DRILL 1 OVERVIEW
Mastering "Drill 1" is your first step to building a superior level of mental, spiritual, and physical fitness. The first drill provides an initial challenge to weed out the weak spirited. As the Japanese swordsman Miyamoto Musashi said, "It will be difficult at first, but everything is difficult at first" --so don't give up! The "thrust, low/high" combination, the 180 degree left turn, and the 90 degree left turn that are practiced in this first drill are challenging for most people. However, this drill gives your brain and body a "kickstart" by forcing the hands and feet to operate both together AND independently--working the part of the brain that deals with coordination--in fact, it also helps build your memory. All of our drills build coordination, balance, timing, speed, and endurance. In addition, they build up the muscles in the core with plenty of transverse range of motion. This will make you more stable, powerful, and lighting fast with your movements. Fighting is about movement and timing. A strong core is also important for forcing air during more advanced levels of training where breathing and meditation is incorporated.
As for the self-defense aspect, the thrust, low/high combination is a great way to stun an attacker and setup for follow on attacks (the thrust by itself can be devastating when delivered to various target regions). Keep in mind that all movements and strikes must become second nature before they can be applied under the stress of a real-life violent attack. These drills are designed to give you LOTS of daily practice--building your skills and your confidence. Master these basics.
WARNING: Please don't think of this as "self-defense" training just yet. Full on self-defense training is much more involved. There are currently some dangerous trends happening in "self-defense" training these days. One dangerous trend is the idea that a very brief "learn-in-a-day" or "learn-in-a-week" self-defense program or seminar is adequate training for most people. Those kinds of programs tend to instill a false sense of security. Some training is usually better than nothing--but those programs are FAR from adequate. Another dangerous trend is that there are many people out there teaching self-defense who don't fully comprehend the reality of street attacks. Those people tend to get overly focused on one single aspect of self-defense or another. Often times, they are cage fighters who cross the line into teaching self-defense for the purpose of making money. But keep in mind that self-defense and cage fighting are not one-in-the-same.
Self-defense tactics can be applied at greater distances--where the firearm is typically the primary weapon, they can be applied at what's often referred to as "intermediate range"--where "intermediate" weapons--sticks, stones, knives, broken bottles, etc., etc.--come into play, and at close range with weapons such as hands, feet, knees, shins, insteps, elbows, forearms, fingernails, fingers, teeth, etc. --and still many weapons such as knives, pens, car keys, sticks, broken bottles, etc. As the gap is closed between two people, attacks can happen in the standing position, or takedowns/fall-downs can occur and the fight proceeds on the ground. Also, there can be one attacker or there can be many. In other words, learning self-defense is not as simple as learning, say, only Jiu-Jitsu (which deals primarily with fighting on the ground and how to take the fight to the ground--very important, but only ONE PART of a much larger picture) or any other single "martial art" "style."
Most empty handed martial arts in the modern day have been adapted for use in a competitive sporting arena--a very controlled environment with many constraints. Even the "no rules" sporting events have constraints--such as confinement to the inside of a ring or cage, there are no objects lying around to use as weapons, there's only one other person in the ring, you can't attack the eyes, throat, groin, back of the head/neck, and running away is not allowed because it doesn't make for a very good spectator sport. In many ways, this creates a DANGEROUS mindset for survival on the street--and it can lead to DEATH or PERMANENT SERIOUS INJURY.
