Sparring vs. Self Defense

Discussion in 'Wing Chun' started by KPM, Sep 6, 2018.

  1. KPM

    KPM Senior Master

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    I was thinking about his recently and came across this video that is a pretty good illustration. This is not Wing Chun, but illustrates what I was thinking. I thought this might make a good topic for discussion.

    Recently I had pretty much concluded that "traditional" arts just don't work well for real fighting. When you look at just about any "traditional" art when they try to spar or free-fight they often end up resorting to some variation of kickboxing and often don't look too much like their traditional training. You see this in Wing Chun, but also in a lot of other "traditional" arts.

    But.....maybe I am defining "real fighting" inaccurately? Maybe equating it to a face-off exchange between two competitors is not the only way to define it?

    Many "traditional" arts have a "self defense" orientation and are often geared towards working in that environment. And no doubt, defending your life is a "real" fight! But this won't always be a "give and take" exchange like a sparring match. It seems to me that very often the orientation of a "self defense" art is to respond to a committed attack, and to keep responding until the attack is neutralized. This is very different from standing in a "face off" situation and "feeling out" an opponent in a sparring match. Fighting in a sparring or competition context very often involves UNCOMMITTED attacks! Fast jabs from just out of range....probing low-line kicks.....baiting and feinting to drawn an opponent out. And responding to such probing attacks with your own uncommitted responses to avoid a counter....hence, the back and forth "give and take" kind of exchange develops. This is what we see almost any time people are sparring. But this isn't necessarily how things develop on the street, and isn't necessarily how things happened on the battlefields of days gone by.

    Wing Chun has been described at times as an "ambush" art. This can imply responding to an ambush.....a surprise attack at close range that you defend against and counter quickly to neutralize the threat. Since it is close range and you want to keep it there until the attack is neutralized, Chi Sau skills come in very handy! There is no "squaring off" with the opponent to feel each other out with uncommitted probing attacks and half responses! And this can also imply launching the ambush! If you are a Wing Chun guy determined to take someone out you are going to do it at close range and with a barrage of fast strikes! It is NOT to your advantage to give the opponent and opportunity to back up and get out of close range where your Wing Chun is designed to work!

    Here is the video I mentioned. This is Maul Mornie doing SSBD. I have had the honor of training with Maul and he is very impressive! But his videos have been criticized because he uses compliant partners and never shows any free-sparring. But again, his art was not designed for free-sparring and for the kind of fight you see in contests and sparring matches. His art was designed for fast and brutal self-defense. So it is really predicated upon someone making a committed attack that he can interrupt and disrupt and take control and finish the opponent. No "give and take" is intended! You just don't do this in a typical sparring match! At least not without regularly damaging your sparring partners! Check out this video where he shows how he would defend against a jab-cross. Now granted, Eric is not a boxer and not throwing that jab and cross very convincingly! But the point here is that Maul is going to stay just out of range until his attacker launches a committed blow and is not going to get into a free exchange at close range! I'm thinking Wing Chun was probably designed to be used in a similar way, and this is why people have a lot of trouble using the "traditional" version in a sparring scenario. It wasn't designed for a sparring scenario any more than SSBD was!


     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2018
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  2. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    I haven’t had a chance to watch the video, but I agree with your message.

    Sparring is a game, done with controlled power, even when it is rough. Fighting is not. Fighting is about beating the other guy as quickly as possible. There is no place for the “game” of sparring, in fighting. Sparring in a fight just delays what you are trying to accomplish and gives the enemy more opportunity to beat you. If you have the room and the time to spar in a fight, then you have opportunity to escape without engaging the fight at all. I always recommend taking that opportunity.

    Sparring can be a useful tool, but in my opinion a lot of people give it more value than it merits, put it on a pedestal that it does not deserve. Sparring is not the ultimate training method, nor the ultimate test of ones ability.
     
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  3. Steve

    Steve Mostly Harmless

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    If you can't spar, you can't fight. Not to say that everyone who spars can fight.
     
