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 What’s the motivation?

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tim
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PostSubject: What’s the motivation?   Wed Aug 27, 2008 7:37 pm

Many people claim what they train is relevant for self defence. Others train specifically for self defence. Many (most) martial artists take these motivations are a given. My question is why?

Why spend time training for self defence? Is this logical? Is it rational?

It should first be noted that many claim that they train for self defence but often times this training can be completely unrealistic, other times it’s just a claim people make but don’t back up. They actual just train in their martial art and give very little thought to self defence, but they’ll still put it on their posters when advertising.

In this thread I’m not concerned with the above, but rather with people who actually do genuinely train for self defence. Very often this training can be complete nonsense, but not always so. But effective or otherwise, why do people do it? If a guy lives in a relatively safe suburb of some relatively safe city then the chances of him needing self defence skills are probably quite slim. Yet people like this can still spend hours and hours training their self defence skills? I wonder this honestly because they want to improve their SD skills, and if so why, or if there some other reason.

There would certainly be some circumstances where training for self protection could definitely be justified but I think for the vast majority of people this is not the case.

I wonder if people who do this are really being honest with themselves as to their motivations. You guys in poor physical conditions and there are training ‘for the street’. If they were really worried about self protection then they’d be eating less and exercising more.

Do people do it because they are insecure or have low self esteem? This to me would seem likely at least for some people. Doing self defence training might potentially build confidence and make them feel better about themselves.

Or do others simply enough training but feel they need some justification for doing it? It gives a supposed purpose to training, and isn’t just some hobbie or pastime (many martial artists hate to think of what they do as a hobbie!)

Maybe others like the feeling of empowerment they get from the training. Maybe it makes them feel tough etc.

Personally I don’t train for self defence, I’d have interest in doing so. I train in realistic combat sports so what I do does translate to real fighting if I ever need it but the only time I ever have was working security.
Others here I know do train with self protection in mind so I’d be interested in hearing some opinions.
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PostSubject: Re: What’s the motivation?   Wed Aug 27, 2008 8:20 pm

Hey Tim,

Interesting thread...

I'll have a crack at it tomorrow.

Cheers,

R.
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PostSubject: Re: What’s the motivation?   Thu Aug 28, 2008 5:45 pm

Hey Tim,

Good topic... You pretty much know where I stand on the subject form "boards" Smile. But I'd like to cover the subject here a bit.

My personal motivation, was like many of the other kids was that, I always liked the idea of becoming a "Bruce Lee" Smile and giving some back to the school bullies of course. At the time I definitely had some self-esteem issues (I was around 13). Unfortunately, doing Wado did not help much.... Um, come to think of it, nor did Shotokan, Kenpo, Ninjitsu, or Kung Fu. I now train because I love it and can't imagine myself ever not training. I also love teaching, and all credit here goes to Lee Morrison who has completely helped, and inspired me. I now would like to pass on the knowledge that I was given, to others - so it may help them out of a jam (although, hopefully they will never have to use it).

The problem with trying to debate the issue of self-defense vs. sport is almost impossible. There's a few reasons for this. Combat Sport guys simply dismiss SD (and self-protection which is often lumped together) because they really don't posses that much knowledge about it, or have a complete misconception of how, and what it actually is. Mostly, they have seen crap clips on the net, or have heard dubious stories about particularly bad SD courses. However, to be fair there are a lot of really bad guys out there - who literally pass themselves off as SD gurus (you know the type - become a ninja over the weekend it will only cost you 300 yo yo's, etc.). Another problem is that not all self-defense is created equally... The same can also be said for MMA. Have you seen a certain Irish MMA course recently, that is running over a week costing a fair whack of cash? Even though the instructors have NO EXPERIENCE in MMA! (just money grabbing bull shit). To me anyway self-defense and self-protection are totally different entities. The simple explanation is, that "SD" is reactive (when it's nearly too late) and SP is pro-active (by you talking the initiative).

Unfortunately SD sells and lot these days, and the guys from traditional Martial Arts know this, and have started there own systems of "Self-Defense". However, it tends to be traditional arts, that wont really work under duress anyway, and that have now been "amped" up to "look more credible" for the streets. These are the clips you often see on the web, students falling to pieces with the slightest strike. Again, it will work really well in the Dojo, against a "friendly" opponent. They also often lumber the new student with a plethora of "specific defenses", that wont work in a real situation, but the student now feels he/she is safer. And good SP practitioner knows that these type of defenses will not work(but they have to keep the classes interesting, right). No

So you're dead right to point out that lot of the SD stuff is total BS.

One thing I would also like to say against the general SD practitioners, is that they often say. "Well the ring is not the street and there is no rules". While I agree with the basic premise - I dislike the way the only pay "lip service" to the concept. I feel that some guys simply they don't quite "get it". They simply assume if you "bite", "gouge", etc. That's the job done! Personally, I don't see it as ever being that simple or easy unfortunately. This type of thinking is naive, and can lead to a "rude awakening" when an opponent merely stutters for a sec after a dreaded eye poke (assuming you even land it). The techniques definitely have a place, but more for making space, so you can go back to you "main artillery" which in my opinion should always be impact to the head (hit and hold as Lee would say).

