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Skirr
1/07/2012 7:42pm,
Okay so I've read the stickie so here goes.

A lot of you guys seem to dislike JKD, but I'm putting this in the self defence section, because Tommy seems dedicated to that, rather than just repeating stuff from the Tao of JKD.

Sparring 8-9: Usually sparring is headguards and either boxing or MMA style gloves depending on what we're doing and always groin guards. But sometimes we go bare handed and bare headed with less force just so we don't become accustomed to feeling the gloves as we're punching (as it's not intended for sport).

Equipment 4-5: Tommy sells his own equipment so he encourages you to buy his, but he doesn't mind what you bring. If you're short on equipment you can borrow some for limited use. And the borrowed equipment is VERY worn. There's also a full weights set and equipment for increasing striking power and accuracy but it's seldom used in class time. You can come for some extra-curricular training, but you can get that kind of equipment at a normal gym.

Gym size 5-6: A big basement, but in a commercial building. Small, functional.

Instructor/Student Ratio 8: Only two classes with few people, Tommy pays most attention to the newer students, usually walking between his advanced and newer students. But about 85% of the time spent on the newer students.

Atmosphere/Attitude 8: Open, supportive, tough but very challenging. No one goes easy on you but there's no egotistical guys.

Striking ? (7-8): I dunno how to classify this one. I mean, Tommy used to be an amateur boxer and apparently got a lot of offers to go pro. But he used boxing then, and not JKD striking. And there's no real pressure testing for JKD striking since it's not tournament MA. We get taught striking from all ranges. But no proven success apart from a couple of guys saying that JKD saved them in street fights. But no tournament pressure testing. So I'd guess 7 or 8 because it covers all ranges and we spar it hard a lot.

Grappling ? (7): We do groundwork, but it's basically, someone puts you in something, and you bite, kick, strike or pinch your way out. I know you guys have something against all that and think actual grappling arts are the only way to deal with grappling but I think it seems effective. I'm not planning on fighting any BJJ guys so hopefully if I get jumped, they won't know any grappling. So I'm going with 7 for practical application.

Weapons n/a: We haven't done any weapons stuff... I mean, I think there's some knife and gun defence that Tommy teaches but I haven't got to that stuff yet.

Good school, good training. A lot of emphasis put on just repeating defensive techniques so you'll be able to do them in the moment if you have to. Could be improved with more equipment like a hanging bag

EDIT: On Sparring I should add that there are a lot of padwork. I dunno if that counts as compliant drilling, but we do a lot of padwork where the guy will hold the pad at head height and you'll have to execute a certain technique. The first drill for example is punching the head-pad, repeatedly, and then the pad-holder having the option to through a punch at you (we started slow at first, but it's encouraged to pick up speed until it was as fast as possible) and then you had to react by dodging and kicking the groin or knee at the same time.

I think this would fall under compliant because you know that the guy is either gunna throw a left cross or a right hook for the first few drills. But usually by the end of class we're doing some sparring to learn how to use that technique against a resisting attacker.

EDIT 2: On instructor ratio, one of the advanced students takes the class if Tommy is away for any reason.

Petter
1/08/2012 1:20am,
Sparring 8-9
That's not a rating category. Did you mean Aliveness?


On Sparring I should add that there are a lot of padwork. I dunno if that counts as compliant drillingYes, padwork is drilling, not sparring.


But usually by the end of class we're doing some sparring to learn how to use that technique against a resisting attacker.Usually there's some sparring? This doesn't really tell us anything. Since you wear headgear I presume that you really do spar with medium contact at least(?), but this sentence makes me wonder. Is it sometimes all padwork? How heavy (and how free) does the sparring actually get?


Grappling ? (7): We do groundwork, but it's basically, someone puts you in something, and you bite, kick, strike or pinch your way out. I know you guys have something against all that and think actual grappling arts are the only way to deal with grappling but I think it seems effective. You think it seems effective, but you basically acknowledge that you've never trained with competent grapplers. I hope you can see the problem here.

