The Limitations of Sparring as opposed to Alternative Training Practices.

Discussion in 'Ninjutsu' started by CKava, Jun 5, 2006.

  1. CKava

    CKava Just one more thing... Supporter

    I do apologise if this is the 100th thread you have had on sparring and ninjitsu. I have never been around the ninjutsu forum and so have not come across such threads and having used the search function I only came across a single VERY LONG thread about sparring. I would have revived that long dead one but it is Shinobi_Shau's points in particular I am interested in and as such I started a new thread to address specifically 'the limitations of sparring as opposed to alternative training practices'.

    Shinobi Shau suggested in the other thread that...

    I've highlighted the points in particular I disagree with but I already offered my views on points 1 and 2 in my reply on the other thread as such I would like to discuss point 3 in greater depth in particular how the rules of sparring make it less realistic than the rules of other training wherein (to my understanding-correct me if Im wrong) people are not resisting and not allowed to perform techniques of their chosing and/or do things that normal people do like fake punches and retract their arm after throwing punches.

    Anyway to kick off what hopefully will be a productive discussion...
    I do apologise it was rather late when I wrote that. I will not spell your username incorrectly again since you find it so annoying and are unable to focus on the actual topic when I do so.

    Interesting, I have a feeling you've been involved in some shoddy sparring but then I would actually be interested how you would respond to the issues I raised about:

    A) Not having experience of dealing with fakes.
    B) Not having experience of the effects of being hit.
    C) That the first time you will get to test what you've learnt against someone who resists will be in a real life situation.
    D) The fact that general training must also employ artifical rules which you contend are what makes sparring useless.

    So let me see... you talk about your vast sparring experience make some generalised and 'to me' very silly comments about the value of sparring and then try to blame someone else for replying to your comments about sparring? This is a DISCUSSION forum if you don't want your points discussed then I respectively suggest you should keep them in your head as opposed to posting them on a board. This would also seem to be the sensible option to take if you don't want sparring to become a topic.

    Writing the magic words 'to me' doesn't suddenly mean your opinion is unquestionable nor does it mean that people can't discuss what you've said. If you want to just state your opinions and not have any feedback on them then why not just post a web blog thing somewhere? We all have our opinions and we all share and discuss them here because thats the nature of a discussion board saying opinions are off limit for discussion because they are opinions seems to make a discussion forum rather pointless.

    Anyhow... To summarise my argument I am suggesting that sparring is a useful skill for developing the ability to perform techniques against a resisting foe and to get used to someone actively trying to hit you. I am not suggesting that sparring is the only useful training method nor am I suggesting that everyone should engage in MMA style sparring. By sparring I mean trying to perform techniques against a resisting opponent who is doing the same back.

    Anyone other than Shinobi_Shau who feels that they have something useful to add to such a discussion please feel free to respond/agree/disagree with my points. Anyone who wants to complain about a discussion on sparring coming up again please stop reading now and don't open the thread again rather than repeatedly posting about how bored you are of such discussions.
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2006
  2. Keikai

    Keikai Banned Banned

    I doubt it, not again, i couldnt think of anything worse than going through this again, your post seemed more of a jab at SS than anything else.

    So then why post it on the ninjutsu forum where we are all bored on the subject anyway. If you are too lazy to read through the MASSIVE thread on the subject already then this is going to go down quicker than the titanic!!
  3. CKava

    CKava Just one more thing... Supporter

    Keikai I did already apologise but in particular I can appreciate your disinterest if you've discussed this topic ad infinitum but to be honest I don't think this discussion necessarily has to go down in flames... The long thread I had a look at was quite choc a block with people flaming each other and stating their views on Ninjutsu it also wasn't particularly focused hence why I started this specific topic. Im not interested in flaming Ninjutsu and I actually agree with Shinobi_Shau that your own training is your own training. Its just a discussion of that training that Im curious about. Having admittedly no experience with ninjutsu beyond the clips I have seen in the recent thread Im curious as to how ninjutsu training is not limited by rules as implied by Shinobi Shau's criticism of sparring.

    You are correct that my initial post was also in large part a response to Shau and I hardly tried to disguise that fact. He asked that I reply in a new thread on the topic and I have done so but to prevent it being a two man discussion I made some more general points and questions so that others could comment too.

