New Schedule and Location for 2016

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BOMP - Ch 17 - Training Truth

This year we are discussing the Book of Martial Power (BOMP) on Saturdays 

All of the instructors I've ever had have spouted this mantra at us: "You will fight the way you train."  But I think it has meant different things to different folks.
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Some instructors use this as a goad to make you train more vigorously - with greater intensity.  While I think stepping up the intensity is a good thing, that's not necessarily the same thing as harder or more vigorously.  I think it's easy to want to train for self-defense or combat, but to get sidetracked with sparring or shiai.
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On the other hand, other instructors have used this as a reminder to themselves to structure our practice to develop and reinforce the qualities and attributes that will benefit us in a fight - calm under pressure - sensitivity and control - building techniques out of motions that are more precise and controllable when adrenalized.
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Does it do you any good in a fight to develop your endurance to the point that you can spar vigorously for five minutes?  Well, it probably doesn't hurt you, but no fight will ever last 5 minutes.  Most will tend to be like the old country aphorism, "Two hits - me hitting you, and you hitting the ground."  Endurance never comes into play in a fight.  Endurance can, however allow you to train longer with greater intensity, getting more repetitions in during your allotted training time.
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Does it do you any good to develop your punching speed so that you can strike 12-15 times per second, like some of the awesome American Kenpo guys?  Maybe.  It is possible to overwhelm someone with a flurry to the point that you shut their mind off.  But all of the altercations I've ever been in, things have gone much slower than that.
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Does it do you any good in judo class to develop 3- and 4-technique combinations or chains built on the idea that the other guy knows what you know and will spoil your first technique or two?  Maybe, but that sort of reasoning is much more reasonable in an actual judo match than in a fight.  Often as not, your first technique or maybe your second will surprise the guy and smash him.
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For that matter, does it do any good to seek Ippon (perfect technique) in judo?  Maybe.  A perfect technique is thought to be one that will instantly end a conflict.  But really most judo techniques of lesser intensity (a wazaari or yuko) will put enough hurt on an untrained opponent to either make them stop aggressing or to allow you to get a really good headstart on them.
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I think our typical practices in all classes in all arts are rife with this phenomenon.  We fail to train the way we think we would like to fight.  This is part of the reason that martial arts occasionally  "fail" practitioners on the street, and it is also part of the reason that it takes so long to train people to competence in some arts.  I think we would be able to train folks faster and have more robust reliability in our defense if we were able to start with the end in mind.

[photo courtesy of Huminiak]

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Patrick Parker 
www.mokurendojo.com