22 February 2009

Self Defense Against Mugger - Funny Video

Came across this funny self defense video again recently and had a good old laugh. This guy is kinda nutty :)

18 February 2009

Real Combat is Raw

Image provided courtesy of Jan Sochor (copyright)

Real combat on the streets and inside the homes today is quite Raw. It is very real, there are very serious consequences and it often involves at least one party who just doesn't care about the other person at all.

The Streets and the Battlefield

Real combat on the streets today is different from combat on the battlefields of yesterday, as has been discussed in my post What is Low Tech Combat? Combat on the battlefields of today involves 'high tech' weaponry and equipment.

'High Tech' combat on the modern battlefield is mostly (although not always) conducted at a distance where two opposing combatants are away from each other. There is space between them. They are not touching each other in any way. Sure, there may be grenades being thrown at the extreme but there is no contact. Again, not always, but mostly. By far.

Combat on the Streets is Extremely Close Range

Real Combat on the streets and inside homes happens at VERY close range. The two combatants will be touching each other, even forcibly applying forward pressure eye ball to eye ball.
Eye balls will likely be wide open, almost on their stalks. These eye balls may even be gauged.

Finger nails may be used. Screaming may emanate from one or more people. Strength may play a large part in the outcome of the engagement. And of course, large doses of adrenaline will be surging through the veins.

Some Typical Scenes from Extreme Close Combat

For information, much of what is discussed in this post stems from my studies of On Killing, On Combat and Training at the Speed of Life, Vol. 1 (Amazon links) and various other related books. There are typically some very real signs, symptoms and effects of being involved in such Raw, Low Tech Combat. Some of these are:

  1. Slow motion time
  2. Tunnel vision
  3. Abstract thoughts (I wonder if John will still be coming around to watch the football on the weekend)
  4. Auditory exclusion (You don't hear any noises at all during the encounter)
  5. Extremely high heart rate ( Above 200 beats per minute...)
  6. The body may receive severe trauma from an edged weapon
  7. Profuse sweating
  8. Loss of fine motor control
  9. There may be memory loss of portions of the encounter (Or even most or all of it)
  10. Trained moves will not be used, only instinctive reflex responses
Acceptance is Step 1

It sounds quite dramatic doesn't it. Many people refuse to acknowledge that these things will be experienced or felt by them. They feel that because they have done some training for a few years they are above all of this non-sense. This list is not exhaustive.

Unfortunately, all their training has done is get them comfortable with their training environment. As I have discussed previously, there are many many things which are vastly different between training and the real thing.

Replicate These in Your Training

It is vital to at least try to replicate some of these very real feelings in the gym, where your safety is ensured. By looking at some of the areas covered above we can begin to determine what we need to put ourselves through, in order to better prepare for very real, very raw, low tech combat.

  1. We need to feel and experience real pressure. You will definitely feel real pressure in the real thing. It is best to experience this in training first and understand how real pressure effects everything you do and how things such as Adrenaline Dump, Tunnel Vision and Loss of Fine Motor Control begins to creep in.

  2. We need to ensure we train at a high intensity. The encounter will likely be short. It may last up to 1 minute or so. Maybe more, maybe less. It will place great demands on the body. It will be all out max strength, max power, whatever you have.

    You WILL be using everything you have in your arsenal to survive and emerge the victor. So we must train that way. Anaerobic is the rule. High heart rates and max efforts. Leave the aerobic stuff to the triathletes.

  3. We need to ensure we go through new, unknown or foreign scenarios. Often, training can become routine. We turn up, get dressed, do a warm up, go through some techniques and then maybe spar or wrestle or whatever. This is not challenging stuff mentally. There is no new information that needs to be assimilated RAPIDLY. This will happen in the real thing.

    Rather quickly, decisions will have to be made such as, 'Should I leave?' 'How many of them are there really?' 'Who is the main threat?' 'What should I say?' 'Where is my main escape route and my alternate?' 'Can I or should I run right now?' You need to involve yourself in training in new drills or scenarios. Doing a good RBSD course is just one option.

  4. We need to only ever use gross motor movements. Simple really. Fine motor control won't be there when you need it. You can try this stuff under stress but it won't work or it has a very low likelihood of it working. Stay with the high percentages. Use only gross motor movements.

  5. We need only simple techniques that work. Nothing else. You want to react. You WILL react. Most likely that reaction will be sub conscious. You do not want a whole host of options to go through.

    Ensure that you only use moves that are the most simple you can find and model what is likely to happen during the startle-flinch response. The old masters and the new masters all say the same thing. Master the basics. Simplify simplify simplify!
Your Training Regime

Implementing these things into your training regime will be challenging. No doubt. But guess what? The real thing will be challenging too. We can not ignore the very raw, very real nature of Low Tech Combat.

