For Everything Self Defence


    Million Dollar Question

    Share
    avatar
    Michael W Wright

    Posts : 128
    Join date : 2008-08-04
    Location : Glasgow/London

    Million Dollar Question

    Post by Michael W Wright on Mon Oct 27, 2008 10:47 pm

    Gentlemen,

    I appreciate that this is one of the oldest questions in the book, but for me this forum is the pefect place to obtain what I feel would be the definitive response.

    In order to teach effective Self Protection, do you feel an instructor should have first hand, real life experiences?

    I have always believed that I couldn't honestly teach some of the material that I do, without referencing it back to the real encounters I have been involved in. Then I also stop and think, I teach material from arts that were developed hundreds of years before I was born, and I do just fine.

    Is Self-Protection a series of concepts and applications that can be handed down and taught by anyone, regardless of their background? Or does it really require you to have walked the walk?

    Look forward to your views

    Thanks

    MW
    avatar
    Mick Tully
    Moderator

    Posts : 833
    Join date : 2008-06-14
    Age : 48
    Location : coventry

    Re: Million Dollar Question

    Post by Mick Tully on Mon Oct 27, 2008 11:17 pm

    Imho......yes !
    Mick x
    avatar
    Peter Skillen

    Posts : 612
    Join date : 2008-06-16
    Location : Loughborough

    Re: Million Dollar Question

    Post by Peter Skillen on Tue Oct 28, 2008 1:14 am

    I think you have to have expearience in anything you teach for it to be of any qaulity. In my opinion yes. Cause when shit and fan meet its a whole new outside of the gym kinda expearience.
    avatar
    Al Peasland
    Admin

    Posts : 1051
    Join date : 2008-06-15
    Location : Northampton

    Re: Million Dollar Question

    Post by Al Peasland on Tue Oct 28, 2008 11:29 am

    I tend to think so too.

    However, just cos someone has had lots of fights, it doesn't mean what they're teaching is any good. So quantity of fights isn't necessarily a basis for a good self protection instructor.

    I don't think there's any substitute for "having been there" yourself, so that you can pass this information on first hand to your students.
    At the same time though, I will also pass stuff on to my students that is second and third hand. Stuff that I've never used personally, but know people who have. That's my job as an instructor to show the students everything I know and with an honest training environment, we can find out if it would work for them.

    Techniques is perhaps something you can teach having never used it for real yourself, but I think mindset and the feeling and emotions that go with real fighting can only be passed on if you have felt them yourself.

    One of my students is teaching self proteciton and had that very same question. He'd never been in a fight and was worried he wouldn't be taken seriously or would be speaking from a position of no authority. When we discussed it some more however, it turns out he's frequented alot of rough nightclubs for many years. The conclusion was that he'd seen lots and lots of fights brewing, had avoided lots of situations with verbal and posturing. Had left clubs before trouble started (very big thing to do in my opinion).
    So when he now teaches self protection and focuses on the awareness and avoidance strategies, he's doing that from a position of many many past successes.

    Just depends which appraoch you want to take I guess.

    ;-)

    Guest
    Guest

    Re: Million Dollar Question

    Post by Guest on Tue Oct 28, 2008 1:17 pm

    Hey Michael

    Not a lot I can add to what the fine gentleman have already said.
    apart from I echo their sentiments. You do not have to have had hundreds of fights in order to know what happens. Every scenario is different that we know. However training in a gym or dojo is one thing, but unless we are tested in there then it is not going to go to plan should shit and fan meet on the street.

    Many people who train in MA, traditional or not do it for health benefits and as a way of building confidence and of course to be able to defend themselves should the need arise. However without ever being in some sort of confrontation whether it be verbal or physical they will not be prepared for what will happen to their body under the stress.

    I lived in a rough area growing up, had my fair share of fights and arguments and verbal abuse etc, even into adulthood. For me it makes it easier to know what I am going to do with a student or someone who just wants advice having been there seen it, and been on the receiving end when it all goes bad.

    As Al said, self defence works in many ways, as he just quoted about his student. just depends how its passed on.

