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.