The ring is a very different animal than the street.... again, a lot of guys into sports don't have the experience to find this out. If you look at most of the self-protection guys (the good ones anyway) they virtually all have years in sport backgrounds. However, they have also been in hundreds of real situations, and they all the say the same thing. The street is a place that you never want to be. Even myself, with only 3 years on the door, and in a pretty cushy club to be fair. I found it out in the first couple of months that my traditional training had to change.

In the ring you definitely learn some very valuable skills, there is no doubt about this. But it's all based on "consenting initiative", and a reciprocal exchange of blows. If you look at any CCTV footage that's not the way fights begin or end. And that's even before we begin talking about knives and multiple opponents. There is no bobbing and weaving, or sparring range. Ring craft is not specifically designed for street fighting therefore it's not optimum to train in it if you purely want street survival. If you look at Geoff Thompson's "Animal Day training, as one example. Which is full contact, and has been set up much like it would be on the street (well as much as one can). If you want to get ever closer, which is not for everyone I might add, you could always do "Combat Milling". Which is probably the closest thing to a street fight in a controlled environment.

The other misconception that people often has about SD is that they don't train very hard. Now again, some guys don't. As Geoff Thompson once said, that if you don't train hard don't expect your defensive tactics to work (I'm paraphrasing a bit here). If you look at the way the Combatives guys train (or should train) they implement a very tough training regime. Just look at some of those ATP and Tabata drills! In fact a lot of it has been nicked from MMA. You can't simply hope for the best if you are not fit. There are far too many things that could go wrong. If it goes to the ground (it will be elongated), your you have to face multiples. Or you may even have to run away form a few lads afterwords.

Sport guys also assume because they are in the ring going at it full contact (or aliveness training) it will be enough when the time comes. The problem I see is that a lot of the Combat Sport guys, who criticize SD have not been in that many real life altercations. Not all of them of course - look at Dave Gordon on boards he's been in 300 scraps (so he says). It really doesn't matter how good you are if you don't see an attack coming - you are always going to be on the back foot, while trying to recover.

Does the average person need self-defense? Well, some would argue, "that it's better to have it, and not need it, as opposed to needing it and not having it". But I do take the point that if the average Joe keeps his wits about him, and stays out of bad pubs etc, he will be able to nearly avoid all trouble. The one flaw with that is, that the criminals don't always follow "the rules", and will go to wherever the easy targets are. In the same way that they will carry a weapon or use deception - it will give them a higher probability of success.

People seem to want to train for various reasons, some people have definitely been effected by the media, which in Ireland tends to blow things out of proportion, especially when it comes to violence. However, in the UK things seem to be a fair bit worse. A few of the guys that came to me originally, came down because they were getting into scraps, because they lived in a bad part of Kildare. So they felt there was a necessity to learn these skills. I remember a few people on boards often saying that people should just avoid bad areas. It's not so easy if you live in one. A fair number of those people that often raise that issue are quite well off, and don't know what it's like to live in a shit hole. One other reason that people want to train is the fact that they have had a bad experience and would like to be able to prevent it happening again.

Some people wanted a quick fix or a "silver bullet". I remember one guy asked me recently how many weeks of training it would take him to be able to defend himself. I said that's something you can't really quantify, and there are no guarantees. Plus, it would take a lot longer than weeks! Smile Needless to say he didn't really want to hear that (ie the truth!) and never came down. He probably went off on some weekend course, and now he's been told by a "guru" that he's snug as a bug in a rug.

There is definitely a confidence issue with certain people tho'. Some people feel that if they start learning this stuff they feel better about themselves. Nothing wrong with that in my book (as long as you understand it's limitations). Also, a lot of people do it as a hobby and seem to enjoy the training.

Different strokes for different folks you could say. Personally, I cannot fathom why people love combat sports. Getting into a ring and rolling about the floor... I never liked it (when I did it), I don't like watching it wither. but that's just me! Smile (that said, I do like watching the odd boxing or Muai Thai match!)

Looking forward to other opinions. Smile


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PostSubject: Re: What’s the motivation?   Thu Aug 28, 2008 6:26 pm

Here's a few factors that should be addressed in your training, in my opinion, that are often over looked in a sporting gym. I know you've seen these before Tim - just thought they were relevant to the topic.

1) Does the Gym or system, have an active strategy showing the student, not only how to avoid and escape a potential attack, but how to read the signs before everything kicks off?

2) Does the gym have strategies to deal with multiple opponents? If so, how often are these practiced? especially if it's a combat sport which tends to focus on one opponent in a ring.

3) Does the gym have strategies to deal with armed opponents? How often blah blah blah...

