Posted On:8/06/2007 11:44am
When I was in a stupid point-sparring "traditional Okinawan karate" tournament and got a contusion on my right instep because I clashed feet with some dude that had fifty pounds on me.
We had similar belt ranks, though!
Posted On:8/17/2007 5:52am
Style: Brazillian Jiujitsu
I once watched a knock off Bruce Lee film to get hyped as a group of guys came to my house so they could beat me up. I had no MA training, just grew up with a heavy bag. Even though this was the 63rd time I had watched the Snake Kung Fu flick, I was still somehow less than prepared...
Posted On:8/20/2007 12:36pm
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.
Posted On:8/20/2007 7:53pm
I'm glad I'll never have to worry about this.
"The depressing thing about tennis is that no matter how good I get, I'll never be as good as a wall." - Mitch Hedberg
El Guapo says dance!
Posted On:9/11/2007 12:08pm
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.
Posted On:11/05/2007 2:23am
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. :)
Posted On:11/05/2007 3:10am
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!"
Posted On:11/06/2007 4:24pm
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...
Posted On:11/07/2007 1:16am
Style: Ronin wannabe
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.
Posted On:11/07/2007 5:50am
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>
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