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Tips and tactics for sport and self-defense
#1
Lightbulb 
If you are involved in the martial arts as a sport, what tips and tactics could you offer someone also training with sport as their goal? What have you learned that makes you more effective in sparring and/or competition? What do you do to increase your physical fitness? What would you say to someone thinking about getting into martial arts as a sport (or hobby etc)?

If you are involved in martial arts as a means of self-defense, what can you offer for tips and tactics with this goal in mind?

Here are my thoughts, for those involved in the martial arts for self defense:

In addition to any sparring you may do, train in with scenario-based format and train as realistically as is safely possible.


•Situational awareness. Get out of the school and into an environment that an attack would likely occur in such as the parking lot, alley behind the school, wooded area, an elevator, on stairs, inside a vehicle etc. Simulate what is necessary while getting out of the school into the actual venue when possible. This provides more sensory input to the student on what to look for and expect.
•Train in dim-light conditions.
•Train in street clothes as often as possible.
•Train to look for and use improvised weapons.
•Train verbal de-escalation as well as yelling to attract attention.
•Train within applicable self-defense laws and know them.
•Train with the possibility of multiple attackers.
•Train for realistic ground fighting (MMA competition is NOT realistic ground fighting so don't confuse the two).
•Train from positions of disadvantage i.e. you're already on the ground, hands are full of groceries, you're protecting someone etc.
•Train for what happens AFTER the altercation is over i.e. calling authorities, checking for self injury, gaining a place of safety till the authorities arrive or even providing medical attention to an injured victim.
•Train for a scenario from start to finish to avoid bad habits.
•Video the scenario for viewing later and feedback.
•Train for physical conditioning including resistance training and cardio.
•Train for escape or evasion.
•Examine a principle, technique or movement to see how applicable it REALLY is against a determined, violent attacker (keeping in mind the person my be on drugs which means they are likely resistant to pain and have greater than normal strength.


These are some thoughts to start off the SD discussion. I'd like to see the sports folks come in and discuss their side of the house as well.
Two thousand years ago wise men sought Christ, wise men still do.

Techniques are situational, principles are universal.

Fast as the wind, quiet as the forest, aggressive as fire, and immovable as a mountain.

He who gets there first with the most...wins!

Minimal force may not be minimum force!

We don't rise to the occasion...we sink to the level of our training.


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#2
Wanted to bring this back to the top. I'd like to see others input for both self-defense and sport. Or it you train for another reason (such as fitness) feel free to pass on some tips as well.
Two thousand years ago wise men sought Christ, wise men still do.

Techniques are situational, principles are universal.

Fast as the wind, quiet as the forest, aggressive as fire, and immovable as a mountain.

He who gets there first with the most...wins!

Minimal force may not be minimum force!

We don't rise to the occasion...we sink to the level of our training.


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#3
One of the things I discussed on FB regarded self-defense and martial arts schools. The article in question was about the lack of addressing of real women's issues in self defense classes, specifically the mental/emotional struggle in using techniques given that the majority of sexual assaults against women occur by acquaintances or friends.

In self-defense we are bound by several factors including student demographic, age, and resources.

Ideally training would involve much of what Kong Soo Do posted. I'd add that firearms training in the modern era would also be wise. All that said, in order to comprehensively do this the demographic shrinks to primarily adults, time commitment expands greatly to sufficiently address these areas, and instructors would need a significant degree of training outside of traditional martial arts in terms of tactics, psychology, etc.

Realistically I think techniques need to be simple and targeted for effect rather than flash. There needs to be both rehearsed and free form training to make sure that there is the combination of teaching concepts and technique as well as training that forces response to the unknown(as safely as possible given no one wants to go to the hospital after class).

Woven into the classes there should be consistent reminders of basic things like awareness, de-escalation, recognizing emotional responses, and doing what we can to prepare people that the reality of self-defense is unpleasant when it gets physical but most often can be avoided through sound living and decision making.

The bottom line is that the depth and extent of training depends on the willingness of the student to commit and the skill set of the instructor. What is most critical for the instructor is to recognize our own strengths and limitations, the real focus of our curriculum, and communicate it honestly so people know precisely what they are getting when they come to us.
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