Spar Like a Madman
A lot has been said for the usefulness of sparring, with which I agree. But as I see the real life videos, I see people either who have little training, or whose training falls apart under stress. I feel that sparring is often too controlled, too skilled.
Even Paul Vunak frankly admits that empty-handed against a knife is certain to lose (especially if the guy with the knife is Paul Vunak). Yet people survive knife attacks all the time. People on the street do not attack like Master Inosanto (Thank God).
For instance, in the Stun, Stagger, Stop video, there is a sparring session. You see Guro Balicki guaging distance, hitting with the stick in either hand, feinting, etc. Would he fight like that if his wife had just been stabbed? I am not faulting Guro Balicki here –all of us spar similarly, carefully measuring range, feinting, setting up the opponent, tighening up our strikes, maintaining cover, and so on.
I like the women’s self-defense group that has a man dressed in a big “bullet head.” Their techniques are pure crap, but the guy comes charging in screaming obscenities, and defense is all out. Maybe that’s what is needed, at some point in the training session someone is designated the madman, who charges in like a berserker.