Would you take lessons from a teacher who has never been in a fight?

Kittan Bachika

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As long as they know what they are doing and have experienced a good amount of contact even if it in a school, I got no problem.
In fact, it shows how good they are if they are able to avoid fights.
 

poollshark

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I hadn't even thought about whether or not my instructor has had a real fight. I guess my answer is, it doesn't matter to me.
 

MSF Instructor

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I suppose it would depend on a student's reason for taking up the sport. Mine is physical conditioning, I don't expect to ever be in a fight, so for me, no, it wouldn't matter. Were I training for a fight, such as if I were in law enforcement, MMA or the military, it may matter.

DC
 

rlobrecht

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If you're talking about a real fight, no it doesn't matter to me. I have no idea if my instructor or the school's master have ever been in real fights.
 

Makalakumu

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All of my instructors have had to use their training in some practical way. It didn't matter whether I was training in karate or tai chi, they've had to put it to use. I feel like this makes a difference in instruction. The dojo environment is artificial and ideas that seem to work there, don't actually work outside of it. The dose of reality provides a benchmark in which to measure one's ideas.
 

Thesemindz

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All of my instructors have had to use their training in some practical way. It didn't matter whether I was training in karate or tai chi, they've had to put it to use. I feel like this makes a difference in instruction. The dojo environment is artificial and ideas that seem to work there, don't actually work outside of it. The dose of reality provides a benchmark in which to measure one's ideas.

That depends entirely on your training methodology. If it works in the dojo it will work outside it, provided the environment and conditions are exactly the same. By which I mean, if you are practicing against non-resisting opponents in the dojo, your techniques will work against non-resisting opponents in the street. If you are practicing against resisting opponents in the dojo, your techniques will work against resisting opponents in the street. There is nothing special about the dojo. The laws of physics are the same. Human anatomy is the same. If you are only training to fight on large, flat, open surfaces, then your techniques will work exactly the same on large, flat, open surfaces outside the dojo as in. Sure, the environment may be different, the stakes may be higher, you're probably at a distinct disadvantage, you or the other guy may be chemically impaired, and there's no tapping out. But in my admittedly limited "real world" combat experience things worked EXACTLY like they did in the dojo. If it works, it works. If it doesn't work, practice something that works. If you've never tried working it under stress, then it probably won't work under stress. But that isn't because you are in or out of the dojo. It's because you have failed to practice your material in a realistic fashion.


-Rob
 

Thesemindz

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In response to the original question, I would train under someone who had something of value to teach me and was able to do so. Nothing else matters. If they have "real world" combat experience, they may have something of value to teach me about it. But just because they don't have that experience doesn't necessarily mean that they don't have something to teach.


-Rob
 

Makalakumu

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That depends entirely on your training methodology. If it works in the dojo it will work outside it, provided the environment and conditions are exactly the same. By which I mean, if you are practicing against non-resisting opponents in the dojo, your techniques will work against non-resisting opponents in the street. If you are practicing against resisting opponents in the dojo, your techniques will work against resisting opponents in the street. There is nothing special about the dojo. The laws of physics are the same. Human anatomy is the same. If you are only training to fight on large, flat, open surfaces, then your techniques will work exactly the same on large, flat, open surfaces outside the dojo as in. Sure, the environment may be different, the stakes may be higher, you're probably at a distinct disadvantage, you or the other guy may be chemically impaired, and there's no tapping out. But in my admittedly limited "real world" combat experience things worked EXACTLY like they did in the dojo. If it works, it works. If it doesn't work, practice something that works. If you've never tried working it under stress, then it probably won't work under stress. But that isn't because you are in or out of the dojo. It's because you have failed to practice your material in a realistic fashion.


-Rob

I don't disagree with anything you have said, Rob. The only thing I'd like to add is that from my experience, the dojo you describe above is usually created by someone with some practical experience.

The dojo environment is artificial, but becomes more effective under the guide of a practiced individual.
 

Josh Oakley

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I would take martial arts from someone who has not fought before if they demonstrate an understanding of the science of martial arts. I would also as a supliment pick the brain of people who have been in fights to find out their take on things.
 

