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Thursday, September 28, 2017

How to practice situational awareness safety for self defense

Learning situational awareness is one of the most fundamental skills you can learn in self-defense. As children, we were very aware of our environment. Unfortunately as we grew older, we lost these skills due to many factors such as social media. Why is situational awareness important? If you don't have full awareness of your environment, you won't be able to respond to a threat quickly enough. Thus, you will be unprepared for an attack and possibly die as a result. How do you hone your skills in situational awareness safety? The tips below will be based on a certain degree of scientific understanding:

* Practice keeping a safe distance - In order to react quickly enough to an attack, you need to maintain a safe distance between you and a potential threat. How? Stay a few feet away from strangers or potentially dangerous people. Practice verbal assertiveness and establishing healthy boundaries. Use "I" messages. If you don't keep your distance, your vision will be limited. You won't respond quickly enough or if you do respond, it's too late.

* Learn to read body language - One of the fundamental ways of reading an attacker's intent is body language. It's very difficult for people to mask body language. By reading non-verbal cues, you'll raise your alertness levels and act accordingly. What are some signs that someone is about to attack? Dilated pupils, sweat, a clenched jaw, fist, stiff neck, legs in a fighting stance, etc. If you want to learn more, read my blog post "7 warning signs of an impending attack." 

* Study your environment - Whenever you plan a trip to a certain area, take the time to research the crime rates. The higher the crime rates, the higher your alertness needs to be. Familiarize yourself well with your environment. Learn where the nearest exits are, where to find cover and concealment, where potential weapons are, where potential allies are, etc. 

* Observe your relationships - Sometimes the people you keep in contact with be it associates, friends, parents, lovers, etc. can be potential threats. This can be due to various underlying factors such as unresolved conflicts, negative emotions, violent behavior, physical or emotional neglect, abuse, etc. When you notice changes in your relationships that could potentially lead to violence, you need to act.

* Eliminate distractions - In order to respond quickly enough, you need to get rid of all distractions. If you're driving, turn off your cell phone. If you try to do too may things at once, you may get caught by surprise if an attack were to occur.

* Know where to direct your focus - You don't have eyes at the back of your head. It's impossible to have a complete 360 degree view of the world around you. Therefore the only solution is to figure out where your attention needs to be. You don't have to constantly keep looking over your shoulder for a potential threat but you shouldn't completely let your guard down either. You should divide your focus in order to keep from getting caught off guard. 

There was a study done where volunteers were asked to count how many times 3 basketball players in white passed a ball. A woman in a gorilla costume came in and walked away. Half of the viewers missed her. Why? This phenomenon is called inattentional blindness. It's when our attention has become so focused on one particular thing that we lose sight of other things. See the link below for more details.

https://www.livescience.com/6727-invisible-gorilla-test-shows-notice.html

* Establish a secure parameter - We know that you can't always have your guard up. That's why it's important to designate a safe area and take precautions to secure it. To increase your situational awareness, you must take advantage of the resources already available. This could be in the form of security cameras, alarm systems, and other smart security systems.

In conclusion, these are a few key tips to increase situational awareness safety. Above all, you need to accept that there's a small chance that you'll be caught off guard and unprepared for an attack. Situational awarness safety doesn't make you completely invincible but it will help you in most cases. Practice these skills in your daily life.

If you enjoyed this post, subscribe to my blog for updates, more advice, product recommendations, 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, August 29, 2017

7 warning signs of an impending attack

Just as it's important to learn hand-to-hand combat skills, it's also important to learn the potential warning signs of an attack. Why? You'll have the ability to asses the situation and prevent conflict all together. How can you determine whether or not someone is a potential threat? One method is by reading body language. Most of our communication is through body language. Below are a list of seven warning signs of a potential attack with a helpful resource.

* The pupils - When someone is in a flight-or-fight mode, adrenaline will rush into the bloodstream which causes the pupils to dilate. If you're approached by a potential threat, watch the pupils. 

* The pulse - When someone's about to become violent or aggressive, blood flow and blood pressure increases. You should notice a pounding pulse in the neck or temple areas. You don't need to worry about them concealing it as it's very difficult for most people to control. 

* The hands - Another huge indicator of a potentially violent person is the hands. When someone is violent, he or she will usually ball the fists. Pointing or making threatening gestures are also other signs. If he or she is armed, he or she will usually hide the hands. Pay close attention to the hands. 

* The mouth - If someone is about to attack, breathing will be heavy and he or she will likely gasp for air. Sometimes the lips will be parsed. 

* The shoulders - If someone is about to attack, the shoulders will give it away. Tight and raised shoulders indicate a potential threat. The person might lean forward a bit. 

* The legs - If someone is a threat, there will usually be a dominant foot forward shoulder-width apart. If the person is armed, he or she may shield the weapon from view. 

* Body tension - If a person is violent; there will usually be tension in several areas such as the neck, jaw, arms, shoulders, etc. Pay close attention to the person's posture. 