    I'm not actually too lazy to read all of the old sparring thread and will do so when I get the time but from what I seen it does look like Im only going to find one or two posts every couple of pages that relate to the topics Im interested in. Hence the new thread. Again I would request that if this topic annoys you so much why bother responding at all? Just don't open the thread.
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2006
  4. Big Will

    Big Will NinpƓ Ikkan

    What techniques?

    This is not a question of sparring or not. The thing is that Bujinkan training is different from other martial arts. Period. Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu is not about applying techniques. If you had read the other threads on sparring (you don't even have to search - just check the first 5 or so pages in this forum), you would know that.

    As for sparring, having trained in boxing for about 4 years, I've had my share of it. Sparring is NOTHING like a real life confrontation would be. First of all you have gloves on - your hands are protected and you can protect your self with them. Holding your fists up against your head without gloves is not a good defence.

    With sparring, you are not trying to survive, you are trying to attack. It's a completely different mentality. We learn defence - in free sparring one does offence.

    Sparring as an exercise once in a while is cool - we do that in my dojo. In fact, we did it yesterday. But it is not what Bujinkan is about. It is just an exercise we do sometimes.

    I do think sparring is good for training block/parry reactions. I have never ever said sparring is bad training. I love sparring - light or heavy. But I would not want to see more of it in the Bujinkan, mainly because it would not fit in. It fits in boxing, kickboxing, karate, etc, because those are different from what we call Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu.

    Learning good taijutsu takes a long time - learning to strike doesn't require as much (I know the latter, and I've seen the former). When I was sparring against my sensei - light boxing sparring, which I should be good at - I got completely pummeled with punches. Not because he's bigger than me, but because he controlled the distance and space so much more and better than I did. I went in with my boxing mentality against him, and it just didn't work. The same thing would have been true if kicks had been allowed this time - I would have lost (it wasn't a match, but you can still sense defeat and victory :p ).

    This doesn't mean all Bujinkan practitioners are as awesome as my sensei. It just strengthens my belief that the biggest part lies within the individual, not the art. I don't say "whoa, I'm never going to use a kick like that, because it's not a part of what we do in the Bujinkan". I say "wow, cool. I'll try to learn it" if I see something I think is worth my time. I don't exclude anything, because I want to be the best Budoka I can possibly be. When I die (hopefull of old age) I want to feel good about it, knowing that I did my best and never limited my studying.
  5. CKava

    CKava Just one more thing... Supporter

    Thank you for the reply Big Will that's exactly the kind of response I was hoping for when I get the time later I'll address some of the points you raised (I'm off into town now). However, one thing I have to point out:

    If this is correct then why did Shinobu_Shau complain that...
    If applying techniques isn't of concern then why would this be a problem?

    Also is there any thread in particular the describes how applying techniques is not of concern in Ninjutsu? From all the videos I have seen (which again I realise hardly makes me an expert on the art) it looked precisely like people were training by attempting to apply techniques they had just observed?

    Oh and lastly because I just noticed this and have to comment...
    I don't see how not? Leaving your head wide open seems like a pretty bad idea to me whether your sparring or out in 'the real world'. Having been a boxer Im sure you know that this is simply a guard and standing in a guard taking punches is generally not recommended as a means of defence. Having a guard up while your defending yourself however seems incredibly sensible to me given that the alternative is to leave your head exposed and rely on your ability to avoid being hit. Taking gloves of makes a difference but having a guard up even without gloves is much better than not.

    Again thanks for the well thought out reply.
  6. Big Will

    Big Will NinpƓ Ikkan

    Well... first of all, I am only 6th kyu so I'm no authority :Angel: However, as much as I have understood from speaking with high-ranked people in the Bujinkan, Taijutsu is about body movements, balance manipulation, feeling, distance manipulation, space manipulation, etc. not through techniques. We study it by using techniques though. And though I've only trained since last August, I can definitely feel that I have grown a lot in that. We do techniques and katas, but we learn something from each of them. Small bits. And what's cool is that everybody, on all levels, find something to learn. Beginners work on some things while high-ranks work on others, within the same kata or variation on the kata.

