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Author Topic: MMA versus Reality/Survival based skills  (Read 3478 times)
sumito
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« on: April 17, 2010, 02:59:13 PM »

I have a couple of questions so rather than multiple topics/threads I have loaded them up here.

1. Do you feel there is a difference between the skills taught for the ring/octagon versus the skills needed to survive a real attack on the street?  If so, how do you focus on teaching these skills?

2. As I look around at the various MMA schools in the Phoenix area, all I see are sport based/rules based versions of combat, which will be catastrophic in a life or death scenario, which every street fight should be considered.  They never focus on the mental tactics of self defense and the "Survive at all Costs" mentality needed when faced with a real attack on the street, in a home or while shopping with your family.  I don't see a focus on other critical survival skills like bites, gouges, finger breaks, ear rip, etc when faced with a clinch on the street.  Nor do I see skills taught about how to survey your environment, develop a plan of attack/escape, how to have the right amount of aggression, survive a weapons attack, etc.  They just seem to focus on specific offensive skills like chokes, locks, sweeps, punches, etc.

Understanding environment, specifically temperature, surroundings and ground surface, has a direct relevance when considering your options.  Your not going to go to the ground on concrete in Phoenix when you are wearing shorts and it is 115 degrees outside, or when there is more than one opponent, or if you are in a crowded bar. How do you address these things in the context of combat rather than "systems based dogma"?  I am looking for less systems speak and more for skills that just work. I think people fall in love with the art and lose sight of survival. Thoughts?

3. I have been researching a lot of FMA "masters" from Pekiti Tirsia, Serrada, Doce Pares, and DBMA in order to round out my impact and edged skills.  However, all of the videos I see, with the exception of the DBMA, show these masters demonstrating skills against "compliant attackers" in "non-combat" time.  My question is, why do people continue to teach multi-step skills that they are not able to execute in a high-stress situation in combat time?  Also, why aren't they putting on some protective gear and banging to see if the skill will work in combat time.

Specifically, I see people continuing to teach sinawali's in very close proximity with no concern on the real range they are in.  I don't believe anyone is going to be that cavalier when faced with an armed opponent, especially a knife.  When in the adrenal state, people also lose fine motor skills and the idea of complex trapping or precise multi-step striking is not realistic.  Why hasn't there been a revolution in FMA similar to JKD or Gracie JJ?

I have broken things down into a couple of categories.

    * Primary Skills - Things that you should always be able to do; core skills: straight lead, cross, primary kicks, primary defense, footwork, primary knife and stick attacks
    * Secondary Skills - Less efficient or less reliable skills like abaniko, ocho-ocho, hubud-lubud or other complicated multi-step skills, which require a preset amount of events to happen in order to be effective.  In my experience multi-step skills are less than desirable and a detriment to actually being able to defend yourself.  I put a lot of trapping skills, disarms and joint locks into this category. See below for the requirements with which I judge the effectiveness of these skills.
    * Specialty skills - Hooks, Elbows, knees, tactics like progressive indirect attacks or attack by drawing, throws, etc.  These have limited yet valuable benefits.

By using this categorization process, I am able to focus on things that really work.  It is one thing to use a secondary skill or specialty skill in "close to combat time", when you are in class learning that skill.  However, if you can not effectively execute the skill during sparring, even after a lot of "classroom" learning, then one must question the validity of the skill.  Again, as I look on line at the videos, you see a willing participant with the instructor performing at less than combat speed a lot of multi-step "fancy" skills.

Also, I feel that when people evaluate the effectiveness of their skills using the below categories, an operator can determine how effective they will be when a real "go-time" situation occurs.

    * Margin for error - How likely is the skill going to work if I don't execute properly?  What happens if I only execute, 90%, 80%, 70% or even 50%?  Does it still work?
    * Combat time - Can I execute the skill in combat time, when both people are operating under real stress of injury?
    * Unwilling opponent - Can I execute the skill against an unwilling opponent in combat time?  How effective can I be executing this skill? The example is using a straight lead rather than a hook or cross.

Would love to hear feedback and your thoughts.

Warm Regards,

GW
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Chad
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« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2010, 05:31:20 PM »

Good post. I have a question- Is your criteria for categorization is that the imagined opponent is of roughly equal size, alone and presumably unarmed? Or do you have a second mental flow chart for situations requiring nonlethal restraint tech's, multiple opponents, etc?

I look forward to some of the DBMA instructors and/Guro response, but FWIW, my philosophy is to practice to stay fit, learn new tech's for fun, and focus on the functional.
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CrazyCossack
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« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2010, 10:01:33 PM »

A few things, your original post is really long so its hard to discuss it all. But I will say this:

From your post its clear that you've already made up your mind that MMA type training is not going to be sufficient in street fights, I would also think you came to this board and asked this question in the hopes that most of the people here would agree with you as DBMA, IMHO is more focused on minimal rules "reality" type fighting. I would argue that it's going to work for you 95% of the time in WINNABLE fights.

