It is not unusual to hear about a martial artist who has won trophies and medals from tournaments but ending up badly beaten in a street confrontation with someone who only had little or no martial arts training at all. Why? The reason for this is that most tournament fighters train only for combat competitions which emphasize technique to score points, rather than techniques for self-defense. There is no denying that the more sparring experience one has the greater his confidence and preparation is to face an adversary. However, a tournament fight is still a game and not the real thing and losing in a real encounter may mean losing ones life.
Most tournament fights emphasize offensive attacks in order to score points. These fights tend to neglect defensive tactics; instead one often sees competitors just throwing their tools at one another without paying much attention to protecting the body from getting hit just as long as one scores more points than the other.
Another fact is that in tournament fighting attacks to vital areas such as the groin and eyes are considered illegal. I am not proposing a change in rules to allow such attacks. But my point is training for tournaments which disallow such attacks can be detrimental to one’s training for self-defense where in actual combat these prohibited areas of attack are often used by assailants. So it would be wise to spend some time learning to properly protect these vulnerable areas. It could also mean learning to raise your guard all the time instead of habitually dropping them, as most tournament fighters often do in order to encourage the opponent to initiate an attack and eventually fall into a set up where one applies a good counter. A competitive martial artist with such predisposition may actually be setting himself up as an easy target instead. One must not neglect to practice these self protective techniques in order to do them instinctively in case one encounters such situations in the street.
Now it does not mean that just because a martial artist has built the habit of protecting these vital areas one would automatically be invulnerable to attacks from an experienced street fighter. One should also adopt a street fighter’s mentality as well. In order to gain advantage, one should train properly in attacking these same vital areas of the opponent. The only way to do this is by constant drilling and sparring all out with the use of protective equipment. This way one gets to train effectively and safely.
Although many would frown and comment negatively with regard to the employment of such tactics, it is my strong conviction to continue teaching and using these methods to allow my students a better chance of surviving out there. One is better off getting ahead in self-defense situations rather than ending up as a sorry victim or worse dead in such encounters.
Remember fighting is ugly. No one wants to get into a fight, but when one is forced or pushed into it, it had better be done well. Now ask yourself this question, “when someone wants to harm you or your love ones, what will you do?”
Train hard my friend!
preparation for street combat