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Thread: Know What You're Training For

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    Default Know What You're Training For

    In light of recent discussions I thought this article I found on "Black Belt" Magazines site was relevent. Enjoy!

    Know What You’re Training For
    by David Hallford

    Law-enforcement officers know what they’re training for. Military personnel know what they’re training for. If you’re not in one of those groups, you’re almost certainly a civilian. Do you know what you’re training for?

    Black Belt regularly runs articles about the proper use of force and how not adhering to the rules in certain situations can land you in jail or on the receiving end of a civil lawsuit. Every bit as important as knowing the appropriate level of force for a given situation is knowing what you’re training for.

    Unlike members of law-enforcement agencies or military units, a civilian has a completely different agenda when facing an armed opponent. Your priority is to survive and escape. The instant an opportunity presents itself, you should take it and safely get as far away from the danger as you can.

    Running from a threat is not an automatic reaction for most people. Someone with no training will typically freeze in the face of danger. On the other hand, a person trained in the martial arts may freeze, just like an untrained person, or see it as an opportunity to use his skills. His ego keeps him from doing the proper thing, which is fleeing.

    The key to running away is doing it safely. It might not be safe to do so until you’ve disarmed or disabled the aggressor. It’s at this point that you might wish you’d paid more attention to your surroundings or listened to that little voice inside you that was saying something’s not right.

    Law enforcement doesn’t have the luxury of running or escaping, unless it’s to call for backup and proceed once support has arrived. They have a duty to protect the innocent and arrest law breakers. When faced with an armed assailant, they’re generally authorized to use lethal force. If they’re able to do so, they will. If not, they may have to resort to unarmed tactics. Their first priority is to survive, and they might have to employ lethal force to do so. If so, the event is over. If not, they must then control and arrest the assailant. That’s how they’re trained.

    The military operates under what are referred to as “rules of engagement,” which generally mandate that soldiers can eliminate enemy combatants who present a threat, especially an armed threat. They can’t afford to leave them in a state in which they can mount another attack, nor do they have the means to arrest and detain the enemy in most situations. Members of the military usually don’t hesitate to carry out their tasks. That’s how they’re trained.

    Clarity in training facilitates clarity in action. It’s up to martial arts instructors to delineate these differences to their students, and it’s up to students to become knowledgeable enough to seek out an instructor who knows the differences.
    When faced with an armed aggressor, lethal force is generally warranted if it’s required for the defender’s survival. If the appropriate action can be accomplished without employing lethal force (in non-military confrontations), so much the better.
    To recap, the recipe for action against an armed opponent is as follows: If you’re a civilian, your goal is to escape. If you’re in law enforcement, your goal is probably to arrest. If you’re in the military, your goal is usually to eliminate.

    About the author: David Hallford is a multiple black-belt holder with more than 25 years of experience. He has devoted 13 years to studying violent crime and developing realistic self-defense tactics. For more information, visit http://www.blackbeltmag.com and click on Community, then Black Belt Authors.
    "It is sobering to reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence." – Charles A. Beard

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    marvinmckenzie is offline
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    Default Re: Know What You're Training For

    What is your take on doing the training JUST for the health benefits of it?

    I do agree that when the need is there, to be able to defend and then smartly flee is great.

    I also think the training is valuable to make people more aware of surroundings (my wife, who is also taking Kenpo with me, recently found herself alone with just one other lady in a large downtown area. She said one of the first things that came to mind is that they should not be there and then to look for ways to be safe in their situation. She probably would not have given that a thought before we began Kenpo.)

    I have wondered if learning MA just for the exercise would by default cause me to work less at it for the fighting aspects.

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    Default Re: Know What You're Training For

    The only thing I can say, training in some form of Martial art is much like training to use a firearm. Both have the ability to be lethal, you hope you never have to use either to do harm to someone, or defend yourself. But face it life if dangerous like it or not there are people that will do you harm and the reasons are endless.

