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!