Nothing is automatic, we need to give our sub-conscious mind some very clear options if we wish it to not only choose for us under pressure but choose wisely.
This is another part of the free preview to my E-Book MAKING YOUR MARTIAL ART WORK ON THE STREET,
WHAT IS THE SITUATION THAT YOU ARE DEFENDING YOURSELF FROM?
The Majority of people that train Martial Arts do not have very much personal experience in fighting, most of the assumptions of what a street situation will be like have no basis in reality, most of the knowledge that they are working from is only what they have witnessed, and that will overwhelmingly be either Competition Match Fighting or on screen Movie Fighting, this is where they get their internal idea of what a fight looks like, no one does this deliberately it is just the way our brains file away information, you see it everyday with new students, they are trying real hard to look like a Jackie Chan, a Bruce Lee or a Liam Neeson.
Movie fights need very clever people to set up the fight scenes so that they look like a fight to the camera, this usually means the swings need to be bigger and slower so they do not blur, in fact most movie fight scenes are shot relatively slowly, pretty much walking pace and then the frame rate is adjusted in post production, punches that break toilets in 2 or smash tiles from the wall hardly even bruise the hero, and it takes an atomic bomb of a combo to eventually put down the Bad Guy, even then he is likely to come back for one last futile gasp of an attack, and the hero comes out with a band aid on his nose or an arm in a sling, especially Jason Statham or Matt Dillon.
Match fighting, as real as it gets match fighting is still entertainment on one level, no one likes to pay good money for a fight that is over in 5 seconds, the first few rounds are just to give the punter his monies worth, both of these set up fight situations unconsciously have us thinking there will be time to get the job done, while in reality there will not be, street events are over in a matter of seconds, even if the beating goes on for minutes there was no doubt about the outcome after the first 5 seconds, movie and match fights unconsciously have us disconnecting to how bad it feels and how serious the consequences are when someone punches us in the face, real hard.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
A couple of things, firstly we need to change what we think a street situation will be all about, it may shake our conviction for a while but once the dust settles and we accept that this was the way it always was anyway we will be training for something a lot more likely to happen.
Secondly, if street situations only last 5 seconds we need to be the one finishing it in 5 seconds, do you train to put people away, or at least do you incorporate putting your attacker down and pissing off?
The Nike defence has saved many lives, do you add it to your own training, do you have an exit strategy to use after you have dropped your best moves on a Bad Guy?
HOW DO YOU KNOW WHEN YOU HAVE WON?
So here we are it has all kicked off and we are deep in the middle of the one thing we never wanted to be in the middle of, being in the middle is easy, the Bad Guy decided that, but how do we end it?
WHAT IS A WIN?
Does pushing him on his ass and running away count as a win? If it doesn’t will you allow yourself to take this option?
There is plenty of advice available on the Internet about the importance of fighting to the goal but how do we know what the goal is when we are in the middle of somebody else’s sh*t storm?
If in everyday training the usual procedure is for us to do our stuff and then stop and let our partner have his turn then guess what, that is the goal of that training exercise, that is the goal you are fighting to here and now, the goal was to finish your attack and allow the other guy to have a go.
In training if you do something wrong, use an improper strike for the combo or use it in a different sequence what do you do, do you carry on regardless to the goal or do you stop and replay it. If you stop and replay then the goal is perfection and not punishment.
Can a strike really be delivered from too close or too far or be wrong in any way if it connects with the target in such a way that it compromises the targets defence and allows us to follow up with more strikes?
Nothing is automatic, we need to give our sub-conscious mind some very clear options if we wish it to not only choose for us under pressure but choose wisely. If we genuinely think that pushing people over and pissing off is a good option, a good result then we need to put it into our training, always finish with a goal achieved and acknowledge it to ourself before we give our partner his turn, and encourage our partner to do the same, because in doing this we remind ourself that the other guy has a plan as well, and it is to hurt us.