NEVER ASSUME...

Modern Street Attack and Assumptions

Having read many articles on the process of a violent attack, it strikes me that many of the writers have probably never experienced any real street violence and their work is largely an assumption of what they 'presume' will or does occur.

This isn't to much of a problem until you realise that there are readers of their work who are basing their defensive strategy on the writer's 'assumptions'... Or, just as bad, the writer is teaching people to defend themselves based the same 'assumptions'. I am quick to add that people like Steve Morris, Jamie O'Keefe and street defence types like them have based their tuition on actualities and not assumptions. However, as traditional martial artists we tend to base of defence strategies on teachings of books like the 'Bubushi' which can be very misleading. For example, in text where it indicates that a blow to a certain part of the body at 3.00pm will have some type of terrible consequence... Is that 3.00pm EST, GMT or what time frame should it be based on? Chinese time? And what effect will it have if used on GMT...? Will it still kill? If I try to prove the theory I'll be convicted of murder if it works, and wouldn't risk trying it in case it does...

A minefield of problems occur when trying to use ancient fighting strategies in the modern world. Try to envisage a brawl outside a nightclub, where one attacker breaks a bottle in which to use it on the other, when the other attacker squares-up to the assailant with the broken bottle, using a stance from an old 'Victorian Queensbury Rules' type manual on dealing with ruffians... Who is your money on to win?

The idea that an attack is simply an attack has given many writers a green light to write the most outrageous statements on self-defence - some that would cause severe injury to the user, or would inflict 'actual bodily harm' on the attacker. Now, this will either cause you harm or gain you a criminal record, either is hardly a satisfactory outcome... Many attacks in bars, and the street happen very rapidly indeed. I have many friends who work 'door' at clubs and pubs and all will tell you that these attacks flare-up at very fast speeds and those dishing out the violence are not, idiots with no knowledge of what they are doing. Karate has been in the UK since 1957 (some martial arts earlier than that) and many have 'some' idea of how to punch, kick, throw, or apply a type of lock/hold (this includes females and teenage girls).

So, am I saying that the old traditions and hand-downs of the past are a waste of time? No, they are methods of training and principles to be used during a conflict. As well as guidelines for living a better life. However, using traditional martial art techniques in a modern street conflict requires the user to 'adapt' and 'translate' the wisdom of the past into the methodology of now - the street - and now to react responsibly with the skills we may have.

If attacked one must be mindful that if you inflict severe injury to your assailent, then you will be prosecuted under the law of the country you live in. You must 'defend' yourself but not at the expense of your attacker. You must defend yourself, but not by 'exactly' recreating the age-old movements you perform in your dojo. You must not only be flexible in your body, but also in your mind. You must adapt to the type of attack, and also the type of attacker... Never 'assume' or you will reflect on your assumption at your peril. No attacker will ever be a push-over - so NEVER think it...

As often as you can, go through various scenarios of attack with a friend and try to use as many different methods and ways as possible. Females reading this should also try to go through scenarios of domestic violence - albeit it is distasteful and may have no part in your current relationship - but you insure the house in case of fire, and the car in case of an accident - better you be prepared than caught by surprise. Decent men can become animals under the influence of alcohol, drugs, loss of their livelihood, etc... And they may turn to the aforementioned if losing a job or a loved one. NEVER assume...

If this note made 'one' person think about what techniques/methods they would use to defend themselves – then it was worth writing.