The picture is of Johnny Player which was advertised on billboards of a TRAIN DRIVER'S WORST NIGHTMARE about young people getting hit by trains whilst illegally crossing tracks.  The JPL (Johnny Player look) has become cultural within my circles (especially at work) because it is the look of despair, unhappiness, misfortune, which happens to everyone of us and even seen it a number of times.  My blogs may have a habit of doing that because of my controversial material but I believe people take on board what I say.  One more JPL for this year about self defence: The more complicated the technique, the more time needed to get good at it and remember under pressure.  The techniques we’d like to see work are more for training purposes to develop our knowledge and skills in the martial arts.  However, a different approach is needed when training to deal with real opponents.

The biggest challenge in teaching reality based self defence is convincing the martial artist to put aside what they know and be open to the simple and most effective techniques which are usually alien to their martial art.  Instructors will teach self defence in scenario form with techniques prevalent to their particular martial art ie Tae Kwon Do (kicks), Wrestling (grappling) etc.  But nobody really knows if these techniques will work?  Scenarios can be misleading because, like choreography, everything falls into place like in the movies which is not a true indication of what will happen out there.

Many of don’t us want to fight nor should we.  Fighting means two or more persons are exchanging blows; that’s not self defence!  It is a competition of who will come out best and it is not always the martial artist.  Self defence is about getting it over and done with and walking away, hopefully, unscathed.

The approach to any confrontation should be the same every time so we don’t have to fumble through our minds to figure out what’s best for that situation saving valuable time, even if it’s a quarter of a second.  In most cases you won’t know who it is standing in front of you and what they might know (karate, wrestling, boxing, streetfighting).  The answer is to use what needs to be done not what you would like done so you might just have to lay down your side kick and shoulder throw; these may work when you have weakened your opponent.   If you get hit (especially if it is a good one), your plan plan is now out of action and you will do whatever it takes to get you out of trouble.  This is where your martial arts training will come in handy.  Good time to cash in on the MMA dividends!

Many schools have great self defence moves but they involve gross motor skills ie they require too much thought process and body movement to execute the techniques.  They are great for training but not the answer to getting you out of trouble. 

Instructors should forget about which is the best martial art or style and concentrate on solutions that will help the student in time of need.