January 5, 2018 at 6:31 pm #54375
Tacking onto this thread-
Where the discussion came up about combatives training.
1. Go and watch the whole video linked at the above thread, then read this thread.
So on the topic of combatives, picking a “style” a gym, etc. Some random thoughts.
Try to find a place close enough to you, your work or home that you will actually make it regularly. You may like the guys at the gym an hour away, but during the hustle and bustle of everyday life, means that extra two hours of driving a few times a week won’t happen REGULARLY. Regular training is the key. I’ve seen people that came here and there for almost a decade that sucked, and I’ve seen people that came regularly and worked hard for a few months that were pretty bad A.
That being said, don’t compromise on instruction or pick a “takeyadough” McDojo over a better option simply because it’s 5 minutes closer.
Combatives aren’t generally something that you can just breeze in do a couple of 2 hour classes and “check off the list” for training. Just like how your gun and SUT training needs to be REGULAR, not just a once every 5 year class.
So stack the deck in your favor if you can by finding a place convenient to your home, work, etc.
We talked in the other thread a good bit of some of the more applicable “styles”- like Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Systema and some of the others. I’ll only discuss the ones I have some familiarity to but feel free to chime in with your thoughts on other styles.
As mentioned in the other thread, avoid any place that DOESN’T spar regularly. This “our techniques are so deadly we can’t actually use this” BS is just that- BS… You want to see/experience material in action for the brain to process it correctly.
A lot of more popular styles will have “online” education platforms- Gracie University for Gracie Jiu Jitsu, RussianMartialArt.com seems to have started a similar deal.
Use these sorts of things as a last resort, i.e, it’s 100 miles by dogsled to the nearest school. OR use them as an adjunct to training you are already doing. Do NOT however relay on some video learning as your sole training experience. I can tell you from rolling with plenty of guys that just did the “online” learning thing that MOST (didn’t say all) sucked. They might have uploaded their videos and gotten a quick blue belt, but most of our less experienced guys and gals typically killed them.
In person learning is crucial. Just as someone wouldn’t just watch Youtube videos of shooting and think that is enough… Or wait, their is people that think that LMAO.
Finding a school, culture, etc.
Some schools are very open and welcoming, some are very clique’ish. It is what it is. You may feel like an outside at first, over time as you put in time and work this will fade.
Belts- don’t worry about this too much. When your new your new, get over it. Most decent styles that use a belt system don’t give cookies every 2 classes you show up to like a kids “takeyadough” class might. Get over it and don’t worry about it. Your not there for color, your there to learn. The only way the belt thing should concern you is as far as respect goes. Many classes will start with the class lining up and bowing out. Usually this is done by rank with the newer people (white belts) on one end and the upper ranks at the other end. It’s not a huge faux pas to go to the wrong spot but it can be embarrassing. Just find the white belts and go to the far end (last) of them. When in doubt go lower to show respect.
Some schools take this further and don’t even let people on the mats till one of the instructors gets out there. Just watch from the sidelines first. If you see people doing a quick bow when they go on and off the mats, just do the same.
The bowing thing- yeah it’s a bit gay… but it’s tradition and a lot of places will do it. It just is really about showing respect. Trust me it can be just as awkward for the instructor.
Backing up just a bit- try to arrive early for class, first time their will likely be releases to fill out. First class may be free (just like crack, the first one is free to hook you LOL) or there may be a small mat fee. If in doubt ask.
For BJJ type classes you will typically need a Gi. A Gi designed for grappling is a lot better built than one for TKD or other styles. The lapels will be thicker (all the better to choke you with my dear!) and the material will in general be thicker. For no gi classes typically all that is needed is a rash guard top and fight shorts. In general BJJ schools and any martial art that uses good mats (Judo, etc.) will be particular about things like zippers on clothing (can rip mats). Good mats are insanely expensive.
Arriving early will also allow you to meet and talk to some of the other students ahead of time. If people are cleaning the mats or prepping any gear, ask if you can help. In general you NEVER walk on the mats with your outside shoes. If for personal reasons you need footwear, get wrestling shoes and put them on on the mats only.
In general classes will typically follow a set pattern- there may be a warmup, some stretching (may be informal before class also). Some will exercise for a while or run various drills, some may get right into technical instruction.
