.

So, I can take my martial abilities and skills into a test model designed for the army and be successful, but walk into Ark's dojo and fail miserably.

Vice, the same might apply if Ark or Rob were to walk onto the matt at Fort Benning.

That does not mean that there is no transferrence of skill or ability at all, just that the operational parameters/conditions impact things quite a bit.

The key to success is to be able to quickly Observe that this is what is going on. Orient on the solution set. Make a Decision (or adjustments) and then take Action to adjust for this. OODA

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OODA_Loop

OODA can be applied tactically on the fly or strategically. In the case of internal training, it might take months or years to be able to make these adjustments and integrate them.

So I kinda combined two things here.

Effectiveness is a loaded question as we have to ask "under what conditions, and to what level?"

and the Impact of Operational Conditions, constraints, limitations both implicit and explicit.

Both are applied against a particular desired enstate.

Whatever model you use, it must be adaptable in nature to constantly evolve as new information and conditions are entered into the mix.

I had alot of that happening when working with Rob and Ark. That is, new information. It will be a challenge for me fitting it in.

Timothy WK
06-06-2008, 09:52 AM
Kevin,

In all honesty, I question how much internal training (a la Mike, Dan, or Ark) would benefit the modern military or LE. As a matter of physiology, it simply takes time to develop internal connection. As has been said to me, it takes 6-9 months to *begin* to develop real connection through the arms, and 1.5-2 years to *begin* to develop real connections through the legs. So you're looking at 2 years of daily practice to develop enough connection to really start "playing" with internal movement.

The place where Ark's or whoever's exercises might help is with general structure (body alignment and posture). Developing good structure will show immediate results---that's what most of the new people at Ark's seminar were experiencing. But in the end, structure---in and of itself---is still an external pursuit.

I have a couple more thoughts, but I have to run. If I get a chance later I'll elaborate.

Dan Austin
06-06-2008, 11:12 AM
Kevin,

In all honesty, I question how much internal training (a la Mike, Dan, or Ark) would benefit the modern military or LE.

I don't think it's much of a question, there's not enough time. My understanding is that military personnel who want advanced martial arts training have to do so on their own dime and time. So this is something Kevin can do for his own personal interest as a martial artist, but it's not something he's ever going to be able to transmit to newbies in a few weeks.

Kevin Leavitt
06-06-2008, 12:09 PM
No, the question is not so much that I or anyone else wants to adopt or adapt this training to the military per se.

It has more to do with blending methodologies in general.

The question kept coming up in several discussions we had at the seminar concerning how do you keep training how you train and balance that with internal training.

the discussion is more a intellectual and philosophical exploration concerning method and paradigms and how you blend that into a "formula" for reality. Better yet, how do you interpret from your own reference point of reality as you know it.

Many, look at military training models as one way. Why? well we train large numbers of people, very quickly and actually we have fairly codified practices that serve as great models that we can base training on.

It's not so much about integrating this training into the military.

Kevin Leavitt
06-06-2008, 12:16 PM
Lets think bigger. Mike kinda talks about this. Lets say Western Culture started thinking more "asian" and internal training entered more the norm of society. Maybe it would make a difference.

I had a conversation that someone was amazed at how fast Ark picked up Skeet Shooting for example. It wouldn't suprise me watching how he moved.

Once you figure out the point of aim and point of impact, and some basics with sight alignment...well then it is simply doing the same thing over and over to improve your accuracy. Ark moves so well within his body that he would probaby pick up most kinestic things easily.

Think about the impacts of that towards military or martial training if we had large numbers of people that were very comfortable with their bodies in this way.

So, I think it might be an important thing to explore on a personal level.

Erick Mead
06-07-2008, 11:05 AM
The key to success is to be able to quickly Observe that this is what is going on. Orient on the solution set. Make a Decision (or adjustments) and then take Action to adjust for this. OODA

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OODA_Loop

OODA can be applied tactically on the fly or strategically. In the case of internal training, it might take months or years to be able to make these adjustments and integrate them.
There was a very good discussion last year on OODA, both in its conscious, rational aspect of the typically trained OODA loop and the intuitive side-loop in Boyd's original flow diagram. Whereas the rational loop is OODA --Observe, Orient, Decide Act, the intuitive side-loop in Boy'ds flow chart (called "implicit guidance and control") is OOA -- Orient, Observe/Act. Unlike the rational OODA, the non-rational implicit guidance loop is not a one way linear loop, but a reversible pathway centered on orientation, which informs both observation and directs action. Aiki, kokyu, etc. are forms of physical orientation that precede and facilitate the process of physical observation in the implicit guidance realm.

Col. Boyd's diagram is here (the link to the OODA diagram in the earlier Aikiweb discussion has since passed on): http://www.valuebasedmanagement.net/images/picture_boyd_ooda_loop.gif

And the discussion is here: http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=13535&highlight=ooda

Kevin Leavitt
06-07-2008, 12:16 PM
Thanks for the link Erick. Went back and reviewed that thread. Funny how we always come back to the same topic!

Tim Fong
06-08-2008, 12:42 PM
Great links. Boyd and the OODA loop have been part of my thinking for the last few years.

The Patterns of Conflict briefing slides (and a wealth of other Boyd stuff) are available here:

http://www.d-n-i.net/dni/strategy-and-force-employment/boyd-and-military-strategy/

One of the things that I like about Boyd's work, is that it's a Westernized adaptation of Sun Tzu and Daoism.

Mike Sigman
06-08-2008, 03:11 PM
[snip]
"Be able to show 2 ways to escape the mount both by the numbers and at full combat speed".

So, when you talk "be effective or functionally quickly" it is a loaded question we are dealing with! [snip]
If you listen to what Mike and I debate, I think much of it has to do around the fact that we both simply evaluate things on different models.
Just to be clear here, I think that I consider the "evaluation" thing you're doing to be two different things, Kevin. I posted a number of times on this forum and others that I tend to think of martial arts as roughly comprised of two categories:

(1.) Techniques and Strategies
(2.) Conditioning

The whole ki/kokyu thing is about conditioning, in a way of speaking. Techniques and strategies are a separate topic. What screws up the conversation at a basic level is that the Asian arts base their techniques/strategies to work off the conditioning, but someone with an external view of clever/effective techniques doesn't usually understand this. Hence so many westerners who think that ki/kokyu are some sort of cool buzzwords and therefore they focus on techniques.

Whether a person can or cannot escape a mount or whether or not they can side-mount you is, IMO, simply beside the point for the ki/kokyu discussion. If that's the technique/strategies that you think are important, fine, but that simply misses the whole point of whether ki/kokyu skills have any value. As I said before, ki/kokyu skills have obvious benefits (as do cardio, strength, and other things) that simply preclude trying to peg the discussion on any particular techniques.

If you say that someone who has some degree of ki/kokyu skills "could not side-mount me", I'd ask if they were able to put out your eyes or rip out the sterno-cleido-mastoid muscle. But you probably don't teach those things as the immediate response in a grappling situation to your troops and I'd say "why not?". It's easy to get hung up on your favorite responses and get diverted from the conversation at hand. IF I were focused on military training, I'd be focusing on the fastest, most effective techniques that could be acquired within the shortest amount of time. I couldn't care less about who's in whose guard or side-mounted if it means wasting time.... but you see how that gets into a technique argument and totally away from a baseline skill like the ki/kokyu things.

This reminds me, BTW, of a sparring match I was told about from a couple of reputable sources. The person in the match that I personally knew was warned to not let the other person get his hands in any grip. So my friend sparred but avoided all grabs and attempts to take down. At the end of the match, the guy who lost showed what he could do if he had gotten his hands on my friend.... he took a teacup and using 2 fingers snapped off a piecr from the rim, and then he ground the piece into powder between his fingers. Not a guy you'd want to grapple with, probably (he also had fairly good martial techniques, too, so it wasn't just hand strength).

Long ago, arts like Pigua, Eagle Claw, and a number of others, specialized in the ground, grappling, and joint-lock arts and made it lethal for grapplers, shuai jiao, and other arts to try to take them down. Everything that is new in the world today is actually probably old, it often seems.

But think in terms of "what is the most effective way to train the body" rather than "what are the current most hyped techniques" and you'll see that my evaluation isn't about techniques at all... it's about conditioning. What someone does with that conditioning or how much effort they put into it in order to maximize strength is, to me, simply a separate branch of the discussion apart from my basic focus.

Best.

Mike Sigman

Kevin Leavitt
06-08-2008, 04:53 PM
Mike,

We view side control not as a technique or a strategy, it is simply a position or a body orientation that you might find yourself in.

Certainly a poor strategy militarily or martially if you can avoid it, as are all postions you find yourself in on the ground.

I would categorize slightly different.

1. Orientation, Position, or Situation.
2. Conditioning
3. Techniques and/or Strategy.

We start out, as well as most BJJ dojos from a standpoint of orientation/position or situation.

Most of our empty hand training assumes "failure". That is, someone has closed distance and has put you into an orientation that is less than favorable.

Training from Side Control, Mount, Rear Mount and From the Guard pretty much covers all basic body orientations that are possible. The other break downs of these postions might be Turtle, North South...etc....

Our training centers around getting people to understand these orientations first and learning how to maintain or regain "structure". It is not technique focused. That is alignment, posture, creating space, off balancing your oponent etc.

Techniques would be eye gouges, arm bars, tearing out sterno-mastoidal muscles...all that good stuff.

It is difficult to do these things if you do not have structure or positional dominance because your opponent has access to the same things and if he is in control..well you have more to worry about than eye gouging him...however, most certainly you can use eye gouges as a way to create space, distraction to move....however, that eye gouge would be a means to an end, and not the end in and of itself.

Because BJJ and other arts such as Modern Army Combatives concentrates on the basics of orientation and positional dominance, it is why you are able to see people become somewhat profcient in a few months to a 2 years martially.

Traditional schools focus on techniques and fail to grasp the importance of orientation and positional dominance and it is why you find 20 year practicioners that really can't pull off anything in a non-compliant environment...welll we have been down this road with the UFC haven't we?

Anyway, That would leave conditioning as the other factor....

I would submit that conditioning such as what you guys are doing has a great deal of transferrence martially as you do it in such a way that it can blend or blur the lines between orientation and conditioning.

However, failure to study or understand postiional dominance or orientation will leave you lacking martially, IMO.

Mike Sigman
06-08-2008, 05:23 PM
We view side control not as a technique or a strategy, it is simply a position or a body orientation that you might find yourself in. Kevin, regardless of what kind of shape you're in or what kind of strength you use (jin/kokyu or regular strength), those things are important. But wait... I've already tried to say this 3 times recently and many more times in the past... and it's not coming across to you, so I'll bow out.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Kevin Leavitt
06-08-2008, 08:45 PM
Mike,

I am not disputing what you are saying in regards to strength.

Actually in working with positional dominance..strength plays a lesser roll.

Mike Sigman
06-08-2008, 09:06 PM
Actually in working with positional dominance..strength plays a lesser roll.That pretty much covers what was in the Pennsylvania workshop, Kevin. That's the whole point/advantage of jin strength.

Kevin Leavitt
06-08-2008, 09:20 PM
Yes. You know the we spent a fair amount of time with two people on the end of the bo staff in Ark's seminar with both parties pushing on the end of it. Also along with several other things like we did in your workshop.

Easily I could have stepped off the line, moved to a different vector to redirect the force with the Bo staff.

I think what you do with jin strength is important to integrate.

Mike Sigman
06-08-2008, 09:39 PM
Yes. You know the we spent a fair amount of time with two people on the end of the bo staff in Ark's seminar with both parties pushing on the end of it. Also along with several other things like we did in your workshop.

Easily I could have stepped off the line, moved to a different vector to redirect the force with the Bo staff.

I think what you do with jin strength is important to integrate.But who would seriously confuse a simple training exercise with actual martial usage????

DH
06-08-2008, 09:56 PM
Mike,

I am not disputing what you are saying in regards to strength.

Actually in working with positional dominance..strength plays a lesser roll.

Not sure just how much I agree with that.
Lesser? Hmmm yeah maybe. I'm certainly not going to spend too much time going for something that wont work. But.... I'd suggest this training could present far more mobile resistence, control and ease of postional change with far less effort.
In movement and positional changes you do have to flow. If I was countering a side control at the onset with a hip change to swing my legs-in, they can either come across from a swivel or a pull with my hands right? You can do things like this with more ease and speed utilizing good structure with far less expenditure of energy then someone jacked or someone using muscle to move a disconnected body. Another thing to think about is that you could be going through series of changes looking for a dominate position and have to get out of a series of disadvantageous ones. In the process I can think of any number of places where me "stretching out" to make space, (say removing an arm or leg) and place someone in a guard, oma plata, kimura etc will require far less effort from me, then perhaps the same may require from you. Likewise I can see someone gassing sooner from playing with me as they will expend more energy to do "anything" with me, then perhaps you. Power always matters, Kevin. It just depends on
a) What kind of power we are discussing
b) Whether or not they know just how to use it where and when.
In this case in the sense that the overwhelming power available meant little was expended in use. I’d add to that I wasn't allowed to use it or they would have been knocked out from getting hit from positions there were entirely opened too, since they had no freaking clue someone could wreck them from such odd positions and distances.

Again you’re not hearing me argue this is unbeatable or any other such claptrap. And I make NO claims whatsoever to understand Military or LEO environments. In fact I don’t think this stuff is suited for those short term or short turnaround times. But if we are talking force-on-force grappling then “hell ya!” this stuff works in a big way were one to train both it...and grappling. It delivers more over the long haul for power delivery with less energy expended then anything else, and since it does, you don't "gas" at the same rates. It also offers more mobility under load, pound for pound a much greater yield of ultimate power, and arguably a clearer head while moving.
One truly great advantage that is overlooked- I believe- is from standing and moving. For that is where most men are stopped dead. It doesn’t go to the ground in the first place and they are in deep shit up close and personal. It will be a freaking son of a bitch to get a person well versed in this type of training to the ground in the first place without a tremendous expenditure of energy and without getting your ass handed to you in the process. An advantage that should not ever be down-played, but seems to never be mentioned.
Again, there just isn't time to train it in your venue of choice.
I don't know if any of that made sense to you or not.
a) I don't think in the short term this is suited for your guys
b) I think in the long term you will love this and appreciate its value, more than anything you have even known in the MA, as you learn (key operative word here, is as -you-learn) by allowing it to teach you-Kevin Leavitt, its worth in your world, as only you can know and judge. I'd bet you anything that if you stick with it, ten years from now you will become one of its biggest proponents. Anyone who places a high value on live, application of force/ power/ mobility and the ability to change, can't help but love this stuff. It just may take you, like it did me, a little time to see its worth. I thought it was B.S. for a while. I couldn’t make the jump to it’s use in what I considered the real deal.
In the mean time just have fun.

Kevin Leavitt
06-08-2008, 10:09 PM
Thanks Dan.

In the process I can think of any number of places where me "stretching out" to make space, (say removing an arm or leg) and place someone in a guard, oma plata, kimura etc will require far less effort from me, then perhaps the same may require from you.

This is what I am hoping for. It holds true to my experiences with Rob at the seminar. Now, just training it and figuring out how to integrate it!

Thanks once again both Mike and Dan.

Gernot Hassenpflug
06-08-2008, 10:18 PM
Yes. You know the we spent a fair amount of time with two people on the end of the bo staff in Ark's seminar with both parties pushing on the end of it. Also along with several other things like we did in your workshop.

Easily I could have stepped off the line, moved to a different vector to redirect the force with the Bo staff.

Hi Kevin, I know for sure that you could not have done that. One of Ark's points is that he uses his body only for transmission, there is no strength in his grip, or arms, or other body parts. So if you decide to step off the line and think you are 'redirecting the force' you are no affecting Ark's posture in the least. You would simply witness a demonstration of not being able to push a Bo sideways ;)
And probably a demo of a breakfall :D

I'm not playing at being a fanboy here, it's just that your ideas here are so simplistic and unrealistic within the framework of this kind of body use. I applaud the fact that you went to the workshop and enjoyed it, even though none of the people that attended have any understanding of these skills.

Mike Sigman
06-08-2008, 10:27 PM
Hi Kevin, I know for sure that you could not have done that. One of Ark's points is that he uses his body only for transmission, there is no strength in his grip, or arms, or other body parts. So if you decide to step off the line and think you are 'redirecting the force' you are no affecting Ark's posture in the least. You would simply witness a demonstration of not being able to push a Bo sideways ;)
And probably a demo of a breakfall :D

I'm not playing at being a fanboy here, it's just that your ideas here are so simplistic and unrealistic within the framework of this kind of body use. I applaud the fact that you went to the workshop and enjoyed it, even though none of the people that attended have any understanding of these skills.Hi Gernot:

Well, I can think of a number of responses, counter-responses, cool tricks with jin/kokyu forces and so on, but it all reminds me of how beginners in a dojo critique an attack and response and "what coulda been"... missing the point. All the various responses, etc., are probably very valid, but the point I was getting at is that anyone should be able to see/feel a few examples and decide if the skills have merit. If they need to be convinced with "how would this work in Situation A" and then they want to see "Situation B" and then having seen that it goes on to "well, how about Situation C", then it's probably a waste of time. As my first ski instructor told me when I asked about the twentieth 'what-if' question: "Just shut-up and ski down the hill for a day". ;)

Best.

Mike

Aikibu
06-08-2008, 11:13 PM
Perhaps while reading this excellent and interesting exchange I have lost sight of the forest because everyone is talking about a few trees...

And if you think that metaphor is cute how about this one...

You guys are appear to be talking about apples and oranges

"Aiki" has no place in Military Training IMO

There is simply not enough time for troops to learn anything except maybe the very basic concepts of internal power....

I detect a little mission creep on your part Kevin. I think the current Combatives Curriculum as it is being developed is excellent in building troops ablilty to protect themselves in a melee environment...

But lets not act like DARPA and think that just because it's way cool and shiny and does all these wonderful things that you have to expand this ability beyond the mission of FID, Civil Defense, or Close with and Kill the Enemy. In the new age of "Asymetric" Warfare (keep it) Simple is the best of better most all of the time. :)

I am going to stop now before I run into one of these trees. :D

William Hazen

Kevin Leavitt
06-08-2008, 11:32 PM
Gernot,

Not talking about Ark being on the other end of the stick. Maybe it was a little over simplistic in my writing. My point was that really that we were dealing with something other than realignment or vectors change..that is all I was getting across.

Yeah, I agree with Mike. I was impressed, saw value in it for my training. So that is all I can really say at this point..other than to shut up and train. Heck it is only like 30 minutes a day!

William,

Good points. I agree, It doesn't belong in Military training for a number of reasons I have mentioned before. That is not to say that it cannot be there, or if someone wants to spend the time to do it, that they shouldn't.

There is nothing wrong with the current combatives curriculm. It is proven and is working. However, on a personal level, I want much more out of my training.

I'd like to be 50 years old, in decent shape, and able to hold my own with many of these younger guys. I am not going to be able to do it on speed, agility, or reflexes. I am already needing a little bit more than that right now!

Again 30 minutes a day.

Kevin Leavitt
06-08-2008, 11:49 PM
William,

Dr Ed Thomas at Fort Benning for years has been trying to get the Army to change the way we test and do fitness. I remember participating with him back in 96 on some experimental things with push ups, medicine balls, and indian clubs.

check out this website if you are interested in seeing some different ways of doing things.

The Army is realizing that we must change how we view physical training in order to get soldiers in shape properly and to stop or minimize sports related injuries.

http://www.ihpra.org/military.htm

http://www.ihpra.org/Features.htm

Also if you spend time with crossfit.com, you will see that people are begining to see that there are better ways to train than run long slow distance, do pushups, situps, pull ups, and lift Ahnald style.

So, is there room for internal training. I think so, but as you can see from our discussions here there is a long ways to go.

Ark talked a fair amount about training your body to take the weight on your structure instead of using your muscles to compensate. Think about that for a minute. If you can learn to carry weight more efficiently, then what would that mean for infantrymen in the future?

Agree, this doesn't belong in the system as it is right now, as we don't have a culture or personnel to even train it properly. But, you never know!

Kevin Leavitt
06-08-2008, 11:50 PM
Here is a quote from Thomas:

The program's curriculum, based on early European and Asian systems, is divided into pedagogical, restorative and martial components. The pedagogical, or theoretical side, includes basic theory in anatomy, kinesiology, health promotion, foundations of fitness and nutrition.
The restorative, or restorative arts, component includes those techniques used to bring the body to its optimal state of readiness, Thomas said. This can include relearning basic movements with Indian clubs [sort of like old, wooden, bowling pins] and gaining muscular endurance through use of dumbbells and increasing flexibility.

Gernot Hassenpflug
06-09-2008, 06:49 AM
Geez Kevin, I didn't want to waste space in this thread in a one-line reply, so I *tried* to send you a PM. Listen up: your PM box is full! :-)

Mike Sigman
06-09-2008, 08:01 AM
So, is there room for internal training. I think so, but as you can see from our discussions here there is a long ways to go.

Ark talked a fair amount about training your body to take the weight on your structure instead of using your muscles to compensate. Think about that for a minute. If you can learn to carry weight more efficiently, then what would that mean for infantrymen in the future?

Agree, this doesn't belong in the system as it is right now, as we don't have a culture or personnel to even train it properly. But, you never know!Generally speaking, one of the main things to do to improve martially is to improve the leg strength. If the legs can maintain the body weight, etc., and the back doesn't need to get involved, then there is a lot more power available. That's one factor in the equation.

In very general terms I've thought off and on over the years about how much jin things could be taught in the military to augment basic training. There are a few basic aspects that would probably help, IMO, and which could be trained to various groups, but generally it is only a few aspects of those skills. Not much.

Same thing happens when it comes to teaching older people how to actually use some aspects of these skills.... there are definitely a couple of things that would be helpfu, but not much. People who do a "Tai Chi form" are essentially learning some choreography that is pleasing, but it is no more than low-impact, low-aerobic motion... period. It's not really internal training of any sort.

The martial effectiveness of these kinds of skills is and has been widespread in China for thousands of years. The current Chinese Army uses aspects of internal training, as a matter of fact.

However, the real plus is not the martial aspect... it's the side issues of daily life using this form of movement that the Asians make such a big deal of. And Ueshiba and Shioda both mentioned these skills as being a paramount investment for old age.

FWIW

Mike

KIT
06-09-2008, 09:30 AM
Now I think we're on to something.

Truth to tell, if you have been following the developments in both the MMA community and the "tactical community," LE and military, things are moving in just this direction - looking for appropriate conditioning/developmental/pre-hab/re-hab program that goes beyond standard PT fare to add to the "warrior's edge" (yes, I said it....) both for training and maintenance of performance as the operator ages. One that does not involve certain chemical enhancements that are receiving increasing scrutiny.

Things like Parisi Speed school's "Training for Warriors" come to mind, as does the growing number of "tactical conditioning" courses which are being offered by guys like Pavel Tsatsouline and others. A sports performance club near me that trains professional athletes across the spectrum is now moving into the MMA realm due to the demand they are seeing from guys who were doing "the same old strength and conditioning" route and not being successful - and developing an LE/Tactical program that they beta tested with our team. Many of the exercises they do are very similar to some IMA stuff.

Now that real money is being pumped into MMA (and LE and military have government funding), I think you will only see more of it as results are forthcoming at the highest levels of the sport, and at the highest level functioning in the tactical world (Tier One operators, LE SWAT, etc.) Since the latter are increasingly adapting MMA to tactical purposes, the "perfect storm," so to speak is gathering for there to be some real and meaningful input from different points of view, and I don't think IMA methodologies can be dismissed.

The time issue is a real one. But on the one hand we're not talking rank and file but specialists who can have more time to do these things. One the other, I think even a few exercises, integrated with other elements of training, can be beneficial in this realm without having to adopt a whole program. Certain ritual aspects, as well as movement patterns that are not optimized for the respective missions can be changed to others, or an "IMA approach" to say, weapons presentation (hinted at when someone talked about Ark and Skeet) can be adopted.

Like with so many things martial wise, its going to either need a guy with a certain level of ability in both realms to really make it happen with any credibility, or a combination of the right people from both realms willing to forego their prejudgements and make what needs to happen, happen.

I'll get more specific along the lines of what Mike just wrote, but no time now.

Aikibu
06-09-2008, 11:24 AM
William,

Dr Ed Thomas at Fort Benning for years has been trying to get the Army to change the way we test and do fitness. I remember participating with him back in 96 on some experimental things with push ups, medicine balls, and indian clubs.

check out this website if you are interested in seeing some different ways of doing things.

