Monday, February 19, 2007

First Feedback

Asher e-mailed me a critique and suggestion for the first MU class. It looks good, both managable in the available time and pertinent. It also leads better into the concept of complexity.

The class would center around the Big Three. The first part would be about awareness, first at the martial art level- by starting with one count and then blindfolded infighting, then expanding it through environment and then into social dynamics- "What haven't you learned to see?"

Then initiative- explosive movement but also disrupting the OODA loop. Go buttons and ruthlessness. Working out your moral issues with battle in advance.

Then permission. Touch my face. Put your thumb against my eye. Press. Who can do it, who can't? Your brain may know it's okay to maim a rapist, but does your body? Does your soul? Where are your glitches? How do you find them? Does any of this martial stuff really matter if you hesitate to use it?

It would be a good first class. Maybe more active and I could shift the toolbox class to third, in place of complexity (which many people will not be ready for).

Here's a thing on a side note: In one of the endless debates about training methods, an acquaintance advocated nothing but sparring. I pointed out all the ways real violence could happen that didn't resemble sparring in the slightest. He shrugged and said, "It's impossible to train for everything."

There is a deep immaturity to that thought. Can you train for everything? No. Yes. At the beginner stage or in some schools they practice by the numbers- he does this, you do that. Training at this stage is all about remembering thises and thats. But you get over it, if you or your instructor are any good. It's no longer scripted, no longer memorized and you can easily wing an answer to an attack you've never seen before.

"It's impossible to train for everything" stretches this attitude not just over techniques, but over training methods and strategies. It takes something that is only really designed for giving absolute white belts a handle on something new deciding that it describes the world.

When a new student starts with "What if?" questions, many instructors say, "Don't worry about that now. Practice what you are doing." "It's impossible to train for everything" takes this dodge and applies it as a strategy. Weird.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

In high school we had this mandatory self defense course for girls. Every 14 year old was obligated to participate. The goal was preventing girls from getting sexually assaulted.

8 lessons. 2 instructors. Lots of techniques.

In theory this was a good thing, practically... not so much.

I once asked my instructor: "What if there are two (attackers)?" He responded: 'Don't count on that to happen.' (I'm not kidding!)
I tried again: "Yeah, but what if there are?"
I got the disapproving look and my name in a warning voice.

This really bugged me.
I asked because this already happened to me. I asked because none of the instructors techniques would work against more Threats. I doubted they'd even work against one.

This was on the second part.
On the first part: It sounds like an useful and fun seminar. Too bad I missed it.