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Author Topic: Knife Fights at the DB Gathering  (Read 4615 times)
Crafty_Dog
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« on: June 23, 2004, 12:00:01 AM »

Woof All:

At the previous Gathering all the knife fights were 2x2.  To call the
results sloppy and behaviors unrealistic would be an understatement.
Indeed, as best as I could tell, EVERY SINGLE FIGHTER got killed.

So I put it to the guys on the DBMA Ass'n Forum for their thoughts as to how to do it better this coming Sunday.  In search of additional thoughts and with their permission, I post the most of the thread here.

Woof,
Crafty Dog

==============
BEGIN

From the Invitation
"At each Gathering there is a different focus. At this one again we will be
encouraging people to fight 2 against 2 or 3 against 3 (or 2 against 3?) in
the knife fighting. This was a bit of a disaster last time with all players
repeatedly getting killed so we will try going about this a bit differently
this time."

----------------------

I think it was a disaster only because we weren't all on the same page when it came to the "rules" of the knife fights.

What are the options?

A.  You can think of the 1-2 minute knife fights as a bunch of much shorter fights.  If you get killed, you acknowledge it, back off for a second or two, then start again.  Or in a multiple man fight you have to run and touch the wall or drop and do ten push-ups or something before you can continue.

B.  Each fight is one fight, period.  You get killed, the fight's over.  Or
if it's a multiple man fight, you're out.

C.  Same as B, but if you get killed, you can continue fighting as long as
you can hold your breath or maybe you just get a couple of seconds for one last desperation attack as you're bleeding to death...

IMO, B & C, while more realistic, don't offer people enough time to "enjoy" their knife fighting experience if they get killed right away, but I can live with that.

Any other ideas?

Then of course we can debate what constitutes a kill...

In any case, I think it will seem less disastrous if the rules are made
explicitly clear to everyone before we start.

------------------------------------

Maybe the multiple opponent knife fights were a disaster because the outcome of a knife fight between four men is disasterous.

IMHO I liked it the way we did it last Gathering.  Jump in, figure out what
works, get hit, watch your back, look for your partner, get hit, think on
the run under attack, go go go.

THE problem was already raised.  If kills matter, then what is a kill?  "I
killed you."  "No, I killed you first."  "No, you didn't hit the artery, so
I killed you first."  I'm sure no one would say it, but I'd be thinking it.
Besides rules require a judge.

I WOULD like to see a couple of really good knife fighters do a one on one
exhibition fight.

 ------------------------------------
Woof All,

why not put ink or painting on the knife to see which is touched and or it
is touched??

-------------------------------------

I tend to view the knife fighting much like option A, as a bunch of shorter
fights. I think it should be on the fighter to be aware when they've been
killed or have delivered a kill-shot. Also, I think people, i.e. bumrushers,
need to be aware of the simultaneous kill. I liked how Guro Crafty pulled
out a live blade and waved it near people's necks at the beginning of the
last Gathering so people would have a little more awareness in regards to
the fight. It's a warm-up, and I feel that too much emphasis on who killed
whom, who delivered a greater quantity of kill shots, etc. makes it more
like a knife competition.

The multiple man fights were chaotic with repeated killings, but we could
assume that it's another wave of attackers, kind of like a prison-riot, or
the old video game Double Dragon. I like the multiple man fighting because it opens a bucket of tactics, and if people are focusing on doing push-ups or running to touch a wall it might take away from the tactical exercise.

 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
-----
Man, that Double Dragon reference sure brings back a lot of memories!

In the context of a Gathering, I think bum-rushing is the typical response
of a fighter who's been cut several times and feels like he has to do
something to keep from looking like he "lost".  OTOH I think it's a good
idea to have a plan for dealing with the bum-rush, since it is a desperation
tactic all too likely to be used in a real life-or-death knife fight.  I
know of course, since this just happened to me last week!  wink

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
----
The group here on Oahu tends to view the knife fighting in the same view as option A, a bunch of shorter fights.  Dogzilla and I "kill" each other
multiple times per fight.  I like to vary my actions during the knife
fights...some days, I play the knife "tag" game, where I'm targeting his
hand or trying to "defang the snake".  Other days, I go only for "kill
shots" (neck, solid thrusts to torso) and couple that with the bum rush.  I
think it's good for Mike (considering he works in a federal prison...in the
kitchen!) to be on the receiving end of the "shiv rush".  He usually kills
me, but not always before I'm able to do some serious damage.  It keeps
everyone involved well aware of the lethality of a real time, real life
situation where the bad guy doesn't always play by your rules.

