In order to maintain a safe training environment, practicing self-defense techniques involves a type of role-playing in which one person plays the role of the defender and one or more people play attackers. We play out the scene physically so that we can practice reacting with techniques that would theoretically be effective in a real situation. But if role-playing is the main emphasis of your training, you have to be aware of certain practices that can train bad habits that can have dangerous consequences in a real attack.
In most self-defense classes, techniques are presented and practiced assuming a 2-person scenario, one defender and one attacker. From a practical standpoint, it’s easier to learn techniques and manage a class using this general dynamic. The problem is that not all scenarios fit this dynamic. You could start with one attacker only to have their friends jump in to help. Or it could be a group attack right from the start, swarming a single person. Or you might not be alone. You could have a friend helping you out, or you could be minding a child that needs your protection. So if you only train to mentally and physically to deal with a one-on-one scenario, you might find yourself struggling when the situation is different. (more…)