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Flexibility of Combative Training Patterns (Kata)

As I’ve commented on previously, practicing training patterns can tend to force the different individual patterns into separate compartments: the bayonet version is done this way; the knife version is done that way; the handgun is different again. At some level, though it should become easier to see the different versions as being alternative actions to the one-and-same pre-arranged movement/behavior pattern. Yes, of course, the bayonet patterns and knife patterns are superficially and purposely different on the surface level, but ultimately, the individual practicing them must come to see they are the same thing, done with alternative actions. Inherent in their practice, however, is the need for the individual to have the disciplined self-awareness to be able to distinguish between total freedom of expression and controlled creativity aimed at a functional end.

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About Hunter B. Armstrong

As Director of the International Hoplology Society (established in 1976 by Donn Draeger), Hunter Armstrong is professionally engaged in the research and development of hoplology – the study of human combative behavior and performance. In his efforts to gain a broader perspective on hoplology, he has spent considerable time on field research in Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, and India, researching the training and fighting arts of those areas. Starting in karate in the early 1960’s, he has been training consistently for the past fifty plus years. Now, primarily concentrating on classical Japanese battlefield martial arts, he has also trained in a number of Chinese combative arts. In addition to Asian weapons and fighting systems, Armstrong has researched and studied classical European weapons and fighting systems and the relationship of biomechanics to the development of weapons use. In particular, he has concentrated on the principles of efficient behavior in combat, especially as expressed in traditional martial cultures.

One thought on “Flexibility of Combative Training Patterns (Kata)

Ymarsakar

As I’ve commented on previously, practicing training patterns can tend to force the different individual patterns into separate compartments: the bayonet version is done this way; the knife version is done that way; the handgun is different again. At some level, though it should become easier to see the different versions as being alternative actions to the one-and-same pre-arranged movement/behavior pattern.

It was described in this fashion to me. When people have a lot of tools in the toolbox, they tend to take a very long time (OODA wise) to sort through them and pick the right one. When people work from it the other way around, look at the problem and then at what would solve the problem, there’s less options since the number of solutions is limited.

So in H2H, instead of listing each technique or weapon as a separate tool, it is much easier for me to list ranges instead, and then separate into more and less lethal levels of force. If I want close range defense and lethality, a sword is good. If I want long range offense and some defense, a spear or bayonet. If I want full range and offense, a handgun might be nice. It’s not impossible to use two different weapons at the same time either. One melee, one ranged. One CQB, defensive tool.

Changing the tactical landscape by escaping to a better terrain that favors your range vs the enemy’s, is also feasible. But people don’t tend to be “paranoid” enough to do it in a real fight, though they often think about it abstractly. Tunnel vision I suppose.

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