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Old 06-09-2005, 09:49 AM   #1
james c williams
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Training against Violent Assault

Hi all,

A friend emailed me the following link and thought I'd share it here for some food for thought.

http://www.cyberkwoon.com/new/kb.php?mode=article&k=274

It basically describes possible training drills/workouts for cases of unexpected violent assault. I certainly agree with a lot of what the article has to say and I do feel that in Aikido we do prepare for a lot of case scenarios but an unexpected violent assault is surely not one of them. No matter what, even ushiro waza doesn't quite fit the gap.

From the article, I wonder if there are:

a) any Aikido dojo's that incorporate such training?
b) is there any real need for such type of training, if no, why not?
c) if you wanted to try and train this way would you go and ask your sensei to incorporate this into the class?

Thanks for all replies in advance.

James
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Old 06-09-2005, 01:47 PM   #2
bratzo_barrena
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Re: Training against Violent Assault

I found funny what the author of that article says.
there's a huge gap in its article.
Every martial art training should be aimed to develpe proper defense mechanims against any attack, spected or unspected, but do not confuse techniques, which are designed to counter an attack once the attacked person knows is being attacked; with attention which is an state of mind that allows you to always be ready and in constant awareness of your suroundings, so you won't be surprisely attacked.
the importat thing for the martial artist is to develope a state of awareness all the time, it's not easy, but it's the goal. so even an unespected aggresion won't catch you by surprise.
but if, like in the article, you are brushing your teeth, and you're only concentrated in that action and loose awareness of your suroundings, there's no martial art can help you.
you'll be cought entirely by sorprise, with no time for reaction.
So, martial arts is not only the technique, is training of awareness too.
having awareness all the time, is easy?, no; is its possible?, yes, but requieres a lot of work and will to achieve it.
Then the author gives examples of proper training against this "violent sudden attacks", it's stupid, once you train it in a concious, standarized manner, they are not sudden or unespected anymore.
to be ready for sorpresive attack is not a matter of training techniques, it's a matter of developing a constant awarness of your own and your suroundings.
just my opinion
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Old 06-09-2005, 04:31 PM   #3
Ketsan
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Re: Training against Violent Assault

Quote:
Bratzo Barrena wrote:
I found funny what the author of that article says.
there's a huge gap in its article.
Every martial art training should be aimed to develpe proper defense mechanims against any attack, spected or unspected, but do not confuse techniques, which are designed to counter an attack once the attacked person knows is being attacked; with attention which is an state of mind that allows you to always be ready and in constant awareness of your suroundings, so you won't be surprisely attacked.
the importat thing for the martial artist is to develope a state of awareness all the time, it's not easy, but it's the goal. so even an unespected aggresion won't catch you by surprise.
but if, like in the article, you are brushing your teeth, and you're only concentrated in that action and loose awareness of your suroundings, there's no martial art can help you.
you'll be cought entirely by sorprise, with no time for reaction.
So, martial arts is not only the technique, is training of awareness too.
having awareness all the time, is easy?, no; is its possible?, yes, but requieres a lot of work and will to achieve it.
Then the author gives examples of proper training against this "violent sudden attacks", it's stupid, once you train it in a concious, standarized manner, they are not sudden or unespected anymore.
to be ready for sorpresive attack is not a matter of training techniques, it's a matter of developing a constant awarness of your own and your suroundings.
just my opinion
"In all forms of strategy, it is necessary to maintain the combat stance in everyday life and to make your everyday stance your combat stance."
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Old 06-09-2005, 09:01 PM   #4
Sanshouaikikai
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Re: Training against Violent Assault

I totally agree with what that guy wrote in that article. I do kind of agree with Mr. Barrena about it being stupid to train against surprised attacks 'cause you're gonna know what's going to happen anyway no matter how hard you try to "surprise" the person. However...I think that if you do what they did in the Pink Panther series (I know it's a funny movie, LOL!) having someone attack you in very random situations without you expecting it like Kato did...would have a good effect on how one defends his or herself in a real street situation! Seriously! Think about that!
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Old 06-09-2005, 09:26 PM   #5
eyrie
 
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Re: Training against Violent Assault

There's a HUGE difference between "static" training and "dynamic" training. Forms are a static training tool, i.e. one learns the "shape" of a movement by training statically, slowly and deliberately, where to put your feet, your body, your hands etc. etc..