However I'm playing the game though, I always back off to acknowledge a kill shot before continuing with the fight.  In that respect, not only do the
knife fights provide for a fun time because they're longer and you get the
chance to try different tactics, it also serves as a decent warm up period
before the stickfighting begins.  I find it also helps me quell the ongoing
mental chatter of stepping out with Dogzilla when he has a stick in his hand and "that look"  in his eye.  You know, sorta warm up to, "d**n, this is gonna hurt..."
-------------

END

So folks, any thoughts/comments/suggestions as to how to go about this in front of a few hundred people?  I like the idea of working multiple
players-- its a core foundational concept of the FMA-- but am not happy with the results so far.

TIA,
Crafty Dog
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Howling Dog
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Posts: 392


« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2004, 07:15:46 AM »

Woof guro crafty, I would suggest that the players be put on a honor system, in that they acknowledge a good shot maybe by pointing to the place they got hit before continuing.
that way we can see the realistic aspect of what happend and all players can get ample time playing.
Not to say you have to acknowledge every little nick, but i think most of us can tell honestly weather weve been hit "good" or not. kinda like keeping score against yourself. If both players kill each other simotaniously(at the same time) shocked  both acknowledge each others hits and maybe the guy who was hit first points to  his opponent .
Watching from the crowd in nov.In some fights  i couldnt tell what was going on and didnt get much out of it.
             tom
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Howling Dog
Tiny
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« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2004, 01:43:05 PM »

Anybody ever tried to work a hostage situation (one-on-one or otherwise) within the knife-fights?  I've actually been separated from someone  I was with (I was on a date) by a nut with a knife, in a downtown area, so, it is a marginal  possibility...

Something I'd like to see, so just curious.

thanks.
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no one special....
Guest
« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2004, 02:01:04 PM »

Guro Crafty,

while I like the idea of no refs, a sugestion could be that after each "kill shot" the acting referee could score "kills"and reset them. This seems the most fair for both players. You then can extent the time so that they all have ample time to play.

No disrespect to Tom G. but the honor system seems to be hard to enforce. I think we should have a neutral person who can "judge" the severity of the damaged. This way there is no arguements as to who hit first/best/hardest/most/etc etc etc......

For multiple opponents you might need more "refs"

Just an idea.....
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Tiny
Guest
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2004, 02:17:02 PM »

Marker fights, or lipstick-covered blades might be an option, if the referee thing isn't popular.  It's hard to argue with a big red slash on your body, and generally speaking they're less desirable than an invisible hit so consciousness is a tad raised.  

Just a thought.
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milt
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Posts: 75


« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2004, 02:24:05 PM »

As the one who orignially proposed "option A," my preference is to just have both people try to cut each other without being cut (uneven exchanges).  There should be no closing and having both fighters repeatedly stabbing each other ("knife boxing").  If someone does something completely unrealistic like grabbing a knife by the blade, the fight should be stopped immediately.

If you get "cut," just back away for a second and nod (or tap or point to the place that got hit as Tom suggested) so it's not like you're just ignoring it.

It's just warm-up / target practice anyway.  I really don't care how it looks to the crowd or what they think about it.  We're not out there performing for them.  If it looks like I "lost," so be it.

-milt
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Howling Dog
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Posts: 392


« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2004, 03:40:39 PM »

Woof, I really like the idea of acknowledging the hit, kinda like in a point karate  tourney. After all we are all members of the same tribe here and from what i can gather via the net and all its chatter. i percieve all to be honorable guys who wont allow your egos to get into the way of making each other better.
Besides the clashes should be quick and short (in and out ) anyway, the onley problem i can see with this is the other attacker and the ambush, being multiple opponent situations. FIGHTERS BEWARE.
                TOM
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Howling Dog
sting
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Posts: 289


« Reply #7 on: June 23, 2004, 06:18:36 PM »

I've tried a couple of marker fights in the past .  
The main problem with markers is that
they don't reward slashes very well due to the small tip.
In short, markers simulate a very short blade quite well,
but the mess inhibits regular practice.
Also, the marker tip mashes quickly.   Marker/lipstick is
fine for recording some shots, but if the bout isn't stopped
after a couple of
slashes, many marks provide little information about
the timing and quality of the cuts.  "Whoah, dude,
you cut me 23 times vs. my 19.  You win."  A modern
training tool is a video camera, although it is difficult to tape
knife fights well because the action often too quick for video frame
rates, and you only have one viewing angle.

