Forsman Self Defense BLOG

Reality Based Training - No Nonsense Self Defense

Myths About Self Defense Techniques

Who do you want to learn self defense from? Learn how to separate the differences between what is useful and what is definitely NOT.

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The first question most people ask me is: What style do you train in? Shotokan karate, Taekwondo, or what? The second question most often is: What color belt do you have?

When totally novice people ask me that, OK, they do not know any better. They are novices, they have seen too many movies and martial arts shows, etc. They of course have absolutely no idea what hand to hand combat is, or what is civilian self-defense - for the real world. 

Many people THINK they know, but they do not. Because they think that hand to hand combat is some form of martial art in a dojo, a sport. It is absolutely not!

Now, do not misunderstand me here. I have absolutely NOTHING against any martial art or sport. It is just that martial art has nothing to do with hand to hand combat, and civilian self-defense, which is what you require to save you in a real life ‘’situation.’’

Unfortunately, even so called self-defense instructors and others who claim they know this, and that, and have this and that experience, ask me the same questions - read above. I have even had police officers who teach other police officers self-defense, ask me questions like that.

When they ask questions like that and many other questions, well, then they are immediately telling me that they have no experience from real life, and do not know what they are talking about. Even though they often are trying to impress me with their stories, and how many self-defense tricks they have mastered.

The more cool tricks they can show me, the better they think they are. I have probably been shown 511 different cool tricks, just when it comes to someone grabbing someone's hair. Most of them are about manipulating the joints, or finding a pressure point. That does NOT work in real life.

Ask your friend to participate in some role play. Ask your friend to play the violent thug, you play the intended victim. Now, grab a hold of your friend and tell your friend to not cooperate at all, when you try to manipulate his joints. Tell your friend to really fight you on this. Did you manage to control him? Could your friend have used the other hand to stab you or punch you? Head-butted you? Kicked you?

This time, you tell your friend to go bananas on you, tell your friend to come at you with everything he has got. Tell him to just go for it like a crazy person, his arms and legs should rain down on you like drumsticks in a rock and roll drum solo. Now, grab a hold of one of his limbs and manipulate it, control him. 

Did it work? Did you end up with a bloody and broken nose or something?  Does it hurt? Do you need hospital care? 

Not like in the movies, eh?

And don´t get me started on pressure points .. but ok. Ask your friend again to do exactly the same thing - go bananas and totally crazy. This time, find a pressure point and control your friend. Did it work? What was the end result?

No, it does not make sense -  It is like you are on a small boat on the ocean, the waves are 10 metres high and you are trying to thread through the eye of a needle.  You get the picture? IT DOES NOT WORK IN REAL LIFE!

Now, imagine this happening in real life. It is dark, you are alone, you are not prepared, one never is. You cannot just ask for a time out.  Here, the violent thug, high on drugs comes along. He wants your money and to take your life, no witnesses. 

First thing I would do?  I will not let people into my personal space, so that they can grab a hold of me. As soon as they come into my personal space, I will knock them to the ground. Simple as that. 

And, should I for some reason end up with someone grabbing me, I will knock him to the ground and/or stick my thumb/finger into his eye/eyes.  And I mean all the way in. I will bite him like a pit bull in the face, neck and throat. I will tear off flesh. Get the picture? This is real life, not child’s play.

Let’s say you could control your attacker by manipulating his joints, or a pressure point. Then what? Here is a thug who wants to hurt you really badly. Maybe kill you, and first, he is also going to rape you.  He is high on drugs and completely crazy. Strong, as a gorilla. 

For how long can you hold him? What are you going to do now? Sing him a lullaby? You let him go now and he will for sure kill you. See the problems here?  This is happening really fast - no time to focus on manipulating a joint or do the pressure points. That is a fantasy, a movie.

My experience comes from the real world, all corners of the world. I have been pretty much everywhere. I know what the hell I am talking about.

I have seen people badly hurt/injured, in a conflict, but still they kept coming. That is the pressure you are under. How are you going to stop a determined attacker like that? He has a broken arm or leg, but yet he is coming for you. He has been cut/stabbed/shot, and he is still coming for you. What do you do? How do you stop him?  

Right now, what you need to ask yourself is: Does my self defense instructor know what he/she is talking about? Does he/she have any experience from real life? Has he/she been there in the dark somewhere, when very suddenly one or more people scream like mad and attack? People who mean business, people who really want to hurt or kill someone.

You want to train for fantasy/film, or for reality?

Who do you want to learn from?

Before I finish this text, just so that it is VERY clear and that there are no misunderstandings, I want you to know that what I have written, above, I am not talking about your nonviolent cousin, who just drank a little bit too much.  I am talking about life and death situations.

More, later. Stay with me.


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