More thoughts on self-defense

In my post about the parent who advised her daughter, who was coming under imminent attack, just to stand there, I included a link to a Castra Praetoria post about the wisdom of self-defense:  you may get hurt, but you’ll be better off in the long run.

If you’re interested in more self-defense thoughts from a man who has devoted his life to defending his nation and to ensuring that the young men and women he trains can defend themselves as well as fight the enemy, you can read these posts too:

Self Defense Series

Self Defense Series II

Self Defense Series III

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  • 11B40

    Being the beneficiary of 13 years of formal Catholic education, I’ve pretty much always subscribed to the idea of “turning the other’s cheek”.

  • Ymarsakar

    1. Tim Larkin/Chris Ranck-Buhr/Torin Hill
    2. Dave Grossman
    3. Marc MacYoung
    4. Rory Miller
    In order of time sequence. Learning from farmers, I realized that killing animals takes a certain amount of will power. Even with the knowledge of the technique and movements, the will must be there. No will, and the power goes away. The eyes look away, power and accuracy drops to almost nothing. 
    So for me, early on I was taught and I internalized the concept, that it wasn’t “self defense” I was learning. I was merely learning how to kill humans. Whether that was a good or bad thing, was mostly up to me.

  • Simplemind

    Book –
    I actually took this advice of your about 2 years ago.  Read his blog. Then emailed him and asked  him for a recommendation. He’s a really nice guy and responded suggesting the best bet was a school that also included weapons training – he noted that his shooting actually improved during times he trained with hand weapons.  I was lucky to find a philipino martial arts teacher right around the corner from me. Started taking it and learned stick fighting, Knife defense, some spear work, dumog ground fighting, some silat. Then I took up shooting.  He moved to Cleveland recently. I was going to invite him to our dojo, but I have been busy with work and haven’t been to class in the last 5 months ugh.   So, I did follow your blog advice. THANKS.

  • Ymarsakar

    A martial artist should train at home or when doing anything else in life. Basically create their own training schedules based upon a short or long term goal. Only people who are new or too attached to a style, need babysitting.
    Martial art classes should be where people go to test the skills they already have against other humans.  It’s at home where they need to watch video lectures and memorize things. One of the reasons why martial arts take such a long time now to become barely competent compared to the past is the lack of experience (keiken) combined with only thinking about it during the hours of class, which is often times no more than 4-5 hours a week.
    Playing around with martial concepts and going over conceptual concepts and applications of techniques while doing things like waiting in line at the grocery store, is the mark that someone has optimized training to a daily degree. That person will reach the 10,000 man hour limit of mastery very quickly. If a person spends 1 hour going over and refining his martial arts knowledge and mistakes a day, that is around 365 hours a year. Which equates to 10% of mastery in 3 years, around 1000 man hours per 3 years. Few people practice martial arts like that for 30 years, however. What tends to happen is that as people find it more fun to play around with martial arts (not only in class), they increase the number of hours they use for martial art related subjects. 5 hours per week is almost indistinguishable from 7 hours per week, 1 hour a day. So it’s necessary to bump that up further, 2 hours a day. 3 hours a day. This can be done by splitting the time investment into quarters or 10s. In the car, waiting in line, walking around, climbing stairs, descending stairs, talking to people, looking behind you, generating attack and escape routes for your home/workplace. A few minutes here and there adds up over a day to an hour or two. An hour or two extra per day per year, adds up to a reduction in the time required to achieve mastery by 33%-66%. Now instead of 30 years, it might be 15 years. or it might be 7 years. Or it might be 3 years.
    The closer a person comes to figuring it out for themselves, the faster and more efficient the rate of progress. 
    Techniques don’t mean much though and time spent memorizing and perfecting technique doesn’t actually translate 100% to meeting the requirements for mastery of an art (an art is an act of creation, not copying a painting or memorizing test answers). Learning techniques first also falls under the issue of Hick’s Law, where the more options you have, the more delayed your reaction time becomes. Getting rid of technique memorization would tend to reduce the requirements significantly compared to the average modern martial artist student.