    EDIT: Here is a video too Dale

    I'm pretty sure this one HERE has lots of discussion in it - but be prepared to read almost 1000 posts :D

    Specifically, in that thread, I think this is most important - by Ben Cole

    This one is good too, I believe - Watching space

    This one is good

    Specifically this post by Ben Cole

    Interesting thread too

    Specifically here and here.

    Ah, what the heck - this is a great thread too -


    Phew... now let's hope the links work :D

    I see what you mean, and I think I should have used other words to express myself there. What I was trying to convey is that with gloves on, you feel much more protected than you do without gloves. That's what I think.

    Thank YOU for asking in a friendly way :)
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2006
  7. fire&steel

    fire&steel Valued Member

    LOL here we go again hey.
    If your art wants to or see sparring as a benefit to your training then great go for it.
    Our art does not find it either needed or a good tool for teaching OUR style. END OF STORY !
    The reasons why are many and varied and unless you have either spent much time in real fights (as I have) or spent enough time training correctly as recommended by our seniors then you will not understand our pov. We certainly understand your pov for your art as you don't see any of us going to other styles forums telling THEM they should NOT spar NOW DO YOU !
    If you want to discuss this please go do it with people who want to debate you over this issue.
  8. DJC

    DJC Valued Member

    CKava said:

    Looks like it is down to definitions again. If we follow CKava's definition, then this is exactly how we train in Taijutsu. It is just that it seems that most of us don't pad up, put the gum shields in and blindly go for it in a sports type environment (not that there's anything wrong in doing that if that's your cup of tea).

    In terms of resistance, it is the duty of a training partner to resist if he can. In this way he shows openings in his parnter's Taijutsu and therefore shows him what he needs to work on. If we didn't train in this way, the training partner would be lulled into a false sense of security and would really have no idea if his taijustu worked or not and this is a completely irresponsbile attitude to training.

    So compliance is fine at first whilst you learning the techniques, but against experienced training partners it is fine to resist if you are in a position to do so. It is most certainly an important part of the learning process.

    In this scenario we are still working on predefined attacks and responses so it is still not what you call 'real' - it is definately scenario based. For free flowing application we use the Randori concept where nothing is scripted and the responses are free against any given attack. It would be wrong to assume that our Randori resembles what you see in for example Aikido demonstrations. Again, the intensity of the attacks is all based around the abilities of the people involved.

    The trouble is that when you are up against experienced people like Norman (try and Knife spar against him :) ), or Keith Porter, you sort of end up in a position where you have no place to go and almost end up defeating yourself. They get you into a position where you can't resist without giving them an opening - and if you do (and I have done many times) thats when you hear the click of his training knife opening against your throat.......

    Just some thoughts - feel free to take 'em or leave 'em.

  9. KipPeR

    KipPeR New Member

    Firstly ...If you want to understand sparring more, would it not be better to discuss it on a sparring-based-art's forum? ...and if you want to understand Taijustu learning/training methodology or principles ...better to either ask about them directly or preferably go and experience them in person with an open mind.

    Secondly ...I doubt we're all using the same definition of the word "sparring".

    The main difference between sparring/competition and defending yourself (as I see it, anyway) is that:

    In sparring/competition your opponent (usually by design) recognises you as an almost-equal and treats you with respect. They expect to get something back if they are sloppy. There will definitely be a fight.

    If you are targetted by a drunk/hard-lad in a bar (for example) it is likely that they already see you as an easy target, and have pretty much decided the outcome. They don't expect much back, especially if you don't get into the shouting/pushing match. One of you is there to fight, one is there to be beaten up. It may end up in a fight, though could just as likely not ...dependent on the outcome of the initial "interview".

    To me Taijutsu is not about techniques but, amongst many other things, contains techniques in its teaching. The technique is not important, but through the commonalities of the learning and practice of correct technique ...I am learning correct body movement for my own unique physical, emotional and intellectual configuration. I will also be increasing my intrinsic understanding of the principles and tools for effecting another's structure, balance, etc. In this way, one day the techniques will have gone, but the principles and the tools will remain.

    This takes a lot of time, effort and correct practice.

    If I am not practicing correctly, then I am not learning correct movement. If I am not learning correct movement, then I am not learning what I consider to be Taijutsu.

