Monday, May 21, 2012

Crazy Fuel

Thus Spake Omega:
There is something deeply pleasant about hitting rocks with a bat. The swing, the force, the crack, the rock spinning fast enough to hum, it all makes for a very satisfying, very boyish past-time. For whatever reason, carrying a bat around always made me feel a bit more powerful. I think that I instinctively knew that as fun as hitting things was, the bat was a weapon and if I needed to I could defend myself with it. Men are hard wired to be attracted to weapons. It does not matter if the weapon is a Nimitz class aircraft carrier, an M1911 (.45 of course), or a high quality stick, we love weapons. Somehow, we know that we are meant to take up arms in defense of our families, lives, and homes. We are meant to be aggressive. Yet for some, as a boy grows up, that drive, that fascination with violence, for various reasons, is excised like a cancer. For others it is never trained and becomes uncontrollable and destructive. Either way, a boy who does not know how to channel and use his aggression is not a man. Of the two fates, mine was the former.

Due to a deep depression that settled on me in my mid teens, I never learned how to use my aggression. I definitely had it, and frequently used it in school and on my cousins, but as I moved into my teens a growing sense of fear and anxiety began to push back on it. It always got me into trouble, and despite my father's insistence that I use it to defend myself, I received no training on when and how much. There were other far more severe factors that I will not mention here (suffice it to say if I had had male training it may have saved me from losing my mind), and all of it combined drove me deeper into depression. By the time I hit my twenties I was crazy. The aggression had turned inwards with no outlet. I felt helpless and I began to consider suicide. Eventually after years of depression I sought help.

So, as I approach the end of my twenties, it is no small thing when I say that I have not been depressed at all this year. There have been some bad days, but even those are better than my best days were during depression. Best of all I only occasionally think about testing the integrity of my skull with a high velocity lead slug (.45 of course). However, this is not my personal therapy journal, but a post about game, so let me explain why I am no longer depressed, and what changed.

I have spent a lot of time (and a shit-load of money) in therapy. While I do not recommend it for most people, for the genuinely crazy it may do some good. Paying someone to care is not a bad way to go if nothing else has worked. But despite learning to control my emotions, the one thing that turned everything around was aggression. If you are a guy you will have it in abundance. While there is merit in learning to calm yourself, you must learn to channel your aggression. It has to go somewhere. If you do not it will cause problems. I had a triple whammy: I could not control it, which terrified me; the terror fueled a need to bottle it up; and so I channeled it inwards (which turned to visions of sugar plums dancing in my head: .45 of course). After years of trying to understand what was going on in the course of a few week I had an epiphany and I began to channel it outwards. It was relief like nothing I had ever felt.

After the initial awkward steps, once as I got used to the idea, I found that, to stay sane, I had to have an outlet. I had to have a place to channel the aggression; I had to have a target. I was unfamiliar enough with this new need that the most obvious outlet did not occur to me. Aggression though is a fairly simple impulse and martial arts quickly came to mind as the clearest choice. I joined a local Muay Thai gym and working out there is very calming. Punching things rivals hypnosis in its therapeutic value (way cheaper too). When I go there I pour myself into the exercise. I have to. I take all the anger, fear, frustration, sex drive, and depression, and I grind it up and use it as fuel, and unexpectedly it turns into a sort of exhausted, jagged joy. I limp home feeling better than I have ever felt in my life. Aggression is medicine for men. Learning to channel it is a necessary daily practice.

The benefits are many and varied. As long as I do not let the aggression build up, it improves my focus, determination, and willpower. I can approach girls fearlessly. Before, approach anxiety felt like walking through tar, now it feels like a light breeze pushing me back. I went on a date recently and just for kicks, I decided I was not interested, walked away, and did not look back. This was a major turning point. I have always been afraid of breaking the rules, regardless of the rules' source, and I decided that I was not going to be afraid of it anymore, so I walked away. I had no reason, or justification, I simply refused to be afraid of losing. Now I talk to random strangers on the street, almost more than people I know. My game has a long way to go, but feeling no fear while conversing with an 8 and her 8.5 sister seems to me to be a good sign. My voice is louder. Tomorrow I will have my second date with a girl I approached on the street. She is a 7 and seems to be into me. Things are really looking up.

Learning controlled aggression has changed everything for me. I feel as though I am carrying a bat at all times. I can use it to nudge people and get their attention. I can swing it to warn people away. And, my favorite, I can take it to side of someone's head, should they deserve it. Knowing that I can hit back has been extremely therapeutic. Who would have thought that acting like a man would be the cure for not feeling like a man?

