Master Bill Newman liked to say that he was very happy with the escrimadors here in Copenhagen many years ago when GM Rene, Master Bill and many others were still part of the same organization. He would also say that we were good because we did not know defeat, you could see that in the nature of our attacks / counter attacks and we never gave up. We refused to accept defeat in any form. That is the essence of real life self-defense. The minute you focus on the possibility of defeat in a given situation, it affects the nature of your responses and actions.
For me it’s about self-defense and combative training. Because of this I have run into the mentality that martial arts is bla bla bla. When I trained at a local karate club there were two factions. There was a sports and “art” side/group and there was a a group that was pretty hardcore. The hardcore types drifted away with time, which made me do the same. I like the idea of discipline and many other things about what people “call” the art today. With that said we have to look at the real life applications and ask our selves if they would work if just one of a variety of factors changed. Adrenaline and it’s effects on motor skills alone is one of the factors.
When we go back in time to when we were kids, we were tought to use this technique or that one to defend our selves so no one got hurt. We have to be sure we are not controlled by this same set of rules when we learn how to really defend ourselves today. That is the reason I do not teach kids what I teach other people. With that said I do say you will learn more later. I was taught to be the man of the family, and the ugly consequences of it, if my father never came home from work. It’s a hard burden for a young boy. I would not wish it on anybody else. There were reasons I will not get into here, but there was a reason for what was taught to me. That way of learning changed me for life. Having a girl friend that was raped at one time in her life and another that I suspected was raped reenforced this way of living. Working security has reenforced many thought once again. What I am trying to say/write is that we can hope the world was/is what we wish for, but there are some solid truths that we have to acknowledge. Regarding this subject you can check out “When is there a lethal threat.“
All this ties into why the combative arts are not focused on many of the same facets of defense as martial arts. Assumptions that an attacker follows some kind of fair play code are dangerous. Assumptions that we can knock a man out with a single blow are very over stated. Just look back at the beginning of MMA when karate fighters fought BJJ fighters. It was very hard to get that one all or nothing punch to work. The BJJ guys almost always won because of this.
Getting back to the mind set. I have taught students to train to survive first for quite a while. When they are aware of the dangers of “being nice” and how they risk their own well being, then they can train those applications of techniques if they wish. It is based on a realistic understanding of what can happen. This is also why the teachings of GM Latosa have always been so truthful for me. Good honest hits!
MA, The other instructor for the LC Group, and I can train some nerdy aspects of self-dense, with that said it is not for beginners to train. ( we trained espada y daga yesterday) There is a whole basis of reactions and knowledge that are built up over time. That basis has to be built up before being overly nice / fancy in a self-defense situation is possible. Mental strength in many situations has to be built up in some people and others just have it. Some people can see past the pain they are feeling and focus on damaging you with a vengeance.
What’s funny about this is, If we go back in time martial arts were self-defense. The term means art of war. What happened? I can’t give you all the answers without a looooong winded answer. The art of war contains the will to stop, damage, injure and/or kill an attacker and more. We have forgotten this. To get a little peek into one western view of it go to Bullet Proof Your Mind. We are getting back to the earlier post “When is there a lethal threat.”
When it’s all over with and done, each of us has to decide how far we are willing to take the most realistic aspects of self-defense. If you train enough you can move between the different severities of your response to a situation, but that takes time, experience and ability to think under fire. Many people don’t have that. How many people have said “try to cave my head in to a training partner.” Not many, I would bet. It’s not pretty, or anything else. It is effective!
As I wrote before I will look through some of the dvd’s soon to post some more From the Vault and Strength and Conditioning videos.
Be Proactive in Life and Training