Self-Protection From Violence

Tony Dismukes

MT Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Nov 11, 2005
Messages
6,035
Reaction score
4,668
Location
Lexington, KY
It seems like a large percentage of our discussions concerning martial arts and self-defense get bogged down in arguments concerning the meaning of "self-defense." Some folks define it broadly, others narrowly. Some insist on a legal definition, others on a practical formulation.

In an effort to avoid these tangents, I am hereby laying out a new term - SPFV (Self Protection From Violence). For the purpose of this thread, SPFV is defined as those behaviors, attributes, and skills which allow an individual to get through the day unharmed by violence.

Important aspects of SPFV would include:
  • lifestyle
  • target hardening
  • threat awareness and avoidance
  • de-escalation
  • physically fighting if the elements listed above fail to avoid an attack
  • escape and evasion
  • dealing with legal and emotional consequences of a violent confrontation
Many of the details of what is required for optimal SPFV will vary for individuals in different circumstances. The top risks for a 110 pound high school girl are different from those facing a 210 pound male police officer, as are the best approaches for mitigating those risks.

My questions for anyone who chooses to answer (but especially instructors) are these:

What aspects of SPFV, if any (as listed above) does your martial arts practice/instruction cover, either directly or indirectly?
How does it address those different aspects?
What percentage of training time is spent on those different aspects?
Given that the top SPFV needs are different for people in different circumstances, who is your training ideally suited for, SPFV-wise?
Given the practical impossibility of carrying out rigorous controlled scientific studies on the subject, how do you validate that what you are practicing/teaching is effective for the aspects of SPFV that it is intended to address? How confident are you in that validation?

I'll be writing up my own answers in another comment, but I'll be interested to see everybody else's answers.
 

hoshin1600

Senior Master
Joined
May 16, 2014
Messages
2,978
Reaction score
1,419
Wow great questions and topic. I look forward to reading others answers and finding some time later today to write my own. I'll be thinking about the rest of my work day.
 

Steve

Mostly Harmless
Joined
Jul 9, 2008
Messages
18,833
Reaction score
4,417
Location
Covington, WA
I think it's too broad, tony. There is no functional difference between SPFV and the vague term, "self defense." What I mean is, the term encompasses so many aspects of self protection, there is plenty of room to wiggle around and shift meanings in a self serving manner.

I'd suggest that what we need is more specificity, not another label. avoid using the term self defense, and instead, be specific. We teach physical fighting skills. Let's talk about deescalation. My school addresses conflict avoidance and high risk behaviors.
 

gpseymour

MT Moderator
Staff member
Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 27, 2012
Messages
26,639
Reaction score
8,089
Location
Hendersonville, NC
It seems like a large percentage of our discussions concerning martial arts and self-defense get bogged down in arguments concerning the meaning of "self-defense." Some folks define it broadly, others narrowly. Some insist on a legal definition, others on a practical formulation.

In an effort to avoid these tangents, I am hereby laying out a new term - SPFV (Self Protection From Violence). For the purpose of this thread, SPFV is defined as those behaviors, attributes, and skills which allow an individual to get through the day unharmed by violence.

Important aspects of SPFV would include:
  • lifestyle
  • target hardening
  • threat awareness and avoidance
  • de-escalation
  • physically fighting if the elements listed above fail to avoid an attack
  • escape and evasion
  • dealing with legal and emotional consequences of a violent confrontation
Many of the details of what is required for optimal SPFV will vary for individuals in different circumstances. The top risks for a 110 pound high school girl are different from those facing a 210 pound male police officer, as are the best approaches for mitigating those risks.

My questions for anyone who chooses to answer (but especially instructors) are these:

What aspects of SPFV, if any (as listed above) does your martial arts practice/instruction cover, either directly or indirectly?
How does it address those different aspects?
What percentage of training time is spent on those different aspects?
Given that the top SPFV needs are different for people in different circumstances, who is your training ideally suited for, SPFV-wise?
Given the practical impossibility of carrying out rigorous controlled scientific studies on the subject, how do you validate that what you are practicing/teaching is effective for the aspects of SPFV that it is intended to address? How confident are you in that validation?

