YOU AIN’T SUPERMAN!

“Not being there is way better than running, running is way better than de-escalating, de-escalating is way better than fighting and fighting is way better than dying.” SGT Rory Miller

“Self defense is recovery from stupidity or bad luck.” SGT Miller

“Self defense is a limited number of techniques and tactics that may get you out alive after you’re already screwed.” SGT Miller yet again

It bugs me when I see instructors teaching self defense like they are developing unbeatable fighters. I believe that they are setting people up to be hurt badly if they are teaching them to think that they are unbeatable bad asses. I don’t think I’m developing fighters, I think I am teaching people how to be safe. I teach don’t be there, run, find an object to smack the attacker with and, as a last resort….go batshit crazy and beat down whoever is trying to hurt you.

If you watched last weekend’s UFC fights you saw some of the best fighters on the planet. This (from bjpenn.com) is telling; “The UFC’s biggest card of the year, UFC 175, took place this past Saturday, and the medical suspensions are rather extensive, with both Chris Weidman and Ronda Rousey potentially out until January of 2015. Check out the full list: Chris Weidman: Must have left jaw, right elbow, right ribs and right ankle x-rayed, and if positive, then that injury must cleared by orthopedic doctor or no contest until Jan. 2; minimum suspension until Aug. 20 with no contact until Aug. 5 Lyoto Machida: Suspended until Sept. 4 with no contact until Aug. 20 Ronda Rousey: Must have right hand x-rayed, and if positive cleared by orthopedic doctor or no contest until Jan. 2 Alexis Davis: Suspended until July 27 with no contact until July 20 Uriah Hall: Must have right second toe cleared by orthopedic doctor or no contest until Jan. 2; minimum suspension until Sept. 4 with no contact until Aug. 20 Russell Doane: Must have right thumb x-rayed and cleared by orthopedic doctor or no contest until Jan. 2; minimum suspension until July 27 with no contact until July 20 Urijah Faber: Must have left rib x-ray series, and if positive then needs doctor clearance or no contest until Jan. 2 Kenny Robertson: Must have right elbow cleared by orthopedic doctor or no contest until Jan. 2 Bruno Santos: Must have possible nasal fracture cleared by doctor or no contest until Jan. 2; minimum suspension until July 27 with no contact until July 20 due to laceration George Roop: Suspended until Aug. 20 with no contact until Aug. 5 Luke Zachrich: Must have left hand x-rayed, and if positive then needs orthopedic doctor clearance or no contest until Jan. 2; minimum suspension until Aug. 20 with no contact until Aug. 5 for right eye laceration Kevin Casey: Must have left elbow cleared by orthopedic doctor or no contest until Jan. 2 William “Bubba” Bush: Suspended until Sept. 4 with no contact until Aug. 20”

Yep, the most in shape, most talented, best fighters on the planet in a sport fight with rules, referees and time limits and not many walked away unscathed. Ronda only fought 16 friggin seconds and she’s injured for crying out loud!

This is what fries me with the “face four knife wielding thugs with no fear” crap that’s being taught. You had better fear that, I don’t care how good you are. Run like you’re on fire if ever faced with those odds. Fighting for your life is one thing, not running when you had the chance is stupid. We self defense instructors don’t teach nearly enough of what can happen if that fight goes bad. We could certainly be killed. We can win but have months of rehab ahead of us. We can have limbs that never work right again. We can be in a wheelchair for life, can be blinded, can be left brain damaged (that’s the one that scares me the most). We can end up having a colostomy bag if stabbed or shot in the wrong place (your crap don’t come out where it’s supposed to anymore, you have a tube attached to your innards that comes through your abdomen and empties into a plastic bag). Even if you’re unscathed you can end up going to jail. Win that trial and you can be sued in civil court by the “victim” that attacked you and lose everything you own. Still want to step up to that bully because he called you a name? Learn to apologize and buy the idiot a drink. Acting like a mature adult isn’t showing weakness. Read Marc MacYoung and Rory Miller’s books for way more insight into this.

This is a subject most martial arts and self defense systems fail miserably at… letting their practitioners know that they can and probably will sustain damage. This can be a game changer! If you rely on both hands to do a joint lock and break one….what do you do then? If you rely only on jump kicks and the attack starts with your ankle being crushed…what do you do then? If we’ve never trained thinking about an injury and then it happens our brains will want to freeze because this wasn’t in the plan. In our higher belt tests in the USKMA we actually have students tie one arm down and figure out the handgun, knife and other defenses without the use of an appendage.

As an instructors our job is to make our students as safe as possible We must teach; 1) don’t go to stupid places with stupid people to do stupid things. I am an old dude who is in bed by 11 every night. When I hear of people getting beaten or killed at 3 in the morning my first thought is always “wtf they doing out that late?”. 2) Run. If you are in trouble run! I was sent a video of a knife guru last month…the guy was good but as soon as he said “Keep your knife hidden (from the guy approaching you with his knife) because if he sees it he may run away” I lost all respect for him. What advice is that? Getting people killed kind of advice if you ask me. It seems to me that the best case scenario is that he sees my knife and runs away…if he doesn’t I should be! 3) Use a weapon! I’ll take a ball bat and an attitude over any black belt in any system! 4) When it’s go time, GO!! If you are in a fight that couldn’t be avoided you fight hard, dirty and brutal!

WE can’t teach people to be heroes, to have them think that they can’t be hurt or to not let them know that there are always consequences to fighting. We must teach that self defense is used as a last resort. When it’s go time, it’s all out, swing for the fences, go time but…if we can avoid it, run away or de-escalate, that is what we should do! BE SAFE!

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