Saturday, May 13, 2017

How to apply ninjutsu in self defense training

Ninjutsu is a Japanese system historically used in Feudal Japan involving espionage, unconventional warfare, hit and run tactics, and much more. Ninjutsu has been historically shrouded in mystery and often glamorized in Hollywood. In this guide, i'll give you some insights and resources on how to apply ninjutsu to your self defense training.

* Discard what's useless and simplify your skills - While you may expect to learn a wide range of ninjutsu skills, the reality is much of it is useless in today's world. You realistically won't be running around in ninja attire infiltrating buildings and using all sorts of weapons in combat. There's no point in training with weapons that you won't carry or legally be able to use in combat. If you are to efficiently practice ninjutsu, you'll only need a limited set of essential skills for self defense.

* Be evasive - Evading a threat in Ninjutsu is one skill set that will prove useful today. If you are to be successful in self defense, you must evade a potentially violent threat before it even emerges. This can be done by remaining anonymous on the web for example. If an armed attacker barges in a public place, you can use stealth techniques from Intonjutsu to silently make an escape or conceal yourself. If you are aware of a potentially threatening person following you, it's wise to divert him or her into a false path. You could also put your potential threat in a position where he or she cannot pursue you without revealing themselves in the process. You can use a distraction to blind your attacker in combat such as powder before escaping.          


* Use deception - The essence of ninjutsu is deception. Deception is not dressing in a black ninja suit and performing flashy magic tricks as Hollywood depicts. There's various tactics that are useful in deceiving your attacker such as feints, psychological manipulation, propaganda, persuasion, and so on. Appear strong when weak and weak when strong. One of the ultimate skills of ninjutsu is manipulating your target's perception rather than engaging in combat.

* Blend in with the environment - Part of ninjutsu is using the environment to your advantage to avoid detection. It's critical to have an in-depth understanding of the environment in order to use your ninjutsu skills effectively. You can use camouflage and stealth techniques to evade or engage the enemy when necessary as depicted below.



Certain skills such as Hensojutsu are essential to survival namely in hostage situations. Hensojutsu is the art of disguise and impersonation. Hensojutsu is not just putting on a costume, it involves a deep understanding of sociology. You must have knowledge of the particular social role you want to impersonate. Attackers from criminal organizations may kill or torture you if they suspect you are a potential threat. Applying Hensojutsu such as pretending to be a compliant citizen may save your life. Below is an excellent example of Hensojutsu from a documentary applied to the modern world.      



The essence of becoming invisible is not disturbing the course of nature but flowing with it. Blending in with your environment isn't just moving in silence. It's also leaving absolutely no trace behind.

* Practice Espionage - Another set of essential skills in Ninjutsu is intelligence gathering and counter-intelligence. In certain scenarios such as terrorist hijackings, espionage is a valuable skill set to have. You'll need to engage all of your senses and gather as much intelligence on your enemy as possible. You may also need to leak that intelligence to police officials for example. Counter-intelligence serves to sabotage a potential threat's attempt to spy on you such as an assassin.  

In conclusion, these are just some Ninjutsu skills that you can apply in self defense. If you enjoyed this post, subscribe to my blog for updates, more advice, and exclusive content in the near future. I'm proud and excited to offer a FREE sample chapter of my E-book "Jeet Kune Do: How to build your own fighting system for self defense!" It's essentially a step-by-step guide on how to make your own self defense system suited to fit your own needs using Jeet Kune Do. If you would love to receive your FREE chapter of my e-book, click on the link below and share a post via. social media then it's yours for FREE! Be sure to also fill out the survey on the right and provide feedback on my blog. Leave questions, comments, and suggestions below. 

       

Sunday, April 23, 2017

How to train for untrained attackers when you are insecure

Let me guess, you've been training for long exhausting periods of time. You've been practicing every technique that your self defense instructor taught. You've been doing everything you can do to defend yourself and yet, your still afraid.

Your afraid that in the face of a cruel and frightening attacker, you will wet your pants. You will forget about everything you've spent your hard earned time and effort training for. You are afraid that if a real attack were to happen, you would freeze as if you learned nothing at all.

Even after everything you've learned, you still feel that your not good enough. You are still afraid that despite everything, you will get hurt. Worse, you are terrified that you might get killed.

What's the solution? How do you defend yourself against an untrained attacker with confidence?

Understand your enemy: 

Knowing your enemy is good but understanding your enemy? That's taking your self defense training to heights never before reached. Why? Because you your understanding enables you to effectively give the proper response.

For example, let's say that I work as a cashier. I come across an angry and potentially violent customer. If I understand his or her thought process on a psychological level, this allows me to end the conflict peacefully via. de-escalation.

How do you understand your enemy? You become your enemy. Put yourself in your attacker's shoes. Imitate his or her walk, talk, speech, tone of voice, actions, etc.

Feel everything that your attacker is feeling. Be a predator preying on the weak. Realize that your motives for doing so are based on your own fears of being weak.

Watch this compilation of fights and pay close attention to the patterns of attack. Once you understand your enemy, it's difficult to be afraid because ignorance leads to fear. What to do with that understanding?

Spar like your enemy:

Why do so many self defense systems fail? They don't teach practitioners to spar like untrained attackers. Do you realistically expect the average attacker to come at you with some kung fu moves or boxing jabs?