You also talk about the "survive at all costs" tactics that reality based systems promote, then in the next paragraph your worried about things like temperature or how hot the ground is going to be wherever it is that your fighting.  I'm not saying your surroundings aren't important, I'm saying that worrying about the temperature when someone is trying to kill you isn't going to be important, your not going to all of a sudden change from punching the guy to pulling guard just because of a shift in the barometric pressure....

As for the more than one opponent thing, I forget who it was, maybe a Machado brother who said (paraphrasing) "Multiple opponents? You can't even stop one person from kicking your ass".  I know several MMA fighters that I would be more worried about fighting one on one than fighting two drunks at a bar.

You mention people who train but don't test their skills, well no one tests their skills more than MMA/Boxers/Judo/Jiu Jitsu or the sport martial arts, no one is more used to performing their skills under fighting pressure than these guys. They can't be, they don't do it nearly as much as these arts allow for.  The only form of real contact simulated fighting I've personally seen outside of these sportive arts is DBMA. And this still isn't real fighting.

Anyway, final thoughts from my experience and it may differ especially depending on where you live is this:

most fights you should be able to avoid
most fights you can't avoid will be winnable if your trained properly (single opponent, no weapons)
fights with multiple opponents and/or weapons are winnable but your MUCH MUCH less likely to win these fights, even if you have trained for it (The videos are called Die Less Often for a reason right?)

Lastly, how often are we really fighting for our lives, or even in altercations, I've been in 2 fights outside of a gym or martial arts that I can remember, one I got my head shoved into a wall (that was the opening move) when I was like 8, that was the whole fight, the other fight I tackled the guy and shoved mud in his face (that was when I was ten). Other then that, nothing.

My last observation is this, you will spend far far more time and money, get hurt and injured, and you will endure more pain and suffering, learning the skills that you will need to win a fight, than you would ever endure as the result of 99.9% of fights (the 0.1% is me allowing for you getting killed/raped).
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Rarick
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« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2010, 02:31:06 AM »

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZhxDQgbuZ3o

The MMA fighters lost.   A good "reality based" system that accepts "ding and dent" style minimal rules sparring would be your best bet.  DBMA is one of those......

MMA is very one fighter oriented, spends too much time on the ground, and has stage set items (minimal clothes, barefoot, NutCup, mouthpiece, rounds)and rules.  Look how much time they spend on the ground.............   Without a cup some of those hold risk your nuts.........  I would call them a good start.


Practise like with anything else is key, get as realistic practice as you can and move from there.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2010, 02:49:51 AM by Rarick » Logged
G M
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« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2010, 09:20:05 AM »

I have a couple of questions so rather than multiple topics/threads I have loaded them up here.

1. Do you feel there is a difference between the skills taught for the ring/octagon versus the skills needed to survive a real attack on the street?  If so, how do you focus on teaching these skills?

Yes. If it doesn't involve weapons and multiple assailants in a variety of environments and criminal and civil legalities, it ain't prepping you for "the street".

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2010, 11:00:07 AM »

I hope to have time for a proper contribution to the conversation later, but for the moment will offer that we sell

http://dogbrothers.com/store/product_info.php?cPath=39&products_id=135

for good reason.  Highly recommended.
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CrazyCossack
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« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2010, 03:02:13 PM »

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZhxDQgbuZ3o

The MMA fighters lost.   A good "reality based" system that accepts "ding and dent" style minimal rules sparring would be your best bet.  DBMA is one of those......

MMA is very one fighter oriented, spends too much time on the ground, and has stage set items (minimal clothes, barefoot, NutCup, mouthpiece, rounds)and rules.  Look how much time they spend on the ground.............   Without a cup some of those hold risk your nuts.........  I would call them a good start.


Practise like with anything else is key, get as realistic practice as you can and move from there.


LOL of course the mma fighters lost in that run through the woods, try to defeat the multiple attackers scenario. as you said MMA has "stage set items (minimal clothes, barefoot, NutCup, mouthpiece, rounds)and rules.", what do you call that, a set stage, they've got equipment, theres no rules but they know their not in any danger (which is probably the best piece of knowledge as far as fighting goes).

The MMA fighters lost in the simulation (with set terms, items, environment) that the other guys train for? of course they did.

Heres a question though, how come Brian Stann, a marine, who was there, did just as poorly as all the other UFC guys, wasn't he trained for multiple attackers, harsh conditions, and weapons? He got the exact same training as the marines and lost just as quickly as the UFC guys without it.

You also claim that "reality styles" would be the best bet to learn for these situations, and then use DBMA as an example. Then you make a criticism of MMA saying:
 
"MMA is very one fighter oriented, spends too much time on the ground, and has stage set items (minimal clothes, barefoot, NutCup, mouthpiece, rounds)and rules.  Look how much time they spend on the ground.............   Without a cup some of those hold risk your nuts.........  I would call them a good start."

