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    The Pornography of Reality-Based Self Defence

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    Jamie Clubb

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    The Pornography of Reality-Based Self Defence

    Post by Jamie Clubb on Mon Nov 16, 2009 8:22 pm

    The Pornography of Reality-Based Self Defence
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    Al Peasland
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    Re: The Pornography of Reality-Based Self Defence

    Post by Al Peasland on Mon Nov 16, 2009 8:53 pm

    Great article Jamie

    I wrote something similar a long time ago but nowhere near as eloquently

    I totally agree.

    I think in an attempt to turn the Reality Based Element of martial arts into a full blown system that sells - there has ended up being a lot of "guilding the lilly"

    What worries me more, which was something I discussed on my seminar last weekend was that - most "Self Defence" instructors will roll out their favourite line of...
    "The most important aspect of self defence is Awareness and Avoidance, etc etc"
    Then immediately get everyone training in the physical - with little or no practical training or advice on exactly how to be aware, what to be aware of, how to avoid, etc

    For me - the self defence aspect is a by-product of my martial arts training and still only a small element of it.

    Nice work mate - haven't forgotten about your article on my newsletter - been hectic times of late

    Cheers

    Al
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    kaarl

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    Re: The Pornography of Reality-Based Self Defence

    Post by kaarl on Mon Nov 16, 2009 11:09 pm

    very good article Jamie and very truthful


    cheers
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    Jamie Clubb

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    Re: The Pornography of Reality-Based Self Defence

    Post by Jamie Clubb on Tue Nov 17, 2009 3:26 pm

    Thanks guys. And thanks for clearly reading the piece, as it appears you both have. I was actually expecting a torrent abuse for this one, as I am actively criticizing my own sub-section of the martial arts community. I am still waiting for people to jump at the gun early on (often happens with my opinions) and see me as being an enemy to the cause so to speak.

    Al, I couldn't agree with you more. Not only do people discuss awareness like a disclaimer or even teach stuff that seems to completely go against their opening speech but you often get the impression that it is a bolt-on. Likewise I love it when someone bangs on about pre-emptive striking and then spends the rest of the seminar teaching reactive techniques.

    moldeeside

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    Re: The Pornography of Reality-Based Self Defence

    Post by moldeeside on Tue Nov 17, 2009 11:40 pm

    hello jamie
    I read your article and posted about it on karls site, I really think it could be a turning point when someone of your calibre says `use what works, ditch what doesn`t`
    Its been said before but theres a world of difference between martial arts for sport,fitness or personal development, and relying on your art or techniques to save your life, and in my opinion there is an awful lot of peripheral pornography (to use your terms) just to get people through the door and part them from their money.

    Hugely honest article and I can`t see it offending anyone, all you`ve said is find what works and practice it.

    Really enjoyed it, thanks again.

    Mol
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    Jamie Clubb

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    Re: The Pornography of Reality-Based Self Defence

    Post by Jamie Clubb on Thu Nov 19, 2009 2:07 am

    Thanks Mol. Where I expected to offend people was in my critique of RBSD, which are usually the ones being critical. In fact, as I state in the article, much of RBSD (a term I loathe by the way) is based on a critique on sport and traditional martial arts and yet they more often than not commit the same sins. Coming from the self defence side of teaching, I just felt it was high time and we checked and cleaned our own houses once in a while and understood that we are most certainly not beneath criticism.

    Gavin Mulholland

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    Re: The Pornography of Reality-Based Self Defence

    Post by Gavin Mulholland on Tue Dec 01, 2009 6:13 pm

    Some interesting points Jamie.

    Ockham's Razor is often used as a simile for a straightforward ‘keep it simple’ but it is actually a bit more subtle and deeper than that. The translation of its central tenant “Pluralitas non est ponenda sine necessitate”, is far closer to saying “entities should not be multiplied unnecessarily”, and to my mind the key lies in the last part of the phrase – ‘unnecessarily’.

    I have often heard phrases along the lines of ‘How many ways do you need to escape from a lapel grab’ being posited as justification that you only need one. This attitude is then further bolstered by positioning any additional methods/techniques as creating log-jam and by definition being ‘unnecessary’.

    The problem is that you don’t know how many are necessary until you need them. Of course you only need one, but it has to be the right one, at that time, in that situation, against that opponent. What you actually need is options and the ability to flow from one technique to another and this is often what I see as being ignored.

    As one of those ‘traditionalists’ I have seen the rise of RBSD and of course, taken the implied insult that what the rest of us have been doing for years is therefore by definition, not reality based and I have to say, I like a lot of it. But, as an outsider I believe I have also seen it start to flounder and fall into all of the mistakes it originally set out to address (as I think Jamie picks up on well in his article).

