Wednesday, November 23, 2005

New Knife Fighting Rules...

The Dog Brothers added some new rules for the Knife fighting event at the Gathering of the Pack. Fighters had to start the fight with their knives hidden some where on their body & they had to shake hands to start. (Reminds me of Hock maybe they have his DVDs) Then they had to decide to attack or go for their knife.

One fighter (Bob, for easy reference) had the knife in his front pocket & the other had it behind his back (Jack), after shaking hands Jack quickly grabbed the knife out of the front pocket of Bob & preceded to kill him with it. Then Jack pulled out his knife and proceeded to kill Bob with both knives.

They also let them have as many knives on them as they wanted and you could have a knife while stick fighting. That was interesting when they would go to the ground you saw them grapple with the stick for awhile then one would remember that he had a knife and pull it out and kill the other one. A couple of times the owner of the knife got stabbed with his own knife while on the ground.

Just some Things I saw...

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

The way you train is the way you’ll fight.

By Joel Persinger

Take it from one who knows from experience, when the time comes to fight your body goes on auto pilot. If you practice at a dojo and spar with rules, then when push comes to shove you’ll still be obeying the rules. I have seen this in my son. His Tang Soo Do and Tae Kwon Do instructors often limited strikes and techniques during sparing. This is important, because some strikes and techniques can cause grave injury. However, some rules go too far.

In my son’s classes, the instructors would only let the kids strike to the chest area. They called this “the box”. The problem is, when I started working with him on street fighting and basic self defense he had tremendous trouble striking to the face, groin, knees, ankles and so on.

This problem is more than significant because your practice becomes muscle memory. When you’re under the stress of an attack, your conscious ability to respond is overridden by your unconscious ability to react. This is why a famous master, when asked if he would kill a man were he attacked said “I would not kill him. It would”. The “it” the master was referring to was his training.

If we train to spar for sports, we will not be equipped for self defense. For sports, in many cases, you train to strike in the areas where you can’t hurt someone seriously. The “Box” is a great example. If all your muscle memory tells you to do is to strike in the chest (one of the best protected parts of the body) will your defense be effective? Probably not.

Take me for example. I’m six foot three inches tall and 230 pounds in weight. I’m also a trained and experienced fighter. I have been hit countless times and actually broken bones during practice workouts. So, while pain is not my friend it's not new to me either. Now that you know a little bit about me let's pretend that I am about to attack you. You don’t have time to respond, only time to react. If you take the time to think you will die. You only have time to do what comes naturally. So, if you hit me in the chest and expect to have any results at all you had better be able to hit harder than the average person. Otherwise, thug that I am, I’m likely to “take you to Disneyland”, which was my Tang Soo Do instructor's euphemism for the hospital or the morgue. On the other hand, no matter what training I may have or experience I may have gained, I still topple over when kicked in the groin, my knees can still be collapsed or hyperextend, my eyes still fog up and water if you hit me in the nose and if you poke me in the eye I’ll still crumple on the ground and cry “mommy”. The problem is that you won’t do any of those things if you don’t practice to do them.

So, here’s a practice tip for this week so that you can be ready if some big ugly bruiser like me comes after you. You and your practice partner go and buy some headgear, a cup for each of you and some racket ball goggles. Then, gently please, practice basic self defense by striking to the areas where damage can be most easily affected. Now wait a moment, before you go off half cocked. Don’t strike with full force. Just get use to the idea of striking those areas and practice the movements at half speed. Then practice the same strikes on a heavy bag and give it all you’ve got. The workouts with your partner will train your body to strike the right places and the bag work will teach your body to put some force behind those strikes. Remember, train to fight, not to die.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Knees on the ground.

It amazes me that people forget to KNEE in a fight. Case in point, I went to the Dog Brothers Gathering of the Pack yesterday to spend some time with friends I do not get to see all the time & to see some pounding action. And boy that was fun to watch.

