Just some thoughts to your post.
>>The practice of our beloved martial arts brings certain visions of prowess to the fore , the foundation thereof on solid bedrock of 'dan' ranks and sensei's traditional mysticism ! Yes , some will become sparring champions , will gain a reputation of 'tough fighters' ..will give some very impressive demonstrations ; some are so taken with
themselves that just the casual referencing to some other impressive fellow karate-ka , is taken with an' upturned nose ' unwilling to concede emotionally that there is someone better out there overshadowing them !! But deep inside there is always that nagging doubt ..how good am I really ..how would I really measure up in a real fight .<<
Yes. This certainly applies to some of us in the dojos. Yet, even for those who been through a real situation or two and emerged relatively healthy, the questioning and self-doubt can still exist. In fact, they can be attentuated because now the "reality" of it is clear and there is an awareness of the complexity of it all. The seperation between defeat and victory is indeed thin. And, one can sink into an "endless" and futile quest to be be "prepared" for everything. At some point, as much as one prepares, one has to accept that it may well be not enough should one "get into it" the next time. Thus, it is advisable to avoid confrontation or situations with potential for confrontation as much as humanly possible.
>>Deadly force instructors try to replicate the closest of the stress level of a real fight [ nothing is really 'real' as you know you will not get killed in any training ..no matter how demanding] ..by 'simunitions ' or paint ball scenarios in order to develop useful skills and effective instinctive motor movements under the strength sapping stress !! This is called the 'force on force ' scenario which seeks to test the fitness, real time strength , speed and cognitive decisional skills !<<
Okay. No smoke but this is the mirror. The mirror is going to let you know whether you're really sharp or just a slop thinking he is ready for a hot date. Seriously, if one is concerned about training for self-defense, then one has to engaged at some point in training that is close to or at the "edge". This provides a reflection as good as it is going to get to let one know if one is anywhere near where they want to be in preparation.
The caveate about this kind of training is that it requires a high level of honesty and maturity or it is not as useful as it can be. The other day I was double stick sparring (foam covered sticks) with this guy in class. In the middle of it, I dropped one of my sticks. As I tried to pick it up, the other guy tried to whack me (I don't even know if he hit me or not). I immediately rushed him, grabbed one of his arms and started whacking away with the other stick. We were both taking some good hits and giving some (nice bruises all over both of us). I enjoyed the intensity of the match. Problem was afterwards, the other guy made an indirect complain -- "oh, I expected more technique from you rather than than this wild swinging away." Interesting. He takes swings at me while I am picking up my stick -- nice realism -- but didn't like it when I responded by rushing him to neutralize his advantage of two sticks never mind his size and reach. It was a good bout, a good mirror. I wish he would take a good look at it and appreciate what was revealed.
>>Students must be prepared to the realities and harshness of real life ..that no matter how good they are , sometime they will just loose ..life is an endless game of probabilities !<<
Well said. Again, using your words, we need to develop our "emotional maturity." Nothing is given or promised. We can only commit ourselves to practice, to preparation. But even this is no quarantee. We need to develop, I think, a level of acceptance (that defeat is always a possibility) and thus restraint. Yet these have to be balanced with the willingness to act unhesitantly when circumstances demand it.