    If "sparring" hinders what I am learning, then I do not want it. If "sparring" hinders my correct practice, then I do not want it. This does not include training with a resistant Uke, or my interpretation of "alive training" (when appropriate) as I do not consider these to constitute "sparring". I am not afraid of it, it is just a pointless exercise for what I want to achieve.

    I have been called upon to utilise my Taijutsu (such as it is) in the past, and it served me well. There were no fancy Ninja-moves, just some instinctual good structure, angling off and reading the situation. When I went over it later in my mind I also recalled that I had felt quite calm at the time - and relieved that the incredible feeling of weakness, nausea and wobbly knees had waited until afterwards to render me useless!

    To draw a parallel:
    A number of my good friends are runners. They have been running Marathons for years. Not once during their training does any of them actually run anything over 15-18 miles (and then, very rarely) during the training period. Yet they still complete the full 26 miles in good time. They understand what will be expected of them in when the time comes, and have laid good foundations to prepare them for it. None of their training involves any kind of racing, and they happily go at their own pace, and push their own limits when applicable.

    (that probably makes no sense to anyone else :) )
  10. KipPeR

    KipPeR New Member

    Doh! Spend too long writing a post and there have been two replies before you click send!!!

  11. KipPeR

    KipPeR New Member

    As an additional thought train realistically to fight in "da str33t" we should be training against people who:

    a) Do not know the art that the defender is going to use
    b) Be a skilled street-fighter (to be a realistic threat)
    c) Not care if they hurt you

    ...there's a solution, then! If you want to practice realistically ...go out into dangerous places and be attacked. :D

    Failing that there should be a team of trained Uke hiring themselves out for practicing against - trouble is, though, that after a while they'd be pretty damned good!?!?

    Perhaps then, to be a profiecient str33tf1ght3r you should hire yourself out as an multi-art (no-art) professional Uke!
  12. Nick Mandilas

    Nick Mandilas Resistance is an option..

    Nick grabs his shot gun and starts loading it with shells...
    This thread is going to be put down before it rises once again....

    Click, Click
  13. benkyoka

    benkyoka one million times

    I am not going to take a side on the whole sparring/non-sparring issue. However, I think we could all 'liven' it up a bit. I see many people come through the dojo here in japan, and as such I get a fairly good sampling of uke from different dojo, areas, countries, etc. I tend not to lunge punch anymore. I work on my sanshin on my own for kamae purposes and in the dojo I just punch. In many instances the Tori I am working with gets unsettled by my sudden punching. What's up with that? Do I need to get into an elongated Ichimonji so Tori has time to react? Do I need to inform the Tori beforehand which hand I will be punching with so he will be ready?

    It seems many people are playing with the feeling of playing, instead of learning the feeling of fighting.

    /end rant
  14. CKava

    CKava Just one more thing... Supporter

    Short reply as Im off to training in a minute.

    I'm not actually trying to speak from the perspective of 'my art' nor am I suggesting that you must change how you train I am just giving my thoughts on the topic and why ceertain arguments presented against sparring seem to be rather flimsy. Also while I appreciate that you may have to deal with people 'dissing' your style alot you could do with losing the persecution complex. If the ninjutsu forum is not a place from anyone outside ninjutsu to discuss things then that is fine but despite reading the stickies at the top I saw no mention of this. In fact what I did see was that is fine to ask questions and that if you present your view in a civilized manner then everythings cool. I also did look through the search function and saw one relevant thread with the title sparring or spar in it and it was mostly a flame war... considering I wanted to discuss Shinobi Shau's points I thought a new thread cause much hassle (he did suggest this!).

    Also despite your assurances from some of the other posts it seems that some people do actually see value to sparring and also that some ninjutsu training does involve sparring under the definition I provided. Please note in particular that I said quite clearly...

    The quote above might be worth noting as it seems like you aren't actually disagreeing with me and in fact are agreeing that trying to perform techniques against a resisting opponent is a good thing to do.

    I agree. So again it seems our saying that sparring isn't all that unnecessary and is in fact "an important part of the learning process"?

    Interesting. I assume for such randori that you don't crack people repeatedly in the crotch, gouge their eyes or rip the skin so here is why I can't seem to connect the dots as to how you don't practice a form of sparring within preset rules? And why Shau and others would be repeatedly informing me such training is not used and inapplicable for ninjutsus training?