I'll be writing up my own answers in another comment, but I'll be interested to see everybody else's answers.
Gee, I wonder what brought this up, Tony? :D

I'll chip in my answers to the main points:

What we cover
  • lifestyle - I'm not entire sure what you mean by this. If you mean making good life choices that keep us safe from violence, this is covered both directly and indirectly.
  • target hardening - Again, I'm not clear on your term. Are you referring to making a home harder to break into, or making yourself a less hospitable target?
  • threat awareness and avoidance - This is covered in fits and starts. I occasionally dedicate a part of a class to this topic, and give it a brief period in any self-defense seminar.
  • de-escalation - I rarely get into this, but should. I have stuff to teach here, but never seem to get to it.
  • physically fighting if the elements listed above fail to avoid an attack - This is our primary focus, as a martial art. I'd say this is 80% of our focus.
  • escape and evasion - During early training, every technique is finished with an escape. I'm not sure what you mean by evasion.
  • dealing with legal and emotional consequences of a violent confrontation - We talk about this periodically. In fact, I spent about 10 minutes on it last class in response to someone asking why I was teaching the techniques the way I was (my students ask lots of great questions!). The answer was that we live in a real world with real legal and emotional consequences to getting too violent in our self-defense. We have plenty of highly violent options in our art, but should not default to them, so we legally stay on the "defender" side of the attacker/defender decision.
As for validation, we depend upon the following:
  1. anecdotal evidence from those who've used our art and its techniques in the wild (bouncers, cops, and those acting in self-defense)
  2. in-school sparring and randori (when we refer to sparring, we are mostly striking - when we refer to randori, it's mostly grappling)
  3. experience with other arts, styles, and sports
  4. tests that involve simulated attacks at various levels of commitment, speed, and ability
  5. experimentation in the school, trying to make things work and not work in various situations to find the weaknesses and how not to stumble into them
Who is our training best for?
It will work for anyone who is not physically limited (and I've taught folks who were, simply leaving out the bits that wouldn't work for them). The more fit, athletic, and coordinated they are, the better it works - which is true of any martial art, of course. Since the techniques are pared down to the movements and principles deemed most useful for self-defense, we are of less use to those wanting to compete (though I have had some success helping wrestlers and Judo players). It seems to be better suited to folks from 25 to 45 at the time they start (though I started earlier). I don't find it effective for children, so I currently teach nobody under 16. Because I only teach twice a week, my training is not a good fit for those wanting to get in several classes a week or to use it for fitness development.
 

gpseymour

MT Moderator
Staff member
Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 27, 2012
Messages
26,639
Reaction score
8,089
Location
Hendersonville, NC
I think it's too broad, tony. There is no functional difference between SPFV and the vague term, "self defense." What I mean is, the term encompasses so many aspects of self protection, there is plenty of room to wiggle around and shift meanings in a self serving manner.

I'd suggest that what we need is more specificity, not another label. avoid using the term self defense, and instead, be specific. We teach physical fighting skills. Let's talk about deescalation. My school addresses conflict avoidance and high risk behaviors.
I agree that we don't need a new term, but I like Tony's break-down of subtopics. It gives us a good way to avoid the confusion of what "teaching self-defense" is (which might mean physical defensive fighting skills or it might mean making better decisions to avoid becoming a target for campus sexual assault).
 

Buka

Sr. Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Joined
Jun 27, 2011
Messages
11,584
Reaction score
8,125
Location
Maui
I think it's a great question(s). Can't wait to answer later, I have a really busy day today.

One question, Tony, what do you mean by "target hardening"? (at least as it applies to the general student)
 

JowGaWolf

Sr. Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Joined
Aug 3, 2015
Messages
10,358
Reaction score
3,407
I'll give it a shot.
Aspects covered in Jow Ga
  • lifestyle - Yes discussed
  • target hardening - Not sure what you mean by target hardening
  • threat awareness and avoidance - Yes discussed and trained
  • de-escalation - Yes discussed and trained
  • physically fighting if the elements listed above fail to avoid an attack - Trained as main focus since it's a kung fu school
  • escape and evasion - Trained as main focus
  • dealing with legal and emotional consequences of a violent confrontation - Kind of. Students are prepared mentally through daily training, learning to disconnect emotion from the event. Does a person cry when they step on an ant to kill it. Is there any emotion involved when stepping on the ant. This is the same emotionless that we try to groom students to have. There is no thought or action guided by emotion. Legal perspectives are taught indirect, for example, "don't start fights." A person can avoid a lot of legal trouble by not starting fights. Legal questions are answered if students have them. The process at which we train to handle potentially dangerous situations helps to ensure that If we are punching then everything else was either tried and failed or that a situation immediately escalated to the point of physical contact as a result of skipping any of the non-violent processes. Sucker punches and physically attacked out of the blue (blind sided) are good examples of this.
All aspects are address using real life incidents and experience. We try to limit theory based situations because there's no way to predetermine what type of environment one will be in or who will attack. 20/20 hindsight is often used when reviewing video from other people who have been attacked. Social norms are also addresses. An adult may be able to walk away from a fight but a child may have to stand his or her ground so that future attacks from other groups will be prevented. Sometimes it's like the saying. I'm not just fighting to protect myself in the present. I'm also fighting to discourage future incidents where someone wants to challenge me. Youth have social pecking orders that adults don't have so while walking away may prevent the fight. Others youth may see it as a weakness that they can exploit.

