How does your style fight?

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DaveB

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Is it not? Ins't the whole point of Aikido to blend with your attacker, isn't the whole pint of Ju-jitsu to yield instead of trying to meet force with force?

Yes, but as you point out, those strategies have their own terminologies. You blend and yield and project etc. These methods are your path to victory. Saying you adapt is just meaningless: it's not possible to fight without adapting. Every time you adjust your aim to compensate for different opponent height you adapt.

The vast majority of the people who have said to me that their strategy is to adapt have had striking art bases. They just weren't used to thinking in strategic terms about how they fight.
 

Tony Dismukes

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The platonic ideal of a BJJ practitioner fighting would probably be something like the following:

1) Control the distance standing - either too far or too near for the opponent to strike effectively.
2) Establish the clinch
3) Take the opponent down by the easiest method possible
4) Establish a dominant position on the ground to prevent the opponent from attacking effectively or escaping.
5) If necessary, soften up the opponent with strikes that he can't return or just tire him out (both based on positional control).
6) Use superior leverage to finish the opponent with a choke or joint lock.

Bear in mind that a smart practitioner knows when it is necessary to deviate from the platonic ideal in real life.

My personal approach to fighting is based on 34 years of training in a variety of arts, including BJJ, Muay Thai, Bujinkan Taijutsu, Kali, Judo, Wrestling, Boxing and more. I can't simplify the explanation of it beyond:

1) Protect myself long enough to evaluate the situation and determine my immediate tactical goal (disengage and run or shield a vulnerable third party or get to a weapon or restrain someone without hurting them or inflict as much damage as possible or get to my feet if I've been knocked down or whatever)
2) Use whatever tools I have in my toolbox to achieve that tactical goal
3) Maintain awareness of what's going on so that I can change my tactical goal if the situation changes.
 

JowGaWolf

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Jow ga, thanks for the form video. I enjoy studying them to try and discern the core idea behind them.

While you are correct that the individual does adapt the strategy of the fighting style, in most cases there is a core ideal which is the thing that is adapted.

Can you give some examples of different individual variations of your style and explain what makes them the same style?
Jow Ga is made of 3 different fighting systems. The things that the founder thought was important are fast and powerful foot work and strong stances. Students are always reminded "the head of Hung Gar the tail of Choy Gar (Hung Tao Choy Mei)" there's not much beyond this that I know of in terms of core ideas and strategy of fighting. I could be wrong, but I think the reason there is no strategy of fighting because the techniques contain the strategy all the student has to do is trust the technique and do it correctly. I actually looked it up and couldn't find anything on any of the other Jow Ga websites. Below is a picture of the same technique. If thrown correctly the technique should cause the fist to land in the desired spots even if the technique has been altered slightly. Notice where my fist is landing: to the temple, to the back of the head behind the ear, to the jaw. I'm not aiming for these areas. I'm trusting the technique because the technique determines where my fist lands. The only thing that I aim for is the head in general.

training%20technique.jpg


The closest that I got was a poem that a general gave to the founder after fighting with him in a contest, but it's of an acknowledgement of Jow Lungs fighting ability and not the fighting system itself. The poem speaks of the founders ability to know when to attack, how to leverage force, and when to reserve his energy.

The variations of the style fall into 2 camps, Dean Chin and Mainland China. Dean Chin brought Jow Ga to the U.S. and it varies a little. For example the same technque may differ between a punch or a grab at the end. My school steps out with our front foot a school in Virgina steps out with their back foot. Other than that there's not much difference. With one exception. There's a school in Sydney, Australia that has Wu Shu added to the system. Original Jow Ga doesn't have any Wu Shu in it all. The video below shows stepping out with the back leg and the grab at the end of the application.
The instructor of my school thinks that stepping out with the back leg was only supposed to be a training tool to help students learn how to connect their power. My Sifu thinks it's wrong no matter how it was meant to be a training too. The grab at the end of the application shown in the video may be misinterpreted as well. To increase speed we aren't supposed to make a fist until it's time to impact. When we do this at the end of a hook it looks like a grab but it's not.

Jow Ga has no wasted moves meaning that every move serves a purpose and has a usable function. For me I try to be what the style is known for. Fast and powerful footwork and strong stances, but I can tell you that most Jow Ga Students probably aren't that into their stances to the extent that it becomes the core of everything else. I'm basing this on what I see from other Jow Ga Students in sparring and competition.

This is a video of me experimenting with my stances. In the video my opponent is focused on grabbing me for a take down. I'm focused on using my stance to prevent the take down. Only when I can fight in a low stance like this without becoming tired, will I feel like I've accomplished the strong stance that the system is known for. So far I'm the only in my school that is really into strong stances to this extent.
 

