Comfort Level

close-up-angled-elbow-posterized and fescoed

So you have been training for a little while.  Your familiar with your system’s training methods and your partners in class.  You are getting comfortable with the Martial Science you train in.  Oh oh………….  Just like a married man or woman who starts to put on some weight after being married a while or someone who has been in a job for a while once you get comfortable things can happen and they are not always good.  In the Martial Sciences when we are preparing for life and death struggles being comfortable can be really dangerous.

What does this mean?  If you train a certain way and never step out of the box to train differently there is a chance that in a real world confrontation you might just get surprised.  When you are surprised you may not react appropriately but instead you may enter the fight or flight response.  That is natural for humans and it can be good but it might control you rather than you controlling it.  We train in the Martial Sciences so that the fight or flight response does not control us but instead we can use it.  We can use the adrenaline, etc. to gain advantage and to survive in a violent situation.

As an IRT practitioner I try to consistently step out of the box.  I try to stay edgy or keep my training on the edge so that I am never comfortable.  I regularly train with new people from other systems and having new partners helps but also experiencing how they do things keeps me uncomfortable.  That is the key, being uncomfortable in your training is essential so that when something does happen on the street you probably won’t be surprised or uncomfortable.  Instead you will probably fall into your skill sets and asses and act immediately to take care of the situation.  By staying Edgy or uncomfortable in your training you also will make those leaps and bounds in your training that spur martial growth!

All to often in the Martial Sciences I have seen people get comfortable in their training and system.  Next thing you know they have minimal or no growth as a martial practitioner.  Worse yet if they have to utilize their skill sets they may not have the edge in a violent confrontation.  They have become comfortable and quite frankly some times a little lazy in their training.  This is dangerous and to be avoided!

As an instructor I always make sure within my lesson plans to keep the other student’s/practitioner’s uncomfortable.  That is part of my responsibility.  In a broad system like IRT that is pretty easy.  I can always introduce a new movement or a drill or a different kind of method of rolling or sparring.  I try to keep anyone I am working with a little uncomfortable in their training.  You owe it to yourself to be a little uncomfortable in your training.  Seek out things that keep you inspired but also uncomfortable.  Bottom line do not be a martial practitioner that is comfortable and satisfied in your training!  Instead stay a little edgy and a little uncomfortable and live outside the box!

Brian R. VanCise

Note: This blog is opinion only and neither Instinctive Response Training LLC or Brian R. VanCise are responsible for any third party actions.

Visit us at:

About Brian VanCise

Hi my name is Brian R. VanCise and my passion is the Martial Sciences. I have trained almost my entire life in the pursuit of martial excellence and I teach a world class curriculum in Las Vegas, Nevada. Contact us at: 702-326-3622
This entry was posted in martial arts, self defense, personal protection, instin. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Comfort Level

  1. Tim says:

    I have seen this in a CMA style (that I shall not name here0 rather regularly. They get comfortable training their system and only train in their system with people who also train in that system/ And as soon as they go outside of it things go wrong fast and what is even more amazing is it is a darn good fighting system but the focus tends to be too limited.

    I was once at a seminar and discussing Xingyiquan with the instructor and we were talking about the 5 elements. He pointed out something to me that I had missed that was incredibly obvious. Generally you train the 5 elements in order Piquan, Zuanquan, bengquan, paoquan and hengquan and very few change that order once they learn it. He pointed out that it is a bad idea based on comfort levels. Get too comfortable with that and in a real world confrontation you may find yourself going from Piquan to Zuanquan when you really should have gone paoquan. His suggestion was once you understand the 5 elements you really need to mix up the order so you do not get comfortable with any one progression because it can hurt you in real world applications.

    Today do Piquan, Zuanquan, bengquan, paoquan and hengquan next time go with Piquan, bengquan, Zuanquan, hengquan and paoquan next go with Hengquan, paoquan, bengquan, suanquan, and piquan and keep changing the order.

    There is more that is applicable to comfort levels, training and Xingyiquan I have seen, but I have likely types enough and don’t want to bore anyone

  2. Brian VanCise says:


    That is very interesting. Trust me your knowledge is never boring. Thanks,


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s