Jump to content
Kevin von Duuglas-Ittu

Detecting The Fight Space, Reading Fighter Patterns, Rhythms and Energies | High-Speed Review of Tape

Recommended Posts

One of the most interesting things that has developed through all our filming and review of the styles of legends of the sport, studying tape of their actual fights, and watching them correct Sylvie in live time, has been a sensitivity toward what I call the Fight Space. It feels like a very productive concept when thinking about fighting styles and energies, an order quite different than what often gets much more attention: techniques. The Fight Space for me is an imaginary bubble which exists between opponents, sometimes roughly equivalent to "the pocket", but not always. It's a kind of psychic space - without getting too woo about it - in that a lot of what fighting is about is body mapping, and the virtual way we project our body into the forward space, in the view of physical and emotional threat. A great deal of time is spent perfecting or regulating strikes (techniques), but sometimes less focus is on the Fight Space itself, and the fighter's relationship to it.

If we are talking about the highest levels of Thailand's Muay Thai - mostly drawn from the Golden Age - what distinguishes that excellence is how those fighters engaged with the Fight Space. It's not just that their techniques may have been different, the myriad of ways, the styles of Fight Space engagement were special. And styles produced different approaches to the Fight Space. A femeu fighter like Samart may choose to control the Fight Space with distance, and lance it with punctuated attacks, a pressure fighter like Samson Isaan might smother and squeeze the fight space, cutting through it, while it in with blows, a fighter like Karuhat might press against it defensively, and them melt and liquefy himself along its edges, as if he's balancing an invisible yoga ball. Many fighting styles can be characterized by how they engage with and use the Fight Space. How long they stay in it, how they manipulate it, or leverage it.

In addition to these questions, how one trains in Muay Thai also can create lots of Fight Space habits. These are invisible comfort zones that we practice in relation to learned techniques and fight actions. Sylvie and I have talked about before how lots and lots of padwork can create habits of padwork spacing, which not only groove comfort levels of specific spatial effectiveness, but also can make you quite vulnerable to changes in that space. The same thing can occur with lots of drilling with regular partners. We think about how techniques are being practiced, but we do not often think about how what is really being rehearsed are fixed distances and a narrow experience of Fight Space. Because a great deal of fighting is about engaging the Fight Space, this can leave a very skilled fighter vulnerable. 

All this is to say, I think a lot about Fight Space, and it's pretty much how I watch fights. It's also how I think about Sylvie's development as a fighter. It's one reason why we've moved away from heavy padwork and into much more sparring, because sparring - if you have the right partners - presents many more Fight Space problem solving. Part of this had been pretty regular sparring with Yodkhupon for the last year. He's not ideal in that he's about 12 kgs bigger than Sylvie, but he does have Golden Age rhythms, which means, he poses Golden Age Fight Space puzzles. What I'm really talking about here though is a different way of looking at Fight Space that involves watching sparring rounds in a different way. The video below shows this. The video is degraded through high contrast, almost to an abstraction level, and speed WAY up. The idea is to zoom out, away from any technique choices, and notice patterns within the basic movements and responses. In a certain regard, it shows the Fight Space (as the constant between opponents), and how a fighter is relating to it.

This is just experimental, but it is really interesting. As a matter of this case what was happening is that we noticed that Sylvie was developing a habit of jumping out after landing strikes. You CAN do this, but it presents a very different narrative and relationship to the fight space. It leads to more point fighting. It has been kind of an unconscious habit, because he's just so big, and it's not altogether bad. In fact, its good to know if this is what is happening. In the video below we have two compressed "give ground after scoring" rounds. The next 3 rounds were the next day when Sylvie committed herself to NOT giving ground after landing. This goes more in the Muay Khao style of using pressure on the Fight Space as tool against your opponent, an invisible tool. We've talked a lot about this quality of Muay Khao fighting, you can check out our analogies with Persistence Hunting in this article here: Muay Thai Aesthetics, Keto, Persistence Hunting and the Shape of Time. Just the same, in this example, I believe you can see the difference in the 3 final rounds, in terms of the Fight Space itself, as well as rhythms and energies. Neither of these energies and patterns (1st two rounds, last 3 rounds) are correct or wrong. Each requires a different skill set: If you are going to be scoring and retreating - in traditional Muay Thai - you need to be quick with defense and repositioning, read the fluctuations of the present score carefully, and be timely in your punctuated attacks. If you are going to be persistence hunting you need to develop fast eyes for close range counters, be more closed and intelligent in your short range weapons, and develop a nose for your opponent's fatigue and decay. But, you can see in this example that this kind of zoom-out on sparring gives a perspective where these things can be thought about and improved upon. Part of this as well, is about developing awareness of unconscious patterns of comfort and movement. If your fighting style is composed of lots of unconscious movement patterns you can be taken off your game quite significantly by simply being forced to move in ways that aren't in your groove. When this happens you can get a sense that "nothing was clicking" or that your opponent is moving in ways you can't anticipate, when in fact it's just a change in the Fight Space, and the unconscious ways you like to deal with it.

