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Tempest
Green Belt
Green Belt

Joined: 31 Aug 2006
Posts: 422
Location: Tulsa, OK
Styles: Judo, HEMA

PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2016 2:15 pm    Post subject: Distance Management Reply with quote

Managing the distance, or measure as we tend to refer to it in fencing, is a very important aspect of any fight, but when weapons are involved it becomes the single most important thing keeping someone alive.

Explicit and implicit understanding of measure is an integral part of everything we do where I train.

How and how often does your school teach this important concept?
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sensei8
KF Sensei
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Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 14370
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2016 5:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some time ago, I wrote an article here at KF, and I believe that it has some bearing as to this thread.

http://www.karateforums.com/close-range-space-management-vt46269.html?highlight=space+management

After all, as any Kobudo student will tell you, the weapon, any weapon, is the extension of yourself. Awareness of ones surroundings work well into what the weapon will or won't do. For example, within tight confinement spaces, one better be aware of those limitations. However, those confinement space management aren't ruled by those limitations because adaptations are taken to ensure a clean and direct path to the weapons target.

For those who think that a bo can't be freely swung within a confined space, are limiting themselves wholeheartedly, and they've not mastered that bo, nor do they understand and appreciate that bo...imho!!




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

PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2017 6:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Distance is incorporated into all training both with and without weapons. I do not feel it is any less important when not wielding a weapon.

Ranges are pretty much set based upon the weapon (hand, foot, elbow, knee, sai, nunchacku, eku, rokushaku, yari, etc.). Knowing the safety range and the engagement range of a given weapon is something that can only be learned through constant practice to build the depth and range perception one needs in a combative altercation with or without weapons.

Having said this, it is taught in every lesson and is an important lesson that must be learned. However, and again, I do not feel that anyone can teach you per-say proper distances. This again has to be learned through doing.

One must also learn what safety range means. Most would assume this means outside of range when in fact this can also mean being at a range that the weapon can not be effectively utilized. You can not effectively swing a Bo if the opponent is right next to you. This takes away it's effectiveness and allows someone with say, nichogama, to capitalize due to the fact that the weapon is effective at close range.
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Tempest
Green Belt
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Joined: 31 Aug 2006
Posts: 422
Location: Tulsa, OK
Styles: Judo, HEMA

PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2017 9:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I do not feel it is any less important when not wielding a weapon


See, I don't think it is any less important, but there is a larger margin for error.
You can be hit by a glancing blow from a fist, foot, knee or elbow, possible even a bo, and still be generally ok. A glancing blow from a longsword is not gonna have the same effect as a clean cut, but you will NOT be ok.
Quote:
However, and again, I do not feel that anyone can teach you per-say proper distances. This again has to be learned through doing.

I can't really agree entirely with this, because we manage to teach it all the time. The secret is in understanding range finders during the fight. Now, this MUST be refined by practice, but it also should be taught in the first place. A good example of what I mean is the concept of the forte, metza, and foible in italian fencing. A key component of ranging and safety is knowing that when your forte is above and against your opponents foible, it is safe to attack and you are likely in range.
The various "guards" of swordsmanship are designed around the idea of disguising this range and safety from your opponent while allowing you to, hopefully, recognize it in your own situation. Once again, this MUST be refined through long practice, but it can be taught.
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MatsuShinshii
Black Belt
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Joined: 15 Aug 2016
Posts: 1423
Location: Kentucky
Styles: Machimura Suidi Rokudan, Ryukyu Kenpo, Kobudo, Judo

PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2017 4:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tempest wrote:
Quote:
I do not feel it is any less important when not wielding a weapon


See, I don't think it is any less important, but there is a larger margin for error.
You can be hit by a glancing blow from a fist, foot, knee or elbow, possible even a bo, and still be generally ok. A glancing blow from a longsword is not gonna have the same effect as a clean cut, but you will NOT be ok.
Quote:
However, and again, I do not feel that anyone can teach you per-say proper distances. This again has to be learned through doing.