238 comments:

1 – 200 of 238   Newer›   Newest»
Double E said...

awesome

Anonymous said...

"Who would have thought that acting like a man would be the cure for not feeling like a man?"

A+

Anonymous said...

A M1911 only comes in 45acp, the M stands for military, there is only one military cal.

FWIW, the 45 ACP if loaded hot only gets to about 950 fps mostly they hang around 805 fps. This is sub sonic not "high velocity".

Koanic said...

Nice.

Now order some Tongkat Ali, get the 4 Hour Body, and start packing on muscle.

Oh and eat a ton of grass fed beef. Grrrah.

Koanic said...

Oh and get a dog and watch The Dog Whisperer.

Cheap omega therapy.

A big, mean dog.

Koanic said...

Also, Archer is the perfect pre-game pumpup.

NC Dad said...

This is one of the better posts I've seen. Good for you, sir.

"M" stands for "model", not military, but who really cares. The 1911 is, in my humble not-really-qualified-to-speak-for-anyone-else-but-me opinion, the best fighting pistol out there. I wear one daily.

And the .45 ACP round absolutely rocks, but everyone has their favorite.

Toby Temple said...

Props to you RM for this post.

Boogeyman said...

I carried a bat (tire thumper really) for protection for a while, but that was when I worked graveyard out in the ghetto. There were packs of near feral pit bulls that ran around.

Stupid ghetto trash get them as status symbols, and to protect their drugs. When things get tight, say at the end of the month, they trade, sell or just let them loose. They have no actual attachment to the animals. They're just ghetto commodities, like spinning rims or gold capped teeth.

The ones in this hood were hungry and approached you growling. Fucking insane. God, I'm glad I don't work there anymore.

VD said...

One wonders if the constant pressure on boys and young men to channel all of their natural aggression inward could be literally driving some of them mad.

Anonymous said...

Bloke I knew who had trouble with aggression used weed to manage it.

Just sayin'.

stg58 said...

Best. Pistol.Ever.

FN FAL -- Best. Rifle. Ever.

stg58 said...

I agree.

Anonymous said...

A friend of mine also uses weed to manage his aggression. Problem is, weed doesn't help manage aggression, it just suppresses it. So he's like a nuclear reactor buried a mile in the ground - all that energy with no productive outlet. Martial arts would at least let him release that energy as well as train him to use it efficiently. That's management.

For the record, my friend is a basket case. When stoned, he's a total introvert. But if he's even slightly underdosed, the slightest provocation will put him in nuclear meltdown and nobody is spared his rage.

Anonymous said...

A lot of the problems game theory addresses seem to stem from how we are encouraged by society to deny our basic nature as male animals - an instinct toward masculinity, aggression and violence that the omega discovered. Aggression is one of the most basic instincts men have. Choking it down, denying it exists, is just as deleterious to us as letting it go completely unchecked. I always played contact sports and studied martial arts for to do this. When every nerve in your body is agitated from something (school, work, interpersonal relationships) and wanting to hit somebody, there's no better therapy than going out in competition and hitting (and getting hit) and feeling the sting of battle, channeling the aggression into something enjoyable that sharpens the body & mind, and on team sports that also satisfies our pack/tribal instincts. Competitiveness and aggression are good things if we use them to power our productivity; if we don't cope with them or channel them properly they make us destructive. So glad the omega - the guy who evolved out of that way of thinking & being - has discovered this.

It also puts the lie to the idea that you are born into a category and stuck there. We have genetic tendencies to behave certain ways, our parents and others brought us up to act in certain ways, but we aren't slaves at all times to genetic. An omega can man up, an Alpha can go dormant or shrink. How you act is who you are.

Daniel said...

What a horrific but enlightening story, RM. I never realized how lucky I was to have such ready access (and, apparently, lack of judgment from others) to fire and explosives. Destroying things is cathartic in the way that building things is satisfying. Men need to do both, every day.

Aggression is a weapon in the best sense, but driving into your own brain and heart is suicidal.

Epics usually start with the line "I sing of weapons and a man" for a reason. It is madness, by definition, to sing of "weapons in a man."

Internalizing aggression is only effective at self-generating a zombie.

a good ROI said...

Timing is appropriate... I just watched a youtube clip last night about "The Effects of Emasculation, Part I", while sarcastic and passive-aggressive it backs up several points that have been made here and at other blogs listed in the sidebar that speak directly to the control of boys (feminization) and their aggression.

Obviously there are two parts to the video clip, one of them spoke directly to this.

Paraphrased, "Men are told to stand up and protect their families and/or themselves, yet when they do, they are many times literally beat down and de-rided by manginas and feminists."

