There has been lots said on this subject, from the RBSD people, the traditional martial artists, the sports martial artists, the sport shooters and the combat shooters. All have their own view on pressure testing and I also at one point a long time ago fell into the pressure testing trap.
Now there is a lot of BS spouted from all camps, 'We don't pressure test because what we do is too dangerous", "If it's not done in the Octagon it won't work on the street" and so on.
Now there are some systems that I am not a fan of, mainly because to flesh out some good basic content they add a considerable amount of magic dust, psychobabble and spiritual nonsense that really does not work in any shape or form in the context of combat and I am sure you have seen their epic fails on YouTube.
You would think with the title that I posted I wouldn't say the above, but it is a failing of the student of these systems to see through the magical BS and just stick with the basic content.
This is where the pressure testing argument has lost its way. It has become a systems orientated debate when really it is a person related debate.
Let's take for example a knife defence technique. Lots of people have pre-conceived ideas of what combat is supposed to look like and then train to defeat those pre-conceived attacks. Again I too fell into that trap with scenario based training. I still do some scenario based training but not in the traditional role playing sense we still see today.
We can watch knife defences on YT all day, from single stab/slash to multiple stab/slash attacks and with all different types of grip.
Two things occur here when we see these slow demos, there is an attack, intercept, strike and disarm and so on.
First is the comment which is something like "Well attacks don't happen like that".
Second, is that they then demonstrate a full speed frenzied multiple stab attack to prove that technique does not work.
Brilliant logic - NOT!
That's a whole different form of attack and there are attacks that cover the full spectrum of how we think they are/should be and how they are actually employed, from trained and untrained people.
We know we can never go 100%, that would be just foolish and would cause needless injuries, but we can add pressure and that is the point. We do not pressure test the system and the technique in the system, we pressure test the person and how they are able to employ the technique.
Here is a controversial comment:
'Every technique will work'
And more controversial:
'Every technique will work from any system'
The caveat to those statements is that the technique is only going to work for the right person, at the right time, in the right circumstances, against the right attack.
So when you pressure test, pressure test the person, not the technique or system and obviously the more experience a person has then more pressure has to be applied.
With man made pressurised objects they are pressure tested until they explode, pressure cookers, aeroplanes, submarines etc; so their limits are known. People have limits too and adding more and more pressure will reveal those limits, and as ego factors a lot in some people's perceived combat skills this can be a life saver because:
We never rise to the level of our expectations, we always fall to the level of our training.
So are you pressure testing yourself or your system and its techniques?