The Realities of Self Defense (Part 1)

DSD gun defenseWhen if comes to self-defense there are no guaranteed answers.

There is no one martial art or training system that is guaranteed to keep you safe no matter what. Anyone selling you such nonsense is conning you.

Real self-defense is about understanding the realities of what you may encounter and looking at what strategies will work for you.

Our combatives based system is extremely effective but we have also found that we need to adapt our techniques to our students. What works for a 200 lb man against another 200 lb man is not the same as what works for a 130 lb woman against a 280 lb man.

To help explore this subject, I’ve created a list of self defense realities. We’d love your thoughts on the subject as you read through these.

Reality #1: A single punch can end a fight.

In the video below you’ll see a number of one-punch knockouts in actual fights.

Understand that a knockout occurs when the brain has it’s nerve impulses disrupted in some way. This most often is the result of the brain physically impacting the inside of the skull but can also result from nerve overload (striking the vagus nerve). There are three manifestations of a knockout – the typical knockout results in a sustained loss of consciousness (where the recipient looses all memory of the event), a “flash” knockout, when a very transient (less than three seconds) loss of consciousness occurs, and the recipient often maintains awareness and memory of the combat, and, lastly, a “stunning,” when the consciousness is maintained despite extremely distorted sensory processing. 

The real point here is that in a confrontation things can happen very quickly. A single punch can end things either for the better or worse (it can happen to a defender just as easily).

Reality #2: A single punch may do nothing at all.

As you see in the video above there are punches thrown that don’t do anything at all. Just because a single punch can knock out an attacker does not mean it will.

A key factor in training for self-defense – whether you train in Dynamic Self Defense, Krav Maga or any other combatives based system – is the multiple strikes principle. Hitting your attacker with multiple well targeted strikes has a much better chance of disabling them and allowing an escape than hitting once and seeing what the reaction is.

Reality #3: Awareness is the most important skill.

Awareness starts with a realistic assessment of what threats you are likely to encounter and what tactics you have in your arsenal to counter or avoid them.

In the video above most of the situations were antisocial situations. This is where a conflict grows and escalates out of some perceived differences. These are the easiest situations to avoid. All that is required is to check your ego and walk away. The point here is that there are usually very clear signs when a conflict moves from social to antisocial. Keep in mind that being part of an escalating antisocial conflict may undermine your claim of self defense as a legal defense.

The most dangerous threat is is the asocial attack – it’s a lot harder to avoid but also quite rare. An asocial threat doesn’t announce itself  – it’s just there. Serial killers for example don’t typically look like thugs or give you any clues that you might want to avoid them. And when they attack they do so without warning. There is no negotiating with an asocial attack – they don’t want anything from you that you can give up freely. The only defense in this case is violence.

The good news is that simply adapting some awareness skills can help you avoid most conflicts. We teach and train these on a regular basis in both our kids and adult classes.

Reality #4: Self Defense is NOT fighting!

If you and I were going to fight we would square off. There would be some agreed to or implied rules. Most importantly, we both know what coming. We know we are going to be in a fight!

Real self defense is not fighting.

Sure there are fighting skills in self defense. In Dynamic Self Defense for example, we teach strikes similar to Muay Thai, grappling similar to Jujitsu and weapons defense derived from special forces training. What we don’t teach is the key difference.

Looking at Muay Thai and Jujitsu as examples, both are pretty intense ring sports. There are serious injuries in both in the ring. However, when training for the ring fighters focus only on the other fighter. They know what rules they are playing under and they are most often paired with someone of similar size.

Physical self defense should only come up when a violent encounter can’t be avoided. In this situation there is an advantage to the aggressor not knowing what the defender knows or having any idea that the defender will react violently. When your only goal is to survive the rules go out the window and that gives an advantage to the defender.

Reality #5: You are not getting younger.

Training to be the next Olympic Judo champion is probably not on the ticket for you. It doesn’t need to be. Even the best fighters end up defeated eventually. (Even the legendary Royce Gracie was defeated in 2006 by Matt Hughes) So the idea that you need to become a champion fighter in order to be any good at defending yourself is totally flawed.

