Hock Hochheim's Combat Talk Forum

General Category => Unarmed Combatives => Topic started by: Bryant on February 15, 2010, 11:35:52 AM

Title: Pragmatic, Scientific , or Esoteric
Post by: Bryant on February 15, 2010, 11:35:52 AM
It's my opinion that unarmed combat systems can be broken down into these three categories. Of course it's is not that cut and dry in every situation. Some systems fall into multiple categories although they may lean heavily towards one of them. For example many would say that Krav Maga is for the most part pragmatic, as far as I know its not exceptionally scientific or esoteric in it's approach. I welcome comments from those who have deep knowledge of Krav Maga. Another example is Wing Chun, depending on what lineage you study Wing Chun can be very pragmatic, yet there is a scientific approach to pragmatism, some styles of Wing Chun are overtly esoteric, some less so. Aikido leans heavily towards the esoteric, even though there are some Aikido schools that emphasize a very pragmatic approach. Personally I have yet to see a scientific approach to Aikido. There are some systems that change in emphasis over time. The curriculum may start with a very pragmatic approach, and then further along it becomes more scientific, and the higher levels become esoteric.
Anyone care to share their thoughts on this?

Title: Re: Pragmatic, Scientific , or Esoteric
Post by: Hock on February 15, 2010, 03:00:11 PM
How many different Wing Chuns? Krav Magas? So many Aikidos? Etc. Which ones emphasize which?

There is general science. Being pragmatic is the application of that science. Its almost like Science is a noun and being “Pragmatic” is a verb. We know the science and medicine of combat.

Here’s a little list I have used for years.

   1:The Mission:  Pakistan invasion? or a shopping trip to the mall?
   2: The Tactics: Generic, overall, basic fighting tactics
   3: The Situation: The jungle? The desert? Inside houses? Night? dark?
   4: The Position:  Precise small positioning during the fighting.

    Who, what , where, when, how and why.

These are five all imperative studies in a continuum to organize proper training and take proper action. This is the macro (big) -to-micro (small) preparation needed to design a fighting system appropriate for your goals.

The Mission - Chalkboard planning. What is your big, overall mission?
Tactics - Exercise generic tactical training to execute your plan.
Situational - Define the exact situations you will be fighting in. Fine tune those tactics.
Positional - Define the precise and exact positions you may find yourself?

I have heard someone say, perhaps even here once, that Krav Maga was more pragmatic than what I teach. I would say a big no. In this big picture, Krav Maga exists in the general “Tactics” category, as do all of these so-called reality-based systems. Most spend their time, teaching and re-teaching “Kick/Punch” with little regard to actual situations. Hardly any civilian system has the facilities to teach proper environmental, situational fighting. And hardly any system has defined, worries and preaches about the Big Four like I do and have for years. The best we can do is test on realistic, combat scenarios and even that is insufficient.

Scientific is pragmatic and vice-versa. But pragmatically- if you were to go the desert, you would pragmatically take the generic scientific tactics and make them - pragmatically - work in the desert.  Noun. Verb.

When you get “the mission”, answer the Ws and H. Then you work on the customized, situational  tactics, which includes situations and more refined, the precise positionings that happen in close quarter combat. At the very least...I can help organize it and explain it.  

All fights/combat are situational. I sometimes laugh at martial people and gun people talking about what they are going absolutely going to do (honestly - especially gun people) when this or that happens. Very few people truly know the fucking off-the-chart, chaos that can occur. That chaos is situational. Understanding that truth - is pragmatic. And it is such a common truth, such a tenant - perhaps it is even a science.

So...it all might be semantic.

Title: Re: Pragmatic, Scientific , or Esoteric
Post by: Bryant on February 15, 2010, 03:31:06 PM
Thanks Hock!

I would agree that it all can become quite semantic, especially when you have people who are trying to market whatever they are teaching in a way that takes advantage of the latest trend. For example the guy who might have been teaching TKD that somehow magically became a ninja expert in the 80's and then a MMA expert in the 90's and now suddenly a Reality Based Combatives expert in the the 2K0s when in reality he's still just a just TKD guy...(no offense to TKD)

for me the distinctions are as follows;

purely pragmatic: I will teach you things that have been proven to work in a variety of situations, we won't worry about principles, concepts, etc.

purely scientific: I will teach you the principles of what works within a system that will not only give you knowledge it will also eventually allow you to discover and acquire your own knowledge.

purely esoteric: I will teach you martial arts within the context of some sort of spiritual/metaphysical/religious doctrine, with an emphasis on your way of life more so than actual combat.

what I like about the SFC curriculum is that it is a good balance between scientific & pragmatic, based on the distinctions outlined above.

No silk pajamas!

Title: Re: Pragmatic, Scientific , or Esoteric
Post by: whitewolf on February 15, 2010, 07:33:26 PM
Pretty interesting stuff here-makes one think a  lot about what one is teaching
1-Who are u teaching
2-What are you trying to impart to the student?
3-Where is the training ground?
4-How realilistic is the training?
5-Why are they taing the course

As i mentioned somewhere before i try to use the 5 w's in most everything-really works.

As far as B stated-many schools do not teach what is going to happen outside the school bldg.....I try to impart real situations to the class
For example- I put a soft ball, a flexable club, and a half filled plastic water bottle in a circle-as the student run the circle they are to pick up on and use it as a expedient wpn
then they pass it to the one beind them and they do the same.
soft ball- (simulates a brick,rock,piece of metal being thrown at oppnent)
club-(simulates a club hitting the opponent)
bottle(simulates broken bottle, hair spray etc being used against opponent)
I learned that in Poland from KM PSD instructor)

WW )ELB) "speed of light"
Title: Re: Pragmatic, Scientific , or Esoteric
Post by: Mesmeriser on February 26, 2010, 11:06:50 AM
very interesting stuff i totally forgot about the 5 W's
learning lots of usefull things on these forums
Title: Re: Pragmatic, Scientific , or Esoteric
Post by: Hock on April 19, 2010, 02:51:30 PM
Interesting re-read