As George mentioned I am on the road a lot and traveling a great part of this year both here domestically and internationally.
A few months ago, I recently had a conversation with a student who is in own right is a real warrior. He is from Singapore and has been a fighter for the last 14 years and is 36 year of age, currently serving in the Singapore Special Police Brigade. We started to share some personal stories regarding training of police officers, and civilians both of who are martial artist.
We talked about a few topics I wanted to share.
The first topic was about hitting. How to train people to hit hard, the focus and concentration needed, dedication and various methods of training.
He shared with me a strong problem they identified with the first group of students they ran through live confrontational exercises. Consisting of one person attacking (the instructor) and the one defending themselves (the student).
Problems they noted were:
1. Students were waiting for a reaction after their first series of strikes
2. Lacking a follow up plan
3. Some immediately stopped after they made physical contact with the attacker as waiting for some acknowledgment or applause from the audience
4. Pulling their power when kicking, or punching
5. Lacking the inner courage and discipline
6. A shorten endurance span much shorter than the one the attacker used
7. Student losing balance and falling down on the ground during their contacts
8. Badly missed strikes or target areas
9. Many forgot what to do – experience mind blocks or blank minds
10. Some panicked and failed to do anything at all
When he shared each of these with me, he asked me how do you train students to overcome those problems, especially when each of the students are highly trained professions who have even had life threatening encounters in the past.
I told him I experience these same problems here in the US.
I responded by telling him this short story – 15 years ago while training in Tokyo, Japan with the Japanese National Police I watched a live demonstration of a man who broken, concrete blocks with his bare hands, his head, elbows and feet, then afterwards I got to pair up with him for the afternoon.
I have never broken any concrete blocks, or wood unless you count the few times I was thrown through dry wall and wooded walls in a few fights….
After about 15 minutes of stretching out we started to strike the body bags and striking shields. When I held the bag for this man he truly hit with a powerful force, and I was thinking wow, I can’t wait to get into the protective gear and spar with him. When he hit the bag it would jump 3-5 feet in the air, and when I held the striking bag I would have to take a few steps backwards to help absorb the force from his strikes. After about 45 minutes of bag and striking drills, we both put on the protective gear consisting of a head, cage, mouth piece, chest protector, groin and lower legs. I have to admit at this time I was starting to have a few doubts about whether or not this gear would protect me. We were training for 3 minute bouts for 5 rounds or until the other said stop. The goal was to know the other down and then mount them (then it would stop and return to our feet), or knock them out or down while standing. This was a trainnig drills the JP's do.
When the bell rang we met in the center of the ring and slowly circled a few times until the other felt comfortable each using our hands and feet to strike the other with. After about the first 30 seconds of receiving his strikes, I felt nothing like I did when he was striking the bags I was holding. His punching were very weak, fast but when they hit me delivered not real power, his kicks were extremely fast but when they hit me failed to affect me.
So I continued with my plan, which was to hit him when he hit me and kick him when he kicked me. He threw a right jab and I hit his right hand, then followed up with a strike to his elbow, and a front kick to his shin and he yelled stop. He regrouped in about 10 minutes and we went at it again. This time, when he kicked me I kicked his shin; follow up by a knee strike to his thigh, then to an elbow to his chest – he again yelled to stop –
After this second time we sat and talked for a few minutes – He mentioned that he has never been in a real fight, or even had anyone really come at him. All of his training up to that point was static, or one sided meaning he did all of the hitting blocks, bags and concrete blocks, and never used any protective gear to hit a person.
All of his training up to that point with me in the ring was him hitting something that never moved or would ever hit back.
After I shared that story with him he smiled and said – I guess if you are going to train people to fight, then they need to be trained first in how use their tools in the situations they will have to use them in.
I couldn’t agree more – If you’re going to have to step in the ring and tame a lion, you don’t need to learn by using dogs to train with!
Just something to think about!
Last edited by Dave Young
on Fri Mar 16, 2007 8:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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