T Nation

Brass Knuckle Technique

Thoughts?

My thoughts:

The good:
-limiting your arsenal to a few “attitude” techniques (as Grandmaster Lewis used to call them) and putting most of your effort into developing them will likely mean a faster road to mastery over practicing tons of techniques randomly (and never really giving any of them enough time or energy).
-gross motor skills are generally quicker to learn, reproduce consistently, and deteriorate less under high stress.
-even though the author didn’t explicitly mention it, the most important thing in that whole article was the part where the would be reader’s mindset switched from one of self doubt to one of confidence that they were going to come out on top (regardless of the brass knuckles that were supposedly slipped into their pocket). It’s the development of the “fighting spirit” (or will to survive if you like) that is going to make the most difference, not the specific tools themselves (even though that is obviously still beneficial and should be a part of any serious RMA or Self Defense oriented person’s training).

The bad:
-limiting yourself to developing just one skill might work well in a sporting or sparring context, but real fights can start at any range (and I personally think his definitions of ranges is too simplified, but whatever) and from any position. So let’s say you spend hours and hours developing your straight right, you get it to the point where you can land it often and accurately during sparring and “put that in your pocket” as your “BKT”. But, one day you are on the beach with your GF/BF relaxing and someone walks over and for whatever reason decides to pick a fight with you. Before you can get up they are on top of you on the ground, wailing away at you, your straight right is pretty much useless from this position, so you’re back at square one (self doubting, without a reliable tool to handle the job). Or the opponent has too much of a reach advantage on you (either they’re much taller, or they have a weapon that extends their reach and you can never get close enough to them to land your straight right. Or you get surprised from behind, or grabbed and clinched at a range where the straight right is ineffective, etc… The point is that no single move works at all ranges from all positions, so you need to develop multiple tools; or better yet, develop multiple arsenals of tools so you can adapt to any range or position quickly.
-there is no mention in the article of ambushing the would be attacker or the tactical advantage that this can provide. I don’t care who you are, if someone strikes you in the eye(s), genitals, liver, solar plexus, heart, chin, or throat when you are completely unprepared for it, it is going to be an effective strike and will probably pave the way to more strikes or facilitate an escape. Ambushing/sucker “punching” (though I don’t like that term, because it doesn’t have to be a punch) can sometimes be problematic from a legal/moral standpoint, so you’ve gotta be pretty sure you are justified in doing it, but tactically it’s probably one of the most effective physical means of ending a “fight”/self defense scenario quickly.

[quote]FightinIrish26 wrote:
Thoughts?
[/quote]

My first thought was “Please, don’t tell me someone is recommending brass knuckles instead of a better, and far more legal weapon.”

Then I clicked the link.

Sento already made good points.

It seems like the author’s take home message is what I would refer to as “skill at arms”. Basically developing your proficiency to the point that when you start your drawstroke you have confidence that “Shit is going to get handled. RIGHT NOW.” It might also be described as “strengthen your strong points”.

Having said that I have a few issues with his analogy to brass knuckles. Skill in using a weapon is a hell of a lot less limited than any given “technique”. So, I don’t think a straight right correlates. Fantastic boxing as a whole would, but not just a few “go to” moves.

Also, brass knuckles are really only tits if the other guy is unarmed. They are also very, very shitty weapons for a “reactive” situation as it takes time to lace your fingers through a set and even so they lack range. They are not what I would pick if I was selling a concept as “self defense”. Brass knuckles are more of a “Lets you and me go commit a felony on that guy.” type of deal as opposed to a “Get the fuck off me” weapon.

Finally, and most vehemently, I really, REALLY, wish the B.S. about “Gross Motor” skills would die.

Regards,

Robert A

Well to be fair gross motor skills are generally more quickly learned, less perishable, and more easily reproduced under high levels of stress, so I can understand why a lot of “self defense” people focus on them. After all, the people that they are likely to be working with (people attending a weekend RAD course, or what have you) are generally not going to put the time and effort into becoming truly skilled Martial Artists/Combat Athletes/Soldiers/LEO’s, and are generally not physically fit. So for these individuals it really does make sense to keep things as dummy proof as possible.

For people who are really serious about learning how to protect themselves though, they will obviously be better off developing some finer motor skills as well as some gross ones. They will have to practice them more (generally the finer the skills the more one is going to have to practice them or the more physically gifted one is going to need to be to pull them off), but given enough training or talent fine motor skills techniques can be just as (if not even more) effective as gross motor skills when it comes to combat.

I get the allure of “gross motor” skills/techniques. I am however, hard pressed to think of any that I would count as being serious fight enders/solutions, and I honestly cannot think of any that would be “brass knuckle effect” great while being:

[quote] Randy LeHaie wrote :
Applicable In All Three Ranges Of Combat: Can your Brass Knuckle Technique be applied effectively at all three ranges of combat: free-standing, grappling and on the ground?[/quote]

Honeslty, I think that the smaller/weaker/less time alloted for training the more we tend to lean on “fine motor skills”, to whatever extent we can really apply that term.