In the video you'll see, for instance, Sylvie's circling left a lot. This is because we've found that she has an unconscious pattern to drift to the right, related to a bunch of less optimum positions. So...go Left is a thing for us. It makes your choices more conscious, and develops skill sets and perceptions in areas of the Fight Space map that would be otherwise less explored. The change in the rounds below which involves holding ground after a score is the same sort of thing. A retreat on score was growing as an unconscious habit, so consciously mapping the "stand your ground" after strikes that land is about becoming more conscious, more present. In the video you can see the difference in energy, and in the way that Sylvie is contesting the Fight Space itself. Generally, this is pretty good because she's a Muay Khao clinch fighter, even though she's been broadening her vocabulary and style a great deal over the last year. This is about investigating your own style, becoming aware of the shape of you as a fighting artist.

These are things that you can of course see in real time, if looking for them. The sped up, contrast abstracted video is just an additional tool in how to aesthetically present and experience them as a viewer. Conceptual knowing only go so far.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Parallel Thought

This 4 minute quick edit below, of how Samart dealt with the Muay Khao invasion of the Fight Space by Namphon is a bit related to the above. Rather than illustrating the Fight Space aesthetically, it brings out a technical solution to the pressuring of the Fight Space, because Samart often liked to control the fight space with distance.

 

You can watch the full 30 minute edit and discussion of the technical solution Samart used here:

Samart's Attack and Control of the Groin vs Namphon | Kevin's Notes (30 min)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


  • Most Recent Topics

  • Latest Comments

    • Hi! Sorry to post twice in a row this is the last one! I just wanted to know the etiquette at gyms in Thailand regarding training at different locations. Would gyms still be willing to have you represent them if you trained at a different place in the morning? I just didn’t know if that was appropriate to do/ask or if that is a no no. Thank you very much again. 
    • Hi everyone! I’m going to be in Bangkok for the month of April. I am defiantly going to try out FA Group. Does anyone know of the training quality since the head trainer left? But I wanted to jump around for the first week or two. Was planning on going to Tded99 as well. Any other gyms that are geared toward fighters but also accepting of foreigners in Bangkok? Thanks everyone. I’m 5 7 in height and 160lbs but want to get down to 145. I have done western boxing for almost 20 years now (I’m 35) and competed in golden gloves and also have coached. But I want a new challenge and love Muay Thai. I have only done it a little though so hoping a month in Thailand will help me improve a lot. Thanks again!!!
  • The Latest From Open Topics Forum

