Self-defense is not a game. Our goal is to provide effective strategies and skills for surviving violent encounters – at whatever level. Our goal is not to teach you how to stand there and fight. We do not teach "dueling"; nor are we concerned with "winning". Our only self-defense goal is to teach you how to end it now! By ending a violent encounter quickly, you do one thing – ensure your own safety. The strategies, tactics and degree of force necessary all change according to the threat level, your goals or profession.
A simple, but controversial, statement is: The reason that most 'martial arts' techniques fail in actual conflict is that the person trying to use them doesn't have the "basics" nailed down. There are fundamental elements that MUST be present in an effective offense. In training, reviewing these elements is often met with a "yeah, yeah, I know that" attitude. The problem is in an actual confrontation, the know-it-all does everything BUT those "basics" and that is why he loses the fight. As our goal is survival of violence and not sport, we emphasis that these fundamentals must be ingrained. We don't care if you "know" them, we care that you "do" them as instinctively and automatically as breathing.
Advanced technique is nothing but the basics understood at a deeper level. And, it is having those "basics" ingrained that will not only save you in a conflict, but will allow you to moderate your use of force – which does wonders for keeping you out of jail afterwards. Techniques fail. Things go wrong. Murphy and his laws are always present in a physical confrontation. Many a perfectly good self-defense technique can be – and has been – utterly defeated by the attacker simply stepping forward. If you only "know" rather than "understand" a move, your attempts are vulnerable to Mr. Murphy. That is because you probably will not be able to react fast enough when the situation changes; and alter your own actions to meet this new and different threat. Or, you will attempt to muscle your way through, to make a move work. This would be fine if you are a big, strong man, but if you attempt to contest the strength of a larger and stronger opponent your technique will fail – nearly every time.
You may know hundreds of techniques, but if you don't understand what makes them work you won't be able to apply them outside the controlled environment of the training hall. If you understand the principles that make them work, no matter what is happening you can develop a move – on the spot – that will be successful against any size opponent. A student must have an ingrained understanding of these principles; that allow him to operate effectively within the chaos of violent confrontation. The 'technique collector' will often freeze in confusion, unsure of which, of the hundreds of techniques he "knows", would have been best. By the time he decides on one, the opportunity and the technique's effectiveness has passed. This is why so many training hall techniques fail in actual practice.
Training in Hóngxiāng (Red Village) Qūanfa is, as stated earlier, difficult, dangerous, and demanding. In order to prevent, or reduce the extent of, injuries during training, the student must follow the guidelines, below, before and during training.