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Old 05-23-2002, 05:09 AM   #1
DavidM
Dojo: Aikido of Tucson
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Question Against Wrestlers and Graplers

Hey all, I was just wondering...while training in Aikido I was wondering how well our techniques would be on say...a wrestler who tends to bend over and grab you , or a grappler...even that of a kickboxer...in our class we are not shown any techniques against a kick, (or atleast not yet). So would I be able to defend myself against any of the three? No...I don't plan on getting in a fight anytime soon, and I don't go around with the feeling that I'm gonna get in a fight, but I would still like to know ...

I'm 6 foot tall and only 120lbs...I've always been picked on my whole life...that's partly why I started taking Aikido, as a self defense, but not that much of a "Harming" self defense...
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Old 05-23-2002, 05:30 AM   #2
ChrisDuSCAMB
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Talking Re: Against Wrestlers and Graplers

Quote:
Originally posted by DavidM
Hey all, I was just wondering...while training in Aikido I was wondering how well our techniques would be on say...a wrestler who tends to bend over and grab you , or a grappler...even that of a kickboxer...in our class we are not shown any techniques against a kick, (or atleast not yet). So would I be able to defend myself against any of the three? No...I don't plan on getting in a fight anytime soon, and I don't go around with the feeling that I'm gonna get in a fight, but I would still like to know ...

I'm 6 foot tall and only 120lbs...I've always been picked on my whole life...that's partly why I started taking Aikido, as a self defense, but not that much of a "Harming" self defense...
Hi David,

The Aikido's technics efficiency is a current question, often discuss in the forum.
IMHO, many many long time is needed for reaching a good efficiency in our technics. In the dojo, we works with partner whose the intention are not the same as in the street. The attacks and technics are codified and there is no real threat.
If you search mainly in the Aikido, the self defense aspect, maybe it is not a good choice, see karate or jujitsu or self-defence training.
Even if for many practionners, the self-defence reason was the primary motivation, with the year, we research other things in the Aikido pratice.
Your first Aikido's training years will learn you vigilance, help you to evaluate a threat, keep your distance for your safety from your attacker and so on but not how to defend in a street fighting....

Bye

have fun
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Old 05-23-2002, 06:21 AM   #3
DavidM
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As I said, I do not plan on getting in a fight anytime soon, nor do I go around with the feeling of start or getting into a fight. I was just kind of curious as to how well Aikido would stand up to Wrestlers/Kickboxers/Grapplers. I know it takes much time in Aikido Training to serve as a good self defense tool, I also know that I do not plan on quitting my Aikido trainging and that I will continue to train in Aikido until I am physically or mentally not able to do so anymore...
Thanks
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Old 05-23-2002, 06:47 AM   #4
paw
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David,

Perhaps the simpliest thing to say is find a wrestler(freestyle, folkstyle or greco)/judo player/bjj'er/sambist, etc... and train with them until you reach the desired result.

Alternatively, you could train in wrestling, judo, bjj (what have you) for a bit or attend a summer camp.

Regards,

Paul
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Old 05-23-2002, 07:11 AM   #5
Bruce Baker
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Grapplers, snakes, and wrestlers/OH MY!

Although the many advanced teachers and those with years of experience will say that vigilence, awareness will not allow grappling to happen in most situations, in some situations it absolutely will.

Grappling will become a chess game of who can wiggle and reverse jointlocks or position into a superior position that attains submission or breaking/damageing another human beings anatomy. Many times, striking to interrupt this process will allow you to use your Aikido training and some of its techniques ... your training from kneeling positions will make you more comfortable in these things.

There is no simple solution to training for all contingentcies? It ain't gonna happen!

There are a number of "Soft" targets on the human anatomy, learning how to use those for striking to interrupt the attacker is the first defense of nearly all striking arts. We do not always get into them in Aikido, but these areas would be the off limits areas during grappling practice ... so study them, and learn what type of strikes are effective.

Conversely, you will then have to defend these prime areas.

Maybe, if you learn these things, you will also understand why you should be alert when practicing Aikido, and how these soft areas are prime defense areas.

FYI: Soft areas are those easily access with a poke or low impact strike. Eyes, throat, wrists, elbows, knees, and some organ strikes.

