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Thread: "Attack Strings" ie "techniques"

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    Default "Attack Strings" ie "techniques"

    Lifted from this blog: http://dandjurdjevic.blogspot.com/se...tring%20theory




    Predictive unreliability: the essential flaw of attack strings

    Regardless of how you categorise them, I think the chances of "attack strings" being applied literally are very slim.

    My reasoning for thinking this is that, despite the relative speed of delivery, they do not take into account the unpredictability of your opponent's response. They are applied to an opponent/partner who is not mobile and who isn't being hit with full force so there is no response even in terms of reacting to a blow. Hit a person hard in the solar plexus and he/she will likely double over; hit someone in the face and his/her head will rock back. In both cases, the person's body will shift away to some extent. This says nothing about how the person might deflect/evade your attack and counter, or otherwise interrupt your planned combination...

    In my view, your ability to predict decreases sharply along an exponential curve with every blow in your attack "string". You might be able to predict with some certainty what your opponent will do when you deliver your first blow and where he/she will be after you land it. But with your second blow your chances of prediction have decreased to at best a 50/50 possibility. By your third blow the chances of accurate prediction are, in my experience, fanciful.

    So does this mean that "attack strings" are worthless? Certainly not.

    You should practise such strings so as to learn principles of connectivity or what I have "previously described as the process of transition. You take those principles away and apply them in much smaller "strings" as the case requires - you don't apply the literal drills you have been taught.

    In Taira sensei's case, I suspect he might apply the juji nage (crossed elbow throw) at the end or perhaps the groin strike etc. However this does not diminish the value of the bunkai drill which contains all sorts of lessons about the principles of change/transition from technique to technique.

    In the Kenpo/JKD case, the strings are far more "basic strike" oriented. Nonetheless, they do teach connectivity of a kind, and I would expect that one might end up applying one or 2 techniques in combination (but probably no more).

    However you use them, great care must be taken not to give "attack strings" too much weight; remember that one good counter will always beat a combination of 2 or 3 or more attacks. In this regard I am reminded of a WBA heavyweight boxing championship fight I watched in the '80s between South African Gerrie Coetzee and American Michael Dokes (you can see part of the fight here). Dokes was famous for his fast combinations and came out early raining punches upon Coetzee. Coetzee absorbed these and ended the fight with a single right cross.

    In the end, "attack strings" are good to practise; they teach you principles of connectivity and have a place in a wider curriculum of single and 2 person drills. However it is my view that they are only a very small part of learning combat skills. Behind their "impressiveness" hides the reality that an attacker never stands unresponsive to your attacks. Rather he or she will react to your every move. It is far more important (though less impressive) to spend time understanding the process of interaction between you and your opponent than it is to learn how to "rain blows" upon him or her.
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    Default Re: "Attack Strings" ie "techniques"

    Seems to me there are a lot of worthless words, attempting to sound important, in this short piece.

    attack strings
    exponential curve
    principles of connectivity

    No one has ever accused me of not like the sound of my own voice ... but ... what we do really isn't all that complicated. When advanced students in our classes are training, we learn that if the dummy doesn't go where he is supposed to go in the technique prescription ... the practitioner can PUT HIM where he needs to go. The system of martial arts I study already has a term for this: contact manipulation.

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    Default Re: "Attack Strings" ie "techniques"

    You seem to have missed the point.
    "To be, rather than to seem"

    "Fix your rear foot ... What the hell is wrong with you?"

    "...I already watched the videos, and quite frankly, they're bullsh*t."

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    Default Re: "Attack Strings" ie "techniques"

    Quote Originally Posted by MarkC View Post
    You seem to have missed the point.
    That's the second time this week someone has told me I missed the point.

    If I missed a point ... perhaps you are not being as sharp as you think you are by posting someone else's blog here. There doesn't seem to be a point ... except for someone making claims that are unsupported, about a situation that we train to avoid. If, in kenpo, the bad guy is supposed to react with 'X' when I execute strike 'A' ... but doesn't ... instead he does '43' ... Then one of two things will happen ... either I will read and react appropriately to '43' ... or I will put him in position 'X'.

    The author of the thought above appears to be inventing arguments about why something won't work. My guess would be so that he can invent a solution that will work. And then he can show everyone how clever he is.

    Hogwash!

