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#369358 - 03/01/09 02:47 AM Re: PFS: RAT system [Re: Nijado]
JKogas Offline
Prolific

Registered: 01/25/03
Posts: 10818
Loc: North Carolina
I didn't like the Enigma for the same reason I dislike a lot of other PFS stuff; to much emphasis on "moves" rather than fundamentals and delivery system work.

The Golden Goose sucked. It's all about how to endlessly come up with ways to waste people's time without really showing them anything. What's more to dislike?

The SBG is basically what PFS "should have been".


-John

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#369359 - 06/23/09 09:07 PM Re: PFS: RAT system [Re: JKogas]
TeK9 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 12/22/05
Posts: 2257
Loc: Northern California, USA
Quote:

Essentially, Lee felt that people had more confidence and faith in "systems" and styles than in themselves, thus the tendency to clinch to fixed forms, etc. I have experienced this myself with people who came to me wanting to learn Vunak's "RAT" system. It's really interesting.

Now I'm not saying it isn't worth learning the RAT or anything else, but just to do so and leave it at that is to cling to a very rigid form.





I started off learning the RAT because it gave me a model to focus on. So I and my brother began to really focus on grasping method.

Later on I started feeling like I was starting to follow a set system. And I started wondering if I had fallen into a trap. I was starting to believe the "this is all u need to know" message that Vunak kept repeating.

But as I started training and sparring more with different people at different levels. I started noticing that once getting into the clinch range. I wasn't always able to pull off a double neck tie on everyone. So I started looking at pummeling, single neck ties. This opened up a whole new avenue for me.

Then through the suggestions of others on this forum, I started looking into Rodney king, Eric Paulson, and Randy Couture.

Rodney Kings boxing defenses and clinch work just expanded Vunak's RAT system for me. I was no longer just dancing from the outside waiting for a destruction or interception. I could now come in attacking, take cover using his 3 point block, clinch up, or change levels and take down my opponents.

So I guess I am no loner just following this rigid method of training. And of course this has nothing to do with Vunaks golden goose chart.
_________________________
"Poor is the pupil who
does not surpass his
master" - Leonardo Da
Vinci

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#369360 - 06/24/09 01:42 PM Re: PFS: RAT system [Re: TeK9]
Ames Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/29/05
Posts: 1117
I'm really getting into King's stuff lately, and wish there was a local CM gym around--sadly there isn't.

Tek, I think we have had similar experiances with the RAT. It provides a nice 'framework', but it can become a trap. I think one of the issues with it is that when it first appeared, there weren't many strikers who had a good clinch game (aside from Muay Thai guys), mostly because MMA wasn't around. As things have progressed, more and more strikers are learning the importance of the clinch, and so getting a double neck tie is getting harder. It's nice to have in the arsenal, but I've decided that depending on it (like depending on any technique) is wrong.

And John, you're right about the Golden Goose. Not only is it a big time waster, I find that it only helps fetishize martial arts. It seems to function opposite of daily decrease.

--Chris
_________________________
"Seek not to follow in the footsteps of the men of old; seek what they sought."
--Basho

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#420406 - 06/26/09 09:49 AM Re: PFS: RAT system [Re: Ames]
JKogas Offline
Prolific

Registered: 01/25/03
Posts: 10818
Loc: North Carolina
Originally Posted By: TeK9
I started off learning the RAT because it gave me a model to focus on. So I and my brother began to really focus on grasping method.

Later on I started feeling like I was starting to follow a set system. And I started wondering if I had fallen into a trap. I was starting to believe the "this is all u need to know" message that Vunak kept repeating.



Nothing wrong with using it as a starting point. Vunak had a decent idea with the RAT because it simplified options. However, what he created with that was more like a strategy (he uses the term, "game plan", which is appropriate). But the problem is that many people have come to think this strategy was also a good training method, which ii isn't.

What happens is you get a lot of people who are really interested in learning the RAT and then want to go and train it, just like it's shown. Then when you show them kickboxing, clinch, ground fighting, stick and knife material, they don't understand. They become confused about what at first seems like conflicting material.

Many people, including some that I know personally, did fall into the "this is all you need to know" trap. It's been tough convincing some otherwise.



Originally Posted By: TeK9

But as I started training and sparring more with different people at different levels. I started noticing that once getting into the clinch range. I wasn't always able to pull off a double neck tie on everyone. So I started looking at pummeling, single neck ties. This opened up a whole new avenue for me.