Self Defense Eye Gouge From Ground

Self Defense isn’t about fighting fair…

We see self defense as a basic concept that should empower people of all ages. It’s not about a 40 something professional woman “fighting” a tattooed 300 pound man with steroid rage. It’s about realistically making the best of any situation – using what you have – including your intellect. To that end our training not only teaches you tactics and skill, it rewires your stress response. Maintaining an ability to think and act under stress is something that allows anyone of any age to practice effective self defense.

Looking back at the video above, each person that was knocked out had their head exposed. They were open to a punch or thought wrongly that they would be quick enough to react or could take the hit. Simple techniques such as keeping your hands up (something we call the “guard”) would have made every one of those hits much more difficult to execute. And that doesn’t take extraordinary physical skill or conditioning. It only takes repetition.

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.

 

Doubling Your Odds: Krav Maga and the 200% Defense

When talking about probability and human behavior, a 100% probability translates into the fact that a specific action is guaranteed to produce a known outcome every single time. Krav Maga, DSD, and most martial arts consist of a variety of hand defenses; using one’s hands and/or arms to deflect or block a strike.

In the case of a static person (feet planted, upper body still, neck locked into place) using a hand defense against a strike to the face, the probability that the strike will succeed in hitting the person’s face depends upon a variety of factors: hand speed of both the attacker and defender, time of attack recognition, body position, and proximity to the attacker.

In the case of a slow defender or a late attack recognition, a defender will at worst get hit by an unobstructed strike and at best get grazed by the strike; he or she will get hit, but will reduce the strike’s damage.

Now what if the defender were to both use his or her hand to deflect the strike and at the same time reposition his or her face and/or body? The defender forces the attacker to deal with two variables: the attributes of the hand defense itself and the movement of the target (in this case, the head). This is a 200% defense.

The 200% Defense

Krav Maga 200% DefenseIn Krav Maga, a 200% defense consists of two components: a hand/leg defense to deflect or block the strike and a body defense, in which the targeted part of the body is moved off the line of attack.

In an overhand knife attack, where the attacker’s target is the head or upper body, Krav students are trained to block with the arm and at the same time move their head and body slightly forward, almost short of a head-butt (of note, they are also trained to strike at the same time).

The logic is that if the blade is long, the hand defense might stop the trajectory of the blade, but the blade will still be long enough to pierce the head. Furthermore, if the arm is slow to defend the attack, then at the very least, a vital target like the head will be out of the knife’s path.

The same principle applies to underhand knife attacks. The arm halts the knife’s movement, while leaning forward creates distance between the defender’s midsection and the blade. Defending with the hand or leg in combination with the repositioning of the body is referred to as a 200% defense.

While a statistician would argue that a “200%” defense is mathematically non-existent (100% being the maximum), the term is used in Krav Maga to indicate that the defender is utilizing two types of defenses at the same time.

In the case that one defense fails, the other type of defense will either successfully protect the person or reduce the damage that would otherwise be the consequence of single, failed defense. In fact, it is deemed so critical, that a student can actually fail a technique during a Krav Maga test for failing to exhibit proper body defense.

This principle is also adapted for Krav Maga or Israeli third-party protection tactics. A protection agent is trained to defend a third-party as if he or she is the lone agent assigned to the party (or principal). When defending the principal from an attack, the agent’s recognition of the attack might occur late, particularly in environments with large crowds or lots of cover.

From the Krav Maga perspective, an attack happens in such a short amount of time (2 seconds or less) that a protection agent (body guard) cannot shield the principal, control the principal, and neutralize the attacker with his or her own firearm all prior to the attacker’s strike. Furthermore, the protection agent cannot effectively and successfully perform all those tasks at once. Even worse, if an agent in a single-person detail is neutralized by the first attack, as a result making him or herself into a human shield, the attacker will proceed to harm or abduct the defenseless principal.

One solution is for the agent to literally shove the principal out of the line of attack and then draw his or her weapon. In other words, we are moving the attacker’s target as we defend (or in this case, counterstrike). This forces the attacker to adjust his or her aim and extend the time of the attack. Even if it lends the agent an extra sliver of time, it may be sufficient for the agent to strike the attacker before the attacker’s weapon is fired or re-aimed at the principal.

Similar to the basic one-on-one situation, we are doubling our chances of success by simultaneously using two types of defense that, most importantly, can both be accomplished effectively prior to the moment of impact.

 

How I Became A Reluctant Black Belt

New Albany Black Belt

What’s your image of a black belt? Young, male, fit?

