Is a Pre-Emptive Strike Your Best Defense?

Once again we look at one of the basic premises of traditional martial arts theory.  Historically we are taught that martial arts is a defensive concept and that it should never be used as offensively.  In an ideal world this philosophy or theory is a great one.  In an ideal world there would be no violence anyhow so it would not much matter.  Unfortunately ours is not an ideal world in any aspect of reality so reality has to be factored in to the concept or premise.

Let’s say you have been training in a martial arts style for a while and one evening some human predator suddenly stops you on the street or in a parking garage, threatening you, yelling and all the rest.  You have the presence of mind to stay reasonably calm, set yourself in a relatively stable stance or posture without looking threatening and you try to negotiate your way out of the confrontation.  Exactly what a well trained martial artist should do.

At some point you realize that the negotiations are over and the aggressor is going to do something violent.  He is bigger, may be on drugs and getting more and more belligerent all the time.  You think you know what his attack will be and you mentally prepare yourself to execute some sort of martial arts technique to defend against this.  You are allowing him, the predator, to execute HIS game plan at your expense.  What if your presumption of his game plan is wrong?  What if your presumption is right but in the process of executing your defense his size and strength as well as his extreme intent on harming you overpowers your defense?  It is important to understand that without a LOT of training and at least some understanding of real world fighting (no referees, no rules, no boundaries, etc.) the chances of your first attempt at defending against an aggressor like this are at best questionable.  If you have the training, focus and determination to instantly go to another technique the second your first try starts to fail you will have a chance.  Unfortunately not many martial artists are trained this way.

So let’s back up a bit to the point where you realize that the negotiations are essentially over.  You are absolutely convinced that there is no way out of the conflict and you have no place to run.  You are absolutely convinced that this predator is going to do everything he can to inflict massive bodily harm on you.  You obviously cannot be 100% sure of what his first move will be.  In reality your option is simple.  Do exactly what the aggressor does not expect you to do.  Move quickly in to him and execute a powerful series of pre-emptive strikes.  Essentially, if you are certain IT is going to happen, execute YOUR game plan before he can execute his.  Pretty basic but rest assured that the shock or surprise of your sudden attack will more often than not allow you to prevail.  The key is focus, speed and most important, effect.