Try not to talk when the instructor is teaching. I know that sounds kind of elementary skewl’ish but it’s annoying and remember YOUR the new guy. And to be truthful, most new people don’t last and a good bit of them are a PITA in one way or another (we all were as well).
Some other no no’s-
*Don’t blather on about other styles or the fact that you took 2 weeks of “takeyadough” 10 years ago. No one cares. All BS aside, I’ve watched (and given) some beat downs to some serious PITAs that came in talking smack. In general this is very bad idea. If you know your stuff the other students will figure that out.
Some styles and some skewls in general will have some serious ego/pride issues. Coming in and blathering on about another style you did two weeks of training in, or how this technique wouldn’t work because Master Dan at the McDojo at the Mall said wouldn’t work, is a very quick recipe for a beatdown. Seriously. We have had guys that came in talking so much smack I felt bad for what was coming their way during sparring that I would be the nice guy and go over and say “dude listen, it’s time to STFU for a while.” They thought I was being a jerk but I was trying to save them an early bed time, a broken arm or some hematomas. I can’t understand this.
If you have some previous training in combatives, it will show to the other students, there is no need to brag about it.
In short, at most places you will either
1. Humble ourself
2. Be humbled.
So much easier to just do #1 yourself and avoid a possible injury.
That being said, understand I’m not trying to scare people, most gyms are full of decent folks and every serious injury I’ve received has been accidental. The reason I mention this stuff is for YOU, so you come correct at the onset. This will also help you because people are more apt to help a decent guy than a smartass that’s “bragging” or appearing to challenge an instructor, a style or even just another dude that’s been doing it longer. Kinda childish sounding I know, but it is what it is.
During class- pay attention to instruction, if you have a question wait till the end if possible. Work slowly. Rushing through things and doing them half assed is probably the biggest problem with new people in combatives. I call it the “I don’t know what I’m doing so I’ll do it fast” concept. Just like shooting- “you can’t miss fast enough.” Slow down, calm down, think.
Typically students will pair up to work skills taught. Make your best use of the time- repetition. Continue to practice what you were just taught until the instructor calls everyone in for the next part. Doing something new just once or twice and acting like you got it is both foolish and makes you look like a joke to everyone. Repetition is key to learning. Your not that good and I’m not that good to avoid working things, even the basics, as often as we can.
Follow the material as the instructor showed it. Don’t get off the ranch early on. If the piece of instruction was a sweep, don’t start working chokes with your partner. Trust me, nothing is more frustrating to an instructor than looking around and seeing two students doing some crap you weren’t just working on.
Don’t get into the “what if I did this?” non sense. You can THINK that through yourself, but as a new student asking that after the instructor just taught something makes it look like you are challenging him. Again, varies from instructor to instructor but I’ve taken people that asked and said “well let’s try that and see.” Sometimes depending on the assessment of the question (I.e, is the person an arsehole or just asking legitimately) will depend on how the “answer” is given. Some people only “learn” by experiencing something.
I was teaching a one handed choke one time that allowed the free hand to control a weapon hand (or break the other person’s arm at the same time) and someone said “is that really choking though?” I didn’t take offense at it, just said “come here, let’s try it.” He understood after that.
Most schools won’t allow you to spar right off the bat, i.e, first couple classes. In any BJJ or similar school wherein joint manipulation is done, most new people don’t “feel” the signs of danger soon enough early on. Hence it’s really easy to get hurt if your not careful, especially on things like leg locks.
That’s a good thing, you really want to have a couple classes and some material under your belt before you spar the first time.
If your not allowed to spar the first couple classes, sit on the sidelines and WATCH. DO NOT give advice, don’t “coach” anyone, etc. Just watch, pay attention to movement, timing, etc. Most of the stuff you are seeing you won’t understand early on, that’s o.k. But don’t just head home early if you can’t spar, watch. You can learn a lot that way also. I’ve only been out a couple of short times in about a decade, both for injuries, but both times I came to class to watch while I was recovering. It also shows your seriousness.
Finally, when your new, understand that people will help you, but in general many are not expecting you to be there long. That’s no commentary on YOU in particular, just a general statistic.
Be sure to thank all your training partners, shake hands, etc. There is a bit of etiquette involved with sparring in particular. If anyone is interested in that let me know and I’ll give my thoughts on that.
