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Alan Armstrong
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 28 Feb 2016
Posts: 2468


PostPosted: Fri Aug 25, 2017 4:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Too close to the trees to see the forest"

Assumptions, assumptions and more assumptions.

Painting the martial art world with one brush stroke is easy to do, without using the right paint, it will not stick or hold up for very long.
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Tempest
Green Belt
Green Belt

Joined: 31 Aug 2006
Posts: 424
Location: Dallas
Styles: Judo, HEMA

PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2017 1:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alan Armstrong wrote:
"Too close to the trees to see the forest"

Assumptions, assumptions and more assumptions.

Painting the martial art world with one brush stroke is easy to do, without using the right paint, it will not stick or hold up for very long.


It's held for almost 25 years against everything that folks could throw at it.

The truth is that there are not that many martial arts that teach the elements of aliveness in training.
When you ask why, you get told nonsensical answers about tradition and the toughness of the masters in "real fighting", but it still doesn't change the fact that without aliveness, THEY, and their students, can't fight.
It is painful to contemplate that reality, but without that element of aliveness, it doesn't matter what the techniques are, it only matters that the fighters in question lack the delivery system to make them work against an intelligently resisting opponent.
And if you have the elements of aliveness in your training, then there should be no problem with you going in to competitions and seeing where you fall out. Or your students, if your age is a factor.
I have a lot more respect for guys that get in there and lose, than I do for people who never compete at all.
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Alan Armstrong
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 28 Feb 2016
Posts: 2468


PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2017 4:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tempest wrote:
Alan Armstrong wrote:
"Too close to the trees to see the forest"

Assumptions, assumptions and more assumptions.

Painting the martial art world with one brush stroke is easy to do, without using the right paint, it will not stick or hold up for very long.


It's held for almost 25 years against everything that folks could throw at it.

The truth is that there are not that many martial arts that teach the elements of aliveness in training.
When you ask why, you get told nonsensical answers about tradition and the toughness of the masters in "real fighting", but it still doesn't change the fact that without aliveness, THEY, and their students, can't fight.
It is painful to contemplate that reality, but without that element of aliveness, it doesn't matter what the techniques are, it only matters that the fighters in question lack the delivery system to make them work against an intelligently resisting opponent.
And if you have the elements of aliveness in your training, then there should be no problem with you going in to competitions and seeing where you fall out. Or your students, if your age is a factor.
I have a lot more respect for guys that get in there and lose, than I do for people who never compete at all.
I'm for aliveness; I'm not for assuming that others don't.

It is however sensible to train safely, by wearing protective gear if possible.

I like to use an idea for knife fight sparring with red magic markers while wearing a white T-shirt.

It is alot more realistic and safer this way, as it shows what touched with the marker point instead of a steel knife point.

My techniques have been criticized for being too reality based.

There are those that teach gun virtual based self defense; good luck with that one; as reality based is alot different than the popular fantasyland version.
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Tempest
Green Belt
Green Belt

Joined: 31 Aug 2006
Posts: 424
Location: Dallas
Styles: Judo, HEMA

PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2017 7:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alan Armstrong wrote:
Tempest wrote:
Alan Armstrong wrote:
"Too close to the trees to see the forest"

Assumptions, assumptions and more assumptions.

Painting the martial art world with one brush stroke is easy to do, without using the right paint, it will not stick or hold up for very long.


It's held for almost 25 years against everything that folks could throw at it.

The truth is that there are not that many martial arts that teach the elements of aliveness in training.
When you ask why, you get told nonsensical answers about tradition and the toughness of the masters in "real fighting", but it still doesn't change the fact that without aliveness, THEY, and their students, can't fight.
It is painful to contemplate that reality, but without that element of aliveness, it doesn't matter what the techniques are, it only matters that the fighters in question lack the delivery system to make them work against an intelligently resisting opponent.
And if you have the elements of aliveness in your training, then there should be no problem with you going in to competitions and seeing where you fall out. Or your students, if your age is a factor.
I have a lot more respect for guys that get in there and lose, than I do for people who never compete at all.
I'm for aliveness; I'm not for assuming that others don't.

It is however sensible to train safely, by wearing protective gear if possible.

