Monday, July 12, 2010

Book Outline

Hello again.

This is what the outline of the book looks like at the moment. Before I discuss the outline of the book however, a note on terminology. My work faciliates the understanding and study of all disciplines associated with the physical aspects of interpersonal conflict, by whatever name they go by: martial arts, combat sports, close combat, whatever the various law enforcement agencies refer to their close combat, and self defence. Within this particular blog I'll use the term 'martial arts' to refer to them all, however, I'd be most appreciative if any reader of this blog could suggest an inclusive and relatable term to refer to all this aspects of the same basic phenomena. Thank you.

Chapter 1: Introduction

Chapter 2: Science and Analysis
This chapter seeks to present an argument that science and analysis faciliates the understanding and study of the tactics and techniques of the martial arts. It also introduces the reader to the very rare instances where they have been used by certain martial arts legends, and in each case with spectacular success. Creating world-wide phenomena based on a unique approach rather than unique tactics and techniques.

Chapter 3: Beyond Fight or Flight
The title of the chapter is still being considered. The physiological and behavioural concept of fight-or-flight is often referred to within the teaching of the martial arts, and it is seriously limited. I've integrated the theories and concepts of the stress discipline and the emotion discipline to develop a comprehensive, integrated model which explains all human responses to threats, harm, and challenges.

Chapter 4: As yet unnamed.
Applies the model, theory, and concepts of chapter 3 to understand why and what is taught in the martial arts. It also suggests certain new approaches as does some of the other chapters.

Chapter 5: Pain!
An obvious subject in any study of the tactics and techiques of the martial arts, and one which has never before been included within any book published on the subject. An authority on pain explains that more has been learnt about pain in the last ten years than in the last one thousand. For the first time the subject of pain is addressed in a martial arts book.

Chapter Evolution
This is how many of the chapters in this book came about. When writing about joint-locking techniques (kansetsu-waza) in the originally conceived how-to book, I wanted a paragraph or two to explain why pain is experienced when a joint is moved towards but not necessarily beyond the limit of its range of movement. Research for these two paragraphs uncovered a world of knowledge hitherto unknown and never before applied to the martial arts. So a new chapter on pain was born. A phenomena of pain is 'stress induced analgesia' (SIA) where the pain threshold is increased when stress causes a 'cascade of hormones.' I recalled a time when a knife was put to my throat while I was working the counter of the Jan de Jong Self Defence School one night. I felt nothing. No adrenaline surge, no hormonal cascade, no fear, no anger, no nothing. This is the evolved fight-or-flight response which was selected for in nature as it gave a selection advantage. Among other things, I wondered if I missed out on the SIA effect in increasing my tolerance to pain which is designed to assist me in defending myself in times of threat. This led me to research stress which I found only provided half the picture. After asking certain questions I eventually came across the emotion discipline which studys the same process but from a different angle than the stress discipline, and with neither discipline refering to each other's concepts and theories (ludicrous). From here I was able to develop an integrated, comprehenisve model which explains all responses to actual or threatened physical interpersonal conflict, from both sides of the conflict.

Chapter 6: The Biomechanics of Balance

Chapter 7: Stance
Applies the biomechanics of balance, and related topics of stability and mobility, to facilitate the understanding and study of stances in any and all martial arts.

Chapter 8: Unbalancing
Applies the biomechanics of balance to faciliate the understanding and study of unbalancing (kuzushi) in the martial arts.

Chapter 9: Agility, Bodymovements, and Blocks
To be developed. Related to stance as stance is often linked to footwork which is often linked to evading an attack. Jan de Jong Jujutsu, along with Minoru Mochizuki's Yoseikan, teach certain bodymovements (taisabaki) and which are used as an illustration of the concept. They are the first phase when a tactic is broken down into phases - a process which facilitates the analysis of all tacitcs and techniques according to the sports biomechanics discipline.

