Posts Tagged ‘Thisisutkm’

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*Note: What specifically is taught in class, how it is taught, and examples used are subject to the instructor, their level and experience. These posts are not an excuse to miss class as they are only a snap view of what skills are covered.

The fourth dimension is a complicated concept for many people and you can get a general idea of what it means here and here.

What is the fourth dimension?

Time. In the art of self-defense, the element of time is often a forgotten factor: taking our past experiences into the present while learning new skills in the now. Self defense is to prepare for the worst of the future, while hoping you never have to use what you know now.

The 4th dimension is the often a forgotten aspect of good self-defense

How many styles of martial arts out there have got you practising forms and katas? How many of them teach a set of moves that are solutions to various offensive and defensive strategies? The answer is many, if not most, traditional styles. Now, how many of them are still teaching strategy or the art of war?

Not, many.

In today’s progressive societies¬†which¬†are driven by image and consumerism, even those who claim to be against capitalism often reject violence as a part of the human reality. An individual in a wealthy neighbourhood on the West Coast who has never been exposed to physical violence can easily renounce violence as bad. Unfortunately, the majority of people¬†on this planet cannot do or say the same. Thus, when policy makers who have had privileged lives, no matter their ethnic background, try to dictate to everyone to be peaceful without understanding the nature of violence or use of force, we often end up with pointless documents¬†that don’t always do anything to protect people.

As you may know, I am a big believer in teaching individuals not to rely on law enforcement or others for their own self-defence. If you don’t know, this is because in the moment, a split second is all it takes to change¬†from a survivor¬†to a body bag. In most violent situations, individuals do not have the luxury to wait on the phone and hope someone shows up in time.

So what does any of this have to do with the fourth dimension?

Well, time is relative. Depending on the situation, it could mean many things. Learning proper self-defence is so much more than just learning what to do in a specific physical confrontation. Self-defense is also about learning the strategy to avoid conflict in the future by learning from our past. This is where time and experience comes in.

There is a saying I like, it goes something like this:

“A fool does not learn from his mistakes. A smart man learns from his mistakes, but a wise man learns from the mistakes of others.”

This saying has been used in one form or another over the years and it echos truth no matter how it is said. Time is an important factor of self-defense because learning not only from your past, but also the past of others gives you context for violence and how to avoid it. It also teaches that sometimes violence and not peace is, in fact, the best solution to stopping more violence. This is where good strategy comes in, which based in reality in the past, present and future.

Knowing an opponent’s past will prepare you for a future confrontation and will better allow you to apply the appropriate strategy for a higher survival outcome.

A more simplified example could be thinking twice about heading to particular area of a city that is historically known for its crime or violence. (Situtaional awareness!)

A great self-defense program, no matter the style, will consider time in all its forms to teach proper strategy. Because without a proper strategy based on experience and knowledge as dictated by time, a person could easily be overwhelmed by a violent situation because it’s not at all what they were expecting.

Another easy aspect of time with self-defense is of course practice. There is often a flawed idea with regards to self-defense which is “oh,¬†that’s easy to learn” and thinking you can be proficient at it in a very short amount of time. I know we have written about this previously, but it cannot be overstated that this is a flawed belief.

The only way to really be ready for conflict is to continue to practice, even if it is easy to learn, so that you become proficient enough to apply what you know even in overwhelming odds. Thinking you know how to defend yourself just because you took a few classes and broke a sweat is presuming far too much. Sure, we see stories all the time about people, usually woman or girls who took a little bit of self-defense and managed to fend off their attackers. Of course, these are great stories, but the truth is that these individuals got lucky. How many situations did we not hear about where the person wasn’t quite so fortunate. Just like time is forgotten, physics is also forgotten when it comes to self-defense. If you took some self-defense classes, but are not proficient under stress because you didn’t put in the time required and your attacker is someone skilled and considerably larger, then you have failed to account for such an overwhelming strategy and the outcome may not be so desirable.

Signs a self-defense school is not serious
  • If they¬†only ever show set moves and answers for specific attack patterns
  • If they don’t encourage you to come and practice, even only once a week or month

If you’re at a place like this, maybe you are not in the right place for serious self-defense. In my opinion, a good self-defense school should take the time to go over strategy, explain current events regarding¬†violence, and regularly put people of different sizes and skills together to challenge individuals so that they¬†understand sometimes there are situations in which¬†you may not be so lucky.