    Craig

    Dave Turton

    Posts : 162
    Join date : 2008-06-15

    Re: Million Dollar Question

    Post by Dave Turton on Tue Oct 28, 2008 3:45 pm

    I would have to sit on the fence a bit and say a tentative NO.. it certainly helps, but as long as there is someone in your 'group' who has then again as long as the correct principles etc are taught I dont think it's necessary..

    Because by saying YES.. does that mean you should have had first hand experience at EVERYTHING, from, grabbing, punching, knives, sticks, guns, gangs, drugged up attackers, drunken attackers, big ones, little ones skilled ones, brawlers, in every scenario from, in your car, in a phone box, with your granny, with your kid in a push chair, outsid ein the snow or rain, etc etc etc, ad infenitum

    NO ONE can possibly have had practical experience in EVERY scenario, so therefore do we have instructors who can ONLY teach against Drunks in Night Clubs, others who can only teach from cars and so on..

    of course not, all practical experience REALLY gives is the emotional, mental, and 'fear' side of thing... do the armed forces ONLY use instructors who have actually been in combat?? NO

    They use other's experiences and teach the correct methods

    so I would have to say NO, but it helps.


    Last edited by Dave Turton on Tue Oct 28, 2008 3:47 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : grammar)

    geordiedave

    Posts : 53
    Join date : 2008-09-14
    Location : Geordieland

    Re: Million Dollar Question

    Post by geordiedave on Tue Oct 28, 2008 6:02 pm

    Well put Dave , I agree with what your saying. I'm not a instructor but I am a "coach" at work where I have to instruct and coach people, be it from a new entrant or a new piece of equipment and what I've learnt is that you everyone wants assurance that they've got it right when you instruct or show them something new.The way I look at it is a bit like someone lifting weights, they see all these bodybuilding routines in "Flex","Muscle and Fitness", etc and they think this is what they have to do to get that type of physique.Yet anyone will tell you it is the basic exercises that work and none of the fancy stuff, and I see this in self-protection.You don't need to have rolled the pavement dozens of times, sure you may learn something from past encounters but as Dave Turton points out what if you haven't had a brawl with say someone with a knife.
    avatar
    Al Peasland
    Admin

    Posts : 1051
    Join date : 2008-06-15
    Location : Northampton

    Re: Million Dollar Question

    Post by Al Peasland on Tue Oct 28, 2008 6:48 pm

    I think Dave and I have said the same thing but from the opposite direction.

    I said, YES, it does help but having had fights doesn't necessarily mean you are a good self protection instructor
    Dave is saying No, it's not essential but it does help.

    I absolutely agree that it's not possible to have real life, first hand experience in every conceivable situation. But if we all agree that the simple stuff is what works the best, then you don't have to have lived through every possible scenario to have worked the simple stuff at least once for real with all the "real" side effects that go with it, adrenalin, pure fear, panic, real pain, etc etc

    There is no substitute for real experience, but that is not to say you have to have had it in order to be able to teach the basics of self protection.

    All I would say to any instructor is to be honest with your students.
    I teach stuff I have personally worked for myself, for real.
    Stuff my friends have worked for real but that I have never used.
    And stuff that I simply enjoy, that may have no "real" application at all.
    But whatever I teach I make sure they understand the background knowledge I have of it, and it's practicality.

    So if I am ever asked "Have I used this knife defence for real?"
    I will honestly answer "No, but I did run away after I got whacked by a guy with a machette once, and if you want to know how scared I was that night - lets talk"

    So, I guess my summary is this.

    No, it's not required to teach the physical techniques of self protection - providing you have learned them yourself from a source that has proven them to be effective

    No, it's not necessarily required to teach the metaphysical aspects of self-protection, the fear, the adrenal dumps, etc. This can all be learned from text books or other instructors and passed on.

    YES, it is required the moment you want to honestly tell your students how real life events will feel from first hand experience.
    avatar
    Les Turpin

    Posts : 282
    Join date : 2008-06-24
    Age : 50
    Location : aveley

    Re: Million Dollar Question

    Post by Les Turpin on Tue Oct 28, 2008 10:30 pm

    i have only had a handfull of fights in my life. i have had more confrontations which never went physical that i have learned from. its the affects they have had on my body i find i learnt the most from

    i know people that have had less confrontations than me but are excellent teachers and are able to get there knowledge about SP across brilliantly. i also know people that have had loads of fights that could not teach a thing.

    let me throw this question out there...