How is that different than Dog Brothers fights at the gathering. 99% of the time they are one fighter oriented, most spend time on the ground, they have a set location, set date, set time, you know beforehand (even if its just the day of who you are going to fight, and often if its a more well known fighter what they like to do). Agreed upon protection is another issue. I've fought a few stick fights, I've seen more, and I've seen more on videos, you see people wearing, knee pads, elbow pads, shoes, CUPS, fencing masks, mouthgaurds, pants, etc....

Thats the same amount of protection if not far far more (Masks?) than MMA fighters go in with. You also said without a cup some of the holds risk your nuts, and theres two things wrong with that, one is that none of your holds hurt your nuts ever if your doing them properly, your probably referencing armbars, and if they hurt your nuts your doing them wrong.  Well without a mask those sticks flying by your head risk your eyes, nose, lips.... does that mean you shouldn't fight with a mask on when you stickfight?

You also state as a negative to realistic training that MMA has rules, but so does DBMA (which is the example you gave remember). Everyones friends at the end of the day, and try to leave everyone with the same IQ they came with DRAMATICALLY changes the stick fights.  How much can stickfights prepare you for streetfights or reality situations if they totally take out the aggressiveness, maliciousness, anger, and bad intentions that a real opponent would be coming with.

I'm not saying that what DBMA does is bad or wrong, not at all because I believe in it and am a fan of it, however I think alot of people are blind to the fact that stickfights are essentially MMA matches with sticks, more protection, and a few less rules. None of us are ninjas....
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2010, 12:39:35 AM »

"How is that different than Dog Brothers fights at the Gathering?"

Please allow me to point out that "the Dog Brothers" and DBMA are not the same thing.

With regard to the DB Gatherings it is worth noting that the American Gatherings now have IFWA as part of the equation (The Euros don't care for this and so don't do it); but more to the point, with regard to DBMA we are "In search of the totality of ritual and reality" (c) as we "Walk as a warrior for all our days" (c).  For DBMA the Gatherings are simple a ritual combat adrenal experience in service of our reality training.  "Kali Tudo" (tm) is another; its purpose is to develop "consistency across cateogories" for weaponry and empty hand fighting-- again, in the ritual space but measured by reality criteria.  The we have our Die Less Often series, which is explicitly reality based in its focus.
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peregrine
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« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2010, 10:45:32 PM »

1. The skills gained in a mma setting offer an excellent platform to springboard one in to street scenarios. Check out the preview in DLO3.
Threat recognition, decision to fight/flight, weapon recognition, weapon neutralization, weapon retention, weapon access, imrpov weapons are topics not covered in the typical mma setting.

2. Arizona has a number of progressive groups that do train for the street.
May I suggest looking further and be very open and humble.
Falling in love with the art may occur after one undertands and has enough techniques to survive in their mind, yet understands that no one is invincible. They train for the enjoyment and to improve.

3. Not everyone trains for reality or full speed contact. Tradition and techniques learned for a different time(armament/armor/persons/etc) are some reasons. Why don't you form your own training group if you're not able to find groups that meet your criteria? 
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Rarick
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« Reply #9 on: April 20, 2010, 06:06:56 AM »

CrazyIvan-  Look at all the different environments you see the Marines in, and also the fact the are training to survive against "whatever", the MMA fighters focus is "win against my opponent" you do not see 3600 defense and melee even considered in MMA.  MMA does not go beyond unaugmented human vs. unaugmented human.  The Marines train with the consideration of what augmentation and tools do I have to survive this. MMa is a good start in that it gets you fit, and gets the unaugmented skills trained, but it does not teach variability of environment or multiple foe tactics.  It is as real as allowed-but falls short.  If mma had the same stuff within its art that the Marines have in theirs- then the mma guys would have coped.  I do not know when Stann went thru and trained, the current Marine style has changed- and recently from the older "LINE" training.  Stann may have had that, wehich would have failed, the Marines changed the old stuff for a reason.

The Dog Brothers and several other styles considier a lot of these, Defendo, and SPEAR are couple that come to mind, not to mention JKD which is the root of a bunch of practicality based systems.

True there is the conundrum of preventing injury while training, but I see Crafty in the DVD's mentioning "this angle exposes your nuts, but for expression of force I have to do this shift, closer in it would look like......" and demonstrates "which does not leave them exposed".  I DO NOT see that in a lot of other demos.  That is probably why you do not see the Melee in Gatherings either, you do see it in SCA at their practices tho', that is educational. Then again they have adjusted their stuff to allow full force free form fights without harm- that imposes other limits.

Crafty-IFWA?
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #10 on: April 20, 2010, 10:32:40 AM »

IFWA: In Fight Weapon Access
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Maxx
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« Reply #11 on: April 20, 2010, 12:12:12 PM »

To be honest, That clip was a Promo commercial for Marine Propaganda( at the end it gave Marines.com) and next, Martial Arts does not make the man but the man makes the art and last I go to a local place with girls, Fun and Mayhem where several Marines go and every Saturday night there is a marine laying face first on the ground because he got rowdy and some street rat knocked him out, Those street rats are your typical Lifted Truck driving, Big Weight lifting Mofos, Who take MMA and steroids a couple times a week, The problem I see with Military training is they make you feel like you are invincible and you can defeat anyone and that's not the case, While the above person I mentioned is a social dick, He fights pretty much every weekend and they have to because it's in their social circle to be a macho dick face and even the ones that don't do mma are built like brick houses and like to fight lol!

