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If you want self protection, read this!


A lot of Martial Arts academies claim they teach self protection. You have to ask yourself, what is self protection?

Some people think that self protection is about learning to punch and kick, to be able to take an opponent out with the one punch and a loud KIA!!!!!!

OK that’s great, they simply enroll you in their academies to learn kickboxing because its the ultimate self defence tool, or karate because it goes back years and its the ultimate self defence tool. Others say you must learn to grapple or wrestle as most street fights end up on the ground and its the ultimate self defence tool.

All of the above may be true. However if you cannot control your own emotions, if you cannot control the verbal side of things, then it does not matter how hard you kick or punch, or if you can take someone to the floor and arm bar them in the training hall, you are in serious trouble, outside in the real world. The key thing with self protection, is being able to control the situation, to control yourself and to control the other person.

Self protection is about being aware enough to make fighting the last thing you need.

Below are the thoughts of one of our instructors. Before you ask, what are his qualifications and what does he know, I will tell you. He is a former serving police officer who trained other police officers  in how to deal with confrontational situations. He also served in the army and the prison service. The whole reason he got involved in the Martial Arts at the age of 12 was to do with self protection. He has experienced confrontational situations on his own and as part of a group, he has first hand experience of this type of environment, not someone who says ” I have never had to defend myself but I know this works”. Mr Jones has been, done it and survived…….

Please have a read below………………………

Trust your feelings

The most important thing to remember when it comes to self protection is that you can!

Self protection means avoiding confrontation.

The keys to your ability to stay safe are:

  1. Situational Awareness.
  2. Managing fear.
  3. Simple easy proven techniques.

3 key Considerations

  1. Trust your feelings. If you get a bad feeling. Trust it. Choose safety. Move out the danger zone as soon as you can.
  2. You will get an adrenaline dump. This happens when you sense danger. Use it. Fear can act like a jet fuel. We just aren’t taught that as children so it often creates more fear in you. Just know it’s natural and use it to move.
  3. Have a simple plan. In this world violence can happen anywhere at school at home or at the shops, its best to have a simple plan. A general plan would start with Runoff, hide or fight back as a goal. The scenario would always influence the plan you chose. As uncomfortable as this is, it’s important to think about this long in advance of any situation you may find yourself in.

Street self defence quick psychology


 Apathy and denial will seal your fate as a victim. The victim mind set is often born from apathy and then this moves into denial. The key to action in self defence is to simply accept the situation and move on. This is the first step towards moving from the victim mindset to the victor’s mindset.

Get Challenged

 The moment you sense danger- get challenged. The opposite of being challenged is threatened. It does not matter what the situation you find yourself in, you always want to feel challenged. It doesn’t matter what the potential danger is. Remember that you are there. Accept it. Now start figuring out your tactics and strategy.

The way that you talk to yourself will reveal whether you are prone to use “victim” dialogue (I can’t) or “victor” dialogue (I can). In every challenge you want your inner coach to support your efforts.

Do not stop thinking

 Never fixate on one idea in a self defence situation. Your mind must be free to improvise. Your strategy and tactics must be flexible for you to experience spontaneity. Many people freeze in situations simply because they stopped thinking about options.

Create your own mission statement

 A mission statement is a simple mental tool that will help you sharpen your focus in the situation and realign your intention, thus helping you to move quickly get focused and create strategies. Think of your mission statement as a default program that kicks in as soon as you sense danger. Most people don’t have a true mission statement. Create one. It will quicken your response time because it gives your plan purpose. Your purpose, or objective, creates an internal command that sets your psychological arsenal in gear. This is fundamental for any sound strategy.

An Example of a mission statement could be;

“When faced with a threat of a personal attack, I will do what I can to avoid the confrontation with as little violence occurring to both myself and my attacker and I will base my response on the level of threat I feel I am facing”

A mission statement helps you focus on an objective. You need to select the right strategy to protect yourself. I know I want to avoid violence. I now have permission to run or fight. Mission statements can be slightly different for each person (depending on situation, environment and occupation).

See your strategy with a successful resolution

When you create a strategy visualize the goal. Don’t just start a strategy, which is what most people do. Your strategy is like a map, which only serves you when you have a destination. Your goal is your destination and you want to arrive alive. So create a strategy with successful resolution of the conflict.

No Fear

Remind yourself that psychological F.E.A.R. (False Evidence Appearing Real or False Expectations Appearing Real) is your enemy, more so than your opponent is. Succumbing to psychological fear induces inertia (a body’s inability to move) and will create the opposite of “F” (above).

There is no such thing as fear. Fear is a natural response to danger.

Stay Detached

 A strategy is only useful if it works. You must simultaneously monitor the situation while you are engaged and determine if your choices are appropriate and be willing to confidently change your strategy should the circumstances change.

