View Full Version : Getting Hit

joe yang
6th April 2003, 00:10
This post was prompted by the "Hitting A Woman" thread. I made a new post to avoid thread drift. Here are my thoughts on getting hit. I'd like to hear what other people think.

I don't think anyone likes to get hit, initially. Half the battle teaching MA is teaching new students to overcome their instinctive aversion pain. I also believe that can overcome this aversion and we reach a point where we actually like it.

This sounds kind of flakey. I'm not talking about that kind of thrill, msaochism or anything. I think what I mean is all the factors that go with getting hit in combat, real fighting, not pit a pat, the adrenaline rush, the realease of endorphines, the high of surviving, it is all a really alive feeling. When you start to associate a hard strike with this, it all starts to get rolled up into one. All of a sudden, like Pavlov's dog, a good hit can trigger the whole sequence, if you let yourself get there.

Granted, I've done a lot of full contact sparring in twenty years. I get into a lot of fights on the job. I've made this connection myself. No one ever talks about it. I've never tried to explain it. It sounds kind of sick and embarassing, but I actually enjoy the whole experience. I mean I don't look for fights. I don't provoke fights, but when I started in Corrections, I used to be scared when I had to suit up to roll. Know I actually feel relaxed and at ease. Fights seem to go buy in slow motion. I can see myself get hit. I think, that's going to hurt and it doesnt bother me.

I don't think this is exclusively a guy thing, anyone can learn it. You don't have to learn it. We all have our reasons for training, but this is the way the big boys play. Respect that. Don't play with the big boys if you want to play nice. ;)

6th April 2003, 01:17
The pain of getting hit is a motivator to not get hit, or to learn to adapt to certain degrees of pain and still function.

I agree that there are some people who never want to get past the stomach lesson, where you let yourself be hit in the stomach hard enough to take away your breath and gasp for air, but that becomes the real test of who wants to learn and who has the grit to press on.

Is that what we are talking about, or is it the simple fact that being hit teaches you to insulate yourself from pain, and in a sad way, you must continue to feel that pain to believe you are really training? I hope we are not going there? I had enough of that the first couple of years of training with black and blue marks that would appear an hour or two after a good sparring class. It got to a point where I had to allow people to get a couple of hits in or the sparring session got terribly .... boring.

Oh well ....

As I say, sometimes pain can be a motivator not to be hit.

If you want to learn to box, either in the formal boxing style or martial arts style, you have to accept a certain amount of pain of being hit if you want to progress to any level above beginner. It is inevitable that everyone developes their own level of pain based upon their perception of how important their task is compared to the injury. Some people are able to rationalize, or put aside pain until the body goes into automatic shutdown, and that is truly awesome.

Is that where you want to go with this, Joe?

joe yang
6th April 2003, 12:44
No Bruce, I'm not talking about the "stomach lesson". Don't teach it. Don't believe in it.

I'm talking about the first "owie", the first time a student gets hurt sparring and stops fighting, to whine, or gripe, or get it kissed. Now I know we never spar with the intention of hurting anyone, but it happens, and better it happens in sparing than in a real fight. Real fights don't stop for owies.

Then there is a step up from an owie, getting the wind knocked out of you for example. It happens sooner or later too. The challenge is not to learn what it feels like, who on the planet doesn't know what that feels like? It happens to every kid at least once. The trick is to learn not to stop fighting. That brings me to the next level, serious hurt.

I'm talking a shot in the head that makes your neck snap, you see sparks, you see red. The kind of blow to the chest that makes you go for x rays but you still keep fighting.

