repetitive vs scenario TRAINING

October 11, 2020  

Moshe:  One concern I just thought about, is the difference between what I would call “blind follower repetitive training” wherein the student must practice exactly the same thing exactly the same way over and over and over, ad nauseum vs. scenario training wherein the student (hopefully) learns a valid concept (but not a finite process) and applies it to various situations.

Like many of us I began my martial arts training in the "Karate Kid" style; traditional dojo training, Japanese style. We lined up in rows, waited for commands to be shouted in Japanese, we wore uniforms and belts, and the entire experience was totally cool, you a part of something special, unique, an inner circle of martial arts family. 

As time went on I began to question the effectiveness of some of the training. At first I believed in the mystical abilities of everything Asian; clearly the masters had received sacred teachings from wise old masters back in the Orient, in a moment of truth the techniques would prove themselves and the student would be doing a Bruce Lee or Jackie Chan move on the evil thugs. Certainly the Karate Kid proved than any 97 pound weakling can be transformed into a super hero and beat up the local bully. 

But then I began to question this. I began to wonder about those knife attacks and knife threats, we had none of that in class. In fact the punching and kicking that we did could only cover a tiny percentage of the violent crimes that take place every day.

My personal martial arts journey has been an exciting several decades and is still in progress, there isn't one day of training that I regret, not one style that I consider without value and not one teacher whom I did not learn from. However my journey has led to our style, IKI Krav Maga, which is a holistic style, one that incorporates all possible scenarios and all ranges of fighting. 

Having given this brief introduction I would now like to address the very valid question with which we began. The question comes from a man with decades of martial arts training as well. it is a good question.

Having experienced both types of training I would say that both have great value, the question is the emphasis. The repetitive training gives one a solid foundation, this foundation is essential for later on being able to apply techniques and concepts in scenario training. One of the issues with reality training is that many are very enthusiastic and in a big hurry to get to all sorts of exciting scenario trainings but lack the basics, the foundations, which are admittedly less fun.

When I teach seminars I am limited in time, thus I naturally focus on the techniques that are more specific to Krav Maga. People don't fly me half way across the world to teach them how to punch and kick. But when I have longer training periods, such as our Tour and Train in Israel, I certainly focus on the fighting stance, the kicks, the punches, all the basics, and we have quite a bit to add in this area, even to those with a great deal of previous training. 

In Israel the foundations, the basics, are the core of our training. One way or another, whether it is the traditional Karate standing in rows, or Thai boxing hitting the pads, the student must repeat the basics until they become natural. And then the real training begins.

The scenario training, and the mental training that goes along with it, are the foundation for true self defense, for dealing with the cruelty that is unfortunately part of our world. Standing in a row and punching in the air will not help us very much when a couple of guys armed with rifles barge into our house in the middle of the night or pull us out of the car at the stop light.

With IKI Krav Maga our focus is only concepts, principles, and simple moves based on Gross Motor movements that can be applied to a variety of real life situations. 

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