T Nation

'Feeling' Like a Brick Wall


#1

At Alpha’s log, arguably THE most awesome place on the forums, something came up about the “feel” people have. No idea if it is energy, a mental state, a attitude, a physical attribute. Some guys just feel like a ton of bricks. Alpha mentioned he once was used by Miletich to demonstrate something on a seminar, and it just hurt locking up with the guy.
My personal experience is, when sparring, some guys are like walls of bricks. Everything I throw seems futile, and I doubt even why I attack. When they hit, everything seems relaxed and easy, but it feels like getting bludgeoned.
Even when going out and locking up with some buds for fun, some seem unmovable.

Is that just experience and great attitude kicking in?
Maybe some ideas?


#2

long time ago when i was military police in the army had to deal with different types people,most were soft
but ,infantry,rangers,sf guys , solid
over the years ran into people like that again ,in different situations,
experience,body control,fitness levels i think have alot to do with it
i think training has alot to do with it ,but some of the people i met who were like this had no real formal training,
experience,body control,fitness levels,which is why i look at these three first


#3

That’s just years and years and years of experience showing through. They’re never off balance and their hands are always in the right place, so you can’t get a shot through. Their ass is always lower than yours, so they’ve got a more solid base and can push you around. They never connect with an open fist, so every punch feels like a sledgehammer. They’ve done grip work for 30+ years, so when they grab your forearm/lapel/throat it feels like a talon. They’ve jumped rope for a half hour every day since high school, so their feet float in and out of position. Etc. etc. etc.

The only ones who can expose these people’s flaws or weaknesses are people on the same level (or higher) than them. But being as 95 percent of the public doesn’t even train in these things - and of the 5 percent that do, only a fraction of a percent will reach the top peaks - they seem god-like to us mere mortals.


#4

Sometimes it’s also just a genetic gift.

I remember a story that Bill Wallace told about sparring with Joe Lewis where Wallace said he hit Lewis with the best kick he has ever hit anyone with, ever, and the only reaction he got from Joe was, “Ow.”

I’ve seen Shihan Charlie just grab a hold of people and have them tap out, or just toss people through the air like a “hammer throw,” or just collapse people’s legs straight down into the ground from a standing clinch. Locking up with him feels like wrestling with a marble statue, no budging him in any direction, that is until he flings you through the air and you suddenly feel like you are wrestling with a Bull. And again, I’ve him do this to top level grapplers, so it’s not just me.

I wish I could tell you that anyone can reach that point, but I’ve met multiple World Champions, top level Combat Athletes, top level coaches, many of which have devoted their entire lives to training and are top of the food chain in terms of their skill, knowledge, and experience. But I’ve only ever met a couple people who fit this genetic freak juggernaut type of model.


#5

Pretty interesting, 2 of your answers point to experience, while 1 points to a genetic attribute.
I never really saw people transform, since I’m young as hell, so the only people I sparred with was that way when I sparred with them. I was dared by a guy to punch him as hard as I can, and he didn’t budge. The only training he had was manual labour. But he did have this crazy energy about him…high strung, big eyes, muscles like they were going to jump out of his skin. My first 2 sensei’s (judo and karate) were both heading towards their 60’s, and I’m pretty sure they fought me with lifelong skill, but who knows?

Very cool to hear your stories! Always like hearing the stories that would’ve went under the radar for the big screen. There are so many cool things happening, nobody knows about.


#6

Well I think guys who are nasty just because of experience are much more common. Sento is absolutely right: there are total freaks out there, and Joe Lewis was one of them. But they’re much more rare to run across.

Guys like my boxing coach, or Caveman’s SF guys, or whomever - it’s more likely those are just guys with good-to-very-good genetics who worked their asses off over the years.

Whereas a guy like Joe Lewis or Mike Tyson was just born that way … and their training served to enhance an already formidable person.


#7

That would be pretty logical. I don’t believe all those indestructible construction workers were born like that. Or that crazy ‘dad strength’ older guys have.


#8

Yes agreed. All those hard as nails Thai boxers and old school hardcore Karate fighters mostly got there via hard conditioning and fighting/experience. Yes the very best of them also had favorable genetics, but as the old saying goes “success leaves clues.”


#9

@Chris_Colucci Why did you put ‘feeling’ in quotes? No hate, just curious.

@Sentoguy Wise words, man!


#10

Just trying to clarify the title a bit, based on the first sentence where it’s quoted. On first glance, it felt like you were saying you felt like a brick wall, so it seemed a little confusing. We usually don’t meddle much with titles, other than throwing in initial caps or clearly up phrasing where necessary. “Necessary” is kinda subjective, but, yeah.


#11

Fair enough. Thanks for replying, I now see how you could interpret the title.