Monday, February 6, 2023

Rule of 3

 Rule of 3

I came across the rule of three concept form Chad Lyman -

For a human to survive you can’t go three days without food, water, sleep, human contact.  Sounds a lot like the hierarchy of resilience.

Chad suggests that for force professionals to survive  (I’d add for personal protection as well) you shouldn’t go more than three days without combatives training either.

Quick Mankato State math that averages to training around twice per week. 

Oddly enough that seems to be the minimum attendance requirements for promotion in most Judo / Jujitsu schools.

Sidebar - let me step up on my soap box for a moment

I have said it many times, and loudly, but I will say it again - if you are a force professional and you think the six hours of control tactics training you receive a year will be sufficient to survive a violent encounter without being injured, sued successfully, or losing your job, I hope you never have that delusion tested. 

And now...back to the Budo Blog

I’ve been thinking about that rule of 3 a lot and have formulated my own version of it.

Why my own version?  In order to answer that, let’s take a deep dive into the martial arts nerd pool.

Ultimately martial art is a true expression of the self.  Not unlike dance, or other artistic means of physical self expression.  And like dance one must learn the fundamentals well enough to develop their own style.  Every martial artist develops their own art.  They may never give it a name, or teach it to others, but anyone who is any good at this develops a way that works best for them.  This is the heart of Tokui Waza.  Tokui Waza roughly translates as favorite technique.  But more accurately it is about finding what works best for you and getting really good at those things.  As opposed to trying to imitate your instructors who have  vastly different body types,  life experience, and needs than you.  Tokui Waza is also allowing yourself to play with things that don’t work for you.  Because learning how to make your body do difficult things is good for your brain, body (and spirit).  It might not work for you right now, but learning why it’s not working helps you refine what does.   

Rule of 3

Don’t go more than 3 days without training (For Trek nerds this is the rule of 3 prime directive)

Additional Rule of 3 (my own way) directives:

3 Arts

The best martial art (foundation) is one you enjoy and will continue with as part of your lifestyle for your entire life.  Having said that, there is no one perfect / complete art.  Not even Ameridote

Why 3 arts

If the perspective you have of physical confrontation is limited to only one aspect of the interpersonal violence spectrum, your ability to solve problems becomes severely limited.  If you can’t throw hands, you can’t really grapple.  If you can’t prevent yourself from being taken down, nor are you capable of returning to your feet you really can’t really box. Also if all of your perspective is sport based it becomes very difficult to deal with a criminal attack say with a knife or blunt instrument.  

Operational Disciplines, the knowledge necessary to apply skill and experience to interpersonal violence (what the Violence Dynamics Seminar is based on) can be broken in to seven broad categories:

Legal / Ethical

Violence Dynamics

Avoidance (Conflict Strategy)

Counter Assault

The Freeze

*The Fight


* The fight, or physical confrontation only consists of 20% or so. The majority of Operational Disciplines, the highest probability of success strategies are geared toward avoiding / preventing physical confrontation.

However, no strategy is perfect all of the time. No matter how good you are at the 80%, physical confrontation is always a possibility. You may have to deal with "The Fight"

The fight consists of:

Striking - Something Boxy

Joint Locks


Takedowns - Something Wrestly

Ground Skills

Weapons - Something Stabby / Clubby

Skill in personal protection helps to build confidence and helps to make de-escalation skills more successful. Calm Officers tend to preform better and make better decisions.

Box / Wrestle / Fence

Most Military and Law Enforcement  Academies have historically sponsored boxing, wrestling, and fencing clubs.  It may be called different things at different places (Karate, Judo, Kendo) but some means to provide force on force training in striking, grappling, and weapons has been a universal theme for people receiving education for use of force professions.

3 gyms

People don’t plan to fail, they fail to plan.  Your training schedule has to be robust enough to account for the varying amounts of chaos in your life and still get in your minimum effective dose of training - two training sessions per week (rule of 3).  If your school only has class on Wednesday and Saturday, and say your kid has confirmation on Wednesday your are training below minimum effective dose.  Does that school offer training on other days?  Does that school offer training in other arts?  This might be an excellent opportunity to supplement your foundational training with one of the other aspects.  For example if you can’t get to boxing on Wednesday could you go to BJJ on Thursday to make the twice per week requirement?  If your school only offers one art what can you do?  Use multiple schools.

Joining multiple martial arts schools can be very expensive.  However, most schools offer a drop in fee or mat fee for single classes (usually around $10 to $20)  So for the price of going to a movie you could supplement your foundational training and assure that you can train twice a week even if you can’t get to your main school.  Be honest and upfront with the Owner / Instructor.  If you are dropping in multiple times a month you should probably pay them their monthly fee.

Find a tribe that fits your vibe, this is going to be your foundational school.  For the sake of discussion lets say that school is something wrestly.  If that school doesn't offer other aspects of the fight find a school in a reasonable commute that offers something boxy, and another that offers something stabby / clubby

3 people

On top of the mental health benefits of meeting people with similar interests and having face to face interactions, training with at least three people is required to do any type of force on force training.

Finding ways to safely test the entire spectrum of physical confrontation under varying levels of pressure / resistance is absolutely essential to developing the confidence through competence required to make de-escalation skills more successful. As stated before calm Officers tend to preform better and make better decisions. It is hard to stay calm under pressure if you have never been put under pressure in training.

Rule of 3 (Kecker Style) 1 - Train in some sort of combatives at least every 3 days (Twice per week = minimum effective dose)

2- Find an art you love, and supplement it with other arts (best of all worst of none) 3 - Find multiple gyms in your area where you can train to make sure you meet your weekly minimum effective dose

4 - train with enough people (that you trust) so that you can test your skills against varying levels of pressure / resistance.

Train hard, train smart (and often), be safe

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