Looking for a Fight
Long time lurker… first time posting…
So, I’m near 40 years old, a father of 3 and a husband. I’ve broken my wrist and tore up the tendons in the wrist. I’ve torn the ACL in both knees. I’ve gotten everything fixed, but of course nothing (especially my wrist) is like it used to be.
Anyway, I’ve studied karate for going on 10 years (4 years of Matsubyashi Shorin Ryu and 6 years of Matsumura Seito Shorin Ryu). I’ve always enjoyed the discipline inherent to karate, the physical control it takes to make sure everything is placed just right. I suppose in that way it’s kinda like dance, however unlike dance there is also the application to kata and waza. The oiya and bunkai are really what excite me. I study and practice and study and practice some more because it is amazing to me how subtle movement in my body (a shifting of 45-degrees on the balls of my feet, the difference between a raised elbow and one held tight and low, the use of the forearm vs the pisiform bone in your wrist) can dramatically affect my technique and how my uke (“opponent”) reacts to it.
Karate has always been about self defense to me, however. Heck I cannot think of a single technique or kata or waza that assumes the practitioner is the aggressor. Everything is always employed defensively. I daresay one of the implied lessons in karate is that when you attack you open yourself up to injury and counterattack.
I guess the philosophical mindset (and, no, I am not getting “spiritual” on you) of training for defensive purposes it what excites me.
My dojo lately, however, has been moving more and more toward an aggressive mindset. The owner/sensei has started combining Muay Thai and Jiu-Jitsu techniques into the curriculum, working a lot of bag and target drills. Kata has been completely removed, leaving only the waza (short three-to-five step techniques) until Black Belt (at Shodan is when kata is taught now). I can’t say I am embracing the changes as it seems like the mindset is now “attack” instead of “defend.” It’s almost as if the message being sent is, “Don’t settle for defending yourself, instead always be looking for a fight.”
Even though I have studied for a decade, I am not about to say I have all the answers. Am I wrong to be so “passive” in my stance (heh… no pun intended) on fight training for myself? Am I being too timid? Should I embrace the more aggressive attitudes being presented me?
I don’t know… I just don’t.
not sure if the dojo is moving towards something you want to be a part of, but it sure sounds like it's moving towards being better accepted here at bullshido.
we tend to think that you need to fight to get better at fighting.
This could just be your Sensei adapting based on what he has seen and experienced over the years? It could be argued that once you find yourself in an altercation, becoming offensive often has better results than fighting in a defensive manner. I don't think this should change your mentality pre-fight...i.e. avoid altercation at all costs, run or escape when possible, etc.
Originally Posted by FossMaNo1
Knowing how people might attack gives you a better insight into your own defense. Think of it that way.
I would view the change as positive.
I think its next to impossible to realistically develop your defense without training partners who are skilled at offense. The better you are at dealing with a skilled attacker, the better you will be at dealing with an unskilled one. Same is true for your training partners.
The opposite example would be something like traditional Aikido, where ukes step forward with overhand chops or lunging punches so that toris can complex wrist grabs and throws. Moves that are enxt to impossible to execute if you have no idea what attack is really coming, and when it does it comes with speed.
Raising the level of everybody's offense in your dojo will raise their defense as well. It's pretty much a two edged sword.
you know what the problem is with being a counter fighter? the minute you meet someone whos faster than you, youre gonna get fucked. the people who can actually pull off being a predominately defensive fighter need EXTREMELY fast reflexes to pull it off. no offense but as a 40 year old dude, you arent that guy. **** even roy jones at 40 cant do it. if you sit back and wait for people to start every engagement you are giving them your face on a silver platter.
Good comments, all. Thanks!
You're right, but God that sucks.
Originally Posted by Alex
I'm 44 and not aggressive by nature, and it would take a lot for me to "throw the first punch"- if you get my drift. I've had situations where a guy was mouthing off to me and it could've easily went down, but even then I didn't go on the offensive. I just stood my ground waiting for him to do something (which he didn't).
Short of spitting in my face or saying "I'm gonna **** you up" I just don't have that "hit first" mentality. If I got hit- or if someone came at me- then yes, it'd be on- but as far as me striking first before he does- well- it's not really me. I just always think "he's not actually gonna do anything..."
But again: you're correct. In those situations where there's a high probability that it'll go down, the best thing is to attack attack attack with overwhelming brutality and viciousness. I'm just not wired that way.
My friend is- he's been in a ton of fights in his life (not lately- he's in his 40s, and not because he used to start ****- he really didn't- he's just a good-looking guy who dudes would get jealous of so he found himself in a lot of situations and he just isn't the sort to back down). He won pretty much every altercation he ever became embroiled in because, at the beginning of the threatening situation, he'd launch into attack mode and just beat the living **** out of whomever was starting **** with him.
He's literally wired that way; threats, to him, mean "go time"-- if someone's in his face or if someone calls him out it's on-- always.
As for me, I do Judo, and Judo is a defensive combat sport. I can hear people vehemently disagreeing but that's the way I see it-- someone grabs you, you use his aggressiveness against him.
YES, you attack in Judo (of course), but it's not like Muay Thai, where "knock his head off" is the name of the game. Judo is more like "guy throws a punch, you slip it, grab his throat, and plant him with Osoto."
It trains aggressiveness, yeah, sure- but it's more reactionary (again: at least to me it is).
Maybe I ought to train a bit of Boxing or Muay Thai to ramp up my "go for it- don't wait" mentality. Doing so wouldn't make me into some kind of fight-starting asshole, but it might enable me to better handle an obvious threat.