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Messages - James Struthers

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Checking to see who is currently active in the Tacoma, Olympia, Seattle area in Washington.  Mixed background.  Looking to revive some skills and hang with some guys that appreciate the fine art of stick-wielding.

Thanks your your replies to my question.  They really helped me get my head around some issues that I had been wondering about with respect to how the DB operates. 

@Guide Dog. "Again, not to be a "tough guy", but to be in that elite number, and be able to bring that self-discovery to my life, my family, my classroom (I teach high school), and my martial arts students."

Top flight attitude, man.  I really respect and share your ethic in this regard.  I think that it is often misconstrued that folks fight  to "beat the other guy" or to "be tough".  For me it was always about finding and testing yourself against the best opponent (and friend) that could be found.  Sort of a journey where you find out many unexpected things about yourself through fighting.  The fight is not as important as what you take away from it (especially the win/loose part).  Think it is similar, if not identical, to religion in that regard.

Your post reads as though the whole thing worries you....I mean...REALLY worries you...

"Even with a light stick, ribs and arms will break"  you wrote WILL break, not MAY break...

Then you wrote "...the incapacitating target of the upper hip..."

Incapacitating ?  Really ? 

If you believe that the human body is that weak, then in my opinion, your experience will mirror your belief.  I myself am only about 72 kilos and not that sturdy.  At the last Gathering, I had bruises that swelled up considerably.  But I never let all that worry me.  My only concern is being able to fight at the next Gathering, and doing well enough for me to be happy with myself.

In short, I do not believe that the human body is weak; it is capable of feats that are borne in dreams. It does however have some structural limits.  And no, the thought of injury does not particularly concern me.  As Guide Dog pointed out in his constructive reply, adrenaline takes care of most immediate pain issues, leaving only the problem with blows that are hard enough to injure or cause a shock-like response.  Other injuries heal with time.  I am more curious about how injuries are managed to the point that you can continue to train, assuming you fight one or two days a week.  Not to mention how many three-weapon masks you go through in regular training  :-).

In reading your reply, I think you might have some presumptions regarding experience in this matter.  In fact, my experience does mirror my beliefs (and the reverse is true) on this issue.  Power generation to accomplish what I described is simply not a problem.  Your experiences in not being able to generate it may mirror your belief that it is not common or possible (certainly not my problem).  And yes, a well placed blow to the hip will put you in bed (as in can't rise) for about a day.  So I consider that incapacitating.

And to bjung;  your response really helped me get my head around the subject.  Your description of the general ethic was quite clear.  Thanks for that.

Anyway, thanks again for the replies.  While our experiences may differ in some regards, I do respect all you insights and perspective.  Hope to meet some of you in the future.

While I understand the emphasis on active head protection ( as it is easily the best target), a strike to the head is typically followed by a cross-over to the upper ribs or another target of opportunity.  Even with a light stick, ribs and arms will break.  Not to mention the incapacitating target of the upper hip (the body can not move to escape the force of impact).  This can land you several days of not being able to get out of bed.  How do folks deal with this? 

All of this is viewed in the light of, once you step up, your personal safety is not ( and should not be) a concern of your adversary.  Your own safety must be your concern.  Footwork will do a lot, I agree; but at the end of the match, one of the combatants must go down.  My question is more along the lines of how this is done so that everyone can walk away from it massive medical expenses.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Guro Crafty in Seattle April 16-17
« on: March 07, 2011, 07:37:39 PM »
Am also up in Cascadia and would love some information on this event.  I think that I have to see what you guys are doing IRL to achieve a full understanding.  Feel free to forward information to if it pleases you.

Martial Arts Topics / Damage Potential of Stick -vs- Light Protection
« on: March 07, 2011, 07:05:39 PM »
Searched through the topics and did not see this one out there.  My past experience in full-contact fighting with sticks led to a pretty healthy respect for the weapon.  It is elegant, fast, agile, and capable of delivering and focusing force with extreme efficiency.  I remember some time ago reviewing the series 1 vids with a sparring partner and we both left with the same thought;  why are not more folks severely maimed or flat-out killed given the extremely light gear that you guys wear?

I definitely admire the work that the Dog Brothers have done but still look at this issue with some degree of wonder.  Even with a relatively light (3/4" to 1" x 30") stick, I am pretty sure my buddy could fold a three-weapon mask around my face like it was a wet-paper towel with a simple jab.  Even with splinted body armor, broken ribs, separated cartilage, and sternal dislocations are not too hard to accomplish.  When you add to the list the all too common fractured ulna/fingers/stripped thumbs and concussions that occur when using MUCH heavier armor, I have to ask how folks deal with this.

I am in no way trying to be provocative with this question, but am seriously interested in how many serious (like hospitalized) injuries occur during your guy's work.  It is a bit hard for me to get my head around a low-incidence of crippling injury in lightly protected stick fighting.  If I were facing some of the folks I used to spar with as lightly protected as you guys seem to go, it seems probable that one of us would leave the fight on a gurney and the other would likely have broken bones.

Interested in any feed back or comment on this issue.

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