Training for reality


Glenn Stevens – May 2015 Self-Defense Professional Magazine (C.O.B.R.A. Instructor-Australia)

To take your self-defense training to the next level, it’s important to understand that you may not just be attacked when you are physically fit and capable. You may be attacked at a time when you are in a disadvantaged position. In fact, as we know, criminals want the easiest opportunity available to them, so they are likely to choose a moment when you are at your weakest or most vulnerable. You may have to defend yourself from any position at any time so it’s important to train for as many different scenarios as you can.

Let me give you some examples of scenarios where you may be at a disadvantage: What if you are attacked when you have injured your arm and it’s in a sling? What if you are carrying your baby? Or when there is ice on the ground? How about in a nightclub with strobe lighting? When you are drunk? While sitting on public transport? How about on the beach in your Speedos? Even in an elevator?

Each scenario would need a different method to successfully defend yourself. It’s no good thinking that you will be able to perform a strike to the throat if you can’t use your arms. It’s going to be hard to run away if you have a leg injury. It’s going to be hard to fight if your eyes are watering because you’ve been poked in the eye. It’s going to be hard to run away on public transport. You need to adapt to each situation as it happens. You don’t want your first opportunity to practice dealing with these scenarios to be at the very moment you need to escape for real.
It’s important to drill restricted striking type scenarios while being able to learn from them in a safe training environment. Think of how you could simulate injuries or opportunities where you may be in a weakened position. Some ideas of ways to restrict your training techniques could include marbles or tacks in your shoes to simulate a foot injury. One arm tied to your body with a belt to simulate an arm injury. Safety glasses or swimming goggles with Vaseline smeared over the lenses to simulate disrupted vision. Spin around quickly with your head down to simulate drunkenness. Do lots of shallow breathing to practice being out of breathe. Strike out from a sitting position or a kneeling position. Strike out when you are on your back. Strikeout while having your wrist tied.

This training can be fun and challenging at the same time. As you can see there are going to be hundreds of options and variations that you could come up with for training this way. It really is just limited by your imagination. Put yourself in positions of weakness and find a way to push through the clumsiness, awkwardness and discomfort. Try and find ways to still generate power even though your movement may have to be adapted. Train your mind to keep going even when all seems lost. What you do doesn’t have to be pretty or fancy. It just has to work. Challenge yourself to keep going and never give up no matter what!