When learning any Offensive or Defensive Technique, you always want to learn the opposite response to that technique.If you are learning to execute a specific takedown, also learn it's defense.If you are learning unarmed knife defense, learn actual knife offense. This will give a deeper understanding of the techniques, it's movement & how to apply it.This is a common teaching method by most reputable Instructor's and nothing real remarkable or unique about the concept although I have seen many example of Instructors teaching only one side .
What is sometimes overlooked is working on how YOUR technique could fail.If you are working on a specific offensive technique, ask yourself what would cause it to not work as planned.Try to see through your opponents eyes while executing the technique to see how to defend it.You do this by visualization & controlled, slow training drills. You can do this for both offensive & defensive techniques.If your working a takedown defense & ways to defend it, stop & take the time to picture what the other guy would be seeing and what he might do to counter your defense and your specific method of doing it.This will give insight and reveal weaknesses in your game like nothing else.
Visualization is a tool all successfull athletes have used at one time or the other and can be applied with equal effectiveness in enhancing your defense skills. When learning any new technique,visualize it over & over again in your mind trying to think how it should feel & proper body mechanics.But,visualization goes beyond just individual techniques....you can work sequence combinations,simulated spontaneous reaction & complete scenarios. This can be done without any actual physical execution,but is also very useful when doing solo training and you are needing to visual an imaginary opponent when actually performing techniques in the air or on a piece of training apparatus.