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Re: real experience....
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"I still find it strange though how most of those responding to this thread have missed my main point. It is simply this. I believe that the main philosophy of training should be one of preparation and not one of avoidance. We all like to think that the vast majority of Bujinkan members are good and moral human beings. This type of person will tend to avoid conflict already. Sometimes circumstances unfold in which you can’t avoid conflict. It is those circumstances that we need train for. This is were people with real experience (like Sean Askew and Ed Lomax) become invaluable. They are the only ones that can actually take the training beyond the “kindergarten level”".


If you think that the training for "avoiding" is somehow less important than the "preparation". The most effective handling is "avoidance" and learning that and effective ways to verbally diffuse situations are a bit farther up the ladder of training. I'm not saying that we don't need or shouldn't work on the "preparation" that you talk about, we must and do. But even in doing that we are seeking ways that make us look like we aren't! If you train yourself to accomplish the needed with VERY small movements and in a way that comes a a COMPLETE surprise to your opponent, you will be effective in what you do. I always wonder why so many seem to need confirmation on the effectiveness of this art in order to feel good about what they are studying. Gentlemen, it IS effective and DOES work --- all you need to do is train with an open (and critical) mind. I tend to be very pragmatic about techniques. Do not sell the "avoidance" part of this art short. It is the most effective of all techniques.
Ed Martin aka Papa-san

Posted on: 2005/8/14 14:20
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Re: real experience....
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Quote:

Clovis wrote:

The safety of the dojo and the Tori/Uke relationship builds a confidence in the techniques that may or may not be justified. The only ones who might know are the ones who have tried using those techniques in real life conflicts.


There are no techniques in a real fight. The fight happens and you are there.

Giving a blow by blow account or a generalized highlight of the events of a fight on this forum will help no one in their training. Although, training with someone who has had the real world experience and has the ability to enhance his or her teaching with this knowledge may be helpful.

Unfortunately these concepts can not be argued or debated. Once you understand you understand, no one will be able to convince you or impart to you this information on this forum.

Joshua Noro Polier LMT
www.bujinkanNYC.org

Posted on: 2005/8/14 16:04
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Re: real experience....
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Clovis, you are caught up in me calling you a troll I see. Well that is what your posts look like to me - you simply will not take the advice of any of the seniors here. You want answers sure, but most of the seniors that have replied to your question and to the thread in general have said it is best to not talk about such things. If you walk up to your personal Shihan and ask him a question and he says you are not ready to discuss the answer, would you persist? What if he said now is not the appropriate time? Or place (read - internet forum).

It is best that any fights Soke has ever been in do NOT get talked about on the net. Lets let him live a life of his own choosing - a peacefull one he has, and not drag up old problems and memories for our own satisfaction.

As for the fights of others, well a blow by blow honest account accomplishes what? Can you seriously learn such skills from written words? Best to get them as a direct transmission and then the person doing the passing on can also see if all the persons hearing the lesson should actually be taught such things. I do not know who you are, I do not know who else is reading this forum, so why would I risk passing on real knowledge to potentially bad people? I was asked in Japan to discuss real fighting occassions by My Hino, I refused as I said it can only cause new problems as people do not like to hear about how they were beaten, or behaving badly. In fact it can be a social embarrasment for them and inspire revenge or push them to depression. I have no lingering need to hurt any of these people further, the fights are over.

The ones that choose not to talk about such things in my experience are those that have less concern about real fights. They can handle themselves, so why talk about it? Those that can't handle themselves so well or are insecure about it are the ones that need to talk about them. To them I say it is better to find a teacher with the experience and ask them personally and privately and then above all look for their approach to normal training. Most real fighters I know have little time for training that is not going to be useful in improving your real fighting skills.

SO in summary, I still think this thread should include no discussion or hints on real fighting. In fact the entire forum shouldn't. That is much better left for personal transmission one to one. Then you will also learn all about the attitude, emotions, and consequences, and how it changed the person. Rather than "BBT worked for me this time because" which is too shallow and simple to be bothered with.

Posted on: 2005/8/14 20:32
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So, in short...
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Mmmm... True, when I opened the thread I did it whithout much previos thinking, and from what I have gatered here my opinion is that I made a mistake, as yaban pointed out. (The fact that he called me an idiot has nothing to do about being right or wrong, though I must say that I felt insulted, probably the intention).

None the less, all this has helped me gain new viewpoints and perspectives about the subject, which was the original intention and I have no problem admiting that my experience on real figts is zero and in ninjitsu in general is barely over it, but my interest is way beyond both. Curiosity is not a crime (yet).

Thanks all for your contributions, they realy helped me. And please, lighten up everyone, taking anithing too seriously is bad for your health.




