Tomas asked my thoughts on the Ferguson case and I replied that I hadn’t followed it all that closely. Mainly because I’ve been too busy to watch much of the news these last few weeks. However, I’m on a mailing list where it was discussed in great detail and read some of those posts.
Right now, my opinion is that it is one big mess, just like the Zimmerman case was a mess. For some of my thoughts in general on these kinds of incidents, try these posts:
There are a couple things I’d like to add to that:
- If you weren’t there, can you accept that everything you say is based on incomplete or even erroneous information? If so, can you then accept the mere fact that you might be wrong when you say “Hang that cop!” or “That cop did nothing wrong!” When it turns out you were wrong, can you then admit it and accept that reality is not always what you think it is?
- It will take a while before all the details are given: http://online.wsj.com/articles/ferguson-investigation-expected-to-take-weeks-1408395054 If you think an investigation isn’t necessary and you already know all the facts, then please understand that you are making a case for a banana republic justice system. If you think an investigation doesn’t need to take that long, go ask a homicide police officer how long a typical investigation takes, regardless if the victim is black, white, green or blue.
- If you think all cops are vicious killers, then I’d like to point you to two resources. First, read “Force Decisions: A Citizen’s Guide” by Rory Miller: http://amzn.to/1rADi23 Unless you have law enforcement training, you *have no clue* how an officer thinks, what he is required to do and when he is out of line. Not. A. Clue. Read this book and get a clue. Then, go talk to officers about how their job works and ask for a ride along. It’ll open your eyes. But until you do that, can you accept that you only have an opinion about how cops do their jobs. You’re entitled to it, by all means, but that doesn’t mean it’s an informed or even a remotely accurate opinion.
- Second, last week, I asked here on my page if anybody had an answer to these questions: “How many arrests do the combined law enforcement agencies of the US do per year. What percentage of them end up with the arrested person dead? “ Jose (Thanks!) came through with a source http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/ard0309st.pdf and this is his reply:
This video of gas station clerk/MMA fighter Mayura Dissanyake using his MMA techniques to stop a couple robbers has been going the rounds and several people asked me to comment on it. I’ve also seen MMA enthusiasts go nuts over this video and claim it as ultimate proof of the superiority of MMA over anything else. I’ll cover that a little bit as well.
But first, take a look at the video:
As far as I can tell, his co-worker went to the bank and came back to the station when the robbers jumped him. That’s when Dissanyake came rushing to his aid and the fight to stop the robbers started. One of the robbers ends up on the ground and his buddy first drives away, then tries to come back but eventually takes off.
Some thoughts: Read More→
I posted something that happened to me earlier this week on my Facebook page and it seemed to resonate with everybody so I figured it might be worth exploring it here on my blog. I’ve titled it “The Idiot’s Guide to Martial Arts for Those Who Don’t Practice Them” because for the most part, that’s what all the stories I’ll tell here have in common: non-practitioners acting stupid. So for a change, this article isn’t aimed at you folks who regularly read my blog, but at those who don’t and know zip about martial arts.
First things first, here’s what happened a few days ago:
I was teaching sword techniques during a private session in the aerobics room of a gym in Brussels. We were using cheap beater swords: non-sharpened metal blades that can take some damage. Suddenly, a big, burly guy walks in on me and my student. As he walks straight at us, he starts talking and it went something like this:
Him: You want me to rush you with that sword?
Him: You want me to rush you with that sword?
He walks closer and gestures to my sword, extending a hand. I turn it away slightly to make sure he’s still out of range and can’t get to me without lunging.
Him: What are you doing?
Me: Just training a bit.
My student: Tai Chi Chuan.
Him: Oh, I don’t know that stuff. I’m a boxer.
Me: That’s very nice.
Me: Well, have a great day.
He gets the hint and leaves.
