People often ask, what is counter violence? I reply with, “counter violence is the contextually relevant solution to the ever-widening problem of violence!” Or, in other words, Focus is a reality-based self-defense company, or RBSD. So now you’re thinking, “Ok, now that’s a little better, I think I get it. But just so I know for sure, what is reality-based self-defense, exactly? Well, most will say that RBSD simply means, “There are no rules.”, “Anything goes.” or “In a real-life situation...” But what does that mean actually? What does it mean to have no rules? Or to say, it’s for real life? It’s not as easy as you may think.
Let’s first look at it from a bigger picture. There are (TMA) traditional martial arts; such as, Tae kwon do, Hapkido, Aikido, kung fu and jujitsu where there are forms, belts, uniforms and everyone attempts to learn the language of that arts originating country. Then there is (CMA) competition martial arts; such as, Muay Tai, Brazilian Jujitsu, kickboxing, or mixed martial arts (cage fighting), where the focus is on endurance / conditioning and performance. Then there is the (RBSD) reality-based self-defense, or reality based martial arts; such as, Combatives, Jeet kune do, Krav Mega and yes Counter Violence. (There is also weapons protocol for each of the 3 different categories of material arts as well.) Here we are dealing with the realities of violence. So now, back to the original question. What does it mean when I say “reality-based” and what should my training look like?
The first defining characteristic of RBSD is, you shouldn’t know you are going to get hit. In traditional martial arts and competition martial arts, everyone knows there is a person intent on hitting them. In reality, if you are lucky enough to see the attack coming, it’s already on it’s way! This is an uneasy thing to have to accept, yet the fact remains that the violence/attacker always knows it’s going to hit you before you do. That’s the way it was said in the streets; “you know your in a fight because you just got hit!”. It means that I can get hit without even knowing anything about that person, where they come from or why they are about to hit me. (This is critical to the success of violence due to the dis-orientating nature of it.) Having to immediately orientate to violence coming at you -in less than 3 seconds or being hit or pushed first, is the most accurate portrayal of the role you play as a victim in a self-defense role. This is also the way you should train while creating scenarios or situations. Violence is intrusive
The second most important aspect of RBSD part lies in intent. Now while many people claim do be doing martial arts, there is no one who is representing a criminal, an abusive husband or replicates violence (energy or impersonation) in general. What this means is, if the person who is training with you is doing the same thing as you, then you are not replicating the situational dynamics to tie the sensory cue with the brain to develop of thoughtless response, or neural pathway. The psychological component of will needs to be understood at this moment as it is a core ingredient of intent, on both sides. After you have developed you tools and the order or progression you use them, you must progress to adding in emotional content to simulate the intent and skill of the attacker, that would be similar to the reality of that happening in real life. At this point you should really slow it down, as to match up emotional content and skill so that they are laminated through proper training. There is a difference between someone who is trying to hit you and someone trying to hurt you. Know the difference! After receiving the attacking energy for a period of time and at various speeds, you can now insert your own intention/will/emotional content. Violence has malice and definitive pressure.
The third characteristic in this French braid of reality-based training is context. Believe it or not, martial arts/self-defense/self-protection/combatives/ counter violence or whatever you call it, is almost entirely about context. Most of us are used to being told that if we take this style or that system then it will work to save your life in any situation/context. Yet, this is not true. As a matter of fact, the opposite we find to be true. How a person will be a victim is determined by the variables contained within her life patters; where she lives, if he is a boss, do they have kids, when they have kids, traveling for work, working from home, do you collect money for a living, single mom who’s a bartender… and we could go on. These variables together create ones “vicitmality” (yes, I made that up). The content of self-defense is going to be different for different people because being a victim looks differently for different people. Reality based martial arts or RBSD is the one place where context determines content. There is no way an entire system of ground fighting will be relevant to every context. Similarly, there no system entirely made up of one specific area/range/mentality, such as, only hands, only feet, only weapons. You have to train it for the appropriate place and time it as the probability of actually happening. In all of the other types of martial arts, the context is always the same, martial artists doing martial arts with other martial artists. Or, two people sharing equal space under equal circumstances. Violence is asymmetrical.
If you are thinking, mass attack, different size people weapons and on and on, you would be correct. All of these thing are a part of reality-based self-defense. But the core identifying markers can literally be stapled to the above 3. Please get into a good reality-based training system that includes the above considerations, as well as, a good conditioning platform.