Without Writing

The art of writing without writing… about fighting.

Tag Archives: RBSD

Empty Force and Empty Promises

Another exposé of no-touch knockout bullcrap has been doing the rounds. In this one, a wonderful group of skeptics attended an “open seminar” by a Finnish pseudo-martial artist named Jukka Lampila.

Those courageous skeptical fool-smokers really did a number on him, specifically by asking a set of very basic questions, by not flinging themselves in the direction of his pats, wafts, prods and pokes and generally not being willing accomplices to his cultish buffoonery.

I could spend the entirety of this post taunting his poor, misguided followers that leap into the air and fling themselves on the floor at the slightest provocation, and metaphorically shaking my head in disbelief that he’s probably still teaching the same nonsense back home, even after this very public experience. But this would not be the best use of anyone’s time, and I’ve already done it so often in the past relating to similar incidents, that it would be redundant.

Instead I’d like to take the opportunity to address two points. Read more of this post

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Rape and Self Defence: How to approach the issue

untitledHere’s a delicate subject. Perhaps the most delicate, misunderstood, loaded subject one can deal with when discussing self defence. The subject of sexual assaults and rapes. Frankly I doubt my own ability to cleanly delineate the issues involved; they are so many and varied and subtle that no self defence commentator has walked the fine line carefully enough to avoid accusations of victim-blaming on the one hand, or to avoid watering down the self defence advice too much on the other.

I for one know all too well that one can be accused of victim-blaming when discussing less emotive topics like wilderness survival or street-attack avoidance… So it’s very likely I’ll be accused of victim-blaming in this case regardless of how cautiously I proceed. With that in mind, let’s begin.

The issue (in brief)

A primer for those new to the subject: Rape’s a crime that is predominantly but not exclusively committed against women. Children are victims a great deal of the time, and lastly and least commonly, men are also rape victims. Rape therefore tends to be regarded as a “women’s issue”, though some very smart commentators take issue with this classification for various reasons. Suffice it to say, the issue of rape has been of very great concern to women, women’s activist groups and women’s self-defence instructors and commentators for some considerable time. Read more of this post

Kill Your Ego… Before It Kills You (Part 1)

This cat would be safer if it saw a mouse staring back at it from the mirror

This cat would be safer if it saw a mouse staring back at it from the mirror

There’s an old saying in Ireland: “Many a man’s tongue broke his nose.”

A typically dry witticism, and also quite true; saying the wrong thing can get you seriously hurt.

Many people have stampeded towards an avoidable violent confrontation for no better reasons than: to have the last word; to let another person know how annoyed they are; to belittle another person or simply to posture and present a “front” based on bravado.

But this post is not just about keeping your mouth shut. It’s about the larger problem; it’s not just what one says that can get one hurt, it’s everything one does. Excessive eye contact can make other people aggressive; Rushing to catch your train and barging into another pedestrian could result in anything from a few harsh words up to a brawl; Read more of this post

Boundaries… and Honesty

This post will discuss personal boundaries, self-worth and the importance of honesty in both areas.

The great martial artist and martial philosopher Bruce Lee was fond of saying that martial arts are all about “expressing yourself honestly”, and also “not lying to oneself”. And he was right on the money.  The discipline of being honest with oneself and honest to others is key in the proper application of martial arts in all potential settings. Read more of this post

The pros and cons of MMA

Often I rant about the superiority of MMA training when compared to esoteric and exotic pseudo-martial arts such as Karate, Aikido, Systema etc. This is becoming a more common thing to say than it used to be, when only the lonely figures of men like Bruce Lee, Steve Morris and later Geoff Thompson were shouting in the wilderness.

These days, websites like Bullshido have made it their stock-in-trade to advocate for all fighting arts other than those used by the current crop of MMA fighters, (e.g: muay thai, brazillian jujutsu and amateur wrestling) to be summarily abolished. A tiresome attitude in my view, but more intellectually defensible than the attitudes of many pseudo-martial artists who fetishize a kind of hippy-esque one-world inclusiveness, and value it over practicality. Read more of this post

The Power to Be Nice

Some time ago, someone tried to physically injure me. And not in training mind you, in an actual, public assault kind of way.

A strike was thrown at my head without warning at extremely close range, and my response was to jam the striking arm and shove the individual several feet away from me. The individual in question chose not to pursue further contact with me, and that was the end of the matter.

I was happy with my response. I wasn’t happy that I hadn’t seen the attack coming sooner and avoided it well in advance mind you, Read more of this post

Defining Victory

Let us make no mistake; our goal in the martial arts is to attain victory. But what is victory, and will we know when we attain it? If we didn’t define it, how could we know?

Of all the areas of combative training, the sporting arena is the one in which victory is easiest to define, especially in the more old-fashioned and raw Vale Tudo style competitions in which time limits were longer or non-existent. Victory in such a setting is simple: Incapacitate your opponent, (be it by knockout or other severe injury) or force him to quit. Read more of this post

Alternative Career Paths for Martial Artists

It has become something of a tradition in certain martial arts circles to dabble in specific professions once one has been training for a certain length of time. These career choices are rarely healthy, however, and are rarely true to the spirit of the martial arts as I understand it.

When I was training in my late teenage years, the school I was attending at the time had a small group of black-belts. Most of these men worked as bouncers, and up-and-coming students were encouraged to consider this as a career move, and as a part of their training. The emphasis was on “testing one’s skills” in a live environment. Read more of this post

Martial Arts in the News – December 2010

Several stories of interest appear in the news today. Here’s a quick rundown:

1. Elderly Karate Man Receives OBE for Half a Century of Teaching Impractical Fantasies to the Gullible

My headline may appear disrespectful, but to be perfectly honest, I don’t have any respect for fiction being sold as fact. The fact that he’s elderly- rather than protecting him from criticism- merely means he’s had more than sufficient time to realise the truth, and has either blocked it out of his mind, or knows the truth and continues to teach nonsense to his students. Either way, not very deserving of deference. Read more of this post

On Confidence

Belief in one’s skills is a necessity for any combatant. Lack of belief in one’s capabilities can lead to hesitation, fear and panic during a stressful situation, and having no confidence in a particular course of action can lead to one’s brain treating that course of action as if it doesn’t exist; One can enter the state of hyper-vigilance, which has been likened to the “deer in the headlights” syndrome, in which one’s mind frantically searches through its databanks for a suitable action to take in the face of new and stressful stimuli, while one is frozen immobile and vulnerable. Read more of this post