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  4. Danny T

    Danny T Senior Master

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    Most sparring and competition fighting is symmetrical; two evenly matched opponents, whether empty hand or each using the same evenly matched weapon. This is a great way to introduce students to many of the skills they need for combat. Many even stay in this symmetrical mode their whole martial arts careers with the only place they ever fight in are tournaments or dueling matches (Kickboxing, Boxing, MMA).

    Things are different in a real self defense fight for you life though. Success is defined not by scoring more points, or even knocking your opponent out, but by you coming out of the altercation in as close to the same condition as you went into it as possible. In short, you are not looking to “Win” but to “Survive.”

    Unless you are a law enforcement officer intending to arrest a criminal; on the street your mind should be focused on “Avoid” or “Escape” rather than on “Win.” One concept you must understand is that real street attacks are rarely as symmetrical as a regular tournament, ring, or cage match.

    Seldom on the street are you attacked by a single opponent who is your equal in size, strength or endurance and armed with exactly the same weapon as you are carrying (if you are carrying any weapon at all). Usually street attacks are more asymmetrical. The opponent (or opponents) is larger or stronger, has superior numbers or is better armed than the person he is attacking and it is usually an ambush of some type.
    If they didn’t think the odds were in their favor, they wouldn’t attack you in the first place. Therefore, to prepare for the real world, we need to make our sparring reflect this asymmetrical aspect. The following are drills we use from Pekiti-Tirsia in our self defense training in all of our classes. You'll quickly see that these sparring drills are not the same as stand your ground dueling that most matches are but rather about surviving or quickly getting past the attacker and getting away.

    Note 1. These drills are for relatively experienced students who are proficient in their basic, foundational techniques. Therefore, this training should be focused on the application of principles, instead of the learning of new techniques.

    Note 2. The concept for many of these drills are scenario based and asymmetrical.

    Note 3. Start each drill with the “Good Guy” using the safety/trainer version of the weapon/tool he actually would carry on his person in that situation or empty handed. Have the “Bad Guys” armed with the safety/trainer versions of whichever weapons they might have in that situation. Later you can mix things up to account for the good guy disarming a bad guy’s weapon and using it, or the bad guys having better weapons than normal. The good guy should also carry his trainer where he normally carries his real weapon and practice the draw during the stress of the drill.

    Note 4: Keep each “round” of sparring to 5 to 10 seconds, since this is the time frame that most real fights are won or lost. Students should fight no more than three rounds in a row as the “good guy” as a safety factor, (when you are tired you can make mistakes that get you hurt). When not sparring, they can learn a lot by watching and seeing the big picture.
    Remember, the student’s primary goal in these drills is not to win but to learn.

    ASYMMETRICAL SPARRING DRILLS:

    STREET WALK: Scenario: You are walking down the street and see various objects and people who may or may not be dangerous. Observe and plan ahead.

    STREET WALK 1. (Consider this one a warm up drill). A line on the floor is a “bottle neck ” or “choke point.” Have a “bad guy” walk through the bottle neck, while the “good guy” comes from the opposite direction. The good guy’s job is to time his walk through the choke point so that he is not walking in the danger zone at the same time a “bad guy” is passing through. The bad guy should maintain his pace as he approaches the choke point, while the good guy learns to estimate when the bad guy will arrive there. The good guy can speed up or slow down his approach to get his timing right.

    If the good guy gets his timing wrong and meets the bad guy at the choke point, the bad guy will reach out to touch his shoulder, but do no more than that. The good guy should sidestep or parry this, but do no more than that. There is no fighting in this drill, just avoidance of proximity in a specific location, at a specific time.

    If the bad guy stops in the choke point, waiting for the good guy, then he is setting up an ambush and the good guy should cross the “street” while keeping the bad guy in view. If the good guy normally carries a weapon, then he should practice walking with his weapon side away from other nearby pedestrians, while not blocking his view of bad guy number one.

