Saturday, September 15, 2012

Inspired by Kasey

Violence Dynamics seminar is winding down here in Minnesota.  Hitting the road again in a few hours.  Good and bad.  The debrief on this one will be informative, to say the least.

Kasey got a whole day to teach yesterday—eight hours of strangles, chokes and neck cranks.  Cool to be in a jurisdiction that doesn’t automatically assume that any force to the neck is deadly force.  He’s a good teacher.  Good movement, good relevance, good communication.  And, most valuable to me, he gets me thinking… (right this second, as Marc teaches, Kasey is condensing the violence classifications from “Facing Violence” into a few sentences for the one person who wasn’t here for the whole week.)

But, as always, the blog is about me.  And ideas.  And thoughts.  Kasey triggered a cascade yesterday.  The thought process goes like this:

Kasey says, “I’m a judo guy, and you can do this technique like a judo guy or an aikido guy or even a kung-fu guy.  It will all look a little different but it will still work.”

And that triggers the idea of a plastic mind exercise where you work a single technique, but in the mindsets of different martial arts.  Just to feel and explore the flavor.  Each repetition or series will feel and work slightly differently.
Hence- Plastic Mind Drill X: “Do it Like a (name martial art here)”

Earlier in the day, and playing with the officers Thursday, I was doing light sparring with one or both hands in pockets or with my coffee cup.  Believe it or not, I don’t do this because I’m an arrogant prick or to show off. I do it for me.  It forces me to think differently.  It forces me to be more efficient.  With your hands in your pockets you must learn to glide strikes with your elbows and shoulders and it really improves your tai sabaki.  It also brings it to the next level where the glides unbalance as well and, with practice, gives you a taste of using some subtle anatomical weapons with momentum.

And so, a name to put on something we’ve been doing forever: “Subtle Disadvantage Drills”

“Do it Like X”
“Subtle Disadvantage”

A few more:
Osaekomi (I tend to use more Japanese after hanging with Kasey.  The shared judo background makes for a nice shorthand.)  Osaekomi is pinning.  Pinning and escaping from pinning and preventing pinning are great skill building for one of the hallmark combative skills: Moving a body.

But, one of the key differences between a good grappler and a mediocre grappler (and I will argue, in a real fight, the difference between most people and someone who is really good) is the ability to relax.  To simply relax.  When I did a regular JJ class, we would usually end with rolling, and I would roll with all of the students in sequence until they were too tired to continue.  Not a big deal.  lots of judo, BJJ and a few JJ guys do this.

The reason we can exhaust a class isn’t because of conditioning or some magic skill.  The better you are, the more relaxed you are, the less sugar and oxygen you burn the longer you can last.  And that efficiency in energy conservation, IMO translates into efficiency in technique application.

So what about doing grappling drills and every so often shift the focus from skill building to relaxation practice?  Meditating from the pin.

(I also noticed that a lot of people don’t get the idea of throwing their legs and using the dead weight to pull their own bodies through a turn.  Hard to describe, but useful.  Don’t have a specific drill for it though…)

Acting practice.  We try to make the approaches and set-ups as real as possible.  We want the students to recognize a predatory approach.  Especially how predators try to act like non-predators.  Conversely, in some situations (especially sexual violence with a medium or long build-up phase) the intended victim is going to have to make an approach and then execute a plan…and is likely to fail if she cannot disguise her intentions.  Practicing acting with any build-up just makes sense.  On multiple levels.  “It doesn’t take a good actor to spot a bad actor.”

Elbow chisao- done this more often as a demo than a drill, but why not?  Play with the basic sensitivity of sticky hands and work in the leverage and momentum skills of working the back of the elbow.

Lots of themes, here, and this is just thinking out loud.  Relax.  See opportunities.  Integrate everything.  Transition from your slow thinking mind to your faster, older brain.  Training is not conditioning and what happens when you can improvise under pressure seems to be a different effect.


Jim said...

"Do it like" --

Interesting, and something I've done a variant of many times. In my style, we have several animal systems for advanced students. Each is a distinct set of tactics and strategies emulating and inspired by a particular animal, so some animal styles emphasize speed and precision, others power and explosive fury, and so on. All of these build upon the same base fundamental principles, but change the weapons, applications, strategies and tactics. For example, you can do a basic straight punch, then do the same thing using the principles of the Boar system (explosive power) or the Cobra (precision & speed) or any of the others.

But never really looked at "can I do X from the persepective/mindset/mind-place of Y art", either.

Lise Steenerson said...

This is something both you and Kasey are great at... stimulate the thinking process. Tis the mark of an awesome teacher

Derek Simonds said...

I like your subtle disadvantage drill and relaxation in grappling. I will grapple rounds while holding a tennis ball. Great way to eliminate bd habits while grappling and also teaches relaxation as you are not holding on with a death grip. I will try it standing with a tennis ball also.

Great stuff.

Tactical Tom said...

Took a couple days of the ConCom seminar in minneapolis.

Anyone who gets a chance should take this training! Amazing!

Too much great information to digest all at once. I'll have to take it again to get everything I missed.

Thanks for having me guys.

And thanks for the roll at Kasey's Rory! My neck is fine, no perm damage!

Sorry I couldn't make it back for Friday at Kasey's. Sounds like it was a great time.