An additive approach to learning how to fight.

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Discussion' started by Tom bayley, Apr 8, 2021.

  1. Tom bayley

    Tom bayley Valued Member

    Many conversations on the forum ask, what is the point of this or that? What would be the result if this aspect was removed from training, or if this was replaced with that. Few take an additive approach.

    I thought it would be interesting to have a go from the other way. To start with the barest minimum sufficient to learn how to fight and build up from there.

    To learn how to fight it is sufficient that a person have fights. Win or loose they will learn something.

    Which begs the question. Why is there not an art that solely consists of organising fights. You turn up to the “class” you fight. You go home. Next “class” you fight again. The more you fight the better you get.

    I suggest this is because there is more to take into account when learning how to fight than simply being able to fight.

    Such as

    · efficiency – who much one improves ones ability to fight with a given effort of training.

    · risk – the chance of harm occurring multiplied by the degree of harm that might occur while training.

    · Utility – how widely applicable ones new skills are in fighting in the "real" world (whatever that is).

    If you were building an art from the ground up. What would you add in addition to fighting, and why?
    Jaydub likes this.
  2. Mushroom

    Mushroom De-powered to come back better than before.

    Are you literally talking about Fight Club?
    hewho, axelb and Jaydub like this.
  3. Tom bayley

    Tom bayley Valued Member

    I can neither confirm, nor deny, that I am talking about fight club
    hewho, Shmook, axelb and 2 others like this.
  4. Mushroom

    Mushroom De-powered to come back better than before.

    His name was Tom Bayley
    Jaydub likes this.
  5. Jaydub

    Jaydub Valued Member

    Where do I sign up?
    axelb likes this.
  6. David Harrison

    David Harrison MAPper without portfolio

    I disagree with this premise.

    Most "street fighters" don't learn anything from their fights. They might get somewhat inoculated against the side effects of adrenaline and pain, but people don't really become better fighters from fighting without using play/training in between fights to learn from their experiences. People don't try new things in fights, they stick to 2-3 things that worked the first time for them (whether they continue to work or not), because fear of risk is a big factor and adrenaline hampers the coordination needed to attempt novel manoeuvres.
    Marku85, ap Oweyn, Mushroom and 2 others like this.
  7. YouKnowWho

    YouKnowWho Valued Member

    You have to develop your toolbox before you can start to test it. Even if you fight all your life, you will never be able to learn how to do a hip throw in fighting. You need time to develop your hip throw.
    David Harrison likes this.
  8. axelb

    axelb Master of Office Chair Fu

    I think for most people you will develop a lot of bad habits that would take longer to unlearn. The standards relating to these types of organisations have historically been low in comparison to the better known martial arts.

    The implication is that these types of organised training are not done because they are seen as too dangerous (certainly true to a large degree) but the more popular martial arts in general are more popular because they are more efficient and people quality of skill become higher from the better known styles.

    I did a version of this as a teenager with friends, and I know a few others who also did, it was never full contact but we would hit with purpose.

    I looked for schools to train at and stopped hanging out with those people. The schools I trained at where much better at sparring than what we did in the back gardens with mates.

    We had another play after I had been doing kungfu/sanda and boxing for a couple of years ago the skill gap was huge.

    It's an interesting question on using a blank sheet and trying to build something without preexisting criteria in place.

    For that I think it's hard to say because so many martial arts are an evolution, and this is in part based on particular societies laws at the time.

    Also do you train a broad selection all weapons and ranges? I think that risks to lacking depth in a particular skill.
    Focus on very specific toolsets, then you are exposed to other areas where you lack.

    If anything it should start with a criteria of what scenarios you want to build a skill for: civilian encounters; train mostly unarmed.

    Military; more weapons based.

    I would say all scenarios need some sort of psychology training prior to, during and after the scenario. Probably the largest neglected part of most schools.

    Last one: "marketing" you need to sell it to people :D

    We hate this one in martial arts. Yes people should seek the most efficient because it will be shown to be most effective. But if you can't pay for places to train then how will you build the skill.

    So I would say you build a school with different teachers with specialization. You train at all or select amount of them. Have some varying degrees of "open mat" with variations of rule sets.
    Online discuss for the psychology, because I think a lot of people go somewhere to do physical activity.

    Marketing: get someone who knows how to do that side because martial artist don't know how to do that so well :)
  9. Tom bayley

    Tom bayley Valued Member

    I agree with you up to a point. The point being the question "at what stage is it necessary to tests the tools in your box to ensure that they actually work in the "real world" ?

    However for the sake of this thread I am playing devils advocate so -

    In "fight school" combatants can agree the rules of the fight. so if you want to learn to throw. simply agree that the winner of the fight is the first person to throw the other to the ground. Then get on with it. once you have been thrown for real a few times you will begin to pick up how to do it yourself. No teaching required. This ensures that "fight school" is always reality based and will always work for real.
  10. Tom bayley

    Tom bayley Valued Member

    A nice theory but upon what evidence do you base this claim ?

    We all know that the best way to learn to keep your guard up is to get hit in the head. same for tactical decision making in a fight. until you have weathered the impact of someone actually trying to knock your head off you can not learn how to make tactical decision in a fight.
  11. YouKnowWho

    YouKnowWho Valued Member

    When I was young, I had formed a fighting club myself. In that fight club, there were 5 members,

    - Okinawan Karate black belt.
    - Hapkido Karate black belt.
    - TKD black belt.
    - profession MT fighter.
    - Kung Fu guy (myself).