If you continue to train with trained attackers then you'll only learn how to deal with the trained, not the untrained. How do you spar like the untrained attacker? Adopt his or her mindset.

Make sure that your sparring partner understands the importance of understanding your enemy. When you are ready, take turns roleplaying between an untrained attacker and trained defender.

Start with a scenario to simulate the initial moment before the violent confrontation (ex. threatening the defender) then go into sparring. Do whatever it is any untrained attacker would do whether it's throwing "windmill punches", tackles, grapples, ground and pound, you name it. Do it at full force and high speed until you or your sparring partner loses then repeat the process.

Adapt to your enemy:

When it's your turn to play the role of the defender, you will have a better understanding on how to deal with the untrained attacker. You will begin to notice seemingly chaotic but predictable patterns. Be fluid and respond accordingly.

When you understand fundamental principles of combat (ex. Keeping your distance, controlling your opponent, timing, speed, accuracy, a strong defense, etc. then it becomes easier to respond. Don't worry too much about applying techniques. Instead, go with the flow.

If your sparring partner is swinging too fast and hard at striking range, you could attack from kicking range. You could take your attacker down via. grappling. You could also intercept your opponent's attack by a powerful strike of your own. It all depends on you and what you feel is instinctively right.

Remember to use the environment to your advantage. If you have something to block your partner's vision, use it. If you can use a car as a barrier then use it to escape. There's very little rules in self defense so you must use whatever works under intense sparring sessions.

With consistent training and understanding, you'll be better equipped with overcoming your fears under intense combat. Through hard work, you can essentially deal with any attacker and be one step ahead in self defense. Train smart and train with intensity to get the results you deserve!

If you enjoyed this post, subscribe to my blog for updates, more advice, and exclusive content in the near future. I'm proud and excited to offer a FREE sample chapter of my E-book "Jeet Kune Do: How to build your own fighting system for self defense!" It's essentially a step-by-step guide on how to make your own self defense system suited to fit your own needs using Jeet Kune Do. If you would love to receive your FREE chapter of my e-book, click on the link below and share a post via. social media then it's yours for FREE! Be sure to also fill out the survey on the right and provide feedback on my blog. Leave questions, comments, and suggestions below. 

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Friday, April 21, 2017

Why most self defense systems will get you killed

I'm going to lay down the brutally honest truth that most people teaching self defense are unaware of or simply don't want you to know. Most self defense systems will get you killed on the streets. There i said it. I'm not going to sugar coat it. I'm not going to try and persuade you why what i teach is better. I'm simply going to give reason why most self defense systems do not and will not work in a real world setting. You can choose to ignore the facts or embrace them. The reasons are as follows:

* No training in situational awareness - When was the last time you heard your self defense instructor talk about situational awareness? There's alot of schools teaching self defense who focus on combat but very few who actually talk about situational awareness. What is situational awareness about? The ability to observe your surroundings and comprehend their meaning. It's about finding which observations are critical to your survival (ex. body language, odd behavior, etc.) and which are just distractions. Many martial arts instructors and people teaching "reality-based" self defense ignore it. What do you think the average reaction time is? According to science, it's around 150-300 milliseconds. During that period of time, your brain has to see the threat coming and process the information in order to respond. That's not alot of time to act. Even if you see the threat coming, there's a chance you still won't be able to respond in time to defend yourself due to factors such as distance. You can test it out for yourself and find out (see link below).

It doesn't matter how good you are in sparring. You will always get caught off guard by the first hit on the street if you don't understand how to be situationally aware. One hit is all it takes to end your life be it from a gunshot, a knife, a KO punch, or any other deadly weapon. Many people teaching self defense ignore that and think that you can defend yourself effectively from any surprise attack.

* No training in de-escalating or defusing violent situations - Alot of people emphasize combat but almost no time is spent on resolving conflict before it starts. People think that a simple apology will suffice when it won't in all situations. You won't learn about the psychology of human behavior and the dynamics of human relationships in a dojo or a "reality based" self defense school. It's this lack of training that leads people to treat self defense as street fighting rather than an actual process of ending conflict peacefully. If you want more, read my post "the most fatal mistakes you can make in self defense." Just look at what happens when you fail to defuse a potentially violent situation properly. (http://everythingselfdefense.blogspot.com/2017/03/the-most-fatal-mistakes-you-can-make-in.html)

* A sports mindset - When alot of people hear self defense, they automatically picture two guys sparring in a ring or mat with protective gear and gloves on. They might also jump on the MMA bandwagon and believe that martial arts alone will save them in any violent situation. In reality, the sports mentality limits and often hinders your ability to defend yourself. On the street, anything goes. In sport, there are rules and rules are limitations (ex. no dirty fighting, no weapons, no multiple attackers, etc.) Do you realistically expect to survive EVERY violent situation that comes your way by training in a sports environment? If you want to learn more, read my post "Not all combat is the same for self defense!" (http://everythingselfdefense.blogspot.com/2017/04/not-all-combat-is-same-for-self-defense.html)

* Unrealistic static and flashy combat - I've seen countless martial artists and "reality based" self defense systems show a fancy or "cool" demonstration of techniques. What's the problem? They don't tell you under what conditions the techniques work and when they won't. When a technique or a sequence of attacks are being demonstrated, you'll have a student comply by offering little to no resistance such as shown here. The reality is combat is unpredictable. You don't know how your attacker will respond and that's the scary truth - you don't know. Why don't self defense instructors tell you that? Because it doesn't sell! Let's face it - no one wants to pay for a self defense system that admits it isn't 100% effective. Nevertheless, people want to learn techniques as a "quick fix" for all their problems. Techniques are eye -catching but they are not what will save you in self defense. If there was a set of techniques that worked for every situation, i wouldn't be writing this post but there isn't.  