In dynamic training, the idea is to let go of the form and the "fine" detail and revert to gross movement. This is necessary to allow the student to experience the *various* mental states of awareness. A constant state of awareness is not possible, it is simply an ideal - something that takes even the most enlightened Zen master a lifetime to achieve.

So, yes, I do this quite regularly in my class. First the student learns the "forms", then we play multiple attackers. The one's that are fixated on the "form", are usually the ones that get "hit".
Also, if uke does not really attack, the flow is broken and people end up standing there waiting for the other to "do something". (Usually this means someone would have already been hit SEVERAL times, if it were for real).

Ignatius
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Old 06-10-2005, 02:16 AM   #6
philipsmith
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Re: Training against Violent Assault

By definition you cannot prepare for the unexpected.
In my opinion you have to just live your life, you can't walk around in a state of constant paranoia where you think you're going to be attcked at any moment.
And yes when it does happen you will probably get hit, the important thing in that situation is how do you cope with that.
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Old 06-10-2005, 03:19 AM   #7
james c williams
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Re: Training against Violent Assault

Quote:
Philip Smith wrote:
By definition you cannot prepare for the unexpected.
In my opinion you have to just live your life, you can't walk around in a state of constant paranoia where you think you're going to be attcked at any moment.
And yes when it does happen you will probably get hit, the important thing in that situation is how do you cope with that.
Philip,

What you said is exactly what I am thinking. Walking around in total paranoia is not a way of life.
However, my point of introducing this article is more for the purposes of being able to deal with the unexpected after its happened.

e.g. X gets a sucker punch from behind from Y, X is shocked from the unexpected. What proceeds from there could be one of many possibilities; one being X goes into a state of shock and or surprise, fails to recover and gets a severe beating - or two, X is able to recuperate and assess the scenario they are in and defend their state of present condition.

Living in a big city I have seen a few such episodes and it seems to me that this kind of attack is more the norm instead of the rarity and oddly enough the attacker prevails most of the time. Awareness as some have said in this thread I believe is more than capable in preventing this type of attack, however such times can be where even our own awareness makes a wrong judgement where we are then placed in such a style of an attack.

Training in a simulated environment of such types of attacks, although not the real deal, is as close as one is going to get. For example, we could simulate a street attack where one can walk and nominate one of 3 or 4 partners attack him at random and without knowing who of the 4 will the attacker be (protection such as gloves are of course insinuated - please note that I am not saying we should go out and assault our partners but try to get as close to the real thing and see how we come out of it at the end of it).

Even if we don't experience and or learn do deal with the real effect we might appreciate a little more what is involved and raise our state of awareness by a few notches higher.

James
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Old 06-10-2005, 04:12 AM   #8
creinig
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Re: Training against Violent Assault

Quote:
Philip Smith wrote:
By definition you cannot prepare for the unexpected.
In my opinion you have to just live your life, you can't walk around in a state of constant paranoia where you think you're going to be attcked at any moment.
That's one of the nice things about awareness training. First it is really similar to paranoia, but with time it becomes subconscious and automatic, running in the background while you "just live your life" as usual. An example (although a pretty boring one):
Some time ago I was walking in the inner city, minding my own business. Suddenly, a young couple about 10m to the front and left *really* stood out from the crowd. I didn't even see them before, but in the next second they were the center of my attention. It took me a couple of seconds to realize that it was because they altered their movement to a perfect "intercept course". I'm sure they didn't even notice it, but my awareness immediately alerted me. No paranoia involved at all.
It's still very rare for me to experience that kind of awareness, but it'll improve...
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Old 06-10-2005, 07:39 AM   #9
ian
 
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Re: Training against Violent Assault

I completely agree with the article and although you (logically) can't train for the unexpected, we CAN determine what is not expected by the average person, we can train for different scenarious and we can train for instantaneous reaction. As aikidoka we must be aware that zanshin is probably the most important aspects of martial arts - without awareness we will almost always be defeated (from experience - you'll know that being hit before responding rapidly decreases your chances of making any suitable response).