The Army is realizing that we must change how we view physical training in order to get soldiers in shape properly and to stop or minimize sports related injuries.

http://www.ihpra.org/military.htm

http://www.ihpra.org/Features.htm

Also if you spend time with crossfit.com, you will see that people are begining to see that there are better ways to train than run long slow distance, do pushups, situps, pull ups, and lift Ahnald style.

So, is there room for internal training. I think so, but as you can see from our discussions here there is a long ways to go.

Ark talked a fair amount about training your body to take the weight on your structure instead of using your muscles to compensate. Think about that for a minute. If you can learn to carry weight more efficiently, then what would that mean for infantrymen in the future?

Agree, this doesn't belong in the system as it is right now, as we don't have a culture or personnel to even train it properly. But, you never know!

Great Site Kevin, and I am glad the Army is looking at ways to improve "combat" conditioning. I wonder why they don't look at one of the most successful programs along these lines....Namely "Systema" and the various martial conditioning systems developed by the Russian Spetsnatz and GROM Special Police. Systema's praticum has an excellent focus on internal conditioning.

The best example of this in the MMA World... Fedor Emelyanenko. :) Who also happens to be my fave! LOL

I know Systema is still new though to most folks.

William Hazen

PS Sensei James Williams is also involved in this approach to a certain degree I believe. I had an interesting discussion with him about it a while back at the Aiki-Expo in 05 and hopefully I can get down to his Dojo one of these days. He has allot of experiance with teaching Snake Eaters and we knew allot of the same folks.

Kevin Leavitt
06-09-2008, 02:32 PM
I was waiting for Jun to renew my subscription so I get my PM space back. Sorry about that guys. It is there now!

I don't know why we don't or haven't looked as systema. Probably because it was not wide spread when we were evaluating models? Or maybe it did not suit our goals?

I have no experience in Systema. So no comments on it.

I will have to ask Matt the next time we talk.

Off the cuff I'd say it is probably a little too internalistic in linkage and would probably not go over very well with the troops and leadership. As you know our program must be simple, fun, and fast.

Matt put alot of time and effort in designing the program to fit the culture and organizational goals. There are many factors to consider when designing and implementing a program.

Thanks for the further information Mike. Training basic training is a difficult process. You have Army Culture, merging with culture of the trainees that may not have even ever done a push up in the past, whose thumbs are in better shape than any other part of their body is a challenge.

I could see one of our drill instructors doing some of the exercises with new recruits...nah, ain't gonna happen! Although it probably should!

KIT
06-09-2008, 02:46 PM
Systema's failing is in the combative application end - they simply have not demonstrated effectiveness in a true force on force dynamic. I have seen that on various videos (ranging from the curious to the ridiculous), and had exactly what I expected from those videos demonstrated (or failed to be demonstrated, as the case were) in person.

My view is based on my experience, which has been hashed and re-hashed, so let's not let it de-rail the thread with Systema apologists. If anyone is so emotionally attached to Systema that they can't let that lie, feel free to PM me.

The "internal conditioning" aspect, however, has something to be offered - interesting body mechanics and interesting approach to movement which does have some application. But I don't think uniquely so vis-a-vis IMA principles and ideas, and one that has least attempted to approach the "armed professional" aspect that in fact may pave the way for what may be more practical combative applications as well as internal conditioning.

FWIW

Aikibu
06-09-2008, 03:33 PM
Systema's failing is in the combative application end - they simply have not demonstrated effectiveness in a true force on force dynamic. I have seen that on various videos (ranging from the curious to the ridiculous), and had exactly what I expected from those videos demonstrated (or failed to be demonstrated, as the case were) in person.

I had the exact opposite experiance but then again the Seminar was given by V.

My view is based on my experience, which has been hashed and re-hashed, so let's not let it de-rail the thread with Systema apologists. If anyone is so emotionally attached to Systema that they can't let that lie, feel free to PM me.

Well I would agree that you seem emotionally attached. LOL :)

The "internal conditioning" aspect, however, has something to be offered - interesting body mechanics and interesting approach to movement which does have some application. But I don't think uniquely so vis-a-vis IMA principles and ideas, and one that has least attempted to approach the "armed professional" aspect that in fact may pave the way for what may be more practical combative applications as well as internal conditioning.

FWIW

My point too... I guess I should have clarified it better...Who knows when I tried it it might have been a bunch of hocus pocus but I did feel the internal power there...Systema's main problem may be the same we face with the Dan's and Mikes of this world.... e tu' Talking the talk means nothing without walking the walk and outside of V who knows how many real "masters" of systema there truely are and how they transmit that knowledge remains to be seen. I only pointed Systema to highlight that Internal Power and it's potential use in Combatives...

William Hazen

KIT
06-09-2008, 03:37 PM
Well I would agree that you seem emotionally attached. LOL :)



Undoubtedly and in spades.As people can very well die based on what they are taught and led to believe.

I take that very seriously.

No issue with the rest of your post. Check your PM.

Aikibu
06-09-2008, 03:48 PM
Undoubtedly and in spades.As people can very well die based on what they are taught and led to believe.

I take that very seriously.

No issue with the rest of your post. Check your PM.

I totally understand my brother...

I Love you Man...:) No seriously I do....:)

Speaking of You Tube...Here is a good Vid of Systema's Internal Concepts in action

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xcf_AIIJ1eM

Again if I had my druthers I would spend a Year with Dan, Mike, Tanaka, Azukawa, or... V Vasiliev...

William Hazen

KIT
06-09-2008, 04:12 PM
William

Mmm, pretty much more of the same - very cool looking developmental exercises that I would actually like to see turned around and applied in a legitimate force on force context - sportive or combative.

Seriously, this will derail the thread. FWIW, I am open about my skepticism because far too many people do so in conversations behind people's backs, or in PM or private e-mail. I have friends who disagree with me, people I respect who like Systema, and others who know people who think very highly of it - I welcome any correspondence and opportunity to train with people who think they can convince me - a friendly "challenge" as it were - in which I will very much put to the test the professional applications that anyone who cares to offers.

Most of them aren't interested in convincing anyone. Which is fine, but I would strongly encourage them to consider whom they are teaching. Systema intentionally markets itself to "armed professionals" and I believe this can be dangerous to those (most of them not martial artists or combat athletes) who accept what they are taught without legitimate pressure testing at a relatively high level. I am not interested in what the grand poobah can do if the people he has certified as instructors can't.

My personal view is that the Chinese IMA and Japanese Aiki offer a more promising path to realizing modern "internal" results.

Aikibu
06-09-2008, 04:31 PM
William

Mmm, pretty much more of the same - very cool looking developmental exercises that I would actually like to see turned around and applied in a legitimate force on force context - sportive or combative.

Seriously, this will derail the thread. FWIW, I am open about my skepticism because far too many people do so in conversations behind people's backs, or in PM or private e-mail. I have friends who disagree with me, people I respect who like Systema, and others who know people who think very highly of it - I welcome any correspondence and opportunity to train with people who think they can convince me - a friendly "challenge" as it were - in which I will very much put to the test the professional applications that anyone who cares to offers.

Most of them aren't interested in convincing anyone. Which is fine, but I would strongly encourage them to consider whom they are teaching. Systema intentionally markets itself to "armed professionals" and I believe this can be dangerous to those (most of them not martial artists or combat athletes) who accept what they are taught without legitimate pressure testing at a relatively high level. I am not interested in what the grand poobah can do if the people he has certified as instructors can't.

My personal view is that the Chinese IMA and Japanese Aiki offer a more promising path to realizing modern "internal" results.

I totally agree Kit which is why I put Ninja-Russki last on my wish list of Aiki-Web folks. :)

Now will you stop talking about Systema :D Heck don't forget I also mentioned James Williams LOL

William Hazen

KIT
06-09-2008, 05:01 PM
To get back on track, I'd like to go back to some of what Mike talked about:

Certainly I don't think that even amongst specialists you are going to find "internal masters" capable of feats beyond the ken of mere iron pumping, cardio-training, sparring/grappling mortals;

But even a modicum of quality training, properly explained (as for example Rob John does in very clear fashion), could help in ways that really aren't even directly related to hand to hand applications.

Mere structural training/tune ups could help a great deal. As operators must move in a dynamic fashion often under great loads - tac kit, trauma plates, long gun, extra mags (five or so LE, many more for combat soldiers), other gear, THEN adding specialty stuff like say a ballistic shield, 37 mm munitions launcher, dozen or score of ferrets of gas, breaching tools, ram, etc.etc. injuries are routine and get worse as age creeps in. Being able to organize your body to support such loads while also engaging in forceful movement (or even moving smoothly at all while in tight quarters and attempting to keep a stable shooting platform) is a real benefit. Guys end up doing all sorts of disconnected/awkward movement during operations and searching and the like that knees and especially backs go quickly.

Building a solid combatives platform, optimized for carry weapons and deployment options as well as hand to hand engagement potentials, while under these loads and sometimes in precarious positional and movement dynamics can be an area where IMA principles, correctly taught and adapted to the professional's reality, could come in handy. As with any skill, it is up to the indivual to mine the depth he chooses from the skills offered. We teach all of them shooting, we teach all of them defensive tactics, but only a small percentage ever get what would be termed proficient at either one - still, they learn and grow from what is taught.

So long as we don't start from the premise of making soldiers and cops into internal masters, I think there is a lot there that can be adapted and applied in a beneficial manner.

DH
06-09-2008, 05:48 PM
And the same training that teaches you how to support weight and carry it , and remain balanced walking, running, jumping, and firing, while moving in odd postions goes along with how to absorb force and stay on your feet when being attacked and not going to the ground.
And the same force that generates power to carry load can make a man dig, hoist or hit with force with less effort. All done with exercises that we teach on the weekends. All of it basic. I can't see why you guys couldn't incorporate things as needs be. Of course over time a D.I. (are they still called that?) could become higly proficient in more advanced means of moving or fighting. And Kevin? He could roll with younger guys with nary a sweat. All while controlling them better than he does now. And no one will want to get hit by him as it will feel like an anvil.
And it's all more fun to do than PT. Can it work in the time frames you have to teach people. I wouldn't have a clue. You guys have to make those 'command" decisions. Sure seems that your are talking about more than a few weeks of training, or some type of extended training. I have had a guy who trained with me for years who had plenty of time to train on Gitmo with a whole bunch of folks. Is it basic only, or is there an extended program for fitness?
Mikes was Marine. Pull some strings to get him re-upped. Draft him.

Mike Sigman
06-09-2008, 05:59 PM
To get back on track, I'd like to go back to some of what Mike talked about:

Certainly I don't think that even amongst specialists you are going to find "internal masters" capable of feats beyond the ken of mere iron pumping, cardio-training, sparring/grappling mortals; Actually, I disagree. See this URL that's been discussed before.

http://www.qigonginstitute.org/html/Qi_Press/TaiChi%20Stanford.pdf

Bear in mind that the "Chen master" in the clip is not really "chen master", but is a strong guy with a background in other conditioning and arts. But roughly speaking this guy has enough expertise to allow him to do things that the researchers are only guessing at. The point being that a lot of these studies and conclusions and assertions are probably premature. I would make some more observations, but I think the background would have to be established in order to get there, so let's leave it at this point: the total range of training and skills has not been seen by a lot of the people drawing the conclusions, IMO. ;)

But even a modicum of quality training, properly explained (as for example Rob John does in very clear fashion), could help in ways that really aren't even directly related to hand to hand applications. I agree with that. One of the real problems I see is that people get a whiff of this stuff and they seem to immediately want to relate it to something they already know. I think that's how we wound up with the "Hidden in Plain Sight" mentality that pretty much shot everyone in the foot in the first place.

Mere structural training/tune ups could help a great deal. As operators must move in a dynamic fashion often under great loads - tac kit, trauma plates, long gun, extra mags (five or so LE, many more for combat soldiers), other gear, THEN adding specialty stuff like say a ballistic shield, 37 mm munitions launcher, dozen or score of ferrets of gas, breaching tools, ram, etc.etc. injuries are routine and get worse as age creeps in. Being able to organize your body to support such loads while also engaging in forceful movement (or even moving smoothly at all while in tight quarters and attempting to keep a stable shooting platform) is a real benefit. Guys end up doing all sorts of disconnected/awkward movement during operations and searching and the like that knees and especially backs go quickly.

Building a solid combatives platform, optimized for carry weapons and deployment options as well as hand to hand engagement potentials, while under these loads and sometimes in precarious positional and movement dynamics can be an area where IMA principles, correctly taught and adapted to the professional's reality, could come in handy. As with any skill, it is up to the indivual to mine the depth he chooses from the skills offered. We teach all of them shooting, we teach all of them defensive tactics, but only a small percentage ever get what would be termed proficient at either one - still, they learn and grow from what is taught.

So long as we don't start from the premise of making soldiers and cops into internal masters, I think there is a lot there that can be adapted and applied in a beneficial manner. I agree with that, too.

Best.

Mike

Kevin Leavitt
06-09-2008, 08:42 PM
Good discussion. One of the demos Ark did was have the biggest guy in the seminar get on his back and he moved around pretty darn freely. His point was (I think) to discuss how you learn to carry the load on your frame by aligning it properly and letting gravity and the structure support it. I was very intriqued with this as I sometimes have to carry large loads.

Kit, I agree with you on your assessment criteria, wrt your discussion on Systema. I cannot personally comment on it, but agree that whatever you do training wise it must be analyzed against the right "model".

This is a good discussion. thanks!

Mike Sigman
06-09-2008, 08:59 PM
One of the demos Ark did was have the biggest guy in the seminar get on his back and he moved around pretty darn freely. His point was (I think) to discuss how you learn to carry the load on your frame by aligning it properly and letting gravity and the structure support it. One of the big problems that I see is that Akuzawa is sort of a "first time" glimpse for many people of how really strong and powerful really good Asian martial artists can be. Most people think like "Oh, kung fu... I saw some of that in the UFC. Ho Hum. I understand Chinese martial arts because I saw it in the UFC and I read a book"... or something like that.

Personally, I've seen a lot of junk passed off as Asian martial arts too, but I've been kicking around long enough to have seen people that are powerful, if not more powerful in some cases, than Akuzawa. They're scarey and unbelievably powerful. That's been the whole point of why I'm interested... for many years. The question is how to develop that kind of power.

It's the power that interests me; not the techniques. If you get the correct power you can integrate it into pretty much anything that you want to focus on... ground techniques, power releases, Aikido, you name it. But that should be obvious.

Maybe I'm just short of patience about cutting to the chase because I've seen all this stuff so long. However, let me point out that for the last 3 or 4 years I've suggested several people that Kevin and others should have gone to see... we'd be 3 or 4 years ahead in the conversation if that had happened, I think.

The application to military? Someone might check out some of the elite Chinese Army training methods. I know some of the things they do and practice and frankly, it is not something like putting a lot of time into submission grappling. Of course the immediate reply from the submission-grappling proponents is "then why haven't we seen elite Chinese Army rangers (or whatever) kicking but in the UFC?". And that, to me, is how absurd some of these conversations can get. ;) BTW.... how the elite Chinese Army guys train (and a lot of it is Xingyi based) is very top-secret, don't let the westerners see it, topic. They're not talking about whether this stuff is useful... they've been using it for generations.

Until some background and understanding of these skills gets acquired, though, I think we're going to have these discussions that only vaguely aim in the direction of the target.

FWIW

Mike

KIT
06-09-2008, 09:02 PM
My apologies, by "specialists" I mean the military/LE operators who are not going to put the time in to become "internal masters."

Hyperbole aside (and by that I mean hyperbole needs to be set aside for this to become a fruitful reality rather than simple discussion), I think the key is about making the more efficient, less fatigued, less injured, "no sweat" etc. thing a tangible reality. BTW, many BJJ black belts do the "not breaking a sweat" thing routinely against much larger, stronger, and skilled practitioners of other arts, on the ground at least.

And scientific tests aside, those things rapidly go by the wayside when the "master" can't hang with a couple of the unit's MAC-P/BJJ studs, or the agency's DT instructors who are MMA fighters or purple or brown belts in BJJ.

The guys watching that happen will simply dismiss the valuable things that an IMA practitioner can offer if he can't deliver in a demonstrable test.

That is why it needs a meeting of the disciplines, and a meeting of the minds. The IMA guy either earns the "cred" he needs in the actual combat athletics world, (or the combat athlete embraces and "proves" the efficacy of IMA training methodology in the same format);

Or, and more likely, the highly skilled/qualified combat athlete (or operator with extensive real world experience) embraces the concepts through a practitioner of IMA that he partners with in order to "build a better operator." In the latter case this may be divorced from hand to hand practicality depending on the operator.

Kevin Leavitt
06-09-2008, 09:12 PM
Mike I definitely see your point of view concerning the arguments, and you are right I believe that I would be further ahead in my understanding had I been exposed a few years ago. At least now I have a better point of reference.

However, the reality is as Kit puts it...right or wrong...legitimate or not. You walk into the gym at Fort Benning they expect to see it work within the parameters that they establish. You convince them, then they are very quick to get on board. If not, regardless of how well the Chinese are doing it within their Spec Ops community, they are not going to buy into it.

Even if they did, you have a huge culture issue and paradigm shift you have to deal with in the instituion.

I am not getting into the validity of internal training, just the realities of what you face in the environment of the institution.

Mike Sigman
06-09-2008, 09:32 PM
However, the reality is as Kit puts it...right or wrong...legitimate or not. You walk into the gym at Fort Benning they expect to see it work within the parameters that they establish. You convince them, then they are very quick to get on board. If not, regardless of how well the Chinese are doing it within their Spec Ops community, they are not going to buy into it. OK... let me use a comparable example. There are a lot of guys in Judo competition in the military. You may have seen them; I used to be one of them and I knew people in various martial arts in the military. On the whole, you can't tell these guys anything because they already know all the answers. Many of us have seen it time and time again. I've also been to demonstrations where they did their stuff and I've seen some really bad Chinese dudes just watch them and not say a word.... but I knew they were quite happy that the military guys thought the judo and karate they did was the top of the heap. Do you think anyone is really anxious to show the military guys anything?

As a general rule, the guys who are really good don't step out into the limelight. Notice that bit where I said the elite Chinese Army training is not shown. That's more the traditional Chinese approach to things... not to show the other guy what you can do.

Heck, believe it or not, there's a lot of stuff I know that I'm never going to show some people, either. ;) But I'm particularly happy to know there's guys who are not going to get off their butts to learn anything new unless I come to them and show them on their terms. Let 'em wait, Kevin. I couldn't care less. They're part of the problem, not the solution to anything.
Even if they did, you have a huge culture issue and paradigm shift you have to deal with in the instituion.

I am not getting into the validity of internal training, just the realities of what you face in the environment of the institution.Great. But we're back at the original problem I had. I see the mechanics and what it can do. I see the advantage even if a 14-year old girls shows me unusual strength, etc. I see it if an 80-year-old weakened man shows me. I can extrapolate quickly whether something is useful or not. I don't need to sit and wait for someone to side-mount me before I can see the immediate utility of something like these skills. That was my whole point and why I got into these things. And not surprisingly, after I get deeper into these skills and looked harder, I found aspects of them that aren't apparent at first.

In a lot of ways this is all sort of a re-play of the mini-world of Aikido and other arts. Use Rob Liberti (if he'll pardon the presumption) as an example of all the people that simply fought tooth and nail against the idea that there was something they didn't already know. At one time he told me that Gleason Sensei had showed and taught him these things. Finally here it is what, four years later? And he's apparently getting some good and useful skills. Suppose he hadn't wasted that time and had started looking earlier AND applying what he'd found out? Where would he be now? But look at how many people the same thing could be said about on this forum and on other m.a. forums. I simply get fascinated watching this stuff go on and on, year after year. Your scenario that someone would need to *convince* the USA guys that there's something there is a similar example.

Fascinating discussion. :D

Best.

Mike Sigman

Aikibu
06-09-2008, 09:33 PM
I grew up as a young pup in the era of Mike Echanis and his attempts to have SF adopt Hwrang Do (Spelling) as part of thier H2H game. He used to demonstrate his internal power by have a jeep with a few troopers ride over his abdomen. I was impressed at the time....:)

Like I discussed with one of the good folks here NO MASTER worth thier salt is going to share thier secrets with you without you first proving worth it... I know Dan has gone into great lenghts about transmission so why should anyone be surprised that even after ten years of devoted hard training Your teacher has not taught you crap about what he really knows...You have two choices

Steal It

Earn It

When it comes to the Warrior Secrets of the Chinese SF or Spetsnatz or all the shiny new Ninja Stuff the Teams are using to smoke terrorists...Joe Trooper will never know... Unless he's earned the right...

Personally I would jump on Dan's idea and get him a Per Diem over to Benning and in front of Matt.

William Hazen

KIT
06-09-2008, 10:56 PM
On the whole, you can't tell these guys anything because they already know all the answers.

Exactly. A sword that cuts both ways.

DH
06-10-2008, 08:54 AM
To a point it isn't a sword that cuts both ways in this debate though, Kit.
Some know how to fight and how to do internal training-to whatever degree. and have a better handle on the values of both.
I know this stuff and I know how to fight. Whether on the ground or standing, or with weapons of all kinds; guns, knives, sticks, to archaic Japanese weaponry. While I don't claim to be an expert at anything, or even close, I at least can demonstrate either to a degree that is considered unusual by most I've met. But I was thinkng my experience Hiking and in building stone walls and working on my property while moving from the spine and outworking everybody while digging earth would be MORE interesting than rolling around on it.

Mike has internal training and from what I hear can handle himself as well.
You and Kevin can't say the same.
You both can fight, but do not have an understanding of the values of internal training-yet. I hope that changes.
But I think this type of training is more important for other things than simply training to fight hand to hand. Although it is an advantage there to, I think that is a side beneift. I'd think learning to fight in your world has allot to do with energy expendature and retained readniness for other more important things than CQC..

Kevin’s idea of the Fort Benning gym test would have to include a cross section of guys working, running, carrying loads and statistical measurement energy expenditure.
Fighting would have to include equally trained people over a control group in a certain time frame.
No experts allowed on the floor!!

The lines will always be blurred in fighting as good technique allows one not only to relax more, but also to win through the understanding of the game. Of course a Gracie won't gas as soon as a new guy. Fighting skill will allow someone to keep expending energy against positional superiority until they offer an opening or until they’re gassed . Good internal skills does the same thing, and adds to any fighting game as the internal guy "feels' freakishly strong and fast and the opponent gasses. This was just demonstrated a while back in pride with several guys commenting on a Chinese fighter- a skinny kid who was freakishly strong and so was harder for guys to 'fight." The guy was very relaxed in motion. Good waza will always matter, but so does conditioning. And anyone can get hit.

Where the sword may cut both ways is in your mission goals. I donlt begin to understand them, and don't pretend to. I'd rather just thank you both and be on my way. I just can't understand all this focus on fighting. I'd think moving under loads over long distances, having superior balance and maintaining a better energy level for a mission to support a team would be far more important than CQC.
What’s that saying I saw up on the wall in the gym at West Point “Fatigue makes coward of men”
But that’s why I never enter in to these discussions. I leave that up to the experts training these guys. Again good luck in figuring out how to demonstrate it statistically in a control group. I imagine it was tough to make the last set of changes.

Mike Sigman
06-10-2008, 02:02 PM
Whether on the ground or standing, or with weapons of all kinds; guns, knives, sticks, to archaic Japanese weaponry. While I don't claim to be an expert at anything, or even close, I at least can demonstrate either to a degree that is considered unusual by most I've met. But I was thinkng my experience Hiking and in building stone walls and working on my property while moving from the spine and outworking everybody while digging earth would be MORE interesting than rolling around on it.

Mike has internal training and from what I hear can handle himself as well. I was thinking this morning about breaking this stuff down for the military. It's like a step or two more basic than the analysis and definitions I've been doing for Taiji, Aikido, karate, etc., for a number of years and it's a good challenge to break things down to their simplest, teachable components.

One thing I'd say is that I also build stone walls, do construction jobs around the house, do landscaping, hike in the mountains, etc. And every step of the way I analyse these skills, how they come into play, and so on. In my Occam's Razor way of looking at things, I think it's a lay-down bet that these skills are derived from efficient methods of agrarian culture that have been handed down and developed over a very long time. Methods that we're running into via martial arts, but the derivation is almost certainly agrarian. However, I'd hasten to interject that they're more than simple, efficient farming methods... they're sophisticated skills that got their *start* in farming methods, etc., and then worked their way into religious-focused body developments, cosmology, and martial arts.

