What’s up at Latosa Concepts Copenhagen? DK Summer break and more.


What’s up at Latosa Concepts Copenhagen? DK Summer break and more. 18/07-2016

I hope ya’ll are doing well. Some of the things I’ll touch on in this blog are what we have been working on lately, starting up again after the summer break and the usual mix of Latosa Concepts, FMA  Terminology for DK FMA and Self-defense.

To start with one of the post that  I want to make you aware of is this one.It’s old but good.  Because of my special background, I have listened to it twice.

Bulletproof your mind with Dave Grossman.

With all the trouble going on in the states at the moment, I felt the post above is a good reminder of how to handle situations that are happening. Living abroad, I am aware that I could have a target on my back. It’s a fact of life that I have to deal with everyday. The trick is to not let it take over your/my everyday life.

Dansk FMA go selvforsvars gruppenWhen I teach the guys, I am focused on their abilities to cope with what ever is thrown at them. The methods we train are the FMA lessons from GM Rene Latosa and my other FMA instructors. There are different tools to develop the needed skills in them. As GM Rene Latosa has said and written so many times …. Drills are not fight training. They are a basis to build a mental and physical reaction and action on. Master bill Newmann always said he was in the business of making escrimador that will not go down. He was talking about be tenacious!

From time to time, I feel the men ( Who I teach now) are ready to be tested. I turn into a bad guy that makes them wonder if I am angry with them. The last time i did this A. was tested and passed his grade right there on the spot. It’s always a good feeling to see a students eyes when they hear they have passed a given grade. I always shake their hands when doing it. They go from thinking I am nuts to seeing the pride in my eyes when they live up to the level requested by me. This last time (I tested the men) was the last training session before the 2 wk. summer break. I am proud to say that the men who were at the training were tested according to the skill level they are at and they did well. They kept their focus under an assault of consisting off many different attacks. As I said/wrote, I was a little bad. 😉 The test is meant to show me ( the instructor) and them, where they break under a given pressure. I feel that they did well. If they didn’t break at some point under the wave of attacks then they should be teaching me. 😉

Any hoo! What does it mean to be tenacious when training? The answer is simple. We all get hit. It’s just a question of time. Depending on the situation, ( training, tournament, a street confrontation, or a business deal, a divorce ) we have to stand up again. When we train, we make mistakes and end up in the wrong position. Especially when one’s instructor, who knows your weaknesses, decide to put you in the wrong position. The trick is to work like hell to get to that good position again. This includes taking command of the situation and making our mind strong and resolute. Remember who decides! and Who is the rag doll?

This is why drills get harder as we progress in knowledge and skill. Reality is not the gym.  We are going to get hit, it is what we do, after or at the time of the strike, that makes all the difference. Sometimes I would see a situation progression when I did security.  My way of steadying my mind was to say the following to myself…. this is going to hurt and I still have to do my job, here we go!. By accepting the fact that pain could be involved, the threat of pain was no longer a dirty little secret my brain had to work at not thinking about / suppressing. My job was easier.

Screen Shot 2015-05-17 at 11.03.35Some students will stop training with me and be well prepared to defend themselves. Soldiers in a sense. I am always proud of their abilities when/if they stop. Hard work begets pride! Others will walk away warriors. Both are fine in my book.They should feel that way as well. By the way, the people wanting exercise should find another instructor! I am interested only in teaching real self-defence based on FMA knowledge. My recommendation for the people wanting a more gymnastic habit, is to go to a gymnastics class or be a member of a large club. I teach to see real advancements in people’s skill levels.

With that said men, we will be doing a lot of strike pad work again when we start up in August. 🙂 That will be one of your skills.

As written in an earlier post, we have been outside. The groups has been small. 5 at most, and I like it like that sometimes. I get to work with each person and see the progressions they make. Once again I get to be a proud papa.

If we talk about situational awareness and all the crap going on in the world right now, we can say one thing. … We can’t walk around in a given level of fight mode all the time. If you try that you will not have a job, girl, family, and or friends anymore. We might even get locked up on the funny farm! We can develop some basic habits, that we can practice w/o having to move on the street like we are in a boxing match. In short use your instincts and gut feeling, develop skills and learn to be tenacious when needed. Loving our family and having fun in our lives doesn’t mean we have to stop training ourselves. we must have to trust those strange feelings we might get in a situation.

