Scenario training...

jks9199

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Well... in response to drop bear's repeated comments about scenario training, like HERE, I thought I'd discuss scenario training a bit. Too be fair -- drop bear is far from the only person who has misunderstandings about it; his posts were just the trigger.

Lots of people do what they call "scenario training" something like this: "OK, guys, let's do some scenarios. H'mmm... Fred, you be the attacker. You stand over there, and you're going to mug Amy here. Amy... you protect yourself. Set? OK -- go!" and Amy walks up to Fred, who proceeds to grab her and she does one of their grab defenses, breaks his grip, and everyone applauds. Or maybe something goes a little wrong, and everybody laughs... Fred may or may not really try to hold her, or grab her in a way to force her to defend effectively... I guess, in a very strict sense, this is a scenario exercise. They did create a scenario. But there was no real effort to do anything to make it much more realistic than a routine partner drill.

Done right, scenario training is hard work. You start by defining the purpose, goal, or intent of the exercise. Then you develop a situation that allows the students to practice the lesson of that goal. You provide your role players with guidance for how to interact with the students. You need an observer/controller/evaluator who will watch the scenario as it goes along, and intervene if it gets out of control or guide the students to reach the training goal. You need to define how much resistance, in what forms, will be presented. That might range from "no physical contact" all the way to simulated use of lethal force, with things like marking cartridges or Airsoft-type guns.

So, let's look at that mugging scenario again, and try to do it better. What's our goal? Let's keep it broad: respond to an attempted robbery, looking for demonstration of skills like deescalation, and appropriate use of force. We'll give our role-player mugger a training knife, have him set up in the area (maybe have several role players out and about to set the stage a bit...) and give him a bit of a script. He's to confront the student, and demand money. At first, he's only to imply that he's armed -- but if they challenge him verbally or physically, he's to present and employ the knife. If they turn and run, he doesn't chase. If they call for help, the other role players in the area will run away "in terror". If they reach physical defense, the safety monitor or evaluator is to watch them, and intervene to prevent serious injury, but the "mugger" is to try to stab the student. What do we want to see from our student? Best of all: pick up on the role-players conduct, and avoid him entirely. OK, we're going to force them to encounter the guy in this scenario, so we'll take that one off the table. If they surrender their money and leave -- they're out. But the evaluator should discuss risks of surrendering, dangers of going with an attacker, etc. It's a "win" solution -- so we'll stop on that. If they resist -- did they try to escape, or try to "fight?" Break down why, and repeat if they fell into a sparring/fighting situation rather than an escape, having coached them to escape, not fight.

Another sort of scenario training builds on skills as you develop them. I'll use room clearing for police or military as an easy example. If I'm teaching a group of recruits how to clear a room... I'll present the material as a lecture/demo. I'll explain how to do it, then use an instructor partner, and demonstrate clearing a room. (There won't be any surprises in this one; it's a demo of the "right" way.) Then the recruits practice. At first, there are no surprises. They're coached in areas that they are missing, and guided on how to do it. As their familiarity with the exercise increases, new wrinkles are thrown in. Hidden areas in a room, closets, people hiding behind doors or other places. In the end, the drill might take place in a shoot house with shoot/don't shoot targets, multiple rooms, role players... The final exercise can be really complex with a lot of things to deal with.
 

Kung Fu Wang

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The "scenario training" is "if you attack me ..., I'll respond ...". It's not a good idea to build your MA skill with such dependency. It's better "I attack you. If you respond ..., I'll do ..." instead. This way you make thing to happen instead of to wait for your opponent to make thing to happen.

The right order to learn MA is to learn how to:

1. use a technique.
2. counter that technique.
3. counter the counter of that technique.

and in that order.

Some systems don't teach defense and counter in the first 3 years. Those systems prefer their students will first learn how to attack, attack, and still attack. After you have develop your skill how to knock/take your opponent down, you then learn how not to be knocked/taken down by your opponent. It makes no sense to learn how to counter "leg lift (Uchi Mata)" before you have mastered "leg lift (Uchi Mata)" yourself.[h=1][/h]
 
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Tony Dismukes

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The "scenario training" is "if you attack me ..., I'll respond ...".

I believe jks9199's point (which I agree with) is that what you are describing is not scenario training.

