Your Enemy Is Training...

Ivan

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I know some may vehemently disagree with this, but let's have some (respectful) fun.

We've all seen some version of this mantra a thousand times: 'While you sit on the couch, your enemy is training '.

I have to say, this notion is such a pet peeve of mine. It gets used as a marketing tool, or people use it to try and motivate themselves or others... but how many enemies do you actually have? (and as a follow up, WHY?)

Now, I get that there are times that it is quite applicable (active duty military in a war zone for instance). Where I find it somewhat silly is seeing it posted in some gym that costs over $100/month just to get through the door (meaning you're probably living fairly comfortably if you can afford to be there).

If you are routinely rubbing elbows with people who want to hurt you; perhaps larger scale lifestyle and environment changes are in order.
If that isn't the case for you... who do you really think it is that's out to get you?
While I could wax on at length about prevention tactics (best way to not get hit by the bad guy, is to not be anywhere around when the punch gets thrown); reality tells me that you're not likely to be attacked by an elite mma fighter (who are generally really great, peaceful people).

That leaves your most likely assailant to be someone drunk or high on the street or some neanderthal with no temper control (rarely do you see that paired with high level training... it obviously exists, but I believe they are in the minority as most reputable schools weed those losers out asap).

All that to say, in most cases I don't believe your enemy is actually training... but YOU ARE. Any training with resistance has some value. Even if you're studying something a little more on the esoteric side; it's still more than this 'enemy' is doing. So I say just keep going.
Sorry but I have to disagree. I have big aspirations in the world of martial arts, so I am almost constantly training in one form or another. I might be in a boxing class, and run right over to BJJ or the gym after. I might be attempting to increase strength or muscle mass. I might be meditating or reading a book on techniques, diets etcetera. I might do 500 pushups daily, and 500 crunches before going to sleep. I might be following my carnivore diet. I might do 100 kicks on each leg daily.

These are all things that I have done and continue to do. I don't do all of them every day, but if I could I most certainnly would. Every day before I go to sleep I ask myself; is there something today I didn't do that my rival has? Then I make sure to do it the next day, and I make it harder as punishment for skipping it in the first place. Did you forget to do your 200 crunches last night? You're doing 500 today. Why 500? Well, 200 for today, 200 for yesterday, and an extra 100 as punishment for forgetting. You stopped at 23 to catch your breath when you were meant to do 30? Your new goal is 35.

I feel like this has pushed me to train much harder than anyone around me. I'm the one setting the standard, and if I'm not then I am not training hard enough. Who is my rival? I don't know. But I know one day I'll meet him, and if you don't have one, rest assured you'll meet him too. Especially if you have a goal to aspire to. No one becomes number one without butting heads with the people that have the same goal as him. There is only one fastest man, one strongest, one baddest.

If you don't have anything to aspire to, that's fine but then, why train? You might train for yourself, but that doesn't mean there isn't an enemy out there. The enemy isn't always someone else. The enemy is usually yourself. This enemy is the hardest working version of yourself. When I imagine my enemy or rival, it's someone exactly like me who has gone through the same day and hardships but has managed to get more out of it than I have. Aim to be the enemy, not to compare yourself to him.
 

Urban Trekker

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If you don't have anything to aspire to, that's fine but then, why train? You might train for yourself, but that doesn't mean there isn't an enemy out there. The enemy isn't always someone else. The enemy is usually yourself. This enemy is the hardest working version of yourself. When I imagine my enemy or rival, it's someone exactly like me who has gone through the same day and hardships but has managed to get more out of it than I have. Aim to be the enemy, not to compare yourself to him.
Exactly. In my case, martial arts is a smaller part of a bigger picture. What I think about everyday is the ability to get home every night, and doing so safely. I'm heavily into EDC (Everyday Carry), and I never leave the house without my GHB (Get Home Bag).

For me, there are two enemies:

1. Any obstacle that gets in the way of me getting home - whether it's an animal, an object, an incident, or a person.
2. Society's wholesale contempt for men in distress. If you're a woman in distress, people will be tripping over each other to come and help you. If you're a man, you're on your own. That said, you have to be prepared for everything, and I do that through my EDC items that I keep on my person and in my GHB.
 