    For the most part I agree with what your saying which is why Im a little confused... shouldn't you be telling me that practicing things in such a fashion is training with 'rules' and therefore useless?

    Right gotta head off now so thats the only posts I can reply to. Thanks again to the people who have taking the time to respond with well thought out posts. And once again to the people who find this all very upsetting... relax and don't open this thread as it's fairly pointless for you to make post saying I don't want to discuss this. If you don't want to discuss it then don't.
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2006
  15. fire&steel

    fire&steel Valued Member

    Just as many people are playing with the feeling of fighting instead of fighting with the feeling of playing :D
  16. TheDarkJester

    TheDarkJester 90% Sarcasm, 10% Mostly Good Advice.

    That whole excuse of not sparring because its too dangerous is a little far fetched.. We do much in the way of joint locks, throws, punches and kicks under full speed.

    So if you can't perform a technique with a certain degree of control so as to not harm your training partner.. you really shouldn't be doing martial arts..

    If you can't perform reliably full speed when it all comes down to it being either you or him, you're just kidding yourself at the end of the day.
  17. Shau

    Shau kurai okami

    Wow, I didn't think I would get on people's nerves cause I said I thought sparring was over-rated. I think all the points that I would make have already been made while I was away from the computer. But since it was my name brought up, repeatedly, I felt like I should at least respond. First off, I was just slamming on you about mispelling my name, that's my way of joking around.
    A) I've competed up and down the east coast USA in Tae Kwon Do and Karate tournaments, inter-club, and open invitationals. I finally realized that plastic trophies do not make one a good fighter on the street.
    B) I've been in real fights. I know the effects.
    C) Sparring isn't the first time you get to test your skills in a real life situation. There are plenty of other ways if you are training right.
    D) General training does have some rules, but not as many as sparring. Case in point... If I am training with my friend and my thumb gets placed on the space between his eye and nose then he can assume that I was going for an eye-gouge (sorry, had to use an eye-gouge :woo: ) but if I tried that in sparring I may accidentally rip his eye out cause of my momentum plus his momentum (and if I can get past those sparring gloves :cool: ).
    First off, it wasn't a thread about sparring. I said that I felt sparring was over-rated cause it was brought up for the discussion at hand. I wasn't trying to debate the issue, it has been done to death. I could care less about your opinion, and wish you could care less about mine. But people get so jumpy when you say something they disagree with. But let's talk about my experience. If your stats are right, I started MA (and sparring in that MA) when you were 3, started competing when you were 5, and won my first east coast open invitational when you were 8. OK, It was Tae Kwon Do sparring, so that may not count to you. But, I still sparred when I studied Kempo and jujitsu in the early to late 90's, but my last tournament was 96. I really didn't stop sparring in MA until I started studying Lai Tong Pai (circle fist kung fu). I do not think I am unexperienced in sparring, but sparring can only take you so far before it gets repetitive and unproductive (in my eyes :p ). But also that depends on your version of sparring.
    We do that, it's not called sparring. :bang: And sparring isn't the only way to do that.
    Couldn't have said it better myself. Kudos.

    I used the word technique for lack of a better word. Technique in training builds intuition. It's this intuition that you use in a fight, not technique. I did say in sparring you couldn't apply decent techniques sometimes. OK, this is a bit of a misnomer. Maybe I shoulda replaced the word "techniques" with the word "movements". Or as Big Will said "Taijutsu is about body movements, balance manipulation, feeling, distance manipulation, space manipulation, etc. not through techniques." Everyone else has brought up excellent points and have said them better than I ever could. I could quote them all, but I think it would be easier to just re-read all the posts ;) . Anyways, a few more things...
    Nope, I never suggested this. I just said that the other thread (which was about a video) was not about sparring and we shouldn't try to jump off-topic. I never said start a sparring thread cause they have been done to death and get no-where.
    Actually, we do all the above in randori. We don't strike at full force, but we do allude that the strike was there (and if you have a good uke they will react). And don't say they can't react naturally. Every male I know has been hit in the gonads so they know it feels.
    In closing, I personally don't think that sparring is required for development of skill. However, sparring also breaks down to people's definitions. I don't think I'm the only one on here that doesn't care to much for sparring in Taijutsu. I never said don't spar, especially if your art encourages it. I am just speaking from my life experience with martial arts, especially Taijutsu. But one last quote before I leave...
  18. CKava

    CKava Just one more thing... Supporter

    SS I am glad to hear you weren't taking the name thing and in the same spirit I hope you realise that Im not actually annoyed by your views on sparring, I just happen to disagree with the arguments your presenting and didn't want to derail the other thread. Oh and while Im on the subject...