I like to use an idea for knife fight sparring with red magic markers while wearing a white T-shirt.

It is alot more realistic and safer this way, as it shows what touched with the marker point instead of a steel knife point.

My techniques have been criticized for being too reality based.

There are those that teach gun virtual based self defense; good luck with that one; as reality based is alot different than the popular fantasyland version.


Cool idea, except that knives don't work that way. Knives are dangerous, but they aren't cyanide coated light-sabers. If you want to train with weapons, it does take a bit of understanding of the real thing. Get a sharp and practice "test cutting" on a good cutting medium so you understand what real sharp blades do. Also helpful is to study crime reports and historical combat reports so you can understand what types of wounds are "disabling".
Then, get a blunt simulator and spar with contact. You will need some safety gear to avoid broken bones and damage at this point.

See, the thing with the markers is that 1. It doesn't show how much MORE damage a stab can do than a cut, and 2. It makes it seem like lots of shallow cuts that would turn that t-shirt in to a paint canvas are much more effective than they are. It's close, but still not REALLY aliveness because it doesn't allow for realistic movement under pressure. The issue is, to clarify, for instance, that a cut that wouldn't cut through the denim on my jeans will make a white t-shirt look like a paint canvas with a marker.

Still, it's better than just paired drills. Just, not good enough. Especially when you are talking about training with deadly force in mind.

Want to train with firearms? Cool. Get some firearms and some simu-nitions. Train with firearms. Simulators are good to start out with, but you need to walk as close to the line of reality in your training as is feasible. Because one day, it might be real. And even if it's not, it might be real for one of your students. You can't just stop at level 1 and say, that's good enough, I will start teaching now and telling people I can teach them to defend themselves in these circumstances.

Well, you can if you want, but it doesn't make it so. For example, the guys that I trust in the area of firearms expertise have 25+years experience carrying guns professionally, but the reason I trust them is that their main concern is STILL how much more there is to learn and trying to get every good training opportunity they can.
Don't stop learning. None of us knows it all. But ALWAYS work towards aliveness as an ideal, and remember that while safety is important, it should not come at the cost of adrenal stress and realistic movement under stress. Fighting is an inherently dangerous activity that isn't for everyone.
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Alan Armstrong
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 28 Feb 2016
Posts: 2468


PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2017 5:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tempest wrote:
Alan Armstrong wrote:
Tempest wrote:
Alan Armstrong wrote:
"Too close to the trees to see the forest"

Assumptions, assumptions and more assumptions.

Painting the martial art world with one brush stroke is easy to do, without using the right paint, it will not stick or hold up for very long.


It's held for almost 25 years against everything that folks could throw at it.

The truth is that there are not that many martial arts that teach the elements of aliveness in training.
When you ask why, you get told nonsensical answers about tradition and the toughness of the masters in "real fighting", but it still doesn't change the fact that without aliveness, THEY, and their students, can't fight.
It is painful to contemplate that reality, but without that element of aliveness, it doesn't matter what the techniques are, it only matters that the fighters in question lack the delivery system to make them work against an intelligently resisting opponent.
And if you have the elements of aliveness in your training, then there should be no problem with you going in to competitions and seeing where you fall out. Or your students, if your age is a factor.
I have a lot more respect for guys that get in there and lose, than I do for people who never compete at all.
I'm for aliveness; I'm not for assuming that others don't.

It is however sensible to train safely, by wearing protective gear if possible.

I like to use an idea for knife fight sparring with red magic markers while wearing a white T-shirt.

It is alot more realistic and safer this way, as it shows what touched with the marker point instead of a steel knife point.

My techniques have been criticized for being too reality based.

There are those that teach gun virtual based self defense; good luck with that one; as reality based is alot different than the popular fantasyland version.


Cool idea, except that knives don't work that way. Knives are dangerous, but they aren't cyanide coated light-sabers. If you want to train with weapons, it does take a bit of understanding of the real thing. Get a sharp and practice "test cutting" on a good cutting medium so you understand what real sharp blades do. Also helpful is to study crime reports and historical combat reports so you can understand what types of wounds are "disabling".
Then, get a blunt simulator and spar with contact. You will need some safety gear to avoid broken bones and damage at this point.