Yep – I had that same thought. I don’t fit that image… Nearly forty, female and a wimp.

Here’s my story – the story of the Reluctant Black Belt.

When I started with Dynamic Self Defense, it was to be involved in an activity with my husband. He had always wanted to get into a martial arts and liked the idea of earning a black belt. Me, not so much… I was somewhat reluctant. I wanted to be with my husband and learning self defense was just a bonus.

Over the first few months I got to know all the adults and to my surprise there were women there! Most of us adults were not the young and fit type either. I found a place that I could be comfortable, work up a sweat and have fun.

As I progressed, I found a sense of confidence about the skills I was learning and I really impressed myself with these new abilities.

This doesn’t mean there were times that I wanted to quit and be done with it – because there were many. Sometimes an injury would make me frustrated and achy or I would feel totally overwhelmed with the rest of my life and feel that I needed a break. But, I had the support of my classmates – all of them having similar issues and many of whom are now black belts too!

There was a point when I realized that I wanted that black belt. I determined that I was worth the struggle and I was going to push through and earn it.

Now, with a black belt around my waist, I look back at the 3 years of training and I am so proud of myself. I accomplished something I didn’t set out to do but turned it into something worth doing for myself.

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.

The Top 5 Self Defense Skills Students Struggle With

 

Self Defense Women's Classes at DSDWe make no bones about it: Dynamic Self Defense is not your typical Martial Art School. Our curriculum and staff keep things as real life as possible in our drills and techniques, applying real world applications to multiple conflicts.

These real world applications are known as “drills” that work specific parts of our defense system whether it be skills dealing with Awareness or understanding the importance of footwork when defending oneself. With Dynamic Self Defense striving to be number one in not only providing the most realistic form of self defense training, but also in educating and helping our students and potential students in some struggles they may deal with in their training! It is with that I bring to you my top 5 list of “Skills a Self Defense Student Struggles With”.

TOP 5 Self Defense Skills

  1. Taking the Hit – The body is capable of sustaining damage without getting injured. It’s all on where your getting struck. Take for instance blocking. The arm connects with a fist preventing it from striking your face. Sure it may hurt but not enough to take you out of the fight! DSD works several drills to help combat the need of wanting to freeze up, squint the eyes or cower into a ball in situations like this. In the long run the more your body gets used to the impact reality the better your able to focus on your attack response and situation your dealing with.
  2. Having a Quick Response – This is a very important skill for having a quick response will greatly alter a situation in your favor. This doesn’t just cover your attack response but also your DEFENSIVE response whether it be blocking, weaving etc. Drills that force you to think on your feet help in creating a fast positive response skill.
  3. Controlling the Situation – This skill is referred to as Awareness. Simply having good technique and a good physique is not enough! When facing several potential threats, having a proper Awareness skill can be all the difference in getting beat up or getting away. Even though we train for multiple attacker scenarios doesn’t mean I’m ready to take them all on. Using my Awareness skill by surveying the situation, controlling one opponent and pushing them into the others allowing me to escape seems the more logical choice
  4. Proper Footwork – Footwork helps with stability and balance. We take our footwork skills from the field of Boxing. Keeping your feet separated and knees bent, allows for more maneuverability and makes it difficult for the attacker to get you to the floor. Drills that help defend against attackers with Wrestling or Jujitsu training is best given these types of styles focus on getting their opponent to the ground.
  5. Keeping Hands Up – While this may seem simple, many students struggle with this skill set simply because we don’t normally keep our hands up past our waist in a normal situation. It’s easy to drop your hands when not thinking about keeping them up which results in exposing the face and ribs to the attacker. Drills DSD uses to help with this skill include our “Pattern” and various “Focus Mitt” drills.

I invite you to watch the video below to give you some insight on some of the drills mentioned above and skills talked about. For more information on our self defense classes and times please email us in the contact section above.

[vimeo]http://vimeo.com/54192017[/vimeo]

Jujitsu Self-Defense Myths Exposed

My 12 year old nephew (DSD Green Belt) was watching the news with his mom last night when a story came on about Brazilian Jujitsu being the “ideal” form of self-defense for all people… especially women.

It didn’t take him long to turn to his mom and tell her that this isn’t very practical at all and wouldn’t go very far in a real fight.

He’s right!