Understand, this research is to understand the defensive techniques causing the least damage to protect yourself. This should be your only concern with learning these things out side of your Aikido practice.
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Old 05-23-2002, 11:04 PM   #6
SeiserL
 
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IMHO, even though we tend not to train against boxers, kickers, gapplers, or legitimate knife attacks (FMA), the principles still apply well. After a great deal of training, begin practicing with people from other arts and see for yourself.

Until again,

Lynn
Nidan Tenshinkai Aikido
Lucaylucay Kali JKD

BTW: I just finished drafting and submitting a series of articles on this very subject.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 05-24-2002, 04:29 AM   #7
DavidM
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Lynn,

Where can I get these articles, I would be very interested in reading them...
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Old 05-24-2002, 05:08 PM   #8
SeiserL
 
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>Where can I get these articles, I would be very interested in reading them>

Actually, they just got submitted the Black Belt Magazine. The Editor requested them after a photo shoot of Sensei Phong (July 2002)on Tenshinkai Aikido. I will try to keep the forum in the loop. Sensei Phong will also be in the October issue of Martial Arts and Combat Sports.

Until again,

Lynn
Nidan Tenshinkai Aikido
Lucaylucay Kali JKD

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 06-02-2002, 11:14 PM   #9
Detective Dobbs
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Good question,since wrestling is so popular theses days it seems everyone wants to know if they could defend against that style of an attack.The best way to get better at something is to practice correctly against or with it.Find a high school wrestler/judo,jj player and practice!And the same goes with kicks or kicking,stricking arts.Peace
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Old 06-11-2002, 12:31 PM   #10
ronmar
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I don't mean to depress you, but I don't think you would have much chance against a good wrestler/grappler at 6 foot and 120lbs. You are very light for your height and so would be easy to lift and throw.
If you are really interested in self defence, would it be possible for you to put on some weight? If not then I guess aikido is as good a bet as anything, but you would have to get very good.
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Old 07-01-2002, 08:08 PM   #11
Jermaine Alley
Dojo: Aikido Of Richmond
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Newaza Techniques

David,
Your comments or questions come at a good time. I had posted a discussion question dealing with the same aspects of altercations some time back...you know, to get some good replies.
I have recently found that I can somewhat cater my defenses to include ground work. I have been studying for a short time considering the amount of experience on the web here..but i have found that now that I have a really basic understanding of our "basic techniques", I can start to begin to figure out defenses for other attacks...be it kicks, or grappling moves etc.
Remember that aikido does have some historical ties to jujutsu which encompasses a bunch of different attacks.
All I can say is that there is a wealth of information out here on the web, and even probably in your own dojo. We have a few people in our school that have a basic understanding of ground work and kick defenses. Take some time out and try to build on that experience that is out here.
The term for unlimited martial creativity is Takemusu...(please correct me anyone, if I am using it improperly)....So once you have a basic understanding of how your particular system works, build on it. It is the person that makes the martial art, which ever one it is......Good Luck..
Jermaine
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Old 07-02-2002, 08:30 AM   #12
L. Camejo
 
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Exclamation Interesting

Hi All,

David: As said before, try to train with ppl that are pretty skilled in the ma that you have questions about, while using your aikido. The other thing would be to train a bit in those ma to get a feel for the rationale behind their principles (kinda like being uke to feel a technique and therefore understand it).

Very important, understand the ma ai of these arts. Aikido works when you make the other guy move by your rules. You are the conductor, they are the instruments. This means to keep your distance and tempt him to attack on your terms, placing you in a favourable tactical position.

I applied this while sparring with a few Judoka and TKD guys after tournament. Judoka and BJJ guys love to grab you to put you on the ground where they are strong. Since they like to grab, I dangled one of my hands temptingly in front of the guy while keeping maai. The Judo/BJJ ma ai (generally) is a lot closer than the Aikido maai, so the guy had to reaally come at me to get me, when he did, I let him grab my wrist, quick tenkan, easy kotegaeshi. He never knew what hit him.

There are only 2 strikes in Aikido, when the attacker strikes at you and when the attacker strikes the ground

As long as you think you have to "fight" i.e. extended combat with a person, rolling on the ground, blocking and jabbing - you have lost your "Aikido" initiative in my book, which is to end the conflict from the outset. At this point, best to switch to something else like jj or judo and striking.