Blindside

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My kenpo instructor has never been in a real fight past high school, I think I got the best of him in one sparring match in 10 years of training, and what he taught me worked (and worked well) in the two instances it has had to.

My kali instructor has lots of real world experience, and I do see a difference between his training and other guys, his experience and target audience changes his presentation, not much "theory" in his material.
 

MJS

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As long as they know what they are doing and have experienced a good amount of contact even if it in a school, I got no problem.
In fact, it shows how good they are if they are able to avoid fights.

Of course, having, 'walked the walk' is important, as IMO, they're probably going to have a better understanding of things, vs. someone who has never been in one. People say that a real fight can't be reproduced in the dojo, so no matter how hard you train, its not the same, and of course, that is true, although you can get close. As I've often said, alot of it comes down to the mindset. An LEO, going thru a firearms training simulator, isn't actually getting 'shot' at with live bullets, yet they put them thru this training, in hopes that they can put themselves in that mindset.

So, to answer your question...I would consider it. However, if they're running around making it seem like everything they taught was going to work, well, in that case, they're probably living in a fantasy land, and I'd probably leave.
 

ATACX GYM

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If the instructor in question could teach me how to improve in the areas of interest to me? That's all I'm interested in.
 

ralphmcpherson

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To me it doesnt matter as long as the system they are doing has some good hard contact sparring and realistic self defence techs against resisting opponents. My original instructor (6th dan, 29 years continual training) told me once after a few beers that he had never been in a 'real' fight. It didnt bothere me in the slightest, in fact I was impressed that he had avoided fights. Ive seen him train, and he is good, very good. There would have been several occasions in his life where some smart *** would have tried picking a fight with him and the easy option for him would have been to beat the guy up, the fact he never resorted to that only gives me more respect for him. I certainly dont think an instructor needs to go out looking for fights so that they have more 'credentials'. As a kid I trained at a karate dojo under a guy who would always tell us that you musnt ever fight unless there is literally no other option, he would drill this into us over and over agian. One day his son was mowing the lawn outside the dojo and 3 men who were often hanging around in the area beat his son up badly. When the instructor found out, he hunted the guys down and beat the absolute hell out of them. I actually lost a lot of respect for him , because in my eyes he couldnt practice what he preached. Im not saying what he did was wrong (or right for that matter), but you cant go around spreading the 'never fight' idea, if you cant follow it yourself.
 

Thesemindz

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I've been in real fights in the dojo many times. Sure, it was in an environment of trust, amongst friends, where you could yield, and there would be medical attention in an emergency. But that doesn't mean it wasn't a fight. In fact, most of the fights I've had in the dojo have been far more violent, intense, and challenging than most of my real world encounters with violence. I've only ever been seriously hit, twisted, hurt, or injured in "dojo" fights. My real world encounters were invariably short with almost no injuries to the people involved. In the dojo I had my knee ripped to pieces when a student through me over his leg while I was choking and hitting him at the same time. In the "street" I've never had to use more than beginner techniques and basic strikes and grapples. Mostly simple checks and holds. In the dojo I fought three trained fighters at once to get my black belt. Maybe in some dojo they don't have real fights. But if you go to a boxing school, or an MMA school, or a kyokushin school, or an Olympic style TKD school, or a JJJ school, or a Judo school, they probably do. I'd hope you could say that about kenpo schools too. Sure, it's not true life or death. But unless you are professionally violent, you will probably never face that. That doesn't mean you aren't straining, with everything you are, to beat, bend, or break that other person with everything you have, before they do it to you.


-Rob
 

Indagator

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I think there's definitely a relevance issue. When I first started sport fighting way back when, my first trainer was a Muay Thai veteran who had spent years studying in Thailand and also poured his heart, soul and bank account into building up the sport in our region once he finally came back to the country.
My second trainer, who I spent the majority of my Muay Thai time under, was an immigrant from Northern Ireland - now here was a guy who had experienced firsthand some very severe violence. As an aside, I have family in Derry and also in West Belfast and I've seen it myself, those six counties can get pretty damn ugly sometimes - but this guy was actually born and raised in it.