4) Does the gym understand the difference between "ring craft" and street
violence. And if so, how often do they practice the latter mode (and how do they make the distinction between the two).

5) Can the gym explain what happens to the brain under duress, and how it's thought processes are impeded? (fight or flight, adrenal response, fear, etc.)

6) Does the gym explain the "modus operandi" of the modern attacker, and what type ruses or deceptions they employ.

7) Does the gym practice for fighting under the worst possible conditions, and in different environments (lifts, cars,corridors).

8 ) Does the gym use a set of "Hard skills" that have a high probability of success. Do these these skills have the versatility be used effectively under duress, in all situations?

9) Does the gym practice realistic street scenarios? or do they just practice ring craft?

10) Does the gym/system have an effective strategy for dealing with an ambush type of attack (from a mugging, to an attempted abduction).

11) Does the system hold up under pressure, when it's tested with full contact?

12) Does the gym have a program specifically geared towards women?

13) What is the gyms primary focus? - Is it winning competitions or just self-defense? If it's main focus is on winning competitions, then it stands to reason that they will spend very little or no time on SD, or vice versa.

15) Does the gym understand that "Action beats reaction" at close range?
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PostSubject: Re: What’s the motivation?   Thu Aug 28, 2008 8:53 pm

My motivation when I followed MA was that throughout my life I was bullied mercilessly! Im toughened up mentally now but still feel fears now and again. However overall im loving life,

regards,

Den.

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PostSubject: Re: What’s the motivation?   Fri Aug 29, 2008 11:59 am

Nice long post there Rob Smile

As you point out, a lot of what’s out there is complete BS. I don’t know how you train but for the sake of the discussion, the motivation behind the training, then I’ll take it for granted that what you do is quiet realistic and not the type of BS that one normally sees.

Quote :
I now train because I love it and can't imagine myself ever not training.
OK, so your base motivation for training is not self protection?

Quote :
The problem with trying to debate the issue of self-defense vs. sport is almost impossible.
That is not what I am trying to debate here.

Quote :
There's a few reasons for this. Combat Sport guys simply dismiss SD (and self-protection which is often lumped together) because they really don't posses that much knowledge about it, or have a complete misconception of how, and what it actually is. Mostly, they have seen crap clips on the net, or have heard dubious stories about particularly bad SD courses. However, to be fair there are a lot of really bad guys out there - who literally pass themselves off as SD gurus (you know the type - become a ninja over the weekend it will only cost you 300 yo yo's, etc.). Another problem is that not all self-defense is created equally... The same can also be said for MMA. Have you seen a certain Irish MMA course recently, that is running over a week costing a fair whack of cash? Even though the instructors have NO EXPERIENCE in MMA! (just money grabbing bull shit). To me anyway self-defense and self-protection are totally different entities. The simple explanation is, that "SD" is reactive (when it's nearly too late) and SP is pro-active (by you talking the initiative).

Unfortunately SD sells and lot these days, and the guys from traditional Martial Arts know this, and have started there own systems of "Self-Defense". However, it tends to be traditional arts, that wont really work under duress anyway, and that have now been "amped" up to "look more credible" for the streets. These are the clips you often see on the web, students falling to pieces with the slightest strike. Again, it will work really well in the Dojo, against a "friendly" opponent. They also often lumber the new student with a plethora of "specific defenses", that wont work in a real situation, but the student now feels he/she is safer. And good SP practitioner knows that these type of defenses will not work(but they have to keep the classes interesting, right).

So you're dead right to point out that lot of the SD stuff is total BS.

One thing I would also like to say against the general SD practitioners, is that they often say. "Well the ring is not the street and there is no rules". While I agree with the basic premise - I dislike the way the only pay "lip service" to the concept. I feel that some guys simply they don't quite "get it". They simply assume if you "bite", "gouge", etc. That's the job done! Personally, I don't see it as ever being that simple or easy unfortunately. This type of thinking is naive, and can lead to a "rude awakening" when an opponent merely stutters for a sec after a dreaded eye poke (assuming you even land it). The techniques definitely have a place, but more for making space, so you can go back to you "main artillery" which in my opinion should always be impact to the head (hit and hold as Lee would say).

The ring is a very different animal than the street.... again, a lot of guys into sports don't have the experience to find this out. If you look at most of the self-protection guys (the good ones anyway) they virtually all have years in sport backgrounds. However, they have also been in hundreds of real situations, and they all the say the same thing. The street is a place that you never want to be. Even myself, with only 3 years on the door, and in a pretty cushy club to be fair. I found it out in the first couple of months that my traditional training had to change.

In the ring you definitely learn some very valuable skills, there is no doubt about this. But it's all based on "consenting initiative", and a reciprocal exchange of blows. If you look at any CCTV footage that's not the way fights begin or end. And that's even before we begin talking about knives and multiple opponents. There is no bobbing and weaving, or sparring range. Ring craft is not specifically designed for street fighting therefore it's not optimum to train in it if you purely want street survival. If you look at Geoff Thompson's "Animal Day training, as one example. Which is full contact, and has been set up much like it would be on the street (well as much as one can). If you want to get ever closer, which is not for everyone I might add, you could always do "Combat Milling". Which is probably the closest thing to a street fight in a controlled environment

This is probably all true, but again not what I was trying to debate.

