Control Yourself, Control OthersLaw Enforcement . Self-Defense . State of Mind . Training notes
Control is required to successfully handle most of life’s difficult tasks. In the Martial Arts we train to maintain control of ourselves in confrontations, especially physical ones. There are many careers that require the same level of control of self, Police Officer, Astronaut, Surgeon, Soldier, Fireman are among these careers. Control lets your brain stay in charge of your actions, without a level of control panic and fear may rule the day. One way Martial Artists and the listed careers learn control is repetition and familiarity. Repetition will get you the physical skills but that last step of controlling yourself is a mental task. Breathing is one of the most important components of learning control, for if you control your breathing you are less likely to react in panic. Now back to our discussion of Control.
In a physical situation Control is often maintained through our posture. Most of the time, your tone of voice, demeanor, and the way you take command of a situation suffices. Although not based upon physical force alone, control sometimes requires forceful physical action and even the use of a weapon.
Any physical confrontation is a potentially dangerous situation. Forcibly subduing a resisting or hostile person is extremely dangerous. Even so, the techniques you use to gain control of an aggressor are typically more humane then what they had in store for you. That is because your intent is defense while your attackers is domination. The ability to use unarmed defense tactics provides you with a planned, specific method of protecting yourself and assuring control of most situations.
Unarmed defense is a system of counter-attacks originally devised for use by Law Enforcement Officers. It was based on well-established principles of combat, but is not patterned after any single method of self-defense or hand-to-hand fighting style. Most of the techniques taught are simple and effective maneuvers based in the ancient arts and sports such as Judo, Ju-jitsu, Karate, Boxing, Wrestling, Football, Soccer and Fencing. These maneuvers have been adapted, with some variations, to the situation you may encounter in an altercation. These techniques are used in defense against attack , overcoming resistance and disabling the attacker.
It must be pointed out that the situations you encounter will differ. What may work in one situation or against one attacker may not in another. Applying pressure on the fingers may control a drunk or a person passively resisting, but what about someone more dangerous or intent on harming you? The pain and discomfort from this tactic may not be sufficient for control. If you are not prepared for this you may panic and lose control of yourself and the situation. Remember any attacker has the use of four more weapons; their hands, their feet and their head. Thus, not only must you be able to apply control techniques, but you must also be able to follow up if a hold does not work. To assume you are safe because you can apply a few simple holds is false confidence, which may cost you your life or cause you serious injury.
In unarmed defense, control if thought of as applying the degree of force (usually pain) necessary to discourage further advance of an aggressor. The twisting of the arm in a certain direction will communicate the direction the aggressor is to go or stay. If the aggressor resists the pressure and therefore the pain is increased until they submit. Controlled pain differs from uncontrolled pain. You can strike a person in the face with your fist and cause them pain but you may not necessarily gain control over them. Sometimes uncontrolled force needs to be applied so you can gain the advantage and take control of the situation.
In future articles we will explore the Basic Principles of unarmed defense, its components and techniques.
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