By Phill Zdybel
30 years of training in the martials arts as well as self-defence, now
at this stage based on what I have seen in the gym, dojang (training
Hall) and on the street.
understand that I am not ridiculing that which is of traditional value,
but in fact I am a strong believer in the benefits and merits of this as
I still teach it. It builds character and conditions the body and mind.
It helps improve self-confidence and discipline. It is vital in
developing realistic self-defence skills but only with knowledge of
criminal psychology and behavioural attitudes
belief is most of what is being taught in schools that are of
traditional values is only 5% effective in the street. But with further
psyche understanding and mental processing what we do then can be very
effective. I just wish for you all to understand what is and what is
it does not do for the most part and I believe that there are no
exceptions is teach effective and realistic self-defence. What it does
do is improve stamina, strength, flexibility, and coordination and motor
old saying that power is knowledge is true but then again incorrect
knowledge is not only not power but is very dangerous. Someone who can
think they can really defend themselves but cannot can get into a lot of
trouble. Please I ask you all to be the best that you can on both, but
please differentiate between what is the sporting element and what is
realistic. This is a case of to have confidence is fantastic
“knowledge that is true”, but to be over confident can be dangerous
“to believe you know more than you do”.
self-defence is basic in all elements from stand up, to the ground and
should be simple and effective to use. As Late though what should be added is that fear can
be one of greatest allies that you have, if used correctly. As we are
all born with the ability to protect ourselves and the ones that we
love? It is in all of us. Even though we all have different natures,
some soft some hard.
When confronted with a situation that scares or worries
us our fear takes over and if used in the right way can be our greatest
asset. But on the other side if it causes us to freeze up or panics us
it can be the greatest enemies.
Therefore if you can control and enhance your fear in
the right way. You’re Martial Art with strike for you at the right
moment and time, in the right way, with full control. Just let nature
takes it course.
induced adrenaline can be a great ally if used in the right manner, yet
at the same time it can be our worst enemy. A natural effect of
adrenaline on the mind and body is the natural result of fear induced
aggression. It cannot be stopped, but it can be focused and used if you
remain centred and balanced.
taking this adrenaline rush into account, effective street self-defence
cannot be accomplished. To be effective each technique must be simple
direct and not require fine motor coordination.
the techniques should build one upon another so that the minimum numbers
of total techniques “regardless of the type of attack” need to be
learned and practiced.
only a very small number of martial arts Instructors have ever really
felt the tremendous effect of a full adrenaline dump while trying to
execute techniques. Now this can happen slightly to in a
competitive/sports environment to where other thoughts and phobias enter
the mind, even to the slightest e.g. If I fail to win what will everyone
I have come to realise is this fear is very powerful and adrenaline as
server effects on us both mentally and physically.
is doubtful if most could remember more than a handful of techniques
under duress due to the loss of cognitive thinking. Hence our fine motor
coordination is minimised and only cross motor skills are left.
of the techniques taught require pinpoint target and joint manipulation
and this is probably not going to happen under a strong adrenaline rush.
We lose peripheral vision, sometime feel weak in the knees or develop
body shakes. Breathing becomes short and rapid. Then if the heart beat
becomes rapid enough we can become totally frozen in fear.
time is then shortened and most people will not be able to recall more
than 4 or 5 effective self-defence techniques. So you may say then that
it is only practical to become proficient in a couple of techniques. In
hindsight, not if you wish to become a black belt and a true martial
artist. Continued and ongoing practice is the only solution for highly
developed skills, physically and mentally.
Instructors have not experienced this as they have never had to practice
their techniques under duress. I have no shame in saying that I have and
that I am always learning and then fine tuning the verbal and physical
defences. Best bet always try to remain relaxed and calm. That means
Facts to Consider When Threatened.
Celebrations, Christmas, New Year and Easter and the like.
Should be with all intent that of, A merry Christmas
and happy New Year. That of festive occasions, birthdays, weddings,
anniversary's etc. But sometimes all the joy and goodwill through the
over consumption of alcohol, drugs and the like takes charge, changes
people and brings out the worse. Often then the darker nature that
exists within all of us changes our behavior. Or those that are already
of this nature and criminally minded use this time of year as excuses
for their behavior, no matter how unacceptable.