Quote :
Does the average person need self-defense?
Now we are getting on track…

Quote :
Well, some would argue, "that it's better to have it, and not need it, as opposed to needing it and not having it".
That argument doesn’t stand up to any kind of scrutiny I’m afraid. If you could learn SP over a weekend course, or even I week long course I would say fair enough, better to have it than not. Or the same could be said for somebody carrying around some mace or something like that. It’s a different thing altogether trying to apply it to a person going training a few times a week every week. Sure it is still better to have it than not but can spending a few hours several times a week really be justified for the risk involved? Would somebody interested in self protection not be better off spending the same time every doing some course of how to avoid car accidents? A lot more people die every year from road accidents than do from violent attacks.

Quote :
I remember a few people on boards often saying that people should just avoid bad areas. It's not so easy if you live in one. A fair number of those people that often raise that issue are quite well off, and don't know what it's like to live in a shit hole
There is an element of truth in this alright IMO, but if for example a person is genuinely in real danger of (say) a knife attack then something more radical needs to change in their life than doing a knife defence course.

Quote :
1) Does the Gym or system, have an active strategy showing the student, not only how to avoid and escape a potential attack, but how to read the signs before everything kicks off?

2) Does the gym have strategies to deal with multiple opponents? If so, how often are these practiced? especially if it's a combat sport which tends to focus on one opponent in a ring.

3) Does the gym have strategies to deal with armed opponents? How often blah blah blah...

4) Does the gym understand the difference between "ring craft" and street
violence. And if so, how often do they practice the latter mode (and how do they make the distinction between the two).

5) Can the gym explain what happens to the brain under duress, and how it's thought processes are impeded? (fight or flight, adrenal response, fear, etc.)

6) Does the gym explain the "modus operandi" of the modern attacker, and what type ruses or deceptions they employ.

7) Does the gym practice for fighting under the worst possible conditions, and in different environments (lifts, cars,corridors).

8 ) Does the gym use a set of "Hard skills" that have a high probability of success. Do these these skills have the versatility be used effectively under duress, in all situations?

9) Does the gym practice realistic street scenarios? or do they just practice ring craft?

10) Does the gym/system have an effective strategy for dealing with an ambush type of attack (from a mugging, to an attempted abduction).

11) Does the system hold up under pressure, when it's tested with full contact?

12) Does the gym have a program specifically geared towards women?

13) What is the gyms primary focus? - Is it winning competitions or just self-defense? If it's main focus is on winning competitions, then it stands to reason that they will spend very little or no time on SD, or vice versa.

15) Does the gym understand that "Action beats reaction" at close range?


Genuine question:
Why should these be addressed in my training? This is what I was asking in my original post. Why would I as a regular guy living in Galway want to train to defend myself against a knife wielding bad guy in a lift? What would be my motivation for doing this because as sure as hell it couldn't be justified in terms of the probability of it every happening to me. In terms of self protection I would be much better off on a course about car accident prevention.
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PostSubject: Re: What’s the motivation?   Fri Aug 29, 2008 12:29 pm

Great stuff, guys! This is what martial arts scepticism is all about and the sort of issues we should be discussing. I see the debate Tim and Rob are having to be similar to the debates scientists have over the minor details of evolution, which are often mistaken by "believers" to be proof that Darwin's theory is not supported by scientists.

I teach self-defence as the base and root of my class syllabus, but also have a very heavy emphasis on MMA methods for what we call "attribute training". I am most probably more in Rob's camps by definition, but nevertheless I can't help but have a lot of sympathy for a lot of SBG's ideas.

I understand the SBG's stance on this and, to be honest, there is a good deal I agree about their approach. Karl is a great guy who very kindly agreed for me to interview him for my book. He made some valid points at the course he happened to be taking at the time, which are pretty much in line with Tim's view.

I don't know whether I will be to address this debate properly here, but I will definitely be looking at it as objectively as possible in my "Bullshitsu" book ;-) Keep debating guys, it gives me more material and I can justify my presence here as being work-related Twisted Evil
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PostSubject: Re: What’s the motivation?   Fri Aug 29, 2008 12:45 pm

Quote :
This is what martial arts scepticism is all about and the sort of issues we should be discussing.
Agreed! I think in general there is an extreme lack of skepticism over they question of whether people should be training for SD/SP in the first place.

Quote :
I see the debate Tim and Rob are having to be similar to the debates scientists have over the minor details of evolution, which are often mistaken by "believers" to be proof that Darwin's theory is not supported by scientists.
I'm not sure I follow the analogy to be honest.

