Non Attribute Based Boxing/Training?

As noted in the video below, there tends to be a misunderstanding on the concept of Non-ABT. The primary premise behind this idea is that, if you teach certain skills first to someone, that will keep them safe (i.e. a focus on defense first), so that they can then systematically build and develop their inner confidence – this will then ensure, the healthy growth of embodied attributes – that will later come to bear in a real, high pressure fight situation.

Its ridiculous to assume, that a person, with no previous martial art training, especially sparring experience, must somehow, magically be able to bring to bear, attributes (i.e. speed, timing etc) in that environment, against people who have (i.e. they have been training, have the fight confidence and have well developed attributes). Its logical that someone who hasn’t been training, who has likely been sitting behind a desk for 15-years, will not be in great shape, will not have ‘fight attributes’ etc. Anyone who is coaching, who thinks that a person like this, should just be thrown into a sparring environment without any prior training on how to deal with that intensity, or given the opportunity to first build their fitness, timing, speed, strength (i.e. attributes) is irresponsible.

While this seems obvious, I can’t tell you how many times I have seen this happen. The consequence, people get seriously injured, and not just physically, they are psychologically harmed. They will likely never come back to training, yet that experience of being physically humiliated will stay with them for a lifetime (something the trainer will likely never know, or even care about).

Non-ABT then is a built on a simple idea. When you have someone with no previous martial art training, especially experience in sparring, a process needs to be coached to them, that will keep them safe for long enough, and build the inner confidence they need, until they are able to successfully develop fight attributes, which yes, are crucial to winning. Using attributes here as a verb, “to regard as resulting from a specified cause” suggests, through the cause of training, properly, with progressive stress inoculation, in a safe, yet challenged environment, a person will develop, and or unlock embodied attributes, that will then allow them, to successfully bring those to bear when needed.

Finally and crucially, the use of attributes needs to be mediated by success. Someone can be really strong, a great attribute to have for example in the clinch. But if I keep him away from me, using my jab and correct distancing, I will slowly chop him down like a tree. If he just tries to force his strength on me, but it’s not working, he needs to come up with another game plan (i.e. the attribute of strength may not be the answer here). So just because a person has great ‘X attribute’, doesn’t mean that it should, and can be used in every situation. Attributes are useless if they are not backed up by success. Knowing when, how and why to use certain attributes are just as important as having them. In other words, use them if you have them, but use them wisely.

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