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Thread: The Scarcity of Real Combative Training: Miyamoto Musashi and Misty the Cat

  1. #16
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    Admin: I have moved the thread to the Personal Protection sub-forum.


    Quote Originally Posted by Hissho View Post
    Since this post directly addresses combatives, I wonder if we might put it in the Personal Protection forum?

    I think it does present an interesting question:

    What do we mean when we think "combative realism?"

    Self defense? Military combat? "Street fighting?"

    When we speak of "resolute spirit," what comes to mind?

    Can we make room for the idea that often times, combative realism has nothing to do with physical techniques?
    Peter Goldsbury,
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    In answer to the question "as real as it gets", I have personally used my training for protection against a determined attacker trying to inflict severe, potentially lethal injury. I call that "real" and my training worked for me in that circumstance. So as far as I'm concerned my training "worked." I presume other people have other experiences in other circumstances.

    (ADMIN COMMENT. So this is one answer to the request for a description / definition of "as real as it gets" (which is intended as a request for a general description, applicable to a range of circumstances). The answer cites an example that was highly convincing for the user of the training. However, the limitations of answering a request for a general definition by citing an example specific to the user's own case are not noted here.)

    I also now carry a (legal) gun which rather negates any form of hand to hand combat---presuming of course I can get it into play. Which is another form of "real."

    (ADMIN COMMENT. The qualification added here (= 'rather') and the condition adduced (= 'presuming of course I can get into play') serve to limit how the negating would apply. So I understand 'rather' here to qualify, rather than amplify, the force of 'negate' as in:

    "More (so) than not; more than anything else; hence, in a certain degree or measure; to some extent; somewhat, slightly." (OED)

    However, the final comment does not specify which is another form of "real": the carrying of the gun, or the need to get it into play. Both would qualify, but in different ways.
    The way in which 'rather' is understood is quite important, since the difference in interpretation sets up the argument that will follow.
    )

    Which is always the question, do you actually get the chance to apply ones training or are you going to get caught off guard.


    Beyond readily available firearms I really don't see much of a difference in "modern contexts and environments" a punch is a punch a kick is a kick. Regardless of calendar date.

    Opinions on that differ of course.
    Last edited by P Goldsbury; 14th September 2016 at 12:49. Reason: Clarifying
    Chris Thomas

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    "Team Cynicism" MVP 2005-2006
    Currently on "Injured/Reserve" list due to a scathing Sarcasm pile-up.

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    Since you asked Kit, here's my two cents worth from the outside.

    I think that "combative realism" is not something that can be defined in black and white. I believe that it depends totally upon the ultimate goal of the person saying it. For example, combative realism is going to be totally different for someone hoping to be an mma cage fighter than it is for someone that makes a living in law enforcement. This is because the reality that they face will be totally different. Reality for someone that lives in a dangerously bad area like the one I grew up in, is very different than the reality faced by a suburban 20-something that wants to be able to easily put down the belligerent drunk guy that ran into him in the bar, and they're both very different from the reality faced by a Special Forces soldier.

    Since reality is not a constant, then the "combative reality" that someone should train for is also not a constant. I think why a person is training is what sets their required definition of combative reality.

    There you go, worth what you paid for it!
    Paul Smith
    "Always keep the sharp side and the pointy end between you and your opponent"

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  5. #19
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    Agh! Guys I just lost a long post and don't have time to re-write it. Thanks professor for moving the threat and all for turning this into a useful discussion - I'll get back to it soon to address some specific opinions.

    I think we are getting much more concrete than the OP on combative realism, which is great.

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    Paul I think you bring up a very good point:

    It's plain across the martial spectrum - one tradition or person's reality is different from another's. So much so that I think we have to take care, especially on line, when considering what people mean when they talk about reality. I frequently see people talking about combatives, analyzing and critiquing other arts or other's applications, or lauding their own, and then they demonstrate something even less realistic than what they are criticizing - at least to my eyes.

    For my purposes I define combative reality similarly to what Chris stated:

    a determined attacker bent on causing serious bodily injury or death.