Jujitsu based ground defenseHere at DSD we use a lot of Jujitsu moves in our ground fighting (grappling). Where we diverge is in the fact that the street and the ring are two very different scenarios – so they require very different goals and training approaches. Our goal is never a submission and we never waste time getting wrapped up with a single attacker.

In the ring you are often matched with someone of similar size and usually similar athletic ability. It’s an athletic competition with clear rules and it pits skill against skill.

In self-defense there are no rules. Often your attacker wants to kill you or at the least cause serious injury to you. You don’t get to choose the size of your attacker or whether or not they have a weapon. And many times there will be two or more attackers, not just one.

When it comes to joint manipulation or the next step, join breaks, Jujitsu is remarkably efficient. However, because the moves are often very technical, they become impractical for the average person. You see the more technical a self defense move is, the more you must train itin order to be able to use it.

As you watch the video below, consider what my young green belt recognized…

  • Attackers don’t wear a Gi (martial arts uniform) and neither do you on the street. Jumping guard and other high athletic events just don’t work like that when you are wearing street clothes.
  • Attacks never start in a clench (a stance where both opponents grab each others Gi) nor do they stand still and allow you to throw them or choke them out. While you are doing this they may be unloading a magazine of bullets into you or beating you into unconsciousness with a piece of re-bar.
  • Many Jujitsu grappling moves only work within a certain size differential. A lot of things change dramatically when your attacker is 50% bigger than you – something sport Jujitsu simply does not train for.
  • You will rarely face a lone attacker. Even if you are really good at Jujitsu, and you get a guy locked up, you yourself are locked up too. All another attacker has to do is kick you in the head or pull a weapon – you are an easy and mostly immobile target. Sad part is that I have heard this very scenario first hand at least three times – each case ending in very serious injury to the Jujitsu expert.
  • Jujitsu techniques have their place on the “street” but not in place of more practical techniques that assume multiple attackers and the fact that your performance will suffer from stress, fatigue and possibly an already sustained injury.

Sport and competition martial arts have their place, but they should not be seen a synonymous with self-defense. Unless you train extensively for self defense situations, you will revert to sport martial arts when in a self-defense situation. Statistically speaking, applying sport martial arts to an encounter where someone literally wants to kill you or do serious bodily harm, is like bringing a knife to a gun fight.

If you want to train in 100% self-defense (including practical striking, grappling and multiple attackers)… schedule a time to stop by our school in New Albany and see if Dynamic Self-Defense is right for you or your child.

VIDEO:

 

Complacency Is Dangerous For Self Defense

BB Board Break KVI watched a story on CNN talking about a missing girl being found dead and the RapistMurder responsible behind bars. The girl was found buried in a shallow grave along side a river bank no more than a few blocks from her abandoned vehicle. The story reports she had decided to go jogging along a familiar road by her home when she went missing. Unfortunately there have been many stories similar to this one about women being attacked while jogging.

Complacency is dangerous for self defense. It leads to a lack of awareness which is arguably one of the easiest and most effective self defense techniques.

I am all for exercise and one should be able to venture out into areas of choice to jog or run without being scared or nervous. However just like wanting to keep your weight down by taking proper steps, personal security should have the same mindset. By allowing a few moments of time to ensure a safe training regimen, the risk of becoming the next front page headline decreases dramatically.

Defense 1. Partner up! The number one best line of defense is to have someone come with you. Even having a dog by your side will make a predator think twice. If these options are not available to you, having a “walking stick or baton in your hand is better than nothing. Remember predators look for an easy target. Someone they can easily dominate without having to work for it.

Defense 2. Stay alert! Keep the headphones off! Headphones mute all surrounding sound and can be used to tie up the victim so the predator can work more easily. Also try and keep a good distance from tree lines and other areas where someone could surprise you.

Defense 3. Locations! I’m all for nature but real life is not what you see in movies or on postcards  Wooded areas, hills, back roads, and all heavily populated places with trees, bushes, and dense foliage are a predator’s lair. Most all attacks occur in these types of places. If you are unable to jog or run with a partner have another option available. Its just not worth taking the risk.

Defense 4. Know your limitations. I have been doing Self Defense training for nearly twenty years and I still do not overestimate anyone’s abilities. Regardless of what you know or what you think you know, if you suspect a confrontation or your gut tells you to get away, DO SO!

