Charles: I'm interviewing this article, Norm Bettencourt of Vancouver, BC Canada who is an expert on reality-based street fighting, and Norm, tell us for those who are not familiar with you and your background. What is your experience and what is your background?
Norm: Well, I hold a black belt in karate, and I found out the hard way that, that black belt did not do anything for me when I was in a street fight, and I actually got beaten up quite badly. What I did was I started researching and training with different personnel and people that had spent time in prison and people that had had military experience.
I learned from them what was applicable when it came to street fighting. So, I created the TACT Self Defense System which is a scenario-based, reality system of street fighting. Half of my training center is set up as a back alley and the other half as an apartment setting. And I teach people how to fight in real world environments. I also have 15 years experience in the security industry, everything from bouncing to bodyguarding.
Charles: So, what are some of the reasons why a person who really wants to learn how to fight in a reality-based situation does not need to spend years and years approaching a black belt?
Norm: You take a look at the Special Forces when they train or any military or police personnel when they train. They do not have years to train to be proficient at their skills. They only have a few months. And that's the difference between martial arts and combat or street fighting. You do not need those years because it is not an art form. What it is, is targeting and doing certain simple techniques that will work for you personally every time. So, when you go into a martial arts academy, you learn how to fight in a certain way or a certain style. Where you become so familiar with that you expect that people will fight with you like that. Now, when people change that format of fighting, you become confused.
So, let's say you fighting in a karate way or jiu jutsu way, and somebody fights you in a different format what happens is you become confused and you do not do so well because because person is fighting outside of your element. So, when it comes to martial arts and stuff that happens is that you're being taught a set of techniques that rules apply to. In a street fight, there are no rules. There's no such thing as a dirty fighter, only an educated one.
So, for the street if you're going to learn a system that's applicable for the streets and for personal protection, it can not have rules tied into it. And it has to involve real-world environments. So, it has to teach you how to use your environment around you, such as tables, chairs, drinks, all that kind of thing where there are no restrictions to the techniques. It's a free-for-all. It's going any where: low blows, cheap shots, an anything goes kind of deal. You bite. You eye gouge. You knife someone, or you stab somebody in the eye with a pen if you can. Where there's no rules, anything goes, and it's free flowing. Now that's the difference.
Charles: Now that we see and have established that a black belt is not needed, what would be your suggestion for a person who wants to learn how to become combat ready. How much time would that person need, and where would they best need to go?
Norm: People who train with me only take 3 months to train this system if they come once a week with me. Some people will fly in for a weekend crash course. So, that's 8 hours on a Saturday and 8 hours on a Sunday, and they can learn my entire system which is personalized to suit their body types and size. So, it is individually personalized to suit them.
How I fight is not going to be the best way for how you fight because I'm short. I have a certain weight where some people will be taller and they weigh more or they weigh less. So, your self defense techniques have to be personalized towards you. As well, people more in different ways. Some people move in more of an awkward way, and you must incorporate that into the equation.
Charles: So, in your school, you do not give out black belts, do you?
Norm: No, there's no belt schemes. All it is it primal, instinctive fighting which is natural which is why it is so quick and easy to remember. You could not train again for 6 months and still have all that information inside your brain and inside your muscle memory and still be able to apply it effectively in an all out street fight.
Charles: So, there we have it. A black belt. Not necessary. Thanks again, Norm.
Norm: You bet.
Source by Charles Prosper