This self-defense tip continues the issue of the necessity to be proficient in the methods of attack for developing effective defensive skills.
In the previous self-defense tip (tip no. 24) I gave an example of an unrealistic grappling attack. Striking and kicking attacks are also botched in demos and workouts.
Often the strikes and kicks are done wrong—along the wrong path, from a wrong distance—or targets are wrong for a given type of strike. For example, a looping strike with a fist against the side of the head instead of a palm strike to the jaw or ear—a small difference that considerably changes the distance and path of the strike. (A looping fist strike, while risky, may work but its best target is the tip of the jaw. Otherwise, hitting the head with a bare fist is foolhardy.) But the most common training error is launching single punches or kicks, holding the extended limb without retracting it immediately and hitting with other limbs. This looks as if the attacker forgot that he or she has more than one limb. Defenses against such unlikely attacks are presented by demonstrators who either themselves have no common sense or count on the spectators not having any.
In a realistic self-defense technique, the defender must position him- or herself so deflection of one strike puts him or her out of the way of other attacks. A control of the attacker’s one arm, for example, has to be done so neither the other arm, nor legs, nor head, can strike the defender (see Basic Instincts of Self-Defense). Learning such skills requires familiarity with effective striking attacks. It is best to practice defenses with a partner who is good at the given type of attack—a boxer if you work on defenses against punches, for instance. Short of that, you can study the videos of fighters. It is for this purpose that a good knock-down karate fighter is shown on Basic Instincts of Self-Defense. He shadowboxes—throws series of punches, strikes, and kicks low and high—toward the camera so you can see how a good striking fighter does it. It also gives you an idea of what you are up against so you can mentally prepare with the Gold Medal Mental Workout for Combat Sports.
For your defense moves to work under stress they must be based on your natural, instinctive reactions, require little strength and limited range of motion, and be proven in fighting experience.
To learn how your natural reactions can instantly defeat any unarmed attack, see the video Basic Instincts of Self-Defense.
Defend Against Weapons
To defend against weapons you have to know how they are used. Also—every stick has two ends … the weapon of attack may become a weapon of defense in your hand …
To learn how the typical street weapons (club, knife, razor) are used by an experienced streetfighter and how to practice with them, see the video Self-Defense: Tools of attack—Club, Hatchet, Blackjack, Knife, Straight Razor.
Staying cool under pressure is more important for self-defense than being physically fit and technically skilled. If you can’t control your mind what can you control?
To learn mental techniques that let you calmly face any threat and act rationally in the heat of a fight, click here.
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