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Brent Yamamoto
06-04-2018, 01:19 PM
I was curious about how the block of kata instruction went at the class. Curious to hear the point of view from both the instructors as well as the students.

How did it go? How quickly did students pick it up? Any learning points from the instructors' point of view?

Students - was it obvious how this material relates to gunfighting? I'm assuming so given the content of the rest of class but want to hear more. Besides learning footwork and choreography, what were the lessons you took away from this practice?

Gabriel Suarez
06-04-2018, 01:27 PM
I have some ideas but I will wait to hear from others.

Brent Yamamoto
06-04-2018, 01:36 PM
I have begun teaching the footwork in karate class. Although I think this footwork and concepts are in the traditional kata, it is not so explicit. It is easy to quickly teach this material to a group of people already skilled at footwork as well as the idea of kata. Curious how things were received by the gun guys.

Greg Nichols
06-04-2018, 01:46 PM
I have begun teaching the footwork in karate class. Although I think this footwork and concepts are in the traditional kata, it is not so explicit. It is easy to quickly teach this material to a group of people already skilled at footwork as well as the idea of kata. Curious how things were received by the gun guys.

This is one thing that we noticed. For those used to structured kata the footwork and sequence came fairly easily. For those without that experience, even athletic people found that grasping it and the reasoning behind it to be fairly abstract but I'll leave more for Gabe and the students to comment on.

Brent Yamamoto
06-04-2018, 02:08 PM
For those used to structured kata the footwork and sequence came fairly easily. For those without that experience, even athletic people found that grasping it and the reasoning behind it to be fairly abstract.

This was as Gabe and I expected. Kata is not a "normal" thing for most people.

Still, wanted to hear how things played out in class. Very curious to hear from those who do not have that kind of background how their experience was.

Brent Yamamoto
06-04-2018, 02:11 PM
I will add...it may not be "normal" right now but we want to change that.

Humans are apex predators...but we've forgotten how to move. thus the very need for things like kata.

psalms23dad
06-04-2018, 02:53 PM
Being honest and open. I struggled with it the first day. Gabe did a great job showing and explaining it several times but it wasn't clicking. The final day he made a small change and it became much easier.

The Kata is something I'll be doing. I like it and see the brilliance and value. As I've mentioned before, this is one of the many things that sets SI apart from the "other guys" I intend to take full benifit on my investments here.

Brent Yamamoto
06-04-2018, 03:16 PM
Being honest and open. I struggled with it the first day. Gabe did a great job showing and explaining it several times but it wasn't clicking. The final day he made a small change and it became much easier.

Can you describe the change? A change in the sequence of the kata or the teaching methodology?

Jonathon_Spaf
06-04-2018, 03:58 PM
Can you describe the change? A change in the sequence of the kata or the teaching methodology?

Gabe modified the kata so that we would always be facing the same direction for each movement sequence. I think folks were getting confused on which direction they should be facing during the transverse move and at the end of each sequence. This simplified things quite a bit. We also practiced for a while without the reload sequence, which can add another layer of confusion.

I have a karate background, so the concept of the kata is not foreign to me. I didn't find the footwork too challenging. The biggest thing I had to mentally overcome was the desire to make the kata technically perfect (e.g. correct number of steps) instead of moving naturally.

Gabe's mental image of the stacked pyramids helps a lot for the diagonal lines kata. The key for me was to continuously keep in mind where the opponent was. For me, the key was to imagine that the opponent started outside and ended up in the middle of whichever pyramid you are working on. This helps visualize where you need to be looking as you move along the transverse line and again once you return to center.

When I first saw the kata on WT, I didn't get what the big deal was. Once Gabe explained the concept of moving off the X and the after action sequence, I thought "Woah!!! This is brilliant!" It encapsulates a whole day of training in a single 30-second drill. This will definitely become part of my training routine.

Air Pirate
06-04-2018, 05:14 PM
Not to piss in the pool since I wasn’t at training this weekend, but for that reason I actually pulled up the Diagonal Lines video on my iPad and cleared the furniture out of the room I was staying on my trip (and closed the blinds haha). I’m admit I’m one of the problem children when it comes to footwork and I’ve been trying to rectify that. The double pyramid description was a a huge help. It took me about half an hour of feeling clumsy and stupid, but when I kept replaying the video, committed to one direction, broke each leg down, it actually kinda clicked all of a sudden. The light bulb came on and I realized that it was more or less a continuum of each “off the X” angles we practiced at Complete Pistol last month (correct me if I’m wrong). That’s when it started to feel natural. After a couple of hours I had the idea and could take off in any direction of travel. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got a ways to go to still to master it, but think I’ve got the idea and committed now. Looking forward to the comments from training!

Marco Innocenti
06-04-2018, 05:51 PM
Thank you for all the work and thought going into this. Grateful.

I do hope it will be presented at the Force on Force training in October. Signed up and can’t wait...

