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#98142 - 07/08/04 10:49 AM Self Defense Concepts

I'd like to start a thread somewhat different. While I'm an avid martial artist with training in Aikido, Kempo and Tae Knon Do, I've also done some research on modern self defense systems. I've looked at what various "intellects, experts, hoodlums, and LEO's" have to say on the subject. I've read inteviews of victems, both those that survived without injury and those that didn't. I've looked at common threads and the way out there stuff. After many discussion with other individuals, and a few personal experinces I've come to a few conclusions about self defense. I'm 47 years old so while I don't claim to be an expert, I do claim some life experince and a little common sense.

First off, I've found that way too many people look at self defense as winning a fight, beating up the other guy. I feel this is a poor criteria. The main goal in self defense is survival. You want to be able to get up and go to work or school the next day. That's success, or winning.

Next I feel that there is scant mention of awareness and avoidence. This is not cowardace, this is simply smart. It certainly is not possible to avoid all would be troublemakers all the time. But if work at it just a little, you can avoid them most of the time. Being oblivious of your surroundings is another good way end up in a bad sitiation. While this seems like normal everyday common sense you might be surprised at the number of people who have no thought for thier own security as they go through thier daily routines.

Few people have a plan. Few people have predetermined that they are willing to do grave injury to another human being with explosive violence when they need to.

According to the Justice Department stats, here is a breakdown of reported assutled victems:

No resistance at all, complied with attacker: 25%
Non-violent resistance, tried to get away: 45%
Resisted with a weapon other than a gun: 40%
Resisted with a gun: 6%
Notice that a significant percentage of those that resist or simply try to get away get hurt. I think that is simply because they were unwilling/untrained on how to do enough damage so that they could escape. Just ask yourself if you are willing to take a pen and shove it two or three inches into the eye of another human being. If the answer is "no" then complince with an assailant will lessen your chances of being injured.

There is much more to the subject but I thought I'd start with this and see what kind of replies I get. I've been interested in martial arts all my life but I've come to belive that they are not the ultimate, end all to the issue of personal security. Self defense, in a manner that will assure your survival and will not send you to jail, has some very simply principles but the execution of those principles can get complex. This is a facinating topic for me and I'm always interested in other people experince and perspective.

#98143 - 07/08/04 12:07 PM Re: Self Defense Concepts
still wadowoman Offline
Improved beefier techno-prat

Registered: 04/10/04
Posts: 3420
Loc: Residence:UK- Heart:Md, USA
Hi Two Gun and welcome to these forums.

What a great first post!

I totally agree that self defence is not about winning a fight but about escaping unharmed (or relatively unharmed) and have said so often here.

I also agree about the awareness/avoidance issue. I feel it is a major component of effective self defence training.

You asked "Just ask yourself if you are willing to take a pen and shove it two or three inches into the eye of another human being." My answer would be absolutely yes, but only if I felt my life (or another's) was in peril. As a woman whose attacker, statistically speaking, is most likely to be a man, anything I do in self defence HAS to be immediate and violent to enable escape.

As this is an area of interest to you, I recommend you browse the other threads in this section. Be warned though, this forum has it's fair share of crackpots but there is a lot of useful information and ideas on this site. I'll leave you to judge which are which [IMG][/IMG]

Welcome again

#98144 - 07/08/04 02:33 PM Re: Self Defense Concepts
judderman Offline

Registered: 08/06/01
Posts: 1400
Loc: UK
I'd like to echo what Sharon has said, it is refreshing to see that someone has at least begun to research this complex topic before posting. You are indeed welcome TwoGun.

Those are interesting statistics that you state, although it does not indicate the seriousness of the injury and within what circumstance the injury was sustained. In certain crimes compliance is usually a good option, especially robbery, other violent offences such as rape etc I'm not entirely convinced it is the best course of action. On the other hand, if what you are saying is if you don't know how to fight back, then don't, then I can begin to see some logic.

Situational awareness and avoidance is a paramount lesson and undertaking. This is why many self defence experts often refer to it as "self protection". Geoff Thompson and Peter Consterdine are two that would immeadiately spring to mind. There are, of course, countless others. This all then adds to the idea of "surviving" an attack, I personally prefer the term "escape", rather than battering someone in order to win.