Many many many attacks are a standard attack type for that attacker, and if you respond effectively to that first attack you have suprised THEM.

However, aikido (I think compared to many martial arts) is geared to training in this way. We have sudden, aggressive, single attacks, usually with nage in an open posture. We also do multiple attack.

I always find when I do daily training (e.g. on week long courses) or after doing alot of randori, my awareness improves to the point of paranoia - to the extent that walking in the supermarket I am concious that I do not want anyone directly behind me.

I heard that Ueshiba's aiki-jitsu instructor did not allow anyone within 3 yards of him - now if a renowned martial artist is that paranoid - what should we be doing?

Aikido training saved my life - not because of the techniques, but because when someone lunged at me with a knife, I moved off centre line and entered (and actually struck them in the face - much more reminiscent of a jo strike). In aikido the techniques are pretty irrelevant - as I say in my quote; you have to understand the training method (and just as the passage said - you have to understand WHAT you are training and this can only be done by understanding how the dojo is different from real attacks). Aikido is a superb self-defence; I just think people often aren't aware of what they are actually training themselves to do.

I remember Ron Tinsdale (?) was very dubious about some things I said about previous confrontations I've had (particularly cos I'm quite small and had some confrontations with people almost double my weight). However it is because of the psychology of response which gave me a massive advantage. I was able to respond without having to 'worry' about combat - it just happened. I couldn't have planned a repsonse (it was completely subconcious), but I did train just to respond - by doing aikido.

Last edited by ian : 06-10-2005 at 07:43 AM.

---understanding aikido is understanding the training method---
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Old 06-10-2005, 07:49 AM   #10
ian
 
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Re: Training against Violent Assault

PS. I'm not convinced 'staged' attacks are any better than what is done in aikido. What we need to do is to train a body movement when someone else moves suddenly or aggressively towards us. In a simulated attack, more than in a dojo, we are still expecting an attack and are running through our brain what response we make make.

When we do weapon work, when we do attacks - everything in aikido; we are training to move simultaneously with the attacker. Unlike many other martial arts we do not (usually) step through the techniques one by one, and neither do we 'compete' (which is very artifificial). One sudden attack, an immediate response.

A funny episode about a year ago was with an ex-student at a stag party. His brother went to grab him, saying simultaneously 'what would you do if...' but the body movement alone was enough to elicit a response where he moved and raised his hand to his brothers face (actually striking him moderately hard).

Sorry for long posts... this is a pet rant of mine. Aikido is a self-defence training method - not a set of techniques!

Last edited by ian : 06-10-2005 at 07:54 AM.

---understanding aikido is understanding the training method---
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Old 06-10-2005, 08:45 AM   #11
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Training against Violent Assault

Quote:
I remember Ron Tinsdale (?) was very dubious about some things I said about previous confrontations I've had (particularly cos I'm quite small and had some confrontations with people almost double my weight). However it is because of the psychology of response which gave me a massive advantage. I was able to respond without having to 'worry' about combat - it just happened. I couldn't have planned a repsonse (it was completely subconcious), but I did train just to respond - by doing aikido.
I was? Sorry, don't remember...could you refresh my memory? My opinion may well have changed...

