View Full Version : Some thoughts on "Lethal" Training.

2/24/2004 3:32am,
I'm just going to muse out loud for a second. I ask your pardon for this abuse of my fellow Bullshidoers.

I'm aware of claims by many martial arts and system to be lethal and teach lethal skills. I have no doubts that some of these are legit and others are certainly not.

I believe that most of the "lethal" H2H techniques/skills that are in fact lethal (in a dependable way) are attacks to the neck/throat area. I have heard of people dying from punches to the head and body but I haven't seen any evidence that these attacks are dependable to that end. What I mean is I know a RNC can kill someone if held for a certain period of time. But I don't of a strike to the head that works as dependablely as the RNC. Does anyone know differently?

The other problems beside the issue of the dependability of "lethal skills" are the problems of development, practice and actual ability.

First, the problems of practice: It is impossible to practice legally or ethically practice lethal techniques (ones that don't opperate on pain prior to permanent damage) to completion. However, one can practice the setup positions and partial execution. This can be done at first slowly then eventually quickly however this requires a great deal of control.

However, the degree of control of the environment during "lethal" practice is greater than that of "sport" technique. This is true because of during full contact training two way momentum is created. Your opponent resists fully while you attack. You may be in perfect control of what you are doing but you can't be in perfect control of what your opponent is doing.

This is the problem that results: I decide to try a neck break and stop just before its to late but what if my train partner while trying to fully resist finishes the movement for me. Question: What happens? Answer: He dies which we can't allow during training.

There are only two ways to solve this problem. The first is to train with a less than fully resisting opponent. But this would make the value of the practice decrease. The other solution creates what I call the problem of development.

The problems of development: The only way I can now avoid killing my partner is create a set of skills that require I control my opponents movement to such a degree that he can't make movements that could get himself killed. First, creating such a skill set would seem to be a hard task to accomplish and a harder task to teach such a skill set. Second, this degree of control would seem to limit the number of options of your "kill set." Most lethal skills couldn't used because you couldn't train them safely.

The last problem is the problem of actual ability. Since the degree of control and the degree resistance seem to opposing forces we are stuck with two problems. The training methods for these techniques require such technical precision that I question the ability of the average student of such skills would be able to use them when needed or a degree of hostile control that is unlikely to occur in a real fight despite the student's skill level.

In closing, let me stress that I think "lethal" techniques can be learned. But the ones with the highest chance of success are ones that opperate on pain prior to the critical moment. In other words, a submission. But damn it, the sports guys already do those techniques. :D