Hock Hochheim's Combat Talk Forum

General Category => Frequently Asked SFC Questions => Topic started by: Hock on June 02, 2006, 07:42:46 PM

Title: Complicated? Naahhh!
Post by: Hock on June 02, 2006, 07:42:46 PM
This looks to complicated? Too much?

I have my own favorite 6 to 10 things I like, that works for me. My favorites.

A regular person wants to know a few tricks on the parking lot to get home.
I teach a lot of stuff and here's why.

I do not tell anyone what their favorites are, as that should be based on a person's size, shape, age and strength and our experimentation in class.

We demand personal expression and expect personal selections from people. They develop their own favorites for what is right for them. They pick what they think from the big textbook.

Students work through the process and get their 6 or 8 or 10 things to emphasize.

Instructors who teach people from all shapes, ages, sizes and strengths should know the textbook to properly to give their students the same freedom to experiment and select.

The instructor should-
> have his own personal favorites and,

> offer a lot for their students so:

                 -they can be instructors to properly teach all and,
                 -they too can have their favorites too

                              ...and so it goes....
                              ...and so it goes....

Title: Re: Complicated? Too much?
Post by: Hock on July 01, 2006, 10:09:26 AM
Size Matters.

Invariably smart people ask about what style is good for me? My body shape? My Size or gender. That is why there are weight categories in competition fighting. It is really not a "style" thing.

Generally I think techniques/tactics are best meant to possibly work when both opponents are about the same size, strength and weight. About. I would say give or take about 15 percent.

Take the average size person and see where you are, then get busy. If someone is out of this range, then they need to get back into the 15 percentile range. Get 10 percent faster. 10 percent stronger. Even smarter. Etc. (Weapons are equalizing agents)

I am always amused at seeing photos of say…the latest Dan Severn seminar. He is teaching in middle of a group, all 600 pounds of him, and there is always some 98-pound guy listening attentively in the crowd. Poor guy. Does he think that he can do what Dan can do? What can Dan do that more mortals cannot? Does Dan understand this?

Pee Wee Herman will always have trouble fighting Hulk Hogan. Now work the scales from there...

Pee Wee a bit bigger. Hulk a little smaller.

Pee Wee a bit bigger. Hulk a little smaller.

Pee Wee cheats.

Pee Wee armed.

…at what point to you think Pee Wee has a logical chance?

Title: Re: Complicated? Too much?
Post by: Hock on July 03, 2006, 07:18:15 AM
Only a novice looks at the college list of material and says WOW. I have to learn all that?

The simple answer is...simply no.
"Simple" is always defined by the eyes of the beholder.

>KISS (keep it simple, stupid) means you are to remain stupid, the instructor is stupid, the course is stupid and we all plan to remain forever stupid. God help us if we dare do a new thing or try a new thing.

>Einstein's "keep it simple-but not too simple!" is a far better, more free standard, as I will always believe in the freedom for a student to try to take one more step for their personal development. I like things just a few clicks above dangerously over-simple and plain "stupid."
Everyone's definition of simple is different, and everyone's skill level is different, also their body, shape, age and size. There is not one system that suits everyone. Not one uniform that fits everyone. Their needs are different.

Material in almost all established martial arts systems won't work for everyone, their situations, their jobs, their problems. My favorite things are not your favorite things for these very reasons.
I have my favorite 8 or 10 things I know and like and I practice them over and over. I too do the same tired things over and over again. How simple is that?  Everyone is also supposed to work with hand, sticks, knives and gun. A its best, there are basic concepts of movement that bridges these caregories. But also, there are not similaritries.

What do we do for these people, the many who can't do one-punch/one kill. Or, fire rabid jabs and crosses like a Thai Boxer? Or, for anyone that cannot fit one mold? What do we do with them? keep them simply stupid in a system that doesn't fit their needs?

