A good fighter knows many techniques, a great fighter knows which ones to use depending on the circumstances
Although most people will never be in a self-defense situation, one never knows when it may occur. Once in a situation where you must defend yourself, it helps if you have options as to what actions you may take.
The winner of a self-defense situation is the one with the most S's, which are:
The person who is better skilled at fighting, is bigger, is stronger, is faster, has more endurance, and has a win at all cost attitude will probably be last person standing. If you do not have an edge in at least one of these characteristics, you should find an escape route as quickly as possible.
Most self-defense situations do not suddenly appear, they develop from some minor confrontation that has escalated. If you can nip the confrontation at its bud, it will never blossom into a full-blown, self-defense situation. Most self-defense situations involve the three C's: confrontation, conflict, and combat. You are confronted by an aggressor and there is some sort of conflict or disagreement with the person that leads to conflict.
First, do not put yourself into a situation where self-dense may be required. As the actor James Coburn stated "avoid arse holes and big egos, avoid places where arse holes and big egos hang out."
As the godfather of soul, James Brown, said "I don't know karate, but I know ka-razor!" Knife fighters usually do not show the blade. The first time you see it will be when it is stuck in your body. If an attacker shows you the knife, he or she is usually just posturing. Always check the hands of your antagonist. If you cannot see the palms, or a hand is concealed, assume they have a weapon. If you are facing a knife, the best-case scenario is that you do not die because you will get cut. If a knife is pulled and running away is not an option, throw anything handy at the attacker, and then run. If you cannot throw something, blitz the attacker with head strikes until he or she is unable to continue the attack.
After defending yourself, you will probably be suffering from what is known as adrenal-induced Tachypsychia. This can cause time distortion, time loss, memory distortion, and memory loss. You may also feel the innate urge to talk, if only to justify your actions. All of this may affect your ability to make an objective statement to any law enforcement officer. Any statement you make may be used against you at a later date, so the the best option is to say nothing. If desired, upon advice of an attorney, you may make a statement at at later time.
When in a self-defense situation, remember to ROAR!
- Recognize: Learn to recognize when a situation may demand the use of self-defense and what level of force may be required. Check out your surroundings and all the resources that are available to you.
- Overcome: Overcome you fears and prepare yourself for what you must do.
- Attack: Once you determine and attack is imminent, attack first with the appropriate amount of force.
- Run: At the fist opportunity, run for safety or to seek assistance.
Types of Self-Defense Training
- Attack Specific. Training that relates to a specific type of attack, such as hair grab, punch, front choke, both hands grabbed, bear hug, etc.
- Situation Specific. Training that relates to situations in which an attack may occur, such as location, time, friends present, weapons, escape routes, the opponent, on a bus, in an alley, etc.
To be effective at self-defense, you must be able to defend against, control, and use the following:
- Fear. Controlling your fear and dealing with the fear of an attacker.
- Verbal. Know how to defuse verbal attacks.
- Weapons. Defenses against types of weapons or potential weapons.
- Rage. Controlling your rage and dealing with the rage of an attacker.
- Legs. Defending against kicking attacks.
- Hands. Defending against hand attacks.
- Throws. Defending against being thrown to the ground.
- Close Range. Dealing with close range attacks, such as scratching, head butts, bites, etc.
- Ground. Dealing with fighting and grappling on the ground when both you and your opponent are on the ground.
- Grounded. Dealing with fighting when either you or your opponent is on the ground.
- Multiple. Dealing with multiple attackers.
- Defending Another. Defending another person.
- Family Present. Defending when family or friends are present and may be harmed by your actions.
Confidence is different than being cocky or arogant. A confident person does not dress tough, act tough, or talk tough. A confident person appears calm, alert, capable, and in control. When you see a confident person, you know they know what to do, how to do it, are able to do it, and that they are willing to do it. To be confident in your self-defense abilities, you must possess the following:
- Excellent physical conditioning
- Excellent self-defense skills
- Excellent strategic and tactical preplanning
- Self-defense skills required
Rules of engagement
When engaging an opponent, Brazilian Jujitsu uses four rules of engagement:
- Defend. For example, when grappling, you first defend, keeping your base, fighting off chokes, arm bars, sweep attacks, etc.
- Escape. Then you try to escape by breaking the closed guard and passing the open guard
- Dominate. Once you pass the guard and escape, you try to dominate by keeping your opponent on his back by using the a side mount.
- Attack. After you can successfully keep your opponent on his back and dominate him, you attack by trying various chokes, arm bars, etc.
When your attack works and the opponent submits, you win. If you do not follow the order of the rules of engagement, such as trying to submit your opponent when you are in his guard, you invite problems. While trying to defend, if you skip trying to escape and trying to dominate, and instead try to attack, your opponent will capitalize on your mistake.
Hide, Blend, Deceive
When you find yourself in a place where you should not be, such as getting lost in a strange city and finding yourself in a dangerous neighborhood with thugs on every corner or perhaps you are being pursued by someone who wants to harm you, to protect yourself until you can get to a safe area, you will need to either hide from detection, blend in with your surroundings, or deceive the bad guys.
- Hide. Hiding is an option, but it does not help you get back to a safe area. However, it does help keep you safe until an escape opportunity arises, such as waiting until daylight, waiting until the area is clear of people, or waiting until police or groups of uninterested people are present.
- Blend. You may be able to blend with a group of inconspicuous people, such as a tour group or a church service. Blending offers the same advantages as hiding, but it may also permit movement toward a safe area. If you are discovered, you have some protection from being around other people.
- Deceive. Deception is an option if you have the ability to carry it out, but it is dangerous if you are discovered. When deceiving, you act as if you were a part of your surroundings; you move around as though you belonged in the area. However, if discovered, you may be unprotected with no help available.