Self-Protection From Violence

drop bear

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I never said the skill sets were entirely different. Of course the methods for avoiding punches are similar (not exactly the same only because of a few strikes that shouldn't occur in competition, but that's a very minor difference IMO). But there are differences. They are not identical. What's the % overlap? Well, if we're talking Judo competition, it's probably 50%-ish. If we're talking MMA, it's probably a lot higher than that - I'd guess upwards of 80-90%, so long as we're only talking about the physical skills.

Mind you, there's one component we haven't talked about, and I'm not sure how different that is. That's pattern recognition. This is actually what makes us faster at responding to attacks as we get better, even though we're aging (so our response times and muscle speed are actually getting worse). We learn to recognize movement patterns and see what's coming very early. This is one of the hazards of the untrained attacker: they don't have consistent patterns like when we're looking at trained opponents. I haven't figured a way to test pattern recognition from excellent competitors, but we have some reasonable evidence of the issue in early mixed-art competitions. Folks who had trained solely in their own style often weren't beaten because they didn't know a counter to an attack, but more so because they didn't recognize the attack in time to use that counter. This has been the real value of MMA-style training, IMO.

Pattern recognition. I allways try to spar the new guy. It is a different game to sparring the experienced guy.

And sort of. Ok a boxer may never learn to eye poke or defend one. But because he knows the mechanics of throwing and avoiding punches he is going to perform better than a person who has specifically trained eye pokes. But has not spent the time learning to give or receive strikes.

I sparred kickboxing with a boxer. And it showed his knowledge of distance and timing and how to make entries and exits work. Went a long way to being successful in an environment where he had only trained half the tools.

Actually there are examples of pattern recognition. You see the videos of ninja vs mma an the like. Untrained street fighters do fight trained guys in environments we can see.
 

gpseymour

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i understand and agree with what you are saying about degrading skills. what i believe is that you can kill two birds with one stone. your previous post, i believe implied that there just isnt enough time to do more.
many schools spend time on focus mitts and striking pads. once a base line of skill is reached why not keep those skills refined by replacing the pads with an impact suit like a red man, now your working on targeting, timing, distancing then you can give a stick to the guy in the red suit and have him start to use verbal intimidation, now your working stress inoculation.. then advance that one step more and your working scenario training with roles working on de-escalation and the drill has become much more than punching a pad. your working many street effective skills on top of the martial skill of static punching and kicking.

this is what i mean by a curriculum failure many schools do not do these kinds of drills and only hit static pads over and over by the count.

i cant give away all the answers over the internet :) feel free to call the business number or send an email to set up a seminar and help me stay employed... lol

Ah, I can see your point. We don't use focus mitts and the like except for specific exercises. I actually own only one focus mitt, because I use it rarely. We spend most of our time working with partners as moving targets, except when we want to work on power or to fix a specific problem someone is having.

The verbal intimidation is a bigger issue to me, in most schools. An attacker won't bow and say quiet things before attacking, and that's the situation many of us (myself included) get used to in a school. Attacks should sometimes (not always, so it's a bit surprising) include yelling, even obscenities. I can't do that where I am (inside a YMCA, too many people to be bothered by the noise and vulgarity), but I think all private schools should have it.
 

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Pattern recognition. I allways try to spar the new guy. It is a different game to sparring the experienced guy.

And sort of. Ok a boxer may never learn to eye poke or defend one. But because he knows the mechanics of throwing and avoiding punches he is going to perform better than a person who has specifically trained eye pokes. But has not spent the time learning to give or receive strikes.

I sparred kickboxing with a boxer. And it showed his knowledge of distance and timing and how to make entries and exits work. Went a long way to being successful in an environment where he had only trained half the tools.

Actually there are examples of pattern recognition. You see the videos of ninja vs mma an the like. Untrained street fighters do fight trained guys in environments we can see.

Yes, a boxer will be better equipped than someone who doesn't train strikes. But that's a false dichotomy. It is possible to spend time training strikes and blocks, movement, and work on moves that wouldn't be valid for competition. Yes, the guy who trains more on strikes will be better at strikes, but a 3% difference only matters in competition. Both can be well-equipped for the street. One will be better at some aspects, while the other has a different set of advantages.
 

