When you begin to feel like you are a tough guy, a warrior, a master of the martial arts or that you have lived a tough life, just take a moment and get some perspective with the following:
I've stopped knives that were coming to disembowel me
I've clawed for my gun while bullets ripped past me
I've dodged as someone tried to put an ax in my skull
I've fought screaming steel and left rubber on the road to avoid death
I've clawed broken glass out of my body after their opening attack failed
I've spit blood and body parts and broke strangle holds before gouging eyes
I've charged into fires, fought through blizzards and run from tornados
I've survived being hunted by gangs, killers and contract killers
The streets were my home, I hunted in the night and was hunted in turn
Please don't brag to me that you're a survivor because someone hit you. And don't tell me how 'tough' you are because of your training. As much as I've been through I know people who have survived much, much worse. - Marc MacYoung
WARNING, CAVEAT AND NOTE
The postings on this blog are my interpretation of readings, studies and experiences therefore errors and omissions are mine and mine alone. The content surrounding the extracts of books, see bibliography on this blog site, are also mine and mine alone therefore errors and omissions are also mine and mine alone and therefore why I highly recommended one read, study, research and fact find the material for clarity. My effort here is self-clarity toward a fuller understanding of the subject matter. See the bibliography for information on the books. Please make note that this article/post is my personal analysis of the subject and the information used was chosen or picked by me. It is not an analysis piece because it lacks complete and comprehensive research, it was not adequately and completely investigated and it is not balanced, i.e., it is my personal view without the views of others including subject experts, etc. Look at this as “Infotainment rather then expert research.” This is an opinion/editorial article/post meant to persuade the reader to think, decide and accept or reject my premise. It is an attempt to cause change or reinforce attitudes, beliefs and values as they apply to martial arts and/or self-defense. It is merely a commentary on the subject in the particular article presented.
Note: I will endevor to provide a bibliography and italicize any direct quotes from the materials I use for this blog. If there are mistakes, errors, and/or omissions, I take full responsibility for them as they are mine and mine alone. If you find any mistakes, errors, and/or omissions please comment and let me know along with the correct information and/or sources.
“What you are reading right now is a blog. It’s written and posted by me, because I want to. I get no financial remuneration for writing it. I don’t have to meet anyone’s criteria in order to post it. Not only I don’t have an employer or publisher, but I’m not even constrained by having to please an audience. If people won’t like it, they won’t read it, but I won’t lose anything by it. Provided I don’t break any laws (libel, incitement to violence, etc.), I can post whatever I want. This means that I can write openly and honestly, however controversial my opinions may be. It also means that I could write total bullshit; there is no quality control. I could be biased. I could be insane. I could be trolling. … not all sources are equivalent, and all sources have their pros and cons. These needs to be taken into account when evaluating information, and all information should be evaluated.” - God’s Bastard, Sourcing Sources
“You should prepare yourself to dedicate at least five or six years to your training and practice to understand the philosophy and physiokinetics of martial arts and karate so that you can understand the true spirit of everything and dedicate your mind, body and spirit to the discipline of the art.” - cejames
“All I say is by way of discourse, and nothing by way of advice. I should not speak so boldly if it were my due to be believed.” - Montaigne
Drop Step Kata (滴 歩 形)
Rory Miller posted on the drop-step not long ago and today my thoughts swung that way. My sixth sense spoke to me and tried to inject an impression as to drop-step and kata practice.
The three stages of kata training and practice begin with gross movement, etc. then transcend themselves into more economic practice, one of the many principles taught and encoded as we progress through the stages, levels or pillars of proficiency. This thought fills both the second and third stages of which I recently posted on.
Our first stage stance transitions sometimes involve movement that can sometimes be hidden by a vale of smoke and mirrors to their true intent - in the moment at hand.
Take a close scrutinizing look at one of your kata. Use imagery when your moving into a stance and say striking with a vertical punch to the solar plexus. Are you shifting your weight back and then forward to apply the technique so as to get body weight into the punch? Rory Miller mentioned in the article that martial artists tend to telegraph punches and kicks because they are taught, in level one, a shift in weight to move into the stance and apply the technique. Notice I used the term "telegraph." Don't do that.
In my rendition, still needs to be vetted in applications, I see adjustments to your kata practice by finding those forms and techniques that use a drop step type move - I said type, not drop-step. In stage two and three you work out of those grosser moves and into economic moves and this may or could help practitioners transition into a real drop-step as explained by Mr. Miller and in the book Marc MacYoung mentions of a boxer of long ago to which name I forget.
Try it out by replacing the shift and step with a direct drop-step. Don't forget this involves removal of the chamber action to the hip as well. Work it, try it and then take your technique that seems to work well and that you have some experience applying in practice and try the change. Make it work or discard it. Now, don't just try it once or twice and forget it because it feels weird or doesn't work right away - don't make that mistake. Give it time and experience to gain momentum. You didn't learn to hit powerfully the first time did you. You didn't break the makiwara the first time you started to hit it right? Give it time, try it and you might like it.
Try implementing the drop-step kata practice. It can be one of the many that provide you forward momentum in your system of practice. It just might be that one thing of many that sets your proficiency a notch higher than if you stayed with the same old tried and true set of combo's, etc.