By: Jeremy Brown (Treadstone Defensive Tactics)
There is this conventional wisdom that says if you use the words “Fight” or “Fighting” on your marketing material, that you will lose 90 percent of your female clients and a percentage of your male clients. Bring out the word “Sparring” and you lose even more people. Most people do not like the idea of fighting or sparring, or they find it intimidating and scary.
So why do I say that our approach to Krav maga is a fighters approach? What does that even mean?
Something that is missing from many “self-defense” schools is training to actually fight. There is lots of situational training (ie: here is the technique to get out of a headlock, here is how you deal with a knife attack, etc.) but it tends to stop there. This is the fun, cool, and necessary stuff to work on, but is it enough?
- Are you getting faster?
- Are you getting stronger?
- How is your reaction time?
- How comfortable are you when sparring?
- Have you ever been punched, really punched?
A violent attack is exactly that, Violent! I tell my students if you are in a knife fight, you’re gonna be cut. If you are in a gunfight, you’re probably gonna be shot. If you are in a fist fight, you ARE going to be punched. That is one of the ugly realities of self-defense. It is rare to get out of any fight unscathed.
- Excepting this is one of the first steps.
- Train to handle and survive this is next.
- Train to excel and minimize your own damage follows that.
Professional fighters train to be faster and stronger. They train to have better timing and reaction time. They train to handle the stress and pain of a fight.
Reality based training needs this approach.
ProTip: Train like a fighter
- Build specific skills.
- Footwork and body movement.
- Be well rounded (Jack of all trades).
- You need good groundwork.
- You need good standup.
- You need weapons training.
- Make sure your body can perform what is needed.
- Increase your speed.
- Increase your strength.
- Increase your flexibility.
- Increase your conditioning.
- Experience what it is like to be punched (not excessive or needles hits- we only have one head). You need to have your first strong hit in training, that way you will be able to function on the street when you get hit.
- Train to be comfortable in sparring, both standing and on the ground (yet maintain an urgent need to escape).
- Spend most of your time training the fundamentals (see ProTip: “Train like a Professional”).
A fighter’s approach shouldn’t scare us. If we are true to our goal of self-defense then we have to embrace the reality that we are training for a fight, a very violent fight.
Train Hard and Be Safe.