Tuesday, February 17, 2009
So, the National Geographic Channel has a program on called Fight Science. Flipping around the channels, I happened to come across it, so I watched an episode on self-defense, "Fighting Back."
The template for the show sets it in a big warehouse. Got a few science and engineer and medical types, some experts in self-defense, gel-flesh dummies, impact sensors, like that. The narrative was to show a simulated attack upon one of the experts by another. Slow it down, then demo the technique shown again, using an anatomical dummy rigged with sensor gear connected to a computer.
The experts -- a cop, MA teacher, ER doc and women's self-defense teacher, ran through surprise attacks in possible scenarios -- parking garage, elevator, stairs, supermarket parking lots. They showed eye gouges, throat strikes and grabs, hard shots to the lower abdomen -- not to the nuts, but to crack the pelvis.
CGI'ed anatomical models were also used to show effects of the techniques. All very slick and flashy, if a bit over the top.
It won't come as a surprise to most of my readers, I expect, that poking somebody in the eye, hammering their windpipe, crushing their larynx, or cracking a pelvis will pretty much give the attacker pause. Nor that attacking MMA champ Bas Rutten if you are a drunk in a bar is probably not the smartest move you'll ever make.
For the most part, this was pretty standard stuff, and the melodramatic slomo and musical stings and hype got old pretty quick. They had about eight minutes of real material and they stretched it to an hour.
There were two things that a MA might find useful. One was the pelvis strike. Pistol-shooters are sometimes taught to aim for the pelvic girdle, because if you can shatter the bone there, your attacker will go down and stay down.
Of course, dropping your aim a hair to los ping-pongs with hand or gun will accomplish a fairly interesting reaction, too ...
And they did a short bit at the end on pepper spray and tasers that was interesting, showing what a lot of people who have played with such things already know. One of the guys stood there bare-chested for a taser shot. It knocked him on his ass, sure enough, but he managed to sweep one arm down and clear the darts and wires as he fell, so that he hit the ground and came back up in about a second. Point was that if he could do that, somebody else could and maybe risking your hide on a taser might not be as safe as you'd think.