Practical Self-Defense, Sustainable Self-Development

Two Approaches to Martial Arts Training

Can-ryu Ju-jitsu has two distinct training approaches reflected in its curriculum. From white to orange, the emphasis is on developing an arsenal of self-defense techniques that are practical for use in real confrontation. From green belt and on, the focus of training is on techniques that develop the student’s awareness and adaptability, providing the opportunity for sustainable self-development.

The purpose of this article is to clarify the differences between these two training mindsets and their related techniques.

Practical Self-Defense

For self-defense techniques to be practical on the street, they must be easy to learn and easy to do. Complicated techniques are likely to deteriorate under conditions of extreme stress, especially for newcomers to the martial arts.

For a self-defense technique to be any way usable in a real encounter, it must take no longer than 3 minutes to teach and learn its fundamentals. This therefore places the training emphasis on techniques that use gross motor skills, like simple striking techniques to easily attainable targets with easy takedowns, which take less time for the mind and body to learn.

While the majority of martial arts teach self-defense application of one sort or another, this kind of absolute simplicity must be present in techniques that are taught early in a student’s training in order for them to have something useable should a defensive situation arise.

Sustainable Self-Development

Once a strong foundation in practical self-defense is achieved, students are introduced to a higher level of training that pushes their abilities beyond that of simple self-defense (Note: Self-defense continues to be practiced in addition to the new curriculum).

The new emphasis is on techniques requiring the use of fine motor skills and a higher level of ability, like throwing and joint manipulation. While these techniques are much less likely to be used on the street, they do offer students the opportunity to develop timing, coordination, leverage, and balance. This, in turn, increases their overall awareness and adaptability as martial artists.

Without a long-term development plan worked into a martial art’s curriculum, students can become bored and complacent in their training.

It’s All About Balance

By balancing these two key approaches in your martial art training you can both learn to defend yourself and continue your development over a lifetime.