Knowledge and judgment come from experience. Experience comes from good or bad judgment regarding life situations, which leads to evolution over time. That’s how Close Quarter Battle (CQB) and Defensive Tactics are built up and improved every day.
There is an old story a Zen teacher told me. “In the Zen temple at the time of evening meditation the cat that used to live there made too much noise. So the Zen teacher asked a student to tie the cat up each time they would meditate. After years had gone by, the teacher and the student passed away and so did the cat. A new cat was brought to the temple and the tradition of tying the cat was maintained. 100 years later, many Zen philosophies were written around how important it is to tie a cat at evening meditation.”
As you see, sometimes we do things and we don’t know the real reason we are doing it for. We just copy martial arts moves but do not understand them. If we don’t look for the reasons behind it all, or seek to uncover potential problems with doing things this way or another, we will not keep going forward and we may lose the real reason why the teacher tied the cat up in the first place (which may not have any current relevance). We may be missing the opportunity to advance to a better level in our training.
Thinking “outside-of-the-box” is the skill you must adopt as you teach CQB and defensive tactics. Life is random in many ways, and therefore you must be more random as a teacher and not follow the “curriculum”. If you teach in a box and in a frame that has a locked up curriculum, and you do not to think and analyze fast, teaching randomly will be harder than it seems. It is also harder for the students because you will demand from them to think, and most people don’t like to think. That’s why they fall in love with the misleading terms of “keep-it-simple”. They do not realize they are hooked on boxed-in systems based on knowledge of two moves. The “McKrav” schools that have two moves for any knife/edged weapon attacks and gun disarming. Moves which appear in historical manual books of the British officers Fairbairn and Sykes and later by legendary Col. Rex Applegate, techniques which contain deadly mistakes for today’s reality but are still taught as a “new” and innovative.
Avi Nardia Kapap Combatives has evolved through experience and knowledge, so those deadly mistakes are no longer made, but we continue to see them still recycled in the market as the “Official Israeli Martial Arts” . In real combat, we count on our sensors to get more information in “real time”. We use smell, vision, hearing, feeling and taste to receive feedback as to what is transpiring during the fight. That’s why it’s very important to attack your enemy’s sensors in a real fight/survival situation. If you fail to unbalance the enemy’s sensors, you are going to reduce your survivability.
This is the reason that Avi Nardia Kapap Combatives teaches first to attack the sensors to help us survive better. We target the enemy’s eyes, ears, nose, skin, nerves, and anything that will help us to make him disoriented. We need to remember that under CQB conditions, it’s not only what you can do to your enemy but also what he also can do to stop you. Most of the time he will have the first move because he surprised you and you will be under the first stress. Your sensors may be the first to be hit and you will be disoriented. So as a basic training to teach disorientation without panic or confusion and losing your survival system we use a swimming pool and a system called “Drownproofing”.
As humans we have a natural fear of drowning and the pool gives us a great tool to train better to deal with fear and being able to react under stress. Drownproofing was developed by swimming coach Fred Lanoue, who was known to his students as “Crankshaft” because of his limping gait. It was first taught in 1940. His method was so successful that it gained national recognition and the US Navy took interest, adopting it as part of their standard training. Once they had mastered the Drownproofing technique, students learned how to stay afloat with their wrists and ankles bound, swim 50 yards (46m) underwater, and retrieve diving rings from the bottom of the pool using their teeth, along with some other activities. They also began to add with this some other disorienting elements like “cold water conditioning” by letting them become very cold which stresses more and more sensors of the body as it approaches hypothermia.
We’ve adapted these training techniques for our purposes. For example, we also unbalance the vision by splashing water into the eyes with hands or water guns, or give students goggles painted black to block the vision. Another water-based training element is to box and kick after being in cold water for a period of time. Since the skin is a sensor and has had to deal with the cold, it causes disorientation.
We also perform knife fighting in the water while another student splashes water to their eyes. This helps to simulate eyes injured in a fight so the students learn they can’t count on vision only. It’s why sensitivity exercises are so necessary in martial arts. Another successful method of training is to have our students released from guillotine holds while they are under water so the fear and stress level is more realistic. We do throws in the water.water is the best mat! Water is excellent for cardio training as well. This kind of training is an example of how Kapap Academy helps its students have more realistic experiences to gain better knowledge and judgement to deal with real life CQB. Future DVD’s will contain examples of the above types of training. We encourage you to purchase our current new DVD set to get a feel for our training.