Self Defense isn’t just about blocking and responding to punches or kicks, its also on a preventive approach. By taking certain steps to ensure oneself from getting into potential confrontations is the best defense anyone can have!

How Would You React To A Gun?

DSD Gun DefenseIs there an effective self defense against guns?

When Debra Moriarity was looking into the muzzle of her co-worker and friend Amy Bishop’s gun, she thought that she could convince her not to shoot by pleading for her life and by reminding her of common bonds. She was wrong…

See full story from ABC News

Using social skills to try and convince an attacker to have mercy is a common instinct. In the case of Debra Moriarity her attacker, a trusted co-worker, had already killed 6 people just minutes before their encounter. And as is common in encounters with sociopaths, pleading for mercy didn’t make any difference.

Her attacker raised the gun and pulled the trigger, twice. But the gun was empty. During the attackers attempt to reload Debra and other victims managed to push her out of the room and barricade themselves until help arrived.

The problem when faced with a sociopathic attacker is that negotiation doesn’t work. The only thing that does is to use violence to neutralize their treat. And in this case, the victims had the opportunity to act in such a way that would have eliminated the attacker as a threat… and odds are that they had the opportunity well before she simply ran out of ammunition.

As Debra faced the gun of her attacker she didn’t have any other options but to plead for her life. I’m sure that at that point she would have given anything to know a few very simple techniques that would have left her attacker in a broken pile, unable to function.

She got lucky. The six others were not.

If you want to have real workable options in a violent situation. If you want to learn how to protect yourself even when faced with the nightmare of having a gun to your head… practical self defense against guns, don’t wait. Give us a call and schedule a time to stop by, talk to our instructors and observe one of our regular classes. What you will find is a training program that systematically build reflexes, skill and confidence that you can survive violence no matter what form it takes on.

One Day of Crime In Columbus, Ohio

Effective Self Defense in Columbus OhioPeople often feel safe in their own city. But after a recent news story about a woman who was forced to withdraw cash from ATM machines by 3 armed criminals, I wondered what the real stats for Columbus Ohio are.

Looking up the Public Records at the Columbus Devision of Police website I found some startling facts. Just yesterday (Wednesday, Feb 3, 2010) there were 58 violent crimes reported.

The break down goes like this…

  • Rape/Sexual Assault – 2
  • Assault – 28
  • Aggravated Assault – 4
  • Robbery – 12
  • Menacing – 12

The terrible thing is that this appears to have been a pretty typical day in Columbus, OH. I checked a few other random days and came up with similar numbers. This means that if you live in Columbus you have a 1 in 40 chance of being the victim of a crime against you.

 Can a self-defense course or martial arts help?

Most people live in an altered reality where they either believe that nothing will ever happen to them (or just refuse to consider it) or that they are powerless to do anything about it. Both cases are very dangerous if you happen to become a victim of crime.

The majority of assault cases listed on the CDP site were simple fights. Usually social arguments or jockeying for social position that escalated to blows. About 1 out 4 involved a weapon – most often a knife or a gun. Cases of robbery almost always involved a weapon where aggravated assault by definition involved the use of a deadly weapon. Only about 1 in 4 cases involved more than one suspect in the case of a serious assault.

Can a self-defense program make you safer?

That of course depends on what kind of program it is. The first course of action is noticing that there are indeed good and bad parts of town. Awareness, how you carry yourself all play into your chances of being a victim.

While it would be irresponsible for me to imply that a Dynamic Self-Defense student is invulnerable to attack. I can say that they are desensitized to having a gun shoved in their face or a knife to the throat. That’s just another Friday night for us.

Being able to stay calm (or at least not panic and lose focus) when facing a violent situation means that you are able to assess the situation and know what options you truly have. This gives you the power to control the situation by either implementing the techniques you have learned, waiting for a better opportunity or by recognizing that the situation is not a threatening as it seems (most robbers for example simply want money, not attention). Key point you can act the moment you choose and not be a party in your own murder.

Funny thing is that by practicing practical self-defense and knowing you have the skill to defend yourself with lethal force if necessary changes the way you walk. You automatically become a less appealing target and better your odds of ever having to use what you learn.

I would invite you to schedule a time to stop by and observe a class for yourself. You’ll see that we’re just ordinary people that have fun training together.