Fundamental pillars of self-defense?

Brian R. VanCise

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Do you really think given the size difference and close quarters that striking would have been effective in that case? I mean what would she have done? A spinning wheel kick to his head? The guy had a significant size advantage and looked pretty good with his hands.

I'm not sure she would have had the opportunity to grapple well with him either. Just being realistic. However, if she had a tool on her or had been able to get to one?
 

drop bear

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Planning as a pillar concept.

I get a lot of my sd tips from backpacker guides. They are generally the ones running around most exposed in the silliest environments. So if you are backpacking in say brazil. You don't go out alone at night. You stay away from certain areas. Lean the risks and just not be there to defend.

If I am going to physical a guy. I make sure he is on his own and that I have numbers. That innocent people are not going to get caught up and that the environment suits the purpose that I put it to.

As self defence planning is important to create as many advantages as you can to avoid drama. Or deal with it should it be unavoidable.
 

Hanzou

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I'm not sure she would have had the opportunity to grapple well with him either. Just being realistic. However, if she had a tool on her or had been able to get to one?

She had an opportunity for an immediate takedown at the beginning, open guard to triangle or arm bar on the couch, and a few opportunities for sweeps while on the floor.
 

Brian R. VanCise

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She had a small opportunity I would agree to do that or to strike or to retreat and get a tool. All of those options appear available for a second or so.

However Hanzou, this is a thread the OP started to talk about the fundamental pillars of self-defense. While I am in agreement with you that grappling is one fundamental pillar it is not the only option.

Please if you wish to participate talk about your ideas on the "Fundamental Pillars Of Self Defense".

Thanks,
 

elder999

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Style doesn't matter.......

Technique doesn't matter.....

We've all heard of the "martial artist, " "karate instructor, " "kung fu master," that froze when confronted with sudden violence, and failed to defend themselves.....

Freezing matters-it shouldn't be an option, but it is.....

What really matters-the real "pillar of self defense" is-for the umpteenth time-mindset. Most people are disinclined to use violence against their fellow men, even when confronted with malicious and violent intent. It's not that it's not within their nature-it's simply that they have not ever had a reason to go there, and usually aren't trained to: the will to kill, the inclination perpetrate violence on a human being, is something that doesn't arise from motivation-the violent actions and intent of others-for everyone. Mindset-the will to use violence, and the ability to channel one's emotions into that violence, are of paramount importance: the retraining of the "flinch reflex," the ability to manage adrenalization, these are far more important than grapplling, or striking,or cutting with a knife, or hitting with a stick, or firing a gun.

The primary "pillar" of self-defense training, then, is training that develops the ability to control and channel fear, and the will and ability to act violently, and immediately......the secondary pillar is the one we should depend upon, and that is situational awareness....the tertiary one would fall under strategy, and consists primarily of not only being aware, but avoiding situations (or locales) with violent potential......
 
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Brian R. VanCise

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Absolutely Elder999, Mindset matters and training that brings forth the ability to channel fear and the will and ability to act is crucial!
 

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Well we both know Karate wouldn't have helped her in that situation.

Sure it would have.

Do you really think given the size difference and close quarters that striking would have been effective in that case?

It didn't start out in such close quarters, he started being threatening from about 2 meters away. There are a number of things she could have done before getting into the grappling or ground fighting stage..

I mean what would she have done? A spinning wheel kick to his head?

Only someone who has little experience in striking or is purposely trying to mock striking styles would make such a suggestion. Which are you?

looked pretty good with his hands

Not really, he didn't look like anything more than your common unskilled street thug.
 
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Brian King

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One of the things I consider important to self defense is an honest self apprasal to answer the question "What are you willing to do to survive?"
I've known people who believed that they were absolutely unwilling to kill someone, even in self defense. They may well change their minds if they were in such a situation, but that is their view.
If you're convinced that you could never bring yourself to kill, even in self defense, it's probably not worthwhile to devote much time to training techniques that are intended to have a high lethality.

I am interested that you think this DD. "Know yourself" is one of the main ideas of the martial art I study. Poznai Sebia was what it was known by at one time. Directly translated it can mean either 'know yourself' or 'discover yourself.' I am wondering by what means do you and the students use to discover yourselves and how do you develop that awareness/ability to honestly answer that question "What are you willing to do to survive?" I believe that you are a veteran DD? If so then you know that much of the training that our militaries do are very deliberate, conditioning the warrior to be able to pull the trigger. Even with the training there are many times that soldiers do not fire or aim low or high in an instinctive repulsion to killing. There are exceptions, crew served weapons, distance from the kill, ability to dehumanize the target etc. For some martial artists the way around this reluctance is to dehumanize the 'enemy.' For others it is to try to channel 'momma bear'. Is there a methodology that you have observed in your or others training that you think addresses this reluctance found amongst so many humans?

