Fang and Claw

One must prepare one’s body. This is the core of the true martial arts. All technique put to the side. The methodology of this is rarely practiced. Rarely taken to the extreme. The extreme in that such training creates a weapon vastly superior to nearly all other humans. This is not about physical fitness. This is not about weight lifting. This is not about technique training. This is the act of shifting ones being. This is the act of taking “hard” martial arts, and creating the hardest. Many of the martial arts that partake in such training are not exclusively “hard” in style. In this day and age, we are of the world that many believe “mma” training is a form or “hard” training. Rolling around on pads while striking pillows is not what I speak of. One will find what I speak of in few martial arts, especially as partaken by westerners. You will find this amongst some Kung Fu followers. Remember the “romantic” Shaolin training in movies. There is truth to this. You “may” find this in Silat, Karate and others. You “may” find this in some Muay Thai gyms. Some. The best strikers in the world you have never heard of. Styles such as these all fall into, mixed with, esoteric spiritual practices and perceptions. That is from a martial perspective: the practice of chi and energy. Of heightened combative power. A changing of biological and energetic magnitude depending upon the state of reality. We may also refer to such practice as shape-shifting. Perhaps even Berserking. Not now. Not here. This opens a path of many directions or perhaps one long path. For the study of martial energy touches upon many subjects. Empty force, depending on the degree you wish to take this. Elemental energy harnessing. As hinted upon in the Book of Five Rings, as well as a multitude of other cultures. Another, the Hindu chakra system in elemental form. The practice of energetically taking on the aspects of animals, sometimes in addition to the wearing of pelts and such. This is what is called shape shifting in an animal sense. Which is also the path of animal totems and familiars. As well as the projection of ones self in animal form. As seen in Viking sagas. Alongside actual supposed shape shifting (animal pelts and energy, etc). Yet this will touch upon the simple to grasp aspect of energetic elevation within the human. This is not simple excitement nor adrenaline. Just as Berserking became illegal under christianity, this shows the actual act was distinct. Not getting angry or adrenaline becoming aroused, as common. Regardless of ones belief. Many men will show you truth in ability. Abilities that one can not defy. If such a master performed such an incredible feat because he changed his energy to that of the Tiger. Then he did. As the practice whether magical, psychological, biological, or all, still took root to effect reality.

It is from such practices that we have the lore of the shapeshifter. Such as the “Berserker” of European history. I once read a greatly puzzling study, one of pure ignorance. Comparing the viking Berserk to soldiers “berserking” in Vietnam. This is a horrible train of thought to walk upon when studying many subjects and using such equivalent comaprision. One compares fire to ice. On one hand. You have an elite band of warriors. Individualistically proud. Warriors who wish to be were they are. Are there for personal gain. Train specifically in physical and religious practices with a sincerity you could never imagine. An attitude that would terrify you to be around. Ones who truly enjoy the domination of others in combat, killing, taking blood, in the name of spirituality. Most likely intense alchoholics, perhaps partaking in other substances with extreme tolerance. Spiritually and sincerely altering their state to berserk and come down after victory. Again and again in spiritual prowess. Seeking Valhalla. On the other hand you have a young man who is working for a pay check, or perhaps worse, drafted. Thrown into a land completely foreign to his body, hot, bug, disease infested. Fighting for a cause that has next to no effect on his homeland or personal gain. Moral as low as possible for such things. All individuality stripped. Spoken down to constantly. Fighting a force of high moral enemies. Oppossing country is actually too poverty ridden to be an actual threat far from their borders. Desiring anything but the here and now, regardless of the degree of propaganda belief. So when said american soldiers completely break down psychologically, do not compare this to the Chosen of Odin. Such ignorance. Such warped propaganda. Yet we westerners live off of propaganda day and night. When watching news to cause one to believe lies or false threat. Watching sports athletes feed you vomit you hungrily eat. Watching theatrical actors and musicians shower you in their piss. Society eats it up. With great gluttony.