The double neck tie can be a bit of a problem for women or smaller guys to obtain on bigger and taller opponents. And it's not usually the smaller guys that go around picking fights with bigger individuals. Thus we should assume that an opponent is likely to be bigger and stronger than we are, if we're planning for the worst case scenario.

However, having a "default" position or preferably, several default positions that you are comfortable fighting from is a good idea! The double neck tie is a valid default if you are skilled enough in its application. But again, I think it's wise to have several such defaults.


Originally Posted By: TeK9

Then through the suggestions of others on this forum, I started looking into Rodney king, Eric Paulson, and Randy Couture.

Rodney Kings boxing defenses and clinch work just expanded Vunak's RAT system for me. I was no longer just dancing from the outside waiting for a destruction or interception. I could now come in attacking, take cover using his 3 point block, clinch up, or change levels and take down my opponents.

So I guess I am no longer just following this rigid method of training. And of course this has nothing to do with Vunaks golden goose chart.



I think it's definitely important to expand your game. Nothing wrong with having a starting point at all, which I think Vunak's material provides. But it's healthier to develop an understanding of "game" than it is to rely on a set of moves that you can't practice realistically. The RAT wasn't/isn't always taught with that notion in mind.

Remember, "material" (techniques) is always neutral. Training methods are what is important. You either train functionally or you don't. When I see Vunak's guys "pretending" to be straight blasted in training, etc....it makes me a little nauseous.

You can only learn to fight when your opponents or training partners are allowed to fight back. That's what happens in real life, and our training should reflect that.



Originally Posted By: Ames
I'm really getting into King's stuff lately, and wish there was a local CM gym around--sadly there isn't.



I have found that King's approach can really help a lot of people, not just with understanding the stand-up game, but with understanding good training methods as well. There is a wealth of material to draw from in his approach. Working with them has really expanded my game to a degree that I've never before known. But what is even better is the fact that they're really cool people.



Originally Posted By: Ames


Tek, I think we have had similar experiances with the RAT. It provides a nice 'framework', but it can become a trap. I think one of the issues with it is that when it first appeared, there weren't many strikers who had a good clinch game (aside from Muay Thai guys), mostly because MMA wasn't around. As things have progressed, more and more strikers are learning the importance of the clinch, and so getting a double neck tie is getting harder. It's nice to have in the arsenal, but I've decided that depending on it (like depending on any technique) is wrong.




Yep, aside from Anderson Silva, you really haven't seen a lot of double neck tie in high level mma. Not that it shouldn't be trained or the defenses to it learned though. But I believe there are better options available.



Originally Posted By: Ames

And John, you're right about the Golden Goose. Not only is it a big time waster, I find that it only helps fetishize martial arts. It seems to function opposite of daily decrease.



It's daily "Increase". If people used the Golden Goose, they would be training functionality OUT of themselves. The Golden Goose is a symptom of the classic JKD Concepts use of the "buffet approach" to martial arts training. I saw it and was disgusted. As the old saying goes; You can give a man a fish every day, or you can teach him how to fish for himself. On the surface, it may look as if the Golden Goose was teaching people how to fish. Instead, it only teaches how to give people fish in endless ways. Not a good thing.

Depth is ALWAYS better than breadth. I think almost anyone can see the logic in that.

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#420425 - 06/26/09 05:59 PM Re: PFS: RAT system [Re: JKogas]
Ames Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/29/05
Posts: 1117
Quote:
Depth is ALWAYS better than breadth. I think almost anyone can see the logic in that.


Absolutely. It's ironic that Vunak titled this one 'Enigma', because that sums him up pretty well, I think. Here you have a guy who ultra simplified things with the R.A.T. and now comes out with the over complicated Golden Goose. I still like a lot of his ideas, but between the Golden Goose and the whole 'Executive PFS' thing, I don't think I like the direction he is headed. Of course, there is no doubt that he is a great martial artist and fighter.

--Chris
_________________________
"Seek not to follow in the footsteps of the men of old; seek what they sought."
--Basho

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#420430 - 06/26/09 06:39 PM Re: PFS: RAT system [Re: Ames]
JKogas Offline
Prolific

Registered: 01/25/03
Posts: 10818
Loc: North Carolina
Vunak IS an enigma, no doubt. He's always trying to stay ahead of the curve I think. The man was one of the first to really push BJJ to the JKD crowd. He has always thought outside of the box.

But yeah, I agree about the Golden Goose and 'Executive PFS'...seriously, what is that about?! I thought it was pretty classless to essentially "demote" his long-time senior instructors the way he did. And what's really changed?? The material is the same. He's training essentially the same way he always has. What was he attempting to do, make people think that 'Executive PFS' was some new program with never-seen-before material or something? What else could he have been thinking?

