My Fang Shen Do experience..... by TKD BB
First off I apologize for the delay in getting this out here. It has been quite the effort to get not only someone to agree to spar with me but (as you've seen) them to subsequently talk about it. Although I have some biases that have been clearly stated in the previous threads I wish to reaffirm that this is more of a description from my side of what happened when an FSD Brown Sash sparred MMA rules with a BJJ White Belt and TKD Black Belt.
I'm off to watch Hendo so I will check this tomorrow evening! Enjoy!
Okay darling Bullshido reader. As it would appear my esteemed associate will not be posting his side of the story (although I can't fathom why) I shall make the first comment. Yes n00b it is true I made a pilgrimage to our Nations capital to partake in maple syrup, strip clubs in Hull and of course everyone's favourite, FSD. The trip was somewhat impromptu so I really didn't have time or desire to contact everyone in question other than to take advantage of the opportunity to engage in some friendly sparring with a person I was put in contact with.
Simply put I asked my 'friend' to spar. Well sadly darling readers apparently an axe was in need of grinding.
I will not comment on who my 'friend' is but I will say he is a brown sash. I had assumed, admissibly incorrectly, that he was happy with the bulk of my posts on FSD on Bullshido. How wrong I was. To begin with, they are still slightly miffed with me over the darlin' Christine issue. This is somewhat of a sore point for some of these silk wearing girly men. Trust me, long before the gloves where put on I received more than an earful regarding this particular issue. It would seem I'm not the only one with a small crush on her, what can I say?
Secondly, I guess I wasn't suppose to have demonstrated such a wide range of knowledge over Jacky Boy's Am-Way-esque sales techniques. I guess I was just suppose to sit on my hands and not say anything. WTF!?! I think people have a need to know.
Anywho, now that we pre-established the nitty gritty of the encounter shall we proceed to the actual 'touching of hands'?
I wasn't entirely sure how the match itself would go and to be honest was hoping for a good exchange. We agreed to fight in the boxing ring that was in the gym (full olympic size just incase you were wondering). I train in a ring pretty regularly but not one nearly this size. We agreed that the ring would be the best possible location of the one's available. Of note, we contemplated dropping by Seafood's house to chop some wood as a warm up. (of note most FSDers I've met have had about enough of this particular silliness)
For the official record, we wore MMA gloves (I had a pair of Twins gloves on and he had Fairtex), we both wore shin pads (the cloth ones) and mouth guards and cups. We discussed head gear and knee and elbow pads but since we both had to work the next day we opted to not cut each other up. We weighed in approximately 9 lbs apart with me giving up the weight advantage. Height and reach were even. I was by far the better looking fighter but I suppose this is to be expected ;)
I set the timer to 3 minute rounds with 1 min breaks (we also decided if the match was in a position where one person had the advantage we'd disregard the timer and continue with the match, within reason). The first round was a bit of a feeling out round. To be honest I think we both were a little unsure of the other person. I found it easy to control the centre of the ring and keep him on the outside. His foot work was good and I could see he had an awareness of the fact that I might shoot for the takedown. At about the 2 minute mark I was getting annoyed with the slow pace and slid in with a jab.
- Reason #1 I discovered why FSD sucks!: I moved in in a non-linear fashion. I stepped in with the jab and then cut the angle to throw a lead had hook and then back hand upper cut. The first punch landed clean (I pulled it and didn't fold him with it) the next two hit exactly where I wanted them and could have really been a bad day for him. Expect the unexpected.
Honestly I think he realized that although I wasn't trying to take his head off I was putting weight on my punches. This quickly changed the dynamic of the fight as he began to throw and move with a little more focus and purpose. The problem though was (and I'm sure this is systemic inside FSD) that my style adapts to my opponent, FSD seems to be 'one tool for the whole job' type of philosophy. Don't get me wrong this style has a place and time but when you're squared off against a fighter who changes and adapts to you this is a very bad philosophy.
- Reason #2 I discovered why FSD sucks!: Non-adaptability. You can not approach a fight in a cooke cutter style (Gerry Levac I'm looking at you)! You can't take a kick from here and a punch from here and build a style like you build a car. It would seem as though the style was built for bullies, in that I mean there is a strong requirement for aggression that amounts to little more than posturing when you face someone who is not phased by chest thumping.
Now I will admit that the rules for this fight were definitely more MMA orientated than pure 'street rules' and that as a fighter I may be slightly more familiar with these rules than the average person but the end of the first round was just plain baffling to me. In what can only be considered a 'chain punch' my friend decided that he had caught me flat footed in the corner, he rushed me with the 'double chung chois' and admittedly (see above complain re: FSD) would have been intimidating but in the situation I was able to use foot work to maneuver out of the way close for a body lock and get the takedown. Once on the ground the FSD game essentially fades to nothing. There wasn't an attempt to pick up a half guard or even spin to full guard I was essentially offered cross body. From this position I would have been able to knee and elbow the fight to a ref's stoppage (or on the street to a bloody stoppage). He was aware that I would be looking for chokes (which impressed me a little) but in defending the chokes the arm came up and I spun for the straight arm bar.