So let’s all have a merry Christmas and a happy new
year, but let’s consider our own behavior and be aware of that of
those that are around us.
Facts to consider when in a threatening situation that is mild to severe
Pre emptive preparation and Situation Analysis.
Levels of alertness (pre emptive awareness)
1) Level 1 (Green)
That you are aware
of the state of your surroundings and are relaxed. All is OK.
This is a relaxed state of mind, hence the
appearance may be that of not being aware of surroundings and
occurrences, but that of the mind is placed elsewhere. Although
appearance may appear as such, consciously or subconsciously we are
always quite aware and able to shift up to the next level.
2) Level 2 (Amber)
That something is
wrong and your awareness levels are heightened.
In this state senses are
aroused and an upright posture should be formed. Posture should be
non-threatening and relaxed. Verbal communication should be affirmative
with a tone of full confidence.
3) Level 3 (Red)
Full alert and
ready for possible conflict
Posture should be upright, hands in front
lowered or folded across the front of the chest and in both cases ready
to be raised in front of oneself in a defensive action. On foot should
be place slightly behind the other, but in a non-aggressive posture.
Verbal communication again should be affirmative with a tone of full
confidence. Your, No or Yes in response should be firm and clear and
sarcasm, sarcastic and derogative remarks should not be made has they
may only escalate the situation further. Our object is to diffuse and
negate the situation.
1) Adrenaline Fear
This is something that occurs
in us all when fronted with a situation that sends us into a state of
panic and other phobias enter our mind. I have no shame in saying that
this has occurred within me at competition level and in real situations.
Looking at a competitive level the phobias may be something like the
‘what if I lose, what will everyone else think?’ enters into the
mind, this combined with the adrenaline and excitement of competing
stimulates the adrenaline fear.
The levels and degrees of
adrenaline fear that occur will vary from situation to situation. The
various time frames, from momentary pauses to extended noticeable
periods of freezing all depending on numerous factors such as the pre
state of mind at the time or the state of mind that was induced by the
situation that is confronting us. Generally speaking we all have an
adrenaline rush through the body and when combined with the fear factor
can causes momentary freezing. As hard as it may be it is always best to
try and remain calm and relaxed and by doing so this adrenaline fear can
be harnessed as well as used to ones advantage as an ally and asset
rather than a disadvantage and an enemy.
2) Motor control
More often than not in any given
situation mild to severe we will lose some loss of our motor skills,
again the degree and level of loss will vary depending on numerous
factors independently or combined which may include our heath, mental as
well as physical state, current skill level, training or non training
and as such all practical skills learned may be of no
As such is the case, all means
that are ready available to us may be used, from eye gouging, scratching
clawing, hand bags, car keys and groin strikes all depending on the
severity of the situation at hand. Remember that the law is going to
require substantiation of being in fear of one’s own self-preservation
and that you only used what would be deemed the necessary proportionate
and appropriate amount of force used to protect oneself against harm.
This is known as the force continuum.
a) Power Control
What could be referred to as a
power control factor or as I would term them power trippers (bully's),
those whom are criminally minded whom get high on the feeling that they
have power over others by means of fear and intimidation. In this case
to fight back may only enhance the assailant’s intent, which is to say
to scratch or gouge at the assailant may only increase the desire and
the amount of force they use. I am not saying not to do anything as this
may only place you in more danger. The analysis is on you to weigh up
the consequences of not fighting back, but if you do fight back you must
be prepared that you may get injured in the process. The decision is
yours, but do you just stand there and let someone hit you over the head
with a baseball bat and do nothing, get knocked unconscious and have
your skull broken or do you raise your arm in defence and block it which
may result in a broken arm, but which is worse.
to fight back makes sense. What often should be remembered, is more
often than not those on a power trip are the first to run to authorities
Whatever form of abuse they use to intimidate, be it verbal mental or
physical. If you retaliate in kind they will be the first to run to
authoritarian figures and turn the tide on you. This is part of their
continuing power trip. The control factor that they get a high from.
