In our training and part of the testing for graduates in our system you must defend against multiple attackers using random strikes. They come at you in waves of 3 attackers...Full speed so you better block hard!!!
Makes sense that you should train this way since you never know when you will have to defend yourself and what way the person attacking you is going to come at you. Be ready for anything.
Thanks for your input Jspeedy and Robert. In all stages it's important to use patterns as a base for other offensive and defensive techniques as well as drills but breaking out of the patterns is very important for progression.
I agree, and also like the old school escrimador mentality of the hard core training while using your imagination. Getting a real, random person to attck you...hahah..brilliant..love it. The instructor clearly has no ego; there' arent many teachers that will dare to go outside the " comfort zone of Line 1, and have some bizarre, off-angle attack whizzing by at BeginnerSpeed (said, 'full speed, usually..)"
That, to me, is the point of the Filipino Martial Arts AFTER you do get to know all the patterns, footwork etc. I do feel you can't just start in class on day one and have full blast attacks coming at you. That's how I was introduced to boxing and got several broken ribs and Hamburger Face for it...I survived but, so what was the point of that? I never went back and still bad mouth that idiotic school.
You need to start slow, learn the patterns, and test test them weekly on a round robin attack sequence.
There's too much focus on "reality" training in everything now and it is far from it. Reality is not MMA, reality is not FMA, it isn't even Judo. But throw a knife into an MMA ring and take out the ref, remove the cages and the medics and now we're talkin'! But no one is, or should do that; the fight would last seconds, someone gets hacked or dies and everyone goes to the hospital or jail...so there's nothing to learn from that. So we can't really 'train for reality' but we need to get as close to it as our imagination allows.
Standard angles are foundational, not meant to be all-inclusive. When you learn how to tell time by the hour, that does not mean there are no minutes in between. The same holds true with striking angles. Give an untrained child a stick and you'll see what I mean. Once a student learns to respond to the basics, it is time to introduce variations and complications, part of a graduated process that constantly reinforces the foundation. The result: refinement in the three essentials: timing, distance and rythm or, as many practitioners call it, "the flow".
"All training is Fake!"
I think Tony Blauer said that, although I can't be sure. I am sure that the statement is true. For an event to be actual personal defense two requisites are necessary on the part of the defender. One is a lack of awareness and the other is a lack of consent. There is no way for either of these to be present (or absent, depending on your perspective) during a pre-scheduled, training program with familiar instructors and peers. This idea doesn't mean that the effort used during a training session isn't real or that there was no learning taking place. An event cannot be judged as unknown and unknowable if we are performing that event at a set time in a set place while wearing appropriate attire and carrying all of the necessary tools of defense
Wow, sorry, apparently I like to hear myself type!
All of that prelude was just to say that the more randomness and spontaneity you can inject into training the better the outcome in terms of ability of someone to defend themselves. Defense systems, weaving patterns, specific disarms and takedowns must be included in a curriculum to develop skills and skill-sets. Adding less structured training builds creativity and imagination (don't be confused, those are not the same things.) Confidence comes from the known and the structured, self-reliance comes from randomness and variation.
As for speed, coaches and instructors used to favor the terms "static", "fluid" and "dynamic". These principles are directly related to the speed of the drills. The basic idea was to start slow and increase the speed slowly over time. Phil Dunfee of" Modern Family" can be quoted as saying "Slow is smooth and smooth is fast". As drills get faster they also get sloppy and ugly. While there may be a metaphor there for people looking for fulfillment on Match.com, coaches should resist the desire to get too sloppy/ugly too soon.If you are careful and slow you can train with live blades, but the faster you go the more padding is needed for both the weapon and the student. Random doesn't directly imply surprise or increases in speed.
So, I guess the answer to your question is :Yes! Consider all of the rest as my Match.com bio!