Hi. Thanks for your interest in my article. I'm glad you found it interesting (or at least partially interesting!)
Just to elaborate on what I said in the mag...
It is probably an over-simplification of me to say that I've discarded every technique that I wouldn't employ in a baked bean mugging, in principle it is more about a thought process.
My thought process when it comes to self defence is this:
Self defence must include the study of three key things:
1) Understanding the realism and nature of violent situations
2) Training techniques based on fundamental principles that transcend or underly the individual moves
3) Drilling these techniques and responses so that they become instinctive.
(I call these The Three Sciences - the Science of Violence, the Science of Technique and the Science of Learning, but the name is un-important.)
So firstly we learn about violence. How exactly are we going to be attacked (in Tesco or otherwise). While I can't guarantee "an attacker will grab your lapel with his left hand and hit you at an angle of 47 degrees with his right hand therefore you must block with an Uchi Ude Uke" what I can do is guarantee that if/when you are attacked it probably won't be with a spinning back kick, a jumping crescent moon kick or a superman punch. So when we defend, we defenc against habitual acts of violence. Punches, grabs, shoves, grappling, headbutts and so on.
Secondly we learn the principles. Yes, I could teach 50 different throws, but really 50 different throws would be variations on a theme of about 8 different throws. What is important is the underlying principles.
So we look at entering into the opponent's space, moving outside a technique, moving inside a technique and we tend to drill throws that can easily be pulled out of the bag in a variety of circumstances. Osoto Gari and Tai Otoshi being my favourites. One takes the guy backwards, the other takes the guy forwards. Change your leg a bit and you have a Kosoto Gari, change your hips and your arms and you have an Ogoshi.
We drill good habits - being relaxed, using the waist, using two directions, and we practice techniques in a finite way.
Instead of "tippy tappy" Ippon Kumite, every defence must result in either taking the opponent down (such as you would with a throw) or making the opponent tap out.
Finally it is no good me being able to do a technique and the student being able to copy it. Techniques must be drilled until they are instinctive. This is done with a range of drills, two man forms and testing through free practice like sparring and grappling.
So with this self defence approach in mind it is then translated to the arts I teach. Personally I teach a Karate class and I teach a Jujutsu class, but it would be the same if I taught Wing Chun or Ninjutsu.
We learn the requisite techniques of the style, paying homage to the art's stylistic and cultural origins, but we practice with the goal of effective self defence.
For example in my Karate class, I teach the full Shotokan range of punches, kicks and blocks. When we do them in Kihon we do nice deep stances, nice high kicks as this builds up a good understanding of hip movement, balance and form but when we apply our skills in self defence (or Ippon Kumite) our responses are more realistic.
Again, when we perform kata, the performance of the kata itself is traditional, but when we look at the bunkai applications (oyo) the resulting techniques are combat orientated.
Often new students will say "why do we practice Osoto Gari and Tai Otoshi every week when there are hundreds of other throws" but then one of my seniors students will make the point "because there are still 50 variations of Osoto Gari you don't know".
One of my Dan grade students is a frontline police officer who has had cause to apply techniques like our throws, locks and chokes when subduing suspects and he has found that the simple approach we teach is what works for him.
So in answer to the question, it is possible to do both. You can learn all the techniques you like, but I would rather focus on practicing the ones I know I could make work if my life depended on it. ("I don't fear the man who has practiced 5000 techniques once, I fear the man who has practiced one technique 5000 times" - Bruce Lee I think).
But I also subscribe to the view "spirit first technique second" - we spend a lot of time in hands on study, grappling (lots of MMA style groundwork), sparring, plenty of padwork, keeping trim. I don't want to be thought of as one of those Pressure Point Jutsu classes where nobody ever sweats!
As for Mr Wingrove, I just want to make it clear I'm not a student of his. I trained with him a few times, and haven't seen him since about 2007, but I did find the sessions very thought-provoking.
My goal is to teach traditional Karate and traditional Jujutsu, true to the combative origins of these arts, but I am more committed to teaching self defence that works.
All the best