Regardless of such distraction. Onward to such training techniques of importance. What I speak of revolves around combatives. What does such a thing mean? Abstract life and death situations. No form to point one into. For combatives vary. Many people immediately look to military. There are so many training curriculums. Many to stay far away from, for many are oddly influenced by MMA sport. Due to technology military combatives are not were to look, nor for the degree training is taken to. Combatives are true “free form” combat. MMA is not “free form” as many say. Such a statement is an extremely bad joke only showing ones ignorance. MMA is no longer even mixed. It is a single specific sporting style, bound under extremely caging rules. Nothing is free form of such a thing. Thus combatives are open ended, with the binding concept of killing quickly. While many MMA moves may lead to death and breakage, it takes too long to cause, and causes one to be extremely vulnerable. This is poison to combatives. Both attacker and attacked must understand consequence. Something you learned in the gym might have just given someone probable cause to defend themselves as if life is threatened, or body is to be maimed. Blades and guns are common. There is evidence of this on video. Be very careful what you learn. Understand what you are being attacked with and to the degree you may defend. Many submissions performed with criminal intent can be countered with knife attacks, maiming, etc. Understand your rights. This is not the Octagon.

What is killing quickly? Techniques that have an immediate effect of ending threat. Specific targets trained again and again. Knee, neck, face, wrist, testicle. With the perspective that one is willing to bite their enemies testicles off with their teeth. Knees are to be broken with striking, immediately collapsing opponent, the same move again and again, executed with the perfection of tens of thousands of practice strikes. Necks stun or kill in an absolute way, dislocation of throat,etc. The face is to be maimed, and focused on in ground combat. The wrist controls the entire body. The wrist is to be focused on in ground combat. Testicles self explanatory. Very important in ground combat. Punching is to be frowned upon, unless gauntleted in some form. One is to use the open palm strikes leading to pokes, tears, and clawing. With such strikes we break coconuts and stone. Pinching is of horrendous effect upon the body. Onward and onward. If you have a knife use it. A gun, use it. Laws are to be mastered above all else. Evasion and escape of first importance.

The body is to be forged to cause such combative perspective to be horrible. There are countless ways to practice such a thing. This has been developed over many years. The most important is the formation the Claw. Many may call this iron fist techniques. I use granite blocks. Hammer fisted repeatedly. Open palm strike. Finger tip strike. The grip is to trained to death. I grasp said granite blocks until they slip from my grasp with shaking hands. For this causes the grip to be as death. The finger tips to harden even more, and ones pinching able to tear away flesh from body. Again and again. Until the hand is as a claw. The body must be struck repeatedly. I use an oaken staff. At least one hundred times in such a session per target. Targets should consist of the rib cage. The inner and outer upper leg. The shins. The upper arms. The shoulders. The collarbone. The solar plexus, etc. Strike the wooden pell. Not a swinging punching pillow sports style. Knee strikes, elbows, heel, shins, forearms, knuckles to a degree, head to a degree.  Always practice the bending of metal with ever stronger metal. It is this training that forges the body into a power that no technique will ever create. Such training causes a shift in perspective. A shift in energy when such training is undertaken. For the martial way is one of shifting shape. Shifting intent.

Technique of course is of great importance. As we all must practice a technique. For the “combative” only practitioners are typically a martial arts disgrace. Therefore I train in specific styles. Attempting to capture the heart of the style while training. Ringen, Muay Boran, and Budo are the martial arts I study. Combatives what I express as my own understanding. For Ringen teaches one to deal with force and control ones body under sincere environments as the art is expressed from. Muay Boran teaches one the power of striking, and what it forces your body to become. Budo technically teaches one the importance of the wrist, that one controls life in his enemies wrists (obviously amongst other things) and combative distance. Budo teaches one the power of the Shadow. For combatively I must strike from stealth and Shadow, contacting with the frenzy and wrath of the Berserker. A metaphor for all aspects of life…

