T Nation

Mental Conditioning

How many years does it take to be able to use what you learned in the gym under panic/strees circumstances (a real street fight,assalut,etc etc) ? ?
I know it depends a lot on the training methods so those who spar for real in the gym are going to do better (boxers).

You alone know the answer to that question.

This is a big question.

Assuming, of course, we speak of reasonable techniques, no fancy swirls and jumps.

With the right mindset, a series of in-depth learnt techniques can be used right away. Theoretically.

The real question is:
What do you think, will be your reaction in certain outbreak of violence? What is your true character?
This is not a question about “real toughness or Killer Instinct”.
It goes a lot deeper.

When will you choose to run away, against two skinny guys, three, five? One sliggish junkie with a knife?
Will you fight defensively, try to “score” clean hits or do you fight like a raging bulldog, with little care about your opponent?
Will you assume the worst, ie the other guy wants to see you bleed? Or do you think a barfight is adult entertainment?

If you know the answers instinctively and from experience, you will be able to apply newlearnt techniques fairly easy because you have a basis.
Most people learn (traditional) martial arts as if they (the arts) are from space. Utterly exotic and detached.
That is the wrong way, of course, but charlatans will do little to oppose this with their pupils because it serves them well.

Interestingly enough, all brawlers and streetfighters I met in TMA knew exactly what they were after and would never bother themselves with these questions.

If you know your character and your motivations and look objectively at your repertoire, there isn’t much you can do wrong.

And one more word:
Just don’t think there is much of a “fight” when push comes to shove. Fancy technique goes immediately out the window.
You usually start with a handicap.
Can you deal with the stress of two menacing guys insulting you perhaps even hitting you first?

Why do you want to know? You plan on getting in some street fights?

Really seems to depend on the person. I’ve known people that simply don’t care about injury or harm, and they seemed to pick up stuff very quickly that was usable in a tough situation apparently because they felt little fear or pressure. Others have to overcome that fear or feeling of pressure before they can use anything. So I think it just depends.

Personality and confidence in your knowledge will determine that.

All you gotta do is watch those bas rutten self defense tapes and your good to go. DANGITY DANGITY DANG.

[quote]Horazio wrote:
How many years does it take to be able to use what you learned in the gym under panic/strees circumstances (a real street fight,assalut,etc etc) ? ?
I know it depends a lot on the training methods so those who spar for real in the gym are going to do better (boxers).
[/quote]

Well. You’re going to learn certain movement patterns that will come out when you’re put in certain situations.

You can notice the differences in people right away- the guy that wrestled in HS is going to revert right back to that. The boxer is going to blitz you with a combo. A karate guy is likely going to try to hit you with one, maybe two very hard straight blows in your midsection.

It all depends what they know and how long they did it for. The basic tenet is to get very good at very basic things so you will revert to the simplest, most effective technique even if you’ve been drinking for three hours and worked all day.

One example was I had been drinking at a party for a long time (fuck you Jameson) and a friend of mine, and I don’t remember if he was fucking around or not, hit me in mouth. It may have been accidental, it may not have been, but I felt a fist hit my teeth and just hit back because that’s what I’ve been conditioned to do. I hit him right in the chin with a right, and because it was a jab it didn’t do any real damage. However, I surprised myself that I reacted like that, and it was a decent jab for having been drinking. If he had been a person I didn’t know, that would have been a shot across the bow to stop before I followed it with a left, but because it was my friend I only did it once.

The same thing happens when people are screwing around, and try to surprise you by bear hugging you from the back when you don’t know they’re there. I’ve elbowed alot of people in the liver because that’s what I was taught to do, and I don’t really think about it.

If you’re asking how long until you’re comfortable using that amount of force, or doing that, when you know a fight is about to occur, or when you stop getting that nervous adrenaline rush… well, I don’t think that ever happens.

[quote]chitown34 wrote:
Why do you want to know? You plan on getting in some street fights?[/quote]

No,I don’t. I was just wondering.
I’m very peaceful.
I was just wondering how/if training can change your mindset

I still remember my first street fight when I was 15. This kid was trash talkin’ me, and I was pumped with adrenaline and full of fear. Out of a sudden, he hit me with a headbutt, followed by two swings I didn’t even see coming. Without any hesitation or fear I hit him in the chin with a right cross. KO. I remember this situation in a very strange way, like it wasn’t really me but my body acting self-directed, like a machine. So sometimes, if the training’s been good, your body reverts to it in an emergency situation.

EDIT: I know anecdotal evidence hasn’t much to say, but I have heard from people who practised a martial art having had similar experiences many times, and there are also some studies confirming this.

FightinIrish26 makes an excellent point. It’s not so much a thought-out response as a natural reflex. I wrestled for twelve years, and trained in Muay Thai and B.J.J. for two. When push comes to shove, it’s still my tendency to try to take someone down and control the fight on the ground even if I think I’d be fine on my feet.

You eventually become comfortable with an aspect of your training and when things become “real” you’ll devolve to the basics you know will work for you. For me these basics happen to be the throws, locks, and chokes that are used in wrestling.

Bad start. Most people that do well fighting love to fight. Myself included. I was getting in fights before I had any talent. I got my ass kicked several times. So what?
A good test of how mentally ready you are is your ability to accept a solid ass-whoopin’. Most beginners (especially karate-oriented ones) are unable to accept the merest possibility that they will not totally dominate their opponent. If you don’t give a shit about bein’ hit, you’re off to a flying start.

I knew one really crazy bastard who was just pure unbridled aggression. Three tough guys from another school decided to take him out. They followed him on his way home, cornered him in alley and got the crap beaten out of themselves. They just weren’t able to accept the reality of being hit hard. They made a fatal flaw, they mistook the will to win for the will to fight.