Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Active Self Defense - Why it should be simple

Last week we had quite an interesting class and it drove home an essential point of self defense. What happens if I ever have to use what I know ? What happens to my brain and my body? More importantly will I be able to use what I know or have learned ?

One of the reasons why I make the techniques simple and using gross motor movements is that when the body is in a stressed state (i.e. being attacked) it starts to release adrenaline. In small doses, adrenaline is great for your body and when it feels threatened, the body releases this chemical as a defense mechanism, in preparation for the "fight or flight" response. One of the major effects that I am concerned with regarding this adrenaline dump is the loss of fine motor skills. I think we have all seen movies and I have even been to some schools that teach intricate, five step self defense moves that require pinpoint accuracy and the precise use of angles. I'm not bashing these techniques, but in a real life fight for your life situation, you would be very lucky to remember past steps one and two. It's just not going to happen. So what is the answer?

Make the techniques reflexive actions whenever possible. If someone is choking you from behind, your first action is to grab that arm and stop the choking, not drop into deep meditation and use your chi to explode your attacker away from you. I'm kidding, but you get the idea.
The counter to a headlock should include the reflexive action of grabbing the attacker's arm and using it to your advantage. This is how it should be whenever possible.

I'm all for intricate techniques and they have their time and place. That place is not on the street when your life, or the lives of your loved ones are on the line.

strong spirit-strong mind-strong body

Sensei Orlando

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