Quote :
I teach self-defence as the base and root of my class syllabus,
Why?

Quote :
Karl is a great guy who very kindly agreed for me to interview him for my book. He made some valid points at the course he happened to be taking at the time, which are pretty much in line with Tim's view.
I was actually over training for a week with Karl only last week. He's a good guy alright. Very good gym there too.
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PostSubject: Re: What’s the motivation?   Fri Aug 29, 2008 1:01 pm

To Qoute Jamie on another thread:

attitude is, above all, the key skill in self-defence training!

This is to me why people study self defence.

I didnt do MA or self defence for belts/medals/certificates. I had zero self confidence and was scared to leave the house.

For me it was psychological, I can rationalise im more likel;y to e killed byu a car, but that does not reduce your fears of attack when you were bullied most your life.

I work from home now because its easier then facing down work bullies all the time.

I can handle it but still lack a little confidence.

No doubt regular attendance of combatives would help me psychologically as well as physically.

Kids are being put in karate classes to defend themselves from school bullies, my pref for my kids will be judo or ju jitsu.

The media has created fear and the school system are not combatting bullies!

What else can we do?

Regards,

Den.

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PostSubject: Re: What’s the motivation?   Fri Aug 29, 2008 2:41 pm

Good post Tim...some interesting points. I'm working at the moment - so I'll have a crack later. Damn work gets in the way of my Skepticism!

Sorry, I should just say that I wasn't trying to debate you per se. Just having an interesting discussion! Smile
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PostSubject: Re: What’s the motivation?   Fri Aug 29, 2008 2:46 pm

Rob! Time you learned to multitask, im working, sceptic posting and listening to science podcasts, and in my haste deleted a half hour health podcast by mistake Crying or Very sad

Regards,

Den.

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PostSubject: Re: What’s the motivation?   Fri Aug 29, 2008 3:13 pm

Quote :
Sorry, I should just say that I wasn't trying to debate you per se. Just having an interesting discussion!
Ya no worries, I was using the term pretty loosely.
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PostSubject: Re: What’s the motivation?   Fri Aug 29, 2008 3:24 pm

Quote :
Quote:
I teach self-defence as the base and root of my class syllabus,
Why?

I recently did a First Aid course that included numerous things that it is not really likely that I will ever use. In fact, I have yet do CPR on a real person. Yet I am grateful I have these skills and I regularly update them.

I have fought for real a few times and seen enough real fights too. I am nor have I ever been involved in a security firm, I don't have a criminal record and I don't live in a "rough area". Yet shit happens.

I deal with bullied kids on a regular basis. Children whose lives have been turned around by what we do. I am very anti-paranoia, but I am seeing more and more recreational violence being committed in my own "middle class" street and there are fundamental things such as the fence, pre-emption and the different dynamic involved when trying to fight through multiple attackers that are just not contained in MMA. My concern with the "get confidence through combat sports so that you will less likely be a victim" idea is that it is not a million miles away from the problems we saw with the whole Chinese/Japanese situation in the early 20th century. It was also the problem encountered by E. Barton-Wright in 1899 when he saw Brits assuming that the rest of the world would behave like a bare knuckle pugilist and introduce self-defence to England.

Self-defence has actually been the motivation for many martial artists to break away from their establishment. The Gracies make a distinction between their "Gracie Jiu Jitsu" and "Brazilian Jiu Jitsu", although I cannot really see the difference to be honest.

Quote :
I'm not sure I follow the analogy to be honest.

Okay, I assume that both of you believe in pressure-testing and full contact training. Both of you discount mystical and unproven methods for your training. Both of you embrace cross-training. Both of you probably (again another assumption) believe more in self-validation than ancient lineages or teacher worship. These are all the trappings of the "cult of martial arts", for want of a better word, that encompass a miscellaneous collection of so-called traditional martial artists, some RSBD practitioners, some combat sports and a lot of pressure point brigade. The only argument you really have is on intent. It may be a big question, but in the grand scheme of things it is more of a philosophical question than it is a practical consideration. It is not a debate over "beliefs" shall we say. Scientists debate over certain areas of evolution they don't debate over whether or not evolution happens.
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PostSubject: Re: What’s the motivation?   Fri Aug 29, 2008 3:40 pm

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For me it was psychological, I can rationalise im more likel;y to e killed byu a car, but that does not reduce your fears of attack when you were bullied most your life.
OK, that’s a reason, just not a rational one. Although I can see where you are coming from.

Quote :
No doubt regular attendance of combatives would help me psychologically as well as physically.
I wouldn’t assume this to be the case. Certainly I’ve seen people who were scared and a bit paranoid go do various self defence things and end up being more scared and paranoid.

Quote :
Kids are being put in karate classes to defend themselves from school bullies, my pref for my kids will be judo or ju jitsu.
I’m not sure that in the overall scheme of things getting kids to deal with bullying through violence is the answer.

