When I first decided to open the Self Defense Company of Greater Boston and teach self-defense lessons and self-defense classes I needed to be sure to be able to provide my students with the best training, and information that was available regarding real self-defense.
There are many forms of martial arts being taught under the subject matter of self-defense, and I have all the respect in the world for the men and women who study and teach the various forms of martial arts, but the reality is that none of those systems is truly self-defense by definition. Most forms of martial arts are designed to take the student slowly through the system of ranks. This simply is not an effective way to teach REAL Self-Defense.
Before we go any further let us look at self-defense definition in the Legal Dictionary at Law.com as they probably offer the most complete definition that I have been able to find. So What really is self-defense?
n. the use of reasonable force to protect oneself or members of the family from bodily harm from the attack of an aggressor, if the defender has reason to believe he/she/they is/are in danger. Self-defense is a common defense by a person accused of assault, battery or homicide. The force used in self-defense may be sufficient for protection from apparent harm (not just an empty verbal threat) or to halt any danger from attack, but cannot be an excuse to continue the attack or use excessive force. Examples: an unarmed man punches Allen Alibi, who hits the attacker with a baseball bat. That is legitimate self-defense, but Alibi cannot chase after the attacker and shoot him or beat him senseless. If the attacker has a gun or a butcher knife and is verbally threatening, Alibi is probably warranted in shooting him. Basically, appropriate self-defense is judged on all the circumstances. Reasonable force can also be used to protect property from theft or destruction. Self-defense cannot include killing or great bodily harm to defend property, unless personal danger is also involved, as is the case in most burglaries, muggings or vandalism.
So now let’s break that definition down.
The use of reasonable force to protect oneself or members of the family from bodily harm from the attack of an aggressor, if the defender has reason to believe he/she/they is/are in danger.
The most important points being bolded of course. So we need to understand “reasonable force” as being the force that is not excessive, you can’t shoot someone for simply insulting you, that would of course not be reasonable. This definition extends beyond your own self to include “members of the family” but such force may only be used if you have a ”
reason to believe he/she/they is/are in danger. ”
So the study of REAL SELF-DEFENSE is about being street savvy, and being able to protect yourself and your loved ones in a stressful situation. Here is the difference between what we teach at the SELF DEFENSE COMPANY of GREATER BOSTON and what is taught in your local dojo or martial arts studio.
The study of martial arts is great and having been there myself as a youngster I say that enthusiastically, it taught me many great life lessons of which were independence, the love of competition, and yes both the thrill of victory as well as the agony of defeat. But it was sport, it was competition, it had rules, and when engaging in a match we were always paired up against a like opponent. That is not how things go down in the street.
In the street there are NO RULES, NO REFEREES, and NO SENSE of WINNING or LOSING, NO TROPHIES, NO BELTS, NO RANKS to work towards. Just an adversary that doesn’t give a rat’s behind about you or your personal safety. Their only objective is to do as much harm to you as possible in the shortest time. So what are your choices in this kill or be killed environment.
You have to be able to perform specific moves or techniques that are part of your basic survival instinct. You have to be able to go from Zero to Sixty just at the trip of the switch. You have to be able to not only defend yourself, but you have to be able to attack your assailant with reckless abandon. You have to be willing to destroy he who is in front of you (before he destroys you).
Now of course it is never my desire to hurt another human being (unless of course it is their desire to hurt me or mine) at which point I become a human wrecking machine. Because I have studied my craft, and live my life knowing that my life and those of my family are not something that I am willing to sacrifice to the whims of some dirtbag street thug.
It is that attitude which defines REAL SELF-DEFENSE, and it is that attitude that we teach in our training at the SELF DEFENSE COMPANY of GREATER BOSTON.
We are preparing our class schedule for the upcoming year and will be releasing that schedule just after the coming New Year, and hope that you will join us for some training in the Art of REAL self-defense.