Saturday, June 17, 2017

Lure him in close.....

                                               Lure him in close....  then unleash Hell!!!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Why is our 'Reality Filter' so thick?

I've been asked lately why I am so quick to dismiss various "self defense techniques" that often receive praise on the internet.  Well, allow me to explain...

Mia is one half of Senshido CT.  She stands 5'2" tall and weighs in at 97 lbs.  I am the other half.  I am 5'8" and weigh approximately 195 lbs.  I weigh twice what she does and can bench three times her weight.  I can literally stand straight, grab her bent elbows, curl her, press her all the way until my arms are straight and then throw her across a room.  Yes, I've done it.  Fear not, she landed safely on our new memory foam mattress....

We try the various techniques that are posted online.  We test them.  We push the boundaries most can't or won't.  Our relationship is based on love and trust so we can go harder and further with said techniques.  We've both experienced the ferocity of street violence and know the energy involved when it's for real.

So, one particular technique that got our attention and we tried was the 'prayer'.  Basically, as it was portrayed in the video while a female is on her back being straddled and choked by an attacker, she is to put her hands in a position like she's praying and thrust them up towards her head.  This will break the attacker grip we're assured by the 'instructor' in said video.  Without me even applying a choking grip around Mia's throat, she didn't have the upper body strength to move my arms.  But that wasn't good enough for Mia, no.........  She insisted we try again with more realism.   This time I actually applied pressure to her carotid arteries ( while being careful to not crush her trachea ).  She barely managed to get her arms between mine before she started to go limp.  Mia would have better off just praying had it been for real.  Hmm.....    but the instructor said it would work......

We also tested a rear naked choke defense we saw online.  Mia got me in the RNC and gave me some pressure.  I was able to peel her arm back enough to say "now really sink it in"...  An instant later I tapped and she immediately released....  but it was too late.  ' Head, this is Wall.  Wall, this is Head.  You two should talk....... oh, it would appear you've already met. '   Yeah, I woke up on the floor and now have a taping project to do from the dent in the shape of my forehead in the sheet rock.

Our 'reality filter' is based on our weight and strength differences ( although sometimes they don't really matter ). I'm not saying we ( or anybody ) have all the answers.  I am saying we push the material through said filter before dismissing it.  Anything less is a disservice to those we train.

                                                                    Drywall vs. Head.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Pressure testing......

A post by Senshido Connecticut's better half:

The concept of "pressure testing"....... Let me address this. There are those of you who may or may not have experienced the receiving end of what would be considered a violent attack. No judgment. There are those of you who may or may not have been involved on training that was "hard core" and it may have ended in bruises and lumps, and scratches and other injuries that you may or may not have bragged about the next day as "training injuries" ..... TRAINING injuries. The thing that is usually lacking is during training is INTENT. Intent makes all the difference in the world. And true "pressure testing" can only come from the actual defense against intent. I have met people whose training I respect to some extent, that has resulted in injuries.... Long term injuries. Scars, bruises, ego, and questions about their training..... Did I mention EGO???!?!? Yes.... Ego. A person's ego comes to defend a defensive method/ concept that they believe works. YAY! But under pressure, does it really work? I thought I had something that worked at one point in my life.
I thought I had an effective method of self defense. TKD. Fancy and pretty....... In theory.  Hollywood quality moves..  ya should have seen me.....   Now in reality? Sure, I managed to "disengage" from my attacker, but what I got in return? Punched in the mouth. And in the face. And in the gut. And again in the face. And then? I was raped. Savagely. I was a teenager, thanks for asking.
Why am I so aggressively attacking those who put up videos of things that they believe work so well against attacks? Think about this. I am a woman, standing 5'2", weighing in at a whopping 97 lbs. FEAR ME!!!!!!!!!! Yeah........ no. Sure, there are those of you who can probably make half of those cool looking things work for you (and by "half" I'm being generous. VERY generous....... ). But the reality? Can you tell me that intent doesn't make all the difference in the world? If you say "no" you're an idiot. No offense, but get over yourselves. If you refuse to actually "pressure test" your material, I don't want to know. "Intent" is difficult to express when "training", I get that. But don't try and tell me that if "attacked by XY, and you should defend with AB" because I will shut your shit down. Anything that is dictated or choreographed does not show reality. And it is NEVER that pretty or well rehearsed or fluid. EVER.
So I had Rick "pressure test" certain of concepts that we have come across in our news feed on Face Book. Every time I tried, I failed. Hard. Don't get me wrong. I would have hurt him badly if he didn't go as hard as he could have without permanently injuring me. If he had gone harder, I may or may not have been writing this from hospital. All good. I can trust him to go almost full power, at full speed, "with intent" in order to pressure test some of these things.  His intent is not to damage me ( although it will hurt )... his intent is to have me / the 'technique', FAIL.
I'm not trying to be an absolute jerk by shutting down these "concepts" or "techniques" that people LOVE to show off, but if it doesn't work for someone my size, against someone three times my size or weight, I don't want to know.  I will continue to question all of it. Judge me if you like, but know that I will be judging just as hard, if not harder. WAY harder in fact. Because I WILL be "pressure testing" these things as hard a I can handle, in order to be able to say, "yeah..... It works...." OR "Nope..... It's bullshit!"

