This is part 5 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
- Be decisive
- Rapidly engage / rapidly disengage
- Stay on your feet
- Defend and counterattack simultaneously
- Exploit weaknesses to take advantage
- Dominate the aggressor
Life gets busy. You might as well kill two birds with one stone.
Rule 5. Defend and counterattack simultaneously.
Energy is a precious tool during an attack. You want to conserve it. One of the ways to do that is to multitask your defenses into counterattacks. Doing this will put you on the offensive and give you the upper hand. If you are going to do something to prevent yourself from being hit or to minimize a strike, why not attack at the same time? This can be done by striking the attacking arm, by sidestepping and striking at the same time, or even being preemptive (i.e. not allowing someone to hit first).
Maybe you have been in a traditional martial arts program with deep stances doing block, then check, then strike. That’s three steps to the one step strike from the attacker. That’s a 3:1 ratio of effort. All the attacker would have to do to wear you down is to keep striking. If on the other hand you move your body to block (or minimize the contact) and attack at the same time the effort you put out is minimized. And the effectiveness against the attacker is maximized.
I do not believe you need to spend hours training blocks in the basic sense that a block should impede the momentum of the strike and then you do something in addition to it. You will have better success if you train that when you strike, for any reason, you are striking to cause pain, immobility, or demoralization.
What if they have a weapon?
The same rule applies. Don’t think that you have to attack the actual weapon. Put the weapon on the ground and it won’t do anything to you. It needs to be in the hand of the attacker. Obviously you do not want to go and strike a knife. The wrist holding it or the head attached to the arm holding it are targets. Weapons do complicate the response in that you also need to control the weapon. Instead of thinking “control the weapon, then strike the attacker”, think “control the weapon AND strike the attacker”. It puts a different mentality behind your intentions that follows to your reaction in a much greater and faster response.
It is always best to defend and counterattack simultaneously.