What is "Self-Defence"?

Discussion in 'Self Defence' started by Judderman, Jul 8, 2004.

  1. Judderman

    Judderman 'Ello darlin'

    I was just thinking of this thread, then noticed that Sokklab had already suggested it in the "Style" thread.

    So What is Self Defence? or even Self Protection?
  2. Nrv4evr

    Nrv4evr New Member

    stay alive, live another day, through verbal defense, a very underrated form of self-defense, or physical defense, which is what this whole site's about.
  3. SoKKlab

    SoKKlab The Cwtch of Death!

    Hi JMan,

    To me:

    The Protection of One's Self under difficult circumstances-If we are talking about what descriptively constitutes self-defence or self-protection.

    In terms of scope-as in what needs to be covered in order to have or develop 'self-defence' quickly, then ideally:

    Mindset, attitude, awareness (avoiding dangerous situations) and awareness of your surroundings, circumstances in the middle of a difficult situation, if the first part of your awareness has either failed you, or you just happen to find yourself in the middle of something that was unavoidable (relatively un-common).

    The law and your rights to self-protection. Pre-emptive striking.

    Simple gross-motor movements that hit with maximum power, with the hard bits of body to the vulnerable parts of your adversarY/ies. Atemi/ vital points.
    Chokes, simple throws and off-balancing.

    Basic counters to grips, holds, hugs, trips, shoves, butts, strikes etc.
    Emergency Groundwork, escapes, reversals and exit,
    integration of striking and grappling etc, regaining the upright, control of the attackers body in order to stop their deployment of any weapons upon their person.

    Integration of weapons, usage (for and against), retrieval, carry etc etc.

    That's a basic gist, my starter for ten. And yes, how you train is as important as what you train in.
  4. Tittan

    Tittan Valued Member

    To me self defence/protection is anything that makes me able to end the day unhurt. Anything from wearing my seatbelt when I'm driving my car to dropping a knife-wielding attacker with little or no hassle. Self defence/protection is so much more to me than the techniques I've learnt. It is walking in a lit area insead of shortcutting trough an alley, it is wearing a helmet when I go on a ride with my bike, it is studying all the people who approach me during the day, thinking about what they have that might be used as a weapon, it is avoiding situations where I might be hurt and a bunch of other things... All I do is self defence ;)
  5. Judderman

    Judderman 'Ello darlin'

    As a basic definition:

    Any confrontation that occurs outside the safety of training.

    I think SokKlab has covered just about everything that SD/P should encompass. I would add, understanding the phases of the fight, criminals and thier methods, the psychology of the fight, adrenaline and its effect on the body, verbal tactics (tactical communictions), "The Fence", the aftermath.
  6. JKogas

    JKogas Valued Member

    To me, self defense is just good living. It isn't just about knowing how to kick ass because that's a really limited view. If you're constantly in positions where you have to fight people, you're the one making the mistakes. Thus, self defense is about knowing how to not make mistakes.

    John Frankl, a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt extraordinaire writes recently on another forum:

    I find myself in agreement with much of what he's saying here. It's just common sense.

    Here's a good question for everyone: Do most martial artists live in constant fear and paranoia?

  7. SoKKlab

    SoKKlab The Cwtch of Death!

    And learning from said mistakes. Yes, good living etc would be a useful answer.

    I don't, no. I live at a fairly even keel.
    I just train athletically, live a clean life etc.

    As long as you are 'aware', then you can avoid most trouble and most bad situations. It's the other one percent of situations that are the problem and as stated, they are in the minority.
  8. Matt Stone

    Matt Stone Valued Member

    Well, self-defence is when you take down that annoying chain link barrier in the back yard...

    Self-defense is as SoKKlab outlined up thread...
  9. Judderman

    Judderman 'Ello darlin'

    I really like JKogas' reply. There really is so much more to "keeping safe" than just self defence/protection. Physical and mental fitness are going to be a huge factor.

    As for the fear and paranoia, I would say "Most definately!!!". Knowing that there really are people out there who want to get me has kept me alive!! :D
  10. cqc156

    cqc156 New Member

    Some of what you say is true,under the law self defense is doing anything to avoid a confrontation.If someone punches you in the face and you walk away that is self defense if you choose to hit back then that is a fight and both parties can be charged with assault.About reality based self defense, i teach self defense and i tell my students not to fight only if the need arise and only if it is life or death situation.
    I would rather teach someone a reality based self defense system,then teach them how to fight with a sword where is the reality in that
  11. bcullen

    bcullen They are all perfect.

