Most of my posts have been focused within the Pre-Attack phase, so for this post, I figured that I would touch on the Attack phase. I believe that avoidance is truly the best form of self defense, but it’s not always an option. With that being said, we do need to prepare ourselves for when things hit the fan, and we need to go hands on.
There are literally too many techniques and variations of techniques to count. So, how do we decide which ones we should train and which ones we shouldn’t? Well, there is an old Navy acronym for this, KISS, also known as Keep It Simple Stupid. When I learn new techniques, I put them through a process to see if the technique is worth learning and teaching. Simply put, I take what works and throw the rest out of the window. At a basic level, I evaluate techniques by asking three questions:
1) Is this technique universal? Analyze the technique to see if there are stipulations for proper execution. I make sure that the technique doesn’t require that both individuals are the same height, weight, sex, etc. Also, look at the distances that the technique can be executed from. My aim is that the technique can be executed without a lot of space. Attacks don’t happen at the same ranges as combat sports. By the time we know we are being attacked, it’s already up close and personal.
2) Is this technique simplistic? Look at how many different steps it takes to complete the technique. I don’t want a technique that is complex or overly artistic. My goal is to get safe as fast as possible, not to look pretty or cool. Time is damage and the longer it takes a technique to be effective, the more damage will occur. Also, in high stress situations, our brain chemistry changes and fine motor skills become quite difficult. Having a complicated technique just increases the chances of mistakes. I will do a in-depth post on gross motor skills and training for fine motor skills in the future.
3) Is this technique adaptable? Meaning, the technique should be able to be used from multiple positions and easily transition to other techniques. If for some reason I can not get the technique to work, I want to be able to easily transition to another technique from my current position as quickly as possible (time = damage).
These are just three factors to take into consideration when choosing techniques to retain or teach. There can be many other questions used to evaluate techniques, but these principles are my main focus. Even though I have a main focus, the technique doesn’t have to fit every question. For example, a push kick can’t be done well at very close ranges, but it’s effective at moderate distances. A push kick has a distance stipulation but is adaptable and simple. I wouldn’t teach a push kick to be used as a response to an attack, but I would teach it for keeping someone at a distance.
The point of this post is to think for yourself. When you learn a technique, think about the practical uses and decide if it works for you. Don’t just take what the instructor teaches blindly. Remember, no one has more to lose when it comes to your safety than you do.
What criteria do you think about when learning techniques?