You Can't Prepare for Everything
When it comes to being prepared for real life and death struggles on the street or the battlefield you cannot have the false idea that you can be prepared for anything. You can only do your best.
Maybe I can give you some idea of how to get the odds more in your favor. First let's look at some forms of preparation which will give you some of the pieces. No one has all of the pieces.
Standard traditional as well as sport-based martial arts in general leave much to be desired when it comes to preparation for bloody chaos. The basic exercises such as forms training and some extended sparring will tone the body and give a person some endurance. It will also make a person more healthy so that they might heal better if wounded or seriously injured. A healthy person will fare better than an unhealthy one in
general. But as professor Brad Steiner (President International Combat Martial Arts Federation) says:
"A choice must be made. If a method can be practiced full force in a competitive venue, then obviously it lacks crippling, maiming, and killing skills — all of which, whether it is popular to say so or not, must be taught and embedded in the student’s psyche and nervous system. If a system is fully combat worthy, then any competition or full contact training in the skills (except against dummies and other insentient training aids) is nothing short of insanity."
Basic strikes and throws may come in handy if the right amount of luck and proper circumstances occur during a truly frenzied life and death altercation with one or more armed or unarmed serious attackers who are bent on your destruction.
No One Is Invincible
Even the vaunted heroes of the ring can fall to a determined attacker.
Take, for instance, a true champion of ultimate style fighting and cage rage events Lee Murray from England. Here is a superb example of power, technique, and natural ability when it comes to competitive fighting in the ring. Here is a man who has demonstrated real courage on many occasions. Lee Murray showed many times what it takes to be a winner. His punching power and grappling ability have made him a top competitor and world level champion as I see it.
Recently, according to the London Evening Standard, Lee Murray fell to a knife attack after exiting a famous London night club. As far as I know he was hospitalized and put into a drug induced coma to allow the surgeons to better deal with his life threatening injuries.
I do not know all of the details of the altercation and can only say that anything can happen in the street. Even a man in his class cannot be prepared for everything.
I pray for his full recovery.
Even a highly trained Israeli soldier, who is a personal friend, who has had extensive training in various Israeli military hand to hand fighting styles who also has real experience in battle can fall in the street to a vicious attack from a few young teens. These young teens were no innocents. They were involved in drug activity in Tel Aviv and my friend crossed their path at the wrong time. He was stabbed 19 times before help arrived. Luckily for him the help came in seconds in the form of a cab driver who was trained and had experience decades earlier in real life and death fights. Along with the cab driver some members of the crowd outside of the night club stepped in to help.
He is now back on full duty. He has a new world view when it comes to who is the enemy and where violence can occur. He also knows that even years of training in "realistic" scenario fighting did not prepare him for the proverbial wolf in sheep's clothing situation.
Is there anything that will prepare one for all situations? NO. You can only do the best that you can.
What CAN You Do?
Above I showed that traditional martial arts training alone is not
the answer. I even showed how a ring fighting champion and even a
battle hardened warrior could fall to bad circumstances.
I could also enumerate many successful situations where a trained fighter prevailed in a life and death altercation.
The winners had some things in common.
One was that they were aware of their situation before it came
down. Even seconds of preparation will often avail a highly trained
combat oriented fighter.
These are the problems. The answers are too lengthy to address in
this one article but will be addressed in two subsequent articles
"Getting Your Mind Right" Parts 1 and 2 by my student Ari Kandel, 3rd
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If you like our Newsletter, tell a friend.
"Hi Guys, I just wanted to drop a quick line. A good friend of mine in his late forty's was attacked tonight at work by an Inmate in an unprovoked attack. The Inmate attacked him with a left hook and made contact with Tim's jaw. But then it was Tim's turn. He instinctively attacked the attacker and was able to control him by smashing him in to a cell door and then the concrete floor. ( He told me later he used principles of contact flow)He then called for a response team. While controlling the inmate and keeping his eyes on the other 79 Inmates in his Unit. I responded to this call and all Tim could do was thank me for training him in KCD. You see he has only about 1 year exp. in Corrections and Zero in fighting. And here is the amazing part no lie Tim has no fighting experience and has only trained with me for 5 class sessions in KCD yes five that is it. It's lucky for the inmate he has not become proficient yet lol. He also told me all the stuff I've been teaching him just clicked and he reacated automatically. AWESOME.
Thanks and God Bless,
P.S. This is the largest prison in the state of Oregon. It holds 3000 Inmates. It should be noted that I learned and am still learning KCD from the book and videos. It is a really good feeling to be able to pass on what I have learned to others...I spoke with Tim today on the phone and he was amazed how he reacted. The Inmate that attacked him is in his early twenties and in excellent condition. He also explained to me that as soon as he started "attacking the attacker" the Inmate tried to run away from him; but it was too late because Tim just flowed with the Inmate."
"What would you say are the major *differences* between contact flow and chi sao? From watching the video (Contact_flow.mov) and reading the description on the video clips page, they seem fundamentally similar, at least ideologically."
Good question! They are similar in that they are energy drills, but that's about it. When doing Chi Sao (as explained to me by my wing chun instructor training partner) you want to always: 1) use the techniques from the forms (bong sao, tan sao, lop sao, etc), maintain a square front facing structure 2) control centerline and 3) use firm energy until stopped and then change to the corresponding technique to respond.
Contact Flow is bound by no structure, no technique, and encourages whatever energy level is necessary to satisfy the principle of being both "unavailable yet unavoidable". There is no centerline; your line of attack may be everywhere or anywhere. Ideally you want your contact to be as light as possible (except when connecting with targets), both to avoid being "read" by your attacker and to allow you to alter your attack as necessary without a thought for technique and to allow a "mushin" state of mind to develop. At times, contact flow looks a little like chi sao, at times like push hands or systema, at times like break dancing. It all depends. The only rules to follow are the rules of physics, which we stress to be: Balance, Body Unity, Looseness, Sensitivity and the 5th rule which is "anything can and will happen."
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