Wednesday, May 24, 2000

Mark Tripp - Combatives 6 (Balance)

Subject: Combatives 6
From: MTripp
Date: 01-May-00 | 08:24 AM

Folks; stay with me here...

Give me a B!
Give me a an A!
Give me a L!
Give me an A!
Give me a N!
Give me a C!
Give me an E!

What does that spell????

B A L A N C E!!!!!!

There in lies the problem with pointless debates about my dad can beat your dad; or worse, the deadly error in selecting combative material.

65 basic throws in Kodokan Judo; but only 10 score Ippon on a regular basis in Shiai.

I have seen dozens of sweeps from the Guard in class; yet in the last several years perhaps TWO have been pulled off in NHB matches. You may notice Royce hasn't swept someone out of his guard for some time now...


When you take something out; what ever is left will expand to fill the space.


When you take something out; what ever is left will expand to fill the space!!!

If you do not have ballance in your technique selection you are going to have a system with LOTS of "stuff" that while "possible" to pull of, is NOT "probable" to pull off.

Modern Judo; now a throwing art; has dozens of throws that are just plain wrong to throw someone with. Take Hiza Guruma. Lets do a simple phychics test...

You have a 6 foot telephone pole that weighs about 300 pounds. You want to knock it over. You are going to place a bar to block the poll then push it over the bar. The question is; where to you put the bar to block the pole?

In the middle? As in O guruma? Try it! 25% of the distance from the floor as in Hiza Guruma? Try it!
Obviously you want to put the bar as close to the bottom as posible to make your job of tipping over that pole the easiest!

So clearly Sasae tsuri komi ashi (block the ankle) is VASTLY more effective than O guruma (block the waist) or Hiza Guruma (block the knee). So why waste our time with the others? MASTER the one that works best!

We need to spend our time mastering the things that are most likely to work for us. I can make simular points about ground fighting too.

Why the problem in the first place?

Remember I spoke about driving paying people out the door? How many people will pay you to take a year to master O soto gari? Can YOU perform O soto gari to all eight directions of movement? Gets boring as you struggle with it!

How many people want to drill the "reflexive responce" necessary to do these techniques under stress and against a resisting opponent?

Hell, I have lost doezens of students because when I hold a Small Circle/LeBell grabbling class they bitch about how much it hurts!!!!

ANY system that has ignored ballance, is subject to this problem. I don't care what it is.

Now in terms of sport that simply means you don't get a medal...

But in terms of Combatives it means you don't get to go home....

We will now spend time looking at HOW we select techniques for Combative programs; and how to teach them!

Subject: RE: INFO
From: SSonnon
Date: 01-May-00 | 08:41 AM
Brilliant and accurate as always, Mark. (btw, Highlander reference? *smirk*)

Subject: RE: INFO
From: MTripp
Date: 01-May-00 | 10:46 AM

Subject: RE: INFO
From: Chzog
Date: 01-May-00 | 10:47 AM
Absolutely amazing!!! Love it!

Subject: RE: INFO
From: Sothy
Date: 01-May-00 | 01:30 PM
what reference?
loving this series

Subject: RE: INFO
From: SSonnon
Date: 01-May-00 | 02:37 PM
Mark, the 'spelling' of the word BALANCE was from a scene in the movie Highlander.
Scott Sonnon

Subject: RE: INFO
From: MTripp
Date: 01-May-00 | 03:45 PM
I knew that! : P

Subject: RE: INFO
From: SSonnon
Date: 01-May-00 | 03:46 PM
Mark Tripp, sorry my friend. I was referring to the question asked by "Sothy" who is also named Mark. :O) - I knew you knew.

