Martial Arts Training for Real Self-Defense
Making Sense of Chaos
I once had a talk with a student who pointed out the almost
insane notion that anyone could think that they could use
a preset string of moves (known as a kata, pronounced kah-tah)
to handle something as chaotic as a fight. He said it made
no sense to him how any master, who really knew what he was
talking about, could pass down "the answer" to such an unknown
as a fight.
He's right. And yet, day after day, in countless schools,
training centers, police departments, and military units around
the world, there are those who believe that what they are
learning will be exactly what they need to win, should they
ever be attacked.
Can you imagine, for those of you who have yet to be accosted,
what it feels like inside the heart of an attack? I mean,
what do you know about the situation that you haven't been
Unless you're clairvoyant and can see into the future - in
which case you wouldn't need self-defense training because
you would either...
1) know what to avoid, or...
2) know you weren't going to survive -
There is a plethora of things that you don't, and can't possibly,
know about this situation that hasn't happened yet. Things
A) Where you will be attacked (parking lot, building, your
car, at-home in-bed, etc.)
B) Who your attacker will be
C) How many assailants you will face
D) Whether or not there are any weapons involved (and what
type, if any)
E) How you will be attacked
F) What you'll be wearing or carrying that could help or hinder
G) Much, much more!
So, how can anyone think that a preset string of moves will
be of any use to them in an actual, real-world, attack? Better
still, why would they have been passed down for hundreds of
years if they couldn't help?
Well, the short of it, based on my own research, is this.
There are two schools of thought when it comes to answering
this question. The first is the idea that says...
..."we must make sure that warriors have a way to practice
during periods of peace so that they'll be ready for the next
war. So, what we'll do is string some basics together in a
way that they can rely on repetitive practice to stay ready."
The other so-called "school-of-thought" said, "Let's look
at the most common attacks that we, with our current set of
circumstances, will have to deal with. Then, we'll design
a set of example techniques - "fight-scenarios if-you-will
- that contain the essence or idea of what could be done in
a situation like that. We'll convey the principles and concepts
through techniques that are not so-much "set-in-stone" as
they are representations of these principles in action."
One school recognized the need to practice the basic mechanics
- the "brand" of punching, kicking, etc. (the "secrets") -
of their art when there wasn't a war going on. In fact, most
schools of training in Japan are still passed on this way.
The school allows the student's own intuitive and perceptual
powers to determine his or her own level of understanding.
However, for many of these martial systems, the techniques
ARE the art. That means that they represent that which makes
a particular lineage's techniques and "style" unique among
all others. It is not generally acceptable to change the techniques
for any reason, as in the case of my friend that I talked
The other school recognized that there is an infinite number
of combinations if we were to just focus on the mechanics
alone. They also recognized that "what" you do is not nearly
as important as "when", "why," "how," and under what circumstances
you would do anything. Granted, this was more difficult to
understand than the basic step-by-step method (which this
school DID employ by-the-way), but the idea was that, the
principles were much more important than the techniques if
one were to win in a conflict.
While the step-by-step, preset model approach does teach students
how to apply techniques, from my perspective and experience
with having to deal with violent attackers in real-world self-defense
situations, it is the later approach - the focus on workable
principles and concepts for controlling the situation - that
provides the real keys to mastery.
But, it's not martial arts mastery - the mastery of technique
- that I'm talking about. But rather the ability to master
Your Attacker's Perceptions
The Space and Distance within the fight
The Assailant's Options
And much Much MORE!
...that allows you to control the very flow of the situation,
from moment-to-moment, as it unfolds.
It is this grander-view of the reality of the situation that
allows the true martial arts master - the strategic warrior
commander, to see beyond the mere punching, kicking, or slashing
of the attacker. It is the view that allows us to make sense
out of the chaos that is a fight and...
...appear to be magicians and wizards to others with less
understanding of the workings of nature and the enlightened
wisdom of the trained martial master.
Read more like this by subscribing to the author's newsletter
For seminar & media requests, call (570) 988-2228 or go to
his website at www.warrior-concepts-online.com
Article Source: http://articles.directorygold.com
Return to The Mental
Game of Martial Arts Articles directory.