Quote :
I recently did a First Aid course that included numerous things that it is not really likely that I will ever use. In fact, I have yet do CPR on a real person. Yet I am grateful I have these skills and I regularly update them.
How regular? Would you go doing first aid training as often I would go do your martial art training?

Quote :
The Gracies make a distinction between their "Gracie Jiu Jitsu" and "Brazilian Jiu Jitsu", although I cannot really see the difference to be honest.
Marketing mainly I’d imagine.

Quote :
Okay, I assume that both of you believe in pressure-testing and full contact training. Both of you discount mystical and unproven methods for your training. Both of you embrace cross-training. Both of you probably (again another assumption) believe more in self-validation than ancient lineages or teacher worship. These are all the trappings of the "cult of martial arts", for want of a better word, that encompass a miscellaneous collection of so-called traditional martial artists, some RSBD practitioners, some combat sports and a lot of pressure point brigade. The only argument you really have is on intent. It may be a big question, but in the grand scheme of things it is more of a philosophical question than it is a practical consideration. It is not a debate over "beliefs" shall we say. Scientists debate over certain areas of evolution they don't debate over whether or not evolution happens.
OK, gotcha now.
But as you say, it is a big question. I would zero interest in going training night after night and thinking and talking about how I should react if I was in <insert “street” scenario here>. I don’t think doing so is particularly healthy and I can’t see what enjoyment I would get from it, which is ultimately the reason I train in the first place.
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PostSubject: Re: What’s the motivation?   Fri Aug 29, 2008 3:50 pm

Hi tim,
to reply to the 3 points:

1. Its not rational, its fear! Big difference.

2. For me MA training has helped. I cannot say it helps everyone but...

3. Teaching my children does not promote violence, it promotes self confidence. They are raised with manners, respect, courtesy and disiplined with naughty step et al, never violence!

Its all in the nurture, studying child psychology at uni has helped me in this respect. I believe just because a child can effectively defend themselves does not mean violence.


I suggest you read neil adams bio, he defended himself with judo against a bully, he did not become a bully, he did not use excess force and he ained respect.

Due to lack of an alternate method other than allowing my children to potentially be bullied to suicide as so many have, Im being pre emptive!

Maybe not statistically rational but hand on heart are you going to tell your kids not to defend themselves and allow the crap kicked out of them every day?

Maybe thats ok with you, but I love my kids and no one is going touse them as a punchbag, even if that doesnt sit well with some peoples skewed sense of morality.

Regards,

Den.

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PostSubject: Re: What’s the motivation?   Fri Aug 29, 2008 4:10 pm

Quote :
Quote:
I recently did a First Aid course that included numerous things that it is not really likely that I will ever use. In fact, I have yet do CPR on a real person. Yet I am grateful I have these skills and I regularly update them.
How regular? Would you go doing first aid training as often I would go do your martial art training?

Actually our First Aid instructor this time around argued that these courses were not regular enough. He said it was nonsense for individuals to retain any practical working knowledge from First Aid in the time allocated for renewal, which is 3 years. The best counter to this flaw was to recommend that attendees conduct a review course themselves in 6 months, however, he argued even this wasn't enough. It was probably better that a short review session be conducted once a week. So, no I wouldn't be doing First Aid training as often as I do martial arts training. However, although self-defence is very important area regularly covered in my classes as students progress a smaller amount is concerned with this than "attribute training". In other words, we revise our fence, line-ups, multiple attack stuff etc. and then get on with the cross-training.

Karl said he hated conducting his STAB programme, which might be down to the stance SBG has taken on the issue of self-defence. However, he did encourage students to continue to practice and train it regularly after the single seminar, which is pretty much in line with my way of thinking. We don't cover weapon defence every lesson, but we regularly revise it and I have to admit that STAB is a big part of it.
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PostSubject: Re: What’s the motivation?   Fri Aug 29, 2008 4:12 pm

Hey Tim
Firstly welcome on board mate,

Just came across this thread as have not logged on for a few days.

I am also a self defence instructor, Motivation, for me personally was being able to defend myself INCASE anything should kick off, its like saying you drive a car and dont have air bags as you have never had a crash in 20 years of driving, however what if? due to no fault of your own you dont have that safety in place?. Worth the risk?

Everyones reason for self defence varies, whether it be traditional MA, or some form of combatives or street self defence or a mixture. I took it up 25 years ago as a result of a bully who was making my life miserable as a kid. Since then I have met lots of people in the arts who train for either health, wellbeing, losing weight, motivation, confidence, the list goes on and on. Fair enough you live in a safe area, no shit kicks off there, again fair enough. but as jamie says, " Shit happens" it does not have to be in your street or the next street. but could be anywhere else on a night out, a day trip absolutely anywhere. If there was no need for self defence people would not be flocking to seminars, and learning techniques which have the potential to save lives.

