That's catch-up. Here's what I want to write about: I had a long and wonderful conversation with a local (to the Bay Area) self-defense instructor a few days ago. She was intelligent and insightful and the conversation was wide-ranging and fun. I would link if A) she had a website and I knew what it was and B) I had her permission...
But I don't have her permission, because I didn't ask... and I didn't ask because this has taken a couple of days to percolate. Didn't think of it at the time.
I have no way to measure my own experience.
In Rory's world, groin strikes and nose strikes have negligible reliability. Of the dozens of times that I have taken full-on, well targeted groin strikes, they have only stopped me from fighting twice. One time that didn't stop me I remember quite clearly that I felt it about three minutes later, and it was the 'let me crawl into a corner and cry and puke a little' type of pain... but for three minutes, nothing. Using it on other people, not so sure. Simple fact was that under our policies, I didn't want to write a report about a groin strike. So I used it way more in training than in real life. That said, I found the flinch you draw when you fake a groin strike more reliable than one that made contact.
Nose strikes? Zero percent reliability. Even with a broken nose, I've never been stopped by a nose hit and I've never seen anyone else (outside of training) stopped, either.
But... this person is a good SD instructor with a long slate of students. In her world (and, granted, it is only about a half dozen of each) groin strikes and nose strikes are 100% reliable. She has had about six of her hundreds of students attacked by men and when they delivered a groin strike it was over. Done. She has not heard from a single student that the technique has failed.
Another group have used nose strikes. Again, no failures.
This is important. No one is wrong. I have my experience, and the experience of my officers and students. So does she. And we saw different things. No one is wrong.
I was dealing with hardened criminals willing to attack an officer. As a women's self defense (WSD) instructor, she was dealing with criminals who targeted women. Does the target selection (officer versus woman) indicate enough about the perpetrator to explain this discrepancy? Were the ones attacking me what some people would call 'highly motivated'?
Like a lot of people I am self-referencing and between fights and intense training I have taken a lot of damage. At a very deep level, I believe if something doesn't work on me it doesn't work at all. Is this valid? Is there any way to know how and why I've kept fighting and whether that is something to be expected or something unusual?
Should one always train for the worst case scenario? I was able, at different times, to test things against PCP freaks or experienced ring fighters or giving up 200 or more pounds. That became my criteria for reliability. I love that. I have very, very deep reasons to trust my stuff... but does the bar have to be set that high? If I had told those dozen women, "Don't bother with groin strikes or nose punches, they don't work" would they have been victims?