I had a look at an interview with Geoff Thompson, the ‘boy from Coventry’ who invented Reality Based Self Defence. He did it because of necessity to ensure survival working at the doors of the toughest nightclubs of England in the ‘70’s & ‘80’s. My son, Jonathan, and I were talking about this and he said that if you need to defeat your enemy, the first thing you have to do is find out what they do. In that case, you better know what the Boxers and Wrestlers do. Jonathan referred to the classic TV Hogan’s Heroes show (not withstanding it is only fictional and comedy), meaning the prisoners did so well because they knew everything about their enemy. In any type of warfare, there is a lot of intelligence gathered before a battle is engaged rather than just meet the enemy Ad Hoc. Geoff Thompson’s ideology of self defence is very similar to any type of warfare. There are many factors to be taken into consideration:
Environment: type of place, space availability, ground surface.
Who & how many you are dealing with?
Any weapon or anything which may be used as a weapon?
Is alcohol or drug a factor?
There is much more to this; any information is a luxury if you are able to get it in time and but this gets the point across that things are not simple as they seem. However, Geoff Thompson’s principles simplify things when dealing with street conflicts.
I was saying to Shihan Richard how we did not have to deal with the MMA style of fighter at the doors of nightclubs back in the '80's. A story comes to Richard's mind where police in a suburb of Los Angeles were being taken to the ground by young louts. The police didn't know how to counter double leg takedowns and went to Big John McCarthy for advice of how to deal with them; they had to, it wasn't a choice!
When we set time aside for Reality Based Self Defence, that’s when the mind should go in overdrive to pick up as much as you can because it's about dealing with the real world.
If you would like to keep up to date with the progress of John Will's son, you might want to read Ronin Will's blog. Ronin is a very lovely young man and is working very hard at his recovery. It is quite interesting to see what he says.