Thursday, June 25, 2009

You will get your ass kicked!!!

Now, I already know what you are probably thinking when you read the title of this post. You are sitting there thinking, “no way, not me, I have been training in martial arts for x number of years. I’m a trained martial artist!” Or, you think that because you spar or wrestle or randori that you have prepared yourself for a real life attack. Just because you play-fight in a ring or cage or mat, please don’t think that is anything like a real fight for your life. Those are controlled environments with rules, time limits, and no real intent to harm.

Ok, so now that you are either interested in what I have to say, or your ego is making you pissed off at what I am saying. Either way, lets explore why you will get your ass kicked in a fight.

The reality of what I am talking about should actually make the title of this post, “Why you will get your ass killed in a fight!” In the fight I am talking about, there are no rules, there is no safety gear, there are no refs that will jump in if you are not “intelligently defending yourself.” No this fight is with someone who will not care what happens to you, will not obey rules, will not stop until you are lifeless! This person has pure intent and will not play cat and mouse with you around the ring.

This is a fight.

So, how could you possibly lose against this type of attacker if you have been training so long? Because you don’t understand the true nature of the situation. You have not been training for this fight. How would you train if you knew your life depended on it? If you think it would be the same as your training now, you a naïve. Or in some cases, just stupid.

Most people who instinctually grapple, cant strike well. Most people who instinctually strike, don’t grapple well. And those who try to do both often end up being half-assed all the way around.

MMA guys usually say that they are good at both. And often that appears to be true. But watch their fights, they are either in strike mode or grapple mode. They don’t really know how one leads to the other, that in real fighting there is no going into a mode, there is just movement.

If your taijutsu is good, strikes will naturally come out while grappling and grappling with naturally happen while striking. This goes back to not going for anything. Just be in the space and it will dictate the response.

Most people in the bujinkan couldn’t hurt my 12-year-old cousin with a uke nagashi or shuto let alone an attacker coming to kill them. Most people’s foundation is off, way off! This is why at the last Daikomyosai we did basics! After talks with Nagato and Oguri Shihans, they explained that everyone’s basics are bad.

Imagine how I felt, after the many years of traveling to Japan and training, to be told that what I was doing was wrong! But instead of being butt hurt about it, I become proactive and asked the Shihans to correct me. So, after years of thinking I was doing something right, but actually doing it wrong, I was shown how things really work. I spent an entire class with Oguri Shihan just working on how to punch right! Humbling! I might not have it down, but it is always a work in progress.

Now lets talk about technique. Do you think that during a real attack, your attempts at putting on a specific maneuver would help you survive? Here is an experiment: put on safety gear and have a sparing match with someone outside of the Bujinkan and try to perform any of the kihon happo on them. You will inevitably find that while you are trying to “perform” an oni kudaki or omote gyakku or whichever specific technique you have in your mind, you’re opponent is beating your head in! Even though I don’t advocate training in pads, I think the experience would prove to be priceless.

Now lets talk about submissions and joint locks. Let’s just say you are a bad ass at putting people in locks. Well that’s all fine and dandy, but do you not understand that when you put a lock on somebody, in order to keep that submission lock, YOU are in fact locked as well? So while you are going for the key lock or whatever fancy hold you’ve got, your opponent will be reaching into his pocket to stab you to death. When you are focused on a physical lock, you are really mentally locked, and that is the MOST dangerous place to be during a fight. Hell, I’d let you break my arm if it kept you occupied while I flipped my blazing fast Kershaw folder out and stab you in your stupid ass. Which brings me to my next point. There is no such thing as a submission in real life! Ok, so you put me in a choke and I give up. Now I go to my car to get my weapons and come back to kill you. So, how effective was that submission choke? You will die because you thought it was about winning instead of stopping my ability to harm you. Well, you won but now you are dead. Congrats!

Please read and understand the next sentence carefully.

The techniques do not work.

Techniques are only there to teach us what is possible, not what to do!

Kukan and kyojutsu are what will allow you to find omote gyakku or anything of the sort. You can not take it.

