Monday, November 16, 2009

Think Like A Bad Guy

One of the biggest mistakes we tend to make in any martial art when it comes to sparring, katas, and self-defense applications is failing to, what I call "thinking like a bad guy." A perfect example for you: from years of training in a traditional style such as karate would make one think that if you were ever attacked, your opponent would be walking around wearing a gi and no shoes, cock his/her punching hand tightly against their belt, and give you enough time in advance to not only see the attack coming, but to also drop into a wide stance, deliver a block while simultaneously cocking your other fist to your belt and punch back...all while your attacker is still standing there...and God forbid, if they happen to be carrying a weapon, it will be a traditional kobudo weapon like a bo or sai. As we all should know, outside of the dojo, this is about as much likely to happen as it would be for it to literally rain cats and dogs.

First of all, the stereotypical "bad guy" simply is not going to fight fair: they're going to have some kind of weapon (whether it's a typical one like a gun, knife or a bat, or an improvised one like a 2x4 lying on the ground), attack from behind, attack in numbers, etc. Next, consider the mindset of the "bad guy": this could be a career criminal who could care less about going back to jail; the guy at the bar who's had one too many beers; an insanely jealous ex-spouse; a junkie trying score some quick cash for their next fix; and the list goes on. Considering that, it would be highly unlikely that they care enough to alert you when they'll be punching at you and be conscious enough to pull their punches like your classmate.

The next time you're working on self-defense techniques, think about it from the "bad guy" perspective and see if that doesn't change your way of thinking some.

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