Realistic self-appraisal

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warriorsage

Guest
Many people seem fixated on the ability to end an altercation without doing harm to the other individual. Before I get too far into this, let me state that I'm one of the least aggressive, least violent martial artists around. I don't want to hurt anyone, period. BUT, if somebody attacks me, my main hope is that I survive the situation. I've been in a few stressful situations before and I know that sometimes the body freezes and sometimes it reacts out of habit. I just pray that I react as quickly as possible and do what it takes to go home at night. If he gets hurt, it's his fault. If he doesn't get hurt, hooray for him.

I'm sure there are a few people that are skilled enough to allow them to control exactly what they do to their opponent and can actually stop the attack without hurting the other person. What I'm also pretty sure about is that the number of individuals who can do this is very small. I think waaayyyy tooo many martial artists are still carrying around an image in their head of the Walker Texas Ranger-type fighter, the one who can kick a gun out of the attackers hand, disarm knives at will, and then be so sure of himself that he lets the bad guys go away with only a warning. I think it's silly that alot of people talk about how "easy it is to hurt someone," and that the real deal is to defend yourself without having to resort to hurting them. I don't think it's easy at all to hurt someone...that is, an aggressive someone who will most likely be bigger, or stronger or have a weapon and who has surprise on his side and is moving in for the kill. Heck, anyone can hurt an attacker who lets you hit them. I bet I can hurt anyone on this forum if you let me put in a shot, but I also bet that if we were really fighting, I wouldn't have it so easy.

Every once in awhile a put something like this out there to see what people think, and just as often I get response like, "Well one day you'll get good enough and you'll have the confidence to KNOW you can handle any situation." To me, that's laughable. I have confidence in my overall abilities, I know I'm not exactly a slouch. What this confidence gives me I think is the honest belief that I have a chance to escape against an attack from one of society's predators. It levels the field a little and takes back some of the advantage he had.

Or maybe I just haven't honed my skills to the point where I can instantly decide in a life-or-death situation which type of strike and target will have just enough effect to make him drop his knife (but leave no visable marks) and scare his buddies enough to make them also drop the lead pipe and the gun and all run away, in fear of what I could've done!.
 
Nope! I don't think that it is possible to end every altercation without ever doing physical harm to the attacker(s). Unless, of course, you are never attacked violently.

:asian:
 
Worriorsage. I agree with what you saying, for those who don't I must ask this Why would someone stop trying to hurt you unless you hurt them or have them under control.

Pain can be a very useful in keeping them away from you, if they know going after you results in a painfull outcome for them they may think twice about getting up and trying again.

You must experience pain in your training to fully understand this, sorry but someone has to say it. It can be real eye opener to see how much fight is taken out of you when part of your body really hurts.

I'm not talking about killing your self in training, just finding out what changes you mind set.

Respectfully.
Dan Brady.
 
this discussion reminds me of what our pastor said one time. He's an 8th dan in san soo kung....they asked how could he reconcile being a pastor and a martial artist. he said this "If you were with your wife and kids and someone tried to attack you, would you just sit there and say 'hallejueiah'?...no...you take a 2 by 4 ...and bless em with it!...then preach to him."..*L...
 
Originally posted by Ender
no...you take a 2 by 4 ...and bless em with it!...then preach to him."..*L...

careful not to fall asleep in church :rofl:
 
Originally posted by warriorsage

Or maybe I just haven't honed my skills to the point where I can instantly decide in a life-or-death situation which type of strike and target will have just enough effect to make him drop his knife (but leave no visable marks) and scare his buddies enough to make them also drop the lead pipe and the gun and all run away, in fear of what I could've done!.

I've certainly felt that way, I've only been training for 4 years so I know I'm no MA Guru who with the slightest movement of my shoulders can avoid an attack ;)

Recently I've been put into 2 situations where I had to go through the fight or flight stage. The first (more scary) was when my neighbor got home- invaded by 4 guys wearing masks. At 2:00am I heard shouts to help and call the police. I looked out of my window and saw some guys outside my house attacking my neighbor. Now I was no Rambo (the police were called), I was pretty scared, but I felt by the time the Police came my neighbor would be seriously hurt or worse. I put on my shirt (in case of a bladed weapon attack at least I can have some protection either to wrap my arm & block...or whatever). I also grabbed my Kenpo sticks. By the time I got out of the house the 4 guys ran off and I attended to my bleeding neighbor.