    This is the only definition of "combat" for me. Training, therefore, since it cannot duplicate this reality, has to be informed by the experience of it. There is plenty within different training contexts that may be martial, but is not combative.

    It goes without saying that to me, competition fighting is not combative. Certain elements of its training do support practice for combative reality. So, for example, I believe that in order to address "the determined attacker" one must train against an opposing will a significant amount of the time. Not "sparring," but against someone with a goal in competition with yours. It will often look like sparring, in fact one needs to careful that it does not devolve to sparring (because that is most people's base for oppositional training)

    Training for restraint, arrest and control, that sorta thing is not combative. Even a resistive arrest, for example, is not a combat encounter. Most police DT systems - virtually ALL in-service training - is NOT combative, but is focused on control of semi- to very resistant subjects who are not attempting to harm the officer but to get away. The best training for this is similarly one trained against an opposing will, as I described above. However, issues of reasonable use of force and liability issues must come into play, so again, "sparring" is not ideally suited for this kind of thing.

    There is a big difference between attempting to arrest subject who is trying their best to flee, and dealing with one who is trying to take the officer's gun. Some elements of that encounter may cross over, but one is based in restraint and the other survival. Self defense wise, there is a big difference between fending off an aggressive transient who is chest bumping you after you refused to give him money, and defending yourself from an intruder armed with knife that you surprised in your kitchen when you came down to get a drink of water...

    Since we are talking martial - slash - combative traditions or disciplines, I am going to say the physical, technical element is a given - that being said, self defense - as with arrest and control - requires far less physical and technical wherewithal than defending against a committed murderous attack.

    But the linchpin is mindset. This, to me, includes tactical, legal, stress inoculated, and repeatedly tested and confirmed mental functioning under increasing stress. Good training programs progressively up the stress, but there is still no substitute for experiencing it for real and processing it for increased efficiency and performance.

    Sorry if this post is rambling I am struggling to try to put my thoughts on practice into words.

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    Chris I wanted to bring these two out of your post:

    I also now carry a (legal )gun which rather negates any form of hand to hand combat---presuming of course I can get it into play. Which is another form of "real."
    I strongly disagree that it negates hand to hand. It may, that is all you can count on. The best bet is to practice hand to hand with the presence of and applications of the handgun in mind. Some of the most harrowing situations you can be involved in are at very close quarters with a firearm in play. They (handguns) are frequently NOT fight stoppers.

    (ADMIN COMMENT: I think there is a judgment being made here that does not take account of the qualifications made in the earlier post (#17), which I pointed to in an earlier comment. cxt qualifies his statement in two ways, but Hissho seems to ignore the qualifications. )

    I've said before and I continue to believe this: Iaijutsu - which often combines empty hand and alternative use of weapons in grappling applications, has a lot to offer in terms of rationale and tactical understanding for self defense and counter ambush combatives.



    Which is always the question, do you actually get the chance to apply ones training or are you going to get caught off guard.
    Good training will incorporate drills which address this: counter ambush strategies. Anyone can be had and if the attacker takes you out with the first move there is not much you can do. If you are still around to think 'Damn that hurt!" then you are still in the fight, if behind the 8 ball a bit. To quote:

    “being constantly prepared to meet the adversary immediately, and from whatever position/circumstance one may be."

    That boils down to mindset and physical preparation as well.

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    Gorin no Sho refers to subtleties within the ryu and the problems of others. The quoted statement refers to cutting definitively with koshi and not wildly slashing. Some of our cuts stop a centimeter from the floor and do need to be avoided. In fact all all cuts need to be avoided. If you dont add realism and try to honestly cut your opponent it's a useless gesture. The ryu is based on realism. The only advantage lies in the fact that you know what's coming and thus allows you to defend yourself.


    To the best of my knowledge Musashi did few of his duels in the dojo. It was "on the street" (if there was one) and was a life or death situation.
    Hyakutake Colin

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    http://www.hyoho.com

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  12. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by hyaku View Post
    Some of our cuts stop a centimeter from the floor and do need to be avoided. In fact all all cuts need to be avoided. If you dont add realism and try to honestly cut your opponent it's a useless gesture. The ryu is based on realism. The only advantage lies in the fact that you know what's coming and thus allows you to defend yourself.

