When your pad work lacks energy and you feel like all you do is just „hitting“ pads, it is time to wake up and reboot your pad holder’s approach.
To make your training whole, you need at least one or more sparring partners to set you up, test you, give you counter energy and targets to hit and may be most importantly to give you feedback . Basically – to make your training count and help you get dramatically better with every single session.
In terminology, which I have adopted during my trainings with coach Tony Blauer, I started to call such men – the Bad Guy.
I went to see many schools of martial arts and trained at many seminars, seen hundreds of martial arts videos and I encounter the same thing all over again. The role and potential of the Bad guy is in majority of cases underused.
I personally started to understand this role just under the coaching of BTS. All of the sudden it came to me and it beamed my own training and the way I train others to another dimensions.
Let’s see how YOU can do the same for your training.
I am going to list the characteristics I personally think every Bad guy should adopt and embrace to make the training with them a game-changing experience.
Bad guy should not be passive!
So very often you can see an attacker to throw a punch and then just freeze, wait and get his ass beaten while standing still – there is no INTENT, no follow up.
On the streets, no one would attack you like that. There is going to be a lot of fuzz and motion. The scene is going to be tense - and it is Bad guy’s responsibility to create such tension.
And don’t get me wrong – by Intent and not being passive I don’t mean that the training should look like a vicious dog fight all the time. Just the opposite - I totally understand the need of going slowly and abiding the safety when trying out the movements, gaining confidence in positions and so on. That is all fine.
But even while moving slowly you can express the intent and really make the other one feel like you are trying to get his head mashed up … only slowly.
If you give the defender proper Bad guy energy, you’ll quickly see how overall approach to the training would change – showing trainees, that they actually have to earn the time to think during real fight and that they will not defend against any one-trick pony robots.
It happens all the time that during pressure test scenario training (and not only there), Bad guys forget what their role is and what goal they are trying to accomplish in that role.
Many times I have seen attackers to stop and wait for defender’s next move; to lose balance and fall (literally jump) on the ground by themselves and other stuff that makes the drill look nice, but no one learns anything useful.
First thing you have to understand as a Bad guy is that your role is to act as a character who wants to satisfy his needs.
Criminals want your:
So, before the drill but after you decide on the speed, safety control and scenario, what I want you Bad guys to do, is to figure out your character.
…those are just some hints you may consider when building your persona, but once you have your character set up and programmed to your mind, stay with it until the drill ends.
Don’t help the defender. Let him earn it – just like in a real fight, but under control. In fact, you should not even know what the defense of the one attacked by you will look like, what resources and tactics he/she is allowed to use.
This way you can make it a really nice drill with lots of “true” Bad guy (human) reactions.
As you go through the drills, it is important not only to know, how the defender felt and what benefits the drill brought to him, but also, what effect it all had on the Bad guy.
It always helps you even more, if you know, how your actions (the way you responded, your defense or counter attack etc.) influenced the behavior of the one who had to react upon them (in this case – the attacker).
From your Bad guy, you may receive information like:
Remember that nothing should be strictly given as we are all individualities and what works for me, may not entirely work for you or someone else.
For this reason, the self defense classes work as a laboratory at some point and thus you should experiment with stuff. Make your game yours own, effective and dangerous.
After you consider Bad guys debrief points, try to go through an updated drill couple more times to see and feel the difference.
As you can see, the role of Bad guys in your training and preparation for the real thing is very important. The variability is high and it is your attacker’s responsibility to behave as true as possible, yet not still the same.
…what brings us to the conclusion that the Bad guy works more than the Good guy.
To get even more benefit from your hard work, allow me to invite you to read an article about the right approach and attitude of individuals to their trainings and workouts - If it’s not a challenge, it is not training
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