Thanks,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
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"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
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Old 06-10-2005, 12:04 PM   #12
Michael Hackett
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Re: Training against Violent Assault

As a cop of many years, I don't think you can really train for surprise attacks. You can train for particular, dangerous situations which could result in a surprise attack. An example is how officers are trained to approach automobiles during traffic stops. Checking the trunk lid as he moves toward the driver/passenger area, looking into the back seat as he approaches, standing slightly behind the driver's shoulder, gun hand free. Those kinds of practices help prevent big surprises.

Bartenders are really good at picking out cops as they enter a tavern in plainclothes too. Most people will simply walk in and find an open seat. A cop will linger a second at the front door, scan the whole room, and then find a place where it is difficult to get behind him. It takes a lot of practice to stifle that behavior when working undercover too.

Keeping your situation awareness, your zanshin, is, at least in my opinion, the best you can do in a normal life. Depending on where you are, your awareness level raises or lowers. I have a friend in the dojo who delights in sneaking up behind me and grabbing me before or after class. He almost always succeeds in startling me in the dojo. He hasn't been able to get very close outside the dojo however as I'm more aware of my surrounding outside the safe harbor of the training hall.

I think a good and honest sense of awareness is all you can reasonably hope to train for. This might be a great topic for George Ledyard Sensei to weigh in on - he has broad experience in training people in just this area.

Michael
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Old 06-10-2005, 02:57 PM   #13
bratzo_barrena
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Re: Training against Violent Assault

For what I have read, many confuse an unexpected/surpresive attack, with training against any attack, without knowing which would be.
In the latter, even though tori doesn't know which attack uke is gonna use or in which moment uke is gonna hit, tori KNOWS is gonna be hit, so is not a surpresive attack. You can train against random attacks, but random doesn't mean unexpected.
Unexpected is when you just don realize you're gonna be attacked.
You can't train techniques against an unexpected attack, once you responde is not unexpected anymore, you can only train your awareness to avoid being surprised.
How do you train your awarness? well, take the same awarness, attention, concentration, that you have in class (knowing taht yo're gonna be attaked) and have that same attention outside the dojo. You don't need to be in an constat state of paranoia, as someone said, just pay attention, and relax. sounds simple, but is not, usually we relax so much tahta we loose awarness and are easy to surprise with any attack.
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Old 06-10-2005, 03:54 PM   #14
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Training against Violent Assault

lots of good comments and ideas!

I train with my soldiers dealing with unexpected attacks and overwhelming force. It is very much a reality when conducting cordon and search/building clearing techniques. We never go in alone, but people will jump out from behind doors, push you over debri and furniture in dark rooms.

The ability to react appropriately and regain yourself is vital to your survival.

Aikido certainly teaches you good posture and appropriate response. We don't really do aikido, but practice BJJ and weapons tactics. I really have grown to appreciate the ground fighting skills. They help you overcome an initial attack and regain control.

I will have guys get "jumped" and pummelled, then have them roll the assailant either into the guard or rear mount. Usually if they can hold the guy there until there buddy can regain the situation with a butt stroke or some other imobilizing technique, they have a decent chance of survival.

It is difficult at best to train for an ambush attack. I believe most real attacks in assaults will be this type of attack. You will lose the initial advantage, and will not have the proper kamae, having the skills to regain it is important.

As a self defense methodology, I find aikido typically is very weak since we typically start with uke/nage in balanced posture and not from a clinch, or close in dominate position....but then, aikido is not really concerned with self defense, but with teaching correct principles of dynamic movement.

Someone above already covered it well. You can't really go around prepared for all possible situation, nor live your life worrying about being attacked. If you are, I'd recommend many, many more effective methods of self defense other than aikido. avoidance of the situation being the top choice, followed closely by weapons of various types.

As much of an "expert" as I am with various weapons and lethal fighting tools/methods, i'd too be just as much "toast" in a real self defense situation on the civilian street in a suprise attack....you simply can only do so much when suprised, overwhelmed, alone, and have no means of weapons. I try to avoid that scenario as much as possible and that has worked the best for me so far!
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Old 06-12-2005, 07:09 PM   #15
DustinAcuff
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Re: Training against Violent Assault

I actually have the luxury/blessing of having a sensei who does teach for this outcome as much as possible.