I doesn't matter if you are a Army ranger, G.Beret, Marine or Ninja...If you have a glass jaw, You have a glass jaw


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Rarick
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« Reply #12 on: April 21, 2010, 05:08:54 AM »

Brawling is an art of its own, and very much like catch wrestling- a folk art learned by doing.  I am not surprised a lot of Marines get KO'd when they peeve a locals too much- It goes with the lifestyle grin
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Jonobos
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« Reply #13 on: April 21, 2010, 11:44:39 AM »

I think the line between MMA and a real fight is much thinner than most people realize. This is only my opinion, but it is much easier to graft the weapon element on to a clinch scenario if you already have a good clinch game.



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When life gives you lemons make lemonade
When life gives you hemlock, do NOT make hemlockade!
G M
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« Reply #14 on: April 21, 2010, 11:48:39 AM »

You mean like a mount countered by a knife to the kidneys?
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CrazyCossack
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« Reply #15 on: April 21, 2010, 02:09:32 PM »

You mean like a mount countered by a knife to the kidneys?

LOL at having a knife when your in a fight and getting mounted, if you haven't been able to deploy it and use it by then, you should probably just start pleading for mercy.

Also, say if you suddenly were mounted by an unarmed opponent, and you had a knife, how do you plan on deploying this, I'm assuming you dont wear a knife around your neck, and that its probably kept somewhere along the hip (pockets, belt, etc...) Now if someone has you mounted usually the lowest part of your body you can reach is your sternum because the rest is covered by their body. I doubt you'd be able to get your hand in your pockets, deploy your knife and use it before the other guy notices your doing something, or before he smashes you in the face multiple times while your trying to force your hand in between your body and his leg, and get into your pocket, or to your belt.

Have you even thought about these types of things or you just picked a random position from groundfighting.... jeez...
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G M
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« Reply #16 on: April 21, 2010, 05:40:00 PM »

Who says it's the same person? I knew a deputy sheriff that was trying to cuff a subject at a family disturbance when a teenaged girl impaled him with a large kitchen knife. He was lucky to survive and was medically retired after that. I'm pretty sure that isn't allowed in MMA, but having additional assailants jump in with weapons does happen in the real world.
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Maxx
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« Reply #17 on: April 21, 2010, 05:41:00 PM »

If you look back a post around here I posted awhile back about this. I got into some crap awhile back and was attempting to Bjj a guy and he took the liberty to stab me several times in my lower leg, Thus ending the fight!  What was he using? Not some deadly, Heavy marketed FMA battle knife but a pen. I have 4 nice size scare holes to remind me of this adventure. Last time I got together with guide dog, I showed him these Pen attacks and we both had a nice laugh about it. I was the king of the ring/battle ninja and he was some ass with a pen.

The pen in this case was deff. Mighter then the sword and my Bjj hahah!  afro
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G M
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« Reply #18 on: April 21, 2010, 05:44:07 PM »

And if it had been a nice sharp knife? If he'd gone for the femoral instead?
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Maxx
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« Reply #19 on: April 21, 2010, 06:09:26 PM »

I guess my friend, I would have been bleeding a lot more and in far greater pain. Good thing my trusty military/Ninja Training saved i.e Bouncers  cry
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G M
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« Reply #20 on: April 21, 2010, 06:24:02 PM »

http://www.miamiherald.com/2007/11/28/323314/femoral-artery-bleeds-very-quickly.html

MEDICINE
Femoral artery bleeds very quickly
The femoral artery can quickly lose large amounts of blood when severed, as in the shooting death of Sean Taylor.
Related Content
•Killing of Taylor appears 'random,' chief says
•Police seek mysterious intruder in Sean Taylor slaying

- Each thigh contains a femoral artery.


- The femoral artery is the major blood vessel that supplies blood to the legs.


- It is a continuation of the external iliac artery, which comes from the abdominal aorta.

- It begins in the lower abdomen and travels from the hip to the knee.

- If the femoral artery is severed, a patient could bleed to death in minutes

BY DESONTA HOLDER AND ERIKA BERAS
dholder@MiamiHerald.com
A gunshot to the femoral artery -- like the one suffered Monday by football star Sean Taylor -- can quickly spiral out of control, with a person losing 20 percent of his blood in a matter of minutes, doctors say.

The femoral artery runs from the abdomen to the knee, carrying blood to the lower extremities.

First responders, family members and friends said as soon as the bullet tore through Taylor's flesh, his blood began flowing.

The body contains about five liters, or about 20 cups, of blood. It is unknown how much blood Taylor, who died from his injuries Tuesday morning at Jackson Memorial Hospital, lost between when he was shot and when emergency personnel responded. Police said they received the call for help about 15 minutes after the shooting.

