In the post on headlocks, I posed a question regarding the overwhelming number of submissions available to a skilled grappler in that position:
Should we learn unique techniques to counter each attack?
At first glance, this might seem appropriate. Chokes, elbow locks, shoulder locks, knee locks… Surely these all require different responses, right? Many self-defense and grappling systems do just this and have very, very large catalogs of techniques to address very specific possibilities. There may even be multiple techniques for each nuanced scenario.
While there are certainly many not-to-be-named systems and instructors that teach laughable techniques that could get you killed if you attempted them, there are a greater number of martial arts that—if taught and trained well—are technically sound and proven effective. However, most all of these arts require years to develop proficiency. Even then, there’s the risk of “analysis paralysis” because you have too many techniques to choose from when you must react without hesitation under stress. [Read more…]