I recently asked a student of mine (big, strong guy), referring to his recent verbal assault (from an even bigger guy), “What would you need to defeat that idiot if he attacked you?” This had happened at an eight-year-old basketball game, of all places, and the bully I am referring to was one of the coaches, for Christ’s sake, which goes to show that anything can happen anywhere (see previous blog “Reality preparation versus Sport Training”).
My student’s reply was “speed and technique”. Good response, but not the correct one, however, and he might have added “strength”, as well. I offered, “How about skill and purpose,” and then explained that while his answer was important and partially correct, as some of us certainly know that “speed kills”, especially with knives, I gave the analogy: “what if you posses a beautiful low Muay Thai round kick, but do not know how or when to set-up and deliver said technique?” And further, “Do you truly possess a purpose of fighting, whatever it takes, until you are safe?” Which means, of course, you are “all in”, when you commit.
He understood completely. I have often said that fighting for survival is mental, based, no doubt, on: previous real-life experience, training, athletic ability, reaction skills, intuition, etc., but most importantly on your inner-most will to survive, no matter what the price; easy words to voice, but much harder to deliver.
I am constantly reminding my Krav Maga students, nearly all who have never been in a real street fight, that if something ever happens, “It’s not going to be like anything you’ve seen in here…at least exactly.” That initially flips everyone out, to be sure, and then go on to clarify “But it will be close enough, and your training will kick in.”
Ability and Resolution…philosophize and then conceptualize.