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i cant debate how we each see it. but from my experience i have seen and heard to many stories of martial artists getting there butt kicked in the real world. it is far and few between that i hear a success story.
I've heard and read lots of success stories. From Judo players taking out carjackers, to Aikidoka fending off armed robbers, to Karateka fighting off bullies in bars, to MMA competitors who pummeled street thugs. It does happen. Yes, there are failures, and some are due to poor training. Others are not - self-defense is not always a high-percentage situation.
 

Buka

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i cant debate how we each see it. but from my experience i have seen and heard to many stories of martial artists getting there butt kicked in the real world. it is far and few between that i hear a success story.

Yes, I agree, and I fault a few things for that. Let me use an analogy. If a person trains in flag football, regardless of how skilled the coaching and understanding of formations, routes, teamwork, strategies and the very essences of the game itself, despite even having a mastery of the game and skill in the execution of technique(s) concerning football - once the game is transposed to tackle football - all bets are off. That very first hit by a larger man with a full head of team when there's no place to run changes everything. If that's the first time you've been exposed to that violent collision you are seriously screwed. Not just physically, but perhaps more important to this discussion, mentally.

Martial training is the same in my opinion. And I'm not just talking of sparring/fighting/banging/contact/grappling, I'm speaking of pushing yourself and your students past the points that would have broken you in your past. Martial Arts training, in general, at least as I see it far too often, is becoming soft in frightening ways. Look at the assault/ambush we are speaking of. It consists of getting surprised and hit. Look at actual fight training, if you and I are banging away at each other, when we first start off, one of us is going to get hit first, obviously not planned on our part, just one of many strikes to come in the next few minutes. We just keep going at it, it's what we do. Maybe a nod, maybe not, maybe a counter, maybe a cover, make create distance or crowd and grab, whatever.

I've been ambushed several times in my life, and I'm far from special. I'm as far from special as you can possibly get. But it all went just fine, I'm well trained.

Martial Arts training.....Jesus F tap dancing Christ, isn't it....hasn't it always been....tough, difficult, forged of will, pushed physically, mentally, emotionally, hasn't part of it always been about fighting, defending, surviving, absolutely defeating the enemy with bestial releases of human fury controlled and focused to defeat the enemy? So...what, if you get ambushed first you're 90% gone with only a 10 % chance of survival and victory in real life? Not with the Martial arts I train and probably not with the Martial Arts you train. So who, exactly, are we talking about?
 
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Tony Dismukes

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Okay, finally getting some time to provide my own answers. I will be addressing my own training and what I teach in separate comments, since the former is more extensive than the latter.

Regarding my own training:

Lifestyle: Not addressed. I've read accounts of martial arts for whom training gave an alternative to a lifestyle of fighting, crime, and drugs. In my case, my lifestyle is already about as safe as it gets with regard to violence. I live in a safe neighborhood. I don't drink or do drugs. I don't hang out with criminals. I don't get into fights. My idea of a fun night out is going to a bookstore or D&D game with my wife.
Not a lot of room for improvement there.

Target Hardening: Mostly indirect. I have learned some important principles from various sources and have worked to form some protective habits based on those. I believe those have been helpful over the years, but probably just as important is the confidence and alertness with which I carry myself, which is largely due to my training. When I was a (scrawny, uncoordinated, physically timid, unaware of my surroundings) kid, I got picked on semi-regularly. That pretty much went away after I started training martial arts.

Even though I have spent time on this aspect of SPFV, it's a pretty small percentage of my training time. Based on my personal experience, what I have learned does seem to be effective for me. However, I'm a 6'4" guy with a pretty safe lifestyle. What's sufficient for me might be less than what a woman needs or what a guy in a more dangerous environment needs.

Threat awareness and avoidance: Much the same as my answer for target hardening. I have had a few potentially bad situations that I've managed to avoid that I might not have without my training experience. I certainly wouldn't count myself as any kind of expert on the subject.

De-escalation: Not directly addressed in training. I will say from personal experience that it's easier to stay calm while talking someone down if you are confident that you can handle them physically if need be, so there does seem to be an indirect benefit.

