Archive for May, 2011
In a real street fight, the vast majority of knockout blows are delivered at a time when you’re standing on your feet and in a position to throw a powerful punch.
But we all know that most fights end up on the ground, right?
Unfortunately, when you’re in a ground fight, the rules tend to change when it comes to knockout blows since those vulnerable targets are largely out of reach when you have a sasquatch-sized mutant gangbanger sitting on your chest wailing away.
THE MECHANIC is a 2011 action thriller film starring Jason Statham, Ben Foster and Donald Sutherland. It was directed by Simon West, who also directed Con Air and The General’s Daughter and was the executive producer of Black Hawk Down. The Mechanic is a very loose reimagining of the 1972 movie of the same name starring Charles Bronson and Jan-Michael Vincent. Jason Statham plays a hit man who works for a large trans-national corporation, Donald Sutherland plays one of the principals of the corporation and Ben Foster plays Donald Sutherland’s son.
I love interrogating my cop buddies. They spend all day interviewing people and it’s fun to turn the tables on them. My favorite question to ask them is “What’s the number one attack that the bad guys are using right now?” I asked my friend Officer Von that exact question the other day. He said that the number one unarmed attack that he’s seen lately is a variation of the double leg pick up from wrestling. He said that the bad guy shoots in, bear hugs your knees or ankles and then lifts you up and dumps you on your side. From there he grounds and pounds you, if he’s alone or if he’s with his friends they’ll toe kick and stomp kick you when you’re down. If the bad guys in your area are successfully using a specific attack regularly then it only makes good self defense sense to practice defending against such attacks. This is the heart of my admonishment that YOU HAVE TO BASE YOUR REALITY BASED SELF DEFENSE IN REALITY.
Ultimately the survival of the Ninja families of feudal Japan had little to do with their use of throwing stars or smoke bombs and everything to do with their ability to skillfully gather information about their enemies and use it to make key strategic and tactical decisions. The same is true in modern times for sovereign nations. To keep their citizens safe, countries heavily rely on the ability of their intelligence agencies to provide them with accurate, up to date information on the activities of their enemies.
In the beginning of Reality Based Self Defense Training we learn ways of surviving violence from OUTSIDE of ourselves. We practice effective methods for dealing with muggings, car jackings and home invasions. If you’re a law enforcement officer, you’ll practice ways to apprehend a perpetrator, if you’re a infantryman you’ll practice MOUT (Military Operations in Urban Terrain) house clearing drills. This is as it should be.
However, we also have to practice surviving violence from the INSIDE as well. If you’ve survived a real life violent encounter you may suffer from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) or Survivor Guilt. Even though in the past, you physically survived the combat encounter, now, in the present you are psychologically suffering. In essence you are combating yourself.
If you are looking for a no-nonsense, no-frills self defense system, Krav Maga is an excellent choice. In the early 90’s I was training exclusively in Chinese Boxing, as taught by Sifu Roger D’Onofrio. His approach to this ancient art was to pare it down to the essentials and make it a reality based fighting system. To grow the school beyond a core group of devotees, Sifu D’Onofrio realized that he needed to deliver a system that was more approachable and segmented. After researching extensively, he found Krav Maga. He and several other of the Chinese Boxing students went to the KM Worldwide Headquarters in Los Angeles, and became certified in the system by Master Darren Levine and his staff. The Chinese Boxing school has since become the San Francisco Krav Maga Training Center, now operating at 1455 Bush Street in San Francisco.
When I was fifteen years old I joined a martial art school that taught a very hard style-reality based version of Jujutsu. There was a lot of emphasis on surviving club and knife attacks, as well as effectively dealing with multiple attacker scenarios.
Once, before class started two of my training buddies and I did an impromptu free fighting session. They both attacked me with punches and kicks from my right and left front corners, nearly simultaneously. I instinctively put my back up against the wall. This accomplished several things at once. It immediately moved me just out of range of the incoming strikes, without having to block or parry them. It also immediately cut in half the angles I could be attacked from, my training partners could not circle around me and attack from the rear, they would have to attack me from my front angles only.
CIRCLE OF IRON also known as THE SILENT FLUTE is a 1978 martial arts fantasy film, originally conceived by Bruce Lee, James Coburn and Stirling Silliphant in 1969. Both Mrs. Coburn and Silliphant were students of Sigung Lee at that time. The film stars David Carradine, Jeff Cooper and Anthony De Longis and has cameos from Roddy McDowall, Eli Wallach and Christopher Lee. The plot involves Jeff Cooper’s character’s MUSHA SHUGYO “Warrior Quest.” Along the way he encounters several trials that educate him in the Zen like philosophy of Jeet Kune Do. Some of the trials involve physical combat and some of them are like Zen KOAN or riddles designed to confound conventional thinking.