Self Defence FAQs

Discussion in 'Self Defence' started by Judderman, Oct 24, 2004.

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  1. Judderman

    Judderman 'Ello darlin'

    Self Defence FAQ’s

    This thread is designed to help answer the very basic aspects of self-defence, or as some like to call it, Self Protection.

    It will be edited from time to time to keep up with current trends and laws.

    If you notice any inaccuracy or would like to expand on a particular point, please send a personal message to one of the Moderators, who will take the appropriate action.

    Please take the time to follow the links provided and continue posting in existing threads.

    Stay safe and enjoy.

    Self Defence Moderators.

    What is Self Defence (Self Protection)?
    The ultimate goal of self-defence is to ensure that you do what it takes to get home safely to your loved ones. As such, self-defence describes a wide range skills intended to help a person avoid and survive various forms of confrontation. While most people typically think of it only in physical terms, self-defence also deals with emotional and psychological defence. It is very much an individual’s choice on how much they should incorporate into their lives to make themselves, and others, safer. It is easy to see that there are many strings to the self protection bow, thus the use of violence should be an option, your final one.

    Useful links:
    What is Self defence?
    Choosing a Self Defence course
    Self Defence Governing Body's view

    What is the difference between Self Defence Courses and Martial Arts Programs?
    Almost all self-defence systems contain some form of martial arts, but not all martial arts are designed for modern self-defence. The broad spectrum of offerings range from highly specialized Martial Arts like Iaido, the art of drawing a sword, which have little modern self defence application, to Reality Based Self Defence (RBSD) programs that teach only what they believe is practical for self-defence. For most martial arts, self-defence is part of a broader curriculum that includes other material that may not be relevant to modern self-defence.

    Which style/program is best?
    This is very common question and the answer is always the same: Almost all programs can be suitable for self-defence. What is far more important than the specific system is what is taught, how it is taught and how much time you put in.

    If you wish to discuss the ability of specific styles try either this: Styles, but please keep the post as balanced an honest as possible. Or try our Styles Forum

    How do I choose a good Self defence Course?
    The first step is to take your time and do good research. Remember that the goal of learning self-defence is to protect yourself and your loved ones. Therefore you owe it to yourself to find the best possible program! Beware of programs that promise too much. The old adage is true, if it sounds too good, it probably is. There are no death touches and no instant kills. And the last place you want to learn that lesson is while being attacked.

    Here are some ideas about what to look for in a program. The physical side of self-defence falls into four ranges of combat:
    · Kicking
    · Striking/punching
    · Stand up grappling (someone grabs you)
    · Ground fighting (someone is on top of you on the ground)

    At a minimum a self-defence program should address what to do if you are attacked in any one of these ranges. You do not have to become an expert in each range, though it is certainly a distinct advantage, but you need to be able to successfully be able to escape at each of the ranges.

    A good self-defence program must also include training in such skills as situational awareness, avoidance techniques, verbal tactics, emotional and psychological affects (fear/aggression etc), adrenal responses and common criminal tactics. These help you to recognize and deal with attacks before they happen.

    Here are other good guide lines for choosing a program: Choosing a Self Defence course

    And avoid programs like this one.

    How long does it take to be able to defend yourself? How quickly can I learn self-defence techniques?
    Just as with anything, self-defence must be practised continuously in order to be good at it. This in not the Matrix; there are no short cuts. You are not going to learn effective physical self-defence from one-hour courses, books, or videos. Short programs can be useful in helping you learn how to avoid situations, but when it comes to surviving physical confrontations, all the experts will give you the same secret: practice, practice, practice.

    How do I know what I have learnt will work for real?
    A good program will include exercises and drills that will realistically test your skills. Another option is to find ways to pressure test all your self-defence techniques. Some refer to this as training “alive”; others have more extreme forms like “animal days”. A phrase that might sum up self-defence could be “everything and nothing works”. It is up to you to find ways to test what works for you and in what situations you can use certain tactics. It can be rough, but as the phrase goes “Better to sweat in the training hall than bleed on the streets.”

    Here are some thoughts:
    Reality Check
    Simulating Self Defence Conditions

    What does the Law say about Self Defence?
    The law is unfortunately very complex. You should research the law in your local area. Follow these links to help you:
    Self Defence Law
    Self Defence Governing Body's view
    Recent News Article

    Some common myths about self-defence.

    Do I have to warn my attacker that I do martial arts?
    This is purely up to you, but it is good advice not to. Certainly we have not found any evidence that you are required to do this by law.

    Do I have to run away or can I stay and fight?
    This is a judgements call. However it is almost always better to run if the opportunity and situation and its circumstances allow you to, as your first duty is to make it home safe.

    If I’m a black belt, do I have to register myself with the police?
    In some countries they request that you do, but as far as we can ascertain, it is a purely voluntary requirement.

    I’m a black belt (sash, etc.), I can handle myself!
    Maybe, maybe not. Until you've been placed in a self-defence scenario you can't be sure. This is why realistic testing of skills, like those described above, are so important. There have been martial artists who received very rude awakenings when their skills were tested. You don't want to wait until you life is on the line to find out the answer to that type of question.

    No worries, I'll just kick him in the balls (jimmies, family jewels, unmentionables, etc.)!
    Contrary to what you see on TV, this doesn't always work, especially if your attacker is exceptionally aggressive. If your whole self-defence plan is based around this you are unprepared.

    For some others try here: Myth and Reality

    What weapons are best for self-defence?
    It is strongly advised that you check your local laws concerning weapons and self-defence before investing in one. Purchasing one is not enough. You should take classes that teach how to use your weapon effectively and responsibly. Remember that any weapon you carry can be used against you if you are unfortunate to drop it or have it taken from you.
    Some links:
    Gun as a Self Defence Tool

    What are some useful books to read about self-defence?
    There are hundreds of authors on the subject of self-defence. Some well-respected ones are, Marc "Animal" MacYoung, Peter Consterdine, Geoff Thompson, Jamie O’Keefe, Tony Blauer, Matt Thornton or Richard Dimitri

    Look here for more books.

    These books and other media should be used to support and enhance your training, not replace it. Some psychological aspects of self-protection can be learnt from books, but you still need good old experience in order to make the concepts raised personal to you.

    I’m being bullied, what do I do about it?
    This is a very difficult issue to answer as it depends very much on all the factors that contribute to the situation, such as possible consequences of your actions (both inside and outside the area the bullying occurs), what sort of person you are, what form the bullying takes etc. Things that seem to be common in all situations are:
    1) It will not get better by ignoring it.
    2) It does help to talk to someone about what is happening to you.
    3) You are not alone in this situation.
    4) There are always options ~ explore them before acting.

    It is good advice to check on the policy of the place you are being bullied, be that at school or in the work place. Follow these threads.
    How do you get rid of a bully?
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2004
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