What's more important?

What's more important?

Joined: February 4th, 2004, 8:13 pm

August 1st, 2012, 5:34 pm #1

Self-Defense techniques or Freestyle (sparring), and why?

Let's say you had to choose between these:

a) your training can be only in self-defense techniques, along with training your basics (so no sparring training at all)

or

b) your training consists only of sparring, along with training your basics. So no self-defense techniques.


Which of the two, in your opinion, would prepare you better for a real life self-defense situation?
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Joined: February 5th, 2004, 6:11 pm

August 1st, 2012, 8:33 pm #2

If you only spar with tippy tap shots that "score points" but don't hit hard you will not be in position to defend yourself.

If you only do techniques against compliant, non-realistic attacks you will not be in position to defend yourself.

I fully believe you need both and focusing on only one is limiting your ability.

Thanks for what promises to be an interesting discussion Mike. I hope all is well with you.
Vishal
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Joined: August 13th, 2004, 2:43 pm

August 2nd, 2012, 12:28 am #3

Self-Defense techniques or Freestyle (sparring), and why?

Let's say you had to choose between these:

a) your training can be only in self-defense techniques, along with training your basics (so no sparring training at all)

or

b) your training consists only of sparring, along with training your basics. So no self-defense techniques.


Which of the two, in your opinion, would prepare you better for a real life self-defense situation?
IMHO and experience, Only real situation will prepare you for the real deal... Once it happens and you'll know your answer.You either maintain composure and are successful or you loose the battle and mess up. Only reality will prepare you for your adrenaline rush you either sink or swim. I have seen many well trained "Martial Artist" get killed or hurt or stabbed on the street or KO'd because they couldn't handle a real attack! The answer IMHO is to train an attacker who will come at you 99% with protective gear,"RED MAN SUIT".. then spar or self defense training does not matter, you will be ready.. Train your ability to control your adrenaline and keep a level head and you will win...
Salute
A Collado
Last edited by kenpohands on August 2nd, 2012, 12:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: May 7th, 2009, 2:29 am

August 2nd, 2012, 7:02 am #4

Self-Defense techniques or Freestyle (sparring), and why?

Let's say you had to choose between these:

a) your training can be only in self-defense techniques, along with training your basics (so no sparring training at all)

or

b) your training consists only of sparring, along with training your basics. So no self-defense techniques.


Which of the two, in your opinion, would prepare you better for a real life self-defense situation?
Self Defense applications abound in the Martial Arts. They can be extracted from solo forms, partner, drills, weapon drills and so on. When you encounter X problem, you can use Y solution. That can teach a student of a Martial Art, a solution to a particular problem but does not necessarily instill in the student all of the ingredients needed to reach a successful degree of self-defense ability. Just because a student is taught how a move can be used in a particular self-defense situation does not mean the student acquired the necessary elements that will lead to successfully using the learned solution.

Ingraining a solution to be triggered reflexively requires repeated exposure to the trigger. The damage that a solution may cause also needs to be digested and accepted by the user otherwise hesitation may occur from an unwillingness to inflict that level of destructiveness on another person during an actual situation or hesitation may occur immediately after using the solution. For example, teaching the snapping of a finger to cause the release of a grab is effective but the user may not be emotionally prepared to deal with the screaming and enraged attacker immediately after snapping his finger.

Many Self-Defense applications in the Martial Arts are taught devoid of a resisting attacker, so that a student can better learn the new move, which is OK if after the student learns the application they train up to the point of using it while under the pressure of resistance. Many Martial Artist fail in a self-defense situation because they do not train their movements past the initial lessons that first introduced the solutions to them.

Free Sparring is also a futile waste of time if the Martial Artist makes no attempt at applying learned Self-Defense Solutions. If it degenerates to a game of scoring points, if there is no contact and thus no realistic range requirements or if the parties are not taking it seriously.

Another element to consider is the conditioning required to execute an application. When learned in the often sterile environment of a commercial studio, the solution is explained as if by its very design it will guarantee success with minimal conditioning required. However, a weak body that cannot take a single strike from an attacker without breaking may never have a chance to apply the self-defense solution and a poorly conditioned weapon may break on contact with a target.

In conclusion, you will need more then free sparring or self-defense techniques to be able to use your martial arts well, you will need many elements of training to come together and so my advice is to neglect nothing in your training. Train that which you enjoy and that which you find tedious, do not adjust your Martial Arts philosophy to justify your inclinations. Remember that everything from alert observation and strategic analysis to de-escalation and psychological warfare are all ingredients to aid in your success in protecting yourself and loved ones. Train well.
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Joined: October 14th, 2005, 5:16 am

August 2nd, 2012, 1:21 pm #5

Self-Defense techniques or Freestyle (sparring), and why?