    This goes back to the comment posted by JKogas. It's not because we intend to get in a fight with , swords, spears etc... It is a different arena of self defence. The extra strength, focus and agaility required to weild many of the traditional weapons (including WMA) facilitates a higher level of development all around. It acutally changes your neural wiring and brain activity in working with dual weapons. The addage "use it or loose it" applies here. This is where you fight your own bad habits and enemies like depression, aging, poor conditioning or outright laziness among others. The invisble enemies that will take your life just as surely as any mugger would.
  12. Matt Stone

    Matt Stone Valued Member

    I am only ever amazed at the ongoing lack of insight so many students of martial arts (and self-proclaimed teachers) possess... Too many people dismiss outright techniques that were employed against situations 100, 200, or even 500 years ago because "they aren't relevant," or they aren't based in "reality."

    You'r rather teach a RBSD... Like which one? From what little experience I have had thusfar, beyond their reliance on scientific research into the human anatomy, psychological reactions, and criminal statistics, their techniques are altogether identical to traditional martial arts practiced for the last century or more... Why might that be?

    I'll tell you why.

    Because for at least the last 2 million years or so (depending on how you want to look at things), humans (and/or their ancestor species) have only ever had two arms and two legs. You can only swing them (or something held in the hand) in so many ways before you exhaust the potential angles of variation.

    That having been said, swinging a baseball bat, double headed wood axe, kwan dao, katana, or chainsaw at another person employs essentially the same body mechanics. This is the underlying principle that "living" martial arts (the ones that deal with unarmed threats - which haven't changed at all in the last few millenia - and armed threats against archaic weapons, modern weapons, and firearms) make use of when determining ways in which to defeat an opponent armed with something odd...

    While I don't practice defenses against push brooms, I'm sure the mechanics are nearly identical to someone attacking with a spear or staff... I should be fine. While I don't practice defenses against fireplace pokers, given that they are about the same length as the sticks I use in Arnis, I'm thinking I can handle that one, too.

    Your RBSD comment lacks the logic and objectivity that RBSD arts claim to apply to the self-defense equation, and underlines the complaint many traditionalists have against them - too little understanding and too little depth of information.

    I hope I'm wrong about you and your post. If I'm not, please look deeper into something before firing off a comment so ill prepared for debate.
  13. Matt_Bernius

    Matt_Bernius a student and a teacher


    Great post. I study both a traditional martial art and an RBSD (Blauer Tactial Systems), so I think I can follow up. First of all I agree with your points 100%. As I've posted here (and on another forum we frequent) RBSD and the Aliveness movement are really nothing new. Looking at historical documentation and in conversations with people, these ideas have been in the arts forever. However I do think a lot of these ideas have been lost over the last century. To your point, looking at Blauer's stuff, I often smile at the core technqiues it uses and their similarity to a lot of Hsing-Yi and the internal arts concepts.

    (As a side note: I think all martial arts researchers need to come to terms with the idea that we're all on a mission of rediscovery. For the reasons you listed in your post, unless we discover some hither to unknown way of moving the body, if it can been done, it has. It's just the knowledge may have been lost).

    However, if I was teaching someone who came to me for self defense specifically I would begin with an RBSD program rather than traditional training. The reason for this is the weighting of material. While I firmly believe that a lot of traditional martial arts did encorporate a lot of the phsycological training that RBSD offer, many programs have long since abandoned that. And I think that that training is far more important than the teaching of techniques for the average joe. Even if the TMA contains that info it tends to front load technique and back load the rest of the goodstuff (mindest, awareness and psychology).

    The fact is that RBSD focus specifically on self defense. If that's what someone wants to focus on then a RBSD is the best option. I do think that they get people to a point were they can defend themselves faster than the average TMA program. However, I do think given time the TMA person will far surpass the RBSD practioner.

    - Matt
  14. BuffBuffy

    BuffBuffy New Member

    What is Self Defense?

    To me it's staying safe, wherever I am... and being prepared to take care of a situation, whatever it is, in a way that allows me to go home safely :D
  15. kajupaul

    kajupaul New Member

    Martial arts are in my opinion broken down into 3 area's. Fighting, Kata's, and self defense. Sure they all go hand in hand(some may argue against kata aplications). Kata is used for practicing techiques, stances, blocks, strikes, transitioning from one stance to another or from one strike to another etc etc etc.Self defense is the dying part of martial arts.It can be from noticing some drunk guy balling up his fists and tightening up, to defending the sucker punch that you see coming from the corner of your eye. Defending the broken bottle attack or breaking up a choke hold. The list goes on. Most traditional arts have a series of punch, grab, knife, club attack defenses that are practiced at an annoying rate. Guess what, you may use it some day and hopefully your reflexes are quick enough from repetitive traing to be useful. Fighting is useful when you lose control of a attacker and he's coming back after you and you two are squared off.Its also good for your moral and self confidence.
    Just my opinion. Food for thought.
  16. Judderman

    Judderman 'Ello darlin'

    KajuPaul are you saying that SD is a series of moves that are drilled so that they (hopefully) become reflex?

    I do like the differentiation between "fighting" and SD.
  17. kajupaul

    kajupaul New Member

    yes,in part.theres more to self defense than just that.

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