Enough of that. I am on vacation now and there is no official training for 2 weeks. I am around if there are any questions, I’m just being lazy and training myself every day. The club starts up again in August. See DK FMA and Self-defense grp here.

I am looking forward to making sure a few members are up to snuff before they progress to the next grade. Once again, well done the other day men, I was not nice.


If you are in Jylland and are looking for a good club that follows the same training structure I do, write and I will set you up with M.A. From there on it’s up to you to show M. that you want to learn.

Stay proactive in Life and training.

CW

 

 

Advertisements

Happy New year from Latosa Concepts and DK FMA club


Latosa Concepts logo red background2016 is right at our door step and We just wanted to send a greeting out from the two clubs here in Denmark. 2015 has given us more members new training facilities and much more. Just the other day I spontaneously tested a student for the grade he was training for.

Well done Aden. The grade is well deserved. I’m looking forward to at least 2 other students testing for their grades in the next 2 months. N. for the 5 and A.N. for the 3rd., the grade test will continue to be spontaneous.

M.A.’s group in Jutland / Jylland has continued to grow and our Copenhagen club has a new member as well. All this, despite all the extra shifts our student are forced to work. Anti terror work is a bitch.

New members of the Copenhagen Club, DK FMA and Self-defense Group, can train free the first month.

That’s it for now.  Stay safe and have a great New Year in 2016.

Stay Proactive in Life and Training

CW

Training with intent. What does this mean for Latosa Concepts, FMA?


Training with intent. What does this mean for Latosa Concepts, FMA? FMA terminology!

I hope ya’ll are doing well.

To start with we’ll have a quick update for the Danish FMA and Self-Defense Group in Copenhagen. Training during the last 2 weeks of July have been without training instruction from myself. The men have been making their own plans for training during these two weeks.

Screen Shot 2015-05-17 at 11.03.35Stig has done a great job arranging for our clubs ( forenings ) continued use of the room at Grøndals Center in Copenhagen. Once again a tip of the hat to him for doing such a great job.

For anybody who has has kept an eye on the FB page for the Danish FMA and Self-Defense Group, they will have seen my remarks about intent! What do we mean when we use this term?

Let’s get back to basics and the concepts that GM Rene Latosa teaches. There is balance, focus, power speed-distance-timing, and there is transition. Intent is when we hit with the desire to strike or counter strike with the idea of damaging. In short we mean it! If we look at my past and point karate tournaments, we can say that there was a time when I did not train with intent! The distance was wrong because we tried to be as far away from our opponent when punching. We also used a lot of energy on the draw back phase of the punch. If we train our selves to punch ( a given example ) out of range to have a real effect and we know what we are doing then there is no intent.

We can look at the number of training partners we have, and quickly come to the conclusion that we would run out of partners, if we follow through with strikes to the head (a given example ). We want to keep our training partners around because they are friends and are also needed to continuing getting better at what we do. How do we train intent then? The answer is we intend to hit the person, when we start the attack! Then we stop the power at a given range using power mechanisms ( a term I coined to better explain how we generate and control power.) The use of dropping power helps to improve balance and the ability to keep the energy moving. Helmet training or training with padded sticks is a way to not stop the power short of the head, arm, or what ever target or zone we attack.

eskrima free sparring latosa concepts escrimaWe have talked about the trinity of speed , timing and distance. We can look at them when examining our intent. If we choose a target or zone that is a long distance combo of the trinity, then we will have a given possible combination of speed timing and distance, ( this is simplified for this explanation / blog.) Another distance will have another combination. What’s important is that we have intent when performing the attacks / counter strikes.

You might say… what about focus? That’s easy. Are we putting power towards a placement besides the real target? Many people do this. They look great but if we look closely, we’ll see that the strikes is aimed at a spot next to the head ( a given target ). Some of the men have a hard time getting rid of this “nice guy gene.” What we have to remember is that we are training our partner, when we train our selves to aim at the target. Striking towards a spot besides the head again and again trains that pattern into our nervous system and it teaches our partner that there is no real danger! Even worse, if we are striking at a spot in front of the head and our training partner really doesn’t have to do anything. We have to remember that we are training our selves to function under stress and when that stress is not there, it’s all a joke. Someone throwing a strike at us that is in distance, focused, done with balance and power, and the ability to transition to another attack target helps to create that stress and get us ready.

