Archive for the Poser of the Week Category

Posers of the Week, Part II

Posted in humor, Poser of the Week with tags , , , on January 7, 2011 by bigstickcombat

Crouching Tiger? Coiled Like a Squirrel Prepared to Strike.

Ah, the gift that keeps on giving. The guy doesn’t realize that from this crouch his chop must travel such a long distance, and he must move up against an upright opponent, that it will never land. This guy makes the Hillbilly Ninja look like Bruce Lee.

Famous last words: “Oh, by the way, I’m going to crouch and extend my leg, but please don’t crush my kneecap like a cockroach, Mr. Mugger.”

One option is to bull rush the guy. Just charge into him headlong. Even a drunk can figure that one out, and this guy is toast, because his weapons (hands and feet) are not prepared to strike. He presents his side to the opponent. My counter to the side stance is to Thai kick the opponent’s lead leg, then move in behind him to blast his kidneys and the back of his head/neck.

Note the right hand resting above the knee, which in kung-fu is called, “Old Man Climbs the Stairs.”

In his hunched over stance, his rear foot points away from his opponent. Observe how he must twist his foot in order to launch his attack. Hint: Keep your toes pointed in the direction of the opponent. When he chops (photo 3, lower left), his body still faces away from the opponent, which means that his strike is all arm and no body, which results in a weak, sloppy, ineffectual blow.

If I trap/check his forward left elbow with my right hand, how is he going to counter it?

My advice: Contact Ninja Bob for private lessons.

Poser of the Week: How NOT to Stop a Tackle

Posted in Commentary, Poser of the Week, Technique with tags , , , , , , on December 6, 2010 by bigstickcombat

Do NOT Buy a Used Takedown Counter from This Man

When I first saw the video “Takedown vs. Wing Chun,” I knew something was wrong. The defenses against a double leg takedown just didn’t seem right to me, and several of the strikes, like the opening kick, struck me as weak and ineffective.

One hint is that the video has 86 dislikes and 17 likes (and how many of those likes come from Sifu Satin Pants, Sifu Satin Pants’ family, and Sifu Satin Pants’ friends?). Many of those comments come from people who say, “I do wrestling/MMA, and this is wrong.” Others come from people who say, “I do wing chun, and this is wr0ng.”

So I called my nephew James, the champion wrestler, and got his take. I am already at my main point –Get over your ego and ask for help. I am not an expert on grappling. I am not knowledgeable about takedowns and takedown defenses. I am trying to educate myself, and the first step is to say, “I don’t know. Please show me.”

So when my nephew came over for Thanksgiving, I taught him some empty hands and the basics of Big Stick Combat. Then I asked James to show me takedown defenses. I probably bugged the hell out of the guy, asking him questions, “What’s your favorite technique? How do you stop a double leg? Show me a Russian tie.”

Now when James showed me a crossface and sprawl he may have been thinking, “Geez, anybody who’s been two weeks in wrestling knows this.” I don’t give a crap whether I look like a martial arts hotshot or not, I’m going to learn.

Back to the video. What’s wrong with these takedown “defenses”?

According to James:

1)  The shooter starts from too far out. James tells me, “We’re taught not to shoot unless you can touch his chest.” When your opponent starts his double leg takedown with a running start from across the room, it’s easier to see it coming.

2)  The shooter just seems to be diving and grabbing the legs. A wrestler (or an enraged drunk) is going to be driving through with that tackle. The tackler’s objective is not to hug your calves, but to drive you into the pavement.

3)  The shooter has both knees down. “If you go down to one knee, it should be for just a split second,” James explains. The shooter in the video goes down to both knees. From this position, he can’t finish (mount an offense) without resetting.

4)  The defender stays straight up. James is absolutely certain, “If you’re caught standing straight up, you’re done.” It is simply a matter of physics –if someone gets under your center of gravity with forward momentum, you’re bound to fall. Try a sprawl.

5)  My Take. It seems to me that the defender has too much weight on his back foot. This is not a good position to be in against a tackler.

One easy (and lame) defense of these farcical counters runs something like, “You’ll most likely be attacked by someone who is falling down drunk and who has zero martial arts training.”

If someone were to claim that a technique on my blog is not realistic I could counter by saying, “Yeah, but if I were attacked by an 80 year old woman with cerebral palsy who has just chugged a fifth of cheap gin, that technique would work,” but no one would be fooled.

So what am I saying, that these wing chun defenses wouldn’t work against a champion MMA fighter, or a Tito Ortiz on steroids, or a 7 foot tall maniac who’s been wrestling as long as Tiger Woods has played golf? No, I am saying these will not work against anybody with any smattering of knowledge. Look at the videos of wrestling camps, or go to a high school wrestling practice, and you’ll soon realize that there are thousands and thousands of trained wrestlers out there. Add to that the new MMA and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu craze, and those numbers swell even further.

The easiest person to fool is yourself. Don’t get sucked up into the “perfect system” with all the answers. Don’t be too proud to admit you don’t know and to learn something new.

Is Tiger Woods a Poser of the Week?

Posted in Commentary, Poser of the Week with tags , , on November 11, 2010 by bigstickcombat

Crouching Tiger. Hidden Dragon?