Training using these above principles and incorporating them into our own way of conducting training can bridge that gap between the sterile training environment and the raw realities of real combat on today's streets and inside our homes.

16 February 2009

Top Posts Showcase

The following is a Showcase of the very best posts to date from Low Tech Combat.

Some are core posts which deal with the nitty gritty of the really important aspects of Low Tech Combat and some are just important to the wider area and conta
in a lot of useful information not readily found in other places.

This Showcase area will be updated as required. It can also be foun
d in the header for ease of navigation.

Here they are in no particular order. Click an Image to view the post.

15 February 2009

What Gender are the Best MA Bloggers REALLY?

I recently found an interesting site (and wasted much time) which analyses the gender of a blogger by entering the URL of their blog address. It analyses purely the writing style using only the latest, high tech algorithmic calculations and scales using NASA's super computers (Im sure).

I thought it was quite fun so I put together a post for your viewing pleasure!

Nathan at TDA Training
Now it appears that Nathan is indeed actually a man. But at 55% he is fairly gender neutral.

Matthew at Ikigai Way
Clearly, Matthew is ALL MAN with 87% confirmation. Go check out Ikigai Way for information from a real man!

Scott at Straight to the Bar
Scott? IF that's your real name. What's going on here? For all that hard core strength and conditioning on Straight to the Bar, it would appear that you are indeed a woman!

Mark at MarksTraining

Hmm. Slightly suspicious at just 53% certainty that Mark is a man. The key words are 'quite gender neutral'...

Ray at Floro Fighting
No questions here. Ray is 69% all man! What about the other 31%...

Tom at the things worth believing in
Again, we have another man in our presence with Tom at 63%. Not many questions there.

Wayne at JuggernautMMA
Well, judging by his writing style, the gender analyser thinks Juggs is half man half woman! Well, to be fair, it does say man, however he is quite gender netral. Best of both worlds?

Ross at Ross Training
No surprises here. Ross Enamait is a man! We've all seen his videos on his site. Amazing stuff. It just goes to confirm the accuracy of this high tech 'Gender Analyser'.

The mysterious Brillianter
Wow. However you are, brillianter, it would seem that you are a man. I say that with 82% certainty.

Michele at Just a Thought
Michele, your claims of being a woman check out with the gender analyser at 61%. Note to readers, although Michele is a woman, she is one tough woman! Check out her blog.

John at My Self Defense Blog
John, you are 74% all man. They are some pretty high figures there so from what you have been writing, it is definitely from a man's perspective.

Matt Thornton at Aliveness 101 (Straight Blast Gym)
The analyser isn't too confident when it concludes that they 'guess' that Matt Thornton is a man. Matt writes in a quite gender-neutral manner. Not that there is anything wrong with that.

Black Belt MamaUmm... I don't know what to say. Black Belt Mama is by far the manliest man on this list! The all knowing all thinking gender analyser is 89% certain that she is a man. What does that say for the rest of us???

Kevin at Budo Warrior
Pretty good indication (71%) that Kevin writes much as his gender has programmed him to. The gender analyser's unique and advanced algorythms 'think' Kevin is a man which is a much stronger claim than 'guessing' he is a man.

Don at Don Stevensons-Octogen Fitness
Well well well. It seems that a kettlebell instructor and fitness guru is actually a woman! To be fair, the analyser only 'guesses' probably because of the low 58%. Rather than being JUST a woman, it appears that Dons writing style is quite gender neutral. What is it with all these tough strength and conditioning dudes writing like women?

Dave at Unarmed and Dangerous
Another high rating with Dave being 79% all man. Of course I think we can all tell by the manly advice Dave gives on his site as it has a great Low Tech Combat focus. And written like a man it is too.

'Firehand' at ElmTreeForge (Irons in the Fire)
Another mystery person here. From the results above, it seems the 'Firehand' is some kind of man. We can now say this with some degree of certainty. Well, with 72% certainty.

The Fight Geek59% positive identification as a man is a much better result than some other strength and conditioning aficionado's... However the fight geek is still quite gender neutral.

Matt at Martial FighterUmm, Matt? It would seem that you write like a woman. Your saving grace here is that it states that your writing is quite gender neutral. For a woman...

Boss Mongo at Mongo's MontreauxHmm. Boss Mongo you just scraped it in as being a man. 50% and quite gender neutral. Although im sure being half man and half woman is ok. Stay safe.

Bob at Striking ThoughtsBob? Your kind of the opposite to Boss Mongo above. It seems that you are actually a gender neutral woman. Bobbet maybe?

Low Tech Combat?