All this might seem like a physical act for the uninitiated. What we are really talking about is a state of mind! We should not be afraid to let a strike go, that is set in motion with the idea of bashing a target in. The fact that we stop ourselves at the last moment should not change this fact. Many people have a hard time with that dark side of themselves. The truth of the matter is we train ourselves to do one thing or another. Are we teaching our selves to hit the air or break an arm when attacked? If you are training to defend yourself against the air, by all means keep thinking about hitting the air in front of your training partner.

I know what I train for:

  • 1. Defense of my family.
  • 2. Defense of myself.
  • 3. The mental and physical aspects of training.
  • 4. Spending time with friends, training partners and student.
  • 5. Giving back and continuing the transference of the knowledge that I was given by my instructors and mentors so my students can protect themselves and their families.

 

I could ramble on for along time about intent and the concepts GM Latosa teaches with his style of FMA, but it’s still my vacation. I hope your summer has been a great one. Remember that the first month of training is free for a while. you can read more here at DK FMA. It all start ups again on Monday the 3rd of August at 17:00. Wrestling room above the bowling centre at Grøndals Center in Copenhagen.

Stay proactive and remember your intent when living life and training.

CW

Drills vs fight training in FMA. Latosa Concept, FMA and Danish FMA group terminology


Drills vs fight training in FMA. Latosa Concept, FMA and Danish FMA group terminology

dansk fma og selvforsvar gruppe i københavnI hope ya’ll are doing well. It’s time for more ranting and terminology. Before that, I’d like to remind you that we are open for new members now. You can see the guys who were at training the other day in the picture. So write to us so we can plan a training session with our club.

Now to the subject at hand. When we do drills, they are usually some counter attacks and other mixes of techniques that are related or put together for other reasons. One might be to learn how to hit with control when starting the first 2 stick drill. Most people need some time to feel that they have control of the left handed strike. I’ll put a video below to show what I mean. Drills can be put together to get use the stress level, so the students can focus on improving something like the timing of the strike and foot work with the left hand… if we stick with the given example above!

All drills are not fight training! I repeat, ALL DRILLS ARE NOT FIGHT TRAINING! If I was going to do a crash course for military, CPO ( VIP protection) etc, Then most drills would be fight training. When we teach people in a club setting, then we are looking at developing skills that we don’t have time to improve with the crash course. At least with most people, there will always be the élite learners.

Not only that, but a given drill at a beginner level would not look like the same drill for an intermediate level student or advanced level student. We post a lot of videos compared to other FMA clubs, but we don’t post everything! We have the training, we show the world via videos and we have the next level of understanding that doesn’t end up on video.

As the guys start to develop skills we turn up the stress level via different tools. this could be more honest attacks from the BG ( bad guy ), it could be via more attackers, noise, catastrophe position, other starting weapon positions, and much more.

Once a student has learned to understand the distance of a stab ( using the low counter strike to the attacking weapon hand) then he / she can go on to doing a #2 strike to the head and moving more offline, or even preempting with online footwork. Then when the live hand has been developed to a given level, we can add the live hand control to the same attack when the BG stabs low. Hopefully you see where we are going.

We can look at a drill as a stick drill or we can look at it as a bladed drill. Blades always command more respect. People can be and often are more brave when attacked by an attacker wielding a blunt weapon. Just by changing the attackers weapon, we start all over again with building the confidence of the student and thereby their ability to do more than just a basic drill. They can start more true to life fight drills. This is why people look differently when the fight really starts.

You’ll hear me yelling yes!, even though a student has reacted outside the drill parameters at times. That is because they have taken a simple drill for skills sake and started to adapt it to real fight / self-defense situations.

