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[caption id="attachment_3586" align="aligncenter" width="775"]You can't handle these moves. You can't handle these moves.[/caption] One of my favorite martial arts writers is publishes under the name Jack Slack. These days he mostly writes combat sports analysis, but he has a tremendous knowledge of martial arts classical and contemporary. He writes a regular feature called, “Wushu Watch,” which focuses on martial arts styles, moves, or practitioners that could most charitably be called, “Questionable.” Although he tends to focus on empty hand fighting, a recent article deals with weapons defenses, specifically the gymnastic techniques of Master Rayllamm, who appears to have learned self-defense from TV shows. There’s a definite 90s feel of, “Whoever can do the most flips is the better fighter,” to his techniques, and although I hope no one ever takes him seriously, I’m glad he exists. Aside from the article’s excellent and totally serious analysis of Master Rayllamm’s techniques, Jack Slack also gives a lot of opinions on unarmed defense vs. weapons. It’s well worth reading even though I disagree with his overall thesis that there’s not much you can do against a weapon. He identifies a lot of the problems with unarmed weapon defense, although I happen to think that Krav Maga does a good job of avoiding those problems while being realistic about the scenario. It’s possible that he’s just not familiar with Krav Maga, or that his familiarity is limited to one of the many off-brand systems masquerading as Krav Maga. I never feel point-by-point rebuttals do much in style-vs-style debates aside from veer dangerously close to “here’s why mine is bigger,” but I will say that in all of his negative examples, and reservations about unarmed defense against weapons, the idea of striking the attacker doesn’t seem to come up. If you understand Krav Maga, you hopefully understand the importance of that concept, and how it can help overcome the problems he lists.

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