What I'm saying is it is a lesson to learn, in the gym, if that is what you want from the martial arts. Don't look for it. Don't do abusive drills which have no relevance to real fighting anyway. But when you get thumped or slammed, don't whine about it, use it, go with it. If anyone knows what I'm talking about, strange as it sounds you can start to get a rush from this kind of contact. Hope I make myself clear. :rolleyes:

Joseph Svinth
7th April 2003, 00:49
Elmore Leonard, I think it was, described it as the strange savage pleasure of hitting and getting hit.

joe yang
7th April 2003, 02:32
Joe, I was waiting for you to bail me out with a technical reference. You come back with a quote from Elmore Leonard. You are my hero. :D

17th April 2003, 22:28
this may sound sortove naive but if you choose to do kumite than you accept the actions and from time to time contact is one of them you cant stop sparring to say owww because you do on the street what you train in the dojo so if your opponent grazes you and you start whining about it then there going to take that time to give your face plastic surgery with the sole of there foot

ben wallace

Shitoryu Dude
20th April 2003, 04:55
Lessee - more bruises than I can count, stitches over my right eye from a punch that got past me, pulled groin muscle (didn't warm up enough), sore jaw, and assorted aches and pains from getting clobbered. And I don't even spar that much anymore. One of the big reasons I took up MA was to get over my fear of getting hit/beat up - it worked.

We have a small core group of mainly black belts that do a fair amount of hard kumite. Seeing blood on the mat after they are done is nothing unusual. Over the past couple years I've seen a fair number of black eyes, one broken nose, a nasty cut over the eye, uncountable bruised ribs, a snapped ACL, and more than a few people laid out flat. And this is "controlled" and friendly sparring - none of the injuries were intentional.

Shihan's viewpoint on this is that black belts who join this group pretty much know what the hell they are getting into. The snapped ACL was rather an exception to the majority of injuries - bleeding a bit or sporting a black eye is just the cost of participating and whining will not get you any damn respect at all.


joe yang
25th April 2003, 00:57
Harvey, we go all out, at our discretion, in black belt class. We have that option in regular adult class. No one takes it any more. Since sparring is always the last half hour of BB class, junior students never see a real fight, they are gone. Too bad. Once a year we have a black belt test. Attendance is mandatory. If you are promoting or not. We need everyone for the multiple attacker/one defender sparring. By then, the junior students are usually drifting in for their promotion test. Is that an eye opener! Light contact is not an option.

Bushi Jon
25th April 2003, 13:46
I have had contact numerous times I believe if Ihad never been clobbered I would truly be afraid of getting hit. Now when I get hit all that I have learned flies through that tiny brain of mine looking for a counter. My teacher says we must never be afraid of getting hit for it will open up a flood gate of knowledge

John Schaefer

25th April 2003, 22:35
I do believe, we are talking about whining crybabys who bitch and moan when any real pain is felt .... whether it is the stomach lesson, or getting really hit hard enough that your physical body is fighting to shutdown while your mental processes are telling your body to go on ... it is the same for the stomach lesson.

The fact is, with the stomach lesson, one third of the students quit. That isn't so bad as the other third that dribble on, and slowly quit as the training level of the class begins to overcome their early superiority, and technique starts to win out over skill ... leaving 20%-30% of the original students who train for two or more years.

The big boys do get used to getting hit, and if any period of time goes by without getting hit, it seems as if something is missing?

Yeah, I know how that song goes.

Eventually, if you continue in that vein, either you or one of your sparring partners will be seriously hurt enough to be diagnosed with internal injurys that may or may not be life threatening.

I kind of wish I had started martial arts ten years earlier than I did, at 26 instead of 36 ... I don't think I quite got sparring out of my system .... but that is life, c'est la vie!

Joe ...

Where did you want to go with this topic?

Did you want to talk about how it feels to disconnect from pain, until your body shuts down, or did you want to go somewhere else with this topic, like into the observations of safety, or health?

25th April 2003, 23:14
Originally posted by bruceb
I agree that there are some people who never want to get past the stomach lesson, where you let yourself be hit in the stomach hard enough to take away your breath and gasp for air, but that becomes the real test of who wants to learn and who has the grit to press on.

