What is Reality Based Self Defense?
There are some key elements that set reality-based self defense training apart from traditional martial arts and sports martial arts training.
Traditional martial arts training, as
the term implies, focuses of passing on the techniques and training methods of the particular system much in the way it would have been taught centuries ago. Everyone learns the
same skills at each level as their seniors would have learned them. Many people continue to enjoy this kind of training and the benefits of a familiar and structured learning system.
While this method provides an easily measured level of skill within the constraints of the system, it may not provide the practitioner with a true appreciation of how their skills will endure
in real life situation. The system may or may not provide for the variables on a street confrontation including different types and angle of attack, improvised weapons and the effects of
Sports or competition style martial arts training is often focussed on a particular style of fighting. Boxing, for example, focuses primarily on punches to the head and torso, where
Jujitsu concentrates on taking the opponent to the ground and forcing the opponent to submit through strikes, chokes, and joint manipulation. Due to the ever growing popularity of Pay Per
View events like The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), Pride and K1 people have expanded their training regimens to include striking and grappling systems in combination with
intense physical endurance and strength training programs. These mixed martial arts athletes certainly have some advantages when facing an assailant on the street: they are in great
physical condition, can endure some pain, and are no stranger to physical confrontations. There are two things to consider though that set reality and the ring apart. One, is the competitors
willingness and consent to fight. There is a huge psychological difference between choosing to fight and being forced to fight. Second, is rules: every competition fight has rules which both
competitors must acknowledge and conform to, and usually and referee to enforce those rules. Breaking the rules could lead to loss of points or disqualification. The criminal mind behind
your assailant on the street doesn't play by those rules. Anything goes!
Finally, reality based self defense training often comprises of aspects of both traditional and competition style training. A healthy level of physical strength, flexibility and endurance are
certainly advantageous when it comes to fighting off one or more assailants and running to escape the situation. The techniques are typically kept simple and can be used against a variety
of different attacks requiring the individual learn fewer techniques and spend more time committing those movements to muscle memory. Training should include scenario based drills that
force the student to react under stressful conditions. The advantages of training with these methods is that an individual can be better prepared to face real situations in a shorter period of time.
On-going training keeps the skills sharp and ready for action. It is for these reasons that reality based self defense training is the chosen method for law enforcement and military personnel.Here are a few questions to ask yourself if you are already training in a reality based self defense system. If you answer any of the questions negatively, you may want to reconsider some
of your techniques or training strategies:
- Do any of your techniques take too much time?
In the reality of a confrontation you should have complete control and domination in three (3) seconds or less. Time is of the essence when dealing with a life-threatening situation.
You need to neutralize the threat and remove yourself immediately. In today’s day and age, it is not uncommon to be faced with more than one attacker. The longer you are focussed
on one attacker the more time the other attacker(s) will have to cause you harm.
- Are your self-defense techniques too intricate, are there too many movements, or are the movements too complex?
Everything that can go wrong in a real-life violent confrontation, will go wrong. If your self-defense techniques are too complicated and rely on textbook-perfect movements and reactions, chances are that they won’t work when you need them the most.
- Do your techniques depend on position or type of assault?
Your techniques cannot be reaction dependant. For example, if the basic moves are different for a right cross and a right hook you may find yourself waking up in a load of pain. It is important to minimize the “grey area” in your decision making as you simply won’t have time.
- Is your arsenal based on the same basic motor skills?
Under stress the thought process slows down and your responses become mote automated. Your brain won’t be able to go through a thousand techniques and appropriately select the
one that fits the situation at hand. Your brain will select the simplest techniques, the techniques that have been committed to muscle memory and can be executed instantly. The gross
motor skills used to defend against a right hand assault should be very similar to those used for a left assault or an assault with a weapon.
- Is pain reaction built into your techniques and training drills?
Your self defence techniques should incorporate how your attacker’s body will react. For example, imagine that at some point in your technique you punch low punch to the stomach followed by a high punch to the face. The attacker will likely buckle or bend over as a reaction to the low punch, leaving the top of the head exposed. If you train to automatically follow up with a high
punch you may end up breaking your hand on the top of his skull instead of the anticipated breaking of his nose. The role of your training partner as the attacker is just as important as
your role as the defender. Make sure your techniques consider how the body is likely to react.
- Do your techniques consider the threat level?
It is important for both moral and legal reasons that your techniques have the flexibility to deliver a measured response to the threat level of the situation. You wouldn’t train to finish all
one armed grabs by breaking the attackers knees and gouging out his eyes. However, if they attacker grabbed you with one arm and pulled a knife out of his pocket with the other, this
type of response might be reasonable to save your life. You’re techniques should allow you to respond to an elevated or reduced threat level at any point in time.
How did you make out? Do your system and techniques live up to these requirements? If the answer is no, or you aren’t sure, you may want to take a deeper look into your training
methods and see if you can work these concepts into your arsenal. Your life may depend on it.
Bojuka Self Defense System
Pressure Point Fighting