Sunday, June 17, 2007

Ronin on Rank and Effectiveness

In his post, Shameless Self Promotion, Ronin of Crime: Information and Prevention extrapolates on a subject on which we have posted repeatedly - rank inflation. Instead of harping on it, though, he exposes the fallacy of rank as a measure of effectiveness.

...A time tested traditional martial art style is like magnetic force - it will pull you along the desired path as long as you stay in close proximity (training the techniques) whatever your ranking might be.

I also watched this "home brew" martial arts style train today and they were using either an overhead or a lower X - Block, to defeat an attacker - armed with a knife. Sensei yelled "break" whenever one side (empty hands - no blade) "pretend chopped" to the skull or thrusted to the legs or groin and the defenders perfectly stopped the attacking arm with their X - Blocks. "Very good blocks" was barked out to all of those still frozen in the "stopped" position! Sensei knows of me, not really well but respected me by asking me to demonstrate a technique from my system to stop these types of attacks. I thought for a moment and walked before the class and told them they would be far better off to pick up a gun or a lightweight telescopic steel baton than to try and defend against a blade in that manner. Looks of incredulity spread across faces, smirks and sniggers were heard - but hey what the heck let's give 'em a show! Without belaboring anyone with my "blade credentials", I simply asked for a husky 1st Degree Black Belt to remain on the mat as I walked over to meet him. It was obvious in his eyes that he appeared ready to trap my thrusts or possibly get hurt badly - I couldn't say for sure.

Without quotes: I asked if anyone had ever really been in a knife fight where one or both combatants have a blade. No one raised their hand as the variables that my question introduced, spread like a brush fire across their faces. Now I can hear pins drop - they're ready. I asked for one of the shiny new training knives I saw earlier in the odds and ends box. It was brought to me "chop chop"! I told this young man, I'll slowly thrust down toward your skull or face area and you trap me in the X- Block and freeze - I'll take it from there - he nodded his head. So, I made the slowest, largest, circular motion that I could with my wooden Tanto/knife. As I had shuffled in deeply, the defender stepped back to maintain distance (A+) and executed the perfect X-Block (A+), which gently stopped my swing at the wrist. I then relaxed my wrist which slid past the block and then re-stiffened the wrist and proceed through the block - illustrating the loss of blood and probably life that would ensue as the blade edge was drawn down and into the wrists of both hands of the blocker. Completing the circle brought the training knife to the right side ready position where it shot straight into the blockers chest and stomach with multiple stab wounds being inflicted. Of course, we repped this several times to acquaint the students with reality. It doesn't matter if you hold the knife blade up or down - it still cuts the block to shreds - only the follow-through cuts change a bit. Next I told my demo partner to prepare for a straight thrust to the bladder area and he nodded. I again shuffled in - boxing style footwork - and oh so slowly pushed the Tanto forward toward his # 3 area as he perfectly executed the X-Block. As I felt the contact and pressure, lightly pushing down on my blade hand, I quickly slid deeper into him and wrapped my free hand across his crossed arms (to stabilize them) and after using my empty "check hand" to control the arms - I turned sharply at the waist and drew the blade up into his "crossed" wrists and pulled it out quickly - effectively severing everything in his wrists/hands with subsequent multiple stab wounds to the body. I explained that an experienced knife fighter will use that blade like a snake uses his fangs to nail you when given any opportunity. C'mon we've all seen snakes nail expert handlers from the most unexpected angles and positions. Where a man may see 1 mm of "free space" the cobra or the blade sees "opportunity!
Head over to read the Shameless Self Promotion to get the rest.

Black Belt Currency Inflated?
What does the Black Belt mean now?
Today's TDA Tip: Become a Touch Typist

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