Ok all, now that I've introduced myself as a newcomer to FMA, and mentioned what I would "like" to learn, and that I have mentioned I've been involved in the military in my lifetime, some real "beginner's questions" are now finally coming to mind in which I would like to ask the FMA community.
I was involved in "drug interdiction" when I was stationed in Honduras back in the 1990's, at a support air base about 30 minutes away from Comayagua, Honduras. If you type "Soto Cano Air Base" in a web search, you will find that it still exists but that the mission has changed to more of a "humanitarian" one.
During my time there, we worked with what they term "elite" forces which included Seals, CIA, Special Forces, and other elite forces from the other nations involved as well. What was learned there by us "regular Army" types was that there is no such thing as a "knife fight" because for something to be a fight, both parties have to be willing to duel to the death in a gentleman-like fashion, in pride and honor. It seems to me that the FMA teaches this dueling method of battle, but neglects teaching about the not-so-gentlemanly knife attack methods used in the real world.
Elite forces would sneak in, in such a fashion that the enemy wasn't even confronted man-to-man. The idea is to get in, stab the people from behind or slit their throats, and then make a quiet exit before the alarms and insanity even started.
Likewise, in most knife encounters during the commission of any type of crime, the attacker doesn't honestly want to tangle with someone who is equally armed. Therefore, a true attacker with intent for murder is going to sneak up on the victim, stab the individual in the back or worse, and then grab all of the money and personal possessions possible just before he takes off running, leaving one additional corpse laying around for the local police force to "clean up."
It seems my own military experiences aren't all there is to this, as another writer online seems to write in total agreement with me. He writes an article titled "Lies About Knife Fighting" located at http://www.nononsenseselfdefense.com/knifelies.html
In the man's article, he loudly proclaims that the FMA methods of teaching knives is only for the purpose of extracting the maximum amount of money from the gullible, and that such tactics will only work when up against someone else who was trained in the tactics via similar FMA teachings. He even goes so far to say that he has challenged accomplished FMA practitioners with straightforward street knife methods, and proclaims that if it were for keeps, the FMA practitioner would have friends and family congregating around his coffin while paying their final respects. Of course, that is only if the body was still intact for an open-coffin viewing. I would venture to say, more often than not, it would have to be a closed-casket funeral.
My question to all you instructors out there is simply this: are you stuck in "gentlemanly" dueling tradition as this guy says in his article? Or are you teaching people the truth about how there really is no such thing as a "duel" in a real knife encounter? Can you and your students see a "prison rush" coming at you, which is a swift, simple, yet DEADLY move? Or does traditional "technique" blind all involved?
Are average citizens being taken for a ride, or is this information being addressed?
As a military veteran, I already know the truth about knives and bladed weapons. ALL PARTIES INVOLVED GET CUT. Just the way it is. And in some cases, the only winner is the one who bleeds to death the slowest before hunching over the carcass of his opponent who died just minutes before. Man on top wins, even if he isn't breathing any longer as well.
Of course, this truth doesn't generate much in the way of training income, but shouldn't it be provided to students up front so they don't expect that you are going to make them "invincible" and "impervious" to the sharp tips and searing edges of bladed instruments?
Just how effective is YOUR training regimen when it comes to any possibility of surviving a true encounter by a madman wielding a blade who may have no regard for human life? Do you at least ask yourself this question and have the student do so as well?
I won't even get into swords. Heaven forbid if we ever find ourselves in times when those are the weapon of the day again. God help any two men who get tangled up in a real sword fight, they will both need it.
Just two cents worth of thoughts that have been bugging me enough that I wanted to write them out for some lively discussion here on myfma.net
No confrontations desired, and no offense meant. It should be something anyone who is wise would seriously consider when fashioning their own training programs.