GUIDED CHAOS COMBATIVES vs. INTERNAL GUIDED CHAOS
by Ari Kandel
On a Monday in early 2007, right before the regular evening class began, Grandmaster John Perkins presented a thorough explanation and demonstration of the difference in application between Guided Chaos Combatives (easily learned external self-defense with internal elements) vs. pure internal Guided Chaos.
John explained that most of what you see in the current videos and demonstrations is really Guided Chaos Combatives. He demonstrated that even when he gets very dynamic, gyrating and contorting to evade and land strikes from crazy angles, so long as the strikes he lands materialize as defined striking weapons hitting specific areas (e.g. a yielding motion leads to a chop that winds its way into the throat, or a palm strike targeting the jaw), it's still Guided Chaos Combatives not fully internal Guided Chaos.
He also showed that the drop striking method he usually demonstrates, no matter how small he makes it, is still the "external" drop of Guided Chaos Combatives. This is the drop where you can see certain muscles tensing explosively for a split second, accelerating the striking weapon and bringing at least part of the body to an abrupt split-second stop before the flow continues.
As he demonstrated these ideas on me, I got the impression that everything he was doing that was Guided Chaos Combatives was in fact "evadable." I'm certainly not saying that I was good enough to actually evade his strikes, pulses and drops, but the pressures and impacts seemed linear and unidirectional, penetrating exactly where they hit. I felt that IF I were loose, sensitive and balanced enough to move in time, I could stay out of the way of the Guided Chaos Combatives movements and survive.
Pure internal Guided Chaos was a different feeling entirely!
I'd seen John briefly demonstrate internal Guided Chaos before, but had never gotten the opportunity to observe and feel it for an extended period of time.
Quite frankly, it was pretty freaky!!!
John first showed that pure Guided Chaos is non-specific and truly formless in weapons and targeting. When he moved on me (I can hardly say "attacked me" because it looked like he just slowly walked through me while raising his arm), his body and limbs did not assume any sort of form or position one would associate with striking, such as a fist or ax-hand. Nor did his limbs seek out any particular target. His whole body simply went forward loosely and made contact with whatever was there.
Here's where the really freaky part began. I remember in maybe sixth grade, in science class, we combined water and cornstarch to explore the simultaneous solid and liquid properties of magma. (Please don't take me to task here on the actual science involved--it was a while ago and I don't have time to do a lot of research! Suffice to say that the right mixture of water and cornstarch produces a "non-Newtonian" liquid that flows and pours like a typical viscous liquid but resists and breaks like a solid when and where agitated.) Seeing and feeling John move reminded me of this. John appeared to be moving completely freely and loosely, flowing like water with no strength or resistance. However, wherever I touched his arm or vice-versa, it felt solid and unyielding as a rock, even though he did not appear to be stopping or bracing against the contact at all! When he told me to try to evade his touch (which, again, LOOKED effortless and light as a feather but FELT extremely heavy, dense and irresistible), I found that I could not. Wherever and however I moved, the pressure from the contact followed with no delay and penetrated completely, immediately taking my balance.
When he hit me using internal Guided Chaos, he did not go for any particular target with any particular striking surface. He just walked through me while raising his limbs. There was no sudden acceleration nor stopping as he hit. His limbs just seemed to penetrate right through me with no effort. The Guided Chaos Combatives strikes certainly hurt where they hit and felt like they could do real damage with additional depth, but the pure Guided Chaos hits (or more appropriately collisions--instances where John's relaxed limbs happened to intersect with my body) seemed to just cave in everything, collapsing my whole body and balance. Simple pocketing wouldn't help me, as I would still get penetrated. I felt like I had to move my whole body out of the way in order to survive--but this was impossible because my balance was completely thrown with the first contact, and the pulse followed my center perfectly through any point of contact no matter where I moved. The impacts came with absolutely no warning because they were all just part of John's loose movement through me. There was no detectable lining up nor acceleration as there is in Guided Chaos Combatives.
John showed how unimpressive pure Guided Chaos dropping looks when done without a target. His whole body just appeared to soften a bit and his hand went forward a few inches like a puff of air. There was no visible explosion, no sudden acceleration or stopping of the motion, no STOMP to shake the room. It became obvious why he normally demonstrates the more intimidating "external" drop, as the Guided Chaos internal drop really looks like nothing special. In fact, when you see its effect on a human target, the demonstration looks FAKE, because of the apparent lack of effort on John's part combined with the devastated reaction of the target person. All I can say is . . . FEEL it yourself before ye judge!
As John applied internal Guided Chaos on me and on a few other people present, it looked impossibly simple. John simply walked toward me while lazily lifting his arms. Any punches, grabs or other arm attacks I tried were immediately slammed out of the way by his flaccid, slow-moving arms. With any speed added, I have no doubt my arms could have been broken, despite my moderate level of looseness. His limbs then continued to reach or fold in, his body following smoothly behind them, to slam any random part of my torso or head with knee-buckling shock. Often his arms would happen to slam, or unbalance and slam, my body in multiple directions simultaneously, calling the integrity of my neck and spine into question. He seemed to have no concern about the striking surface used, slamming with equal effectiveness with all sides of the shoulder, upper arm, elbow, forearm, wrist and open hand. Whenever I tried to lift my leg to kick outside of range of his arms, one of his legs would simply come forward in a slightly extended yet still perfectly balanced and controlled step, immediately throwing me way off-balance and into yet more effortless slams. As he advanced through me, his hips and knees created similarly devastating impacts.
When John demonstrated on one of the bigger and sturdier, albeit less experienced students, he commented that he actually had to hold back more when hitting the bigger student because he wasn't as loose as I am and therefore couldn't safely absorb as much impact. This was clear as John rocked the student's whole body with what appeared to be little pats to his arms.
John pointed out that because it takes many years of proper training to produce and apply such devastating power, for self-defense purposes, he teaches his students to target particularly vulnerable areas of the body with the most suitable striking weapons, a la Guided Chaos Combatives, and slowly infuses the internal concepts into the students' movement.
The longer I study and practice this stuff, the more I realize how much further I have to go!