Keep Your Wits About You in a Fight


Have Choice During a Fight

It’s the week end!

Call a bunch of friends,

head for a spot in the woods,

and…

work out!

Hey,

let me share a little freestyle with you.

There’s a few things I do,

that I don’t think I’ve talked about,

not on any course,

so let me share one of my freestyle methods with you.

Before we start,

let me say that when I teach somebody how to fight,

the first thing I do

is teach him how not to flinch.

Flinching is when the fellow cringes.

Basically,

he shrinks in spot,

and this immobilizes him,

makes him a better target,

and this even tends to

shut down his awareness.

Simply,

he thinks he’s going to get hit,

and becomes the deer in the headlights.

So I do the following exercise

so that he will not flinch or cringe,

so that he will remain aware,

and so that he comes to a quick understanding

that he has choice in freestyle.

Please remember that I don’t go too fast,

nor strike too hard.

I am interested in teaching,

not beating.

I tell Joe Beginner to stand in front of me.

I take a split bamboo sword,

preferably a small one,

but a big one will work.

I make an x pattern in the air

and I tell him that the strike is going to come

diagonally to his head.

I strike down at his head,

45 degrees,

and tell him to do a high block.

I alternate the strikes to his head,

right and left,

until he has the choice down.

Once he has the choice down,

I won’t necessarily alternate.

Right…left…left…left…right…left…right…right,

jogging the pattern until he can handle the block

no matter what side.

I don’t play with the timing much,

at least not yet.

I am not trying to fool him.

I am trying to teach him.

And,

again,

I do everything slowly.

I don’t want him to make any mistakes,

until I deem it necessary for him to make mistakes,

in other words,

when he has the block down,

then I can push him a little,

show him his mistake,

back off while he learns,

then speed up again,

until he makes a mistake,

back off while he learns,

speed up until he makes a mistake,

and so on.

Okay,

Joe Blow can now do a high block to the right or the left,

and it has only been a couple of minutes.

So I strike diagonally up towards his  ribs,

and I tell him to do low blocks.

I do the same training procedure for the low block

as I did for the high block.

A couple of minutes and he has the low block and the hi block down.

No prob.

So I now give him both head strikes and rib strikes,

I mix up the strikes,

and I make him choose between

right high block

left high block

right low block

left low block.

Remember,

I am going slow.

Letting him get the blocks,

pushing a little,

backing off,

and he only makes a mistake maybe every eight or ten strikes.

His mind is getting faster,

and he is already comfortable with the blocks.

The lesson has been going maybe ten minutes.

Time to do a change on him.

and before I get into this change,

I call this drill that I am telling you…

‘block and dodge.’

He has learned to block,

time to make him learn to dodge.

I take the split bamboo stick

and strike to his head.

I strike laterally,

from the side

and I tell  him to duck.

And,

it isn’t unusual that I clock him,

and he grins and rubs his head

because he’s getting into the game.

And,

he ducks effectively,

so I swing the stick along the ground

towards his feet,

and I tell him to jump.

Now he has to figure out whether to jump or duck,

and I mix up the pattern.

Duck…duck…jump…duck…jump…jump…jump…

and so on.

Then I tell him to step to the side,

and I swing the stick directly down upon his head.

He probably gets his shoulder bonked the first time,

but he gets it the second time.

I tell him he can only stand in one of two spots,

and that when I strike down on him

he must choose between the two,

not dance around from spot to spot

and make me chase him.

Okay,

within a minute

he can duck, jump, or step to the side.

I mix it up,

he is hard to hit,

and I make sure I barely push him,

only a mistake every eight or ten times.

If I make him make a mistake every time,

he doesn’t learn.

eight or ten is about right,

makes him feel good about himself,

but reminds him to be aware

and not let his awareness down.

He has to watch me constantly,

and never let himself

slide back into that unaware state

where he is just a deer in the headlights.

That is his unaware state,

the one the martial arts are going to cure him of.

Now,

he has got two exercises.

He can block with the high and low block,

and he can dodge with a duck, jump, or sidestep.

So we put them together.

He must not do both a block and dodge,

he must choose between the two,

and he must figure out

whether my strike is coming towards the head or ribs…

and block,

or whether I am going for the feet or the head or straight down…

and dodge.

And,

I go slow,

let him get used to the patterns,

and I gently push him into quicker and quicker decisions.

Now,

the lesson has only taken twenty minutes,

at the most,

but I have a student who doesn’t cringe or flinch,

and who can make decisions

right in the middle of the action.

I have increased his awareness

with no real bruises,

and a fair amount of sweat.

He can block or dodge at choice,

and he is MUCH more aware

than when the drill started.

And,

if you want to know my freestyle methods

past this quick introduction,

why…

grin…

I include freestyle methods on most of the courses.

I only do block and dodge a few times,

however,

then I move him into ever more realistic fighting,

but always trying to make him aware.

Now,

I know you fellows

probably have your own methods,

but maybe you can use this one,

or make up a variant

to go along with your own system.

But,

if you want an incredibly simple exercise,

that teaches one how to do advanced freestyle

in literally minutes,

check out the Rolling Fists course.

It’s here…

http://www.monstermartialarts.com/Learn_How_to_Fight.html

It boils everything down to six moves,

really fast freestyle

that can handle any type of attack,

no matter how frantic and unexpected.

Then,

when you get the Rolling fists exercise down,

get the Matrix Kung Fu course

and adding the forty techniques,

one at a time,

to the drill.

It gets weird,

you start to see ALL sorts of variations and possibilities.

Do I add the technique here or here,

Oh! good Lard, that certainly opened some doors!

Guaranteed,

your freestyle abilities

are going to go out the roof

when you add the Rolling Fists drill,

and especially when you add the forty techniques

of Matrix Kung Fu to it.

You are going to become MUCH more aware

and in just a few minutes.

Now remember,

diagonally down on the head for the high blocks,

diagonally up on the ribs for the low blocks

sideways to the head for ducking

sideways to the feet for jumping

straight down on the head for stepping to the side.

Five simple steps,

done gently to a mix and match,

and there you go,

an aware student

who wants more.

Not a beat up student

who is excited

and then drops out

because he is overwhelmed.

And the Rolling Fists,

for people who have freestyle experience,

is exactly that simple.

Talk to you later,

have a great week end,

and a great work out!

Al

zen martial arts

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