Which is the most powerful system of self defence and why?
This is the question that most people ask when they are looking for a martial art or self defence course, class or seminar. One of the most important things to consider when we are dealing with self defence is the capability of the victim. When we talk about their capability, we have to remember that they may well have been selected as a victim because they appear weak in comparison to the attacker. Every attacker will make an assessment of the victim who, in most cases is selected to give them what they want through the path of least resistance. The simple fact is that a weak and elderly person will never be able to learn, nor perform the sort of techniques and generate the sort of power that some of the more “brutal systems” require. This, essentially creates a conundrum, as this classic victim profile needs an effective system more than anyone! Many of the best systems of self defence look incredibly flashy when they are performed by an agile, powerful practitioner with years of training and experience. Imagine a situation where a sexual attacker grabs hold of a sixty year old woman and tries to bundle her into the back of a van… What should she do?
If we listen to the practitioners of many martial arts, they will talk about fast and brutal strikes, kicks, elbows and so on. In training, the attacker will always respond to these strikes by compliantly falling down (usually holding something) and the victim will get away and feel empowered… This sort of false confidence can be dangerous! Is reality really like the above?
Now imagine the attacker responds to the defence, (which failed to knock them out as planned), with their own brutal escalation… What do you think will happen now? I can tell you, and it is nothing good!
What is the answer?
The answer is that the best system of self defence needs to consider survival, the ability to weather the storm and minimise damage rather than assume that the victim can actually win and overpower their attacker. This is not an idea that sits well with people, as they all want to become Bruce Lee overnight. If the victim manages to weather the storm, they can start to chip away at the psychology of the attacker. This leads onto the next point, the best system of self defence considers psychology, in terms of the victim and the attacker. This includes verbal commands and saying the right things at the right time. Rather than “winning”, causing the attacker to reconsider and abort the attack is a perfectly acceptable end-result! Self defence is NOT a FIGHT, it is about minimising damage and surviving.
The best system of self defence also considers the strength, agility and weight differentials, distance, avoiding strikes, weapons, energy conservation, fighting off of the floor, multiple attackers, the terrain and geography. The study of self defence is a massive subject which includes psychology and criminology. Teaching students all of the above makes self defence a science as well as an art.
Is there a system that covers ALL OF THE ABOVE?
The answer is yes and RIGHT HERE: