I was finishing a beginners’ course last night and one of the attendees was expressing his doubts about how he will develop the necessary skills to throw punches and kicks as well as blocking attacks at the right time.
I immediately reassured him that with time and careful teaching all necessary defence and attack skills will develop like natural instincts; I also added that “you can just fight what you have seen before”. To prove this simple concept I stepped a couple of metres away from him, removed my belt, folded it 4 times and threw it toward his chest saying ”catch!”. He caught it without hesitation and smiled. I then carried on explaining; you naturally catch an object thrown at you because that’s what you have been taught since you were a kid, by playing ball games and so on.
If you train just specific techniques you will be vulnerable to attacks which you are not used to. You will be able to block and avoid kicks and punches once you have seen them coming your way, many times, and being taught how to block and avoid them from different positions and angles.
To develop good fighting skills it’s essential to train in a variety of ways, with people of different sizes and shapes. In that way each possible combination of techniques can be tested and natural reactions get developed at subconscious level, generating instinctive moves.