Chapter 10: The Difference Between Throwing Techiques and Takedown Techinques
The chapter on takedown techniques in the originally conceived how-to book was what pushed me into this current work. The 'little science' on takedown techniques I wanted to put behind the how-to instruction proved problematic as there is no definitive distinciton between throwing techniques and takedown techniques. There is a lot of opinion, but no definitive distinction. In proving a negative, I review the various sources which you'd expect to be authoritative and find nothing but ambiguity. I develop a definitive, objective distinction which is based on biomechanics for the very first time. I also for the very first time present a subclassification of different types of takedown techniques, just as Jigoro Kano did with judo throwing techniques. This chapter has the potential of being very controversial, not the least of which is because in proving a negative I have to refer to various luminaries of the martial arts. I first of all present an argument that classifying technqiues designed to take an opponent to the ground is useful in the understanding and study of these techniques. Here I've researched the cognitive sciences which has implications on how we study and teach the tactics and techiques of the martial arts. I then take the model I've developed on a 'test run' to show it does indeed faciliate the understanding and study of techiques designed to take an opponent to teh ground.

Chapter 11: Injury Science
What more appropriate a topic for a book on the tactics and techniques of the martial arts could possibly be conceived. My uncovery of this relatively new science came about when trying to understand the explanations of percussion techniques which some people have provided in terms of physics. All of these explanations todate, I can confidently argue, have not facilitated the understanding or study of techniques of percussion. The model I've developed based on the theories and concepts of injury science, for the first time, enables anyone to understand any and all techiques of percussion in any and all martial arts, whether delivered by body weapons or other weapons.

Chapter 12: Techniques of Percussion
Applies the theories and concepts of chapter 11.

Chapter 13: Breakfalling Techniques
Applies the theories and concepts of chapter 11. I've also reviewed the academic papers on the evolved, natural falling strategy of humans and other papers associated with falling. I've been very fortuante to have been assisted by certain Dutch researchers who are investigating techniques designed to reduce the risk of injury during a fall. These researchers are for the first time looking to the breakfalling techniques of the martial arts to help the wider community with a problem which is a serious risk to health and life.

Chapter 14: Joint-Locking Techinques
I'm presenting a physiological explanation of the common joint-locking techinques applied to the upper limb for the first time. I was surprised that nobody has even attempted to do so in the martial arts literature to this date. This explanation facilitates the understanding and study of these technqiues as the student can better visulise what the forces being applied are attempting to do in terms of bones and joints. The difficulty comes in that over 90% of all injuries to the upper limb arise from falls on outstretched hands. The forces applied in this type of injury are completely different to the forces applied when a joint-locking technique is applied. So, not a lot of readily available material to access.

Chapter 15: Strangulation Techniques (Shime-Waza)/Neck Holds
Do you know what the physiology is behind a strangulation technique (shime-waza)? Guess again. A fascinating study involving various law enforcement agencies, forensic pathologists, and various academic studies.

Chapter 16: Training Methods
The various training methods are presented on a spectrum. Also, the unique training method of Jan de Jong Jujutsu is presented. A method which Major Greg Mawkes OAM (retired) of the Australian SAS refers to as the cornerstone of the close combat system he and Jan de Jong developed for the Australian Army.

Chapter 17: Use of Force
We teach methods which are potentially lethal. What do we do to provide guidance when these methods can or cannot be used? A blanket explanation is not sufficient. The military and law enforcement often use a 'use of force continuum' to explain when particular types of force are acceptable and when they are not. This chapter reviews this area and provides food for thought.

Well, that is the outline todate. What do you think? Personally, I've learnt more in the past couple of years academically researching this area than I have in ten years at the height of my training obsession. This work speaks to the essence of the tactics and techniques of the marital arts with no fear or favour for particular approaches. It does without doubt facilitate the understanding and study of all the tactics and techniques of all martial arts. Even though Jan de Jong Jujutsu is considered one of the most comprehensive systems in the jujutsu world, including its theory, I've gained greater insights which has suggested major modificaitons to the way it is taught.

As you can see, my work reflects my approach which is expressed in kojutsukan: the place of the study of the skill or technique.

One further question for the readers of this blog - can you suggest a title for this book?

Until next time.

John Coles


  1. A suggestion of an alternative to 'Martial arts' might be 'Combat arts' or 'Combat systems'. For me at least, not having english as a mother tounge 'Martial arts' sounds a bit to much as pertaining to war. 'Combat sports' is no good since it has 'sports' in it. 'Figthing arts' or 'fighting systems' might also be alternatives.


  2. Hallo John,

    'The Do of Kojutsukan: A System of Self Defense'

    or 'The Way of Kojutsukan: Methods, Meanings and Science'

    I hope they provide you with inspiration.



Your comments make my work all the more relevant as I use them to direct my research and theorising. Thank you.