Kung Fu Wang

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Wang, obtain a clinch and...? Hold on until the police come? How would you adapt that to fighting multiple assailants.
If it's

- 1-1, you try to obtain a clinch so you can stop a striking game and start your grappling game ASAP.
- 1-many, you try to maintain your mobility and play the hit (or take down) and run game.

Here are some general strategies used by Chinese wrestlers:

- Drag your opponent, run in circle, and force him to either resists against you, or yield into you.
- Use your kick to set up your punch, use your punch to set up your clinch, use your clinch to set up your throw, use your throw to set up your ground game.
- Get both of your opponent's legs if you can, otherwise get one of his legs first and get his other leg afterward.
- Move yourself out of your opponent's attacking path and lead him into the emptiness.
- If you punch at me, I'll run you down. If you kick at me, I'll run you down. If you do nothing, I'll still run you down.
- If you want to throw your opponent backward, pull him first. If you want to throw your opponent forward, push him first.
- In striking art, you want "head on collision". In throwing art, you want "rear end collision".
- When you get your opponent's head, his body will follow.
- If you can bend your opponent's spine or knee joint sideway, you have taken all his defense and counters away.
- 1 is better than 1,2 and 1,2 is better than 1,2,3.
- Kick low then punch high. Attack left then attack right.
- Force a striker to play grappling game. Force a grappler to play striking game.
- Pretend you are nervous, avoid eyes contact, shake your body, pee in your pants if you can. You suddenly jump in and eat your opponent alive.
 
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Buka

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When it hits the fan - striking from hands up and chin down. When he moves you move. Close - seek position, get position, then onslaught or submission.

When training - hands up, chin down. When he moves, you move. Get into the kitchen, fight. Just keep fighting while you learn. Fighting gives the only feedback needed for.....you know, fighting.

We all train differently. And it's all good.
 
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DaveB

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JowGaWolf, keep up the good work!

Your style's forms are really where it's strategy will be encapsulated. Looking over the videos you've shown I can see some common themes:
As you mentioned there's emphasis on strong wide and deep stances.

Tactically this means that your first movement in most encounters will be to sink and let attackers break against your structure rather than evade.

The forms seem to emphasise pressing forwards, possibly using long stepping to take angles. Where retreat is required it seems limited to recoiling into the stance only to again spring off the back leg and so maintaining forward pressure.

The use of a hip side chamber with long stances, combined with the relatively static stances suggests both an emphasis on power striking and a strong use of pulling to open and unbalance. This appears further supported by a switch from linear to circular striking when faced with an opponent who can mix it up in close.

With regards to the grab vs punch, forms are most useful when you allow them to remain slightly unfixed. A punch application works fine: you learn how to flow from defence to attack with the same hand. But should you face an opponent with faster hands than you? Your only hope may lie in being able to trap and immobilise him. Both lessons are relevant, useful and present in the same move.set. It's what makes forms really useful as a training tool.

Let me know if you recognise anything in my analysis or if I'm way off the n
 

JowGaWolf

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DaveB Thanks.

Tactically this means that your first movement in most encounters will be to sink and let attackers break against your structure rather than evade.
Thanks...Correct this is the Hung Gar perspective of the system. This is the one that I tend to lend more towards my fellow classmates don't like it because it requires really strong legs to make it work. They prefer the faster footwork found in Choy Gar, which is good but the more the feet move the less rooted a person is.

A lower stance by default makes it difficult for an opponent to attack efficiently, it causes the opponent to hesitate, and for me it's easier to defend from. The opponents hesitation can then be used to my advantage. You can see the hesitation that it causes in this video. When I'm sparring the hesitation gives me time to analyze his movements and to become more familiar with his timing. It also makes it easier for me to see the intent. There are tons of benefits to low stances but most people can't stay in a low stance for any significant amount of time in a fight situation.

The forms seem to emphasize pressing forwards, possibly using long stepping to take angles.
Correct on the pressing forwards, The long stepping isn't used. This is a bad example of our basic footwork (mechanics are wrong), but the distance traveled is about right.

Where retreat is required it seems limited to recoiling into the stance only to again spring off the back leg and so maintaining forward pressure.
Yes and no. Yes recoiling into the stance is only one option and not the one that is taught. It's more of me trying to hold my ground with my stance. There are about 6 or 7 ways to retreat that I can think off the top of my head.

The use of a hip side chamber with long stances, combined with the relatively static stances suggests both an emphasis on power striking and a strong use of pulling to open and unbalance. This appears further supported by a switch from linear to circular striking when faced with an opponent who can mix it up in close.
This is about correct. The static stances are more of an acknowledgement that there's no need for me to bounce around when the goal of my opponent is to attack.