Validation is confirmed through experience,sound logic, planning, and the practical nature of the methods being taught. My approach to teaching these things is that the defender only has to be smarter and more cunning than the attacker to get away, to win a fight, or to survive a beating.

I don't deal with weapon attack scenarios, in my opinion that's only for those who spend time training against weapons. The practical weapon defense is to either meet a weapon with a better weapon or to get something in between the weapon and the defender.
 

Paul_D

Master Black Belt
Joined
Sep 25, 2014
Messages
1,240
Reaction score
437
Location
England
This isn't one I can answer on my tablet. I will throw my hat in the ring later once I'm on my laptop.
 
OP
Tony Dismukes

Tony Dismukes

MT Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Nov 11, 2005
Messages
6,035
Reaction score
4,668
Location
Lexington, KY
target hardening - Again, I'm not clear on your term.

what do you mean by "target hardening"?

t sure what you mean by target hardening

"Target hardening" refers to being knowledgeable of what predators and other instigators of violence are looking for in a victim and using that knowledge to arrange yourself and your circumstances to not fit that profile.

For example, predators like a target who is not aware of his/her surroundings. As a result, if you are visibly alert and aware of your environment, you are less likely to be targeted by a mugger who is looking for easy prey.
 

oftheherd1

Senior Master
Joined
May 12, 2011
Messages
4,685
Reaction score
817
I think it's too broad, tony. There is no functional difference between SPFV and the vague term, "self defense." What I mean is, the term encompasses so many aspects of self protection, there is plenty of room to wiggle around and shift meanings in a self serving manner.

I'd suggest that what we need is more specificity, not another label. avoid using the term self defense, and instead, be specific. We teach physical fighting skills. Let's talk about deescalation. My school addresses conflict avoidance and high risk behaviors.

I think I sort of agree with Steve. I think that as you Say Tony, there will be many details of how one gets through the day unharmed by violence. More, we have already beat the dead horse of "self defense" all over the place. But I don't think it has been without benefit. We seem to have some understanding of what we mean by self defense. To introduce another over riding term, imho, simply gives us a chance to do it all over again.

I hope I am wrong. I hope some of the other's answers, and your when you decide to give an answer, will show me wrong. I do appreciate your intention to help nail down some answers.
 
OP
Tony Dismukes

Tony Dismukes

MT Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Nov 11, 2005
Messages
6,035
Reaction score
4,668
Location
Lexington, KY
I think it's too broad, tony. There is no functional difference between SPFV and the vague term, "self defense." What I mean is, the term encompasses so many aspects of self protection ...

In prior discussions, some people have used the term self-defense to mean the same thing as I do here by "SPFV". Others have used it very differently. Some people have gotten very stubborn about the idea that their definition of the term is the "correct" one and it tends to distract from the actual topic at hand.

The advantage of using "SPFV" in this thread is that since I just coined the term I get to define what it means for the purposes of this conversation and we can discuss what we are actually doing in our training rather than arguing over whose definition is correct.

(BTW - I'm not intending "SPFV" to be a new term that we use on a regular basis. It's just a tool for this thread to avoid debates over semantics.)

The broadness is deliberate. I don't believe many people can honestly claim to spend a significant amount of time training all the aspects of SPFV. It's too big an area of study. Therefore I'm inviting people to narrow it down by specifying exactly what aspects they do cover, in what proportions, and how they do it.
 

gpseymour

MT Moderator
Staff member
Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 27, 2012
Messages
26,639
Reaction score
8,089
Location
Hendersonville, NC
"Target hardening" refers to being knowledgeable of what predators and other instigators of violence are looking for in a victim and using that knowledge to arrange yourself and your circumstances to not fit that profile.

For example, predators like a target who is not aware of his/her surroundings. As a result, if you are visibly alert and aware of your environment, you are less likely to be targeted by a mugger who is looking for easy prey.
Okay, given this explanation, yes we deal with that. First, we directly deal with exactly the information you mentioned and talk about eyes up, noticing your surroundings, the math of choosing a victim, etc. Over time, we deal with this passively through changes in posture, and developing a mindset that makes some of this automatic.
 

