Saturday, March 31, 2012

MMA events banned in Bangkok, YES!

I've taken a lot of heat for publicly expressing my position that MMA is damaging to muay thai's image. And don't get me started on my opinion on how the "use" of muay thai in MMA fights is a ridiculously poor representation of the Thai national sport.

Well this morning I received some great news. The Bangkok Post reported yesterday that the Sport Authority of Thailand (SAT), essentially the government agency that regulates sports in the country has banned any and all MMA events to take place in Bangkok. According to SAT deputy governor, Sakol Wannapong, "Organising a MMA event here would hurt the image of Muay Thai."

Sakol also claims that mixed martial arts would mislead the public to think that muay thai is brutal. I don't exactly buy that given that muay thai isn't exactly a kissing contest. I believe that the government agency saw that what are called muay thai strikes in MMA bouts doesn't resemble muay thai, thus watering down their national sport, and a major component of Thailand's heritage.

Read the entire Bangkok Post article

The way I see it, this is validation of my longstanding opinion.

So, to all of the MMA fanboys - sporting your RVCA hoodies, with your TapOut flat brimmed cap (tipped askew for additional douchy toughness) - this is difficult to say, but... I kinda told you so.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Women's self defense classes are essentially useless

Let me start with this: My entire world view on fighting is has always been, and continues to be based on one simple concept: I fight to ensure that I or that those close to me survive a known threat.

It was recently brought to my attention that I should read a recent column by Susan Schorn, an author and a black belt who has written extensively on women and fighting, and has instructed women's self defense programs. The article, appropriately titled Fuck the dude up, hits the nail on the head.

The majority of my experience as an instructor can be broken out into 3 types of students:
1. The civilian who has recently been victim of an attack or intimidation, or anticipates the like
2. Operators, who, for a living, must fight to survive at one time or another. Attackers are not people, they're simply targets, and multiple attackers equate to a target rich environment in which, if you're efficient & given favorable environmental factors, you have a tactical advantage. This group can separate the human element of fighting, in which they tuck away any trepidation with regard to causing irreparable harm to another person. They can switch seamlessly between states of calm and ultra-aggressive.
3. Law enforcement and protection professionals who, by law, are constrained to how much damage they can inflict upon an another person... This is where escalation of violence and suppression, containment & control are the key goals.

My Wake Up Call
But then I volunteered to host a woman's self defense seminar at a InnVision, a woman's shelter in the Bay Area..

The group of women I worked with at the women's shelter, were by definition, feral. Most of them had been attacked, not by some random stranger roaming a college campus, but by their husbands, boyfriends, even their own children. The stories and situations that these women laid out before me as we went through the class blew my mind. Here are but a few examples:

We're covering basics of the ' what if your attacker has a knife." After going through some basic concepts about covering major arteries, some poses this: "What if the knife is already stuck in your back? It was between my shoulder blades. What should I have done?" HOLY SHIT! Remember, this is not some guy whose spent his adult life in active duty. This is a twenty-something year old girl.

Alright, so ladies, suppose you're on the ground and your attacker is on top of you? Um, yeah.  A question I fielded was the following: "So, I was knocked down and on my back, and my boyfriend had his boot on my chest and was punching me in the face."

I, literally walked away from that class with the scars to prove how violence was a significant part of their lives.

Now, I have 2 sisters, no brothers. I grew up with women. I have an overdeveloped protective sense for the women in my life. For me that was it. Fuck the rules. Fuck the need to speak to an attorney after-the-fact. If met with force, you must react with equal force. That's it. It is so important that I stress to women that you must first give off the air of someone not to be trifled with, but if you are attacked, you have to respond with an overwhelming act of aggression.

The Cornered Cat
Have you ever had to deal with a cornered animal? Even if you're trying to help, it perceives you as a threat. For example, a cat will shred you up and down until you back off. The mentality is a healthy dose of fight instead of flight.

