Learn to verbally de-escalate violent situations before they get physical
Black Belt magazine, the largest and best self-defense magazine, published an article I wrote on verbal de-escalation in their June 2004 issue. Here is a quick two-minute lesson, because there are so many situations which turn violent when they don’t have to. When a person starts spewing insults your way, the first thing to do is back up, it will give you more reaction time if he does jump at you. Secondly, put your hands up with your hand open, which says “Hey man, take it easy, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean whatever I did…”. Thirdly, now say what your body is saying… “I am sorry, I didn’t mean to bump into you…, I don’t want to fight…, I’m sorry I took your seat, etc.” Lastly, take a look at Tip #3, know your weak opponents’ targets and get ready to strike as you back up and leave the situation. The vast majority of the time, you’ll leave, and there will be no altercation. On the other hand if someone does throw a punch make a one shot hit at a super vulnerable target and get out of there.
Know your exits, always
When you’re at a party, in a bar, restaurant, at the gym, and even driving in your car know your exits. A fight can break out at any second, and someone can attack you when you least expect it – so expect it and know where to run. I know these first two points don’t seem too “manly”, but let me tell you they are the least expensive (compared to being in the hospital, or having some sue you), and training them is super easy. Let’s start today, if someone jumped you right now, where would you run. Think about if you were at your favorite place to eat, or maybe at the gym, where would you go? Develop this street awareness. Remember the goal of self-defense is to survive – and you can’t survive if you don’t escape.
Know where to hit quick and simply
Think about these targets: Shin, groin, throat, and eyes. Pick ten different ways you could get attacked, and the best target to hit either with a punch or kick. Train these ten situations by writing them down first, and then mentally visualizing them each ten times before you go to bed for a week. Too easy to do, too many reps? Won’t really help you? Stop the excuses, and start right now. How many people who’ve been attacked, stabbed, or killed did this drill?
Leave the situation, run if you have to
Why am I putting so much stress on running, and getting the heck out of a situation? Because guys have this disease called ego. We stay just long enough to get hit with a sucker punch, for an opponent’s friend to show up (make that two), or “win” a situation and then spend the next six months in court as the “loser” takes 50% of our next 50 paychecks. Do you want to know how to defend yourself against bigger, stronger, and skilled attackers, walk away, and run if you have to. If they chase you down try Tip #1 and then #3, now repeat #4.
Exercise, lift and run
I’m not ignorant enough to believe that all attacks will end with verbal de-escalating the situation, or with one shot kicks to the groin. Some altercations get very sticky, and take some time and energy. Put a Yugo and a Lamborghini on the racing track. Put two ounces of gas in the Lambo and a full tank in the Yugo. Who are you going to put your money on? The point is if a situation gets hairy, and goes for some time, you’ll need enough gas (cardio and muscular energy) to last long enough to survive. By making an investment of working out, even on a semi-regular basis, ensures you that you’ll have more energy than 75% of attackers out there. Many people who get attacked just give up because they run out of gas. Do not let this happen to you. Besides if you never get attacked in your life, you’ve increased the quality of your health. You win either way!
Lock house doors, car doors while driving, set alarms when sleeping, and anything else you can do to make it harder for attackers
None of these are full proof ways. I used to have the mindset of a tough guy – “I’m a martial arts instructor, I stock pepper spray, and even have a gun – bring them on! Why do I need to lock doors?, etc.”. The bottom line is, why invite trouble? These items create layers in your comfort areas, so use them. If you have a family there is no excuse.
Get yourself, whatever age or physical condition you’re at into self -defense lessons.
Call it a pitch or commercial, but lessons will give you tools, confidence, and an outlet for fitness. Tools to fight back, confidence to look like an undesirable target, and a fitness level to run away long and hard if you need to. For lessons that meet your specific needs call toll free 1-877-337-1877 or email me directly at Matt@EliteJKD.com. I feel so strong about this, I’ll give you 2 Weeks free.