Some of the best self-defense training I've ever had came through some seminars a cop buddy of mine taught some years back. Probably 90% of the training was in the form of scenarios. Specific physical techniques hardly came into it. We explored concepts like 1) how to avoid needing to use physical force in the first place, 2) how to recognize when and when not to use force, and 3) how not to get in trouble with the law after using force in self-defense.

Some people may think that these are easy questions. The scenarios we acted out (based on my friend's decades of experience in law enforcement) showed us how easy it is to get things wrong in the heat of the moment.

jks9199 does a good job in laying out the beginnings of a good approach to scenario training. I'm sure he would tell you that his explanation is just scratching the surface of the topic.
 

Brian R. VanCise

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Scenario Based Training should be very dynamic with lots of possibilities. There should be room for awareness and avoidance and physical action as well if needed. It should not be just here is the attacker, your the defender ok defend. No, instead there should be verbal dialogue, verbal judo so to speak where you are verbally engaged and or the threat can choose then to escalate the situation to a violent attack. Thoughts should be on how to get out of there, how to avoid a possible confrontation, what to do if it goes physical, if it does become a violent attack on the perpetrator how to disengage at the right time and get out of there. Good Scenario Based Training should be unpredictable. This in turn leads to many possibilities and also makes for a possibility for adrenaline to come into play and also for their to be an adrenaline dump. Variations during training should happen. Here are a few examples on just one situation: ie. one guy just wants directions to some place, he becomes verbally abusive and maybe then leaves. In another scenario maybe he asks for directions and when you speak he attacks, yet another he asks for directions, verbally engages nicely for a bit then begins to leave and then attacks. Yet in another he asks for directions, gets them, says thanks, leaves, comes back a few minutes later and says he is confused then attempts to mug you. Another situations he asks for directions leaves and comes back with a friend, etc. Lots of variations on a simple situation and that does not take into account how the person being asked for directions responds as that also could in turn affect how the possible mugger reacts.

After a Scenario there should be feedback from the participants as well as the instructors. Each and every Scenario should be a teaching moment for everyone including the people conducting the training.

Good equipment is a must in my opinion as well. If the scenario goes physical everyone needs to be careful not to injure someone else and having some great equipment that is out there helps. Personally I use Predator Armour in my Scenarios. I have utilized other equipment in the past like Filipino Body Armor, Headgear, pads, Nok Knives, Padded Sticks, Training Firearms, etc.


Predator Armour Photo:

View attachment $WP_20140103_003.jpg View attachment $WP_20140111_003.jpg
 
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jks9199

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I believe jks9199's point (which I agree with) is that what you are describing is not scenario training.

Some of the best self-defense training I've ever had came through some seminars a cop buddy of mine taught some years back. Probably 90% of the training was in the form of scenarios. Specific physical techniques hardly came into it. We explored concepts like 1) how to avoid needing to use physical force in the first place, 2) how to recognize when and when not to use force, and 3) how not to get in trouble with the law after using force in self-defense.

Some people may think that these are easy questions. The scenarios we acted out (based on my friend's decades of experience in law enforcement) showed us how easy it is to get things wrong in the heat of the moment.

jks9199 does a good job in laying out the beginnings of a good approach to scenario training. I'm sure he would tell you that his explanation is just scratching the surface of the topic.

It's barely scratching the surface. I consciously omitted having the evaluator require students to explain and justify their actions. I didn't even touch on safety planning. Let me put it this way... People teach multiple day, sometimes multiple week classes in running scenario based training. Kenneth Murray has written a nearly 400 page textbook on doing it right.

It's easy to do a "you're being mugged/raped/robbed/kidnapped... defend yourself" thing. It's hard to make it a realistic and good scenario based training event.
 

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It's easy to do a "you're being mugged/raped/robbed/kidnapped... defend yourself" thing. It's hard to make it a realistic and good scenario based training event.
This is where I believe most martial arts schools go astray. Most people are not, in my opinion, competent to do it. They either don't have the real world experience or they don't have the instructional design experience. You need both.

But, I completely understand what I think drop bear is trying to say. Most self defense guys, when pushed, will admit that they've "never been in a fight." To be fair, most people never get into fights. We're a pretty civilized bunch. But, it sure does undermine your position when you imply that sport is less suited for practical self defense than a style where odds are no one in the school has ever been in any kind of real world altercation.
 