It's easy for a self defense instructor to put on camo pants and act like a tough marine who knows what he's doing. It's easy to apply a wrist lock under a calm controlled environment with a compliant student after a bit of practice. It's easy to get out of a bearhug by delivering a kick to another student's shin in a dojo. That is until your attacker throws you on the ground, beats you up, and renders your technique useless. Until you realize it's all impractical in the streets and you start to blame your instructor or he/she says "you did it wrong.." Assuming you live to tell the story.

* Ignoring physiology, psychology, anatomy, and other factors - A huge part of why most self defense training systems fail is the lack of knowledge on the effects of stress and adrenaline on the body. I've seen alot of Krav Maga practitioners attack by clinching an opponent and knee striking the groin. This might work but that's assuming your attacker isn't under adrenaline. The effects of adrenaline on the body can cause people to perform amazing feats and tolerate huge amounts of pain. If your attacker is determined to kill you and is undergoing an adrenaline rush, inflicting pain isn't going to end the threat. What it will probably do is make him or her angrier and more determined to kill you. There's also demonstrations where your instructed to attack the body. The problem? Most instructors aren't telling you where to hit and that greatly reduces your chances of surviving. If you hit solid bone and your hand breaks, that hand is now useless in combat. The only reason why it works in a school is because of gloves, light contact, or no contact at all in hard target areas. There's also the psychology of conflict that plays a role in your survival. Do you realistically expect an emotionally sensitive soccer mom to have the will to gouge out her attacker's eyes under high levels of stress and tunnel vision?

Unfortunately, many professing to teach self defense ignore all that and assume that what they teach works in every situation.    

* Neglecting the laws of self defense - Perhaps a huge neglect in self defense circles is the legal system. Alot of people just assume that they can attack in any manner and claim self defense in court. How you handle a situation is going to determine whether or not you legally acted in self defense. If the police find that you used excessive deadly force on an attacker, it's going to make YOU look bad. Unfortunately, alot of self defense schools neglect incorporating the law and ignorance of the law is what will get you locked up.

* Unrealistic view of combat - Alot of martial artists and "reality-based" self defense systems paint a beautiful picture of combat. The reality is combat is anything but beautiful. It's hideous. It's bloody. It's vile. It's grotesque. The notion that your going to walk out of an intense violent battle without any flesh wound is an illusion. When people get punched multiple times, there is bleeding on an internal level that people often aren't aware of. You will likely be left with "battle scars" be it psychological or physical. Whether you survive or not is irrelevant. You have to accept that you might be left with irreversible damage no matter what happens. Could be the loss of an organ, blindness, a limb, or any other permanent reminders. That's the price you pay for getting into violent situations.      

In conclusion, these are just some of the reasons why most self defense systems fail. The choice is yours. You can choose to continue living in a fantasy world where the facts don't apply. You can choose to continue searching for "the best martial art for self defense." You can choose to invest in courses teaching you static techniques on how to deal with situations than face the reality of combat. You can also choose to acknowledge the facts and base your training around them. After all, it's your life. I hope that you make the right choice because it means the difference between life and death.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/bring-science-home-reaction-time/ 

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Thursday, April 20, 2017

Understanding the psychology of insults

We've probably been insulted at least once or countless times in our lives but few understand why people insult us. It's important to understand your enemy in order to defend yourself properly. I will give scientific evidence to help you do just that.

In psychology (see link below), there are several theories as to why people insult you. They are as follows:

1) Social Identity Theory - This is the idea that humans have a need for being unique. When there are outsiders, people tend to feel threatened and have the need to attack them to preserve self esteem. That's why you'll find white supremacists attack people of color because they feel threatened and vulnerable.

2) Social Comparison Theory - This theory argues that people tend to compare themselves to others as a measure of success or failure. When verbal abusers feel insecure or insulted on a particular flaw of ours (lack of confidence, intelligence, etc.), they tend to put others down. In a study done, volunteers were told they were unattractive compared to being attractive. They were more likely to rate others as unattractive, less intelligent, and less kind in an attempt to regain self esteem. If someone insults your intellect, chances are it's because your offender is feeling less intelligent than you are.



3) Projection - Sigmund Freud argued that people insult others because they have a negative view of themselves. They'd rather see other people having certain flaws than acknowledge their own. In a study done, people who were told their anger was high were more likely to rate someone else's anger higher than their own thus making them have less angry feelings. If you come across someone accusing you of selfish behavior when he or she is clearly being self-centered, it's probably because he or she refuses to acknowledge his or her own selfishness.

4) Ego threat - Another theory suggests that it doesn't matter whether people feel good about themselves or not. What matters is whether or not they are feeling worse about themselves in the present moment. A study done on people who are insulted show that they were more likely to force others to listen to obnoxious noises. If someone is insulting you, it could be because he or she is feeling miserable at the present moment.

