First of all, for context, self defence is not everything we do. It is part of what we do. We have weapon training and sports martial arts. It's neither. It's combative training. I sell it as self defence because that is what we understand. However, I do not teach self defence.
Self defence is a victim mindset. It suggests to raise the moat, pull up the drawbridge, "Oh no, we're besieged." We are not like that. We do not train like that. We train self defence in the eyes of the law so that we may defend our self in case someone intends to do us harm. But the mindset is what I'm talking about.
Our mindset is not one of self defence. If someone intends to do us harm, we are not the one defending our self. In the eyes of the law we are, but I'm talking about mindset here. I want to make that clear. We are talking about mindset. I am the attacker. They are the instigator. They are instigating the situation but I am the attacker and suddenly I am no longer on the back foot.
If I'm defending myself, I am on the back foot. I've been shot, struck or stabbed. "Oh no! What's going to happen to me?" My imagination is going to beat me up before they do anything more.
If I'm the attacker, I'm in control of the situation. It doesn't matter that I've been shot, struck of stabbed. It's just something that's happened. Because I'm the attacker, I'm going to problem solve. I'm going to make my way into/out of this.
This training is for asocial violence. You have been shot, struck stabbed. It is not for social violence.
Most of us have experienced social violence at some stage and survived it. You're still alive to read this. It might be: you're at a night spot and some guy walks up posturing because he reckons you've been checking out his girl or guy. That's where we would simply say, "I'm so sorry. I didn't realise" and walk away in the safest possible way. Because we know that life is a non renewable source. Social violence is most often territorial.
On the other hand, asocial violence is where you have been shot, struck or stabbed. A situation of social violence can quickly move into asocial. It is where you need to switch them off to save your life.
Remember, this is in the context of combative training. There is no pain compliance. We do not try and cause the other person pain. We are not going to apply something that's going to make them have an owwie big enough to stop them. We are going to switch off the human machine.
Once they've done us harm, they are no longer a civilised human being. Civilised human beings do not go out to harm each other. I go to work, secure in the knowledge that my boss is not going to try and break my spine or stab me in the kidney. Civilised human being don't do that to each other.
As soon as someone comes at us, we know they're not a civilised human being. They're a human machine and we need to switch them off. It can be likened to an appliance that is going to do us harm or a computer that we're going to switch off. It's as simple as that. We're going to switch the appliance off.
This content scares a lot of people because they don't want to address it. They don't want to think that asocial violence could happen to them or a loved one. It's very in your face. You've been shot, struck or stabbed and you're going to have to turn around and apply the tool of violence, not be violent, but apply the tool of violence to save yourself or a loved one.
Pre-defence is what not to do to not get yourself in a bad situation. You've survived until now so maybe you already know some of the tips. But it comes to, you've already survived until now. So if someone comes up to you posturing, we try not to engage. We understand how easy it is to injure the human body.
Our pre-defence is we acknowledge that life is a non-renewable resource. If someone wants my life or my car keys, I will give them my keys in a heartbeat. I can get another car. I have insurance. I won't fight for my keys. I will fight for this body though.
If you have a chance to walk somewhere where it's safe or somewhere where it's not safe, it's always better to walk where it's safe. That might sound really, "well, yeah." But, I've got to say it because some people might voice, "so that's where I've been going wrong all this time" or "but I like the adventure." You might like the adventure but then you have to face the consequence that someday you might get stabbed or shot or struck.
Be prepared to accept the consequences as they are based in reality, not based on what has or hasn't happened to you. "But I like going to the adventurous place and nothing has ever happened to me so I can just continue doing it." You were fortunate, that is all.
You're the person that hasn't wound up on the news. It doesn't mean it's going to be like that for your whole life. That's why if you know that there's a safer location or a safer route, you take it. That comes into your pre-defence.
We try to avoid those places if we can. If you can't avoid them, then you just have to be prepared and understand that you are in the surroundings where something bad might happen. Okay? So if you have to go somewhere unsafe, you have to be switched on, you have to be prepared.
We'll be bringing more Pre-Defence tips and tricks.
I was asked to write a blog on the questions that I get asked most. One of these questions would be, "Why are your biceps so big?" If I were to answer this for the blog, however, it would look something like this:
"Why are your biceps so big?"
I eat and train. Frequently and a lot.
As easy as this question would be to do for my blog, I shall instead answer another question that I get asked.
Question: "What do you do in a typical training session?"
My training sessions always start off with warms ups whether it's at home, at a personal session or at a class, though these different times do involve different pieces of content and type of training.
My own personal training at home consists of the base revision and training required to practice. (This keeps what I learned in class fresh in my memory and helps to sharpen my skills. These base training pieces are single person exercises, such as kicks, break falls - which consists of me pretty much flinging myself to the ground and breaking my fall - and my form practice. I generally practice at least one empty hand form and one weapon form.
A personal session with my trainer and training partner, which happens anywhere up to three times a week, consists of revising two-person pieces such as coordination sets and free fight. These two-person exercises also consist of throwing each other, hitting pads and learning new parts of our weapon forms or doing two person exercises with the weapons.
Public classes are much the same layout as the personal sessions but the chosen exercises are tailored to each of the students' training and progress. I personally don't spend much time on my own training in these classes and tend to focus on helping teach others. While I do find I do most of my progression in my personal sessions or my at home training, going back over the earlier content is beneficial for me since I have to keep remembering the earlier content that I am teaching.
So that's what I do in a typical training session. If anyone has any other questions regarding anything I have mentioned in this blog or any other questions about martial arts or self-defence in general, feel free to ask in the comments below and myself or another trainer will reply.