Strategies -Too Complicated For Street Self Defense?
Are the fighting strategies that
being taught today too complex to be effective on the street?
Is something missing from traditional training as it applies to
self defense in the 21st century?
Over the years of my training we
taught most of the traditional self defense technques to our students.
Coming from a background in Okinawan karate we didn't have too
much fancy stuff. On the other hand I thought our techniques and
fighting strategies were fairly simple and direct. I had always
considered the stress of a real attack and realized it is quite
different than practicing in the dojo. Each of us at some time
in our lives have experienced a strong dose of adrenaline. It
may have come from fear or anger or even but a sudden suprise.
It wasn't until I attended a F.A.S.T.
Defense training (adrenal stress conditioning) class that I realized
that even what I considered simple fighting strategies, were still
in some cases, way too complex for an adrenaline filled street
A good example is the roundhouse
or sucker punch. I have seen more different fighting strategies
for this one attack that I care to remember. Let me give you a
little evolution of my own shift in fighting strategies dealing
with this defense over the years.
Way back my fighting strategy was
to strike, throw and strike again. It worked great in the dojo
and looked really cool too! There are some major flaws to this
strategy. First, people react differently to strikes. In the dojo
the guy just stands there but on the street his reaction may be
to fall backward or to either side. This flaws the follow up throw
if your basic technique was a one arm hip throw or any throw that
would take your opponent in the opposite direction of the initial
Perhaps a judo expert might be able
to pull that off because he could adapt his fighting strategy
to quickly change his throw.
Later on in my training we would
make the block and then follow up with an assortment of counter
attacks. This sounds reasonable and it may be, depending on your
fighting strategy. What I found out later on was that under an
"adrenal dump", those multiple counter attacks might not be available
(mentally) because of the loss of cognitive thinking under those
That is one of the reasons we developed
Self Defense 101. The blocks are all simple and the follow
ups from most attacks are very similar, if not the same. Using
these fighting strategies, the chances of a successful defense
against an all out street attack are significantly higher.