I have a phrase for apply locks or takedowns – gifts.

 When gifts are offered it is rude to refuse to accept them.

 It is even ruder to attempt to take a gift before it is offered.

 I look at applying locks and takedowns the same way.

 If you move properly then these gifts will be offered to you and you need to be able to take advantage of that offer.

 This leads me into my next blog entry….

 Rick’s Blog January 17, 2014

 Micro Moment Skill Set Progressive Training

 The Approach:

 Within every physical conflict there are micro moments when a particular skill set is required to either survive or capitalize on that moment.

 Micro Moment Skill Set Progressive Training takes each of these required skill sets out of that moment and focuses on them to enhance and intensive the learning then it works back from that simplified setting all the way back into the micro moment of a physical conflict.

 By using this approach we gain a skill set on call for that micro moment when it is needed.

 The Background:

 One common approach to teaching the skills required is often through preset fighting sequences.  These sequences are to transmit to the student all the skill sets required in a conflict.

 However a problem can occur when all people walk away from Kumites with is a memorized movement.  They can perform that set of movements and do so very well.  The question is if they understand the principles they are using. 

A further danger lies in if they do not understand the principles then they cannot transfer them through teaching and eventually they disappear and the Kumite is left sterile.

 My theory as to why this can happen is that the skill sets demonstrated in the Kumite (we will assume they are sound) appear like the flash on a camera.  FLASH they appear and disappear.

 The student gets to train that skill set only for that brief flash and in that particular context and, as is the case in most Yakusoto Kumite, with a fairly cooperative partner.

 The limited exposure, the specific context and the cooperative partner limit the transmission of how to apply this skill set in a chaotic moment.

 To address this issue I decided to alter the manner in which the skill sets were transmitted.

 NOTICE TO ALL:  I do not think this approach is new.  I do not believe that I have something never done before. 

 We need to segregate the skill set out from the micro moment and expand the exposure time. 

 To do this we begin by solely using one main skill set.

 We then limit the input from our partner.

 So we have a base of a skill set that is very broad.

 We have an action to apply the skill set to that is very narrow.

 As we move through the progression of the drill the exposure to the skill set shrinks back to that micro moment.   Think the exposure time as moving up a pyramid from the broad base of a long time exposure to a narrow small exposure time.

 As we more through the progression of the drill the action we apply it to begins to add in other elements therefore it broadens what is thrown at us.  Think of the added elements as moving down the pyramid from a very small number of elements to the broad base with a vast number of elements.

 As the drill progresses the partner (meat puppet) becomes less and less cooperative until they are fighting back at an appropriate level for the other student.  (With glimpses of where the skill will go to as they advance.)

 It seems that this style of training may have been something that I learned towards even without know it.

 Now before I go any further, let me say that IF these skill sets are not integrated into the whole then they are useless to you.  So while I see segregating skill sets to be focused and developed, they must be brought back into the whole Martial Artist.

 For instance, the Foundation Conditioning Drills in my training are a skill set segregated.  The skill sets actually being worked on are:  Striking with power, hitting back when struck and taking a hit.

 Each of these is a skill set that may be needed in a micro moment of a fight.  Striking hard being the primary skill and used most often.

 The other two are for those moments in a fight when things do not go as planned.  Although not in your game plan the aggressor has decided not cooperate with all your plans not to get hit and he is successful in his endeavour to attempt to do you harm – he hit you. 

 At this micro moment you need two skill sets.  You need to be able to take the hit without visible affect.  If you react to the strike by collapsing in any way the aggressor may have another window of opportunity to now capitalize on that vulnerable micro moment.

 The other thing you need to have built into your skill sets is the skill of striking back the moment you are hit.  This can be a trained response.  This will hopefully shut down the aggressor’s attack for a micro moment opening your window of opportunity.

 Controlling the distance.  Now I see this skill set slightly differently than others and I really have nothing else to call it at the moment so this is the term I am gong to use.  To me controlling the distance is that awareness as to where the opponent is and the ability to be not there when they try to strike you.  This is often done with the most minimal of margins.

 I see controlling the distance as a true micro moment skill set.  A fight cannot be won by controlling the distance it can only be won by closing.  However, when that aggressor is just a little quicker than you expected or you get enough of a glimpse of the ambush to change it from total surprise to reaction, then controlling the distance in that micro moment of surprise is what may just get you to the next micro moment where you must close.

 Sticking Hands.  I have always worked on Uechi versions of this drill and learned a great deal from David Mott who also has a number of sticking hands drills.  We have taken it our own direction.  In a real chaotic fight with fists flying there will not be the lovely control that a sticking hand drill demonstrates; however, for a micro moment you will need the sticking hands skill set to take control of the incoming energy and take command of that energy leading, redirecting and shutting down the aggressor’s attack.

   Sticking hands also opens another skill set micro moment and that is qinna.

 Qinna in our school is the art of seizing, locking, breaking, choking, and taking the aggressor down.  This is from a number of sources (in particular:  John Painter and Tim Cartmell etc.) including my previous brief studies.

 When you focus on training this skill set you find the underlying principles that make them work and the relationship you have to be in to the aggressor to execute the action.

 However, once again when someone is trying to take your head off these are just not easy to pluck out of the air.  I once was in a large group doing a seminar with Joe Lewis who said when he would ask grapplers how they would throw or lock him they would respond that when he threw a punch they would grab his arm.  He replied “Guys there are professional fighters that never saw my hand when I hit.  The only time you will be grabbing my hand is when I am helping you up.”

 There is a lot of truth in his comments.

 However, once again in the midst of the chaos you find that for a micro moment you are positioned perfectly to execute a lock or takedown.  If you have trained this skill set then you will react to that moment and execute the movement.  But if you have not then the moment will come and go and you probably will not know you have even missed it.

 The latest skill set we have isolated for progressive drills and focus is harder to “label.”  It is a dragon use of the torso to absorb a push or strike with one quadrant of your torso while aggressively advancing with the other.

 The purpose of the skill set is to not engage the strength of the aggressor but at the same time use the avoidance as a whipping energizer for a strike as you close.  The progressive drills lead to some very fun stuff and a great experience.  Once you crank things up within the drills the circles and spirals being generated become smaller and quicker.  When you take it to more combat orientated drills you find that while you are performing this skill set there are times when direct attack is there and opportune and better.  This is again where the skill set becomes one of many and used only in that micro moment when it is the best option.

 The Ignore the pain drill so badly misunderstood by some who watched Laird on the testing is another micro moment skill set.  The drills actually have nothing to do with an intention to go directly into and through pain; however, surprise surprise in a real fight you may just get hurt and you may be having pain applied to you to make you comply with a defeating technique and IF you do comply then you will not survive the encounter.  The skill set of being able to do what you have to do and ignore the pain is a micro moment in a fight where you have to suck it up princess (a joking saying in my dojo) and take the aggressor out anyway.

 So while it may only be a small moment in a fight that you wished never happened you may need to train to prepare yourself for that micro moment.

 We also train ground grappling although to grapple on the ground is not our intent.  We prefer the term ground fighting because you try to incorporate ground striking and a different approach.  However ground grappling is a skill set you had better have looked into if you hit the ground.

 Through segregating a skill set required for a micro moment in a self protection situation we are trying to develop it to a level where when that moment happens you have the level of skill required to pull it off.  Too often the moment comes and goes and may not even have been seen.  But if you have focused on knowing that moment then your chances of success have increased.

 Micro Moment Skill Set Progressive Training is one of my foundation approaches.