Our Training Philosophy – Why do we teach what we do and why we do it a certain way
Martial arts styles and systems almost always have a history and tradition behind them that shape the what and why’s in its current version. In many cases things are done today the way they were 50 years ago because that’s tradition and ‘the way we’ve always done it’.
Programs will usually have 2 or 3 core items they emphasize such as conditioning or competition or self-defense. Some programs will also be very heavy on tradition such as oriental philosophy, terminology, weapons usage, demonstrations of respect, and your place in the program.
Our focus is on self-defense skill building in all it’s forms. We utilize the definition of good self-defense as protecting yourself (and your loved ones ) from any threat you may face including harassment, stalking, home invasion, etc.
Because of this broad view we encourage our students to learn and become proficient with the protective tools at their disposal – intuition, awareness, gun usage, knives, improvised weaponry, aggression, home fortification, boundary making, etc. We promote the idea of ‘the right tool, for the right job, at the right time’.
Furthermore, good self-defense does not happen standalone. There is good, better and best practices and we teach those in our “General Principles of Self-Defense” lessons up through black belt. Lessons such as Use of Force levels, Stun and Run, Interaction with law enforcement, Who is a bad guy, Escalation Principle, The OODA loop, Risk and Safety are a spectrum and Response to Threats.
One of the cornerstone principles in our teaching is the ‘ Is this really how things work?” question. So much of self-defense perception is guided by movies, TV, and fantasy people can easily get misdirected. Here are some things that we teach and discuss that just aren’t accurate.
– You can be punched 1 time and that’s all it takes to end a fight. The reality is, people can take huge amounts of damage and still be in the fight or a threat
– Guns are the end all and be all of taking care of yourself. Simply not true. Good gun skills take training and practice and should be intertwined with hand to hand skills.
– If you are trained you can easily handle multiple opponents. Not true. Even the Gracie Brothers instruct thier students to run in the face of several opponents. You are more than likely going to get beat badly.
– If you win a fight, everyone will congratulate you as a winner. The truth is if you ‘win’ that means you’ve done enough damage to the other to get them to stop the attack and now, you could be open to arrest or a lawsuit.
– Gun usage. There is a large amount of disinformation regarding the usage of a gun in a defensive shooting encounter such as – the bullets will stop or knock down an attacker. Not true. In many cases the aggressor does not know he’s been shot. Or you’ll feel this or that after a shooting – Often times, you’ll end up with PTSD symptoms and legal issues.
– The difference between men’s needs for self-defense and women’s needs for self-defense. Men fight for dominantion, women fight for survival. There should be an acknowledgment of those differences and avenues to address those needs.
– An understanding of the criminal mindset, how pre attack indicators show themselves, group dynamics. Attackers don’t bow before they advance on you.
– Knife attacks will come a certain way, like they will be displayed as a threat first. Not true. Knives CAN be displayed as a controlling factor but in many cases, the person is being stabbed rapidly and may not even know it.
Another important aspect of why we teach the way we do is stress innoculation. The ability to perform even basic techniques well under stress. It is very easy to do wrist release with brachial stun and takedown when there is no resistance and no combat stress. Now, have your partner pretend to punch you as fast and as hard as they can and see how the technique works.
Stress innoculaiton can come in different forms but it usually comes down to trying to mimic fight or combat scenarios with aggression and speed but in a safe manor.
In conclusion, it is counterproductive to spend huge amounts of time training for attacks that will never come, trying to master techniques that won’t work in modern scenarios and not having an understanding of modern self-defense needs.
See our link History and Lineage for more information