Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Rabbit Punch

Thought I'd get round to explaining my Plurk.

A rabbit punch is a blow delivered to the base of the skull or neck, so named because that's how you kill a rabbit barehanded. It's considered an illegal move in boxing because it can cause death.

I did not get rabbit punched - the placement was about 6 inches off, because the blow landed on the base of my skull. It was a clean shot - which makes me feel somewhat better about it.

The reason I received many shots to the skull (3 in all) was because of a particularly intense bout of dagger drills. I've written a lot about fighting with a dagger, and I won't repeat it.

Something that I spotted in the article I've linked that I didn't pay attention to when I went into the dagger bout that Ilkka brought up - at dagger range, everything comes into play. Arms, hands, knees, feet. Getting the quick strike isn't everything, as I've learnt.

How it happened was when I launched a quick strike into my partner, and felt contact. I distinctly saw my blade sink into his collarbone and I though - okay that was it. Unfortunately, the bout continued, and my opponent launched a series of punches to my face. Two landed on my mask, one looped around and got me in the head.


Ultimately, the art is about the control of structure. An attack with a dagger is another means of doing the same thing - distrupting the structure of someone by planting steel into his internal organs. There are other ways of doing the same. Repeated blows to the head, for example.

I think I have the issue down, and it's the same issue I've been having all this while - I've been practising the material so long that I'm starting to take it for granted, and errors are creeping in. Sure, my initial responses are good, but after about 2 seconds I usually end up flailing around like a headless chicken.

Understanding the general principle is all well and good, but it's a methodology to work responses and nothing more. You -should- be able to work with what you. For example, in the instance when the guy is punching the living daylights out of me, the response should be the same as a normal dagger defense - first remedy cover to the center, plus a change in line, plus a return strike with the dagger.

This shit works. I just need to make it work for me.


The Disappearing Man said...

Same thing that struck me in June last year at the Fiore five-day. Remember when Topi started whaling on my mask with pommel strikes? "You must keep fighting until the marshal calls halt."

Unless there's some kind of safety issue (partner's mask comes off, you hear a bone break, something like that) you keep going, because in a fight there's no guarantee that one hit will result in a clean kill. You keep doing damage until the opponent stops moving - in our case determined by the marshal.

Going into a bout with this mentality already in place creates the correct intention.

Other than that, constant training. Plus lots of stress drills. ;)

Almost Infamous Anthony said...

I think my problem is a weird form of combat paralysis.

My hands are very active in defense but for some reason, my default state during an attack is to root, not to change line. It's damn irritating.

But yes, intent is bloody important. You really need to go in with the mentality of taking the guy down, even in practice. I think that helps (i) make you aware of the need to change line (ii) take control of breaking his structure by ANY means and not just what is taught in the drills (but consistent with Fiore principles and (iii) keep keeling him until he is dead.

Trebuchet said...

It's a lot like chess. Superior mobility with sufficient mass, intent and flexibility beats superior mass with inferior mobility, lack of clear intention and/or rigidity all the time.