Created By: JusticeZero on November 19, 2011 Last Edited By: JusticeZero on November 20, 2011

Training Induced Flaw

You use a skill, but automatically do something odd that was only appropriate for practice.

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The Kid Hero Martial Artist is diligently training his Thunder Punch for the big battle.

For hours, he stands up a dummy, hits it, walks over to it, then stands it back up so he can hit it again...

At last, he battles the BigBad! The villain leaves himself open, and the Kid winds up with a huge Thunder Punch, knocking the villain down!

Then the ordinarily pragmatic Hero walks over, stands the villain back up, and steps back into his stance..

What happened? This is what happens when some quirk of a characters' training method inadvertently appears in their actual performance of the skill.

In training, you did things certain ways in order to learn the skill faster and more efficiently. You needed to pick things up, keep them clean, hand equipment to your partner so they could get their turn, or whatever.

Obviously, you would never do those things in Real Life, right? Well, you just did. Oops.

Film:
  • In the 2010 reboot of The Karate Kid, Dre was told to do a certain movement in his Wax On, Wax Off training with "More Attitude!" In the last fight, he does the move, and makes the funny "More Attitude" face he made while practicing.

Real Life:
  • A police officer in Canada once had trained a technique to disarm a pistol. One day, a criminal pulled a pistol on him. He reached out in a flash and disarmed the criminal - then handed the gun back and was shot non-fatally.
  • In April 1970, in Newhall, CA, a long shootout between the California Highway Patrol and two criminals took place, ending with all four officers dead. On investigation, at least one of the officers died clutching a handful of spent .38 brass, as their shooting training involved stationary shooting on a range, followed by them having to pick up their spent brass before continuing on.
  • Many martial artists pull their attacks in sparring, and a number of martial artists, as a result, get into a fight and throw a flurry of lightning fast attacks into their assailant - none of which do any damage.
Community Feedback Replies: 15
  • November 19, 2011
    wanderlustwarrior
    You could use a better description, as this makes me think of Wax On Wax Off. Also, for the Real Life examples, unless you have a source like Darwin Awards or something, these seem possibly apocryphal.
  • November 19, 2011
    Stratadrake
    No New Chekhov Snowclones. Besides, this sounds pretty close to Chekhovs Skill.
  • November 19, 2011
    JusticeZero
    It is sort've a strange and problematic version of Wax On Wax Off, where the training introduces glitches into how you do the skill. Basically, one trains, then when they need the skill, they do it how they PRACTICED, rather than how they SHOULD do it - and the practice had some innocuous-seeming activity added to it that goes wrong out of context.
  • November 19, 2011
    surgoshan
    This is Damn You Muscle Memory, only not for video games.
  • November 19, 2011
    JusticeZero
    Just looked. Not quite the same thing. Damn You Muscle Memory has a very different spin on it, and most of the non-video-game examples are simply not this trope. Really, I looked at them before, when I was trying to find this.

    It's closest to Chekhovs Skill, except that where in Chekhovs Skill the important piece of information is "Character X {learned how to do THIS!}", with this the important thing is "Character X learned to do Y {by doing THIS!}" With Chekhovs Skill, the viewer later goes "Wait, didn't they learn how to...?" With this, there is no surprise or foreshadowing in learning the skill. The foreshadowing was the fact that, for another police example, after emptying their revolver they would stand up and drop their used brass into a bucket next to them.
  • November 20, 2011
    Stratadrake
    Then it's a Chekhovs Skill But SUBVERTED? Playing With variations are generally not splittable.
  • November 20, 2011
    JusticeZero
    I'm not sure that it is. Without the specific note of the method of learning the skill, I doubt these would really be seen as Chekhovs Skill to play with in the first place. Seeing police officers and soldiers learning to shoot, or martial artists learn to fight, or race car drivers driving, or piano players playing the piano isn't Chekhov material. They're supposed to have and train those skills pretty much by definition, and seeing those people training would ordinarily just be a choice of setting location.
  • November 20, 2011
    Stratadrake
    But some of your examples are times where the character performs a maneuver they trained/practiced for, but goofs it up because some part of that training wasn't meant to be repeated during a real exercise.
  • November 20, 2011
    JusticeZero
    I would hope so. ALL of the examples are supposed to be that, exactly. It's the "goofs it up because part of the training wasn't meant to be repeated" that the trope is about, full stop. Damn You Muscle Memory has a different focus, Chekhovs Skill is based on learning an unexpected skill rather than how an expected skill was trained, and Wax On Wax Off is about training a skill correctly via an unorthodox method. None of them quite fit, played with or otherwise.
  • November 20, 2011
    Stratadrake
    Hmm. Well, at least drop the Chekhov label. Dead-horse snowclone is dead; too many Chekhov examples miss the first part of the definition -- a detail that is first seen only in a minor, incidental way -- and attempt to shoehorn examples where said detail is front and center in the viewer's perception.
  • November 20, 2011
    Firebert
  • November 20, 2011
    Stratadrake
    ^ Nope, that's Wax On Wax Off. OP says this is about accidentally repeating one element of a training exercise in a non-training context (where that one element shouldn't be performed).
  • November 20, 2011
    Desertopa
    That sounds like nearly the opposite of what this trope is, since it refers to something introduced by training that isn't useful.

    Maybe Training Trip Up or Training Induced Flaw?
  • November 20, 2011
    Stratadrake
    That is what I gather from the OP's comments.
  • November 20, 2011
    JusticeZero
    Trying to think of other times i've seen this. A couple of sitcom episodes (I think there was one in.. Cheers? involving a job interview, and going over the interview step by step then debriefing, but being interrupted before they could cover 'leaving', resulting in the character ending the interview by going to the interviewer and discussing how unqualified they really were), probably a couple of antics in Ranma 1/2 apply..? I've seen the trope come up a number of times and now i'm having a hard time finding the fictional ones that I remember.
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