As a BJJ guy, I could say that I've done some drills where I learned to stuff haymakers and go for a throw in a self defence scenario, and could shoot under a punch for a takedown, but I wouldn't hold this up as an example of striking training worth any kind of score.*

* My gym does have actual boxing and kickboxing instructors, don't get me wrong.

Skirr
1/08/2012 7:50am,
That's not a rating category. Did you mean Aliveness?
Yes that is what I meant.



Usually there's some sparring? This doesn't really tell us anything. Since you wear headgear I presume that you really do spar with medium contact at least(?), but this sentence makes me wonder. Is it sometimes all padwork? How heavy (and how free) does the sparring actually get?

Well, Friday night's training was full contact, medium to heavy, against multiple opponents. But a lot of the time it's light to medium contact against one or two people. And usually about once a month, since I've been there, it's been full contact, free sparring against two people or more people.

But at the end of each class it's some light, sparring against one or two people based on what we've learnt in the compliant drilling.


You think it seems effective, but you basically acknowledge that you've never trained with competent grapplers. I hope you can see the problem here.

As a BJJ guy, I could say that I've done some drills where I learned to stuff haymakers and go for a throw in a self defence scenario, and could shoot under a punch for a takedown, but I wouldn't hold this up as an example of striking training worth any kind of score.*

You're definitely right. I've never done any grappling, and Tommy's only dabbled in it, from what I can tell so I'll lower the scoring on this one.

Is there like a two-edit limit? I can't seem to edit my first post.

I should add some clarification to what we do in terms of sparring

In your self defence article, Petter, you say that it's stupid to say you do eye gouging, groin strikes, joint breaks, because you can't train that with aliveness. Well, we use shin guards, safety goggles, and groin guards so we can make contact with all of those areas against a resisting opponent during sparring. Somewhat lighter than you would punch, but I've hit hard in those areas and I've been hit hard in those areas. And I trust that the guys in Tommy's school wouldn't instinctively hold back if they had to hit there in a real altercation.

However we also train punches to the head and body, and kicks to the shins, thighs and torso in an alive manner as well.

And sparring "rounds" I guess you could call them, finish when you hit a sensitive area (groin, knee, eyes, face) twice and with accuracy. Tommy makes us spar so that we're making hitting a sensitive area twice. Say knee, then eyes, or face and then groin. So we don't start thinking one hit ends every situation. And I'm sure he'll put that up to three to really test us, because damn it's hard to hit some of these guys twice anywhere. They're really resisting.

If you just glance off an area, like the knee or hardly hit the face, it doesn't count. It isn't just about making contact.

Nickosaurus
2/05/2013 8:28am,
To my understanding Tommy is against free sparring. When I asked Tommy if he uses free sparring, he said something along the lines of "no thats why our guys can fight." Furthermore on his Facebook page he suggested people that spar look like chickens. I'm being serious!

Don't have any personal exp of the man but I notice that he seems to sell Sparing gear on his website

http://www.tommycarruthers.com/webshop

Maybe he changed his mind?

Milk_
5/03/2014 1:25am,
It seems like you're in JKD for self defense purposes, while that's very admirable, you NEED TO GRAPPLE for one-on-one fights. Or at the very least train how to deal with a take down from one to two opponents. Can you sprawl? Get to a blind spot? Take the back? Use an attacker as a human shield?

JKD maybe useful in a multiple opponent situation, where you can strike and move around constantly until escape presents itself (this is assuming that you have no choice but to fight back against more than one person), otherwise knife defense, takeaways, real pressure testing and aliveness all come from grappling arts. And work WONDERS one the random street thug/bar asshole/dick at the cinema.

And FYI, biting, striking and eye gouging does JACK **** to a grappler, don't believe me? Try biting a BJJ or Judo blue/white belt and see what they do to you (I'm speaking rhetorically here, don't **** with anyone who has the dominant position on you). So, if effective martial arts is what you seek, get some grapple on (I'd advise Judo for the standing throws, but BJJ is also great), and customize your JKD so that it fits you well. Or learn MT, make life simpler.

Does your teacher encourage cross training?