An example of this concept is in special warfare, regardless of how well trained a SEAL Team may be, they are designed for quick ambush type ops, not sustained engagement against an entire infantry division. As such, they must dictate combat on their terms and not engage a larger enemy on a man to man basis. Hence, ambush and guerilla tactics. Most Aikidoka are not trained to fight to to toe with a skilled striker, of grapple on the ground with a skilled grappler (most, not all). As such, we have to defeat them on our terms if we want to control the conflict using "Aikido".

I hope this helps.
Just my 2 cents.
L.C.

--Mushin Mugamae - No Mind No Posture. He who is possessed by nothing possesses everything.--
http://www.tntaikido.org
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Old 07-02-2002, 08:55 AM   #13
REK
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Re: Interesting

Quote:
Originally posted by L. Camejo

Very important, understand the ma ai of these arts. Aikido works when you make the other guy move by your rules. You are the conductor, they are the instruments. This means to keep your distance and tempt him to attack on your terms, placing you in a favourable tactical position
......As long as you think you have to "fight" i.e. extended combat with a person, rolling on the ground, blocking and jabbing - you have lost your "Aikido" initiative in my book, which is to end the conflict from the outset. At this point, best to switch to something else like jj or judo and striking
.......As such, we have to defeat them on our terms if we want to control the conflict using "Aikido".

This is the single best response to the "Aikido vs 'x'" and "why doesn't Aikido work" debates. You have really summarized it nicely. This reminds me of something Bill Gleason used to say: "Aikido is what you use when your attacker does everything right".

I think it also does a good job of showing the beginning of that sticky discussion about whether Aikido "succeeds" when one avoids the confrontation altogether. The practitioner's response should be the same whether the conflict is verbal or has "gone hot". Ma-ai. Be in the center of the circle, make uke move around you. As in kenjutsu, when the blades can touch, the encounter is over. Extended boxing/grappling/locking is not Aikido, philosophically or practically.

Larry, can I print and post your response on our message board at the dojo? Hoooyah.

REK

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Old 07-02-2002, 08:22 PM   #14
L. Camejo
 
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Re: Re: Interesting

Quote:
Originally posted by REK

Larry, can I print and post your response on our message board at the dojo? Hoooyah.

REK
Thanks for the remarks Rek.

Sure you can post my stuff on your board. The price for the royalties is free training with you guys if I'm ever in your area.

Can't get enough.
L.C.

--Mushin Mugamae - No Mind No Posture. He who is possessed by nothing possesses everything.--
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Old 07-25-2002, 02:19 PM   #15
wanderingwriath
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This question has been posed a hundred times about Aikido versus a hundred styles of fighting. The one word answer remains the same. Maai
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Old 07-25-2002, 03:09 PM   #16
Dangus
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I know I have little practical experience with Aikido, and am only getting to know it on the surface, but from what I have studied so far, it really seems like O Sensei did have some aspects of attack in the art, that were either used to engage the opponent into a throw/pin/deflection, or, in a bind, to strike them outright.

From what I have observed and read, Aikido is strongly based on the movements of a swordfighter, and sword fighters certainly are at no disadvantage against a wrestler.

Didn't O Sensei say something like "When you have a sword, act like you have none. When you have no sword, act like you have one"? My interpretation of that is that you should not always rely on the sword to do all the work, you should have it compliment your ki, but when you do not have a sword, don't lose sight of it's nature. I could be wrong, but I suspect I'm not. A sword can be used for fancy dancing and staged combat, but it can also subtly be turned into a brutal strike if necessary.

I would suspect strongly that if a wrestler came at O Sensei and cornered him, O Sensei would have smacked him sensless...

"Those who beat their swords into plowshares plow for those who keep their's" -Ben Franklin
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Old 07-25-2002, 07:05 PM   #17
ChristianBoddum
 
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Hi !

I also wanna give Camejo thumps up,well put

indeed.

And for Dangus,sure stage figthing can be done

with swords,but the japanese sword is not designed for fencing as it is a twohand sword.

I have thin wrists but when someone grabs me thats not what the experience,a friend of mine

a FMA nidan says it feels like I have the root of a tree,It doesn't always seem that way in the dojo because it's a different situation,but there is something to the natural power you develop in aikido that has

surprised quite a few people around me by now,

including a wrestler.

Oyasumi nasai from yours truly.
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Old 07-25-2002, 08:11 PM   #18
paw
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In retrospect I was too polically correct in my original post.

I can only speak from my experiences, so other's mileage may vary.