What's the conclusion? People tend to store certain unwanted characteristics within their subconscious mind and rather than deal with it, they project them on others. The next time someone insults you, don't take it personally. It's because of an insecurity he or she has. That's why it's important in verbal self defense to not retaliate but rather defuse the verbal abuse. You may not get your verbal abuser to acknowledge his or her flaws but at least you can steer the insults into a more productive way of communication. Next time someone insults you, provide a healthier mean of understanding and expression for your offender.   

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-big-questions/201306/why-are-people-mean-part-1

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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Do you need to work out for self defense?


When it comes to self defense, is physical fitness a requirement? Do you have to be physically fit in order to increase your odds of surviving a violent confrontation?

My answer is no you don't have to be fit for self defense for the following reasons.
1) Health and self defense are two different issues - Some self defense instructors argue that if your not serious about preserving your health, what's the point in learning self defense? Everyone has the right to self defense whether they are young or old, skinny or obese, healthy or physically ill. When you go to a self defense school, you are there to learn self defense. You are not there to work out at a gym or a sports competition. If you are extremely obese then it's your responsibility to care for your own health, not because you want to defend yourself. 
2) It's not necessarily useful - Physical fitness especially in the area of self defense is like HD T.V. Do you need it? No. Would it improve your overall viewing experience? It depends on your preferences. How will you use physical fitness to defend yourself? Do you plan on getting in fights where you'll need to rely on your cardio to survive? How will physical fitness help your attacking skills and overall performance? If it doesn't help you in combat, why work so hard to maintain that level of fitness? 
If you think physical fitness is a necessity for you in self defense then start working out. If you don't need it then don't bother working out.

If you enjoyed this post, subscribe to my blog for updates, more advice, and exclusive content in the near future. I'm proud and excited to offer a FREE sample chapter of my E-book "Jeet Kune Do: How to build your own fighting system for self defense!" It's essentially a step-by-step guide on how to make your own self defense system suited to fit your own needs using Jeet Kune Do. If you would love to receive your FREE chapter of my e-book, click on the link below and share a post via. social media then it's yours for FREE! Be sure to also fill out the survey on the right and provide feedback on my blog. Leave questions, comments, and suggestions below.

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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Myths on knife fighting and knife attacks

Unfortunately there are many myths about knives in combat circling around. I intend on debunking some of them in this blog post. Being ignorant about how knives work is what's going to get you killed in the streets. That's why it's important to understand knives so you can better use it or defend against it.

* "A knife attacker is going to point the knife at you " - Alot of martial artists and self defense instructors do demonstrations where an attacker is pointing a knife at you like in this video. This is unrealistic. The reality is your attacker won't reveal the knife to you until the time of attack. Even if you are dealing with an armed robber, he or she will likely hold you at knife point. Some will stab you regardless of whether or not you have valuables. Some will just walk up from behind, put you in a chokehold, and slit your throat. Others might pull out a knife in a multiple attacker scenario. You don't really know 100% how someone will attack you a knife.  

* "A knifeman will lunge forward to stab you once " - Another unrealistic scenario that people teaching knife defense do is use the knife as a long range weapon like in this example. In most knife attacks, your attacker will land a barrage of quick uncommitted stabs and slashes. Plus, he or she will keep pushing forward until you fall over or back up against a wall. In many criminal cases involving knives, there are multiple stabbings.

* "You will be able to kick the knife out of an attacker's hand" - Some people teach that you'll be able to kick or shoot the knife out of someone's hand as shown in this video. The chances of this happening is very low if your attacker is moving quickly in and out of range.


* "Your going to be able to use pain compliance to disarm a knifeman" - Some schools namely Krav Maga like to have their students redirect the knife hand and strike the groin repeatedly until the knifeman drops his or her weapon. This might work but if your attacker is determined to kill you and is high off of adrenaline, pain compliance isn't going to work. Your knife attacker will get hit but that might not be enough to get him or her to release the knife. While your striking your knife-wielding attacker, he or she might be stabbing you in the process.

* "Your going to be able to apply a fancy disarming technique" - Alot of schools like to teach knife disarming techniques. Under high pressure where a knife attacker is stabbing and slashing away full speed, the chances of you applying a fancy technique is low.


* "One stab = one kill" - Some people believe that one stab is all it takes to kill someone in self defense. Not so. It depends on where you strike, how deep, how fast, and with how much power. Deaths from knife attacks result from blood loss, shock, and loss of a vital organ's functionality (see link below). It's going to take a while for your attacker to bleed out. In the meantime, you are going to be attacked at full force especially if your attacker is high on adrenaline due to the body's natural pain killers. Against an attacker moving around quickly, it's going to be difficult to land a fatal stab.

* "A knife attacker is going to be tactical" - Many schools teaching knife fighting take two people of the same skill level and have them spar such as in this example. The chances of you coming across a trained or tactical knife fighter is rare unless you consent to a fight. If you are attacked by a knife-wielding assailant, chances are he or she will strike at moderate to high speed (stabbing, slashing, cutting, etc.) It will probably happen so fast that you won't have time to draw your own weapon and will have to resort to alternative means of self defense.