''When you're bleeding, the ability to control hemorrhaging is vitally important,'' Dr. David Feldbaum, chief of vascular surgery for Memorial Hospital Pembroke, said Tuesday. ``The longer he bled, the more likely he would not survive. Seconds may not matter that much, but minutes do.''

''In a matter of minutes you could lose up to two liters of blood,'' added Dr. Fahim Habib, a trauma surgeon at Jackson Memorial. ``In several minutes, you could bleed to death.''

Habib said it is possible to lose up to 20 percent of one's blood through the femoral artery, which is two to three centimeters wide.

Compounding the problem: The artery is surrounded by blood vessels, which bleed when damaged and are very difficult to repair, Feldbaum said.

''When we operate on the femoral artery we have to be very careful to control the blood vessels,'' Feldbaum says. ``The area is not localized where the bullet hit.''

Although Feldbaum did not operate on Taylor, 24, he said the Washington Redskins safety may have had other injuries besides a punctured femoral artery.

''You get injuries to other important structures like nerves and veins,'' he says. ``You won't know for sure until you get results from pathologists.''

Taylor's family has requested that his medical records remain confidential.

Had Taylor survived, there was a high chance of permanent brain damage, said family friend and attorney Richard Sharpstein.

''Before he got to the hospital, before paramedics controlled the bleeding, he lost blood that transports nutrients to vital organs. At that time you get cell death, ischemia,'' Feldbaum says.

''It has to be reversed to maintain function'' of the heart, kidneys, brain and other organs.

In top shape, Taylor who stood 6 feet, 2 inches and weighed 212 pounds, ''probably could have lost a significant amount of blood without dying,'' Feldbaum says.

``But at some point you run out, and once your brain and heart start to die, it's not a salvageable situation.''
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Jonobos
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« Reply #21 on: April 21, 2010, 06:48:36 PM »

You mean like a mount countered by a knife to the kidneys?

The hypothetical guy on top should have been more mindful of his opponents hands. But we are talking hypothetical situations here.
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G M
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« Reply #22 on: April 21, 2010, 06:55:17 PM »

He should have, but the real world is full of shoulda, woulda, coulda.
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G M
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« Reply #23 on: April 21, 2010, 07:25:22 PM »

http://www.realfighting.com/content.php?id=122

Well worth reading.
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Rarick
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« Reply #24 on: April 22, 2010, 05:58:09 AM »

You mean like a mount countered by a knife to the kidneys?

The hypothetical guy on top should have been more mindful of his opponents hands. But we are talking hypothetical situations here.


It was a fight for status, but this guy is mounted and gonna beat me to death since he shows no sign of stopping.  Time to grab my boot knife/folder and stay alive............   Definately something to consider when doing your training offensive and defensive to figure out what is realistic.........
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Sheep Dog
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« Reply #25 on: April 29, 2010, 03:24:29 PM »

Here is an old article I wrote on the subject:

Applying Sports Training Principles to Combatives


A recent article entitled ""Combatives: Which Cage do you Fight in?" by noted force-on-force trainer Ken Good, explored the use of sports based fighting as a measuring stick of the effectiveness of combatives for the armed professional.

Several excellent points were made as to the issues surrounding the use of force in an armed situation and the variables that must be taken into consideration. I will not go over the entire list of them as Ken covered them quite well (for more information please see his article in the Blackwater Tactical Weekly). Where I feel Ken misunderstood what was when he misconstrued training for sport, and training with the methods of sport. Two very different things. I think it is best to discuss the concepts of sport training and sport training methods. Sports' training is any training for a specific goal in a sport, in running it is to run faster, and longer, in high jump to jump higher, in sport Judo to throw your opponent. These are all examples of sport training. These very narrow goals are all aided by what you train. Sports methods though refer simply to the way you train and any ancillary benefits you gain from them.

A clear example would be jogging; you may jog everyday from home to the local track and back. You do not jog so you get better at jogging from point A to point B, you jog so you are more fit, have a stronger heart and to help cut down weight. It is the method from which you gain the benefits.

It is quite easy to look at sports fighters (those athletes that compete in mixed martial arts events such as the Ultimate Fighting Championship) and see what they do as having no relation to that of the armed professional in the course of his duties. We tend to want to look at the techniques used by these men and dismiss them as Ken said in relation to applying sport technique in combatives:

"Taking (opponents) to the ground with a committed double leg takedown, mounting them, slapping\punching them in the face until an arm appears so that one could throw an arm bar on them to dislocate the elbow is probably not the soundest doctrine either. Try that with full kit on, needlessly exposing some of your secondary and tertiary weapons in the process to the individual you are dealing with or his friends. Not to mention a good face stomp or knife attack from his buddies as well."

