Friday, March 18, 2016

Blogs moved - click on link - I cannot control the colors on this page anymore...

Folks, due to new quirkiness with Word Press and my inability to control the page and letter colors on this format, we are moving the blogs over to my main page.
Click here and hit the Hock's Blogs button the top time.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Wait for it! Off-Speeds, Timing, Delays, Fakes and Feints in Fighting

Ever hear that expression, “wait for it. Wait for it!”

Or how about in American baseball, that infamous ”off-speed” pitch.

     There is always much ado about training too slow and plain slow, to later train and perform fast and even faster still. The topic of “fight-speed” is always popping up in social media, sports, seminars and classes. Dan Inosanto once said in a seminar I attended years ago, 

“train slow, fight slow.” 

     He was suggesting that you needed to up-your-speed. I think we all get this point intellectually, but we don’t always physically train speeds proportionately. Much time is spent on slow and half-speeds? How much can we safely do full speed? And is super-fast always the best? What about a needed change of pace?

     Changing the pace? Breaking the speed? The rhythm? This essay isn’t exactly on Bruce Lee’s Broken Rhythm Method. I mean, it can be, partially. On his view of broken rhythm, he said, 

     “there is nothing better than free-style sparring in the practice of any combative art. In sparring you should wear suitable protective equipment and go all out. Then you can truly learn the correct timing and distance for the delivery of the kicks, punches, etc. It is a good idea to spar with all types of individuals--tall, short, fast, clumsy. Yes, at times a clumsy fellow will mess up a better man because his awkwardness serves as a sort of broken rhythm.” – Bruce Lee interview.

     But to break a rhythm, you have to first create a rhythm. And in so, so many typical, “street fights” there is no time to officially create and establish a rhythm or a pattern, to create a set-up if you will, as in a sports duel or ring fights. Maybe not so much in a 5 second, so-called quick, street fight. There is no round 2 or round 3 in the street fight, as they say. (There might be in military battlefield strategy.) No time to observe, experiment, and probe, probe, probe with jabs, set up patterns, rhythms, etc. But, I think a smart/savvy person can still slow things up very quickly if needed in those short 5 or so seconds. That application is not breaking a rhythm where none existed, it's just velocity and targeting.

     Through the years I have noted that fakes I have worked on in kick boxing or weapon sparring can fail. Oh, they were very clever, and they were so very logical. But, I worked them fast or very fast against very fast-read-and-react people. But when doing them against slower or newer people, these folks did not have time to react to the fake and the fake did not make an opening or an opportunity. Against these folks, I had to slow myself down, sometimes ridiculously down, to get them to see them and react to these fakes and feints.

     The need for working at medium speed? Sometimes race cars just have to slow down to take a curve. Or, wait and swing differently to hit a slower pitch in baseball. You need to have an opponent see and react to a fake, for the fake to fake him out. More important than being just flat out fast all the time, is also being able to adopt to another moving person, which might just be a move or two at medium speed. Or a “stop action even!” How that other person moves, his arms, torso, head, and the speed by which they move needs your adaptation. Hitting moving things at different speeds, reading the speed, is quite different than hitting focus mitts and heavy bags, which leads us back to the need for sparring, for interacting.

     “The feint's value is as an attack. It is not a physical attack on the opponent, but as an attack on his position, his wits, and on his confidence. Human reaction times are around a quarter of a second on average, higher in athletes. This means that for all intents and purposes the difference between a feinted jab (from appropriate range) and a real one is whether there is an impact—be it on the glove or on the face—or if the opponent recovers from his flinch reflecting on the words of Marvin Martian—“where's the kaboom?”. The more fatigued a fighter becomes, the more he goes to what has been trained into him or to his instincts, and the more predictably he starts reaching after feints.” – Fightland by Jack Slack
     Guns and speeds? Of course in the subjects of hand, stick, and knife fighting, understanding and using various speeds may be important. In some gun fighting when drawing the pistol flat-out speed, speed, speed is needed. But there are times in history, when turning slowly and pulling a gun slowly drops off the reaction radar of another gunman, one expecting the fast cues of a quick draw, one prepared to react to sudden fast speedy move, not slow.

This is a great book on the subject of seeing, reacting and how the "pros" are capable of reading movement and waiting, even in milliseconds.

     “Once I saw a prizefighter boxing a yokel. The fighter was swift and amazingly scientific. His body was one violent flow of rapid rhythmic action. He hit the yokel a hundred times while the yokel held up his arms in stunned surprise. But suddenly the yokel, rolling about in the gale of boxing gloves, struck one blow and knocked science, speed and footwork as cold as a well-digger's posterior. The smart money hit the canvas. The long shot got the nod. The yokel had simply stepped inside of his opponent's sense of time.” - Ralph Ellison, The Invisible Man

     Timing. The Force Necessary, “Combat Clock” I use for training is not just about angles of attack and footwork, it is also about timing. What clock isn’t about timing anyway? The Combat Clock concept also works within the Who? What? Where? When? How and Why framework embedded in every aspect of our training. The word “when,” is all about time and timing. When will you fight? That is a big question, the Macro question. Then the smaller questions fall into place - like when you take a left step? When will you throw a right hand strike - all the many Micro questions.

