I wanted to get this message out to the practitioners of Guided Chaos concerning the reality of fighting in general but I will use the example of what I call Combat Cane Fighting to make my point.
A few years back my very close friend and colleague won a very high level full contact stick fighting championship. (I have not gotten his permission to give his name at this time). What was of primary interest to me is this: He was fully capable of performing all sorts of fantastic choreography (forms) with double kali sticks. He is a master martial artist with decades of experience in a number of arts. He trained personally with world renowned masters. His description of what it took to win after hours of grueling competition of full contact stick fighting was this:
"I basically was able to strike with one stick over and over again like an animal and
through sheer adrenaline and stamina won. Not one fancy technique helped anyone to win."
Let's look at this more closely.
In a real life and death frenzy-filled fight there is no real time for calculated moves.
Sometimes, as a police officer, there is some time to plan because most of the time you
are called to respond to whatever crisis is happening. This is where some planning can be of importance. Once the monkey gets caught in the blender all bets, however, are off. We are primarily concerned with what happens at the point of impact, so to speak.
All the preamble that leads to the split second high speed contact of the fight is not
as important as having built within you the highest degree of survival attributes.
Balance, timing, sensitivity, pre-cortical visual ability, to name a few.
It would seem to make sense that the best way to develop skill as a fighter is to mimic
what has been reported to happen in some actual altercations. This is a step in the right
direction. Now imagine how things would change if you trained with some scenario based concepts and were able to tap into a reservoir of abilities that most people don't ever develop. I know some development happens just by acting out scenarios but imagine if you developed balance that a ballet master would be envious of. Now as you step in and out of range of a stick or other weapon you would have enhanced your ability to move in paths at a higher rate of speed with more power. So if you just played Punch and Judy games with your sticks you would fare better for a real fight than if you twirled both sticks in a display that would almost equal a little baton twirling girl's abilities.
I can see your face right now. How dare you compare the swift, twirling, propeller-like motions that we can do with our sticks with that of a baton twirler! I am not saying that a baton twirler can stick fight. I am only saying that it takes so much time to learn to twirl the baton or the sticks that your best development of internal qualities gets lost. There is only so much good that a kata can bring a person.
I was at a Fu Jow Pai tournament many years ago in Manhattan. It was a full contact
match. During the intermission a man gave a beautiful display of the spear. He basically
was a spear twirler. My good friend said to me something like "Wow look at that spear
move!" I instantly said without thinking that the spear which is made of bamboo would
shatter if I stuck my hand out and hit the shaft. Five seconds later the spear hit the back curtain and shattered. I think that this was not lost on my friend.
The reality of self
defense using a stick dictates that you use the heaviest, strongest
material possible that that can do the most damage while being easily
and quickly wielded. This obviates many lighter materials commonly used
in various martial arts in favor of dense woods and steel (such as you
would find in a specially made walking cane--which is also legal to
Training with such
a stick to adapt to the inherent chaos of real violence dictates a
non-regimented training methodology focused on laws of physics and
adaptability over patterned techniques.
Imagine jumping from one wobble board to another placed haphazardly and
simultaneously Drop-striking full force against pads moving all over the place. This is
an example of what is needed to develop real life fight preparation.
Now imagine doing it in dark conditions. Now imagine someone pushing you off balance while you move from one board to another gradually picking up the pace and mixing the attacks from one place to another without warning. This is step one in the dynamic training methodology for stick fighting. This is all after first learning how to hit in general.
This is what Guided Chaos training is all about. No memorization, just movement and
drills to enhance your abilities to train like the above method describes. Start slooowwwly and develop speed gradually without memorized forms.
I hope this makes sense to you. All the best, JP