i have not been training for a long time, but from the beginning I have and still get confused by instructions such as “be careful on this shoulder joint, you may cause injury” and not a three minutes later, a drill where you pretend to stomp on your partner’s face. I’ve been thinking about this confusion and figured out that there are several levels of intent going on here.
The first level - training, playfighting, martial art for a sake of beauty and pleasure. About the same category as ballet (boring), gymnastics (better) and badminton (fun). This is most of the training that I have been receiving.
The second level – restraint and control. That’s where I would like to spend most of my time, because that’s where these people are: the drunk guy in the same subway car, a male date getting a little too friendly too soon, a neighbour next door having a domestic dispute that is getting rowdy. Most of my neighbours are sweet and tiny Phillipino people though, so I guess I can cross this one out. :). I am a smaller woman, so a stick in my hand would come in much desired here and I would like to learn how to use it well!
The third level - self-defense – damage to the point of the attacker not being able to do much for some period of time. I would put a guy rudely asking for my wallet or taking off with my laptop in this one. See some fight stoppers here.
The fourth level - going for the kill. I sure pray to God to never ever come across someone who needs to be destroyed ASAP. The scenarios are too scary to even put here – your life or your child’s life against theirs.
I think the training for each of this intent levels should be taught on different days or may be even different months (or different years?) and equally, or at least make the student aware that you are only teaching on one or two planes. Then the women that show up for self-defense training don’t get bored playfighting and the people who want to stick their fingers in someone’s eyes will get a chance eventually too. Then when the situation arises, you hopefully will automatically move to that mode of functioning and use the tools that are appropriate – not too subtle, not too strong.
What do you think?