Tag Archives: Martial Arts

Women’s Day Seminar.

So in a “short” (wink wink, not really short) article today, I’d like to tell a story of the seminar I did. It was originally 1hr, which got extended to 2 due to me having to explain more than I thought I would and due to my incessant talking when I teach. I always encourage people to ask me questions, even during the session, it just helps me to teach better and provide more info, another reason why it got extended.

So, all was going good, and a participant, told me that they were taught these “simple techniques” to deal with “attackers” in another seminar with a Martial Arts instructor (I think most will see where this is going after reading that) she went through some time ago and she wanted me to teach her some similar ones in 1hr.

Now in my seminars, I focus more on prevention than fighting as it’s a scientific fact that you can’t learn the physical techniques, even gross motor and form neuromuscular pathways by utilizing neuroplasticity in one day in just an hour. You especially can’t learn them and retain them in an adrenalized situation and expect to use them under stress, and if you never practice it again after that day, you can be sure that you will waste time thinking more than you should, rather than acting in the moment.

IMG-20170308-WA0003.jpg

So anyway, even though I wanted to yell, I remained calm as an instructor should, and I asked, “Which techniques?” “Can you demonstrate?” “Even just one of them would suffice“ Their answer? “I can’t exactly remember which ones, but there was hitting with hammer (I think she meant hammerfist) and scratching (gouging she meant.. I think) and they were simple” I mean.. what the actual f-word man?! Does this not seem odd to people when they say these things? It’s like they’re brainwashed so badly by these instructors who have never had any experience with actual violence in their whole lives and teach people on how to survive it by looking up some idiotic “safety tips” on the internet via google or maybe their seniors passed some down to them when they were certified as an “expert black belt instructor god” and is a part of the curriculum and then charge a lot of money for it. They are actually blind to these obvious things and misinform people as a result. It’s so sad…

Now in the above example, this was a calm situation in which she couldn’t remember those “simple techniques”, I wonder what would happen in an actual situation where she wouldn‘t even be able to recall her name. Here’s the good thing though, I did explain to her about how the logic is flawed here and she kinda understood, at least I hope she did, for her safety’s sake.

Not to mention I did my infamous “Who here is willing to kill and would be capable of killing another human being up close and personal with a knife?” bit, which of course, the way I describe a stabbing (the way it actually occurs and not the way people think it does, all clean and stuff. See my other articles or posts, or some of my fb posts, I think I‘ve mentioned it once or twice about what happens or at least the gist of it), so, yeah, no one seemed to want to feel metal penetrating skin and human blood spattering across their face.. Huh… go figure.

Oh and the countless imagined “scenarios” that came up today, one after other I kept tearing them down and they kept bringing them up, but bringing up fictional solutions to imagined problems is something that I don’t do. I’m a realist, as you know, if you’ve read my posts or know me personally. So, in the end, logic prevailed and many did grasp the concept of prevention being better than cure.. or prevention being the cure itself (Credit to Barry Drennan from Fairbairn Protocol for that piece of wisdom).

Besides all that prevention training, we also did some situational training, just to give them an idea of how the dynamics would work, in car/cab/taxi services like OLA and UBER, how their systems work and some general common sense tips like seating position in the car, some verbal communication skills, etc.

Anyway, all in all, I think it was a good seminar, I had fun, it looked like the participants had fun too, and as long as they understood even the fundamental concept of what I explained to them, which I think they did, because they said it and repeated it when I asked them a few questions about it, about prevention and why it’s necessary to focus on it, especially when you just have one hour to learn and the fact that you’re not gonna continue training after this hour is over. I really hope they did. I think, overall, I would chalk it up to being a success and good thing that I was able to clear up some misconceptions, and since there were like 60+ women there, I see it as 60x success!

I’m just glad that all the participants were so open-minded and willing to listen, to accept and learn, to let go of any misconceptions, and the fact that they asked questions, is what I loved the most, some of them might’ve been off, but the willingness to ask questions, is the first step, then asking the right questions is next, which many did as well. See I don’t mind if someone doesn’t know something in depth, what I mind is those who aren’t willing to keep an open mind, to accept the fact, that they don’t have all the answers, hey, I don’t, but that’s okay, that’s why we learn, that‘s why we train, that‘s why we ask questions. So I’m really glad I got to do this one today, it really was awesome.

I don’t usually write articles about the seminars I do, but I was possessed by a rant angel and it just spilled out and I did.

Oh and I got this super cool improvised wea…I mean a pen! For the seminar I did! Yay!

IMG_20170308_171111.jpg

If you’re wondering what’s the point of this article? Well, many points actually;