Review of the FN Combat Clock essentials:

   * The When of the "Ws and H" Module.
   * So easy to remember
   * Angles of Attack, Basic 4 and Advanced 12
         - Basic angles training – the 4 corners of the clock, 12, 3, 6, 9
         - Advanced angles training – the 12 numbers of the clock
   * Directions for Footwork and Ground Maneuvers
   * Body and Arm Positioning by the numbers
   * Apportioning and Prioritizing Training Time Topics/Subjects
   * Fighting Speeds and Adaptability. 
   * Length of the fight. How long will this last? How much “gas” do you have?

The Other Hand
When fighting, boxing, kickboxing, etc, there's that initial move, then all vets worry about "the other hand."

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Saturday, January 23, 2016

The Five Minute Rule for Learning

The Five Minute Rule
Have you heard about the Five Minute Rule? It goes like this. 

     "If someone shows me a fighting tactic or technique, and I can't learn it in five minutes. Its worthless to me. Or, if I show someone something and they cannot learn it in five minutes, its worthless." 

     It is a rule that declares if a move is too complicated and too hard to learn it should be forgotten. We do have a 2 minute egg and 4 minute mile and now a five minute fight technique?

      This often gets quoted and I mean to say, I agree with the idea in general, conceptually to some extent. I get the premise. In the same way that I think and say "fighting is more like checkers and less like chess."

     But, it is situational. For example, there have been times I have shown to a group, say, a jujitsu-like move and the group, as though it was struck with a contagious brain disease, simply failed to "get it." A move all others get pretty easily, pretty quickly. I scratched my head watching them struggle, while for years other groups have caught onto the idea and movements very quickly. So the five minute rule depends on the person? And, or then the individuals in the group? Perhaps a new "Group-Dependant, Five Minute Rule" is in order? Perhaps?..

     Learning, grasping it and then using it is different, in this world of perishable skills. Being "good" at doing something is different than seeing and "learning" it's concept in 5 minutes.  

     But I do sometimes wonder. Who came up the "five-minute" part. Why FIVE minutes? Why not 10? Or 20? Is it just a casual expression? An arbitrary figure? Surely there is no cognitive science, neurological and biological to that selection. Maybe some of the best stuff may take all of six minutes and 14 seconds?

     That is why I never use a 5 minute rule, or any rule in any discussion.  I prefer -

"fighting is more like checkers and less like chess,"   To sum such things up. 

Minute watching? Not so much.

Force Necessary TV! Many video clips 

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Who, What, Where, When, How and Why.” Part 1 or Level 1

     This blog itself is called “Who, What, Where, When, How and Why.” The phrase was first presented to me in the Army military police academy in the early 1970s. It was a checklist on how police officers should write a report. Answer those questions, big and small. But later I learned that a detective must further answer these questions, and a prosecutor must delve even deeper. You never know what weird little thing becomes vitally important in a trial. 

     Then I learned I could really apply all the questions to training objectives, and then…to ALL phases of life. Yes! I could certainly apply it to self defense, training and protection. And also…to buying a house. Getting married. Even trying to get to and use a neighborhood ATM safely. Even planning a military invasion like D-Day. Body guarding the president? Answer these W and H questions as a framework.
     I have used this Ws and H idea for about 25 years now as a spinal cord and mainstay of my personal protection jobs and my training courses. I introduce the Ws and the H in level one of all my training programs to set the stage for all subsequent levels. Others have gotten on this “Ws and H” band wagon too, certainly everyone I have instructed. But some believers I haven’t instructed personally, but have read me or seen my films - so - some were inspired by me. Some were inspired by me and just won’t admit it. Others found it by themselves. You know who you are. Still, few beat this important drum hard like I do. I didn’t invent it. I just use the hell out of it. You should too.
     Using it really takes about three rounds, three passes though, to really cover the questions well enough, because you realize you need to jump back to a previous W to answer the next W and so on. And, you certainly need the latest, unbiased, solid intel to evaluate your answers.
     With the who, what, where, when, how and why, survival and preparation questions, two variations are important to consider.  First, all have “duality” answers. 

By duality I mean a “you” and “him” duality. Or an “us” and “them” quality. The classic idea of dualism is really a two-fold division in several spiritual, religious, and philosophical doctrines. Confusing sometimes, but at times this idea is the best way to properly explain the diverse aspects of complicated life.
     Take the duality of first “Who” question for example. You must answer “who are you?” and “who do you think you will be fighting?”
Macro and Micro/Big and Small
The second variation covers micro and macro answers. The answers can be big as in concepts or small as in very detailed and specifics. An example of that? “What” will he do? He will rob you. “What” will you do? Stop him, for the macro, or big plan, big picture. Then move down on to smaller specifics such as if you move here, precisely what will he do next? The micro.
     Another example is - when I ask you the big questions like, “when do you think you might be mugged?” You might answer with something big like, “at the ATM.” Good answer. Big answer to the big question. But the “when” question has many little ‘whens “ to it also. Little whens that are important to counter-tactics and survival. Like - when does he step in too close to you? When does he actually pull and show his gun? When does he actually turn to leave?
      Why are the little questions also worth mentioning here? All fighting is situational and positional. The big "when" question is the situational part. The little "when" questions are the small positional parts. A lot of fight training starts with the situational and then eventually concerns itself with positions. These precise answers, the small and little physical steps of the enemy are important when planning to fight or run for your life.
     All these “who, what, where, when, how and why” essays to follow are about getting a working knowledge of problem solving.
Coming soon… The "Ws and H" part 2: The First W Question – The Who?

The Ws and H are discussed in this set
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