And I still wonder what happened to Roy Harris. Roy was the vice president of PFS for a number of years. Then I noticed that he was booted out, only to be replaced by Bruce Corrigan in Tennessee. That was when Vunak created 'DEFCON PFS'. I mean, how silly is that?!

Well, that didn't last long and Vu decided (virtually overnight) that he didn't want Corrigan as his VP either, so then HE was out. Then it was 'Executive PFS'. My guess is he decided to start going after the white collar demographic. Maybe he saw more potential money there?

Well, it's his group and its his prerogative to run it as he sees fit. But I still hate it for the senior guys who poured out their blood, sweat and tears (along with some cold hard cash I might add). What happened to them for their efforts? They get demoted, as I said. Others aren't even acknowledged (like myself and others that I know who aren't even listed on his instructor page).

All that having been said, I do believe I know where Vunak is coming from with the training (beyond the politics). I can see his point of view and I understand it completely. I just believe in going in a slightly different route to get to the same destination, if that makes any sense.

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#420723 - 07/10/09 12:13 AM Re: PFS: RAT system [Re: TeK9]
JKogas Offline
Prolific

Registered: 01/25/03
Posts: 10818
Loc: North Carolina
I thought I would keep this thread going a bit longer, given that I have personally been asked by several people in 'real' life to revisit the material. I wanted to discuss what I consider to be the drawbacks, as well as ways in which the program could be improved upon.

I believe that the improvements will be obvious once the drawbacks are listed, so lets get right to it.

What does the RAT consist of? Three phases right? Interception (referred to as "entries" here), Pressure and Termination (or "resolution", borrowing the ISR Matrix). Lets talk about each of them individually for a moment.

Entry

The problem in my opinion is found right out of the gate with the "entry" deal. If you are familiar with the RAT, you'll know that these "entries", as taught in the plan, consist of two basic things: eye jabs and destructions. This is where I have the biggest problem.

Let me first say that I don't have a problem with the eye jab or destructions per se'. I have used destructions during boxing and they can hurt. You can feel them through 16oz gloves. You don't get them all the time though, and they're nothing that I would want to use to gain the entry behind. Besides, some people don't feel pain when they are amped up. So, basing your entry on creating a moment of pain is not what I'm banking on (not that it can't happen). The eye jab is also a nice tool that is perhaps better used before shots are being thrown, before the adrenaline dump, etc.

Now lets imagine your opponent is the proverbial, 6'3", 400lb, [censored] off Samoan, and he is about to smoke you with a haymaker coming all the way from the South Pacific. You're standing in front of him with that shot coming and you're going to eye jab him? Honestly, there is just not enough on that strike to stop that punch, imo.

Plus, if you have ever tried to "destroy" a haymaker, you'll know that you have only so many options, most of which are not what I would consider to be safe, conservative choices. It's a tough angle. Again, it's not that these can't work, only that you have to be *really good* (I mean, really good, to the point where you are out-classing your opponent) to make it happen. And given that the RAT is marketed to "non martial artists", you'll begin to see some questionable, incongruities here. If one truly is a "non martial artist", he/she can't afford to be "playing around" out in the long range using eye 'boinks' and trying to destroy punches. It just doesn't seem feasible or even realistic. In fact, it seems comical when you think about it.

But don't take MY word for it or anything else here. Get a reasonably large, athletic friend (make sure he's at least 20lbs larger than you are), put gloves on him and tell him to try his best to knock you out. As he does this, try and destroy his punch. If he is skilled, so much the better. Try it and see what the results are.


Pressure (straight blast)
The idea of pressure here is also a little 'off' in my opinion. Running down the centerline with a straight blast looks and sounds like a novel idea, so long as you're on an instructional DVD. Actually this, as with any tool, has it's time and place. I just don't like it as it's used here. And personally, I would go with the 'boxing blast' over the straight blast in most cases.

First of all, many fights close right into the clinch without your having to 'enter' into it to begin with. You have a guy who is standing about three feet away and he's going to close on you with a shot...do you really think you're going to need to straight blast into the clinch, or even have the time to do so? Again, this isn't realistic. I feel this way because I believe the straight blast in this situation is used against an individual who is on defense. The only problem with this is that, attackers are going to be ATTACKING, not defending. It's its an ambush type of situation, you're are going to be in a reactive state (on the defensive).