Let's say you had to choose between these:

a) your training can be only in self-defense techniques, along with training your basics (so no sparring training at all)

or

b) your training consists only of sparring, along with training your basics. So no self-defense techniques.


Which of the two, in your opinion, would prepare you better for a real life self-defense situation?
Training is the key, and with the right attitude, proper instructor and advanced system that covers true self defense.

http://skski.weebly.com/kempo-arts.html

Above link is a good read, yes it is one that is in the business of training in many aspects of the whole art and delve's into the eastern mind as well as the basic principles of self defense. Self defense is not all about hitting/striking and fighting.

Counting coup was very important in many hunter gather tribes, not taking a life, yet showing ones courage!!!

Similarities exist is all of MA, you need to train, keeping your body and mind fit for possible action, going out and getting drunk or just .10 will not keep your mind clear, when you need it to be.

So a complete package is much better than what is mentioned, there is no a-b or c-d, in training, it is more, like the whole alphabet.


Regards,
Gary

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Joined: December 5th, 2006, 3:38 pm

August 2nd, 2012, 5:30 pm #6

Self-Defense techniques or Freestyle (sparring), and why?

Let's say you had to choose between these:

a) your training can be only in self-defense techniques, along with training your basics (so no sparring training at all)

or

b) your training consists only of sparring, along with training your basics. So no self-defense techniques.


Which of the two, in your opinion, would prepare you better for a real life self-defense situation?
Not a whole lot to add but a word of caution when it comes to protective equipment. I had the opportunity to work with some Navy Spec War types visiting Stennis in the early 90's. Their equipment of choice at the time was Redman. The guy I played with was an instructor with a background in Kyokushinkai, SCARS, and SAFTA. This was before Dieter's CQD so there was a heavy emphasis on striking. As you can guess, the session was brutal and everyone was bruised and bleeding at the end. The point the instructor emphasized to all of us was that protective equipment changes the paradigm of combative defense. We have all seen the RBSD videos showing a "real" knife attack where the bad guy turns into a bull with a sewing machine in his hand while the defender tries to stop the bleeding while backing up. With no protection involved, the defender follows the rules and tries to stop the attack usually by trying to grab. Incorporating protective equipment, the defender now throws ineffectual (usually) strikes again while backing up quickly. The bad guy NEVER responds to the throat shot or the claw hand to face/eyes. I've had the privilege of working with several military H2H instructors but the SEAL's really seemed to emphasize targeting more than the Marines and especially more than the Army. In order to work around the induced "un-reality" of protective equipment, we did a lot of slo-mo drilling to target with enough "dig" into said target to elicit a reaction. Another combative aspect drilled into us was mindset and that was a very insightful lesson in itself.
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Joined: February 4th, 2004, 8:13 pm

August 3rd, 2012, 2:44 pm #7

If you only spar with tippy tap shots that "score points" but don't hit hard you will not be in position to defend yourself.

If you only do techniques against compliant, non-realistic attacks you will not be in position to defend yourself.

I fully believe you need both and focusing on only one is limiting your ability.

Thanks for what promises to be an interesting discussion Mike. I hope all is well with you.
Vishal
Good points. Thanks for responding. Things are going well, thanks. I hope all is well on your end.

Michael Miller
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Joined: February 4th, 2004, 8:13 pm

August 3rd, 2012, 2:53 pm #8

IMHO and experience, Only real situation will prepare you for the real deal... Once it happens and you'll know your answer.You either maintain composure and are successful or you loose the battle and mess up. Only reality will prepare you for your adrenaline rush you either sink or swim. I have seen many well trained "Martial Artist" get killed or hurt or stabbed on the street or KO'd because they couldn't handle a real attack! The answer IMHO is to train an attacker who will come at you 99% with protective gear,"RED MAN SUIT".. then spar or self defense training does not matter, you will be ready.. Train your ability to control your adrenaline and keep a level head and you will win...
Salute
A Collado
Thanks for your response. I think the red man suit has some good aspects to it. As was mentioned below, the person wearing a red man suit doesn't react in a way someone without one would. Obviously we can't go full throttle on someone without one. One thing I do like about the suit, however, is it trains you to keep fighting. Have the attacker coming at you as you strike him hard. He then keeps coming and you have to continue to strike and strike hard.