See, the thing with the markers is that 1. It doesn't show how much MORE damage a stab can do than a cut, and 2. It makes it seem like lots of shallow cuts that would turn that t-shirt in to a paint canvas are much more effective than they are. It's close, but still not REALLY aliveness because it doesn't allow for realistic movement under pressure. The issue is, to clarify, for instance, that a cut that wouldn't cut through the denim on my jeans will make a white t-shirt look like a paint canvas with a marker.

Still, it's better than just paired drills. Just, not good enough. Especially when you are talking about training with deadly force in mind.

Want to train with firearms? Cool. Get some firearms and some simu-nitions. Train with firearms. Simulators are good to start out with, but you need to walk as close to the line of reality in your training as is feasible. Because one day, it might be real. And even if it's not, it might be real for one of your students. You can't just stop at level 1 and say, that's good enough, I will start teaching now and telling people I can teach them to defend themselves in these circumstances.

Well, you can if you want, but it doesn't make it so. For example, the guys that I trust in the area of firearms expertise have 25+years experience carrying guns professionally, but the reason I trust them is that their main concern is STILL how much more there is to learn and trying to get every good training opportunity they can.
Don't stop learning. None of us knows it all. But ALWAYS work towards aliveness as an ideal, and remember that while safety is important, it should not come at the cost of adrenal stress and realistic movement under stress. Fighting is an inherently dangerous activity that isn't for everyone.
Easier said than done to teach aliveness to students; as there are those that have never tasted the real thing.

A while back, some twenty years ago, in an Aikido academy, tried to teach some reality based martial arts; was surprised how they behaved like crash test dummies; no offense intended to the Aikidoist but just telling it the way I've seen it.

One student in particular, wouldn't do as I asked of him, he ended up being very badly bruised.

He was actually proud of his bruises; they were a novelty for him.

This particular Aikido group were very out of touch with reality based martial arts.

I set up a seminar with my Sifu and his Sifu, as they are both experts in Chinese military combat and hand held weapons, in hopes of instilling some realistic elements in to the Aikidoists.

Training in the past would be considered abusive compared to today's standards, as cuts and bruises or broken bones, was a part of the consequences of being a martial artist; things have changed.

I have come to the conclusion that, be it vitual or reality based martial arts, it is up to each individual to make their choice and not for me to choose for them.
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MatsuShinshii
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 15 Aug 2016
Posts: 1423
Location: Kentucky
Styles: Machimura Suidi Rokudan, Ryukyu Kenpo, Kobudo, Judo

PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2017 6:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tempest,

Depends on the students/instructors understanding of vital targets and the amount of power is needed to contact the target for maximum damage. An example would be a slash to the clavicle. Hurts but does little damage vs a stab down behind the clavicle which severs arteries, veins and nerves.

If the instructor understands the severity of the cut/slash/stab then there is a logical way to assess damage. The key is to translate this to your students.

I find nothing wrong with Alan's training methods unless the instructor is allowing the students to free for all without proper knowledge of targets.If the student does not understand what the vital targets are and what the damage to said target represents this exercise is nothing more than a count of hits rather than a complete understanding of damage. In that I agree with your assessment.

Knowing that a slash/cut to a target does little damage as a apposed to a stab to the same target is key to the exercise that Alan presented. A good instructor giving good instruction in the effects of a given attack method on a given target brings this exercise to a more real life state vs. who can strike their opponent more. It does little good if you slash your opponent 10 times with little damage if your opponent strikes you once with deadly effect. The fight is over and he goes home and bandages his wounds but lives another day where as his opponent goes to the morgue.

I agree with your statement that understanding what a live blade can do by actually cutting/stabbing into a target medium is also a primary point of knowledge for a student. It does little good to know targets if you can not transmit the proper power into your thrust/slash to penetrate to cause the expected damage to end the fight.

I will end with this statement, it is far less dangerous/risky to the student to be hit by a felt tipped marker vs. a steel practice blade. A lot of damage can be cause by an over zealous student utilizing maximum power and using a steel/aluminum blunt edge even when wearing protective equipment as it doesn't cover the body completely.