I can't really agree entirely with this, because we manage to teach it all the time. The secret is in understanding range finders during the fight. Now, this MUST be refined by practice, but it also should be taught in the first place. A good example of what I mean is the concept of the forte, metza, and foible in italian fencing. A key component of ranging and safety is knowing that when your forte is above and against your opponents foible, it is safe to attack and you are likely in range.
The various "guards" of swordsmanship are designed around the idea of disguising this range and safety from your opponent while allowing you to, hopefully, recognize it in your own situation. Once again, this MUST be refined through long practice, but it can be taught.


I understand your point of view and I think we are saying the same thing. Yes you must explain to the student how to read distance but what I was referring to is feel. You can not teach a student to judge distance, they must develop the feel on their own.

It doesn't matter how many times you show them distance, it will not sink in until they put this into practice and get the feel based on the weapon utilized by the opponent. Of course understanding the attacking techniques and capabilities of the weapon also go into this.

Basically one must learn to use the weapon both as offensive and defensive to develop the feel for distance. Just because the weapon is exactly 42" and the opponents arms are 28", does not mean the safety zone is 70" from the opponent. This can only be learned through experience and practice.

You can show the student distances but until they put this into practice and begin to understand what that actually means and how ranges constantly change, and until they are able to adapt as the ranges change they will not get it no matter how much they are shown.

This has been my experience at least. It's something that just happens without thinking about it. The body responds without thought. We call this Mushin (no mind). And again this IMHO can not be taught. If it could every student would be an expert without the need to learn through hard knocks.

If this can be taught without the student developing the feel, that is by showing/telling the student, they can face down an opponent without having developed their own feel for ranges, fluctuations in range, then please share the secret. I have been in the empty hand arts for 30+ years and the weapon arts for 30 yrs and it took me most of that to develop these skills. No one was ever able to teach this to me, it was developed through thousands of hours of training.

To address your sword comment above, I have been studying the art of the sword (albeit not the same type of sword in your reference above) for many years and distance is typically measured in hairs.

There are only three outcomes and two are not good for you. Waiting until the right second to strike and moving just enough to not be struck (if your lucky) can only be learned through doing. This takes literally years to get proficient at and possibly a life time to gain enough mastery to actually walk away from a real altercation. I can not, no will not say that I can come even a little bit close to claiming I am at this level. However and again this is developed through years of doing and developing the feel for not only the opponents weapon, your weapon, the range/distancing, but also understanding what can be done within a given range both offensive and defensive.

Again I think we are saying the same thing but if not please explain to me how one teaches a student to develop this by just showing/telling. I personally do not see this as a viable method. Just my personal opinion.
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Tempest
Green Belt
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Joined: 31 Aug 2006
Posts: 422
Location: Tulsa, OK
Styles: Judo, HEMA

PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2017 2:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Please do not mistake me, the student must do the work. If they don't, then all the teaching is wasted. If the student does not do the reps, then it is a waste of time.

That being said, there are some very good tricks for saving a lot of time in that school of hard knocks.
For example, pell work. Pell drills will develop the basics of range finding with a sword very quickly.
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MatsuShinshii
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Joined: 15 Aug 2016
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Location: Kentucky
Styles: Machimura Suidi Rokudan, Ryukyu Kenpo, Kobudo, Judo

PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2017 5:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tempest wrote:
Please do not mistake me, the student must do the work. If they don't, then all the teaching is wasted. If the student does not do the reps, then it is a waste of time.

That being said, there are some very good tricks for saving a lot of time in that school of hard knocks.
For example, pell work. Pell drills will develop the basics of range finding with a sword very quickly.


I know I can go to Google and find out what Pell training is but I would rather learn it from someone that understands it from a practicing point of view.

