View Single Post
Old 04-23-2010, 03:27 AM   #2
Kevin Leavitt
Kevin Leavitt's Avatar
Dojo: Team Combat USA
Location: Olympia, Washington
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 4,376
Re: Control in the martial arts.

Good topic Don!

I think how you've framed control in the examples above, of course, is defined around "rules" of the various martial sports.

While it may seem that boxing has it right, and I would agree with your assesssment for the most part, it too is not complete or has gaps. Can't thumb to the eye, the discourage clinching, grabbing, pummelling, elbows etc....all things that you would do in a real fight that simply are not allowed in boxing. Heck even the boxers stance gives away alot of tactics. While it is good for boxing, it is not so good for reality and I can always tell when I line up with a boxer based on how he stands and adjust my fight strategy accordingly.

That said, I do believe you have a good perspective for sure. The fact remains that people are going to default to the habits that they have developed in practice.

For the reasons mentioned, is why I am a big advocate of how we train in the Army these days. We spend a great deal of time discussing this very subject.

BJJ and grappling offers a very good base to learn the principles of control and how to regain dominance and get back to your feet.

However, it is not complete, and the sport of BJJ does not provide a good fight strategy involving weapons, multiple opponents, or striking (while it does and CAN address these things, the main practice of BJJ does not).

Muay Thai I think has a good balance of striking (atemi), even better than boxing, since it allows for a wider range of freedom in the striking range.

Judo and Greco Roman have the takedown area down solid....there is much you can learn from these two sport based practices.

The point is, I think, that everyone has to develop there own strategy for training and fighting, it is really an individual practice.

In the end though, I think you need to develop scenario based training that effectively measures how well you would do in those various scenarios and provides you a decent feedback mechanism to evaluate yourself constructively, showing you your weakenesses etc.

This is rarely seen, of course, due to a multitude of reasons, liability being the biggest I think, also followed closely by marketing.

Lets face it, most of what we need to know in martial arts to be "effective" can be learned in a fairly short timeframe, and as you know, being "in shape" counts for alot of this, more than most would care to mention.

We simply would not fill dojos on a daily basis, year after year, if we were indeed 100% honest and only focused on being effective and developing control.

A third factor I think, is that alot of folks are simply not emotionally prepared to deal with the reality of what they are going to face. Having a guy ambush you, rage on you totally and beat the crap out of you is not many folks idea of a good time.

I think the notion in most martial arts is to develop and refine slowly and to enhance the "positive" qualities of the individual through a longer term process.

Which, IS a definition of "control" as well, albeit, a much different one than what you are discussing here.

Anyway, these are my thoughts. I know the "marketing" one will be controversial, but I think it is important to mention as most of us have to make a living or at least have some degree of sustainment to have a roof to train under and things that interest us to come back to everyday.

  Reply With Quote