The biggest thing that a suprise attack causes is fear. If you are attacked in a way that you have never concidered an attack you may be rendered helpless because you have no response. The solution is make a conditioned response. Train everywhere! Train for someone kicking open your bathroom stall and pointing a gun in your face. Train for someone walking up to you and trying to put a knife in your back. Train blindfolded. Train until you can do everything quickly and efficiently without tensing up. This is the only way you can really prepare.

You cannot defend against a suprise/unprovked attack intended to kill you. If someone walks up behind you and slits your throat, it is a matter of seconds until you fall unconcious, and your response MUST be to try to stop the bleeding. You cannot do anything about someone randomly killing you, but you can do something about someone hitting you from behind.

Train for everything you can think of. There are no absolutes but training might help you live through this kind of eventuality. A friend of mine, a cage-fighter, once said "the more you sweat on the mat the less you bleed in the cage". I think that applies quite well to ANY form of MA training.
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Old 07-01-2005, 07:57 PM   #16
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Re: Training against Violent Assault

Quote:
Alex Lawrence wrote:
"In all forms of strategy, it is necessary to maintain the combat stance in everyday life and to make your everyday stance your combat stance."
So does that mean I have to go walking around in tsuki kumai everywhere I go?

Good judgment comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgment.
-Barry LePatner
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Old 07-01-2005, 10:59 PM   #17
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Re: Training against Violent Assault

I love it how everyone is always being attacked, you know?

Bryce
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Old 07-02-2005, 05:30 PM   #18
Ketsan
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Re: Training against Violent Assault

Quote:
James Matarrese wrote:
So does that mean I have to go walking around in tsuki kumai everywhere I go?
*giggle*
That reminds me of the time I was watching some Aikidoka practicing. I can't remember what technique they were doing but what sticks in my mind is that they were all desperate to keep both feet perminently flat on the floor. This led to the amusing sight of them all dragging their locked rear leg about as they were entering in. Very gestapo.


In answer to the question though. No. I don't think Musashi meant we should all wander about in a fighting stance. For one thing it'd give away your particular stratagy (aka martial art) almost immediately. To me fighting stance is a mental state as well as a physical thing, so I interpret it as keeping the same frame of mind as you would like in combat i.e. a relaxed, detached, alert, mental state where you accept what is happening and do not wish it to be any other way so that you can immediately react to what's happening around you and will not be shocked by a surprise attack and wont waste vital seconds making sure you're under attack before reacting.
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Old 07-02-2005, 05:40 PM   #19
Ketsan
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Re: Training against Violent Assault

Quote:
Dustin Acuff wrote:
I actually have the luxury/blessing of having a sensei who does teach for this outcome as much as possible.

The biggest thing that a suprise attack causes is fear. If you are attacked in a way that you have never concidered an attack you may be rendered helpless because you have no response. The solution is make a conditioned response. Train everywhere! Train for someone kicking open your bathroom stall and pointing a gun in your face. Train for someone walking up to you and trying to put a knife in your back. Train blindfolded. Train until you can do everything quickly and efficiently without tensing up. This is the only way you can really prepare.

You cannot defend against a suprise/unprovked attack intended to kill you. If someone walks up behind you and slits your throat, it is a matter of seconds until you fall unconcious, and your response MUST be to try to stop the bleeding. You cannot do anything about someone randomly killing you, but you can do something about someone hitting you from behind.

