“Nope. As a matter of fact the most important thing is to educate people in what will happen to them mentally and physically and let them know that it's perfectly normal to experience these things and they can survive if they follow their instincts, have faith in their training and natural ability.
I'll even go further and say that it is totally wrong to tell someone who comes to you for self defense training (not LEO or military) what they should do. Just give them familiarity and competence with instinctive and effective movements. Just take a moment to reflect on the fact that sometimes real lives (wives, children, husbands, brothers, sisters, etc...) are saved by people fighting to (gasp) escape from a predatory attack.
Actually this whole thing is a real heartbreaker, because no karate teacher can truly prepare their student for a viscious predatory assault. Sorry.
I have had a few first hand experiences, that have totally changed every aspect of my martial arts training. I know for a fact that no teacher or training method could bring me to the level of understanding that I have now. I can honestly state that those experiences have only made me appreciate and see the truth in my training more than I could ever have without them. It's a double edged sword though, because I know without any shred of doubt that if I am ever put in the same state of adrenaline and naked terror as before, everyone that is perceived as a threat to my or my loved ones' lives will die very quickly. I can't really emphasize how certain I am of this, but there it is. I can only hope that in such a situation, my actions don't lead to incarceration and/or self torment.”
Sorry for making the long quote but these are excellent comments.
The point of our teaching is to do our best to prepare the student even knowing all the time nothing we do guarantees anything. But at the same time that does not mean we can throw any type of training out there because it does not matter.
It does matter.
Arm them with “with instinctive and effective movements” for one thing.
We can teach them to survive and act through pain.
We can try to educate them as to the true nature of violence although no one can understand they can only intellectually picture if they come “to martial arts without any ‘baggage’.”
And we can explain the realities of fear and reaction and “let them know that it's perfectly normal to experience these things and they can survive if they follow their instincts, have faith in their training and natural ability.”
We can give them the methods to generate power, to hit hard. This we can do.
“BUT, if you simply tell folks they can survive the flinch and stop there then you have not even begun to address the flinch in training. Training ordinary folks to take action is the key, many folks do not naturally know how, when or why to take action, in order to take control and survive. If you do not teach folks these things then you have not even given those folks the most basic means of survival and you have not lived up to your obligation as a MA teacher. The idea is to try and turn those folks who may not be natural killers in to empowered people who understand how and why and when to create and use that killer instinct in order to take action and do it ASAP.”
“You train to convert SOONER and BETTER by FOCUSING on the ACTION, not on INACTION or lack of ACTION”
Also excellent comments.
We also know there is no magic in the world and all we can do is try our best. We need to seek the best and most effective training we can. And all we have to judge this by is our training, our experiences and our guts. No crystal ball and nothing that says “this is the one true way.” We are but humans trying to do our best.
“I mentioned that because in the early days of my dojo, many of us believed our teachers and the hype that doing what we do will make us invincible. Of course, if one has never been in a real fight, they can go through life believing this. I was trying to explain in my earlier post, that I discovered early on that there were other factors involved in a fight that had nothing to do with one's physical training. A student had to also understand that no matter how good they thought they were, there was always someone "out there" who was better. No matter how "prepared" you thought you were, there could be situations where your best wasn't going to be good enough and you would get hit, find yourself on the ground and even pissing your pants. Nothing to be ashamed about, nothing that reflects on your training, your ability, your mindset or willpower.”
Absolutely a true comment George.
We still are obligated to prepare them as best we are able even if that may fall short in the moment of truth.
“2. Ricks use of driving a car as an example of "learned reaction": My take on this is that an "attentive" driver is equal to my example of being in a sparring match. You can fight in a casual manner (Mohammad Ali style) while remaining alert to driving conditions. Your reflexes work without conscious thought, much in the same way your punches and kicks will work without conscious thought.
Now lets add changing stations on the radio while trying to negotiate a date on your cell phone while your kids (from a former marriage ) fight in the back seat... well you get the idea.... when suddenly a car runs a red light, right in your path. Now you will get a "flinch" that won't look anything like the one where you are "attentively" driving.”
Yeah anything can happen, George but at the same time the reaction can also still be a good one. I had this happen while trying to recover a jacket falling to my feet and having a person slam on their breaks in front of me when I glanced up. No “bad” flinch response I did just fine avoiding them. I do not doubt it could have been, or could be, different, but you can see why personal experience has me not in agreement with you.
And the more we train to do it right the more chance it “may” go right – yes?
I do not think there is a person posting on this thread that feels invincible or feels they are making their students invincible.
A hundred pound weakling could take us out with a hidden knife thrust as they walk by us in a crowd. Just a random attack that has happened in real life. No ninja secrets. No spider senses. $hit happens.
All we can do is seek the best training we can.
George it is that alternate path you followed that interests me and what you found gave you closer to what you were looking for. I know you have shared some of it over the forums but your experiences into what you found in searching this alternate path that worked best and what did not would be welcomed.
Again this is a great discussion. We don't agree but we are learning a great deal.