I’d like to recap some of what we learned yesterday.
Unarmed fighting techniques fall into three categories – Atemi-Waza (percussive strikes and kicks), Nage-Waza (grappling/throwing), and Chin Na (joint locks/pins). The attacker is called the Uke, and the defender is the Nage.
Before you try to tell me I don’t know anything about fighting, I’ll run through my qualifications. Nidan, Shotokan Karate, 6th Kyu Soryu-kan karate, and I’ve studied Long Fist Kung Fu, Shaolin Kung Fu, Hung Gar Kung Fu, Wing Chun, Aikijutsu, Chin Na, Ninpo, MMA/BJJ, boxing, Kenjutsu, Judo, Krav Magaa and Tae Kwan Do. And I’ve done some experimentation with Fu Jow Pai. If you’ve every studied with Ng Wai Hong and are eager to pass on what you’ve learned, contact me.
Okay, let’s look at wrestling.
Amateur wrestling is essentially the aim of grabbing someone and forcing them into a hold that they can’t maneuver their way out of. It is essentially a nage-waza art. I don’t know much about amateur wrestling, other than to recommend a book for kids. Wrestling books for kids abounded in the 1960’s, and you should be able to find one online easily.
Here’s where I annoy the Amateur wrestlers. Amateur wrestling is dangerous on the street. Not to the attacker, but the wrestler defender. If you pin the attacker to the ground and they’ve got a pocket knife, you’re dead. While you’re pinning them to the ground, you can be opened up and bleeding out before you can get free.
If the person knows another grappling art such as BJJ, Japanese Jiu-jitsu or Aikido, you’re done for. If they’ve got friends that aren’t going to let you fight fair, you’re done for. I want to state this really plainly – fighting multiple attackers is not a “ground game” – it is a “standing game”. Going to the ground against multiple attackers equals dead. If your martial art training leads you to always ground fight and they’ve got multiple opponents, you’re being trained to die on the street.
Pro Wrestling. Pro Wrestling is fake. The pro wrestler is an actor who has to train long and hard to build physical strength and endurance. However, if you make the mistake of picking a fight with a pro wrestler, you’re going to need every ounce of training, body conditioning and fighting to prevail. These guys are used to lifting hundreds of pounds over and over again and dropping them. If you’re not used to it the way they are, they’re going to clean your clock. A pro wrestler is used to dropping people from heights that can cause permanent injury, and then they train to deliver a falling strike. the impact of their weight does more damage than the strike.
For the Karate versus wrestling controversy, that was settled in Honolulu in the 1960’s, when a pro wrestler banged on the door of martial Artist Hirokazu Kanezawa with a bunch of reporters in tow, and challenged him to a fight. He was seeking to stop Karate from getting a reputation. Kanezawa dropped him with a single punch, and shut the door.
There are a large number of martial arts. Each differs in philosophy, and it helps to have a brief understanding of martial arts history and geography to learn why we have what we have today.
Martial Arts came originally from Israel during the time of Abraham, and originally was a weapon oriented art. But attacking a Hittite with spear and shield was foolhardy, since Hittites were masters of that. If the Hittite was disarmed, he’d grab the shield and rip it to the side, closing on you. Unarmed or close combat techniques were devised and quickly.
Israelites learned to be strategic – long distance (arrow and sling), medium distance (spear and shield) and up close (sword, knife, bare hand) techniques were used. Since Israel was in a crucial spot between Europe and Egypt, they experienced repeated invasions.
“And they took Lot, Abram’s brother’s son, who dwelt in Sodom, and his goods, and departed. And there came one that had escaped, and told Abram the Hebrew; for he dwelt in the plain of Mamre the Amorite, brother of Eshcol, and brother of Aner: and these were confederate with Abram. And when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed his trained servants, born in his own house, three hundred and eighteen, and pursued them unto Dan. And he divided himself against them, he and his servants, by night, and smote them, and pursued them unto Hobah, which is on the left hand of Damascus. And he brought back all the goods, and also brought again his brother Lot, and his goods, and the women also, and the people.” (Genesis 14:12–16, KJV)
Key in on the “Trained servants”, and the fact it was under three hundred and fifty men who pursued and defeated an invading army. That falls under the category of martial arts.
Hebrew style martial arts was more weapons oriented, and even used a special phalanx of two men. The shield bearer was armed with a large shield and a one handed sword held stabbing style, and the warrior was armed with a spear. The shield carrier had to be agile, as he’d move from side to side around and under the spear. Some would be struck out of the way by the shield, and as they were shoved to the side, the backwards-held short sword would finish them off. Literally the shield bearer would often end up killing just as many as the spear carrying warrior.
unarmed fighting was strikes and grappling. this eventually moved up into Greece, and became known as Pankraetion. Pankraetion and its Hebrew equivalent moved into Persia, and eventually into India.
Tomorrow – Asian Martial Arts.