The thing about classic women's self defense training covers basic stuff like go for the groin - news flash, when a guy is adrenalized, a shot to the nuts may or may not do anything, other than piss him off. Good job, now he wants to rape you, and he's pissed. I agree completely with her observation that law enforcement will not pursue your claims unless a) an officer witnessed the assault, or b) you captured it on video. Do you have any idea how much paperwork goes into logging a complaint?

I strongly urge you away from my blog - read Susan's article, it's long, but if you trudge through my posts, you'll have no problem with her article. It's well written and takes you through her thought process to a final conclusion that fending off to escape is not realistic. Reading her article is like receiving validation for what we've been preaching. Fuck him up, cause noticeable damage to connect him to his crime. Don't let him walk away - instead of becoming a victim, let your reaction be that of the aggressor. A man who tries to rape or sexually assault a woman deserves to be given a severely strong message that his actions can bring about unanticipated, and possibly permanent consequences.

I'll leave you with an excerpt from Schorn's article. Now go read.

"I’ve written before about research showing that fighting back, hard and immediately, gives a woman her best chance of surviving an assault. My own limited experience with fighting has tended to agree with the research. Now I’m starting to believe that a fast, committed, devastating response might also give other women their best chance of avoiding future assaults from the same assailant.
I keep looking for a downside to this theory, and I don’t see it. If I fuck the dude up, I’m more likely to survive. If I fuck the dude up, other women are marginally less likely to be his victims in the future. It’s a win-win."

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Muay Thai Academy open house on March 31st

Update - 3/28 - There will be a ton of Mexican food catered (for free).... please come hungry. Donnie-

If you're in the San Francisco Bay Area this weekend, feel free to stop by the Muay Thai Academy International in Santa Clara. We're having an open house Saturday March 31st from 1pm till, i don't know, around 4pm. We're celebrating the move into our new, much larger training facility, our 22nd year in operation ***BRAG STAT ALERT*** Muay Thai Academy International is the oldest, longest running muay thai school in North America. For those who have trained at MTAI can feel proud to be a part of that legacy. Alright, enough blah blah blah... here's the skinny:
RSVP on Facebook

Muay Thai Academy International
320 Martin Avenue Suite D, Santa Clara, California 95050 
We're right behind the San Jose Airport. Very inconspicuous, no signage - on purpose - so trust your GPS

*Here's a little teaser of the new training facility*

Saturday March 31, 2012 1pm-4pm
What & Why?
For MTAI students: This is your chance to show your friends & family what you mean when you try to explain what muay thai for the street means!

For the who are curious about what Daniel & I have been blogging about for years: Come meet us! This isn't a recruiting event, its more like an opportunity for knowledge sharing. 

We'll have the floor open for training, instructor demonstrations on open hand, weapon & multiple opponent tacticts with MTAI's owner, alonf with Daniel, and Donnie, as well as knowledge sharing with Mr. Gober, Sifu Le and Guro John Ward. So, we will have subject matter experts from other fighting systems present.

Oh yes. There will be food. But the real reason is to get together. As anyone who as ever trained with us knows, once a member of the MTAI, always a member.  Past, present, future, and never-plan-to-become students are welcome to attend. We would love to catch up with you!

And I know how much you miss throwing an up elbow/down elbow/switch knee combo...
RSVP on Facebook

Friday, March 16, 2012

Bareknuckle boxing for the street

Daniel debuts his video on how to punch with real power. Having first hand experience on the receiving end of his strikes, I can attest that his techniques work. Even smaller people who use his street methods of punching are no fun to fight with. I equate to being hit by a polar bear.

In this video Daniel shows how to punch via the two knuckle or three knuckle landing. He explains how to punch bare-knuckle using the three knuckle landing and why. He also covers the difference between each type of fist position.

Each strike has it's advantages, that's why I don't tell anyone not to use the two knuckle landing, because it does work. Just keep an open mind and try using the three knuckle landing or as Jack Dempsey called it "The Power Line".

Daniel is a walking encyclopedia on street fighting with the bona fides to back it up. It's a long video, but well worth the time as I guarantee you will learn something new.

And see if it doesn't increase your punching power for boxing or for street-fighting.