Only a handful of my friends have actually tried one of my sessions in the 25 years I have been teaching martial arts. Now to be honest I never push it with them as that’s just how I am. The reasons for people choosing not to do a martial art are varied but one thing that keeps coming up is the fighting and striking each other. Most people do not want to hit another person or be hit themselves.

Within intelligent training, you should find it to be controlled, progressive and mutual thus providing a solid safety element to the training. To explain this, think of each exercise having a flaw. The flaws are numerous but one of the common ones is distance. With double stick drills for example distance is used so that the striking is done stick to stick rather than stick to hand or arm. The purpose of this drill is coordination, accuracy, timing and speed not defanging (disarming) your training partner.

All that being said, I have been smacked on the knuckles many times because mistakes happen and we are human. If your system and coaches are good, serious injury should be few and far between.

1 Comment

Laitha · 18 November 2022 at 8:35 pm

OK lol here goes…So i have mixed feelings on this subject. On the one hand I have always believed that if your learning any martial art you have to be prepared and able to accept a certain amount of contact, both giving and receiving. I’m not talking about injuring people or allowing them to hurt you, control should always be there but at the same time you can’t always cry and complain if someone gives you a light touch or a few seconds of pain while you are practising your techniques with them. After all, it is martial arts you are learning, the ultimate goal surely is to be able to defend yourself in a dangerous situation and not freeze up. How can you expect to be able to do this if you’ve never experienced being hit or hitting someone? Traditional martial arts training was extremely tough and often involved students having to endure quite a lot of pain as part of their training, I myself coming from a kickboxing background had to spar with all grades even as a complete beginner, you either swallowed your fear and tried your best or you left, there was no room for anything else. In Thailand for example the Muay Thai training is brutal, even for young children!
Having said all that, I do also feel that the ‘do or die’ type of dojos are not as inclusive as they should be. Martial arts should be open to everyone, all ages, all fitness levels and all mindsets. I feel its so important for women especially but the majority of girls and women are not going to be comfortable with aggressive training and being hit etc, they usually need to be gradually introduced to it and their confidence slowly built up or most of them will just leave without giving it a proper chance. This also applies to some men also and definitely for most kids. So to summarise, I would say that beginners to any style should choose their dojo and their teacher wisely and in line with their own personal needs and learning goals as everyone is so different, one man’s meat is another’s poison!

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