If want to learn more, read my post "Ineffective knife training for self defense" (http://everythingselfdefense.blogspot.com/2017/04/ineffective-knife-training-for-self.html). 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stabbing

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Monday, April 17, 2017

Fundamental principles of self defense

In this blog post, i'll discuss the basic most fundamental principles of self defense in a step-by-step guide with helpful resources. It's important that you understand the process of how to defend yourself. Why? If you don't, you could face time in prison or some other punishment for looking like the assailant rather than the victim. The process is as follows:

* Avoid conflict - Avoiding a violent situation should be your first priority. If you for example are many feet away from a knife attacker and you draw your gun, the authorities will ask "well why didn't you run away when you had the chance?" If you have a way to retreat and you don't take it, you are going to look like the assailant. If you can safely escape be it on foot, in a car, or bike then do so unless it puts you in more danger.

* Attack only when attacked - Under no circumstances can you make the first attack unless you are in physical danger (ex. armed robbers, kidnappers, etc.) Until your assailant throws the first strike, you cannot legally defend yourself. Some schools teaching combat for self defense tell you that it's best to strike first if a potential attacker is in your face. In reality, this isn't self defense according to the law. If someone is insulting you and getting aggressive, it makes no sense for me to throw a punch in order to "defend myself." Self defense only applies if you are responding to an attack at the present moment. If someone wants to fight you and you say "let's take it outside...", you are no longer practicing self defense because you are consenting to it. If someone is in a road rage and you apply a wrist-lock, you are no longer practicing self defense because you are initiating the attack. It doesn't matter if someone was "asking for it" or you needed to "teach em a lesson..." Nothing justifies you making the first attack period.

* Prove your innocence - You'll need to prove your innocence under a court of law by providing evidence that you acted in a lawful manner. Video recordings, eye-witness accounts, etc. of you trying to defuse a violent situation and avoid conflict are all examples of proof of your innocence. Keep in mind that your aggressor can also do the same so it might turn into a legal battle over who acted in self defense.

* Use proportionality - As i said before in previous posts, the amount of force used must be proportional or equal to the attack. A non-lethal threat must be met with non-lethal force. A lethal threat can be met with lethal force. Some self defense schools don't follow this principle and that's what will get you into legal trouble. This video is an example. Shooting someone multiple times because he or she punched you isn't using proportional force. Keep this in mind at all times.



* Address the most immediate threat - You must attack in self defense at the present moment you are being attacked. Not before an attack happens. Not after an attack happens. If someone's threatening your life, you have no business attacking that person because there's no threat involved. If you get beaten up in a brawl and your attacker leaves, you cannot get up to continue attacking then claim self defense. That is retaliation. If you do not, your claim to self defense fails.

* Use reasonable force - You must always be reasonable when acting in self defense. Stabbing someone with a knife because you "feared for your life" is not a reasonable justification for using deadly force. If you get caught up in a gun fight with an active shooter, you are using reasonable force. Why? 1) The active shooter has already proven him or herself to be a deadly threat evidenced by killing innocent civilians 2) The active shooter is using deadly force via. firearms. If you act in a way that a reasonable person would not act in self defense, it's going to look bad on your part.

https://lawofselfdefense.com/the-five-principles-of-the-law-of-self-defense-in-a-nutshell/

If you enjoyed this post, subscribe to my blog for updates, more advice, and exclusive content in the near future. I'm proud and excited to offer a FREE sample chapter of my E-book "Jeet Kune Do: How to build your own fighting system for self defense!" It's essentially a step-by-step guide on how to make your own self defense system suited to fit your own needs using Jeet Kune Do. If you would love to receive your FREE chapter of my e-book, click on the link below and share a post via. social media then it's yours for FREE! Be sure to also fill out the survey on the right and provide feedback on my blog. Leave questions, comments, and suggestions below.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Combat training doesn't make you invincible

It's important to realize that no matter how much training you have in combat, there's still the possibility that you could get hurt or killed like a complete amateur. There's so many variables that could affect the chances of you surviving or dying by a fatal mistake. You can take as many self defense and martial arts classes as you want. You can undergo extensive training but there will always be variables that are outside of your control. We can never be prepared for absolutely everything.

That's why you need to choose your battles wisely. Don't think that you can find an excuse to get into a street fight or a violent situation and expect your training to save you 100%. You are responsible for the actions you take or don't take. Sure you might get into a fight and win once or a couple of times on the street. Nonetheless, you will eventually come across a situation never encountered before and you could get hospitalized or killed. If you end up in a hospital, don't go around playing the blame game then claim that what i or others showed you is completely useless.

Want to know who your enemy is? Look in the mirror. That's your enemy. Fight your own ego because that's what could potentially cause your downfall if you get too ahead of yourself. The best combat training is one that you won't ever have to use in the streets.



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Saturday, April 15, 2017

Ineffective knife training for self defense

You've probably seen Filipino martial arts such as Kali engage in drills as shown above or similar knife fighting techniques for self defense. While it looks practical for self defense, i'm going to give you a few reasons why it's not. This post isn't to downgrade Kali or any other martial art that practices knife fighting. It works in the martial arts world. It might even work at least once in a real situation but you shouldn't rely on them for self defense. We need to be honest and not allow our preconceived notions of "art" get in the way of effective self defense. Here's my list of reasons why knife training in martial arts don't work in self defense with some helpful resources.

