There Are Only Two Safe Assumptions In Self Defense

In a real encounter against an assailant, most assumptions can get you hurt or killed. When these assumptions carry over to how you train, they can leave gaps in your skills. For example: assuming an attacker will give you time to fish your pepper spray out of the bottom of a backpack, assuming that an […]

Preparing For Home Invasion

If we are to believe the news, it looks like home invasion is a growing crime. The truth is that it is hard to tell because home invasion is not tracked as a single type of crime. Instead, home invasion may be counted in crime statistics as a count of breaking and entering, with perhaps […]

U.S. Army Moves Away From Ground Fighting Curriculum

It seems the U.S. Army, after interviewing 900 soldiers involved in hand to hand combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, has decided to change it’s close quarters combat program to de-emphasize ground fighting.Starting next month, soldiers will focus more on stand up grappling and weapons control more useful in the urban combat scenarios they find themselves […]

Kuzushi – The Art Of Unbalancing

Kuzushi (崩し) is a Japanese word for unbalancing an opponent. It comes from the verb kuzusu, meaning to pull down or demolish. You’ll find it commonly used in jujutsu and derived arts such as judo and aikido. Normally it is the act of taking an opponent’s balance rendering them incapable of counterattack. In most schools […]

Simplyfying Combat Ranges

All martial arts and systems of self defense will, in some way deal with range. Range, in this sense, means the proximity of your opponent, his ability to attack you, and your ability to attack him. Many systems have a ton of different ranges, kicking, grappling, striking, weapons etc. While there is nothing wrong with […]

Teaching Martial Arts To The Unconscious

I’d like to share with you a couple of important discoveries I’ve made with regard to teaching martial arts, which may be translated into other areas as well. An important lesson is that you are not good at anything you need to do in your conscious mind. When you first learned to tie your shoes, […]

The One True Secret To Effective Self Defense

If you’ve been involved in martial arts, combatives, or self defense training in any way you’ve undoubtedly seen many programs touting the secret techniques or principles of self defense. There are a lot of very impressively marketed systems out there and, if one is to believe the hype, the Navy SEALS, Special Forces Commandos, hit […]

Look For Pre-Violence Indicators To Avoid Trouble

There are two basic self defense scenarios that I like to characterize as ambush or delayed. In an ambush attack, the assault happens immediately, the attacker leads with violence. Delayed is where there is some interaction prior to the violent act. In both cases, awareness of what’s going on should be your first tool to […]

Video: Surviving Multiple Attackers

Here’s a video from Turkey showing a man fighting off multiple attackers (warning: somewhat graphic violence). While every encounter is definitely different, I’d like to use this video to illustrate a few points relevant to  preparing for self-defense. Since I don’t speak Turkish, I really don’t know the context of this video. I don’t know […]

Why a State of Mushin (No Mind) is Necessary to Self Defense

Mushin is an interesting concept in the martial arts, a Japanese term meaning roughly “no mind” or “empty mind”. It references a state of thoughtlessness where a practitioner merely acts appropriately to an attack or situation without the intercession of thought. It all sounds very Zen-like and spiritual, but there is a practical side as […]

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