Here's a brief example where two professional MMA fighters from Brazil, confident in their skills, engaged in a street brawl with some skinny looking guys at a gas station. The two MMA fighters found themselves outnumbered and up against at least one guy who was willing to pick up a weapon--a long stick. Both fighters were hospitalized--one of them was permanently brain damaged. They are lucky, however, that the kids they were up against did not have a KILLER mindset--because they would not be alive today:
This is just one real-world example (there are thousands of examples out there--many of them caught on video) of why we say BE AWARE, WALK AWAY (RUN AWAY IF YOU HAVE TO) and PUT AS MANY OBJECTS BETWEEN YOU AND THE DANGER AS POSSIBLE. You never know who or what you're up against, and there are some very dangerous people out there. Many criminals have a killer mindset and won't hesitate to use a weapon like a gun or a knife. If you can't escape, LOOK FOR A WEAPON. A strike to the knee, shin, or neck with a broom handle is very effective and can help you to escape quickly. If you can't find a weapon, be prepared to gouge eyes, attack the throat or the groin, bite and rip with your teeth, etc.--depending on your training--and get out of there as quickly as possible because there's usually more than one attacker in a street encounter. Also, notice that street attacks rarely occur with two fighters in a "ready position." They occur when a person is unaware--often caught totally off guard. AWARENESS is an important aspect of self-defense. We will release a document noting warning signs, body language to look out for, and the primary motivators for street attacks.
As one can see, there are many aspects that need to be addressed in order to be truly proficient at self-defense. This takes time. Ultimately, we want our students to be good, responsible citizens who are trained to respond to a potential loss of life or serious bodily injury--either their own or someone else's--if they HAVE to. We are supportive of realistic training and we believe that sparring is a necessity (getting as close as possible to the real thing WITHOUT INJURY. If injuries occur, this prevents a student from continuing to train.
Again, think of this course as primarily "fitness." Self-defense comes later. If you are ever attacked or find yourself in a dangerous situation, try to escape or diffuse the situation. Put as many objects between you and the danger/attacker/attackers as possible. However, the fitness and coordination you learn here WILL carry over into other aspects of self-defense training. Also, the movements and strikes in these drills will enable you to pick up most objects and effectively wield them as self-defense weapons if you happen to find yourself in an emergency situation that requires you to take action.
SELF-DEFENSE SUPPLEMENTARY NOTES:
Note 1) Knife attacks are extremely common. If you absolutely must confront an attacker with a knife, it's better to do it armed with a longer weapon. In reality, attempting to disarm a knife attacker with your empty hands is extremely dangerous.
Note 2) A gun is not the "be all, end all" solution. Most of us don't have a gun on us at all times, and there are many self-defense scenarios where using a gun is impractical, inappropriate, or dangerous to innocent bystanders. In order to truly be safe and to keep others safe, we must know how to use a gun, an improvised/intermediate weapon (broom stick, knife, umbrella, car keys etc.), and our empty hands effectively. The Warrior Spirit training system is the fastest way to become skilled using all of these self-defense weapons.
Note 3) We teach all of our students to avoid conflict unless it is impossible to escape or if someone else needs help. In the event of an "active shooter" scenario, one has three choices 1) Run 2) Hide or barricade 3) Fight--or a combination of the three. If one absolutely has no choice but to fight, it's best to ambush a shooter from a hiding place and take him or her down quickly using an improvised weapon (assuming you don't access to a gun at the time). Gain the SKILLS and CONFIDENCE to do it effectively here.
Note 4) Proper training and skill CAN overcome size and superior numbers--and there is always hope--no matter how hopeless a situation seems--so train, train, train, and if you do find yourself in a bad situation someday, NEVER GIVE UP!
HOW TO BEGIN THE TRAINING
Begin practicing our drills slowly and smoothly with a very light stick. A broom handle approximately 5 ft long will do for most people, but the length can vary--remember, we train to use IMPROVISED weapons that are readily available in most places. Once the form is perfected, you can begin increasing the speed that you move as well as the weight of the stick for a more intense workout. Our drills can be done at a moderate pace for a longer period of time--this is a great aerobic workout. They can also be done very rapidly for a short duration. We have recorded some incredible calorie burns with heart rate monitoring equipment.
Again, keep in mind that the coordination and footwork learned here will also carry over into our "Empty Hand Self-Defense" training and will also make you better able to shoot and move effectively with a firearm. In addition, certain brain to body synaptic connections that will literally make you smarter and more coordinated are beginning to be worked. Practice this drill over and over again. Even after your NEW WORKOUT MATERIAL IS RELEASED EVERY 7 DAYS, continue to go back to these basics and practice them every time you work out.
"From knowing one thing, know 10,000 things" --Miyamoto Musashi