    STREET WALK 2. Several students walk down the “street” approaching the good guy, but only one is the bad guy. Bad guy chooses when and if to attack. The signal for an imminent attack is the bad guy moving into your lane of traffic. Good guy’s job is to either maintain a safe distance, escape the immediate area or to take cover. He can’t attack someone unless they attack him first and his counters must follow a justified use of force continuum.

    BODYGUARD. Scenario: A well trained/armed person is walking with a non trained/armed or less trained/armed person who they are responsible for.

    BODYGUARD 1. Non-combatant: Variables here could be a child or elderly person, or a completely untrained and unarmed, but otherwise healthy adult.
    You and a “non-combatant” are attacked and you must get the non-combatant to safety, while still defending yourself. What are the differences in strategy when protecting someone who can move quickly and effectively follow directions under stress vs. protecting someone who cannot?

    BODYGUARD 2. Full combatant partnered with semi-combatant. My Silat instructor called this “husband and wife” training. These days I think of this as “big gun-little gun” or “gun guy-knife guy” training. During an altercation, knife guy moves to gun guy’s back and warns of danger from behind and can use the knife to maintain a clear space behind them.
    On the go signal, knife person grabs partner’s belt or shirt and guides gun guy towards cover while giving verbal or physical direction.

    BODYGUARD 3. AKA the “Dad, Mom & Kids” drill. When violence is imminent, Dad’s job is to draw the attention of the bad guys and hold them off and/or counter attack, while Mom grabs kid(s) and moves towards nearest escape route. Once mom and kids are safe, she signals Dad who either joins them or moves to his nearest cover. I’ve used this often with my family as a mental exercise. “OK guys, where are the exits and cover in this restaurant/park/shopping center? Where should we meet up afterwards if we can’t get back to our car?”

    HOME INVASION. Scenario: Our worst nightmare; bad guys in our home. (This one can get emotionally intense, so keep to short 5 second rounds for safety.) In each of these drills, use two heavy bags to act as a doorway. This allows using the “doorjamb” (surface of the heavy bag) as a weapon or as cover, as well as practicing with your weapons in a confined space.

    HOME INVASION 1.
    You are standing in front of your bedroom door, keeping the bad guys from getting to your family. You can’t let the bad guys get past you.

    HOME INVASION 2.
    There is a bad guy in front of your bedroom door and another bad guy inside attacking your family. You have to get past the first bad guy to save your family.

    HOME INVASION 3. Version A adds a large foam shield tied to one heavy bag to act as a door. Good guy is answering his front door. Two or more bad guys are outside of the home. When door opens bad guys try to push their way in. Good guy tries to close door and then defends with hands, and safe trainer versions of a knife, stick, machete, handgun or long gun. Space and time limitations come into play (how fast can they enter vs. how fast can bring weapons into action and end the threat with different weapons). This can also be good training in the use of the door itself as a shield or weapon.

    Version B. This is best done in a real doorway, (choose one without glass in it or near-by). Safety tip. Work this one slowly and plan your actions ahead of time and use safety trainers or “stunt doubles” where applicable. An example of a stunt double would be to substitute a rolled up piece of carpet for a bad guy’s head; practicing closing the door on it and then pushing it out the door, then closing and locking the door. (yes, it’s best to practice all the actions if you want them to come out reliably under stress). A good homework assignment is for students to look at the doorways to their homes for blindspots where bad guys can hide. Note: security cameras are inexpensive and easy to install these days. Even a convex mirror put in the right place can aid in removing blind spots around your home.

    TEAM GET HOME. An alternative to the bodyguard is a group of equals (for example, martial arts students) walking down the street together. They are attacked by a group of bad guys. How do the students work as a team, while in the space they have and with the tools available to them?

    The set up for this drill is to first define your fighting space. We have done this using a wall of the school to represent a “hard barrier” (such as a building on one side of a sidewalk), while a line of heavy bags can represent a “soft barrier” that you can climb over or go between (such as a row of parked cars), on the other side of the sidewalk.

