This is part 3 of a 7 part series.
There are many ideas out in “Self-Defense Land” as to what makes a “good” self-defense move. Here at Urban Warrior Protection we have a set of guidelines that we use when training “what-if” scenarios. It helps us to quickly focus into a response that is most likely to work.
Do not get too stuck on the word “rules”. They are really guidelines. We will break these down one at a time to discuss them in a little more detail. Here are all seven “rules”:
- Keep it simple
- Stay on your feet
- Defend and counterattack simultaneously
- Rapidly engage / rapidly disengage
- Be decisive
- Exploit weaknesses to take advantage
- Dominate the aggressor
Get in and get out, before they even realize what hit them.
Rule 3. Rapidly engage/rapidly disengage.
By “engage” I mean to “become involved with”. Obviously then by “disengage” I mean to “not become involved with”. You will either be creating distance or closing distance between yourself and another person or persons. It is important to understand the different aspects of being involved. It does not always have to mean being in physical contact.
Consider this: You are walking down the street on a warm summer night. You are wearing shorts, t-shirt, and sandals. Up ahead you see a person walking towards you wearing sneakers, pants, and a jacket. The jacket should raise a flag. You need to ask yourself if you want to engage or disengage the person. Disengaging at this distance could simply mean going across the street, or going into a local shop. Engaging would simply mean continuing walking directly toward the person.
Paying attention to your intuition with people and/or situations will help you determine whether you should engage or disengage.
Now consider that someone is already close by you. Perhaps you are in a clothing store and you over hear the person say something. You have the choice to engage with them or to disengage with them. Engaging would simply mean to make a verbal cue directed at them within their ear shot. Disengaging could simply mean walking away and leaving the area.
Now let’s say you are in a situation in which you believe you need to use physical force to protect yourself. Engaging that person would be using any method available to close the distance between the other person and you. Once you have completed whatever technique you used you would then use any method available to create distance between you.
For example: You are in a clothing store looking for a new shirt. As you walk around a rack suddenly a guy reaches out grabs your throat with one hand and puts a finger in your face with the other. In this scenario it is unlikely that you can just walk to the other side of the shirt rack. You will need to do something physical and do it as rapidly as you can. Perhaps you decide to lunge in with eye strikes followed by knees to the groin (or whatever). If its eye strikes then quickly engage with eye strikes, follow up with knees, and then quickly back away to create space.
A Good Disengage
A good disengage is one in which you have no further active threats. In the above example if your knee strikes were ineffective in putting the attacker down then you would want to stay in and keep engaging until the threat was stopped. As you back away you want to be scanning for other threats so as not to move into them. Do not back up blindly but also do not turn your back on the attacker – even if you think he is down and out.
Once you have decided what you need to do then move fast to either rapidly engage or rapidly disengage.