Join Date: Feb 2007
Re: What is "combat"?
I've read the book. I have a lot of respect for that training program, and as aikido goes I see Yoshinkan as a robust system (BTW, I am not an aikidoka), and heard great things about Mustard.
But, like the SEALS Hell Week, its a different thing than technical application.
Spiritual forging, a gut check, what have you, can be found in a number of disciplines that have nothing to do with practical, technical application. To tie this back into the thread, does something like that have a direct effect on one's performance in a "combat" situation?
Of course. But it doesn't necessarily pay the bills for any and all situations.
I recently finished Marcus Luttrell's Lone Survivor. Excellent book detailing the harrowing experience he went through. He describes Hell Week, and credits his warrior spirit during his experience in Afghanistan with being forged in large part by what he underwent during that event. There is talk about the SEALS that they win fights with entire bars full of people because they are in so much better shape, and have so much more warrior mindset, than everyone else.
But that experience did not teach him anything about how he would have dealt with, say, a State Champion wrestler trying to take him down in a bar and bash his head in with a beer bottle from a technical perspective. Though he could get just as dead in the latter situation.
I will try to make some sense here, so bear with me.
Combative function, across the spectrum that one may encounter based on ones needs, is comprised of several things. Today LE training refers to it as the "Survival Triangle." The traditional version of that being Shin-Gi-Tai. Mind, Technique, and Body.
To be truly prepared across that spectrum mentioned above, you need all three. And different types of all three.
If all your martial art is based on is "principles," and you do not work on specific technical aspects for specific problems (with principles naturally manifesting through technique and vice-versa), you are underprepared for the combative spectrum, though you may be perfectly capable in certain limited circumstances.
If all your martial discipline is about is "mindset," the same applies.
If all your discipline is about is "technique," or "conditioning," same again.
Now each and every one of these things may be all you need in a particular set of circumstances. It may be all you ever need if you are never really challenged in a serious struggle across the spectrum. And in different situations, one may be more important than the other - my most serious encounter involved no "martial arts" technique at all, but I credit walking out of a room after suffering a critical injury with a foundation in mindset and conditioning that I directly relate to martial arts training.
That does not mean the same performance would transfer to a situation where I would need technique, or a specific set of techniques: say groundfighting, or weapon retention, or what have you.
I may have the shin and tai all squared away - I may have the gi even - say in aikido, or in muay Thai.
But if the particular combination I need in that circumstance, when my life is on the line is the shin, the tai, and the gi - specifically groundfighting against a larger, stronger, skilled wrestler who beating my head in from on top of me and I don't have that skill to access;
I will probably end up dead.
Likewise, I may have the gi and the tai all squared away: I may be in incredible shape and be dialed in on all my fighting skills in every phase or range - but if my mindset is not there that day, and if I take that bullet, or get stabbed, or punched in the mouth and find myself swallowing gulpfulls of blood and teeth and panic and think: "I can't deal with this, I'm just gonna roll over and hope he stops,"
I will probably end up dead.
There are so many more layers and it can get so much more complicated than that - maybe I don't have the ground skills for that wreslter, but I do have weapon skills, but because I haven't trained those skills under legitimate force on force circumstances with a partner who is actually trying to defeat me, I choose to draw my weapon at a time when he has superior position and he takes it from me, and now I am swallowing blood, have a wrestler on top of me, who just took my knife or gun.... I may have the mindset and conditioning to deal with that, but those will run out rather quickly if I don't have an inkling of the proper skills, or integrated skills, to deal with that situation.
Which is why I remain very wary of the defensive tactics instructor or LEO or soldier with "one system," or one approach to doing something and thinking that it is "complete," and all he'll ever need.
Hope I am making sense, its hard to put into words.
Last edited by KIT : 05-09-2008 at 11:36 PM.