Last weekend I had the opportunity to attend a Seminar held by Mr. Rory Miller. I've spent the last couple days digesting the information we went over, but I think I'm ready to post now.
To sum up the seminar: It. Was. AMAZING.
The seminar was not so much about Martial Arts or Self Defense, but Violence. Martial Arts isn't about playing a game of tag, or doing a dance with your kata, it's about manufacturing cripples and corpses instead of becoming one. Hell yeah.
The main talks Miller gave were about 7 things you need to know about self defense, how to deal with the legal ramifications should you ever have an altercation and what you need to know to defend yourself in court, and different types of violence and why they occur. This is all INCREDIBLY good information and I highly recommend you go to a seminar with him if you ever have the chance.
I don't want to go over everything, or give anything away in case anyone out there gets to attend a Seminar by Miller and hasn't before. It will seriously change your perspective of things. The drills are great. One I feel comfortable talking about is one step sparring.
One step sparring is pretty damn awesome. Most of the time when we practice in the dojos, often we inadvertently train to pull our punches, to not hit your partner square in the nuts, to not follow through so you don't hurt your partner, we train at a sparring distance, not combat distance, etc. These can all turn into really bad habits and come out if you ever experience an altercation outside the dojo. You don't want to train yourself how to miss and how to not hit the bad guy hard. To get around this, with one step sparring, you start a close range, you hit with full power and full accuracy, but you take away the speed. The theory is no one will ever move slowly if they are afraid. Therefore, You can practice with full intensity and follow through, so you can see how things might actually work out, but not hurt each other. This is done by taking the speed element out of it and sparring super SUPER slow. Which is very cool. And VERY eye opening. Try it.
One thing that I LOVED, is that Miller almost never says to practice, he says to play. I know I'll do a poor job of summarizing this, but Miller explained that kids learn things so quickly because they play, they don't try to practice or analyze, they just go do it. So WE should go play with our martial arts. Play in all types of environments, try all types of scenarios, and just have fun with it. It will help you pick things up better as well as figure out what works for you and what doesn't.
One of the other things that I enjoyed was the plastic mind drill. I'm hesitant to mention exactly what it was, again, in case anyone out there gets to go to one of his seminars. Just consider the fact that you don't necessarily have to take the persona or the mentality that you have on a daily basis into a fight with you. It's ok to play with your brain and be creative and imaginative.
Miller is very good at breaking things down and presenting them clearly. He breaks up the types of violences and explains how predators are able to keep women locked in social mode to keep them from fighting back, and a host of other really useful things.
For example, adrenaline affects men and women differently. Men experience a sharp spike and then it drops very quickly while women have a very slow gradual increase that plateaus for a long time and then gradually fades off. This means in the beginning of any situation, women can remain calm and clear thinking longer, and once they get going can have more endurance. In short, women have super powers. Freaking. Awesome. This ALSO explains why sometimes women cry or get weepy after sparring. HOLY COW! GUESS WHAT! It's not an emotional thing at all like I thought it was after I sparred the first time. It's just your body trying to figure out how to burn off the adrenaline now that you're not doing anything. HA. I had to throw this in this post, because I don't know if anyone had a similar experience to the one I blogged about previously. First time sparring, after I was done I went in the back of the dojo and after a few minutes I started crying. I had no idea why, I wasn't upset, I'd just had a blast and really enjoyed myself, but there the tears were, for no reason. It all makes sense now. :D Which I think is really cool.
By the end of the day I had take over 20 pages of notes. There is so much I could cover, but you'd be better off checking out his books or his website, or blog, or all of the above. (His most notable books are Meditations on Violence and Facing Violence or you can visit Miller's website or Miller's blog for more information and cool stuff)
It was an incredibly satisfying day and a very eye opening experience. Miller is down to earth, has a great sense of humor, and some very unique experiences and perspectives. Once again, if you ever have the chance to attend a seminar, jump all over it.
Have a great week all.
~ Samurai Girl Sahara