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The Wastrel
10/15/2003 10:02pm,
I was originally going to call this thread "Street Fighter 2 Attitude" but the infamous "Dragon Punch" that so dominated arcade combat in the 90's is the perfect example of what I want to illustrate today.

One of the recurring problems with many of the discussions on this board is a certain way that people have of thinking about unarmed combat specifically and tactics in general. Typically, in discussion this manifests itself as a simple idea that if my opponent does X, my art has provided me with technique Y that immediately counters it. I will illustrate this with a short dialogue involving the ever-loving "eye gouge":

A: I am a striking l337!

B: My shoot beats your striking beyotch!

A: No way. I can eye gouge you ghey!

This little exchange is an easy target. Here I show the typical progression of an endless debate on bullshido, but rather than appraise it the way these arguments are always done, I want to cast a little light on a sort of internal problem that it demonstrates-the Street Fighter Attitude.

This attitude is characterized by a belief that techniques are designed to counter other techniques, but not in a manner that is contingent on other factors, including randomness. Rather, this attitude rests on the assumption that these different techniques occupy spaces on a simple ladder of priority...A > B > C.

The problem with this is that real fighting does not work that way. People are involved. As that most beleaguered of creatures, the social scientist, I am more aware than many that as soon as human behaviour and choices become involved in a question, determinacy goes right out the window.

Put simply, when people fight people, anything can work. ANYTHING. Things like relative risk and relative gain go into any tactical considerations, but when someone endorses eye gouging or biting, they are right. When someone endorses high kicks or flying armbars, they are also right, but not in the way they seem.

An eye gouge works, but this does not work the way a dragon punch works-which is to say that when E. Honda tries his sumo headbutt, you Sho-Ryu-Ken his ass and you ALWAYS win. So, no matter how effective a technique could potentially be, it doesn't literally wipe out the possibility of everything else.

Now, I said that eye-gouging is an easy target, but think for a moment...MANY arguments on this board operate on the same basic tendencies as the Street Fighter Attitude. But don't take this point as an endorsement of stylistic relativism...It ain't.

The point is...once upon a time my CMA teachers taught me haymakers were instant death for those who threw them because of a simple principle they believed in...telegraphing, economy, efficiency. But of course, that is not a complete picture. It's the simple principles and simple rules that kill our tactical thinking.

So the next time you find yourself getting into a discussion of techniques vs. techniques...don't throw a Dragon Punch. Think.

udo
10/15/2003 10:14pm,
That's a good point. But aren't some moves meant as counters(i.e. shoot under a high kick), thereby making that sort of argument not as far fetched?

PizDoff
10/15/2003 10:16pm,
Er......well said. Doesn't apply to me. :)
Well...I agree.


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The Wastrel
10/15/2003 10:24pm,
udo,
But that's not the way counters actually work. Blocks are meant as counters, but does that mean that the existence of blocks negates the effectiveness of striking? No.

That is unfortunately the foundation of many e-fights on bullshido.

Mr. Mantis
10/15/2003 10:24pm,
Yep, Occam's razor is a bitch.

udo
10/15/2003 10:31pm,
Wastrel could you expound on that a little bit? Do you mean that instead of a specific technique to counter, the high kick for example, you duck so it doesn't hit you, then take what's open, like the shoot?

The Wastrel
10/15/2003 10:41pm,
Udo,
You don't get it. Specifics don't matter. Here's the point I'm trying to make...


A: Shooting in on a high kick WORKS.

B: This DOES NOT mean that high kicks are useless.

Do you get it now?

blankslate
10/15/2003 11:01pm,
Isn't there a point where percentages play a part?

For example, ninety percent of the time high kicks DON'T work so why waste ANY time training them?

In this case, shooting in works so well so often that you could say for the most part always shoot in on a high kicker.

In general, some things work so well that they could be taken as givens. In other cases its too cloudy to not train all the scenarios and defintiley not make a stubborn arguement with them.

I'll have to sleep on it...

Waterboxer
10/15/2003 11:05pm,
Darn good post :D

PizDoff
10/15/2003 11:05pm,
What Watrel said. Reread the post SLOWLY if you want....

blankslate - Percentages differ from person to person. If you train the 540 spin kick a lot you may be very good at it and be able to KO people consistently..... Percentages differ from person to person.

--
Hard Work, Patience, Dedication

"Except Anthony, that is...I'm still coming out in November! Can you hear the baying of the hounds?!?" -CT

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Choke
10/15/2003 11:16pm,
Wastrel,

You're coming off really snoody lately. I sympathize with all the points you made in this thread and all but I think you could be a little less 133t sounding.

If you really think the quality of these boards has reached a low point then just take another hiatus or be more selective in the threads you participate in. I have been here longer than you have and haven't even broken a 1000 posts yet. I think this has led tme to be less prone to burning out. Complaining in a thread isn't going to alter the direction of the site.

PizDoff
10/15/2003 11:22pm,
but it might help some people think......



--
Hard Work, Patience, Dedication

"Except Anthony, that is...I'm still coming out in November! Can you hear the baying of the hounds?!?" -CT

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The Wastrel
10/15/2003 11:22pm,
Choke,
I'm not complaing. I'm trying to demonstrate that an idea common to many arguments on the site is fallacious. This is a post about tactical thinking. Sheesh! Where did I say ANYTHING about "boards ha[ving] reached a low point". This is something I've been thinking about for awhile. I don't even know where you're coming from with this.

How am I l33t sounding? I tried to pick arguments as examples that EVERYONE hated in order to neutrally demonstrate the fallacy.

blankslate,
I mention probabilities, but that's a separate issue. I pick exaggerated examples to be non-controversial. But you will see this idea resurface again and again.

The Wastrel
10/15/2003 11:29pm,
You know, I'm kind of disappointed. I cut down a basic fallacy common to all sides (which helps everyone by the way). I try to write with a bit of humor. No style vs. style garbage. There's ZERO flame bait...man.

I get "post-whored" by Choke....


Feelings...hurt.

blankslate
10/15/2003 11:30pm,
Welcome Back to Bullshido

PizDoff
10/15/2003 11:33pm,
STFU n00B

--
Hard Work, Patience, Dedication

"Except Anthony, that is...I'm still coming out in November! Can you hear the baying of the hounds?!?" -CT

MSN Messenger - [email protected]
Don't add me if you are going to be an idiot.