Friday, June 26, 2009

Real fights and "Complex movements"

Here in my time in the states I have found most people believe that the concept that the simpler movement is the most effective movement. That many movements take to long or are too complex to remember in a real fight when your full of adrenaline. It is true that in a fight you don't have much time to think about a movement or you will freeze. However this has nothing to do with the complexity of the technique, but rather its related to how familiar you are with the technique. Also don't believe that when your adrenaline kicks in you will become some kind of werewolf with no mind at all. In fact you must always be keenly aware and mindful of your surroundings at all time. Where is your opponent? How many people might get involved once it begins? Where are my exits? How can I use the environment to my advantage? These are all things that must be immediately evaluated before your fray begins.

As for which techniques are going to be most effective, it's going to be the techniques that you have practiced the most. Muscle memory is developed after doing movements thousands and thousands of times. So at the time that you are in a battle everything should be second nature and nothing should seem complex.

Actually you can see how muscle memory works in sports. If you play basketball all the time you don't have to think about the rules. No matter how intense the game is or how much adrenaline you have going on both sides you can't just pick up the ball and start running. You have to obey the rules of the game at all times just as you have to obey the rules of your art at all times. Is Kobe Bryant thinking about dribbling while he is playing? Or is he thinking about the open opportunity. Most people don't practice as much as Kobe at basketball and may have to think about things such as passing, dribbling and shooting. A movement like passing behind the back would seem foolish for someone who has not mastered the basic passing. This is also the case with martial arts. Just remember how many thousands of years have been spent to perfect the martial arts . There is nothing that is designed to be "flashy". It is only arrogance to believe that in your short life span you can develop something better than what has already been refined for generations. This includes Bruce Lee who even though is the greatest hero of martial arts. Even after he developed his own style, he could never beat his master.

My advice is to make sure that you can do all of your techniques in real time. Have your friend start punching at you slow while you perform the counter. Do it over and over, faster and faster. Do it everyday with the same technique for a month, a year, a decade. I promise you that movement will be effective no matter how complex it may seem.

In the end I hope that all of you can understand when it is time to fight. When someone disrespects you? Betrays you? Steals your girl? Takes your money?
Of course it is up to ones own discretion to decide whether or not this is the time. When I was younger I used to fight a lot more over many different situations. As I grew wiser I was able to realize the unfairness of the situation. Even though this guy is bigger than me, stronger than me or even has friends with him, it is still unfair. I spend all of my time understanding the weak points in the body. Thousands of techniques a day trying to develop the most power and speed that is possible. Maybe this guy did call me a nigger. Maybe I do have the right to respond with force. But in the end he is only trying to fight with me because he is ignorant. No matter how angry or crazy someone is, they cannot overpower the physics of martial science. You should consider your art the same as carrying around a gun. Would you pull out your gun for any argument that you had at a bar? The techniques that you may be fiddling around with are the same ones that were used in the battle fields of China to kill thousands of soldiers. Make sure you weigh out your options.


josh said...

Great article. I hope that you continue to update this blog even though you are going back to Taiwan.

Best of luck in the future

Morgan said...

Fox I love your ideas and to read your exploration of Bagua, but I've got to disagree with you here.

Freezing isn't a result of having to think about your moves. It's a combination of shock, fear, confusion, and adrenaline.

I can cite my resources for you if you want, but in the interest of space let me just refer to a few things:

1. Interviews with assault and rape victims showed that the universal reaction to the beginning of the attack was disbelief. "I can't believe this is happening," was the most common thing these people thought.

2. We are neurologically wired to flinch in reaction to a physical threat.

3. Adrenaline and stress inhibit your fine motor skills. There are cases of people unable to call 911 in the heat of the moment. Their inability to push the buttons wasn't because they had to think about the technique, it is because your body behaves differently under stress with adrenaline. You simply lose the ability to hit pressure points and snag fingers.

The body is physically wired a certain way, reflexes and instincts go back farther than any martial art.

Warren Fox said...

Thank you for your insite on that Morgan. Of course there is a lot more to a real heat of the moment event than just practice. I guess it in addition to my training I have also been forced to undergo extreme events from an early age. So maybe I am in part contaminated by battle. How would you suggest an ordinary person overcome the possibility of freezing?