Posted on: 2005/8/14 23:37
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Re: So, in short...
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Quote:

Dark_Ying wrote:
as yaban pointed out. (The fact that he called me an idiot has nothing to do about being right or wrong, though I must say that I felt insulted, probably the intention).


Don't get insulted by Yabans comments he has called me much worse from time to time.
It was more directed at people in general who have some romantic image of violence.
I spent 5 years as a Bouncer prior to training with Yaban. On my first night as a Bouncer I had to disarm a broken bottle wielding attacker and then spent the next 15 minutes covered in blood holding his victims face together until the ambulance arrived. These things tend to take that romantic image and dash it against the rocks in double quick time.
Learning not to let peoples comments affect you on any level is also a skill you need in the real world otherwise you leave yourself open to having your mind unbalanced at a time when you need to remain stable.
Yaban has just given you a lesson off the mat.

Posted on: 2005/8/15 1:35
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Re: I realy dint expect this...
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Quote:

Clovis wrote:
Any mention of real life situation in which a Bujinkan practioner claim to have used their skill usually goes something like this:

1. The Bujinkan member was walking down the street when up ahead there was a dangerous looking person(or persons) so they crossed the street to avoid the conflict. Of course this is attributed to their heighten ninja senses developed after years of training and not to simple common sense and teenage schoolgirl would have.

Or

2. The Bujinkan member is confronted by some angry individual that wants to fight and the Bujinkan practitioner gives the individual a “don’t mess with me” stare and the individual leaves. Once again this is attributed to their years of training. At what belt grade is the scary stare taught. I seem to have missed this lesson.


I really don't know where you're getting the idea that people in the Bujinkan don't train with the intention of being able to physically defend themselves or others if it becomes necessary to do so; but that's certainly not true of me or my students. . .but then, a number of us in my dojo are professionals, and that does color the way we train.

I'd say it's not so much that we "train so we won't have to fight" as that we train so that -- having skills enabling us to use force up to, and including, lethal force -- we are able to be more forebearing and ensure that, if we do employ force, it is because there truly is no other option. (I have to add here that, from looking through your posts, this is a perspective you do not seem to share.)

There are legal, moral, and professional reasons for this approach. For the former, see my post here: http://www.kutaki.org/modules/newbb/v ... t_id=22568#forumpost22568

For the latter. . .Okay, I and my wife (and a couple of others who train with us) do protective work with The Steele Foundation -- see http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article ... 004/11/21/BUGQT9TPGO1.DTL

For this, we absolutely have to be "able to fight" if necessary. However, if we end up having to do that (apart from inherently high-risk environments such as Iraq) then we probably haven't been doing our intelligence gathering, threat analysis, advance work, current-situation monitoring, and "shaping the space" of our immediate environnment properly in order to prevent or avoid danger. If we end up with an embarrassed, injured, or dead principal it's going to be time to buy a weed-eater and become proficient with it, because no one's going to hire us for protective work. And it won't matter that we "won the fight".

Our "hierarchy of priorities", in descending order, regarding danger are to:

-- Prevent

-- Avoid

-- Detect & escape

-- Neutralize and escape

The fourth option doesn't necessarily mean that "you, personally" neutralize the threat and escape: You may do one or the other without doing both. It may mean that you engage the threat to "buy time" for the rest of your team to evacuate the principal to safety. And when you can -- if you can -- you break contact with the enemy and rejoin the team. . .because your mission is not to kill the enemy, it's to keep the boss safe.

All this influences the "mindset" of our dojo training as well. Physically we're generally training to either escape the opponent's assault; control the opponent; or kill him. But always from the perspective of doing only what is necessary to be safe or protect someone else.

While your "scenario #1" above has been the most common thing, over the more than twenty years I've been training I and my wife have had a few incidents, and so have our students. The majority of these, though have involved either "talking down" or otherwise de-escalating the situation so that a fight became unnecesary, or they involved protecting some other party rather than ourselves.

As an example, here's one I wrote to my dojo list about which occurred on June 6, 2003:

Quote:
Yesterday my wife Teri met with a black belt from the Bujinkan Warrior Wind Dojo, run by Michael & Lawrence Simien in the East Bay, for conversation over a couple of beers at The Chieftain, an Irish pub & restaurant in San Francisco. This other black belt -- I'll just call him Dave, since that's his name -- is Michael's student, but trains just about as often at my dojo, and we're good friends.

So, I get home from the day job at 1800 and call Ter to let her know I've already picked up the mail at our drop (old counterintelligence habits die hard), and she tells me she and Dave are just about to leave the pub. It should only have taken her 15 minutes to get home; but instead she comes in at 1900.

