You can either see it coming or you can't, and by then it's too late. That's the true nature of street violence. It's over in seconds and let's hope it's not you lying on the ground unconscious. There are two ways to perceive an attacking stimulus: by sight, meaning you can see the attack, and by touch, meaning you can feel the attack. That's why most martial arts have a major flaw in their training programs. They almost always teach you how to fight only when you can see the attack. But that's not the way it is in real life. Can you really see an attack coming as you walk down the street?
Fights can be broken down into two categories: fights where you can see your attacker and fights where you can't. As we compare and contrast, ask yourself honestly what you want our of your self-defense training.
Fights where you can see your attacker occur both in tournament fights and real-life fights. However, it happens more often in sport. Sports take place in brightly lit gyms, stadiums, rings, or cages and are done for entertainment. Sports match two opponents of equal skill and experience and the goal is to win the match. Because sports are shows, fighters must be able to see, the referee must be able to see, and the audience must be able to see. The environment must be well-lit and bright. But fighting in sport is not realistic, according the definition of street fighting. Unfortunately, most people can't tell the difference and don't understand. How can I prove this? Let's say a tournament fight is happening. Now turn off the lights so the visibility is poor. What happens? Both fighters don't have a clue what to do when they can't see. Their skills rely only on vision. Once vision is gone, they can't fight.
Fights that happen in real life involve darkness, aggression, and surprise. It's all part of the predator - prey relationship. In real life, fights aren't tests of skill or demonstrations. They are about the predator taking advantage of easy prey. Now put yourself in the mindset of a predator. How would you ambush? You use the darkness. You use low visibility. You hide yourself until the last second. You try to use the element of surprise. You find prey that looks easy and weak and isn't paying attention. And that's the key phrase: he/she won't see me coming until it's too late. There is no fairness, equality, or even matches. The fight is all in the favor of the predator. Now as a predator, do you really think you're going to ambush your victim by using kickboxing? Or boxing? Or jiu jitsu? If you're a serial killer, what purpose would it serve you to go to the ground and stay there for five minutes with your victim, knowing that people might see you. Here's the formula for a real mugging and kidnapping:
1. Wait in a dark or poorly lit environment
2. Wait for unsuspecting prey
3. Ambush prey in close-range / grab
4. Use a small, hand-held weapon like a knife or firearm
5. If you're taking the prey, knock prey unconscious and take him/her to vehicle
Notice that all the long range and medium range fighting skills will not work because the predator is already on you at close range. You don't want to go to the ground because you will lose all mobility and you're in an inferior position. The only option you have is close-quarters battle or CQB. What is the most important quality to have in CQB? Tactile sensitivity. This refers to your reaction speed and movement speed based on your physical contact with another person. The touch will teach you how to read your attacker's intentions based on pressure. The best part of sensitivity is that it becomes a reflex, where your reactions bypass the brain and go directly to the nervous system. I call this "The Hot Stove Concept."
The two best fighting systems that train tactile sensitivity are Wing Chun and Kali Escrima. Both are taught at Tandez Academy because our school excels in Close Quarters Battle. Wing Chun is taught as one of the primary arts under Jeet Kune Do (Jeet Kune Do is Bruce Lee's mixed martial arts system, designed only for street fighting). Keep in mind that we're referring to tactile sensitivity in the context of a no-rules, no referees, anything goes, and possible life-ending situation, not sport grappling arts like jiu jitsu or wrestling where crime is not allowed.
In Wing Chun and Kali, you will learn how to fight from close-range, without the need to see your attacker's movements. Instead you will feel your attackers movement and counter-attack him with your own techniques. Touch sensitivity can be trained and learned by anyone. In fact, if you have very good sensitivity, you can neutralize your attacker's strength and size. With sensitivity, instead of stopping his force and strength, you redirect or deflect it. In other words, you feel and send his force in another direction, instead of trying to stop it, which is suicide. If you research Wing Chun and Kali's Hubud-Lubud, you will find our training methods. With Wing Chun, we teach Chi Sao (Double Sticky Hands), JKD's Trapping Hands, and an abundance of Energy Drills. With Kali, we teach the use of sensitivity against weapons like the stick, knife, or gun. Later on you will be able to use sensitivity to disarm various weapon attacks.
If you're interested in learning all about Tactile Sensitivity, and want to learn Wing Chun or Kali Escrima, please sign up for our 7 Day Free Trial Pass. You can try all our classes for free, for up to 7 days. You will not find this kind of training anywhere in the San Francisco Bay Area.