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D Hall

D Hall

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No one becomes number one without butting heads with the people that have the same goal as him. There is only one fastest man, one strongest, one baddest.
I think we essentially agree on most of these things, with some semantics being our only real difference.
This 1st point is true, but only temporarily. There is always someone stronger, faster... and you want that someone to be you. A commendable goal; but I believe a short lived one. The reason being you may reach that mountain, (and fn congrats if you do, seriously); but tomorrow it will be someone's day while the circle of existence moves each of us to different places. Anderson Silva WAS one of the baddest men on the planet (imo), and he's still an amazing fighter... but age and injury find us all. My point is not to accept mediocrity, but more about seeking long term mastery and finding more than just the ability to fight.
The enemy isn't always someone else. The enemy is usually yourself. This enemy is the hardest working version of yourself. When I imagine my enemy or rival, it's someone exactly like me who has gone through the same day and hardships but has managed to get more out of it than I have. Aim to be the enemy, not to compare yourself to him.
Here's where I couldn't agree more. This was essentially going to be my 'rebuttal' before seeing you wrote it yourself.
The enemy is yourself, not some nebulous outside evil force.
The most beautiful thing about the martial arts is that it's all individual. Being better than you from yesterday.
I know where my glass ceiling is in some respects. I'll be 40 this year, and a UFC contract isn't in the cards (even if I wanted to at this point). What I can do, is increase mastery of other areas; my understanding of the movements, what makes it work better than it did for me last week or year, how to better understand all facets of the art, so that I can better pass along the knowledge I've gained to future martial artists.

In the end, I don't think our ideologies are all that far apart.
 

drop bear

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Havent really heard that one. but it does look slightly silly and i can see how it would annoy, it doesnt really make sense to me.


If we apply this to sport, only proffesional atheltes do it every day, and then they only train for the sport(s) they do. And their competition is usually in the same boat of them just explitly practising their sport(s).

If we apply this to another job, you generally get your how ever much training you get when you start to do it and they either offer CPD or leave it up to you until you take another post/need more mandated training.

i have no idea where i am going with this, so i am leaving it there.

It was a fit for duty meme there fro a while.
 

jobo

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Exactly. In my case, martial arts is a smaller part of a bigger picture. What I think about everyday is the ability to get home every night, and doing so safely. I'm heavily into EDC (Everyday Carry), and I never leave the house without my GHB (Get Home Bag).

For me, there are two enemies:

1. Any obstacle that gets in the way of me getting home - whether it's an animal, an object, an incident, or a person.
2. Society's wholesale contempt for men in distress. If you're a woman in distress, people will be tripping over each other to come and help you. If you're a man, you're on your own. That said, you have to be prepared for everything, and I do that through my EDC items that I keep on my person and in my GHB.
what's in your GHB ? i have get home shoes, its all I've ever needed and some times a hat
 

ShortBridge

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I know some may vehemently disagree with this, but let's have some (respectful) fun.

We've all seen some version of this mantra a thousand times: 'While you sit on the couch, your enemy is training '.

I have to say, this notion is such a pet peeve of mine. It gets used as a marketing tool, or people use it to try and motivate themselves or others... but how many enemies do you actually have? (and as a follow up, WHY?)

Now, I get that there are times that it is quite applicable (active duty military in a war zone for instance). Where I find it somewhat silly is seeing it posted in some gym that costs over $100/month just to get through the door (meaning you're probably living fairly comfortably if you can afford to be there).

If you are routinely rubbing elbows with people who want to hurt you; perhaps larger scale lifestyle and environment changes are in order.
If that isn't the case for you... who do you really think it is that's out to get you?
While I could wax on at length about prevention tactics (best way to not get hit by the bad guy, is to not be anywhere around when the punch gets thrown); reality tells me that you're not likely to be attacked by an elite mma fighter (who are generally really great, peaceful people).

That leaves your most likely assailant to be someone drunk or high on the street or some neanderthal with no temper control (rarely do you see that paired with high level training... it obviously exists, but I believe they are in the minority as most reputable schools weed those losers out asap).

All that to say, in most cases I don't believe your enemy is actually training... but YOU ARE. Any training with resistance has some value. Even if you're studying something a little more on the esoteric side; it's still more than this 'enemy' is doing. So I say just keep going.
I hate to derail the derail by responding to the original poster, but here we go: I'm with you on this @D Hall. It's one of a whole bunch of things that martial artists say that feel pretentious and LARP-y to me.

I feel the same about "in combat" or when people talk about "the street". There's a bit of fantasy there and maybe it's mostly harmless, but I think that some people do buy into it and start seeing their neighbors and "other people" in general as threats and enemies. We're seeing it in the news more and more in the US.

Granted this is a tough line to straddle because we are teaching and practicing self defense (fighting), at least some of us are and that's not a dig at anyone who trains for other reasons. As long as you're doing what you want and are honest with yourself about it, I don't see a problem.

When I'm teaching (or training) I do like to focus on application, when we're working something isolated from application, like conditioning or balance or timing or forms, I keep track of that time and bring it back to application. But, the bigger part of self defense or as I sometimes prefer to think of it - Personal Safety, is understanding your environment. I practice and teach IMOP and Cooper's Color Codes and deescalation and evasion/preclusion. I want to feel safe and I want my students to feel safe and part of that is being able to engage in a physical confrontation, but it doesn't start or end there and I don't think it's healthy to imagine invisible enemies and villains out there who we must confront and defeat.