JowGaWolf

Sr. Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Joined
Aug 3, 2015
Messages
10,358
Reaction score
3,407
Thanks for the definition of Target Hardening: I train, discuss, and simulate. This is actually key in the training by helping student understand what a victim looks like. I use a lot of nature references when discussing this. Videos that show how lions and other animals hunt make it easier to identify stalking behavior in humans. Spotting the stalking behavior in humans gets easier once students see animals do it. A lot of situations can be avoided if the stalking behavior can be detected.

The lion hunting videos are really good because the lions don't always know which animal they are going to attack. Sometimes lions probe the herd just like criminals will prob a crowd with the goal of finding the "easiest target" or the "most profitable" target. Animals also make it easier for kids to grasp concepts so I just stick with it and use it for the adults too.

The legal and emotional consequences is something that I did with kids who were at a high risk for becoming criminals. These were kids who were in environments where they may be influenced to do the wrong thing for "street credit" and a reputation.
 

Paul_D

Master Black Belt
Joined
Sep 25, 2014
Messages
1,240
Reaction score
437
Location
England
Thanks for the definition of Target Hardening: I train, discuss, and simulate. This is actually key in the training by helping student understand what a victim looks like. I use a lot of nature references when discussing this. Videos that show how lions and other animals hunt make it easier to identify stalking behavior in humans. Spotting the stalking behavior in humans gets easier once students see animals do it. A lot of situations can be avoided if the stalking behavior can be detected.

The lion hunting videos are really good because the lions don't always know which animal they are going to attack. Sometimes lions probe the herd just like criminals will prob a crowd with the goal of finding the "easiest target" or the "most profitable" target. Animals also make it easier for kids to grasp concepts so I just stick with it and use it for the adults too.
.
Wouldn't it be better to take the case studies and interviews of muggers and sexual predators (e.g. "We follow them, cross the road, walk past them maybe two or three times. Some of them must be thick not to notice what's going on") and learn how they select their vitcims?
.
 

Paul_D

Master Black Belt
Joined
Sep 25, 2014
Messages
1,240
Reaction score
437
Location
England
Whilst I am supportive of the initiative, the problem I have is that we are still using the word fighting.

physically fighting if the elements listed above fail to avoid an attack

The problems with this are many, and are discussed in more length here:-

The problems with "street fighting" | Iain Abernethy

But briefly. A fight is something in which the participants agree to engage. A boxer may agree to take part in a fight with another boxer for the purposes of testing their skill. Someone may agree to go outside into the car park to fight someone to settle an argument over spilled beer or a girlfriend or whatever. This suggests to people then that if they agree to engage in a street fight they are defending themselves. They are not. They could have walked away, they could have sorted the matter verbally, but instead they chose to step outside and fight. What they have done therefore is taken the conscious decision to engage in a criminal activity (street fighting) leaving themselves open to the legal, criminal and financial implications of their actions and the injuries sustained by the other person. More importantly however it also means you cannot claim self defence when questioned by the police.

Self defence on the other hand, which is legal, does by its very definition involve someone who is unwilling to take part. Nobody wants to be beaten, mugged, killed or sexually assaulted. If you are attacked, then it is an assault, not a fight. Self defence is when you do not want to engage in violence, but the other person leaves you no other option.

Secondly, the word fight gives people the mistaken impression that civilian violence will resemble a fight. That it will look like, and feel like, the sparring they experience in the dojo or gym. It will not. A criminal does not want to fight you, because fighting means he gets a go, then you get a go, and that introduces the possibility that he will lose. He will not allow you the opportunity to “get a go” a skilled criminal will use the four D’s (Dialogue, Deception, Distraction and Destruction) to take you out of the game before you even realise you are in it. There will be no fight, instead you will be attacked until you are no longer able to defend yourself, allowing the criminal to take what they want, be it your life, your properly or your body.

Conversely if you do decide to initiate a physical response you do not want a fight, you do not want him to “get a go”. What you want is a one way continuous steam of violence that does not stop until the threat is neutralised, thereby allowing you the opportunity to escape. As in self defence your only aim is to create the opportunity to escape. Again, this is not a fight. As Goeff Thompson puts it “I train for the first punch, it’s all I need” Not because he will necessarily finish you with the first punch, but once he gets the first punch in then you will be in no fit state to respond while he gets all the necessary subsequent punches in needed to create to the opportunity to escape.