Regards,

Robert A

[quote]Robert A wrote:
I get the allure of “gross motor” skills/techniques. I am however, hard pressed to think of any that I would count as being serious fight enders/solutions, and I honestly cannot think of any that would be “brass knuckle effect” great while being:

[quote] Randy LeHaie wrote :
Applicable In All Three Ranges Of Combat: Can your Brass Knuckle Technique be applied effectively at all three ranges of combat: free-standing, grappling and on the ground?[/quote]

Honeslty, I think that the smaller/weaker/less time alloted for training the more we tend to lean on “fine motor skills”, to whatever extent we can really apply that term.

Regards,

Robert A[/quote]

Again, I don’t like his definitions of ranges, but let’s use it since those are the criteria that he listed.

Here are a few techniques that I would consider highly effective and potentially fight ending that could fit those criteria.
-palm smash and/or crush to the groin (obviously it would have to be the right position in terms of the clinch or on the ground, but I can think of at least a few for each scenario)
-thumbs/fingers to the eyes (while not KO inducing, blindness, maybe temporary maybe not, and intense pain that result from this is generally going to give someone at least a decent head start to allow them to do their best Forrest Gump impersonation)
-knee to the groin (again, the position would have to allow it, but I can think of examples that would fit all three categories)
-headbutt/head ram (yeah, I realize that not a lot of people are going to feel comfortable throwing headbutts, but it still fits the bill of being gross motor and can do significant damage if targeted correctly)

And again, I’m certainly not arguing against learning fine motor skills or their effectiveness.

Robert / Sento,
Really good comments and advise. Both of you do an excellent job on guiding people on this forum. I found your comments on gross / fine motor skills very interesting. I would like to express another side of this equation: mental ablility to act, or, a “combat mindset”.

A case in point: Yesterday, I was conducting a very simple drill, that I just made up on the range. I sometimes make up weird shit to throw off the group and because I am easily bored. It was simple: run 40 yards, deliver 3 knee strikes, run 40 yards, then go to the firing line, assemble a glock pistol (all parts in near order) load 3 rounds and fire into a kill zone at 7 yards. I thought this was easy, but, it turned into a comedy more suited for SNL. They only got this little drill down after about 4 times through.

The point being was this: It was outside their daily training and therfore they could not overcome their apprehension. so, how will they act if ambused in an alley or hit an IED and their leader dies?
I agree with the basic principle of having your favorite “brass kunckle” but, so often, the situation is so outside your realm of training or experience, most will lock up and that means you are dead. I have always believed in having as many arrows in your quiver as possible, when one technique, gross or fine doesnt work,if your weapon jams, if you run dry, you automatically flow into another method of surviving, mental mindset always focused on destroying your enemy.

Maybe we should start a separate conversation on “combat mindset” and see if members would respond on how they mentally deal with a critical situation. sorry., bored this morning, Friday is the worship day over here.

[quote]idaho wrote:
Robert / Sento,
Really good comments and advise. Both of you do an excellent job on guiding people on this forum. I found your comments on gross / fine motor skills very interesting. I would like to express another side of this equation: mental ablility to act, or, a “combat mindset”.
A case in point: Yesterday, I was conducting a very simple drill, that I just made up on the range. I sometimes make up weird shit to throw off the group and because I am easily bored. It was simple: run 40 yards, deliver 3 knee strikes, run 40 yards, then go to the firing line, assemble a glock pistol (all parts in near order) load 3 rounds and fire into a kill zone at 7 yards. I thought this was easy, but, it turned into a comedy more suited for SNL. They only got this little drill down after about 4 times through.
The point being was this: It was outside their daily training and therfore they could not overcome their apprehension. so, how will they act if ambused in an alley or hit an IED and their leader dies?
I agree with the basic principle of having your favorite “brass kunckle” but, so often, the situation is so outside your realm of training or experience, most will lock up and that means you are dead. I have always believed in having as many arrows in your quiver as possible, when one technique, gross or fine doesnt work,if your weapon jams, if you run dry, you automatically flow into another method of surviving, mental mindset always focused on destroying your enemy.
Maybe we should start a separate conversation on “combat mindset” and see if members would respond on how they mentally deal with a critical situation. sorry., bored this morning, Friday is the worship day over here. [/quote]

No need to apologize at all. Combat mindset is a critical aspect of any Martial Art practice (be it sport or street surivival) and something that doesn’t get stressed enough IMO.