They have to research form a broader group of techniques to pick their favorite simple things out of. That is the simple part. How complicated is that to understand. Instructors must know more for more people, their missions and than jobs.
I have a hand, stick, knife gun college course for instructors to guide people to their favorite, workable, 8 , 10 or 12 simple things. I have many challenges to shave things done, make parallels and similarities in movement and so forth, try to bridge the gap between hand, stick, knife and gun.

"Does anyone know why my best students are best in what they do. Easy. They stay within their field of endeavor. They do not bite on more then they can chew."

This is a quote sent me recently form another martial arts figurehead.
But, just how big is your bite? Your chew? Your neighbor's? Your 20 year-old student? Your 50 year-old female student? Differing!

Not only are people different sexes, shapes, sizes and strengths and psychologies, they have different skills levels. Some can handle more. Do more. Do better. WHY KEEP THEM STUPID! Why draw a line in the sand and declare - LEARN NO MORE ELSE YOU WILL FAIL!

As the head of an international organization of near 10,000 regular customers, I simple cannot draw such a line and say, "stop here, stupid!" Is that how a college works? Students need the freedom to push their personal envelopes. It is wrong to tell them not too. People can bite off and chew more than others, and this really is the difference between the basic, the advanced and the expert courses.
Everybody's different. Everybody has a different level of chewing and biting.
People could spend their whole lives working on the the first three levels of my Unarmed Combatives Course. It is my most generic, most simple, collection constructed to reach out to as mnay people as possible. But many want, need and can do more! ergo, the rest of the systems. SOMEBODY has to be a clearinghouse for this information.

I am also committed to the concept of pushing the envelope. Just a little every day. Tiny! Challenge yourself. Push just a little. That sound too complicated?

Title: Re: Complicated? Naahhh!
Post by: Hock on July 05, 2006, 03:12:43 PM
You are a college graduate in teaching history.

You teach elementary school.
You teach high school.
You teach college.

Do you teach college level history material to your elementary school and high school classes? Or do you teach age (skill) appropriate material for the group? Obviosuly college history would appear too complicated for elementary and high school.

But is your college attendance and B.A. considered too complicated?
Are you a better history teacher in general because you have graduated college? Maybe have a masters? PHD?

Is there a parallel in martial education?

Basic training - elementary school.
Advanced training - high school.
Expert training - college.


Title: Re: Complicated? Naahhh!
Post by: Hock on July 12, 2006, 07:50:55 AM
One Size Coffin / Cookie-Cutter fits all

I got an email asking me what I mean by cuttie-cutter martial arts.
This relates to the "complication" issue because-in theory the less things you know, the less complicated you are.

Any martial art that is a system that makes you, no matter your size, shape, strengths,weaknesses, age or skill to perform and move like the system's titular head. It is a system that imposes its techniques upon, whether you like them, or can do them or not.

He kicks high? You must kick high.
He cartwheels? You must cartwheel.
He power punches? This is your main solution too.
He wears this? You must wear this.
He head butts? You must head butt.
He flinches? You must flinch.
He only vertical fist punches? You must too.
He shreds? You must shred.
He tackles and wrestles? You must tackle and wrestle.
He restricts your training in other systems? You stay nice and dumb.
He dictates. You must mindlessly follow.
He makes the cookie cutter? You must force yourself into his pattern.

Aren't most of these systems flexible, too?
No. It does seem that if they have a handicapped person? They will fudge on the requirements (and it often makes the evening news-why not!) but, that is as far as any improvisation and individual expression is allowed to grow and go.

Will they offer lip service/hot air on your freedom?
Yes. Maybe. Will they walk the talk. No. And then, some say right away, no- "you cannot train outside this system." It will "confuse" you. "Distract" you. This is where you hear the KISS method and Hick's Law tossed about incorrectly to keep you down and in their cookie-cutter.

"Isn't any training program a cookie cutter? Aren't you making cookies?"
It is very difficult challenge to set up any training standards and steer clear of this cookie-cutter problem. It must be woven carefully into a systems' doctrine. A doctrine must have freedom built right into it.

