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Old November 14, 2011, 08:56 PM   #1
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Training Correctly

Disclaimer: I am not an expert. The following is just my personal opinion/experience.

I've done muay thai/boxing on and off for about 2 years now. If you've seen me on the thai pads or the heavy bags, you'd know I am a beast (brief moment of cockiness). But my skills on the pads/bags do not translate well into sparring. Not because I am not physically capable, but because I am not mentally capable. Dealing physical trauma onto another human being is a scary thing. And in most cases of sparring, that human being happens to be your friend.

So why would I want to hurt my friend, especially during training?

The old adage goes "you fight as well as you train". Remember that when you're running force on force drills. When the buzzer sounds, treat your friend, training partner, etc. as a hostile. If you're a good friend/training partner, you'll give him ~100% resistance, and he should do the same. Make he/she fight for the wristlock/disarmament, and vice versa. It's nothing personal, and if you two care about each other, you won't slack off. That being said, don't go snapping fingers and joints .

If you're not hurting him in training, you're hurting him (by not adequately preparing him for real life situations). Why would you want to hurt your friend?

P.S. Play safe and use proper equipment at all times.
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Old November 16, 2011, 07:40 AM   #2
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Not sure what this has to do with guns so let me turn it in that direction. If I had some martial arts Bruce Lee type coming at me, I would most likely defend myself with a firearm, providing there was no escape route for me.

Since I have lots of metal in my neck due to a severe injury, any blow to the head would have catastrophic and life threatening affects to my soul. I would be well within my rights to defend myself against what could be construed as a deadly force.

If you are going to carry a gun, you must be able to pull the trigger. If you are afraid of hurting/killing someone else, you should not carry as you will most likely get shot with your own gun.
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Old November 16, 2011, 07:48 AM   #3
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45Gunner, his second paragraph is about Force-on-Force training. His tie-in is that in hand-to-hand sparring, you don't hold back on your partner, or you risk denying him the chance to learn how to really fight; similarly, don't go easy on your training partners with airsoft, paintballs, Simunitions etc if doing FOF, or you may let them think they are more prepared than they actually are when it comes to self-defense use of firearms.
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Old November 16, 2011, 08:00 AM   #4
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I think it was football legend Vince Lombardi who said: "practice doesn't make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect."

The elements critical to the successful use of force in self defense, ranked in order of importance, are: mindset, judgment, tactics, marksmanship and firearm. So, you are indeed correct in saying that you must be mentally willing to inflict great pain, even death, in an effort to stop your adversary from doing whatever prompted you to shoot.

American law enforcement has never had better firearms training. Yet, an LEO dies on the job about one every 56 hours. Simply, put, the best trainers in the world have considerable difficulty successfully re-programming a person's mindset.
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Old November 16, 2011, 08:19 AM   #5
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So why would I want to hurt my friend, especially during training?
Can definitely relate - having been "yelled" at many, many times throughout martial arts classes I took as a tween, teen, & young adult for "pulling punches" or not properly following through (idea of punching past your target).

TBH the "change" came around when I started wrestling in high school when inflicting pain/disabling your opponent was the only way to win. In my weight class, tall, skinny guys such as my self were not common and were usually at a severe strength disadvantage, so one had to be willing to in essence one-up whatever was being dished out and fight dirty (without getting caught) - can't tell you the number of times I actually got bitten

To make it firearms related, an assailant is not going to be play acting. They will be trying to hurt, maim, dismember, and/or kill you and you must be willing to do the same. Essentially, you must "turn off" the part of your mind that makes you a rational, peaceful human being & polite member of society.
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Old November 16, 2011, 08:44 AM   #6
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I've done muay thai/boxing on and off for about 2 years now. If you've seen me on the thai pads or the heavy bags, you'd know I am a beast (brief moment of cockiness). But my skills on the pads/bags do not translate well into sparring. Not because I am not physically capable, but because I am not mentally capable.
Kudos for your intellectual honesty. But while I'm no martial arts or SD expert, it seems to me you've come a little short of realizing that what you're doing is sport, rather than bona fide self-defense training.