This isn’t the first such incident I’ve encountered and when I talk to fellow martial artists, they all nod their heads before sharing their own stories. Sometimes those stories end with a body lying on the floor, unconscious and injured, whereas other times everybody walks away in one piece. Even though the goal should always be the latter, things can always escalate into the former if a non-practitioner insists on being stupid. Given as people who practice punching and kicking each other for fun tend to be at least a little more competent at fighting than those who don’t, here are some guidelines for them on how to act around a martial artists Read More→
A while ago, I asked people on my Facebook Page if there was anything they were struggling with in their training so I could do a blog post about it. Here’s what Jonathan said:
I find it challenging to develop an attacking mentality – I tend to be quite passive in sparring. Any advice on how to develop that?
A great question and this “How to be more aggressive in sparring” article is my answer to it. Let’s start with some basics first.
Why are you passive during sparring?
There are a bunch of reasons why you might not feel like attacking your partner when you spar. It’s hard to say with certainty which one is the case with you as each person is different, but here are some of the most common reasons:
- You’re scared. Getting punched in the face hurts and it can be scary if this is new to you. When it happens during a sparring session, many people tend to become passive and defensive to avoid receiving more of those punches. This is perfectly natural human behavior but it doesn’t help you get better. You need to work through the fear and conquer it.
- He hits too hard. This is similar to the previous. Not only are you scared of getting hit because it hurts, you’re scared of getting injured because he hits really, really hard. Fear of injury is also a natural reaction, but you need to accept it at a gut level as martial arts and combat sports are contact sports. Injury is always a possibility, no matter how hard or soft you spar.
- He counters everything you do. Even if he doesn’t hit you hard, if he hits you every time you make a move, it can be so frustrating you just stop attacking. Frankly, if this is the case then you’re mismatched. If your partner is so good that he lands every technique at will and avoids all of yours, there’s no upside to sparring him. In this case, I would suggest going slower or getting another partner.
- Your defense sucks and you keep on getting tagged. This is a biggie. Look at a muay Thai or MMA match: in most cases, a fighter gets hit through the holes in his defense as opposed to inherent openings in a technique. E.g.: every time you throw a right punch, the right side of your body is open, nothing you can do about that. But you can keep your chin low, your other hand high and raise your shoulder to protect your chin. It’s usually these technical details that people make mistakes against and the opponent sees it. And then he uses those against you.
- You don’t know what to do. Sparring can be overwhelming and make your brain freeze up to the point of almost paralyzing you. Especially if you are afraid, it can be extremely difficult to figure out something as basic as picking the right technique to throw next. Getting used to adrenal stress and having a strong grasp of the basics goes a long way to solve this.
These are some of the most common reasons that get in the way of being more aggressive when you spar. Fortunately, there are solutions for these and I’ll give you a couple of them here below. Let’s take a look at those now. Read More→
Master Ken is back in action, this time with IMHO his best video ever: 100 ways to attack the groin.
Put down any beverages and then start watching this video.
One of the things you hear more and more in combats sports (in particular in MMA) these days is that “leg kicks don’t finish fights.” Somehow, people are under the impression that therefor the leg kick is not a worthwhile technique. Not just in the cage but outside of it as well. I know for a fact this is patently wrong, having use the leg kick both effectively on numerous occasions. As always, it depends on the person throwing that kick, the circumstances, etc.
I’ve written extensively about the leg kick and how to block it so I won’t repeat that here. I’ll post some links in the resources section down below. What I want to show here is the leg kick in a street situation because it can certainly work there to end a fight. There are other videos that demonstrate this, but this one is a great example.
Take a look:
As always, I wasn’t there and neither are you. We also don’t have the entire event on video, nor can we hear clearly what is being said. We can only go by this video and what it looks like. That said, it looks like the bouncer went a bit overboard:
- The drunk guy is perhaps obnoxious but he doesn’t seem to be aggressive. The bouncer shoves him back and the guy doesn’t seem to respond other than just standing there. His fellow bouncer (I assume) comes in and starts directing the drunk away. Again, no aggressive response.
- The bouncer announces his intent. You can clearly hear him say “I’m gonna leg kick this guy.” Now I don’t know where this happened or what legal authority bouncers have there, but it seems a bit early in the conflict to go out of your way to make it physical.
Again, I wasn’t there. There might be other factors involved that justify this leg kick, but I don’t see them right now. If you put that aside, let’s look at the technique itself: Read More→