The Million Dollar Question- What Is Real Self-Defense?
What is Real-life Self-Defense?
This is a topic that has been debated forever.
The question "What is real self-defense?" prompts many to play their ego card. Some people become emotional and personally offended at the suggestion of anything outside their world. This attitude in itself puts others in harm's way, and keeps the majority of the general public in the dark when it comes to receiving a real, life-saving education. Therefore, I promise not to impose my opinion, favoritism, or ego in this book, but rather to base what I say on facts and high-percentage, proven statistics.
The average person's idea of what constitutes "self-defense training" is generally the furthest thing from the truth. Although there are many ways to describe reality self-defense, most people's views, opinions, and beliefs about what it takes to protect themselves are heavily influenced by TV shows, poor trainers, hearsay, and Hollywood fighting such as wrestling.
Try to wipe the slate clean of any outside influence as you read this chapter. Read it several times if that helps you build a solid vision of what it takes to survive.
The real definition of self-defense is:
The ability to avoid conflict and/or adequately defend yourself in a conflict.
You must be able to do this under extreme stress and fear. In a real-life situation there are no rules, no refs, no controlled environments, and, most likely, no help. Your attacker will always pick the time, place, and method of attack; you will never get this luxury. No matter what the outcome, you won't receive a trophy, title belt, or medal of valor.
What does it take to spark a real-life attack or conflict? As little as a look - sometimes even less. Usually, your attacker won't know you. He won't care how much money you have, how important you are, how much you love your family, or about anything else in your world. You will be nothing but an opportunity for him. That's why the first part of the definition of self-defense - the ability to avoid conflict - is so important.
You Are Just An Opportunity.
When a potential attacker seeks his prey, he looks for basically one thing: OPPORTUNITY.
Think about the decision-making process of the average person. Humans thrive on opportunity in all things. Here are some examples:
- You park in the closest open spot to the store instead of across the lot
- You invest when asset prices are down to make more money
- You save money by shopping when there's a sale
- You get a college education to expand your options
- You apply for the highest paying job available
- You would cut in line at Disney World, if they'd let you
I could go on and on, and so could you. The point is, it's the same with self-defense. Whatever opportunity you give, someone might take.
Imagine a fortress. Now think like an attacker for a minute. Are the gates locked? Are the walls too high? Are there guards, dogs, or rivers to cross? Did someone see you coming and sound an alarm? If your chances of success are low, you'll probably move on, because there's always a softer target right down the road.
This is how a potential attacker evaluates you.
Proactive Situational Awareness
When we drive down a street, we look ahead for people pulling out in front of us, objects in the road, traffic signals, and so on. When we first learned how to drive, most of us were so nervous we couldn't see past the hood of our car. This is known as "tunnel vision." Now, driving is second nature. Our minds have been conditioned to handle all this without stressing out.
Likewise, we can train ourselves to process information about people, places, and events, and to formulate proactive responses that can prevent dangerous situations from developing. This ability to foresee and avoid trouble without becoming paranoid, learned through realistic self-defense training and education, can also become second nature. This kind of proactive situational awareness is a priceless asset to anyone.
But what if, for some reason, you can't avoid a dangerous situation? That's when the second part of the definition - or to adequately defend yourself in a conflict - comes into play.
Your Single Greatest Weapon
To access your skill, knowledge, decision making ability, and awareness, you absolutely have to have the following: a brain! The good news is, if you're reading this you probably have one.
Your brain houses all the controls for any and all actions in your life, especially when it comes to survival and self-defense. Without tapping into your mental ability, your physical ability - despite training - is mediocre at best. I hope I'm not overstating the obvious. I'm trying to shed light on a topic most people ignore.
Intense physical self-defense training done without the element of reality leaves most people in better shape, but still unable to adequately defend themselves. Why? They haven't been introduced to or received education in reality self-defense.
Real-life conflicts are nothing like what we see on TV, in sports, or in movies. It's not even close. The tragedy is, without professional training, this is the only frame of reference most people will ever have.
That's why reality self-defense training is so important. It links mind and body together, to create maximum effectiveness.