Some who shoot it intuitively understand IDPA's a game, not SD training, while others eventually come to the realization. Those who want self-defense skills need self-defense training.
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Old November 16, 2011, 09:52 AM   #7
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One thing I can say for myself, I don't think that this would be a problem with me. even as a kid, my intention was to go into either military or LE, and I "knew" deep down, that at sometime before I died, I was going to kill someone. All these years, I still expect to be placed in the situation eventually. For all of those years, I have in one way or another reminded myself that there is going to be a clear and simple signal in any confrontation that should trigger an immediate and unrestricted use of force.

At the same time, I've managed to maintain the clarity necessary to recognize when, I believe, to unload the pistol, punch for the face, or go after whatever soft organs are available.

one contributing factor is the fact that I just simply don't like people at all. not one bit. That is what will probably make, in my opinion, the "it's him or me" decision so simple. If i'm confronted by someone with a gun, there is not going to be any sentimental BS like wondering if he has a wife and kids, or if he's just a poor misunderstood kid from a broken home.

Once that person's actions go past that mental line, that person is a target that needs to be elimiinated. nothing more.

Given a choice as a hiking partner when you are prowling the deepest, blackest pits of humanity, who do you want? A champion bullseye shooter? a guy with a $2,000 1911? the one who practices on plates every weekend?

Or the one that you know, without a doubt, will go nuclear when the moment comes, even though his skills are probably just a little above average?
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Old November 16, 2011, 02:04 PM   #8
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One of the problems with formal training is that while you are learning to do some very important things, you're learning at a deep level not to do a certain number of more important things as well. This is what Rory Miller refers to as "glitches" in his newer book, Facing Violence (, which I highly recommend to you.

Learning the techniques, practicing the art, is one thing. But what happens outside the training area is going to be different.

First time I did force on force with a firearm, it took me two iterations of the scenario to get beyond 30-odd years of deep training not to point a gun at someone, much less pull the trigger.
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Old November 16, 2011, 02:09 PM   #9
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You beat me to it! As soon as I read the initial post, I thought, "Ohhh, here's someone who could really benefit from Rory Miller's excellent book..."

I strongly, strongly second your recommendation.

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Old November 16, 2011, 03:37 PM   #10
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I noticed that for some people, their scores took a drop when they went from bullseye targets to silhouette.

I think they're encountering a mental reservation when it comes to shooting a person.
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Old November 16, 2011, 04:14 PM   #11
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I've never had this problem, it may be because I started at a young age after getting in a lot of fights. I always knew what it was really like to fight. I was still careful not to cause serious injuries, but I would never be easy on someone because they are a friend.

A good friend and I used to do a lot of weapons sparring, with no gear. Using wooden models of our weapons we literally beat the hell out of each other. I took the blunt end of a Naginata to the nose once. To put that in terms most people would understand, it was a hardwood staff about 7.5 Feet long. I preferred the wooden sword, and believe me, my opponent knew when to get his hands and arms out of the way. I wouldn't go for his hands, but it would happen, and he usually left a few bruises on my shins with that Naginata.

Notice how at the beginning I said friend, and then turned it into opponent? Exactly that. We hurt each other, and that's how we learn what doesn't work and what does.
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Old November 20, 2011, 09:22 PM   #12
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Interesting input everyone...

I am definitely buying Rory Miller's book.

Has this issue been documented in Law Enforcement or Military operations?

i.e. has an officer/serviceman been injured/killed because he did not react violently in a timely manner?

That bit about the B-27 is interesting too. I think that could be why some academies use the B-27s BEFORE they use targets with actual faces on them. I would describe it as a gradual desensitization to using force on a human being.
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Old November 20, 2011, 09:35 PM   #13
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There have been many many servicemen and/or cops injured or killed due to a lack of action, not acting in time, or not acting with sufficient force. Many.
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