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Author Topic: Specificity of Training  (Read 1684 times)

Snake Blocker

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Specificity of Training
« on: October 01, 2008, 10:53:46 AM »

Specificity of Training
By Snake Blocker

Thereís more to being a warrior than just training at a studio (dojo/kwoon/salle).  There is a false sense of security when you are always training on nice 2Ē padded mats.  On mats, you can slam/slap your hands and elbow down on a mat when you are rolling around or falling to the ground.  With mats, you can roll on your head; you can fall hard on your knees; you can mount your opponent without concern to damaging your knees; and you can slam down on your back to pull your opponent into your guard.  I also see students that, in addition to always training on mats, they wear elbow and knee pads, and wrap their joints.  How will this type of training help you on asphalt?  There is nothing wrong with training on mats, but instructors must educate their students on the danger of overtraining on the mat if they want to learn the self-preservation and self-defense aspects of training on the ground.  Even in the ring, you have padded spring boards to fall on.  The instructor should also have the students spar and train on concrete, asphalt, grass, dirt, sand, and gravel to give them an occasional feel for it.  You can still do most the moves with moderation and/or modificationsÖbut the students must experience this for themselves to learn what works well and what moves needs to be adjusted. 

Youíll also notice that studios always leave their lights on when training.  Good lighting is always nice, but it usually is not an option in the street.  In the street there are dark allies, dark rooms, and more crimes happen between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. when it is usually dark.    Instructors should mix it up and have their students train with the lights off to give them this experience.  Even if it is light outside, you never know when you may have something thrown in your eyes (objects like knives, rocks, sand, spit, pepper spray, etc); someone pokes your eyes out; you have blood running down your eyes; or your eyes get so swollen that they close shut.

Most studios have controlled climates.  They have the A/C running when it is hot outside, and they have the heater on when itís cold outside.  It is a mistake to always train this way.  Students need to train in freezing temperatures, as well as, extreme heat. Again, when you are being attacked outdoors, you need to be able to fight right then and there.  Instructors should have students train is various climates to better prepare them.

Studios have flat floors to avoid trip hazards and they have a clean area to train in (free from obstructions).  Instructors need to occasionally throw several odd objects in the middle of their training/sparring area or ring to get them used to the idea of street fight.  Throw things on the floor like tires, trash cans, various trash, banana peels, boxes, glass bottles and cans.  Get the student use to moving around obstacles and also grabbing the objects and using them for fighting. 

Training centers have walls around them to protect them from the environment.  Students need to also train in the wind, in the rain, in the snow, and in the water.   

Students need to also realize that if you always punch with padded gloves on, you may miss your target in a real fight.  You have an inch to two inches of padding on boxing gloves.  During sparring you may make contact with your opponent the majority of the time because you have up to an additional 2Ē of pad thatís hitting the opponent.  Take away those 2Ē in a street fight and you will be wondering why your reach isnít the same. 
Mix up your boxing training by punching with and without gloves on.

Most students only train bare footed and therefore do not kick using their toes.  Instructors should have their students occasionally kick with walking shoes and steel toed boots on and kick with the front of the shoe.  You can end a fight in seconds by kicking with the tip of your heavy boot to your attackerís groin.

There are still studios/training centers out there that do not offer sparring (usually for liability reasons), or if they offer sparring itís usually light contact and itís usually one-on-one sparring.  Most assaults/attacks in the street involve multiple attackers such as gangs.  Students need to spar against several attackers at once to prepare them for gang attacks.  Students also need to learn various weapons training to bridge the gap against multi-attackers.

A fighting practitioner will increase his/her odds by incorporating these applications into their training regimen.

Train like you would fight.  Fight like youíre not surprised by the situation or environment.  Show your confidence when fighting in the street.  Criminals assault victims in environments they are familiar with.  Donít be caught by surprise.  Be ready for worse-case scenarios!


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Re: Specificity of Training
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2008, 11:19:32 PM »

Snake-again good sound advise-one problem is that a majority of traditional martial arts school do exactly as you discuss-mats-controlled punching-no contact-etc etc

I mentioned the first school I went to in New Jersey-this was a full contact school -thats where I started to learn about the real martial arts world-

Boxing lessons were another eye awakener back  then-

The school that I attended in Hawaii though was the hardest-we trained on concrete with a indoor outdoor carpet on top of it-thats where I  learned the hard way about falling/slapping when landing and relazation-you learned vey quickly to land the right way-

Although I  have not been back to the states in 5  years I would imagine that better schools for reality type h2h train in the way you discuss and not fighting a imaginary opponent-

stay  safe  whitewolf (el  lobo blanco)