Pros & Cons of Training Self Defense Patterns

With my self defense business I drive about 60,000 km each year so I have plenty of time to think, for better or worse, lol.  I was giving some thought about how most self defense courses will practice a particular response or pattern to a particular attack.  Often it will be done over and over and over, very often thousands of times.  Now there are advantages and disadvantages to this in my opinion.  Here are a few of those thoughts.

On a positive note, it does help one to become instinctual to that particular attack increasing one's chance of survival, but on a critical note, if one has practiced with the same person, or the exact same way, always being reactive, then it eliminates the hundreds of different variables that might come with that "same" attack if it is someone who is of different size, speed, or has a different trajectory with their version of the attack.  Now if you can mix up your training partners, that would be of benefit, but again, I think it is important to not just mix up the training partners, but mix up the variables that go with that particular attack, and perhaps most important, to do drills where that "particular attack" is just one of the many that might come.  Not knowing which attack might be coming, in my opinion, is well ahead in giving you the benefits to increase your chances of survival.  Yes, you are more likely to pay the price physically, lol, but in the end, it is much more likely to prevent paying that price in a real life situation which will probably have much worse results.

My own example was many years ago doing self defense drills to address the "Haymaker Attack".  We practiced one side, then the other, and when we found ourselves not knowing which side the attack was coming from, I found myself starting to predict which side it might come from.   I even got to a point where I was thinking, ok, it has come from the right 8 times, so now the left side is due to come. Well, needless to say, BAM, I got hit right in the side of the head due to an incorrect prediction.  This is not the way one wants to practice these drills.  By adding many many other potential attacks and variables, it would be even more difficult to predict.  Predicting attacks is highly risky.

As mentioned earlier, yes, doing a drill over and over has benefits, but it should be just one segment of your training protocol.  Other variables that should be included are the environment you are training in, the verbal onslaught that may accompany an attack, as well as one's physical and mental limitations and strengths.  Mix up the locations you train in.  Practice your "particular attacks", on ice, a staircase, in tight quarters, etc.  Use your imagination, and not only will you increase your odds of survival, but it is a hell of a lot more fun to do drills this way.

Just my thoughts!

Keep SAFE!

Chris Roberts

Smart Running
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Saturday, 24 August 2019
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