What is self defense? After all that could mean carrying a gun or just locking your doors at night. I’ve heard recommendations to elderly women to keep wasp spray in their bedroom. It really could mean almost anything. Certainly self defense has to start with self awareness. You have to know you surroundings. When you park at the grocery store you should look around before getting out of the car. You shouldn’t look down at your phone while walking through a parking lot. You should lock your doors and get a home alarm system. I do recommend a gun for home safety but only after proper training.
What about hand to hand self defense though? First let me remind you as you read this that I have been training in martial arts for over 30 years. I love our police but they are very under trained. I love our military. I have trained Marines, Army , Air Force, Navy, Coast Guard and even one Navy Seal. They are seriously under trained in hand to hand combat. I‘ve heard the same things you have. “That guy was special forces, he can kill you with two fingers.” With guns and explosives that is true, but unarmed hand to hand they are not ready. I have read that the military and law enforcement departments are starting to upgrade training to include more real life hand to hand training. That’s great news!
So what should one do to prepare for real life self defense situations if they should ever come up. First you must be aware of your surroundings. If you can get away then get away. Second you need to be able to run or fight for 5 minutes straight. Why? That is the average time it takes for police to arrive when called. Trust me when I say that in times of distress, 5 minutes is feels like a life time. Third you must understand distance control. Real self defense is controling distance. You either want to get as far away as possible or as close as possible. Please don’t fall into these ridiculous traps of thinking that an elbow, a perfectly placed punch or a knee to the privates will save you. It won’t. A teenage girl I met once was a karate black belt. I told her the same thing. She said, “Well I can break two boards with a punch.” So I challenged her to punch me as hard as she could in the stomach. She gave me her best shot and pulled her hand back in pain. For the first time she realized that a grown man is harder than a flimsy pine board that a 4 year old can break. Shots to the privates may hurt your buddies but they will not stop a crazy attacker. What about weapons? They are ok if you plan on walking around carrying a bow staff or nunchucks. A guy once threatened me saying, “If you try something just remember I have a gun.” I can still remember the look on his face when I asked him if he had his gun at that moment. It was in his car and would do him no good in a real fight. FYI I didn’t fight the guy. I’m not a bully.
Police studies, specifically LAPD, report that 90% of all fights go to the ground. An attacker will bear hug you from the front or back and try to get you to the ground. That means that real life self defense that is hand to hand must involve two concepts. First we must know how to escape standing grabs and upon escape be able to control the distance. Second we must know how to fight on the ground either off our backs or in a top position. That is Jiu-Jitsu.
I have trained in Tae Kwon Do, Judo, wresting, and boxing since I was 7 years old. When I finally found Jiu-Jitsu it became my passion because I knew two things. It was the best style to prepare me to defend my family if ever needed. Second if my daughters were ever attacked they would be ready. Let me encourage you to start training. It hard! I understand that. I promise you that the hardest step is walking in the door. You will make friends while being pushed to your limits. I also guarantee that in just six months you will be different person
. You will be stronger, more confident, less stressed and in much better shape.
Now let’s train!