As for what is taught, physical techniques are always part and parcel of self defence and have been since the dawn of time. however, we do also teach the rituals of violence and how it is likely to " kick off " warning signs, body language, pre cursors to attack. attack rituals, etc. there is no good trying to defend yourself in a confrontation when 9 times out of 10 you are taken out before you know you are even in it. Awareness and avoidance first. learn the keys to how something works and it can be avoided. Granted not all the time, but its better than no training at all.

If it is not your cup of tea, thats fine, im glad you live in a safe place, and can and do respect your views on the subject. however myself, jamie, bob on here, we all do self defence, and have met some wonderful people along the way, gained confidence, motivation, respect for others, and along the way changed peoples lives for the better in one way or another. Each to their own.

But just my two cents.

Craig
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PostSubject: Re: What’s the motivation?   Fri Aug 29, 2008 4:26 pm

Craig wrote:
however myself, jamie, bob on here, we all do self defence, and have met some wonderful people along the way, gained confidence, motivation, respect for others, and along the way changed peoples lives for the better in one way or another. Each to their own.

But just my two cents.

Craig

I'd definitely echo Craig's statements here. Even if I never have to use my skills - I'm still very grateful for my whole learning experience. I've met some great people that I would now consider my friends. Studying self protection has opened up a whole new vista for me, and not just in a physical sense. There is a great sense of community, knowledge and history - here for the people who are interested.

I now have the privilege of training under Lee Morrison who is regarded by many, as one of the best in the business. Another huge privilege is that he has made me one of his instructors (as well as other other new guys).

This forum exists because of Den and Craig, which was set up after a great new Martial Arts forum! There so much more to it... Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: What’s the motivation?   Fri Aug 29, 2008 4:43 pm

Quote :
Hey Tim
Firstly welcome on board mate,
Cheers.

Quote :
I am also a self defence instructor, Motivation, for me personally was being able to defend myself INCASE anything should kick off, its like saying you drive a car and dont have air bags as you have never had a crash in 20 years of driving,
I not a fair comparison as I’ve point out already. If one could do a SD course once every months or something like that then maybe it would be, but people usually train at least a few times a week so the ‘I do it just in case’ line doesn’t really make sense.

Quote :
Since then I have met lots of people in the arts who train for either health, wellbeing, losing weight, motivation, confidence, the list goes on and on.
All good reasons to train.

Quote :
Fair enough you live in a safe area, no shit kicks off there, again fair enough. but as jamie says, " Shit happens" it does not have to be in your street or the next street. but could be anywhere else on a night out, a day trip absolutely anywhere.
I live in an OK area, not in a posh estate or anything like that. Again this goes back to the initial point, does the risk justify the time spent doing ‘SD training’. If not I’m interested in what the real motivation for doing it is. A lot of you guys have said you were bullied a lot at school so that probably have a big effect.

Quote :
If there was no need for self defence people would not be flocking to seminars, and learning techniques which have the potential to save lives.
You are assuming here that these people are behaving rationally, which is a huge assumption. I would doubt that people would flock to my imaginary car accident avoidance course even though statistically that would be more likely to help them in terms of self protection.

Quote :
myself, jamie, bob on here, we all do self defence, and have met some wonderful people along the way, gained confidence, motivation, respect for others, and along the way changed peoples lives for the better in one way or another.
And that’s great, these are all great reasons for training, none of which really have anything to do with SD.
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PostSubject: Re: What’s the motivation?   Fri Aug 29, 2008 4:49 pm

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Even if I never have to use my skills - I'm still very grateful for my whole learning experience. I've met some great people that I would now consider my friends. Studying self protection has opened up a whole new vista for me, and not just in a physical sense. There is a great sense of community, knowledge and history - here for the people who are interested.
Indeed, these are the reasons IMO that people continue to train, not for SD but for the reasons you give here.

Quote :
Karl said he hated conducting his STAB programme, which might be down to the stance SBG has taken on the issue of self-defence.
In fairness, SBG is not one big corporation so everybody has to tow the company line. If Karl hates doing that course I’d imagine he has his own reasons for it. I actually did that course about 4 years ago. Seemed pretty functional alright but not something I’ve bothered to train since TBH.
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PostSubject: Re: What’s the motivation?   Fri Aug 29, 2008 4:58 pm

Hey Tim,

Just to add a bit more.... Smile

Well, my motivation is the love of the training, for sure. However, I also train because I feel it will give me much a better chance if something ever "kicks off". I don't really share many of other Irish guys views that things are not getting worse. Unfortunately from what I've seen, and heard, it seems things are getting worse. While I know the media is does it's bit to sell papers. Most of my friends have all been attacked, or involved in some kind of altercation, at some stage and these are just normal nice guys. Sure, they go out to bars in town, and get hammered - but why should you be afraid of your own shadow.

On the subject about the "car accident" issue. I agree... self-protection is a three dimensional approach.
Well, I see it as most people try to be careful in their daily lives. Driving while being "switched on" is one of them. Eating healthy is another (one which I should try myself), not smoking another. The list goes on... So if you want to take a whole "holistic" approach to you own "self-protection". Why not only look after everything? What would be wrong with learning some physical skills as well? - just in case.