Subject: RE: INFO
Date: 01-May-00 | 10:52 PM
As much as I hate your Flim Flam posts, I had to come back for your Combatives Posts. Very good post indeed!
Jim Olsen

For other Mark Tripp entries, please check out:

NOTE: Posted as-of May 24, 2000 on Nov 22, 2013 to mirror my old archives -

Mark Tripp - Combatives 5 (Atemi-Waza)

Subject: Combatives 5 - Atemi
From: MTripp
Date: 29-Apr-00 | 09:01 AM


Without a doubt, more myths exist about this subject than any other in the "Martial Arts". Stories about “delayed death touches”, knocking out a person by just touching them, "secret" nerve strikes or pressure points, abound. TO DATE I have yet to see ANY scientific proof of the actual existence of these techniques.
In my opinion these “stories” are told by instructors to keep students by the promise of "occult knowledge". Who wouldn't spend money to learn secret knowledge that would give us great power over others. Also, it allows the instructor to keep the training at a level that will keep students, instead of driving them away.
Keep in mind that most schools come from a "sporting" or "traditional" base. I strongly believe in using sporting events to develop certain skills, but if the end goal is winning a medal, then you will never learn effective self-protection methods.

The problem with the "traditional" approach is we are in the 1990's. What someone thought was a wonderful idea when men rode horses and used swords, may be a stupid idea now that goblins travel in packs, armed with assault weapons! The person running the school is in business to make money, as they should be. But the things a person needs to do to prepare themselves to survive a violent assault, are things that drive the paying student out the door.

Other schools are teaching a "new age" religion. Filling students heads with nonsense about mystical powers, secret techniques, and "death touches". It's no wonder when the average "martial artist" finds him/her self in a violent encounter, they end up a battered loser! If a .38 special bullet fired into a person only stops them about 50% of the time, JUST HOW EFFECTIVE DO YOU REALLY THINK A PUNCH OR KICK IS?
"Well, I'll just use Dim Mak or Kyusho-jutsu to hit nerve centers that would drop an elephant". No, you won't! Do you know what the "Tache-Psyche" effect is, and what it does to you? When you're looking the Goblin in the eye, and you're in the grip of "tache-psyche", the motor skills of the fingers and hands break down! Slap, tap, rap, or nerve strikes to spots the size of a dime, are IMPOSSIBLE under extreme stress. Believe me, when you are looking at six men who plan to beat you to death, you're going to be under stress!
Another VERY IMPORTANT consideration today, is the HIV virus and the fear of AIDS. The one knuckle strike to the point under the nose and above the upper lip, was and is a very powerful Atemi-waza strike. However, the strike will split the lip, and his teeth could cut your hand. His blood is now in your open wound! That is an unacceptable risk in today's world.


ATE-WAZA (Striking techniques)
MI-WAZA (Vital Points)

The simple reality of combat is that we must keep this stuff very simple. Strikes like the heel hand/tiger claw are high on the list as they do great dammage with little harm to the hand.

In terms of vital points it is simple; the primary attack targets are the eye and the instep. Simply because if he can not see you, or chase you, you can escape.

If a primary target is not open; then use a secondary target (nose, throat, groin, knee) to open up a primary one.

Note: the groin is a secondary target because many attackers wear a cup as they know they are going to be attacking people.

In combatives, the use of Atemi-Waza is to prevent our attacker from thinking about anything other than pain. You cannot think of two things at the same time. It can't be done. If you're thinking about what just hit you (called "damage assessment"), then you can't think about hitting! It is very important that you develop the ability to find, and strike, these areas under any and all conditions. Your life, or the lives of your loved ones, could one day depend on your ability at Atemi Waza.

Subject: RE: INFO
From: MTripp
Date: 29-Apr-00 | 09:04 AM
I wrote the above well over 10 years ago; but it does show how the psychic discussion does relate to this subject.

Subject: RE: INFO
From: Chzog
Date: 29-Apr-00 | 07:58 PM
=) with a wit about him/her SHOULD understand.

Subject: RE: INFO
From: Fan
Date: 29-Apr-00 | 09:40 PM
Glad to see you moving on to the combatives, Coach Tripp. Lots of stuff bogging down this forum, good to keep moving on.
I think I said it before, but it bears repeating, it is good to find a high level grappler who is willing to admit the difference between street, sport, and police/corrections/security type of training/combat.

