Stuff you really don’t need for SD

Last post I talked about what to do if we want to do self-defence training as part of our martial practice. This time I’ll keep it a bit shorter, and mention a few things that you really don’t need to do to make your training self-defence relevant:

  1. Scowl fiercely when performing techniques
    Look, I get it, you want to show that you’re not like those other pansies who are all relaxed and actually having a good time when they train. You’re a warrior TM for crying out loud! This is serious. Ah, suuuure. Except it does absolutely fuck all to make your training relevant. Looks mighty fierce on camera though, so if it’s just part of your marketing effort (or you have resting scowl face I guess) good for you.
  2. Do stuff faster and harder
    Doing the wrong things faster and harder is not making them better (martial arts is a lot like sex in this regard, really). Just because you’re single handedly responsible for your training partner’s addiction to painkillers does not make what you do actually relevant. Don’t get me wrong, training fast and hard can be important and has its place, but doing stuff to a compliant uke is not that place.
  3. Have a skull in your school’s logo
    Is it a dojo, is it a metal band – who knows? Despite reports the skulls, knives and other warrior branding of choice do not actually impact the abilities of practitioners in any way whatsoever. Some of these do look really cool though.
  4. Do three moves for every one your uke does
    Ok, admit it, you saw this on Jason Bourne and thought it looked cool. Here’s the deal though – if you have to move three times every time your partner moves once, then a) your being very inefficient and b) what your showing might work if you’re attacked by a turtle approaching retirement age. Seriously, they don’t even do this in the better action movies these days.
  5. Be a dick to your students
    No, it doesn’t make you edgy and realistic. If it walks like a dick and quacks like a dick, it’s probably a dick. Yes, I’ve read Angry White Pyjamas too, and no that part is not worth replicating. Yelling insults at your students is not coaching, assaulting them teaches them nothing except that you are not to be trusted.
  6. Say “On the street”
    Please for the love of deity-of-choice, don’t! Just don’t! Unless you are literally referring to the physical difference between the dojo and the pavement covered area outside, this is a good way to get anyone who has a clue to instantly turn off.

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