In a self-defense / protection scenario, reality is not going to adjust to fit your system of choice, it is the system that must adjust to reality.
When I first started training in martial arts, I naively thought that the techniques I was learning would be the end all be all in a violent encounter in which I would have to use them. After all, that’s what the movies tell us, that’s what the “masters” tell us, why would I question that right?
Then came reality, and I had to put this to the test. Guess what I found out, the person attacking you doesn’t understand that they are suppose to punch a certain way, they didn’t know how to properly attack me (darn them) so that the technique would work, guess what else I found out, there are no do overs, whatever they send your way is what you have to work with.
Wait, what? If they don’t attack me right, I can’t just explain to them how they need to attack or else I won’t be able to defend myself? Yup, you got it, they don’t care! And this is why we see martial artists loose fight to street thugs. They can’t adapt, they try to remain rigid to a specific technique and when it doesn’t work, they keep trying over and over to make it work instead of falling back on principles instead of technique.
Yes you have to learn techniques, but these are simply sequences that teach you principles, which is an most important point to remember. Techniques show you how to use body mechanics, power generation, coordination, targeting, etc. If the stars line up perfectly, and luck is on your side, your technique will happen just as rehearsed, but it’s violence which tends to be dynamic, ugly, and aggressive, you cannot rely on one technique to save you.
Fighting is simply problem solving. Whatever problem is handed to you, you must solve it with the skills you have developed through training that includes drills that show you how to think, not what to think. This is where you begin to understand how to adjust or should I say adapt the system you are training in to the situation. In a violent encounter, be it emotional, verbal, or physical everything is situational, You adapt what you have learned to fit the situation. We don’t just train for physical altercations, even though that’s what we primarily prepare for, because violence can also be done to you on an emotional or verbal level as well as physical. The principle remains; problem solve.
Remember; Your Life Your Choice, How You Train Matters.