I tend to, for ease of discussion, break the umbrella-term "ki" or "qi" into two components, the vector strengths and the body/breath/stretch/'suit' strengths. An example I like to use is one of Tohei's demonstrations where he used his "ki" and couldn't be pushed over, yet he easily pushed over some seiza-sitting Buddhist monks: my comment is that Tohei knew how to use the vector forces with his "ki", but while the monks probably had plenty of body/breath/stretch/'suit' ki, they didn't know how to use the vector strengths. Hence these things are separable and clearer in discussion if they're looked at as two distinct items.

In both of these aspects of "ki", I think (after looking at it and working with it for many years) that both aspects are interesting developments in "body technology" that derive from tricks *some* early people happened on in the agrarian cultures of India, China, and those parts of Asia.

The fact that the derivation is (IMO) labor-derived indicates to me that in terms of body efficiency and strength, yes, these skills could be taught in at least a simple form to military troops. The more sophisticated forms take longer to develop. The use in martial applications for the military would take a certain amount of focus and, again IMO, would be limited to certain applications, etc.

Still, thinking about how to break this down for large numbers of troops is an interesting mental exercise. It gives me some insights in how to break it down in a dojo setting because it tends to remove the constraints of particular styles. ;)

FWIW

Mike Sigman

Kevin Leavitt
06-10-2008, 07:41 PM
Dan,

I don't think it is difficult to demonstrate it or measure it by any means. For fighting you simply set up the scenarios with adequate controls for safety and to keep it within the parameters that you set throw on a Blauer suit and then go for it.

The OPFOR that you fight along with feedback from Observer/Controllers and video works very well.

Same with loads, we simply throw a 120 lbs of gear on you and then have you carry it for extended periods of time an set you up against a clock.

We have a competition called "Best Ranger". This venue is a 72 hour grueling event that would serve as an adequate test.

http://www.bestrangercompetition.com/

I don't think things need to be scientifically measured, only results an endstate measured.

KIT
06-10-2008, 10:34 PM
Likewise the numerous regional and international SWAT competitions and "toughest cop" competitions as well, testing a range of job related abilities.

The venues are there, for those willing to test themselves and show what they can do under pressure - hopefully to benefit those whose livlihoods, or very lives, might depend on just such an edge.

I'll tell you what: since I know Dan has a training connection out here and does make it out this way, and has a direct line to contact me, as an Arrestling instructor I am personally inviting you to the Burien Washington State Criminal Justice Training center next time you are out. (Its actually in Seattle). This way we can plan ahead of time.

You can train with the principals of the Arrestling group - or if you are more comfortable some of the new "boots" from one of the recruit classes. There will be a lot that both sides can share that would benefit each other. We can even get you some range time, even time with King County SWAT if you'd like, I know their firearms instructor is also a ranked competitive shooter and might also benefit from some of what you have to offer. Or, force on force with sim and or airsoft.

Perfectly willing to meet your stipulations on some exercises and tests that you think will best showcase the IMA stuff you do, just be willing to accept some exercises that will go toward answering the questions we want to ask from a direct tactical/officer survival standpoint. Hint: those will mostly be force on force training like demonstrating how you would do weapon retention, how you would use your stuff to function from the ground in a weapons based environment, etc. Basically from the sounds of it, you are already doing these things, it will just be edu-ma-cating us on how to do it better.

You'd be in good company, the likes of Erik Paulson, Burton Richardson, Rickson Gracie, and even some *gasp* RUSSIAN cops and military have trained with Arrestlers, bringing what they had to the table and making the discipline better.....and professionals safer.

Mike Sigman
06-10-2008, 11:04 PM
Perfectly willing to meet your stipulations on some exercises and tests that you think will best showcase the IMA stuff you do, just be willing to accept some exercises that will go toward answering the questions we want to ask from a direct tactical/officer survival standpoint. Hint: those will mostly be force on force training like demonstrating how you would do weapon retention, how you would use your stuff to function from the ground in a weapons based environment, etc.Just for the fun of it, let's simplify what Dan does and say that in essence it's some very beneficial form of weight-lifting or cardio, etc. In other words, he's trying to say (as I understand him) that what he's doing can contribute to the physical "conditioning" (or something like that) of various encounters. Of course I realize this isn't really the case, but let's say it sort of is. What you're essentially getting back to are "how does this apply to our in-house techniques"... and you want to base your evaluation on techniques, pretty clearly.

What if Dan is some 75-year-old guy and couldn't hack it on the mat with some young buck... would that mean that what he knows wouldn't cut it? Or let's say that Dan is clueless about standardly acceptable force-on-force encounters that are acceptable protocol for LEO's.... what conclusion will the 'evaluaters' make other than "his techniques don't work for what we do?". You see my point... you've gone back to a techniques discussion and evaluation format, as far as I can see.

Rob John never really trained in submission-grappling and made the mistake (in my opinion) of "rolling" to show some of the advantages of some of the strength/conditioning and jin training. The evaluation I read from you was more about how good his ground-game was. Where Rob made the mistake, in my opinion, was in being a good guy and trying to play the other guy's game... and he got judged on the other guy's game as a result.

One suggestion I've made a number of times is that these forms of strength are just being explored and developed by westerners. No one is an expert in the full curriculum of these strengths, among all the westerners I know. In other words, it's more of a "hey look at this.... maybe the Asians weren't so shallow after all". Instead of acknowledging that, we get back into this "see if you can play our games and beat us" discussions. It really bothers me because it's been pretty openly declared that no one is claiming high-level expertise, but time and time again it goes back to "let's see you prove it in our choice of format".

On the other hand, when I have suggested, again time after time, that if someone wants to see a real martial expert do some of these things, go see Expert A or Expert B... but no one really wants to do that. If they do go see a real martial expert, they don't really want to try them on.... it comes back time and again to "let's get the western proponents to prove it in our arena or it's no good."

How about if I arrange for a real big-dog to come in, a real known bone-crusher, and I suggest that you meet him at the arena of my choosing and we'll evaluate whether all of the Arrestling curriculum is any good? Sounds sort of insulting when it's put like that, so of course I would never say it like that. But I read some of these suggestions about jin/kokyu and ki discussions being tested in technique-oriented environments the same way. It's like several years of conversation keep coming back to the same topic time after time.

Kevin, as an example, could very clearly have said to a much smaller Akuzawa something like "I want to try it out and see if it works.... I'll do my thing and you do yours". But he wouldn't get to set the "rules of engagement" and get Akuzawa to play by the rules he knows, if he'd done that. Wait.... Akuzawa doesn't know the rules of engagement that Kevin (I'm using this as an example; don't take it personally) wants to use and he might do something sudden and very damaging, so that's not really acceptable, is it? So my view is that both offers to meet up with Dan, etc., want to not only focus on technique, but the further implication is that the technique will be tested in suggested areas that Dan (or me, or Akuzawa, or Chen You Tse, or whoever) haven't trained to engage in.

So why do we always return to technique when the discussion is about strength skills? Basically all you need to see are probably a few examples of hitting (Kevin saw some already, though), personal engagement in a few basic examples, etc., that show the advantages of the general strengths, and that should clarify what everyone is talking about. Go back and read Dan's post... it was actually pretty funny in that he was saying sort of the same thing. Read the last sentence or two in order to see his punchline. ;)

FWIW

Mike Sigman

KIT
06-11-2008, 12:36 AM
The offer stands.

If you are unwilling to discuss the subject on our terms, bow out - again. The discussion is about Military Training Methodologies - to include TECHNIQUE and strength skills.

Based on what I have read from Dan over the years, he has more potential for meaningful exchange in this area than you do, anyway.

Mike Sigman
06-11-2008, 08:02 AM
The offer stands.

If you are unwilling to discuss the subject on our terms, bow out - again. The discussion is about Military Training Methodologies - to include TECHNIQUE and strength skills.

Based on what I have read from Dan over the years, he has more potential for meaningful exchange in this area than you do, anyway.Missed the whole point again, didn't you?

"Meaningful exchange"? I've been around long enough to understand who is capable of meaningful exchange and who is never going to get the point.

Ask Kevin if punching/hitting ability has any place in military combat training. See if he got enough data from an exchange with Akuzawa to be able to form an opinion about whether Akuzawa had something in the way of just hitting that would be useful in the military. I suspect he did, but I don't see any comments about where that might be useful or how.

Good luck in finding people who feel compelled to meet your criteria before they'll teach you anything. ;)

Mike Sigman

KIT
06-11-2008, 08:57 AM
No, Mike, once again, you have. Please bow out again if you have nothing further to offer, you repetition of the same themes and rationalizations is not furthering the discussion.

Of the people posting on this thread, the ones who HAVE stepped forward to train (and yes roll) with Rob and Ark and attempted to meet with others on their terms are - Kevin and I.

We have discussed "punching/hitting ability" and many other things, as our respective professions require much, much more to keep people safe.

Dan, I thought of perhaps a better idea. George Ledyard, whom I believe has trained with you, also is a Washington State DT Master Instructor.

If he is reading this thread, and is willing to accomodate, that may be a better venue for this discussion both on and off the mat. They would have a better appreciation of how IMA may apply specifically to LE and may be able to bridge any perceived technical versus theoretical gaps we might encounter coming from our individual perspectives. George has some students who do systema, too, as I recall, which may make for an even more interesting exchange.

Would you be willing, George?

Mike Sigman
06-11-2008, 09:13 AM
Of the people posting on this thread, the ones who HAVE stepped forward to train (and yes roll) with Rob and Ark and attempted to meet with others on their terms are - Kevin and I. You rolled with Ark? Kevin rolled with Ark? Ever gone to see someone like Chen You Tse, Wang Hai Jun, or others? Take a look at someone like Jim Sorrentino or Ellis Amdur and how when they're really interested in something they immediately branch out to take a look at the real experts, not just the students, as part of their training curiosity. You guys might look into some wider data gathering.... if you're really interested.

FWIW

Mike Sigman

KIT
06-11-2008, 11:09 AM
Ark? Not yet, that couldnt happen last time due to a scheduling conflict. Soon, I hope.

Dan - he never called me back when last he was in Seattle, but I have it on good authority that he was trying to pack in as much time as he could with his teacher, his reason for being there, so no issue there. This way I am trying to get a jump on it and schedule something beforehand.

Since you mention Ellis, whom I trained with for a few years, I will point out that he specifically sought and seeks out skilled grapplers (wrestling, Judo, BJJ, sub grappling) in order to hone his training. He is no quibbler when it comes to "gathering data" globally - with experts of all approaches. On the mat in conditions he doesn't control. He routinely does sumo and rolls with his students!

Toby Threadgill - another man whose answer to similar requests was "sure, let's hit the mat!"

Tim Cartmell - IMA/BJJ expert and successful competitor at the highest levels of the sport.

I've also trained with Don Angier, Chuck Clark's "aiki-newaza," Jim King, a senior student of Vlad, rolled with another instructor at a Cartmell seminar (another man bold enough to step outside his own little world)

And of course Rob - a student, to be sure, but one with a willingness to challenge himself and test his stuff outside of his comfort zone in order to expand what he can do.

One can only wonder how much further along he will be when he is say, your age. By then he may be a BJJ black belt, Ark's Aunkai successor, and have a winning record in MMA!

Imagine that! Actually, turns out I must thank you, Mike this discussion has ended up being more fruitful than I thought!

Mike Sigman
06-11-2008, 11:54 AM
Ark? Not yet, that couldnt happen last time due to a scheduling conflict. Soon, I hope.

Dan - he never called me back when last he was in Seattle, but I have it on good authority that he was trying to pack in as much time as he could with his teacher, his reason for being there, so no issue there. This way I am trying to get a jump on it and schedule something beforehand.

Since you mention Ellis, whom I trained with for a few years, I will point out that he specifically sought and seeks out skilled grapplers (wrestling, Judo, BJJ, sub grappling) in order to hone his training. He is no quibbler when it comes to "gathering data" globally - with experts of all approaches. On the mat in conditions he doesn't control. He routinely does sumo and rolls with his students!

Toby Threadgill - another man whose answer to similar requests was "sure, let's hit the mat!"

Tim Cartmell - IMA/BJJ expert and successful competitor at the highest levels of the sport.

I've also trained with Don Angier, Chuck Clark's "aiki-newaza," Jim King, a senior student of Vlad, rolled with another instructor at a Cartmell seminar (another man bold enough to step outside his own little world)

And of course Rob - a student, to be sure, but one with a willingness to challenge himself and test his stuff outside of his comfort zone in order to expand what he can do.

One can only wonder how much further along he will be when he is say, your age. By then he may be a BJJ black belt, Ark's Aunkai successor, and have a winning record in MMA!

Imagine that! Actually, turns out I must thank you, Mike this discussion has ended up being more fruitful than I thought!
I think once again we're back into "rolling" as being your primary concern. The puzzling part to me is that I don't see any confusion with most other people in the difference between "rolling"/ (or you name your favorite martial art) and the fact that the internal-strength concept is separate from any individual martial art. These forms of body-skills can be trained into any martial art and used from rudimentary levels to sophisticated levels, from weak levels to very powerful levels... depends on how and how-hard you train.

So we're looking at a particular form of strength-building (and it also has a very important aspect of force-vector handling that makes it formidable in martial arts). So how many of the people you've personally seen are real experts in that strength/forces-manipulation skill? And why is it you can't understand that the topic is these skills and not whether someone who does those skills must be able to do sports-grappling, etc.? Are you able to see that it's a separate topic? As I've said, if you want to see some martial devastation, I'll be happy to do what I can to arrange a meetup with you and some really powerful guy.... but frankly, I'm at a loss why you and Kevin can't divorce the skills from the need to "roll".

Incidentally, I appreciate MMA. I think it's a step forward, and I've been watching those steps forward for many years, from judo to karate to Silat to Wing Chun to BJJ to MMA, and so forth. Each step of the way, a big crowd thinks that they've reached the ultimate stage... and each time some improvement(s) come along. Or often, like in the case of Silat, there is a legitimately great fighting system among the true higher ups, but the western "experts" tend to all wind up doing parodies of the real art... so the real art fades from view after a while.

The one thing I think that MMA and submission-grappling miss is this kind of power. Dan wants to put this kind of power into submission grappling, but I don't think they're ready for it, frankly. And besides, I don't know how much of this stuff Dan really knows or the training procedures for the bigger power. What he shows may or may not be incomplete... it's his business. But I don't have much urge to try to show these training procedures to military or LEO people. Mainly because I don't think it's been fully systematized yet... it's too early. Maybe the next generation.

I get a lot of insights by watching videos and seeing things that I simply couldn't see before I had trained a lot and I had met with people like Chen Xiaowang and a few others. Most martial-arts is sort of bogus in its effectiveness when you see a guy in person, as opposed to when you see some video performance. This problem is made worse by the number of "masters" who have students who shill for them, take dives, etc. Then I met someone like Chen Xiaowang who threw me vertically straight up in the air after he let me try to take him down... he brought me face down into the floor to show that it could have all ended right there. It's not the techniques (although those are superb in the way he uses the power, I'm saying it's not the techniques that are important)... it's the power. The correct and traditional approach is to study the power first; then worry about the techniques.

BTW... here's one of those innocuous-looking videos. At 2:15 there's a casual comment about a "horrible" repercussion from the height he has. In the old days I wouldn't have even noticed that. Now that I've felt him personally and seen him literally shake a whole building with the amount of power he can release, I realize that he could very easily break the skull of the guy in the video. That kind of power is not known, trained, or developed in MMA. It ends fights. Because you've never seen someone able to do it doesn't mean it's not there... it's just not taught to people outside of these secretive arts. It is not shown off just to satisfy someone's curiosity.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J85ARLul9h8

And not that I'm trying to convince you or Kevin. As I've said before in many posts, the reason I sometimes get into discussions is not because I want to argue a particular point; I do it so that I can be certain the younger, upcoming generation gets to hear an important (IMO) side of the consideration.

Mike Sigman

Kevin Leavitt
06-11-2008, 05:16 PM
Wow.

took me a while to read through this. I will see if I can summarize my points decently....

1. First, I have never "rolled' with Rob, Ark, or Mike. I have never gotten with Dan either so can't comment on anything there. So, any comments concerning their abilities or skills in this area go without comment.

2. To summarize my limited exposure to Rob, Ark, and Mike. Interesting skills, very good body skills, lots of power, demonstrated very well the skills that they said they could demonstrate. I think they have been very generous in their teaching, enthusiasm, and sincerity.

3. I found that I have many weaknesses in the areas that they teach and they presented many exercises and things to do to improve those things. I have started working on some of them, plan to fully implement them as I form new habits in conditioning and ways to move.

4. From an aikido perspective training with them has enhanced my understanding of what it is we are trying to accomplish in aikido and how to improve what we do. In some cases I have been able to make some small adjustments immediately that I feel have made some benefit already.

5. From a BJJ and Combatives perspective very little of this has been of help so far. I don't necessarily attribute it to the fact that it does not work in that environment, only that the level of conditioning necessary to move with the level of speed, timing, and cooperation, postion are much greater and thus it will take some time.

6. I am interested in how this training overlaps or integrates into the military combatives environment.

7. There has been much implication and conjecture about the realitive value of this type of training and what it will do for you. Anything from carrying a rucksack further with more weight, to making you a better, stronger, faster fighter in a way that gives you a competitive advantage over someone that has not trained in this manner.

8. Guys like Kit and I say, "fine" you have us sold....now show us...in that environment. We are not saying that to debunk or to discredit you, but in all sincerity as we have the best interest in improving not only our own training, but those of our fellow soldiers and officers.

I am not sure why this always degrades into a fight. I think it is because we simply look at different evaluation criteria?

Mark Kruger
06-11-2008, 05:22 PM
I suspect that neither Kevin or Kit are hung up on technique. It is a question of mission statement, and how _anything_ can be applied towards achieving the mission statement. It isn't about side controls or striking, it is about controlling and arresting suspects or defeating a member of the opposing force that has closed to contact distances. How these objectives are achieved... that can vary. I suspect that part of the reason they are here is to look at other ways of completing the objective.

There has to be a metric (I prefer objective ones) in order to make comparisons. These metrics must reflect the objectives of the mission statement to be of any use at all. If the mission defeat a member of the opposing force that has closed to contact distance, measuring my ability to shoot small groups at 50 yards with a pistol is a complete waste. I think this is where the rolling, FOF, and "Best Ranger" or "toughest cop" competitions come in.

Finally, I think that neither Kevin or Kit are Bruce Wayne in disguise. They, like me, have a job and obligations that mean they have to be very careful about how they expend their training time/effort/dollars. Do I spend the weekend in Seattle with Rob and Ark, or do I go to Portland and get my backside kicked by Southnarc? (I got luck on that one and trained with Southnarc in Portland one weekend and went to Stanford to train with Ark and Rob the next.) :) Do I spend $1100 to train for 4 days with Larry Vickers, or do I spend the same money on an airline ticket to visit Wang Hai Jun?

Kevin, Kit, if I've misread your intent, please accept my apologizes.

Kevin Leavitt
06-11-2008, 05:57 PM
No, Mark, your dead on.

I was getting ready to write a on the topic of technique which you already mentioned. Correct we are not addressing technique at all.

We used to have a technique based system in the Army. We got rid of it. Not because the techniques were not valid ones, it was just the CONDITIONS in which they were practiced in were static in nature.

I excelled in that environment with my Karate background and several years of aikido under my belt. As well as every TKD BB, Kempo BB, Wing Chung BB.

Ironically wrestlers, grapplers, and BJJ guys were disenfranchised because they never got the opportunity to work on their skills in this environment!

Anyway, SOF guys and Ranger Battalions that actually deployed dismissed the training as irrelevant.

So, a few guys, one in particular were asked to re-assess the program and figure out what needed to be done to improve the program.

So, that is where we are today. We apply combatives in a dynamic, full spectrum, live training environment.

We took (and still do) alot of heat from those that thought that the old method was the way to go. They thought that teaching the "macro" techniques that we were teaching were detrimental and could easily be defeated by a groin kick, or an eye gouge.

The typical response from a technique perspective is "well I would never fight on the ground or from that position and if I did well I would eye gouge, (insert your favorite technique here).

To be honest I went through this stage as well. I went to the Combatives school with over 10 years of solid TMA experience under my belt with my aikido "multiple opponent", I am too lethal for school house to actually do it perspective.

I had guys with less than 4 months training in Army Combatives dropping me and putting me in rear naked chokes, or in positions in which they could really hurt me.

It was embarrassing and humiliating and left me wondering about the value of my 10 years of training.

Obviously I got over it and got on the wagon.

Suprisingly it did not cause me to abandon my training. I came to realize that it was still relevant, I just needed to consider it from a different perspective in timing, speed, force, aliveness.

Conditions make all the difference in the world.

So, today I have a different perspective on the Conditions of training. I split my time between Combatives and Aikido. I work different aspects in each of those environments.

Combatives we focus on training conditions that help us improve our abilities in Combat. It is not technique focused, but Conditions focused. We focus on "points of failure". That is you have a guy on your side, back, on top of you, closing the distance etc. We then work on developing successful strategies, skills, and habits to successfully commit to muscle memory.

Aikido, which "should" be "internal" training allows me to focus on structure and alignment, movement, and a slower pace.

Occassionally we wil gear up to a situational environment that more closely represents the combatives environment, loads, and stress.

Anyway, Techniques do not rule the training we do, it is the Conditions.

Mike Sigman
06-11-2008, 06:00 PM
8. Guys like Kit and I say, "fine" you have us sold....now show us...in that environment. We are not saying that to debunk or to discredit you, but in all sincerity as we have the best interest in improving not only our own training, but those of our fellow soldiers and officers.Heh. Well, if someone claimed to be an expert in submission grappling AND they claim to have internal skills, I'd ask to see the skills before I'd ask to see them out on the mat. I'd have a totally different set of testing criteria I'd use before I'd invite someone to "show how internal strength is used in karate, submission grappling, Aikido, Taiji, Xingyi, or etc. But then, I know what to look for.

If someone like Dan showed up and offered himself as a subject for jin/kokyu skills and offered to show his ki-development, it would only take me a minute or two to see what he knows and also see how far he's worked to develop them (yes, you can have all the way from hobby-level up to olympic-athlete levels of these skills). That's one subject. Whether he is skilled in any particular martial art or can, say, hit a baseball using his ki (this can be done, BTW), that would be a secondary topic that again would include different levels, etc.... as Dan noted himself.

What I'm saying is that it's not clear to me that you or Kit really understand what the topic is, in terms of internal-strength skills. I have yet to see either one of you functionally discuss what the skills are, what you noticed in terms of physical function at a workshop, or what part is in question. All I see is "let's roll". My counter to that is "let me set you up with somebody I know and let's just let you go at it".... because it makes about as much sense to me.

Let me try one more small example. At a few workshops in the past there were among the attendees various women around 65 years old. I treated them like anyone else. In all the instances, I made sure that those women at least learned how to launch a large male backwards through the air. No big deal, but I thought they'd enjoy being able to do it. None of them could even remotely do such a thing when they came in the door to the workshop, so learning this basic jin/kokyu skill was something new and gave them an effectiveness that could potentially be used in some reasonably innocuous encounter.

How do I know that being able to shove a large male away is useful in some sort of confrontation? Well, I think it's obvious enough that I shouldn't have to argue the point nor should I have to show up at her Taiji club or whatever and prove that such a skill/strength might actually be usable. I.e., I'm assuming that most people can extrapolate whether something has martial application or not, regardless of whether I do a follow-up visit and get checked out by her instructor... and tested on whether a strong push is really something that might have a martial application. Of course it has a martial application.... that's kind of a silly way to evaluate it. Will it beat everyone in the world? No. It gave her an advantage that she didn't have before she came to the workshop. Will it make her a world-class fighter? Probably not, but that's a different topic and totally up to her and what she wants to do, is capable of doing, and so forth.

My point is that I have yet to see any meaningful discussion or analysis of what you and Kit have seen.... it seems to always jump to "let's roll" or "let's test you". It's like some gap in the logic chain and I'm pretty sure (as are a few other people) that you guys haven't really thought through exactly what is going on, why it's effective, and so on. Seriously. So far it's like someone has said "weight training will help your boxing training" and you guys keep saying over and over again: "prove it by getting in the ring with our boxers". It's like some sort of disconnect.

Mike

Kevin Leavitt
06-11-2008, 06:10 PM
In the army we have the following pedagogy so to speak.

