Picture of Shihan
     We've referred to and talked about small scale strategy, over and over again.  We have also related those strategies to grappling, kumite, self-defense and the martial arts in general.  Along with strategy comes philosophy.  Sometimes it's difficult to separate the two as it seems they are more the same than separate.  The truth is, if you think about it, that strategy utilizes philosophy to be effective.  The undefined movements within strategy, mixed with philosophy, control your opponent so well, that their reaction(s) to what you do comes out as their idea.
     To win a confrontation, we mix our small scale strategies together in such a way as to form a winning large scale result.  When you face an opponent, you should realize what your large scale result is to be and put together a series of small scale strategies to reach that end.  Should you consciously think about each strategy as you move from one to the other?  I don't recommend it, as your movements will be effectively restricted as you utilize your conscious thought to guide you along.  Beginning your attack, whether offense or defense may utilize a conscious thought plan, but your void strategies should take over from there.  By breaking up your timing, you will develop "windows" of which allow you time to finish one set and move to the next, over and over.  The philosophy behind the mind functioning of your opponents ability to comprehend correctly during these breaks in time is what develops this added time and their loss of what you're really all about.  It's as if you're giving them a verbal instruction of when to stop in their movement, so that you can regroup, without them getting in the way.  When you have a large scale strategy, that includes properly executed small scale strategies, you reach the end of the trip, pretty much as you had planned, with very few variances along the way.
Large Scale Strategy   (looking at the big picture)
  December 2005
Volume 8 Issue 12 
A general description of our system to a national martial arts magazine, from the past

Our system is not compatible with the general run-of-the-mill tournaments. First off, our system utilizes contact at all belt levels, of which light to medium face contact is included.  Second, in most cases we do not use safety gear. Disqualification is very common for our students because of the "rules" that they have to attempt to work around. Automatic defenses generally always come in to play, of which the judges and rules will disallow.  Our competitors come away disappointed after being disqualified, even though they realize they won their specific competition.  It was the rules that took the"physical
trophy" away.  Little to no physical contact is very difficult for students who consistently train the other way.  "Halo points" are ridiculous for the serious, street oriented, martial artists.  I myself will not jeopardize our systems members safety by training them to purposefully avoid contact.  Real life and true martial arts are far beyond that!  With that said, injury within our system is extremely rare because of the real life defenses that our students develop.  When I say injuries, the only thing that we generally incur are bruises and an occasional bloody lip.  Those are minor compared to what is happening on the street these days. Even when all the rules are obeyed, students within different systems are
consistently "cheated", for the lack of a better word, for one specific reason.  The matches that are generally judged the best or most fair are generally "judged" by eclectic instructors. Eclectic instructors are versed in many aspects of defense, but style specific (traditional) instructors fail to accept most techniques (defenses) outside their limited, locked in, knowledge or acceptability. 
Even when tournaments are advertised as "open", that tends not to be the case.  It is physically open to all styles, but still judged by biased, "within their realm",  instructors.  I've heard the argument, that it isn't win or lose that is important, but the competition that develops martial arts character.  If you truly believe that, then look into the eyes of a competitor who loses to a judge or judges who only understand "Halo" or "what could have happened techniques".  The only thing they understand is, that they won, but lost!

Why the above is included in this month's Hoodoo

     Sensei Chad Wissler touched on the above, last class to some degree.  When you or someone else chooses a karate, kung fu, jujitsu or martial arts class, they do so with specific desires or needs in mind.  If you are interested in adding something to your existing knowledge, of which your present or past system didn't include, you can choose a class that specializes only in that entity,  If you are new to the arts and want an all encompassing training regimen, you would choose a martial arts program.  Now, within each training type, there are also choices of whether you wish to include actual physical contact in your training.  For the young kids, maybe that wouldn't be a choice that some parents would feel comfortable in making.  For an adult wishing to train in "todays world" defenses, contact would be a mandatory entity which wouldn't be something you would want to leave out.  That said, the contact involved would have to be safe enough, that you're training wouldn't suffer because of never-ending injuries.  Then again, the contact has to be enough that both you and your training partner realize the strike they just felt, could have been very effective in determining an actual outcome.