Author Topic: Breaking the scripted conventions  (Read 3672 times)

Offline Wado

  • BlackBelt
  • Brown Belt
  • ****
  • Posts: 529
  • llama llama
Breaking the scripted conventions
« on: May 12, 2005, 01:09:14 PM »

Something of a discussion topic here. Through my experiences and teachings from others, I have concluded that scripted movements are misunderstood by many students to the point of losing their practical value. By scripted movements I mean the combination of separate techniques in a scripted sequence.

Take this sequence verse a right reverse punch. Defender steps off the line of attack at 45 degrees to the outside of the punch, using the left hand to parry, the right hand using the motion of an outward block strikes with the back knuckle to the attacker's tricep. Right front snap kick to groin/small intestine. Followed by left downward smother that strikes the attacker's right arm with the forearm. Right punch to side of attacker's head if turned away or to throat or bridge of nose if facing forward.

Students can spend many hours practicing this scripted sequence to good effect. But what I bring up is that the sequence is not linear as it would appear to a student, but simply one way of doing things. I find value in teaching that the script is just a starting point, in reality, the order of the techniques can change.

For example, the smother block could come before the kick to groin, and then followed by the punch to the head.

What I am saying is that at some point teach the student that they can take any scripted sequence and change the order to adapt to the situation. This breaks the pattern of a script but still focuses on the message that whatever techniques are done in whatever order, that it is important to perfect the technique and use it based on the situation.

Another example is the hitting of available target areas. It isn't always the scripted technique that should be used for best effectiveness and economy of motion.

One scripted sequence that could be taught is to grab attacker around shoulders, pull them into your driving knee lift, stomp on their instep, straighten them back up to open up the side of the neck (along the carotid artery) for the following forearm strike. Now a student might end up at the end too far from the target for the forearm strike. This, of course, means that the student must learn to control distance better so that they are in range when conducting the sequence of scripted moves. However, another lesson here is to focus on the targets of opportunity. If the defender is too far away for the forearm strike, rather than force the scripted technique, in a stressful situation, they could target the same vital points with a chop.

Break the scripted movements so that a student learns they can do them in any order that works for the situation instead of always one way, and in addition the understanding of the vital targets so that a different technique can be used to target the same vital targets if the situation warrants. Then all that is left is to perfect the technique to make it the best it can be.

Thoughts?
W. Yamauchi
Mateo Kajukenbo
Seattle, Washington

Offline C Drake

  • Blue Belt
  • ***
  • Posts: 101
  • I'm a llama!
Re: Breaking the scripted conventions
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2005, 02:08:00 PM »
Well techniques are in place for a reason,   and they help you learn the motions and points of impact and insertion to where they can become comfortable with it.   My question at what point do you start teaching them to add lib?   I meean for me I wouldn't know I don't run a school.  But if they have no prior experiance green belt would seem like a good spot to let them get more on their own, but they better still be able to perform the original technique.

I see your  point because I know in my street fights I have never had a set amount of moves, it just flowed and evolved for what it was and each time I took what happened and grew upon it, but at the same time, the last few times if you asked me to repeated what I did, I couldn't do it since it was self concious.

No you can try and teach them to branch off and become a more complete fighter, but I am also of the impression that not everyone can become such a fighter and some people will take the arts for exercise and personal growth, yet their fighting skills will always be limited.
Cassidy Drake
In between affiliations right now

Offline dastars

  • Blue Belt
  • ***
  • Posts: 233
  • Captain Law School
Re: Breaking the scripted conventions
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2005, 04:07:22 PM »
I think this discussion, and the point made by C Drake tie in well together along with the idea of extensions to techniques.  I've had instructors who were very strict as to the proper technique; A-B-C.  Others were more lenient as to "Well, learn A-B-C, but here's some ideas for D, and you can switch B and C."  I personally perfer the latter; formality and rigidity seems counter to the purpose of fluid adaptability, which should be the goal of the martial artist.  Also, I personally get bored and distracted mentally by rote repetition (hence my strong dislike for forms and katas), so adding/changing/deleting within techniques is useful for my overall ability.
Geoff Hurd - Student of Professor Walt Andrae (SGM Halbuna) - Augusta, GA

University of Pittsburgh Kajukenbo

Offline guarded

  • BlackBelt
  • Blue Belt
  • ***
  • Posts: 250
  • He who hesitates, meditates; horizontally!
Re: Breaking the scripted conventions
« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2005, 05:29:44 PM »
We have great drill for that at our school.  We have everybody line up and one after another throw the same tech at one person.  Usually just a straight punch to the face.  Once you have cleared one guy the next comes at you with the same punch.  Now, everyone in the line is different, some are short, some tall.  One person might quickly throw the punch while another might really telegraph the punch.  Not only that but you are most likely going to be in slightly different position each time someone throws their punch.  For someone who has been training a while you might be amazed at how many different counters you will use  just depending on positions, speed of attacks, etc.  I am sure many of you use this drill already. 
« Last Edit: May 12, 2005, 06:25:11 PM by guarded »
Jerry Guard
Kajukenbo Tum Pai Brown/Black Sash under Prof. Steve Larson          My everyday stance is my fighting stance.  My fighting stance is my everyday stance.

