Thursday, February 2, 2017

Know your enemy in self defense

"To know your enemy, you must become your enemy" - Sun Tzu. I'm convinced in my mind that many instructors professing to teach self defense and many students learning self defense don't know their enemies. They teach techniques and hand-to-hand combat without any understanding of how their enemies work. They get a student to play the role of a violent criminal and throw a punch to demonstrate how to deal with that situation. The response might be with a counter-attack or a technique. You might even see and hear them laugh as they both beat each other up in the process.

The problem? That's not an accurate depiction of real world violence. The reason why you don't see me posting videos where i demonstrate self defense techniques and combat is because simulations are unreliable. You can make up anything in a simulation for the sake of making your techniques work. In real combat however, many students of self defense would probably get killed if they practiced unrealistic techniques. You can have a great imagination but it doesn't mean much if it's not based on reality and facts. It's not to say that you won't be able to beat the average person picking a fight with you but what works in one situation, will not work in a different situation. This is because there's various types of criminals with their own personalities, intellect, methods of attack, behavior, pain tolerance, the list goes on. In this video, this instructor teaches you how to disarm someone with a knife. I'd say half of it would work in a violent situation but the instructor doesn't take into account the possibility his attacker might hit him with the free hand.

The vast majority of self defense instructors i've seen train to deal with strangers on the street, not realizing that most crimes involve someone you know. For more info., check my post ("Trust no one in self defense" Ok so you know how to deal with the average robber but what about the more strategic and methodical robber? What about a member in your family who intends on hurting you? It's very rare for a complete stranger to see you from a distance and think "that guy/girl looks rich and vulnerable, i'm going to hide behind these bushes so i can rob him/her!" That's why i post videos of real life scenarios and facts to not only teach you self defense, but also understanding criminal behavior. You've probably heard countless times "try and diffuse the situation" or "avoid conflict.." Well how exactly are you going to do that effectively if you don't know your enemy? Without understanding your enemy, you won't be able to defend yourself in every situation.

When your training for self defense, you must get into the mind of your enemy. If you were your enemy, what would you do? What would be your goals? Strategies? Tactics? Where would you eat? Sleep? Live? What would you be feeling? What do you hope to accomplish and how would you do it? Research your enemy and then imitate him/her during sparring or have someone else do it. If your enemy is aggressive, be aggressive. If your enemy is intimidating, be intimidating. If your enemy is violent and ruthless, be violent and ruthless. If your enemy likes to use weapons, use weapons. Know your enemy and you will win many battles. Self defense isn't just about combat, it's also about applying knowledge to avoid conflict.

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