Is Any Training Better Than No Training?

I had a person this week find offense with something I say quite often – Any training is better than no training. It is a statement that I am willing and prepared to defend. And so it will be our topic this week.

It is often ignored in the martial arts that a person with no training can seriously injure or kill you. Listen in on a group of martial artists as they pontificate on knife attacks (for example) and you will eventually hear someone say that a trained knife fighter would never hold a knife that way. The implication, of course, is that because the speaker is trained, the incorrect hold on the knife makes it a less effective cutting or stabbing tool, which is complete and utter nonsense. The fact is that if a person is trained in a certain style, there will be particular ways things are done, and certain methods, such as a specific way of holding a knife will be standard, and other methods are set aside. This practice is also why so many martial arts styles and systems are most effective against their own style (but that is a looooong talk for another day). But sharp things can cut you and pointy things can stab you even if the methods of implementing them are subpar.

Having said that, I need to bring up the context in which I make the comment at hand here. I do a lot of teaching to and talking with people who are afraid of the rise in terrorist attacks and other incidents of sudden violence. And my advice is always to get some training, with me or with someone else, but start training. This training will give you several benefits that outweigh any stylistic concerns.

For a start, training will give you a plan. If you have no plan at all for what to do when the bad guy comes, then you will be stuck trying to improvise. You are not John Wick or Jamie Lannister, you cannot improvise in these types of situations without at least some basic training, and even then it is a bad idea. Having a plan will give you a measure of confidence as well. And you will need that to start moving again after you are shocked that violence has come knocking.

The next point to consider; training in any method of self-defense is going to involve you getting away from your computer and on your feet and moving around. As I mentioned in Fighting Fit this is absolutely necessary to your plans for personal safety. No plan is going to work if you are not fit enough to carry it out.

And another point to think about, training gives you a chance to see if you can do what the style or school advertises. The instructor might be able to do something really fancy and impress you, but if you cannot replicate his success, then you will be able to clearly see that you need different training more suited to your specific abilities.

So while I freely admit that an untrained attacker can do serious damage and possibly even kill you, this should never be your excuse to not go through some form of training for protecting yourself and those you love. I also admit there are some really questionable martial arts schools out there, but in time you will be able to see what is real and what is not. Get started somewhere. A journey of a thousand miles and all.

I hope this helps and as always, subscriptions, likes, and shares are deeply appreciated!

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