* Impractical training drills - Alot of masters like to teach traditional Kali "flow" training drills where two people stand in front of each other with knives and coordinate their movements. This type of training is ineffective for self defense for several reasons 1) It's static. In a real life violent encounter, your attacker is going keep moving forward with repeated strikes. 2) There's no intent to attack. In a real life attack, your knife attacker is going to throw alot of strikes to a point where you won't be able to deflect them all as taught in flow drills.

* There's no knife dueling in self defense - Alot of knife fighting in Filipino martial arts is geared towards knife dueling. Realistically, someone who intends on attacking you isn't going to wave a knife around and challenge you. He or she is going to surprise you by having the knife concealed then draw it and attack when you least expect it. By the time you realize the danger, it's too late. There's a difference between knife duels where you know it's going to be a fight and a knife attack where you probably won't expect it.



* Unrealistic knife attacks - In some martial arts self defense demonstrations, you might see someone put everything in one stab as you are taught a technique. In real knife attacks, your knife attacker is probably going to repeatedly stab you in a "sewing machine" fashion at various speeds. He or she might grapple to hold you in a firm position as he or she stabs or slashes away. Compare the knife attacks you see in Filipino martial arts to the knife attacks that have actually happened in the street.
         
* No situational awareness or distance control being taught - Very often, you will find a knife attacker conceal a knife before deploying it at the moment of attack. Situational awareness and reading body language are what's so crucial in saving your life in a knife attack. Someone in a crowd or store can walk close to you before quickly drawing a knife and slitting your throat before you'll have time to react. You surely won't have time to draw your own knife if you don't know how to create distance. If you don't know how to read a potential attacker's body language in order to recognize the threat, you will get seriously hurt or killed. Situational awareness and reading body language are two essential skills that you won't learn in a martial arts setting.

* Ineffective sparring sessions - Some schools like to teach point systems and rules (ex. no striking the face) or only making light contact with your knife. The result is when a real violent situation, your slashes are not going to be powerful enough to cut through muscles and tendons. They are only going to cut your attacker. Point systems are useless if they don't teach you how to end the threat efficiently. There's no rules out in the streets so following rules in training will only limit you when an attack happens in the real world.



There you have it. Knife fighting is alot more chaotic and intense than martial artists make it out to be. You don't have to take my word for it. Test it out in unrehearsed sparring sessions as you mimic an untrained knife attacker repeatedly stabbing you quickly as you try to apply Filipino martial arts then see the results. Knife-fighting is not a dance. It's a matter of life and death.



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Friday, April 14, 2017

How to handle bullying in self defense


Bullying is a very common problem and can leave devastating effects on the victim. If you are the victim of bullying then you are not alone. There are various forms of bullying and many people who suffer because of it. Hopefully, this self defense guide will help you deal with bullying with helpful resources and tips.

Realize it's not your fault - The first step to dealing with bullying is that it's not your fault. There's nothing wrong with you that made you deserve to be bullied. Bullies tend to pick on those whom they suspect won't fight back because they are projecting their own insecurities. 

Don't internalize bullying - Everything that a bully says or does to you says isn't about you. It's a bully acting out his or her internal issues. You might not be able to change your bully's behavior but you can change the way you respond to it. Don't take it personal. Focus on responding with a positive approach instead of delving in self-hate and negativity.         

* Use verbal assertiveness - Being verbally assertive can be a powerful method to getting a bully to stop his or her behavior. There's a huge difference between intimidation and being assertive. Intimidation involves verbal abuse and aggression while assertiveness involves confidently projecting your own viewpoint. Assertiveness demonstrates confidence whereas intimidation does not. Being assertive means standing up for yourself without being aggressive. Demand with confidence and a loud voice words such as "stop!" or "no!" when confronted by a bully.    

* Use non-complementary behavior - The bully will likely use verbal insults, teasing, taunts, mockery, intimidation, etc. to get you to react either in fear or submission. Don't give the bully what he or she wants. Learn how to project confidence in your body language and tone of voice without being submissive or aggressive. Show the bully that you are unaffected by him or her. Engage in behavior that your bully won't expect. 

* Use genuine empathy and listening skills - Be empathetic and express understanding. Chances are the bully is trying to communicate to you in an unhealthy manner. If you want to learn more on how to do that, check out my post "Psychological defense against violent intimidation" (http://everythingselfdefense.blogspot.com/2017/01/psychological-defense-against-violent.html), "how to defuse a fight before it starts in self defense.." (http://everythingselfdefense.blogspot.com/2017/04/how-to-defuse-fight-before-it-starts-in.html), and "how to defend yourself against verbal insults" (http://everythingselfdefense.blogspot.com/2017/01/how-to-defend-yourself-against-insults.html). Practice these skills in the face of verbal abuse from your bully. Don't however make it your responsibility to "save" the bully as your efforts will likely fail because the bully will not want help.  

* Don't engage in violence - Some people like to resolve bullying by engaging in fights after years of verbal abuse. This is often the wrong response. When you are being verbally abused, you should already use verbal self defense to respond then and there. You should not let negative emotions build up until the last minute or you may end up expressing them violently. The consequences of fighting include school suspension or getting beaten by a bully who may be more violent than you. The bully may have weapons or come back with multiple attackers. Violence should be your only last resort when you are being attacked. 