    Does someone have to have been raped to teach rape prevention?
    avatar
    Michael W Wright

    Posts : 128
    Join date : 2008-08-04
    Location : Glasgow/London

    Re: Million Dollar Question

    Post by Michael W Wright on Wed Oct 29, 2008 2:40 am

    Your first point is a very important one Les. When I said experience of Self Protection, notice I didn't say fights. The fact that you have had far more encounters that haven't gone physical, tells me you are good at Self Protection. I would want to learn from you, how you handled those situations so they didn't get physical, and in that sense it would still be your real life encounters I want to gain from.

    A guy who has had hundreds of fights, and virtually no encounters that haven't turned physical, is probably a dick, a bully, and someone I would never want to learn from. Thats not good self protection. Its like the guy who walked up to one of my teachers Rick Faye at a seminar and said "you know, I have faced a knife nine times". So, nine different people have seen fit to pull a knife on this guy, and he thought thats something Rick was going to be impressed by? That doesn't tell me anything about him as a fighter, it just tells me he must be a complete tool.

    I hope that makes sense, I got punched a lot tonight. drunken
    avatar
    Peter Skillen

    Posts : 612
    Join date : 2008-06-16
    Location : Loughborough

    Re: Million Dollar Question

    Post by Peter Skillen on Wed Oct 29, 2008 3:49 am

    Great points all round. I think that steve morrises saying "the fight is my teacher" is a great statement. The fight being the pre fight build up, the physical encounter aka actual fight, and the aftermath are all things in my opinion that are taught better if first hand expearience of them has been gained. I also agree that there are some fantastic coaches out there that teach technical skills.
    You can wear all the protection gear and fight as many times as you like in the gym but when it comes to the real deal on the street without the big helmets or the gloves or the coach to call time, when the person you are fighting doesnt stop when you tap or let you try that move again it's a whole new ball game.
    There are people out there that are the very best teachers because they have made mistakes and because of them are no longer pricks or bullys (or never were in the first place just labled that way) because they have learnt that violence isnt the answer and they know why from vast expearience. I myself wouldnt want to learn something that hasnt in some form or another been proven to work in the areana it's ment to.

    As for the anti rape teachings yes you can teach them, but can you tell the student honestly what it feels like...

    Every mistake teaches us something
    avatar
    Joe Hubbard

    Posts : 95
    Join date : 2008-08-20
    Location : London

    Re: Million Dollar Question

    Post by Joe Hubbard on Wed Oct 29, 2008 8:27 am

    Great post by Dave Turton! This subject is really based on a continuum of what is defined by Real Life Experiences. Many of these experiences are based on occupational hazards, such as the security industry. What are a Doorman's experiences are compared to a Police Officer; what are a security officers experience are compared to a Soldier? Was your real life experience a life or death experience or was it a pushing match outside of a nightclub? Right now we have soldiers who are bouncing back from so many tours that they have more experience in their early twenties for house to house room entry assaults than most seasoned veteran SWAT and CO-19 officers. You cant beat experience as I keep telling all of the Obama supporters out there, but lets all start asking, what exactly is that real life experience people are claiming to have?

    Out

    Joe

    Dave Turton

    Posts : 162
    Join date : 2008-06-15

    Re: Million Dollar Question

    Post by Dave Turton on Wed Oct 29, 2008 11:07 am

    Fair points Joe...

    OK let me throw a bit of my OWN personal experience here..

    I am known (hopefully) as a self-protection/self-defence instructor and head of a national self-defence organisation .. I have been involved for 45plus years..

    however, as far as 'practical experience' goes..

