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 Senshido Core Concepts and training approach reviewed by UK LEO Brian Thai

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daringdoer



Posts : 40
Join date : 2008-07-12

PostSubject: Senshido Core Concepts and training approach reviewed by UK LEO Brian Thai   Tue Jul 15, 2008 4:03 am

Here's a succinct as any review of Rich Dimitri's SP and HTHCombat philosophy as any written by ur LE bud Bri as any Richie: Good shit

Senshido – Fundamentals of Personal Protection

Introduction

Senshido is a system of self protection designed by Richard Dimitri. Based in Montreal, Canada, he has an increasing following the world over. His site is www.senshido.com and all his products are available from there. This is a review of his first instructional videotape – The Fundamentals of Personal Protection. It is available on its own, or as part of a 4 tape boxed set. I’ll review the others from this set soon.

Basic Information

The tape is in excess of 90 minutes. All the instruction is given by Dimitri himself. It consists of both verbally presented tactical and strategic information, along with physical demonstrations. The camera work and film quality are adequate and, like other Senshido tapes I have seen, the emphasis is on getting the information across rather than producing a slick final product. Substance is the order of the day, not style.

Like his actual fighting method his presentation style is spontaneous, dynamic and alive. His enthusiasm keeps you motivated. Even my wife, a fully paid up member of “Fighting Arts are Boring Inc.” finds the tape entertaining, informative and enjoyable.

For the most part, when demonstrating a technique, Richard merely tells his assistant to “attack me in any way you want”. That way he manages to demonstrate his concepts in real action, as opposed to merely showing a rehearsed performance against a compliant opponent. It is all “alive.” This emphasis on reacting to realistic and random attacks is rarely seen in other people’s tapes, or even in their arts. In my view it is one of the greatest qualities that Senshido has. Richard even gets “tagged” once or twice in the demos, just like a real fight. It is to his credit that he doesn’t re-film those segments. Who won’t get hit in a real fight? This is reality training; the people who never get hit are training badly. But, even when hit, his defensive movement has taken all the sting out of the oncoming blow.

Concepts

My aim in writing this review is to give an appreciation of his concepts, so that the readers can judge for themselves whether or not they want to purchase the tape. This review is not meant to be an aid to instruction. But providing some technical information about Senshido is inevitable and, for the most part, it is freely available on his site anyway.

* Stances

A Natural Stance (which is however you naturally stand), Passive Stance and Multi-Functional Stance are all shown. His Passive Stance is performed when slowly circling the potential opponent. It prevents him from getting stable enough to throw a solid shot at you. It also appears negotiative and even submissive, lulling the attacker into a false sense of security. With hands held high and open, it facilitates speedy attack and defence. It is similar to the concept of the Fence, and good solid advice.

* Reflexive Response

Since becoming interested in Combatives I have followed the rule that it is best to be the first to strike in a potential conflict. This is supported by the amount of ridiculous proposed responses to an attack that I have seen in other arts, where the bad guy slowly punches, holds his arm still, and then gets twisted, thrown and punched. Rubbish. Richard is the first person who has demonstrated to me that it is more than feasible to react to an attackers first move in a realistic way, and still win the day unscathed. Richard is not against the pre-emptive attack of course, and would use it were appropriate. He just doesn’t want to totally depend on it.

We live in a society where pre-emptive striking can be defended in a court of law, but it still runs a high risk of making you look like the aggressor. He is not telling us to always let the other guy hit first though. Far from it. He is telling us what we can do if that happens. To this end he utilises what he calls the “Reflexive Response.” This is the use of whatever natural flinch movements you have when suddenly attacked, and turning them into a tool that nullifies that attack. Then it provides you with a platform on which to launch your own. It isn’t a pre set blocking or parrying movement at all. Each of us would develop our own natural movement.

Like I said, he asks his assistant to attack him in any way that he wants to. And this is done close up, not from kicking range or further. Richard still wins. He goes to great ends to eliminate the anticipation that ruins the drills in other fighting arts’ practice. When training he does not want his students to know how they are going to be attacked so that they don’t fall into the trap of reacting to what they already know will come. He also instils a fighting mindset. The real attacker will give it all he’s got, so that’s what the assistant does in the drills. If a mistake is made there is no “Can we stop and do that again?” You have to deal with what unfolds. He also ensures that his students are attacked in a variety of ways, avoiding the trap of only learning how to defend against the attacks you use in your own system. The training is very real.

* Five Principles of Physical Retaliation


Basically they are as follows – Non Telegraphic Movement, Economy of Motion, Closest Weapon to Closest Target, Attack Primary Targets and Tactile Sensitivity. They are sound principles on which to base a fighting art. He explains them fully on the tape, and more information can be found on his site. It is the demonstrations that bring these principles to life however. I didn’t fully understand them until he showed them in action on the tape.

Of particular interest to me personally was the concept of Tactile Sensitivity. As you have contact with the opponent Richard aims to sense his intentions by the movement and energy he transmits. This isn’t like Chi Sao, where two people stand a certain distance from each other. But it does involve feeling your opponent’s intentions when you are so close that the hand is quicker than the eye. Much of it is like standing grappling, and is a neglected area in many fighting arts. And I’ve seen so many real fights go into this “clinch.”

