Saturday, June 28, 2008

Back to College (Karate College) - Day 2

Karate College, June 26, 2008

KC2008 001

OK - I am on a break and just have a couple of minutes. I will update this post with photos and video, so if you don't check back tonight, you'll miss out. This will be bullets for now, then cleaned up and elaborated. Don't worry, I have plenty of notes, and will make sure I get a Beasley pic out to you, Bob (email me a mailing address), if I can get one, otherwise and autograph that makes it seem as if you're old buddies! :-)

  • 0800 start time is too early! So far, I've attended FEARS with Ian Marshall and Robb Buckland, knife fighting with Jerry Beasley, kickboxing with Joe Lewis. Coming up next: krav maga with Perry Gibson, and MMA with Matt Serra, Karate with George Alexander, Sajido with Jim Sams (never heard of either, but ready to check it out!), then finishing up with some Renzo Gracie and Mike Lee Kanarek before collapsing.
  • Weather is pretty good. A little hot, but sunny and nice.
  • Sheetz is really "my favorite restaurant!" You can get a sandwich really quickly at minimal cost, plus they've got fruit and other healthy junk food alternatives. They also have health food alternatives like junk food, but still...
  • I am actually holding up pretty well. There's not as much rust as I thought, and the it's all there upstairs (stop - I know what you're thinking!).
  • I had two very green partners for FEARS and Joe Lewis, but had to check my instinct to "clean up" their technique. What was I thinking?? I should take things as they are because I can't tell any opponent how to attack me. Dealing with awkwardness is actually more important from a practical perspective than dealing with a honed skill. We need to drill and learn but adapt to the opponent, not make them adapt to us.

More to come (pics,video, and lessons). Goodbye for now.

UPDATE: 2250 hours - Just got out. Had a great time with Renzo Gracie and Mike Lee Kanarek. Took 95 pictures and about an hour of video. I am sitting at a place called FATZ having a draft, clam chowder, and making some pics for you. Check back later tonight or in the AM for the update. Also, I have extensive Kanarek/Haganah footage, and will use some with commentary, or the stills if the quality isn't high enough. Learned a lot.

UPDATE: 2359 hours - See below.

F.E.A.R.S. with Ian Marshall and Robb BucklandF.E.A.R.S. with Marshall and Buckland

  • These guys are pretty good. Marshall and Buckland have different backgrounds, but a reality/reflexive take on self-defense. Use what you already know, just enhance it. Marshall also emphasized using application from kata/forms.
  • Buckland says that you'll typically learn three stances: a Bill Wallace-style side stance for sport, a boxing-type stance, and what he termed a "Mike Tyson" or Sanchin stance. He emphasizes being able to "fight in a phone booth."
  • I showed the assistant instructor Steven what I like to use, the dive position universal block and entry (see this pic), and how I like to counter simultaneously with closing the gap and blocking, versus a 1-2 approach. He liked it.
  • Lower body defends lower body, upper defends upper.
  • Overall, it was pretty good. A taste only, but it left a good impression that they know what they're doing. There's some good seminar footage on YouTube if you want to check them out.

Knife Fighting with Dr. Jerry Beasley

KC2008 078 Dr. Beasley signing some Karate College shirts

This was very interesting, in that Dr. Beasley emphasized the legal aspects of defending yourself with a knife, not removing sentries or stabbing to kill. In fact, he brought a refreshing real-world viewpoint that will probably fit most commercial studios and what most are wanting to learn.

  • His techniques were straight from Kali/Arnis/FMA, and have things in common with other systems.
  • Emphasize slashing as opposed to stabbing. Several good reasons: a slash produces a shock effect in the attacker, at the sight of his own blood, and may cause him to disengage immediately. It show less than lethal intent to a court. Slashing at the extremities disables them [defang the snake]!
  • Be principle-oriented, not technique oriented. Meaning that singular techiques have limited application - you must have the ideal conditions to make them work. Instead, principles apply to all techniques and situations.
  • I thought it was interesting that Beasley said that everyone should have a gun in their homes. "It's a right, and you should do it." Far from being a "empty-hand" purist, Beasley says that it is a recent development to train to fight unarmed, and that warriors always try to use a weapon first. He brought some humor and realism to the debate by saying that, look, these bodies get old, whereas weapons don't. Plus, they require a lot of upkeep to be effective weapons. An expert on JKD and Bruce Lee, Beasley pointed out that Lee wasn't as well versed as many, but everything he knew he could apply expertly because of his superior conditioning and attributes. He was simply faster and stronger than almost anyone his size or bigger.
  • With regard to the knife, he used the Miyomato Mushashi principle of distraction, sharing that Musashi frequently used a throwing weapon to distract then struck with his sword. Use your environment to create that distraction. For example, use sand on the beach to throw at an assailant to give you an advantage.

[I am going to have to quit now and finish this tomorrow. I have to be back at class at 0800 hours]

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