self defence techniques a matter of personal choice

When it comes to the world of self defence there is a multitude of techniques out there to learn.Go on to youtube and you will find literally millions of techniques.You will also find millions of instructors telling you that their system,style or techniques are the best.

So what are the best self defence techniques?Are there superior techniques to others?Are there the ultimate will work every time,100% guaranteed stuff?

If you listen to all these instructors you would think there was.We all as instructors obviously want to promote our ideas and want to sell them but do we honestly believe we have the sole monopoly on the best techniques for self defence?

In the long time i have studied and taught self defence my conclusion is that it is all a matter of personal choice.What one individual will dismiss as a useless technique in real world combat another will sing its praises.

Sure there are what i call high percentage techniques that have been proven in combat over and over.Usually these are simple gross motor skill moves that can be taught to a person in a short space of time.But i also know individuals who have used spinning back kicks,hip throws,head kicks and joint locks to great effect on the streets.For example tell the great Terry O'Neil that round kicks to the head don't work in the street and he will relate dozens of times he used them to great effect 'on the doors'.

Do you think a good judoka couldn't use osoto gari on the street? Or a top wrestler not be able to execute a good single or double leg take down outside the sporting arena?

An eye jab is a profoundly effective technique to ward of a dangerous attacker but have you got the capacity to use it. Capability and capacity are two totally different things.As an individual we have different ethics ,codes and boundaries about what you could and could not do.Some people no matter what danger they face will not gouge an eye,rip an ear or bite a neck.Have you got the ability to apply a cross arm bar  on somebody until their tendons snap?We are not talking 'tap out'.What about choking another human?Feeling them thrashing around and making horrible gurgling noises until they go limp?

Again all the techniques mentioned here are effective but you still have to have the capacity to execute them.Many haven't and many think they have ....but they haven't.

Self defence techniques go way beyond the physical.I have taught people who have been victims of attacks who have broke down in training and cried because of what they went through.They could not execute the techniques no matter are 'awesome' they were.

It is all a matter of choice and it also depends on the time you want to invest in your training.I believe if you devote years to a martial art and train it in a realistic way with contact you can make it work in the street.If you only have 3 months to train then there are those high percentage techniques that use gross motor skills that are probably the best to use.But again it still comes down to capability and capacity.

Also self defence techniques are scenario based,usually the advantage is tipped in the attacker favour.If you are not switched on or clued up you will always be on the back foot.There is no sparring off here.Even if it was that is a fight not self defence.Self defence scenarios are based around you minding your own business enjoying life when some ass hole comes into it determined to fuck it up when you least expect it.Real world violence is sudden ,very fast and very brutal.No matter how hard you train in class it will always be harder for real.You would do well to note this.I personally love to promote my combat jujtsu or mma or grappling because they are systems to be learnt but when it comes to self defence i prefer the individual to use what suits them personally.I like to teach self defence if possible one on one as no two people are the same and their needs will be different.I will guide them and advise them but will not ram down their throats that this technique or that techniques is the best.'Horses for courses'

by Kevin O'Hagan

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