Wednesday, September 23, 2009

One Hit, One Kill

There are martial arts that teach the single-hit-fight-ender strike, the so-call "one hit, one kill" theory. Back in my early karate days, there were guys with whom I spoke who absolutely believed it. One focused strike, they said -- usually a twisting punch fired from the hip -- and lights out, baby!

We, uh, don't subscribe to that theory in our art, for what we believe is a compelling reason:

It doesn't usually work. (Unless you are a sniper with a high-powered rifle, which is different.)

If you have a bored god smiling over your shoulder, then that patented smackdown shot might do the trick. If you are rolling sevens all night and hitting blackjack every draw, maybe that poke will end the job. You can blow the smoke off your knuckles, hum a little bit of the wah-wah from The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, and go home, and more power to you.

If you carry a single-shot horse pistol in .60 caliber and you put that fat lead ball in the right place, it will take a man down sure enough, but --

-- but: people can be both fragile and extremely tough. Listen to stories by ER personnel, cops, jailers, bouncers who have seen guys with broken skulls and bones sticking through the skin who kept coming. People have been shot multiple times with high-powered handgun ammo and kept coming. You got a punch better than a magazine full of 9mm or .45 ACP?

I've seen guys knocked cold with a tap to the temple. I talked to a guy recently said he's seen guys take full-power shots to the temple and keep coming.

You will be safer to go with the assumption that the death-touch might not work -- and have an option if'n it doesn't.

Better a gun with more bullets than one, just, you know, you miss the first shot. Or it hits a Bible the miscreant carries in his coat pocket, or that pesky and miraculous Zippo lighter. Or a bone. Or even if it hits meat but he is too stupid to know he's dead ...

We like the HEA Concept ourselves: Hit 'em again.

Rinse, repeat, and continue until hostilities in your direction cease. No less, no more. If you apply this rule say, nine or ten times and the hostilities continue, then you might want to start looking for a brick or a tire iron or a blunderbuss with four or five hundred grains of black powder and a bunch of old nails and wheel weights ...


Toldain said...

OHOK is a good training discipline though. As a goal, to develop your striking accuracy and power to the point where it will drop someone, you will stay engaged and improving for a long time.

You are right that it usually doesn't work, and that training should also cover that contingency.

Steve Perry said...

I think it's not a bad idea to train hitting with accuracy, speed, and power. Knowing how to punch so that you are mechanically efficient --a flat-punch (vertical fist) is stronger and safer, for instance than a twisted one. (Actually, one in anatomically-neutral position is better still. I'm going to do a posting on this.)

But training with the expectation that a punch or elbow is going to drop somebody every time, or even most of the time, could well lead to a pause after delivery, while you wait to see him fall.

I think that is a bad idea.

Anonymous said...

I'd say the odds of OHOK go up dramatically if the target is unsuspecting. We all know it's the hit you don't see coming that hurts most. Of course, if someone's not expecting you to hit them then it probably wouldn't be considered an actual fight or an active threat.

Dan Gambiera said...

Toldain, I have to disagree with you on this one. If you train for OHOK you will train yourself to expect the fight will be over once it connects. If it does, cool. If it doesn't there will be a time where your brain will say "He's down. He's not down. This is impossible. Program not found. Searching...."

In that Golden Moment you could get pretty seriously dead before you come up with the correct answer of "Hit him again."

If your default is to hit him until he's running away or not moving any more you won't be surprised if he takes that first punch and keeps coming at you.

Dan Gambiera said...

Taintmonger, are you a master of Llap Goch?

Matthew said...

Sorry to veer off topic, here, but I've been corresponding with Stevan Plinck lately via email. I am from Hazel Dell (Vancouver, WA) and have been meaning to meet with the Silat group there. Mr. Plinck pointed me in Cotten's direction and gave me a number -- but when I called, I got someone else's voice mail and left a message that was not returned!

Is there anyway I could get an email or some sort of contact information about the training group in Vancouver?

Thanks so much