Archive for October, 2017

Sunday, October 22nd, 2017

                   Is Ju-Jutsu The “Mother Art”?

EVERY once in a while we get annoyed at popularly touted nonsense that is presented by “experts” as historical fact. Just because an individual is a martial arts instructor does not mean that he is well acquainted with the history and background of the combat disciplines ––– Eastern or Western. (In fact there is as much or more nonsense being mouthed today by black-belted ignoramuses about the popular “WWII Methods as there is about the Asian systems!).

One commonly heard bit of untruth is that “Ju-jutsu is the ‘mother art’ ––– the art from which all of the other martial arts have been derived”.

First of all this is most commonly said of the Japanese arts by speakers who overlook the plethora of arts that were developed and that are practiced throughout the Asian countries; but there are many hundreds of Okinawan, Korean, Indonesian, Vietnamese, Thai, and of course Chinese arts, and none of them “come from ju-jutsu”, virtually all having predated Japanese ju-jutsu (often by thousands of years!).

Second (and this is the corker!) Japanese ju-jutsu comes from the much older Chinese ch’i ch’i su systems. These were self-defense styles in which all of the “ju-jutsu” moves may be seen. One of these arts, “Chi-Na”, recently popularized in the West, is a good example. Ch’i ch’i su incorporates all ––– and more! ––– of the holds, locks, grappling, throws, blows, and escapes of ju-jutsu. The Japanese in point of fact, copied ch’i ch’i su, gave it the name of ju-jutsu, and claimed the art’s origin to have been in Japan’s mythological age, when the gods Kashima and Kadori used ju-jutsu to fight evil demons. (People will believe anything).

It is said that the art of karate (and remember there are perhaps 200 different schools and styles of karate throughout Asia ––– ALL predating Japanese ju-jutsu) is an expansion upon atemi; atemi being the section of ju-jutsu in which blows of the hands and feet to vital points is taught. Not so. The arts of karate derived from the external boxing systems of China (ch’uan fa or “kung fu”). The development of karate systems entailed much, much more than merely hitting the opponent in a vital spot. We dare say that any serious student of any of the various “karate systems” knows this well.

Some karate systems include an emphasize upon methods of throwing and joint-locking (the Wado-Ryu school of Japan, in fact, is a good example), but karate per se began as a percussionary art. And what is most likely to be true is that the grappling aspect of close combat grew out of the failed attempts that occasionally occurred to STRIKE. That would seem to be logical.

To observe that ju-jutsu systems almost invariably include throwing, holding, grappling, locking, striking, kicking, and miscellaneous actions and self-defense “tricks”, and to conclude therefore that arts in which one or more of those particulars is stressed came out of ju-jutsu is ––– to put it politely ––– muddled thinking. Every karate system that we have ever observed or participated in also includes throwing and so forth, but plays it down considerably as it emphasizes blows of the hands and feet, a blocking system, and breathing methods. Why? Because throughout the centuries it has always been discovered and then acknowledged in their training by actual warriors that BLOWS CONSTITUTE THE HEART, CORE, AND ESSENCE OF SERIOUS CLOSE COMBAT. Karate systems and self-defense methods of a more modern kind, as well as the best military close combat methods, also recognize and teach this. And those ju-jutsu systems that remain rooted in combat intent and methodology (like the Shin-Kage-Ryu) also lay great emphasis upon BLOWS.

That ch’i ch’i su and ch’uan fa (i.e. “ju-jutsu” and “karate”) systems have always and forever been the original “mixed martial arts” is conveniently ignored or glossed over by those commercializers who would have all and sundry believe that the current MMA (which we suggest should be correctly termed MMS, for Mixed Martial Sport) is unique. In fact we’d call it brawling, and make the observation that its many rules and restrictions make the flailing and grabbing that is done a mere hazardous game, and not a close combat or self-defense method at all. But that’s just our opinion.

The modern Art of American Combato (Jen•Do•Tao) incorporates anything and everything that is effective in serious hand-to-hand close combat and self-defense, and relegates control grips and holds to the instruction of law enforcement and security people, to whom we teach these skills AFTER these professionals have learned how to save their lives! But neither private citizens seeking self-defense ability nor combat soldiers and marines need ANY “arrest”, “control”, “submission”, “restraint”, or “comealong” methods.

Let us return to our main point.

