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  1. Cullion is offline
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    Everybody was Kung Fu fighting

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    Posted On:
    1/02/2006 6:04pm

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     Style: Tai Chi

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    This discussion was split this off this topic. -- Aeso
    What do you think about people who do use alive drills in their training, like knife defences trained with a person using a marker trying to win by getting a mark on their opponent (as I've seen some of the more 'self defence' focussed aikido and modern JJJ people doing) ?

    Do you think that a school which had lots of 'scenario' setups like this where they then worked through in an alive way, with both parties trying to win, could teach useful self-defence skills ?

    Disclaimer: I don't do knife defense drills or 'attacked while sitting at a table' type drills where I train, I just want to get better at San Shou sparring.
    Last edited by Aesopian; 1/09/2006 4:43pm at .
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  2. Aesopian is offline

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    Posted On:
    1/09/2006 4:39pm

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    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Cullion
    What do you think about people who do use alive drills in their training, like knife defences trained with a person using a marker trying to win by getting a mark on their opponent (as I've seen some of the more 'self defence' focussed aikido and modern JJJ people doing) ?

    Do you think that a school which had lots of 'scenario' setups like this where they then worked through in an alive way, with both parties trying to win, could teach useful self-defence skills ?

    Disclaimer: I don't do knife defense drills or 'attacked while sitting at a table' type drills where I train, I just want to get better at San Shou sparring.
    I don't train knife defenses either, but I have given this some thought and research, so I guess we're on even grounds speculating about it.

    If these knife drills are truly trained with aliveness, then they would have value -- but they aren't. Now I'm sure I'll hear how I can't make such a judgment since I haven't personally participated in every lesson ever taught in every JJJ and aikido dojo ever. But I've heard enough descriptions of their classes and talked to several aikido and JJJ black belts on the subject, so I am confident I have an informed opinion.

    Let's take a look at some descriptions and rules of tanto randori in aikido, which is the "knife defense" sparring and competition:
    Toshu randori is now infrequently practiced in its competitive form and has been largely replaced by tanto randori, in which one competitor is armed with a mock knife, which is exchanged after a one and a half or two-minute half. Points can be scored either with a successful strike with the knife, or by the application of aikido techniques.

    Source.
    This competition involves free fighting between two opponents for two rounds of two minutes each. One competitor has a rubber knife, the tanto, for the first round.

    The competitor with the red belt starts the first round as the attacker, armed with a rubber knife. They begin at the center of the mat, 4 meters apart.

    The attacker can score by striking the defender anywhere between the belt and the shoulder line, in front or back, provided that the attack begins from the hip line, is made with a thrusting movement after both feet have moved forward, and ends with the attacking arm fully extended and the knife in the horizontal position.

    The defender can score with any skillful aikido technique. One point is awarded for avoiding attack with a correct basic technique, or if the attacker is thrown out of the area while the defender has remained in the area throughout the action.

    A half-point is awarded if the defender makes a successful sacrifice technique or breaks the opponents balance and has control with an aikido lock without putting the attacker is not put on the ground.

    If either competitor scores a point, the knife changes hands and they reverse roles. After the first two-minute round, the second round begins immediately with the white-belted competitor as the attacker.

    The match ends immediately if a competitor scores a total of two points. After two rounds, the competitor with higher score wins. If the score is tied after two rounds, a two-minute extension period takes place. And, if the extension period doesn't decide the contest, the judges decide the winner, based on skill and technique.

    Source.
    Now, I guess here is where I'm suppposed to pat them on the back for training against a "noncompliant" attacker and dancing and shuffling around or whatever. Maybe this could be confused for real timing, energy and motion. But it's all contrived. Who is ever going to approach you, show their blade, reveal their intent and just come walking up doing stiff-armed trusts? And if they did, why wouldn't you just run? If you don't, I hope you're fighting a robot with no elbows and a deactivate button on his wrist.

    So far the only knife defense system that has impressed me is STAB by Karl Tanswell of SBG, which is based largely on the Greco-Roman clinch. He doesn't teach any intercepting disarms like we've all come to expect, since he feels (and I agree) that if anyone is seriously going to stab you, you are going to have little to no warning. It is an almost entirely post-failure defense system, meaning you've already been stabbed, probably before you were aware of the attack.

    Depressing, I know. But that's life. And until aikido and JJJ knife defense sparring can match this, they are just LARPing.
    Last edited by Aesopian; 1/09/2006 4:54pm at .
  3. Aesopian is offline

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    Posted On:
    1/09/2006 4:44pm

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    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I fucked up the link in Cullion's post. It should point here.
  4. Aesopian is offline

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    Posted On:
    1/09/2006 5:13pm

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    As for scenerio training, I see the value of drilling and sparring in different evironments and situations in order to get accustomed to dealing with unfamiliar and unsafe conditions. Roy Harris and Michael Jen both say it is necessary if you are truly training for self defense.

    But I'm not a fan of setting up specific situations and role playing through them, which is how I have always seen scenerio training done. This is the usual "attacked while sitting at a table" gimmick you're talking about. Again, it's LARPing.

    Matt Thornton speaks about this in one of his seminars or interviews, and he explains how it becomes unrealistic after running through the scenerio a couple times because people tend to just memorize what to do instead of acting in the moment. And with the infinite number of specific scenerios you could dream up, it becomes pointless -- you're never going to be able to memorize each individual possibility.