DrRansom said...

Great post, RM. I have seen definite progress in your writing.

a good ROI said...

I have a co-worker who is the exact same as Anonymous' @ 5:09am friend. If he is smoking he is chill. If he hasn't smoked for a couple days he is on the verge of following Michael Douglas's character in Falling Down... everything is an a front to him, everything is a trigger.

a good ROI said...

Add another data point, when I go more then two days without lifting or working out hard, I start to find myself getting agitated and things are more apt to bother me then if I had just lifted heavy. Iron is my weed, I guess.

Stickwick said...

It is driving them mad.

For many years, my father was a director of an alternate program for extremely disturbed students. Ninety-nine percent of the students in the program were male, some had done time, and all came from pretty terrible circumstances. The idea was to try to rehabilitate these students so they could eventually be mainstreamed. Otherwise, it was probably homelessness or jail for most of them.

Most alternate programs have a very low success rate, because they follow the typical feminized educational paradigm that fears masculinity and therefore tries to suppress it. My father instead used Glasser's reality therapy and created a very masculine environment for them in which they felt like they belonged. Since, unlike girls, boys need a lot of physicality, the students were allowed to be aggressive and engage in horseplay between lessons. This not only allowed students to channel their aggression, but to bond with each other through the horseplay.

Using this method, my father had an unprecedented 80% success rate in rehabilitating and mainstreaming these boys, all of whom had essentially been written off by the school district as pathological. Tragically, the school district couldn't grasp how he managed to turn these kids around and not only failed to emulate the program in the rest of the district, but abandoned it altogether after he left.

The district failed to understand his program because of two major problems plaguing most schools and therapy programs: 1) overly feminized environments; and 2) progressive humanist philosophy.

Here's the problem with 1. Most teachers and admins are women, women tend to be very fearful of that which they don't understand, and most women don't understand masculinity. A woman's instinct, therefore, is to crush it and make boys act like girls as much as possible. Since that strategy is doomed to failure, boys are often either drugged or driven to the point where they develop psychological problems.

The problem with 2 is that humanists/progressives are naturally fearful of spontaneity. Any displays of initiative, independence, or originality -- typically male qualities -- are cause for alarm, and therefore need to be suppressed.

The two most common outcomes from boys being raised/educated in an overly feminized and suppressive environment is hyper-masculinity or passive, depressive lethargy. You see the former a lot in vibrant urban centers where most boys are raised without fathers. You see the latter more often in the rest of the American male population, which is subjected to more intensive feminization in schools. Without direction from a strong, involved male figure to counter this, most boys will experience problems as a result. This appears to have been the case with RM. As he noted, the way out of this is to accept and channel one's masculinity. And, bravo, I might add.

Anonymous said...

Completely agree, ROI. I went to the gym today after a 2-day hiatus. Every fiber of my being wanted me to stay in bed, so I had to mentally get over it and tell myself I will feel better once I go.

I feel like a different man now. I walk taller, I feel sharper, I feel stronger. I am also hungrier, hornier, and more confident. I look forward to my next lifting session. So I go to sleep earlier. More sleep, more weight loss, more energy.

Lifting also makes me stop drinking alcohol. I don't want to dull the feeling of having more energy and I don't want to be hungover, preventing me from lifting the next day.

But it starts with the mind pushing the body, not suppressing or coddling it.

rycamor said...

Even the best women don't always understand this. My wife appreciates my martial arts class and guns, but needs reminders about our son now and then. I found him looking a little low one night (at the age of 6), and finally got him to come out with it:

"When N and I are jumping on the trampoline, he hits me and knocks me down. He sneaks up behind me and makes me fall." (N is his friend).

"So, why don't you knock him down?"

"Mama won't let me. She says I'm not supposed to fight."

"OK, now this is Papa talking to you, and this is boy stuff. Mama loves you but there are things about boys she doesn't always understand. When N knocks you down on the trampoline, he is just playing. That's boy stuff. You're allowed to knock him around, too. Just don't let it get out of control. In fact, that's what N wants you to do."

(wide-eyed) "Really?"

"Yeah, it's play-fighting. It's how you learn to be tough enough when you grow up. So go ahead, give it to him!"

"But what about Mama?"

"She'll understand after I talk to her. Just go ahead and have fun on the trampoline."

During that time he had gone from a hangdog expression to mischievous anticipation. "I know what I'm gonna do now. I got it all planned."

Now I know that this is a thing you have to be judicious about. Some boys need a little encouragement at risk-taking, while others need to be encouraged to think twice. All part of being a Dad...

Markku said...

