How can fight training be enjoyable?
We all know how dangerous a real fight can be. There's a chance someone or something may get broken or injured, and these injuries can turn out to be quite serious.
I'm going to explore how we train for such a situation, so you act appropriately and are successful without injury to yourself.
Some believe it's impossible to train for a fight without fighting. They believe you have to know what it feels like to be injured in order to really be ready for a fight. Many people believe that in order to train for a fight one has to bring themselves as close to the real thing as possible.
If training is too far removed from the actual experience, one cannot prepare adequately. However, violence and real training for a fight is often not an enjoyable experience and may involve, in itself, varying degrees of injury. So the question is raised, how does one train a person to become a proficient fighter knowing that safe training methods are required for success?
There are two largely accepted ways to engage in combat, both require many hours of continuous practice to train the body to respond in a certain way. The first way is to tap into the animalistic side, to become as mean, angry, and violent as possible. Then, if a conflict starts, the martial artist can tap into this trained mindset. Their muscles can smash their opponent's attacks out of the way. Anger, aggression, muscle tension and adrenaline take over, the switch in conscious and physical states allowing the fighter to defeat their opponent. This method teaches a person to react with violence regardless of the situation so they can overcome their opponent with their aggression. It also takes away from the building of good habits such as accuracy.
The second one involves thinking differently. What is the purpose of martial arts or self defense? It's simply being in a position where you can have control over yourself even when others are trying to impose their physical will upon you. The goal is not to think of martial arts ( or self-defense) as fighting. Martial arts is about learning good habits. It just so happens that these good habits will also allow you to be in a position where you can keep self control when someone else is trying to take it. In a fight, another person is trying to take control of you (make you lose control) for their own personal gain. Therefore what is most important is that you keep control of yourself. Many people believe that the goal is to defeat the opponent. This is not the case, for in trying to defeat an opponent you will inevitably try too hard. As we all know, if you try too hard to hit or defeat an opponent you will often find yourself over reaching, becoming unbalanced, compromising good structure or defense. An excellent example, for you golfers, is when you tried too hard to defeat that little golf ball. We all know how many good habits get forgotten. By focusing on hitting and controlling the opponent, one will lose focus on control and we'll end up in a risky or compromised position. The focus should therefore be on maintaining yourself in a good position because the better your position and technique, the more effective you will be in your efforts.
If you think too much about winning or losing, you will lose.
When your efforts are effective and you can control your movements, you will also prevent an adversary from having control over you. So learning to fight then becomes an exercise in learning self-control and technique... and this can be taught in an enjoyable environment without injury. The first step in this process will be to understand and believe in the technique. If that little voice in the back of your head tells you that you cannot use your technique against someone twice your size, then you will never use it no matter how good you get at it. Now, this is different than being able to apply it right away. Many hours of training will be required. What we're talking about here is the belief that the technique is logically sound and will work if applied correctly.
Once this belief is in place a person can apply their own perceptive potential to practice the techniques, either with a partner or without. This will cause learning that comes from feeling and listening to the natural senses. Making a person more aware of their body - which will further effectiveness. It will help the person to learn movement while maintaining a calm, relaxed and empty mind. The repetition will allow a person to move effortlessly, with the natural grace that comes from an unobstructed mind. With this mindset, techniques can be tested against an aggressive partner without the feeling that a fight is under way. This makes training for “real” situations pleasant as it expands the conditions under which the mind must stay calm. The focus is not so much on defeating the aggressor but is placed on defeating the mind's tendency to tense up.
When practice is taken on in this way a person will learn how to stay in control in order to apply their logical techniques effectively and effortlessly. You will be ready to face anything that comes your way for you will have learned how to control yourself and by extension you will know how to prevent others from taking control of you.