I always hear the argument…you don’t need a black belt to defense yourself (I know, I said it). This is absolutely 100% true. Self Defense is NOT a martial art. But teaching self defense IS.
As a martial artist or an athlete you are taught in a systematic fashion. Skills are taught in a progressive manner, each one building on the next. Practice and workouts are designed to develop skill and conditioning along the way. A systematic learning pattern is a huge value and makes all the difference in the level of instruction you receive. People who haven’t spent a long time in a competitive sport or legitimate martial art don’t understand this fundamental, but incredibly important concept.
The human body and brain is built a certain way and it processes information in a particular manner. Imagine going into basic math class where one minute you’re learning about addition and the next it’s fractions, then calculus. How well do you think you would even understand basic addition? Well this holds true in most self defense instruction scenarios. The instructor decides what he or she wants to teach and that’s it. This is the same reasons why most seminars and instruction fail. There is no system of implementation or education behind it.
Most instructors today have little or no real teaching or coaching credentials. I know sometimes we belittle your average strip mall karate school, but these people understand systems, implantation, class structure and how to follow a curriculum. It still amazes me how “instructors” and “experts” just get together and wing it. Sure there are times for exploration in class, but you need a syllabus and structure based on the progressive learning model in order to get REAL, sustainable results.
Yes, most martial arts and combat sports systems don’t exactly translate well into self defense, but how they teach and how they implement it does.
It comes to no surprise that people like Fairbairn, O’ Neill and Cestari all spent time in traditional martial arts. They knew the value of this training and understood how to build and develop systems based on the proven model of martial arts training.
Plus, the ability to commit to a program speaks volumes about your character. It’s important not just to understand where martial arts’ training fits in the big picture, but how to sacrifice and sweat.
It’s true that you don’t need martial arts to defend yourself, but if you are going to teach, you must understand basic techniques and principles of teaching (or learn from someone who does).
Coaches and Instructors may not be the best fighters, but they should now what goes into making one.
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