A baseball player learns how to swing a bat. Simple, huh? Ahhh-KISS and Hick's law at its best. "Just swing, dude!" "That is all a stupid SOB like you can do under stress!" But each hitter must develop a unique swing based on his abilities and potential to be successful. What size bat? Who is pitching and what? A good hitting coach knows a lot about this. Your unique swing must become your simple swing from muscle memory repetition. How sophisticated and educated is your system head, to even understand these issues and then implement them into doctrine? Is he just a Thai Boxer? Just a soldier? Just a karate devotee? A college wrestler?

I have created a college-like system that tries to expose people to all the mainstays of striking, kicking and grappling with hands, sticks, knives and guns. But, your favorites and your final product is your selected end. It is the freestyle combat scenarios that YOU have to construct. Not me. That journey is your personal growth and knowledge. That is emphasized in how YOU construct your level 10 tests. I don't tell you how to execute each scenario! You do. Fighting first - Systems second, is a big SFC motto.

And of course, as this exposure and journey-steering is my job, so to it is our instructors' jobs to expose a variety of people with these common mainstays. The idea is EXPOSE people to fighting tactics, not IMPOSE ones on them. For many years now, I have said in seminars-

"I am here to inspire you, not confine you."

a) Pick some for themselves (with appropriate KISS-like and Hicks-style limitations.)
b) Learn all moves to be good instructors for all shapes, ages, sizes and strengths.

...and so it goes, and so it goes. A legacy of maximized training, not mental and physical restrictions.

It is getting better out there on the marketplace! These traditional, restrictive programs really are slowly shrinking and dying off the charts. Traditional is good for kids. Not good for adults. BUT, I fear I do see the similar problem now arise in newer programs!

- Everybody Shred! - Everybody Flinch! - Everybody tackle and wrestle!

Just because the instructor is younger and in a t-shirt, doesn't mean they aren't making the same silly, damn mistakes. 

One size does not fit all. Not even one coffin fits everyone.


Title: Re: Complicated? Naahhh!
Post by: Hock on August 30, 2006, 07:44:20 PM
Uncomplicating the Process
This topic came up again last weekend. What does simplification or uncomplicating mean? The conversation was leaning toward the many Filipino systems. For example, and using a family alias name or two, lets say we are confronted with these numbers:
Johnson Family Kali - Main drill has 5 angles of attack
Jones Family Kali - Main drill has 8 angles of attack
Gonzal Family Kali - Main drill has 10 angles of attack
Loredo Family Kali - Main drill has 14 angles of attack
Paso Family Kali - Main drill has 3 angles of attack
Presas Family - Main drill has 12 angles of attack
Many more for many families

Taking a good look at all these angles you would find several common denominators. The majority have attacks from above, right, left, and below. Not all, but most. Many of the attack angles resemble each other from family to family.

Yet, all are very limited. And, many double and sometimes triple up on the same angle and/or target. Many contain only one stab, the rest slashes! Many have no continuity or semblance to a common sense progression. Many work for slashes, but not stabs. Many ignore the variety of hand grips. Most ignore pommel strikes. It is an interesting study to dissect all of them from a big picture perspective.

Studying and memorizing ALL of them is best left for the true-blue, real Arnis/Kali buff. Someone who truly loves the subject and wants to know what every family does, as a collector's piece. Some Arnis/kali/Escrima students crave complication and crave multi-system study.

Someone else, most people that is, just want the most organized, effective approach to hit a guy with a stick, because they are interested in practical and tactical information. I fall into this category. That is why I processed all these angles and deduced that using the clock pattern is best for most people.

- insures top/bottom, right and left: 12, 3, 6, 9 on the clock
- easily allows for any needed nuisances of numbers in between the big corners
- works easily with all stick grips
- works easily with all slashes, stabs, handle strikes and blocks
- works easily with all hand grips
- offers a thorough attack system for a trainee to react to
- it is IMPOSSIBLE to forget! The Clock!
- this covers all of the families attack angles. Not one is missed or ignored.

