You score a point and the action stops while judges decide who wins the point. Then the action resumes.
When you think about real self-defense on the street, how do you think that will go? Do you think you will just throw a punch or a kick and it will be over?
Do you think your opponent will be four or five feet away, in punching or kicking range?
Probably not. You might not even know he is going to attack until he is on top of you.
And that's why your mindset, and some of your training, needs to prepare yourself for "shock and awe."
Instead of looking at self-defense applications as this technique or that technique, part of your training really must focus on going a little crazy.
I do this on my Bob training dummy. I just start raining strikes on him, flowing as fast as I can from a punch to an elbow to a palm strike to a forearm strike to another punch.
It also helps when you get a live partner and pad up -- head gear, face masks, gloves, feet, chest protectors -- and go at it in a flowing but creative and UNORGANIZED way.
Don't stop striking. Flow around what your partner is throwing and strike him, over and over with every weapon at your disposal. Bump him. Defend and strike at the same time by taking advantage of the openings he creates when he tries to hit you.
Every time your opponent moves to strike you, he gives you an opportunity.
Too many of us think that one technique will do it, but we need to develop the mindset that our bodies will explode and rain fire and fury upon someone who intends to do us harm "on the street."
Now, I am going to be 67 years old in three weeks. I do not expect to be in a fight again in my lifetime. But it is not out of the realm of possibility. It could happen, or I could see someone being harmed and I could step in to stop it.
Make sure you don't just practice for a "one and done" situation. You should be prepared to use your art -- Taiji, Xingyi or Bagua -- in a controlled but "furious" way if the situation demands it.
But it starts with practicing the right way and having the right mindset for real self-defense.
-- by Ken Gullette
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