is Self Defense?
Self-defense is the act of
defending ones person against attack by the use of physical force.
In order for a person to defend
themselves properly against a variety of attacks, it is necessary to analyze the various types of attacks, and the techniques
available to defend against them. Also important, is to know the strengths and weaknesses of these different techniques, as
well as your own limitations.
Self-defense, just like the
martial arts, should be learned in a progressive manner. The very simplest techniques are learned first, then later once more
proficiency is gained, more advanced techniques are taught. The defenses against the most simple of attacks are learned first
and then the more difficult attacks later on. One does not learn to run before they walk, neither should one learn attacks
against knife attacks before the student has gained proficiency in defending against unarmed attacks. You will find that in
many instances the very same principles apply against a grabbing attack can be used in defending against a punch. In other
words, the techniques and principles learned at the very beginning stages make up the building blocks that apply to more difficult
Another important reason for
learning self-defense progressively is the endless variety of attacks that must be defended against. The two types of physical
attacks that can be directed toward you are: violent and non-violent attacks. A violent attack is an attack that would kill
or gravely injure you. An example would be the knife attack, a choke, kick or punch, headlock, etc. A non-violent attack is
one that will not directly cause great physical harm. Examples would be a wrist grab, lapel grab, a push, etc. Often non-violent
attacks are preludes to more violent ones. Since there are a variety of attacks than could be directed toward us, we need
to have a variety of defenses that are appropriate to the different intensity of these attacks. In other words, we
should never respond with more force than is necessary to adequately defend ourselves. If
a student were to defend against a wrist grab in the same manner he would against a knife attack, then you could be facing
a lawsuit or criminal prosecution. Use of excessive force in a self-defense situation may be personally gratifying, but would
be viewed by law enforcement officials and a jury in a very negative manner.
The rules of self-defense are
very simple. Self-defense is after all; common sense. Common sense goes a long way in the prevention of attack. So the first
rule of self-defense is avoidance. Common sense dictates that a person should avoid placing him or herself in a situation
so that attack is unavoidable or invited. In other words, dont go walking down a strange neighborhood alone, and dont flash
large sums of money. Avoidance also means that when an attack comes, avoid the weapon by moving yourself outside the line
Another rule to remember is
that in a self-defense situation, one should take advantage of their surroundings, being careful that you are not cornered
or flanked by your opponents. Look around the area. Is there anything that can be used as a weapon? Remember; basically anything
can be used as a weapon to give yourself the advantage. Keys, pencils, a brick, or even throwing grass or sand into your
opponents eyes may be the only edge you need to escape unharmed.
Now back to the avoidance of
the opponents weapon. Moving outside the line of attack can is always the first step. Then what? After you have moved yourself
outside the line of attack, then seize and control the opponents weapon. Next, disarm the attacker, and then neutralize the
attacker. These principles work whether the opponent has a knife or is empty handed.
When facing an assault, the
most simple techniques are usually the most effective. A person may have the training and ability to kick an attacker
in the head, but it is much safer and more effective to kick to the knees or groin. The higher the kick, the less power and
hold on the ground you will have.
The defender has a wide range
of natural weapons at their disposal. The human body has two hands, two feet, two knees, two elbows, and
the most important weapon of all, a brain. Even the forehead can be effective at close range.
It is important that you learn to strike effectively with each of your natural weapons. Striking at the bodys weak points
and not just randomly punching and kicking at the attacker will make you strikes much more effective and end the confrontation
much quicker. The human body has a number of pressure points and nerve points throughout the body. Each should be struck in
a different manner as to have the maximum effect. One should learn and practice as many of these as possible so that your
counter-attacks are quick and decisive.