Bullets & Black Belts – The Best Caliber For Self Defense.

Bullets & Black BeltsThe argument for which bullet caliber is best for self defense has been going on for longer than I have been alive. It’s a debate that can bring with it a level of irrational fervor that is seldom matched.

What is the best caliber bullet for self defense?

A little level headed logic, research and application shows a remarkable parallel to self defense training.

Is bigger better?

One main argument surrounding the caliber of guns and self defense is that of stopping power. Our own research of police data shows that the average time to incapacitate an adult male with a single shot by a 9mm bullet was 15 seconds. 15 seconds is an awful lot of time for an attacker to continue their own attack. And as we will explore below, 15 seconds is an average. In reality that statistic can be misleading.

The theory of self-defense is that a bigger bullet has more stopping power and thus can stop an attacker before they can do you harm. The basic principle of force outlined by Isaac Newton over 300 years ago (Force = Mass x Acceleration) is at play no matter what caliber is used. Thus the larger and faster a projectile is the more force can be applied. However, in a practical sense there is a diminishing return.

There are also considerations for ballistic characteristics such as penetration, cavity and fragmentation. It can all turn very academic.

Looking at DOJ/FBI statistics (NCJ-148201) 75% of all crimes involving a firearm involved a pistol of some sort. And looking at homicides, the 3rd most used caliber was the .22 LR – arguably the one of the weakest calibers available. In fact it accounted for about 16% of homicide deaths. While a 9mm or .45 has more stopping power, it would be foolish to consider any caliber as “worthless”.

Keep in mind that a .22 almost killed President Reagan even though the bullet ricocheted before hitting him.

The weapon you have is the most powerful.

When it comes to self defense, the most powerful gun you can have is the one you have on you. I know that sounds a little elementary, but it’s a real factor. You can’t shoot what you don’t have. And a .22 in the hand is better than a 12 gauge shotgun back at home.

While having an ideal weapon may be the best, having anything at all is better than nothing at all. Knowing the limitations of what you have is also very important because it allows you to compensate. For example, 3 shots by a .22 LR bullet delivers about the same energy as a single 9mm. (116ft/lbs x 3 vs. 356ft/lbs).

This brings up another very important factor…

What you hit matters.

Remember the “15 seconds” statistic we talked about? It turns out there is a big difference between being hit in a vital spot like the head, heart or spine vs. a leg or an arm. A leg shot for example might not incapacitate the attacker at all. A lung shot may not always stop someone right away, but left untreated it will kill.

There are plenty of people who would have trouble hitting a target at 15 ft (across the room) with a .40 or .45 caliber handgun. Especially those who don’t practice much. This is why .22 handguns have become best sellers – despite their deficiencies.

If you can’t hit your target, caliber is irrelevant. And caliber isn’t the only factor. Training matters more than anything else.

Stationary target drills can help you get a feel for your weapon, the recoil and safe handling. Some ranges even offer courses for advanced shooters that allow drawing and shooting a holstered weapon.

Even these drills will bearly prepare you for the intense reality of real shooting situation. Every law enforcement and military trainer I’ve talked with has said the same thing – in a real situation you will be half as good as your worst training day.

While military and law enforcement is able to practice more realistic scenarios, civilians typically are not. Studies show that without these stress drills most CCW permit holders are unrealistically confident about their ability to effectively deploy their weapon.

The real goal of self defense.

The most basic goal of self defense is to survive a violent encounter. That starts with a realistic assessment of the real threats you are likely to encounter and weapons available to you – whether a gun or physical self defense training like DSD.

Understand that while there are no guarantees – no matter how strong you think you are – there are realistic steps you can take to significantly reduce your chance of being in a violent attack and increasing the odds of surviving one should it happen.

This starts with simply being aware of your surroundings. Using a little common sense – like locking doors & windows, lighting your exterior and maybe having a dog or alarm system. The basic rule is to stay away from trouble and not be an easy target.

Maybe you have a gun, maybe you don’t. They aren’t for everyone. But what everyone should have is a little basic training in physical self defense. Knowing how to strike an attacker, where to strike an attacker and how to prevent injury to your own vital areas can make a huge difference in the outcome of a violent attack.

