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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