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What Practically Guarantees Success in a Self-Defense Encounter?
November 01, 2006
Hi ""

From the Desk of
Shidoshi Jeffrey M. Miller
Wednesday, November 1st, 2006
1:45pm EST

In this Issue:

Feature Article: "What Practically Guarantees Success in a Self-Defense Encounter?"

Did You Know? Points to Ponder About Self-Defense and the Art of the Ninja

Training Opportunities and Updates: New Dates for Fall Ninja Camp

HINT: Power is created by motion and flow. Add power to your own experience and knowledge by passing this newsletter on to others.

Feature Article:

What Practically Guarantees Success in a Self-Defense Encounter?

by Shidoshi Jeffrey M. Miller

It never ceases to amaze me just how many people have the same questions or ideas about self-defense and what works.


Almost as soon as someone finds out that this is what I do, I invariably get one of two responses. You can break these responses down into the "asker" and the "teller" groups.

The group that I call the "Askers" do just just that...

...they ask questions.

The questions are always "how-to's." Like...

"How would you defend against a punch to the face?"

"What would you do if someone was following you?"

"Where's the best place to hit someone to not hurt them but would still get them off of you?"

The second group is one I call, you guessed it...

The "Tellers"

I call them this because, instead of asking questions, they like to tell me how THEY would do things, or what their FAVORITE move is.

They feel the need to become the expert.

Though both groups mean well, it becomes painfully obvious within seconds of talking with them that...

...they have absolutely no idea about what a fight is like or the limited view they each have about how to deal with one.

Coming from a Position of Reality

Now, please don't think that I think any less of any of these folks, because I really don't. (Well okay, maybe a few total morons who just don't get it and don't want to!).

I believe that most of these questions and opinions come from an inherant need to understand something that is VERY scary.

It comes from a need to feel like you have some semblance of control in a situation where there may be little or none to be found.

In short...

...they're all looking for guarantees. Shortcuts that will be the "silver bullet" answers to all them to handle any and EVERY situation.

As much as it would be great for there to exist such a thing... given the very nature of a real violent attack and the sheer number of possibilities, variables, and such... just isn't so.

And that is where I, and a few others in the world who have taken the time to really explore this area and get a handle on what works and what doesn't, come in. Instead of following ideas and theories that lack the necessary experience and strategic understanding...

...I have taken the time to really "get it."

And the truth is... the realm of self-protection and actually having the ability to be successful in a violent encounter with a dangerous attacker bent on totally humiliating you, beating you down, or killing you...

...there is only one guarantee.

And unfortunately...'s not a total guarantee either.

Sorry. But them's the facts folks.

In the scheme of totality and the universal reality of the cosmos...

...there are NO guarantees.


...there is one thing that can get you pretty damn close.

Know what it is? Any guesses?

One word.


That's it.

Options. Call them choices, strategic variations... whatever.

Having more than one or two options, or ways for any given encounter, or more than just one way of doing things (like making a fist for example)...

...allows you to adapt to the changing dynamics of a real world encounter. In fact, it does much more than that.

It gives you more in the way of power, confidence, and control!

Mechanics Over Dynamics

Now, what this means is that we have to let the step-by-step world of the typical karate or self-defense class go for just a minute.

Don't worry... for all of you who need your "style"...

...we'll be right back to it in a minute!

What I mean is that we have to transcend mere mechanics and enter the realm of "strategy."

Instead of worrying about "what we're going to do"...

...we spend a little time with the:

"Why" we would do things a certain way...

"How" we would know what was right...

"Where" to apply a technique (not just where to punch, but also includes the environment, etc.)...

...and much more.

Instead of going too far into the science and psychology of this higher-level strategy, I'll give you an example. For those of you who are familiar with the 5 Element Strategies (Godai in Japanese) that we use in the Warrior Concepts Mastery Program or the emotional drivers that form the foundation of my EDR:Non-Martial Arts Defensive Training Program, these options will look familiar.

For those who aren't, you can read more about them in my book, "The Karate-Myth: Why Most Martial Arts and Self-Defense Programs Don't Work" Here's the link to order it directly from the website:

One situation / Many Options

Let's just say that you're walking, alone or with a friend, down the street at night and you realize that a couple of goons are following you.

As taught in my EDR and Ninjutsu-based programs, you could choose from the following possible options in an attempt to deal with the situation.

"Earth" Confident Mode

You could continue walking, acting as if nothing is wrong until you found a safe haven like a store or, better yet, a police station. You could also act as if you received a call on your cell phone and secretly dial 9-11 to get a police roll-by without your assailants ever being the wiser.