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It's not a good idea to always think that you are the pray and your opponent is the predator. In conflict, I want to think that I'm the predator and trying to eat my opponent alive. If you don't have this kind of attitude, you should not train MA.

This is why I don't like the term "self-defense". Offense is the best defense. When you attack your opponent and put him in defense mode, he will not have the luxury to attack you.
 
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jks9199

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It's not a good idea to always think that you are the pray and your opponent is the predator. In conflict, I want to think that I'm the predator and trying to eat my opponent alive. If you don't have this kind of attitude, you should not train MA.

This is why I don't like the term "self-defense". Offense is the best defense. When you attack your opponent and put him in defense mode, he will not have the luxury to attack you.

That's getting into yet another area... Self defense is really a legal term; it's a justification for doing something that would otherwise be illegal. And there is certainly a place and time to be the aggressor (especially for cops and related professions). But being the aggressor on the street is also a very effective way to find yourself enjoying the hospitality of your local hoosegow... Avoiding that is where exercises where you justify and explain your actions are vital. The reality is that protecting yourself is about being the prey more often than not. You certainly need to learn to think like a predator; it helps you recognize your vulnerabilities.

This is another failing of a lot of so-called self defense programs and instructors. They coach their students in how to get arrested and go to jail, if they do what is taught. They don't address legal issues, other than with the bravado of "better to be tried by 12..." They don't prepare their students to understand how a predator thinks and hunts. They don't understand how violence really works and really happens. Proper scenario training can address a lot of these issues -- if the person putting it together takes the time to plan it and do so.
 

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But we are still talking unscripted (well ish) and resisted here?

I assume the people running this have also been in fights.
 

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But we are still talking unscripted (well ish) and resisted here?

I assume the people running this have also been in fights.
Right. The thing that concerns me here isn't whether a student can be taught practical skills. It's clear that well done, scenario based training can be excellent. It's used all the time by our military, our police and in many other applications. There are some presumptions here, though.

First, that the training is well designed. The examples posted are some good ones of how scenario based training CAN be really well done.

Second, that the instructor who is teaching the course is competent to do so. In every case so far, the instructors have real world experience. "So and so taught me, and he's been a cop/body guard/bouncer/professional security consultant/special forces for X years."

Experiences vary, for sure. Which is why I'm a huge fan of specificity in any training course. It allows the student to evaluate the credentials of the instructor. I wouldn't want to take cooking lessons from someone who owns 10 McDonald's franchises, even though he can say he's made a career in the "Food Service Industry at a Very High Level" for decades. In the same way, a Navy Seal might not be the best guy to teach some facets of self defense. But even in this thread, everyone is listing in at least some vague manner the credentials of their instructor. And I think this is completely appropriate!

The questions I have really bubble up when people suggest that, not only can they LEARN practical skills, but that, with no real experience, they can become competent to teach those skills to others. That's a red flag for me. I know I've raised these concerns in the past, but it's relevant here again. How many generations from ACTUAL experience can you be and still get quality instruction? At a very basic level of instruction, it's not as important. But, you just flat out can't be an expert if you've never applied a practical skill. You can know a lot about it, but you can't be an expert carpenter if you've never swung a hammer. You can't be an expert swimmer if you've never been in water.
 

EddieCyrax

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I know I've raised these concerns in the past, but it's relevant here again. How many generations from ACTUAL experience can you be and still get quality instruction? At a very basic level of instruction, it's not as important. But, you just flat out can't be an expert if you've never applied a practical skill. You can know a lot about it, but you can't be an expert carpenter if you've never swung a hammer. You can't be an expert swimmer if you've never been in water.

I generally agree with your premise, but by what standard/life experience would you need to be an expert and is this a requirement to instruct?

This example is extremely exaggerated to make a point.....Does an instructor of rape defense have to have successfully defended themselves in a rape scenario in order to instruct?

How many street fights? How many mugging defences? How many x y z? in order to qualify one to instruct?

Way too many variables.....what is enough....

Question in my mind is in the training methods. Are the training methods have proven. Has the system been designed with the appropriate training methodologies? Do the instructors adhere to this methodology?
 

