Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Nostradamus Kata

"If I grab his testicles, he'll grab my wrist and then I'll apply the wrist lock."

"If I trap him here, he'll have to attack me with an overhand right, and I'll be ready for it."

I hear statements like this fairly often. I read them and for a fair amount of time I believed them to be pretty good interpretations of kata. The taking advantage of "natural" reactions or flinch responses. It all sounds well and good, but it's betting on an assumption.

In Dirty Ground by Lawrence Kane and Kris Wilder the authors describe a story where a hoodlum was walking down the street smashing up cars with a bat. One of them runs out to confront them because his car is next on the smashing list. There is an exchange of words and the hoodlum is about to attack and they think "the bat is basically the same as a sword, I'll use one of my sword defense techniques and take the kid down." Well the kid threw the bat and he got a crack on the head.

The moral of this story is that people don't do what you expect. The same goes for these examples. An adrenalized person might not feel you crushing their testicles or just might not care and you're waiting for a wrist to lock that isn't coming. They might have other plans than an overhand right. A competitor might do that, but someone else might just flail violently and overwhelm you. Pick you up and slam you on the pavement perhaps.

This is Nostradamus Kata. The idea that a kata hundreds of years old can predict what a living breathing human being will do in response to anything is ludicrous and dangerous. I believe the people that made the kata, the fighters, thugs, warriors and peace keepers would have kept this in mind.

The only thing you have control over in a crappy situation is yourself.