Thirdly, and this is the really big one for me. Using the term fighting when referring to civilian violence leads people to mistakenly believe that the skills, and techniques, needed for successful self protection are the same skills needed to be successful at fighting. They are not. Just ask Maiquel Falcao and Kaue Mena.

I don’t really care what we call it, “physically responding” or “physical techniques” or physically something else, as long as we are not calling it physically fighting if the elements listed above fail to avoid an attack

To move on the next section and discuss what areas of civilian self protection my martial arts training covers, it is important for me to explain that I consider my martial arts and (the physical side) of my self protection to be to be completely separate. Yes a good strike is always going to be a good strike, and many of the principals of my martial art relate directly to the physical side of my self protection training, but I keep them separate and train them separately.

With that in mind then, here goes:-

What aspects of SPFV, if any (as listed above) does your martial arts practice/instruction cover, either directly or indirectly?

Lifestyle – none
Target Hardening – none
Threat awareness and avoidance – none
De-escalation – none
Physically fighting – none (as criminal violence bears no resemble to the skilled exchange of martial artists)
Escape and avoidance – Whilst my martial training involves escapes, I would not wait until I was restrained before I employed a physical response. The 99% of my self protection skills which are not physical should mean this stage is never reached. So I don’t consider that when I am learning escape in my martial arts training I am learning to deal with the realities of civilian self protection. I am learning to deal with what some martial arts instructors THINK are the realities of civilian violence. But what martial artists think is civilian violence, and the realities of civilian violence are all too often two different things.

Dealing with the legal and emotional consequences - none
How does it address those different aspects?
It doesn’t
What percentage of training time is spent on those different aspects?
None

Given that the top SPFV needs are different for people in different circumstances, who is your training ideally suited for, SPFV-wise?
No one. My martial arts training is not designed for the realities of civilian violence. It is a martial arts, not civilian self protection, they are two different things.

Given the practical impossibility of carrying out rigorous controlled scientific studies on the subject, how do you validate that what you are practicing/teaching is effective for the aspects of SPFV that it is intended to address?
I don’t, my martial arts training is not geared towards modern civilian violence. The enemy I am training on the mat to defeat is not the same enemy that I will encounter on the street. His goals are not the same, his training is not the same, his skill set is not the same, his modus operandi is not the same. Could it be adapted for such purposes, possibly yes, but why bother? If you want to learn civilian self-protection then train for civilian self-protection. Don’t train martial arts and then try to take the square peg out of the dojo and try to force it into the round hole of civilian self-protection. That’s like taking table tennis lessons because you’ve decided to enter Wimbledon.

How confident are you in that validation?
n/a, see above.
 

drop bear

Sr. Grandmaster
Joined
Feb 23, 2014
Messages
20,739
Reaction score
5,631
Important aspects of SPFV would include:
  • lifestyle
  • target hardening
  • threat awareness and avoidance
  • de-escalation
  • physically fighting if the elements listed above fail to avoid an attack
  • escape and evasion
  • dealing with legal and emotional consequences of a violent confrontation

Well anecdotally..............
 

JowGaWolf

Sr. Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Joined
Aug 3, 2015
Messages
10,358
Reaction score
3,407
Wouldn't it be better to take the case studies and interviews of muggers and sexual predators (e.g. "We follow them, cross the road, walk past them maybe two or three times. Some of them must be thick not to notice what's going on") and learn how they select their vitcims?
.
I have personal experience from that from when I worked in the inner city. All through my youth up until I got married. I knew people who were on the legal side of the law and they would share some of their stories with me. For the most part they were nice people just doing the wrong thing.

I also learned from friends who lived in rough neighborhoods. Friends look after friends and will warn you of thing you should know in order to be safe. In the neighborhood I lived in as a kid. A person jumped off the roof and mugged the home owner. So I had quite a bit of input during those years before I the age of 26. After I got married I had to rely on some other methods such as me mentally looking for "weak and unaware" people in public. The mind set is. If I'm a criminal how can I harm someone or steal from someone and get away with it. Once you start looking at everyday people as possible victims then you'll begin to see alot of the issues that self-defense instructors, law enforcement, and criminals warn people about.

