Palmstick?

Discussion in 'Pekiti-Tirsia Kali' started by TuhonBill, Oct 14, 2010.

  1. neo

    neo New Member

    My thoughts

    This is a great thread - thanks Tuhon and others.

    I will just add my thoughts on the subject. I try to carry a knife with me but it isn't always possible. I go to federal court from time to time (in a professional capacity not a personal one) and obviously am screened thoroughly. On such occasions, I place my tactical flashlight in my briefcase and pass it through security. They usually give a puzzled look while trying to figure out what it is but then pass it through with no questions.

    My point is that although I prefer a blade, a palm stick (flashlight, etc.) is much better than nothing. In fact, I like having the light with me so much that I am in the habit of carrying it with me even when I can carry a knife as well.

    Especially now that it is getting dark at 4:30, having the ability to blind an attacker may be even better than having a knife in my opinion (or at least just as good).

    Thanks again for the great post.

    Mitch
     
  2. neo

    neo New Member

    I just want to add one more thought after re-reading some of the other posts. If you shine a tactical light in someone's eyes at night, they can't tell how far away the light is. If you blind them at 3 feet away and then the light travels to the bridge of their nose - they can't tell you are moving in on them. For all they know you are still three feet away. Just something to think about if you don't think a tactical light in the nose, throat, etc. would be effective.
     
  3. Hertao

    Hertao New Member

    I've spent the last couple of weeks training and experimenting with the palm stick/flashlight. I've change my mind on it, and have been meaning to post about it here but don't have much time at the moment.

    For me, I realized the problem I had with the palm stick was mostly based on the techniques I've been taught or seen done. I find MOST of what I've seen to be either impractical or less efficient and effective than alternatives. I'm very interested in what Nassim Taleb calls a "Black Swan" (rare/unpredictable events), especially those that lead to catastrophic failure...regardless of whether that's related to finance or self defense. So as a general principle I try to use only techniques and default responses that minimize the risk of catastrophic failure. Every technique can and may fail. But it's one thing for a technique to fail in such a way that you can adapt and move on to another, and it's another thing to have a catastrophic failure...meaning the technique you attempted left you open to being taken out by your opponent. I've come up with a few techniques/combinations, both purely offensive and "counter offensive"/defensive, that I think both minimize the risk of catastrophic failure and are very effective...probably more so than empty hand alone. In the next couple of weeks I'm going to film them, and when I'm done I'll post the techniques here.

    I've been a fan of tactical flashlights...flash and bash sort of thing...for a while now. I've been working more on that too recently, and have a renewed appreciation for it.
     
  4. Hertao

    Hertao New Member

    I hope this doesn't seem too promotional, but as I'm not making any money off this and no longer teaching...I've finally gotten around to posting video and pictures of a couple of palm stick techniques I find to work really well, here:

    http://www.hertao.com/palmstick

    I'd love to know what you guys think. And as I mentioned in the text, if the palm stick is being used primarily as a training tool to represent the knife, then much of what I said/wrote does not apply. I'm looking at this purely from the perspective of a "palm stick".
     
  5. London

    London New Member

    very nicely done Hertao! I like the way you think with emphasis on absolute efficiency.
     
  6. UrBaN

    UrBaN New Member

    Good article and video Hertao, though I have a couple of comments to make.

    1. At 00:58, the problem is not that the technique (parry and hit the bicep) is poor. It is the lack of footwork during the initial attack. Footwork and zoning should be known to you, according to your site.

    2. At 1:08, this attack and as a matter of fact, all attacks, leave you open, one way or another and it is the experience of the opponent to make use of the opening.

    That's why I am not a big fan of techniques, but of principles and strategies. If you have that, then it doesn't matter what tecnique you use.
     
  7. Hertao

    Hertao New Member

    Hey UrBaN,

    Not saying you don't know it, but obviously you need techniques in addition to principles/strategies, along with realistic training so you can implement both. I see techniques, training methods, and strategies as 3 legs of a 3 legged stool. If you don't have any one of the three the stool won't stand.

    Regarding your comments...

