Sunday, September 8, 2013

This is for You

There is an inordinate amount of video footage on Youtube demonstrating what to do when momentum and angle are put into a framework ....

This force vector comes ... I can do this, or this, or that or this. If they step in with their right I go here, if left, then here, here, here, etc etc etc.
All the smooth techniques come out, breaking down the opponent's structure and transitioning into the finishing moves ..... Lovely.

But how did this wonderful straight right, say, get thrown? ..... With you knowing it was coming .... In fact not only that but WHEN it was coming too?

It's like someone walking up to you and extending their hand with a gift in it, a flower perhaps, and you taking it. They even smiles as they walk up and present it. You saw them coming, you saw the flower, you saw the smile ... they owe you, you know what will happen next.

So where's the back story? Who is this person and why did they bring a flower and why did they decide to give to you?

Did you ask for it or did you make them hand it over? Did you hint that you loved flowers or was it just your birthday?

Those are the videos I want to see, along with the ones where they poke you in the eye with it, or they pretend to give it to you but don't, or when they merely use the flower as a distraction to pick your pocket.


Jake said...

I would love see some videos like that.

Stickgrappler said...

Hello Maija et al,

*bows deeply*

One of my friends had a quick chat about this via Facebook PM's. He, like you, critiqued some videos as unrealistic as the partner is compliant, there's no forward pressure, etc

I agree with him and you but i played Devil's Advocate and countered with:  the instructor is trying to demo a specific technique - s/he is only trying to impart the technique and make it easier for viewer to pick up.  To expand it even more - the instructor could've demo'd the technique against a resisting/non-compliant partner to show the effectiveness of the technique. Only the skilled/experienced/knowledgeable will pick up on the technique. So the instructor's goal is to teach/impart and the easiest way to accomplish that is to demo vs a compliant in resisting partner.

Am I off-base?

Very truly yours in the MA and SD,

Maija said...

SG - So Sonny said - If I know what you are going to do next I can beat you ....
Think about that a little and it makes complete sense. Knowing what will happen next means that you can align your body to the thing about to happen, and be ahead both in the OODA and in the actual physical geometry of the interaction with no effort at all.
Easy example - If someone is going to attack me with a caveman style, right handed strike to the head (#1 strike in our system) and I know it, I have myriad options to counter. I know for instance which part of my body to take off line not to get hit, where to step, where their hand is going to be as a target, which side their head will be open after the strike passes the center line ... which is their weak line where I can break their structure (dependent which leg is forward), etc etc.
And even though all those answers to the question presented (a #1 strike) need some practice for accuracy and timing, this part of the fight is really the LEAST of our problems.
A far far greater problem is that until you learn how to read movement, intent, and basically how to set up the game in your favor, you'll never know what is going to come next!! (unless by luck) .... And if you never know what is going to happen next, how can you expect to be ahead in the OODA, or ready to take advantage of the openings the opponent gives you? You won't be ready, you'll be behind because you have never practiced which moves lead to which moves, how people decide what openings to attack, why they attack, why they do not, what a fake looks like, if it's a bait or real, whether they are hiding their range or not.
None of this KEY material is ever addressed in the clips I am talking about here, and if it is not .... how will you ever get a chance to do the bit at the end ..?

We have not even addressed that 'compliant' question in what I have said here ..... the part where your opponent actually don't want you to succeed once you have the advantage. That adds a whole OTHER dimension to the thing.

considerphlebas said...

I think a major part of the problem is that there is a lack of formal understanding about how to structure this kind of material. It is a serious undertaking to document how preparation works, in order to have a solid basis for discussion.

so, for example, this is one section of a 15-page handout at a fencing coaches seminar that intended to roughly outline teaching tactical instruction:

What Is Preparation
Suggested reading: Szabo (pp. 261-263) and Lukovich (pp. 268-280)
1.Preparation is critical for successful fencing and for realizing tactical ideas.
2.Preparation involves observing and exploring the opponent's
technical, tactical, and human characteristics.
3.Preparation is accomplished with footwork and bladework (i.e.,
changes in position, invitations, beats, presses, transfers, false
attacks, changes in timing and rhythm, varying intensity and
4.Preparation is an amalgamation of hand and foot movement which
creates an opportunity to score a touch by:
•confusing and occupying the opponent's attention
•allowing the fencer to wait for the right time to execute an action
•allowing the fencer to gain me critical distance
• gaining information about the opponent
•neutralizing the opponent's strengths
5.During preparation the fencer is making guesses and calculations.
He sizes up the situation, consider the possibilities, compares, dictates, adapts himself, creates conditions,
provides for possibilities, seeks motives, tries to grasp the essence
of things, discovers and sees clearly the consequences before he makes a decision and acts (Lukovich pg. 268).
6.Preparation must be used to make the opponent conform to the
fencer's desires, and make the opponent move or keep him in a
stationary position, make his movements more or less intensive,
lengthen or reduce his stride, start moving his hand counter to his intentions and cause the dimensions of his movements to be broader, to distract his attention, to bring about changes in his attention or lull him into a lack of concentration (Lukovich pp. 271-272).

any single clause of that could easily be expanded into a ten minute video, and all of it together is just to establish a definition, not even to establish a particular tactical philosophy. Human beings have an amazing facility for integrating all this into a cohesive whole without understanding it all- I can spend years packing all this knowledge into a student, and the result is an ability, in an instant, to put it all to use to make a decision. Being able to talk about how and why they made that decision, though, is a whole other issue, one that is generally only important for teachers and for those a good way down the path to a theory-based mastery of the thing. which is a small audience.

which is all to say, you should totally make a video about using preparation to set up angling footwork off the line of attack.

Maija said...

Well that's the plan cp ..... we'll see how successful I am LOL
Thanks for the encouragement.

Stickgrappler said...

Hello Maija,

*bows deeply*

I totally understand what you are saying, but if instructors are trying to show a technique to the general public, most viewers will not be like you and be able to pick up the subleties of the stuff that happened before the technique to allow the technique to score, hence, it's my belief that the instructor shows the tech against a compliant non-resisting partner.

However with that said, I see my Sojourn of Septillion Steps is a few steps longer. Like the beginner that I am, I initially focused on the instructor and what he was trying to teach, where you as an instructor are focusing on how that instructor SHOULD be teaching to showcase the stuff that makes the technique work. LOL at me!

Thank you!

Very truly yours in the MA,

p.s. More of Maestro's quotes please... pretty please!

Maija said...

A quick question for you SG ....

If someone performs a technique from a static set up, with the incoming attack pre arranged, and no counter allowable ... what is it they are actually teaching?

What % of the fight happens when you have already won?

And since you asked ...

A slightly paraphrased quote from the Maestro on being asked "What do I do from here"? (Student was in a superior position, empty hand, and physically in control of the opponent).

"That's just technical. How you get to this moment is far more important"

And just FYI, by 'technical' he did not mean that this part was unimportant, but that the principles behind what to do were not difficult to understand once in a position to take advantage.
Remember, he changed his whole teaching method from 'technical' to random flow because so few people could pull off anything they had learned by the first method once in a chaotic environment.
He thought there was a better, more efficient way, and having experienced it, I agree with him :-)