I should note that while I say "not addressed in training", I have had instructors who give lip service to the importance of de-escalation. That's different from studying and practicing the most effective methods for actually de-escalating a bad situation. Ellis Amdur has some books on the subject that I've been meaning to pick up, but I haven't gotten around to getting those yet.

Physically fighting: This where the bulk of my martial arts training is focused. I train to develop a wide variety of skills and attributes which are useful in the event violence occurs as well as the appropriate tactics for applying those skills in a variety of contexts.

How confident am I in those skills, attributes, and tactics? Given that I'm not facing real world violence on a regular basis, it would be foolish of me to claim any sort of certainty on the subject.

What I can say ...
I know I can hit hard enough to knock someone out, because I've done it.
I know I can take multiple hard shots and keep fighting without losing all my technique or tactical sense, because I've done it.
I know I can choke someone unconscious who is trying to prevent me from doing so, because I've done it.
I know I can escape from bad positions with someone bigger on top of me trying their best to hold me down, because I've done it.

In general, defending against a violent assault has important differences (especially tactically) from sparring or competition. Nevertheless, I've studied plenty of live footage and written descriptions of actual assaults (as well as having lived through a few real situations), and just about all the situations I've seen are ones for which I have experience training in a live manner against resisting opponents. Doesn't mean I'm invincible, but it does mean I'm much better prepared than a version of myself who didn't have my training.

Escape and evasion: Largely integrated into my fighting training. Sometimes the "victory condition" in a live drill is to disengage and get away. I don't spend as much time on this as on the other fighting skills, but my experience has been that it doesn't require as much separate skill building. The main physical skills required are ones which are part of my physical fighting toolbox anyway. The important thing which needs to be developed separately is the mindset - to not develop tunnel vision, to recognize the importance of escaping, to recognize opportunities for escape and to create opportunities if they aren't there. I've found that as long as I work this into training on a semi-regular basis, I have no trouble instantly flipping the switch into escape mindset.

Between various live drills, scenario training, and a few real life experiences, I'm reasonably certain that the skills I've developed for this aspect of SPFV are solid.

Dealing with legal and emotional aftermath: Partially integrated into my physical training, in that I work to avoid habits which will get me into legal trouble if they come out in a fight. (No repeatedly stomping the head of a downed opponent.) I've also had some guidance from LEO friends on avoiding legal problems after the fact. It doesn't take up a lot of my training time, but I do try to stay aware of legal considerations.

As far as the emotional aftermath, I don't do any specific training directly addressing that. However I have developed a habit through my training of reacting to stress by centering myself and breathing calmly. Hopefully that (and the fact that I'm used to being punched, kicked, thrown, and choked by my friends on a regular basis), would be helpful in processing any post-assault trauma.

I'll type up another comment concerning the classes I teach a bit later this evening.
 

drop bear

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Yes, a boxer will be better equipped than someone who doesn't train strikes. But that's a false dichotomy. It is possible to spend time training strikes and blocks, movement, and work on moves that wouldn't be valid for competition. Yes, the guy who trains more on strikes will be better at strikes, but a 3% difference only matters in competition. Both can be well-equipped for the street. One will be better at some aspects, while the other has a different set of advantages.

You should have solid basics. Then add situational changes.

But you are correct except for one element. Anecdotal evidence. If you do not train in a live resisted manner but instead rely on passive drills. Logical leaps of faith and stories of badassery. Then your basics are going to suffer for it.

Same as if you never trained with resistance and then attempted to jump in the ring with someone. The likleyhood is you will get bashed. There is no reason i can think of as to why this dynamic would change on the street.

That is why ask. Show me sparring. Show me competition. Something that is not already decided who the winner will be.(as a side this has been my issues with combat scenarios it they lean too heavily on matching the clothing you may wear or the environment you may be in and forget to tell you partner to fight you.)

The advantage of good basics. That exta 3%,is that it is a transferable skill. So if I am a boxer I will be a better krav Maga guy. This does not necessarily work the other way.

Could I transfer a basic skill boxing kicboxing bjj wrestling karate anything. The trained sport skills. into this street style training?

 
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Buka

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Okay, finally getting some time to provide my own answers. I will be addressing my own training and what I teach in separate comments, since the former is more extensive than the latter.