It sounds like I'm sick in the head but it's the same thing that I do when I analyze my sparring. How can I beat that guy, how can I hurt him. When I think of attacking myself in a fight then I'm more aware of my weaknesses and things that I need to be aware of.
 

hoshin1600

Senior Master
Joined
May 16, 2014
Messages
2,978
Reaction score
1,419
Whilst I am supportive of the initiative, the problem I have is that we are still using the word fighting.

physically fighting if the elements listed above fail to avoid an attack

The problems with this are many, and are discussed in more length here:-

The problems with "street fighting" | Iain Abernethy

But briefly. A fight is something in which the participants agree to engage. A boxer may agree to take part in a fight with another boxer for the purposes of testing their skill. Someone may agree to go outside into the car park to fight someone to settle an argument over spilled beer or a girlfriend or whatever. This suggests to people then that if they agree to engage in a street fight they are defending themselves. They are not. They could have walked away, they could have sorted the matter verbally, but instead they chose to step outside and fight. What they have done therefore is taken the conscious decision to engage in a criminal activity (street fighting) leaving themselves open to the legal, criminal and financial implications of their actions and the injuries sustained by the other person. More importantly however it also means you cannot claim self defence when questioned by the police.

Self defence on the other hand, which is legal, does by its very definition involve someone who is unwilling to take part. Nobody wants to be beaten, mugged, killed or sexually assaulted. If you are attacked, then it is an assault, not a fight. Self defence is when you do not want to engage in violence, but the other person leaves you no other option.

Secondly, the word fight gives people the mistaken impression that civilian violence will resemble a fight. That it will look like, and feel like, the sparring they experience in the dojo or gym. It will not. A criminal does not want to fight you, because fighting means he gets a go, then you get a go, and that introduces the possibility that he will lose. He will not allow you the opportunity to “get a go” a skilled criminal will use the four D’s (Dialogue, Deception, Distraction and Destruction) to take you out of the game before you even realise you are in it. There will be no fight, instead you will be attacked until you are no longer able to defend yourself, allowing the criminal to take what they want, be it your life, your properly or your body.

Conversely if you do decide to initiate a physical response you do not want a fight, you do not want him to “get a go”. What you want is a one way continuous steam of violence that does not stop until the threat is neutralised, thereby allowing you the opportunity to escape. As in self defence your only aim is to create the opportunity to escape. Again, this is not a fight. As Goeff Thompson puts it “I train for the first punch, it’s all I need” Not because he will necessarily finish you with the first punch, but once he gets the first punch in then you will be in no fit state to respond while he gets all the necessary subsequent punches in needed to create to the opportunity to escape.

Thirdly, and this is the really big one for me. Using the term fighting when referring to civilian violence leads people to mistakenly believe that the skills, and techniques, needed for successful self protection are the same skills needed to be successful at fighting. They are not. Just ask Maiquel Falcao and Kaue Mena.

I don’t really care what we call it, “physically responding” or “physical techniques” or physically something else, as long as we are not calling it physically fighting if the elements listed above fail to avoid an attack

To move on the next section and discuss what areas of civilian self protection my martial arts training covers, it is important for me to explain that I consider my martial arts and (the physical side) of my self protection to be to be completely separate. Yes a good strike is always going to be a good strike, and many of the principals of my martial art relate directly to the physical side of my self protection training, but I keep them separate and train them separately.

With that in mind then, here goes:-

What aspects of SPFV, if any (as listed above) does your martial arts practice/instruction cover, either directly or indirectly?

Lifestyle – none
Target Hardening – none
Threat awareness and avoidance – none
De-escalation – none
Physically fighting – none (as criminal violence bears no resemble to the skilled exchange of martial artists)
Escape and avoidance – Whilst my martial training involves escapes, I would not wait until I was restrained before I employed a physical response. The 99% of my self protection skills which are not physical should mean this stage is never reached. So I don’t consider that when I am learning escape in my martial arts training I am learning to deal with the realities of civilian self protection. I am learning to deal with what some martial arts instructors THINK are the realities of civilian violence. But what martial artists think is civilian violence, and the realities of civilian violence are all too often two different things.

Dealing with the legal and emotional consequences - none
How does it address those different aspects?
It doesn’t
What percentage of training time is spent on those different aspects?
None

Given that the top SPFV needs are different for people in different circumstances, who is your training ideally suited for, SPFV-wise?
No one. My martial arts training is not designed for the realities of civilian violence. It is a martial arts, not civilian self protection, they are two different things.

Given the practical impossibility of carrying out rigorous controlled scientific studies on the subject, how do you validate that what you are practicing/teaching is effective for the aspects of SPFV that it is intended to address?
I don’t, my martial arts training is not geared towards modern civilian violence. The enemy I am training on the mat to defeat is not the same enemy that I will encounter on the street. His goals are not the same, his training is not the same, his skill set is not the same, his modus operandi is not the same. Could it be adapted for such purposes, possibly yes, but why bother? If you want to learn civilian self-protection then train for civilian self-protection. Don’t train martial arts and then try to take the square peg out of the dojo and try to force it into the round hole of civilian self-protection. That’s like taking table tennis lessons because you’ve decided to enter Wimbledon.

