Saturday, January 11, 2014

Pure Simple Mathematics by GM Ron Saturno

You can't go back faster than a man can come forward. You can't come forward faster than a man can side step out of your path. I was once teaching an algebra class and was playing with the Pythagorean Theorem. The theorem solves passing issues and can accurately determine speeds and distances that weapons will travel and their direction. The center leg of a triangle moves faster than the other leg and the hypotenuse of a triangle. Hence, the safety of side stepping is based on mathematics, pure and simple. This is the proper way to deal with the heavy hitters. Side step them. I am shocked at how many times that I've seen men attempting to defend themselves against a hard hitting man and freeze, or even try to out hit their hard hitting attacker. I do understand that you do have to do something, but trying to out hit a man who hits harder than you may not be the most correct answer. I was watching the teacher of GM Marc Lawrence a few months ago. Marc's former Master really Isn't that large of a man, but he is muscular and hits like a small truck would hit you running through a red light in an intersection. I like Marc's former teacher, he is very serious and dedicated to his art. He had great skills many years ago when I first saw him perform, he is even better now and hits even harder than when I first saw him perform. Damn, it's pretty hard. I wouldn't want to be at the other end of his weapons, should he seriously mean to come after me. What I wouldn't do would be to try and out power hit this hard core power hitter. Out would come the Pythagorean Theorem and proof of my need to side step the power. It's just hard to hit something that just Isn't there to hit. It has surprised me how many times that math has solved my martial problems. The great Escrimadors may not have had any formal training in higher math, but they were great problem solvers who innately used math non-the-less. The great Escrimadors had a self-taught Ph.D in higher mathematics. My art of Serrada Escrima is deeply based upon applied math principles that helps make Serrada Escrima an inherently fast art. Basic Serrada is a great FMA that can make a man capable of defending himself in six months or less. This is fairly fast by most martial arts standards. Perfecting the upper level skill sets of Serrada Escrima takes a life time. We get really large jumps in skill level in the beginning with relatively little effort, but after the first few months elevating your skill level starts to become much harder. It will then take lots of effort to gain small increases in skill level. There is an equation here. Nothing good is cheap or easy. I can only but laugh my ass off at the periodic advertisements that promises (guarentees) you the ability to be able to defeat seasoned street fighters and upper level Black Belts with just $69.95 and a few hours of watching a DVD. In the end my late teacher Angel Cabales didn't really have to do much to kick my ass. He didn't move fast and he didn't hit appreciably hard: But, that didn't stop him from pissing on my Escrima parade on any given day of the week. Manong Angel knew what to do and when to do it. This is priceless. He had little or no wasted effort when he performed. He had near perfect timing. He had five decades of experience. He could perform through his fears and wouldn't hesitate to hit you. Applied math bet ya'. Knowing what to do and then being able to do it without any glitches is proof of great skill. But, this really wasn't his true forte! More importantly, Angel Cabales knew what to do when things didn't go right. He could quickly change up on real time and still find a way to beat you. Was it arcane math that allowed him to accomplish this? In a word, yes. He may not have been able to explain this via formulas, but after years of studying mine and his art: It was math that allowed him to become and remain a great martial artist. Movement, power, distances, time, leverage, etc., is all about math. It is kind of hard to start looking upon great martial artists as consumat mathematicians, but that they are. So here is my salute to math and the great martial artists who perfected maths use in their arts.