The Problem with Traditional Self- Defense Education; Tips from Tim Larkin
The other day I was having a conversation with my son.
He graduated from college about 2 years ago and he said something that stuck with me…
He told me that he has learned more from his work than he did in college. This is coming from a kid who had a 3.8 GPA in college.
You see most people think they need to go to school, get a degree, and use that degree to be successful.
That not the case though for most people…
Maybe a doctor or lawyer you need a degree to be successful…but for the average person…you simply don’t need it.
In order to be successful… you need experience.
And when it comes to self-defense, I say this at every seminar I teach…
“Book learning doesn’t mean anything if you can’t actually get out on the mats and do it.”
The key phrase there is “get out on the mats and do it.”
And it couldn’t be more true!
It won’t be about what you’ve read, watched or listened to…
It won’t be what you’ve thought or talked about…
It won’t be dynamics or fitness work…
When you are in a violent encounter… your life will depend solely on what you have physically done on the mats.
You already know that getting a reaction partner and hitting the mats is important, but did you know it’s so important as to be the only thing that matters?
This singular importance hit me today as I was thinking about teaching, and I realized that the bulk of what I know came as a side effect of my mat time.
No one taught me the things in the SourceBook or the Joint Breaking manual…
What I learned were the base principles…the gist of which can be summed up in less than a page.
The rest of my knowledge comes from implementing the base principles on another human body in real-time. Everything I know is just memories of mat time.
Videos and manuals inform the physical training spectrum; the training spectrum (dynamics and coordination sets) is there only to inform your mat time.
From the very beginning, everything is a pointer for your time on the mats.
Another way to look at it: there’s getting ready to work and then there’s doing the work.
Hitting the mats is doing the work.
Everything else is just getting ready.
By getting ready and then doing… you create a complete training system that will allow you to experience the highest-grade violence possible.
Doing nothing but getting ready all the time means you’re not doing any work.
Doing the work without getting ready is fine… though a little on the rough side.
And when your life’s on the line all you will have is what you’ve physically done.
Your performance won’t be about how much you got ready. It’ll be about how much you did.
All I’m doing whenever I teach is reporting on what I’ve experienced on the mats. Anything I tell you is a distillation of subjective, physical experience.
Most of what I know is of very little use to you; most of what I know applies to only me, and how I have to move to get stuff done.
What little I know I share freely in the hopes that it will improve your performance on the mats and give you the keys to unlocking your potential so you can end up knowing what I know — but for you, and you alone.
For that to happen, you have to do the work. You have to hit the mats with another human body.
Everything we say and do is to improve the quality of your mat time. So read, listen, watch, think, talk, do your dynamics and fitness work. Then get your ass on the mats and make it all mean something.
In short…experience is everything.