Regarding my own training:

Lifestyle: Not addressed. I've read accounts of martial arts for whom training gave an alternative to a lifestyle of fighting, crime, and drugs. In my case, my lifestyle is already about as safe as it gets with regard to violence. I live in a safe neighborhood. I don't drink or do drugs. I don't hang out with criminals. I don't get into fights. My idea of a fun night out is going to a bookstore or D&D game with my wife.
Not a lot of room for improvement there.

Target Hardening: Mostly indirect. I have learned some important principles from various sources and have worked to form some protective habits based on those. I believe those have been helpful over the years, but probably just as important is the confidence and alertness with which I carry myself, which is largely due to my training. When I was a (scrawny, uncoordinated, physically timid, unaware of my surroundings) kid, I got picked on semi-regularly. That pretty much went away after I started training martial arts.

Even though I have spent time on this aspect of SPFV, it's a pretty small percentage of my training time. Based on my personal experience, what I have learned does seem to be effective for me. However, I'm a 6'4" guy with a pretty safe lifestyle. What's sufficient for me might be less than what a woman needs or what a guy in a more dangerous environment needs.

Threat awareness and avoidance: Much the same as my answer for target hardening. I have had a few potentially bad situations that I've managed to avoid that I might not have without my training experience. I certainly wouldn't count myself as any kind of expert on the subject.

De-escalation: Not directly addressed in training. I will say from personal experience that it's easier to stay calm while talking someone down if you are confident that you can handle them physically if need be, so there does seem to be an indirect benefit.

I should note that while I say "not addressed in training", I have had instructors who give lip service to the importance of de-escalation. That's different from studying and practicing the most effective methods for actually de-escalating a bad situation. Ellis Amdur has some books on the subject that I've been meaning to pick up, but I haven't gotten around to getting those yet.

Physically fighting: This where the bulk of my martial arts training is focused. I train to develop a wide variety of skills and attributes which are useful in the event violence occurs as well as the appropriate tactics for applying those skills in a variety of contexts.

How confident am I in those skills, attributes, and tactics? Given that I'm not facing real world violence on a regular basis, it would be foolish of me to claim any sort of certainty on the subject.

What I can say ...
I know I can hit hard enough to knock someone out, because I've done it.
I know I can take multiple hard shots and keep fighting without losing all my technique or tactical sense, because I've done it.
I know I can choke someone unconscious who is trying to prevent me from doing so, because I've done it.
I know I can escape from bad positions with someone bigger on top of me trying their best to hold me down, because I've done it.

In general, defending against a violent assault has important differences (especially tactically) from sparring or competition. Nevertheless, I've studied plenty of live footage and written descriptions of actual assaults (as well as having lived through a few real situations), and just about all the situations I've seen are ones for which I have experience training in a live manner against resisting opponents. Doesn't mean I'm invincible, but it does mean I'm much better prepared than a version of myself who didn't have my training.

Escape and evasion: Largely integrated into my fighting training. Sometimes the "victory condition" in a live drill is to disengage and get away. I don't spend as much time on this as on the other fighting skills, but my experience has been that it doesn't require as much separate skill building. The main physical skills required are ones which are part of my physical fighting toolbox anyway. The important thing which needs to be developed separately is the mindset - to not develop tunnel vision, to recognize the importance of escaping, to recognize opportunities for escape and to create opportunities if they aren't there. I've found that as long as I work this into training on a semi-regular basis, I have no trouble instantly flipping the switch into escape mindset.

Between various live drills, scenario training, and a few real life experiences, I'm reasonably certain that the skills I've developed for this aspect of SPFV are solid.

Dealing with legal and emotional aftermath: Partially integrated into my physical training, in that I work to avoid habits which will get me into legal trouble if they come out in a fight. (No repeatedly stomping the head of a downed opponent.) I've also had some guidance from LEO friends on avoiding legal problems after the fact. It doesn't take up a lot of my training time, but I do try to stay aware of legal considerations.

As far as the emotional aftermath, I don't do any specific training directly addressing that. However I have developed a habit through my training of reacting to stress by centering myself and breathing calmly. Hopefully that (and the fact that I'm used to being punched, kicked, thrown, and choked by my friends on a regular basis), would be helpful in processing any post-assault trauma.