    Actually you did...
    Also as per your responses to the points A,B,C & D:

    A- I don't see the relevance to the point? Why are you talking about plastic trophies I was asking how people get used to fakes without people being given free reign to throw them. An answer detailing how you can train fakes without using a sparring enviroment would be of much interest not what competitions you took part in.
    B- Has everyone been in real fights? What about the people that haven't aren't they in for a bit of a shock when it happens in real life if they never experience this in their training? Again how do you train to take hits outside of a sparring context? Im actually curious because I dont really see how it works!
    C- Like what? I didn't say sparring was the only way to test your skills I said its the only way to get experience of trying to perform techniques against someone who is actively resisting. In real life people actively resist.
    D- Now Im even further confused given that you have just described how you could train such a technique in a safe way Im a little confused as to why you couldn't incorporate this in a sparring context? Wearing googles would seem to negate the potnetially devastating effects you foresee, and if your very concerned about gloves being unrealistic then what about fingerless MMA gloves? These would let you feel the impact, help prevent cuts and still let you use your fingers and thumbs. As for the fear of vast momentum what about control? It really doesn't seem that complex to me if your capable of seeing the reason behind placing your thumb in the middle of someones head instead of their eye then surely you can apply the same logic to other techniques. The benefits of practicing against resistance seems to outweigh the 'downside' of having to learn control.

    Heaven forbid people on a discussion forum discussing their opinions! As I've stated several times now I don't really mind what your training entails but being a discussion board I am kind of interested in DISCUSSING the various views presented. I disagree with your position but your hardly upsetting me and I really don't get why people equate disagreement with being vastly upset by something. To me... your wrong, to you... Im wrong. Through a discussion maybe we can both learn something about the others position without necessarily adopting it. If your not interested in this discussion then fine but I assumed from your comments quoted above that you wouldn't mind.

    Emmm... what do you call it then? Randori? If your not trying to say that sparring (under the supplied definition) is overrated and inapplicable for ninjutsu training then what are you suggesting?

    Now Im very confused. So you are suggesting now that you can practice such things with control? What happened to the earlier claim that any momentum from a resisting opponent could be extremely dangerous? If you are telling me you practice against a resisting person, practice techniques/movements/body mechanics using control and that the person is not following a pre-arranged pattern then how are you not sparring? And how do you not see sparring as valuable if this is a part of your training?

    Ok so 'sparring' may not be required but from your post it seems you are agreeing that performing controlled techniques against a resisiting opponent is. Or am I missing something?

    P.S. My details on my profile are correct. You are in fact older than me. And I still mantain that you are wrong. TKD sparring is sparring but you are correct in your assumption that I dont regard it as a particularly valuable form of sparring for self defence because of the bad habits it teaches such as keeping your hands by your side is a perfectly acceptable defence.

    EDIT: Wow that was very helpful had 30 minutes to kill before the university gym is vacated by the TKD folk but they should be done now. See discussion can be useful ;).
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2006
  19. Dale Seago

    Dale Seago Matthew 7:6

    That's likely the single most important point made in this thread so far.

    For me personally, the term "sparring" equates to "competition" and implies a certain mindset which doesn't fit well with Hatsumi sensei's budo.

    On the other hand, for some people the term "sparring" equates to a kind of free-form application/pressure testing which is included in the range of activities we would refer to as randori.

    As I see it: Randori good, competition bad. . .for the purposes of learning Budo Taijutsu.

    I've addressed the "mindset" issue previously in this post:

    I don't want to repeat myself on that here, so I'll just give everyone who hasn't read it a few minutes to do so, or for those who have to review it.

    dum da dum de dum. . .

    Okay, we all have that as a basis for continuing?