Train for everything you can think of. There are no absolutes but training might help you live through this kind of eventuality. A friend of mine, a cage-fighter, once said "the more you sweat on the mat the less you bleed in the cage". I think that applies quite well to ANY form of MA training.
Amen
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Old 07-03-2005, 06:30 PM   #20
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Re: Training against Violent Assault

We actually do quite a bit of this type of training. We practice doing chokes from behind and chokes from in front . We also practice doing evasion from attacks w/a knife and things like taht.
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Old 07-05-2005, 04:59 AM   #21
Nick Simpson
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Re: Training against Violent Assault

I dont like self defense training. No one can train you to defend yourself. Its something that is soley upto you and how you react/counter-attack in a situation. For instance, how do you train how to bite someones ear off in the dojo? You cant, not unless you want your training partners to comeback next week. But this is possibly the only form of defense a person being raped might have, along with eye gouging, etc etc. In my opinion, the best idea is to be aware of all your options and not rule anything out. You can train all you like and call it self defense, but its not, is it? I remember a girl telling me that she'd done a 6 week sd course and they had learnt how to hip throw someone grabbing you from behind...

Thats just my opinion, yours might differ...

They're all screaming about the rock n roll, but I would say that it's getting old. - REFUSED.
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Old 07-05-2005, 05:46 AM   #22
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Re: Training against Violent Assault

biting ears and eye gouging does pretty much one thing to an assailant that is attacking you hopped up on adrenalin and/or alcohol/drugs...it pissing him off further.

If someone is close enough to you to control your abilitiy to escape and defend yourself, then you need to practice how to get back into a position of control. That we can practice in the dojo.

However, even though we can practice it, the chances of success for one that is attacked are still pretty small, i believe.

The assailant is probably not stupid. He has chosen his "target" based on a variety of factors, mainly he will 1. be better armed (or at least believe he is). 2. he will pick a "controlled" location 3. he will typically outweigh the opponent/or outnumber with buddies. 4. He has a predetermined goal in mind, like robbery or rape. 5. He believes he will win and is probably right.

The statistics of succes are on his side. So, the best thing you can do is to reduce these risk factors. Reducing them does not involve empty hand martial skill. Simply having a buddy and staying in well lit/well travelled areas is the least expensive way to tilt the scales in your favor.

practicing eye gouging, eye biting, groin kicking, and foot smashes is a waste of time IMHO unless you are using it as a distractor to regain your control...and it does not require any practice at all really since we all possess the ability already.
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Old 07-05-2005, 06:12 AM   #23
Nick Simpson
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Re: Training against Violent Assault

Hence my point that training 'self-defence techniques' is largely useless...

They're all screaming about the rock n roll, but I would say that it's getting old. - REFUSED.
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Old 07-05-2005, 06:40 AM   #24
samurai_kenshin
 
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Re: Training against Violent Assault

Quote:
Alex Lawrence wrote:
In answer to the question though. No. I don't think Musashi meant we should all wander about in a fighting stance. For one thing it'd give away your particular stratagy (aka martial art) almost immediately. To me fighting stance is a mental state as well as a physical thing, so I interpret it as keeping the same frame of mind as you would like in combat i.e. a relaxed, detached, alert, mental state where you accept what is happening and do not wish it to be any other way so that you can immediately react to what's happening around you and will not be shocked by a surprise attack and wont waste vital seconds making sure you're under attack before reacting.
Ummm...that was a joke...but you did clarify what he meant, so... thanks... *awkward silence*

Good judgment comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgment.
-Barry LePatner
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Old 07-05-2005, 07:04 AM   #25
Nick Simpson
Dojo: White Rose Aikido - Durham University
Location: Gateshead
Join Date: Oct 2003
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Re: Training against Violent Assault

I believe he also meant that there should be no stances? You should stand and move while fighting in the same way that you stand and move while going about your normal day. Therefore you wont waste precious time thinking about what to do, you would just do it. Im paraphasing but thats the impression I got, then again i have seen pictures of musashi in several different niten ichi ryu stances but possibly those were just tools for learning/teaching. The main image I have of musashi is with his swords drawn but arms relaxed and 'neutral' as if to look ungaurded and to invite attack. or something. I've seen that 'portrait' more than any of the ones where he is demonstrating niten ichi ryu kamae.

They're all screaming about the rock n roll, but I would say that it's getting old. - REFUSED.
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