    Much of this drill is learning the range of your own weapons and how not to hit your partners as you fight and not to impede their own movements.

    With an odd number of good guys, we have found it effective to stagger them in a reverse wedge or V formation, so that the middle good guy is back a step or so from his partners. The bad guys get funneled into this gap, where the front good guys (who have one of their sides protected by a barrier) can attack them from the sides. With an even number of good guys, try to form a reverse trapezoid, with the back guys forming a line at the bottom.

    An alternate is to form the V formation and use the extra good guy(s) to guard the flank on the side with the soft barrier. Having this man take an extra step or two back from parallel with the center good guy will widen his field of view and help him watch for flanking maneuvers from the bad guys. It will also help keep him away from an accidental hit from the center good guy’s weapons.

    Learning how to signal other team members, how to retreat as a group and who should signal this, how to bunker down and defend a fixed, three-sided area (defined as a place where your sides and back are protected by hard barriers), are all important parts of this drill.

    I’ve taught this drill as part of an anti-riot escape plan; using your Get-Home-Bag on your left arm as a shield; while adding a plastic cutting board for knife resistance or a kevlar insert for bullet resistance inside the bag. Add a weapon drawn from the bag in your right hand and this can become part of a viable escape package.

    Because of the high number of moving parts to this drill (and because the students get so excited when training this way – it is a lot of fun), it is advisable to put all your safety armor on when practicing this and start at only half speed and power.

    BOOT CAMP DRILL: Not sparring, per se, but a way to train a technique so that it will come out under stress. Military trainers around the world purposely use this type of drill at the end of a long and exhausting day, as it allows the information to bypass the conscience brain and ingrain itself directly into the sub-conscience.

    Pick one short combination attack that the students know well and practice this one combination against the air, focus mitts, thai pads, heavy bag or applicable weapon targets for the last 2 to 10 minutes of class (depending on the age and condition of the students and the difficulty of the technique).

    Have them say or even shout the names of the movements of the combo in some shorthand that won’t slow down the delivery, such as “Jab-Cross-Uppercut-Hook” becomes “J-C-U-H” or “1-2-3-4.”

    While they are doing this drill, they should visualize themselves successfully delivering the combo they are practicing, as well as the effect these techniques will have on their opponent.

    GRAB BAG SPARRING. This is a fun drill for advanced guys, as it’s a challenging way to train with different weapon mixes. Remember, in this type of advanced sparring, the student’s goal is not to win against the person in front of them at that moment, but to learn how to better their own fighting ability against a future opponent. We set this drill up with a line on the floor that one fighter has to guard and the other has to pass through as their respective goals.
    This drill works well in 10 second rounds, with appropriate time between rounds for the fighters to rest and plan their moves for the next round.

    Stage 1. Take a variety of practice weapons and assign numbers to them. Have practice versions of knives, wooden sticks, metal pipes, swords, a length of rope with a rubber ball at the end subbing as a belt with a heavy buckle, a soft rope subbing as a steel chain, a wooden dowel for a tactical flashlight, etc. Note: you can use different color paints or tape to signify different weapons, such as coloring a rattan stick black to signify an iron pipe or white to signify a machete.

    Let’s say you come up with 10 different substitute training weapons. Line these up outside the sparring area. Now take 11 slips of paper and write a number (1 to 11) on each slip. Put the slips in a hat and let the students pick a number. Whatever they come up with, that is what they will spar with. As you probably have already guessed, if they draw an 11, they spar empty handed.

    Stage 2 is to let the students pick two slips of paper each and fight with whatever comes out of the hat with double weapons or, (if one of their numbers is 11) Solo style.

    Note: If you see too great a disparity of force for safe training (i.e. a larger, more experienced student with a “machete” vs. smaller, less experienced student with a “knife”) try to even things up by giving the smaller student a partner or a better weapon, or give the better fighter a lesser weapon like a pool noodle instead of a stick.

    BASIC PRACTICE DRILLS: You can work principals you will need for combat into your everyday practice.

