Empty your cup...so that you can see your board-breaking skills won't help you here.

Discussion in 'General' started by arnisador, May 13, 2010.

  1. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    At the college martial arts class I teach, I have a real problem with students who think they know it all because they have studied some martial arts before. I demonstrate a technique and tell them to practice it but instead several of them try to teach it to their partner, explaining it from the POV of their art (usually TKD or Western fencing). It took me a long time to break the fencers of the notion that FMA is played back-and-forth on a line, like competitive fencing, and get them to step off-line. As a FMAer I'm used to people only wanting to sample the weapons part of the art, but I still wish they'd open their minds a bit more.

    Last night a new student came for the first time (which is odd, as the quarter ends next week). He was a 19 year old 2nd degree black belt in TKD with 12 years' experience, as he promptly informed me. At one point we were tied up doing a cross-arm lock--I had lifted my lesson plan from the video in this post by Mr. Hartman--and I asked him, now that he had me locked, how he'd use that to his advantage? I expected an answer like "elbow to the head" but instead he showed me how he'd jump back, lift his foot, and use a front thrust kick to "break your stick".

    I was dumbfounded. There was too much wrong with this to get into, and I do always hope that I can bring these people around eventually, so I pointed out that he was giving up the advantage of the lock and the closed range, and that the stick is really only held in my one hand and wouldn't be braced enough for him to be able to break it, let alone that we don't fight with rattan. He was unperturbed. That was his plan.

    He went on after to class to explain why no one can grapple with him because if they try to tackle him he can always punch them in the head first. I asked if he had ever tried this against a wrestler or BJJer and was told no, just one guy who wants to be a cop. That didn't shake his confidence.

    Kick the stick I'm holding to break it...I don't know what to say. It may be the single dumbest thing ever said to me by someone who doesn't get what the weapon can do. I may need to make him sit and watch Enter the Dragon and hear what Bruce Lee had to say about board- and brick-breaking skills. They're great confidence builders, but don't get cocky.
  2. Bankai

    Bankai New Member

    As a former TKDer I`m shock that he said that. He must have had a really bad teacher. Any martial artist should know the difference between braking boards braced and in an actual fight.
  3. NJMMADude

    NJMMADude New Member

    This is the curse of doing no sparring or unrealistic sparring with little pressure. Way too many schools do this. It used to annoy me how often the JKD circles would parrot the word 'aliveness' after Matt Thornton made such a push for it, but I have to agree with him 100% along with everyone who has said it with him. Aliveness is essential. If you are not pressure testing what you learn against even minimal resistance, it will fall apart when you try to use it, and you will become enveloped in fallacies about your skills and the skills of the more advanced people in your system (those who you are trying to emulate).

    The sad thing about this is that it's a self-perpetuating problem in a school culture in a sense that if you get people who regularly train alive in your school (boxers/muay Thai guys, wrestlers, bjj/judo/sambo guys, etc) they will quickly recognize if what you are teaching is crap and move on, so it tends to continue to attract more of those who need reality orientation.
  4. jwinch2

    jwinch2 Member

    Put him in some pads and tell him to try it. Then, knock the crap out of him with a stick and get the point through his head. Bring in a grappler to give demos on take downs and ask everyone to line up and try to defend it. Put the grappler in pads and head gear so that people can actually hit him and let them go. Once and a while a bit of reality dropped into the situation is necessary to disillusion those type of people. It will also be good for them to see that you are willing to get on the mat and mix it up full contact. Too many instructors don't do that.
  5. Rich Parsons

    Rich Parsons Member


    I have seen this before and the most effective way to handle this is with a minor form of pain.

    As the kick out just make sure the stick is going to have an interference fit with their shin or ankle or somewhere without muscle. I have never seen it take more than once. You do not have to swing the stick you only need to have it sitting there so their own momentum causes the impact.

    Good Luck
  6. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    Bankai, I was really surprised that he'd think of doing it without the stick braced--that's hard with a board, and this is much smaller!

    Full agreement. This guy believed what he'd been told and had obviously never had it tested--and didn't get that he needed that. He started young and never lost his sense of credulity.

    This was day one for him in my class but that would have to be the plan, I figure. Next week or maybe the week after is the last class for the academic year--I'll see if he comes back.

    Oh, and he wants to teach on one of the other nights.

    Yeah, I think this is likely to happen 'accidentally' at the earliest opportunity.
  7. Edgedweapons

    Edgedweapons New Member

    lol The TKDer is way too use to hitting boards or something. funny response though. i would of just laughed super hard and asked "why would you want to kick and break the stick?"
  8. PG Michael B

    PG Michael B Oso Grande

    Board breaking is important! ..who knows if you ever wake up in a coffin buried under ground and need to do the 1" punch until you..uh, oh errr ...damn, They already made that Flick....Damn you Tarantinoooooooooooooo((((((((((((((((
  9. David43515

    David43515 New Member

    Lets see, the average person with no training swings a stick 90-100 mph. A trained person usually swings one at 100-125 mph. Tell him to goto a batting cage and begin warming up be kicking 90 mph fastballs, and when he can do that he should come back and try.

    As for giving up all the ground he covered in getting the lock....I`d just ask him how many times he`s seen a football team on the 3 yard line drop back to the 50 before begining thier drive forward again. It just doesn`t make any sense.

    I can deal with stupid people. (I used to work retail.) But the rudeness of him coming in for the first time on one of the last days of the quarter and saying that he wants to teach a couple nights is just so freaking out there rude I can`t imagine it.
  10. Edgedweapons

    Edgedweapons New Member

    I respect the TKD Sparring Sport, but yea, that is ridiculous
  11. Brian R. VanCise

    Brian R. VanCise Senior Member Supporting Member

    Pain usually is the best response.
  12. kuntawguro

    kuntawguro -== Banned ==-

    Pain is generally the best teacher, but nobody stays in his class for very long.
  13. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    At the college class--since I'm also a professor at the school--I hold back on that a bit more than I do on my own. But yeah, I think a stick in front of a shin is in this person's near future--not even a strike, but just an impediment, as someone suggested.

    He was right in there with me and could easily have elbowed or punched or headbutted me, and might have kneed me (the stick could've interfered with that, given where the lock was). He could've gone into grappling if he wanted, or a take-down, or a stronger lock, or stripped my stick away (but might not have known how to do that last one yet). When people say "Fight the person, not the weapon" I am only in partial agreement--the weapon is a huge factor there--but this was an excellent example of him choosing to fight my weapon when he could've just KO'd me right there and ended things. It wasn't even a sensible option if he could have broken the stick.
  14. Pat OMalley

    Pat OMalley Brit with a stick

    Simple solution really, get him to kick the stick and break it, a good peice of rattan is very very difficult to break with a kick, and when he does try to step back and kick the stick, smash the idiot on the shins, works for me.

    Pain is a great educator.

    Best regards

  15. hollywood1340

    hollywood1340 New Member

    There is a saying in Kenpo "To hear is to doubt, to see is to deceive, to feel is to believe" I'm all for making him a believer!
  16. Datu Tim Hartman

    Datu Tim Hartman FMA Talk Founder Supporting Member

    He's been drinking too much of the TKD Kool Aid.
  17. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    Yup. Most of my students are principally TKDers and think they can just throw a kick and break a leg and end a fight "just like that". A bit of sparring shows that someone with a stick is apt to be mobile, light on his feet, and able to keep you at range, so I can eventually dissuade them of that belief...but it takes a while.

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