6 Unarmed Defense PrinciplesSelf-Defense . Training notes
The following are training notes and methods. Please bare in mind these are only notes and should be used as guidelines to increase your understanding of hand-to-hand combat techniques and issues. As we progress from unskilled to seasoned fighter this information becomes intuitive and second nature. Here we will cover 6 basic principles of unarmed defense or self-defense.
In the Martial Arts or when learning Hand-to-Hand tactics there are two components to learning, imitation which builds muscle memory and knowledge which enhances versatile application. We suggest you take a class to gain the muscle memory. Information here is provided to increase your knowledge and understanding.
Balance involved putting your opponent off balance while maintaining your own balance. It is only from a balanced position that maximum speed, power and accuracy in your physical movement can be realized. Consequently, you must maintain your equilibrium while endeavoring to keep your opponent off balance.
There are some positions that provide greater balance than others. For example, when standing with your feet together, the base support is very small, and you can easily be pushed in any direction because you are more easily thrown off balance. With your feet spread and toes in line, you would
be on balance from left to right, but off balance from front to back.
There are some positions that provide greater balance than others. For example, when standing with your feet together, the base support is very small, and you can easily be pushed in any direction because you are more easily thrown off balance. With your feet spread and toes in line, you would be on balance from left to right, but off balance from front to back.
Generally, a recommended position of balance is achieved when one foot (either left or right) is slightly forward, feet slightly spread, knees slightly bent. Thus, if your right foot is forward, you are balanced when pushed from the left front or right rear. If the left foot is forward the opposite is true. Remember, the maintenance of reasonably good balance is found in keeping the feet moderately spread with your knees slightly bent. You should constantly shift your feet in accordance with the direction of the attacker.
Body mechanics refers to the use of proper muscles in the proper way at the proper time. You can often utilize your abdominal muscles as a source of power. This can be illustrated by the execution os a simple hip throw. In this and similar throws, you are not using brute strength in the arms, but a combination of body mechanics and leverage.
Applying leverage in order to throw an opponent will produce pain or break his balance and stance. This principle simply refers to the mechanical advantage gained through the use of a body part as a lever. The “shoulder throw” is an example of the use of leverage.
Maximum versus Minimum
This principle involves putting your strongest effort against the weakest point of your opponent’s grip, hold or body. Here, you concentrate your power at the opponent’s weakest spot. Simply opposing a hand with a hand is not enough. You should direct all of your power towards the part of your opponent’s body which appears to be the weakest. This will vary, of course, according to the circumstances. For example, if your opponent has a you in a “rear body lock” you would apply your body’s strength against a finger (usually the little finger/pinkie), not against their hand or all of his fingers because these would not be his weakest spots.
This concept involves the use of your opponent’s momentum to your advantage. You can cause you opponent to lose his balance by side stepping, tripping, or ducking when they rush at you. This loss of balance is brought about by using your strength to direct the attackers movements, not to directly oppose them. For instance, faced with a charging opponent attempting to take you down by a “leg tackle” you can use their strength and momentum to their disadvantage by placing your hands on their head or upper back, pushing downward and to your side. At the same time, remove your leg from their path by executing a rear pivot.
Another example is the use of a “leg toss” (see below diagram). As an opponent forces you backward, grasp his clothing at the chest or upper arms, pulling him forward as you sit down suddenly, and at the same time place your foot in their midsection. Your leg is the extended forcefully, causing the opponent to be thrown over your head. The basis of this throw is the redirection of your adversary’s momentum. James T. Kirk in the original Star Trek series made this move famous!
Major and Minor Operations
The major operation is getting the correct hold; the minor operation is the application of pressure. During practice if you combine these two, the result might be a broken bone or other serious injury to your training partner. Extreme caution must be exercised during practice because many of the maneuvers are dangerous. The major operation (correct hold), the steps necessary to place your opponent in a position where they can be thrown or hurt by the application of pressure, is most important to learn. Once you have your opponent in the proper position, the minor operation is easy since it involves only the application of pressure. In Practice, apply these operations separately.
All of these principles require alertness and situational awareness. In order to anticipate the actions of your opponent, you must watch them carefully. Many times, an aggressor will telegraph their moves to you before they strike. Some instructors of self-defense emphasize that you should observe your opponents eyes or their hands. Still others experts stress that you should focus on the lower parts of your opponent’s body or their stance. In any event, watch your opponent and maintain your distance from them. In all person-to-person encounters, you must stay beyond arms reach of the person you are facing. At this distance you will be able to observe the individual’s actions and have time to respond accordingly.
I am a firm believer that all women or people in at risk jobs should train regularly in self-defense. Often this leads to training in the martial arts, that’s a bonus not a must. Most people will experience some physical threat or altercation in their lifetime. Often having mastery of self-defense techniques may be enough to avert or limit an attack. People must master the skills of handling aggressors through the techniques of unarmed defense. These are skills you can/will practice and use in everyday situations. If you have self-confidence, self-control and know your abilities, your demeanor will dominate the situation and influence the behavior of your opponent. You cannot control others if you cannot control yourself. Not only will these qualities influence the individual assailant, but they will also affect onlookers. If the assailant has friends nearby they will be less likely to interfere if you are able to control the situation. Calm, quick and confident action will enable you to establish and maintain control.
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