This summer, I will open my self defense training center at Angeles City. I will start with some students from my school. I hope it would turn out well
This is for people who live here in the Philippines. So please understand that I am not writing for people outside my country. My posts are in the Philippine context.
When I talk to people about defending themselves in extreme situations, the common answer that i get is “I would just get my 45 caliber” “just shoot them” and other similar answers.
Guns could be the most efficient weapon but realistically speaking, bringing a gun is not legal (aside from few exceptions). So, what could be the great equalizer?
In an engagement, having a weapon will surely give you an edge over your assailant or at least put you in equal footing.With this said, we now see how important a weapon is.
The question now is “What weapon should I have?” There are again some considerations to make in choosing a weapon.1st Is it legal to bring this certain weapon? Blades and explosives are out of the list. 2nd Can I conceal this weapon? (I don’t want people to know that i have a weapon) Bats, paddles, clubs, hockey sticks, nun chucks, bokens, jo, and arnis sticks are out. (too bad… I can’t bring my arnis sticks…) 3rd Can this weapon deliver enough stopping power to subdue the attacker? Most weapons have this but fail to meet the other requirements. As for pepper sprays or mace they have limitations. (Try using sprays in a small enclosed area or when the wind blows towards your face.
And now, here are the weapons I prefer:
1. Pen, As the saying goes “the pen is mightier than the sword”. Let’s forget about the philosophy in this cliche. Let’s rephrase it “The pen is more practical than a sword” Simply pull it out and strike. For arnis or escrima practitioners, if you are familiar with the dulo-dulo this is a great substitute. For Gosoku karatekas (if my info is correct) use it the same way you use a kubotan. For people who are not arnisadors or karatekas, strike the soft part of the attacker’s neck, side or armpit. (okay if it goes too far, poke his eyes with it) The beauty of the pen is that you don’t need to worry about any legal issues concerning its possession.
2. Belt. Be sure that your pants won’t fall once you pull it out. (downside it takes time to deploy it) The belt can be used as a long range weapon keeping the attacker at a distance.
3. Books and key. For students, put those books into good use by driving them against your assailant’s face. Keys in bundles can deal damage by swinging them across your attacker’s eyes, giving you a chance to escape.
4 Scarf. This is a weapon for advance practitioners, nevertheless it is useful event in tight areas.
This is only to give you few ideas about having a weapon. Nothing still beats regular training, having enough knowledge and keeping yourself out of trouble.
Knowledge is still the most important weapon.
I’ve heard people argue over which martial art or technique is the best for self defense. Apparently, this is a question without an exact answer.
As for which martial art is the best, There is no such thing as “best martial art”. Every system has its own limitation. Anyway, what is our basis for naming an art the best?
As for techniques for self defense, here is my list of what I think are the best.
1. Running- no one gets hurt (especially you)
2. Eye poke- a blind man can’t hit you. Can he? This is also very easy to do and it requires very little effort.
3. Kick to the groin- a nicely placed kick on anyone’s groin is severely painful.
4. Choke using the thumb to push the soft part below the Adam’s apple- If someone tries to grapple you if it is possible go for this one. It is easier than what a jujitsu or aikido intructor will teach you.
5. A combination of what is mentioned.
Basically these are techniques which are banned in tournaments since they are dangerous. There are more techniques which I did not mention. Just remember the easier and simpler the technique is the better. Flashy 540 kicks are for demos only, high kicks are really hard to use so forget about them.
Keep it simple.
Here in my place, pick-pocket incidents increase during this season. To protect yourself from this kind of crime, here are some tips.
Avoid overly crowded areas. With all the bumping and rubbing going around, It would be almost impossible for you to feel the fast hands of thieves. (Another thing about crowded areas is that it is very possible that you could get grouped)
Have a dummy wallet. It would help if you have a decoy that could lure pick pockets away from your cash. Make the decoy bulkier so it would be the first thing that the pick-pocket would notice. Put the decoy where you would usually put your real wallet, and put your real wallet somewhere else. (just figure it out yourself)
Don’t bring too much cash. Just bring enough.