Since 1997 I've trained brazilian jiu jitsu. During that time I have trained with and competed against wrestlers. Living in the midwest, wrestlers are fairly common athletes.

Physically, an average high school wrestler (folkstyle) who has wrestled for 3 years, ends their senior year more physically fit than 95% of aikidoka. Let me clarify this. Take a competitive runner. While the runner would trounce nearly any wrestler in, say a 5K run, a wrestler the same size is faster, stronger (both in absolute strength, power, and static strength to just name a few types of strength), quicker (both in terms of reaction time and acceleration) most likely more flexible and certainly has better anaerobic endurance). Add to this significantly better balance (base), a higher pain tolerance, a strong and high work ethic and a good degree of agressiveness and what you have is a formidable athlete.

At the colligiate level (folkstyle and greco roman) the bar gets raised considerably. At the national and internation level (freestyle and greco roman) and you have an individual who is more athletic than the average person can imagine.

The United States is unique in that wrestlers start with folkstyle not freestyle (Olympic wrestling). Folkstyle strongly awards control through riding time. In short, US wrestlers tend to be strong mat wrestlers (ne waza). Unless the aikidoka trains with an emphasis on ground work (Mits Yamashita does this), the aikidoka lacks the skill set to escape from the ground and in my experience keep a wresler on the ground, much less execute a pin or submission hold --- barring extreme skill differences or size differences.

While I agree that maai is the key consider:

1. a wrestler can shoot from a distance further than an aikidoka can effectively kick or punch.

2. the distance where both individuals can grip in preparation for a throw (commonly called the clinch range in bjj or the trapping range in jkd) is where the wrestler has a ton of experience. All wrestling matches start in the distance and greco roman wrestlers are unbelievably skilled at this range.

But again, this is my experience. There's no need to take my word for it. The Iowa Hawkeyes still have open practices. Watch one. Better yet, after practice walk onto the mat wearing a shirt that reads "I support Title IX" on the front and "We need to cut wrestling so we can have more women's sports" on the back and ask for a match. See how you fare.

Of course, I imagine someone will point out that they are referring to a street fight, not a sportive match. Ok. Again, watch an Iowa practice. Now tell the wrestlers that they can punch, kick, bite, ambush their victim, gang up on their victim, etc.... Do you really think that would make it a better situation?

Regards,

Paul
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Old 07-25-2002, 09:06 PM   #19
jk
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Thanks for mentioning Mits Yamashita, Paul...here's an article from ATM:

http://www.aiki.com/sneak/yamashita.html

For me, it's a very good read, but then that's just preaching to the converted. I certainly would love to cover the breadth of training Yamashita Sensei covered. Too bad there's not much BJJ around these parts...

Regards,
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Old 07-25-2002, 09:16 PM   #20
Dean H.
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David,

Your question is so interesting just in the way it is worded and due to to your body-build.

There are many decisive replies here already,

but I wanted to throw in my cents-worth.

I wrestled in high school and know there are

many techniques from that arena that are unusual to an aikidoka. Furthermore, I agree with the sentiment that a real "fighter" in great shape is a very formidable opponent for an average person contemplating Aikido.

Kick defenses and grappling are part of Aikido, if you stick with it long enough, however, I agree whole-heartedly with others that you should train within the art that worries you. I have done a little bit of TKD and Sombo and assure you it is a very different approach and feel than similar things you will encounter in Aikido.

Others have said it better than me:

Aikido will teach you, in the long run,

centeredness, timing, how to take balance, etc.

O-Sensei, remember, was more about spiritual application than fighting. Also, he was very competent in sumo as well as sword and jujutsu techniques, so don't discount cross training; however, it is up to all of us to study diligently why he moved away from these hard and competitive styles and formalized

Aikido.

Thanks for your patience...
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Old 07-25-2002, 10:21 PM   #21
Kevin Wilbanks
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All these 'does x really work against y?' discussions seem to go in the same direction, because the question is flawed. If you are serious about self-defense and winning real street fights, putting all your eggs in one basket is absurd. Aikido alone is a fairly small basket. By all reliable accounts, most real fights are ugly - it's difficult to discern styles or techniques, and there are no rules. Strategic concerns about what techniques are effective at what distance, etc... are important, but how you deal with extreme emotional stress and a million random particularities of the situation might end up being more important - who's drunk, tired, who grabs what, who's not paying attention at a key instant, who has friends present, the environment, etc...