    Where I train at the moment we have an RBSD group training in the same hall, at the same time and I have watched an interesting evolution in the year or so that they have been there.

    Initially, it was all very down to earth and practical – but then it seemed as if the students got that down quite quickly – and of course, why wouldn’t they? So, presumably wanting to take teaching to ‘the next level’, the techniques started to get more complex, set, prescribed – and the students learned them too… so they became more remote, scripted, complex…

    Next, they wanted to identify themselves as a group and from a start of random training clothes, came a club t-shirt, then club trackie bottoms, club gloves, and hey presto! They were all in uniform.

    Then, as new students started to join, there became a need to distinguish between the old and the new so that people would know who to train with at what level and before my very eyes, coloured belts started to be awarded.

    Interesting and all a bit familiar, no?

    Again, as a traditional karateka I know that people often start training for reasons of self protection/defense but that reason ultimately gets replaced with something else – something more about the exhilaration of training itself.

    I don’t know if anyone has any answers but I’m interested in how RBSD sees itself in dealing with this longer-term perspective?
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    Al Peasland
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    Re: The Pornography of Reality-Based Self Defence

    Post by Al Peasland on Wed Dec 02, 2009 11:42 am

    Hi Gavin

    Nice post

    I see it doing a full circle to be honest
    I have guys training with me who've done a fair bit of RBSD, they've done all the seminars and got the certificates in combatives this and ultimate that.
    Now they want to train in the art as they feel they've missed something along the way.

    I see alot of MMA type students who don't have a great game in any one range or art.

    For me, I was lucky in that I studied the arts - the self protection aspect was kind of a by product that fell out of the arts we were training, because we were training them honestly, realistically and practically. But we were still training in the arts.
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    Luke Mannion

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    Re: The Pornography of Reality-Based Self Defence

    Post by Luke Mannion on Wed Dec 02, 2009 8:38 pm

    I've yet to train with a decent RBSD instructor who didn't have a strong martial arts/ boxing background.

    Personally for the amount of time and money I invest in training, I would want to acquire more than just the ability to crack heads outside a chip shop.

    That being said, the whole RBSD thing has enabled me to enjoy training in the arts more as I no longer have that issue of “will this work for real”, as the street side of things has been covered. This enables me to just relax and enjoy the Arts.
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    Jamie Clubb

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    Re: The Pornography of Reality-Based Self Defence

    Post by Jamie Clubb on Wed Dec 09, 2009 3:02 pm

    Ockham's Razor is often used as a simile for a straightforward ‘keep it simple’ but it is actually a bit more subtle and deeper than that. The translation of its central tenant “Pluralitas non est ponenda sine necessitate”, is far closer to saying “entities should not be multiplied unnecessarily”, and to my mind the key lies in the last part of the phrase – ‘unnecessarily’.

    Yes, that was kind of the point of my article. The unnecessary has taken over at least 80% of the Reality Based movement. There is an over-reliance on pain compliant techniques, as mentioned in my article, combined with a fixation over "dirty" techniques. The main definition given by scientists and historians for Ockham's Razor is, to quote my article,
    when all things are equal the solution that requires least number of assumptions is the correct one.
    Pain compliance is an assumption that your enemy is a rational individual with an average pain threshold. The fixation with dirty techniques often either disregards the importance of basic positioning - again relying on factors like psychology and pain compliance - or makes the method unnecessarily brutal. Putting it simply, heavy trauma to the head or neck region are case-proven man-stoppers. There are no guarantees, but there are less assumptions needed than for someone to quit because they are being bitten etc.
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    Richard Sackville

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    Re: The Pornography of Reality-Based Self Defence

    Post by Richard Sackville on Sat Dec 12, 2009 10:07 pm

    A very interesting read, I like it a lot. I also like what Gavin has to say as well.

    I travel a lot, so don't get to attend lots of the nice workshops etc. When I do and they do that intro bit at the start of the first day about what you do, I always say traditional Silat. That's the art I currently study and it always gets lots of sniggers etc.

    My friends point out that I should say for clarity that I am a former Muay thai and MMA coach, which may be a fair point.

    Anyway some people have this miss conception that the traditional arts don’t fight. But fighting is fighting and I am often times feel like I am fighting for my life and do get the crap knocked out of me during silat class or even when I make judo class. In short, silat class is intense and there is real intent to harm at least in a no kill or permanent injure kind of way.