Not trying to put words in your mouth DD but want to make sure that I understand your stated 'pillar' by putting it into my own words. Know yourself and how far you are willing to go in the use of force continuum and rather than using limited time training possible lethal techniques that are psychologically less likely to be used, to rather study other aspects of self-defense perhaps to even study alternative techniques or strategies in lieu of the possibly lethal techniques. Is this getting close to the idea?

Thanks for posting, sir!
Regards
Brian King
 

drop bear

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She had an opportunity for an immediate takedown at the beginning, open guard to triangle or arm bar on the couch, and a few opportunities for sweeps while on the floor.

Anybody who is allowed to punch and grapple does both because punching sets up grappling opportunities and grappling sets up punching opportunities.

A really simple concept for takedowns is you really only hit them after you punch or as a counter to their punch.
 
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Brian King

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BTW, they caught the guy. Shawn Curtis, serial home invader, convicted of a dozen felonies since 1988.

Sorry to stray off topic, just wanted you guys to know.

I remember when they caught him - there is video I believe of him in custody. A real POS. I believe that the video of the attack going viral lead directly to his arrest and I am assuming conviction. Great that they had the video to use. Thanks for the reminder sir.

Tying on to the subject, perhaps a pillar could be something to do with the physical 'clean up' at the scene at the conclusion of the physical confrontation. Rendering first aid, collection of witnesses and evidence, and the realization that it isn't over until it is, etc. What do you think?

Thanks for posting Buka!
Regards
Brian King
 

Brian R. VanCise

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One thing that I teach is making every witness, (if there are any) your witness. Meaning that your actions ie. hands up, verbal: I'm leaving, Stop, etc. show the people around that you are not the aggressor. This I believe is crucial for good personal protection skills. You want anyone around to testify that you were the victim and that the other person was attacking you. This if there is time before the attack can be done relatively quickly. If there are cctv just having your hands up and slight backing away can show that you were not the aggressor.
 
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Brian King

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For me, its 2 part (3 if you can legally own a firearm)

The first is things like awareness, in that thread (or a different) I brouhght up the similarities of being aware of your surroundings for SD and driving your car.

Our brains are wired to do it already.

But, anyone with a brain or experience will you sometimes that fails, for a variety of reasons.

Then it moves on to firearms training, and most importantly KEEPING IT WITH YOU.

it doesnt do a thing if its 300 feet away.

Finally, physical methods.

1 striking style

+

1 grappling style

where you choose to focus is preference as long as youre competent with both.

Then we go to The physical aspect.


Actually the very beginning of the attack would have been right in the wheel house of any striking style.

Thanks for posting Drose 427.
I like the analogy of tying awareness to a skill that many have, driving. Of course, driving is a learned skill that takes much coaching, practice and finally experience. Being a professional driver, one of the things that we do is to be aware of the unusual. We are looking for the unusual, the breaks in normalcy, and disruptions in patterns without getting hyperaware of every vehicle and circumstance. Drose427 - do you have a methodology for harnessing the brains ability to be aware to bringing that awareness to consciousness prior to self-defense circumstances?

If I understand your post- in my own words- A person needs to harness their instinctive and neurological wiring to become aware of self-defense needs before that need arises. If the need turns to physical it is best to have a striking and grappling experience depending on personal preferences, abilities, and limitations. Finally, if a person trains the use of weapons they should have those tools within reach. Am I getting close to understanding your thoughts on this?

Thanks for posting
Regards
Brian King
 

Hanzou

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It didn't start out in such close quarters, he started being threatening from about 2 meters away. There are a number of things she could have done before getting into the grappling or ground fighting stage..

Only someone who has little experience in striking or is purposely trying to mock striking styles would make such a suggestion. Which are you?

What would you suggest? A kick to the groin? Punching? Knife hand attacks? Given that size and strength difference, it's doubtful that her standing strikes would have been very effective.

Not really, he didn't look like anything more than your common unskilled street thug.

