Knife tapping

Discussion in 'Pekiti-Tirsia Kali' started by blue, Aug 18, 2009.

  1. wes tasker

    wes tasker New Member

    Awesome... But can you tap against a cow?

    I didn't know Hegel did Pekiti....

  2. lhommedieu

    lhommedieu Senior Member

    Yes - it's a perfect system for Idealists. One could argue if it's a closed system, or not - but let's not.


  3. wes tasker

    wes tasker New Member

    First Hegel and now Berkeley???? Then one could even start in on the the second law of thermodynamics... But you're right this "synthesis" is a good stopping point before we get into the "paradox of ideal evidence"..... :)

  4. lhommedieu

    lhommedieu Senior Member

    Not Berkeley. The encyclopaedia Hegel. So we won't talk about splinter groups that take us beyond (do they?) the totality of the system? Or recent marketing morphisms? Not arguing "self against self" is probably a good idea...

    My head is spinning, so it's back to: "Just do the drill."

    - Steve
  5. wes tasker

    wes tasker New Member

    OK.... I get the 'geist' of what you are saying... I'm more familiar with the Hegel of "Phenomenology of the Spirit" (which, of course, makes your self against self that much more funny...) and of course Kojeve's interpretation of him..... But yes - do the drill... Wait a minute: Technique-Counter-Recounter vs. Thesis-Antithesis-Synthesis (although he borrowed that from Kant who borrowed it from Fichte)???

    I think I'll go back to: "Just do the footwork..."

  6. lhommedieu

    lhommedieu Senior Member

    The end of history as we know it. Back to the present moment (sorry to hijack the thread)...
  7. TuhonBill

    TuhonBill New Member

    To Wes and Steve,

    Don't make me use my Descartes joke on you. If you two boys kant behave, you'll have to go to your own rooms for a relatively long time out.

    Now, back to the topic.

    I usually tell students that they will really begin to get better at empty hand vs. knife only after they have a lot of knife to knife sparring experience. It's not only technique, it's also mindset. Knife to knife sparring, (when done right) gives you a different timing to work with them pure empty hand vs. knife training. I like to teach advanced empty hand vs. knife only after a student has had a good amount of knife vs. knife sparring under his belt. It doesn't always work out this way, but that is my preference.
    Here is a short sparring drill progression that seems to help. Instead of beginning with knife to knife, try palmstick vs. knife or screwdriver vs. knife. In each instance you have to defend yourself with a tool that has no cutting edge against one that does. Helps to keep you from playing "tag you're it" all night; which is usually what happens the first time two new students try knife sparring. Once you have done some "no edge" vs. edged weapon sparring, you will find that it improves your empty hand vs. knife timing, mindset and technique. For details why, please visit your local PTI instructor.

    Tuhon Bill
  8. wes tasker

    wes tasker New Member

    OK Tuhon, but Steve started it.... :)

    It was advice similar to this years ago that really caused me to look into tapping and the reason I was talking before about more "agressive" attacks etc...

  9. Hertao

    Hertao New Member

    Hey guys. The video linked to in the first post of this thread is mine. I'd like to clarify/explain just a bit from my point of view, which is purely based on realistic self-defense. Although I love Pekiti Tirsia (have taken seminars with Tuhon McGrath and classes/training with an instructor under him in PT, Danny Terrell) I'm not purely a PT practitioner and am not concerned with following any specific PT curriculum. With that said...

    That is almost exactly my "argument", which I do not feel is different from what Tuhon McGrath teaches (although he would be better commenting on this). In every seminar I've taken with him where we've done knife, and in the video he posted, he strikes simultaneously while entering. As he mentions in the video and at seminars, what you want to do is "fly the plane and shoot the guns", but what you learn first is to "hit the eject button". In a real self-defense situation your aim is not to FIRST "hit the eject button", or use the primary hand. The primary hand comes in if you have failed at flying the plane and shooting the guns. This is my understanding, and it's the ONLY thing that has worked against a completely uncooperative and aggressive opponent.

    Entering or starting with the primary hand defense matches a defensive move to an offensive move. This most certainly allows the opponent to maintain his offensive advantage. On the other hand, if you mount a simultaneous offense and defense ("counter offensive" vs. "defensive"), you interrupt his attack by striking him. The goal isn't only to stop his forward momentum, but to hit him in the face and change the game.
  10. wes tasker

    wes tasker New Member


    Thank you for the response...

    For me - what I've found is that beyond out-of-distance-start dueling, the primary comes in first because one is already behind the proverbial OODA 8-Ball and needs to (in that instant...) not be killed or seriously wounded....

    This also points to the fact that I don't look at it quite like a primary tap (which you pointed out "is" a defensive motion meeting an offensive one...) is a free ride for the opponent to attack again. With footwork and third hand etc. the primary tap doesn't have to allow the attacker(s) to maintain there offensive advantage.

    I think what is important is the message brought up by yourself and Tuhon that one needs to drill this eventually in a contested manner. Thanks again for your post. Take care.


  11. Hertao

    Hertao New Member

    Hey Wes,

    I see what you're saying, and that does make sense too. I do think knife tapping is a valuable drill that has the potential to ingrain the techniques so they become reflexive, and I can see that if you've been taken by surprise your first motion may very well be purely defensive.