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Sometimes the best scenario training is one where nothing happens. People get so amped up in training that every little thing triggers an aggressive reaction that normally wouldn't happen in a real life encounter. I did an active shooter scenario for our dept inservice training this year with simunitions and no officers ever fired a shot. Everyone at the end said they got more from that training then they ever did in years past where it ends in a massive shootout. We also did traffic stop training with the sims and it was interesting watching how amped up everyone was with the helmets on because they just knew they were getting shot on the stop so they handled the stop differently then how I watch them conduct stops on the street. So one of the downfalls to all training is the lack of surprise everyone involved know to stay alert and ready which may not be the case in the real world
 

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I generally agree with your premise, but by what standard/life experience would you need to be an expert and is this a requirement to instruct?

This example is extremely exaggerated to make a point.....Does an instructor of rape defense have to have successfully defended themselves in a rape scenario in order to instruct?

How many street fights? How many mugging defences? How many x y z? in order to qualify one to instruct?

Way too many variables.....what is enough....

Question in my mind is in the training methods. Are the training methods have proven. Has the system been designed with the appropriate training methodologies? Do the instructors adhere to this methodology?
Good questions, and really, there is no one right answer, but I would argue that there are some that are clearly wrong.

I'll try to answer your questions individually, but first a disclaimer. There are a million "what if's" that can be asked. My goal isn't to provide a skills inventory and competency model for every kind of martial arts/self defense related training that exists. You asked about rape defense. I'll do my best to provide an example of some of the kinds of competencies I would expect from a rape prevention instructor. But, the point isn't that deep in the weeds. The point is simply that there are core competencies rooted in applied skill. Whatever those core competencies are is debatable. I hope this makes sense.

Experiences are often transferable, so, in response to a rape prevention instructor, I would say that the instructor does not necessarily need experience as a rape victim to be competent as an instructor. Personally, if it were me, I'd want to know what makes the instructor competent to speak to the crime of rape, though. So, in addition to real world experience using the techniques he's sharing, I would also expect some practical experience with rape, whether as a cop, a counselor or in some other way.

Regarding the "how many" questions, there is no one right answer. The only real wrong answer is, "None." If I am learning carpentry from someone who has never swung a hammer, I'm not learning from the right guy. But other than "none" it really depends. How complicated is the subject? What experiences do you have as a student that are transferable? How much do you really need to know? Do you need to know it or is it ok if you just know about it?

In something practical, like self defense, I'd say you need to be able to do it. Just talking about it convincingly isn't going to suffice.

I've suggested in other threads that teaching a system is potentially a very good way to go. You can be an expert in a system, because you're actually learning and applying skills within the context of the system, and because it's a system, the skills are demonstrable and measurable. But here again, I'd personally be suspicious if the "system" purports to teach abstracts (like self defense) that no one in the school has actual experience with. For example, you can be an expert, 10th dan in Kyokushin Karate and not be competent to teach "self defense." You can be an MMA instructor and not be a self defense expert.

Conversely, your experiences as a cop/bouncer/security guard etc, may give you some specialized experience that helps with self defense, but won't give you any expertise in Kyokushin Karate.
 
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ballen0351

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Good questions, and really, there is no one right answer, but I would argue that there are some that are clearly wrong.

I'll try to answer your questions individually, but first a disclaimer. There are a million "what if's" that can be asked. My goal isn't to provide a skills inventory and competency model for every kind of martial arts/self defense related training that exists. You asked about rape defense. I'll do my best to provide an example of some of the kinds of competencies I would expect from a rape prevention instructor. But, the point isn't that deep in the weeds. The point is simply that there are core competencies rooted in applied skill. Whatever those core competencies are is debatable. I hope this makes sense.

Experiences are often transferable, so, in response to a rape prevention instructor, I would say that the instructor does not necessarily need experience as a rape victim to be competent as an instructor. Personally, if it were me, I'd want to know what makes the instructor competent to speak to the crime of rape, though. So, in addition to real world experience using the techniques he's sharing, I would also expect some practical experience with rape, whether as a cop, a counselor or in some other way.

Regarding the "how many" questions, there is no one right answer. The only real wrong answer is, "None." If I am learning carpentry from someone who has never swung a hammer, I'm not learning from the right guy. But other than "none" it really depends. How complicated is the subject? What experiences do you have as a student that are transferable? How much do you really need to know? Do you need to know it or is it ok if you just know about it?