    I am a civilian now, I am prior military, yes my main mission as a civilian is to survive and escape if at all possible but I also refuse to be a victim and to walk around defenseless. I show up to class every time I am humanely able, to learn to hurt people. That is not the why I attend class but I am fully aware of what I train for. The worst that’s what I train for, I do my best to get myself ready for the worst. I pray I never have to use what I learn but I show up to learn to hurt so that I can protect myself and anyone with me at the time, When The worst happens
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    marvinmckenzie is offline
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    Smile Re: Know What You're Training For

    I understand your thinking. I also understand that to be the best possible at MA one would have to think aggressively.

    I however am in a position where I am not sure I am going have the ability to restore my heart well enough to be able to be fit enough to realisitically use MA as self defense.

    I figure the best I can do is to gain the benefit of regular exercise from Kenpo and perhaps, if a situation were to come up a technique or two to gt away.

    I am pretty sure the stress of a real fight would make my heart quit before the bad guy had to worry about it.

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    Default Re: Know What You're Training For

    Good article, thanks for posting it. We talk about this quite often in class. When we learned the Back Breaker, my first thought was if I used this technique in it's entirety I would most likely face prosecution (except for perhaps the most dire circumstance). I think it is very important that teachers of any MA make sure their students understand the consequences to their actions. That being said you still have to make sure to stop the attacker (or attackers) and seek the immediate angle of departure. If I was faced with multiple attackers especially armed with knives or clubs etc. I would consider using the first attacker as an example so that the others know this may not be worth it. Would this have to include permanent damage or death? I hope not, but I will survive the event by any ways necessary. As noted above I need to be around for my family. If God chooses this as my time, so be it. I know he has a plan.

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    Default Re: Know What You're Training For

    Quote Originally Posted by marvinmckenzie View Post
    I however am in a position where I am not sure I am going have the ability to restore my heart well enough to be able to be fit enough to realisitically use MA as self defense.

    I figure the best I can do is to gain the benefit of regular exercise from Kenpo and perhaps, if a situation were to come up a technique or two to gt away.
    I think your goals are definitely reasonable. Kenpo is definitely good for fitness, and I have no problem whatsoever with looking at it that way, as long as you are conscious of it. At the same time, self-defense is truly more of a mindset than anything else. There is much more that goes into defending yourself as a civilian than just knowing how to punch, i.e. recognizing danger, being wise about surroundings, and we could go on and on. So as you learn the techniques, and gain more awareness, you are preparing yourself for self-defense, even while your focus may be on strengthening your heart! Especially when studying a "street-ready" system like Kenpo.

    Great article CC, I think most of us are aware of the difference in training purposes, but we need to remind ourselves of it from time to time. It's easy to get caught up in the macho "kung-fu fighter" mindset, and talk about how "if anyone were to attack me, I'd smash him into a bloody pulp..." But we need to remember that our goal is not to beat someone's brains out, but to survive, and protect our loved ones. Remember the old principle; wherever the head goes, the body will follow. We could definitely apply this to our training by including [thought] and [focus] with the physical word [head]!
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    Default Re: Know What You're Training For

    Quote Originally Posted by thesensei View Post
    I think your goals are definitely reasonable. Kenpo is definitely good for fitness, and I have no problem whatsoever with looking at it that way, as long as you are conscious of it. At the same time, self-defense is truly more of a mindset than anything else. There is much more that goes into defending yourself as a civilian than just knowing how to punch, i.e. recognizing danger, being wise about surroundings, and we could go on and on. So as you learn the techniques, and gain more awareness, you are preparing yourself for self-defense, even while your focus may be on strengthening your heart! Especially when studying a "street-ready" system like Kenpo.

    Great article CC, I think most of us are aware of the difference in training purposes, but we need to remind ourselves of it from time to time. It's easy to get caught up in the macho "kung-fu fighter" mindset, and talk about how "if anyone were to attack me, I'd smash him into a bloody pulp..." But we need to remember that our goal is not to beat someone's brains out, but to survive, and protect our loved ones. Remember the old principle; wherever the head goes, the body will follow. We could definitely apply this to our training by including [thought] and [focus] with the physical word [head]!
    Very well said.
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