Put that untrained guy in your typical TKD or Karate McDojo (where soccer moms like this unfortunate woman would no doubt have taken MA lessons) and put him up against the head instructor. My money would be on the street thug.
 
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Brian King

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People, mostly those that if they have any training is training based on fear (without actually addressing the base fear) or one that ignores that fear altogether often get into arguments about which is better, this style or that style, they overly worry in my opinion about which calibre of hand gun is best and which hand gun is best. This is also often the basis for those that get stuck in endless 'debate' this technique or that technique, this style or that. They are often in search of a talisman and need to defend their chosen talisman against any possible threat because simply should their talisman get even slightly tarnished it leaves them unprotected. It matters not if their chosen talisman is a certain make of handgun, a certain custom knife or edge weapon, a certain style, or even a certain instructor. They get stuck defending their talisman even when 'it' is not under attack. I believe that this is because something in the conversation is bringing their fear/anger towards the conscious, and rather than address that base, they bury it in unneeded, non-productive, mundane repetitive arguments.

While some find playing the what if, they should have second guessing game useful, it really doesn't serve any productive value at all, and in fact I believe is a harmful waste of time. It is always shallow self serving conjecture. One might take lessons from a situation or attack and address what they might do differently, or how they might address the situation, but, this is totally different from saying that someone else should have or could have. Doing the later robs the person of a real learning opportunity be merely re-enforcing their own biases. If a person wasn't actually there, they do not know. They have a guess, maybe an educated guess at best, but still it is a guess. Other than as an obvious signal to others of a personal weakness, these type of arguments can serve no purpose. Let's try to keep discussing what people see as pillars of self-defense rather than she should have or could have or this style is best. If a person feels the absolute need to play the could have would have game, please start another thread, or join one of the half dozen or so threads that have turned into such...discussions.

Thank you.
Brian King
 

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Fundamental pillars of self-defense?

In the thread “Is grappling better for female self-defense than striking?” the idea of a fundamental pillar of self-defense” came up. Warning – while interesting, it is a long thread with a lot of- this is better than this, you know nothings, I knows all, type of posts. The talk of ‘fundamental pillars’ did start me wondering what different people would include as fundamental pillars of self-defense training. I imagine that the answers might depend on the culture lived in, the type of attacks experienced, capabilities and limitations of those training, length of time available for the training, and a host of other variables. I searched and found the thread “self-Defense???” interesting but different than a discussion on what folks expect or teach as specific pillars of self-defense.

For the start of this exploration (thread drift happens and can be interesting) let’s assumes that the prospective student is married, with small children, and limited training time – say once or twice a week for a year. The kind of attack that she may face, could be assault in a parking garage, road rage, work place violence, domestic abuse, violent robbery, wrong place wrong time violence, and home invasion. Or we can assume that she might be single, so we could add date rape violence, bar/night club violence, woman on woman violence to the list. Attacks against the elderly are brutal as well, and in some areas becoming common place, so we could add healthcare/ nursing home violence to the possible list above.

This video, taken with a nanny cam captures the violence that is common of assaults against women by men. They are violent and brutal. With this video to start – what do you think should form the ‘fundamentals of self-defense training’ for the women described above? Warning, video is violent.

https://youtu.be/qU0EJS3cJIc

Along with the suggested pillars, how about some reasoning of why, and how to train them?

Now, everyone reading this thread can agree that there can be more than one way to solve a problem. For example 2+2=4, 3+1=4, 10-6=4, 16 divided by 4 = 4… which is the correct math formula, depends entirely on context. Let’s try to discuss the messages and not so much the messengers although a little background on the posters experiences if they want, might help to add context?

Thank you

Brian King

Nice topic. I didn't read through that other thread. However, I would say that while some arts are probably better suited for SD than others, I'd also say a lot of it comes down to how things are trained. Nothing says that you have to be chained to the methods found only in your school. In other words, go cross train.

For the scenario you describe above, I would focus on training in something that is simple, easy to learn, doesn't require tons of practice to be able to recall it. Krav Maga comes to mind. Yes, I know...some KM schools are a joke, but that can be said of any art. My point is: That is something that's simple and to the point. No kata, no fancy kicks, tone of stances, etc, like you'd see in other TMAs. There are some solid Jujitsu schools around that are more RBSD influenced, that would also be a good option. Bottom line is...there really isn't any quick fix. This is why I'm leery of some women's SD courses, because if the students think that after a few 8hr sessons, that they're going to be 100% competent, they're going to be in for a rude awakening. Plus, some of these courses, don't focus on key things, ie: scenario training, adrenal stress training, and actually having an inst. pad up, and attack the student, in a fashion that they'd get attacked on the street, so the student can actually apply the things that she's learned. Having some experience on the ground is also a plus. Some basic BJJ techs, can be a huge plus.

Of course, good old fashioned common sense is important. We've talked about awareness countless times, no sense in rehashing all the points here, but to touch on a few, things such as: being aware of your surroundings, taking precautions around your home, avoiding bad areas/establishments, etc.

Like I said, nothing is ever going to be 100%. But I think that if you apply some of the things that have been mentioned already in this thread, your odds of success, just went up.
 

Brian R. VanCise

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To go along with getting every witness to be yours it is important to note that in a personal protection situation their is pe-conflict, conflict and post-conflict phases. It is important to not only be knowledgeable about them but also good at them. Awareness, avoidance, verbal and non-verbal de-escalation techiques, etc. would fall into that pre-conflict stage. In the conflict stage having skills that allowed you to work with weapons/tools, kicking, hand strikes, trapping, joint manipulation and grappling etc. Post conflict you have the police showing up and a potential criminal investigation based on the circumtances, the potential civil lawsuit, etc. Personally, I want to be functional in every phase.
 

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Not related to this thread, but, did you see the summary in the latest Force Science of the study titled “Police arrest and self-defence skills: Performance under anxiety of officers with and without additional experience in martial arts.” It looks like an interesting study with police volunteers taking part, some with and some without martial arts training. The study (summary- I have not read the actual study) seems to show benefit of even leisure time training of once a week. It seems to break it down by length of study, style, and frequency of study.
Actually Brian, I think that study is very relevant to this topic. I didn't comment earlier on training for SD because I was interested in others thoughts. The study you refer to, and again, I have only seen a summary, concluded that, even with additional martial art training, under high anxiety their performance was still diminished.

Officers with additional experience in kickboxing or karate/jiu-jitsu (training several times per week), or krav maga (training once a week) and officers with no additional experience performed several arrest and self-defence skills under low and high anxiety. Results showed that officers with additional experience (also those who trained once a week) performed better under high anxiety than officers with no additional experience. Still, the additional experience did not prevent these participants from performing worse under high anxiety compared to low anxiety.

Now the reason I waited was the video made me stop and think about a time many years back when a guy in a full on rage attacked me and I didn't exactly freeze but went totally into all out defence mode. I saw the exact same response in this video. It is possibly the same as the Australian lady we were talking about in the other thread.

It is so easy to say "oh yes, but these martial arts wouldn't help but this one would be great and she had this opportunity etc." To me it is all BS I'm afraid. We are talking self defence here, not a lifetime of martial art training.

When someone is really attacked with intent by someone possibly high on drugs they will really be under extreme duress and most will be overwhelmed. Even the police in the study, under controlled circumstances, suffered a decrease in performance under extreme anxiety and these are guys exposed to violence regularly.

We are talking about Self Defence. By the time you are fighting, your basic self defence has failed and you are now in survival mode. Again coming back to the Australian girl. She was surprised but eventually was able to fight her way out of it. She was previously a champion junior fighter, she was a karate blackbelt and she had trained to escape from a similar scenario. Most people have nowhere near that level of experience, so to say the average person is going to apply a leg choke is absolute nonsense. That requires a lot of dedicated training and most people you instruct in self defence aren't prepared to devote that time.

I'll add some more later.
 
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Brian King

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In my experience Brian there is zero that compares to being aware.. I am conscious most all of the time wherever I am some where unfamiliar of the following things..

> How do I make myself appear to be one of the least easy target for someone with ill intent?? How I look and how I act.. and that does not mean I must dress in combat gear.. I am happy if it is sunny and I am dressed for a top up tan that I am still sending out message.. if you come at me or who I am with it is a lot of trouble on you.. too much trouble so pick on some one else first who is easier to target.. who have their purse hung over one shoulder or on their arm or is walking about lost in their phone..

> Who is there here anyway, who does not just look like they are getting on with their business -or- also who is there that might help if some thing happen.. for me this is a facial / bodily and non verbally communicated thing..

> What can I use.. what can be a weapon, what can I pick up, what do I have on me and what have I to hand for example in London where there are strict limits to every day legal carry items, it was suggested to me that a better way to make use of my bunch of keys was to make them into a key whip with paracord..

