HOW CAN A BEGINNER DEFEND
AGAINST AN ATTACK DURING THE EARLY LEARNING STAGES?
is no doubt that detailed and slow learning can have good long term
effects. But what about if you are attacked whilst learning in your
first few months or the first year?
is a very difficult question to answer, when new beginners asks
how long does it take to become self-defence proficient. That's
because there are several important factors that makes it hard to
answer - firstly, it depends on the type of assailant, your physical
ability and your emotional state.
ability to defend against one person does not necessary mean you
can overcome another (e.g. a nutter or psycho-maniac). So it really
comes down to whom you are fighting against and what are the attackers'
may not be a comfort to the beginners or the expert, but it is the
reality. However, people train so that they could minimise the risk
of injury if violent engagement occurs. But how do the beginner
cope if attacked?
it is the training approaches and methods that will shape the
person for such conflicts. The approaches and methods vary a great
deal from school-to-school, some will advocate slow learning processes
such as learning only centreline punch for months before moving
onto another technique. While other schools will teach a new technique
dilemma is that when training is too slow it can stagnate the
student, on the other hand, if it is too quick then it affects memory
retention and lack of internal feedback. Training in one technique
is great if you include several variations and different methods
of training. The major problems of learning only one technique for
months are probably overuse injuries and mental boredom. Thus, the
beginners will not be able to achieve the initial goal of greater
3 M.A.I. students were involved in 3 separate unrelated incidents
in Croydon. They were all considered as beginners with training
period of 6-14 months; age 13yrs, 24yrs and 40yrs. All of these
were attacked, and successfully resolved the problem with simple
effective tactics and skills. However, their responses were all
different due to different situations.
1) The 13yrs old boy was attacked by a youth with a short bladed
knife in March 2002. He threw a 1-2 combination punches striking
the attacker, which gave him enough time to escape, thus, sustained
a slight scratch to the forehead.
2) The 24 yrs old man and his pregnant girlfriend were victims
of a robbery. Both practiced M.A.I. wing chun for approximately
6 months. A gang of 8 snatched the victim's handbag, and the victim's
boyfriend requested the return of the bag, thus was set upon by
the gang. They defended themselves, knocking several assailants
down with the simple turning punch, and the combination 1-2 punches.
The boyfriend was restraining one assailant and had his finger bitten
off, but both managed to overcome such high threat situation.
3) The 40 yrs old man was set upon by an enraged attacker outside
a shopping mall. The attacker lunged with a punch and the victim
blocked it, and then the victim requested the assailant to stop.
The attacker was verbally abusive, he launched another attack, and
this was intercepted by the victims step punch, which knocked the
testimonials highlights the fact that if a beginner is restricted
to learning one technique or one method or one variation for a considerable
time, then it would be very hard to adapt to the unpredictable street-fighting
situations. The most common defensive tactical approach that stopped
the assailants was 'striking'.
begs the question when instructors insist on the philosophy
of 'little and slow training' for months or years for the beginners.
How can beginners cope while in their early learning stages? Perhaps
the worse kind of answer for some masters would be that, it takes
years or even more than 10 years to become really proficient.
this is an unacceptable answer; usually the fault lies with the
inability to teach effectively. No matter what skills we learn whether
it is martial arts or football or tai chi or knitting, it should
not take many years to become proficient or to achieve the realistic
must be a logical understanding that general gross skills can
be achieved relatively quickly, and intricate skills require more
time. However, gross skills can be learned proficiently very quickly
under good guidance. Often, it is the gross skills that see you
through a street-fight situation.