The fourth dimension in self-defense

Time means experience. Time means practice. Time means perspective. Time means strategy relative to the situation. When it comes to self defense, knowing the element of time can prepare you to deal with reality. Did you think of time as part of your self-defense system? Are you prepared to deal with all possible realities of self-defense?

Warriors Den Podcast

Download on iTunes Today!

 

Geoffrey Chiu of GC Performance Training¬†is an up-and-coming local trainer, although he prefers the title “coach,” specializing in the strength and conditioning for any and all sports. Follow him on Facebook, he does weekly Q&A every Monday. Joining him and Jonathan is UTKM’s own marketing director, Miss Zerlinda Chau.

We talk about Geoff’s background, high school PE classes, Geoff’s blog post about MMA strength and conditioning, politics and more!

I have been serving with the army for about 14 years now and recently experienced something interesting that I want to share. While participating in one of the biggest NATO exercises with a very serious group of military professionals, I was able to observe examples of leadership in the group. There were both fine leaders as well as some pretty questionable leaders.

One lesson I learned in particular through this experience was the consequence of forming cliques within a large organization. I witnessed people creating their own sub-groups, taking all the resources from other teams, becoming overly protective of their own teammates or subordinates, and unwilling to participate in or contribute to group work or the success of the team as a whole.

As Krav Maga instructors, we can learn from this…

For example, at UTKM, we have different instructors teaching each day. Greg teaches on Monday, Dave on Tuesdays, Josh on another day, and so on. Some students only attend¬†certain instructor’s classes due to their personal schedule and/or preference.

Four points come to my mind as guidelines for Krav Maga instructors (and other instructors as well) to maintain unity and solidarity as a school. Keep these four things in mind to help you and your team ensure that you are a cohesive unit!

SCHOOL CULTURE, NOT PERSONAL CULT

Oftentimes, we have to be aware of creating a cult under individual instructors or classes. We must take steps to avoid doing our own thing in class and straying from the curriculum. To do this, we must acknowledge above all things that our students are people who choose to train under our school. Maybe they enjoy your personality or style as well, but ultimately they are students of the school.

As the school grows, we run the risk of allowing personal preferences to change the curriculum in a way that does not reflect the school anymore. It could create a different culture, or subculture within various instructor-led classes. Some students who are sensitive to a cult of personality could consider themselves more elite than other students or classes.

GO BY THE BOOK, THEN ADD YOUR STYLE

When implementing techniques, everyone has their own personal flair, but there is¬†always the textbook reference. In classes, always follow the textbook first, then show your personal preference later. Students need to have a common foundation to understand the moves, and they also need to be able to attend different instructor’s classes and receive the same training.

Every instructor has different strengths and weaknesses, style and preferences. While training new instructors for UTKM, I have seen that some of them are great at being aggressive, some are very technical, some are very patient, some are very lively. I am constantly amazed by how different instructors bring something unique to class, and each provide something similar but original to students. For example, Jon is someone who pays incredible attention to detail, and the depth of knowledge he teaches to students is not something I can do myself.

Think of the textbook reference as your bone structure, and personal style as muscle. We all have the same bone structure, but our muscles are different. The point is that it is good for us to have variation in teaching styles and methodology, but it is more important for the curriculum and materials to be the same.

COMMITMENT

Know your reason for being here, know your mission, and do what you promise. This is what I learned during my NATO experience. On the contrary, at UTKM, we always give instructors the right to say no to things due to schedule conflicts, or other reasons. However, there is a difference between prioritizing personal affairs, and neglecting responsibility.

We all have to commit to doing what we say because it has an impact on everyone else¬†in the group. The success of one person’s job is important for the success of one¬†team‚Äôs mission, which is vital to the success of the other¬†teams, which is crucial for the success of the organization as a whole. The key to ensuring the individual and the team does their jobs well, is to let them know how important their tasks are and how their piece of the puzzle informs the bigger picture.

vimy_ridge_-_canadian_machine_gun_crewsFor example, one of Canada’s great triumphs was Vimy Ridge in WWI. At Vimy Ridge, Canadians inflicted a significant defeat on the Germans, causing the German commander-in-chief, General Erich Ludendorff, to admit that their campaign was “the black day of the German army.” The key to the Canadian military success was that every soldier, from Private to General knew exactly what their job was and, even in the absence of leadership (happens a lot in war and business), everyone could still finish their task. Therefore, the overall mission was successfully completed.¬†It was a daring attack that marked a turning point in the war, and as Sir General Arthur Currie said, it was¬†“the grandest day the Canadian Corps ever had.”