My parents too. Or, rather, they had the Day Club and the Disturbed Kid Club. You started out in the former, and if you were violent, you were assigned to the latter.

100% of the activities consisted of building something. It was mostly carpentry and electronics. Now, when these kind of kids actually WANT what you are offering, they are easy to manage. When one behaved badly, the others just took him outside to talk things over, he comes back with a black eye and everything is fine again.

Markku said...

That was to Stickwick, obviously

Anonymous said...

Good for you, man. it's great that you turned things around.

Tiger said...

Awesome post, I know exactly how you feel! I had the same realization a month ago that I was turning my aggression inward and it was eating me alive. Haven't quite mastered externalizing it yet. Your martial arts idea is spectacular.

Wondering Goym said...

Ditto ^ It's a lesson I need reminding of from time to time.

NC Dad said...

Agreed, follow closely by the Garand. God knows I love my Garand and my FAL.

Daniel said...

I recommend you find a full-contact (not touch) dojo. I know some people who are concerned about jumping straight into that fray, thinking that the light contact "points-scoring" schools are a good intro.

They aren't. If you are interested in an aerobic tapping sport, there's nothing wrong with that sort of dojo, but if you truly want to have combat and funnel aggression, full-contact is the way to go.

Basically, look for something that doesn't have any women or children or any (or many - there are a few decent smaller tournaments that are MMA style) team trophies, and then ask. Don't worry if you have no experience - it is still pretty fun to learn how to take abuse from something other (and more substantial) than ennui, and the moment you figure out how to deliver some damage is that much sweeter.

They aren't going to rob you or kill you, after all. There's no money and too much hassle in that.

Chop wood and build something.

Daniel said...

Heh. And I thought around here Day Club was Disturbed Kid Club. Or am I getting the Ilk confused with Ten Thousand Fists?

dice3510 said...

What psychological problems did you have besides social anxiety? I am a recovering Omega, and throughout the years (I am 18 now) I've suffered, and I believe but am not certain, that this is at least partially tied to my social isolation, from, among other things, OCD, ADD and depersonalization.

I personally know a 20 year old former Omega who is not at least a greater Delta or maybe Beta. So it is definitely possible to change. BTW, I've met up with him through a PUA website. So, if you're looking for a wingman, you can find one through game forums. You might get lucky (or, even consciously look for it) and find someone with similar problems to your own, as I did, which can be of major assistance.

dice3510 said...

'which turned to visions of sugar plums dancing in my head'

Is this OCD? I've had images of fruits and vegetables popping into my mind, rendering me unable to focus on things.

Sensei said...

"Aggression is a weapon in the best sense, but driving into your own brain and heart is suicidal."

True words. I would know. I'm starting to think there are many, many other men who lacked or were denied a legitimate outlet for their aggression and suffered because of it.

SouthTX said...

Still simpler than a wife

SouthTX said...

That's why when the boy's wanted to play football, I told them go ahead. I had to pay a couple of MRI deductables. But they worked out their aggression in the only sanctioned hard physical contact sport we have while they were/are in school. And they have/had a reputation for being violent without drawing flags. Off the field, perfect gentlemen.

Koanic said...

Right, he'll need a cat too.

Aeoli Pera said...

Stickwick,

I enjoyed that comment as much as I enjoyed the original post. Well done!

Aeoli Pera said...

No, that's inattentive ADHD. But the two disorders often coincide (the technical term is comorbidity if you feel like doing some research). Tourette's, ADHD, and OCD often occur together this way.

Aeoli Pera said...

I suppose you have no reason to take my word for it, but my insight is very good. You can test it against the inattention criteria from the DSM-IV.

Be sure to note that the behaviors must be disruptive to your life.

papabear said...

Trayvon Martin?

Snoeperd said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Snoeperd said...

Awesome post man, completely agree with you, also since it mimics a lot of my experiences when i was a kid.

In western culture aggressiveness is considered to be a purely negative emotion, a sentiment which is obviously anti-male become males are generally more aggressive.

Harnessing you're aggression, an all human emotions available to you, is a great thing which can be used to persevere in bleak situation, intensely tackling a problem head-on or defending yourself, both physically and socially.

How can you ever be a confident human being if you're convinced you need to hide part of yourself?

Anonymous said...

Jiu Jitsu and Akido schools are really good for this, and judo training is also good. Hapkido is my preferred form. For any of these, make sure the masters are the initial sparring partners; rookies known only how to hurt others, they do not know how to control their own strikes or to fully protect themselves in sparring.

