It’s an interesting term – ‘Real Self Defense’, because you would naturally think that all self-defense would be ‘real’. So what does it mean exactly? Well for me, ‘Real Self Defense’ is the self-defense that works, as obvious as that may sound, so why state the obvious? Simply because a lot of what is out there simply doesn’t work and I don’t mean to be harsh here, but when we are talking self-defense, we are talking about protecting and saving lives so it has to be taken extremely seriously. I see people from all walks of life in my personal teaching, classes and seminars and I see a wide range of other Martial Arts and systems and my goal is not to change what they do or know but to add to it and give them more options to work with. Real self-defense however is a totally different ball game. One of the first rules of self-defense is to not put yourself in the situation in the first place, but for people in my profession, there is often no choice, so what we learn and teach has to be extremely quick, effective and simple to learn. One of the key and main components of real self-defense is the psychology of self-defense. Many people get seriously hurt or even killed because they cannot perform the techniques that they have learned.
Take Special Forces soldiers for example – they fire thousands of rounds of ammunition in training, so there is no doubt that they can fire a weapon with extreme accuracy, but how do they train to make sure they don’t ‘freeze’ when the real moment comes? They train as close to reality as possible and with ‘live’ ammunition in extremely stressful situations, carrying heavy equipment and so on. If you want to learn real self-defense you need to do the same, but that training is not for everyone as getting hurt is real and regular, so one of the first things that I do to people is to teach them about overcoming the fear of getting hit.
This is easier than you think and in a short time, I can raise the self-confidence of most people fairly quickly. The actual techniques of self-defense are fairly easy to learn and you will learn to use your whole body as a weapon, but it is the delivery that is most important – is the person strong enough to deliver the strike or whatever and it amazes me sometimes when I see women who are taught to punch. Now please, all those women out there who can deliver a strong punch and I know many, please do not get on my case! I am talking about the majority who will probably break their wrist or worse in doing so.
Physical conditioning is therefore important and must be worked on continuously. Working with weapons is also a vital component and anyone who works with me starts to work with weapons almost immediately – your attacker with a knife doesn’t care what system, belt or ranking you have! Finally, I teach people how to breathe and stay calm and that along with the psychological aspects are the most difficult to teach as it goes against the very nature of the situation. I’ve kept this article ‘high level’ so that you can understand the key components and I will cover more specific techniques in future articles.