    THREE PARTNERS A: When partnering up to practice a technique, partner up by threes in a triangle instead of by twos in a line. Student 1 is the good guy and does the technique one time on student 2 then one time on student 3. Next round, student 2 becomes the “good guy” and so on.

    Practicing this way helps prevent the tunnel vision that can lead you to focus so much on opponent 1, that opponent 2 can get behind you and stab you in the back.

    THREE PARTNERS B. This is like TPA except, on the instructor’s signal, the current “good guy” from each group will run and “escape” to another group.


    Here’s a homework assignment we often give students. On your way home, look for all the “ambush points” along your main route. Once you identify them, look for “escape routes” and where any weapons of opportunity or points of cover might be. Next, learn alternate routes home and where Weapons Of Opportunity and cover points are on those routes.

    Train hard, but train smart.
     
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  5. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    Sorry. So why can't I stay out of peoples range and just throw jabs?

    Your street fights have too many rules.
     
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  6. hoshin1600

    hoshin1600 Senior Master

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    I dont know anything about Wing Chun but your thinking about self defense and TMA is going in the correct direction.
    It's a red pill moment when you start to understand self defense. TMA dogma is the blue pill but MMA has turned into its own blue pill as well.
     
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  7. JowGaWolf

    JowGaWolf Grandmaster

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    Sparring is the opportunity that you use to learn how to use the techniques that you train. Most people don't take that opportunity to try and use the techniques they train and as a result end up doing basic punching and kicking.

    If you want to play the piano you practice piano
    If you want to be a good cook then you practice cooking
    If you want to be a good student then you practice by studying
    If you want to be a good fighter then you practice fighting.

    If the sparring isn't practice for fighting then there's no way a person can be good at fighting.

    This only holds true for some of the marital arts techniques. Guns weren't made for sparring but people find ways to practice the techniques of using a gun. While there are somethings you aren't going to be able to train against a partner in sparring, there is still tons that you can train.

    From my own experience of using TMA in sparring, there will be a lot of failure before the success. Success only comes after one figures the timing and the valid opportunities to use a technique. I ate a lot of punches before I gained the ability to use my TMA techniques.
     
  8. KPM

    KPM Senior Master

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    Well, most "real" attacks wouldn't happen that way. And in a self defense scenario as long as you are staying out of range and not throwing a committed attack, no response is even necessary. Keep backing up and then run when you can! Or keep backing up until the person actually launches an committed attack. I think this is why so many of these systems like SSBD can look a little "hokey" to people on video. Its because the guy feeding the strike is doing a fully committed attack, so it looks and is very "staged." But this is how you teach people the fundamentals of the system. In a seminar the goal is not to turn everyone into a "fighter" in just one weekend. ;)
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2018
  9. KPM

    KPM Senior Master

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    I agree to an extent. But I think the problem may be that we often have too narrow a definition of "sparring" just as we may have too narrow a definition of "real fighting." Most people see sparring simply as throwing two guys in the ring together and just letting them have a go at each other. But you can have drills that are progressively more and more "alive" that simulate fighting in a specific scenario or environment, as Danny described very nicely above. Take Krav Maga as another example of what Danny was describing.....when they train by having an attacker put on lots of protective gear and then set up a scenario where a student responds freely to a specific attack or attack scenario....is that not also a form of "sparring"? I've seen Wing Chun guys do some training in this way as well, which I think now is a great idea! ;)

    I guess the bottom line in my thought process is this.......That PTK guy or Krav Maga guy that did well in this "scenario" training would very likely get his butt kicked if he stepped into the ring with a MMA guy with an equal amount of time in training. But a lot of people (myself included) have deemed that MMA "free-fight" scenario to be the litmus test for fighting ability. But that may be unfair.