All four arts are very physical (sweeps, throws, falls, striking, kicks - less prancing around practicing ornate, dance-like forms) and the sparring is cathartic. Akido and Hapkido are also expressly about aggression - learning to master and channel one's own aggression carefully, while using others' uncontrolled aggression and undiscipline against them. Manly arts.

Daniel said...

The problem with Judo is it is very easy to beat until the fight goes to the ground. It takes a number of clean throws to get to that point, and by that point, the odds of a decent crippling strike getting through or a block or "re-direction" going bad against a striker who knows (or doesn't know - see below) what he's doing, are way too high.

I may be wrong about this: all I know is that I dislocated a respected years-in-training judo guy's elbow within my first month of sparring. I literally knew nothing at that point but to expect redirection and to send it to hell with a strike that went through it.

I felt terrible because I thought it was very un-zen of me or some such nonsense, but he was about as good a sport about as anyone could be whose arm suddenly looked like it had been sponsored by the letter "T." Sensei thought it was a good example of overthinking on my opponent's part.

The judo guy was at a terrible disadvantage in that dojo, because sparring rounds usually tapped out (to spare excessive injuries - there were plenty as it was) as soon as they hit the mat because, for the most part, the standing guy is only some kicks away from really finishing the show. I learned that the hard way early. To his credit, he stuck around long enough to unlearn his ineffective judo stuff pretty well. Never having done judo, I think I would recommend leaving it alone unless you are most interested in competition and tournaments and not self-defense, which is a perfectly acceptable channel for aggression.

Aeoli Pera said...

Daniel,

I disagree. Tournament Judo can be modified to an effective self defense system very easily (essentially, he needs to learn a boxing guard and how to close the gap). It is only a weak style if the judoka assumes the other person will fight like him. A couple of sparring rounds can bring him up to speed.

In contrast, consider the difficulty of teaching a boxer to defend against a grappler.

Anonymous said...

Jiu Jitsu or Hapkido are really good fighting arts, so-so as purely sporting endeavors. Both teach techniques for fighting strongly off the ground, a weakness you identify in judo. I once trained with an elderly Hapkido master, a fat fellow who had very bad knees. He was easily knocked over, but once on the ground he'd spin and bounce around like one of those bouncing fireworks, from which he'd launch low sweeps, punches to the lower extremities, etc. He was a quiet, restrained but really dominant fellow, took up the art after getting his ass whupped in a bar fight as a young man.

Stickwick said...

Daniel,

Martial arts is definitely not my specialty, but since my dad competed in Judo for years, FWIW here are some points for consideration.

Forgive me if this is common knowledge, but it might be useful for those not in the know to start with a bit of history. Judo came from Jiu Jitsu, the ancient Japanese art of unarmed combat. Around the turn of the 20th century, there was a big Jiu Jitsu tournament in Japan in which a number of different schools were going to compete against each other. A man known as Professor Kano had taken the best techniques of the different schools and combined them into what he called the "gentle way" (ju-do). He entered some of his students into the competition and they won several of the weight divisions. After that, Judo became the national sport of Japan.

Now, when considering Judo's effectiveness, one first of all has to distinguish between Judo the sport (which constrains with clear-cut rules) and Judo used for self-defense (which has no rules).

In terms of self-defense, Judo is effective against the average person in a street-fight situation, because the average person is not a good striker -- they throw haymakers, they're off-balance, and they lack accuracy. For someone skilled in Judo, the moment he gets hold of any part of his opponent -- clothing, an arm, a leg, hair -- the fight is over, unless the opponent has a grappling background. I've seen this a couple of times with my dad, when he was attacked by a violent student or had to intervene in a vicious fight. The thing is, you don't need a clean throw. All you need is to get your opponent to stumble. This happens to even the best fighters in MMA. What's important is who has the dominant position. If you can get your opponent to stumble, that's as good as a clean throw.

Also, every person who's not highly-trained in Judo or Jiu Jitsu makes the same mistake – he exposes his neck. The neck is the most vulnerable part of the body, and there are many different ways to choke or strangle a person.

In terms of competition, Judo's effectiveness depends on whether a Judo guy is constrained in any way, as your opponent was. If he's not, a non-Judo guy is at a disadvantage. In the sport of Judo, there are things you aren't allowed to do in randori (sparring), but you learn and practice them anyway. This is because they are part of Jiu Jitsu, the fighting form of Judo. For example, you learn to apply pressure on the wrist or fingers, which is effective in real-life struggles, but not allowed in competition. You also learn to apply pressure on the Adam's apple, which is potentially lethal, and also not allowed in competition.