RMP, TC3, NODF, CRCD 6/14, CP 9/14. NODF, Land Nav, 6/15. Rifleman Challenge 9/15- Vanguard. FOFtactics 3/16, 10/16, 11/16, 6/17,11/17 CTT, 6/15, 11/16, , LRMC-1 9/17 GA Mobile CTT and DA 10/16, GA mobile DCH 3/18, HEAT1 3/18 Alum weekend 8/18, Opfor CLC 10/18, DA 11/18 CQBC 12/18, 5/19January 5, 2018 at 7:07 pm #54376wheelseeParticipant
Good post Robert
Which is heavier - a soldier's pack or a slave's chains? Napoleon
Strength, Honor. Maximus (Gladiator)
If you tolerate evil, you yourself are evil.
Col Hugo Martinez, Commander Search Bloc
William, in The RepublicJanuary 5, 2018 at 7:17 pm #54378Joe (G.W.N.S.)Moderator
Take these words serious and you’ll get more from your paid training.January 6, 2018 at 9:12 am #54391RobMParticipant
Spot on advice! Thank you for taking the time to write this post out.
Ultimately I’d recommend finding something that is right for you. You may not know what this is right away but test some different combatives out. Ideally, you don’t want to be one dimensional. Some people have health limitations that don’t allow their bodies to be manipulated in such ways (depending on the combative/sport). I recommended in another post that the standing game is equally important as the ground game. There are so many different areas, schools, thoughts, teachers and varying opinions on the matter but as stated above by Robert,
“don’t compromise on instruction or pick a “takeyadough” McDojo over a better option simply because it’s 5 minutes closer.”
Find a school with a good teacher that isn’t Rex-Kwon-Do. You’ll be doing yourself a disservice to walk into a place like that. With so many reviews online you can get a decent feel for the place before you ever step foot in by reading others’ reviews.
In my opinion I’d recommend kickboxing, boxing, wrestling or Jiu Jitsu. A mix of some of these isn’t a bad idea either. Some would be surprised at the differences in boxing and kickboxing. It’s not as simple as throwing in “kicks”. The balance, footwork, striking is different in many ways.
There are so many added benefits to studying and training combatives. It’s a great stress reliever, phenomenal workout, and another layer of your warrior training.
So find a good place, good at your own speed, don’t be afraid to stretch your comfort level a bit and reap the benefits of the training.
RS+CTT, HEAT 2January 6, 2018 at 9:18 am #54392RobMParticipant
RS+CTT, HEAT 2January 6, 2018 at 2:23 pm #54415
“Break the wrist walk away…”
“Think I got where I am from dressing like PETER PAN here? Forgetaboutit!!!”
The Foot Fist Way is another funny one- “Chuck the Truck”.
RMP, TC3, NODF, CRCD 6/14, CP 9/14. NODF, Land Nav, 6/15. Rifleman Challenge 9/15- Vanguard. FOFtactics 3/16, 10/16, 11/16, 6/17,11/17 CTT, 6/15, 11/16, , LRMC-1 9/17 GA Mobile CTT and DA 10/16, GA mobile DCH 3/18, HEAT1 3/18 Alum weekend 8/18, Opfor CLC 10/18, DA 11/18 CQBC 12/18, 5/19January 6, 2018 at 6:10 pm #54424RoadkillParticipant
They call me Bruce.
RS/CTT Nov 16
HEAT1 Aug18January 6, 2018 at 11:15 pm #54432
So the big thing with the “regular” in the statement I mentioned is both the physical fitness and endurance you will get from the training, as well as the familiarity.
We have had runners come in more than a few times that were “gassed” like hell after 5 minutes of rolling. More than a few gym rats ended up the same. It really is a “different” kind of endurance.
Also, over a lot of sparring, you will learn to calm down a bit. All of the higher level players look at sparring like a chess match. And they will be able to think and adapt in the fight. When your new it’s just about trying that ONE thing, or reacting to that ONE thing. With some experience you’ll tie 3-4-17 attacks together as to keep the opponents constantly behind on his OODA loop. Similar to the “pressure” in FOF training and how that can often turn the fight.
So the more you spar, the more your body gets used to it, the more your mind start seeing the openings and starts acting on them QUICKLY. Just like when you see the guys that do a lot of the FOF classes- they are quickest to react to contact, formulate and give QBO’s and initiate them. Seeing the openings, acting on them quickly, etc. These are key things you will get from sparring regularly.
