“Whatever you do, just don’t be a dog claiming to be a wolf. In Harris’s sparrows, males develop secondary traits that correlate with their fighting ability. Darker color is associated with dominance. However, experimental darkening of lighter males does not raise their status, because their behavior is not altered. In fact, these darker birds get killed—as the researcher Terry Burnham once told me: ‘birds know that you need to walk the walk.”
Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Skin in the Game
Considering we are all studying this amazing Chinese fighting technology of Wing Chun, few of us seem to know much about China and the Chinese beyond the basics. If you have Amazon Prime, check out The Story of China, a 6-part BBC documentary by historian Michael Woods. Its a lavish series which brings the history in clear and simple terms. A smart and engaging series which should required viewing for Wing Chun practitioners! I see some of the episodes are on Youtube also.
“If you are un-armed, there is no defense against an opponent attacking with a knife…I have studied this issue for more than twenty-five years and have experienced the attentions of the finest instructors in the world. Please be assured that no martial arts school or technique can offer a predictable method of defense against a knife, and most of the techniques and methods one sees are suicidal against a knife fighter.”
Lt.Col. William E. Fairbairn, author of Get Tough! How to Win in Hand-to-Hand Fighting
“It did not last long. It is only in the movies that knife fighters stab and miss and slash and miss and tussle over several city blocks.”
James Jones, From Here to Eternity
The odds are greater that any knife assault you face will be at the hands of a criminal, not a trained Filipino martial artist. That means the nature of the attack is going to be significantly different. Don’t believe anyone who tells you other wise. These differences can and will kill you.
“Why I Don’t Pretend to Teach Knife Defense” … is the title of a seminar that I’ve done a couple of times over the last few years … The class starts with some pictures I’ve collected of knife wounds, emphasizing that one set was from a prison shank, just a piece of metal that had been scraped on a floor, not some custom fighting knife sharpened to a razor edge. The most gruesome was a single cut from a kitchen knife. Gives them a very basic idea of what the hell they are talking about. What the stakes are if they choose to gamble in this arena. … Then I ask for someone with no experience or training with a knife. I take the volunteer aside, hand her the training knife and whisper, “Keep the knife moving, get it in to them any way you can. Cut anything they stick out, if someone grabs your hand switch hands and keep stabbing and slashing. Got it?” I then turn back to the students and say, “This person now has less than thirty seconds of knife training. Who in here teaches knife defense? … In a big diverse group, it quickly becomes clear that almost nothing works against a fast moving, aggressive knife.”