No styles, no systems, no rituals, no lineages, no masters, no labels, no belts, no katas, no uniforms, no dogmas;

Only the process of self actualization & personal expression of truth through functional combative movement and fitness.

On a purely physical level, we share how to individually and collectively use all of our natural tools as well as extended ones, offensively and defensively in a strategic and tactical manner and in all ranges of combat.

We're put through functional physical fitness training where we learn to push ourselves through our own perceived limitations. We also have much to offer on nutrition, health and optimum performance.

On a more cerebral level we learn about the psychology of violence, fear, stress & confrontation management skills, deescalation strategies and holistic survival tactics.

As the mind navigates the body; by challenging personal self defense dogmas and individual & core belief systems, personal growth and evolution occurs.

On a human level, we learn about the ripple effect and the moral, legal, and ethical consequences of our chosen actions while self examining our darkest emotions. We are encouraged to question everything, to learn to think for ourselves, to be more accountable and research everything we learn and to be open and responsive to life without judgment.

On a personal level, the training can make you face and slay your own demons.

Everything shared here is highly encouraged to be individually researched, to “absorb what is useful, add what is specifically of your own and disregard the rest.”

Thursday, January 13, 2011

PART 2 of 'The How To's of Realistic Scenario Replication'

The Formula

How to replicate a scenario in training? Most think that because they swear at each other a few times prior to fighting all out that they are scenario-based training.  Scenario replications require much more than that.  In a real fight, there are several variables and affecting factors that can and will alter the results and chosen actions of the situation. The affecting factors are, as follows and in no particular order:

Time: The specificity of the time of day/night in which the scenario takes place makes a difference. Take the following example for instance: 
It’s 6:30 in the morning and you just woke up seconds ago from a short night’s sleep.  You hear the garbage truck outside your house and realize you forgot to take the trash out last night and it is piling and smelling up the environment.  You rush to take the trash out and as you do, one of the bags slips out of your hand onto the pavement and tears open in front of the garbage men.  This pisses off the garbage man who has been working since 5am to pick up trash and he gets off his truck mouthing off at you then shoves you hard in the chest threatening to kick your butt. 

Considering the time of day, the way you feel, your state of mind and the fact that you are in your robe and haven’t yet had your first cup of java, how do you honestly think you will react in that particular moment? A take down perhaps? A chin jab?  Doubtfully.  Chances are, you are exhausted, the light of day is affecting your eyesight and you never even saw the shove coming.

The primary attack on an individual is a behavioral one; the second portion of the attack is a psychological one.  The last phase of an attack is a physical one.

Let’s take the exact same scenario with the garbage man and change the time frame.  

It’s 5pm and you just got home after an intense training session/workout, you’re in your gym clothes and preparing to make a protein shake to replenish yourself.  As you’re preparing the shake, feeling good about your training and still pumped on the endorphins, you hear the garbage truck approaching your home and you realize you forgot to take the trash out this morning and it is piling and smelling up the environment.  You rush to take the trash out and as you do, one of the bags slips out of your hand onto the pavement and tears open in front of the garbage men.  This pisses off the garbage man who has been working since 5am to pick up trash and he gets off his truck mouthing off at you then shoves you hard in the chest threatening to kick your butt.

Considering the time of day, the way you feel and your state of mind at this particular time, how do you honestly think you will react in that particular moment? You may be a little more tactical and aware then the previous scenario and your reaction will probably be completely different.

Emotional State of mind: How you feel in the moment will also affect and predetermine your reaction both behaviorally and physically.  

For instance: it's a beautiful day outside, you're on your way to your boy/girlfriends place to pick them up and go cash in on your winning lottery ticket. You just received a call and got promoted with a raise on your job and you’re heading out to your brand new convertible to pick up your mate.  Suddenly, some guy bumps into you by mistake, turns around and shoves you asking you what your problem is.  What's your response? 

Before you immediately respond, it’s important to adopt the frame of mind you would really be in, in the situation described above.  Don’t just blurt out your answer.  Think about it, feel it.

Now, let's take this exact same day but change it around a little bit.  It's pouring rain outside. You’re sprinting to go put the top on your brand new, unpaid convertible, your mate just left you for your best friend and you just received a call from your boss firing your ass. You’re extremely pissed about this because you've lost your winning lottery ticket to boot.  Same guy bumps into you, turns around and shoves you asking you what your problem is.  Now what's your response going to be?

The point is this; if your techniques are memorized and take to much time to learn, when your natural human emotions will kick in, your instinctive reaction will not be to drop into a stance and perform an elaborate technique.  The way you would act, or should we say, ‘react’, to the first incident would highly differ in the way you would react in the second scenario.

Physical Well Being & Limitations: Since our opponent/attacker will always choose the time and place of the assault, our physical well being may not always be at 100% during that unfortunate moment.  So it is important to 

A) replicate an injury or altered state


B) train safely when we are not feeling 100%.

