Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Gamut

What would complete self-defense entail? This is a partial, thinking-out-loud answer to an email I received a short time ago.

I can divide it a number of ways. Awareness, Initiative and Permission, certainly. the student needs to know all they can handle about threat assessment, types of violence, types of criminals, tactical implications of terrain, reading individuals, internal self-monitoring... just the Awareness piece is huge.

Initiative is not as complex, but simple doesn't mean easy. The student needs to be able to act decisively and powerfully through will. If you must be angry or must be afraid in order to fight, you might not fight at all. Most people freeze. Many women have a delayed adrenaline surge. If you cannot fight cold, you may not be able to fight at all. Working this out will take solid skills that you trust. Stuff that works under pressure. And then practice at doing things that you hate and fear with cold precision and cold power. Simple, not easy.

And Permission. Most of us aren't even aware of our social conditioning. What we can and cannot do isn't based on logic or even fantasy but on years of conditioning. And, until the conditioning makes you hesitate, you have no way of even knowing if it is there. Until you pull the trigger you do not and CANNOT know if that is one of your lines. You can wear all the tactical gear that you want and say all the right words and try to hang out with the bad-asses. Or you can just whistle in the dark. Same thing. To find your glitches you have to go into places where your glitches will come out. Work them out or train with respect to them. But ignorance will not help you.

That's a part of it.
They need to have certain physical skills. Which are those? Depends. Fitness gets a lot of talk as a primary self-defense attribute, and I get it... except if you were a predator, would you be stalking the six-foot two-hundred-pound gym rat? And if you did, wouldn't you wait until he was on crutches from some kind of injury.

So fitness will never hurt you. A good workout regimen will do great things to your life. Almost all of us are far more likely to face coronary artery disease than an armed bad guy. But the physical skills (as opposed to attributes) that you need must work when you have no fitness to back them up. When you are injured, or old.

Basic physical skills, just off the top of my head:
The ability to strike, push and pull hard
The ability to do so accurately
The ability to move a body

You can magnify those. Striking hard can be about fitness or structure or applied physics. Ideally all three. And different people need to concentrate in different areas. The weaker you are, the more important physics (using momentum and environmental hazards) becomes.

Accuracy can be developed by sight or by feel. It can range from what we usually think of as targeting to the ability to sense a threat's base, Center of Gravity and momentum with a touch.

And moving a body ranges from grappling and throwing to being able to create small spaces for striking or drawing a weapon. Or the geometry of multiple people.

There's tons more. Goal setting, strategy and tactics. Classes of techniques and how those vary in importance in different situations and to different people. Social manipulations that can affect everything from whether there will be an incident of violence to what the witnesses will remember...

Too much for a short post or even a book. More later, almost for sure.
Evidently, "Force Decisions" is out. I had no idea. I owe a couple of you copies. You know who you are.


Anonymous said...

When is it time to quit? When is enough is enough? One police officer told me, heh, you don't have to throw your assailant on the ground. You don't even have to mark him for us. Just get in some quick kicks and hits and run away. This is a question for civilians rather than security professionals or soldiers in a war zone.

Anonymous said...

There is no commander to yell out "Cease Fire!" There is no referee to call out "Time!" No bell.

Extremus said...

"Evidently, "Force Decisions" is out."

Kindle edition?

Heath said...

I'd be interested to see what a Rory-designed program would look like starting from the ground up. So much of what you write is a reaction to the holes in martial arts and self-defense training as it currently is; what would the dream system look like, that trains as realistically as possible from the beginning? That eliminates as many of the holes and glitches as possible before they're trained in?

An interesting thought exercise, if nothing else!

Josh K. said...

Hmmm... I see the perfect Rory Fu as....

It would probable cover the holes that he adresses...

The Rory system would be tailored to Rory...

The perfect you system would be based on what your goals are, how you define SD/Martial Arts.


Rory do you think the world would survive a bunch of Rory clones running around?

Mac said...

And the one area NOT covered in martial training - even conflict professionals don't get it - verbal judo (George Thompson). I'd rather have a wits-wrestling contest than a chomping teeth, scrotum tearing, sweaty ground hug-a-thug rassle. Why is this type of training not included in seminar packages?

Josh K. said...

Mac are you talking simanars in general or Rory specific siminars?

Because, I think the Conflict Resolution (Marc and Rory) stuff; site, seminar and the book (when it comes out assuming it covers the same material as the site) cover verbal desescalation; which starts with descalating yourself first; well, from what I have seen and read of it not having taken the course/seminar myself.

Verbal Judo sounds to me like verbal monkey dancing, but that is probably not a fair interpertation having not read Goerge Thompsons book (working on working it into the rotation) and being influnanced by the mental image of two guy jocking for the throw/take down.


nry said...

You also need the realistic training scenarios...problem here is you can only go so far in training. Perhaps running a session in a local trouble hot spot for a touch of real life practice is required...

Either way, for people to trust their lessons they need a way of appreciating that what they are being taught works alongside the ability to judge if they are getting realistic practical training or not.

Ben said...

Hi Rory,
I can definately agree with the social conditioning thing. When I started working in security, alot of things had to change, I had to be able to get physical without hesitation at times and it took a definate change in mindset.

Another thing is if you go deeper, a more spiritual look at it I guess there is something else. And I realized this myself.

I was attracting alot of fights when I was working in the nightclub, and after starting internal work/self development I realized it was due to the stuff I was holding onto, past negative experiences, and negative emotions (especially ALOT of anger) was attracting this to me, partly because of my vibe, but also because of how I reacted.

I found that working on this and letting alot of it go, I was so much calmer the other guys in the team commented on it and I attracted much less trouble.


Mister X said...

"To find your glitches you have to go into places where your glitches will come out. Work them out or train with respect to them. But ignorance will not help you."

This is one of the smarter things I've read lately. Lots of applications.

The Strongest Karate said...

I like how you address physical fitness but I think that it deserves perhaps a little more credit, though.

I'm not a big guy by any stretch. 5'9 and 150lb. So being able to run the hell away from danger is one of several key skills to keeping my skin intact.

Moreover (and this falls in line with your statement) if I appear fit, strong, and confident, then I am not going to be on a predators target-list to begin with.