Turns out that moments after I hung up they heard a crashing noise and yelling near the front door. There, just arrived off the street, was a living caricature, a stereotypical big drunken Indian, trying to break an empty beer bottle against a post while loudly demanding "a beverage".

Dave, who is of only medium height but who possesses the fearsome physique of a toothpick, immediately arrowed toward him, telling him he couldn't behave that way, with Ter close behind. About that time the Indian dropped the bottle (which still didn't break), yelled at Dave, "You want a piece of this?!?", and swung a mighty punch at his head. Dave shifted a little and let the blow just graze his face, leaving the Indian both off balance and perfectly positioned for Dave to shove him through the door out into the street where he fell so hard it knocked the wind out of him.

Dave & Ter followed him out. So, a few seconds later, did the bartender with a chair in his hands, but he was too late to use it. As the Indian tried to get back on his feet, still struggling to regain his breath, Ter casually stepped on his hair, pinning his head to the asphalt. When she was satisfied he was probably going to behave, she let him up. . .whereupon he immediately started toward Dave again, repeating his, "You want a piece of this?!?" line. He then inexplicably went maudlin, holding out his arms and saying, "I want a hug, I just need a big hug!" Dave maintained distance and told him, "Dude, that is so not gonna happen!!

Ter got in front of the Indian and began talking to him, telling him everything was still cool but he needed to leave right now, he needed to leave the pub, he needed to get out of the street before a car hit him, etc., etc., yadda yadda, keeping up a running patter. As she did this she was pushing gently but firmly against first one shoulder and then the other as she walked forward, keeping him constantly off balance and staggering backward away from the pub.

Suddenly his eyes widened and he said, "Don't look behind you!!". Ter, not looking behind her and knowing Dave had her back, asked, "Why, are there cops back there?" "Yeah, there's about a million of 'em!"

Ter, still keeping him a bit off balance, allowed as how that was fine and nothing to worry about. As the officers approached, Ter shifted her hand pressure upward under his chin. As he felt himself in danger of falling backward his hands went reflexively back and down, whereupon his wrists were instantly encircled by handcuffs. From that point, she and Dave left everything to the police. (After searching him and removing bottles of antidepressants and painkillers from his pockets, it took about a half-dozen officers to get him into the van for transport.)

Dave & Ter went back to the pub, where everyone was clapping them on the back. . .When Dave was asked if he was all right after being "hit" by the big guy (well, that's what everyone thought they saw), he said he was fine; then (pointing to Ter) "She hits me a lot harder than that every week!"

Puzzled looks. Ter explained that she and Dave are both martial artists, and gave the bartender her card. The consensus seemed to be that it was nice that they had been able to handle the situation without having to use their martial arts. . .

As Ter's instructor and as one of Dave's, I'm very pleased with how it was all done. The big Indian wasn't really a "bad guy", just seriously messed up; but he could have seriously hurt someone. As it was, no one got hurt, including him.

I'm really pleased with what Ter did at the end. In our approach, rather than always presenting an "impregnable defense" we often leave what appear to be exploitable weaknesses (nothing so gross as an "opening", but something a quick-thinking opponent will feel he can blast through or get around somehow) in positioning and movement as a trap. We also use this in dealing with multiple attackers, as it allows us to let them neutralize each other and become helplessly tangled up. What Ter did was a nice variation on this approach, making the police "part of her team" with no one realizing what she was doing: at just the right moment she moved in such a way that the Indian moved in such a way that the police were in just the right position and knew exactly what to do. It was as reflexive on the officers' part as a bullfrog snapping at a scrap of red flannel on a fishing line.

Dave & Ter both get an A for the day.

Posted on: 2005/8/15 2:24
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Re: I realy dint expect this...
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Quote:

JoshNYC wrote:

There are no techniques in a real fight. The fight happens and you are there.



If what you say is true, then the years that many of us have dedicated to learning those techniques have been pointless, and mental preparation is all we would need. Surely you don’t believe that do you? If so, why have you trained long enough to become a shidoshi? How can you be an effective instructor when you obviously don’t believe in what you are teaching? I realize a real fight isn’t a pretty choreographed exchange like you see in movies. However, I think many would agree there is much in the Bujinkan that can be adapted to real life scenarios. Isn’t that why we train to attain the feeling of the technique rather than in strict form-to be able to adapt to different attacks.

Quote:


JoshNYC wrote:

Giving a blow-by-blow account or a generalized highlight of the events of a fight on this forum will help no one in their training. Although, training with someone who has had the real world experience and has the ability to enhance his or her teaching with this knowledge may be helpful.



