Katas for Self Defense / Boaz Aviram

Training Patterns - Katas: What should they consist and what should they not when it comes to self Defense...

For the theater rehearsed performance is essential. Each actor needs to know his part. For Pupils the writing of the alphabet is essential as well.

For Law enforcement, interval testing of general fitness to provide ability to chase criminals and shooting accuracy is a common practice.

For the average citizen, getting good use of your body is good for enjoyment of life, health, and ability to move freely without fear.

Obviously if you are expecting to defend yourself or fight, you should train in your free time. However you should really assess how much time you have to train, and what you are trying to accomplish in that training time.

The General assumption is that if you start with one push up a day and when you reach 500 you will have a bodybuilder’s physique is very imaginative.

Self Resistance through controlled breathing of Katas develops good lungs, muscles explosive force and ability to use the whole body’s muscles to support a certain task, weather it may be tearing an opponent’s throat, testicles or preparing to absorb a blow or to contact a striking target with your fist or foot.

Practicing series of blows and kicks or defenses vs. imaginary opponent is good to get your body accustomed with combining leg and arm attacks and defenses.

However you must remember that you are training alone and using your imagination. Your imagination should be used to train yourself but with a realistic approach.

Self Defense Training should consist of tested techniques and principles that will work most of the times in almost any condition, to prepare your body and mind to prevail in a confrontation. It should also consist of sparring drills with training partners.

In Pure Krav Maga which is a self defense training method, there are much more consideration of the invisible components of reaction time, and comprehensive tactical entries into the hotzone.

To ensure that these techniques and principles are working, you need to test them with a training partner. Most Martial Arts have a training section called sparring in which it is done.

Over the years the conflict between safety in training and the need to realistically test ability to prevail have lead to many false assumptions and tendency to discourage an opponent by throwing him on the ground or inflicting pain with an arm bar.

Fighting sports that dealt with strikes and kicks still were testing the ability to prevail with Knockout punching or kicking.  While many had separation between competitive Knockout sports to grappling submission sports for safety and convenience purposes, some did try to combine it all. 

Yet the strikes and kicks were protected with boxing gloves which made it harder to Knockout as it is without a glove.  At the same time if was harder to maneuver soft pressure points while wearing boxing gloves.
Tearing of soft pressure points and gouging of the eyes are logically  disallowed in sports matches, but there is no reason they should not be used in training with modified force. 
Many Martial Arts decided to concentrate in one area and dedicate their training in that area. 

While in  self defense the ideal is to be more efficient than your opponents and prioritize your options, sports martial arts tried to find a good way to declare victory without the kill.
If you did not manage to knock down your opponent using strikes and kicks and if you threw him to the mat and he was trained in submission grappling sports, then he would have probably used it against you and prevailed on the ground.  But what if you were trained the easy way, to pluck the throat or testicles instead of going for an armbar or a choke.

Katas could be great training aides. If fact when you learn almost any technique you can create a kata for it, by imagining you are executing the techniques in slow motion and then increased speed.

You can execute the whole curriculum of your system in slow motion and then fast. Then you can use your imagination and imagine you only execute one technique against each opponent, and decide which imaginary opponent will attack you first and which will do last.

However you need to also train and test your tactical solutions and techniques in many other sparring drills and learn the patterns that work and those that not.  If you just learn from Katas, perhaps you are overusing your imagination in a way that is far from reality…

We can bring up the ancient arguments of which system is better and which is not, however it would be unlikely that the average folk will get to test them to the end with disregard to his fellow students’ lives.

Note that with all the hardship in regulating safe and realistic fighting sports, there are few observations we can make.  Once you got hit you got distracted and many times you were not able to use your techniques quick enough because of it. Hitting is much of a faster application of force on a pressure point than grabbing and pulling.

It is just much more efficient. Of course there could be combinations of scenarios that someone is well trained in grabbing pulling and pushing than the opponent that is not trained enough in punching kicking and elbowing.

Also in very close distance there is not enough room to get enough acceleration or shift the weight for the desired momentum of the strike, but you have more available soft pressure points instead.

In fact people already tried to devise how to generate striking pushing pulling and kicking force from almost any distance and how to use the minimum force to control opponents.

You need to use your judgment in learning which is logical and which is not, and when to do what and when not.  Like it or not, but in Pure Krav Maga, instead of avoiding dangerous maneuvers, you actually learn to control eye gouging and KO strikes or kicks to the groin to the breakeven point.

In this breakeven  point there is sufficient distraction or stopping power, but yet not enough organ damage. This approach is preferable over the need to resort to throwing an opponent for the purpose of discouragement to fight.

Get the Training Manual:

No comments: