Spring Camp Recap
Thanks to all who helped to make this Year's Spring Ninja Camp a success. Thanks especially go to:
- My wife, Jen - for all of the admin work and coordinating all of the details
- Shidoshi Elliott, Tremblay, and especially Woodard, for making the long trip to share your knowledge with others
- Jason Whistler & Eric White for assisting with "go-fer" tasks as-needed.
I could not have done it without your selfless acts. Thank you all!
Don't forget to reserve your place now for the Fall Ninja Camp in November (details later in this newsletter). Remember that, we only have so many spaces available and when they're gone - that's it.
Are Traditional Martial Arts Suitable for Modern Self-Defense?
by Jeffrey M. Miller, Shidoshi
One of the most frequent topics of discussion both on the internet and in the many books and magazines, is that of whether or not traditional martial arts like karate, tae kwon do, and others, are suitable for modern-day self-defense. And, while there are many differring answers and opinions regarding this question, perhaps it would be better if we change the focus. instead of asking whether or not a particular martial art, or martial art school is suitable for self-defense, perhaps we should first determine what it is that we will be facing in a life-threatening encounter.
First, we must understand that a real-world self-defense encounter will be a highly emotional - highly charged - situation. This is very different from what most people, even the hardcore fighters, experience inside their dojo or dojang ("training hall"). For most students of conventional martial arts, the class, though high energy and charged, is more fun than fear-based.
When under the stress caused by fear, anxiety, and even anger, our bodies go through an amazing transformation that is quite different from what we're normally accustomed to. Adrenalin dumps into the blood stream causing our muscles to tighten and prepare for the workload ahead. Our heart speeds up to accomodate the increased need for oxygen-rich blood. And our mental focus changes to where it almost appears as if the world has slowed down.
All of these changes require that our techniques and tactics are simple and easy to apply. Even though we will have increased strength and speed, we will also lose fine motor control. That means that, quite frankly, we won't be able to do all of those "cool" moves that require grace and finess. Just won't happen.
In addition, we must recognize that, as we train, so will we fight. This means that, if in the course of your martial arts training, you regularly pull your punches short of striking a human target or punch beside the person for 'safety," then you will probably not generate enough power during a real encounter to do the amount of damage you expect.
Don't believe me? Here's a true story that happened to a non-martial arts friend of mine a while back.
You see, my friend owns and operates a local tavern that incorporates both a bar and a restaurant. Very nice place.
One night, a young man out celebrating his new promotion to Black Belt has a bit too much to drink. In his less-than-rational state, he becomes a bit too "fun-loving" for everyone's comfort and is asked to leave the establishment.
The individual, alcohol speaking for him, jumps back and takes up his ready-position and proceeds to tell my friend how much damage he is capable of. My friend, hand in pocket on a stun gun, never sees the first of three roundhouse kicks delivered very quickly at his head. Without doing more than duck-and-cover maneuvering out of shear panic, my friend is merely bumped around by the ineffective kicks.
Now, one could make a good case for the fact that the abusive individual was prevented from doing damage in his drunken state and, had I not seen the rage in his eyes, I might agree. But, what I saw was a person who was not trained to effectively kick a human target. What I saw was a student who was used to pulling his kicks just short of them landing.
Does this mean that he couldn't kick? No, of course not. I just think that he, and many others like him, end up learning two different kicks during the course of their martial arts training. One, they learn to strike with power and force - the learn to make contact - with targets. The other, they learn a version that teaches the muscles to "pull short" of contact against a human target.
Just in case your wondering: Yes, it is possible to learn to kick with speed and power against a human target without killing your training partner. But, it does require that you understand how the adrenal response helps in a crisis situation.
For other eye-opening principles and concepts that often fly in the face of the so-called common-sense being taught in the world today, get the
"Danger Prevention Tactics" video and learn to protect yourself with the same methods used by trained security professionals and defense experts every day.
Here are a few more things to keep in mind when evaluating a martial art (or any self-defense course) for it's ability to teach you what you need to know:
1. You will probably be smaller, weaker, less armed, and maybe even out-numbered in a self-defense situation. (In martial arts, you are usually partnered up based on age, gender, size, and experience level)
2. You will be extremely lucky if you have someone (like a referee) step in to break things up. It's been my experience that by-standers either watch or keep on walking to avoid being included in the attack. There is no sense of the "fair-play" expected in sport competitions.