    1. Brought up on a very rough council estate in north manchester, bullied a bit at school, took up boxing and wrestling to combat the school bullying.
    2. As a youth was in a 'gang' for a couple of years (we were 'Rockers' Ha Ha) and got in a few gang fights. (not many about 3 but told our 'peers' it was fifty or so )
    3. nothing then until a short spell 'on the doors', but few 'fights' lots of bundling people out and the odd couple of guys who needed a bit more persuasion
    4. 3 encounters of which 2 turned 'physical' from 1988 -2008. ( 1 per decade)
    5. trained lots of doormen, minders BG's etc etc.. all of who had their 'tales & eperiences' which I studied and questioned them about..

    my best 3 top students at the moment are still working the doors and we discuss events etc from every angle.

    now does the above 'qualify' me to teach self-defence, and more importantly, does it then (by proxy) qualify my students who have become instructors who have NO practical experience..

    Peter, your brother John has loads of expeience in 'real' situations, more than yourself, if you dont mind me saying, yet using your 'lesser' experience, PLUS any 'tips' etc you have had from John makes you no less of a good instructor does it?

    The 'Rape' question is a two edged sword, in that I run a specific instructors course for anti-rape, and of the many females I have had on it the vast majority have an almost in-built instinctive fear of rape, thus are more than happy to learn to 'combat' that possible experience based on theri perceptions and fears, and the ones who (sadly) HAVE been the victims of rape or attempted rape can pass on THEIR emotive contents for use in my teachings.. I have used the females OWN perceptions, fears and experiences as the basis for my anti-rape courses, and the feed-back from the females themselves has been very encouraging indeed..

    so because I personally cannot nor have been a female victim of rape or attempted rape, does that make me less of an instructor ????
    avatar
    Les Turpin

    Posts : 282
    Join date : 2008-06-24
    Age : 50
    Location : aveley

    Re: Million Dollar Question

    Post by Les Turpin on Wed Oct 29, 2008 5:53 pm

    so because I personally cannot nor have been a female victim of rape or attempted rape, does that make me less of an instructor ????

    i dont think it does make you less of an instructor Dave, thats why i put the question up, to see responses. through your other experiences and learning of other situations you can adapt your teachings to suit. it makes you a good instructor.

    and another point you made...

    if for example you have had a lot of experience and have been teaching someone self defence for 15yrs but, they have never been involved in a real fight...do you go on to give them instructorship in your system. i would say yes because it is not the sort of thing that is past on lightly....or shouldn't be.

    Dave Turton

    Posts : 162
    Join date : 2008-06-15

    Re: Million Dollar Question

    Post by Dave Turton on Wed Oct 29, 2008 6:01 pm

    I agree Les, and of course my input on here is also there to see what responses come.
    To take it a tad more of a tangent and maybe also just a tad 'sillier'. the Sealed Knot Society and the Royal Armouries in Leeds both re-enact past battles and combat methods .. they are based on research and other people's experience, in some cases over 2000 years old. Now do we say they have no rights to teach these methods given that unless you believe in reincarnation, there is no way you can have had genuine experience of them.
    Yet I for one accept their methodology based on their research and training, as perfectly valid
    avatar
    Nick

    Posts : 44
    Join date : 2008-06-21
    Age : 45
    Location : Sydney Aust

    Re: Million Dollar Question

    Post by Nick on Wed Oct 29, 2008 7:57 pm

    Great topic & answers gents.
    avatar
    Peter Skillen

    Posts : 612
    Join date : 2008-06-16
    Location : Loughborough

    Re: Million Dollar Question

    Post by Peter Skillen on Wed Oct 29, 2008 10:04 pm

    I believe that if you took two instructors with the same coaching and delivery skills but one with real world expearience and one without teaching the same subject the one with the real world expearience would give you a better knowledge of what to expect when had to execute the subject being taught in the real world.

    Dave; john does have more real world expearience than me but they are not the same expeariences.
    I have personally seen him have hundreds of confrontations/fights/altercations in his younger/former life and also deal with very volatile situations using his fantastic negotiation skills he has fine tuned from his vast expeariences. Some of these skills he has pasted onto me, which i thank him greatly for. I have since used them and gained my own expeariences in real world through altercations/fights/confrontations. They have served me well and have saved my life in the past.
    But why did i listen to him? Because i knew they where tried and tested , I knew that when and how he told me the confrontations etc would go down he was speaking from expearience, I know this for sure because i was present many of the times it was in the real world. I learnt the skills from watching them happen in a live situation. Not in the gym/dojo i mean in the club outside my front door,in the street,on the park, gang battles etc etc etc.