Stomach lesson? I don't understand. Don't you teach your students how to take a belly shot or do you just bushwack greenhorn beginners who don't know how to protect their bodies yet. I don't see logic of breaking a student on purpose who doesn't have the tools he needs to do what is required of him. We hit our people in the stomach real good but they don't gasp for air. Its no big shakes if you train in Goju Ryu, Uechi Ryu or several other of the orthodox methods of training that teach the required techniques and conditioning.

There are plenty of productive ways to test a students heart. Purposely breaking a defenseless student in this manner seems to show a great deal of ignorance in my opinion.

26th April 2003, 00:20
Guys (& Gals),

I don't post too often but this topic kind of piqued my interest. Coming from the "student" perspective (i've only been training for a little over a year), i'd probably have to wonder about the whole stomach test idea, but moreso out of my own ignorance. Personally, if i'm training and i take a shot to the stomach, head, kinteki (sp?), or wherever, so be it. My belief is that you should train hurt. As good as a martial artist as i may become, i'll never be able to see if something is going to go awry- so it's my responsibility to myself to keep on keeping on. But, i'm curious about the whole shot to the stomach deal...i guess it just doesn't compute for me. I'm more inclined to just train and see how they respond when it happens, since inevitably it WILL happen. I took a bokken to the head on Thursday night, thankfully not at full speed, but enough to make me say ow, smile, and move on. Anyway, to address the original point, personally i believe you learn MUCH more when you're receiving the technique from your sensei. I still have to move with some moderation as i don't know the exact point at which things move from "ow" to "snap", but he does. This is the point that i know i feel each time i am shown techniques for my own sake or our dojo's benefit (by him). So, yeah...hit away. If I train half a** ALL the time i'd be shocked at the intensity and quickness of a real altercation. Plus, if you're really careful, you can learn much more than technique ;)

Happy weekends,
Jed Konopka

26th April 2003, 16:27
I believe that in martial arts since you may need to use it and may need to get hit, you need to take a hit. The only problem is that if the person screws up the hit, you could be in trouble. I think that if you have a respecting partner and go slow and easy, you can build up your tolerance and ability to resist a hit. For the aspect of bruising, there are many ointments that will help. If you go to a good clinic/store in a "china town" type place they will help get you the right ointment for your problem.
Thankfully I have a good partner, and I am slowly learning to take a good hit.

sepai 85
26th April 2003, 22:51
oh yea who by chance is your good partner briggs ? because I know last time we squared of we both gave each other some pretty good shots.

George Kohler
26th April 2003, 22:58
Joe Somebody,

You need to sign your posts with your real full name. It is E-Budo policy. If you continue to post without your real name, your posts will be deleted.

27th April 2003, 23:39
Come on ... Never have the wind knocked out of you so bad that it took 30 seconds or more to recover?

The basis of 'the stomach lesson" is to separate the people who are training to brag from people who are willing to train and gain.

Maybe that is an old test that comes out in other ways. It might be that the good shot that gets through to knock the wind out of some cry babys is the test for todays sparring ... well ... at someplace, sometime the pain is gonna come. The people who can suck it up, and force their mind to overcome the pain are the ones who will push themselves in training, while the posers will drop to the sidelines,or disappear.

The Stomach lesson just tends to weed out the posers around month #6 in a safer controled pain submission rather than having some other injury cause the same pain with disasterous results.

Getting hit is not just a lesson that is to be learned by trial and error, but there are lesser means to train to build up your body to gain control over the pain of getting hit.

The stomach lesson is a very low level pain test.

Of course, you could fool your students and never weed out the posers, but that is up to you. Run your school whatever way you want ....

joe yang
28th April 2003, 18:30
Bruce, I still find the "stomach lesson" objectional, for two reasons. First, I believe it is unnessecary. If you are really sparring, your going to get that hit sooner or latter, maybe first in the head, the groin, a paralysing shot to the arm, whatever. They all offer a good first taste of pain. Now sucking wind and shaking it off, continuing, is a special skill, but the lesson comes. Secondly, it seems more valid if it is a surprise.