Making them feel superior and having control over you. By doing this
again and again they make you appear to be the aggressor.
b) Erratic state of
mind and drug dependency
This is a major problem that
may ascertain a quick evaluation. Believe me when I say that someone
whom is on a drug induced high is very hard to stop. We can never
totally be sure but in some instances we can psychologically evaluate a
person’s behavior and underlying cause. As at level 3 (red), verbal
communication should be affirmative with a tone of full confidence.
Your, No or Yes in response should be firm and clear and sarcasm,
sarcastic and derogative remarks should not be made has they may only
escalate the situation further.
Just remember a criminal is not going to fight fair and
clean, but use all means available to them and any arsenal that may be
available to achieve their desired result. Remember that these same
assets are available to you, but also remember the law and the force
Self Defence Course
Are they good or bad, good question personally yes and
no. That is to say, knowledge is power, but also that false knowledge is
dangerous installing a false sense of confidence. Now there is nothing
wrong with installing confidence in people and I am sure a correctly run
course can do that, but an exercise must be performed on knowing the
limitations of these courses. To do one and come away from it exhilarant
and blustering with confidence is all good, but when the knowledge
learnt is put to the test and fails. Do we cram back into our shells and
hide, or ridicule the instructor and art that was taught to you?
Question is you could win a world championship today,
but four weeks into the future if you were to compete in that event
without proper training would you win again. I think not.
So realistically are they of any benefit other than to
the instructor to make money? “No”. What is important to note if we
take into account the fear in adrenaline factor, motor control,
practical skills verse realism and a situation analysis what we would
find here statically is that 95% of practicing instructor have never put
their skills to the test in a real situation and have absolutely no idea
if there techniques are effective and would work or not. I assure you
that I have no wish for them to find out as most of us would train so we
don’t have to fight. But on the same mine, have been tested, I like to
say I wish they had not, but the fact is they have. So I assure you that
motor control and fear in adrenaline along with all other factors listed
play vitally in the defence and preservation of oneself.
What is beneficial
though is continuous ongoing training; now this does not have to be to
world championship level but continuous to obtain a level and maintain
that level and there are many different
Levels of training and participation within the martial
arts from recreation and social, through to regional state national and
international level. The level that you aspire to is up to you, but your
training and practice of what you do must be continuous and consistent
to maintain your ability to your desired level of capabilities that you
wish to achieve.
It’s all up to you the individual on what form of
training you wish to undertake “if any” to achieve your desired
defencive level. Just being aware, having levels of alertness and
knowledge of situations can be sufficient.
But please within this knowledge do not be overzealous
with that gained and paranoid about each individual, suspect or their
intent. Sometimes it’s just our communication channels that are
crossed. That is to say “We all speak English, but not all of us the
same language. As in, are we on AM or FM modulation.”
advice on all this is unless there is actually a case of physical harm,
then you do not get physical, if they are verbal then be verbal
accordingly. Sledge back.
is a term mainly used in cricket but here we use it to describe the
practice whereby being by insulting or verbally intimidating someone
seeks to gain an advantage over you. The purpose is to try to weaken
your concentration; thereby causing you make mistakes or under perform,
become nervous, anxious and to feel fear. Thus giving the power tripper
(bully) a feeling of superiority and making them feel that they are
better than you. Enhancing their power trip. The insults may be direct
or indirect in conversations designed to be overheard.
up to you to decide whether it is a power trip or good-humoured banter.
Sledging is often mistaken for abuse, and whilst comments aimed as
sledges do sometimes cross the line into personal abuse, this is not
usually the case. Sledging is usually simply an often humorous,
sometimes insulting attempt at distraction.
You must decide. So sledge back. It’s a practice of mental
disintegration and if it is a mental process then by being verbal about
how that is affecting you know what action you will have to take by
behaviour. If it is becoming more aggressive and violent in nature, then
take action accordingly.
Please examine the follow diagram and think
about the following.