How Many??

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How Many??

Post  Jimmy on Sun May 22, 2011 7:06 am

Ok lets start off on the right foot... my question is not intended to offend anybody on this or any other forum!
BUT why do most self defense systems have so many techniques???

i have an abundance of DVDs by some of the most renowned instructors on the planet ( in fact i have had the opportunity to train with a good majority of these) however most seem to teach vast amounts of techniques and are consistently adding more & more each and every time i either train under them or purchase the latest DVD?

i have a fair few years under my belt and yet i cannot understand this need for more?
what i teach... you could learn in a few days (learn not master) and i never add any techniques , however i will change to a better tool if that can be proven to be give a better option than what i already teach? but if this is the case the previous tool would be abandoned ...(out with the old in with the new) keeping everything nice and simple because isn't that what this games is all about?

i understand the need for advancement and improvement but why retain and teach all the superseded stuff?
am i missing something or is this just business and the more they need to learn the longer they have to keep paying for the privilege??

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Re: How Many??

Post  Peter on Sun May 22, 2011 12:38 pm

I think in most cases you hit the nail on the head with your last sentence Jimmy.

A lot of people only think they want self-defence training and the constant addition of new techniques and perhaps a light sweat in class means they are super tough and can brag about how tough they now are to their mates.

It takes a special kind of masochist/enlightened person to keep going over the same thing/getting pushed out of their comfort zone/getting hit etc.
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Re: How Many??

Post  Nick Hughes on Wed Jun 01, 2011 8:24 pm

Not sure I agree...there are different tools for different jobs and I think we're assuming we're coming at this from a one size fits all position which it doesn't.

In other words, as an instructor I have to know groin kicks, knees, front kicks, roundhouse kicks, side kicks, back kicks, stamping kicks, jumping kicks, spinning kicks so I can provide the appropriate instruction to the appropriate student. One might be great at front kicks but have limited flexibility in his hips. Another might be genetically gifted in the hip mobility area and be a whiz with roundhouse kicks.

The same applies with hand techniques and methods for escaping holds. What works for one guy might not work for another. I might have LEO students and bouncers who need tie ups for their work and a women who needs to strike only to effect a way out of an attempted grab.

Doing it the minimalist way means you end up with one punch and one kick and you assume because those two work for you they'll work for everyone else in the world.

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Re: How Many??

Post  David Turton on Thu Jun 02, 2011 1:08 am

you need variety to counter a variety of situations, scenarios, attacks and attackers.

if you 'only' encounter one type of attack, then your defensive capabilities will be minimal.
However humans have been attack in every manner in every possible scenario your mind can possibly think of.

mre equates to more tools for the job

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Re: How Many??

Post  Mr Nobody on Thu Jun 02, 2011 2:29 am

You need to learn a lot of techniques just so you know which ones to chuck out.
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Re: How Many??

Post  Fraze on Thu Jun 02, 2011 6:38 am

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with knowing/teaching/learning a bunch of techniques. The issue is whether you become a ‘technique collector’ or find the ones that you can make work the most often and then focus on them.

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Re: How Many??

Post  Wayne Harrison on Thu Jun 02, 2011 3:57 pm

It depends what the system is aimed at. If it's a general system, that includes street violence, frontline services, etc, there may be a need to incorporate what is a pretty substantial syllabus. This has problems, imo. There can be issues with teaching opposing concepts, as in gross motor vs fine motor. Or, if i may differentiate, the 'physical restraint' avenue as opposed to the controlled agression hurt the fucker (while he posses a proportionate threat)

Granted in the end most may be gross motor, however that's the second problem. The length of time it takes to be able to become proficient in the system. What we do safely in training will invariably be inferior to the terror, confusion & surprise of the street.

speaking from a street perspective (it's all i know), a student needs to know now how tol effectively protect themselves straight away. therefore the training syllabus should show this. Gross motor, limited techniques. learnt in 5 minutes. Notice i never said proficient in 5 minutes.

I agree with the OP. FWIW, our system is created from the street, for the street. We've nothing else in the mix. Ok, maybe 2 or three martial arts techniques. We've took out all our levels. We've one foundation level. and some sattellite courses specialising. All our moves are basic. They have to be. We aim to teach people in the shortest time possible. This of course means our system is limited in length one can train with us. We're cool with that. As we're for the street, it must stay that way. Simple, effective. We prefer to stay true to combatives. I've saw so many systems, imo, pander to the comsumer demand, and actually lose their indentity. A by-product is that it can make them loose their effectiveness. We dont' teach joint stuff, though are familiar with it. We are still in demand in IReland & england among prison offciers, as they wish to have on hand skill set that they can use if the shit hits the fan. so we mantain our integrity, whilst also promoting ourselves in a slight niche way.