Maybe I'm squemish or soft, I don't believe it is the instructors job to deal out pain. It it doesn't feel like proper spirit. I never got beat, and as per my original post,I've learned to take a "savage pleasure" in getting hit. ;)

28th April 2003, 22:05
I guess you have to go a few rounds with me, and let me not hold back ... which I always do.

Although, being in the ring with an animal might not be where you want to be?

It just might break you out of that habit of liking to be hit.

It wasn't the getting hit that made me stop that type of training, it was the debilitating pain 24 hours later that did.

Oh Well, every child gotta learn the lesson for themself.

This child is off to another thread.

joe yang
29th April 2003, 20:10
I go a few rounds, get in the ring with animals for a living, every day. Like an old firehorse, there is a certain excitement, thrill, rush to the job. I was talking about training, learning to take pain, that is another thread. I was just trying to articulate my feelings on a side of violence I don't see discussed here, the buzz, the juice. Joe Svinth said it better than I did, as usual. ;)

Joseph Svinth
30th April 2003, 06:41
Joe -- The keyword search is "recreational violence." See, for example, http://www.findarticles.com/cf_0/PI/search.jhtml?isp=FA&cat=news&key=%2BViolence+%2BRecreational+%2Baspects

That first article is very good.

joe yang
30th April 2003, 16:45
What about a biological connection? Is that the right word? I get a rush from use of force encounters, before, during and after.

Joseph Svinth
1st May 2003, 02:46
Allen Guttman argues that sport is inherently erotic. See, for instance, http://www.stanford.edu/group/SHR/6-2/html/guttmann.html . If the thesis is sound, then it is possible that you (we) get your (our) jollies the same way that your business associates do, only you (we) sublimate in more societally acceptable fashions.

joe yang
1st May 2003, 15:53
What I notice, more and more is a "high", a sense of altered conciousness as a result of violent encounter. I first noticed this "buzz" following use of force incidents and attributed the feeling to adrenaline and relief. As I became more accustomed to use of force encounters, I noticed myself experiencing a hightened sense of awarness, all most to the point of an "out of body" feeling. Lately, I notice that in anticipation of a use of force experience, cell extractions, emergency call outs, high risk warrants, etc., I start to go into the "zone", before the event, it is strangely pleasant. Anymore, I seem to be able to achieve a mild euphoria, just stepping into a hostile environment. It is very draining and hard to maintain, but the buzz is there.

Joseph Svinth
2nd May 2003, 08:46
Adrenaline junkie. The response is Pavlovian -- you anticipate, and the drip begins.

Chemically, there is no difference that I'm aware of between fear and pleasurable anticipation. It's just the way we internalize it that changes.

Gotta watch the secondary addictions, though. For instance, adrenaline and alcohol are commonly mixed, and that gets nasty.

joe yang
2nd May 2003, 12:58
Gotta watch the secondary addictions, though. For instance, adrenaline and alcohol are commonly mixed, and that gets nasty.

Yeah! I'm going to read up on the erotic nature of sports and throw sex into the mix too.

Joseph Svinth
2nd May 2003, 19:20
I'm told that a lot of folks like having a couple drinks before slapping the old lady/boyfriend around a bit as a form of foreplay. This is definitely correlated in serial killers, so considering where you work, you shouldn't have much trouble finding subject matter experts to discuss this with. I am not being facetious, either, as it was Henry Kissinger who noted that power is an aphrodesiac.

2nd May 2003, 19:48
Originally posted by bruceb
...The basis of 'the stomach lesson" is to separate the people who are training to brag from people who are willing to train and gain.

The Stomach lesson just tends to weed out the posers around month #6 ...

.... Run your school whatever way you want

The proper physical exercise routinue along with proper practice methods does that and makes the student stronger. As is 9 out of 10 who start quit with in the first year and very few make it to shodan.

