What is Reality Based Training?

Posted: October 19, 2014 by Tony Hardy in Combat Mindset, Philosophy of Survival

There seems to be some confusion regarding the notion of “reality based training”…

Too often I hear about stories of “real training” that involves students getting beaten up or injured, now don’t get me wrong, I think there is a time and place for some good hard sparring, and whether this is your preferred level of intensity or if you use it as a gauge to test your own response to the situation, this is not reality based training, at best, it is a possible tool in the arsenal of reality based training…

Reality based training, and of course teaching, is focused on presenting techniques and trained responses that will work when it is needed… usually this is when adrenaline has started coursing through your veins!

Your body has a natural freeze, flight or flight (in that order), this is a limbic response that you have no control over once it kicks in… when it kicks in may vary from person to person, but, once the limbic system activates it you are on the roller coaster and cannot get off!

What many combat systems tend to forget or avoid is the fact that once adrenaline starts doing what it is designed to do  (called the Adrenaline Stress Response or ASR), which is to prepare the body for an encounter by getting the heart rate up, providing the chemical reactions to allow for our survival, what is most important to be aware of is that the main responses it enables us to perform are gross motor movements (just look at the animal kingdom, the same limbic system exists there, animals either freeze to blend in and camouflage themselves, or prepare to flee or charge… none of these require fine motor skills, just gross motor movement), the first thing we lose is fine motor skill, and this is the main issue… inside the training hall we are in a fairly comfortable state of mind, sometimes under a little pressure, but not really fearing for our lives, so, any techniques we learn that require too much of an exact execution (e.g. a very specific pressure point that needs to be struck by a single finger/knuckle, or, a finger lock required to throw or incapacitate the opponent) becomes a liability as this just isn’t an option by the time the ASR has kicked in.

Always put yourself in a fight or flight space mentally and ask yourself if you will actually be able to execute the technique being taught…

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Keep it real!

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