Thursday, 22 April 2010

One Size Fits All

Have you ever seen those t-shirts that profess to be “One Size Fits All”?
You know the ones, where the manufacturer was probably cutting costs and so to save a few pounds by carrying fewer variations in sizes, so added a little lycra to the cloth and suggested it would fit anyone.

If you’re lucky, then you will be one of the people who the size actually does fit, but for the vast majority, it will probably be either a little squeeze requiring a deep intake of breath before you don the garment, or you’ll be able to get yourself and a few of your friends in there with you.

The reason for this strange rambling though is that, however it fits, good or bad, usually, in most instances, you can actually get the stretchy clothing on, and the one size fits all analogy, whilst perhaps testing the Trading Standard’s definition of “FITS” a little, actually does apply.
So here is where I bring this back to a more sensible point.

For self-defence and self protection, we always talk about keeping it simple. The flashy jumping spinning back kicks you see in the movies simply will not work, which is why the basic, straight to the point, pre-emptive strikes should be favoured.And, when it comes to training techniques that you intend to draw upon should the need arise, I would suggest you need to apply the “One Size Fits All”, or rather the “One TECHNIQUE Fits All” rule to this strategy.

Here’s why.

If we assume we are talking about only punching as our chosen system for selecting effective pre-emptive strikes, then you ultimately have an infinite array of punching techniques, and punching angles to choose from.To keep this very simple – as a situation arises, the positioning and orientation of yourself in relation to your attacker(s) could be perfect primed for a powerful Right Hook.
Alternatively, the positioning may be more suited to a short Left Uppercut.

What this means is, you would need to train a variety of punches from this one art in order to have the appropriate technique that perfectly fits the situation.

What this also means is that, if you only have limited time to train, then your time now has to be shared amongst all of those techniques, which not only reduces your skill level growth for each specific punch, but also reduces the development of your instinctive muscle memory.Some suggest that having too many techniques in your arsenal, particularly if they are all of limited training and practise, will result in a mental logjam should the time arise where you need to select a technique in an instant.

Personally, I do agree with this theory to a point, however, in a real life situation the most important instinctive response you need to have is one that simply says fight or run away. It doesn’t really matter what techniques you choose to throw then, everything will be bolstered with a massive level of intent and determination which is what will win fights.

However, if you spend all of the time you wish to devote to “realty based” street conflict, on one or two high percentage techniques, such as Right Cross, Right Hook, Left Slap, etc, your “one technique fits all” rule then comes into play

“If you chase perfection you often catch excellence”
William Fowble

Pareto’s 80/20 rule really does play a big part in this, in that, most situations can be dealt with the same technique or a slight variation of it.If you get proficient, and I mean, world class proficient, at one technique, you stand a great chance of being able to shoe-horn that technique into any situation and make it work for you.

Now, just like the t-shirt analogy, for some situations the technique might not fit perfectly, it may be a little loose or tight, but it will still do the job.
More importantly, you will have mastered a technique that you know gives you the best chances of a successful outcome in any given situation, and this confidence will change your whole approach to the situation in the first place.

Perfecting a single technique, or in my experience, continually striving to perfect a single technique, is also a great training strategy. It breads personal discipline, self-analysis, and a change in mental attitude towards everything as you understand the value in not just doing something well, but aiming to do it perfectly every time.

Even better still, when you take a step back and look at the process you are going through in order to perfect this single technique, there are a whole host of attributes that you can translate into everything else you desire to be good at.The dedication past boredom, the intention to master, the self sacrifice, the attention to detail, are just a few of the personal attributes you will need to harness in order to move forwards on your quest to a fight stopping “fit all” technique.

Transfer these same attributes to your business, your relationship, your other hobbies, your dreams and you will start to see the same growth and improvements.

So what I am saying here is to consider the prospect of becoming a master, an expert of one thing. Whilst you may never get there, you will have picked up some very useful skills along the way to help you improve everything.And at a very base level of physical self defence, you’ll have a technique that can get you out of jail more often than not.

I’ll leave you with the quote which I think sums up this article including the need to keep self defence techniques simple

“Perfection consists not of doing extraordinary things, but in doing ordinary things exceptionally well.”
Angelique Arnauld

Stay Safe and Have Fun


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