Let conflict pass you by

An old friend is getting really good at finding trouble. He is not overly physically large, but his behaviour is as aggressive as it is provocative. It’s like he walks around the generally quiet and peaceful Brisbane looking for violence. This type of guy can be a menace for everyone around him, and you really want to stay out of his way; but the way that he projected his violent nature was interesting to me.

He was acting as though he could take on the world – that he was indestructible and violent and felt no pain. In short, he acted crazy! And by acting crazy, he communicated to the world that they didn’t want to rumble with him. Along the way, he was an obnoxious creep, but if you can choose to behave just a little bit crazy at the right times, you might manage to psych-out potential problems.

As I thought about it a bit more, I came across this article talking about how to handle bullies. One of the highlights is to be aware of what you communicate to a potential aggressor. To avoid a conflict, when the potential aggressor comes into your presence, you will want to be calm and focus on what you’re doing; don’t keep looking back at him (or her) and certainly don’t just steal glances before quickly looking down from time to time – that just makes you into a victim.

When you drop your ego down, you can effectively go into a ‘stealth mode’ that will make you less attractive to potential aggressors.

Still, when push comes to shove, you might want to make sure that you remember how to drop him with a punch to his chin, forearm to the throat or elbow across the jaw… don’t make a mess, but get the job done.

Training this week

We have been training with weapons, especially eskrima sticks, in the past few weeks

Applied self defence techniques, especially on Tuesday. Focusing upon fundamental defences, especially against basics like frontal attacks.

Thursday, Paul led through punch routine, kick routine and five one-on-ones before focusing on ido kihon waza. We then focused on purposeful movement: Projecting energy in the direction of motion while keeping the head level so as to drop the weight into the technique. A few laps of the dojo in zenkutsudachi and shikadachi helped cement the movement.

Ran through naihanchin as it was taught in 1993, then sanchin, tensho and seinchin.

Yaksuko: based upon the defence against double head punch from the start of tensho, slipping into the snake position.

Training this morning

Thanks for a great session this morning. This was one of the longest sparring sessions that we have done for a long time. Multiple attackers: Hit the first one, move to the outside of the circle and fight them one-on-one. Unless you are Jackie Chan or Bruce Lee, don’t fight more than one person at a time!

We train to test what we have learned and where we still need to grow. Being ‘thrown’ or making mistakes is part of learning: If you aren’t stuffing up, you’re not pushing yourself hard enough. So be kind to yourself, remembering that your mistakes are the key to your improvement.

Thursday is likely to focus more on yaksuko. Remember the criteria: Fast initial response, Robust and effective techniques, Degree of difficulty. Double grab from behind: Step out and away, turn with the hands high into trapping their arms. Sleeper: Flip-top head.

Training this morning

Thanks guys for a great session this morning. A quick review:

  • Footwork provides the foundation. Remember that the full motion shuffles, changeovers etc are not the ultimate outcome in mobility, as usual, they are tools for training… moving is the purpose. JKD would teach more just half shuffles, front, back and side to side.
  • Using focus mitts, working on our straight punches and roundhouse kicks; singles and in combination. Another technique that we haven’t worked on as much is the low jamming side kick.
  • Defending against punches by using heavy gloves… next thing will be to train some more with focus mitts to get use to slipping punches.
  • Defence against weapons, especially knife and gun.
  • Think of your punch as a weighted iron chain rather than the iron bar that our karate punching can often train us in executing.

Be like water – form yourself to your environment and use whatever you have to best effect.

Scott’s observations on Seinchin kata punches

RUE (chin), RUP (chin), RDE (throat), RBF (fist upward), LLP (hidden punch), RGstrike (pivot back left foot)

Then pivot 180degrees shikodachi.

In the kata it becomes: catch the elbow. Vertical punch, retract, 45degree punch, hidden punch, groin strike in shikodachi.

Then pivot 180degree backwards shikodachi. Remember inline then pivot at the end.

Sempai Juan’s ideas from a quick session…

Scott’s observations: “Columbian techniques from a young man who came to training.”

  • All kicks begin with a high vertical knee lift then pivot for side or roundhouse remember foot inline pointing backwards as well as whole body in one line.
  • Remember the hip thrust on all kicks and knees.
  • Best stretches are inline splits, and leaning forwards so head tries to touch your ankles.
  • Stretch after warming up for best results.
  • Remember pressure points, inside arm above elbow, inside wrist, outside of forearm, solaplexes.
  • Use a rope to pull the foot up to stretch or a partners shoulder.