Imagine jumping into a ring and giving a boxer a beating without him hitting back. Your effort increases, at least tenfold, once he starts moving, blocking and hitting back. Use the same imagination with a ground fighter and you’ll soon find out that it is not a blow up doll you’re on the mats with. All it takes is a bit of resistance or non-compliance and then you have a different ball game. To be aware of this is to be aware of what lurks out in the real world.
In support of a good martial arts education, a good Instructor needs to know what will work under pressure. There are literally dozens of kicks and a vast variety of ways to execute them in a non-contact situation. The number reduces when the contact increases. The ring generally weeds out what can be used and how they can be thrown. The street eliminates, for almost everyone, any fantasy of throwing a kick to the head. A school should not fall in the Fantasy Island syndrome where reality is only in the realms of their dojo. But full contact fighting, whether it is kickboxing, wrestling or mma, is a great tool for Instructors to understand the reality of their own teachings; this does not mean a school or student should do full contact. I am just as happy to see a student using their own imagination and coming up with their own stuff but my obligation as an Instructor is to ensure when and if they can use it. I study full oontact events and look for things that can be used under pressure. Unfortunately, real fights are not something you readily see on television so it is quite difficult for Instructors to eyewitness or study situations, and make determinations unless they have experienced first hand.
It was very nice to hear from John Will yesterday, on his way to the Airport, checking up on my right tyre kicker. I was very pleased to hear his son is also doing very well (there were times things weren’t going according to plan). I believe I will see him on the mats in 6 months time. John is doing his usual tour of duty in Asia, England and Norway. Have a nice trip, John!