Real life attacks occur closer, more suddenly, quicker, and more powerfully than most students could ever imagine. Unless you are ruthless and able to react instinctively with deadly precision, you will lose the confrontation. Most self-defense drills are practiced at an optimum distance where the attacker must take at least a half step to reach you, which gives you time to block and counter. What happens if there is time to react and no room to turn or step? Criminals attack at their own time and when you least expect it. When they attack they are ready for the attack, and it will more than likely come as a complete surprise to you; giving you no time to react.
When sparring, few techniques are thrown and they come in spurts. Even during a flurry of attacks, the attacker is mindful of counter attacks and thus holds back soon. When a criminal attacks, it will be sudden, and he will throw as many punches as fast as he can, faster than it will possible for you to block.
With proper training, a martial artist can hit hard, but rarely do they ever get the opportunity to hit a live attacker. Criminals have been in many fights, with no gloves, cups, mouth protectors, etc., so they are used to hitting and getting hit. They may not hit as hard as a boxer or a martial artist, but they still hit hard and since they usually land the first blow or blows, they usually win.
Just as the amateur boxer finds out when he or he enter the ring for his or her first professional fight and faces an opponent fighting for a living instead of one fighting for fun—facing an attacker intent on hurting you is much different than facing an opponent in the sparring ring. Therefore, do not fool yourself into thinking you stand a snowball’s chance in hell of defeating a bigger, stronger, meaner attacker. If you have not specifically prepared yourself for this situation—you will lose!
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