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


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 (this applies to this and other blogs by me as well; if you follow the idea's, advice or information you are on your own, don't come crying to me, it is all on you do do the work to make sure it works for you!)

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“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

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Rules for a Tournament

I have not participated in a martial art tournament since 1983. That one as an observer. Recently I viewed a video clip of a tournament and the following quote from Peyton Quinn's book helped me to understand what was going on.

"Rules of a karate tournament that prohibit hand blows to the head and neck, but full-power kicks to the head are perfectly acceptable. The reason is that hand blows to the hear are so much more effective than kicks that if they were permitted, too many people would get seriously hurt. It is also considered a more traditional karate contest by one well respected and great karate fighter." - Payton Quinn 

During the clip I noticed the targets of hand and foot techniques and none touched the head or neck as indicated in the quote given. Then I viewed the lead contestant using a spinning kick to the head. I noticed that in a couple of instances they carried off the recipient. I could not understand why they would keep hand hits from the head while allowing feet. 

The explanation given seems off kilter to me. Even if true that the chances of injury increase due to the hands it seems to me that using legs and feet shift those statistics. I wonder if a study was done as to the ratio of hand techniques to the head vs. foot techniques with emphasis on injuries to number of strikes. In other words, simply put, if ten hand techniques resulted in one injury while ten foot techniques resulted in three, etc. 

I get a sense that this rule, in all probability, was a result of one or two serious injuries as a result of hand techniques caused an uproar or some legal proceeding that caused a knee-jerk reaction where the rule was instituted into karate tournaments of this type. 

I suspect that the ratio of hand techniques to injury were much larger, i.e. say fifty hand techniques to one injury, while the leg/foot techniques to injury were less, i.e. say five foot techniques to one injury. I also suspect that the frequency of kicks to the head are rare or infrequent vs. hand techniques which are easier to apply. 

I also feel that due to the differences in weight, application, power potential, etc. that foot or kicks to the head have a greater potential for injury. I have seen many hand strikes/punches result in no serious effects or injuries while a solid connect with the foot tends to knock people out and head injuries are a serious injury. 

What I get from this thought process is neither hand or foot techniques should be applied in sport tournaments to the neck and head. I still wonder what it was other than opinion brought about this particular ruling. Anyone?

p.s. the book is highly recommended for your MA library by the way :-)

Quinn, Peyton. Real Fighting: Adrenaline Stress Conditioning Through Scenario-Based Training. Paladin Press. Colorado. 1996.


Rick said...

Another aspect Would be to promote high kicks. They're more fun to watch.

Zacky Chan said...

First of all, I've never participated in a tournament, so maybe I'm not qualified to answer such a question. But, kicks are generated by limbs with considerably more strength, and travel a larger distance(ground to head level), that a solid impact with a kick would deliver enough damage to cause concern. In that case, it seems most likely that there was a couple bad instances of hand to head injury which has led to the current rules... as you mentioned. We practiced point sparring in my karate dojo and hand strikes to the head were allowed, with proper head gear of course. To take that out would seem ... strange. Great post.