Why is there so much concern over making shots obvious?
I think Crafty & crew have done a fine job so far.
The fighters can feel the shots with some practice, once
they've learned to calm down.  
The duel would be totally different with real knives, let
along the remote possibility that an equal weapon duel
would take place.   Just hand each opponent a fencing
mask and a pair of light garden gloves so you can feel
cuts to the hands.   I would suggest having both
contestants handle a real blade immediately before
their first knife bout and debrief them individually afterwards.

Some newbies are unaccustomed to fighting with a
simulated blade.  So what?  It's great practice to learn
on a new opponent.   These guys are just circling
around trying to slash or "hook stab" or "jump thrust"
you in the face with pure
speed and reflexes, no variety or strategy.
Can you deal with them? As for "double kills", you just make
sure that *you* avoid them.  Sure, the "accomplished"
knife sparrer may receive more hits than they would
like.  I think that's better than watching two guys
circle around the whole round "looking for an opening"
because they are unable to make an opening.

I like the aluminum blades with
light "garden" gloves, primarily to protect from knuckle grating on
the opponents mask.   I think this could actually be reduced
to taping 2-3 finger joints.  Particular and
well-maintained blades should be used.   Once, I was
"stabbed"  by an well-targeted but unmaintained aluminum
blade in the torso.   I neglected to care for the skin break,
which broke into an itchy infection.  So, at my GFC sparring
activity, we use blades covered with the clear car door
protectors available from Kragen auto supplies.  This
suggestion was made by Bob Burgee at Edges2.  It's
harder to cover the shorter blades, so choose
models with rounder edges and sand off the burrs
before bouts. I use a Black&Decker Mouse electric sander.

Without hand padding, I will caution that one can
break hand bones, as I broke my thumb (distal phalanx)
cleanly during a Jacket vs. Edges2 Fighter
fight.  Although I have the bout on video, I am unable
to tell if my thumb broke from my opponent's knife
butt to my fist or from my finger poke to his helmet.
I though I broke/bent my nail during the fight.  After
the swelling subsided in three weeks, I finally had
the thumb x-rayed because it seemed a little crunchy.
Up until the doctor's visit, I really didn't think much
of not being able to close shirt buttons.


Happy slashing,

Gints Klimanis
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Baltic Dog

Go Shin Jutsu Kenpo (Prof. Richard Lewis)
3rd Degree Black Belt Instructor

Bono JKD/Kajukenbo (Prof. John Bono)
Gentlemen's Fighting Club
sting
Power User
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Posts: 289


« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2004, 06:25:01 PM »

>If someone does something completely unrealistic like grabbing a knife >by the blade, the fight should be stopped immediately.

This isn't all that unrealistic.  One can safely grip the flat of the blade from the unsharpend side of a single edged blade.   You can also grab a knife
around the sharp edge of the blade, with the risk of a cut depending on
the quality of your clench (no slide, no cut), the quality of your hand protection and the quality of the knife edge (sharp, angle).  Every now and then, you meet a man with a hand grip like a vise.   They can pull these moves off more effectively.

Gints
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Baltic Dog

Go Shin Jutsu Kenpo (Prof. Richard Lewis)
3rd Degree Black Belt Instructor

Bono JKD/Kajukenbo (Prof. John Bono)
Gentlemen's Fighting Club
sting
Power User
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Posts: 289


« Reply #9 on: June 23, 2004, 06:40:10 PM »

Here are some suggestions for multiple man knife fights that I've
tested in my GFC sparring nights.  The additional distractions
give the knife fight a purpose other than a simple duel.

1) Four players on two teams.  Only one player on each
team has a knife.  Short knives work better here.  The
armed man assumes the job of protecting his unarmed buddy.

2) Three players: two unarmed vs. one armed.
A long knife works better here.

3) Serial attacker:  one knifer gets a new opponent
every ten seconds.

4) Armed+unarmed  vs.   2 armed/unarmed
In this case, you are defending yourself and an unengaging
buddy.  I haven't actually tried this combo yet.

5) Fighting around an obstacle, any type of fight.
Any knife combination.   In the past, I've dragged the
150 lb Green man dummy heavy bag into the middle of the
floor.