  1. One about the misconceptions, confusions, misinformation and disinformation in this field.
  2. Another is about people’s dangerous mindsets about what violence actually entails.
  3. Third is the problem of people just forming fictional solutions to problems they create, rather than forming helpful ones that would solve or at least reduce the chances of them becoming a victim of actual threats.
  4. Fourth would be attending a seminar for an hour or two, every three or six months or so, won‘t actually make you proficient in physical combat, especially not under a stressful situation, so rather focus on using some common sense and focus on prevention, especially in a relatively low crime city like Mumbai.
  5. Fifth would be, no one wants to deal with the consequences of using a knife, but still want to learn to use it (irony at its finest).
  6. Sixth would be logic prevails, if people are willing to listen and accept.
  7. Seventh, actuality is different from your truth and reality.
  8. Eight, I talk a lot when I teach.
  9. Ninth, Too much ego in the Martial Arts field. As much as I hate to admit it, it’s too male dominated as well (kinda ironic that I, a male, is writing this, yes, I see the irony here), especially here and not many are willing to admit they’re wrong ever. (Although, not all Martial Artists are that way, I don‘t generalize, ever. And for those rare exceptions, I have the utmost respect, they know what Martial Arts are actually about).
  10. Tenth, I wasn’t criticizing the participants today, they were unbelievably awesome, and willing to ask and learn. What I was criticizing is the number of b.s. information on this subject that’s in this field, mostly propagated by those who claim themselves as experts, but have no shred of idea what violence actually entails (that includes the consequences of it).
  11. Eleventh, when you attend a seminar or a training session claiming to teach self-defense, don’t just blindly accept what the instructor tells you, see if it’s logical, ask them questions to elaborate more, the more you ask, the more you know. Just ask the right questions to get the right answers. See if what they teach makes sense, you don’t deserve to be fooled by a money grubbing scumbag, you deserve the right information, especially if it pertains to your (and your family‘s) safety.
  12. Twelfth, we also discussed that in a male dominated field, most instructors will show you things that pertain to the confrontation types that men come across, not the types of situations that women do.
  13. Thirteenth, as instructors, we are seen as individuals who provide knowledge on how to be safe, it’s our responsibility to deliver the best quality of training that is practical and tailored to the different types of individuals we train.
  14. Finally, fourteenth, all my articles have some sort of a point, even if I have to dig them up out of nothing…(lol not really though, it’s all up there in the post 😉 ).

Well, that’s it. Thanks for reading. I was actually just gonna rant about this on facebook, but it got too long (as usual) so…it became an article…eh..

Happy Women’s Day and Stay Safe, readers (and non-readers)! 🙂

Save

Training for actuality of violence

When most people, especially instructors are asked whether they train realistically, their answer is usually ‘yes’. But when you see them do their “realistic stuff”, it seems pretty far and out of touch from reality. It seems that their concept of reality is different from the actuality of it.

 

Recently, I asked an individual a simple question, “How, would you say, a real violence training should look?” The individual replied in a very cliched way and went on about how the opponent should come at you aggressively, yelling and stuff, etc. I asked him in return, “Would you see it coming?” He didn’t have a proper answer, but yet tried to say something and ended up saying just “Yes”.

 

Now, here’s the first problem of things with this. Most tend to see these things from a purely physical perspective. Not many seem to focus on the pre-violence situation. No verbal cues, no tonal changes, no physiological changes, no physical positioning, no symptoms of ASR, etc. etc. In fact, most don’t even acknowledge it even exists. Which kinda poses a problem when we are “training for violence”, doesn’t it? I mean if you don’t train to see it coming, what are you preparing for? To get out barely alive and half dead?

 

So, realistic training? What does that entail? Well, if you ask me, the drills should focus more on the pre-violence cues than anything really, physical aspect of it should not be choreographed, no matter how “aggressive” the other guy is, (let’s be honest here, he‘s really not truly angry or aggressive in most cases). Superficial aggression is utterly useless, you don‘t have to kill them, but all of the pseudo aggressive and “hard” movements are nothing but taps in actuality, are you really gonna learn how it feels to get hit by being tapped on your chest? No, you are not.

 

Let’s take a situation here, if I am in a big fancy Martial Arts studio, and I’ve been told to rush and charge this guy in order to demonstrate “the harsh reality of violence”, and I charge at him, but the guy knows I‘m coming, ‘cause, you know, He Told Me To! He‘s READY for his “moves”, there is no sudden jolt to his nervous system, no emotional stress, no adrenaline dump, and I didn’t try to get a rise out of him by calling his mom an individual who asks money for pleasure, not to mention, I‘m not gonna actually make contact here, it‘s gonna be an acting show, a choreography with taps that look “hard”.

 

So my questions are, “Is that really reality?” and “Are we really showing the actuality of it or are we just showing what we think and we want people to think is reality?” I mean in an actual assault or an attack, very rarely people do see it coming, and even when they do, they’re still overwhelmed by the sheer aggression, it’s sudden, our hands are shaking, our legs feel weak, our stomachs are churning and we’re basically too busy crying and asking ourselves questions like, “What the hell is happening?” and “Why the fuck is this happening to me?”

 

I’m pretty sure, that most who just train for their kind of “reality”, where the guy they know is coming, charging at them without any purpose, without thinking about any of the events leading up to the escalation of the situation and violence, that kind of individual will not only, not see the threat coming, but they will crumble under pressure due to the aggressive nature of the actuality and suddenness of violence, as they won‘t see it coming like they did in their fancy studio. Not to mention, fail miserably to deescalate the violence in the first place due to lack of verbal skills necessary to not provoke the guy even further by challenging or insulting him.

 

So, my opinion here is that, the best training is something that encompasses every subject related to violence, which includes not only physical, but verbal, psychological, emotional, biological, societal, moral, consequential, tactical and a very important aspect; Legal.

 

As far as the physical training goes, scenario training is great, but without purpose, it loses it’s purpose, which is to mold your brain to handle and resolve or combat threats if/when you come across them by utilizing our brain’s neuroplasticity. Blindly creating aggressive scenarios without any situational context and escalation, is just inviting more trouble and is not training for the actual thing, it’s just training for more senseless violence. So please, Train street smarts and common sense, rather than senseless violence.

 

Finally, my question to you, the reader; What are you gonna train for? ‘The reality of violence?’ or ‘The actuality of it?’.

 

Well, that’s it. Thank you for reading.