Over the past half century that I have been training I have observed what is taught in the typical traditional martial arts school when it comes to self defense. I realized a long time ago that most of it would never work on the street.
This became very clear to me about fifteen years ago when I had the opportunity to work with a few very special martial artists on something called Adrenaline Stress Response Training.
When faced with real aggression, our natural body reacts with what is termed an Adrenal Dump. Simply a large amount of adrenaline is pushed in the blood stream causing a series of affects. Some of these are good, but most bad.
Yes we get very strong, a good thing. You probably have heard of moms lifting the front of cars off of their child and other what seem to be super natural feats under enormous stress.
On the other hand we get tunnel vision, shakes, lose fine motor coordination and loss of cognitive ability. All not good when we need these facilities to defend ourselves.
What I learned was that for self defense to be effective, it needs to be simple and direct and that striking is more effective that grappling, joint locking, throws or pressure point techniques.
You might be wondering why?
Grappling is for the most part a sport. While some practitioners are excellent martial artist they normally do not focus on the self defense aspects of their training. Not using (nor even being concerned) with strikes to vital areas while on the ground. Also being on the ground is the worst place you can be if there are multiple opponents.
As far as joint locking arts are concerned I have found that they have varying effects on different people. This is mostly due to the fact that while our anatomies are the same, our physiologies are not. This is due mostly to the amount of flexibility one has in the tendons and ligaments in their joints. Some react violently to a wrist lock, for example, while other show no effect. Also, as we lose fine motor coordination under stress (due to adrenaline) our ability to apply these techniques becomes diminished.
The throwing arts (like Judo) are sport orientated. It takes a very high degree of skill to throw various size opponents. For example, I am a little under 6 feet tall with medium build. Throwing someone of similar build and size may be doable. But for me to throw someone who is 6 ft 4 in and 220 pounds could be a real challenge. It is very difficult to get proper leverage. How about someone who is 5 ft 7 in and 260 pounds? This is a whole different animal. BTW, I trained in a system back in the 60s that involved a lot of throwing, so I know what I am talking about.
As far as pressure point fighting, I just don't buy it. Proponents make some wild claims about quick (and in some case 'no-touch') knockouts. I have attended some of these seminars over the years and have found that some pressure points work well on some people and others have no effect at all. Not good odds.
Whereas a well placed strike to the groin, neck, throat or eyes can be effective on anyone, regardless of size or strength.
Basic Wrist Grabs
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