Against a trained and experienced striker, the crucial thing is the first strike. If the first strike is effective, then a Judo guy is at a disadvantage. But most first strikes are not effective. If a Judo guy does a single- or double-leg takedown, the striker is likely done-for. Consider that in most MMA matches the fight goes to the mat, and the fight is almost never determined by knock-out. In fact, I'm pretty sure there's no such thing as pure strikers in MMA anymore. If striking was more effective than grappling, you'd have people who specialize in striking; but grappling has become dominant in the sport.

Daniel said...

Those are excellent points, Stickwick - the ground is definitely Judo's, and I completely agree that. I'm positive I never fought against a master of judo (not that I would have been a great measure - I never achieved mastery, either), so I can't say anything about the relative strengths of one vs. the other.

What I do know is that, from a starting position for someone completely new to it, effectiveness and aggression might be more satisfactorily honed in a shorter time in something that does focus on effective strikes.

The problem with translating MMA to real situations is that it is still a tournament sport with rules - the fact that you can't drop an elbow down into the forehead of a grappler is a rules advantage for the grappler - I've seen (never suffered, thank goodness) a couple of knockouts from a grappled man with the upper position in just that way. Judo is great for MMA, but when looking to incapacitate multiple real world folks in a short amount of time, I'm still going to put my money down on a single striker vs. a single judo guy.

However, that's really interesting background. Amen to the leg takedowns - when I wrestled in high school, I measured victory as soon as I picked a heel. Even with all the rules constraints, steady aggression, a good grip and a limited number of holds and a good takedown could, 9 times out of 10 be converted to a win, if not a pin, against all but the very best wrestlers. One season, I rode the shock of a double-leg - straight to pin maybe a half dozen times in the first minute of a match.

But I still know that my wild hare no nothing basic strikes self gave me considerable advantage over my disciplined, heel picking grappler self - at least until it got close.

No matter what, if it gets to the ground, it is Judo's game. The point is to never let it get to the ground...

Daniel said...

Oh, and Aeoli has a good point about the improvement of judo, but I think the contrast of a boxer to a grappler is not good. Boxing, a sport that I enjoy a lot, is exactly that: a sport. No one takes up boxing for self defense (except for kids who got beat up and need the confidence, a la Ali's "bicycle story" - but the same thing applies to kids in Tae Kwon Do) in the same way that they do martial arts of any sort.

As a course of study, I also think that there is some merit in even the most Jeet Kune Do - type "real fighter" to at least train enough in the classical arts to understand them. After all, the "universal" JKD guys that I know incorporate plenty of effective grappling.

rycamor said...

Take it with a grain of salt as I'm no expert, but from a physics standpoint, I haven't seen a traditional martial art that makes more sense than Wing Chun. Complete economy of motion... the moves are the opposite of exaggerated. Think Aikido's circular movement reduced to 1/10th or less. Heavy elbows, knees and elbows in, feet firmly planted, weight on the back foot rather than the front, which seemed odd to me at first after Aikido, but makes so much more sense, because your front foot can yield to a kick and come right back into place without making you falter.

It's amazing how much a little force can accomplish with the right structure behind it. Our Sifu (older American guy) can knock any one of us flying with what looks like a casual extension of his arm. Also, it is amazing how a couple inches' difference in body alignment can make the difference between absorbing or brushing off a blow.

The ultimate thing I like about Wing Chun is that every defense is an act of aggression. The philosophy is that if you shrink back, you have lost the fight already. Ergo, a punch is not met with a block, or a dodge and weave, but anticipated with forward expansion in one way or another--a punch that knocks the other's punch offline while you score a flinch, a redirection of your line of force, something, but ALWAYS FORWARD. In fact, it's an apt metaphor for Game, because every act by an opponent is not taken in the spirit it was intended, but reframed to allow for a better act of aggression on your part.

There are complex forms you can study, but there are about 20-30 core moves that can be grasped in a few weeks and refined for a lifetime. Some of Bruce Lee's buddies said he always went back to Wing Chun basics when it came to a street fight.

Koanic said...

It's Muay Thai, Boxing, Wrestling, and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

Or just straight up MMA.

Anything else is fantasy nerdsville.

Listen to Joe Rogan if you want to understand the sport. These "which school" questions are no longer theoretical. Everything's been settled by the evolution of the sport.

Tiger said...

Yeah, I was going to go for wrestling. It is Biblical, and once you get inside past the first strike, it should be all over for the boxer. Frank Gotch 100 years ago wrote that all the Asian martial arts were just variants of wrestling, and not superior. Back in those days they had boxing vs. wrestling matches, and the wrestlers generally won. Imagine flipping a turtle onto its back.

Stickwick said...

