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Self Defense Law

Dominate Your Combat Skills

Too many people keep training in perfect environment, under perfect conditions and stable mental state of mind – and yet they call it reality based self defense course. They tend to forget that reality is actually far away from the mats. This article is to give you a clue about how you can enhance your self defense training to get closer to its instance of reality.

Ask your self – “Am I training for reality?” …Are you?

If you, for example, keep training self defense only inside of your dojo premises, there is a chance you may be missing couple key points of training for real life situations.

Many self defense clubs keep developing skills of their students only under perfect conditions and/or in common positions. If you want to train yourself or others for situations that may occur at real places with real people under real circumstances, you have to adapt your skills to these realities of the outside world.

Different positions

One of the first adjustments to your training that you can apply right away is applying your techniques in different positions and motions. And I don’t mean only changing feet to an opposite guard.

Take a simple Jab - Cross combination for example and ask yourself, in what positions are you training it.

If you happen to know it only from the standing up perspective, I’ve listed here a couple of variations you can put this simple combo under, like while you are:

The possibilities are many. Create proper scenario to address each position to and you’ll have a great base for training your skills for the real life application.

After reading the first part of this article, answer these questions:
  • How can you adjust drills that you have done during your last training? Write it down and try it on your next training session.
  • What other scenarios with different positioning you can think of?

Different environment

Problem of many schools preparing their students for unpredictable fights is that they never leave the premises of their gym/dojo.

If you only train in the ring and on the mats, it is very much understandable if the desired outcome is to keep winning in the ring and/or on the mats, like it is with the sport martial arts.

But when it comes to the reality based self defense, you need to understand that the fight can happen everywhere. On the mats, in the hall, on the streets, in your car, in the swimming pool, in the woods … you name it.

Because of this, you have to place your training not only to the premises of your perfectly equipped gym, but also go out and see the sun, feel the cement under your feet etc.

In this video, you can see Luke Holloway and Tuhon Felix Cortes training their stick and edged weapons fighting skills. Look how during their fight they change the environments:

To learn more on improving your fighting skills, go to:

AND - do not forget the weather. You have to have in mind, that the conditions may be different as the weather changes.

Let me throw some examples so you get the right picture:

The list can be endless.

When training for reality, you have to include this in your training, so you know how it feels like to perform physically and mentally challenging activity, like fighting, under different environmental conditions.

Here you can see Luke Holloway again, teaching some kinfe work - in the snow. Also talking about training in different environments:

How can you improve your own training to make it more aimed at reality based self defense concept?


Add a handicap

To turn the tables even more, it is always good to take away something. Better said – include a problem to deal with - a handicap.

You have to assume that things may not always go hand in hand with what you want. Much of a bad stuff may happen and unexpectedly influence the outcome of the fight – usually not in the favor of the good guy.

Here is a short list of some handicaps I add to my trainings for your inspiration:

Get creative and never depend strictly on the perfect conditions to follow you everywhere. You always have to put your skills to the test to make them even better.

Sometimes the handicap can be another added person; a kid for example. The third party may be someone who is interfering in the drill, and may be you are not allowed to touch them. May be you can’t leave unless you take that person with you. May be it is them who can’t move properly and slows you down.

Add just a smallest handicap to your drills and see, how much of a change it brings. Modify your drills, train them and become REALLY skilled in what you do. Be it sport or reality – this stuff will make you a believer in your own skills.

Look at this cool knife drill adjustment. "F"in' cool way how to improve your senses!

  • How many handicaps that you can use in your training are you able to come up with?
  • Why is adding a handicap to your training so important?

Since you may be training for reality, you have to assume that everything can happen. Be sure you know how to fight under pressure, in different types of environment (always start with the one you find your self at the most) and learn how to function with the burden of a handicap.

This way your training will help you really KNOW the drills and techniques you are learning and/or teaching to others.

Dominate your skills; don’t train under the best conditions, because if the need to show what you can do comes – it will come under the worst possible ones.

TAGS: training combat skills combat ready


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