No experience in self defense? Start taking action now!!

No experience in self defense? Start taking action now!!

I recently asked some friends of mine if there were any topics on self defense, fighting, awareness, etc… that they had questions about and I would try my best to write an educated blog about it. I got some great responses and intend to write on all of them. The first one that I wanted to dive into was how to defend yourself if you have little or no experience with training.

First thing is first, nothing beats learning how to defend yourself against possible attacks and threats from a trained professional. When looking for a self defense school make sure the instructors are certified to teach you the proper techniques. If you don't know, or can't tell, then go with your gut. Is it easy to learn? Does it feel instinctual? Is it easy to remember? Is it easy to recall under stress & fatigue? If the answer to all of these questions are yes, then you're in good hands. Two former clients of mine when I lived in Los Angeles were a young woman in here late twenties, short but very athletic, strong, and very easy to teach. The other client was a man in his mid 40's with similar attributes, a few more ailments, and he was blind. A great instructor would know that you cannot teach these two clients the same way. He, or she, should be able to adjust and modify techniques to their students, not the other way around. Knowing how to defend yourself is never a full proof plan. Anything could happen at any time, but training your body and brain will definitely give you an advantage in a life threatening situation. It is always better to know it and hope you never have to use it. Here are a few tips you could start training immediately, facility or not.

Awareness: This is one of  the best things you could train yourself to do. This is before the attack, before the punches, before the real danger. These are things that we have learned as kids by our parents or guardians. A great example is to look both ways before you cross the street, why? Because you are less likely to get hit by a car. In other words, be aware of your surroundings. Get off of your devices. Some of the biggest distractions today are phones, tablets, ear buds, etc… Everyone is guilty of this from time to time and it could get you in trouble if you’re not careful. So if you find yourself in a parking lot late at night, or somewhere where you are not familiar, keep your eyes up and keep your head on a swivel. Who has a remote that unlocks all the doors of their car at once? Most people today have that feature for their car which can be very helpful but also quite dangerous. If you’re going to use this feature, then I suggest you walk towards your car from either the front or the back so you are able to see both sides of your car. Or, if you don’t need to unlock all of your doors then just unlock your driver door manually with the key.

Do you get up very early for work when it’s still dark? Or do you get home when it’s late at night and still very dark? Have plenty of well lit areas around the outside of your house. Sometimes you might have to plan ahead and leave a light on for yourself. Same principle of parking in well lit areas. If you have small trees or bushes around your driveways or doors make sure they are trimmed and not overgrown. Potential attackers will have fewer places to hide or sneak up on you. Want to know how easy a person could hide in your yard? If you have kids, teens, or nieces and nephews, play a game of hide and seek with them and see what potential spots could be pointed out (kids will hide anywhere!!). There are always ways to be more aware and prepared.

Those were some tips for awareness and preventing different situations before they happen, but now someone is threatening you, threatening to attack you, or attacking you.

Lets make one thing clear, and this is mainly for people who like to hate on Krav Maga and all things self defense. “You’re not faster than a bullet”, someone once said to me. Of course not, and they are 100% correct. If someone were to not say a word and hit you in the head from behind with a blunt object, like a stick or bottle, you are not defending that. Unfortunately, and unless you have eyes behind your head or have ESP, this is our reality. What we deal with are threats. Meaning, this person either wants something from you on the spot, or wants to bring you to a secondary location. Either way, there are some words exchanged in these situations.

Some things that potential attackers look for in victims are being compliant and quiet. They don’t want you to draw a lot of attention to either of you. You want to make a presence, to be loud or to make loud, short, bold statements like “get back”, “stop, get away”, “I need help”, etc… However, in certain instances you have to be careful with this. For example, if someone has a loaded weapon in your face and you start yelling and making a bunch of noise, then they might be inclined to immediately use the weapon on you. So I am going to reiterate what I said before. There is no better substitute than learning how to properly defend yourself against threats and attacks from a trained professional.

The same thing I tell all of my students is that you fight like hell if someone is attacking and fighting you. The only thing you can do wrong in a situation where you are being attacked is nothing. One of the greatest rules in Krav Maga, when being attacked, is that we don’t have any. As long as someone is putting your life in danger, you do whatever you have to do to get safe. While nothing beats a strike to the face or a big hit to the groin, there are techniques that you already know and don’t have to be taught. Things like hair pulling, scratching, eye gouging, etc… Take a part of the body that’s supposed to bend one way and bend it the other way, like fingers (you have ten different options of fingers!!).

If your attacker flee’s, or you have created some significant distance from them, then get to a more populated place (gas station, restaurant, etc…)and call the police. DO NOT STAY IN THE SAME PLACE YOU WERE ATTACKED! The attacker could possibly circle back to that spot and won’t make the same mistakes the second time around. Get to a spot with a lot of people, call the authorities, and try and give your best description of what the person looks like.

Theses are just a few tips that you should think about when it comes to personal safety. I will always advocate great self defense training over anything else, why? Because you never know. Living in “nicer” neighborhoods is probably the most used, and worst excuse I’ve heard over the years as to why a person doesn’t educate themselves in self protection. No one person, place, or society is immune to having something bad happen. So I leave you with my take of one of my most favorite quotes that I use when asked, why do you train self defense? “I’d rather know it and not need, than need it and not know it.”

I hope this blog helped you somehow. Now go train some Krav Maga. KIDA!

Rob Morelli- Krav Maga Mahopac


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