I have been asked where John and I picked up our skills. Truth be known, we've got a lot of practice time in. Once the crops are planted and the animals tended, the perimeter's secure and the weapons are clean, there's not much to do.
John always said the best way to practice was to go at it like you mean it. That s to say, try your best to kick the crap out of your opponent. Why? Because you don't want to hesitate when it comes to the real thing, and you don't want to pull your punches when you need to go full bore.
When we started, John and I sparred a lot, but as we began to develop our styles, we found that we had natural inclinations to follow. I tend to go in fast and heavy, taking a hard stand and crushing my opponent. John is a lot more subtle, looking for weaknesses and exploiting them.
If you were to see us spar, you'd see me sending a lot of punches and strikes towards John, while he avoids and waits for an opening to punish me with. I tend to carpet bomb while John is more of a surgical strike kind of guy.
Whatever you are is waiting for you, but you have to practice, practice, practice. Even if you start out with no skills, you will pick some up and if you have half a brain, you will learn from your mistakes and get better.
Are we the best there is? No. Are we able to survive? Yes. And at the end of the day, would you rather be a live survivor or a dead expert?