Subject: RE: INFO
From: Jody
Date: 29-Apr-00 | 11:27 PM
Actually, the pressue point strikes in Kyushu-jitsu can and have been proven by Western medicine. The knock out points are nothing more than compressing an artery(like a choke, perhaps) for split second which can cause a momentary drop in blood pressure, causing a knockout. Don't believe me? Every KO in prizefighting history was caused by striking a point on the body that appears on the meridian maps of every massage therapist(the temple, the hinge of the jaw, the chin, or even the solar plexis). All pressure point manipulations, however, as I said, their validity can be proven by Western medicine (as well as by the experiences of many of us in the dojo). Since the validity of these points can be proven, that means that there is no "magic" to me at all. Explained to me by one of my instructors, who has a black belt in Kyushu/Tiute-jitsu, modified by me. In closing, I think you should be careful how you debunk the fakes and posers out there for using "mystical" techniques, because I know for a fact that you have defeated opponents by manipulating their gall bladder meridian. Don't believe me? Look at the massage therapist dummy. You will see that the gall bladder meridian runs up the neck. When you use Hadaka-Jime to manipulate the gall bladder meridian, you are cutting off blood flow to the brain. No magic involved, just Biology and Physiology.

Subject: RE: INFO
From: MTripp
Date: 30-Apr-00 | 07:49 AM
While many people now are ready to fight at the drop of the hat; you will find it much less embarassing if you carefully read before you jump to a conclusion I did not make.
Please tell me where I posted that the nerve strikes wouldn't work?
What I said was; under extreem stress they require a degree of hand eye skill that is all but impossible for the average person to do.
However; I have been to the seminars by the pressure point masters; and was knocked down by one...
In reality he walked past me and sucker punched me.
Not what I would term a "pressure point" KO...
Much of this is simple auto-suggestion and proper testing would require that you eliminate that from the mix. I have often thought if you brought in an old chinese guy who had NO knowledge of pressure points; but you made people think he did; how many people would drop when he touched them (remember the aikido story).
For combatives the skill level needed to hit that correctly simply isn't there. I have video of police in gun battles as close as 7 feet and even though BOTH men empty their firearms, NO ONE gets hit.
That is the only point I am making here.

Subject: RE: INFO
From: MTripp
Date: 30-Apr-00 | 07:57 AM
"When you use Hadaka-Jime to manipulate the gall bladder meridian, you are cutting off blood flow to the brain. No magic involved, just Biology and Physiology. "
Actually; that is not correct. There are various places on the web where Judo's art of Shime-waza is discussed at great length.
You will find that it is about blook pressure not blood flow that is the reason the person passes out; and that the gall bladder doesn't have a thing to do with it.
Someone will post the site, I am sure.

Subject: RE: INFO
From: Absolute Storm
Date: 30-Apr-00 | 06:08 PM
So lazy. Tsk, tsk.
Click Here for an article on chokes
Click Here for a selection of articles

Subject: RE: INFO
From: MTripp
Date: 30-Apr-00 | 07:32 PM
Not lazy; just old...
...and having real problems this week with the left shoulder...

Subject: RE: INFO
From: Chokes-r-us
Date: 30-Apr-00 | 08:43 PM
But the things a person needs to do to prepare themselves to survive a violent assault, are things that drive the paying student out the door."
Could you discuss this please? Unless you are getting to it Coach.

Subject: RE: INFO
From: Sothy
Date: 30-Apr-00 | 10:18 PM
great stuff, hope the shoulder feels better

Subject: RE: INFO
From: Absolute Storm
Date: 01-May-00 | 04:46 AM
Sorry to hear you're hurt. What happenend, MTripp?

Subject: RE: INFO
From: MTripp
Date: 01-May-00 | 07:54 AM
Old injuries turning into cronic problems as I approach the big five Oh (as in Oh Oh!).
Finding it very hard to lift my left arm up due to all the shoulder injuries over the years.
The other comments will be clear on #6

Subject: RE: INFO
From: oblong
Date: 01-May-00 | 12:17 PM
I've just started reading Angry White Pyjamas, a boom about a man who took the year-long Yoshikan aikido course given to the Tokyo Riot Police.
He says Gozo Shioda said that 70% of streetfighting is atemi.