I like your drill, it sounds like fun. :slight_smile:

I do similar drills (though not involving assembling, loading, and discharging firearms as I don’t have access to the facilities to do so) with my students (and my instructor has us do similar drills when we higher ranks train together at times) to simulate pressure and/or stress. I’ll also have them do other things like spin around till they’re almost falling down dizzy and then have them perform a technique or defensive skill against an at least semi resisting opponent (their level of experience and skill will determine how much resistance) to simulate being rocked from a (possibly surprise) strike.

And here is something else to try next time you have them do such a drill; give them some reason why they have to complete the skill quickly (or better yet have them select some intimately important motivating circumstances) and have them do the same drill. Now you’ve added an emotional and psychological component to the drill and it’ll feel even more realistic to them.

Sento,

My first reservation about the whole fine vs gross motor skill deal is that those terms have most relevance when discussing developmental neurology/motor control in small children.

However, since the author chose to use them:

[quote]Sentoguy wrote:

Again, I don’t like his definitions of ranges, but let’s use it since those are the criteria that he listed.
[/quote]
Agreed. His definitions don’t exactly blow my skirt up either.

Articulating the fingers around a target/object, that you most likely identified visually, is pretty much the definition of “fine” motor movements. Great technique, but it falls into one of the “fine motor” moves that we tend to lean on.

[quote]
-thumbs/fingers to the eyes (while not KO inducing, blindness, maybe temporary maybe not, and intense pain that result from this is generally going to give someone at least a decent head start to allow them to do their best Forrest Gump impersonation)[/quote]
Again, we are using the hands and fingers for relatively precise actions. This is not “gross motor” by any stretch of the term. As a general rule if an action takes “aiming” or if you would feel hindered by wearing mittens, than it has a “fine” motor component.

[quote]
-knee to the groin (again, the position would have to allow it, but I can think of examples that would fit all three categories)[/quote]
Ok, some might debate this one. I am going to argue a significant “fine” motor component with the knee any ways because you specified a target. Tracking something visually, and then making contact with it generally gets listed out as a “fine” motor skill. If the targeting was “chest”, “gut”, or “head” than we could say this was a “gross” motor skill. I am also not being critical of the whole “aiming” thing. It is damn essential, and I submit that precision is going to be even more important when we find ourselves at a physical disadvantage.

I am going to further submit that it takes a higher degree of proprioception and coordination to hit a small(Ok, here is where you, idaho, and Irish joke about not every groin being small) target with something that isn’t your hand than it does to use your hand. Most people can just touch a doorknob without thinking. Have them use their knee and a certain percentage lapse into tongue out the corner of their mouth levels of concentration. I am sure you have had these folks show up for a class.

Might be the most “gross” motor skill of those listed. However, the aiming thing still may put an asterisk on it.

[quote]
And again, I’m certainly not arguing against learning fine motor skills or their effectiveness.[/quote]
I hope not. I do not disagree with the utility of anything you wrote above. My issues are:

1.) Shoe horning techniques into categories best suited for developmental neuro/pathology

2.) Erroneously claiming the primacy of “gross motor skills”. If that were the case people with Parkinson’s would be wrecking our shit.

If we are using our hands or doing a whole lot of “aiming” than chances are we are using “fine” motor skills. “Fine” motor is not necessarily a synonym for “complicated and difficult to execute” and “gross” does not equal “simple and effective”.

Regards,

Robert A

[quote]idaho wrote:
Robert / Sento,
Really good comments and advise. Both of you do an excellent job on guiding people on this forum. I found your comments on gross / fine motor skills very interesting. I would like to express another side of this equation: mental ablility to act, or, a “combat mindset”.

A case in point: Yesterday, I was conducting a very simple drill, that I just made up on the range. I sometimes make up weird shit to throw off the group and because I am easily bored. It was simple: run 40 yards, deliver 3 knee strikes, run 40 yards, then go to the firing line, assemble a glock pistol (all parts in near order) load 3 rounds and fire into a kill zone at 7 yards. I thought this was easy, but, it turned into a comedy more suited for SNL. They only got this little drill down after about 4 times through.

The point being was this: It was outside their daily training and therfore they could not overcome their apprehension. so, how will they act if ambused in an alley or hit an IED and their leader dies?
I agree with the basic principle of having your favorite “brass kunckle” but, so often, the situation is so outside your realm of training or experience, most will lock up and that means you are dead. I have always believed in having as many arrows in your quiver as possible, when one technique, gross or fine doesnt work,if your weapon jams, if you run dry, you automatically flow into another method of surviving, mental mindset always focused on destroying your enemy.

Maybe we should start a separate conversation on “combat mindset” and see if members would respond on how they mentally deal with a critical situation. sorry., bored this morning, Friday is the worship day over here. [/quote]

That sounds like a great drill, although it would give the range officers a heart attack anywhere I am likely to be at.

A few quick thoughts about mindset vs “the freeze”.

