FMA Overlays and Adaptability

Discussion in 'General' started by travtex, Oct 30, 2008.

  1. travtex

    travtex New Member

    Without cluttering the forum with my various random brain droppings, figured I'd have a go at condensing them into one... They're all aspects of the same general theme, anyway: Principle and Variation with regard to prior training and current situation (Or even more succinctly: Principle in Context).

    So, I'm only a few months in to semi-regular FMA training. Possibly a little more than that, but I managed to miss the last month with some crunched ribs. Y'know, sitting around NOT training is more painful so I wasn't the best-behaved of patients. Patients sans patience.

    A few things I was wondering if anyone else noticed with regard to prior training. Basically, I started out in martial arts when I was about eight years old. Fast forward about twenty-five years worth of various Hapkido/TKD/Chuan Fah.

    Now, toss in a little sprinkle of FMA and in very little time... Nothing that I do or think in training has much of ANYthing to do with ANY of my prior training. It's all angles and ranges, and if you pressed me for a 'technique', my first response would be, "Hell, I dunno."

    It's kind of like a martial paradigm shift, where the past couple decades of training is simply deconstructed down to basic body mechanics and reviewed through a new filter.

    It's much slower going with weapons, but my empty hands seemed to just quantum leap in flow and efficacy in a very short time. Anyone notice this?


    Secondly, I notice my tactics have changed dramatically. I used to be a quick 'long-range' sort of guy, probably from the TKD/HKD background. However, I have 'Former TKDer Knees' coupled with 'Former Baseball Catcher Knees' and a smattering of 'Autoimmune Joints Knees'... When I try to dance around outside, I get worn down and/or owned.

    I also assume everyone knows more than I do (Generally a truth in new arts), so I've started becoming a huge fan of 'Close and Kill' entry/ranging. It seems counterintuitive to me, as I'm not a big guy.

    Old mentality sees someone three times my size and wants to keep my distance. Recent mentality wants me to get in tight and go for the eyes/throat, *laugh*.

    Anyone else discovered a sort of counterintuitive tactical preference change over time?
  2. malcolmk

    malcolmk Member

    The natural instinct if you are confronted aggressively and attacked is to retreat to safer ground so yes, training is counter intuitive but unless you have a clear escape route closing in is really the better option.
    In my opinion that is.
  3. pesilat

    pesilat Junior Member

    It wasn't counterintuitive for me at all. I was forced into that place way back in TKD. I was the smallest person in our TKD class - there were people in the class whose arms were longer than my legs. I learned through trial & error that I *had* to close.

    Top that with being born with crossed eyes and, due to that, never developing very good depth perception. At longer ranges I have to rely on my eyes too much and they are unreliable for me. I don't know how many times I parried too soon or too late and got clocked.

    That's why, when I came to SE Asian arts - especially Silat - it felt like coming home. My previous time - in TKD as a kid and then in Okinawan Goju-Ryu - had all been spent trying to figure out ways to close with my opponent for one reason or another. Then I came to Kali and Silat and, lo and behold, they favor the closer ranges and have drills to improve my ability to get there and stay there and inflict a lot of damage there.

    Bottom line:
    There are only two choices. I either have to get to a range where my tools are effective (preferably my most powerful tools) or I have to get completely gone from the situation. There is no middle ground.

    The most powerful body tools I have are elbows, knees and sweeps/takedowns/throws (like the old adage goes, "I like to hit them with the biggest thing I can find - namely the earth."). If I have another tool that can inflict more damage from a longer range then, fine, I'll use that if I can. For me personally, though, because of the poor depth perception I still prefer to close so I can get some tactile reference on them.

    Also, being close enough to have tactile awareness of them frees up my eyes to do other things - like check for possible exits, other threats, possible weapons, etc.

  4. travtex

    travtex New Member

    'Forced into it' is a good way to put it. It was a big mental shift for me, as I'm used to being able to outmaneuver people

    Relevant Anecdote that stands out for me:

    Sharkee sparring a while back: Drill was basically this: One guy gets a knife, the other guy doesn't. Good luck. At some random point, the instructor tosses another knife somewhere near the fray.

    I ended up being no-knife guy. I was thinking in terms of my 21-year-old mobility, 'No problem, delay, wait around... I can POUNCE on that knife.'

    Ha ha ha. I found my ability to dart and corner had nothing on the 19 year old BB shooting guard's. So now it's guy with TWO knives versus aging idiot. However, it became quickly apparent that he was doing much better with the single knife. Having two of them had him thinking too much and putting his arms in awkward places. Worse still, it was in a quickly predictable pattern.

    Now, I don't corner worth a damn, but linear bursting I can handle. Arms crossed, burst, trapped awkward knives, elbow, strip, twist... Next thing I know it's no knives versus mildly surprised guy with a knife at opponent's neck.

    Nothing drives a lesson home better than being thrown into an 'Oh, crap' situation and finding a way to work it.

    (On the OTHER hand, the most prominent scar on my forearm is from when -I- was "learning" how it was a good idea to keep from stabbing yourself.)

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