I'm looking forward to more of your posts.

#98145 - 07/08/04 04:36 PM Re: Self Defense Concepts

Well thank you both for the warm welcome! While I don't have any desire to belittle anyone or any paticilar style, I do hope to challenge some conventional or traditional thinking about personal security.

I do wish that the stats I posted were somewhat more detailed but they are simply a summary of the 2001 stats from the Justice Departments Uniform crime report. I've not chased down anything more recent however.

I work at a small hospital in the midwest that has about 450 employees and about 90% of them are female. I've done a self defense class here for employees for the last few years and that has helped me gain some insight to the female perspective on the subject. I've come to strongly believe that there are major differences in how men and women should approach personal security these days. While there is a lot of overlap, there are substantial differences in the mindset and in the situations that men and women will find themselves in.

I always give them an assignment in thier class. They are to pretend that they are the mugger and I want them to find places where THEY would look for and attack a victim. It must be a place where they will have all the advantages and will not get likely get caught. This is a great exercise for anybody wanting to practice avoidence. Most of the participants voice a bit of surprise when they have been doing this for a week as they never really had thought about it from that angle.

My classes are generally an hour and a half long, twice a week for three weeks. During that time, if I can change thier perspective on personal security, if I can help them achieve proper mindset, and if I can get them to decide ahead of time that they are committed to not being a victim and having a plan, then I feel that I have been successful. While I also try to teach concepts more than techniques, I feel pretty limited with my time frame.

I've seen so called self defense classes where they go for six to eight hours in a single day and by the end of the session they are teaching knife defense. I belive that is a disservice to have anyone believe that they can be effective against a knife with an hour of training on the subject and so I concentrate on avoidence, awareness, and mindset.

There are numerous tools that anyone who is serious about personal security should have. They start with avoidenc and awareness and go all the way up through leathal force. You have to pick the proper tool for the job. If somebody calls you a name and shoves you, pulling out your trusty .45 is not the correct solution. On the other hand, if you are confronted by someone who is leathally armed or by a a number of potential attackers, then leathal force may be the proper reaction.

These days you have to be on very firm ground in the legal sense to use lethal force, but 36 states now have "shall issue" concealed carry laws and there are more people than ever who are carring a gun for personal defense. This is not for everybody but if you choose to legally carry, then you have additional responsibilities place upon you. Not the least of which is competent fireamrs training and having a firm understanding of local laws.

The states that have enacted these laws average a 24% lower violent crime rate than the states that don't have "shall issue". While I'm sure that there are other factors, armed law abiding citizens would appear to have a positive affect on detering crime.

I just bring that up because it adds another element, another piece to the puzzle so to speak. And as I said, I'm always interested in legetimate data concerning personal security.

#98146 - 07/08/04 07:19 PM Re: Self Defense Concepts
Raven Offline

Registered: 04/13/03
Posts: 549
Loc: Sin City
Good first two posts twogun, and welcome to the forum. While it may seem that this has no relevancy here, it does, just VERY little:

Another factor that must be looked down into murder rates is the treatment. In other words, sometimes the reasons murder rates go down is the fact that hospitals/trauma centers may have gotten better at reaching victims, treating them and saving their lives, thus less people die while the crime rates actually have stayed the same.

Using this information, it is VERY easy to give misleading statements that in all technicalities(spelling?)IS true.

Sure murder rates have gone down mr.mayor, but what about the crime rates? Assualt, Vandalism etc. have gone up.

See what I mean? All I'm saying this is for two reasons, 1) to show how easily one can say statements that give a false sense of security, 2) to show that one must always look deeper into things and read between the lines.

So hope this helps some of you in the future.
Again welcome to the forum TwoGun [IMG][/IMG]


#98147 - 07/08/04 10:05 PM Re: Self Defense Concepts

Thanks Raven. You make a good point. In fact, several years ago the Justice Department commissioned to by done by Harvard I believe. The study was to determine the end results if you could suddenly wave a magic wand and make all handguns disappear.

Well the first thing they determined is that the survival rate of handgun assults was almost 80%, only slighly lower than it for assualt with edged weapons and ice picks. So what they determined is that if all the handguns dissapeared, you would have a drop in assualts, but the homicide rate would go up. That's because a determined killer would simply saw off the barrels of rifles and shotguns and the stocks and attack with them. They would also use vehicles, bombs and other potent weapons a lot more and you simply wouldn't survive those.