And Ken is right there would be little sense in taking someone to the ground in a combatives environment, mounting them and applying a submission hold such as a choke, or armbar. But the fact is that the foundation of the skills used to do all of these things is as important to the athlete as it is to the LEO or military personnel. It is not in the techniques themselves that the benefit comes but from the methods they use to practice their techniques. When combatives is trained against non-resisting attackers what happens is a false sense of reality shrouds the techniques. The difficulty in training is to figure out what is the level of realism one can safely (or to be more truthful, how unsafe can training be) work in. The fatal flaw is that people often feel that what they do is so dangerous that they are unable to train at full power. By limiting themselves they then train at a level which will not replicate real life. They tend to slow down the movements, feeling that the decreased speed will have to be made up by perfect form or they over react to the training stimuli. Of course this is not just unarmed training, training against edged weapons often involves someone trying to attach someone else, only very…very...slowly. All well and good if you are attacked by a very slow adversary. Unfortunately I have not yet met him.

Sports fighters though train with the opposite of many combatives instructors methods, they constantly look to push the bounds of force-on-force training and work against fully resisting opponents. An interesting thing happens as they train at these higher levels, the techniques which in training look crisp and clean tend to become a bit sloppier and not quite as sharp. This mimics what happens in actual combat, the stance widens a bit, your legs are not as spaced as they should be your shoulders not turned the way they are on the range for example. This increase in pressure greatly affects your performance. It is often after stressful training that people really begin to feel they now have a clearer understanding of what it takes to do the job.

This training is used constantly in law enforcement through the use of Sims and paint marking guns, but rarely is it applied to unarmed combat. At best you may get to train against a red-man, but the padded, unfeeling suit wearer does not mimic a real person, instead the red-man drills often turn simply into an exercise of endurance, rather than combat. I would not want anyone to attempt to tackle an adversary to the ground and mount him in the battlefield, but I would want him to have worked enough from that position and from underneath it to have the skill to persevere when it happens. Again in cases like these it is not a case of if, but when. We can take two people, suit them up in gear and allow them to train on the ground in the same manner sports fighters do. Not so that they will become better sports fighters but so that they will be better prepared to deal with an attack where they may find themselves on the ground.

The very things Ken talks about such as multiple attackers, weapons, environmental concerns etc. are the very motivators for taking cues from sport fighters and looking at their training methods to see how they operate. I would wager that a sport fighter who has never had a vest and duty belt on would still be in a better position and have a better chance of disengaging from a ground fight to avoid those things mentioned than the combatives trained patrol officer who has worn a belt every day since he started on the job. Taking the training method of the sports fighter and applying it to the training of the officer while training in full gear would only better prepare him.

When Ken said "MMA does not in any way, shape or form represent the totality of what the modern solider/officer faces in the real world". He was totally right.

No training will represent the totality of what is faced in the real world. The artillery man may simply view all these discussion as a moot point because it never takes into account the use of shells, the sniper may feel all of this is unimportant as it doesn't take into account 1000 yards, etc. It is too easy to not see the forest for all the trees in this case. We cannot train for the totality we can only train for a small piece of the many things that may face us.

Ken cannot offer totality, I cannot offer totality, and the armed forces with all their might and money cannot offer totality. We have to make decisions on how we are to train and in what format. We have the freedom though to choose differing ways to train different goals. Sports fighters and their training methods have proved in an empirical way that they are able to train people to perform under pressure and with great success. No one will argue that these men are super humans that should be dropped into combat zones wearing their tight fight trunks and gloves and little else, but it can be argues that these men do have an expertise on a very important part, albeit a small part, of combative training. I doubt highly that any intelligent and experienced trainer would say that all the combatives questions can be answered by sports training, but certainly they can see that some aspects can.

For example pistol shooting is an important tool, but like any other tool it has its place and time. It is not competent doctrine to hold the pistol as the ultimate weapon for combat simply because it holds up quite well for officers in the street. Even so we continue to train with a pistol while recognizing it's limitations in combat. We have many options on a duty belt, different weapons for different situations. Training should be the same; we have to examine what we have and how to apply it.

The limitations of sport in the combative realm do not make it null and void as a training method. We should seek to add elements to how we train not take them away.

Training should seek to develop core concepts and abilities while training under progressively stronger resistance so that we develop what is referred to as "ownership of technique." When we use pressure in training, officers experience the techniques intellectually, emotionally and physically. In my experience we have found that this combination of teaching methods results in a higher retention of technique as compared to simple physical training. The use of combatives at near realistic speeds and intensity greatly heightens the retention and impact this training has on the trainee, especially important when he may have as little as forty hours total training time.

To understand this principal take the example of going to a film, we have all seen films in which we can remember quotes, dialogue, and scenes. Though we may have seen the film only once we are able to recall all this. For most people this is not due to a heightened ability to memorize details but rather due to the situation in which it was presented. Simply put if you enjoyed the film chances are you will remember more. You have experienced the film both intellectually through seeing it and emotionally by having enjoyed seeing it. A boring film on the other hand is seldom remembered in such detail. We have to ask why, either way we have seen the same thing presented in the same manner, so what it missing. What is missing is the emotional experience. We have experienced the film on two levels.

Though a trivial example it shows the relation that emotion (enjoyment, fear, stress) may have on the learning process. Add to this the physical and intellectual ownership of techniques and skill retention increases greatly.