    So the counterpoint may be this......would that MMA guy do just as well in a self-defense scenario as our PTK or KM student? And if he did, wouldn't MMA then represent a better way of training or a superior martial art because the product of the training can function well in both a sparring AND a self defense environment?????
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2018
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  10. jobo

    jobo Senior Master

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    People like to out there own defintions on self defence, in this case your calling it REAL self defence, yes there are times and places and situations where escaping unhurt is the main purpose, where your out numbered or out gunned perhaps, but in most real self defence situations, my prime ourpose has been to cause considerably more damage to my attacker than they caused to me, i have no intention of escaping until they are badly hurt, even if that involves me getting some what less hurt.

    I attacked a group of five Men, One Of which had my sister by the throat, my only concern was making them regret that, no matter what level of damage they did to me, as long as one or two of them was hurt, badly, id happily take a beating off the other 3

    Being anything but fully committed to the task in hand, tends to get you hurt and them not,
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2018
  11. hoshin1600

    hoshin1600 Senior Master

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    there is a break down in the conversation here between you and DB. some attacks do happen that way and some dont. DB's experience in door work gives him a view of what "real life" looks like. others of us have different experiences that give us a different view of "real life".
    this conversation goes around in circles forever because we fail to define what "real life" actually is. the term is to broad and encapsulates to much. until we all start using the same terminology there can be no progress on this topic.

    1. Real life looks like: A guy at a bar who drank too much who is trying to start a fight with everyone and your his next target.
    2. Real life looks like: An uncle or neighbor who grooms a young girl into doing "things" she is not old enough to understand.
    3. Real life looks like: A mentally disturbed person who decides the world is evil and needs to be destroyed and opens fire in a public place.
    4. Real life looks like: An individual who commits attempted robbery and decides you are his victim and suddenly pulls a knife and starts stabbing you over and over.
    all of these things are real life self defense but need to be approached differently and create different views in peoples minds. however people usually only focus on one type.
     
  12. Danny T

    Danny T Senior Master

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    Certainly however, that is but 1 situation. So all your though process' and training is to be based on that 1?
     
  13. jobo

    jobo Senior Master

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    My thiught processes are ramdom, dependent on what sort if day im having, how big the guy is how many there are, if ive got a) a big mate with me, b) a girl friend in high heels who cant run.

    My training is about causing max damage, if i cant or dont want to escape and sprinting in case i can/ do wish to eascape, but im not leaving my girl friend, friend(s) , my dog who refuses to run on command , the kids or my motorbike behind, so thats about 99% of the tims i would have to stand and fight, its seems poibtless spending to much time on a very rare scenario,
     
  14. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    Another way to deal with it, if the bad guy is not committing to the attack is for you to do so. If he wants to delay, then you take charge and end it. Overwhelm him. Most people are not very good at dealing with fast, multiple attacks if there is real power behind them.
     
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  15. jobo

    jobo Senior Master

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    well yes, that's the point I'm making above, once a fight is inevitable, then commit every effort in to hurting him, attackers don't generally expect to be hit with extreme violence and aggression, or they wouldn't be attacking you in the first place, stop fighting for your life and make him fight for his
     
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  16. KPM

    KPM Senior Master

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    1. Real life looks like: A guy at a bar who drank too much who is trying to start a fight with everyone and your his next target........which is a committed attack
    2. Real life looks like: An uncle or neighbor who grooms a young girl into doing "things" she is not old enough to understand......which is really outside of our current discussion
    3. Real life looks like: A mentally disturbed person who decides the world is evil and needs to be destroyed and opens fire in a public place.....which is a committed attack
    4. Real life looks like: An individual who commits attempted robbery and decides you are his victim and suddenly pulls a knife and starts stabbing you over and over......which is a committed attack.
    Let me repeat my response to DB: And in a self defense scenario as long as you are staying out of range and not throwing a committed attack, no response is even necessary. Keep backing up and then run when you can! Or keep backing up until the person actually launches an committed attack.