    If there is some other point, which we are supposed to magically discern from you posting someone else's thoughts without comment ... please spell it out. Snarky comments don't lend themselves to understanding.

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    Default Re: "Attack Strings" ie "techniques"

    I think what he is saying is that you will perform how you practice
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    Default Re: "Attack Strings" ie "techniques"

    I think it relates to a post Dr. Dave made here: http://www.kenpotalk.com/forum/showt...ht=#post164295

    "I bang my head against the wall every time I read or hear of a kenpoka trying to relate ANY move to an attack. I've written before... in my interviews with Mr. P., and the spontaneous instruction that would break out during some of them, we discussed the Purpose of techniques. Not once -- ever -- was the purpose of the technique to teach the student a pre-planned reaction to a specific attack. The Purpose might be something like, "to get the student used to releasing and regaining different combat ranges", or "to introduce the student to the idea of maintaining pressure against a retreating attackers defensive boundaries", etc.

    The extensions are not meant to be a choreographed reply to an attack. They provide you more opportunity to interact with the material. They give you more applications of basics in given contexts. They give you learning opportunities, in which to explore how to apply your natural weapons, methods of execution, etc., in different ranges, different contexts. They are meant to provide you learning opportunities, that take you deeper into the kenposphere."

    The author of the blog seems to have the impression that kenpo techniques are actually supposed to be whipped out in a real situation, rather than being tools or labs (as I've seen Dr. Dave refer to them) to teach you how to move and sequence basics together. Many people have this opinion as well.

    Why so touchy today?
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    Default Re: "Attack Strings" ie "techniques"

    Quote Originally Posted by MarkC View Post
    Lifted from this blog: http://dandjurdjevic.blogspot.com/se...tring%20theory




    Predictive unreliability: the essential flaw of attack strings

    Regardless of how you categorise them, I think the chances of "attack strings" being applied literally are very slim.

    My reasoning for thinking this is that, despite the relative speed of delivery, they do not take into account the unpredictability of your opponent's response. They are applied to an opponent/partner who is not mobile and who isn't being hit with full force so there is no response even in terms of reacting to a blow. Hit a person hard in the solar plexus and he/she will likely double over; hit someone in the face and his/her head will rock back. In both cases, the person's body will shift away to some extent. This says nothing about how the person might deflect/evade your attack and counter, or otherwise interrupt your planned combination...

    In my view, your ability to predict decreases sharply along an exponential curve with every blow in your attack "string". You might be able to predict with some certainty what your opponent will do when you deliver your first blow and where he/she will be after you land it. But with your second blow your chances of prediction have decreased to at best a 50/50 possibility. By your third blow the chances of accurate prediction are, in my experience, fanciful.

    So does this mean that "attack strings" are worthless? Certainly not.

    You should practise such strings so as to learn principles of connectivity or what I have "previously described as the process of transition. You take those principles away and apply them in much smaller "strings" as the case requires - you don't apply the literal drills you have been taught.

    In Taira sensei's case, I suspect he might apply the juji nage (crossed elbow throw) at the end or perhaps the groin strike etc. However this does not diminish the value of the bunkai drill which contains all sorts of lessons about the principles of change/transition from technique to technique.

    In the Kenpo/JKD case, the strings are far more "basic strike" oriented. Nonetheless, they do teach connectivity of a kind, and I would expect that one might end up applying one or 2 techniques in combination (but probably no more).

    However you use them, great care must be taken not to give "attack strings" too much weight; remember that one good counter will always beat a combination of 2 or 3 or more attacks. In this regard I am reminded of a WBA heavyweight boxing championship fight I watched in the '80s between South African Gerrie Coetzee and American Michael Dokes (you can see part of the fight here). Dokes was famous for his fast combinations and came out early raining punches upon Coetzee. Coetzee absorbed these and ended the fight with a single right cross.

