[quote]Miss Parker wrote:
Miss Parker, having read your own clarification of the level of aggression with which your instructors attacked as well as some of the other posts, I think the idea behind this drill has grown on me since I first read it. Provided it is conducted responsibly and with students who are “ready” I think it would provide an invaluable learning opportunity and is probably worth the risks. It’s often frustrating (I find) trying to train for the reality of “street” violence without anyone getting seriously hurt. Simulation training is great but it only goes so far since you know that you’re in a sim hence true surprise attack is impossible and responses must always be pulled for safety.
It would be interesting to see if, over a period of time being sporadically subjected to such a drill, a person’s responses would significantly improve due to stress inoculation and/or heightened situational awareness etc, and how many reps it would take to begin to adapt. Kind of reminds me of the old Pink Panther when Kato would randomly jump out and attack Clouseau, only much less ridiculous. Thanks for sharing the idea.[/quote]
Yikes, please be careful, batman, we don’t do this with students. Only the instructors do it with each other as a game.
I actually do some sort of surprise setup in my class on occasion, but I’m extremely picky about who gets sneak attacked and how. It can’t be a survivor of violence, a cop, a prison guard, an EMT, or a soldier who’s served in the Middle East, and we have all those folks on the mat.
As I said, the instructors have only done it in public a few times. Usually its in the gym’s lobby or hallway & its something silly like Matt sneaking up behind me & tightly hooding me with his sweat soaked t-shirt & dragging me around by my head until I can fight him off. These usually last until there’s a clear winner. The reason the episode in the parking lot was worth a mention, to me anyway, was that it was more “real”, and I was surprised by my own reaction. I’m fascinated by the freeze response, and it was interesting to observe it first hand, so to speak. These public episodes tend to end very quickly because we don’t want someone to call the cops, or worse, jump in to try to help.
As far as the consequences of the repetitions, at first it definitely improved my response time. But now we’ve done it so much, I automatically assume its a friend if I’m grabbed or hit, so that’s a downside I seriously need to address.
And yeah, its very much like Kato & Clouseau :).
I will give you one drill we’ve done with students: I took them all outside & had them work non-stop on basic strikes they all knew already. When my assistant or I would hit them from behind & throw some keys into the grass at their feet they had 3 seconds to get the keys & run to the front door of the school, which was locked, unlock the door & get inside before we could attack them & drag them off. 3 seconds was too long, btw, we should have started chasing them the moment they had the keys in hand. What we learned was that almost everybody panicked & ran away if they couldn’t get inside. Nobody just stood there & fought, despite the fact that they had pointy metal keys to stick us with. I put it down to the fact that they were all level 1 students & the natural urge to flee when pursued. They “knew” they could fight, but until you experience something with your body, your brain short circuits. Now that they’ve experienced it they’re more likely to make the right choice. Btw, I know someone who was pursued this way in real life, which is why I designed the drill. She made it into her apartment in time & called the cops, fortunately.[/quote]
Thanks for the clarification Miss Parker. Don’t be alarmed I didn’t mean to imply that I was going to put this into practice, only that I saw the potential value for someone at a certain point in their training.
As to the distinction between students and instructors, I see the importance of the separation. By student I really only meant the person subject to the training exercise or in this case “Clouseau”.
Regarding the people you refrain from sneak attacking in class (cops, CO’s etc), is that primarily out of concern over PTSD issues, the possibility of an excessively violent reaction or both? Also, the “key” drill strikes me as quite valuable. It amazes me how the brain tends to default to freeze or flee for most people in stress situations, regardless of training.
A very interesting point regarding becoming “overly desensitized” and assuming an attacker is a friend. I can see how this would be something that you would want to address asap.
Thanks again for sharing your thoughts and experience. Sounds like you’re doing good stuff.