Training Methods For Personal Protection, Part 2, OH S#!T!

To train in a realistic manner the “OH S#!T” factor must be considered. This factor can be a result of two different situations. The first, the attacker utilizes our concept of the “Element of Surprise” to catch you unaware.

Something that must always be kept in mind about Vee-Arnis-Jujitsu’s 10 Commandments of Self-Defense is that in a true street encounter someone is using them. The most important one is The Element of Surprise. In this environment the attacker will attack when you least expect it. In the street there is no one telling you when to go and the statistics bear this out.

FBI crime statistics have shown, that close to 90% of all attacks begin with a grab or a push. How does that happen? Easy, he used the concepts of the “Element of Surprise” and the “3 Foot Rule” against you. Either you were snuck up upon, in a robbery for example, or the attacker managed to control your focus verbally before launching his physical assault. If someone was to tell you they were going to push or grab you there would have to be a serious mental deficiency to allow that to happen.

As I often challenge you to do, next time you are out take a look around you. How many people walk around with their faces buried in their phones, listening to music on a head set, what have you? Do you believe it is possible to maintain situational awareness while posting to Facebook or reading your favorite blog? Mine excluded of course.

As martial artists we constantly seek to refine our skills and our sensitivity. But to believe you will react with your favorite technique to an attack, launched at a time of your attacker’s choosing, is unrealistic. You cannot stay at that heightened state of awareness day in and day out. It is only natural to fall into a more relaxed state. It is for this reason that Personal Protection Agents (Bodyguards) usually work on a 2:1 work to rest ratio. Meaning on duty for 2 months and off for 1. Being constantly on guard for extended periods of time, with no incident taking place, can make anyone more susceptible to having the concept of The Element of Surprise used against them.

If you are going to be a solid self-defense practitioner one of the things you need to practice is your verbal skills. As my instructor is fond of saying “The element of surprise got you into this mess, the element of surprise will get you out.” Using verbal skills is the best way to turn the element of surprise back in your favor. When you are asking the attacker “What?” over and over he will answer you. Not only does he start thinking of what he wants, his taking the time to reply opens your best window of opportunity to launch your attack through.

You must train to have this be your response, just like you train a strike, break, throw, choke, etc. It will not come naturally, as so many students of the martial arts think it will. Training this way will also show you how to pick up on your best opportunity to respond with your own violent attack. See if you can find a way to make your training partner look over his shoulder or at your pocket, if he’s demanding money, and practice your technique at that moment. Like any technique, doing it over and over will make you better.

Build the WTF factor into your training because #mylifematters. Training Methods for Personal Protection, Part 3, “OH S#!T IT DIDN’T WORK!” coming soon.

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