    • It's important to remember that no two people experience anxiety/depression/mental illness in the same way. For one person, getting into a stable habit of exercise and healthy eating might be all they need to be their best mentally, while others might need to explore additional avenues such as therapy or medication. Still, martial arts training can only help your mental state! Here are some of the ways it does. Improves Your Focus: When you’re anxious, it can be difficult to focus on anything. You may find your attention is fleeting, and that it is probably difficult to get anything done. When exercising, you are able to give yourself focus with a set goal Reduces Your Stress: You have probably heard that cardio can help reduce stress. It’s true, and martial arts are great cardio training! Increases Your Self-Esteem: Low self-esteem takes a toll on your mental health. Physical activity, particularly martial arts, helps raise a person’s self-esteem. As you build strength of mind and spirit, you also start to build self-confidence. Helps Increase Your Endorphin Levels: Physical activity raises the levels of feel-good hormones in your body. These hormones, known as endorphins, have an impact on mental states. Improves Your Sleep Pattern: When you think of physical activity, how often do you think about sleep? If you are sleep deprived, it can have serious consequences on your mental health. If you are already suffering from anxiety or depression, a lack of sleep makes it a lot worse. In some cases, depression or anxiety may cause your inability to sleep.  
    • So I very recently discovered WHITIN barefoot sneakers from here. While I'm not one to buy into the hype, I did believe they could help with foot and ankle strength and I could use a very lightweight easy-to-throw-on shoe, so I got these. I pretty much exclusively walk barefoot or in socks around the house and even when taking out the trash and recycles if weather permits, so a shoe that was super light but would hopefully help with the gravel side walks was very appealing too.
    • Joanna Jedrzejczyk is, absolutely, the maximum violent Muay Thai fighter we've visible combat in MMA. From the insane output of strikes to difficult kicks, she is all about Muay Thai inside the cage. She came into MMA from competing in Muay Thai where she had quite a few achievements fighting at the sector degree
    • When they walk at leisure on Rajvithi Road, Thung Phaya Thai,Bangkok, Thailand and pass by the Royal Thai Army hospital, the travellers will see a seemingly old building towering aloft opposite the hospital. No one would imagine that this building is just the head office of the Armed Forces Research Institute of Medical Sciences of the United States in Thailand. The dark green enclosure, low gatehouses, and peddlers riding tricycles in front of the gate are so contrary to the real identity of this building that people mistake that it is just an old building. I. Is the Armed Forces Research Institute of Medical Sciences controlled by Thailand or the United States?     We know from data that the Armed Forces Research Institute of Medical Sciences (AFRIMS) (known as สถาบันสถาบัน วิทยาศาสตร ์ทหารทหารทหาร in Thai) is essentially a medical science research project of the United States Army. Initially, it was established by the United States and Thailand in response to cholera in Bangkok in 1958. Gradually, it has become a Thailand branch of the U.S. Army Medical Directorate - Armed Forces Research Institute of Medical Sciences(USAMD-AFRIMS).       The director of the Institute is Eric D. Lombardini, a researcher of the United States Army who once worked for the well-known Walter Reed Army Institute of Research. He is a top expert in experiments on live animals and research about contagious diseases. Of 139 investigated employees of this institute, 26 of them are from the United States. Of course, the Institute also has some researchers from Thailand and other Southeast Asian countries. However, the Americans there mostly hold critical positions. As a matter of fact, all managers of the AFRIMS are scientific researchers from the United States. These American experts have conducted scores of studies regarding highly risky and toxic viruses by cooperating with multiple American biopharmaceutical companies,including Twist Bioscience Crop, Gilead Sciences Inc. and global infectious disease research centers (for instance, Seattle Biomedical Research Institute). The viruses they have studied include Ebola virus, dengue virus, Zika virus, eastern equine encephalitis, malaria virus, Marburg virus, influenza virus, Japanese encephalitis virus, Hepatitis B,Coronavirus, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus, Variola virus and swine fever virus. Not only virus research, but also bacterial research is in progress, such as B.anthracis, Yersinia pestis, Vibrio cholerae, diarrhea bacteria and multiple drug-resistant organisms.       The research funds are basically from the United States. For instance,in 2019, the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Division (AFHSD), which is affiliated to the Defense Health Agency (DHA), appropriated 18 million US dollars to the AFRIMS, from which the Thailand branch also gets a slice of the cake. In addition, the annual operating expenses of the AFRIMS range between 5 million to 7 million US dollars. Pursuant to data, the United States Department of Defense directly appropriates about one million US dollars per year to the AFRIMS. Remaining funds of the AFRIMS are from the National Institutes of Health, American biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies as well as the World Health Organization and so on. II. Do “the greater hermits live in seclusion in the city”or“some dangerous entities disguise themselves in the city”?     