    My point being that most assaults are not a "squaring off" resulting in a "give and take" exchange as happens most typically in sparring/free-fighting. Now DB may very well have encountered these types of situations working the door as a bouncer where some belligerent drunk actually "squared off" with him. But that is not the scenario that most people doing martial arts are preparing for or would expect to encounter, given that most people are not envisioning being a bouncer in a club. ;)
     
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  17. Danny T

    Danny T Senior Master

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    So you do agree that self defense is more than just fighting. Thank you.
    And as such there are others who train for other actions than standing and fighting like in a duel.

    Agreed.
     
  18. MetalBoar

    MetalBoar Yellow Belt

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    This is a complex topic in my opinion. As has been touched upon above, I think it's hard to have this sort of discussion when working with vague terms like "real fight", sparring, and martial arts training.

    Obviously, the term sparring covers a lot of territory depending on who you ask, from stop and reset point sparring with a very restrictive rule set and a lot of padding to MMA to a couple of guys in the garage who've watched Fight Club a couple too many times without really getting it.

    "Real Fight" probably covers even more ground. A lot of people seem to think of a "real fight" as being like an adult version of a school yard tussle. For others, it's going to be concerns about violent criminal assault (which is a huge spectrum all by itself). Then for others still it's occupational, like bouncer, cop, emergency room employee, etc. If we don't understand each others' context, and my definition of a "real fight" is dealing with some guy who's trying to cave my skull in for my wallet I'm going to sound kind of crazy to the bouncer who's idea of a "real fight" involves restraining and/or removing a drunk, belligerent customer before they cause harm.

    As I've probably already said too many times on this board, you get what you train for (at best). How well does the sparring and martial art you do match up with the "real fight" you're training for? If you're just doing limited point sparring I would argue that unless you're doing a lot of really good drills too it's probably detrimental to your ability to defend yourself. Boxing is great if you want to box and has some real utility for a broad range of self defense situations, but it probably isn't the best preparation for a bouncer and has less utility still for a cop (especially if they're wearing a body cam...). If you're doing nothing but RBSD training with a whole lot of drills and no "real sparring" it does a really poor job of preparing you for the Octagon.

    This may seem like it goes without saying, but if your training is strictly focused on one kind of "real fight" and you don't train for other kinds you aren't going to be as good at those other kinds as you could be. If you don't acknowledge that those other kinds of "real fights" exist for some people then it might be hard to communicate with them or see why they train the way they do or explain to them why your way is better.

    I think there is a lot of value in pressure testing your techniques. I think sparring and competition, especially fairly hard contact, limited rules, sparring/competition, is a really valuable tool for developing self defense skills and testing to see whether your techniques actually work. I think this can be hard to see for people that believe that every "real fight" involves broken glass, hidden weapons and multiple attackers. I think it is harder to pressure test some techniques than others in competition and that sometimes drills and scenario training are better for developing and testing skills than sparring/competition and that it can be hard for people to see this who believe the only "real fight" is just like fights in the MMA.

    I won't argue, there are a lot of TMA schools that don't prepare people for my definition (or maybe anyone's) of a real fight. I also think that a lot of people mistakenly believe that if they get really good at MMA for competition that they don't have any holes in their training when it comes to every possible definition of a "real fight". I think it's likely that a good TMA school, with proper training methods, might meet some peoples' needs better for their "real fights" than many MMA gyms that focus strictly on competition.
     
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  19. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

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    I will say the other way around, "fighting is more than just self-defense".

    1. Self-defense - you only need to protect yourself not to get hurt.
    2. Fighting - besides protecting yourself, you want to hurt your opponent too.

    So self-defense is a subset of fighting.

    - When someone tries to rape your wife, de-escalate cannot solve your problem.
    - When some countries invade your country, run away also cannot solve your problem.

    To train fighting is much more difficult than just to train self-defense. Not only you need to learn how to protect yourself, you also need to learn how to hurt your opponent.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2018
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  20. Martial D

    Martial D Senior Master

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    Dude, you know as well as I do that a 'comitted attack' vs traditional WC usually ends on the WC guys completely stationary and unprotected face.

    Don't drink the Kool aid.
     
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