Daniel,

Speaking from a purely theoretical/observational POV, since I've never been in a fight, myself (and doubt I would be effective in a fight, anyway) ...

Regarding multiple-attacker scenarios, most of the time it seems to be a matter of making a show of taking one guy out, and the others are going to be too cowardly to do anything (which is probably why they were attacking in a group in the first place). But if they all attack you at once, you’re probably toast, regardless of your training. This happened to my husband, and he’s lucky to be alive. My dad, on the other hand, escaped from a seven-against-two scenario, because the leader made the mistake of attacking on his own first. He got his head rammed into a tree, at which point the other six picked the guy up off the ground and left.

In terms of getting the fight to the ground, a trained guy can resist it, but not the average guy. While it's difficult for one Judo guy to throw another Judo guy, because they're trained to maintain their balance, the average person cannot stop a throw. Worse yet, the average person doesn't know how to fall, which can be fatal. A guy who trained with my dad unintentionally killed someone this way. Someone at a bar tried to sucker-punch him, which he managed to duck. He then instinctively threw the guy, but because the guy wasn't trained to fall, he went crashing backwards, hit his head, and died.

While I believe a Judo guy has the advantage in most situations, it's certainly not invincible. You're absolutely right about rules and effectiveness. Striking has its advantages, but the problem is, it seems rare that you get a perfect first strike in real-life situations. Or even a perfect last strike. I've seen several street fights, and have only seen one that ended by knock-out (mitigated by the fact that the loser was incredibly inebriated). The head is a small target and surprisingly well-suited for impact, so that leaves the throat, the kidney, or just above the groin to make a strike that's really effective. But, as I said before, most people leave their necks exposed, and it's relatively easy to get a choke/strangle hold on someone. Though, as Vox pointed out recently, that's not necessarily a game-ending move.

I'm thinking something like Aikido, which combines striking with grappling, is ideal, but it's got a steep learning curve. I looked into learning Aikido, but gave up when I realized it would take me several years to be anywhere near effective. Krav Maga seems pretty good, too, and it doesn't have the steep learning curve. My husband was trained to use it in the military. From what I've seen, you just need to learn a few devastating moves really well to be effective.

SouthTX said...

I am older but out of shape. I unleash my aggressivenes in making sure I am at the top of my field in what I do. Bring home serious bacon. The Mrs. knows I don't tolerate bullshit. The kid's know it. It has paid off well. The kid's are happy because they know the boundaries. If it comes to it. I will practice gunfu. But as a Christian don't want to have to.

SouthTX said...

I don't mean to step on any toe's. But I don't really see a Trayvon case down here. I would have not been alone. He would have not gotten into it. GZ seems a little beta. I have nothing to prove. Kind of like our ape mentalities means we all backed off and we all left alive. But I wouldn't have him trying to kill me. In GZ's defense, no jury here would have even heard the case.

Carlotta said...

I don't know if you are still reading comments, but wanted to leave one. First, I don't know any men in my life that don't have to almost daily let off steam in one way or another. So it is normal that you need this, that it needs to be done almost daily and that you feel better. Yes, someone should have lead you there. Males should not be unable to control themselves because that is dangerous and foolish. However, that energy and power is there and should be channeled. You cannot simply wish it away. It is a GOOD thing. It just needs to be used up!

Last,I know of what you speak and can tell you that the torment flees from one thing and one thing only...giving your life to the Lord God Almighty through the way He made and offered by His Son Jesus. When you do this, you give your life to Him and are Baptised, you DIE to all this. I don't mean you won't ever have it come back for a go...I mean WHEN it comes back, the power of the Holy Spirit beats the ever livin daylights out of it. And then one day soon, you don't fear anything except the Lord anymore...and you are His.

I will be praying for you! The devil would love nothing more then to convince you that there is no hope, because once you die to this world..HE CANNOT TOUCH YOU!
I know, someone I loved very, very much chose to listen to him one day and did what he has tried to convince you to do.

This life is the war, it is the test. It is not the reward. This life is slavery. You will have to chose. Chose ever lasting life and victory my friend or this type of torment...it is only the beginning I am sad to say.

Carlotta said...

I am looking into Krav Maga myself. And as for multple attackers, youtube has some hilarious videos to study. One guy in particular just started by grabbing each one by the head and punching them in the nose.

My Dad always told me punch the loud mouth in the face right away and usually when they see blood they will run (he was a legendary street fighter in our parts in his youth. He wasn't violent, his younger brothers were always starting crap AND they were the only whites in a very, very vibrant area LOL).

My Brothers confirmed this works well :) Me, only had a few lady fights and won them using some moves from good ole Dad :)

Carlotta said...

