Friday, May 1, 2009

Empty Hand & Weapons Skillset

In "Knife Fighting vs. Fighting with a Knife" and "Cane Fighting vs. Fighting with a Cane" I made the point that weapons training should draw on the same skillset as your empty hand training. I recently received an e-letter from Tim Larkin of Target Focus Training that highlights the same point:

Fighting with weapons is a subject that has generated
volumes of writing in the combat arts world. What is
interesting to note is that for the most part weapons
training is treated as requiring a completely
different set of training principles as opposed to
'empty hand' fighting.

In fact, there are whole martial arts devoted to just
training with a weapon. All this leads to tremendous
confusion from the client's point of view.

Basically, you end up with 2 totally different sets
of principles in response to violent attacks:

1) One response for a hand-to-hand assault, and
2) A completely different response to a weapons attack

Larkin's own approach is quite different:

Your fighting principles MUST be the same with or
without a weapon.

Fighting is fighting regardless of whether you have a
weapon, are facing a weapon, are on the ground, or are
assaulted by more than the other guy.

When you truly understand that your brain is your
primary weapon, your body your secondary weapon, and
EVERYTHING else (read knife, club, or weapon of
choice) is ancillary, you then become a person that
knows how to FIGHT WITH A WEAPON... rather than being
a 'weapons fighter'.

The former gives you unlimited options; the latter
limits you to the weapon in hand.

So, I've been thinking about how that applies not only to knives and canes, but to batons and to handguns . . . .

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