Believe it or not, we are fighting a war

In this world. Right now. Every one of our students has the potential to use what we teach them in a life or death situation (many have done so already). If we fail as instructors, our students suffer, get hurt, or die. The leadership we need to take in class is not just about how good you are or how nice your personal style is.

Think team and think big ‚Äď bigger than just your class, bigger than just our school. Think of our society as a whole, and think of the world.

*Note: What specifically is taught in class, how it is taught, and examples used are subject to the instructor, their level and experience. These posts are not an excuse to miss class as they are only a snap view of what skills are covered this week.

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Hi, I’m #Dangerous Dave! Photo from http://www.hevydevy.com/dtp/dave-young/

I am a musician and a Kravist

For as long as I can remember, I’ve related or equated the things I experience in my life to music. ¬†The ups and down are dynamics. ¬†The quiets, the louds, the transitions in between, and definitely the moments of silence all make up a grand piece of music that plays throughout life.

If this¬†over-arching “music-of-life” concept is like an album, individual¬†events ¬†or ideas or philosophies are like singles. As I got into Krav Maga, I ¬†began thinking of what kind of music it¬†would be. ¬†Many other martial arts have a specific genre that springs to mind, but Krav Maga seems a little harder to pin down.

 

As I got into Krav Maga, I  began thinking of what kind of music it would be.

When I was younger I studied Tae Kwon Do. Similar to¬†many other traditional martial arts, like¬†Kung Fu or Karate, Tae Kwon Do has a distinct classical music feel. ¬†While they have a great dynamic range and power, they are filled with and steeped in tradition and can sometimes seem rigid or inflexible. ¬†Tai Chi has a flow to it, but also a very relaxed feel that reminds me very much of ambient music. ¬†Boxing is like hip hop¬†with the swagger and the attitude. ¬†It can have finesse, but also rawness and aggression. And of course, the world of MMA is rock and metal. ¬†Being mixed, this sport contains a large amount of different techniques from karate, muay thai, BJJ, boxing, wrestling, and so on. ¬†It¬†is a very deep genre. ¬†It draws on many influences and histories. ¬†There is also a lot of aggression and posturing, and the gladiatorial beating of another person in front of a cheering crowd (like a mosh pit). ¬†Of course, there is technical ability involved, but that can easily be overshadowed by egotism (or the “meat-head” attitude).

So then, what genre is Krav Maga?

It contains elements of all other martial arts: the technique, the history, and certainly the aggression.  It has a rich and traceable lineage.  It can be anywhere from smooth and subtle to harsh and aggressive.  I think Krav Maga is the jazz of martial arts.  Jazz involves a great deal of technique and knowledge.  It also involves the ability to improvise, which is a key point.  In jazz, every situation in different. In Krav Maga, every encounter with every person is different.  You need to have the ability to assess each unique situation and react, just like jazz.  Every time you play a piece, the individual parts may be familiar but the song a different version.  Knowing the technique, the moves, the history and the philosophy is very important.  As well, you have to know when to break the rules and improvise.  In Krav Maga, you must know how to fluidly move between attackers. In jazz, you must know how to transition between chord changes.

Krav Maga is the jazz of martial arts.

Finally, in both Krav Maga and jazz music, regardless of whether you execute perfectly or make a mistake, you have to keep moving forward and turn difficult situations to your advantage.

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Dave Young (far left) is a member of the Devin Townsend Project. Photo from https://www.facebook.com/dvntownsend

#thisisUTKM In this episode UTKM Co-Founder Borhan Jiang and Jonathan Fader are joined by UTKM manager Josh Hensman to discuss how UTKM has changed over the past year. We also discuss Krav Maga and its politics and instruction a little.

#ThisisUTKM

Posted: August 31, 2016 by urbantacticskravmaga in Urban Tactics Krav Maga
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