Thing was, though, it's something entirely different. Surviving a hailstorm of rocks, bricks, bottles and molotov cocktails from the prods because Rangers won a soccer game or some politician said something on television and the peace walls aren't good for much really when you're trying to survive and give them back a taste of their own medicine (which is pretty much how it goes, at least it did in the mid 90s last time I spent any significant time there) is a completely different kettle of fish to getting in a ring and competing in a sport.

So, end of the day the facts are pretty much this: Celtic FC are just fantastic, and there is a relevance issue as far as "would I take lessons from &c &c".

If I wanted to carry on in Muay Thai, I would not be looking in particular, say, for a guy who has seen active service in the Middle East.
However if I want some millitary or tactical training, I'm not gonna be looking for a veteran ringfighter.

Self defence, well I'd expect somebody who has reasonable knowledge as to whether or not what he is teaching will work - even if it's purely at a diffusive level.

TMA, well in that case I don't consider it too highly relevant - the important issue is whether they will "hand down what has been handed down to them" as St Paul once said...

origins of the word "tradition" dontchaknow (traditio)...

I digress...
 

MA-Caver

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Avoiding a fight and not ever being in one are two different things in my book. An instructor who has been in a fight would have the experience at least to know what it's like being hit. I don't count rolling around on the ground and not throwing any punches, or a shoving match a fight, or standing there doing a "C'mon wif it" dance and ending up walking away cursing each other. "Yo Momma" fights don't count either. I'm talking about trading blows/kicks and what-nots.

Would I take instruction from someone who hasnt' been in a fight... perhaps, if they'd take my word for it that this counter or that counter and this what-if and that what-if (based on my own experiences) are taken to heart and are real possibilities in an actual altercation.
 

Kong Soo Do

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In no way am I picking on your post, but I wanted to bring out some points if I may;

As long as they know what they are doing...

The question to then ask is; how do you, or they, know that what they're doing is going to be effective? The answer depends upon the focus of their training, and thus what they teach. If the instructor has a focus on sport methodology, then whether or not they've been in an actual fight becomse moot. I define 'real fight' as an real world altercation by a determined attacker who wishes to cause some level of harm to your person. If the focus is sport, then reality isn't being emphasized. See: http://excoboard.com/martialwarrior/148250/1801375 so I don't have to copy/paste the whole thing. This isn't stated to disrespect the sports enthusiast, just two different venues.

If on the otherhand, the instructor is teaching self-defense, but has never actually used what he teaches, the question can then be asked; how does he know it will work? This is a legitimate and viable question. Since one can either teach from experience or theory, the quality of either can come into question as far as SD is concerned. If it is from 'experience', how comprehensive is that experience. Was the instructor a police officer, corrections officer, EP agent, bouncer or military where they have multiple hands-on altercations? Having frequent altercations of varying levels of resistance is quite a bit different from a couple of 'bar fights' ten years ago. If it is from 'theory', how sound is the theory? Did the instructor, who had never been in a real fight learn from a high liability professional that did have hands-on experience? Or did they learn from someone that had also never been in a fight...who learned from someone who had never been in a fight...and so on and so forth?

Learning a 'technique' in the controlled environment of the Dojo/Dojang against a compliant, or at best a semi-resisting opponent is quite different from applying the same technique in a chaotic, adrenaline filled altercation with a determined attacker bent on causing as much damage to you as is humanly possible in the shortest time possible.

I'm bringing these things up only to give the reader some food-for-thought if they are focused one way or the other.

In fact, it shows how good they are if they are able to avoid fights.

Being able to avoid or deesculate a conflict is of primary importance regardless of the focus of the instructor. Should be trained for often.
 

kbarrett

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How would you know whether or not your instructor has been in a real fight unless you ask him, or he talks alot about it, most MA instructors that I've known really don't talk about the fight they've been in, and I wouldn't very good discipline to ask him/her if they've ever been in a real right or not. Chuck Norris was never in any real fights that I've ever herd about would still train with him, I would and so wouldn't many others, I've walked away from more fight then I've been in, there are thing worth fighting for and there are thing that aren't worth fighting for, you must choose your battles carefully and wisely.

Ken
 
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