Wednesday, June 12, 2013

A Martial Framework by Badger Johnson

Just some thoughts. Comments and additions welcome. This is my framework after about 30 years of studying the martial arts from FMA to TMA to MMA to WMA.

I have tried to set up a 'martial framework' from which to give my replies to various questions on forums. Basically it's:

  1. MA are a hobby, try not to take them too seriously.
  2. There is a logical concept called 'base arts' and these arts should have a number of aspects. They should contain elements of aliveness, have little or no barriers to practice, be based on low-attribute methods and be structured based on 'range'. In contrast there are 'exotic arts' which are speculative, though perhaps have clever elements. Base arts are BJJ, boxing, MT, Judo, wrestling and MMA. High aliveness high resistance, multiple and varied opponents and performance based. Exotic arts would be Chinese MA, Silat, WC, Krav Maga, Kenpo, Aikido and TKD. You can make an exotic art work, or exploit some of their stuff but really only if you overlay it onto your robust base art training. A BBJ guy can often pull off an Aikido wrist lock. An MMA guy can sometimes pull off a Wing Chun chain punch series. He's already got the training and attributes and knows how to functionalize something.
  3. There must be a delivery system for any art - you might have a great technique, but if you have no delivery system to allow its application, practice and functionalization it's useless. A delivery system is not just 'delivery', but the 'how' and the framework. BJJ has the mount and guard and the tap. This allows their techniques to acquire flow and functionality.
  4. Functionality is defined as making something robust, flow and be available in the heat of combat.
  5. For every action of the opponent you get at most 1.5 replies (an attack with a time-beat insertion). Advanced players can steal time in a variety of manners.
  6. We tend to overestimate the practicality and efficacy of martial systems. If something requires that you 'first be Bruce Lee', you're better off looking elsewhere.
  7. Training must have specific elements. It must be non-injurious, low-attribute based, be aware of the energy systems involved and train those, and it must have specificity. Above all it must be fun.
  8. Truly effective SD is best served by having a layered approach, including using a partner, running scenarios, be stress-tested to look for flaws, and if you have to go H2H, you've already failed on several levels.
  9. Situational awareness and preparedness fail when you need them most. The whole idea of the Cooper system, though nice on paper doesn't really work in the real world, particularly for our loved ones. Sure a 'commando' can use the Cooper system (white, yellow, red), but that goes back to the 'first be Bruce Lee' principle.
  10. Your system should function durably for the weakest and least conditioned person for whom it must apply. "Fight like a Girl" is not a bad idea. (BJJ+Crazy Monkey is the best matchup for Females - both emphasize defense first, both have a functional delivery system).
  11. The people that scare me are not dissuaded by kicks and pointed sticks. Any SD system has to have both lethal and non-lethal options so as not to trap you into a low option reply.
  12. Research the moral and legal system where you would apply your techniques. In fact look -everywhere- in your researching. Your own experience, cross-examples, find MA applications in odd places. Look for weaknesses, the unexpected and above all look to history, science and music for your answers.
  13. There is a place for the fantasy and fun aspect of MA, so if you like doing it, fine. Just keep an eye out for aliveness and insert it where you can. (Footwork, Timing, Movement and Resistance). So when I make a reply on various forums, these and some others are what I'm basing my response. If I see someone touting 'Krav Maga' an art developed by a commando, I'm going to ask 'what's your delivery system' and 'is it based on a low-attributes method', and finally, how do you train it and stress test it to assure functionalization?

Please check out other Badger Johnson's essays:

NOTE:  My sincerest appreciation for Badger's gracious consent for permission to archive his essay to my site.

Please leave a Comment/Feedback for Badger below.



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