Task, Condition, Standards (T,C,S) and Situation

A Task might be:
Secure a Room

Conditions:
At night in a building replicating a house with furniture and unknown number of people, and full battle rattle. All personnel will be wearing Blauer Gear and Observer/Controllers trained in the scenario are present to ensure safety. OPFOR has no projectile weapon, but can take a weapon from soldiers if they can.

Standards:
All personnel in the building are secured with minimal use of force

The Situation then has to be defined. 4 man team enters building, it is dark, and full of clutter. First man enters the room and OPFOR comes from the right, and grabs soldier 1's weapon. Other 3 soldiers are not allowed to enter the room for 20 seconds. They then enter the room and secure the room according to SOP.

Contraints:

Furniture cannot be used as a weapon. No Knifes for this scenario. Full Contact allowed. O/Cs will supervise and stop fighting if they feel that fighter is not able to fight back or is in risk of serious injury.

Note that there is no mention of any techniques outside of the constraints imposed for safety.

(BTW, I made this up off the top of my head, so it is not a real one that we would use necessarily).

Mike Sigman
06-11-2008, 06:42 PM
In the army we have the following pedagogy so to speak.

Task, Condition, Standards (T,C,S) and Situation

A Task might be:
Secure a Room

Conditions:
At night in a building replicating a house with furniture and unknown number of people, and full battle rattle. All personnel will be wearing Blauer Gear and Observer/Controllers trained in the scenario are present to ensure safety. OPFOR has no projectile weapon, but can take a weapon from soldiers if they can.

Standards:
All personnel in the building are secured with minimal use of force

The Situation then has to be defined. 4 man team enters building, it is dark, and full of clutter. First man enters the room and OPFOR comes from the right, and grabs soldier 1's weapon. Other 3 soldiers are not allowed to enter the room for 20 seconds. They then enter the room and secure the room according to SOP.

Contraints:

Furniture cannot be used as a weapon. No Knifes for this scenario. Full Contact allowed. O/Cs will supervise and stop fighting if they feel that fighter is not able to fight back or is in risk of serious injury.

Note that there is no mention of any techniques outside of the constraints imposed for safety.

(BTW, I made this up off the top of my head, so it is not a real one that we would use necessarily).So if some average soldier went to, say, the base gym and got stronger, would he be better or worse at this TCS? Can we figure that out using our noodles or do we have to test it?

Conversely, you've been to at least two workshops where variations of internal strength were laid out for your observation. Using your noodle, would you say those strengths are an advantage or they have no particular relevance in a TCS?

Just to make an assumption, let me assume that you say yes, the types of strength-skills you've seen have some martial application and *possibly* (because you haven't seen them all and let's face it, you just got a quick look at what's there... you didn't see everything well enough to really understand) there are other advantages. The real question is whether you or some other military person can (1.) find someone to teach you a practical way to train those skills and (2.) whether you have time in your working day to practice those things so the the Return On Invested Time makes it worthwhile to your job. Those are the real questions, IMO. Whether these types of skills are a benefit is, or should be, as I've said before, a fairly easy extrapolation, assuming the laws of physics are the same around the world. ;)

Kevin Leavitt
06-11-2008, 06:44 PM
Mike Wrote:

What I'm saying is that it's not clear to me that you or Kit really understand what the topic is, in terms of internal-strength skills. I have yet to see either one of you functionally discuss what the skills are, what you noticed in terms of physical function at a workshop, or what part is in question. All I see is "let's roll". My counter to that is "let me set you up with somebody I know and let's just let you go at it".... because it makes about as much sense to me.

Mike I have openly said this myself. I don't understand, but I see where it might be of application. Exploring this applicaiton is what I am interested in. I have never said "lets roll". I find that simply ridiculous unless their is a teaching point or an objective to be gained from the experience. It is never about proving or disproving anything, only about experiences and lessons to be learned from the process.

Mike Wrote:

Let me try one more small example. At a few workshops in the past there were among the attendees various women around 65 years old. I treated them like anyone else. In all the instances, I made sure that those women at least learned how to launch a large male backwards through the air. No big deal, but I thought they'd enjoy being able to do it. None of them could even remotely do such a thing when they came in the door to the workshop, so learning this basic jin/kokyu skill was something new and gave them an effectiveness that could potentially be used in some reasonably innocuous encounter.

What would you define as an innocuous encounter? With a person? a car door? what?

What expectations do you think they went home with?

I think it is wonderful that you showed a couple of 65 year old ladies what is possible or potential.

Skill? Skill implies to me that they now have the ability to affect something on a regular and consitent basis, given a set of conditions/parameters.

What would that be?

Mike wrote:

How do I know that being able to shove a large male away is useful in some sort of confrontation? Well, I think it's obvious enough that I shouldn't have to argue the point

I am assuming linkage of this sentence to your above one concerning innocuous.

So did they walk away with the expectation that they had a skill that was really useful? Or did they walk away with a false sense of empowerment?

Mike Sigman
06-11-2008, 06:52 PM
So did they walk away with the expectation that they had a skill that was really useful? Or did they walk away with a false sense of empowerment?Wouldn't the obvious answer be simply that they walked away with a physical skill that they didn't have before? Is such a skill an martial advantage or not? It was in some of the anecdotes about Ueshiba, but mayby not when it's just old ladies. We seem to be going in an endless circle that always goes back to a focus on a technique... not how something was done and whether the basic skill is useable. This is like 3 years now.

Mike

Kevin Leavitt
06-11-2008, 07:07 PM
Mike wrote:

So if some average soldier went to, say, the base gym and got stronger, would he be better or worse at this TCS? Can we figure that out using our noodles or do we have to test it?

Maybe, maybe not, there are so many other factors that come into play. Frankly this is why I am attracted to what you do, I think that these skills might be helpful in many ways that just running and lifting do not help. However, is there a benefit to be gained over other training regimes for this TCS?

I don't know, and I suspect it would not be at this point. lots of the training that is becoming all the rage in "crossfit" www.crossfit.com probably is better suited than your training for the average soldier.

Now, if you can show a distinct ability that ties directly to martial or physical performance...well then you have a case and a new job!

My hope is that what you are doing DOES have a few advantages for those that care to spend the time training.

This weeks issue of Army Times talks about changing our fitness strategies...more core, agility, balance focused. So, I do think you guys are in the right ball park.

Then you have that many soldiers aren't really concerned with being the best they can be...it is a smaller subset.

Conversely, you've been to at least two workshops where variations of internal strength were laid out for your observation. Using your noodle, would you say those strengths are an advantage or they have no particular relevance in a TCS?


No they have relevance, just not sure how much and where at this point. I think you tend to get a little offended by this, and you shouldn't not be, as it is not intended to be a reflection upon you, only my own experiences and applications.

You have to focus on the fact that guys like Kit and I are being very specific about the applications. I know this must frustrate you to no end!

Just to make an assumption, let me assume that you say yes, the types of strength-skills you've seen have some martial application and *possibly* (because you haven't seen them all and let's face it, you just got a quick look at what's there... you didn't see everything well enough to really understand) there are other advantages. The real question is whether you or some other military person can (1.) find someone to teach you a practical way to train those skills and (2.) whether you have time in your working day to practice those things so the the Return On Invested Time makes it worthwhile to your job. Those are the real questions, IMO. Whether these types of skills are a benefit is, or should be, as I've said before, a fairly easy extrapolation, assuming the laws of physics are the same around the world

Good summation, and I agree with you. the real perspective for me for why I do this is this:

1. It really doesn't take much time.
2. The benefits for my physical conditioning and health are definitely there.
3. If I gain nothing else than a better core and range of motion and sense of self and balance..then they are worth it.

So, in summary, I think the investment outweighs the downside by far!

However, when we get down to brass tacks on martial training, well heck there are so many other factors that enter into it that you must be concerned with that I am not sure there is a signular distinct advantage over other forms of training such as what is offered by www.crossfit.com.

that is where I am right now in my view.

Mike, thanks for your time, and I hope that you will still let me come train with you in the future.

I enjoy the discussion here with you a great deal and value you significantly as a teacher of these skills!

Kevin Leavitt
06-11-2008, 07:19 PM
Mike wrote:

Wouldn't the obvious answer be simply that they walked away with a physical skill that they didn't have before? Is such a skill an martial advantage or not? It was in some of the anecdotes about Ueshiba, but mayby not when it's just old ladies. We seem to be going in an endless circle that always goes back to a focus on a technique... not how something was done and whether the basic skill is useable. This is like 3 years now.


No I don't think so. I think you and I simply disagree on perspective here. I think it stems around how we measure "skill". I contend that they have no skill whatsoever. (martially) Physically, well I'd agree that they might have "skill" if they could replicate it over and over again, under the same conditions. Philosophically speaking though is it a "skill" if they can only do it under those conditions.

To me it is sort of like showing someone how to pound a nail in a board with a hammer. They sort of do walk a way with a skill I suppose, but if they cannot do anything but pound it in a 2x4 that provides them no utility, then is it really a skill, or a "trick"?

Skill would imply that they could build a birdhouse after the workshop.

I used to run into this logic all the time with Sr Officers that would attend my training course prior to going down range. They would say "hey, I don't need to go to this course...I already qualified on my M-16". (usually JAG officers). I would answer like this.

Okay sir, do a functions check and perform immediate actions right now...GO! DO IT. YOUR BEING SHOT AT!!! DO IT!

They would sheepishly look at me and say...."well, I can't do it THAT way!"

I would respond..."Sir, that is why you are here!' "Can I help you with anything else". (Answer was always NO).

You see, they would make the logical mental mistake of confusing what they could mentally concieve of as what they were physically able to perform. Watching powerpoint, and being able to mentally walk through the steps, or being able to do it calmly in controlled conditions are one thing....

Being able to do it under stress without thought, and replicate it over and over...that is SKILL.

Everything else is an "exercise" or a "trick" in my book.

Yes, we have been going in circles for the last 3 years.

I just think it is simply a different perspective or criteria application.

Nothing to do with how I value you or what you do.

Mike Sigman
06-11-2008, 07:27 PM
Now, if you can show a distinct ability that ties directly to martial or physical performance...well then you have a case and a new job! I actually can show an increase in physical performance pretty easily. In fact, if you go back a few (or more) posts of mine, you'll see where I mentioned that I (as does Dan) do a fair amount of physical labor and I've evaluated whether these skills are substantially helpful (or whether they're wishful thinking on my part) for quite some time. It's a laydown... they're more helpful and voila', that's exactly what ancient farmers, etc., thought, too. And they went by results, too, not wishful thinking. But... and this has been my point all along... it should only take a couple of examples to be able to see that.

In terms of a new job, thanks, but I really have no interest. I've been involved in martial-arts and the military before and it's not cutting-edge enough to suit me. They have trouble deciding whether weight-training is beneficial or not. ;)

You have to focus on the fact that guys like Kit and I are being very specific about the applications. I know this must frustrate you to no end! Doesn't frustrate me at all. I understand the pro's and con's of that particular mindset. I've been there and seen it before. To me it's tough enough to find the few guys who can get this stuff kick-started in current martial arts and qigong without having to contend with military (and paramilitary) mindsets. Remind me to tell you sometime about my encounter at a local picnic with one of the local police trainer who taught submission and restraint tactics and who was also a BJJ practitioner (according to him; I never checked into that part of it). I'll bet he's got me pegged as some sort of fluke that caught him on a bad day. I.e., he'll never change the way he thinks or the things he focuses on. Mike, thanks for your time, and I hope that you will still let me come train with you in the future. Well don't forget that the next class in Pennsylvania is for people who have certain basic-level skills already. I.e., they've practiced. I enjoy the discussion here with you a great deal and value you significantly as a teacher of these skills! Hey, if we don't argue, we don't really think. As Chas Clements once said, "A group of martial-artists get together, a fight breaks out.... quelle surprise." However, I'm no more emotionally invested in an argument/debate than you are in the average roll on the mats. It's what keeps us alive.

Mike

Kevin Leavitt
06-11-2008, 07:36 PM
Mike wrote:Well don't forget that the next class in Pennsylvania is for people who have certain basic-level skills already. I.e., they've practiced.

Yea, I don't want to be like one of the Sr Officers in my example above now do I!

Thanks Mike.

Mike Sigman
06-11-2008, 07:41 PM
To me it is sort of like showing someone how to pound a nail in a board with a hammer. They sort of do walk a way with a skill I suppose, but if they cannot do anything but pound it in a 2x4 that provides them no utility, then is it really a skill, or a "trick"? It's a skill. I promise. And having patiently put up with a lot of people who want to build things while they learn to hammer a goddamn simple nail, I assure you that that part's the skill. Now whether they can build their own porch-deck or house-extension (what you'd call the real skill), I'll tell you that if they sure they can build those things sooner or later, but they'll be a lot better off if they'd learn how to pound a nail first. That's the primary skill... I don't care what they do with it after that. It's up to them.

Skill would imply that they could build a birdhouse after the workshop.

I used to run into this logic all the time with Sr Officers that would attend my training course prior to going down range. They would say "hey, I don't need to go to this course...I already qualified on my M-16". (usually JAG officers). I would answer like this.

Okay sir, do a functions check and perform immediate actions right now...GO! DO IT. YOUR BEING SHOT AT!!! DO IT!

They would sheepishly look at me and say...."well, I can't do it THAT way!"

I would respond..."Sir, that is why you are here!' "Can I help you with anything else". (Answer was always NO). That is so illogical, but so typical of the military mindset. ;) Different worlds. You see, they would make the logical mental mistake of confusing what they could mentally concieve of as what they were physically able to perform. Watching powerpoint, and being able to mentally walk through the steps, or being able to do it calmly in controlled conditions are one thing.... The basic skill is knowing knowing how to use the rifle. The chosen application is actually a different "skill", not the original one. Like I said, you confuse the basic skill with the secondary skill. Maybe it's my engineering way of thinking in modules? But wait... my way of breaking things into modules also allows me to recombine modules into different "sets", so there's a holistic advantage to modular thinking. Being able to do it under stress without thought, and replicate it over and over...that is SKILL. Nope... that is really two different "skills". In other words, it's like the difference between being able to think logically and being able to think logically on your feet. Often and usually taught as two different skills.

FWIW

Mike

Kevin Leavitt
06-11-2008, 08:01 PM
I see your way of thinking reference Skill. Makes sense to me. I tend to view things from an endstate point of view these days. Functional Skill is more important than basic skill (to me).

I think it is why we have BJJ guys somewhat martially proficient in 2 years vice guys that train for 10 years in other arts and still are working on the "basics" and cannot really do much with them.

Mike Sigman
06-11-2008, 08:44 PM
I think it is why we have BJJ guys somewhat martially proficient in 2 years vice guys that train for 10 years in other arts and still are working on the "basics" and cannot really do much with them.Yeah, but this is the same sort of comparisons that I think are sort of bogus. Most western parodies of Asian martial arts tend to produce people who do parodies of the arts. Very few are powerful and realistic, which does a disservice to the original arts. Go look at strip-mall karate, as an example (I won't mention a lot of Aikido out there because I'm such a sport. ;) ). If someone compares high-school wrestling to strip-mall karate, the high-school wrestling almost always wins hands-down. Among people who know anything about martial arts, this is a simplistic argument and it says very little when it's made as an example. It just points out the obvious.

I could easily say that high-school wrestling produces in 2 years better fighters than 10 years of karate at a strip mall. No kidding. We could use a number of similar examples. I could also say that I've seen grapplers/wrestlers get damaged in *some* encounters where they went up against someone using techniques that were powerful and which they weren't familiar with. Does that encapsulate grapplers as losers? No. That's why I don't want to get into technique-oriented or style-oriented discussions... it's the discussion-of-choice of teenagers. Besides... anyone can lose a fight (show me one really good fighter that has never lost a fight!).

However, without equivocating I can assure you that it's a certainty that overall strength and conditioning skills give an advantage when all things are tallied. What techniques or applications someone chooses to use strength, conditioning, jin, etc., skills for is their own decision. Those secondary considerations are open to debate and have been for thousands of years. That's why there are so many different Asian martial arts styles.

FWIW

Mike

Timothy WK
06-11-2008, 10:45 PM
1. It really doesn't take much time.
As I tried pointing out earlier, this isn't really true. There are certain aspects of these skills that can be taught quickly, but those aren't the aspects that allow for the real "magic", like Akuzawa walking around effortlessly with a 200+ lbs man on his back.

The real spectacular skillz that everyone drools over are predicated on a good 2-3 years---if not more---of conditioning. In the meanwhile you'll learn little tricks and make certain developments that will contribute to your strength and power, but it takes time before you'll be able to do the big stuff. At the recent Aunkai seminar, Rob John pointed out more than once that there were limits to what he could do, and in fact he could not resist the bigger people at the seminar (though he made them work).

But as Mike has been trying to say, you guys keep talking about two different things. The internal stuff is about conditioning/ strength building/ etc, not fighting per se. Why bring up how fast a BJJ player can learn to roll around the mat?

Upyu
06-11-2008, 11:49 PM
As I tried pointing out earlier, this isn't really true. There are certain aspects of these skills that can be taught quickly, but those aren't the aspects that allow for the real "magic", like Akuzawa walking around effortlessly with a 200+ lbs man on his back.


Not to put words in Kevin's mouth, but I think he was referring to time out of the day. Frequency is more important than length of time of anyone practice session.

There are a bunch of exercises I could think of off the top of my head that could easily kill two birds with one stone, especially since I take it that the military and LE types do train with heavy loads etc.
Given a well thought out methodology, I think it would be feasible to hammer out a PT regimen that could be added or perhaps replace certain parts of the current PT regimen. I think the real kicker would be that the actual shape of a lot of exercises that most people know "squats," "push ups" etc could be kept, as long as you can teach the people doing the exercises exactly what they are working on, and for what effect...

Anyone want to donate some guinea pigs?

Tim Fong
06-12-2008, 12:13 AM
Hi Tim,

I guess for me, I look at this as another kind of conditioning...like weight training. And just like weight training, I think that there are probably routines/methods that are optimum for particular tactical goals. I.e. one doesn't want to do an isolation/ bodybuilding routine (aimed at maximizing hypertrophy) if one wants to maximize performance at standup wrestling. And there's probably some kind of optimum mix of conditioning for strength, vs. working different engagement scenarios.

But hey, I'm just a skinny guy, what do I know :)

Kevin Leavitt
06-12-2008, 07:31 AM
Yes, that is what I am talking bout guys. Frequency (daily investment).

The Army is really disjointed when it comes to fitness. In many ways we are catching on to things. In others we art not. For example our senior leaders going to war college get these type of classes. (Over 40 crowd).

https://apfri.carlisle.army.mil/web/Education/FitnessClasses.htm

IMO, these program a "okay" but a not integrated into any program or an endstate.

We go back to measuring fitness based on push ups, sit ups, and a 2 mile run. (which does not take much effort to maintain a decent score either).

Rob, check out the instructions for the Army's 1946 test on this link.

http://www.ihpra.org/1946%20(World%20War%20II)%20Army%20Physical%20Fitness%20Test.htm

it hold you to a very strict way of doing push ups. today, we have alot of latitude for doing them however we want, which allows a testee to target the muscle groups that he wants to, and they can shift around, rest, and move to different places....bad form. Restricted in the manner that of the 1946 test would mean that many would fail.

I think that you are correct and are on to something with your thoughts.

KIT
06-12-2008, 03:12 PM
Hi Tim,

I guess for me, I look at this as another kind of conditioning...like weight training. And just like weight training, I think that there are probably routines/methods that are optimum for particular tactical goals. I.e. one doesn't want to do an isolation/ bodybuilding routine (aimed at maximizing hypertrophy) if one wants to maximize performance at standup wrestling. And there's probably some kind of optimum mix of conditioning for strength, vs. working different engagement scenarios.
But hey, I'm just a skinny guy, what do I know :)

[Emphasis Mine]

Apparently a perceptive skinny guy, since you are grasping what we are getting at.

Mark Kruger
06-12-2008, 04:10 PM
I've talked a little bit about the mission focus of military training. There are some other points I think are relevant to teaching internal skills to soldiers:

Time frame:
US Army combined basic combat training and infantry specialty training takes something on the order of 16 weeks. For US Marines, basic training is 13 weeks long. Marines with an infantry specialty get 8 weeks in an infantry training battalion.

How much skill development can we see in this sort of time frame? Don't forget that while the recruits can spend some time on internal work, they must spend time on all the other skills they are currently being taught. Another alternative is to teach these skills during the selection process for more elite units. While the training periods become longer, the demands placed on the candidates grows at an even faster rate.

The expectation might be that the basics of internal skills might be taught during basic training and that the soldier would continue to develop them during their time in the service. I think that this assumes a rather rosy view of the operational demands placed on the soldier.

Exclusivity and scaling:
Having the master teach the "goods" only to his top student just doesn't cut it. There are about 500,000 soldiers in the regular US army. With the USANG and USAR components included, you are looking at something like a million soldiers. Again, the alternative is to teach these skills to elite units. Even then, there is a vast difference between the size of the typical dojo and the approximately 3000 members of the 75th Ranger Regiment.

Teaching these large number is not the issue... you train the trainers. However, whoever teaches the teachers will have to be vastly more open about what they do without losing the quality we seek.

Aikibu
06-12-2008, 05:06 PM
I've talked a little bit about the mission focus of military training. There are some other points I think are relevant to teaching internal skills to soldiers:

Time frame:
US Army combined basic combat training and infantry specialty training takes something on the order of 16 weeks. For US Marines, basic training is 13 weeks long. Marines with an infantry specialty get 8 weeks in an infantry training battalion.

How much skill development can we see in this sort of time frame? Don't forget that while the recruits can spend some time on internal work, they must spend time on all the other skills they are currently being taught. Another alternative is to teach these skills during the selection process for more elite units. While the training periods become longer, the demands placed on the candidates grows at an even faster rate.

The expectation might be that the basics of internal skills might be taught during basic training and that the soldier would continue to develop them during their time in the service. I think that this assumes a rather rosy view of the operational demands placed on the soldier.

Exclusivity and scaling:
Having the master teach the "goods" only to his top student just doesn't cut it. There are about 500,000 soldiers in the regular US army. With the USANG and USAR components included, you are looking at something like a million soldiers. Again, the alternative is to teach these skills to elite units. Even then, there is a vast difference between the size of the typical dojo and the approximately 3000 members of the 75th Ranger Regiment.

Teaching these large number is not the issue... you train the trainers. However, whoever teaches the teachers will have to be vastly more open about what they do without losing the quality we seek.

Perfect....:)

William "Ranger" Hazen

KIT
06-12-2008, 08:21 PM
That may be where LE might have an advantage: they are a "captive audience" over the course of a career.

If you could institute even a few exercises a few times a year over the course of a career, they will never realize the full potential (again, as with any DT, firearms, etc.) but may benefit in a small way.

Others may take more of an active interest, and actually put some time into the practice.

Mark

I'm picturing an "internally turbocharged" Default a la Snarc....

We should get together before the next ECQC.

Mike Sigman
06-12-2008, 09:29 PM
Teaching these large number is not the issue... you train the trainers. However, whoever teaches the teachers will have to be vastly more open about what they do without losing the quality we seek.I understand your point, Mark, but I'm personally not some outsider to the military and I've been chasing-down and consolidating information on this stuff for more than 25 years, so I know something about it even though I'll be the first to admit that there's always more out there.

Around the general principles, a number of various tangential approaches have been developed in Asia, each thinking it has "the best approach". That's what I've had to sort through for all these years, looking for the common skein, but my point is that the "best way" is a complex analysis.

To help my own research, I've tried "experts" in everything from Aikido to Taiji to Xingyi to Bagua to Karate to Wujiquan... you name it. Along the way, I've spent many hours trying various approaches, taught various approaches, and so on. I've done everything I can to refine the results (and the jin/kokyu stuff is only a part of the whole... you haven't seen the discussions on other parts of it, I'm more than certain). So my second point is that "being open" is really only a part of a more compex problem.

What I'm saying is that even with that many years and thinking that I've got the general framework of not only the jin but the ki development sort of in focus, I'm not sure that it's refined enough (in terms of condensing/codifying) to be presentable to a large-scale training situation, although I'm thinking about it at the moment (and it's an interesting thought-process). I.e, it's an interesting challenge. It's sort of like saying, how could you tailor this stuff so that it's most presentable and useable to, say, the "Boy Scouts", or to "seniors" or to "college athletics". Certainly the traditional, secretive approach is no good. But what if you're very open... how good would the syllabus work? There are a lot of questions not only about the syllabus, but also about the target audience and what their ability to handle it is.

