Monday, April 26, 2010

VPPG

The Violence Prone Play Group was an idea that came from sitting too long in a CHU (Containerized Housing Unit) in Kurdistan. I like teaching, but it misses the exploration aspect that I love about learning. Guiding others is very different than learning for yourself. You also don't get nearly the workout.

So the idea was to get a small group, no more than six, together. I wanted high-end instructors. Not because the rank means anything but because I wanted people who had moved into territory where they were on their own. It was never intended to be a group that would get together and show off what they knew. I wanted a group that would get together and share what they were working on. If you have been doing martial arts or combatives or fighting for even a year, there should be a mystery that you are working on. How to get the power from the ground or how to use the energy of a rush, something basic like that.

Too many don't. They wait to be spoonfed what their instructor wants them to know on a schedule chosen and imposed by the instructor. I wanted people who had been in long enough that they had gotten to the questions the instructor didn't have answers for: How do you prioritize options when you are outnumbered? Defense or offense when your mobility is compromised? Why are the mechanically identical blocks and strikes processed differently? How fast can you read tells?

I wanted people who had got to that level and kept going.

I envisioned a small group, maybe drinking coffee, "What you working on?" And someone could spill out some weird thing about spine control for damage resistance and someone else would have experience in something similar and two others would wonder if you could apply it moving and fighting and the fifth would recognize that "if" wasn't the real question, but "how" was...

The group would brainstorm and then they would bang. When everyone was tired and had a headful of new data, they'd debrief. And then someone would ask another question and the group would brainstorm and then brawl...

The inaugural group was small. Just three of us. All skilled, all liking to play. There was a little blood and there were far more questions than answers... but it was great. A truly wonderful time.

7 comments:

shugyosha said...

Some beautiful things have come from groups like this. My first thought goes to the "Black Belt Society", but also some others in early XXth century China or post-war Japan.

Take care & have fun.

James said...

I've had this experience twice. Both times generated life-long friends. The last time was a group of FMA buddies. We'd meet on some tennis courts in north Tampa on Tuesday nights. We'd try new drills, ideas, everybody would put in their 2 cents and then we'd play. The end of the evening was always reserved for full contact stick fighting (this was pre Dog Brothers). I'd show up for read-off Wednesday with some nasty bruises on my arms or a fresh and still healing scar along my hairline. It was great! Some on my squad thought me deranged. There might be something to that.

Nick said...

That sounds like a lot of fun! So many questions...

Steve Perry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Steve Perry said...

Ne'er-do-wells! Thugs! Bruisers! You -- you hit people!? What is wrong with you? You uncivilized brutes!

Mac said...

Ka-Ju-Ken-Bo; honor to Professor Adrian Emperado and his 'bangers' where several bottles of wine and a jar of aspirin were part of the debrief.

shugyosha said...

Mac,

we had our 1st Emperado Memorial Seminar last weekend. Er... there's a reason I always carry balms in my fanny pack --just hope you're not British! ;)--. We don't usually get open wounds, but we get the rest.

Take care.