I received several emails about my recent blog post entitled “FULL CONTACT!” I would like to clarify my thoughts on making contact with your training partner so as to condition yourself to actually hit your attacker in a real life fight.
Several readers were concerned that if they trained “Full Contact,” their students would be injured and they would lose business because of this. I’m most definitely NOT saying that you should turn your training sessions, classes or seminars into an all out MMA steel cage match. What I am saying is that if you want to develop functional personal protection skills you have to train yourself and your students to ‘stick to and blast through’ your target by using slamming like dynamics.
Practitioners of Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu are awesome at this, as are Systema people. Sticking to and blasting through your training partner is actually SAFER than using the ‘pull your punch’ method of training, because you have to train slowly to do this safely, or you have to get armored up in protective gear. If you train to NOT hit your training partner, you are training to not hit the bad guy in a real life conflict. How you train is how you fight.
When you pull your strikes you are also cheating your training partner of learning how to safely absorb strikes. This is a very important, often misunderstood and over looked sub-art. Conditioning your body to take strikes is an essential skill set.
We have to train with progressive resistance and variable intensity. Progressive resistance allows you to train with a partner who is resisting you like a real attacker will but in a methodically progressive way. You have your training partner amp up the pressure in increments, so that you don’t take on more than you can handle. You also vary the intensity based on who you are training with, their level of experience and your goals for that training session/class/seminar.
If you go to race car driving school, they don’t put you in a car the first day and have you actually race twenty other drivers on a track going 120 MPH. Similarly, I wouldn’t have a brand new student do free fighting against multiple attackers with knives. We’ve got to be smart about our training.
Training with full contact? Yes, absolutely but the intelligent way, using progressive resistance and variable intensity.