Monday, 5 September 2011

The Sensei under pressure...

How many of you (me included) did or still do believe that the black belt 10th Dan in some mystical martial art from the mountains of Japan is force to be reckoned with outside the kebab shop at 3:30am this Saturday morning?
I'll bet most can see where this is going... Well I have lost count of how many instructors and students of traditional martial arts that are taught and truly believe that 10 point striking systems and defensive blocking/trapping will definitely work with our old friend Joe the bampot on two-grams of Charlie and eight Stellas at kicking out time.

What nine times out of 10 we are missing here is our old friend adrenalin, all the screaming kyaa! and eeesch! and all other Bruce Lee/Chuck Norris expletives in the world are not making the situation live in training.
However next time it goes off outside the chippy please shout this as you take your horse stance do let me know how you got on, three weeks later when your out of hospital...
The main problem i see here is compliance when training, by this i mean the defender allowing the targets to be hit and then the usual role reversal for the next 20 minutes. Personally I don’t stand on the same spot when I get smacked I tend to shifty about a bit if possible, but hey that's just me.
Now what I'm getting into here as a very important word that I believe is worth noting when training and especially sparring, MOMENTUM. Yes momentum, when a tear up starts in the street we have the usual haymaker or head butt and then its on, now I'm not going into the prefight dance/ritual as that's for next week maybe.... so its gone off, somebody has called someone's pint a nob and there has been a punch thrown.
But wait no knockout! How can this have happened? So our two heroes now are lashing at each other wildly and glasses, tables and possibly bits of cheeseburger are now making things a bit awkward in the ring.
How much room do you think this has taken up in the 2 or 3 seconds so far? In my experience bucket loads, girls screaming, more pints smashing and inevitably it’s on the ground so our two heroes are now covered in slices of lemon and fag ends.
Doesn't really equate to the all seeing master sensei's McDojo does it?
Now before many have a burnout saying I'm rubbishing traditional martial arts IM NOT, you can take something from every fighting system but you have to be able to apply it under pressure.
Much easier said than done believe me, I have worked with many top martial artists on doors and the only ones that were any good when the proverbial and fan met were basically street fighters. Why? because these guys understood the environment.
The guys that did nothing but light sparring against others from the same system were instantly out their depth and I'll bet just couldn't understand why, reason, they are now way outside their comfort zone.
Now I'm not rubbishing any martial art or fighting system, in fact I think its vital to train in as many as possible and see what works for you or more importantly can you get it to work under pressure.
But under pressure is not endless forms or katas or learning a new combination every week it’s trying to make your training as live and realistic as possible.
And please bare in mind MOMENTUM two guys at just 10 stone each rolling around is now 20 stone of Tasmanian devil, blood and snot.

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