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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

"MY LESSONS WITH THE MASTERS..." Ari Kandel's personal training blog. #21

Had another great lesson with Al on Saturday. A few tips:

--Move the body in so that the arms feel like they simply float in with no effort.
--For your own development, pulse minimally. Don't constantly counter-pulse or get too heavy with people who pulse a lot, even if it seems to work.
--Feel and work off of the skeletal structure.
--Penetrate when tool replacing or smothering with the torso so that he can't readjust in time. You have to shock the body to momentarily hinder movement.

Looking forward to the knife seminar this Saturday. . . .

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

"MY LESSONS WITH THE MASTERS..." Ari Kandel's personal training blog. #20

You've Got to Be In It to Win It.
In the Monday night class, John went over some important stuff for everyone to keep in mind.

He pointed out that as many people get lazy or complacent in their training, contact flow devolves into a medium-range hand-fighting game, with the training partners basically standing in front of each other while looking to hit and not be hit. Granted, it's fun, and Guided Chaos principles may be involved, but such training dangerously misses the point.

John showed that in order to deal with a bigger, stronger, faster enemy, you have to be able to close the distance and smother his movements while controlling his balance. Simply standing and trying to deal with his hands will get you killed quickly. Key skills to cultivate in contact flow, therefore, are getting offline, even if only a little, while closing the distance to smother his attacks and end things quickly. Instead of just hitting through an opening, you need to pour your entire loose, heavy body into it while feeling and adapting to his motion. This enables you to disrupt his balance and bring your whole body to strike with finality.

Further emphasizing why standing face to face while practicing contact flow is a bad mistake, John asked how often one can expect to be attacked head-on. The possibilities of getting blind-sided or being attacked from multiple directions simultaneously are too great and too dangerous to not keep them in mind while training. In such situations, the ability to slam the whole body into heavy dropping strikes that arrest motion and disrupt balance as well as do damage, while using these full-body steps and drops to keep yourself moving unpredictably, "bouncing" among and around assailants while staying loose enough to not get broken and covering your head, will do much more to save your hide than trying to play with incoming hands.

It was a very interesting class, replete with lots of high-impact demos with some of the biggest guys.

Lots of food for thought and training. . . .

Friday, March 09, 2007

"MY LESSONS WITH THE MASTERS..." Ari Kandel's personal training blog. #19

Recently, I've gotten to experience some of John Perkins' "Combat Boxing" method.

In my view, despite the title "Combat Boxing," the method really has very little to do with Western Boxing. It's basically Guided Chaos applied exclusively through clenched fists and impact, as opposed to the "regular" Guided Chaos that uses the whole body in any way possible to destroy the enemy via impact as well as other modes such as pushing, pulling, breaking, off-balancing, gouging, ripping, etc. In other words, the "delivery system" is Guided Chaos, but the tools are limited.

From being on the receiving end, I can tell you this: Combat Boxing HURTS!!! Every impact, be it on your arms, body or head (lightly in training), involves an internal drop delivered through any part of the fist, forearm or elbow. It's not slow nor particularly flowing. The body remains "yin" to evade and generate force from any position through a solid yet mobile root, but every instance of contact is "yang," causing pain, knocking guarding limbs out of the way, disrupting balance and blasting through jaws and ribs. Incoming limbs are destroyed with hammerfists, forearms and elbows. Especially when John is doing it, there is no typical boxing stance or lead, as the whole body drops instantly from one lead to the other to thread collosal shots into tiny openings. Often a fast series of short, chopping punches and hammerfists paves the way and sets up the opponent (getting him off-balance and knocking his guard wide open) for a huge head-busting punch or three. Virtually every shot delivered with the internal drop to any target (even the arms) effectively "freezes" the recipient's body for a split second, allowing the next shot (and many thereafter) to come in unopposed, unless the recipient can remain very loose and "bounce" off the impacts to maintain balance, protect himself and counterattack. Combat Boxing is not about long-distance sniping, sticking and moving, but about blasting in quickly for the knockout.

John has begun teaching this method to Andre, a very talented Guided Chaos 3rd degree black belt whose experience as a boxing instructor makes him a Combat Boxing natural. It's very frustrating for me when Andre transitions into Combat Boxing during contact flow, because at my present level of skill, I'm left with nothing to work with. Every contact hurts and sets me up to fail. John demonstrates that the only systematic way to "defeat Combat Boxing" is to use high-level Guided Chaos to immediately smother the Combat Boxer's movements, sticking so closely that he is unable to pull off even the shortest shots. From there, the Guided Chaos practitioner can disrupt the Combat Boxer's balance, move in and end it. (Of course, I usually don't have much luck dealing with Andre's "plain old" Guided Chaos during contact flow. Even so, at least then I'm not in CONSTANT pain!)

With Andre's help, John is working on training methods to teach Combat Boxing. The August 25 Combat Boxing seminar promises to be something very special. . . .