GROSS MOTOR SKILLS vs FINE MOTOR SKILLS in Martial arts training

Which is effective in a fight - Gross motor skills or Fine Motor skills
This is an argument going on for ages, amongst martial arts instructors. Much has been said on both sides. Now I am adding my own thoughts to this argument, with the benefit of having practiced Karate and KravMaga and the hind-sight acquired after having taught KravMaga to civilians and police.

Actually experts say there are 3 levels of motor skills - Fine, Complex and Gross.
Here is my simple description which explains the 3 motor skills in the context of fighting
(click for readable view)
best-martial-art-in-chennai
.To make it even simpler –
1. Practice = swimming on dry land 
2. Sparring = swimming in a shallow swimming pool
3. Actual fight = trying to survive in rough waves, blindfolded!

See how complex skills fail in an actual crisis, even for trained police men!


"So, I need NOT learn fine movements?!"
Let me clarify that I am NOT against teaching Fine motor skills. The more time spent in exercising fine and complex motor skills will definitely benefit one in a real ugly fight. But the instructor has to impress upon the trainees that actual fighting is without grammar and predictability.

Net take for the martial arts student
There is a process from being a novice to becoming an expert. One can't jump into the rough waves without first learning to swim. But DON'T become complacent and think you can swim the rough sea just because you are able to paddle 2 laps in the pleasant pool.

Net take for the martial arts instructor
The instructor has to take the trainee through different levels gradually.
      1. Train for Aggression.
      2. Train for physical exhaustion.
      3. Train for Mental shock. 
      4. Train for diverse directions and various angles of attack
      5. Train for multiple attackers scenario
      6. Train for fighting even when grievously injured.

Street-fight-reality
Feeble attempt to fend off a deadly attack
And after all these, tell the student emphatically that
" Reality cannot still be recreated inside the dojo."

Related Posts -
SreeRam is a KravMaga self-defence instructor at Chennai, South India. He teaches Civilians, Police and Security.
SreeRam has started W.A.H.R (Women against harassment & Rape)an NGO devoted to increase personal safety awareness amongst women and equip them to handle sexual harassment at public and work places.
SreeRam conducts KravMaga personal safety and self-defense workshops at corporates, especially IT/BPO companies where many women work late. He has also conducted workshops, for rural women.
On 8th March 2012 ( International Women's Day) KravMaga SreeRam released a small handy booklet for women titled " 10A-s of Personal Safety for Women" 
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