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gheinisch
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Joined: 09 Jan 2003
Posts: 2140
Location: Newnan, Georgia
Styles: Hon-Shin-Do - Shodan

PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2005 7:30 am    Post subject: The Four D's of Martial Arts Reply with quote

Defend:

To defend yourself and loved ones against an attack or to come to the aid of those who are unable to defend themselves against an attacker or attackers.

Is this not what we have always heard that Martial Arts is all about? I think we can all agree that conflict should be avoided at all cost and every effort should be made to deescalate a situation before it turns to violence. A karateka should always try to verbally diffuse a situation before resorting to his/her skills. Gichin Funakoshi has a well known quote, "Karate-do ni sente nashi" or "There is no first attack in karate". The opening move in kata is always a defensive move followed by more offensive and incapacitating techniques. But let's never forget that a "Block is a Strike, a Strike is a Block".

A simple definition of kata is "a series of techniques set to a pattern to defend yourself against one or more opponents." How many times have we been told or conveyed the message to our students about how the martial arts is about defense first? Is this the right message to be teaching our students? It is my belief that it is the right message and should be drilled into the beginning student every class and every opportunity. Now with that said, does this mean that there is no such thing as a pre-emptive strike? Absolutely not! If multiple attackers or a weapon is involved then a pre-emptive strike may just save your life. Situational awareness is another thing that needs to be taught to every karateka. Be aware of your surroundings and walk with confidence in your ability that if something should happen you'll be prepared to effectively handle yourself. Studies have been done to prove that the way you carry yourself and the type of attitude you display can deter predators from making you a target. Predators look for the weak to attack and tend to keep their distance from the strong. Stand tall and be confident, that alone could be enough to avoid a confrontation with someone.

Disorient:

To disorient, what exactly does this mean to a martial artist? The definition is "To be confusing or perplexing to; cause to be unable to think clearly". Chances are that we as martial artists are going to have an advantage against an unknown opponent because all he/she will be expecting is a confrontation with an untrained person. They think they have the advantage because they see you as a victim who they're going to inflict pain on. Think of what happens to their thought process when they go to punch you and are blocked or you side step their attack and use their momentum against them. A quick strike to a vital point, a wrist or arm lock, send them sprawling to the ground wondering what just happened to them. For a moment their brain shuts down and they're befuddled by what just happened. A quick strike to a nerve point can stun someone for a few seconds. That moment is all a trained martial artist will need to diffuse the situation. You would be amazed at how many attackers will stop in their tracks if you just hold your hand up and forcibly yell STOP! It works, try it! This may give them a second chance to rethink their actions and could help avoid a violent confrontation. Of course these tactics change when weapons are involved but I believe they do have a place in every confrontation in one way or another. Make them believe they have the advantage, let them think they have you right where they want you and then turn the tables on them.

Disable:

Ok, this attacker is determined to hurt you and nothing you say or do is going to change his/her mind. They may be hyped up on drugs or alcohol in which case you must remember that they can be 10 times stronger than normal and their adrenaline is pumping. The definition of a truly dangerous person is someone who is welling to take punishment as well as inflict it.

The two options above didn't work and you now have a potentially dangerous situation to deal with. Are you ready? If you have any doubt in your mind at all about your ability to defend yourself or others the best option is to remove yourself from the area as quickly as possible. As yellow belts our Hanshi told us that "now you know just enough to get yourselves hurt". You must be confident in your ability and your art for it to be successful. Doubt can cause fear and fear is the unknown. Learn to control these feelings and they can work to your advantage.
When you have made the decision in you own mind to make a stand then your actions must be quick and decisive to disable your opponent to the point of not wanting to continue or being unable to continue with the confrontation. Be relentless and don't stop until they are totally disabled and unwilling to continue with the fight. In the end it's "better to be judged by twelve than carried by six". This doesn't always mean to break both arms and legs even though some circumstances may call for that. The police and the courts may look at when the threat was neutralized and determine that it was after the initial elbow break, take down, arm lock, etc. Always be in control and don't get caught up in a possible assault charge. The courts would rather hear about all the things you could have done to the aggressor. This will help prove that you showed some restraint in defending yourself or others.

As I mentioned before each situation you may encounter could call for a different approach and it is up to you to determine how much force will be needed to control or neutralize the threat. In a street fight you must expect the unexpected and assume that they are armed. Untrained fighters can be unpredictable and erratic in their actions so you must be prepared for whatever they may throw at you.

Disappear:

No, I don't mean to throw down a smoke bomb and disappear into the smoke like a ninja. But what I do mean is too create distance from yourself and the person you have just had a confrontation with. This could mean to turn tail and run if you feel the odds are not in your favor or you have any doubt in your mind at all. But for the most part I mean to be sure you don't leave yourself open for another attack. If your opponent is down don't stay in his/her personal space, this could leave you in a bad situation if they're not hurt as bad as you think or have friends coming to their aid. In our dojo we refer to it as "closing the door", don't leave it open for someone else to come walking through. Ready yourself and be prepared for the next encounter should there be one.

Summary:

After all is said and done, awareness and knowing your surroundings as a martial artist is the most important thing in my opinion. Being alert and diligent can not only help you avoid dangerous situations but can be a powerful ally on your side in case you should find yourself in a bad way. We all know as Martial Artists that when something does happen you may have only a fraction of a second to react and deal with a predator. If this does happen remain calm and confident in your ability to handle any situation at hand and end it quickly and decisively.
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"If your temper goes forth withold your hand"
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Patrick
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Joined: 01 May 2001
Posts: 27039
Location: Los Angeles, California

PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2005 7:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for the submission.
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sdargie
Orange Belt
Orange Belt

Joined: 06 Jul 2005
Posts: 129
Location: Allston, MA
Styles: Hapchidado

PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2005 10:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

gheinisch wrote:
In our dojo we refer to it as "closing the door", don't leave it open for someone else to come walking through.

What a great phrase. I'm going to share that with my dojo tonight.
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O Sensei said that everyone has a defined sphere of strength and if you can get them outside that sphere then their strength will disappear. I say, EXPAND YOUR SPHERE!
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Menjo
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Black Belt

Joined: 27 Jun 2005
Posts: 1786
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2005 8:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yea i really enjoyed that, that was a good article
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Why_Worry
Blue Belt
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Joined: 30 Aug 2005
Posts: 290
Location: Cherry Hill (Hills of Cherrys)
Styles: Karate

PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2005 6:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very interesting article. Thanks for typing it so me and everyone else could read it. I especially liked when it said martial arts is about defending yourself, not hurting others. Also, like my sensei tells me about awareness and presence, "Its not the technique that matters, its the time in between the techniques."
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bushido_man96
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Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 27760
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2006 4:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I enjoyed this article. I like the order of the concepts that you used.
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baronbvp
Black Belt
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Joined: 27 Feb 2005
Posts: 1151
Location: Berlin, Germany
Styles: Muay Thai, boxing, JKD/MMA, Shorin Ryu, military combat arts, fencing, archery

PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2007 5:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good article. You mentioned attempting to deescalate the situation, but I would make that its own "D" for a total of five D's. Deescalation is that important and rarely trained.
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Martial arts are like kinetic chess. Your move.
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gheinisch
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Joined: 09 Jan 2003
Posts: 2140
Location: Newnan, Georgia
Styles: Hon-Shin-Do - Shodan

PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2007 12:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very good point baronbvp. I agree that deescalation of a situation is a very important part of being a Martial Artist and something that I feel is not taught enough. Thanks for bringing it up.
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