Still working on getting NYC or NJ going, which would be a fourth October gig. Crazy busy, but cool. San Francisco/Oakland next weekend. Enough with the crass commercial announcements.
I'm toying with an idea that is either too obvious or too dumb, and I'm not sure which. At the Crossing the Pond event in Seattle, I noticed that almost all the instructors were advocating getting off line. I made a big point that got attention: "It is easier to beat people up from behind them." Did anyone not know that? Really?
Kris Wilder, in "The Way of Kata" made the point that almost all of the Goju-ryu kata are designed to get you to the enemy's flank, to the position I call the dead zone. That sweet spot behind the threat's elbow where he can't effectively put any attacks on you without your permission (actually, I'm working on some options in the VPPG) and you have all your fire power plus the ability to screw with his center of gravity and structure.
So we were all teaching it and some of the stuff was so obvious/stupid that it was almost embarrassing to mention. And yet almost every time a drill moved towards contact, almost every time the students and even some of the instructors were working with a partner, feet would reverse or movement would change and the students wound up fighting face-to-face.
The instinct to as Marc puts it, go straight up the middle, seems pretty powerful. And many still do it, even when they know it is stupid. Even when they have just been given and reinforced tools for taking the back.
When I look at systems, how many work at getting the back? Some of the grappling systems, of course... but in others, a face-down pin (which is as good as it gets, in real life) don't even count. How many have been taught, formally to get behind the enemy? And of those, who practices it and when does instinct take over and keep them in the kill zone, practicing for sport or duel and imagining combat?
It's in the kata. That long step followed by a 90 degree pivot takes you off line and puts you on the flank. But the McDojo master says you are turning to face a new opponent. Whatever.
Playing with the words "fight like a criminal"- what does that mean? Take every advantage you can. Don't cripple yourself with allegiance to imaginary rules or expectations. Get the job done, safely. Practically- get behind. Use a weapon. Get surprise. Get numbers on your side. Choose to attack the small, weak and unprepared. Start friendly.
And almost all of them are the exact opposite of what is taught i martial arts and self-defense courses. "That's not martial arts! That's ...that's ...that's just beating people up!"
Who brought that distinction to the table, I wonder?