Friday, December 05, 2008

TDA Blitz 2008.12.05

Holiday Rush Edition: I've decided to start naming the Blitz with a theme, just 'cause. This is a bonus 15 bullet Blitz because we weren't able to get one out last Friday.

We're through with Thanksgiving now, the aptly named Black Friday has come and gone, and we're in a rush to complete our Christmas shopping. I'm fortunate to be able to have negotiated the amount of leave that I did, and will be off from mid-month through the New Year's Day holiday.

Without further ado, and after much research and painstaking vetting, here's the TDA Blitz!

  1. Well done! Via Military Times.LTG Charles Cleveland

    Newly confirmed Korea ace receives Silver Star

    Fifty-five years after he flew F-86 Sabres over Korea, retired Lt. Gen. Charles Cleveland will receive a Silver Star for his aerial dog fights on Monday.

    Cleveland qualified for the Silver Star earlier this year when the Air Force Board for Correction of Military Records recognized a MiG 15 he shot down in 1952 as an official kill. The board’s decision made him an ace, a pilot with five confirmed kills.

    Cleveland did not record the dog fight as a confirmed shoot down in 1952 because he had not seen the plane crash, flames coming from the plane or the pilot bail out.

    More than 50 years later, a West Point classmate of Cleveland’s, Dolph Overton, found Soviet records of flight operations in Korea that included a shoot-down matching Cleveland’s encounter. Evidence from those records helped convince the records board that Cleveland brought down the MiG-15.

  2. One of the best video posts in a while, Striking Thoughts compares how different martial arts handle street fights. Head over and watch!
  3. How is Britain's strict gun control, and now "knife control" policy working out? As this, and many other stories reveal, not well. The focus "across the pond" has been on criminalizing any means that honest citizens have from defending themselves, and those who choose not to obey those laws can run rampant. If handguns were legal and available, do you think that the incidence of knife crimes would be as high?

    One teenager killed on Britain's streets every five days

    One teenager has been killed on the streets of Britain every five days this year as the number of fatal stabbings soars, The Daily Telegraph can disclose.

    Official figures from each police force in the UK reveal a grim tally of 65 teenagers who have met a violent death since January 1 - almost two-thirds of whom were stabbed to death.

    The record level of teen killings, which has doubled in five years in London alone, has alarmed senior officers and led to being named as the top national priority at a recent meeting of police chiefs.

    The figures show that the problem is acute in the capital, which has six times the rate of teenage murders of any other city.

  4. EagleSpeak reveals Mumbai attack parallels failed New York attack plan. Do we still need to remain vigilant? The terrorist murderers in India reveal what a disarmed populace, and under-trained and poorly armed police force can't do: stop a determined band of attackers willing to die. I think we all hope that our civilian law enforcement would do better...

    Stratfor posts an interesting comparison between the Mumbai attack of last week with a failed plan to attack New York City several years ago in From the New York Landmarks Plot to the Mumbai Attack. From the last piece by and :

    A third similarity exists in the geography of the two cities. In both plots, the use of watercraft is a distinctive tactical similarity. Watercraft gave militants access at unconventional locations where security would be more lax. Both Mumbai (a peninsula) and Manhattan (an island) offer plenty of points where militants can mount assaults from watercraft. Such an attack would not have worked in New Delhi or Bangalore; these are landlocked cities where militants would have had to enter by road, a route much more likely to encounter police patrols. Being centers of trade and surrounded by water, both Mumbai and New York have high levels of maritime traffic. This means infiltrating the area from the water would raise minimal suspicions, especially if the craft were registered locally (as was the case in the Mumbai attack). Such out-of-the box tactics take advantage of security services, which often tend to focus on established threats.
  5. Low Tech Combat has a great post on Helio Gracie - Training into Old Age. Inspiring!A Roadmap for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
  6. BJJ luminary Stephan Kesting has a free e-book for you! Go here at Beginning BJJ to get it. I did, and look at me now. Ok, don't look at me, but imagine that I'm really good at BJJ now. If you had done the same a few minutes ago, you'd be good at it, too. Really.
  7. Jiu-Jitsu Sensei Lori O'Connell has an interesting post on Why Small People Have More Trouble When Starting a Martial Art, stating that, "When starting out, bigger people usually have less trouble because what they lack in technique, they make up for using strength. Then, with practice and good instruction, they will make adjustments to eventually do it without relying on their strength (in theory)." I'd actually disagree with that, and say that, perhaps only in grappling arts does strength confer an advantage in the beginning stages of training. In many traditional striking arts, techniques are done in the air, or at best, on a striking posts or bag, where strength doesn't make any difference. When it comes time to applying such striking arts, many of the tactics and techniques were actually designed by smaller instructors for use on someone of the same or larger stature. So, larger size and strength can make it harder sometimes. Where bigness really shines is competitive sport styles like BJJ, Judo, boxing, Sumo, or any other style where weight classes don't make a height distinction, and rampant weight-cutting can lead to great strength disparities. Is she right? Yes, and no.
  8. John Zimmer's post Fighting with Self-Defense! addresses his dinner conversation with a "formal" (as opposed to sport) stylist in karate who said that,
    The formal stylist made the following points:
    • you fight the way you train