    At 0:58, I should have zoned deeper to do that technique justice. I had very little time to make the video and the footage and location are/were both less than ideal. However, as I wrote in the text, you can't assume your opponent won't change position and turn to face you. I'm a HUGE proponent of footwork, as you can see on my site. But I've sparred with boxers enough to know that footwork alone will not keep you safe. Footwork needs to be combined with physical positioning and techniques/covers/traps/blocks that take care of the inevitable openings that will exist. The parry-and-hit-the-bicep could be a parry-and-hit-the-head or a parry-and-hit-the-groin, etc. One could argue that at a certain distance the head/groin/etc. are not available, but that's the point of footwork...to get you where you need to be rather than where you don't need to be. My opinion is that hitting the bicep is a wasted motion/beat that allows your opponent the chance to knock you out. I find it not only unnecessary but also dangerous...not to mention how extraordinarily difficult it is to actually pull off in reality, when you have no idea what punch is coming, when, or what angle it's coming in on. If you watch a few real fights on YouTube you'll see that most people rush in with a barrage of craziness. The fact is, you don't know if your opponent is going to rush you with a barrage of craziness or not, so you'd be better off with a technique that will work no matter what the opponent comes in with.

    At 1:08...what I'm demonstrating is an attack, not a defense, as the parry-and-hit-the-bicep is. And you're right that there are openings. But they're very much limited compared to many, many other techniques commonly demonstrated. The footwork of the attack limits the opponents options, as does the angle the attack comes in on, the fact that my head is down (protected by my striking arm), etc. Although it is an attack whereas the bicep strike is a defense, the bicep strike leaves the side of your head immediately open to the opponent, whereas this attack does not. I understand that the footwork that should accompany the bicep strike will IDEALLY put your head out of range of his opposite hand, but what if it doesn't? What if you're trying to hit the bicep of a left fake and you get hit in the face with a right? I know you can adapt and counter the right. But why set yourself up for such a possibility?

    You're right that all techniques have strengths and weaknesses, but some have far more weaknesses than others.

    I want to reiterate here that I'm not attempting to put down Tuhon or PT techniques here. I realize that in Pekiti most techniques are based on the blade, and the palm stick is often used to simulate the blade. I also realize that Pekiti is an "art" to many. My position is a bit different as I'm only concerned with what is most efficient and effective for self defense. So I'm not approaching this as an FMA or Pekiti practitioner. But I do very much value the FMA perspective in general and Pekiti in particular, so it's great to be able to discuss technical issues with all of you.
     
  8. UrBaN

    UrBaN New Member

    I didn't post to defend PT.
    I don't care to defend / promote any system.

    My post was general.
     
  9. London

    London New Member

    all good stuff and i'm enjoying this immensely. I really get concerned about footwork in general when it comes to a full-speed street encounter. Having done my best to simulate these kind of attacks (wearing protective gear etc) I've found that the first couple of beats of offense/defense are going to happen before you have a chance to zone, or do much of anything with your feet. if the technique is predicated upon footwork/zoning to work then I think we have a problem. Look at what happens when boxers and Muay Thai fighters have a close-range flurry of offense/defense. they move their upper body pivoting at the waist in the classic bobbing/weaving manner. I'm just saying they do this for a reason and both boxing and MT are evolved from LOTS of actual combat. yes the FMA are evolved from combat but we don't have much actual video footage of it to go on and I wonder how it looked if we could have been there to see it. perhaps the Dog Brothers footage can be of assistance here. I've noticed their footwork looks a lot like boxing/MT. footwork is simple and the sticks fly so fast it's a crazy blur.
    when we do our drills at slow to medium speed in class (which I do as well), there is time to implement some nice footwork but I'm just questioning how applicable it really is to the kind of close quarters 'ambush style' attacks that are most common on the streets of modern cities.
     