One thing I like about self defense training versus or even in addition to CCW, is that you are never without your weapons. The skill and mental conditioning are assets you can take with you no matter where you go!

If you are interested in learning more about how Dynamic Self Defense can help you be safer at home and at work shoot us a message or give us a call.

 

The Best Martial Art For Self Defense

Adult Self Defense ProgramsLook around the Internet and you’ll find articles that rank various arts for self-defense or extol the virtues of modern styles like Krav Maga over more traditional styles like Karate or Tae Kwon Do.

But the argument is actually false in it’s nature and usually self-serving.

To understand this argument it helps to understand that all martial arts once originated as methods of self defense. In Okinawa, for example, Karate evolved to counter the Samurai. The Samurai were armored and armed while the Okinawans had only farm tools and their bare hands.

Over the centuries Karate as with most martial arts developed into 3 distinct components. And to understand what makes a martial art it’s important to understand these 3 components.

The Demonstration Side

Most martial arts have a display or exhibition side to it. Shaolin Kung Fu for example is an impressive display art. Shaolin Monks actually tour the world with their martial arts demonstrations showing incredible athletic and mental stamina. However much of what you see – like the acrobatic butterfly kick – has lost most of it’s combat value.

Tai Chi is another example of a demonstration art that’s beautiful to watch and has even been proven to provide healthful benefits for practitioners yet has no role in practical combat or even ring competition.

The Ring Competition Side

Most traditional martial arts have evolved from lethal force to adopt a competitive aspect. The traditional JuJitsu of the Samurai for example has become almost exclusively a competition sport in Brazilian Jiujitsu. In fact it’s the most trained martial art in MMA – a sign of it’s competition dominance.

Tae Kwon Do is another example of an art originally developed to counter the feared Samurai that is now best known as an Olympic sport just like Judo and Greco Roman Wrestling. Likewise, French Savate started as a self-defense style for merchant sailors and is now one of the most aggressive kickboxing sports.

While competition sports certainly have their value in developing and testing skill, they also come with rules attached. In fighting both participants know that they are going to fight, both have been trained and the rules allow both to know what to expect. This makes sport training of only limited use when it comes to combat or self-defense.

In Tae Kwon Do and Karate competitions safety gear is often used and punches to the head are forbidden. Even in the roughest of MMA matches, lethal or crippling strikes (to the spine, groin, back of head) are not allowed.

The Practical Combat Side

What was practical in medieval rural Asian countries isn’t necessarily what is practical today. This is how sword and spear techniques for example migrated from combat purposes to demonstration. It also explains why only about half of martial arts schools surveyed teach self-defense.

In today’s world ‘practical’ involves dealing with empty hand attacks and often with multiple attackers. This means that to be practical an art has to be able to deal with one threat quickly and move on to the next.

Practical self-defense isn’t about fighting…

The average person can take a lot of non-specific trauma – hits to the face, gut etc. This is the realm of sport fighting. Self-Defense is about shutting the attacker down in the quickest way possible while limiting injury to yourself. This means striking very specific targets that accomplish this objective and doing so reflexively.

Some martial arts have tried to blend all three aspects of martial arts into one curriculum. This is often the root of confusion for the average person that believes all martial arts are about self defense. To some degree I think even practitioners can fall victim to this mindset.

The Best Martial Art For Self-Defense

Ultimately while one art or style may indeed be more practical than another when it comes to self-defense in the modern world, in the end only an art that you can execute reflexively is worth anything at all.

The argument then isn’t about Wing Chun vs. Jeet Kun Do or any other such nonsense but rather about knowing your own objective in training in a specific art or style.

While it’s possible to learn techniques you can use starting on day one, on average it takes about 6 months of training to build a solid base for self-defense. It may take years to become an expert. This means committing yourself to a school for some time.

If you are looking for a self-defense curriculum ask yourself…

  1. Does the curriculum focus primarily on self-defense?
  2. Are the movements something that I can learn to do?
  3. Is the training built around real world scenarios?
  4. Is the school environment positive and are the people the kind I want to associate with?

