Bullshido awareness for me came at a high school football game. I attended high school in small town ohio. I notice some local redneck jerks throwing a few rocks at my friend who was in line getting a soda or something ( these guys were 18 but put them in a group and they act like they are 8). I walk over to the one throwing the rocks and called him out. Unfortunately for me his buddy Gary accepted my challenge.
Up till this time I was taking karate for a 1 and a half. It was full contact, but we did a lot of sparring that involved pulling the punch at the last minute as well. Anyways. Gary is 6ft 280lbs of big dumb redneck. I'm 5ft 9 125lbs of "I know deadly karate" bs. We square off. I throw the first punch, and ( you guessed it) I stopped the damn thing right infront of his nose. He grabs me, and yanks me towards him. He's holding my head down and beating into my back ala angry silverback gorilla style. I can only see crotch level and proceed to punch, ridge hand strike his nuts. He lets go of my head, punches my face and then the fight is stopped by the teachers. I was dragged away and I heard later that he puked his guts up on the field. Not my proudest moment.
I'm glad I'll never have to worry about this.
I work at Starbucks, and one day a man came in and decided to rob us.
I, of course, being the rather dashing hero I am, charged like a banshee shouting various threats and whatnot at the would-be robber.
Completely forgetting the very little training I have had, I lunged at his mask to remove it.
Little to my knowledge, he landed a nice uppercut under my chin, and I was down for the count, after smacking my head on the tile floor.
On the plus side, I was able to rip off his retarded little mask off and let the cameras get a good look at him, so he is now all arrested and so forth.
ONE NIGHT AS The shadows were getting long. I had just finished up studying at a friends house downtown. I walked along the sidewalk, admiring the the glow off the street lights on the rain soaked asphalt, just as i usually did at wet night. I strolled along, my mind then began to panic suddenly as i went over the nights curriculum: it was those damn butterflies I always get before a test, I thought. And, unlucky for me, I forgot my can of raid. The sound of foots steps behind me pulled me from my thoughts like the sight off a car crash. I glanced back and saw two shadowy figures walking about 30 ft behind me. I continued to walk along , looked up and suddenly became more aware of the the tall office buildings around me. Ahead was a main street and I put all hopes into reaching it, thinking it would take away the feeling of insecurity that had enveloped me. About forty feet from my safe haven, the pace of the steps behind me quickened. I looked back only to find two surprising large men right in front me. One of them grabbed me and shoved me into a side ally way. (Looking back they were probably waiting for me to cross in front of it). I quickly leaped to my feet and went into"deadly" tae kwon do action mode. The larger one that shoved me lunged at me with hands out without thinking i launched a round house at his knee and he buckled like a belt. The bad part was his momentum took him straight into me. As I scrambled to push him to the side the other one then wrapped me like a snake in a bear hug. The last thing I remember was his forehead hitting my nose and a sound that was pretty close to thunder.
Waking up was the start of a slow epiphany and the pulling back of the illusions i had believed about self defense training. I just wish i had applied some common sense before hand and then maybe the result would have been different. Lucky for me a group of people saw what happened from a passing car and scared them off. They didn't even have the time to rob me. :)
There's a scene in the movie, "Fist fo Fury," where Lee's character, Chen is hiding out in a cemetary. His girlfriend goes looking for him, and as she comes up to him, he immediately jumps to a movie kung-fu stance. When I was a kid, I was so obssesed with these movie kung-fu masters, that I'd react from those films. Thank God, I eventually began to follow that up with some of the guidance in the realities of combat Lee wrote about.
Once, as I was on my way to school from the back of my house, as I stepped out of my yard, I encountered a huge, fully grown white German Shepard. My immediate reaction? That silly Bruce Lee cemetary stance! Fortunately, the dog, reacting to movement I guess immediately went for the upper part of my up raised right fist, leaving it's it's body completely exposed. I immediately shot my left uppercut toi it's throat.... The dog went weak for but a split second, sunk to the ground, but was instantly back on it's feet and ready to lunge at me, when it's owner called it off.