"Water" Defensive Mode

Here, you use the psychological communications options outlined in our 6 Phases of Self-Defense. You strike up a conversation with them and act naively unaware that they are even a threat. You might question them about any restaurants or places to go in the area. You joke around and brush off any comments they might make about hurting you. If you think that you might still be in danger, you make an excuse to duck into a restaurant or alleyway to "relieve yourself." If they come in looking for you, you suddenly pounce on them with whatever you have at your disposal until they are lying on the ground in a heap.

"Fire" Direct, Commited Action

When you're sure that you are going to be the victim of an attack, you take your stungun, keys, pepper spray, or self-defense keychain firmly in hand and begin to listen as they close the distance between you. As soon as they are sure that you are their helpless victim, you suddenly spin around and unleash your own damaging assault with everything you have! Your screams mingle with their as you overwhelm them with surprise and your own commitment to survive!

"Wind" Adaptiveness

You suddenly stop and lurch forward into a bent position while frantically clutching at your chest. You stagger and look back at them, gasping and reaching out with one hand as though to plead for their help. If you are with a friend, their own feined panic and pleas for help, perhaps even placing a phone call (real or faked) for emergency services, will reinforce the "reality" and gravity of the situation in your would-be attacker's minds. You continue to fein your sudden heart attach be dropping to the ground, becoming even more frantic as your assailant rush off, not wanting to get involved in such an ordeal.

Options Are the Key

Of course, the above scenarios are only possibilities. Any given situation, its environment, variables, and other factors will all play a part in how and what you do.

But, you can only use the options you know, have preplanned for, and most importantly...

...remember when you actually need them.

Remember: It's not that the step-by-step techniques work or don't work (many, however, really ARE crap!). You just need to understand that surviving a life-threatening situation involves much more than executing your favorite move or the existence of a "magical, end-all-to-beat-all" technique.

It requires that you have options. And the more skills, techniques, and tactics that you have in your little bag of tricks...

...the better off you're going to be!

And THAT is a guarantee!

Did You Know...?

  • Many people limit their focus to just knowing "where" certain pressure points are on their attacker's body. But... the angle that you attack a pressure point changes your assailants response to it.

  • Karate and Self-Defense Instructors are constantly teaching women to see the objects inside her purse as weapons. But... the likelihood of her having the time to get to any of them (unless she already has it in her hand) when she's attacked is nearly zero. It's much better for her to...

    ...just use the purse itself!

  • Most Ninjutsu/Budo-Taijutsu students in the Bujinkan Dojo System under Grandmaster Hatsumi place their attention on the 9 historical lineages that he holds title to. However... Soke Hatsumi has dozens of other lineages under his belt (so-to-speak) that he doesn't hold Soke-ship to. The power of these schools is taught within the grander context of the overall lessons. To focus on only the kata and approaches of the well-known "9 schools" is to limit oneself to only a portion of the power available.

For those who are looking to learn and understand the power of the traditional lineages, you'll want to get my new DVD which contains all of the kata and principles contained on the 1st level scroll of the Takagi-Yoshin School of Jutaijutsu.

Here's the link to order it from the WCI Online Store.

Upcoming Training Opportunities...

First Things First

As I said in my Urgent posting yesterday, the Fall Ninja Camp that was to be held this weekend, was without a home due to a scheduling error. However...

We have set a new date! So...

Join me and several other guest instructors, including Shidoshi Greg Tremblay, Shidoshi John Healy, and several others for a look at the skills, strategies, and unique mindset of Japan's ancient Ninja Night Warriors at this year's annual Fall Ninja Training Camp. Join other serious students just like yourself from Friday, December 8th through Sunday, December 10th, 2006 as we explore the power, wisdom, and tactics of the greatest warriors the world has ever known!

For more information, go to:

Beginning in November, I will be conducting a new series of seminars and special classes that explore the psychological and life lessons of the art of Ninjutsu and how they can be applied in our everyday lives.

This is a WCI first and response to these first events will determine if and how often I will offer this life-changing knowledge in the future.

I'll be sending information about these powerful non-martial arts programs in my next installment. So...

...make sure you look for it!

Want to send me something?

You may send questions, comments, or "what-if's" for inclusion in the newsletter using the CONTACT form on the web site - or cut and paste this link into your browser:

Just remember to keep your communications clear and to the point (limit each correspondence to ONE point, please). Any comments or questions received that are not easily understood or rife with spelling and grammar errors will be deleted. It's not that I don't want to answer but, if I can't understand your point or what you mean, I can't answer in a way that will be beneficial.

Until next time. Wishing you Peace, Happiness, and Safety...

Shidoshi Jeffrey M. Miller
Founder & Director
Warrior Concepts International
Self-Protection & Personal Development

362 Market Street
Sunbury, Pa. 17801

(570) 988-2228

"Master Your Self - Master Your Life!"

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