I hope you don’t really think the FMA videos showing a long series of counter strikes is supposed to be what it looks like when we use our training in real life ( if we are so unlucky that we have to )

You will hear GM Rene talk about keeping to the basics and those of us who have learned from him, will most likely always have our student look at the basic concepts as they progress. Are they maintaining balance as they learn new skills and learn to function under more and more pressure? Do they still command control of timing and distance when they add 2 sticks to a list of t he tools they can use?  Can that take that same cross strike with the stick and transfer the same power to the use of the live hand while they attack to the head when the attacker stabs ?

In short, the many drills for developing the skills of a warrior are not the same skills and drills that would be used to develop a soldier in a short amount of time. There are going to be extra drills and possibly slower paths of learning. And later on the ability to ascend to a higher level of understanding and skill will/can be the result. (Given the fact that the student is ready for the learning curve and more). The funny thing is things get easier later on when we take our time in the beginning! In other words the second 2 stick grade for the guys will be easier because we spent the time on the second single stick grade.

I could write about this subject for along time. There are so many combinations of timing, distance and more that it could be a book. But my old fingers are getting tired and the sun is shinning. AND it’s Friday!

Do some training this weekend and make sure you spend some time with your family. enjoy their company and remember what you do have in your life.

Stay Proactive in Life and Training

CW

Dino Power!

 

 

Glenn Greenwald: Why privacy matters.


Glenn Greenwald: Why privacy matters. Mental aspects of self-defence.

I hope ya’ll are doing well. It’s video time for the psychological self-defence aspect of protecting ourselves and our families. There is plenty of stuff if you listen and think.

The “meat hippy in me”  thought this was worth watching / listening to. ( I like to listen to podcast now rather than watch videos. I’m just an old fart after all 😉  ).

I try to keep the politics out of this hobby that I call a blog. So, sorry about the political nature of the video. With that said, Glenn Greenwald talks about some things people do and don’t do when they think they are being watched. A little more insight into the nature of our fellow men / governments is always good to have. The more we understand others and ourselves, the more we can avoid conflicts.

On a side note, we are real close to starting the “forening” as the Danes word it. Have a great day! the last bylaws are being ironed out.

Stay Proactive in Life and Training

CW

 

Learning figure-8 strikes before stabbing attacks. Latosa Concepts FMA Terminology


Learning figure-8 strikes before stabbing attacks. Latosa Concepts FMA Terminology.

eskrima free sparring latosa concepts escrimaI was training with J the other day and working on / refreshing some of my tools / abilities while he was working on some new tools. That’s going to be the starting point for this posts. Where it goes from there … who knows!

Before that, I like to ask you if you … if you have done anything for your general mobility, strength and conditioning? I’ll tell you what I did today after sleeping late. Had some coffee and coconut milk, kisses a purity lady then worked out. It was a pull day. That ment deadlifts, bend over row with a rotation, 2 core exercises, a calf exercise and lat pulls. Get off your butt tomorrow morning and do something. 

Getting back to what we worked on when we were training. Timing is a strange thing if you don’t understand the doors it open for you. When you do, it’s just fun. To refresh, the basic timing variations are: preempting, same time variations, and late timing. When we start to mix the timing variations in an attack sequence we get things like half beat attacks. These can be  joint locks, takedowns, strikes, stabs , cuts and more. I did a leg sweep and took J’s second stick from him at one time. Of course, I had one stick at the time.

Any Hoo! At some point in time, I felt the urge to start using my second stick to stab with ( espada y daga style. ) J’s first response was to say … what was that? Jokingly I told him is was an old man cheating! On a serious note, J noticed that it was harder to see, ergo he was caught off guard by it ever time. That’s very true! Stabs are harder to read when we look at the ability to read attacks (baring the ability to read the attackers body movement.) Just the fact that the tip of the weapon may be all you see is enough to scare people. Add to that the fact that a stab with a knife goes deep without much force and you get a new respect. This is one reason that GM Rene Latosa talks a lot about zones and students of his, like myself preach about zones of attack from every mountain we find. It was the same, when I was with Master Lind at WCS. Regardless of what we doing the most effective way to protect your self is to look at attack zones. This could be with the array of FMA weapons / tools, it could be true of the general British type of sword training (sword and buckler is great fun!), and it could be true of the German type sword training.