Could you explain what you mean by pell work and how it can be incorporated into weapons and empty hand so all of us can learn, understand it and possibly incorporate it into our training?

Thanks in advance.
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Tempest
Green Belt
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Joined: 31 Aug 2006
Posts: 422
Location: Tulsa, OK
Styles: Judo, HEMA

PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2017 5:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A pell is simply a target usable for practicing strikes that roughly simulates a human target. Pell or pel, is from the Latin for Palus, Palos, Palorum, a pale or stake. Most pells are a stake driven in to the ground, similar to some types of maki wara. A variety of drills can be used, but my favorite for beginners is to first, get a wooden waster, that is what you would likely call a bokken. Cover the center of percussion of the blade, that is the part of the edge that you should be aiming to strike with, in thick tape. No where else should be covered with this tape. Then have the student strike the pell with you watching. The tape on the blade will allow them to feel the difference between a good hit and a poor one. Then have the student strike the pell with the numbered cuts, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, without footwork, that is just from a basic stance in range, until they can strike 10 of each cut in a row on the tape. Then, start adding foot work, then distance, then moving around the pell, then combinations etc. The key is, blows that do not land in the center of percussion of the blade do NOT count. Also note, no where did I mention adding speed. Slow is smooth, smooth is fast.
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MatsuShinshii
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Joined: 15 Aug 2016
Posts: 1423
Location: Kentucky
Styles: Machimura Suidi Rokudan, Ryukyu Kenpo, Kobudo, Judo

PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2017 10:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tempest wrote:
A pell is simply a target usable for practicing strikes that roughly simulates a human target. Pell or pel, is from the Latin for Palus, Palos, Palorum, a pale or stake. Most pells are a stake driven in to the ground, similar to some types of maki wara. A variety of drills can be used, but my favorite for beginners is to first, get a wooden waster, that is what you would likely call a bokken. Cover the center of percussion of the blade, that is the part of the edge that you should be aiming to strike with, in thick tape. No where else should be covered with this tape. Then have the student strike the pell with you watching. The tape on the blade will allow them to feel the difference between a good hit and a poor one. Then have the student strike the pell with the numbered cuts, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, without footwork, that is just from a basic stance in range, until they can strike 10 of each cut in a row on the tape. Then, start adding foot work, then distance, then moving around the pell, then combinations etc. The key is, blows that do not land in the center of percussion of the blade do NOT count. Also note, no where did I mention adding speed. Slow is smooth, smooth is fast.


Thank you for the explanation. I find value in this and will actually be trying this out in training to see if this works. I appreciate this information.
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Tempest
Green Belt
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Joined: 31 Aug 2006
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Location: Tulsa, OK
Styles: Judo, HEMA

PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2017 10:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MatsuShinshii wrote:
Tempest wrote:
A pell is simply a target usable for practicing strikes that roughly simulates a human target. Pell or pel, is from the Latin for Palus, Palos, Palorum, a pale or stake. Most pells are a stake driven in to the ground, similar to some types of maki wara. A variety of drills can be used, but my favorite for beginners is to first, get a wooden waster, that is what you would likely call a bokken. Cover the center of percussion of the blade, that is the part of the edge that you should be aiming to strike with, in thick tape. No where else should be covered with this tape. Then have the student strike the pell with you watching. The tape on the blade will allow them to feel the difference between a good hit and a poor one. Then have the student strike the pell with the numbered cuts, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, without footwork, that is just from a basic stance in range, until they can strike 10 of each cut in a row on the tape. Then, start adding foot work, then distance, then moving around the pell, then combinations etc. The key is, blows that do not land in the center of percussion of the blade do NOT count. Also note, no where did I mention adding speed. Slow is smooth, smooth is fast.


Thank you for the explanation. I find value in this and will actually be trying this out in training to see if this works. I appreciate this information.
I know that this month has been... hectic for you to say the least, but I would be interested in hearing what your results with the pell were if you get a chance.
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