    Since there were no Judo guy, wrestler in that club, to develop a new throwing skill through that fighting club environment is almost impossible (MMA didn't exist back then).

    Here is an example. Without proper instruction, I don't think anybody can "pick up how to do this throw himself. No teaching required".

    MA testing can only test what you already have. MA testing cannot develop anything that you don't have.

    One should spend time on MA

    1. developing - partner drill,
    2. enhancing - weight and equipment training,
    3. polishing - solo drill/form training,
    4. testing - spar/wrestle.

    Last edited: Apr 10, 2021
    David Harrison likes this.
  12. David Harrison

    David Harrison MAPper without portfolio

    Empirical evidence of seeing fights/having people attack me and anecdotal evidence of countless people who either were untrained people who fought, or trained people relaying their experiences of untrained people who fight.

    No fight between untrained people stays at striking range long enough for people to learn to cover properly, let alone come up with how to use footwork or align strikes properly.

    Like any other intelligent mammal, it is in play that we learn and test our physical skills.
  13. YouKnowWho

    YouKnowWho Valued Member

    When someone tries to knock your head off,

    - without a teacher, you may just raise your arms, cover your head, and play defense.
    - with a teacher, you will learn how to use a hook punch to knock down a straight punch (like anti-missile system), and attack back at the same time.

    A teacher can teach you the strategy/tactics. You just can't figure that out all by yourself in your fighting club.
  14. Tom bayley

    Tom bayley Valued Member

    So! our survey of 4 people (clearly, we are going for quality here rather than quantity) are in agreement.

    Fighting is a NESSISSARY part of learning to fight. It allows people to test out fight skills and learn to apply them in practice. But fighting on its own is not SUFFIECENT to become a competent fighter.

    · Fighting on its own is an inefficient way of learning to fight - little is learned per fight.

    · Fighting on its own is an ineffective way of learning to fight – it is difficult to learn complex applications from just fighting. It is difficult to learn and observe strategy and tactics from just fighting.

    · Both of these restrictions place practical limits on the utility of what is learned.

    Note a distinction has crept in here. It appears there is a consensus that there is a difference between being able to fight, and being able to fight competently (for want of a better word).
    Mangosteen, David Harrison and axelb like this.
  15. Tom bayley

    Tom bayley Valued Member

    Would you agree that one of the aims of a martial art is to promote competence in aspects of fighting?

    Definition of competent

    · having suitable or sufficient skill, knowledge, experience, etc., for some purpose; properly qualified :He is perfectly competent to manage the bank branch.

    · adequate but not exceptional.
  16. David Harrison

    David Harrison MAPper without portfolio

    I would not say that fighting is a necessary part of learning to fight. From competition fighting to war, people spend a lot of time in training before actually fighting, and some do better with no live experience than others with a lot. Doing the thing you're training for certainly can focus your training and give you a better perspective as to how you should be training.

    Because we are dealing with pedagogy here, I would make the nit-pick that it is necessary for your training to be informed by people who have fought, but it isn't a necessary component for everybody to become competent at fighting. Various forms of play and simulation do that - sparring, for example.

    That is to learn and become competent, but to become comfortable with fighting, you have to do it a lot.
  17. David Harrison

    David Harrison MAPper without portfolio

    I would say that it depends on the martial art.
  18. Tom bayley

    Tom bayley Valued Member

    How can an art be a martial art if it does not teach you to fight in some way? - Surly that the very definition of a martial art is a system for teaching and learning how to fight.

    I could not name a single martial art that does not teach how to fight - can you?
  19. David Harrison

    David Harrison MAPper without portfolio

    Most of them.

    Combat sports teach people how to compete under a particular ruleset (even though there is more crossover into fighting than most other arts). E.g. people go to a boxing gym and get taught to box, not to fight.

    Most traditional martial arts place preservation of distinctive movement patterns and tradition over fighting.

    Most of the combative seminar circuit seems to be more concerned about selling the fantasy that you can become proficient at fighting in a weekend. The primary motivation is running a business, not teaching people how to fight.

    The modern "strip-mall" TMA's also run as a business over a method of effective teaching. e.g. GKR Karate is a pyramid scheme of door-to-door salespeople, not a method of teaching people how to fight.
    Dead_pool likes this.
  20. Tom bayley

    Tom bayley Valued Member

    To point at one particular money making scheme and state that it is representative of all martial arts is a dogy trick. you could say that boxing does not teach you to fight because boxercise exists. I am a kung fu guy but I play with my local Shotokan karate club and they can fight. they can take hits and they themselves can hit very hard and blindingly fast.

    I you saying that karate people cannot fight ? :)

    This is not my experience of 3 decades of traditional martial arts.

    We have already agreed that the term "traditional martial art" means so many different things to different people that it is effectively useless. My experience of traditional martial arts is one of being rooted in practical testing and fighting. My grandfather teacher fought the Japanese when they invaded Manchuria. My teacher boxed, wrestled, sparred and very occasionally had to defend himself for real. He taught several ammeter k1 fighters.

    I myself have never fought due to a chronic health problem. However I make a point researching good boxing and mytie clubs in my area and telling my students to get out and train competitively.
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2021

Share This Page