You must be shapeless, formless, like water. When you pour water in a cup, it becomes the cup. When you pour water in a bottle, it becomes the bottle. When you pour water in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Water can drip and it can crash. Become like water my friend.
See, right now you’re preparing. You’re learning the techniques, feeling confident with each new move you learn and practice. But you’re also getting caught in the “if this, do that” mentality… meaning you are taught a move as a reaction to how an attacker might surprise you.
The reality, however, is that there is no way to anticipate how the fight will go down. There are just too many variables.
Let’s look at this from an attacker’s perspective. Depending on how mad he is, he’s going to issue a series of hits in a random way, taking you by surprise and rendering some if not all of your self-defense lessons useless.
Think about it…
You know a few “tricks” (and they do work!) but if you are dealing with a chaotic attack and quite possibly, more than one assailant, you stand very little chance to survive any scenario if you rely on just a few basic moves.
Remember those bar fights in western movies, where everyone was fighting everyone else? What if you were to be caught in one that kind of looks something like this:
I hate to burst your bubble but your brain simply doesn’t work that way. Unpredictable factors such as other people, flying objects, guns, knives, and you panicking and freezing, are only going to add to the general confusion.
This is somewhat embarrassing for me to show you but check out this guy’s reaction when someone threatens him with a knife. (Hint: he probably wishes he could delete this video forever but, at 38,000 views and counting, the damage’s been done):
My point is, you need to undrstand your limitations and your weak points. As a human. And you need to develop that mental state that will allow you to stay focused, to improvise, and to adapt as the fight unfolds.
My other point is that you can’t have a technique for every possible scenario that may unfold. It’s just impossible. Instead, you need to assess the situation in real time, go with the flow, use your instinct to react to what’s happening and THEN use your moves.
Did you notice that? The techniques… are at the end.
There are two mental blocks you need to overcome.
The first one is called the “perfect technique trap”. What happens is, we all get good at one or two moves. We like doing them, we see they’re effective, we notice other people not doing so great with them so we feel good about ourselves when we do them. We tend to practice them more and rely on them too much.
Yea, I know my secret move. I love this move. I’m the best in my group, NOBODY can defeat me when I use it.
Bad news: that’s because you’ve never faced a real thug coming after you. If he can stop your move once, he can stop it no matter how many times you do it.
What you need is a system that will teach you everything from scratch. One that gives you a healthy mentality, teaches you the basics, and exponentially increases your chances of survival.
Also, let’s not forget about your family. Right now only God knows what reaction you will have when you see one of your kids being taken away forcibly right in front of your eyes.
Few are ready to deal with such a dramatic and emotional situation. This is why you must practice and train your mind, not just your body.
The problem many people have in a real fight is that they get fixated on a sequence of moves that they learned. Little do they know that their opponent might now them as well and be ready for them. So, if, for example, you’re trying to escape a bear hug, you might use the side-stepping method (which allows you to bring your attacker down). However, if after you side step, your attacker counters so that you’re not able to do the next steps, you need to be ready to improvise something else, such as a punch in the groin.
It sounds simple when you say it or think about it, but in reality, you need to have the presence of mind to quickly see this option. In other words, you need to get out of the pattern you’ve been taught and be able to modify it before you can continue with the next steps.
The word of the day in self-defense has to be “improvisation”. And that’s really just confidence + practice + analyzing the data in real time to be able to quickly realize where you should strike next.
Improvisation is not about you inventing new self defense moves. Doing so when you’re your life is in danger is probably the worst time to go about it. It’s all about varying your move and becoming unpredictable with the moves you already know.