To this day, I am grateful that dog, upon getting back up, hesitated for that split second before it's owner called it off! For, besides my improvised kung-fu stance, thatuppercut was all I had!
Another time, I was walking through an alley, when a pit bull ran down some porch steps after me. When I heard it running down those stairs, I did the wosrt thing I could've done - ran like hell!
A few steps later, I slipped on a puddle! In a panic, as I heard the dog reaching me, I for some reason spun around while on my back, just as the dog leaped at me, tucked my legs into my chest and kicked out at it, sent it flying, and sprung to my feet like they do in the movies. Ready to meet my makeer, but without a damend clue as to what to do next!
The dog imedialtely sprang to it's feet, growled at me, then turned it's back and headed back to it's porch!
I have been one lucky s.o.b.
Eventaully, I took up a modern form of a Korean martial art - the rules, formality, polite sparring, etc. So much for it's ancient, battle tested version, now a modern mess.
Years later, while horsing around with someone who needed a lesson in humility, he pulled a knife on me, immeduaiatly stabbed at me, which I tried to kung-fu movie/ Korean Martial art block with my right hand. Today, it still bares the scar of my stupidity.
There have been many more incidents - like one where I attempted to roundhouse someone in a street attack and pulled my kick as I had trained in the Korean art to do! We ended up on the ground, where, fortunately, I was able to hold the bastard at bey til the cops showed up!
Or the one where I saw a friend of mine, who was one hell of a boxer, basically get his butt handed to him by 3 street thugs.
I later experienced the same thing with my Wing Chun training results in another 2 or 3 street encounters, and so forth.
Man have I been stupid..
Later, only after some realistic Western boxing coupled with Pilipino martial arts training, some Judo, and 2 more street encounters, where my training finally allowed me not only to see angles of attack, rather then the confusion of what technique to look for or apply, and to immediately act on that continually, until submission, did I even begin to appreciate what Lee had written about regarding the necessity of consistent, all out as much as possible, street warefare training.
What I have learned from all this is what someone else posted here - "when there's no time for thought, there's only habit." I'd add - "so make sure you work on realistic habits!"
I've had several moments of realization - some are outlined below...
No matter how good you think you are, there will be someone who is slightly better at the same thing.
Nothing puts your life in perspective like one serious assault - memories do not fade as quickly as scars...
And my personal favorite - A sparrow will never land where the tiger roams...
Trust me, I've had experience of all these things more - I've been kicked, slapped and assaulted at various points in my life... some due to serious errors in judgment on my part, others because I had the **** luck of being in the wrong place at the wrong time...
My real moment of clarity came earlier this year. I'd been shinai and open-hand sparring with a few friends from work, nome of whom really did any training. It was more for fun, technique-less whacking each other with sticks than actual martial art. After that ended, I set up a new sparring club (empty-hand only) with a local martial artist I had met through finding a sparring video of his online.
I went with a friend of mine from my Tang Soo studio and one from work. The martial artist I set it up with, Mike, combined a number of CMAs and sparred first with his friend who basically did freestyle, sorta boxing-based MA. Immediately we could all tell we were in for something different than the fantasy land point-sparring based stuff we'd done at shinai sparring. They went at it full contact, occassionally going to the ground and displaying good technique with basic groundwork. I don't remember who won that first match, but I decided to be next.
Let me interject a note here before I describe the match: I went to this club almost certain I would recieve the wake-up call that I did. I, like many others was at that point a UFC and MMA fan, having been pulled into the sport by Griffin-Bonnar 1. I was beginning to understand the ground game and how lacking my skill was in anything other than point sparring-not that I was good at that either. I knew that the turning point was at hand when I faced off against this freestyle artist.