- Reason #3 I discovered why FSD sucks!: The next four rounds were essentially the same as the first! My friend barely changed his approach and repeated attempted to use the same bullying techniques that I can only assume are taught inside FSD. The issue is that he was becoming more and more frustrated as I was able to finish the fights easier and easier.
Final round! Well I guess after 4 rounds of getting pimped our brave FSD warrior had had enough. I don't blame him as I don't like loosing either. We start the last round and I reach in to touch gloves as we had with every round. Well darling readers he apparently decided this was a good time to spring a surprise attack! He starts to swing at my head like a fat kid trying to get cake off a high counter! I will agree that if (note: If as in, 'If Santa exists.') these punches had hit they could have caused me a bit of discomfort. The odds of these punches landing was extremely low, I did however enjoy the grunting sounds he was making. From here I close to a clinch and from a clinch I sit down into guard, pulling him down to the mat as I go (Think Edie Bravo butt scoot!) This was apparently a new technique to him as he had a stunned look on his face for a few seconds before starting on again with the flailing of hands and arms. I suspect the large smile on my face might have tipped him off to the bad decision he just made but it apparently wasn't enough to warm him that he was in trouble. With somewhat less grace than Evan Tanner I shoved an arm out and threw a leg up (all the time hearing Matt Sera in my ear yelling, 'Skip the rope!') and sunk the triangle. (Note to Jack: Please teach your boys to tap).
- Reason #4 I discovered why FSD sucks!: Recognize a bad position and work to better it. Decisions need to be made that will help you not put you in a worse position.
Due to the fact that I'm essentially a nice guy, I opted not to carve up his face with elbows and rather used his pointless thrashing about to tighten down the triangle. Apparently our intrepid friend was unaware of what the results of being in a triangle for any length of time was, safe to say he does now. He went from thrashing around, to turning red, to trying to pry my leg off to sleepy town in about 5 seconds. Of note, had he tapped I would have let it go. Suffice to say this was the end of our sparring adventure. I would like to say I made a convert that day but the dog **** is strong with this one!
That was the sparring session. All in all his cardio was good. Strength was above average and his willingness to fight was high. I would be more than happy to take him on as a student or member of my gym, however.....
1.) The 'unlearning' of FSD would be a massive undertaking. (See movies where they try to teach cavemen to act like modern men)
2.) The mind set that goes with FSD is highly delusional. (I will let my friend comment as he sees fit)
3.) Adaptability is something that is completely lacking in FSD. This is obviously a by product of a few things:
a.) Instructors don't push themselves and instead rely on bullying students who then don't learn
b.) Passive 'non-resisting' opponents.
c.) Poor understanding of how a fight 'really' happens.
d.) Students scared to 'challenge' teachers or (as with the example of the teacher who got pimped by a white belt) students discouraged from challenging teachers.
All in all I was impressed that he came out and that once he got a look at me that he was willing to accept the challenge. I'll be honest I'm a very big welterweight. In addition I was impressed at the willingness to trade in the ring, one thing you can't take away from this guy at all was heart. The willingness to get up and keep coming was awesome to watch. His basic skill set is adequate to begin training however see the above issues for what the largest obstacles for developing into a 'real fighter'. This fight would have been very ugly for my friend had I been allowed to use elbows and knees to the head. These are my bread and butter in the ring and as such weapons I deploy with a high degree of accuracy and effectiveness.
I would welcome the opportunity to spar anyone else with FSD should the opportunity present itself.
PS - A special note to Jack, Jerry and company.....
You are doing a huge disservice to the people you are teaching. For a long time I have had a large dislike for bullshit artists inside MMA because of the fact that what they teach is fundamentally flawed and will lead to a false sense of security and towards one of your students being hurt should they attempt to use these skills. A fight is not a situation where you can bully your opponent, jump him from behind in a washroom or pick a fight when you feel that you can win. A fight on the street is an exchange against what can potentially be a highly skilled opponent. People who make their livings mugging and assaulting people (violently or sexually) practice their skills to become increasingly proficient and effective in their approach.
You sir are teaching skills that are woefully inadequate where it comes to addressing these situations. I can say this now that I have sparred against one of your brown sashes (and don't beg this off with the BS about him not being an adequate representative due to rank) that I do deeply hope no one you have taught will ever have to use their skills in self defense. Should they find themselves there this highly delusional thinking will lead to them being on the receiving end of a violent and vicious beat down.
I can only hope that more people become aware of this and that you are forced to change your approach to teaching. Please stop 'not teaching' all the techniques to your students. Your position is to train student who are better than you. Person's like Mr. Levac (and although I suspected this for a long time my friend confirmed this for me) limit what they show students so that the instructor will always have the upper hand. This is not only dangerous but highly unprofessional and unethical. You wouldn't teach someone to drive on a car without brakes, what makes you think you can take this approach to SD?!?
My wish is that the continued attention focused on your club and teaching will affect change from within.