Back to the order of learning. When we start with the figure-8 system of basic blunt weapon strikes, we learn about reading what the attacker / assailant is attacking us with. With time we learn to read the attacker and move from same time strikes to preemptive strike. Once that ability is bettered to a suitable point, we can start learning to read the stabs. This means we start to understand that stab can stop and start in the same little bitty segment of space and still be just as dangerous.  It’s all about taking baby steps before we walk then run.

You might be thinking that the old man has forgotten about the half beat! He’s gotta be getting old. Nope, I’m not that far gone yet! As we progress from same time strikes, we learn to step on the gas with an extra strike between the beat. Stabs or #5 strikes are an easy way to do that.  With time, we can learn to act and react on one third beats, one quarter beats and so on. It’s all about the flow drills and the speed that are performed to build this ability. This gets back to my last post about flow and so on. Flow is a tool, to learn about and better, your half beat strikes and more.

All this gets into energy and short power and everything starts to interlock, intersect and become universal when we look at FMA and GM Latosa teachings. I’ll let you think about that one for a while. Can you say nexus? We’ll call it the LC Nexus just for kicks! Remember learning to do is becoming aware of what you have learned to do! In this case, learning to use the #5 is learning to be aware of that same attack if an attacker uses it on you.

That’s it, the red meat and green stuff I ate after training is almost gone. It’s time for some more food!

Make sure you see where GM Rene will be teaching while on his travels.

Stay proactive and enjoy life!

CW

Latosa Concepts Escrima. What happen when you focus on one thing?


 Latosa Concepts Escrima. What happen when you focus on one thing?

Latosa Concepts free sparring helmets

The equipment before the storm. LC Escrima free sparring day at the beach

I hope ya’ll are doing well. The sun is shining strongly here in DK. Old Texans like that! I just got back from the beach where we got our fill of free vitamin D. Now it’s time to sit in the shade and put a few words down for ya’ll out there in internet world.

The subject for today is … What happens when we focus a whole lot on one thing? Before I went on a two week break from training, we

Latosa Concepts 2 sticks vs 1 stick free sparring

Latosa Concepts 2 sticks vs 1 stick free sparring

had worked on strong strikes against an attackers attack. Example: Hard #1 strike vs a #1 from the other man.

You might ask yourself… why do that? The trick is to remember that on the street hitting the bad guy

Latosa Concepts 1 sticks vs unarmed  free sparring

Latosa Concepts 1 sticks vs unarmed free sparring

/attacker / assailant fast and hard is best in many cases. Destroying the power in his attack is also a good idea in many cases. By slightly adjusting a  #1 downward towards the attackers weapon, hand or arm the attackers #1 strike is a tool against him. He is open and out of balance. The problem with training /sparring with people in your own training group is that they have the same plan and know what to do. In short it looks ugly sometimes. It looks like people trading blows.

Our free sparring session at the beach was much more online and it looked like people trading blows back and

Latosa Concepts 1 sticks vs 1 stick  free sparring

Latosa Concepts 1 sticks vs 1 stick free sparring

forth in much more a degree, than we have shown in some of the video from older posts. Once again there are factors the “lookers-on” have to take into consideration. The strikes to the head would take a person out if they happened on the street. The strikes to the hands would cause the assailants to drop the weapon on the street. The same goes for the good hits to the arms. In short, what you see is not what you get when you watch sparring with protective gear. The sticks we use for sparring are fully padded rattan sticks. A hit to the head or hand with a real blunt object have a defined effect that can’t be denied. Things break. Once again, people don’t have hockey gloves on the street! Most people will use an object that does not bend like the stick in a picture above. Check out the melon bash we did a time back. Click here. It will also give an idea of what happens.

Latosa Concepts Copenhagen melon bash

Went through it like butter with a hot knife!

Be it a knife, a blunt object you might have in your hand, or some other object you find in the general vicinity, something happens when hard / sharp / pointed objects hit the human body. Many people forget that when they watch two people trading blows.

In reality, it’s all about hitting the other guy faster than he can hit you. When that skill set is learned, then the fancy stuff can be trained. In my book at least. I could see that in our beach session, before I took a well needed 2 week break from training. The old fart needed the rest after he sparred with some young guys full of way too much energy! 😉

As always it’s good to work on a theme for a while before switching to a new focus point or concept. Next time it will be a little more movement offline with the attacks. That will happen naturally with two stick matches, because they demand room, if the sticks are not to get bound up by the other man’s arms. When we put the gear on again the “lookers-on” will see prettier sparring sessions. After that, we’ll get back to the hard ugly stuff again. You get what you practice.

