Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Thoughts on Military Hand-To-Hand Training
Navy Harbor Patrol Boat
I've had permission from Billy Parker, currently stationed with U.S. Navy Harbor Patrol in Bahrain, to post part of our exchange on Martial Art training at a military level:
I am extremely interested in your approach to joint locking. I believe what you guy's are doing is fantastic! I am in the military and currently overseas. I wanted to refine some of the locks that I have been teaching, but have gotten a lot more out of your videos than just refining. Where are you guy's located? And do you have more???
I teach my own system that I put together after I got frustrated with blind minded people. I am prior Taekwondo, Karate, and Aikijujutsu guy. However non of my instructors ever wanted to seem to be practical about their material. They just wanted to teach me everything. So I went along with that for the first 12 years off my life since I started. Now I have plugged and chucked a tone of stuff, and am trying to gain more practicality for real world application to the techniques. I have tossed a lot of the old methods and techniques. I teach military colleagues, so it has to work or not at all.
What do you think, do you have any more material floating around out there I can get my hands on?
(John @ Dojo Rat):
Much of the locking we do comes out of the Small-circle jujitsu system of Wally Jay and his son Leon Jay. My training partner trained with Leon Jay and George Dillman. We have somewhat reinterpeted it (locking) now through the softer internal arts like Tai Chi Chuan, where it is called Chin-Na.
You can look at other video's we have done by clicking on my video channel on youtube, or go through the archives at our website dojorat.blogspot.com.
Thanks for writing, let me know if you have other questions and you can find my e-mail email@example.com at the website also.
Thanks, John @ dojorat
P.S.-- I was first trained in Tae Kwon Do, then Kenpo and Aikido, now mostly Tai Chi Chuan and Bagua -- but in the end, it's all the same!
So you said you participated in Kenpo, are you referring the Ed, Parker System? And also I really like what you said about
it's all the same. That is a statement that I have been preaching since I began doing Ju Jutsu after I quit practicing Taekwondo.
So I understand the importance of getting out there with an open mind, and then realized the similarity in all of the systems.
Thanks for the references, take care!
I'm an old hack now, pushin' 50. I got my TKD black belt in '84 (second two years later) and my third dan in Kenpo in 97 I think. It was a Hawaiian Kenpo style developed by Bill Ryusaki, I trained under his style in Washington state. I think Parker Kenpo is a better system, and I truely wish I had trained under his students.
Meanwhile, we have to fight with the system we have, not the system we would like to have (ha, I just had to throw a Donald Rumsfeld quote in there for you!)
I would like to hear more about your training with other military guys. Would you like to write up a short summary and send it to me? We could put it up on dojo rat if you are interested!
Training with the military has been a fun experience and an eye opener. Back in the United States at your
local Karate school the experience is I would say soft in most places. Here everything is made to be as
realistic as it can be. The Navy originally taught us basic JuJutsu based arm locking and wrist control. As
time has passed they moved into Mechanical Advantage Control Holds, or the MACH system. Again more
Jujutsu based technique. And then I have my background in both traditional Jujutsu and a little bit of Brazilian
that I have picked up from my colleagues here. But training with the military is a great way to learn real solid
skills because of both the serious atmosphere and the demand to make sure you don't mess up due to the
fact that I may actually have to use it a regular basis compared to back home where you may only have to
use it once in your life. But for us here we feel that Jujutsu is the most practical and most appropriate martial
art for us.
Back to the Kenpo, and I really like your Rumsfeld quote! Good stuff there! I have not had solid experience
in Kenpo, but when I am out of the military I am going to find a school and pick it up. I really enjoy the philosophy,
theory, and mechanics of the system. Ed Parker system is my favorite. I enjoy Jujutsu, and I like locking. But I
am ready to start something a little different and continue with the serious self defense systems. I am not a fan of
fighting in the ring or competition at all actually. The Japanese Kanji symbol for MARTIAL has two symbols together.
The first means to STOP and the other is CROSSED SPEARS. So in true essence of the original meaning, martial art
actually means to Stop conflict. Not the art of inducing it. It's not about the fight and it's not about fighting. It's about
being able to stop the fight and move on. That's why MMA cannot use traditional systems without mixing. Because
they are abiding by the opposite idea. MMA is not Martial Arts. Also that is a great theory on why Brazilian Jiujitsu is
so effective in the MMA cage, because it does not have the same background as the traditional asian methods whos aim
was to be hand in hand with justice. Bringing rightousness to fruition.
*Other thoughts: Opposite of popular belief, the martial arts are not purposed for the ring,
for glory, or for fame. If you partake of these ideals they immediately dilute who you are
and what you are capable of. Pulling your punch is one of the worst harms you could ever
do to yourself. In the military It's hard to conduct randori amongst ourselves well, because
we don't pull strikes. So that's why we train in other ways, much like the old way of Karate
during the Japanese occupation of Okinawa utilized the striking of stones, boards, bricks,
and tile. Long before it was turned to sport. Well, we still break today, but it's not the mind
that they used to have. It has a different purpose, and if you don't have proper focus and
character, your Karate will not be used the way it is meant. Much the reason Americans
generally say TKD and Karate don't work. As for the true philosophy of the martial way,
Thanks for writing me back!
Take care, Bill
An interesting exchange!
Thank you Bill for your thoughts on Martial Arts in the military, and thank you for your service!
As requested I won't post Billy's military (.mil) e-mail address so there is no hassle for him, but if you would like to contact him please use this e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org