I hear golf works just a well LOL.

Carlotta said...

Plus women find it hot!

Laguna Beach Fogey said...

WTF?!

Daniel said...

A sport that has "evolved" away from its no-holds barred origins. Joe Rogan lives in fantasy nerdsville. He's the king of fantasy nerdsville. I love both Joe Rogan and your fantasy nerdsville, but to pretend that MMA has "settled" anything in the real world since leaving Fight Club is just silly.

I mean, think about it. They wear Enter the Dragon gloves, they have a ref, there are penalties, etc. The moment you implement controls is the moment you give up the argument. It's about as relevant of trying to determine who would win in a match between Superman and Cassius Clay. [Obviously Superman, right? except for the fact that he only exists on paper.]

Don't get me wrong, this January, after the fights, I watched a dumb fan after the fights nearly die from a single strike from a local guy who had lost his fight. The dumb guy had lost money betting on him and heckled him just outside the bar I was heading into.

It was bad - out of pity, I visited the victim (he happens to live in my neighborhood) later to buy some firewood from him when he got out of the hospital - brain bleed, fractured skull, teeth gone, black eye, a leg that didn't work anymore (like a stroke)...and a dopey grin on his face like - "Holy crap, ain't I dumb?"

All from two impacts: the strike and the fall to the concrete. So I completely get that MMA will take care of the common fight (which is almost invariably a mismatch, for a lot of reasons), but that doesn't settle the rare spectacle of mastered no-holds barred Muay Thai vs. Wing Chun or whatever.

After all, I'm not even confident that an unleashed Muay Thai expert takes out a forms-based and restricted Kendo master with a real sword.

Daniel said...

Welcome to the octagon!

Koanic said...

If you're saying MMA is stupid because it has rules to reduce injury and lethality, then in a sense that's true. Even the gladiator ring had rules.

But to whatever degree that's true, it applies vastly more to the traditional BS empty-hand martial arts.

So I don't know what kind of point you're trying to make, but my criticism of the other recommendations here like Wing Chun or Judo or Jeet Kun Do still stands. You can do it for fun, but you're cheating yourself if you pick that to learn how to fight.

And yes, dirty fighting self defense courses are even more practical, and guns even more so, but the topic is about getting your aggression out in free sparring. MMA is the realest "safe" sparring you can do.

Mike M. said...

I hate to interrupt the style flame war, but the quality of instruction outweighs the style. Find yourself a dojo with an instructor who isn't in it for the money. Avoid the McDojos waving contracts, especially those guaranteeing rank. Train hard.

And if you want to truly unleash aggression, allow me to suggest fencing.

Anonymous said...

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu may be fine for tournament play, but it's practiced as a sport art in MMA. What separates the combat arts from the sport arts is that the combat arts are not geared for attack/counterattack, but toward meeting an attack and stopping it with an equally or more violent response, using techniques that are quite frankly geared toward maiming or killing the opponent. You can't build a sport around assault with intent to cause grievous bodily injury.

Any of the martial arts have the potential to make a man a better fighter. The purpose isn't to become the cock of the walk though, it's to become a better man, with better mental and physical discipline, more fitness and lethality. The martial artist who gains mastery over the techniques but then goes around peacocking or freely commits to bar fights has completely missed the point of the whole exercise.

Daniel said...

Well played.

Daniel said...

I concede your point, in part because it is pretty good and in part because I have no idea what my point is. I rarely have one.

SouthTX said...

I agree with you on it. We have a young engineer who is actually an MMA instructor. Comes to work sore. But a good guy we all respect. Actually a pretty damn good engineer. But second to that may be Friday night football. I've seen hit's that would have laid me out. The young Men walk it off. Thankfully the oldest gave more than he took. I tell people I am a Lover not a fighter. If I have to get into a fight, I have to spend a lot of money to the right people.

SouthTX said...

I've seen stupid alpha. A couple we have known for many years. They would go out. He would bet anyone 200 dollars that he could whip their ass. I have never heard of him losing. Amazing he isn't dead. She finally left him. A former Alabama WR friend told me was crazy. To here it from him means something.

SouthTX said...

He was (my friend) All American, but blew out his knees. He was 6'2 in the early 80's. Ran a 4.37 40, with good hands. Folks may have improved, but back then it was unheard of. He makes me glad I talked my oldest son out of playing college football. Interesting stories confirmed through others what a Div I athlete goes through. His advice, if you aren't going to the NFL, skip it.

dannyfrom504 said...

wudang sent me here after i posted about Krav Maga.

you should look into it. matter fact, every man reading this blog should learn Krav.

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