Well now its time for the big guns. I know you're all wondering... What gender do I write with here at Low Tech Combat???????????????
Damn... Not what I was hoping for. At least I am a man. That is reassuring to know. I would have liked to have a bit more of a buffer zone to play with.

I have seriously wasted enough time on this for now so will end it there. It kept me entertained for a while :) Any thoughts on the matter? There sure are some surprises there. It also raises some suspiscions. What is going on over at Straight to the Bar and Octogen Fitness? Are they really written by women? And is Black Belt Mama really a man?

12 February 2009

Wanderlei Silva: Train with the man in Las Vegas!

Wanderlei Silva has opened a new gym at Las Vegas. You can go there and train with him in his state of the art gym with all equipment required, including of course, a full sized Octogon.

So next time you are in Las Vegas, pop in and train with the one and only, Wanderlei Silva!

09 February 2009

Ray Floro: 7 Vital Truths of Edged Weapons

There is a lot of rubbish out there in regards to defending an Edged Weapon attack. A lot of the information being presented out there is down right dangerous. The very best source with the very best information and instruction on the topic of Edged Weapons is the one and only Ray Floro.

Simple and Effective

Ray teaches only simple, effective techniques and tactics for dealing with Edged Weapon attacks. Best of all, his stuff is easily implemented into any style or system anyone already studies. It is not a case of one or the other.

The below video is a collection of Rays series of 7 short videos called the "7 Vital Truths of Edged Weapons". Each deals with a certain aspect of Edged Weapon defence. The video below is a collection and indeed a small sample of what it is Ray Floro is all about. No fluff.

If you want to see more, I have previously posted the full second video which is titled What an Edged Weapon Can Do which is real eye opener.

Alternatively, you can go to Ray Floro's site and get access to all seven videos or even better, order a copy of his amazing DVD set.

07 February 2009

11 Key Differences Between Training and the Real Thing

Image by cfoto

I'm sure most (if not all), readers of Low Tech Combat train with a view to being able to apply what they practise in training, in real life. That is the ultimate goal. We train using only the most effective systems and strategies we know of so that if one day we get into a physical encounter and cannot avoid or evade it, we can use these skills under stress to stop the threat.

We all know that the training environment is quite different to the environment we will likely find ourselves in if we ever have to use these skills for real. Our busy lifestyle these days often means that only little thought is given to these differences. We know we must take responsibility to protect ourselves so we go to work, go to the gym, dojo or dojang or whatever to train, go home, sleep and repeat.

What I wanted to do is put together a list of the 11 Key Differences Between Training and the Real Thing. These highlight some of the differences we often have very little time to consider. It is these differences that may contribute to surprise (which is bad), and a below normal level of performance in the heat of the moment.

11 Key Differences Between Training and the Real Thing
  1. Consequences. In the gym training, no matter how hard we think we are going, in the back of our minds we know that we are training with another person who is there to learn. They are not going to stomp our heads or launch a full power soccer kick at our faces. There is also an instructor who controls the action and is there to step in immediately if ever things get out of hand.

    On the street however, tapping out won't mean the attack will stop. There is no referee to save you and grant the attacker a TKO victory. Falling to the ground won't mean the fight is over. There are very serious consequences in the Real Thing.

  2. Space. Often, Low Tech Combat on the street is at very close range where each combatant has a hold of the other with at least one hand. There is no space to manoeuvre and get into your comfortable distance.

    If your preferred range is long range where you like to pick apart your opponent from a distance, this is likely to cause you some serious issues. In the Real Thing, space is quite often a luxury that is rarely granted.

  3. Time. In training, many people enjoy sparring and wrestling (myself included), but one aspect that is quite different in the Real Thing is that there will be little or no time to 'feel out' your opponent. There is no time for warming up first. There is no time for getting mentally prepared prior to the encounter. Attacks can flair up very quickly, often at times when you do not want them to. Real Low Tech Combat is fast.

  4. Jabs. Many people habitually use jabs when training. Jabs can be a great tool for assessing range, feeling out your opponent, setting up other more powerful attacks or even attempting to knock your opponent out in the Combat Sports. In the Real Thing, numerous other factors such as Space and Time will not allow for jabs to be used. The Real Thing is very different to many training sessions. Using your Jab as a basis for other tools is not going to work.

  5. Preparedness. When you go to your class for training, you know what you are in for. You expect all that comes with training. You are mentally prepared. You likely go over moves and ideas in your head on the way to class. In the Real Thing we don't have that luxury. Things often escalate quickly and at times when you least expect them. Even if you had good awareness and detected the situation early on as it developed, there is still a very compressed period of time, little of which can be used getting prepared.

