Zarathustra

Outside is better Relative Position than Inside for self-defense.

Zarathustra was a smart and wise character created by Friedrich Nietzsche, the German philosopher, in his writings who tried to bring awareness to humans and to open their eyes, but no one understood his words. He understood that he was ahead of his time and that the world was not ready for him yet…

The name Nikola Tesla is a great example of a man that was ahead of his time. Only in the last few years has his name gained recognition. Tesla is now known for his work with electricity, his radio patents and many other ideas that demonstrate his genius, a man truly ahead of his time. Many now benefit from his ideas and inventions and patents.

It is hard to give unlimited power to limited minds.” Nikola Tesla

I was talking to a friend and great Martial Artist, a young talent, tell me that he joined my Sensei Hanshi Patrick McCarthy  workshop and that at last he could really understand. It made me understand that sometimes teachers may lose their students and forget that their students do not have the proper tools, knowledge or wisdom. As we try  to push them, they need more basics and knowledge that may appear to be common sense. It’s important to teach that and as we say “slow is fast.” When we teach too fast we may lose the students by using martial arts terms that they don’t understand enough to understand our meaning. When teaching conceptual martial arts it’s harder to teach and study than just teaching techniques. When you understand a technique you know a technique and when you understand a concept you know endless  techniques.

Masters have unfair advantage over most people – they were willing to fail, but tried anyway. 

Most people do not even wish to try to get their own White Belt’s because their ego prevents them from doing so,  but they instead prefer to take weekend ‘Master Certification’ programs in Military uniforms from YouTube ‘Masters” ex Solider  – Rambo. ‘Keep this in perspective: a White Belt is a higher level of learning than people sitting on a couch watching the video will ever achieve! It demonstrates their respect and willingness to study from a real Sensei.

In combat we have 3 dimensions:  front, back and side. We also have 3 ways you can move: forward, backward or to the side. We can only react in 3 ways: linearly, circularly or in a trianglular fashion and these compose Kapap’s ‘relative position’ concept. We use relative position to the aggressor and situational awarness which also includes use and awareness of the environment.

The best relative position is to not be there!  Avoid the fight! If we can’t escape, the next best relative position would be to be at the aggressors back or to his side. A bad relative position would be to stand in front of him, as he would then have all of his ‘tools’ to hit you with:  legs, knees, elbows, head, body and  hands. That’s why we always need to try and get to his blind-side where we can better control his center and creating ‘The Guard’ – Kamae in Japanese. It’s also the BEST position for us to strike and defend from.

Also in some situations we can’t  move backward but must stand fast and we’d need to know how to transfer our force against him and control him from the side or from his back.

As a combat and self-defense system this must be our first step, our prefered goal: to be ‘outside’ his body and not ‘inside’ his body. ‘Inside’ his body when discussing relative position means that you are in between his hands and legs and it also means that he can hit you the as same as you can hit him, and the stronger man will win. But, if you by step to the outside of his body you have the advantage of levarage and control of his body center and gain more power! It’s really an important issue in self defense. We assume we are not as strong as our aggressor and thus we must take advantage at any point in the process where we can that we will gain us more the advantage of creating more power. That’s why we prefer the outside or the ‘shadow-blind’ side and not the inside, between his arms. We also need to study dealing with the inside but as a secondary priority, for those times when there is no way to move to the outside.

If you choose to only fight from the inside, he may counter your moves and gain the advantage over you. You can gain advantage by using the unexpected – relative position is just such a concept. Using relative position in relation to your adversary means gaining advantage by using your special knowledge and training to end the conflict in your favor. Placing your body and thus your ‘weapons systems’ to his detriment automatically gains you the upper hand. He is now struggling with adjusting to an uncomfortable feeling – a situation for which he is not familiar, odd angles, closer proximity perhaps, and his mind will lag behind as he tries to adjust to an unfamiliar situation.

You have changed his attack to your advantage by using a different tactic than what he may have ever anticipated, or ever trained for. You now have his mind engaged and distracted enough to gain you time – a very good prospect. His mind is now reeling. He won’t be able to catch up to you IF you take advantage NOW, and stop his aggression, by using your own to stop him. By going to his side, or to his back, you have taken away his ‘sight’, his focus. He is now working hard to catch up to the new positioning, and has to slow down to comprehend those changes, evaluate and respond – which gives you many new options.

In Kapap we also use the ‘Rule PLUS One’ concept: If he has a gun, he may also have a knife. You will need to keep an open-mind, and always expect the unexpected. Never assume anything about a conflict – all things are possible, and those aspects and possibilities that you don’t account for will not be to your advantage, but to his.

You can lead a human to knowledge, but you can’t make him think. 

© Copyright 2016 Avi Nardia & Tim Boehlert

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