Is it possible to "train" for something that you never actually do?

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Steve

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When speaking of sport, in this case I'm referring to MMA where there are young loose cannons while traditional martialists have differant approach mentally and physically to the arts and many never get in a real fight.

MMA train to fight and just add alcohol...

I'd like to add BJJ sport fighters are way underestimated in their overall abilities. In my opinion they are closely right up their with MMA in fight readiness.

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I think you've got a pretty distorted impression of people who train MMA, and of people who train in "traditional" martial arts, too.
 

Dirty Dog

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You can train all you want in the physical aspect, but it's not as easy for the emotional one. There ARE training methods that give you the same adrenaline dump, but most people don't pay attention to that.

No, there are not. No training will accurately replicate the physical and emotional responses of being faced by someone who is truly doing their best to kill you.
 
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I appreciate all of the responses. I think that the points regarding the context are really good ones, made by Tgace and a few others. It seems that expertise on a broader level, such as being a veteran cop, is as much a function of experience as it is knowing how to do specific things.

The points you've all made are solid and I largely agree. But that leads me to another question, which is this. I get that being a veteran cop means a broad range of experience and perhaps specific expertise in a few areas. Same might go for being a veteran RN, like DD or Celtic. DD mentioned teaching a person how to put a chest tube into a side of beef. It's close to the real thing, but not quite. If you've learned it from someone who has actual experience with it, let's say your experience is 2nd generation. You never actually put in a chest tube, but have practiced it over and over and then you teach someone. That person is 3rd generation. They practice it over and over and then teach someone else, a 4th generation. Then a 5th.

Applying that to martial arts, many martial arts instructors are many generations removed from the practical experience. Do you think that there is a danger that the skills being taught risk becoming detached from reality? Consider the phone call game many of us played as kids, where one person is given a short message, to tell to another person around the room until at the end, the message is completely different. Is this a risk? If not, how do you keep the theoretical skills practical, when taught to you by someone who has never actually done them, taught to them by someone who has never actually done them, and so on.

Sukerkin, perhaps sword arts like yours are the best example of this, but I think it could apply to any art purporting to teach "self defense."
 

Rich Parsons

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We still have threads that distinguish between "sports" and "self defense." Whether the sub-topic is TKD or MMA or whatever, it's common to hear something along the lines of this: "Why don't you/they understand that we don't train for sport. We train to deal with multiple attackers with weapons for self defense."

The specific verbiage changes, but the message is consistent. Sport people train for sport. Other people train for other things.

My question is simply this. Can you train for something you never do? Or more accurately, can one actually become expert in something he or she has never actually done?

Steve,

People can train for a competition and not compete. They might have a fear of the crowd and might be good at the competition in small numbers but just cannot do it on the large scale. So yes they can train for it and even learn enough the teach it.

I see your question though, and as others have stated they train for situations and hope they never happen. They might even be teachers and therefor a recognized expert in the field. Yet if we walk, or jump down the slope to the bottom , one could state that one should not teach shooting unless they have shot someone. Some might even say they should at least have been shot it. Boot Camp uses live fire to get people used to this. The same goes with other weapon fighting.

Personally, I have been shot at, stabbed, hit by moving vehicles, gone throw plate glass windows, and have had chains, bats, golf clubs, tire irons and you name type weapons swung at me, as well as multiple opponents. Having survived those and also during my training it was helpful for learning. But I always tell people it is better to NOT have had to use those skills. Those are the true winners. Even if they have never trained a day in their life. I am not an expert first aid, yet I have applied some training to those one second I was trying to take out as they were trying to take me out. Then the next I was able to make sure they were alive to so they could tell their tale. I applied what little I knew and it worked.

So yes some people can train for something they never do.


Now, to say I go and train for knife fighting or say I want to Sword fight "Sukerkin" and I never pick up a sword, then no I cannot train for something I never do.
 

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No, there are not. No training will accurately replicate the physical and emotional responses of being faced by someone who is truly doing their best to kill you.

There ARE training methods that will give you the same adrenaline dump. Militaries all over the world actually use them. It is based on psychology.

Now that doesn't mean that you will be able to handle it if you are attacked, but this type of training helps you to train for the high amount of adrenaline that will be present in your system if you have to deal with it. In fact we have had several posts in which we have discussed such training methods and people, Chris Parker being one of them, have given links and examples.

People that have never experienced these methods don't quite get it. The fear and panic are not apparent to someone just watching. I was highly sceptical myself. But if your brain can be tricked into feeling like you are in serious danger, it will react accordingly. Keep in mind that it is meant thelp prepare. It is no guarantee. Just the same as sparring and various techniques of training are meant to help prepare yu for a self defense situation in which techniques are to be applied. There's no guarantee that it will work.
 

