Self Defense: A countermeasure that involves defending oneself, one’s property, or the well-being of another from harm.
What does that mean? Why should you be concerned with this concept?
First let me give you a bit of background as to why I think this is such an important topic.
I’ve been very interested in this concept for as long as I can remember. I started taking karate at Bodyworks when I was 6 or 7 years old. Granted it didn’t last too long as the myriad of other sports I participated in took over, but it planted the seed for a life long love affair with the martial arts and more specifically feeling like I was somehow responsible for protecting those around me that I cared about if $H!T ever hit the fan.
When I played basketball in college I was kind of the default enforcer on the court. If I perceived that someone did harm to one of my teammates I took it upon myself to make them quickly take notice, *ahem* within the rules of the game of course, of their infraction.
I then took a year off of college and worked at the State Prison. To this day I still rely heavily on the defensive tactics that I learned in the Police Academy and feel that this experience has had a huge influence on my outlook of self defense and subsequently defending others.
Probably as important as the physical skills I gained during this time is the psychological change I experienced. If you are not confident it will become very apparent and subsequently exploited in that environment so learning to stay calm in potentially dangerous situations is pretty much mandatory in order to succeed in that world.
When I went back to college I began working in bars and I had lots of practice in my early days as a doorman. Eventually I learned that 95% of the time you can talk someone out and my approach to potentially charged situations changed drastically (more on this concept later), but I certainly tested my skills often the first year or so that I spent working in bars.
During my bouncing days I came to a realization that I was VERY, VERY fortunate that almost every single physical interaction ended up with me in a dominant position…and that I had absolutely no idea what to do if the day ever came that I was on my back with a large, drunk, angry man coming at me.
Enter my fascination with Jiu-Jitsu.
For those of you that didn’t watch the above clip, Jiu-Jitsu allows for a smaller, weaker person to effective defend against an opponent, and more specifically teaches you how to defend and even attack from your back.
Even though I love BJJ, my training history has been very, very sporadic due to that silly thing called life (work, injuries etc). 6 months of solid training, 9 months off, 3 months on 6 months off…you get the point. Even with inconsistent training, the skills I have learned are invaluable and surprisingly incredibly effective in most situations even given my somewhat rudimentary skill set.
Long story short, you never know what type of a situation you may find yourself in. There is ALWAYS someone out there that will be able to defeat you, but by arming yourself with some skills will not only give you something to rely on if the unfortunate happens, but more importantly will give you some confidence to carry yourself in a manner that will more often than not help you to avoid getting into a conflict in the first place.
I feel that this ability to remain calm in the face of adversity has helped me to escape COUNTLESS situations that may have otherwise turned into ugly altercations both professionally (prison and bars) and in my personal life.
I also can’t tell you how comforting it is to know that Vanessa has the skills necessary and can handle herself. She is equally well versed in striking and grappling and that takes a huge burden off of my chest knowing that at the very least she should be able to shock the hell out of someone and buy herself some valuable time to escape if the situation should ever arise.
If you are a guy reading this, I strongly suggest you try and get your significant other involved in some type of self defense.
If you are a woman reading this I strongly suggest that you work to improve your skillset.
The next self defense seminar is coming up on Thursday 9/25. We will review concepts covered in the previous session and then will move on to begin covering ground based self defense. Click here for more info or email Jim@FunIntelligentTraining.com to register!