In something practical, like self defense, I'd say you need to be able to do it. Just talking about it convincingly isn't going to suffice.

I've suggested in other threads that teaching a system is potentially a very good way to go. You can be an expert in a system, because you're actually learning and applying skills within the context of the system, and because it's a system, the skills are demonstrable and measurable. But here again, I'd personally be suspicious if the "system" purports to teach abstracts (like self defense) that no one in the school has actual experience with. For example, you can be an expert, 10th dan in Kyokushin Karate and not be competent to teach "self defense." You can be an MMA instructor and not be a self defense expert.

Conversely, your experiences as a cop/bouncer/security guard etc, may give you some specialized experience that helps with self defense, but won't give you any expertise in Kyokushin Karate.

So you need zero real world rape defense to be a rape defense expert but in the next paragraph you say zero is not a correct answer.
 

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So you need zero real world rape defense to be a rape defense expert but in the next paragraph you say zero is not a correct answer.
If I believed for even a moment you were interested in an honest discussion, I'd try to explain it to you, ballen.

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ballen0351

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If I believed for even a moment you were interested in an honest discussion, I'd try to explain it to you, ballen.

Sent from my SPH-L710 using Tapatalk

You can't because your point is impossible you have too many contractions already. However that has nothing to do with the topic so back to scenario based training. Do you guys use it in your Bjj training? I'd be interested to see what you guys do
 

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Well... in response to drop bear's repeated comments about scenario training, like HERE, I thought I'd discuss scenario training a bit. Too be fair -- drop bear is far from the only person who has misunderstandings about it; his posts were just the trigger.

Lots of people do what they call "scenario training" something like this: "OK, guys, let's do some scenarios. H'mmm... Fred, you be the attacker. You stand over there, and you're going to mug Amy here. Amy... you protect yourself. Set? OK -- go!" and Amy walks up to Fred, who proceeds to grab her and she does one of their grab defenses, breaks his grip, and everyone applauds. Or maybe something goes a little wrong, and everybody laughs... Fred may or may not really try to hold her, or grab her in a way to force her to defend effectively... I guess, in a very strict sense, this is a scenario exercise. They did create a scenario. But there was no real effort to do anything to make it much more realistic than a routine partner drill.

Done right, scenario training is hard work. You start by defining the purpose, goal, or intent of the exercise. Then you develop a situation that allows the students to practice the lesson of that goal. You provide your role players with guidance for how to interact with the students. You need an observer/controller/evaluator who will watch the scenario as it goes along, and intervene if it gets out of control or guide the students to reach the training goal. You need to define how much resistance, in what forms, will be presented. That might range from "no physical contact" all the way to simulated use of lethal force, with things like marking cartridges or Airsoft-type guns.

So, let's look at that mugging scenario again, and try to do it better. What's our goal? Let's keep it broad: respond to an attempted robbery, looking for demonstration of skills like deescalation, and appropriate use of force. We'll give our role-player mugger a training knife, have him set up in the area (maybe have several role players out and about to set the stage a bit...) and give him a bit of a script. He's to confront the student, and demand money. At first, he's only to imply that he's armed -- but if they challenge him verbally or physically, he's to present and employ the knife. If they turn and run, he doesn't chase. If they call for help, the other role players in the area will run away "in terror". If they reach physical defense, the safety monitor or evaluator is to watch them, and intervene to prevent serious injury, but the "mugger" is to try to stab the student. What do we want to see from our student? Best of all: pick up on the role-players conduct, and avoid him entirely. OK, we're going to force them to encounter the guy in this scenario, so we'll take that one off the table. If they surrender their money and leave -- they're out. But the evaluator should discuss risks of surrendering, dangers of going with an attacker, etc. It's a "win" solution -- so we'll stop on that. If they resist -- did they try to escape, or try to "fight?" Break down why, and repeat if they fell into a sparring/fighting situation rather than an escape, having coached them to escape, not fight.

