Excess "Baggage", we all have it!

September 2004

Volume 7 Issue 9

Aibudo Kanji

     To begin this "whipping", you must take a chance and attack your opponent without concern for your well-being, utilizing your best "tools".  Function only upon these "best tools" as you would when facing a heavy bag or target dummy.  I realize that a bag doesn't fight back, but your mindset has to become nearly the same.  You can probably remember, when you first began to strike the heavy bag and the feeling you had in your wrist when it gave way.  Eventually that ceased to happen and now you attack the bag with no concern for it.  That is exactly the same thing that has to happen when facing an adversary.  The adversary is there, but that's it.  They can no longer "hurt" you.  They are as the bag, just standing there for your "enjoyment" and abuse.

     At the Hombudojo, this past week, we worked on the "arm wrap" or "keylock" technique along with the "forearm choke".  The only difference in the initiation of these two techniques is what happens after the entry process.  If you concern yourself with executing only one or the other, you have a 50% chance of failure.  It you just initiate the entry and work off of what occurs, or where you lead hand ends up, you can then finish with the appropriate one.  If your lead hand ends up on the floor near your opponents neck, you perform a choke.  On the other hand, if your lead hand ends up, below their arm, you execute a "keylock".  If you have to think of one over the other as you enter, then put your priority on the "arm wrap" as it is a bit more demanding in what has to occur.  Either way, just stay close and tight and let your void take you in the right direction.  Don't let "excess baggage" get involved.

Defense Restrictions

     This week, we held "Class 1" of a law-enforcement awareness seminar.  It's main purpose was on training law-enforcement officers in developing an awareness of what can happen when they approach or come into contact with a "subject".  Two things that became very evident, was the limitations on what an officer is able to do and stay within the confines of what public opinion says is "ok"!  The other thing, that came to the "surface" was the fact that they are trained to "back out" when a "close-in" conflict begins.

     The first thing, regarding public opinion, is that the officers have a tremendous amount of "excess baggage" to deal with before a confrontation ever takes place.  Is it fair to the officers?  Not on your life!  Is it detrimental to the officers lives?  You bet it is.  Public opinion has no place in the minds of the honest law-enforcement officer.  It can cause harm to them and you, if you are depending upon their actions in your behalf.

     Regarding the second item, backing out after a confrontation takes place, can be suicidal to the officer.  We demonstrated and proved, that an officer is unable to "retreat" faster than a "subject" can come forward.  Once the officer is over-run, they are helpless and are dependent upon the "mercy" shown them by their aggressor.  In defense of their lives, they need to put "public opinion" and "department procedures" on the back burner and function as their lives depend upon it, of which it does.  Now-a-days, "public opinion" controls "department procedures" which are hindering the safety of the honest law-enforcement officer.  There comes a time for common sense.

Picture of Shihan

     We've all had to deal with "excess baggage", but how would you define it?  I define it, as anything in our life that conflicts or causes conflict with what we want to do, would rather be doing or know that we would be better off doing.

     Most times, we don't have any control over it.  Things come up that have to be done, in one way or another, because of priorities put upon us by others.  "Duty before druthers", as they say.  Often times an injury or injuries force their priorities upon us.  These can lead to lifelong or temporary "excess baggage".  Medical problems can develop into devastating, excess baggage that can take years to come back from.  This is an entity that requires a will and dedication right up there with survival.  I am going to have eye surgery coming up and hopefully the "excess baggage" that I'm carrying right now will be temporary and not permanent.  No one ever knows for sure, but either way, dealing with it, and working around it, is the only way to succeed in what we would rather be doing or accomplishing.

     This is also true, when the "excess baggage" we have in the martial arts, is "shin-no-shin" in the competition arena.  If you are concerned with your opponent beyond the point that they are there, it is detrimental to your abilities and efficiency.  If you are functioning around what you believe your "opponent might do" rather than what "you can do", you have probably lost before you start and should just as well "surrender".  This negative mindset is "excess baggage" that can take years to overcome, but has to be "whipped" before your true capabilities are able to "rise to the surface".