    .
    That really is the only way it CAN be real - especially when pre-arranged. Kata this way is truly an amazing training model, allowing controlled, progressive application of the opposing will, which results in development of a real attack within proper distance that if not avoided, will hurt or even injure - thus developing both physical technique and stress inoculation.

    This is why I absolutely say it is not about sparring.

    Hyaku, sir, how does the ryu define "resolute spirit" in this context, if that is the correct translation?

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    I believe I already indicated that in the quote you highlighted, as I said, "presuming that I can get it into play" or as you put it "may." Lots of variables with stuff like that.

    Other than semantics we don't seem to be in disagreement.

    As to the latter--agreed.
    Chris Thomas

    "While people are entitled to their illusions, they are not entitled to a limitless enjoyment of them and they are not entitled to impose them upon others."

    "Team Cynicism" MVP 2005-2006
    Currently on "Injured/Reserve" list due to a scathing Sarcasm pile-up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cxt View Post

    So really I don't see what you are "strongly disagreeing" with.
    .
    That it negates hand to hand. In play or not. That isn't true.

    (ADMIN COMMENT: This is where the earlier qualifications seem to be ignored, and I think the discussion goes off the rails from here.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hissho View Post
    That really is the only way it CAN be real - especially when pre-arranged. Kata this way is truly an amazing training model, allowing controlled, progressive application of the opposing will, which results in development of a real attack within proper distance that if not avoided, will hurt or even injure - thus developing both physical technique and stress inoculation.

    This is why I absolutely say it is not about sparring.

    Hyaku, sir, how does the ryu define "resolute spirit" in this context, if that is the correct translation?
    Musashi mentions that we must strike with intention or it is simply a hit, we must strike with our thoughts as well as our sword, with all our inner spirit. Musashi warn us about not having a frozen mind. Of the freely-moving mind of fudoshin and need of zanshin in its proper place.
    Hyakutake Colin

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    http://www.hyoho.com

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    Something I have admired from afar in NIR is the combination of direct technique, natural combative postures, and mental composure evident throughout. Fantastic baseline for handling real duress.

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    Chris

    I've always felt we were able to discourse well here on E-Budo and thought you "got" my style, so to speak, so the apparent sensitivity to my comments has thrown me for a loop. Still we don't know each other and tone is never accurately conveyed in online postings. If my response appeared flippant or insulting or as a "got ya" in an out of context way, I apologize, that was not the intent. I have no personal stake, I am talking ideas.

    I'll explain:

    You posted:

    I also now carry a (legal )gun which rather negates any form of hand to hand combat---presuming of course I can get it into play. Which is another form of "real."
    And this is how I took it:

    You carry a gun, which you say, and I presumed believe, this "rather negates any form of hand to hand combat."

    This is not the case, and I don't read the "rather" in the way you parse it. Maybe thats just me.

    All manner of contexts and variables do apply in the case of a firearms encounter, especially at close quarters. You address the first one: you presumed - my interpretation of your words - that if you got the gun in play, it would rather negate hand to hand combat.
    (ADMIN COMMENT: The question still remains about the force of "rather" here.)

    I take that to mean - and where we probably are in total agreement - that hand to hand skills may very well play a major part in getting a carried weapon into play. That one may need to fight with someone in order to get them off of you to the point that the gun can be accessed and successfully deployed. One may need hand to hand skills to retain a weapon in holster, should an attacker grab it, or even in hand, should an attacker take hold of the gun after its drawn. And so on...

    But I take it further:

    Once I have drawn, once I have fired - I may not even hit.

    At close quarters, with all the jostling around, erratic movement, bumping and shoving and stumbling and tripping trying to keep from getting shot, it is not at all unusual to see multiple rounds fired with not a one striking the intended target. This is made worse because almost all practice is done standing still, against a static target that is not fighting back, and that is outside of arm's reach. Not at fear of death at grappling and striking distance and dynamics.