    As a result, the silat I am learning is a stripped down system which consists of teaching people root motions but I have had people tell me what I am doing is not silat but RBSD. Almost like their cannot believe an “Art” would have SD skills. Under pressure all arts seem to have the same basic root motions for dealing with pressure. It’s normally hit (hard) without getting hit.

    It’s a perception problem, which is as much the silat worlds fault because silat is often shown as a bunch of guys dancing around in a skirt, doing something that looks like it came off the magic roundabout.

    I don’t get much of a chance to post often but just want to let you guys know I appreciated the article and comments.

    Good work.

    Regards

    Richard
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    Jamie Clubb

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    Re: The Pornography of Reality-Based Self Defence

    Post by Jamie Clubb on Sat Jan 02, 2010 6:14 pm

    Thanks Richard. Some good comments there. As they say, arts don't fight, people fight!
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    Griffin

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    Re: The Pornography of Reality-Based Self Defence

    Post by Griffin on Sun Jan 03, 2010 7:17 pm

    An interesting article and an interesting thread..

    I do enjoy listening to the varying view points of instructors, I found Jamie's comment;

    "Pain compliance is an assumption that your enemy is a rational individual with an average pain threshold. The fixation with dirty techniques often either disregards the importance of basic positioning - again relying on factors like psychology and pain compliance - or makes the method unnecessarily brutal. Putting it simply, heavy trauma to the head or neck region are case-proven man-stoppers. There are no guarantees, but there are less assumptions needed than for someone to quit because they are being bitten etc" very interesting.

    The reason I found this comment particulary interesting is his comment on methods becoming "unnecessarily brutal"

    I come at this from a differing slan to most.. I'm not saying anyone is wrong, they are from their view point correct, but take my example..

    I do not train for the sake of an art, or to keep me safe outside the chip shop, or for enjoyment... I train to enable me to do my job in various high risk areas of the world.. So "unnecessarilly brutal" is not how I look at it... I know pain compliance will probably not work (Khat is a great substance for raising the pain threshold it seems)and tend to need to get the "hell out of Dodge" so need a method to end the situation swiftly, which often requires brutality..

    Dave Turton

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    Re: The Pornography of Reality-Based Self Defence

    Post by Dave Turton on Mon Jan 04, 2010 11:12 am

    ATTACK THE MOMENT YOU 'FEEL' HE IS ATTACKING
    KEEP ATTACKING
    KEEP BRUTAL
    STOP ONLY WHEN YOU ARE SAFE

    GO HOME

    WORRY LATER
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    kaarl

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    Re: The Pornography of Reality-Based Self Defence

    Post by kaarl on Mon Jan 04, 2010 1:47 pm

    Dave Turton wrote:ATTACK THE MOMENT YOU 'FEEL' HE IS ATTACKING
    KEEP ATTACKING
    KEEP BRUTAL
    STOP ONLY WHEN YOU ARE SAFE

    GO HOME

    WORRY LATER

    Sounds about right to me thumbsup
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    Jamie Clubb

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    Re: The Pornography of Reality-Based Self Defence

    Post by Jamie Clubb on Wed Jan 13, 2010 2:24 pm

    The reason I found this comment particulary interesting is his comment on methods becoming "unnecessarily brutal". I come at this from a differing slan to most.. I'm not saying anyone is wrong, they are from their view point correct, but take my example..

    I do not train for the sake of an art, or to keep me safe outside the chip shop, or for enjoyment... I train to enable me to do my job in various high risk areas of the world.. So "unnecessarilly brutal" is not how I look at it... I know pain compliance will probably not work (Khat is a great substance for raising the pain threshold it seems)and tend to need to get the "hell out of Dodge" so need a method to end the situation swiftly, which often requires brutality..

    Perhaps I should have used the word "sadistic" instead of "brutal". Please note the word "unnecessary" too. Surely you would not advocate using a method that was less efficient and slowed you down just because it appears more evocative in its nastiness (for want of a better word).

    You seem to be a bloke that likes straight talking. So perhaps I could make my point again and with less subtlety. I think the majority of RBSD training is just as bad as traditional martial arts training. I think it is often a bit of a wank-fest that puts "dirty tactics" above efficient tactics. That is my main point.
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    Al Peasland
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    Re: The Pornography of Reality-Based Self Defence

    Post by Al Peasland on Wed Jan 13, 2010 3:03 pm

    I am inclined to agree with your Jamie

    My post earlier in this thread...

    I think in an attempt to turn the Reality Based Element of martial arts into a full blown system that sells - there has ended up being a lot of "guilding the lilly"

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