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Bad Smitten
Training Notes on Dark Age Force Multiplication

We live in a high tech Dakr Age. One proof is that things such as men have traditionally held in common since the dawn of our time, such as the arts of hand-to-hand combat, are among the rarest commodities in the masculine tool kit. Men who hold such know-how in a state of function and can transmit it are so rare that they repose like sorcerers of old in schools of arcane lore. Likewise, the field is prowled by charlatans who make a living providing fantastical cures which are mere placebos.

Just over a month gone I was contacted by members of a hiking club who wished to learn some methods of self-defense. The first group was barely manageable in terms of size—being 6 in number. The second clinic had nearly twice the men. This is always problematic, and, as expected, I believe I failed to help each member acquire one knew skill.

This speaks to the nature of training men for individual combat. The nature of our atomized society is such that we are almost always attacked when commuting alone to and from work and personal business, most of which is arranged as individual activities. Men no longer live in the same neighborhood, walk to work as a unit in the same field, and when attacked are not only alone but not made physically strong by their economic duty, most of this being done from behind a desk or electronic station or in a vehicle seat. Men, as our civilization falls, find themselves in the position of the lone shepherd or hunter of pre-civilized conditions.

How does one prepare men for the inevitable bad odds encounters with packs of man-hunters?

The model which serves for combat arts coaches is the prize-fighting challenger, the boxer, MMA fighter, wrestler, kickboxer or stick fighter that is preparing to face a more experienced antagonist and cannot expect to be physically superior. Even in the case of individual aggressors, the attack is predicated on the aggressor’s assessment that he is bigger, stronger, more fit or otherwise advantaged over you.

The optimal training equation is three-on one: a coach, a trainer and a sparring partner, with the past position shared by various fighters. The idea is that an entire crew will prep one man for his upcoming struggle, placing him on the surest and quickest learning trajectory. This is why martial artists have generally been poor fighters who take a decade or more to get where a boxer gets in a year. Realistically, most serious martial artists are in a 1 to 10 learning environment and most combat athletes are lucky to get a 1 to 1 experience, with only prospects usually benefitting from multiple coaches.

After my last session with the larger group of young men I invited the most eager participant to a solo training session for closer examination. I’ll call him Bad Smitten. He has competitive experience learning and coaching a non-contact ball sport so I had my eye on him as a possible surrogate coach so that this group of men could get regular coaching from one of their own. It generally takes 3 days a week for a year of 1 to 1 to turn a man from a clerk to fighter and my meeting a group of fellows four times a year could at best serve only as an assessment session and will never produce hardy combatants on its own.

Bad Smitten showed eagerness and control in sparring, above normal bi-mechanical recall and possessed a high level of preexisting physical fitness.

After his session I asked him if he would be willing to train one-on-one, every weekday with me while I was in town and train with gyms where I couch and train when I’m away.

He met me for a session on a basketball court where feral youth played basketball in his work clothes under the broiling July sun and drilled with me for almost an hour.

Even when defending against a group or as a member of one, you make contact one at a time. Learning through partner training is the best acquisition method and practicing alone under a watchful eye with and without equipment is the best refinement method. My hope with Bad Smitten is to help him become a dynamic combatant within a year’s time so that he can coach his fellows. He helped me fix my long lunge landing with the stick based on his understanding of ball play mechanics in less than a minute, so there is reason for hope that what he learns can be informally or formerly passed on. Even if not, the men I already train could use another partner and the world can always use another man able to stand.

He: Gilgamesh: Into the Face of Time

Add Comment
MannyJuly 30, 2019 10:24 PM UTC

Hi James. After recently meeting this young gentleman of whom you speak I agree entirely with your assessment. He is gifted both physically and mentally. Best wishes to you both. And to our fellow fighters. Manny.