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Drew Loto
Drew Loto's picture
Techniques of humiliation

I found the below video a few hours ago and wanted to share it here because I think its a fascinating concept.

I realize that a number of their techniques work off of karate style attacks, but that does not change my point.  (Their techniques also look really clean, and I'll always be a sucker for aesthetics.)  If you don't feel like watching the video or somehow are missing what I'm aiming at, I'm interested in thinking of a category of bunkai designed not to always incapacitate (though some of the examples in the video indeed do that) but to also embarrass or make an attacker look foolish, which may also, in certain circumstances, negate an assault.  I realize their are specific concerns with this mode of thought.  Would slapping an assailant on the bottom make him embarrassed into passivity or will it egg him on to attack again with more fury?  However, there are also advantages to this.  Exploring applications that aren't always harmful (though can be if needed) but still send a very specific message to the assailant in question and his buddies might help the defender avoid the unneeded legal or psychological consequences of defending himself.  

It seemed clear to me that these techniques were all alternative applications.  I'm sure this school teaches different, simpler applications when first exploring the techniques.  These, I imagine, are reserved for senior students, or at least students of a black belt level, who have developed their ability to defend themselves on a physical level, and now are deepening their understanding of the mental aspect of self-defense as well.

I'm curious to see what everyone thinks. 

Leigh Simms
Leigh Simms's picture

I think what that video was missing was the "pressure test" aspect.  I think most of the techniques were decent but if taken into a realistic scenario, the range and the mindset would change.

The only time you should be using physical violence is when there is no alternative. If I have the ability to slap the attackers backside or make them look foolish then I would be very dissapointed that I am physically attacking someone who was no threat to me. 

I don't think bunkai would have been developed for this type of situation either. Primarily as I stated above, looking back on why kata were created (to culminate the teachings of effective fighting principles and strategies), then it would be a diservice to the past masters if we have applications, that at one time would have been dangerous and deadly, are now to be used to humilate the attacker.

Katz's picture

Marc MacYoung and Rory Miller both say "street cred" is very important to the kind of people that attacks other people. When defending yourself, it's important to leave an escape route to whoever you're defending against. Or else why would they stop attacking?

If you ridiculize them, all the more if they have friends around, you could show them how vastly superior to them your are, yes. Maybe frighten them enough that they'd run away.

On the other hand, more likely is that you will have put their reputation in danger. And to these guys, that can be more important than life. So it's likely you are actually leaving them no choice but to try to destroy you. If you are so much superior to them, why not just take them out in one clean shot? Or even just create an opportunity to run away?

(Now, I have no experience whatsoever in actual violence... I just do a lot of reading. :D )

shoshinkanuk's picture

As demos go I thought it was excellent - and im sure they are very decent karateka from a skill perspective.

It had little to do with applied karate IMO, but im sure those guys can take care of themselves it just wouldn't be like in the 'demo'.