I suspect that rather than trying to never “freeze” we should be trying to “freeze” for less time. I have noticed that unexpected/unusual plus some perceived risk/jeopardy can cause a “freeze” in both violent and situations far removed from violence.

Hell, I have been the one getting vapor lock a bunch of times. In fact, it has happened frequently enough that I am damn near positive it will happen again. I don’t know the circumstance, obviously, but it will happen. I have had better luck focusing on “getting back in the fight” than on “not freezing”. I know several times I have had the “oh shit”/vapor lock reaction, and it seemed like forever to me, and those around me thought that I started acting instantly. Some of these involved violent circumstances, some involved nothing more than being put “on the spot”.

The best advice I ever got on how to deal with this was not given to me by a fighter/trainer, but by one of the best physicians I have ever met, whom I am fortunate enough to be able to call a friend.

[i]He relayed his method of dealing with “nightmare” codes, you walk into a hospital room where the patient is trying to die 19 different ways and also seems to be possessed by a demon (there is always going to be some kind of body fluid) and all the staff is staring at you, that he developed early on as a resident. He would start ordering the tests he knew that he would want. This got him back “in it” at let him start being productive while actually assessing the situation.

Now, I recognize that his situation is a far cry from “combat”. Maintaining “clinical detachment” and being able to think/act decisively is much easier when no one is trying to make you dead and/or pregnant. When the answer to “Is this a matter of life or death?” can be “NOT FOR ME!” there is less an immediate sense of jeopardy and more of a duty/jeopardy of ego thing going on. Still, the idea of focussing on getting back to “doing the damn thing” instead of “don’t freeze” has helped me a lot.[/i]

How I apply this is that I am looking for some kind of familiarity in the chaos.

1)If I cannot perform a familiar action in a familiar/trained for situation than that is proof that my proficiency just isn’t fucking there. Easy answer, get better.

2.)If I freeze/hit vapor lock in a familiar/trained for situation, than something has happened that has made it “less familiar”/not usual (i.e. it was different because_________) This can totally happen, often because of emotional involvement or perceived jeopardy. So, “oh shit I might die” or “That’s _______'s dad!” really changes things. Training/practicing at least part of the time at high stress levels seems to help here. I don’t know if re-creating the actual stress/jeopardy is doable, or even desirable but certainly fatigue, emotional involvement(as Sentoguy already suggested), or pain can elicit the same physiological response.

I know you recognize how important this is, and have written as much multiple times, but we really cannot let simple things like stress/pain/fatigue be unfamiliar enough to turn a trained for event into something different enough to provoke a “freeze”. Fuck that. Too easy to see coming.

One of the greatest “combat mindset” exercises for this category I have ever read/heard of, and honestly I do not know if it is true because I am in the “doesn’t fucking rate”/not in the know category, was “The Test”. As I understand it “The Test” was developed/started for Delta by Larry Vickers and/or Ken Hackethorn and consisted of shooting 10 rounds starting at a low ready, into “the black”(so 5.5") of an NRA B-8 target, at 10 yards, in 10 seconds. It really doesn’t look like it should be all that much for someone as skilled as they were, possibly just a trigger control test. However, the deal/rumor as I understand it was that it was a yes/no eval, and that while you could warm up prior to shooting it, once you announced “I’m doing this” a failure resulted in losing your spot in Delta for some period of time. So there was a lot riding on a test they all could do.

That is skin in the game, and possibly the best, and simplest type of stress inoculation. It would be like a Dr. having to re-take/pass boards every 6 months. Sure there is plenty of margin for error, but the stakes are big enough to make it matter.

3.)If I “freeze”/vapor lock because the situation is unfamiliar than I need to get to familiar. Sort of finding some order in the chaos, or trying to turn infinity into something quantifiable. It sounds like you are training your guys to a level of proficiency so that when they get a master grip on their handgun they know “Problems are going to get solved. NOW!” That makes the 1 count of their draw a path out of vapor lock. Suddenly they are “in the fight”. A boxer, like Irish, might feel the same way about getting in his stance. For defense against criminal assualt a cover position or an irimi(entering technique) with a fairly wide application may suffice, Tony Blaur’s Spear concept is a good example. I would not presume to speak on actual counter-ambush TTP’s, but when I hear things like “get on the gun” as a starting point for the whole base of fire, maneuver, close, destroy idea it seems to fit with what I am trying to convey. Please correct me if I am off.

This is basically the same thing my physician friend was accomplishing. Doing something that you can do, that happens to be useful, can take you out of the “What am I going to do?” category and get you to “I AM doing X, is it working” stage of problem solving.

Just my observations.

DISCLOSURE TO ANY LURKERS/READERS WHO DON’T KNOW: If anything I write is in disagreement with idaho on how to deal with “trying to make you dead or pregnant” levels of violence, than you would do well to heed his advice and eschew mine. I am not paid to go into harms way. I am not tasked with making bad people die bloody or with the training of others to accomplish such.

