Last night I got a good dose of testosterone watching a couple episodes of “The Ultimate Fighter” and reading up about 80’s action movies. In The Ultimate Fighter, a good boxer went up against a good grappler with no real ability to defend himself from takedowns or how to defend himself on the ground. The sad thing is, he chose to fight the grappler as an ego thing. Good one.
While reading a fun review of Bloodsport, I got to looking into Frank Dux, who was the central character of the movie, and who probably made the whole story up. Bullshido.net has taken a look. He’s interesting because he claims to have studied Ninjutsu from a neighbor nobody can seem to find evidence of, and that he brought Ninjutsu to America.
The more I study in martial arts, the more certain I am that once you have a solid foundation in body movement and basic attacks, it really comes down to who is more willing to do grievous damage, and accept damage in return to win the fight. Fighting people who are disconnected from the consequences of the fight is a scary situation to be in.
Part of why I decided to study Ninjusu was that I wanted to be able to control fighters without necessarily causing them permanent damage, and if necessary, remove their ability to fight before they can cause much damage. But this is really just the physical side of things.
More important by far I think is discovering people’s motivations for violence and finding ways to remove those motivations before, during and after a fight. The most practical manifestation of this is evidenced in women’s self defense courses, where it is often advocated to just cause massive trauma right from the start. This doesn’t usually take a whole lot of training, just a little knowledge and the proper mindset and motivation to do so. The reason it works well is that it destroys the attackers will to fight as the defender is obviously more invested in winning the fight than the attacker is. Often times attackers are looking for low energy investment on easy targets. When the stakes go up, they will often back out.
There are many more subtle tactics for removing fight motivations based in psychology that are really under studied and under taught, often reserved for black belts, and considered almost pseudo spiritual, dealing with interrupting intent or chi.
I have a lot to write about this, but I don’t know if I could formulate my current thoughts into something coherent or interesting.
I guess the reason I’m thinking about this is that I’m constantly frustrated by the egos in the martial arts, and the huge amount of frauds. When it comes right down to it, I think most people could competently defend themselves from most hand to hand attacks with a year or so of training. Bring a knife or gun into it, and I’m not sure than any amount of training would be significantly better than running away or just crazy-assed untrained animal self-preservation. I’d love to see survival rate statistics for gun and knife victims both martial trained and normal. I’d be willing to bet that it’s a very minor difference.
Also, I’ve seen competent martial artists get badly beaten by people who were simply more nasty, not necessarily better fighters. I think a lot of martial artists are fooling themselves about the reality of fight situations.
Anyway, I guess the point here is that most fighters just need to get over themselves and realize that good fighters get beat up all the time, sometimes by people who aren’t even trained fighters. And some martial artists really need to reflect on why they’re in the dojo. What is it they really want from their training?