Thursday, March 23, 2017

Science and self defense

I'm going to be honest and say that almost all of the self defense systems you see out there are unreliable. Reason why i say that is because they haven't been tested by science. I have not seen one scientific study examining the effectiveness of a martial art or a "reality based self defense system." Of course you'll find some studies such as "Fight Science" (see video below) examining the nature of martial arts' legends but fighting is quite different from self defense.

Science is about making observations and testing out ideas. It's about establishing a controlled environment and eliminating possible biases that could affect the results. Science is about making measurements and applying what is scientifically known to the real world. Unfortunately, so many self defense instructors rely on experience or tradition to draw their own conclusions on what they deem is effective self defense.

For example some police officers teaching self defense will tell you something along the lines of "I've worked with many people using guns so in my experience the best way to deal with a gun is..." Easy for them to say because they are police officers. Their job isn't self defense. Their job is to subdue and prosecute criminals. Police officers rarely have to deal with gun disarming because they almost always make sure they carry loaded guns. Police officers have guns, batons, chemical sprays, tasers, back up, the list goes on. You don't on the other hand. There are so many different variables and factors in each violent situation. Do you really think it's a smart idea to base your self defense training on one cop's experience?

Too many people are looking for the ultimate fighting system for self defense that will protect them in every situation. The reality is there is none because almost none have been tested in a scientific setting. There are simply too many factors and safety concerns that it's nearly impossible to repeatedly test in a lab. Some martial arts masters have failed to live up to their training when it came to a completely different variable as shown in this video below. In the end, all we have are theories when it comes to techniques and combat. What happens is people learn combat in a certain school then end up not using it, using only some of it, or use it only to find it's useless in a real violent encounter. If we cannot scientifically test self defense combat systems or martial arts effectiveness in violence, we cannot expect to have reality-based self defense.

What's the best way to learn how to defend yourself? Use your head, not your fists. Study the human body and it's weaknesses. Study physics and it's relationship to the body. Study the proper force and speed needed to deliver a knock out or incapacitating blow. Study criminal behavior. Study how crimes occur and the warning signs of an impending attack. Study human behavior and human relationships. Study the environment that you are in. Listen, learn, and continue to have an open mind. Apply the knowledge that you've learned in self defense rather than relying on a system to do all the work for you.

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