If someone grabs you just like this you need to: drop down, swing your right foot around, bring your left knee up, reach across with your right arm to the left side of their face, jerk it to the right while using your left hand to take their wallet. OK, that may be a little silly but, that is about right for some of the techniques I have encountered. Silly manifestations of a good idea gone awry.
Before we move on let’s take a minute to define and understand the difference between technique and techniques. When I say technique, I refer to the style, aptitude, and skill in a particular ability or skill set. For example: punching, kicking, knife defense, shooting, etc. These physical actions require a certain amount of knowledge, training, and ability. The more you know and the better you are able to apply the knowledge, the better your technique.
Techniques on the other hand are a set of moves that can be taught and learned quickly that allow one to counter or mitigate an attack. These are specific moves that require a specific action by another party to work. For example: If someone throws a right straight punch, there are several specific actions you can use to counter and attack. However, if it is a left punch, it won’t work… Are you starting to see the difference?
You see, the danger with techniques is that when something is not perfect on either side you get all confused and screwed up and the technique you are trying to apply doesn’t work. I am reminded of an old Andy Griffith episode where Barney keeps trying things with Andy, and Andy is “attacking him wrong” when Barney can’t seem to get it. Voice of experience speaking: when you try to apply a technique to someone who is not behaving just as you need, your thought process will get all jacked up and you will fumble through the movement and likely cause yourself to fail.
Please do not hear me saying that techniques are bad. I have obtained a vast repertoire of techniques over the years; however, I would not use most them in a fight. Why? In order for a technique to be effective the attack must be just so, you must have trained to an intense level for that technique. There are some though, that are responses to very common attacks that I have trained to high level in that I would use in a fight.
Techniques have their place in combat and training, however, I am a firm believer that technique will get you farther. If you know how to strike, take a hit, where to hit and when, you will be a phenomenal fighter. Once you understand and have mastered proper combat technique you will be able to react with remarkable speed, precision, and effectiveness.
Flexibility and adaptation of intentions is critical to survive a fight. In the military they have a saying: The best of plans won’t survive first contact. This means that no matter how much planning you do, when everything goes left, your plan will fall apart. If, however, you are prepared for a dynamic fight and ready and able to adapt your plan and attack, you are highly likely to win that fight…
What can we learn?
- Techniques have their place, but you must use and train with caution
- Technique takes a little longer to develop but, will take you farther than any techniques ever could
- Learn and develop your technique over time. Start out with some basic a simple techniques and you will become well-rounded over time.
- There is no substitute for training! No matter your approach, you must train!