Regards,

Robert A

[quote]Robert A wrote:
Sento,

My first reservation about the whole fine vs gross motor skill deal is that those terms have most relevance when discussing developmental neurology/motor control in small children.
[/quote]

Understood, the whole distinction gets pretty fuzzy too except for the far ends of the spectrum.

Agreed. His definitions don’t exactly blow my skirt up either.

Articulating the fingers around a target/object, that you most likely identified visually, is pretty much the definition of “fine” motor movements. Great technique, but it falls into one of the “fine motor” moves that we tend to lean on.
[/quote]

Actually I was more so talking about using tactile cues when crushing/ripping at the groin. The initial strike might be visually cued or it might be tactility cued. For instance, if I’m in side control on you, it’s pretty easy to feel where your legs are, even through gloves, and I don’t have to be super accurate to just “hit the one in the middle” (or grab and crush whatever your hand lands on).

Again, not necessarily. Yes, they are finer motor than a knee or headbutt, but all you have to do is grab a hold of someone’s head and find the “soft spots” in the eyebrow bones and you’re at the eyes (or just find the nose and go to the sides). And again, because the eyes are such sensitive targets you only really need to graze, scrape, or lightly poke them to ruin someone’s day. It’s not like say the solar plexus where you need deep penetrating concussive forces to do damage.

Hitting a doorknob with a knee is a little more “fine” and difficult than hitting the groin though. Again, just aim between the legs (you can also actually just aim to hit the inside of the leg and it will guide the knee up to the target, just like you can do with an uppercut on the feet or up kick when on your back to the opponent’s chest which will guide the kick up to the chin).

Might be the most “gross” motor skill of those listed. However, the aiming thing still may put an asterisk on it.
[/quote]
Maybe, maybe not. Pretty easy to just grab the head with the hands to stabilize it and throw away, pretty gross motor. Or pressure a little bit, then pull back and ram from the clinch, or just throw it to pretty much anywhere on the center or the abdomen from someone’s guard, etc… I suppose you could argue that none of these constitute “free standing” (which I assume means no aspect of contact or control), but then it’s a headbutt, you’re going to have to be pretty close to use it due to it’s very nature.

[quote]
And again, I’m certainly not arguing against learning fine motor skills or their effectiveness.[/quote]
I hope not. I do not disagree with the utility of anything you wrote above. My issues are:

1.) Shoe horning techniques into categories best suited for developmental neuro/pathology

2.) Erroneously claiming the primacy of “gross motor skills”. If that were the case people with Parkinson’s would be wrecking our shit.

If we are using our hands or doing a whole lot of “aiming” than chances are we are using “fine” motor skills. “Fine” motor is not necessarily a synonym for “complicated and difficult to execute” and “gross” does not equal “simple and effective”.

Regards,

Robert A[/quote]

I agree, both fine and gross motor skills can be either effective or ineffective and claiming the supremacy of either is erroneous.

Also, technically, according to Franklin M. Henry (considered the “Father of Motor Skills Research”) would classify the vast majority of Martial skills as gross motor skills. Fine motor skills would be things like writing, or playing a wind instrument. Maybe some things like small joint manipulations, some weapons skills and unlocking a car or home dwelling door might be considered fine motor skills that pertain to combat, but most skills, even things like straight punching (a skill that is often touted as a “fine” skill) would technically be more towards the gross side of things as it is dependent upon the use of the whole body and large muscle groups.

I think a better classification as a whole though would be;
-simple vs complex

Both can be effective, but the simple stuff is going to be more quickly taught, while the complex stuff is going to take longer to be able to use effectively.

Not to piss on Irish’s parade or anything, but is there any way we could add ‘combat mentality’ to the title of this thread/create it else where (as has already been suggested)? Some amazing info has already been put out in this thread by you guys who have posted. I’m always learning when you post this sort of stuff, and I know there are guys like Humble, Idaho, Miss Parker who might miss this thread, and end up depriving us of their knowledge. Anything that could be done to add their voices and experience to the discussion would result, I’m sure, in a fantastic resource for us all.

[quote]Robert A wrote:

[quote]idaho wrote:
Robert / Sento,
Really good comments and advise. Both of you do an excellent job on guiding people on this forum. I found your comments on gross / fine motor skills very interesting. I would like to express another side of this equation: mental ablility to act, or, a “combat mindset”.

A case in point: Yesterday, I was conducting a very simple drill, that I just made up on the range. I sometimes make up weird shit to throw off the group and because I am easily bored. It was simple: run 40 yards, deliver 3 knee strikes, run 40 yards, then go to the firing line, assemble a glock pistol (all parts in near order) load 3 rounds and fire into a kill zone at 7 yards. I thought this was easy, but, it turned into a comedy more suited for SNL. They only got this little drill down after about 4 times through.

