Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Martial Art

Bryce Lane is a great thinker in this field of training and conditioning. it is worth reading though his many articles.

Carrying on from the previous post, his article on The Martial Art is an interesting read:

When you are taking this look consider simple things, like "could I really throw a roundhouse kick anywhere in this place"; "will going to the ground only expose me to every pointy or steel toed boot in the room, while making extricating myself from this mess impossible"; "Is it more likely any of the stuff around me can trip me or my opponent better than either of us could trip or throw each other in the dojo? What you will start to see is that no matter what your skills, half or more of them are useless or a detriment already. You will see that your environment can do-you-in likely far quicker than your opponent. Throw a crowd in an area that is already an obstacle course who become "hostile obstacles" if excited and now you likely just can't
imagine what to do. Cops hate this sort of situation, but police have something of a solution. They can order up more police, which is a luxury you likely don't have.

When martial arts schools start training in areas set up more like restaurants, crowded parties with furniture and sporting events, then the art is alot more complete. This is a whole lot more than just "keeping up your SA" (situational awareness). It is learning to use a situation to your advantage with what you have and wherever you happen to be, in fast and fluent detail. If that isn't "art" in every sense of the word, then what is?
Understanding the enviroment and how to use to your advantage what it contains is at least as useful a tool as decent oil paint, a fine leica camera or a good right hook. Without developing the understanding of where you are and what to do with where you are, no art of any kind is possible.


Jeff said...

Reminds me of the hig intensity training mantra that stength matters but don't practice unless it is identical to the actual situation. I actually gave up Karate when I was a teenager as a result of this. We would do free fighting with rules that made no sense in the real world. You couldn't do head strikes(for saftey, probably) and that led to people fighting by keeping their arms in a defensive position around their chest and abdomen. If they get trained to do this then in the real world a simple jab will throw you off and you are done.

It makes perfect sense to me to train in street clothes and in realistic environments. It is one case where going barefoot makes littel sense as you will need the skill with shoes on!

Derek said...

Having this kind of awareness is defnitely parkour related. Whenever I'm in a new area I mentally map out all of the escape routes if anything were to go wrong and I have to leave quickly. Though being able to physically defend myself better might up my chances quite a bit if I can't pk away.