Please do not make the mistake of carrying on the myth that “ju-jutsu is the mother art from which all of the different arts derive”. To REAL experts you will sound like a fool if you repeat this, and for your own education know that it just isn’t so. Some of the schools presently teaching their brand of ju-jutsu are excellent, and do offer students some very valuabke defensive skills training. (One outstanding teacher whose work we admired was Phillip Scrima in the Bronx, New York. He flourished in the 1960’s and 1970’s and never failed to give his pupils an excellent grounding in practical self-protective measures, using ju-jutsu). We did not produce this article to slam or to denigrate good ju-jutsu or those who teach and practice it; please note and mark that well.

Engaging in physical violence, unfortunately, is as old as man. And from the looks of things it would seem that this insanity will never end. So, mastering quality self-defense in order to protect yourself and those you love against violent types makes sense. We’d opine that it is an absolute necessity and should be a part of every decent human being’s education.

You can learn self-defense, close combat, weaponry, and personal battle tactics without scrutinizing the exact origin of every move you are taught, or in fact the origins of anything that you are taught. But for those who love the martial disciplines it is a matter of serious interest to set the record straight on certain matters pertaining to the theoretical basis and roots of the arts that one studies. Doing this in regard to the ju-jutsu myth has been our intention in this piece.




Saturday, October 21st, 2017

Interesting And Perhaps Useful New Product

WE detest non-lethal weapons. Criminals almost never concern themselves with anything resembling “non-lethal” weaponry, preferring to stab, slash, club, or shoot their innocent victims, and to hell with whether or not they die or are maimed for life. So . . . we believe in returning the attention ––– in triplicate! SHOOT, STAB, OR CLUB the scummy bacteria to death if you have to save your life; never mind showing concern, compassion, or restraint.

There may well be a use for non-lethal aids to vicious defensive measures, however. For example, we believe it wise to carry a handful of gravel in your outer pocket. Throwing it in an aggressor’s face will not likely stop him; but it sure sets the scum up for whatever the hell savagery you are thereafter able to unleash upon him!

Another device that might hold some promise (although more expensive than gravel) is a product called “Safesound Personal Alarm”. It is a very convenient-sized little item that can be carried constantly, and is easily set off in an emergency with practically no effort. It produces a deafening 125 decibal blast that, emitted suddenly, will shock anyone save the totally deaf.

Now we do NOT advocate such a device as a “self-defense weapon”. We are prepared to consider it a possible AID to self-defense.

All students of self-defense and martial arts are familiar with the idea of shouting loudly as you defend yourself (called “kiai” ––– pronounced key’-eye) In order to shock and startle ––– and possibly freeze ––– the attacker. We urge it (as well as growling and grimacing) in American Combato (Jen•Do•Tao). Well, you can imagine the shock to one or more lumps of street sh–t when, suddenly, a piercing blast erupts from apparently nowhere, AND THEY ARE AT THE SAME INSTANT SAVAGELY ATTACKED, either with the defender’s weapon or with his trained bare hands! No doubt the loud blast will be a great help to the defender if the scum against whom he employs it do not see any indication of his bringing it into use. The seconds of utter shock and amazement that are sure to occur should tip the scales instantly in favor of the defender who accompanies the piercing noise with crippling offensive actions. The noise could easily provide the defender the opportunity to produce a concealed handgun if he is lawfully armed, or possibly a knife. Smashing the lout-scum with a walking stick immediately should be easy if they freeze for a moment when the loud noise shocks them. (Saves your voice and vocal cords, too. No need to kiai!!! Besides, with a 125 decibal blast your kiai wouldn’t be heard! Ha!).

Once again, we simply wish to suggest the possibility that this device may be useful. We certainly do not recommend it as one’s only recourse if attacked. That is false confidence in a very harmless device. To ASSIST in disorienting and setting one’s attacker/s up for a savage and destructive counteroffensive, YES. That is quite another matter. The “Safesound Personal Alarm” deserves to be considered for this function.

Loud noise is a pain in the ass. It can be much more . . . so think it over. You can check online for the product if it interests you.
Note: This product appears to have great appeal to females. We certainly agree that the piercing noise might assist in creating a diversion during an attack. However, just as is the case with males, it is STUPID and DANGEROUS to think that the noise alone will provide a certain defense against one or more determined attackers. Women armed with a solid ability in unarmed defense and who have a handgun available to them in a crisis will be prepared . . . or at least realistically prepared. It is wise to counsel any female (spouse, mother, sister, daughter, girlfriend) to this effect before allowing her to place her full confidence in a noise.