What gets me is that on the ground these guys were forgetting to use their knees when they are in the side-mount. Now I know it is easy to play the quarterback from the stands, but we have to have something to discuss and learn from, so here is what I saw.

I saw a lot of missed opportunities for some good rib shots from the side-mount, because fighters were more focused on punching people in the face or trying to put them in a submission. Now, I’m not an expert (I defer to PAIN MASTER McCANN) but when people have their hands up blocking your attempts to punch them, put them in a submission, or hit them in the head with your stick you may want to try and draw their attention away from their head & to the broken ribs that you gave them with your knees.

I did see one person use this technique (if you were there he was wearing the red shorts with the Pillsbury Doughboy all over, of course I think that was a distraction he used on the other fighters) and the fight was over with one knee to the upper rib cage under the left armpit from the side-mount. The fighter that got hit with the knee said he thinks it was broken because he heard it POP.

Now, I like to watch the DB fight & respect their skill and this is not a critique of them or what they teach, but to point out how we all get fixated on one thing sometimes. I have now watched the last two Ultimate Fighter shows and I constantly see pro-fighters miss this simple technique that I know they must learn, because Jim teaches it.

I also saw Mr. Pillsbury defend against a take down with a sprawl and then delivering multiple elbows to the guys back & spine. The receiver tapped.

It was good fun to wacth.


Friday, November 18, 2005

HANDS…are you watching them.

I was at work 2 nights ago when I went on a call for a stabbing victim; this call reminded me of some things that I had learned from some of my old instructors.

Where are his hands & how close is he?

We could critique this call for all the things this guy did wrong to get in this situation, but that would make this essay even longer, so we are going to focus on one point today and deal with the other components at a later date.

This call was an assault on a homeless man who was with his wife in the park at night. As the victim states he was walking through the park when the attacker approached him and seemed to be arguing with the victim. While they were arguing the attacker became physically aggressive, at this time the victim noticed his left side on his back was wet and that is when he realized he had been stabbed.

The victim had a 1’’ – 1 ½ ‘’ laceration on the left side of his back around the posterior auxiliary area and he had a baseball size hematoma right under the injury. The victim had no idea what he had been stabbed with or that he had been stabbed until seeing or feeling the blood. He did complain of pain on breathing, but on feeling around the injury sight I did not elicit any pain from him. He was breathing shallow & said it was more painful to take deep breaths. The victim stated that he had no idea if he had been stabbed or slashed and the hematoma kept growing if pressure was not kept on the injury. This victim was considered acute even though his blood pressure and heart rate were normal; because I had no idea how long the knife was or if he was stabbed or slashed, which would let you know how life threatening the injury was, so we just treat the injury for the worse it could be.

What I learned here was you needed to keep an eye on your attackers hands, because that is where most of the damage to you will come from. If someone came up to you with his fists closed and up in front of him you would immediately know that this is a possible threat to you. But if his hands where in his front pockets as he approached you may not think anything about it until it is to late. How about if all you can see is his elbows at his side? Like when you would have your hands in your back pockets. Does any of this raise your alert level? Are his hands open at his side or closed? If closed do you see his fingers or the back of his hands? What does he have in his hands? For most people out there the hands are going to be the main threat.

You need to keep in mind another thing. How close is the possible attacker? You should not let anyone that is being hostile towards you within 5 feet of you. This keeps his hands out of range and possibly his feet. You want your attacker to have to take a big step towards you if he wants to hurt you. That way you have some time to get yourself ready for action. You should already have your hands up in the window of combat (imaginary rectangle bordered from eyes to groin and as wide as your shoulders), so that the attacker has some sort of obstruction in his way if he tries to get to you.

You don’t have to have fists just your open palms almost like you are in a semi-surrender hands-up position. This does a couple of things for you; it gives the outside impression that you are not starting the confrontation/fight so that if there are an witnesses they can testify that you were on the defensive. It will possibly look better for you in court if it goes that way. Second, it gives the appearance that you are passive and not a threat. In the end, this will set him up if he decides to attack.

Just My Thoughts. (JMT)