    Now, going further. As has been pointed out in many threads already, we're not about "fighting", about people's consensual attempts to impose their wills on each other by force: We're about survival. If you get into this "competing/winning" mindset, it's great for the ring but can (not "inevitably will", but "can") lead to problems outside it. There can be a tendency to follow things through to some desired conclusion and/or "overdo" things rather than doing what's really necessary, and to miss opportunities because you're focusing on (for our purposes) the wrong things.

    At the same time, I don't see how anyone can get good at Budo Taijutsu without some form(s) of free-play and pressure testing from time to time. It needn't be done all that often, but I feel it does need to be done.

    Let me give some further illustrations here from protective-service training, which is not about "fighting" (though force, including lethal force, might be used by an agent) but about survival (of your principal primarily, but hopefully of yourself and your team as well). There's a lot of emphasis on intelligence gathering, threat assessment, and advance work (which includes things like route analysis, arranging access control procedures at venues being visited, etc.) to make it exceedingly difficult for anyone to even attempt an attack on the principal.

    Yet we still train for Attack On Principal (AOP) situations, where the principal has to be protected and evacuated when an attack does go down. You work up to this gradually, with movement formations (both dismounted and vehicular), weapon disarms, use of weapons, etc. -- and finally it is all brought together in a variety of "force on force" situations where the trainees have NO idea what may happen and just have to deal with it. It could be an unarmed assault; edged weapon or club; bomb or grenade; sniper; someone pulling a handgun; ambush by multiple attackers; or any combination of those. The correct agents (depending on their physical position) have to cover and evacuate the principal, and the correct agents have to engage the threat. . .AND they have to disengage once it's "safe" to do so (when either the threat is neutralized or the principal in no longer "on the X"). Fireams with "simunition" ammo (which really hurts!) are generally used for dismounted training, and paintballs (less damaging to cars) for vehicular operations. These exercises -- our randori -- are nerve-wrackingly intense. The "core" drills are relatively simple, but the instructors keep varying the situations and forcing you to find appropriate "henka" (variations). . .under pressure . . .which incorporate the principles.

    I often go and observe parts of various training cycles, as my company's instructor group are all friends of mine; and I have a favorite exercise scenario I like to watch. (All the "core" scenarios used are situations which have actually occurred somewhere.) This one involves application of tactical field medicine as well. Principal is taken to a meeting in some building, and orders the team to remain outside wth the exception of his PSO (Personal Security Officer). Team secures the perimeter and waits while -- unknown to them -- the PSO inside is helping the "principal" put on his "makeup".

    Suddenly shots ring out inside. The team draw their guns and go smashing through the door, and "bad guys" inside pop off a few rounds at the entering team and run.

    The team finds the PSO down, "dead". A few feet away is the principal, in a pool of "blood" with a wound. . .somewhere. . .which the team will have to find, assess, and treat (usually a sucking chest wound) to keep him alive until emergency medical assistance arrives.

    Now here's why I enjoy this one: You can always tell those in the class who are police officers, and there's usually at least one (either currently or formerly serving) in every group.

    How can you tell?

    It's simple. When the team enters, takes fire, and the bad guys run, the non-cops follow the correct procedures to secure the principal, set up a defensive perimeter in case of another attack, begin assessing/treating the principal, and calling for emergency assistance. These are survival issues.

    The cops? They're off in some other part of the building, clearing rooms, trying to chase down the bad guys and fight them. Leaving the principal less secure and jeopardizing the mission in the process. Because their prior training is to compete and win, to "submit that suspect".

    Happens damn near every time. :D

    Protective agents and law enforcement officers both train to use force. But the ways in which they train for the purposes for which they train don't automatically transfer effectively from one venue to the other -- in either direction.

    I previously outlined some things we do in my dojo to provide free-form/pressure testing for the students:

    The excercises I just described can (according to the skill level of the participants) end up being very fast, very intense, and unpredictable. . .but they don't have to involve "competing" -- that is, trying to "win" or to "see who's better". And in my experience they serve the purpose of learning Budo Taijutsu well.
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2006
  20. Banpen Fugyo

    Banpen Fugyo 10000 Changes No Surprise even read any of the posts before yours....?

Share This Page