I just read this post The Calm in the Storm over at Low Tech Combat, and I have few criticisms.
Full force training. Certainly if we need to perform a skill under stress we should have some practice in that skill under stress. Ideally we would be training in as close as we can to “actual combat conditions,” but there are limits to how well we can simulate this environment, and more importantly the student needs some ability to perform the skills required before applying stress.
Relaxed Training. Is where you learn new skills. Ideally drilling parts of the skill in isolation and building to a complete technique. I can take a new shooter and scream “speed reload” at him until I am blue in the face and eventually the fumbling will accomplish getting the gun reloaded, but not in a timely or efficient fashion. This also holds true with combatives techniques. Until a technique has been rehearsed without resistance and time pressure it has very little hope of becoming consistent. If you can’t do it under perfect conditions what chance do you have under combat conditions?
Stressed in training, calm in reality. This an excellent goal, and from what I have observed: confident, successful, application of technique comes from first training the skill in a low stress environments and after achieving proficiency, then ratcheting up the realism. I completely agree that you ultimately have to progress to executing techniques in realistic scenarios under realistic stress if you want the best chance at executing successful techniques in the real world.