Rambling Rumination: The Jab

Discussion in 'Dog Brothers Martial Arts' started by Crafty Dog, Mar 25, 2015.

  1. Crafty Dog

    Crafty Dog Active Member

    Woof All:
    I was discussing the relative absence of jabs from the Gathering with Benji this evening and our conversation reminded me of something I wrote about two years ago that may be of interest in this regard.
    Crafty Dog
    “The Jab in Real Contact Stick Fighting” ©2013 DBI
    By Guro Crafty

    As we have had occasion to discuss many times over the years, in order to avoid “spending the night in the hospital and to leave with the IQ with which we came” we must do things in a different way from a death match.

    Amongst these different ways is the use of head gear—specifically fencing masks. Previously we have discussed the issue of the weight of the masks, but all of them protect the face, albeit with the risk of some impact getting through to the face in the “first generation” masks. This is as it should be for what we do. Losing an eye, getting a nose pulverized, losing perhaps several teeth in an instant, and similar consequences might leave us lastingly damaged and diminished in our mission to prepare ourselves to “walk as a warrior for all our days”.

    Of course, this also means the way we fight is distorted from a real world “die less often” fight.

    Amongst these distortions is that we tend to use heavier sticks so as to command attention and impose consequences through the protection of the fencing mask, especially as we use second generation and third generation masks.

    We also tend to jab less or not at all; not only because it tends to have little effect to the face, but also because the heavier sticks tend to be more challenging to jab well and if we hit with little effect while our opponent is swinging a heavy stick with powerful intentions, things could go poorly for us—and so many of us wind up with stick fighting skills limited to roof blocks and various slashes.

    For those of us who think of the stick as a tool for DLO (“Die Less Often”) situations in the street, this can be a real void in our game. A light stick is a fast stick and a more deceptive stick and a fast jab to anywhere in the face , especially in or near the eyes and other particularly sensitive areas, is going to tend to really alter the direction of the altercation.

    Additionally it is worth noting that in DBMA we have the concept of “Consistency across categories” i.e. we look to have the same idioms of movement for weaponry, empty hands (e.g. MMA), and for the street interface of gun, knife, and empty hands—what we call “Die Less Often”(DLO). Thus if we do not have a jab in weaponry fighting, we will tend to not have one in empty hands or DLO. (The same principle applies to redondos-- be they frondos, brondos, or horondos)

    So, what to do? After all, we don’t want to get tagged in a Real Contact Stick Fighting fight while using a technique that may lack the impact that commands respect, nor do we want to fail to install a tremendously relevant skill for the real world.

    We have seen analogous conundrums present themselves previously with sport knife dueling, thrusting, and stick & knife wherein “scores” in the context of Real Contact Stick Fighting yield less result than they may well would have in the real world, not infrequently at the cost of taking shots that would not have otherwise been taken due to the lack of pain and/or damage from these “scores”.

    For what it is worth, my sense of things is that as we have persisted in these areas we have seen people develop genuine skill in delivering such scores. The attitude is not dissimilar to the “counting coup” some Native Americans did before the white man disrupted the existing eco-systems of aggression.

    “Counting coup” was where a warrior would get so close to an enemy that he would touch the enemy with his weapon without harming him—at the risk of his life, a proof in the eyes of all he could have killed him but did not. Great respect was given by all on both sides for such acts. In the context of skirmishes between tribes defining boundaries of territory, the boundary could shift without the losing side feeling the need to avenge a fallen warrior.

    My suggestion with regard to jabs has two parts.

    In the first part, it is to take a similar attitude—to risk the consequences of not pulling off the jab unscathed in order to develop the skill of doing so in the adrenal conditions of a Dog Brothers Gathering in order that one actually install this skill which IS quite relevant for DLO situations.

    The second part is to realize that one CAN develop a jab which imposes consequences even when the opponent at a Gathering is wearing a fencing mask and light gloves! And with this one becomes not only better prepared for the street, but also a better stick fighter at Dog Brother Gatherings.

    In my opinion, unfortunately some of us regard traditional FMA as being mostly being what I sometimes playfully call “martial arts and crafts” (a term I see taking hold elsewhere by the way). This is not without reason! There are fanciful notions to be found in many systems!

    However, let us not throw out the baby with the bathwater. In my opinion there is A LOT of true fighting value to be found in the FMA, and that includes learning how to jab well. A good jab is much more than simply flicking out from the elbow and retracting – though that can work, particularly with targets on an unprotected face! But for a jab to work on a face/head protected by a fencing mask or on a hand protected by the gloves such as we use, we are going to need more than that—and this may well make the difference in the street as well where bad people whose pain tolerance may well greatly increased by adrenaline and/or drugs may not be damaged or deterred as readily as we might think.

    In Dog Brothers Martial Arts, the three main FMA systems of influence are Inosanto-LaCoste Blend Kali; Pekiti Tirsia Kali; and Lameco Eskrima, and each of them has particular jabs well worth studying. Amongst the jabs we teach (the naming is my own, I tend to be quite awful when it comes to keeping proper track of terminology):

    *the Inosanto Four Count Jab

    *The Pekiti stick Jab (see Top Dog’s seguidas in DVD#4 of our Real Contact Stick Fighting series)

    *The Pekiti Pakal Knife Jab

    *Lameco 1 & 2

    *Lameco 3 & 4 (the first motion of each)

    *Lameco Pluma

    *Happy Dog Jab (a.k.a. The Lameco “I” jab)

    Anyway, there it is—some thoughts which may be of use to you as you begin your training for 2014.

    Walk as warriors for all our days!
    Guro Crafty

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