Self-defense defined is protecting yourself from attack. It sounds simple, right, and it is. The real trick is that there are a million different ways you
can be attacked; everything from a drunk tackling you at the local club or bar to an armed mugging on your way home from work or in a supermarket parking lot, to a car jacking and more. Self defense has one purpose and one purpose only: to survive.
You see, the concept of personal protection, fighting, self defense or martial arts, is a very touchy subject and it all has to do with the simple fact that the actual act of fighting is all based upon our survival instinct. Look at it this way, no sane person, even soldiers, professional fighters or trained martial artists truly want to hurt or kill another human being. But when it comes to that kill or be killed moment, when you are actually being attacked in real life, your natural survival instinct will take over and do whatever it can to save your life. Unless the aggressor is not very serious about hurting you, "canned" self-defense techniques, as well as many classical martial arts methods alone will not provide you with the tools necessary to survive and escape to safety.
There are some key points to look at and remember when looking for a proper self-defense program. Are you being taught to consider and defend under these conditions?
- There are no rules, only self-imposed limitations.
- The techniques must take in account environmental factors such as the street rocks, dirt, terrain, weather, etc.
- Would you be able to do these techniques if you are not at your best? ie: sick, injured, scared, pregnant, overweight, elderly, etc.
- The attacker's intention is too unpredictable (they might truly want to hurt or kill you) so will you be able to truly disorient, distract, stun and even disable your attacker with the techniques?
- Will the techniques work if the attacker is larger, stronger, tougher, crazier and more accustomed to violence and fighting than you?
- Are you taught to defend if your attacker has a weapon? Always assume they might.
- Are you taught to defend if there is more than one attacker? Always assume there is.
- There are no points for second place, use all of your own attributes, never play fair, maximize any advantage in any range and angle.
- Are the techniques simple and quick enough to use when you are scared out of your mind? For your survival, they need to be.
In addition, learning to properly defend yourself is much more than just avoiding injury, humiliation, or even death. It's a way of self empowerment and confident living on all levels and by harnessing those natural survival instincts to combat our greatest enemy of all: fear. And that underlying notion of fear is what makes debating what the best martial art is, just pointless.
A long time ago, knowing martial arts meant learning how to defend yourself on the street or on the battlefield; but not any more. Methods that were originally developed to kill your enemy before they killed you have been watered down into either unproven nonsense, daycare centers, or into sports that are fun to play. Don't get me wrong. I love marital arts. I continue to train in many martial arts but most martial arts do not address the key elements of proper self-defense. It is only a training and conditioning method for self defense. In real life there are simply no rules, regulations, or referees that are required in a combative sport and those elements are not going to be there when someone is trying to kill you in a dark alley or even your own home. ie - Read: Myth of the Duel.
To understand this fully, you have to understand what actually happens to your body during the kill or be killed moment and to understand your body, we need to look to what actually controls it; your heart. During "normal" daily activities, your heart usually beats at 60-80 beats per minute. This is known as your resting heart rate and everything in your sympathetic nervous system is performing normally. But when frightened to 115 beats per minute, your fine motor skills deteriorate. The ability to put a key into a car door, dial your cell phone or even tie your shoes rapidly goes down the drain. However from 115 to 145 beats per minute is the optimal
survival and conduct performance level for complex motor skills, visual reaction time, and cognitive thinking. Complex motor skills are multi-muscle involved movements. That means that even though you might have little butterflies in your stomach, you can still use your small and large muscle groups together to do things as found in all martial arts; reverse punch, front kick, wrist lock, arm bar, hitting, throwing, etc., and this is the reason why it is so important for police officers, soldiers and other people who are constantly in harms way, to practice some sort of combative sport or constant training. This is the target heart rate of most professional athletes and fighters as well. They are able to stay at this rate because while they are a little nervous, they know that no one is really trying to kill them.
If you are able to train your body to respond appropriately to fear induced stress under competitive conditions, you will be better able to perform your duties during a real life situation. Because above 145 beats per minute your complex motor skills immediately begin to deteriorate and at 175 beats per minute adrenaline in your body is so high you can't think straight, you lose peripheral vision, your hearing excludes everything not in that tunnel vision and vascular constriction sets in as a natural way to reduce bleeding from any wounds you're about to suffer; which means all those fancy, practiced, complex motor martial arts skills go bye-bye. Then, above 175, is where irrational fight or flight sets in, as well as natural submissive behavior, combat freezing, begging for your life or the emptying of your bladder and bowels. At this point the only movement ability you have left is gross motor skills; running, charging and the wide arcing of your limbs.
And this is exactly what we have put together for you; practical, realistic, multi-sensory and proper self-defense strategies, tactics and techniques that are designed to enhance your already instinctual gross-motor movement reactions in an unexpected crisis situation and when faced with a real violent aggressor.
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