    Preparedness is a sliding scale where the better your awareness and the least your are caught by surprise, the more prepared you can be. However it is still nothing like the levels of preparedness achieved when knowingly driving to class in the evening for a training session.

  6. Protective Gear. During hard sparring and wrestling sessions it is common to wear a mouth guard and maybe a cup and some gloves or more, depending on the specifics of each session. That is simply the nature of training in a combat based activity.

    In the Real Thing, these items will not be available. At the time, this may or may not mentally affect you. However, it is important to consider this difference when training. Protective gear can promote some unrealistic training habits. Head gear can often promote wearing a hit on the way in for the kill without seriously considering if that tactic would be successful without the protective equipment.

    The use of gloves can promote instinctively punching in the Real Thing which has the risk of causing serious injury to the hand. I have previously written about punching on the street or not.

  7. The Ground. The surface you train on is likely to be very different to the surface you will be on in the Real Thing. It will likely be concrete, tarmac, tiles or some other hard unforgiving surface.

    On top of this there is likely going to be angles such as gutters and steps. It may also be uneven and have numerous trip hazards. These differences are an important consideration to take into account of when you look at how your training and the techniques you use can be hindered or even become dangerous to you in the Real Thing.

  8. Kicks Above The Thigh. There are numerous factors that make it impractical to kick anywhere above the thigh. Many people are unable or uncomfortable to kick above thigh height without first warming up and stretching. Adrenalin may or may not assist in this matter.

    On top of that, you may find yourself in shoes that don't grip very well. The surface may be very slippery under foot. Sure it might be ok to walk on but to pivot on and land a kick above thigh height it may readily slide out from under you. To kick above thigh height you will need to be in pants that have the appropriate flex or cut to enable the leg to go through the kicking range of movement. When other previously mentioned factors are considered such as Space, Preparedness and Time, it may be difficult to do any kick at all.

  9. Unknown Persons. This one is pretty obvious. You never know who is around or what their motivations are. If you get into a scrap with one person, he may have friends nearby who will happily join in at any time. We have seen previously that you are more likely to face three or more attackers than just two attackers.

    At class, even if you train for multiple attackers, you know who everyone is and what their likely behaviour will be. This also ties in with Consequences as mentioned earlier. Training in multiple attackers in class has nowhere near the consequences of facing multiple attackers in the Real Thing.

  10. The Environment. Training at class is a very learning oriented environment, or it should be... It will also be safe from hazards such as sharp edges and will have a smooth surface. Everyone is there to learn. Everyone knows each other.

    The environment where the Real Thing may occur is very different. For one, it will likely be outside. It could be on the street and/or in front of a crowd of thousands. If someone is uncomfortable doing some nice and safe public speaking, that is also likely to affect them if they are forced to defend themselves in front of a crowd. Everyone will be looking at them.

    There will likely be numerous objects lying around which could be picked up and used as a weapon by either side or all. This will change everything. The point is, the training environment is very different than the the environment where the Real Thing takes place.

  11. Tunnel Vision. The are many effects on the body caused by the stress of combat. Tunnel Vision is arguably the most limiting. It generally happens in conjunction with slow motion time. Tunnel Vision only happens under immense stress. Many people have experienced it to some degree at some stage in their lives. It is there to benefit us and help us focus only on the threat we face and cut out all irrelevant information at that time of danger.

    The problem lies when we face more than just one threat. When experiencing Tunnel Vision, naturally we lock onto the threat. We do not look away at all. We are focused 100% on the threat we are facing. The problem with this survival mechanism is apparent when we throw in a second, third or fourth attacker into the equation. It is very easy for them to come at us from the side or rear as we will not detect it as we are 100% focusing on the one threat to our front. Rarely will training get us to experience tunnel vision and the problems this can cause.

    Briefly, the best way to break this tunnel vision is through training. Every time you face an attacker in scenarios or multiple attacker training, ALWAYS continue to look left, right and behind you at all times. Maintain 360 degree awareness. In this way, hopefully when you experience tunnel vision when facing a threat, it will be a habit to look around and behind you for others.
So there we have it. 11 Key Differences Between Training and the Real Thing. Hopefully this post has provided some food for thought in this matter and will make you in some way, better prepared for the Real Thing.

This list is not exhaustive. There are many other factors that are quite different between our training and the Real Thing. Any suggestions?

04 February 2009

ADCC Submission Wrestling Highlights - Video

This is a fantastic video of the best ADCC Submission Wrestling action. If you have never seen high level Submission Wrestling before, this video is possibly the very best place to first view it. There is some fantastic skills being applied in real time.

Submissions, escapes, combinations, take-downs, transitions, athleticism, position changes, throws, set-ups, reversals, sweeps...

Very Nice.

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