Self Defense Thoughts, Ideals & Philosophy
The police cannot be everywhere. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the police do not have the responsibility to protect individual citizens, they are empowered to protect society as a whole. It is the responsibility of each of us to defend ourselves against crime. - “Handgun Combatives” by Dave Spaulding
“Warrior Mind-set” – Unlike the hobbyist or the athlete, the warrior; acknowledges his warriorship and pursues internal versus external objectives.” Think, feel and act like a warrior. Set yourself apart from the rest of society by your personal excellence. Throw away your vanity, and pursue internal objectives. Learn to recognize the difference between internal and external motivations. The Martial Way is not a sport, hobby, or occasional pastime, it is a way of life. - “Living the Martial Way” by Maj. Forrest Morgan
“You must be deadly serious in your training. When I say that, I do not mean that you should be reasonably diligent or moderately in earnest. I mean that your opponent must be in your mind, whether you sit or stand or walk or raise your arms.” – Gichen Funakoshi’s First Rule for the study of Karate-Do
Fighting (for our lives) is not fun. Faced with a hostile threat, there are four things that the human organism has been proven to do: fight, flee, posture or submit. Without a doubt, fighting is the best option. Yet, sometimes it is not always the most advantageous. Thus fleeing (“tactical withdrawal”) a situation in which there is no chance of winning would certainly be a good option. Posturing (using techniques or a gun to “scare” the attacker away) and submitting (giving up) are most certainly unacceptable. - “Handgun Combatives” by Dave Spaulding
“The peace officer who is psychologically unprepared for a gunfight is fighting two men when he goes into combat. He must conquer both himself and his adversary.” - Chic Gaylord, 1960
Personal defense requires the following:
- Alertness (“a commander may be forgiven for being defeated, but never for being surprised.”)
- Decisiveness (“when it becomes evident that you are faced with a violent physical assault, your life depends on you selecting a correct course of action and carrying it through without hesitation or deviation.”)
- Aggressiveness (“the best personal defense is an explosive counterattack.”)
- Speed (“on the very instant that we know our assailant intends us serious harm, we must work just as fast as we can.”)
- Coolness (“you must keep your head. If you lose your cool under attack, you will probably not survive to make excuses”…)
- Precision (“if you are fortunate enough to have access to any sort of firearm when under attack remember that it is only as good as your ability to keep cool and shoot carefully.”)
- Ruthlessness (“if you find yourself under attack, don’t be kind. Be harsh, be tough, be ruthless.”)
- Surprise (“by doing what our assailant least expects us to do, we may throw him completely off.”) - “The Principles of Personal Defense” by Col. Jeff Cooper
Color Codes of Awareness.
White – No perception of danger.
Yellow – Relaxed awareness.
Orange – Alerted: unknown danger. High level of sensory awareness.
Red – Armed confrontation. You or another are in danger of serious bodily harm.
(Black – Mental Shutdown…) - “The Principles of Personal Defense” by Col. Jeff Cooper
Staying at a high level of awareness for a long period of time is most difficult. One of the best reminders of how to do this is known as the OODA loop. OODA stands for Observation, Orientation, Decision and Action. Col. John Boyd of the USAF created the OODA loop. He felt that conflict could be viewed as a duel where in the adversary observes his opponents action, orients himself to the unfolding situation, decides on the appropriate course or counter move and then acts on his adversary. The individual who moves through the OODA loop cycle the fastest, gains an incredible advantage over his enemy by being able to disrupt his enemy’s response. The OODA loop works hand in hand with Cooper’s Color Codes of Awareness. In Condition White, the loop will be large and moving slowly. As you go up in the color code to Yellow, it will cycle faster. Visualize each stage of the OODA cycle moving faster s you move up in the intensity of the colors. When Condition Red is reached and combat is obvious, the OODA cycle will be moving so fast that it will be impossible for the individual to comprehend each stage. They will merely be responding to the threat from a gut level, from a preprogrammed state that will take any thought process out of the equation.
This situational awareness is important so you can avoid being a victim to what is known as the Startle Reflex. Startle Reflex simply means that you have been caught unaware. When startled, we crouch, we throw our hands up around our heads, we vibrate with surprise, we are completely unprepared to fight. This startle response creates what is known as Lag Time. Lag Time is the amount of time it takes you to see, identify, and react to danger. Since most attacks, both unarmed and armed, are over in a matter of seconds, lag time can mean the difference between life and death. Former U.S. Navy SEAL Richard Machowicz in his book “Unleashing the Warrior Within” revealed seven keys to minimizing lag time.
- Limit Your Responses.
- Simple techniques are faster techniques.
- Practice your techniques.
- Make your actions natural, smooth and efficient.
- You can react later with a fast, simple technique, than earlier with a slow, complicated technique.
- Anticipate correctly and gain a little, anticipate incorrectly and lose a lot.
- All reaction time is shortened with advance information.
At the moment you observe danger, if you can overcome the startle reflex, you will also experience a chemical dump known as Body Alarm Reaction. This is adrenaline and other chemicals dumping into your system all at once preparing (hopefully) for flight or fight. This chemical dump will result in physical and psychological manifestations, such as general muscle tightening, loss of digital dexterity, tunnel vision, auditory exclusion and unreliable mental track. Critical decision making ability will be impaired as well as time/space distortions. Because your ability to respond will be impaired, your motor skill performance will also be impaired. Fine motor skills, things that are performed by small muscle groups such as the hands or fingers will suffer. Your body will revert to what is known as gross motor skills, things which involve the action of large muscle groups. Bulk strength, like a punch or a kick will take precedence over fine dexterity moves such as a pressure point (technique).
“If there is a single trait most characteristic of classical masters it’s the ability to enter “mind-no-mind.” This mental state is the principle source of a warrior’s quick reactions extrasensory perception, and steely calm.” “Although the effects seem mystical, mind-no-mind is actually a very simple concept – just don’t think.” “Thinking interferes with fighting. Crazy as it seems, thinking gets in the way.” - “Living the Martial Way” by Maj. Forrest Morgan
“Don’t think, feel!” – Bruce Lee
“What enables the wise sovereign and the good general to strike and conquer, and achieve things beyond the reach of ordinary men, is foreknowledge.” – “The Art of War” by Sun Tzu
“Consciously practice sensing who is around you. Learn to pick up telltale sounds, smells and even feelings that tell you someone is around the corner, behind you or any other place where you can’t see him (don’t forget above and below). - “Living the Martial Way” by Maj. Forrest Morgan
“The wise man, after learning something new, is afraid to learn anything more until he has put his first lesson into practice.” – Tzu Lu
“The final weapon is the brain, all else is supplemental.” John Steinbeck