How confident are you in that validation?
n/a, see above.

you stole some of my thunder.
i was going to make the distinction between a fight being between two willing combatants and an assault, which is where one combatant is an assailant and the other a victim.
i am in complete agreement in your desire to designate a difference between the two and i agree that a good portion of martial artists still do not know the difference and confuse martial arts with self defense. i fully understand your point but from there i will depart in agreement for the sake of further discussion.

a few points.
1 .. violence can only be over come by violence of a greater magnitude and ferocity.
2.. Black's Law dictionary defines criminal and tortious assault as "the threat or use of force on another that causes that person to have a reasonable apprehension of imminent harmful or offensive contact; the act of putting another person in reasonable fear or apprehension of an immediate battery by means of an act amounting to an attempt or threat to commit a battery." Assault is a very broad crime and there are various forms of assault, including (but not limited to) civil assault, assault by contact, sexual assault, simple assault, and aggravated assault. Though nowadays it is common to use the term "assault and battery" as if it were one crime, the terms are separate and distinct legal concepts. Assault refers specifically to demonstration of an unlawful intent to inflict immediate injury of offensive contact on another, whereas battery involves the actual act of contact with another. Thus, assault is the beginning of the act which, if consummated, results in battery

that being said there is a physical component to assault which is battery. if there is no eminent threat of battery then there is only a verbal threat which brings us to the "reasonable person doctrine" , and the three prong test for preemptive force or deadly force,, that being Ability, Opportunity and Intent.

Putting that aside for a moment. violence can only be over come by violence and there is a physical component to assault. then we must acknowledge that there is a physical response of "counter violence" and this physical response logically, can be trained.
the first component of training might be to "have a plan" and to learn about and to counter act "Cognitive Dissonance" in both of its forms ( denial and stimulus without understanding). it must be understood that physical counter violence combative skills will have an importance. one of my favorite sayings is "your not done until your dead". to not engage in counter combative behavior is to except the violence and lay down and die.
the statement that
Self defence is when you do not want to engage in violence, but the other person leaves you no other option.
is in direct conflict and opposition with the statement ..
in self defence your only aim is to create the opportunity to escape
if the victim had no opportunity to escape prior to the physical battery and there "was no other choice" then escape was not an option and a physical combative response was needed and necessary. thus escape after the initial battery by the victim should be considered a moot point (with a few exceptions) and very often the escape would be done by the assailant having been met with an equal or greater amount of violence.

criminal violence bears no resemble to the skilled exchange of martial artists
while correct and i agree, this statement cannot ignore the fact that combative skills must be trained and used in a violent encounter.

MACP while a semi sport orientated military training IS TAUGHT to the United States military. it is part of the warrior ethos that the training should indirectly instill a combative mindset as well as combative skills that can be transfered to actual H2H combat if needed. it is understood that it will not resemble actual combat but the skills are transferable. i will acknowledge that how training is conducted is more important than the curriculum and that the majority of martial art schools do not meet or understand what is required.
 

gpseymour

MT Moderator
Staff member
Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 27, 2012
Messages
26,639
Reaction score
8,089
Location
Hendersonville, NC
Whilst I am supportive of the initiative, the problem I have is that we are still using the word fighting.

physically fighting if the elements listed above fail to avoid an attack

The problems with this are many, and are discussed in more length here:-

The problems with "street fighting" | Iain Abernethy

But briefly. A fight is something in which the participants agree to engage. A boxer may agree to take part in a fight with another boxer for the purposes of testing their skill. Someone may agree to go outside into the car park to fight someone to settle an argument over spilled beer or a girlfriend or whatever. This suggests to people then that if they agree to engage in a street fight they are defending themselves. They are not. They could have walked away, they could have sorted the matter verbally, but instead they chose to step outside and fight. What they have done therefore is taken the conscious decision to engage in a criminal activity (street fighting) leaving themselves open to the legal, criminal and financial implications of their actions and the injuries sustained by the other person. More importantly however it also means you cannot claim self defence when questioned by the police.

Self defence on the other hand, which is legal, does by its very definition involve someone who is unwilling to take part. Nobody wants to be beaten, mugged, killed or sexually assaulted. If you are attacked, then it is an assault, not a fight. Self defence is when you do not want to engage in violence, but the other person leaves you no other option.