  10. Hertao

    Hertao New Member

    I think this depends on how ready you were for the encounter. If you're aware of your surroundings and work hard to maintain a "safe distance" then I do think you can use footwork at the beginning of an attack...since you will see the attack coming. But what you'll see is forward motion toward you, not the specific attack (left jab, right cross, right over hand, etc.). This is one of the reasons I'm a huge proponent of "default responses" that cover as much ground as possible. I really like this palm stick defense because it works no matter what punch the attacker throws (I've got in in the video against 3 different attacks). If your defense must specifically match an attack (as the bicep strike must), meaning that the technique will ONLY work if the attacker throws a nice, straight right, it's bound to fail under pressure.

    This is one of the reasons I love FMA's though, because the triangular footwork (assuming you see the attack coming) limits your opponents options for an instant, giving you less you need to cover. I just don't like combining the benefit of triangular footwork with the downside of using granular attack specific defenses.

    The Dog Brothers do use triangular footwork under pressure. Their "Attacking Blocks" video is excellent in that regard if I remember correctly, with techniques and "if you see it taught you see it fought" footage.

    I don't think the problem is with the footwork...more with what accompanies it. But, the palm stick defense I show in the video and pictures goes straight in initially. So that's not an issue regardless.
     
  11. jwinch2

    jwinch2 Member

    Interesting comments on footwork London. I would submit that much of the footwork we see common to FMA derived from movement the blade. Most swords or agricultural blades which they are derived from are relatively heavy implements so that they will have the mass to power through whatever tree or plant they are being used to chop. That mass slows down the speed at which it can be moved and really slows down how fast a change of direction can take place, which does a couple of things. First, it allows more time for footwork to take place because the speed of movement of the implement is slower. Second, footwork is often required to get the body in proper position to generate force as well as get out of the way of the blade so that you don't injure yourself in the process. Whether or not that footwork can be pulled off with faster implement such as a knife, stick, palm stick, or even empty hand is a good question and worthy of discussion.

    Having said all of that, I do believe training footwork is extremely important but you had better also know what to do if you are in a position where movement to zero pressure is not possible in that instant. Being able to survive a barrage of strikes or deal with a situation where you are backed into a corner or attacked in close quarters where you cannot easily zone is also extremely important.
     
  12. London

    London New Member

    thank you gents, most appreciated. sorry if I'm hijacking this thread but I'm learning a lot here.

    perhaps what I'm discovering here is that while "response technique" and footwork are both critically important and intractably intertwined, they operate at a different speed/cadence in relationship to each other. if I had to guess I'd say handspeed to footspeed ratio is about 3:1
    synchronizing the upper and lower body platforms is indeed complex and requires a ton of practice but we do it because we love it.
    this also shows a lot of commonality to combat pistol/carbine shooting come to think of it.
    Ideally we move laterally towards cover when drawing the pistol, but when you are behind the clock it may be all you can do just to clear leather and start putting rounds downrange.
     
  13. Hertao

    Hertao New Member

    I think you might be over thinking this a bit London. People often step back or drop (still a lower body movement in a sense) as they raise their hands in defense. Either way though, you need the distance to see the attack coming or you won't have time to use your hands or your feet.

    Here I think the priority needs to be getting cover rather than drawing if there's a choice between one or the other. It's better to get to safety and not get shot than to shoot your opponent but get shot too. Putting rounds downrange should be the means to eliminate a threat, and to do that as quickly as possible you need to move first and shoot second. I do think this relates back to the palm stick.

    The goal is survive the encounter, and the simplest way to do that if you need to hit the attacker is to use a technique that provides the smallest chance of you getting taken out in the process. To me that means going for the major targets as efficiently as possible, with the most cover possible. Otherwise you unnecessarily prolong the conflict, and the longer it goes on the more likely it is that you'll be hit. That's why I'm not fond of most of what I see taught with the palm stick. Because in my opinion time is wasted striking the hands, arms, ribs, etc. The saying..."poop, or get off the pot" comes to mind.
     
  14. London

    London New Member

    in the shooting scenario I was really meaning more if there was no cover available, or if you are say stuck in your vehicle in traffic. at any rate I agree on the palmstick methodology of going in hard and fast as safely as possible. I hope this thread encourages folks to do some realistic drills along the lines you've portrayed.
     

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