Gabriel Suarez
06-04-2018, 06:54 PM
Kata will be an integral part of all our future complete force on force classes.

2018 and 19 will be a big era of change and updates for Suarez International and how we deliver training. I predict some training subindustries will be completely disrupted.

Gabriel Suarez
06-04-2018, 08:39 PM
So my POV. First I am so glad we are discussing this and not which 22 derringer is best for Maryland concealed carry. Alright...moving on.

The importance of this is washed over by those instructors that share those attributes thinking the presence of the gun is sufficient. We have proven time and again in force on force that when you lack the initiative, moving will be the only thing that saves you. We had a man in class who told of an event where moving kept him from being shot by a bad guy...it seemed like the right thing to do and had he not done it, he admitted, he would have died.

Most gun people lack athleticism, and many have totally forgotten how to move. Many know they need to moeve dynamically, but simply cannot make their bodies do what their minds want. The reason is that the link between mind and body has been severed by a sedentary lifestyle, slothful eating habits and a total lack of physical fitness. All of these are important in the reactive realm. And that fast draw, short split times and great score shot by a Tarn Butler will not matter at all when a thug is pointing in on him from ten feet and has the trigger halfway back.

And I will say that taking a man whose life is sedentary, whose body has forgotten how to move, who doesn't remember his right foot from his left, is a hard man to teach how to win trhe fight when he doesn't have the initiative.

Brent and I have been discussing this for over a year. The final answer is the best answer. How did Brent learn to move like he does? How did I? Through kata training. Kata training teaches the body to move where the mind is directing it. And it has taught millions of karateka how to do this and how to win fights on the street against real bad guys. I envision the class of the future being focused on learning a Kata, then learning the applications of the kata, testing those applications via variable pressure drills in force on force, and then returning to the kata to execute it with a complete knowledge of structure and application.

The kata was first taught the way I prefer...That being the 1:00 and then the 5:00. The execution of the 5:00 ends up with you facing the other way. Then you execute the 11:00 and the 7:00. The two rearward angles, because of their dynamics and footwork needs always end up facing you opposite the original position so it worked well. And the two or three karate trained guys in class got it...but others got hung up on the direction.

The next day I simplified it and simply had everyone do the 1, 5, 11, and 7 and always turn to face front regardless of where they ended up. That one worked better for the guys to learn. I think that the limited time we spent ofn this in the beginning made teaching the diagonal movements far easier. I wonder what the skill result would be if we had an entire morning to learn the physical movements before testing and proofing them in force on force.

This is a ground breaking thing we are doing and I believe it will not only help me make better fighters, but it will teach the student far more than just moving off the X. This is an industry changing time.

Brent Yamamoto
06-04-2018, 10:43 PM
We also practiced for a while without the reload sequence, which can add another layer of confusion.

That is what I have been teaching in Karate class, just the lines without the reload sequence. That portion is irrelevant to those guys, but the footwork and takeoff is applicable to anything. I think it makes some sense to start without the reload portion when first learning it.

When I first saw the kata on WT, I didn't get what the big deal was. Once Gabe explained the concept of moving off the X and the after action sequence, I thought "Woah!!! This is brilliant!" It encapsulates a whole day of training in a single 30-second drill. This will definitely become part of my training routine.

When we are done, the kata series will encapsulate the whole gun fighting system. The DNA of how we fight will be programmed into it. Much like the kata of old, it will be there for all to see if they only look for it...and work at it.

For us it is about capturing wisdom and experience and technique in an elegant package. A “simple”, short exercise that encapsulates most of the physical movement that you need. The principles and ideas are also baked into it...it’s not just the What and the How, but also the Why.

Kata is about capturing That Which Is Important.

And the real value is in the doing. It’s not enough to “know”a kata. It’s best to understand it, deeply. But if nothing else, practice it. A lot. It will teach your body how to move. Your mind as well for that matter.

And having done many, many repetitions of this movement, that skill will be there when you need it.

Of course many won't get it. Which is not a bad thing. But it’s my hope that our students get it and not only use this to make themselves much more dangerous, but also to pass it on.

I recall my dad teaching me the fundamentals of marksmanship long ago. That was a great start...but imagine if I had just learned one gunfighting kata when I was a kid. How much of a leap that would have been!

Imagine teaching your kids, and how far they could go.

Brent Yamamoto
06-05-2018, 06:51 AM
How far did you guys get through Watch Your Back? How did it go?

Gabriel Suarez
06-05-2018, 06:58 AM
I ran out of time and we did the dry and live work, but they got the basics of it. We had a few lightbulbs go off...I could see the faces.

I strongly believe this will change everything as far as physical standards and take the martial art of the pistol to a new level.

CaptShack
06-06-2018, 10:25 AM
I attended the red dot class this past weekend. I do have limited background in Martial arts. I did Moo Duk Kwan in the 80’s while in college. We did do katas and they were very strict.

