No matter the style you train in I’m sure most of you train in doors in a gym/ sports hall or rented hall. Depending on your style striking or grappling you will be training on mats or a padded floor.
I know many reality based systems that train in such a way and chat about the imagined street conditions or traditional arts that explain what to do if you needed to do this for real.
In Russian All-Round Fighting UK we train outside all the time in all weathers. Our clothing is usual outdoor clothing: normal combat trousers (good strong and practical for hard usage) sports training shoes or boots and depending on the weather a t-shirt/hoodie or waterproof jacket.
It is of course rare you will be attacked while wearing nothing on your feet save wrestling boots or whilst wearing your martial arts uniform. If you are training for reality then perhaps clothing should be taken into consideration while you practice. There is nothing worse than having your coat pulled over your head while swinging punches!
These things need to be practiced as much as practicing a front kick.
The environment you train is a major factor. The break falls that look so graceful in the dojo, perhaps stopping if you’re at the edge of the mat or close to the wall for safety, can leave you a crumpled mess on the pavement. Perhaps It may be wise to sometimes leave the gym and venture to the car park or some open space and feel the slippery ground beneath your feet.
Kicking without shoes is very different to kicking with them on; also bare fist strikes can be as harmful to you as they are to your opponent!
In reality there may be limited space, wet ground or the sun in your face. There are so many things that can’t be done or replicated in your gym; imagination is not and never will replace the real thing.
Russian All-Round Fighting was first and foremost to defend oneself. The eight sporting disciplines came from testing the elements in the system as far as we safely could. Maxim Shutanov, the world president, has from this very idea developed an international system and sport that can be enjoyed by people of all levels.
Just a thought - take a day out with your students or training partners and try MMA on the curb side or high kicks on the wet grass.
I will leave you with this video of RAF storm fighting at the recent Russian championships, my son is in RED. The idea is simple: Seven times 20 second fast and furious rounds. You can win with knock out, submission or kicking the opponent in the head while standing. This is as close to real fighting as I have seen. I am sure some will look and mention lack of skill or clean technique? But please bear in mind this is real and training for real combat.
Chest I Slava