Lets keep this simple. You cannot learn self-defense by watching DVD’s or reading a book you need to get out there and continually practice.
There are many schools of thought out there as it pertains to self- defense, traditional martial arts and combative systems and how they work in real world situations. Let’s not confuse sport fighting and a martial art we do for fun or exercise as a system for real world encounters. As I always talk about in my classes there won’t be an electronic timer or referee with you out on the street when you get into a confrontation, you’re on your own. So let’s keep it as simple as we can, direct to the point and get the job done and get home safely.
I have studied martial art that had complex, fancy movements, very little contact or pulled strikes. In a training facility we work in an atmosphere on being compliant with our training partners. The “Be Compliant” memo did not get out to the criminal who has bad intent to you and your family. They fight dirty, could be drunk or on drugs and really just don’t care about you. This being said, I do not mean you have to beat each other to a pulp every day in the training facility to learn how to defend yourselves. You need to be training as real as possible, use protective gear if needed and get in and “mix it up” with different people of different sizes and strengths and sometimes use the “non-compliant attitude” with your training partners. See what works and what doesn’t work. Keep what works for you, toss the rest.
Self-defense is not all physical. A good instructor will teach you that you should have a mental component to it also. You need to have a plan, a strategy for dealing with a potentially violent situation. Keep it simple. We want to train for the worst case scenario so the simple things are easy to handle.
Coming up next I will talk about mind-set or attitude in training from a student and instructor perspective.