It would be good for many things - exercise, improve ones confidence, it's fun, meeting new people, etc. Even if you never have to use it you'll get something out of it.

But I stress... you must "train honestly", to quote Carl Cestari.

I see your point, you live in Galway, and you are in a minimal risk area (but never say never). So yes, it may not be applicable for you, or some of the guys who live out there. As I said though, criminals go where they find easy targets - they have no rules. Every town has it's bad ilk. I live in a small country town in kildare - you'd think it would be well quiet. Well, I was talking to the local Garda (theres only one that's how small it is) and he was saying that there are a large number of fights after the bars close. There are seven pubs in this tiny town!

What's your own motivation for training? Would it be something like the things I mentioned earlier? About having fun, socializing, exercising, learning new skills? OK you will obviously add a competition factor to it.

But you can see the comparison that I'm trying to make?

Cheers,

R.
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PostSubject: Re: What’s the motivation?   Fri Aug 29, 2008 5:33 pm

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Most of my friends have all been attacked, or involved in some kind of altercation, at some stage and these are just normal nice guys. Sure, they go out to bars in town, and get hammered
Quote :
Well, I was talking to the local Garda (theres only one that's how small it is) and he was saying that there are a large number of fights after the bars close. There are seven pubs in this tiny town!

Most towns in Ireland are like this to greater or lesser extent! Ever been outside supermacs in Eyre Square in Galway on a Saturday night? I’ve seen countless fights outside chippers, pubs etc over the years. I’ve never been in one myself. On the other hand I have a good friend of mine so has, more than once. Now if you met him you’d say he was a ‘normal nice guy’, and he is, he doesn’t go looking for fights or anything but every now and again they seem to just happen. Now it’s no coincidence that they just happen to him but never happen to me. 99% of the time if a person gets into a fight then it is at least partially their own fault, even if they don’t realise why. If a person finds himself getting into fights when he is out and drunk then the common sense SP thing to do would not and go get hammered.

Quote :
Well, I see it as most people try to be careful in their daily lives. Driving while being "switched on" is one of them. Eating healthy is another (one which I should try myself), not smoking another. The list goes on... So if you want to take a whole "holistic" approach to you own "self-protection". Why not only look after everything? What would be wrong with learning some physical skills as well? - just in case.
Nothing wrong with it at all. For most people however it would be way way down the list of things that will help with their “self-protection”. If and average person says they are interested in SP and so trains knife defence but at the same time has a crap diet and goes out getting hammered on a Saturday night then they are not being honest with themselves.

Quote :
Isee your point, you live in Galway, and you are in a minimal risk area (but never say never).
Well I lived in Limerick for 6 years, “Stab City” and my opinions were much the same then.

Quote :
What's your own motivation for training? Would it be something like the things I mentioned earlier?
It would indeed. Like I said, these are all good reasons (IMO) for training.
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PostSubject: Re: What’s the motivation?   Fri Aug 29, 2008 5:37 pm

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Quote:
Karl said he hated conducting his STAB programme, which might be down to the stance SBG has taken on the issue of self-defence.
In fairness, SBG is not one big corporation so everybody has to tow the company line. If Karl hates doing that course I’d imagine he has his own reasons for it. I actually did that course about 4 years ago. Seemed pretty functional alright but not something I’ve bothered to train since TBH

I understand that SBG is not a big corporation and it has some great guidelines in place to prevent it from going that way. I am just making the assumption as I haven't read anything to do with SBG that disputes this stance yet. If you have something I would really like to read it - as in it will add to my book material ;-) As I said, at the STAB course Karl encouraged us to train it and explore and research it for ourselves. This is in complete alignment to my way attitude towards self-defence.

I can't say I am massively into this we do self-defence because it makes me a better person business. For me that stuff comes later, a sort of ultimate self-defence where you contribute to your local community to make everything safer. The actual business of no nonsense self-defence is for the strict purpose of practicing soft and hard skills as a means for defending myself if the situation arises. I think that although it is unlikely - hell it is unlikely that one of my Dad's tigers will savage a member of the public, but we still stick a cage up and don't let anyone in likewise we always have a fire extinguisher on standby - it is still pretty necessary. Recreational violence is on the increase even if other crime, even violent crime, has dropped.

Nevertheless, I am anti-paranoia, paranoia is actually as anti-aware as unawareness is, and I do acknowledge a cult of RSBD which is just as bad the mystical and quasi-traditional rubbish out there.
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PostSubject: Re: What’s the motivation?   Fri Aug 29, 2008 5:41 pm

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I am just making the assumption as I haven't read anything to do with SBG that disputes this stance yet
Sorry, what stance exactly?
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PostSubject: Re: What’s the motivation?   Fri Aug 29, 2008 5:49 pm

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Sorry, what stance exactly?

Pretty much the one you are striking now.
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