War Grappling

‘Then I will make you suffer as if you had fallen into the depths of hell. And I will serve you so effectively with locks and dislocations, that you will quickly acknowledge my superiority.’ -The Flower of Battle

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On the subject of grappling. I do not stand with any modern arts. Nor the sports practices. I stand with the European Arts of War, from a time such techniques were needed for war. A proven, violent time. Many sport arts, such as “wrestling”, the various “jiu jitsus”, etc, claim to have war forms. Yet I do not see this, as the principles remain the same, principles that do not stand up to war. One can always filter in dirty fighting in grappling systems, and call it war, this is assumed, and false. Dirty fighting does not change the arts body mechanics and principles. A duel is a duel, war is war. Yes, many submissions lead to death and breakage, yet when ones fingers are allowed to poke or tear any hole on the human body, this changes things, changes the principles of the fight. If a blade appears, submissions are suicide. Understand what it is you do. All grappling is supplemented with striking of some sort. Combatively, fists are never the way.
The grappling I trust is ‘The Flower of Battle’. The early 15th century war codex created be Italian master Fiore de’i Liberi. The codex of Sigmund Ringeck, of the Germanic Liechtenauer tradition, I trust. This is visceral brutality and maiming given technique. War survival and killing. I also recommend Fabian Von Auerswald, this is the beginning of the non lethal sportification of western grappling. One may be overwhelmed be the amount of techniques. Yet when understanding settles in, you will see all these systems have the same principles. You are doing similar motions again and again upon different points of the body. Do not look to the movements of Hema practitioners on the internet. You will find something far off the mark of what this art appears like. They are still caught up with the aspects of modern wrestling and mma, struggling with one another when there is no struggle. Applying pull and push contests instead raw explosiveness and hard crashing limbs. As every grapple is a strike. Every strike a grapple. Even Muay Thai understands this: one calls it an art of striking, yet truly it is called ‘the art of binding’. As if your limbs are to be swords, understand this…
It is not an argument of which system is better. As words can continually encircle one another. One must move as they wish. We have many different body types, minds, and spirits. Every man must find what he puts trust in, and allow no opinion to change this. The fight comes down to the man, to who he is.

 

Image from ‘The Flower of Battle’. Circa 1400

No More Training Wheels

Within the “martial arts” world comfortable training is an epidemic. Of course, we all seek what it is we seek. Many have different goals. Yet, all differences aside: There is one thing you must understand when taking up the blade: It is no longer about you. What you are about to do is not about your well being. It is the well-being of those around you. This is the core of what one would call being a man. It is not about your happiness, comfort or well-being. It is about others, who honestly and simply, cannot deal with what you can. Therefore, you must train true. You must be responsible and train true! No more padded floors in the mma gym, that is for sports players, and forgotten names. Mma is irresponsible and selfish when it comes to protecting others.… No more choreography. Such “martial arts” are irresponsible and selfish when it comes to protecting others. There is only one truth to violence.
When you step unto the training ground, the dirt, it is time to prepare yourself. With all training techniques aside. There are a few basics that will harden you body, mind and spirit. Always train outside, regardless of weather that will not kill you. Never wear shoes, save the must horrendously cold scenarios. Even if you can only go one minute without them, do it. Being barefoot outdoors should become first nature again, not second nature. If it is cold outside, take off your shirt. If it is hot outside, put on a sweatshirt. You must experience impact with hard objects. Many are against this, and every single one of them would be a burden to fight alongside. Training is uncomfortable, it hurts, it sickens, it makes you question your fortitude. It is not about dancing, beauty, or flash. It is not about a rule list longer than the Constitution, fighters who are always forgotten, and rarely continue The Way. It is about more. A constant growth, a constant reality, a constant responsibility that grows upon itself year after year. In terms of legacy, life after life.

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