In my experience, the "pressure"/boxing blast here, comes when you've already hit the clinch but your opponent has pushed away. He's already moving backward so you're regaining the ground lost and moving in behind cover fire. I've seen that work in sparring quite a bit in that scenario. This has shown to be much safer when used in this manner.

Ok, enough of the nit-picking for now. Lets talk about improvements we can make:

1) I believe that preemptive strikes can be beneficial. This includes the eye jab. But it's better to know how to use it and perhaps even more importantly, when. It's also good to know how to RUN FAST if that's all you have.

2) If "Really Big Guy" is standing in front of you with smoke coming out of his nostrils, have something in place that's conservative and safe. The "helmet" (three point cover) is in my opinion, the only tool for the job. This is the cornerstone for the ISR-Matrix, that our very own Fletch Fuller is involved with. Ask him about it sometime.

The helmet presents the best defense against the surprise attack and that walloping haymaker, particularly if you don't have the time to jump into your fighting stance and get about poking eyes and spiking fists. Seriously. Plus the helmet allows you to also crash (ie, "crash helmet"...get it?) into the clinch, exactly where Vunak would have you be, at the "termination" phase anyway. The helmet also makes use of the natural flinch response.

You would essentially use the helmet on the shot (lowering your center of gravity slightly), impacting your opponent with it, and securing your attachment to him. It would then be pretty easy to move right into the double neck tie from there and proceed to fire some knees into the groin or whatever. That would be pretty quick, giving you the center position as well. Knee like hell, then escape.

Elbowing, headbutting, thumbing the eyes, etc., would all be available, just the same. The key is to train it with progressive resistance and variable intensity. But at some point, you have to pressure test it.

Another benefit of the helmet is that if your opponent decides to change level and tackle you, the very same structure becomes the defense to that as well, using the same lowering of your own level to accomplish that. Two birds killed with one stone. You know, when you have one universal solution to a variety of problems, life it much easier.

The same structure also works if the guy is swing a bottle or a tire iron. I would gladly sacrifice the limb before I would the head. Even if the guy has a knife; if you don't see what he has in his hand, you're going to treat it like a punch swinging at you. Again, one universal solution.

Personally, I feel that the RAT is something that could work when modified in this manner (but then again, it would no longer be the RAT, would it). I just think that this program as it stands now, would only work against the most unskilled, "unworthy", corpse of an opponent. We should probably spend our time practicing with aliveness and developing true skill as opposed to "gimmick" moves (though the helmet used in this sense is a viable technique).

Alright, it's late. We can talk about the dreaded "termination" phase later.

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#420730 - 07/10/09 01:56 AM Re: PFS: RAT system [Re: JKogas]
ThunderinJoe Offline
Member

Registered: 07/08/09
Posts: 33
I don't know exactly what RAT or PFS is but I do know one must expand on his teachings. From what I can gather this Vunak person should't boast anything is all you need to know. I also gather he has done well to put systems together that do cater to certain students, I think it would be up to the students to further investigate the reality of the situation in order to truly become students.

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#420746 - 07/10/09 08:06 PM Re: PFS: RAT system [Re: ThunderinJoe]
TeK9 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 12/22/05
Posts: 2257
Loc: Northern California, USA
Keep in mid that Vunak created the RAT as a quick study course for military and LEO's. And he now advertises it as a quick training course for non martial artist. Kind of like weekend warrior training course. He doesn't mean this is all there is to know. Just that for someone who is not trained in combat can use these few techniques to defend themselves against an attacker.

It just so happen that his RAT program has been adopted by thousands of martial artist regardless of style as a learning or an equation of combat.

There's so much more to it, and you can build so much from it, as I have been doing.

I've recently learned I have an aptitude for pummeling. And my brother has a natural affinity to leg locks and other painful techniques.

This should have been apparent when I first taught him finger, wrist, elbow and shoulder locks many years ago.
_________________________
"Poor is the pupil who
does not surpass his
master" - Leonardo Da
Vinci

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#420758 - 07/11/09 12:09 AM Re: PFS: RAT system [Re: TeK9]
ThunderinJoe Offline
Member

Registered: 07/08/09
Posts: 33
The South African Defense Force conceived a martial art in the 1980's this art recently became R.A.T. or Rough And Tumble. The style is actually an approach to martial arts as JKD is. Originally called "Rough And Tumble: the sport of integration". Due to it's various forms and techniques borrowed from other arts. And it actually applied to become a "defense force sport", but was rejected. Reviewer's viewed it as a martial art. I guess Vunak fine tuned the style or techniques that he felt were most effective with the R.A.T. approach and sold it. Good for him.

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