I was very glad Gabe took the valuable class time to go over the Diagonal Line Kata. I had seen the videos of the kata and I tried to reproduce the moves, however, I was unsuccessful in replicating the kata. I am a person likes what to know the details and a firm believer in the practice makes permanent…not perfect. We first learned the individual skills for all the moves through dry work and shooting drills. Then Gabe went over the kata a few times with explanations of each move. Having trained the skills and then having Gabe perform the kata gave the information I needed to understand and perform the kata. The first day the class worked on it there was some difficulty to perform the kata in an acceptable level. The class could not see the forest through the trees. The next day Gabe changed the flow to always start the kata in the same direction and that helped the class tremendously by lessening the confusion factor of facing at the end of the individual triangles.

I have since practiced the kata the more traditional way. One aspect that helped me was to have a mark on the ground that was my “attacker” in the middle of the triangle you were working and always think of facing the attacker except for the checking 6 moves. In the 1 and 11 o’clock triangles this forces you to do the initial move/line and then during your secondary move/line turn back to the center of the triangle. When you finish you still are facing your attacker. During the 5 and 7 o’clock moves your initial and secondary moves/lines are facing the same direction because your attacker is in the center of that triangle. When you finish you are facing the opposite direction then when you started because your attacker is in the center of that triangle bleeding out I might add.

Brent Yamamoto
06-06-2018, 10:38 AM
One of the great benefits of kata training is that it deeply instills an understanding of angles. This goes beyond understanding the idea of angles in your head...it translates to a deep understanding in the body as well.

Of course your body doesn't think, but it learns how to move. And coordinating your mind and body helps you automatically orient yourself in relation to your target.

This seems simple; the idea is simple in fact. But DOING it automatically, without thinking, while under violent stress is another thing entirely. This is a truly fundamental fighting skill and I think is an under-appreciated benefit of practicing kata. It's like creating a compass in your head which allows you to automatically orient in relation to your enemy.

This is another great comparison between animals and humans. Animals are much more instinctual (though they also "train" by playing when they're young). Most humans seem to have lost this instinct and really require training and practice to do this stuff automatically.

Gabriel Suarez
06-06-2018, 11:22 AM
The compass analogy is excellent.

ChrisNobody
06-06-2018, 11:38 AM
I thought the integration into red dot was excellent. I would go farther though in stating that we should preview it on day 1. Use it as a “warm up” for the class to get everyone’s blood flowing. Then, revisit it as the class warm up on day 2. That way, when we get to reactive movements in the afternoon, we have already had two sets of limited exposure. Having it as a warmup on Day 1 will also let you see how people learn and move at the very start of class.

Brent Yamamoto
06-06-2018, 12:15 PM
I think that’s a great idea Chris. Repetition is important. Challenging though in a weekend class as there is only so much time.

Gabriel Suarez
06-06-2018, 01:19 PM
I am thinking this progression.

Learn the diagonal lines.
Repeatitive work for 30 - 60 minutes
Partner drills on the application.
FOF drills with pressure.
Back to the kata to finish.

Then the Watch Your Back Kata the next day.

Brent Yamamoto
06-06-2018, 01:41 PM
I am thinking this progression.

Learn the diagonal lines.
Repeatitive work for 30 - 60 minutes
Partner drills on the application.
FOF drills with pressure.
Back to the kata to finish.

Then the Watch Your Back Kata the next day.

Agree, was thinking the same.

psalms23dad
06-06-2018, 01:52 PM
I am thinking this progression.

Learn the diagonal lines.
Repeatitive work for 30 - 60 minutes
Partner drills on the application.
FOF drills with pressure.
Back to the kata to finish.

Then the Watch Your Back Kata the next day.

Well that means I need to budget for another trip out then.

JRUSMC
10-23-2018, 08:25 AM
After action report.

Not knowing a thing about martial arts and throwing myself to the wolves in an effort to learn new skills or if you will the ability to add more tools to the toolbox, I have done so.

This class drills down to the nuts and bolts of what works in a 0-5 feet Gunfighting situations. I'm grateful and respect those who have trained for decades and decades in the many martial arts genres for what was learned and applied is a result of Brent's staffs vast experience from all facets of martial arts combined with real world situations that they have experienced.

Having been to a few shooting classes in all four corners of the country, this single two day class provided me with more tools than I have gained in 3-5 day courses. Don't get me wrong, I take away at least one thing from each course. However, I was severely lacking the skills one needs from 0-5 feet and I now have the confidence and tools to better help myself if I find myself in a situation. Increase my survivability!

That said like with shooting, it is a perishable skill. So when your done with your class, maintaining/ practicing what was taught is a must. Just as you go to the range, you need to make this a part of your training. Along with Medical/ stop the bleed training!

Brent and the entire class was strong and we all learned alot from Brent but also from each other!

This is a legit class that anyone who carries on any sort of basis needs to take this class. It's a tough and thorough class. It is what is needed. All walks of life were in the class and we all made it through together!

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