2017, Volume 13, Issue 1

‘It’s not about the pain – it’s about the feedback’: krav maga experts’ views on self-defence performance and the experience of contact, pain and injury in the process of skill development



Mario S. Staller1, Andrew Abraham2, Jamie M. Poolton3, Swen Körner4

1Tactical Decision Making Research Group, Department of Psychological Sciences, University of Liverpool, | Carnegie School of Sport, Leeds Beckett University, United Kingdom
2Carnegie School of Sport, Leeds Beckett University, United Kingdom
3School of Public Health, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China, | Carnegie School of Sport, Leeds Beckett University, United Kingdom
4Tactical Decision Making Research Group, Department of Psychological Sciences, University of Liverpool, | Institute of Pedagogy and Philosophy, German Sports University Cologne, Germany, United Kingdom


Author for correspondence: Mario S. Staller; Tactical Decision Making Research Group, Department of Psychological Sciences, University of Liverpool, | Carnegie School of Sport, Leeds Beckett University, United Kingdom; email: mario.staller@liverpool.ac.uk


Full text

Abstract

Background & Study Aim: Expert performance in self-defence situations has not been the subject of rigorous empirical investigation. This study aims is broaden knowledge in self-defence, its development and the role of contact, pain and injury in training, in order to stimulate future research activity.
Material & Methods: Semi-structured interviews with two Israeli krav maga experts centred on the development of expertise in self-defence. The interviews were analysed using an interpretative phenomenological framework; an inductive approach that captures the richness and complexity of the lived experience.
Results: Two analytically leading themes emerged concerning a) the characteristics of expert self-defence performance and b) the benefits, drawbacks and limitations of contact and pain in training activities.
Conclusions: By examining the analytic observation through a theoretical lens with regards to (a) the key components of decision-making and mind-set and (b) contact, pain and injury in the training process, we point the direction for further avenues of inquiry in the context of self-defence performance and the development of the associated skills.


Key words: aggression, conflict management, expertise, interpretative phenomenological analysis, skill acquisition, violencence