* Get support - Get friends, family, and trusted adults to help you. Never travel alone where you are put one on one with a bully. Having a good support system will give you confidence in dealing with bullying. Bullies hate it when someone has a support system because they tend to target those who are isolated from others. Once you get others involved, the bully will lose power and may leave you alone. Report the bullying to the authorities. 

* Use physical self defense as a last resort - If the bully decides he or she is going to attack you no matter what, you'll need to defend yourself physically. You'll need to be good at reading hostile body language and see an attack coming before you land a knock out hit. If you want to learn more, read "how to end street fights FAST" (http://everythingselfdefense.blogspot.com/2017/01/how-to-end-street-fights-fast.html) and "how to fight multiple opponents" (http://everythingselfdefense.blogspot.com/2016/12/how-to-fight-multiple-opponents.html). Remember to use the environment to your advantage.            

* Practice self love - Probably one of the most powerful principles in dealing with bullying is engaging in self love. Remind yourself everyday of your strengths and love your imperfections. Bullies will try to change the way you view yourself. If you practice loving yourself on a daily basis, you remove the bully's power and gain confidence in yourself.  



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Why learn hand to hand combat for self defense?

It might be obvious that a big part of self defense is hand to hand combat. Nevertheless its important to understand why that is so. Is hand to hand combat required? No but I'll give you a few reasons why you should learn some bad hand to hand combat skills.

One of the reasons you should learn hand to hand combat is for the advantages it brings. You can knock someone out, keep attackers at bay, do weapons disarms, and alot more. You also have control over the degree of deadly force you use. You can't get that from weapons alone or a one size fits all approach. Deadly weapons only have a high degree of lethal force for killing your attackers. If you read my post "why relying on weapons will get you killed" (http://everythingselfdefense.blogspot.com/2016/12/why-relying-on-weapons-will-get-you.html) then you understand why relying weapons alone for self defense isn't a smart idea. Even in situations where deadly weapons are involved, hand-to-hand combat will be useful in creating distance between you and your attacker as you use your own weapons.

As for the one size fits all approach, people tend to underestimate attackers who mean them harm. If you were to ask people what they'd do if they were attacked,some of the answers you'll get will be "well i'd just kick him in the balls..." Not denying the effectiveness of a groin strike but it's easier said than done. There's several variables that affect whether you are successful or not. Your attacker might be wearing a jock strap, move out of range, have a high pain tolerance, or be on drugs. How likely are you to land a groin strike in a chaotic situation with a moving attacker? Even if you land a groin strike but that's not enough to take him or her down, what will you do then?

Here's one very fine example where relying only on weapons did not work. A police officer approaches a man who is a former heavyweight boxer and the boxer decides to attack him. The officer uses pepper spray which fails then his gun. The officer fires and lands a direct hit but the boxer keeps fighting. The boxer disarms him and attempts to shoot him but the gun jams then uses it as a melee weapon. From what it seems like, the officer has no training in hand-to-hand combat which is a huge disadvantage in this situation. The only thing that saved the officer were his peers.



While you might not get attacked by a heavyweight boxer or be put in this situation, the point is your attacker is unpredictable. There's no one solution that's going to work for every situation as far as the physical aspects of combat go. If your weapons don't work or you get disarmed like in this situation, your in deep trouble. Hand to hand combat helps build confidence and understanding of what to do in case your first attack doesn't succeed.



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Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Common myths about insults

There are all sorts of misconceptions about verbal abuse and because of them, it's created an invisible world of pain. In this blog post, i will expose them and their significance.

* "Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me" - Many people tend to believe that words cannot hurt you. It's your choice to give words power. This is not true. According to a study, verbal abuse can cause physical diseases such as chronic pain, migraine, headaches, ulcers, stammering, the list goes on. The psychological effects include fear and anxiety, stress, depression, anger issues, PTSD, etc. (1). More symptoms are shown in this video.

* "Physical abuse is worse than verbal abuse" - Many people believe that physical abuse is worse than verbal abuse. The reality is verbal abuse tends to be more damaging because verbal abuse causes victims to change the way they view themselves. If victims of verbal abuse were made to feel less than human or worthless especially from people they sought approval from then they may go on carrying those emotional wounds. Their behaviors may reflect emotional suffering caused from verbal abuse in the form of drug abuse or other ways. In fact, the brain of a child who has been the victim of verbal abuse has been shown to differ from that of a child who grew up in a healthy environment (2).

* "Only strangers verbally abuse" - Many people tend to believe that only strangers and bullies engage in verbal abuse you. The reality is that family, friends, spouses, and acquaintances can also be verbal abusers. They may or may not realize that they are being verbally abusive and don't know how to express their emotions in a healthy manner.

* "The best way to handle verbal abuse is to ignore it and walk away" - Many people tend to believe that the best way to deal with verbal abuse is to ignore it and walk away. This can be effective but it's not always possible. If your in a situation where you cannot simply leave like a job or a home then ignoring it isn't possible. Ignoring verbal abuse is even more difficult when it comes from those whom you love. Sometimes, you have no other choice but to confront verbal abuse.


* "verbal abuse doesn't cause violence" - People tend to believe that verbal abuse is completely from violence. Some might believe that they can be verbally abuse and their victim won't become violent. In fact, verbal aggression in the form of insults and verbal abuse is one of the major causes of violence (3). This is why verbally defusing a potentially violent situation is so important. To learn more, read my post "how to defuse a fight before it starts" (http://everythingselfdefense.blogspot.com/2017/04/how-to-defuse-fight-before-it-starts-in.html).