And if / when we find it to be bullshit.....  don't expect us to be quiet about it.  There is simply too much at stake.......

Monday, January 20, 2014

What to wear... What to wear?.....

Ring.....  Ring....... Ring......

"Thank you for calling Senshido Connecticut. This is Rick, how can I help you?"

Hi Rick, my name is Judy and I'd like to sign up for the seminar in February.  Any spots left?

"Sure thing Judy, there's a couple left. Consider yourself signed up".

Great!  I'm very new to this. What should I wear?

"Whatever you normally wear during your day to day activities.  Better yet, go into your closet and find that outfit you'd normally wear to work but that stain didn't come out, or it's getting dated....."

You want me to train in work clothes?

It's just a suggestion.  We keep our training as realistic as possible.  Work clothes can really change the way you can move simply because they're not cut to move.  You need to ask yourself  'am I most likely going to be attacked when I'm lounging around my house in sweatpants and a t-shirt, or coming out of work to a dark parking lot'.

You don't fool around, do you?

Not when it comes to quality training and the safety of my students I don't..........

Wow.  See you in February.

                                     Great outfit,  but it can be a real handicap during a struggle.
                                     Better find out how it's going to affect your efforts in training........

This applies across the board, not just for office workers.  Sadly, I see it happen in the law enforcement community as well.  Cops show up to train in, well....  training clothes.  I recommend they get back into their uniforms, including their duty belts and body armor.  I get told "but the pants aren't cut for fighting".... yup.  And "someone could get stuck by the badge, pins, pens and other stuff on our shirts".....  uh -huh. My typical response is  'Look guys, you didn't get to pick your uniform, but it's your responsibility to learn to make it work for you.  Let's do this...'.

Keep it real my friends, keep it real.......

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Just a little explanation of some of the what's, how's, and why's of the R.E.A.C.T. concept.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Filter your methods.

When considering the various ways you can counter a violent physical assault it's both logical and practical to assume your attacker will possess some type of advantage over you. Therefor it is imperative to filter the techniques and concepts you train in through that assumption. Simply put, you need to ask yourself if technique or concept 'X' will work for you against a resisting attacker who is larger, stronger or faster than you. Will it work if he is under the influence of alcohol or drugs and thus has an elevated pain tolerance? Will it work if he's armed with a knife or impact weapon, or has an accomplice? No one can answer these questions for you. You must pressure test your methods against live energy and active resistance. Ideally, test them against a training partner who is faster, larger and stronger than you. Perhaps against two partners. Test like your life depends on it because on the street, it does.

Non telegraphic actions.

One of Senshido's five principles is Non Telegraphic Motion.  In essence, it means one should not indicate to your attacker your next 'move'.  A prime example of telegraphic motion is chambering ( cocking ) your limb before striking.  You can blast an eye jab, palm strike, elbow or knee into your opponent from it's current location ( within range ) with impressive results.  Pulling back ( chambering ) so the strike travels a few extra inches betrays your intent, thus telegraphing it.  This also violates another principle know as Economic Motion, but I digress......

I'd like to expand on this concept for a moment and illustrate other actions you may take that will unknowingly telegraph your intent.  There are ( especially 'women's self defense ) instructors who teach women to counter a wrist grab by pulling against the weak part of the attacker's grip, while stepping back and shouting 'No'.  Ummm..... Don't do this.  Ever.  Why?  A couple of reasons:  You've challenged his ego, which is never a good move. It is highly unlikely the 'technique' will break his grip.  Even if it does, you'll earn a punch in the face for your efforts. And finally, and perhaps most importantly, you've just announced to him your intent to fight, or at least resist.

Another example of telegraphing your intent is your facial expression during a confrontation.  Your face can be a dead give away that you're going to fight.  I've had students assume a beautiful passive stance, but curl their upper lip, exposing teeth and stare like they were ready, and looked forward too feeding me portions of my own anatomy.  Their bodies said 'passive' and 'afraid'.  Their faces told an entirely different story.  It's far better to look scared, even terrified when using the passive stance.  There is no use in letting the attacker see, before he feels, the warrior inside you!

Throughout history, be it a war between nations or one on one combat, surprise has won more battles than overwhelming force.  The great Chinese general Sun Tzu once said " All warfare is based on deception ". Be the tiger, pounce from ambush. Employ non telegraphic action and keep surprise on your side.
Not this.
Not this either.
Much better.