Practice reading these key body signals. If you enjoyed this post, subscribe to my blog for updates, more advice, product recommendations, 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, July 21, 2017

Is your school teaching self defense or just violence?


As a student of self defense, i understand the importance of combat. I understand the importance of training hard to memorize your techniques. I understand the importance of effective sparring.

Nevertheless, i kept having this nagging feeling that there was more to self defense than meets the eye. I had to take a long pause and reflect on the meaning of self defense as opposed to just fighting. I realized that while everything most self defense instructors were teaching had noble intent, the aim was in the wrong direction. I realized fighting was only half the equation. The other half of self defense and probably the most important is avoiding the threat. Unfortunately too much emphasis is put on the combat aspect of self defense and not enough on skills that matter most in the long run - defusing the threat, conflict resolution, situational awareness, etc. Without these essential skills, all that is being taught in self-defense schools is just street-fighting. 

That being said, my question to anyone teaching or learning self defense is this - is your school teaching self defense or just violence? Self-defense isn't just putting on a pair of gloves and practicing your punches. It's about developing the proper mindset, skills, and character to prevent or minimize conflict to preserve your life. It's this realization that caused me to rethink what i know and motivated me to search for essential skills to prevent conflict before it starts.

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, June 18, 2017

What's the best martial arts sparring gear in 2017?

We all should know the importance of sparring gear especially when it comes to self defense. Without it, serious injury can occur. If you're looking for a certain product or products and wonder "what's the best martial arts sparring gear for 2017?" I'll give you my recommendations with helpful resources.

I highly recommend purchasing products from Macho martial arts. The first is the Macho 8 piece martial arts sparring gear set. The pieces are made of 3/4 inch impact dispersing foam with double padding. The set consist of gloves, shin guards, head gear, face mask, and kicks. They come in various sizes including small, medium, large, and extra large. They are suitable for children and young adults. Available in white, blue, red, and black.

How does the Macho 8 piece martial arts sparring gear differ from others? The gloves don't just have durable padding for striking. They also have a finger grip design for open and closed techniques with a tighter grip. Your forearms have padded protection as opposed to just your hands. The head gear has many unique features such as maximum vision and open face design. It has many air holes to prevent overheating and ruptured ear drums from powerful hits. The headgear also ensures a safe fall. The shin guards and kicks are very easy to put on.



The second product i recommend is the Macho Dyna chest protector. The Macho Dyna chest protector is lightweight with superb mobility that differentiates it from other products. It's cut above the hip to reduce shifting during sparring. Vital areas are covered with a shock resistant, high density, 1 inch thermoformed padding. The durable material is made of polyethylene. The only downside is that the backside is exposed with criss cross strapping. The video below demonstrates what it looks like when worn.



If you want to purchase these amazing products, click on the links below. In conclusion, these are the best martial arts sparring gear for self defense in 2017.


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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Wednesday, June 7, 2017

6 easy steps to master knife-fighting for self-defense

In my blog post "how to use knife-fighting for self defense" (http://everythingselfdefense.blogspot.com/2017/03/how-to-use-knife-fighting-in-self.html), i explain some of the fundamentals of knife fighting. In this blog post i'll explain the more technical details of knife fighting for self defense. Before you can train in knife-fighting, you need to learn some of the fundamentals for training using a knife. This guide also comes with helpful resources.

 * Have a proper knife grip - There are many ways to hold a knife each with their own advantages. For the sake of this post, you'll learn the fist grip. Start by holding a knife with an open hand. Slowly wrap your fingers around the knife like you're making a fist then tuck your thumb on your index finger. This picture should illustrate what it should look like.



* Practice efficient deployment - When carrying a concealed knife, make sure that you place it in an area where you can quickly draw it in combat. Usually you should store it anywhere in the upper body. If you don't put thought into this and just put it wherever, you won't have time to deploy it when you need it. Some knives come with handles and others are strapped. Find one that suits you.  

* Learn the angles of attack - The angles of attack using a knife are very simple. You slash/stab upwards, downwards, side to side, and diagonally as the black lines indicate. The red arrow indicates where you should thrust. Once you understand the angles of attack, you'll need to make sure that you avoid or redirect your assailant's line of attacks while delivering your own.

* Practice controlling distance - Distance is very fundamental to any form of combat. How much distance is needed for a knife to reach you? Have someone extend his or her arm and hold either a fake knife or a pen until it touches you. That's how much distance is needed for someone to do damage. While there's no set "safe" distance, you generally should only stay within a few inches to centimeters away from the attacker's knife. If your too close, you'll get hit. If your too far, you won't be able to attack when necessary.

* Practice keeping your balance - If you don't know how to keep yourself balanced in knife-fighting with proper footwork and efficiency then you'll fall over. Make sure that you're in a comfortable fighting stance. Don't over-lean to any direction or take huge steps that compromise your balance.    

1. Practice knife drills - If you want to be efficient in knife fighting, you'll only need a basic set of motor skills that can easily be applied to any striking melee weapon. Incorporate any slashing and stabbing movements from any martial art such as Kali. You should be direct and non-telegraphic in every knife attack. Slash or thrust just enough to reach the intended target and retract.

