One of the basic skills when you're learning the science of self-defense, is the ability to defend against incoming strikes. In fact, in the 5 phases that an attack and defense scenario progresses through, this ability to neutralize the effect of the attack he's throwing at you takes place in phase 2. When we think about defending or neutralizing the force of his attack, many options are available. This article focuses on the option of evasion.
If you were to take a close look at several different martial arts or self defense systems, you would find just as many different ideas about what to do when an opponent is attacking with a punch. This is partly the reason that everyone is so focused on "style" and which one is best.
There are generally 4 different options for evading or dealing with a punch. In a defensive situation, you could:
1) Hold your ground and use "ducking" or covering actions which cause the punch to miss its mark while leaving you in a position to crush the assailant's attack.
2) Use long-range, defensive footwork which pulls you back and away from the attack at a safe angle - bladed and covered just outside his reach. This makes it very difficult for him to reach you easily without doing extra work.
3) Move directly forward into the safe space that is created by his strike. This committed action takes the fight to him while he is busy missing with his own punch.
4) Employ light, evasive, shifts of the body to slip his punch, while simultaneously flanking him. In one movement, you simultaneously avoid his attack, disrupt his initial strategy, and trap him in a position where he can't get at you because of your relative position to him.
Again, if you were to compare the different conventional approaches to self defense, as-well-as the more well-known and conventional martial arts, you would find that each favors one of the above strategies over all others. You would find that:
- Self-defense classes tend to be stand-in-one-place-and-apply-the-technique-with-strength strategy.
- Jujitsu and some styles of karate use the defensive back-peddling and counter approach.
- Tae Kwon Do, other forms of karate, and the "Adrenal Response-based" self defense systems use the "get-em now!" Approach. And...
- Aikido leans toward the evasive turns and trapping techniques.
There is a system that uses all of these strategies to give you a complete set of tools. This system is called EDR, or Emotion-based Defensive Response. EDR's basis is in the fact that your body and mind are driven by the emotional responses you have to different situations. And, by recognizing the validity of each of these responses, and training to be able to take advantage of each, you end up with many more options than you would get from the conventional approaches.
Effective self defense requires more than just a few "karate moves." It involves the ability to think strategically, and understand how to defend yourself with as little wear-and-tear on you as possible.
For more information on what you MUST know to survive a real street attack, read my newest
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Jeffrey M. Miller is an internationally-known self defense expert. Each month he teaches literally thousands of students through live seminars, corporate training events, and his in-demand Self Defense Success Secrets Home Study Courses, the lessons to be able to survive in Today's often dangerous world.