I let quite a few of the “lower” belts get me in a bad spot- take my back, start a choke, etc. To my higher level belts I’m a flipping idiot doing that cause there is a high chance you will get ganked up that way. I don’t really care, it’s a great way to learn to work out of a bad spot. I know a lot of high level guys that haven’t been put in a bad situation in years and really don’t know WTH to do when they are in a bad spot. I’m a “worst case scenario” type of guy and I often start drills off by saying- “Pair up a higher belt with a lower belt, lower belt gets back mount and can start setting a choke. On my signal you can start.” That puts a lot of pressure on the experienced guys to really perform and keeps them sharp. Most never get to that spot with lower level folks unless they REALLY mess up, but crap happens.
So the hard part when your just getting started-
Learning to lose… When your new every roll feels like a death match. It’s easy to say “calm down, relax” but the reality is that doesn’t come easy when your new.
A body full of tension, holding breath, struggling to work, is usually the first one to get injured. And despite the joint manipulation techniques, striking, etc. it’s rare to get really injured. Most of the time injuries are from the person being way too damn tense or just a freak accident.
Our last location was at a place that also offering kids tumbling classes. I can’t tell you how many little girls had broken arms right before our class started from the tumbling class. Good thing I stocked our area with splints, ice packs and ace wraps. I always joked that we were there TRYING to break arms, tear cruciate ligaments, etc. and people rarely got hurt, meanwhile these little girls were doing cartwheels and breaking bones left and right.
Learn to tap. The tap is how you “get out” of anything, LOL. It’s not a loss for you, it’s not a victory to the other person, it’s just learning. Oh frickin well, get over it. I’ve seen many a guys over almost a decade now that got all psyched out because of a tap. Worrying about who can tap who, blah blah blah… Who gives a crap??? I tell our kids- “no one is in here trying to kill your family, relax, calm down and learn.” There is a time for fighting through stuff, and there is a time for training. You won’t be training long if you don’t learn to tap.
I remember years ago I got my purple belt and went a really long time with no one taping me except black belts and then not every time. I got a little heady about it, never said anything but thought it. Damn if not long after I’m rolling with a blue belt that was pretty damn slick. I should have reacted sooner to a bad situation but figured I was safe and could get out of it. Nope, he had me dead to rights. My screw up for playing around and I tapped. For a short while it affected me- ego and all that BS being what it is at gyms. Finally I realized the lesson and moved on and years later I’m much the better for it.
How hard should you go?
So new people tend to be very frickin spastic. No nice way to say it. Quick, herky jerky motions, rarely efficient, rarely effective. Honestly your more apt to be accidentally hurt by a newer person than a more experienced person. A more experienced person typically has more control over what he does and how he executes it. A new person has one speed- erratic.
As hard as it is, try to calm down, try to move slow, make sure your breathing. Every time you feel amped up, breathe more- in through your nose, out through your mouth. Try to only tense the muscles you are using in that particular instance. New people feel stiff as a board to me and I often time demonstrate how easy it is to simply relax your weight and lay on someone to hold them down. People relate that I feel like I weigh more at 180’ish than guys that are 230. Why? Because my body is relaxed more and I stay on them like a damn wet blanket.
When you feel stuck on something, especially early on, don’t try to fight out of it, just tap. It’s o.k. see the above note about it not being the end of the world and what not. Your there to learn and tapping is how you learn. I would double down on this advice when working with other newer people. An upper belt will often just “hold” an arm lock or joint manipulation at a point where you can’t escape it but you can’t really hurt yourself if you act a fool, he will then wait for you to “get it” or finish slowly. I rarely will finish a joint manipulation quickly on a newer student, because they have not developed the understanding to tap quickly yet. Now chokes are a different story, if you don’t tap you nap and that’s not that big of an issue unless someone has some rare crazy heart issue. Worst case they black out and you sit with them for a minute- they will tap earlier next time LOL.
So, roll slowly if you can, try to relax, breathe, try to stay calm in the fight and tapping isn’t losing, it’s learning.