The point being was this: It was outside their daily training and therfore they could not overcome their apprehension. so, how will they act if ambused in an alley or hit an IED and their leader dies?
I agree with the basic principle of having your favorite “brass kunckle” but, so often, the situation is so outside your realm of training or experience, most will lock up and that means you are dead. I have always believed in having as many arrows in your quiver as possible, when one technique, gross or fine doesnt work,if your weapon jams, if you run dry, you automatically flow into another method of surviving, mental mindset always focused on destroying your enemy.

Maybe we should start a separate conversation on “combat mindset” and see if members would respond on how they mentally deal with a critical situation. sorry., bored this morning, Friday is the worship day over here. [/quote]

That sounds like a great drill, although it would give the range officers a heart attack anywhere I am likely to be at.

A few quick thoughts about mindset vs “the freeze”.

I suspect that rather than trying to never “freeze” we should be trying to “freeze” for less time. I have noticed that unexpected/unusual plus some perceived risk/jeopardy can cause a “freeze” in both violent and situations far removed from violence.

Hell, I have been the one getting vapor lock a bunch of times. In fact, it has happened frequently enough that I am damn near positive it will happen again. I don’t know the circumstance, obviously, but it will happen. I have had better luck focusing on “getting back in the fight” than on “not freezing”. I know several times I have had the “oh shit”/vapor lock reaction, and it seemed like forever to me, and those around me thought that I started acting instantly. Some of these involved violent circumstances, some involved nothing more than being put “on the spot”.

The best advice I ever got on how to deal with this was not given to me by a fighter/trainer, but by one of the best physicians I have ever met, whom I am fortunate enough to be able to call a friend.

[i]He relayed his method of dealing with “nightmare” codes, you walk into a hospital room where the patient is trying to die 19 different ways and also seems to be possessed by a demon (there is always going to be some kind of body fluid) and all the staff is staring at you, that he developed early on as a resident. He would start ordering the tests he knew that he would want. This got him back “in it” at let him start being productive while actually assessing the situation.

Now, I recognize that his situation is a far cry from “combat”. Maintaining “clinical detachment” and being able to think/act decisively is much easier when no one is trying to make you dead and/or pregnant. When the answer to “Is this a matter of life or death?” can be “NOT FOR ME!” there is less an immediate sense of jeopardy and more of a duty/jeopardy of ego thing going on. Still, the idea of focussing on getting back to “doing the damn thing” instead of “don’t freeze” has helped me a lot.[/i]

How I apply this is that I am looking for some kind of familiarity in the chaos.

1)If I cannot perform a familiar action in a familiar/trained for situation than that is proof that my proficiency just isn’t fucking there. Easy answer, get better.

2.)If I freeze/hit vapor lock in a familiar/trained for situation, than something has happened that has made it “less familiar”/not usual (i.e. it was different because_________) This can totally happen, often because of emotional involvement or perceived jeopardy. So, “oh shit I might die” or “That’s _______'s dad!” really changes things. Training/practicing at least part of the time at high stress levels seems to help here. I don’t know if re-creating the actual stress/jeopardy is doable, or even desirable but certainly fatigue, emotional involvement(as Sentoguy already suggested), or pain can elicit the same physiological response.

I know you recognize how important this is, and have written as much multiple times, but we really cannot let simple things like stress/pain/fatigue be unfamiliar enough to turn a trained for event into something different enough to provoke a “freeze”. Fuck that. Too easy to see coming.

One of the greatest “combat mindset” exercises for this category I have ever read/heard of, and honestly I do not know if it is true because I am in the “doesn’t fucking rate”/not in the know category, was “The Test”. As I understand it “The Test” was developed/started for Delta by Larry Vickers and/or Ken Hackethorn and consisted of shooting 10 rounds starting at a low ready, into “the black”(so 5.5") of an NRA B-8 target, at 10 yards, in 10 seconds. It really doesn’t look like it should be all that much for someone as skilled as they were, possibly just a trigger control test. However, the deal/rumor as I understand it was that it was a yes/no eval, and that while you could warm up prior to shooting it, once you announced “I’m doing this” a failure resulted in losing your spot in Delta for some period of time. So there was a lot riding on a test they all could do.

That is skin in the game, and possibly the best, and simplest type of stress inoculation. It would be like a Dr. having to re-take/pass boards every 6 months. Sure there is plenty of margin for error, but the stakes are big enough to make it matter.

3.)If I “freeze”/vapor lock because the situation is unfamiliar than I need to get to familiar. Sort of finding some order in the chaos, or trying to turn infinity into something quantifiable. It sounds like you are training your guys to a level of proficiency so that when they get a master grip on their handgun they know “Problems are going to get solved. NOW!” That makes the 1 count of their draw a path out of vapor lock. Suddenly they are “in the fight”. A boxer, like Irish, might feel the same way about getting in his stance. For defense against criminal assualt a cover position or an irimi(entering technique) with a fairly wide application may suffice, Tony Blaur’s Spear concept is a good example. I would not presume to speak on actual counter-ambush TTP’s, but when I hear things like “get on the gun” as a starting point for the whole base of fire, maneuver, close, destroy idea it seems to fit with what I am trying to convey. Please correct me if I am off.

This is basically the same thing my physician friend was accomplishing. Doing something that you can do, that happens to be useful, can take you out of the “What am I going to do?” category and get you to “I AM doing X, is it working” stage of problem solving.

Just my observations.

DISCLOSURE TO ANY LURKERS/READERS WHO DON’T KNOW: If anything I write is in disagreement with idaho on how to deal with “trying to make you dead or pregnant” levels of violence, than you would do well to heed his advice and eschew mine. I am not paid to go into harms way. I am not tasked with making bad people die bloody or with the training of others to accomplish such.

Regards,

Robert A[/quote]

Great post Robert, thanks for posting.

The “Spear” and “Shield” are both extensions of the natural startle flinch that naturally occurs in us humans as the result of being surprised by an unexpected danger. We cannot override this flinch response, but we can seek to augment it through training. Pretty sure this is also why LEO’s and military are taught to never put their fingers on the triggers of their weapons until they are on target and ready to fire; the startle response will cause an involuntary contraction of the finger flexors, this discharging the weapon (quite possibly at the wrong time).

I agree that the “vapor lock” experience cannot ever be eliminated as well, but that developing the ability to “get back in the fight” as quickly as possible is a crucial skill.

I like Gene Labell’s analogy of a real fight (surprise attack/explosive encounter) being like jumping into an I’ve cold body of water. At first the shock overwhelms you, but gradually you become more and more capable of dealing with the situation (if you have trained correctly).

Sento,

I think I am tracking what you are saying with regards to those specific techniques, but my understanding of the terminology has me thinking that any adjusting of the hand around the seized testes or moving of the fingers purposely into the eyes is a “fine” motor deal.

I am not familiar with the body of Franklin Henry’s work, and pediatric neurology falls outside my clinical lane. If he specifically addressed striking in martial arts, that is news to me.

As I am familiar with it, “hitting” is considered a gross motor skill predominantly. An example would be batting in T-ball, so hitting a stationary object with another object. However, hitting a moving target, such as a thrown ball, requires a level of precision that drifts into fine motor territory. Another example would be using a racket on the level that angle/racket orientation matter. If I am getting this wrong/mis-informed please let me know. I an trying to recall lectures/readings from a while ago, and I have to confess I was not placing a great deal of emphasis on pediatric development at the time.

I know that the “big picture” of the fine vs gross motor model was that they are supposed to develop largely concurrently, or with gross patterns preceding associated fine patterns by a small time. The idea being if the “fine” motor skills fail to develop, but gross motor skills are present, than that is useful diagnostic information and paints a different clinical picture than the absence of both. Additionally a degradation of only one, vs both, has clinical value in adults.

With regards to teaching/learning for adults or older children who do not have any significant pathologies I just don’t find the distinction all that useful, and I think labeling “fine” motor skills as too difficult to apply under stress is a mistake (the author seemed to do this, I am not accusing you of doing it). Trying to drill/practice a more “gross” version of a movement before introducing a fine motor requirement may have a lot of merit. I know many Filipino martial artists emphasize stick work before switching to a bolo or barong(edge orientation being a “fine” motor component to my understanding) and they may be on to something. Than again I know other styles start with a blade, and they seem plenty competent as well.

You mentioned stress response/sympathetic muscle response with firearms, the manipulation and use of firearms is a prime example of a “fine” motor skill that we know can be done with effect under stress. Sure performance will suffer, but the answer is to strive for enough proficiency that even a diminished level of performance proves effective.

Here is a video that shows one of the few really effective techniques that I am comfortable calling a pure “gross” motor movement. I have no personal interaction/knowledge of the instructor, I do have one of his books, but I can vouch for the utility of the technique. I learned it, or something similar enough, as a form of first strike/distractor years and years ago. He mentions using the movement as a template that can be built on, so that seems to indicate that he isn’t in the “gross” only camp.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HOQpigjsU_A

Really, I am not trying to disagree with where you are at/how you classify things. Your writing/opinions seem to indicate that however you are terming things you are dialed in. My distaste for the “gross” vs “fine” message is that I think it is not helpful, and possibly harmful to folks not so knowledgeable.

