This Isn’t Working vs This Won’t Work

| October 11, 2016 | 0 Comments

I was being choked.

I had a slight smile on my face. The scent of Tide, thoughts of teaching my wife this technique, the service I provide by being a crash test dummy. I enjoyed this.

: squeeze :

: more squeezing :

: release :

“Keep going,” I encouraged through gritted teeth.

I felt my partner shift behind me. Her small feet moved closer to the juncture of my hips and dug in. Her thin arms slid around my neck and head, trying to find the optimal position.

I knew it wasn’t going to be enough. My chin wasn’t in the right spot, and my jaw was too low.

: squeeze :

: more squeezing :

: release :

“It won’t work,” she said.

We should be learning constantly. Eventually we will learn something that doesn’t seem to work.

There’s a difference between “this isn’t working [for now],” versus “this won’t work [ever].”

Something may not be working for you right now, for any combination of reasons:

  • You aren’t performing the technique properly (my most common fault)
  • You have a physical barrier to completing the technique as effectively as possible (size, strength, flexibility)
  • The timing isn’t right for the technique (often in conjunction with an opponent’s counter)
  • Your opponent / training partner may be resistant to the technique (size, strength, flexibility, mindset, etc)
  • Your opponent may be applying a counter to the technique you are attempting

Other times, the technique won’t work — or won’t work reliably. It will be a poor technique no matter how much time you put into it.

I find this particularly true in weapon disarm and retention techniques.

For example, a disarm technique works during practice. The training partner is holding the weapon at full extension, and doesn’t move once you make contact and finish the technique.

The same technique at full speed against a motivated opponent may result in a different outcome.

“Why isn’t this technique working? Did I forget something? Did I do something wrong? Is the timing not appropriate for this specific technique — and should I have selected something else?”

If you know you’re doing it correctly, your timing is correct, and your opponent isn’t applying a known counter … then maybe that technique won’t work, and you should discard it.

“Let’s try this,” I said. I shifted her left arm so that my chin was directly in its crook. I made sure her arm was around my neck, not my chin.

I closed my eyes, and inhaled, enjoying the scent of freshly laundered clothes.

“Hit me again.”

: squeeze :

The pressure in my ears skyrocketed.

: more squeezing :

: release :

“Don’t give up!” I hissed.

: squeeze :

: more squeezing :

: tap :

: release :

“It worked!”

About the Author:

Short Barrel Shepherd Short Barrel Shepherd is a regular guy and works to make Web sites and mobile apps easier for people to use. He spends his free time attending fight-focused firearm, knife, and combatives training, motorcycling, writing, and playing games. His daily carry is a Glock 19 pistol and an AR15 .300 Blackout pistol in a backpack.
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