Again, counting on a practice of limited scope like Aikido to make you into some kind of street super-hero is foolish. The same goes for any given grappling or pugilism style. To even get a start at being a competent street warrior, you would need to be comfortable with striking and grappling - standing and on the ground. That's just simple logic. Next, you'd have to train with sufficient intensity that your training might be some reasonable approximation of a street fight. This means training much rougher than 99% of what goes on in Aikido - it means getting bruises, welts, and pulled muscles routinely, and getting more serious injuries, like concussions and damaged joints fairly regularly. If you're not training that hard, I doubt the reality factor is very credible. Personally, I don't feel the need for that kind of readiness in my life justifies the cost.

Another factor to consider: where I live, concealed carry permits are a guaranteed right to non-criminals by state law. Permits are common. If you choose to take someone on, you may soon be staring down the barrel of a .38 or .45. No matter where I am, I almost always carry a one-hand-opening knife with a 3.5 inch locking razor sharp blade, which might prove inconvenient if you decide to take me down and wrestle me. While you're doing your million-dollar moves on someone, five of their friends could be spreading out behind you....

Let go of the delusion that martial arts practice will make you invincible or even much more than slightly more lucky than the next guy. Practice because you enjoy the activity and want to gain the many benefits it has to offer... superhero status isn't one of them.

K.

Last edited by Kevin Wilbanks : 07-25-2002 at 10:24 PM.
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Old 07-25-2002, 10:43 PM   #22
Kevin Wilbanks
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Quote:
paul watt (paw) wrote:
Physically, an average high school wrestler (folkstyle) who has wrestled for 3 years, ends their senior year more physically fit than 95% of aikidoka. Let me clarify this. Take a competitive runner. While the runner would trounce nearly any wrestler in, say a 5K run, a wrestler the same size is faster, stronger (both in absolute strength, power, and static strength to just name a few types of strength), quicker (both in terms of reaction time and acceleration) most likely more flexible and certainly has better anaerobic endurance). Add to this significantly better balance (base), a higher pain tolerance, a strong and high work ethic and a good degree of agressiveness and what you have is a formidable athlete.
I agree with this sentiment completely. From what I've seen, very few Aikidoka spend any significant effort on conditioning outside of their Aikido practice. I think the mysticism gets in the way. People seem to think that Aikido alone will somehow get them into great physical condition without having to go through all the effort that athletes in most other endeavors take for granted. Getting a good portion of Aikidoka off their butts and doing some basic, general strength/hypertrophy work and endurance intevals would be a start - not to even mention the kind of training for the kind of activity-specific adaptations you describe. 3 workouts per week totaling about 1.5 hours would make a world of difference. If more were serious about conditioning, the level of training would rise, and respect for Aikido in these kind of 'what if' discussions might improve too.

Kevin Wilbanks, CSCS
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Old 07-25-2002, 11:27 PM   #23
PeterR
 
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A couple of quick comments.

Any martial art which contains a component of physical contact is going to prepare you better than one that does not. Roughly speaking the greater the degree of pain and discomfort the better.

One of the most effective ways to do this without gross injury is sport - boxing, wrestling, kick boxing, even some forms of Aikido - all good.

Never quite understood the suggestion that somehow a Judo player for example is less capable of making the transition to nasty because he does a sport whereas this is not a problem with kata only training. I think those trained in combat sport can a) adapt much easier under pressure and b) take much more punishment. Relatively speaking of course.

It's not the art its the training method.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 08-12-2002, 04:14 AM   #24
villrg0a
 
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Hey David,

During long years of martial art practice, you will learn several techniques, etc. Some schools will even train you offensive and defensive techniques say against a tae-kwon-do or a karate practitioner.

Just by one look at your opponent you should be able to tell what style he practices, you can tell by his stance(s).

If you ever have to be engaged in a fight against a grappler or a wrestler, your best shot would be a one swift super fast snap jab, followed by a rear cross. Just like the JKD masters would say, better finish off a fight with one hit rather than a combination of several techniques.

But then again, it takes time to master speed in relation to distance.

Just my two cents.

Regards

Last edited by villrg0a : 08-14-2002 at 04:02 AM.


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Old 08-12-2002, 09:12 AM   #25
Jim ashby
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In the world of the "one shot knockout" I would paraphrase Wyatt Earp (I think!) " Speed's fine, accuracy's final".

Have fun.

Vir Obesus Stola Saeptus
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