"Stand Up And Fight"

September 2006

Volume 9 Issue 9

Aibudo Kanji
Picture of Shihan

It will be your choice totally.  If your hands "stink", then you won't have any choice.  It will be decided for you.  I don't know about you, but I don't like that result.  Having the ability to control ones short term destiny, seems much better to me.

     There is a philosophy in the arts, that goes something like this:  If you are knowledgeable of yourself and your subject, you will most certainly win.  If you are knowledgeable of yourself and ignorant on your enemy, you might certainly end up in a tie.  But…...if you are ignorant of yourself and your enemy, you will most certainly lose.  The first step is becoming truly knowledgeable of yourself.  If you're a klutz, then admit it and seriously start working on improving. In the martial arts, that begins with proper foot work and hand controls.  Foot work is in included in closing,  of which we're not going to be talking about at the time.  Hand controls are the most important entity that a standup fighter has.  If you can initially control your opponent with your hands, you will place yourself at least a half step ahead of them, both mentally and physically.  That gives you a chance to "fail" at either your mental control or physical control and you still have the other left to defend yourself, for the moment.  I don't care how good you are, you generally will not be able to stay ahead, both mentally and physically, at the same time, all the time.  But, you should be able to stay a half step ahead, all the time, either physically or mentally.  Being ahead mentally, in my opinion, is the best of all worlds, if you have to fail at one of them.  If you end up tied mentally and ahead physically, requires you to speed up a full step, to acquire total control again.  Now, how do we acquire the mental and physical tools to

become proficient at winning in standup?  The answer is simple, but acquiring it is difficult.  Continuous training in technique, is the only way that I know of.  Block out the "visual" in front of you and practice, practice and practice some more in proper hand and body placement.  You have to ignore what you think your opponent is attempting to do you.  Ignore what your conscious attempts to tell you, that they are attempting to do to you.  What your conscious tells you, will either be a lie, out of time, out of place  or total confusion.  You won't be able to train the subconscious to take over the conscious without constant and consistent training.  In the beginning you will have to live it and dream about it.  You will have to work the philosophy's, strategies and techniques in your mind until your totally bored to death.  After that, then do it some more.  When you able to ignore your opponents 'weapons", physical size, handicaps, age and what you have heard about them, you will then be on your way to becoming a standup winner.  That won't happen in a couple of classes, a week or a month.  But each day that you "live" hand controls, you will gradually become just that much better.  Some acquire the controls rather quickly and others take much more time.  Either way, the "trip" is worth the effort in the self-confidence that is acquired as a result.  When you can stand, nose to nose, with an opponent and don't care what they have on their mind or what comes your way and "know" that you are going to maintain the control of them and yourself for that initial moment, you will then have acquired the first step in succeeding at standup.  You will then be ready to work on closing and kick defenses.

     If you are about to get into a confrontation, where does it generally start?  On your feet or on the ground?  It most generally starts on your feet, but in most cases today, it ends up on the ground.  Why?…….

     When the truth is admitted, it's because most people don't know how to fight on their feet.  It's much easier to just fall down on the ground and have the "best man win".  If you're going to end up on the ground, then you better have some skill there or you may not be going home.  At least "on your feet"!  Stand up requires a tremendous amount of skill and courage.  Skill, most generally, develops courage, so we are going to start there.  As most of you know, standup skill requires excellent hand controls, excellent closing skills and excellent defenses against any number of kicks.  Something that we haven't talked much about, is also the ability to avoid being closed on and taken to the ground.  Those skills come from proper hand controls.  If your hand controls stink, then so will you, on your feet.  You will probably end up on the ground.  Either being knocked down or "wrestled" down.  The good Lord gave most people two good hands, but little knowledge on how to use them.  When it comes to our martial arts system, hand controls are indispensable. If your hands are weak, so are is your standup. 

     Why am I beating this standup "to death"?  As I said before, if you end up on the ground, then you might not be going home. in a real fight.  If you have good hand controls and closing skills, you can generally choose how you want yourself and the subject in front of you to leave the fight.  You have the choice of ending their life, beating them into submission or humiliating them into quitting.