Reality Based Training Myths and Truth

You can always start pointing out the detailed colors of how the training environment does not match all of possible real scenario environments and get hung up on that, or getting the reader in agreement with it. 

However, one of the major points that Reality Based Training deals with is how to convince your mind that it is in danger while in training and also to ensure you can convince your mind it is in danger when you are in fact in real danger also dealing with the adrenal state which is naturally triggered by danger.

You can train dressed in a Gi, topless, Street Clothes, Commando Fatigue, or Designer’s outfit. You can use comfort and luxury in a training studio, learning how to fall on soft mats, or using a safe technique step by step teaching you how to fall and roll safely on a concrete floor.  The key is to learn principles of body motion and reaction through learning techniques that will work in unsafe environments.

I think you get that adrenal state the first few times when you spar. But you need to train in a fashion that subjects yourself to incremental danger.

When you face a scenario in the street  it does not always happen immediately, and you need to wait a little longer as you are trying to avoid a fight and keeping your composure you can feel your pulse getting heavier and you ask yourself what the fuck with all my Krav Maga training is this happening? Do I have a natural fear?

So your body does react to anything and might put you in uncomfortable situation, which gives you fears that you might slow down your reaction. It seems that the adrenaline kick slows down your perception of time.  But as weird as you seem to see your surroundings in slow motion mode, it does not do much harm but rather enhances your awareness and alertness.

You should keep in your mind that if the opponent starts to run at you trying to kick you, your training and your determination would propel your body to lunge and kick him before, and then you would continue to use your arms as needed.

In the shorter range if you got hit it is not because your adrenal state slowed you down but because you let a person get too close to you to the point where your reaction time is insufficient. If you were untrained still it must have been your stupidity or being too naive that caused you not to attack first.

So while you feel your pulse getting up as an aggressor is trying to intimidate you, you have to cover the basics at the same time.  Be determined to respond to a threat according to the distance.  


The starting point is awareness:
When you see an unusual motion or activity of humans that could pose a threat, first assess the danger that the threat poses.   Then when you feel it is directed at you or other innocent bystanders, assess the timing required to respond before it is too late for you to defend yourself or to rescue others from harm.

Finally, keep in mind the engagement range options: For example if a person is moving fast toward you with anger starting to verbally abuse you, extend your arm and shoulder pointing to the ground about two feet away from you and tell him to stop right there.  Most cases this works, and if he keeps moving you lunge a kick and continue with hands as needed.

If he is walking slowly toward you in a bar with the intention of intimidating you and perhaps starting with shoving you, you extend your hand and shoulder as your fingers reaching his throat, telling him: "don’t get any closer to me."  If he continues to advance, you grab his throat and hold him like a helpless chicken.

If he is trying to take your hands off his throat, for his sake he does it right otherwise he would be helping you to pluck his own throat. If you do need to grab his throat, apply sufficient pressure to lift him off his heels


If he tries to remove your hand as you are holding his throat, counter deflect his hand with the elbow of the arm you are using to hold his throat, and resort to impact strikes to pressure points at his head area.  Anywhere at his head area will cause sufficient distraction for your next move.

What if he tries to execute a Krav Maga release from choke? Well first of all he got close to you trying to intimidate you but without lifting his hands up as not to alert the security personnel.   Second of all, you are attacking him preemptively with a restraining throat technique without the intention of immediately choking him.  Thirdly, you are aware of his capabilities to respond and ready to counter them!

If he knew anything about principles of H2H, he would not have gotten that close to you since if you strike him, he would never have the time to block it due to the limitation of the reaction time.  In fact you become the one that puts yourself in danger and taking a big chance not to strike him immediately.  But in essence you are counter-attacking his threat or feint's psychological attack with a counter psychological attack. You did not grab him yet.

All you do with the extension of one arm and a shoulder is keeping him away so if he tries to hit you or block your arms while his hands are near his waist, your hand is already where the action is.

Since he moved close to you, and you can reach him, he would have to turn his body, his arm, and shoulder, to reach you.  All you have to do is extend your arm a little further and pluck his throat.  If you already grabbed it and applied moderate pressure, he would be discouraged from getting out.

Of course if you suspect he is sober and an excellent some sort of martial artist, or perhaps a gang fighter, and it looks like he would not mind drawing your blood out to the last drop, you might need to respond to a more imminent danger.

In that case your judgment should tell you that you want to use the first element of surprise, and continue in attack mode until you totally control him.  Knock him out immediately, or keep hitting him until he gets totally discouraged from attacking you.

If you think he is the type of guy that will try to kill you, you might consider doing it first. Again, while this does not happens very often in many people confrontations, you might come across that type of scenario.

You will have to bear the consequences, of possibly being accused of murder. This is why you are trained to swim and get a good feeling of your capabilities and your opponent capabilities, so you can attempt to end a confrontation without a fight.

Body language is very important, but must be backed up with capabilities to control an escalating scenarios, and of course immediate and imminent danger scenarios.

You turn your head, seeing a person trying to stab you with a knife or a broken bottle.  You deflect and counter attack. Luckily if he is drunk he falls and stop attacking you and may not remember what you look like.

There is a small percentage chance he will die by a devastating single punch. You might make mashed peas out of his testicles. But you could be dead or left without testicles yourself if you did not react. In this case, most likely the court will be in your favor.  If not, consider this as multiple opponents scenario. You deal with your attackers first and deal with the court later.

It is all about speed of motion while entering the dangerous zone. If the speed is slow and the attacker is walking closer without lifting his knee for a kick, the engagement range would be a distance of an arm and a shoulder.

If the attacker would then still try to kick, use your body to escape the kick as you are punching his face. If the distance is even closer, you will use your hands to hit him in the face or groin before he was able to complete the kick.

If someone managed to grab your clothes, wrists, head, neck, leg, etc, you will move close to him or change direction to avoid the pull of push force and reach for a pressure point in the neck or head or the groin areas.


The aforementioned scenarios were brought to illustrate the invisible elements of reality.  Other considerations of keeping realistic training is the human nature of students that subconsciously try to avoid repetitive exposure to blows on their arms and also fear to injure their training partners.  The instructor should keep close eye on the training process to keep it real and find ways to ensure the invisible elements of reality are being kept real. 

The scenario is dealing with one of the most important aspect of reality based self defense which is using your judgement throughout the process of escalating violence. Other crucial aspects are response to imminent danger in which you do not have time to use your judgment, and this is where your instinctive reactions come in according to your proper training.
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