Please take a look at Articles on self-defense/conflict/violence for introductions to the references found in the bibliography page.

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Hey, NOTHING here is PERSONAL, get over it - Teach Me and I will Learn!

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


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Drop Step Kata (滴 歩 形)

Sweat dripping into my eyes - ignored, stinging from the body salt. A glimmer of a thought trespasses in my mental moment of practice - it is never ignored for it means illumination, enlightenment and innovation.

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.

1 comment:

Zacky Chan said...

This is great. Going to try incorporating a drop-step-like movement in my other forms to see how they fit. A prett unorthodox thing it seems for styles like tai chi chuan and aikido ... but if it doesn't work ... then that's a little fishy for the forms isn't it? Great idea.

Checked out "smashwords" for a few minutues ... veeerrrry interesting. Looks like a great use of modern technology to help the form of written word.