I practice awareness, evasion, de-escalation all that time "in the street" (now I went and did it). There are very few scenarios where it is actually necessary to fight someone and even those theoretical people, honestly I don't imagine as enemies, maybe situational threats.

I got into a lot more confrontations before I was well trained enough to handle them.
 

drop bear

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I practice awareness, evasion, de-escalation all that time "in the street" (now I went and did it). There are very few scenarios where it is actually necessary to fight someone and even those theoretical people, honestly I don't imagine as enemies, maybe situational threats.

The thing is I think this is kind of the same animal as you suggested about street fighting.

Where people are winning a competition nobody else was in or knew about.
 

Tez3

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By the way the Aikido threads are going you would think every physical confrontation is a carefully arranged duel between competent fighters in a ring. This concept is part of the fantasy in martial arts and its what leads to these style and dojo wars arguments. The reality is that most martial artists will never use their training and its all just good exercise. Some people will compete and an appropriate level of training for that is also good to have but that's not what I see in most cases. Very few people put the time and effort in to learn a martial art, fewer learn more than one, fewer still train to use it at one hundred percent in a realistic scenario.

Even people who could benefit from more training don't have the dedication to pursue actual mastery, there are lots of cops and Marines who take the mandated training and never seek out a single class on their own time. This said, we have the one percent out there who do put the time in, who train full time to the point of extremes because they love martial arts or are highly competitive. Even professional fighters fall into a certain level of comfort, Ben Askren is a former champ, but I bet you he is wishing he spent a few weeks training and maybe practicing his boxing guard before he walked into the ring with Jake Paul and got his bell rung in the first round.

For every maybe one hundred students taking classes, a handful of them are serious fighters who are going to get anywhere with their martial arts. For the few instances of them who will end up in a violent confrontation at some point in their life, this extra level of training above and beyond the general public is fine, it will protect them and be enough to control their drunk uncle Ronnie at the family barbecue, scare away the crackhead robbing them, etc. Are there hardcore "enemies" out there for the average person? Nope, that's the fantasy. If you go to work and have a good job and get a decent house in a decent neighborhood, that rabid dog of a human being you are scared of probably can't even get into your neighborhood. If you are the truly dedicated martial artist, you are likely not putting yourself into situations or ending up in situations where your skill is going to be truly tested. The people who will mess with you when you walk around don't know what time it is and if they did, they saw how you carry yourself and will look somewhere else to make their joke, start their fight, etc.

But everyone here is a totally competitive level fighter, putting in forty or more hours a week training if you ask them, they know more than you and can prove it because they can link a you tube video of some pro athlete doing what they are talking about. That's what's more fun. The people training for their debut ninja street brawl are self deluding but hey, if they stick with it they will eventually get to a place where they mature enough to admit to themselves what experience they do or don't have, hopefully. Personally, I enjoy hanging out with martial arts nerds and training for the love of the lifelong pursuit of knowledge, I just am at an age where I don't have time for the teenage level machismo and peacocking. I wish there were more true nerds to hang out with, because its much more common to run into the egoists and the number of people who have legitimately trained to mastery in one or more systems is super rare.


I would take issue with your comment about police officers and military 'not having the dedication' to train, there's a lot gets in the way of not being able to train as much as you'd like. Long shifts, deployments, injuries, not much time off, trying to have a home life while working isn't conducive to training 'in your own time'. Shift working often means your own time is at hours when martial arts classes and gyms simply aren't open. Yes, there's gyms for the use of the military on camps but military training and duties often mean that doing your own training isn't always possible.

Lack of training isn't often the problem with pro MMA fighters, lack of tactical nous and preparation can be though.

Implying these people are lazy is in itself lazy, a little understanding of these jobs help before criticising them.
 

frank raud

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When I did an advertising campaign for a martial arts club ,we found using the slogan " You're safe, no need to practice, enjoy your bag of Funyuns" didn't encourage anyone to sign up. Your experience may be different, try it for your club.
 

Rat

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When I did an advertising campaign for a martial arts club ,we found using the slogan " You're safe, no need to practice, enjoy your bag of Funyuns" didn't encourage anyone to sign up. Your experience may be different, try it for your club.

Isnt that a mixed bag? Some people just dont like fear mongering and if they find out you are will no longer be your patron. But surpise suprise, telling somone they dont need your service meant people didnt use your service. :p
 

Flying Crane

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We all decide the level of paranoia to which we will subscribe.

