Friday, July 22, 2005

Opening the eyes of the "Enlightened".

Ok, this posting is one that I've broken out of the "Knife" thread. It's one of my peeves and I think it goes a long way in getting people to look at edged weapons in a more realistic manner. I would say that about 95% of the people that I have come across in the martial Arts look at dealing with blades in a dangerous and extremely unrealistic manner. Essentially they are learning how to get themselves killed. I will take any opportunity I can to get people to open their eyes.



I still come across people with the flippant attitude that defending against
a blade is as easy as just kicking it out of someone's hand. I'll always
remember the TKD instructor who proudly claimed that his 15 yr. olds could accurately kick a knife out of the hand as a realistic reliable defense. This type of attitude is the very reason that I started this thread in the first place. People who think that dealing with a blade is so easy, or just a matter of doing technique A, B, or C. You have no margin for error in going against a bladed attack. The bottom line is that you have to train the best you can, as realistically as possible to increase your %'s of successfully countering an attack. There are no certainties.

One thing that really helped open my eyes a long time ago was seeing a Coroners book that had hundreds of pictures of people that had been killed with different types of edged weapons/tools. Seeing what a sharp implement, even a small knife, can do to the human body is an eye opener. Slashing attacks can be gruesome and open up ghastly wounds immediately. Thrusts often just look like little slits, but do major damage internally.

When I come across this type of attitude, I'll casually ask them if they want to try kicking the blade from my hand. I'll start out with my blade hand forward and let them try. Of course I don't just hold it still out there for them to target, I use my footwork to move, feint, and gain angle on them all the while keeping my blade moving in changing patterns. At first I'll just stay outside and try to get them to kick. Every kick that comes into my range is either slashed our stuck with a thrust. After I have tenderized the leg a bit, I'll move in behind a kick and close to finish.
Sometimes I'll get the response, "well, you know how to use a knife, the average person doesn't". To which I say; "Ok, this time I'll attack in the way that you'll most likely encounter out in the real world". Then when they turn to go back on the floor I run up behind them and "shank" them a bunch of times on the back and sides of the body or neck. Not scientific, but a knife attack your most likely to encounter. This usually throws them off and they start thinking that I'm crazier than I really am...almost.
After they have re-gained their composure, I'll also show them that not all knife attacks come with the blade held out front. We will go again and this time I have my live hand forward and the blade to the rear and close to my body. This doesn't present a weapon for you to target or to immediately try to gain control of. You have to get past my live hand which will be sweeping, grabbing, trapping, gouging, or eye jabbing as I enter to distract and/or clear the way for my blade to come pumping in.
My point is that I want them to start looking at the knife in a more realistic manner. Not just some innocuous implement that they think is so easy to knock out of an attackers hand.
I pulled this (blade to the blade) on a Shoulin/Mantis BB co-worker a few years ago. He was so fixed on the blade that I just reached up and put my live hand in front of his face blocking his vision, and then hit the vitals.

Again, the point is not to demoralize them, but to get them to start
thinking realistically about facing bladed weapons.