So first of all, as far as someone like me is concerned, you need to ask yourself if someone would be really motivated to show this stuff to hoorah military trainers. Personally, I've been involved with a lot of military trainers in my life. If you have, too, then you should already know that there are problems not only on the teaching side, but on the learning side. The percentage of gung-ho hot-dogs in the training ranks leaves me a little bit cold because this is not some "by the numbers on my count, ladies" stuff that conforms to average PT. I.e., this is sophisticated enough that it's probably like deciding how much medical training you can funnel into EMT trainers while doing the best job at hand for everyone.

This internal-strength stuff is some fairly clever stuff and it's a bigger topic than a few weekend seminars... although I think it can be simplified and codified. It takes some thought to absorb and most of all it takes a repatterning of the way people move, something that is far more difficult. So it is sort of along the lines of a conditioning, but in many ways it's far more sophisticated than that.

Knowing that, the chances of someone gaming a person like me into "being open" are pretty small (just as playing on my "it's for the US military" sentiment are pretty small) because it's a lot more complex than some of these posters seem to realize.

Why would a qualified trainer want to get involved with the military or LEO in the first place? Is there some imperative that I'm missing? Personally, looking at the posts in this thread, I think the real problem is that, regardless of having been to a seminar or two, there is no real understanding of what the topic really is, so far, by some of the people in the discussion. It seems to boil down to "how does this stuff work in submission grappling?". Period. Show me a post that shows a greater understanding of the topic than that. If people have been to a workshop and they haven't really been able to formulate and articulate exactly what the factual aspects of these skills are, then all the talk about "testing", etc., seems premature and is probably more focused on testosterone than anything else.

Go back and look at the post where I used an example of a single, simple, focusable functional aspect, using a 65-year-old woman to make it clear, and yet the idea that an older woman could generate an outgoing force capable of lifting a 200+ pound male up off the ground and away didn't seem to ring the bell about functional usage. If defining and focusing the issues based on a simple example like that don't mean anything to the conversation, then it's not really a productive discussion, in my opinion. I.e., most of this discussion seems to be a thinly cloaked "try it against my style" discussion. And frankly, I'm not the only person that has seen it that way (i.e., if you think you can argue that this is about a serious analysis, please show me the quotes that include both sides of the potentials).

And let me hasten to add that I think it's possible there are gaps in the conversation all the way around, but I don't know for sure if that means that it's accurate to say that the lapses are all excusable.

One thing I do know is that I know I can look back in archived posts over the last 3 years and that I can find examples of the "why's" and "how-to's" that should be part of any discussion *before* there is this "come show me and me fellow trainers" stuff. What stuff, you might ask? The vague and undefined stuff that seems to boil down to a "let's roll with it" topic too often. Before the "show me" becomes an issue, I would think that the people who want to "roll" should show that they have some grasp of what the actual physical aspects are, what the benefits are, what the defining parameters are, and so forth. Someone who has been to one or two workshops should be able to lay out what has happened, how it may have happened, and so forth. In actuality, that's how discussion and testing procedures in the real and professional world actually work.

If I had a better design for a widget and I'd showed the widget to prospective buyers a couple of times, I'd want them to show they understood the concepts behind the widget before I got too deeply into any further discussions with them... in the real world, that's how it works, guys. Some of these proposed "testings" in this current thread only show me that the concepts are simply not clearly understood. That's not a very professional approach to anything. To change it around and suggest that the burden is elsewhere, after a couple of workshops, is not a good sign, at least not to me. But maybe my opinion is too colored by a professional career of how serious enquiries are made. I'm always open to discussion, though.

FWIW

Mike Sigman

Timothy WK
06-13-2008, 08:58 AM
I think my earlier posts may seem more confrontational than I meant them to be, I am honestly trying to contribute to the conversation.

If I may expand on something Mike said about "hoorah military trainers"---IME internal training requires a certain amount of, err... intuitive exploration and personalization.

The issue is that teachers have to communicate a kinesthetic experience. Since students start with different physical strengths/ weaknesses, and because they all have different personalities, teachers have to adapt their teaching methods and rhetoric so individual students can relate and develop. It won't work so well to say, "Do A, B, and C and you got it." On the learning side, students have to self-explore to discover how to translate that advice and external movements into internal/kinesthetic feelings.

Maybe I'm being stereotypical (I know a number of military and LE guys, but haven't served myself), but I would think this approach would run counter cultural to what those large bureaucracies are used to.

I think this is also one of the reasons people need "hands-on" instruction.

Ron Tisdale
06-13-2008, 12:39 PM
In my limited understanding of both internal dynamics and LEO/etc. environments, the first thing to detail would be how to teach the proper body position/structure to even begin to understand WHAT has to be maintained under pressure. Whatever pressure that is.

And that position/structure is going to be based on an INDIVIDUAL'S body. Not the group mean.

There are already methods in aikido for teaching large groups, and they do address the structure issue to some extent. How sucsessfully that transfers IN GENERAL to large groups relative to internal dynamics is another story completely, which I will not get into.

Best,
Ron

Mark Kruger
06-13-2008, 03:24 PM
Mark

I'm picturing an "internally turbocharged" Default a la Snarc....

We should get together before the next ECQC.

Internally turbocharged Default. I like it.

Getting together before the next ECQC in Portland would be good. :) I don't think I have enough internal skill to really contribute (aside from being a warm body). Tom Wharton would make for an interesting training partner. If we can talk them into visiting, Jeremy Hulley and Chris Moses up in Seattle have been practicing the Aunkai stuff on a regular basis and might be able to contribute as well. There are some other folks I can think of, but I don't really know them personally.

It would be interesting to take Rob or someone else with decent internal skill, teach them enough contact distance handgun work to get by, run them through ECQC, and see which internal skills they used. Not as a test of internal skills, but as a way of determining which skills are most useful. George Ledyard might be an interesting person to have there. He teaches DT, so he has a familiarity with the applications we are interested in and he has trained with internal folks.

I'm sure you know this, but to be clear for everyone, the objective isn't to see who wins or loses the fight (how aikido-like). The objective is to see which skills are applied and under what conditions. Take the car fights at the last Portland ECQC as an example. (A student's jeep was volunteered as a venue, the driver was unarmed, the passenger had a sims gun pointed at the driver. The fight starts.) Which structure skills are important when the other guy is trying to double you up and cram you into the footwell? How does grounding work when you have driven the other guy between the front seats and are on top trying to elbow him with the free arm while keeping the sims gun out of play?

The scenario I described is more applicable to the LEO and private citizen community, but I'm sure that Kevin or someone else could adapt this to the military mission objectives.

DH
06-13-2008, 04:12 PM
WOW! I sat and read the rest since I posted a while back. I don’t now how I got dragged in but I really have no dog in the fight and no need/ desire/ or interest in defending some idea you guys think I hold and want to convince some military expert about. Again, I almost never enter into LEO / Military discussion as I feel it is almost arrogant to do so. I’d rather just say thanks to all those defending us and move on. I have NO idea what these guys need for the job and don’t pretend to. I bailed a while back as I don’t feel I have anything more to say. I laid out my points as best I could.

All of these comments about rolling are fine on their own but are no proof of anything other than someone knows how to fight. Gee how special Join the thousands of us who have been doing so for many years. My views on more live training or MMA style fighting is well known. Anyone who knows me, or has asked me where to train- I pretty much have never recommended any aiki art of any type. Across all boards, and over many years I ALWAYS recommend a good Judo dojo, and or BJJ or better yet- MMA. I’m not a fan of gi fighting and or rastlin with no strikes but the liveness of Judo /jujutsu is still good stuff. That said “What is there to prove?” That MMA type live drills tailored to specific tactical needs is best? Er..duh! Ok join the club.

All of the comments on load carrying, balance, and energy conservation in use are spot on. You guys just don’t know what you’re talking about because you don’t know the full implications or potentials of these skills or this subject. My point- of the difficulties in trying to prove it statistically in an across-the-board control group can be debated. I just will not take part any more. I think it will be a allot of work, and almost impossible for a large organization to adopt. Why should I personally care when most experienced men already know its true just by feeling those of us that can do it.

Load carrying, work potential and how it relates to knockout power and rolling? Who cares. Taking a group of raw men and training internal power, then training and teaching them how to actually fight in their needed tactical fields, then comparing them to a controal group who trains by lifiting and running and doing the MAC program as it and coming up with any thing definitive will prove to be almost impossible to so. No one will spend the time, on the internal training. no one has the time. Even men who WANT to learn it, don’t do the work. Again I state, not one single man has ever felt it and did not see its worth. For me that includes a host of different players from all different arts. Most want to start learning it -on the spot. Trying to prove it to a bunch of cops and soldiers who don’t need it or want to know is not anything I’m interested in doing. I’ve got better things to do.

I'd suggest Rob made a mistake in rolling with anyone when he didnlt know how to fight yet. nd he was still just learning these skills. Thus he was judged on two levels-neither of which he was yet proficient in.
Kevin went to a couple of seminars. His comments are from a newbies perspective. He really doesn't know enough or has seen enough to understand how these internal skills can relate to everything tactically that involves the human body under load or in fighting. Kit knows even less about it. Both know how to fight but that is not a platform to measure ayntihg from other than fighting ability. You'd have to feel someone who has these skills and can use them in a fight. Even then you would be hard put to know any real difference other than someone will be extremely difficult to throw or move around and will hit you like a freaking truck from small distances. For the most part you don't need that in your job. On the whole, both of their operations and goals can and will do just fine without it. so who really cares?

Good luck in your goals, and try to be safe out there. And …thanks.

KIT
06-13-2008, 04:54 PM
Ah, too bad Dan, but I expected you wouldn't be interested.

Mark

Good idea with Chris - and IIRC Tom is down in my neck of the woods.

As Dan subtly implied, I fear we'd be the blind leading the blind if it was just you and I.

I think Rob is hit on some other interesting things a la re-wiring some PT exercises in this vein. Looking forward to exploring it more.

DH
06-13-2008, 09:13 PM
Ah, too bad Dan, but I expected you wouldn't be interested.

Mark

Good idea with Chris - and IIRC Tom is down in my neck of the woods.

As Dan subtly implied, I fear we'd be the blind leading the blind if it was just you and I.

I think Rob is hit on some other interesting things a la re-wiring some PT exercises in this vein. Looking forward to exploring it more.

You suspected I would be uninterested? And Blind leading the blind? Care to explain where you came up with that idea?

I have been completely open, genuinely respectful, and made every attempt to be as clear and concise as I could be. The results of which is you misquote me, deliberately misrepresent my views, drag me in (third person no less) to some absurd testing scenario, and now put words in my mouth that are diametrically opposed to my real views and feelings.
I think you are clearly expressing an agenda, and possibly revealing some personal issues past the argument here. One of us is being subtle and disingenuous, Kit. That would be you. I say what I mean in no uncertain terms.

I’m glad you got various people to play with you and fill your information gaps, and also have done what I have done for years-popping the balloon of many MA pretenders. Good on ya. I’ve no interest in B.S either. For that very reason I don't discuss you and Kevin's goals and needs as I do not believe it is my place to do so.
I'm also glad that professionally and privately you finally got your act together to explore the benefits of grappling and things like BJJ and Judo, like thousands of others before you. Just don't expect me to be overly impressed by the recently converted playing catch up, and while lacking some substantial skill sets- proselytizing to the old guard. And just so you know, that's not a reference or insult of the "blind leading the blind" variety. Just a wake up call. That contrary to your last "teaching experience"- you don't know everything-yet.
Good luck in your training.

KIT
06-13-2008, 11:50 PM
Ah, geez, here we go again....

Blind leading the blind was a critical self analysis.

Sorry that you took it the wrong way.

Kevin Leavitt
06-14-2008, 08:46 AM
Mike wrote:

The percentage of gung-ho hot-dogs in the training ranks leaves me a little bit cold because this is not some "by the numbers on my count, ladies" stuff that conforms to average PT. I.e., this is sophisticated enough that it's probably like deciding how much medical training you can funnel into EMT trainers while doing the best job at hand for everyone

Not sure about the Marine Corps...but the Army has pretty much gotten over that methodology of training in all aspects except where procedures dictate.

It is all about tactile respons/muscle memory and we do a pretty darn good job of teaching "dynamic flow" these days.

Mike Sigman
06-14-2008, 09:37 AM
It is all about tactile respons/muscle memory and we do a pretty darn good job of teaching "dynamic flow" these days.Well, I'll take your word for it, Kevin, and I'll assume that if I show some Army guy something he'll get the point, work on it, and be able to show outstanding results, not to mention teach it. ;)

However, I still know a number of people in the military and I also have a reasonable amount of contact with civilian trainers, MMA guys, EMT guys, and so on. I think I have a reasonable feel for the attitude and approaches out there. I'm clinical and that makes me cynical. :)

The major point to me personally is that I'm actively engaged in a search for the best condensed way to teach/train what little I do know and engaging with the military or LEO just doesn't ring my bell. My perception is that there is a mindset component to dealing with those groups and it's not all a problem with the civilians. MIndset doesn't bother me in the least... we all have them... I just look at it in terms of factors that complicate or simplify matters and often mindsets simply make communication difficult. Look how many times you and I have covered the same territory in 3 years, AAMOF. :D

As I've said in the past, when I start seeing guys ask intelligent questions that reflect that they understand the material and that they have curiosity, I tend to chip in the best I can. Everyone has to make an effort. The one reason I tend to be fairly open about what I show is that I know most people don't really follow up or think... so the information I show them is usually safe. :straightf

Best.

Mike

Kevin Leavitt
06-14-2008, 05:09 PM
Understand Mike.

yes, there is a mindset. What I spend my time on, I must understand how it is applicable and how it must (or must not) integrate into what I do.

The difference I think has something to do with the nature of our jobs.

Mike Sigman
06-14-2008, 05:24 PM
The difference I think has something to do with the nature of our jobs.I understand that, Kevin. You guys have to deal with large numbers of people and that affects your mindset. I don't. That's the main difference. Maybe that's what allows me to be more cold-eyed and clinical, too, though. ;)

The question is why any analytical person would involve himself with the military or LEO, right? Remind me sometime to tell you what came of Wu Jian Quan's attempt to teach the military Taijiquan and other examples.

Best.

Mike

Bill Danosky
06-15-2008, 06:41 PM
As someone who just read the last two pages of posts, it's hard to tell exactly what you guys are arguing about, but you seem to be orbiting a central point: Does Internal Power training produce superior real world fighters?

Just so I can catch up, and keeping in mind the context that this is the Military Training Methodologies thread, can you guys say who thinks it does and who thinks it doesn't?

And I'll go first- IMO, it doesn't. If it did, UFC fighters would go to internal arts camp instead of stand up and ground camp.

Mike Sigman
06-15-2008, 06:59 PM
And I'll go first- IMO, it doesn't. If it did, UFC fighters would go to internal arts camp instead of stand up and ground camp.So why don't you tell us exactly what you know about internal arts, Bill, and what your reasoning is, as opposed to what your opinion is?

So far, I have yet to hear an opinion that is accompanied by the least indication that the speaker has a speaking knowledge of what the internal martial arts are about. The only comparable analogy I can think of would be back in the 90's when Wing Chun dominated so much of rec.martial-arts and the discussion would go to something like "Does BJJ matter? IMO, it doesn't. If it did, Wing Chun fighters would go to BJJ camp instead of WC camp". Of course, the reason so many WC fighters would say something like that was that first of all there was pretty much no real BJJ around and even if there was a little bit of it, the WC fighters had no knowledge of what it entailed.

Like I said, there is a little bit of implied conceit here. The implication is that several thousand years of Asians weren't as smart as the recent westerners for whom MMA has become a trend. I think it remains to be seen who is actually the cleverest. ;)

However, I'm looking forward to a factual presentation of the pro's and con's from someone.

My opinion, FWIW. ;)

Mike Sigman

Dan Austin
06-15-2008, 07:02 PM
Just so I can catch up, and keeping in mind the context that this is the Military Training Methodologies thread, can you guys say who thinks it does and who thinks it doesn't?

And I'll go first- IMO, it doesn't. If it did, UFC fighters would go to internal arts camp instead of stand up and ground camp.

It doesn't seem quite that simple. Do you know where you can go to learn internal power training? Me either. So the fact that UFC fighters don't do it says nothing at this point. Most people have never heard of it, or if they have think it's nonsense because a lot of people who claim they are internal have nothing to show.

Bill Danosky
06-15-2008, 07:49 PM
So why don't you tell us exactly what you know about internal arts, Bill, and what your reasoning is, as opposed to what your opinion is?


My reasoning behind using UFC as an example is this: UFC competitors are looking for every advantage they can get. There's world fame and potentially millions of dollars riding on their success, so they're extremely motivated to find ways to win.

It's like the arms race- Royce Gracie dominated the UFC (so far, our best test lab) with BJJ, so everybody started looking for ways to win against it. If Internal Power was a viable way to do it, you can bet everybody would be scouring the earth trying to find the best IP training and spending all their time developing it.

As Dan just said, "a lot of people who claim they are internal have nothing to show." so I haven't been too interested in learning much about it. I am an Aikidoka, but I'm only interested in Aikido techniques that work against all opponents, not just the ones that know about Aikido.

My favorite thing would be to be wrong about this because I'm looking for real advantages, too.

Mike Sigman
06-15-2008, 07:57 PM
My reasoning behind using UFC as an example is this: UFC competitors are looking for every advantage they can get. There's world fame and potentially millions of dollars riding on their success, so they're extremely motivated to find ways to win.OK, I understand your reasoning, but I was also asking what you know about "Internal Power". Using your reasoning, I could also say that "if Internal Power was any good, boxers would have used it for generations because there's world fame and potentially millons of dollars riding on their success." It's a circular argument.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Kevin Leavitt
06-15-2008, 08:05 PM
Ironically, I agree with Mike on his assessment of the logic.

The disconnect is in trying to "lash up" two sides of the fence.

You have to look back on how this debate started. I had a few guys ask me about how I saw integrating internal training with combatives training....so here we are.

"My side" of the fence is based on a paradigm or endstate of "effectiveness" based on "aliveness models" based on dynamic pressure or flow. That is, situational, conditioned based, standards that whatever you do must be successful around those models.

Mike's side of the fence has not been widely understood or demonstrated to "my side" of the fence as to "HOW" that training can benefit it. What guys like me are doing are trying to understand how it might integrate, and/or how much time or effort to put into such training over other types of training/conditioning.

It revolves around realitive value of the internal training as it applies to the models police and military are following today.

Does that invalidate or discredit what Mike, Rob, Dan, and Ark are doing? Not in the least.

The question you ask, "if it did, then wouldn't UFC fighters go to internal camp?"

Actually is a valid question, but not one that is that easily answered.

Right now where we are in the evolvement of western figthing arts, the answer is probably NO they don't need to. Their time is better spent on other things that will allow them to rapidily accelerate and gain an edge to be successful.

Remember the equation is "you only have to be better than the guy your fighting in order to win".

Back in 1993/1994 you only had to maybe be a purple or brown belt in BJJ to do well in the UFC and integrate a little striking. Fast forward to 2007, BJJ is not the end all. Why? Cause guys now train to "be just good enough to defeat it". which negates much of it. So the game is constantly changing.

What will give fighters the edge 10 years from now? Who knows? maybe the cost/benefit will shift and the investment in time with internal training will be there.

To me it is not about IF the training is valid or that these guys don't know what they are doing...they do. It is about cost/benefit/gain, and realitive value of your time spent in training.

Again, though...how much time does it take to train in this?

Very little on a daily basis...so my advice is to train in this stuff.

If you want to be a fighter...train to be a fighter

Who knows...maybe you will be the guy that is able to do it all!

Kevin Leavitt
06-15-2008, 08:25 PM
Bill wrote:

t's like the arms race- Royce Gracie dominated the UFC (so far, our best test lab) with BJJ, so everybody started looking for ways to win against it. If Internal Power was a viable way to do it, you can bet everybody would be scouring the earth trying to find the best IP training and spending all their time developing it.

Actually my MMA instructor in Germany, Steve Van Fleet believes that ashtanga yoga is the key to improvement and that in the future we will find fighters doing such things. He made me watch 3 hours of yoga one night and then spent 2 hours before we even started rolling doing sun salutations and other such things, then proceeded to show us the connection.

I listen to Steve mainly because he can do MMA, understands Army Combatives, and also can show the linkage.

This is why I also invest time in IMA, because I see value.

Bill Danosky
06-15-2008, 09:14 PM
Using your reasoning, I could also say that "if Internal Power was any good, boxers would have used it for generations because there's world fame and potentially millons of dollars riding on their success." It's a circular argument.


You should probably not say that, because boxers have not used it for generations, and they would've made it famous (like MMA) if it worked. Therefore, it has never been proven to be helpful in boxing, either.

But if you put a skilled MMA fighter in the ring with a skilled boxer, the MMA fighter is highly likely to win because he has techniques at his disposal that are PROVEN to be superior to boxing.

Maybe you have good reasons for not teaching to the military and law enforcement, but if you have something that works, you're missing out on fame and huge money by not turning average fighters into champions.

So I have stated my opinion. And when it's proven to improve my fighting ability then I'll be willing to learn and therefore know something about it. Seriously. As I've said, I'd love to be wrong about this because I'll use an advantage if I can gain it.

Bill Danosky
06-15-2008, 10:16 PM
FWIW, I do think internal power can probably make you a better shot!

Dan Austin
06-15-2008, 10:22 PM
So I have stated my opinion. And when it's proven to improve my fighting ability then I'll be willing to learn and therefore know something about it. Seriously. As I've said, I'd love to be wrong about this because I'll use an advantage if I can gain it.

Everyone is welcome to state an opinion, but you do Aikido, right? When has Aikido ever been proven to improve fighting ability such that it would do MMA fighters any good? Is this just some sort of troll? Frankly from what I can see, the internal guys with real skills have obvious transfer to MMA, but apart from that if you like Aikido, the skill demonstrated here should be useful to that end as well:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rAicu-IPjMw

The little guy looks tough, I would train with that guy any day. This is probably what Aikido should be able to do, but can't, which is what these guys have been saying here. It looks reasonable to me, and many members and senior members here have gone to see Mike or somebody else and vouched for it.

Now MMA fighters have a right to say they want something that can show some benefit in a few months, because they have time constraints on their careers and specific goals to meet in certain timetables. But an Aikido hobbyist? C'mon. That's just a personal choice. In fact I wouldn't expect most MMA fighters to pursue such things because most of them are probably boneheads who don't think outside the box, they just know they need to train Muay Thai, wrestling, and BJJ and go to a club that does that stuff. There are probably very few people who experiment and try to come up with really new things. Bas Rutten was one, but he's retired. Most fighters don't put that much creative effort in. You have to go looking for things, not expect them to magically come looking for you, so the fact that MMA will not be awash in internal methods any time soon isn't surprising, but doesn't mean the methods don't work. I'm a BJJ/MMA fan from way back, but I've been around enough to know that the traditional methods exist for a reason, and they're not all BS. That's certainly been verified by enough people here in this case.

Mark Jakabcsin
06-15-2008, 10:42 PM
But if you put a skilled MMA fighter in the ring with a skilled boxer, the MMA fighter is highly likely to win because he has techniques at his disposal that are PROVEN to be superior to boxing.


Sorry Bill but your logic is lacking in this post as well as the previous one. As others have pointed out there are several errors in your logic so I will not spend time in revisiting what has already been expressed. You either get it or for various reasons your choose not to.

For the portion posted above your logic and reason are also flawed. Both MMA and boxing are governed by rules. The tactics used by both contestants is governed by the rules. Change the rules slightly and the tactics change greatly.

Years ago I read a great article about how pugulism changed through the past 100 years as the rules changed. I kick myself for not saving the article as it was outstanding. At the turn of the last century boxers stood very erect and stiff because it was within the rules to hook them behind the head and rabbit punch them. As these rules changed so did the style of boxing. Obviously the article went to greater lengths and detail but hopefully you get the idea.

When you say MMA has been proven to be superior to boxing I say using who's rules? I find it hard to believe that an MMA using boxing rules stands a chance. Look at the money! Top level MMA's make very little compared to top level boxers, if they could compete under those rules they would for economic reasons. Different rules, different tactics.

Since you have such high regard for MMA let's look at how even a slight change to the rules might drastically change the tactics. I say this because this thread is about real life situation and not ring life.