RMP, TC3, NODF, CRCD 6/14, CP 9/14. NODF, Land Nav, 6/15. Rifleman Challenge 9/15- Vanguard. FOFtactics 3/16, 10/16, 11/16, 6/17,11/17 CTT, 6/15, 11/16, , LRMC-1 9/17 GA Mobile CTT and DA 10/16, GA mobile DCH 3/18, HEAT1 3/18 Alum weekend 8/18, Opfor CLC 10/18, DA 11/18 CQBC 12/18, 5/19January 7, 2018 at 10:37 am #54435DarkriversParticipant
Thanks for all of this info Robert. It is much appreciated.
If you're gonna fight, fight like you're the 3rd monkey on the ramp to Noah's Ark... And Brother, it's starting to rain! James from TexasJanuary 7, 2018 at 1:14 pm #54438wildbillParticipant
All excellent advice and should be taken seriously and added to your training regimen, I will add that there is moral component that needs to addressed by each of us and that is how far will we take violence of action and will we be the first to initiate it.
A piece of advice that my father gave me when I was growing up was “to not backdown from a fight and never to throw the first punch” — unfortunately I think now that both pieces of that advice were wrong.
Having just finished reading “When Violence Is the Answer: Learning How to Do What It Takes When Your Life Is at Stake” by Tim Larkin I see that backing away from “social aggression” doesn’t make you a wimp and throwing the first punch in an “asocial violent” exchange doesn’t make you bad person.
Larkin’s advice is not to just learn techniques but to learn “targets”, targets being parts of the human anatomy that you should attack with the full force of your body to not inflict pain but to inflict traumatic injury that will completely incapacitate or kill your opponent.
I think that for most of us the hardest part will be reprogramming our moral aversion to using violence first will be easier if we understand that to survive an “asocial” violent encounter we must be willing to use the same tools of violence that the bad guy would use against us if we are to survive.
Western North Carolina ― LRMC-1 Sept. 2017, CQBC May 2017, DCH March 2017, RS & CTT October. 2016, CTT 1511, LN 1
“We don't rise to the level of our expectations, we fall to the level of our training.” ― Archilochos
“I do believe that, where there is only a choice between cowardice and violence, I would advise violence..." - GandhiJanuary 7, 2018 at 1:35 pm #54439
Good points Wildbill.
I always assume that people that carry a pistol every day are mentally ready for the possibility of having to use that weapon to protect life and limb. Yet when you do FOF training with a lot of people, you see and experience a big hesitation factor.
Hell, just do this- clear your pistol, check it, put all ammo in another room, show your training partner, have them check it, dry fire it multiple times, have the magazine out and keep it out of it, dry fire and check it again. Now use that to work your disarms with. Note the difference psychologically between doing that and using a “blue gun.” There will be a difference.
RMP, TC3, NODF, CRCD 6/14, CP 9/14. NODF, Land Nav, 6/15. Rifleman Challenge 9/15- Vanguard. FOFtactics 3/16, 10/16, 11/16, 6/17,11/17 CTT, 6/15, 11/16, , LRMC-1 9/17 GA Mobile CTT and DA 10/16, GA mobile DCH 3/18, HEAT1 3/18 Alum weekend 8/18, Opfor CLC 10/18, DA 11/18 CQBC 12/18, 5/19January 7, 2018 at 2:31 pm #54446wildbillParticipant
In the book there is a picture of two men one with his hands around the throat of the other and the question is “What do you do?”
If you answered that you would do a,b or c to break his hold on your neck you are wrong. You have aromatically made yourself the victim because if this is an asocial violent event you should be the one with your hands around the bad guys throat. Then maybe when his hands come up to grab yours you knee him in the groin and when he doubles over grab the back of his head and slam it in the ground and then stomp on his neck.
If you can’t picture yourself doing that then you will be the victim laying on the ground. Violence is a tool that you must be ready and willing to use on the bad guys because they will not hesitate using it against you.
Western North Carolina ― LRMC-1 Sept. 2017, CQBC May 2017, DCH March 2017, RS & CTT October. 2016, CTT 1511, LN 1
“We don't rise to the level of our expectations, we fall to the level of our training.” ― Archilochos
“I do believe that, where there is only a choice between cowardice and violence, I would advise violence..." - GandhiJanuary 25, 2018 at 1:56 pm #55176mdbjjcParticipant
Is a Combatives Section on the forum worthwhile to anyone?January 25, 2018 at 6:52 pm #55196
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