Regards,

Robert A

Haha! What are the odds that you’d post one of Rich’s videos! Rich and my instructor Walt Lysak Jr. are best friends and co founders of iCAT. I’ve been training with Rich for 7 years now (he comes out east at least once a year for the annual conference/pro coach certification). One of the nicest guys I’ve met and one of the most dangerous too. Fantastic coach as well. If you ever do get a chance to train with him, I highly recommend it.

From my understanding “gross” primarily deals with large muscle, whole body movements, while “fine” deals with small muscle intricate skills. Grabbing is one of the earliest movement patterns that we as humans learn, you will see infants grab hold of their mothers from a very young age. Things like being able to touch each finger tip to the thumb would be considered fine on the other hand.

Now of course, there is a spectrum, which is where I think the terms run into problems. So things like circular swinging style punching is “more gross” than say straight line punching, which is more gross than finger jabbing the eyes, which is more gross than dialing 911 (which would be considered “fine”). Yet it’s tough to argue that any of the above skills wouldn’t be an effective combative skill.

Oh, and he’s talking about the “linear striking template” which is a really fast way to get people understanding the necessary mechanics behind throwing straight line strikes (be it a speed hand, palm smash, vertical fist, or horizontal fist). It’s something that he uses very effectively himself to teach people and that we as iCAT Pro Coaches learn so we can use it with our students as well.

Here’s a few other videos of Rich, but trust me it’s just scratching the surface.

[quote]Sentoguy wrote:
Haha! What are the odds that you’d post one of Rich’s videos! Rich and my instructor Walt Lysak Jr. are best friends and co founders of iCAT. I’ve been training with Rich for 7 years now (he comes out east at least once a year for the annual conference/pro coach certification). One of the nicest guys I’ve met and one of the most dangerous too. Fantastic coach as well. If you ever do get a chance to train with him, I highly recommend it.
[/quote]
No kidding? His book was a very pleasent surprise. I think it is called Master of the Blade, or something similar. I bought it at some kind of fire sale/huge discount, saw the photo of him on the back cover posing with two folding knives and sort of put it in the “not expecting much” category(The photo looked like he was auditioning for Mortal Kombat/Cynthia Rothrock movies. I actually suspect that was the case, and his editor did him a diservice.). When I got around to opening it I found an actual sytem, with coherent explanation. Honestly, it would have been worth twice the cover price.

The fact he was willing to talk about what to do with a knife AFTER it goes in the other guy scored serious points with me. I don’t doubt he is a talented instructor.

[quote]

Now of course, there is a spectrum, which is where I think the terms run into problems. So things like circular swinging style punching is “more gross” than say straight line punching, which is more gross than finger jabbing the eyes, which is more gross than dialing 911 (which would be considered “fine”). Yet it’s tough to argue that any of the above skills wouldn’t be an effective combative skill.[/quote]

The phone example really defines why I want the “fine” vs “gross” thing to die in a fire with regards to martial arts/combatives. There are people suggesting that “fine” motor skills are going to be about as worthwhile as a rape whistle when dealing with violent attacks, but who STILL don’t see the conflict of then saying “call the police”. Firearms or folding knives are other examples of fine motor intensive tools that are well worth having.

Regards,

Robert A

[quote]Sentoguy wrote:
Oh, and he’s talking about the “linear striking template” which is a really fast way to get people understanding the necessary mechanics behind throwing straight line strikes (be it a speed hand, palm smash, vertical fist, or horizontal fist). It’s something that he uses very effectively himself to teach people and that we as iCAT Pro Coaches learn so we can use it with our students as well.[/quote]

This is really interesting to me.

I was taught in a more “ground up” approach. So stepping/pivoting/weight transfer to generate power being the first thing. As a reference point Jack Dempsey’s book and the emphasis on falling step and “shoulder wheel” coming before the actual punches would give a decent picture.

The idea of starting with the “speed hand” type strike, and then dropping more structure into it as you progress(if I am following) sounds completely foreign, but perhaps very doable. Is this the preferred method for your other teacher’s as well? Or is it a case of Joe Lewis, who should be listened to, said X. Lysak, who should be listened to, said Y. And Ryan, who should be listened to, said Z.

Regards,

Robert A

[quote]LondonBoxer123 wrote:
Not to piss on Irish’s parade or anything, but is there any way we could add ‘combat mentality’ to the title of this thread/create it else where (as has already been suggested)? Some amazing info has already been put out in this thread by you guys who have posted. I’m always learning when you post this sort of stuff, and I know there are guys like Humble, Idaho, Miss Parker who might miss this thread, and end up depriving us of their knowledge. Anything that could be done to add their voices and experience to the discussion would result, I’m sure, in a fantastic resource for us all. [/quote]

I don’t know if a thread title can be edited by anyone but a mod.

I DO know Irish abandoned his own thread, which is damn irresponsible of him.

I am also hoping those you mentioned check in.