    In the end, "attack strings" are good to practise; they teach you principles of connectivity and have a place in a wider curriculum of single and 2 person drills. However it is my view that they are only a very small part of learning combat skills. Behind their "impressiveness" hides the reality that an attacker never stands unresponsive to your attacks. Rather he or she will react to your every move. It is far more important (though less impressive) to spend time understanding the process of interaction between you and your opponent than it is to learn how to "rain blows" upon him or her.
    While the author makes some interesting comments, his only example seems to be from a sporting contest constrained by rules of conduct, and to a certain extent I would agree. However, his assertion that reactions are not predictable is false outside of contests where actions are allowed in areas, and ways that would not be allowed in most sports. As an example, I know if I kick your knee from any direction, there will be a definite and predictable response should I apply the appropriate amount of force. I know that if I apply the contact correctly and on target, his body will be manipulated predictably by that contact. The physics of human anatomy are as predictable as the inherent startle reflex mechanisms, which doesn't even need contact and is equally as predictable. In American Football for example, as a Defensive Lineman there are limits on your ability to utilize feints within a certain area before the ball is snapped, so they at least recognize you can predict someones actions without contact as well. The only real variable is in degrees, based on the efficiency of the external stimuli.

    The author also seems to ignore that predictability is a two-way street. Should he not do what I anticipate because I was deficient in my execution, than it is incumbent upon me to adjust. That's why they put brakes and steering wheels on cars. We live in an interactive world, and while things don't always occur the way we predict for various reasons, it doesn't mean we just keep doing the same thing. I believe they call that insanity. Duh!

    In application to Kenpo in general however, I would have to agree with the author in some methods of training. When you observe someone throw a punch, and then stand still so the "defender" can execute a series of strikes with no regard to the attackers response, then you are training with an "Assumption of Failure," and it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy because you literally exclude the other half of the Confrontation Equation. Physical confrontations have an inherent rhythm defined by both parties, or what I call Paired Rhythm. "When you have a "dance" you want to do with someone, you better listen to their music or they may end up dancing by themselves while you take a nap."

    Mr. Parker knew that and addressed the authors "concerns" and stated so in his "Three Phases" explanation.

    “As you analyze a specific technique, study is best begun by dividing your efforts into phases. Phase I of the analytical process requires that you commence with an ideal or fixed situation.”

    “This means that you are to select a combat situation that has been structured with a prescribed sequence of movements, and use this ideal technique as a basis.”

    “Using the ideal technique or model situation as a reference point not only refers to the defensive moves you employ, but the anticipated reactions of your opponent as well.”

    “Therefore, the ideal techniques are built around seemingly inflexible and one dimensional assumptions for a good purpose. They provide us with a basis from which we may begin our analytical process, (like a control model in any reliable scientific experiment). Prescribed techniques applied to prescribed reactions are the keys that make a basic technique ideal or fixed.”

    “In Phase I, structuring an ideal technique requires selecting a combat situation that you wish to analyze. Contained within the technique should be fixed moves of defense, offense, and the anticipated reactions that can stem from them.”

    Many were never made aware of, or have chosen to ignore Mr. Parker's thoughts on the subject, while claiming to do Ed Parker's Kenpo Karate. In many cases I understand. It is no small task to do it correctly because it requires significant knowledge, skill and prerequisite experience to follow his suggestions, and if you came up in the system only, it is not likely you have the capacity to do so.
    "Nothing is more dangerous than the conscientiously ignorant, or the sincerely stupid." - Martin Luther King Jr.

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    Default Re: "Attack Strings" ie "techniques"

    Quote Originally Posted by michaeledward View Post
    Seems to me there are a lot of worthless words, attempting to sound important, in this short piece.

    attack strings
    exponential curve
    principles of connectivity

    No one has ever accused me of not like the sound of my own voice ... but ... what we do really isn't all that complicated. When advanced students in our classes are training, we learn that if the dummy doesn't go where he is supposed to go in the technique prescription ... the practitioner can PUT HIM where he needs to go. The system of martial arts I study already has a term for this: contact manipulation.
    If we are going to complain about this guy making up terminology, clearly kenpo is under the same criticism for needing an entire (published!) encyclopedia to understand our jargon. All the blog is saying is that there are two sides to the technique, and that some training methodologies are aren't getting past the baby steps of training self-defense through repetitive technique. It makes perfect sense to me and a complaint that I would have of several kenpo practitioners that I have met.
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    Default Re: "Attack Strings" ie "techniques"

    I think it's important to study and train your combinations. I have more than a few that are are beyond too long and complex, but I know that I will never complete them in a real fight situation. I am learning specific techniques that I would probably not practice as much if the weren't part of these combinations. I am also learning how the body moves, my positioning, targeting strikes and so much more. The danger, is if you don't work these techniques in multiple ways and if you don't throw in randomness. These combinations teach us principles that are at the heart of our systems. Just my two cents.

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