James Kovacich

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I think you've got a pretty distorted impression of people who train MMA, and of people who train in "traditional" martial arts, too.

Your free to think whatever you want. Most styles don't take hard contact seriously enough. That combined with the "if" they ever get in a real fight leaves a lot of unanswered questions. Where I live it is a hotbed for MMA and thats the direction that the youngsters are flocking to. The reason is to fight. It's not rocket science.



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Your free to think whatever you want. Most styles don't take hard contact seriously enough. That combined with the "if" they ever get in a real fight leaves a lot of unanswered questions. Where I live it is a hotbed for MMA and thats the direction that the youngsters are flocking to. The reason is to fight. It's not rocket science.



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Perhaps the issue is where you live and not inherent to martial arts, whether traditional or otherwise.
 

arnisador

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There ARE training methods that will give you the same adrenaline dump. Militaries all over the world actually use them.

You can do pretty well at this but you just can't fully replicate the not knowing if you'll live another 5 minutes aspect of a real encounter.
 

arnisador

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Personally, I have been shot at, stabbed, hit by moving vehicles, gone throw plate glass windows, and have had chains, bats, golf clubs, tire irons and you name type weapons swung at me, as well as multiple opponents.

I think that was actually Rasputin, dude. :D
 

Drasken

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You can do pretty well at this but you just can't fully replicate the not knowing if you'll live another 5 minutes aspect of a real encounter.

No, you can't fully replicate it. Heck, would you really want to put yourself in that much danger?
But my point was that if your brain is tricked into THINKING you're about to face a life or death situation then you can get the adrenaline dump because your brain reacts as though it is real. It gets as close as possible without actually risking death.

Just like sparring, even full contact, can't fully replicate an actual fight. But it does help you prepare. It's a very valuable tool. But nothing can fully prepare you for the emotional toll for having to defend your life or hurt someone else.
 

Dirty Dog

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There ARE training methods that will give you the same adrenaline dump. Militaries all over the world actually use them. It is based on psychology.

No, there are not. There are techniques that can get you some degree of emotional response. They do not even come close to duplicating the effects of a real confrontation. I doubt that anybody who has experienced both simulated and real attacks will disagree with me.
 

ralphmcpherson

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I would have to say yes you can. I know of two guys who got into their first real "fight" after about twenty years of training, one was a fourth dan, the other a fifth dan. Both are smallish guys who I wouldnt consider 'strong' or natural fighters. Both fought off much larger attackers with ease, and in one case beat the attacker quite badly. Both are certain that without their training they didnt have a hope in hell.
 

Drasken

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No, there are not. There are techniques that can get you some degree of emotional response. They do not even come close to duplicating the effects of a real confrontation. I doubt that anybody who has experienced both simulated and real attacks will disagree with me.

I have. And I disagree lol

There is a huge difference between training for adrenaline and "fight or flight" and dealing with the emotional issues that come from having to hurt someone.
It isn't very difficult to be put in a simulated situation that tricks your brain. In such a situation you have little time to logically remember that you're in no danger.

It isn't 100% the same. But it gets as close as one can be safely. Such training is meant to force adrenaline into your system. It helps to train yourself to react in a life or death situation rather than panic. There ARE differences. I don't deny that. But even a full contact sparring match is no actual fight either. Heck, getting in the octagon isn't either for that matter, but those going through simulated training are often better off than those with absolutely no training.


And before you ask, I'm not claiming to be some big action hero tough guy. I have been attacked on the street twice. Once against two men, one with a knife. The second occurrence was a guy attacking me with a bat. It was a case of road rage.

My father also went crazy under the influence of Meth and attacked me with a knife. I still have a scar to remind me. He then later got a gun because I managed to get the knife away from him. He went for the gun as I was patching up my cut hand. My mom warned me of what he was doing, and I grabbed my own gun. He was later picked up and arrested.

A combo of training and luck got me out of these situations alive. I can tell you, that had I never trained to deal with massive adrenaline and keeping a level head I would likely not be here debating with you. The emotional issues that come from harming someone? Can't prepare for it. But arenaline dump? You can get really friggin close.
 
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zilverkakashi

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I have. And I disagree lol

There is a huge difference between training for adrenaline and "fight or flight" and dealing with the emotional issues that come from having to hurt someone.
It isn't very difficult to be put in a simulated situation that tricks your brain. In such a situation you have little time to logically remember that you're in no danger.

It isn't 100% the same. But it gets as close as one can be safely. Such training is meant to force adrenaline into your system. It helps to train yourself to react in a life or death situation rather than panic. There ARE differences. I don't deny that. But even a full contact sparring match is no actual fight either. Heck, getting in the octagon isn't either for that matter, but those going through simulated training are often better off than those with absolutely no training.


And before you ask, I'm not claiming to be some big action hero tough guy. I have been attacked on the street twice. Once against two men, one with a knife. The second occurrence was a guy attacking me with a bat. It was a case of road rage.

