Now is an amazing time to study AKTS. Why? What's the most popular martial art around? What does that mean?
As I mentioned in a previous post, MMA is the most likely martial art you'll encounter in fisticuffs. Odds of finding an ornery master of Krabi Krabong, or finding a really aggressive Tan Tui fighter are pretty slim. But a young guy looking to prove himself, with a TapOut shirt, and some MMA training? Pretty high. Isn't life wonderful? Why?
You KNOW his game. Its on videos. He takes a kickboxing stance? Okay, Thai clinch, the normal punches, knees, elbows, roundhouse, teep, crocodile kick. Boxer? Expected punches (hook, jab, cross, uppercut). Does he take a squarer stance? Grappler. Underhooks, single and double leg takedowns, ankle pick, Americana, Kimura, triangle choke, arm bar, rear-naked choke.
These are the attacks you're most likely to face, IF you face a trained attacker. You >KNOW< their game. You >KNOW< what they're attempting. How many of them do you think know the AKTS game? Not very many.
I can say from personal experience, I had two experiences that froze me. One was training. We were supposed to stab each other with a training blade and defend. We knew the target. We knew the technique. But my partner suddenly made a couple monkey sounds, scratched his head a little, and acted like a monkey for just 2 seconds. It was enough for me to think "WTF?", and he put the training blade RIGHT through my frozen defense because I lost concentration momentarily. Obviously if I see that TWICE, I won't fall for it, but he didn't need to. He got me.
The other was a friend who was joking around. He had no training, was gangly, and not physically very coordinated. We were joking around, and suddenly he screams a loud scream like a kung fu movie and does a TERRIBLE jump kick at me. I managed to back up and not get hit, but I didn't do anything fancy because his actions were entirely unexpected. Again, a "WTF" moment. He threw something that didn't fit into a logical box for me.
Why were these effective? My training was against folks who take a more boxing stance. I know the weight shift that indicates a punch or kick is coming. I knew their attacks. These people went OUTSIDE my box. It was JUST enough to stop me for a moment. Imagine AKTS. Non-intuitive angles, different distancing and targeting, different levels of attack. AND all the benefits of having their weapons too.
Now imagine taking a small investment. Maybe 100 bucks. Buy some UFC fights. Watch the fights. Every good technique/knockout/tapout...jot it down. Which ones were used the most? Which ones were most successful?
See a knockout? Rewind 10 seconds. What did the fighter do to set it up? What can you do with AKTS to STOP that setup and put them down?
See a submission? Rewind 10 seconds. What did the fighter do to set it up? What can you do with AKTS to escape that setup? What illegal targets are available?
See a takedown? Rewind 10 seconds. What can you do to stuff a takedown with AKTS?
You have the BEST proponents of your most likely opponents, on video. You can study their game. Make contingencies. There may be hundreds of submissions, but probably less than 10 that are used successfully the most. A small investment of intensive study with a good workgroup can increase your likelihood of using your art against the current flavor of the month.
But as I said, they don't know the AKTS game. For example, standing in the low stance of a monkey means low center of gravity. A shoot won't take that down. A kick means you're giving them your leg. A punch means risking breaking your hand on the top of their head (no gloves, right?). Meanwhile, you're ready to spring into action, able to do a takedown, have multiple "below the belt" targets, etc.
This doesn't even address the multifold OTHER benefits of AKTS. Stick, blade, chigung, health, brotherhood, etc. Your workgroup can allow you to train against the scenarios you're likely to find as well as grow.