I have trained the way you suggest with both blunt and live blades. However I see nothing wrong with utilizing a marker vs a blunt or live weapon. You can make it real by understanding the effects of a given strike and the power generated to make if effective.
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The person who succeeds is not the one who holds back, fearing failure, nor the one who never fails-but the one who moves on in spite of failure.
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MatsuShinshii
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 15 Aug 2016
Posts: 1423
Location: Kentucky
Styles: Machimura Suidi Rokudan, Ryukyu Kenpo, Kobudo, Judo

PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2017 6:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alan,

Not defending the Aikido crowd as I have never taken the art, but the reason they go with the techniques is so that no one gets hurt as they learn. This is the same with Judo. However I have no idea if they then practice with an unwilling opponent to prove the application works.

I can say that Judo is practiced (learned) while Uke allows the technique to be applied during the learning stage. This is so the students learn the proper way to apply and execute the technique first so they can apply it during Randorior when competing. When two participants get out on the mat the object is not to allow the other to throw you or apply a hold, it is to resist. This may be the same for Aikido.

It may just be that they were allowing you to teach them the proper method of applying your techniques so that they could learn before applying them against a resisting opponent. But again I am speculating and assuming that it is learned in the same way that Judo is.
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The person who succeeds is not the one who holds back, fearing failure, nor the one who never fails-but the one who moves on in spite of failure.
Charles R. Swindoll
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Alan Armstrong
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 28 Feb 2016
Posts: 2468


PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2017 6:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MatsuShinshii wrote:
Tempest,

Depends on the students/instructors understanding of vital targets and the amount of power is needed to contact the target for maximum damage. An example would be a slash to the clavicle. Hurts but does little damage vs a stab down behind the clavicle which severs arteries, veins and nerves.

If the instructor understands the severity of the cut/slash/stab then there is a logical way to assess damage. The key is to translate this to your students.

I find nothing wrong with Alan's training methods unless the instructor is allowing the students to free for all without proper knowledge of targets.If the student does not understand what the vital targets are and what the damage to said target represents this exercise is nothing more than a count of hits rather than a complete understanding of damage. In that I agree with your assessment.

Knowing that a slash/cut to a target does little damage as a apposed to a stab to the same target is key to the exercise that Alan presented. A good instructor giving good instruction in the effects of a given attack method on a given target brings this exercise to a more real life state vs. who can strike their opponent more. It does little good if you slash your opponent 10 times with little damage if your opponent strikes you once with deadly effect. The fight is over and he goes home and bandages his wounds but lives another day where as his opponent goes to the morgue.

I agree with your statement that understanding what a live blade can do by actually cutting/stabbing into a target medium is also a primary point of knowledge for a student. It does little good to know targets if you can not transmit the proper power into your thrust/slash to penetrate to cause the expected damage to end the fight.

I will end with this statement, it is far less dangerous/risky to the student to be hit by a felt tipped marker vs. a steel practice blade. A lot of damage can be cause by an over zealous student utilizing maximum power and using a steel/aluminum blunt edge even when wearing protective equipment as it doesn't cover the body completely.

I have trained the way you suggest with both blunt and live blades. However I see nothing wrong with utilizing a marker vs a blunt or live weapon. You can make it real by understanding the effects of a given strike and the power generated to make if effective.
The idea with the red marker is intended as a wake up call for the student; as every fight taking place on the street, should be aware that an edged blade could be present and used without notice.

Sometimes without notice, while sparring, I will pull out a rubber knife, and stab the student with it; or sometimes pull out a rubber gun on them.

Knife attacking and defending takes alot of practice to master, far more than many people might realize.

Fist fights can very easily turn in to a knife fight, this is reality based thinking self defense
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Alan Armstrong
Black Belt
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Joined: 28 Feb 2016
Posts: 2468


PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2017 7:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes the Uke idea is part of the Aikido way of training/learning but to become ingrained as a crash test dummy isn't right either.
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sensei8
KF Sensei
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Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 16479
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2017 7:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alan Armstrong wrote:
Yes the Uke idea is part of the Aikido way of training/learning but to become ingrained as a crash test dummy isn't right either.

It's suppose to be designed as a learning tool for BOTH the Uke and Tori; if it's not, get as far away from it as possible.



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