3. You will know only one thing about your attacker: That he or she wants to hurt you. You will not know anything about their intent, how far they're willing to go, how much experience they have at damaging other human beings, etc. The only thing that you can truly be sure of in a self-defense encounter is, how you feel and what you know about defending yourself - that's it.
To read more about my "Emotion-based Defensive Response"(EDR)Program that's based on exactly this premis and allows you to escape with minimal effort and maximum results, go to www.warrior-concepts-online.com/self-defense.html
Remember: It doesn't matter if you have a black belt in karate, some other martial art, or have just taken some self-defense classes in school or from a friend. What DOES matter is what you know about and how well prepared you are when it comes to dealing with a real-life encounter. In that case, the only test that counts is...
... whether or not you go home afterwards.
Self-Defense Tip -
One of the major concerns of people that I talk to is the threat of being attacked on the roadway. They are concerned because they have heard the news stories sensationalizing "road-rage" and fear being a victim.
As discussed in the "Danger Prevention Tactics" video, there really is little chance of you actually being attacked while driving down the road. With the acception of the inattentive driver who causes an accident, unless you're involved in gangland activity or the target of some very serious aggressors, the fact is that, most of us are pretty safe while actually moving.
It's when we're stopped that we are most vulnerable to attack by an assailant. This week's strategy is for use when stopped at stop or yield signs or at a traffic light.
The principle is simple, easy to do, and involves the principle of distance. Ready? Here it is:
When pulling up to stop behind another vehicle, always make sure that you can see the bottoms of their rear tires (the point where the "rubber meets the road").
This way, you'll be able to turn your stearing wheel hard left or right (depending on the lane you're in) and get out of traffic should you need to, without hitting or getting jammed up on the vehicle in front of you.
The next big upcoming training opportunity at WCI's main facility is the Takagi-Yoshin-Ryu Seminar. During this powerful two-day event we'll focus on the kata contained on the 1st level scroll of this awesome lineage.
This seminar is a scroll certification event. That means that students working through the historical material that makes up the foundation of the Warrior Concepts Life Mastery Program will be receiving a certificate accknowledging their initiation into this material. But...
...Don't let the fact that you're not interested in traditional martial arts stop you from attending this event. The Takagi-Yoshin masters were experts in jutaijutsu (the fore-runner of modern jujitsu) and much of what we'll be doing will involve ground-fighting.
The Takagi-yoshin Ryu was also a body-guard school and the techniques are unique among typical Japanese approaches.
How? They were designed to be used in smaller, cramped spaces where you cannot execute standard Judo-like throws. The techniques of this lineage were designed to drop the assailant straight at your feet so as to not allow him to use surrounding walls or objects to regain his position. This type of strategy is perfect for defending in parking lots, between cars, from a seated position, and even in a group or nightclub environment.
There is even an optional Japanese dinner that you can join me for on Saturday evening.
Read more about it at www.warrior-concepts-online.com/seminars.html
You'll also find more information and details about this year's Fall Training Camp scheduled for November 4 - 6th, 2005, here.
In the last issue of the Self Defense Newsletter, I promised to give you information about how you would be able to still get some of this year's camp experience, even if you didn't make it to camp. Unfortunately, I'm not ready to do that yet. But, check back at the site reqularly and watch for upcoming issues of this newsletter for details.
Get FR*EE Training and Make Some Money for Yourself at the Same Time
I'm looking for some motivated and outgoing partners to help sponsor, market, and coordinate seminars in your area. Why not make some very good money and get fr*ee training at the same time? You'll be getting the information you need AND helping to make others safe at the same time.
Want more details? Send me a message using the contact form on the site and I'll give you all the details.
So, Until next time. Live Free. Be Happy. And...
Peace and Happiness,
Jeffrey M. Miller, Shidoshi
Warrior Concepts International
Self-Protection & Personal Development
"Real Training for Real People in a Real World!"