6) Home intruder:  single or team fighting to gain ground
I tried this in a one car garage with the home access being
a single door.   Defender(s) prevent the offender(s) from
gaining ground.   At the Gathering, add cones or heavy bags to
mark the path.

I'll write up some more when I get a chance,

Gints Klimanis
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Baltic Dog

Go Shin Jutsu Kenpo (Prof. Richard Lewis)
3rd Degree Black Belt Instructor

Bono JKD/Kajukenbo (Prof. John Bono)
Gentlemen's Fighting Club
Sheep Dog
Frequent Poster
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Posts: 68


« Reply #10 on: June 23, 2004, 07:15:35 PM »

I think viewing each encounter as abunch of shorter knife encounters is more realitistic.

We cannot judge what is or is not a kill shot.

Since the gathering is not a sport but an entirely different animal I suggest we donh't use sport rules such as points, judges or referees.

It is up to us to look at the encounters we are in and judge ourselves. Yes some people will be delusional and walk away dismissing every hit they took, but that it par for the course.

I look forward to seeing everyone there.

Marc Scott
Floro Fighting Systems/KI

http://www.stick-and-knife.com
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-Never Mistake Patience and Tolerance for Weakness-
milt
Frequent Poster
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Posts: 75


« Reply #11 on: June 23, 2004, 07:28:16 PM »

Quote from: sting
>If someone does something completely unrealistic like grabbing a knife >by the blade, the fight should be stopped immediately.

This isn't all that unrealistic.  One can safely grip the flat of the blade from the unsharpend side of a single edged blade.   You can also grab a knife
around the sharp edge of the blade, with the risk of a cut depending on
the quality of your clench (no slide, no cut), the quality of your hand protection and the quality of the knife edge (sharp, angle).  Every now and then, you meet a man with a hand grip like a vise.   They can pull these moves off more effectively.

Gints


I was thinking more of newbies that just grab the blade and try to wrestle it away from you.  In reality there'd be a bunch of vienna sausages on the floor.

-milt
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slider
Newbie
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Posts: 2


« Reply #12 on: June 26, 2004, 10:38:03 AM »

Similarly to what has already mentioned:

1 on 3, with the attacker armed, two guards and a VIP that has to be brought to the other side of the room

2 on 3, where weapon distribution is assymetrical

1 on 1, blades holstered, beginning in a clinch position

I know what I'm suggesting isn't purely in the spirit of what has often come before during the Gatherings I've seen, but it may inject a level of realism that seems to be desired i.e. a move away from the knife-boxing phenomena.

Then again, the above scenarios may be something that detracts from the focus of many fighters on the stick.

*shrug*

I look forward to seeing all of you there.

Cheers,

steve
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Tiny
Guest
« Reply #13 on: June 28, 2004, 12:45:09 PM »

Quote
1 on 3, with the attacker armed, two guards and a VIP that has to be brought to the other side of the room

2 on 3, where weapon distribution is assymetrical

1 on 1, blades holstered, beginning in a clinch position

I know what I'm suggesting isn't purely in the spirit of what has often come before during the Gatherings I've seen, but it may inject a level of realism that seems to be desired i.e. a move away from the knife-boxing phenomena.


I think these are great ideas, despite the small aversion I have to role-playing (some role-playing has the potential to end up in pseudo- weekend commando BS).  I think one of the issues with some knife rounds not being taken seriously is the lack of focus/objective.  If one's objective is simply to hit the opponent, then, consciously and subconsciously,  the moment a first strike connects, the objective has been met, even if adrenaline keeps you striking and dodging.  Perhaps if an objective beyond the physical fight itself were established (or certain individuals deemed instigators, etc.), some fighters who engage in the boxing mentality might become more aware of dangerous habits, since in order to finish a particular objective, they would first be required to survive initial conflict.   I've had this conversation with a few fighters (some who do DB), and we think it would be interesting to try beyond our little MA enclave. My above post was a hint in that direction. Stupid?  Maybe.  Maybe not.  *shrug*

Unarmed vs knife is particularly interesting; I think unarmed vs stick would be worthwhile as well (beyond just stick loss).

I'm not sure that 3-2-1 was well-employed by all fighters.  Well, for this time around, at least we were all reassured that Marc Denny knows how to count backwards, even if nobody else does.   wink
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