    I have been in hundreds of real world conrontations and know how and why the techniques i have used to survive work but my expeariences are didifferent.

    If i was to recomend an instructor to go to, to learn to be one of the best deliverers of fighting techniques, a master at getting over information It would be DAVE T, but if i had to recomend someone with real world expeariences to put across what its like to fight for your life under pressure in the real world it would be my brother JOHN SKILLEN. I would, and not because hes my brother rather because of his expearience, put him higher on the ladder than GEOFF THOMPSON.
    If i wanted real world expearience about knife attack i would go to EDDIE QUIN. If i wanted to learn millitery tactics i would go to BOB SPOUR /DENNIS MARTIN/ MICK COUP If i wanted to be a great bodygaurd i would go to PETER CONSTERDINE, If i wanted to understand myself and learn about tenacity and integraty i would got to GEOFF THOMPSON. WHY?
    Real world expearience in my book you can not beat it.
    avatar
    Les Turpin

    Posts : 282
    Join date : 2008-06-24
    Age : 50
    Location : aveley

    Re: Million Dollar Question

    Post by Les Turpin on Wed Oct 29, 2008 10:50 pm

    so how can people like myself, who have had only a handful of altercations feel confident in passing on the knowledge we have spent years training in? am i lucky enough to have had a few fights then to experience the trauma and validate what i may teach? ( i do not teach by the way)

    we are all on here passing on knowledge, a lot of you bring people up through the ranks and then on to teach the system you taught, the student may never have got into any 'real world' situations. we all make training as realistic as possible but are you saying its still not good enough.?
    avatar
    Peter Skillen

    Posts : 612
    Join date : 2008-06-16
    Location : Loughborough

    Re: Million Dollar Question

    Post by Peter Skillen on Thu Oct 30, 2008 12:18 am

    Hi Les, i am am not saying that you cant teach some one without the real world expearience I am saying that the people with it can teach how it feels better than someone who hasnt the expearience.

    lets say you have one million pounds to build your dream home. Do you ask the builder that has just come out of college to do it or the builder that has already built a hundred one million pound houses ?

    I would also like to add that just because someone has very little or no real world expearience it by no means they arent any good at what they teach. I gaurauntee though that when they have done what they teach for real, the way they teach it will be different from before the real world expereance.

    Dave Turton

    Posts : 162
    Join date : 2008-06-15

    Re: Million Dollar Question

    Post by Dave Turton on Thu Oct 30, 2008 10:30 am

    Hi Peter

    (Aint this turning out to be a good topic with well presented points)

    OK let me give you probable ..

    I agree totally what you say about your John.. now suppose he had emigrated to Australia, BEFORE you had the opportunity to learn from his experiences.... then after say four years a guy came over recommended by your John who had trained hard and regularly 3 times a week with your brother, and whom your kid said was his best student.

    the student has had NO real life experiences, but has been taught by your brother who has..... would this chap be a valid instructor in your John's methods or not, and would you encourage YOUR students to learn from him... I know I would..

    thank you for comments regarding myself .. humbled to read them, and for everyone reading, I rate John Skillen very very highly myself.. if you get the chance to train with him .. take it
    avatar
    Dave Stanswood

    Posts : 82
    Join date : 2008-06-16
    Age : 46
    Location : Portsmouth

    Re: Million Dollar Question

    Post by Dave Stanswood on Thu Oct 30, 2008 12:18 pm

    This is a good topic with some great to'ing and fro'ing. From my humble experience some of the best instructors i have trained with have not had loads of altercations in the real world but have been excellent communicators. Enabling the student to grasp and train the material in a timely and well orchestrated fashion. On the other hand i have met some serious scrappers with an uncanny ability to overwhelm and destroy most people who cannot teach or passon how they can do this to students. Having someone who can do both is very rare indeed. And i think you cannot teach 100% what it feels like to be in these situations as we all react differently and what worked for them may not work for you. A good teacher should give you his best and teach you to follow your own path. People like John Skillen, Dave Turton etc should be treasured because they can do both but they are a rare breed which makes them inspiring for us.