BTW, well done guys. For all the old farts out there. Make sure you get your sleep before doing 2 minutes sparring and 1 min rest with a bunch of wiper-snappers! I didn’t and paid the price. 😉

Ya’ll take care and have a great day.

Proactive in Life and Training

CW

 

Shot show 2013 knives and tools


I hope ya’ll are doing well. I thought I would go back in time and post an entry that followed the style of some of the older blog entries.  It’s no secret that we have taught professionals and will continue to do so. I think I can speak for M.A. (Aarhus LC Grp.) and myself when I say that they tend to listen more and work harder because they understand it’s about their safety as well as the prosperity of their families. We all want our kids to prosper and have all the advantages including having a complete family around them. Theirs also personal issues as well. Our own pasts drive us.
With that said I used to post information about some of the new and upcoming equipment that people might want for work and believe it or not scouting. My son loves the outdoors. He would rather live in a tent at times.

This brings me to something some people might not know. Many knives have a shape and design based on the job that needs doing. Different tools can be: a skinning knife, a fillet knife and a heavy camping knife for batoning. The hunters and outdoors people will know that you need a full tang knife for this last job.

In the videos, there is some information about tools and knives that where at the 2013 Shot Show. The tool nerd and craftsman in me just slobbers when I see the stuff. The Texan in me howls at the knives and the escrima instructor wants to be aware of what is out there. If it’s on the net some one on the street has one.

It’s my belief that pro’s should have proper working tools. A basic idea is:  all emergency personnel should have strap cutters and more with them. If you are smart you believe the same for every person that drives a car. How many of you have had a first aid course lately? Got ya’ didn’t I.

Any hooo! There is a bunch of information out there but the knife and shot shows are a good place to do some looking.

Have a great day and …. Stay Proactive in Life and Training

CW

Albion Swords


I saw this picture on FB and started to look through the website.

What do you think? Like! You will find a bunch of cool swords at Albion. You will find swords for collectors and swords for people who train with them. I was lucky enough to know the man that runs the Albion company here in Denmark. We used many of the different swords for demo’s when I spent a lot of time training with swords (sharp and metal trainers). The picture that I posted above has the wow factor.  To see more of the swords sold through Albion-europe.com you can click here. Albion also has a Facebook page that puts information up from time to time. For the FMA people, you will find some european swords that are close to fma versions. I’ll leave you to the links before I start to slobber with the thought of sparring with a battle sword and a buckler. Yupeeee!

Be Proactive in Life and Training … with a sword!

CW

The flinch. Latosa Concepts Terminology.


The flinch. Latosa Concepts Terminology.

I hope ya’ll are doing well. I was listening to a Robb Wolf / paleo podcast and the inspiration to write a little about the links between our (humans) flinch reflex and the benefits of working with it it as well as variation that we can train into our system.

To start with the link to the book download is here.  It’s free, so jump on it if you are kindle ebook capable. The idea of the flinch / startle reflex transcends many aspects of our life not only combative or self-defense aspects of it. You can hear the podcast at the Robb Wolf website. Go to podcast 111 with Julien Smith. They talk about mind set as well as other aspects of our lives. One of the subjects is how we can live life by pushing our everyday limits a little and how we can adjust to harder and more demanding situations as a response.

I remember my first conscious experience with the startle reflex was as a kid when I watched a hunting dog get ruined by being put in front of the end of gun when it went off. That was a harsh and stupid way to try to get a dog used to a gun going off. You could ruin a dog very quickly like that.  You could also get a dog used to being around gun fire when done correctly. A few feet forward or back made a large difference. Just to make sure we are on the same page, we will start with some basic ideas pertaining to the startle reflex / flinch reflex. One of the first signs of the flinch and all it entails is the closing of the eyes. That’s natures way of making sure we can see to get away. Eye sight is alpha and omega in nature. The next few things that happens are our shoulders rise and our arms come up to protect the vital organs and throat/head. We hunch over and in worst case scenario we bring our legs up to protect our belly. As well as a fetus position parts of our nervous system react by putting semi-important functions on the back burner. This actually causes many people to feel weaker than they usually are. Others experience a surge of adrenalin that makes them very strong. You have heard of the fight or flight reflex.

