Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Fifty-Seven or So...

Totally unrelated to the last two posts, Nick Guinn asked if I had a ranking sheet, a list of what I wanted students to know.

I used to, back when I thought there were more answers than I believe in now. Nick made me think, though, and the product is sitting in front of me. It fits on one page. Fifty-seven items in six categories. There should be one more-- I woke up in the middle of the night thinking of something that should be on the list but can't remember it now. It will bubble up.

Six categories:
The Seven Aspects will be a book all its own (contract out in the mail just today.)

Principles could be a book, just a list of what makes other things work. Mostly applied physics.

Awareness-Initiative-Permission, the Big Three are already treated in MoV, extensively enough for people to get a handle on them, I think. At least to get a sense of what might be missing.

The Building Blocks are how I approach technique, I guess. Targeting, power and timing. Delivering kinetic energy. How locks work and how to improvise them. Same with with getting someone off their feet or moving them on the ground. Some of those are still rough-- power generation is pretty universal in, say, long-range circular technique but hand conformation really affects both the damage delivered and whether your hand breaks.

The Four Elements (You, the Threat or Threats, the Environment and Luck) all have elements that can be taught and explored but in practice they wind up being a checklist of what is ignored: "When was the last time we did this with shitty footing and improvised weapons? Is this drill set up the way bad guys attack? Where are the points when things can get weird?"
The elements are a big piece of life and self-defense and possibly the source of all complication, but they are also simple in a way.

Miscellania are just thoughts or ways to think or things to remember. Nuances and special skills. Basics like fighting to the goal; big shifts like re-framing the situation. Little details like dead zones.

The list doesn't include drills. Those are fluid and I like the ones I use, but they are ways to get to the point, not the point itself.

There's nothing on the list that is incompatible with what anyone wants to teach. Sort of. Styles developed before modern legal systems may not wish to tack on the information or adapt methods to comply with modern law. The styles enamored of their thousands of discreet techniques might not be happy with unifying them under a handful of principles. Instructors who like their static bear-hug defense may be unhappy when reminded that someone is grabbed, generally to be moved, not immobilized and the technique might not work so well when the victim is lifted off her feet...

But there doesn't seem to be anything here that contradicts the fundamentals of any style. In a lot of ways it is a list of reminders about context. Context can be easy to forget in a big clean room, training with people you like.

I think I'll put some more work into this, shift from merely a list to explanations. Might be another book or two in it.


Unknown said...

Books! Great!

uhm. Could we get a pamphlet? My patience does not seem to be sufficent.

Parker Westbrook said...

Excellent. Careful, though, it looks like the start of a system, ha ha! Kidding...

Had my ladies do the slow one-shot drill last night in plain clothes in the parking garage. Very good.