Sunday, May 23, 2010

More Map vs Territory

This might sound goofy on the face of it, but bear with me: Training is not fighting, I think we can agree. But: Fighting is not training, either ...

I sometimes get taken to task by reality folks when I talk about preparation for training. I switch to my old glasses, tape up my hands, sometimes put on a knee brace or two, and if we are getting fairly active, wear a mouthpiece. I also warm up, stretch, and wear an old T-shirt and jeans or shorts, weather permitting. And we don't use real knives, either.

You won't get to do any of that in a streetfight, the hardcore reality guys sometimes say. You have to be ready to go as you stand, badda boom!

Absolutely true. If I have to run home and put on my gi and do ten minutes of stretching and warm-up, I probably don't have a useful fighting art, unless the duels are arranged.

Then again, while there might be a lot of energy expended in a short time, a streetfight isn't going to last long. What you do there in ten or fifteen seconds isn't apt to damage you nearly as much (assuming you know what you are doing) as a year's worth of hour-and-a-half training sessions will, vis a vis your joints, muscles, and such.

The old ideal two-hit fight -- I hit you, you hit the ground -- will be over in a few heartbeats. And chances are, if you are paying attention and trying to avoid such encounters, you won't have too many of them. Whereas if you train regularly, you will expose yourself to strains, bruises, breaks, contusions, and the like. You'll also do damage to your clothes, and having to replace your eyeglasses because a punch slipped through and broke 'em gets spendy in a hurry. I speak from experience.

So you prepare for the "reality "of training. It might not be a real fight, but chances are that you are more likely to get hurt training than fighting, and using some basic precautions can spare you some of that.


Captain Tightpants said...

Some good points on this one sir, if I can just add a few thoughts to go with it...

- Don't discount the affect of the epinephrine/nor-epinephrine dump on the system as well in terms of protecting the body from injury during such things. Having experienced a few of the sudden, unexpected scrape-ups over my career the issue was never one of stretching or changing clothes before hand. Instead, it's a case of "run what you brung." Where preparation does play a role is the aftermath - soreness, the shakes and the mental aspect of things all are directly influenced by fitness and training.

- The injury in training thing is definitely a big factor. I've seen more people injured and killed in various training evolutions over the years than in the real world, particularly amongst the higher-speed or more motivated units. Folks who care tend to pour more of their energy into their preparation for the show, so that when game day shows up it tends to be a bit lower-key. When this happens then inevitably there are injuries - especially when the whole "type-A" drive kicks into competition.

Scott said...

In 1988, when he was far and away the best boxer in the world, Mike Tyson broke his hand on Mitch Green's face in a one-punch fight.

To the reality guys I say, breaking his hand several times a week in training would not have made him a better boxer.