My art is my very very very very last resort.. unlike that thread you are mentioning Brian, when it come to my safety, if I have to use my art for serious -which you know I have- then I am in a bad bad place already.. and it is only if I come out the other side that I will be able to appraise where I had failed in all of the above awarenesses..

I recognise, accept and concede where my art is imperfect.. I have always try to address this by focus training on what I admit is deficient in my Aikido to handle what I must face outside of my front door.. I do not see failure in my art much less my self.. I see areas that need work and I am happy to admit that here.. it is only a forum.. who cares.. I am not trying to prove I am best or my art is best.. it is good enough and good enough is good enough and if I have to use it any way then I have been lacking and dumb - or dumber than usual! :)

Hope this make sense and is some thing like what you are looking for.. Wishes Jxxx

WONDERFUL post Jenna, thank you! Very well thought out and based on real experience and lessons learned.

The using paracord on a key chain is a useful idea. Are you good at braiding the paracord? Many clips on youtube but I still am not very good at it. Lots of uses in addition to make shift flexible weapon or even a sling (think David vs Goliath), for example it can also become a temporary sling (think arm sling of breaks and fractures) or even turniqet should the need arise after use. Outdoors, it can be used to trap food, secure shelter, even fire starter, trail marker. Lots of uses for 'self-defense' with just a little imagination and practice. Did you know that it can be used to friction burn thru duct tape and wire ties? If you braid a loop on the 'free end' you can use that loop to 'tie' your keys to your clothing, and it gives a method of holding onto the flexible weapon while in use. Not so much around the wrist as should it be grabbed it can be used to pull you close, but around the knuckles, then should it be grabbed and used to pull you have the option of letting go by simply opening your fingers. When thinking about using the keys have you given thought of targeting and strategy? I had a chess professor (nickname as we played chess at every visit to his knife shop) who was a very large 'first person' and an internationally known custom knife maker. One of his preferred edged weapons targets was to slice along the forehead above the eyes just below the hair line. His reasoning and experience was that face wounds bleed a lot and wounds above the eyes bleed into the eyes which can be painful and disconcerting to an attacker. There is tension in our scalp facia that helps to hold our skin in place. The cut he said released that tension/friction pulling the hair line back while pulling the forehead skin down, it could depending on the cut cause the forehead skin to flap down over the eyes, again disconcerting. It also marks the attacker well for later identification. Keys can be alternated in direction on the key ring to help facilitate cutting.

-I like your thought process about not looking like a victim and encouraging different selection. There was a study (the interview is available on video but I have not seen it in many years and have forgotten the name)where video of a street scene was taken, then the people in the scene were interviewed to find out their backgrounds and such. The film was then taken to a prison and prisoners convicted of violent crimes were shown that video and asked who would they rob. The selections were almost universal on who they would and who they would not attack. Based on body language and non verbal. They did not have access to the interviews. The people selected if I remember right were often prior victims of crime, had avoidance and scared look, etc. the person they all declined to attack turned out to be a decorated Vietnam veteran who had killed up close. While the selection was non verbal, violent attackers often do an interview prior to an attack. Simply being aware often it seems wards off 'their' attention

-Who is here and who belongs work. Have you read much about the Israeli profiling at airports and borders. The US secret service also does a lot of work on profiling and noticing the unusual. It is too difficult to see everything and everyone so they look for the unusual (and familiar as in they know what the criminals look like when both they are up to something and when they are trying to look innocent)
I was once at training inside of an airliner, and it was noted that the two most dangerous times was during the initial takeover by hostiles and during the takeover of the military/law enforcement. The most dangerous seat in these situations was along the aisles as the gunfights often went length wise of the aircraft. It was advised to look for 'shields' large folks that could absorb some of the damage. LOL I had lots of friends then for some reason LOL Finding helpful folks does not always mean that they want to or are able to, so thinking about how to get that help can be a useful exercise and also a self defense pillar perhaps?

So if I can paraphrase the pillars above in my words. Awareness is key and deliberate observation is the tool. Seeing who belongs and who doesn't, being aware of what tools are near for both use of and defense of, being aware of what signals are being sent by others and self. Being trained physically is important, having that knowledge inside helps to send the proper signals, and as a back up should all avoidance prove unsuccessful. Does that get to the gist of it?

Thank you for participating in the thread. Your thoughts are very valuable and seem right on.

Regards
Brian King
 
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