Offline guarded

  • BlackBelt
  • Blue Belt
  • ***
  • Posts: 250
  • He who hesitates, meditates; horizontally!
Re: Breaking the scripted conventions
« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2005, 06:22:33 PM »
Thank you, so do we.  For some reason I just couldn't pull it up. ???
Jerry Guard
Kajukenbo Tum Pai Brown/Black Sash under Prof. Steve Larson          My everyday stance is my fighting stance.  My fighting stance is my everyday stance.

Offline DonM

  • BlackBelt
  • White Belt
  • *
  • Posts: 44
Re: Breaking the scripted conventions
« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2005, 04:21:53 AM »
"...fluid adaptability, which should be the goal of the martial artist. - dastars"

Hmmm…excellent topic

 I do not post much but was compelled to chime in because I had a similar conversation in the Dojo this week. I have been training for 5 years (Still in Diapers compared to the vast majority of members here) but would like to express a student’s humble opinion.

Learning by the numbers is critical, it gives you a building block of techniques (different tools to use for different situations) and over the course of time it opens your mind to various combinations  that allows you to use effective creativity.

 During monkey lines and testing I have always been taught to “do something” there are times when I loose a technique or freeze. When this happens muscle memory takes over.

I may start with one technique and end with a portion of another technique. If this happens I automatically resort to  some technique or a portion of a technique that flows for me and is appropriate for the moment. 

The universal joke is that on the street you can’t tell your attacker…”Wait do that again you didn’t attack me right”

Some other situations that immediately come to mind that would justify the fluidity or improvisation that was mentioned earlier are:

1. You never know how your attacker’s body is going to respond to your strikes.  Uke’s are trained to attack and respond in an ideal way.

2. In the Dojo there is plenty of light and space. You have to modify your techniques if attacked in between two cars, in a dark parking lot, or perhaps in a busy standing room only Club /Bar situation.

3. Size and experience of the attacker

As far as when it is ok to explore this concept with students is concerned perhaps when a student begins asking the right questions… How, When, and Why a technique / variation would or could be used that may be a good indication that the student is ready to begin exploring these options.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2005, 04:25:18 AM by DonM »
______________________________________
Don MacFarlane
1st Deg under Pat Tyrrell
Guangxi Ch'uan Kajukenbo -- Original Hard Style

Offline John Bishop

  • Senior Black Belt
  • Black Belt
  • ***
  • Posts: 2605
  • Seek Knowledge, Not Rank
Re: Breaking the scripted conventions
« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2005, 12:05:17 PM »
"...fluid adaptability, which should be the goal of the martial artist. - dastars"

Hmmm…excellent topic

 I do not post much but was compelled to chime in because I had a similar conversation in the Dojo this week. I have been training for 5 years (Still in Diapers compared to the vast majority of members here) but would like to express a student’s humble opinion.

Learning by the numbers is critical, it gives you a building block of techniques (different tools to use for different situations) and over the course of time it opens your mind to various combinations  that allows you to use effective creativity.

 During monkey lines and testing I have always been taught to “do something” there are times when I loose a technique or freeze. When this happens muscle memory takes over.

I may start with one technique and end with a portion of another technique. If this happens I automatically resort to  some technique or a portion of a technique that flows for me and is appropriate for the moment. 

The universal joke is that on the street you can’t tell your attacker…”Wait do that again you didn’t attack me right”

Some other situations that immediately come to mind that would justify the fluidity or improvisation that was mentioned earlier are:

1. You never know how your attacker’s body is going to respond to your strikes.  Uke’s are trained to attack and respond in an ideal way.

2. In the Dojo there is plenty of light and space. You have to modify your techniques if attacked in between two cars, in a dark parking lot, or perhaps in a busy standing room only Club /Bar situation.

3. Size and experience of the attacker

As far as when it is ok to explore this concept with students is concerned perhaps when a student begins asking the right questions… How, When, and Why a technique / variation would or could be used that may be a good indication that the student is ready to begin exploring these options.