Closest Weapon/ Closest Target

 This is one of the core principles in Jeet Kune Do. This strategy in conjunction with your ready stance and awareness is an unbeatable combination. Study this well, as it gets you focused on the “first strike” advantage, thus increasing your perception speed that reduces the chance of you getting hit first.

Often in a street situation we are encumbered with so many choices and emotions that thinking clearly is like trying to peel a banana one handed underwater. You have to simplify, your tactical dilemma is, no matter how you are standing, lying or sitting you have several natural weapons at your disposal. Your opponent, conversely, has targets in direct line with your weapons. Identify this and work on this theory. It makes things happen fast.


 Violence is not funny and you should really make an effort to avoid the situation. Try to verbally defuse the confrontation using your communication skills.

Because of the unpredictable nature of the sociopath and of violent crime, we the sentient beings on this planet are always the target and we must approach our training with the utmost seriousness and with humility of a beginner.

We assume you would prefer not to experience violence and therefore your mission statement should be avoidance and de-escalation. Therefore, your speech and body language (non violent posture, submissive stance, etc.) must follow suit. Use your communication skills to achieve a settlement. Employ emphatic words. Listen intently. Don’t oppose. Flow and blend. Negotiate.

The way you speak along with your body language will strongly influence the outcome of most confrontations. This is why the mission statement is so important. Your intention and dialogue must be congruous.

We have an expression: “Those who talk can be persuaded to walk.” But never assume that you will be able to talk the opponent down. Always be ready for the sudden attack. Monitor his body language and look for signs of escalation (heavy breathing, shifting eyes, twitching fingers, encroachment, abusive language, etc.) If your communication is working you will know it, as the situation will be calming down gradually.

Submissive: theory and posture

 As a rule you should adopt a perceived submissive posture the shield stance (hands up- palms out- elbows in.) This suggest compliance to your attacker, and shouts, stop, non verbally it also adds a dynamic to any witnesses that are watching that everybody knows you are the one who does not want to fight. This may play to your attacker ego, creating overconfidence, which always leads to carelessness.

The shield stance allows you to defend or attack as the situation unfolds. Analyze this as you practice verbal simulations and scenarios.

Remember the fact that 70% of communication is made up of your body language and therefore the stance you adopt or the tension you carry will say more than your words.

Feign fear to draw an Attack

 An opponent who believes you to be afraid of him will make many mistakes. And he will enter your personal space-where the hand is quicker than the eye-leaving him vulnerable to your close quarter skills.

Therefore you can use your body language to “feign fear” to lull your opponent into the close quarter range.

The hand is quicker than the eye

 Actually, the hand is quicker than the foot and the eye. The closer your opponent is to you the easier it is to strike successfully. Naturally the same goes for him, so be on guard.

Lead with speed

 Always strike with speed first. Get your opponents nervous system jumping and then move in and finish the task. This may sound obvious, but, in an effort to get things over quickly, many martial artists and street fighters launch the telegraphic “haymaker” or power strike. Think speed.

Hit in “Threes”

 Never strike just once. The most effective combinations utilize a broken rhythm, which is most easily achieved by working in groups of threes, as long as you can still justify each strike because there is a threat still to you.

In the street, things can happen so fast that your initial strike may have little or no effect other than to scare or startle your attacker or you may be feeling the effects of adrenaline and therefore have lost some of your power. You second shot might miss simply because the attacker has suddenly moved to cover or counter you. It is your third shot that logically could create the impact that would allow you to escape or continue to protect yourself if it were necessary, take a lesson from the S.A.S., one of their training maxims from close quarter battle which is “you keep firing until the threat goes away”

If the theory goes wrong and the attacker goes down right away-bonus. If it is the second shot that drops him-great. Do you see what we are saying?

Remember this is about strategy and tactics not about you completing your favourite move you have practiced in the academy. It is about doing the worst move for your opponent. Therefore the worst thing you could do to your opponent is to preemptive strike him suddenly, in the most unpredictable place and then follow up with continued combinations until he is no longer a threat to you or your loved ones.


 As soon as you can exit the situation safely and with good awareness, remember your use of force must match the perceived threat to yourself. That means, legally you can only use the amount of force needed to protect yourself.

After battle de-brief

Following any use of force situation our advice would be to report the matter to the police straight away and you should be preparing to describe and justify your actions. There is a whole subject matter that has to be taken into consideration when providing statement of your actions to the police. But just remember this it is usually not what you have done that gets you into trouble with the law it’s how you have explained your actions and justifications that usually get you into trouble. Summed up simply “it’s not what you did, it’s what you said you did and how you presented it”

And Finally a quote;

“Love is the highest art, in ancient times you trained so hard, not for the sake of killing people but for the love of your family for the love of your mother, your father, your children, your tribe and your body. It is the love of life that’s why we train so hard. So you can preserve life.”

Guro Dan Inosanto




Code red

Steve Jones

Code Red team