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When one begins to talk about practicality, application and usefulness in the world of the martial arts we enter onto a slippery slope. People start talking about "street fights" and "what REALLY happens in a fight". We Begin to theorize about reality, instead of living and training in it.
Training in the martial arts is not fighting. No matter how much we want it to be, no matter how much we pretend or don't pretend it simply isn't fighting. You can not do or experience the things you would in a life or death struggle in a Dojo. It's not possible, for many reasons.
First, a Dojo is a controlled atmosphere. No one is going to have buddies waiting outside the door, to help them beat up another student. A car isn't going to drive through the school. People are not going to begin shooting at you in the middle of class. Most everyone knows each other and are working together, not plotting to harm one another.
Second, the Dojo has a teacher/coach who sets up the scenarios, decides when things have gone on to long, or are not appropriate. The teacher dictates what is safe, good practice and the direction he wants the school to go in. If it were a sporting event he'd be the referee, there are no referee's in life or death struggles.
Third, there is a lack of intent to truly do harm to one another. Not that there aren't occasional Dojo Scrabbles. Maybe a few people don't really like each other, but there is no real intent to do life threa