Robby Amper wrote:
.I imagined what it would've looked like if the Karate guy had a whip, ready to strike. Nothing would change. Nothing. With a whip you have a clear defined impact point. With a short whip it's nearer, with a longer whip it's more away from you. As soon anyone is within the whip's range, the whip is useless. On the other hand - that MMA guy came in that brutal, fast, hard and effective that I'm not sure that even a knife would have helped the other guy.
I don't remember if I've told this story before, but we do an exercise in Hapkido class.
Everyone participates. Even the novice students.
The exercise works like this: One person stands across the room. He or she is the defender. That person is armed with a paintball gun and dressed in white clothing.
On the other side of the room is the attacker, armed with a red marker (to simulate a knife).
The attacker gets to choose when to start. The defender must keep the gun holstered until the attacker is moving. When ready, the attacker rushes across the room as fast as he or she can, with only one goal in mind: To "cut" the defender as many times as possible before being shot.
It doesn't matter if the defender is the instructor of the class (who happens to be a former Marine and very good with firearms) or a complete novice white belt, the outcome is always one of two things...
1. Defender is dead, dead, DEAD! and the attacker is not (very often, not even "shot" one time).
2. Defender maybe is able to "kill" the attacker, but not before getting at least ONE serious cut in a potentially life-threatening location.
Never is the defender not seriously injured. No matter how many times we run this exercise, or how prepared the defender thinks they were.
That is using a gun for defense, the supposed "quintessential" self defense weapon. We will also run this with knife against attacker. Nothing against attacker. Whatever variation and combination you feel like.
Outcome is always the same: Someone rushes at you, experienced or not, and you're going to get hurt, experienced or not.
The only two variables that ever make any difference is either to take the exercise outside, where the defender has more options to get out of the way (i.e., run), allowing him or her to try to get back at least some tactical advantage, or to have a third party say "go" to start the exercise (giving the defender a slightly better reaction time, but this second option only ever made a very small difference -- the defender still almost always gets "hurt").
The moral of the story? Guns, knives, fists, baseball bats, chairs, even whips... if you are in a "use what you've got" situation, these are all merely potential tools. None of them are "perfect."
There is only ONE perfect weapon and that is TIME.
Whether you're an experienced fighter able to assess and react quickly, or whether you can control distance, time -- time to react, to defend, to attack -- is what matters.
In your example, Robby, and in our class exercise, it is always the attacker (or more aggressive person) who has the advantage because they control the time by rushing in so fast.
All of the fancy cracking, body wraps, entanglements, etc., in the world won't matter one bit if you've got an aggressive opponent willing to take a hit to get to you. This is my frustration when I see all of the "whip is a perfect weapon" videos, because they always assume a passive attacker, which is how you train when LEARNING techniques, but not how you train when actually practicing to defend yourself.