Friday, July 13, 2012


YMAA wants to film a companion video to "Drills" in August in Boston.  In one day.  That's ambitious, there are 72 drills listed in the expanded version.  The video has to be able to stand on its own, too.  And, IMO, the most important types of survival knowledge won't really work on a video.
Important type part one-- knowing yourself and the world, learning to make a good decision and execute it.  All the stuff that keeps defense from ever going physical in the first place. The really big safety gains are right here.
Important part 2-- In a visual media you can only see what something looks like.  Looking 'right' is almost completely useless when things go bad.  It is a matter of feeling, internal and external.  You have to feel balance.  You can see it, but eyes will never be fast enough to use it. A good hit and a bad hit can look almost the same, but they feel very different, on both ends.  You can learn about this stuff (whether the stuff is fighting or self-defense or play) by watching.  But learning about a thing is not learning the thing.  You have to get in and play.

So, the script outline (current version):
Basics on safety, goals, teaching.  Who needs what types of drills (e.g. if you play hard, you have developed safety flaws that you play slow to overcome, but if you ONLY play slow, you will unprepared for the speed and impact).

For each drill a quick brief on safety issues, how to execute the drill, what is learned and what isn't.  What might be conditioned, good or bad.

---Slow Man Drills as a coaching option
---Three-way coaching
Four Option One-Step
---Targeting Drill as an adjunct training method
Blind Fold Series
---Include Core Defense and Core Fighting
Dance Floor Melee
---Introduce the debriefing concept
---Explain tricks and one-offs
Environmental Fighting
Mass Brawl
Jujutsu Randori

That's sixteen drills from the book.  Might be interesting to add a check list or some of the personal soul-searching exercises to the inserts.  It's not nearly comprehensive, but will still be ambitious to shoot in a single day.

For those of you that have read drills, are there any in there that aren't on this list that really need a visual tutorial?  Which were the hardest to understand in writing?


Wayne said...

I had to glance over the manual again, been a while since I last read it, but it seems to me you got the core stuff down. Lots of other stuff that could be covered but not things that really need a video to explain what to do.

Looking forward to seeing the final work. I'll catch you down in your neck of the woods one of these days.

zzrzinn said...

I didn't find any of them hard to understand really. However especially with drills for some reason I think that having a visual reference, even if it's just a small snippet can be a huge deal. For example watching someone do one step can often explain more than description can.

If I had to pick one, I would like to see "advanced Ukemi".

Anonymous said...

Hi Rory,

Thoroughly enjoyed your seminar in May with Andi Kidd and co - went to Kris Wilders seminars as well, and again recently to Ian Abernethy's.

I really really enjoyed the one-step sparring system you started us with, with the emphasis on seeing and using every possible response. My take on it when teaching it now is to start with a simple 'your-move' 'my-move' of attack - defend respectively, and once that pace and idea is set go to initiative swapping - much as you showed us. You only get to initiate a move if you responded to your partners move with an attack as well as a reasonable defence. You can agree to forgo your next move if you feel your partners move was particularly effective.

It's amazing (or not) how much kata you end up finding in successful responses.

I wanted to bring this to your attention:

I don't know if you've seen it. You have often commented on how you don't telegraph a defence but often telegraph an attack. Kris Wilder discusses go no sen, sen no sen, and sen-sen no sen, which is reacting to an attack, cutting off an attack as soon as it is seen, and anticipating an attack the moment before it occurs.

I'd love to read your take on the above article if you think it worthy of a blog post.


Rory said...

Lots of stuff going on here, Rohan. Compare it to Wim's recent articles on punching speed and being too close and Garry's expansion on it. Then there are the decisions... We did a drill in UNET-- I would have a simgun at my side, two officers pointing their simguns at my chest, fingers on the trigger. I would consistently get off two shots (sometimes three) before either could pull the trigger, though they were reactive. That said, there was Jelly Bryce, an Oklahoma and later FBI cop who was able to draw and fire at incredible speed under pressure.
Last, there's the simple fact that short of a lower brain-stem shot, there's no guarantee that the first person hit won't still empty his weapon.

Anonymous said...

I agree with xxrzinn.

Your stuff isn't all that specifically technical. I think some quick confirmations for someone that they are seeing it right in the minds eye should be enough in most cases.

Good to have somebody see something once or twice and say "Ooh, nice ...Got it". The point is to go out and try these things, so people that are going to do that for themselves anyway really just need a decent starting point.

-Billy G.

Anonymous said...

Just looked at the link and was also thinking the article doesn't disclose all the controls and varaibles involved, just pits action versus reaction.

When someone is going to move (strike, draw a weapon, step off or anything) that action is telegraphed in the whole of his/her body's motion. This, especially starting from a standstill. Fighters in sport keep moving to mask what they are doing. Otherwise, an experienced eye will read quite early and easily. A single motion from standing still can be picked up by a good observer at almost another's first thought of moving.

Fighters and athletes talk about having focus and watching everything "in slow motion" to gain advantage, or "magnifying targets" ...stuff like that. I think that knowing what you are going to do without hesitation and letting the periferals bleed away so you can ...just time it, may have an edge on waiting to first see, process then react.

Of course, fast twitch muscle content varies greatly in body type and composition. Conditioning and state of mind is huge. Right to say there is a lot going on. Too much so maybe to anything more out of it than hypothesis.

Not sure if I'm saying anything here, but I getting at kind of that internal focus of being in a zone ...not acting on action, but being part of a slice of time and motion. Somebody please say this more clearly if its ringing any bells. Maybe there is a little deeper science out there on this?

-Billy G.

Brian said...

I agree. Ukemi is something a lot of people(myself included) either don't learn or learn incorrectly. I always assumed that skinny guys were just going to get bruised up doing it and that was that but I've learned recently that with proper form I don't have to destroy my shoulders or hips.

There are lots of good videos on youtube but it would be nice to see it from a defense perspective.