But first, i want to deal with how you train vs the reality of when it actually happens.
How does an average “self defense student” train for a violent confrontation?
Let me take a guess here, yeah?
1-You train in some sort of big hall with wooden floors and mirrors?
2-You train in an a/c or a fan-filled windowed fresh and cool room?
3-You wear gloves and protection pads to protect your tender little hands?
4-You hit pads and bags of all kinds to feel tough?
5-You spar with someone your gender, size, height, weight, etc.
6-You have a very nice compliant partner who falls and tumbles when you throw him/her, no retaliation or resistance?
7-At the end of the day you feel confident and safe.
8-At the end of the course you get a certificate and a belt.
Awesome! right? I mean that sounds so damn lucrative!
Yeah… Now let me tell you what happens in a real violent confrontation based on the points above.
1-You’ll be struggling for your life in a dark corner of an alley, with no one there to help you or hear your cries of help, even if people do, they may not come to your rescue, due to the fear of getting hurt themselves, police isn’t always there to help you, it’s just you and your attacker/s, yes, there is always a huge possibility of there being more than one attacker and they might be on drugs, drunk, etc.
2-It would be either extremely cold, or it might be rainy or really hot, noisy, sticky, smelly and nasty, as in disease ridden.
3-Your hands won’t have any protection, unless of course you wear your gloves everywhere you go and if you instinctively punch and miss or hit the wrong(hard) place, you will break your fist and wrist.
4-Pads and bags don’t hit back, your attacker on the other hand, won’t stop hitting or stabbing you like a punching bag that you are for him, and he’ll want to “puncture” you beyond repair.
5-There is also a possibility of the attacker being a female or she might be laying a trap for you so the others in the gang can ambush you later, you just can’t assume anything in a real violent situation. Although mostly it’s a male, and he will be stronger, bigger, more skilled and violent than you. That’s why he picked you, he knew you are weaker than him/her, so forget weight class, etc. This isn’t going to be a fair situation for you. there is no “fair” situation or fight here when it comes to these things.
6-Like i said, your attacker would most likely be stronger than you and possibly heavier than you, that’s why he targeted you, you are an easy target for him, do you think you can throw a 6ft 1inch, 200lbs man who is constantly hitting you and stabbing and coming you at full speed with everything he’s got and not holding back a bit? What about two of them? Would you use your “lighting fast reflexes” to strike them both simultaneously like you do in training and run? Why don’t you give it a try? Ask two of the strongest people who are closest to you and tell them to charge at you full speed, now test if you’ll be able to use the fine motor skills you “train” in for three times a week.. Maybe even less? On those walking bulldozers.
7-At the end of the training day, you might feel safe and confident, but tell me something, do you want to “feel” safe and confident or do you want to Be Safe and Confident? They’re two different things, you know?
8-At the end of an attack all you get are emotional and physical scars and bruises, no certificate or belt can help you before, during or after an attack, they’re just pieces of printed cloth and paper. Would you have them or would you rather have the skills necessary to save your life and possibly your loved ones? It’s up to you, open your eyes and focus on the things that actually matter.
Back to where i was, see, if you think that to survive violence, just “learning some techniques” will help you a 100%, you’re sorely mistaken. Like i mentioned before there are a lot of psychological and even biological elements that contribute to a situation.
So what do you do?
Well first, work on your communication skills, learn to diffuse a confrontation before it escalates, try not to antagonize the guy any further, he’s looking for a reason, if you give it to him, you’re f’d.
Try to keep a calm low voice, but don’t show any fear, you don’t want him to bully you either, maintain a strong body language, be intimidating without actually doing anything obvious that might say “I’m looking for a reason to hit you”, it’s the subtle things that’ll catch his eye.
Next what you can do is be prepared, don’t decide on anything fixed, but be prepared, physically and psychologically for various situations;
-If you’re traveling to/from somewhere, keep a back up route in mind to your destination.
-If you’re not sure about an area you’re going to, then try and arm yourself, make an improvised knife, or at least keep some keys or a sturdy pen handy.
-If you’re going home late at night, and you see suspicious characters lurking around you, trust your gut, try and create distance first and then change your direction from your true destination, you don’t want them to follow you home and become a victim of an home invasion attack.
-Situational awareness is really important, your eyes should be in all of the 10 directions, yes, 10.
-Being environmentally aware is really the most helpful ability and the most necessary state of mind. Knowing what’s where can help you devise tactic/s to escape the situation.
Someone might be hiding under a parked vehicle, a bus probably, and might try and trip you to get you to the ground and render you helpless. If you’re environmentally aware, you just might catch a glimpse of that someone and be cautious of where you step and what you do.
-Be careful of needles(for disease, poison), blades(infection, high blood loss possibility), acids(i don’t need to tell you how dangerous this one is), chilli powder(to blind you and disorient you with pain, so they can rob or even kidnap you possibly), etc.
-There’s also the terrain in which you might be attacked, i.e. wet, slippery, rocky, etc.
Stuff like that. Basically you have to understand, violence is not all physical, it’s psychological, biological and environmental too, and for that you have to train as such, remember, train like you fight, fight like you train.
Well, that’s about it for today.
Thanks for reading.