IT AIN’T SELF DEFENSE!

If it’s complicated…..it ain’t self defense. Real violence is more sudden, more terrifying, closer and faster than any of us can train for. If whatever you do to fight back isn’t instinctual, if it isn’t something that comes right out of you, it will not keep you safe.

If it teaches you to fear no man & to charge into a knife, stick or other weapon……it ain’t self defense. Any good self defense system will tell you to RUN! We aren’t injury proof and we’d rather not have to defend ourselves. We’d rather not be there, run, talk our way out, pick up an object to whack the scumbag with and, only as a last resort, use actual self defense techniques. Self protection is using awareness and avoiding. Self defense means you weren’t paying attention and are already in a bad situation that you now have to fight your way out of.

If it involves fine motor skills….it ain’t self defense. With stress and the adrenaline dump blood pools to our core. This makes our limbs weak, heavy and numb. There is no way we are doing finger manipulations in the face of real violence.

If it is regimented…..it ain’t self defense. There are arts where a choke defense, for example, has steps A through F that are followed and practiced every time. When, in the real world, the attacker doesn’t do what we expect and the technique derails at step C we will be lost.

If it is totally ground based….it ain’t self defense. Being on the ground takes two things for granted. That there isn’t a weapon involved and that there is only one attacker. Theses are two things that we should never be thinking won’t happen.

If it is practiced with space….it ain’t self defense. All knife defenses, for example, work when the attacker announces himself from six feet away. Whatever you are learning has to work late, after you’ve been surprised and have already taken damage. Another angle on this is if I am taking big circular steps in my technique, stepping several feet to perform a throw, etc. I am taking for granted that I will never be attacked in a crowded area, never in an aisle of a bus, etc.

If it isn’t a workout, isn’t developing cardio…it ain’t self defense. We have black belts in other arts come to our gym quite often. They almost never can make it through a class and almost never come back. How can you teach people to be safe who can’t fight hard for more than a few seconds? We’d love our fights to be over in a few seconds but we can’t take that for granted. If the fight does drag out fatigue will get us hurt. We must be able to keep going until the danger is over.

If it relies on katas to develop skills for fighting off multi attackers…it ain’t self defense. We learn to fight multi attackers in Krav by having multi attackers pad up and smack us around! Sounds logical to us!

If it takes years to become proficient…..it ain’t self defense. If you knew that you would be attacked five years from now it wouldn’t matter what you studied. You’d be pretty good by then. Do you know when you’ll be attacked? It could a month from now, couldn’t it?

If it is sparring….in ain’t self defense. Despite what Hollywood leads us to believe real world violence is never like sparring. Sparring has rules, flow, set ups. Violence is a knife slashing at you non stop, three people standing over you stomping your head into the curb, someone grabbing you by the hair and throwing haymakers at your face. It is not feinting, changing levels, going in, backing out and throwing combinations. Sparring teaches some good skills, it just can’t be relied on to get us ready for real violence.

If you are studying something strictly for self defense make sure that it was developed strictly for self defense! BE SAFE!

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4 Comments

  1. I just read these comments “IT AIN’T SELF DEFENSE!” ….and I “love” how you think! Whoever wrote this, you are so right! A person needs to think “outside of the box” as they say. Often things aren’t what they seem, and “real-life” situations can be much more surprising and stressful. You seem to get right down to it with this article. A person’s mental “preparation” can be just as effective as the physical. Thanks for keeping it real!

  2. Wow I’m impressed to find out we have switched on people out there willing to share the knowledge to Teach us that when violence comes to you the best reaction is to be better at it them the criminal.

    Jeff D Columbus oh

  3. FWIW, I think this article is spot on… but I am having a hard time reconciling it with the impression I got from the “awareness” article posted yesterday.

    • Dude,

      read all the blogs & you’ll see you and i think very much alike. Your comment on “if startled, etc.” is addressed over and over by me. Most “systems” never talk about the adrenaline dump, mindsetting, how stress affects us, that real violence is scary as hell and can’t really be trained for, that we will be fighting injured, etc. I’m really not following why you were so down on telling people to keep their heads up and pay attention. I never said it was magic and would keep them totally safe but paying attention and using situational awareness will keep them safer….i don’t see how that can be argued. Thanks for the banter, it’s good for the system!!


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