With regards to the grab vs punch, forms are most useful when you allow them to remain slightly unfixed. A punch application works fine: you learn how to flow from defence to attack with the same hand. But should you face an opponent with faster hands than you? Your only hope may lie in being able to trap and immobilise him.
All of my videos show me concentrating on certain things within the fighting system so they aren't a complete picture. I have yet to spar at full speed. I usually keep it lower than 40% speed so I can focus on technique more. This hook is about 50-60% speed for me. My opponent was a beginner and I wanted to test my speed a little to since I rarely do. You'll hear me hit his gloves twice and then the hook that was the defense, then you'll see the hook flash (That's the speed). If they have faster hands then I only need to block the first punch off center to either position myself or the punch in a way that the second punch becomes useless. Also notice that my stance changes.

For the most part you are 90% correct with the anaylsis of the video. The other stuff that was off was only because the videos don't give a complete picture. You can only analysis what's on the video and you did a good job with that.
 

Human Makiwara

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In one word. Dirty. We do spar but don't use the techniques we practice. Traditional karate is not a sport. Strike soft areas with hard points. Break things. Destroy stances. I enjoy the kumite aspect of MA very much but I wouldn't use self defense training for sport/fun. This convo could get very deep very fast.
 

Marnetmar

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Face the opponent (Not necessarily as in face-to-face, mind you.) Follow your opponent's body movements, clear the space before striking, use forward pressure to occupy the space so the opponent cannot utilize it effectively, but only once you have an idea of what your opponent is capable of at such a range. Plan your strategy around this. Yield to force (think of the movement of the opponent's entire body rather than a strike alone) in order to reface at the most advantageous angle and close the distance. When applicable, allow the opponent to close the distance for you instead.

When the distance is closed and variables are eliminated, make use of elbows, uppercuts, body shots and strikes to the head and neck depending on what techniques are available to you at the time.
 
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DaveB

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In one word. Dirty. We do spar but don't use the techniques we practice.

Can you elaborate on this please? What do you use if not the techniques you practice and what do you do with those techniques?
 
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DaveB

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What style's are you guys presenting?
 

Human Makiwara

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In Uechi Ryu we practice a style of practical self defense. The techniques we train are not what you would want to use in a friendly round or sparring. When we spar, we stand in a sporty style bladed stance and bounce around kicking and punching to the body and head. This is far from the traditional style we study. It's a kin to tae qwon do. Throwing elbows to the ribs, eye slapping and throat strikes have no place in sport style competition. There is always room to practice your defensive movement and blocking during kumite but your offense should not consist of technique designed to defend your life. Kicking an opponent for sport is much different than kicking an opponent to finish there evening.
 
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DaveB

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Thanks for the reply HM,

Two questions come to mind from your comments:
1. how do you develop the delivery system for your traditional system? If you don't spar what do you do to ensure that you can hit a moving opponent with the trad methods.
2. Going back to the thread question, what strategies are taught/developed via the traditional elements? There must be some guiding rules for getting into position or getting around your opponent with the specific methods of Uechi ryu?
 

Human Makiwara

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We have a variety of partner drills, freestyle and preset, with which to practice attack and defense. When sparring you can apply anything you'd like really but unless you plan on hurting someone with attacks that would be deemed illegal in sport you fall back to a competition style of fighting. I think it's hard for people to separate real self defense with sport karate or kickboxing. We have plenty of ways to hone the traditional art as well as sparring classes to work on those tactics. I always try to apply my distancing and defensive and offensive movements when in kumite. But I also must apply a more game like approach to my striking. I thought the question originally was how does your style fight. My style does not fight with a long lasting bout time in mind. It's to end the fight and end it quickly not score points and have a judges decision. I am in no way a master, and I don't want to ruffle feathers about styles and real life. Just trying to give my two cents.
 
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DaveB

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We have a variety of partner drills, freestyle and preset, with which to practice attack and defense. When sparring you can apply anything you'd like really but unless you plan on hurting someone with attacks that would be deemed illegal in sport you fall back to a competition style of fighting. I think it's hard for people to separate real self defense with sport karate or kickboxing. We have plenty of ways to hone the traditional art as well as sparring classes to work on those tactics. I always try to apply my distancing and defensive and offensive movements when in kumite. But I also must apply a more game like approach to my striking. I thought the question originally was how does your style fight. My style does not fight with a long lasting bout time in mind. It's to end the fight and end it quickly not score points and have a judges decision. I am in no way a master, and I don't want to ruffle feathers about styles and real life. Just trying to give my two cents.

Worry not, your initial statement was a little confusing in that I've trained in a similar style to Uechi ryu but had integrated sparring as well as a sport style, so I asked. But you are right, I did want to avoid training as the topic, hence the second question on strategy...
 

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