Not only is this easier, it is less complicated. The essence of all the families put together. An official treaty. A simplification of ALL families. This is what appears in the SDMS Impact Weapon course and the single stick program of the Pacific Archipelago Combatives course.

Now, take this same equation and run any martial topic through a similar process. All the punches, the kicks, the gun shots, the throws, etc. Most people really want the essence of combat. A smaller percentage want a hobby-esque experience of their favorite subject. Stripping it down like this, removes the hobby, the mystique and destroys the fun for them.

Be aware of this, of the many valid interests of people.

Title: Re: Complicated? Naahhh!
Post by: Hock on September 05, 2006, 09:02:30 AM
By now, you all know my feeling about the infamous KISS method as a primary method of training. "Keeping It Simple Stupid," to me, means you're stupid, I'm stupid, the system is stupid and we will always remain stupid. I prefer Einstein's phrase - "keep it simple, but not too simple." And with that expression, he discovered the complexities of the Universe.
So much of solving the complexities of the fighting universe comes from the teacher's ability to "reach and teach." Simplify the complex with superior teaching methods. Reach into your student's brain and touch that unforgettable spot (see earlier entry on using the clock as a pattern base for an example).

To prove I am hardly alone in this idea, MANY top trainers find the KISS method just too stupid for its own good. Below, we have guest military and police trainer, U. S. Navy special warfare vet Ken Good of Stategos International in a short essay on this very subject :

"The KISS Principle as a Defense for Inadequate or Sub-Standard Training,
by Ken Good -

This is generally invoked when addressing a more complex system, yet it can be quite an obstacle to actual battlefield superiority. Let's take the principle to the Nth degree and see where it leads.

You are faced with having to dispatch an enemy at twilight. It is a one-on-one engagement to take place on relatively open ground. Both opponents are to start out at a distance separating them at 300 yards, and can initially barely see each other.

Each opponent has, on their respective tables, a few weapons to choose from. One combatant is constrained entirely by the KISS Principle; the other is free to choose his weapons based on the overall environmental considerations and the training he has invested in.

On the table are four weapons:
-a rock,
-a knife,
-a 9mm pistol,
-a 5.56mm M4 Carbine.
What would you choose? One set of tools requires an entire set of skill and knowledge to effectively employ and is exponentially more complicated, and the other is, well, simple....
Does anybody actually believe at this point in history that the United States of America is the dominant superpower because we followed the KISS Principle to the exclusion of all else? You see, in my opinion, the KISS principle is a strong consideration, but should never be the dominant consideration in the world of professional arms.

Skill at arms means exactly that...skill. Skill is the result of consistent, qualitative and meaningful training. There is no getting around that part of the equation. Just because one does not know how to leverage the extra capabilities of a more capable tool does not necessarily make that tool less useful to the more skilled wielder of that tool.

Don't get me wrong--at every turn we should look to simplify whenever and wherever possible. But let's not let the KISS Principle become an excuse to avoid the more complex tasks and training challenges we have to address.

Here is an example of a guy who took what I considered to be a fairly complex process and simplified it for me. Quite a few years ago, I learned to barefoot water-ski in less than 45 minutes from a guy who took a Bronze Medal in the X-Games. I could marginally slalom ski, but was getting pounded into submission trying to figure out how to barefoot. I had a several people try to show me how to barefoot previously, with dismal results....ouch.

A friend of mine set up the time and place to meet this X-Games star. I was uncomfortable, intimidated, if you will, to meet this guy. This was clearly out of my league. The guy recognized this and told me something I will not soon forget. He said, "Don't worry, you will be barefooting, in a few minutes...I am that good!"

I remember thinking, "Man, this guy is cocky!" Turns out, he was that good. During my lesson, he specifically stated that most people really do not understand the dynamics of what is going on with the skier and with the water.

He then gave me an incredibly simple pathway to achieve the biomechanics of what it took to barefoot. Like clockwork, one skill and exercise led and connected to the next. I went from the boom off the side of the boat to a deep water/rope start in less than 30 minutes. In 45 minutes I did some tumble turns and some pretty hard turns and wake crossings, in several cases, on one foot.

