Webster defines a filter as a pass-through device designed to remove impurities or unwanted material. In terms of self-defense techniques, I am going to borrow Military Combatives legend, Mat Larsen’s colorful twist and add the word “Bullshit” to filter.
All martial arts styles have a particular philosophy or bias which governs their choice of technique and strategy. None of it is necessarily wrong. The problem however, is that combat is not linear – it is not predictable. Believing real self-defense will conveniently fit into any particular style is foolish and right up there with waiting for the “Great Pumpkin” to rise on Halloween. You will be painfully disappointed!
Martial arts gymnasiums are laboratories. It is essential to use a heavy dose of realism in any self-defense training – that is, turn on the “Bullshit filter” and test what works and what doesn’t. Be open-minded and honest, and then commit to either modifying ineffective technique or throwing it out.
I am not saying that martial artists need to test themselves by going to war or hitting the street to start fights. I am suggesting people serious about personal protection in a dangerous world need to learn from those that have been there and done that: Law Enforcement, Military, and self-defense oriented martial arts instructors. In fact, that is the purpose of Warriors Magazine. We are the “Bullshit filter” for real self-defense and we will use the experience of the best warriors on the planet to bridge the gap between the security of the gym and the reality of the street.