Fake Martial Arts and Women’s Self Defense – Martial Minutes Podcast #001 (Audio Only)


Fake martial arts and women’s self defense
training. Now recently in a martial arts forum the questions
were asked; In women’s self defence classes do you prepare the women to be manhandled?
or do you just stroke their ego in a calm and supportive environment? These are very valid points. There are still
a lot of fake martial arts coaches, or fake self defence gurus out there today. This is
an industry where the customer is generally very unsure to begin with and therefore quite
easy to scam! The biggest problem here is not just money being swindled, but the false
sense of security towards something extremely dangerous. How to spot fake instructors is really worthy
of a podcast of it’s own, and I will go into more detail in the future. But they are generally
always guilty of two things; 1. They do not encourage sparring or competition
as a way to test and therefore improve your skills. It is surprisingly easy after a small
amount of training to appear far more competent than a beginner, so people can be forgiven
for thinking they are learning from someone worth paying, someone with more experience
than ourselves. However, there is a large gulf between first learning movements and
then being able to perform those same movements under pressure. If you are encouraged to never
actually test your techniques you can be fed an endless supply of trash. What you are receiving
is heartless yet effective marketing, not good advice. Imagine paying to learn to swim
from a coach who has never seen water and keeps you on dry land with them.
2. They create straw-man arguments to make their own claims seem somewhat reasonable.
By misrepresenting competition as only an ego contest they can make beginners feel like
it is something avoid long before they would be ready to compete anyway. They will make
an example of particular professional athletes behaving in aggressive ways at press conferences
or weigh ins, citing this as proof of competition eroding supposed martial arts values. Naturally
they will also take opportunities to show how they DO embody these values and all without
competition ego fighting. They fail to mention that professional sport is as much about the
performance as it is the competition. If you were to meet these athletes and see they have
families and friends of their own, the charity work that many do, you would surely have a
different opinion than the one you were sold. Of course they would also never mention friendly
amateur local tournaments or meets as a way to make friends while training, as this too
would erode their position as an authority worth paying. So we know that fakes will continue to leech
on beginner’s wallets while trying to position themselves as some form of authority, but
what about genuine training? Let’s assume you receive training from a legitimate experienced
coach or team. Even then the thing is with any training you don’t know how you will react
until it happens, even with full contact training. Just like with military training where live
ammunition is used and stressful environments are recreated, you still don’t know exactly
how you will feel until you are actually shot at. Nothing will be perfect, the very nature of
a fight is that it’s chaotic. But one of the best things you can do as a coach is get your
students used to fighting under the effect of adrenaline. So if they are ever attacked,
that’s not the first time they feel adrenaline put their body in a mode they have no idea
how to use. Adrenaline can be your best friend and it
can give you almost super human powers, but it can also make people freeze. Don’t think
about fight or flight. It’s more like fight, flight, or submit. You can become so afraid
that you neither fight or run, fearing that either might actually result in worse damage.
What if I hurt him and he gets even more angry? What if I get away and he gets enraged and
catches me anyway? Will they hurt me less if I go along with it? This is the reality of self defence. Simply
willing to be a peaceful person wont help you when the fight chooses you. Suddenly you
are left with no confidence in your ability to fight and win, and without even the choice
to fight until you can escape. What then is your option to survive? I always tell people that if it gets as far
as a fight, as soon as it becomes physical you’ve probably already messed up 90% of self
defence, which could largely be simplified as being aware of your surroundings and not
making yourself into an easy target by making stupid choices. There are of course times
when nothing you could have done would have stopped the attack, then you hope that you
have trained well and luck is on your side. The magic of learning to fight is in the correct
drilling of realistic techniques. Alongside this I if you can teach awareness and train
a fighting spirit that’s your best chance for someone in self defence. Shoulder to shoulder with our regular classes
we have run successful self defence seminars aimed at women. The focus was on escaping
common positions, simple strikes, how to knee, how to elbow. But that’s still all theory.
One of the drills they would have to do several times was to get from one side of the room
to the other, while we stopped them by being verbally and physically aggressive. Myself
and another coach would be completely armoured up, face shields, full body, leg + groin protection
etc. We’d take them by surprise as they were putting gloves on, as one threw them to the
ground the other would cover their eyes or strike them while everyone was shouting. Basically
making them fight through a high stress situation, make them fight for a single leg take down
from the ground, then get up and run. We make them actually use moves they had learnt, not
just go home after a light sweat and a pat on the back. Now there are limits with all training of
course we aren’t training to injure anyone or to actually abuse them, and this hard training
is not appropriate for everyone. They may need to have their confidence and strength
built up over time. I do think it’s important to go hard sometimes, because there is no
room to go slow if you really are attacked. You need to experience controlling your body
under stress. The first stage of learning to fight is learning
to use your body and learning to basic movements. The next stage is to perform the move under
a little resistance. Then in steps you increase the pressure, change the variables, have your
partner fight back in controlled ways, this is sparring. Then as confidence increases
when sparring with your friends and team mates, low level friendly competition with strangers
is the next step, then onwards from there if you enjoy it or want to get better. Competition
then is just another form of training, an important one that will speed up your progress. I train men and women with the same method,
in that every session we are looking to become better at the techniques we already know,
and slowly introducing more where appropriate. The whole time we are constantly pursuing
greater strength and fitness. No one is ever forced into competition but the option is
there when they are ready, I make sure they understand the importance of training under
pressure. The only people who absolutely must compete are those who wish to teach.

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