At first, Tiger Woods looks like a solid candidate for poser of the week. He is standing in a posture with the sword that nobody in his right mind would ever use in combat.

  • What is the hand doing arched over the top of his head?

  • What are his left fingers pointing at?

  • Do you really want to rest a blade along your inner wrist?

  • Is a reverse grip a good idea with a sword?

Of course, the whole idea is to assume a posture that looks “cool” or awesome, precisely because it is totally worthless as a combat stance.

You might think Tiger Woods is a poser because he has no skill. Yet the Poser of the Week may in fact be very skilled –it’s just that he assumes a pose that makes himself look ignorant. (In fact, Tiger looks more balanced and graceful than the other golfers who are asked to follow along with a sword form. In the photos you’re seeing Tiger’s first sword lesson, and he looks impressive in view of that fact.)

But there are several factors that prevent me from granting Tiger Woods the Poser of the Week award.

  1. He Doesn’t Make Exaggerated Claims: If he called himself Exalted Grandmaster Woods, or Datu Puti Woods, or Supreme Dragon Tiger Woods, then he might qualify.

  2. His Clothes Look Normal: Tiger wears a classy, casual outfit. He calls attention to himself by wearing tasteful clothes and carrying himself with poise. If you’re going to be Poser of the Week, you need to use your clothes as a desperate attempt to call attention to yourself. Get lots of patches, wear red, or multiple bright colors (and if they clash godawfully, then that’s great, ’cause now you’re really attracting attention). The sword is exotic, but I think he could add some reflective tape or flashing lights to make it even gaudier. The whole point is not to let your skill speak for itself, but to use every tacky gimmick you can imagine to make yourself look like a grandmaster.

  3. He Is Smiling: You’ll never get Poser of the Week unless you scowl. Come on, you’re the deadliest guy on earth, somebody who can take out Bruce Lee or any MMA chump in seconds. You have to look like you eat, sleep, and breathe death-dealing.

Posers of the Week

Posted in Commentary, humor, Poser of the Week with tags , on October 30, 2010 by bigstickcombat

Ice Skating Backwards?

Where do I start with this one? Honestly, my first reaction was “What the #@!?”

That was also my second reaction. The guy on the left is leaned too far forward, and his hands don’t guard his head. If you were to grab his hair you’d pull him right over. He also can’t land a punch with anything on it because he’s hunched forward. In a fight you will see this guy throw flailing, hooking punches (windmilling) with both hands that have no power because he’s trying to keep his head down to keep from being hit.

The guy on the right …”What the #@!!?” A simple solution is to rush him and bowl him over.

Why does the left hand on the left knee stay glued to the left knee as it moves backwards?

What is amazing is that this photo series is not of two 10-year-old kids posting themselves on You Tube. “Hey, look! Me and Billy are doing kung-fu in the backyard.”

I think these guys need help from a real master, like Ninja Bob. Maybe Ninja Bob should feature these guys on his site to make himself look like Bruce Lee by comparison.

Poser of the Week: Ninja Bob

Posted in humor, Poser of the Week with tags , , , on October 15, 2010 by bigstickcombat

Ninja Bob Perched Atop a Brick Outhouse

On the Black Scorpion Ninjutsu Society homepage, Ninja Bob (founder of the Black Scorpion Ninjutsu Society) announces that he is available for “training, shows, demonstrations, seminars & interviews!”

The homepage is labeled “Ninja Bob’s Muay Thai,” and believe me, nobody was better at Muay Thai than the ninja. And when you say BLACK SCORPION NINJA, now you’re talking real Muay Thai, not the phony crap some Laotian might teach you.

Not only do you learn real ninja muay thai, but you also get this awesome patch:

Exalted Grandmaster Black Scorpion Ninja Bob

Super Awesome Patch! It Doesn’t Get Any More Thai Than This!

Posers of the Week

Posted in American Arts, Commentary, Poser of the Week with tags , , on April 30, 2010 by bigstickcombat

Kali Teachers. OOOPS! I Meant “Mga Guro”

These guys teach a “special kali program.” Do they look like kali teachers to you? Is anything they’re doing (as evident in the photo) even remotely connected to kali?

Let us say for the sake of argument that I cannot judge their kali skills from this picture. Let us also say that they have an outstanding kali program. How compatible would kali be with the rest of their curriculum?

This is the trend of “McDojos,” where clone schools that are little more than commercial child care centers have a babysitting program with a thin veneer of martial arts. Here in America, land of the “chimichanga,” pseudo-Spanish, the “tamale,” and “enchirito,” one is sold the martial arts equivalent, the “ninja butterfly knife,” “numbchucks,” “kali,” (because it’s so much cooler than eskrima), Filipino cat stances, etc.

These two have every symptom of the poser. The cat stance limits mobility. Yes, you can kick with that front foot, but a determined opponent is going to blast right through it. The arms are extended, and must be retracted to hit. The head is not protected. But who am I to talk? Look at all those stripes and patches.

Poser of the Week

Posted in humor, Poser of the Week with tags on April 23, 2010 by bigstickcombat

One of these guys (or girls) is posing as an R and B star. Can you spot the poser?