Self defence classes: A graveyard for ineffective techniques?

Discussion in 'Self Defense' started by bowlie, Oct 9, 2013.

  1. bowlie

    bowlie Well-Known Member

    Firstly i will preface this thread by saying that this is by no means the case for every self defence class, or every self defence technique. I have noticed however that occasionally this does seem to be the case. What i mean is that people have parts of their art that they are loathe to part with, yet have no application in the sport of that art. So for example an arm lock would not be legal in a taekwondo tornament. As a result, they often end up popping up in self defence classes, alongside headlock defences and the like. That is not to say all arm locks are ineffective by any stretch of the imagination. I have my own views about which techniques i dislike personally, but thats not the point of this thread. Has anyone else been in a self defence class and been shown parts of the art that are clearly not going to be effective, and thus are discarded from the live part of the art, yet still crop up in self defence classes like a perenial weed?
  2. michael mckenna

    michael mckenna Active Member

    all the self defence seminars ive been to and the techniques ive learned i would consider effective if i practiced them with a partner more with full force and an actual real attempt to hit me or hurt me. i like doing it that way instead of the whole ok you punch with your left arm and i will step in and twist your elbow up like this so its pointing towards the roof. doing it like that is fine until you get use to the application but ive seen alot of people just stick to this you punch here then i do this type of practice i prefer to let my partner throw a punch at anytime with any hand and i try to defend against it and thats how i do it. my personal favorites for self defence techniques are ones that more then 3 movements i dont like doing the ones that have 5 or 6 movements in them all togethor. all the ones ive learned at seminar are no longer then 3 movements
  3. Gnarlie

    Gnarlie Well-Known Member

    Similar. We practice SD with one protaganist against a line of consecutive attackers or multiple simultaneous attackers. There's no room for techniques that don't work as you end up eating the punch, kick or ground. So you make sure you forge techiques that work via step sparring through free sparring to multiple.

    That said Bowlie, I have binned off a lot of lame tosh that I've been shown over the years, and not just within Taekwondo. So yeah, theres poorly taught SD and ineffective technique out there. Poorly taught doesn't necessarily mean ineffective though. But if it stays in your repertoire and is never evaluated under pressure, who's to blame?
  4. Raymond

    Raymond Active Member

    A good self defense class should only consist of simple, high percentage techniques with an emphasis on situation awareness and problem deescalation tactics.
    Gnarlie, UK-Student and canadiankyosa like this.
  5. canadiankyosa

    canadiankyosa Active Member

    I agree wholeheartedly. Any self-defence class will teach, primarily, i feel, the four tiers of self defence self defence starts avoiding bad areas/times, knowing your surroundings and the contents, diplomacy for de-escalation, etc. Physical altercations are the last thing, under KISS, taught and applied in life. Alain Burrese has good monthly newslettters on situational awareness, and such
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  6. UK-Student

    UK-Student Active Member

    This is specifically a TKD thing. TKD guys of all denominations have always used "Hosinsool" to mean "stuff that isn't allowed in sparring" rather than what it really means.

    A sign to me is that classes that call themselves "self defence classes" are almost always crap. People who really know what they are talking about will usually try to acknowledge in the title they give that they go further than just techniques, i.e. "Self protection" (i.e. including the kind of stuff that Raymond mentioned).

    Any group that shows you a bunch of techniques without context (hopefully both initial confrontation posturing and some actual pressure testing, hopefully adrenalised) is essentially useless. Courses like this without context aimed at ordinary people not just martial artists are worse than useless.

    The secret is that no more than a handful of techniques are needed. Perhaps no more than 2 techniques at a very minimum (ideally at least a couple more to cover the ground too). The secret is all about correct mindset, awareness, adrenalisation, etc, etc, etc. Having more than one technique per position is the icing on the cake, not the cake itself and too much icing with not enough cake is not pretty. It's skilled duelling martial artists that need the multiple techniques, not untrained civilians and it's often (but by no means always) the case that skilled martial artists act almost identically to untrained civilians under adrenal stress and realistic threat.

    Very good point. But I don't have to self-evaluate literally every technique. If a self defence technique starts with pulling guard from standing or striking two or three pressure points on the arm, a bullshit detector trained over several years will suffice. Like you said in the other thread, guidance from those with real experience can also be useful.

    I tend to smile and nod. No point to be rude. However, I'm not going to tap to a lock that doesn't work or fall to a takedown that requires you to throw yourself down. Then they make their excuses, then you smile and nod again.
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  7. bowlie

    bowlie Well-Known Member

    Thats how it should be. Alot of people fall into the trap of 'its not sport, so it must be self defense'.
    UK-Student likes this.
  8. Gnarlie

    Gnarlie Well-Known Member

    I agree, there's nothing worse than people that dive to the ground before you've got the lock on / swept / thrown adequately to warrant a fall. It doesn't help anyone. There's a case for semi-compliant training early on, but overcompliance is counterproductive.

