Rank Does Not Matter!

“If you are not putting everything you are doing under stress and exhaustion you are learning self defense techniques, not self defense.” M. Slane

I have blogged on this subject several times. It amazes me that self defense arts and systems teach techniques that look effective but have never been put under stress, exhaustion, the adrenaline dump, etc. If we are ever violently attacked I can guarantee that there will be plenty of each of those. I see this often with handgun and knife defenses. The attacker stands there like a statue in a warm and dry gym and the practitioner practices a technique. On the street there is blood (that makes the weapon slippery), the weapon is moving constantly, the attack was a surprise, the attacker is hitting, kicking and cussing us, etc. IF we had not practiced for any of those things we will be lost. If we train with stress and exhaustion we will have a “been there, done that” feeling and our training will come out of us. This is what a realistic knife attack would look like;

Slather your arms with KY jelly to mimic the slippery blood and have your attacker come at you like the above…after you have ran sprints and sparred to where you can’t catch your breath and are so tired you can hardly stand up. That’d be way better training for real life violence than just working on a technique, don’t ya think?

The following paragraph is from a blog by the USKMA’s co lead instructor, Brannon Hicks;
“If I want to win BJJ tournaments, I should go to a BJJ school. If I want to win Muay Thai boxing matches, I should train at a Muay Thai gym. While my training at both of those gyms might be outstanding and produce the result I sought out, neither would adequately prepare me for the street. I train mixed martial artists as well, and Krav Maga is not what I use toprepare them for the cage; it simply would not produce the desired result. So, if I am a LEO who will have to fight a subject into handcuffs, or perhaps face multiple attackers with and without weapons in a violent encounter where I don’t win titles but I do win my survival, why would I only train in systems designed to win tournaments or sporting events? It is clear to me that when I train, the way that I train must prepare me to win the types of situations I may face.”

I couldn’t have put it better. If we are training for real violence on the street it makes no sense to practice a sport centered art or system. There are also those who seem to think rank is more important than actually having performed under actual violent attacks. For example, I can have someone teach Muay Thai who has been in the art for several years. They are proficient and know the techniques but haven’t sparred much. The other choice is someone who has been in the art only half of the time as the “master” but has been in dozens of fights. I’ll take the guy who has done it under stress and exhaustion over the master any day. I am not worrying about pretty techniques, I am worried about survival. Another example, I have a choice of who I am going to learn ground fighting from. The first choice is a BJJ master who is very proficient and a good instructor. My other choice is a police officer who has no real rank in BJJ but who is on the ground every month or so fighting a thug who is trying to kill him (or at least do great bodily harm). I want to learn from the guy who’s actually fought for his life, who has done it under stress and with great exhaustion. Theory and proficiency are great but i’ll take the guy who has done it under extreme exhaustion and stress in real violent encounters every time!

The point is rank is nice but if it’s just proficiency of techniques that have never been put under stress and exhaustion how do I know it’ll save my butt when my butt needs saved? I go with the doers and could care less who has what rank. BE SAFE!


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