Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Peyton Quinn on "The Importance of Teaching the Basics"

From an article on Peyton's site. I have read his stuff in a martial arts trade publication ("Martial Arts Professional"), and look forward to it every other month or so. Here he talks about what really work, in his opinion. Please read the whole thing.

... It is my fundamental premise that the basic techniques & concepts that are taught in the first two to six weeks of proper instruction in any art or style are almost always the very one’s most applicable to a real world self defense situation. Anyone who reads my column each month knows that I all but beat to death the importance of awareness and avoidance and in particular adrenal stress training as being more decisive than skill at physical technique when it comes to a real self defense situation. Master Joe Lewis even told me that he felt it was basically the same thing in the prize ring too.

Yet, so many times I am asked a question something like this "Yeah, I understand the significance of all that awareness and avoidance stuff, but what techniques did you use most often when you were a bouncer?" Well, the ones I used were rather few but I used them repeatedly and they were almost always the most basic & simple techniques of the given art. Be that art Wado-Ryu karate, Judo or some of the elements found in the Aikido or Chinese Wing Chung. Here is the list that space allows me to present here.

(1) The shuto or sudo to the carotid artery. This is a powerful knife hand strike to the side of the neck and it is taught in almost all striking arts styles like TKD or Karate. Many times I would trap the assailant’s potential defending limb with one hand as I struck the blow with the other. Nothing works all the time, some dropped like a stone. But a few others showed little more than a momentary closing of the eyes and transitory disorientation. They were thus able to continue their attacks pretty quickly.Yet, that split second of incapacitation is all that is really needed most times if you press and continue the attack such that the enemy never has no chance to recover and defend themselves.

(2) The outside reaping throw as taught in Judo (Osoto Gari) as well as in some other throwing arts. So many fights do go to some sort of standing grapple that this technique comes up a lot. It can be dangerous to the enemy as he is thrown to the ground rather hard and sometimes the back of their heads will strike the floor from the inertia of the impact. You must step past the leg you are going to reap with your non-reaping leg before executing the throw. The common error is to attempt the throw too far away from the enemy. You need to be shoulder to shoulder on the throwing side of the enemy.

(3) The basic chokes. Mainly the "grumas" of the Japanese arts but no matter what you call them they are all about the same. The Brazilian’s jujitsu people teach them very well and call one "Mate De lion" or killing the lion". Knowing how to apply a good solid choke like this is a key self-defense skill. The most useful ones are done from behind the enemy. You must learn to be immediately be aware of when the enemy has passed out and the technique can be released.

(4) The basic front kick to the groin. I do not feel kicking above the waist should be attempted in any real fight.

(5) The knee strike to the groin or the side of the thigh (a nerve center).

This is not a complete list of course, but these were the main ones I used. Please keep in mind how basic they all are.

Yet, in the safety of our schools when we spar things are much different. We know that the simple and basic techniques, that is the ones that can carry true damaging power can almost always be avoided by our training partners who trains in our own style. Hence, sometimes the tendency is to put together "tricky combinations" and esoteric and complex techniques to "score" on the training partner or tournament opponent. But these things have no real application to a real self-defense situation at all. They are dangerous for you to even attempt in a real fight. There is simply no "scoring" in a real fight. Even if you managed to tag him three times with such tricky" but non disabling shots (and to do so you would truly have to be an exceptional martial artist) none of that will matter at all when he hits you with that one simple knock out shot.

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