If we change the rules slightly to reflect possible real life situations are the MMA tactics still valid or the best? Let us say that once a round the Ref has the option to strike each fighter however and whenever he wants. Say a good solid strike to the back of the neck of the guy in the mount. Would that change the tactics? Or a good solid foot stomp to the guys face/throat to the guy in the guard. Change anything? How about if we give the ref has a weapon like a stick or a knife and 'wink, wink, nudge, nudge' that it is ok to use once or twice during the match. Would that tactics of the fighters change?

Perhaps we allow each contestant to allow a buddy to jump in once during the fight for 30 seconds. How would that change the fight? Would getting into the mount/guard be good idea early on? How about if each contestant was allowed to hide a small knife on his body for one round and bring it to bear when he saw fit. Would the tactics change? Would the wardrobe change? While all of these situations are impossible in the ring are any of them improbable in life?

Think about the popular MMA tactics and see which ones hold up to the above realities. Ever notice how real life fights last seconds and regulated ring fights generally last much longer?

None of this is to say MMA's are not tough nor that their methods are not good. This merely points out the flaw in any training method. Saying "If UFCers don't do it then it is not valid!" Is simply.....well supply your own personal favorite BS phrase.

Enjoy,

Mark J.

Mike Sigman
06-15-2008, 10:53 PM
Both MMA and boxing are governed by rules. The tactics used by both contestants is governed by the rules. Change the rules slightly and the tactics change greatly. Exactly. To match someone else's idea of rules and "flow", and all that, is a valid point of discussion when you're focused on doing things within a certain framework. However, how to hit very hard, how to "blend" with someone's forces (by that I'm generally referring to what somepeople are calling "aiki"), how to generate and transmit larger-than-ordinary forces with less-than-ordinary dependence on second-class leverage in the muscular system.... those things are separate from rules in the sense that they should be applicable through most of the spectrum of techniques, strategies, "flow", etc. In other words, those factors that comprise "internal strength" can be used in pretty much any physical format you want... but the format (or the rules) is not the set of skills. ;)

FWIW

Mike

Bill Danosky
06-15-2008, 10:54 PM
I shouldn't probably admit this on Aikiweb of all places, but I was in search of internal power (and some good throws) when I began training in Aikido. And while I've had some aiki moments in the last few years, I haven't found the magic powers I had hoped for so I am probably holding that against IMA, too.

Luckily, I happened to land at a Yoshinkan dojo that's highly martial and have the pleasure of practicing with some very convincing Shodans and Shihans. So I can say, the hard throws of Yoshinkan work. When we practice, we go along with them (like everybody says) but at our dojo the throw is happening regardless and if you take the ukemi right you don't get injured.

I've trained for some years in a number of MA and it's my studied opinion that power is found in perfected technique. Nothing else.

Kevin Leavitt
06-15-2008, 10:57 PM
I agree that Bill's logic is flawed on this one.

However, MMA is closer to reality than boxing.

MMA can be a good way to develop good fighting skills that are applicable...as long as you keep in mind that there are rules, and train with that in perspective.

One thing that always concerns me on the whole "MMA has rules" argument is that people use it as an excuse to avoid training that way...for the wrong reasons!

There are things that you learn in a non-compliant MMA environment that simply cannot be learned in any other format.

vice, there are good reasons to study internal arts, run, jump, strength train, do push ups and everything else.

Training in martial arts is hard work. sadly, most people simply either do not have the time, or are not willing to put in the time necessary to do it the right way. (Not passing judgement on Bill, just making this statement).

We think we can go to 3 aikido classes per week, do just the partner training and we will get better.

It is not that easy.

Oh my gawd...I am starting to sound like Dan Harden! :)

I better quit while I am ahead!

Mark Jakabcsin
06-15-2008, 11:07 PM
Exactly. To match someone else's idea of rules and "flow", and all that, is a valid point of discussion when you're focused on doing things within a certain framework. However, how to hit very hard, how to "blend" with someone's forces (by that I'm generally referring to what somepeople are calling "aiki"), how to generate and transmit larger-than-ordinary forces with less-than-ordinary dependence on second-class leverage in the muscular system.... those things are separate from rules in the sense that they should be applicable through most of the spectrum of techniques, strategies, "flow", etc. In other words, those factors that comprise "internal strength" can be used in pretty much any physical format you want... but the format (or the rules) is not the set of skills. ;)


Mike, while I totally agree I also note that each of use applies our own 'idea of rules' when we view / attempting to understand someone else's thoughts, movements, ideas; whether in writing or in person. If/when their input does not match our idea the tendency is to reject it initially. If we put the rubber to the road as Kevin suggests it can sometimes become harder to hang onto our negative views. I.E. it is hard to say X is ineffective when the practitioner of X is beating me like a junkyard dog on a short leash.

The more I learn the more I understand how little I know.

Mark J.

Mark Jakabcsin
06-15-2008, 11:15 PM
I've trained for some years in a number of MA and it's my studied opinion that power is found in perfected technique. Nothing else.

Bill,
I guess we are at different points. After many years of technique training I gave it up several years ago and have found that my ability to produce and apply power have increased drastically. Easily, that past 18 months of training have been my must fruitful and yet I have not mastered a single 'technique'. Heck I am very bored training technique and avoid it whenever socially possible. This is not to say technique training does not have it's place, surely it does.

Best,

Mark J.

Bill Danosky
06-15-2008, 11:15 PM
Just read what was being posted while I was also typing. Here is why I'm sticking to the UFC example (and feel free to add real combat, law enforcement experiences to this)- These guys are using their skills to win actual fights against people who want to win, too. UFC, combat, etc. is not like court. You can't win by having a good argument.

I'd like to hear some examples of people who have used internal power to win fights. Don't try to convince me I'm wrong. Convince me you're right!

Kevin Leavitt
06-15-2008, 11:17 PM
No, I disagree that power is found in perfected technique. Maybe it is just semantics, but how I see technique is a isolated series of steps that if applied in a particular way, lead to a particular result.

If it where true that perfected technique leads to power, then I should be able direct transferrence from my TMA background over to MMA. After 10 years or so of TMA training, in which I worked on many techniques and kata..I did very poor against those that had trained for much less time.

Then again, I guess it depends on how you define power.

Sort of reminds me of my racing days. I used to race a 1988 BMW M3 with about 215 HP. I raced a impala SS back around 1998. It must have been putting out close to 350 HP. lots of power, lots of torque...but what could it do with it on the track?

It depended on the track (situation). On a road racing circuit it was just too heavy and unbalanced to work the track. My little M3 simply out manuevered it in the corners, breaking, etc.

I also simply raced better than the guy driving the impala.

It could have been that I could have traded cars with him and beat him as well. Simply because I had more skill in driving the track.

So, power for the sake of power is not everything, you have to be able to do something with it.

Techniques are not everything either. You have to be able to link it together with timing, speed, and agility to make it work.

Anyway, that is how I view techniques.

Demetrio Cereijo
06-15-2008, 11:18 PM
Using your reasoning, I could also say that "if Internal Power was any good, boxers would have used it for generations because there's world fame and potentially millons of dollars riding on their success."

You could put your hands in Bob Fitzsimmons (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bob_Fitzsimmons) 1901 book "Physical Culture And Self Defense". Some interesting quigong there.

Dan Austin
06-15-2008, 11:26 PM
Years ago I read a great article about how pugulism changed through the past 100 years as the rules changed. I kick myself for not saving the article as it was outstanding. At the turn of the last century boxers stood very erect and stiff because it was within the rules to hook them behind the head and rabbit punch them.

You beat me to it, although I was thinking of this point as an example. As stated I've been a BJJ/MMA fan for a long time, so I'm the last guy to point out the difference between MMA and "da street" because those arguments are typically made by guys who excuse their style's lack of effectiveness by claiming to be too deadly for the ring. But there are a couple of points to make. First, even in MMA the pendulum has swung to favor those who are better on the feet, because knowledge of takedown defense has increased to the point where it's common to see the better striker stuff takedowns and force the fight to stay standing. People like BJ Penn have such a reputation for takedown defense that some guys barely try to take him down anymore.

And yes, there are safety rules that do change the game. Probably the most significant is that strikes to the back of the head, neck, and spine are illegal. Imagine how much faster many MMA fights would be over if instead of snapping someone's head down into a guillotine attempt, fighters were allowed to chop them in the back of the neck? Guy turtled up, making it hard for you to get your hooks in and choke him? No problem, a nice palm smash or hammer fist to the base of the skull should win immediately or else make slipping the choke in easy. The Fight Quest Kajukenbo episode has a nice example of the effect of a downward elbow to the spine at about the 1:30 mark:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cg8KRFAXPYQ

Ouch. It's an interesting example of what being motor-set for the MMA game can do. Kajukenbo looks similar to MMA but trains for a street environment. The MMA guy reflexively went for a leg takedown, assuming that being sprawled on isn't that bad, and got a surprise. If the head/neck/spine attacks were legal in MMA, people would be very uncomfortable to go for leg takedowns or do anything where you lean your head forward or lower it.

In the evolution of traditional martial arts it wouldn't have taken very long to figure out that chopping people in the back of the neck works great. MMA modifies Western boxing by omitting the bob and weave for the reason that you might get snapped down and take a knee to the face, get caught in a guillotine, etc. but for similar reasons traditional styles evolved to have an upright posture. If you look at Akuzawa's bio, his initial encounter with the koryu guy was because of the guy's observation that his posture was not good, and sure enough when Akuzawa attacked him he essentially got snapped down due to his poor posture. The Aunkai system obviously has an emphasis on a vertical spine, and I'm guessing awareness of the opponent's relative spine posture. I believe Taiji does as well, though Mike can correct me here. In any case if there are mechanics that improve your takedown defense (which can also be done with a vertical spine, the sprawl is not the only method seen in high level wrestling) and improve your short range hitting ability, then it's a no-brainer to see where they can be used, and why they exist in the first place.

Mark Jakabcsin
06-15-2008, 11:27 PM
IHowever, MMA is closer to reality than boxing.

MMA can be a good way to develop good fighting skills that are applicable...as long as you keep in mind that there are rules, and train with that in perspective.

One thing that always concerns me on the whole "MMA has rules" argument is that people use it as an excuse to avoid training that way...for the wrong reasons!



Please Kevin, do not lump me in with previous discussions. If you find a flaw in my logic then point it out directly and do not dance around the subject. MMA is a good proving ground....given it's context but NONE of that negates any of the points in my previous post. If you disagree please be specific.

Example: When I have worked with local LEO I occassionally come across the MMA trained guy that wants do 'go to the ground', 'mount the bad guy', etc. I say fine. I ask the individual to mount, grab control my assitant however he wants. I say go ahead make him comply. Once he is set in place and choking, hitting, crushing, whatever, I look at the other LEO's and say, "Shit look at what this PIG is doing to our gang buddy Jason (my assistant), we cannot let this happen!!" And I start to kick the Cop with medium pressure and encourage the others to do the same! Generally it only takes 2 or 3 encouragements to get them to kick....much harder than me and since many of them are in gear....well you understand the boots. All the sudden the great MMA tactic seems rather foolish! Great for one on one but not so good outside the ring. I have heard enough stories from LEOs and others to understand this is a real possibilty. Perhaps your milage is different.

FYI, for the record, I grew up doing competitive judo and love a good grappling competition. Lots to be learned, lots to be gained. As for MMA compared to boxing rules, they both have limitations but you would not find me mounting or going into the guard outside the ring.....unless I was emplying a weapon...quickly.

Take care,

Mark J.

Bill Danosky
06-15-2008, 11:31 PM
Sort of reminds me of my racing days. I used to race a 1988 BMW M3 with about 215 HP. I raced a impala SS back around 1998. It must have been putting out close to 350 HP. lots of power, lots of torque...but what could it do with it on the track?

It depended on the track (situation). On a road racing circuit it was just too heavy and unbalanced to work the track. My little M3 simply out manuevered it in the corners, breaking, etc.

I also simply raced better than the guy driving the impala.

That is a good point, Kevin. I think you'd have won in either car because your driving technique was better. The most powerful athlete is the one who can exert their strength the most quickly, and with the proper timing.

And I find you to be highly credible, by the way, because you are actually rolling to test your methods. So can you say IMA has won you any fights?

Kevin Leavitt
06-15-2008, 11:32 PM
Bill wrote:

I'd like to hear some examples of people who have used internal power to win fights. Don't try to convince me I'm wrong. Convince me you're right!

I think your barking up the wrong tree.

I will debate realitive value of this training all day long wrt other methodologies. however to form an attachment to "internal power" as technique to be applied in a fight?

Mike and everyone else is very clear that this is not a style, or method for fighting...it is simply exercises and methodology for conditioning and development.

You don't use the training methods to fight!

Again, my friend Steve Van Fleet beats me up whenever I get with him. He tells me that there is value in yoga. I bet if I got him together with Mike or Ark that he'd find value in what they do as well.

I will tell you that Steve feels much the same in many respects as Mike and Ark do, albeit probably not as developed in this area. Hard to tell since we work on different things.

Steve told me point blank...you aren't getting any better until you develop and condition yourself in this way "yoga".

Mike says same things, in his way and methods.

Ark says the same thing in his way and methods.

My BJJ teacher...guess what...he says the same things.

All have one common thread and it centers around developing the core and the ability to move in new ways.

All invovle core development and conditioning with exercises that pretty much look the same between Steve, Mike, Ark, and my BJJ instructors.

None mentioned that I needed to learn more techniques or spend more time rolling btw.

Kevin Leavitt
06-15-2008, 11:40 PM
Sorry Mark,

No real issues with what you posted. Just pointing out the fact that many use that logic for avoiding studying MMA stuff.

The points you make in your last point are good ones to consider for sure. Ones I always try to drive home when teaching the mo
unt as well.

Problem you run into is guys that have not clue about how to train the mount will use this very logic for dismissing it's training value with the wave of the hand.

In reality I would not commit to the mount in the situaiton that you describe. Once guys learn the mount and how to stabilize it and balance, I like to teach them knee on belly or knee on back as it is more mobile and allows you to keep "feel" on the guy on the ground.

More importantly in training the mount, is for the guy on the bottom.

There are good reasons for studying grappling even if you never plan to use it.

The problem with most RBSD stuff is that they eliminate whole areas of training because "I'd never do that in reality" so lets not waste our time with it.

Bill Danosky
06-15-2008, 11:46 PM
Example: When I have worked with local LEO I occassionally come across the MMA trained guy that wants do 'go to the ground', 'mount the bad guy', etc. I say fine. I ask the individual to mount, grab control my assitant however he wants. I say go ahead make him comply. Once he is set in place and choking, hitting, crushing, whatever, I look at the other LEO's and say, "Shit look at what this PIG is doing to our gang buddy Jason (my assistant), we cannot let this happen!!" And I start to kick the Cop with medium pressure and encourage the others to do the same! Generally it only takes 2 or 3 encouragements to get them to kick....much harder than me and since many of them are in gear....well you understand the boots. All the sudden the great MMA tactic seems rather foolish! Great for one on one but not so good outside the ring. I have heard enough stories from LEOs and others to understand this is a real possibilty. Perhaps your milage is different.
.

Well, that was fun, but probably we should get back to the subject of the thread.

So MMA is closer to, but not reality. Wouldn't it be great if they had 2 on 2 UFC fights? That would clear up the BJJ problem, wouldn't it?

I am thinking that the difference in tactics between competitive and real fighting/combat is that in reality, it's crucial to win as quickly and decisively as possible. Too many bad things can happen if you drag it out even seconds longer than you need to.

Krav Maga instructors have that saying about when you go to ground you never get up again. That's why I was so surprized to see the Army combatants training in very BJJ methods. We fall back on our habits under stress, so are they really training that way or is it just happening in those single/single matches?

Bill Danosky
06-16-2008, 12:01 AM
I think your barking up the wrong tree....Mike and everyone else is very clear that this is not a style, or method for fighting...it is simply exercises and methodology for conditioning and development.

You don't use the training methods to fight!

Again, my friend Steve Van Fleet beats me up whenever I get with him. He tells me that there is value in yoga.

Yes, my understanding was correct but I did misspeak there. I meant can anyone say it's helped them win fights? Super punches they demolished someone with, etc.

I am surrounded by yoga practitioners in my life. My wife and several of my friends are Kripalu Yoga instructors and both the seventh Dan Aikido instructors above our dojo also practice. Mainly they tout it's restorative power to heal from martial arts training but they do talk about breath power a lot.

It must seem very strange for you guys to hear all this disbelief coming from someone who has all these esoteric factors in their life. I want to believe in ghosts too, but until I see one I just can't!

Dan Austin
06-16-2008, 12:02 AM
Luckily, I happened to land at a Yoshinkan dojo that's highly martial and have the pleasure of practicing with some very convincing Shodans and Shihans. So I can say, the hard throws of Yoshinkan work. When we practice, we go along with them (like everybody says) but at our dojo the throw is happening regardless and if you take the ukemi right you don't get injured.


You can say what you like, but in all probability your "very convincing" Yoshinkan would be very worthless in the UFC. So if you were looking for internal power, and respect MMA, why not study MMA, and look to incorporate internal power? Your current training seems to meet neither of your goals (internal power and effectiveness).

I've trained for some years in a number of MA and it's my studied opinion that power is found in perfected technique. Nothing else.


Well that's provable false, because if you do powerlifting everything you do will be more powerful. Power can be related to technique, but is also separately trainable. As is internal power, apparently.

Mark Jakabcsin
06-16-2008, 12:03 AM
More importantly in training the mount, is for the guy on the bottom.

There are good reasons for studying grappling even if you never plan to use it.

The problem with most RBSD stuff is that they eliminate whole areas of training because "I'd never do that in reality" so lets not waste our time with it.

Kevin,
While your whole post is very good I want to point out these three points specifically.

Practice being the guy mounted is very important. The emotional effects of being mounted (please hold the sarcastic comments....although funny ones) is very important training. We train slowly by having the guy on the bottom simply getting beat about the face, head, throat from the guy on top. Feel some degree of comfort in this situation and it become much easier to escape. Obviously there is more to it than that but too much for words on a post.

Your second point is spot on. I was training a few months ago with some guys from an art that will remain nameless and when it became an issue of some ground survival they simply said no, we are trained to not go to the ground we do not need that training. Yeah, like they haven't seen UFC in the early days! Yeah like in a multiple attacker scenario you actually have a choice.

One thing I will say about most ground grappling taught today is it focuses on the one-on-one and not multiple attacker, bad situations. Go back to the cop on the ground getting stomped buy multiples I described above. How does he survive? I have had several say during training they will simply pull their gun and shoot. :) I love that response. We put it to the test! Kick the down officer in the face, hand, groin, solar plexus, etc., as he tries to pull and deploy his firearm. It does not take many attackers to make this difficult if not impossible. Learning and training to do this act (deploying a firearm under severe conditions) has little or nothing to do with MMA training. Try it. Although as an Officer I suggest you use enlisted guys from another unit for a more valid test. :) I also suggestion learning how to simply survive being stomped while on the ground by multiple attackers. Forget the gun, you may not have it, learn how to move and survive. Good fun.

As for the last point of yours above I agree and forget what I intended to write. Wine, vodka and the late hour are making me sign off for now.

Enjoy.

Mark J.

Bill Danosky
06-16-2008, 12:17 AM
You can say what you like, but in all probability your "very convincing" Yoshinkan would be very worthless in the UFC. So if you were looking for internal power, and respect MMA, why not study MMA, and look to incorporate internal power? Your current training seems to meet neither of your goals (internal power and effectiveness)..

Probably. Throwing people on a trampoline is not very damaging and I don't really want to break anyone's arms. I'm open to suggestions. What martial art do you practice?

Gernot Hassenpflug
06-16-2008, 12:45 AM
Hi Bill, how well I know how you feel! I've gone from worse to better Aikido dojos too over the years, and of course, each time I was at a better one than the one before, I was happy and felt lucky that finally I was getting one up on what I had before.

There were some disappointments along the way, partly when myths were dismissed, other times when I knew something wasn't what it was made out to be. But all in all, it has been a road leading to better training possibilities *for myself* all the time.

I also came to the conclusion that at the end of the day no-one but me is responsible for my training and my achievements. This is quite a radical difference to supposing that a teacher is going to give me what I need. As Mike has pointed out, you have to be able to extrapolate something interesting that you see to how it can be useful to you in your training (and maybe you have to go back to stage zero to get the benefits). Also, the military guys here are trying to see what good it might be to them in their roles and jobs. They're putting effort into difficult subjects that don't have clear-cut solutions because there is no such thing as a clear-cut scenario.

Can IMA benefit large numbers of people when taught in a shallow manner? Can the individual effort required pay off enough to make it worth the investment, when the job isn't primarily about using the skill in a way that is marketable to the budget givers? Is anyone going to waste there time ti prove to anyone else how something might benefit them unless they have blood or other close bonds?

Given that I now recognize how useless my Aikido is against someone with IMA skills, I am working hard to obtain those skills (which are independent of techniques). Does that invalidate my Aikido background? Yes, to some extent it does. My teacher tells me often that 12+ years of Aikido have been bad for me (for certain things, very bad habits ingrained). However, other things are beneficial. I coudn't last one serious class these days without breakfalling ability (especially as there are no tatami). So while looking for IMA skilled-teachers there is no need to feel bad about having to work with what you have. I reckon it is rather arrogant though to think that a teacher has to prove something to a student, when the student should have the noodles to ascertain that the teacher has a hard-to-find skill that is worth studying intensively.

That last part is probably the main reason why I don't think that general military training is really much of an option here unless the culture of study changes quite a bit. On the other hand, for small specialized and highly-motivated groups, anything goes. As an aside, there is also the issue that one might not want such knowledge and ability to actually be available to people who might abuse it later, its not like a license one can revoke at will :-)

Kevin Leavitt
06-16-2008, 04:48 AM
Bill Wrote:

Krav Maga instructors have that saying about when you go to ground you never get up again. That's why I was so surprized to see the Army combatants training in very BJJ methods. We fall back on our habits under stress, so are they really training that way or is it just happening in those single/single matches?

1. MAC-P has a base of BJJ it is not BJJ.
2. You make the assumption that we only train one range of combat in MAC-P, we don't.
3. You make the assumption that BJJ guys don't know how to stand up, most do. If you don't believe it take a K-M buddy to a BJJ dojo and go to it.
4. You make the assumption that you have a certain level of knowledge when distance is closed on you in a tactical situation and you may not.
5. You make the assumption that when you go to the ground that "you might as well give up as you are already dead". (we covered that already).

Mark, see my point of why I brought it up? A whole range of fighting dismissed by a lack of perspective of the ranges of fighitng.

Kevin Leavitt
06-16-2008, 04:58 AM
Mark J wrote:

Go back to the cop on the ground getting stomped buy multiples I described above. How does he survive? I have had several say during training they will simply pull their gun and shoot. I love that response. We put it to the test! Kick the down officer in the face, hand, groin, solar plexus, etc., as he tries to pull and deploy his firearm. It does not take many attackers to make this difficult if not impossible. Learning and training to do this act (deploying a firearm under severe conditions) has little or nothing to do with MMA training.

Sure it is semantics...but I think it has everything to do with MMA!

Kit I am sure can add to this from an LEO perspective.

Understanding the clinch is very important IMO. Distance has been closed and you need to keep your balance, protect yourself, your strong side (weapon). MMA training in the clinch gives you a wonderful base to understand this.

Once distance has been closed, it is a grappling match. Sure weapons change things. However, it is about managing the fight to keep the situation from getting any worse, understanding the positions upon when (and when not) to employ your weapon. How to use your body to protect your strong side, gain space, gain position in order to deploy that weapon, and use it (or not).

Even if strikes are involved, it is a grappling match. if it is not a grappling match, then you would have distance and be able to move to create space or to deploy your weapon to keep him from closing distance any further. Standup wise, there is not much difference really. With the exception of knowledge that the attack is coming maybe? That weapons are invovled, that buddies are involved.

We have a saying in MAC-P. The winner of a hand to hand battle is the guy whose buddy shows up first with a weapon.

It keeps things in perspective when you look at it that way.

Keeping that in mind. MMA training from closing the distance, to clinch, to take down, and going through the dominant body positions is excellent training to based weapons retention and DT on.

Timothy WK
06-16-2008, 07:04 AM
You could put your hands in Bob Fitzsimmons (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bob_Fitzsimmons) 1901 book "Physical Culture And Self Defense". Some interesting quigong there.

Here you go, I found a [free download] (http://www.lulu.com/content/1921948) for those that just want to look at the book.