I'll type up another comment concerning the classes I teach a bit later this evening.

"Lifestyle" is probably the most difficult to address. Not in young folks, but in those no longer lucky enough to be in that category.

Some lifestyles are unavoidable due to a variety of factors.
 

gpseymour

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You should have solid basics. Then add situational changes.

But you are correct except for one element. Anecdotal evidence. If you do not train in a live resisted manner but instead rely on passive drills. Logical leaps of faith and stories of badassery. Then your basics are going to suffer for it.

Same as if you never trained with resistance and then attempted to jump in the ring with someone. The likleyhood is you will get bashed. There is no reason i can think of as to why this dynamic would change on the street.

That is why ask. Show me sparring. Show me competition. Something that is not already decided who the winner will be.(as a side this has been my issues with combat scenarios it they lean too heavily on matching the clothing you may wear or the environment you may be in and forget to tell you partner to fight you.)

The advantage of good basics. That exta 3%,is that it is a transferable skill. So if I am a boxer I will be a better krav Maga guy. This does not necessarily work the other way.

Could I transfer a basic skill boxing kicboxing bjj wrestling karate anything. The trained sport skills. into this street style training?

I still don't understand why you seem to by trying to convince me that resistance is necessary. I never said it wasn't. You seem determined to convince me that some sparring/randori is essential. I've already stated that. All of that, IMO, is an essential part of self-defense training, for the reasons you've stated.
 

gpseymour

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"Lifestyle" is probably the most difficult to address. Not in young folks, but in those no longer lucky enough to be in that category.

Some lifestyles are unavoidable due to a variety of factors.
I disagree. The living situation may be unavoidable, but "lifestyle" is about the choices we make in whatever situation we are in. Spending time in bars with people who fight is one of those lifestyle choices. Living in a neighborhood with gangs isn't a lifestyle choice, unless one has opportunity to move and doesn't do so.
 

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I still don't understand why you seem to by trying to convince me that resistance is necessary. I never said it wasn't. You seem determined to convince me that some sparring/randori is essential. I've already stated that. All of that, IMO, is an essential part of self-defense training, for the reasons you've stated.

I think the issue maybe that the assumption (and a grossly ignorant one) is that only "professional" sport Martial Arts involve resistance and that Traditional MA schools don't do "real" sparring with resistance (grappling) or full contact striking such as Lei Tai. When this assumption is made, no amount of convincing will work, they will keep denying, or ignoring, reality of resistance or full contact, sadly.
 

drop bear

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I still don't understand why you seem to by trying to convince me that resistance is necessary. I never said it wasn't. You seem determined to convince me that some sparring/randori is essential. I've already stated that. All of that, IMO, is an essential part of self-defense training, for the reasons you've stated.

Because it is not anecdotal. It is observable. Resisted training is sport.

Both of which contradict this idea of specific training. And context.
 
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drop bear

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I think the issue maybe that the assumption (and a grossly ignorant one) is that only "professional" sport Martial Arts involve resistance and that Traditional MA schools don't do "real" sparring with resistance (grappling) or full contact striking such as Lei Tai. When this assumption is made, no amount of convincing will work, they will keep denying, or ignoring, reality of resistance or full contact, sadly.

Professional sport martial artists do the highest tier of resisted training.
 

hoshin1600

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Professional sport martial artists do the highest tier of resisted training.

Not true. Some law enforcement and military do intense resistance training including using sim rounds.
 

Juany118

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Not true. Some law enforcement and military do intense resistance training including using sim rounds.

Yepper... Sims hurt like an SOB. Also the issue isn't that LE doesn't use resistance in combative training. The issue is that most departments don't do continuing combatives training as it is time consuming and that = expensive. Instead they invest in tools like tasers and the like that are one off purchases and where the certification and recertification can be done on a "regular" duty day with no added expense.

That isn't the point here really though here, we are talking MAs in general. The point is no Martial Arts school is the same. There are indeed some schools where, at a tournament like Kuo Shu, you will see the majority of students doing forms and choreographer demonstrations. However you also have Lei Tai, 100% full contact, you have to train for full contact if you want to compete in such things, full resistance to enter Judo competitions etc. I am really trying to figure out how some people think unless you put on trunks you aren't training full contact/resistance. Well actually I do know, some people need to say their style is the best style, so they ignore the fact that it isn't about the style it's about the teacher and the student. Some teachers don't teach resistance, they don't teach using full contact. Some students simply can't mentally adapt to using resistance and full contact. However get the right teacher (hence why it took me almost a year to find my current teacher in the styles that suited my needs) and a student that is not opposed to violence and can learn, you have full resistance and contact training.
 
