Self Defence is a very broad topic.
I turned sixty-one this year so I’ve been at martial arts and self defence training for a little while now. I started fooling around boxing with my grandfather, then a little Judo as a kid, a little Jujitsu as a teen, a little more Tae Kwon Do as an adult and then I found Uechi Ryu and have been at that now for… well I’m starting to count the decades now.
In each art and each school, I learn the physical aspects of how to protect myself. But self defence is a broad topic.
Even physical defence is a broad topic. Do you cover striking, grappling, weapons, ground, from a car…. Lots to cover.
But self defence is even broader than the physical.
There is the aspect of legal self defence. I was always told to only use my training to protect myself or others. Good advice but hardly what is needed to stay out of jail and away from bankruptcy when facing possible criminal charges or a civil suit.
But that isn’t all. I was always told to avoid the fight and to walk away. But I was never trained in the how. In fact, no drill we did actually had us walking away from a conflict. If you don’t train it – Less chance you will do it.
Awareness is a big buzz word in self defence. Be aware. Aware of what? Do you train what to watch for? Do you know how to walk cautiously but not with paranoia?
Do you train in the precursors to an assault? There’s a great picture I’ve included at the end of a Randy King from KPC seminar.
Do you train in post encounter? How to deal with the authorities. How to articulate why you did what you did.
WOW, self defence is such a broad topic.
Here is the thing, self defence is such a broad topic I don’t think any one instructor can be an expert on it all.
So, what do you do?
You can cross train.
Your school can bring in people.
Bring in someone to give a session of what the plea of self defence actually means.
Bring in someone to give a session of pre and post conflict.
Bring in someone to teach counter assault from the ground. Great for striking schools in particular but good for all.
Bring in someone to teach knife defence.
Bring in people to broaden your students’ training.
I know instructors who seem terrified that if their students see something different out there they will leave. I never found that and I don’t think it is true. I think the students appreciate an instructor and school that shows they want the best self defence for them by exposing them to as much as they can.
No one person can know it all but there are a lot of resources out there that can help.
Pre Attack Cues (Randy King):