Wisdom of “The Blitz”

Let me begin this article by stating that as a martial artist, I am not a big fan of theory. Theory is okay but too many martial artists get stuck there. Especially in the Philippine arts, where we are practicing an art of killing–you cannot “kill” each other every week in class–so everything is “in theory”. But there is a certain amount of application you must do in order to make your theories valid and somewhat testable. The problem with most FMA people is that the ones who do spar believe everything they do is valid because they throw the gloves on periodically and engage. You deserve some kudos for sparring, but the martial artist must do more than just mix it up with classmates and friends. You must mix it up with strangers; strangers who really have a mission to prove that you are not that good and to hell with whether or not you are learning lessons.

That said, the way martial artists try to convince you that tournament fighting is unrealistic but their way of slapping hands and sticks has been “proven” on their day job of being a firefighter, police officer, or bouncer is disgusting. You don’t want to call them a liar, but you know damned well they are telling an “untruth” that they have used their “empty handed sinawali” “countless times in real combat”. So how do we prove our point, folks?

How do you prove any point in the martial arts?

That’s right. You spar. Not exactly NHB, because we all know that MMA is unrealistic. I mean, you can’t use your FMA art of nuts-biting and eye-gouging, right? But with friends, you spar with rules… even if it’s full contact sparring, when you spar with friends and classmates, you have rules. I doubt you are using your deadly art of “kinomutay” on a weekly basis (except at the dinner table). And like I said, hurray for you, you’re sparring. But now I need you to accept the notion that you must spar with strangers in an adversarial format–for a career–if you want your art to grow.

Sparring with friends just isn’t stressful enough. Why do you need stress? Well, that’s another topic for discussion. Today, I will tell you how stress will improve your attacking skills. Take a look a the following clip:

Now, if you can get past the trash-talking and the antics, Prince Naseem Hamed was one of the most exciting boxers of his time (not saying he was the best, just exciting) because he did something that most boxers were not doing: He was knocking his opponents clean out. Not struggling to get up for the 10-count; he would knock his opponents out cold. The strategy he used most is called “The Blitz” on the point karate circuit. I would like to describe it for you.

The Blitz was developed and perfected by this man:

Yes, Billy Blanks of “Tae Bo” fame was a really good fighter. What made him stand out was that he was a big man who moved quickly. He was the master at The Blitz and made it a standard point karate skill. Here are some of the fine points of The Blitz. I want you to find a way to work it into your own arsenal:

  • you start from a distance from which neither you nor your opponent can reach each other. you can attack from a closer position but the technique is more overwhelming if you leave from a longer distance
  • you attack in one leap or lunge. this will force you to move with explosive speed
  • maintaining a longer range allows you to relax while not engaging and be fully ready to attack
  • your body weight is used for power as you connect while still in motion
  • the best time to attack is immediately after the opponent has finished a movement (such as retracting a failed punch)
  • try to land in a solid position so that you can follow-up with another attack. I am not a fan of blitzing and the running off when you finish (although I’ve done it myself when point fighting)
  • what you do after connecting with a successful Blitz is up to you. you can follow up this technique with a barrage of attacks to finish him off, or you can let him go in order to try again…

The best way to develop this technique after learning it is to use it a lot. You cannot learn this in the lab and just bring it out ready to go; it is one of those techniques (as are most fighting skills) that are best learned through trial and error. This is the reason I say you must have a fighting career with strangers to develop fighting skill to a higher level. Nothing develops reflexes, speed and timing better than stress, and this technique is one of those things that simply will not work without stress–whether using it or defending against it.

Finally, here is a clip of the blitz in action:

(I’d like to mention that Mafia Holloway at this time must be at least in his late 40s, if not in his 50s)

This is one of those things you must experience and feel to believe. You can apply this to boxing, kickboxing, MMA, streetfighting, knife fighting, even stickfighting. If you are not convinced, then I recommend that you actually fight a point fighter to get an appreciation for the technique. If anyone is in the Sacramento area and would like to try it out, please email me and we’ll work something out.

Thanks for visiting my blog.