TAnderson
06-16-2008, 08:17 AM
Mike and everyone else is very clear that this is not a style, or method for fighting...it is simply exercises and methodology for conditioning and development.

You don't use the training methods to fight!

Hi Kevin,

I wanted to stay out of this thread but you finally hit the nail with this. These methods are for building a base/foundation. They grant you efficient movement and additional power among other things when trained enough.

This base can then be taken and and applied to fighting, yard work, carrying groceries, exercise, and on and on. It takes a lot of time acquire and ingrain this base because it truly is a new (different) way on controlling the body and how forces effect it. However, there are a few shortcuts, meaning not quite pure methods, that mix muscle use and jin/kokyu. These methods can instill some base skills though ability won't be as clean as it could be and in the long term it keeps you from reaching higher levels IMO.

The problem with this thread (besides the understanding of internal skills as a base for body control) is people need to realize that in the U.S. of the people who have internal skills the vast majority are still working on the base/foundation and only a limited few have even begun to build fighting skills onto this base (from what I understand).

Best,
Tim Anderson

Timothy WK
06-16-2008, 09:14 AM
(If anyone wants to discuss the Fitzsimmons book *cough*MikeSigman*cough*, I've started a discussion over at Internal-Aiki (http://www.internal-aiki.com/comments.php?DiscussionID=39).)

Mike Sigman
06-16-2008, 09:14 AM
The problem with this thread (besides the understanding of internal skills as a base for body control) is people need to realize that in the U.S. of the people who have internal skills the vast majority are still working on the base/foundation and only a limited few have even begun to build fighting skills onto this base (from what I understand).Heh. One of the interesting things I keep my eye on is how very hard it's been for me to get what information I have and it's taken 30 years to accumulate what I have. I know a number of other people who have acquired their own caches of skills over the years. And while a few people a getting some skills, most of the skill levels are still fairly rudimentary and not illustrative of what the big-dogs can do... yet. So I tend to try to shortcut these conversations where someone asks "a representative of IMA to show his stuff against Chuck Liddell". It's a waste of time and misses the point. But I think we're back on point now. ;)

The big worry, as I see it, is that because of various circumstances, conceits, and so on, western Aikido wound up in a situation where there are only few Aikidoists using a few rudimentary internal skills... and that's critical because Aikido is based around internal skills and using the mind to blend one's forces automatically with incoming attack-forces.

So while getting off to this shakey start, I think it's very critical that the conversationing and reasoning be clinical and analytical, avoiding that same tendency to go off into flights of fantasy that has proved so crippling to Aikido's progress in (at least) the West.

But it's a good conversation to have. ;)

FWIW

Mike

Mike Sigman
06-16-2008, 09:24 AM
(If anyone wants to discuss the Fitzsimmons book *cough*MikeSigman*cough*, I've started a discussion over at Internal-Aiki (http://www.internal-aiki.com/comments.php?DiscussionID=39).) No offense, Tim, but there's already a few conversations archived like that on the QiJin forum and there's one going on right now. I.e., it's just very hard to contribute to too many lists on the same subject. I think it's a good discussion to have... don't get me wrong... I just don't want to promise something I can't come through on.

In terms of what he's doing with the breath.... yes, it's part of a basic qigong-type procedure. While it's sort of coarse, it will indeed provide some results. However, there are much better and more sophisticated ways to do power-gungs than the way he's showing. He's very inefficient with that approach.

As I understand it, from years of reading, etc., a lot of the old-timey strongmen had an understanding of how deliberate breath control was an important part of training. I suspect the breath procedures came over from eastern Europe and they in turn got them from the Middle-East, India, China, eastern Russia, etc. I.e., the breath training they used (the example on your site is a good one) is indeed a bona fide offspring of qigongs, pranayama, and so forth. I think it will all make a resurgence.

Best.

Mike

Dan Austin
06-16-2008, 09:25 AM
Probably. Throwing people on a trampoline is not very damaging and I don't really want to break anyone's arms. I'm open to suggestions. What martial art do you practice?

Well, you've seen my suggestion. Personally I come from a JKD background for the most part, have trained in many things including Aikido (abandoned when I realized cooperative training actually makes you worse, not better or even neutral), and currently I work on MMA with an eye toward self-defense (meaning I consider how things change without rules). And I'm interested in internal power training. Obviously my bias is to suggest something similar, but first come to grips with the conflict of training in Aikido if fighting effectiveness is a priority. That can be difficult for many people.

Aikibu
06-16-2008, 11:41 AM
Heh. One of the interesting things I keep my eye on is how very hard it's been for me to get what information I have and it's taken 30 years to accumulate what I have. I know a number of other people who have acquired their own caches of skills over the years. And while a few people a getting some skills, most of the skill levels are still fairly rudimentary and not illustrative of what the big-dogs can do... yet. So I tend to try to shortcut these conversations where someone asks "a representative of IMA to show his stuff against Chuck Liddell". It's a waste of time and misses the point. But I think we're back on point now. ;) My Bro Rick Metzler... Chuck Liddell's peer in "The Pit" Hawaiian Kempo has a Dojo here in Malibu less than a mile from my house...I'll have to ask him what emphasis John Hackleman and company place on IMA in Kempo. I would not be surprised in the least if they say it's very important.

The big worry, as I see it, is that because of various circumstances, conceits, and so on, western Aikido wound up in a situation where there are only few Aikidoists using a few rudimentary internal skills... and that's critical because Aikido is based around internal skills and using the mind to blend one's forces automatically with incoming attack-forces.

This paragraph requires a detailed explaination..."western" Aikido? What "style" is that??? Who are it's main adherents? How does it differ from "eastern" Aikido???

So while getting off to this shakey start, I think it's very critical that the conversationing and reasoning be clinical and analytical, avoiding that same tendency to go off into flights of fantasy that has proved so crippling to Aikido's progress in (at least) the West.

But it's a good conversation to have. ;)

So lets have it shall we...Feel free to start another thread Mike. I would love to hear your experiance, strength, and acumen on the this subject....

Since you brought it up. LOL :)

WIlliam Hazen

Mike Sigman
06-16-2008, 12:41 PM
My Bro Rick Metzler... Chuck Liddell's peer in "The Pit" Hawaiian Kempo has a Dojo here in Malibu less than a mile from my house...I'll have to ask him what emphasis John Hackleman and company place on IMA in Kempo. I would not be surprised in the least if they say it's very important. Yeah, but again we get into this definition issue. I know scads of people in the martial arts and I've seen all sorts of things called "internal martial arts". That's why I keep trying to resolve it to definitions before the conversations start. There's a guy that teaches "Tai Chi" in England, just as one of hundreds of examples, and he has a few breath-power gongs that come from Shaolin... got nothing to do with "internal martial arts" except that he sticks it in a "Tai Chi" choreography. He'd be the first to challenge someone to a fistfight if they said he didn't understand internal martial arts, and so forth. In other words, a lot of people in IMA's (particularly westerners) see IMA as like "Car"... and they don't realize how many different types of "car" there are. This paragraph requires a detailed explaination..."western" Aikido? What "style" is that??? Who are it's main adherents? Westerners How does it differ from "eastern" Aikido??? Please, let's not be trivial. Unless of course you grew up speaking Japanese and with a culture and mindset/values of typical Japanese. And you grew up in a place where keiko-gi's are an understandable derivative of your native culture and words means slightly different to you than they do to most western adepts who speak Japanese. That sort of thing. You think there is no difference between Aikido and the mindset in a normal western dojo and the Aikido in a normal Japanese dojo? I don't. ;)

Mike

Aikibu
06-16-2008, 01:09 PM
Yeah, but again we get into this definition issue. I know scads of people in the martial arts and I've seen all sorts of things called "internal martial arts". That's why I keep trying to resolve it to definitions before the conversations start. There's a guy that teaches "Tai Chi" in England, just as one of hundreds of examples, and he has a few breath-power gongs that come from Shaolin... got nothing to do with "internal martial arts" except that he sticks it in a "Tai Chi" choreography. He'd be the first to challenge someone to a fistfight if they said he didn't understand internal martial arts, and so forth. In other words, a lot of people in IMA's (particularly westerners) see IMA as like "Car"... and they don't realize how many different types of "car" there are. Ok I'll take your word for it. How many types of cars must you know in order to learn how to drive one?

Westerners Please, let's not be trivial.

But I humbly disagree It's you whose being trivial using these generalities to pass of what you can't explain in detail.

Unless of course you grew up speaking Japanese and with a culture and mindset/values of typical Japanese. And you grew up in a place where keiko-gi's are an understandable derivative of your native culture and words means slightly different to you than they do to most western adepts who speak Japanese. That sort of thing. You think there is no difference between Aikido and the mindset in a normal western dojo and the Aikido in a normal Japanese dojo? I don't. ;)

Mike

Well that is a general bias expressed by some Westerners with little experiance. In the old days we called it "Asian Fever" You may not know it but you open up a whole can of worms with this Western/Eastern Aiki Duality thing. LOL
I have had experiance with Aikidoka from all over the world and I'll tell you be it Ukrainian, Swedish, Finnish, French, Chinese, Japanese, Brazilian, Austrailian, Cezch, German, West Indian, ect ect...Each has developed thier own flavor it's true but one thing I heard Shoji Nishio say a long time back is how much better most of the Aikido he sees "in the west" is compared to Japan and he's not the only Senior Japanese Yudansha to express this...

If you're commenting abstractly about proper transmission well then that is another subject entirely however I don't think throwing the baby out with the bathwater is that answer to that question.

William Hazen

Mike Sigman
06-16-2008, 02:29 PM
Ok I'll take your word for it. How many types of cars must you know in order to learn how to drive one? But you don't just get in and drive one.... you have to build your own car (develop these skills for yourself) in this case. The real question is "what kind of car are you trying to build for yourself" and, in my opinion, before you can do that you have to understand the general principles of how a car works, the different kinds of engines, SUV versus passenger car, and so on. So when someone says "let's go look at this Fort Pinto and try it out against a tank to see if cars are any good"..... well, you get the idea. ;) But I humbly disagree It's you whose being trivial using these generalities to pass of what you can't explain in detail. Well, I don't mind if you disagree... that's what discussions are for. Those "trivialities" though, are very valid differences that you should bear in mind, in the important cases. If you mean that there's little difference between low-grade Japanese Aikido and low-grade western Aikido, I heartily agree. But it's not the point that I think you should consider.

About 3 years ago I decided that just to cover my butt before I sat down to write up some stuff on internal strength, I thought I should visit Aikido, some karate, and a couple of other Japanese arts to clarify just how far behind the Japanese really were in those skills. I've mentioned that before. What I found, from a lot of probing (and challenging) conversation is a lot of indicators that I totally misunderstood how much the Japanese knew about this sort of training. So I started looking into it even deeper and this stuff is (or was, in some cases; I see the vestigial exercises, but I don't see any good examples of the skills) and it's pretty stunning how much is there.

One of the side investigations I did was into "kiai", which Ellis got me interested in with his discussions on an early judo book. As a result, I ordered one of Donn Draeger's writings on Kiai from the Hoplology Institute. In that paper (which I can't spot on my bookshelf at the moment) Draeger mentions some stuff about ki and how little the Japanese know about it. How they just sit there with straight faces when there's a visiting Chinese demonstration (which tells you Chinese visit all the time, even when China is "closed"). Further remarks by Draeger indicate that he clearly doesn't know much about the topic. Yet how could that be, if there were a lot of arts that I know have obviously had some unbroken line of transmission? Is it possible that Draeger, nice gaijin that he was, was simply not shown the hidden stuff? Can you imagine that? ;) I.e., don't shrug off the differences between Asian and "western" knowledge of what's in an art or arts.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Kevin Leavitt
06-16-2008, 05:16 PM
good discussion

Aikibu
06-16-2008, 06:34 PM
But you don't just get in and drive one.... you have to build your own car (develop these skills for yourself) in this case. The real question is "what kind of car are you trying to build for yourself" and, in my opinion, before you can do that you have to understand the general principles of how a car works, the different kinds of engines, SUV versus passenger car, and so on. So when someone says "let's go look at this Fort Pinto and try it out against a tank to see if cars are any good"..... well, you get the idea. ;) Well, I don't mind if you disagree... that's what discussions are for. Those "trivialities" though, are very valid differences that you should bear in mind, in the important cases. If you mean that there's little difference between low-grade Japanese Aikido and low-grade western Aikido, I heartily agree. But it's not the point that I think you should consider.

I have been to Fort Pinto and it was a small and tinny place. :D
Good Point Mike and I agree...

About 3 years ago I decided that just to cover my butt before I sat down to write up some stuff on internal strength, I thought I should visit Aikido, some karate, and a couple of other Japanese arts to clarify just how far behind the Japanese really were in those skills. I've mentioned that before. What I found, from a lot of probing (and challenging) conversation is a lot of indicators that I totally misunderstood how much the Japanese knew about this sort of training. So I started looking into it even deeper and this stuff is (or was, in some cases; I see the vestigial exercises, but I don't see any good examples of the skills) and it's pretty stunning how much is there.

Agreed However given my experiance is the same in Chinese Arts as yours is in the Japanese ones It's stunning to understand how little I know of "what to look for" as opposed to whats there Since the only filter I have is the one given to me by my Japanese Shihan/Yudansha and my own efforts Lets call it "evidence of things not seen." :)

One of the side investigations I did was into "kiai", which Ellis got me interested in with his discussions on an early judo book. As a result, I ordered one of Donn Draeger's writings on Kiai from the Hoplology Institute. In that paper (which I can't spot on my bookshelf at the moment) Draeger mentions some stuff about ki and how little the Japanese know about it. How they just sit there with straight faces when there's a visiting Chinese demonstration (which tells you Chinese visit all the time, even when China is "closed"). Further remarks by Draeger indicate that he clearly doesn't know much about the topic. Yet how could that be, if there were a lot of arts that I know have obviously had some unbroken line of transmission? Is it possible that Draeger, nice gaijin that he was, was simply not shown the hidden stuff? Can you imagine that? ;) I.e., don't shrug off the differences between Asian and "western" knowledge of what's in an art or arts.

Well some folks might consider Don an expert because he was one of the first Westerners to write about the Japanese Martial Arts but being first does not make him an expert in my eyes.So there is no need to "imagine" that at all. LOL For Aikido's Internal Experiance I suggest perhaps having a long conversation with Bob Nadeau who is one of the few still living "Westerners" in the US to have experianced O'Sensei first hand. I don't know if he teaches much any more but 15 years ago he had a pretty good "expression" of what O'Sensei's internal power was. :)

The fact that both you and some other "Westerners" here have "knowledge" of internal power and can express leads me to believe there are others...For example Virginia Mayhew went Japan to study Aikido and Zen in the late 50's round about the same time Draeger was there I believe. She trained with both O'Sensei and Shoji Nishio. In the mid 90's at more than 80 years of age she had long retired from Aikido but during a lecture she gave for us out of no where this "feeble" old woman gleefully did a few breakfalls and rolls much to our astonishment. I then obliged her for a few techniques and felt her energy flow in Iriminage. She felt that the cultivation of internal power was realized through good Ukemi and not just through Techniques.

Virginia did not write any books and sadly most of her experiance faded into the memories of those who knew her.

There are dozens of others in the "West" here in the US and Europe too. :)

Regards,

Mike Sigman

It is always a pleasure to correspond with you my Aikiweb friend. :)

William Hazen

Mike Sigman
06-16-2008, 07:33 PM
IAgreed However given my experiance is the same in Chinese Arts as yours is in the Japanese ones It's stunning to understand how little I know of "what to look for" as opposed to whats there Since the only filter I have is the one given to me by my Japanese Shihan/Yudansha and my own efforts Lets call it "evidence of things not seen." :) Well, bear in mind that I have more than 20+ years in both Japanese and Chinese martial arts. Each. The problem was that I didn't know any of this stuff when I was in the Japanese arts.... but I knew it was there so I kept looking (in the Chinese arts).
Well some folks might consider Don an expert because he was one of the first Westerners to write about the Japanese Martial Arts but being first does not make him an expert in my eyes. I agree. Draeger was a first step, not the final step. So there is no need to "imagine" that at all. LOL For Aikido's Internal Experiance I suggest perhaps having a long conversation with Bob Nadeau who is one of the few still living "Westerners" in the US to have experianced O'Sensei first hand. I don't know if he teaches much any more but 15 years ago he had a pretty good "expression" of what O'Sensei's internal power was. :)

The fact that both you and some other "Westerners" here have "knowledge" of internal power and can express leads me to believe there are others...For example Virginia Mayhew went Japan to study Aikido and Zen in the late 50's round about the same time Draeger was there I believe. She trained with both O'Sensei and Shoji Nishio. In the mid 90's at more than 80 years of age she had long retired from Aikido but during a lecture she gave for us out of no where this "feeble" old woman gleefully did a few breakfalls and rolls much to our astonishment. I then obliged her for a few techniques and felt her energy flow in Iriminage. She felt that the cultivation of internal power was realized through good Ukemi and not just through Techniques.
But again we're talking about "energy" and "internal power" and we may be talking about two different things (I'm pretty sure that we are, TBH). That's why I think one of the first things that needs to be done is define and delineate what "internal power" actually means.

Best.

Mike

Bill Danosky
06-16-2008, 11:42 PM
Hi, everyone. My sincere apologies for barging into your IMA conversation but I have a military training methodology issue and I thought this would be the best place to discuss it. ;)


1. MAC-P has a base of BJJ it is not BJJ.
2. You make the assumption that we only train one range of combat in MAC-P, we don't.
3. You make the assumption that BJJ guys don't know how to stand up, most do. If you don't believe it take a K-M buddy to a BJJ dojo and go to it.
4. You make the assumption that you have a certain level of knowledge when distance is closed on you in a tactical situation and you may not.
5. You make the assumption that when you go to the ground that "you might as well give up as you are already dead". (we covered that already).

Mark, see my point of why I brought it up? A whole range of fighting dismissed by a lack of perspective of the ranges of fighting.

Kevin, you're making the assumption that I'm making those assumptions, which I'm really not. Just to clear it up, let me rephrase my statement:

1. My actual assumption- In a combat scenario, when unknown numbers of combatants are on the field the quickest end to an empty handed fight is best. As W. Hazen (I think) said earlier, "the winner is usually the one whose buddy with a gun comes along first." Someone (Mark or Dan) underscored this on the last page by kicking the officer who was down grappling with a suspect in training.

2. My theory- They should do away with the format where a given amount of time is granted, in favor of a "he who wins fastest, wins best type." Combat participants don't have the luxury of sparring, feeling each other out, getting each other's distance and timing, etc. Or going through the guard/mount process.

As a military trainer, don't you want the fastest, most decisive win possible? In terms of limiting the length of exposure to additional risks and also in terms of moving the battle plan along?

3. I did mistakenly use the term BJJ when I should have said "MMA" because maybe takedown defense is one of the paramount issues. As was correctly pointed out a page back by someone.

Your points 4 & 5. IMO groundwork should center on getting back up and into the entire fight, because (another actual assumption) you're probably fighting more than one person and they probably have weapons.

I got pretty seriously hurt a few years ago because I thought I was fighting two guys and found out I was actually fighting three. I've been Monday morning quarterbacking it ever since. So I'm not a soldier, but I do have a background. :uch:

Kevin Leavitt
06-17-2008, 10:11 AM
Bill wrote:

1. My actual assumption- In a combat scenario, when unknown numbers of combatants are on the field the quickest end to an empty handed fight is best. As W. Hazen (I think) said earlier, "the winner is usually the one whose buddy with a gun comes along first." Someone (Mark or Dan) underscored this on the last page by kicking the officer who was down grappling with a suspect in training.


Obviously. You use what you have congruent with Use of Force rules and Rules of Engagement. absolutely. No argument here on that one.

Bill wrote:

As a military trainer, don't you want the fastest, most decisive win possible? In terms of limiting the length of exposure to additional risks and also in terms of moving the battle plan along?

Well, there is only one answer to that question right? This logic reminds me of the question that we were told to ask prospects in when I sold Life Insurance. "You want to take care of your family when you die right?"

Bill wrote:

Your points 4 & 5. IMO groundwork should center on getting back up and into the entire fight, because (another actual assumption) you're probably fighting more than one person and they probably have weapons.



Well, yes. Never implied that that should not be your goal. For soldiers this is implied really, they come understanding that being on the ground is a bad thing, and that they don't want to be there, if they are, then they need to get up and create distance.

In the structure of studying ground fighitng, there is much more going on then simply learning tactics or techniques. The training methodology is fairly complex and is built upon a solid foundation that allows you to grow and increase skill as you go.

Really when you get down to it, Mike and Ark are trying to do the same thing with the IMA stuff. Boil it down into manageable, definable methodology that allows you to develop a sound base and replicate it over and over again.

What is key in developing any program or methodology are a couple of things.

1. People must understand and accept the endstate of the training.
2. The must feel that the methodology helps them reach that endstate.
3. The must be able to do it.
4. The training must be replicated over and over by others.
5. There must be a standard or agreed upon teachings so everyone can be on the same sheet of music.

Probably more, but this is all I can think of now. Mike and Ark have worked hard to develop such a "WAY". Just like the Gracies, just like Ueshiba, just like MAC-P.

In doing so, you have trade offs and training affects that must be dealt with as you systematize things.

Many of these things may not be fully understood, and many of the training methods should not be taken literally in a tactical sense.

Groundfighting work falls into this category in many respects.

I will say the same thing that MIke does for IMA stuff. There is transferrence of the skills you learn, but don't look at them as application for fighting 100%.

Same goes for groundfighting skills. There is transferrence of skills you learn, but you have to put it together for yourself in developing what we call Techniques, Tactics, and Procedures (TTPs) in the military.

The key to training strategies is you do things that best promote the desired "programming" "re-programming" of habits and choices that you might make in reality.

Keeping all this in mind is why you see a merger between "Military Methodologies" in this thread and "IMA" in the respect of modalities..we have much in common in trying to systematize and codify methodology to train.

This is why I enjoy discussing things so much with Mike. We may disagree on some things, but he really gets the importance of training strategy and methodology and the importance of it in developing your own body and TTPs.

Mike Sigman
06-17-2008, 10:53 AM
Really when you get down to it, Mike and Ark are trying to do the same thing with the IMA stuff. Boil it down into manageable, definable methodology that allows you to develop a sound base and replicate it over and over again.
However, once you get your foot in the door, most martial-arts systems and neigong systems also have their studied methodology. Tohei has a methodology (his is actually a little more complete than a lot of people realize, as I think I deduce it), Ushiro has a methodology (notice, however, that it leads through the learning of a form "Sanchin"), and so forth.

But one of the big questions is "what methodology is the most effective for the largest number of people".... an important consideration if anyone is ever going to attempt to put some of these things into the military. Then too there is the question of which range of the spectrum of skills is the most important for the goals you have in mind. The spectrum of skills is fairly large and, as far as I can tell (although it may not be obvious to the casual observer), all the of the people developing methodologies are concentrating on not only different approaches, but are focusing on different areas of development. Which is why when I see where people are "doing a little bit of this and doing a little bit of that" I think they need to back up and try to formulate a clearer picture of what the basics are, what various trainings develop, and so forth. Mixing things up is fine, but a lot of people are going to the market to buy a heifer when they don't know anything at all about cows. ;)

FWIW

Mike

Bill Danosky
06-17-2008, 12:41 PM
It may not seem like it but I have gotten a lot out of this conversation. I'm at the point in my training where you have to take an honest look at some of the shortfalls of your system, and really have to decide if and what you're going to do about it.

It's obvious that Aikido has a few, but some uniques strengths as well. Since I'm at the time when I'm expected to start thinking about teaching I've decided to stick around and concentrate on Aiki solutions I can personally implement instead of switching again.

I have enough outside martial experience to know where the bear s**ts. Aikido has concepts that can be applied to takedown defense, for sure. It's good against multiple opponents. Strict kihon notwithstanding, it may even have implementations in groundfighting. So I'm going to start building some credible answers to the criticism.

If you guys are right about Internal Power (let's just suppose for a minute ;) ) having a demonstrable effect on fighting ability I think testing Aikido's actual effectiveness is an ideal way to find out.

Gernot Hassenpflug
06-17-2008, 04:58 PM
If you guys are right about Internal Power (let's just suppose for a minute ;) ) having a demonstrable effect on fighting ability I think testing Aikido's actual effectiveness is an ideal way to find out.