I would welcome you to schedule a time to stop in and view a Dynamic Self-Defense class at our New Albany school. We’re located in North East Columbus between Westerville and Gahanna – right off 161 at Rt 62 in New Albany.

How Fit Do I Need To Be To Learn Martial Arts?

Knife DefenseI was cruising the web today and came across another martial arts site that talked about how their black belt program was the toughest around. They made a point to talk about the physical challenge by pointing out that board breaks must be broken on the first try and that participants must be able to go all out for 30 minutes on air shield and focus mitt drills. This and the pictures of splits and high flying kicks brings up a common question…

How fit do you need to be in order to defend yourself or learn martial arts?

Don’t let other martial arts programs kid you. Self defense is a very simple concept… come home safe.

The easiest way to do this is by first avoiding being a target – and there are many way to do this (we teach them here at DSD).

The other option is the only one you have when you can’t avoid a fight and that is to simply injure the other guy before (or more than) he injures you. Injury is simply a component of kinetic energy delivered to a target.

With most fights lasting less than 15 seconds, 30 minutes of fighting might prove you have extraordinary stamina, but it doesn’t mean you’ll be better at defending yourself. You might need that for an MMA match, but MMA isn’t self-defense.

Yes it takes a certain amount of strength to be able to injure an attacker. A light hit, a slap or anything that isn’t moving your entire body weight through your attacker isn’t going to cut it. Cardio capacity is nice to have and we work at building it in our workouts, but it’s not as important as strength. But it’s also a lot more than just about strength.

Where you hit first, then second, third and so forth makes a HUGE difference.

For example…

The easiest way for me to break your knee is by kicking you in the groin!

Breaking a knee is hard. It’s going to take more than just a quick kick. It’s a big joint and it takes your full intent and body weight to make it snap. It’s a lot easier to do when your attacker is reacting to another injury.

When you know what targets are the most vulnerable you can set up your defense in an efficient and devastating manner. This is something that DSD students learn throughout the curriculum.

If you want to learn how to defend yourself in any situation I would invite you to give us a call and schedule time to view a class for yourself. What you will find is a bunch of REAL people just like you that will prove that this stuff works no matter how old or fit you currently are!

How Fit Do I Need To Be To Train In Martial Arts?

Dynamic Self Defense Knee StirkeI was cruising the web today and came across another martial arts site that talked about how their black belt program was the toughest around. They made a point to talk about the physical challenge by pointing out that board breaks must be broken on the first try and that participants must be able to go all out for 30 minutes on air shield and focus mitt drills. This and the pictures of splits and high flying kicks brings up a common question…

How fit do you need to be in order to defend yourself?

Don’t let other martial arts programs kid you. Self defense is a very simple concept… come home safe.

The easiest way to do this is by first avoiding being a target – and there are many way to do this (we teach them here at DSD).

The other option is the only one you have when you can’t avoid a fight and that is to simply injure the other guy before (or more than) he injures you. Injury is simply a component of kinetic energy delivered to a target.

With most fights lasting less than 15 seconds, 30 minutes of fighting might proove you have extraordinary stamina, but it doesn’t mean you’ll be better at defending yourself. You might need that for an MMA match, but MMA isn’t self-defense.

Yes it takes a certain amount of strength to be able to injure an attacker. A light hit, a slap or anything that isn’t moving your entire body weight through your attacker isn’t going to cut it. Cardio capacity is nice to have and we work at building it in our workouts, but it’s not as important as strength. But it’s also a lot more than just about strength.

Where you hit first, then second, third and so forth makes a HUGE difference.

For example…

The easiest way for me to break your knee is by kicking you in the groin!

Breaking a knee is hard. It’s going to take more than just a quick kick. It’s a big joint and it takes your full intent and body weight to make it snap. It’s a lot easier to do when your attacker is reacting to another injury.

When you know what targets are the most vulnerable you can set up your defense in an efficient and devastating manner. This is something that DSD students learn throughout the curriculum.

If you want to learn how to defend yourself in any situation I would invite you to give us a call and schedule time to view a class for yourself. What you will find is a bunch of REAL people just like you that will prove that this stuff works no matter how old or fit you currently are!