Monday, April 18, 2011

Simple Sequence - Meet Timing

 Steve throws a high R. punch at Cam's head; Cam blocks, R. arm–

–and steps in, R. lead, for a R. elbow strike to the ribs–

–the force of the impact and Cam's lower center of gravity combine–

–to take Steve's balance, knocking him backward, as Guru observes.
(Steve's ribs were sore for most of the following week, and bruised for two weeks.)

(Photos by Ashley "Mouse" Chung)

In this class, a technique showing the first of several ways to time a defense, which are: 1) Meet 2) Advance 3) Retard, or 4) Monty Python ("Run away!")

Meet-timing is what you are apt to do when you aren't quite ready and have to hurry, and the most simple, requiring the least amount of time and distance. 

Advanced, you get rolling before the attacker gets where he wants to get, beating him to the punch, and as such, needs a skosh more time. 

Retardation involves unexpectedly changing the distance a bit once the attack is in motion, so you aren't where the attacker strikes when he gets there. Also needs a bit more time than a direct meet.

Monty Python, (aka evasion), is when you have time to get out of the way without getting smacked.

There are other things to receiving an attack, of course, but these go to the timing and distance aspect of a one-on-one you see coming. Which you use depends on when you realize the shit is about to hit the fan.

You can also attack with these timings, and can mix and match them to draw an attack when you want it, or for more than one opponent. 

Stutter-steps, bounce-steps, kuda-kuda, stealing distance, feints, offering openings, breaking rhythm, lot of other things are there. But meet-timing is the "Oh, shit!" move you throw up when you miss the chance to go first ...

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Knife Fighting Redux

Another discussion on another site, and the will-you-or-won't-you-get-cut? argument popped up again, so I thought here would be get a good place to speak to it ...

I've mentioned this before, but it bears restatement: After a long run of classes wherein we spent the entire sessions going back and forth with practice knives, bare against the blade and knife v knife, the conclusion I reached was that any kind of a knife fight was a bad idea for anybody allergic to the ER.

That against somebody who knows more about a knife than which end to hold and which end to poke with, such encounters are almost certainly going to result in cuts or stab wounds.

That would be the default position, and a contingency for which plans would have to be laid. If I get cut -- when I do -- then what? 

You can't stop because your arm is bleeding and say, "Time out! King's X!"

Not to say that you couldn't get stabbed and survive. Most people who are stabbed do survive. Not even to say that being cut or stabbed means you would lose. But given the numbers of practice encounters I've had with trained players on both sides of a blade, getting sliced somewhere was almost certainly going to be part of the deal–and we were stopping it down. Real lines, but not full speed nor killing intent. 

A trained knife guy who goes bugfuck on you with a knife is going to cut you if you stay there. Period.

If I have a knife and you don't and we engage, I like my chances better than I like yours, no matter who you are. I might not win, but you will bleed unless you are light years ahead of me in skill.

So when I get into the discussion about such encounters, those folks who say that they don't think that's gonna happen, based on their actual experiences, I don't find them completely convincing. 

Hey, I had an actual experience, too. And I didn't get cut. But I know it was a fluke, the guy was probably stoned to the gills, and I was lucky. You don't base a self-defense system on luck, nor on the other guy being inept. (Though that might make for a fun fantasy story.)

Sure, the street guys might have danced with attackers who were waving knives, but if I had to guess, I'd make it that those attackers weren't any kind of adepts with steel. Because if they were, steel beats flesh, else we'd still be fighting wars barehanded.

So if I think I'm gonna get cut, I have to see no other good option if I am going go there. If I don't get cut, then hooray! that's gravy. If I think I won't get cut and I do? Not so good.

That's what my experience tells me. Your mileage may vary. 

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Fighting and Philosophy

Kerambits, L. to R.: Crowner, Rollert, Pippin

Even though I'm not actively involved in the silat wars online any longer, that doesn't mean I never have discussions about this, that, or the other. Martial artists exchange views, and there are a couple high-level ones I talk to now and then.

I find this useful. Sometimes we agree, sometimes we don't, and as long as the expression of views stays reasonable and doesn't venture off into ad hominem attacks or my-stuff-is-better-than-yours-nyah, nyah! these conversations can be beneficial. 

I'm happy with the path I'm on, and don't feel the need to leave it for somebody else's, but I am willing to exchange views. 

I get asked a question I haven't thought much about, and I have to formulate a reasoned response. 

I hear something I've heard a thousand times before, I offer the opinion I have come to about it, and why. 

I hear something I haven't heard before, and I have to think about how it fits into what I know. Unless you are already at the top of the mountain–and I'm not–then the view along the path can vary, and you can jaunt down a side trail if it looks interesting and pick up something you might have missed otherwise, without having to jump to a different mountain. That's how it happens, at least for me. 

Always something new I can learn ...