Monday, January 02, 2017

A few aspects of self-defense training by Badger Johnson

To all the instructors in our little group. I hope all of you think about what I said on a few aspects of self-defense training, even though it might fly in the face of having 'clients'.

1. Situational Awareness is a myth. It will always fail you when you need it most. That does not mean you shouldn't be aware and not do the obvious, like be caught off guard looking at your cell phone. But, instead, you should emphasize and emphasize the need to 'partner up'. If you have a partner, train them and work with them as a moving team. If you do not have a partner, then elect one (for example always get an employee of a store to escort you to your car and watch while you pack up and then get in and wait until you pull out to leave.

2. All training must be based on 'non-attribute type methods'. IOW, a method that requires you to 'first be Bruce Lee' is nonsense. You will not always be strong and fast. That does not mean you should not train attributes, far from it. But your methods must be based on timing, leverage, de-escalation, surprise, and teamwork, etc. If it will not work for your 18 yo daughter, keep working on it, try another way. Like I said people talk about having their knives but they forget that they may need a knife that does not require strength to wield, because they've taken a glancing round to their hand or taken a hit. I would say if you don't have a push knife you are only part ready.

3. Emphasize what you must keep up on a daily basis. That is sustainability. If you are not doing something day in and day out to keep up your cardio, your breath, your intercostals, your diaphragm, your mitochondrial density, all this 'specific MA training' will be just window dressing. You must have a base. Your base is what will save you. You must train some in all five energy zones (which is why biking is good). Do not think that you can take a seminar and rely on your handspeed. It won't work.

4. Ultimately, the toughest people are those who have good genetics, who train in a 'combat sport' (which includes contact sports like rugby) against a multitude of opponents and who train for performance not specific skills. Yes, Top Dog was good at FMA, but his hidden attribute was that he was skilled in football which gave him his pressure and drive. It's the 'hidden base' which makes a person formidable not the finishing stuff. A person who is aggressive, tough and durable is going to be tough to beat no matter what you bring to the table with skill.

5. Keep going. The meme is if you wait by the river long enough you will see the bodies of your enemies float by. Your enemies are not other people, necessarily, they are your own foibles. Figure out how to keep going so that you are doing something into your 50s, 60s and 70s. THAT is when you are going to need your MA. If you go so hard and get injured in your 30s you will be a cripple in your old age and have to hire a bodyguard (or a young spouse!). Of course getting old is why we have firearms. Don't skimp on training up that. Have a layered defense for all aspects from in the home, on the street, on the highway and in the stores.

Hope this helps!

Of course in any comprehensive plan you must also include things like how to rest, when to rest, how to heal (we heal and improve during sleep)

How to not get injured, how to manage your nutrition and diet (look at all the portly Kempo guys!), and how to manage your emotions (you need to know both how to be calm and how to invoke the killing rage).

It's the 'how' not the what. Remember that.

Stay safe!

~Badger Johnson
Jul 26, 2016

Please check out Badger Johnson's other essays:

NOTE:  My sincerest appreciation for Badger's gracious consent for permission to archive his essay to my site.

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