When it comes to self defense, we’ve all heard guys talking about the devastating, “deadly” techniques that are illegal in combat sports. These guys are pretty sure that while they might get schooled on the mats when they have to follow sport rules, but in a real fight, they would certainly win.
Of course, because these “deadly” techniques can’t ever actually be tested in training, they never get to find out if their confidence is justified.
In most cases, these experts are living in a pipe dream…
Don’t waste all your time learning “deadly techniques” in an attempt to be better prepared for a self defense situation. These are just techniques, and without a good method of training them, they aren’t going to equip you well. What’s a good training method? Pressure testing. Trying to really execute that technique against someone who is really attacking you.
You are not going to be able to do that with your eye gouge or groin rip. That’s a problem.
When you get hit for the first time, all non-pressure tested techniques go out the window and many people revert to panting and throwing haymakers. All the fancy techniques you practiced theoretically will vanish.
You may attempt to add a bit of pressure to training in your school by applying your technique on a dummy after tiring yourself out, while having your instructor yell at you, or placing your hands in the right position on your training partner, but it can’t possibly be compared to trying to execute it on someone who is really trying to attack you.
People who train against resistance have the edge in a fight every time. It’s because they have superior training methods, not necessarily better techniques. Being able to train against almost full resistance is the best possible preparation for actual combat.
Many of these techniques rely on position. If you land on your back on the ground, and some guy gets mounted on you and starts feeding you punches, good luck trying to use your deadly eye gouge to get out of that. Anything you can do to him, he can do much more effectively to you, because he has the positional advantage.
Now of course you need to know the illegal non-sport techniques. Once you’ve got a handle on the regular techniques you can train against resistance, you can start working in openings for some of those nasty kidney shots and other things that aren’t allowed in sport competition. But it would be a mistake to lean on these techniques as your main fight ending strategy.
Once you have put your attacker into a position you know well because you’ve trained it, you can calmly assess what other nasty things you can do to him from there.
How many times do you think Mike Tyson practiced ear biting in training? Probably not at all. But it was very easy for him to suddenly chomp down on an ear twice in one match, when the opportunity presented itself. That opportunity was easy for him to get to because he had trained extensively to put himself within attack range and control the action from there.
Now how do you think a guy who practiced ear biting all the time would do against a good boxer? He’d get his teeth knocked out before he ever got close enough to use them!
So, start with a combat sport. Something that allows you to use almost all your strength and effort to achieve the techniques you are training, while your opponent resists you with his full strength. Get good at that, and then start looking for places to add the dirty and deadly fighting tricks.
It’s much more effective to train in a combat sport to handle pressure and then add deadly twists for street defense, than to try to do it the other way around.