Now I have to admit, I thank God that those guys were no longer a threat when I came out because I sure didn't want to try my MA skills on that occassion. Now in terms of "self appraisal" (not going to discuss the physical) the mental aspect plays such a big factor. I was scared at the prospect of facing 4 masked guys, I didn't know if they were armed or whatever (appearently they had sticks, left one at the scene......if they thought that was a stick they should have seen my Kenpo sticks :D

I also came to a realisation before I left the house that someone was going to get hurt. Either them or me.......at that point I said to myself its gonna be them - I also made a point to leave my house quietly to observe if they had any weapons before I engaged. Hey if theres a gun I'm running back in :p

Its was also interesting to see a none martial artists approach to the situation....my other neighbor came out running armed with a dijarido (wooden musical instrument) without his shirt (if there was a knife....) and his girlfriend with a cordless phone (???) to help. Hmmmm while I admired his desire to help I couldn't help thinking 'whats he thinking ... to much Ramboo???'

I also realised having a strong kick/ punch isn't going to do much without the knowledge of using it at the right time/ distance. Also fear is a such a factor.

Have a good one
 
Tommy Burks has a student who was an itinerant minister. He did revivals and tent ministry stuff. He was attacked at least twice I know of while at the pulpit and actually, I think a 3rd time. He was already a Black Belt in Taekwondo, he handled the 1st attacks easily, a roundhouse and a sidekick ... did I mention he is one of those long tall guys with legs longer than my pickup truck? Anyhow, the 3rd attacker got a punch in on him, that is when he moved into Kenpo with Mr. Burks.

Now I know you wonder about the "hurting" someone when stopping them and what this has to do with the topic, well, not a lot. Except that good things happen to bad people, and bad things happen to good people. You just never can tell. It is nice to be confident. David was until he got hit. His legs and reach kept everyone away from him, not to mention he came out of a pretty tough Dallas Taekwondo school. Then he found he needed more ... and did not have it.

I have been in the Martial Arts over 30 years, with 24 of those in Kenpo. I love contact manipulation, grappling, pressure points, whatever you want to call it, but I do not discount that I could trip or slip on a bar of soap in a fight. I have had to "restrain" opponents and have not been "allowed" to trash them unless absolutely necessary, and is it worth my job? Nope.

But anyone who "knows" they can counter and restrain, disarm, deter, deflect or otherwise make someone desist from an attack - without hurting them.... Well, watch out for that bar of soap, or the hidden "shank" to the back, or the guy who bumps your car and when you get out to check it, you have a gun in your face and are told to get in the trunk. Uh-huh.

Maybe in the context of a school, where no one is really trying to hurt anyone, where attacks are fairly, more or less predictable (even if it is with boxing gloves and they are just plain trying to knock you out) there is some predictability about levels of force, weapons, environment, etc. But Lord help you if you are on the street, or in a church and that darn bar of soap shows up.

My friend helped himself by 1) recognizing the problem; 2) searching a viable solution; 3) putting his pride aside and strapping on a white belt again - starting all over again to learn something really different.

He will tell you that you can never control "everything" that comes up. All you can do is prepare yourself as best you can, and have faith in yourself and your training. He is the one who gave me the quote on my webpage, Tribute To My Teacher:

"He teacheth my hands to war" -Psalm 18, Verse 34

Respect to All,
-Michael
 
My 22 cents worth follows and I'll try to keep it brief:

1. I was in one fight in the Army. The guy was swinging at me and was not hurting me, I knew if I used Kenpo on him I'd break some stuff and cripple him (if I did it right), eventually he got tired and went away and neither of us went to jail. He started it and I'll say that for all the techinques I have I had NO training in what to do or when to react when some dude is threatening to hurt you from just outside of arms length. Actually one scenario like this came up at a camp, I used it, it did not work well.