As a rokyu just how many schools have you ran? Just curious.

joe yang
2nd May 2003, 21:48
I don't think I've met any serial killers, but you may be right about the sex and violence connection. I've certainley met my share of rough sex killers. My favorite was the guy who left a "buddy" duct taped to a chair, in a hotel room, wearing a vinyl sauna suit with his mouth and throat packed with peanut butter. The "victim" was alone with an answering machine when he suffocated. The perpetrator was recorded on the machne, having sex with the victim's girlfriend. The perpetrator was ultimately acquited. The jury decided the whole incident was consentual. :D

2nd May 2003, 22:37
Originally posted by bruceb
The stomach lesson is a very low level pain test.

Of course, you could fool your students and never weed out the posers, but that is up to you. Run your school whatever way you want ....

Doesn't training do that anyway? If you are so concerned with 'weeding out posers (sic)' there are a number of methods for gently suggesting why it is inappropriate to be a putz that don't exploit the already huge power differential between teacher and student.

A couple of hours off in a corner doing ukemi can work wonders for attitude, and it might even do them some good. As someone mentioned earlier in the thread, the incidental contact from training with weapons can push the pain threshold (who among us hasn't been smashed on the hand or given a concussion by an overzealous training partner?!?!) without needing to resort to overt abusive behavior (we jokingly refer to our octagonal rokushakubo as 'Minister of Enforcement for Maai and Hyoshi' :)).

At my dojo, folks with personality issues don't stick around for very long... not enough ego gratification...

Be well,

joe yang
3rd May 2003, 08:45
Kenkyusha, thank you, well said.

Joseph Svinth
4th May 2003, 06:33
At Joe's dojo, they stick around what, 8-14, and keep coming back for more? Must be the peanut butter.

joe yang
4th May 2003, 20:13
They do keep coming back. We call that serving "life on the installment plan". :D

7th May 2003, 15:17
Even at our school, where sparring is optional (we're primarily a locking/throwing art, though we use quite a few strikes and blocks, too), we learn from the pain. We do a lot of defense against a 2' club. While most of us are quite adept at pulling punches at the last second to avoid hitting someone hard when they blow a block, the club is far more difficult to stop at the last moment. As if that wasn't enough, there are times for all of us when whe parry the club improperly, managing to accomplish what the uke had originally attempted: hitting ourselves on the head with the club as we take it away from uke.

The first time this happens, we cuss (very softly, so sensei won't hear). The second time, we remember not to make that mistake again. The third time, we don't really even notice it until we've finished the defense. Then we just stop and smile, knowing that everyone in the dojo heard that loud, slightly hollow sound of the club bouncing off our skull. : D

sepai 85
7th May 2003, 20:03
Like I said earlier contact is a part of martial arts training. There is obviusly two types of contact the accidental contact and the real contact. The accidental contact is maybe a hook kick that nails you in the nose and example of real contact is someone punching you in the eye. I have experienced both and as freaky as it sounds you grow a little used to it after a while as long as you build up the contact gradually. And yes I have had a little bit of contact with weapons to they hurt a lot so I can sympathize I have had side kicks done to me that have sent me flying into weapons racks and into walls the important thing to remeber is that spirit is of the upmost importance and you must not give up when you get hit. I once knew a martial artist who told me this comment "if you have to defend yourself and you get hit which you will you mobize the threat first and then cry about your injury after" and in all honesty I agree with this completly.

yours in shugyo

7th May 2003, 20:16
Obviously, a part of our training (any training that intends to prepare for combat) must include the development of the ability to continue in spite of injury. In martial arts in general, you get that whether it's in the curriculum or not, so long as folks go at it relatively energetically. Probably not appropriate when attacking a 3-month student with a club, but wholly appropriate when going after someone with the appropriate skills to defend, and if they get hit, it's just another part of the training.

sepai 85
11th May 2003, 04:57
Ok ! contact not something you can just jump into you need to build up an appropriate amount of force gradually. For example cut kicks to the legs (UFC style) you need to build up an endurance to those if you just jump right in you well destroy your body and thats just not cool. Therefor the key is to build up slowly.

yours in shugyo