    Here is an example of that:

    http://edpoint.tumblr.com/post/12411...-gun-fight-and


    There is also the difficult issue of keeping the gun running when in such a close encounter - if we are fighting hand on gun, it is not unusual for a malfunction occur. Should that happen I will also need hand to hand skills in order to manage the fight as well as get my gun back up and running. I know of a case where a man forcefully punched his pistol into the head of a subject that it actually racked a round out of the chamber. One can imagine the various things that could happen after such a thing, to include perhaps necessitating a malfunction clearance while in a hand to hand fight.


    Next, assuming I do hit you, are the rounds even telling?

    Handguns in particular are very poor man-stoppers. Rounds go through-and-through muscle tissue without causing any major damage at all, and certainly no incapacitating damage; rounds enter the head, don't penetrate but travel around the skull, and exit somewhere else doing virtually no lasting damage; they lodge in fat or muscle and cause only minor functional impairment; or the context of the encounter is such that a hit, or several, are not immediately relevant in the fight.

    I know a man who was shot five times and then disarmed the shooter. I know of - first hand accounts - and have been trained in many, many other incidents of people shot repeatedly in the head, the face, a round going down a guy's throat, through the chest, etc. etc. and those people remained functional, and in some cases took the fight back to the attacker and won the day. I have personally contacted several people who had just been shot in order to arrest them, and these people were in no way incapacitated physically by their gun shot wounds, though they were in pain for sure, had they chosen to, they easily could have fought hand to hand after being shot. And we have no idea what kind of drugs or psychoses we may be dealing with that make it even worse.

    Many people who are shot simply choose to let it incapacitate them. Not all people are like this... It's the reason for zanshin in kata, in my view. Just because you cut the guy doesn't mean the fight is over at all, quite the opposite.

    Lastly, even people suffering wounds from gunfire that ultimately turned out to be fatal have gone on to kill others. Have stayed combatively functional with firearms, or fought with arresting officers once they did go down and were contacted. There was still fight left in them.

    These are the kinds of things in my mind, and to which I refer. I am reactionary, to be sure, because I know people who think the firearm a talisman, of sorts, and that they "don't need to know how to fight" or " don't need to know martial arts " because they "have a gun."

    Mr. Lowry's comment is meaningful if we are talking the context of a duel, or at a distance at which he is functional with a shotgun. My response would be "what is the context?" You bringing your shotgun up from under the bed after I am already closing distance on you from three feet away with a steak knife in my hand? I may very well win that fight.....

    Or how about MMA versus a handgun? If I am being ground and pounded by a guy, maybe get my gun out, but he grabs it and the first round goes into the dirt, and now my pistol is stuck and I have to get out of the mount while retaining my gun and then clearing it in order to be able to shoot again.....the MMA guy may very well take that fight....

    I have deep respect for what a firearm can do - I am surprised you would think otherwise if you known me on line for so long. But if I had to gun hand to hand with a gun, I absolutely would and have prepared myself for that. I would hope that the context, that luck, and that what my experience has taught me would all be in my favor.
    (ADMIN COMMENT: This very clear and powerful explanation seems to me to have the aim clarifying the force of the qualifying "rather" in very convincing detail. Which leads me to wonder about the point of the dispute. )
    Last edited by Hissho; 13th September 2016 at 17:19.

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  21. #29
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    I tried--beyond the qualifiers in my OP---to head off what I see as a semantic objection.

    I was pretty clear in context each time that I did not mean guns were THE answer nor that they would work in all circumstances. Which I repeated several times.

    I did not use one for the example you asked for about how I defined 'real."

    I'll repeat what I said above, other than semantics I do not think we are really in disagreement here.

    I'll separate out any other response from this on.

    As I seem to have misunderstood lets I will ask one of the mods to erase the my response/s above.

    (ADMIN COMMENT: I have soft-deleted Posts# 28 and 29 at cat's request and so the numbering has changed.)
    Last edited by cxt; 13th September 2016 at 18:05.
    Chris Thomas

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    "Team Cynicism" MVP 2005-2006
    Currently on "Injured/Reserve" list due to a scathing Sarcasm pile-up.

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    No argument intended at all, but I think perhaps my terse reply was open to being taken that way - I have always respected you for good discussion points and back and forth here, Chris.

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