Other styles of combative arts I have seen deal with standing grappling by either complex throws, strikes that are severely hampered by the lack of distance or takedowns that take you to the ground also. Richard seems to have a way of jamming an opponents attacks with his tactile sensitivity whilst literally mauling his face and overwhelming him in very short, jolting strikes. The Shredder isn’t mentioned and wasn’t fully developed when the tape was made. See it here in its infancy.

* Centre Line

He draws on the Centre Line principle to assist in his defensive methods. An opponent's attack can only come at you from certain directions, so covering these are the best ways to go. He “closes off”, “opens up” or “jams” his opponents naturally, depending on what is coming at him. There is no conscious thought involved.

As an aside it is interesting to watch the way he moves. It is not linear in any way, shape or form. He moves like a cat. He is quick, agile and his main tools always find their way straight into the opponent’s primary targets. In this tape there is no “wind up” or “torque” prior to his strikes going in. This is new to me. I hit hard, but cannot deny that I use some initial body movement to do so. He uses what I would call a “jolting” system of impact, moving in accordance with his 5 Principles. It looks lighting quick and very effective.

Comments and Criticisms

This isn’t a tape for a total fighting arts beginner. Richard rarely gets attention from beginners anyway, with most of his students finding him after already studying martial arts. So there are no lessons in how to throw a palm strike etc.

There is a plus and a minus side to his spontaneous presentation style. It does get the information across and is very enjoyable. But I think that some pre planning or occasional re-filming could be done to maximising the professional look of the film without compromising the advantages of total spontaneity. But the bottom line is that this is a personal view and, in all honesty, is merely concerned with tweaking the icing on the cake. The cake itself is well worth the eating.

Conclusion

The tape is an excellent addition to any fighting student’s library. It presents a highly polished and well thought out conceptual approach to self protection in the modern world. These core Senshido concepts are not only in a different league than the run of the mill martial arts out there, they seriously challenge those of the Reality Based systems I have seen.

This tape isn’t about sporting contests. There are no uniforms, no mats and no rules. Many different real life scenarios are looked at, with the overall goal of equipping a student with the necessary skills to react to anything that happens to them in real life encounters, thinking for themselves as they go. Different positions, environments, social situations are all touched upon. It is about common human behaviour too. For example, no-one shoves each other in a regular martial arts class. But aggressors do it to their potential victims all the time in real life. Richard incorporates common human behaviour such as this into the training, seeking ways to turn it to his own advantage.

He believes that the way to deal with a fight is to “Get in, get it done, get it over with, get out”. If you aim to be someone who can protect yourself and your family from today’s increasingly violent society (whilst, at the same time, keeping out of prison yourself), you would be short changing yourself if you didn’t take a very close look at what Senshido has to offer. This is their first tape, and is a great place to start.

Very well articulated presentation of Sen's main concepts and principles
by Officer Bri
Warren


Last edited by daringdoer on Wed Jul 23, 2008 8:25 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Richard Grannon
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PostSubject: Re: Senshido Core Concepts and training approach reviewed by UK LEO Brian Thai   Tue Jul 15, 2008 1:55 pm

Cool, thanks for posting War will have a proper butchers at it later when got more time
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melvinferd



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PostSubject: Re: Senshido Core Concepts and training approach reviewed by UK LEO Brian Thai   Sat Jul 26, 2008 12:44 am

here are some comments from a guy who had just watched the Shredder Enhancer vid ...

"The more i watch of this , the less i think of it overall.

They claim its so much more then just eye gouging . Its gouging , ripping, tearing, elbows, palmstrikes, lowline attacks etc... all "biomechanically designed" and done in a "quarter beat", to "bypass the flinch response".

Which as far as i can tell , basically amounts to saying "do it as fast as possible".

But, when they actually spar , all im seeing is attempted/simulated eye gouging and scratching. Im not seeing any of the other techniques in play.

I think messing with peoples eye's is a legit self defense tool, but i dont see how the shredder is anything unique.

And seriously, watch the "rape defense" sections in slow motion. When they start with him mounted on her, half the time she's not even near his face , shes basically pinching his ribs and yet he's waiving his arms around and covering his face like she's tearing his eyes out. (Through the solid plexiglass apparently )

Whether or not he realizes it , he is playing along just as much as a student who falls down when the grandmaster sends a chi blast."

valid observations imo
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daringdoer



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PostSubject: Re: Senshido Core Concepts and training approach reviewed by UK LEO Brian Thai   Sat Jul 26, 2008 5:30 am

So I take it that ur guy won't incorporate the shredder into his arsenal after watching the DVD AND doing the drills on the DVD ?Good for him then for not taking the shredder's marketing at face value and pressure testing material on his own and making up his own mind Basketball LOt's of ways to put down a perp
W
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Finlayson



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PostSubject: Re: Senshido Core Concepts and training approach reviewed by UK LEO Brian Thai   Wed Aug 13, 2008 7:46 pm

Melvinferd,

i can see where you're coming from with your observations. I was of a similar mindset, until i attended a senshido seminar and my training partner asked Rich Dimitri to 'shred' me. nice eh! lol!

when it's applied with the aggression and skill that dimitri applies it really is awesome. i personally find it quite difficult to become proficient in it because to become extremely capable in it's application it requires lots of practice so the subconscious of 'closest weapon' closest target kicks in any everything else becomes 2nd nature. when it's first learned it's quite tricky to incorporate ear, nose rips, elbows, movement etc.

i can only encourage you however to witness it first hand as i think you'll give it more credit.

i'm not in anyway affiliated with Rich by i know he's in Sheffield, UK in September if you can make it.
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