Friday, March 16, 2012


I've written about odds, probability, before... a subject near and dear to my heart. For example, that having good skill as a fighter doesn't guarantee a good outcome on the street, just better odds that it will go your way. On a given day, the best team can loose to the worst. Anyone that touts an Unbeatable System is naïve or a liar.

And while it's common and understandable for students to think "If simple sparring can easily not be 'pretty' then how much more difficult and messy will a real fight be?," the good news is that a basic one-to-one confrontation can be much easier than sparring for several reasons. The first is that a stranger doesn't know your game, as a training partner would be. Second, the average mook has telegraphic habits. Third, in sparring games (and that's what they are, let's not kid ourselves), you are not really jabbing your partner in the eye or throat, so it of course continues when in it wouldn't in reality. Even the emotional aspect can be easier in a fight: in a controlled setting you can afford to be nervous, whereas if something happens more suddenly in the street (not always but commonly), it's a "Go Now!" situation that doesn't give you the luxury time to be nervous. I have a student where just such a thing happened, and without going into details, he dealt with things quickly, smoothly and efficiently, and then when he was back in his car, he started vibrating. He asked me "Was I afraid and just didn't notice it at the time?" and I said No, it was just that now he was feeling the adrenalin dump. Had the confrontation played out longer, that could have been a problem, but it was over quickly enough for that to not be so.