Why there is only “training” when it comes to self-defense

Training gives a self-defense student a vital dose of reality that will benefit them in the long run
Training gives a self-defense student a vital dose of reality that will benefit them in the long run

Why there is only training when it comes to self-defense. What?

There is only training in self-defense? Why? What about theory?

What does that mean?

It means you can theorize all you like but you must APPLY any theory. This is called training.

Training is essentially the practical application of any theory and is a cycle of gain and failure. Without that gain and failure, you will have no actual concept of REALITY. What actually works for YOU after the theory has been tested.

Theory applied in practice

So, for argument’s sake, you imagine yourself hitting hard with a right cross. Great! Good idea! You practice open-air punching, with no target, all by yourself, having seen the technique on Youtube.

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How forms of pressure testing can improve your self-defense skills

"Pressure testing" is a sure way to gain a realistic picture of your self-defense skills
“Pressure testing” is a sure way to gain a realistic picture of your self-defense skills

Improve your skills by pressure testing your self-defense techniques

There is a reasonably famous ( or infamous ) martial arts book by Geoff Thompson called “Animal Day” in which he describes his class that is designed to test the martial arts skills of his students as realistically as possible. I quote:

“Animal Day is a term that I coined many years ago and is basically a universal way of pressure testing technique and character in a controlled environment, but let’s not pretend, there will be elements missing that can only be found in a live scenario. What Animal Day will do though is get you as close as damn it.”

Geoff Thompson

Non-compliant testing

To quote further,

“In Animal Day, you may test your system to the full where you will be working with non-compliant opponents who will be unsympathetic to weakness in spirit or technique…you will see little or no trapping, the distance is only there for a fleeting second before it is swallowed up by flailing/colliding bodies.”

Relating this to your training

So how does this apply to your training? As mentioned before ( see blog ) if you focus on training in techniques that you are more likely to use in a real self-defense situation, what you then need to do is test them under varying degrees of pressure.

The Geoff Thompson “Animal Day” class may seem quite extreme but you must remember that they are aimed at seasoned martial artists who are dealing with street situations on a regular basis. These people are generally not afraid to take some serious knocks in training to hone their skills. This is something you can work towards but at your own pace. How?

The same way you would eat an elephant, as the expression goes. One mouthful at a time, that is how. Here are some examples of how it might be applied:

Building up to pressure testing

What you have to do is take your time in building up to putting yourself under pressure. When you train any technique,and feel you have mastered it, slowly build into it, a lack of compliance.

Here are 5 examples of what you could try:

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