3 Keys To Effective Self-Defense

By Self-defense expert Jeffrey M. Miller SPS, DTI
(C) Warrior Concepts Int'l, Inc.

When you think about self-defense situations, what are the top three considerations for being effective? Is it having strength, stamina, power, or a ton of way-cool, tricky, martial arts techniques?

While all of those things help to one extent or another, none of them really touches on the priorities that will help you to prevail in a life or death, self-defense, struggle.

Don't get me wrong. It certainly helps to be the bigger, faster, stronger, or more skilled combatant. But these things are only helpful if you're in a situation where they will serve you.

Let me explain it a different way.

Strength only matters if you are in a position or can grab your assailant in a way that allows you the use of your strength. And as for power...

... power is derived from size and motion. If an assailant jumps you and pins you to a wall or the floor, you will find it difficult to generate any sort of power as we normally think of it.

Stamina only matters if you're in a fight that's going to last minutes instead of seconds. Typically, karate and boxing tournaments have two minute rounds or bouts. That's an eternity in a life-and-death, self-defense situation where the goal is to get things over and done with in...

...less than 10 SECONDS!

As for knowing a lot of techniques, what can I say? Information is power, right?

But, what if you're new to this whole idea of self-defense? What if you just started taking classes or learning how to get away from a dangerous attacker? Or...

...what if, no matter how many techniques you know...

...your attacker is a better, more skilled, more experienced fighter?

Then what?

A Simple Formula

I've written extensively about what I call, "The 6 Phases of an Effective Self-Defense Strategy." This is designed to lead my students through just that, the phases that a self-defense situation can go through, and how to make sure that we have sufficient training to be able to operate effectively in each phase, or stage, of an attack.

Admittedly though, the 6 phases are the ideal - the best case we can hope for. They all function as they should when you have warning from your assailant and you can see things coming.

Often though, attacks happen with little or no warning at all. So, how do we trim even more off the top and come up with the minimum elements necessary to be able to come out of a situation with as little wear-and-tear as possible?

The key here is to focus on the situation that we're talking about. In the "6 Phases" formula, we can see the attack, or potential for danger, coming. So, we attempt things like...

Escaping to Safety,

Confusing the attacker, and...

Dissuading, or convincing him find another victim

This is just a quick outline for our discussion here. If you aren't familiar with the "6 Phases For Effective Self-Defense," you can learn about them in "The Karate-Myth." It's a great resource for understanding the "science of self-defense" and how to make protecting yourself as easy as possible. And, of course, it's loaded with some really great and easy-to-learn techniques for stopping an attacker and putting him where he belongs... on the GROUND! Click the link to read more about "The Karate-Myth" and the valuable bonus reports that go with it.

Just the Basics

When the attack comes with little-to-no warning. When it comes at us quickly and ferociously and we don't have the time for escape, let alone trying to distract or talk our assailant down, we need just the basic-basics.

So, the 3 Keys - the unbreakable elements of an effective self-defense strategy are...

  • 1) Situational Awareness - Pay attention to what's going on around you. Actively look at people, instead of avoiding contact as is the case in most social situations.

  • 2) Stay Focused - You could also call this step "Controlling Your Fear." If you notice someone or something that could be a threat - perhaps someone who looks angry or suspicious, keep your eye on them. You don't have to stare-and-glare, but you should be aware of them and what they're doing. I talk about this concept quite a bit in my video, .

    This also extends to the actual attack. Stay as calm as possible so that you can watch what's happening. For many people, their reaction is to close their eyes and "hope for the best." I didn't say this was easy, just what you MUST do to be successful.

    And finally...

  • 3) React Immediately and Decisively - As soon as the attack happens, start your defense. Don't try to figure out who this person is or why they're attacking you. You must immediately do three things if you stand a chance at winning. You must...

    • A) Neutralize the effects of what they're doing. Cover your targets or ride-off the blows that are landing.

    • B) Keep your head. Stay focused on what you can do and as soon as you have an opportunity...

    • C) Take whatever targets open up. If he leaves his throat open and your can hit it - hit it! If you can kick his groin, kick his groin. Whatever presents itself, take THAT thing! And keep taking targets until he's down and out or help arrives.

Sounds simple, I know. But that's what training and a good teacher is for - to help you to do the tough things like controlling your fear, focusing under pressure, and teaching you the most effective ways to hit certain targets.

Remember, you can have whatever theories you want in life. You can have your favorite style, teacher, techniques, or whatever. But, when the rubber-meets-the-road, so-to-speak, and you're face-to-face with your worst nightmare...

...you must pay attention, stay focused, and do what works!

This article is copyright (C)by Jeffrey M. Miller and Warrior Concepts International, Inc. It is free to use in it's original form, with no alterations or additions. If it to be used online, all links must be active and without the use of "no-follow" type coding which would prevent the reader from accessing the resources being referenced.

For additional information about how Jeffrey Miller or Warrior Concepts can help you create the life you've always dreamed of living and how to protect that life from anything that would harm it, go to the Home page or call WCI at 570-988-2228

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"Mr. Miller’s approach to self protection and occupational/work-place safety is both thorough and effective. Drawing on over two decades of martial arts, military, police and protection experience, he is able to distill the most useful aspects of self protection from a larger body of knowledge and package and present them in a way that makes them accessible to, and effective for, average people without the need for years of training. Mr. Miller teaches effective tactics for dealing with all stages of a developing situation, but his brains-over-brawn approach emphasizes the use of awareness and strategy to help avoid the need for physical confrontation. His methods are highly effective. Several of my students and I attend his training events at every possible opportunity."

John Healy, Personal Development Coach Mississauga, Ontario, Canada

"A self protection situation is so much more than actual combat. In fact, Jeff Miller has taught me that self protection does not necessarily even involve a confrontational situation. It is about learning who I am…how I relate to myself, and how I present myself to others. It is about being the best that I can be at any moment in time, in any situation, with anyone or alone, at work or in leisure. It is about recognizing and overcoming my own internal obstacles and external distractions. It’s about knowing my ideals and living up to them in all areas of life to benefit myself, my business, and all others. Through all of this, I may actually avoid conflict. This is where self defense starts, long before the threatening situation occurs.

A very important part of my growth process has been knowing that my instructor teaches from more than a book, but from experience. Jeff Miller lives what he teaches. I know it’s real. It works for him, and it works for me. I’ve been training under his supervision since 1991.

I am not naturally coordinated or physically strong. I would have been an easy target for an attacker-physically, mentally, or emotionally. Mr. Miller has been one of the few people that could talk to me in very simple terms so that I get the message without feeling belittled. Rather, I feel empowered because I take the steps necessary to become the person I want to be, and I know I have his support-for life. Through Mr. Miller, I have learned to rely on my strengths while improving other areas. I don’t have to be something I’m not in order to be successful. I am confident that I can defend myself appropriately in any given situation.

Working in the long term care environment, I deal frequently with confused seniors. Some staff in this setting may feel the need to either take combative behavior or retaliate, hurting the disoriented senior. I have learned ways to prevent that person from hurting anyone, while not causing any harm myself.

My training means so much to me that I also became a teacher. Currently I focus on taking this great way of life to senior citizens. If even one person is able to overcome a difficult situation as the result of sharing this wonderful way of life, I know my mission has been accomplished."

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