"Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far." - West African Proverb


FCS Kali San Diego - Established September 25th, 2011

Monday, April 28, 2014

Sundays at the Park - Processing

Sorry for the late post. I got caught up doing errands and other things and by the time things started to wind down I was too tired to write this up. Yesterday Ed brought up the incident of the girl who got attacked when asked to the prom.  The guys know I like to volunteer so Ed called me forward. He pulls out a knife folder, something that most of us carry, and then comes at me with it to show the group how I would react. Kind of assuming what was about to happen and seeing what he was holding in his hand I reacted. Hands went up, I stepped back and off to the side a little, and tried to go on defensive. Naturally this is what we trained for, but what went on in my mind was a another story. This is what Ed wanted to go over. How the mind processes a threat, an attack in action, specifically with a knife, though it can be against any weapon, anything that can be used as a weapon, or even empty hand.


 4 Stages


He said that there are 4 stages that the mind processes when an attack is in play: shock, fear, hesitation, and vanity. I'll try to explain each one to the best of my ability.

1) Shock - When someone pulls out a knife or any other weapon, and comes at you with  intent to hurt or kill, the first thing that the mind processes is shock. Manong Rich calls this the "Oh shit!" factor. Simply put, you get startled, shocked. "Oh shit he has a knife!" Or "Oh shit he has a gun!" The mind doesn't have any time to process anything else in that brief moment, but get shocked by what is seen, felt, and or heard. For example you may have been already cut or stabbed because you didn't see it coming. The body starts to pump adrenalin and now you start to feel the shock.

2) Fear - The next stage that the mind processes is fear. You see the threat advancing toward you (or continuing to come at you if you are already cut or stabbed) and most of the time the the hands go up like the mind is saying "What do I do?". This moves us to the next stage which is hesitation.

3) Hesitation - In this stage the mind processes hesitation in which 2 of the 4 F's of survival kick in: Fight or Flight. Think of a deer in headlights scenario. Many will freeze at first which ultimately will lead to getting cut or stabbed, which can eventually lead to serious injury and or death. After this brief moment of hesitation some will take flight and try to run away. The others will stand their ground and fight. This is where Vanity comes into play.

4) Vanity - In this stage, specifically for those who stand their ground and fight, the whole "I can take em!" comes into play. This can also get you killed if you over estimate where your true skills lie. What if the assailant really knows how to handle a knife? Have you REALLY trained properly for these types of situations?

From a martial stand point the answer is more than likely no. Reason being is that from a martial stand point you are simply going over a technique, learning the moves for that technique, and no more. For example how many of you learned to defend against a knife attack from above with a scissor block or X block? Not to say that this is wrong, because if it works then it works, but from a combative perspective there is probably a better solution. Reason being is that with this move both arms are occupied which doesn't leave anything available to defend against the other hand, the "live hand", nor the cut from the pull back of the knife. Plus you are also trying to fight against the assailants strength and what if the assailant is much stronger than you are? Have you tried that technique in a free flow sparring match? And if so, did it work? How successful were the techniques you learned? And here's a big one, did you spar against someone who was skilled with blades?


Work It Out


And going back to the 4 stages that the mind processes, Bernie explained that from a combative perspective you want to try to train in a way that will work them out. We train with blades and a lot of us carry folders so that should help lessen the shock of someone pulling out a knife and coming at you. This will also lessen the fear since we are constantly training with and against blades. The techniques learned and the confidence built from the amount of training with blades will help lessen the hesitation. And finally, the last thing to work on is to know where your true skills lie, and being able assess the situation properly to either engage or disengage because over confidence can get you killed.

So with all of that in mind Ed had us pair up. Your partner, the feeder, was to come at you with intent to cut or stab while you, the receiver were to properly avoid the attack. Obviously we were using trainers so that no one would actually get cut or stabbed. Don't want you to die out here people! lol. They were to cut or stab freely and we were also to be in motion so we weren't in a static position. This broke standard drill practices because you didn't know where the attack is coming from and you could move and run around.

During the drill both Bernie and Ed would go around and give input on what we were doing right and wrong. They would also show us how and where we could improve on certain things we were doing and show what other options were available. At first the receiver's objection was to simply avoid the attack. So footwork and simple body techniques that would put us in a better position. Then we slowly worked in techniques we could use to gain the advantage and become the feeder.


Reality Check


This was a good reality check of where your skills were. Even if the attacks came at you slow you might find yourself getting cut or stab. Maybe you reacted wrong and went right into the attack. And obviously if the attacks were constant and fast you just couldn't avoid every single attack. Think of a boxing match where one is throwing a barrage of punches while the other is just standing there trying to defend. The defender just can't stop all of the attacks by standing there trying to block. Eventually one will get in.Now keep in mind we were doing this after our warm up so some were probably still trying to catch their breath from running up and down the hill. This made the drill more real.


Ooh New Stuff!


After doing that for a while Bernie and Erwin demonstrated some stick grappling they learned from the seminar that took place over at Kenpo Evolution MMA. It was put together by Manong Rich and Tuhon Ray Dionaldo, Guro Nate Hill, and Gladys Echeverria Nelson came to teach. Wish the Wifey and I could have made it. We'll have to catch them the next time they come out to So Cal. Anyway, they showed us 5 techniques. I've seen videos of these so it was cool to actually learn it. It would take too long to explain each one and this blog is already a novel so I'm going to close things up here and say if you want to learn them or any of the other stuff we do, come out and join us! We welcome anybody and everybody.

So yesterday's practice was a lot of fun and insightful. I'm seeing more and more on things I need to improve on and Ed even worked with me on some more Level II material. So anyway, till next time ItsYoBoyFlex and I'm out.

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