Friday, November 13, 2009

Back into the Garage

Silat class has taken note of the torrential rains -- once the leaves fall out of the big English Elm tree in Guru's yard, our organic roof is gone -- and moved back into Cotten's garage for the winter. This is a big garage, could squeeze three cars into it if you were careful, and plenty enough space for ten or twelve people to work out in. Keeps us dry, and a bit warmer than outside.

And we continue, as our art is based on the blade, to practice basic knife stuff. Given the cuts and bruises one gets with dull metal, plastic, or wooden knives, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize just how nasty sharp steel is compared to those.

We don't have a favorite grip -- we alternate, depending on distance, position, and intent, among three basic ways to hold the things-- saber, ice pick, and hammer. (For those of you who are new to grasping a knife, the names offer the method.

"Saber" is like you see them holding swords in duels, cavalry charges, and Musketeer movies. It's also how you slice carrots.

"Ice pick" is, well, how you use one of those to chip ice. The Finnish puukko pictured above is being held in this grip.

"Hammer" is how you hold one of those to nail a picture to your wall.

Each has advantages and disadvantages, and in a hurry, you might not get to choose which one you want, so we figure they are like stances -- the one you are in when the activity commences is the one you need to know how to use. Switching to another one on the fly might take too long.

And once again, I am reminded of how much, as I've mentioned here more than a few times, one does not want to tangle with somebody who knows ways to wave sharp things about.

(And this usually brings up the question: If you know this, why don't you just, you know, run away when you see a knife in somebody's hand? And the answer is, you do, if you can. It's when you can't that you need alternatives.)


Master Plan said...

Isn't the usual issue that if they are good with the blade they are even less likely to let you see it and that...most people never see it anyway?

Steve Perry said...

Yes, this is true. Sneaky is the way to go.

Of course, it's a long-running argument. If a meteor falls out of the night sky and smacks you in the head, what are you gonna do?

If somebody lines up on you from half a mile away with his sniper rifle and cooks you, what's your defense against that?

You might be paying enough attention to notice somebody heading your way in a manner that makes you nervous. If you train in our stuff, you assume he has a weapon, even if you can't see it. If you are wrong, it doesn't cost you anything.

So, you make the best of the situation with what you've got. And that might be only a second before the knife comes in, but better to have that than not.

Master Plan said...

Well acts of god\mother nature are hard to account for, but then, unlike a knife, it's also an attack that is hard to have any counter to.

For a sniper I'd wonder why they are sniping me (what I did to be targeted) and I'd try to make sure not to give them a half-mile sight line. ;-)

Folks wanting to stick you must at least be in arms reach to do so, probably closer, that should be much easier to see coming, much more common (ie, vanishingly rare), and actually possible to mount a defense against.

Dan Gambiera said...

Can't say it better than Richard Pryor:

"If a guy comes at you with a knife you run. If you can. If you can't run, FLY."