    I feel the same about techniques that require the opponent to stay still for any length of time. Step sparring is the intermediary forging post where that thought process happens, but in a more active SD exercise, if the opponent is able to escape or retaliate, they should and do.
    UK-Student likes this.
  9. Gnarlie

    Gnarlie Well-Known Member

    These are the people that spend the first weeks of free SD drills binning half their repertoire in between eating fist, foot and floor. Then things start to pick up.
    UK-Student likes this.
  10. canadiankyosa

    canadiankyosa Active Member

    We learn concepts first, in the form of "techniques" and take-downs. From the get go, I tell students there is no "set" finisher even though we are teaching that in the beginning. The key word is "concepts". As the student moves up, we encourage, and hope, they start to think and improvise on their own. It was said above that students will just submit and fall when a technique is inadequately applied and I cannot, being in kuk sool hapkido, deny this is about 95% accurate for black belts, too. The technique fails in two main ways: mechanically because their is no lock or such and that muscle memory has not been made by the person doing the technique. I should note, too, that we exaggerate the movements for a "bigger" technique because, under stress, a person tends to make a movement smaller. We have thought about doing a dynamic technique (technique "sparring") session more often than now, and now, recently, may as well equate to never.
    UK-Student likes this.

    RTKDCMB Active Member

  12. Is there any elibaeration to No? Stating No just isn't very helpful. You may disagree but why do you disagree?
    UK-Student likes this.

    RTKDCMB Active Member

    Well I have never taken a self defence course from another school so I have not seen that from them. The style I do does is only for self defence and does not have any sporting aspect and whenever I have run a self defence course myself I have never shown anything that does not appear in the regular class and would not be effective if performed correctly.
    Timothy Cooper likes this.
  14. Finlay

    Finlay Active Member

    I think some of he isues arise when yu get people who don;t understand that dfference between martial art and self defnnece.
    To prme of the technique likearms locks (personally i don;t see arms locks having a place in self defence, but anyway) takes alot of practice and alot of support skills. there are alot of other issues with teaching arms locks but that is for another threadi guess

    The self defence courses that i have been to and sometimes teach spend more time on awarness and avoidance skills.In this way the students acually leave with something they can start practicing and using from the mintue the class ends. We do cover some techniques but as already mentioned by other people these tend to be low skill, high success techniques and our aim is on escaping.

    I the past i have been to very bad self defence courses run by very good martial artists. the thing is to know the difference
    RTKDCMB likes this.
  15. K Doherty

    K Doherty New Member

    if a serious self defense situation arises...the key thing to remember is self preservation mode must kick immediate observation of the situation and the surroundings and thinking how do I get out of this safely..for example, how many are there? what threat does he/they pose?...and most importantly know your escape route.....................if calming dialogue fails...a handful of simple,effective striking techniques numbering 1,2,3, or pushing to 4 moves at most....the less the better..not a time for over complication....economy of movement is key.....and most important of to be a good runner:).......effective self defense techniques are only effective against one maybe two and that is depending on the attackers abilities, numbers more than one or two and it's no time for heroics.......
  16. Gnarlie

    Gnarlie Well-Known Member

    Further thought: always try to look past technique. It shouldn't be a case of 'if he does this, do this'. It should be a case of 'here's the principle of elbow control, which combined with other principles is very effective.' I think people get too focused on individual techniques. When a principle is demonstrated in isolation via a technique, it does not mean that it is intended to be used as such.

    An effective physical SD interaction can and will contain several principles combined and or seamlessly sequenced, for example, disarming question, slap, stepping in, bridging with striking, weight shifting, controlling, reaping, locking, manipulation on the ground.

    All of the above would be typically demonstrated via separate techniques in an SD session in order to break down what is essentially quite a complex thing.
    Anybody likes this.
  17. NoBullShitFighting

    NoBullShitFighting Active Member

    "Has anyone else been in a self defence class and been shown parts of the art that are clearly not going to be effective, and thus are discarded from the live part of the art, yet still crop up in self defence classes like a perenial weed?"

    First thing that pops into my mind is knife defence against an attacker. Do I really have to give examples or reasons? It is clearly a game of chance where the odds are stacked greatly in the attackers favour, the techniques learned are often for demo-team purposes. The "attacker" have to use really telegraphic, controlled, slow moves that no one has ever used in real life. Most instructors and students that have undergone this type of training would still go utterly droodled from an encounter with an opponenet armed with a red marker, now imagine what they would look like if the red marker was replace with a sharp knife. Even worse, most people who get this type of training don't know this reality because they never train with a partner who has a red marker and is allowed to really go at them, only planned deals of an overly cooperative nice friend who wants to help them show of a cool partytrick.
    Ivor likes this.

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