Did you know that your ability to perform fine motor skills is greatly decreased when the adrenalin kicks in?

As well as the physical aspects of the flinch, there are the psychological aspects of it. Think of the idea of a flu injection. Don’t think about about the mercury and the fact that it poisons you, we’ll get into that another day. The reason your body is supposed to be better off after the injection is that your body has had a chance to prepare itself for the flu-season/experience. In a sense it is a type of hormesis. Small portions are supposed to strengthen you towards larger portions.

All this is why adrenalin junkies are what they are. They survived and they are hooked on the experience, the rush that comes afterwards as well as during the experience.You could argue they are strengthened by the experience. We do the same with our kids. We teach them to be able to do small tasks. They learn they can do them and they are prepared for larger tasks. We start teaching them about how they can be conscious of feelings of uncertainty and afterwards they can experience the feeling of joy because they could do a specific action / task. We are getting them ready for life! They are being built up psychologically.

Good self-defense instructors do the same with students. They build them up. The speed at which you build a students mental strength and tolerance for uncomfortable fights varies. Some can take a crash course and others have to be walked there with baby steps. The more the person is used to working with them self the easier it is. The more there is an important end goal the faster it goes. I have never treated female students with kid gloves. The speed at which they reach some combative goals may be slower, but they also travel further compared to many men. I could mention a few that could fly through the process because they felt the very real need to no longer feel like victim. The most scared students are often the bravest one! All instructors should remember that.

You might ask how all this has anything to do with FMA. That is simple. Another case in point goes back to when I started training with swords. We trained with very heavy swords that were made to help body mechanics. Looking back, it was a great way to start sword training compared to light fast swords. I went to a seminar and had to defend myself against a very strong and very good sword /escrima instructor. It was hard to do, mentally I had to make my balls grow a few sizes, but I was determined to do it. When it was my turn to do some free sparring with him I stepped forward. At the next normal escrima class on Monday some instructors talked about how I used the hickory stick like a sword and how fearless I was. The mental experience made the difference. I was affected by pushing my self and developed more of focus under pressure.

We can take this even further by teaching people to use the flinch reflex and attack quickly in the place of covering themselves. Do you see where the FMA training comes in now? I hope so. In FMA and FMA based arts we teach people to attack the attacker in order to take them out as quick as possible. This stops the attack in a quicker time span. We can look at an unarmed example, hit a man in the jaw and his right arm will fall weak very quickly. There are other combative systems that use the flinch as part of their system. Tony Blauer does very well. The spear has quite a lot in common with the teachings of GM Latosa and what I teach. With that said there are some large differences as well. The spear system is more based on a grappling and striking idea rather than a weapon concepts. It’s also about using the flinch in a more natural state. That is no surprise considering Tony Blauer works mostly with unarmed situations.

Just to round things out, we will get back to the startle reflex as seen through a HardCORE coaches eye’s. While training an EDT our body starts to experience stress and the startle reflex starts to kick in. Cortisol levels rise and the nervous system is effected in some areas and our testosterone levels falls. The resulting reaction is we become weaker and our ability to recuperate from the EDT is slower and our ability to benefit from the workout is lessened.

If we take the idea of using joint mobility, breathing exercises and other tools that activate the nervous system and stop the startle reflex, we can use them in FMA training. We can learn to develop an ability to cope with higher stress levels and therefore function better under pressure. When we did self-defense courses for women through Stonewall-Shield we were aware of not crossing the line. The objective was to teach the women that they could could function under pressure and slowly move that level of pressure up to a realistic level. That is one difference in a karate style self-defense class for women and the adrenaline based type course that we like to promote.

The same type of tools can be used when working with FMA and helmet training. We learn that we can control our reactions to head strikes and body strikes. They learn to function under pressure. That’s a lot of hat self-defense training is all about.

That’s it for now, we’ll see what I feel like writing about next time.

Stay Proactive in Life and Training

CW