Tuesday, October 3rd, 2017

              The Wonderful Little S&W Snubby!

WE have two preferences for an ideal concealed carry handgun: The original Colt Commander Model (alloy frame, lightweight) in .45 ACP, and any one of the little Smith and Wesson .38 Special 5-shot snubbies.
Our preference would be for the little Centennial Model, that S&W reintroduced not long ago.

“What’s wrong with us,” one might ask. “Are we not aware that the little 5-shot revolvers can be had in the more potent .357 caliber? Why go with the .38 Special when that wallop-packing .357 can be had?”

We’ll be happy to explain.

One carries a 5-shot snubby for close range, very quick reaction defensive shooting. At close quarters combat distances (usually five feet or less; always within 20 feet) the .38 Special round will do its job if you do yours (that is, place the rounds where they belong). Modern +P and +P+ .38 Special hollow point bullets are very formidable when properly placed.

Our personal opinion is that the .357 round is a very poor choice for a two-inch barrel snubby. First, because the controllability of the .357 in a two-inch snubby is horrendous. (The kick of a snubby firing .38 Special ammunition can be stiff enough.) Second, because the actual ballistic performance of a .357 round fired from a two-inch barrel is not that different from the performance of the .38 Special +P. And using good combat point shooting, you’d likely be able to place a two-shot burst of rounds with the .38 Special before you could get that second round off with the .357. The .357 gives its excellent performance from a six or four inch barrel. That performance is affected significantly when the barrel is only two inches. If you absolutely insist on carrying a .357 when you need maximum concealment then we’d recommend finding one of the three inch barreled S&W Model 13’s or 65’s. These round butt revolvers at least offer a three inch barrel and more heft with which to assist in managing the weapon’s kick.

But back to the little .38 Special snubbies.

Alloy frame snubbies are very comfortable to carry. In .357 caliber a snobby would not be so pleasant to fire. We think an alloy framed .357 two-inch barrel snubby would be a very poor choice. You make your own decisions . . . but please keep in mind the circumstances under which you will be employing that weapon.

“Well, alloy framed .38 Special snubbies offer pretty stiff recoil, too. Besides, if you fire +P’s or +P+ ammo in them you’ll wear out the gun.

First, the .38 Special round fired from a two-inch barrel snubby ––– stiff as the kick may be ––– is not as stiff as that of the .357 round. Second, we believe that idea that you’ll “wear out your revolver” if you fire +P’s in it when the weapon has an alloy frame, is nonsense. (Besides, what’s more important to you ––– your life or your revolver’s?)

In any case, consider this:

Some time back the NYPD Firearms Unit conducted a torture test on a Smith and Wesson alloy framed .38 Special snubby. Five thousand rounds were fired through the little revolver and no damage whatever was observed to have been done to the weapon. Our suggestion: Use light loads when training, but fire at least 20 or 25 of the hot +P’s so that you get the feel of it. Then carry the hot loads for business. Your alloy framed revolver will last forever.

Remember also that the all carbon or stainless steel snubbies are very comfortable to carry constantly. They are light, and the recoil you feel with them is somewhat less than it is with the lightweight (alloy) framed models.

We may be accused by some of being old fashioned when we advocate some of these “weapons of yore” as it were. That’s fine with us.

Remember please that “newer” does not always or necessarily mean “better”.

Those little five shot snub-nosed revolvers have been around ––– and have always remained popular ––– for many, many years. No, they do not “dominate open competition”, and, whenever feasible and comfortable, we agree that it would be best to carry a full-size combat revolver or semi-automatic pistol. Yet, when the choice is to go armed with a powerful, reliable .38 Special snubby or be unarmed, because you can’t wear your customary .357 or .45 full-sized weapon, it would seem that wisdom lies in opting for the snubby.

P.S. The .38 Special round is an excellent one. It is a perfected cartridge, and certainly provides a great deal of punch . . . despite what some of the “experts” say. We have never found a detractor of the .38 Special who would permit us to shoot him with the round. Master your weapon. When you are able to employ your point shooting well with your handgun ––– and if your handgun is a .38 Special snubby ––– you’re set.