Do you have a friend who always calls or drops by at the worst possible time, and cannot take the hint to hit the road even after you are blunt and quite frankly rude to them?
How about the “friend” who secretly is happy when you are miserable?
Know anyone like that? Sure you do. We all do.
Think they’re bad? Meet Murphy’s Law. Simply put, she is a real bitch and loves to come out and bother you at the worst time possible. In any self defense encounter, one must assume that Murphy’s Law will come into play. For those of you who may not know, Murphy’s Law paraphrased states that anything that can go wrong will go wrong and the more things can go wrong, the more they will go wrong. Obviously this Murphy guy was a real “glass is half full” type.
So…how do you tell Miss Murphy to pack her shit and hit the bricks? By adhering to Principle #4 of John Kary’s “6 Principles of Combat,” Keep your Attacks BASIC and SIMPLE.
This is the number one make-or-break rule regarding the physical aspect of any self defense or personal safety, rape prevention, etc. encounter. Think about it – you can follow the other 3 principles so far to the letter; you can have an offensive mindset, you can trust your instincts, and you can attack with ruthlessness and aggression but If your attacks are not BASIC and SIMPLE you will not effect the results you seek.
Same Old, Same Old
As a community, lots of Wing Chun folks claim to be focused on or all about simple, effective, practical and efficient self defense. We’ve all heard the following
bullshit rhetoric time and time again…
“…we don’t train for tournaments, we train for the street…”
“…sparring isn’t reality; chi sau is focused on self defense…”
“…Wing Chun is all about simplicity, efficiency and directness…”
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Well, they’re certainly saying all the right things, as there is truth is all of the 3 above statements. Then they start moving and…Sweet Mother of Jesus, it’s like watching the Marx Brothers trying to put out a fire.
The Wing Chun Answer To An Uncomfortable Truth
The truth of any personal defense scenario is simply this: if I am a rapist or attacker and I bum rush you coming out of your office late at night, or as you are walking back to your car at 11:30pm with grocery bags in each hand and your head down, before you have time to drop into the karate stance and whip that dragon claw or mantis palm at my face I will have my hand around your throat and be dragging you somewhere you don’t want to go…
On the other hand, if you react like a bat out of hell, on the other hand, poking my eyes, driving your knee or fist into my groin and jamming your hand into my throat I will be too busy reacting to the reversal of the situation coupled with intense pain to continue to attack you. Every attack I just stated above is simple, direct, efficient-and 100% congruent with applied Wing Chun.
Wing Chun’s structure is predicated on minimal motion and its’ actions are derived from physics and geometery; in other words, scientific principles. All of the fancy book learnin’ gets chucked back on the shelf when application is concerned so it makes sense that our training should be structured accordingly. Try integrating the following drill into your training every other week or so and watch how quickly your Wing Chun skills grow more functional, effective and efficient.
The “TORA! TORA! TORA!” Ten-Second Drill
The name of this drill has its’ roots in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor (I’ve been a World War II geek since I was a chubby kid listening to my grandpa and great-uncles tell stories about their service). According to history, “TORA! TORA! TORA!” was the message sent by Mitsuo Fuchida, the leader of the first wave of Japanese fighters, to his superiors on the Imperial Japanese aircraft carrier Akagi.
The word Tora is the Japanese word for tiger, but in this instance Tora was used as an abbreviated radio codeword, an acronym for Totsugeki Raigeki literally meaning “lightning attack.” Thus, the sending of “TORA! TORA! TORA!” as a radio transmission by Fuchida was a confirmation to his superiors that the objective of complete surprise had been achieved.
In that same spirit, when training this drill we are to perpetrate a “lightning attack” on our attacker, utilizing Wing Chun’s structurally superior triangular structure and forward pressure to launch BASIC and SIMPLE attacks to the opponent’s centerline and vital targtes until we can escape the situation or put this shitbag down and out.
Recommended equipment for this drill – and realistic training as a whole, for that matter – includes the following:
- Gymboss Interval Timer
- Title Classic 16 oz. Pro-Style Leather Training Gloves
- Title MMA Training Gloves
- Motorcycle Helmet – Be CAREFUL! This isn’t designed for martial arts drills-use your own discretion. I have personally found this to be a useful training aid but do so at your own risk.
- Swimmer’s Goggles (Be CAREFUL! These are for feeling only, not actual attacks)
- Title Classic Face Protector Headgear
- Title Boxing Deluxe Groin Protector
- Shock Doctor Mouthpiece
CLICK HERE to pick up all the required equipment listed above to begin your real, honest and no-B.S. training regimen.
How it works:
- Set a Gymboss Interval Timer to 3 rounds of 10 seconds on, 60 seconds off. Have your partner suit up with a motorcycle helmet or pair of goggles, a mouthpiece and a pair of boxing gloves. You will have on a pair of MMA Training gloves and boxing headgear with a face protector. This will allow you to absorb shots and reinforce your structure.
- Once the timer goes off, the attacker will attack you in any manner he wishes; he may punch, kick, grab, bear hug, choke, you name it. You have 10 seconds to attack his vital areas or centerline in an unrestrained manner WHILE MAINTAINING YOUR WING CHUN STRUCTURE. This is key! There are other drills to work that involve emergency scenarios but remember the more you train your Wing Chun skill-set in this manner, the more you will be accustomed to dealing with pressure and varying degrees of chaos. This repeated exposure will strengthen your ability to maintain your Wing Chun structure and mentality in the face of unpredictability.
- Once the timer pings again signaling the end of the 10 seconds, disengage, slowly walk around the room to regroup, catch your breath and recalibrate.
- Repeat Steps 1-3 once the timer pings signaling the start of the next 10-second round.
- Perform this complete cycle 3 times.
- Switch roles or if training with more than 2 partners, rotate through the whole cycle and then switch rotations back the other way, ensuring that everyone both attacks and defends against everyone else, in a true “round robin” style.
- Some frameworks can be set up depending on the objective set for the drill; for example, one can substitute eye goggles instead of a motorcycle helmet if the aim is to get to the attacker’s eyes, since applying an eye rake to a helmet lacks the realism of feeling an attacker’s forehead, ears and cheeks. Groin strikes can be removed unless the attacker has a true “drop groin” style reality-based drill groin protector. All males should wear a groin cup as a general principle but they are NOT designed for drills such as this.
Action Cures Fear
Inspirational author Og Mandino once stated, “I will never despair, but should I fall into it, I WILL WORK THROUGH DESPAIR.”
So it is with being vigilant.
We always need to be aware of our surroundings and aware of the types of situations that good people find themselves in every day. We never know what situations each day will bring. Our Wing Chun training should be our insurance policy, not an untied shoelace getting in our own way. A few times training the TORA! TORA! Drill and you’ll quickly be convinced of its’ ability to allow us to “cash in” that policy if we should ever need to do so.
Remember, an uninvited guest often departs unannounced. Should Murphy’s Law drop by for a “visit” kindly tell that bitch “thanks but no thanks” by sticking to a BASIC and SIMPLE plan of action to train over and over until it becomes second nature should anything happen – and jocking up with the right gear to make that plan happen.
Train Smart, Stay Safe