Secondly, the word fight gives people the mistaken impression that civilian violence will resemble a fight. That it will look like, and feel like, the sparring they experience in the dojo or gym. It will not. A criminal does not want to fight you, because fighting means he gets a go, then you get a go, and that introduces the possibility that he will lose. He will not allow you the opportunity to “get a go” a skilled criminal will use the four D’s (Dialogue, Deception, Distraction and Destruction) to take you out of the game before you even realise you are in it. There will be no fight, instead you will be attacked until you are no longer able to defend yourself, allowing the criminal to take what they want, be it your life, your properly or your body.

Conversely if you do decide to initiate a physical response you do not want a fight, you do not want him to “get a go”. What you want is a one way continuous steam of violence that does not stop until the threat is neutralised, thereby allowing you the opportunity to escape. As in self defence your only aim is to create the opportunity to escape. Again, this is not a fight. As Goeff Thompson puts it “I train for the first punch, it’s all I need” Not because he will necessarily finish you with the first punch, but once he gets the first punch in then you will be in no fit state to respond while he gets all the necessary subsequent punches in needed to create to the opportunity to escape.

Thirdly, and this is the really big one for me. Using the term fighting when referring to civilian violence leads people to mistakenly believe that the skills, and techniques, needed for successful self protection are the same skills needed to be successful at fighting. They are not. Just ask Maiquel Falcao and Kaue Mena.

I don’t really care what we call it, “physically responding” or “physical techniques” or physically something else, as long as we are not calling it physically fighting if the elements listed above fail to avoid an attack

To move on the next section and discuss what areas of civilian self protection my martial arts training covers, it is important for me to explain that I consider my martial arts and (the physical side) of my self protection to be to be completely separate. Yes a good strike is always going to be a good strike, and many of the principals of my martial art relate directly to the physical side of my self protection training, but I keep them separate and train them separately.

With that in mind then, here goes:-

What aspects of SPFV, if any (as listed above) does your martial arts practice/instruction cover, either directly or indirectly?

Lifestyle – none
Target Hardening – none
Threat awareness and avoidance – none
De-escalation – none
Physically fighting – none (as criminal violence bears no resemble to the skilled exchange of martial artists)
Escape and avoidance – Whilst my martial training involves escapes, I would not wait until I was restrained before I employed a physical response. The 99% of my self protection skills which are not physical should mean this stage is never reached. So I don’t consider that when I am learning escape in my martial arts training I am learning to deal with the realities of civilian self protection. I am learning to deal with what some martial arts instructors THINK are the realities of civilian violence. But what martial artists think is civilian violence, and the realities of civilian violence are all too often two different things.

Dealing with the legal and emotional consequences - none
How does it address those different aspects?
It doesn’t
What percentage of training time is spent on those different aspects?
None

Given that the top SPFV needs are different for people in different circumstances, who is your training ideally suited for, SPFV-wise?
No one. My martial arts training is not designed for the realities of civilian violence. It is a martial arts, not civilian self protection, they are two different things.

Given the practical impossibility of carrying out rigorous controlled scientific studies on the subject, how do you validate that what you are practicing/teaching is effective for the aspects of SPFV that it is intended to address?
I don’t, my martial arts training is not geared towards modern civilian violence. The enemy I am training on the mat to defeat is not the same enemy that I will encounter on the street. His goals are not the same, his training is not the same, his skill set is not the same, his modus operandi is not the same. Could it be adapted for such purposes, possibly yes, but why bother? If you want to learn civilian self-protection then train for civilian self-protection. Don’t train martial arts and then try to take the square peg out of the dojo and try to force it into the round hole of civilian self-protection. That’s like taking table tennis lessons because you’ve decided to enter Wimbledon.

How confident are you in that validation?
n/a, see above.
This has been addressed before. You are requiring others to use your definition of "fighting". I don't share that definition. In my entire career, every instructor I have ever had used the term "in a fight" to refer to any altercation that turns physical. That's how the term is being used by most when referring to self-defense. If someone attacks me, I fight. I didn't agree to it, but that's where I am at that moment.
 

gpseymour

MT Moderator
Staff member
Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 27, 2012
Messages
26,639
Reaction score
8,089
Location
Hendersonville, NC
1 .. violence can only be over come by violence of a greater magnitude and ferocity.

Not entirely accurate. If someone attempts to kill me with a brick with great violence, and I knock them out with a blood choke or a clean punch to the TMJ, their violence is ended without violence of a greater magnitude and ferocity.
 
Top