Long time training is good for folks who want a life path. however, for the street, i need to know right now, my first class, skills i can really use. concept based, limited techniques, lots of scenarios. drilled in a realistic, atmospheric way, placing students on edge in training. this is my view.

Warmest wishes
Wayne
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Re: How Many??

Post  Nick Hughes on Thu Jun 02, 2011 8:54 pm

We end up back at the para-medic v the neurosurgeon argument.

The paramedic has a limited syllabus to learn and it's almost instantly applicable. I.e. in his first class he'll probably learn CPR and can use it tonight.

The Dr on the other hand will spend years learning chemistry, biology, micro-biology, anatomy, etc before getting into the meat and potatoes of his profession. It may take him eleven years before he's done his pre-med, med, and internship and then more years to specialize.

Who in the long run is better? No right answer here...depends if you want to be a
Dr (the life time course of study) or an EMT. I have taught both and to say there are too many techniques is like trying to tell the Dr "look, because the bulk of patients you see can be sent home with an aspirin and a 'you'll be ok, call me in the morning' you shouldn't waste time studying all that other stuff."

That's great until you confront something that doesn't respond to aspirin and a pat on the back.

Nick
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Re: How Many??

Post  Jake331 on Fri Jun 03, 2011 3:21 am

Nick Hughes wrote:We end up back at the para-medic v the neurosurgeon argument.

The paramedic has a limited syllabus to learn and it's almost instantly applicable. I.e. in his first class he'll probably learn CPR and can use it tonight.

The Dr on the other hand will spend years learning chemistry, biology, micro-biology, anatomy, etc before getting into the meat and potatoes of his profession. It may take him eleven years before he's done his pre-med, med, and internship and then more years to specialize.

Who in the long run is better? No right answer here...depends if you want to be a
Dr (the life time course of study) or an EMT. I have taught both and to say there are too many techniques is like trying to tell the Dr "look, because the bulk of patients you see can be sent home with an aspirin and a 'you'll be ok, call me in the morning' you shouldn't waste time studying all that other stuff."

That's great until you confront something that doesn't respond to aspirin and a pat on the back.

Nick
Nick - you dont subscribe to the "log jam of techniques" theory then? Do you feel there is no validity in that argument at all or do you just think its over exaggerated?

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Re: How Many??

Post  Wayne Harrison on Fri Jun 03, 2011 8:49 am

Nick, you've got good points of course. To me, i'd have to ascertain whether limited techniques are limiting a person in their effectiveness in certain conflict arenas. To be able to learn a lot of techniques to a high standard, a standard that is applicable to the street, will of course take more time than to learn a small number. This means my skill level could always be affected by how many techniques i continue to learn. If i learn a set number, and stick with those, the skill level will increase, while not diluting how productively it grows. Because of time and amounts of new information i must assimilate.

Can i say, a parademic has only limited knowledge of medicine, while a neuroseurgeon has far superior knowledge. I'm not convinced the analogy applies to the street, though i do get your well made point, Smile. To be highly proficient in a limited number of technique, doesn't mean the person has limited knowledge of personal protection. It only takes a person being highly proficient in a few techniques to perform at the highest end in their arena (i.e. protecting themself), whereas in medicine to perform at the higher end of it's arena takes much study, as you've justly pointed out.

warmest wishes
Wayne
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Re: How Many??

Post  Nick Hughes on Fri Jun 03, 2011 9:00 am

Jake,

Re the "log jam" theory. No mate, I don't subscribe to it at all. It's still floating around self defense circles, usually under the guise of Hick's Law. One of those myths that refuses to die because people heard it once and keep parroting it.

Hick's law, has been surpassed by about eight other studies since that completely debunk it. If you search around under my section under "hick's law" you might find links to those studies. If you can't, let me know and I'll dig some of them up or try and find the relevant post.

CPP - How skillful do I need to be? If we go back to the five techniques of self defense theory - I've been training now for forty one years - do I really need to spend eight years learning something you just said can be picked up in a weekend?

Does that mean I'm saying we should be teaching people jumping spinning helicopter kicks? Not at all, but there's a slew of techniques out there that are effective so why not add them to my tool box?

My approach is give the students some simple stuff they can use immediately and then add the other stuff later.

If I'm in a plane that's going down and I have a passenger who's never sky-dived before, I give them the chute, say pull this handle here, and throw them out the door. If I have more time though, surely it makes sense to teach them things like how to steer the chute, what to do if the canopy doesn't completely deploy, how to use their reserve, link up with other jumpers, land without breaking their legs, how to deal with trees and bodies of water and so on.

