Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Today's Quote: Defend University on the Unexpected

Mount with forearm 

"Remember that the professional may be predictable, but the world is full of amateurs." - Defend University

A great quote, and short post which reinforces what I've been saying for a long time, along with such luminaries as Hock Hochheim - train to deal with the untrained! Money quote:

I once saw Royce Gracie almost get KO'ed in a seminar (this was during the height of his UFC fighting days) when a raw beginner did a completely unexpected move and kneed Royce right in the face. The kid was not being malicious, it's just that he had no idea of what to do next so he did something completely unpredictable.

Expect the unexpected.

Well said, and you hear about this over and over, the cliche of black belts getting pounded by street fighters with no formal training. Is it the fact that the untrained fighter is dangerous, or that the black belt's training is too specific?

I'd say that it's a little of both. My recent, controversial post, Is your traditional training going to get you killed?, deals with the issue of martial artists being trained to deal with a certain mindset on the part of their training partners, and learn to look for (and react to) certain techniques at a certain range. In other words, my boxing training may teach me that clinching is to be discouraged, holding and hitting illegal, and there's certainly no need to look for head butts or kicks. My TKD training might mean that I try to stay at kicking range and neglect any takedowns or throws. I may not be used to the intensity of an attacker that actually wants to do me harm.

Another way of looking at this comes from a great Black Belt article by Hock Hochheim (you can download the PDF here) listing what he calls "12 Combat Commandments from the School of Hard Knocks." In it, he lists tips that he's gleaned from the fabled school of experience, plus study and teaching, including this nugget:


A major problem in martial arts classes is lopsided priorities. Too much training is devoted to events that are unlikely to occur. Knife fighters duel too much, karateka exchange kicks and punches too much, and grapplers wrestle too much. Few students of self-defense spend enough time shooting firearms. Even fewer spend enough time studying the psychology of violence.

Endeavor to learn what's most likely to happen and train for that first. Then work backward along the continuum of probability. [Emphasis mine - Nathan]

What's more likely to happen, an axe kick attack, or a tackle? An overhand right or a left jab? Train accordingly!

For more information:

Defend University
Hock's Blog
Today's TDA Tip: Train versus the Untrained
TDA: Sucker Punch Saturday
TDA: How to Win a Fight: Self-Defense Strategies for the Untrained Fighter
TDA: Training diary Sat., 7/31/04 (Self-def)

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