Always go out with a buddy. It is always safer if a friend is around. A loner is always an easy target.
Always have your hand checking on your wallet or phone. Do this in such a way that people won’t actually notice.
For guys, don’t put your wallet in your back pocket. That would be an easy pick. It would also help if you put a rubber band around it. If someone tries to pull it out, you would surely feel the friction created by the rubber band.
Always be aware of your surroundings. Be alert.
So, that’s it folks.Knowing is half of it.
When do we need fight? When do we need to run?
My answer is run every time you can. Running is still the best and most effective way to protect yourself. Removing yourself from the source of aggression should be your priority (it would be different if you are with someone you need to protect). It is a very wise move not to engage since you’ll be saving yourself some time, effort and probably even your life. Remember we can never predict what would happen when we get into a fight. Things get crazy and things happen really fast that means your chance of getting hurt gets bigger the longer you stay.
So, when do I get to use what my master (sensei, sifu,shihan,guro, tuhon, coach and whatever you call your instructor )taught me? First, be happy that you don’t have to use it. The moment you use your skills would simply mean you’re in big trouble and your life is in jeopardy (this is if your master taught you the real WAY). So again, When do I get to use my fighting skills? If there is no way that you can escape and violence present, then you must fight until you see an opportunity to escape. That’s it. That is the only situation wherein you must fight. (again if you are with someone you need to protect its a different issue then)
Remember it is very stupid to fight when you can escape. It is also stupid to try out the techniques you learned in the dojo for you just to know if they work. If you learned your karate or taekwondo or kung fu from a mcdojo chances are you’ll get your ass skinned in a real fight. So stay away from trouble.
One who runs today, gets to keep his ass for another day.
bottom line: RUN RUN RUN
It is a sad fact that we are not safe anywhere. Aggression is present in different forms, from bullying to serious physical assault, and we are possible victims to these acts everyday. I don’t think anyone enjoys being bullied, robbed or beaten up.
In schools or even work places, bullying is always there. If a victim does not do anything about this they will continue and the level can possibly escalate. For children, bullying could be a traumatic experience and can affect his attitude and performance in school.
What would you do if someone suspicious tries to approach you? The choice is to run, but in some situations we can’t run (like inside the elevator), so what would you do? Simple things taught in self defense can save you from this troublesome experience.
Rapes and date rapes are also common. Girls who go out on a date with someone they don’t entirely know are usually the victims. (I don’t think you would like to get raped or even gang raped) If you get raped that would haunt you forever plus there is this public stigma people will put on you. (you won’t like it)
Ultimately, it boils down to “I don’t want to die”. In extreme situations like assaults, knowing some skills can make the difference. These are very basic points why we need it.
First of all, this is not about martial arts or combat sports. This blog is dedicated to self-defense alone. Most people interchangeably use these terms, but in reality they actually are different from one another.
Martial art is too broad; it includes the development of the physical, emotional and spiritual aspect of a person (this is if you are enrolled in a real martial art school, if not you will get less). Martial art is also mainly the source of most self defense techniques so learning a martial art is not a bad idea. The truth is learning one would be very helpful, so go ahead and enroll now.
Combat sports would include boxing, fencing, wrestling and other sports version of some martial arts. These are governed by strict rules to ensure safety so that means you can’t go all out and beat someone to a bloody pulp. Combat sports would develop confidence which is essential, but one should know that what works inside the ring may not work in a real encounter. (I make that clear to my students)
Self defense is simply about surviving. The priority here is to escape unharmed or alive at least. We should not think about scoring or doing a fancy technique. One must put his safety first, so running is the best choice. This is not about who is stronger (most probably that would be the attacker); this is about who is smarter.
The SMART one will survive.
Get informed, get armed, get protected
Filipino native weapons