In conclusion, these are just a few reasons why you should learn verbal self defense. Take the time to share this blog post with people you know and stick to the facts.

1. http://www.healthyplace.com/abuse/verbal-abuse/effects-of-verbal-abuse-on-children-women-and-men/

2. https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/tech-support/201611/the-long-lasting-pain-childhood-verbal-abuse

3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Verbal_aggressiveness



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Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Why i teach principles of combat in self defense

It seems that in today's self defense community, people have forgotten about the simplicity of combat. I see so many self defense schools teaching techniques and what to do in X or Y situation. Not enough time is spent on teaching the importance of self defense principles and understanding them. I'll give you a few reasons why i rarely teach techniques and choose to teach principles instead.

* Principles make you more efficient - When under attack, you don't have time to think about "hmm...i'm going to do this..i'm going to do that...then i'm going to do X technique.." It's going to happen so fast that you will have very little time to react much less act. Let's suppose you are far away and someone pulls a 9 millimeter gun at you in an urban city. What do you do? One of the fundamental principles to defend yourself in that situation is to seek cover and concealment. Soon as you see a concrete wall or anything that can stop bullets, get behind it and conceal yourself. What if someone pulls an AK-47? A shotgun? An AR-15? Throwing knives? Same concept. Get behind cover or anything that hides your presence outside the gunman's field of vision. You don't need to be an expert on firearms. You don't need to invest in years of studying each long range weapon in order to know how to respond. You don't need to have a weapon to find cover and concealment. When your against long range weapons such as firearms, the principle of cover and concealment in response still applies.

* Principles make you fluid - You may have seen Krav Maga practitioners when faced with a gunman, they'll grab the gun as they punch the face multiple times or perform a technique as shown in this video. This looks good but it's not always effective. Your attacker might have high pain tolerance and the adrenaline might make the pain less severe. He or she might even see you going for the gun and move back then shoot you. How would you resolve that with principles? Quickly redirecting the line of attack and establishing firm control over the weapon via. controlling the arm with both hands. If the gunman moves back, you move forward and apply the same principles. Another principle is obstructing your enemy's field of vision. If you got an object (any object) in your hand, throw it in your attacker's vision. You can control the arm and attack at once. As long as you understand principles, you can defend yourself more fluidly. If you forgot a technique or it didn't work, your in a big trouble.  

* Principles help you understand combat - It's one thing to know techniques but it's another to completely understand combat. Techniques are static and only work in particular situations. Combat is fluid and changing. What did techniques teach you about maintaining distance? Controlling your opponent? Accuracy? If you keep thinking in terms of techniques and what to do in different scenarios, you won't understand the essence of combat. Want to know the best way to counter a headlock, a chokehold, a bearhug? Preventing that from happening in the first place by keeping your distance. As soon as your attacker tries to go into grappling range, you could use your footwork to get out of range and land a kick to the groin as a stop hit then explosively go for a knock out punch. Creating distance isn't just used in hand-to-hand combat. It also applies to weapons as well. Whether your holding a knife, a gun, a stick, or a rock - you will need to control the distance between you and your attacker to ensure your own safety while maximizing the effectiveness of your attacks.

I'm not saying you should never use techniques but don't depend on them to save your life. It's understanding principles of combat that teaches you how to better defend yourself more efficiently and effectively.



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Monday, April 10, 2017

How likely are you to be a victim of violent crime?




It's interesting to note that many Americans believe that violent crime is increasing according to polls. They might take self defense classes or buy weapons for home defense. In my other post "do you need to learn self defense" (http://everythingselfdefense.blogspot.com/2017/04/do-you-need-to-learn-self-defense.html), i mentioned whether or not self defense was practical. In this post, i'm going to discuss how much violent crime is going to affect you.

Violent crime is actually quite different from people's perceptions. Violent crimes have in reality gone down since the 90's according to the FBI's statistics (1). Most cults, sociopaths (2), and what we think are common violent offenders are non-violent. Serial killings account for no more than 1% of all murders (3). That being said, this whole perception that your likely to be a victim of a violent crime is wrong. It's surely possible but with a few considerations.

There are many violent crimes that go unreported so we don't have a completely accurate statistics on violent crimes. Violent crimes vary depending on where you live and where i live for example, violent crimes rarely happen. They also depend on your occupations as some put you at more risk, your relationship, where you travel, and more.

How does this relate to self defense? It should be part of situational awareness. It all boils back to my post "know your enemy in self defense" (http://everythingselfdefense.blogspot.com/2017/02/know-your-enemy-in-self-defense.html). Don't get overwhelmed by fear that you blindly take precautions against an enemy you think exists and be completely unaware of the real enemy. Look at the facts. If you plan a trip, look to take on a job, in an abusive relationship, traveling through a dangerous neighborhood then take precautions for your safety. Don't walk right into a trap. Be aware of your surroundings and take steps to avoid even being in a violent confrontation to begin with.  

1. http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/02/21/5-facts-about-crime-in-the-u-s/

2. http://www.signature-reads.com/2013/05/little-did-we-know-5-myths-about-sociopathy-debunked/

3. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/5-myths-about-serial-killers-and-why-they-persist-excerpt/



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