“11 Key Differences Between Training and the Real Thing,” by Adam Dean

“We all know that the training environment is quite different to the environment we will likely find ourselves in if we ever have to use these skills for real. Our busy lifestyle these days often means that only little thought is given to these differences. We know we must take responsibility to protect ourselves so we go to work, go to the gym, dojo or dojang or whatever to train, go home, sleep and repeat.”

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  1. Take note.

  2. I like your numbering to eleven. Ten is cliche. Ten fingers. Worldwide mathematics based on ten. This could be summed up with one: “preparedness.”

  3. …leaving your front door is like bowing in for class. if you always treat it this way, you have less likelihood of misadventure. (of course the possibility of home intrusion is also real)

  4. Brett Jackson says:

    Great insights! Another difference that occurs to me is fear. In class we don’t practice in the face of much fear, depending on the dojo of course. In a live situation, we’ll have to deal with that fear, which maximally will be incapacitating for some or many, and, minimally, distracting and hampering to some extent for nearly all. Will we be able to move (perform tai sabaki) in that situation? Will our bodies still be able to do what we’ve trained them to do in the case of that psychological obstacle? Will we be able to find our way back to the techniques we (our bodies) know? We’ll have the best chance if we have some experience practicing that way, which doesn’t mean we should always practice that way only that sometimes practicing that way (while being afraid) is helpful. Actually, when I take ukemi from certain Senseis I am afraid and am practicing doing aikido in that presence of that fear.

  5. Brett Jackson says:

    One more: significant others. In the dojo we only think about protecting ourselves. On the street we may be with family, friends, or colleauges, in other words, significant others. They probably won’t have a clue how to handle the situation and may do exactly the wrong things. It’s interesting to consider how the presence of significant others would, should, or might influence our responses in the face of real threats or violence.

  6. Brett hit on something…competition in MMA/Budo helps you to over come some fear…and helps in a street fight.

  7. Awesome article Adam. Alot of people believe that because they can execute a technique in the dojo they can do it on the streets. The few real life encounters I have had were very high stress,lots of adrenaline and my fine motor skills were almost non existent. One thing that most non- martial artist/paranoid people might think is strange is that I always consider what shoes to wear depending on where im going. If im going to a place like a bar, concert, mardi gras celebration etc. I always wear tennis shoes in case I need to fight or run.

  8. Nick’s point about footwear is one is not strange at all. I’ve always considered attending to this of primary importance and always wondered how O’Sensei could pound his street opponents wearing geta. Such as for example, the Yakuza assault in Tokyo. Old man in his 80s, outnumbered, wearing traditional apparel and geta, pounded several young yakuza street thugs into submission. The wanted his purse. He showed the the road and said: “Kids, you picked the wrong person to play with. Don’t you know who I am? I’m Ueshiba of Aikido.” And then he strode off with the geta still on!! There must be a way of walking in them. And fighting in them I’ve never been able to master. Geta jutsu or something. To me, I’d take them off (if the ground was free of sharp things) and use them as weapons. Actually, coming to think of it, that’s been done before. Footwear can be used to absorb and impart impact. Sometimes. if there’s time to take them off :) Otherwise I reckon they should be firmly stuck to your feet, stable and support your ankle. Anyone with more info about appropriate footwear to improve one’s chances in a fight, I’m keen to hear about it and learn more. Gangs sometime use steel capped work boots, and movies characters sometimes have a knife in the tip. The military sometimes consider good boot construction. The Romans won and lost on there sandals. But is there more out there?

  9. Brett Jackson says:

    Nev, Nick, I always consider footwear too. I can share that one of my senseis prefers loafers as they are quickly put on or taken off, can be quickly held in the hand as a weapon or thrown or even kicked off. You can practice kicking off your loafers at a target, thus using your shoe(s) as either a weapon or as a distraction with some surprise value perhaps. Personally, I’m more with Nick, prefering some kind of running shoes with good tracking allowing ease of movement and quick movement. I want to have the feeling of being agile and comfortable. I’m with you too, Nev, amazed by those who can do Aikdo in sandals, which is definitely not for me.

  10. steve kwan says:

    good to take these points and views into consideration and be aware of it. I used to think of wearing safety boots for a security feeling before I start learning martial arts. I think that wearing sandals is not safe for me especially in a confrontation situation. Wearing confortable running shoes is fine. All the martial arts trainings is to give you a better chance to survive or to succeed, nothing more or less.

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