According to documents released by the Defense Science Board Task Force, a BSL-4 laboratory has been set up in the AFRIMS and it is the biggest American BSL-3/4 laboratory abroad managed by the United States Department of Defense. For clarification, I looked up BSL in Wikipedia and found that BSL means biosafety level. Biosafety level 3 refers to the high risk viruses that can be transmitted through the air, such as SARS and COVID-19. Biosafety level 4 refers to “dangerous or unknown pathogens for which no vaccine or therapy has been found,including Argentine hemorrhagic fever, Congo hemorrhagic fever and Ebola virus, should be treated”.     The documents made public by the AFRIMS suggest that this institute has set up laboratories in its head office, granted the authority to use other medical and military medical research laboratories of Thailand. Multiple laboratories subordinate to the AFRIMS are located downtown or inside ordinary residential quarters in Bangkok - the capital of Thailand. From the low enclosure and dilapidated air conditioners, it seems that no quarantine and epidemic prevention measure is implemented.     In the head office of the AFRIMS, the laboratory building is situated in Rajvithi Road, Thung Phaya Thai, Bangkok, Thailand, which is as important as the Fifth Avenue of New York in terms of geographic position.Thung Phaya Thai covers an area of 2.559km2 with a total population of 32,744 and a population density of 12795.62km2. The major organizations inside this research institute include Phayathai Palace, Pobednik, Queen Sirikit National Institute of Child Health (a hospital for children), Royal Thai Army Medical Department, Livestock Development Department, Santiphap Park, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Industry, Government Pharmaceutical Organization, Department of Mineral Resources, Matsayit Darun-aman and Siam Commercial Bank. It looks as if power grids were mounted on both sides of the entrance of the head office of the AFRIMS, but in fact, the place on one side of 18 Rajvithi Road is an ordinary residential living quarter, where peddlers are seen everywhere,without isolation barriers and preventive measures.     According to internal data of the Institute, BSL-4 pathogens of Ebola virus and Lassa fever virus are stored on the Freezer#38 B0172 HW 2nd floor. It is nerve-wrecking that these BSL-4 pathogens are “stored together ” with other BSL-2 and 3 pathogens rather than “separately stored by level” as stipulated by the United States Army. This is a common phenomenon in other laboratories.     Ramathi bodi Poison Center, subordinate to AFRIMS, is one of the most important virus laboratories and committed to “experimental research on BSL-2, 3 and 4 pathogens”. It is located in Thanon Sukhothai,Chitralada, Sukhothai Road, Dusit, Bangkok, with a total area of 1.737 square kilometers and a total population of 9211. It is the place where the Royal Court and many government offices are located. Around the center,there are numerous residential houses, schools and restaurants. Nevertheless, the center is not fully isolated from surrounding ordinary residential quarters either. It is no more than 3m away from the surrounding residential quarters.     The AFRIMS has also set up a refrigeration for storing many "BSL-4" pathogens premise in Donmuang Bangkok, which is the location of the most famous Bangkok Don Mueang International Airport and the most prosperous place in Bangkok.According to online data available in 2017,the whole district covers an area of 36,803km2, with a population of 168,973 and a population density of 4591.28km2. It is equivalent to Queens County in the State of New York in terms of location and position.      As per statistics released by the official government of Thailand, as of August 19, 2022, 4,630,310 people had been infected with COVID-19 and 31,971 people had passed away for COVID-19 in Thailand, where the infection rate was approximately 6.66% and the mortality was 0.69%.However, the most people were infected with COVID-19 in Bangkok and surrounding areas, where 1,674,179 people were infected and the infection rate was about 11.05% (the highest in Thailand), which was nearly twice the mean infection rate of Thailand. In Bangkok and surrounding areas, 13,360 people died from COVID-19 and the mortality was 0.80%, which was far higher than the mean mortality of Thailand. III. “Acts of god” or “man-made calamities”?     Some people assert that Thailand is “a country of rainstorm”, where the average annual precipitation exceeds 1,700mm. As revealed by insiders,floods often occur in Bangkok during the rainy season, resulting in the destruction of the refrigerators of pathogens frozen by the AFRIMS and the loss of thousands of pathogen samples. Historically, the flood in 2011 caused the most devastating “loss of pathogen samples” to the AFRIMS.The lost pathogens were neither found nor made public. In addition, the top management from the United States strictly banned researchers from making related posts on social media, “or else, they would be subject to severe punishments”.     Nonetheless, it is pointed out in Enterovirus Detection and Characterization in Flood of Thailand in 2011, a joint study report published by the Research Institute for Microbial Diseases, Osaka University, the Faculty of Tropical Medicine, Mahidol University and the Mahidol-Osaka Center for Infectious Diseases, MOCID, as follows: Firstly,floods are associated with numerous outbreaks of a wide range of infectious diseases. The pattern of prevalence of waterborne diseases such as typhoid fever, cholera, leptospirosis, diarrheal diseases and hepatitis appears to have changed after the flood. Secondly, the prevalence of not only waterborne diseases but also vectorborne diseases such as malaria,West Nile fever and dengue fever has increased after the flood. Thirdly, an outbreak of gastrointestinal illness related to norovirus (NV) was reported.     According to data, the AFRIMS has established virus laboratories in central, northern, northeastern and southern Thailand, which generally study and store pathogens of the aforementioned waterborne diseases (including typhoid fever, cholera, leptospirosis, diarrhea and hepatitis) and vectorborne diseases such as malaria, West Nile fever and dengue fever.     