This chapter discusses self defense knowledge that all martial artists should possess.

Basic Do’s and Dont’s

I could list a multitude of do’s and don’ts regarding self defense, most of which are common sense. However, they are of no use to you whatsoever if all you do is read them without understanding them and adhering to them. I can not stress enough that it is vitally important to follow these guidelines. The very best form of self defense is to never get into a trouble situation in the first place!

Known Trouble Spots

This is so obvious, that no-one seems to understand it. If a pub / club is well known for trouble, then why the hell would you want to go there? Find somewhere else for your nights out

Strange Areas

If you are going out somewhere unknown to you, then make sure that you have previously ordered a cab home from a reputable firm and that people know where you are and when you are expected back.

Trust Your Instincts

Your gut reaction. It is usually correct. If somewhere just does not “feel” right, then leave and go somewhere else. The same is true with a confrontation. If it feels wrong, then it is. I know many well trained people who have lost due to the fact it “felt wrong” to fight and they ignored their instincts and were subsequently beaten. Even though, they possessed much better skills and were definitely the favourite for the job.

How to Get Out of the Fight

Obviously, if you can escape without fighting that is the ideal solution to any confrontation. The scenarios are endless but the principles required can be narrowed down to a simple few.

Verbal Reasoning

Basically this narrows down to only two scenarios. You either talk someone up or talk someone down.

If you have the looks and demeanour of a concert violinist who has suffered dramatic weight loss, then it would not be a good idea to challenge a bully! If you know you have the edge mentally then you may be able to just face up the antagonist and the situation will not develop.

There are inherent dangers in all of the above: When do you use which one; what happens if I get it wrong etc. Well, if you get it wrong, you will know soon enough, because you will be fighting!

Physical Reasoning

If someone is in your face, you may feel it necessary to push them away forcefully whilst simultaneously using verbal reasoning to get your point across, be that a challenge or a get lost or a leave me alone!

Either way, if it does not succeed first time, then the odds of you fighting have gone through the roof! Don’t risk doing it a second time.

Comfortable Distance

We have all had a situation whereby someone just talking to us “feels” too close. They are invading our space. This is very true when it comes to matters of self defense. You MUST NOT allow the aggressor to get too close to you. If he gets too close, he will hit you.

I highly recommend that you purchase any self defense book by Geoff Thompson or Peter Consterdine. They go into the above in much greater detail and are World Renowned experts in this field.