The methods used by sports fighters, intensity, realism, physical exertion, and psychological pressure all aid in developing effective combatives skills.

When combatives trainers use intensity, realism, physical exertion and psychological pressure along with tactical considerations it only results in better training. We have to strive to not limit what we do but to instead find ways to do it better. For many of us it is a bitter pill to swallow that someone does something better than use, especially when they are not even trying to outdo us, but the facts remain that the sports fighters have fundamentally, and unintentionally changed the way combatives is being taught, and are proving their particular skill set weekly.

No one is telling any training to adopt lock stock and barrel the whole of the sports fighters' regimen, to do so would be foolish. But rather it can be suggested that we look at what others are doing right in their particular field and see how it applies to what we do, and how we can do better.



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Sheep Dog
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« Reply #26 on: April 29, 2010, 03:24:53 PM »

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Training Sports Based Martial Arts As Reality Based Self Defense

Among the great debates of the modern martial arts era is what if any the mixed martial arts events have had on reality based martial arts training. There are legions of people who left traditional martial arts to flock to sports based martial arts. The art most well known due to the early success of the UFC's was Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu or as it is more commonly known, BJJ. There has been an explosion of BJJ in the United States, there was a time that the number of Black Belts could be counted on one hand, and most of them were related. The past decade though has seen the popularity and accessibility of BJJ grow in leaps and bounds. From BJJ training grew schools and clubs more directly involved with Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) training. As opposed to BJJ, MMA is more concerned with the complete combat game not just the grappling portion of it. MMA generally consists of a few core training methods borrowed from other martial arts, and sports such as wrestling, sambo, judo, muay Thai, and boxing. All of these sports are considered performance based, which essentially means, excellence in the sport is the highest achievement.

Just as the popularity of this type of training grew, so did another training concept, that of Reality Based Martial Arts (RBSD). RBSD is at best training that takes in the whole of defense. Dealing with street psychology, de-escalation, weapons awareness (including firearms), and tactical considerations. It is heavily influenced by WWII combatives and straightforward and simple training methods and techniques.

The major philosophical distinction between these two training methods, sport training and RBSD training is the reason to train. RBSD training is specifically for the intent to defend oneself, sport training has defense as an ancillary benefit.

Both RBSD and sport based training when trained in the manner they are generally taught have large holes in their training methods which peculiarly tend to be addressed by the other. For example RBSD training tends to lack realistic contact and resistance training, sport training has this is spades but lacks weapon awareness, which RBSD training offers.

The purpose of this article is not to examine point by point the shortcomings of each method of training but to instead offer training strategies to help bridge the gap between these two seemingly polar opposite worlds.

I am a sports based trainer who teaches reality based self defense. On both sides of the fence there are people who will gasp at the very notion that these two things can coexist. As a matter of opinion I believe that they coexist very well, only helping my students to train better, smarter and prepare them to defend themselves.

We first have to dismiss the idea that sports based training has nothing to do with RBSD, in fact it has a lot to do with it. The combatives of the early part of this century were for the most part influenced by sports, Judo in particular. Judo is a sport though that with a little thought and effort becomes a formidable combative tool. Conflict takes place on many stages, the emotional, psychological, and physical. The physical stage is the one we are most familiar with and for the most part concerned with. We need to effectively deal with this stage to be able to defend ourselves. Being emotionally and psychologically equipped for battle but lacking the tools and abilities does you no good. We need to also have tools that address different levels of conflict. A firearm is a great tool when deadly force is needed but does little to help with an aggressive bar patron or hostile woman in the parking lot of your local grocery store. Just as the law enforcement community has realized that there are levels of use of force and reasonable responses to them we too have to come to this realization. Not every fight will be life and death. We have to be able to have a response for these differing situations. We cannot approach every encounter as life or death, we can always be aware that it may become a life or death struggle, but it can also go the complete opposite way.

Sport training provides a great amount of physical tools to deal with most unarmed and in some cases armed attackers. Even better than the tools provided is the environment in which they are polished. Generally speaking these environments are ones where two people attempt to actually defeat the other using skills learnt in class at real speed and with full resistance. Simply by having the experience of using the skill in this environment will help the sport trained fighter when he has to do the same on the street against yet another uncooperative person who also wants to physically dominate.

It is here where we must branch off for a moment as many reading this will think that "sure a sports fighter can punch or kick, so what happens when a knife is pulled?" and these people are right, the sports fighter may not be prepared for this eventuality as he may still have a certain connotation of what a fight is, and that idea may be far different from the person he is fighting. This is a distinct limitation of sports fighting. The fact that weapons are rarely introduced in technique, or even more rarely in sparring. RBSD training prepares the person for this eventuality, what I believe it does not prepare them for is how to adequately persevere in the encounter.

It is important to distinguish between training techniques and training methods, I will argue that the method of training is far more important than the techniques being trained. It does little good to know the theory behind a punch and be unable to use it against a resisting opponent. Technique refers to a physical tool. Training method refers to the way that tool is learnt. Both must exist, but the training method will determine the success of the tool. If you have realistic training methods you will quickly find which tools work and which do not. You will also find which tools work well for you and not other and vice versa. Martial arts is replete with techniques that simply do not work, they may have worked for one person one time but no one else. But due to the reliance on technique and not training method people continued to practice them placing faith in the tool and excusing lack of effectiveness on the practionner not the tool.

One point of continuous contention is that of ground fighting. The view that the RBSD community has no place for ground fighting is a flawed view in my mind. I believe the RBSD practioners readily admit that ground fighting is as important part of the fighting arsenal as any other. That being said they also would be the first to say it should not be the first response to a situation as well as the oft repeated warnings of broken glass, syringes, and generally unkempt sidewalks in major urban sprawl.

There is though an extremely important part of ground fighting that both schools of thought should agree on. That is the importance of learning how not to go to the ground and how to get back up when you find yourself there. Being on the ground in a fight is not the place you want to be. As discussed earlier you often don't get the chance to dictate and you may find yourself on the ground and it is here that having ground fighting skills will come into play. You may know 1001 dirty tricks, including biting, scratching and poking eyes, but the person on top can do all the same and more. You need more than simply tricks you need to have an ability to dominate position. The place you learn to dominate position in by grappling in class on a mat. I guarantee you that if you can dominate in the class you can dominate on the street. You do not need to ignore the eye jabs, and biting, etc. you simply need to see these as secondary to the situation at hand.

I teach students to fight in a clinch; the clinch is a position where two people are entangled together trying to control the other person normally through use of holding the other person. The clinch is a position which many people will find themselves in time and time again and which needs to be trained. Unfortunately trainers will often dismiss the clinch as "grappling" or "suicide" due to the close proximity the people are to each other. In a perfect world we will not be near our attackers, we will in fact be miles away in our homes relaxing and watching a good movie on TV. Alas this is not the perfect world and our wishes and desires often bear no resemblance to the situation at hand. Environment dictates solution; this is a mantra to meditate on. We must have solutions that will work in various environments. We have to take the time to understand that if we only train in advantageous positions we are only cheating ourselves. There is a desire it seems to ignore "bad" situations, such as fighting from close range while being held on to, as it may be seen as sporting, due to the fact that sports fighters use this range quite effectively, but they do so for a reason, due to it's very effectiveness.

I mention the clinch specifically because it seems a position that is often ignored at peril. I will not go into the mechanics of fighting from the clinch for the armed individual as it would be beyond the breadth and scope of this article but the position does provide one with a the ability to both control the attacker and control the attackers ability to use weapons. "Hands Kill"; it is heard in every police academy class throughout the nation, it was drilled into me. The armed professional wants to see the hands, and control the hands. The clinch is a position in which even if we lose visual reference of the hands we can still control them. The RBSD student can easily take a wrestling drill such as pummeling and learn effective hand and arm control while also being aware of the potential for weapons. This training is especially effective for law enforcement as it bridges the gap between the pat down/handcuffing and the subject becoming resistive.

The clinch is an example of a sport training method that is easily adapted to RBSD training. It in itself is neither intended for sport or combat it is intended instead for teaching to deal with someone attempting to grab and control you. The technique is neutral the method and reasoning you use to train it is the important concept.

The sad fact is that many people dismiss the training tools of the others due to lack of understanding of just what people are trying to accomplish. I feel that the onus truly lies with the RBSD instructors as these people (myself included) promote self-defense as the primary purpose of what they do. Those of us who teach RBSD have to take into account that the sport fighters' primary purpose is not to fight on the street, and yet they manage, all things being equal, to do far better than the RBSD proponent in unarmed combat. By and large they are unprepared for weapons, and though they seldom work against multiple attackers, they still seem to completely dominate the world of hand to hand combat.

We must not fall into the trap of thinking that though they can fight without weapons due to the fact we are armed we will automatically prevail, and therefore offer a better solution. If we cannot prevail in the empty hand portion of combat it is unlikely we will have the ability to escalate to weapons. We have to ask ourselves honestly how many times we've trained with little in the way of protective equipment while someone tries, really tries to attack us. For those of us who do, we then have to ask how many of us have then attempted to access weapons, and deploy them. It can be done certainly, but it can be done far easier if we have more control in the fight and our not off put by the attack. If we can fight standing, if we can fight in the clinch, if we can fight on the ground then we are simply giving ourselves more chances.

We have to dismiss this idea of sport fighting as men in tights who fight in a cage and instead think of them as people who have achieved the height of ability in a certain field of combat. Rather than be threatened by them, we need look to them to provide us with valuable information on just what works best in the realm of personal unarmed combat. This does not mean we abandon reality training, it simply means we look at the situation critically and accept that someone out there may be doing a better job at one certain task. I would not ask a UFC fighter his opinion on how best to deploy a weapon in a fight but I would not hesitate to ask him how best to free my hands from a clinch so that I may deploy the weapon. The difference is subtle but not to be overlooked.

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #27 on: April 29, 2010, 06:19:18 PM »

Many good points in there Sheep Dog.
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