    Instead, you should be training so that you are have a wide and deep enough familiarity with fighting and defending yourself that you're able to perform in unexpected circumstances. Act in the moment and all that.

    He also points out that even in the role playing scenerio training, those that perform best are those with alive training.
  5. bwerb is offline

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    Posted On:
    1/09/2006 5:14pm

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     Style: BJJ, JKD Concepts, Kali

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    In my gym we do quite a bit of knife work and knife sparring. We use rounded aluminum blades and wear safety glasses/boxing gloves/fencing helmets depending on the degree of contact. Here's the lesson...you don't want to be in a knife fight. Everyone get's cut...so why do we do it? It is tremendous for empty handed attribute development.

    The distancing and footwork you develop and the "lightness" on your feet you develop from trying not to get "cut" translates right into a much more fluid style in the boxing ring. The close/tight/fast/weaving/angulating motions you develop in the trapping range also have direct correlations to throwing punches and parrying. The "live hand" and ambidexterity that you develop from a good knife/weapons class translate very well in developing body mechanics and technique. Learn the weapon to hone the empty hand.

    I think where it gets off-track is where people train and think that their "knife sparring" is in some way indicitive of the way knives are used in the majority of knife assults. Alternately, fancy knife disarms with looping attacks are almost pure fantasy. The knife disarms that I've worked are all from places I'd rather not be...very close range when it is literally trying to find some position of advantage in a very, very bad place.

    So, all in all, I guess I'm saying that I believe that knifework has it's place in real world training...it just isn't necessarily what it appears to be on the surface.
    The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposing ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.
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  6. Cullion is offline
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    Everybody was Kung Fu fighting

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    Posted On:
    1/09/2006 5:37pm

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I agree with the point about 'aliveness' always > following some kind of script.

    What I'm thinking is; does 'alive' practice of various situations (like the very good knife-defence stuff Aeso posted), form part of many people's training, or would they like it to ?

    The best Systema and SD-oriented JJ clips I've seen (I'm not going to talk about or defend the worst) seem like this is what they're trying to do. Are there any bouncers or police officers here who value that kind of training (who also have training in a full-contact competition oriented style to compare it with) ?

    I'm wondering if there's any truth that 'sport' training can diverge from 'practical self defence' training, if aliveness/conditioning/full contact sparring etc.. are all still practiced.
    Last edited by Cullion; 1/09/2006 5:39pm at .
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  7. Aesopian is offline

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    Posted On:
    1/09/2006 5:59pm

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I understood everything except the last sentence. What do you mean?
  8. Cullion is offline
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    Posted On:
    1/09/2006 6:08pm

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    What I meant was:

    If you worked on conditioning and sparred hard with your techniques, but then instead of intensively preparing for competition, tried to apply your basics in various scenarios would that be more useful for people like bouncers and police officers (i.e. the small proportion of the population with a real need for in depth 'self defence' training).

    In otherwords, could you make RBSD useful if you trained it in the way a 'sportfighter' would ?
    Last edited by Cullion; 1/11/2006 6:28am at .
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  9. Matt Bernius is offline

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    Posted On:
    1/09/2006 6:38pm

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Couple thoughts. I like the marker drills and have done them quite a bit. At the same time, they need to be discussed as they can reenforce the wrong ideas. The first one is that all cuts are created equal. They are not. And the marker drill can get people into a tippy tap pattern not unlike that of point sparring. So understanding the marking and the relative effectiveness of strikes is important.

    Ditto comments on STAB. I like it. Its good.

    As far as disarms, there are a couple schools of thought here. In terms of Japanese arts, show me a Japanese knife defense and I'm happy to point out how it more than likely is based on an attacker coming at you with armor and a short sword. They mostly date back to committed attacks from samurai. No good.

    In the FMA disarms tend to be misunderstood. I have never met a good FMA instructor that talks about disarm applications in live situations. Instead most will explain that disarms are used to teach blade awareness and dexterity. If they happen thats great. However most will admit that weapon controls and disarms come as a byproduct of striking. Gravy on knuckle sandwich mashed potatos.

    - Matt
    Student of Wan Yi Chuan Kung Fu,
    Kali, & what ever works
    Renaissance Martial Arts
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  10. Matt Bernius is offline

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    Posted On:
    1/09/2006 6:42pm

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Cullion
    If you worked on conditioning and sparred hard with your techniques, but then instead of intensively preparing for competition, tried to apply your basics in various scenarios would that more useful for people like bouncers and police officers (i.e. the small proportion of the population with a real need for in depth 'self defence' training).

    In otherwords, could you make RBSD useful if you trained it in the way a 'sportfighter' would ?
    As I've posted numerous times, this is EXACTLY what makes certain RBSD programs like Tony Blauer's Personal Defense Readiness so good. In fact Matt Thornton has mentioned Blauer a few times as far as a great innovator in self defense.

    Not all RBSD is the stuff typically lampooned on this site. In fact this is very similiar to the RBSD movement in the UK which Kickcatcher can comment more on.

    - Matt
    Student of Wan Yi Chuan Kung Fu,
    Kali, & what ever works
    Renaissance Martial Arts
    Rochester, NY
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