Subject: RE: INFO
From: MTripp
Date: 01-May-00 | 01:56 PM
There is NO question that he who gets the first real atemi in is going to win that fight...
Notice the placement in the O waza.

Subject: RE: INFO
From: SSonnon
Date: 01-May-00 | 02:01 PM
Mark, blood pressure, not blood flow. Absolutely correct. Thank you for posting this.

Subject: RE: INFO
Date: 01-May-00 | 02:35 PM
I second sonnon`s post.It`s pressure not flow.

Subject: RE: INFO
From: SSonnon
Date: 01-May-00 | 02:39 PM
Actually, this is one of the precise reasons that I reposted to the SAMBO Q&A my article on the "Myth of Strangulation" (because people continue to pass along from teacher to student various pseudo-scientific myths such as 'cutting off the blood flow to the brain.')

For other Mark Tripp entries, please check out:

NOTE: Posted as-of May 24, 2000 on Nov 22, 2013 to mirror my old archives -

Mark Tripp - Combatives 4 (Goshinjutsu)

Subject: Combatives 4
From: MTripp
Date: 29-Apr-00 | 08:49 AM

In order to understand the historical perspective and the importance of combatives, we need to place it into its proper context.

Goshinjutsu means self-defense or techniques to be used in a real fight. We define a "real fight" as a violent personal assault where your life is at risk. We define “real fight technique” as the following: Will this technique work, against a bigger, stronger, and faster opponent; who is determined to prevent it by any means, fair or foul! If the answer is yes the technique is probably a Goshinjutsu, or real fight technique. If not, then it has no value, or place in the system. Simply put, a jump spin back kick in most cases is not a “real fight” technique.
This way of true combatives (budo) means that this system is your path in life. This Do is to allow you to pursue your life as a free man or woman. There is no freedom greater than your freedom from fear. It can be argued that the only true purpose of Government is to protect us, however, this is an impossible task, save for total loss of personal freedoms. Despite all of Governments efforts, we live with the daily fear of assault, fear of others taking your property, fear of the loss of life or liberty, and on and on. Today, as in Okinawa, you must look to yourself for the freedom from these fears. Our way, or Do, grants that freedom.

When used in combination, the term Go-Shinjutsu means self-defense, or self-protection. Adding a term after makes a specific form of self-defense. Kodokan Go-Shinjutsu means the Kodokan system of self-defense. Shotokan Go-Shinjutsu, Ninpo Go-Shinjutsu, etc., all refer to a specific systems self-defense techniques.

Go-Ju Shinjutsu, means Hard and Soft “real fight techniques", or more correctly the total techniques of self-defense. The term Go, is usually defined as hard. Ju is usually defined as soft. These terms are far too simplistic for our needs. A better definition would be positive for Go, and passive for Ju, although not strictly true (Judo has strikes in it for example); The term Go in our definition will mean the striking portion (usually known as karate), and Ju will represent the grappling portion (usually known as Judo, Jujitsu or Aikido) of the system. Its interesting that all Japanese systems use the term Go-Shinjutsu to refer to self-defense techniques. This shows that they ALL know that effective self-defense is at the heart of their systems. How sad that most of them haven't a clue what effective techniques are any more.

Keep in mind that the Chinese occupied Okinawa six months out of the year, and the Japanese occupied it the other six months. Because of this usage as a central port, the Okinawans were exposed to a wide variety of fighting techniques and systems. Because they were oppressed by both sides, it was in their best interest to uncover, discover, categorize, and master the best of those techniques. It stands to reason that we should learn and master those techniques as well!

Its easy to see how ALL martial arts have chosen a few techniques from this list to create various systems. But FEW can claim a comprehensive a training program. As you will see, ANY technique you can think of, or learned, can be categorized and placed into this system. Keep in mind however, for true combatives, only techniques that fit into the heart (Will this technique work, against a bigger, stronger, and faster opponent; who is determined to prevent it by any means, fair or foul!), should be learned and placed.