So the question again is...do you have time or don't you?

Nick
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Re: How Many??

Post  Wayne Harrison on Fri Jun 03, 2011 9:56 am

Hi Nick,


Nick Hughes wrote:
CPP - How skillful do I need to be? If we go back to the five techniques of self defense theory - I've been training now for forty one years - do I really need to spend eight years learning something you just said can be picked up in a weekend?

Something that can be picked up in a weekend most definitely does not mean that one can execute that under conflict conditions in a superior manner, or use it at a level that enables one to deep down understand how versatile it can be. Providing the technique is versatile, this process does take time, if one wants it to. It's the process that comes from full absorbtion of a single technique. I'm pretty sure you know this.

A reason one would be training something for a prolonged time might be to learn how to execute it at a high level in th emyriad of scenarios.

Nick Hughes wrote:
Does that mean I'm saying we should be teaching people jumping spinning helicopter kicks? Not at all, but there's a slew of techniques out there that are effective so why not add them to my tool box?

Agreed for sure. The amount one should teach is of course a personal preference.

Nick Hughes wrote:
My approach is give the students some simple stuff they can use immediately and then add the other stuff later.

It's a sound approach.

Nick Hughes wrote:
If I'm in a plane that's going down and I have a passenger who's never sky-dived before, I give them the chute, say pull this handle here, and throw them out the door. If I have more time though, surely it makes sense to teach them things like how to steer the chute, what to do if the canopy doesn't completely deploy, how to use their reserve, link up with other jumpers, land without breaking their legs, how to deal with trees and bodies of water and so on.

So the question again is...do you have time or don't you?

Nick

Can i point out something obvious. That learning limited techniques is a continual process, if one allows it. For me, the time factor is only because when folks come to me to learn personal protection, they obviously want it right now. Not to be proficient in 12 months or later. I have time for this, yes.

In your analogies, you're implying in one way there is something 'lacking' in training with limited techniques. Why i've got a different view is i see those limited techniques delivered in the multitude of different scenarios a person will be required to use them, as a key concept in training. For me, a person must be able to trust in their own self. They must learn within the relative safety of training how to adapt. With respect, what good is teaching how to steer the cord, if they cant use their arms. My point, analogies, cant' be applicable to conflict arenas much, there's too many variables. It's why i feel limited techniques, with the student learning from class 1 to adapt to many scenarios is worth time.

warmest wishes
Wayne
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Re: How Many??

Post  David Turton on Sat Jun 04, 2011 1:51 am

the so-called Log Jam theory neither DOES exist nor CAN exist in the human brain

Its a theory not thought out or even looked at properly

several 'experiments, (light hearted and not scientific) have proven this to me, even though I didnt believe in it any way.

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Re: How Many??

Post  Ade on Mon Jun 06, 2011 2:51 am

I'm in the anti-log jam camp on this one,and here's why..

Throughout our life we collect "plans" for dealing with various situations,these plans are called "Schema".When confronted with a situation the brains quickly checks through the schema and selects an appropriate course of action based on previous experience .If no exact match is found for the situation then the course of action will be dictated by the schema for the most similar situation experienced.
If no relevant schema is found then freezing can occur....but this is due to no available plan of action,not TOO MANY plans of action.The whole idea of log jam is,in my opinion,ludicrous.
..and if you don't believe me,find the most highly trained martial artist you know,and attack him or her in as many ways as you can think of,then tell me how many times they experience "log-jam"
(hint:i already know how many it will be Wink )
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Re: How Many??

Post  Wayne Harrison on Mon Jun 06, 2011 6:09 pm

Can i just bring something to the chat please.

Physiological changes within serious threat to life. Our bodily changes including loss of cognitive thinking makes our brain react in a very basic way. Access to training methodology can be greatly impeded. Have a lot of folks here, under extreme conflict (as opposed to say, a weekend rumble alongside DS colleagues in the city centre), actually used a multitude of techniques? I experienced sensory overload twice in N. Ireland with terrorists. At times alternating from freeze, flight & fight. My experience isn't all experiences, but maybe worth noting? I'm not military/law enforcement/long time martial arts trained. I had around 10 or 11 years street experience in crime & gang violence then. Being the a-hole & idiot i was, it was very much weekly activity.

Of course, being switched on can assist, as can training for a long time in the multitude of syllabus. does this come back to the purpose of the topic though. The length it takes to train to be proficient in the multitude of syllabus content, and the way training is delivered is delivered to match the environment. I'm guessing there's a reason why military have live fire exercises, and dont just settle for paint balling.

warmest wishes
Wayne
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