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Kick Me Right Where It Counts!
April 30, 2007
From the Desk of: Shihan Jeffrey Miller
Monday, April 30th, 2007
00:30AM EST Time
In this Issue:
Feature Article: "Kick Me Right Where It Counts"
Count Down to Spring Camp!
REMEMBER: Power is created by motion and flow. Add power to your own experience and knowledge by passing this newsletter on to others.
Want to learn to use one of the easiest and most discreet weapons available. Check out my book on the KUBOTAN: Self-Defense Keychain. The lessons in this book can be applied to, not only the self-defense keychain, but to pens, pencils, and any other small, hand-held object that could be pressed into use in your defense. Here's the link to get your copy: http://www.warrior-concepts-online.com/kubotan-book.html
Kick Me Where It Counts!by Shidoshi Jeffrey M. Miller
During my recent visit to Japan for training, there was one overriding thing that I noticed about most of the black belts that I trained with. Now, if they were just having fun and aren't really looking to be able to defend themselves against a determined attacker should they ever face one, then okay. But, if they really are looking to be proficient and have the ability to control a situation, then they probably shouldn't be sending a clear and dangerous message to their attacker.
Before I tell you what debilitating flaw many of my fellow black belts were making, let me just say that, to watch Hatsumi-Sensei or any of the other Shihan "master instructors," one might very easily overlook this problem. They might overlook it because, well, it appears that the Masters are doing it too! And yet...
What many students see when they train in Japan, is the teachers moving in such a way as to expose vital targets - targets that could be exploited by an experienced opponent. The attacker punches, kicks, or grabs, and the teacher drifts back with an extended arm as if to block. But, instead of taking up a structurally sound kamae, or position of safety, as depicted in books, videos, and the ancient texts, the teachers are in a posture that is way too square to provide any cover against follow up attacks.
And so, seeing this, students with no actual combat experience...
Now, copying the teacher's technique would not be bad, normally...
...if the student knew what they were looking at.
Instead, students simply watch the teacher move and take stock of the step-by-step pieces, with little to no regard for important details that will determine whether or not that technique will work against an enraged attacker trying to hurt you. They forget that their training partner probably lacks not only the same combat experience they do, but also lacks the intention to actually hurt them if they make a mistake. After all...
...everyone is just there to have fun and earn some rank, right?
What is it that could be so deadly a sin that it would warrant an article? What could be so bad that, if left unchecked, could breed a sense of false security in one's technique and ability that will only be seen when a determined attacker takes advantage of it?
Before I answer that, let me ask you a question. The question might seem to be directed only at the guys but, I assure you, is just as relevant to the women. The question is simple and straightforward. There is no trick answer or need to second-guess what I'm asking.
"Would you knowingly and willingly stand close enough to your assailant, and in a convenient position, so as to allow him or her to kick you in the groin?" Or, as many of my friends and students might say, "...to kick you right where it counts?"
I didn't think so. And yet, time after time, I had to remind black belts - people that should know better or have been taught better - to reposition themselves because they were positioned for me to do just that. And, if I saw that fatal flaw, you can bet that any opponent looking for a quick and easy win, would catch it too.
"But you're supposed to punch me next," was the answer I heard more often than not. "We're working on such-and-such a kata ("form" or "example") and I don't have to worry about that."
To which my reply was, "I don't care what form we're working on." Cold, I know. But the fact that you're working on a particular example, does not mean that you forget all of the essential lessons for staying safe. One kata does not contradict the need for proper positioning, distancing, and angling for safety against your attacker's next move.
"But he (the teacher) did it this way." To which I would have to admit, "kind of."
What the student sees is often only a close approximation of what the teacher is actually doing. That's why it's necessary to go through the class, learn the lesson, and then spend the next several days, weeks, or months, trying to figure it out. And this is no exception.
What the students were seeing was the teacher's body position. What they were missing was...
...the teacher's body position RELATIVE to the attacker. In short, they were missing the all-important element of proper distance.
It's true that the teachers were positioning themselves in, what beginner students are told are "sloppy kamae." But, at their level, they don't need "correct kamae" as taught to beginners, because they know how far to position themselves away from the assailant so that he or she can't easily reach them with their next attack.
So, where my training partners were exposing a vital target, the teachers were well out of range for such an attack. Same body position, vastly different results.
The point here is that, if you're training just to have fun and experience a taste of ancient warriorship, great. But, if you're looking to learn the lessons for survival from ancient warriors - lessons designed to save your life if you ever need them...
...then you MUST be critical in your examination of the lessons themselves.
You must get over your need to be right, or to look cool, or to show off what you've learned and make sure that you are focusing on what matters. Often that means that you find a training partner who wants to help you get better. He or she knows that doing that means not stroking your ego, but instead pointing out when you've left yourself open to an easy follow-up.
Because, if you don't, you just might find that the message you're sending to your attacker is...
"Hey! Kick me right where it counts!"
If you really want to know how much more lies beneath the surface when it comes to really mastering this thing called self-defense, you should read the book, "The Karate-Myth." It explains in much greater detail what's missing from most karate and self-defense programs and what you need to really be safe in Today's often violent world.
I'm running a sale on one of my most popular books, KUBOTAN: Self-Defense Keychain
This quick and easy to read book provides you with everything you need to start mastering this powerful little weapon. No prior training is needed and, unlike other books with lots of filler, you'll be able to put the lessons to use right away.
It's only $12.95, and since it's in electronic format, you can download it and be learning how to use this sneaky little weapon. And, as a bonus, I've even included a special link inside the book that will allow you to download another book about this secret weapon, loaded with tons more techniques designed for police officers, absolutely fr*ee.
What are you waiting for? Get your copy of KUBOTAN: Self-Defense Keychain Today!
Upcoming Training Opportunities...
Spring Camp 2007Learn the Ancient Secrets of Japan's Greatest Warriors!
Join Shihan, Jeffrey M. Miller, and several other guest instructors, including Masters Courtland Elliott, John Healy, and several others for a look at the skills, strategies, and unique mindset of Japan's ancient Warriors at this year's annual Spring Training Camp.
From sun-up to well after sun-down - for two days and two nights, join other serious students just like yourself from Friday, May 11th through Sunday, May 13th, 2007 as we explore the power, wisdom, and tactics of the greatest warriors the world has ever known!
Topics for Spring Camp 2007 include:
For more information, log onto: http:www.warrior-concepts-online.com/ninja-camps.html
REMEMBER - This is a once in a lifetime opportunity as each Camp is completely different. Each has it's own theme and combination of techniques, strategies, and skills being covered. To miss one of these events could mean leaving huge holes in your abilities.
So, click on the link above and find out what you'll be missing before you just let this opportunity pass you by.
Check the web site for other powerful, upcoming training events.
If you are from the Central Susquehanna Valley in Pennsylvania, and want to know how you can be a part of the training as a full-time Mastery student at WCI, please call (570) 988-2228. When you call, one of our professional and friendly staff members will help you schedule an appointment to see if WCI is right for you.
, if you're a member of a group or organization and would like me to speak or lead a training seminar, the best option is for you to contact your organization's coordinator responsible for this type of thing. Otherwise, what happens is our information gets buried in a pile of others that were sent by "who-knows-who."
So, have your event/training coordinator contact me at the number above or by using the contact form on the web site. That's the quickest and surest way to get me to come to you!
One Final Note: You should have already received your fr*ee ecourse as a subscriber to this newsletter. If you haven't, you can enroll by going to the home page and completing the simple form in the upper right-hand corner.
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Until next time.
Wishing you Peace, Happiness, and Safety...
"Master Your Self - Master Your Life!"
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