You’re right a blow-by-blow account probable won’t help, but an analysis of strategy and techniques attempted will. I believe students of the Bujinkan can learn from this type of instruction in the same way that cadets at our military academies are taught military history and strategy. If you don’t know what has or has not worked in the past and you don’t understand how an adversary is likely to act/react then you are at a serious disadvantage.

Quote:


yaban wrote:

Clovis, you are caught up in me calling you a troll I see. Well that is what your posts look like to me - you simply will not take the advice of any of the seniors here. You want answers sure, but most of the seniors that have replied to your question and to the thread in general have said it is best to not talk about such things.



If your definition a troll is someone who disagrees with your opinion and is persistent enough to debate the issue then I guess I am a troll. I am not really looking for answers, I’m just stating how I feel things should be. I realize that most of the people that have responded to my posts have generally disagreed with my opinion that real life experiences can be a valuable teaching tool. However, in reference to what I said above, armies all over the world teach their officers strategy through historical examples. This type of training must be effective otherwise it would have been abandoned by now.

I conceded in an earlier post that this forum might not be the best venue for such discussions. But the reluctance of those with experience to share it goes beyond the internet and into the dojo itself. It’s thought of as bad taste to ask such things and is a subject generally avoided unless you’re lucky enough to actually befriend your instructor. I suggested seminars as a possible alternative venue-if only on the local level.

Although we disagree on this issue, I’m glad you were finally able to write down your feelings on the subject in a coherent well thought out fashion without simply dismissing it as idiotic and not worth your time. That is what you should have written in the first place. Just because you have formed your opinion on the subject doesn’t mean everyone else has. You have your opinions, and I have mine. By discussing them here we not only forced to explore how we feel, but are able to help others form or clarify their own opinions on the matter. Thank you for your last post and the very good points contained within.

Quote:


dseago wrote:

I'd say it's not so much that we "train so we won't have to fight" as that we train so that -- having skills enabling us to use force up to, and including, lethal force -- we are able to be more forebearing and ensure that, if we do employ force, it is because there truly is no other option. (I have to add here that, from looking through your posts, this is a perspective you do not seem to share.)



First of all, let me say that in reading the old posts on the various ninjutsu/Bujinkan forums it’s always a pleasure to read yours. I find them to be well thought out, levelheaded, and highly informative.

You’re incorrect in saying that I don’t share your perspective on this issue. As I stated in another post I believe that most Bujinkan students are good people and therefore will do whatever is necessary to avoid a physical confrontation. The viewpoints I have expressed are meant to deal with those instances were it is unavoidable. I also realize there are varying levels of conflict, from a simple shove up to a life and death encounter, and that the response should be tailored to the threat involved. However you deal with it, I feel it should be done in a fast and efficient manner to avoid escalation of the situation. If leaving the area is what will work- don’t drag ass. If a physical alteration is unavoidable then you should put the person down hard and fast. Otherwise your just risking getting hurt.

And once again this is were people with experience come in. They can teach economy of motion and how not to waste opportunity. That's just my opinion though and apparently I’m alone in believing it, so I’ll be quiet now. At least in this thread.



Posted on: 2005/8/15 8:02
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Re: I realy dint expect this...
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"There are no techniques in a real fight. The fight happens and you are there."

I agree. Period.

Why then do we train in the Bujinkan, or in any martial art? I answered that question for myself a long time ago.


Posted on: 2005/8/15 10:12
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Re: I realy dint expect this...
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I like to think that the techniques are learning tools that teach us fundamental concepts that are what comprise "the feeling" of the technique. We are not "adapting" the "feeling" that you are trying to attain from a technique, we are applying the concepts that we are hopefully learning. To use a technique *correctly* in a real fight (and by that i am solely reffering to going through the exact same motions that are in a waza), that opponent would have to be attacking in a very specific way....and muscling through a technique and getting a somewhat desirable effect, in my humble and ignorant opinion, is not correct, though it may work. To use a technique correctly(note the absence of paranthisis) one only has to apply the core concepts that are taught by that technique, dynamically applicable to the circumstances of the situation as it blossoms.

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Juan Zazueta

Posted on: 2005/10/31 8:15
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Re: I realy dint expect this...
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Antizen,

We train in Taijutsu in order to have the correct mind to avoid danger and escape from it when it is unavoidable. If it is unavoidable then you have focused so much training on the fundamental concepts and waza that blossom from the fundamentals that you'll instinctually have more strategies at your disposal when push comes to shove.

Sure, Ichimonji No Kata from the Kihon Happo is really hard to pull off if I try to do it by-the-scroll in real combat, but the stretegy that is used in the Kata still applies. You just have to train in adapting yourself to the situation.

Posted on: 2005/10/31 9:26
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