When it comes to effective street self defense the element of surprise cannot be overlooked. In terms of importance, having that element of surprise probably ranks higher than ninety percent of your techniques.
If you only knew how to throw one single punch and nothing else,
you would still be successful in a live situation if you combined that one punch with the element of surprise.
The fact is, if you are faced by an attacker and he is ready for you or attacks you first, then you are going to find it extremely difficult, no matter how skilled a fighter you are, to then manage the situation so you come out of it uninjured and hopefully still alive.
Once you get caught up in fighting, anything can happen and anything usually does happen. These situations have a nasty way of spiralling out of control.
Utilising the element of surprise however, keeps the ball firmly in your court and stops the situation from getting out of hand and potentially ending badly.
Basically, there are two main advantages for using the element of surprise in a street self defense scenario.
The first advantage is that it allows you to keep control of a situation and affords you a means of escape were none would be possible if you were engaged in fighting with an attacker.
If someone approaches you in the street and starts to get aggressive and in your face the first thing you should do is put up your fence, placing your hands out in front of you to maintain a gap between you and your opponent. This allows you some control over things and makes it harder for an aggressor to attack you because they know they have to get past your fence first.
Every situation is different but most violent confrontations go through the same pre-fight rituals, with lots of aggressive dialogue and posturing.
Sometimes, it is possible to talk down an opponent or physic them out using aggressive posturing and dialogue of your own, but other times an aggressor will keep on coming, trying to break down your fence to get near you enough to launch an attack.
If you are pretty sure you are going to be attacked despite your best efforts at dissuasion, then it's time to act. Why wait around for the inevitable to happen? Things will only get worse if you do that.
It's time to utilise the element of surprise and put in a good pre-emptive strike.
By hitting an opponent before they hit you, you are giving yourself a chance at escape. A good punch to your opponents jaw should be enough to knock him down and at least stun him enough so that you can run off in the opposite direction, away from any further trouble.
If escape is not possible then you have at least weakened your attacker and you are now in a position to put in a few more strikes to finish him off, though this is not recommended if escape is possible.
Always run if you get the chance because you never know when his friends will turn up or even how good a fighter he may turn out to be.
There are just too many variables to consider in such situations, which is why you should take yourself out of it as soon as.
The other advantage to the surprise attack is the added power it gives to your strikes.
If you punch someone when they are expecting it they will automatically tense up so they can absorb the impact and carry on fighting. Hitting someone when they least expect it however, is a different matter.
Punching someone in the jaw out of nowhere will most likely floor them straight away, if not from the impact then certainly from the shock of the unexpected attack. In this way, even a small person could floor someone twice their size.
The element of surprise is one the most effective tactics to use in a street self defense situation and used properly, it can really help you curtail most fights before they even start.
Don't wait around for an attacker to hurt you. Turn the tables and give it to them first.
Stand up for yourself, for no one else will.
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