My father also went crazy under the influence of Meth and attacked me with a knife. I still have a scar to remind me. He then later got a gun because I managed to get the knife away from him. He went for the gun as I was patching up my cut hand. My mom warned me of what he was doing, and I grabbed my own gun. He was later picked up and arrested.

A combo of training and luck got me out of these situations alive. I can tell you, that had I never trained to deal with massive adrenaline and keeping a level head I would likely not be here debating with you. The emotional issues that come from harming someone? Can't prepare for it. But arenaline dump? You can get really friggin close.

i totally agree with this ^
 

Chris Parker

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We still have threads that distinguish between "sports" and "self defense." Whether the sub-topic is TKD or MMA or whatever, it's common to hear something along the lines of this: "Why don't you/they understand that we don't train for sport. We train to deal with multiple attackers with weapons for self defense."

The specific verbiage changes, but the message is consistent. Sport people train for sport. Other people train for other things.

My question is simply this. Can you train for something you never do? Or more accurately, can one actually become expert in something he or she has never actually done?

Yes.

But the real question is, what are you defining as "something you've actually done"? I mean, like Sukerkin, I train sword (amongst other things), in fact, I'm dealing with a number of systems of sword... as well as various staff weapons, spears and other long-arms, projectile weapons, short impact weapons, short bladed weapons, composite weapons, chain weapons, and more, in addition to the various unarmed systems I train, which include both very old traditional systems and very much RBSD modern approaches, with the traditional including methods against weapons not found today, against attacks not common, from positions (such as some seated positions) that are just not what you would ever find yourself in in a modern Western context, often utilizing responses that might not be considered "legal" today, applying very damaging versions of techniques (throws that aim to drop the opponent on their head, or break the neck, or back, or break the arm halfway through the throw etc), and I've done every single thing I train. Thing is, I've done it in a training context....which includes considerations such as the safety of my training partners (if there are any... there aren't always), combined with the mentality of it being "real" at all times (that Sukerkin was talking about earlier). And that is "actually doing it". I don't need to break my training partners arm to know that their arm would break. I don't need to cut my training partner down with a real sword, or even crack them in the head with a bokken to know that what I've done is real, effective, powerful, and that I've "actually done it".

The thing is, who says that doing something in a sporting context is "actually doing it"? I certainly don't think it is anything other than doing it in a sporting context. And that's fine. But you have to realize what that really is... it's just a sporting systems method of testing applications of it's training approach. Non sporting systems do the same thing, they just do it differently. I've seen plenty of "sport" martial artists get slammed hard because the context (the set-up, the timeline, the distance, the forms of attack etc) are just too different in a real assault. Now, I don't think that's a failing of the system, or of the practitioner, just an indication that contexts are more important than technical approaches. Technical approaches are defined by the intended context... and sporting forms of testing application is just one context. It's not real, it's not "actually doing it" (other than actually doing it in a sporting context), it's not self defence (if that's the "actually doing it" you're talking about). If you train for sport, fantastic (and I know that's more your approach, Steve), but recognize that sport testing is just that... sport testing. Other approaches have other methods of testing. That doesn't make them any less "real", just a different form of "actually doing it".
No, there are not. There are techniques that can get you some degree of emotional response. They do not even come close to duplicating the effects of a real confrontation. I doubt that anybody who has experienced both simulated and real attacks will disagree with me.

And just to jump in on this....

Mark, honestly, I'd say you're unfamiliar with the training methods being discussed here. I use them (I teach and train them myself constantly), and I've been in a number of assaults (on the receiving end), and I will categorically state that yes, they do "come close" to the reality. They're designed to. It's their real purpose. It's a hell of a lot closer than sparring will ever be, but it really does need to be done properly. It's a lot more than just training what you think are "realistic attacks".
 

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All that being said..."everyone has a plan till they get punched in the face".

Till you have experienced what it feels like to actually try to punch/kick someone with "bad intent" (read try to KO) or experienced what it's like to have someone throw those blows at you....you are kind of assuming you will be able to operate under circumstances you haven't actually experienced. THAS the advantage sports like MMA and boxing have.

Not to mention experienceing the fatiuge that you experience in a full contact match. It's different from the physical effort less than full contact training requires. You havent experienced what "gassed" means till you have boxed a couple of 3 minute rounds.
 

Chris Parker

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Hmm. I'd disagree with everything there except the quote. Sparring or competition doesn't show you what it's like to face someone with "bad intent", as that's not the aim. The aim is to win the competition, or to practice sparring. The intention is completely different. I'd also say that while it can certainly help a lot with endurance, the form of "gassing" in a real encounter is rather different to a sparring match, for a large range of reasons. So, no, that's not really good preparation for anything other than more of the same.
 
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