2. In class I may have become to used to everything being predictable and wondering if there is not a way I could "discourage someone" without breaking them into kindling

3. Recently I avoided a situation where I envisioned being up against 2 guys 6" taller than me. One with his back to a counter or wall. I was pretty sure I could not drop one of them in a way that would protect me from/position me well against guy 2. But the thought of "being nice" to either one of them Never occurred to me.

4. My first instructor had a story about a Drunk who attacked him once. He basically weaved around this guys 3 punches dropping him carefully to the ground each time with a takedown. The guy got up after the 3rd punch and said "Had enough?" and my instructor let him go.

5. The moral of the story. In a real "attack" you probably need to just drop the guy, but it is also helpful I think to know how to be able to "discourage" an inferior opponent and have some training in the "You are about to be in a fight" stage. I think that when someone starts talking trash you have a better chance of sizing them up and "being nice" by not breaking stuff on them ala Mr. Parker, Jrs. "Uncle Joe/Uncle Bob" Kenpo theory. But if you are jumped in a street situation I think you are better off assuming the worst and disabling the attacker right off.

6. I'm going to visit some Aikido guys next week. I've seen their teacher speak on several occassions how he has intervened in a "situation" and not hurt anyone but dissipated the incident. However, Mr. Speakman once said in a seminar that in the street you may have no choice but to cripple someone to keep them off of you and I think that is a very valid point.

I think you should have both sets of skills and as Mr. Planas said in the seminar I recently took from him we don't get enough training in "reading" our opponent. Much less on how to deal with some beligerent SOB telling you he's going to hurt you. I now think that stuffing someone like that as soon as he moves is the best way to deal with it!

Just my convoluted thoughts.
:asian:
 
Originally posted by cdhall
He started it and I'll say that for all the techinques I have I had NO training in what to do or when to react when some dude is threatening to hurt you from just outside of arms length.

Unless I'm missing something obvious...what's wrong with a kick? Just outside arms length = in legs range surely?

Ian.
 
Re: cdhall post


I knew if I used Kenpo on him ...

I find it strange when people use this line of thinking. After training for any period of time do we as martial artist not start to internalize our training? If we learn awareness, avoidance, footwork, Etc, is that not part of our training, Do we just turn it off?(Not use it?) If it came to using some forse and you didn't want to use Kenpo (or any martial art), would you start punching and kicking, for lack of a better term, like a sissy? Wouldn't you have internalize a certain portion of your training which couldn't just be turned off at whim? If you kick would you do a soccer style kick (not doing Kenpo) or would you, without thinking about it, kick in a more traditional manner?

Sorry for the rant. I just find it strange when people say things like the above quote. I've spent years training and learning how to defend myself, but since you are not that good, so I'm going to flip a switch and shut off everything that I have learned in martial arts to date.
 
Originally posted by FruitLoopy
Re: cdhall post




... Do we just turn it off?(Not use it?) If it came to using some forse and you didn't want to use Kenpo (or any martial art), would you start punching and kicking, for lack of a better term, like a sissy? Wouldn't you have internalize a certain portion of your training which couldn't just be turned off at whim? If you kick would you do a soccer style kick (not doing Kenpo) or would you, without thinking about it, kick in a more traditional manner?

Sorry for the rant. I just find it strange when people say things like the above quote. I've spent years training and learning how to defend myself, but since you are not that good, so I'm going to flip a switch and shut off everything that I have learned in martial arts to date.

I've no 'for real' experience with reactions under an unexpected attack, however, over the years I've had lots of opportunities to test my (defensive) reactions. Mostly folks just messing around, without any intent to injure. Surprise attacks in the dojo, fooling around with friends, etc. My defense was always just there, without thinking about it (internalized), as was the offensive counter, albeit un-thrown. So I don't think you can just turn it on or off.

However, I see two issues with what I've said. First, there wasn't an intent to injure, so the situational dynamics aren't introducing the high stress/adrenal reaction that are likely to interfere with my reaction to the attack. Second, my counter attack wasn't executed due to the benign nature of the encounter. So, would it go differently if it was 'for real'? A resounding yes. Would I be successful? Maybe, maybe not. But I feel my training has at least taken a foot hold, become something that is indistinguishable from 'me'.
 

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