Ive found that it’s actually pretty easy to get through life without getting into fights. At least after one gets through high school. This has been my experience. I suspect a lot of people have had similar, but one’s mileage may vary.

somehow the thugs and miscreants don’t seem to be lurking behind every bush and dumpster, waiting to mug me for my lunch money.

I would say that if you (the general “you”) find yourself getting into a lot of fights as an adult, and you do not work in a profession where that makes sense, like LEO or military or security, then you just might be the problem. Might be time for a little honest introspection.
 

Urban Trekker

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what's in your GHB ? i have get home shoes, its all I've ever needed and some times a hat
Inside my GHB, I keep my laptop and associated peripherals, a dopp kit full of travel size personal hygiene items, a poncho, small tools, a silverware set, cell phone accessories, two all-day bus passes, a couple of fast-food gift cards, a hotels.com gift card, chem lights, AA and AAA batteries, flashlight, lighter, padlock, and a couple of other things.
 

mograph

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How about "While you sit on the couch, your opponent is training?"

That narrows down the context to martial arts in both competition and sparring, while avoiding the possible "everyone is my enemy" mindset.
 

Urban Trekker

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How about "While you sit on the couch, your opponent is training?"

That narrows down the context to martial arts in both competition and sparring, while avoiding the possible "everyone is my enemy" mindset.
Why?

I mean, this is such a simple concept, and we're overthinking it to death.
 

Buka

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As a first responder it's inevitable you're going to be dealing with trouble in one form or another. Sometimes it's little things and sometimes it's not so little things.

In private life it's usually easy to avoid trouble, but not as easy as it used to be. There seems to be more crazy and more violent people around than there used to be. And if something is happening to someone else, it's kind of hard not to try and help them.
 

isshinryuronin

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I figure there are 4 types of everyday people (possible prey) walking the street:

1. Those who are oblivious to possible threats and have no skills to handle them. These are happy folks - until they're attacked.
2. Those who are aware of the dangers, but have no training or strength to confront them. These are folks living with some fear.
3. Those who are aware, and have poor training. These are folks at risk, likely to underestimate the danger.
4. Those who are aware of possible threats, and have been well trained to handle them. These are folks who are cautious, but able to enjoy their walk with relative safety.

#4 people don't see enemies behind every corner, but are prepared, just in case. I don't plan or expect to be a home invasion victim, but I have a gun. I have never come across a dying person, but I know CPR. I don't expect a disaster or an invasion, but I have a "go bag" and 10-14 days bottled water ready. The Boy Scout motto is one of the best, "Be Prepared."
 

Urban Trekker

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4. Those who are aware of possible threats, and have been well trained to handle them. These are folks who are cautious, but able to enjoy their walk with relative safety.

This. I think everyone should modify this to their own personal situation. For example: I'm a fairly big guy, so my probability of attracting the attention of a single unarmed attacker is pretty low. This is one of the reasons I conceal carry.
 

sgtmac_46

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I know some may vehemently disagree with this, but let's have some (respectful) fun.

We've all seen some version of this mantra a thousand times: 'While you sit on the couch, your enemy is training '.

I have to say, this notion is such a pet peeve of mine. It gets used as a marketing tool, or people use it to try and motivate themselves or others... but how many enemies do you actually have? (and as a follow up, WHY?)

Now, I get that there are times that it is quite applicable (active duty military in a war zone for instance). Where I find it somewhat silly is seeing it posted in some gym that costs over $100/month just to get through the door (meaning you're probably living fairly comfortably if you can afford to be there).

If you are routinely rubbing elbows with people who want to hurt you; perhaps larger scale lifestyle and environment changes are in order.
If that isn't the case for you... who do you really think it is that's out to get you?
While I could wax on at length about prevention tactics (best way to not get hit by the bad guy, is to not be anywhere around when the punch gets thrown); reality tells me that you're not likely to be attacked by an elite mma fighter (who are generally really great, peaceful people).

That leaves your most likely assailant to be someone drunk or high on the street or some neanderthal with no temper control (rarely do you see that paired with high level training... it obviously exists, but I believe they are in the minority as most reputable schools weed those losers out asap).

All that to say, in most cases I don't believe your enemy is actually training... but YOU ARE. Any training with resistance has some value. Even if you're studying something a little more on the esoteric side; it's still more than this 'enemy' is doing. So I say just keep going.
That is an indicator of how much of a peaceful bubble most folks live in.

The part about only good guys being allowed to train is a fallacy, however.

There’s tens of thousands guys in prison all over this country right now hitting the weight pile, training daily, fighting real bloody fights often.

Quite a few fighting champions learned to box in prison.....to name one, Sonny Liston.

But as you say most folks social bubble keeps them out of contact with really dangerous people most of the time.
 

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