Although there are countless self-defense principles, the majority of the techniques taught in this program are based on the following concepts. This is truly a “Twelve 12 Step Program” that can be the difference in whether or not you are a victim or a victor! Once an attack starts the three things that will make the greatest impact on whether you come out of the situation a victor, in order of importance is:
1. Eye (Focus) Training
2. Movement Training
3. Attack Training
All 12 Principles below fall into one of the three aforementioned categories.
Eye (Focus) Training:
(1) Don’t wait for the first “attack!” This is where you must trust your gut instincts. If someone is coming at you with the intent to hurt you, you will most likely sense it. You cannot afford to wait for them to make a definite physical attack prior to taking some kind of action. Ascertain intent quickly.
(2) Keep your eyes on your opponent’s eyes! Keep your eyes locked like a laser beam on your opponent’s eyes. Your adversary’s intentions will usually be telegraphed from their eyes first. Even most skilled combatants telegraph their attack in one way or the other. It is highly unlikely you will be attacked with out the assailant tightening their face muscles or dropping the shoulder of the attacking arm or leg.
(3) Keeping proper distance! By controlling your distance and simply forcing your attacker to extend even an additional inch to reach you when grabbing or striking it can put them off balance and literally make them vulnerable and can take much of their strength away.
(4) Movement is essential and pivoting is quicker than stepping! Just like any sport, eye training (focus) and movement are the two most important elements once an attack begins. Typically you react to what you see, and it is quicker to pivot than step. If you learn to move properly you save time, and maintain a strong posture from which to attack. It also makes it easier to flee.
(5) Use your feet as your eyes when moving during an attack. By gliding your feet rather than stepping, you can focus on your opponent’s eyes rather than where, or on what, you are stepping. Otherwise something as harmless as a kids toy, dog bone or a coke bottle could cause you to trip and be overtaken.
(6) Don’t lean back! Never allow your shoulders to get behind your butt! It is natural to lean back to avoid an attack that comes toward your upper body. This is one of the most dangerous things you can do. You lose your attacking power, and it puts you off balance and susceptible to be driven to the ground by your opponent. Remember your attacker can move forward quicker than you can move backward.
(7) When possible get to the outside of your attacker’s attack! It is safer, particularly when blocking, to be on the outside of your opponents attacking leg or arm. This allows you to strike without worrying about being hit by your opponents other arm, to control your opponent’s body, and to flee much easier.
(8) Utilize quick and uncomplicated techniques that require little strength to immobilize your attacker! Unless one is willing to dedicate years of practice in martial arts it is imperative that the techniques in their arsenal are geared to vital areas that can debilitate the strongest adversary. Example: there is no way to strengthen the eye; a strike there can debilitate even the strongest attacker with very little power required.
(9) Biting can get you out of situations where almost nothing else can! Have you ever noticed that almost every animal’s primary methods of attack is biting or clawing? Your jaw has a tremendous amount of power when biting. If brought to the ground by a stronger opponent, a flesh tearing bite may be your only option!
(10) Make every effort to never go to the ground with your opponent! Although there are statistics that say the majority of fights end up on the ground, you are training for survival and in real self-defense you never want to go to the ground with your opponent unless you are 100% sure there is only one attacker and you are better on the ground than them. If you are not trained in ground fighting do not try to wrestle with your opponent; that is a recipe for disaster. If you should end up on the ground (in a life or death situation,) bite, kick with your heels; eye gouge, etc. Do your best to get up immediately; obviously, you can’t run if you are on the ground!
(11) Grabs: When possible use small joint manipulation! Never try to pry your attackers hands off you! Unless highly trained one should shy away from joint manipulation to major joints like arm bars which require strength and although it is not necessary, they are usually applied from the ground. One can completely control an opponent by locking the wrist or better yet locking up one finger! Don’t fight strength with strength.
(12) Striking! Strikes should target vital areas! Techniques like low kicks to the groin, thumbs to the eyes, palm heels to the nose, etc. You must also learn to utilize the major muscle groups to add power to your techniques. Your thigh muscles, hip rotation and shoulder extension are more far important than your arm muscles in developing powerful strikes.