Learn Practical Self-Defense
If push comes to shove we have to defend ourselves and our loved ones – self-defense.
Yes, even in todays world of emancipation, social justice warriors, soy boys and white knights, there are still a few bad boys out there, who are charged with aggression and lots of testosterone, eager to break necks. Maybe our necks. Furthermore, some guys tend to get violent when they drink lots of alcohol. Especially if they want some women and you speak and flirt with her first. Like I told before, some guys are too afraid to show they true intend to a woman and orbit around her for months. Those friend-zoned or soon to be friend-zoned nice guys can get violent.
In 99 out of 100 cases, a heated discussion with another man does not lead to a fight, but what if the 100th situation has just arrived today?
Whatever the case maybe: In my opinion we have to be able to deal with this situation.
Always try to avoid
Of course, avoiding a fight is always the best option. There is always a risk involved if a real fight happens. This is due to unknown information: We don’t know if the other person is a skilled martial artist, if he has weapons or if there is simply a person outside of our point of view, who can fuck us over.
It does not matter if it is Connor McGregor either, outside of a ring with rules and judges, shit can happen to everyone. Personally, I also don’t want to deal with a possible repercussion – hospital, police, court, etc. Especially when I am visiting a foreign country. There a lot of negatives for mostly no upside. E.g. doing it to protect my ego or pride is a stupid reason. Nevertheless, there might be a point in time, where a fight is unavoidable.
A little story of mine
I started thinking this while I was traveling alone through a foreign country. It was cold and dark outside, in the midst of the night. The way back to my rented apartment was rather long, I was not familiar with my surrounding and I was a little bit drunk. There was no one around too. Until I saw a guy who looked rather angry and was walking straight in my direction. My head instantly started thinking then:
“What if he just needs an outlet for his anger and I am just at the wrong place at the wrong time? I am alone in a country, where I can’t even speak the local language too. What if the police get involved? What if there are some friends of him just around the corner?”.
Well, in the end nothing happened. Maybe it was just my drunken imagination. Maybe he was afraid too and tried to look angry to avoid me. After all, I work out and have built muscles, which might convey danger to some people. After all, most guys probably choose physically weaker opponents to bully or fight with.
However, shit could have happened.
I was unprepared then, I was afraid of what could have happened. I was not really confident to solve such a situation. This fear could have slowed me down, even paralyzed me, which in turn would have reduced my chances to remain unharmed too.
This is also an example, where I was on my own. What if I was with a woman, maybe the mother of my child or children and drunk as the other guy might be, starts to get vile ideas? Can I actually provide safety for her? You see what I am getting at. There could come up a situation in life, where being able to defend is unavoidable. Even if I still hope that such a day will never come, better be safe than sorry.
Learn and prepare
After this experience I wanted to work on my ability to defend. I wanted to be prepared, mentally and physically. How to do it though?
Step 1) Stay in shape
It is imperative to stay in shape, if we want to be able to defend. At least if we are not the tallest persons around, speed is king. Stamina is important too. Having muscles can prevent a fight too, as muscles are indicating strength and therefor danger.
Step 2) Learn a form of martial art or self-defense
Whether you are learning boxing, MMA, karate or judo – the main thing is that you learn something to rely on. You can start by watching videos on those arts too. After you have decided, visit actual classes. After all, you need to practice with another person to really build the skill and confidence.
I have chosen Krav Maga back then, since its known for its focus on real-world situations, is not based on a point system, everything is allowed compared to e.g. boxing and it is extremely efficient. Krav’s sole purpose is to make another person unable to act as quickly as possible. Most techniques are rather simple and practical, not fancy – which does not mean they are not hart to master, but for a beginner they are quickly to grasp and to learn.
After a relatively short period of time you will be able to handle most guys out there. This builds a huge amount of self-confidence. Yes, I was thrown to the ground countless of times, had bruises and sprains, got hit in face or kicked in the gut, but to me it was always fun too. In addition, the warm up program was a very good workout and improved my overall fitness level.
I highly recommend Krav Maga, but choose whatever fits your liking.
Step 3) Try to avoid
Even with everything I have learned and build I will never start a fight. I will only use the skills if push comes to shove. I have learned how a seemingly harmless, rather timid man can suddenly put out his high ranked belt and beat everyone down. There is always risk in real fights due to a lot of unknown information. Like I descried in the beginning, the opponent could have a gun or knife. While you learn how to deal with those too, there are still more risks. Therefor, always try to avoid first. Be smart, but still self-confident.
Step 4) Be ready, fight dirty, leave asap
If a fight really happens, here are some quick tips, even though I highly recommend to take the previous steps seriously:
- As soon as a guy is entering your comfort zone, stop having your hands in your pocket or behind your back. Be ready to parry, avoid or counter an incoming strike. Protecting the head is priority number one. Ideally, know how to break a strangle attack too. Of course, don’t be provocative, there is still a possibility to deescalate.
- As the fight starts, there are no more rules. If you feel like your life is in danger, be as dirty and efficiently as possible. Take no hostages and be fast. Aim for his crotch, larynx, head, eyes, etc. Most fights will end on the ground, so having ground skills will be a huge benefit too. Dislocating a joint of your opponent can end the fight.
- As soon as your opponent is incapacitated, leave him, secure yourself and your environment and then leave the scenario as quickly as possible. Especially in foreign country. Only call an ambulance and / or the police after you are secure.
If we want to be a man that can provide security, we have to be able to defend – ourselves as well as our loved ones. Even if the actual skills are never needed, there are still some benefits to our overall SMV:
The ability to protect and to know that we can beat most people 1 on 1 will help us to build self-confidence. Practicing a martial art or self-defense will also improve our body and overall fitness level. Since we need other people to practice, we will meet new people, possibly friends and thus increase our social status and opportunities too.
Hence the time and money invested have still value. With everything mentioned in this article I highly recommend Krav Maga, since it is quick to learn and covers all steps and scenarios I have described.