Visit for more Martial Arts content and connect with fellow Martial Artists

Monday, May 25, 2009

Does Size Matters in Self Defense?

From: Ultimate Defense System

david vs goliath 300x196 Does Size Matter When It Comes To Self Defense?

As a self defense instructor, one of the most common things I hear is “I just don’t think I’m strong enough to defend myself!”

Usually, it’s a small female, sub 100 lb’s telling me that she just doesn’t feel that she can defend herself against a large man attacking her.

And the cold truth is…she’s absolutely right…but there’s a catch!

Follow me here…

It’s not that she’s too small or too weak to defend herself.

Not at all.

It’s just that by ceonventional thinking, she simply doesn’t stand a chance.

Let’s build a character here.

We’ll call her Jenny. Jenny wanted to learn to defend herself, so she went with the “latest” fighting styles that are all the rage.

She learned some western boxing for quick hands, she learned some muay thai for deadly kicks, and finally she finished it up with a year of BJJ for some solid ground game.

So now we’ve got Jenny, our tough little MMA fighter.

But guess what, she’s still gonna lose that fight. EVERYTIME.

But it’s not because Jenny is too weak, or too small.

What it really comes down to, is the fact that she’s training to fight the opponent physically. She’s training to punch harder, kick faster, etc…

But no matter how hard she can punch, how fast she can kick, or whatever, their will always be someone stronger.

So what is Jenny to do? Is her self defense journey pointless?

Not even close my friend…

Instead, Jenny must throw away traditional “Physical” fight mentality and learn what I call “Psychological” fighting skills.

So instead of that front hand jab, we use an eye flick, which can disrupt an opponents vision and temporarily blind them.

Instead of a hook punch, you use an ear slap, which blows the opponents equilibrium and gives you valuable time.

By using attacks that not only do PHYSICAL damage, but has PSYCHOLOGICAL damage, such as scrambling the opponents brain and temporarily blinding them, you can BYPASS the physical.

And the best part is that you don’t have to go practice for 10 years in a dojo.

Theres no fancy head kicks, no crazy joint locks.

Real self defense is about the simplest and dirtiest moves you can use.

So next time your practicing up on your self defense moves, take a step back and look at what your doing.

Ask yourself, would this work on a man 120 lbs larger than me? (Yes, this rules out 90% of wrist locks)

Then ask yourself if you feel you could pull it off in a stressful situation where words and hormones are flying.

If it fails either of these tests then chances are it’s not the most effective self defense technique you could be practicing.

You don’t have to be in great shape to defend yourself, but you do have to have a smart approach.

Otherwise…well…there’s always someone out there who’s just a bit faster, a bit stronger.

~武德为首, Martial Art Morality comes first

1 comment:

  1. While I totally agree with your article, I think this also shows the differences in the martial arts you can use. While I was learning Akido I was amazed in one of my first lessons to see a very small (but athletic) lady throwing enormous rugby players around the dojo. It had nothing to do with physical size or strength or weight, it was pure technique.

    The lady had perfected her Akido movement and throws and (as the martial art tells us) was using her opponent's weight and strength to throw them off-guard and disable their attacks.

    Sometimes a simple punch / kick is what's needed, other times you need to use dirty tactics to get out of a fight, and finally, there is no substitute for perfect technique. A good martial artist will be able to evaluate the situation and use whatever is in their arsenal to remove themselves from danger as quickly as possible.