    Good topic
    Dave
    avatar
    Peter Skillen

    Posts : 612
    Join date : 2008-06-16
    Location : Loughborough

    Re: Million Dollar Question

    Post by Peter Skillen on Thu Oct 30, 2008 12:22 pm

    yes i would dave but if they had a choice between john and the student john would be first choice because of the real expeariences.

    I expearienced this first hand in fact with you and chris. chris' delivery was second to only one you and you taught him. His delivery was interspersed with fantastic analygies and explainations but they where mostly yours. Like dave t but not dave t if you get my meaning.

    My main point dave is you can teach it but you cannot get across how it feels until you have done it.
    Astronughts go on a virtual space flights to train but one anstronught said on a recent documentry i watched put that when he actually did it for real he felt like he had touched the face of god.... What an expearience diffrence.

    Ps.
    as soon as i get some transport i will get up to see you dave.
    As always much repsect
    peter
    avatar
    Stuart Rider

    Posts : 254
    Join date : 2008-06-15
    Age : 45
    Location : Dunfermline, Fife

    Re: Million Dollar Question

    Post by Stuart Rider on Thu Oct 30, 2008 2:20 pm

    Certainly is a great topic going on here.

    I can understand from where both Dave T. and Peter are coming from and think both are right. Given the opportunity it is always better to go someone with first hand experience (as Richard Dimitri says, ask the experience not the learned) but i don't feel it is absolutley essential to have been involved in loads of confrontations / altercations to be able to teach SP. But if you are going to teach be honest to your students.

    I will use myself as an example;

    I have had very few fights on the street and openly admit this. I don't talk myself up to my students or anybody who attends the courses i teach on. I've never worked the doors and so don't have half the experience of most of you guys on here. Does this make me a poor instructor for it? No i don't think it does. Why, because i have tried to train under the people who have the experiences and i research as much as i can, be it from books, articles, dvds or interviews with instructors such as, Geoff T. Dave T. Peter C, etc etc the list can go on, we all know who the good guys are. But i also read and watch interviews with victims of crimes, talk to police officers and friends who have been on the front line so to speak. By gaining as much insight as possible helps me to understand how different people have felt.

    This is what i feel helps me be a good instructor. Also getting to know your students, get them to open up about their personal experiences and recollect how they felt during a situation when they were scared. If they have never been in a situation such as a fight then get them to think about something else where they may have been scared, something as everyday like visiting the dentist or giving a speech, something they can understand on a personal level.

    Anyway, think i have digressed a bit here but to summarise.

    Do i think it is vital to have been involved in hundreds of confrontations to be a good SP Instructor - No.

    Would it be better to train with an instructor who has been involved in hundreds - Yes but it is not always viable. So in that situation do as much research as possible.
    avatar
    Stuart Rider

    Posts : 254
    Join date : 2008-06-15
    Age : 45
    Location : Dunfermline, Fife

    Re: Million Dollar Question

    Post by Stuart Rider on Thu Oct 30, 2008 2:28 pm

    Playing devils advocate here a minute,
    When teaching self protection are we not trying to teach our students how to avoid a confrontation?
    So who actually makes the best SP instructor, one who has had very few fights as they have avoided, escaped, used awareness, de-escalated a confrontation etc etc or one who has had hundreds of fights?
    avatar
    Al Peasland
    Admin

    Posts : 1051
    Join date : 2008-06-15
    Location : Northampton

    Re: Million Dollar Question

    Post by Al Peasland on Thu Oct 30, 2008 3:32 pm

    Absolutely agree with you Stuart.

    Thats why I made the point of saying that having had lots of fights doesn't necessarily mean you are a good SP instructor.

    For me, it's all about honesty.
    So, if I want to be able to teach my student how it feels to be in a real confrontation, whether that be one that has gone to physical or other situations that I have managed to de-escalate or even avoid altogether, having been there myself means I have something real that I can draw from.
    It's equally as good to draw from experiences handed down to us from other instructors - providing we are honest with our students where this information has come from.

    Sponsored content

    Re: Million Dollar Question

    Post by Sponsored content


      Current date/time is Sun Dec 17, 2017 9:13 am