So what is the point of saying this and pissing people off or sounding like an arrogant bastered? Well, because I actually care. Because I care about how we represent Soke Hatsumi. Did you not realize that everything you do as a practitioner of this art will ultimately reflect on Soke and the Bujinkan? Thanks to YouTube and traveling around doing seminars, I see how people are training. I can see that if they were in a real attack, they would at minimum get their ass kicked.

So, what is the solution? Work on your structure. Train your weapons. And by that I mean learn to punch & kick correctly. Understand what a real kamae is and work on doing real ukemi. Ukemi is not rolling! Rolling is gymnastics. Understand the difference between how the guys on the front line stand/fight (cannon fodder) and the how the skilled fighters fight. But the most important thing is to follow what Soke is doing and saying! Most people just watch what he does and ignore what he says, what a mistake! How can you watch something that is invisible! That’s the whole point of the art. It is to not show what you are doing! That’s why Soke says only the uke has a chance of understanding what he is doing.

I couldn’t possibly predict the outcome of a real life attack. There are so many variables, that despite my skills and training my survival is not guaranteed, but I know that I train to. I listen to my teacher and what he says is important rather then jumping to my own conclusions. I am willing to admit I don’t know shit and go to the source to at least attempt to understand and get corrected. If your only purpose for going to Japan is to be seen and get rank then stop going and crowding the dojo. There are people there willing to forget that they know anything and empty their cup for Soke to fill it up.

If you want your ass kicked or even killed in a fight then keep doing the techniques. If you want to survive and live, then let go of the past and train in the feeling that is being taught now. That which has been taught is gone, it served it purpose. Training in what is being taught now is what is important. What Soke taught in the past was just to prepare us for what was coming when we “grew up”. Don’t fret, there is hope for us. Train hard. Let go of all your excuses on why you are doing it your way instead of Sokes way (see interpretive dance blog) and stop adding shit that isn’t in our art! Takamatsu used this stuff for real and killed people with it. If there was something missing (sparring, groundwork, etc,) he would have said that it is important to do too.

Remember real combat is not about points, submissions, or even about winning. It is about life and death. Which will you choose?

So before you go down that dark ally, remember my 12-year-old cousin might be lurking in the shadows and boy is she mean!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Half Way to Zero

As you may have noticed, the name of my blog is chuta hampa. Some people translate it as “half ass” but that doesn’t really express the full feeling of chuta hampa. This feeling is akin to taking action without the attachment to the need for it to be completed. Much like how you can shut a door by giving it a push to start it moving, but then you can allow the weight of the door complete the motion. You do not need to push the entire distance in order for the door to shut. The initial push is enough. In fact one might say that one finger is enough ;)

This is the idea behind chuta hampa. It is not doing it “half assed.” In the context of ninjutsu, it is starting something with the uke and then moving on to the next thing while the uke is still trapped in the inertia of the first thing you started. This is another way to do/think/create the whole past, present, future thing I talked about in the previous kukan blog.

For example, the uke punches, you move to the inside space of where his punch is not. You rotated inward to have your chest facing his punch. Then, you use your front knee to hit his knee to lower him down and back slightly, bringing you his hand. You then apply ura gyakku on the uke. As soon so you twist his wrist, you let it go and let the momentum do the rest thus trapping him for a moment in the motion. Meanwhile, because you let go of the hand and are not attached to either the hand or the outcome, you are free to move into the next space created. Thus, moving into the future. Now, what you do from there is completely dependent upon how you read the space. What is important is that you visualize yourself letting go and moving on. You start something and then move on, then start something else and move on from that too. By understanding this concept you can begin to understand and create kyojutsu.

By utilizing the principle and essence of chuta hampa, you will always be a step ahead of your uke. While he is still reacting to the firs thing you did, you will have moved onto the second and third and beyond.

Do you really think you can out punch a boxer or out grapple a grappler? NO! But you can out maneuver them. You can confuse them and in that process be one step ahead.

For further illustration, I will be video blogging this soon….

Btw, two “half asses” do not make a whole!