...if this game gave you the chance to practice most of the basic techniques that you have at your disposal. As someone who seldom plays action-oriented games, I find the games in this series to be really difficult. Now, I know that they're supposed to be difficult, and that's part of the challenge. But one of the nice things about MGS and the Substance version of MGS2 is that both of these games gave you the chance to practice some of the most basic techniques that you would have to use in the game. You could practice them over and over as much as you wanted. Not only did this make it somewhat easier for people like me to play the games, it also helped make Snake a more believable character--not someone who busts into enemy compounds without the slightest idea of what he's doing, but someone who has been extensively trained to handle sneaking missions.
In this game, we're supposed to believe that Naked Snake has experience with CQC and even helped invent it, and the Boss tells Snake early in the game that he should take a chance to practice techniques before he runs into real enemies, but the beginning of the game doesn't give you a chance to practice CQC techniques against anything other than real enemies. (You can punch and kick empty space, but that gets old fast.) I suppose it would be too much to ask for virtual reality training in a game that's supposed to be set in the 1960s, but it's a bit frustrating that this game features such a huge range of techniques that can be used, without much chance to practice them in a safe environment.
I may just have to bite the bullet and play on easy mode (or heck, even very easy) and let that serve as my "practice," then come back later to play the game again on a higher difficulty level. I'm sure the game is great overall, and I look forward to playing it all the way through, but it just seems like this one specific area is a missed opportunity compared to the previous games in the series.
Well, if it's your first Metal Gear, Easy is an acceptable choice if you really aren't making progress. CQC just takes getting used to, but if you really find it awkward, use you tranq. gun on a guard, drag him to a secluded location, stand behind him, and then use the punching combo to kick him so he'll wake up. He'll rise right in front of you. When he does this, perform a "hold-up" on him. (Just aim your gun at him, using first person mode is easiest). He'll stay still, allowing you do use whatever CQC on him you need to get better with.
Hope that helps.
I avoid cliches like the plague.