This was about nine or ten years ago when the study was done. While medical treatment has continued to improve, so had the technology for making bullets has also improved greatly so at this point I don't know how you compare the survival rate these days.

But there is no doubt that survival rate of attack victims has increased. But also be aware that according to Proffesor Gary Kleck, criminanolgist at the University of Florida at Miami, law abiding citizens use firearms to stop a crime about 2.5 million times a years. He started his research many years ago expecting to come up with a conclusive report showing that gun contol equated to crime control. However after years of in depth research he had no choice but conclude that guns in the hands of law abiding citizens lowers crime.

His two books are really boring reading however but the final findings have never been refuted by event the most ardent anti-gun activist.

Also note, that I didn't say that shall issue stated had lower homicide rates, I said they have lower violent crime rates which would include those failed attemtps at homicide.

#98148 - 07/09/04 11:35 AM Re: Self Defense Concepts
the504mikey Offline

Registered: 06/19/03
Posts: 790
Loc: Louisiana, United States
You make some excellent points, TwoGun.

The cold hard truth is that by the time a criminal is selecting a victim for his crime, he has already chosen a location where he feels he can finish his business before the police (or other help) arrive. The very last thing the criminal has to decide is what his chances are going one on one with his chosen victim. In shall issue states, the potential for his victim to be armed is one more HUGE variable.

Criminals behind bars routinely admit in interviews to being much more afraid of the "victims" than police, particularly when it comes to things like breaking into houses.

At any rate, welcome to the forum. I look forward to hearing more of your thoughts.


#98149 - 07/09/04 01:47 PM Re: Self Defense Concepts

Thanks Mikey. While I don't mean to push a firearms issue, for many folks it is a viable and useful tool to have in your toolbox of self defense tricks. But a lot folks make the unfortunate mistake of thinking a firearm is the only thing they need. H2H, blunt, edged and chemical weapons all have a place and a serious student of personal protection should study the entire package.

In truth, violence only occures in a small percentage of altercations. The ability to de-escilate a situation by using key phrases and body language is a skill that will serve you far more often and usually better. But that doesn't allow you to slack off on your other training!

Some time ago the Justice Department put out a very interisting but simple statement. They said that 72% of all violent crime is committed by 6% of the criminals. So where is the lock and key?

[This message has been edited by TwoGun (edited 07-09-2004).]

#98150 - 07/09/04 04:23 PM Re: Self Defense Concepts
the504mikey Offline

Registered: 06/19/03
Posts: 790
Loc: Louisiana, United States
I agree that firearm ownership comes with a large supporting cast of skills and responsibilities. Unfortunately, most people who carry give precious little consideration (much less actual training) to how they would present that weapon under duress. Drawing and firing while someone is in the process of trying to cave in your skull at close range is problematic, and most people's concealed carry setup does not do much to help.

As for where the lock and key are, I think they are securely fastened to the cell doors of non-violent drug offenders thanks to tough mandatory sentencing "guidelines". Something is upside down when the murderers, rapists, and armed robbers are being parolled to make room for the latest "Conspiracy to purchase marijuana" bust. Don't misread that as in any way condoning drug abuse, I just think that we need to take a more holistic view of the prison space vs. crime landscape problem.


#98151 - 07/09/04 04:51 PM Re: Self Defense Concepts
Raven Offline

Registered: 04/13/03
Posts: 549
Loc: Sin City
About the firearm the Martial Arts Talk forum there was a thread started by Jkogas on wether or not to use guns for self defense, anyways a lot of good information was posted.

I too posted some info on that thread, such as the bias the media has against guns, I won't get into that since Firearm control isn't the issue here, but to back you up on your statement, researchers found that guns are used 3-4 times more in defensive purposes than they are used in assualt.

I'm glad that finally someone who KNOWS their stuff has joined the forum, Twogun, you will find that on these forums a lot of mindless morons/wanna-be's on are the site, I seriously mean it, its a refreshing taste to have you along. Thanks twogun [IMG][/IMG]

P.S. Keep on this site for awhile and you'll why I'm happy smart people are coming.

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