There are many in our industry who boast and claim hundreds of knockouts in street-fights, something I personally find difficult to believe for many reasons. Not that it isn't possible, sure, it could be possible to have knocked out hundreds of men in real violent confrontations, but probable? I think not and I will share with you why, make up your mind from there.
There was a story that made the news several years ago in Quebec, Canada where 2 fathers watching their pee wee children's hockey game got into a physical altercation. Upon this altercation, one dad sucker punched the other flush in the face knocking him out before he even hit the ground. And herein lied the problem... it wasn't so much the punch that killed him as it was his head bouncing off the concrete when he hit the floor. He couldn't reflexively brace himself because, well, he was knocked out on the way down by the punch.
The ripple effect of this altercation at a pee wee's hockey game no less, was 2 fatherless children, 2 husbandless wives,one of them a widow; and the other dad doing 5 to 15 for involuntary man-slaughter. Now let's think for a minute, how these 2 children will grow up. One will grow up with great sorrow and anger, the other with great sorrow and confusion. How will this effect their lives, their future children's lives etc?
Take a look at the following 2 clips. The first illustrates a sucker bitch slap which worked very well might I add (now besides the fact that the other dude has his hands down, we can obviously see the benefits of adopting the passive stance in such a situation, but that's another article. :`) But watch the other guy drop... no bracing. The potential for such a fall to lead to further problems accumulated to the original sucker punch could very possibly lead to several worst results such as a coma, brain damage, permanent disability, even death.
The second clip illustrates another sucker punch for differing reasons, but listen to what the victim of the crime has to say: "The first thing to hit the floor was the left side of my head." Depending on the terrain and the angle of the fall, the circumstances of such an action could lead to much more permanent damage.
2 key points:
1. Those who claim to have knocked out hundreds of people during street fights or violent altercations, especially those who primarily teach 'preemptive striking' at the first sign of aggression, what are the chances that at least 25, 20, hell, even 5 percent of those ended badly for the individual on the receiving end of such a blow? How is it possible that at least 5 or 10 percent of these hundreds of knock outs didn't end with someone being paraplegic, in a coma, with brain-damage or dead for that matter? And what about the law suits? It mathematically makes no sense.
2. When teaching such a defense, it is critical to also impart the ramifications of each tool and tactic taught to the student. Much like the popular throat strike with the blade of the hand. Would have been nice for someone to have told me after I was taught this tool, what actually happens to the other guy on the receiving end. It isn't pretty. The brother I hit, dropped to the ground, gurgled and foamed at the mouth. His eyes rolled back into his head and his hands lost all fine motor function. His throat was swelling right there in front of me and I was the one who kindly put him there.
I panicked and called 911. In minutes they were there and the paramedics basically took a scalpel of some sort and sliced a thin line down the center of his throat then jammed a straw in it. Yeah... pleasant...
Be careful you do not become what it is you are learning to defend against. Be careful not to take a life by accident, or even on purpose unless it means the loss of yours or/and others. Be careful not to kill an innocent man who maybe had a bad day at the office and fate put the two of you together over pee wee hockey game one Sunday morning. Be careful, as they say, when you dance with the Devil, the Devil doesn't change... you do...
Be responsible as an instructor and a student when practicing self defense. Be accountable for your actions, for yourself and for the ripple effect of your actions. Are you really training in self defense or are you training to maim, cripple and kill people at the first sign of aggression?
As human beings who are looking for peace, looking for better places to raise our children in, looking for good, healthy living, it is imperative as self defense instructors and practitioners alike to make certain that we do not become what it is we are trying to defend against. That we do not, by our very actions, actually sustain the circle of violence we are all supposedly trying to avoid… however, I can understand that if violence and general crime truly did reduce worldwide a significant amount, well then, we’d all be out of a job now wouldn’t we? Just sayin’… lol.
And so taking into consideration our own actions, that is being accountable for our part in this world, is in my opinion another critical facet of self protection. For example, someone verbally aggresses you, you decide he’s too aggressive and so you pre-empt right away taking the dude out. You step on his chest, raise your hands in victory and go have a beer with the boys… what happens next? What happens to the guy you just knocked the fuck out?
Most will say who cares? Fuck him, not my business, he shouldn’t have picked on me. Well, that guy might now go out, get drunk then go home and beat his wife and kids. He is going to end up raising 3 bullies or outcasts who are going to raise 2 of their own each… and the circle grows… and we end up with school shootings not just in the slums of America any longer, no, now we have them in Finland, Canada and Germany as well… and people think it’s out of the blue?
Every action has a reaction, every cause has an effect. Even thoughts can now be scientifically measured in energetic weight which can illustrate the true strength of thoughts alone… imagine intentions and actions? What are we putting out into the world? What are the ripple effects of our actions?
Resulting in a clear conscience, and maintaining our humanity in the process. Ensuring that we didn’t actually promote more violence with our actions. Our job as self defense instructors, teachers, coaches, whatever semantic suits you best, is not just to avoid violence and if need be defend against it, but to also do our best to out-birth it. To ensure it doesn’t evolve past our point in time, for ourselves or others. To be accountable for one’s ripple effects via their chosen actions.
We all play a part in this world… it definitely doesn’t revolve around any single person or group… it’s a collective effort and once people begin to realize this on a fundamental and pure level, we will be living in a better world, not a perfect world…. But definitely a better one.
Self defense begins with the self, first and foremost. We all heard the cliché “No one will ever hurt you more than yourself.” Well I fundamentally believe that to be true from personal experience. As ego is the primary motivational drive of all confrontations, Senshido began primarily addressing the individual’s own emotional state (fear, stress, anger, hatred, insecurity etc) as the springboard of self-defense. Anyone harbouring any or all of these ego based emotions, should be more concerned about the damage they are causing themselves and their loved ones, be it directly or indirectly, for it will always be worst than anything any “bad guy” or criminal will ever do to us. The simple understanding on a higher level of this concept alone is empowering enough to change one’s entire life for the better.
Hatred is weak. Someone once said that it is like an acid which only burns the container which harbours it. That is so true on so many levels. It is these types of emotions that will damage the quality of our lives a hundred times more than any stranger who might attack you one day. Now I’m not saying not to also prepare one’s self for the possibility depending on lifestyle etc. but to focus more on the truly important yet not as ‘cool’ aspects of personal protection, key word here being ‘personal’… it begins with us…
Food for thought... 'absorb what is useful...' ;`)