Self Defense


Fighting 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 confrontation.

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 strikes.

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 conditions.

That is one of the reasons we developed Street 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.


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