Points To Ponder — Part 2

• IF IT CAN BE DONE IN SPORT THEN IT IS TOO UNRELIABLE FOR USE IN AN EMERGENCY. IF IT CAN BE RELIED UPON FOR USE IN AN EMERGENCY THEN IT IS TOO DANGEROUS TO PLAY WITH.

While virtually all forms of sporting combat have some application to real combat (and highly experienced and champion competitors in most combat sports are usually able to adopt their skills to self-defense situations) it does not follow that by participating in sport you can prepare adequately for combat, per se.

What we ideally want in combat (self-defense) is to speedily inflict serious injury so that a dangerous aggressor cannot continue to endanger us. This point about INJURY is critical to understand. “Pain” is a completely unreliable means of stopping a determined attacker. As a licensed and experienced hypnotherapist with well over a quarter of a century’s experience in that field — and decades more than that studying psychology and psychiatry and the mental aspects of combat — we can assure everyone that there are individuals who can block out pain completely —ignore it — and continue to function very efficiently. Injury, however, is another story. Break a man’s leg and he falls. Period. Crush his windpipe and he dies. Period. Chop his carotid artery with a powerful, snapping handaxe blow and he drops unconscious. Period. Burst his eardrums with a powerful ear box attack and he collapses with a concussion. Etcetera.

Often, self-defense involves reacting to a mentally disturbed, psychotically motivated, or drug/alcohol-influenced madman. Pain is out of the question. Such a menace must be stopped,  forthwith. Only destructive techniques will achieve that objective.

While there are many who will insist that the ultimate validation of any fighting technique is how it works “in open competition”, these people are incorrect. Appropriate combat techniques may be practiced (carefully) with partners in training, but they cannot be utilized in “matches”. Not  the least of the reasons for this is because, if you want your skills to be there for you instantly, then you must not muddy the training waters by dividing practice time between movements that can be done without injury to your partner and some peripheral work on skills that “you must remember to use in a real emergency”. You WON’T BE ABLE TO remember to use anything in a real emergency. The skills will either have been motor-memorized and internalized, or not. And the task of doing that is best accomplished by sticking to a single type of action.

“Going right for the eyes!” works beautifully in a self-defense emergency. Anyone who believes that such an action is suitable for competition is a fool.

• THE ASIAN MARTIAL ARTS ARE BEAUTIFUL AND VALUABLE. HOWEVER, WESTERN MARTIAL ARTS ARE NO LESS EFFECTIVE, AND OFTEN (BECAUSE THEY ARE LESS RIGID) EVEN MORE EFFECTIVE THAN THE ASIAN SYSTEMS.

The disdain that one so often hears from practitioners of one or another of the Asian martial arts betrays real ignorance, no less than arrogance. Boxing, wrestling, fencing, football, kick boxing, etc. are excellent and effective arts. And, there can be no denying that the revolutionary steps taken by Westerners who had studied and who had used the Asian martial arts, to devise short-term, viable combat methods, during WWII, remain to this day of immense value for students to study.

THE IDEA THAT SIZE AND STRENGTH DO NOT MATTER IS A MYTH THAT SHOULD HAVE DIED OUT WITH PHRENOLOGY AND PALMISTRY.

Yes, a small man who is skilled, fit, properly trained in tactics and destructive techniques can defeat a larger, stronger man. But not if that larger, stronger man is equally skilled, fit, properly trained in tactics and destructive techniques. Then, the stronger and larger man wins.

The point? Train hard with weights in addition to combat skills, and become as strong as your genetic potential permits.

• MOTION PICTURES AND TELEVISION DO NOT PROVIDE A VIABLE SOURCE FOR OBSERVING AND LEARNING VALID COMBAT SKILLS.

We will acknowledge that sometimes one might see a good technique or two, or witness the application of proper mindset and battle principles. One case in point is in the opening scene in the movie CASINO, when Joe Pesci takes out a loudmouth who insulted his friend. (Watch the movie! It’s a great scene.) But normally one sees fight sequences that have been choreographed to look good. Another depiction of realistic hand-to-hand combat appeared in the excellent motion picture THE PATRIOT. Mel Gibson’s use of a tomahawk in that movie was very realistic.

There are motion picture stars who play “ex green berets”, “tough, loner cops”, etc. and, plying their theatrical martial arts, they certainly provide a great deal of entertainment. So, if you like such films, go ahead and enjoy them. Just don’t mistake what the good guys do to the bad guys as being quality instruction in close combat.

•MODERN WEAPONS FOR MODERN TIMES. AND WEAPONRY IS INTEGRAL TO CLOSE COMBAT; IT IS NOT A SEPARATE STUDY.

Classical weaponry is a fascinating study, but it is largely irrelevant for modern close combat. Modern weapons include: The stick, the fighting knife, the handgun, the shotgun, the rifle, the tomahawk, and unconventional/improvised weapons.

•IF YOU ARE DEFENDING THEN YOU ARE LOSING. IF YOU ARE ATTACKING THEN YOU ARE WINNING.

It really is as simple as that. Good, basic military strategy and tactics. Go after the enemy. Drive him back. Occupy his ground. Keep pounding him so that he cannot recover, and continue until he is destroyed. An awful lot of people do not like hearing this, but it is the truest thing you’ll ever read, or be told about the reality of combat. There is no “nice way”.

• THERE ARE UNIVERSAL PRINCIPLES AND FUNDAMENTALS THAT ALWAYS APPLY IN REAL COMBAT. THEY ARE TRUE NOW, HAVE ALWAYS BEEN TRUE, AND WILL REMAIN TRUE.

Strive to always keep the following in mind when you train:

Balance . . . momentum . . .leverage . . . maximum force . . .deception . . . the surprise attack . . . continuous awareness.

Hand-to-hand and unarmed combat is really not complicated or difficult to learn. The primary problem is that people do not generally appreciate that it is a different skill than either classical or sporting forms of “combat”, that it is a dangerous and risky activity; and that the bottom line is that, in order to be effective and prevail you must learn to be a ruthless, unscrupulous, foul and underhanded gutterfighter, ready, willing, and able to do whatever it takes to destroy the enemy.

With that pleasant thought we conclude Part 2, and wish you very well in your training endeavors.