I've become more and more strict with myself in my training when it comes to this. The days of being impressed with a demonstration and then trying to imitate that spectacle are over. When watching a demonstration of a concept, it should be clear what the objective is. When watching combat sports, you see two people trying to win a fight as fast as possible, taking as little damage as possible. You can always see with at least one of the two fighters exactly what they're gameplan is and how they plan to win. They're not out there trying to show how well they can take a hit, they're there to finish. This is also the desired objective in almost any self defense context, with the exception of restraint obligations and third party protection. In its simplest form, self defense comes down to two universal tasks: reducing the risk of getting hurt and stopping the conflict from continuing. Watching someone dance around a swinging knife to make the point about movement or artificially run circles around a group of "attackers" looks great but doesn't teach anything. I like to call that "Youtube Fighting". People might even get results by trying to imitate this kind of stuff in class, but might be in for a nasty surprise when pressure testing or confronted by this scenario in real life. Maybe I sound bitter, but this is something that needs to be taken seriously. Get educated, not entertained.
When training to defend yourself in a specific scenario, apply the following action plan:
Survival Concept -> Strategy of Execution -> Tactics -> Experiment/Pressure Test -> Results Analysis
- Concept Stage
- Pressure Test
These are steps to organize your training and leave no room for mysticism. Keep your work honest, ego free and always seeking the truth. When watching a demonstration, viewers should be able to clearly see exactly what the defender is doing to protect themselves. This is the difference between impressing an audience or educating them. When the conflict is over, viewers should be thinking something along the lines of "oh I see what he did there. I'd like to try that myself it work for him." It might not be flashy, but it just might save your life. Happy training.
Fight or Die