Master Instructor Shannon Stallard brings a practical sensibility to self-defense in general, and weapons specifically. He has spent his life as a martial artist and instructor distilling techniques and tactics to their barest essence. His view is that in a true self-defense situation, your brain function changes to primal fight or flight—you are incapable of complex decision-making, so your responses have to be as simple as possible. Additionally, your initial techniques must be flow easily from your body’s natural flinch reflex (the way you move when startled).
By making things simpler and more aligned with your body’s responses to duress, you increase the likelihood of success and survival. Master Stallard describes his path this way:
When we start the martial arts, we try to make the impossible possible. Then we learn that is not possible. So we focus on making the improbable probable. Then we try to make the probable perfect.
In his efforts to make his knife fighting tactics simpler and more effective, he noticed that much of the training he had observed and received incorporated a more fencing or sparring style. Knife fighting was presented as an effort to stay in the outer range. But really aggressive and/or experience fighters will attack by closing distance with force and persistent violence. Staying on the outside with such an attacker is almost impossible—you can’t backpedal and cut angles forever.
So Master Stallard began to adapt clinch-work (standing wrestling) to establish control (step two in Chief Master Coronas 4 Golden Rules). Then, once you have control in the close range, disarming and neutralization (steps three and four) are not only more probable, but much more effective.
Master Stallard continues to grow and challenge himself as a martial artist. Join us at Sulsa Camp this year to learn more about his tactics for surviving a knife fight. He and Chief Master Corona will both be teaching on the topic, giving attendees access to almost 80 years of martial arts experience!