I faced off against him with some adrenaline going, and off the bat hit him with a front-leg roundhouse that, true to point sparring form did little more than give him a good slap on the face. From then on we sparred for about 10 minutes, and he used exactly two combinations/moves the entire time. Either he'd low kick, which I actually was decent at checking, or he'd fake a low front kick and jab to my eye. I never blocked or stopped the fake kick -> jab combo ONCE.
I realized the first time he hit me with it, eyes watering, that my hand position was too low and that I wasn't guarding my face. So, I brought my hands up and promptly fell for the same damn thing over again. My training was for point sparring; every time he faked the front kick my brain went "OMG kick it's gonna touch me and be a point!" causing me to drop my hands to block the kick, and then he'd send a mercifully half-strength jab straight into my left eye again. I didn't give up on the feet, continually trying to defy my years of training, to no avail. Finally, he caught one of my kicks and took me down, where I pulled guard. I knew I was sunk, because I hand no idea how to maintain guard against a pass attempt. Sure enough, within 15 seconds he was in full mount and again showed mercy in touching my face with his fist and allowing me to tap rather than smashing my face in.
Back on the sidelines, my two friends told me I had "done well." I can only assume they were referring to my perservering through 10-12 straight eye socket shots, because my fighting sure as hell sucked. I had learned definitively that 1. Point sparring had messed up my hand positing and blocking instincts, 2. My kicks had barely any power, 3. I had no punching skill, 4. My ground game was nonexistant, and 5. If I couldn't block a jab, I stood no chance in any street fight. I wore the black eye from the match as a combined mark of shame and pride. Shame that my years of Tang Soo were worthless, but pride inside that I had accepted fully the limitations of my training and planned to grow from it. Since that first meeting in early Feb. 07, the sparring club continued for another 6 months. In that time I improved, and then lost much of my new skill when nearly all of the members moved away.
Now I'm sparring more or less full-contact with a member of my TSD studio and exploring and improving on our limitations bred from point sparring. I was surprised to find that he had the same problems with boxing that I did; he's in much better condition and has much better technique than I do. I'm staying at my Tang Soo studio not because it makes me a good (or honestly, even decent) fighter, but because I truly believe it made me a much better person, and that I would be very different today had I not joined my particular studio.
Next semester, I'll be joining Quantum Jujitsu at PSU (mostly to find out if it's legit or bullshido and then write a dojo review about it) and taking Judo. I've learned that Tang Soo isn't for fighting...my studio does actually make all that character building stuff happen, but the art our association gives us to teach just isn't practiced in a realistic way. Because I view my studio as my second family, I'll always be loyal to it...I just hope the other students there come to the same realization I did, and that it will be no more painful than mine was.
KenshinB10 I can relate to your story only to well.
And I have to wonder why this type of delusional ponit-sparring training contnues. I really do. Is it just naivetay - what? Then again, I know why? The character building is absolute bullshit. I'm sorry for the blunteness. But these Karate heads - of Shotokan, of Isshin-Ryu, of what have you, were all exposed decadess ago, in the magazines they are all fetaured in all the time - in Black Belt magazine, etc. Do the research.
What happens to the character built by all that character building all the while the student was basically lied to, mislead, fed what basically amounts to habits actually dangerous to that student - what happens to that character built when some "karateka" or one of their loved ones lays dying; the victum of a serious encounter, their last thoughts, "what happened to my karate!"
You were lucky to have had what I'll call the beginnings of a wake up call. For, and I mean this with all due respect, you're still asleep. For it takes real character to stand up for the sake of those you have herein called a second family, and attempt to let them know (directly or indirectly, slowly or all at once) the danger they face, rather then merely hope they don't find out the hard way, as you had to suffer finding out. Though you were luckily spared the real streets.
Where these matters are concerned, it's an ugly world out there - real friends don't let friends drive drunk.
Again, I mean no insensitivity by any of this; just to challenge you by it.
<TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 border=0><TBODY><TR><TD class=j>"IN MEMORY OF A ONCE FLUID MAN CRAMMED AND DISTORTED BY THE CLASSICAL MESS"</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>
You guys have been had. The OP says
. . .The sad part? Even as he's dropping, that overhand left gets me on the top of the noggin. Why, you ask? I asked myself the same thing. I looked down at my right hand, and where was it? Fist clenched, palm up, underneath my armpit with the elbow sticking out the back. That's right, I'm not kidding. At Kyokushin position--not as far down as Shotokan or TKD, but every bit as useless for defensive purposes. . . Who but a TMA newb would square off with one hand drawn back? A Kyokushin guard position is both hands up protecting that lump between your ears and not what the op desribes. The op describes a technique used in kata and kihon, but hardly seen as a guard in actual fighting. If the op fought that way in any of the Kyokusihn dojo I know, he'd get whapped upside the head more times than he could count.
Ok, since everybody is pulling out their stories I figured I would reminisce for a bit. I was sparring in a McDojang in a own particular fast food martial art. It hurt to say its name still. Anyhow, we were sparring. It was light contact and nobody broke after contact. I remember thinking at one point, I'll just take this kick...because this guy is waaaaaay bigger than me, and it would allow me to get inside and pound away. I weighed 140, he weighed around 200. I'm five eight, he is over six foot tall. Needless to say, when his foot met my face (it was going a little higher than I had anticipated), the contact was brutal. Sadly, it was still only around medium contact. He doesn't have the deadly kick or anything, but I'm certain that had we been sparring hard, he would have done more than clean my clock. I told him to hold up a sec, threw my arms up in a, please don't kick me again fashion, and doubled over. To be honest I think my exact words were. "Stop." He asked me what was wrong because he though he had kicked me in the forehead. I said, "I'm about to start bleeding." I had enough time to take off my head gear and my gloves, and to bend over, the it started. Drip......Drip..Drip.Drip.Pour. It was like a blood faucet turned on in my face. There was a steady stream of blood coming out of my now crooked nose. I found out in a hurry that my sparring was shite, and that it wasn't a chess game where I could sacrifice to get some place. I needed to learn something that wasn't the geyhe. Sadly the guy who kicked me in the face quit altogether. It was my fault. I had hoped he would find another gym with me so he could kick some people's arses. Turns out he is a teddy bear and just did it as a hobby and hurting somebody was something he never intended to do.
I've never had a Bullshido moment myself but here's one that I happened to witness in middle school. Some kid was always going on about his Brown belt, (He really had one, which makes this all the more of a bullshido moment.) Anyway, at one point he saw a bully picking on a smaller kid and told him to cut it out. After a few moments of chatter between the two of them, they put up their fists and began a "fight" (If you can call it that). The "brown belt" tried to use some kind of open palm block that resembled a hadoken from street fighter. Since his wrists were so close together, it was easy for the bully to grab them, locking his arms up. The "Brown Belt" was then punched in the face. It was clearly Darwinism in work and a perfect example of the impracticallity of Mcdojo's
Uh, h2b: what part of "early eighties" didn't you understand?
I DID say I was a Kyok newb at the time...at time when a lot of the little larvae now shooting their mouths off here weren't even born yet, let alone out of diapers long enough to fight.
...and what the hell does "any of the kyokushin dojo I know" mean? You know of only one? Fine. Maybe you can get them to teach you a little English...
it was mortal kombat 3( i think), well we were playing and i choose lt stryker i noticed he as a swat officer had more direct attacks and also nonrealistic video gme attacks, now i didn't know any "button Combos" like my friends and brothers knew but agaisnt all them i kept winning cuase i just came in and elbowed the **** outta them and then threw them(my dad was a cop in the air force and we grappled all the time), which pissed them off cuase i wasn't using fancy combos, which the momment hit me
i was taking tai chi (for a credit in college) and i only signed up for the health benifits that are real. reduce stress, slightly improved fitness etc. the pp i was with all thought it could cure aids cancer etc, and i just shook me head, sad sad,...we even had one kid bring his cma uniform in , and kept saying his art blah blah....i have no damm idea what he called it, but i know it was an internal art), so after class we sparred...i just took him down....course i didn't have an endgame (i could never beat my 6 ft step dad but i got really good at getting loose and away) so i got up.....but johnaton(sp?) was emotionally defeated and i left it alone.