Why is this important? For several reasons. If you do a wild full swing with your arm, you waste time and energy. Your attacker can see the attack coming and thus defend against it. If you attack but don't retract your knife, your attacker can injure your arm in the process.

2. Get the proper training equipment - In order for you to get the best results out of knife fighting, you need to train under intense pressure and realism. I recommend getting a shock knife (link to product below.) They are non-lethal but still scary and realistic enough to keep you motivated enough to perform under stress. Keep in mind that they aren't available for civilians in some states so you'll have to resort to other products. The Spring Assist practice fighting folding metal knife folder is a realistic training knife. It has the look and feel of a real knife. Another one i recommend is the Bokken plus Jim Wagner training knife. This type of knife is useful as you can coat it with lipstick or chalk to mark the areas you or your sparring partner have been slashed or stabbed.

I don't recommend getting full body armor and face masks. You'll want to make knife-fighting as realistic as possible. Only use safety equipment that you'll know you'll need such as eye-protection to prevent serious injury. Use other gear and equipment such as shin guards to protect areas you intend on striking.  



3. Practice accuracy - In order for you to defend yourself effectively, you need to incapacitate your attacker as soon as possible. Targeting major arteries and organs will cause blood loss but they won't stop an attacker quickly enough. The same applies to bodily areas that induce pain as your attacker may probably have high pain tolerance.

What are your primary targets? They are as depicted in these pictures. If you sever the radial nerve, this will cause weakness and loss of coordination in the fingers. Your attacker will also have problems straightening the arm or holding the hand. If you slash the the flexor tendons in the hand, the attacker will lose movement in the fingers. Cut the ulnar nerve and the attacker will lose grip strength. Cut the trapezius muscle and it will cause the arm to go weak. Striking any of these areas aren't fatal but will almost certainly cause the attacker to drop the weapon. 

The targets i consider secondary are the triceps, the biceps, the kidneys, forehead,and the subclavian artery. 

4. Begin with a scenario of attack - Alot of schools do drills, techniques, and sparring but neglect one of the most important aspects of knife fighting - knife deployment. You'll need to construct a scenario where you need to hone your skills in situational awareness, creating distance, and deploying your knife quickly. It's not as simple as just pulling out your knife in the face of danger. Doesn't matter how good you are at knife sparring. If you haven't trained to recognize a threat, you won't be able to draw your weapon fast enough against an unexpected attack in combat.

Make a scenario with a partner where he/she'll try to surprise attack you with a lethal weapon be it through a conversation or walking past you on the street. If you don't have a partner, visualize one. If you want to learn more on how to do that, check my blog post "how to train for combat realism" (http://everythingselfdefense.blogspot.com/2016/12/train-combat-realism.html). Start by learning how to read violent and aggressive body language. Signs of an attack may include dilated pupils, open mouths, tight and raised shoulders, a tense body, heavy breathing, placement of feet, nervousness, etc. Where are your potential threat's hands placed? Usually people planning an ambush with a concealed weapon will place their hands in their pockets before they strike. Make sure that you keep a safe distance away from the potential threat and you raise your level of alertness based on hostile body language.



5. Transition to knife sparring - When knife sparring, you need to have two different sparring sessions. One is for the untrained attackers and the other is for trained attackers. For the one involving an untrained attacker, either you or your partner need to mimic his or her movements. When someone is playing the role of an attacker, have him or her engage in various reckless attacks at different speeds. Could be a sewing machine fast stabbing or slashing. Have him or her rush in towards you. Be creative and use different types of attacks.

For the trained knife fighter, now you have to be more tactical. Remember that in knife sparring for self defense, you ought to have no rules. Use whatever is necessary to survive. When faced a trained knife attacker, you'll need to create an opportunity to put him or her at a disadvantage. You can do this through improvised weapons, feints, the environment, distractions such as kicks to the legs, and "slicing the pie" or "fighting on the blind side." This involves using your footwork to get into a superior position where your closer to the body and farther away from the knife. From there, slash and stab at vital areas then quickly retreat.

6. Keep practicing - All that's left is that you consistently practice maintaining proper balance, footwork, timing, speed, redirecting and avoiding the line of your opponent's attack, the list goes on. With consistent training, you'll be a skilled knife fighter in no time!

If you want some FREE bonus tips with more instructional content via. pictures and a video, place your email in the opt-in form and they are yours for FREE! 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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www.shocknife.com/




      
  

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're 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.

I recommend purchasing Macho Dyna 8-piece sparring set and chest protector for training. The head gear absorbs the impact whether standing or falling as well as the shin guards and the chest protector. Remember that you'll want to keep it as realistic as possible so don't rely too much on the gear. You might need to omit some equipment eventually once you feel confident enough to train under pressure.


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 get more out of this blog post, i recommend to get a FREE chapter of my e-book. Click on the link below to share a post via. social media and 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

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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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/

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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.



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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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.



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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