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gpseymour

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Because it is not anecdotal. It is observable. Resisted training is sport.

Both of which contradict this idea of specific training. And context.
Resistive training is not necessarily "sport". It's a training method, and applies quite nicely to self-defense oriented work, too. I spent most of the class today teaching students counters to 3 techniques, why those counters worked, and how to recover from the counter. In sport, the primary reason for all that would be to be able to actually use the counters and recovery moves. In my training, the primary reason is so they can understand what a technique is not going to work well for. The primary principle in our art is to avoid the resistance. Figure out what resistance they are offering, then work in the gaps that resistance uncovers. There's nothing "sport" about that practice, though the lessons and approach apply to sport, as well. That's why some sport training is effective preparation for self-defense.
 

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Professional sport martial artists do the highest tier of resisted training.
Even if we accept that to be true, a professional sport martial artist puts in a LOT of hours. I can train an average person to competency without needing them to train 20 hours a week. Also, a professional sport martial artist (assuming a high-contact sport) takes a lot of punishment. This is not a viable option for most people. I'm in my late 40's - I don't heal like I did at 30, so I can't afford the same level of punishment I took then. And if you look at what the professionals deal with, there's a lot of damage to the body over time. Self-defense is about avoiding taking damage, so training heavily in hard-contact sport can be counter to this principle.

I'm not saying there's anything wrong with sport or the training used for it. I'm just saying it's not the right choice for everyone who wants to learn physical skills for defending themselves.
 

Buka

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I disagree. The living situation may be unavoidable, but "lifestyle" is about the choices we make in whatever situation we are in. Spending time in bars with people who fight is one of those lifestyle choices. Living in a neighborhood with gangs isn't a lifestyle choice, unless one has opportunity to move and doesn't do so.

No disagreement here.
Living in that neighborhood stated, isn't a choice when you don't have the means to move.
I've had jobs where violence was part of the equation, but there weren't any other opportunities (at that particular time) where a change could be made.

Same goes for those bars. Not as a customer, but as an employee.

Maybe "circumstance would have been a more appropriate word for what I was implying.
 

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Q1: "What aspects of SPFV, if any (as listed above) does your martial arts practice/instruction cover, either directly or indirectly?"

A1: All of them, at one point or another, though some are only discussed during down time, and options considered for relative merit.

Q2: "Does it address those different aspects?"

A2: On the mat, mainly it is the end-case worse scenario, that of the use of the martial art, that is practiced. But, there is always discussion of things like staying in compliance with self-defense laws, i.e. being mindful of when the advantage is gained, to stop the acceleration of the encounter. In other words, a person who swings a stick can be dealt with by breaking his/her arm, but once the arm is broken, you don't continue on to gouge out eyes (intentionally horrible to make a point).

Q3: "What percentage[/B] of training time is spent on those different aspects?"

A3:

lifestyle 3%
target hardening 2%
threat awareness and avoidance 5%
de-escalation 10%
physically fighting if the elements listed above fail to avoid an attack 75%
escape and evasion 2%
dealing with legal and emotional consequences of a violent confrontation 3%


Q4: "Given that the top SPFV needs are different for people in different circumstances, who is your training ideally suited for, SPFV-wise?"

A4: Probably the typical everday citizen. I'd train officers much harder on the physical skills than standard adults, but the officers Know they are going to need the info, it's a different sample.

Q5: "Given the practical impossibility of carrying out rigorous controlled scientific studies on the subject, do how you validate[/B] that what you are practicing/teaching is effective for the aspects of SPFV that it is intended to address?

A5: I can't, see the word impossibility.

Q6: "How confident are you in that validation?"

A6: Since I can't, I'm not. I feel calm about what I can do, and know how to not have to do it, but I've been training for 40 years, the students have not been. It will have to come to them in time, It hink.
 
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