For example: in replicating an injury or altered state, we have often (responsibly) gotten our students to drink alcohol (those that are occasional or frequent drinkers) prior to training.  Another thing we do is tie up one of their arms in a sling, have them carry a baby, put thumbtacks in their shoes to replicate a swollen or bad ankle or foot.  The thumbtacks stops them from putting their weight on that foot therefore forcing them to go through the scenario with a bad leg, figuring out how they’d move, react, etc. in order to create the proper mental blue prints.  Be creative in replicating these dis-eases.
Another thing we encourage the students to do is to train when they’re sick with a cold or the flu (providing of course it isn’t a serious sickness that requires immediate medical attention or hospital stay). This is encouraged to do because it’s imperative to establish what our capabilities are during this state of being at the moment.  One of the things I also do personally is when I get up in the middle of the night to go for a glass of water or a leak J, I enter my living room area and start shadow fighting to see how I would perform if I were ever to be surprised by a break in my home while asleep.

Remember, the attack will rarely take place as you are exiting the gym.

Clothing and Environment: I kept these together because they are interrelated.  We dress according to our environment and what we wear and where we are also predetermines how we act, react etc.  For instance:

Environment: The environment: A movie theater line up.  You’re in line at a movie theater, you’re with your ‘better half’ J and a couple of ego jock type cocky punks are being loud, rude and disrespectful in general.  They turn their attention to your companion and completely dismiss your existence.  Your surrounding include 40 to 50 people (potential witnesses), and extreme close quarters situations. You try to get their attention and they give it to you, one of the guys shoves you hard and you trip and fall into another couple who are standing next to you.  The male of the other couple gets pissed and shoves you off of him. The situation just worsened. What is your reaction?

Clothing: You’re taking a long winter snowshoe walk with your better half.  Hand in hand, it’s a nice but very cold day.  You’re wearing many layers of clothing, snow shoes (rackets on your feet) gloves, boots, snow pants, winter jacket, the works… three guys who are ski-doing see the both of you and decide to stop and harass you.  “Hey buddy, this is private property you’re walking on” they laugh as they tell you this.  You politely apologize and tell them you will be walking off their land and that you didn’t know but they tell you that it isn’t that simple, that you will have to sit there and watch them pleasure your girlfriend… what do you do? 

Clothing and environment will play a part in affecting outcome, strategy, tactical implementation and physical tools.  If these things are not taken into consideration, you will not be able to access the strategic or physical tools necessary because you have never mentally blueprinted any resolutions with the present variables.

For example: What’s the difference between a shove and a double leg take down, jab and/or Thai kick? Take a moment to think about this prior to reading on and see what you come up with as an answer.

The answer is the body language and behavioral delivery prior to the initial assault. The shove will land; the 'martial technique' for the most part may not due to familiarity of the launching pad. Again, sparring isn’t fighting.

When sparring, we are in fighting stances.  What is the first thing we do when sparring or sport fighting? We touch gloves then step back in a chosen fighting stance dictated by our style or system creating distance and begin to circle each other, strategizing our offensive while aware of our defensive maneuvering.   Therefore the launching pad for the technical tools are familiar and therefore, generally telegraphic to a certain extent through familiar body language.

The shove on the other hand, will be initiated from natural stances, delivered from a behavioral point which will primarily attack the mind triggering emotional inertia and for the most part, followed by a non technical fast and very aggressive hay maker/tackle/sucker punch that looks nothing like the fine motor skill of a boxing punch or a grappling clinch. It is the preceding initiating aspects of the confrontation (a real confrontation), which are forever present yet not dealt with nor found in any of the majority of martial art systems and styles.

Martial technical applications are obvious fighting gestures. The delivery system, contrary to common and popular belief perpetuated by sport fighters is not the same in the street as it is in the ring. There are similarities and over laps but the differences are strong and present enough to trigger a variety of emotions and drastically change the outcome.

The problem is that most systems and styles start the defense from the physical point of the attack where fights/confrontations begin much earlier. The foundation of your confidence lies in your ability to deal with the behavioral element prior to the physical contact. If every defensive maneuvers you train begins physically, it is very likely you will predispose yourself to wait for the completion of the attack in the street. If you don’t think of doing it in training, what makes you think you will do it for real under the stress, adrenaline and emotional inertia of the situation? A real fight carries with it a reason. If that 'reason' isn't identified, analyzed and strategize then you're missing 90% of the fight and are training only for 10%.

The idea is in creating a formula that will permit you to authenticate the theoretical self-defense aspects of whatever style or system you study within a non-consensual yet safe training paradigm. Will your physical arsenal coincide with the situation you are facing?

Through experience and years of researching violence and how fights begin and evolve, we have created a step-by-step process (formula) that allows you to experience the emotional and behavioral elements as well as the physical variables of a real assault.


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