We Are Not Yoda

We are fortunate to be around at a time in history when great training and information in the self-defense and tactical communities is more accessible than it has ever been. With just a quick use of our Smartphone or tablet, we can be in touch with the best training in the world. It only takes a moment to find a video clip, find a research article, or schedule to attend a seminar with a top instructor.

And make no mistake; there is so much awesome information out there. However, I think there is one overriding pressing issue that is rarely addressed, and in my opinion, is a huge gap in many otherwise great training programs and methodologies. That issue is that too many instructors make a huge assumption that is full of fail.

What assumption? That we will know what is going to happen, and when it will happen.

There are far too many training scenarios and techniques that are set up with the underlying idea that you will be able to tell when the bad guy is going to attack. And, having started with that idea, methods are presented that REQUIRE that forewarning. Unfortunately, real life is not that way. As much as we would all like to pretend, we are not some omnipotent Jedi Master, that can use the Force to sense when bad stuff is heading our way. And, on top of that, the realities of modern life impose such a high amount of cognitive overload on a daily basis, that too much of our brain function is occupied with anything but being prepared to sense trouble.

It would be awesome if we could be in tune with the Force, or even that we could be 100% situationally aware at all times. But neither will happen.

So what do we do? The main thing is that we have to have a robust set of responses we can rely on when we are assaulted by surprise. And, then train them in a manner that makes it as tough as possible to succeed. We need to dig as deep a hole as possible in training so we can learn to get out of it. Do that enough and we will have installed some responses that you know will be accessible under the worst conditions, rather than stuff that will only work when everything goes our way.

Though if someone ever invents a functional lightsaber, all bets are off.

5 thoughts on “We Are Not Yoda”

  1. Good blog post Cecil for the internet age, well stated.

    What is an example of digging yourself into a hole and having to get yourself out? What are you thinking training method wise when you think about training these types of scenarios.

    I was in a situation where I was outnumbered 5 to 1 about a year ago so I understand what you are talking about, however what kind of training methods do you suggest or enter your mind?

    This is an excellent website, full of great information.

    Sincerely,

    -Rick

    1. Thanks for the kind words.

      There are a ton of different ways to train in this matter. I don;t think there can be just one or two. Because real fighting is so chaotic, it requires multiple avenues in training to deal with it.

      Having said that, one great way is to let a defender (good guy) and an attacker (bad guy) get into an entangled engagement. At some point, introduce a second bad guy. How the good guy deals with this situation (i.e. possibly controlling and winning the initial fight only to be thrown back to square one) will be a good introduction to a deep suck.

      1. Cecil,
        Thanks for the great example and appreciate all of your expertise & knowledge.

        I had seen a Russian mixed martial arts competition about 2 weeks ago where they had two different teams of combatants and the arena was more like an obstacle course instead of a typical cage or ring. It is a Russian event called the HIP Show:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=44MohreKM7A

        https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=hip+show+mma

        Is this in the same wave length of thought as far as doing this controlled?

        Thank You.

        Sincerely,

        -Rick

  2. That video is certainly an aspect of what I was talking about. I think anytime you can safely add stress in some form, you are helping to inoculate yourself to better handle the real world.

    But there has to be varying degrees. If all we did was stuff like that video, we would all be too hurt to train in a short amount of time!

    Something like this is ideal to do on occasion:

  3. I like this post of yours Cecil.

    “The main thing is that we have to have a robust set of responses we can rely on when we are assaulted by surprise. And, then train them in a manner that makes it as tough as possible to succeed. We need to dig as deep a hole as possible in training so we can learn to get out of it. Do that enough and we will have installed some responses that you know will be accessible under the worst conditions, rather than stuff that will only work when everything goes our way.”

    That’s the bit that stood out for me.

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