Philosophical Keys to Real World Self Defense and Martial Arts

Below are some things to think about as you consider the potential of a real life violent confrontation.

Study, understand and apply the Basic Principles involved in your self defense techniques.  Without them your techniques are virtually worthless.  With them you will find whatever techniques you may need.

Be vigilant.  Be always aware of your surroundings.  Know where you can go to escape.  Know what elements around you can be used to your advantage and be willing to use them without hesitation.

Understand that your attacker will not play by any rules at all.

Never respond “in kind” to a verbal assault.  This is what your aggressor wants.  Doing so will likely force you to get into an emotional state which, at some point, will cloud rational judgment.

Never look your aggressor in the eye.  Look at his chest or past him.  Allow your peripheral vision to tell you what is going on.  It is generally believed that using peripheral vision as opposed to focusing on something will enable you to react or respond more quickly.

Never, ever let your aggressor make the first move unless you have managed to control the situation and can predict with great accuracy what he will do and when.

Always be on the lookout for an aggressor’s friends or colleagues.

Always assume that your aggressor or his friends may have weapons.

In a real world life or death confrontation assume that nobody nearby will help you.  Further assume that any help at all, if it does come, will arrive too late.

Do the exact opposite of what your aggressor expects you to do.

Use your ‘fence’ to gauge distance, to enable you to maneuver, to lead the aggressor to think that you are cowering and afraid.  The appearance of being afraid can set up an attacker for a pre-emptive strike very easily.  Deception is part of self defense.

Never let fear control you or your actions.  You must force yourself to become determined and aggressive at the right time.  Fear and aggression cannot exist together.

When you make your move be decisive, aggressive and deliberate.  Make the commitment to minimize the threat with everything you have and do not stop until you are absolutely certain that the threat has been neutralized (i.e., rendered harmless, at least for the moment).

Understand the potential legal consequences of what you might do.  Know when “enough is enough”.