    I've trained a number of styles, and have mixed them to the best of my ability for self defense purposes. The initial "entry" I used in the video, especially against the #1 slash (and/or #9 I think...inward thrust) and the low thrust (#5?) is more Wing Chun than Pekiti anyway. But, IMHO, I think the terminology used in Pekiti could be made better and less confusing to beginners. I'd call the primary/tertiary hand the backup/attacking hand instead. And I'd call the secondary hand the "blocking" hand. For me, I like to enter with a strike w/ block, and then move to using the backup hand if necessary. But I admit this might not be "correct" from a pure Pekiti Tirsia standpoint. I'm not sure actually. I do remember though being at one of Tuhon's seminars where he had us spar with fencing masks after doing knife tapping most of the day. I THOUGHT he wanted us to start our defense with the primary hand. I tried that, and my partner (James Wilson...who I think is on here from time to time) slaughtered me. Tuhon was watching, and told me something to the effect of "not like it like he's coming to kill your wife and children". The next time when James came toward me with the knife I met him in the middle by attempting to hit him in the face, and when James defended I was able to use a technique from the knife tapping drill. Tuhon said, yes, like that. I thought for a moment...but that's not what we did today. But after thinking about it, and after he explained further, my conclusion was that the primary hand defense was like hitting the eject be used when your "counter offense" has failed. And, every time Tuhon demonstrated what he'd do against any attack, he was always on offense immediately.

    Anyway, I think knife tapping is an excellent drill that teaches you what to do if that strategy fails, or if you're initially stuck on defense due to a surprise attack. Maybe you and I are just thinking of the attack in different terms.

    Good weekend to you all!

  12. puntadas

    puntadas New Member

    tappy tappy

    hertao... knife tapping is not a drill, it is tapping
  13. Hertao

    Hertao New Member

    A drill is a training method. It's something you do to learn or improve a skill or quality. That's what knife tapping is, and unless my English isn't what I think it is, knife tapping most certainly is a drill.
  14. selfcritical

    selfcritical New Member

    I've watched the video a couple of times, and I think i've dicussed this before, but in my experience, handing someone a knife and saying "attack this guy however you want", no one ever punches. They grab, they sewing machine, they rush forward. Similarly, in all the youtube footage of knife attacks i've seen, I don't see anyone throwing a knockout punch.

    There are a couple of reasons for this. First and foremost, if the hands allready in the front warding, it's very difficult to throw the instinctive haymaker, particularly with the hip cocked back for a sewing maching attack.
    In addition, if someone is coming very aggressively, I expect them to be very "monkey brained" and focus on assisting the attack of the weapon they're using.

    But more fundamentally, at the moment you're making the attack, you're still inside the arc of the knife, particularly if he's got it in the rear hand(the most likely position)-the warding hand is likely already up, and most people don't have consistent one-shot KO power even with the powerslaps. It seems intelligent to me to manage the threat first rather than counter-attacking on the same beat when your opponent has a superior weapon. If you're outside the weapon arm, your offensive options are greater, and the attacker can't redouble a sewing machine attack, so I think that should be priority number one unless the guy is wide open.

    I also feel like your arm position with the non-attacking arm produces some issues if the attacker decides to switch up and hit the high line.
  15. Hertao

    Hertao New Member

    Hey selfcritical,

    What I'm trying to demonstrate in the video is how to apply the techniques in the knife tapping drill in theory (I'm not saying anyone needs to do anything, much less the particular entry I used. I believe Tuhon McGrath used a low left parry with a right eye strike as his entry. Fine. It's the idea that I think is important.), and the video only covers one type of attack...when the opponent attacks with the knife hand first, and leading with it. If you've been grabbed with one hand before you know it...that's not what I'm demonstrating against. If the opponent is warding with the lead hand, that's not what I'm demonstrating against, etc.

    That's going to be the case whether you attack and defend simultaneously, or defend first with any physical technique, UNLESS you get out of the way entirely, in which case you wouldn't be in range to do anything at the instant of the attack.

    I disagree here. Why assume you can't manage the threat AND counter attack? The sooner you can put the opponent on defense, the my opinion. And, I don't see the simultaneous attack and defense as being any worse fact I think it is better.

    That assumes that you can quickly get "outside the weapon arm" in a place where an attack cannot be continued. In my experience, this is infinitely easier after you've hit or attempted to hit the opponent.

    I think this would be the case with any low line defense. I'm using an initial left "low block" against a right low stab. The primary hand (in Pekiti) technique for that would be a right "low block". Granted you are ATTEMPTING to move to the outside with the primary hand/Pekiti motion, but your missing an opportunity to attack if you begin that way. Either way, you still have the identical problem if the opponent switches to the high line. I convert the palm to the face to the high line primary hand pass, which very well covers the switch to high.

    Agreed. It would be great if that first palm was a knockout, but I certainly wouldn't expect it. I would however either expect the opponent to evade, block, or get hit. Any one of those three actions will aid me in my defense.

    Anyway, this is my understanding of the best way to apply the techniques you train in the PT knife tapping drill. I'm pretty sure it's in line with Tuhon's teaching...definitely looks like he's saying the same thing in the videos. Although he's using different techniques, I think the principles are mostly the same. I've taught this stuff for years, and I've nearly never been able to make "defense first" work against full power, completely uncooperative attacks by a moderately skilled opponent. I'm not saying anything is great empty hand vs. knife! But it's been my experience that attacking immediately is a very good principle.
  16. selfcritical

    selfcritical New Member

    I'll try and get back to this when I'm not at work, but my thought process works like this.....

    In force-on-force drills,what ALWAYS happens to the cops when they try to deploy kit immediately and fire before addressing the knife first?

    Sometimes going straight to offense doesn't make sense without getting positional advantage first- "position before submission" as the bjj guys would say.

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