Theory vs. Blowing Someone Up

Kuntawman made some really good points in response to my last posts. His comments are in italics, and I respond

People have to understand, that a weapon is a weapon, a blade is a blade, and that’s it. A stick is a stick and a punch is a punch. Too much theory in the arts, so they don’t have no idea how to kick somebody’s ass with those weapons.

For me, this is a big problem in the arts, and a realization that I have made. When Filipino martial artists work slowly, they can work very elaborate and sophisticated counter-for-counter moves. I think this may be what Kuntawman refers to when he talks about “too much theory in the arts.”

I think the problem is that during real life combat, or even realistic sparring, you can’t really apply these techniques. Look at the fight videos, from the Dog Brothers on down. Especially when the fight is full contact with heavier sticks, attacks become simpler and more direct, and so do defenses.

I agree that the flaw of FMA people is that we are training more in a “martial” art, instead of a “fighting” art. see, if they focus more on the “fighting”, then they will be able to “fight” with their sticks, and not “train” or “drill” with those sticks. There is too much stick-to-stick and almost no stick-to-face. If they focus on how to develop power, and how to land the hits to wear they want to land it, with as much power as they can, those “chopsticks” can do some damage.

The point I see in the above paragraph ties in with my thoughts earlier on simplicity and directness. What I think Kuntawman is saying is that you’re better off working on power, speed, mobility, accuracy, and fighting know-how by sparring, than by spending hours bogged down in slow motion “If he does this I can do that,” and elaborating long strings of moves ending in locks and takedowns.

We’ve all seen it done. The opponent throws a blow (and I know what’s coming). After throwing the blow he is frozen like a statue. While he stands paralyzed I block, check, strike three times, pass the weapon, strike 5 or 6 more times, move to his back, wrap the stick around his arm into an armlock, move the lock up into a choke, twirl him around and then drop him down.

But wait, I’m not finished. On the ground I now wrap his arm around my leg, using my leg to apply an armlock. I flip him over on his back. I lock his other arm with my other leg, and reapply the choke I had when we were standing. This is very impressive at demonstrations and sells seminars and DVD’s, I’m sure.

When I trained with GM Maranga, we did a defense and one strike, not 85 strikes.

For me, the number one skill is the ability to hit some one hard enough –not to hurt him– but to obliterate him.

I can’t have someone with a knife go “Ouch!” The lights have to go out entirely.

If I hit an addict’s arm or leg I don’t care if he feels pain –that arm or leg has to stop working.

Whenever you have two sticks and you're attacked by a meth addict with two sticks, this would come in handy.

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