    • if you put on hand and foot pads, you drastically reduce the possible targets

    • if you spar using self-defense, you will end up maiming or killing your sparring partner

    • if you have to defend yourself, you will end up making mistakes if you are used to fighting for sport

    I made the following points:

    • you fight the way you train

    • high-kicks would work against most attackers as I was already used to them

    • I would not be surprised if I got hit hard (used to contact)

    • I was used to hitting and winning fights (from sparring)

    So you can see how the conversation went and I came away knowing that I was right because I had been in over 100 (my estimate) real fights in the bar while I was bouncing and never had too much of a problem. But he got me thinking and today I now think I agree with allot of his positions.

    It's a very interesting post, and while I agree with Zimmer on many points, the reason he's able to use his "sport karate" style of fighting in self defense Why Shodan?was because he modified it for the street. He admits to using some basic techniques, but aimed at "illegal" areas, and had a lot of experience (100+ violent encounters) due to his encounters with unruly patrons as a bouncer. He's clearly a fighter, not just a sport player. The delusion of a lot of no-contact "formal" stylists persists, though, in that some still believe that deadly techniques which they've never practices full-speed/full-power, or who don't make contact or spar, are still going to prevail against some untrained street ruffians. Sigh... More on this in a full post.

  9. On the subject of self defense, this encounter makes it clear that you'd better make sure you're opponent is really finished before you let down your  guard!
  10. Fascinating post by our friend Patrick at Mokuren: why first degree black belt is called "Shodan," and not, "Ichidan." I learned a lot there, Pat!
  11. Cops now using Twitter? Makes sense. Read it!
  12. Good advice on generating more striking power at Traditional TKD.
  13. Excellent advice on data security to protect your identity and finances.
  14. Congratulations to Kyoshi Steve Lavalle on earning 8th dan!
  15. Brave New World. A genetics company is offering a $149 test that aims to predict a child’s natural athletic strengths. Christopher Littlefair at Diary of a Martial Artist has a great video post named, appropriately, Hilarious. Click the link or the photo to watch!
    Hilarious but sad attempt to break boards



1 comment:

Lori O'Connell said...

My style of Jiu-jitsu is not a grappling-based style. It uses a wide variety of strikes using fists, feet, forearms, elbows and knees. Our style also has no competitive focus. The purpose of our style is self-defense. In fact, when I wrote the post, I was thinking specifically of a strike that I was teaching that night, a forearm thrusting strike that uses the impact of a forearm to thrust an attacker away. I had been teaching the technique to a tiny new student who was struggling to do it on a much larger person.

That being said, we apply many of our strikes and techniques on people, not just on pads or in the air. And because our focus is on self-defense, we apply the techniques live on our training partners (big and small) to defend against a variety of holds and grabs. So even though our style is not a grappling-based competitive art, strength does play a factor. Be that as it may, our students are expected to learn good accuracy and technique in order to be able to defend themselves against bigger, stronger attackers.

I think you're right though about more striking oriented styles in that because they don't deal with live attackers/ opponents in the early stages that it makes it easier for smaller/ physically weaker people to learn.