Saturday, April 17, 2010

KAPAP Seminar today

So I took one today and while there are lots of things that could be improved, I did exercise for 3 hours and had a good time.
For those curious about the difference between KAPAP and Krav Maga, here’s an article that explains each.
Basically KAPAP lacks most of the things I don’t like about Krav Maga. It’s more military oriented, and doesn’t feel that much like a glorified Taebo session like some krav maga classes seem to go.
The good part: Instructors seemed humble enough, learning along the way.
Typical knife and stick work, blocks, some grappling and ground work. The firearm disarm drill was ok but pretty optimistic, meaning you never have a guy pointing a gun at you straight to your face at contact range with the arm extended. Wish the exercise was done with more realistic stances, disarms where the gun is pointed at the waist/chest.
Now for the bad part: Just like in KM, it was emphasized that you don’t spar full contact because its not a sport. I don’t know if saying such a thing impresses anyone, you know, “this is not a sport”, as if implying its more effective or something. You only have an idea of how good or bad you are when fighting someone for real, even if its in a gym with gloves and mouth piece. I assure you its much more realistic than not fighting at all and having a false sense of security about your abilities.
Resisting and fighting was not encouraged. Unlike Biagorria’s classes where if you feel like and your partner is up to it, you continue fighting beyond the exercise in question until you submit your adversary, in this case it was strictly cooperative partner drills.
The disarm drill explanation had some serious flaws, the difference of double action and single action only pistols was explained (well done) but it was explained taking no consideration about revolvers, saying that if you grip the slide and frame tight, only one shot will come out and after that the gun is jammed. I waited for the revolver explanation but it never came. Since I was there as a volunteer for such exercise, I explained that revolvers would not “jam” because of an empty case in the chamber. I had bit my tongue during other mistakes like a good student, but this was downright dangerous, leaving a handful of total novices with no firearm training with the wrong idea about their ability to neutralize and attacker’s weapon.
“The drills works too with revolvers” said the instructor, not leaving room for debate and hurrying on with the next drill. Ok man, I thought, hope none gets killed because of that.
A few knife disarm drills where ok, one in particular done by the instructor “with a real live knife” was again, walking a very thin line, since if that knife had been razor sharp like mine are, he would have lost a finger or two. This time I had the good sense not to bother explaining anything.
Maybe the worse part of all was that after the class ended and everyone was asked what they thought, in typical Krav Maga fashion, a very snobby (and sweaty) guy explained how amazing it had been to see how it happens on the real world and that now he new he could handle those situations. As I said many times, this is the thing I dislike the most about KM and think its so dangerous for people to feel such a false sense of security.
I try to overlook the bad and concentrate on the good things learned. The head instructor is a man with a fair amount of military experience and training, so overall, we’re not talking of yet another publicist or real estate broker thinking he’s Chuck Norris and holder of the special forces deadly secrets because he’s a KM instructor.
Doing it once a week would be worth it because of the stick, knife and grappling practice alone. Combined with another weekly class or two of mixed martial arts and an occasional world class training session with Jorge Baigorria, that could be an interesting combination.



Paraguay Insider said...

Thanks for the report!

One of the best things my WT instructor once said was:
"When I have a small knife to defend and my attacker comes with a sword or two knifes I will throw mine at him and run away"

We looked shocked. After all he was a master in these arts with more than a decade of training.

Why? Because he would assume the attacker who brings 2 knifes or a sword would also be trained in his weapon(s) of choice.
When 2 skilled fighters meet most often the better weapon wins, and even IF you win - dont expect to win without a scratch.

The guy talking about "beeing able to handle such situations" is priceless.

Anonymous said...

The only way to truly 'win' a fight, is to avoid it altogether. I trained for about 10 years in various martial arts and the most important skill I obtained was not striking or defense, but awareness. Unless you're forced into a confrontation - home defense comes to mind - most of the time you know if an individual, or group of people, is going to be aggressive. This only requires that you pay attention. To their body language, attitude and what they're saying. If you're paying attention, you can avoid any confrontation. Really, you should be able to avoid any interaction with them at all, either by staying put or taking another route to your destination.

The other benefit of training at full speed and force is that you learn your limits. Nothing teaches you faster to circle away from your opponents strong side than to catch a roundhouse full force on your jaw and winding up staring at him with your back on the mat. That, and taking all your nutrition from a straw for the next two weeks. I did that a couple of times. I also saw my sparring mate's eyes flutter and roll back when he made the same mistake. KO'd.

All of this taught me one thing above all others - humility. Life's not like the movies- if you get hit square, it hurts. And you will get knocked down or knocked out. Actual combat is the very, very last option. You should train for it in order to be prepared, but never think of it as plan A, B, or C. It's what happens when you run out of plans. Or if you never thought to plan (remember the importance of awareness.)