Well DonM summed up some of our training philosophies pretty good.  If fact I thought he was describing my class, or GM Forbach's classes.  I guess it's obvious we all come from the GGM Aleju Reyes line.
John Bishop  8th Degree-Original Method 
Under Grandmaster Gary Forbach
K.S.D.I. # 478, FMAA


"You watch, once I'm gone, all the snakes will start popping their heads up!"  Sijo Emperado

Offline Mitch Powell

  • Senior Black Belt
  • Brown Belt
  • ***
  • Posts: 820
Re: Breaking the scripted conventions
« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2005, 08:58:43 AM »
The scripted forms and techniques in Kajukenbo are designed to teach us to move in a Kajukenbo like manner. The forms and techniques have our way of responding to a threat. They teach us how to block, strike, kick, punch, grab, throw, choke, etc., But most importantly, how to flow from one style to the next. That is our strong point. We don't just kick. Or we don't just grapple. I may parry a punch and kick the guy in the groin, then take him down with a wrist lock or flip him, then put the boots to him. Blending-always blending.

It was never about numbers. They are just the vehicle to get you to understand how the art goes. From there you just do the art.
Powell's MMA Academy (KSDI#549)
Grandmaster Mitch Powell (Emperado Method)
(707) 344-1655  coachmitchpowell@hotmail.com

Offline Wado

  • BlackBelt
  • Brown Belt
  • ****
  • Posts: 529
  • llama llama
Re: Breaking the scripted conventions
« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2005, 01:50:44 PM »
The scripted forms and techniques in Kajukenbo are designed to teach us to move in a Kajukenbo like manner. The forms and techniques have our way of responding to a threat. They teach us how to block, strike, kick, punch, grab, throw, choke, etc., But most importantly, how to flow from one style to the next. That is our strong point. We don't just kick. Or we don't just grapple. I may parry a punch and kick the guy in the groin, then take him down with a wrist lock or flip him, then put the boots to him. Blending-always blending.

It was never about numbers. They are just the vehicle to get you to understand how the art goes. From there you just do the art.

When I was new to Kajukenbo, Sigung Baxter asked me why I started Kajukenbo after my years in karate and Aikido. He implied that most people tend to go from the Kajukenbo and then move on to something else more specialized. I was doing the opposite.

I thought that made sense to me then basically that someone would find something they wanted to get really good at and focus on training in that, but recently I have experienced a different possible interpretation of why what Sigung Baxter said. Recently I have been working on footwork used in tournament point-fighting, of course to improve in that area and to improve on my overall abilities and skills.

In practice/sparring I have found I'm thinking more to try to get it right, and although it appears to be working for what it is worth, I feel like I'm limiting myself mentally, even though there is no physical limitation there. What I mean is that I'm started to be too "stop and go" and my Kajukenbo flow is missing. I find myself throwing boxing combinations, instead of well, frankly, better stuff for the situation. The end result is I'm missing opportunities to attack effectively during transitions, instead sticking with basic punches and kicks to go with the footwork.

Now, it appears that I got to put some of that scripted conventions a bit more back into it all. It used to be nothing on my mind to punch and chop and rip and smash and elbow and redirect and etc... It was just Kajukenbo. Now I'm like 1,2,3 punches and I'm missing all the attacks and movements inbetween.

So it is like taking a step back in Kajukenbo to improve in my areas of footwork. I sure hope that I get this footwork down better so that I can stop thinking about it so much and go back to good old Kaju.

« Last Edit: May 17, 2005, 02:12:24 PM by Wado »
W. Yamauchi
Mateo Kajukenbo
Seattle, Washington

Offline Pacificshore

  • Yellow Belt
  • **
  • Posts: 62
  • Just train!
Re: Breaking the scripted conventions
« Reply #9 on: May 18, 2005, 03:20:12 PM »
The prescribed movements in any self defense sets are necessary building blocks for a stong foundation in your given art.  However, I also believe in the ability to adapt or tailor your techniques when necessary.  As someone mentioned, we don't know what to expect from an attacker, or how they would respond to a given strike.  So angles, strikes, kicks, distance may all have to be altered at some point to be effective.  Therefore it is important to recognize the different body reactions you get from your uke when you work a technique.  If your off target during practice, and you recognize that their body position, has changed, then you have to look at what other targets become available.  It's being in the constant "what if" phase during training.
Gene R.
Kara-Ho Kempo

Offline guarded

  • BlackBelt
  • Blue Belt
  • ***
  • Posts: 250
  • He who hesitates, meditates; horizontally!
Re: Breaking the scripted conventions
« Reply #10 on: May 19, 2005, 01:53:59 AM »
It's being in the constant "what if" phase during training.
That's what it all comes down to.....TRAINING!  If you have to think about it it's just to late.  You just have to have faith in your training.  If you've put in the time you're instincts will take over and you will take care of business.  That's why Kajukenbo is so awesome. ;D
Jerry Guard
Kajukenbo Tum Pai Brown/Black Sash under Prof. Steve Larson          My everyday stance is my fighting stance.  My fighting stance is my everyday stance.