I think that is an excellent idea, and one that is not only achievable but highly commendable. My current teacher, in discussions after class yesterday, noted that those people that say they need this and that from other arts simply haven't studied one art deeply enough. This was his reaction to a new guy that pitched up (we don't expect to see him back) to "learn". This guy had done a dozen or so arts and had no core skills in the IMA sense, so of course any of his technique attempts were entirely ineffective.

As has been pointed out many times, Aikido has what is needed to make it an effective art, it is just that most people don't know enough to train that way. Heck, last night saw me realize how to "do" the common overhead block and forward thrust with a jo (or bo) in a way that builds IMA skills. Oh my! Imagine if I knew how to do all the jo kata movements that way! But no, in 12+ years of Aikido no clues. Sad in a way, but the future looks a lot brighter given that there is more active interest (at least on the internet!) to search out more efficient IMA training and teachers who will show stuff and not hold back.

Kevin Leavitt
06-17-2008, 05:40 PM
Bill Wrote:

It may not seem like it but I have gotten a lot out of this conversation. I'm at the point in my training where you have to take an honest look at some of the shortfalls of your system, and really have to decide if and what you're going to do about it.


Yes, that is key. I look at it slightly different. All systems and methods have shortfalls, understanding your desired endstate or what you want out of your training does more to mitigate the issue, even without maybe having to go outside your dojo. It may be that your endstate and current training regime don't match up, but that does not mean what your studying is wrong maybe.

This is good advice along that vain:

Mike wrote:

Which is why when I see where people are "doing a little bit of this and doing a little bit of that" I think they need to back up and try to formulate a clearer picture of what the basics are, what various trainings develop, and so forth. Mixing things up is fine, but a lot of people are going to the market to buy a heifer when they don't know anything at all about cows

Bill wrote:

It's obvious that Aikido has a few, but some uniques strengths as well. Since I'm at the time when I'm expected to start thinking about teaching I've decided to stick around and concentrate on Aiki solutions I can personally implement instead of switching again

Teaching is always an interesting endeavor. I think we have to remember that we don't know everything there is to know and there is always room to learn. I think one of the best ways to learn is to start teaching and make mistakes. As long as everyone knows that you are all in it together and trying to learn then it can be very productive.

For example, I decided to start teaching some of the internal exercises I learned from Mike and Ark with another person. Of course I am making lots of mistakes, stopping, going to my notes etc, but it is starting to generate questions and learning points as I go. It also motivates me to study and to learn more.

Talking about integration...interesting experience today.

As I was working with my partner today, one of our Colonels and a Warrant Officer made some remarks about what it looked like (typically homophobic Army inuendo). Then came up and talked to us. the Warrant told me he was getting ready to go to the range to work on reflexive fire. I asked him about shooting posture and we then started going over it, then showed him some of the exercises and how they might help in the CQB environment...he then became interested.

Not saying I know anything close to internal skills at this point. However it was interesting to see in passing how in the future it might be possible to get there!

Bill wrote:

have enough outside martial experience to know where the bear s**ts. Aikido has concepts that can be applied to takedown defense, for sure. It's good against multiple opponents. Strict kihon notwithstanding, it may even have implementations in groundfighting. So I'm going to start building some credible answers to the criticism.


I agree..in theory. What depends is how you practice it. Timing, speed, and aliveness separate theory from practice. I found this out the hard way several years ago as an aikidoka working with unexperienced or semi experienced soldiers with a few months of combatives training. Only way to know is to throw on some Blauer gear and try it out relplicating as close as possible the conditions.

Bill Danosky
06-18-2008, 09:36 AM
Teaching is always an interesting endeavor. I think we have to remember that we don't know everything there is to know and there is always room to learn. I think one of the best ways to learn is to start teaching and make mistakes. As long as everyone knows that you are all in it together and trying to learn then it can be very productive..

Yes, I'm mainly looking at teaching as a way to explore the theories. Even though Yoshinkan is way more martial than a lot of Aikido styles we aren't employing our techniques against modern attacks (like tackles and sucker punches) very often. That is probably going to be my biggest swerve from conventional instruction, but I think it's really important. I'm going to make it clear that I'm working out the bugs so I can make mistakes and not take them too seriously.


I agree..in theory. What depends is how you practice it. Timing, speed, and aliveness separate theory from practice. I found this out the hard way several years ago as an aikidoka working with unexperienced or semi experienced soldiers with a few months of combatives training. Only way to know is to throw on some Blauer gear and try it out replicating as close as possible the conditions.

Once again, I'm very jealous of you military and law enforcement guys who have access to this kind of equipment. But I agree 100%- the only way to know is to test it in as realistic circumstances as you can manufacture. You don't want to be drilling bad technique into your muscle memory, so you have to know the difference.

Side note: You think reflexive fire is one of the biggest opportunities for applying internal power? I do. Maybe this is not strictly speaking, an IMA app. But I do the same visualization exercises golfers do- see the bullets streaming out and connecting with the target. I barely use the sights under 7 yards.

Bill Danosky
06-18-2008, 09:50 AM
I hate to double post, but one more thing: Who thinks palm heel strikes are better than fist punches for knockouts?

In Shao Lama Kung Fu, we used our wrist bones rather than our knuckles and it works well for very close range. My sifu taught that hands are too brittle for strikes and reserved them for trapping and grabbing.

Robert Wolfe
06-18-2008, 10:02 AM
Good rule of thumb: Hard weapons (closed fists) for soft targets (abdomen/kidneys/throat); soft weapons (palms) for hard targets (skull). Mike Tyson seemed to break a hand every time he got in a bar fight...

Upyu
06-18-2008, 11:01 AM
But I do the same visualization exercises golfers do- see the bullets streaming out and connecting with the target. I barely use the sights under 7 yards.

Bill,

All I can say is that you should probably go out and find someone that has bonafide internal skills, any one of the Chen villagers, Sam Chin, Ushiro Kenji, Mike, Dan etc etc

I guarantee you it would save you a lot of time posting what are essentially pointless "what ifs" pontificating stuff you simply have to get your hands on in order to understand.:D

Kevin Leavitt
06-18-2008, 11:50 AM
Bill wrote:

Side note: You think reflexive fire is one of the biggest opportunities for applying internal power? I do. Maybe this is not strictly speaking, an IMA app. But I do the same visualization exercises golfers do- see the bullets streaming out and connecting with the target. I barely use the sights under 7 yards

I think there are lots of opportunities and places where these exercises would be helpful. I am about 1 week into a good solid daily hour practice right now. Not sure about the "internal aspects" of the training, but I feel it in muscles and parts that I have not used for a while, mucsle that you use to hold a good frame for anything that you do as Tim Anderson points out.

From Carrying groceries to carrying a loaded down M4 in the proper posture.

I think Reflexive fire gives us a very direct way of measuring improvement as it is a very controlled and martial posture and movement. You have to move your body as a unit in a very coordinated way.

I know it gets irritating hearing it over and over...I got tired of it too...but Rob is correct. Even a day with one of these guys will have you going "oh...I get it now".

You simply look at what they are talking about from a martial application point of view, and that ain't the right one. It is about structure, framework, building the chassis, not racing the car.

I think there is a huge distinction between the two. My experiences have been in martial arts is that most dojos do two things half ass. Teaching technique half ass, and conditioning half assed...so you end up with two half asses...not a whole.

IMA training in this respect seems to be about doing the development as a whole.

What you do with it is up to you. I am still figuring that out, but see benefits.

If you can't see the good guys, get with a few guys in your area that are doing this stuff, learn some of the exercises and jump in. I am screwing it all up I guarantee you that!

What is my other option? doing nothing? Not gettting any better than my current level?

It is at least worth a try for the small investment of daily practice time.

Bill Danosky
06-18-2008, 06:09 PM
Bill,

All I can say is that you should probably go out and find someone that has bonafide internal skills, any one of the Chen villagers, Sam Chin, Ushiro Kenji, Mike, Dan etc etc

I guarantee you it would save you a lot of time posting what are essentially pointless "what ifs" pontificating stuff you simply have to get your hands on in order to understand.:D

It's not pointless to me, Robert- it's my way of researching. I don't mind taking some ukemi, if you will, when I want to know about something. Just finding out who has good arguments and who is just argumentative. This week I found out Kevin, Kit and William Hazen are interested in internal energy and I find them to be credible so it merits further investigation.

I appreciate your concern for my time, though. Since I see how interested we are in helping each other out, may I suggest people might take your posts more seriously if you get some training in sentence structure and composition? ":D "

Mike Sigman
06-18-2008, 06:13 PM
It's not pointless to me, Robert- it's my way of researching. I don't mind taking some ukemi, if you will, when I want to know about something. Just finding out who has good arguments and who is just argumentative. This week I found out Kevin, Kit and William Hazen are interested in internal energy and I find them to be credible so it merits further investigation.

I appreciate your concern for my time, though. Since I see how interested we are in helping each other out, may I suggest people might take your posts more seriously if you get some training in sentence structure and composition? ":D "Ah, well said! I can't think of a better way to make a point, Bill! In fact, I think Rob now understands why I give such short shrift to so many Aikido discussions. ;)

With all due Respect!

Mike Sigman

Bill Danosky
06-18-2008, 06:35 PM
Ah, well said! I can't think of a better way to make a point, Bill! In fact, I think Rob now understands why I give such short shrift to so many Aikido discussions. ;)

With all due Respect!

Mike Sigman

You do actually contribute some gems, though. But if that's really the case above, maybe we should all thank you for spending so much of your time!

Aikibu
06-18-2008, 06:40 PM
Good rule of thumb: Hard weapons (closed fists) for soft targets (abdomen/kidneys/throat); soft weapons (palms) for hard targets (skull). Mike Tyson seemed to break a hand every time he got in a bar fight...

A very good rule of thumb...Let me also add Atemi "knuckle point/finger strikes." and the ridge of your palm IOW Karate or WuShu Strikes to the list....

In the context of this discussion if you could train a soldier to relax and deliver precise Atemi/strikes using internal power IMO you would be giving that soldier a very powerful tool. To be able to "express" such power while under duress is the very epitome of great Martial Artist.

I was inspired to pick up my copy of "The Tao of Jeet Kune Do" last night after watching "Dragon The Bruce Lee story."

It was like visiting with an old friend who reminds you of how far you have come and still have yet to go.

Bruce recognized and taught (it was even shown somewhat in the film LOL) That the fist must be relaxed and open not clenched until the very moment of contact at a point behind the "opponent"

Just to read his words again reminds me of how lucky we are to have folks like O'Sensei, him, and the good folks here at Aikiweb to guide us. :)

William Hazen

Mike Sigman
06-18-2008, 06:46 PM
You do actually contribute some gems, though. Really, it's nothing when compared to the "how-to's" that you've contributed. Think nothing of it!

Mike Sigman

Bill Danosky
06-18-2008, 06:54 PM
Really, it's nothing when compared to the "how-to's" that you've contributed.

Well, I appreciate it but I've never been a glory grabber, so don't mention it!

Upyu
06-18-2008, 07:32 PM
Well, I appreciate it but I've never been a glory grabber, so don't mention it!

I liked the point about palm heels especially.
Very enlightening.

:D

Bill Danosky
06-18-2008, 08:28 PM
I liked the point about palm heels especially.
Very enlightening.

:D
Don't discredit me here, because this is something I happen to know about. Two things can cause a knockout:

1. The brain impacting the inside of the skull.

2. Twisting the spinal cord at the base of the skull.

So a brisk palm heel strike to the chin in a direction that torques the neck will put X's over your eyes more reliably than a hook to the side of the head.

There, my first "how-to".

Upyu
06-18-2008, 08:32 PM
Don't discredit me here, because this is something I happen to know about. Two things can cause a knockout:

1. The brain impacting the inside of the skull.

2. Twisting the spinal cord at the base of the skull.

So a brisk palm heel strike to the chin in a direction that torques the neck will put X's over your eyes more reliably than a hook to the side of the head.

There, my first "how-to".

I think you're ready to join Joseph's hall of fame thread :D

Any more TMA krotty gems you want to bestow on us that you gleaned from the Discovery channel?

Bill Danosky
06-18-2008, 08:42 PM
That info was circa 1995, courtesy of Terry "Taiwan" Lee, my Shao Lama Sifu. If Discovery Channel said it, they were right, too.

Upyu
06-18-2008, 08:49 PM
That info was circa 1995, courtesy of Terry "Taiwan" Lee, my Shao Lama Sifu. If Discovery Channel said it, they were right, too.

Sigh,
No one's saying you're wrong Bill, just that it's not anything earth shattering.

And who the hell would "hook" to the side of the head, the aim is still the chin buddy ;)

Bill Danosky
06-18-2008, 08:59 PM
May I then re-posit my question about who thinks palm heel strikes deliver more knockout probability than fist punches?

Bill Danosky
06-19-2008, 09:13 AM
Despite being a huge Bruce Lee fan, I'm going to resist the temptation to argue in his behalf. Let's try to get back to the Military Training Methodologies.

Traditional Jiu Jitsu was the established Japanese military training method. What does everyone think the best martial art is for this purpose in modern times?

Kevin Leavitt
06-19-2008, 05:46 PM
Modern Army Combatives Program (MAC-P) and Marine Corps Martial Arts Program (MCMAP) ...what other answer would there be?

Tom H.
06-19-2008, 05:51 PM
Modern Army Combatives Program (MAC-P) and Marine Corps Martial Arts Program (MCMAP) ...what other answer would there be?Are those programs limited to active duty military types?

Kevin Leavitt
06-19-2008, 10:20 PM
Army Reserve and National Guard....on orders of some type. (Liability).

There are a few civilian schools around the country that have instructors that are certified and teach the curriculum. Suprise, they are mostly decent MMA schools.

There is nothing really unique about the program that would make it special for civilians, many good MMA schools out there will give you the same base.

We simply look at the same training slightly different when applying it in our operating environment.

Other good programs out there: I highly recommend Tony Blauer's company ( www.tonyblauer.com). He has both civilian and military/LEO type courses.

Dog Brothers also have some good stuff. Many others as well.

That said, I think it would be a waste of money until you've got a decent background in some grappling and/or standup clinch/takedown that you can learn and train at a decent BJJ or MMA school.

Again, it is not what you learn in MMA/BJJ that is directly applicable as technique in reality...it is the martial base that you develop to then work on tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) for the military.

That is why it is important to study jiujitsu ala BJJ style.

Bill Danosky
06-19-2008, 11:13 PM
It is not what you learn in MMA/BJJ that is directly applicable as technique in reality...it is the martial base that you develop to then work on tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) for the military.

That is why it is important to study jiujitsu ala BJJ style.

Damn. I didn't want that to be the answer but I knew it was as soon as you said it. It's not the whole game, but you probably can't get to the level you need to be at without a good ground game. Just for emergencies.

Kevin Leavitt
06-20-2008, 08:45 PM
A good ground game isn't just about "just for emergencies". It is a good solid way to train to develop a martial foundation. It is one of the best ways to develop an understanding of how your body should move in response to anothers. Your ability to move is so restricted, that you must move without using muscle or speed or strength. You are also in close touch with your opponent so you can best read his body shifts, weight distribution and focus.

Also, mentally, it is good because you are put under such close in pressure that you develop the ability to react very calmly. Most people freak out when they get that close to another person that is trying to harm them.

Once you get comfortable at this range, training in other ranges in many respects is much easier.

Bill Danosky
06-21-2008, 12:01 PM
I'd venture that in a combat situation if you get taken down, it's just become an emergency, though. The importance of staying mobile is the central point I'm considering in this thread. I'm doubling down on multiple opponent jiyu waza in my Aiki practice. Although as Dan H. has recently pointed out, I'm really straying toward jujutsu these days.

So I don't mean to trivialize groundwork because I think it's deadly serious, and I'm totally with you on training to maintain your composure. But I think I'd personally better focus on escapes. At 5' 9" and 150 lbs, I'm most likely at too much of a disadvantage on the ground to stay there. Your thoughts on this are most welcome, though.

Kevin Leavitt
06-21-2008, 12:17 PM
Yes, the ground is an important range of combat to consider as you mention Bill.

As far as multiple opponents, that is really a tough one, but a range and situation that should be practiced as well. One thing though in aikido training that always concerns me is that we don't train multiple opponent randori mostly for reality, but for principle. timing and pressure is not the same in my experiences. So, if you are genuinely trying to train for reality, you have to make sure you are doing it correctly.

You will fail though for a number of reasons, mainly safety considerations. vice the same for your opponents, they will also not succeed for safety reasons. Blauer style equipment is really necessary with proper training to train for these situations correctly. Anything short of that you have many training affects come into play.

Kevin Leavitt
06-21-2008, 12:59 PM
Bill, FWIW...I would recommend Roy Dean's video on Blue Belt basics.

I just finished reviewing it, and it is a decent comprehensive video that covers all the basics of BJJ. Also has a good section on Ukemi training. Roy holds yudansha rank in Aikido as well.

http://www.roydeanacademy.com/

Bill Danosky
06-21-2008, 02:12 PM
You will fail though for a number of reasons, mainly safety considerations. vice the same for your opponents, they will also not succeed for safety reasons. Blauer style equipment is really necessary with proper training to train for these situations correctly.

Would if I could, brother. Again, it's great to have access to that kind of stuff, but I aint joining the Army for it :) I'll just have to keep realism in mind and do the best I can with sparring pads and mouthguards. :eek: :uch: :dead: :rolleyes:

I will definitely take your advice on the BJJ training, though.

Kevin Leavitt
06-21-2008, 05:04 PM
Bill I understand not being able to do this, heck it is difficult for us in the Army to do it! As long as you keep the right perspective in mind when you train, you will be okay!

Upyu
06-21-2008, 11:44 PM
Also, mentally, it is good because you are put under such close in pressure that you develop the ability to react very calmly. Most people freak out when they get that close to another person that is trying to harm them.


While it's probably just a difference in experiences, I actually feel more "comfortable" on the ground, grappling with people, than striking. (Not that I'm good at the grappling game). But reacting "calmly" is much easier for me on the ground vs striking, when you have someone much more experienced than you trying to take your head off. I find the "technique" paradigm much easier to pull off on the ground as opposed to in standup(At least in the beginning anyways).

I've always felt that the ground game often gives you more time to react to things than in a proper standup game. Fact is, I think, most people don't do stand-up properly, and I see lots of people in the shooto world take shortcuts to circumvent their shortcomings in the standup game by always taking it to the ground.

Both are needed though, no arguments there.

Kevin Leavitt
06-22-2008, 07:49 AM
Agree Rob, in training, i'd much rather grapple than punch. I am in much more control of the situation usually.

Alot of standup has to do with your mean to the end and/or your endstate I think. If your boxing you have one endstate. If you are in the cage, shooto, UFC, you might have the same endstate, but your means to the end are different.

In a military situation, it is different when you consider striking, which is why we don't spend too much time on perfecting the art of striking. When you are in empty hand striking range you are either closing distance to subdue your opponent, or you are creating distance to reach another weapon system or to back out of the situation to gain control.

What you are not doing is sitting within that range ala boxing or UFC style and trading blows.

Vice, if you are not "winning" your opponent is doing the same thing to you, that is closing distance, or creating distance.

This is not to say that practicing striking is not a good thing to do. You need to do that as when you are in that range, you need to use it as a tool to close distance, or to create space, or to protect yourself from these things happening to you. If you have good power...it is a good thing and you can use it to damage the guy.

I do think the fact that we are not trying to win points, fight for time, or implement our game plan has considerable weight in the situation.

Striking and weapons also REALLY impact your grappling game. Alot of it will go out the window once you inject these things.

Once again, though just because this occurs does not mean you should, IMO, abandon grappling training.

The best approach I have found, and it is the one MMA gyms use is to train this ranges in isolation, perfecting the skills in each of these ranges, then occassionally you splice them back together and work on your integrated strategies.

Ark has some very interesting training methods for training striking! What I like about it Rob is that you stay on your center, core, or balance maintaining integrity. I think this might be a good thing when you are considering the "reality" piece.

Upyu
06-22-2008, 09:47 AM
In a military situation, it is different when you consider striking, which is why we don't spend too much time on perfecting the art of striking. When you are in empty hand striking range you are either closing distance to subdue your opponent, or you are creating distance to reach another weapon system or to back out of the situation to gain control.

What you are not doing is sitting within that range ala boxing or UFC style and trading blows.

Definitely, in fact I think that most standup matches make for entertainment because they emphasize "trading" blows, going for points etc.
but Ark is more about quickly closing the gap and getting into a position to quickly finish someone off. Most strikers study "trading blows" I think simply because they don't have access to these skills, but if they did, it would change the game immensely.


Vice, if you are not "winning" your opponent is doing the same thing to you, that is closing distance, or creating distance.

I agree, which is why it turns into a game.


This is not to say that practicing striking is not a good thing to do. You need to do that as when you are in that range, you need to use it as a tool to close distance, or to create space, or to protect yourself from these things happening to you. If you have good power...it is a good thing and you can use it to damage the guy.

Beyond power, I think it advantageous to create a movement paradigm that is simply hard to comprehend to the other person. Don't do what the other person does, do something completely different, and you up your chances at coming out on top in a confrontation, and I think that internal skills are a key factor in this strategy.


I do think the fact that we are not trying to win points, fight for time, or implement our game plan has considerable weight in the situation.

Hehe, a bunch of us learned the hard way last time at an amateur match called K-2. A couple of students put a serious beat down on the other opponents, but still lost because they "didn't kick above the waist more than 6 times." The fact of the matter was that the guys more experienced in striking couldn't put forth their choice weapons, or employ their control of distance, and got stuffed at every move...something the judges didn't like. They wanted to see blows being traded, something the japanese in the full contact karate arena consider a sign of "good spirit" :D
Long story short, one of the more entertaining fights ended in the Aunkai student losing due to points, unhurt, but the other guy limping like a gopher that had been kicked in the n#$s, only to call throw in the towel 10 secs into the next match because he couldn't go on :D


Striking and weapons also REALLY impact your grappling game. Alot of it will go out the window once you inject these things.

No doubt, I don't need your endorsement to imagine the complexities proper weapons training under pressure brings to the game :crazy:



Ark has some very interesting training methods for training striking! What I like about it Rob is that you stay on your center, core, or balance maintaining integrity. I think this might be a good thing when you are considering the "reality" piece.
I like that word you use, "integrity." :) It describes the intent perfectly.
The exercises everyone experienced in the latter half of the seminar at DC is the first stage at building integrity under pressure. Integrity of pressure in the body, integrity of frame, integrity of balance etc.
Once you have constant integrity, then you can focus on usage of the frame under pressure.
Anyways I could go on, but I think you've scoped it out enough to get a general idea to see where Ark is heading with the exercises.
There's any number of augmentations you could do, having guys do them with heavy loads on their backs, restricting them in ways that would seemingly prevent any viable response, thus forcing them to think on how to use the skills under pressure, etc etc.

Good discussion :D

Bill Danosky
06-22-2008, 09:58 AM
Agree Rob, in training, i'd much rather grapple than punch. I am in much more control of the situation usually....I do think the fact that we are not trying to win points, fight for time, or implement our game plan has considerable weight in the situation.

Striking and weapons also REALLY impact your grappling game. Alot of it will go out the window once you inject these things.



I'm kind of opposite to this- Much more comfortable in standup, which is why it makes so much sense now to get some grappling (and you know I mean solid takedown defense/escape) training. I have a big hole in my game I need to fix asap.

One weapon opportunity you have in real life that you don't have in training is lots of heavy objects to hit with your opponent. Very rarely are you in a big, open area that's free of furniture, walls, cars, trees, etc. So you can imagine doing ikkyo and sweeping your hapless foe into a group of table and chairs headfirst.

Kevin Leavitt
06-22-2008, 01:59 PM
absolutely. Environmental clutter is a big factor. It is also an equal access factor. That is all parties have access to that factor. it is the one who gets there first, or that can establish dominance that gets to use it to his/her advantage.

Which is why, to me it is more important to establish dominance or kuzushi. Or to be able to manage yourself back into a better position if you are being dominated.

Although getting hit in the head with a brick is a hard thing to "manage"!

Kevin Leavitt
06-22-2008, 02:01 PM
Rob,

that is what is key to me these days..maintaining or regaining integrity or structure. This is a big factor in aikido and I think it is why we study the way we do. That is, to instill good habits of body integrity.

BJJ works on the same principle, which is why I like it. Maintaining or gaining integrity.

KIT
06-30-2008, 02:40 PM
Rob/Kevin-

Your last posts are exactly the stuff I was talking about. Looking forward to exploring more.