after that i found a group that trained down the hall itwas RBSD based (though white belts are purposly trained very traditionaly and with little instruction, those that stuck around then had their training amped....some may hate that but as a former math teacher i can appreciate not wasting your time) mix of kenpo, muay thai, bjj, jkd fma etc, one thing i found out is that i'm natural at trapping moves and sensitivty drills, but almost to my disapointment i know its worthless in fights i'll never use it. but damm i'm good, i tend to use it when i'm grappling though in a sense that i'm better and sensing the opponent without my eyes.
Last year i lmost got so disgusted with the fact i was using aspects of my training on aweekly basis as an inner city math teacher, defending myself, or some poor kid, or other teachers, and having to walk a fine line on the levelof force, but i was thankful i had incorprated level of force built into me and knowledge that i could hold students without risk to me or them. but the fact it was a reality to me left me sick to my stomach. needless to say i didn't go back. i was there to teach math. not wrestle with hoodlums(the school covered up the discipline problems for years)(and i was new to the area, had i known i would have went elsewhere
but then again my letter to the newspaper editor detailing all the coverups the interuim( principal had been fired) principal was doing to look good and keep the job, probably had something to do with me being unable to get a job teaching in west ky the next year
I don't know if you can call it a wakeup call, but I had an experience that made me realise why sparring is so important, and why I need a better groundgame.
I'll just copy what I wrote in another thread on MAP:
From my own experiences, when it really matters, when someone is throwing punches at you, your training usually kicks in, and what you have done hundreds of times at the dojo is repeated but that isn't always the case. When you are not used to it, it might kick in, it might not. I remember one time when I had a guy attacking me, and I did excactly as I had been thaught, after a few seconds i had it all under control.
But the next time it was the complete opposite of that. I freezed, took a hard hook to the jaw, managed to take him down in panic, not smooth, and then I had to muscle him down until the cops came, exchanging several punches. That experience made me think.
What I realised is that when it really matters, I just lack the control that I wish I had. Even if I did everything just as in training in the first incident, it was still unconcius, it was almost like muscle memory. It's not the same as you see with for example professional fighters, who always seem to be in control of what they are doing.
I realised my misconception about real fighting when I actually felt emberrased for getting hit, instaed of being happy I managed to protect myself. What I thought is that when I'm not limited to boxing, I should be able to control the range and never get hit. That worked in the first example, but as I realised things aren't always as easy as we imagine them. And also, the people I fought were about my size, but they didn't seem like good fighters.
Also, after I took the guy down I had the upper hand for a while, but then he kind of bridged and rolled me over, so we rolled around punching each other until I finally got him locked up by using musle. Made me realise the importance of groundgame, which is the best way to go if you want to stop a fight without hurting the other guy too much or getting hurt yourself(at least in my example).
Next training, I requested more sparring, told my instructor to go full contact and keep going after the takedown. He smiled and introduced me to a world of pain. And I'm still learning to deal with that kind of training :)
i was in a fight, and i adopted the chambered fist shitty after school tsd stance.
I did all the shitty mcdojo ****, the ni started training mma. this fight happened about a month after, so i thought i was a bad ass, but didn't have the skills to back it up.
anyway, instead of going to my boxing stance and set him up for the kicks like i did when we spar, i adopted the tsd stance, and waited for that sinking punch that i would sidestep and turn into an arm-bar.
However, he kept clocking me with the exact same right hook. thats all he ever threw, thats all he knew how to throw, and i didn't realize if i put my left hand up by my face, it would block it.
I won,and he didn't do much damage, but ****, itw as pitiful on my half.
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