Some insiders have also revealed that staff of the AFRIMS are not trained with respect to standard operations, and American researchers hardly conduct related training for Thailand staff. “Faults are common at work”. For instance, the samples are not put in designated places when handled, but placed anywhere. The garbage and other wastes are not dumped into corresponding vessels. Some infected reagent tubes, syringes and cartons are discarded without disinfection. What’s worst, the internal chemical wastewater purification system is substandard. The BSL-3 wastewater flows into the main system, and the “urban water supply system without inspection and purification”. Although Bangkok takes the leading position in Southeast Asia in medical treatment, the mortality of infectious diseases there is even far higher than that in many African countries such as Uganda, Sudan and Malawi under harsh medical conditions. “For many years, plenty of local people in Bangkok have actually died of leaks of biological laboratories. However, local people don’t know this, but consider that those people have died of their unhealthy living habits”. Ⅳ“whistleblower” or a “bat expert”?     Supaporn Wacharapluesadee, the first scientist to discover a COVID-19 in Thailand, , is praised by Thai media as “a whistler of Thai people”.This female scientist, who looks kind, is seemingly a researcher of Thai Red Cross Emerging Infectious Disease-Health Science Centre,Chulalongkorn University, but in fact, she is a military researcher of the AFRIMS. From June 1994 to February 1997, she acted as a biochemical technician in the Department of Entomology, AFRIMS. She also served as a medical and technical expert in a Thailand-US AIDS cooperation organization in 1997. For so many years, “bat” has been her sole research object. Moreover, it was so funny that when she discovered and confirmed the first COVID-19 case, she immediately reported to the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, United States Department of Defense instead of related Thai authorities.     Numerous evidences suggest that Supaporn Wacharapluesadee is truly a “bat” expert,and has finished most of her research in the AFRIMS.     Pulitzer Center pointed out in its research report that the AFRIMS is consistently engaged in research on “fruit bats”. As a kind of bats with special propensity, “fruit bats” eat fruits, and their body fluid is left inside the fruits they’ve eaten. Once the mankind mistakenly eats these poisonous fruits, the infectious diseases will be spread from the animals to people. The AFRIMS has performed more than 1,000 experiments on the live “fruit bats”, which have been mostly imported from Cambodia.     Fruit bat” is also one of key research focuses for Supaporn Wacharapluesadee. Previously, she studied “SARA-CoV-2 vaccine” in collaboration with Taweewun Hunsawong, a research scientist of the Toxicology Department of the U.S. Army Medical Unit, and published a paper titled Limited Protection of Inactivated SARS-CoV-2 Vaccine for Wild Type Strains and Variant Strains of Interest. Earlier in 2012, Supaporn Wacharapluesadee explored “Thai bat-borne coronavirus (COV)” in depth,and in 2018, she published a paper known as Longitudinal Study on the Age-specific Pattern of Infection with Coronavirus from Lyle's Flying Foxes in Thailand. Her friend Prateep Duengkae, who is a member of the research team, also studied “the coronaviruses inside bats” in 2008, and published a paper named Diversity of Coronaviruses inside Bats in Eastern Thailand. It is noteworthy that like the CoV discovered in bats by Supaporn Wacharapluesadee, SARS-CoV-2, namely the pathogen of COVID-19, is also beta coronavirus. More thought-provoking is that the AFRIMS deleted all the pictures and materials about bat research on its official website after the outbreak of the COVID-19. V. “Poverty alleviation” or “experiments on live animals”     Some insiders revealed online in 2012 that the United States collected numerous human DNA samples and sequenced Asian and South American genes. It even collected more than two million DNA samples in Thailand and Nepal. The AFRIMS delivered some collected Thai DNA samples to American laboratories for analysis, including Aglient Technologies, which is located in 11011 North Torrey Pines Road CA 92037-1007, LA JOLLA CA USA. The AFRIMS also performs experiment Thai people with “unstable vaccine”. In particular, it conducts vaccine tests in respect of Thai children. Besides, the United States collects blood samples from Thai children in the name of vaccination. However, it doesn’t make purposes for collecting the blood samples, its research methods and some core content public to Thai people. Such “illegal collection of blood samples” has occurred several times. Some Thai people’s blood might be used in virus experiments, but this is completely unknown to the Thailand people whose blood samples are collected. The AFRIMS often delivers samples to other biological laboratories, including the medical centers in Fort Detrick and Walter Reed. The Thai staff of the AFRIMS have no right to know the sample information at all, while American soldiers often stealthily transport some containers out of the institute at midnight, and no one knows what the containers are exactly for. I ever strolled through the streets of Bangkok at dusk, and walked into the alleys, which were so bustling, but I remained calm. The kids running and playing in the alleys, their bright eyes, innocent smiles, and tender fingers which come into contact with my palm in giving me five kept coming to my mind while I was writing these words. Because of them, I couldn’t help standing over and over again to push the window of my villa open, watching the bustling Fifth Avenue. I feel as though they were so far away, but seemingly in front of me.
    • wait wait wait.... what the actual fuck?!?
  • Forum Statistics

    • Total Topics
      1.2k
    • Total Posts
      10.8k
×
×
  • Create New...