I totally agree with you when it comes to reality. You can't prepare 100 percent for a real situation. Only being in a real situation does that. I feel, however, how we train and how well we are educated will get us as close to reality as possible. A lot of it is mental. Would you agree? We have to learn to not freeze in a real situation. So many things aren't thought about generally. Like what Sami touched on (the sound when you break a bone, screaming, blood, etc.). We need to be prepared for that kind of stuff.

I look forward to meeting you in October.

Michael Miller
Last edited by millhouse23 on August 3rd, 2012, 2:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: February 4th, 2004, 8:13 pm

August 3rd, 2012, 2:55 pm #9

Self Defense applications abound in the Martial Arts. They can be extracted from solo forms, partner, drills, weapon drills and so on. When you encounter X problem, you can use Y solution. That can teach a student of a Martial Art, a solution to a particular problem but does not necessarily instill in the student all of the ingredients needed to reach a successful degree of self-defense ability. Just because a student is taught how a move can be used in a particular self-defense situation does not mean the student acquired the necessary elements that will lead to successfully using the learned solution.

Ingraining a solution to be triggered reflexively requires repeated exposure to the trigger. The damage that a solution may cause also needs to be digested and accepted by the user otherwise hesitation may occur from an unwillingness to inflict that level of destructiveness on another person during an actual situation or hesitation may occur immediately after using the solution. For example, teaching the snapping of a finger to cause the release of a grab is effective but the user may not be emotionally prepared to deal with the screaming and enraged attacker immediately after snapping his finger.

Many Self-Defense applications in the Martial Arts are taught devoid of a resisting attacker, so that a student can better learn the new move, which is OK if after the student learns the application they train up to the point of using it while under the pressure of resistance. Many Martial Artist fail in a self-defense situation because they do not train their movements past the initial lessons that first introduced the solutions to them.

Free Sparring is also a futile waste of time if the Martial Artist makes no attempt at applying learned Self-Defense Solutions. If it degenerates to a game of scoring points, if there is no contact and thus no realistic range requirements or if the parties are not taking it seriously.

Another element to consider is the conditioning required to execute an application. When learned in the often sterile environment of a commercial studio, the solution is explained as if by its very design it will guarantee success with minimal conditioning required. However, a weak body that cannot take a single strike from an attacker without breaking may never have a chance to apply the self-defense solution and a poorly conditioned weapon may break on contact with a target.

In conclusion, you will need more then free sparring or self-defense techniques to be able to use your martial arts well, you will need many elements of training to come together and so my advice is to neglect nothing in your training. Train that which you enjoy and that which you find tedious, do not adjust your Martial Arts philosophy to justify your inclinations. Remember that everything from alert observation and strategic analysis to de-escalation and psychological warfare are all ingredients to aid in your success in protecting yourself and loved ones. Train well.
I appreciate your response and it is certainly well received. Great points.
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Joined: August 14th, 2004, 8:13 am

August 3rd, 2012, 10:16 pm #10

Self-Defense techniques or Freestyle (sparring), and why?

Let's say you had to choose between these:

a) your training can be only in self-defense techniques, along with training your basics (so no sparring training at all)

or

b) your training consists only of sparring, along with training your basics. So no self-defense techniques.


Which of the two, in your opinion, would prepare you better for a real life self-defense situation?
It all boils down to your individual Intention for Prevention. How do you intend to defend yourself? What is your training purpose? What is the Combat model you feel will best increase your chances of survival in all environments and how far are you willing to go to ensure that survival?

If your intention is to obliterate your attacker with out regard or consideration for their well being then you must train at the required distance with the intention to go through and into the body, effecting the skeleton and the surrounding anatomy it supports. The best method for this is technique training, wherein one develops the ability to manipulate in close quarters through contact manipulation driven by the applicable mental state of mind.

Once you become comfortable at operating physically at close range you either will or wont adapt mentally to this applicable state of mind (may not be your combat model, it takes a steel will to so destructively controlling), if you take it on you will perform to optimum at that range.

If your intention is to deter your attacker with controlled responses aimed at keeping a safe distance between you then free-styling would apply, although in most extremely violent confrontations the distance is closed very quickly and if you dont have close quarter experience you will be jammed and trapped rapidly even if unintentionally.

If your intention is to become a World champion free-style martial artist then freestyle is the way to go.

IMHO

Best in Kenpo,
Brye Cooper
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