Another sort of scenario training builds on skills as you develop them. I'll use room clearing for police or military as an easy example. If I'm teaching a group of recruits how to clear a room... I'll present the material as a lecture/demo. I'll explain how to do it, then use an instructor partner, and demonstrate clearing a room. (There won't be any surprises in this one; it's a demo of the "right" way.) Then the recruits practice. At first, there are no surprises. They're coached in areas that they are missing, and guided on how to do it. As their familiarity with the exercise increases, new wrinkles are thrown in. Hidden areas in a room, closets, people hiding behind doors or other places. In the end, the drill might take place in a shoot house with shoot/don't shoot targets, multiple rooms, role players... The final exercise can be really complex with a lot of things to deal with.

Yup, this is pretty much how I do my scenario training. Personally, I'm not sure how anyone could think the first way you mentioned, ie: Fred, come on over, etc. would be scenario training. Oh sure, it's training, but I'd put that more in line with what I'd consider spontaneous reaction drills. The attacker randomly attacks the defender, not letting them know what type of attack is coming. Of course, the scenario training, as we know it, is what you describe later. As I've said, I enjoy this training very much, and done right, it's very beneficial.
 

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Sometimes the best scenario training is one where nothing happens. People get so amped up in training that every little thing triggers an aggressive reaction that normally wouldn't happen in a real life encounter. I did an active shooter scenario for our dept inservice training this year with simunitions and no officers ever fired a shot. Everyone at the end said they got more from that training then they ever did in years past where it ends in a massive shootout. We also did traffic stop training with the sims and it was interesting watching how amped up everyone was with the helmets on because they just knew they were getting shot on the stop so they handled the stop differently then how I watch them conduct stops on the street. So one of the downfalls to all training is the lack of surprise everyone involved know to stay alert and ready which may not be the case in the real world


Yeah I have done those. My attitude is if I know i am going to go physical why the preamble.
 

drop bear

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Good questions, and really, there is no one right answer, but I would argue that there are some that are clearly wrong.

I'll try to answer your questions individually, but first a disclaimer. There are a million "what if's" that can be asked. My goal isn't to provide a skills inventory and competency model for every kind of martial arts/self defense related training that exists. You asked about rape defense. I'll do my best to provide an example of some of the kinds of competencies I would expect from a rape prevention instructor. But, the point isn't that deep in the weeds. The point is simply that there are core competencies rooted in applied skill. Whatever those core competencies are is debatable. I hope this makes sense.

Experiences are often transferable, so, in response to a rape prevention instructor, I would say that the instructor does not necessarily need experience as a rape victim to be competent as an instructor. Personally, if it were me, I'd want to know what makes the instructor competent to speak to the crime of rape, though. So, in addition to real world experience using the techniques he's sharing, I would also expect some practical experience with rape, whether as a cop, a counselor or in some other way.

Regarding the "how many" questions, there is no one right answer. The only real wrong answer is, "None." If I am learning carpentry from someone who has never swung a hammer, I'm not learning from the right guy. But other than "none" it really depends. How complicated is the subject? What experiences do you have as a student that are transferable? How much do you really need to know? Do you need to know it or is it ok if you just know about it?

In something practical, like self defense, I'd say you need to be able to do it. Just talking about it convincingly isn't going to suffice.

I've suggested in other threads that teaching a system is potentially a very good way to go. You can be an expert in a system, because you're actually learning and applying skills within the context of the system, and because it's a system, the skills are demonstrable and measurable. But here again, I'd personally be suspicious if the "system" purports to teach abstracts (like self defense) that no one in the school has actual experience with. For example, you can be an expert, 10th dan in Kyokushin Karate and not be competent to teach "self defense." You can be an MMA instructor and not be a self defense expert.

Conversely, your experiences as a cop/bouncer/security guard etc, may give you some specialized experience that helps with self defense, but won't give you any expertise in Kyokushin Karate.


Even as a bouncer you have to realise you have one dimension in the world of street fighting. And that there are a lot of variables. Personally if I am giving bouncer advice I mention what has worked for me rather than what is the hard and fast rule.

Like putting a jigsaw together.

So a rape victim could tell you. I was grabbed like this etc. Martial arts instructor knows that grab and counter. Bouncer has seen the same set up used in a bashing and knows the awareness signs.

Then take it to the lab and give it a test. See what happens.

So you define. This is what I have experienced. This is what I have learned through others. This is what I have tested.
 
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