Subject: RE: INFO
From: MTripp
Date: 29-Apr-00 | 08:52 AM

Original Go-Ju Shinjutsu insisted on hard makiwara training, for both hands, feet, arms, and even the head. The people of Okinawa were forbidden to own weapons. They could find themselves in a life and death struggle on a daily basis. The ability to destroy an opponent with a single blow was a vitally important skill. The silent kill was perfected because the people of Okinawa were an occupied people, and their system was being used to protect them from their oppressors. The Japanese quickly realized the effectiveness of these techniques, and added them to their various Jujutsu styles.

But the point is this; The risks of hard makiwara training far outweigh the advantages it may have. Frankly, I think you would be hard pressed in court to prove you weren't looking for a chance to use your skills when the jury gets a look at your hands. We have found a powerful hand (strength training), and development of iron palm (through slow, proper training), to be better suited for today's needs.

We now need to look at the concept of WA. This word doesn't translate well into English. Blending, fitting, unity, etc., all relate to WA. Look at it like this; if we want the result to be 10, and you have 6, then you need 4 to get 10. However if you have 9 you only need 1; -4 you need 14 and so on. This means we feel where our opponent is, and apply the technique to put him where we want him to be. How hard we pull or push, where and how we strike, what techniques we use, are all selected by the principle of WA.

Finally, how we choose our techniques, and the way we apply them, is based on a concept called O-Waza or big technique. The O-Waza is:

1. Evasion 2. Distracting Atemi 3. Control 4. Incapacitating Atemi 5. Take-down 6. Immobilization
By using the above list, and looking at the preceding chart, you can find the location of techniques you need for each level of attack. Keep in mind that we live in a different age than the originators of combstives. Our needs are the same but our attackers are not. We must learn how to apply these techniques in a rapidly changing world. We teach must the traditional techniques with a modern coaching attitude; with an eye to the legal and moral results of our actions.

Subject: RE: INFO
From: MTripp
Date: 29-Apr-00 | 08:55 AM

It is important for you to understand the various techniques that make up true combatives. As a general rule, if we are not touching our opponent we use GO or positive techniques (striking). If our opponent is touching us we use JU or passive techniques (grappling).

We always attempt to use evasive footwork to avoid our opponents movements, and hopefully the assault all together (see the 4 rules). This is the first part of the O-waza called Evasions or Kamae.

Because a person cannot think of two different things at the same time; and because a person will go to great lengths to prevent personal injury (people on drugs are an exception to this); we want to distract our opponent from his plan by hitting him. This blow in itself may end the fight, and if so good. However the purpose of the blow is to stop his actions. This is called Atemi-waza.

Next we want to prevent any continued attacks by this person. Keep in mind the way we prevent this is based on the type of attack and the legal boundaries of the place you're at. Generally we want to control the person at this time, (in a life and death struggle we would use a stronger atemi or joint attack, not a control!), with a joint lock, called Kansetsu-waza.

If the opponent fails to submit, or we are unable to control them for long, we now will strike them with a much harder blow. We can show in court we attempted to restrain this person and they kept trying to injure us. This Atemi is usually to the leg with the idea of taking away the ability to move/ballance by breaking the base. Even if the person isn't knocked down by this move, they will be set up for the next.

At this point, if the opponent is still trying to hurt us, and we cannot escape, we will throw them to the ground. This is called Nage-waza. We will then restrain them, called Oasae-waza. As a last resort, we will set a finishing hold, (either a strong joint lock or a choke). The Choking techniques are called Shime Waza. The joint locks are called Kansetsu Waza.

The above should go a long way to helping you understand the O-waza.

Subject: RE: INFO
From: Chzog
Date: 29-Apr-00 | 07:53 PM
Great stuff Coach, We all appreciate it!!

Subject: RE: INFO
From: Tap This
Date: 30-Apr-00 | 10:15 AM
Yes we do! thanks

Subject: RE: INFO
From: submission studen
Date: 30-Apr-00 | 12:24 PM

Subject: RE: INFO
From: Sothy
Date: 30-Apr-00 | 10:08 PM

For other Mark Tripp entries, please check out:

NOTE: Posted as-of May 24, 2000 on Nov 22, 2013 to mirror my old archives -


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