I was smiling from ear to ear...He was that good! He really was. It was not what I did, but what he knew and what he knew about how to train people in this particular process. He, no doubt, had taken years of experience, and hours and hours of practice, pain, and frustration and created an almost straight-line pathway to a higher skill level. He distilled it down to what needed to be done, no more, no less.

This is the essence of a good trainer. Skilled at what he or she does, skilled at taking highly complex tasks and making them as simple as possible, without compromising the integrity of the end result and required capability."

*** I agree 110% and Thanks Ken.


Title: Re: Complicated? Naahhh!
Post by: Hock on April 27, 2010, 07:56:04 AM
Worth re-reading,

Title: Re: Complicated? Naahhh!
Post by: Canuk on April 27, 2010, 10:26:43 AM
and in my case, timely too! thanks
Title: Re: Complicated? Naahhh!
Post by: mcdirty on April 27, 2010, 11:02:02 AM
  Amen... The simpler the better.Too many people don't realize that the more time you spend on complex techniques you're doing yourself a great disservice. When the shit hits the fan, you're gonna rely on gross motor movements first. I train maybe 10 core techniques, different angles,entries,etc.I'm not opposed to tryin' out new stuff(in training) but on the spot...Nah, just can't risk it.First time on this forum, really enjoy the site! Really wish I'd signed uo sooner tho. Bought Jim Wagner's Knife from Boker. Now I feel like a schlump.
Title: Re: Complicated? Naahhh!
Post by: Hock on April 27, 2010, 11:38:43 AM
(Ohhhh that Bokker knife in and of itself is probably fine. Don't feel bad.)

- Everyone's definition of simple is different.
- Everyone's abilities are different - what is simple to them is not to others.
- "Fights" are highly situational and sometimes people can perform more and better.
- Always push the envelope. Working the difficult, can make the difficult easy
  and simple. Its like a ladder. Climbing the eighth step makes the third step easy (and
  seem simpler).
- Not everyone can play pro football, whether they are taught simple football or
  complex football. Some people need not to play football with any great aspirations.
- Fighting is an athletic endeavour. Some people, soldiers, cops are not athletes,
  whether they are working on simple or complex moves.
- Ambushes always suck.  
- Startles and flinches don't last.

Title: Re: Complicated? Naahhh!
Post by: TLE on April 28, 2010, 04:49:29 AM
Great post Hock. Should be posted in every training facility there is. It seems like everyone wnats absolutes, disregarding individual differences. You know when I boxed, my coach siad this is your stength, this is what you will do. He didn't try to make me a left hooking brawler. Why do so many in this industry train poeple as if they have the same bodies, minds and abilities?  Expect to be cut, you'll forget everything when the shit hits the fan, you could never use that in a real fight, that takes years to learn, MMA trainng is the best for the street, etc..., etc.... etc... Not one size fits all.
Title: Re: Complicated? Naahhh!
Post by: whitewolf on April 29, 2010, 07:39:57 AM
great  info here -all the way  back..

I attempt to keep reviewing the basics with the students-over and over at the start of the class

In the middle of the class we stop and revieww the basics again. That is good according to the students.

Only one new tactic a week- not a million zillion each  class-too much.....

seya WW
Title: Re: Complicated? Naahhh!
Post by: Bonz on May 07, 2010, 09:36:51 PM
I don't recall where I heard this, but this saying applies here I think: "Don't fear the million techniques practiced once, rather fear the one technique practiced a million times".

this was a great post Hock, thanks for the good word!

Title: Re: Complicated? Naahhh!
Post by: whitewolf on May 13, 2010, 07:02:26 AM
Just another quick comment on keeping it simple (but as hock said not to simple)
when i am instructing in the class and the student asks a question because they are a little confused I say -rememebr the clock- go to the number on the clock that is the same area as you are trying to go-i.e. go to 10 oclock- or come from 10 olock= light goes on and most times  they figure it out . Hock should have patented the clock system-oh well- thats life.-WW